“What have I done?" Silver ran both of his hands through his red hair as he paced the men’s bathroom. "What am I going to do?”
Luckily there was no one there, most of the city seemed empty thanks to the Team Rocket takeover. So it was just him and his pokemon, whom he had released.
((Calm down!)) Fernaligator pleaded. ((It’s gonna be fine!))
“NO! NO IT IS NOT! I DIDN’T MEAN TO ASK HER ON A DATE!”
((I don’t understand these human mating rituals…)) Sneasel mumbled.
“NEITHER DO I!”
((Didn’t your guardians teach you your mating rituals?)) Hauter asked.
“NO!” Silver threw his hands up in the air. “Father refused to talk about this stuff. Petrel was useless. I HATE Proton. And everything Archer said was pathetically vague!”
((Well what did he say?))
“Something about “knowing what to do when the time is right” or some other cryptic crap.”
Fernaligator hesitantly put a claw on his master’s shoulder. ((Then I’m sure you will.))
((Yeah,)) Golbat agreed. ((You really like this girl right?))
His entire team simultaneously rolled their eyes and Golbat continued. ((Well you said you like the way she treats you at least.))
“Did I say that?”
((Yes.)) His team chorused.
((And you said she was joyous))
“SHUT UP! Were you guys taking notes on everything I said?”
((That’s not the point.)) Sneasel snapped. ((The point is you like her-))
((Yes you do, and she likes you so-))
“What makes you think she likes me?" Silver snapped. He sighed and glared at his reflection in the bathroom mirrors. "WHY would she like me?" he scoffed. "I’m a criminal. I’m a selfish, malicious, cynical-“
((No you’re not!)) Fernaligator protested.
Before Silver could continue arguing, the door to the bathroom opened and Ember’s head poked through. “Phlo typhlo ty ty”
((Lyra’s waiting.)) Fernaligator translated and Silver resumed his cursing.
“What am I going to do?!”
((Fly really fast to impress her!)) Golbat suggested quickly.
((He can’t fly)) Haunter pointed out and the bat deflated.
((Oh yeah… this would be so much easier if you were pokemon…))
Typhlosion rose to his full height and crossed his tiny arms. “Ty ty phlosion”
((He says to hurry up)) Fernaligator translated again.
“I’m gonna mess this up.” He groaned desperately running his hands through his hair in a panic. “I don’t want to screw this up.”
Ember’s eyes seemed to soften for a moment, then he turned his head away. “Typhlo…”
“What?” Silver turned to Fernaligator, who seemed shocked by whatever Lyra’s starter had said.
((He said to hold her hand.))
Silver gaped at the starter with whom he normally shared such feelings of animosity.
“Typlosion. Ploh ploh ty sion ty typhlosion.”
Fernaligator nodded ((He says she likes it. And if you do screw this up he’ll burn you to death.))
“That sounds more like him…” Silver grumbled as he composed himself, a little more confident now that he had a guide line, as flimsy as it was. He strode out with his best façade of confidence. 'You can do this. You’re just going to the store with her, that’s all. And you’re not going to screw this up, that would be weak.'
He jumped in surprise and turned to see Lyra, now dressed in a simple, but cute, red polka dot summer dress with a white bow around the waist. The bow cinched the dress tight at her waist, reminding him of how small her waist was, and how good it felt to have his arms wrapped around her waist as they were surfing back from Cianwood… ‘FOCUS!’ He lectured himself. “Are you ready?”
“Sure!” Her eyes were aglow and Silver’s heart skipped a beat. He awkwardly extended a hand. She likes handholding. She beamed and took it and he led her out of the pokecenter and down the road. Her grip on his hand tightened as they stood outside the door and she took a deep breath. “I really don’t know what to expect, I’ve waited so long for this…”
Silver ran a hand through his hair, unsure of how to respond. “It’s pretty nice,” he shrugged as they stepped through the doors and her face instantly lit up.
“OH MY ARCEUS! THIS IS HUGE!” she gasped and let go of his hand so she could dash to the nearest section of merchandise, rows and rows of pokedolls. “It’s so much bigger than the pokemart.” She bent down to look through all of the bottom shelves. Silver was appreciating how her dress rode up as she did this when he heard a whisper.
((Silver!)) He whirled around to see Haunter hovering behind a small potted plant.
“What are you doing here!” he hissed as his pokemon, carefully glancing over his should to make sure Lyra wasn’t looking. She was much to enveloped in the endless array of colorful plush toys.
((Rachelle said you should complement her dress. And Anna said you should buy her stuff.))
“Are they here too?!”
((Yeah, we’re all outside that window, they just sent me in here to tell you. Oh! And Ember says to stop staring at her butt.))
“Get lost! Or turn invisible at least, I don’t want her to see you!” He hissed at his pokemon, thoroughly embarrassed to know they was being watched by both their combined teams
Haunter instantly complied and disappeared. Silver wasn’t sure if he was actually gone, or just invisible, but went back to Lyra, who had straightened up, and was now craning to reach a Cyndaquil on the top shelf. He came up close behind her and grabbed it for her. She jumped in surprise, accidently leaning further back into his chest. “Here.” He handed it to her.
“T-thanks.” She turned bright red, but she didn’t seem to mind the close proximity, and Silver didn’t either. After standing there dumbly for a nice moment he remember the pokemon’s advice. “You’re dress is really… dotty.”
“Thanks.” She giggled and twirled in it. “My mom made it.”
“You… look good in red.”
“It’s my favorite color.” She toyed with the doll’s flames shyly. “It’s just like your hair…”
“Do you want me to buy that for you?”
“No, that’s o.k.” She quickly put if back on a lower shelf.
“Are you sure?” He questioned.
“Yeah.” She shrugged offhandedly, “Come on! I want to see EVERYTHING!”
They spent a good four hours in the nearly empty Department Store, until Lyra exhausted, but satisfied, could no longer pass off her yawns as coughs or sneezes and Silver insisted they go back. As they walked past the first stores they had encountered Silver paused. “Wait here a minute, I think I left my pokegear in that first store.” he lied smoothly, and
Lyra was much to groggy to recall he had had it with him the whole time. So she nodded numbly with a yawn and sat obediently on a bench. Silver ran as quickly as he could, not wanting to keep her waiting, and snatched up the Cyndaquil doll, purchased it and shoved it deep in his pockets. For the past four hours it had nagged him. He had WANTED to buy it for her. He had loved the way it made her smile, and his old guardian’s advice had rung in his ears. He certainly didn't know anything like Archer seemed to have implied he would but he felt he should buy it. He sprinted back and found her fast asleep where he had left her. A small smile tugged at his lips. He gently scooped her up and carried her back to the poke center.
Both of their team were waiting and Anna and Rachelle squealed girlishly. “Shut up.” He grumbled. “You didn’t see anything.” Ember rolled his eyes, but showed him to Lyra’s room. Silver gently laid her down in her bed, then placed the Cyndaquil beside her and pulled the covers up to her chin. He glanced over his shoulder and saw that her pokemon were distracted arguing about something, so he allowed himself a moment to just look at her peaceful face. He brushed her cheek, and suddenly the girls sighed romantically again and he flushed red. “Whatever, it was nothing…” He quietly exited the room and returned to his team.
((That was so sweet!))
((You’re actually pretty romantic you big softie!))
((Way to go!))
((I totally thought you were going to crash and burn but that went well!))
“Thanks for the confidence in me.” He snapped sarcastically. “And I’m NOT a softie. Everyone back in your balls, we’re leaving.”
Fernaligator looked sad. ((But then you won’t be here when she wakes up!))
“I know, so hurry up.” His team reluctantly returned to their balls, except for Golbat, who followed him. They trekked over to where he had stashed his motorcycle outside of the city. Silver mounted it and took off down the road, heading for Blackthorn. Golbat followed in the crisp night air.
Now, free from his pokemon's nagging questions and teasing glances Silver allowed himself to smile beneath the coverage of his helmet.
That was kinda fun.' he admitted to himself as thoughts of the evening played through his head, and Lyra's laughter rang in his ears. 'Still doesn't mean I love her or anything… I just… like her… a little...