She was weak.
Bianca had always been taunted with that saying ever since she was a small child. As she hid away from the world through a mask of smiles and giggles, people had often laughed, sneered- stared at her, at how clumsy she was. It wasn't exactly hard to miss. It ranged from tripping over something as little as an apricorn, or knocking over something as simple as a pebble on a rock. Everywhere she went, destruction seemed to follow her- be it small, or huge.
Her Father as well. He often discouraged her from flying free out of her home, and finding her silver wings. He said she was like a flower- too fragile, too frail, too delicate...and too naive. The small breeze she seemed to be following, before she had the courage to run away- had been blocked by the obstacles of emotions. Guilt, fear, and shame if she ever left.
Even in that final battle- the one where her brave friend, Touko, had gone to fight with all of her strength. Cheren as well, had fought all of those Team Plasma grunts. When the battle was taking place, he had been covered in blood, sweat and tears- his physical limits being tested to its highest range. Her brown-haired friend as well- her emotional limits had been greatly put to the test, when N left her behind.
Bianca understood that her friend's heartbeat increased more for the green-haired young man.
But what did she do during that final battle?
She had been protected by Cheren, throughout the whole massacre of Pokemon and Human blood. She had been the reason he had hurt his arm, the reason why his glasses had broke...the reason why...he had almost lost his life that day. If she hadn't been so clumsy, she might not have almost fallen off that bridge...and Cheren wouldn't have strained his arm and fallen so hard...
Would it have been better if her friends had just left on their journey's before her- or without her in the first? She knew that they did all make a promise to start their journeys on the same day as each other, but she only wanted to catch cute Pokemon! Touko and Cheren wanted to battle the gyms, and strive to become champion. They wanted to make something of themselves, not frolic in the theatre looking at dancing Pokemon all day.
In other words, they had actual dreams. They could be of use to this world, and help it edge closer to true peace and tranquillity that so many people desired. Because they knew what they were doing, and how to handle tight situations. That was why she admired them so much- she panicked, got stressed...she couldn't fight when at her weakest.
All Bianca could do was smile brightly at them, and cheer them on whilst they battled along side their Pokemon. Unlike her, whom always failed her Pokemon, they were perfectly in time with one another. She never really understood why her Pokemon followed her still, even after failing them so many times before. She had always let them down. For all she could do was cheer them all on.
Ha. Like cheering them on did any good in the first place. It probably just faltered their concentration.
"Bianca? Oi, Bianca? You going to stare into space all day?" She was suddenly snapped away from her thoughts, when she saw a familiar pair of glasses, and raven hair staring at her in the face. She blinked a few times, before looking at him, with unusually downcast eyes. Cheren arched one eyebrow, slightly confused. Hadn't she just been ranting on about how she loved Pokemon one second ago?
She was probably just dreaming. Yeah, probably.
"...Weak." She mumbled.
Cheren raised another eyebrow.
"What are you going on about, Bianca-" He then suddenly halted his questioning, as his friend fell to the floor, onto her knees. Gripping the cream carpet in her sets of fingers, she felt the friction burn her fingers. But that pain was nothing compared to the searing agony she was feeling in her heart at that moment in time.
Tears began to form in her eyes, cascading from her eyes toward the floor, like a waterfall that had just been obstructed. Whilst she was crying, memories of that final battle flashed through her mind, about how she was constantly being protected by Cheren, how he was injured for her sake, how...how he nearly died! How she had nearly claimed his, Touko's, and every other good person's life by being scared.
"I'm so useless...I didn't do anything that day! I-I..."
"Bianca, what are you going on about?"
"Pappa was right, I never should have left..."
"Calm down idiot!
"I kept being protected by you..."
"Stop stressing yourself!"
"Cheren, you got injured because of me! Remember?"
His eyes widened. And not just a little- quite a lot, due to the shock. He would never have guessed that Bianca felt guilt, when he tried to save her from falling off N's castle- and almost being killed by Plasma grunts in the process of saving her. But that wasn't her fault! It was his choice, and his alone. She had nothing to do with the way his mind worked- at all. Well, maybe in one sense, but that was it.
"I got you hurt so much...I'm useless...I'm tired of being the one always being saved..." Bianca embraced her knees, and brought her head downwards- she didn't want Cheren to see the pitiful state she was in now. She just wanted to cry out all of these feelings. After that...well, she wasn't so sure. But still, she wanted to be left alone.
To wallow in the pit of darkness she had been sitting in for so long. But she had fallen so deep, not even a smile could bring her a temporary dimmed light any more. She had been reduced to nothing but blackness. Perhaps, it was better this way. Perhaps, it was better if she were somewhere else where nobody could hear her.
But Cheren wouldn't have any of that- especially not from her. Slightly biting his lip, wondering if he should go ahead with what he was planning- only a quick thought passed before he lightly intertwined his hand with hers. (Her hand was so warm...) Slightly taken aback, Bianca gazed up at her friend in wide-eyed wonder to what he was doing.
"W-what-" Urging her to stand, she did as instructed, but still highly confused. Her long, white skirt had become creased where she had been crying, and the rest of her clothes, par her hat, were crumpled and looked like she had just run a marathon in them. Many people he knew, and did not know, would have sniggered, chuckled, or even pointed at the state she looked.
But to Cheren...well, he never really cared how she looked. That was her choice to make- not his, so who was he to judge?
"Come with me."
With his back turned to the oblivious girl- Cheren felt truly blessed that she could not see the red splattered on his face- that could ruin his reputation for good if she did see. Leading her away from her closed-up attic room, he led her out of the door. When he opened it, the light flowed into the room, illuminating every corner- reflecting off of every known, and unknown surface that lay dormant before- but now flourished with the life of light.
Down the stairs and out of the door as fast as they could go, the two of them could only be thankful that only Bianca's Mother was home, only sending them off with a small wave and a knowing glance.
Needless to say, she had theories on the pair.
Walking in front of the blonde haired girl with his back still facing her pair of eyes, Cheren lead Bianca into his own home. Their hands, still entwined with one another's, caused Bianca to feel like screaming in pure ecstasy, yet her mind was experiencing utter confusion as well. Her friend was normally so stoic, so unreadable so...well, structured. He didn't waste time with petty little emotions like guilt, he just got on with his day the best that he could.
That was one of the many reasons why she admired him so much. As for herself in this case, she would always fret over small details, not allowing them to just lay dormant. In Bianca's head, everything had to be solved before she could truly move forward. Another reason why she was so pathetic and childish- her habit of refusing to let even minor details go.
"Come in here." She realized that they had ventured up the stairs, and were now standing face-to-face with the door to Cheren's room. This simple added to the wonders in her head- why was Cheren allowing her to visit his room? Ever since they turned twelve, he hqad refused to let either Touko, Bianca or even his male friends from the neighbouring towns into there!
He probably had something of hers that he wanted to return to her. That was probably it- just to get her to remember something that she forgot, so that she would smile and everything would go back to the way that it was again. One of the few secrets she knew that nobody else did about Cheren- was that he did not like change. At all.
As he led the blonde-haired trainer inside, he released the grip on her hand, and slowly withdrew his own hand from her warm touch. Bianca was partially stunned, and the other half of her...upset? Unconsciously, her hand slightly trailed after Cheren's, wishing to feel the smooth, ivory skin on her fingertips again. But alas, she managed to subject herself to placing her arm firmly by her side, as she stood nervously in the doorway.
Cheren noticed, and motioned a hand for her saying, "Bianca, you can come in. Sit down on the bed if you want."
Becoming flustered for standing around like a fool, Bianca found herself waddling in rapidly, as she stiffly sat down on Cheren's bed. As Cheren wondered off- into what she assumed what was still his wardrobe, she found herself taking in all of the minor, and major details of his entourage.
The walls of his room were painted black, although occasionally had the odd white stripe running down them. In the corner...was a notice board full of pictures of him, Touko and herself? Perhaps that is why he didn't want others to come up...he didn't want them to think he loved the splendour of blissful childhood abundance. His bed covers and pillows were plain white- he never bothered with details.
Even though his name meant black, his room was surprisingly well lit. His blinds allowed the sun's radience to pour in, cascading through every fine detail and lighting any none-obstructed path that it could. The room in question, lingered with the scent of cologne, clean washing, and- surprisingly, pecha berries? Bianca giggled to herself quietly, as she thought of a theory. Maybe he did have a sweet side to him after all.
What was she talking about? Of course he did.
"Found it." Again, she was brought back to the world of reality through the sound of Cheren's voice. Regaining her composure, she blinked in wonder at what Cheren was holding in both hands. It looked to be a medium-sized brown box, with childish scribbles of Pokemon and trees decorating it's bland exterior.
And on the side closest to her, it read in a messy scrawl, "Memrori Bocks'.
No way...he kept it?
"You know what this is, don't you?" His voice was firm, yet seemed to withhold an undertone of nervousness. She nodded, unable to respond. Placing the box on the bed, he sat down beside her. He could tell she was shocked.
Finally finding her voice again after a few seconds had gone by, she managed to say, "Why...why did you...k-keep it? Even after all this time that has passed since I gave it to you...just, why?" At this, Cheren found his heart to start beating erratically again. Why did this girl always make him feel so weak, yet so strong at the same time?
"...Remember when you gave it to me?" She almost laughed. How could she forget?
("Cheren! Keep this box, okay?"
"Why should I? What is it?"
"Hahaha! It's a memory box! Everytime you have a happy memory, or you learn something new in your life and want to remember it for a long long long time, you write it down in there, or put something that reminds you of that day in the box- and it will stay with you forever and ever and ever and ever! Isn't that so uncondi-condiotionallllly-condishinally...ISN'T THAT AWESOME?"
Yet despite his harsh words, he kept it. But the real surprise was that he had kept it for so long. She wanted to repay him for everything, for even when she couldn't speak big words like him, even now- he never judged her for it. But what was the point in showing her this now? It was probably full of his pictures of winning gym battles, or himself and Touko together, having fun and laughing.
That would break her heart...but she didn't really know why it would.
"March 23rd. Bianca smiled whilst I battled my first gym leader- and cheered me on. If she wasn't there, I may have been too arrogant and lost. She always pulls me back on the right track."
"June 26th. How did I get such an amazing friend? When Emboar got sick, she treated him right away. No questions- she just did. She bought all of the medicine at the expense of her own savings. That's Bianca for you- selfless."
"July 3rd. Bianca travelled all the way from Undella Town to wish me a happy birthday, when she could have done it over the phone. When I asked her, she said that 'Birthdays should be wished for in person for important people!' ...How? How does she always know how to make me feel better?"
"Cheren...are you serious...?"
"August 17th. I almost died saving my best friend, Bianca today. She starting blaming herself for it- but I don't think she remembers pushing me out of the way first. I was paying a debt- to an incredible person. I know if she hears this, she'll probably laugh. I hope she doesn't cry though...tears don't suit her face."
As Cheren continued to read out exact dates on when Bianca visited him, helped him emotionally, and so many other positive memories, tears began to well up in her eyes again. She never, in a million years, expected him to care this much. What had she done in her past life to deserve such a caring group of friends? Not just Cheren, but Touko, Touya- even N could count as a good friend!
"Cheren...thank-you...so much..." Hiding her weary face in her hands and her already-messed up hair to fall on her fingers, Cheren lightly smiled at her. He never showed tears himself, but the odd smile couldn't hurt, could it? It was for Bianca...so that was an exception. She would always be an exception to him. No questions asked. And as she cried away, he began to frown.
But as he said before- tears didn't suit her face one bit.
Tapping her shoulder to gain his attention, she looked up and saw him frowning- and she could guess why he was. Smiling again, she wiped the tears from her eyes, and merely looked at her friend. He wasn't downcast any more, just...peaceful.
She giggled at his one-worded phrase. She always seemed to get a straight answer from Cheren, no sugar-coated words accompanied him in his life at all. It was always the truth that was ushered from his lips. He forbid himself from telling lies long ago.
"Bianca, just...don't think you're useless again."
"...You give a lot more support and help us a lot more than you realize. Your smile was the reason we didn't give up- because it's the light that shone deep within the darkness of that day. You saved my life that day, you taught me how to save a life. Nobody thinks your useless, and if you Dad ever says anything negative, it's only because he's worried. But don't say your useless. Because honestly? It kinda...well...hurts me to."
He then turned around, sure that his face had gone a spectacular red. Bianca looked shocked, then tears began to form again.
He then turned around, annoyed. Running a hand through his hair, he smiled again.
"Seriously. What am I going to do with you?" Cupping her face with both of his hands, he began to wipe away the excess tears that fell out of her wide and confused eyes. Bianca's cheeks went a heavy pink-colour, but smiled nervously all the same. Cheren did in toe, his heartbeat starting to quicken yet again at the sight of her smiling.
Although she had stopped crying, his hands still lingered on her face.
But that was fine. Placing her hands on top of his, she figured- she liked it anyway.