01. Crooked Teeth (And I knew I'd made a horrible call)
Celadon City in the summer is a hot, sticky mess. Green, eight, holds onto Red, who clings to his mother, who weaves around strollers, old folk, and young couples in love.
Green sees a boy bend to kiss his sweetheart and disgust rises in his throat. Unthinkingly, he squeezes Red's hand. His friend turns just as the crowd throws Green forward. Red stumbles, barely manages to catch him—then they pause, nose-to-nose.
Green's gaze flickers down to Red's lips.
Before Red can speak, Green yanks free and stumbles back a few steps, eyes wide, and the crowd swallows him whole.
02. Firefight (This is now the moment after next)
Green almost slams the door in Red's face, but he doesn't. "What do you want?"
"A rematch," The champion says. Green loses horribly, and Red leaves.
Five months and five battles later, he says, "Find someone else to be your punching bag."
Red returns next month.
"Go away." But Red shakes his head, so Green leaves him standing outside.
When it begins to rain, Red and Pikachu huddle under his awning. They look up when the door opens. "Are you deaf?" Green demands.
Red frowns, annoyed.
Green sighs. "What the hell. Just—get in here."
Red stays for ten days.
03. Civilized (Well you've got some devotional for pain)
Red stands at the top of the world and stares at the sky, oblivious to the whipping wind, the glaring, unfiltered sun. All he's found here is air, too thin and frigid to breathe: the end of the road at last.
He tugs his cap down and waits, scanning the clouds that swirl below his feet.
A year later, Green stumbles through the wild, burning with love, with fear. He tackles Red into a snowbank and melts the snowflakes gathered on his eyelashes. Red kisses back so passionately that he shocks himself.
He hadn't realized how badly he missed warmth.
04. Over My Head (I'm becoming the part that don't last)
Green's never thought of himself as being weak, but Red stands at the top of the mountain effortlessly, delicate bones lashed together with rawhide muscle and parched skin, an ethereal creature who goes beyond strength. And Green doesn't know how to compete with that.
Red seems thinner every time he sees him, whittling down to his essential components, fading into the arctic air. When Green reaches the top, wheezing and coughing, Red gazes at him with eyes that know too much, and every movement is exact and economical.
"What's happened to you?" Green finally asks.
Red shrugs. "I grew up."
05. Shiver (And is this my final chance of getting you?)
Red has always been a morning person, but there's something familiar in the falling sun, in being the first person to find the evening black. He likes to imagine Green in Viridian, taking his extra hour of sunlight for granted. Green never appreciates what he has—a place to belong, goals to reach for, people who love him.
There's no difference between Red and the others in Green's life, he thinks, except that he's harder to reach. But Green likes challenges, so Red does his best to be challenging. That's how this works.
Then he wonders: does this really work?
06. Sleep (I must be dreaming when I'm sitting here)
Green likes to look out his window in the early morning. The air is clean and cool against his face, the city sleeps, and pale light washes the imperfections out of everything.
Eevee sleeps beside him and he pets her, idly, wondering where the time has gone. It's been three years since he became gym leader, two since Red disappeared, one since Green found him again. What is he looking for?
Dawn is the only time Viridian comes close to the monochrome landscape of Mount Silver. It's the only time he can feel this close and this far, all at once.
07. Antebellum (Was never meant to see the light of our armistice day)
"Red?" he says, tilting his chin up. "You okay?"
Red's eyes take a moment to focus; then he relaxes. "Green."
"Why are you hiding in the corner?" Green asks, rubbing Red's frigid shoulders.
"I lost," he whispers. Green stares, uncomprehending, so he repeats: "I lost."
Green's hands drop. "Oh," he says faintly.
Red's heartbeat flutters underneath his translucent skin and threadbare clothes. He smells like winter—feels so light in Green's arms suddenly.
"No wonder you were always so angry," Red says. Green snorts.
"I got over it," he says.
Red shakes his head and they pull each other closer.
08. On Top (You were the best I did know I didn't have)
Pikachu stumbles mid-leap and crumples to the ground in a heap, and suddenly the match is over.
Eevee stumbles back a few steps and sits down hard, eyes round with disbelief. Green's expression is similarly stunned. Red is frozen for a moment before he tugs on the brim of his cap, biting his lip, and steps forward to gather Pikachu up.
Somehow, it seems anticlimactic, and Green says so. Red is too busy reviving Pikachu to respond.
That night, Green asks, "Were you holding back?"
"Never," Red says. "But you have. For years."
Red kisses him softly. "Congratulations."
09. Speechless (Could we fix you if you broke?)
(This turned into a whole fic over here.)
10. Better Days (I wish everyone was loved tonight)
Green watches the snowflakes swirl in the dim light of the streetlamp. They silver his hair and tickle his cheeks. "It's been a while," he says.
Red crunches through the thin layer of ice before his mittened hand slips into Green's gloved one.
"Do you miss it?" Green asks. In the orange light, the thick flakes look like falling stars.
"No," Red says. Green's fingers tighten around his.
"Merry Christmas," Green says.
Red sticks out his tongue and catches a snowflake, and it flashes like fire against his tongue before it disappears. Like a star, he thinks. Like starting over.
11. Starlight (Black holes and revelations)
The bedside clock reads 0200 and washes Eevee in faint blue light. Red doesn't respond.
Green rolls onto his side and sees that Red's eyes are open. "Red," he says again, pulling him closer.
"Go to sleep," Red mutters, eyelids already drooping.
Green nudges him until Red turns his head, too tired to be annoyed. "Happy anniversary," he says. (Technically, he's a day late, but he doesn't care and he knows Red won't notice.)
Red starts to mumble something before he drifts off into silence. Green rests his head back on the pillow and chuckles. "And many more," he whispers.