In this world, aside from humans, creatures called ‘Shadows’ exists. A shadow exists because of a certain person’s oppressed feelings, which is why they usually take form exactly the same as the person.
Shadows’ powers are precisely the same as their real person, and they are also able to attack. Unfortunately, since shadows tend to go berserk and uncontrollable, it’s very difficult to deal with one alone. To be able to conquer one, you normally need the combined power of three or four people. They’ll be far easier to defeat if the one fighting is the real person of the shadow, though. No, even easier if the real person decides to admit everything instead.
How can you discern the difference between a shadow and the real person? By looking at their eyes and appearance. Shadows have golden eyes, pale skin, and an extremely terrifying, intimidating aura. They are prone to act absolutely unlike the real person (since they are created by oppressed feelings), and they are capable of doing things the real person normally wouldn’t be able to do.
Good news: shadows hardly ever appear. Since it’s so rare for a shadow to appear, White even thought that she’d never meet one in her whole life. Unexpectedly, she is now being cornered with one.
“Prez, are you done with your work?”
White shoved her notebook inside her bag and stood up immediately. “Yes, I am. Are you already outside, Black?”
“I am! I’ll be waiting for you on the lowest floor, okay?”
“Okay. See you, Black.”
White hung up the call and slung the bag over her shoulder, standing up afterwards. Thanks to Black who succeeded on beating Alder and becoming the Champion, everything became far easier for BW Agency. The brown-haired guy promoted the company and a lot of people turned up to support the company and become a sponsor.
In fact, they are even able to have their own building in Castelia City, which is such a feat for a company White initially worked her ass off simply to get out of the red. Now, thanks to Black, they didn’t only get out of the red, they obtained a huge amount of profit.
White entered the elevator and pressed the destination number, the doors closing thereafter. She drummed her fingers on the handrail as she waited, humming a song simultaneously. She can’t lie that she’s really excited right now, for it’s been long since the last time she met up with Black.
The elevator made a sound, indicating that she’s already arrived at the lowest floor. The doors pulled away to each sides, showing White’s ‘lifesaver’ employee sitting on a sofa in await. Tonight, he dons a plain, cream-coloured sweater with a pair of black jeans. He also uses a pair of expensive-looking sneakers and the Xtransceiver White gave him long ago. Yes, everyone, this is your Unova Champion.
The brown-haired guy turned his head upon his name being called and grinned immediately at the sight of his president, causing White’s heart to skip a beat. It’s been so long, and the guy became more good-looking and lean-built. However, the president tried to deny that fact and made her way towards the Champion. “Sorry to keep you waiting, Black.”
“No worries.” Black stood up and scratched the back of his head. “It’s so empty here. Seems like I’m the one who kept you waiting instead, Prez.”
White chuckled. “Well, you indeed made me wait, though.”
Black grinned and stretched out a hand at the brown-haired president. “Need any help with your belongings?”
White slapped away Black’s hand lightly. “Seriously, what’s gotten into you?” she asked, and hastily patted the guy’s back when he whimpered like a puppy. “Just kidding. I can bring this myself, don’t worry.”
“Fine,” Black responded, his mouth curving into a pout. “Are you seriously okay with this sleepover thingy? Oh, you didn’t even bring any change of clothes. Is this a sign that I need to buy you clothes first?”
“Black, no.” White glared at the guy, causing the guy to be amused more. The two of them left the building and came in contact with the night air of Castelia: cool and windy. Some streets are as busy as ever, while some has become pretty empty, and the sky is adorned with colourful lightings coming from skyscrapers. The cool breeze greeted the pair, ruffling their hair.
“And, just for your information, of course I brought my change of clothes.”
“Where is it?”
White let out her Psychic power, creating a circle filled with iridescent light and put her hand in it. Then, the president pulled her hand back, taking out a striped pink-coloured bag. “Now you have to bring this for me.”
Black laughed and reached for the bag obediently. “As expected of my Psychic-type president.” He commented, slinging the bag over his shoulder. “I suppose I don’t want to sleep in the same bed with you, Prez. What if you use your Psychic power on me when I’m asleep, and you see my dreams? It’d be embarrassing!”
“Who said we’re sleeping in the same bed, huh?!”
Black grinned and reached for the lady, putting his hand over her shoulder afterwards. “But deep down, do you actually want to sleep in the same bed?”
“Don’t do that, Mr. Champion-who-has-to-be-the-role-model-of-everyone.” White brushed Black’s hand away and made a face at him, while the guy laughed at her response. “You seem to be in a really good mood right now.”
“I’m just happy I’ll be able to spend a night with you again. Ever since I became a Champion, all I did was staying over in the Trainer’s League and battling trainers. Sometimes I can’t even contact you.”
“Indeed. You became the hardest person to get in touch with.” White answered, folding her arms across her chest. “Anyway, don’t try to do anything dirty, okay?!”
“Do you really think I’m that kind of person?! I’m not like Gold-senpai!”
“Oh, speaking of Gold-senpai–” White pulled Black aside to prevent him from bumping into a businessman who passed by, glaring at the Champion afterwards. “Pay attention to the surrounding, at least.”
“Sorry, sorry.” Black put up a hand and continued walking. “What were you gonna talk about, Prez?”
“Yesterday, Blue-senpai tried to call me a few times, but I was too busy, so I couldn’t pick up. She left a message.” White turned on her Xtransceiver and giggled. “I bet on my buttons you would never believe in what she told me.”
“What is it? Spill the beans, Prez!”
“She told me Crystal-senpai said yes to Gold-senpai’s marriage proposal. They’re getting married in a few months!”
“Whaaaat?!” As White had expected, Black went agape at the news. “Oh my God, after the recent news about Red-senpai and Yellow-senpai’s marriage, now we get this? Everyone’s getting old!”
“You forgot Blue-senpai and Green-senpai? They’re also married already. When I chattered with her after the party, she told me that they’re facing different matters from now on, not anymore on this trainer thingy. It’s over for them, she said.”
“Yeah, they’re the very first ones to get married… Ah, this way, Prez.” Black quickly grabbed White’s hand and pulled her to turn to a busy street. “The new hotel we’re staying in is across from the Game Freak building, next to the Trainer Center.”
White went bug-eyed in awe when they finally arrived in front of the huge hotel. It shone in the darkness of the night, illuminating the street and its vicinity. A lot of people who passed by stopped to take a look at the new building, while some businessmen casually headed inside.
“How come– don’t tell me you paid all of the expenses?”
Black shook his head and grinned. “A few days ago, a trainer showed up in the Champion’s chamber. A weird trainer, he is, since he said he didn’t want to battle me. He only wanted me to promote this new hotel by giving me free entry to one room, and then I’ll post a review about it online.”
“I guess you immediately accepted?”
Black chuckled sheepishly. “Of course. The first person that appeared in my mind was you, you know? Cheren’s name didn’t even cross my mind.”
White smiled at the brown-haired guy. She’s been long enough with the guy to know everything about him without even having him explain about it. “Well, actually a sleepover with four of us will be fun, but let’s do that next time. Shall we get going then?”
Black nodded. “Yeah!”
“Wooow, the room is huge!”
“Damn, I forgot something.” Black cut the president off, hitting his forehead. “I’ll go downstairs for a moment. You do what you want, okay?”
White nodded, and the Champion made his way to the door, leaving the room afterwards. White walked towards the huge glass which is the only thing between her room and the outside, showing the skyscrapers and the busy street of Castelia.
Since it’s near Christmas, many buildings and shops are already decorated in red and green trinkets, along with small Santa and angel figurines, candies, presents, et cetera. Some stores also already play Christmas-themed songs and put the trademark Christmas tree inside their stores.
White smiled at the view. Yes, honestly speaking, December is the best time for her. It’s holiday time, she gets to not care about work at all, she can go wherever she wants with Black without caring about time, and the guy will also be more contactable, then...
The lady was still thinking about what she’d do during the holidays when suddenly, the light of the room faded out. The lady spun on her heels and left her spot, traipsing towards the light switch. White reached out to turn on the light, yet a pair of hands out of the blue grabbed her waist and pulled her back harshly.
She fell to the floor and cried out in pain. Everything became fuzzy for the lady, and she almost lost consciousness. With the remaining power inside her, White tried to scan the place around her. It’s too dark to see anything, she thought inwardly.
White took a deep breath and used her Psychic power, clearing her mind first before using it to study the room. The lady suspects there might be something invisible that attacked her.
“I bet Prez wouldn’t want to be with me.”
White’s eyes widened, and everything once again became blurry. The lady couldn’t focus to use her Psychic power either, leaving her totally confused. “Who are you? Why are you doing this?”
“Prez is so perfect, talented, independent… She shouldn’t have saved me that time! She should’ve just left me having to pay for the whole agency equipment myself. I was merely a stranger to her anyway.”
“Black, is that you?”
“Black, is that me?” the voice is indeed very similar to Black, yet more in a mocking manner. “If I were Prez, I would’ve left myself when I was stuck in that freaking stone for years. In fact, I would’ve regretted saving myself from the bother of paying the equipment. As usual, Prez is too kind and selfless.”
“What are you saying?” White frowned, her forehead creasing. “I’m none like what you said. I’m also human, I’m not perfect!”
Black – no, the person sounding like Black – let out a loud grunt and attacked White with an unidentifiable power, rendering the lady powerless to the point she couldn’t even speak.
Who is this? White thought weakly, in the brink of consciousness.
“Many of our seniors are getting engaged or married… No, no, I believe we won’t even reach the point where we date each other. Would Prez even date someone like me? Ha, never!”
White sighed and slowly opened her eyes. This time, the view is finally clear and the room isn’t as dark as it was anymore. White swept her gaze around, and realized the reason the room isn’t pitch-black anymore is due to the yellow light coming from the corner of the room.
White blinked a few times and found out the yellow light is coming from a person. A tall person, lean-built, and… looking exactly like Black. Despite that, the person has both agitated and upset look on his face, and his eyes are gold, unlike Black’s.
The person’s eyes were previously fixated on the door. His eyes were hollow and lifeless, as if he is having too many burdens on his shoulders. Upon seeing the sight, White’s annoyed and confused feeling all turned into pity. “You look so sad.” The lady blurted out loud.
The person turned his head to White. “Yeah, I’m always sad indeed. Having no father, being caught up in a big mess with stupid Ghetsis, locked up in the freaking stone for years, and not being able to get my own president’s attention. Why am I always miserable?”
White used her hands to prop herself up, yet got attacked by another unidentifiable blow. She fell straight to the floor, losing her consciousness for real.
It’s weird… It’s not real, it’s a dream. White knows that. She is standing in darkness, utter darkness that she couldn’t even see what’s beneath her feet. The lady somehow dons her old clothes: patternless white t-shirt, black waist-length vest, and a pair of denim shorts which was a hit in the past.
White noticed she has her Xtransceiver with her, and proceeded to turn it on. There’s no signal, yet there are 10 unread messages from Black. The brown-haired lady furrowed her eyebrows when seeing the messages are all in letters she couldn’t decipher. In fact, it’s as if Black copied some computer programming language and dumped it right away in their chat.
White looked up – away from her Xtransceiver – and found a huge rectangle before her. The rectangle is filled with iridescent light, which then changed into noise, eventually showing a view of Castelia City. The lady felt like she’s watching a movie in the cinema, but in standing position.
The buildings got closer quickly until the focus went through a window and arrived in the room which White is always in everyday, doing her daily work. The door opened, and White saw herself entering the room and putting her pile of documents on the table, followed by a sigh. I feel like watching a movie of my own self, White thought, feeling amused.
The other White had eye bags and looked weary. She subsequently turned on her notebook and began to type after it finished loading. The focus moved slightly farther away from her, this time showing Black standing behind her. That’s weird… He wasn’t there before. He didn’t even enter the room. White felt shivers going down her spine.
“Prez, I’m sorry I’m always busy lately,” Black spoke to the other White, who proceeded to type. It didn’t seem like she heard Black at all. Was it because she is too concentrated on her work, or because she is ignoring the guy?
“Yeah, you must be tired of leading an agency which is now big. I’m sorry I’m never able to be by your side or do anything when you are stressed out.”
White frowned, slowly feeling sad. The other White kept typing, looking down only to check the documents and back to the screen. Black put his hands in his pockets and looked down. “I’m sorry I rarely reply to your messages, I’m sorry I made you mad sometimes.” He continued. “I must be a big deadweight to you, right? Someone who only gives you more headache. ‘Black, are you busy?’ ‘Black, you free?’ ‘Black, I have so many things to tell.’ I’m sorry you always end up not being able to pour out your feelings.”
White smirked. Yeah, the guy indeed rarely replies to her, and she has often ended up not telling him what he wanted to. However, she didn’t realize the thing is such a big matter for him. Honestly, the lady didn’t mind it so much, since she knows the guy’s schedule is tight as a Champion.
White waited, and her heart skipped a beat when Black turned his head towards her. No, not at the other White who kept on working as if she heard nothing, but at her. Black smiled, and opened his mouth. “After all this time, I’ve always –“
And everything went dark.
“Prez, wake up!”
White felt her body being shaken, and the lady slowly opened her eyes. She is headlong greeted by Black’s panicked face. This time, Black doesn’t have golden eyes, nor emitting any weird aura; it’s the real Black.
The brown-haired lady let out a loud sigh of a relief and pulled Black into a tight hug. “Where have you been? I was so scared!”
Black hugged her back and patted her back to reassure her, before pulling away. He smiled, looking truly free from tension. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
White nodded and laughed. “Yeah, I’m glad I’m okay too.” She replied, causing the guy to laugh as well. “Where’s your clone?”
“… My clone?” Black covered his face with his hand. “Oh God, don’t remind me. I’m so embarrassed… I’m so sorry. My Shadow must have said many weird things.”
“None of them are weird!”
White and Black turned to see the other Black, who apparently haven’t moved at all from the spot White last saw him at. So it’s a Shadow…? White thought in surprise.
Black’s shadow grunted and let out another blow, but didn’t reach the pair because Black made a shield for both himself and White. “No, none of them are true. Don’t say weird things!”
“Admit it, coward. You call yourself a Champion?” The Shadow exclaimed, gritting his teeth. “I am you, I know what’s in your heart!”
“No, you aren’t me. Don’t act as if you know everything about me.” Black said defensively, and turned to White. “Prez, let’s leave before he creates more ruckus.”
“Are you sure…?”
“Yeah, I am.”
The Shadow let out a weird laugh. “Black, I can tell her all your conversations with people regarding your feelings, such as the one with Caitlin, Cheren, even your own mother…”
Black stood in anger. The guy was about to attack the Shadow with his power, but had himself held back by White. “Black, please don’t do it. This Shadow is extremely strong.”
“So what? Are you doubting me now?” Black asked furiously.
“No! Black, I believe there’s a better way to finish this other than fighting.”
“Fighting is the best way to finish troubles.” Black tugged his hand away from White’s and faced his Shadow.
White watched Black dropping to his fighting stance in horror. The Shadow chuckled and did the same, subsequently mocking the Champion. “Here comes a fight between Champions!”
“Just you watch, I’ll definitely defeat you.” Black put his hands together and created a huge, blue-coloured fire. The fire slowly became bigger and the sight panicked White.
If they fight, they’ll end up ruining the room, and Black will end up not being able to write the review for the room. He’ll end up damaging his own reputation, giving himself a bad name. There must be a pacifist way…
“Black, I like you too!” White blurted out loudly.
Silence engulfed the room.
Black’s eyes were wide, and all of his fire was gone in a second. “Wh… what?”
White noticed that The Shadow didn’t seem surprised at all. In fact, it’s as if he has been waiting for this moment. The lady stood up and brushed every dirt off her clothes, making her way towards Black afterwards.
“Black, surely people have told you about Shadows beforehand.” White began. “They are created because of oppressed feelings, and they speak up hidden thoughts. Before I passed out, your… your Shadow has been repeating over and over about how I would never like you and we couldn’t be together.”
White paused and looked down. “And when I lost my consciousness, I kind of saw you speaking to myself about how you feel bad for not replying to me, not being able to be by my side when I’m tired of managing the agency… I didn’t know whether your Shadow was the one who did it or not, but the gist of what you said is exactly the same like what your Shadow said.”
White took a deep breath, exhaled and braced herself. “Black, I like you too. Never have I not skip my heartbeat when you smile or when I see you. And honestly, I never think you’re a bother or a deadweight. I indeed got mad because of you not replying my messages, but that’s because I miss you. I long to talk to you. So…”
“Prez, I am sorry for being a coward.” Black cut her off. After he said that, his Shadow slowly dissolves away. “Everything my Shadow said was actually true… I… I have been holding back my feelings for so long. I have liked you from so long ago, and I actually want to see you a lot… But my job is holding me back, and I feel bad whenever you get mad at me, so I tend to become a coward and not reply to you.”
The Shadow smiled and completely disappeared, leaving Black with White alone. The Champion looked straight at White’s eyes. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry for everything. Prez, I really like you. And I’m so glad you return my feelings.”
White chuckled, somehow tearing up. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Black laughed happily and pulled the lady into a hug, kissing her afterwards. “Oh God, Prez, no words can express how joyful I am now!”
“So, how’s the couple feeling today?” Gold teased, and chuckled when Crystal lightly slapped him in the arm. A golden ring with diamond studded in the center of it was visible on her ring finger.
“But seriously guys, when you both told everyone about your relationship, we weren’t surprised at all. We know you both have been pining for each other all along!” Blue replied with a giggle. “Unlike me, I believe I was the only one pining.”
“Yeah, why would I be pining for you, pesky girl?” Green answered, and grinned when his wife nudged him in the waist. “Seriously, the gap between hate and love is so thin. I didn’t expect myself to get married to this woman.”
“I know right? I didn’t expect to marry this man either.” Crystal commented, and smirked at Gold. “Right?”
“Come on guys, done with yourselves. We are here to cheer for the just-engaged couple, anyway.” Yellow spoke up, being the pacifist as usual. She is also using a golden ring on her ring finger, like Crystal. The ring she uses is exactly the same as the one Red uses.
White chuckled and leaned forward. “I’m glad you all could come. Even Y, who is so busy as a model.”
Y waved her hand dismissively. “Anything for you, my lovely senpai! You’re also one of the people who helped my career, anyway. I need to show my thankfulness.”
“What? Help my career too, White!” Ruby said with wide eyes.
Everyone laughed, and Red brought up his glass. “For Black and White!”
The rest followed the gesture and exclaimed, “Kanpai!”.