Clouds hung in the air and a cool, scarce light emanated from them, bouncing off the pastel pink curtains and onto the pale aqua tile, tinting the room a powder blue. The glass of the vases glittered like crystals, and within them held the assorted flora of Alola, and other, farther regions. Bouquets of striking color and darkened chroma sat in groups.
Red dragged his fingers across the light pink wood, stained with various greens and the color of plant life. He wore a standard uniform, an apron paired with a white turtleneck. the air sending a chill through most spines. Red had his sleeves rolled up, despite this same air infecting the small shop.
The bell rang, and the glass door swung open. Red's eyes darted up to the door, before glancing at the clock, reading 2:37. The shop was relatively empty beforehand, being only Red up to this point.
The man walked up to the counter, and Red studied him intently, as he usually did with most. His stark white hair was messy, and sunglasses sat unevenly in the albeit appealing mess, and under his grey eyes were heavy eye bags, as if not having slept in weeks. A pendant sat heavy around his neck, somewhat dull and off-color, yet glistening.
"Hey, uh... Do you guys have apricot blossoms?"
Guzma stuck his hands in his pockets and stared off to the side.
"Look, Kukui asked me to get 'em for a new Kahuna. Don't ask."
Red nodded, swiftly moving his hands in a sign.
Guzma's shuffling froze, and his eyes became slightly wide.
"Wait, shit, there are different colors?"
"There's white, pink and yellow", Red signed.
"I- Uh, Pink, I guess."
"Vase or bouquet?"
Red nodded along.
Guzma slid over the money, surprisingly cheap for flowers before Red sauntered over to the back to get the order.
The Skull boss slumped over the counter, muttering to himself.
"Guzma, what the fuck is wrong with you, can't even order some flowers..."
After a couple of slow, agonizing minutes, Red emerged with the bouquet and handed them over to Guzma.
Afterward, he turned to swiftly leave, chains jingling.
The shop was empty hours after that.
From 3:00, to 4;00, to 5:00.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
It was about the end of his shift, and no one was coming.
Until someone else walked in, and the all too familiar bell rung out through the silence.
Red's eyes glanced up once again, maroon piercing up through the shadow.
The man who had walked in had a pristine, crisp aura. An ice mint strip of hair swooped around his platinum blonde scalp and pale skin. His glasses sat almost perfectly upon his face, looking down to tap the console upon his arm. His eyes were golden, akin to the light of a sunset being shone on the best honey one could find. He wore a thick coat.
Red felt heat burn hot in his face, inspecting the scientist as he approached.
"Hello! Might you have Black Baccara roses? I need them for an experiment. Just a bouquet would be fine."
Colress said, his voice loud and confident.
Red swiftly nodded, and his hands went slightly faster as he signed.
Colress smiled at him and reached out of his pocket.
The scientist pressed the money into Red's hand.
"Keep the change."
Red felt his heart skip a beat or two, peering into his eyes for a moment. The world seemed to spin on its axis before Colress blinked, and Red snapped to reality, running to the back to bring the roses. He heard a light-hearted giggle from behind him.
When Red returned, Colress was fiddling around with the console. The champion extended his arms as Colress looked up, pressing the roses into his hands.
"Thank you! Say, what is your name?"
"Red", He signed.
"Red. I think I've heard that name before."
The champion's eyes became wide at such a statement when he realized something.
He knew this guy from the Unova championships.
"Ah, but it's been a long time since I've heard it. Farewell!"
Colress waved back at Red, a joyful grin on his face.
Red clocked out that night wondering if he would ever see the scientist again.
Guzma's footsteps rang throughout the scarcely populated town, sneakers producing a light tap as he walked throughout, cool lights and lanterns guiding his path. Asian styled architecture surrounded him, in the silence of the night. The blush pink flowers he held glittered within the moonlight, such rays seeming to bend as he turned, across the bridge that contained Malie garden.
Guzma looked around to see if any others were out at this time of night. The ambiance of the night filled the air, the song of Pokemon flowing through the darkness the lantern's, nor the moon's, gentle touch could reach.
The skull boss did recognize one voice, however.
It was a tenor voice, smooth, yet a middle ground. Mature, but not quite. It was no wonder, seeing as the man in question was a twink, around Guzma's age. He was humming a song, but Guzma could quite put a finger on such a soothing melody.
He wore a light grey, oversized hoodie, words inscribed on it in darkened turquoise. His hair was a fine copper, delicate and short cut, down to the top of his neck. His feet were dipped in one of the tiny lakes, and his pale skin shone in the moonlight.
"Yo. It's Armeni, right?"
The redhead looked up at Guzma, his blue-green eyes peering back at him.
"I- You would be correct."
"Christ, stop stuttering, you've been shaking ever since you've gotten the title of Kahuna."
Guzma reached over to put a hand on his shoulder, before handing the blossoms over to Armeni.
"Anyways, Kukui told me to get 'cha some flowers. Dunno what for, but I guess it's nice to do."
Armeni felt along the stem of the bouquet, his pupils dilated as he stared wistfully at the shadow pink apricot blossoms. Guzma's hand was a gentle warmth upon his shoulder, a calming one. His misty eyes looked to Guzma.
"...Oh, Guzma, I love these..."
The Kahuna shook his head.
"These are Apricot blossoms, right?", he asked, "How did you know to get these?"
Guzma gave Armeni a small grin, before squeezing the shoulder he held.
"Eh, just a hunch. 'Sides, I know how you are about flowers, you nerd."
Armeni giggled, drawing slightly closer to him.
"Thank you, Guzma..."
"Not a problem, kid."
"Can you stop calling me that? We're the same age-"
Guzma let out a loud, bellowing laugh, before shaking him a bit.
"Nah. I like seeing your reaction."
The skull boss looked at his wristwatch.
The sky was slowly changing from a deep black and blue to a purple-ish tint, clouds hanging in the sky like silhouettes of cotton.
"Shit, I better go, before I get c-"
"Wait, before you go..."
"Will you watch the sunrise with me? I usually don't have anyone in which to d-do such. At least not after Nanu..."
The kahuna looked to the side.
"Tch... Fine... I know how much Nanu meant to you, kid, I get it. Tradition's hard to break. If you want me to watch the sunrise with ya, I will."
Armeni rested his head on Guzma's side.
"Okay, but just this once..."
Red tapped his fingers upon the counter, like a small drum. He glanced at the calendar, and it was a Friday. Saturday and Sunday were marked in scarlet. Red became lost in thought, and his eyes became hazy. Would Colress come back?
He couldn't help but think. The scientist's hand in his, and another flower, just for Colress. The world seemed to fade around him, only his thoughts remaining. He came enraptured in a warmth unlike any other, and his breathing was undoubtedly soft.
The sound of a bell jingling, Red snapped his attention to the door, and his eyes widened at who came in.
The signature swoop of ice mint hair and golden, honey eyes.
"Hello, Red! It's nice to see you're back today."
The champion nodded.
"How are you today?"
Red felt heat rise to his face.
"Good. How about you?" He signed.
"Oh! Very well, in fact. I had figured out what those roses had to do with my experiment, though I suppose that would take a bit more time than I have to explain..."
Colress shook his head.
"Anyways, Red, I recognized you. You went to the Unova Championship, correct?"
The scientist peered him with innocent, curious eyes.
Red's heart skipped a beat as he nodded.
"Ah, so you are the Red I know! In which case, may I borrow you after work? It may sound quite tedious, but we need more people for the festival that's happening over the weekend."
Red nodded again, almost immediately.
"Splendid! Oh, and I'll need some lilies for a bouquet."
"That'll be 250", Red signed.
Colress pressed the money into his hand, for a little longer than normal. Just enough for Red to absorb some of the heat within Colress' hands.
Colress exclaimed as Red reached up to pluck a bouquet off of a glass shelf, and handed it to the scientist.
"Try and be there at around 8, at Malie City, okay? I'll see you then, Red~"
And thus, Colress walked out the door.
Red held his apron in his arms, leaving his white turtleneck, albeit comfortable, to show. He had left his hat at home, his dark sienna hair left to softly blow within the soft breeze. His maroon eyes shined in the light of the glowing, warm lanterns, melding into the dark sky, a gradient of light purple and oranges, slowly turning to a dark turquoise and black. Stands were littered across the spaced out streets, and Pokemon were sent out to help set up temporary shops and events.
The smoky smell of incense filled the air, along with rich pastries, as multiple vendors busily prepared for the night ahead. Red stood in place for a moment, to feel the pleasantly cool breeze chill down his back. The quiet chatter of many and the sizzle of cooking food flowed throughout the small city. He could feel his own heartbeat, beating calmly within his chest.
"Red! You came!"
The champion opened his eyes to see Colress, his sky grey coat wrapped around his waist, revealing the ink black, lightweight shirt he was wearing. He wore leggings and steel-toed boots of a similar color as he ran toward Red in a greeting. His crystalline, golden yellow eyes glittered in the lantern light and had a smile stretched upon his face, one that made Red's heart stutter and skip.
"I can't believe it..."
When Colress finally was in front of the champion, he took Red's hand, brilliantly warm. A similar heat reached up into both of their cheeks as they peered into each other's eyes.
"I thought you would never come... This is splendid!"
The scientist laughed, his voice quiet, lighthearted.
Red pulled away for a mere moment.
"..Why did you bring me here?"
He signed, before taking Colress' hand once again.
Colress seemed to turn a neon pink, and his pupils hopelessly dilated as he looked down and away. He shuffled, and his shoulders seemed to shrug.
"Well, I... As much as I put a reason into my thinking, I don't exactly know... I just felt as if you would enjoy the experience, perhaps? I was summoned to help with it, and I needed someone to invite and I vaguely knew you, so-"
Red cut him off, wrapping his arms around the scientist. He could feel Colress' heartbeat when he pressed up against the taller's chest, fast and heavy. Colress' warmth melded into Red's as he closed his eyes.
Colress reached a hand up to card through his scalp, pushing the hair around, feeling the soft locks of dark brown. Red leaned into his hand, almost endlessly affectionate.
"Ey! You two!"
Red and Colress looked, to see the almost infamous bleached white hair and grey, yet expressive eyes.
"Y'all know where the Kahuna is at?"
Guzma sounded quite distressed, panic nestled deep within his voice.
"Why do you ask?", Colress inquired.
"Your boy just needs to know. 'Sides, it's not like y'all can start start the festival without him."
"I heard he was near the Hau'oli Cemetary, to mourn before the festival starts."
"Shit. Thanks, nerd."
Guzma ran off, calling a ride Pokemon to ascend to the sky upon a Charizard.