darn you, dawn.
she had actually listened to reggie, as it seemed, and it would be silly to turn back now. not just because she had already bought the present, but also, because she was right here, right now, in front of her crushes and his brothers house in the freezing cold, hesitating to press the bell to ring at the door and let anyone inside know that she'd be there. darn you, dawn.
piplup approached her to pull the shoelace and bring the girls attention to her pokémon. the creature gave her an look full of determination.
dawn just sighed but a hint of nervousness was way to noticeable.
it happened a week ago, maybe two, the girl couldn't remember quite properly. she had been to one of these street markets where people sold fresh food and herbal medicine or vitamins for the pokémon. all of it, a bit better and of higher quality than the stuff at grocery stores. of course she'd run into pauls brother at a place like this and of course he'd start a conversation.
she liked him, he was a nice guy. but he always reminded her of paul and who paul was, that was obvious. a boy, a strong trainer, her crush.
her goddamn crush.
"why don't you drop by on christmas eve and give paul a gift?"
"why should i give paul a gift?"
reggies eyes had widen until he smiled just as brightly and winked, a sign that couldn't mean anything good. "you like him after all."
now, standing there, right in front of their house, she only remembered how quickly a dark, dark blush made its way to her cheeks from the rising heat that occurred after the guy had said that. was her crush on paul really that obvious? had her crush on paul always been that obvious? what if her crush on paul was and had always been that obvious, so everyone around her, knew? ash who traveled through regions, brock who only had his eyes on other women, barry who seemed way too carefree and self-focused to notice such a thing, her mom! did they know just like reggie knew or was she exaggerating?
this time, piplup made a noise to bring her back from all the current overthinking and she wasn't sure whether to be grateful or whether to be not.
"i know, i should, i know", dawn said and though the fear, she rang at the door.
the more time passes, the more sweaty she becomes. it's literally december, get a grip and don't break out. it wouldn't contribute to anything good. sweat makes you feel sticky, wet and hot. but weird thoughts aside because someone had opened the door and that someone was no one but the boy she liked, himself.
piercing, emotionless eyes she knew so well, looked into her own. one second, two seconds, three seconds. his right eyebrow raised itself.
"what is it?", he asked as bluntly as usual.
no proper greeting, she had to expect that. he wasn't known as a nice person you wouldn't mind hanging out with, after all. darn you, dawn, why did you have to fall in love with such a douche out of everyone? it made her kinda mad.
she swallowed the anger down, there was no time for that. not now. "i … t-this is for you."
dawn held out a black bag. it was rather small but of a fancy quality, stuffed with some paper to protect and hide the inside. before she could complain about herself or reggie or the situation or the weather or piplup who watched paul as he accepted it slowly, brushing fingers with the girl, she opened her mouth. that alone, took courage.
"i know we haven't seen each other … in a while, but i felt like giving you something for christmas", she mumbled. "we aren't on the best terms either but …", rosy streaks appearing on both of her cheeks. "… i still hope you'll like it."
her pokémon put on an expression of a proud but surprised mother.
only when paul was finally removing the paper, unwrapping the gift and taking his time by doing so, only then dawn noticed how different he looked. purple hair in a low ponytail, upper body in a black turtleneck, lower body in grey pants. he had also grown in height and the shoulders got a bit broad, a very decent amount of broad.
he looked so unbelievably good.
the boy finished his procedure, staring at the thing in his hand. nearly expressionless but also confused on why the girl had bought him that.
"it … it has multiple functions, actually", without noticing, she approached her crush to show him all the things the watch was able to provide. "it can track the steps of you and your pokémon, search for items that are hidden at immensely secluded places, let you know where specific pokémon are located … stuff like that and even more, you know", dawn had listed and when she looked back at paul, she noticed how close they were in reality and before she got any chance to back off again, he stopped her by speaking up.
"how much did that cost you?"
" … y-you shouldn't ask that, it's a present after all", was all she could say.
why did he look so serious out of a sudden? why did he want to know what the price of that watch was? why did he stare at her like that? why couldn't he just, for once, be nice, thank her, give her a smile, anything! why couldn't that douche of a boy do that or react like that, why-
"thank you, dawn."
like a sudden rock hitting her head and bringing her back to the scenario she was dealing with at the moment, she looked at him and couldn't believe what she had just heard. it was too unrealistic, that's what it was. and yet he stood there and smiled, putting the gift he received on.
he had thanked her and smiled and seemed to appreciate what she has given him.
" … idiot", she mumbled. "douchebag, asshole, complete piece of-", she continued, now wiping the tears off her face. they didn't want to stop appearing in the corners of her eyes so she couldn't even stop the ridiculous wiping. "you've always been so goddamn rude and just now, you've opened the door and didn't even greet me", she sobbed with a worried piplup standing in front of the girl and the boy, not even freezing a tiny bit because the situation was too thrilling to care for the temperature. "but now you thank me and smile just like that, i mean, honestly, what am i supposed to think when-"
a sentence interrupted by a pair of cold lips.
paul remained at place before withdrawing himself again. all he did was place his forehead against hers. "shut up. i know you like me … reggie told me", a mumble escaping out of the mouth that, just seconds ago, made contact with the girls. "dawn, i appreciate your present and i appreciate you. i may be a idiot, a douche, a-"
"shut up", dawn grumbled with a heavy blush to make him stop listing down all the insults or names she had just called him.
"but that's just how i am. i like you too though", after saying that, he retreated completely to focus on the watch on his wrist again. "believe it or not", he added with the monotonous voice he always had and dawn? dawn didn't know what to say or do. head was spinning, heart was racing.
reggie joined the scene by popping out of nowhere right behind his brother who wasn't noticing anything, so focused on the girls gift.
"happy with your girlfriends present, huh?"
paul didn't turn around but looked over his shoulder for a second before staring down at the watch for the, it seriously felt like it, billionth time.
his brother smirked, looking over to dawn to show her a thumbs up.