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A Mistake

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You were twenty-two years old and working towards your graduate degree when your former advisor offered you to TA one of his classes. You, of course accepted. Everything was a learning experience for you, even something like teaching. Who knows, maybe you wanted to become a professor yourself one day.

You were in charge of an intermediate class on Pokebiology. You still remember exactly how the first day went. Staring out at the group of twenty students who were whispering among themselves about the new TA as you introduced yourself and explained how'd you be coming in every Friday. Please, call me Augustine, you cheerfully said, and no, you would not be grading homework or tests. You called roll, and one by one the students said their 'here's' and 'present's'. When you got the the name Leroy and met eyes with the student who had responded with a deep growl of a here Augustine you swore your heart stopped.

His name was Lysandre and he was sitting in the middle row. Being tall and stocky, he hunched over slightly so the students behind him could see the board. His long, shaggy, bright orange hair stuck up at the sides like a lion's mane. He was a bright student; always the first to answer questions, always the one to think outside the box, and according to your former advisor, one of the top students in the class. You enjoyed Lysandre's presence; perhaps a bit too much once you think about it now. Even though you were a hit with the students, you clearly favored him. And you hadn't realized the need to set up boundaries with your students. Being twenty-two, you thought of them as peers. Complain all you want about professors you hate, I won't tell. It's the end of midterms, how about we go for a drink to celebrate? You'll never believe what movie I got from the library, how about you all come to my apartment and we watch it? And Lysandre always came. You got to know him extremely well. He was double majoring in the pokemon sciences and computer science. He was from Camphrier Town, and claimed he was the descendent of the long lost royals. He had a litleo who he hoped would evolve into a mighty pyroar one day. He was involved in several activist causes and was a very opinionated young man. Perhaps you should have taken a cue from your students. He was vain, a braggart, hot headed, and used every chance he had to prove he was right and the others were wrong.

But you didn't care, you were enthralled by Lysandre. And then you started bumping into him on campus, and what would start as a simple chat would end up being long conversations held in the local cafe or in the student center. It got the the point where you started inviting him to join you for coffee after class. And you shouldn't have. You were getting too close to him. He could tell you were flustered whenever you started debating with him or when he asked with a chuckle Are you lost in the clouds Gus? whenever you stared. And you should have kept your hand by your side instead of patting his broad shoulders, playfully tapping your fingers against his hand, or grazing his arm while you walked together. He didn't tell you to back off. He wasn't openly affectionate, but you knew that he liked your advances. Once, while you two were sitting at the far end of the cafe, he leaned in so close while talking that your foreheads almost touched. You could feel his breath on your lips and you wanted to kiss him. But you held back. You should have kept it that way. But the next semester came and Lysandre was in another class you TA'd. It didn't stop the both of you from your weekly coffee meetups, which only increased. Then you got the news of the fossil dig expedition in Ambrette Town the class would attend during spring break.

It was a fun trip. You spent time out in the field, the beach, the aquarium, and other hot spots in Ambrette Town. You were the cool professor who always had a joke on hand, was up to date on the latest gossip and hit shows, joined in on games of beach volleyball, pokemon battles, and showed off surfing skills at the beach, let students smuggle in alcohol(and drank with them too by the campfire) and let them take off to do who knows late at night when everyone was supposed to be in their rooms. Lysandre was almost always by your side whenever you were with the students. You saw more of him than you expected. Shirtless at the dig, in a bathing suit at the beach, knocking at your door at six am, only in his boxers, just to say good morning. Your feelings intensified, and it started to openly show. The only thing that didn't start gossip was that your interactions with him could be passed off as normal guy behavior. No one knew how overwhelmed you felt whenever you grabbed his biceps, splashed him in the water, or rubbed your fingers through his long hair as you gave him a noogie. At night you let yourself go. Lysandre occupied your dreams, sending the tension to a boiling point until it tided over. Or if you were lucky enough, it sizzled as your body cooled down under the showerhead behind a locked bathroom door. The sirens should have been going off in your head, but like a robber escaping from a horde of police cars, you ignored them.

And then it happened. It was a clear night and you and Lysandre were alone out on the field. You were sitting right next to each other with an arm around him, pointing up at the stars, laughing about some thing or other when he turned towards you and leaned his head on your shoulder. Your fingers stroked his hair, gazing down adoringly at him, and you whispered in French how handsome he was. Without thinking, you kissed his forehead. It was then he sat up and stared at you. With a blink, he closed his eyes and pressed his lips against yours. And you didn't stop. You kissed him back, clinging tightly to his muscular frame,your heart aflutter, gripping his hair, savoring his breath on your tongue, shuddering at his touch. The night went on and you kissed him, and kissed him, until you tired out, and glanced up to see that it was late.

The next day you didn't know how to act around Lysandre. Not sure what to do, you kept your distance and surrounded yourself with the other students. But your gaze always went back to him, sending him a knowing smile, a blush warming up your suntanned cheeks as you thought of him. Later that night, there was a knock at the door. Lysandre was standing there and you knew it was the point of no return. You let him in. He stayed until morning. It was the first time you had ever been physically intimate with anyone. Even now, many years later, you still feel the rush of nerves and passion when dwelling upon that moment. It was a bond like no other.

The trip ended and classes commenced once more. Things continued like they used to, expect that you and Lysandre were now together. You had dates at the cafe, going out to the movies, attending his activist clubs (some of which you didn't personally agree with), helping him study in secluded areas in the library where you sneaked in kisses between questions. Him spending the weekends at your apartment where it came to a point where his clothes were in your closet, and his items were scattered about the apartment. Visiting him during the summer at his house under the excuse that you were studying the local pokemon, taking long walks around Parfum Palace hand in hand. The trips you took all over Kalos while you did your research, including to Geosenge Town, where you told him of a legend that would plant the seed of a malicious idea in his head; something that you would live to regret.

By the time the fall semester came about, the rumors swirled among the student body. Did you see the way Augustine was acting around Lysandre in class today? My friend Misty told me that she saw Augustine in Anistar City and she went to say hello but he was making out with Lysandre. You think they're a thing? I swear, I saw Lysandre come back to the dorms the other night and everything about him screamed I just had sex. I can't believe Augustine would go out with someone so douchey as Lysandre. I bet you anything Lysandre blew Augustine for an 'A'. Did you see them at the Uni Battle League Finals, they were like totally holding hands!

Even though you weren't teaching Lysandre this semester, you bore the brunt of the gossip. You focused more on your research. You saved your tender moments with Lysandre for when the two of you were alone together. But Lysandre had begun to change. Mid September, a terrible tragedy had hit Shalour City where a criminal organization set off a bomb at The Tower Of Mastery in order to steal its valuable treasures. Many lives were lost. Lysandre was shaken by the news for a family member had been one of the victims. He became angry, his ideas more radical. He started a new club, called Team Flare, with the goal to rid the world of evil, and start anew.

"The world is foul. It needs to be cleansed of its filth. To sweep out the soot in the hearth before kindling a new flame. Imagine it Gus, a perfect world, a beautiful one where we live in peace. And you and I my dear, will rule over all."

You tried to reason with him the best you could.

"The world is already a beautiful place. Just look around you mon cheri I have seen people do incredible things. People who take care of their own and complete strangers who come together in times of need. People who go about their day with a smile in hopes to brighten up someone's day. A person who offers to pay out of their own pocket for food for someone who is struggling to make ends meet. The innocence and non judgmental nature of children as they set off to learn about life one day at a time. The love that exists between families, friends, lovers, humans and their pokemon. There are some bad people yes, but I believe humanity is inherently good."

But the two of you only argued. Lysandre was quick to hold grudges. Days passed before he would apologize. You would then make love, but you noticed that Lysandre's rage still was pent up inside. He was rough, not gentle as he used to be. And then, eventually, he would come back from his Team Flare meetings, seething with hatred. And it would start all over again.

The weather grew colder. Both of you were spending more time apart. It began to take a toll. You'd roll over in your sleep to reach out for him only to find that the bed was empty. You drank your coffee alone at the cafe, enviously watching the others who weren't. You half heartedly worked on your thesis, not caring how it turned out in the end. Activities that you two once share now made your heart sink. Your classes, once full of humor and pizazz, were now dull and dry. And when you were alone, in the darkness of your apartment, you cried, wondering why Lysandre had to change, wanting to go back to the way you used to be.

By November the student's gossip had reached the administration. They called you in for a meeting. Even though you and Lysandre were both adults, faculty and student relationships were strictly forbidden. They questioned you on your closeness with Lysandre. You know that if you told the truth, you would be expelled from the graduate program and banned from teaching. You lied, and it was a miracle that they believed you.

Not long after you sat down Lysandre at your kitchen table and told him that you couldn't be with him anymore. You assured him that you still loved him, but that they could both face consequences if they were caught. He did not take it well.

"Stop lying to me Augustine. You're forcing me to choose between us and Team Flare aren't you?" He growled.

"It's not true! I would never try to separate you from something you're so passionate about!" You exclaimed.

"That's bullshit and you know it! That meeting is just an excuse for you to get rid of me once and for all!"

"It's not! How could you say such a thing. I don't want us to end I love you! But I can't risk both of our futures!" Tears were streaming down your face.

"If you really loved me, you wouldn't be doing this! I thought you were different Augustine but you're just like the rest out there in this goddamned world!"

His fist crashed onto the wooden table. You jumped back as he rose from his seat and stormed off. He slammed the door shut behind him.

"Lysandre! Lysandre please! COME BACK!" You called out before you sunk your head down on the table with a sob.

A huge weight had been lifted off your shoulders, but you still felt miserable. It took months before you got over your heartbreak. A year before you could look Lysandre in the eye, let alone speak to him. It took a long time before you could get along cordially. You became a highly regarded professor, the best in Kalos. Lysandre founded and became the head of a tech corporation called Lysandre Labs. Ten years after your relationship with Lysandre ended, news got out of a nefarious group called Team Flare who was causing trouble all over Kalos. You feared the worst, along with your worries for the future, you were filled with guilt. You wished you could go back and time and slap your younger self for all the mistakes he made. For if you had controlled your desires back as a young graduate student,none of this would have happened.