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Alola

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Getting Ren down from her mountain had taken a lot of pestering, arguing (well, Ren never argued with words but she would argue back with looks alone), crying (Hibiki only) and effort. Sure, Hibiki could have just gone to Alola alone but where was the fun in that? But actually, she wouldn't have even gone on vacation if Ren hadn't finally agreed to come.

She had chosen Alola of all places because it was a region that few knew about as it was often overlooked despite being practically a sunny paradise. And since both she and Ren were practically celebrities, it was the best place to go. Besides, the people that lived here seemed to have little connection to the rest of the world which helped; but the fashion here was horrendous, although Ren had no problems with it. She was actually the one to purchase new clothes for the both of them, in order to fit in somewhat.

"Looks kinda ugly," Hibiki had said, with a sniff. She had checked herself out in the mirror of their hotel room as Ren lay on the bed, giving berries to her Pikachu and Hibiki's Eevee. "But then again, I look great in everything." She slid on her sunglasses and pointed finger-guns at her reflection who mimicked her.

Hibiki could see Ren in the reflection and she was giving her that look, the one that meant 'you're so egotistic'.

"You know, it's attractive to have high confidence. Perhaps that's why I get so many love letters."

“And you think I don't get love letters?”

Hibiki whirled around and took her sunglasses off, brow furrowed. "Who's love letters? Who the hell is sending those to you and how? Hardly anyone could ever get to the top of your dumb mountain of loneliness." A pause. "Sorry, that was a bit mean." She sighed and walked over, sitting down next to Ren. She lay down as well, after a moment, and smiled when Eevee climbed onto her chest, eager to get affection which she couldn't help but give. "I know you don't like me talking about it but we're in a relationship now, you know? It's important that we discuss if anything's bothering us. It was lonely up there – you were lonely. Somehow, it seemed lonely when I first climbed it despite not knowing if you were truly at the top."

Ren reached out and grabbed Hibiki's hand, holding it in her own. She moved a bit closer and said in a quiet voice, "I'm not lonely now."

A faint blush dusted Hibiki's cheeks and she sighed, feigning annoyance. She was a sucker for cheesy lines. "Yeah, me neither."

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Hibiki had been full of energy upon arriving to this region and excited to explore it as much as possible. During exploring, she had also taken on the habit of holding Ren's hand in her own, she didn’t have to make the excuse she’d get lost to do it anymore. She had also started glaring at anyone who dared try to approach, as sometimes one of them got recognized. Other times, trainers wanted to battle and of course Hibiki never backed down from a challenge.

"WAAHHH! You meanie!" a little girl cried as her Vulpix got knocked out by a simple Tackle from Eevee. The girl returned her Pokemon and ran off, blubbering as she went. Some other trainers in the area glared at Hibiki, as if she had truly terrorized the poor girl but it was her fault for challenging her in the first place.

Ren sighed and shook her head.

"What? Dumb baby needs to learn that she isn't that good some times. And since I am a Gym Leader, I'm an expert on teaching these things."

Eevee trotted back over to Hibiki, looking quite satisfied with herself and puffing her chest out proudly. Truly, Eevee was way too much like Hibiki. She was just as haughty.

Hibiki scooped her up and paraded her around as if she had just accomplished some kind of daring task when really she had hardly done anything. She was far too high level to ever be used on weak trainers, especially little kids. Still, she was pretty much Hibiki's little princess and she spoiled her rotten, not that she'd ever admit that.

Pikachu sat on the top of Ren's head and seemed to be thinking the same because she sighed too. Ren sometimes forgot why she and Hibiki were girlfriends in the first place. But then she remembered that they had been through a lot together and that Hibiki was just as lonely as her, deep down. She seemed like a bully on the surface (which she often was), but she wasn't a bad person by any means.

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Ren and Hibiki lounged around on some beach, relaxing in the shade. This spot was popular but close to the hotel so it was convenient.

Ren thought the Pokemon in this region were interesting but Hibiki didn't seem to think so. "They look dumb and complicated," she'd complain. "Like, all the Vulpix here are Ice-types! How weird is that? And the Meowth are Dark-types! Kanto Pokemon rule and there's no room for argument." Because Hibiki never really cared about anyone's opinion, except her own. She also liked to complain a lot.

A boy with a Mimikyu tried to approach and Hibiki immediately started glaring. "No, go away and take that fake-ass Pikachu with you!"

Ren huffed and nudged Hibiki in the ribs who yelled in fury. “What the hell, Ren?!”

The kid had already ran off with his Mimikyu in his arms, cursing loudly as he went and with a colorful vocabulary. Both of their dreams and hearts were probably shattered now, all thanks to Hibiki and her hostile tendencies.

"Don't be rude."

"He's rude for interrupting our date! Some people just gotta take a hint."

Ren face-palmed because was this how dates went? Mostly Hibiki had just been talking nonstop and all they were doing was sitting here. Unless if this is what dates were. It really wasn't her fault that she lacked knowledge in this department. She hadn't even know that they were girlfriends until Hibiki had randomly brought it up in conversation one day. There had been no confession, no asking out or anything like that. At some point Hibiki had decided they were in fact girlfriends and Ren was ok with that. She just wished she had known sooner so she could have been a better girlfriend – she still had no idea what was required of her.

"Why do you like me?" Ren asked all of the sudden.

"Huh?" Hibiki asked loudly. "Why do you wanna know? We're girlfriends and that should be enough explanation already."

It isn't enough of an explanation, Ren decided. I don't know if you're only with me because you're lonely and needed someone who would be willing to care. Someone who's in the same boat. I know you're not with me just for some kind of 'status' thing. You're not that low, although others perceive you to be.

She said something different instead but all the more worse, "Are we only dating because neither of us can find anyone else?"

There was silence. Hibiki turned away so her expression couldn't be seen but her shoulders were tense. She was quiet for too long.

"Hibiki?"

"It's not because… of that," Hibiki murmured in a quiet voice. She sounded so small and vulnerable. "It is true, to some extent I guess. There will never be another you, another 'Ren'."

"They'll be other Champions, other—"

"That's not what I mean!" Hibiki exclaimed with anger in her voice. "Sometimes I wonder how you can be so good at battling yet so dense and oblivious. Sometimes I wonder why I even fell for such a dork but then I remember: because there really is no other person in this world that I would want to share my life with. I just want to spend every second with you." She turned around and was smiling a small, sad smile. "I guess it's selfish of me to claim that you're my girlfriend because you could find someone better and who doesn't mess up all the time. I'm mean and stressful to be around, I know. I'm needy and get super jealous. I'm the worst kind of person to date. And I never even asked officially but you went with it anyway and let me hold your hand, hug you and just be in your life."

"Hibiki…"

"I couldn't handle losing you. You've been my friend since childhood and you've seen me at my worst and my best. You put up with me when I was cruel to you and knocked me down when I needed to be taught a lesson. You took my title as Champion yet you taught me that I really never wanted the responsibility and that I was fine with settling as a Gym Leader instead. You put me through hell when you vanished without a trace but you let me into your cave at the top of Mt Silver despite it being your sacred place. You served me hot chocolate and gave me warm clothes and listened to what I had to say every single damn time I visited. You've always been here for me, even if I didn't always want to accept your help or kindness. You're an amazing friend and the most amazing person I have ever met. I love you, Ren. There will never be another person like you."

It was all too much to take in. Ren's chest burned and her heart seemed to ache. So this was what a confession was like? She felt giddy and anxious at the same time, as if her world had suddenly just changed somehow. She had trouble believing Hibiki's words but she would never lie about something like this. The tell-tale flush on her face confirmed it to be the honest truth.

"Ren, why are you crying?" And now Hibiki looked concerned and ashamed. "I'm sorry, I just messed up again, didn't I?"

"No," Ren replied. "Never."

Now Hibiki was crying. Truly, this was all a big mess and Ren felt like a child once again. It had been years since her last tears had been shed. She had cried when she had first made it to the top of Mt Silver and claimed it as her new home. She had cried because then and there she had felt that she had been truly and forever condemned to be alone. But then Hibiki had shown up one day, completely out of the blue. Perhaps if she had never come to find her then Ren would have wasted away and gone down a darker path…

"I want to be by your side forever as well," Ren told her, daring her to protest. "As your girlfriend or whatever you want us to be. I owe you so much as well and no words can truly express my gratitude." Now would have been the perfect time to steal a kiss and seal the deal but Ren decided that this wasn't a movie; she didn't need to try and sway Hibiki over with cheap kisses as it was obvious through Hibiki's wide grin that she was won over already.

"Yes," Hibiki said with heavy emotion in her voice. "I'd like that very much. Haha, look at you being the romance expert. It seems that you're the one asking me out, rather than the other way around."

They both moved and hugged, despite the warm temperature. Once they departed, Hibiki grinned deviously as if she was up to no good. "Now let's terrorize some kids, oh dear girlfriend of mine."

"Fine, but you can do all the talking. If anyone asks then I'll just say you put me up to it, which is kind of true."

And so they set off, to find the Champion of Alola and challenge them. All the while Hibiki went on about how much she'd like to conquer every Pokemon League in the world, one day ruling over all of them. She even laughed in a way that one might consider evil but Ren smiled and agreed because she wouldn't have it any other way. Hibiki may be frustrating to deal with sometimes but Ren wouldn't want her to ever change.