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02 January 2009 @ 05:50 am
Lapsed Slowly [Steven x May]  
Title: Lapsed Slowly
Pairing: Steven x May
Fandom: Pokemon (Emerald)
Genre: Romance
Rating: PG
Word Count: 746

Lapsed Slowly

Steven speaks and May listens, but May never understands.

She changes her stands, roots herself firm and resolutely, and still: nothing.

May goes deaf and Steven becomes mute.

-

He meets her when she is twelve or fourteen (something like that, the years swim by without learning how to paddle). And he is old—er. He keeps adding the “-er” just to make it fair, play it safe. Because it would be just too uncanny and unspeakable and appalling otherwise.

Like an aberrant wind that caught a fly—dizzying and gyrating off course—he feels his head going in circles.

This. That. Choose.

He does not. Indecision. Steven hates that passionately.

“May, I…”

She looks up and throws her arms around him.

And he drops his hand to pat her awkwardly on the shoulders.

-

Language is futile is inutile is irrevocably dead.

-

Ennui is another thing that kills. Jaded by the world and its trite little specks (called humans) Steven renounces his Champion title and passes it on to Wallace. Who gladly accepts (anyone in his right mind would). Who sighs sadly back at Steven and silently knows.

Everything.

Wallace always knew every damn thing going through his mind. For once, Steven wishes it isn’t like that, that he isn’t so lucid and disgustingly obvious. Because it would have been okay if he were ten years younger. But he’s not. And that is life. And it is time for him to move on (it’s not natural to linger).

An alter-ego, he thinks (wild and dazed and drained from sleepless nights). He will create one and transform into it and…the thought fades.

At twenty-five, Steven becomes an adult.

-

She discovers, unveils, him in the crudest, most brutal of all places. Once, she finds him miles underneath Meteor Caves. Looking for rare rocks, he explains halfheartedly.

May shakes her head, takes him upward where there is sun and life and oxygen—she chastises—and makes him promise not to be so irresponsible. Hasty. He nearly doubled over, trying not to laugh. Here was May telling him to be more mature.

Irony does him no justice.

(He stifles the urge to call her “mom.”)

-

Gradually—before he is over the hill and desperately excavating caverns and trenches again—he learns to forget.

But May is still young and hangs onto the memories (and desires) without rue. Replays them over and over again in her head until she can recall back each scene perfectly. She remembers when she first met him, how tall he was.

Steven Stone.

The name rolls off like a snowball down hill.

She tries to play it off casually (fails) and straightens her spine and stares right into his eyes.

“Hello.”

He nods.

“I’m sixteen now.”

He laughs (as if two years made all the difference).

But May does not slip away like she would have done then. She lifts to her toes and leans into his chest and falters, waiting for him to catch her. He makes a grasp for her left arm, miss, and finds a fistful of ancient air.

May laughs and laughs and laughs like it is the most hilarious thing in the world. And circles her arms around his waist and inhales sharply.

She wrinkles her nose, tastes the pungent smell he wears.

“Cologne.”

Steven shrugs, smiling.

-

Love is resilient is stubborn is rebuilding itself from the ash-womb.

-

At a party in honor of her father’s retirement as a Leader he attends and asks her to dance. She blushes brilliantly and accepts, hesitates. Amused and curious, Steven dips her low to the ground. She gasps and clenches onto him for support.

“Just to see what would happen,” he says.

She shoots him an ugly glare. “That was not funny.”

“Sorry.”

May spins away free and clear.

-

He has his hand on her breast and tongue near her teeth.

“More.”

He complies, easy and a hazardous good.

-

One day, he wakes up (sees her next to him, asleep and beautiful) and doesn’t think she is so young anymore.

He questions: is it him or is it her (that has changed). And responds: neither. Time goes on—and life goes on. Goes by past them without waiting to see if they are ready. Steven sinks back onto the pillows and pulls her towards him. She mumbles incoherently, but wraps her legs over his.

Maybe, a number is a number is just a number.