Randomizer @teamcap
24: Secret Base Haven

So this one is very special for me. Not only that [my senpai] xxxDreamingflowerxxx beta read this, but...well... you could say I've poured everything I got in this fic, hehe. My deepest gratitude to xxxDreamingflowerxxx for beta reading this. Thank you, senpai :D

24. Secret Base Haven

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Nighttime loomed over the Hoenn region.

Serenity lingered everywhere.

The cities. The towns. The forests. It all contained a silent aura.

The dotted stars were spread in the vast, dark expanse of the night. All were twinkling with a faint light, enough to define a person's heartbeat.

Every twinkle was equivalent to one heartbeat.

Every soothing howl of the wind as it touched the leaves provided a melodic sound as it reached one's ears.

Somewhere around Route 101, there was a cave that served as a secret base, and serenity continued to linger around it. Although the cave was silent, the faint sounds of wild Pokemon lurking around the forest along with the leaves' rustling through the wind, guiding it to which direction it would take, somewhat disturbed the cave's peaceful silence. Nonetheless, the faint noises didn't sound annoying. It sounded natural, in fact.

"I'm serious." Ruby stated calmly, removing his hat and placing it on the Snorlax bean bag. He let out a soft chuckle as he watched Sapphire struggle with the music tiles he just bought and decorated for their shared secret base.

In Ruby's book, there was no such thing as too much decorations. The cave was large enough to make it feel like they were living in a small apartment. It was close to nature, but not too close where stuff could get really uncomfortable not just for him but for Sapphire as well. He knew how much Sapphire loved the nature. It was a part of her, she was nurtured in it. He wanted to at least make their secret base look and feel more like a home on her behalf. This place would be her haven.

"It doesn't fit!" Sapphire gritted her teeth, biting her lip. She removed Ruby's hat from the Snorlax bean bag, gripping it with her gentle yet strong fingers. The conqueror sat on the bean bag, letting her back press on it, flattening it a bit, making gravity do all its work. She took a deep breath and sighed. She heard those music tiles had a pattern. She honestly wanted one for their secret base. The conqueror may not be that much of a decorator like Ruby, but she was a still a girl. Even now a glimpse of her childhood persona, was hidden deep within her.

She always perceived it as a weak trait. She always thought it was the reason why she lost Ruby in the first place. It was the reason why she was emotionally scarred from that incident. It was the reason why she decided to change not just to protect herself from any possible dangers in the future, but she also did it for him. Maybe, just maybe, she could also protect him one day, just like he did when they were younger.

It wasn't until their training together in Mirage Island that she learned to accept that side of her when she got to know Ruby. It was a short time compared to the real world, but it was worth it. She would continue to detest that side of hers if it weren't for Ruby and the time they had together in Mirage Island.

"Hey," Ruby grabbed his hat, taking Sapphire out of her trance. His knees crouched down, touching the cold floor. His passionate eyes lit up, meeting her confused ones. "...it's not that hard." He added, placing his hat on Sapphire's head, covering half of her forehead.

Sapphire wondered how Ruby didn't worry that his hat could fall off. It always seemed comfortable to her, but it was only now that she could confirm this suspicion. The fabric was soft and she could smell the soothing scent of Ruby's shampoo that she loved. His hat may not fit her, but it felt great wearing it.

Besides, Ruby was a guy, and his anatomy was way different compared to hers. Sapphire's strength proved that she didn't need to have a normal female body. She could easily resist strong forces that seemed impossible to survive based on a person's regular strength. She could still stand up and shrug it off like it was nothing.

His soft, happy chuckle echoed throughout the secret base. It was like music to her ears, really. It increased her heart rate, its speed could almost match a Ninjask's speed. It did nothing but to create a lump in her throat. With great effort, she managed to swallow it down, hoping it could ease her heart. Although it was a cold night, she felt the increase of temperature in her cheeks. She didn't know what would happen next, but knowing Ruby, he would never let moments like this pass by.

His soothing laughter stopped. His lips curved into a sincere smile. His eyes lit up more passionately than before. Every bit of his feelings for her was burnt into it, and it was all fixed on her. Observing, looking, feeling and savoring every adorable and beautiful detail she possessed. Ruby was a guy who admired beauty in all its form. He was a guy who observed and aimed for perfection. It explained why he was a contest master. It was his talent. It was his passion.

But every time he looked at Sapphire, every one of his strict criticisms towards anything would suddenly disappear into thin air.

Sapphire was perfect.

She was sweet, strong, smart and amazing.

But most of all, everything about her was beautiful.

Sometimes Ruby would wonder why a girl like her had chose him of all the available guys. She could easily get someone better.

But at the same time, he felt blessed to have her. He wouldn't have it any other way.

"W-What?" Sapphire managed to say, choking the words out. It was her turn to take him out of his trance.

"Hm?" Ruby asked, his hands now placed on hers, holding them gently and letting their fingers intertwine with another. His smile widened. "Nothing, really."

"Ya keep on starin' at me." Sapphire stated, jerking her head to her left, hoping to hide the growing heat from her cheeks. It was always his habit to stare at her for so long as if he was lost in his own world. She didn't mind it, really. She was used to it. But her heart just couldn't stop beating wildly every time he did that.

"I got an idea." Ruby stood up, his hands still linked on hers. "Follow my lead."

"Ehh? W-Wait, R-Ruby..." Sapphire stuttered, still surprised at how he managed to lift her up smoothly yet gently. Well, she did blame her weight. She may be able to literally lift a rock and a palm tree but those were not enough to define her weight. The conqueror bit her lip, her left palm was placed on his chest and her right hand remained linked to his.

The girl felt a beat. His heartbeat. It was beating fast yet comfortably, just like every one of those times she was this close to him. Although it felt like her heart could pop out of her chest at any second, their intimacy was still comfortable for her. It often made her feel safe and appreciated every time she was this close to him.

She continued to listen to his heartbeat until an unknown tune reached her ears.

It was followed by another one, different and higher pitched than the former.

"Just let it flow with you... naturally." Ruby said, his left arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer. Their noses touched for a moment. His smile widened, he could feel her gentle, warm breathing touch his face.

Oh Arceus. He loved being this close to her.

"I'm..." Sapphire swallowed hard and took a deep breath. Her anxious eyes met his warm, comforting ones. "I'm not a dancer... a-and you know that." She mumbled softly. The wind's gentle howl made the leaves rustle loudly and tussled into Sapphire's hair, letting her strands flow along with it as if it was playing with her locks.

Ruby couldn't help but to become mesmerized.

Her beauty was a blessing and it was an honor that he was the only one who had the opportunity to see its full potential.

"I-It doesn't matter." Ruby managed to say, closing his eyes. He leaned in closer, pressing his soft lips against hers.

He felt it.

It may be just a short moment but he felt it.

Her heartbeat became synchronized with his, along with her gentle breathings. Warmth slowly spread through them for a mere second during their kiss, but to Ruby, it felt eternal. This feeling he had that he could only share with Sapphire was irreplaceable. It kept on getting better and more sincere every time they shared it. "Just follow my lead." He said, gently and slowly pulling away from their kiss.

Sapphire bit her lip and nodded, following his lead, letting him guide her in every step of the way.

Every step.

Every move.

Every sway.

It all felt like they were flowing with the music.

The tune was random, yet it felt connected like the fragmented pieces of a puzzle that had once shattered, lost and broken but put back together. It may not be exactly the same as before but it was still complete.

It was beautiful, really.

Nothing could ever replace this beautiful moment.

They danced. They swayed. They let the random music guide their movements throughout the night.

Ruby opened his mouth, taking a deep breath, letting the cool forest breeze touch his skin before returning to place one arm around Sapphire's waist, pulling her closer, letting their bodies collide in a gentle manner.

She wasn't the best dancer. She didn't know how to dance, really. She was clumsy.

But to him, she was perfect. She was his cute, clumsy and beautiful dancer.

The tune continued to change drastically in a short amount of time. It was all nothing but random rhythms getting piled up and mixed with each other, creating another that was music to his ears. It was not the best tune he listened to, but it was perfect.

It was complex like them, but it ended up creating a different tune that no musical genius had ever composed just yet. Their movements were slowly mixing into one. One step on the musical tile turned into two, but sounded like one. It felt like one. Two steps were converted into one, releasing a unique tune.

They continued dancing, the smile on Ruby's lips didn't fade. His eyes were constantly fixed on hers.

He stopped.

She wondered why.

He removed his hand from hers, reaching for her left cheek, cupping it. His arms pulled her closer, closing the small gap between them.

Ruby took a deep breath, leaning his forehead close to Sapphire's. His eyes were slowly closing.

Every stroke he did with his thumb around her cheek released such passion, such energy of every ounce of feelings he had for her. He found it odd, really. Why do people, who were romantically in love with one another, close their eyes every time they were physically just inches apart? He was currently doing a precious, irreplaceable and intimate moment with Sapphire and it was beautiful. No words could ever describe how great it felt.

Feeling her this close to him with one arm wrapped around her waist, created such complex and strong emotions within him. Happiness. Contentment. Serenity. He felt it all. The small gap between them did not exist because of it. Not even the air was blocking their proximity. He sighed, pressing his soft lips against her nose. His lips later curved into a small, chaste smile. He didn't get to see her reaction, but he knew he felt her returning the chaste smile he was giving to her.

He took a deep breath, his eyes were still close, savoring every little feeling, every little moment they had.

Slowly, he closed the small gap between them, waiting to share the greatest feeling he could possibly imagine with the woman he loved. Time skipped a beat, connecting it with his heartbeat. In one slow movement, his soft lips met hers, capturing it for a passionate, chaste kiss. He adjusted his lips a bit, giving her the access to adjust her lips' positions with his. It took one, swift movement for her to reconnect their soft, warm lips together perfectly. Heat continued to rise in their cheeks, engulfing their closeness with it. Time went on, its gears were moving slowly, complementing the little time they could share while kissing. A second of the clock's movement felt like minutes, as the minutes turned into hours.

Ruby's lips curved into a smile for a second, joy continued to leap into his heart. He later pulled her closer, further deepening their kiss. The heat from their passionate kiss contrasted along with the night's cool breeze.

Tonight was definitely perfect. He would gladly do this every day with her.

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...

...

The sun rose from the east. Its bright, warm light shimmered throughout the region, engulfing everything with its heat. The temperature rose, reaching its normal state as it touched the object.

Emerald let out a groan, loud enough to wake someone up in the middle of the day. He sighed, placing his hands on the blanket, gripping it. He hastily removed it from Ruby and Sapphire, hoping it could at least wake them up.

But it didn't.

He had no idea what happened between the two last night but one thing was certain.

Ruby and Sapphire had another one of their lovey-dovey crap stuff as he would like to state it. He didn't care a single thing about it, really. He didn't even know why their flirting annoyed him. Sure, he knew those two would never stop, especially since they had officially started to go out. But he just wished Ruby and Sapphire would stop flirting in front of him. It was annoying. It was tiring. He had gotten used to it, but it was still tiresome seeing them being so open about it in public. He sighed, placing his left palm on his forehead, letting it slide down his face. He groaned. "HEY, IT'S MORNING! WAKE UP YOU TWO!"

Sapphire groaned, mumbling. She yawned, shifting her head from the moving pillow.

"FOR ARCEUS' SAKE WHAT TIME DID YOU TWO SLEEP LAST NIGHT?! IT'S ELEVEN IN THE MORNING!"

Sapphire swallowed hard, jerking from her position, only to be pulled down by Ruby. Her face flushed when she met with his bare chest. They danced. They kissed. They hugged. Last night was perfect. They ended up sleeping on the floor together with Ruby insisting her to sleep on top of him. She didn't mind it, really. She loved it, in fact. But it was embarrassing that Emerald got to see them in this position. Ruby, you idiot. Wake up!

"Just meet us at the lab. I don't give a damn about what happened between you two lovebirds." Emerald continued, calmly this time. He continued to groan and left the lovebirds alone in their secret base. He swore to Arceus he didn't sign up to be tormented by the most lovestruck Pokedex holders he knew. He sighed, his left hand rubbing his forehead. This was going to be a long day for him.

Also, I have a new fanfic that I will publish within that day (slight franticshipping, hehe) so I hope you guys will be interested in reading it too. ^^ (And Lost Fragments will be updated after that)

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