[And they say that the single beat of a Butterfly's wing can spark a hurricane]
It was rare that Archie was ever surprised; indeed, he rarely found anything worth being surprised about - the world, for the most part, being all too full of odd quirks and happenings for him to bother taking surprise at, instead just taking them all in his stride with a pinch of salt to be soon dismissed as yet another interesting, but altogether unimportant fact that he’d near-to-never stumble across again. That was, after all, how the human world worked: about as predictable as the environment around it, and as quick to throw itself into a squall as it was to crest calmly onto a soft pebbled beach.
But for all of his cynical views on the world and the people in it, there was not a bit of his partner that did not surprise him; the fact that her pink hair color was, in fact, natural, (as he’d learnt after being pummelled for half an hour by a flurry of confused Goldeen,) that as a child she’d been so shy that she didn’t speak until she was four, (the thought of his self-confident partner keeping quiet for over a week, let alone several years, slightly disturbing in his mind) as well as just how stubborn she could be, the sheer strength of her will when bent on a single view or option so nearly overwhelming that he’d long since given up on arguing with her when she entered that particular mind set, preferring to watch with slight perturbed awe as she decimated all who stood in her path. In this way each and every day was a new adventure, an expedition into unknown waters that slipped forever from under his feet.
But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
They stood by the side of a dirt road in no-mans land, the rain falling in a slowing sprinkle over the surrounding ploughed fields and countryside and gradually diluting the blood that seeped into the steadily forming mud in beautiful, scarlet streamers. He surveyed their work with a satisfied air as the final body thumped to the ground, his partner knealing beside it as she swiped the blood away from her withdrawn knife. Water dripped from her sodden bandanna across her vision as she raised her head, but she paid it no heed, eyes burning like flaring coals into his own.
“Ready?” She asked, a slight teasing note to her tone as she slowly straightened, a blood-stained hand raising absently to adjust a necklace at her throat and leaving slight scarlet finger prints on her pale skin. He nodded and stepped silently over the corpses to join her, a slight smile playing on his lips.
“Where to now?” He asked, voice rumbling deeply in his chest as he closed the distance between them and offered her his arm. Her gaze flicked to his with faint amusement as she accepted his offer by placing a delicate hand on his forearm and started forward, feet sinking slightly into the mud with her ever step.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that question?”
He raised an eyebrow and glanced at her, matching her pace casually as they left the massacre behind them.
“Would you consider anything I’d have to suggest?”
She smiled and turned back to the road, eyelashes lowering and casting half shadows across her cheek bones.
He lowered his head slightly, the movement barely noticeable in the fading light. “Then where to now?”
She considered that for a moment, gaze slipping to the distant horizon where the dying sun threw its final rays over the mountains, the golden daggers spearing through the low-lying clouds. He waited patiently for her answer, forever quick mind calculating her reply. To Lilycove? That was the most obvious answer, for as they were so close to accomplishing their goals the thought never strayed far from their minds. But he would not put it past her to wish to visit one of the other towns, infiltrating them swiftly and effectively and seeing for themselves the effect of Aqua’s influence. It delighted her to see the fear flash in hardened training’s eyes at the mere mention of the organisation, and she never ceased to seek it out, revelling in the sensation.
But he should have known that nothing, let alone her, was that predictable.
He watched as she slowed to a stop, a sly smile flickering over her lips as she returned her gaze to his; an unreadable emotion glittering in those heavy lidded eyes.
His eyes widened imperceptibly as she winked, a delighted smile teasing her lips as a slim fingered hand raised, fingers flexing in a mockery of a wave before she was gone, a small breeze carrying her soft laughter as she raced down the road, a pink smudge against the dampened landscape. He blinked in surprise and started forward again, a wry smile tweaking his lips as he was reminded once more of why she, in a dying world filled with corruption and lies, had the ability to ensnare him so completely, so finally with her sheer purity - so wise and yet so innocent - that until his dying breath he’d decimate entire mountains to ensure that she’d live to laugh so freely once more.
She surprised him, indeed.
Oneshot, by the way. x3 And a free doodle for whoever guesses who the characters are. *cracks knuckles then winces* xD
A hint: They feature partially in the third generation of the Pokemon gameboy games. x3