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It's All For Show

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Scout wasn’t often paired on missions with Pyro. Their differing skill set lent themselves to occupy different roles in the midst of the fight: Scout, as a front runner whose greatest skill was to get in and get out; and Pyro, who stayed behind, taking care of any stragglers and clearing any evidence. As trainers, they were as night and day. Scout’s electric types were meant to pack just enough punch to convince whoever was in their way to step aside. Pyro’s fire types were finishers, last reminders to get out now or risk not leaving alive. Despite this, when they weren’t on death-defying missions, Scout and Pyro had grown remarkably close. The two had a natural chemistry and energy that balanced well with each other.

There was something about Pyro that intrigued Scout. The way they presented themselves as a master of show and presentation. The way they seemingly came from nowhere with no prior training. The way they never showed what was underneath the mask they always wore. A mystery to unwrap, a trainer of undeniable prowess, it made the attraction Scout felt all the stronger. It was for this reason, that when given the opportunity, Scout jumped on the first mission they would be able to work side by side on. However…

“Have you ever been in a contest before?”

He just wished it were different circumstances.

“No…” Scout trailed off, setting the briefing pamphlet on the conference table and leaning back in his chair. “But I saw my ma compete in loads of contests when I was little. It can’t be that hard, can it?”

Pyro looked up from their own pamphlet and rubbed a gloved hand over their mouth. No doubt to keep from snapping at Scout for trivializing their chosen trainer path.

He gave his best attempt at an innocent smile, hoping to soften the blow.

“At least it isn’t high tier.” It must’ve worked. “Mid tier is doable. You’ll need training, but I can make you a believable super rank coordinator.”

“Why aren’t you doing the contest again?”

They flipped through the briefing. “Same reason Spy isn’t either. It would draw too much attention if an elite or master coordinator was participating in a super rank contest.” They plopped the pamphlet to the table and shook their head. “That’s why Miss P. needed a newcomer. Fresh face who wouldn’t stand out in a crowd.”

“Wow thanks.” He got out of his chair, standing over Pyro, and wrapped his arms around their neck.

Pyro sighed. “You know what I meant.”

Scout buried his face against Pyro’s hoodie. “I know. I just wanted to give ya shit.”

“You’re insufferable.”

“Love ya too.”

They leaned up and kissed Scout’s cheek. “Let’s see how you feel when training starts.”

“When it comes to the showcase, you’re not bad, it’s the presentation that’s lacking though.” Pyro had been dispensing criticism like this all morning. “Let’s run it again.”

“Again?” Scout stood in the center of the training room, practically panting from the previous run. Even his partner Pikachu looked to be on the brink of collapse. “Can we maybe take a five minute break first?”

Pyro was on the edge of the training room, arms crossed and smirking. “Fine, five minutes.”

Scout wasted no time recalling his Pikachu to their ball and marching over to the end of the room. He picked up his water bottle, and dropped to the floor. Leaning against the wall for support.

Pyro watched him with marked amusement. “Aww, what’s the matter? It isn’t that hard, remember?”

“Okay. Maybe I was a bit off.” He said between drinks of water. “In all fairness, Ma made it look so easy.”

Pyro set themselves down next to him. “Any coordinator worth their ranks does.”

He heaved a sigh. “Do you think I can be passably super rank in less than two days?”

“You’re not doing as bad as you might think.” Pyro gently pat Scout on the shoulder. “Like I said, you have the showcase down. It’s more style to the presentation that needs to be worked on.”

Scout adopted a mischievously serious tone. “And how does one go about adding style, oh great teacher?”

Pyro crossed their arms. “If you’re trying to get me to show you how I perform, you can just say so.”

Scout tried to remain serious while looking at them, but cracked into a full grin after a few seconds. “Okay, what if I want to see how you perform?”

Pyro no doubt rolled their eyes behind the mask, and stood up. “You’re lucky. I don’t do private shows for just anyone.” A toss of a pokeball and there stood Pyro’s partner, an imposing figure of a Rapidash, lovingly named Loo. The Pokemon still regarded Scout with suspicion, but was quick to calm with a touch by it’s trainer. Pyro led the Pokemon to the center of the room and motioned for Scout to pay attention.

Scout, obediently sat at attention. He gave a thumbs up to his teacher.

To say that it was impressive was an understatement. It was a dance of two beings in tandem with one another, trainer and Pokemon moving effortlessly side by side. Though not a word was uttered, neither had difficulty understanding one another. The dance concluded with a leap that gave the illusion the Rapidash was flying and a spray of flames before touching the ground and landing next to it’s trainer.

The applause could have been from a thundering audience by the excitement that rushed through Pyro. Scout was now standing and cheering as loud as he could. They returned Loo to their ball, and walked back to their adoring fan.

“That was. Amazing.” Scout exclaimed.

Pyro hid their face, mostly to not show how hard they were blushing. “Let’s see you do it now.” They said with playful push.

Scout responded in kind, tossing a pokeball for his Pikachu. “You’re on, teacher. Watch the style be dished right out.”