(a rather odd pairing in this, but one I've seen on a *lot* of Japanese sites. Someone want to explain the reasoning behind it for me?)



Two years ago, I never would have imagined it. Two years ago, I was nothing more than a punk kid, swiping things for the hell of it. Two years ago, someone like her never would have given me the time of day.

I'll never forget when I first saw her. I tried to challenge her in her gym, but she was rushing out the door. Some emergency in the lighthouse. She told me to come back later, but I blocked her path, and challenged her again. Her Steelix made short work of me, but I didn't really care.

To this day, I don't really know why. I think it was because she was one of the only people who had ever stood up to me. Even that brat Kenta--after all this time, I still think of him as a brat--even he didn't leave me with that aura about him.

But Jasmine did. The light in her eyes, her professionalism and wide-eyed innocence all at once...

I followed her to the lighthouse. Of course Kenta would find the medicine she needed for her Ampharos. I wanted to find it, dammit! I wanted to be the one to present it to her. Of course I would have made her go out with me, or pay me, or something, but I wanted to be the one she thanked profusely, with a kiss on the cheek.

After he'd cleared out, I challenged her again. Kenta had taken care of the Steelix, so I managed to beat her this time. When she gave me the badge, I leaned forward, expecting the kiss she had given my rival. But none came, so I gave her one instead.

I know, surprised myself there.

We remained like that for a moment, my lips against her cheek, her eyes wide with surprise. Finally she pulled away. I thought she was going to slap me or something, but she simply laughed. Not even in a condescending way, but an airy giggle.

I was too young for her, she said, and to come back when I matured a bit. I didn't know what she meant at first, because we were around the same age.

Months went by and I barely thought of her. Yeah, that's surprising too, given our initial meeting. But I wanted to beat Kenta. There were points when I would have done anything short of sell my soul to beat him, and even that would have been extremely tempting.

But I never managed it. Time and time again I came up short. I promised myself it couldn't go on forever. Once I reached Indigo, I would challenge him and settle it once and for all.

And once more, he trumphed. I had failed myself, failed the standards I had set, failed the ideals I had.

And I set off on my own once more. Soon, I found myself back in Olivine, and before I knew it, had run into Jasmine again.

She smiled at me. "I didn't think you would come back," she said. "Boys like you don't change very often. I'm glad you did."

And she kissed me, the kiss I'd been hoping for.

I don't think I ever looked back.