Contentment

Gah. Ignore the title. I couldn't think of anything else better...

Someone asked for more Steven x Brendan romance, so, thusly, I delived once more. ; I just lublub these two beyond anything...

Love you, fredde184:SHNUG:

Beware the label: 100 percent Idiot Flamer!

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Contentment

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What did he see in him?

Messy hair that could only be considered passable if he wore his headband - and that wasn't often anymore. Rather blandly colored eyes - for all that was good and holy, they were just brown! He wanted eyes like May's, or Wally's. A sparkling, clear blue or maybe an alluring emerald green... His teeth were fine, but that was only because he was very conscious of what other people thought of him - and that gave him a materialistic view on things. He was too thin for his age, but of average height. Boring.

And he never let himself forget about his personality - an absolute train wreck if there ever was one. He could be perky and bouncy and all smiles one moment and antagonistically pessimistic (Was he even sure about the definition of those words?) the next. He had an ego the size of a particularly overweight Wailmer and a pride like no other to go with it. His pokemon were always hesitant to come near him after a loss, afraid of what he might do in the following moments. The close friends he had were far and few in between - few were willing to brave the storm of his emotions.

There wasn't much good about him. And as he stared at his reflection in the mirror, he decided that he didn't like himself one bit. Others may have, but he certainly didn't. He valued power and looks too much - or had, anyway. Although, initially, he had liked Steven based on those two things...

"Brendaaan..." He felt arms slither around his bare chest, and a handsome, though sleepy, face appeared at his shoulder. "Why are you up so early?"

"It's eight, Steven." Brendan reminded him airily, pressing his cheek to the older man's. "You shouldn't have studied so late into the evening."

"Pokemon psychology is more interesting than it first appears." Steven murmured to him, his warm breath rushing over Brendan's ear. "Like you."

Brendan blushed as Steven's hands crawled down his chest, the metal rings cooled by the morning's chill sending little convulsions through his slender body. After swallowing with some difficulty, he managed to force out a "What do you mean?"

"Mm." was all Steven said, nuzzling the back of his neck.

"Steven?" Brendan mumbled, the blush settling itself permanently onto his cheeks. A tongue slid across his jawline, and he nearly jumped out of his skin. "I-If you don't tell me..."

"What, dearest?" His voice was a velvety purr in Brendan's ear. "What shall you ever do?"

"No kisses." He said, his voice flat. The hands stopped in their tracks on his abdomen.

"You wouldn't do that." Steven said darkly.

"I would. If you don't tell me, that is." There was a victory in sight, and Brendan couldn't keep the haughtiness out of his voice.

"You sly little..."

"Tell." Brendan ran his fingertips over Steven's knuckles. He knew Steven's weaknesses like the back of his hand - and he always abused them to get what he wanted out of him. A noticeable lack of Brendan-kisses never failed to destroy the ex-Champion's decisions.

Steven sighed, tilting his head into Brendan's untidy white hair. "Fine, I'll tell you. Under one circumstance."

"...Steven..."

"That you'll kiss me after I tell you."

"I will. Now tell."

"When I first met you, in Dewford, I could tell you were a good trainer, but also rather conceited..."

"You thought I was shallow?" He pouted.

"Before, love. I saw change in your personality as time went by, but at first, I didn't see anything exceptional about you, aside from your battling skills. When we battled for the first time, I believe you defeated me because I had fallen in love with you, but I was afraid to admit I cared for such an ego..." He sighed dramatically, the wispy tips of Brendan's hair fluttering in its wake.

"I still have that ego." Brendan muttered. Steven chuckled softly.

"But then I saw the way you celebrated with your pokemon... And I realized that maybe you and I stood a chance. If you'd managed to overcome that pride of yours over some time, then I thought... Why didn't we take try?"

Brendan wriggled around in Steven's embrace to face the taller man. "So... you're comparing me with a Pokemon psychology textbook?"

"Of course I'm not." He brushed away some strands of white hair behind Brendan's ear gently. "You're without comparison."

The younger trainer burrowed himself into Steven's chest, a sigh of contentment escaping his lips. "I knew there had to be more reasons why I love you..."

"Cuddling like this is wonderful and all, but don't you owe me something, Brendan?"

"Do I?" He looked up at his lover, a playful twinkle in his eyes. "I certainly don't remember promising anything..."

"Do I need to remind you?" Steven asked, brushing his lips against the skin of Brendan's forehead teasingly, his fingers prodding at the tickle spots on his torso.

Brendan gave an ungainly squeak, twisting to fight the quick fingers, but that only allowed Steven access to further areas of possible tickling. "Steven!" He shouted with a choked laugh, soft kisses raining down on his cheeks as fingers danced their way up his back. "S-stop!"

"Don't make me," Steven warned him, but his voice was more sultry than it was stern.

"Do what?" Like he would go down in a tickle marathon without a fight! It was only too bad for him that Steven had no real areas where he was ticklish... He leaned up and pressed a quick kiss to the older man's mouth. "Hmm?"

Steven made an amused sound and captured Brendan's lips in a longer, painfully warm kiss that brought forth a moan from the younger. Brendan slid his fingers into Steven's sleep-tousled hair, only vaguely aware of the cold edge of the tile counter digging into his hip. He was only returned to reality - and out of his lovely, light-headed bliss - when the pressure on his back had lessened considerably, and a warm palm was running soothing strokes across the mildly bruised skin.

"Mm, I'm sorry," he heard Steven saying, and he looked up, his eyes glazed over. "I must have leaned on you too much. Are you all right?"

"F-fine..." Brendan blinked, feeling slight twinges of pain when he moved a little. "Steven...?"

"What is it?"

He snuggled up against him, ignoring the pain, knowing he could wash it away easily enough. Even just out of bed he could smell Steven's (despicable) cologne, but the everywhere-presence of his warmth masked it with little difficulty. He trusted him when it came to everything except perhaps map-reading, which oftentimes eluded him, but nonetheless, he cared for him, knew him inside and out, and cherished him.

"Why do you love me?" He asked quietly, listening to Steven's heart beat steadily within his chest.

"Well... Let me ask you this: why do you love me?"

He could think of billions of reasons: his charm, his elegance, his intelligence, his strength, and by God, that wonderful hair - but all in all, he loved him because he was Steven. Nobody else had nor would ever come close to being like Steven in all of his little quirky ways. When Brendan told him this, the older man smiled.

"Exactly. I love you because you're Brendan, and not anybody else."

...He had been expecting a response like that.

"But why?" He questioned. "What's in me that sets me apart?"

Steven continued to smile in that odd way of his, the one that reassured you that he knew the answers to everything. "Love knows when to be content with what it has."

Brendan was about to ask another question, but hesitated, then shut his mouth altogether. But after a moment, he queried, "What do you think about my hair?"

The older of the two chuckled and ruffled said locks. "I think it's beautiful, and you should be proud of it."

"Oh." With a grin tugging his lips upwards, he stood on tiptoe and gave Steven the real kiss he had promised him.

xxxxx

le ende

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Yay, more schmuff! (Love you, Asaka! XD)

For those of you that are left going "Buh?", here are some footnotes...

1. We all go through those days of self-depreciation. Brendan here is having one. A particularly nasty bout, I should think.

2. Heck, why wouldn't Steven study something like pokemon-related psychology?

3. Noo, the first kiss didn't count as the real one. The last one there did. Why? Who the heck knows.

Wow, this really became a lot shorter when I revamped it. Hrmmm.

Azu