pokemod: (by koyuki @ DW. [growlithe])
pokémod team ([personal profile] pokemod) wrote2016-01-07 01:12 pm

"Alleviation" for flashcotton

Recipient: [tumblr.com profile] flashcotton
Title: Alleviation
Author: [personal profile] straightforwardly
Rating: G
Verse: Games - Gen IV
Characters/Pairings: Saturn & Mars
Summary: In the aftermath of Mars’ failure at the Valley Windworks, Saturn is there.
Notes: This was mainly inspired by the prompt for Saturn and Mars being platonic best friends and playing video games together, though I also inserted a bit of the hurt-comfort leanings of the other prompts. There was supposed to be more bicker-flirting between Mars and Jupiter in here as well, but I couldn’t quite manage to fit that in naturally. I hope you enjoy this!



It was not unusual for Cyrus to call a meeting of all of his commanders in the aftermath of one of their missions. Cyrus ran Team Galactic the same way he did all things: in an orderly, logical manner, like well-oiled cogs in a machine. Keeping his commanders well-informed on their movements was only a part of that process. These meetings tended to be brief and brisk; perfunctory in the fullest sense of the word. It was a rare occasion that any of them were unaware of a mission prior to its completion, and rarer still that their missions did not go according to plan. And so, when Cyrus called a meeting not long after Mars was scheduled to return from the Valley Windworks, Saturn thought nothing of it.

It was not until he stepped into the meeting room that he had the first inkling that something was not right.

Cyrus and Jupiter had already arrived before him— no surprise there. While none of the commanders were ever less than punctual, it seemed that, unless they were returning from missions of their own, Cyrus was always the first to arrive to their meetings, and Jupiter shortly thereafter.

But there was a tension in the room; he’d be a fool if he hadn’t picked up on it. Cyrus’ face was set, and grimmer than usual; every few moments, Jupiter’s eyes flicked over to him, appraising. Neither of them said a word as he stepped into the room, and took his customary spot against the wall.

On any other day, he would have taken the chance to needle Jupiter, if only for the amusement he’d bring Mars when he later told her of it. The look on Cyrus’ face put halt to that idea. Instead, he remained silent, wondering what had caused this mood and turning over possibilities in his mind.

Minutes later, Charon and Mars arrived, one after another. When Saturn saw Charon striding in, an odd half-smile lingering on his face, his sense of foreboding only rose. Charon was only newly-minted as a commander, but he and Mars had already openly clashed on several occasions. For him to seem pleased, even in the light of Cyrus’ clear disapproval, did not bode well.

After that, seeing Mars herself, her fists clenched at her sides and her head held high, was nothing more than a confirmation.

Saturn tried, and failed, to catch Mars’ eyes as she took her usual spot besides him.

The doors were shut, and the meeting began.

“Mars, report.”

Cyrus’ displeasure rang clear in his voice. Mars flinched— a slight movement, but one that Saturn knew everyone in the room had noticed.

But when she spoke, her voice came out steady. “The mission at the Valley Windworks was a failure.”

From there, Mars detailed out what had happened. How she’d infiltrated the Valley Windworks, and taken control of both the plant itself and its employees. How she’d made the mistake of letting one man’s daughter go. And how one trainer had arrived, and undone all that she’d accomplished.

All the while, she managed to carefully keep the emotion from her voice, though there were moments when Saturn thought she would waver.

Cyrus kept his eyes fixed on her until she was finished. Then—

“Commander Charon?”

Charon stepped forward. “Her report collaborates with what I saw on every detail— save one.” He paused, just long enough to make it clear that it was deliberate. “Commander Mars has neglected to mention that the trainer who defeated her was a child.”

Saturn’s eyebrows shot up; from across the room, he could see his own surprise mirrored on Jupiter’s face. Mars bristled.

Jupiter recovered first. “My, my. Losing to a child? Don’t tell me you’re slipping.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Mars snapped, flushing. “I could still beat you any day!”

“Silence.” Cyrus did not snap the words, but he didn’t need to; both Jupiter and Mars halted immediately at the sound of his voice, and turned to him with identical looks of contrition. “You are the commanders of Team Galactic, not children. Control yourselves.”

“Yes, Master Cyrus,” they chimed in chorus.

Apparently satisfied, Cyrus turned his attention back to Mars alone. “Commander Mars. Your failure today was unacceptable. See to it that it doesn’t happen again. As for the rest of you—” He turned his attention back to all of them. “—See to it that you don’t repeat her mistakes.”

Shortly after, they were dismissed.

*

Later, after he’d completed all of his tasks for the day, Saturn found Mars exactly where he expected her to be: sprawled over the couch in her room, a controller in her hands. A glance at the screen told him she was playing Squirtle Kart.

Picking up a spare controller, he made his way over to her.

“Move over,” he said, eyeing her sprawl of limbs.

Mars didn’t even look up. “No.”

He considered this from a moment— then shrugged, and dropped onto the couch anyways, half-landing on her.

“Hey!” she spluttered, pushing herself more upright. “What the heck— get off!” She shoved at him; onscreen, her character raced off of the course. “Now look at what you made me do!”

“Your fault for not moving over,” he said, a trifle smugly.

Mars huffed, but gave in with a roll of her eyes, and moved over so he could settle in by her side. The lines of her shoulder were tense against his; as he lingered over the character select screen, he could see her eyeing him from the corner of his gaze, clearly waiting for him to speak— to ask her about what had happened on her mission.

Saturn said nothing. He’d only known her a few short years, but in that time, he’d grown to understand her quite well. If he pushed her, she would tell him nothing; when it came to personal matters, she was much like her Purugly, who only demanded attention when one did not offer it.

Finally, he settled on a character— Abra— and they began to play.

Mars was stiff all through the first race, and lost. She unwound a bit more in the next course as he continued to say nothing, and continued to relax more with each course they played through, until she was cursing whenever she fell behind in a race, and cackling when she managed to win regardless.

Partway through their sixth race, as she navigated her way to the lead, Mars suddenly said, “I enjoyed battling her.”

Saturn did not turn to look at her, though he couldn’t help a small, satisfied smile. “Hm?”

“The girl. She might have been a kid, but she was tough.”

“Of course she was tough.” Saturn snorted. “She beat you.”

Mars said nothing, but he felt her slump against him, the last of her tension draining away. For a brief while, he sat there, her shoulder warm against his own, and enjoyed the peace.

Until he released a Squirtle-shell, and knocked her out of first place.

“What the heck? Saturn!”

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