AGNPH Stories

One Night Only by apk493


Story Notes:

This one will have a couple chapters in it, so make sure to check back every once in a while until it's finished.

Chapter 2: The Day After

Oh boy second chapter. All disclaimers and such carry over from the first chapter. Also, I ask that people please review if you can. It helps me improve. I need to know what I'm doing wrong to correct it, right? Other than that, enjoy!


When I first woke up, I could feel the emptiness beside me. I felt out of place, like something was different, even though I was in my own bed. Then I remembered what sensation was missing from the morning. What I saw - or in this case didn't see - with my eyes confirmed my suspicion.

I knew Dani was going to be gone in the morning. It was obviously her intent. Unfortunately, I didn't think it would have felt this way. As I got up and sluggishly moved to the kitchen for food, I realized that I kind of liked her. I was sad to see I wasn't embracing her when I woke up.

I pulled out some frozen pancakes and threw them in the microwave. Mornings are one of those times when you don't want to have to use effort. As I pulled out a plate and utensils, setting them on a small table, I caught a glimpse of a piece of paper put on the counter. It didn't have my handwriting on it.

Hey Ricky. You've probably noticed I'm gone already. I'm just gonna say that I had a really good time last night. And I don't mean just the end. I mean the whole night. From the shower, to the roof, to the way you told me to be confident in myself. Nobody has ever done that before. I appreciate that. Maybe I'll see you around, you know? Sometimes life surprises you. Kind of like last night.
Don't take it too hard. Hope you had as good of a night as I did. -Dani

I felt… something… while reading that note. It wasn't right to call it sadness, but it wasn't disappointment, either. It was kind of in between. I also realized that maybe she did understand what I told her. Maybe she thought about it. And maybe I would see her again. I got lost in the daydream of that thought until I remembered I had pancakes in the microwave. I got those out, sat down and started on breakfast, all the while thinking of Dani and the night we had.

The rest of the week passed slowly. My part time job yielded no excitement, and the week played out normally, nothing new or unusual. That is, until Saturday.

I woke up Saturday morning remembering that my soccer club was starting up for the fall season. I was glad, because some of the players on my team I didn't see otherwise. Others were friends I saw frequently. It was a good group of people, with the co-ed recreational league reaching its fifth year in business.

I went about my usual morning routine, waiting with anticipation for today's game. After lunch, I walked over to the nearby recreational gym that housed the indoor field where we played. I wasn't the first there, and took a place by Brad and a few others.

"Hey Ricky! Nice to see you show up!" teased a Jolteon who was stretching out.

"Hold the jokes, Johnny, there's no way I'd want to miss another season!" I playfully retorted, "The league's getting more popular, apparently competition is going to be tougher."

"Pssh. It's nothing we can't handle," replied a Lilligant named Bailey. "We've had the same line up for two years, if our chemistry's not good now, we oughta quit," she laughed.

Brad came up, offering a fist-bump as he approached. "You ready for today, pal?" he asked, half joking and half seriously.

"Yeah, I'm feeling good about it," I told him as I reached into my bag for a pair of gloves. I played goal keeper for our squad, and I was pretty good, too. "C'mon, let's warm up a bit," I said, running over to our goal.

We practiced with me taking shots and blocking, starting with easy kicks and moving to more precise shots, so that I had worked on protecting every part of the goal before the kick off.

The refs were just arriving when we stopped our session. I had Brad throw me a water bottle as our team met up on our sideline for a briefing. The others had showed up by now, including a couple of other guys I knew from college, along with a Houndoom named Grant and a Luxio called Drake. Both were good strikers.

As I walked into the circle, Johnny looked up and pointed at me. "You're gonna be a captain this game, since Rico isn't here. You and me are going up for the coin flip," he said.

"Fine by me," I replied. Johnny then went over a couple plays and strategies before the refs yelled at us to head over for the flip.

As Johnny and I walked over, I started scouting out the other team. A couple humans, but mostly Pokémon. One in particular seemed very familiar as it walked up to us for the coin flip.

I nearly did a double take as I recognized Dani as one of their captains, now with her rings yellow again. I looked at her as we approached midfield, but she was avoiding my gaze. As we walked up to shake hands, I first shook with the other captain, a Politoed, then reached out to shake Dani's hand. As we did, giving the customary "Good game"s, she didn't look at me, but I persisted. "Hey, Dani," I said, loud enough for her to hear. But she didn't answer to it. She merely shook our hands then took her place behind the Politoed.

As the ref, a Riachu, threw his coin in the air, I didn't pay attention. I let Johnny call it. I was just hurt that she would ignore me, especially after what happened on Tuesday. 'Is it possible this is another Umbreon?' I said to myself. We were walking back to the rest of my team now. I shook my head, clearing my thoughts.

We must have won the coin toss. Johnny was walking over to me before the game began. I was absentmindedly taking my spot in goal.

"You alright there Ricky?" he asked, concerned. "You zoned out there at the coin toss. Something wrong?"

"Nah, I just thought of something I forgot to do earlier today before the game," I reassured him, "I'll keep it out of mind until later.
Johnny smiled. "Alright dude. Keep sharp, alright?" He tapped his head before running off to his midfielder position.

"Got it," I said to myself, trying to keep thoughts of Dani out of my head. I had to concentrate here. It wasn't fair to my team if my mind was elsewhere during our first game back.

And that's exactly what I did. For the most part, I was clear-minded, and when my mind drifted, my team was there to help me out.

Everything was good, I was blocking shots like it was my day job. Anytime their strikers got near me, my defense helped break up any crosses and shots. I was keeping a nice shutout pace.

Then something different happened. Johnny missed a header, letting it bounce past him to one of their midfielders. It just so happens that it was who I believed to be Dani. She passed it up behind Brad to one of their strikers, who stalled for a minute to allow his team to catch up. The other striker was being covered by Bailey, and Dani saw the opportunity to push up. She got the ball handler's attention, who went for the cross.

I saw it coming; I read their play like a book. I was in the perfect position to block the cross, but I had to dive for it. So that's what happened. As my feet left the ground, I realized that while my path would block the cross, it also carried me on a collision course with Dani.

Other than that, my timing was perfect. I punched the ball out-of-bounds as I flew past it, hitting it off another foe player, giving us possession, too. And then I hit Dani.

I tried to aim it so I didn't completely truck her into the ground. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw me leave the ground, but froze and didn't move. I crashed into her, sending us rolling in a ball across the ground. I stuck out a foot to stop us, and we rolled to a halt, me ending up on top. I had my arms and legs braced around her so I didn't fall on her.

I took the opportunity to say something. "What's with you, Dani?" She flinched when I said her name. "Yeah I know it's you. Still hiding? I thought I convinced you to be true to yourself. That's the feeling I got last Tuesday." She was staring at me, not saying a word. It wasn't quite a glare, but it was close. I held her gaze for a minute more. "I guess I was wrong."

I slowly got off her and stood up. I offered a hand to pull her up. She took it. Hoisting herself up, she turned around and walked away without a word. One of her teammates was walking up to her, and I overheard him asking, "What was that all about?"

"Nothing. That was a good move. Just- yeah, a good play," she replied, her voice wavering a bit.

I turned around to see Brad running up with a smile of his face. "Dude, you just soared like a Skarmory!" he exclaimed, patting me on the back. "What was with that girl? She's been acting weird all game," he commented to no one in particular.

"I don't know," I said, "maybe there's something on her mind." I sure know there was something on mine.
The rest of the game passed quickly. I did my job, blocking shots and breaking setups. I even got the shutout against the other team. For our first game, that was pretty impressive.

What I took notice of, however, was the way Dani held back. I was sure it was her now, yellow rings or not. I could tell she was staying behind the rush, never pushing up beyond our defenders. I didn't know whether it was because of what I said, or just the fact it was me. Maybe she didn't want to encounter me anymore. I didn't know what was going on, but the thought that she didn't want to talk saddened me.

Even after the game, I kept thinking back to what I told her. I second guessed my judgment, whether or not I was too forceful, even with those few words. The memory of the conversation, if you could call it that, plagued me the rest of the night. I was finally able to put it out of mind long enough to fall asleep, only to wake up with the same empty feeling that had afflicted me all week.

That's another chapter wrapped up. Probably going to be one more after this. Stay tuned.
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