The hug from the younger boy came quite suddenly.
They were talking about having an adventure using the Cosmo Network, in which he advised the boy to keep it a secret from his parents and the boy agreed. He looked at the blue sky, wondering how the journey would turn out later, and as soon as he looked at the boy again, he was already in tears. In a split second, the boy lunged toward him, giving him what the humans called a "hug" with the boy's arms circling his neck and his head buried on his left shoulder.
He put his hand on the boy's hair as he tried to peer onto his left side. "Kento, why are you crying? Did I say something wrong?"
The boy shook his head while still staying on his shoulder. "No, it's just... when I see your figure again, I... I can't help but to cry."
He knew from the voice alone that Kento had been holding back not to cry even more. The continuous sob pained him - he did not like seeing his partner in such state - but a part of him thought that it was best to just "comfort" his partner for the time being and listen to him. So he tried his best by slowly stroking his Webdiver's hair, hoping it will calm him down from the sobbing.
The boy began asking him in a coarse voice, "Are you really coming back?"
He pulled the boy closer to him, trying to signal a reassurance that this time he would never leave him again. "Yes. I'm not going to waste the life you have given to me."
"I mean it."
The sob gradually stopped and turned into a small chuckle. Kento responded in a slightly playful tone, "If I wake up and I don't see your presence at all, consider my status as your Webdiver invalid from that moment."
The thought scared him, but he knew it was just the boy's way to show how much he missed him. He replied with a tint of confidence in his voice. "Consider it done."
Unexpectedly, the hug gave him a feeling he had never felt before. As a warrior, he had never gotten really intimate in his relationship - he didn't see the need of romantic interest and most of his friendship stemmed from rivalry and respect only. He knew that they were currently in a dream - in a link created due to the after-effect of Datanoid, but he could clearly felt his partner's warmth and intention with the hug. It was startling at first, but he began to feel comfortable with it as the time passed.
He did not want to let go of the hug - he didn't know how long this connection would pass and whether he would have another chance like this in the future, but he was afraid his partner might grow uncomfortable. He broke the silence with a question.
"Kento, do you mind if we stay hugging like this for a while?"
The boy let go of his hug and looked at him with a slight confusion on his face. "I don't... but why?"
He was anxious - worried that his next answer wouldn't be received well, but at moments like this, his gut told him to just say things straightforwardly. "I don't know how long this dimension would stay and whether we will get a chance like this in the future."
He continued to his second reply with a relieved smile - or so he wanted to express - but the smile was accompanied with a teardrop falling from his right eye.
"I missed you, Kento. Thank you for waiting for me."
Kento's eyes went watery again, but this time, he knew it's filled with happiness. "I missed you too. Welcome back, Gladion."
He pulled the boy into another hug, letting the boy burying his head onto his chest as he laid his head close to the boy's. The teardrop slowly became tears, but he wasn't really bothered with it. For now, he was content he managed to get his feelings across.
"I'm back, Kento."