What's better than a big romantic cliché for the holiday season?
A lot of people thought that Shauna was stupid.
Sure, she could be an airhead at times, but she wasn't an idiot, nor was she blind. She noticed a lot of things, and when a particular subject caught her eye, she became entranced. Her innate curiosity would force her to get to the bottom of it, no matter what.
Her current obsession lied with CSSTD, also known as Calem and Serena Sexual Tension Disorder.
Her two friends were clearly in love, yet they refused to make a move on one another. Instead, they were constantly blushing at each accidental touch and making excuses to sit next to one another every time their group hung out. At first, Shauna would just giggle into her hand and think about how adorable it all was, but she was beginning to get impatient.
Calem, Arceus bless his sole, had been hopelessly panting after Serena from the moment she had moved in next door to him. Shauna, who had known him since her poopy diaper days, had never seen him pay attention to anything much other than pokemon, but the second he laid eyes on the blue-eyed beauty that was Serena, that had all changed. He was constantly trying to impress her over their shared passion for battling, but he usually ended up making a fool of himself.
Serena, meanwhile, typically managed to be more aloof and just Serena-y about the entire situation. Shauna would catch the occasional longing glance or discouraged sigh when Calem kept referring to her as "a pretty cool friend" (The boy really was clueless), but when Team Flare's hideout under Geosenge was destroyed, Shauna knew.
Calem, being the brave idiot that he was, had stayed behind to defeat Lysandre.
"Oh Arceus," Serena had whispered, her beautiful eyes gazing at the remains of the hideout in search of Calem. It was the first and only time Shauna had ever seen her friend lose her cool. "He has to be okay."
Of course, Calem had emerged, unharmed and victorious. Both girls had rushed forward to chastise him and hug him tearfully, and at the time, Shauna was too traumatized to preoccupy herself with Serena's feelings.
But now that the world was safe, she had time. Plenty of it.
When she received an invitation to the champion's Christmas Eve party (Only important people were invited, and they were Kalos's heroes now! How cool was that?), she knew it would be the perfect time to get something done.
"Shauna," Serena called, her voice echoing from the bathroom.
All five of them (Shauna, Serena, Calem, Tierno, and Trevor) had chosen to get ready for the event at Trevor's place since it was the closest to Diantha's penthouse in Lumiose City. The boys had left several minutes ago, but the girls hadn't been ready yet. Plus, Serena kept insisting that it was necessary for them to be "fashionably late". Shauna had just smiled eagerly and agreed, thinking it would be even better to put her plan in motion if Calem got the full effect of Serena walking inside after he was settled.
Serena was staring in the mirror, a frown marring her angelic face. She was wearing an elegant, form fitting red lace dress that ended mid-thigh. The arms and neckline were sheer, and this combined with the fact that her golden hair was done up in a high ponytail did wonders to show off her delicate neck and collarbone. Overall, she looked stunning, but Serena was always stunning.
"Can I use your curling iron?" Serena asked. She really looked worried. "Mine isn't getting this piece of hair the way I want it."
"Sure," Shauna chirped. She could see nothing un-pretty about the lock of hair, but she had learned a long time ago not to question her friend's perfectionist tendencies. Besides, they often provided ideal opportunities for teasing. Her grin grew wider. "I'm sure Calem will love it, Seri."
The effect was immediate. Serena's cheeks flushed a dark red, and she brandished Shauna's hot curling iron almost threateningly. "Don't say anything to him," she hissed.
Shauna had long since made a game of making these types of comments to Calem and Serena. Bringing up how cute a couple they would make to Serena here, a casual mention about how Grant might have his eye on Serena to Calem there. Calem would only blush and mutter indistinguishable things, but Serena had caught onto her a while ago.
"You should," Shauna encouraged excitedly. "Just go up and say, 'Calem, I love you.' I know he likes you too!"
Serena's blush deepened. "He doesn't like me that way," she muttered. "And I don't love him. I just think he's kind of cute, is all."
Shauna sighed as she watched Serena put down the curling iron and carefully swiped on some cherry lip-gloss. Well, there went Serena's last chance. It was officially time for Shauna to take matters into her own hands.
"I'm ready," Serena announced finally.
Shauna wasn't quite as worried with her appearance as Serena was, but she took one last glance in the mirror just to be safe. She was wearing a short, puffy silver dress, and her hair was out of its pigtails for once to fall around her shoulders in bouncy curls. Her makeup, which Serena had helped her with, was simple and geared towards showing off her green eyes.
"You look great," Serena said, smiling softly.
"Thank you. So do you," Shauna said cheerfully. She didn't look drop dead gorgeous like Serena, but she had realized a long time ago not to compare herself to the other girl. She was blessed with beauty, plain and simple.
Shauna bounced on the balls of her feet (Unlike Serena, she had opted out of heels) in eagerness as they finally left the house. Oh, she was just super excited to see Calem's face when he saw Serena in her dress, and she was even more excited to finally put an end to CSSTD.
They made their way through the bright streets of Lumiose, passing several people in large jackets and scarves that were undoubtedly doing some last minute Christmas shopping. Unlike the more suitable winter clothing, Serena and Shauna's small dresses left them exposed to the freezing air. They sped up their paces significantly.
Finally, they arrived at Diantha's large, fancy penthouse. Shauna rang the doorbell, and the glowing face of the champion herself appeared in the doorway. She was revered by many as the most beautiful woman in the Kalos region, and it wasn't hard to see why.
"There you are!" Diantha said. "Come in, and make yourselves at home!"
The girls stepped inside to face the sound of Christmas music (At the moment, "Rudolph the Red-nosed Stantler" was playing) and the sight of classy decorations. Various League officials and a few famous actors milled around, with most of them just standing and a few dancing.
Beside her, Shauna saw that Serena was scanning the crowd, most likely for their friends. She searched the faces as well, although the one she was looking for was different.
"Hi Shauna." A little girl with white-blond hair tapped on her arm and grinned up at her. She winked meaningfully, and a muffled giggled escaped her lips. Shauna bit her lip in joy.
"Hey Bonnie," she said. "Did you finish that last puzzle we were working on?"
"Oh, I finished it alright," Bonnie said. She had to cover her mouth with both hands to restrain her laughter. Shauna shook her head, trying to tell her to quit, but then she quickly found herself falling victim as well. "Well, I'd better go find Clemont! See ya!"
Serena watched Bonnie run off into the crowd, raising her eyebrows. A hint of a knowing smile crawled onto her lips. "What's so funny? Is there something I should know about Clemont?"
"N-no, not at all," Shauna said frantically.
"If you say so." Serena's tone was teasing, which was something that didn't really happen often. This time, Shauna's face was the one burning.
"You guys are finally here!" Calem's voice called.
The dark haired boy nudged his way through a gathering of gym leaders. For once, he had combed his hair, and he wasn't wearing his hat. Shauna wasn't sure what had convinced him: The fact that Serena had told him it didn't match his blue button up, or the fact that Shauna had later whispered that Serena would be impressed if he looked put together.
Tierno and Trevor trailed after Calem, both smiling at the sight of their friends. Trevor was as neat as ever, although Tierno's bush of hair still stuck up wildly.
"Girls take forever to get ready," Tierno complained. He held up a cupcake with snowflake designs on it and carefully began licking the icing off.
"Beauty is pain," Serena replied, watching Tierno's movements nervously. She reached up to fuss over the cupcake. "You're going to get that all over your shirt!"
Normally, Calem would have joined in on making fun of them, but his gray eyes were locked on Serena. They looked like they were about to pop out of their sockets, and his mouth was even hanging open slightly. Behind him, Trevor massaged his temples in exasperation.
Shauna giggled; Calem might as well have been drooling. To her shock (And utter delight), he opened his mouth and said something that was actually productive for once.
"You look nice," he said. Unfortunately, it must have just slipped out, because when Serena snapped her embarrassed gaze to him, he balked. "I-I mean, uh, great dresses!"
"Oh," Serena said. She sounded a little disappointed. "Thanks."
"Um…" Calem began awkwardly after a moment. He fiddled with the hem on his shirt. "Do you want to-"
He was interrupted when someone appeared behind Serena to tap gently on her shoulder. The blond turned around, blinking confusedly at her greeter.
"Oh. Hey, Grant," she said, mustering a smile.
The dark skinned gym leader grinned back at her. "You look beautiful," Grant said. Noticing Calem behind her, he nodded politely at his other former challenger, and then he pointed towards the speakers. "Wanna dance?"
Serena stared at him for a moment, as if she was uncomprehending. Shauna didn't miss the way her eyes flicked hastily to Calem, whose face was carefully blank.
"Say no," Shauna begged mentally. "Better yet, Calem, you say something! Tell her you want to dance with her!"
"Um. I don't really dance, but okay," Serena said, for she was too polite to say no. She was probably also devastated at Calem's lack of reaction.
Shauna groaned mentally as Grant whisked her friend away. Her eyes met Trevor's, and she could tell he was thinking the same thing. Calem wouldn't be remaining reactionless for long.
Sure enough, he crossed his arms moodily, glaring at Serena's retreating back. "Good to know she wants to hang out with her friends."
"Grant is her friend. Kind of," Tierno said obliviously. Now that Serena was gone, he had returned to munching on his cupcake in peace.
"Hmmph," Calem grumbled. "He probably just wants to manipulate her into helping him train. He knows we're closer to getting champion than him and he can't stand it. I knew it."
"Calem, Grant can't challenge the champion. He's a gym leader," Trevor explained tiredly, even though they all knew that Calem already knew the rules by heart.
Over the next several minutes, Calem kept muttering to himself and shooting dark looks at Serena and Grant. Shauna could see that Grant was being perfectly respectable by the way his hands never strayed or tried to pull Serena closer than she was comfortable with, but she could also see that her friend wasn't really enjoying herself. Serena was so aloof and cool most of the time, but when it came down to it, she was honestly just plain awkward at interacting with anyone outside of their group.
Shauna was fed up. Her jade eyes met Trevor's brown ones, and he shook his head pleadingly. Shauna glared.
Trevor sighed in defeat.
"Um. I'm in the mood for some punch. Bye," he squeaked, shooting a desperate look at Shauna over his shoulder. She gave him a thumbs up and a big grin.
Calem scowled, fiddling with the pokeballs on his belt (He had plainly refused to take them off, even though he was wearing slacks) and determinedly ignoring Grant and Serena's side of the room. "Does anyone else want to leave? We're terrible company, apparently."
"The snack table doesn't look very busy right now," Tierno said, gazing at the stacks of sweets longingly. "Hey, Trev isn't getting punch! He's talking to Serena!"
Shauna face palmed mentally. Calem's head immediately shot up just in time to see Trevor timidly say something to Grant before walking out of sight with a relieved Serena. Leave it to Tierno.
"What! Where are they going?" Calem cried. His jealousy wasn't even badly concealed anymore; his voice was practically ringing with it.
"Oh well," Shauna figured. "Might as well use it to my advantage."
"I don't know, Calem," she said, tilting her head to the side to make her seem curious. "Why don't we go see?"
"I think I will," he said angrily.
"Yes yes yes," Shauna chanted inwardly.
She looped one of her arms through a bewildered Tierno's and skipped along behind Calem, who parted the crowd easily with his furious stride. They weaved among the mass of bodies, passing a confused Grant and going through the same open doorway that Trevor and Serena had taken. It opened to a kitchen, of all things, and their two friends stood talking quietly by a table of refreshments. Serena looked up, shocked, upon their entrance.
Just as Shauna had predicted (And desperately crossed her fingers for), Calem stopped almost directly in under the arch of the door. She was careful to linger a few steps behind him, and she gazed up at the sprig of leaves in the doorway with glee.
Trevor looked like he wanted to hide under a rock somewhere, but luckily Serena was too distracted by Calem to notice.
"What are you doing here?" Calem and Serena asked simultaneously, although Calem's tone was significantly less pleasant.
Serena raised one perfect eyebrow at his attitude. To anyone else, the girl would've looked cool and rather intimidating, yet Shauna detected the small twitch of her lips that signified her doubt.
Shauna waved her hands wildly at Trevor. He clasped his own together in a pleading gesture, but she shook her head and pointed with renewed vigor above Calem's head.
Everything happened very fast after that. In a split second, Serena's eyes had detected Shauna's movement and drifted suspiciously to the doorway. Before she could comment on the peculiar behavior, however, Trevor shut his eyes in horror and shoved Serena with all of the might in his scrawny body.
Graceful though she was, Serena couldn't withstand the unexpected push in her four-inch heels. Like a newborn stantler, she wobbled dangerously on her long legs before the momentum carried her in the intended direction: towards Calem.
The boy's gray eyes widened to the size of quarters at the sight of his crush flying at him, but his honed hero reflexes kicked in just in time. He grabbed Serena moments before she could face plant, one of his arms gripping her shoulder and the other wrapped around her slim waist. She steadied herself against his chest, and her face turned the color of a pokeball once she realize just how close they were.
Calem's cheeks were also burning, yet he determinedly focused his attention on Trevor instead of the girl in his arms. "What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to break her ankle?" he spat, glaring at his trembling friend.
"W-w-was an accident," Trevor managed to stutter, before darting off into the crowd like a rattata escaping a pidgeot.
"That didn't look very accidental to me," Tierno said, frowning after Trevor obliviously.
Shauna ignored him. She bit her lip in utter delight and joyfully pointed her finger above her friends' heads.
"Oh, what a coincidence!" she cried in a high-pitched, false voice. It was heavily underlined with a giggle. "Mistletoe!"
The two of them slowly allowed their gazes to trail up to the plant, and then back to meet one another's. Serena shot a halfhearted glare at Shauna over Calem's shoulder, but then she bit her lip and stared up at the boy with a hopeful, nervous expression. Her face fell when he dropped his arms from her at once.
"Uh-oh," Shauna worried. She had hoped that they would go straight for one another once they had the excuse to kiss, but the panicked look in Calem's eyes was scaring her.
"You have to kiss! It's tradition," Shauna cooed, trying to hide her doubt.
"Oh, I can't believe I get to capture this moment on film!"
Viola and Korrina leaned around the corner, having apparently caught the conversation from the main room. Viola's camera was pointed at Calem and Serena, and Korrina was grinning so largely it looked like her face might split in two.
"I knew it!" Korrina cheered. "Kiss her already!"
"Crap. This wasn't supposed to happen," Shauna thought, shaking her head at the gym leaders to tell them to cut it out. Unfortunately, a few other people had noticed what was going on by this point and were watching eagerly.
"I'm not kissing her!" Calem cried.
Shauna face-palmed mentally, and then she covered her eyes with one of her hands. She wasn't sure she wanted to see what happened next. At the last minute, she stretched her fingers apart so she could peek through them.
"Oh. Well I didn't realize I was so unappealing." Serena scowled at Calem, her hands clutched into fists at her sides. She looked like she wanted to punch him, but Shauna could see the hurt in her eyes.
Calem realized his mistake too late. He shook his head, trying to back out. "Wait. That's not what meant! I-"
"Wouldn't want to force you into dealing with my disgusting presence or anything," Serena snapped, elbowing him roughly aside so she could get past him. She sashayed across the room, and a door slammed as she exited onto Diantha's balcony.
Malva, who had joined Korrina and Viola, chuckled darkly. She smirked at Korrina. "I win. She's too smart and pretty for him, anyway."
Calem glowered at her. "I'm right here!"
The pink-haired woman shrugged, casually sipping on a glass of wine. "The truth hurts."
He opened his mouth, clearly determined to argue, but Shauna rushed towards him. She smacked him forcefully on the arm, or at least, as forcefully as she could without feeling guilty (Which really wasn't very forceful, but still!).
"You dumby!" she cried. "I made that so easy for you, and you ruined it anyway!"
"What?" Calem scowled, rubbing at his arm. "You did that? Shauna!"
Shauna hesitated. "Well. I wasn't the one who stuck my foot in my mouth. 'I'm not kissing her!' Really, Calem?"
"I think she might have wanted you to kiss her," Tierno said, staring out at the closed balcony door sadly.
"Well of course she did!" Shauna snapped. She wasn't normally one to lose her temper, but she had had it with this! Plus, there was a sinking feeling in her stomach that told her that maybe this was all her fault. Maybe she had just ruined the most important thing between Calem and Serena, which was their friendship. She knew she could never forgive herself if that was the case.
"You really think so?" Calem frowned, although there was the faintest trace of awe in his voice.
Shauna sighed. "Definitely! But you really need to go say you're sorry."
"Who's sorry?" Calem asked, crossing his arms.
"You are!" Shauna insisted, and then she deflated under his unwavering gaze. No wonder that boy could make his pokemon obey him so easily. "Fine. I'm sorry for meddling. But you need to go apologize to Serena, right now!"
Shauna pushed him eagerly across the room and to the glass doors that led to the balcony. They were covered in blinds, so it was impossible to see outside, although Shauna was sure Serena was moping. She probably wasn't crying openly, because Serena was particularly adapt at holding back emotions. Shauna knew she was hurting all the same.
Hesitantly (A word rarely used to describe the typically fearless trainer), Calem pushed open the door.
Immediately, Shauna strained with all of her might to see outside, but the blinds just wouldn't allow for it without being too obvious. No! She couldn't be left in the dark now, not after all of her hard work!
"Um, Shauna? Are you alright?"
The voice held an air of intelligence, and it was oh so familiar. Clemont was peering up at her through his adorable, round glasses, and his little sister Bonnie was nestled against his side in the loveseat. At any other time, Shauna would've fawned over how he had tried to slick back his hair with gel, but now was not the time.
Her saving grace had arrived in the small window behind Clemont's blond head.
"Fantastic!" Shauna said enthusiastically, practically glowing. She ran over, propping herself on her knees next to Clemont on the loveseat. His face colored pink at her sudden action, and he tried in vain to squeeze closer to Bonnie so they would have more room.
"W-what are you doing?" he stuttered, nervously glancing down at her exposed legs.
Shauna shushed him. If she adjusted the curtain ever so slightly and edged as far to the right as she could possibly go, she should be able to get a peek at the balcony.
It took her eyes a moment to take in what she was seeing. Shauna squealed.
"What's wrong?!" Clemont asked, but he was cut off when Bonnie eagerly leapt across his lap, giving him an accidental elbow to the face in the process.
Calem's arms were wrapped around Serena's waist, and hers were weaved through his formerly neat hair. They were kissing furiously, with a pent up passion that only CSSTD could ever bring. At some point, they had probably been sitting side by side on the small bench they were perched on, but Serena had practically thrown herself across Calem's lap as they kissed.
Shauna glanced above their heads, where a second sprig of the notorious leafy plant hung over them. Her grin widened, and she practically bounced in her seat with excitement.
"I told you we'd need backups," Bonnie said smugly.
Shauna wrapped the younger girl in a halfway hug. "Yes! Mission complete."
Bonnie quirked her lips mischievously, and out of the corner of her eye, she glanced between Shauna and Clemont. Even her brother had turned to watch the scene outside with shock, so neither one of them noticed.
"Well. Almost complete."
AN: Oh man, this was so fun to write! I really love Kalosshipping (Not to mention these characters were so entertaining to play with. They reallyyy make me want to write an X/Y novelization, but I don't have time), but I've never written anything for it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
If you liked this, you might want to check out my main story Touching the Sky. It has a more slow-growing romance, which will be Hoennshipping. Take a look!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and reviews are much appreciated! Especially if you want me to experiment with more stories like this.