For the Cause

I named this ship. It's called SuspendersShipping, the [crack] pair of Misty and Holly, which makes this short story a shoujo-ai pair. Watch as these two bond in a…semi-unique way right before Holly is supposed to challenge Misty in a Pokémon battle. Most of the romance is implied and somewhat one-sided, and that makes it even more fun! Enjoy!

NOTE: This is in first-person narrative. Holly's to be exact, and I see that my buddy Avegaille got a short of this pair out before me because I made a bet with her that she did not accept and I won. She did it anyway (she didn't have to), but I'm glad she could at least get something out and stimulate her writing senses. Check her work out! It's called 'Surprise Call'.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.

I have been in this clothing store just outside of the Cerulean City limits for no more than five minutes or so. I suppose that it has not gotten to the point of overkill, yet, but I have no one that I travel with who could tell me otherwise. With this semi-tradition of mine to go into clothing stores all around the Kanto region and get whatever unique or interesting pairs of suspenders I can find to go with my everyday outfits, I can attract more than my share of attention from both boys and girls.

I will not tell a lie; the attention is very flattering and makes me laugh a time or two, but I rarely ever do this exercise for anyone but me. I make the clothes and the accessories more often than not. Guy after guy and yes even some girls, turn more than just their heads to see me. I am not what many would consider a model type. For the longest time, I've stood out…for all the wrong reasons. Height was one thing that really separated me from the crowd, even today. It's just not that often that you see an 18-year old girl who stands about six feet, four inches tall wearing semi-formal clothing topped off with thigh-length boots. It is even rarer to see that person wearing an accessory more commonly associated with guys.

Do I do this to attract guys? Well that is not by design, but it does happen. Do I find that I get more attention from guys because of it? Again, sometimes but compared to the other young ladies I'm around, I do not see much of a difference. I do it because I like the look. I'm aware that there are guys who find girls that wear men's clothing to be attractive for some reason. I've never been sure why that's the case, though. Men in women's clothing, while sometimes attractive, have never been a real turn-on for me. I think it is funny when that happens, especially older men who are obviously heterosexual but really comfortable with themselves.

I suppose that sums me up nicely. I'm comfortable with who I am; a girl with orange hair like a lion of the pride lands, who stands tall like the Amazons and sometimes likes to dress out of my element and go against the grain. Like when everyone in my extended list of family and friends told me at the age of nine to 'Be a coordinator. All girls in Sinnoh are coordinators and you should be, too'. Yeah, I did not listen to them, obviously. I wanted to train. I might be a girl, but that doesn't mean that I can't be tough and play with the big boys. That's why I train and while I pick up these varying pairs of suspenders on the rack, it is one of the reasons why I am here in the Kanto region, specifically Cerulean City; so that I can hone my skills against the best in all the places I go.

I've heard a lot about the sisters of Cerulean City, including the gym leader Misty. Of course, I've prepared well for the water Pokémon trainer by getting my grass and electric types ready along with my own know how to get this job done and earn my second of eight badges on the way to Viridian City. That much I'm prepared for. Right now, I'm just trying not to get too pumped up for the inevitable. Above all else, it's important for me to stay grounded as far as making the plans for battle. "She's a girl just like I am," I say out loud. "And even if I do lose, it's just a battle in the end."

"Now, I like that attitude," I hear from this girl behind me. I turn around and unless my eyes deceive me, I think I'm looking at my competition for later this afternoon. "People that come through the gyms these days get so wrapped up in beating me and getting a badge." She took a break in complimenting me to stare at something. I paid it no mind as she continues with a very noticeable smile, "You certainly are a change of pace around these parts compared to the other trainers that come through here."

"Oh, really?" I did not expect that to come out of Misty's mouth at all. I blush for a bit before admitting, "But we hardly know each other! How can you tell I'm such a…change of pace?"

"Well," she snickers for a bit before telling me, "I see that you're not afraid to stand up for the cause and…show your pride." Then she points her right arm in my direction and I finally notice just what I am holding in my hands. The hanger holds up a pair of rainbow-colored suspenders. Once I see the item of some special interest, I go wide-eyed for a second and try to recover myself in the midst of utter mortification for what is an honest mistake.

As she leaves—she has the nerve to leave me like this, scared and vulnerable, I try to stop her and say, "No, Misty, no! That was a mistake! An honest mistake," I said, even if I did make an effort to check out all the different pairs of suspenders to find one just for me.

She turns back around and dots my forehead with her right index finger before responding "Sure it was. I tell you what; come to my gym, battle me…and afterwards, we can talk about all the other things we have in common. Ciao, girl!" With those words, she makes her way out of the clothing store and in the direction of the gym.

I turn red, even though she has now been gone for a minute, maybe two. That was an honest gaffe on my part, but if that is really the case, why the hell am I shaking like crazy? Is it because there is truth to what she said? I often do not like to think there is, but…maybe. I've thought about it and there might be a reason why people of both genders seem to flock to me at times.

Here I am thinking at one time that traveling and battling would be simple. It is not and neither is figuring out some people. It was a mistake and maybe that is what I should explain to Misty once I see her in her gym.

Then maybe, if I am lucky, we can talk some more about this 'cause'. I'd like to get behind it if, at the very least, it means getting to know her better.

A/N: Read and review, guys! And I'm glad that I could help some with Avegaille and inspiring her to write…even in the midst of chaos. She knows what I mean!

Until next time, this has been Rave!