Yeah, wow. Who sucks at updating? That would be me. I'm sorry, STS, that this is soooooo wayyyy beyond late, but I love you, and hope you have a wonderful late birthday. d4, this one's also for you, because you both are really into this ~ship.


Does it look like I own any of this?

An Epically Short Story Of Fairy-Tale Properties

Lucian was, for the first time in his life, flustered.

But wait! Proto-mod-faux-British adult men don't get flustered!

Yet, alas, Lucian was very flustered as he looked in disbelief from his Mr. Mime to his calendar and back again. There was one red circle on the calendar that the hapless Barrier Pokémon was pointing to with its garishly white and red fingers.

"Mime!" It gesticulated harshly, stabbing the circle and causing the floppy calendar to wobble back and forth. A frown played across its lips. "Mime, mime, mime!"

"Oh dear," Lucian groaned inwardly, brushing a strand of his pristine purple-ish hair. "I forgot, didn't I?"

The Mr. Mime retorted with a harsh scolding that Lucian was glad he didn't understand. It flicked one blue eyebrow at the man before quietly folding the calendar up and lurching away. There was a distinctively snooty air to his walk as he rounded the corner from the hallway, disappearing from view. It wasn't surprised in the least bit that this important date of all dates was forgotten; when Lucian started doing anything involving literature it was hard to drag him away.

Lucian crumpled onto a nearby barstool, dropping the bag of newly bought books onto the kitchen counter. It was Aaron's birthday and he'd forgotten a present for the young man that he had a major crush on. Gripping the edge of his tailored dark plum suit, he screamed in frustration over his stupidity and forgetfulness. That over with, he rapidly dashed to his little black book that was sitting conveniently in reach and rapidly flipped through it, looking for an address. Upon finding said address, he sighed in relief. A trip to the mall would be just what he needed. Calling forth his Medicham, he used the Meditate Pokémon to teleport to the mall.

After recalling his Pokémon with thanks, he stood in front of the shining edifice of commerce that was the Veilstone Department Store, taking a deep breath in preparation. It was to be the most momentous occasion of his life.

He was going last-minute shopping.

After breathing in and out for five minutes, prompting the doorman to ask him if he was having a baby, Lucian finally squared his shoulders and strode into the Department Store. The front doors opened pleasantly, and the fresh scent of cologne and perfume assaulted his nose. Lucian furrowed his brow. The fact that the mall was so big meant he could get anything. But he hadn't planned on it being this big…the open air forum at the bottom stretched up into what seemed like the very sky; shops ringed around the center in dizzying array. Lucian felt his knees grow weak. How was he ever supposed to find anything in the swirl of lights and colors and sounds?

"I'm Lucian of the Elite Four, buck up." He muttered to himself. "It's too early for this."

So he began his epic quest. Up and down the aisles, sauntering here and there, looking and peering in shops. He was immediately drawn to the bookstore, but Aaron was an outdoorsy type. He knew it would be tacky to just give a gift card-he was Elite, for Uxie's sake, not a relative who didn't matter. But try as hard as he might, he just could not find the perfect gift. Everything just seemed too trite, too forward, too overt, too…wrong.

"Why is this so hard?" He snapped irritably at his reflection in one of the Department Store's posh bathrooms. One of the workers in the couture suit department (which Lucian had guiltily let himself be distracted with for an hour) turned to him, raking him up and down.

"Honey," the thin man postulated, "why are you tripping? Get your man a gift I know he will love. Give him yourself."

Lucian froze; his mind raced into overdrive and he felt the flush of embarrassment creep onto his pale cheeks. He slowly turned to the other man, hands hanging limply in the air. "I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about-"

"Honey," he snapped, interrupting Lucian, "I've seen the way you look at those Bug types in the cheap vendors. You've got it bad, hon. Stop being all diva about it and just do it. Go up to your man, and give yourself to him."

And then the man who worked in the couture suit section was gone, the door swinging shut behind him with a definite and defining snap. And since Lucian had nothing else to give, he decided that was the best policy.

Medicham and Lucian arrived at Cynthia's mountain estate in the hills of Celestic fashionably early. The quaint ranch was spacious, big enough for an outdoor party for all the Elites and their Pokémon, as well as offering stunning vistas. The house itself stood down from a little copse, a long winding dirt path leading up to it. Even as he walked up the drive, scuffing his perfectly shined shoes, Lucian was still nervous. How would everyone react? Should he just give "his present" in private? But that would look weird, seeing that everyone else would have gifts. Music wafted from speakers hidden in the trees, startling Lucian out of his thoughts. With a sigh, he straightened his shoulders and prepared himself for potentially the biggest decision of his life.

"Lucian, my boy!"

A shout tore across the open yard in front of Cynthia's house, and he looked up to see Bertha waving animatedly across the yard. She had shirked her usual furry overcoat and wore a plain summer dress that billowed in the afternoon wind. Beside her stood her Quagsire and Cynthia's Gastrodon, who were placing dinnerware on a long table.

"Hullo, mum," Lucian replied with his nickname for the kindly woman. He was gathered into a large hug that relieved a bit of the tension he'd built up about this dinner party.

"I see the birthday boy's not here yet," he commented. In fact, many humans were conspicuously absent. A few of Cynthia's and Bertha's Pokémon were roaming around, and Lucian thought he spotted one of Flint's mixed in with the competitive battling across the way.

"No, they won't be here until later, son." Bertha replied, busily placing napkins and decorations down on the table. "Flint took Aaron out on a hunt for a 'new Bug type', " she continued, drawing air quotes in the air, "so he'll have this as a surprise party."

Lucian nodded thoughtfully. Underneath his calm exterior his heart hammered in his chest. That meant all the more time for him to get nervous again. He could hardly stand it; the tension was building too much in his chest; he felt nauseous and hoped Bertha wouldn't notice.

In short order, everyone arrived for the little party. Aaron was so excited he could hardly stand it when all the other Elites and Cynthia burst from the house, carrying cake and presents. Some of Aaron's school friends, as well as his parents, had been invited. Bertha's cousin Agatha from the Kanto region was visiting, and even Professor Rowan and one of his aides made an appearance for such a prestigious even. Presents were exchanged, cake was eaten sloppily, the Pokémon got into a rousing fight when Aaron's Vespiquen drank the adult's spiked punch, and it was soon time for the fireworks display that Cynthia had rigged on the back of her property, facing a stunning sunset vista. The guests arranged themselves on the grass, leaning against trees or relaxing on blankets on the soft grass. Cynthia's Garchomp roared to announce the start of the festivities, and soon fireworks rocketed into the sky, exploding in a myriad of shapes and colors.

Lucian was so nervous his hands were shaking. He had selected a spot well away from the others, half secluded next to a large oak tree. He could hear the squeals of laughter from the younger set across the way, and Bertha and Agatha cackling at crass jokes in the lawn chairs behind him. So it came as a distinct shock when a skinny figure bounded into view, plopping itself down next to him in a casual, cross-legged pose.

"Hey, Lucian."

Lucian froze, his breath hitching in his throat. It was Aaron.

"So…I don't really know how to say this but, you seemed like you're avoiding me. Is everything okay?" The boy's voice was full of nothing but hope and what seemed to be a strained awkwardness.

Lucian cleared his throat, shaking away the huskiness he felt in the back of his glands. "Um, yeah. There's nothing wrong." Inwardly he cursed at the squeak his normally calm and modulated voice took as it carried in the night air.

The fireworks exploded and cast beautiful reflections on his glasses. Out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed the thin, bare arms of Aaron shiver in the cooling evening. Lucian twitched his head to the side, catching the delight in his green eyes. Swallowing thickly, Lucian tried to put thoughts of Aaron from his mind. He was still so nervous about his gift that he was going to give Aaron; how would he react? Not that Lucian would ever tell his crush that he liked him; it was too nerve-wracking. But his present could be taken the wrong way…and ruin a friendship.

"Aaron?" He squeaked again, his calm voice several octaves above its normal range. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the young man jump, turning thoughtfully, and Lucian flushed. His body seemed to be heating up uncontrollably as Aaron leaned closer, staring directly into his lilac eyes.

"Yes, Lucian?" He practically purred.

Lucian could have died right then. His hormones raced out of control the closer and closer Aaron got. Heart yammering in his chest, the blood rushing to his…ears, eyes dilated, breathing out of control, nearly hyperventilating.

"I, uh…." Lucian stuttered. The cool and collected proto-mod-faux Brit couldn't even stammer out a word as Aaron drew ever closer, eyes locked directly on Lucian. "Ummmm…iwantogiveyouyourpresentit'smeandyoucanaskmetodoanythingforyou." He finally squeaked out in a jumble of words and sounds.

Aaron paused, that delicious smirk plastered on his face. "Oh, really?"

If Lucian had been paying attention, he would have sensed the wheels spinning in Aaron's head. Instead, he nodded grimly, feeling sweat run down his face and drip untidely onto his plum suit. Aaron was so close, and he was here and willing to do what the Bug Trainer wanted, anything, anything—

Aaron closed the distance with a harsh gasp and pressed his lips to Lucian's. The kiss was at once searing and tender and summed up pretty much all the romantic mushy stuff Lucian could feel at this moment. He could have sworn in the back of his mind he heard someone singing a rousing rendition of the hallelujah chorus, but that could have been Vespiquen's drunken buzzing. The fireworks exploded in a cliché and perfectly timed crescendo, until they stopped perfectly on time with the kiss as Aaron pulled away, leaning precariously over Lucian and a tree root.

Lucian was speechless. All his dreams had come true. He knew that Aaron reciprocated, or else he wouldn't have been kissing him back, had started kissing him first—his panicked brain threw itself into overdrive at these latest developments as the others clapped and cheered for the ending of the fireworks display.

"So," Lucian croaked, "is that all you wanted?"

A wry smile lit up his features as the young birthday boy looked Lucian over, thinking hard about his real request. Lucian grinned back lewdly, unable to stop the immense and total wave of relief that washed over him from the tip of his head to the tip of his toes.

"Yes, there's just one thing…" He trailed off thoughtfully as he leaned into Lucian's embrace, the two watching a battle that had sprung up between Cynthia and one of Aaron's teen friends. They fit together marvelously, Lucian's height just enough to take the boy against his chest and lean his head atop the others.

"Anything. Name it. I'm yours." Lucian smirked, pressing a chaste kiss to the cowlick atop Aaron's outrageously green head.

Aaron looked up at Lucian, cradling the Psychic Master's arms to his chest. "Can I have some Sock 'Em Boppers?"