Okay, I'm really proud of this one because I've finally written something at a decent length. I've been disappointed with my last two one-shots. I actually put a lot of effort into this one (I've spent the last three days on it, writing every time I got the chance. Swim season just began for the summer and hopefully I'll pass my lifeguard certification tomorrow so I'll be able to work at my job D: So I'm going to be a bit slower with writing now that I actually ), especially in the details. The song "Voices of Spring" came from a waltz I did when I was part of my friend's court for her Sweet Sixteen last year. It's also partially the inspiration for this story. I was reading through a list of prompts and one of them was "waltz" and the idea of waltzing lessons popped into my head. Ah, writing this brought back so many memories...I used the experience of taking waltz lessons for weeks in order to prepare for the Sweet Sixteen and the prompt "waltz" that I randomly came across to write this. The type of tea Bertha gives to Lucian references "Insecure Insomnia." I didn't mention the type of tea in that fic, but it's supposed to be chamomile because of its calming properties. The age difference between Bertha and her husband is the same as my own grandparents' and their fiftieth anniversary was the last one they celebrated. So the occasion and the age difference is a shout-out to my grandparents.
So yeah, it's beta-ed (for once o.O) by my friend Liz, who just learned that a beta edits a story before it's put up. :shakes head and laughs: Ah, but I love her anyway. I'd like to thank my dear friend for beta-ing for me due to the fact that I'm notorious for typos and stranges phrases that are of mixed up words because of multitasking. I'd also like to thank TheRenownedObscurity and LunarShade29 for their kind reviews of both of my EliteUndershipping fics. You two made me ridiculously happy to the point that I was scaring my mother from smiling so much.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately I don't own Pokemon. Believe me, you'd know if I did. Oh, and I don't own Wicked either because the title is based off the song "Dancing Through Life." Yeah, I pretty much own nothing.
Bertha's fiftieth wedding anniversary was slowly approaching and the rest of the Elite Four, including their Champion, were dreading it. It wasn't that they weren't happy for Bertha; quite the contrary, they were ecstatic for the old woman, but Bertha was having a large party thrown for her anniversary. One of the requirements for this party was that the members of the Elite Four learn how to formally dance. Bertha already knew how to waltz and took it upon herself to teach the other members of the Pokémon League. Needless to say, when the rest of the Elite Four and their Champion stood in the ballroom of the castle, they had a reason to be afraid.
"This is going to be a lot easier since there are four of you. The four of you are going to pair off. Now traditionally the male leads, but we have three males here so you're learning both leading and following. You're only learning a simple waltz, no complicated lifts or anything like that, so don't worry too much about it. Now pair up!" Bertha stood in front of the group, motioning for them to pair off. Flint looked over at Aaron, who was sneaking hopeful glances at Lucian before turning away and ducking his head shyly. Flint smirked as an idea popped into his sneaky head.
"I call Cynthia!" The redhead called out. Aaron smiled hopefully and Cynthia groaned. "Hey does anyone have a camera? I'm going to need proof of this to show Volkner. He always said I could never land a Champion." Cynthia glared at the male and pulled on his ear.
"And you still can't. This is purely out of necessity and nothing else. Don't get your hopes up." Cynthia rolled her eyes when Flint shot her a cheeky grin. The Fire Master didn't actually like Cynthia that way, but he loved to get on her nerves. Meanwhile Aaron stood nervously next to Lucian, neither of them looking at each other.
"Okay, Flint and Lucian, you'll lead first. Now put your hands here," said Bertha, grabbing Lucian's arms and putting one on Aaron's waist. "Now lace your fingers with his and keep your arms up. Aaron, put your hand on Lucian's shoulder. Okay, good." Bertha gave them an approving nod before going over Flint and Cynthia. The green-haired boy blushed - the bright hue clashing with his hair - at the close proximity between them. Flint cast a glance over at them, proud to note that Lucian's face was also flushed.
"Well, Bertha old doll, let's get started," Flint quipped.
"Hey, watch who you're calling old. This old bag of bones can still whip you into shape," Bertha snapped and pressed the play button on the stereo. Soft instrumental music began flowing from the speakers while Bertha began counting and showing them how to move. The old woman went back and forth between the pairs, correcting minor flaws. "Keep your head up, dear. You want to be looking at your partner's eyes, not your feet." Bertha pushed Aaron's head up gently, forcing him to look up at Lucian. He blushed lightly and kept his gaze on Lucian's shoulder, but still keeping his head up so the elderly woman wouldn't yell at him.
"Ow!" Cynthia yelped. She glared up at Flint. "You had to pick today of all days not to wear those flip-flops of yours? My toes and I would much prefer to be with Lucian or Aaron." Flint's eyes widened and he began to panic.
"But those two work so well together!" The redhead protested. "You can't split up that kind of chemistry. Besides, I'm not that bad." Well, almost everything Flint said was true. Lucian and Aaron did dance wonderfully together; the two seemed to be natural dancers and moved fluidly with each other. Flint, however, had two left feet and spent more time on his partner's toes than on the floor. Cynthia sighed deeply, but relented nonetheless. She was, however, going to talk with Flint as soon as Bertha's lesson was over; she knew something was up with the puffy-haired male.
"Well children, if we're done arguing," Bertha chided lightly, "I'd like to continue. Let's take it from the top…" And with that the music began playing again.
"Okay, so what's going on?" Cynthia said as soon as the other three left the room. Flint merely feigned an innocent look.
"Whatever do you mean, my dear Cindy?" The redhead asked innocuously.
"You know perfectly well what I mean and how many times have I told you not to call me that?" The Champion snapped. "I know you didn't choose me as your partner solely because you wanted to be with me and you put up way too much of a fight to not have something up your sleeve, so spill." The blonde girl crossed her arms and waited for a response.
"Okay, before you call me an idiot, at least hear me out," Flint began cautiously. "I can tell that Aaron likes Lucian and I wanted them to be dance partners as a way to get closer. The kid's way too shy to do anything himself and I figured this was just the push that they needed. Okay, now you can tell me what a stupid idea it is."
"Honestly Flint, you've had some pretty damn idiotic ideas in the past, from drinking milk that expired a week beforehand just to see what would happen to trying to straighten your hair with an actual iron. This, however, is one of the best ideas I've heard from you." The girl smiled thoughtfully while Flint was taken aback. He was expecting Cynthia to chew him out and tell him to give up his ridiculous idea. "I've known Lucian for years and I know for a fact that he likes Aaron too. Every time Aaron's outside training, I've found Lucian outside reading a book. I've known him long enough to know when he's reading and when he's using a book as a cover. Not once have I caught him actually reading around Aaron."
"So…you'll help me?" Flint asked warily. He was still shocked that Cynthia wasn't disapproving of his latest idea. The blonde nodded curtly and began to walk out of the room. "I think this is the beginning of a very devious partnership. Hey, while we're at it, I'm thinking of fixing Volkner up with…" At that point Cynthia had already left the room and Flint ran to catch up with her to discuss further plans.
"Aaron my dear friend!" Flint called out. Said boy turned around and paused to let Flint catch up to him. "Glad to finally be done with the dance lessons?" The remainder of the dance lessons had gone without a hitch. Cynthia kept any complaints about Flint quiet; she'd get revenge for her feet after Bertha's party. Flint's plan was going off without a hitch. Lucian and Aaron had gotten extremely comfortable dancing with each other and the redhead decided it was time to give them a not so subtle push in the right direction.
"It hasn't been that bad." Aaron shrugged.
"So…" Flint trailed off. "Got any ideas of who you're taking to Bertha's party?" Aaron wrinkled his nose and shook his head no. Bertha told them that bringing a date wasn't necessary and not to worry about it. "Really? I was thinking you would have asked Lucian?" The green-haired boy's eyes widened and his face began to heat up. Flint grinned slightly; his plan was going perfectly.
"Why...why would you think that?" Aaron stammered.
"Because you like him," Flint replied simply.
"You know?" Aaron asked in horror.
"It's been a bit obvious." Flint shrugged. The Bug Master's flush darkened further and he quickened his pace. He didn't realize that he had been that obvious, and if Flint had noticed what if Lucian knew as well? Flint, however, thought that Aaron's quickened pace was a good sign, that he was anxious to see Lucian, not that he was nervous about seeing the older male.
"Alright, now that we're all here," Bertha began when Aaron rushed in followed by Flint, "we can begin. You guys have picked this up really well so we're only going to go through it a couple of times. Cynthia and Aaron, you're leading this time. And…begin." The now familiar music, Voices of Spring, began playing again but Aaron could barely remember the steps. His mind was still focused on what Flint had told him before. Had he really been that obvious? What if Lucian knew? What if he had known this whole time and just never said anything because he didn't want to hurt the younger boy? It made sense because Lucian was extremely polite and wouldn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.
"Ow," Lucian whispered as Aaron stepped on his foot. The soft whisper of pain broke Aaron from his thoughts. It was the third time he had stepped on his foot since they had begun the dance. He couldn't concentrate on the steps that they had been practicing for the last few weeks and kept doing the opposite of the moves he was supposed to do.
"Aaron, are you okay?" Bertha asked kindly.
"Y-yeah, I guess I'm just not meant to lead," Aaron replied with a nervous laugh. He felt his internal misery deepen; even Bertha realized something was up, which further proved to him that he had been obvious the entire time.
"You were fine with leading during the other classes. Are you sure you're alright, dear?" The Bug Master could feel everyone's concerned eyes on him. Flint and Cynthia had stopped dancing and were watching them as well.
"I'm sorry. I have to go." Aaron mumbled, breaking away from Lucian. The moment he broke contact with the other man, the green-haired male felt a sort of emptiness at the loss of connection. He quietly left the room, leaving the others bewildered. Cynthia shot Aaron's retreating back a concerned look before turning to Flint in confusion. Flint, in turn, slumped his shoulders dejectedly; he was only trying to help move his plan along and instead managed to accidentally destroy it. He had spent a long time devising his plan, but unfortunately, the best laid plans oft go awry.
Lucian went down to the kitchen every night at approximately eleven o'clock to get a cup of tea and unwind; Cynthia was counting on this in order to salvage Flint's original plan. She had enlisted the help of Bertha to put the plan back on course. The old woman was, if nothing else, wise; she had had a suspicion about Aaron's and Lucian's feelings much before Flint and Cynthia did. When the blonde girl told Bertha about the earlier events of the day, the two set out to fix Flint's prior mistake. Bertha didn't blame Flint because the redhead really did mean well. He, along with the two women, just wanted Aaron and Lucian to be happy.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Lucian said softly as he entered the room, "I didn't realize you two were here." He had turned to leave when Cynthia grabbed his arm and directed him toward the table. Bertha smiled kindly and began boiling a pot of water. "Is something the matter?" Lucian asked when he felt Cynthia's intense gaze on him.
"What's going on with you and Aaron?" Cynthia asked. No more beating around the bush. She was here to get answers and she wasn't going to waste any time with pleasantries. Lucian sighed gloomily at the mention of Aaron's name. "You like him; he likes you. What's the problem?"
"Cynthia, there's no way he could like someone like me. I'm much too quiet for someone vivacious like him and I'm too old for him. I'm three and a half, almost four, years older than him. It's a lost cause." Lucian shook his head despondently. He refused to get his hopes up and believe that Aaron would return his feelings. He had spent too much time convincing himself otherwise.
"Dear, there's a six year difference between my husband and myself and we'll have been married for fifty years in a few days. So don't you give me any of this nonsense that you're too old for him." Bertha chided gently. "And haven't you ever heard that opposites attract? You two draw out the best in each other. Why are so fighting against this so much? Just follow your heart, not your head." The elderly woman set down a cup of tea in front of the purple-haired man. Lucian took a small sip of the familiar tea; it was chamomile with a hint of lavender. The taste reminded him of Aaron; when the Bug Master was nervous during his first night at the Elite Four's castle, he had given the boy a cup of the same tea to quell his nerves.
"Why are you fighting so hard against your own happiness?" Cynthia asked quietly. Lucian kept his eyes trained on the cup of tea in front of him. He had spent his life listening to his head instead of following his heart. He was afraid to take the risk, to leap blindly into the unknown. Despite all of the wisdom Lucian possessed, he wasn't able to take his own advice and follow his heart.
"Honey, life is about taking risks," Bertha told Lucian sagely. "We all took a risk in trying to get here and look how it ended. We're all members of the Sinnoh Pokémon League. None of us would have gotten here if we didn't take the risk in trying, including you. You took a risk once; now take another and follow your heart boy. You'll never know what's out there until you try."
"And if it's rejection that's waiting for me?" Lucian asked softly. Both women were surprised at the male's sudden vulnerability. He was always the calm and aloof one of the group; he was never unsure about anything.
"Then you have to ask yourself, is Aaron worth the risk?" Cynthia replied lightly. There was no doubt in Lucian's mind that the young male was definitely worth the risk. The blonde took Lucian's silence as a good sign and continued. "Then I think we all know what you need to do. Make the both of yourselves happy and stop fighting your heart. Listen to what it's telling you and go for it."
"Thank you." Lucian murmured graciously. He drained the rest of his tea and quietly excused himself.
"Do you think everything will work out?" Cynthia asked the old woman. Bertha smiled sagely in reply.
"My dear, I've been around the block many more times than you have and I have learned one thing for sure, that true love will always find a way."
"Over and under…and oh I give up." Aaron mumbled to the mangled mess of a tie. He never liked wearing one of those "fabric traps of death" as Flint put it and wondered how Lucian could wear one everyday. "Hey Flint, can you help me with this?" The boy held up his sad excuse for a tie.
"Don't look at me. I never learned how to tie one of those things. I always get Lucian to do it for me." Flint replied. Just as the redhead spoke Lucian's name, said man appeared. "Oh hey Lucian, do you mind helping our poor tangled friend here?" Aaron couldn't even pretend to have it under control; his hands were currently intertwined with the tie. Lucian smiled sympathetically and began to detangle the boy's hands.
"You know tying a tie is pretty simple. I don't know how the both of you have such trouble with it." The purple-haired male chuckled as he started making a knot. Aaron blushed and ducked his head in an attempt to hide the reaction. "Alright, you're done." The boy's face flushed deeper when he felt Lucian's warm breath ghost his ear.
"Okay guys, the guests are beginning to arrive so we should head out to the ballroom." Cynthia popped her head in the doorway. As they followed Cynthia out to the ballroom, Aaron couldn't help but be amused by her choice of a dress. The dress was black and the pattern resembled an Umbreon; it was typical Cynthia attire.
Once they entered the ballroom, they found a few familiar faces. Bertha was standing with her husband, both of them smiling at each other lovingly. The Elite Four from Hoenn, Kanto and Johto, plus their Champions, were there along with a few of the gym leaders from each of the three regions. DJ Mary from Johto was in charge of music for the night and had already begun playing songs. Aaron went straight to the dance floor, moving along to the fast beat. Despite all of his prior nervousness, he was the life of the party. The boy had a natural sense of rhythm and moved as gracefully as the bug Pokémon he was famous for training. Lucian preferred to watch during the fast dances; he didn't possess the same rhythm that Aaron did. Nor was he like Flint, who could get away with dancing uncoordinatedly.
"Okay everyone," DJ Mary's voice rang out through the speakers. "It's time to slow it down before we cut the cake." Lucian heard the sound of a violin through the speakers and turned toward Bertha. The old woman had a mischievous spark in her eye as she went to dance with her husband. The Psychic Master surveyed the people around him. Cynthia was dancing with one of the Champions of a different region; he knew she was going to get interrogated about that the next morning at breakfast. Flint was on what Lucian believed to be his seventh partner of the night. He even caught a glimpse of Volkner dancing with a redhead. Lucian smiled when his eyes found who he was looking for: Aaron standing against the wall. Mustering up his courage, he walked over to the green-haired boy.
"Would you do me the honor of dancing with me?" Lucian asked politely. Aaron's face broke into a large grin and he grabbed the outstretched hand eagerly. The two slipped into the familiar positions they had practiced for the last few weeks with Lucian leading. The two spun around the dance floor gracefully while the soft music played. In spite of everything that had happened during the last few weeks, the pair was extremely comfortable with each other; they fit into each other's arms perfectly. Aaron looked up at his partner and smiled warmly.
"Thanks for dancing with me Luci-" Aaron was cut up by Lucian's lips pressing against his. The kiss was soft and slow and the contact sent an electric shock through both of the males. The older male nipped at Aaron's lower lip, asking for entrance. He opened his mouth and Lucian slid his tongue in, exploring the younger boy's mouth. Once air became a necessity they broke off the kiss to hear loud cheering. The pair looked over to see the cheers and whistling coming from Flint. Even Cynthia and Bertha were clapping softly. The older male rolled his eyes good-naturedly; it looked like Cynthia wouldn't be the only one getting interrogated in the morning. He'd skip breakfast to avoid the questioning, but it wasn't worth getting Bertha angry for missing one of her meals.
"So does this mean we're…?" Aaron trailed off unsurely. Lucian smiled and gave the boy a soft kiss.
"Yes." Lucian replied warmly. Aaron wrapped his arms around taller man's neck happily and pulled him for another kiss.
Okay, I've never really written a detailed kissing scene before so hopefully I did well. The ending was pretty much all fluff, enough to make your teeth rot from the sweetness. As for who Cynthia was dancing with, I'm going to leave that up to you. You've got a lot of choices for other Champions. I haven't really decided who I like Cynthia best with, hence the reason it's still up in the air. I'm personally not a fan of Ignitionshipping, but if you want, you can consider the "seventh partner" of Flint's to be Volkner and the redhead Volkner was dancing with as Flint. I prefer Energyshipping, but it works out either way because Roark and Flint both have red hair. Lucky coincidence huh?
So yeah, I'd love some feedback on this. Flames will be fed to my Houndour (I need to evolve him...I love Houndooms). I'll give bonus points to anyone who can tell me where the line "the best laid plans oft go awry" came from.