Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon.

Author's Notes: For RawkstarVienna, who is the epitome of awesomeness when it comes to writing fifth generation stories!

Social Experimentations

Cheren's POV

Despite what my worrisome parents thought of my distant behaviour, I was content. I was satisfied with my simple, slow-paced, lazy life here in Kanoko Town. I liked spending my days in the house, reading my many books or doing research on Pokemon, and when it was nice outside, I enjoyed doing so with the breeze in my face and hair. I was not lonely. I had friends. Be it only two, I still did. And although I was perfectly pleased with how my life was going at the moment, my parents were not. They wanted their son to be social and out there in the world, and when I objected, they only pushed me further. I knew that they did it out of love, but I only had so much patience, and Black and White knew that.

I was only young when some of their first efforts to mould me into a social butterfly were attempted. I was eight years old, to be exact. A new girl, named Belinda or Beatrix or something along the lines of that, had moved to town. Because Kanoko Town was so small, news of an impending arrival was passed around quickly, and before even a week of me finding out, our little tucked-away village was buzzing with excitement. White couldn't wait for another girl to play with, and Black was just generally happy for a new friend. I, however, was unimpressed. I could deal with a new neighbour, but when my parents dragged me over to their house the day after they moved in, I couldn't help but huff attitudinally. I had heard that Belinda or whoever was a very chatty, bubbly girl from unreliable sources - not someone who I knew I would get along with. My mother told me that that was pish-posh and that I hadn't even met her yet, and to criticize her without doing so was hypocritical for someone as analytical as myself. Protest as I might, only being eight years old, my argument wasn't very valid in my parents' view, and so before the sun was even at high noon in the sky, they had me done up and standing in front of new neighbours' front door. For added torture, my mother had made a batch of cookies as a welcoming gift, and put them in a basket which she made me hold.

With a rata-tat-tat on the door by my father's fist, the door flew open, and I was so taken aback that I squeaked and almost dropped the cookies. "Well, hiya!" said a little girl in front of me, a huge grin on her rosy pink face. I could only blink at her, holding the basket in front of me as a defensive.

My mother gave me a look, before patting my shoulder. "Hello," she smiled back at the… girl, before ushered me forward. "We thought we'd welcome you and your family to the neighbourhood."

"Are those cookies?" I cocked an eyebrow at her distracted expression, staring down at the basket full of them in my arms. When I didn't offer them to her, my mother pushed me forward again, to which I gave a grunt of stubborn protest. I didn't want to be here.

"…Here," I shoved the basket at her, looking away defiantly.

"Thanks!" she grabbed it without any hesitation, and screamed to her mother and father to come out and greet us. I gave her a look of detest, crossing my arms and sneering, but she was too engrossed in the cookies to notice. Her parents then walked into the room, both blonde and brighter-looking than the sun - obviously, the girl was her parents' daughter.

"Why, hello," said her mother with a smile so bright that rivalled the little girl's. "How nice of you to visit! Oh," she looked down at her daughter, who had crumbs everywhere and was still rummaging through the basket. She gave her mother a grin before helping herself again. Her mother sighed, before continuing, "you brought cookies - but Bel here seems to be enjoying that just fine all by herself." Disconnecting herself from her husband, whom she had been standing beside with am arm wrapped around him, she walked towards us and extended a hand friendlily. "I'm Wendy."

"And I'm Samuel," her husband stepped forward to join her. Motioning to his daughter, he said, "and this is our pride and joy, Bel." As if on command, the blonde girl jumped up and smiled, wiping her mouth off with her hand and her hand on her baby blue dress. How charming.

"Yep, that's me," she pointed her thumb to herself proudly. She wasn't a modest one, I found.

"I'm Hannah and this is Kenneth," my mother introduced herself and my father, and before I even knew what was happening, Wendy and Samuel had invited them into for morning coffee, and I was left alone with her.

"What's your name? You're awfully quiet, you know," she spoke to me as she bent down to retrieve the basket of cookies, munching all the while of waiting for an answer from me. It was a question, obviously enough, and plain and innocent - if she hadn't made the comment afterwards. It irked me when people, especially ones I barely knew, pointed out things like my abnormal tendency not to constantly speak my mind outright. I knew I was quiet; I didn't need strangers to point out such an obvious fact for me. Besides, I got enough of that from my parents - I didn't need it from some ditzy blonde I'd just met, as well.

"My name is Cheren," I told her, crossing her arms.

"And mine's Bel!" she told me cheerily.

I resisted the urge to face-palm, and instead calmly reminded her, "You're parents already specif- said that that." I had to remember that most eight year olds weren't as smart as I was.

"Oh, right. Silly me!" she waved it off dismissively before running up to me and taking my hand. "Let's play now!" At that, she yanked me up her staircase towards her room, giving me no time to protest against her actions, and I was surprised she didn't rip my entire arm out of its socket with the enthusiasm she was generating. I could tell that this was going to a long day for me.

Later that week, she met White, and the two instantly became inseparable - probably because White had had only Black and I growing up, but we were sufficient, weren't we? I thought so. I begrudgingly allowed Bel to join in our activities until she became a certified member of our little group, by unanimous decision between White and Black, me being the one who didn't vote for her to be "in" with us. Eventually I realized, somewhere along the line, that she didn't bother me as much as I first remembered and that I genuinely began to like spending time with her. How odd.

As the years passed, she became more tolerable, a friend in the slightest even, but that was only after being forced to hang around her. Soon, we were all hormonal teenagers, and my parents were now not pushing me socially so much as romantically. They wanted me to get a girlfriend, and suggested either White or Bel. I rejected the idea of White - I just didn't see her that way and besides, Black clearly liked her. And as for Bel? There wasn't a chance in hell! They had forced us to be friends, and that was all that was coming out of our… er, relationship.

To please them, I began to express interest in Makomo, Professor Araragi's assistant. She was a few years older than me, and was clumsy and adorable - something I had gotten used to around Bel - but loved to research things despite this, and so I decided to pursue her. We got along well, I found, and before long, we were going on the occasional dinner date every other weeknight. But somehow, I wasn't convinced that we could be more.

To add more onto this, I was creeping around behind my friends' backs about it. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I didn't want them to know. But one day, Bel came over to my house with out any forewarning, just after I had finished taking Makomo out one night. I was standing on my front porch talking with her, when all of a sudden, she kissed me. When she gazed at me with her big blue eyes, I saw that expectant gleam in them. But I was hesitant - I didn't know if I wanted to start anything serious with her. At first I had, but that was just to please my parents, but now? I didn't think so. "Goodnight, Makomo," I sighed, and her fixed stare on me finally broke, being replaced by a hurt one. "I'll see you tomorrow." We parted at that, and I was just about to enter my house when Bel jumped out of nowhere.

"AHA!" I flew around to see her standing there, a triumphant smile on her face with her index finger thrust out of me. My usually organized mind began to fly out of control - she had found out. "So THIS is why you've been sneaking around lately!"

"I… uh… no. I was just… we had some business to discuss over the evolution of Chiramii," I tried to wrack my brain for something good, but that was the best I could come up with. I quickly learned that I did not think well while under pressure.

"Uh-huh, sure," she smirked smugly at me, coming out from behind her hiding spot completely and walking towards to me, arms crossed. "So what information did you guys discover, hm?"

Damn. She backed me into a corner with my own words. "Be quiet, Bel. Just be quiet about it," I pleaded with her. Great, now I was being reduced to actually beg to this girl.

"Why? Why don't you want anyone to know?" She couldn't comprehend that maybe I didn't want everyone in town talking about my love life quite yet, especially when something serious might not even come of it. I gave her a dark look, the light above me making me look even more threatening. "Okay, I will," she sighed and gave me a distant, almost saddened, look - one I could not myself comprehend - and began to walk away. "You know, I really don't understand you sometimes, Cheren."

"Not many people do," I told her before entering my house, leaving her behind to enter her own.

From then on, Bel used Makomo against me every situation she could. And I thought we were friends, in the least. One day, all four of us were hanging out, when Black and White announced that they had gotten together, and Bel made a remark about how "they weren't the only ones". Well, that was uncalled for! I pulled her off to the side at that - I was done with her and her attitude towards my personal business.

"What was that for?" I tried to maintain my usually calm composure instead of yelling.

"Why don't you just tell them that you and Makomo are an item?" Bel countered, "it's not that big of a deal."

"To you, maybe it isn't, but to me, it is!" I defended my argument.

"If you actually think that this isn't a big deal to me, Cheren, then you don't know me at all," Bel crossed her arms and with that said, walked back towards the happy new couple. As she passed me, I saw a tear fall down her face, and grabbed her hand to stop her as realization hit me.

"B-Bel, I'm sorry, I didn't know." In all my life, I never remembered apologizing to someone, or stammering while doing so. This girl was slowly and unknowingly breaking down all the perfection that I had accumulated myself with throughout the years.

"Well, now you do," she ripped her hand out of my and put on a big fake smile as she returned to Black and White, congratulating them as she did so.

And never in my life had I ever felt so guilty.

For the sake of White and Black, we acted as we did before, but were more cold and aloof with each other when forced to interact. Whereas she was usually talkative and peppy, she was now just bitter to me - but I knew that that was all my fault for not realizing her interest in me sooner. But it's not like she ever threw any hints my way, right? …Wrong, even I knew that.

A few weeks later, guilt riding at that back of my head ever since Bel indirectly confessed her feelings for me, I broke whatever it was that I had with Makomo off. She was okay with it, saying that she saw the way Bel looked at me and that I was crazy not to have seen it sooner. I took a few more days to myself to try to sort out my feelings for Bel. Just because I didn't like Makomo like that and just because Bel confessed that she did like me, didn't mean that I liked her as anything more than a friend. And, as every good researcher knows, it's only through experimentation that you get your desired results.

Hopping up from my bed, my mind was jumbled with many questions of "what-ifs?" and "this or that's". I had never been so disorganized in my entire life, but I was going to do it regardless. Running outside, I didn't stop when my parents asked me what was wrong, I just looked around before making my way out to a field that all four of us used to play on when we were younger. And just as I thought, Bel was sitting on the ground, her head lazily resting on her knees. I slowed down as I neared her, and standing a few feet away, started with a simple, "Hey."

She didn't turn to acknowledge me, but I sat down beside her anyway. "Did I invite you to sit with me?" she asked, giving with a side-glare.

"Last time I checked you didn't own this field," I retorted hastily.

"Actually, technically, I do. Remember, when we were 10? We found this field and the cave not too far from here." I nodded, signally I remembered. She continued, "remember how you said that you wanted to be 'the master' of both of them?" Another nod. "And how I said we could each have one to 'own'? Well, I distinctly remember getting ownership of this field, whereas you became 'the master' of the cave."

Ah, I did remember all of that. Damn. "You know, you're really good at doing that," I told her, staring at the sunset and not making eye contact with her when she cocked her head at me.

"At what?" her green eyes were blinking.

"Proving me wrong. And not many people can prove me wrong," I answered with a haughty smile.

"Right," she returned it. We were quiet after that for a long time, until the sun was just barely shining over the mountains, and the sky was stained with a mix of deep purples and bright reds.

"Why did you come here, Cheren?" she asked after a painfully long moment.

"I… I wanted to try something out, an experiment of mine. But I need your help," I told her, my stomach doing flip-flops inside of me as I spoke of my 'experiment'.

"Why don't you ask Black or White? I'm sure anyone would be better suited than me," she whispered, hugging her knees tightly.

"The problem is, White already has a boyfriend," I took one of her hands in mine at that, and scooted closer to her. She didn't look at me, but I heard her whimper, and so removed my hand from hers and wrapped it around her shoulders. Soon, the sun finished setting, and the Volbeat and Illumise began to fly out and around us, singing to each other. Eventually, Bel worked up the courage to remove her face from her knees, and looked up into my dark eyes, which were glowing with the light the Volbeats and Illumises were emanating. In turn, her pretty green eyes were sparkling with unshed tears and the light reflecting upon them. I brushed one away with my hand the second it fell. My eyes alternated from looking at her eyes to her trembling lips, and before I knew it, I was leaning down to conduct my experimentation.

When our lips connected, I knew I had made the right choice by taking the plunge. The kiss needn't be anything too profound - soft and steady was key here. When we parted, her eyes were looking at me in a dreamy, trance-like state, causing me to go tomato red. She giggled at my expression, and I knew we were going to be all right at hearing the sound of her laughter again. "I like you, Bel," I whispered in her ear, my mouth sensually close as I said it.

"I like you, too, Cheren," she snaked an arm around my waist. I was glad that she didn't bring Makomo up. "So…" she trailed after a long while passed, "what was this experiment you needed help with?"

"It's already being conducted as we speak," I informed her with a knowing smile, pulling a hand threw her blonde locks after removing her green and white beret.

"And how is it turning out?" she asked with a smile, catching on.

"The results are positive ones so far," I answered, before I leaned down to capture her mouth in mine again. For once, I was not concerned with the ultimate outcome of our newfound relationship - I just wanted to live in the moment with her.


Author's Notes: My first ever Bel/Cheren one-shot, and I'm quite happy with the outcome for once.

'Til next time!