notes – My last fic was on White, Cheren and Bianca. This focuses on Black with the two friends, because I can imagine Black getting pushed around by Bianca and Cheren a whole lot, haha. It's a little crackish but I honestly enjoyed writing it, so I hope you like it as well.

the feeling you get when your best friend asks you to set her up with your other best friend

"Do you think I have – um – small breasts?" Bianca asks one day when they are lounging in Straiton's café and Black is utterly unprepared for the force of the 'b' word paired with the 's' word.

The innocence in her voice is insufficient to neutralise the contents of the question. He leaps with a sharp inhale and chokes on his hot chocolate – half-unintentional, half-desperate to stall for time to strategize an escape route.

However, Bianca's already using the pleading look she's mastered over their childhood, and it would be silly for Black to assume he'd be able to get away from this unscathed. He grabs a napkin to wipe off the lingering stains on his favourite jacket before seating himself back into the booth they're sharing, tight-lipped and very cautious.

"Was that too sudden?" Bianca smiles in apology. "It's just been on my mind lately, and I didn't really know how to phrase it in a pleasant-sounding way."

Black sips his cup with intense focus, keeping his eyes glued to the bread crumbs on the table and most certainly nowhere near her orange vest.

"Black?" The girl waves a hand to catch his attention. He looks up and nods to show that he's listening to her, but he isn't quite able to look her in the eyes right now because it's Bianca. While it's true that he's always sneaked a casual peek at her chest and maybe her waist and maybe elsewhere, he can't process thinking of her that way. And he doesn't know how to answer her – if he says they're small, she'll be torn and shattered, but if he tells her they're not, she'll be violated and offended – it's a stalemate bigger than that time when he had to choose between helping N and fighting him.

If only Cheren were here to save him from Bianca's weird, unexplained 'girl' tendencies.

"You know, because, about Cheren," her voice lingers and the colour of her face would put a tomata berry to shame.

"I've noticed, he hardly stares here – " she gestures wildly in the air around her midriff and Black has to avert his eyes, "compared to the number of times you do."

He thinks he should defend himself or at least come up with a poor excuse, but the conversation has him overwhelmed. All he intends to do is finish his drink and train his pokémon in the comfort of the deepest, darkest cave. Why was she comparing him to Cheren anyway? Why was she so concerned about Cheren's attention there –


Bianca grins with relief as she sees the realization unravel across his face. "Good, I was afraid you wouldn't catch on. It would be so embarrassing to say that I like Cheren," she quipped, before processing her own words and returning to her previous state of rosy cheeks and self-conscious hands.

"S-so I was wondering if you could… help me?"


"What about Bianca' s – urgh – assets?" Cheren demands to know. Black tips the bill of his cap so that he can avoid that deathly stare and admittedly amusing red face.

"Unlike you, Black, I have a good sense of decency," the bespectacled boy points out while he folds his hands. "I know how to behave around females very well thank you, so I have no opinion to share with you," he continues, tone reprimanding. Black just wants to ask his mienfoo to dig up a hole in the ground for him to leap into and curl up until he was ready to emerge, renewed and most certainly not haunted by Cheren's chiding and Bianca's nonsensical pleas for help.

"Besides, Bianca's beauty doesn't lie in her physical state, it's her heart and her passion as a trainer, don't you think so?" The boy cups his chin with a thoughtful hand.

The teasing smirk that spreads across Black's face is entirely involuntary.

"Why are you looking at me like that? I didn't intend for those words to come out that way!" Cheren argues, livid and flustered. Black just waves a hand and lets laughter tumble out of his mouth, reveling in the sight of his friend's rare vexation.

"He said that? Really?" Bianca asks with a ridiculously big smile on her face.

She shifts, getting up from her seat under the shade of the tree onto her hands and legs. Black has to stretch out one arm to ensure that she doesn't get too close to him – she was a disaster begging to happen when she was drunk on her own mounting hopes. The girl just nudges his hand aside with her shoulder and closes in on him until her arm is brushing his.

"What do we do now?" she wonders, settling down next to him and chaining him to her side by establishing a firm grip on his arm with one small hand.

Since when had it become 'we'? Black grumbles but listens as she tries to devise the next plan of action.

"What do I think of Bianca?" Cheren raises an eyebrow.

Black nods with a solid composure, glued together with Bianca's constant pestering and the burning question of whether Cheren actually possessed any capability of affection in his body.

"What can I think of her?" the boy replies, voice terse. "She's a klutz and air-headed and so worrying, we've had to take care of her ever since we were kids, and even now she can't travel around without having her pokémon getting kidnapped." Cheren is kind of just rambling at this point, and Black knows that he shouldn't interrupt the boy when he's rambling. He thinks that the pokémon-napping case had been a long time ago, probably a few months back – Bianca had learned from the frightful incident, she'd grown and changed for the better and Cheren was just being so tough on her, the poor girl.

"But she's also kind and patient, I suppose." Cheren huffs. His brow is creased and he seems to be spending quite a bit of effort thinking about her.

"Anyway, that isn't the case." He brushes the thought aside with the flick of a wrist.

"Let's have a battle while you're here," he challenges, and Black agrees with a smile.

During the duel, Cheren's mind seemed fixated on something apart from the fight their pokémon were engaged in, but Black didn't call him out.

"Alright, it's time to get serious," Bianca says with a nod, her focus sending chills down his spine.

"Since Cheren's pretty dense, we have to be straightforward with this!" She takes extra care when she pulls Black's ear, preventing him from walking away from his own seppuku.

"No, I have never considered kissing Bianca!" Cheren nearly shrieks.

He storms off down through a questionable dark tunnel, leaving Black standing at the end of Victory Road, a little disappointed that they wouldn't be having a match that day.

"Cheren's a tough one, isn't he?" Bianca frowns.

Black buries his face in his hands.

"All these irksome questions about Bianca – something's going on, right?" Cheren glares at him with countless accusations.

Black just turns and retreats.

"Don't worry Black, we still have Plan G!" Bianca pats him on the back, her other hand clenched in a determined fist. Black just sighs and turns to her and rests his hands on her shoulder.

He gives her a gratuitous shake to get her attention.

It was time for them to stop using her cluttered ideas and let him handle the matchmaking process. The sooner this was over and done with, the sooner he could just leave Bianca and Cheren to their own exhausting issues and have some much-needed 'alone' time.

He finds the ideal clump of bushes to hide in: it has ample leaves to conceal him and a miniscule amount of sharp branches. The silence of his spying is constantly punctured by armies of footsteps across the pavement, all coming from the crowds of people drifting in and out of the quaint amusement park of Nimbasa. A few of them aren't very considerate, littering their snack wrappers and empty plastic cups onto his head or at the ground near his face.

Black just inhales and calms himself and endures – he's the hero of the region, surely he can withstand greater challenges than this (he could say he has, but the more he thinks about it, the more the task at hand seems riskier than when he had battled Reshiram). The leaves rustle as he turns his head to the meeting spot he'd arranged with Cheren and Bianca – Cheren's already standing near the gate of the pokémon gym, hands in his pockets, shifting his weight from one leg to the other. He's five minutes early.

Bianca is five minutes late.

She staggers and apologises to the people she's bumped into before skidding to a halt beside the surprised Cheren. Cheren looks alarmed, his eyes widening because well – Black hadn't exactly told him the truth when he said that he'd wanted to meet up with Cheren for a battle in Nimbasa.

All minor details, Cheren would forgive him later – hopefully.

Bianca beams at him after she's done catching her breath, lacing her fingers together as she begins making light conversation. Black is too far away to hear what they're conversing about, but close enough to watch Bianca bat her eyelashes excessively. He snorts under his hand. Cheren just stares at her like she's got a serious twitch, and he places a hand on her arm and interrupts her mid-sentence – probably to ask if her eyelids were in good condition.

The girl flushes and nods and reaches out to hold his hand. She starts marching them towards the ferris wheel, just as Black had advised her to do.

Cheren wriggling and snatching his hand out of hers had not been predicted, Black chews his lip with concern. Bianca is a great deal less shocked than him. Instead, she chooses to chuckle and apologise for touching him without his permission, before carrying on walking. The tension in Black's shoulders ease, and he awes at how strong Bianca is, and how she looks rather captivating when she's smiling with that sturdy curve of her lips.

The crowd spilling out of the grounds pushes Bianca and Cheren further away from each other, and Cheren sighs with exasperation as he grabs onto her hand to keep her close. Black allows himself to pump a fist and cheer Bianca on in his head, appreciating that fact that he's out of everyone's sight.

Black extracts himself from the bushes once Cheren and Bianca are high above in a carriage of the ferris wheel. He edges close to the operator of the ride and gets his attention – the guy has always been a devoted fan of his battles at the ferris wheel, and he was so chatty.

As Black maintains conversation with the middle-aged man, his emboar lumbers up from behind and cranks the lever down, bringing the ride to a halt. He cranes his head to watch the cars lurch back and forth in midair. Black imagines Bianca falling gracefully into Cheren's embrace, and they'll share an intimate moment and realise their burning passion for one another and when they get down they'll go off on a proper date and marry and have kids and leave him alone.

Ah, romance.

"What's happening?" the operator yells, staring up at the fire-type pokémon towering over them.

Black throws his hands in the air and winks at his accomplice, the woman sitting on a nearby bench. She casts the newspaper aside and rushes over, her heels clicking on the walkway.

"Oh no. Your Pokémon. It is going wild!" Elesa throws her hands up.

Emboar follows suit and raises its claws, concentrating to produce the most terrifying grunt it can muster.

"Oh. No. We are doomed." The gym leader recites her lines, tugging on the elbow of the operator and urging him to run for the hills as Emboar spews a delicate stream of fire from one nostril.

Black has to give her props for trying.

After the operator realizes that Emboar is no more a threat than the baby sleeping in the pram down the street, he scolds Black and Elesa and pulls the lever, kicking the ferris wheel back to life. The gym leader smiles, apparently having found enjoyment out of the failed scheme and her sub-par acting skills. The whole panic lasted for only two minutes, which wasn't even a fraction of the time Black wanted to keep his friends hanging up there. He'd wanted to go and have dinner without Cheren calling him to battle or Bianca appearing on the seat opposite him for once.

Still, he retains his optimism as the operator unlocks the door and the two of them step out – he expects to see visual fireworks and candy-coated hearts. In the end, it's just Bianca with tears at the corners of her eyes and Cheren scowling.

"We knocked our heads," Bianca sniffs.

"And I'm pretty sure you pierced my eye with a finger," Cheren adds. And when he spots Black trying to blend with the nearest trash bin, he charges over with a tangible killing intent. "You were here all along weren't you? What were you planning to do?"

Black makes his getaway on Emboar's back.

"Could someone please enlighten me about what's been happening?" Cheren paces back and forth between Black and Bianca, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose.

Bianca tugs the sleeve of his jacket. "Could you explain you him? Please?" she asks with her sweetest voice.

Black has to remind her that he's supposed to be angry at her for getting him involved in this crazy performance. She looks betrayed, but accepts it with the sag of her shoulders. Cheren looms over them, arms crossed. Black gazes up and has to question why Bianca even likes him.

"Because," the girl clears her throat, "because of this."

She takes one step forward and Cheren takes one step back, the sequence continues until his back is against the wall of the Bianca's room and her lips are finally on his rogue-coloured cheek.

"... Oh…" Cheren squeaks.



"By the way Black," Cheren says after a battle one afternoon. He inches closer and and lowers his voice to a discreet whisper.

"… I think her assets are appropriately-sized."