Title: A Spot Of Tea
Author's note: Missing scene to Platinum game canon, because mangaverse Candice actually is an ice queen. fic_promptly: Author's choice, author's choice, a nice cup of tea. / cottoncandy_bingo: Worth it [wild card]. Filled in honor of Sara for winter holidays :D.
She almost collapses into Candice's arms when she reaches the door. It's been a very cold, long walk there, but it's so worth it now as the heat of her room comes over her.
Candice fusses over her, brushing away snow and pushing her to sit. She gets on her knees and rubs at Maylene's feet.
"Honestly, you're going to get frostbite like this!" Candice exclaims. She rubs Maylene's feet a little more.
"It's good training."
"It's not good training if you lose your feet in the process!"
"Aren't you glad that I'd brave the cold and the mountains to see you?" Maylene says, only half teasing.
"I suppose it is romantic," Candice says, with a mischievous smile. She kisses the top of Maylene's feet and leaves for a moment to check the kettle of boiling water.
Maylene looks at the room around her. Candice's house is nothing like the gym and its ice fields. The room is bright, filled with flowers and gingham and sunshine. There's a glittery picture frame of them right next to some flowers in a little shiny special flowerpot Maylene brought with her up from Veilstone city a couple years ago. Through the years she's brought up several flowers from Floaroma town, as gifts for Candice's little hothouse just off her house. It always feels tropical there, despite the weather, because of the specially treated cold-resistant window panes. Candice even keeps some grass pokémon back there, a bellossm and a bellsprout right with her orchids and daises. She doesn't train them, though. They're strictly pets that most people don't know about.
"Come on, now. Put your feet up."
Maylene does, and Candice guides her feet into the water. They tingle, and she twitches, her hands on her knees. It isn't painful, per se—well, it sort of is.
"I'll have tea ready for you in a minute," Candice calls back.
"Not with the same water?
Candice laughs. "Not with the feet water!"
She brings back two cups with flowers around the ring. Yellow sunflowers about Maylene's cup, and pink posies around Candice's.
The first sip of tea warms her inside. It reminds her of how she feels around Candice, like all the sunshine in the world has lodged inside her and everyone can hear the beating of her heart and feel the reflected warmth inside her. She associates Candice with the scent and taste of tea, and the feel of warming up from the cold.
"It's doesn't really look like an ice-type gym leader lives here, does it?" Candice says. Her hands are on her hips, and she surveys the room, all girlish softness. "Apparently I'd need more snowmen...and maybe a bed made of ice, and a blanket of angst and snow."
She contorts her face into a cold mask of agony. Maylene can't help but break a smile at this, little giggles slip out.
Candice smiles too, her facade melting away. "We're not typical gym leaders, now are we?"
Maylene looks down at herself, the shy female leader of a fighting type gym who hangs out with nothing but sweaty muscly men. "No, not at all," she says with a smile.
"That sounds real boring, to be honest," Candice says. "Look, I'm a hotheaded fire user, graaar!"
She mimics a charizard, clawing up at the air and breathing fire.
Maylene laughs so hard she almost slips from her seat. Candice rushes to steady her. "Be careful, now."
"Sorry," Maylene says. She has one over her mouth to stifle the giggles, but just looking at each other so serious they spill out until they're both laughing.
She hasn't laughed this hard in a while. Just being around Candice makes all these happy feelings tumble out until all her quiet, reticent ways seem a distant memory.
Candice climbs onto the couch and wraps her arms about her, and lays her head on Maylene's shoulder. "I'm glad you came, I missed you, you know."
Maylene rests her head against Candice's, and they just sit there, warm from tea and each other. Her feet don't hurt much, now. Either way, each painful step has been worth it to reach here. She has three new grass type pokémon for Candice's greenhouse in pokéballs at her belt, and a wealth of stories to tell, but it can wait. She's closed up her gym for the week, but with the way the weather is up here, who knows if that week will turn into two?
She can only hope.