Title: Almost Perfect
Series: Pokémon
Character/pairing: Candice/Maylene
Rating: PG
Author's note: OTP 30 days - holding hands. Based on Platinum gameverse, not manga verse.

For Lin's birthday, hella late, sorry.

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It was supposed to be a great time, just the two of them—well, just the two of them and their pokémon—Maylene felt like she was on display, and everyone was staring at her. Here is the wild lesbian in her natural habitat as she takes her mate to the local pokémon park.

Candice's Frosslass was floating above them, nibbling on berries that her Sneasel had found as it surveyed the place in its own elegant way. Maylene's Lucario was on tiptoe, reaching for more berries from the large tree that just was behind the bench they were both sitting on.

"You're so nervous," Candice said.

"This is technically my first date," Maylene said. She rubbed at her cheek, almost dislodging the bandage in the process.

Candice reapplied the bandage. "But it's Ime/I. How can you be awkward around me, we've known each other so long? It hardly makes any different if we're kissing now."

Maylene flushed at that. She hadn't even gotten to the thought of kissing yet. It made her want to hug a pillow to her chest and maybe hide under a pillow. Or a bed. Or a bed of pillows. And it was so silly, she'd take a man on in the training dojo with no fear, but now in the bright light of day, she was full of these weird jitters, all caused by a cute, happy girl wearing an little frilly sky blue skirt and matching t-shirt with little white birds on it. Maylene knew from experience that Candice couldn't do a throw at all, let alone a guy twice her size, though she could knock Maylene flat with just a smile.

Wait, was that cheesy? Now she was sounding like some bad greeting card. Maylene caught her hand before she could rub at her cheek again. She might be good at punching things, but she was no good at this dating thing.

"It's easy, see," Candice said. She moved Maylene's hand and entwined her fingers right into it.

"Hand holding in three easy steps. Anyways, It's not like people are going to complain. And if they do, you'll beat them up. I've seen you fight, you can bring big, beefy guys to their knees, and not just with your pokémon battling skills."

"It's not that," Maylene said. "I'm not afraid of that."

"Then what is it?" Candice said.

"...What if I mess up? I mean..."

Maylene cleared her throat. She couldn't bring herself to voice the fear.

"Honestly, do you think I'm going to dump you because you're a sloppy kisser?"

She didn't even want to imagine being dumped or breaking up. Candice was her best friend, the thought of breaking apart with someone she loved this much felt like the air was being knocked out of her. It must have showed on her face, because Candice wrapped her up in a hug, all while not letting go of her hand. Which was some feat that left them kind of awkward and tangled up.

"Aww, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to make you sad. We're gonna last forever and be best girlfriends until we're both old and wrinkly. I'm sure of it. On hundred percent. No, one thousand percent."

"I just...um, don't know what to do. Am I supposed to be the boy? And I...don't even know what to...do."

She blushed at this, unable to even say the words.

"I don't know, I don't think either of us are the boy," Candice said with a wry smile. She laid her head on Maylene's shoulder, and held tight to her hand. It was so nice, a perfect sunny day with couples walking with their pokémon. Maybe a little too sunny, come to think of it. Maylene's heart was beating even faster than on the day of her first competition. Candice felt so nice and soft, and yet all she could think was that she was sweaty, and it had to be gross holding her hand like that.

"My hand is sweating," Maylene said.

"Huh, it is."

Candice let go for a moment and wiped her palm on her skirts. Then she pulled out a pair of delicate white gloves with blue pom-poms sewed to the wrist.

"There! No sweat," Candice said.

She smiled at the dumb joke, and Maylene smiled as well. Candice always found a way of making her feel better.

"Really, I think it's quite cute, you know? I didn't think you'd be such a blushing maiden."

"Candice!"

Candice laughed, and she felt a brush of her lips on her cheek. She felt a warm whisper in her ear which made her flush about the color of her hair. "I promise I'll be gentle...and never let you go."

Candice laughed again, until they found themselves pelted by berries. They both looked up to the faces of their impatient pokémon. None of the couples were watching them, as they were far more wrapped up in each other and their own lives to care about two girls out on a date.

"I think they're saying it's time to get going," Candice said.

Maylene pushed herself up off the bench, and Candice held out her gloved hand. She took it with a shy smile. A warmth, like safety, like home flooded over her. The nervousness didn't quite go away, but holding onto Candice's hand, it started to dissipate. Just a little bit, until they were just two girls, out on a date together.

With, of course, some assorted berry-throwing pokémon along for the ride.