She sat on the stairs to her porch, her cold breath visibly showing in the frosty air. It was Christmas morning, and she was very bored.
She already received her presents from her mother; a blue customized Poké Ball for her Samurott, plenty of Poké Dolls for her room, an assortment of Berries as gifts to her Pokémon and two free tickets to the Nimbasa Amusement Park. She had thanked her with a kiss on the cheek before checking to see who else was in town.
Hilbert's house had been empty for a few days, so she didn't even bother with his house. Hilbert and his family were on vacation in Undella Town.
She had asked Bianca's father if she was home, but he said that she was helping Professor Juniper and Fennel out with something at Fennel's lab in Striaton City and that she probably wouldn't be home until later.
She ended up drifting over to Cheren's house, even though she was positive that he wasn't home. He was the Gym Leader of Aspertia City and was probably busy, even on Christmas. She stood outside of his front door before shaking her head and making her way back home.
Now she watched admirably as the snow slowly made its way from the clouds to the ground, piling up quickly. She kicked bits of snow in front of her feet, instantly regretting it as her sneakers weren't the best type of footwear for this weather. She wasn't a fan of boots, so she didn't bother with it. She just always made sure to wear about three pairs of socks.
She sighed and glanced at her Xtransceiver, thinking about making a call to Rosa and seeing what she was doing. She had these amusement park tickets and figured she could hang out with a good friend to pass the time.
But she paused before clicking on Rosa's name to think back to Cheren. She had always wanted to go to the amusement park with him, but he was always busy. Even before becoming a Gym Leader, Cheren never had time to do anything but study and train for his license.
She thought back to a conversation they had a few months ago:
"Cheren, you're a Gym Leader now! Congrats!"
"But…is this going to take up a lot of your time as well? Hilbert, Bianca and I miss hanging out with you."
"Well, sure, I'll be pretty busy, but I should have some time off eventually. I'll definitely be sure to let you know."
But she had only talked to him once since then, and that was for her to wish him a Happy Birthday.
He's never going to take a break, is he? she questioned. She wished she wasn't so bothered by it, but she really missed him. It was a different feeling then when she wouldn't get to see Hilbert or Bianca for a long time. They were just really good friends of hers.
But Cheren…he…he was something else.
Her cheeks turned rosy at the thought.
It doesn't matter, she thought. He's too busy anyway. Asking him out would be pointless. She glanced back down at her Xtransceiver. Guess I better give Rosa a cal—
Her heart jumped at a deep, familiar voice. She didn't even want to turn her head, for fear that she was hearing things and that he wouldn't actually be standing there. But there wasn't a need for that, because he decided to step right in front of her.
"Hilda!" Cheren smiled to her, wearing his usual skinny jeans and polo shirt with the awkward looking tie. The only difference from his usual attire was that he was wearing a wool scarf. "It's so good to see you again."
She made a puzzled expression. "W-what are you doing here?"
"I finally have some time off, so I figured I'd visit," Cheren said, choosing to sit right next to her on the porch. "But I guess Bianca and Hilbert aren't around, are they? I'm just glad that you're here at least or else this trip would have been for nothing!"
She blinked at him curiously, still shocked that he was even here. Just a few minutes ago, she was complaining that he was much too busy to spend time with his friends, and now he was here.
…And she couldn't think of what to say.
"O-oh, yes," she chuckled nervously. "Sure I'm here. And I'm bored out of my mind."
"Sorry," Cheren said. "Can I be of any entertainment?"
Her heart was still beating pretty fast. She had liked him for quite some time, but never thought she could be honest about her feelings. She didn't want to be disappointed if he shot her down, or even if he did choose to go out with her for the simple fact that they would never be able to spend time with one another.
But she tried not to let it bother her. What would it matter anyway? They would still be friends no matter what, right? Or they would still be together, even if they hardly saw one another, right? All she wanted was more opportunities to talk to him or spend time with him. Maybe she could bring that up instead.
"Sure you can!" She fished through her pockets for something. "Here! My mom got these for me for Christmas." She held out the amusement park tickets to him.
"Oh, that's nice," Cheren said. "Well, would you like to go? I'm free for the rest of the day."
She smiled warmly. She couldn't contain her excitement. "Of course!"
He released his Braviary from its Poké Ball and the both of them hopped on, making their way toward Nimbasa City.
She thought of all the things they could talk about to catch up on. And of all the things, maybe she could tell him her true feelings on the infamous Ferris wheel.
But for now, she was content. She was just glad she could see him again. She wrapped her arms around him from behind and held on tight so that she wouldn't fall off the Pokémon.
This story is for my good friend the cantarella of odile. Please check out her fics, they're so fabulous!
Merry Christmas, everyone!