AN: Wow, hello world of chaptered stories: I haven't seen you in awhile! Okay, So, I guess I will have to do some background to this. Iris is about twenty-one or older, Shannon being the same age as her. Cilan is going to be about twenty-four or so. Slightly AU? The triplets aren't gym leaders and have never been, so Iris doesn't recognize him by name. Iris isn't gym leader yet, but in the training to accept the gym from Drayden sometime in the future. Fun right? You are going to have to tell him how this is and if you want more. School is starting up and I want something to be here to keep me busy when I have nothing else to do so. Now get reading!
"Matchmaking Services: Accepting Hopeless Cases."
The newspaper that is rudely thrown towards Iris has an article that is highlighted in a bright yellow color. "You," Shannon says; she has changed after finding her most recent boyfriend, and in addition to him, she has a promotion: now she is in managerial work. Can't afford to be shy in that type of business. Iris snorts from her reclined position on the couch and mutes the television as though she is expecting more from Shannon. She isn't let down: "You need to stop bumming off of me, alright? I understand that you are a free spirit and your job doesn't pay much, but I'm not your live-in, walking moneybag, Iris. You've got to grow up a little bit. It will be good for you to find someone who has something in common with you. Possible husband even: some people need matchmakers because they are looking in the wrong places, like that bag of chips: no man is down there, I promise."
"Hey," Iris bolts upright, sputtering through a full mouth, "I am working on paying you back, Shannon. I know it has been slow, but..."
Interrupting her, her dark purple haired friend crosses her arms as her eyes soften immensely, "Iris, the money isn't the only reason: it isn't the main reason even. I want to see you happy and right now, you seem to be lonely. I worry about you," there is a lapse wherein Iris blankly stares at her lap, "What do you want for dinner? I was thinking about ordering takeout?"
Iris nods in silent agreement, "Get me the usual then." Shannon disappears with their landline in her hand and several minutes later reemerges to the living room. She sits down on the other side of the couch. As soon as Shannon sits, Iris tosses the newspaper across the room to the joined kitchen. "Professional: what if she isn't?"
"What can it hurt?" Shannon shrugs, picking up the remote and taking the television off mute.
Her vision is bleary as she fumbles around to turn off her alarm, but it is just apart of the daily routine anymore. "Morning," she mumbles to the tusked Pokemon that is awake but curled up on the pillow next to her. Shannon is normally gone by now, but she will have coffee brewed and something warm for Iris to eat; Iris wouldn't know what to do without her, but she knows that the day she has to find another place to live is just on the horizon.
She drags her feet as she walks into the kitchen and looks on the fridge for the daily message from Shannon: "You are off work today. I've scheduled you a meeting with that Matchmaker. Meet her at noon. Afterwards, pick up MooMoo Milk at the store. Money on the counter." Iris groans aloud, turning quickly away from the fridge and reaching across the island to pour a cup of coffee. The sugar and cream are sitting on the counter and she puts them away after adding generous amounts of each. Inside of the toaster sits a bagel, so she takes it out and puts cream cheese on it before taking a bite from it. Shannon has yet to let her down.
"Now I have to shower and get dressed," Iris sighs, wiping a bit of cream cheese from the corner of her mouth before sitting down on a stool and pulling her cup of coffee towards her. Axew toddles atop the counter by her, but then notices that Shannon has already refilled his food dish and scampers over to it. "Hey, Axew, we are going to be heading out soon, 'kay?"
"Ax," he answers in understanding.
After Iris finishes her food, she downs the rest of her coffee: burning her tongue on the liquid. This causes a comical scene as she rushes to the faucet and turns it on thrusting her head below it to collect the coldness. She relishes it for only a moment because this is only a quick fix and as soon as she pulls her head away from the faucet, her tongue throbs in protest.
Pouting, Iris heads for the shower, but not before tossing a washcloth at a guffawing Axew.
"My hair!" Iris whines, looking into the mirror at her hopelessly messy hair. Well, this morning did not seem like it was on her side in the slightest. "I could mix those berries we have... and then I would be able to shape it, but..." Chancing a look at the clock: 12:03 PM.
Quickly, Iris runs out of the bathroom and, grabbing Axew on the way, dashes out the door; no matter how much she doesn't want to meet with this "professional matchmaker," Iris does not fail to meet appointments Shannon has made for her.
The streets of Opelucid are packed today since it is Mayor Drayden's birthday and normally festivities are carried out. Iris makes a note to herself to stop by Drayden's house and drop off something. "Excuse me!" She squeaks, barely dodging a mother walking hand-in-hand with her daughter. The newspaper says that the matchmaker is only in town today and will be located on the main road. It takes Iris only seconds to turn onto the main road and scour both sides for something out of the ordinary.
There's a man selling lava cookies: "Fresh from Hoenn!" However, Iris is looking for a female that isn't selling baked goods, probably older than her and perhaps very out of place here in Opelucid, considering she drifts from city to city. Down a couple stalls, there is a woman who is reading palms, and even further down there is a girl about her age with hard, interested eyes as she examines all the passersby. Something in her gut tells her that this unpleasant looking girl is her matchmaker, so now her pace is slowed in apprehension as she begins her short trek towards her.
"Hello?" She inquires, approaching her even slower. This girl turns her eyes to her and it seems like she is going to chastise her, but instead she holds her tongue and waves Iris into her tent, thinking better of scolding her only customer today. In here, it is secluded: semi-private, but no one is going to be sticking their head into the tent randomly: Opelucid isn't that type of place.
This girl turns towards her before taking a seat, "Iris, non? Sit, sit! We've got work to be done!" So, her matchmaker is... French? That's eccentric, she supposes, but she obeys and takes a seat across from her. Axew shyly peeks out from Iris's hair: which is still an impossible mess of tangles, to examine the stranger. "So... You are a "Helpless Case" according to your friend." She says, then gasps, "Wow, I've forgotten myself: Burgundy. Nice to meet you." She - Burgundy - extends and shakes Iris's hand.
"You too." Iris chirps as cheerfully as she can muster with the morning she's had; she is thankful Burgundy hasn't commented on her being late.
Her matchmaker sighs, leans forward, and vaguely sniffs at Iris. "You smell like apples," she says and then reaches down to grab her notepad, in which she jots down a note. Before Iris can question this though, Burgundy launches a question her way, "What are you looking for in a man? Nice teeth? Good job? Nice ass?"
Iris's eyes widen, but other than that, she just plows through the question, "One with a job would be preferable, considering my job is odd and wouldn't support me by my own. Oh, I guess I should mention I'm looking for something that could be permanent? I don't get along well with others all the time though... Someone who is funny? That'd be nice, and make it more bearable..."
Wow, she hasn't shut up yet, Burgundy thinks to herself dryly as Iris continues listing the traits that she would like (maybe) to see in whomever she could be matched with. "What's your line of work?" Burgundy decides to ask: perhaps it'd be easier to match her information with what someone else was looking for.
"I'm training to take the gym from Drayden, actually, but I do other work at the Pokemon Daycare whenever they need the extra help. That's where I get most of my money." Iris answers faithfully.
"Are you interested in children in the future?"
Well, that was forward of her, "...maybe?" Iris blinks, looking down at her lap as a blush fills her cheeks.
Burgundy frowns at her answer, "Alright, do you want to answer more questions or do you want my professional opinion?" Without waiting for her answer, she decides for Iris, "You are indeed a "Hopeless Case," but! I think I have just the person in mind for you. His name is... well, let me find his name... Um, his name is..." Desperately, Burgundy flips through her notepad: back and forth. "Cilan! Alright, yes, Cilan. He's from Striaton, so, it will take some time for me to get you guys together, but it seems like it would be smarter to get him up here, non?"
"I will call him posthaste and then get in touch with you soon after... If I could just have you register your number into my Xtransceiver?" It takes her only seconds to whip out the device and thrust it towards Iris eagerly; Iris puts her landline number into the device and then looks up at Burgundy.
The look on her face must have sold her because Burgundy rolls her eyes and tears off a piece of paper from her notepad on which Iris scribbles her number. "Thanks, I guess, but I am honest when I say that I'm not too agreeable when it comes to men."
Burgundy just winks, "I'm a professional."
Iris opens the door to Shannon's and her apartment with anxiety as she realizes that time has escaped her and Shannon could be home by now; indeed, she was enveloped by the smell of a certain musk that always hung around, but never stayed. "Ah!" Iris gasps, going red instantly and turning around from mortification, "I forgot the milk!"
"Axew," her little Pokemon chirps while they are looking around inside of the store.
Iris nods, "Yeah, Axew?" There aren't too many things that the Pokemon could be trying to talk about, and Iris thinks she narrowed it down to Shannon and her boy toy. "How long do you stay away from them when they are doing that stuff?"
Loyally, her Pokemon replies to her: "Ax!"
So Iris memorizes the names of all the brands of pasta before grabbing a carton of MooMoo Milk and dashing towards the cashiers. By now, she is fully familiar with most of the City of Opelucid, but sometimes there are new faces: like her cashier, who is younger than she is and looks shy as he mumbles through the dialogue.
"Oh! Axew, what should I get Drayden? I was going to just give him that necklace I made him, but that is back at the apartment..." Iris pouts for just a moment, and then shrugs it off. "Guess that'll be for another day; let's go find him something."
"Ax Axew!" Axew agrees and goes back into hiding.
"Hello? Earth to Drayden! Are you sleeping or what?" Iris calls as she bangs on Drayden's front door; maybe he isn't home, but normally, especially on his birthday, he likes to relax at home. She waits a couple more seconds before turning his doorknob and waltzing in. "So, you are sleeping, you rascal," She wags her finger at his sleeping form on the couch.
Axew dives out of Iris's hair and toddles up to Drayden's sleeping form, pushing him playfully before nuzzling the Dragon Master. "Axew Ax," he whines, trying to urge Drayden awake. He stirs, but doesn't wake.
"Well now," Iris huffs, pulling out his gift and placing it on his desk on the opposite side of the room, then swipes her fingers across a film of dust that has collected on said desk. "I'm not the only one who needs a matchmaker; he could use a woman around the house..." Axew agrees quietly from next to Drayden. "I would dust around his house, but then he would just expect me to do it again in a couple weeks," she sighs and extends her hands out to Axew; Axew runs to her and she scoops him up into her hands.
A couple hours later, Drayden awakes groggily and with the feeling like someone has been in his house, but the only people that have the nerve to come in to his abode would be Iris and his family. He gets up, thinking the former is more than likely to have been here and does a once over of his main room. "Iris, Iris, Iris..." he shakes his head upon seeing the wrapped box on his desk and walks over to it. His hunch is indeed correct when he sees Iris's scrawl on a post-it: "Grandpa, happy birthday! You're ancient! Hope you take advantage of your gift!" Plus he has her tiny fingerprints on the dusty desk as evidence of her intrusion.
The smile on his face is genuine as he unwraps the present, but disappears once he realizes what the gift is, "A shaving kit... How thoughtful, Iris."
"Are you done sucking face with your boyfriend?" Iris asks loudly upon entering, keeping her eyes closed as she carries the milk in one hand and gropes blindly with the other one. "Because I have the milk now, so I'm out of excuses to run out of the apartment."
Shannon giggles breathlessly, "Sorry about that, Iris. We didn't expect you home, but he went home some time ago." Iris giggles as well and uncovers her eyes before opening the fridge and putting the milk inside of the already full fridge. "How did today go?"
The wannabe Dragon Master flops down on a beanbag that is placed on the floor and faces Shannon, her best friend. "Wonderful. I've possibly already been matched. Maybe. Apparently I'm a "Hopeless Case," but I'm not the only one she knows."
"She sounded so professional over the phone," Shannon replies, reaching up to toy with her hair, "I bet she matched you up with someone really nice. Do you know anything about him?"
"He's from Striaton City," Iris beams, "Beautiful city: you should go one day, but his name is Cilan." Shannon purses her lips. "Other than that, I know nothing about the guy. Burgundy is supposed to call me after she calls him which I thought would be tonight, but maybe not?"
It takes Shannon a moment before she replies to Iris; Iris gets a feeling that Shannon has other things on her mind, but if she wants to talk about whatever is bugging her then she would speak up. It isn't like Shannon to bottle things up, so Iris will just give her time to think if she needs it. Finally, Shannon looks up at Iris. "He sounds mysterious."
"I like mysterious," Iris giggles while patting Axew gently. The tusk Pokemon nuzzles her hand lovingly earning another giggle from the purple-haired girl. Shannon lapses into silence, so Iris catches the hint and quiets down beside her.
They watch a movie until Shannon excuses herself to bed and Iris is left to fend for herself while finishing the horror movie, "I'm not a little kid," being her positive chant throughout the whole thing. When the phone rings, she jumps out of her skin and shrieks then sprints to answer it.
"H-Hello?" Iris answers unsurely.
Burgundy replies, "Why, bonjour! I have just recently spoken with Cilan and what good luck! He is in Driftveil, so closer than Striaton! He said to let him let his brothers know that he was visiting Opelucid and after that he would be traveling on up! I'd expect him in a couple days, you know. Weather pending. I want you to call me, Iris, as soon as the first date is arranged and tell me how it goes afterward."
Iris spends most of Burgundy's monologue trying to calm her accelerating heartbeat, but to no avail as she can still hear noises coming from the television. "Y-Yeah. T-Thanks again, Bur-Burgundy!" She says, and then hangs up the line without saying goodbye. "Axew! Time for bed! Turn off the television!" Her voice an octave higher as she dives into the safety of her room.
"With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed to arrange everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken; and she had not quite done nothing - for she had done mischief."