Title: Gold and Ebony
Characters: Dawn and Cynthia
Summary: Dawn searches for the perfect present for Cynthia and finds her plans foiled unexpectedly.
It was only afternoon but the sky was dark. The last few weeks had forced the sun to set earlier and earlier. Even though the sky was covered in dark clouds and the sun was nowhere to be seen, the streets were as bright as day. The houses were glowing with the warmth of fireplaces and christmas lights, from their roofs to the lights embracing the trees in their yards. Closer to the heart of Veilstone the lights became flashing and neon colored, announcing holiday discounts to the eyes of anyone nearby.
One such person was gazing at some of the advertisements, walking along with her Piplup along the sidewalk. The small penguin pokemon looked pleased to experience the chilly air with his trainer, even though they weren’t doing much talking. The female trainer was scanning the many shop displays, shaking her head slightly as she passed them.
Even with a warm white scarf wrapped around her neck and soft pink coat to keep her warm, her outfit looked decidedly cold- even though it was stylish, she was also dressed only in a skirt. Her winter boots were not high enough to protect her pale, exposed thighs to the biting winter air. However, she didn’t seem to mind it, walking as if it was as comfortable as the height of summer.
The only thing that Dawn was concerned about was what she would buy. No, not for herself. She wasn’t that selfish. The only thing she cared about now was getting the perfect gift for Cynthia.
Finally she was at the heart of the city. Beautiful arches of lights stretched overhead, lighting the path to the front of the city’s largest store. Velistone’s Department Store loomed above her, the many stories of illuminated windows and holiday signs filling her with hope.
“There has to be something here...” Dawn murmured to herself as she entered through the glass doors. Her Piplup chirped encouragingly as they tread lightly across the springy red carpeting.
There were so many people! Many people seemed to just be taking a break, sitting on the low couches of the lobby holding bags and multicolored boxes. Others were waiting in line at the register and customer service desks, holding returns, exchanges, advertisements, and holiday lists.
Looking wryly at the huge volume of people, Dawn decided to search on her own and carefully pushed her way to the elevators. She barely made it inside as the door closed.
Thankfully it only took a few seconds to reach the next floor. As she looked out across the many bins and shelves of items, Dawn thought desperately to herself what she could buy the beautiful woman. Pokemon care items were out. As Champion, Cynthia probably already had everything she needed for battling. Actually, she probably had just about everything she could possibly want.
So what do I give someone who already has everything?
What Dawn really wanted to give her was something that would be an excuse for them to spend time together, but so far every time she had asked Cynthia out, the woman had misunderstood. There was one time, when Dawn had asked her to dinner and Cynthia had invited Ash and Brock to come too. When she invited Cynthia to go ice skating, the Champion had bought her figure-skating lessons instead. The young woman had been tempted to offer the gold-haired beauty a massage after hearing how pleasant and relaxing they were. Dawn had finally decided against it, thinking, Cynthia would find some way to misconstrue that too.
Rather than become depressed at the difficulty of finding Cynthia a gift, Dawn cheered herself and began to browse. She smiled as she looked at the Christmas hats, “No need for me to worry. When I do find something she likes I’ll amaze her.”
Maybe then I can offer her that massage...
Shaking the distracting thought from her mind, Dawn wandered into the accessory aisle and was pleased to find a set of hairclips very much like the ones she liked to wear. However, as soon as looked to the left, she knew she had found what she was looking for.
There was a beautiful set of carved hairclips in the style of Cynthia’s. Each of them resembled the tail of an Eeveelution, from Flareon to Glaceon. They were beautiful. They had just the right texture and color. Dawn picked up the Umbreon clip, smiling as she rolled it in her hand. It reminded her of how smooth her hair was and how neatly she always had it pinned up. Secretly, Dawn wouldn’t mind seeing Cynthia’s hair without them sometime.
“Which one should I get...?” the young trainer murmured mostly to herself. Her Piplup pointed a flipper at the Espeon set, but Dawn wasn’t so sure. The girl stood there indecisively, gazing longingly at them before she finally resolved to get them all.
Dawn walked back to the cashier and asked for a gift box before she walked back and put a set of each inside. There were six sets total. Positively glowing with excitement, she left the department and went back downstairs to make her purchase.
It was Christmas Eve. Dawn was standing on the step of Cynthia’s house, nervously lifting the door knocker and tapping the door three times.
It only took a moment for the door to open. A familiar cascade of golden hair framed her smoky eyes.
“Oh, Dawn! Merry Christmas, nice to see you. Come inside.”
Cynthia was wearing her dark trademark coat and dress this time with a soft fluffy black ruff warming her neck. Dawn quickly locked her eyes on Cynthia’s to stop herself from looking down the revealing v-cut of the Champion’s shirt.
“I-I came to give you your Christmas gift.” She smiled brightly as she entered the house. The faint scent of peppermint caught her attention as she passed closely by the older woman. Was that perfume?
“You have perfect timing, then.” Cynthia smiled back, the lids of her eyes closed just enough to make it a devious smirk. “I have something to give you as well.”
Dawn swallowed slightly as she sat on one of the couches in the living room, unable to take her eyes off of Cynthia’s back as she walked into the next room. Her mind worked furiously, trying to think of the cause of that particular smile but all she came up with was wishful thinking. Her legs felt jittery now, so she took what she hoped was a slow and steadying breath.
Now she was glad she had left Piplup behind.
The sound of footsteps brought her eyes back to Cynthia as she entered the room. She was holding a large tray with two mugs on it and a brightly colored present in the center. She set it down on the table in front of Dawn, then circled around to sit on the couch next to her. She lifted the present with one hand and put it on the girl’s lap.
“Here, open it.”
Cynthia draped her arm over the couch behind Dawn, brushing her back lightly with the ruff of her sleeve. The young woman put her blue-papered present for Cynthia on the table in front of them, shivering inwardly at how close they were.
Dawn gently touched the ribbon, which looked crimped and out of shape...
“Did you wrap this yourself?”
“Mmhmm. I’ve never been very good with ribbons, though.” Cynthia was looking intently at Dawn’s face, an idle smile on her lips.
She’s so close I could kiss her right now.
The thought flitted across her mind as Dawn unwrapped a plain white-lidded box. She lifted the lid to find a set of black and gold carved hairclips nestled into a bundle of green tissue paper. For a second, Dawn just stared. Did this mean that she knew...?
Cynthia grinned widely. “You’re surprised, aren’t you? I bet you wouldn’t imagine I would notice you staring at them.”
Dawn looked up at her. She’s noticed me staring at her all this time, then?
Cynthia continued, “I’m glad I didn’t say hi when I saw you at Veilstone the other day. Oh, no. I bought them from the same store though.” Another devious smile flashed across her face. “See, tell me you weren’t expecting me to notice.”
“Here, why don’t you try them on?” Cynthia reached forward, neatly pulling her hat from Dawn’s head. She ran her hand through her ebony hair once to smooth the unruly strands, then reached forward to unclip the girl’s golden ornaments with her graceful fingers.
Dawn sat still as Cynthia leaned closer to her face, brushing her hand through the side of her hair to pin the new ornament in place. She tried to stop herself from shuddering with excitement as the Champion gently brushed her hair back over her shoulders once she had both clips in place.
“They look great against your hair! Now we match,” Cynthia winked.
Cynthia had completely misunderstood her. Not only did that mean she probably didn’t want the hairclips, now she had bought six times the number of presents that Cynthia had given her. Brilliant.
“So...do I get to open yours now?”