Lessons in Perfection, a Cookie Shipping one-shot
Also on my ff account.
Anyway, I used the Japanese names here because I like "Noctus" and "Haruka" better than "Cacturne" and "May." The 'Shipping might seem a bit mild here but in my opinion, if Cookie Shipping actually happened, Haruka and Harley would have a teasing relationship ^^;;
Lessons in Perfection
Haruka sighed, sitting down on the front steps on the contest hall. She couldn’t believe she’d lost, especially to Harley. If Satoshi had been with her, he definitely wouldn’t let her hear the end of it.
Several of the other coordinators and spectators walked down the steps, talking loudly and laughing. Haruka frowned as she listened. Half of them were talking about the final round between her and Harley, and she tried to tune out their conversations as best she could.
However, Haruka soon stood up, clenching her fists. As she started to walk down the steps herself, she ran into an all-too-familiar purple-haired coordinator, and frowned instantly.
“Oh, Haruka,” Harley sang. “It simply won’t do for you to get angry, you know. Why, that was rather embarrassing earlier, wouldn’t you say?”
“H-Harley!” Haruka snapped. “Leave me alone!”
“Oh dear,” he sighed, going on. “What would Shuu say if he saw you so worked up…?”
“We’re just friends, you jerk!”
“Speaking of Shuu, I’m sure even he would say your performance was—”
Harley was still going on as if he hadn’t heard Haruka, but the brunette froze. What exactly would Shuu think about the match? Sure, they’d been a lot nicer to each other lately, but they were still rivals. If she couldn’t even beat Harley anymore, would Shuu still think she was worth it?
“—which boils down to, I do believe I need to teach you a thing or two, Haruka.”
Haruka’s attention snapped back to the Noctus cosplayer as he uttered his last statement. She could practically feel her eyes bugging out of her head.
“Yes, Haruka,” Harley explained, his face lighting up gleefully. “I’m going to give you a few lessons so you can be as perfect as I am.”
“Hey! I don’t need your help!”
Harley sighed. “Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing this for you—although I’m sure it will improve you by an immeasurable amount—I’m just trying to help out Shuu. You understand, right?”
“No! I don’t understand, and I really don’t think I want to!” Haruka protested.
However, her complaints fell on deaf ears. Harley was clearly oblivious to anything she had to say, and his devious grin was spreading even wider.
“We’ll start with etiquette,” he announced. “Meet me at the café near the Department Store in half an hour. Don’t be late!”
With that, Harley winked and walked away with his usual swagger, and Haruka groaned. She’d gotten herself into what she could already see was a disaster without even doing anything. There probably wasn’t even anything she could do about it either—Harley would just brag to her about the win every time he saw her unless she agreed to this.
Folding her arms, Haruka started through the crowd of people. From what she’d already seen, Goldenrod was a pretty crowded city, and it was even more so on contest dates. Fortunately, she managed to get to fresh air in a few moments, and checked the clock on the outside of the nearby train station.
“I have to be to that café by twelve thirty… And if I learned anything traveling with Satoshi, it’s that I need to start early to get anywhere on time,” she sighed to herself. “Now, where did he say it was…?”
- - -
Thirty-two minutes later, Haruka burst into the café, panting. She’d taken a wrong turn somewhere and somehow ended up on the completely wrong side of town. Fortunately, a tall, dark-haired boy had pointed her in the right direction, and Haruka had had to practically run a marathon to even get to said café at the time she did.
Quickly, she scanned the decent-sized seating area for Harley. However, a very familiar clearing of the throat soon called her attention to a table near the front.
“You’re late, Haruka,” Harley scolded loudly as she scurried into the booth.
“Two minutes!” she protested weakly.
“You wouldn’t keep any of your boy toys waiting for two minutes, would you? Anyway, being on time is very important, you know.”
Boy toys? Haruka seethed inwardly. Aloud, she said, “That has nothing to do with anything!”
“Oh, excuse me. I was about to take your orders, but it looks like I’m interrupting something…”
A lanky waiter in a loose-fitting black uniform nervously tucked a piece of his hair behind his ear. He was unconsciously tapping his notepad with a fine-tipped pen, and his eyes darted between the two.
Harley shook his head and winked. “Oh, it’s no problem, sir. A coffee, a milk, and a lunch special for two, please!”
“A-all right.” The waiter scribbled the order down. “It’ll be ready soon.”
As the man scurried away, Haruka gaped at Harley for a few seconds. She wondered if he’d caught the irony in his direct lack of etiquette.
“Harley! You just ordered for me!”
“Oh?” Harley waved dismissively. “But see, it’s my obligation to order your food! I’m the one that invited you. You should remember this, Haruka, for the next time you and Shuu go out.”
Haruka saw red for a few moments, but quickly took a few breaths. If she just went along with this, it would go a lot faster.
She still, however, felt that she was in for a long, long day…
- - -
“Oh, Haruka, such stress cannot be good for your complexion.”
Haruka breathed in slowly. Harley had polished off the majority of the meal (it had been filet mignon, which she didn’t like, but still…), and was now delicately sipping the remainder of his coffee. She’d played with her milk carton the majority of the time, and her eyebrows were now knitted together.
“Gee, Harley, I wonder who’s causing the stress…” she muttered.
“Speak up, Haruka!” Harley winked, obviously having heard her, but still taking the opportunity to mock her. “You could at least let me hear you after the lunch I just treated you to.”
Haruka’s lips pursed. Harley sighed as he set down his coffee mug, and looked at the girl across the table. She definitely needed some stylistic improvements. He would start with the clothing.
“All right then, since you won’t talk, I’ll just have to decide for you!”
Haruka’s eyes widened. “No, wait, Harley—”
“Oh, no problem,” Harley grinned widely. “We’ll stop at the Department Store next. Maybe you’ll do better in fashion than you did in etiquette.”
“Oh, and we can dress up Noctus and Bashamo while we’re at it! It’ll be charming, don’t you agree?”
“Don’t you worry, everything will go just fabulously!”
With that, Harley left a rather generous tip on the table and pulled Haruka out of her seat. The customers walking in to the café at that moment had the unfortunate opportunity of watching the purple-haired male dragging the kicking and screaming brunette behind him as he pushed open the door…
- - -
Haruka crossed her arms, standing a fair distance away from Harley. They were currently in the clothing section of the Department Store, and he was furiously going through the clothing racks, trying to find something “suitable.” He’d already ditched several piles of clothing, leaving them on the gift return counter instead of hanging them back up (much to the distress of the clerk).
Bashamo carefully tapped Haruka on the shoulder. She’d let the Fire-Type out of her Pokéball upon entering the store, half at Harley’s insistence. Haruka sighed as she looked up at Bashamo.
“Is this getting tedious to you?” Haruka groaned.
Harley practically sang as he interrupted Haruka, clothing draped over his arm. Noctus was close behind him, smirking gleefully as he waved around some red fabric. The coordinator winked, piling the clothes into Haruka’s hands and giving her a light shove in the direction of the changing room.
“Go on! Oh, Noctus, you do have something for Bashamo, don’t you?”
“Shamo?” Bashamo blinked.
Haruka gulped, looking over her shoulder as she stepped into one of the changing stalls. As nervous as she was about the no doubt not fabulous outfit Harley had chosen for her, she was a bit more worried about her Pokémon…
- - -
Haruka closed her eyes as she stepped out of the dressing room. She just wouldn’t look in the mirror, and everything would be fine…
“Oh, Haruka, I am a genius! Why won’t you open your eyes and see?”
As Harley’s voice echoed in her ears, Haruka slowly opened one eye, and then the other. When she looked in the full length mirror in front of her, she blinked.
The outfit actually didn’t look horrible. A long, sleeveless red T-shirt fell down to just above her knees, under which was a long-sleeved tan shirt. A pair of baggy orange pants covered a pair or orange platform shoes, and a red headband completed the set.
“A Bashamo cosplay?” she said dubiously.
“Do you not appreciate my handiwork, Haruka?” Harley sniffed, pretending to be insulted.
“No, I’m just surprised it actually looks nice!”
“Well, well, you are still lacking in etiquette, but I suppose that was an improvement.”
“Like you’re better,” Haruka sighed. “You know, Harley, I still think you’re kind of a jerk. But at least I don’t think you’re a total jerk now. I guess this is the best you can do.”
“Fabulous! Now, there’s only one more thing I can do before I think so highly of you.”
“Fix your hair.”
Haruka once again felt her eyes bugging out of her head. “What? Nooooo!”
Harley chuckled. “No, no, no. I kid, Haruka, I kid. How about you treat me to dinner instead?”
“But I can’t pay for—” Haruka started. However, a grin soon spread over her face. “I mean, of course. I’d get to order, right?”
Harley’s eyes widened, but he shook his head. “Of course, Haruka. Whatever you want…”
“Good! Wait… Where are Bashamo and Noctus…?”
At that moment, a gleeful Noctus bashed open the door to one of the dressing rooms, followed by a resigned Bashamo. The red cloth Noctus had been carrying before had been wrapped around Bashamo’s head like a bandanna, and her feathers had been smoothed into a style vaguely resembling May’s usual hairstyle.
“See? Noctus is just as much of a genius as I am,” Harley grinned.
“Of course. Right, Bashamo?”
The Fire-Type sighed and nodded, apparently agreeing. Haruka giggled and looked back at Harley.
“I’m starting to think this wasn’t such a bad idea. Bashamo actually looks kind of cute. Café, Harley?”
Needless to say, when the quartet arrived, the waiter was quite surprised when Haruka asked for a table of four.
Currently Playing: MD Darkness and MD Time
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