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“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” is what greets Mei when she answers a call on her Xtransceiver.

Bianca’s happy face fills the LCD screen once the video static clears.

“Why didn’t you tell me, Mei?” the cheery blonde practically squeals.

Mei raises an eyebrow, confused by the vague question. “Tell you what?”

“That you met someone special!”

“W-What?”

The brunette panics. How did they find out? They have been so careful about keeping their relationship a secret since the first day and if anyone found out, they will be ruined, both professionally and personally.

“That’s crazy, Bianca, I’m not d-dating anyone,” Mei sputters, trying not to sound suspicious.

Bianca’s lips curl into a Purrloin-like smile. “According to PokéTeen Magazine, you, Miss Champion, were spotted sharing a Casteliacone with a certain handsome star! If that’s not dating, I’ll eat my hat.” She pauses. “But it is dating, right? I really don’t want to eat my hat. It’s so adorable and Cheren gave it to me and—”

Mei nervously laughs. “Bianca…”

“Oh yeah! So, is it true~?”

A noticeable blush spreads across the trainer’s cheeks. “I…I…”

“Hmm~?”

“The thing is…me and him…we—”

“I will say this,” the blonde interrupts, “Christoph is such an adorable gentleman when not in front the camera.”

Mei’s brain halts. Did she hear correctly?

“…Cur—Christoph? You’re talking about Christoph?”

“Yep~”

To prove her claim, Bianca moves back from the screen a bit to show off a glossed magazine photo of Christoph, sans his ‘Curtis’ persona, and Mei sitting at a bistro table with the former offering a napkin to the flustered latter after some ice-cream dripped on her t-shirt. Atop the photo is the caption Champion uses Attract! It’s super effective!. Despite the tininess of the words displayed on the screen, she is able to make out a few sentences.

‘Recently crowned Pokémon League Champion, Mei of Aspertia City, is seen on a cozy date with celebrity idol Christoph in Castelia City. Photographed above, the pair indulges in the city’s famous and yummy Casteliacone. This is not the first time they have been seen together. According to an anonymous source, Christoph once treated Mei to a ride on Nimbasa’s Ronez-View Ferris Wheel, a popular spot for many couples.’

Unable to read the rest, Mei makes a mental note to buy a copy of PokéTeen later.

“Who else did you think I was talking about?” the blonde asks, putting the magazine away.

A wave of relief alleviates the brunette’s worry…for now.

“Oh, never mind.”

 

 

 

 

“Bianca—and possibly the whole world—think you are dating Christoph?”

“Stop laughing! It’s not funny!”

Brycen fondly smiles. “I apologize, Mei, but these things tend happen. I find it best to ignore such gossip.”

Mei groans and flops face-first on her boyfriend’s couch. The former gym-leader kneels down in front of the sulking trainer and soothingly rubs her back.

“Don’t worry, this will all blow over soon.”

“How do you know?” is his girlfriend’s muffled reply.

“Call it personal experience, love.”

Before she can ask, Mei’s Xtransceiver starts ringing. Her mom’s name flashes in neon across the screen.

Brycen moves away from the couch to give her some privacy and so that her mother does not see him.

Taking a deep breath, the brunette answers the call. “Hey, Mom, what’s up?” she smiles.

“What is this I hear about you and an idol named Christoph?” the older woman questions with a hint of mirth in her voice.

Mei groans.