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Clarity

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Calem reminds himself not to get too close, even though he might already be in too deep the first few times he sees her.

When he feels that way, he falls back on calling her "Neighbor", a safe word, one that implies closeness yet keeps distance. Neighbor is still less intimate than any nickname or yes, what he calls her when he is alone.

Serena.

But her name slips out when he is agitated, when there are evil organizations about, when he forgets his control and Calem, though he prides himself on his control, cannot control the way his voice grasps on her name when he is looking, when he needs support.

She always gives it to him, even though he suspects that she, especially right before she challenges the Elite Four, could have probably saved the world on her own.

Like him, who everyone sees as calm and find his name prophetic, Serena is always true to her name even when she’s just trained her Pokemon nonstop the whole night, helped saved the world, and even defeated the Champion. Shauna had commented, once, that their names reminded her of each other.

Calem doesn't feel calm, though, when he thinks of Serena. He's always felt inspired, wanted to improve especially when they cross paths, when she shows him, and him her, how strong they both are.

Lately, his heart pounds when she's near, and certainly that cannot be a sign of his alleged calmness especially around her. He wonders that she cannot hear it, a curse and a blessing in one, but it isn't the right time to bring up those sorts of feelings anyway, not when she is newly crowned Champion and always busy accepting challenges and traveling around Kalos. Maybe when he masters Mega Evolution, or maybe when they're a little older.

Maybe when she isn't so far away. Maybe when he actually catches up to her, he'll speak of them.

But when will they be brought up, he wonders wryly when she beats him again in another match. He dawdles, he sighs, yet he always finds excuses to find her after how many days even before he came to terms with his feelings (because he’s sure that even Shauna didn’t always make a point to talk to Serena in most every city). His feelings grow clearer with each day he chases what she is to him, and when he does find her, no other voices matter but hers.

How many months later, after the five of them meet up again where they first met, Trevor and Tierno nudge him and whisper about how beautiful Serena’s become and a slight smile on his face both surprises them and likely gives his feelings away.

His feelings have never been so clear and he doesn't mind because after all…

She’s always been beautiful to him.