Author's note: Here you go guys, Nobori's part. Sorry if it is a little late, but better late than never? Thank you for reviewing and reading the story. Please enjoy! Just one thing:
I put all their names in the Japanese context, so Elesa (Gym Leader of Nimbasa) is addressed as Kamitsure. I hope I didn't get them wrong. Please tell me if I did!
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters here!
Nobori flipped the pages of paper clipped on his board silently, his mind focused. He had just sent a message to Kudari, saying that he could not accompany him for dinner. Work was too much and never seemed to end no matter how much he tried to cut it down. Even the usual sedentary Kudari was working doubly as hard for that matter. He had been in his other office for almost the whole day, the place where he usually stayed to monitor the trains. Somehow in here, there was a sense of discomfort, he would have prefer to work in the other office where Kudari was in.
Nobori sighed, rubbing his temples, silver locks caught between his fingers. He stared at the pile of paperwork and his forehead creased into a frown.
Certainly terrible. There was no time to waste on such thoughts; it was better to get down to work.
Nobori's phone rang at around midnight, jolting him out from his trance like manner of working. Slightly upset and annoyed that someone had disrupted his concentration, and that he was also a little cranky from exhaustion, he nearly lashed out on the caller.
The caller turned out to be Kudari.
Nobori was not very elated to pick up the phone, much less talk to his younger twin. There was so much work yet to be done. Can't Kudari see that there was no time for idle chit chat?
"Nii-san... Come back home..." Kudari's voice sounded strained and pleading.
But Nobori was more perplexed at the fact that he had not finished the work due by the end of the week and he knew that tomorrow's workload will definitely add on to that pile. Did Kudari not understand the nature of work?
He tried to explain to Kudari about the tight situation he is in however he was just interrupted by the other begging him to come home.
Kudari just probably wanted to sleep with him again. Sometimes, his brother childish attitude annoyed him and Nobori saw no reason to compromise to his twin. There was no time for this sort of useless entertainment. With that he told Kudari off; Kudari needed to understand. With that, he hung up the phone without as much as saying a goodbye.
It was almost 2am in the early dawn when he finished. He stretched a little and realised he had yet to pause for a break to have dinner. After making himself a cup of coffee and taking his dinner left in a plastic container by that gym leader Kamitsure, Nobori slumped against the chair. It was hard and uncomfortable, but he was too tired to care about it.
It was not long before he dragged himself to the nearby couch and slept on it. That night, he dreamt of the past. The sky was a streak of vermillion and its rays danced upon the grass and the ground, dyeing them in the same colour as the sky. He was panting from having walked so much, slightly frustrated for not being able to find his brother for quite a while.
"Nii-chan, over here!" Upon hearing the familiar voice of that someone he had been searching for over an hour, he dashed towards the direction of where that voice came from.
"Kudari!" he called out, when he saw his twin squatting in front of the Joltik cave, all bruised up. It scared him to think that his younger brother actually had entered the cave without a pokemon. Still Kudari did not seem to care about his current condition and held out a toy train in his small hands. Nobori realised that it was the one he dropped when he entered this cave with Kudari the first time without knowing anything about it. When they were running away from the wild pokemon, Kudari nearly fell into a hole at the side and when Nobori was helping him, he had dropped his favourite toy train.
Apparently that idiot twin of his decided to go back to retrieve his brother's missing toy. "Stupid Kudari…" he muttered as he hugged his younger brother.
"Ne ne, nii-chan. Let's build a big train so people can go wherever they want and also tell them that we are great pokemon masters!" Kudari giggled, as he returned the hug.
"Yeah of course. Isn't that always our dream?"
Under the fading last rays of the sunlight, two small fingers entwined each other, their foreheads touching one another.
"Ouch!" Nobori suddenly leapt up, as he felt an uncomfortable shock of electricity. Annoyed, he turned to look for the source of interruption. It turned out to be a yellow looking furball, which leapt from between his legs onto Kudari's shoulder.
"Ooooh, Joltik-chan! You followed me!" Kudari gave his brother his usual grin as he held the pokemon. "Joltik-chan actually helped me in the cave! Well I shall keep you then!"
"What are you thinking, the head mistress won't allow that!"
Nobori woke up with a jolt and a pounding headache. Somehow, that felt quite nostalgic. Nobori and Kudari had grew up in a foster home. It was their dream to travel somewhere beyond the boundaries of the home, hence they had a deep interest in locomotives, especially the train. The train which could bring hordes of people from one place to another, so that everyone could travel. Nobori promised that he would anything to realize that dream, the passionate dream of both his and Kudari's.
It was not easy. Every day was a struggle to keep up with the workload, but Nobori was determined to fulfil and maintain that dream. He would work because of his promise to Kudari. Yet he somehow felt that Kudari seemed sad. Why? Did they not fulfil their dream?
It was not that he did not notice, but he instead remained silent on that matter. If he had voiced out, it might possibly strained the relationship between his brother and him. He knew that Kudari and he were quite different. He knew how the adults seemed to favour him but not his brother, he knew how they tried to separate them. He promised that he would protect Kudari no matter what and that included protecting his dream. Hence Nobori would not mind the workload, even if it seemed to tower over him. However what worried him, was that recently last week, Kudari was delaying the documents, therefore also delaying his schedule.
As he thought, he got a new set of clothes, (he had the habit of leaving some of his clothes here due to many overtime shifts) and changed into them, before immersing in his work once more.
The destination of their dream was victory. Nobori knew that without hard work, nothing could be obtained. He could not understand why Kudari was so childish, they cannot sit back and relax; it was the nature of their occupations. Furthermore they had expenses to handle; they needed to support themselves. The world was never a bed of roses, to climb up to their current position without anything to start from the beginning, Nobori had to understand the cruel harsh truth.
"Where is Kudari?" Nobori voiced out; it was late in the morning and Kudari was not here yet. He needed to pass an urgent report to the other administration staff Kudari was handling- only that brat had not turned up yet. Hence, the whole office here, became chaos in the image of hell.
With that delayed passing, (Nobori had to give to the head in the other section instead) everything this morning was delayed as well. At least the trains still managed to run on time. The employees were scared stiff when the whole report timetable was almost unable to circulate to the other side; the staff there would be uncoordinated and that was an issue not to be looked away.
Hence Nobori was beyond furious to see Kudari strolling in late while waving his hand happily at him. "Nobori nii-san-" Kudari chirped, only to aggravate his anger. Seriously, what was he thinking? Did he not know how much trouble he had cause? Hence Nobori ignored his brother's gesture. He had no mood for any more trouble and the lack of sleep was getting to him. In the hustle and bustle of the crowd of employees, he had failed to hear an exasperated cry calling out to him.
It seemed that Nobori did not have challengers today, which was good, as Nobori could not spare the time to face against them. His schedule was fully packed after all. Settling down, he typed on the computer and read his documents, in which he overheard some employees talking outside.
"Kudari-san has caused a lot of trouble this morning."
"Yes, thank goodness Nobori-san was so reliable! Don't you think it is weird how they could even be twins?"
Nobori blinked upon hearing that. Yes… Why couldn't he have a more reliable twin rather one that whines about company so much and so damn irresponsible about his work? Sighing, Nobori leaned on his hand as he continued his work. It was then he thought up of those unpleasant memories.
It was not long ago that he had faced that certain trainer. That day started out usual, until he had someone telling him he had a challenger. He thought that he would quickly wrap the battle up as he stood before the younger boy. Clad in a blue jacket and wearing glasses, the pokemon trainer named Cheren stood proud before him, a stance saying that he would not lose to the subway master. He somehow reminded Nobori of himself when he was younger, able to face against gym leaders without batting an eyelash.
"Thank you for riding the Battle Subway today. I am the Subway Boss Nobori. I will choose the next destination based on your talent. Do you understand Pokémon well? Can you hold on to your principle? Will you go on to victory or defeat? All aboard!"
"It certainly will be… victory." The stoic boy finally grinned. Nobori frowned and pulled his cap.
"Let's go, Chandelure."
It was disgusting to admit but Cheren's abilities did matched up to his arrogance. Nobori was forced down to his final pokemon while his opponent toyed with the possibilities he could do with two. A pokemon battle was not only the measure of the pokemon's strength and trust in its owners. The start always had to begin with a silent battle of strategies. However, because of the rising workload in that week, Nobori had lost the mind battle quickly. Cheren knew that his opponent was distracted and he took advantage on that.
His lost was inevitable then.
When he came out of the infirmary, he saw a white ball on the chair. Kudari was curled up in that empty hallway alone. The lightings were awfully dim then and everything reflected in a dull pale white. He had nearly missed Kudari at first, if not for the sudden movement.
Upon seeing his brother, Kudari had leapt and hugged him so tightly that Nobori thought his arm would dislocate the second time.
"Oww… Kudari, please lighten your grip…" He mumbled through the ball of silver hair.
"Nii-san! I'm glad you are alright…" Nobori did not hear the rest as Kudari rubbed his face into his shirt, but he had caught something along the lines of being worried and half scared to death. He gently patted Kudari's head. Nobori silently relished this rare moment of bonding, isolated from the workers in the empty hallway.
Nobori blinked his eyes, realizing that he had a small grin on his face and that his hand also had stopped scribbling on the report. He looked over the other side. Kudari was not present. It was then he recalled that his brother had to attend to some challengers. Truthfully, he had felt a twinge of emptiness and uncomfortable silence. He assured himself that Kudari would be back quite soon as he knew that his twin also held the equal record of being one of the unparalleled pokemon masters.
It was after an hour later when the doors flew upon. A flustered employee at the doorway, frantically talking. Her words became a series of blabbers after that one line.
"Kudari collapsed in battle."
Suddenly, Nobori had felt like a train just crashed onto him, smashing his world to tiny bits. He did not know when he had ran out of the room, he did not see the stares of the confused workers, and neither had he stopped to hear their hushed chatters. He only knew that he wished to take back that moment of thought about Kudari. He only could see the signs heading towards the battle room. He could only hear his panting breaths and the heavy beating of his heart and they were loud, as if blasting off right beside his ears. Nobori jabbed the button of the elevator which brought him to the battle subway. He had to gag; he could taste the bitter regret in his mouth.
Nobori was not focused when he listened to the doctor. All he felt then was a sense of lingering emptiness. What was the word again? Yes, he felt cold. Too cold for comfort. He had lose track of how many hours he sat beside Kudari in the plastic chair, saying his name over and over, like some chant, so probably that Kudari might finally rouse.
Nobori recalled that the doctor said that Kudari had a bad viral infection and he chuckled coldly. Why had he not noticed even all this while? When he proceeded to brush a stray lock off Kudari's face, he paused to stare at his reflection. Kudari seemed thinner, weaker and more fragile than he had been originally. Nobori retracted his hands and stared at the windows curtains, fluttering slightly in the breeze.
Kudari felt cold.
Silently, he stood up and exited the room. He had decided to head home for the night. Nobori felt strange to actually put the key into the keyhole and opening the door which was supposedly his home. It was his first night in many days. When he came in, the house was dark and the light seemed to flicker a little when he switched them on. The house played a silent melody. The dripping sound from the tap in the kitchen seemed to be amplified. A white cup was sitting in the basin where it was filled with water to the brim. Nobori turned off the knob tightly as he looked at it for a while.
The quiet was slightly unnerving for Nobori. He never experienced that sort of silence before. Whatever Nobori did, there always seemed to be a loud ghostly echo in return. When he took out the trash, he noticed the barely finished boxes of convenience store bentos in them. When he cleaned the living room, he noticed a messed up corner of the couch. He noticed the phone out of place. He noticed and noticed, every single detail of a single person in the place addressed as home.
The next day early noon, he had saw the gym leader standing in the hallway, a bouquet of flowers in her hand. She smiled and then thrust the flowers into his arms.
"I have to go soon. There's a lively challenger waiting for me. You change the flowers for him." She laughed.
"Gym Leader, thanks a lot… I mean you even got dinner for me." Nobori said, his voice low.
"Kamitsure. I told you to call me that. Anyway it wasn't me who initiated the idea of getting dinner for you. Thank your brother, he was a bit too busy to get some for you, so he requested me to do it instead." She waved her hand and strode off. "We'll see each other soon. I really want to battle this trainer."
"Yes, her name's White!" Kamitsure disappeared at the corner of the corridor before Nobori could say anything else. Nobori stood in silence for a few seconds before he entered the room and it was then, he had saw Kudari fidgeting a little. It was Kudari's trait from young and he knew that when Kudari did that, it meant that he was very uncomfortable. He placed the flowers on the table as he proceeded to look at Kudari. He was sure that his younger brother was awake.
Kudari… please hear this…
"Sorry Kudari... When you get well, we are going to have dinner together every day no matter. It was foolish of me to leave you alone all this while so..." He felt his voice trailing off into a strained whisper. "I'm sorry…"
In which afterwards, he fished out the toy train and placed it beside his brother. Just then, Nobori turned towards the spring breeze wafting through the window. The room had seemed to be brighter now. It seemed…warmer.
When he looked back down, Kudari was smiling.
I hope you have enjoyed this two-shot! If possible, please review, thank you!