M-a-r-i-o-n-e-t-t-e


Summary: The battle ended in a tie. N told her to become his princess. She gave him the finger and told him to get lost. After going home, she came to a realization: Her every move was being controlled by N. She was his puppet, and he was her master. Who will win? N's desire? Or her heart?


A/N: Yeah...so I've been MIA. Sorry...it's definitely going to continue. ^-^ But enjoy this chapter. Maybe. I haven't read this since January 2015, so I have no idea what happened. xD


~String 18~

I swallow-hard. Should I ask this? Is it really something I want to know? But I don't want to be held from the truth. My hand clenches a wad of bed sheet tightly as I feel sweat trickle down my temple.

"What is it, Touko?" N inquires, his voice strong, but lofty at the same time.

The question dies in my throat, and I slowly sink back into a sitting position, my eyes blinking methodically; N continues to look at my placidly.

"Did you want to know something?" he asks, and I somehow hear a hardness in his voice even though it's soft sounding. This alone keeps me from wanting to answer him. Think! Think of something!

Opening and closing my mouth like a Magikarp, I flounder about in my mind, trying to find something to say that won't piss him off. Because I get the feeling what I was about to ask just might.

"When's dinner?"

-.-.-.-.-.-.-

I fidget quite obviously in the chair some grunts had provided me when N and I had first entered the dining room. The walls are a bland beige with some royal blue curtains hung here and there to thankfully create a small splash of color. No matter how little it still is.

Where was N? He left me in this nicely cushioned chair and then disappeared. Was he going to make me eat all by myself?

Wouldn't that be exactly how I eat in the cafeteria every day…? Alone? I think sourly, but just as I'm about to get up and leave, the door opens and N strides in followed by a chef. Taking a seat beside me, he waits until dinner is laid out before sending everyone away, and we are the only ones here.

Great…

Glancing at him out of the corner of my eye, I try not to fidget, but fail spectacularly and my knee slams into his as it spazzes out. I freeze, and stare at a plate of bread rolls.

N continues to chew on something that I can't see out of the corner of my eye and I'm about to think he didn't even notice when reaches over, and places a hand on my knee...and simply leaves it there.

My eyes bug out and I feel the tiny bit of appetite I had managed to get earlier disappear as my heart hammers in my chest like a miniature Sawk trying to escape.

"...Touko?" I finally hear, and turn to see N looking at me, repeating my name for the fifth time.

"..What?" I ask, my brain coming out of a fog.

"Earlier, what were you truly going to ask of me?" N inquires quietly, and I blink as I find his face has somehow gotten closer to mine without me realizing it.

Backing up a bit as a reflex, I feel my chair scoot away from the King before me. "Nothing!" I say, planting a smile on my face, and waving a hand back in forth as if to get rid of any questions he may have.

N doesn't seem convinced, and continues to give me a wary look of doubt. "Touko…" he says in a commanding tone.

I can't ask N if he murdered Ghetsis in cold blood. Who knows what trigger that will set off. I need to think of something else to say. Fast.

"Do you like me?!" I blurt, spit spraying from my mouth like a total idiot. "Like...'like like?'" I blink at how ridiculous my sentence was. Really, Touko? That's the best sentence you can come up with?! I leave a quick millisecond to mentally beat myself up before paying attention to N's reaction.

It's a lot different than what I was expecting, that's for sure. Swiftly standing, he pushes his chair in towards the table and turns on his heel before heading to the door. I stare after him until I realize he's not coming back.

Springing up, I catch up to him, and run around to stand before him, grabbing his upper arms and looking at his face. "Wait..where are you going?" I question. "What's wrong?"

He pries my grip off him, and exits through the door without a word. I stare after him, confusion flooding my head as I watch the door swing silently shut.

That's when my vision darkens and I collapse into a heap on the floor.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Damn that loser! I stare at the ceiling of my room as I lie on my bed, spread eagle. There has to be a reason for this overtly strange behavior.. I mean, if he wouldn't even answer my question about his obvious affection towards me, than something had to be terribly wrong.

Oh...fuck this shit.

Rolling into an upright position, I scratch my head as my hair poofs out in every which direction. Maybe...maybe I can come up with some way of extracting some information from N? But how could I? He wouldn't say he liked me. I put a hand to my chin. Perhaps I should be the one who makes the first move. I can't leave it all up to him.

Pausing, I blink in contemplation at how I would accomplish this.

Wait… I would have to get physical.

My face burns.

How on earth could I have thought of something so weird! Oh my Arceus! I'm STUPID. There is no way I could ever go through with a plan as awkward as that. No. I will need to think of something else that will help me obtain the information I need.

Glaring at the door, I slide off the bed and plod towards it. I reach out and grasp the handle before pushing the door open and looking out into the empty hallway.

That's when I hear the insistent scratching noise coming from the piano room. I hadn't gone in there since I'd seen Ghetsis' mangled body. Gulping, I creep towards it and manage to pry the door open without shaking too much. Will I find another grim reminder of how my life isn't safe anymore?

Sticking through the slit in the glass is a small, beige letter.


A/N: Maybe I'll write more? Maybe not. Who knows. I sure don't. But I do apologize for anyone who has been waiting for me to update any of my fanfics. I just don't have the time or energy to do much anymore. :/

~Misty/Ms. Ketchum