Disclaimer: Obviously, I do not own Pokemon.
Author's Note: For some reason, I have been obsessed with the mystery character N for the last little while, and I've been seriously itching to write that has something to do with him!
Author's Note 2: Also, in this story, if you have read the new fifth generation game updates on Bulbapedia, then you know that N is… well, the evil guy. Your rival (one of three, at least). But in this fic, as a back-story, White has convinced him to end his idea of splitting people and Pokemon up from each other, and as an end result, they begin a relationship and a life together.
Summary: N dies, leaving White all by her lonesome. Who is going to be there for her now?
Pairing(s): Past N/White, (sort of one-sided) Black/White (ChessShipping)
N - 24 years old
White - 23 years old
Black - 24 years old
White didn't understand. Hell, I don't even understand what went wrong. Six months ago, we weren't here. I wasn't comforting her so she wouldn't cry again, and we most definitely were not sitting at a funeral service, all dressed in black. No. Six months ago, White was engaged to be married and happy as ever along with her new fiancé N, while I played off to the side as the perfectly neutral friend; the secretly jealous one. I had been the one who wanted to be with White, for her to notice me as more than just a friend - but not like this. Not under these circumstances. I had wanted to win White over fairly. But this - this - it wasn't fair, to either of us.
Six months ago, N was still alive. So how had this happened? How had all of this, White's entire existence, managed to fall apart in the painfully short period of just half a year? As I sat here, solemnly staring into nothingness as one of White's friends read out a eulogy about N, holding White's hand as she cried, I couldn't help but remember everything that had lead up to this one particular moment. N's funeral. All the harsh words that had been exchanged, all the decisions made, all the tears cried, and all the smiles smiled.
"Hey, Black," N turned to me. White had gone out that evening with Bel, and had convinced me - somehow - to have a "guy's night" with her boyfriend. Right, because I wanted to spend my Friday night with the boyfriend of the girl that I loved… jeez, White!
After a moment passed without an answer from me, as I generally just didn't like him and because I was half asleep, he said my name again. "Black?"
I groaned to myself, before flopping over on his couch, and mumbling grumpily, "What?"
"Okay, what I'm about to tell you… you have to promise not to tell anyone else about it. All right?" his grey eyes flashed complete seriousness at me.
I raised my eyebrow lazily at him. "And why would you tell me whatever this is if it's so important?" I yawned out.
"Because your White's oldest and closest friend," he answered simply. He paused, and after a long moment of the TV blasting unusually loudly, he continued again. "So, do you promise not to tell anyone? Especially White?"
I rolled my eyes at all the emphasis and drama he was putting on it. It couldn't be that big, could it? Oh, how wrong I was.
"Yeah, yeah," I sat up, now thoroughly awake. He nodded, before sticking his hand in his pocket and searching for something. I crossed my arms and stared at the television blankly, waiting for him to show me what it was that he was looking for, when he got up from his chair. "What are you doing?"
"It's in my room," he replied before slipping down the hallway and arriving back in a split second. He sat down again, and I eyed his left hand which was back in the pocket.
"So, what is it?" I cocked an eyebrow at him inquiringly.
He smiled knowingly before pulling his hand out of his pocket and opening it up to show me. In his hand was a little velvet box, which he promptly opened, exposing a glittering diamond ring on a white gold band. My stomach suddenly dropped as I realized what it meant. I didn't need the explanation that followed after it.
"I-I'm going to propose to White, next week. Do you think she'll like it? Do you think she'll even accept?" N questioned shakily. He turned away from me after a minute, staring at the ring nervously. "It's just… we've been together so long. Five years. And I think she deserves to know just how much I really do love her, she deserves more commitment than this…" He paused and looked down at the ground, then began again, "I just love her so much."
So do I, I told myself inwardly. I was fighting an internal battle - one that I had managed to put off for years until now. I loved White as well, but I had loved her so much longer than N. Didn't I deserve a chance to be with her? Or was that it for me, with N proposing? Or had I already had the chance and missed it altogether? I just didn't know. I mean, before this day, before I had the knowledge that N was going to propose, I had thought that I could still get White. That being boyfriend and girlfriend wasn't that big of a commitment, and that I could still win her over. But I couldn't do that anymore. Sure, I could tell White that I loved her… but, where would that get me? Nowhere. And she was just so happy when she was with N - I couldn't just burst her bubble by confessing. I didn't have the heart to take away her happiness like that. And what if she didn't feel that same way? Then it would just be awkward and I would have ruined an entire twenty three years of friendship! But now, N was proposing! I couldn't trump that! There was just so much at stake; it was just too complicated to figure out.
Abruptly, I got up from the sofa, frazzled from my spinning mind and emotions. N looked up at me, diverting his eyes from the gorgeous, shining ring. I looked at it - White would adore it. N knew her well. Yet another thing to hate. I headed towards the door, grabbing my jacket. "Where are you going?" N inquired to me.
"I-I just realized that I have other plans," and with that said my hand was on the doorknob as I began to walk out the door.
"At 11:13 at night?" I never heard N's words; I was already out the door, heading back to my own apartment.
"Isn't it just wonderful?" White's eyes glittered with a happiness that could not be described by words alone. "Sure, I've been throwing around signals for awhile now, but I never thought it would actually happen like this! It was just so unexpected and romantic, Black!" She modelled the ring off on her finger. It then seemed to hit her like lightning all over again. "Oh my Arceus!" she faced me directly, before squealing. "Black, I'm getting married! I'm getting married!"
I feigned a smile just for her. "It's really great, White." I had managed to keep the proposal a secret, but the result of that was me forcing myself away from any contact with White. There was no way that I would have been able to look her at her and keep a straight face with the knowledge I possessed. So, I just stayed in my apartment all week. And now, here I was, standing with White while listening her go on and on about how romantic the proposal had been.
"Hey, honey, what do you think of the cathedral in Hearthome?" White called at N, who was in the kitchen fetching coffee for us all.
"Sure, it works. I like it," he answered before walking back in, just barely holding three cups of steaming coffee in his hands. "Here," he passed me mine first.
I said nothing, just grunted in response. So here I was, again, in their apartment. A month after N proposed, White had - once again, somehow - convinced me to be a part of this - of making wedding plans.
"What do you think, Black?" White turned and asked me. N sat down beside her, giving her her own coffee and then putting down his own.
I was quiet, reluctant to speak at all to N, even if it was indirectly by talking to his fiancée. Fiancée. I had never hated a word so much in the entire English language. But White wanted my opinion, so I decided to talk, anyway. "It is nice there. But didn't you always say when we were little that you wanted to get married on the Mossdeep beach during the sunset?" Black then came to terms with what he had just said. "I-I mean…"
"Oh my Arceus! Black, I completely forgot about that!" White smiled brightly at the abrupt remembrance. Clapping her hands together, she now turned to N. "What do you think about that instead?"
"I think it'd be gorgeous," N smiled at her. "When, though? I believe all of July is booked over because it's Water Pokémon Month."
"What about August then?" White looked down at the table where a calendar was laid, and she began to flip through it.
"It might work…" the two then became completely engrossed with finding the perfect date. I groaned something incoherent to even myself, and leaned back in the chair, crossing my arms. Why couldn't I have just ended my sentence at 'It is nice there'?
It was two months exactly after that day that N was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He had been having severe headaches for months beforehand, and finally they became so awful that he and White went to the doctor to have it checked out. It was hard for him to come to terms with, but not as hard as it was for White. She refused any contact with anyone for four days, and, as much I didn't want to admit it, I felt bad for N. He was already down enough with this new knowledge, but with no support from White to help him through it, he was an emotional and physical mess. I finally went to White and gave her a good talking-to:
"White, open this door now!" I slammed my fist on her and N's apartment door. He had stayed in the hospital at the doctor's request. After a minute or two of hearing no shuffling which signalled movement, I slammed again. "Now!" I thought for a second how hypocritical I was being. Two months ago, I had royally hated N. And now, I was defending him against White. What the hell was wrong with me?
"I don't want to, Black," I heard her murmur from the other side.
I sighed heavily. "Look, just let me in. Please, White."
There was a silence, then the familiar sound of the door's locks clicking. She flung open her door, to reveal a bright-red, tear-stained face. "What? What do you want, Black?" she questioned at me with a hint of anger in her voice while her eyes threatened to shed more tears right in front of me.
"I want to talk about N," I said simply.
"Well, I don't want to. Now, good-bye," she went to shut the door on my face, but I shoved my foot in its way to stop it.
"Look, White, it's not a matter of wanting to. This needs to be talked about whether you like it or not," I told her sternly. I heard her whimper from behind the door, and then open it again.
"O-okay," she whispered. She opened the door a little further to allow me room to squeeze in. She silently made her way towards the teal-coloured sofa and plopped down, looking intently at the ground.
I sat down next to her, and when it became clear that she wasn't going to spark the conversation, I began. "White." She said nothing. "White."
"What?" she cried.
My heart cracked at how heartbroken, how alone she sounded. "White, you need to go and see N."
She sniffled once more, before swinging around, her entire mood changed. "Why?" she snapped, throwing her hands out in anger and questioning. "Why should I? He's just going to go and die and leave me all alone like Cheren and Professor Araragi did!" The reminder of our dear late friend and the Professor left a bitter taste in my mouth. They had both passed away last year after catching some strange, rare sickness. White had been traumatized after it, and mortally afraid of any kind of sickness - no matter how small or harmless a cold it may have been.
"Because, White, he loves you, and you love him. How do you think he feels? He probably feels ten times more scared than you are, because he is the one who has to go through it. What he needs in reassurance, White. That someone is there, to help him through this, to hold his hand. Some hope, so he knows that he's gonna make it through this," I explained rather loudly, now somewhat angry myself. "That's why!"
White's face softened, and the tears resurfaced. Her hands went to her face where she began to sob again. I scooted over closer to her, and put an arm around her. "I… I'm sorry, White. But that's the truth. Don't you think that he deserves to have you there?"
She did nothing but cry harder. "C'mon, White. He's going to be fine. Just go and see him, all right?" I hugged her tightly once, and standing up, I pulled her up with me. "So?"
"Y-you're right. I do love him and he doesn't deserve this treatment from me. He needs me, and I need him," she paused to wipe her eyes. "I-I'll go see him tonight."
"Promise?" I gave her a very serious look.
"Promise," she smiled up at me, her eyes shining with happiness - the way they always should, in my opinion - once again.
That night, White went to see N. She apologized profusely for her absolutely appalling behaviour towards him. She explained that she was just scared of losing him like with Professor Araragi and Cheren, to which he understood. All they could really do was welcome each other back with open arms. He was also dispatched from the hospital that night, and they went home hand in hand. Another month and a half went by perfectly fine. I was included in more wedding plans, and to my surprise, was one of N's best men. But the beginning of the end of White's world came when everything was brought to a crashing halt during a practice dinner. Everything was going perfectly fine, wonderful, in fact - N's headaches had been subdued enough until they could figure out what they were going to do with him - until this one night.
"Okay now, you with the strange flippy brown hair, you will move to the end of the right table after you are done your speech, and then blondie will go up-" the very annoying wedding planner - Lillian, I think, but whatever - was telling Bel and I the plan for the reception.
I rolled my eyes at her excessively loud instructions. I'd been over this hundreds of times in the last few days with White. I understood it perfectly. I crossed my arms before looking to my side at the middle table where White and N were seated. Their fingers intertwined as they held hands, White was grinning wildly while N had a much calmer, much smaller smile on his face. Despite this, they were both enjoying it equally as much as their other significant half was. I glared slightly, but part of me was really actually happy for them. They had been together for quite a long amount of time, and N had had the courage that I knew I would never have to ask her to marry him. More specifically I was happy for White, and the fact that she had found someone to be so happy with herself, even if it wasn't me.
"Then White and her honey will cut the cake," Lillian smiled at the couple, "and then the party can begin!" Lillian began to titter all about the room, talking to the other best men and bridesmaids besides Bel and I.
Now that the plan had been gone over for the umpteenth time in the last hour, we were all free to do what we pleased until eight o'clock, when the practice dinner was over and I could finally leave. White turned to N, her eyes sparkling like usual. "Only one more month." She said this more to herself than to N.
"Yeah," N faced her. He took both of her hands now, and squeezed them. He leaned in close. "I love you, White." He brought his face a little closer to kiss her, closing his eyes and puckering his lips. White pulled away and giggled at his silly expression. When he looked up at her in confusion, she took his face in her hands and leaned in teasingly.
"And I love you," she closed in the little space between their faces by kissing him deeply. Wrapping his arms around her, N pulled her into his arms, kissing her neck now. White then began to giggle maniacally. N knew she was ticklish there - well, anywhere and everywhere, actually. "Stop! Stop it, N!" she shrieked. He laughed with her, and the jealousy that I had felt three months back was rekindled. N placed her down, and the couple looked at each other with lustful glints in their eyes. I was disgusted, but knew that if had been me with White right then, that I would have been acting the same way. N was about to claim White's mouth again when it hit. Just before N's lips connected with White's, he reeled backwards, grabbing his head in the process.
My eyes widened in horror. Oh no. Not this again. "Dammit," N grumbled, gripping the table for balance.
"N? N! N, what's wrong?" White asked, grabbing one of his arms to help him. She knew what was wrong, but we all knew that she wasn't going to admit it if she could help it. "N, please!"
"White," I ran across the room, placing a hand on her shoulder to restrain from shaking N in her worry. "White, please."
She turned to me with a frightened look in her eyes. "Black! Black, please, help him!"
I nodded at her, and suddenly N collapsed to the floor. "N!" She fell to the floor by his side. I kneeled down beside her, and without even turning to face either of them, I yelled at Bel and Lillian, "Grab a phone and call 911, ASAP!"
Almost immediately after calling 911, the paramedics were there. White went with N in the back of the ambulance, and I drove to the hospital as soon as possible. I sat with White for hours on end until the doctor told us that they had finally stabilized him, but that he was in a coma. White bawled her eyes out the entire night.
"Black, I-I can't do this. I can't lose him," she cried. She hugged me tightly. "I just can't."
"Shh," I told her, patting her back comfortingly. "Everything is going to be alright. N's a resilient guy, he'll make it through this, and you know that. Just think about the positive right now. In one month, you two are going to be happily married. This is just a minor setback." But even I wasn't so sure anymore. He was in a coma, for Arceus' sake! I didn't know when he was going to wake up, but I couldn't say anything like that to White. She'd be out of it if I did. So for now, all I could do was sit here and provide a shoulder to cry on.
Two days later, the doctor opted that removal surgery could be done on the tumour, but it'd be risky. It was either that or making regular trips to the hospital until N finally passed. White, though, was very hesitant to make such a hazardous decision. Each option was dangerous in its own way. Throughout the next few days, White would need to make a choice on N's behalf, and because of all the pressure being put on her by this, she spent most of those days weeping in either her apartment or the hospital waiting room.
After a week, White still had not made a decision, and the doctor had told me to tell her that it couldn't be put off any longer - the surgery needed to be done. The tumour was now pressing down on a prefrontal lobe, and it was much too life-threatening to just leave it there. So White finally gave in, albeit with much screaming and many tears, and N was wheeled to the operation room.
After a painfully draining ten hours, N was out of surgery, though it was too early to say whether it was a success or not. But White didn't care about that. All she needed was to know that that damned tumour was gone and that N was going to be okay.
N slept for the rest of the day, White by his side all night. He woke up late morn the next day, and all seemed well. He could talk, walk, and eat. He would, of course, have to stay a few extra days for speculation, but for the first time in a long while, everything was good and well.
Disaster struck the recovering couple for the third and last time. Well, they always said that the third time was the charm. And in this case, it was, for death, anyway. When N went to the doctor for a recovery check-up, it was discovered that he had an infection where the tumour used to be. He was told that it was nothing, and if he took his prescribed medication faithfully and was careful about it, then he would be fine. He, unfortunately, took that for granted, and never told White about it.
The infection managed to manifest itself into a dangerous sack around yet another vital part of his brain, and one day, after a particularly nasty bump to the head, it burst. He was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. Brain damage was already done. On top of that, he was once again comatose. The beginning of the end was nearing.
White was at the edge of the cliff - her cliff - with this one. She was so depressed by it all; she was just so lost without N, as was he without her. He was her guiding light in life, and without him there, how was she supposed to go on?
I was there with White through all of it once again. It became clear after a few days that he was making no progress, and because of this, their wedding was cancelled altogether. Eventually, though, the doctor told us for the last time that virtually nothing could be done, and that we should just make the most of the time we had left with him. White spent every waking moment she could with him:
I was walking down the hallway towards N's room; I had just been to the gift shop buying some flowers and a balloon that said 'Get Well Soon!' - barely appropriate for this certain "occasion", but the only other choice was one that said 'Congratulations on Your New Girl!'. I quickly arrived at his room, and was just about to open the door when I heard White's voice. Not wanting to ruin a moment for her, I slightly cracked the door so I was able to listen but not intrude.
"N," White, who was sitting on a chair beside his bed, cradled his head in her arms. "N." He said nothing, as expected. "N." Nothing. Tears silently poured down White's face. "N?"
The perfectly white room was silent for a long moment, and I felt my heart break for them. Yes, both of them. I felt sympathy for N. How could I not, after all he had been through? White and N were never going to get that happily ever after that she always talked so vivaciously about. That they both deserved. And that hurt.
N was so out of it and drugged up that anything and everything White said to him was left unheard. Finally, finally, White let herself accept the inevitable, and left it at that. She gave her engagement ring one long sorrowful look before ever-so slowly removing it from her finger. I mentally gasped at that. It was a bold move, but I understood her motives. Placing it on the bedside table, she sighed heavily. "Please forgive me for my ignorance, N. It's just too hard, too much of a reminder of you. I guess what you can say is… I… I give up." She looked pained as she admitted her defeat. And I was surprised. White was a fighter, and barely ever gave up that easily. But she had just been through so much loss, that I couldn't blame her.
Leaning down, she kissed him. "I'm sorry. Good-bye." She began to make her way to the doorway, only turning around at the last moment to give him one last, longing look. Switching the light off, she whispered, "I love you."
I was distracted and disheartened by it all that I forgot that I was watching in on the private moment through a crack in the door. White threw open the door, thoroughly catching me off guard. "Oh, um, sorry, Black," she muttered at me, wiping her eyes. The eyes that hadn't seen a ray of sunshine in months now. "I-I think I'm ready to leave now… for good."
I nodded in acknowledgment. "Just one minute, okay? I'll meet you out in the car."
She cocked her head curiously at me for a second, but complied nonetheless, trudging her way down the impossibly long hallway. As soon as I knew she was gone, I quietly made my way into the dark room. I tied the balloon to the bed and placed the flowers on the table. "You don't deserve this, dude," I said to N, shaking my head at the grim scene laid out before me.
Looking down and around the room, I noticed the ring. I involuntarily picked it up, admiring it up close. And with all consideration for both White and N, I pocketed it and left the room without another word.
"Thanks for driving me, Black…" White murmured emotionlessly, looking down to the floor of my car.
"No problem," I replied dismissively. There was a quiet moment where no one spoke, the only noise being the ridiculously harsh rain pounding on the roof of the car. "White, how are you dealing?"
"Fine," she crossed her arms and looked out the foggy window. "Just fine." Obviously she didn't feel like talking about it.
After thinking for a moment, I decided against mentioning the ring. "White…"
"I'm fine, Black."
"No, you're not."
"How would you know how I'm feeling? It's not happening to you. So don't try playing 'Doctor, Doctor' on me. I'm fine and that's final." She turned away again, and sighed shakily, and I could hear the tears already emerging. "Just… fine."
"White," I frowned in her direction. As she began to cry, I reached over and hugged her to me. For what felt like a terrible eternity, we stayed like that. It was heart-wrenching to hear her cry so hard.
"Black?" she looked up at me after a minute.
"Yes?" my eyes locked onto hers.
"I.. I-" she cut herself by pushing her face into mine in an aggressive kiss. I could taste the salty tears running down her face, and despite myself, I wasn't going to let it go any further.
Gently pushing her off of me, I took hold of her arms and looked her deep in the eyes. "White, this isn't the answer. This isn't what you want."
"Yes it is," she sobbed.
"No, you're just hurt. You're hurt and frustrated, you're lost and you don't know what to do about it, and so you're making bad decisions," I told her firmly and truthfully, stating the facts. I wrapped my arms around her. "Please, White."
"No, no, no, no, no! NO!" she shoved me away violently, grabbing the handle of the passenger door, causing it to swing open. Face to her hands, she ran out towards her apartment, the rain pouring down onto her bare skin. When the point came that I couldn't see her through the sheets of rain anymore, I exhaled heavily. I would have gone after her, but she needed some time alone. Some time to think about everything, about the choices she was making.
Thinking about what just happened, I proceeded to slam my head on the steering wheel, honking the horn. Right then, I could care less who I disturbed. I needed a release. I had just kissed the girl of my dreams, and I should have liked if it, if it were for the right reasons. But she was just angry and confused by everything that was happening to her, and if I had let it go any further, I would have regretted it all, as would she. She would just going to have to learn that lesson the hard way, however much she didn't need it right now.
N died later that night. White got the call the next morning, and we didn't speak to each other for two weeks. Not all that long after, I received an invitation from White… to N's funeral.
End of Flashbacks
And now, here we were. Back at the beginning, at the end of it all. White and I still hadn't talked since the whole kissing incident, but I was still sitting here holding her hand while she sobbed. I would talk to her about at some point in time, but now was not the time. Now was the time to remember the man that she loved and would always love with her entire being and heart. The man who was equally as crazy about her.
I walked out into the parking lot hand in hand with White, still no words being exchanged. It was driving me crazy, the tension. I finally turned to her. "White."
"No, let me speak first," she shushed me. I blinked. "I'm sorry for my reaction to all of this, Black. I just got out of control, like you said. I was letting my anger speak for me, not my head."
The entire time she spoke, I was fiddling with her engagement ring in my pocket. I had been wanting to give it back to her, for N's sake. She continued, "I just wish I'd been a little better about the situation. I was so immature about it."
"No, you weren't," I smiled understandingly at her. "You were losing so much, so fast. It was only natural you act that way."
She half-smiled back, before we began to walk again. Kicking a rock, she breathed out loudly, "I wonder where we'd be if he was still here. Married, maybe… hopefully." She fell behind a pace. "I'm sorry if I've said this so many times that you're sick of hearing it, but, I really, really loved him. I miss him so much."
"No, I understand," I linked arms with her. As we made our way to my car, I finally worked up the courage to give her the ring. I stopped her, grabbed hold of the ring, and held out my hand. "Here."
Opening my hand up, she gasped at it. "Oh my Arceus, Black." She took the ring, just holding it while staring. I took it from her hand, and placed it back on her ring finger.
"Now keep it there," I told her. "It's a symbol of your and N's love. I think you owe him at least that much."
Happy tears glimmering in her eyes, she nodded. "You're right." And for the first time in forever, her eyes were glowing bright with happiness once again. Not sadness, not anger, not confusion, but straight out happiness. They were the eyes I remembered, the ones I loved.
As she let herself into my car, I knew that I could put off - no, wait - on telling her how I felt. I think I owed her at least that much, as well. And, hell, maybe this was the chance that I had been waiting for.
Author's Notes: Like, whoa. This wasn't supposed to turn out this way. O_O But, whatever! I sort of like it, even if it wasn't what I originally envisioned!
'Til next time!