"I continue to fight, seeking strength,
as I remember the things I realize in my fleeting weakness.
I ran believing in the solitude I felt,
and had no one to rely on.
You were always close by me, giving me your kindness.
Looking back, the truth is that I longed for it.
There are things I can't say very well,
but at last something was born that could convey them without words."
– "Don't Be Long" by Nana Mizuki
As the two began draw in on Nimbasa City, the sunset began to close in on the sky. The sun was just beginning to be clipped off by the western horizon, where the sky was still a light blue; the eastern meeting of the sky and the ocean had just began to sparkle with the first couple of stars, accompanied by the dark blue of night. The orange in the middle divided but also brought together the seeming opposites that were night and day; different yet so strikingly similar, counterparts that had the ability to oppose but – more importantly – the ability to come together and create something beautiful, like so few other things could ever do.
The view of all this from way up high, soaring on Braviary, was nothing short of magnificent – N and White both thought this as they took in their surroundings.
N, behind White and holding her waist, saw her looking from one horizon to the other. He smiled; he had not felt this serene for quite some time. The fact that he felt so serene right now struck him as strange, however. Yes, it was true he wasn't worried about many things he had been just a short while ago – Ghetsis, Kyurem, Reshiram and Zekrom, and most imperatively, White's safety. But now he was worried about something else, something unlike anything else he'd ever been worried about – namely, his emotions towards White and how she would receive them. How did she really feel about him?
He shut his eyes in thought – it was another unsolvable formula. She had said herself they were friends on several occasions. She had corrected Lenora when the archeologist thought they were dating. She seemed jumpy, or nervous, when he hugged her, when he touched her; when he showed signs that apparently humans could interpret as something only done during dating and not during a friendship. But then he could feel his own heart rate accelerate when White was close to him; was this because of how he felt about her?
Why were humans emotions so complicated? N sighed inwardly. There was simply no way for him to know, as White had explained. He had to take the risk, because of how strongly he felt.
But what if she didn't feel the same way? What would happen? What if he lost the relationship he had already built with White? White, who had saved him from himself, making him realize the truth. White, who was his first and only human friend. White, who accepted him and understood him like no one else had before.
Could he really risk losing that?
Unconsciously he pulled himself a little closer to White. What would he ever do if he lost her now?
White felt her face heat up a bit as N's body pushed into hers. He seemed off; not his usual self. Then again, it's not like White was feeling completely normal either – why were they headed to Nimbasa? Why did N want to get there so quickly? Should she ask? No – no, something compelled her not to. What if Ghetsis had swayed him? What if he was beginning to doubt? Could she handle that, losing her friendship with N?
And even if that wasn't it – how was she supposed to deal with herself, and how she felt about him? She couldn't keep just pretending that he was just a friend, because to her he wasn't; he was N, N who was the sweetest and most considerate and caring person she had ever met, N who showed her the beauty of ideals. But he was also N who had no human friends – she knew that she was his first real friend; how could she take that away from him by being selfish and giving into her feelings? N probably didn't even know how to detect such emotions anyway – it was foolish of her to think they could ever be anything more than just friends.
His voice broke her out of her thoughts. "There's Nimbasa."
The tallest structure of the city caught her eye first – the brightly lit, ever-churning Ferris wheel. The glowing light of the yet-to-set sun shone on it, making it stand out even more.
Braviary began to descend to the ground. N took a deep breath.
White could feel her heart jump; she had no clue what he was going to say, and all her nerves were on edge. She looked back at him. "Yes?"
He did not meet her gaze. "We... we will always be friends, yes?"
She gave him a small smile. "Of course."
N turned his head up, looking into her blue, blue eyes. "No matter what?"
"No matter what."
White faced front again and her smile instantly faded. If she wasn't nervous before, she definitely was now.
Braviary landed gracefully, cawing softly. The two trainers slid off the feathered back, and White gave her Pokémon a gentle hug. "Thank you so much, Braviary."
"Yes, thank you, Braviary. You've been a lot of help."
White recalled the eagle-like Pokémon in a red light and put the Poké Ball back into her bag. She thought about asking N where they were going, but there was no need. Where else could he possibly want to go?
And so the two silently strolled into the streets of Nimbasa City, their stomachs tossing about amidst their silent tension. They went past the Nimbasa Gym; how long had it been, White wondered, since she battled Elesa and received the Bolt Badge? About as long as she and N had stood on this very ground and battled, she supposed.
She broke out of her trance as they stopped to stand line for the Ferris wheel. To their luck, however, there was but a short waiting time. Before they knew it, the two were standing in a cart on the Ferris wheel, and they had begun to ascend to the sky.
For moments there were still no words between them, and the silence was now emphasized in the enclosed space where no noises from the city could permeate. White swallowed and glanced at N, who was staring out to the sky. She could feel the the thousands of Butterfree fluttering in her stomach. Gathering her courage, she took a deep breath and spoke. "So, N, why... why did you want to come here?"
N turned to face her but White did not meet his gaze. "You... you agreed that this was a special place... right?"
"Of course... I mean, this... this is..." White drew a shaky breath; why was she so nervous? She could barely speak properly. "This is where, well, this is where..."
"This is where I told you I was the king of Team Plasma," N finished for her.
N took a deep breath. He had to do this, now, while they were here, before he lost his confidence. "White, there's something important I want to talk to you about."
White felt her legs start to turn into jelly. "Y... yes?" She was scared, scared of what he was going to say, and the endless possibilities began to race through her mind once again.
N opened his mouth and then closed it. He hadn't thought about this too much – what exactly should he say? How could he possibly convey his feelings into words properly? What did people usually say in this situation? No – no, that didn't matter. Conventional manners didn't matter. All that mattered was getting his feelings across to White. What had she said in Nacrene...?
And then suddenly his mind began to jump to all different things at once – going on the Ferris wheel for the first time, battling White and Zekrom, White getting kidnapped at Nacrene, flying to Nuvema Town with White, White holding his hand, White's smile – so many different emotions all at once.
But at the center of it all was the pure happiness he felt when he was with White.
"N?" White said softly.
He realized how long he had said nothing, and attempted to gather his confidence again. How to say this in words? How to say it properly, how to let White know how strongly he felt? Should he think about it, or should he just say it –
And then words just began to spill out of his mouth, like when he had been holding her in the Giant Chasm. "White, you are very special to me. You're the first human friend I've ever had, and you've taught me so many important things. You've made me realize that Pokémon and people can live together in happiness, but more importantly that one can defy fate and live as they wish. You've allowed me to accept being a human, and saved me from being alone – you saved me from so much sadness. I can never show you how grateful I am to you for that, White." He paused and White spoke up.
"I could say the same thing to you, N. Before I met you, I... I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I began traveling because Cheren and Bianca did. But when I met you, I – I was so inspired. I had never met anyone before who had such strong beliefs. But when I found out you were the king of Team Plasma, I... I didn't know what to think. I had thought we could be friends, but when I found that out I started to doubt that. And then I had to keep traveling, especially once you told me you wanted me to wield the Dark Stone and Zekrom. And then when we confronted each other on the top of the castle, I... I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel, and sort out ideals of my own. And I wanted to be with you, because I wanted to be your friend."
There was a moment or two of silence before N spoke again as he took in her words. "White. There is something I want to ask you."
The girl finally met his gaze; the emeralds that, as always, were filled that strong resolve. "Yes?"
"In the Chargestone Cave, you told me you had a dream. What is that dream?"
White shut her eyes for a moment. "I dreamt... I dreamt that somehow, both of us could be happy, despite the conflict between us."
"...I see... White, have you been happy these past few days? These... even with everything going on around us, these have been some of the happiest days of my life. White, you make me happier than anyone else has or ever will."
White felt her heart jump; did N realize how the things he was saying could be taken? Or was he doing that intentionally? How could she respond? She knew she couldn't hide how she felt forever, and with every word that N said, keeping it hidden now seemed harder and harder. "You too, N, you too," she said, her voice hurried, as she took a step towards him. "N, I, I..." But she stopped, her confidence vanishing. How could she possibly tell him this, how could she possibly tell him how she felt? Would N even understand her emotions?
And then N stepped close to her, placing his hands on her shoulders. "White, I've been thinking a lot about what you told me in Nacrene City. You are my very precious friend, but I don't think I feel the way about you as a friend should. I want to spend all of my time with you. I want to make you happy, and make you feel better when you're sad. When you fell unconscious in the Giant Chasm, I... I don't think I've ever felt more scared in my life." He paused, and took a deep breath. "White, I don't know if you feel the same way, but I'm going to take a risk and tell you that I love you, because you make feel stronger than any other Pokémon has ever been able to, and I never thought that would be possible."
At once the world froze for White, and she stood completely still as all her muscles ceased to function. Everything suddenly seemed like a surreal dream. N loved her? Was that even possible? Her legs felt weak, like they could give way at any second. Did N mean what he was saying? Did he know what he was saying?
Of course he did – this was N, who was more strongly connected to emotions than anyone who had ever met. This was N, telling her that he loved her, N who had showed her the beauty of ideals, N who had the pure heart of a child, N who had rescued her from Ghetsis, N who was always gentle and kind and brave. This was N, who she loved, too.
But N spoke again before she could, her silence making his heart ache. Of course. He should have never said anything. How could he expect White to feel the same way? White was human and he was not. He slid his hands down her arms, lightly holding her wrists. His voice was soft, and his eyes did not meet her. "I'm sorry, White. It was foolish of me to think that you would feel the same way about me."
And then, as if she had lost control of her body, White stepped forward on her tip-toes and kissed him.
Like White had previously, N became utterly motionless. What was going on? Was she returning his feelings? He couldn't even think – all he could focus on was White, here, so close to him, and her lips, soft and warm like the rest of her, just pressed against his –
It was only a short time, though, before White stepped back. She cast her eyes to the corner, her face flushed. The Ferris wheel was just reaching its summit; everything below them seemed so tiny, insignificant, like they were the only two in the world.
For what seemed like an eternity neither of them dared move or say anything. N looked down at her, praying she would say something – how did she feel? Was she saying that she loved him, too? Or that she recognized his feelings, but perhaps she didn't feel the same way? He had to say something, he had to know. "White?" He asked, his voice so soft it was barely audible.
White still did not meet his eyes, but gave her reply in a whisper. "I love you too, N." Oh, why had she done that? Obviously N wouldn't know how to react. She had probably just made him nervous and uneasy. "N, I'm sorry I –"
Whatever she was going to apologize for, N didn't care as he gently lifted her chin and kissed her. Of course he no idea what he was doing or why he did it, but he just mimicked White's action in his soft and gentle way.
White made a small, cute, surprised noise in her throat, and N pulled back. "Oh, are – are you okay?"
Despite the redness of her face, she met his light emerald eyes and beamed at him. "I'm fine. Actually, I'm great."
Right then, as her blue, blue eyes sparkled and she smiled at him, nothing but the sky outside around them, N thought she looked impossibly beautiful. He smiled back at her, stepping forward and putting his arms around here. She was so happy she couldn't help but laugh, throwing her arms around him.
He pulled her closer and she looked up at him again. She stood on her tip-toes once more, inching their faces closer, and he leaned down a little and they were kissing another time. With confidence born from their words, they moved their lips and made it a real kiss instead of just pressing their mouths together. Their faces burned as they felt their tongues make contact – softly and gently, and filled with a warm love.
After an amount of time that neither of them could discern, they slowly pulled their heads away, staying close so as to stay in each other's arms.
"I love you," N said quietly.
"I love you, too."
They stayed cuddled into each like that, no words between them, until their cart reached the ground again. They had pulled away from each other reluctantly, and held hands as they walked off.
White had been first to break the silence. "Well, um... what now?"
N smiled at her, holding his free arm out as if showing her the world itself. "It's still light out! We can continue to travel today, of course."
She giggled, reaching into her bag. "Alright." She held out a Poké Ball, and a red light shot out of it and took the form of Braviary. She climbed onto her Pokémon, pulling N with her. As they took off into the sky, N said, "White, I have a question."
"Hm? What is it?"
"We... we will always be this close, right?"
White turned her head back, giving him a swift kiss on the cheek. "Of course we will."
He could not help but smile, putting his arms around her and pulling her close with no trace of forgotten nervousness.
"So... where to?" She asked.
"Well, if we're going to travel and see the world... why don't we head to somewhere off of Unova?"
White put her hands on top of N's, holding them tightly. "I like that idea." She paused. "So... we're off to see the world?"
"We're off to see the world!"
And then, together, they chanted, "Let's go!"
And so they went, soaring off into the orange sun, soaring off into the area between night and day. They would always be together; they were different yet the same, two halves of one, two beings that needed the other, like the sun and the moon, like Reshiram and Zekrom, like yin and yang.
"Don't be long; because I met you, the courage that shines in my heart
releases forth a strength beyond imagination.
Let's move forward with all our might so we don't lose to destiny;
an unforeseen development is opening up the future."
A/N: Wow! Wow, I, uh... I'm not sure what to say. I had a bunch of things planned I wanted to include in this note that came to me while I was writing, but... yeah. Wow, well, uh, there you have it, I guess. I finally finished. I guess first and foremost I want to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone who stayed with this story and even more so people who left me reviews, as they really mean a lot to me. I try to take my time to respond to every one I get via PM, and if you left one recently I probably haven't but I plan to get to that right now. If I don't, I'm so sorry, but really, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm really hoping everyone who was enjoying the story so far enjoyed the ending. I spent a lot of time on it! On specific notes... I've never written something that's climaxed at a confession scene like that so much so I'm sorry if the confession itself and the kiss was sloppy, but I tried my best. And I'm sorry if the very end of it was rushed, I just... I wanted so badly to finish this, to see the end of it myself!
Part of me wants to write a sequel to this, just because I love writing N and White so much, and it's like I've grown so attached to them! But I mean I know deep down a sequel to this would never go anywhere - I mean what could happen? So I guess what I'm saying is I plan to write more NxWhite just because I adore it so and as much as I want to this is probably the finale of this story. Anyway, um... thanks to all who put me on their alerts! I'm going to keep writing and plan on writing a lot more Pokémon fics, so I hope you'll read those. Well... I guess that's about it! Again, thank you all so much for sticking with me, and I really hope you enjoyed it!