A/N: Well, it looks like I didn't forget about this story after all! There's a whole explanation about what brought me back to this, but I don't want to bore you. All that matters is that there's an update, right? Now, I'm sorry to say it's unedited. But I know if I wait to edit it, I will forget and it will take me ages to get it out. So please bare through the roughness of it and just enjoy, okay?
Also, I'm not promising how fast I will update this- there's no way for me to know. But what I AM promising is that I will finish this series eventually. Even if that means years. ._.
The X-transciever sat on the table before me, open and displaying Cheren's face. He looked at me with a mixture of relief and disapproval and I certainly couldn't blame him.
"Well?" He prodded.
"Well what?" I asked quietly, sipping at the drink I had.
I sat in a quiet corner of one of the many café's in the town, sipping on a drink and working through my thoughts. Nobody in here seemed to even take notice of me, let alone be bothered by my talking.
Cheren sighed in frustration. He always hated when he had to spell things out for me, "Is he with Team Plasma or not, White?"
"I…" I smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of my neck. "I don't know."
"You don't know?" He repeated, his voice low. "How did you get locked inside in the middle of a storm with him and not at least find out if he was evil?"
I let out a long breath, "It's not that easy, you know. I can't just cut in the middle of conversation and go 'Oh, hey N, I was meaning to ask you something. Are you evil?' It doesn't work like that!"
"Do you at least have some feel for his intentions?"
I remained silent for a moment, thinking over my answer. He had saved me from the storm, promised to protect me from harm and given me his sweatshirt. But then again, he also told me to stick to my course if I wanted answers, which is exactly what Team Plasma had told me. I wanted to believe it was all some coincidence, but that was hard to do.
Plus, he said he would always be nearby. That thought bothered me the most. If I was being forced into some great role, forced into saving the world it seemed, and he was always nearby… well, didn't that make him the bad guy?
"I don't know, Cheren." I admitted with a sigh. "There's too much to think about and sift through. I can't decide what I think. I can tell you he's nice, though."
"Oh, he's nice, is he?" Cheren removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes, "That's just great, White. I'm so glad he's nice. Why don't you be sure to invite him to your tea party while Igo out looking for Team Plasma, okay?"
His words hurt, but I knew he was right. I had known all along that getting myself involved with someone who just seemed so off would be a problem. And it would mean betrayal if he happened to be the enemy. I knew I shouldn't keep associating with him, but I also found it hard to stop.
"I'm sorry," He breathed, drawing my attention back, "I don't mean to be so hard on you. I know it's not easy for you. And I'm sure being rude like this isn't the help you were looking for."
I offered him a weak smile, "It's alright, you're just being honest. I know I need to get some straight answers out of him. And I will do my best, I promise. Just…"
My voice trailed off and I turned my attention to the paper cup in my hand. I could see how I was trembling and I knew why.
"Just," I took a deep breath and looked back at his image, "Don't hate me if he is the enemy and I've gotten myself into all this trouble."
"Oh, White." He sighed, "You know I couldn't hate you. You're my best friend."
I wanted to tell him that he's stupid for having a best friend like me. That he's dumb and clearly self-sacrificing, but that would do no good. So what if I was probably walking head-first into my doom? I had gotten us into trouble a million times over the years. This would be no different, right?
"Thanks." I mumbled lamely, reaching out to pick up the X-transciever, "Anyways, I have to go, it's getting late. I'll let you know if I get any other answers."
"And I'll do the same." He nodded briefly before his image disappeared without so much as a goodbye.
I sighed heavily and slumped back in my seat again. Stupid Team Plasma, really. That's what this all boiled down to! If I hadn't encountered them and known of their activity, I wouldn't have to worry about N's involvement and I would be able to be friends with him.
I pushed myself out of my seat before I had the chance to start feeling sorry for myself and exited the café. Nurse Joy had already agreed to let me stay the night in the pokemon center again and I would set out in the morning. For now I just needed a good amount of rest.
I trudged through the city, slightly more skillful at dodging the other people as they threaded their way through the streets. The pokemon center came into view and I sighed with relief, entering and waving briefly to nurse Joy as I walked down the hall and to the third room on the left.
Once safely in my room with the door shut, I released all my pokemon and dropped my backpack to the floor. They gathered around me as I pulled out some food and spread it out in front of them for them to enjoy. They cooed happily and began feasting while I took off my hat and shoes and undid my hair.
"Bed," I mumbled, dropping back onto it with a sigh, "Make things better."
I slipped under the covers again, closing my eyes and sighing in content as my pokemon climbed onto the bed once they had finished their meal and snuggled around me. It was these moments that made the last few days worthwhile.
The next morning I was greeted with a surprisingly cloudless sky. I could hardly believe my eyes as I looked out the window and into the blue sky.
"Wow, " I muttered, "I didn't know Castelia could see anything but clouds."
A slight smile graced my lips as I helped my pokemon off the bed and spread out some more food for them to eat. They nibbled on it gratefully as I fixed my hair and clothes and packed up for the day.
"Are you guys ready to go?" I smiled down at them as they all surrounded my feet, "Okay then! Here's to adventure!"
I lifted each of their pokeballs into the air individually before clipping them all safely to my belt and heading out of the center, calling a thank you and a goodbye to Nurse Joy as I exited. My goal for the day? Get to the next town without meeting Team Plasma a single time.
It was really getting to be sick how often their name crossed my mind.
It was easy for me to find the exit of the city that lead to route 4 because there were signs all over the city pointing me in the right direction. I paused in front of the gate, fixing my hat and securing my backpack. With a deep breath I crossed through the small building and onto the other side.
What I hadn't been expecting was for the other side to suddenly be a complete desert. What surprised me more than that, however, was to find Cheren leaning against the fence just past the door.
"Took you long enough to get here," He smiled as he pushed off the fence and moved to my side.
I glanced at him cautiously, still a little unhappy with yesterday's conversation, "What are you doing here?"
He sighed, brushing a few pieces of my hair off my shoulders, "I came to make this part of the trip with you. It's the least I can do after yesterday. Plus," he paused and met my eyes, choosing the right words to finish with, "I want to be there if you happen to run into them again."
He didn't need to specify who he meant with the vague 'them' because I already knew. "Oh." I muttered before trying to lighten the mood, "What? You don't think I'll get anywhere with them unless you're there to help?"
He shot me a look that said he found my joke less than amusing, "I'm just starting to worry about you."
I shook my head and pushed past him, clutching the straps to my backpack and heading off into the sand. My feet sunk down as I trudged carefully across the new medium, but it didn't stop me. I could feel Cheren next to me and I knew he was walking perfectly in step with me like he always had, but I didn't turn to look at him.
"I don't want to worry you." I spoke, my voice carrying with the wind. "And you shouldn't worry. I'm fine. I can handle myself, remember?"
He stopped next to me, gripping my wrist so I had to stop with him, "Why are you always so dense? You're my best friend, White. I worry about you when you get a scratch. And now you seem to be involved with a whole evil organization. Of courseI'm worried about you, and you can't change that. But it's not because I don't think you can handle yourself."
"Worrying won't do you any good." I mutter, "You can't change what's going to happen by worrying."
"Then why do you worry about N?"
His words caught me off guard and I looked up to his blue eyes for some sort of confirmation. His gaze was fixed on something in the distance, but that didn't stop me for searching his face for some clues.
"You can't change him, White. If he's evil, you will be forced to defeat him. There's nothing you can do to change that fact. And yet, you still worry about him."
"You don't know him, Cheren!" I cried, my eyes meeting his, pleading for him to understand, "He isn't a bad guy."
"What if he is, White?" He spat, "What if he is their king? He could be behind this whole thing!"
"I can't believe that." I whisper, not sure how true my words are. I don't know what I really believe when it comes to N, so there's no way to say that these words of mine are true.
"No." Cheren bit out, clearly trying to keep his tone under control, "you don't wantto."
"Is that why you came here?" I yanked my hand out of his grasp, "To remind me that I could be making one of the biggest mistakes ever? Did you come here to remind me that he may be evil and that I'm in over my head? Because thanks, Cheren, really. But I don't need reminders."
Before he could reply to me I turned on my heels and began to stalk back off through the desert. The wind was harsh but warm against my skin and it made me happy that I had packed N's sweatshirt inside my backpack. I also wouldn't want Cheren seeing it. Especially not when we're in such a huge fight.
"White!" He called from behind me, rushing to catch up to me, "White come back!"
But I ignored him. I sucked in a deep breath and pressed on. I knew he would catch me if I didn't speed up, but that didn't matter. It was the point I was trying to make that mattered more.
"White, come on. Don't just leave like that." He was standing in front of me now, hands stretched to either side, blocking my way around him. "Talk to me."
"No, thanks. I think we've done enough talking."
"I hope I'm wrong. I hope he's a good guy." He blurted out suddenly, "I want him to be a great, nice guy that I can like. Because you're clearly captivated by him and I've never seen you like this. But I can't let up on him until I knowhe's good. What kind of best friend would I be if I let you walk into something dangerous?"
The moment the words escaped his lips, my anger deflated. I slumped my shoulders and stared up at him, feeling the familiar prick of tears in the corners of my eyes. I knew he was right and he was just doing this because he cared. And I knew I wasn't really mad at him, anyways. I was mad at myself for being so stupid. It was just hard to hear all my thoughts confirmed in the form of my best friend.
"I'm sorry." I replied lamely, tracing circles in the sand with my toe, "I'm just afraid and this isn't helping."
"I know," he replied, rubbing my arm gently, "I know. I won't bring it up again."
I smiled weakly at him as he offered an arm to me. I looped my own through it and we began to walk quietly through the desert again. As we walked I let the air warm my skin and melt away my anger. Fighting with my best friend was certainly not the right way to act in this situation. I needed his support more than ever, so I couldn't be pushing him away.
"We're here." He muttered, smiling at me.
In front of us loomed another large gate, this one labeled with brilliant gold letters. "NIMBASA" was spelled out clearly in front of us. Butterflies filled my stomach as we crossed through the gate and I realized that my goal of making it here without running into those idiots was accomplished.
The sun hung high in the sky, signaling the middle of the day. The air on the other side of the gate was warm, but it lacked the breeze the desert had.
"I'm thinking we should stop for some lu-" Cheren stopped mid-word, his eyes fixed on something in the distance.
"Cheren? What are you-" I stopped, too, following his gaze. There, just a few feet away, at the entrance to what looked like an amusement park, stood a mop of green hair. "N."
He walked leisurely into the amusement park, his hands tucked neatly in his pockets. He looked like he hadn't a care in the world.
Without another thought or even a second glance to Cheren, I took off at a sprint towards N. I weaved through lines of people in the amusement park, trying to find that familiar tea green hair. Suddenly, I spotted him and came to a complete stop.
"N." I breathed, walking slowly up to him.
"White." He smiled at me, "Care to join me?"
And with those words, he motioned towards the completely empty ferris wheel he was standing in front of.