oh my FRICKIN FUNGUS. I HAVENT UPDATED IN MONTHS. i actually had this chapter done about a month ago, it's just that every SINGLE TIME I GOT TO WIFI, I FUNGING FORGOT TO POST IT.

Who I Truly Desire 11

It's hard to watch your best friend become Ill.

I was sitting beside him, caring for my friend while he was…recovering?

Meanwhile, Agatha was cooking a remedy that she said would help the symptoms of his cold. Or whatever it was. Black reported feeling nauseated, so he could be having the flu as well. I don't know. I've heard of people dying of the flu before, but in normal situations we'd have a doctor that would immediately tend to him and he would be well by the next day.

I realized that the human race has advanced quite a bit in the medical field, for it was hard to imagine how the world must have been without it. I've read that that there were recent advances that wiped out quite a bit of the world's sicknesses and ailments. So I realized that our technology of today should be something we shouldn't just take as something unimportant.

What was it that he was sick with? Was it the flu? Or was it something that he got from the forest?

I gently placed my hand on the damp cloth that was placed upon his forehead. It was warm. Already? Only minutes ago, it was cool to the touch.

So I took the towel away and dipped it in the bowl of ice cold water that was placed beside of me. I watched the warmth of the cloth disappear and become as coagulating as it was before. Seconds after, the towel was back on his forehead once more.

My legs unlocked themselves from their kneeled position and I sighed as the pitter-patter of rain soothed my frazzled senses. I never knew that time to recollect all of the time we had spent together in the past few days would relieve me so much. But I feel so exhausted now that Black's been ill…

The sound of the rain pattering outside mixed with the dismal sound of Black's faint breathing not to mention the clattering coming from the kitchen, created a schism of noise in my mind. I groaned in annoyance and shook my head. To check, I laid my hand on my friend's forehead once more. He seemed fine enough.

So I stood up, looking towards the kitchen to see if Agatha was still cooking. I asked her if she would kindly take care of Black for a while. She pleasantly said a reply of acceptance to the request. That was the queue for me to leave for a while so I laced up my boots and slipped my arms through the sleeves of my jacket, bound for the outside world.

Well if you could call the front porch the 'outside world'.

Things were going smoothly for the trip as of yet. I've gotten six badges, traversed quite a few landscapes of the Unova region, and my team has developed quite well so far.

But why does it feel like I haven't accomplished anything?

There's an indifference that passes through my senses as I sigh, burying my face in my hands. People say that when you grow up, you get mood swings. So I guess this is one of them.

I worry about Black. Again. It was starting to get annoying to worry about him constantly in this state. He's safe in the house with Agatha. I KNOW that. But what is there to worry about? It's not like the world is going to end, or Black is going to die.

My cheeks color again when I remember the scene that one night…on Brav's belly after the two of us fell off of Celestial Tower. The things he said so softly that evening, they made me think about our relationship. Very intently.

It's obvious. I laughed to myself softly the moment I realized how stupid I was. How stupid I was to not notice that he didn't like me before that fall. I know that he likes me now…but I have no idea what to do about it. I don't think the feelings are mutual in this situation because it's just that our relationship has lasted too long. Too long for me to suddenly start loving my childhood friend, romantically I mean.

But there is that one spark in my chest. A spark that refuses to be put out by my feelings of denial and refusal. It's just a small glimmer there, and it doesn't look strong enough to set alight. But just because the feelings has a small chance of being mutual in our situation doesn't mean that the romance will last. I'm doubting that we actually have much chemistry together. Although I care for Black a lot, it's more like how I would love my sibling. Yeah, I know it's harsh to 'friend-zone' him. But I'm afraid that if we ever do become a couple, everything would fall apart. It seems too cliché that such an event would occur; two friends go on a journey and fall in love in the end.

Then there's every single moment he shows affection for me. I have no idea what to do when that happens. There is that whole phase of embarrassment and confusion, but somewhere buried between the two is a short moment of longing. That warmth in my heart that just wants to make me smile. Sadly, embarrassment and confusion seem to dominate the competition; that final emotion gets squished underneath it all. So much that it might as well not exist.

But these are my own feelings. Why am I so confused as to whether or not I care for him the same way he does for me? It should be easy to determine it. And why am I worrying about it so much? It should just be an issue that I quickly dismiss and deal with. But the feeling that I accomplished nothing would return then.

Maybe this trip was pointless after all.

But why did I choose to go on it in the first place?

My eyes closed as I felt a few droplets of rain slide down my face. They were like nonexistent tears, I thought, and it was kind of funny how my mind was in an apathetic swirl of thought. No reason to think about it actually, because it's simple. Go through the journey all the way to my final goal. And as cliché as it sounds, it should be all right to follow my true feelings. It shouldn't matter anymore.

Follow where my heart leads me.

The next morning rose, but I didn't really see it. It rained through the entire evening, and the sky continued to shed its tears. Black was still ill, although at this point of time he was beginning to recover. In fact, he was able to talk to me with clarity.

"Are you sure that you'll be alright?" Agatha's gray hair swayed slightly as she spooned a bit of her soup into Black's mouth.

"I…think I'll be fine. If I rest though," Black's facial expression brightened after swallowing the mixture.

Joey suddenly burst into the room with a shout and his exclamation of joy seemed to follow through in his sudden entrance.

"Black! Black! Ratatta got so much stronger!" He cried the moment he set eyes on my friend. Joey, soon after, darted to where Black was and quickly started to ramble and chat about how his ratatta recently had gained a level in strength.

Agatha smiled warmly at her grandson and left the soup beside Black, instructing him to finish eating it. Afterwards she retreated to the backyard patio similar to how I left to the front porch only last evening.

I felt driven to follow her to the outside of the house, so I followed the elderly woman through the back door. The instant the door opened, I was met with a strong gust of wind that scrambled my hair. My body stiffened in apprehension, but the moment I did so the gale immediately disappeared. Relieved, I took a step outside into the patio.

Agatha was sitting in one of the chairs that overlooked the view of the entrance to the forest. The sound of the rain pattering was amplified, and I watched the woman let out a sigh. She smiled again and called out, surprising me in my reverie.

"White, come here please."

At first I feared that she was irritated by the fact that I was somewhat eavesdropping on her, but the tone of her voice was calm and the smile on her face remained. But not once did she turn around and look at me.

She motioned for me to sit in the lounging chair beside of her, so I complied and took a seat.

Her first words in our conversation were these, "It's a beautiful day outside isn't it, my dear?"

I looked at her in surprise and I replied, "It's raining. Doesn't that make you feel gloomy?"

"No," She breathed. "In fact, I feel as if the rain is cleansing the world. It makes me feel calm. Don't you agree?"

I pondered the thought as I let out another sigh. So I took out my hand and held it out to catch a few drops in my palm. The water felt cool and refreshing.

"You…You're right," I said.

"There's always something out there to teach you, something to learn. Even in the simplest things, my dear," She chuckled and slightly adjusted the yellow scarf that was wrapped around her neck.

"How so?"

She stood up and held her hands together, watching the rain. "Even in the smallest things to the greater ones. Like…Pokémon battling. Don't you see? You learn about the bonds between the trainer and their companions. You learn about friendships and love and even more than that. All from one battle. Don't you see, White?"

"Yeah, I guess so," My mouth closed afterwards and my mind found nothing else to converse about.

Agatha sat down once more and looked at me for the first time. "…In fact, that's the reason I first came to live here in the Unova region."

I was taken aback. "So you're not from here? Where are you from then, Agatha?"

Her face suddenly became disgruntled, although the slight smile still remained on her face. As if she was deeply discerning about something.

"You promise not to tell anyone?" She laughed softly.

I nodded, complying with her request.

"I'm from…the Sinnoh region," the woman finally replied with a sigh. "In fact, my name isn't really Agatha. It's Bertha."

"Bertha? One of the members of the Sinnoh League's Elite Four?!" I almost squirmed in my chair but the excitement only came out as a semi-loud cough. There could be only one explanation for this…she's gone incognito!


"Th-then why are you here in Unova? Don't you have battle clients to attend to then?" I barely choked out of my throat.

Bertha laughed with delight at my reaction, but she didn't seem to laugh at me. Only for fun.

"Oh child, you have so much to learn. I already told you the reason I'm here."

"Then could you explain again? Please…?" I said softly.

"Gladly. Your region is so beautiful, and I wanted to get away from the heavy battling of the Pokemon League. So I came here to relax and learn new things with nature," Bertha said calmly.

"Oh," So many rushed questions wanted to escape through my lips, but I mentally answered some and chose one to let go.

"Why choose the name Agatha?"

Her face suddenly went blank. As if she just remembered something important. "It's the same name as my sister, Agatha. She…used to be a member of the Elite Four back at Kanto. But she retired."

"So are you retiring also?"

"Retiring? Oh, no! There are still quite a few more things I need to learn about Pokemon. And it's such great fun. It's enough to make me as energetic as I was when I was young. My stay here in Unova is only temporary," She said.

"That's a relief then," I replied. "But isn't it strange that you're here in the marshy area of Unova? You're a ground type trainer, so I find it unnatural that you're living in the area where your pokemon are at their weakest."

"Well that's just the thing, my dear! I'm getting to know the types that I am weakest to. So I can be prepared for when I get back. Meanwhile on the side I get to experience the great forces of nature that enthrall your region," Her voiced seemed to marvel at just the sight of the forest before her.

For a moment I was confused by her mesmerized state, but my eyes concentrated on the rain again. And then I finally understood. I began to look upon the greenery with awe as well, but then my body gave out a shiver and I sneezed.

Bertha seemed to notice. "…But there is such a thing as too much nature. Come on, let's get back inside before you become just like your friend."

So she quickly ushered me back inside through the backdoor and I felt the rush of the warm air enclose me once more. I felt relieved when I felt the sensation of balminess return to my body, and I quickly scrambled back inside.

Black was waiting for me, albeit he was still lying down under his blankets. He seemed well again and getting back to his energetic self. So much that we might even be able to leave tomorrow morning. I felt the slight urge to immediately approach him and tell him of all that Agatha-I mean Bertha had told me about her identity and nature, but right before I sat down before my friend I saw the woman at the corner of my eyesight. She held a finger to her lips, requesting that I keep silent about our recent conversation…for now.

So out of respect, I decided to keep my information at bay until we left. Then I would decide whether or not to tell him.

Black still seemed to be in an over relaxed state, but he was normal enough for us to converse.

"So how was your talk with Joey?"

"Fine…although it's starting to get a bit weird by how infatuated he is by his ratatta," He muttered.

I laughed. "Oh come on. You're that kid's role model! And that's the only pokemon he has. Give him a break."

My friend smiled at me and sighed. "You're right. Like usual."

"So you're suddenly saying that I'm some social genius?"

"Pretty much."

"Pretty stupid if you ask me, but have it your way," I smirked and patted his head.

He exclaimed in complaint by how much he disliked that gesture, but I laugh it off.

I finally calmed down and asked him, "Do you think that you'll get better by tomorrow morning? It's barely even noon yet."

He shrugged. "Maybe. All I can say is that I'll be a bit wobbly when I get back on my feet then. But perhaps we can make it by tomorrow."

We conversed more about our future departure, but the dismal atmosphere of the oncoming afternoon seemed to make everything stale. My eyes began to sag with the prolonged soporific effects. And then I suddenly remembered that I didn't get enough sleep the previous night. I was caring for Black at the time.

My friend seemed to take notice of my predicament and he offered the space next to him under the blankets to rest. I didn't really care about the possible ways that I could receive his pathogens under this situation. I just felt like napping.

So that's what I did.