White Heart Black Bones [PG-14]
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December 9th, 2011 (3:01 PM). Edited December 9th, 2011 by OpenDoorLeia.
The Will of One
I decided to attend the dance N had told me about. It was a good opportunity for escape that I knew I couldn’t pass up. That and it would be great to get out of N’s room for a change. I could swear that I was going insane inside of these walls. As to how I was planning to escape; well I didn’t know that yet. N hadn’t given me very many details about the dance; other than the fact that it was to commemorate Ghetsis’s success and my failure. So my escape plan was going to have to be made on the spot; once I entered the dance hall and assessed the situation. I hoped that fate would smile upon me and I’d be able to find some instance to escape. I’m not an avid believer in karma or anything like that, but I figured it was about time something positive happened in my life. I had already suffered enough from my past failures. The sun really needed to start shining over me.
I didn’t see very much of N in the days leading up to the dance. In fact, I saw neither hide nor hair of him for days on end. Some nights he wouldn’t even return to his bed, and it left me wondering where he could be. N usually made it a point to come and see me at least once a day; even if I was an unresponsive zombie having him around was just nice. I tried asking Anthea and Concordia about it but they would only say, “Our lord N is very busy…” and not even bother to elaborate. N’s absence left me more and more depressed as the days rolled by. The only company I had in the long days leading up to the dance was Laika the Zorua, and she didn’t like me very much.
She would usually loiter around on N’s bed stealing my lounging area, and sleep away. She has assumed my role! Apart from being depressed that is. I didn’t feel like fighting with the little Pokémon about who’s sleeping area she stole, so I let her do whatever she pleased. It was one day; the day right before the dance that we reached a compromise. Laika was resting on N’s bed curled into a ball as usual, and I simply approached and climbed into the bed beside her. She didn’t bark at me or try to bite me. She just let me sit there as we lay on the resplendent sheets of N’s bed; staring at the ceiling absently. I believe we had a breakthrough that day.
It was when we were lying on N’s bed that I asked, “Laika? You’re an illusion Pokémon yes?”
She just stared at me through half-closed eyes. She probably knew what I was hinting at.
“Does that mean you can change into any Pokémon?
Pokémon?” I pressed.
She nodded and sighed in exasperation.
“Can you change into something for me?” I asked excitedly as I stared at her with hope filled eyes. Laika shook her head and turned away in refusal.
“Whaat? Why not…?” I asked; a wave of disappointment coming over me. Laika just ignored me, and I stared angrily at the back of her head her from behind the huge golden pillow I sat on. I was upset that she wouldn’t show me her ability… I was just curious.
N arrived shortly after; picking up on the hostile tension in the room the second he set foot inside.
“What’s going on…?” He asked approaching the bed.
“She won’t show me her ability…” I grumbled; clenching the same pillow even tighter to my chest.
N stared at me blankly for a minute before turning to Laika. But not before I thought I saw him flash a quick, almost amused smile.
“That’s not nice Laika…” N said to his Pokémon, “Can you please change into something for me?”
Laika agreed almost instantly with a quick bark; wagging her tail joyously. “What do you want her to change into?” N asked; smiling again.
I stared at him; numb with shock. I didn’t actually think that he’d persuade Laika to morph for me, and it caught me off guard.
“U-uhh… how about a Wailord!” I blurted; shouting the first thing that came to mind, and throwing my arms out wide.
Laika gave an annoyed bark. “Think smaller” N translated.
“Uuhm,” I put my finger to my lips in contemplation; my cheeks flushed.
“…A…a Tepig…?” I mumbled.
N looked at Laika with an expectant smile and she in turn, with a small puff of black smoke, morphed into a Tepig.
I stared at her; dumbstruck. She oinked at me; gloating in my shocked silence, and wagging her now spring-like tail.
“Ta-da! Pretty amazing, huh?” N said; seeming to love my shocked face as much as Laika did. My mouth slowly closed and I picked Laika up in my arms and stared directly at her with serious vigor. The illusion she had crafted was impeccable. Everything down to the smallest detail resembled a Tepig, and that just tore at my heart strings. N noticed the tears in my eyes and came to my side instantly.
“Touko… why are you crying…?” As if he didn’t know…
drink away your dark dreams
The night of the dance had come quickly. I hadn’t seen N all day, but I was sure that he’d meet me in the dance hall later on in the night. He did invite me to come with him. I had no doubts that I’d see him there. Anthea and Concordia were in charge of my wardrobe for the dance and I expected them to dress me up in the most over the top outfit witnessed by human eyes. My mind went wild with all the outlandish possibilities. I envisioned a dress poofing out like a parachute covered in pink and blue ribbons; I imagined them crafting my hair in to a pretzel like design which stood erect like a tower. Thinking back on what they’d clothed me in before it didn’t seem too far fetched.
The reality, however, was actually very tame. They gave me a simple strapless black dress with a large white stripe running vertically down the center. It held tight to my slender figure until it reached my hips where it then fluttered out slightly ending right at my knees. They wrapped a gray sash tightly around my waist; which didn’t seem to have any other purpose than to squeeze my innards together. Thankfully, my hair was just as simple as my attire. It was put down; apart from some pieces that they tied up in the back of my head, so they wouldn’t obscure my face. A gray rose was placed on either side of my head; held there by a clip. I stole a quick feel to the flower and felt the soft, buttery petals. They were real. They weren’t made of plastic or some sort of fabric. This gray rose was authentic. I wondered if the colour of this flower artificially generated; I couldn’t remember ever seeing a gray rose before. They didn’t do much in the ways of make-up which sat well with me because I hated the stuff and hardly needed it anyway. I looked stunning in this get up.
We departed shortly after preparations were finished. Anthea and Concordia lead me down the castles grand hallways, and off to the fancy ball that awaited. The moon was already high in the night sky reflected through the dark framed windows. It cast deep shadows against the floor as we walked; extending our shadows and making us look like demons.
I was pretty nervous; I won’t lie. I wasn’t a horrible dancer, but there were going to be so many people around. And there was always the thought of running into Ghetsis during this ceremony, and that’s what I feared above everything else. I had to strike up a conversation between my guards as we walked; the silence was too unnerving.
“Are you two going to be guarding me during this dance?” I asked them.
Anthea nodded, “We will be your escorts.”
I couldn’t help but feel a bit relieved after that. If Anthea and Concordia were all I had to worry about in ways of security than I’d be laughing. Only when we reached the dance hall did I realize that the ballroom was loaded with Plasma Soldiers. They lined the walls, stood at the door ways, watched from the balconies; they were everywhere! Sure, Anthea and Concordia would be guarding me directly, but the security for the rest of the ball was so tight I figured tossing myself back into N’s room and throwing away the key would be a better alternative.
I clenched my fists knowing that I couldn’t give up that easily. Something unforeseen still might happen… right?
We were greeted at the door by the same Plasma guards that lined the walls like fence posts. They checked us over quickly; eyes analyzing under the deep black visors they wore over their faces. These guards were worlds different than the ones I used to take down by the thousands back before Ghetsis took over Unova. Their robust build and solemn composure filled me with utter fear whenever I lay eyes on them. These were Ghetsis’s soldiers and I knew they would not be trifled with. They would sooner kill me than watch my successful escape. It unnerved me. I knew I would have to deal with them somehow, but without having any Pokémon of my own I didn’t know how that was possible.
They passed us through the main doors and we entered the dance hall. And it was huge. Its ceiling stretched above so wide and vast that it almost felt like I was looking at the sky. The room glowed in golden colour, mostly because of the light wood floors and immense glass chandelier hanging overhead. It gave off a heavenly warmth that settled my heart just a little bit – I was pretty nervous. The guests already dominated the room; congregating in crowds and talking among small groups. There were people literally everywhere, and I shrunk back a bit. I wasn’t used to being around this many people. Their presence and the noise of so many bodies frightened me. As we walked in I noticed that every woman in the room was dressed in only white, while on the other hand all the men were dressed in nothing but black. I seemed to be the only person exempt from that rule with my dress of black, white and gray.
Anthea and Concordia lead me to one of the many large tables hugging the walls of the room, while the rest of the people paid us no mind and continued on either dancing or talking. I looked at the table behind me and saw that it was covered in rich, colourful food. The sight of it was just breath taking. I could only imagine the effort that was put into making every dish. I could even taste the effort put into the food’s creation as I snacked on a few cheese balls. Once I tried one I couldn’t stop myself, and I was soon shoveling them down. They were just so delicious I couldn’t help myself!!
Anthea and Concordia just stood beside me like statues while I sampled the delights. I could hear an orchestra providing the music for this ball off somewhere in the distance. But from where I was standing they seemed to be obscured by the crowd. The song suddenly shifted into a soaring waltz with an easy to dance to melody. I saw some couples grab each other and head to the dance floor; slowly swaying with the music as they went. I watched them with cheeks puffed full of cheese ball; feeling a bit jealous. They were just here to have fun… while I… I’m a prisoner in these walls… None of them would be dancing away to this chaotic waltz if I had won the battle against Ghetsis that day.
Because I’m imperfect they can have this dance
, I thought bitterly.
I noticed Anthea and Concordia bowing while they stood beside me. I realized quickly that meant that either Ghetsis or N was standing behind me. And I just prayed for the latter.
“May I have this dance… Touko?”
I turned around with piles of cheese ball still stuffed in my face to find N standing there offering his hand to me. I swallowed hard and stared at him impishly. He looked amazing. He was dressed in a black suit with a white under shirt. A gray rose rested on his lapel. His hair, usually tied back, was put down letting it flow around him like a mane of fur. He also seemed to be exempt from the weird colour-code dress rule.
The enchanting mood was broken when he pointed to the corner of his mouth. “Food smudge!” He blurted.
I realized, not as quickly as I would have liked, that he was referring to the remnants of cheese ball still sticking to the corners of my mouth. I cheeks were ablaze with colour as I quickly rubbed my mouth with the back of my hand. “Let’s dance…” I grumbled; embarrassed.
He smiled took my hand and headed out to the dance floor. Upon reaching the dead centre of the room, he grabbed my right hand in his and wrapped the other around my waist. I responded by resting my one free hand on his shoulder. And together we swayed to the music. I won’t lie… it felt very stiff and awkward at first, and since he was so tall it was kind of hard to dance with him. But I had really missed N in his absence. And feeling his body right beside mine drove out the sadness and fear as it always had. I moved in closer and he responded in turn; not breaking the gaze we shared. We didn’t need to communicate through words; in this moment our eyes were enough.
“I missed you…” I said to him in a dance that, until this moment, had remained silent.
“I missed you too,” He responded quickly. My heart ached at the sincerity in his words. But after our words had been spoken and faded into the music… I didn’t know what else to say. We simply let the music carry us as we glided around the room; our bodies moving together in sync with the soaring orchestra. We moved together like the push and pull of the ocean’s waves; like a flurry of autumn leaves rushing upward by the wind’s breath. We dominated the dance floor. Thousands of eyes watched us. I could see looks of awe and envy scattered around the void of bodies. I myself felt as though I had been pulled into another world. It was ethereal.
It almost broke my heart when the music abruptly came to an end in a crisp staccato; N and I stopped with it. The crowd around us erupted in a roar of applause. N broke our gaze and addressed them all with a kingly wave, which was little more than just raising his hand in the air. I just stood beside him and watched them all applaud, since I wasn’t sure if I should address this cheering audience as well; with a curtsy perhaps. N turned back to me when the cheers had faded back down.
“Thank you for the dance, Touko,” He flashed me an honest smile before turning on his heel and walking straight into the crowd around us. Once I realized he was leaving I tried to make a move to stop him, but a certain gaze that caught my eye froze me into place like a poison. Ghetsis was looking down at me from a raised platform at the far end of the room. He sat on a massive throne on top of thick black pillows. The rest of the Seven Sages surrounded him on all sides, his throne however seemed to be most prominent. He was clothed in a prestigious robe which radiated his high position of power and importance. Golden rings hugged his knuckles as he clenched the arms of the throne.
I couldn’t move. My throat was sealed under his heavy gaze. Though he did no more than stare me down; Ghetsis’s eyes were paralyzing and freezing me into place. Flashbacks of my failure came rushing back. The blood, the cries of my defeated Pokémon, his wild laughter and N’s steady gaze as he watched it all transpire.
A gentle hand being placed on my bare shoulder snapped me out of my paralysis. I spun around to see Concordia standing there; ready to escort me back to my table. I cast one look back to where N had once been, but it was in vain. He had disappeared in the ocean of bodies around us all.
Why does he always have to disappear like this
? I thought in sadness,
Couldn’t he have stayed around just a bit longer
I gave in and let Concordia lead me back to my table where Anthea was waiting. Anthea had brought over a small chair for me to rest in, and I thanked her with a faint smile. I flopped down and turned around to see the tray of cheese balls, which I had eaten most of prior, had now been refilled.
, now I have to eat all these too
“Drink, Madame?” A waiter, out of the blue offered me a small drink resting on a silver platter. I didn’t remember asking for one but I hardly cared at that point; it meant a free drink for me either way.
“Sure,” I grumbled snatching it off the platter. I was a bit peeved at N for having left me here by my lonesome. And I decided to take out all my frustrations through consuming all the food and drink this place had to offer; it was a self destructive road. I took the drink and quite frankly gulped it down, which I immediately regretted. Whatever this drink was it was clearly alcoholic, and I was soon sputtering and coughing after downing nearly all of it in one gulp. Anthea grabbed my shoulders lightly and asked if I was okay, and after a violent coughing fit I was.
I held the drink out and examined it closely. It was clear, with a bit of an amber colour to it. I could tell by the small bubbles, and the burning in my throat, that it was carbonated. But the warm tingling that soon arose in my gut prompted me to finish the glass off, but at a much slower pace. It tasted kind of like a cider, it was sweet, but also had a horrible bitter aftertaste. Once I had finished it off I called another waiter over and asked for a second glass. I had found something else besides N’s embrace to drive away the dark dreams.
I turned to Anthea when I was half way through the second glass and asked her if I could go get some fresh air. I felt incredibly stifled for some reason; maybe it was the sea of bodies, or the alcohol creeping into my system; either way I needed to get outside. I was happy when she nodded and led me over to one of the many grand windows lining the far wall of the room. Each window stretched so high above our heads that it almost reached the ceiling. A small black-framed door, also made of glass, sat right at the bottom leading out to a high balcony far above the earth below. As expected the balcony was covered in Plasma guards. I gave them the faintest of glares as I stood by the window-like door, but they were unmoving, statuesque creatures. Even if no limb would stir I knew they were watching me. I could feel their eyes boring into my skin accompanied by the frigid wind that howled past.
The moon was bright out tonight; in fact it was the only light present in the sky. The stars, for whatever reason, were snuffed out by the darkness above. It made me sad.
“Anthea…?” I called her name but I heard no answer. I turned around in confusion to see that she wasn’t with me; she was inside the ballroom somewhere, though I could not see her through the window. I suppose she thought the guards would be enough to sustain me on the off chance I tried something wild. Honestly, I didn’t have it in me to try to escape tonight. The piercing look Ghetsis had given me brought back a rush of raw emotion I had felt during my loss to him. The old wounds had simply been reopened and my spirit had been crushed anew. I was just a girl who let the world fall… how could I ever hope to escape this place? I took another gulp of my drink as an icy wind blew by… man it was cold…
After my drink was long gone, and the wind had all but frozen my naked arms, N returned. My response to his arrival was delayed. I had fallen into a trance-like state with the moon, and when the door had opened I just assumed that Anthea had come back to collect me. I glanced back to see N standing there, almost right behind me, since I was still so close to the door. I had hardly even stepped out onto the balcony. He raised his hand dismissively and I only realized he wasn’t addressing me when the Plasma guards patrolling the area took off and headed inside.
He strode out into the cold night like some sort of ghost. His movements were so soft, and the moonlight defined him so sharply that he looked almost like a monster. I don’t know what I was thinking; maybe the alcohol was starting to get to me. He draped his arm over my shoulder and asked, “Aren’t you cold?”
I shrugged unresponsively.
“Let’s go sit by the railing together,” He offered; making to lead me over to the edge but I dug in my heels and refused to budge. He regarded me quizzically, “Is something wrong?”
I sort of pouted, “I don’t like… the heights…”
N stared at me with the blankest expression in the world.
I side glanced him; he really was making such a dumb face “Did you really forget about the scene I made when you tried to take me on the Ferris wheel?” It seemed like ages ago now…
N burst out laughing which sent me flying out of my skin, “That’s right! I’m sorry Touko, I’d forgotten about your fear of heights.” He led me over to one of the small tables set against the castles outer wall. I sat down and he took a seat right across from me.
“Is this better for you? We’re still pretty high up,” N looked at me wearily.
I shrugged, “Well as long as you don’t constantly remind me of how high we are.” I gave a small smile, “It’s okay if I’m…” I sniffled, “You know, looking out at something vast… like when I’m looking out of a window or something…”
He grinned, “But when you’re looking directly down to an unfathomable height?”
I glared at him, “Don’t bring it up I said!”
He raised his hands apologetically, but by the childish grin he was still wearing I could tell he liked messing with me. I turned back out to the view and sighed.
After a lengthy silence N spoke again, “Are you okay Touko?” I looked back towards him; not turning my head.
He was looking at me with concern. “You look a bit sad…”
I was hoping he wouldn’t ask that. Sure, I usually looked like a living corpse, but N never brought it up. On the rare occasions where he would ask these questions I would always dance around the answer; tell him I was just feeling sick or had a headache. I never went out and told him the truth. You know; that nightmares were haunting my waking hours and that I lived in an endless torpor. I figured he knew on a subconscious level even if he never talked to me about it.
But on this night when the moon was full and the alcohol had a choke hold on my feelings, I mumbled out, “…I miss my Pokémon…”
The look he wore once I said that was nearly heartbreaking. I tried to ignore it but his eyes were so sad, so intense that I had to slam my head on the table to try to break the gaze.
“They aren’t dead…”
I looked up in shock. N was staring directly at me. His face now composed; his emotions now locked up behind an unreadable visage. “Your Pokémon aren’t dead, Touko… Ghetsis has them locked up inside of the castle…”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “N!” I bleated, “You have to take me to…” He grabbed my hand, hard, and my voice cut out.
He was staring at me again with those smoldering eyes, “I can’t.” His voice was apologetic. “I wasn’t supposed to tell you about them, so please don’t say anything about it.”
I frowned at him; blinking away tears. I knew there was no use fighting him about this; I could already tell by his eyes that he wasn’t going to take me to my Pokémon. The only reason why he told me was to cheer me up. But was he telling the truth? To me it didn’t matter. After what he’d told me I was silently laughing and crying to myself just because I thought they were still alive. I was sure that they hated my guts, but they weren’t dead. N watched me with a sad smile; stroking the back of my frigid hand gently.
I wanted to thank N; at least for what he told me, but every time I tried to speak I kept choking on my tears and laughter. The alcohol was definitely kicking in and I was shivering like mad; N seemed to notice.
“Let’s go back inside Touko, I don’t want you to catch anything,” He smiled again; coming over and helping me up. Once my tears had dried we walked back into the dance hall together.
We were welcomed by the comfortable warmth filling the room when we reentered the dance hall. I sighed in relief as I felt the heat wash over my cold limbs; not realizing until now how utterly frigid it had been out there. I was sure to count myself lucky if I didn’t come down with the sniffles the next morning.
“Lord N. Your attendance is requested.” A member of the Seven Sages, not one I could identify by name, appeared from the crowd and approached us. N threw me an apologetic look; seeming to know what the sage wanted. I shrugged in defeat and let him go off. It wasn’t like I had any authority over him anyway. If he had to go then I knew I couldn’t stop him.
“I’m sorry Touko, I’ll see you back at our room later tonight,” He took off after the sage, but only stopped half way there to run back over and give me a parting kiss on the cheek. The feeling of his lips was so soft against my skin it was akin to the breath of the wind or a small drop of rain, and even after he had gone the feeling still lingered on my cheek; depressing me anew. I really hated such sadness. I couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t just leave be alone; even for just a small reprieve. But that’s the thing with despair, you know. Once it latches on it takes a lot of effort to try and tear it off… I would know. And even if you do manage to tear it off your body will still be torn up from the barbs.
Concordia came to retrieve me only a moment later. I cursed myself for my stupidity. In that small moment that I was left alone; I may have been able to slip away unnoticed in this crowded gala. But I tried not to ponder on that too much. The last thing I needed was to procrastinate about what could have been. So I let Concordia lead me back to my table where a whole mountain load of cider and cheese balls awaited; just waiting for me to gobble them all up. I decided to wreck myself.
About seven glasses of cider and an innumerable amount of cheese balls later that goal had been realized. I sat in my chair with my head lolled back as I stared drearily at the ceiling. A near empty glass of cider lay limp in my hand. The alcohol was finally kicking in and it was hitting me hard. This embarrassing little binge was my first time at really drinking some hard alcohol, and boy was I feeling it. I could hardly even remember where I was; let alone that N had told me my Pokémon were very much alive. Man… I was really wasted.
“Hey!” I hissed leaning over towards Anthea. “Where’s N!?” I tried to suppress a burst of laughter, failing, and make a fool of myself in the process. “Where…hehe…Where’s N!!!!???” I whispered again like it was some sort of big secret.
“Our lord N is very busy…” She began but I cut her off.
“WHAT!!!” I yelped, drawing the attention of a few passersby.
I shrunk back from there stares; looking at them like I’d fallen off my rocker.
I leant towards Anthea a second time, “But…” I almost broke down in another laughing fit. “He’s busy…!? But that’s what you allllwayyys tell me.” She stared at me blankly not seeming too care too much about how stupid I was acting.
“Like… you know what I think! You want to know where I think he is!? You want to…” I stifle laugh; tipping my drink over, and having it spill over the ground without even noticing.
“Miss Touko, please settle down,” Anthea said calmly.
“Shh!!” I shushed her, “Listen… imagine N with a mustache… can you imagine him with a green mustache” I tried to take another sip of my drink but became completely dumbfounded by the lack of liquid in the glass. “Where’d my drink go…hic?” I began to sway.
Anthea and Concordia shared a look and quickly decided that it was in my best interest to bring me back to N’s room. They grabbed hold of my arms, each on either side, and hauled me all the way back to his chambers and I didn’t make it easy for them. In my drunken state I could hardly even walk right without their assistance, and the trek back was filled with much stumbling and tripping. I felt so bad about it after the fact but Anthea and Concordia aren’t the type to hold a grudge. Still, both women remained patient and calm as they handled me. Eventually we returned to N’s chambers. Upon arrival I found myself laughing uncontrollably for no apparent reason. Even to this day I have no idea. I may have been laughing about the thought of N sporting a green mustache, but thinking of it now that’s more creepy than amusing. Laika was at her usual spot on the bed when we arrived. By the disgruntled looks I saw her giving me as I was escorted over; I could see that I had awoken her.
“Wait here for a moment Miss Touko,” I heard them say as they sat me on the bed, but my mind could hardly register their voices. I just stared at Laika with a stupid smile on my face and she looked at me uneasily.
“Hyle!!” I squawked at her. Laika cringed away; the potent smell of alcohol drifting from my mouth was clearly affecting her sensitive nose. “Hyle! What are you doing here?!” I questioned, stroking her head roughly. Laika looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. She was hardly as understanding as Anthea and Concordia were. She yipped angrily and ran off.
I reached out for her; falling over as I moved, “Don’t leaaaave!” I cried out but she ignored me. Anthea and Concordia came back shortly after with a change of clothes. They stripped me out of my dress and into a regular tank top and a pair of shorts.
“Please try to get some sleep, Miss Touko,” Concordia said as she made for the door.
I flopped back in the bed; the pressure in my head getting the better of me. “You’re leaving?” I asked sadly.
“Please try to sleep,” They repeated again before finally heading out the door and leaving me to my own devices.
After they had gone I continued to lie on the bed; silently laughing to myself about who knows what. Laika, having distanced herself from me, cast confused glances my way from her spot on a mound of pillows. She had no idea why I was laughing, and you know neither do I! Eventually I grew tired and fell into a numb sleep. Anthea and Concordia’s words echoed endlessly through the confines of my head as the world grew dim.
Please try to sleep
The world became fuzzy and warped as my eyes slowly slammed shut.
A few hours later I awoke in a cold sweat; my body ablaze with fever. Even though I was under the blankets of N’s bed, encompassed by heat; I was trembling like mad and sweating buckets. A sharp pain erupted in my abdomen, and a sickening gurgle followed. Those cheese balls and all that alcohol wasn’t sitting well inside of my body. I could feel it turning and swishing around. I could taste the sick bitterness of cider and cheese crawling up the back of my throat. I knew it wasn’t going to stay down there for long.
So I wouldn’t tarnish the elegant fabrics of N’s bed; I made an attempt to crawl over to the bathroom. I rolled off the bed; hitting the icy tile below with a muffled crash which seemed so much louder in my ringing ears. The temperature drop made it feel like I had fallen under cold ice.
“L-Laika…” I croaked. She was at my side in an instant; realizing something was wrong. The Zorua barked in concern.
“I feel… like I’m going to throw up…” A sickly gurgling in my stomach confirmed my fears.
… I thought,
I really over did it with the cheese balls
I crawled along the floor on hands and knees towards the bathroom door. My body shivering with every move I made; the gurgling in my stomach turning into a sharp ache. Upon reaching the bathroom I latched onto the marble counter and pulled myself up on my feet. The lights flickered on; powered up by the signs of my movement, and my face was illuminated in the mirror.
Although I wished it wasn’t. I looked wretched. My eyes were wet and bloodshot with dark shadows encircling the lids. My skin had become sickly white and my hair sprawled down on all sides of me making me look like some sort of medusa. I didn’t have time to look long because I was quickly hit with a feeling of vertigo. I flung myself towards the toilet and made it just in time to dispel the waste in my stomach. It left a searing burn in my throat after it had forced its way out.
Laika came to the door; whining in worry. She watched me impishly as I dispelled the bile; sputtering and coughing as I went. During a small reprieve I reached up a trembling hand and flushed the toilet; trying my hardest not to look at was inside.
“Lai…ka…” I burst into another coughing fit. Laika dashed over from her spot in the doorway and yipped questioningly.
“I need… help…” I choked out, “Get… Concordia… Anthe… N… anyone,” I clenched onto the toilet rim tightly; trying to suppress another wave of vomit. “Please…”
Without another word Laika was off; dashing through the door and out the dog flap at the main entrance. My vision darkened and my sight began to blur. I leant over the toilet again as another wave of vomit came rushing up my throat.
[Third Person Point of View. Start.]
Laika sped silently through the empty halls of the castle, which were so vast and large she seemed like a ball of dust in comparison. She blended in well with the deep shadows cast by the moon. If there’d been a soul about at this dead hour of the night no one would be able to spot her passage.
Laika had set out to find N. She had a pretty good idea of where he might be if not inside of his own room, and that was in the throne room. Laika had hopes that he was still there now; considering that the dance ball had more than likely come to an end. Along the way Laika realized that N was not in fact in his throne room. He was with Ghetsis instead.
She discovered this when she passed the doorway to Ghetsis’ study; slightly left ajar, and noticed them talking.
“The dance to commemorate the success of my victory went quite well,” Ghetsis was saying from behind a large wooden desk at the far side of the room. N stood before it; staring at him with an unreadable expression.
“Even that little girl, who
that she could save the world, seems to have been broken,” He laughed.
“I’m not sure she’s given up yet,” N replied.
Ghetsis snorted, “Give it another year or so and she’ll soon waste away. She’ll just sit in that tower and watch helplessly as the world is slowly reformed in my image!” He took a sip from a glass of red liquid he was holding which was presumably wine.
A silence lingered.
“You’re wrong Ghetsis,” N spoke up and Ghetsis froze.
“Did you speak?” He seethed.
“Touko won’t lose hope. No matter how many years go by. She has a bond with her Pokémon that won’t be broken, no matter how dark the earth becomes. She can…” N was about to continue, but was sharply cut off by a fist smashing into his face.
Laika, still watching at the doorway, turned away in shock as his body hit the ground with a crash.
“Silence, you wretched boy! Must I remind you that the only reason that girl is still alive is because I feel I must humor you.” Ghetsis stood tall above N’s fallen figure. N looked away; avoiding all eye contact with him. “If you disobey me, and continue to go on about such nonsense then she really won’t make it through the year.”
A horrible silence followed Ghetsis’ piercing words; the weight of the soundless air pressing heavily against those silent in the room.
“Get out of my sight…” Ghetsis spat. N pulled himself up immediately and headed for the door. Once he had entered the hallway it slammed angrily behind him. A curtain of hair fell over his face; obscuring any expression that he may have worn. Laika’s soft winning got his attention and caused him to look down.
“Laika? What are you doing here?” He asked kneeling down.
She continued to whimper, “Oh… you saw? Don’t worry about it… I’m okay,” N said trying discreetly to wipe the stream of blood from his lips. Laika wasn’t completely convinced but she knew questioning further would get her nowhere. So she hurriedly informed N about Touko’s poor condition.
“What? What happened to Touko?” Rather than sitting there and explaining it to him Laika sped off down the hall and N followed behind her.
When they re-entered the room Touko was nowhere to be seen. “Touko?” N called walking quickly to the dimly lit bathroom but
stopped mid-step when he saw the sheets of his bed quiver. “Touko?!” He dashed to the side of the bed and gently pealed the covers away from the face of the girl.
[Third Person POV. END]
I winced; turning away from him. I didn’t want him to see the mess I’d made of myself.
“What on earth happened to you?” He asked, pressing a cool hand against my forehead.
I didn’t respond. I wasn’t going to tell him about the results of my binge on alcohol and food.
“Hold on for a minute,” He left the bed only to be replaced by Laika who came over and softly licked my cheek. I smiled at her gratefully; as if saying thanks. She got the message and yipped a ‘
. N reappeared with a cloth, damp with cold water. He dabbed it over my face before laying it down over my forehead.
“I’m going to open some windows…” He said; disappearing again. I heard a click and the whine of hinges being moved followed by a cool breeze wafting into the room. He came back over to the bed again.
“Are you feeling better?”
I nodded softly; feeling the pull of sleep come over me.
“Thank…” I tried to say but my throat was too dry to continue.
“It’s alright,” He said clasping my hand in his, “I’ll be with you all night. I won’t leave you Touko.”
I was so tired, but for some reason I just couldn’t pass out. Even with N beside me calming my nerves; I still couldn’t doze off. After a while of silence N spoke again.
“Do you hate me Touko?” His voice was so soft that I hardly even heard him.
“Wha?” I found speaking rather difficult, “Why would I ever hate you? You’re my best friend.” Even after the huge vomiting fit I had; the alcohol hadn’t been completely cleaned out of my system. I was still slurring all over the place.
“You’re drunk aren’t you?” N smiled at me in pity, “I should have told Anthea and Concordia to keep you away from the alcohol…” He stared absentmindedly at the ceiling; still grasping my hand securely.
“I’m sorry I’ve made you so sad…” He almost sounded like he was crying, but I couldn’t hear the undertones in his voice as I crawled over him; using his lap as a pillow.
“We’re best friends…you and me…hehe,” I could hardly keep my eyelids open; I was finally about to pass out.
“You could never make me sad, N. We’re best friends…” I moved onto my back; giving him the biggest, stupidest smile ever and he smiled back.
“Thank you…Touko. Please go to sleep,”
I tried to keep smiling as long as I could before I was knocked out. I was so stupid I couldn’t even see it. I couldn’t even see the streams of tears running down N’s bruised cheek. I passed out.
STUFF HAPPENS. And it's probably not the kind of stuff you're thinking of.
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