“Sophia!” He laughed as he caught me, effectively saving me from falling on my butt. I was tired, out of breath, and yet still laughing with him--that had been the most fun I had had in a long time.
“I thought you said you couldn’t dance!” I fired back, only causing him to laugh more.
/That’s it, you’re done./
I looked up to see Musei coming towards us from across the halfway populated dance floor.
“Looks like I just never had a good enough teacher,” N said and he moved me back to where I could actually stand as Musei approached.
/Off the dance floor. Both of you. Preferably before Sophia sprains or breaks something,/
he snapped. The Gallade probably could have been a bit more polite about it, but he had his quirks, just as all people and Pokémon did.
“Fine, Mr. Pushy,” I teased back, heading towards the exit, N following me after a moment. He was silent until I took a seat in one of the many chairs ringing the makeshift dance floor, where he took the seat on one side of me and Musei took the other.
“You know, you remind me of someone I knew in the region I came from?” he spoke suddenly, startling me. I turned to look at him rather than those still dancing.
“Really? How so?” I asked, curious.
“Well, to begin with, your Pokémon seem to care for you greatly, if Musei’s feelings for you are any indication of how the rest of them feel about you.”
/You’d better be glad I wasn’t Poppy,/
Musei cut in, prompting N to look to the Gallade on my other side, then at me in confusion.
“My Ursaring. He thinks of me like his child, even going so far as to calling me ‘cub’ most of the time,” I elaborated for him. N paled for a moment and then nodded slowly.
“Ah. Anyway, her Pokémon cared greatly for her even though she used them to battle…they even seemed to like
battling with her, which really surprised me… She cared about her both her Pokémon and human friends, and would do anything for them. She stood by what she believed in, and she definitely proved to be a wonderful rival in the end. She showed me I had a lot to learn…I hope to apologize to her for all the trouble I caused her someday. Oh, and I probably ought to apologize for, ah, kind of stalking her, too, while I’m at it…” I couldn’t help but laugh at the last bit.
her? And what kind of trouble?” N had started shaking his head even before I was finished speaking.
“My people skills were quite lacking back then. They’re still lacking quite a bit, now, however they have definitely improved since then. She and her Pokémon intrigued me, and so I ended up following her…much to her annoyance. As for what kind of trouble I caused her, it’s the kind of trouble I’d like to put behind me eventually. In an ideal world, it’d be after I apologized to her for causing it and she found it in her heart to forgive me, but I don’t know that I’ll ever bother to go back after all of that.” He sounded almost sad, and in looking at his face, the word “wistful” came to mind.
“Well, it’s certainly far from an ideal world, but you should apologize to her if you want to do it. She doesn’t sound like someone who would refuse an apology, especially if she knew it was from the heart. If she knows that you are truly sorry for whatever trouble you caused, no matter how big, she’ll forgive you simply because she knows you really regretted what you did and were big enough to apologize to her face-to-face, N,” I told him, simply because it’s all I can do, and what I feel is right to say.
“Unova is a long flight from here…” N murmured, and I blinked; he was from Unova
?! “However, I suppose it’s worth the ride, and if Zekrom was up to it before, hopefully he’ll be up to it again…” Part of me wanted my jaw to fall off in shock; he had just referred to Zekrom as though he had the Pokémon in his possession… I wasn’t sure why it really bothered me, though, seeing as I had grown up around Entei, but I was. It was after a moment, N stood up and smiled down at me.
“Thank you, Sophia, for your advice. I think I will return and apologize to her,” he said. “Thank you for showing me that I’m not alone in my ability to speak with Pokémon, and showing me how to dance as well… You’ve shown me a lot tonight, Musei as well, and I’m glad I had the pleasure of meeting you both.” He reached down and shook my hand, and then seemed to remember that Musei was still in possession of his baseball cap. Musei wordlessly handed it to him with a smile, meanwhile I was frantically searching around for something to trade contact information with as he turned and bolted up the stairs.
“N, wait!” I called, standing up to go after him when Musei stopped me, grabbing my wrist. “Musei, I--“
My Gallade smiled at me. /How did I know this would happen? I know you, of course. That’s why I snuck off while you two were dancing to hunt down paper and a pen. I gave him your Xtranceiver number. If he contacts you from there, it’s up to him, but he knows how to contact you again if he wishes to do so,/
Musei told me, and I smiled back.
“Thank you for that, Musei,” I murmured, turning and hugging him. All I got in response was a burst of happiness via his telepathy. Moments later, my second cousin Dahlia came storming down the stairs to the row of seats where I stood.
“There you are, Sophia!” she snapped, shoving caramel bangs out of her face. “It’s time to go, I’ve been looking everywhere
for you! Why did you ditch me?” I bit my tongue to keep from pointing out that could not have looked everywhere for me if she hadn’t found me earlier as well as pointing out the fact that I had not in fact ditched her, and it was the other way around and she took me by the wrist in much the same manner I had taken N’s earlier, and nearly dragged me up the stairs.
For months, I heard nothing from N. While I never forgot the odd young man with green hair who could talk to Pokémon like I could, swore he couldn’t dance, and then proved himself wrong when I managed to pull him onto the dance floor, I did give up on the idea of hearing from him again. While it bothered me a little, I was simply glad I could help him, though I wondered if the girl he had mentioned really would forgive him when he apologized to her.
Of course, not too long after I gave up the hope of hearing from him again, I was startled by a loud beep from my Xtransceiver –ironically while suffering through a visit with Dahlia and her family. Curiously it wasn’t a call, just an email, not that Dahlia cared, and she leaned over to see what it was I had been sent. “Would you stop being so nosy?” I snapped as I opened up the message.
I didn’t recognize the number, but I didn’t need to once I read the message, after which I burst out laughing. “What are you laughing for? It’s not funny… Ugh, I don’t get you, Sophia,” Dahlia muttered moodily, standing up and walking away as I continued to laugh.
Still visible on the screen were three very simple, but clear words: “She forgave me.”