As cold as your heart.
She was incredibly light - at least, in Narcissus’ trained arms she was.
The Greninja sighed softly, gazing up ahead where he could easily make out the forms of Jezebel and Kalaghata, walking side by side. The Lopunny was grasping the Ralts’ hand tightly, and from the way Kal’s fingers curled around the Lopunny’s it was clear he was grasping her hand just as tightly.’It’s what he needs,’
Narcissus thought, looking down at the sleeping Kirlia in his arms, ’I may not be Psychic but I spent enough time around a temperamental Ralts to know how badly emotions can wear them out.’
Briefly the black Greninja’s thoughts drifted to Samehk; a childhood friend. As a Ralts the now scarred Kirlia had often visited Iapon with his parents - or at least, the ‘mons that everyone deduced as Samehk’s parents. Eventually it was revealed that Samehk’s father was not who he thought he was, and after that Samehk didn’t return to Iapon for a while.
Narcissus sighed, ’and then he suddenly showed up one day and he was never the same. The only thing he kept from his days as a Ralts was that volatile temper of his, and even if he doesn’t lose it very often it just makes it that much worse when he does. That, and his glare has slowly gotten more vicious,’
a frown crossed his lips and he shifted Saroja slightly in his arms, his red gaze wavering off the path ahead, ’I’ll never forget seeing him with those scars the first time. When they still looked fresh, or when he bled from his eyes… troubling times.’
It had certainly been rough for Narcissus, especially at the time. He hadn’t known how to cope with this suddenly stoic, emotionless Kirlia that was far removed from the boy he once knew, but at least Samehk had one stable friend to keep him from constantly losing his temper.
Padma.’And Jezebel is to Kal what Padma was and is to Samehk,’
a smile pulled at his mouth, ’a mediator. A calmer. A steady flow of constant emotion that doesn’t ebb and flow on a roller coaster ride,’
another sigh, ’perhaps I could be that calmer to Samehk now that I wasn’t back then… but I do believe he doesn’t need me.’
“Does he, Begonia?” he whispered the thought under his breath and he heard the sound of a soft gasp. A smile pulled at his lips again and he turned his red eyes to the forest, not looking for anything in particular but to make it clear to the other Greninja that he knew she was there.
“You were the one with the natural talent, but don’t go letting yourself believe that I didn’t change.”
His words chased the female away, and he could tell he’d flustered her based solely on the fact that he heard her jump away, back toward Andalusst. His mouth settled back into a thin straight line once again and he set his gaze on Saroja. His eyes flicked to her stomach, where he had placed the ring.
There was a gemstone in it - a diamond, of course - and Narcissus knew that it was an engagement ring. Though it had never crossed his mind until the Festival, he had come to the realization that despite Kalaghata’s height and his - in some cases - mature way of speaking, he was considerably younger than Saroja was. It particularly showed when the Ralts lost his temper. He threw temper tantrums that clearly showed his age in the end.’Well I guess I can be to Saroja what Jezebel is to Kalaghata… someone that she can trust to at least spread the calm when possible,’
his attention turned back to the ring. He had to admit, at first he thought that perhaps Kalaghata and Saroja were together - it would have been entirely natural for their species, after all. However, the more he had observed, and after realizing how young Kal was and analyzing his reaction to seeing the ring, the Greninja knew now that it was not the case.
Kal’s dislike of his female companion was sometimes plainly obvious. Other times, it seemed like he truly cared. And other times still, his emotions were clearly conflicted. It was the boon of being a Psychic type, one could be so easily influenced by the emotions and thoughts of another, especially if they were the same species. Saroja must have had some
understanding of this and used it to her advantage, ultimately making the Ralts become territorial of her.’But even if she hadn’t extended her psyche to him, he would have become territorial anyway, with how much they’re together. Plus, I doubt she really does it on purpose. It’s clear to me she has some genuine feelings for him, and that she at least wants him to like her as a friend,’
a sigh escaped him once again, ’touching him physically must be the way she understands how to get closer to him, though given his obvious dislike of her… it’s been more difficult than it should be.’
His head tilted to the side as he stared at the two ahead. Finally the four were getting closer to the house, but Nar focused his gaze on Kalaghata’s back.
He couldn’t help but think that there was more behind why Kal didn’t like Saroja. Couldn’t help but believe that his dislike of Saroja was not because he disliked Saroja
; rather, it was something about the way she behaved, or perhaps even her species.
Brows furrowing in confusion, Nar tilted his head to the other side, ’that would be odd… though I know for a fact that he hates being lied to. Speaking of which...’
he turned his gaze back to the ring once again, not missing the way Kal relaxed his shoulders once the Greninja stopped staring at him, ’I wonder if I could get Saroja to open up to me about it, at least. She seems to be worried about something.’
Once the four Pokemon finally made it into the house, Kalaghata wandered straight over to his bed and lay down, immediately falling asleep. Jezebel huffed softly then turned to face Narcissus.
“Put her with him.”
The Greninja was a bit startled by Jezebel’s statement.
“Jezebel, surely it would be--” he fell silent as she had started shaking her head vigorously the moment he started speaking.
“No. Put her with him! He needs her to be near him, flower.”
Her words were full of unusual confidence. Narcissus merely complied. He wordlessly set Saroja down next to Kalaghata, Jezebel at his elbow, and immediately the Ralts subconsciously moved in an attempt to curl around the Kirlia protectively. Just as instinctively Saroja curled in toward his chest.
The Greninja let out an impressed sigh. Despite the fact that she was timid and shy, Jezebel was surprisingly intuitive. Narcissus should have just listened to her from the start, and he eyed the rose-hued Lopunny as she skittered over to the stairs that led to the attic, ’after all, it takes a great amount of intuitive skill to read past my level of stoism.’
After setting two glasses of water on the counter divider next to Kalaghata’s bed, the Greninja retreated up into the attic as well. Jezebel was sitting by the lone window when he got up there and - given his height - the Greninja had to crouch a little to get over to her.
“What’s the matter, Jezebel?” he asked, brows drawn back in concern. He knew that look in her eye. She was thinking about her past again.
His eyes widened in surprise at her use of his name. Normally she would just call him ‘flower’, after all, and while he doubted it was because his name was a mouthful, this was the first time she had called him by name.
“Do you think the fog really has much to do with the fact that I’ve forgotten why I’m afraid of the sun, Narcissus?”
For a moment, the frog was unsure of what to say. He had never seen Jezebel look so… mature. Her expression was distant, and there was a certain longing that dwindled in her eyes.
“By nature, I know, my species is not nocturnal. But…” she looked down at the scars on her arms, then on her thighs and waist, then she moved her sun-colored gaze to look at him, “the sun. It scares me. Why? Did I spend too much time in the fog because it kept the sun’s rays at bay? Is that why I can’t remember? I don’t even know if I ran away to the fog in the first place.”
Narcissus was quiet. He looked up at the moon and she did too, and he knew she knew he was thinking about an answer. They didn’t have to speak to each other much at all really; words weren’t always needed.
“I can’t be sure, Jezebel,” he began, turning his head to look at her once again, “what I can say for certain is something must have happened to you during the day that left you so traumatized that you can’t even bear to be in the sun. That, and you mentioned before that it makes your scars hurt. Over-exposure to the sun seems to be… harmful to your scars.”
She nodded her head, acknowledging his words.
The rest of the time was spent in silence until the first rays of sun began to peek over the horizon. Jezebel stood and strode away from the window and Narcissus followed, lying down next to her. Much like how Saroja had curled into Kalaghata’s chest, Jezebel curled into Narcissus, and he wrapped an arm protectively around her.
He wavered between the realm of dreams and wakefulness for quite sometime, and it wasn’t until there was no more noise downstairs that Jezebel’s even breathing lulled him into a deeper sleep.