New Year's Eve.
Nobori supposed that he should be outside enjoying the festivities, seeing as how Nimbasa City threw the biggest New Year's Even celebration in the entire region. Sadly, however, there was work to be done, and if he didn't get it all done now than it would just continue to pile up. Insurance claims, official documents from the League, letters of complaint, reports concerning the ATO's performance and whether he should allow the trains to become completely computer driven; it all fell on Nobori's shoulders. It would have been easier if Kudari was there to help him, but his dear little brother had whined liked a kicked Lillipup when he realized all the fun he was missing. Like a good older sibling Nobori let Kudari out to have some fun, the New Year's celebration meant little to the elder of the two twins. It was just a night filled with alcohol and drunken teenagers and noise. Nobori was a man who cherished his quiet time, thank you very much.
he let out a sigh and set his pen down, holding his aching wrist in one hand and rotating it in an attempt to ease the aching that came from writing for so many hours on end. He glared down at the paperwork stacked neatly on his desk, his frown deepening. Some people complained about the most stupid, arbitrary things. And it certainly wasn't his problem if some over-doting parent's precious little angel got hurt while on the Battle Subway. They had a safety briefing for challengers for a reason; it was their fault for not listening. Nobori sighed again and stood up, rolling his shoulders and neck to be rid of the stiffness that was beginning to form in his upper back and shoulders. A walk, that was what he needed. A walk... and maybe a cigarette. Nobori pulled open one of his desk drawers open and retrieved a pack of cigarettes, feeling a small twinge of annoyance spark in his stomach when he noticed he only had three left. He would have to go out and buy more when Kudari wasn't around -the younger didn't approve of Nobori's habit in the slightest. Nobori stuck a cigarette in between his teeth and pulled out a lighter, striking the ball a few times before he finally got a flame.
The scent of burning nicotine and the taste of the smoke seemed to make Nobori's previous tension melt away. Whoever said that cigarettes weren't therapeutic were clearly out of their mind. The Subway Master let out a long breath of smoke, feeling his minor frustration float away with the puff of smoke. He cast a sideways glance at the paperwork and nodded his head lightly. He could wait a until later to finish it. There wasn't much left to do, and it wasn't like it was going anywhere. Nobori nodded again and let out a another puff of smoke before stepping out of the office, closing the door behind him softly.
The subway was practically abandoned that night. More than half of the staff had taken the night off, leaving only about three or four (counting Nobori) remaining. It was odd leaving the subway open tonight of all nights, but you never knew when someone would need a ride back to their home town or city. The hotels in Nimbasa City and Nimbasa Town could only hold so many guests, and not everyone could afford a room to stay in for the night. Although the question of whether or not half the people enjoying the New Year's festivities would even be sober enough to check into a hotel was also a possibility.
Nobori flicked the butt of his cigarette with his tongue, moving it to the opposite corner of his mouth as he glanced up at the stairs leading to the surface. He was just barely able to make out the bright, colorful sparks from the fireworks being set off and the sound of several thousand people having the night of their lives. Kudari was probably among them, making jokes and happily chatting with people he didn't even know. And knowing him, he was probably drunk by this point. Kudari (fortunately or unfortunately, given your views) didn't exactly personify the stereotype that Germans could hold their liquor with the best of them. Nobori thought about whether he should go up there and drag Kudari away but decided against it. Kudari was a grown man, and he didn't need his big brother looking out for him. Besides, he had Elesa with him to make sure he didn't do anything stupid... scratch that. Elesa was probably the one who was encouraging Kudari to drink more.
Nobori took a thoughtful drag, letting the smoke swirl in his chest, and blowing it out. Making smoke rings for no other reason other than to entertain himself somewhat. He was brought back to reality when the sound of someone stumbling into the lobby filled his ears. It wasn't one of the employees; Nobori knew that much. Turning his head in that direction, he saw the slightly swaying form of Whitlea DaSilva. And for a moment he was struck breathless.
White had always been a rather attractive young woman, the quote en quote problem with her was that she was a tomboy. She hardly made more than minimum effort brushing her hair and her clothes were always dirtied from some romp she had in the wilderness. Tonight though... whether it was through the persuasion of that air-headed blonde girl she hung around with or not, White had actually taken the time to properly brush her hair, which tumbled in waves to somewhere near her waist. She had traded in her trademark tank top, vest and shorts in favor for a black halter dress made out of some sort of silky-looking material that stopped just below her knees. Probably the most outrageous of all was the fact that she was wearing heels. Not the ridiculous three-inch heels that Elesa wore, but it was the fact of the matter.
Nobori chewed on the but of his cigarette for a few seconds, hoping the action would distract his mind from the beautiful girl swaying to an imaginary beat. He scrunched his face up in disgust when pure nicotine hit his tongue and he spat the cigarette out, extinguishing it under his shoe. The sound obviously attracted White who smiled widely as she looked towards the Subway Master.
"Hi Nobori~~~" She sang-songed, taking a few unsteady steps towards him. She had obviously been drinking. Not there was anything wrong with that, she was the legal age to drink in this region after all. Nobori took a few long, casual strides towards White, getting there at just the right movement to stop her from tipping forward, his hand under hers while the other moved to her back to support. White blinked slowly and looked up at the black-clad man, and Nobori could see the faintest shimmer of body glitter on her face. She was wearing a modest amount of make up; eye shadow, a bit of mascara and some lip gloss. Again, probably at the coaxing of that blonde haired girl.
"Miss White, have you been drinking?" It was an obvious question, anyone with eyes could see that the young woman was a little intoxicated.
"Mmaaaaaybee~~" White responded, regaining her balance and giggling wildly behind her fists. "The party's fun. But I wanna go home now." For a (probably) first time drunk, White was surprisingly coherent. She probably only had a few glasses of champagne, three or four, at the most. Regardless, while the train to Accumela town was still up and running, and Nobori was sure White would be able to pay for a ticket home, he felt uneasy about letting her go by herself. The area around Nuvema wasn't exactly known for any sort of group violence, but there was always the off chance that the drunken brunette set one of the wild Pokemon off the wrong way and get attacked, and White probably didn't bring her Pokeballs with her.
"I'm sorry. But I cannot in good conciseness let you go unattended." Nobori said crisply, keeping his face stoic as he looked at the girl before him. So vulnerable in this state...
"Why nooooot?" White whined, sticking her bottom lip out in a very childish pout. "I'll be fine."
"Somehow I seriously doubt that." The fair-haired man replied tonelessly. "Listen, why don't you rest in my office for a while? When I'm finished here, I'll escort you home."
"Reaaaallyyyyy? Awwww, tha' so sweet, Nobori." White cooed before closing the gap between their bodies, draping her around around his shoulders in an awkward imitation of a hug. "Hey. Heyheyhey. You know what I really like? Your name. It's so foreign-soundin'! Nobori. Nobori. Nooooooboooooriiiiiii." Was it possible for alcohol to effect first-time drinkers worse as time went on? For some people, possible, the more it was absorbed into the stomach (Nobori never claimed to be an expert on biology). The Subway Master didn't respond as he wrapped an arm around White waist -to make sure she didn't trip over herself, of course- and led her back to the office, the girl half leaning on his larger frame and laughing every so often, like this was the funniest thing that had ever happened to her. Or at least the most amusing.
Getting the office door open probed to be more difficult than Nobori would have liked with a drunk girl leaning against him, but he managed regardless, carelessly nudging the door closed with a foot as he led White to the couch and sat her down, keeping a hand on her shoulder in case she toppled over. "Would you like anything to drink?"
"No." White groaned, her cheek rolling onto her shoulder. "I just wanna lay down for a bit." Somehow she managed to shrug Nobori's hand off her shoulder before unceremoniously flopping side-first onto the couch, thankfully not hitting her head on the rest. She curled her legs and arms to her torso in an attempt to get more comfortable as she nuzzled her cheek into the cushion. It was adorable, in an odd way. After determining that White wasn't going to roll herself onto the floor Nobori decided to get back to his dreaded paperwork.
The clock that hung on the wall above his desk said 11:10, and by a stroke of luck Nobori had finally finished everything before midnight. His wrist probably hated him but what needed to be done needed to be done. He rolled his wrist, cringing slightly at the audible pop that came from the appendage- he never did like the sound. He looked back at White, she hadn't moved from the spot he left her in for the past hour and a half. Not that Nobori was expecting her too. Then it hit him, the last train to Accumula Town had already left the station thirty minutes ago, making it's final trip for the night to Anville Town. Nobori groned and slapped his hand to his forehead, nearly a decade of working at the station and that little detail had slipped his mind. He sighed and ran a hand over his hair, considering his options. He could check White into a hotel, he had the money, the problem was finding one with a vacant room. Nimbasa Town probably had a hotel or two with a room available, but the idea of walking all the way to Nimbasa Town -having to carry White, most likely- wasn't the most appealing idea in the world.
"Take her home." Nobori's body froze at the thought. He swallowed thickly and glanced back at White, who muttered something unintelligible and turned over. "It will be just for tonight. She won't mind." Nobori resisted the urge to slam his head on the desk for thinking such... perverse thoughts. Even if White was his friend, taking her home without her will, knowledge or consent was just wrong.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Another option was letting her sleep in the break room, it had a bed. White could sleep there and Nobori could sleep on the couch in the office. That sounded like a good idea, but there was a nagging feeling tugging at the back of his mind. Something that told him that leaving White unsupervised would be a bad idea.
It would only be one night... what harm could it do? Kudari wasn't coming home tonight, as he said in a barely understandable message he had left on Nobori's Xtransceiver (he had clearly reached his alcohol intake limit). The only reason Nobori was able to understand it at all was that Kudari had been speaking in German, but even then it was hard to understand at some points, particularly whenever he had to say a word that had an Eszett in it. However, that was beside the point. The point was the epic internal debate on whether or not he should take White home for the night. She would understand, right? She wouldn't think any different of him, right? Nothing would change between them... right?
Nobori sighed again, turning his back to the sleeping beauty on the couch behind him as he attempted to gather his thoughts. It was his morals versus what he wanted, and his wants were winning.
He was just a man, after all.
For the umpteenth time that night, Nobori asked what he was doing. Carrying a sleeping girl through the nearly-deserted streets of Anville Town wasn't exactly something that he regularly indulged in (in fact, more often than not Nobori had to drag his own brother home and into bed once the caffeine left his system). Luckily for him he possessed somewhat of a smooth tongue, and was able to convince the young, naive, but dedicated Josh that Nobori was just offering White shelter for the night since she lived so far away. It wasn't actually a lie, the Subway Master just decided to word it more convincingly than he had in his mind. There was nothing wrong with that.
Nobori let the cool December air brush by him, using it as a way to try to undo the knot of guilt and uncertainty that had twisted in his stomach. He was not -was not!- doing anything wrong. He was doing what any good friend would do , what any good hearted person would do. No one could accuse him of being perverse, right? Right. Nobori nodded to himself, adjusting the weight of the girl in his arms. Glancing down at the young woman, he noticed how she looked so small, bundled up in Nobori's trademark black coat. It was almost hard to believe that she was the one who challenged the Subway day in and day out, earning herself quite the reputation in the process. His attention was drawn to a small sound White had made and he stopped, half afraid that she would wake up, fully aware, and demand an explanation. Thankfully, she didn't. All she did was hum contentedly and snuggle further into the thick material. Nobori let out a small sigh of relief and continued on his way.
Getting inside the house proved to be more of a challenge than Nobori would have liked. He, unfortunately, lacked the strength to hold a young woman with one arm, so he was forced to set her down by the door so he could unlock it. Luckily she didn't topple over in her sleep and smack her head against the concrete -thank Arceus- and he was eventually able to open the door and retake the girl in her arms, nudging it closed once he was inside. White seemed to appreciate the sudden additional warmth, as she made another happy sound, this time her head cuddling close to Nobori's chest. The Subway Master felt his cheeks flare up and his heart rate increase ever-so-slightly, but he ignored it as he ventured forward.
He and Kudari didn't share a very big house. When their father bought it what felt like a lifetime ago, he only intended for it to accommodate a family of four. Half of that family, by chance, happened to be twins who couldn't stand to leave each other's side. That being said, the house only had two bed rooms; his and Kudari's room, and the master bedroom- although it was more like a guest room these days. Nobori could have let White sleep in his bed since Kudari wasn't coming home that night, but something in his mind prevented him from doing so. The guest room was just a little ways down the hall, and White would probably want her privacy. Waking up in a room shared by two men probably wasn't what a hung-over girl would want to see anyway. A nice, clean room with a soft king sized bed was probably the best option.
The knot in his stomach tightened as the guestroom door creaked open, and Nobori swore he could feel himself trembling slightly. He wasn't doing anything wrong. He was just making White comfortable for when she woke up. It wasn't like he was going to ra... ravage her. Not while she was so vulnerable. He just needed to calm down, there was no one around to judge him now. He was safe inside his home. Safe with White. Nobori swallowed thickly and walked over to the bed, placing White onto the soft material, re-adjusting her head on the pillow and properly covering her body up with his coat. He felt something leap up into his throat, and only then realized just how fast his heart was beating.
This night... just for this one little night, White was his. All his. No one was around to keep her from him. No one. Nobori set his jaw and looked out the window, catching the very faint flashes of light that came from the fireworks back in Nimbasa city. It must have been close to midnight by this point
"It's good luck to kiss someone before midnight." Nobori said to himself, casting a sideways glance at White. He wasn't normally a superstitious person, but maybe for tonight he would indulge. He swallowed thickly and lowered himself over White, trying to keep his breathing steady and his heart from bursting out of his ribcage. "Happy New Year, Miss White..." he whispered, closing the distance between them and touching his lips to hers, tasting the faint fruity flavor of her lip-gloss mixed with the faint bite of champagne, and under that was the simple and pure taste of White's mouth.
She tasted delicious...
When White woke up, she felt groggy at best and like someone had hit her in the head with a brick at worst. Why did she agree to let Black drag her to some New Year's even party? Damn that boy and his adorable begging face! He had even convinced Cheren to go along and get drunk off his ass (although, from what White remembered, Cheren was a very funny drunk). At least she was warm, that was nice luxury to have. The question was... where was she? Why did her arms feel so stiff? White tried to pull her arms back down to her sides, but found that they wouldn't budge. The brunette looked up as far as she could, her face paling when she realized that her hands were tied. Someone had bound her wrists together in a tight, complicated knot that she couldn't even hope of undoing herself, then secured her to a few of the bars of the cage-style headboard. She gulped and tugged again, hoping that the silky blue material would yield to her struggles. No suck luck.
White took a few keep breaths to calm herself down and closed her eyes. Hoping to Arceus above that this was just some alcohol induced dream. That she hadn't been kidnapped by some sicko during the night.
Fate was never that kind, however.