Bluebells Are Forever

Castle Confessions

A week passed before I fully recovered. While I thought the wait would be torture, it actually wasn't terrible, by having visitors drop by to pass the time. I'd give one guess on the most frequent visitor.

Honestly though, I found myself happier to have Greninja visit, more than anyone else. He doted on me more than the knights did, but not overbearingly so, which surprisingly came from Delphox.

"Are you sure you don't need anything else?" the fire fox mage inquired. "I've got a few different potions that could build up your stamina during the day, but you'll crash hard on your face by nightfall. Also, I could cast a remedy curse that would increase your blood flow if you're—"

"Delphox, I'm fine," I insisted. "Everyone has stopped by and taken care of me all week. I'm all set to get back out again."

"Gardevoir will kill me if I don't make sure you're all set to go out," clarified Delphox. "Are you sure that you're in top form? No spots in your eyes or signs of dizziness when you get up?"

"No."

"Sore throat?"

"Does it sound sore?"

"Congestion or numbness anywhere?"

"Nope."

"Ok, I'll need you to clench your fingers, make a fist, and bend—"

"Delphox!" I shouted. "Relax! I'm ok. Gardevoir doesn't need to worry, and you don't need to worry. I'm alive and doing fine, all right?"

"…Are you one hundred percent sure on that?" he persisted.

"I'm one thousand percent certain," I asserted. "And I'm leaving, whether you want me to or not."

The mage gave me a distasteful look, but then smiled and stepped away from the door. When I opened it, I saw Greninja walking down the hall and stop short as he approached.

"Oh, hi Chesnaught," he sheepishly waved. "You're up early."

"It's the late evening," I pointed to the setting sun outside the windows.

"Uh…I was expecting you up tomorrow," Greninja corrected himself. I watched him prop up a green book in his arm.

"What's that?" I pointed to it.

"Huh? Oh this," Greninja lifted it out from under his arm. "It's from the flower shop in town. I got one when I went with Escavalier."

"Neat," I smiled. "Lady Lilligant from town enjoys reading over her copy too. I'd have one myself if she didn't always go over everything with me."

His eyes lowered as he nodded. "Right. Lilligant," he deadpanned.

"Um…is there something wrong?" I asked.

"No, it's just…nothing important," he shrugged. "Anyway, I should get going—"

"Wait, where are you off to?" I questioned as he turned away.

"I've got practice with Accelgor," Greninja explained. "I just…wanted to stop by and check on you before I went." We stood quietly as he blushed and bounced on the balls of his feet. "Um…I-I should go now. N-Nice seeing you."

Greninja turned to walk away, but I snatched his hand on impulse. "W-Wait!"

He pivoted back around and stared at me as I felt my face burn up. "What is it? Are you sure you're all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine, but…" I gazed into his bright red eyes and listened to my heart as it hammered against my chest. "Uh…do you want to do something later?"

"Like what?" he asked and stepped closer, interlocking his hand into mine.

"W-Well, I still owe you dinner and drinks," I offered.

"Sure, I'd like to," Greninja smiled, but then blinked and frowned. "But I'm going to be getting out later, probably, so I don't…you shouldn't wait up for me."

"After you spent an entire week checking on me every day while I was in the medical room, I think I can wait a few hours for food," I persisted.

"If you're sure, then I'm up for it," he nodded.

"Ok, great!" I cheered.

"Great," he echoed and we fell silent again. Greninja stared into my eyes and I gazed back into his. Red is pretty attention grabbing. "U-Um, sorry, I need to—"

"Oh, right, get going!" I shooed him off. He turned to walk away, but pulled back. We looked down to find our hands were still laced together. "Sorry, that's…sorry," I released his hand.

"No, that's my fault," Greninja insisted and flipped his hand around. "Sticky palms."

"Tight grip," I flexed my hand and we both laughed. He took me in one last time, then bounced up, and hurried back out of the hall. Smiling, I watched him until he slid out the door, and I gently caressed my hand.

"Oho, so you do like him," snickered Delphox and I whirled around to find him still standing by the medical room door.

"W…Why would you wait there the whole time?" I demanded.

"Curious, I suppose," he chuckled. "So, are you planning to tell him, later tonight?"

"Maybe. I mean, no! Wait, that's…not your concern!" I stammered out.

"He's my friend too, so it's definitely my business," laughed Delphox. "After all, I want to know who chases after him, just in case it's for the wrong reasons."

"Wrong reasons?" I repeated.

"Superficial interests only, manipulation and games, showing off, predators, things like that," clarified Delphox. "Though I'm not certain, you don't come off as any of those."

"Um…thanks?"

"Oh, don't mention it," the mage shook his head. "If you do something to break his heart, I might not be so forgiving. Granted, I've been around you longer, but in a little over a week, I've socialized more with that ninja frog than any of you knights." He frowned and lowered his eyes. "You're not the heartbreaker type, are you?"

"N-No!" I defended. "I haven't had a date in ages as it is."

"Good, then enjoy tonight."

"But it's not a date!" I asserted.

"Why isn't it?" challenged Delphox. "You like him, he likes you, close the gap between the distance and tell him how you feel."

"It's not that easy," I murmured. "Knights don't really…"

His eyes lit up and I felt a tingle inside of my head. Delphox nodded and blinked his eyes back to normal.

"That is difficult," he muttered. "I…well…no, I still think you should go over this with him."

"But I don't even know—"

"Well, there's one way to find out," explained Delphox. "And there's another way to torture yourself every day. Tonight, you have some decisions to make."

With a smirk, Delphox walked away while I slumped against a wall and tried to sort everything out.


Accelgor and I race along the outskirts of the Eventide Forest, zipping around the trees and darting back for the castle. Unlike the deeper parts of the forest, the edge has trees that are spaced out, meaning fewer places to hide and less chances of bandit encounters.

Though my feet were lightly pressing off from the ground, I was still no match for Accelgor, who had sped away from me as soon as we left the woods.

Once I'm near the castle, I slow my pace, well aware that Accelgor has already made her way to the courtyard. Calmly, I look up to the starry night sky, which is a mix of dark blues, purples, and blacks, lit up by the white starlight. The warm air is quiet without my hustling movement and my heartbeat relaxes to the ambient sounds of the night.

My partner laughs as I walk back to the castle courtyard, and she sits against a column. "What happened?" Accelgor asks. "You were keeping up nicely until that final stretch."

Rubbing my feet, I shrug and admit, "You've always been faster than me at running straight paths." After a pause, I add, "Actually, you're faster than everyone here."

"This is true," she laughs again as she jumps up from the ground. "Anyway, I'm off to hunt down my husband. You told me you hadn't eaten yet either, so would you like to join us for a meal?"

"Oh, no thank you," I decline. "A friend of mine wanted to take me out for drinks and dinner, so—"

"Aw, how sweet," cooed Accelgor. "Enjoy your date!"

"Thank you!" I smile, but think about it for a minute. Aloud, I ponder, "…Wait. Date? I don't think it's a…" But I glance up to find Accelgor has already left me.

With a sigh, I shift my gaze around the courtyard and fail to find Chesnaught. Slowly, it dawns on me that we never chose where to meet before going to town.

"Ooh, why didn't I plan this through carefully?" I bemoan to myself.

At first, I shuffle to the castle's doors to walk back inside. However, I hesitate and decide to check around the back of the castle first, just in case he might be there.

As I make my way around, I hear faint whispering, and wonder who would be out this late. Stealthily, I lean up against the wall and peer my head around.

King Nidoking leans against the fountain while general Rhydon caresses him, rubbing his hands across the king's face, and, in turn, has his hands draped around Rhydon's waist. The distance between the two looks so tight and I can imagine the air around them is limited. Their faces were glowing red, quite visible even in the night, and my cheeks burned in response. Nidoking smiled while Rhydon appeared a little more serious, but certainly not deterred.

"…I was a fool to wait," Rhydon whispers. "So many years ago, I wish that I had just told you the truth, and I—"

"Hush," Nidoking softly chuckles. "We're here now, aren't we?"

"But I feel awful," quietly admits Rhydon. "Maybe, if I had told you sooner, she…"

"My queen held my heart dearly and I was happy to have had her," murmured Nidoking, rubbing Rhydon's back. "I don't regret the time I spent with her. But she's gone, and I'm equally happy to have you here, now, to be with."

"Sire…" The general lowers his face in, but Nidoking pulls back.

"Please, don't use that," Nidoking insists. He sighs before he continues, "We've been together for so long. Isn't it time that we stop hiding—?"

"Nidoking, we can't," argues Rhydon. "Even if most of the kingdom suspects us to be, we have too many risks that arise from us being known." His hand scoops the king's chin and raises it up. "The other royals would think you weak, our soldiers may not remain loyal, it's not—"

"What of certain young couple?" challenges Nidoking. "If they truly do share feelings for one another, am I supposed to just sit back and let the kingdom tear them apart? If they want to stand for who they love, for one another, why shouldn't we follow?"

"You're the leader, si…Nidoking," persists Rhydon. "There's no need for you to ever follow."

"It's not a need, it's a want," corrects Nidoking, leaving his right hand on Rhydon's waist while sliding his left back up to the general's head. "If they go public, or if anyone else ever wants to, they need support. And I want to be that reinforcement, to give them a strong backing, to let them know that what they want is ok, right, pure. They should have a fair chance at love; if it's anyone else's right, why not theirs as well?"

Rhydon sighs. "You make valid points. And I must admit, we're not alone and there has been strong signs of progress to accept the idea of…well, this," he pauses and gently kisses Nidoking on the lips. It's short and he pulls back, continuing, "But it's still not something a lot of folks are tolerant of. It may never be that way in our lifetime."

"All the more reason to follow my idea," chuckles Nidoking. "Even if we're a small step, we can help with the future."

"…I'm afraid to risk that," confesses Rhydon.

"So am I," admits Nidoking. "And I imagine that they're petrified as well, to the point of fearing to tell one another. But that shouldn't be. This late night excursion, out here, shouldn't be either. Love is love." He gazes longingly into the general's eyes. "Weren't you the one to tell me that?"

"Truthfully, I tell you a great deal of things that I probably shouldn't," huffs Rhydon.

"Are you going to tell me that you regret it?" asks Nidoking.

"Never," Rhydon replies immediately. "I'm not sure of what lies ahead for us, but I kept this in for too long. And I don't regret sharing it with you, not for a second."

Nidoking grins widely as Rhydon softly smiles. They close the gap and press their lips together, softly at first, then more firmly, passionately. My face fires up furiously as I continue to watch, unable to turn away, nervously smiling over the two. The king's right arm slides up the general's back. Rhydon's hands lock around the back of Nidoking's head. Their quiet union makes my heart leap and I want to cheer for them.

Abruptly, the sound of a door creaking open fills the air and I tense up, freezing. Rhydon and Nidoking quickly pull away from one another and Rhydon whirls his head around. His fear filled eyes relax a bit as soon as he registers the face he's looking at. Quickly, I duck behind the wall.

"G-General?" sounds Chesnaught's voice. "Lord Nidoking? Sire?"

"A-Ah, Chesnaught," laughs Nidoking. "Good to see you."

"…I'm interrupting, aren't I?" Chesnaught observes.

"N-No, not at all," Rhydon musters out.

"Oh, please forgive me, sir, your majesty," apologizes the knight.

"It's fine, quite all right," asserts Nidoking. "Better you than others, I'm certain, especially since you had an idea of…well, us."

"Yes, but—"

"Don't worry about it," affirms Nidoking. "Foolish of us to try having it out here, in the open. My idea, naturally." He laughs, though no one else joins in.

After the king stops, Rhydon inquires, "What are you doing out here, Chesnaught?"

"Me?" asks a startled Chesnaught. "Well, I was, uh…looking around for…"

"Chesnaught?" I call out. A pang of worry hits my stomach, as I'm not entirely certain that the knight was willing to admit he was searching for me.

Nevertheless, I force myself around the corner, and watch as all eyes drift to me.

"Greninja, there you are," exhales Chesnaught.

"Ha! Told you," gloats Nidoking to Rhydon.

"Sire?" I question as I give the king and his general a puzzled glance.

"It's nothing," insists Rhydon.

"Might I inquire as to what you two are doing out here?" asks Nidoking.

"W-Well, it's—" begins Chesnaught.

"On second thought, I now realize that I have, ah, business to attend to. Enjoy the night, you two," chuckles Nidoking. He laces his arm with the general's, with a soft, "Coming, general?" and guides the mortified Rhydon back inside. "Oh, and screw the other royals, anyway," I hear him tell the general as they close the door.

For a moment, Chesnaught and I watch the castle door in silence. Then, he turns to me and asks, "What did I miss? Besides the kiss."

"A lot," I chuckle. "They held a whole discussion with one another and I could barely understand it." I think it over and decide, "Something about how they got together after the queen, uh—"

"Died," Chesnaught sadly informs me.

"Oh, so that was it," I murmur and my heart droops. "Well, Nidoking seems happy to move on with Rhydon, and he seems pretty at peace over her as well."

"The general's the only one who ever could help him with that," nods Chesnaught. "We've never really been able to determine her death. Supposedly, she died from an illness, but it's odd, as it took her swiftly."

"There are terrible illnesses that do that," I remind him.

"Yes, you're right," agrees Chesnaught and he sighs. However, he perks himself back up and smiles at me. "But, enough of that! It's my first night back out and I don't want to ruin your mood with tragic stories and harsh reminders."

"Right, we're going out," I laugh. Realizing my words too late, I stop short and glance at Chesnaught, whose cheeks are now a bit red. "I-I mean, well, it's, uh…not exactly like a—"

"Like a date," Chesnaught finishes for me as my face burns harder than before.

"W-Well, it's sort of like one," I nervously chuckle. More seriously, I continue, "B-B-But, it's not really one, since it's the two of us and, uh, we're not really—"

"Yeah, I mean, no," agrees Chesnaught. "We're just…"

He trails off and we gaze at one another quietly.

"Ok, so it is a date," laughs Chesnaught. "But that doesn't really mean anything. Friends can have dates too, right?"

"Um, yeah!" I force out. "Definitely. Friends go out with each other all the time! Ha. Nothing wrong with that."

"Nope, not a thing," Chesnaught reaffirms, his own blush expanding.

My eyes dart around the area, scanning the balconies and windows of the castle, checking behind the fountain, and peering at the bushes. Chesnaught circled around, surveying each spot as well, before turning back to me with a small smile.

"Just us," he reassured my steadily quickening heart rate.

"Yep, thought so," I nod. Then, I ask, "Is there anything else you wanted to do around the town while we're there?"

"Besides dinner and drinks? Um, hang on," Chesnaught scratches his head. "Well, I can't recall what's open around or after midnight, but we could try to see if there are any shops open." He bats a fist into his palm. "Oh, I'm sure that we could visit Lady Lilligant too!" My hands curl into fists and I bite my tongue. "She's good company, and I'm sure she'll still be up. Would you mind if we tried to stop by?"

"Yes, I actually would," I blurt out. My head jerks up as I process what I just did.

"Wait, really?" questions Chesnaught, and I can hear a slight annoyance in his tone. "Why?"

"Oh, it-it's not visiting her," I try to reason as I feel sweat trickle down the back of my head and my hands tremble. "I-I mean, I'm perfectly fine with…I don't really mind if we…she's not, I'm not…um…"

"Do you have a problem with her?" accuses Chesnaught. "Did I miss something when you met her in town?"

"No!" I practically shout and slam my hands over my mouth. We both wait a minute and check our surroundings. When no one appears, I quickly add, "No, it's not about her, honest!"

"Then why can't we visit her?" Chesnaught asks. "What's wrong with that?"

"It's not that we can't," I shakily try to amend. But my heart races and I know that I'm too deep in to get out of this. "I just…don't want you to," I admit.

"You…don't want me to visit my friend?" Chesnaught gives me a quizzical look.

"That's not…ok, no, that's pretty much exactly what I'm saying," I realize.

The knight folds his arms and gives me a distasteful expression. "How does that make any sense?"

"Honestly, it doesn't," I relent. "She makes you happy, I'm sure, and I…I shouldn't keep you from her." I shiver and tighten my hands again. Am I really about to…?

"What do you mean?" questions Chesnaught.

"Look, I understand how you feel about her," I insist. "But it's…I feel that for you."

He stares quietly at me for a moment before he slowly lets out, "…Huh?"

"I like you," I explain. "A lot. And it's probably more than like." My heart continues to hammer on and I fear it might just burst from my chest.

"Uh, I don't think I follow," Chesnaught tilts his head a bit.

Inhaling a sharp breath, I squeeze my eyes shut and then exhale a heavy breath.

"Chesnaught, I think…no, I know."

"Know what?" I open my eyes and see him frowning at me, still puzzled over my behavior.

"I love you," I confess.

His eyes widen and his arms drop back to his sides. Slowly, I wince and try to shift my gaze to the ground, unable to look at him any longer.

"Really?" he asks, almost in a whisper.

"Look, I'm sorry!" I cry out as I squeeze my eyes shut again. Quickly, I ramble off, "I get that you're trying to be my friend and that this is probably really weird. I didn't mean to…I-I tried not to, but I just couldn't…you just…I…"

Hands gently tilt my head back up and the air is suddenly stifled around me. Lips gently connect with my top lip and the top of my tongue. I can almost hear a second heartbeat pounding alongside mine. My eyes fire open to a white and brown face in front of me, with a deep blush over…him.

Slowly, Chesnaught pulls away from me and gazes into my eyes.

"W…What…?" is all that comes from my mouth.

"Sorry, that was kind of, uh, impulsive of me," a flustered Chesnaught apologizes. "I guess I've just been, um…holding that in for a while."

"H-Holding…?" I repeat, still processing the fact that his lips were just against mine.

"Yeah, it's…well, I guess it built up the most while I was recovering, but I think I've wanted to do that for a while now," he admits. "It's just…I tried not to rush it, but the more we spent time together, and the more a few people suggested it…I just really felt like doing that at some point and settled on it as soon as I thought it might be right." He shrugs. "I hope now was ok."

"I-I thought you were…w-what about Lilligant?" I stammer out.

"She's been my friend for a while," Chesnaught explains and smiles. "But we're just friends, and we never really went beyond that."

"B-But…you…last week, you gave her a flower," I protest.

He chuckles softly. "She's a collector," he informs me. "If I manage to keep one safe and bring it back, I contribute to her supply. I didn't realize that you noticed. She houses a beautiful collection; if you're interested, you should ask her to look at it sometime."

My shoulders slump and my arms dangle in front of me. "S…So…"

"I love you too."

Chesnaught smiles after the words leave his lips. My eyes are so wide they might burst alongside my pulsating heart. The blush is still coating his white face and I can tell by the heat that my blush is also covering me.

"Um…since I kind of just jumped into it," he scratches his head, "would you want to kiss me too?"

Quickly, I lurch forward and practically dive for his face. His head jerks back a bit, but he moves it closer as I press my lips and tongue against his. I slip one arm around his back and the other over his shoulder. He does the same, placing one hand across my waist and his other around the back of my neck. We shift our heads and I feel his tongue slide across the length of mine before retreating back into his mouth.

Carefully, slowly, he pulls back and we both take a heavy breath. He grins as he taps on the large tongue wrapped around my neck.

"Pretty sticky," he laughs.

"Does it bother you?" I ask.

Chesnaught shakes his head. "Not at all. But, I was wondering if you could ever…"

He trails off as I pull back and whip my tongue around, unraveling it from my neck. It slips back into my mouth as my hands touch my cheeks and my bare chin. I watch as his mouth drops open.

"Um…sorry," I shrug. "I…guess I look weirder this way?"

"No, absolutely not!" Chesnaught cries out. "I just…didn't realize you'd look so great. Both ways, actually." He nods. "I wasn't sure, but I like how you look either way."

"Well, don't get too used to this," I giggle. "It's…not something I do a lot, so I don't show it off very often."

I'm not sure if I blush any harder every time he smiles at me, but I feel like I could if it was possible. "Either style looks perfect to me," he insists. "I mean it."

"O-Ok," I nod and move back into him. "Well…um…all yours."

His hands slide back around my face and my arms wrap behind his neck. Our mouths connect again and we push each other's open. Chesnaught's tongue glides along my bottom lip and I press against him, allowing his tongue to enter my mouth. Though mine is too long to explore his, he tilts his head and widens his lips as his tongue presses on mine and moves it closer to his mouth. Chesnaught slides one arm back down to my back and caresses my head with the other one. I massage his back and shoulders as I slip my hands underneath the opening of his shell.

After another minute, we gently break apart again, reluctant to move away from one another. He rubs his forehead against mine and I giggle again, sliding my arms out from his upper back and wrapping them around his sides. We stare at each other and I get lost in his dark eyes, as my lips curve into a broad smile to match his.

Slowly, Chesnaught presses his lips to mine again and I mimic the motion. We gently kiss once more, but he suddenly pulls back quickly. I blink and stare at him as he bites his lip and now appears to look…nervous? Afraid?

"W-Wait, no, what are we doing?!" he blurts out.

"Um…kissing," I remind him.

"N-No, we c-can't do this," Chesnaught shakes his head and pulls his arms away from me.

"We can't?" My heart drops and I take my arms back, hugging myself. "I thought that…you liked me."

"I do! I really like you!" he asserts and places his hands on my shoulders. "But…if anyone finds out, then I…who knows what they'll do?"

"Your king is gay, isn't he?" I ask. "Or, at least…we just saw him with the general."

"Yeah, but that's different," Chesnaught explains. "He had a wife before he started up with the general. More importantly, the knights serve and work under the two of them." His shoulders drop and he stares at the ground. Softer, he continues, "I'm…on their level. I don't think they'll be as welcome to the sudden change."

I recall their earlier conversation and connect that it was actually about us. And it dawns on me that only Chesnaught might be gay, whereas the others might not be.

"So…do you…not want to do this?" I offer him a way out.

"No. I mean, yes! Wait a minute, wait." He pinches the middle of his forehead and squeezes his eyes closed. Slowly, he releases it, taking in a breath and exhaling a heavy sigh. "Yes, I want to do this," Chesnaught declares. Less confidently, he continues, "No, I don't want anyone to know about it. So…I don't know what to do."

For a moment, I scratch the top of my head. Then, I decide, "I guess…we keep it a secret?"

"Can you do that?" Chesnaught asks. "Would you do that for me?"

"Sure," I nod. "I'll just tell my friends not to—"

"No, no, no. We can't tell anyone," he insists, "not even your closest friends."

"Oh," I let out a heavy breath. "It has to be that much of a secret?"

"Well…I…yes?" Chesnaught claws at the back of his head, his expression barely less calm than before.

A minute goes by while I tap my hands together. "…All right, I can give that a shot."

"Really?"

"Honestly, I'd rather we didn't, because I struggled with keeping my crush on you a secret," I clarify. "But, I know what it's like to have everyone look at you like a problem, so I understand that you don't want that." He grits his teeth and looks down shamefully, but I pick his head back up and smile at him. "I'll do my best to be as discreet as we possibly can be. Better, if possible."

"Thank you!" Chesnaught cheers and pulls me into a tight hug. I squirm and try to adjust myself a little better for it, which he loosens his grip for. "Thank you so much," he whispers as I wrap my arms back around him. "I…I won't make you wait forever over this. I just…need some time to…I don't know, think of something."

"Relax," I chuckle. "Don't try to figure out how to open up to everyone. I don't even tell people about my interests; they usually have to guess before I come clean." He pulls back from the hug, but keeps his arms around me. "It would be too selfish of me to force you into something that you wouldn't be comfortable with," I beam and slide one hand into his as I tighten my grip around him.

"One thing you're not is selfish," Chesnaught murmurs, still looking upset. "This isn't something that I should—"

"Chesnaught," I assert. "This is as much my choice as it is yours. If I wasn't comfortable about it, I'd say so."

"Greninja…" He gazes into my eyes again. I lean up and kiss him again, and then slide down to cuddle into his chest. Softly, he rubs his arm up and down my side, and tightens the grip on our interlaced hands.

"Oh, what are we doing?!" I bounce up and off of him, alarmed. "We've made out too many times in front of the castle! Someone might have seen us by now!"

He shakes his head. "No one really checks out the back this late, besides the night watch," Chesnaught explains. "But they don't really start their shift until…wait, is it midnight already?"

"Um…I actually lost track of time," I admit.

"Me too," he laughs. "Come on; I still owe you that dinner."

"And drinks," I tease.

"Of course," he agrees, with a mock exasperated tone.

We walk around the castle, and Chesnaught holds me in close to him. As we make our way to town, we exchange large smiles with one another and watch the stars as we travel under the moonlight.


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