Now, as we all know, I am taking a two month break in Greece, so this is my little send-off. Leave a review if you can, it took me about a day to finish, but I wanted to say goodbye properly! Plus, this is my first one-shot. Tell me what you think!
To Love or Not to Love: That is the AdvanceShipping Question!
“Have a nice day at the spa Pikachu.”
The little mouse grinned, nodding its head swiftly, before moving like lightning towards the closing gates with all the other Pokemon. Its trainer, a tall youth in his late-teens, waved back, before the doors closed, leaving him standing with three friends, all of which were waving bye to their own Pokemon.
First, there was Brock, a man he had met several years back. The fox-eyed lady-killer was grinning ear to ear, the spikes of his brown hair sticking up even further than before. His broad shoulders were covered with a dark brown hooded shirt, which he had several of, given that he wore it all the time. “Let’s get going, we do have a day off, don’t we?” he asked, turning towards his companions.
A younger boy nodded, shaking his dark mane of hair. He pushed his glasses to the rim of his nose, the dark orbs peering carefully from within. He wore a green shirt, along with some very long shorts. “I wanna go to a movie!” Max exclaimed, raising both hands. “We don’t get a chance to anywhere.”
May Birch, his big sister, nodded as well, clasping both her gloved hands together. “That sounds great!” she exclaimed, her azure eyes smiling. Her auburn hair bounced in its two locks, barely contained by the crimson Pokeball bandana she wore. She turned to the last member of their group, who was still watching Pikachu run towards the other Pokemon. “What do you think Ash?”
Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master-in-training, turned from the gates to give her one of his trademark stares, the dark pools of his eyes gleaming in the slowly falling sunlight. His hair, covered by a hat of red and blue, waggled, straining to free itself from the bondage. He grinned, raising a thumb. “Whatever you want, May,” he replied carefully, not wanting to unleash the deadly version of her that unveiled itself when she was angered.
The four began to walk, like they did everywhere, in the general direction of a theater that Brock said was famous, according the his all-knowing guide book. Ash shrugged, and consented to follow the large man around the town, his dark sneakers hardly denting the pavement of the city. He would rather be training with Pikachu or the others, but it wasn’t wise to incur May’s wrath. And I’d like to spend some time in a dark movie theater with her, he added to himself, though he didn’t show it. He smiled, most of his face shrouded by his hat.
May was practically skipping towards the theater, her yellow fanny pack jingling on her side, her red shirt jumping up and down. She was really excited, it was her first time going to a movie with Ash. Just gotta ditch Brock and Max, and we can have some fun! she giggled silently, tapping her fingers together. It was true that Ash had been a klutz when she had first met the dark trainer, but recently, he had begun to place a spell of mystery around himself that was utterly enticing. Maybe he’s finally matured. Ash was one of those people who you thought would never grow up, but he had somehow. They were both legally adults, she was eighteen, and he was nineteen.
“May, that’s a stop sign,” Max pointed out, before May careened into a bright red sign, lost in her day-dream. She bunted her head, and fell back, loosing her sense of balance.
Straight into Ash’s arms. The trainer reached up, and gently let her slide into his arms. She grabbed onto him just before she fell into the street, her body twisting. Ash held on, and with quick thinking, kept May from being run over by a passing truck.
“Watch where you’re going, bimbo!” they heard a voice shout from the truck.
Ash’s eyes burned. “You watch it, moron!” he barked, reaching into his jacket for a Pokeball. He aimed for the truck, and was just about to throw it, his anger was at the peaking point, before a hand settled onto the clenched fist. Ash turned instantly to see that it was May’s soothing fingers returning him to reality. “I can still get him,” he muttered.
“I’m all right,” she replied, putting her arms around him carefully. “Relax.”
They then became aware of the fact that they were holding each other, as did Max and Brock. The fox-eyed breeder tried to remain discreet, but Max went into overdrive.
“MAY AND ASH!” he shouted, raising both hands into the air. “MAY AND ASH, SITTING IN A TREE! K-I-S-S-” A giant fist clenched, and May threw herself from Ash’s arms, delivering a punch that sent her brother flying into the air. May’s eyes burned even further than what Ash’s had been, wanting nothing more then to pound Max into the dust for alerting everyone within a two-hundred foot radius to what had happened.
“SHUT UP MAX!” May roared, her face turning as red as her blouse. Steam flying from her ears, she turned around to where Brock was standing in a protective stance, not wanting the same treatment. Ash stood very calmly, his hat drawn over most of his face. She could barely see his nose, and he was a good few inches taller than she was. His mouth was a thin line, his hand was still holding the empty Pokeball.
“Uh, sorry Ash,” she said, rubbing the back of her head. “Guess I don’t know my own strength.” Max started to object from a bruised face, but May punched him into silence again.
“It’s all right,” he answered, nodding his head once. “I’m just glad you’re all right.” He turned to Brock, who seemed to remain unattached to what had just happened. “How about we start for that movie May wanted. Do we even know what we’re going to see?”
Brock snapped out of his defensive position, and nodded. “This place has a bunch of choices. We shouldn’t have a problem getting something we all like.”
Oh, how wrong he was…
It wasn’t long before they found the rather large theater, granted it wasn’t very hard to find. There were signs and everything, pointing to the supposedly famed Don Zazare theater. None of the travelers had ever heard of it before, but kept that to themselves. They could see the spotlights in the distance, growing brighter with every passing moment as the sun sank to the ground, the moon’s form slowly appearing in the darkening sky.
May heart was fluttering in her chest, Ash had just saved her life! True, she could have been terrified that her life might have ended, but she instead chose to think of how Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master-in-training, had saved her life, and then had been genuinely angry at the driver that had chosen to try and run her over. Her face was still crimson, and she looked over to where Ash was walking.
He was different now, she could tell that much. It had been gradual, but she truly missed the goofy idiot he had once been, though this model was definitely much more interesting, mainly because he kept himself to himself, and spent most of his time training. The hat was still tipped, she hoped it would lift in time for the movie. He hands were in his pockets, and he shuffled, the Pokeball caressed in his hand. He was still angry.
Brock had found a leash somewhere, and had hooked Max to it, making sure the lock would not yield, and moved the young teen around with the ease of a blind man being guided through the zoo by a miniature pinscher. But he soon learned how to control Max, and walked a little away from Ash and May, allowing the two privacy. The fox-eyed man wasn’t blind, he saw romance, stubborn, idiotic romance that he normally read about in manga or saw in anime.
“I hope they confess their feelings soon,” he muttered to himself, “otherwise, this is gonna be a really boring story.”
Max’s ears perked up. “You say something?”
Brock smiled, and shook his head. “Nothing at all,” he replied.
As Brock and Max exchanged banter, May was trying to find the courage to speak to Ash. He was so distant, but finally managed a half-hearted, “Hi.”
Ash turned to face her, but did not slow his walk. “What’s up?” he asked, raising a brow under his hat.
“W-Well…” she lowered her face, staring at the pavement. “I sort of wanted to thank you for saving my life.”
“Not a problem,” he replied cheerfully, giving another thumbs-up. “It’s not a good idea to get killed when I promised your parents I would look after you. Just wish I could have jammed this-” He showed her the Pokeball- “where the sun doesn’t shine in his truck.”
“What kind of training have you been doing?” she asked, wondering how a person could be able to do that.
“Mainly tossing skills, and a few aerobics, for the past couple years,” he replied, putting his hand away. “Stuff a Master is supposed to know, nothing too serious.”
She blinked. “Whoa, that’s cool!” she squealed, giggling. “I never knew you worked out.”
“I try to keep it to myself,” he explained, shrugging his shoulders. “It’s more fun that way.”
May edged herself closer to him as the theater loomed in front of them, trying to grab his arm in a way that would seem completely coincidental. She reached out an arm carefully, not wanting to scare him or have him push her away. She held her hand out, she almost had his elbow in her grasp…
“We’re here!” Brock whistled, breaking May’s concentration. Briefly, the thought to end Brock’s existence loomed in her mind, but she brushed it out just as quickly. “We have arrived at the Don Zazare, world theater!”
Ash moved forward, checking the bright lights that illuminated the skies in front of the strange building. “Well, might as well see what movies they have,” he said, turning back to the group. To May, he seemed illuminated as well, his dark face shrouded even further with the headlight. “Come on.”
May silently cursed Brock, then followed, with Brock tagging along in the rear with Max securely fastened on the leash. The teen complained the whole way to the ticket booth, when he promptly fell silent in the face of the greatest movie he had ever seen. The sign was perfect, a dark man in a sleek tuxedo, with an arm around a woman and a gun in the other.
“We have to see that,” Brock and Max said together. “We must see Agent James Bont.”
“That stupid thing?” May asked, looking at the poster. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Nooooo,” Max and Brock replied together.
She shook her head, and looked over to another poster, one with a man and a woman sitting in a rowboat sharing a picnic. “Now that looks like a good movie,” she pointed out, glancing up at the frame. “I want to see that one!”
“Huh?” Brock muttered, glancing through his guidebook. “Satoshi and Hakura. Sounds like a chick flick, I’ll pass. Max and I will be watching Agent James Bont in Undercover Brother.” Max grinned, and followed the man towards the ticket counter.
May was cheering inside her head, this could not possibly get any better. Brock and Max were out of the picture, and she was alone with Ash. She turned to him, and put on what could possibly have been the best puppy-dog eyes ever conceived by a single person. “Ash…” she said, her voice as sweet as honey. “Wanna see a movie with me?”
Ash simply stood there, fighting his own inner battle. On the one hand, he could see a romance movie with May, which was all right except for the romance part. On the other, he could spend two hours being annoyed by Brock and Max.
“Eh, I don’t really like spy movies,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Guess I’ll stick with you, it’s not a good idea for you to be alone in a movie theater like this.”
She blinked. “What’s that mean?” she asked, as he followed her to the ticket counter.
“…Nothing,” he muttered.
They got the tickets, it wasn’t very hard. The movie had been out for so long, everyone had seen the film. In fact, when Ash and May got to the room, they found themselves to be the only people there. It was completely empty, but then again, they still had another half hour to go until the movie started, so Ash headed out to get popcorn, and May stood guard at the door, with the idea of ‘persuading’ anyone who wanted to see the movie to go away.
As for Brock and Max, they found it hard enough to get tickets, their movie was very popular and they got the last two seats, which happened to be right behind, right next to, and in front of very, very big people. Max sighed, he couldn’t really see the screen very well. Brock could see fine, he had enough height.
“Brock, get some candy,” he said, straining his neck. Brock nodded, and rose from his seat, swimming out of the crowded theater to find the refreshment salesmen. He walked through the lavishly padded hallways, red shag carpet crushed softly between his boots. It wasn’t long before he found the food, and there he also found Ash, who was getting what looked like popcorn and sodas.
“How is your thing?” Brock asked, walking up to the stand.
Ash shrugged. “Sort of empty,” he replied, shifting the food in his hands. “How’s yours?”
“Like a pack of Walords stuffed in a tin can,” Brock muttered, ordering some candy and popcorn from the vender, a tall man with purple hair and a thick moustache. The man nodded, and it wasn’t long before his own food was on the table.
“That will be twelve dollars,” the man said in a staunch English accent. Brock nodded, and pulled some bills from his pocket. The man thanked him, and the two friends made their way to the corridor that separated their auditoriums.
“Ash, you do know what that film is, don’t you?” Brock asked, raising a brow. “I mean, I get that you want some time alone with her, but seriously, this is one of the biggest signs of affection a man can give, seeing that movie.”
“I know that,” he replied. “That’s why I’m doing it, so maybe she’ll notice me a little bit more.”
Brock sighed. “You really don’t understand women, do you?”
“What’s that mean?”
“Nothing,” Brock answered, turning towards the spy movie. As he walked, he chuckled to himself, before turning to stare off into space. “You guys wouldn’t be this dumb around the woman of your dreams, would you?”
An old man perked up where he was directing his question. “You talking about me?” he asked, his scruffy beard moving as he talked.
“Oh, no, sorry about that,” Brock answered, grinning to himself. “Just talking to myself…”
Ash made his way back to the theater, where May was standing outside waiting for him. “Was the line long?” she asked, her eyes widening at the popcorn.
“Not really,” he answered, following her into a strangely empty theater, devoid of any life save for the two adults. “Guess we’re lucky to have the movie to ourselves huh?”
“Yeah,” she giggled, though at least ten people she removed could have begged differently.
…One Hour Later…
While Brock and Max enjoyed their movie, hollering with the rest of the giant crowd, enjoying the awesome and powerful antics of Agent James Bont, Ash was engaged in what was probably the most fearsome battle of his life. Never before had he met a challenge that so pushed him, in all the leagues and matches he had ever faced. He never expected his greatest adversary to be nothing but a movie.
Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master-in-training, was fighting to stay awake. And he was losing.
He had long ago forgotten exactly what the movie was about, it seemed to be the unlikely romance of a woman and a man, he couldn’t remember what their names were. He was following what they called themselves in the scenes beforehand. The man was now named, “Spank Harder,” and the woman seemed to be called, “Bad Girl.” He wasn’t really following the plot, but was certain the last scene was probably not something May’s parents would have approved of her seeing.
Spank seemed upset about something Bad had done, but Ash wasn’t really listening to what was going on. His hat was off, May had insisted, and he didn’t want to make her mad. His eyes were slowly drooping, while hers seemed full of tears over what might have happened.
Must not sleep…he groaned inside, forcing himself to wake. He took a sip of his drink, hoping the cool taste would help. It did not, and he kept tapping his feet on the ground as a desperate attempt of keeping himself conscious. He kept his eyes open, even though his brain was slowly shutting off.
May, on the other hand, was deeply involved with the film, it was beautiful and romantic. Satoshi had confessed his feelings for Hakura, and had just ended a scene of passionate love-making. They had woken up next to each other, it was truly beautiful. She glanced left, to see Ash also watching the film, his eyes wide open. He must really like this movie, she thought, watching as he tapped his feet to the ground.
Now’s your chance, grab his hand, she thought to herself. It was just sitting there, resting against his drink. It was such a waste, the dark version of May thought, that it should not be around HERS. Making sure that her face was squarely pointed towards the screen, before she lifted her hand, and gently touched his fingers, her entire face transforming into a carpet of crimson. His hands were bigger than hers, she noticed, as she touched them, her eyes clenched shut.
His hand lifted from her drink, and settled on top of hers, fingers entwining together. She felt his hand squeeze hers, and her heart leapt in her chest. She looked up, ignoring her own caution of not turning to him, and saw his face in a peaceful smile, though his eyes were closed.
He had fallen asleep.
He must have been trying to stay awake for me, she thought, looking at his peaceful face. It wasn’t the dark mask anymore, the macho exterior that he wore for reasons she did not know. It was the face of the goofy idiot that had wrecked her bike all those years ago. He has to lose some fights sometimes.
She wasn’t mad at him for falling asleep, the movie was pretty tough to stay awake through for anyone other than her. She was just happy that he had tried so hard for her, and was holding her hand. She smiled, the dark version of her holding a raging party in her head. He’s holding my hand! May giggled silently, and they were alone in the theater.
She snuggled closer to his body, resting her head on his shoulder. It really was a great movie
It wasn’t until the lights came back on in the theater that May noticed that she too had fallen asleep. Ash had shifted, and allowed her to lean in on him. His dark eyes were closed, but his face was still smiling, half-open. On his chest was a small piece of paper, May lifted her hand to glance at it.
We took off, enjoy your nap. See you at the Pokemon Center.
PS- Didn’t have Max see you. Have fun.
She smiled, crumbling the note. “Better wake him up,” she muttered, shifting in the seat to a risen position. May looked him over, and tried to decide the best way to wake him up. How shall I do it? she asked herself, images springing into her mind. She finally chose the most-tasteful idea that came to her, and leaned in gently, feeling the tingle returning to her face.
Her lips brushed against his cheek, feeling the gentle skin beneath them.
Ash’s eyes jumped wide open. May stared in horror, unable to move herself, her lips remained planted on his cheek, as he slowly turned to face her, his orbs the size of saucer plates. And their faces were still joined, May’s face turning with his, though their eyes met in the same abrupt confused expression.
“Are you,” Ash was trying to form the words, “kissing me?”
May’s face, and entire body, transformed into a dark flare of red. “Uh…well…” She stuttered, unable to find the words to properly explain exactly what she was doing. “You…fell asleep…and I wanted to wake you up…so…”
She covered her eyes, breaking the contact between them. “I’m so sorry Ash!” she shouted, jumping out of her seat. She bolted for the exit, leaving Ash in a trail of utter confusion. He followed, ignoring the trash he was leaving behind. “May, wait!” he called after her, but she either wasn’t listening, or was dying from embarrassment.
One of the theater employees watched May flee the movie, and Ash shortly follow after. Ash stopped, noticing that the man was staring at him. “What do you want?” he asked, putting his hand in his pocket, and withdrawing the Pokeball.
“Guess you fell asleep in the movie huh?” he asked, grinning lightly. “I’d move if I were you, it’s a dangerous city at night for a young woman like that.”
“Thanks for the advice,” he growled, before rushing after May.
The dark trainer burst out of the door, eyes scanning for her. He put his cap back on, making sure that it hid his face. He caught sight of her, she was making a break for the Pokemon Center. “May!” he shouted, running after her swiftly, putting all his years of pursuing Pokemon into a brief sprint, dashing through the crowds of people that had materialized as if from nowhere, and whose sole purpose seemed to be to obscure his vision.
It was starting to rain, the water drizzling down on him, but it wouldn’t be long before it started pouring. Ash put the collar on his jacket back up, and rushed after May, dodging through the surges of people. “May!” he shouted again, but she continued to move forward.
She turned a corner, red coming off her face in steam. She couldn’t believe she was that stupid. Now he’s gonna hate me so badly! May thought sadly, water pouring down on her face. I shouldn’t have done that!
Before she knew it, she had no idea where she was. She looked around, she didn’t know where she was. The rain was still coming down in droves, but it didn’t matter. She found a dark corner away from the rain, and rested her back against the hard surface, the water coming down in front of her eyes. She had that sinking feeling in her chest, like after she had lost a Contest.
“Hey baby,” a voice said, followed by a dark man covered by a dark ski mask. “Looking for some fun?” He grinned, he was wearing a dark coat and dark gloves, a knife in his outstretched hand.
“No…” she replied, shaking her head.
“Bet you are,” he grinned, putting a hand against the wall near her head. “You just need to let your inner freak out. Mitch?”
“Right behind ya,” another, much deeper, answered, followed by a bigger man wearing a dark hood. In his hands were a massive metal pipe clenched in his fists. “She looks kinda puny, but that’s all right. I personally like them with more meat on their bones.”
“Please go away,” May asked, feeling a different kind of fear beginning to form inside her chest. “There’s a person that isn’t going to be happy if you bother me.” Please hurry Ash! she added silently, praying with every fiber in her body that he would come.
“Looks like she’s taken,” Mitch shrugged, waving his pipe around. “Whatever shall be do Merv?”
“I got an idea,” Merv answered, before something small and round shot passed his head, bouncing against the wall. Both men turned around to see a dark figure standing in the rain behind them, hand raised to snag the Pokeball he had just tossed at them. His hat masked most of his face, but his mouth was twisted into an unforgiving snarl.
“Lay a single finger on her,” Ash growled, the hand on the Pokeball tightening, “and I will make sure you don’t have a happy ending.”
Mitch grinned, turning his head. Ash was taller than both of them, but he definitely had less muscle. “I think he wants to play,” he said, grinning at his companion. “Wanna mess with him?”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“May,” Ash said, his voice traveling quietly on the dark street. “I want you to close your eyes, and promise me you won’t watch what I’m going to do to these people. Understood?”
May nodded, shutting her eyes like he asked. “Please, be careful Ash,” she whispered.
“Oh, be careful Ash,” Merv imitated, grinning wildly, holding his knife out. “You got a Pokeball, fer God’s sake! What are you going to do?”
“Correction,” Ash replied, pulling out three more. “I have four, and that’s all I’m going to need to beat you up.” He would have grinned at that point, but the time didn’t seem right somehow. He held two in each hand, setting them between his fingers like throwing stars. He waited, the rain pouring down on him.
They attacked, rushing him together. Both men held out their weapons, eager for the blood that was getting in the way of their pleasure. Ash lifted one hand, timing himself perfectly, just as he had taught himself. With a shout, he unleashed two of the Pokeballs, forcing the mini-orbs to strike their weapons, bouncing off the metal pipe and rusty knife. Bright red flames burst from the balls, and the weapons were captured, the balls flying back to their master.
“How’s that for a Pokemon Master?” he asked, snagging the balls. He lifted the other two, and struck both dead center in their groins before they could react. Both felt unbelievable pain issue from themselves, falling to the ground clutching their bodies. Ash held up one of the remaining balls, and threw it at their heads.
The metal pipe exploded from the ball, flying out and striking both square in the forehead, knocking both down for the count. Then, Ash grinned lightly, walking past the unconscious would-be molesters. He walked past their forms, making sure to step on their dumb-struck faces, towards May, who was cowering in the corner, covering her eyes just like he asked her.
He put his arm on her shoulder, and whispered gently, “You can open them again, you’re safe.” Ash was expecting her reaction to be something of surprise, but she hadn’t expected anything quite like what she was seeing, with both criminals out cold. “Are you all right?” he asked, his dark eyes covered by the hat.
May couldn’t speak, where had Ash learned anything like this? What sort of aerobics has he been doing? she asked silently, feeling the tense fingers that were gripping her shoulders. “I’m…fine Ash,” she answered, her azure eyes gazing at the masked ones beneath the hat. Curious, she reached up, and touched the cap, and lifted it from his face. Ash…
The rain was still pouring down on them, but neither cared. Ash’s eyes were revealed, they were slowly watering, the piercing darkness unable to mask their emotion further. His hair was freed, flying in all directions, but she thought it suited him, wild and unkempt. His mouth was twisted with worry, quivering.
“May, it isn’t all right for you to be by yourself in this city,” he said, taking a deep gulp of breath. “I can’t protect you if I don’t know where you are.”
She took a breath, lifting a palm to brush his right cheek, where she had kissed him. “I’m sorry…for this Ash. I shouldn’t have done that to you without making sure…you wanted it.” Her eyes dropped, unable to face his gaze.
He lifted his other hand, to graze her own cheek softly. “It’s okay May,” he reassured her. “Just try and be more honest with me, all right?” He tilted her head to face his, and looked to the sky. “Come on, we should find some shelter. We should get out of here.” She nodded, and he put his cap on her, forcing a small smile.
Leaving Merv and Mitch to their fate, Ash and May left, the dark trainer’s arm slung around May’s shoulders, keeping her warm in the falling rain. He hadn’t brought an umbrella. As they turned a corner, they heard a slight gasp, and turned around to see Merv rising from the pavement, a gun in hand.
“*******,” he chocked, cocking the gun. “See ya in hell!”
“May, get down!” Ash ordered, throwing the woman down to the ground as the bullet fired. Both came tumbling down to the concrete floor, and dashed for the nearest taxi, and ordered it to take them to the Pokemon Center. May rested her head against the cab, and sighed. Once again, Ash had saved her life. She turned to the trainer, and a look of horror surrounded her face.
A trickle of blood was dabbing onto the seat, coming from Ash’s arm. May screamed in horror, as the dark eyes began to dim, Ash’s smile still on his face.
She couldn’t face him, she couldn’t. After all Ash had endured that day, it didn’t seem right to see him. Brock and Max saw what had happened, though she hadn’t told them how he had been shot. The damage wasn’t bad, and the dark trainer was treated at the Center, it just needed a rinse and a bandage. The wound was minor, just grazing the skin enough to induce shock. But the trainer was making a full recovery, and was even conscious after one day.
“He’s asking for you,” Nurse Joy said on the evening of the second day. She looked up, she was still wearing his cap, she hadn’t even gotten any sleep.
“I…can’t,” she replied to the nurse, sinking her head even further than before. “I can’t face him, when he got hurt because of me.” Her eyes were blood red, though her tears had finally dried out a few hours ago. Now all left in her was a pained sense of guilt welling in her chest.
“He still wants to see you,” she answered carefully, sitting next to her. “Don’t you want to find out what he feels? I’ve seen shows like this where the man will confess feelings to the woman he loves after being wounded.”
“But…” She took a deep breath, the tears were coming back. “What if he doesn’t love me?”
Nurse Joy smiled. “Would he have taken a bullet for you if he didn’t? I don’t know what happened, but he must care a great deal to do something like that.”
May looked up, water welling in her eyes. “Are you sure?” she asked, her voice failing.
“There’s one way to find out,” she answered, pointing up the stairs. “He’s waiting for you.”
She nodded, and stood up, sniffling a tear. Holding the hat in her hands, she followed the direction the nurse gave, and passed from Joy’s sight. “So,” she asked, turning towards Brock, who was sitting across the Center, “how do you think that was?”
The fox-eyed man grinned at the nurse, raising a thumb. “Our viewers should be pretty happy with this ending,” he replied, standing up to walk over to her.
“Now you promised to tell me who these viewers are if I did that,” Nurse Joy reminded him, wagging a finger.
“Well, they come in all shapes and sizes,” Brock replied. “But they just want a happy ending. It’s like we’re being watched sometimes, so it pays to live life to the fullest.”
“I guess that’s a fun way to look at life,” she said, smiling.
May walked the steps, every motion feeling like more weight was being added to her feet. She passed the stairs, and headed for the room they had taken Ash to relax and recuperate. Arrangements had been made at the spa for them to keep the Pokemon until Ash was back on his feet, but it didn’t matter.
She reached the door, and felt the guilty feeling spread through her. She tried to ignore it, and turned the knob gently, in case he had fallen back asleep. The door swung open to admit her, and she shut it carefully behind her. She took another breath, before turning around to face him.
His hair was strewn around, falling on his face like it had died, instead of sticking up in huge spines like before. It was ebony black, and covered most of his tired face. He was dressed in his pants, nothing more. Ash must have been pretty stubborn to refuse extra clothing, or maybe he didn’t want it. His chest was bare, some of the hair still falling on the collarbone. She walked over to the bed, taking the chair that was vacant next to the bed.
The right arm was bandaged to prevent infection, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked. In reality, the bullet had done nothing but torn an inch of flesh off, a very clean shot. There was still some scarlet in the bandage, but it was healing fast. The trainer’s eyes were closed, his face completely at ease. She sighed, extending her hand and touching his fingers with her own, holding his hand gently.
“I’m so sorry Ash,” she murmured, reaching up to brush the hair out of his eyes. The thick strands felt like silk, they were so soft. “I’m sorry you got hurt, because of me.” A tear escaped her eyes, falling freely to the floor. I never wanted you to get hurt, I was just…afraid you’d reject me. She said the final part silently, she was scared of saying it aloud.
His lips, they were open just like at the movie, like he was in the middle of saying something, but had dozed off. Ignoring the results of the last kiss she had given him, ignoring common sense, forgetting everything, May leaned up, and brushed her gentle lips against his own, joining again with him.
They moved beneath him, but this time May did not hesitate, and deepened the kiss, knowing Ash was awake. She leaned further, and opened her mouth to admit his tongue, his left arm lifting carefully to drape itself on her shoulder. She held his hand fast, the other touching his cheek tenderly, another tear falling on both their faces.
And they simply sat there, sharing themselves, holding nothing back. May shut her eyes, pulling herself even deeper into his grasp. It was a long time before they parted, and even then they were silent, Ash slowly opening his eyes to meet her sapphire gaze. Her hair was a mess, but she still looked perfect to him. He felt a hand come up to touch his bare chest, and knew it was hers.
“May…” he started, but she hushed him with a finger.
“I’m sorry for everything Ash,” she said, her face turning a deep crimson. “I’m sorry you got hurt, and I’m sorry that I left.”
His eyes changed, his face confused. “Why would you be sorry you left?” he asked. “Why did you leave?”
“I…was,” she muttered, circling with her finger his chest, “I was afraid…you would…hate me for doing it without you being awake. I was scared…that you would reject me…” She sighed, dropping her head to the bed.
He shifted in the bed, wincing in pain at his arm. Despite the pain, he moved his stiff right arm, touching the top her head, feeling the brown locks between his fingers. “May, I promised to protect you,” he answered, his eyes half-open. “I told your parents I would guide you, and I would help you on your journey. But, there was something I couldn’t protect you from, something I couldn’t even protect myself from.”
She lifted her head, and saw the calm smile he had on, and waited for him to continue.
“I couldn’t protect you,” he said, his eyes sinking, “from the feelings I have for you. I became distant, I guess, and got caught up in my training, to notice that you felt the same way about me. For that, I am sorry.”
“Ash…” she started, but he was quicker, deciding that actions spoke louder than words.
“May, I love you, and I’m sorry for not saying it before now,” he said, and May saw the faintest tingle of red cross his face. She smiled, feeling a different emotion rushing through her body, stranger than anything she had felt before.
It was love.
“Ash, I love you,” she answered breathlessly, pulling herself onto his body, careful not to hurt his injured arm. “No matter what happens, I want to stand by your side.”
He smiled, using his good arm to pull her closer to him, both of them on the soft bed.
…One Hour Later…
Brock stood with a small smile on his face, leaning on the wooden walls of the Center. Max was in bed, and he was free for the night. Best of all, Nurse Joy was getting off work in a few minutes, and she had agreed to go out for some drinks with him. He looked up, and, though he didn’t seem to be looking at anyone, he was somehow.
“Well, that’s the end to a great story,” he said, clapping his hands once. “I hope everyone had some fun, I’m sure Ash and May are as we speak. Now it’s time for the Brock-man to get a happy ending of his own.”
“Who are you talking to?” a voice asked, and he jumped slightly. He turned to see Nurse Joy standing in a small red coat, purse clasped in her hands. She smiled, and he grinned back.
“No one at all,” he answered, holding out his arm. “So, how about those drinks?” he asked, offering his arm.
“Sounds good,” she answered, and they made their way out of the Center, the doors shutting behind them,
And with that, I bid you farewell! Wait for me until August!