Very mild spoiler warning for May's Cameo Episodes in Sinnoh
April Showers Bring May Flowers
It was the last day of April, the last day of the Johto grand festival. So far the weather over the last few days had been fairly nice, and thought it hadn’t rained yet dark clouds where starting to gather overhead singling an oncoming storm which seemed fitting for the final showdown between Robert and May winner take all. This was it, after all this time she was finally going to be facing off against the person even her rival Drew deeply respected, this was her chance to not only win the grand festival, but to show Drew up once and for all and prove she was the better coordinator.
May smirked as she lightly clutched the half ribbon she was wearing as a good luck charm around her neck hoping that it would give her confidence. She knew the next battle wouldn’t be easy and was shivering from a mix of anticipation and dread. Anticipation that this could be her best performance yet, dread because of the chance that she could lose. As she waited for the battle to begin she wondered idly how the boy who held the other half of the ribbon would feel if he was placed in a similar situation. Somehow she was sure he would simply smile and do his best, the thought of failure being the furthest thing from his mind.
Soon however the time for introspective thinking was over and May hopped lightly out onto the field to the thunderous applause of the entire stadium. It seemed over the years she had become very popular for her down to earth nature. As Robert made his way onto the stage the cheering was slightly subdued in passion comparison compared to what she had received, thought his fans where equally as loud.
Though he was more renowned then her because of his previous championship victories today she was the crowds favorite as they where hoping to see a fresh face take home the championship cup for a change. As May basked in the crowds attention before the battle began she quickly scanned the crowd with her eyes hoping to see the owner of the other half of her special ribbon sitting among the people cheering her on but to no avail. She sighed slightly realizing that of course he wouldn’t be here.
He was over halfway across the continent in the Sinnoh region. She couldn’t expect him to just simply drop his badge quest right near the end for a festival that only lasted 3 days. This wasn’t like the Wallace cup that she had traveled to Sinnoh for since she had something to gain from the experience where as he would only jeopardize his entry into the pokemon league by coming here in person. Somehow thought the ribbon she felt almost like he was watching her and smiled realizing that if nothing else that he of all people would go out of his way to watch this event on a television screen if he couldn’t be here in person. After all it was the least he could do to support a friend.
May sighed slight at that thought, really friends where all they where. Though she wished that perhaps they could be more then that. She really did like him, but so far none of her hints had seemed to get thought to him yet. Perhaps if she won her today that would be enough for her to get his attention finally after all this time away from one another. Since setting off on her own, she had been able to make amazing progress with out Team rocket bugging her practically every day and because she could go straight from contest to contest with out having to travel to gyms in-between. It had been an amazing experience that had allowed her to cultivate her own sense of battle style instead of being a mere copycat of the person she admired.
Still traveling alone just wasn’t the same, especially since she couldn’t spend nearly a fraction of the time with him anymore. Being separated for so long made her heart ache and she was hoping against hope that she would be able to travel with him again once he moved on to his next region after conquering Sinnoh. The sound of a bell ringing brought her out of her thoughts once more, now it was time for the battle to commence. As Robert threw his Pokeballs the formulary forms of his Milotic and Claydol appeared in a flash of red light looking the same as they had a couple of years ago at her very first grand festival. Half expecting this combination May had a preplanned strategy that was slightly risky but could score her big points if she pulled it off properly.
“Go Blaziken, Wartortle take the stage,” she cried out as she released her own Pokemon onto the field.
“Hum, that’s quite an interesting pair you’ve chosen May,” commented Robert as he eyed her Pokemon appraisingly. As a Water pokemon his Milotic had an advantage over the fire type Blaziken and furthermore his Claydol was a ground/psychic type making it the ideal choice for taking on Blaziken thought it would have to be weary of her Wartortle. From the first glance it almost seemed like she stupidly chosen a bad match up by picking her Blaziken but Robert knew from experience that type match ups weren’t everything and that he would be wise not to underestimate her, especially since May was known for being able to overcome outstanding odds.
“Interesting isn’t the half of it.” replied May confidently as she raised a hand and pointed at Claydol. “Quick Wartortle, use your water gun,” she called out. The Light blue turtle gave a slight nod of acknowledgment then opened its mouth unleashing a stream of swirling water towards the living statue.
“Milotic intercept it with Water pulse,” ordered Robert with a graceful wave of his hand as his serpentine like Pokemon titled its head back then rocked it forward opening its mouth and spitting out a torrent of water which collided in mid air with the water gun stopping it from reaching Claydol preventing it from taking any damage and costing May valuable points. Suddenly a loud splashing sound filled the air as Claydol used rapid spin to unexpectedly break through the cascade of water with minimal damage to himself in order to catch May and her Pokemon by surprise as he raised his arms and fired a pair of incandescent bright orange hyper beams.
Luckily the Claydol hadn’t taken enough time after his spinning to get steady himself and get a good bead so Blaziken was easily able to sidestep the laser that had been meant for him but Wartortle wasn’t so lucky as the blast struck directly at his feet then exploded knocking him back several feet thought the air into the ground with a loud thud. With out Wartortle’s water gun to hold the water pulse back anymore the rivulet of water surged forward and struck Blaziken hard on his chest, sending the chicken Pokemon to his knees.
Seeing her Pokemon being pushed back so easily and how many points she was losing May felt a surge of despair wash over her and looked down at the ground shamefully, feeling like she had failed them somehow by not being able to predict Robert`s brilliant combination. Instinctively she reached up a tentative hand and clutched her half ribbon lightly, as she had before so many times over the last year when ever she had run into trouble, and yet right now it just didn’t seem like enough.
If only he was here to give her a word or two of encouragement, then she would be able to do so much better. Suddenly a loud voice cut thought the crowd, a voice full of warmth and confidence, a voice she could recognize anywhere…His voice.
“Come on May don’t give up, you can do it,” he said causing her to shake her head because she was convinced that she was hearing things. Somehow it was almost like her ribbon had cast a spell and she could hear him from across the continental void, or perhaps it was just her inner voice speaking in his form but in either cause it caused her to break out into a wide grin.
“Come on guys get up, the show’s not over yet we can still do this,” she called out to her pokemon who responded to her voice by struggling up to their feet despite their injuries. As long as she believed in her they would reciprocate by pushing themselves to their limits and beyond in order to help her achieve her dream. Blaziken let lose a roar of defiance as his body was engulfed in red flames as his blaze ability kicked in while at the same time a similar blue glow encased her stout Wartortle as his torrent ability was activated by his sheer desire to win. For both of her pokemon’s abiltys to kick in like this was a small miracle and it caused her point count to soar upwards from the brink of defeat.
“Blaziken, Wartortle combine Fire spin with Water gun on Milotic,” May commanded as the fire chicken unleashed a whirling swirl of fire which her turtle matched by making his stream of water spin tightly inside the stream of flame between the swirls, making it look almost as if the two streams where dancing with each other. As the streams met at the very tip of the attack they produced the very special fire water fusion attack where the heat of the flame caused the water to separate into its component molecules of oxygen and hydrogen, then the remaining heat ignited the hydrogen for explosive results just as it reached the serpentine pokemon.
A loud boom filled the stage and smoke filled the air but before it could clear another pair of hyper beams lanced through the cover and struck her Wartortle dead on knocking him out cold, but at a price as now Claydol was running low on energy and was starting to show it by sagging a little. As May waited tensely to see if Roberts Milotic was still in the fight or not she felt a cold drop of water hit the back of her neck as it began to rain slowly at first but then harder and harder. She cursed lightly knowing that the rain wasn’t doing her any favors even if it would weaken her opponent a little as well.
Luckily at least the rainfall helped clear away the last of the smoke and it soon became clear that Milotic was down for the count as well. What had started out as a two on two battle had quickly transformed into a one on one. Both her and Robert where both nearly equal in their amounts of remaining points, and with their pokemon tired and in an environment that weakened them, they knew the rest of the battle wouldn’t last much longer regardless of the time limit.
“Blaziken use Fire spin to protect yourself from the rain,” cried May hoping that by having her pokemon surround himself with spinning fire the heat would evaporate the water before it could reach him, while also scoring points for being artistic. It was the only way left she could use any fire moves as between the rain and the typing match they would be supremely ineffective if used directly. Her best shot now was to get in close and use a fighting type move to literally knock the statues lights out since at least those types of attacks would be super effective.
“Blaziken close in on your foe,” she ordered wanting to wait until her pokemon got closer before specifying exactly which move it should use. As if sensing her strategy Robert narrowed his eyes then grinned.
“That won’t work, Claydol used Psybeam,” He called out causing his pokemon to emit a purple wavy beam of energy from its forehead. The beam of pure mental power was too fast for Blaziken to dodge so he simply gritted his teeth and crossed his arms taking the blast head on. Tanking the damage, he continued to inch his way forward shoving his way thought the beam by pure will power and determination until finally he closed to with in arms range of the statue pokemon.
“Now Blaziken use Sky Uppercut at maximum power,” cried out May.
With a mighty roar Blaziken jumped forward and swung his right fist directly into the Claydol’s chin delivering a mighty haymaker that send the sculpture like pokemon staggering backwards and onto its knees. Robert’s points fell to only a tiny sliver as Blaziken landed a few feet away from its fallen foe, his fist still raised high almost as if in victory only for him to unexpectedly slump over moments later from his accumulated damage even while Claydol was still up.
“Blaziken is unable to battle, Claydol is the winner,” cried out the ref much to May’s disappointment. The crowed erupted into a course of cheers at seeing such a intense and close battle as a few seconds later Claydol fainted as well having lasted just long enough to make the difference between victory and defeat. After everything that she had been through by herself in Johto she had come so close and yet so far from achieving her dream. Would she be able to work up the courage to travel with him again now or was she stuck traveling along again May thought as she returned her pokemon to their pokeballs with a small sigh
“You did very well May, it was quite an impressive battle, you should be proud of yourself,” said Robert as he walked over to her and offered his hand to shake in friendship. May gave him a wan smile and shook his hand politely.
“Thank, that means a lot to me coming from you,” she said putting on a happy face. As soon as she could politely excuse herself May left for the privacy of the back room because she wanted to be alone for a little while, as she walked she wasn’t watching where she was going and didn’t even realized that she had tears running down her face until she suddenly bumped into someone.
“Oh my gosh I’m so sorry,” she blurted out before looking up and letting out a loud gasp. “Ash it’s you!” she cried out in delight as gave him a quick glomp before he could object to it. She almost couldn’t believe that he was really here, that she had really heard him call out to before and not been hearing things. Realizing that she was holding on to him quite strongly May quickly backed off and was almost too concerned with the deep blush on her face that she almost missed Ash’s own. “Why didn’t you tell me you where coming here?” she asked with a slight bought expression on her face.
“Well you see I wanted it to be a surprise,” Ash said with a slightly guilty smile as he lightly rubbed the sides of his lip with a finger in a playful expression. It was then that May saw he was holding part of a banner in that hand with the words 'Congratulations May' emblazoned on it in expectation of her possible victory. As May glanced at the banner to try and make out the rest of the words on it she noticed that he had another hand hidden behind his back for some reason and glimpsed at him with a suspicious smile.
“What do you have there?” asked May curiously, intrigued by this new mystery. Ash blushed slightly and reluctantly brought his hand around revealing a set of white lily of the valley flowers which where native to the local region.
“These are for you May, I wanted to give you something special for doing so well in the grand festival. Win or lose you still made some amazing progress,” he said with that wide grin of his that made her heart flutter.
“Thanks Ash that was really sweet of you, thought I still think I could have done better,” May said with a slight grin of her own. Those words meant a lot more to her coming from Ash then from Robert. Somehow they made it seem like her loss wasn’t such a big deal, after all their was always next time. Looking down at the Flower May gave them a slight sniff savoring their sweet fragrance. Thought they weren’t the most romantic of flowers to be getting, she appreciated them just the same given who they had come from. Perhaps she was starting to get through to him after all.
“What made you pick Lilly of the valley anyhow? Wouldn’t it be more normal to give someone Nasturtium flowers for victory in battle?” She asked since she knew a little about the meaning of flowers. She also knew that giving someone a lilly of the valley could mean that they made your life complete but she doubted Ash knew that when he picked them.
“Huh why?” Ash replied in slight confusion. “Because it’s your flower of course silly. I asked at the store and they said Lilly of the valley is the official flower for the month of May,” he said causing her to break out laughing in which he soon joined in.
“It’s not just my flower anymore… It’s OUR flower now,” said May with a wide smile hoping that he would get her meaning. Ash blushed slightly and nodded speaking with out words that he understood, at least on some level. Taking the flowers May pumped a fist in the air. “Now come on, I’ve got a lot of training to do if I’m going to win the next grand festival and I expect you to at least match my ranking at the pokemon league so we’d better get to work,” she said as she reached out and tentatively took his now free hand. Ash’s blushed deepened but he didn’t pull his hand away, instead preferring for her to hold it quietly.
“Together?” he asked and somehow she knew that he meant much more then just mere training right now but also traveling together again as well and maybe something more.
“Yes…Together,” said May with a happy smile as the two of them walked thought the hall hand and hand onwards towards their next adventure.