Rated PG

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It had been several years... several years of growth and bonding; not only with her Pokemon, but with herself. Since learning the all important lessons on becoming close with her Miltank, she had worked to tighten their bond. Of course it wasn’t always easy; in his time here, he had only been able to teach her so much. Most of what she knew, she had to learn the hard way. But in a way, she was glad about that. If everything had been layed out on a platter for her, it would have taken away the challenge of learning for herself. And the knowledge that she had worked so hard without being told what to do had only made their incredible bond stronger than what it would have been otherwise.

She hoped that one day, she would be able to show him how she had grown; not only as a friend and a trainer, but as a person.

That was when she saw him.

She couldn’t believe it. It had to be a dream. It couldn’t possibly be reality; she had to be imagining this. But no, as real as the sun on her face and the wind in her hair, he was walking up the hill towards her with his Happiny in his arms and a Tauros by his side. Suddenly, she was torn in two.

The day he left with his friends, she had tried to tell him something important. But he had forestalled her, pressing his finger to her lips, explaining that he was no longer her teacher and she shouldn’t address him as such. She hadn’t been able to tell him then, and she had never had another chance. Yet from that day on, she had dreamed of meeting him again, and telling him at long last. It was the deepest kind of longing, a craving that could never be fulfilled.

She wanted to run up to him, and throw her arms around him; yet she also wanted to run and hide in the store room until he left. It had been so long... She didn’t know whether to give in to her desires, or hide from them for another eternity

Would he care? she wondered momentarily. He wanted to help me develop a bond, but he was more interested in my sisters than in me; and his Pokemon stopped that flirting three times. Maybe it’s only by accident that he’s here again now. To have longed for this moment for so long... to be denied would be unbearable.

“I know you,” he said quietly, and she started; she had not realized he had come so near.

“I know you,” she whispered in response, gazing at him with crimson patches on her cheeks.

Both paused, neither one knowing what to say or do.

“Since the day I left, you’ve never been out of my thoughts,” he broke in finally. “I’ve wanted to find you for years, but I’ve never been able to return here; I...” She softly pressed a finger against his lips, forestalling him.

“Since the day you left, I’ve had this deep desire to tell you something truly important,” she murmured, and then hesitated. Do I stay, or do I run?

“What is it?” he asked.

“This...” she whispered, her mind suddenly made up as she leaned in and embraced him in a passionate kiss. For a brief moment his lips lay dormant, and she feared the worst. And then he returned the kiss with a fervoured passion.

They stayed that way for a time, their mouths melted together. And then she looked away, hiding her blush as best she could.

“Welcome to the Mountain Hut Maid Cafe,” she said formally, before breaking into a smile. “Welcome home,” she added softly before taking his hand.

Arm-in-arm they walked up the stairs and into the Cafe; away from the past and into their future.

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Yeah, it's nothing close to my best work really. In fact, rereading it now it seems pretty terrible (to me). But having just finished watching Tanks for the Memories at 1:00 on Sunday morning, I was inspired to write this (very) short KitchenMaidShipping oneshot. I suppose I could have polished it up a bit more/made it longer, but considering how late at night it was, and that I didn't want to spend a vast amount of time on this... (I finished writing this and uploaded it on Fanfiction.net then, but I was delayed in posting it here).

But hopefully you enjoyed it; it was a nice (if brief) change of pace for me (and it only took me about 20 minutes to write).