14th May 2012, 3:45 AM
Life as a King (Advanceshipping)
Rating: T for Teapots
A request fic from Beastmode953. He wanted to see Ash as an adult and Giovanni as his father, making him the grandfather of Ash's kids.
Includes Advanceshipping along with several others that I don't want to spoil.
I don't own Pokémon.
Summery: Years after the fall of Team Rocket, Ash finds himself bailing the former mastermind of the organization out of jail. Now, his family must adapt and learn to love the Team Rocket leader: Giovanni.
Chapter 1: Meet the Ketchums Part 1
The room was dim, and a musty scent arose as Ash entered. The trainer looked around and found the room appeared to be old and uncared for, cracks in the floor and walls showed that. The room was empty, except for a single table, two chairs sitting across from each other, and a blub hanging from the ceiling. The dimly light bulb seemed like the only thing un-aged in the room, and even it flickered occasionally as the generator giving it power hummed lowly. Ash jumped slightly and turned around to see the officer who had opened the door for him had stepped inside the room as well. He carefully closed the door and locked it up before standing up straight and taking his place guarding in front of the door.
Ash nodded to the man and turned his attention to the table and chairs, or rather, the man sitting in one of the chairs. Ash took a deep breath, and walked forward. He pulled out the other chair and sat down across from the man. The man sitting before him was older, but still appeared to be quite in shape. He sat slumped forward in his chair, head hanging. His eyes studied the grimy floor and his handcuffed wrist hid under the table.
"Why are you here?" The man asked, breaking the eerie silence that had filled the room.
Ash didn't say anything, not quite sure how to answer, so the man continued. "Are you here to mock me? After all these years?" He asked, "Doesn't matter, prison had taught me a thing or two about being insulted."
"That's not true, Dad," Ash said finally, not taking his gaze off the man as he looked up in surprise.
"So you know?" The man asked, although they had aged, his eyes still were as piercing as they were years ago. "You figured out the great Giovanni, leader of the notorious Team Rocket, is your father."
Ash nodded, tightly holding onto the arm rest of the uncomfortable wooden chair he was sitting in. "Indeed," he said, "Mom told me."
Giovanni smiled slightly. "Your mother? Ah, a fine lass she was. How is she?" he said, laying his cuffed hands on the table and leaning forward.
"She's doing fine," Ash answered, not breaking eye contact with Giovanni. "Like you, age is beginning to take its toll."
"Bah, age, blast it," Giovanni griped, leaning back on his chair "A blessing, but a curse, wouldn't you agree?"
Giovanni grew silent, but never broke his eye contact with Ash. He drummed his fingers on the table, taking a deep breath. "How's the girl?" he finally asked.
"May?" Ash asked, raising a brow.
Giovanni nodded. "I believe that's was the one," he said, "Brown hair, blue eyes."
Ash smiled slightly at the thought of the girl. "She's good," Ash said, "We're married now."
"I guess that's not all that surprising," Giovanni said finally, clearing is throat. "You two had a connection; I saw it on the day you brought me down."
"But no hard feelings," Giovanni continued.
Ash smiled sadly, continuing to gaze at his father. "Who knew, that the man I put in jail years ago, was the one I could call 'Dad'."
Giovanni smirked. "Yes, fate has a cruel twist to it," he said.
The two remained silent again for several moments. Ash had finally broke eye contact, turning his gaze to the table.
"You've changed," Ash said, looking back up at his father, who had turned his gaze to the light bulb dangling above the table.
"Years in prison will do that," Giovanni replied, "Gives you a lot of time to think..."
"... And boy, have I done some thinking..."
Ash brow furrowed in confusion. "Thinking about what?" he asked.
Giovanni chuckled slightly and looked down from the light bulb and down at Ash. "My past, my worries... My regrets..."
Ash's face softened a little. "Do you regret what you did?" He asked, "Do you regret the chaos you caused?"
Giovanni smirked again. "Yes," was his reply. His voice echoed off the walls a few times before the room filled with silence yet again.
"Why are you here?" Giovanni asked again.
Ash chuckled, adjusting the cap on his head. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he said.
"You'd be surprised, Boy," Giovanni replied, a smirk growing on his face.
"Well, the kids have been asking about 'Grandpa'," Ash said, "I thought I'd come in and check on him."
Giovanni's expression turned from amused to surprised. "Kids?" he asked.
Now it was Ash's turn to smirk. "Yeah, three of them, in fact," he said.
Giovanni leaned forward in his seat with interest. "Tell me about them," he requested.
Ash smiled and sighed. "Well, there's Amber, our oldest," Ash began, "She looks a lot like May, brown hair and all, except Mom insist she has my eyes. She's been on her Pokémon journey for a little while now."
"Is she good at it?" Giovanni asked.
Ash smiled and nodded. "Pretty good if I do say so myself," he said, "Then there's Flint, who's just a child and a half of trouble. He's got two years before he can become a trainer, and he's impatiently waiting."
"What does he look like?" Giovanni asked.
Ash studied Giovanni for a moment before responding. "He's got your looks," Ash said, "Except for his eyes are orange."
Giovanni raised a brow. "Orange?" he asked.
Ash nodded. "Yeah, we're not sure where he got them from," he said, "And lastly is Amethyst, who's our youngest."
"I'm seeing a bit of a pattern with these names," Giovanni said.
Ash smiled. "That was May's doing," he said, "Anyways, Amethyst is our little five year old and is very well behaved. She has gorgeous purple eyes, and black hair."
Giovanni face grew serious, "Well, it's a shame I'll never see them," he said.
Ash smirked and sat back in his chair. "That's where you're wrong," he said.
Giovanni looked up at him curiously. "What?" he asked.
Ash stood up from his chair and nodded to the officer by the door. "I'm bailing you out," he said.
Giovanni's jaw went a little slack. "What? Why?" He asked, "You were the one who put me in here in the first place."
Ash sighed, "I've got my reasons," he said, "Come on, Dad, don't you want another chance at life?"
Giovanni shook his head. "It's too late now," he said, "I'd never be able to start anew at this age."
Ash motioned for his father to stand up as well. "You don't have to do labor," Ash said, "You'll be living with us."
"What?" He asked in disbelief, eyeing him. "What about May? She couldn't possibly want someone as fiendish as me living under the same roof as her children," he said.
Ash shook his head. "May's fine with it, we've talked this through," He said.
"But-... But... that would-"
"Come on," Ash said, "I've lived my entire life without a Dad. I don't want that to continue."
The two remained silent, Ash stood at one end of the table while Giovanni sat at the other. A silent staring contest ensued as Ash patently waited Giovanni's response.
Giovanni smirked and stood up. "Let's go."
"So tell me," Giovanni began, "Where do you live?"
The two men walked away from the prison Giovanni had spent so many years in. A feeling of freedom drifted in the air. He had retrieved his casual clothes, along with his cane, which he had to use ever since an incident that occurred behind the walls, that once confined him.
Ash, who had to slow his normal pace a little as to not get too ahead of his father, answered with a smirk. "Can't really establish a place," he said, "We're always on the move."
Giovanni raised a brow. "What?" he asked.
Ash took a deep breath, recalling the past. "A long time ago, Scott offered me a position as a Frontier Brain," Ash said, "But at the time, I didn't accept. But now that I'm older and have a family, I decided to take the job."
Giovanni still appeared to be a bit confused. "But you said you're always on the move..."
"Ah, well you see, one of the frontier brains, Brandon, was retiring at the time," Ash explained, "I took his place as the Pyramid King. So I inherited a large, flying pyramid that can go almost anywhere."
Giovanni's brow furrowed as stroked his chin, wondering whether or not Ash was being serious, after all, a flying pyramid seemed a little unrealistic. "Not bad," he said.
"Yeah, May and I still love to travel, so it's perfect," Ash said, "Plus, Brandon gave me a few of his Pokémon, and they're some serious powerhouses."
Giovanni let out a cough. "Em, how far away is this 'Battle Pyramid'?" he asked.
Ash gestured for him to continue, readjusting his cap. "Not far, we'll get there really soon."
They approached the outskirts of town, where the Battle Pyramid came into view. Giovanni looked up at the massive structure. "This is yours?" he asked.
Ash shrugged. "For the most part," he said, "As long as I play my role as the Pyramid King, my family and I get to live in it." He smiled and wrapped an arm around his father's shoulders. "That includes you now too."
Giovanni shrugged Ash's arm off of him, causing the trainer to pause. "What's wrong?" he asked.
Giovanni shook his head. "Boy, I've been in prison for a couple decades now," he said, "I'm not used to affection."
Ash frowned but shrugged it off.
Ash looked in the direction of the Battle Pyramid and saw a familiar yellow rodent running to him. The Pokémon raced up to him before climbing up his pant leg and to his shoulder. "Hey there, bud," Ash said, scratching Pikachu behind the ears, causing the Pokémon to coo. Ash turned to Giovanni and gestured to Pikachu. "I'm sure you remember Pikachu, right?" he asked.
Giovanni nodded slightly as he looked at the yellow electric type that was perched on Ash's shoulder. He appeared to be a bit older and had grown a bit larger since he had last seen him, but it looked like he hadn't battled in a while, as his fur was clean and not at all disturbed, and he didn't appear to have any battle wounds.
"Ah yes," Giovanni said, smirking at the Pikachu. "Your old friend..."
"Pikachu, say hi to my dad," Ash said, gesturing to Giovanni.
"Pi Pikachu!" Pikachu said cheerfully, waving to the older man. Ash had told him before he left that he had to treat Giovanni with love and kindness, even if he had been their old arch nemesis.
"Shall we continue?" Giovanni asked, his legs were beginning to grow tired. Ash nodded and the two began to walk towards the Battle Pyramid once again.
"Mom! Tell Flint to stop making faces at me!" A squeaky, but upset voice said.
May sighed and glanced over her shoulder at the two children sitting at the table. One was a young girl, young and innocent, her adorably chubby face would make even the coldest heart melt. Her purple eyes sparkled like diamonds, and her black hair was tied back in a single ponytail, in her hair sat a purple bow that matched her eyes.
"What? I wasn't doing anything!"
The other child was a few years older than the girl. His orange eyes burned with determination and mischief, and like his father, he had messy black hair.
"Flint, quit annoying Amy," May said, turning her attention back to the food she was cooking. The young girl had indeed been named Amethyst, but over time, Ash began to call her Amy, and so began the trend.
At the moment, the three were sitting in the kitchen of the Battle Pyramid, awaiting Ash's return. May was keeping herself occupied by cooking food while the siblings bickered.
Flint pouted and folded his arms across his chest. "Hmph," he grumbled, "I liked you better back before you could talk." He told his sister.
"Hey!" Amy shouted, "Watch your mouth!"
She also had the tendency to pick up on things her mother and father said. "Amy, I told you not to talk to your brother that way," May said.
"Yeeeaaahhh," Flint taunted in a teasing manner.
"Watch your mouth, Flint," May said menacingly. Twisting around and sending a glare to her son, causing him to back off.
"Hey, look!" Amy exclaimed, pointing out the window. May glanced outside and saw her husband, his Pikachu, and another man walking up to the battle pyramid.
"Alright! Dad's back!" Flint exclaimed excitedly. He jumped up from his seat and dashed out of the room with his sister.
May sighed and untied the apron around her waist. She pulled out a Pokéball and sent out her fire starter.
"Blaze!" Blaziken exclaimed as she appeared. Like Pikachu, Blaziken had aged a bit, growing even larger than she had already been.
"Make sure nothing burns or catches on fire," May said, gesturing to the stove, "If it does, you have Blastoise." She pulled out another Pokéball and set it on the counter.
Blaziken nodded to the command. May kissed her Pokémon on the cheek in thanks and stepped out of the kitchen as well.
When she reached the halls, she broke into a run; age hadn't taken away her energy and beauty, at least not yet. She ran down the halls to the main entrance to the Battle Pyramid, which had already been opened.
She stepped outside, smiling as the cool breeze tickled her skin, she had always loved the weather in Johto, it wasn't extremely hot like Hoenn, or frigid cold like Sinnoh.
"Daddy!" Amy exclaimed as she ran up to her father, hugging one of his legs tightly, Ash bent over and hugged her back. Once she noticed the stranger standing next to him, she averted her gaze to the ground and hid behind her father.
Flint just stared at the man, unwilling to draw near him. Ash grinned as May approached him, he handed Pikachu to Amy, who hugged the Pokémon with a squeal. Pikachu smiled and rubbed his cheek up against hers.
May embraced her husband as they reached each other. Ash hugged her back, kissing her forehead before letting her go and introducing her to Giovanni.
"May, you remember my father, Giovanni, don't you?" Ash asked.
May smiled sheepishly. "All too well," she said. Yes, she had met Giovanni before, in fact, she had been there with Ash when they defeated him and brought down Team Rocket once and for all.
"Ah, well, hopefully we'll all put those days behind us," Giovanni said, May almost wanted to retreat and hide behind Ash along with Amy as the old man's piercing eyes examined her from top to bottom.
"Yes..." May said nervously, "Um, it's a pleasure to meet you... Again, of course."
The two bowed slightly to each other before Flint stepped up. "Wait, that's Dad's dad?" he asked, "So that means he's our grandpa?"
Ash and May nodded.
"AAAAHHHH!" Flint screamed, holding onto his head and running away back into the Battle Pyramid.
"You're right, he does look like a young me," Giovanni said.
Ash patted Giovanni shoulders. "Don't worry, he'll warm up to you," he turned around and looked at Amethyst, who was still holding Pikachu. "And so will Amy, just give them some time."
"This is your room," Ash said, standing in the middle of a large, but homey bedroom. A king sized bed was set towards the center of the room, up against the wall. Across from it was a large dresser and a flat screen TV which hung from the wall.
"The walk-in closet is over there," Ash said, pointing to one door, "And your bathroom is over there." he pointed to another door. "Make yourself at home and freshen up, dinner will be ready soon."
Giovanni, who had been looking about the room, nodded. Ash and Pikachu smiled and left, stepping out of the room and down the hall towards the kitchen. "Let's go see what May is up to," Ash told Pikachu, they stepped into the kitchen and found May standing before the stove, stirring a pot with a large wooden spoon. Ash walked up behind her and tapped her left shoulder, distracting her to allow him to grab an apple from the fruit bowl to her right.
May jumped slightly and took the bait, looking to her left, seeing nothing was there, and glancing to her right, but by then, Ash had already grabbed an apple and was biting into it.
"You really need to stop falling for that trick," Ash told her with a smirk.
May let out an annoyed huff and put her hands on her hips. "You're going to ruin your appetite," She huffed.
Ash gave her a knowing look. "Okay, knowing you, probably not... But still-!" She said.
Ash chuckled and took another bite of his apple. May's glare made it obvious that it annoyed her. "What do you want me to do?" he asked, "Throw it in the trash?"
May sighed and took the apple from Ash, taking a bite out of it herself.
"H-hey!" Ash stammered, reaching out get his apple back.
May handed the apple back to Ash. "There, now we're even," she said with a smirk.
"You're going to ruin your appetite."
"Oh, shut up."
The table had been set, the food had been laid out, and everyone was eating. But everyone remained fairly quiet, stealing occasional glances at Giovanni, who silently ate as well.
"So..." May said, letting out a slight cough, she was tired of the awkward silence and clinking of silverware. "Do you like your room?" She asked.
Giovanni took up from his plate and grabbed a napkin, dabbing his mouth clean and clearing his throat. "Yes, very... Homey..." was his answer.
"I'll show you around some more, after dinner," Ash said before sticking food in his mouth, "We have a lot of space."
"So where did you used to live?" Flint asked Giovanni from across the table. "Why have I never gotten to see you before?" Ash and May exchanged glances, they hadn't told any of their children about Giovanni's past.
"Well," Giovanni putting down his silverware, his gaze aimed upward and he slowly rubbed his hands together, he appeared to be thinking. "I'm a retired spy."
Ash's eyes widened and May raised a brow, but both decided to not to anything.
"A spy?" Amy asked, "Like in the movies?"
"Ah yes," Giovanni said, "It was my duty to take out evil, and save the world."
"Coooooooool," Flint said with a wide smile, "Can you tell us some spy stories?"
"Ah, no, that's all classified," Giovanni said.
"Aw... Poop," Flint said with a disappointed frown.
"Flint! I've told you a hundred times not to say that!" May said. Flint was quick to apologize.
"Have you ever tasered anybody?" Amy asked with a big grin on her face. May stole a glare at Ash, who noticed and began to whistle innocently; she knew she shouldn't have let Amy watch those TV shows that Ash enjoyed.
"Oh yes, many times," Giovanni said coolly, taking another bite out of his food.
"Does it hurt them?" Amy asked.
"Um... Yes..." Giovanni said.
Amy's eyes sparkled, her smile grew and she threw her hands into the air. "Cool!" she said. May stole another glare at Ash, who was now sinking in his seat.
"Do they fall to the ground and wiggle around all crazy like they do on TV?" Flint asked.
Giovanni smirked and nodded. "Just like on television," he said.
"You know, I think I'm going to go for a quick walk," Ash said, standing up to leave, he could feel May glaring daggers at him.
"Oh, don't think you're getting away that easily, Ash Ketchum!" May said, standing up and chasing after him.
"Oh snap," Ash said as he saw May running after him as he hurried down the hall, and broke into a run.
"Ash Ketchum, you have a challenger," a robotic voice said, causing Ash and May to freeze. "Please head outside to greet him."
Ash smirked as he walked by May. "Won't get me today," he said. May swung her arm and smacked him.
"This battle will be a one on one battle between Ash Ketchum, the Pyramid King, and Jordan, from Celadon City..." The robotic voice said through the speakers, its feminine voice echoing about the room.
Ash stood on one side of the familiar battle field while his opponent, a Pokénerd named Jordan stood on the opposite side.
May, Flint, Amy, and Giovanni sat in the bleachers on one side of the room while Jordan's friends sat on the other, Pikachu was happily snuggled into Amy's lap. The group wasn't very talkative, and Jordan wanted to get straight to business.
"The last Pokémon standing wins," the robotic voice said.
Giovanni looked around the room. "What is that voice?" he asked.
"Oh that?" May replied, "That's the computer system that runs the Battle Pyramid, we call it Chatot, but Amber, our daughter who's currently on her Pokémon journey, likes to call it Shatup."
Giovanni smirked and nodded. But down below on the field, Ash and Jordan had both pulled out their Pokéballs.
"Go! Feraligatr!" Jordyn shouted as he tossed out his Pokéball.
"You too, Regirock!" Ash shouted, calling out his Pokémon as well.
"Regirock?" Giovanni asked in disbelief, "How did he get his hands on that!"
Flint smiled pridefully as he recalled the event. "Brandon gave it to Dad along with Registeel and Regice when he retired," he boasted. "Dad told us that when he retired, each of us would get either Regirock, Registeel, or Regice."
Amy giggled and smiled. "I hope I get Regice," she said, "It's cool."
Flint shook his head madly. "Nuh uh! Registeel is the coolest!"
"Stop it! Both of you!" May insisted, "Or I'll send you out of the arena and you'll miss your father's battle!"
Both children gasped and covered their mouths, Giovanni chuckled in amusement.
"Alright, Feraligatr, use Water Gun!" Jordan shouted.
"Regirock, dance!" Ash exclaimed. Regirock twirled in a circle and spun out of the way of the water gun, and continued to do so until the attack stopped.
"Hydro Pump!" Jordan shouted. Feraligatr threw his head back and blasted a powerful stream of water at Regirock.
"Block it!" Ash shouted, Regirock crossed its arms in front of itself in an "X" formation and completely blocked the powerful Hydro Pump from striking it. Regirock had planted its feet firmly in the ground, but even then, the force of the attack pushed it backwards a little.
"Oh man, that's a strong Feraligatr," Flint said as he studied the water type Pokémon. "Maybe this battle will actually be a challenge for Dad."
"No! Dad can beat anybody!" Amy exclaimed, "Right, Pikachu?"
"Pika pika!" Pikachu agreed with a firm nod.
"Rrr, Feraligatr, use an attack it can't block!" Jordan said, planting his feet into the ground, "Surf!"
The ground began to rumble, and with a blast, water shot from the ground, creating a huge tidal wave that Feraligatr was riding on.
"Iron Defense!" Ash shouted, barely able to overpower the rumbling of the huge wave.
In a flash, Regirock put up Iron Defense, and just before being struck by the wave. "Yes!" Jordan said, "Nothing could possibly withstand Feraligatr's Surf attack!"
But when the water settled, Regirock was still standing and was barely scratched. "W-what?" Jordan exclaimed.
"You're forgetting you're dealing with a legendary Pokémon," Ash said, "You underestimate its abilities, and that will cost you. Regirock, Lock On!"
Regirock's eyes began to glow, and a little red target appeared on Feraligatr's head. "Now use Zap Cannon!"
"Look out!" Jordan exclaimed.
Regirock charged up a powerful ball of electricity and fired an ultra powerful beam on electricity at Feraligatr. The water type jumped up into the air to dodge, but the beam U turned and hit it anyways.
"When will trainers ever learn?" Flint asked.
"Yeah, everyone knows once a Pokémon has use Lock On, it's impossible for it to miss," Amy said. For a small girl, she was quite intelligent when it came to battling, she could thank Ash for that.
"Alright! Finish this up with a Hyper Beam!" Ash exclaimed. Regirock charged up the attack and fired a powerful pillar of light at Feraligatr, causing it to cry out in pain. With a final explosion, the Hyper Beam was turned off and Feraligatr could be seen laying on the ground unconscious.
"Feraligatr is unable to battle," Chatot said, "The winner is Ash Ketchum, the Pyramid King."
"Alright, Daddy!" Amy squealed happily.
Ash casually returned Regirock while Jordan ran to his fallen Pokémon. "Nice try, kid," Ash said, turning around to leave, "Better luck next time."
"That was a fast battle," Giovanni said folding his arm in front of him.
"Nah, they're all like that," Flint said, "Dad is able to dominate anyone with those Pokémon."
Everybody got up to leave, Amy and Flint cringed at that the sound of their mother's voice. "Alright you two," she said, "It's time for bed."
"Aww," Flint moaned, "I don't wanna!"
May shook her head and rolled her eyes, putting her hands on her hips. "Has that stopped you before?" she asked. "Now scoot, I don't want to have to tell you twice." Heads hanging low, Flint and Amy walked off to get ready for bed. May let out a satisfied sigh and walked over to the dining room to clean up the mess left by the meal. She stuck the silverware and plates in the dishwasher and began to scrub one of the cooking spots she used earlier, until she heard a cough from behind her.
She turned around and saw Ash standing a few feet behind her. "Um... Listen... I just want to apologize," he began, scratching the back of his head, "I've not been very respectful to you lately, and I feel really bad about it."
May smiled and dried off her hands with a nearby towel. She walked up to Ash, and slapped him across the cheek again.
"Ow!" Ash groaned.
May reached out and slid her arms under his, wrapping around him until her hands touched on his back. "I forgive you," she said, laying her head on his chest. Ash smiled and hugged her in return, laying his head on hers.
"It's getting to me," Ash said, hugging May and little tighter, "It's feels like it's eating away at me."
"It'll be okay," May whispered, rubbing Ash's back, "We'll figure this out."
Ash took a deep breath and sighed. "I hope so..."
They held onto each other for another minute, before Ash smiled sadly and let go of May. "Sorry for slapping you," she apologized.
May lifted up the covers up at the end of Amy's bed, drawing them up over the girl. The little girl smiled as she snuggled under the covers with Pikachu.
"What story do you want me to tell you tonight?" May asked, sitting down on the bed beside her.
Amy exchanged glances with Pikachu. "Tell us about the time you and Dad first met," she asked, it was a common request, but May enjoyed telling the story, none the less.
"Well, way back in Hoenn, when I was just ten years old, I went to go see Professor Birch at his lab to go get my starter," May began.
"But he wasn't there, right?" Amy asked, she knew the story by heart.
"That's right," May said, tapping Amy's nose, causing the girl to giggle. "So I went to go find Professor Birch, I rode off on my bike to go find him. And do you know where he was?"
Amy giggled and nodded. "Up in a tree!"
May laughed and nodded. "Yep, running away from some Poochyena," She said, "Up in the tree like a scared little baby."
Amy giggled again. "And when I found him, he told me to get a Pokéball from his bag and to fight off the Poochyena," May said, "So I pulled out a Pokéball and sent out Torchic, and used her to scare away the Poochyena."
Amy's brow furrowed. "Mommy, I have a question," she said, "When Daddy told me the story, he said you sent out a Mudkip, and that it shot a Water Gun in your face."
May sweat dropped and shook her head. "You're father wasn't there, he isn't telling it right," she said.
"Oh," Amy said.
"Anyways, after I saved Professor Birch, we found Ash, who was trying to get an overcharged Pikachu under control," she said, ruffling Pikachu's fur on his forehead.
"In an act of nobleness, but foolishness, Ash jumped off a cliff, diving after Pikachu after he had jumped off too," May said, "He clung for his life onto the cliff while holding onto Pikachu. Luckily, Professor Birch and I used a rope to pull him back up."
"And that's when Team Rocket attacked," Amy said.
"Mhmm," May said with a nod, "They snatched up Pikachu, and began to absorb his electricity."
"And then he got all better," Amy said, smiling down at Pikachu.
"Yes, and in the process, he fried my bike," May said, sending a playful glare in Pikachu's direction. "After we beat Team Rocket, we headed back to Professor Birch's lab, where I picked my trusty Torchic to be my starter. That's when I met Ash more formally."
May closed her eyes and sighed, "Those were the days," she sighed dreamily. She smiled and kissed Amy and Pikachu on the heads. "Sweet dreams," May said, getting up from the bed and walking over to the door. She gave the two one final smile before turning off the light and closing the door.
She walked down the hall and approached another door. She opened it up to find Ash and Giovanni relaxing inside. Like a lot of the pyramid, the room had a homey feel to it, featuring a large fire place. Along the walls were several bookshelves, and in the center of the room was a large, soft, rug. Ash sat on one end of a love seat, while Giovanni sat across from him in a recliner.
May smiled and sat down on the love seat next to Ash, leaning on him and laying her head on his shoulder. "What are you two talking about?" She asked.
"Your husband was just telling me about his achievements," Giovanni said, he held a pose that made him look a bit menacing. He had his foot resting on his knee, his elbows resting on the arm rest, and his hands together, fingers intertwined. The smirk on his face and the gleam in his eye added to the pose. It sent a shiver down May's spine, but she chose to shrug it off.
"Winning the Pokémon League, an impressive feat indeed," he said, gesturing to the trophy perched on the mantle above the fire place. "Not to mention he hasn't suffered a single loss since he took the job as the Pyramid King."
Ash smiled and scratched May's forehead. "May's done some pretty cool things too, she won the Grand Festival and became a Top Coordinator," he said, "She's really good at it." His comments caused May to blush.
Giovanni let out a yawn and shook his head. "I'm feeling a bit tired," he said, "I think I'll head off to bed." With that, he stood up from the recliner, Ash and May stood up as well, and the three walked out of the room.
"I just don't get it," Ash said sadly, "This didn't work either."
May was changing into her pajamas in the closet while Ash sat at the edge of the large bed that sat in the middle of the room, similar the Giovanni's.
"It's only day one, give it some time," May said as she slid into her pajama pants. "You can't expect it to work immediately."
Ash shrugged, "Maybe not," he said, "But I still can't stand this."
For a while now, Ash had had been suffering from a depression, and not just a short phase, he had been feeling it for several months. He could hide it, but he couldn't stop it. He and May had tried several things to get rid of it, including bailing Giovanni out of prison, but nothing seemed to be working. May stepped into the bedroom with her pajamas on and walked over to Ash, laying down on the bed next to him.
"Just give it time," May said.
Ash sighed and rubbed his face with both his hands. "I'm tired of waiting," he said, "I'm sick of this..."
May gazed at the ceiling, thinking for a little bit. "We need something to take your mind off of it," May said, "Something that will keep you busy."
Ash frowned, "Like what?"
May thought for a minute, furrowing her brow. "Hm... Something that will take your mind off things..." she said, suddenly, her face brightened and smile grew across her face. "I got it!"
Last edited by The Shiny Gengar; 26th November 2012 at 9:11 PM.
22nd May 2012, 10:01 PM
Chapter 2: Meet the Ketchums Part 2
It was the average early morning, the sun was gradually rising over the hills and the tree tops. The bird Pokémon were awaking, stirring the before still air. The Sentrets and Ratattas were beginning to scurry about, hopping around in the wet, dewy grass.
May's internal clock kicked in, and she began to stir. She rolled onto her back and blindly reached out, feeling for Ash on his side on the bed. When all she grabbed was air and cool sheets, she opened an eye and glanced at the spot where she normally found him laying when she woke up. But this morning he wasn't there, May yawned, figuring Ash just got up early. She kicked off her sheets and swung her legs over the edge of the large bed she and Ash shared. She blinked several times, clearing her vision, and stood up, taking a nice long stretch. She glanced in the mirror, checking her hair. Luckily, unlike Dawn, she didn't get a bed head when she woke up in the morning. Her hair was typically presentable in the morning, so she decided to just think about fixing it later.
She stepped into her slippers and stepped out into the hall. She glanced in both directions before tip toeing down the hall. She walked over to Giovanni's new room and put her ear up to the door. On the other side, she could hear a muffled snoring, she smiled to herself and backed away from the door. She began to walk down the hall when she spoke.
"Chatot," She began, as she walked "Find Ash for me."
"Locating Ash," Chatot replied. May patently waited for an answer as Chatot searched the facility. "Ash is on the first floor, Sector B, in the engine room," Was its reply.
"Thanks, Chatot," May said politely to the unseen robot before picking up the pace a little. She reached the stairs and began her journey downward, skipping every other step. She reached the bottom and began to jog down another hall until she reached Sector B. She slowed down to a walk until she reached the door labeled "Engine 2 Room". She grabbed the doorknob and turned it, giving the door a light shove to open it up.
The first thing she noticed was the strong scent of oil and gasoline. May typically stayed out of the engine rooms for that reason, she hated to smell. She decided to suck it up and deal with it anyways. She saw Ash, fully dressed, walking around and inspecting the engines.
As she walked over to him she could help but let out a yawn, causing him to turn to look at her. "Morning," He said as May smiled and lazily hugged him. He smiled and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Did you sleep well?" he asked.
"Mhmm," May moaned, laying her head on his shoulder. "How about you?"
"No, not really," Ash said, now letting out a yawn of his own, "Depression doesn't help me sleep."
May glanced at the large engine she and Ash stood by. "Is everything ready?" she asked, not letting go of Ash.
"Yup," Ash said, "Looks like it."
May smiled. "That's good," she said, "Are you excited?"
Ash shrugged. "Yeah, I guess," He said, "If anything, it'll take my mind off things."
May looked up at him. "That's what we wanted, right?" she asked.
Ash nodded, "Right."
There was nothing more arousing than the sizzling and smell of bacon. Ash smiled and took a deep breath, enjoying the scent that filled the kitchen. He could literally sit in the kitchen for no other reason than to smell bacon.
"Ash, please try to not drool on the bacon," May said, playfully shoving his head away from its spot over the frying pan. Ash sighed; he could almost taste the bacon in his mouth.
"Just a piece?" Ash asked.
"No, you'll wait like everyone else," she said.
"Hey, I'm the head of this house, I can do what I want," he said, furrowing his brow.
"Oh really?" May asked, "A man may be the head of the house, but his wife is the neck that turns it."
Ash leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. "Yeah, well right now, my 'neck' is pointing my head in the direction of bacon," he said.
May reached out and turned Ash's head ninety degrees counterclockwise. "There, all better," she said with a giggle, "Now stop distracting me, I might burn the bacon."
"Oh that would be a nightmare," Ash said, stepping out of the kitchen. He walked into the dining room and sat down at the table, messing around with a spoon.
He jumped when he felt something touch his leg. He looked down and saw a drowsy Amy trying to climb up into his lap. He scooted his chair back a little and reached out, lifting her up onto his lap. She yawned and leaned against him.
"Hey, where's your bow?" he asked, noticing the purple bow that normally sat on the side of her head was missing.
"I let Pikachu wear it," Amy said casually.
Ash raised a brow, Pikachu hated wearing bows, when would Amy ever learn that? He glanced at the doorway that lead into the hall and saw an annoyed Pikachu scurry into the room.
"Pika pikachu, pi!" Pikachu squealed unhappily, trying to reach the purple bow that had been placed on his back, just out of his reach.
"Come on, Amy, you know Pikachu hates bows," Ash said as he took the bow out of Pikachu's fur and put it back in Amy's hair were it belonged.
"But he looks so cute with it," she said, Pikachu shook his head, not agreeing with her sentence at all.
Ash just sighed, shaking his head. His attention turned back to the entrance to the hall and saw Giovanni stepping into the room, the older man had his cane in hand and was fully dressed.
"Morning, Grandpa," Amy said with a cheeky grin.
"Good morning... a... Erm..." Giovanni said, seeming at a loss for words. Ash mouthed her name. "Amy," Giovanni said, sitting down at the table across from Ash.
"Did you sleep well?" Ash asked, beginning to bounce the knee Amy was sitting on.
Giovanni nodded. "Oh yes, that's a very nice bed," Giovanni said, setting his cane down next to his seat, "Haven't slept that well in years."
Amy tilted her head. "Why not?" She asked, "Did you have a bad bed when you were a spy?"
Giovanni smiled gently and nodded. "Oh yes, very bad, it had more lumps than I could count," he said.
"Oh... That's sucks," Amy said, Ash quickly covered her mouth.
"Shh, if Mom hears you say that, I'll never hear the end of it," he said.
"That stinks," Amy corrected herself. May was very strict when it came to language. The fact that the Amy and Flint liked watching television with Ash didn't help though.
"Chatot," Ash began, drumming his fingers on the table, "Could you wake up Flint and tell him to come to breakfast?"
"Attempting to wake up Flint," Chatot said from somewhere.
"I bet Flint isn't listening," Amy said with a sigh.
"Flint is resisting," Chatot answered, Amy smiled proudly at her correct prediction.
"Use wakeup call two," Ash said plainly, flicking a small crumb off the table.
"Using Wakeup Call 2," Chatot said. A loud shout and thud could be heard down the hall, causing Giovanni to jump a little.
"Flint is up," Chatot said.
Ash smiled and exchanged glances with Amy. "Thank you, Chatot," he said.
A few seconds later, a half conscious Flint stumbled into the room, walking into the doorframe before tiredly stumbling to the table and falling into the chair.
"Sleep well, Flint?" Ash asked.
"Yeah, it was going great until my bed flipped upside-down onto the ceiling," he grumbled grumpily. Amy and Pikachu giggled while Giovanni raised a brow in surprise.
At the moment, May stepped into the dining room, a large pan of bacon in one hand and a large pan of eggs in the other. "Good morning, you guys," May said, setting down the pans. Ash's mouth began to water all over again as the scent of bacon swept the room. May smiled and put some eggs and bacon of a plate before sliding it in front of Ash.
Amy and Pikachu got off of Ash's lap, taking their seats at the table. May proceeded to serve everyone else food.
"While I have you guys all here, I have an announcement to make," Ash said, "Last night, your mother suggested we go on a bit of a road trip, and go visit some old friends."
"Really?" Amy asked excitedly, "Will we get to see Grandma?"
Ash nodded. "Yes, in fact, Pallet Town is our first stop," he said He glanced over Giovanni, who did not look too pleased to hear the news, May noticed this as well.
"Will we be seeing the Oaks too?" Flint asked.
Ash nodded. "Mhmm," he grunted.
"Sweet!" Flint said, pumping his fist. "I'll get to see Brooke!"
"And that, my boy, is the game," Giovanni said, picking up a red chip and moving it over in a hopping motion over Flint's black chip.
"What?" Flint exclaimed, eyes widening.
Amy giggled, "Grandpa beat you at Checkers," she answered. The three were sitting in Flint's room, around a table, a game of checkers had been laid out, and Flint's bed was still upside-down on the ceiling.
"I see that," Flint grumbled, rubbing his left arm with his right hand.
"Don't fret, Flint," Giovanni said, "I'll teach you how to become a master at this game."
Flint's eyes widened. "R-really?" He asked in disbelief, a smile growing on his face, "Awesome!"
A smile grew on May's face as she leaned against the wall next to the doorway into Flint's room. Although she was out of sight, she could still hear them. She moved from her place and began to walk down the hall. She went up the stairs reaching the fifth level of the pyramid. She made her way the command center, finding Ash sitting in a large pilot's chair with his feet resting on the command board, Pikachu was resting in Ash's lap, his head being scratched by his trainer.
"Chatot, set course to Pallet Town, Kanto," he said.
"Setting course..." Chatot said, the large windshield began to light up as a map appeared and a path was being drawn out. May stepped into the room and walked over to Ash.
"How long until we leave?" She asked, standing next to Ash.
Ash glanced at the screen. "Thirty seconds," he said.
"Oh wow, Chatot, you're getting fast," May said.
"Thank you, May, my recent update is responsible for that," Chatot replied.
"You should probably grab onto something," Ash said. May reached out and grabbed the seat he was in. The whole pyramid began to vibrate as the engines popped out of the bottom corners of the pyramid. The whole facility jolted around for a few seconds as the large aircraft rose into the air; the propellers began to whirl and blew gusts of wind around crazily, causing a ruckus outside.
"Gaining altitude," Chatot said, the pyramid rose above the trees, "We have reached the required altitude, proceeding to Pallet Town, Kanto."
The pyramid began to move forward, heading towards Ash's hometown. "So your father is playing Checkers with the kids," May said, "They all seem to be getting along really well."
Ash nodded with a small smile. "That's good to hear," he said, "I knew they would come around."
"But I'm worried too," May said, "Giovanni didn't seem too pleased about heading to Pallet Town."
Ash frowned. "He and my mom didn't part on particularly 'Good terms' last time they saw each other," he said, "He probably isn't looking forward to having to encounter her again."
May furrowed her brow. "Do you think it'll work out?" she asked.
Ash shrugged, his eyes wandering over the screen before him. "Mom would kill me if she found out we went on a road trip and we didn't visit though," he said.
May nodded in agreement, a smirk growing on her face. "Have you told her about him yet?"
"Ash..." May said in a knowing manner, "You need to tell her." She said.
Ash glanced up at her, blinking a few times. He took a deep breath and took off his cap, running his hand through his hair. "Yuck," he groaned, "That isn't any fun..."
"You can't just not tell her," she said, giving him a knowing smile, "Look, just call her up; I'll be right here with you."
Ash took a deep breath, "Kay..." he groaned, "Chatot, call Mom."
"Calling: Delia Ketchum," Chatot said, a sound bar appeared on the large screen, and a ringing could be heard throughout the room. May picked up Pikachu and sat down on Ash's left leg, cradling the mouse in her arms.
"Hello? Ash?" Delia's face appeared on the screen. She appeared to be surprised, but pleased, "Have you arrived yet?" they saw her glance out the window, "I don't see the pyramid outside."
Ash shook his head and averted his gaze from the screen. "Um, no, I wanted to tell you something really quick," he said.
Delia smiled and nodded. "Okay, shoot," she said.
Ash scratched his head. "Um... You know how you recently told me who my dad was?" he asked.
Delia frowned a bit. "Yeah..." she said slowly, growing suspicious.
"Well... Heh... I kinda um... Bailed him out of jail..."
May gently grabbed Ash's hand, squeezing it and winking at him. "You what?" Delia asked, she looked confused and worried.
"I bailed Dad out of jail..." Ash repeated.
Delia let out a long sigh, and began to run her scalp with her fingers. "I tell you who your father is... And you bail him out of jail..." she grumbled, "Why am I not surprised."
"Um, it gets worse..." Ash said, taking in another deep breath, "He's here with us, and he coming with us to visit you."
"Mom?" Ash asked, he couldn't read her expression anymore.
"He's coming here?" Mrs. Ketchum asked worriedly, pointing to the ground.
"Yeah..." Ash said, scratching the back of his head, "You know... Bonding time..."
"Bonding time?" Delia asked, growing angry "You know what he did to me! I told you! I've told you so many times! And now you're bringing him here?"
"Mom, take a chill pill," Ash said, holding his hands up, "He's had a heart change."
"Heart change?" Delia shouted, "That doesn't change how he treated me!"
May's eyes widened, Mrs. Ketchum was ticked. She hadn't expected her to act this way. "Mom, just give him a chance," Ash tried to say.
"I've given him his chance!" She exclaimed, "I gave him so many chances!"
"Mom, please calm down," Ash said calmly, "Just try."
Delia took a deep breath, and let out a long sigh. "Why'd you have to go off and do this, Ash?" she asked.
Ash and May exchanged glanced, they hadn't told his mother about his depression yet. "I'll tell you when we get there, okay?" Ash told her.
Delia took another deep breath. "Okay..." she groaned, "See. You later, then..."
"See ya, Mom," Ash said, and he disconnected. Ash breathed a long sigh; May smiled gently and rubbed her husband's back.
"I'd say it went quite well," Chatot said.
"Oh be quiet," Ash grumbled, rubbing his scalp. "This was a bad idea."
May frowned and shook her head. "No, Ash, just give it some time, you need this," she said.
"Ugh!" Ash grunted loudly, "Who's idea was it to bail Dad out anyways!"
May sweat dropped. "Um. Yours." Her expression turned to curiosity, "So, what did Giovanni do to make your mother so angry?"
Ash sighed and sat back in his seat. "He mistreated her," he said, "Used her..."
May raised a brow.
"I was one of those 'Go make me a sandwich' kind of relationships."
"This is a bad idea," Giovanni said. The pyramid had landed and the Ketchum residence was in sight. "Maybe I should just stay here..."
"Come on, Grandpa!" Amy pouted, "You should meet Grandma, she's a very nice lady!"
Giovanni cringed. "Yes well... She might not like me." He said.
"Don't be silly," Amy said, grabbing his hand and tugging at it. "Grandma loves everybody!"
Giovanni grinned and looked down at the girl. "I'm sure she's a fine woman..." he said, "... She always was..."
"Come on," Flint said, "You were a spy! You're not afraid of anything..."
Giovanni frowned. "Yes... I guess you're right..."
"Okay then let's go!" Amy said, pulling Giovanni towards the house. Ash and May exchanged glances as they watched. They followed Amy, Flint, and Giovanni to Delia's house, and Amy eagerly rang the doorbell. Ash glanced at Giovanni, and noticed the man looked about ready to make a run for it if necessary.
The doorknob jiggled and the door opened. Delia stood at the door, a fake smile plastered across her face. Although she had aged a bit, she still had her red hair, and her skin was as smooth as a baby's.
"Hello, Delia," Giovanni said, he was gripping his cane so tightly, his knuckles where white.
"Hello, Giovanni," she said flatly, she didn't sound the least bit happy to see him.
"You two know each other?" Amy asked in awe, jaw dropping.
"Of course they do," Flint said, "They're our grandma and grandpa, numb skull." May whacked Flint's arm upon hearing the name calling, causing the boy to yelp.
"Please, come in, have a seat," Delia said, gesturing for everyone to enter the house. "Can I get anybody anything?"
"No, I'm fine," Giovanni said as he stepped into the house.
"Oh really? Not even a sandwich?" Delia asked sarcastically, her temper already rising. Ash and May exchanged worried glances. "How about a foot massage and a back rub, or maybe a cup of coffee and a sirloin steak, perhaps you're feeling a little adventurous and take my virginity away, just to leave and never come back the next day!"
"Delia, I'm sorry-" Giovanni tried to say.
"I was only seventeen!" She continued, "And you ditch me like that you ungrateful jerk!" She lifted her hand slapped Giovanni across the face. Ash began to step forward to break them up, but Giovanni held his hand up.
"I deserved that," Giovanni said.
Delia squinted and furrowed her brow. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that!" she said menacingly.
"Just try not to be hostile," Giovanni said, "The children are watching..."
Delia's eyes widened and she glanced at Amy and Flint. "What's virginity?" Amy asked, looking up at her mother.
May was speechless, not knowing how to answer. "Uuuhhh," she groaned, exchanging glances with Ash, mouthing 'Help me out here' to him.
"Virginity was a Pokémon that Mom used to have," Ash said, May face palmed, shaking her head.
Flint had a confused look on his face. "Why would Grandpa take a Pokémon from Grandma?" he asked.
Ash shrugged. "He never told us, maybe it was for a spy mission," he said, sticking his hands in his pockets. Pikachu, who was sitting on Ash's shoulder, face palmed as well.
Delia, on the other hand, was completely confused. Ash quickly grabbed arm and pulled her into the kitchen. "What on earth are you guys talking about?" she asked.
Ash sweat dropped. "Dad told Flint and Amy that he was a spy, we didn't want to tell them about his real past," he said. Delia's brow furrowed for a moment before she simply shrugged.
"Okay," she said, agitation apparent in her voice.
"And Mom," Ash said, putting his hands on her shoulders, "Calm down."
The two closed their eyes and took a deep breath in sync. They opened their eyes again and smiled at each other; Delia reached out and hugged her son. "He's put me through so much pain," she said quietly.
"I know, I know," Ash replied, hugging her back, "But give him a chance, okay? Treat him like a house guest, if not for him, then for me."
Delia let go of him and backed up. She sighed and took a deep breath. "Okay... Okay..." she said.
The two stepped out of the kitchen and back into the hallway, everyone had moved into the living room, where Flint and Amy had pulled out a basket of toys Delia kept under the couch. "May, honey, would you like to help me with lunch?" Delia asked.
May looked over at her from her seat in the living room and smiled. "Yeah," she said, standing up. She walked past Ash, giving him a quick peck on the cheek before walking into the kitchen with Delia. Ash smiled as he heard the two begin to chatter.
He turned around and walked into the living room, sitting down where May had been previously. He glanced over at Giovanni, who was sitting on the couch across from him. He looked sad.
"After all these years," Giovanni began, "She's still so beautiful..."
Ash smiled at his statement, the children paid them no heed though. "Just give her some time," he said, "Maybe she'll come around."
Giovanni shook his head. "No... I've scarred her for life, I'll never be forgiven," he said, his piercing eyes looked sad for once.
Ash smiled and Pikachu ran by, playing with Flint. He held a small sports car in his paw.
"You'd be surprised," Ash said, looking back up at his father, "She can be very forgiving."
Amy walked over to Giovanni and climbed up in his lap, which surprised Ash. "Look at this, Grandpa," she said, holding up a stuffed doll, it had long brown hair and a white hat, a blue tank top, and a red skirt. "I named her Leaf, and she has super powers."
"Oh? What kind of super powers?" Giovanni asked.
Amy handed him the doll to look at. "She can fly, and shoots lasers from her eyes," Amy said proudly, putting her hands on her hips. "If she sees a bad guy, she shoots her lasers and beats them up."
Ash glanced over into the kitchen, making sure May hadn't heard Amy's statement. "That's interesting," Giovanni said, handing the doll back to her. Amy hopped off his lap and continued playing.
"You're starting to grow on them," Ash said with a smile, "And it's only day two."
Giovanni smirked and nodded. "So I've noticed, they're fine young fellows, your children," he said.
Ash sat back in his chair. "And you haven't even met Amber yet," he said, drumming his fingers on the arm rest of the chair.
Giovanni leaned back, starting to look a little more relaxed. "Yes, you told me a little about her," he said, "Care to share more?"
Ash smirked and shook his head, letting out a slight chuckle. "She's your average teenage girl," Ash said, "She likes makeup, loves to shop, and her hair is the most important aspect of her life."
Giovanni chuckled as well. "She's traveling around Hoenn at the moment with a boy named Blaze," Ash continued, "He's the son of some friends of mine."
"I take it we'll be visiting them in the near future as well?" he asked.
Ash nodded. "Yep, eventually," he said. "We'll be visiting a lot of our old friends actually."
"I'm sure you're excited," Giovanni said, temporarily lifting his legs so Pikachu could pass through the tight squeeze in-between the couch and the coffee table.
Ash smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I am... It'll help me... Get my mind off things," he said, he let out a deep breath. "It'll be fun," he said quietly.
Giovanni raised a brow, noting Ash strange behavior, but decided not to question it.
Everyone was seated at the table, which luckily was large enough to seat them all. Giovanni sat at one end of the table, while Delia sat at the other. Ash and May sat opposite of each other so Flint and Amy wouldn't annoy each other.
In Ash's mind, a meal like the one set out before him was amazing. The combination of his mother's and his wife's cooking was always something that never left him unsatisfied. "It's the perfect combination." Ash would say. "Blech, I'm starting to sound like Cilan."
But unlike usual, the table was fairly quiet, aside from the constant tapping of silverware. Despite sitting across from each other, Delia refused to look at Giovanni, and he kept his gaze down at his food.
"The cooking is great, you two," Ash said, breaking the silence.
"Hm, yes, I see May has picked up a few new tricks," Delia said, smiling at the brunette. "I'm glad you are enjoying it."
May had been taught by Cilan how to cook years ago, before even Amber had been born. After several months of eating out and microwaved meals, Ash and May determined that one of them needed to learn to cook. Cilan stayed over with them on the Battle Pyramid for about a month, teaching May how to cook every day. After Cilan left, May learned a few tricks from Delia, Brock, and her mother, and with the four's knowledge combined, May became a master at cooking. She learned to expand and experiment on her own, coming up with her own recipes. "A touch of bacon can do wonders," was her motto.
Giovanni nodded, not looking up from his food. "Yes," he said, clearing his throat with a soft cough, "It's a fine meal."
Delia finally looked at Giovanni, but didn't say anything. The man finally found it in him to look up and look his ex-lover in the eye. "It's exquisite," he said, not breaking eye contact with her.
Delia closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Thank you... Giovanni..." She said slowly, poking her food with a fork, "But it wasn't just me, May did all the hard work."
"Well, I wouldn't say that," May said, blushing, "It was your original recipe."
Ash and Flint sighed; Delia and May had this conversation every time they cooked together. They would go back and forth, trying to give credit to each other.
Amy set her fork down, as she had finished her food. "So what kind of Pokémon was Virginity?"
Ash took a deep breath of fresh air as he walked down the road. Evening was approaching, and he wanted to do something before he left Pallet Town. He walked up a large hill towards the familiar lab that made his town famous. Oak Laboratories, famed as the research center of the great Professor Oak.
Actually, Professor Oak had retired years ago, and moved away to live the rest of his life in relaxation. Ash smiled sadly as he walked up the path, times sure had changed since he had been a young trainer.
"You ready to see everyone again, Pikachu?" Ash asked. The Pokémon on his shoulder nodded. Ash still kept all the Pokémon from his journey at Oak Labs, even if Professor Oak didn't work there anymore, he felt it was in good hands.
He knocked on the door and patently waited for it to be answered. He heard movement on the other side, and the doorknob jiggled. The door opened to reveal Professor Tracey Sketchit, the proud owner of Oak Labs.
The laboratory had been inherited by Gary's older sister, whose name was May Oak. After marrying Tracey, the two took on the task of being professors, and caring for the Pokémon lab.
"Hey Ash," Tracey said with a smile, "It's been a while, I take it you're here to see your Pokémon?" he asked, Ash nodded. Tracy stepped back to let him in. "Well come inside."
Ash stepped inside and looked around, Tracy hadn't changed the lab much after Professor Oak left, only updating equipment to keep up with technology.
"Your Pokémon have been getting a little restless," Tracey said, as Ash walked over to the sliding glass door that led to the fields. Ash would have gone out there, but as he was getting older, he couldn't take getting tackled by fifty Pokémon at the same time very well, and he had yet to find a way to calm them down after they got excited.
"Oh?" He asked as he watched some of his Pokémon run by. "How do they pass the time?"
Tracey shrugged. "They battle each other for fun sometimes, run around, climb trees, stuff like that," he said, "Some of them have been getting stronger because if it."
Ash nodded. "Good, good," he said, looking around, "Say, where's May?" he asked, referring to Tracey's wife.
Tracey smiled, "She's gone off to do some field work in Johto," he said, "She studying a Pokémon's emotions while they're in the wild."
Ash nodded, "Sounds interesting," he said, "Maybe she could send me her report when she's all finished."
Tracey nodded in agreement. "I'll try to remember," he said.
"So the children seem to like you," Delia said, scrubbing a dish in the sink next to Giovanni, who had requested to help her out.
"Yes, I'm surprised myself," Giovanni admitted, running a plate under warm water, "Maybe it's only because they don't know my real past."
Delia took a deep breath and handed another dish to Giovanni. "Yes, you don't have the cleanest hands," she said, grabbing another dish to scrub.
"I know, I know," The older man said, shaking his head, "But those days are gone forever, Team Rocket is no more... Ash made sure of that."
They didn't say anything for a few moments; the only noise was the running sink water and the children playing in the other room. "Do you regret what you did?" Delia asked, looking Giovanni in the eye.
Giovanni chuckled. "Ash asked me the same thing before he bailed me out," he told her.
"And what did you tell him?" She asked.
Giovanni grabbed the dish in her hands and began to rinse it, his action snapping Delia's attention back to the task at hand. "I told him I did regret it," he said.
Delia looked at him suspiciously. "Were you being honest?" she asked sternly.
Giovanni nodded. "Of course I was," he said.
Delia handed him another dish, "Why the change of heart, you didn't seem to regret it when you driven off to prison," she said flatly.
Giovanni sighed. "Prison gave me a lot of time to think," He said, "Lots of time..."
Suddenly, Flint excitedly burst into the kitchen. "Hey! Dad's battling some girl with a Lopunny outside!" He said excitedly, "Come and see!"
Giovanni exchanged glances with Delia before setting down his dish. Delia set hers down and turned off the sink, and the two walked outside. May, Flint, and Amy were already outside watching the battle.
"Registeel! Use Ancient Power!" Ash exclaimed, pointing at the Lopunny on the other side of the field. Registeel began to glow and fired a silver energy ball at Lopunny, nailing it and causing it to fall over into its back.
"Lopunny! Are you okay?" The opponent asked. She was a young female trainer who looked no older than twelve. The normal type Pokémon slowly rose to its feet, and nodded. "Good! Use Dizzy Punch!"
"Harden!" Ash shouted. Registeel flashed quickly and performed the move. Lopunny charged at it and threw its fist at Registeel, hitting it with a loud clang.
"Lopunny?" the trainer asked. Suddenly, Lopunny burst into tears and held its hand, which was glowing red.
"Ouch, that must hurt," Flint said, "Hitting Registeel after it uses Harden is like punching a cliff. You won't get anywhere."
"So... Is that the match?" Ash asked the trainer as Lopunny continued to cry. "You might want to have Lopunny's hand checked.
The young trainer sighed and returned her Pokémon. "I-I guess so," she said, sticking the Pokéball in her pouch "How are you so powerful?"
Ash smiled, gesturing to his steel type, "I have Registeel," he said, folding his arms across his chest "It's legendary, it's powerful."
As the trainer took her leave, Flint began to excitedly jump up and down. "Aw man! Registeel is so cool!" He said.
"Pfft, whatever," Amy said, pouting and crossing her arms.
May glanced off into the horizon, seeing the sun beginning to set. The sky had grown orange, and was slowly getting darker. She glanced at the watch Ash had given her for her birthday and saw that it was about 8:30.
"Alright you two," she said, "It's getting late, we need to head back to the pyramid."
Flint and Amy sighed in disappointment, but knew that it wasn't worth arguing with their mother. They both began to follow her back to the pyramid, with was about a quarter mile away from the house.
"We should probably head back too, Dad," Ash said, he pulled out a Pokéball and returned Registeel. Pikachu climbed up onto his shoulder.
Giovanni nodded to Ash before turned to Delia, looking down at her. "Just in case we don't see each other for a while," he said, grabbing her hand and kissing the back of it, "I'm sorry... Please forgive me..."
Delia withdrew her hand from his grasp quickly, and looked at him surprisingly. "I-I'm sorry, Giovanni," she said, sadly shaking her head "… But… I can't..."
Giovanni sighed sadly, but with understanding. "I understand," he said, "I don't deserve you anyways."
Ash and Pikachu watched sadly as the two spoke. As much as he knew it would never happen, he wished his mother would forgive Giovanni, so that they could be a happy family... One he had never had...
With that, he and Giovanni headed back to the pyramid, neither looking back.
Last edited by The Shiny Gengar; 26th November 2012 at 9:14 PM.
23rd May 2012, 12:51 AM
Ok. I only have one thing to say. I really like the topic and storyline. They are great. Ash as Pyramid King? He is dealing with depression? Giovani is his dad and May is his wife? They have kids? Those are all the things I find really interesting. Good job on the fic. I really like it. I noticed a few punctuation mistakes in Chapter 2 though.
2nd June 2012, 6:12 AM
The girl named Matori is Giovanni's secretary in the Black and White series. She remains unnamed in the dub, so I'm just going to use her Japanese name. I figured I'd explain that ahead of time to eliminate confusion.
Chapter 3: Meet the Oaks
"Mr. Ketchum, your mother is here."
Chatot's voice rang through the room, causing Ash to jump.
"She says she is here to say goodbye," Chatot finished.
The family had once again all gathered in the dining room to eat breakfast. Flint was tiredly munching on cereal while Amy ate some toast. Ash and May were sipping on hot cups of coffee while Giovanni read the morning paper, which Chatot had printed out for him.
Ash set down his coffee and stood up from the table. "Alright, kids, let's go say goodbye to grandma," he said.
Giovanni smirked and set down his paper. "Don't leave without me," he said. May noticed that Giovanni actually seemed anxious to go see Delia one last time.
They all made their way down to the bottom of the pyramid, where Delia was patiently waiting. Amy and Flint ran to their grandma and both gave her a tight hug.
"I'm going to miss you grandma," Amy said, nuzzling her head into the woman.
Delia reached down and hugged her granddaughter, "I'll miss you too, sweetheart," she said, a comforting smile on her face.
"You should come with us!" Flint said, an excited smile appeared on his face. "We have plenty of room for you on the pyramid! Mom and Dad won't mind!"
Delia smiled at the boy and ruffled his hair, sadly glancing over at Giovanni. "I'm sorry," she said, "But that just wouldn't work..."
Flint's expression went from excitement to disappointment. "Aww..." he said sadly. Delia chuckled and kissed the two children on their foreheads before walking over to the others.
"I wish you all the best of luck," She said with a smile, "And tell Chatot to drive that thing safely."
"I'm sure we'll be fine," Ash assured her, a grin on his face.
"Yeah," May agreed, "And we'll be sure to come back and visit you soon."
Delia smiled and nodded to her son and daughter-in-law before turning to Giovanni. Her eyes began to water as the two gazed at each other. After a long silence, Giovanni nodded, and she turned away.
"Where are we heading today, sir?" Chatot asked, Ash had just booted up the motherboard and was preparing to set his course.
"Cerulean City," Ash told him, tapping a few keys on the virtual keyboard laid out before him on a touch screen. "We're visiting the Oaks today."
May stepped into the control room with her cup of unfinished coffee, which she had recently reheated. "Excited?" she asked as she walked in. Pikachu scurried into the room as well, running past May and jumping into Ash's lap.
"Yeah, we haven't seen the Oaks in the while," Ash said, but a frown grew on his face. "But my depression is still bugging me."
May ruffled Ash's hair and set her coffee down. "I'm sure you'll feel better once you we get there," she said, "Gary's ego always snaps you back to normal."
Ash laughed and looked up at the screen. Chatot had laid out the course to Cerulean, the trip would be pretty short.
"Estimated trip time is 30 minutes," Chatot said, "Shall I take off?"
"Yep, go ahead," Ash said, scratching Pikachu behind the ear. The facility began to shake as the pyramid prepared to take off.
"Flint's pretty excited about this trip," May said with a giggle.
Ash readjusted the cap on his head. "Yeah, it's been awhile," he said, "He probably is excited to play with Brooke."
"My calculations suggest he will eventually want to mate with the female," Chatot said.
"Since when have you been able to calculate stuff like that?" Ash asked, a strange look on his face.
"My recent update has given me many new things," Chatot said, "Such as a sense of humor."
Ash and May exchanged glances. "Okay, tell us a joke," May said.
"Very well, searching..." Chatot said, "Chuck Norris has counted to infinity... Twice."
And there were many face palms that day.
The pyramid was heading north towards Cerulean City. May was walking down the hall, preparing for their visit.
"Excuse me, May."
She stopped and turned around, finding Giovanni strolling over to her, his cane in hand.
"Hey, what's up?" She asked, a grin on her face.
Giovanni stopped in front of her, despite the years May had grown, He still towered a head above her. She kept a smile on her face though, trying not to look intimidated.
"I haven't been around very long, so maybe I'm just incorrect," Giovanni began, "But Ash seems to have the strange aura about him, a sad one at that."
May was unsure of telling Giovanni about Ash's depression and decided to wave it off. "Oh, it's no big deal," she said, "He's just going through a phase."
Giovanni raised a brow. "A phase?" he asked.
May shrugged. "Um, it's just a thing, nothing to worry about."
All was quiet and peaceful at the Oak residence. Young eight year old Brooke Oak sat on the couch in the family living room, her green eyes gazing out the window. At the sight of the familiar flying Pyramid, she would bolt to the door and race out to greet her friends.
"How long until they'll be here?" She asked her older sister, removing a little of her long brown from her pale face.
Rein, her older sister, sat across the room, lazily sitting on the couch while reading a magazine. She was the eleven year old gym leader in training. She had long orange hair and blue eyes.
Her father had wanted her to become a Pokémon researcher, like himself, but her mother insisted she train to be a gym leader. That was fine with Rein though, she had always found her mother's gym battles to be so exciting. It was more likely Brooke would become the researcher; she enjoyed helping her father around the lab, wearing lab coats and such.
Rein glanced out the window and shrugged to her sister. "They should be here any minute now, according to Dad," she said.
On cue, the earth began to rumble and the wind outside stirred wildly. The large pyramid could be seen flying by as Brooke's face brightened. She leapt off the couch and shouted "They're here!" before dashing out the door. She ran outside and waved her hands around excitedly to the pyramid as she watched it fly away. It slowly began to descend and landed off in the distance.
"Looks like they've finally arrived," Gary Oak said, stepping out with Rein and his wife, Misty Oak.
Misty was still the gym leader of the water type gym in Cerulean City, but ever since she had married Gary, there had been a few additions to the gym. A large research center had been built so Gary could continue his career, hoping to one day become as successful of a Pokémon professor as his grandfather.
Today the gym and the lab were closed though. The Oaks were having guests over, and Misty insisted they weren't to be distracted by anything else.
"FLINT!" Brooke shouted loudly as she watched the family slowly step out from the pyramid, even from a quarter mile away, her voice reached the young boy's ears.
"Brooke!" he shouted excitedly. He broke into a run towards the family waiting for them in the distance, Amy and Pikachu followed after him as well. As Ash watched them, he could help but think about what Chatot had said earlier about his son.
"Well, I'm heading off to the city," Giovanni said, tipping the fedora Ash had given him before heading east.
May gently grasped Ash's arm to get his attention. She had a large bag slung over her shoulder. "Do you think he'll be okay?" she whispered to him.
Ash nodded. "Come on, just because he's old doesn't mean he's helpless," he said, "Do you remember Spencer from the battle frontier? That old man had so much energy."
"Well Giovanni isn't Spencer," May told him.
"He was the leader of Team Rocket, I think he can take care of himself," Ash told her, crossing his arms. "Loosen up, May, it's not like he's going to get into a fight or something."
"Well if it isn't the great Ash Ketchum," Gary said as he grinned and shook Ash's hand. "Long time no see."
Ash let out a long sigh and put his hands on his hips. "It has been a while," he said.
"Ash!" Misty exclaimed as she happily hugged her old friend. Ash laughed and hugged her back. "It's been too long," she said, letting go of him and backing up, "You need to visit us more often."
"Yeah, Brooke keeps asking when you guys will visit," Gary said, glancing over at his daughter, who was excitedly talking to Flint.
Amy, on the other hand, was embracing Rein. She had a picked up a fondness towards the girl, and looked up to her with great respect. Rein loved the attention as much as she loved the little girl, and happily took her under her wing.
"You've grown so much since we last saw each other," Rein said with a big smile on her face.
"Yep!" Amy said happily, "I've grown this much!" she said, stretching her hands as far as she could.
"I wouldn't doubt it," Rein said, ruffling the girl's hair.
"Oh man, we're going to have so much fun!" Flint said excitedly, he and Brooke were getting all pumped up, "We're so going swimming! Hey Dad! Can we swim?"
Ash exchanged glances with May, before glancing back at the Battle Pyramid. "I don't know..." he said.
"I mean, your bathing suits are back at the battle pyramid..."
"And we'd have to walk there and back..."
Ash glanced at May who showed him the large bag she had slung over her shoulder, revealing their swim trunks.
"What would I do without you?"
Giovanni held onto his hat has a gust of wind blew through the autumn air. He began to work on buttoning his coat, which protected him from the spine tingling cool air that blew through the city. Despite the cold, it felt good to be on his own for once, not cooped up in the pyramid.
Lost in his thoughts, Giovanni bumped into a young male. "Hey, old man, what's wrong with you!" he said, "You need to-" but the teen stopped short upon seeing Giovanni's piercing death glare. The boy stammered a little before running off.
"Hehe, you still got it, old timer," Giovanni said to himself. He continued to walk down the road, minding his own business.
Giovanni stopped and glanced down and ally he had been passing, and was surprised to see a homeless Persian, curled up into a ball in the darkness.
"Well... Doesn't that bring back memories..." Giovanni murmured as he stepped into the ally, towards the Pokémon. "Hey, buddy..." he said gently, slowly approaching the feline Pokémon that watched him cautiously.
He bent over and reached out to pet the Persian, but it growled and snarled, causing Giovanni to back away. It was obvious it didn't trust him. He sighed and stepped out of the ally, and began to walk down the street again.
His old Persian had been taken away from him when he had been captured and thrown in jail. He knew not what had happened to it.
The old man turned around and saw a woman with dark purple hair that fell to her shoulders, purple eyes, and a pair of glasses that sat before them.
"Matori?" Giovanni asked, "Is that really you?"
Four adults sat around a round table next to a large swimming pool. The air was humid and damp and the echoes of children's laughs and shouts bounced off the thick walls.
"So how's Amber doing?" Misty asked, sitting back in her chair.
Ash smiled. "She's fine, she's traveling around Hoenn at the moment," he said, "She's still upset about that battle."
Misty smirked and eyes sparkled. "What did she expect me to do? Go easy on her?" she asked, "Besides, she was using a Sodowoodo, the odds were completely against her."
May chuckled, and crossed her legs. "That was before she understood the whole super effective concept," she said.
Ash shook his head. "Nah, I think she just forgot Sodowoodo was a rock type," he said. He glanced towards the pool watching the children and Pikachu swim around.
"So Ash," Gary began, "What obligated you to go on a road trip? Memories lane nipping at your heels?"
Ash scratched his head and averted his gaze from Misty and Gary. "Oh, you know, just felt like going and seeing-" he stopped short when he felt May lay her hand down on his. He looked at her and she nodded to him. Ash let out a sigh, "I've been feeling depressed for last few months," He admitted. "May suggested we take a trip to get my mind off it."
Misty's face was written with pity while Gary appeared to be studying the frontier brain. "That's terrible," Misty said, "It hasn't lead to suicidal thoughts or anything, has it?"
Ash shook his head. "No, at least not yet," he said.
Gary leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. "Has the trip been helping?" he asked.
Ash shrugged. "It's only day two," he told them, "But it hasn't worked very well yet..."
"And you don't know the reason behind your depression?" Gary asked, drumming his fingers on the table.
Ash shook his head. "No, I've just been feeling down lately, and have been slowly sinking lower," he admitted.
Gary scratched his chin, continuing to study Ash. "Maybe it's a lack of sleep?" he asked.
Ash shook his head. "No, I had been sleeping fine," he told his friend, "but I will say the depression has been keeping me up at night."
Gary and Misty exchanged glances before looking back at Ash. "How about a battle?" Misty suggested, "That always gets you going."
Ash chuckled and shook his head. "I'm the Pyramid King," he said, "I get challenges all the time, and that doesn't help."
"Ash even bailed his father out of jail," May told them, "Even though it's nice to have him around, it hasn't help at all."
Gary and Misty exchanged confused glances. "Your father?" they asked.
Ash sighed and scratched his head; he hadn't really told anyone about what his mother had told him. "Well, you remember Giovanni, the former leader of Team Rocket?"
Gary crossed his arms over his chest and nodded. "Yeah, you got rid of Team Rocket years ago, he was thrown in jail," he said.
But Misty's eyes were filled with fear. "Ash, please tell me this isn't going where I think it is," she said, Gary had a smug look on his face.
Ash nodded. "Yep, Giovanni is my father," He said.
"Dang it!" Misty shouted, slamming her fist into the table. Gary burst into laughter. She dug through her purse and pulled out her wallet, shoving a ten dollar bill in Gary's face. "Take it you smarty pants!" She grumbled.
"Love you too," Gary said, still chuckling as he took the ten dollars from Misty. He gave the annoyed woman a kiss on the cheek.
"You made a bet about my father?" Ash exclaimed, standing up from the table.
"Yeah," Gary said. Ash just threw his hands in the air and walked off, grumbling the whole time.
"Aww, come on, Ash," Misty said, getting up and walking over to the frontier brain who was now standing at the edge of the pool. "Don't be mad..."
"You guys have no sense of respect..." Ash griped, covering his eyes with his cap. "... Making bets about my father..."
Misty laid a hand on his shoulder. "Come on, lighten up," she said.
"Say, do you have anything in your pockets?" Misty asked.
Ash looked at her oddly and shook his head. "No, I left everything back at the pyramid."
"Is that watch waterproof?"
Ash glanced at the watch on his wrist. "Yeah... Why-ACK!" He exclaimed as Misty shoved him into the pool, causing a loud splash.
As Ash resurfaced, the children and Pikachu burst into laughter. Ash took off his cap and dumped the water out of it while glaring up at Misty. "You would," he said, a smirk on his face.
Misty smiled before kicking off her flip flops and jumping into the pool as well.
Gary smiled as the two adults began to splash at each other. "They're so mature," he said, sarcasm laced in his voice.
May smiled and laughed. "Typical Ash," she said.
"So what happened? When did you get out?" Matori asked. She and Giovanni sat in a small coffee shop. It had a warm and friendly atmosphere to it, and in Giovanni's opinion, the coffee was superb.
The older man took a sip from the cup in his hand before answering. "Two days ago," he said.
"How'd it happen?" Matori asked, leaning forward. "Did the guards get lazy? Did you gain their trust and escape? Perhaps you were broken out?"
Giovanni shook his head to all her theories. "No, I was bailed out," he said, "nothing violent or devious."
Matori frowned and raised a brow. "Bailed? By whom?" she asked, "Last I checked, the amount required to get you out of there was insanely high."
Giovanni crossed his arms over his chest, a smirk on his face. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he said.
"Jessie and James?" she asked, "But those two couldn't hold onto two cents if their life depended on it."
Giovanni shook his head, rubbing his scalp as he recalled his two former members. "No... Not those idiots..." he said.
Matori glanced down and took a sip of her own coffee. "Well then, who?" she asked.
Giovanni glanced up at her. "Ketchum." He said, "My son."
Matori's eyes widened. "The one who put you in jail in the first place?" she asked, Giovanni simply nodded, "But why?"
Giovanni shrugged. "I honestly have no idea," he said, "But he's taken me in and I'm living with him and his family."
Matori nodded and sipped a bit more of her coffee. "So what are your plans?" she asked, "Are you going to rebuild Team Rocket? You know we'd all be more than happy to start up again."
Giovanni thought about the idea. Going back and rebuilding his powerful organization, it was a tempting action. He still longed for power, and it didn't appear that he would obtain it on the route he was taking now.
But then there was Ash... And May... And Flint and Amy. Not to mention Amber, whom he had yet to meet yet. They all treated him with love, something he had never experienced before, even from his own mother. He couldn't betray them like that, not now.
"Giovanni?" Matori asked, snapping her former boss back to reality.
"Erm, I have no plans of bringing Team Rocket back," he said, rubbing his eyes "Besides, even if we did, Ketchum would just stop us again."
"But think about it!" Matori began, "We learned from our mistakes, we know what it is we need to do and not do! If we plan correctly, history won't repeat itself."
Giovanni shook his head. "I'm sorry, Matori... But I simply can't," he said sternly.
"No buts!" Giovanni said, slamming his fist down on the table, causing the woman to jump. "I've already said I won't! Now stop trying to convince me!"
With that, he stood up and began to walk away. "Giovanni! Wait!" Matori said, quickly getting up as well and following after him. The man stopped, glancing over his broad shoulder to look at the woman. "I-I'm sorry," she stammered, "I didn't mean to upset you."
Giovanni sighed and turned to face her, looking down at the shorter woman. "Apology accepted," he said plainly.
"I don't want to part on bad terms," Matori said, sticking out her hand. Giovanni smirked and shook it before turning around and leaving.
"So what's Giovanni like?"
May jumped slightly and turned her attention to Gary. "Hm? What?" she asked.
Gary sweat dropped and sighed. "Giovanni," he repeated, "What's he like?"
"Um..." May began, turning her attention back over to the pool, watching Ash laugh as he and Misty played around with Flint and Brooke. "He's nice..." she said, not taking her gaze off the pool, "But he still has an intimidating aura about him."
"Yeah, he was the former leader of the ultimate crime organization," Gary said, running his hand through his hair, "It's probably expected."
May nodded, still not tearing her gaze from the pool. "Yeah..." she said quietly. Gary raised a brow, she seemed distracted by something. He followed her gaze and saw Ash still swimming in the pool, but he had taken his shoes, shirt, and hat off.
"Is something bothering you, May?" Gary asked, "You seem to be somewhere else."
May finally glanced at Gary, blinking a few times. Something was indeed on her mind, but not something she wanted to share.
Ash seems really happy right now... May thought ... With Misty...
May shook her head and furrowed her brow. No, don't think that way! she scolded herself, Ash would never...
Her eyes widened. What if that's why he's depressed, She though, the frightening thought dawning on her, because... of me...
May shook her head again. Stop thinking that way! May exclaimed inside her head.
While May was having this internal thought process, Gary just looked at her oddly as her expression changed from wonder, to anger, to shock, and back to anger. "Are you sure you're feeling okay, May?" He asked again.
May blushed in embarrassment, realizing what she was doing. "Um, I'm fine," She said, "Just arguing with myself..."
"Okay then," Gary said, turning his attention back to the pool. He figured it would be best to not pursue the topic.
At that moment, Amy was balancing on Ash's shoulders, preparing to jump off and go into the water.
"So how's the Regi trio doing?" Misty asked, Amy jumped and splashed into the water.
Ash shook his head and removed the hair that was sticking to his face. "They're great," he said, "They just get more and more powerful each time I use them."
Misty cocked her head. "Are you able to handle their power?" she asked, "Remember Charizard? He wouldn't obey you for a while."
Ash shook his head. "They obey me just fine," he said, "I'm a frontier brain, I have tons of badges, I think they've accepted me as their trainer."
Ash lifted his arm and blocked a splash Flint sent at Brooke. "Well how about a demonstration," Misty said, "I haven't seen you battle in forever..."
Ash nodded and turned in the direction of the table Gary and May were sitting at. "Hey Gary!" he called out, "Want to have a battle?"
Everyone had gotten out of the pool for Ash and Gary's battle, as it was the battle field for the gym. Both men stood on either side of the pool, smirks on their faces. Misty had set up several large platforms for the Pokémon to stand on, which bobbed up and down in the water.
"Gary, don't use Electivire," Misty called out, wrapped up in a towel. "The concrete up here is wet; I don't want it shocking the children."
Gary nodded and grabbed a Pokéball. "Blastoise! Go!" he said, calling out the starter Pokémon he had received so many years ago. The large turtle like Pokémon appeared on the field, on one of the platforms floating in the water, causing it to sink a little under its weight.
"Regice! I choose you!" Ash exclaimed, the large ice type also appeared on a floating platform. Amy squealed in delight upon the Iceberg Pokémon's release.
"Alright Blastoise, let's kick this off with Whirlpool!" Gary said. Blastoise nodded and aimed the two large cannons in its shell at the water. With a loud rumble, it shot two powerful jets of water into the pool, causing the platform he was on to move. Soon all the water in the pool began to move in a circular motion, and a whirlpool formed.
"Hit it with Ice Beam!" Ash exclaimed. Regice charged up the shot and fired the Ice Beam at Blastoise. But with the platforms revolving so quickly and whirlpool moving everything around, Regice missed and the attack hit the wall, causing a thick layer of ice to encrusted it.
"Lock On! And then Ancient Power!" Ash shouted. Regice's eyes began to glow and a single red target appeared on Blastoise's forhead.
"Get it with Hydro Pump!" Gary ordered. Blastoise nodded a fired a pillar of water at Regice, but the revolving whirlpool made it impossible to hit.
"Duck!" Misty exclaimed. She put her arms over Flint and Brooke and shoved them down; May did the same to Rein and Amy. They narrowly avoided the Hydro Pump that swept by over their heads.
Regice formed glowing rocks around its body, and it thrust them at Blastoise. Lock On kicked in and the glowing rock curved, going after Blastoise. The attack nailed the water type Pokémon.
"Well that Whirlpool backfired," Gary grumbled, "Blastoise! Use Aqua Jet to get over to Regice!"
Blastoise dove into the water, and swimming with the current, shot over to the platform Regice was on. He jumped out of the pool with a trail of water surrounding him.
"Regice! Protect!" Ash exclaimed. Regice surrounded itself in a green orb, stopping Blastoise's attack short.
"Headbutt!" Gary shouted.
"Focus Punch!" Ash countered.
The two attacks collided, the two Pokémon struggled to overpower the other, but Regice was quickly the victor, and sent Blastoise flying backwards.
At this point, the whirl pool had settled, and the water was calm once again. "This water is getting annoying," Ash grumbled, "Ice Beam at the water!"
Regice charged up and fired the Ice Beam into the pool, freezing the water over. "Alright, Regice, skate!" Ash said. Regice jumped off the platform and began to skate around on the ice, quickly gaining speed.
"With the ice to skate on, Regice will be able to move a lot faster," May said.
"Go, Regice!" Amy exclaimed.
"Blastoise! Use Hydro Pump!" Gary said. Blastoise, took aim and fired, but Regice was able to easily dodge the attack while skating on the ice. The power of Blastoise's attack caused the Shellfish Pokémon to be pushed backward. It lost its footing and fell on his back.
"Get it with Focus Punch!" Ash exclaimed.
"Withdraw!" Gary ordered.
Regice skated at Blastoise, gaining momentum. His fist began to glow and he jumped into the air, preparing to attack. Blastoise hid within his shell just as Regice struck. Blastoise slid on the ice, bounding off the edges of the pool and spinning around like a ball on a pool table.
"One final Focus Punch!" Ash said. Regice drew back his fist and prepared to strike. As Blastoise came spinning at Regice, the ice type threw its punch, and sent him flying. Blastoise landed hard, cracking the ice, the swirls over his eyes signified he had been knocked out.
"Looks like I win this one, Gary," Ash said, he thanked Regice before returning it.
"Wow, Dad didn't even scratch Regice," Rein said, "It's so powerful..."
"Aw man!" Amy said excitedly, jumping up and down. "That was freakin' awesome!"
Evening had come, the sky was coated in an orange tint, and the sun was beginning to hide behind the hills on the horizon. Everyone stood outside the gym, the time had come for departure.
"It feels like you just got here," Misty said sadly.
"Yeah, you guys should come when you can stay longer," Gary said.
Ash and May smiled, "We sure will," Ash said.
"Yeah! And we'll come back soon!" Flint said, smiling to Brooke, "Right, Dad?"
Ash looked down at Flint and shrugged. "We'll see," he said.
Gary and Ash shook hands and Misty gave Ash a hug, sparking May's previous thoughts back to life. She was quick to try to shake the thought away. "Good luck with your depression," Misty said.
After exchanging goodbyes, the Ketchum family left, heading back to the massive pyramid in the distance.
"Yep..." Misty said, turning back to the gym, "Now I have to thaw out the pool."
"Mr. Ketchum, I have another joke," Chatot said. The children had gone to bed, and Ash and May were relaxing in the living room, waiting for Giovanni to return home.
"Okay, humor me," he said.
"Chuck Norris can empty out a pool with a fork... While it's raining," Chatot said, May stifled a laugh.
"What if the pool was indoors?" Ash asked.
"Searching for a new joke..." Chatot said.
Last edited by The Shiny Gengar; 26th November 2012 at 9:16 PM.
26th November 2012, 9:16 PM
Meet the Harrisons
Yeah... It's been a while... I'm sorry. There was this thing with a Collab that was supposed to tie into this story, not sure what happened to that though... So hey, I figured I'd finally update.
So you know how I like experimenting with Dawn shippings? I realized I need to do the same thing with Brock. We'll see how it goes.
The night was growing old. a chilly breeze whistled through trees. A Noctowl softly hooted nearby, but May wasn't focused on the sounds coming through the open bedroom window. Her attention was on the man lying asleep beside her.
Tonight, Ash and May swapped sleeping habits. Ever since Ash's depression, he tossed and turned all night. This time, it was May's turn. Her worries from Cerulean had followed her. She couldn't help but wonder if she was the reason Ash was depressed.
Her eyes watered slightly at the thought, but she was quick to blink them away. She looked at Ash, who was fast asleep for once. She hadn't seen him sleep so soundly in months. She laid on her left side, facing his sleeping body. Using her right hand, she brushed away a few strands of hair from his face.
Ash stirred a little at her touch, causing her to quickly draw back her hand, not wanting to wake her husband up from a rare good night sleep.
"What's wrong with you, Ash?" She whispered so quietly, she barely heard herself. "Why have you been feeling like this?"
She knew that not even he knew the answer to that. Even his therapist had yet to figure it out.
"Is it because of me?"
May let out a soft sigh, trying to get her nagging fears out of her head. She could only wonder if Ash was actually hiding something from her.
"Her couldn't... He wouldn't..." She told herself. The curtains by the window rose a little as a cool breeze blew through into the room. A chill ran down May's spine giving her goose bumps. Ash must have felt the cold breeze across his body as well. He stirred again and reached out, still asleep. To May's surprise, his arm wrapped around her, and drew her closer to him.
Her lips curved into a smile as she pressed herself against his chest, feeling the warmth of his arm wrapped around her.
"Pikachu... Use Thunderbolt..." Ash mumbled in his sleep. A soft smile grew across his face. May sighed as she gazed at his genuine smile, as if it was an old friend she hadn't seen in years.
"Dreaming about the good ol' days?" May asked quietly, still enjoying his smile. At the sound of her quiet words, Ash tightened his wrap around her, still fast asleep. Ash was never one to wake up easily; he could sleep through a train wreck for all May cared.
Comforted by the warmth and reassured by his embraced, May let out a soft yawn. She closed her eyes, and joined Ash in his dreams.
Ash slept in late that morning, and May made no attempt to wake him. Knowing how sleep deprived he had been lately, she would have let him sleep three days straight if he needed to.
Giovanni could sense a strange aura emanating from May as he read the news paper that morning. He watched her as she slowly drank her coffee. Her mind was clearly elsewhere.
"May? You feeling alright?" he asked after the children left the table, setting his newspaper down. "You're acting a little unusual." he stated, intertwining his fingers together and laying his hand in his lap.
May was always amazed by Giovanni's intimidating appearance. Even at the dining room table, in his pajamas, his piercing eyes made her feel uncomfortable. She could only hope she would get used to it eventually.
"Um, yeah, I'm fine." she said. "I just didn't sleep too well last night." She moved her coffee cup in a circular motion, causing the warm liquid inside to swish back and forth.
Giovanni crossed his arms across his chest; he could tell there was more going on in the background. "You seem to be under a little stress." he observed. "Why don't I take Flint and Amy off your hands for the day so you can relax?"
May's eyes widened. "Wait, what?" she asked in disbelief, laying her hand flat on her chest. "You're asking to take them off my hands for a while?"
Giovanni didn't break eye contact. "Yes, is that a problem?" he asked.
May began to laugh, which progressively grew louder and louder. "We-we can't even keep a nanny for a week!" She gasped between laughs. "And you're actually asking to watch them?"
At that point, there was no return. May slammed her fist in the table as she laughed, causing her coffee cup to hop slightly. The sight made Giovanni feel slightly uncomfortable.
May finally got a hold of herself, wiping a tear from her eye as she tried to suppress her giggles. "You can't be serious..." She said as she continued to calm down. "Those two together are just too much trouble..."
Giovanni shrugged. "They seem like fine children to me." he said.
"Oh... But when together... They're like fire and dynamite," May said. "They just listen to me because I'm their mother. They won't submit to anyone but Ash, me, or Delia."
Giovanni smirked. "Ah, but you forget. I used to run an entire criminal organization." he said. "I know a thing or two about discipline."
"Don't take those words the wrong way." Giovanni said quickly, leaning forward in his seat. He realized what he said could be misinterpreted. "I will be sure to act on good judgment, and not make rash decisions."
May sighed and stood up. "I'll talk to Ash and see what he thinks." she said with a smile. "When he wakes up, that is."
May glanced down at her watch to check the time. "Hm..." she huffed. "The Harrisons are expecting us soon. I better tell Chatot that we need to take off."
With that, she left the room, leaving Giovanni by himself.
"What did the buffalo say to his boy when he departed on a long journey?" Chatot asked May as she sat before the motherboard.
"I don't know, what?" May asked as she pressed a few buttons.
May sighed and face-desked, her face pressing a few of the virtual buttons on the touchable screen. "Chatot, when's you're next update?" she asked curiously.
"Not for another two months," Chatot replied.
May moaned and rubbed her scalp. "Hopefully by then they'll have updated your so-called 'sense of humor'." she grumbled.
"That hurts, Mrs. Ketchum." Chatot said.
May got a weird expression on her face. "You're a program, you don't have feelings." she said.
"Well my recent up-"
"Yes, yes, the recent update gave you emotions, how clever!" May said sarcastically, drumming her fingers. "I told Ash he should have the description of that update..."
"Do you not find my sense of humor pleasurable, madam?" Chatot asked.
May sighed, "I don't find them pleasurable... Or funny, for that matter." she said. She began to type in the coordinates to the pyramid's next destination. "And I doubt I ever will."
"Challenge Accepted." Chatot answered.
Ash let out a soft moan as he felt the pyramid rumble. He didn't want to get up, even after such a goodnight sleep. He grabbed his pillow and put it over his head, hoping to drown out the noise and fall back asleep. The attempt was futile though. He looked around the room to see both May and Pikachu were gone. Letting out a rough sigh, Ash swung his legs over the side of the bed and rubbed his face with his hands. He mumbled a bit before standing up and walking into the bathroom to freshen up. He ran his hands under cool sink water before splashing it on his face. He reached out and grabbed a towel to dry himself off.
Ash jumped at the sudden noise. His senses still foggy, he looked down at his side to see Amy gazing up at him with her large purple eyes. She was still in her pajamas.
"Yeah?" Ash asked drowsily, tossing his towel on the counter.
"Who are we going to see next?" she asked.
Ash chuckled and walked out of the bathroom, knowing she wouldn't be please with his answer. "The Harrisons," he said calmly, bracing himself.
"Awwwwwwww!" Amy moaned. She chased after Ash, hugged leg, and sat on his foot in a futile attempt trying to prevent him from walking. "But Brock is boring!"
Ash laughed and walked across the room, dragging Amy with him. "Aw, don't say that." he said. "He and Cynthia are lots of fun."
"But there's nothing to do there!" She whined, hugging his leg tighter. The Harrisons didn't have any children, meaning Flint and Amy didn't have anyone to play with while they were there.
Ash opened up his dresser and pulled out a black T-shirt. "Well, bring your Nintendo 3DS or something." he said as he took off his pajama shirt and put on his T-shirt.
"Hey Dad!" Flint said excitedly as he ran into the room. "Who are we visiting today?"
Ash smiled knowingly. "Weeeeeelllll..."
"NOO! Don't make us go!" Flint exclaimed after Ash told him. He was now clinging to the leg opposite of the one Amy had grabbed. Ash sweat dropped and attempted to shuffle across the room again, but it wasn't easy with two children being dragged along.
"Just skip Pewter City and tell Brock we forgot about them!" Flint suggested as he was pulled across the room.
"Now that wouldn't be very nice." Ash said, pulling a sleeveless jacket from his closet and pulling his arms through it.
May stepped into the room and smirked as she saw the two children clinging to their father. "Alright guys, let him go." May said, snapping her fingers several times. Flint and Amy released their grips on Ash's legs and got up. "If it's Brock your complaining about, Grandpa offered to watch you for the day... If it's okay with your father."
Flint and Amy gasped and fell to their knees in a begging position. "Please let us go with Grandpa! Please!" They begged.
Ash glanced at May who nodded in approval. "Okay, okay," Ash said, putting his hands up. "You can go with Grandpa."
The children cheered happily and skipped out of the room, leaving Ash and May by themselves.
"Looks like you slept well." May said, kissing Ash on the lips and embracing him.
"Hmm, yeah..." Ash said. "Had a great dream..."
May smiled and looked at him. "Oh yeah? About what?" she asked.
Ash smiled as he recalled the moment. "It was a flash back of back when I was younger." he said. "When I traveled Brock and Misty..."
May stiffened at the mention of the redhead, her worries once again flooding into her head. "O-oh really?" she stammered. "T-that's nice."
Ash let go of her and backed away. "Are you okay? Are you sound a little upset." he said.
May quickly shook her head and began to walk to the door. "No! I'm fine!" she said quickly before leaving the room.
Ash scratched his head with a puzzled look on her face. "Huh," he grunted.
A large shadow loomed over Pewter City as the large Battle Pyramid flew over it. The propellers keeping the pyramid afloat caused rough winds to stir. Trashcans tumbled and hats to flew off people's heads.
The battle facility flew over to an open field where it landed, causing the ground to shake. The large door to allow the passengers to exit opened, revealing Ash, May, Giovanni, Flint, Amy, and Pikachu.
Amy looked up at her father. "So can we go?" she asked.
Ash shook his head. "Come on, at least say hello before you take off." he said, ruffling the hair on her head.
With that, the six left the facility. Rather than heading to the familiar rock type gym, they made their way to a different part of the city. They found the Pokémon Hospital, where Brock worked. In fact, he owned it.
They all walked into the hospital, which was bustling with several Nurse Joys and other pretty nurses. It would have been a Brock paradise if he wasn't married.
"Um, excuse me... Is the doctor in?" Ash asked as he walked up to the secretary's desk, where yet another pretty girl sat.
The girl looked up at him and adjusted her glasses. "Name, please?" she asked, already tapping several keys on the keyboard.
"Ash Ketchum," Ash said simply.
The secretary stopped and looked up at him with a smile. "Ah, the doctor has been expecting you." she said, standing up. "Right this way."
She walked down a hall with Ash and his family following behind. They reached the end of the hall to a door with the sign saying "Dr. Harrison's Office" nailed to the wall above it.
"Dr. Harrison, you have visitors." the receptionist said, knocking on the door. "It's the Ketchums."
"Ah, let them in." a familiar voice said from the other side of the door.
The receptionist smiled and opened the door for the Ketchums. "Go right in." she said sweetly. Ash smiled and thanked her before he and the rest of his family stepped inside the office.
The office itself wasn't very large, definitely not meant to fit six people and a Pokémon, but they squeezed in anyways. The walls of the office were white, and hanging on them were certificates, awards, and pictures of people. In the middle of the room was a large desk, and behind it sat the familiar Pokémon doctor.
"Brock!" Ash said excitedly. "Man, it's been a while."
The tan man behind the desk stood up from his office chair, a grin on his face. "It sure has." he said. He shook hands with Ash and hugged May. He hadn't changed much over the years, aside from growing a few inches. But rather than wearing his old traveling attire, he wore jeans and a white coat over a greenish shirt, like a doctor would.
"Well, who's this?" Brock asked, looking at Giovanni. "He seems familiar..."
"That's Grandpa!" Amy said cheerfully.
Brock raised a brow, looking at Ash. "Brock, meet Giovanni." Ash said. "Former leader of Team Rocket... And my father."
Brock's eyes widened. "Your dad was-?" he began to ask. Ash simply nodded. Brock put on a warm smile and shook Giovanni's hand firmly. "Well, It's... Uh... Nice to meet you... Again." Brock said, stumbling over his words.
"Yes, a pleasure," Giovanni replied, his piercing eyes even intimidated Brock.
Brock looked at his watch before glancing up. "Well, I don't have any more appointments today, and seeing that I have guests, I can leave early." he assured them. He stepped over to the hooks on the wall, taking off his white jacket and putting on a black fedora and coat. He picked up his briefcase off the floor and scooped up the keys from his desk before walking over the door. "Shall we go?" he asked. With that, everyone filed out of the office.
"Can we go with Grandpa now?" Flint asked once they exited the building, tugging on May's sleeve.
May exchanged glances with Ash. "You haven't even said hello to Cynthia yet." Ash said.
"Ah, let them go." Brock said. "She'll see them at dinner."
Flints eyes widened. "Hey! Are you cooking burgers and rice balls?" He asked.
Brock smiled and winked. "You know it." he replied. Although the kids did find Brock a bit more boring than Ash's other friends, they couldn't deny he was an excellent cook.
The children cheered happily before grabbing Giovanni's hands, dragging him down the road. Pikachu leapt off of Ash's shoulder, following after them.
"They're still full of energy, I see." Brock said, putting his hands on his hips.
May sighed and rolled her eyes as she thought about it. "You don't know the half of it." she grumbled, "They inherited Ash's energy, but all they use it for is to argue with each other. I'll be surprised if they bring Giovanni back in one piece."
Brock turned to Ash. "Speaking of which," he said. "Care to explain?"
As the three walked down the road towards Brock's house, Ash told Brock about how his mother had revealed to him that the notorious Team Rocket leader was indeed his father. He told him about how he had bailed Giovanni out of prison and welcomed him into the family, letting him stay at the Battle Pyramid.
Brock raised a brow and stuck his hand in the pockets of his coat. "I understand he's your father, but he caused so much trouble before you put him away." he said. "Why bail him out?"
Ash exchanged glances with May, who smiled and nodded. "Well... I've been depressed lately." he sighed. "I hoped that getting to know my father would get me out of this..." he twirled his hand in the air, unsure of the word to use. "... funk."
Brock smiled gently and adjusted the fedora on his head. "And I take it nothing happened?" he asked.
Ash sighed and scratched the back of his head. "Well, I'd never abandon him now." Ash admitted. "But no... It hasn't worked."
"We were hoping maybe you would have answers." May spoke up. "You're a doctor, after all."
Brock chuckled. "I'm just a Pokémon doctor. I can't really help you on your feelings." he admitted. They all rounded the corner and walked over to a large house. It was obviously expensive. Brock's motto always was "Crime doesn't pay, but patients do."
Brock opened the front door of the large house and pushed it open for Ash and May, allowing the two to enter. "Honey! I'm home!" Brock shouted, but got no answer.
A loud explosion could be heard, the rumble caused the whole room to shake. "Oh, Cynthia must be battling someone." Brock said, stepping out of the room. He motioned for Ash and May to follow him.
They walked through the living room and down the hall. Brock pushed open a door to the left, revealing a large, outdoor battlefield.
Cynthia, after being defeated by the new Sinnoh champion, was encourage by Scott to become a Frontier Brain. She was part of the same frontier division as Ash and was the second hardest to defeat, only after the pyramid king himself.
Ash entered the field just in time to witness Garchomp delivering a powerful Dragon Claw on a Beedrill. The bug type fell to the attack, knocked out.
"Beedrill is unable to battle! The winner is Cynthia!" The referee exclaimed who happened to be one of Brock's younger siblings. The challenger sighed and returned his fallen Pokémon. Cynthia walked over to him and laid a hand on his shoulder. It appeared she was encouraging him. He smiled and nodded before leaving.
Brock smiled and walked over to his wife. The blonde turned to him and smiled as well. Cynthia, like Brock, really hadn't changed much either, she even wore the same black dress she wore back when she was Sinnoh's champion, but most likely because Kanto was experiencing cooler weather.
"I still can't believe after all these years," May whispered. "Brock got a woman like Cynthia."
Ash nodded as the doctor and frontier brain kissed. "I know, right?" Ash replied quietly. "I thought he would always be single."
"I heard that." Brock called back flatly. The two walked over to Cynthia and Brock.
"It's been a while." Cynthia said, embracing Ash and May. "I haven't seen you two since... New Years?"
Ash nodded. "Yeah, that was it." he said with a smile.
There was a brief silence before Brock gestured for everyone to go inside. "Come in, no need to stand out here." he said.
They all stepped inside and sat down in the living room. The room was large, featuring two couches placed facing each other and a coffee table in-between. There was a large flat screen TV hanging on the wall and the room was lit by natural sunlight, which came through large windows that virtually wrapped all the way around the room. Brock didn't let any expenses go to waste when it came to interior design.
"How's the life of the Pyramid King going?" Cynthia asked as she sat down on one couch with Brock, across from Ash and May.
"Good," Ash said, putting a smile on his face.
"Ash has been going through a depression." May said bluntly. "He just doesn't like bringing it up."
Ash grumbled a few un-understandable words, slouching on the couch a little. "Oh, I'm sorry." Cynthia said sympathetically. She turned to Brock. "That's never good, have you asked Brock about it?"
Brock sighed and scratched his head. "I have developed a few theories." he said. "It could be because of many things, lack of sleep maybe?"
Ash shook his head. "I slept fine before my depression." he said. "Now I'm hardly sleeping at all."
Brock scratched his chin, "Have you been losing a lot of battles lately?" He asked.
Ash shook his head again, "No. I've been doing exceedingly well with the Regis."
May smiled proudly. "He's yet to lose a single battle since he obtained his title as Pyramid King." she said.
"Huh," Brock grunted. He seemed impressed. "I was just wondering because that's a little like what happened to Cynthia."
When Cynthia lost her title as Sinnoh Champion, she ran off and fell into a depression. She knew she should have been happy for the new champion, but she had been crushed in battle so easily. She had never seen her Pokémon fall so quickly. Her opponent's strategy was too much for her, and the Pokémon used where amazingly powerful. Her defeat had been disheartening, humiliating even. She felt ashamed of herself for letting her Pokémon down so easily.
That was where Brock came in. The Pokémon doctor in training came to the woman in her time of need. He was there to comfort her, hold her, and give her a shoulder to cry on; eventually was able to bring her out of her depression, bringing her back to her normal cheerful self.
"And you haven't had a death in the family recently?" Brock asked finally.
Ash and May exchanged glances before both shaking their heads. "Nope. All my relatives are alive and well." Ash said, sitting up straight on the couch again. May scooted closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I don't really know what else to tell you." Brock said with an honest shrug. "The few times I've been depressed... It was because I couldn't get a woman to like me... Is that your problem?"
Cynthia scowled and smacked Brock's leg with the back of her hand. "What do you mean, asking a question like that?" She scolded him. "He happens to be married to May, if you don't recall!"
Brock looked at Cynthia for a moment before bowing his head. "She's right, I'm sorry." he apologized, looking up at the brunette.
May put on a smile and nodded. "Oh it's no big deal." she said, but his suggestion began to stir her previous suspicions once again. She did her best to keep a smile on her face though, not wanting the others to worry.
"So moving on to brighter topics." Ash began with a small chuckle. "What have you guys been up to?" he asked Brock and Cynthia.
"Oh! That reminds me, we have the most exciting news." Cynthia said, patting her stomach. "We have a child on the way."
May gasped. "Really? That's great!" She said excitedly. Ash could already tell that this was going to turn into girl talk. He sighed and stood up, motioning for Brock to follow him into the kitchen.
"Sorry, I just can't stand it when they have conversations like this." Ash said with a slight laugh as they walked into the kitchen. He spun around and sat on the counter. "It's like they just saw a new Twilight movie... Times ten."
Brock smiled and grabbed an apple out of a fruit bowl. He tossed it to Ash, who was quick to catch it. "Yeah, Cynthia's really excited about it though." he said. "She loves taking care of my siblings as much as I do. She's thrilled that we're going to have our own child."
"She sure changed a lot since she was the Sinnoh Champ..." Ash said, taking a loud bite from his apple.
"We all have." Brock said, taking another apple from the bowl and biting into it.
"So do you know if the child is a boy or a girl?" Ash asked, taking another bite of his apple.
Brock shook his head. "No. I want to know what it is, but Cynthia wants to keep it a surprise." he said, taking a deep breath. "Did May ever want to keep a baby's gender a surprise?"
Ash laughed. "May? She begs me to tell her what her Christmas present is every year." Ash said, still chuckling. "She wouldn't be able to stand to keep it a surprise."
"You want to keep it a surprise?" May asked, a flabbergasted expression on her face. "But why?"
Cynthia smiled and thought for a moment. "It adds to the thrill of it all." she explained. "The mystery behind the gender makes it exciting."
May's brow furrowed in confusion. "Ugh, that would drive me crazy." May admitted, rubbing her scalp.
"May... Is something wrong?" Cynthia asked. She stood up and walked over to the couch May was sitting on, and placing herself down next to her.
May remained quiet for a second, before sighing in defeat. "Um... I-I've been thinking about Ash's depression." May stammered, feeling a little embarrassed. "What if... What if what Brock said before was true?"
Cynthia gasped and laid a hand on May's shoulder. "You can't think that way." She insisted. "Ash loves you more than anything in the world!"
May averted her gaze to the ground. "I-I know... I'm sure he does..." she said. "But the other day I saw him interacting with Misty... And I could only-"
"You can't say things like that." Cynthia said calmly, her soft tone comforting May. "You mustn't even think things like that."
May took a deep breath. "You're right..." She said, smiling confidently at Cynthia. "I'm just worried."
"There's no need to be worried." Cynthia assured her. "You're a wonderful, beautiful young woman. Ash wouldn't give you up for the world."
Suddenly, the front door swung open. In a frenzy, Flint and Pikachu dashed into the house.
"Grandpa is hurt!"
Old age sure takes its toll. It's rather funny. It can even bring the most powerful man to his knees. It's the sixth stage of the seven ages of man, as Shakespeare would say, “the lean and slipper'd pantaloon.”
Giovanni let out a groan as he laid in the cool grass. Amy was kneeling beside him, worry written all over her face. "The old grey mare... She ain't what she used to be." Giovanni grunted with a painful chuckle. He had been playing hide and seek with the children, when his back suddenly went out.
"Don't worry, Grampa." Amy said comfortingly. "Flint will be back with Daddy in no time."
"Looks like he's finally useful for something." he joked, taking a deep breath. Amy found his statement amusing and laughed.
Giovanni rolled his head to his side to see Ash and Brock running over to him, Flint and Pikachu were hot on their heels. Ash quickly knelt down by his father, panting from the run. "Are you okay?" he asked, concern laced in his voice.
"I've been better..." Giovanni grunted. "My back went out, could you help me up?"
Ash and Brock were quick to assist the aging man up, gently getting him back up on his feet. Ash wrapped Giovanni's arm around his shoulder to support him. Together, they began to make their way back to Brock's house.
"Will Grandpa be okay?" Flint asked his dad. He seemed to be quite concerned.
Ash and Giovanni exchanged glances. "Yeah, he'll be fine." Ash said with a comforting smile. He was pleased to see the concern Flint showed. He cared a lot for his grandfather.
They arrived to the house, where they sat Giovanni down on the couch. "Just rest here, Dad. You'll feel better in no time." Ash said, patting his father on the shoulder.
May peeked around the corner and into the room, seeing Ash and Brock had returned with Giovanni. She disappeared around the corner for a moment before stepping into the room, a tea cup in her hand.
"Are you okay, Giovanni?" She asked, walking over to him.
The man chuckled and sat back in the soft couch. "I've had better days." he said simply.
May smiled softly and held the tea out. "Cynthia brewed you some tea." she said. "It should make you feel better."
Giovanni thanked May as he took the tea cup, taking a sip of the warm tea. He hummed in satisfaction and smirked. "Tell Cynthia it's splendid," he said before taking another sip of the tea.
Brock playfully nudged May. "Well, he came back in one piece." he joked quietly.
May rolled her eyes. "Barely."
The clinks of silverware and plates could be heard around the dinner table at the Harrison residence, along with the shouting of children.
"Have a boy!"
"Have a girl!"
"Have a BOY!"
"Have a GIRL!"
Flint and Amy were shouting at Cynthia, who had just informed them she was expecting. The two couldn't quite come to an agreement on the gender she was supposed to "decide" she would have.
"Both of you cut it out!" May shouted fiercely.
They paid no heed to May, infuriating the woman more. She stood up from the table and grabbed them both by the ears, dragging them out of the room as they both yelped in pain.
"Sorry about that." Ash muttered, taking a bite of his burger. "I don't think they're familiar with how giving birth goes."
Cynthia laughed as she poked her salad with a fork. "Apparently not," she agreed.
"I can see their vocal cords are in fine condition." Brock said as be twirled his pinkie around in his ear.
Ash chuckled and nodded. "They get lots of practice." he assured them.
"Pika..." Pikachu agreed with a sigh, pulling down his ears. He was sitting on the ground next to a bottle of ketchup.
Flint and Amy silently returned to the dinner table with May. They both apologized to Cynthia for shouting at her. With that, they sat down at their seats and resumed eating.
"Where do babies come from?" Amy asked suddenly, causing May to almost spit out her food.
Brock leaned forward and rested his arm on the table, a smirk on his face as he looked at Amy. "Well, when a man and a woman are deeply in love-"
"Brock, shut up!" May interrupted. "Ash, where do babies come from?"
"Wait. Why am I answering this?" he asked, pointing to himself.
"You're a battler, you can think fast and effectively!" May insisted.
"Says the coordinator." Ash replied, gesturing to May.
"Think fast about what?" Flint questioned, looking back and forth from his mother to his father.
Brock spoke up again, "You're parents are going to lie- Hey!" He was cut off from a slap on the arm by Cynthia.
"Lie?" Amy asked.
May huffed and gestured to Ash, "Yeah, well I got nothing! So improvise!"
Amy was now even more confused. "What's an improvise?"
"A baby, comes from a Swanna." Ash explained to his children. "At night, it flies the babies to the parents' doorstep, and they take care of the baby."
"A Swanna named Virginity?" Giovanni muttered quietly, chuckling to himself.
"Yes... Wait- NO!" Ash exclaimed. May sighed and face palmed.
" What?" Brock asked, clearly confused as to what was going on.
Flint sat up straighter, anxious to answer. "Grampa took Virginity." Flint explained to Brock. "It was Gramma's."
"Wrong choice of words, Flint..." Ash sighed, rubbing his scalp. "Wrong choice of words..."
Like when they had visited the Oaks, the time had come to part ways with the Harrisons. They all stood outside of the large house the two stayed in as the Ketchums prepared to leave.
To Ash, the day had gone by far too quickly. He couldn't believe the sun had already set behind the buildings of Pewter City. Now, the sky had grown to be a shade of dark orange, and a chilly evening breeze blew through the air.
"Still can't believe you almost spilled the beans about the birds and the bees to my children." Ash said with a laugh as he shook Brock's hands. "But I should have expected that from you."
"Birds and bees?" Flint asked.
Ash glared at Brock and pointed. "Not a word." he told him.
Meanwhile, May and Cynthia embraced, saying their final goodbyes. "Remember what I told you." Cynthia said quietly as they let go of each other. "You have no reason to worry."
May nodded and smiled. "You're right. I've got nothing to worry about." she said.
Easier said than done.
Cynthia turned to Flint and Amy, "You two behave yourselves." Cynthia said, kneeling down next to them. She smiled and hugged them both.
"And make sure to pet a Swanna next time you see one." Brock said with a smirk, walking over and ruffling the children's hair. Cynthia rolled her eyes at Brock's comment.
"Just shut up, Brock."