"This is how far you'll follow me."
Stop Following the Red Roses

Ash x May one-shot
"…Find your own path."

Ash just watched from the corner of the hallway with a glare at the man his female travelling companion was sharing a conversation with. He was in no mood to wait any longer, she promised it would be short and then both would head to the gym together. Ash gazed at the wall clock and noticed it had been fifteen minutes since May asked Ash to wait for her. Ash gazed at his furry yellow companion who was just as tried of waiting as he was.

"Give it another five minutes." Trying to convince him and Pikachu to wait a little longer. Looking over his shoulder, "Oh whom am I kidding?" Stretching his arms into the air. "She's all over him." Looking back at the pair Ash sighed as he placed his arms behind his head.

Ash continued to stare at May with silence. He had never seen her that happy since they started to travel with one another when the first met only a few months ago. Everyday now just seem not exciting as before. A daily routine that he knew from heart, Eat, train, eat and sleep. Ash couldn't even recall the last time he helped May train or battle against one another.

"Maybe it's my fault we are drifting apart." He muttered. "Maybe she'll leave me because I'm that boring." Ash pondered but came to no conclusion. Looking down at his Pokémon who was lying against his leg. "Hey buddy, do you think I'm boring?"

Without moving form his position, Pikachu looked up and shook his head. "Cha."

Looking back at his female companion Ash went back into thought. "Then what is it then? Why is she so obsessed with this Drew guy?"

"Maybe she just wants to get to know her rivals better, find their weak spots and try to be better then them."

Turning around he had noticed Brock had come to get them both. "But just look at her, she's hardly saying anything. All she is doing is smell the rose he gave her and smiling at him constantly. You don't get to know somebody by staring at them without saying anything." The trainer crossed her arms and pouted.

"Are you jealous because she doesn't talk to you like that like she use to?" The breeder asked the boy. A soft blush appeared across his cheeks.

"No, it's just annoying. I could be in a battle right now!" Ash waved his arms carelessly in the air.

Brock laughed and patted Ash on the back a few times. "She doesn't see Drew that often. Give them a chance to catch up." Brock heard Ash sigh once more. Knowing that Ash didn't like the idea of waiting even more.

May looked back at her group of friends after hearing loud outbursts from Ash after waiting for her for fifteen minutes. She had been admiring her rival and his new Pokémon and his new skills he had been training in the last few months since they last saw one another. She didn't hear what Ash's loud outbursts were about but she knew he wasn't happy.

"You better go. I think Ash wants to head to his gym battle now." Drew chuckled after. "You should know how impatience your friend could get when it comes to battling."

Replying with a laugh, "Yes, I should know that better than anybody else." Running ahead she turned back and gave a wave to Drew before reuniting with her two friends. "Sorry!" May bowed her head in an apologetic manner. "Did I keep you waiting for too long?"

"Ye-" Ash's answer was interrupted when Brock covered his mouth with his hands.

"No, it was alright. Let's go and catch up with Max now." The breeder sweat dropped. Ash finally escaped from Brock's grip and continued his answer.

"Can't believe I even considered waiting for you!"

Ash made his impact even clearer as he stomped out of the building. May gazed at Ash and back at Brock with confusion. With a pat on the shoulder from Brock he made he way out. May shook her confusion away as she placed the rose into her fanny pack before taking her leave.

May looked around and felt her hand being tugged back. Turning around she had noticed it was Drew. He gazed at her wondering why her face was all red.

"You dropped this." Drew handed the rose May had thought she had placed in bag.

"T-Thanks." May bowed down and smiled.

"Anyway I was wondering if you're going to enter into the contest here in town? Cause I'll be entering too." A light pink blush was on the boy's cheeks. "I'll be looking forward to fighting you in the finals." He flicked his hair before taking his leave with a wave.

May held the rose to her nose as she watched Drew walking away from her. She looked at him in a romantic manner, as she held onto the rose tighter. That moment was interrupted when saw Ash in the corner of her eye with a blank and innocent glare before being replaced with disappointment. She saw his lips move before heading towards the gym.

Shaking his head Ash repeated the words he spoke to May earlier, "I didn't raise you to be fooled by others." As he arrived to the gym he was filled with excitement until he saw Max standing at the front of the gym. Ash quickly stopped when he saw Max running towards him.

"The gym is closed for a few days. The gym leader is on leave and just left."

Ash had felt he had turned into dust. After days of training he was all ready. He had his plan all set up, his team was ready but the gym leader wasn't. Ash ran past Max and walked to the doors and read the noticed place on it. With a disappointed manner he rested his back against the glass door. Max could see the sadness in his eyes and even regret…but Max didn't understand why he would feel regret.

Turning the other side he noticed his sister running as fast as she could go to the gym. May nearly fell off her feet when she made the stop in front of her younger brother. Max didn't have to say a word, as the emotions he and Ash were showing were good enough reasons to tell her the story.

"This isn't good. Not good at all." Max repeated to his older sister. "Things like this is never a good thing." The boy teased.

"Alright I got the picture!" May snapped. "So it's my fault we didn't get to the gym in time." May crossed her arms. "I'm sorry!"

"If you didn't waste your time flirting with Drew then I could have had my badge by now." Ash muttered. The trio continued to sit in front of the gym. Lying lazily against the glass doors of the gym Ash looked by at the noticed placed on the other side of the door. It was closed for the next few days as the gym leader had gone on leave. "Can't believe this." Rolling his eyes Ash picked himself onto his feet.

"I said I was sorry!" Quickly getting to her feet. "It won't happen again I promise Ash!"

"You said that before." Turning around to face the brunette. "We were late for dinner because you wanted to see Drew's training in action. We were late to see the gym leader's speech because you helped Drew to pick what moves to use. Now we are late because you talked to him longer than you promised!" Ash pointed at May. "Not to mention he has given you roses nearly every time you would see each other and that you hardly say a words to him and just nod!" Calming him down. "I'm leaving." Ash jumped down a few flight of stairs.

Both siblings watched as the upset trainer made his way away from them against. May looked at him in confusion once more but all her thinking resulted in a sigh. She looked down at her brother as he jumped down the stairs like Ash had done earlier. He then looked up at his sister.

"You should really stop taking Ash's generosity for granted sis. He has sacrificed a lot of things for you. Remember that time he lost his gym battle because he was too busy helping you to train for your contest?"

Tapping her fingers together with a blush of embarrassment. "I remember that well." Looking back at her brother. "That was my fault."

"I know I'm younger than you all but that doesn't mean I don't notice what is happening around here." Max took off his glassed and cleaned them with his shirt. "But I think your pressing his buttons too much lately and I do agree that you have been spending too much time with Drew. If you want to get to know your rivals a little better, battle them, talk to them." Max began to run after Ash as he waved his hands calling him to wait for him.

Guilt started to flow all over her as she gazed at the rose Drew had given to her earlier. Without a single thought she released her grip on the rose and laid it on the front step of the gym and chased after the person that had risked his dreams for her.

Dark skies began to cover the city into darkness. May still remained outside and refused to see Ash after realising the things she had done against him. Sitting on the park bench she gazed at the sea ahead of her. The night breeze was cool as she watched the tree branches sway with the breeze. Then something white floated passed her sight. Catching it with ease she opened her palm and noticed it was a white rose petal. Looking around for a flower garden caused the woman to sit up and walk where the petal could of come from.

May soon found that she had landed herself into the garden park that was filled more than white roses. There were tulips, daisies, marigolds and many more. The garden lights lit up a path as soon they sensed it was dark. Some local Pokémon came to the garden and began to play or admire the flowers. Some flowers surrounded local fruits trees. Reaching up, May picked the apple she had her sights on. About to take a bite from it, she heard a duo of Skittys begging to share the apple with them. Without thinking twice the coordinator but the apple and two and watch the two ran away with their treat.

Continuing to walk on the lit path May began to ponder. "How on earth am I going to say sorry to Ash?" Holding her hands behind her back. "I've done so many horrible things to him." Looking up towards the full moon. "For the last month or so all I've been doing is chasing Drew like a silly fan girl. Where do I start?"

"You could start by stop following the red roses."

With shock May turned around and saw it was Ash, who was now much calmer than last time.

"Stop following the red roses?" May questioned. She saw Ash nod.

"Don't you think it's because of those silly flowers that your admiration for Drew has increased?" Ash took a few steps closer to May. "I mean we kind of got the drift that they aren't for Beautifly anymore."

"So you noticed." May replied as she covered her blushing face.

"Well yeah, I mean what can Beautifly do with so many roses anyway?" Ash laughed. Walking pass her Ash reached for the apple tree May had been moments before. May turned around to only be greeted by an apple Ash had thrown at her.

Taking a bite from the fruit of his own, "Hungry?"

"Not really." May held the apple in her hands. "I just had one just before."

"Ah." The boy grinned as he turned around and walked down the garden path.

May watched him before looking back at the apple. She had no idea where to start her apologetic speech to him. Taking a sigh of relief, May decided to was best to put the idea off and go with the flow. Tagging behind Ash both teenagers didn't share a really depth conversation. It would start off by one of them and the other would reply with "yeah" or "it's alright."

"So are you going to train tomorrow?" May attempted to start another conversation with Ash.

"Maybe." Ash took the last bite from his apple before throwing it at a nearby bin but missed. "Damn." Turning around to face May. "Sorry for acting such a jerk today. I should have been more understanding."

"No I should say sorry for being a jerk to you! All I've been thinking is myself for the last month. I mean you haven't been winning your matches as much because you've been looking out for me!" May explained. "It's all my fault that you didn't get to gym on time. If I didn't speak to Drew then maybe you could have had your battle before the gym leader left."

May's speech was interrupted when Ash patted her head and smiled. "Don't feel bad. I'm all right; you can hang around Drew more if you want. I mean you hardly see each other right?"

Grabbing his hand May look at her friend seriously. "No it's not. I'm going to spend time with you and my friends. I've abandoned you guys for too long!"

"May you really don't have to-"

"But I-"

"Forget what I said about the following the red rose thing. Go follow them if that is what you really want." Ash spoke softly.

May froze. "W-What do you mean?"

"I'm saying that if you really want to travel for Drew, then go." Ash slipped away from May's grip. "I think it will be better if you travel with a coordinator rather than a trainer like myself."

"Are you-" May spoke but was interrupted once more.

"I'm letting you go May." Taking a few steps back, Ash smiled warmly at her before leaving. "I think it's the best for you."

May took a step forward before taking it back as she watched Ash leave her sight. She couldn't accept his words that he didn't want her to fulfil her dreams with him anymore. Only then the realisation of losing the man that changed her view on life and Pokémon sunk in. Her ignorance for the last few days made the pain harder to bear.

She was about to lose Ash, Brock and even Max. She about to lose the wonderful memories they would create together. The intense battles they would face together. The friends they would make together.

Holding her tears back, a friend came across her. Drew.

"May?" The male coordinator greeted. "May?" He repeated. He soon noticed she didn't reply at first because of her emotions.

Wiping her tears away May greeted her rival with a smile. Looking concerned Drew walked closer to her. "Did something bad happen?" All May could do was reply with was with the shake of the head. "Don't lie to me now." Drew wanted to place his hand on her shoulder but backed away.

"It's-its Ash, his letting me go." Looking at Drew. "He sees how happy I am with you so he wants me to travel with you instead."

"You don't really look happy with me right now." Placing his hands into his pockets. "I think you're more happy when you're with him then you would ever be with me."

May looked at him in confusion. "I don't understand."

"You normally don't notice until you're about to lose it." Taking her hand both of them made their way out of the park. "I like the May I first met back at Slateport. The one that was confident, strong and passionate about her dreams. That was the reason I started to respect you as a coordinator." Releasing her grip on his hand both noticed they were on the main road of the city. "I think we all would be happy if things stayed the same don't you think?" Drew looked down at May and waited for to look at him. "I would."

"You want us to stay as rivals?"

"By the way you have reacted by losing Ash, I think all we can be are friendly rivals." Pulling a rose from a nearby rose bush. "Take this. This is how far you'll follow me." Flicking his hair Drew smiled and began to walk away. "Find your own path now." He called without looking back.

All May could do was smile before looking the other way and noticed the Pokecenter she and her other friends were staying at. Looking at both sides of the road May quickly made her way across and hoped that the centre was still open. As the doors opened May rushed in and looked all around, hoping to come across Ash. Luckily she had as the trainer was lazily making his way up the stairs with Pikachu encouraging him to go faster.

"I'm going as fast as I can." Ash replied sleepily. "Today has been such a day." When he reached the top Ash stretched his arms into the air and was about to yawn until he felt warm soft arms embracing him from the back. He looked down and noticed a rose. It was red in the centre and faded into white at the end of the petals.

"I'm staying and I don't care what you think."

Smiling, Ash released May's grip on him, turned around and grabbed her hands. "You didn't go?"

"No. I'm happy the ways are now. Everyone is, so I want to stay the way it is." May held Ash's hands tighter. "I am, are you?"

Blushing slightly, "Yeah. I like the way things are now."

Smiling May ran into his arms and embraced the trainer even tighter. "I know there will be the time where we have to take different paths and leave each other but right now all I want to do is train the best I can with you and everyone I know by my side." Looking up, "I want to enjoy every moment we are together." May grinned.

Ash couldn't contain his happiness and placed his forehead against hers. "I couldn't agree more." Closing his eyes briefly before opened them once more and staring at May romantically. "I really love the way things are now right now. I really do."


A/N:Well, another oneshot from me! xD I've been stuck with this plot for ages! I think i've rewritten this about five times, some were eight pages long! But after reading them i've kinda put them all together. I'm really glad it all worked out right! You know, i don't think i've written a one-shot that is based on early AG. most of them are mainly about the Wallace cup or some random AU event in Sinnoh. xD

I'm really proud the way this has turned out. I hope you enjoyed reading it.