An offer you can't refuse.
Ash audibly gulped as he stared up at his long time rival who was leaning against the door looking ever so casually cocky. That usual sly smirk plaster on his damn face, and his eyes half lidded just to annoy the other. He looked much older than he did years ago. Taller, fuller hair that was still spiked froward, he had a bit of muscle on him from working around Pokemon all day long, though his face had grown a bit softer. Loosing that sharp childish look, much more adult like. He had a pair of reading glasses on the top of his head with a white lab coat, purple shirt and loose fitting jeans.
Ashes cheeks were bright pink when that name slipped off Garys tongue so smoothly, like he had just said it yesterday. “I-I told you not to call me that!” Ash grumped and folded his arms, pouting like he was a kid again, causing Gary to laugh rather hard.
“Sorry Ashy but that's the only thing I can call ya anymore.” He grinned and looked down when Pikachu bolted between his legs to get inside and stood next to the heater, letting out a happy “Chaaa” as his little pika-body warmed up. “Well, aren't you gunna come in. Your letting out all my hot air.” Gary frowned and stepped aside, holding the door open for the other.
Ash hadn't realized just how cold it had gotten. He was to focused on meeting his rival again that everything around him just went numb. His mind clicked back to exactly where he was and the cold hit him like a ton of bricks. He shivered harshly and quickly stepped inside, rubbing his arms for warmth as Gary shut the door.
As Ash warmed up and took off his coat and shoes, dropping them on the ground next to the door. Gary strode over and pushed the other into the wall with two finger, slamming his hand next to the others head. “You’ve got some nerve Ashy...” Gary’s intense glare burned at the others soul.
“Gahh, wh-wadya mean!” Ash flinched, scared stiff as he sunk his neck into his shoulders, trying disparately to back further into the wall in hopes of getting away from his rival.
“You don’t talk to your best friend in eight years, then you decide to show up at my front door with out making plans or warning me.” He growled. “Your lucky gramps called last night and I was able to fix up the guest bedroom for you. I swear, you’re still the same kid I knew eight years ago.” He pulled away and hung up Ashes coat.
Ash wasn’t exactly the same as he was before looks wise. He was taller, still not as tall as his rival but getting close to him. His hair was in the same shape and the same length, his arms and legs were probably lankier and he still didn’t have any tone, or at least not much. He also still had those Z’s on his cheeks, giving him a kiddish look. “I-I am not...” He grumped and folded his arms, looking around the lab.
It was actually rather huge. Much larger on the inside than the outside. He was currently standing in the living room with a fairly large TV, and accost from him what looked like a kitchen and dining room. He could also see a study in the corner of the room with mounds of books, papers, and a computer on a desk that hadn’t been turned off yet. As well as a staircase that probably lead to bedrooms. “Wow...” Ash murmured and looked around. “This is much bigger than Professor Oak’s lab...” He walked around, stopping at the coat closet where Gary was standing.
“Feh, I am Professor Oak.” Gary grinned cheekily and folded his arms.
“...I guess your right.” Ash thought and chuckled. “Well then Professor Gary Oak how about that.” He smiled.
“Hmm...I like it.” Gary smiled, only due to the fact that he actually liked Ash using his name for some reason. Just the way it rolled off his tongue. Made him feel much more satisfied than some of the one night stands he had. “You eaten yet Ashy?” the brunet put his hands in his pockets, looking up as his Umbreon waltzed downstairs, wondering what was taking his master so long.
The shadow Pokemon spied the electric mouse in front of the heater and growled while walking over, not recognizing the Pokemon at first. It wasn’t until Pikachu said a few words in poketalk and Umbreon looked over to see Ash that it remembered the other.
Ash watched the two Pokemon communicating in their own way, glad to see the two remembered one another. “Hmm..no, I’m starving!” Ash rubbed his stomach with a frown when Gary’s question registered in his mind.
“No problem. I know this nice Chinese Buffet down the street. I go there a lot. They've got some amazing Teriyaki Chicken.” He grinned, pulling the others coat back out and tossing it to him. He himself took off his lab coat and put on his jean jacket, putting his glasses in the pocket of the lab coat before hanging it up where his coat was.
“Alright, that sounds great!” Ash grinned. “Come on Pika-”
“Sorry Ash.” Gary interrupted the other. “I don’t like Pokemon at my dinner table. I’d prefer not to get pika hair in my rice. And besides, the restaurant won’t allow Pokemon in it anyway.”
“But...” Ash muttered, looking to his pal. He had never went anywhere with out Pikachu at his side. It was going to feel kinda lonesome not having his warm body on his shoulder.
“He’ll be fine Ashy!” Gary walked over and put an arm around the others shoulders. “Umbreon will take care of him. He’s a Pokemon, he knows how to defend himself. If something happens i’m sure they can take care of themselves.” He smiled genuinely, trying to reassure the other. “You gotta give him a break, let him do his own thing. Sometimes Pokemon need to be left alone for a while, they may be your friend but they’re still wild animals.”
“Alright fine, if you say so Professor...” Ash looked down. “Sorry buddy.” He waved to the mouse who looked up and smiled, waving the other off before going back to playing with Umbreon.
Gary locked the door to the lab behind him, twirling his key ring around his finger as they walked down the street. “So...what have you been up to...all these years.” He looked over to the raven haired boy, his voice growing much softer, a more friendly tone.
“Mmm...not much...I’d been helping out at the lab, and helping mom with the house keeping. I recently went back to Unova to work some more on the Pokedex for Oak. Ohh, that reminds me! I’ve gotta give that information to you to!” Ash looked back at the other.
“We'll worry about it tomorrow.” Gary shrugged. “Sounds like you’ve been busy.”He chuckled. “We all know you Ash, never able to stay still in one spot.” He chuckled as Ash grew red in embarrassment. “I...watched you in the Unova League a few months ago...” He admitted. “ 3rd place ain’t bad.”
“You...watched me...” Ash looked to the other in bewilderment. When did Gary suddenly give the time of day about watching him in a league. Still, the thought of it gave him this warm fuzzy sensation.
“I had nothing better to do.” The other shrugged and looked back at the sidewalk. “You really have gotten stronger though. You acted so much more like an adult. You actually used strategy, were aware of your surroundings. Reminded me a lot of our fight at the Silver League.” He smiled, still a bit hurt that he lost.
Ash grinned as they walked into the restaurant, getting their food and digging in. They both sat across from each other, Gary watching Ash pig out. It was weird. Something about being with Gary changed him. He didn’t feel lonesome or out of place with out his Pokemon for once. He felt comfortable in an adult setting. He even realized he wasn’t using his manners and actually ate properly for once. He never acted like this at home, or with friends, but with Gary it was all different. And in a way he liked it. He watched the brunet stab a chunk of chicken with a fork and bring it to his mouth, blushing lightly when he caught himself staring at the others lips.
“Hey Ash...” Gary spoke up. “You ever...think about what your going to do with your life. I mean, you can’t travel forever. You gotta get a job at some point.” He watched Ash munch on a mushroom.
Ash looked at his plate. He never really did think about what he wanted in life. He always thought that stuff would come to him. He knew his mom would sometimes ask him about it but he always brushed it off. “I-I don’t know really...” The other frowned. “I wouldn't know where to go...what to do...I’m not good at anything but Pokemon.” He sighed.
“I’m not either...” Gary tilted his head. The statement was rather out of character for the professor, but he didn’t want to be rude. Something that was also out of character.
“What are you talking about Gary, your smart, kind, generous, have Oak as your grandpa, you’ve got good looks...you have everything.” He other looked back up, blushing at his last statement and took off his hat and setting it next to him. “Me, i’m just some kid from Pallet Town.”
There was quite a long silence between the two. The only noise was the background chatter and the scraping of Ashes fork on his plate as he absentmindedly played with his beef rice.“You could...Work with me...at the lab.” Gary casually suggested, in truth he didn’t want to have to see Ash leave again tomorrow. “You said you worked with Grandpa, I’m sure the work wouldn’t be any different. It is Pokemon, and you said yourself your good with them. And, I hear Snowpoint might need a new gym leader at some point soon. If you’re ok with using ice and water types.” He smiled. “I even have a few at the lab I could let you train up.”
Ashes head shot up and he looked to the other wide eyed. Gary was being genuinely nice to him. “Y-you really mean it...” He asked. “You...think I have what it takes...”
“I know you do.” Gary grinned. “They’ll look at your past leagues, 3rd place is nothing to scoff at Ash. I’m sure you’ll get the position if you show your knowledge of ice and water. I could help you study to. I’ve got nothing better to do right now. It could be fun.”
Ash felt his heart swell and tears from in his eyes. A smile growing on his lips. “Your the best Gary!” He giggled happily, finishing up his meal and walking back to the lab with the other. He giggled when he seen Pikachu and Umbreon sleeping in the middle of the living room, all sprawled out after some hard playtime. He followed the other upstairs, getting the grand tour before stopping at his room.
“Well...night Ash. Its good to see you again.” The professor smiled.
“Night...” Ash looked down the back to the other, pulling him into a friendly hug.”Thank you...for what you said earlier.” He sighed and Gary chuckled.
“Don’t mention it.” The other hugged the smaller boy back rather awkwardly, watching Ash go into his room. He walked accost the hall, shutting the door and leaning against it. Looking back at the door with a grin. “I missed you Ash.” He sighed and hit the hay.