Disclaimer: Pokemon belongs to Nintendo and Shogakukan Comics. This non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfiction belongs to me under international copyright laws and taking it is plagiarism. Thank you. *Phantomness bows*

Notes: () for telepathy, ** for thoughts, italics if a pokemon talks

Chapter 8/Epilogue


"But if I loved him, I would let him go, right?" Red asked.

There were pokémon around him, Lance's pokémon, but they did not reply.

"Is this permanent?"

No. Aerodactyl said. I do not think he will sleep more than a few months. He is not truly dead after all, just… hibernating?

"Oh…"


Red nodded, before he opened his hastily packed lunch of dried fish and began to nibble on it. "So… um…"

Yes?

"I feel kind of conceited asking this, but does Lance like me?"

Of course! You are quiet and helpful and a good trainer.

Red flushed, but accepted the praise. He shot another glance at the Dragon Master, still sleeping peacefully. "So I guess he got tired healing pokémon."

It is very taxing, but that is only part of the reason.

"Part of the reason? What's the other part?"

I can't tell you.

"Why not?"

Because it is Master Lance's secret, not mine.

Red blinked at Ptera, but he settled his wings and said no more, so the Champion had to be content with the little bit of information he knew.

Maybe Lance did just need a break…

But if that was all, why did his pokémon look so sad? Were they lonely? That was a good explanation.

Red splashed in the water with them, and they seemed happier, so he concluded they just needed a friend.

Well, he was good at being friends with pokémon!


After two weeks or so, the crystal shell around Lance dissolved. The Dragon Master shook himself awake, looking better than he had in a long time. Red blushed and hastily looked away as he realized that Lance was practically naked, with only a sheet wrapped around his hips.

He did have nice skin though…

Lance smiled at Red, shaking his head, sending light sparkling off his hair. His skin glittered like pale moonlight, and his eyes were as brilliant gold as Red remembered.

"Why are you here? Worried about me?"

Red managed a nod.

"Thank you." Lance said softly, and those two words seemed to set his body aflame. Was he getting ill?


Ptera snickered, as he watched Lance pull his robes on. Red squeezed his eyes shut and tried hard not to peek, but couldn't resist completely.

Lance dressed, tying the sash around his waist, before he smiled. "I suppose I'll be returning to work now."

"Where are you going?"

"Seafoam islands."

"Oh." Red deflated. "I thought you'd be coming home."

Lance turned to stare at him, something imperceptible in his eyes. "Home?" He echoed quietly.

"Why not?"

"That is not my home any longer, Red."

"You mean because of Misty and Yellow."

Lance nodded, and Red sighed. He should have known that it would not be easy. But…

Lance stared at him as Red threw his arms around him and hugged him. "Then can I stay with you?"

"Why would you want to stay with me? You have her."

"Because I'm lonely." Red told Lance. "Yellow is with Misty. And you're lonely too, so why can't we stay together?"

He did not have a ready reply to that question, and Red grinned, satisfied.


Lance shook his head. "I'm not sure we should…"

"Why? I like you. Do you not like me?"

"I do like you, but not in that way!"

Red flushed. "You-you mean…"

"Yes."

"Wow." Red breathed, and that was when Lance kissed him. The Champion looked gratifyingly starry-eyed by the time it was over.

"I…I don't mind." Red murmured, and Lance chuckled as he kissed the Champion again, holding him close.

No more needed to be said, and deep in the caverns, the legendaries smiled and silently applauded.


End Fic

Completed 12/31/06

Lance: Finished in time for the last fic of the old year?

Phantomness: ^^V HAI!

Red: *Hugs Phantomness*

Phantomness: *Preen*