"-so I ended up having to wear a dress just to enter the gym!" Ash exclaimed, swinging his arms wide. Serena giggled, bringing her fingers to cover her mouth and her shoulders shaking. Ash leaned back, palms rubbing against the pebbles on the beach. He sighed at the memory. "Pikachu ended up recognising my scent or something, though. So it didn't really work anyways."
Serena let her hand fall, through her cheeks were still warm from laughing. "Wow, you'll really do whatever it takes to get a badge, won't you?"
"Of course!" Ash sat up straighter, grinning. "I'd wear a thousand dresses if that's what it'd take to fight for a Gym badge!" He made a fist in the air.
Serena broke out into a fit of giggles again. "Would that be over a thousand days, or all at once?"
Ash's confident grin faltered. "Uhh…"
Serena laughed louder, gipping her stomach and covering her mouth. Ash smiled, casting a quick glance down the beach to spot Pikachu and Eevee playing in the shallows a ways away. A light touch on his shoulder jolted him back into his conversation with Serena. He refocused, turning back to face her.
"Hopefully I'll have more luck in the Kalos league than I did in Kanto, though. I've come a long way from the ten year old kid that I was when I started my journey."
"You could've fooled me," Serena smiled.
Ash chuckled, shifting to stop his leg from falling asleep. Serena also shifted, facing him more clearly. Ash noticed that her hand was still on his shoulder, but he made no comment about it. "Oh, come on. There's no need to be mean about it, no one is ten forever."
"I guess you're right. I feel like I've grown so much just over the past few months, just by traveling with you." Serena's voice fell, acting embarrassed by what she was saying.
Ash blinked, surprised about the direction that the conversation had turned in. " I've learned a lot from you as well! And I know Bonnie looks up to you also," Serena smiled up at him, her thumb rubbing in circles on his shoulder.
Not sure how to feel about how close they had somehow become, Ash quickly glanced up at the darkening sky. "It's starting to get dark. We should probably-" His voice was suddenly muffled by the soft presence of Serena's lips on top of his.
He sat stunned for a moment, eyes widened and mouth slack compared to the girls lightly pursed lips. She pressed up against him softly, gently. Ash gerked, pulling his hands up to lightly push her away at the shoulders. "S-serena…"
A muffled crashing noise came from behind the pair. Ash turned, bringing a hand up to his mouth. "What was…" Pikachu called out, pulling the boy's attention away from the forest behind him to see the mouse and Eevee running up the beach to their trainers.
"Oh, Ash! I-I'm so sorry….! I didn't- I thought-" Throughout Serena's stuttering the pokemon had reached their trainers, jumping into their respective lap's. Pikachu nuzzled into Ash's palm, while Eevee tried to comfort her furiously blushing trainer by rubbing her head under the brunette's chin. "Ahh ha…" Serena fanned herself, glancing back at the waterfall in front of the pair, then down to the pebbles on the beach, then to Eevee in her lap.
"E-Eevee, return!" The girl quickly pulled out her Pokeball, enveloping the fuzzy pokemon in a flash or red. She stood up quickly, dusting sand off her skirt.
"W-wait! Serena!" Ash stood too, Pikachu settling on his shoulder. The girl was already beginning to briskly walk off, arms stiff at her sides. "Serena!" Ash called out again, stepping forward to grab her lightly by the wrist. "C-can we talk about what just happened?"
Serena stopped, looking over at him. The boy blushed, letting go. "I mean- I dunno, can we just like, clear this up? I really don't want us to be awkward, Serena." After a few tense moments, the girl sighed, settling down once more on the beach, sitting with her knees folded at her side and brushing a lock of hair behind her ear. "Ok, yeah, that's a good idea." She sighed.
Ash sat down as well, Pikachu sliding down his front to curl up in his lap. The pair sat eye to eye for a moment, then looks opposite ways, blushes once again surfacing. Ash cleared his throat. "So, uh, that was- I mean, you kissed me back there."
Serena's blush deepened, but she nodded, still unable to look at the black haired boy directly. "Y-yeah, I- Sorry, I really should have asked permission first, I know. I tried looking it up in the pokecenter a few days ago, but Bonnie kept looking over my shoulder, so I had to keep switching tabs, and then she- aha.." She trailed off, rubbing the back of her neck. "I don't know, I just thought- The scenery was perfect, we're all alone, and I thought that asking might have ruined the mood, and I wanted it to be spontaneous, so-" She stopped herself, burying her head in her hands. "Wow, I just do not know when to stop talking, do I?" her muffled voice escaped.
Ash felt a pain of guilt, raising his hands though she couldn't see him. "No, no! This is good! You know how dense I am, I just… ugh, I'm so sorry Serena. I don't want to make you feel like this." She raised her head.
"Ash, you've been making me feel this way for months! Ever since we started traveling together!"
"Yes!" Serena laughed, dropping her hands. "Do you really not know how efficiently you've ruined me?"
Ash's shoulder slumped, his chest heavy. "I-I'm sorry! I don't mean to! I thought that-"
"No! It's not a bad thing," Serena reassured him waving her hands to calm him.
"What? How is- Argh, I don't understand!" The boy threw up his arm in exasperation, most of it directed at himself. He flopped down on his back, spreading his arm and legs. Pikachu climbed onto his chest and laid down on his stomach to lick Ash's nose.
Serena laughed again. scooting over to sit beside the boy glaring at the sky. "No, It's like-" She sighed. "Ash, do you remember that time we were in camp together years ago?" She waited for him to nod. He shrugged. "Well, ever since then- Ever since I met you, you've always been in the back of my mind. When we started traveling together, I felt like I was so lucky- I mean, I was such a noob at pokemon training, and then I find you, who's this awesome aspiring master, and whose confident in all the ways that I'm not. You just- you inspired me so much! and I felt like I could learn so much from you.
"And while we were traveling, I just loved being in your presence. You're always so positive and sure about everything you do. I was just so amazed that this little kid I once knew for a week in summer cap who would not shut up about pokemon actually grew up to do all those things he said he would do. You're the the smartest, most amazing person I know, Ash." Serena averted her gaze, pushing back the same lock of hair that had once again escaped.
Ash stared at her, dumbfounded. "... Clemont's a lot smarter than me." She leaned over and flicked him in the forehead. "Ow!"
"We're not talking about Clemont right now, we're talking about us." She scolded, shaking a finger at him. He pushed it away, laughing, and sat up again.
"Wow. So you've really felt that was about me the whole time?"
"You really didn't know about it until now?" Serena countered. "I wasn't secret about it."
Ash rubbed the back of his head, laughing. "I-I guess so. I thought that was just the way you acted." She scoffed at him. "... Do you still like me?"
"...Do you like me?" She countered after a moment.
"... No, not like that." He apologized, half smiling. "But you're still one of my best friends! Kalos would have sucked if I hadn't met you. I really don't want to lose you."
Serena sighed, standing up and offering a hand to Ash. "That's really sweet of you, Ash. Thanks."
He stood up, letting Serena's hand drop when he was up fully. "... So-"
"Yes, I still like you." She sighed again, more exasperatedly. "But I'm not gonna let myself get heartbroken over you anymore. I'm almost seventeen now- that's like, the prime time for dating, right?" Ash shrugged, hopelessly lost. Serena didn't pay him much mind, already starting to walk off.
The boy jogged to catch up. "I'm sure you'll find someone." He tried to comfort her.
"'Course I'll find someone." She smiled, flashing him a V with her fingers. "I mean, have you seen me? Anyone who turns me down must be blind, deaf, and stupid."
"Hey!" Ash exclaimed, shoving her shoulder. Pikachu giggled on his shoulder, sparks tickling his cheeks. The pair laughed, making their way through the forest back to camp.
"It's pretty dark now." Serena commented. "Think Clemont and Bonnie missed us?"
Ash glanced behind them, wincing. "Not after they find out we forgot the firewood. Hope they don't get too mad."
Clemont swore that he would melt into the ground at any moment, his face was blazing, and Ash was looking away awkwardly now, rubbing the back of his neck, and oh god he's looking at me again.
Clemont covered his face with his hands, begging to combust into nothingness. Anything to get out of this situation. "Ahah! That's awkward." Ash laughed, dropping his hand. Clemot's eyes dilated behind his hands. How could Ash be laughing this off so easily? Especially compared to how childish Clemont himself was acting right now. "Wait- That's why you left? I mean, I know you get embarrassed easily, with Bonnie always doing her thing, but that's no reason to just leave like that."
"No, no!" Clemont looked up, glasses crooked. "No, I… I was embarrassed, sure, but I didn't leave just because-" Clemont found that he couldn't finish that sentence. Embarrassment was actually a solid chunk of the reason why he left.
"Then why did you leave?" Ash pushed on, scooting closer, sitting with his legs crossed. Clemont hesitated, then looked away again, shaking his head and gritting his teeth. Ash swore, pounding his fist on the ground making Clemont jump.
"I don't get it! Clemont, why won't you come back with us? So what Serena kissed me, we worked things out! She said that- I dunno, something about me being stupid, and she was turning seventeen soon, and that's apparently the prime time or whatever- but she said that she's done pining after me. We're still friends, we worked things out!" He repeated, rambling.
Clemont blinked, confused but managing to piece together the fragments that he could understand. "Y-you and serena aren't a couple?"
"Uh." Ash sat still, dumbfounded for a moment. "N-no! She's my friend!" Ash rubbed his face, removing the blush that has showed up uninvited. "I mean- it was awkward, for a while, after you and Bonnie left. We were traveling alone together for a few days. We met Shauna in Santalune City, Serena talked with her for a bit…" Ash trailed off, rubbing his neck again. Clemont looked at the space in between his shoes, brow furrowed.
Ash's face lit up suddenly. "Clemont, were you jealous?" The blonde jerked up suddenly, back straight and eyes wide. His bottom lip quivered as he tried to form words. "I- I- No! I mean…" He trailed off, pausing to take a deep breath and compose himself. "I mean… yeah, maybe a little."
"You ran away Clemont! That's more than a little." Ash scoffed. silence stretched on for a few moments as Clemont continued to try and get his breath under control. "Sooooo… You like Serena?"
The blonde summoned every last drop of his self control to stop himself from standing up and hitting the oblvious teen. instead, he clenched his teeth and shifted so he was no longer hugging his knees, instead he sat on top of them, weary of how open he was now. "No." He stated carefully,trying to hide the fact that he was terrified of where this conversation was going. "I-I mean, she's a great friend, but… not like that."
"B-but you said that you were jealous when she kissed me!" Ash almost whined, confusion clouding his brain. Clemont remained silent, refusing to tear his gaze away from the immediate ground in front of him. The silence stretched on.
"Wait… do you like me?"
Clemont's breath hitched. A thousand excuses flew through his head. He drew his fingers in, tightening his hands into fists on the floor in front of him. Eyes glued to the floor, he nodded tersely.
There was no response. After an entire minute of awkward silence, Clemont dared to glance up, part of him expecting that Ash had just silently just gotten up and walked away. But Ash still kneeled in front of him, arms draped across his knees, staring directly at the wall past Clemont's head.
"Uhh… Ash?" Clemont shakily questioned. The boy's face was black haired boy slowly reached a hand to Clemont face- paused for a second, and nimbly picked the blonde's round glasses off of his face. "A-Ash!"
Ash placed the glasses on his own face, blinking a few times before his goofy smile returned. "Man, you really are as blind as a zubat. How can these things help you see better?"
"Ash!" Clemont pulled his arms into his sides, blush deepening. "Weren't you paying attention? I said I liked-"
"Is it alright if I kiss you?"
Ash sat patiently, waiting for Clemont's response. The inventor's mind had finally quieted, his heart hammering in his chest as he stares back at Ash's face still obstructed by his large glasses, magnifying Ash's eyes so they were comically large, and he was still staring at Clemont and oh god what should I do. Ash leaned in, deciding for him.
Their kiss was… awkward. Ash's lips were dry and Clemont kept his mouth still, frozen in place. After a few moments, Ash pulled back, shifting to sit cross legged across from Clemont.
Clemont raised his hand, lightly touching his fingertips to his lips. "You kissed me."
Ash shrugged. "Yeah."
"Why did you ask permission if you were just going to do it without an answer?"
Ash rubbed the back of his neck, smiling lopsidedly. "Well, I guess I wanted to give you a warning, but Serena said something about 'sponituity' or something."
Clemont reeled back, eyes wide. "Serena told you to kiss me?"
Ash waved his hands. "No! She said that stuff after- Whatever, it doesn't matter."
Clemont took a few moments to get his breathing steady again. "...w-why did you kiss me?"
Ash rolled his eyes, finally taking off Clemont's glasses. "Why do you think?"
Clemont hesitantly took his glasses back, settling them on his face. "...Do you… like me?"
"Of course!" Ash jumped up, standing up on his knees grinning widely and gripping Clemont by the shoulders, staring deeply in his eyes. "Ever since we met, you've always been there with me. Even just the way we met- you saving me and Pikachu from being kicked out of your gym- though I guess I didn't know that it was yours the time. And after we started traveling together, I felt so excited; being able to meet someone so smart and caring like you on my first day in Kalos, and who always complimented my flaws. A gym leader, no less! You just- you made me so happy and excited to be here with you! You're always saying that you learn so much from me, but I'm always learning from you.
"You always trying so hard at everything you do while also being the most responsible one while I'm always running ahead and playing things by ear, and I know that that sounds like we're complete opposites, but I still love being around you! Maybe even more because of that. You were so nervous about being inadequate when we first met, but you've grown so much since then. You've helped me grow, Clemont. You're the most brilliant, stunning person I know."
Clemont sat frozen, back thrown against the wall as Ash's nails gripped his shoulders. The boy's eyes lost their flame gradually, and he let go, leaning back. "S-sorry Clemont. That was- I didn't mean- Oh god, are you crying?"
Clemont looked back down into his lap, squeezing his eyes shut, shaking his head. He looked back up, eyes still welling with tears, smiling shakily. "Ash, I adore you." The blond teen leaned forward, wrapping his arms around Ash's shoulders. Ash hugged him back a second later, squeezing him impossibly tight, but Clemont couldn't bring himself to tell him to stop.
Ash rubbed Clemont's back until they pulled away, the red rims surrounding the blonde's eyes finally beginning to fade. Clemont smiled sheepishly and Ash grinned wide, entwining their fingers together.
"So, are you coming back?"
Clemont leaned in, placing a light kiss on the boy's cheek. "Sure."
Author Notes: End! ovo Sorry that it took so long to get this one up- and that it's also kinda short for a final chapter...
But hey! Since this Fic was uploaded, the Diodeshipping fanfic count has exploded! I'm so happy that this ship has become more popular, and I beg that anyone who enjoyed this fic and has an inkling to write about these two to do it! I'd love to read whatever you guys come up with.
Thanks for sticking with me! Review + follow me me for more stories, if you enjoyed this one uwu