It was a plotbunny fic that begged to be written. Who am I as an author to resist? And it wasn't NT or SI, so… here we go!
Disclaimer: All I own is Destiny, CCA, the Triple Guardianship, Hope, Eterneon, Charlotte, and everything else I have made up myself. Nintendo n' Shogakukan comics own pokemon.
Notes: for telepathy, ** for thoughts, italics for translated pokemon speech. Charlotte is not technically related to Ash, they could be extremely different cousins but she treats him like a younger sibling. I refer to characters by the incorrect gender, as they are perceived. You know what this means, right?
Timeline: Alternate Universe, 3 years after Orange League, Ash is 15. Ash left Misty n' Brock after Orange League, paid for the bike, etcetera.
Championshipping, one-sided AAMRN.
She hadn't seen him for three years, and it almost came as a shock when his name was announced at the annual League gathering banquet. He had grown taller, certainly, and dyed his hair? Well, the gold streaks certainly made him look older. And the light contacts in his eyes added to the illusion. In fact, he looked pretty damn hot.
"Is that really Ash?" Misty asked, nudging Brock.
"Seems like it. Brings back memories, doesn't it?" Brock replied.
Misty nodded. "I guess I missed traveling with him a little."
"Me too, but staying with Ivy was great."
"I wonder what he did?" Gary said, cutting into their conversation.
"Weren't you paying attention? He's the leader of the Shadow gym in the Cosmos League." Misty replied. Cosmos was a large island, roughly the size of Indigo, about a hundred miles away. They had their own league.
"Lil' Ashy, a gym leader?" Gary whistled. "Look like he didn't slack as much as I thought."
"Gary!" Professor Oak shushed his son. Nearby, Delia cast Oak a grateful smile.
"I haven't seen Ash for almost as long, after the Orange League he only stayed home for a few days before heading off."
he's all grown up now." Oak said, proudly?
Gary cast a sideways look in their direction, chewing his lip somewhat nervously. * I do not want to know, I really don't! *
Ash fidgeted slightly as Charlotte put a hand over his underneath the table.
Worried, little brother?
Aneki… I haven't seen them in years!
That could be a good thing. You can gauge their reactions. She replied.
You're still hoping they were true friends?
Why wouldn't they be? Ash argued. He was interrupted from saying anything else as the soup and salad arrived and everyone dug in.
awfully cute now… Isn't he?" Daisy asked as she nudged Misty.
"He's not my boyfriend." Misty said. "I only followed him for the bike, and once he paid me back, I left."
"Sure… so you don't mind if I go after him?'
"Why would I?" Misty snapped, but inwardly, she wasn't feeling too good. Her older sisters were always in the way.
It wasn't fair.
Lance closed his eyes in annoyance as he inwardly made a note to guillotine Bruno for setting him up on a blind date with Violet Waterflower. Her chirping and inane comments were giving him a headache.
wrinkling his cape!
Lance stood up, smoothing out the fabric before he sat down again, glaring at her. Violet simply pursued her lips and fluttered her eyelashes.
Bad Situation? Oh yes. * Bruno… I am going to kill you, * The Dragon Master thought.
Charlotte finished the salmon with lemon quickly and scanned the crowd. Frowning, she noticed that Rudy was attempting to flirt. She discreetly touched her key, and a second later Rudy was fleeing from a flaming Mysdreavus.
Ash laughed telepathically. Serves him right.
Bruno was staring at Lorelei, as he had done for the past fifteen minutes. He didn't even know when a flurry of needles embedded themselves in various points on his body, knocking him out.
Lance checked that her illusions were perfect, before she smiled.
"That ought to keep him out of my hair for a while… but at least I can interact with my little koibito publicly without attracting attention tonight."
Ash caught that train of thought and suddenly blushed, staring down into his chocolate cake.
"What's wrong?" A concerned Erika asked from a seat down.
"N-nothing," Ash replied, blushing some more.
Erika blinked. "Hey Falkner, do you know what's wrong with him?"
"No clue." The bird trainer replied, as he picked the strawberries off his cake and fed them to his Pidgeot.
Misty stared at Ash some more, before Gary finally tapped her forehead.
"Hey! What was that for?"
'Quit staring at him, or at least make it less obvious." Gary hissed in a whisper. "Everyone else at our table is looking at you."
Misty paled at being caught in such an out of character action.
Sabrina made no comment, but then, being a silent trainer, it was expected.
"So you have a crush on him now?'
"What's it to you?"
Gary looked thoughtful. "Relationships based on looks alone don't last long. Just ask my cheerleaders."
"As if!" Misty retorted. "I bet you want him for yourself."
A catfight erupted in the great hall. Maybe not, but it was a good attempt at one.
"Take that back!" Gary yelled, as he punched Misty in the chest. "I never even insinuated anything!"
"Oh yeah! I bet you're just jealous of our relationship!"
"What relationship? You use Ash like a punching bag!"
"I've got proof!"
Misty paused as she malleted Gary into the ground, before grabbing the collar of his navy blue shirt. "What?!"
"I mean, I do have a month of his diary, which he recorded on his pokédex and sent to Gramps by accident." Gary replied. "I'd say you beat him up every three days or so."
Is this true? Charlotte asked, an icy tone creeping into her voice.
Hai, aneki. I won't deny it.
And you love her?!
I don't think so. I may have been attracted to her in a twisted way, but I certainly am not anymore.
That's good. Charlotte said grimly.
Ash blushed and looked down again. Aneki! Don't tease me!
But you're cute when you get flustered.
"So?! He deserves it!" Misty said.
Gary blanched. "I'm his rival, and I don't think so."
"He's as dense as a rock!" Misty continued. "And we get lost all the time thanks to him!"
"Whoa, chill out, Misty." Brock said, trying to stall the spitfire. But it was no use.
"And he can't even get a badge without pity!"
"You liar! What about orange league?"
"That doesn't count! I meant indigo!"
"Isn't she just childish?" Violet asked Lance.
Lance did not reply. Concerned, Violet turned to look at him.
And saw that his eyes were pulsating gold.
"Lance? What are you-.'
She didn't say anything else.
Lance got up and removed the paralyzed girl from his arm as he walked over to Ash's table.
I think you should talk, Ash.
Just tell her straight out how you feel. No use denying it.
Lance wrapped a soothing blanket of chi around the trainer discreetly. I just want you to remember, be calm.
Ash nodded as he got up.
"Stop this pointless argument." Ash said quite clearly, causing shamefaced looks from both trainers.
"She started it!" Gary said.
"I know that." Ash replied. "But you're making a spectacle of yourselves, and didn't you notice the swarm of reporters outside?"
Gary stepped down, but Misty didn't. Instead, she took a direct route.
"Ash! You love me, don't you?"
"Love? Friendship maybe, but not love."
Misty's eyes widened.
"I think, that when I was still a stupid, dense little trainer, I loved you." Ash continued. "I was too blind to see how you were only using me."
Misty stared at him speechlessly.
"But now, I can safely tell you that, 'I don't love you anymore.'"
Ash finished his little speech and walked back to his table.
The silence consumed the frozen audience.
Misty's jaw was on the ground.
"You're too flawed, and you don't love me back. Why should I chase after a worthless dream?" Ash finished as he sat down.
Charlotte smiled and clapped softly.
Lance slid his arm around Ash's shoulders and smirked slightly.
"W-what…" Misty managed to stammer out weakly.
"I don't love you." Ash repeated. "It's not that hard to understand."
The Dragon Master's grin widened slightly as he pulled Ash against his chest, one arm looped about the trainer's hips.
Ash raised half-slitted golden eyes to gaze at her, his black cloak pooling behind him. She could almost imagine him as a cat, yes… a lithe Persian ready to spring. But at the moment, he looked like a pampered pet, almost purring.
"Me?" It was a single syllable, but it dripped with malice.
"Yes, you! I can't believe it! Why are you with him?! He's got to be thirty, for goodness sakes! He's too old for you!"
Lance laughed softly. Baka… I'm not master of illusions for nothing.
I know, Lance-chan. Ash didn't move. It felt comfy, as he leaned against the Dragon Master, and he really didn't feel like getting up.
"What's it to you, Misty?"
"Shouldn't I care?!"
"You just wanted me for yourself," Ash said softly. His eyes narrowed. "Missingno."
Black lightning whipped around her and with a flash she disappeared.
Stunned silence filled the halls again.
Lance's eyes glowed bluely for a second. "Amnesia Wave."
"Besides, Lance-chan is a girl, baka."
A few minutes later, some semblance of order had been restored.
"I'm only twenty, you know." Lance said conversationally. "Illusions work on my side, as they have always done."
"B-but…" Bruno paused, having been miraculously revived after the needles vanished and the paralysis wore off. "You've been League Champion for six years! So you were fourteen when you won?"
"And you're a girl?" Will added.
grinned a little at that too. "Yep."
From outside, the wails of disappointed fangirls could be heard. Charlotte pressed her head into her hands, and muttered a few words under her breath.
There was a bright flash of fire outside.
Looks like the annoying reporters were gone as well.
A few hours later, everyone dispersed.
"You trust them with your secret?"
"They won't blab." Lance said. "Besides, I've bugged all of them."
"What about Misty?" Charlotte asked. "You only sealed her."
"True…" Ash mused. "But I doubt she'll get out of the Dream Realm." A smile curved across his face.
"And I'm sure my pokemon will give her a suitable reception." Ash continued, touching his sparkling star key.
"HELP!" Misty screamed, running from the bug pokemon. "HELP!"
The pokemon laughed and played and chased, as Misty fled to the icy mountains that were on one edge of the dream realm.
She shivered. "Help…"
"Smart…" Lance said, twining her fingers into his hair. "You can see what she cannot."
folly." Ash replied. "Trying to come between us."
Lance's blue eyes met his amber ones. "Truly?"
Ash did not respond directly, he pressed his lips against hers, cutting off any more arguments.
"Yes." He breathed, pulling away after what seemed like an eternity.
The Dragon Master trembled, dazed by the intensity, and as she shifted her arms to hold him, she felt their hearts beating as one.
And the magic and the stars and the moonlight swirled around them and encompassed them and healed what was meant to be.
And the fire guardian watched as she watched over them, always, silently and with infinite care.
And at last, it was as it was.
You know what makes me sad? To find a good championshippy I usually have to write it myself…
;.; Only 2 others so far, thank you Plot Bunny Whisperer and Blood Aura!