Notes/Disclaimer: Really, just see another chapter. I get annoyed to have to always put it. I don't own pokemon, it belongs to Nintendo and Shogakukan Comics, this is non-profit fanwork and it's mine… I'm not infringing on their copyright either.

Timeline: 4 years later…

Pairing: HET championshipping, as Lance is a girl…

Chapter 11: Evermore, Nevermore

It was finished. A colossal task had finally been completed.

The relief was shimmering through the air.

Red felt guilty, but he was fully glad that it was over. Now, Pokemon flourished.

It didn't even feel strange that there were no other people around. Though on reflection, he doubted he could count as human anymore.

That part of him had been sealed ever since he had joined Lance and the legendary Pokemon in their quest.

Now, as he and his Mate lay floating among the currents of the warm ocean, they could finally relax.

It had been agony, not being able to touch.

All their time had been spent working. They had fallen asleep exhausted every night. Even feather-light touches were rare.

But their love had held firm, proving it true.

Wasn't that what really counted?

Lance turned lazy golden eyes on her partner. (So, now what do we do?)

(Now, we enjoy life.) Red said, grinning. (You will stay with me, right?)

(I was hoping you'd say that.) She replied, before kissing the other trainer breathless. (And I will stay with you forever…)

When he finally regained his senses, he noticed that they were cuddled up together on a sandy beach.

Happily, he snuggled into the proffered embrace.

It was a piece of peace.

That was all he was asking for. Besides, there was nothing wrong with their love, nothing at all.

Others might scoff at loving an older woman. It wasn't his problem. Red thought Lance was awesome… and finding out she was a girl had not changed his feelings one bit. She was cuddly, too!

Distantly, Lugia and Suicune watched over the two lovers as they slept.

So was it worth it?

I think so. Lugia said. * And yet, we put them through the blender of the world… it's a miracle they came out in one piece. *

He felt slightly guilty, as it was he who had initiated the process.

(It is.) Ho-oh said, flying down to join them. (They deserve the peace they have received. I will grant them my power, the Phoenix Gift.)

Suicune stared. Phoenix gift?! But… you have only cast the Phoenix Curse in the past.

That is because no humans deserved my gift of life together forever. Ho-oh said practically. And in the future, we may need their help again.


Phoenix's Gift was different from Phoenix's Curse.

The Phoenix's Curse was a punishment. All the generations of the one who was cursed would suffer forever in an agony of flames, invisible flames that would not kill them, and would not stop burning until they repented truly.

On the other hand, the Phoenix's Gift was the gift of rebirth. Death could bring about it a shower of flames, and the one with the gift would rise again.

Three times three times three chances at life.

That would be enough, and then in the end, the legendaries would seal the two inside the Dream Realm, and keep them safe.

In the end, it doesn't even matter, though the couple quite enjoyed their reward.

Completed 4/1/04

Edited 5/10/09

(Sometimes, I love going back and reading my fics, and editing them down to the proper screen size…)

Editing Complete! Woohoo!