Disclaimer: Pokemon is not mine, I am writing this story just for fun, and I am not making money out of it.

Sorry for spelling or grammar mistakes- English is not my native language.

Author's Note: This is R rated because of adult situations, yet this is NOT a Lemon. This is a shounen-ai/slash/however you call it fic, so if you don't like it, don't read. And no, I don't support this shipping, I simply wanted to write something about it.

Fire

He watched as the fire blazed and crackled, dancing in front of his eyes. The lovely display of bright colors fascinated him every time anew.

Gary leaned backwards on the large log and gazed up at the stars for a moment. His Umbreon lay next to him, asleep. A small smile spread on his face as he watched his Pokemon sleeping peacefully. Pokemon were much more sensitive to various things than humans, and thus could be great guards. Gary felt safer when Umbreon slept next to him. Pokemon could warn their trainers if there was something wrong: every sound, every smell, every movement…

He learnt that from Ash- him keeping Pikachu by his side all of the time. Of course, Ash needed it, since he's pestered by Team Rocket so often.

Gary returned his gaze to the fire and sighed heavily. Ash was like the fire: he was burning with determination and passion, he was so bright, so lovely, everyone he met fell under that spell of his. Gary craved to be near him, too, to feel his warmth. He craved to touch him.

Yet, like the fire, if Gary were to touch… it'll burn. It may leave a mark.

When did he start to have those feelings?

It's already been nine years since he left Pallet-Town, five years since he decided to become a researcher like his grandfather, two years since… he started to love.

Gary wrapped his arms around his body, suddenly feeling cold. He remembered the cheerleaders he used to have- an act of arrogance. He never did feel attracted to them, but then again, he was just a kid at the time.

He remembered how he used to anger Ash, to almost shun him at times. Somewhere along the way, he matured. He left those useless cheerleaders behind, and slowly begun to mend that broken friendship with Ash- less arrogance, more support.

Gary frowned. He barely met Ash these days, and yet…

Fire. He was burning like the fire he watched… deep inside.

At start, when Ash came to his mind occasionally, he tried to shun these thoughts. There was just no way he's like… them. That he's different. And one night, when he was cold and alone, and the thought of Ash kept him warm inside, and it never left his mind… Gary decided to check.

So he thought about him… and he acted. He was a man, after all. And when his hand begun to shake, he realized…

And he wept, and he denied… and he tried that act again. The feeling was divine.

He was in love.

He was… different.

Gary absentmindedly played with a small twig, twirling it between his fingers until it broke and fell to the ground, and he wondered when he'd be able to see Ash again. He needed to see him, watch him, talk to him, hear him…

Gary groaned and buried his head in his hands. As much as he loved that warm feeling of excitement whenever Ash came to his mind, he hated it, loathed it.

Because there was simply no way on earth Ash could love him back.

Like the fire… you may love it, yet if you dare to get too near, it'll reject you, warn you, and if you still were to touch it…

It'll burn…

It was not like ordinary love, when you could do something nice and the other party would fall for you. No, the other party would have to be… different in order to love Gary back.

Gary wrapped his arms around his body yet again. Oh, how he needed to be loved… and the less he'd seen Ash, the worst that need became. They went on different paths, they were in different areas. While Gary stayed at one place for weeks- Ash was always on the move, While Gary observed- Ash caught, While Gary learnt- Ash fought, While Gary was here- Ash had been there.

And so, they barely crossed paths. In fact, Gary could barely remember the last time he'd seen him. He guessed it was almost four months ago. How time flies by…

There had been a time when Gary tried to track Ash down, follow him, pretend meetings by chance, and then they would talk and laugh for a moment, sometimes may even battle Team Rocket together, and then they would part ways, and Gary would be left alone once again. Alone, and lonely, and craving. Needing...

And with each day that passed, those feelings became more intense, and Gary found himself becoming almost obsessed with his childhood friend. That scared him.

Surely, he would not get so low. So he stopped following him, and they've met less, and Gary became stressed. Because he needed… he craved…

So Gary spent more time alone, giving his Umbreon, who was outside of the Pokeball often, to Nurse-Joy for check ups at least once a week, in order to be alone.

So no one would disturb him…

At some point, Gary realized he was becoming crazy- he was becoming too obsessed. So ever so slowly he shunned any thoughts he might have yet again, and as he thought less, and as they've met less, Gary found it easier.

Nothing could be worse then unrequited love, especially when that love could never be requited. He knew that that was the cause of his obsessions- he needed, yet could not get…

He could never get…

So Gary drowned himself in work, and he researched, and he studied and he learnt. He thought less of him, he needed less and less to be alone. He was glad he was becoming his old self again- obsession could lead to bad things.

Gary decided that he needed to find someone else to love, since the one he loves could never return those feelings, would never return those feelings.

But as Gary pretended to love others, to love him less and to think of him less, he realized at some point that he only thinks of him more and more, that he needs to see him in order to sooth those feelings, to calm down.

And that lonely look begun to haunt his eyes, and people pitied him, tried to cheer him up, and tried to make him happy once again. But that look never left his eyes, and so, they've stopped pitying him, and began to ignore him. No one wants to spend their days next to a depressed being.

At that time, when he met Ash occasionally, mostly in forests, that look disappeared. And he would smile, and he would laugh, and he would feel so great and so perfect…

Until Ash and his friends left and he would be left alone again.

When there is nothing the fire could burn, the fire would be off.

And his eyes became blank, and his facial expression became sad, and his will to work became non-existent, and he became a shell.

Gary then realized that nothing could become of him if things keep going the way they are, and so, he thought of Ash whenever he felt down. He thought happy, cheerful thoughts- not depressing ones. And he could work again, research and learn, and he knew that the next time they would meet and he'll tell Ash about all the great things he found, Ash would be so happy and so proud, so very proud…

And Ash would smile at him. Oh, how Gary loved that smile. Whenever Gary was down, even if the worst thing happened, that smile of Ash could always cheer him up, could always bring him up…

Could always bring it up…

Gary groaned once again and took a deep breath. Not now, not now… he needed to be alone…

Umbreon was still asleep, and Gary guessed that maybe he could get up and walk away, and maybe Umbreon wouldn't notice because his Pokemon knows his smell. Gary rose from the ground slowly, dusted himself off, and took a glance at the fire. It was getting weaker, it needed wood. So before Gary could make a use of the silent and peaceful night, he went to the pile of wood next to the log he leaned on, and picked up a few large branches and threw them into the fire.

And then it crackled, blazed, and burned, so passionate, so fascinating… Gary licked his lips. He really needed to go…

He was about the step away from the fire when he heard rustling in the bushes. He stopped and turned around swiftly, his Umbreon standing on all four as the noise woke it up. Gary clenched his teeth. He heard about robbers, who stake out at night for trainers, but he never guessed he would be attacked…

Gary begun to sweat and gripped a Pokeball, still backing slowly from the flames, when the one, who was hiding behind the bushes revealed himself.

"Gary!" the man said happily with his slightly hoarse voice- a voice that could never became deep and always remained so childish, so innocent.

Gary gulped. The fire found him…

"Hey, Ash…" he said slowly and quietly, nervous. "W-what are you doing here?"

Ash's smiled wavered, yet still remained, and his eyebrows twitched. He put his arm behind his neck sheepishly. "Well, I kinda… Brock sent me to get some firewood, and since it rained last night it's hard to find dry wood, and then I saw the fire going here and I thought that maybe…" his eyes roamed about, to embarrassed to actually ask his former rival for wood. He sighed and took his hand down. "Do you have some wood I can take with me?"

"Where's Pikachu?" Gary asked, not seeing the mouse.

"Oh, he's in the camp with the others. He didn't feel like coming with me, which I can perfectly understand," Ash replied. "So, can I take some wood with me or not?" he asked again.

Gary wordlessly watched as Ash stood there in the light of the fire, his brown eyes shining and his lean body showing. He gulped. Why now, of all times?

Ash apparently noticed the unusual silence and lack of action, and he cocked his head to the right in confusion and asked, "Are you okay? You look kind of pale…" and he advanced towards him.

"No!" Gary managed to shout and backed away, somewhat scared. Ash stopped. "I-I mean…" Gary looked around worriedly. "Here's some wood…"

Ash didn't look pleased, and he advanced once again. "You sure you okay?" he asked quietly, avoiding the Umbreon, who fell asleep again after he found out it was only Ash, as he went forward. He put his hand on Gary's forehead and frowned. "You don't have a fever…" he said, yet never removed his hand, apparently making sure he was not mistaken. Gary gulped again, breathing hard. He closed his eyes in a futile attempt to try and calm his nerves. He was burning like the fire…

"Maybe you should come with me?" Ash asked, finally removing his hand. "You really don't look well…"

Burning like the fire…

"Do you really want to know what is wrong?" Gary asked almost inaudibly, not opening his eyes. Silence.

"What?" Ash finally asked. "I didn't hear you," he said.

"I asked, if you really want to know what is wrong?!" Gary repeated much louder than the last time and opened his eyes, glaring at Ash. Ash was a bit taken aback- apparently that outburst scared him a bit. Then he nodded. "Yeah," he said quietly. Gary smirked, yet his smile was sad.

And in order to burn properly…

Then it was Gary's turn to advance slowly. And when he stood in front of Ash next to the fire, and when he put his arms on his former rival's shoulders, and when he asked his friend again if he is sure he wants to know, and when his friend nodded hesitantly, Gary burned… he closed his eyes and pressed his lips against Ash's, not trying to be gentle at all.

He could feel his friend's body tensing, and smiled inwardly.

He'd have to sooth the boy's nerves then…

The fire needs wood…

Gary deepened the kiss and wrapped his arms around his love tightly, not letting him get away. Ash may be strong, but Gary had always been stronger. In order to be a good researcher, you sometimes have to hold and lift heavy Pokemon.

Slowly Gary moved his lips to his friend's neck, tightening his hold and breathing in that intoxicating scent of his friend. Ash was squirming, trying to get away, but Gary didn't care.

Ash was talking, he was shouting at him: "Have you gone mad, Gary?!", but Gary didn't listen.

Gary could not see, could not acknowledge. He could only smell, he could only feel…

He moved them both forward until they've stopped when a large tree trunk blocked their path. Ash stopped squirming. "You've gone mad, Gary…" he whispered.

Gary was still kissing Ash's neck, his eyes were still closed, and he was burning inside like the fire which illuminated the area.

And when the fire finds its wood…

Slowly Gary moved his hands and lifted Ash's shirt a bit. Then he moved his arms so he could touch his skin, his muscles, his body… so he could feel him…

It would not let it go…

"What happened to you, Gary?" Ash asked, his voice cracking. But Gary ignored and continued his assault. He could feel Ash's hands touching him, trying to push him away, as Ash's voice got louder as he shouted at him to stop, to regain his senses, to let him go…

Unless…

And then Gary held Ash's hips and moved his mouth up to kiss him on the lips once again. And when Gary's lips met Ash's, he felt wetness. He tasted salt.

Someone puts it off.

Gary stopped, breathing hard. His grip at Ash weakened significantly and Ash pushed him away, wiped his lips, fixed his shirt and fell to his knees, shaking.

And when Gary saw those tears that spilled, and the red mark on the neck, and the scared look in his eyes it dawned into him…

"What have I done?" he whispered quietly to himself, also falling to his knees. He stared at the hard ground. "What have I done?" he repeated.

He never meant to…

"What in the world has come into you?!" Ash screamed. "You're crazy!" then Gary saw movement, and guessed that Ash was standing up. He lifted his eyes to look, and saw that Ash was glaring at him, his eyes uncertain and scared, his face pale, his body shaking, his cheeks wet…

And yet, Gary could not bring himself to apologize. Ash rubbed his neck, still glaring, and spat on the ground. "You're nuts," he said. Then he turned around and left, never taking the wood with him.

Gary lifted his hands and held his face, his eyes wide. He breathed hard, terrified at himself, at his actions, at his thoughts, at his wills…

He was terrified that he would not mind doing that again, that he actually enjoyed it.

It was wrong, he should have never…

And Gary knew that he would never do it ever again, because when Ash walked away from the campsite, Gary knew he was stepping out of his life. He knew he would never see Ash again…

He looked to the side, and tears streamed down his cheeks.

The fire was still burning. That damned fire…

The End

Author's Notes: this has got to be the most… spicy(?) and daring thing I have ever written. And you know what? I think I actually like this story XD

And no, I do not support Palletshipping. In fact, I don't think I support any shipping these days o.o;

I have my reasons for writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it (if that's even possible with this kind of fic…)

Please review, and please no flames, although if you actually read this far, I don't see a reason for flaming it, but still… :X

-E2K