Stars Fell on Pallet Town
by Spruceton Spook
"Ughhhh! Where are they?" Ash groaned, tapping his foot impatiently.
"They'll be out soon," Brock answered. "Calm down, will ya?"
"Yeah, Ash," Misty added. "Give them a break."
Ash, Misty, and Brock were standing in the front yard of the Ketchum house, their backpacks freshly stuffed with food, clean clothing, and supplies. Ash had a huge wad of money stored safely away in his backpack, which was enough for a good couple months till he needed to borrow more. Pikachu sat atop his head, raising his head to warm it in the basking sunlight. It was a beautiful day, perfect for them to set off once again towards their destination, the Johto League.
Ash shuffled around on his toes, finding it quite difficult to calm down. He hadn't been able to settle for three days, ever since his parents had gotten back together. After that eventful, surprising morning, everything seemed to go right for Ash. The troublesome days beforehand were just a distant memory, a small bump in the road. Ash totally immersed himself in the joy of having his family back together as one, along with having Misty and Brock by his side the whole time.
He was a bundle of ecstatic energy those three days, which, for him, were three of the greatest days of his life. No more worrying. No more planning. No more crying. Ash felt that he hadn't cried so much in his life, and if he needed to again, he wasn't sure if he had any more tears left in him. It had been an emotional roller coaster ride, and although Ash loved roller coasters, this was a ride he never wanted to go on again.
Jay and Delia were also high strung, especially Delia. Her glum, moody disposition vanished, and she returned to her old self again, which was a relief for the three kids. She was more than overjoyed at finding what was missing in her life, and that was the love of her husband, which she had come to realize had never left her.
At first, she had a hard time getting used to it, but by and by, the three days did their wonder. She and Jay had gone out the night after she had cracked, and it turned out to be a more than wonderful evening. Delia was still a little cautious over getting too romantic around him, but what started a small, simple kisses had ended up many times being full, vivacious make-out sessions. She didn't mind it, though—far from it. In fact, she loved it. It made her feel young, and not to mention, like a million bucks. Her heart pounded excitedly each time as they engaged in the kissing, but she restrained herself from allowing it to go any further. She figured Jay had no problem agreeing, also, since he never made any inclination of doing so.
Neither Delia nor Jay had gone to work since that morning, staying home to spend time together with Ash, Misty, and Brock. Delia made even more elaborate suppers each evening, and this time Ash consumed the food as he always had, wolfing it down without hesitation and with a smile from ear to ear.
Ash finally had gotten the chance to have the long awaited battle with Jay, too. With Misty, Brock, and Delia as spectators, they had established it to be a three-on-three battle. But after a while, Ash and Jay were having so much fun that the competition slowed to the point where there was none, and they continued to send out their Pokémon in a non stop bout with no winner. A couple of times, Ash defeated his father's Pokémon, but he found it tough. Both he and Jay were smiling the whole time, never really getting serious about the whole thing.
It ended with Pikachu letting off an electrifying array of thundershocks, sizzling Jay's Vaporeon. Jay ran up to hug Ash, telling him how proud he was of what a strong trainer he turned out to be. For Ash, this was better than getting any trophy or winning any badge. Battling his Pokémon hero was complete bliss in itself, and Ash was just thrilled to have the opportunity to "show off" what he knew.
Even though he loved being home, Ash figured it was time to start off west again. Though he never told his parents, he wanted to go mostly so that they could have some time to themselves to work things out without having to worry about him. He didn't want to leave, but he thought of what was best for them. His mom begged him not to go, but accepted it after Ash insisted that he was really eager to get another badge.
The day that Ash had decided to leave on had come, and now the three stood outside waiting for Delia and Jay to come out to say good-bye. They had been waiting there for a good ten minutes, and Ash was getting more and more restless. Though it was early, he was very anxious to get going.
"Moooommmmm!" Ash called loudly, cupping his hands over his mouth. "C'mon!"
Misty frowned at him. "Ash! Be patient! We're in no rush."
"Togi togi!" Togepi agreed in a gleeful squeal.
Ash turned to Misty. "I know, but they're just foolin' around in there and costing us precious traveling time." He huffed, and redirected his attention back to his house.
Misty sighed loudly and looked to the ground. Deep down, she didn't want to leave Pallet Town just yet. She was greatly enjoying this particular visit, and a couple more nights in Ash's comfortable bed wouldn't have hurt, either. But Ash wanted to get going, so she wasn't going to complain. She looked over at Brock, who was leaning on the fence and tapping his fingers on it. He caught her looking at him, and he grinned, which she returned.
"New Bark Town again, Brock?"
Brock nodded. "First stop, yeah. We'll just pick up right from there." Misty could see that he was a little tired, and she tilted her head lightly.
"Don't feel like going, either?" she asked with a small chuckle.
Brock shrugged. "Just as long as we can make this trip in more than a day."
Misty giggled just as Ash's mom emerged from the house, Jay right behind her.
"Finally!" Ash shouted in frustration.
"Oh, hush you," Delia replied, whacking him playfully on the shoulder. She retrieved her hand, and Ash could see the newly familiar flash come from it. Delia had put her rings back on a couple days ago, and Ash always felt a rush of excitement burst through him when he noticed them.
"You can wait another three minutes," she continued. Jay came up from behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, gently bringing her in to kiss her neck. Delia giggled and turned her head around to meet his lips with her own.
"Oh, break it up! Geez, I'm already getting tired of that!" Ash teased. On the contrary, he could never get tired of it.
Jay stopped kissing Delia and rushed at Ash, growling playfully as he swooped his son up in his arms.
"No! Don't go! Don't go!" he begged him boisterously, twirling him around energetically.
Ash laughed, trying to pull out of his father's tight grip. "Hehe, put me down, Dad! I gotta go!"
Jay put him down and knelt to his level. For a moment, the two looked at each other in silence. Jay began to stroke Ash's face, and Ash relaxed pleasantly at the touch.
"Make me proud, Ash," Jay said, gently pretending to give him a playful punch. "You'll do that for me, won't ya?"
Ash smiled softly. "'Course I will, Dad."
"Well, you'd better!" Jay replied jokingly, chuckling softly after. "You've got my talent and your mother's spunk. You'll clean up in no time. Bring me home a Johto trophy, ya hear?"
"Oh, don't worry about that! I will!" Ash beamed.
Jay smiled warmly at Ash, and pulled him into a hug. Ash shut his eyes as he embraced him, gripping him tightly around his neck. Jay pulled Ash's head down to kiss the top of it, then reached over to pet Pikachu. The Pokémon purred happily as Jay stroked his long ears.
"I love you," Jay said. "And I'm routing for you the whole way. Just remember that."
"Love you, too," Ash replied, his eyes sparkling. He looked up then at his mother, who was already smiling down at him. Ash moved around Jay to get to her, flinging his arms around her waist. Delia clutched him tightly, rubbing his back softly.
"I'll miss you, Ash," she whispered lovingly, a bit of sadness in her voice.
"I'll miss you, too," Ash replied, burying his head into her. "I promise I'll win for you."
Delia laughed, and released from the hug. "You be good, okay? Stay out of trouble."
"I will," Ash replied with a positive grin.
"And don't forget to change—"
"Oh my God, I will, I will!" Ash laughed, startling Delia as he jumped into her arms again. "You know I will."
Delia was being pulled down by Ash's weight. "All right, all right." She rubbed Ash's head, pulling his hat down over his head. She reached up to pet Pikachu, also. "You'd better get going, now."
Ash nodded, and he turned to face Misty and Brock. They smiled widely, and Ash made his way over to them, finding it a little hard to move away. He turned back to his parents, who had since then found each other's arms again.
"Bye Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum!" Misty shouted to them, waving.
Brock waved at the same time. "Hope everything turns out all right!"
Delia and Jay waved back at them.
"So long, kids! Have fun!" Delia yelled happily.
"Nice to meet you two!" Jay said.
"And don't worry about us!" Delia added. "We'll be just fine!"
"Bye!" Ash, Misty, and Brock called out together, waving as they made their way down the street.
"So, when are we gonna make it to New Bark Town, Brock?" Ash asked with a mischievous grin. "Tonight?"
Brock and Misty face-faulted.
"In your dreams, Ash!" Brock shot back with an incredulous grin.
"You can go right ahead!" Misty giggled. "Me and Brock'll meet you there this time."
Ash broke out into energetic laughter, and looked back at his folks to wave to them again. They were still there, and waved back.
Ash couldn't believe his eyes as he left. Usually accustomed to seeing just his mom standing there, now it was both of them. Together. With their arms around each other. As he put his waving hand down, they did, as well, just to look up lovingly at each other. The last thing Ash saw was his mom and dad kissing gently again, and it was the greatest feeling in the world to know that he wasn't leaving his mom alone. She was going to be happy now, and he wasn't going feel guilty.
Misty saw the same sight, and with a small, silent sigh, she bit her bottom lip. Lowering her eyes satisfyingly to the ground, a slight chill ran down her spine as she imagined herself one day being part of them. Someday. She then glanced up at Ash.
Ash could feel her attention on him suddenly, and surprisingly to her, his eyes met hers. Misty immediately hid her shock, instead smiling gently at him. He returned the smile, looking her straight but tenderly in the eye.
"Thanks for helping me, Misty," he said softly.
She smiled modestly, lowering her face to the ground to hide her blush. Suddenly, she didn't care anymore, and looked back up at Ash. "Anything for you, Ash," she replied, exposing the blush fully.
Ash drew back a little bit at the blush, but nodded affably. Looking out at the road before them, his eyes glistened with expectation. The road to the Johto League. And one step closer to becoming a Pokémon Master, and making his dream come true for himself…and his parents.
That's all, folks! Thanks for reading and supporting me! Spruceton Spook