This idea for a shipping fanfic came completely out of the blue. I don't know how or why I thought of it, but as soon as I did I knew I had to write down what I was thinking.

Note: I don't own pokemon and I'm not affiliated with Nintendo, Gamefreak, 4kids, get the picture.


It was a starry, cloudless night. It has been several years since Ash had finally become what many people called 'The Ultimate Champion'. He had won in several leagues, including the Indigo, Johto, and Hoenn leagues. It had taken him a while, and a lot of training, but he had done it. Now, however, Ash had other thoughts.

He was lying near the edge of a forest, in a grassy field, staring up at the stars. The only one there to keep him company was Pikachu. Pikachu was Ash's first pokemon, and his closest buddy. They had been together from the beginning to the end, through the best of times and the worst. The yellow electric mouse could tell there was something troubling its trainer, and its best friend.

"Pika?", it asked Ash questioningly. Although Ash couldn't understand exactly what Pikachu was saying, he had a way of knowing.

"I'm alright, Pikachu. I'm just thinking..." Ash let out a sigh as he continued to stare up at the sky.

"I've been thinking a lot lately really...I achieved my dreams, I should be happy now, right Pikachu?" Pikachu nodded, unsure of where its trainer was going with this.

"Well...I'm not...I feel so empty...and so friends were all there when I beat the leagues and the Kanto battle frontier...but where are they now? They all moved on with their lives." Pikachu could now see exactly what was troubling its companion.

"Misty...May...they both seemed to be interested in me, now that I think about it. If I asked either of them out, they probably would have said yes. Did I? No... I liked them both too...but really, I was too caught up in my dreams to ever ask either of them out, and where has it gotten me?" Pikachu could hear the sadness in Ash's voice. It wanted to comfort Ash, but it knew it was no good. Ash needed someone to share his life with.

"I'm alone...and its too late for me to try asking either of them. Misty and Tracey are together now. May was with Drew for a while, but then started going out with Kelly. I still remember how much that surprised everyone...even Drew...he hasn't been seen at a contest since." Ash smiled slightly, although inside he was hurting. In a way, he did feel a little sorry for Drew, but at least his friends were happy.

"Even Brock managed to find a girl that'd put up with him, but what about me? How many chances did I have, Pikachu, and I didn't take them? Melody...I haven't seen her since that whole disaster with Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Lugia. Latias was interested in me too, wasn't she? Of course...I have always had a way with Pokemon haven't I?" Pikachu nodded, Ash was very easy to get along with if you were a pokemon.

"I probably could have been with any one of them, Pikachu, but I'm not...I'm probably the greatest trainer alive...but I'm alone..."

"Chu..." Pikachu replied sadly. It could feel Ash's sadness. It knew Ash had been feeling this way for a long time too, but this is the first time Ash had opened up about it. There wasn't much it could do, though. Sure, it could comfort Ash, like it always did when Ash was feeling down, but eventually Ash would feel lonely again.

Pikachu's ears perked up as it heard something nearby in the woods. It lifted its nose to sniff the air, trying to figure out what it was. It recognized a scent in the air, and ran off into the woods despite knowing Ash needed it. Ash quickly got up in shock as Pikachu ran off. Ash's ears weren't nearly as good as Pikachu's so he heard nothing.

"Hey! Pikachu, come back here!" Ash ran into the forest after Pikachu, and when he finally caught up with it he found it playing with another Pikachu. One that seemed to have a sort of spikey hairdo on its head. Ash could remember a friend of his having a Pikachu named Sparky that looked like that, and Pikachu did seem friendly towards this Pikachu. He wondered if it could be...

"Sparky! Where are you?" Someone called out from the darkness of the forest. Soon, a man that seemed familiar to Ash came into view. Ash immediately recognized him.

"...Richie?" Ash was hardly expecting to see anyone around here, let alone someone he knew.

"Ash? ...Is that really you? Wow...its been ages hasn't it, pal?" Richie asked him. He seemed to have matured greatly over the years, but it was still the same Richie.

" has...what are you doing all the way out here?"

"I'm still travelling. Seeing the world. I haven't found a reason to stop yet." Ash looked down at the ground, this seemed to remind him of what he was just thinking about.

"Same here..." Ash replied with a hint of sadness in his voice. He looked over at the two Pikachus, who were rolling around on the ground and playing happily. Richie felt a bit of concern for his friend.

"Are you alright Ash?" Ash gave a slight nod.

"I'm fine...just been thinking a lot lately...about how it seems like all my friends have moved on with their lives...and I was left...alone..."

"It doesn't have to be that way, Ash." Ash looked up at his friend, confused. Everything became clear to him as their eyes met, however. Ash was suddenly reminded of the moments he shared with Richie. Back then, he didn't think much of them. They suddenly seemed to mean more, however. Ash smiled as he thought of this, and Richie smiled as well. They both seemed to know what the other was thinking and embraced each other.

"Ash...I never thought the day would come when I'd tell you this, because I was sure you'd find someone else, but...I love you..." Both their eyes were filled with tears as they continued to embrace.

"I love you too, Richie..."