Just Beyond The City Walls
For the record, May and Drew are both 21 now. :D
"Welcome, everyone to this year's grand festival! I'm your host, May!"
There was an uproar in the crowd as everyone cheered for the hostess as she pirouetted around the stage. The girl had long brown hair that fell straight down her back, and blue eyes that glinted as she laughed. She wore red shorts that cut off at her thigh, and a red sports bra with sequins that glittered as she twirled. A ten foot platform held her above the stage, making her stand out over everything else. All around her Beautifly were released as they performed silverwind to dazzle the audience.
"You may recognize me as the host of all the other pokemon contests you've been to this year, or you may listen to me on the radio show, 'May's Expeditions!'"
"Ahem," A voice coughed from behind her. A man with brilliant green hair to match his eyes was frowning at her from his spot in one of the judge's booths. He put his hand over his microphone as he spoke to her. "Can you please not advertise your show again?"
May laughed nervously as a deep shade of red spread across her face. She shook her head free of Drew's comment and turned back to her audience. "Today is a day you have all been waiting for. It's a day for the best coordinators to show their pokemon's unique talents, and to prove themselves worthy of greatness!" As she said this, multiple Charizard formed in around her, roaring proudly as they shot fire into a central target above her, creating a dome of flames. The audience went crazy. "Not only have these contestants collected five ribbons from all over Johto, but they have showed incredible talent and strength when teamed up with their pokemon. From the tiniest Luvdisc to the most gigantic Salamence, we will see some incredible performances today! Come oooooooon out coordinators!"
Each trainer came running out onto the stage from all angles, waving proudly to the audience. This time, Bellossom filled the stage, circling the trainers and spinning in time with May as they shot petals in all directions, creating an astounding display of showering confetti. May felt as though she were going deaf from the response the crowd was giving her. Sneaking a peak behind her, she could see that Drew's eyes were sealed shut as he winced from the noise. Had she not been experiencing the same pain in her ears, she might have felt bad for him…
"Now it's time to meet our judges for this competition!" She turned around on her podium so that she was facing four people who sat behind small podiums. Drew was one of them…
"First off we have Goldenrod City's very own Nurse Joy!"
"I'm very excited to be judging the grand festival this year," the petite nurse grinned as the audience cheered.
"Next we have Mr. Sukizo of the Pokemon Fan Club!"
"What a turnout, simply remarkable!"
"And we all know this man very well! Say hello to the former Contest Director, Mr. Contesta!"
"Thank you. I'm excited to be back for this competition, especially with the energy the crowd is giving me."
"And last but certainly not least. A two time Grand Festival winner himself, and new Director of the Pokemon Contest Association, you all know him as Drew!"
"Um, thanks a lot. Glad to be here," Drew muttered quickly. May noticed this of him every time she introduced him. It seemed as though he was confident only when he was giving judgment calls, or showing off his own pokemon…
Or talking to May.
May grinned wildly at the crowd, whirling around the stage and soaking in the energy from the audience. Outwardly, it looked as though she were her own energetic self, but inside, she couldn't help but wonder where the once arrogant and cocky ten-year-old boy had gone. It wasn't that she missed that side of him; it was just such a dramatic change from their younger years when he continuously mocked her beginner coordinating skills. After she beat him in that second Grand Festival, he began to loosen up…or was it before then?
She looked over at his quiet, but proud figure, dressed in a long-sleeved black dress shirt and dark jeans to match. May used to think a person couldn't pull off jeans at a nice event, but somehow, Drew always managed to make things work.
Suddenly he looked up, staring her straight in the eye as her entire face flushed. She snapped her head away quickly, trying to hide the embarrassing feeling that came from being caught staring at another person. Not any person, but Drew.
She hadn't really known when she'd developed this crush on him, but she couldn't push it down. It was like her initial rivalry with Drew: the more it pestered her, the angrier she got, and the more chance it got to annoy her even further to no end. What made it worse was that it continued to grow into something greater, something more deep. Nothing could make the feeling go away, especially not after the other night….
May blushed furiously at the memory.
After years of traveling with Ash, Brock and her brother, Max, the on-the-road-by-van life had been hard. Of course, it was nice to not have to travel everywhere by foot, but she strangely missed the natural dazzling light only the stars could provide at night. Each town they'd traveled to had been pretty far apart, so the crew had gotten used to camping out beneath the deep black sky. May had begun to miss that.
Which is how she found herself just on the outskirts of Goldenrod City, far enough away that the artificial light wouldn't be so intense. May pulled a pokeball out of her pocket, and threw it in front of her.
"You have to see how beautiful this place is! Come on out, Smoochum!" A red light shot out of the opened pokeball, and a tiny pink baby pokemon materialized before her.
"Smoochum!" It cried, running to its trainer. May giggled as she scooped up her adorable little pokemon, allowing it to give her an enormous kiss on the cheek.
"Oh, I love you, Smoochum," May said, hugging her pokemon. "You're just the cutest little thing."
Suddenly May heard an explosion of some sort, followed by a streak of lightning coming from her left on the other side of the hill. Smoochum jumped from her arms and ran after the noise. "No! Wait, Smoochum!" May yelled, following her pokemon. May jogged up and over the hill, following Smoochum, and a little out of breath when she reached the other side. Not having traveled by foot for so long had forced her to start working out, but she'd never again have the muscle mass she'd had when she traveled with Ash.
She caught up to her Smoochum and picked it up again before it could get away. The hairs on her neck stood on end as she felt someone behind her.
"Training for a marathon?" He said smugly.
She turned around. "Drew! I—what are you—" And then she noticed a pokemon not far away from him. "What's that?"
"My Manetric," Drew said matter-of-factly, crouching down to stroke his canine pokemon.
May looked at him with an odd glance. "When did you get one of those?"
"For your information, May, just because I'm not entering contests anymore doesn't mean I'm not catching new pokemon and training harder than ever."
"Well what do you call this?" May shouted, shoving her Smoochum in Drew's face.
"Smooch!" It cried, leaning forward and kissing Drew fully on the lips. Time stopped, and May and Drew both stood paralyzed, unsure of what to do. Smoochum, however, sat back and waved its stubby arms in delight. "Smoochum Smooch!"
"What just…happened?" May asked quietly, still motionless.
Drew, however, stood back and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. "It's nothing. Those pokemon only do that when they come across new people or pokemon. It's their sense of smell—how come I didn't know you had one of these?" Drew changed the subject to get rid of the blush that had stained his face.
"Oh, actually Max caught it and sent it to me. I guess he couldn't get used to Smoochum kissing him all the time," May laughed.
"Yeah, that's understandable," Drew said as he scratched his neck.
"S-so, when'd you catch Manetric?" May asked, unable to stand the silence.
Drew shrugged. "Back home when we got that month-long break before starting the Johto contests. I figured it'd be good if I caught an electric type so I'd have a wide range of pokemon."
"Wow, that's smart," May noted.
"Yeah, I know." Drew flicked his hair.
"So what brings you out here?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Drew raised his eyebrow. "I mean, where else could I possibly train with my pokemon at night?"
"Plus I don't want to get attacked by those women…what were they called again…"
"Oh, your fan girls?"
"Yeah, the PMF…or something like that."
"Oh, the Mothers For Pokemon?"
"Yeah, them. They're a little crazy."
A mischievous grin grew on May's face. "They're not the only crazed fans you have."
Drew narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean?"
"Oh, I don't know. Does the name, Wakana ring a bell?"
Drew laughed. "Yeah, I remember her. You were jealous of her, right?"
How he turned these things on her so quickly, May would never know. "W-what? What are you talking about?" Smoochum shifted in her arms and tilted its head in curiosity.
Drew's eyes were closed and he wore a smug grin on his face. His arms were crossed over his chest but he brought a hand up to flick his hair. "You know, that she was able to confess her undying love for me and you weren't."
"Whaa?" May shrieked, immediately turning red. "I can't believe you're still so arrogant, Drew! I really thought you'd changed!"
"I see you haven't changed one bit either. Still as hot tempered as ever."
"Yeah, well its no thanks to you!"
"Hmph. I don't know about that. Maybe I'm just telling the truth and you're just trying to hide something."
This comment stopped May in her tracks. He was right; he was always right.
"Uhhh, May?" Drew waved his hand in front of her face and she realized she'd zoned out. To make matters worse, Drew held a knowing smile on his face.
"So what's this secret, huh?"
May turned away from him, her cheeks red. "Like I'd tell you."
"Fine, don't tell me, then," Drew laughed. She looked back at him, overly frustrated that he found the situation so funny.
"I don't see what's so funny, Drew, so why don't you just—" but before she could finish, Smoochum jumped out of her arms and straight into Drew's. The look of fear (probably anticipating another kiss) wiped his smug look away. "Ha! That's right, I bet you—"
Drew walked away from her before she could finish. This upset May even further, as she stomped after him. "Hey! Where do you think you're going with my pokemon?"
He stopped as soon as he reached a bag that was lying not far from where they'd been. May watched as he rummaged around in his bag, producing a brilliant red rose. A smile May hadn't seen on him in years was suddenly born as he handed the small pokemon the rose. Smoochum, overcome with delirious excitement, jumped up and kissed Drew again.
May laughed. "Well that one wasn't a greeting."
"Yeah, it is your pokemon, afterall," Drew grinned as he finally pried the pokemon off his face. May was taken aback. He didn't mean…
"Here," Drew placed Smoochum in May's arms, looking at her with an almost seductive smile that made her knees weak. "For you."
May couldn't respond. She couldn't even move as she watched Drew walk away with his Manetric. Finally, when Drew was out of sight, May looked down at the squirmy little pokemon in her arms.
"Smooch!" It cried, thrusting the rose in May's face. She gingerly took the rose into her hands as a few tears rolled down her cheeks. His words continued to replay in her head.
The crowd was what snapped May back into reality. Grinning, she twirled around and shouted, "All right, let me here you say it! Staaaaaaage On!"
The day had been nostalgic for May. Being in her first year as the new MC brought back so many memories from her younger years, and especially the time she'd won the Grand Festival…
She'd taken a year off to train, find new pokemon, and create an unstoppable team. That year, Drew had won his first Grand Festival, and it had only given her greater motivation to enter the next year. At the age of fourteen-years-old, May had found herself face-to-face, yet again, with Drew only this time it was the final round of the Grand Festival. May had brought out her Blaziken and Espeon, Drew his Roselia and Dragonite.
The battle had been fierce. Roselia went down first, and then Blaziken, to May's astonishment, which had left Espeon vs. Dragonite. Luckily Blaziken had tired Dragonite out in the first half of the match, but it was still a rough battle. As the clock stopped, May and Drew had fallen by the same amount of points, which meant sudden death. With one final burst of energy, Espeon had unleashed a powerful psychic attack, rendering Dragonite unable to battle.
It had been the first time she'd actually beat him; the first time she'd knocked down all his points. In the past she'd won by time constraints, but for the first time ever, May reveled in the fact that she had actually beaten Drew.
May smiled at the memory as she approached the room she was staying in. A piece of paper taped to the door stopped her for a moment. She pulled the note off her door and flipped it open to read.
Meet me just beyond the city walls. You know where I mean.
Before she could discard the note as a possible fake from one of her crazy fan boys (one could never be too careful these days) she noticed a post script.
P.S. I figure you're at least smart enough to think this is a fake, so why don't you bring your Smoochum along?
This turned up the corners of her mouth as she felt in her pocket for Smoochum's pokeball.
"Come on out, Smoochum." Her little pokemon appeared before her eyes and immediately ran to hug her leg. May giggled as she picked up the little pink baby. "We're going out again tonight, Smoochum," May said, not even bothering to visit her room first.
As May made her way to the field just outside Goldenrod City, she realized what a mistake it had been not to first stop inside the room and change into something warmer. The stars were astounding, but they weren't bright enough to bring her warmth. Drawing closer to the spot she'd seen Drew the night before, she began to get nervous. What the hell did he have in mind?
There he was, his back facing her as he lay back on his elbows and stared up at the stars. Roselia sat at his side, looking just as interested as its trainer. Drew looked peaceful, and happy. May almost didn't want to disturb him, but Smoochum had jumped out of her arms and ran over to Drew before she could say anything. His immediate smile turned sour when he saw that she was shaking.
"I should have known you wouldn't come out here properly dressed," he teased, moving Smoochum to sit next to his Roselia and standing up to walk over to her.
"I brought a jacket!" She yelled, pulling the flimsy spring jacket tighter against her shoulders.
"I wouldn't call that a jacket. Here," he said, pulling off his coat and placing it on her shoulders before she could refuse.
May looked to her feet. "Um, thanks."
"No problem. Come here," he said, grabbing her hand and tugging her over to the spot Smoochum was impatiently waiting. Roselia giggled behinds its rose hands.
"Hey," Drew said to his pokemon, and May noticed that he'd quickly pulled his hand away from hers and the side of his face that she could see was red.
"Drew, what's going on?" She asked. Drew grinned as he reached to his right, pulling a rose out of his backpack.
"A lot," he started, twirling the thornless part of the rose between his fingers. "A lot has been going on with us, May. Ever since we met."
"Yeah," she agreed vaguely. "It really has."
Drew sniffed the rose. "It all started with a rivalry…and now, this."
May hadn't realized that she'd closed her eyes until a sweet aroma filled her senses. Opening her eyes, she came face-to-face with a magnificent rose that seemed to sparkle in the moonlight. Or, wait, its stem really was sparkling…
"There's something different…" and then she noticed it. A delicate gold chain had deliberately been wrapped around the length of the rose, being held in place by the thorns. On the end, was a small heart-shaped locket.
"This one is definitely for you," he said, picking up her hand and placing the rose in it. May could only stare at the rose she held in her hand, completely stunned at his words. When she didn't move, Drew leaned closer and kissed the side of her head. She turned her head sharply to face him, and their mouths hovered close together for a moment, until she grabbed his face and pulled his lips to hers. May had been kissed before, but…wow. Nothing would ever compare to the way she felt when she was kissing Drew.
His lips were so soft, and they molded perfectly to her own. May's heart was racing and she was running short on breath. She pulled back from his lips, resting her forehead against his. Shifting her weight so she was on her knees gave them the ability to embrace one another tightly, so there wasn't an inch in between them.
"Drew?" Her breath was ragged.
He was still out of breath as well. "Yeah, May?"
"I—I just wanted to say that I—"
"Shhh," Drew put a finger to her lips to silence her. "You don't have to say it yet."
May smiled against his fingers, but pushed his hand aside as she pressed her lips against his again. Drew pulled her against him tightly and opened his mouth to hers. Suddenly her cheeks grew wet, and she realized that he was crying. He was crying!
Pulling back, May grinned and wiped at his eyes, letting tears fall freely out of her own eyes. Drew leaned forward and caught each one on her cheek with a kiss. Sighing, May situated herself on Drew's lap and let his arms hold her close. They stayed like that for a while, letting tactile thoughts flow between them until sleep drew upon, pulling them with its force to the ground as they fell into a deep slumber in each others' arms. Smoochum and Roselia snuggled up to their trainers, and they too fell asleep. All four of them lay beneath the stars, just beyond the city wall where everything felt more natural and real. The unspoken love between them was in fact, real.