Rating has raised for this chapter. Please be aware that this chapter is rated R. Thank you! Epilogue

Kiss…the gentle sensation of lips upon her forehead began to draw the young woman's mind from the depths of her sleep.

Kiss…this time on her left cheek, calling to her conscious mind to take control of her sleep filled head and rise to the new day.

Kiss…now the lips alighted upon her right cheek at the same moment her mind became completely aware of the world around her.

Kiss…this last upon her lips was anticipated and she responded by kissing back and wrapping her arms around her love's neck. As the man pulled away, she sleepily opened her eyes, letting her arms remain in their accustomed position. "Good morning." She murmured with a smile.

"Morning." He replied with a warming smile of his own before bending down to share another kiss while his hand began to roam across her stomach, playing along the hem of her shirt and causing her to giggle at his mischief.

"You're insatiable." She laughed once his lips left hers to roam down her neck. Just the moment before the last button was undone, the phone on his side of the bed gave as shrill ring. With a groan he collapsed forward, cursing under his breath. "Go on, Mr Pokemon Master!" she teased, pushing hard on his shoulder to force him onto his back, towards the screaming phone.

Grumbling half to her, half to himself he muttered, "How many times do I have to tell them not to call before 10am on a Sunday?"

"Its gone ten forty-five!" she threw back, leaping out of their bed while he lifted the receiver and confirmed his presence to his caller.

Re-doing the buttons on her shirt, well his shirt really, one of his old white ones that reminded her too much of her husband to ever really take off, she made her way down the stairs of their large home to the kitchen, switching on the coffee maker in the process.

It was only the night after did you ever realise exactly how much you had to drink the previous evening when the first wave of a hangover descended over her mind, making her scrunch up her face at the unpleasantness.

"Pi pika pi pichu pi pika chu pikachu pika chu." (I told you not to drink so much last night.) Chimed a small voice from behind her as Pikachu made his way though the kitchen to the garden.

"Oh shut up." She moaned back, glaring at the perky little creature who had to be putting that cheerful demeanour on through shear willpower. She had seen how much ketchup he had consumed last night as well and the effects of excessive ketchup must be the same as it was for her with alcohol. The previous night had been an eventful celebration with friends from everywhere coming to celebrate Ash's fifth year as the current Pokemon Master. The party had gone on well into the night and she couldn't even contemplate what time they had left Viridian City, or the journey back, carried safely by a Pigeot and securely in Ash's arms.

The coffee maker clicked off just as the small creature scampered off into the living room to exit the house by the open french doors. Pouring the steaming black liquid into a mug she wrapped her hands around the container, inhaling the strong smell of black coffee to chase away the ache in her head. Leaning slightly against the counter, she stared out of the window that covered the entire wall to allow a view across the vast majority of their estate.

Since her husband, Ash Ketchum had become the youngest ever pokemon master at just 20 years of age, they had moved into their home mid way between Viridian and Cerulean. Specially build for them from the designs draw up by Tracey, the house was large and spacious while the grounds were extensive, providing enough space and varying territories for both their pokemon to roam free. A river cut through part of their land, providing a fresh flow of mountain spring water to feed the lake that was large enough to hold Gyarados as well as their other water loving pokemon. Steams of varying width had been dug into the ground to allow the water bound pokemon, such as Goldeen, access to as much of the reserve as possible.

From where she was standing, she could see Bayleaf and Bulbasaur playing with a Frisbee in the sun, passing and catching it to each other with their vines while Totodile danced in the middle trying to catch it. As she watched, Totodile finally lost patience and shot down the yellow entity as it whizzed overhead, causing it to crash down to earth for him to claim with his stumpy little arms. His expression was of pure joy until her Marill crashed into him, stealing the Frisbee and making off with it into the woods, the other pokemon hard on her bouncy little blue tail.

The creaks of the weight of her husband on the stairs alerted her to his presence but she didn't move. Staring before their beautiful grounds where every pokemon was happy and cheerful was too entrancing to be distracted from.

Entering the kitchen, Ash soon spied his wife, standing in her favourite morning position before the large windows, dressed only in one of his shirts, a mug of steaming black coffee in her delicate hands. The morning sun had alighted upon her face, causing her skin to glow and hair to shimmer and give the appearance of an angel send from heaven, just for him.

Walking behind her, he slipped his hands around her slender waist and rested his head on her shoulder to join her gaze. Stirring slightly she asked, "So what was that about?" in reference to his phone call.

"Oh just about Koga again." He replied, leaving her side and getting his own mug of coffee. "It doesn't matter how often we tell him the traps in his gym are too dangerous and not enough people are passing his challenge. Nothing changes."

"Yeah, but you passed them, so how hard could it really be?" she teased with a smile, turning around to face him and taking a sip her beverage.

Showing her a wry smile he replied in a soft tone, "Yeah, but I had you to save that pushed me on." Pausing a moment to kiss her gently he continued, "He seems to be under the impression that it doesn't matter how many people do or don't get his badge, cos there will still be masses of people qualified to enter the League but he's sadly mistaken. With only ten official Gyms in the region, it's looking doubtful we'll have more than 100 entrants." He gazed once more at the expanse of green hills with a frown on his face.

Placing her empty mug upon the counter, Misty joined Ash, linking her fingers with his and whispering in his ear, "Don't worry about it. I'm sure that if anyone can see a solution, it's you."

"Thanks Mist." He said, kissing the top of her silky smooth hair. "I don't know what I'd have done without you all these years."

"Yeah, you'd have died by now!" she retorted, poking him in the side and laughing happily while leaping just out of reach, all traces of a hangover removed from just being in his presence for a short time.

"Hey! And you'd still be sitting alone by a lake with a status of just a water trainer rather than your title." He quickly counted, chasing her through into the living room while referring to her title as the winner of the Whirl Island Cup for the last two years running. Finally grasping her around her slender waist, they over balanced and landed in a heap on the sofa.

"And you'd be nothing more than an idiot with a dream. Well, you're still an idiot but your dream came true." She gently stroked back a few strands of his flyaway hair, tucking them back into his black, and untamed bird's nest known as his hair. Staring deep into each others eyes, the distance between them gradually decreased until their lips met in utter bliss.

As the intensity of their actions increased, a small and annoyed cough was heard behind them. "Pi pika pichu ka pi pikachu pi pika kachu pika pi pika pi chupi? Pikachu, chupika pika pi chu pika Pikapi." (How many times am I going to tell you guys to get a room? Anyway, Brock wants to see you Ash.) Grumbled the small rodent from the doorway to the living room after throwing an annoyed and slightly disgusted look at his trainer with his wife. However great it always seemed to get them together, once it came down to it, they were impossible to live around and since they had lived in their current home, Pikachu had held his own house. He bounded out again into the gardens after saying his piece.

Rolling their eyes and stifling their mirth at his behaviour, Ash got up and helped Misty to her feet, parting with one last kiss before walking through to open the front door. Slipping carefully away, Misty retreated back upstairs for a shower and to get properly dressed. Wearing just a large shirt was fine if it was just the two of you but definitely not when company was around.

Walking past a pile of clean laundry, Ash casually slipped on a shirt to go with the comfortable trousers he was already wearing to try an appear less like he had just emerged from bed in case his old friend had company the little rodent had neglected to mention.

Opening the large oak doors that constituted as the main opening to the house, Ash stepped outside. Seeing no trace of his old friend he followed the path around to the reserve where he soon spotted the spiky haired man, talking to Cyndaquil and giving him a small scratch on his head. Standing by the side of the house, Ash watched as soon, word that their "Uncle" Brock was around, a rush of pokemon appeared from the trees, water and fields, clamouring for his attention and one of his custom made treats.

"Alright, alright just calm down." He laughed, reaching into his pocket and emerging with a few small blue, green and red bags. Reaching into each one he retrieved a small cube, giving those from the blue bag to the aquatic creatures, one from the green to the grass types and a few from the red to those with the ability to breathe fire. Content with their prizes, each hopped off to their own quarters, savouring the morsel for a special time.

"Well you're as popular as ever." Chuckled Ash, sneaking up on his old friend.

"From the way they all came up, you'd think they never got fed." Commented Brock, knowing full well that every pokemon Ash and Misty owned were fed by his own mix. Smiling in the sunshine, the two men looked out at the pokemon paradise before turning and heading into the shade of the house.

Talking about nothing in particular, the two men made their way into the living room, closing the doors to the reserve in order to keep their conversation private from any and all prying pairs of ears. Reaching into his small backpack, Brock brought forth a normal pokeball, slightly battered but in good working order none the less. "I really hope this solves our problem." He added, passing it to Ash who promptly threw it into the air to release the captive pokemon inside.

"Pikachu!" chirruped the small yellow creature. Her black beady eyes looked from one human to the other, taking in the smell and appearance of this new man with the untidy black hair. The two red patches on her cheeks were bright and vibrant, evidence of the excellent care administered to her by Brock after she had been abandoned near his home. Tentatively she moved forwards slightly towards the hand offered to her by the new man, warily allowing him to reach behind her ears and gently scratch her fur in a comforting way.

"You're absolutely beautiful." He murmured, ceasing the scratching for a moment to turn to Brock. "How old do you think she is?"

"I'd say around ten years, so a bit younger than Pikachu. She's been well trained once but who knows what happened between her good trainer and being dumped." He replied, running a hand through his hair.

The female Pikachu frowned at the untidy haired man, annoyed that he hand stopped scratching and paying attention to her to the extent that her timid nature was ignored and she butted her head against his still outstretched hand. This obviously was a source of amusement for the two men as they laughed at her comical antics and slightly bemused expression.

Picking her up gently, Ash offered his shoulder to her, just to find out if she had ever know the privilege of sitting on a human's shoulder like his own had known for years. Mildly confused and almost a little reluctant she took the offered shoulder, clinging tightly with her claws buried in the thin material of his shirt.

"She seems a happy pokemon and will fit in easily enough with that lot. Hey, go away!" he jokingly yelled once spying at least five small heads peering in through the glass door. Every creature fled at his shout, knowing their cue to leave was now, however curious they were about the new comer. "Does she have a nickname?" he inquired, realising the implications of having two creatures that would answer to the same name.

"Well, when I saw her I had Pikachu in mind and considered the idea of giving her to you then. I asked Susie what she thought as I'm no good with names and she came up with Sephy." He informed his friend, scratching the back of his head.

At the mention of her name, the little Pikachu's ears perked up in Brock's direction, looking for a treat that soon came sailing through the air to land in her outstretched paws. Leaping from her perch on Ash's shoulder, of which she still wasn't sure of, to the floor she proceeded to munch away on her tasty little morsel. Laughing, Brock explained he had been training her to answer to the name in that fashion and it may take a little while for her to realise a treat didn't come her way every time her name was spoken.

"Want to stay and see Pikachu's reaction?" asked Ash, moving to the wall where a yellow button was mounted. This lead to a small bell in the small rodent's private home, one that he had insisted on once the plans had been drawn up, stating that there was only so much time a pokemon could spend with his trainer and his lover.

"I'd love to but I have to be going. There's a breeders convention in Viridian City and I'm already a bit late." He said, picking up his bag and glancing at his watch. "Let me know how it goes." Waving goodbye, Brock showed himself out while Ash waited in the sunshine for his faithful friend to come bounding across the grass from the small chalet set a little way away from the main house.

Grumpily, Pikachu glared up at his trainer, wanting to know exactly why he had been so annoyingly summoned when he was secretly trying to remove the side effects of a late night out on the ketchup. Throughout the last ten years at least he had made it quite sure that no one knew that any side effect existed from excessive consumption of the red elixir and he was in no mood to change anyone's mind.

Gently picking up his faithful friend, stroking him a few times to placate him, Ash began to inform him. "Brock's brought over a new pokemon that he doesn't have time to take care of."

Pikachu nodded in acknowledgement, already anticipating another baby for him to look after like had done so countless times in the past. "Now, she's a little timid and shy but I think you're going to get along and I want to make sure she'll be ok here so for the next few days at least can you make sure she knows where the food is, where the migrating Beedrill sometimes nest and generally introduce her to our way of life. Can I count on you for that?" asked Ash, turning to head back to the house and walking very slowly.

'Great!' thought Pikachu to himself. 'Another baby for me to nanny and constantly worry that it's going to walk off a cliff or into Gyarados' mouth.' But his love for his trainer was too deep to say no, even if it was going to be troublesome. Stepping into the living room, Ash motioned for Pikachu to jump to the ground to be at a better height to greet his new charge.

"Sephy?" softly called Ash, peering over the sofa for their new friend. She was curled up on a cushion, her tail tucked neatly around her while dozing in a patch of sun but became fully awake once her name was heard. Glancing up, she caught sight of a handsome, confident Pikachu. First his expression was of one of a fake happiness, put on for a person or occasion he would rather not meet or attend. But once he too saw the other of his kind, this expression vanished to be replaced with a slightly blank, shocked look and his red cheeks became an even brighter, if that was possible.

"Pika? Pika pikachu?" he inquired, slowly climbing onto the sofa next to her with a small smile and a welcoming attitude.

"Chuchu pichu pi?" Sephy answered, turning her head away in embarrassment. He was just so handsome!

Knowing his presence was no longer needed, or wanted from the impression received of his best buddy, Ash gently slipped away, closing the door to the rest of the house behind him. Stifling a chuckle as after all the countless times Pikachu had been annoyed at him and Misty for being too, "coupley" as he called it, Pikachu was swiftly becoming a hypocrite.

The sounds of the shower in use from the bathroom leading off their room alerted him to the whereabouts and actions of his wife. Just as he reached the door to the bathroom, left slightly ajar, the shower was turned off and Misty stepped out of the cubicle, wrapping herself in a warm, fuzzy white towel from the rack.

He paused for a moment, just to gaze at her like he often did. There was something so…heavenly about her that he felt the need to pinch himself every time she looked at him or touched him. Her damp red hair lay around her shoulders, pale completion contrasting beautifully with the auburn streaks. Last night she had been so radiant, he was terrified some other man was going to steal her away and he'd never see her again. Or heaven would call, desiring its most beautiful angel back to guard the sacred gates.

Gently pushing the door open, he caught Misty just as she was turning around to leave the room, causing her grip on the towel to loosen and fall around her as it fell off her back, exposing the bare skin. Swiftly wrapping his arms around her, he buried his face in her neck, kissing the skin softly while gently tickling her back.

"Hey! Get off!" she protested, letting go of the towel where it remained between them before wrapping her arms around his neck and running her fingers through his hair, gently using it to pull back his head. Staring into his wickedly brown eyes, she lost herself for a moment. Their heart rates slowed and began to match, beating the same rhythm as the space between them began to diminish and they met in a deep kiss, full of passion and love.

So lost in their intimate contact, Ash's grip around Misty loosened slightly, just enough for her eyes to snap wide open and for her to break their contact and duck under his arms to swiftly make her way through the open door, leaving the towel behind.

It took a moment for Ash to return to the real world. But by this time, Misty was throwing one last, cheeky grin through the door before closing it and shutting him in. "Hey! Come on Mist!" he called through the door.

"You need a shower." She replied, leaning against the door to prevent him emerging.

"But I'm sure I saw a dirty patch on your back…" he seductively whispered back, pressing hard on the door, willing it to open.

"Just shut up and get on with it, your mum's coming over for lunch today so get a move on." She instructed him, wanting to get on with the day and prepare the mid day meal.

Silently he agreed with her logic. It was already twelve and his mother usually came at about half past. Pulling off his shirt and dumping it carelessly on the floor he made his way to the shower, turning it on and allowing the water to run and become the perfect temperature before undressing fully and submerging himself under the warm cascade.

His mind began to wander and he couldn't help thinking of Pikachu's expression when he had laid eyes on Sephy. He understood Pikachu better than he understood himself and had known before introducing him to his new friend that he had been predicting another newly hatched pokemon that would require the care of a parent. After he had been so wonderful with Togepi and Azurill, Ash had always thought Pikachu enjoyed the responsibility but when he had been required to look after a young Magby a year or so ago while a friend had been staying, Ash had only seen the annoyance show through. Of course, since then he had never asked Pikachu to look after anything that needed more than one or two days care to settle into his reserve and for a while he had hoped this would cheer his best buddy up and out of a mild snap of depression. Pikachu was the oldest pokemon he owned and he'd never realised what a strain it was to be labelled as the "responsible" pokemon. Hopefully, Sephy would sort out that issue.

Ash had been so deep in his thoughts, he hadn't noticed the door to the bathroom quietly open to allow another person to enter the room. It was only when the frosted glass door opened behind him was he aware of her presence.

"Maybe I did miss a small patch…"