Hello all! This is my first Pokemon fic, so do be gentle with it.
This is a one-shot fic (possibly two-shot if I continue it). This story has a rating of PG-13 for slight content issues as well as complicated reading. Also, the focus for the story will be Advanceshipping with a slight Contestshipping notion for all you contestshippers. If I do continue, there will be slight Pokeshipping as well.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon. Pokemon is the sole property of its creator Satoshi Tajiri, and its producetion companies (domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM). I personally own only the ideas portrayed in this fic and I receive no monotary value for this fic.
Personality Change - Ash: With his experience with Bayleef in Jhoto, I doubt Ash is as dense about love as the anime makes him out to be...so there's a not-so-dense Ash for you here.
Age Change - May: May was held back 2 years from going on her pokemon journey, because of her inexperience with pokemon. She is nearly 13 in this fic, while Ash is 15.
Italics - Thoughts
Italics in quotes - emphasized words
When Earth Meets Ocean
Why does this sort of thing always seem to happen to us? And on today of all days? Ash Ketchum angrily thought to himself as he ran down the beaten path, with his traveling companion May at his side.
The day had not started well for Ash and the gang. They were on a tight schedule, speeding towards Pacifidlog Town on the fastest speedboat they could find. They weren't too worried about the timing then; the registration for the last contest of the year didn't end till the end of the day, and by then it was only around ten or so. They were full of breakfast that Brock had cooked up for them in a hurry, the seas were calm, and the sky was clear of clouds. The ocean consumed his thoughts as he stared across it's expanse to the occasional island.
The ocean is a deep sapphire blue…just like her eyes.
Ash sat straight up from where he leaned over the railing of the boat, already taking notice of his face feeling a tad warmer.
"Hey Ash! You okay? You look like you're starting to get burned." His long-time traveling companion Brock pointed out matter-of-factly. He reached into his pack before pulling out some lotion and tossing it to Ash.
"Y-Yeah, thanks Brock." Ash stuttered, still shaken from his own thoughts.
"Are you alright Ash? You don't look so good," chimed in Max. "You never stutter."
"Yeah Ash, is there something wrong?" added May.
"I'm fine, just remembering some things while we travel." Ash responded cheerfully, smiling at May in particular as he did so. He passed the lotion back to Brock before pulling his hat over his eyes slightly, clearly showing he wanted a bit of rest while they waited for the boat to reach the port.
May. For the past month or so, she has never been far from his thoughts. When Ash first met her he saw a young, inexperienced trainer who knew next to nothing about Pokémon…much like himself all those years ago. He had planned on coming to Hoenn to start all over again, and planned on travelling alone; but not even a day into his journey in this new land and he already had a new companion. At the time he thought that it couldn't be helped; he would help May begin her journey and get her started with her training, then continue down his own path. Of course, then Norman, May's father, talked Ash into taking her with him. He still remembered that conversation they had…
Norman had taken Ash to the destroyed gym. He took Ash away from the group to talk to him about some advice, trainer to trainer, before he left for his journey.
"So Norman, what kind of advice are we talking about here?" inquired Ash, eager to get straight to the point and get on with his journey.
Norman, who still had his back to Ash, took a deep breath before turning to face him. Ash suddenly noticed that despite his still relatively young looks, the man before him had been through a lot over the years and had gained much wisdom during that time. Ash knew whatever he said was important, so he gave Norman, who still had his eyes closed in thought and his hand to his chin, his undivided attention. After a few uncomfortable moments, Norman acknowledged him. "Have you ever released a prized Pokémon back into the wild?"
Ash both smiled and frowned inside at this question. He had released a few Pokémon over his years of travel; two specific one's popped into his head straight away. Ash nodded, "yeah, I let the first Pokémon I caught, Butterfree, go with his mate to start a family, and I let my Pigeot go to help protect his cousins from attack by a group of Spearow."
Norman visibly relaxed at this. "Well then, I'm sure you know how painful it is to let one of your best friends go, not knowing if you'll ever see them again? Not knowing how they'll fare on their own?"
Ash nodded, still not completely understanding where he was going with this.
Norman took a deep breath before continuing. "Look Ash, I know you have your own journey, your own plans that you wish to follow. But I must ask you to do me a favor. Please take May with you. I know how crazy it is when you start an adventure, and how dangerous it can be out there by yourself. I don't want her braving the region alone, not on her first time out. That's why I held her back two years before letting her go on her own adventure. I worry about her all the time, seeing as she's never been out on her own before. Seeing as you've traveled before many times, I was hoping you could teach her all you know about Pokémon and how to survive on her own. Show her the ropes you know?" He finished with a bated breath, waiting for Ash patiently to respond to his request.
Ash considered his proposal. May was a slow walker, complained a lot, and new next to nothing about Pokémon. There was so much to teach he wouldn't know where to start. Kinda like me when I started. He reminded himself. He knew he couldn't turn down a request such as this from the beginning, but for some reason decided to think it over anyways.
"Don't worry Norman, I'll take her with me on my journey. You've got nothing to worry about." Ash confidently replied.
Norman broke into a wide grin before seizing the startled boy in a big hug.
"Thanks a lot Ash, you have no idea how much this means to me. Please take good care of her." He said as he released Ash from his tight grip.
"No problem Norman, I'll be sure to protect May for you. I promise." Ash replied, still slightly shaken from the hug.
"I'm holding you to that promise Ash." Norman said while extending his hand.
Ash grasped the hand firmly and shook it, before the pair walked out of the gym towards the front porch.
That all happened so long ago, yet I still remember it as clearly as if I heard it all yesterday. He said to himself, as he coyly glanced towards the young coordinator who sat across from him, who was currently occupied with her Beautifly. She had grown so much since then. Though she didn't follow the path of the trainer like her father wanted her to, she still had developed and blossomed into a beautifully talented coordinator, one who could make her parents and fans back home proud. Her skills, which had been honed under the initial guidance and help of Ash, have lead her to win four out of the five ribbons needed to enter the Hoenn Grand Festival, the Pokémon Coordinating Championship in the Region. She hoped to gain her fifth and final ribbon in this last competition, for which she was more than ready for.
But her skills are not the only things that have changed. He thought blissfully, before mentally slapping himself again.
Ever since he jumped into the Forbidden Forest to rescue May from the angry grass Pokémon, he had started to notice things about her. The way she laughed, the way she teased her brother Max, the way she stood when she was the most confident…and when she was the most intimidated. He noticed how when she got really hungry her appetite could rival his own, and how much energy she always seemed to have when it came to trying new things and finding new appeal techniques, much like he was with battling strategies. He noticed the way her clothing enhanced her looks, the way her blouse showed her curves nicely, leaving little for the imagination (he knew he shouldn't, but he was a guy after all). He noticed the way her hair blew on a breezy day, never blinding her vision or impairing her movement. He noticed her looks, her personality, and even the little nervous habits she had like playing with her hair or playing with her fingers behind her back.
He noticed her personality as well. He took notice of how she cared greatly for all her Pokémon, and how she would pass that caring on to her friends and family. He saw how she would stand up for herself, and defend her friends and Pokémon at all times. And though he still saw how she was somewhat easily swayed by persuasive people, she would always turn around and do what she knew was best in the end. Sure, at times, he saw that she could easily lose her confidence, and quickly would become easy to be hurt. But to Ash, he knew she was strong inside, she just needed the extra boost to show her true colors. He noticed all of this, and each night it haunted him.
He also noticed how much she affected him after he started to notice her more. How much he would give just to see her warm smile. How proud he was of her performances whenever she took the stage. How far he would go to wipe the tears from her eyes; eyes that should never be made to cry. How he was willing to protect her from anything that may come in their way. How he knew that deep down he would do anything and everything for her.
But why is this all happening? He asked himself. Even now as he stared at his unknowing object of affection, he felt his face heating up; just the thought of her now sent chills up his spine and brought color to his face. Object of affection? Is that what I see her as? He asked himself. Despite what Ash lead others to believe, he did know a good deal about love. After all, he had his Pokémon to help teach him what it meant to have compassion for another. The thought on one particular Pokémon, Bayleef, brought a smile to his face. I guess it would make sense. When Bayleef was still a Chikorita, Nurse Joy had to help her get over her overly compassionate attitude for me. But, May's my friend; she has been ever since we started our journey in Hoenn. Why now? Why have I become infatuated with May? Ash nearly choked on his own thought. The idea of being infatuated with his traveling partner, who was a bit younger then himself, was mind bottling, even for him. Still, even as he rethought the same sentence over and over again, he knew it was true. Could it be that I've fallen in lo-
A sudden jolt of the boat jarred Ash from his thoughts as he instinctively grabbed the railing for support. "Is everyone alright?" He asked quickly, instantly looking to May.
Everyone nodded and replied that they were alright before the boat's captain came out from behind the steering wheel. "Well, I've got some bad news. The engine's malfunctioned, and I'm going to have to go into the nearest port to make the necessary repairs." he confessed.
"We can make it to Pacifidlog Town from here though, can't we?" May asked anxiously, standing to face the captain.
"I'm afraid not miss. Those two islands ahead of us are about half the distance to Pacifidlog Town. We'll need to dock there so I can see if I can make a temporary repair. I don't have the equipment onboard to fix the problem." the captain said regretfully.
May groaned and sat down with her hands covering her face, silently cursing her luck. And the day had started with such promise too…
With the captains' help, Ash, May and Brock tied their Swellow, Corphish, Mudkip, Ludicolo and Beautifly to the bow of the boat so they could tow it to the nearest island. With all of the Pokémon pulling, they made record time, pulling into port around noon.
The captain quickly inspected the damage, and within a few minutes it became clear to him that this was going to take a while, and he might not be able to get the boat repaired in time. Knowing that his passengers had a time schedule to keep, he recommended that they try for the ferry service to Pacifidlog Town on the other side of the island, about a two hours walk. With enough luck, they could make it to the other side of the island before the last ferry left around five and still have time to do some sight-seeing along the way. They thanked the man for his effort, and as they left for the other side of the island he promised that if he managed to finish before nightfall he would try to get to the other side of the island and make sure they made it.
The group walked single file through the port town to the trail that would take them to the other side of the island. As they walked, a certain brown haired coordinator became lost in thought.
She began thinking about the day…how she had so prepared for this final contest, how she got her appeal strategy all worked out, how she had made pokeblocks for her Pokémon so they could become even more graceful and elegant in the appeal round and in the battle rounds. How everything she had planned so tediously for, the contest, the Grand Festival…all of it could be ruined by one freak malfunction.
But even as she thought about this, her mind couldn't help but drift to other thoughts, if only to relieve her from the stress of the moment. As they began the climb up along the path, she couldn't help but notice as she looked up and around how green the trees were on this island. They obviously got a lot of rain on this island. Drew. May thought with a slight blush. Her rival coordinator had started to grow on her, with his good looks and cool attitude, she couldn't help but feel queasy at the thought of him. But I hardly even know him. I've only seen him a few times, and aside from his looks and his skills as a coordinator, I know nothing about him! She thought anxiously. True, she had always been a sucker for the cool kids…she knew that quite well. Still, she couldn't help but think of the possibilities.
She was jostled from her thoughts once they reached the plateau at the top of the island. Everywhere they looked, Donphan where performing rollout attacks across the plains, rolling around and smashing into each other hard enough to make the group wince.
"What do you think all these Donphan are doing? I've never seen them like this before." Ash asked.
Brock turned to a brochure he picked up at the docks. "Hmm…it appears that this week is the start of the Dophan's mating season here." Brock summarized.
"Mating season? Sounds exciting!" exclaimed Max. "I wonder, how do they choose a mate?"
Brock provided the answer. "Apparently, the males fight each other over the females. That's why there's some Donphan just standing around. The males try to attract the attention of a female by proving they're the most powerful male, and they do that by proving which of them has the most powerful rollout attack by trying to knock out the other males."
"Wow, sounds dangerous." May added, slightly intimidated by the males' aggression.
"We should be fine as long as we don't attract their attention. We have to be careful though, this warning says that getting too close could prompt the Donphan to attack." Brock warned.
"You mean like that one over there that's charging us now?" Ash pointed matter-of-factly to his right, where sure enough a Donphan was charging as fast as it could towards the group.
The group gave a shout of surprise and they all separated and dove out of the charging Donphan, who took it as a victory and spun off to the mate he was trying to impress. May got up, standing in the middle of the path while the others recovered off to the side. As she brushed herself off, she heard pawing from behind and immediately turned around, only to come face-to-face with a second male Donphan, much larger and closer then the first. With a loud cry to declare his challenge, the Donphan curled himself into a ball and charged at the petrified May, who was too terrified to move.
"May! Look out!" her brother Max shouted. But she couldn't hear him. All she saw was her approaching doom, the large spinning Pokémon that would surely cause her great harm should he connect with his target. Her conscious screamed to jump out the way, but she was consumed by her fear of this creature. Never in all her life had she been more terrified, more certain of her own destruction. She didn't even blink when a large thunderbolt was sent right in front of the charging Donphan, hoping but failing to divert its attention.
It was so close that even if she did try to move now it was too late. She waited with bated breath for the attack to come, for the pain to consume her…
It never did.
At the last moment, seeing as May was not going to move, Ash dove across the path of the Donphan and grabbed May, spinning her around with him. They fell together on the other side of the path, Ash hard on his back clutching May to his chest protectively. The Donphan, never sensing the connection with his target, spun off to find another.
May was unsure of what happened. She was so close to the Donphan she could've reached out and touched it before she felt something collide with her side at an odd angle. The surprise of the collision caused her to clamp her eyes shut and let out a short shriek of terror, before she spun around from her attackers' momentum and landed on something much softer then earth; something that gave a shout of pain on impact.
May's eye's snapped open at the shout of pain that was not her own, and quickly discovered just who pulled her out of the way of the Donphan.
Ash still had his eyes clenched shut, obviously not happy about his landing. May breathed a sigh of relief, and was just about to ask if he was okay before she suddenly noticed her surroundings. They had landed in a brush pile on the other side of the trail and were luckily out of eyesight from any other Donphan, but the way they had landed was what got May's attention. Ash's arms were wrapped around her waist, holding her close to him for protection. May's own arms were tightly pressed to Ash's chest, where they had been pinned when her reflexes kicked in from their collision. And as for Ash's face, May quickly realized that she was mere inches away from him, and the thought of being this close to him brought an instant blush to her face. She started to think of ways to get out of this position before the others saw, but all thoughts were driven from her mind when he cracked an eye open and smiled at her.
"Hey, you alright May?" he asked softly.
"I should be asking you that Ash." She replied in the same manner as him.
Ash laughed for a second, before the realization or their position became etched across his face with a blush as deep as her own. Without hesitation he released her from her grip, and she pushed herself off of him before offering her hand to help him up as well. He took her hand and helped himself up, before meeting her eyes sheepishly with a hand behind his head. Both were still blushing furiously.
In the moment when their eyes met, something happened. Warm brown met deep blue, earth met water, land met sea. They became lost in the other's gaze, never breaking contact, never blinking away…for a moment.
"Ash! May! Are you two alright!" called a concerned Brock from the other side of the path. Quickly looking around for the sign of any more Donphan, Brock rushed over to the trainers with Max alongside.
"Yeah, we're fine." May replied with a sign of relief, the blush already gone from her face now that the eye contact with Ash was broken.
"You guys alright?" asked Ash.
"Yeah, we're fine. We decided to stay where we were in case the Donphan came back." Brock responded.
"Good, let's keep going shall we? We have a ferry to catch." Ash stated, with a side-glance at May.
"And to make sure we don't get in trouble again…Corphish, I choose you!" Ash called, throwing his pokeball into the air to summon the crustacean Pokémon. "Corphish cor!" The Pokémon cheered happily. "Hey Pikachu, you and Corphish work together and keep us out of danger, ok?" Ash asked his two faithful Pokémon. Both replied their eagerness to help out as Pikachu jumped off Ash's shoulder to walk beside Corphish. "Mudkip, you help out too!" called Brock as he summoned his own water Pokémon.
"Ah, I get it. Donphan is a ground Pokémon, so water Pokémon should be able to stop them in their tracks!" Max summarized.
"Well let's get moving then, we've wasted too much time here already!" May hastily replied, starting down the trail at the head of the group. The rest, having no choice, quickly sent out in pursuit of her.
As they began travelling again, Ash pulled out his pokedex and searched for Donphan. "Donphan, the armored pokemon. Donphan has sharp, hard tusks and a rugged hide. Once it starts rolling, it's hard to stop it." Ash frowned at the pokedex before tucking it away in his pocket.
As they continued travelling across the plateau, altering between forested and plain areas, they saw many Donphan facing off against each other. They avoided all of them with ease, until one brown Donphan lumbered out from the underbrush. As the Pokémon readied their defense, they noticed the Pokémon was not charging them at the sight of them.
"It must be a female." Brock concluded. But just as he said that, realization stumbled upon the group: where there was a female, there were agitated males. They quickly ran off just as two males arrived.
As they continued on their hike, they came across a group of Donphan that were relatively calm compared to the others. It quickly became obvious that this was a group of couples, who have already found their mates. They were relieved that they did not have to avoid this group, since it would set them on a huge detour to get around them. That relief did not last long however, as an angry bachelor male came charging out of the tree line, barreling towards the group.
"Corphish bubblebeam!" Ash shouted. "Mudkip Water Gun!" Brock called.
"Cor!" "Mudkip!" the Pokémon shouted as they released their attacks, colliding with the Donphan and sending him into the air, only to come down and land with a sickening smash on a rock.
"Oh crap…" Ash groaned. Apparently they overdid it on the attacks in their excitement, and now the Donphan was seriously hurt. "We've gotta help it out, we can't just leave it injured." Brock said while looking towards May.
May sighed her agreement. She knew this would take a while, but at least it would give her some time to think some more while Ash and Brock tended to the Donphan.
She needed to think not about the contest, which was becoming a slimmer chance of attending by the minute. No, she needed to think about a certain someone other than Drew.
Ash. She had to admit, he had been on her mind a lot in recent weeks. She didn't know what made her think of him so much recently. Aside from them training together a little more to prepare for their contests and gym battles respectively, not much had changed with Ash in those recent weeks that would make her like him anymore then she already does. But I do like him more…but why? What do I find so appealing about him? She knew the answer to the questions before she even asked them.
Ash is kind and caring. He cares for the safety of his friends and pokemon more than his own. He always supports his friends in everything. He has a heart for all creatures, even if they don't deserve his kindness. And he's not afraid to express his feelings. Sure, he can be a bit rash at times, but he always has good intentions; and things usually work out when he's around anyways.
She then began to remember things from their journey across Hoenn, how Ash was always there for her when she needed someone to help her with her appeals or to get her confidence back. When I lost my first contest to Drew, Ash was there to comfort me when I was down. I got a little carried away back then and was crying over nothing really, but he was there for me nevertheless. And of course, how could I forget the time he saved me from falling off that cliff? Or the time he saved Torchic, even though he was hated by practically all of the townspeople there…and after all that he never made a big deal about me "winning" the battle against him. He cares for me and my Pokémon like we were a part of his family. She smiled at that thought. No matter what happened, even if they got into a fight like the one a few weeks ago, they always made up in the end in ways neither of them could comprehend.
Finally her thoughts drifted to Ash's looks. Sure, Ash wasn't the most attractive guy she knew…though he certainly was up there in the listings. She blushed at the thought of him in swim trunks. Sure, he didn't seem like the most physically fit guy around, but his body was very deceptive. She knew from her experience with Ash not an hour ago that Ash actually was very well built, and it made sense because he had been on the road for so long. By far though the most captivating thing about him was his eyes. In his eyes May saw the warmth of Ash's heart. She saw his dependability, kindness, and caring for all things both great and small. They say that eyes are the gateway to one's soul…and with Ash I believe it. But, why am I thinking like this? Surely I've never thought of Drew like this, and I have a crush on him! May pondered this for quite some time as she watched Ash apply the finishing touches to the Donphan and as it slowly started coming around. Well, Ash is my friend…but that doesn't explain why I feel giddy when he's near me, or how I think his smile could light up a room, or lost when I look into those brown eyes of his…I could get lost in those any day…wait, what? May shook her head to clear her thoughts. Come on now, I'm starting to think like I'm madly in…love…with…Ash…
If one could die from suddenly realizing they're in love with their best friend, May would be history. But even as hard as she tried to rid her mind of the thought, the more she tried to refuse it the more it made sense. I can't think I love Ash! He's my best friend! ...but I can't stop thinking about him, I haven't been able to for a couple of weeks now…but I have a crush on Drew! He's hot, he's cool, he's dreamy, and he gives me roses all the time! He's such a romantic hottie! …but Ash…Ash would do anything for me if I needed it…but he's a friend, and that's what friends do! They help each other out always! …but Ash would do anything for anyone if it was for the good of all…he's almost entirely self-less…but Drew's helped me out with bits of advice as well! …but Ash has spent hours helping me train for my contests, even though he's never competed in one… May sighed in defeat; there was just no point in arguing it anymore. Even as she watched Ash talk softly to the awakening Donphan and whisper words of encouragement to it, she knew in her heart what was true. I love you Ash Ketchum. And with that thought her face turned what felt like a permanent shade of red.
Okay, ever since that incident with the injured Donphan she's been acting really strangely. Thought Ash as he decided to give another side glance at May, who was walking beside him with Max and Brock in the rear as the three Pokémon walked out in front. As he ever so slightly tilted his head to the left, he once again for what felt like the umpteenth time in the past half hour caught her staring at him. She quickly averted her gaze, but it was starting to get on his nerves. Still, it is kinda cute how she always thinks I don't know she's looking…wait, cute? Ash decided to give another glance at May this time knowing she wasn't looking. He saw how she was both tense and relaxed by the way she was walking (often times he found that a lot of the things he noticed about Pokémon could be applied to humans as well) and how she still had a light pink flush on her right cheek. He looked back before she noticed and sighed to himself. Yep, definitely cute…boy have I got it bad for her…
The group was passing through what they hoped to be the final field before they would go through the woods and find the trail that lead them down to the ferry. It was now pushing on three thirty, as their delay with the bachelor Donphan, whom they gave advice to for getting a mate of his own, held them back considerably, not to mention how they would often have to backtrack to avoid other Donphan. As they passed through the field, Max noticed something familiar.
"Hey, isn't that the brown Donphan we saw earlier?" Max inquired. The Donphan in turn was performing a rollout around the field as various males chased after her.
"Yeah, it looks like the same one." replied Brock.
"Hey look! There's that bachelor male we helped out earlier!" Ash pointed out, as indeed the very same Donphan they had helped out earlier was engaging itself in the fray, knocking out one Donphan before another hit him in the side, sending him skidding towards the group. Ash rushed over along with May to see if it was alright.
"Hey, you're doing good Donphan! Just keep at it and you'll have that brown Donphan in no time!" Ash cheered.
"That's right Donphan! Don't forget what we talked about earlier!" May added kindly.
"Doo!" The Donphan acknowledged. Its confidence returned, it spun itself into another rollout before chasing after the group again, which by now was moving to the far side of the field and into the woods.
"There he goes…I hope he ge-" Ash was interrupted by the sound of one of his pokeballs bursting open, and without even turning his head he knew what pokemon was now at his side.
"Snorunt!" The playful ice Pokémon cheered. Ash, thinking quickly, reached for his pokeball and tried to recall it. But before he knew it, Snorunt was chasing after the Donphan on the far side of the field, firing ice beams as he went which caused many of the Donphan to slip and fall.
"No! Wait, get back here Snorunt!" Ash called to his Pokémon as he tried to return it. But Snorunt while laughing dodged the recalling beam and ran off into the woods. "Snorunt!" Ash called as he gave chase, knowing that this was exactly what the troublemaking Pokémon wanted. Luckily the Pokémon had enough decency to run in the general direction they wanted to go. The rest of the group, knowing they didn't have a choice, followed suit. Snorunt, I swear if you ruin May's chances of getting into that contest, I'll roast you alive. Ash mentally threatened in a half-serious tone.
As they ran into the forest, an ice sculpture caught their attention. After looking at it for a few moments, it became clear that someone, no three someone's, was encased in the ice, and they were none other than….
"Team Rocket!" The group called out in unison, though it didn't really matter at the time since all three were out of action.
"Snorunt!" laughed the ice Pokémon as it trotted around the sculpture, admiring his latest artwork…and his latest victims.
"Return!" called Ash, finally managing to capture the mischievous Pokémon and return it to its ball. No sooner had he returned the ball to its holster and breathed a sigh of relief then the very group of Pokémon Snorunt was chasing appeared; a total of five Donphan, startled by the attacks, charged the group.
"Get out of the way!" Brock called, as he and Max, who were a little ways behind Ash and May, chose to run back the way they had entered the forest. May and Ash dove further into the forest, hoping the closer trees would force the Donphan to break their rollouts in order to chase them.
Ash and May ran together for ten minutes before finally collapsing to the ground in exhaustion. "Whew…pant…I think…pant…we lost them." Wheezed Ash, exhausted from the run through the forest. As he said this he looked at his surroundings, and with a strangled cheer realized that they had somehow found their way back to the path, which was only a few feet away. Ash got up and leaned against a tree as he waited for May to recover, who was currently sprawled out on the forest floor.
It was then that he realized that it was just May with him. "May, get up! Max and Brock are missing!" called Ash, as he walked over to her side. "WHAT?! Where could they have gone?!" May practically screamed as she sat bolt upright, causing Ash to wince in surprise as he extended his had to help her up.
"I don't know, but we should get going. You still have to get to that contest if you want to compete!" Ash hastily replied, as he pulled May to her feet and, still holding her hand, began to jog down the path towards the port.
"There's no time!" Ash interrupted. "Max has the Pokenav, so we don't know what time it is! We have to get to the port as fast as possible or you'll miss the contest!" He explained. May understood, but was still in conflict over what she should do. Catch the ferry and sign up for the contest, or go back to find Max, knowing there was little chance she would be able to find him in time to catch a ride.
Finally, after an unknown amount of time of jogging and a couple of breaks, Ash and May finally broke through the tree line to see the port below, ferry and all. Off in the distance, they could just barely make out Pacifidlog Town, nestled around a cluster of islands. "Whew, we're almost there." Ash said, visibly tired from the constant running they had been doing all day.
They decided to take a short break on the hill, seeing as they had time to spare and neither was very keen on moving at the time due to being totally spent. Ash pulled out a couple of sandwiches they had made during breakfast, made from the jam of some of the edible berries they found near the last Pokémon center they visited. Unfortunately, they were fairly smashed from earlier on, but they were too hungry to complain. As they sat there eating, May couldn't help but worry about her brother. She remembered what her mother said to her back in Petalburg; how she was to keep her brother safe at all times since he was the youngest of the group. May promised her mother that she would keep Max safe, and now…and now she was breaking that promise.
As they saddled up to head to the port, May finally spoke up. "Listen Ash, I know you want me to compete in the contest so I can get into the festival…and I believe me, I'd do almost anything to get there…but…we just can't get on the ferry and leave Max and Brock out here! I mean, I know they'd understand, but Max is my little brother and all…" May tried to explain to Ash her feelings to Ash before finally trailing off as she her gaze met his. She looked away, fearing the gaze would be more intense then she could handle without losing herself in it.
"May…" Ash started, trying to find the right words to say. "We're not getting on the ferry." He said shortly, much to May's surprise.
"B-but, if we're not-" May was cut off by a hand on her right shoulder, firmly but gently gripping her in a caring embrace. This time, she could not help but avoid his eyes.
"May, you're getting on that ferry so you can compete. As soon as I know you're safely on the ferry I'm going back for Max and Brock. I know you care for your little brother deeply May, and that's why I'm going to find him and bring him back safely for you." Ash declared. "We just have to worry about getting you on that boat before it leaves." He added as the first whistle blew, signaling fifteen minutes until launch. That was plenty of time to make it if they moved fast enough.
May fought back tears as she heard Ash's words. He really would do anything for me, just to see me happy…just to know I was safe. "I'm sorry Ash," she started. "But I can't leave without Max…I made a promise to my mom that I would protect him no matter what, and I can't just break that promise!" She said, holding back the tears as hard as she could. Ash placed both hands on her shoulders now, and looked deeply into her eyes, deepening the intensity of their gaze.
"May, I know you want to keep your promise, but if we don't hurry you won't be able to compete! Everything you've worked for, all the effort you've put into making it into the Hoenn Grand Festival, will be for nothing! Sure you'll be able to compete another year, but you won't be able to fulfill your dream of competing this year! You're going to miss your big chance to show the world what you're made of!" Ash rapidly said, trying to convince her as fast as possible she had to go now.
May sighed, and looked down for a moment. She knew what he said was true, and that this was her big chance…and she was about to miss it. But she knew now that it wasn't just about Max anymore…there was something else. This boy, who would go to the ends of the earth for her, was standing before her, holding her in a formal embrace, as a friend, and at the same time so much more.
"I'm sorry Ash, but I just…I dunno…I guess I just can't compete this year then…there's so much going on I can't even get my thoughts straight." She said as she turned away from him and breaking his grip on her shoulders. She looked out to the ocean, and she felt more at peace…and like something was missing…some sort of closeness she had not too long ago. Her face flushed slightly, and the tears that were held back for so long finally broke free, slowly at first, but gaining strength as a river during a flood. No sob accompanied these tears, these twin rivers of sorrow, emptiness, and confusion. As she started crying, venting all the built up emotions inside of her, the ferry, her last hope of competing in the Grand Festival, blew its final whistle before slowly moving out of the port towards its destination.
Ash was at a loss for words, as he watched the ferry sail off towards its destination. "Pika…" his travelling companion sorrowfully called, almost forgotten on his shoulder from the heat of the moment. Ash looked over towards May, and knew it was now or never if he wanted to salvage anything out of this day. He walked over to her as she stared unseeing out towards the ocean, the sea of uncertainty reflecting in her eyes. He gazed over her face, noting that even in sadness, she was still beautiful to him. He removed his gloves from his hands and pocketed them, before snaking his left hand out to cup her left cheek. The contact brought her back to reality instantly, and she immediately locked eyes with him. She never broke the contact, but by now there was no way neither of them could even if they wanted to. Ash slowly and carefully wiped her cheek dry of the tears, before repeating the same action with his other hand on her other cheek.
Although he wiped her cheeks clean of her tears and she was no longer crying their gaze remained unbroken. Ash still cupped her right cheek, as the gaze grew more intense by the moment if it was still possible. Deep, ocean blue eyes met warm, earth brown eyes, and slowly but surely their emotions were sent to the other without a single word or motion. Their flurry of emotions played like the music of the very nature of the sea and earth themselves. The ocean rushing forward, soaking the earth with its essence, preserving the bond between the two; when it can no longer hold out, the earth rushes forward, returning to the ocean part of the earth, sealing within the ocean part of itself forever. The power of the moon takes the two seemingly mortal enemies, and makes them one; neither surviving without the other. Just as it seems Mother Nature herself has brought the two individuals, still locked in each other's gaze, together, to make them one.
As their very souls became threaded together in this one, timeless moment, a final knot was all that was needed to finish the masterpiece; a knot that took the form of a kiss.
It cannot be said who closed the distance between the two, for by that point they moved as one, each moving forward as the other did the same. When their lips met their eyes closed, the gateway to the souls having already been crossed by both. Through their lips exploded every hidden passion, every minor and major feeling for the other was released in a display so fiery with passion Ash's Charizard would have been put to shame. As the kiss deepened, and the knot was finally sealed, the kiss was broken; having only been an explosion of passion, compassion, commitment, and intimacy.
As soon as they broke the kiss, their eyes opened up; seeing a little clearer, understanding a little more. Words could not describe what had happened during the kiss that made them one; so they didn't try to put it in words. With a smile, they dove in once again, this time knowing that they were finally together, and that nothing would ruin their moment.
May wrapped her arms around Ash's neck as Ash snaked his arms around her waist, locking each other in a loving embrace, pushing their bodies as close together as possible. May, surprisingly being the more daring of the two, extended her tongue to trace the outside of Ash's lips, sliding back and forth across his entrance. Catching on immediately, Ash parted his lips, allowing May free reign to his mouth, to which she enthusiastically replied with a soft moan. Her wet tongue slid into his cavern, exploring every inch of his mouth, burning the memory of it into the back of her skull forever. She found his quivering tongue soon after exploring his mouth, and with a little enticement, she encouraged it to dance with her own, noting the slight taste of the sweet berry jam that lingered from the sandwiches they had eaten earlier. Ash and May battled with their tongues for several moments, before Ash finally claimed victory by pinning her tongue under his own. Now, as May's tongue retreated Ash's grew bolder, following its partner back into its owners' orifice. He explored her mouth to his hearts' content, remembering every minute detail for all time. When he finally reached her tongue again, he finally noticed the slight yet distinct taste of the spicy berry jam she had eaten earlier, and savored the taste on his tongue. This continued for several minutes, before both broke the kiss, gasping for air, blushing furiously, and Ash's hat askew.
They panted quietly as they continued staring at each other, somewhat unbelieving of what had happened in the span of ten minutes that lasted ten years. But the evidence remained, both on their faces and on their tongues of what had occurred. Still holding each other lovingly, May finally broke the silence.
"S-so…are we…you know, boyfriend and girlfriend now?" She asked nervously, almost fearing a rejection that she knew deep down would not come. A smile and a peck on the lips was what she got for an answer.
"Does that answer your question?" Ash asked soothingly. She nodded, and gave him a peck back before stating what she knew in her heart was true.
"I…I l-love you, Ash," she stuttered. Both of them were still quite uncomfortable with the sudden change, as they became increasingly aware of how new and unusual these sensations were from what they were used to.
"I know May…and I love you too," he replied calmly, his grin and blush growing with each passing second.
They stood there for a minute, each holding the other in a loving embrace, never wanting to let go, never wanting the moment to end. Alas, it had to end sometime.
"Pika, pika Pikachu!" The yellow mouse Pokémon complained; having been totally ignored for the past several minutes, he was getting antsy and felt like he was intruding. But still, he had to remind the new couple that they were supposed to be looking for two certain someone's who were still missing.
"We have to go and find Max and Brock…"Ash trailed off, not wanting to end the moment. May nodded, finally breaking the embrace with a quick hug before they separated.
"You ready?" Ash asked, regaining his composure, his facial features breaking into one of his classic smiles.
"Of course I am, now that I have you." replied May. So, hand-in-hand and with a certain faithful rodent reclaiming his perch, the two set out in search of their comrades.
Four depressed people sat at the end of the docks, feet hanging off the edge as twilight began to fall. It hadn't taken May and Ash long to find the brown Donphan from earlier, and after finding Max and Brock with the bachelor Donphan they managed to get the two together. Sure, Team Rocket tried to capture the Donphan, but after a little teamwork from Ash and May and help from the Donphan's, Team Rocket was set blasting off again. Now the group, exhausted and saddened that May would not compete, were watching as the sun sank towards the ocean, obscuring from view their destination.
Out of the entire group, May was the most conflicted, as she sat between Ash and Max on the pier. Sure, she wouldn't compete, but she did find out that those deep feelings for Ash were equally returned; and as sad as she was, she couldn't help but smile at that knowledge as she scooted a little closer to him.
Max noticed her movement, but decided not to say anything about it at the moment…he would have plenty of time later to tease her about it. Still, he could not take the silence any longer, and felt he had to say something to break it. "I'm sorry you didn't get to compete May." He stated sorrowfully.
"It's okay Max. Things happen for a reason." May replied simply. Max was caught off guard, as that was not the reply he would expect from his sister. He was about to ask what she meant, but she spoke up again.
"Today has probably been the worst day of my life so far…but it's also probably been the best." She added, smiling while she said it. This statement greatly confused Brock and Max, as they both turned to look at her as she leaned back on her palms and continued to stare out into the sea. On his part, Ash simply scooted a little closer to May, successfully feinting he was adjusting his seating arrangement as he leaned over on his legs with his hands resting his chin.
"What do you mean May?" Brock asked, putting the question Max was thinking of in word form. Both stared at her with curious expressions, as she tried to think of the best way to surprise them. After all, she knew she was going to blow the minds of both her travelling companions, why not go for gusto? "Yeah, come on May, what happened while we were gone to make this trip so good?" Max added, unable to contain the smirk as he tried to push her buttons in just the right way. "Did you find a boyfriend while we were gone, like Drew?" he laughed, knowing of his sisters' crush on her rival coordinator and how much talking about him irritated her. His laugh was short-lived, however, when May started laughing too.
"No, no, no…Drew didn't become my boyfriend." She said, sitting up and looking at him straight in the eyes with a look that Max did not understand…one that was starting to creep him out. But he did pick up on the fact that May did not actually deny that she had a boyfriend. Max smirked, knowing that his sister just gave him more ammo. "Oh yeah? Well since you didn't deny you have a boyfriend, they you must have one!" Max pressured, smirking all the way. "Who is it then? Pikachu?" He laughed hard again, unable to contain it anymore. "I bet it is! You couldn't get a real boyfriend May, I know you too well!" He finished, barely holding back tears.
Brock was surprised that May had not once tried to deny the claims Max was throwing on his sister, no matter how untrue they were to begin with. That can only mean one of two things…he thought to himself as he tried to read her expression. She has a marvelous comeback already planned…but then he noticed how Ash, so nonchalantly, snaked his left arm around her waist. …or, what Max said…might actually be true in a sense…He looked again, with Ash's arm now completely enclosing May's waist. Not might be…is. He thought, as he sweat-dropped at the realization behind Max's back.
"Actually Max, you're not that far off." Ash said, shaking Max out of his fit of hysteria and leaving him wide eyed. Both of them looked at him with smiles, as the horror of his accurate guess became a reality when May placed her hand over the hand that now held her waist. As the two dumbstruck guys watched, May reached up, took off Ash's cap, then pulled him in for a quick kiss before their eyes, any modesty gone the moment their lips first met.
"EEWWW!! ASH! MAY! STOP IT YOU'RE BLINDING ME!!" Max yelled, shielding his eye's from the sight of his sister kissing the guy he looked up to as a mentor. Brock merely sighed, mumbling about how he wished he had a girl that loved him. Still, he offered his congratulations as soon as the now-official couple broke apart seconds later.
When they had all calmed down, May rested her head on Ash's shoulder as his arm held her in close. Just when they were about to leave, they spotted a boat coming close to the port. As it grew closer, they heard a familiar voice calling out to them. "Hey! You guys still need a ride?!" yelled the captain, as he steered the boat up to the docks. The group was astonished to say the least at the arrival of the boat captain, because now it meant that…
"May! Looks like you're going to be competing after all!" Brock cheered, as everyone broke into joyous cheers. The trip to the island town of Pacifidlog would take a half hour tops, and the contest registration ended in two and a half at ten o'clock. As they boarded the boat and took their seats, May and Ash on one side with Brock and Max on the other, May couldn't help but think that maybe fate had a role in all this. But as she turned to look at her first love, she knew it wasn't fate that brought them together. We were just meant for each other.
As the ocean and earth have molded themselves together to always be connected to the other, so have Ash and May sewn their hearts together, making two souls, one.
Have you enjoyed it? If so, read and review!
Depending on how many questions are asked, I may post another chapter to explain away most of the symbolism seen throughout this piece (hint hint).
Have fun with figuring the underlying meanings of this story out!
Note: Had trouble uploading it the first time...hopefully it'll be better this time.