Epilogue

A young teenage boy ran through the wilderness as fast as his legs would carry him. He scampered through the dense forest, brushing branches of trees and shrubs out of his path. The wood and branches nicked his legs as he tried to get through them, frantically trying to keep up with himself and not lose his breath on the way. He took his glasses off his face and held them in his hand as he ran, he knew that if he dropped them there would be no way for him to go back and get them. He saw a fallen log ahead of him and prepared to make a running jump over it, but an unforeseen fallen tree branch nicked his leg as he was making the jump.

"OUCH!" he cried as it pierced his skin.

He landed on the grass on the other side of the log but lost his balance quickly after that. He fell on his side and yelped out in pain. After moaning and groaning to himself some more, he stretched out his legs to look at the blood trickling down from where he nicked it while running.

"Damn, this hurts like hell," the boy whined, searching in his bag for anything to cover the cut with.

He didn't have long to search his bag however as he could already feel something breathing down its neck from behind.

"Dammit, its caught up to me," the boy gasped.

He put his glasses back on and brushed his jet black hair out of his eyes. His blue t-shirt stuck to his skin with sweat and his tan shorts were covered with dirt and mud. He had been running from the beast for nearly an hour, hoping to lose him in the thick foliage of the forest, but the beast kept its scent on the boy and followed him the whole way through relentlessly.

"Crap. If I'm going to go down, I might as well go down fighting," the boy said determinably, "Ivysaur, I need you!"

He threw his Pokeball into the air and called out his strongest Pokemon, the grass-type known as Ivysaur. It was the second evolution of Bulbasaur, and as such it was a bit bigger than its pre-evolved form and had a pink flower growing on the leaves on its back. Ivysaur looked back at its master and heard the upcoming roars from the forest. It assessed the situation quickly and took a defensive stance ready to protect the boy at all costs.

"Ivysaur, this could be our last stand," he warned.

"Ivysaur, Ivy," Ivysaur replied, promising to stand its ground.

"Man, how did I get myself into this mess?" he asked himself, "C'mon, Max, what would you sister think of you if she saw you in this situation?"

"Ivysaur!" Ivysaur bellowed as the beast reared its ugly head from the forest.

Max, now at age 15, had gotten himself into quite a pickle. His legs were bleeding and there was nobody else for miles around that could help him. His one method of defense was his starter Pokemon, his trusty Ivysaur, to protect him from the beast. He wiped his brow nervously as its footsteps pounded the ground as it got closer.

"It'll be ok, Ivysaur, I promise, stay calm!" he called out.

"Ivy. Ivysaur," it said, its eyes swaying from side to side.

Suddenly a huge green arm emerged from the forest and struck Ivysaur harshly on its side. The Pokemon cried out painfully as it went flying through the air and smacked into a tree.

"Ivysaur!" Max called out desperately.

His Ivysaur was lying on the ground, dazed and confused. Max looked in fear at the beast but it was gone. There was nothing surrounding him but thick forest and the chrips of flying types in the air.

Hoping that their attacker had left the vicinity, Max made a dash toward his fallen Pokemon. Just as Max was a few feet away from it, Ivysaur yelled out a warning.

"IVYSAUR!" it cried, shaking its head.

"Huh?" Max gasped.

Almost immediately afterward, the beast emerged from the forest and struck Max on his back. His backpack went flying off his shoulders and the back of his shirt had tears of claw marks. He fell to the ground and his glasses flew violently off his face.

The claws managed to slash the boy through his shirt, and he cried hopelessly as he felt the sting on his back from the strike. Blood trickled down his back and stained his clothes a deadly red.

"Ivysaur, Ivy, Ivysaur!" Ivysaur cried, rushing to defend its trainer.

"No, Ivysaur, stay back!" Max pleaded, lying on the ground, "Get out of here before we both die!"

The shadow of the beast roared from behind him and he knew that this was it. Its shadow towered over them and it prepared to deliver one final strike with its arm to crush Max's spine.

"Ivysaur, Ivy!" Ivysaur said, shaking its head frantically.

"GET OUT OF HERE!" Max cried.

The scent of the beast was right above him. It looked down at him menacingly. It was not going to leave without a kill. Max began to cry his regrets, knowing that there was no way he would survive this.

"Ivysaur, I'm sorry!" he cried, tears cascading down his face, "May, I apologize for that fight we had! I know we haven't spoken in two years, but I love you, big sister! Ash…I wish I could have lived up to your prestige."

The beast delivered its blow.

Dad…I failed you.

~*~*~*~

The bright sunshine filtered through the windows and shone down on the young couple sleeping in bed together. A young man yawned and pushed his hand through his dark hair as his Pikachu jumped off the bed and scampered into the next room to hopefully find some leftovers in his food dish. The man yawned loudly again which caused his girlfriend to sleepily bury her head in her pillow. He then brushed his hand against his face and was feeling rather rugged; he realized he really needed a shave.

He sat up in his bed and stretched some more, as well as scratched his chest under his plain white t-shirt. He noticed his girlfriend still tossing in bed and chuckled, she never could get out of bed before 9 a.m. His girlfriend wore a red bra and panties to sleep, although her unstrapped bra loosely hung off her chest because of how much they were cuddling last night. He gently pulled the covers a bit off her and tapped her shoulder.

"It's morning, you gonna get up?" he asked her.

She mumbled something into her pillow and pulled the covers back over her head.

"Guess not," he chuckled.

He got up out of bed and headed to the bathroom to shave his face. He looked at his appearance in the mirror, he had some hair on his face, although not too much that it could be called a beard. His hair style otherwise remained exactly the same as when he first started his journey with Pikachu when he was ten years old, he still had the same spiky black haircut. His girlfriend suggested that he let his hair grow long in the back so he could have a little ponytail, but he refused and wanted his hair to remain short and have the exact same style he always had since he was little. He was never one to take his time combing his hair since he always wore a hat on his head anyway, so after shaving the hair off his face, he briefly ran his hand through his head and left his same familiar hairstyle as is.

His face had broadened and he was more muscular than the skinny little boy he used to be. He still remained relatively slim however, and was only 5'7" in height. He sometimes wondered why he stopped growing at that height and didn't get bigger, especially since his friends and mentors like Brock and Professor Oak were still taller than him. His girlfriend was only 5'5" though, so while he didn't grow more inches than them, he at least finally gained a few inches over his girl.

He walked back out of the bathroom and saw his girlfriend still lying like a lump in bed. Her brown hair lie messily against the pillow and her arm dangled off the side of the bed.

"May, are you awake?" he asked.

She grunted and tried to lift her head off her pillow. She sleepily gazed around the room and brushed her brunette hair out of her eyes.

"What…time is it, Ash?" she asked tiredly.

"It's 9:30am, we slept a little late today," he said.

She looked at her boyfriend and raised her head on her pillow. She smiled at him fondly.

"I see you finally decided to shave," she said.

"Heh, well after you kept bugging me about how it itches you when we kiss, I suppose it was finally time to use that razor again. You know I hate using that thing, I forget half the time to plug it in and charge it up anyway," he said, chuckling.

May lifted the covers off her body and stood up on the floor. She removed the bra which was dangling off her chest and left it on her bed. She stretched her arms behind her back and didn't mind leaving her breasts uncovered, she had no problem being nude around her boyfriend for years now.

She had truly developed into a beautiful young woman. She let her brunette hair grow and it now cascaded down her face rather than sticking out to the sides like it did when she was younger. Her hair now went down to her shoulders, and it retained that silky smooth style she always had.

Her face continued to consist of that same hopeful yet skittish little girl that reluctantly went off to get her Torchic in Littleroot Town nearly a decade ago. Her sapphire eyes seemed to sparkle, at least when Ash looked at her, and she had the happiest smile that could cheer even the most depressed individual up just by looking at her.

Her body developed into the same womanly appearance of her mother. Her well-toned waist and legs gave her an ideal figure, and her breasts had grown slightly larger than her mothers. Her curves were nicely developed and she remained thin, making many guys envy Ash for having such a gorgeous girlfriend. Then again, May caught several girls checking Ash out over the years as well, and made it well known to them that Ash was hers.

She knew she was attractive but she never flaunted it for anyone but Ash, she wanted to make it known that she was extremely happy with her love life. After all, Ash had remained her boyfriend for nearly six years. She always prided herself that Ash was her first, and was extremely happy that she could share her first intimate moments with the same boy she shared her first kiss with. The couple had fun experimenting and going through the stages of love with one another, and she was glad their affection for each other never dwindled. She had the same guy that treasured her for all those years, and she was confident enough that they would always be together in the future as well.

Ash was currently 21, while May was two months away from being 19.

"Do you know what day it is today?" Ash asked.

May looked at him oddly, not quite remembering what was special about the current day. Ash looked at his girlfriend who was standing there topless, with only a pair of red panties on her otherwise voluptuous body. She looked awfully alluring, especially when she put on that cute confused expression. It was hard for him to stop staring at her, especially at age 21 where his hormones had finally kicked in full stop.

"Eh…not really, Ash," she said, walking toward him and hugging him around the waist. She pressed her chest against him and kissed him softly. "Why? Am I forgetting something important?"

He held her around and kissed her forehead. "Yeah, we're supposed to head to Pallet Town today. Don't you remember? Your parents and Professor Oak planned your brother's birthday party there today."

"My brother's birthday?" she said confused, looking up at him, "Max's birthday is not until a little after summer, its December right now! Besides, after that huge fight Max and I had two years ago, we haven't spoken since and you know that. My parents have had a hard time getting the two us to talk again, and it always ended in failure. Man, who would have thought that Max would turn into such a jerk when he became a teenager?"

"Uh, May…you just hit the nail on the head there. You know, the reason you and Max had a fight in the first place?" Ash reminded her, "I wasn't talking about Max's birthday anyway, I was talking about your other brother."

"Oh right…you mean Ronald," May said, sighing.

She moved away from Ash and sat back on the edge of her bed. She rubbed her eyes with her hand and looked discouraged.

"I forgot about Ronald's birthday party," she said, displeased with herself, "I don't know why I keep forgetting."

"Its probably because of the circumstances surrounding his birth, you've always had a hard time accepting the fact that you have another brother, and have had one for five years now," Ash said, "You really shouldn't forget that Ronald loves you, a lot, May."

"I…I know. I love him too," she said, "It's not just because he's only my half-brother though, I haven't grown up with him like I did with Max. Max and I lived together before we traveled with you, Ash, and then we traveled with you together for a few years too. I suppose since we're always on the road and I don't see my parents much anymore, I keep forgetting I have a baby brother back home at Petalburg who loves me. Heh…every time he sees me he gets all excited that his big sister came home to visit. I shouldn't forget about him."

"You shouldn't forget about either of them," Ash said, "Aside from rarely seeing Ronald, you haven't spoken to Max in two years either. It really isn't like you to push your family away, especially since they're both your younger brothers."

May sighed again and placed her hands on her thighs.

"I've tried to make up with Max before, you know that, but it always ends in disaster. It bothers me that our entire fight revolved around Ronald as well…when he found out what really happened to Mom," she said.

She looked like she was going to put herself down again, and he didn't want that to happen. Ash sat down on the bed next to her, motioning for her to rest in his arms on the bed for a little while. She smiled agreeably and climbed on top of him and rested her head on his chest. She also told him to take off his t-shirt so she could feel the warmth of his chest, and he did so accordingly. She pressed her breasts against him and rested contently in an embrace.

"Max didn't take it well at all," she began, reminiscing about that moment two years ago, "The last time our family was all together, Max found out the horrifying truth behind what really happened to Mom. Ronald was only three years old at the time, and Dad was playing with him in the living room. Mom and I were talking in the bedroom together, and eventually the topic about Ross came up again. I guess no matter how hard we tried to forget Ross and the incident, we just couldn't because we had Ronald in our family now that was a constant reminder of him."

"It's hard, isn't it?" Ash asked softly, rubbing her shoulders, "I feel bad that I wasn't there at the time, maybe I could have calmed Max down."

"That would have probably been impossible, even for you," she said, "Max overheard Mom and I talking about how Ross raped her and delivered us this baby to our family, and Max went ballistic. He stormed into the bedroom with a face full of tears and yelled at both me and Mom about keeping this a secret from him. He was shocked to hear that his Mom was raped, and even more shocked to hear that Ronald wasn't our full blood brother like we told him. He broke down and went into an angry rage about how we never let him knew the origins behind Ronald's birth, and he spent the rest of the day cursing us out and even called Dad names. The three of us tried to calm Max down and told him that we kept this a secret from him for his own good, but he just wouldn't listen."

"Max was 13 at the time, wasn't he? It probably hurt him at that age at the most to know you and your parents kept it a secret for three years," Ash said.

"Yeah, I imagine if I were in Max's place instead, I probably would have gotten just as emotional and angry as he got. To spend three years thinking you have a new baby brother because your parents loved each other and only to find out the baby only existed because your Mom was raped really took its toll," she said, "When little baby Ronald took his first steps walking over to Max to see what he was upset about, Max couldn't even stare the child in the face anymore without crying. Max loved Ronald, but knowing he was the offspring of Ross rather than from his father upset him far too much. He then smashed a couple of things in the house during his rampage, and when he scared Ronald and saw the baby bursting into tears, Max couldn't take it anymore and stormed out of the house."

"Shame, it really bothers me that I wasn't there," Ash moped, "I'm sure Max would have listened to me."

"I doubt it. Despite my parents telling me to let Max go so he could cool off for a while, I disobeyed them and ran after him anyway. I felt terrible for Max and didn't want him to feel this angry and confront his feelings all alone, so I knew I had to go after and talk to him. I ran throughout the entire city of Petalburg looking for Max at every corner, desperately trying to catch up to him. Eventually I found him at Petalburg Square, staring solemnly into the Magikarp fountain. I approached him to try and calm him down…boy was that ever a mistake."

*Three years ago*

"How could you and Mom lie to me like that?!" Max yelled vehemently.

"Max, calm the hell down!" May said anxiously, "I'll explain it to you if you stop acting like such a jerk!"

"No you calm the hell down," Max retaliated, "I can't believe you as well as Mom and Dad fed me that bullshit about Ronald being related to us for all those years. How could you say those lies to me with a straight face?"

"They weren't lies!" May shouted, "Ronald is related to you, you know that! Stop acting like such a brat, he's still Mom's son!"

"Yeah, but he isn't Dad's son!" Max fumed.

He paced the ground around the Magikarp fountain and kicked pebble after pebble into the water. May watched him angrily spew forth obscenities in public toward her and knew that he was blowing his top. In all the years that she had known her brother, this was definitely the angriest he had ever been.

"So just because he isn't related to Dad you have to pull this whiny and pissy fit?" May asked.

"Why shouldn't I?" Max yelled, "It's not just the fact that I now know he's my…half-brother, it's the fact that my entire family lied to me! I can't comprehend why you guys would leave me in the dark about this!"

"We left you in the dark about this because you were too young at the time!" May said, desperately trying to get through to him, "You were only ten years old and first starting your Pokemon journey when we found out that Mom was pregnant with Ronald. Do you honestly believe at the time when you were happier than you had ever been in your life out there on a Pokemon journey, that Mom was going to tell you that you have a new baby brother coming, but it's not from Dad and that it was from a rapist? Do you know how crazy it would be to tell you that at that age?!"

"Mom and Dad sure had no problem telling you that," Max remarked.

"They had to tell me," she said squeamishly, "I'm the older sibling, for god sakes, Max, Mom had to tell at least one of us. They decided to tell me because I…already…knew that…Mom was raped."

Max stopped fuming and looked at her in a perplexed manner.

"What?" he asked.

May sighed and took a deep breath.

"I knew Mom was taken advantage of because I heard it from the guy who did it himself, yeah, Ross," she said, "When Mom was kidnapped, I confronted Ross in an alley alone with my Combusken, remember? During that confrontation Ross told me to my face that he raped Mom a number of times. Do…do you know how I felt at that point, Max? Do you honestly know what was going through my head when he said that?"

Max listened to her intently.

"I…I felt like falling to pieces. I could barely comprehend and stomach what he just said he did to my mother, with no pity or remorse for what he did either. He said it to me with a straight face like he was proud of himself and I felt like I could barely breathe. I was so emotionally distressed at that time that looking back, I'm surprised I managed to make it through that ordeal in one piece. Not only could I have been killed because I could barely think straight, but I could have lost it altogether and never recovered from psychological turmoil," May said, getting angry, "So what do you think I went through, Max? You're too busy going on a rampage because Mom, Dad and I agreed it was better to keep it a secret rather than telling you the truth. We didn't want to tell you that such a horrible thing happened to Mom, you wouldn't be able to understand it, and even if you did, it would have been a terrifying thing for a ten year old boy to find out his mother was raped. We kept it a secret for your own well-being, there was no reason for such a terrible revelation to be told to you at that point. Who…who knows what might have happened to you if you found that out, you were far too young and immature to handle it maturely...but then again, I guess you're far too immature to handle it now too."

The last comment ticked Max off again. His sister didn't mean to do it, but she just ignited the flame that was burning in his chest again. Max began to shout to draw attention to himself so everyone around him would hear.

"WOW. So I'm too immature to handle that my mother was RAPED and I had to be told a horrible lie about how my new baby brother is from my parents rather than from a rapist," he shouted, "Thanks a LOT, May. You sure made me feel a lot better by waiting to tell me this now."

Several people walking by started looking at the fight the two siblings were having. People turned their heads and started making comments, since they recognized the two siblings as Norman's children.

"Max, will you shut the hell up and get a grip?!" May said angrily, "I could barely handle the reality that Mom was carrying Ross' child in her either, but I managed to pull through and act strong for Mom. It would be nice if you stopped acting like an asshole and did the same."

"And to think, I probably still wouldn't have known about this whole situation if I didn't actually overhear you and Mom talking about it in the bedroom," Max exclaimed, "What were you guys going to do? Planning to keep this a secret for another couple of years and never let me know?"

"M-maybe," she said, "We…we never fully agreed whether we'd tell you someday in the future or not. I…I just feel bad that you had to find out in the way you did."

"Yeah, I'm sorry too," Max fumed, "I'm sorry that I have you for a sister."

May shook her head.

"You don't mean that," she said, "Just…calm down, Max…please?"

"All I can say is I'm really disgusted by you and our parents right now," Max said.

May looked around her and noticed a crowd forming around them. Many bystanders were listening to their entire argument. May started to feel nervous and embarrassed.

"Max! People…people are looking at us!" May exclaimed, "You…you don't want the whole town to know, do you?"

"I think it's too late for that, May, I think they already heard it all from all the yelling," Max scoffed, "It's sickening and repulsive that this day had to end like this. I don't think I'll ever look at you or Mom and Dad in the same way again."

Max started walking off and pushing through the crowd. May quickly followed him.

"You're…you're overreacting. What…what about Ronald?" she called out.

Max stopped in his tracks and turned toward her.

"You…you love Ronald and he loves you. You're not going to turn your back on your baby brother now, are you? It would be an absolutely horrible thing for you to treat him differently now that you know how he was born. You can take whatever you want out on me, but please don't take this out on Ronald. There's enough controversy surrounding this already, we don't need our baby brother to grow up thinking his siblings resent him."

Max took a deep breath. The entire crowd of people were gossiping and waiting for what he would say. May looked around her and was peeved that these people crowded around and listened in on their fight.

"I'm not going to take it out on Ronald," Max said, "I'm just not going to going to look at you or Mom and Dad the same way again. I can't believe my respect for my father has been shattered."

"But it doesn't have to be that way!" May pleaded, running up to him. She placed her hand on his shoulder to calm him down. "Max, you're still overreacting. Once you calm down and reconcile things with yourself, you'll think rationally. Please stop it, what do you think Ash would say if he saw you acting like this?"

"Ash…?" Max muttered.

"Yeah, you think he would approve of you acting in this manner? You know he wouldn't think it's acceptable for you to turn your back on your family simply because of this, he'd be extremely unhappy with you."

"Maybe so," Max realized, "But here's one piece of advice, May."

"Wh-what's that?" she asked, skittishly.

"If you decide to have kids with Ash someday, make sure you only have them with him. I'd hate to think what your son would say if he found out his father wasn't Ash but someone else," Max said hastily.

"That's a retarded thing to say, Max," she said vehemently, "You act as if I'm going to be taken advantage of by some guy the way Mom was someday. That would never happen."

"I used to think a lot of things would never happen," he replied, "But now that I know you told me that lie about Mom and our brother for three years, I don't believe anything anymore. Just make sure you don't open your legs for anyone but Ash. You never know anymore."

May was infuriated that he would say such a thing. Her face blew up entirely and she lost herself in rage. She furiously slapped Max across the face so hard that his glasses went flying off his face. He fell to the ground and rubbed his face hastily where she had slapped him. The surrounding people gasped.

"You don't dare say something like that to me again, Max," she said furiously, "Or I swear I'll beat the crap out of you right here and now in front of everyone."

Max rose to his feet but didn't answer her. At age 13, he was now the same height as she was, so they were able to look each other in the eye. Both had a face full of contempt toward the other sibling. The townspeople continued to watch with shocked expressions.

"You're not my sister anymore," he muttered to her face.

He angrily walked away from her and picked his glasses up off the floor. The surrounding people watched as he pushed through them and stormed out of there as quickly as possible.

May felt her rage suppressing and was now somewhat sorry for what she did. His comment about her was rude and uncalled for, but she didn't want to strike him in front of everyone and make him storm off, especially when she promised her parents that she would calm him down and bring him back to the house.

She watched her brother storm off in the distance and felt remorseful and full of sadness.

"Max…" she uttered.

*Present*

"I haven't spoken to Max since the fight, but he did manage to make up with Mom and Dad about a month later," May said, leaning against Ash's chest, "Our parents tried to get us to talk to each other again, but it never worked out. I must have really humiliated him when I slapped him hard in front of all those people; Petalburg citizens, which is why he didn't make up with me but he forgave Mom and Dad for lying about Ronald's birth."

"You really should have gotten me to talk to your brother, I would have been able to help!" Ash said yet again, sitting up in the bed, still holding her in his arms.

She shook her head slowly once more, her face was filled with doubt. She moved in closely and kissed him briefly for his compassion.

"It was too big a humiliation. As I said, those were people of Petalburg watching us fight. They all knew who we were, and Max felt it especially hard," she said.

"Just because you slapped him?" he asked.

"Not only that, but because he felt a lot of pride in our town. Don't you understand, Ash? We know Max wants to become the Petalburg Gym leader after Dad retires. How would you feel if you, a young trainer aspiring to be the Gym leader in a town, was slapped and humiliated in front of all the people who live there?" May revealed, "That must have torn him up inside, because he's probably wondering how the Petalburg citizens can take him seriously as a future Gym leader now when he got beaten up by his own sister in public?"

"Jeez, I can see what you mean," Ash said, frowning, "It really must have been embarrassing."

"Yes," she said solemnly, "I feel so bad to this day that I hit him, I regret it all the time. Back then, I was just so insulted by what he said that I lost myself in anger, but looking back, I suppose I could have been a little more responsible. I wish I could apologize to his face, but he never let me."

Ash sighed, but thought of an idea.

"Why don't you apologize to him today then?" he asked, "I'm sure he'll show up for Ronald's birthday party, you and your brother could make up with each other."

"We've both been at Ronald's previous birthdays, but whenever I tried to talk to him he just ignored me. I told you my parents tried to get us to talk to each other again, but he just wouldn't have it. I doubt this time will be any different," she said.

"I'm here this time," Ash said, "I'll try to get him to open up to you."

He rubbed her shoulders passionately and caressed her chest as he attempted to reassure her. She slowly slid off her undergarments, and he watched as she slid her red panties off the bed.

"Ash…" she said, smiling, "Max hasn't seen you in five years, heh, I doubt he'll even recognize you anymore."

"I haven't changed that much," Ash said, chuckling, "I've just gotten a little taller…why do you think I've kept the same hair style? I want everyone to actually recognize me when they see me again."

"You've also gotten sexier," May said flirtatiously, stroking his chest.

"Eheh, well, I guess that's only something you'd notice," he said.

She leaned toward him and tickled his ear with her tongue. She started rocking on his body as she stroked him alluringly.

"Of course I noticed..." she said, "There's a reason we spend so much time in bed together."

Ash chortled. "Sure, I guess I can't complain. I promise though, when we go to the party at Pallet Town later, I'll talk to Max. It isn't right for you two to carry on this fued for any longer than you have already."

"O…ok," she said.

"I promise, ok?" he asked her again, gripping her shoulders as their motion continued. They both moaned slightly.

"Ok," she replied, "We'll see how it goes…but I'm not expecting any miracles. I'm more excited to see Ronald again, I haven't seen him in a couple of months. I bet he's grown taller by now."

They talked about Ronald contently but their love soon escalated into sheer passion as they slowly lost themselves in one another. Ash's clothes were pulled off as their flesh intertwined and they kissed and moved along the bed with one another. The party was scheduled to begin in the afternoon at 3:00pm, but it was only 9:50am in the morning for the time being. They would have plenty of hours to lose themselves in their love making before they would have to leave, and they would surely savor their time together passionately.

~*~*~*~*

Norman and Caroline held the birthday party for their son at Pallet Town this year, because they knew Ash and May were returning to Kanto since they finished their journey in the region they were currently traveling in. While May's parents were looking for a place to rent out the party, Ash suggested that they have it on Professor Oak's ranch, since there was plenty of free space there and his old friends could make the visit as well. Norman and Caroline agreed to the idea, and notified everyone about Ronald's fifth birthday party.

Ash and May arrived in Pallet Town an hour early to the party and greeted their friends and family when they arrived. There were streamers and many tables set out on the grass behind Oak's lab, and plenty of food set up as a buffet which sure made Ash's stomach rumble. Delia was there to greet her son of course, and this time Delia had to look up into her son's eyes rather than look down due to his height. Delia, as usual, looked like she barely aged a day. It seemed that no matter how much time passed at all, her face still had the same youthful appearance and that same lengthy brown ponytail. Caroline actually got a bit envious of Delia, for it seemed like she was able to still look young while her face showed some slight signs of age.

Professor Oak and his assistant Tracey said hello to Ash and exchanged news about their Bulbasaur. Ash and May were astonished to hear that their two Bulbasaur had mated again and continued to produce more eggs together, and Professor Oak, with the two Bulbasaur's permission, decided to give the offspring to newbie Pokemon trainers ready to start their journey. Many trainers came to Oak's lab week after week, eager to start their careers as trainers, and those trainers who wanted to pick Bulbasaur got the special offsprings of Ash and May's Bulbasaur to start out with. Of course, the Bulbasaur's first offspring belonged to Max, May's brother, who wasn't at the party just yet. The two Bulbasaur sighed as they wanted to see how big and strong their first born had grown into, but Ash reassured them that Max would show up to the party eventually.

May hugged her Mom and Dad after a long time no see, and asked where her brother Ronald was. Caroline told her that he had to go to the bathroom, and was going back inside Oak's lab. Ronald was a short boy with dark black hair like his biological father and was quite skinny to boot. His face, for better or worse, also resembled Ross'. The look of his face especially is why Caroline let her son have a head full of hair, she feared that if she got him a shaved head, he'd look just like… him.

After a few more moments of chatting, Ronald exited the lab and was ecstatic when he saw his sister standing outside.

"MAY!" Ronald said jubilantly, "My big sister is here!"

May giggled and ran over to her brother and snatched him off the ground, covering him with hugs and kisses. Norman and Caroline smiled warmly appreciating that May was so close with him.

"Of course I'm here, silly, you don't think I'd miss my baby brother's fifth birthday party, did you?" she said excitedly, lowering Ronald to the ground.

"Mommy told me you were coming," he said, jumping up and down, "I got so excited because I love seeing you again, big sister!"

"Me too!" she squealed, "I know sometimes there are long gaps when we don't see each other but I try to visit every time I get a chance!"

"But why don't you see me more often? I miss you," he sulked.

"Aw, that's because I'm older, Ronald. I have to travel around the world to compete in Pokemon Contests. It's my career, it's what I love to do. I'm sure Mom and Dad told you all about my Pokemon Contests," she said.

"Mommy told me you look very pretty in those Contests," he said.

"Tee hee, I guess that's true," she snickered, "Do you remember Ash?"

"Ash?" he asked, looking puzzled.

"Yeah, that man over there," she said, pointing to him.

Ash walked toward the boy with Pikachu on his shoulder, and bent down on one knee so he could talk to him easily.

"Hi, Ronald, I'm Ash!" he said.

Ronald looked at him blankly.

"Pikachu, pika?" Pikachu asked.

Pikachu's voice excited Ronald and he turned to the electric Pokemon and started grabbing his cheeks.

"This is cute!" Ronald said gleefully, squeezing Pikachu.

"Piii—iika," Pikachu moaned as its face was being squeezed.

"Guess he doesn't remember you too well, Ash," May said.

"Maybe not, but he sure likes Pikachu!" Ash said, "How about it, Pikachu? Want to play with Ronald?"

"Pika!" Pikachu said.

It jumped off Ash's shoulder to the ground and let Ronald touch it.

"Remember, Ronald, we need to be gentle with Pokemon," May instructed, "Pet its fur nicely."

"Nicely?" Ronald asked.

"Yea, like this," she said, stroking Pikachu's yellow coat as her little brother watched, "Pokemon like to be petted."

"Ok!" Ronald said, slowly and carefully petting Pikachu.

"Pikachu, pika," Pikachu said happily.

"Heeheee!" Ronald giggled.

Ash and May watched as Pikachu amused Ronald by making funny faces with his face. The little boy giggled and clapped his hands in amusement while Pikachu entertained him.

"Don't take it personally, Ash," Norman said, placing his hand on his shoulder, "But it seems my boy just likes Pokemon more than you."

"Hey, I know perfectly. I was the same way when I was younger too!" Ash said.

"You sure were," Delia chimed in, "You were always amused by Pokemon even when you were a baby."

"Most infants and children DO have an attachment to Pokemon when they're young," Professor Oak said, walking toward them, "Pokemon are meant to be our companions, and right from an early age we humans need to learn to trust them. The connection Ronald is making with Pokemon now will surely benefit him in the future."

Ash agreed, he surely knew it firsthand. Professor Oak then asked Ash if he wanted to see how his old Pokemon were doing on the ranch, and he of course agreed to go run over and check them out. Delia wanted to reminisce with her son some more so she went with the two, in addition to Norman, who was interested in seeing what Pokemon Ash collected over the years. May and Caroline stayed behind with Pikachu and Ronald, they wanted to watch them play some more.

Pikachu stretched out his face completely. "Piiiiikachu!"

"Heehee, you're funny! Mommy, do you see the funny Pokemon?" Ronald asked.

"Yes I see him, dear, Pikachu is a very funny Pokemon," Caroline said.

"Wow," May said while watching her brother, "It's really hard to believe its Ronald's fifth birthday already. Time sure does fly."

"It does indeed, I can still remember when I was pregnant with him as if it were only yesterday, it feels like the last few years have just flown by," Caroline said.

"You…have fond memories of it now?" she asked her mother.

"Somewhat," Caroline sighed, "I know the history behind his birth is a troubled one, but since he was born I've loved him so much that I can't imagine us being without him. He really has been a joyous boy."

"Heh, I agree. I love him every time I see him. It's…a little bothersome though," May admitted.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, if it weren't for…you know, what happened, Ronald wouldn't be here right now. I kinda have mixed emotions about it, I love my brother, yet at the same time, I wish you were never kidnapped and had to go through that torture with Ross. It's...very conflicting."

"It is," Caroline sighed, "I still don't know whether to call his birth a blessing or a curse, perhaps love has overweighed the negative however. After all, your father loves Ronald as if he were his own son."

"Yeah, I'm really proud of Dad. He's never looked at Ronald's birth as anything but a positive, despite everything, he's such a great father," she said.

"Whether or not his birth was planned, we cherish him nonetheless. I just wish you and Ross would see each other more often, he tells me all the time how he misses you," Caroline said.

May looked at her mother in a confused manner. "Uh…Mom?"

"Hm?"

"You just called him Ross," May said.

It took a few moments for Caroline to register what she said, she looked somewhat distressed, and tried to reassure her daughter that she didn't say that.

"I didn't call him that, I called him Ronald," Caroline told her.

"No you didn't, I heard you say Ross," May said, "Mom…you don't still think of him…do you?"

Caroline sighed, she knew what she said and the slip of the tongue depressed her.

"It's…hard to forget," Caroline said truthfully, "Every time I look into your brother's face…he reminds me of Ross."

"You never told me that," May said.

"He has the same exact facial structure as his father. The resemblance is nearly uncanny," Caroline said, "If he had a shaved head, he'd truly look one and the same."

Caroline was telling the truth. While she tried to put on a positive demeanor in regards to her son, every time she looked at him she was reminded of the man who raped and abused her. She wasn't confused over whether it was a blessing or a curse, to her, it did feel more like a curse. Ronald's face was an almost exact replica of Ross as a child, and it reminded her of the pain she endured every time she saw her own son.

"He left this family a child so we all remember him," Caroline said solemnly, watching the boy giggle and play with Pikachu, "It never lets me forget the pain."

"Naming him Ronald probably didn't help matters either, Mom," May said, crossing her arms, "You could have given him a name that didn't begin with the same first two letters. At least that way you wouldn't have slip ups while saying his name."

"True…the name just came to me though…I don't know why we really decided on it. Your father and I both knew it sounded too much like Ross, but we went with it anyway."

May shook her head.

"Just stay positive, Mom, you know, like you tell me all the time," May said, "I love my brother and I know you and Dad do too. I'd rather him be here than not, and that's why, for better or worse, I can accept the past now because of the present. It just isn't fair to project all this sadness onto Ronald when he's just an innocent boy that doesn't even know his real father isn't your husband."

"You're right, May, I do tend to try and push the conflicting thoughts out of my head. What's done is done, but the pain still lingers, and that's what bothers me," Caroline said.

"Mom."

May walked over to her Mom and hugged her while they both watched Ronald play with Pikachu with delight and cheer.

"Pikachu, pika pika!" Pikachu exclaimed, pulling its cheeks.

"Pikachu, you're funny!" Ronald cheered, "Do it again! Do it again!"

Perhaps the depressing past did make way for a joyous future.

~*~*~*~

As the time passed more of their friends started showing up at the birthday party. May and her parents were still wondering where Max was, as he was usually never late to Ronald's birthdays. They figured he was going to get here eventually, but they hoped he arrived soon because Ronald was asking for him. May also hoped to finally make up with her brother and end their two year fued as well.

Ash was delighted to see Brock show up at the party with his girlfriend, Tana. Brock didn't change much in the last five years at all, aside from getting more serious with his girlfriend, who had her scarlet red hair tied in a ponytail. She wore a pair of jeans and a white long-sleeve shirt while Brock wore his usual attire.

"So what have you been up to, Brock?" Ash asked happily, "I haven't heard from you in a while."

Brock snickered and held Tana's hand. "Well you know…Tana and I…" he said sheepishly.

"…don't get nervous, Brock, just spit it out," Tana said, "Brock and I were thinking about tying the knot, but he's awfully nervous about it."

"Tying the knot?" Ash asked, confused, "What knot?"

Tana and Brock looked at him blankly.

"Geez, Ash, no matter how many years go by you're still the same old Ash," Brock said, "This is Ash, Tana, might as well break it down for him."

Tana giggled. "Saying that you're thinking about tying the knot with someone is another way of saying we're thinking about getting married," Tana said happily.

"Getting married?!" Ash said, astonished, "Really?"

Brock and Tana smiled upon Ash's reaction.

"We've been together for five years now and everything has worked out fine," Tana said excitedly, "Brock here has been thinking about starting a family."

"What? I have not, you know that's your idea!" Brock bantered bashfully.

"Nah, dear, it was yours," Tana said, "He wants to follow in his parents footsteps. I guess we're going to be having ten kids like his parents did."

"Ten kids?!" Ash exclaimed, "That's…a lot!"

"Well my Mom and Dad were able to raise ten children…until they…abandoned them," Brock sighed, "But I promise I won't be like my father, and if we do decide to go the whole ten yards, I'll be there to cook, clean and have fun with my kids when they grow up."

"Ah…don't you love a man who cooks and cleans around the house?" Tana asked playfully.

"Cut it out, honey, you're embarrassing me in front of Ash!" Brock said bashfully.

"I don't mind…or at least I think I don't?" Ash said, perplexed, scratching his head.

Tana turned to Brock and held both his hands. The two went into a deep stare while Ash watched.

"If we really are going to have ten kids together, we might as well get to work on the first one soon," Tana said excitedly.

"Shouldn't we wait till we're married first?" Brock asked.

"Are you saying you want to stick with rubber?" Tana asked slyly.

"What…I mean…of course not!" Brock said, blushing, "I'd just like to wait until everything is settled first…you know."

"Hehehe, ok then, but you better buy me that ring by the end of the year," Tana said, giggling, "I'd like to get to work on our little baby factory as quickly as possible. We both have the equipment on hand, so why not get to work?"

"When you talk like that, there's no wonder I ended up falling for you," Brock said bashfully.

Ash was still confused. That much should have been obvious.

"Anyway, Ash, how's your relationship with May going?" Tana asked.

"With May? It's going great!" Ash said, "She just won the Grand Festival in the Triyot region and she's been extra happy lately. We…love each other a whole bunch."

"I'm happy for you, Ash," Brock said, playfully giving him a punch to the shoulder.

"Yeah," Ash said, placing his hand behind his head, "I'm sure May could tell you a whole bunch of stuff too."

He looked behind him but didn't see her anywhere.

"Hm, that's funny, I thought she was around here a second ago. She isn't playing with Ronald because Caroline is holding him over there," Ash said, pointing to the mother and child, "I wonder where she went."

"Maybe she's talking with Misty?" Brock asked, "I did see the two chatting together while setting up the tables a little while ago."

"Heh, I guess you're right, I'm going to go look for them, catch you guys later!" Ash said, running down the ranch while waving to them.

Brock turned to Tana and chortled.

"You're such a blabbermouth," Brock said, "I didn't want them to know we were going to get married yet, I wanted to announce it as a surprise later."

"Well we only told Ash, we can announce it when May's brother Max gets here too. You haven't seen him arrive here yet, have you?" Tana asked.

"Nope," Brock said, "I'm really starting to wonder where he is, he's actually about a half hour late to the party already. I hope it isn't because of the fight he had with May. Those two really need to make up with each other by now."

"They do," Tana said, "It would be a shame if Ross' wicked deeds drove them apart forever. After my best friend took her life because of that bastard, I was overly depressed. I hope they don't stay depressed because of the incident either. They were always happy siblings, I hope they stay that way."

~*~*~*~*

May and Misty were inside Professor Oak's lab in the kitchen area, where more food was being cooked for the party. Currently only appetizers were on the table, but the main course was still heating in the oven. There was also a huge birthday cake for Ronald to blow out the candles on, it was flavored strawberry shortcake, just the way he loved it.

Misty was also 21 years old now like Ash, and she had matured into quite the responsible Gym leader. The Cerulean Gym was now the most popular Gym in the entire Kanto region, and she had become one of the most powerful Water-type trainers in recent times, second only to Elite members like Wallace and Lorelei.

She had her orange hair down right above shoulder length, it was cut fairly short and she kept it brushed behind her ears. She wore some neat summertime clothes, a tank top with green and yellow stripes across it and very short white shorts. She had finally caught up with her sisters in appearance; her body now could arguably be considered more desirable than her glorious older sisters. She was very pretty, and often had trainers at the Gym try to hit on her after they won a badge from her. She remained modest however, as well as very picky, nevertheless she had more guys lined up around the block for her than she could have ever possibly imagined.

"I'm so glad you could make it to the party today, Misty, I really like it when we're all together," May said happily.

"When Professor Oak and Brock told me you guys were having a party for Ronald here in Pallet, how could I refuse?" Misty said happily, "I put up a closed sign in from of the Cerulean Gym, hopefully nobody breaks into it while I'm gone."

"Aren't your sisters there to watch it for you when you leave?" May asked.

"My sisters? Ha!" Misty laughed, "They've been flying around the region doing god knows what for a few years now. I think its some sort of fashion or modeling show or something-or-other they're doing, but whatever it is, they're sure bringing home a lot of money!"

"They give you what they earn?" she asked.

"Yes, of course. My sisters may not like being Gym leaders, but they sure respect the Gym and expect me to do a good job running it. The last time they visited they left me with a huge sum of money to help the Gym with. I used the money to help finance a new pool for the Gym, new seats in the stands, new underwater caverns for the Pokemon to swim in and everything!" Misty said excitedly, "Really, being a Gym leader isn't so bad once you get used to it."

"Heh, I've heard that line before," May chuckled, "Considering my Dad's a Gym leader and Max wants to be one too, I've heard it a lot over the years. As for me, ick, no Gym leader stuff for this girl. Only Contests and traveling!"

Misty peeked in the oven to see if the food was ready, but it still didn't look golden brown yet. She and May chatted a bit more as they walked over to the refrigerator and checked the side dishes.

"So where is your brother, May?" Misty asked, checking the pumpkin pie with her finger. She brought her finger to her mouth and tasted it. "Hmmm, needs a little more salt."

"Max? Hm, I dunno. What time is it now?"

Misty looked up at the clock above them. "It's 3:50pm, your brother is awfully late," she said.

"Man, I was afraid of that," she sulked, "I really hope he gets here soon, everyone is looking for him, especially Ronald."

Misty poured some salt on the pumpkin pie and pushed it back inside the refrigerator.

"He's probably rushing over here after a huge battle or something, don't get too worried," Misty said.

"I'm…not, I just want to see him for an important reason."

"Being a trainer is a lot of work, and considering he's been out there traveling by himself for five years now, I'm sure he's doing well. Heck, I work 12 hour shifts at the Gym most of the time doing all kinds of stuff like battling trainers, maintenance, making sure the Pokemon are all well-fed and everything. It's a lot of work, but it sure does feel worth it at the end. I'm sure your brother feels the same way with his accomplishments."

"You work 12 hour shifts? Do any cute guys come to the Gym?" May asked excitedly.

"Heehee, funny you should ask. I get hit on almost every other day, sometimes multiple times in the same day. Some guys even have the nerve to ask me to battle them while wearing my Mermaid outfit," Misty said, sticking out her tongue.

"Really? What perverts," May teased.

"I know, right? The nerve of such people, if you want to win my heart over you gotta keep your eyes on the battle and not on my breasts," Misty said as she rolled her eyes.

"Wow, I'm sure you have lots of stories to tell, Misty," she said excitedly.

"I do, there's a ton of them, but enough about me, I want to talk about you," Misty said, "More specifically, how's it going with Ash?"

May smiled. "Ash is a sweetheart, but he can be a bit too stubborn at times and we fight over stupid things like who gets to eat the last croissant for dinner, but otherwise we're doing great!" she said, "Oh, and then he snores a lot when he sleeps too. That bugs the hell out of me, so much so that I gotta kick him off the bed to wake him up."

"Ooh, that sounds interesting. So…if you don't mind me asking…how's the sex?" Misty asked.

"Wha…?" May said, somewhat startled.

"C'mon, don't try to hide it, I know you and Ash have done it by now," Misty implied, "You don't have a guy like Ash around as your boyfriend for five years and not eventually lose your virginity to him."

May blushed and pushed her hands against her cheeks.

"It's…nice…" May said, nervously.

"That's it?!" Misty chortled, "C'mon, May…I know there's more to it than that!"

"Hey…what's with the million and one questions, Misty? This is private stuff!" May said skittishly, her face turning a bashful red.

"I'm just interested, that's all," she said, "I can tell from the look on your face that it isn't just sex, it's good sex. Ooh la la, your face is bright red! That must mean the sex is incredible!"

"Hey! You're…too excited about this! Jeez," May said bashfully, "We've...slept together a number of times over the past year. I…think it gets better each time we do it, since we both learn from our previous…uh…experiences and get better at it. Ash and I didn't know what the hell we were doing the first time we "attempted" to have sex, mostly because it hurt me a bit and Ash didn't know whether he was doing it the right way or the wrong way."

"Heh, I guess I can get a lot of information out of you when I push hard enough," Misty teased.

"Aw, you're mean," May said, trying to hide her excessive blushing, "We…did lose our virginity to each other after all, so its no surprise that we got better at it as we went on."

"I imagine you and Ash have quite the time together," Misty said, "You're really lucky, May, to have a guy like Ash. I hope you know that."

"I…I know," she said, nodding.

"I can tell the way he talks about you that he loves you a lot, and speak of the devil, look who just came in here now!" Misty said, waving, "Hey, Ash!"

May turned around flustered as Ash walked toward them. Ash noticed that her face was very red and Misty was giggling.

"Geez, what happened here?" Ash asked, "You look awfully embarrassed, May, did Misty say something about me?"

"You can say that, Ash," Misty chortled.

"She's just crazy, ignore her," May said frantically, waving her arms, "Did you come in here to sneak some food away or something?"

"No, actually, I came here to ask you if you've seen Max. Has he gotten here yet?" Ash asked.

"No, that's what we were wondering about too," Misty said, "Maybe your parents should call him, May?"

"They don't have his phone number, Max broke his PokeNav a few months ago and never got it repaired," May said, "Damn, I hope he makes it. He'll really disappoint Ronald if he doesn't."

"Well, give him another half hour. He'll show up," Ash said, taking May's hand.

May wasn't sure if that was really the case or not. Max was never late to Ronald's parties, not even by a few minutes. To be nearly an hour late was not only surprising, but she started to have this worrisome feeling in the back of her head that something happened to him. She hoped that was not the case, and shook her head over how silly imagining such a thing was. In any case, Misty prying in about their love life snapped her out of her thoughts about her brother.

"By the way Ash, I hope you're gentle with May. She's a delicate girl," Misty said, peering back into the oven.

"What?" Ash pondered.

"She's just saying how you should be gentle when we sleep together," May said, laughing.

"Huh? Is that what you were blushing about?" he asked.

"Yea, Misty was curious about how good the sex was," May said, chuckling.

"…"

"If you're curious, May, I can give you some advice on different techniques for next time," Misty called out, "There can never be too much advice about love during a little girl-talk."

"OK!" May said naively, "Not while Ash is around though, I want to surprise him with it. Let's wait till he leaves."
The two girls giggled.

"You two are weird," Ash said plainly.

Misty and May laughed as they looked over the rest of the food for the party. Awkwardness couldn't even describe the situation properly, Ash walked out of the room while hearing Misty and May gossip about him in the background.

~*~*~*~*~*

Hours passed and the party went on. Everyone was having a good time yet they all felt the absence of a certain family member, namely Max. It was now 5:00pm and Max still wasn't at the party. They were starting to wonder if he was going to show up at all, and couldn't believe that he'd miss out on his younger brother's party.

Ronald started to get cranky because his favorite brother wasn't around, and started to bug his parents about where he was. May asked her parents about Max and they didn't have a clue why he wasn't here. Ronald started bothering and whining to his parents so much that they couldn't think straight, and Misty offered to take Ronald by the hand and show him the food a few feet away from them to calm him down.

"Ronald, want to come with me? I can show you some of the yummy cake Brock will be serving later!" Misty said, holding out her hand to the young boy.

"Cake…? I like Cake!" Ronald said happily, running to grab her hand.

Misty picked him up and carried him on her shoulder as she winked at May for taking him off their hands. May appreciated it.

"Do you think maybe he's not coming to the party just to spite me?" May asked her parents.

"Why would that be?" Norman retaliated, "You've been together at the other parties and Max would never do this to his own brother."

"Yeah…I know, but I really can't think of another reason," May said sadly.

"Do you guys really not keep Max's phone number? It seems pretty dumb not to," Ash said.

"Ash! Be polite!" May scolded him, "Max never bothered to get his PokeNav fixed so how the heck could my Mom and Dad call him? It's his own fault that he doesn't keep a way for us to stay in contact with him."

"I was just sayin'," Ash moaned.

"Well, we are going to start digging into the food pretty soon, we've waited a long time already," Brock said, walking over to them, "Let's just hope he does indeed show up before all of it is gone."

"Ok, Brock, but still," May whined.

"I really don't know what to say," Caroline said, "If he's doing this on purpose, I'll definitely be angry with him."

The family started quarreling with each other as Misty held Ronald from afar. She sighed and showed Ronald the cake and food on the outside tables.

"Are we gonna eat all that cake up later, Missy?" Ronald asked.

"Tee hee, my name is Misty, not missy," she said happily, cradling the boy in her arms, "And yes, we're going to eat all the cake up later. Aren't you happy?"

"Is my brother going to cut me a piece of cake? He always cuts me a biiiiiig piece just for me!" Ronald exclaimed.

"That's…if he gets here, Ronald," Misty said, "If he doesn't make it, either me or your sister can cut you a piece of cake too."

"But I want Max to do it! He cuts me a big piece and Mommy gets mad that Max cuts me a bigger slice than she'd give me!" Ronald said.

"Heheh, Max gives you more cake than you should have, that's very nice of him," Misty said.

"Yeah, is Max coming?" he asked again, getting impatient in her arms.

"Hopefully soon," she reassured him, "Your brother loves you, he wouldn't miss your big birthday party. Here, want me to give you a tiny piece of cake a little bit early?"

"Ok, Missy, thank you!" Ronald said happily, drooling.

"Tee hee, I said it's Misty not Missy!" she said, giggling.

Misty placed Ronald back on the ground and cut him a tiny piece of cake while his parents weren't looking. Ronald happily dove right into the treat as Misty watched May and her parents getting more impatient with each other. Ash was fairly disappointed in the quarreling and walked over to her.

"They're really arguing about it a lot," Ash said.

"Yeah, Ash, I can see that May and Caroline are getting really stressed out about it from here," she said, peering over at them, "Did May and Max really stop talking to each other?"

Ash nodded. "Yeah, May humiliated him in public back in Petalburg City, and they haven't talked since. Now they're starting to wonder if Max deliberately didn't show up just because May came here."

"That doesn't sound like the Max I know, he'd never do something this spiteful to his own family," Misty said.

"Max has changed a lot since you knew him, he's gotten more arrogant as he got older. People…change when they grow up," he said.

"Yes, I know," Misty said, leaning against the table, "People do change…a lot."

Ronald walked over to Misty and handed her the empty plate.

"All done!" he exclaimed.

"Wow, Ronald, you ate that cake all up! Don't tell your Mommy about it though, it's our little secret!" Misty said, taking the plate from him.

"Ok, I just hope my big brother gets here to cut me another biiig piece later," Ronald said happily, scurrying back over on the grass toward his parents.

Ash and Misty watched the eager little five year old pull on May's clothes to get her attention, and after whining to her parents some more, she bent down and picked her little brother up.

"It just doesn't make sense why Max wouldn't be here, he knew in advance about the party, it just isn't in his character not to be there for his brother," Ash said.

"Maybe something happened to him?" Misty asked.

"Are you crazy? What could possibly happen to him?" Ash retaliated, slightly angry.

"Hey, relax, it was just a suggestion," Misty said, blowing him off, "It would explain why he's not at the party."

"Yeah, but you don't have to go ahead and start thinking something bad happened to the kid," Ash said.

"What? I don't think anything bad happened to Max, I was just…saying…" Misty exclaimed.

Brock walked over to them and shook his head.

"What are you two doing, bickering just like the old days? It's bad enough May's family is starting to bicker with each other over Max, we don't need you two to do it as well," Brock said.

"Sorry, Brock, it's just that we don't want Ronald to be upset," Ash said.

"Yeah, that little boy sure does love his brother," Misty said, "It'll be a shame if he doesn't get to see him. He'll be so disappointed."

"I think everyone just needs to relax, Max is a good kid, he's not going to spite his entire family," Brock said, "I'm still confident he'll show up eventually, besides, all this fighting is getting Tana nervous."

"Heh, you're probably right, Brock," Ash said.

"I suppose we all need to relax a bit and enjoy what we came here for. It is a party, after all, we should be having a good time," Misty said.

"Exactly, now c'mon, let's get started on the dinner, I whipped up some great stuff," Brock said happily, "When Max gets here they'll be plenty of food left over for him. Besides, why are we worrying so much about Max? What trouble could he possibly be in?"

~*~*~*~*~

Max was hanging upside down from the roof of a cavern.

He was barely conscious and had slash marks throughout his body. His pants remained unscathed but the entire back of his shirt was torn in two and barely hanging on his body. His legs were held together by a sticky substance that dangled him from the ceiling and prevented him from moving.

The green beast that struck him and brought him back to his domain was to the left of him, eating a large piece of meat from some other unlucky dead Pokemon. The beast had spikes all along its back and its massive tail. It had long jagged teeth inside its massive mouth and was about seven feet tall which is why Max was easy prey for the goliath. The Pokemon was a Tyranitar, a deranged beast that searched the land for food and decided upon Max as its next meal.

The boy struggled to peer around the cavern as best he could, even though the stinging pain in his back was preventing him from holding his concentration. He was looking for his Ivysaur, unsure if it managed to get away before the beast struck him unconscious.

He spotted his backpack, his cracked glasses and a few scattered Pokeballs lying around against a rock to his right, but his Ivysaur wasn't among them. He prayed that his Ivysaur had gotten away, and wasn't the piece of meat that the beast was currently devouring to the left of him.

He desperately tried to reach himself up to pull apart the substance that was holding his legs together on the ceiling, but dangled unsuccessfully when he couldn't reach. He didn't want to alert the beast that he was still alive, but desperately needed to find some way to escape.

Suddenly, he noticed one of his Pokeballs glowing and floating in mid-air. The boy thought he had perhaps imagined it in his delirium, but no, it was really floating. The boy suddenly reached out with his hand to try and call the Pokeball to him, and the ball surely started to slowly float toward him. Whether it was coincidence or not didn't really matter, he just had to get out of there before he was next on Tyranitar's menu.

Max groaned. Tyranitar suddenly looked up at the boy and dropped the piece of meat out of its mouth. It stood on its legs and started walking toward the boy ominously. Max knew he only had a few precious seconds left or he would surely die.

The Pokeball suddenly opened up and revealed his Scyther, a green praying mantis Pokemon with long wings and scythes for arms.

"Scyther…help me!" Max groaned.

Scyther quickly realized what was going on and fluttered in mid-air to cut the substance holding his legs together.

"Sccyyyyyyyther!" Scyther cried.

Tyranitar started marching toward them as quickly as possible. Max's legs were free and the boy fell to the ground, but instead of hitting the floor, he floated in mid-air.

"Wuh?" Max moaned.

His body was surrounded by a blue aura, and was gently lowered to the floor.

"Scyther…who did that?" Max asked.

Gardevoir.

"What?" Max asked, startled, "Gardevoir….used its psychic abilities to levitate your Pokeball and let me land…where…?"

Before Max fainted, he caught a rare glimpse of the majestic green and white Pokemon know as Gardevoir, who hovered in the air and fired a Shadow Ball attack at Tyranitar. The beast screamed in pain as Scyther stood in front of Max's body defensively and let the two go at it.

Gardevoir looked back at the boy who would surely die if his wounds were not healed. It began to sway forth in the air before firing another round of energy at Tyranitar. The beast roared upon the explosion.

"I don't…understand," Max said, as he collapsed on the ground.

The boy fainted, leaving the rest of his life up to chance.

~*~*~*~*~

"How ya feeling, sonny?" an old man said jovially.

The boy opened one eye cautiously and looked around him. He suddenly shot up on the operating table and gasped when he realized he was inside a Pokemon Center.

"How the heck did I get here?" he gasped. He then realized that he was no longer in pain, and looked behind him as he pressed his hand along his back. "All the slash marks…are gone!"

"Gardevoir," Gardevoir said, smiling at the boy.

"Gardevoir? You…helped me?" Max asked.

"Ivysaur, Ivy!" a familiar Pokemon chimed.

Max felt Ivysaur's vine pressing against his face and he turned happily to his right to see his Ivysaur safe and sound on the chair next to the operating table.

"Ivysaur, you're alive!" Max gasped happily as Ivysaur jumped into his arms.

"Ivysaur, Ivy!"

"Your Scyther is ok as well, we returned it to its Pokeball. Your other Pokeballs and backpack are resting against the wall over there," the old man pointed.

Max squinted at the old man for a few moments before recognizing him.

"Hey I know you…don't I?" Max asked.

"Unless you got amnesia from that little escapade, you definitely should," the Professor said, "It's me, Professor Latrommi."

"Professor Latrommi?" Max gasped, "Wow, it really is you…its…been such a long time!"

"Only half a decade, more or less. Nothing too much," Latrommi said, smiling as his large nose dangled in front of the boy, "You're just lucky I was able to save your life."

"You…saved me with your Gardevoir, correct?" Max asked.

"Gardevoir, Gardevoir," it chimed.

"Gardevoir was tracking down the deranged Tyranitar you ran into, and eventually its search led it to the cave you were being held in," Latrommi said, "In other words, you were just lucky to be in the right place at the right time, boy! Well…you were also in the wrong place at the wrong time because my rampaging Tyranitar nearly tore you limb from limb and made you its dinner…but hey, at least we saved you, right?"

"Gee, thanks," Max pouted, "That Tyranitar…wouldn't happen to be the same one from over five years ago, would it? Is that the same one my sister and Ash had to battle and bring back to the lab? The same one you used that de-aging ray gun of yours on?"

"You hit the nail on the head with that one," he said, "Tyranitar managed to escape from my lab on its own and considering how deteriorated its mind was, it went on a rampage over any area it was in. I had to go call for my good friend Gardevoir to help track it down and bring it back here before anyone got hurt, unfortunately, you didn't seem to be that lucky. But not to worry! Even though you were near death, Gardevoir used her healing technique and your wounds are all but gone! Isn't it grand?"

"Yeah…thank you," Max said, looking at his Ivysaur, "I hope that Tyranitar didn't hurt anyone else besides me before you stopped it."

"Eh…we're looking into that," Latrommi said quickly as sweat poured down his face, "We have Tyranitar here in the Pokemon Center now, all calmed down, so I'll just hope for the best. I just wish my old friend could live out the rest of its days peacefully. Anyway, boy, what was your name again? And where is your sister and that other kid you used to travel around with?"

"Heh, the name is Max, remember? And I don't travel with Ash or my sister anymore, I travel all by myself with my Ivysaur," Max said proudly.

"Finally broken away from your sister's shadow, eh? That's wonderful, although if I had a sister that looked like yours, incest would certainly be an option worth exploring," Latrommi said.

"That's sick," Max said disgusted.

"Can't you take a joke, kid?" Latrommi snorted.

"That was a joke?" Max asked, perplexed.

"Ah, never mind," Latrommi said.

"Gardevoir," Gardevoir said, shaking its head.

Ivysaur jumped out of Max's arms and back on the chair. He got up from the operating table and stood on the floor, stretching out his arms. He looked at the clock on the wall, it was 9:00pm at night. He groaned and leaned against the wall.

"Something bothering ya, kid?" Latrommi asked, "You should be happy! You just cheated death!"

"Yeah, yeah, but I had someplace to be today," he sulked, "It was my little brother's birthday party, and I was supposed to see my parents, and my sister and Ash and everyone again at Pallet Town. It's…9:30pm now so I missed the entire thing, damn, this is the first time I ever missed getting to my baby brother's birthday. My parents will probably think I missed it on purpose since I had a big fight with my sister two years ago."

"Well you have a good excuse. Just tell your parents you were almost killed today, they'll buy that story, no problem!" Latrommi said nonchalantly.

Max rolled his eyes.

"My brother Ronald was probably wondering where I was all day, I can imagine him being so disappointed," Max said.

"Ivysaur, Ivy!" Ivysaur chimed, trying to cheer its trainer up.

"I know, Ivysaur, and you wanted to see your parents again too. You know, after nearly biting the big one today, I realize how stupid it is of me to carry on that fued I have with my sister. Life's too short for me to push my family away and not talk to them, I probably would have finally apologized to her if I got the chance."

Latrommi glanced at Gardevoir.

"Why don't you just go there now? It's not too late yet," Latrommi suggested.

"Are you crazy? The party is all the way at Pallet Town and we're here in Vermilion City! How the heck am I supposed to get there?" Max asked.

Gardevoir approached the boy and nodded.

"Why don't you hop aboard the Gardevoir express? She can probably transport you there," Latrommi said.

"Whoa, I forgot about that," Max said, surprised, "You still have May's energy signature stored in your body from when we were looking for Ross all those years ago, right?"

"Gardevoir," Gardevoir said, nodding.

"Then that means you can just zero in on her location and transport me right to her!" Max said happily, "Awesome! Maybe I can make it to the party and apologize to my sister tonight after all."

"Life's full of surprises, ain't it?" Latrommi said, yawning, "Might as well stop yapping and just let Gardevoir teleport you there already, this story needs to end sometime, you know?"

"Heehee, ok," Max said happily, "I'll probably have to explain to them the lack of a shirt and why my glasses are cracked, but other than that I can just pick up my bag and Pokeballs and be good to go!"

"Ivysaur, Ivysaur!" Ivysaur cheered.

"Yeah, we'll be there soon, Ivysaur," Max said jovially.

"Hm, you could use a shirt though, Max," Latrommi said, as he reached into a drawer and pulled out a long white t-shirt, "The Pokemon Center has some spare plain white t-shirts, so you might as well wear this when you transport over there rather than going with your bare chest."

Max happily took the white t-shirt from Latrommi and put it on quickly.

"Thanks a lot, it fits nicely too," Max said, smiling.

"No problem, kiddo," Latrommi said, winking at the boy, "I'm just glad to help an old friend."

"Gardevoir," Gardevoir motioned, reaching out her arm for Max to grab a hold.

"Don't forget to mention me when you get there," Professor Latrommi said, "I began this silly story, I might as well end with it. So long!"

Max was excited as he picked up his bag as well as his belongings and prepared to teleport with Gardevoir over to Pallet Town. He hoped it wasn't too late to finally set things straight.

~*~*~*~*

Caroline was holding her son, Ronald, who was falling asleep in her arms. The little boy had finally tired out after a long and festive party. She was sitting inside Ash's house in Pallet Town as she rocked the child and sang him a soft lullaby. The mother was annoyed that Max didn't show up at the party, but she felt even more sorry for her son, who was asking for Max the entire time. Her husband felt the same way, but was more concerned for Max's well-being than anything else. He knew it wasn't like him to spite the family on purpose, and was worried about his whereabouts.

Since they were in Pallet Town, Ash was feeling a little homesick, so he wanted to spend the night at his house. Delia kept his bedroom the same as it always was, leaving most of the same furniture and his belongings in their place from the time he left on his journey over ten years ago.

Ash, Pikachu and May were staring out the bedroom window at the night sky. The party was a blast, but after Misty, Brock and Tana had gone home, they felt a little bittersweet. This was the first time they were all reunited in quite some time, so they all felt a little sad that their friends had returned to their own lives after the party ended. After all, none of them were kids anymore. Ash and his friends were all in their twenties now, and they were no longer the band of optimistic go-getters who set out on adventures together in the world of Pokemon back when they were younger. The parting felt even more sad because Max never attended, and his absence was felt by everyone.

"So what do you think is going to happen now?" Ash asked.

"Pikachu, pika," Pikachu cooed, standing on the windowsill.

"We'll have to see how Max explains himself the next time we see him," May said, "If…there is a next time we see him."

She brushed her hand through her brown hair as her innocent gaze watched the stars twinkle in the night sky.

"I hope it doesn't cause a rift in your family," Ash said, taking her hand.

May smiled, she was done trying to predict stuff, and accepted things as they came.

"We'll see what happens, Ash, but for now, I just want to get some sleep. The party really tired me out, and spending hours thinking about my brother didn't help matters," she said, squeezing his hand, "Want to get to bed?"

"Our parents are downstairs talking with one another, you sure you want to go to sleep so early?" he asked.

"Yeah, I doubt they'll bother us. It's not like we have anything better to do now anyway," she said smiling, inching her way toward his face.

"As long as you're not going to do anything Misty told you about, its fine with me," he joked.

"Maybe I'll just surprise you with something I came up with then," she said lovingly.

Ash brought his girlfriend close and kissed her softly, caressing her brown hair and holding her around the waist. She had her arms across his back as they kissed slowly and passionately, holding each other tight as the moonlight surrounded by stars outside illuminated the loving couple.

As Ash and May's hands started to wander to unnecessary places and clothing started to fall to the ground, Pikachu knew it was its cue to leave the room and give the two a little privacy. Just as Pikachu was about to walk out the door, Ash gave his best friend a little wink for the convenience.

"Pikachu," Pikachu cooed, as it stepped outside the room and gently shut the door behind it.

May giggled as she pushed him down on the bed and climbed on top of him, letting him fondle her breasts as their warm skin radiated upon each other.

"This seems like a nice way to end the day, Ash," she giggled as he stroked her fondly, "We begin the day making love to each other and we end the day the same way, too bad we don't get a chance to do this all the time."

"We could find the time," he said, as their hips squeezed against one another and their love ensued, "It's not like being a Pokemon trainer takes up 24 hours."

"Heh, I love you, Ash," May said happily, her gentle smooth skin brushing against his, "Thank you for making me happy all these years, you're just the best. I wouldn't have it any other way."

"I wouldn't either, we're two of a kind, aren't we? No wonder I love ya so much," Ash said, kissing her tenderly.

As they were enjoying their moment, a bright light began to appear in the right side of the room next to the bed. The light was so bright that the couple turned to see what it was and had to shield their eyes from it.

"What is that?" Ash asked, sitting upright with May on his lap.

"I…don't know," May replied, her hands placed firmly on Ash's shoulders.

The light disappeared and in its place left none other than the feminine Pokemon Gardevoir and May's brother, Max. The boy and Gardevoir looked disoriented as they tried to figure out where they were….until they saw Ash and May nude holding each other on the bed next to them.

"GAH!" Max cried, shielding his eyes, "Gardevoir, you didn't have to transport us right next to them! The last thing I wanted to see was my sister and Ash naked in bed together!"

"Gardevoir, Gardevoir!" Gardevoir said, apologizing frantically.

Ash and May quickly jumped off each other and dropped over to the other side of the bed and kneeled behind it. They only looked over the side of the bed at shoulders length so Max and Gardevoir wouldn't see more than they needed to.

"What the hell!" May cried, "You guys nearly scared the life out of me! You can't just appear out of nowhere when I'm having sex…!"

"Max!" Ash said jovially, a huge smile appearing across his face. He turned to May. "Well you wanted to see your brother again, May, so here he is!"

May finally calmed down and pushed her hand through her hair skittishly. Her brother was standing there on the other side of the room, and once the shock settled down, she was happy to see him.

"Hey…Max, long time no see," she said softly, unsure of what his reply would be.

Max paused and scratched his right shoulder. This was the first time they spoke to one another sincerely in over two years. Although dropping in on his sister while she was making love with Ash wasn't exactly the idea he had in mind, especially since the couple was now kneeled down on the other side of the bed to hide their nakedness, it was either now or never to finally let their fued die.

"Um…May…I'm sorry," Max said, striking a soft smile, "I apologize for acting like such a jerk…I…I just want to say I'm sorry for everything."

May nodded.

"I'm sure you are, in more ways than one," she laughed, "I'm sorry too, but can we like…apologize to each other after I'm fully dressed? It sure is awkward to do it like this."

"I see what you mean," Max said, smiling, "Are Mom and Dad still here?"

"They're downstairs with Ronald," Ash said, "Go see them!"

"Ok, Ash, heh, I barely recognized you," Max said, still shaken up from seeing the two like that, "I'll…leave you two here to put some clothes on."

Max walked toward the door as Ash and May continued to kneel behind the bed with nervous expressions on.

"Gardevoir," Gardevoir said nonchalantly, walking out the door with him.

As the door shut behind them, Ash and May finally stood up from behind the bed.

"Even though he's a little late, it looks like Max made Ronald's birthday party after all!" Ash said contently.

"Yep, and it looks like he's going to finally talk to me again after all this time too and forgive me," May said, nodding, "Although I have to say, I think seeing the two of us, you know, like this may have scarred him for life."

"Heehee, but why do you think he had a Gardevoir with him?" Ash asked.

"Hm, I dunno, but I guess we'll find out when we ask him. There was something very familiar about that Gardevoir though," May said, slapping Ash on the chest, "Put some clothes on, will ya, I'd like to join the little family reunion going on downstairs."

The couple heard her parents and Max talking to each other downstairs with much enthusiasm and happiness, and were pleased that all was going well.

Pikachu rushed back into the bedroom with much excitement.

"Pikachu, pikapi!" it cheered.

"You just saw Max run by, didn't you, Pikachu?" Ash asked happily. Pikachu jumped on the bed and cheered. "Yep, Max is back!"

They quickly threw their clothes back on and May grabbed Ash quickly so they could rush downstairs…where a reunited family was happy to be together again.

Ash and May certainly had an adventure together that went down many twists and turns, shocks and surprises, and although the future hasn't been written yet, the couple sure had a lot of excitement to look forward to.

Ash turned to Pikachu as he watched May run down the steps and greet her family. Max opened up his arms to give his sister a heartwarming hug while Ronald snapped out of his sleepiness in the excitement of seeing his older brother. Norman, Caroline and their three children had a lot of catching up to do, and Ash watched afar with Pikachu and smiled.

"They look like a happy family again, Pikachu," Ash said.

"Pikachu!"

"Yeah, and as May's boyfriend, I'm glad we're part of that family too," he said proudly, "C'mon, let's join them!"

Ash and Pikachu walked toward May and her family. He put his arms around May and watched Max and Ronald laugh excitedly. May turned to Ash and kissed him on the cheek.

She loved Ash, and she was glad that he was part of the family too. She couldn't have asked to be any happier than she was presently.

The End.


CyberCubed and I hope you have enjoyed reading this story and hope you will come and read it again another time^^

As I said on the beginning, all the credit for writting this fic is CyberCubed's and I thank him for letting me post this fic here on this site