Hey everybody, time for another update!
I can't really say too much else here, and you'll see why soon, but, um, yeah. Enjoy! And please don't hate me afterwards.
By the time that they had all made it back to Norman's house, the rain had stopped, and the previously dark and dreary sky had cleared up significantly. Ash was grateful for the sun to be shining again, to say the least, since his clothes had been thoroughly drenched in the rain.
Trey, on the other hand, left with Lily soon after reentering the city, saying that he wanted to get her into the hospital as soon as possible. Ash and May waved them off, promising to come and check on Lily later.
Once they were all back at the house, Caroline and Max shared a somewhat emotional reunion with Norman and May while Ash politely stood off to the side, watching happily along with Pikachu.
After a few minutes of this, Caroline looked across the room to Ash. "Ash, we can't thank you enough for what you did today. You risked your own life to save our family."
"Wow, uh..." Ash stuttered, slightly taken aback by her words. Max and Norman were grinning at Ash, as well, and May was beaming at him vibrantly. "...no problem, I guess."
"I agree with Caroline." Norman said. "I don't see how we can ever pay you back for this."
"Oh, don't worry about that, Dad." Max remarked, chuckling at his father. "I think Ash has got that taken care of."
"What?" Norman asked, looking blankly at Max, then to Caroline. "What's he mean by that?"
Caroline giggled. "Come on, dear. I think there's something we need to talk about."
Norman followed his wife out of the room, clueless as to her implication. May then walked to Ash's side, a twinkle in her eye as she locked gazes with him. Ash held her stare for a moment, but then turned to Max awkwardly. "Uh..."
Max caught Ash's meaning and grinned at him. "Ah, don't worry about me. I don't want to see you guys do that stuff, anyway."
And with that, he turned and left the room, heading deeper into the house and presumably to his room.
Ash turned back to May, who held his gaze with that same twinkle in her eye, until Ash stepped forward and grabbed her in a tight embrace.
"I'm so sorry, May..." He choked out, his previously cheerful demeanor now gone. "I let Aaron take you, and I couldn't do anything to stop it at all!"
May didn't react right away, slightly shocked by Ash's actions. She hadn't expected him to be the one apologizing. "Ash, it's fine...it's not like you just let him kidnap us." She said softly, wrapping her arms around his back in return. You did everything you could."
He blinked a few times, digesting what she had said. He then drew back from her, holding her at arm's length. "Y-you think so?"
She nodded before continuing. "Ash...thank you for saving us."
They held the others gaze for a moment longer before May leaned in and placed her mouth over his, their arms still wrapped around each other. Ash leaned in to the kiss slightly, a rush of euphoria filling his body as he basked in the single fact that May was, in fact, still alive.
Later that afternoon, Ash and May decided to go and see Trey and Lily in the hospital. After arriving at the facility and locating Lily's room, with the help of a few nurses, they opened the door and tentatively stepped inside.
Inside, they found Lily, sitting in a hospital bed much like the one May had been in on Chrysanthemum Island, with Trey sitting at her side. Their hands were clasped on the bedside.
"Hey, you guys." Ash greeted as they stepped inside, shutting the door behind them.
"Pii-kaa-chu." Pikachu added, raising a hand.
Trey's head turned when he heard Ash's voice. "Hey, Ash, May."
"Hi." Lily remarked weakly. She seemed to be doing better than the last time they'd seen her, despite the fact that she was now in a hospital bed.
"How's your shoulder doing?" May asked, eyeing the wound suspiciously. The black vest Lily usually wore had been removed, leaving only her white tank-top, so her shoulder was more or less clearly visible behind all the bandages and such wrapped around it.
"...It's okay, I guess." Lily responded after a moment.
"Whatever that gun was that Aaron shot her with, it definitely wasn't the same one he had at the Battle Pyramid." Trey explained sadly. "They haven't even taken out the bullet yet. They said it was going to be tough to get to it."
"What?" Ash replied in shock, remembering how relatively simple it had been for his own bullet wound to be treated back on Cinnabar Island.
"I'm sorry, Lily." May said, bowing her head slightly. "You two went out there to help me and my dad."
"Don't say that, May, it wasn't your fault!" Lily responded at once.
"Besides, we probably would have headed out there anyway to stop Will." Trey added. "Don't blame yourselves."
"Well, thanks for helping us out, anyway." Ash said.
"...Yeah. Hopefully we won't have to deal with those guys anymore." May remarked.
"...Right." Trey replied softly, silently thinking of his older brother, who was more than likely dead at this point.
After wishing Lily good luck with her injury, Ash and May said their goodbyes to the two of them and decided to head back to the house.
After Norman was told of Ash and May's relationship, he went through somewhat of a series of reactions. First, he had said that he was sort of against it, given that he didn't think May was ready for or even needed a boyfriend, which then prompted Ash and May to wonder if that was how they were expected to refer to each other now.
Then, he decided that he was okay with it, since Ash had proven himself by saving them and effectively thwarting Aaron's plan.
Finally, after lots of 'careful thought', he concluded that he was actually in favor of it, due to the fact that Ash had been a wonderful role model for both May and Max during their adventures throughout Hoenn and Kanto.
All of this occurred between Norman first finding out and dinner, the final stage being declared by Norman himself during dinner that night, when he wished Ash and May luck when they went to Sinnoh.
"So...that's it, then?" May piped up, later that evening. They had all just finished eating dinner, and Caroline and Norman were still in the kitchen, conversing whilst they cleaned up from the meal. Ash and May were lying on the cool, damp grass in the front yard, staring up at the slowly darkening lavender sky, while Max, across the grass, busied himself by playing with Pikachu, Totodile, and Blaziken. "We're really...going to Sinnoh together?"
Ash looked over at her for a moment before turning back to the sky. "Yeah, I guess so."
They continued to watch the sky in silence, Ash's arms folded behind his head. The distant sounds of Max's laughter was audible in the silence.
"I'm really glad that my parents are okay with...us." May said, a few minutes later.
"Yeah, me too." Ash remarked. "Especially your dad. I didn't know if he liked the idea at first, but now he seems really happy about it."
"Yeah." May agreed, before the two entered another brief period of silence. "I really hope that Lily's shoulder is okay."
"I wonder why the wound is so much worse than mine was?"
"Well, you heard Trey. Aaron used some other kind of gun, didn't he?"
"I guess, but still..."
Silence arose once again, marred only by the sound of Max's distant laughter and the other Pokemon's voices.
"Ash, what do you think Sinnoh's like?"
Ash looked down from the sky for a moment as he thought the question over. "Hmmm...I dunno. There's probably lots of new Pokemon there, though!" He answered, rolling his head to the side to face May.
"I just hope they have their own Grand Festival." May added.
"Well, whatever's over there, I'm happy that I'll get to see it with you, May." Ash expressed, smiling at her.
May turned to look at him in surprise. Ash wasn't usually one for sweet talk like that. "Wow, Ash, when did you learn to say things like that?"
"Huh?" Ash replied, frowning in confusion. "Did I say something wrong?"
May giggled and then merely smiled sweetly at him. "No. I want to see Sinnoh with you, too."
Ash turned his gaze back to the evening sky, still wondering what May meant about his words.
Some time later, long after the sky had turned dark instead of merely light purple, Max and the Pokemon came running past Ash and May.
"Come on, you guys!" Max called out as they ran past, toward the house. "It's really late, we should go inside!"
"Okay!" Ash called back, raising a hand in response. Max continued on toward the house while Blaziken, Totodile, and Pikachu stayed near their trainers.
"We probably should go inside." Ash said, looking sideways at May.
"Yeah..." May agreed slowly, appearing to be deep in thought about something. As Ash was about to stand up, she suddenly looked over at him. "Ash?"
She hesitated for a moment, still slightly unsure about what she was about to say. She had been thinking about it all evening, when it had hit her how much they had been through together in only the past few weeks, and how she felt when she looked at him.
Then, regaining her resolve a moment later, she looked over at him as he sat up on the ground next to her. "...I love you."
Ash's head shot to the side, and Pikachu's ears perked up in surprise. Blaziken and Totodile merely watched silently.
Ash stared at her for a moment, his mouth hanging open slightly as he processed what she had just said. But as he looked at her, he felt some of what she had been thinking through her eyes, and he realized that he had been thinking about the same things recently.
He stood up slowly, his expression still unsure as he turned back to her. But then, he reached out a hand toward her, and smiled as he met her gaze.
"I love you, too."
Beaming, May grasped his hand, and allowed him to pull her up from the grass.
Well, there you have it, folks. What some would argue as the anticlimactic ending of this fic. I'm kind of happy that I actually got to finish it out in a way that I originally kind of sort of wanted to, and didn't just let it meander on and on until I got tired of it(which is another story entirely, trust me)
But on that same note, I've been planning to do a sequel fic to this for a while now, chronicling the events of Ash and May in Sinnoh. I'm not sure when I'm going to get around to doing that, but it will go up on here as soon as I do, so keep an eye out if you're interested.
That's about all I have to say, so, until next time, and I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did!