This is a surprise story for Shiningheart of ThunderClan's. She requested it when she found one of my other fics was coming to an end…
It's using a mix of the show and of the game of which I own neither so enjoy!
May sighed in frustration as she stared at a rose. Yet another rose from Drew – her one rival when it came to contests. She kept wondering to herself how it was that Drew of all people could rile her up so much where she felt like she could burst from anger. But as of late he had been acting oddly and it bothered her more than anything he had ever done to torment her. She was moodily flipping through a magazine until she stumbled across a questionnaire. The title was How to Figure Your Friends. For the lack of anything better to do she decided to look through it.
Who do you go to when you're down?
She smiled. That was simple. Brandon was always there to help her out when she needed him. He was the one who helped her get out of her little rut once Ash and Brock left. She had been in a depression, ignoring everyone, including Max and her dad. Brandon was the one who literally lifted her out of her room, threw her onto the back of his Salamance and flew her to the Rustboro Gym. He told her right then and there that she was going to be challenging Roxanne to a battle. He handed her the Pokéballs she had almost forgotten about.
Then the battle commenced.
May was reborn that day – with a new purpose and a new drive. She went from town to town after that, going after both gym leaders and contest ribbons. It was all thanks to Brandon and yet the comment that stuck out the most in her mind was one from Drew. It was so frustrating. It was just one tiny, tick-tack sized comment that had been eating away at her since the very first contest she entered since Ash and Brock left. It echoed in her head almost mockingly. She had lost many a night of sleep because of it.
"It's good to have you back, May," he had said.
He gave her a rose and left after that. May had been fuming for hours after the event. She had beaten him, yes. She had got the ribbon, yes. Yet she still felt incomplete inside. Needless to say, her next gym battle with Wattson was almost unfair. She vented all of her anger and frustration in that battle and the electric battler was trounced in a manner than even the referee thought was a bit much. She had apologized countless times after that but Wattson, being Wattson, laughed it off with his boisterous laughter.
Who makes you smile?
Her Pokémon were her automatic answer. They were like family and since she had been traveling alone since Ash and Brock went on to the next region they were her partners. They knew when she was happy or when she was sad. They always cheered her up. She relied on them so much and there were certain moments where she knew what they were thinking because of how close they had become. Like when Blaziken tapped its foot that meant it was agitated or when Beautifly fluttered its wings rapidly it was excited or anxious.
Drew said it was a sign of a good contest applicant, that the bond between the trainer and their Pokémon always caught the attention of the judges in a good way. She had agreed because she and her Pokémon had gone through a lot together. May shook her head. This questionnaire wasn't about Drew. Drew wasn't her friend! He was the annoying guy who she always wanted to beat at the contests, who occasionally showed up when she was wandering around in forests and caves, and even on the rarer occasions – the towns.
Who makes you laugh?
That was a tougher question. A lot of things made her laugh. Brandon and his ridiculous imitations of trainers that he met were always a laugh. Wally's corny yet oddly hilarious jokes were a chuckle or two. Her Pokémon and their antics were amusing. Steven and how excited he got about precious stones that she brought him from time to time could be a sight that would make anyone crack a smile. She laughed whenever she and the gym leaders exchanged witty banter between the two of them as they dueled.
And yet she thought of Drew. She was one of the very few who ever saw him smile. That stupid smile took her breath away, every single time without fail. His eyes remained dark, but they were distant yet warm. His smile made the light playing across a room seem more like playful little imps just wanting attention. Drew's smile made the cold dawn feel more like midday. And May found this frustrating in absolutely every way imaginable. She pulled at her hair when she realized she was thinking about Drew again. No, this was supposed to be about her friends – not some lame wannabe contest coordinator who couldn't be civil to save his life.
Who wipes your tears away when you cry?
Wally was a good shoulder to lean on if she ever had to cry. Wally was kind and considerate, the best friend she could ever wish for. He and Brandon supported her, cheered her on during her contests. Steven was there for her too but none of them had really seen her at her weakest of moments. Brandon didn't go to her for a few months after Ash left. In reality Drew was the one who kept checking in on her. She shouted, screamed and threw things at him. She pushed him out of her home and forbade him from coming back and yet he came back, again and again only for her to repeat the process.
She had just been so angry with him. She had shouted and cried but he never really seemed too upset. He knew why she was hurt and why she pushed him away. He took what she screamed at him. He never challenged her harsh words. He never argued when she told him not to come back. Yet he did. He came back time and time again, every day if she remembered right, sometimes even two or three times a day, depending on if he was in the area. He came in her house, her mom and Max practically welcomed him in. After so long of letting him in Max finally went and got Drew his own key.
Drew took care of her Pokémon when she was depressed. He fed them and bathed them. He trained them. He tended to them when they knew their trainer was too far lost in her own hurt. They in turn took care of him with his coaxing to do so. He encouraged them not to give up on her. As much as she hated to admit it Drew indirectly cared for her, through her Pokémon and the people around her, even if he was so frustrating at times where she wanted to rip his head off. But she knew she had to at least thank him for all the hard work he put in on keeping her intact.
Who listens to all your stories?
Lots of people talked to her. When she traveled people liked to hear news of the outside cities. She exchanged stories and gained new friends along the way. Her PokéNav was always ringing with trainers, calling for rematches or simply telling her about their days. Yet she still felt hollow inside. She felt like none of those trainers really took a look at her for her. Instead they wanted her for her strengths and her power. Many of them called her up on a regular basis because they thought that now the girl they knew as a coordinator had grown up into a gym trainer that she was someone worth paying attention to.
It was false attention and she hated it. The fan clubs from Lilycove were annoying and the ones from Sootopolis were just as bad. They gawked over her. They begged for autographs. They had even attempted to follow her home but thanks to the fact she never told anyone where she lived, besides the slip up to Drew, and the fact that her Pokémon were very good at evasive maneuvers she always got home safe. Most of the time she just had a psychic Pokémon use teleport because it was untraceable but there were a few times where she flew or surfed away.
But speaking of Drew he had come over more and more since Ash was gone. He had out of his way to see her some times, just to see how she was doing. Despite how much he infuriated her he knew quite a bit about her. Naturally her mom and dad loved him. Max only liked him because he made May mad. Brendan teased her about him, saying they were a match made in heaven, before pretending to swoon. To which May usually threw a pillow into his face with surprising accuracy. Whenever he was around with Wally in the room Wally tried harder than usual to keep her attention on him and him alone. She didn't understand why but he just did.
Who protects you from danger?
She smiled. Again that was easy. It was her Pokémon of course. She couldn't name the countless times they had saved her hide, especially when she went back and started going for gym badges and contest ribbons. Naturally there had been the run-ins with Team Aqua and Team Magma, minor Pokémon thieves and just a few wild Pokémon that were a little startled but all in all her travels were good, care free. But that brought about Drew again but this time in a different light, a better kinder light than the one she had been shining on him before.
Harley had been giving her a hard time at one of the contests that May had entered in recently, telling her she should just stick with badges because she wasn't cutting the requirements to be a contest coordinator. When she asked what he meant he told her she simply wasn't pretty enough and that he Pokémon weren't graceful enough. May shook her head and left, surprisingly keeping a nonchalant temperament about everything but when she went to go and gather her things in the locker rooms she heard Drew yelling at Harley for having the audacity to say such a thing to her. May had been blushing for an hour after that. Max thought she had a fever.
Then there was the time where he fell off a cliff. May nearly broke her neck when she jumped off of it to save him. She didn't even know what she was doing until she had her arms around him and they were falling together. He scolded her for nearly killing herself for him, which only made them argue more but in the end things worked out. She got back with Ash, Brock and Max and he went off by himself. She frowned as she stared at that question and recalled the incident. Drew was always alone. He never had a friend during any of his travels.
At first May thought it would have been easy to just keep going on her own without anyone. She wanted the seclusion – to forget about Ash and Brock. After a while the solitude got to her. The first person she met back up with, though it was purely by chance, was Drew himself. He had been walking past her Secret Base when she stepped out. She had been surprised to see him. They had a small Pokémon battle and she invited him to stay the night in her base with her. He declined. When she took a walk that night she found him sleeping under a tree. She remembered how annoyed she was and how much she wanted to start screaming at him for declining when he had nowhere else to go.
Instead she sent out Blaziken and had it carry him back to her base so he could stay the night there. He slept in the bed while she slept in one of her sleeping bags. She awoke the next morning to find him gone but there was a rose in a vase on her table. A single note was lying on the hard wood. The one word made her smile and it had made her day. Thanks. Brendan called her out on her incessant smiling when he ran into her in Lavaridge Town. She blew him off saying it was nothing but she knew he spotted the rose she had put in her hair.
Who do you spend time with?
She was about to say Ash, Brock and Max but then she remembered that Ash and Brock had left. They were now in another region with some new girl called Dawn. May felt like she couldn't amount to anything that the new girl did since she had been the one they abandoned in the first place. At one point she had a crush on Ash but after he left it faded. That's all it ever was – a small crush. She had gotten over it and moved on. It hurt to know she had been replaced so easily. But what made her hurt the most was that she met Dawn.
The girl was perfect. She was kind, just and funny. She wasn't someone that May could hate and May could easily say she tried her hardest to hate Dawn. She wanted to find some flaw to hate about her but there was nothing. She truly was perfect. Not only did she fight for others on a regular basis, but she also had several people looking up to her like an older sister, and she had taken that position easily. She listened to all of their worries silently, and when they finally got it of their chest, she would encourage them, giving them the courage to face their problems. She was wise beyond her years and seemed to have advice for almost any situation at hand. She was also an excellent secret keeper, which wasn't that surprising.
Dawn was a sturdy wall, not crumbling even under harsh conditions. Yet May had crumbled to pieces the moment Ash and Brock let, leaving her alone for months. She wasn't strong at all. She had depended on her other friends to help pull her through. Oddly enough Drew came through for her the most. He visited daily, though she insisted he go away. Yet he came, time and time again and always with a rose in hand. He only laughed away her anger and left as she had requested of him but he was back the next day with another rose. She had gotten used to having roses with her. She had never had a dead rose in her house, especially with all of the replacements he brought her.
Who is your best friend?
May paused for a moment. Brendan and Wally were good friends. But… in reality Drew had been there for her the most. She spent most of her time with him. He had to start by simply being there for her then he would do so. Perhaps his presence would remind her that she wasn't as alone as she felt that she was sometimes. She found that she owed him for all that he had done for her. Even if he pestered her and made her so angry it seemed he did care. 'Or is it because he values you as a rival?' a small voice in the back of her head asked. 'You can't honestly be all that important to him.' She shook her head.
She remembered what her dad said about boys teasing girls that they liked. She didn't know if he was right about that or not. Drew made her livid at times with the way he was so immature and unkind. But then there were times where she really thought that he was a fantastic friend, someone she could really depend on. They had a love-hate relationship it appeared. There were times where she hated him so much she could simply die from it.
Who do you love the most?
She shook her head. It was a silly question. Her family was close to her heart. Her Pokémon were like siblings to her. They took care of her. She took care of them. 'Just like how Drew took care of you,' a small voice in the back of her head reminded her. She shook her head quickly. She didn't want to deal with any thoughts like that. She was tired of Drew. She was sick of his constant remarks and his even stupider roses. She hated him. She wanted him to leave her alone. But then she felt her heart sink at the very thought of Drew never coming by to see her again.
As much as she hated to admit it, she had started to look forward to having Drew come and visit her. She had gotten used to seeing him at her dinner table. He would always be drinking a cup of tea with her mom as his Roselia – at least until it evolved into Roserade – wandered the garden out front. She had grown accustom to seeing Drew teach her dad new combinations to use when in gym matches as well as seeing her dad help Drew with his training, adding his own experience and expertise to the young boy's access. Max actually started to like Drew and the two of them had often gone off on their own, coming back after dark, dirty, wet and sometimes a little beat up but they always looked happy.
She didn't know how but she had grown attached to Drew and his confidence. His determination was something to be admired. His kindness was unrivaled. His morals were iron clad, even in the most desperate of situations. His heart was golden and had been forged through fire itself. Sometimes she felt as if she didn't deserving having him as a friend. She had succumbed to her own self loathing when Ash and Brock left as easily as they did. When she met with Dawn she had at first pretended to be happy in meeting the girl but then she had actually grown to like Dawn, despite the fact that she had so desperately wanted to hate her. She had failed in hating Dawn. She had failed in driving Drew away. She had failed in moving on after Ash and Brock left. She had failed in not growing attached to Drew. Her heart ached at the thought. But oddly enough she didn't mind. The more she got to know Drew the more she appreciated him.
Who knows you the best?
She couldn't say Brandon or Wally. She didn't see them enough. Ash and Brock might have known her at one point but she had changed, just as they had. Drew knew her well, better than Wally or even her father. Oddly enough she told him secrets that she hadn't even told Brock and Ash, things that she hadn't even told Ash. He was there for her when she needed someone to depend on, even if she never wanted to admit it. He helped her grow up in ways more than one. She felt like she owed him a great debt that she would never be able to repay. If anything happened to him she didn't know what she would do.
Who did you think of the most when you answered these questions?
She blushed hotly as she realized who she had mentioned the most in any of her answers. Sure, Brandon came up a few times. She might have thought about Steven once or twice. Wally was a gimmick because she thought of the boy as another younger brother and her family of course but the one name that repeated itself over and over again, despite the fact she had been completely certain before she had been asked the questions appeared. Not all of the thoughts had been entirely negative either.
"Drew…" she whispered.
She looked up and gasped when she found Drew was standing right behind her. She stiffened and stared at him for a good long moment. She hadn't realized that her hand had curled around the flower that he had given her just hours before. The thorns pressed uncomfortably into her gloves but she didn't mind all too much. They stared at each other for a long moment. May fingered the rose in her hand, tracing the petals absentmindedly. Drew didn't seem to mind waiting for her. He actually looked rather calm if a little stressed. But they all did. They had just finished a contest and May had won a ribbon in her class while Drew won a ribbon from his class the week before.
"Well?" Drew asked, "Are you going to say something, May?"
"I… I just…"
Drew sat down next to her on the bench she had been completely sprawled out on just moments before. She sat up so that they were level. The rose was still cradled in her hand and she was subconsciously being mindful not to crush it in the palm of her glove. Drew was silent. There seemed to be something on his mind and May could see the thoughts running through his head. His eyes were flashing with different emotions but they were gone too quickly for her to even decipher.
"Is there something on your mind, Drew?" May asked.
She didn't know if he'd answer. As it was, their conversations had a track record of being one sided anyway with May mostly speaking, or yelling – mainly at him, while Drew spared the occasional nod and accidental slip of his own opinion in whatever the conversation was. Still, May had grown to like it. He liked it because she was able to see through his callous appearance and cautious attitude, expecting nothing in return but still happy when he contributed. And he took care of her. He may have been arrogant but he was polite when it came to expressing his opinions.
He had helped her through her tumult and strife. She could plainly see something was bothering him so she wanted to do the same for him that he did for her. She owed him at least that, or she so she kept telling herself. 'It's more than that,' the annoying voice in the back of her head chided, 'Admit it! You like him!' May blushed at the thought. She didn't like Drew, not the way the stupid voice insisted that she did. Drew was a sometimes friend and rival, changing sides whenever it suited him best for that moment.
"As a matter of fact, May, there is," Drew said.
May sat there for a moment with her breath held. She just hoped that Drew would say something to her, maybe shed some light onto him so she would see him in a different perspective. Her heart sank when she saw him shake his head. She had been hoping that he would tell her what was bothering him, but she recalled how much resistance she still gave him sometimes. She bowed her head, wishing she could take back some of the things she said to him. She never meant half of them it was just he got on her nerves sometimes and he frustrated her greatly. She just wished that Drew would back off sometimes because there were a few occasions where he crossed the line.
"So you're a fan of roses?"
May frowned. It wasn't a subtle topic change at all. In fact it was very obvious. When May didn't answer he shook his head again. Her heart ached at the thought that he didn't trust her enough. She recalled from childhood that she used to refer to crying or even being upset in general as being soul sick, that it was the sadness attacking the heart and making it weep and ache with pain that she hated. He was not only soul sick but Drew looked like he was confused and sad and angry all at once in such a whirlwind of despairing fury that she thought he'd spontaneously combust. She put a hand on his.
"What a girlish notion… I didn't realize you were one of those romantics…"
"I… I'm not a romantic!"
Drew suddenly grabbed her by the head. She had tried to reach up to stop him but he batted her hands away with ease. She hadn't particularly tried too hard to stop him from touching her head and she was partially curious as to what he was doing to her head. May winced and tried to break free from his grasp. He put something in her hair. But as he looked her in the eyes she felt her heart beat increase. Her palms became sweaty. Her mouth dried instantly. She didn't know what to say as she looked into his eyes. She didn't even know what to do, let alone think.
She looked into the window by her side. She could see her reflection in the glass. There was a red rose in her hair. She couldn't help but blush as she looked at the flower in her hair. It really did look good on her. It complemented the red dress her mom made her wear that day for contests. Now she was glad she had conceded in their small fuss and wore the dress. It was a simple red sundress and she wore small red ballet slippers for the sake of still appearing to be cute. Nurse Joy said she looked good and her mother insisted on taking a picture, despite the fact that May blushed and tried to sneak out the door. If only her dad hadn't caught her on her way out she would have escaped.
May blushed darkly. Slowly, she looked up at him. She wanted to see an approving look on his face or at least some sort of inclination that she wasn't stepping out of bounds by acting the way she was. She found one as he laughed at the childish expression on her face. She didn't appear to be offended by his laughter. She was too dazed to question why he was laughing in the first place. He put a hand on hers. His fingers wrapped around hers with ease. The rose was pinned between their hands and the thorns had to have been cutting into his skin, May simply knew it.
"Was there something you wanted to say to me?" Drew asked.
Her eyes widened in realization when she finally took note of the fact they were moving closer together. Their foreheads brushed. She had tasted what it was like to have what her heart desired and she didn't want to go back to having nothing. She felt her eyes flutter shut. Drew's breath wafted against her cheek. She could smell his mint mouthwash. Her heart pounded in her chest like a drum. She could feel the blood pulsing through her veins. She nearly pulled away when she felt Drew's lips ghost across hers.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Immediately they sprang apart. May opened her eyes and looked at Drew with a slightly dazed look on her face. He looked just as breathless as she did. He flipped his hair back and nodded at her, signaling that he was okay with her answering it. She didn't want to. She wanted to ask him what that almost kiss was all about. 'Does he actually like me that way?' she wondered. The more she thought about it the more she actually wanted to find out whether he did or not.
"May? May you in there?"
"Max!" May groaned.
Naturally her little brother had to come in and ruin everything. Drew turned to look at her. There was a smug smirk on his face and she wondered if he had somehow planned all of it – the almost kiss and her brother's interruption. She wouldn't put it past him but Harley was the one she really worried about. He really had it out for her. But as she looked at Drew, all thoughts of Harley vanished from her mind. She smiled at him. Their hands were intertwined and neither of them made a move to remove their hands.
"I'll see you in Lilycove for our date tonight," he told her.
She noticed that he didn't look at her but she smiled nonetheless. Oddly enough she was okay with the fact that things weren't going to change between the two of them now that they might actually start dating. She had grown to crave the roses he gave her for every contest, noticing that he never gave out a rose to any other competitor. His fans never got roses. He always gave one single red rose to her and she considered herself lucky since now she had two – the one still intertwined in their hands and the one he placed in her hair.
His cheeks were tinted a slight pink color. He was trying his best to maintain that cool and calm persona that he put up for the world around him. She had to resist the temptation to giggle. He looked the way he should all the time, awkward and gangly – a teenager who hung out with friends, occasionally got in trouble, laughed, played, and fell in love. She bit her lip as she looked at him. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw him watching her from the corner of her eye.
"Are you going to pick me up?" she teased.
"I'll see you at six."
May smiled and for the first time since Ash and Brock let she felt whole. He didn't react at all. But he recalled the first time she saw him in a contest. He felt a little uncomfortable under her gaze. Her eyes seemed to bore into him and he felt like she could see right into his two-faced soul. She could see the quiet real Drew and the non-Drew. He knew that she could definitely tell the difference between the two boys, the one he was and the one he pretended to be for all those around him. That, for some reason, scared him to death.
When he saw that Brock and Ash left her so easily he couldn't help but be angry with them. They had hurt her more than anyone could ever imagine. But as he looked at her he knew she was a broken young woman. He knew that all it would take to break or heal a heart was a single act of kindness. But when someone that they trust performs that act, sometimes that one act would be enough to determine the difference between happiness and despair. Perhaps it would be enough to heal whatever scars remained in the past but where the pain lingered on, even long after the reason for the scar had passed.
The broken shards of her soul had been grated together, trying to knit fracture edges together all the while missing an important piece. But she would forever deny herself that piece. There were many ways a heart could be healed, Drew reasoned to himself, though the process itself could take a long time. But sometimes, just sometimes, there can be a heart big enough to try and heal the world, even when the owner of the heart itself is suffering. So instead of hunting Ash and Brock down for hurting her he visited every day. He wanted to be the one to bring her back so that way when he saw Ash next he would be able to rub it in his face at everything he had missed out on by letting May slip through his fingers the way he did.
"I'll deal with my brother and see you in five!"
She let go of his hand, immediately feeling regret in doing so because her hand grew cold. She took a few steps towards the door but then turned, seeing the masked hurt in his eyes. She bit her lip and took a few quick steps to his side. Before he could react she pressed a quick, chaste, kiss to his cheek. Her cheeks heated up once more and she dashed out the door, chattering quickly with Max, seemingly embarrassed. Drew smiled and flipped his hair. He couldn't wait for their date.
Wow… fluffy… So, just so all of you know I don't watch Pokémon right now but I play the games constantly. And since Drew's not in the game I don't really know if I got his personality down right. Don't shoot me if I failed! I tried, okay?