OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Mount Silver was a bit warmer today. The usually snowy mountainside was practically free of snow, with only the tips of the mountain having some bits of the stuff. Still, the fact remained that Red was training like a madman. The five consecutive losses to Ethan was a bit hard to take, even if they all went 6-5.

Speaking of Ethan, He had not appeared for about a month now. He typically challenged Red at least every five days, sometimes even twice a day. It wasn't the least bit concerning though, the champion of Johto could very much take care of himself, but the lack of human contact in a month was getting to Red.

Perhaps he should go down the mountain sometime this week, go home, spend some time with his mom, or talk to Yell…

"HEY RED!"

Of course he spoke too soon. He had to reply soon, because…

"HEY RED! HAVE YOU HEARD ME?" Ethan would only shout louder.

"… What is it Ethan?" Red asked.

"How about a rematch!" Ethan replied.

Red raised an eyebrow. "Didn't you win the last time?"

"YEAH! AND A COUPLE OF ONES BEFORE THAT!"

Red had to cover his ears. Was he ever this loud before coming up the mountain?

"WELL WHAT DO YOU SAY?"

Nope. He never was. He was pretty loud, now that he thought about it, but never to this extent. Seriously, Ethan was like a hopped-up-on-uppers Pachirisu every single time he was up there.

"WELL?"

"Sure." Anything just to shut HIM up.

"COOL!"


The match was pretty uneventful, save for Ethan's newly acquired Heracross handily defeating Red's Snorlax. Red had won, after Ethan's Typhlosion Evangeline took itself out with an ill-timed Double Edge, nearly taking Charizard with it. Another 5-6.

"That was a good match!" exclaimed Ethan, way too cheerfully for someone who just lost. Still Red had to agree with him. Stuff like this made his blood boil with excitement, something that only Leaf could manage to do once in a while nowadays. Only Ethan could force him into a corner, and for that was grateful.

"Say…" began Ethan, smirking.

Uh oh. Something was bound to go wrong soon. Red could just feel it.

"How's about you come home? To Pallet, I mean. I'll go with you."

"Sure Why Not?" Red thought to himself, "Sure."

Ethan smirked, "What's that? Was that a no?"

Red raised an eyebrow, "Uh no, that's a yes."

"No that's a Yes? So that would mean a No right?" He replied.

Red covered his face. "Look let's just go."

He looked at Ethan, who was still smiling mischievously.

"I'M NOT LEAVING WITHOUT YOU! PIKA!"

Red's Pikachu turned to Ethan, smiling back. Red looked at his Pikachu, curious as to what they would do.

"USE THUNDER WAVE ON RED!"

Red covered his face again, wondering what possessed Ethan to issue a command to his Pokémon, when Red's Pikachu himself would sometimes disobey Red. Still, he didn't expect Pikachu to start charging up. Wait, What?

"Ethan, you bastard."


At Pallet Town, a party was being set up. Delia, Red's mother, had planned a party for Red's homecoming, and with Ash, his brother, being home, it would be a big one. Ash was dragged home by his traveling companion, Dawn, who had wanted to meet the legendary Red. Lyra had tagged along, after hearing that Ethan would be there. Khoury had respectfully declined the offer to stay, after hearing that ETHAN would be there, making a lame excuse about being called back to New Bark.

Lyra's Pokégear rang. She answered, than dropped the call.

"Ethan just sent me a message, looks like they'll be here soon!"

"Then we better get everything ready soon."

"We sure will!"

Dawn was a bit curious. Ash had never spoken about Red before, and if Ethan had not met up with them at the Valley Windworks, He would never have. Perhaps they were estranged? Brock, who was left behind in Twinleaf, remembered the time Red challenged his gym, and was also surprised to find out Ash was his brother.

"Hey, Ash."

Ash was busy setting the table.

"Ash?"

He didn't hear Dawn, so she creep-ed up behind him, and hugged him from behind.

Ash froze. Dawn had been incredibly, (what's the word? Flirty?) these days. Presumably, because of the conversation she had with Lyra at the Valley, and the way Ethan and Lyra flirted in the valley like there was no tomorrow.

"Uh,What is it Dawn?" he asked, a little nervous about all the close contact. What if his mom saw them? He turned around to face her.

She pouted, "You weren't listening to me."

He could never say no to pouting girls, but in addition to that Dawn's pout was so cute it should have been illegal. He might have been an idiot without hormones during his time with Misty, and a careless dunce during his time with May, but two years were a lot of time to start noticing girls, especially the one with a short skirt that was always with him in Sinnoh.

He scratched the back of his head, and said, "What was your question again? And could you let go of me please? Mom might see us."

"I haven't even asked anything yet, and No, I won't." She smiled. "It's kind of comfortable."

His heart almost jumped out. He looked around. It was a good thing his mother was in the kitchen cooking. All he could he see was Lyra smirking dangerously at them. He led her to outside the backyard, somewhere his mom might not try to look, and somewhere he couldn't see Lyra, while the entire time Dawn was still attached to him.

"Okay." he began. "Were somewhere I think no one will see. What was your question again?"

"I was going..." replied Dawn, loosening her grip on him a little. "to ask why you don't talk about Red too much."

He visibly stiffened.

"I mean," Dawn continued, "Shouldn't you be proud of your Elder Brother? Well?"

He replied. "Uhhh...It's a long story, and I doubt we'd have enough time for it and stufffffwhat'reyoudoiiinnngggg!" As Dawn had started squeezing him tighter. She looked up at him smiled, and winked.

"I'll crush you if you don't tell me."

He sighed. Hiding his eyes from sight, and frowning a bit, he said,

"Well the reason's more the fact that I haven't even won a single league yet, and he's already champion. I mean, when HE was my age, he'd already beaten Lance, the dragon master, while I can't even beat Paul. I couldn't even compare to Ethan, and he's about a year younger. Red must be disappointed in me, maybe that's why he won't show up at home."

He looked at Dawn, who was frowning.

"Uh, Dawn?"

She sniffed, and started crying, Ash was bewildered, He had little experience with crying girls, but it was enough for him to know that doing something wrong with one would've ended very badly for him.

"You Idiot..." she sniffled, "Nobody hates you for that. Your brother is a fool if he doesn't see you as a... as a very good person!"

He smiled. Dawn always knew how to cheer him up. Maybe that was the reason he felt like he could do anything with Dawn around.

"Thanks, Dawn."

He tried to hug her, but ended up touching her in the butt, and raising her skirt dangerously up.

Dawn immediately looked up, with fire in her eyes. "Where..." she ground out between clenched teeth, "do you think you're touching me?"

Ash raised his hands in apology, and said, "Okay, that was an accident. A Complete Accident! I did not do it on purpose!"

He tried to run, but unfortunately, Dawn was still attached to him.

"Now Ash..." Dawn looked up at him, with a smile. He shivered.

"Let me show you what I do to perverts like you."

...

"NOOOOOOOO! Oh. Oh. Oh! That feels kinda nice."

...


Ash and Dawn returned about a quarter of an hour later, sweating profusely, and blushing heavily. They saw Lyra talking to a blonde girl, who looked like she was about Red's age, give or take a year.

"And they're back!" Lyra had noticed them gone, and smirked. "What were you two doing?"

"Uh, nothing." replied Dawn, still a bit red-faced. "Honest."

While Lyra was preparing to tease Dawn nonstop about their disappearance, Ash had looked at the blonde girl. She seemed familiar, like an old childhood friend from before Red left. While he did not have many friends, (he refused to acknowledge Gary as one, by virtue of still being called Ashy-boy.) he considered them very valuable, and almost all of Red's friends were also his. However, He couldn't remember a blonde girl among them. Sure there were girls, but none of them were blonde. With the exception of Leaf, who was brown-haired, all of them were black-haired. That reminded him of something, there was only one blonde in their group, and that was...

"Yellow?"

She nodded.

"WHAT?" he exclaimed. "You're a girl!"

"Uh if you haven't noticed, she IS." Dawn said. Lyra just kept on smiling. "And how is she related to you?"

"She's a childhood friend. And no, you don't understand." He went on the defensive. "Everyone thought She was a boy! Or at least back then. She always had this straw hat on, you see."

"I was always a girl." Yellow began. "I was just a bit tomboyish back then, and if it weren't for your mom, I would have never have told Red."

"Oh. I'm sorry about the fuss." Ash replied. "So what brings you here? Red's Party?"

"It's his birthday tomorrow, In case you've forgotten. And..." Yellow blushed. "We're actually dating. I'm here to try and give him an early birthday present."

"What! Since When?" Ash was a bit shocked.

"Uh." replied Yellow, "Since about a year ago, during the incident on, um, I think shouldn't be telling you this."

"What, Why Not?" asked Lyra, momentarily distracted.

"We kind of found out that Leaf's..." continued Yellow, but she never finished, as someone had groped her from behind.

"Kyaaahh!" Yellow had jumped about a feet in the air.

The group turned to faced the culprit, to see a brown-haired girl, fixing the white cap on her head.

"You were talking behind my back again were you?"

"Leaf!" Ash and Yellow exclaimed.

"Wassup!" smirked Leaf, "Figured you'd be holding a party for the idiot, So I came."

Yellow sighed, and whispered, "Even without an invitation, it seems."

Leaf glared at Yellow, "I can hear you, you know?"

"Yeah, yeah." Ash interjected. "What were we talking about again now?"

"Ah!" exclaimed Yellow. "To make the long story short, Leaf's..."

"Dating Gary!" Leaf had finished for her. Ash and Yellow turned to face her.

"You are?" they interjected, shocked.

"Yep, Sure Am!"

"But I thought you were les..." Yellow began, but Leaf interrupted her yet again, scratching her head, saying, "Yeah, it turns out I was bi all along."

Yellow sighed. Ash wanted to ask what bi meant, but was elbowed by Dawn, who had accurately guessed what he was thinking.

"So Ash..." Leaf began, throwing an arm over Red's little brother, "You haven't introduced us to your girlfriend!" indicating Dawn.

Ash and Dawn sputtered. Leaf and Yellow giggled.

"We-we're not together..." Ash and Dawn whispered.

"Not together Yet at least!" Lyra added cheerfully.

Dawn glared at Lyra, as if daring her to say more. Lyra just smirked at her.

"Her name is Dawn." said Ash, "She's from Sinnoh."

Dawn bowed, saying "It's a pleasure to meet you."

Leaf and Yellow bowed back.

"It's a pleasure to meet you too." said Yellow, "Does Ash still wet his bed.?"

"YELLOW!" Ash blushed, "Just because We're friends doesn't mean you can bring that up any time you want!"

"Well that explains the underwear thing." Dawn murmured.

"Whatever." said Leaf. "By the way, If we're all here, Who's bringing the idiot down the mountain?"

"Oh!" exclaimed Yellow. "Been wondering myself."

"THAT WOULD BE ME!" a voice rang out in the backyard.

Ethan, accompanied by his Typhlosion, jumped out from the low wall surrounding the yard, did a backflip and attempted to land on his hands. He fell though.

Lyra clapped enthusiastically, Ash covered his face, while Dawn sighed. Ethan was always in the mood for theatrics, it was a wonder he could even defeat a kid with a Rattata, let alone win an entire league, and replace Lance as Johto Champion.

A red-headed kid entered the yard, kicking Ethan's behind. "Things like this make me wonder why I even consider you my rival. I do get your desire to show off a lot in front of your girlfriend, but please have a little sense of shame."

"I AM NOT SHOWING OFF!" replied Ethan, who had stood up with some help from Lyra. "And She is not my GIRLFRIEND! Well at least not yet." murmuring the last part. Evangeline sat down, and began conversing with Pikachu and Piplup.

"Yes. Yes you were." the redhead said. They began an argument again, with Lyra attempting (and failing) to break them up.

"Uh, guys?" Leaf began, "You might want to introduce yourselves? And Hat Kid? We're not deaf, stop shouting."

Ethan dusted himself. "My name is Ethan! Champion-Master of Johto!"

"Silver." the redhead grunted.

"Where's Red then?" asked Yellow.

"He's still inside." Silver replied. "The idiot thunder-waved Red."

"WHAT?" Yellow was shocked. She ran inside the house, yelling Red's name all the way.

"Well that was predictable." Leaf commented

Delia had come out of the house, after Yellow ran inside, bringing a plate of cookies.

"Anyone up for cookies?"

"I AM!" shouted Ethan, grabbing a pair of cookies. "ME TOO!" added Lyra, taking three.

Everybody else except Lyra sighed, but went and got some anyway.


"RED!"

HUH? Where am I?

"RED! Please wake up!"

Is that Yellow?

He heard someone enter the room, but he still didn't want to open his eyes.

"What is he still lying down?"

"He won't even move! What will I do Leaf?"

"Oh calm down. All you have to do is get bucket of water, like this..."

"What are you doing?"

Huh?


A splash was heard from inside the house, followed by a very girly scream in a man's voice, and a shout of "Leaf!"

"What was that?" Dawn had asked.

"Eh, Leaf probably went and woke Red up." replied Ash. At Dawn's concerned look, he shrugged, and added, "Happens all the time."

"Really?"

"Yup. Speak of the devil, here they come now."

Red, accompanied by Yellow and Leaf, had come out of the house, in the middle of a conversation.

"... You could've woken me up some other way, Leaf."

"Where's the fun in that?" Leaf replied.

Red and Yellow sighed.

"You'd expect anything less from Leaf?" spoke Ash.

"Oh?" Red turned to face him. "Your home for once? Welcome home then."

Ash grunted. "It's not like I WANTED to be home, or anything. Dawn just dragg-Ouch!"

Dawn had twisted his ear. Whispering in a low voice, she scolded Ash, "Now listen here, mister! That's exactly the kind of attitude that results in stupid sibling rivalry! Be Nice!" Twisting his other ear a bit further, to drive the point home.

"OUCH! YEAH YEAH! I GET IT! LEGGO MY EAR!"

"Hmm, looks like your girlfriend has you whipped kiddo." Red commented, with blushes from the two concerned.

"ETHAN! I suddenly remembered we haven't properly greeted each other yet!" Lyra suddenly blurted out.

"GOD MY OH! I'VE FORGOTTEN! FORGIVE ME LY!" Ethan replied.

"Uh oh, here they go again." Ash sighed.

"ALL WILL BE WELL! Well then..."

"ANSWER ME LYRA! THE SCHOOL OF THE UNDEFEATED OF THE WEST!" Ethan shouted, jumping about twelve feet back.

"Wait, what the hell is this?" Leaf asked Ash, who shrugged and said, "Just let them finish."

"THE WINDS OF THE KING!" replied Lyra, back flipping twelve feet backward into an 'x' position, with her hands above her head, facing Ethan.

"ZENSHIN!" Ethan started somersaulting towards Lyra.

"KEIRETSU!" Lyra complemented Ethan by doing the same, somersaulting forward.

"Wow, looks like whatever this is took a lot of practice." stated Red.

"TEMPA KYOURAN!" the pair had met in the middle, putting hands around each other's shoulders, pointing in what appeared to be the general direction to the...

"LOOK! THE BRASS TOWER IS BURNING RED!"

There was complete silence for a couple of minutes, with Silver getting the urge to ram his head into a wall for deciding Ethan was his greatest rival.

Suddenly, Delia clapped, snapping everyone out of their stupor.

"Seriously, what the hell was that?" exclaimed Leaf, who expressed Red's, Yellow's, and Her sentiments exactly.

"They did that at the Valley Windworks too." replied Dawn, murmuring, "So many ruined boxes..."

"We've learned to just take it in stride. From how Khoury reacted, it seems like this is a common occurrence." added Ash.

"YUP! WE'VE STILL GOT IT!" the pair in question shouted enthusiastically.

"Settle down children." Delia spoke in a clear voice. "Ash, Red, and Dawn, come with me inside. The rest of you please finish setting the table."


About an hour later, at around six in the evening, most of the other guests arrived.

It was a myriad of personalities, ranging from an assembly of gym leaders, and most of the Kanto Elite Four, to the Pokemon Professors of at least three regions.

All in all, if anyone (namely Team Rocket) even TRIED to crash it, blasting off would be the least of their worries.

They had all sat down in a large rectangular table. Ash and Dawn sat beside each other, near the end of the table closest to the buffet table, with the latter closer to the end. Lyra sat beside the two, with Ethan right across her. Leaf sat beside Yellow, who was across Dawn. Red sat between Dawn and Yellow. Gary, who arrived without much fanfare sat beside Leaf, with Delia at the other end of the table. The assorted personage sat randomly.

"When are we going to eat?" asked Ash. "Ouch! Dawn!"

Dawn had stepped on his foot under the table. She smiled, and said, "Soon enough, just keep quiet."

Ash grumbled, but kept quiet.

"Aw, Is Ash finally being such a good boy?" teased Lyra, "You are SO Whipped."

Ash glared at her, but said nothing.

Red was still confused. Not that he minded parties, but if he had parties every time he went down from Mount Silver, he'd grow tired of them quick.

He turned to his left, where Yellow was seated, to see her smiling at him.

"Why are we having a party again?"

"WHAT? YOU DON'T KNOW?" exclaimed Ethan, who had overheard the question. Leaf threw a boot at him. Luckily, nothing got hit along the way.

"Uh, That didn't help." replied Red.

"I can't believe you really don't know?" asked Ash.

"You're not helping, Ash." Dawn commented.

"It's your birthday tomorrow." said Yellow, smiling at him.

Red was surprised. That's right. tomorrow I turn eighteen.

He smiled at the assembly of people, who had begun eating.

Dawn was scolding Ash, who was naturally eating like he hadn't had a decent meal in years. Ethan was balancing several spoons with his tongue, showing off in front of Lyra, while Silver just shook his head. Leaf and Gary were talking, engrossed in what appeared to be Gary's research work. He turned to Yellow, who faced him. Her mother was in a political conversation with the professors, and Karen of the Johto Elite Four.

"What is it, Red?"She tilted her head, wondering why Red was smiling. "Is there something on my fa..."

He kissed her.

Dawn and Lyra squealed. Ash and Ethan cheered. Leaf giggled.

He smiled at everyone again. Looking around, at this gathering of Friends and Family, makes him aware that he never was, never will be alone.


A/N: This was originally written (or at least the original draft) about two years ago. I found it while I was fooling around with my old External HDD.

A little dusting off was required, but whatever is here was in the original draft, along with a few other new jokes added in, bringing the original word count of 1.5k to about 3k. I have some unrelated omake somewhat connected to this one, but were deleted due to being completely tasteless jokes.

I have to say, writing this totally destroyed my writer's block. I'm about halfway chapter 4 of Schicksal.

Please leave a review.


OMAKE! (The only related one.)

The Day Later

"Red? What do you want to talk about again?" asked Ash. Red pulled Ash to his room.

"Well..." Red trailed off. "I noticed the way you and Dawn act."

Ash sputtered. "Th-That's nothing!"

"Yup, that's what they all say." Red nodded. "At least until an accident occurs."

Red continued. "Okay, seeing as Dad's off running the family business, and I'm legally an adult now, I figured it's about time."

"Time for what?" asked Ash."You're not making any sense."

Red sighed. "Whatever happens in the next half hour or so is totally not my fault. Dad taught me everything I know, and It's time I passed it to you. You're about fourteen, right?"

"Uh, yeah." replied Ash, still a bit confused what was this all about.

"And Dawn's twelve, so you're probably doing IT already."

"What?"

Red smiled evilly at him. "Yup, It's time for The Talk."

Ash couldn't look Dawn in the eye for about a week.


For the record, nothing really happened between Ash and Dawn. It was just tickle torture.