Chapter 1: Flashing Memories

It was a rainy and depressing day in the usually sunny area of Pallet Town. There were no people on the streets of Pallet just the drizzling sound of the rain, bringing its power down on it. It looked as if everyone thought it was best to stay indoors, except for one person.

Ash Ketchum was walking up the wet and muddy hill of his hometown, not minding how wet or dirty he got or even sick. On his shoulder was his long time best pal and first Pokémon Pikachu, who was questioning the odd behavior of his trainer. The boy was wearing his soaked Sinnoh attire since he only returned two days ago from the Sinnoh Region. There was a difference though the happy go getter young man didn´t appear to be in his best shape. He only dragged himself up the hill, needing to think on how things got so wrong.

"How could I lose like that I was just so close to it, but Tobias defeated me" sighed Ash.

The boy was frustrated at his defeat against Tobias in the Lily of the Valley Conference, this was the first time he had been so closer to winning in a league. Tobias seemed to be a trainer who used legendary Pokémon to win, having used a Darkrai and Latios against Ash, ultimately defeating his whole team with just those two Pokémon despite the fact that Ash defeated both, but who knows what other tricks Tobias had up his sleeve.

"Latios and Darkrai, I won´t forget those Pokémon for the rest of my life" stated Ketchum.

He suddenly remembered how he encountered the two Pokemon, at least once before in his earlier adventures. He remembered meeting Latios in Altomare during his Johto Journeys. Ash assisted it in its endeavor to save Altomare from a tsunami and gave its life in the process, Ash would never forget the noble act of Latios, despite the fact that it was the same type of Pokémon that ended his victory streak at the Sinnoh League.

Next came the memories of Darkrai, who Ash befriended while traveling through Sinnoh. When Dawn, Brock, and he came across Alamos Town, the peaceful town had an unwelcomed guest named "Darkrai". It was a somewhat hostile Pokémon, but had good intentions, unfortunately though he was misunderstood completely by Alamos ´residents. It gained respect eventually, after its residents realized how Darkrai put its best effort to stop Dialga and Palkia´s battle when it put the entire town in danger. Ash himself respected Darkrai and like with Latios, despite his second encounter with one he had no grudge against it. The only thing that bothered him was the fact that he lost and got his pride hurt significantly.

"Pika?" asked Pikachu.

"I´m alright Pikachu really, Tobias was a powerful opponent, but next time I´ll make sure I´m stronger!" Ash encouraged himself and gave Pikachu a reassuring smile.

"Pikachu!" shouted the yellow mouse in agreement.

They remained oblivious to the rain as they discussed their next steps, but deep inside Ash´s train of thought he didn´t exactly know where to start. The reason he came out here was to sort things out peacefully, but that didn't help him at all, instead it just made him wonder. All he wanted was to think, but he couldn't, he realized that he changed over the course of time since he defeated the Battle Frontier. He matured, he became more confident than ever and he became stronger mentally, as well as physically. The Battle Frontier! He realized that these last two journeys left him sad for a reason.

The end of his Sinnoh Journey was obvious, he lost in the conference and missed two of his closest friends, Dawn and Brock. The end of the Battle Frontier Journey brought him sadness, but for a reason he couldn't really comprehend all he really clarified was that it had to do with the departure of May. It was different though, in comparison to when he and Brock left Dawn behind. It brought him more grief possibly more than now. After hearing of Sinnoh though, he was determined in getting in to the league and the grief vanished. His joy had gone overboard when May arrived in Sinnoh for the Wallace Cup. The same grief returned when she left to Johto again, but Ash still couldn't analyze the feeling, May was one his best friends.

The thing was, he didn't know what made May different from Dawn or even Misty. His dream of becoming a Pokémon Master never let him understand this feeling since the beginning of his journey in Hoenn to the end of his travels in Sinnoh, becoming the best Pokémon Master ever has always been his priority and his determination wouldn't allow anything to get in the way of that.

"Well Pikachu I think tomorrow we should head to Professor Oak´s Lab to catch up on things I´m sure our Pokémon want to see us again," Ash talked while looking at Pikachu.

"Pika Pika Pi!" eagerly answered the little mouse.

"We should probably head back now though, we don't want to catch a cold, besides I´m getting soaked and mom is probably done cooking, boy I can´t wait to see what she's cooked," anticipated the young trainer.

In his mind though, it truly seemed that he was sadder than ever not, but not just because of the outcome at the Sinnoh League anymore, but because he was thinking about whether or not May and him would ever meet again. He didn't think so though, he hadn't heard of her since the Wallace Cup and didn't even know the results of her performance at the Johto Grand Festival. It bothered him not to know that because May was his friend and if he didn't even know what happened at the Johto Grand Festival then it was a sign that he didn't care anymore, but it wasn't that way, not at all. Yet another thought flashed in his mind as he thought about May when he turned around and ran back to his humble home

The thought was about none other than the arrogant Drew. Drew's presence always seemed to somehow bother Ash, not only due to his overconfidence, but because of his behavior towards May while they traveled through Hoenn and Kanto. At one moment he would brag to her of his achievements and criticize her to no end, making her feel inferior to the more experienced Pokémon Coordinator. Other moments he would try to show signs that Ash couldn't really ever comprehend such as handing May roses or making her blush.

Despite not knowing what those signs truly meant, deep down his feelings knew what it was and when those feelings saw Drew´s form of flattering May or criticizing her, the feelings grew aggravated as well as Ash himself. Ash never held grudges on anyone and wasn't quick-tempered, but he would show slight hints of aggravation. When he battled Drew in Fallarbor Town, when he and Tailow lost to Drew´s Roselia, he was in shock and embarrassed to learn that May had seen the battle.

On the outside it only showed shock, but deep inside he faced embarrassment and damaged pride. After that battle he got the idea that May must have thought less of him after losing to her rival.

"Look Pikachu it's our house I can taste the food already, but first I think I should change clothes when I get home I don´t wanna be walking around soaked right," chuckled Ash while Pikachu followed his lead.

As he approached the house now, he continued to think about what May would be up to now, probably having the time of her life with Drew. They must be closer than ever now that he isn't in the way, it was basically easy access for the green haired boy, Ash assumed. As he thought more of May and Drew becoming closer and closer he seemed to steam up like a Camerupt now, however Pikachu remained oblivious to it. No matter what he thought, it always seemed to link to May.

Enough he shouted at himself in his mind to break from this unusual trance he had never felt before. What started out as just recalling a frustrating defeat to the new Sinnoh League Champion, now became memories about one of his closest friends, a girl who apparently appeared to be the girl Ash has fallen in love with, but he couldn't identify it cause of his density. Eventually though he will realize as time passes that this is something that not even the high and mighty Ash might be able to stand up against.

Ash started walking up the doorstep and slowly opened the door yelling "Mom I´m home!"

"Pika Pi!" followed the electric mouse and before them appeared young Ketchum´s mother.

"Ash thank goodness, hurry up its dinner time!" ordered Delia, but like always she had a smile across her face.