No one Heals me like You

Summary: Even if it's a lie, say it will be all right. That's all I wish for, Ash. Please don't spend your life waiting for me, because once I'm gone, I'm not coming back. ComaShipping.

I left the funeral, unable to watch them crying anymore. It wasn't right, none of this was right. I sat on the swings in the park, and as the rain clouds began rolling in, a voice broke my thoughts.

"I knew I wasn't seeing things." I turned around, shocked, as none other than that idiot Ash Ketchum stepped out from behind the jungle gym, holding a dark umbrella. For once, his hat was missing… perhaps in mourning.

"You…" He sat down on the swing beside mine and kicked off.

"When I first saw you, I couldn't believe it." He turned away from me and slowed down, taking a shaky breath. "I also couldn't believe the news… I couldn't get out of bed when my mom told me. She got a phone call from Reggie, and when she broke the news to me it wouldn't sink in. I just thought it was a bad dream… I never, ever wanted for this to happen."

"I know you didn't," I said, and I meant it; even if the moron annoyed me in the past, I knew he was hurting. "…And for what it's worth, I'm sorry too."

"How can you be sorry…? It's not your fault," he replied back without hesitation. Then, after a long silence, "…How did it happen?"

This was the part of the story I never wanted to tell, to anybody. Let alone him. But as he reached out and his hand stretched through the shoulder that wasn't really there, I knew I needed somebody to know.

"…I was out, in Kanto. I'd gone down to the tavern in Saffron City, and… and I got a little drunk, and out of hand. I think I was talking to a girl, and she was flirting with me a lot too. But then this guy came up to me, and grabbed my arm. And told me that we should 'take it outside'. I was so off my head by that time that I shrugged his arm off and lead the way. I think I really wanted to punch him. But, he got there before me, and he had a knife. I tried to run, Ash, I really did. But it didn't matter, anyway, because he had the upper hand; he wasn't drunk like I was, and he knew he had me the moment he saw me. I can't even imagine how mad he was, but he pushed me into the lake opposite and started stabbing me, cutting me up… I can't even remember his face, but I know that he killed me. And that I'll never be able to recall what it was I did wrong."

Ash watched me silently as I spoke, and when he went to touch my face I realised I was crying. But his hand went right through me, and he pulled it back, lips trembling.

"Oh, Paul…" He turned away and wiped at his eyes, which made me begin to shake. He wouldn't be able to touch me again, and at I always thought when that day came I'd be happy. Instead, I felt empty, because this was just proof that I was slipping away, and there was nothing I could do about it.

"Please don't cry," I pleaded, horrified at how weak I sounded. "…I hate it when people cry. That's why I left."

"You left your own funeral because people were crying for your sake… you're too nice for your own good, Paul," he said, sniffing. "Even if you don't think that, I do."

I watched him silently as he continued to cry, the rain never slowing to a halt. The rain that passed through me, without me even feeling it.

I hated being transparent. It was just more proof that I was gone.

Then, the umbrella began to shield me, and I glanced up to see him smiling through his watery eyes and damp cheeks.

"If you can't feel it, at least this way you can pretend to," he said softly, and I shivered as more tears formed in my eyes. Now I knew why it was that Ash could see me. Even if he didn't fully realise it, I think a part of me loved him.

He was the only person who never gave up on me, right until the end and after. A lot of people cried, but he was the only one who cried with me, for me. And that meant a lot.

"Paul… how are you coping?" he asked me quietly, as I reached over to literally slip my hand through his.

"…Not very well, I don't think," I admitted, my voice wobbling. "How am I supposed to cope? I'm a dead man's spirit. I don't think I'm exactly supposed to be okay with it."

"Of course not," he agreed, voice soft, calm. His tears had slowed now, and he smiled at my attempt to hold his hand. "…You know, Paul, I think this is the longest we've spent with one another without fighting."

"Because I'm dead," I said flatly. "No more battles now, Ash."

"Yeah." He sounded disappointed. "No more battles."

Then, as I watched him silently, he spoke again. "Paul, I'm really curious… how come only I can see you? Why can't anybody else?"

The answer was so simple now. So obvious, so straight-forward.

"Because I needed somebody to heal my heart," I said, voice wavering. He reached out, fingertips brushing through my transparent chest, and I felt calmness wash over me. This was all the proof I needed.

"I hope this helps," he whispered, then he leaned towards me. Solid lips met ghostly lips, and the two of us kneeled beneath the umbrella, swings long forgotten.

When we broke apart his cheeks flushed a rich crimson, but I felt nothing that could be considered embarrassment. Just completeness. Like it was what I was waiting for all along.

"Yes, now I know." I smiled at him and closed my eyes, a warmth slipping over me. For a fleeting moment I could forget the feeling of the knife digging into my stomach, the tang of the blood in the water, the moment where the little boy's squirtle found my left foot, washed up on the dirt by the lake…

"Nobody heals me like you, Ash. And that's the truth." I opened my eyes and he was crying again, a watery smile on that face that I used to imagine punching, but seemed so beautiful now.

"You know… if you disappear soon, it'll be painful," he smiled, voice shaking as his tears continued to mingle with the raindrops. "But, I'm so happy right now, just sharing these last precious moments with you… if it weren't for you, I'm not quite sure where I'd be right now, Paul. So, I believe no matter where we are, we'll still be able to love each other."

"I think you're right." Once again lips met lips, and then I stood up, ruffling his hair with my fingers, yet not leaving a trace. "I also think this is… goodbye, Ash Ketchum." He nodded, wiping his eyes. "For now."

"For now," he echoed. "Maybe one day we can meet again."

"When that day comes, wherever spirits go, I'll be waiting for you with open arms. You know that, don't you?"

"I knew that the moment we kissed," he said, with a stupid smile on his face. With a wave I turned around, heading back to the trees, feeling that familiar warmth spread through me.

I closed my eyes and began to mutter to myself, feeling my existence slipping away gradually.

"One… two… three… four…"

His face flashed in my mind, and then I was gone.

A/N: I don't know what drove me to write this, but I was basing it on both The Lovely Bones (again! God, that book/film speaks out to me…) and the song "I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow. Check it out! You'll recognise the similarities between some of the lines and the dialogue in this fic. /hides

Anyway, I'm not going to beg for reviews, because this fic is pretty low standard for me. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, y'know, feel free to voice your opinion if you want, but don't force it.