Sometimes, one person can change your whole life. Ash believes this about his best friend. Does Misty feel the same? Songs do not belong to me, nor does Pokémon or its characters. The rest of the story takes place during Best Wishes, so it may contain some spoilers later on.
Chapter Eighteen: First Test!
When Misty entered her fourth month of pregnancy, Oak informed Ash, over Delia's lunch, that his application had been approved and that there'll be three officials coming from the Indigo Professors Association within a day or two. That made even Delia blink.
"Don't those applications take a lot longer than three months?" She asked, clearly confused.
"Yes. Normally it would take three years at the latest. But, the IPA know of Ash's accomplishments and want to test him as soon as possible." Oak explained. "I was surprised myself. They'll let me guide you, but nothing more. The other parts come from your memory."
"No problem. I know the basics already. What more could there be?" Ash said, grinning.
"That's exactly why- I wonder who that is." Oak asked as the four, including Pikachu, went to the door of the Ketchum residence. "Hello?"
"Ahh, Samuel... Been a long time. I saw you finally picked an heir to your research. Would've figured your grandson." The lady said, smiling.
"Ahh! Melissa Numidia, Tolbert Goolish and Okrano Pelzer. I take it IPA sent you?" Oak asked, smiling back as the group went outside.
"Yes. This must be the Ash Ketchum we've heard about from all your papers and phone calls." The man, Okrano, guessed looking at Ash over his bow-shaped glasses.
"Yes. This is him. He has amazing knowledge due to travelling around the world." Oak said.
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Ketchum… I guess you'll want us to call you Ash. That's fine." The other man, Tolbert, said.
"Either works for me... Though the 'Mr.' makes me feel older than I am." Ash joked, rubbing his head. He never wore his hat much, except to annoy Misty whenever she needed a little cheering up. He also stopped wearing his gloves, figuring he'd forget to put them on some days. He even got a slight haircut, smoothing out the messiness that he was known for.
"Ahh, we know that all too well. Shall we start? I shouldn't take too long if you live up to what Samuel wrote." Melissa teased as the five left Delia and Misty at the porch with Pikachu being on Misty's shoulders.
"Well, this day could prove interesting." Misty commented.
"Yes. Wanna help Mimey and me pluck some vegetables?" Delia asked.
"Sure." Misty replied as she and Pikachu took one look at the way Ash left and went to join her in the garden.
~~~With Ash and the others~~~
"First, we'll see how well your bond is with the wild Pokémon." Tolbert explained.
"Gotcha. Ahh. There's an old friend of mine. Pidgeot!" Ash called to the large bird, who immediately landed.
"That's where your Pidgeotto went?" Oak asked.
"Mhm. Pidgeot here wanted to protect the Pidgeys on this route from a Fearow I kinda made mad my first day as a trainer." Ash explained. "How're things?"
"Pidgeottt!" Pidgeot replied as if saying all was good.
"Great. Better let ya get back. See ya soon, pal." Ash said, waving goodbye to his second Pokémon he caught.
"Well, that was excellent. Even though it's technically a wild Pokémon now, it appears your bond with it hasn't changed, in fact it may have grown." Melissa noted, smiling. "That's that part. The next one is how you fair catching the three starter Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. There is a Squirtle colony over here." She led the way to a pond, letting Ash keep going to test his stealth and if he could either catch a Squirtle or sneak an egg away to study it. When one rushed over, she thought he would've failed the test, but when the Squirtle handed him one of the eggs, she, along with the rest, were speechless.
That happened with a Bulbasaur group and a Charmander herd. Okrano chuckled when Ash had all three eggs securely in his arms. "That is remarkable! Samuel, you never told us he had a way with Pokémon." He joked as Ash rejoined them. "Amazing."
"Thanks. I knew a few of the Squirtles, a Bulbasaur and a Charmander. They pretty much will allow me a free egg whenever I feel like it." Ash explained, chuckling lightly. "I have had Pikachu since I was ten, so, of course I have a way with Pokémon."
"I'm convinced you are really a natural at Pokémon... I only have one question: will you want to carry on Samuel Oak's profession of studying Pokémon and human relationships?" Okrano asked.
"Definitely. I may have travelled all around the world, but there's still so much I haven't learned about bonds between us and Pokémon yet. It's kinda why I wanted to be a professor like Professor Oak after becoming a Pokémon Master." Ash explained as they all went back to his mom's place. "Mom! Misty! We're back!" He called out, chuckling. "Must be in the garden."
"Seems you know where even people are." Melissa commented, grinning.
"Nah, I just happen to know my mom and wife that well." Ash replied, placing the three incubators on the kitchen table as the four found the two in the garden. "See? Knew they'd be back here."
"Oh, sorry dear... Didn't hear you." Delia said, dusting her hands off.
"Give us a few minutes and we'll be right back." Okrano said as the three went off inside.
"How'd it go?" Misty asked.
"Well, they pretty much said I was almost a natural with the wild Pokémon around here and stuff. Then they wondered if I'll be studying Pokémon and human relationships. And I will." Ash explained, tucking his hands in his pants and leaning on the rail at the bottom of the steps.
"He even surprised me. And I've known him all his life." Oak said, nodding his head as the three came back.
"Well, we gave our report verbally to IPA and they wanted us to have you sign this." Melissa stated, pulling a clipboard out of her lab coat and showed where he signed. "With that, congratulations, Ash Ketchum. You are now an official Pokémon Professor. Your license should be in the mail and arrive in a few days. You can start being a professor as soon as that license shows up. Welcome aboard." She said, shaking his hand before moving on to Misty. "So nice to meet you."
Melissa moved to Delia. "Delia, that is one smart boy you have." She teased as the other two followed Delia and Oak to the front door.
Misty smiled and wrapped her arms around him from behind. "Way to go!" She pulled back so he could turn around and hug her back. "Once that license comes, you'll be called Professor Ketchum... It has a nice ring to it."
"Guess it does. But, it's not about the title for me. After all, studying the bonds between us and Pokémon is what I truly wanna do. Maybe mix in a few things I learned from Rowan, Elm, Juniper and Birch." Ash said, resting his nose in her shoulder for a bit before pulling away and entwining their fingers as they reentered the house for a little relaxation before heading to their place. "Speaking of that... When I came home, the certificate for ya was in the mailbox. I put it on the table so you could look at it."
"Oh. Silly me. I must've forgot to check the mail today." Misty said, smiling and lightly resting a hand on her tummy, which was a tiny bump now. She still had to wrap her head around the fact that she and Ash were five months away from being parents. "I bet Brock'll wanna know."
"Yeah. I'll let him know once the actual license comes. You know he'd want a little proof." Ash replied, before blinking as if remembering something and Pikachu tilted his head.
"Pika pi?" It asked.
"Just remembering something Rudy told me way back when we were traveling the Orange Islands." He replied, trying to think of what Rudy told him.
"I hope you know you're a very lucky guy Ash." The Trovita Island Gym Leader told him after handing Misty a bouquet of flowers.
Ash stared with a blank look. "Lucky? Whaddya mean?"
Rudy chuckled and grinned. "You'll see someday."
Misty tilted her head at her husband. "Rudy...? Oh! The brother of Mahri.." Misty remembered, before giggling at the memory.
"Something funny?" Ash asked.
"Just remembering how jealous you got over Rudy and Danny way back then." Misty pointed out, smiling at the look of denial on Ash's face.
Ash hmm'd before grinning. "You were jealous over Melody and other girls... But, by now, you should've realized two things."
Misty tilted her head. "Two? What's that supposed to mean?"
A chuckle was a response to the second question. "The first thing is I was completely oblivious to any other girl besides you. And the second thing is I didn't even realize I fell for you as hard as I did until I talked to Max during the Millennium Comet." He answered as he saw Brock ahead in the cross roads in Pallet. "Brock, what's up?"
Brock smirked as the two did their handshake. "Just thought to stop by. That and Erika mentioned something about a certain person that'll be a dad."
Ash rubbed his head. "Yeah. We were just going to tell you, but I guess Erika beat us to it. But, yeah. Misty's pregnant."
Brock looked angry, but a grin really gave away the happiness. "Well, congratulations. Where're ya off to?"
Misty sighed and shook her head. "We were heading back home to make some snacks. That and my official certificate from the Breeder's School arrived."
"Sounds amazing. I think I have a few things left before I become a Pokemon Doctor." Brock replied.
"You'll get it. After all, I can't think of anyone better than you, Brock-o, to be a pokemon version of Doctor Proctor." He shuddered at the memory. "That guy..."
Pikachu mimicked Ash's expression and nodded. "Pikachu..." 'I agree.'
Brock chuckled. "I think anyone's better than that guy." He nodded.
"Says someone who hit on every female within five miles." Misty teased.
Brock flushed guiltily. "That was before I met back up with Mina. She actually gets along with all my siblings, despite the fact she's rich."
Ash grinned. "Sometimes people surprise you. They're almost like pokemon: eager to adapt or change based on the environment... I should remember to research that later." He nodded. "Though, not for awhile. For a few days, I'll be still under Professor Oak's teachings. I can't wait to begin!" He clenched his fist in his old way of being excited.
"Same old Ash." Brock commented. "So you passed the test?"
"Yup. They were all surprised at how I interacted with the wild pokemon as if they were my friends." Ash blinked. "Say, Brock, why don't ya come have some snacks? Mist actually hasn't killed anyone yet." He grinned.
"And what's that supposed to mean?! I could cook before, but I couldn't prove it." Misty glared before grinning. "So, when exactly will you finally settle down, Brock?"
"Erm.. Umm.. I hadn't thought of that..." He chuckled nervously.
"Well, you better think like that soon." Ash joked as he unlocked the house. "Man.. I actually missed being home. Now... Where'd those notes James gave me go?" He dove into the pile of papers on the coffee table to not only straighten them up, but find the latest notes James had sent.
"Wow... He actually likes research?" Brock grinned.
"Hard to believe, but, yeah. Once he's like this, the only thing he'll stop for is one of two things: food or sleep." Misty said.
Brock chuckled. "Sounds like he hasn't really changed."
"Not much." Misty agreed right before they were interrupted.
"Found IT! Yes!" Ash cheered, grinning as he walked in to join his best friend and wife. "According to James, there appears to be a few new pokemon that have been seen in Unova since we left." He sat down and pulled out a photo. "See?" He held the photo and pointed to a yellow-ish reptile on a woman's shoulder. "James said that the woman's name is Alexis and her pokemon's name is Helioptile."
"Helioptile?" Misty asked.
"Yeah. From what he said, it's supposed to be a Normal-Electric pokemon..." Ash explained. "He'll send more info when he learns more."
"Wow... New pokemon..." Brock grinned. "So, you heading back to Unova to get information?" He asked.
"No. I have to stay put until my licence arrives. Plus, I can't wait to start new trainers out on their journey." He chuckled slightly. "I just hope none are like I was... But, I wouldn't change a thing." As he said that, Pikachu hopped onto his shoulder.
"Pipikachu!" 'I agree!'
Brock chuckled a little before popping a hand in his fist. "Oh yeah! I'm supposed to head to near Mahogany Town for my next doctor's exam. Mina's going to watch the Gym with Forrest and my dad while I'm gone, so it's in good hands."
"Well, good luck on that exam, Brock. Try not to flirt with all the Joys again." Misty warned slightly.
"As if I would now that me and Mina are together." He said before he and Ash did their goodbye handshake. "Can't wait to see you when that licence arrives, Ash."
"I'm sure Pryce and Claire'll know and find a way to contact you if I don't." Ash said, waving his friend away as Gary walked up. "Hey Gary."
"Yo.. You need to come with me to Gramps' lab. James is ready to explain the new pokemon." He said, grinning. "Don't give me that look, Misty. He'll be back before dinnertime. According to James, it won't take long."
"Well, have fun." Misty teased before heading off to their house.
Sorry it was all over... Trying to line this up where I am now is difficult... Plus I've been into Fairy Tail a little too much... That and I've been working crazy hours.