Some Time Later...
Two riders rode leisurely into a thicket, a pack horse tethered to the saddle of the small pony in which they rode together.
High above, a large orange dragon flew above them in a cloudless blue sky.
"It feels like it's been ages since we've last been here,"
The person in the back smiled under the green hooded cloak he wore, "Even though it's only been what... Two months?"
"Viridian is beautiful and all, it's just not quite Petalburg,"
"It's going to take some getting used to," The person in the back said nodding his head in agreement, before looking up into the sky towards the dragon overhead, "Pika!"
A faint yellow figure appeared on the dragons wing, "How's it looking?"
These days they were lucky to leave the castle without a retinue of guards at their disposal.
A lot had happened in the six months since his duel with Prince Drew Larousse.
Being naive to the work that a King partakes in, he had assumed that upon his and Mays arrival in Viridian, they would have endless amounts of time to spend together.
Oh boy had he been wrong.
In the six months since the duel, he had travelled across Kanto and Hoenn establishing himself as the rightful King of Kanto.
He worked endlessly into the night, filing paperwork with Giovanni, negotiating with Norman, re-evaluating the Kanto forces...
And the most important of all, preparing for his and May's wedding.
A month ago, in Viridian Castles church, they had been married.
It had been a small ceremony for a Royal wedding. On his side the Guardians and his friends from Petalburg had arrived to the castle, while on May's side, the friends she made during the travels with her parents, and those who she had become acquainted with at the castle had all come.
All in all, it was a night he would never forget.
They danced, they laughed, they loved each other.
But they hadn't had a honeymoon, the work he had to finish was far to great to finish in a short amount of time.
He had travelled alone into Hoenn, to hunt down Cynthia and Steven, who had both been expelled from the Aura Guardians.
He had argued extensively with Norman to let what happened slide; the unauthorized assignment to send him to Kanto, and the forgery of the Kings signature. Alyssa had been given leeway for her role in the entire debacle, as she was the legendary Guardian through the kingdom, and to release her from her role would no doubt spell trouble in the future.
But Ash knew that it was the Kings responsibility to issue out punishment whether he wanted to or not.
So as he travelled around Hoenn looking for both of them, he had hired Captain Tobias and his crew of the ship Huntail as his personal ships crew.
He had little experience with sailing, and he knew the next time he was to board a ship he would want someone reliable to steer it.
Tobias had done just that by getting him to Kanto in record time, and there was no better crew in his mind then that of the Huntail.
Not long after, he had found Cynthia and Steven at the Guardians Temple.
Only Guardians knew the exact location of their meeting grounds, so there was no way for Norman to know whether or not they had left the region.
After long discussions, he had appointed them to be a special task force for him as they no longer had ties with the King.
He wanted to expand the Aura Guardians into Kanto since he had limited trustworthy sources of Intel throughout the kingdom. They would be his eyes and ears, and when travelling in small groups, bodyguards for either May, himself, or both.
They were watching them that very moment he knew.
May didn't know however.
The task force was only known between himself, Cynthia, Steven, and Alyssa, who had helped coaxed the former head of the Aura Guardians into accepting.
Their primary focus however, was finding and recruiting Aura users throughout Kanto, while keeping a close eye on Johto for him.
Relations with Johto were rocky.
It had been written in stone the moment he and May were wed, that should Alexander attempt revenge, or attempt an invasion towards Kanto or Hoenn, he would have to deal with a joint assault between their newly united kingdoms.
Pika gave him the all clear and he looked around the treeline, "I still can't believe that he made me the best man," there was a snort from May, who wore a matching cloak, "Oh it's funny huh?"
She shrugged, "Well... Who doesn't love a stuttering King," he rolled his eyes at her mocking tone.
"Paul's still got it out for me... He knows of my..." He cleared his throat somewhat embarrassed, "stage fright, and I'm sure he chose me strictly because of that,"
"Dawns excited to hear your speech though," May giggled and he sighed.
A week or so after he and May were married, Paul had proposed to Dawn. And after extremely fast planning, they were going to be married a few weeks after May and his honeymoon ended.
Giovanni had persisted on getting them out of the castle after a month had gone by from their wedding. Insisting that he would look after his duties for a week or two until he returned.
So a week ago, the two of them had snuck out of the castle and headed towards Hoenn, intent on returning to Petalburg for a week before retuning to Viridian.
Of course they had left a note behind to let Giovanni know, no need to let him think that they had been miraculously taken hostage from within the castle walls after all.
Ash glanced around the thicket, and smiled at the sight of the small cabin standing out in the open, "There she is," He said fondly.
May grinned, "Home sweet home,"
They rode around behind the cabin, bringing Blaze and the packhorse to the stables alongside Flare who nickered a greeting to them.
Hand in hand they went back out front and up the front steps, behind them Pyro landed, and Pikachu joined them.
He was about to knock, but the door was opened before he had the chance.
Alyssa greeted them, grinning brightly as she reached out, took them both into a tight embrace, and kissed them each on the cheek.
"The newlyweds come to see dear ol' me," She said ushering them into the cabin, "Coffee? Snacks?" She paused as they sat down, face contorting thoughtfully, "Grand kids?"
Ash smiled ruefully and sighed, "What?" She asked glancing away from him and to May, "I'm not getting any younger, and you'd understand when I say that I thought I'd never see the day where you would be married,"
Beside him, May burst into a fit of laughter, "He's a real ladies man isn't he," She teased leaning against him, "has girls lining up at the door for him,"
Alyssa grinned and brought three cups of coffee out for them, "I'm still in shock that he managed to snag the Princess, but then again he does have an extraordinary amount of luck,"
Ash leaned back into the sofa, arm holding May close, while the other held his coffee. "Luck or not, I couldn't see myself with anyone else,"
"Is that so?" May asked smiling, "no one else?"
He shrugged, "Well I don't think it's possible to top a beautiful Princess who I fell in love with on sight,"
Alyssa watched them grinning, "So really, when can I expect a kid or two from you guys?"
Ash rolled his eyes, "Not for a while," He said taking a draft of coffee.
They looked to May as she awkwardly cleared her throat, "H-Heh... Well..." His eyebrow rose and she blushed, "A-Actually about that... I... I'm kinda..."
As she stuttered along he slowly felt the blood draining from his cheeks, and to be sure he cautiously set his cup onto the table.
"I'm kinda pregnant..."
A year and a half later, and this tale has finally come to a close.
How was it? Did you enjoy the ride? The long... Long ride?
Before anything else though, I want to say thank you to everyone who left me a review or sent a private message to me which involved the story. All of your criticism and thoughts on this story were all taken to heart, and I can say that without your support I could not have finished this story.
So honestly and truly, thank you.
I had to decide between this epilogue and another, which would have been set 10 or so years in the future instead of a couple months. But I find this ending fitting, it ties up most loose ends (I think), and leaves off with Ash and May's happily ever after.
So... Hit me with it guys, how did you like it? I personally would give this a solid 6/10, but then again I like to be harsh on myself.
But what did you all think? Love, hate, like? Any anger, or pent up fury towards this story?
Please, for the last time this story, let me know in a review!
It's been a long long ride and I would love to hear all of your opinions!
So this is it guys, the final farewell...
Because this is ThatOneDwarf...