Life after Team Rocket.
A thought he never would have believed possible.
But a year and a half to the day Giovanni was killed, it amazed him at what was still possible in the world.
If Alyssa hadn't stopped him from pulling the trigger, he would have missed out on a lot.
That's not to say his current life was perfect, that couldn't be any further from the truth.
But it was close despite that.
Life was hectic, and everyday came with a new surprise.
Four days after his sudden proposal, he and Alyssa were married in secret by Cynthia.
It was known for the longest time only between the three of them, Steven and Lance who had attended the closed off ceremony.
That was the case until...
Well, Alyssa started showing.
But we'll get to that.
His mum returned to Pallet a few days after his arrival at the HQ with the knowledge and relief that there was no danger to her or him, and Misty returned to Cerulean, heartbreak and all.
It was then that it was time for them to decide just what the hell they were going to do.
Cynthia was like their Guardian Angel.
He was dead to the world, and they very well couldn't have him return to the spotlight after everything he'd gone through.
There would be questions, dozens and dozens of questions, but because of the Sinnoh Champ, he had avoided them all.
Cynthia had gone ahead and enlisted him into the Pokemon G-Men, with his enlistment dating 7 years back, or to be precise the date the Sinnoh League was attacked.
So if word did get out, it would go under the assumption that he was an undercover agent on task for a multi-year assignment that was considered classified information.
So he was safe.
The same went for Alyssa, who he had supposedly met during the investigation.
So with their past secured behind layers and layers of top notch security, they then had to figure out what they were then going to do.
Since they got married, the obvious thing was that they'd stay together. Money was another problem, however Cynthia provided a more then adequate solution.
They were to be paid for the years of 'service' as G-Men, stemming from the date of the Sinnoh League until then, as well as jobs outside of the League Forces.
Ash was still utterly convinced that a life in the field, Training, researching, contests, and all were impossible, so he accepted Cynthia's good grace as becoming her personal assistant.
As someone who knew of his behaviors and personality, she fitted him to work which was suited for him.
But for that to be the case, he and Alyssa moved to Sinnoh, or if you want to be correct, Cynthia's summer home.
Living there, he was assigned to run odd jobs around the region that would take only a few days at a time, paperwork, and tend to the Pokemon Cynthia wasn't allowed to have on hand at the time.
Alyssa worked a little differently, she had chosen to attend university while working part time as a late night secretary...
Their lives continued like this until...
Well the kid showed up.
A lot happened after 3 months, it turned out Alyssa was pregnant, and that after working endlessly with Cynthia and his own Pokemon, that his interest was once again beginning to spike in Training.
At nine months, they had a daughter.
A beautiful dirty blond haired, blue eyed daughter.
They both agreed immediately at the naming of her Elizabeth Ketchum.
They had joked previously that should she have really been a boy, they would have named it Shayne.
Not only was his daughter born, but he also restarted Training, and after asking Cynthia's permission to have the Sinnoh Gym Leaders visit the summer home for a battle, after careful discussions with Alyssa, they decided it was time for him to invoke his Elite Four challenge.
So 8 and a half years after he won the Sinnoh League at the ripe age of 14, the Elite Four challenge took place.
And this is where we leave off.
On the eve of his fifth and final battle for the title of Sinnoh Champion, Ash, in a white and red hoodie and blue jeans, a red cap with a black Pokeball printed on the front, stood with Pikachu on his shoulder, and six Pokeballs on his hip.
Together they waited on the lift which would raise them to the battlefield where more then a hundred thousand spectators waited for the battle to begin.
His life had moved on, but he still dealt daily with it's effects.
He and Alyssa, their names were out there. The world knew that Ash Ketchum and his wife were alive.
And because of that, they were to remain under permanent witness protection for the next few years until Team Rocket was fully erased.
It was impossible to completely wipe them out, there were small resistance leaders who wanted to rebuild, or cults who had heard that the organization had disbanded and wanted to start a new.
A deal he had with Cynthia was that she feed him information about the going ons of the Team Rocket remains.
He and Alyssa were out of the game, they called it quits the moment they were married.
But so help him, if his family is at the risk of being put in danger, he would get back in. Despite his left arm, he was one-hundred percent.
He would kill without missing a heartbeat if anything were to come his way.
If there were any sign of this, he'd tell Alyssa that Cynthia had to send him away to deal with some presser or media coverage.
But in reality, he'd hunt down whoever wanted them.
He'd erase them.
Erase them and then return home as if it had just been another day at the office...
Other then he and Alyssa, others had moved on as well.
May and Drew had been dating for the last several years as they travelled the Contest circuit together, Dawn was on an 'on again off again relationship between Paul and Kenny,' and...
There was resentment in the last one.
There would always be.
Resentment, bitterness, and even though it seemed petty.
Misty... Even though a year and a half had gone by, she regarded the two of them with a cold-shoulder.
Even more so when they announced that Alyssa had gotten pregnant.
That only fed the fuel between her and Alyssa.
But she to was working on getting over it, having gotten back together with Oak a few weeks after she had left the G-Men HQ.
The relationship between he and Misty could never be repaired.
He knew that would happen years ago when he had first decided to use her.
But still he went through with it.
As for his mom?
Well she was ecstatic to know that he had gotten married (although she never said it, he felt like she was disappointed with his choice of it being Alyssa instead of Misty), and that a grandchild was on the way.
Contact with all of these people was... Low, save for his mum.
When he had come back into the public eye, or more so when they had held a get-together at his old place, he had gotten the looks he knew that they would receive.
Anger. (No doubt Misty had filled them all in on what had happened)
When they spoke, he knew that they were burning with questions about his duties, and activities post Indigo and prior.
He had fed them lies after all, so why not get the truth.
But could they trust a single word from his mouth?
And that was a good thing.
Few people could tell when he was lying and when he was telling the truth, and for that he was grateful.
Other then all of that.
He enjoyed life.
Sure he had nightmares every now and then, but there wasn't enough negatives to out way the positives.
He was happy.
Ash snapped out of his daze as the elevator vibrated, and then begun to rise, "Ready buddy?" He asked quietly glancing to his shoulder where Pikachu was perched silently.
Ash grinned, "Good, cause we're finally here..."
The roof above them split apart, and together they rose from the ground into a roar of cheering and applause.
Across from them, Cynthia rose from the ground on her own platform.
"WELCOME ONE AND ALL TO THE SINNOH ELITE FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH!" The announcer exclaimed overhead.
Ash payed the announcer no attention, instead let his eyes skim across the bleachers to his VIP box.
Since this was a special occasion, and since they had grown to be close. Lance and Steven had come to join his old companions as they spectated the match.
Not only the Champions, but even the pain in the ass Anderson had made it out to the match.
Ash had requested that personally.
In the front row, beside his mother and the brunette nurse in her usual green dress, a grinning blond with beautiful blue eyes held a small wrapped up bundle in her arms.
A smile twitched on his mouth and he looked away from the woman he loved and across the plain battlefield to the current reigning Champion.
"THIS WILL BE A SIX ON SIX ELIMINATION BATTLE, ARE BOTH TRAINERS READY!?"
"We finally get to battle Ash," Cynthia said keeping her face straight, although he could make out the feint upright corner of her mouth, "you better not disappoint me,"
She removed her first Pokeball from her hip and enlarged it.
He dipped his head in acknowledgement, "Never been so ready in my life Cynthia, so don't hold back," He looked to Pikachu and gave a quick nod, "Go get em' bud!"
Pikachu leaped off of his shoulder, flipping once before landing on all fours, sparks flickering from it's cheeks.
His and Cynthia's eyes went to the referee waiting for the call.
The striped arm raised into the air, and Ash watched him carefully.
It swiped down, "Let the battle begin!"
Last chapter could have ended and gone in dozens of different directions, and I know a lot of you dislike the way I ended it.
Personally I'm not a fan of it, or this story myself as I've stated previous notes.
But what's done is done. It's a bitter sweet feeling to finish something which was extremely troublesome, but in the end it wrapped up... I suppose nicely...
Anyways, the Ashes stories are done. No more.
Stick a fork in them!
Overall I'm proud of what I accomplished in the stories, and even though they are far from perfect I learned and improved myself drastically in writing and story-telling.
So this is the end.
But before I sign off of this story for good, I owe you all a word of thanks. This ride has been all over the place, but to the very... Ugly end you all stuck with it. You all critiqued me, and continued to support me through this fic.
And without you all, I can say this would not have been finished.
Please leave one last review and let me know what you all thought.
And now I'll see you all later, as this is ThatOneDwarf.