Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon or any of its contents. Because if I did, sorry kiddos, the show would not be for little ones. xD

Hey everyone! Here I am, with another new Palletshipping story! I've had this idea for a while now, and I just wanted to start it as soon as possible when I finished 'Friends with Benefits.' I wanted to get this chapter up too before I left for my New York trip with my show choirs! (So excited for it by the way :D)

Anyway, I don't wanna ramble on too much because you guys probably don't really care about these silly little author's notes xD So read on, and don't forget to review!

Helplessly In Love

It's not unusual to be loved by anyone.

At ten years old, an excited boy went on his pokémon journey, and it was the beginning of a wonderful life for him. As the days passed, he met two people who eventually became his best friends. It took a whole year to get his eight badges and enter the Indigo League. Then he started a new journey in Johto, which took two years, Hoenn one year, Sinnoh one year, and Unova two.

Now Ash Ketchum is seventeen years old and back in his hometown, Pallet Town. He decided to stop training and take a load off for a while. Only for a while, at least until he figured out what he really wanted to do for the rest of his life.

But he wasn't entirely sure yet. He was still thoroughly happy in his life right now though. Everything was almost perfect.

But only almost.

And he wasn't sure why it wasn't completely perfect yet. That was his new goal, to find the missing pieces of his incomplete life.

But as of right now, he shrugged it off as he met the new day, the sun shining beautifully on the vibrant spring colors. He took a deep breath as he noticed that his mom made breakfast, and with his excellent sense of smell for food, he could tell that it was blueberry pancakes and he couldn't wait to eat them.

"C'mon, wake up Pikachu! Mom made blueberry pancakes!" Ash shook his long-time yellow companion, who woke up with an excited expression.

After Ash put on a fresh shirt, they both ran down to see breakfast already ready on the table.

"Mornin' Mom!"

"Oh, good morning honey! You're up early," she greeted her son with a bright smile on her face. She had her straw hat and water spray bottle, obviously getting ready for gardening on this beautiful day.

"Yeah, I smelled breakfast from upstairs and I couldn't wait to eat!"

"Oh, well that's good! I made it especially for you and Pikachu. I always worry about your weight sometimes with that fast metabolism of yours…"

"Yeah, I know…But, I'm trying, you know that right?"

Delia smiled, and she walked up to Ash and give him a kiss on the head. "Yes, and I appreciate that…Oh! By the way, Professor Oak wants to see you sometime today to talk to you about something."

"P-Professor Oak? I haven't seen him in a while…"

"Yes, I know, so I think you should definitely visit him after you're done eating! It sounded important over the phone…"

"Okay, I will! How does that sound, Pikachu? Maybe we can play with some of my other pokémon that we haven't seen in a while!"

"Pika pika!" The little mouse agreed contentedly.


The doorbell rang after pushing the ringer, and Ash could hear his voice say, "Come in!"

He opened the door and let himself in. "Professor Oak? It's me!"

"Oh, Ash! What a pleasure, it's so nice to see you!" The old but eager professor came into view, giving the young boy a chipper hug.

Ash chuckled, "It's nice to see you too, Professor! How are things going in the lab?"

"Oh, great! And not to mention, your pokémon are a big help to me in helping newer pokémon out as well! Of course, I should expect that from such a fine trainer!"

"Oh, please stop," Ash blushed at the compliment. "But that's good to hear! I'd love to see them, if I could."

"Oh, certainly! And while we're at it, I need to talk to you about something," The professor showed Ash the way to the backyard where all the pokémon resided in. Ash grinned at the sight, and he even spotted some of his own pokémon playing happily with others.

"Go on ahead, Pikachu, you go catch up with them," Ash let his partner run along to find his friends. "What is it that you want to talk about, Professor Oak?"

"Well, surely you must remember Gary, right?"

Ash paused, his mouth open, but speechless. He hadn't seen Gary in three years. He remembered seeing him when he was in Sinnoh, when Ash was fourteen. He didn't know what happened after they last saw each other, but they just suddenly stopped seeing each other.

"Y-Yeah…of course I remember Gary."

The professor smiled, a bit relieved to hear that. "Well, he is currently still working in Sinnoh, but since he's done such a fantabulous amount of work, everyone decided to give him a break for the week. Unfortunately, Gary isn't the type of person to just stop working, so I figured if there was something, or someone, to distract him from working, I'd greatly appreciate it. That poor boy has been constrained in his office for so long now, even his coworkers are worried about him. So I thought of this. Ash, I'd like for you to go in Sinnoh up to his lab and spend some time with him for the week. I'm sure Gary would love to see you. You two haven't seen each other in a while, correct?"

Ash was still speechless, even more now at the researcher's request. He just nodded.

Professor Oak chuckled at the boy's expression. "I know this is sudden, but I'm worried for Gary. He really needs some time off. I'd really appreciate it, Ash. I have plane or boat tickets ready for you at any time, I just need your approval."

Ash thought long and hard about it. He would absolutely love to see his old friend and even spend time with him, even though Gary was a jerk to him back then. But even if Gary teased him for the whole trip, he wouldn't mind. He missed that voice, that hair, those eyes, and that egotistical attitude. Ash missed him.

"Professor, I'd love to! Seriously, I haven't seen Gary in so long and I'd like to see him, really. What's the fastest way to get to Sinnoh?!"

The old man's face shined at Ash's approval, clearly enthusiastic to jump at any chance to get his grandson to take a break.

"By plane, naturally. I'll go get the ticket."

"I'll stop by your place later, actually. Let me go tell my mom and start packing! If you can tell Pikachu, I'd like that. See you then, Professor!"

"Fine by me! Thanks again, Ash!"

Ash rushed into his house and made a beeline to his room and got out his suitcase, packing as many clothes as he could as quickly as possible.

"Ash? Why are you packing, what's going on?"

"Professor Oak asked me to go visit Gary while he's on his break. I couldn't say no to that, I really want to see him!"

"Oh, wow really? I think that's a great idea, honey! But slow down, I need to make sure you're packing the right things, like clean underwear and everything!"

Ash groaned, "Mom!"

"Oh, be quiet. You're okay, though. Just don't wrinkle anything."

"I know, I know…"

Ash finished the remains of his clothing for the week, plus his toothbrush and hairbrush and just about anything else. He also prepared for the plane ride, even though it was only a short two hours from Kanto to Sinnoh, but he packed in music, snacks and a magazine even.

He replaced his jeans he was wearing with comfortable charcoal colored sweatpants and a white shirt. He even wore his classic league hat, and by then he was ready to go.

"Okay, mom I'll be gone for a week, but I'll be okay, I can trust Gary," he smiled.

She smiled as well, "Me too. But remember, you have a specific diet to follow…"

He sighed. "I know. I promise, I'll follow it, don't worry!"

Delia smiled, "I know. Please call me when you get there so I know you're safe. Have fun, sweetie," She gave him a kiss on the cheek and a longing goodbye hug before finally letting him go.


The short boy laughed as he could see Sinnoh come into view, with Mount Coronet being the obvious giveaway.

"Pikachu, we're finally here in Sinnoh! I can't wait to see Gary…and I bet you can't wait to see Umbreon, right?"

"Pika pi!" Pikachu squeaked happily, his face in complete glee.

Due to Sinnoh being in a different time zone than Kanto, it was nearly sunset, but Ash wasn't worried.

"It shouldn't be too hard to find the lab. The plane lands in Hearthome City and then we can take the train to Sandgem Town where the lab is at..."

It was probably easier said than done, but Ash didn't care because as soon as the train landed, he rushed out of airport with his suitcase and smiled at the familiar sight of Hearthome.

"Remember this, Pikachu? Good memories here, huh?"

Pikachu nodded as its' eyes twinkled in nostalgia, admiring the city lights and the lively music.

But before they could get distracted, the train whistle blew, alarming them to get a move on quickly.

When they both sat down and the train started rolling away, Ash pulled out his pokégear to call Professor Oak to let him know he safely made it.

"Hello? Oh, hi Ash! I see that you made it safely!"

"I sure did! I was calling to let you know that."

"Well, I forgot to tell you some information, so I'm glad you called before you got to the lab! Naturally, Gary works with Professor Rowan, but afterwards, Rowan goes home after sunset when all work is concluded. But Gary also works and basically lives with a girl named Dora, and she's been working with him ever since he was positioned in Sayda Island. Dora's very nice, you'll like her, and also she has a sister named Crystal who I think you'll like too. That's all I wanted to tell you, Ash! Have fun, and please try and get Gary away from work as much as possible."

Ash laughed, "I'll certainly try, Professor. Thanks for the info! Goodbye!" He hung up the phone and noticed that they were already halfway there to Sandgem Town. Ash's leg started shaking up and down in anticipation, but not to mention he was also nervous. Very nervous, actually.

Three years was a long time, and it was also hard to keep in touch while travelling around the regions. He barely kept in touch with his mom in his journeys, and he barely spoke to Dawn, May and Max anymore. Misty and Brock were his closest friends, so unsurprisingly they all still kept in touch with one another, especially when Ash came back to Kanto for a break.

Gary was also a close friend, so when the brunette sees him, Ash was worried of the reaction. Would he be mad, upset, or happy? He hoped happy, so there wouldn't be any arguments that would ruin the whole aspect of the visit.

Not to mention, but when Ash saw him in Sinnoh the first time, he was overcome by this sudden adrenaline, like he had to go wherever Gary was. As that day went on, the two rekindled their old friendship by working together as a team and Ash enjoyed that.

The second time Ash saw Gary in Sinnoh, he realized that he might've had a crush on Gary and he just didn't realize it. When the taller boy called him by his nickname, 'Ashy-boy,' that set his heart pumping and with immediate instincts, he got mad to cover up this feeling he had for Gary. Then he asked himself if that was why he got mad at Gary all the time. And he asked himself if he had a crush on Gary all this time without even knowing it.

When a year passed when they didn't see each other again, Ash decided to push those feelings to the back of his head, and he also believed that a handsome guy like Gary could never be gay or even bisexual and probably had a few girlfriends. Heck, he probably had one right now and they could be kissing right at this moment. It could possibly be Dora since she was living with him.

Ash shook his head to get rid of the thought and sighed. His Pikachu questioned him with a squeak.

He smiled, "It's fine. I'm just…reliving some memories."

But even Pikachu knew how his master felt about Gary.

-Meanwhile in Sandgem Town…

"Gary! Gary, open the door, I need to talk to you. Get off that damn computer, you're on break for Arceus's sake!"

The blue-haired girl named Dora rapped loudly against the wooden door that belonged to Gary's room. Soon after the knocking finally stopped as the door opened.

"What do you want?"

"Finally, you decide to come out of your shell," Dora placed her hands on her hips, smirking at Gary.

"Yeah, well whatever you have to tell me, make it quick because I'm going back in my shell."

She rolled her eyes. "You're on break! You should be resting or doing something other than work! Oh jeez…well anyway, we're gonna have a visitor come in for the week. In fact, he's visiting for you!"

"Really? Who is it? If it's another researcher that wants to learn about my studies or whatever then he can forget it!"

"No, he's not a researcher. Actually, he's supposed to be an old friend of yours. But if you don't remember, I'm still not permitted to tell you. Some kind of big surprise, I guess."

Gary rolled his eyes. "Well, when he comes in, just have him meet me in my room, I guess. I'll be in the backyard though, because I need to take care of some pokémon," Gary told her as he put on his coat. Even if it was the spring season, light snow still covered the scene and the temperatures weren't rising anytime soon.

"You don't mean to say you're going to study some pokémon?"

"Whatever. I'll be a couple hours," Gary left to the backyard, leaving Dora in the dust.

"Oh, good lord, what am I going to do with him...?" She sat down, massaging her temples.

"Dora? Is it true? There's gonna be someone to stay with us for a week?" A voice erupted behind her, and it was her sister, Crystal.

"Yep, it's true! Professor Oak said he's really nice, so we don't need to worry about him being mean or anything!"

"That's good! Is he a lot of fun?"

"I think that's what Professor Oak said too. He's a former pokémon trainer, so maybe he can show you some pokémon that you've never seen before!"

"Oh my gosh! Really?! I would totally love that!"

Dora chuckled, "Well, we can ask him when he gets settled in, okay? I'm sure he'll be arriving soon…"

Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rang across the house. Dora opened the door to reveal a short boy with dark hair, and a Pikachu placed upon his hat. He had on a big grin as he greeted himself.

"Hi! I'm Ash, and you must be Dora, right?"

"Yes! It's so nice to meet you, Ash! Come in, you must be freezing," she welcomed him in after noticing he only had on a light coat.

"Yeah, I can't believe there's still snow here! It's probably all the lake effects and the mountains, huh?"

"Yeah, exactly. If you live in Sinnoh, you're in for a long cold season, haha! Did it take long for you to get here?"

"Nah, the plane ride was only two hours long, and the train took about thirty or so minutes."

"That's good. I see you have a Pikachu, how adorable!"

"Pika!" The yellow rodent blushed at her compliment.

"Thanks, Pikachu was my very first pokémon, so we're close partners!"

"Wow, that's awesome, so it must be very str-"

"OHMIGOSH, is that a Pikachu!?" Crystal ran beside Ash, her eyes sparkling in glee over the yellow pokémon. "Pikachu are extremely rare! There's barely any in Sinnoh and Saida Island! Aww, it's sooooo cute!"

"Heh, you'll have to excuse my little sister, Crystal. She can be a little rambunctious at times, but she's genuine."

"Oh, it's no problem, I'm sort of the same way," Ash confessed, letting Crystal hold Pikachu. "You can play with him, if you want. He won't bite, I promise. And don't worry, I'm sure you'll see Umbreon on the way soon, Pikachu."

"Oh, I can take him to Umbreon! I know exactly where she is! Thank you so much, it was so nice to meet you!"

The two laughed at the little girl running outside.

"Well, Ash, how about I show you around, and by then I'm sure Gary will be done with his field work. He's supposed to be on break, but he hates breaks…"

"Well, that's what I'm here for!"

"Haha, exactly! Okay, if you'll follow me to the kitchen…"


Gary rubbed his arms as he walked back inside away from the biting cold. "Jeez, I didn't realize how cold it was outside…I hate cold weather."

He hung up his coat and tucked away his boots, noticing Dora come out of his room. "What were you doing in my room?"

"Oh, I'm just showing our guest around the house. And you told me to have him meet you in your room, right? Well, he's waiting for you, so don't take long on grooming, okay?" She joked around.

"Very funny. But thanks anyway."

Gary fixed his hair anyway so it wasn't too unruly for his so-called special guest. He walked in the room casually, expecting a researcher anyway, but it was actually the complete opposite.

His guest was facing away from him, but Gary recognized him right away. His raven hair, his hat, his short and skinny frame, and seeing the boy's Pikachu play with Umbreon earlier was a little suspicious. Then he realized his breath was cut short, and when he took a loud inhale, the boy turned around, his breath being taken away again.

Those brown eyes and that bright grin, it was unmistakable. Yet he couldn't believe it. Three years felt like three decades.


"Hi, Gary," he shyly greeted, as he sometimes did around the brunette.

The taller boy walked slowly in front of him, getting closer to him until he finally believed that it wasn't a dream. He silently chuckled and he couldn't help himself as he wrapped his arms around him, smelling his natural scent, which always contained of bonfires and clean rain which it smelled good in a way.

Ash was taken by surprise at first, but also couldn't help himself when he felt a welcoming warmth radiating from Gary. His arms hugged Gary back and snuggled in his shirt, his hat falling off in the process, and trying to prevent tears forming in his eyes. They would be of happiness, though.

Then he heard Gary say,

"I missed you."

D'aw x3 Okay, well that's the first chapter! I'm just gonna warn you guys, I don't know too much of Dora and Crystal, so sometimes they may be OOC, but I'll try my best, I guess. They won't appear too much but they'll still be there xD

Anyway, I'll try my hardest to get chapter two up before I go to NY, but I can't guarantee it. But for now, please, please review and let me know what you think! :D