You’ve been seeing a lot of each other recently.
Oh, it’s a lot easier to do so now that Ash has finally come home from his trainer journey. After receiving his Master’s title, he’s decided to take a well-deserved rest so that he can spend time with his mom and the Pokemon he’s kept housed at Professor Oak’s preserve.
Only, he hasn’t been spending time with just his mom and his other Pokemon, has he?
No, he’s also been going quite far out of the way to spend time with you; which is nice and all, but also slightly disconcerting since he shows up in Cerulean City whenever he damn well pleases, and then he brings you coffee during his seven a.m. visits (the few times that he makes them and arrives just in time to see you coming downstairs to open up the gym for the day), and then there are the times he says that you haven’t talked in awhile and you should both go catch up over lunch and that Pikachu can help babysit the Pokemon and one of your sisters can take care of challenging trainers for the next hour or two, can’t they?
Honestly, after the sporadic emails and phone-calls that you’ve endured for the past few years, this is all a nice change of pace… but it does leave you curious as to his intentions (and even more-so when your sisters find out how much time you two have spent together and they start giggling and jumping up and down in excitement and claiming that baby sister Misty finally has a boyfriend).
So you start to wonder about that. Surely not, right?
Ash has never been romantic in any way, and has never led you to believe that his house calls and lunch invites were more than friendly except… maybe…
“So May was asking me to fly out to Sinnoh sometime within the next few weeks to watch her compete in the Coordinating Festival championships there,” Ash tells you absently, dunking a few fries in the glob of ketchup beside them and shoving them all in his mouth at once.
“Oh, you too? Yeah, she sent me a text a few days ago asking the same thing. She says she’s aiming for the top this time and needs all the back-up she can get to support her,” you respond almost automatically, watching your best friend for any telltale signs that might show he has a specific purpose hidden underneath all of his recent endeavors.
“Really? That’s great; then we should go together.”
And there it is… sort of.
There’s no lingering gaze, no inching out to take your hand in his, nothing to lead you to believe that there’s a beneath the beneath to his phrasing. Nothing at all.
So, you think, perhaps you’re just reading too much into things.
“Um, I guess we can plan for that,” you begin, taking a drink of your sweetened iced tea, “Anyway, how’s your mom? I hope you’ve been spending enough time with her. She never got to see much of you while you were traveling before.”
“No, I know that, I’ve been making time. I’ve been helping her in the garden and letting her use my Pokemon to help too. Heracross lifts the bags of soil and pulls weeds, Totodile and Oshawott help with watering the seeds. It’s been making things a lot easier for her, and more efficient.
“Oh, before I forget, she also said I should invite you over for dinner sometime soon. Maybe we could do that before flying to Sinnoh to see May? It would be on the way if we just registered for a trip leaving from Pallet Town.”
Dinner with the family, an overnight cross-country trip, multiple lunch dates and impromptu visits, no third party guests or interruptions (even including Pikachu).
Honestly, if this wasn’t Ash, you’d be completely certain that all the signs are there.
“Mm, maybe so,” you murmur, clearing your throat and taking a bite of your grilled salmon. Then you decide to punch through the wall of ice between you both without a second thought.
“So, you’ve kind of missed me a lot, huh, Mr. Pokemon Master?” you ask him in soothing confidence, ignoring the small smirk that plasters itself on his face at the thought that your nickname for him is actually factually accurate now and not just a prod to his massive ego.
He quirks a brow, puckers his lower lip (seemingly in confusion), and then responds without even an ounce of doubt
“Of course I did. We’re supposed to be friends, right? I haven’t seen much of you in the longest time. Besides, life’s kinda boring without you around, though I guess I should have told you that years ago.”
Years ago, huh…? Your grin grows ever wider at the mention of all that time wasted.
“Then maybe you should ask me out.”
Ash blinks, apparently still befuddled, and tilts his head an inch or so to the left, “I should… what?”
“We should go out on a date. An official one. It makes sense if your life is so boring without me playing an active, major role in it, right?” you ask, ready for all of the ageless denial, kicking, screaming, and fussing Ash would have used in order to distract you both from moving forward in the past.
Surprisingly, he does none of this.
Surprisingly, he agrees.
Surprisingly, he stays overnight in Cerulean City and shows up at your door the next day with (albiet, slightly wilted-looking) flowers before you both walk the six blocks to your hometown’s best seaside restaurant.
Sorry this took so long, anon! I hope you liked it!
Also, just a note to everyone else, I’m still working on those other requests you sent me! ^^ I think I have three or four left but I’ll have to check! (Thanks for showing up late as ever to the game, hollylu-pokeship-art, and handing me your request yesterday. XD)