Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > Loyalty

Chapter 12

by Mikari 0 reviews

Chapter 12: Bittersweet

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Ash,Misty - Published: 2012-05-13 - Updated: 2012-05-13 - 2102 words - Complete


Chapter 12: Bittersweet

Ash wasn't sure for how long he slept. This was a consequence of pushing his abilities too far, of wanting to do more than he was meant to do. It was his attempt at bending destiny and it always left him in exhaustion. The worse part this time was that he didn't know if he succeeded and he feared that he failed. "Ash, honey... how do you feel?"

Ash slowly turned his head to the side, his head hurt and his vision was just starting to clear up. He slowly sat up, the room was white, the endless white of a hospital. "I have a headache, but I'm okay." He responded to his mother's gentle concern. Ash searched for answers in his own memories, but couldn't find them. He must have passed out before anything was definitely known. "How is Jessie?"

Delia's face was a mix of relief and sorrow as she tried to find a way to explain. There was no way around it, no way to change the truth. "Jessie is alright," she replied honestly yet incompletely. "She is recovering; the doctors say she'll be fine. The wound wasn't deep, her vital organs were unaffected, it was only a flesh wound for her." The hint of something more, something worse, was left hanging in the air for a few more seconds.

"And?" Ash's vision was clear now. He could clearly see his mother's expression. Her face was tired as if she had gone without rest for a considerable amount of time, perhaps a whole day or two, he wasn't sure for how long he slept.

Delia looked into her son's eyes. Her eyes were still slightly red, she had been crying before, it was easy to notice. "And the little boy will be alright as well." There was another moment of silence and it was obvious it pained her to say anything more.

Ash's face held a frown. "The little boy... one child, only one..." His twin didn't make it out of the ordeal alive. It was a great relief that Jessie and her son were going to be alright, but the other child, the loss was bitter, tainting the occasion.

"Ash..." Delia stumbled over her words. "I..." She trailed into silence, her own thoughts so jumbled together that she couldn't organize them into words. "Your father..." Ash got to his feet and Delia stopped him. "You just woke up; you shouldn't be getting up so soon."

It was when he felt a tug on his arm that he realize there was a drip. He removed it, pulling out the needle hurriedly and cringing at the feeling of pain. "I'm fine," he insisted with the stubbornness that Delia had become all too familiar with in both the son and the father. "I want to see Jessie and the child. I want to talk to James and call Misty." He paused, giving his surroundings another studious glance. "Where am I?" He knew he was in a hospital, but he didn't know where.

"Viridian City," Delia answered simply. "Misty is still here, Jessie, James, the baby and Gary. Laiki has gone back to headquarters though, the doctors insisted because she was... scaring the patients and Gary... albeit in different ways."

Making the patients think they were worse off than they were, to vent her frustrations with their worries was something Laiki would do. As to what she could do to spook Gary, Ash quite honestly didn't want to know, but he guessed that it possibly entailed high rated, inappropriate use of medical equipment for non-medical indecent purposes. Laiki wasn't a bad person really, not evil at least, but she wasn't exactly a caring soul beyond the few exceptions that she truly held dear and she held a rather loose set of morals that were peculiarly adjusted to the convenience of the situation and her whims.

'I see..." Ash finally voiced as he once again started for the door. "Get some rest mom; I won't leave the building for a while, so you don't have to worry." He smiled for her sake, trying to tell her that the worse was over... but it wasn't.

xoxox xox xoxox

Out in the seemingly endless hallway of the hospital, Ash found himself face to face with Giovanni sooner than he expected. The Rocket boss was walking over from the opposite side of the white hallway, heading in the direction to his room where his mother still was. The atmosphere was quiet as this area of the hospital was off limits to most, save for a few trusted visitors and the top ranked doctors and nurses. Ash didn't stop; he wanted to check on everyone and didn't have time to get into a discussion and possibly an argument with his father right now. He didn't breathe a word as he focused on the path ahead, continuing to put one foot in front of the other in an automatic rhythm.

"Ash," it was his father's voice which made Ash stop cold, even if he was determined not to speak with him at the present time. "Say it," there was a slight hint of annoyance in his voice, but there was mostly exhaustion, frustration and disappointment.

Ash's lips parted to speak, for a split second he thought the disappointment was directed at him and he was ready to either argue back or make up an excuse like he usually did, except this time he wasn't sure which of the options could best fit the situation he was in. Then he realized that Giovanni's disappointment wasn't directed at him, it was directed at himself. "Father?" He questioned unsure.

"Just say what you're going to say," Giovanni insisted unenthusiastically. "Get it all out of your system, do it now."

Ash tilted his head to the side in confusion. "What is it that you want me to say?" Maybe he was still tired, but he didn't understand at all. It was the calm after a storm. It was a time following the tension that had been so great, that they couldn't muster too much anger afterwards because they were simply tired. It was a bittersweet moment, a small truce to recover their bearings and go back to discord, or move on to a semi-satisfactory resolution.

"About Jessie and her children, about that child." Giovanni prompted with a slight hint of impatient that showed in his eyes, but didn't reach his voice.

"The one that didn't make it..." Ash understood. He closed his eyes, expression grave. Then he let out a deep breath and opened his eyes again. "It was an accident. I know it and I'm sure Jessie and James know it too." Yet that theory wasn't enough, not until he heard it from Jessie and James directly, if he even could. "It was Jessiebelle's fault, if she hasn't..." Ash paused, Jessiebelle, he had all but forgotten about her. She was dead. "You shot her..."

"You can't be realizing that just now." Giovanni looked at his son curiously. Had it not sunk in? That wasn't the main issue anyway; Jessie's child was, because Jessie and James were his friends.

"It didn't hit me right away," Ash admitted. There were other things going on, but that was no reason to disregard that particular happening. "I was so worried about Jessie that I didn't even think about Jessiebelle. Couldn't she had been stopped in another way?" Ash held no fire in his voice. The situation seemed hopeless; he had felt so very helpless that time.

Giovanni gave Ash a stern look. "You were ready to throw away your life for an Eevee, even if you should have known she would have killed the pokemon anyway. Not that saving it would have been worth it. What has your mother told you? What does she remind you of when you stupidly put yourself in danger thinking it's selfless and noble?"

Ash frowned, "that there will be worse consequences to pay with my sacrifice than what could have happened otherwise." The anger was back in his eyes for only a split second. "But that's not my wish!"

"Neither is it mine," Giovanni raised the volume of his voice to match Ash.

Ash looked at the floor, speaking in a softer tone. "I know. We disagree on things but... You would be upset if anything happened to me, I know that. Is that why you shot her? Because she intended to kill me?"

"Do you even require an answer?" Giovanni looked into Ash's eyes, scolding, angry, disappointed, yet concerned. "Sometimes I think I've failed to teach you common sense, but I shouldn't be surprised. You're a hopeless optimist like your mother, but you don't take things sitting down, like me. That's a very dangerous combination. Do not forget that your actions will affect other people, sometimes in ways that you don't intend, so don't do anything stupid."

"I'll try," it was an answer that Ash had given his father many times before and he really did try... but it didn't always work out exactly how he expected. No more words were exchanged between the two as Ash continued on his way.

xoxox xox xoxox

Ash took a peek into Misty's room. She was apparently sleeping on her bed, while Gary flipped through a pokemon science magazine on a chair next to her. He didn't even notice the door open a little and close again. He would have a word with Gary in a little while and Misty appeared to be in a stable health condition. He worried that Jessie and James were doing far worse, though not because of their physicals state.

He hurried towards Jessie's room and knocked on the door. James' voice from inside granted him entrance and Ash let himself in. The room was spacious, though there were so many there that it made it look smaller than it was. Jessie was on her bed, stirring awake as if Ash's arrival had woken her from a light nap. James was next to her with a small baby in his arms wrapped in a blue blanket. There were pokemon all around them, Meowth, Eevee, Flare, Growlie and the rest of their teams.

Ash approached Jessie's bedside, asking as he did. "How are you doing?" He felt like it was a stupid question, but he didn't know what else to say.

Jessie yawned, "I've had better days, but I'll be alright. Come see little Jonathan." She moved her head to glance at the newborn child. "I was so close to my due date that he was just fine with coming to the world a little early."

"Say hello to uncle twerp," with only those words as a warning, James handed the baby over to Ash. Ash stayed still as a statue when the tiny newborn was passed on to him. "Don't be so stiff, relax," James encouraged.

Ash tried to do so. He had held plenty of newborn pokemon in his arms before. Albeit pokemon, even in their first few minutes of life, didn't look this fragile. Jonathan was a healthy boy, but a human and newborn humans were especially delicate. Big blue eyes opened slightly to glance sleepily at this new person that was holding him. Those innocent eyes looked at him with curiosity in a small sweet face with a few strands of blue-violet hair atop his head.

Ash smiled at the child. It was clear that Jessie and James were holding on to him for hope. Yet he couldn't stay quiet about the darker event, but he didn't have to say anything either. As if reading the flicker of sorrow in his expression, which Ash would have guessed she was too drowsy with mediation to perceive, Jessie voiced. "It was an accident. Many more would have been lost if not..." She was sad, her sorrow was a deep one as was James' but they knew there was nothing more to be done and they still had one child to be grateful for.

Ash nodded, they understood, but he wasn't sure he did. James continued, placing a comforting hand on Ash's shoulder, though he felt he should be the one comforting them. "You were danger, you could have been killed and Giovanni couldn't allow that. This isn't even how he usually does things, he forces his opponents to face him, he gets information, he shows that he's in control; he doesn't just take a desperate shot. But he had to, because you were in danger and now that I have Johnny I can understand."

To be Continued

A rather emotional chapter, yes?
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