Warning! This fic contains spoilers for Best Wishes and a rather depressing overall theme.
This is actually the first fanfiction I have completed, despite writing for the last five years. I decided to write a CaféMochaShipping (Ash x Dent) fanfic after finding out how little there was of it. This fic was inspired by a CaféMochaShipping fan video that I saw a few days ago.
Er... yeah. Comments and criticism appreciated. :) And it's a oneshot. Probably.
According To Him
"Pururiru! Water Pulse!"
"Pikachu is unable to battle! Shooti is the victor!"
Ash ran to Pikachu's side and gently picked up the little electric mouse. "Pikachu..."
"Didn't I tell you to actually train your Pokémon before you challenged me again? This is the seventh time you've lost to me; how stupid can you get?" Shooti sneered down at Ash. "I suggest you start over as a trainer. Although you're probably too useless to succeed, even then."
Ash stayed kneeling on the floor of the Battle Club, head turned resolutely downward.
"Don't you ever think to challenge me again." Shooti strode out of the Battle Club and into the late afternoon as confident as he had entered.
Ash stared blankly at Pikachu, his brown eyes not quite focusing on the battered body of his most trusted companion. He felt empty, devoid of his usual hope, passion, and energy. There was a ringing in his ears; all he could hear was the sound of his own breathing and the echo of Shooti's words. Stupid... Useless... His breath came in uneven and shallow bouts, and spots were appearing in front of his eyes. On the very edge of hearing, he heard someone calling his name. He tried to answer and found that he couldn't speak, his larynx overtaken by the despair engulfing his consciousness. Every loss, every insult, all the dark emotions he had locked away in years past seemed to hit him at once. Someone caught him as he began to fall to the floor and the world disappeared.
Ash opened his eyes. By the moonlight streaming in though a small window, he could see he was lying in a Pokémon Center bed. He sat up quietly and looked around. Iris was in the top bunk of the bed across from him. Presumably Dent was in the bed above him, since his backpack was on the floor. Pikachu was nowhere to be seen.
Ash sat up and leaned back against the wall, hugging his knees to his chest and staring blankly into space. The wall he had so carefully built to contain the hurt had finally crumbled after losing once again to Shooti. The other boy's Jalorda had torn through Ash's team until Chaoboo had finally knocked it out, but by then Ash was down to two Pokémon versus Shooti's six. Chaoboo had been no match for Pururiru, and Pikachu went down after a harsh struggle.
He shook his head vigorously to rid himself of Shooti's voice, but only succeeded in reviving older memories. All the times he had lost to Gary. Later, loser. Misty, berating him for everything he did. Can't you do anything right? Brock, commenting on his behavior. Why do you have to be so difficult? Tracey. Why can't you be happy with that? May. What's your deal? Max. You lost in the Silver Conference! Dawn. Always changing you mind, aren't you? Iris. Such a child, really. His own thoughts, that he refused to acknowledge. You look terrible. You have no skill, you rely completely on luck. You're never on time. You were late to get your first Pokémon, even! You can't do anything by yourself. You never learn. You're no good as a trainer. Everyone says you're annoying. You're a complete failure...
The brown-eyed boy reached a decision. He silently swung himself out of bed, padded over to Dent's backpack and slipped something out of it. He took one last look around the room before closing the door quietly, separating him from his companions.
Ash exited the Pokémon Center and headed out of the small town they were staying in. He walked until he was completely out of the human environment and was in a wooded area. The thick, heavy silence enveloped him as he trudged deeper into the wood, never faltering in his steps. Eventually he came to a fallen tree that sat along the edge of a wide, shallow stream. He sat upon it and stared dully at his watery reflection. Worthless... Loser...
He looked dispassionately at the knife he had taken from Dent's backpack. Since I'm so useless... I may as well not exist.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, extending his left wrist out in front of him and slowly bringing the hand holding the knife up toward the moonlight. The metal glinted as it swung down for its fateful meeting with Ash's wrist, making a slight hissing noise that-
Ash opened his eyes to see a delicate hand gripping his right wrist. As he watched, the hand's pair gently took the knife from him and tossed it aside onto the mossy ground.
"Don't throw yourself away, Ash," murmured the owner of the hands. The emotionally unstable boy turned his head to see Dent looking at him with intent concern.
"Why did you stop me?" Ash asked, no emotion in his voice.
"Because I care about you."
"Liar. Nobody would care about me."
Dent let go of Ash's wrist and moved to sit beside him on the fallen tree. "It's impossible not to care about you."
In the dark tempest of Ash's heart, a small spark of hope flared.
"You have an aura about you," Dent continued, his voice soft. "You radiate fiery passion, which makes for a spicy taste. Beneath the personality you show to everyone, you care deeply for your friends, giving you a rich flavor that balances your headstrong spiciness wonderfully."
Ash's eyes widened in disbelief. The Pokémon Sommelier smiled gently. "You're such a beautiful person, with amazing skill at what you do. You know, I... I can never seem to stop thinking about you." Dent put a hand to his forehead and gave a quiet laugh. "The harder I try to get you out of my head, the more persistent the thoughts about you are. I think it's because... there's a part of me that wants to keep you near me."
Ash's words caught in his throat, but he forced them out in spite of that. "...Why me?"
Dent took Ash's hands in his and examined them fastidiously. "Because you're you," he said after a slight pause. "You're funny, cute, irresistible Ash, and everything I ever dreamed of. You don't know how terrified I was when you... when you tried to..."
His words faltered and died, to his amazement Ash saw Dent's eyes begin to tear up. "Dent, I..." Ash began uncertainly.
The man rubbed his green eyes vigorously in an attempt to compose himself. "Never try something like that again. Please. Promise me. I care for you too much for you to do that."
Ash was astonished to see Dent lose his composure over anything, let alone him. Suddenly his emotions came flooding back, the bleak emptiness giving way to a swirling myriad of feelings. He exhaled sharply, releasing the rigidness that had held him together thus far, and began to shake uncontrollably. I almost ended everything... What was I thinking? How could I have tried to do that?
He felt arms encircling him, pulling his trembling body into their strong yet gentle embrace, cradling him as he dissolved into tears. The pain that had driven him to such lengths drained away with the salty tears rolling down his cheeks. Ash held on tight to Dent, the one who had saved him from the world- no, himself- and sobbed. He cried until no more tears would come and he was left with great shuddering breaths which soon dwindled into nothing.
Drained and exhausted, Ash rested his head against Dent's shoulder. Dent pulled Ash closer to him, rubbing his back soothingly. "Ash..."
"Do you think you'll be okay now?"
Ash raised his head to see worry in Dent's green eyes. "I think so. As long as you're with me..."
Dent blushed as he gave him a small smile. "I'll be with you."
Ash leaned his head against Dent's chest so the other would not see his cheeks redden and mouth curve up at the corners. Exhaustion finally overtook him and he fell asleep in Dent's comforting embrace.
Dent smiled down at the younger man in his arms. Carefully, trying not to disturb Ash's slumber, he lifted him off of the fallen tree and began walking back to the town. A glint caught his eye as he left, and he glanced at the source. Moonlight reflected off the knife Ash had tried to end his life with, cold and menacing. Dent glared at it for a moment and viciously kicked it into the stream. Neither one of them needed to see it again.