Stronger

In a distance, countless stars twinkled dazzlingly, capturing the sapphire eyes of our favorite heroine. Seated on what she felt was the comfiest tree stump in the forest, she gazed out at the sea of lights, brightened in appearance due to her desolate location.

Brock did always say to look at the stars if I felt lost. May recalled, placing her arms around her legs. Does this count?

The sun had long set on the Johto horizon. A flock of Hoothoot who'd woken up with the moon swooped across the sky.

"May, is that you?" called out a familiar voice from the darkness. May turned, only to be welcomed by the eyes of her green haired rival. He'd changed from his time in Johto. In the midst of boyhood when she had first met him, he was now taller and leaner. Defined jaw line, volume-licious hair, a strong gaze…He was the meat used to feed fangirls. His hair still reminded her of vegetation, though.

But of course, she meant this in the nicest way possible.

"Drew?" she queried, getting off the tree stump she'd made a bean bag off of. "What're you doing out here?

"I could ask you the same," he returned. "It's not exactly the smartest thing to be sitting in a forest, alone in the dark."

May shrugged, putting her hands together in front of her and looking back at the sky. "I guess you're right. I just wanted to be alone… to think for a while."

"There are safer places to think, you know."

"Gee, Drew. Then why don't you explain what you're doing out in the scary woods and this time of night?"

Drew smirked. "Unlike you, I don't have time to loiter around looking at stars. I was training. "

"That's strange. I didn't hear anybody setting trees on fire." She stuck her tongue out at him.

"That's funny, coming from the person who just lost the Wallace Cup."

Ouch. Salt on the wound.

Drew cringed on the inside as soon as the words left his mouth. May turned her back to him, spitefully saying, "Well, we all can't be perfect like you. Can we Drew?"

Trying to maintain his usual attitude, he gave her as much sympathy as a cucumber would. "That's not the attitude I expected from you after all this May."

"Some of us don't have endless confidence to tap into, Drew."

"Well, it's not like it's your first time losing." Was he trying to rile her up on purpose now?

"Drew, why did you come out here? Is it just to piss me off or is there a point to all your mocking today?"

Drew did his signature hair flick, closing his eyes, as if he couldn't be bothered to keep them open to look at her. "The May I knew never let losing, of all things, bring her spirits down."

Her rival's sudden twist into kindness lane wiped the anger off May's face, as she registered that he was trying to give her advice.

"Losing your way and giving up is easy. That's something anybody can do. It's only when you fall, get back up and start climbing again that you get stronger," he said, looking her straight in the eyes. "I always thought you were the embodiment of strength, May." He started turning his back to her, getting ready to walk out. "But I guess what they say is true. Once a loser, always a loser."

The compliment completely soaring past her head, May began getting riled up again. "I AM GOING TO DESTROY YOU AT THE GRAND FESTIVAL, JUST WAIT AND SEE!"

"Then quit moping around and start working hard already." Boom, his signature rose flew into May's hand. "Tell Beautifly to feel better. "

"YOU ARE DEAD THE NEXT TIME WE BATTLE!" Drew only smiled to himself as he exited through a clearing, the darkness enveloping his body.

May glared at her rival until he was out of sight. Then she sighed, looking at the rose. Stupid Drew and his roundabout way of trying to make her feel better.

But she popped a smile, looking back up at the sky. "I guess what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Thanks, Drew."


A/N – Whoa. An update!

I know. I'm shocked too.

I guess I've been kind of MIA for a while now. It's been a long time since I've had any inspiration to write, forget post anything. But, I'm back, and I think I'm here to stay. :) Getting the juices running with a one-shot. Maybe a couple more to come.

If anybody couldn't tell, this one-shot was inspired by Kelly Clarkson's Stronger. I was basically trying to capture how although May never gives up, there are times when even she feels like crap after losing. And when that happens, our favorite lettuce haired rival comes to the rescue, cool as a cucumber, reminding her who she is. Especially because she inspires him to work harder (but he's not going to tell her that).

I'm not sure why I made so many references to our veggie friends…Maybe I'm subconsciously telling my readers to stay healthy? *hands out oodles of celery*

I haven't written any Contestshipping since 'You Belong With Me,' so please review and let me know what you think. All kinds of criticism are welcome. Even the flame-y type. Very helpful in keeping me warm in the cold, winter months.

Until next time (which I hope is soon)!