I only own my OCs, certain locations and the storyline. This is angsty, but I'd have to say that I have my reasons... which will sound more interesting at the end A/N. T for ...do I want to spoil? Language. This is also my first fic in Delia's perspective, by the way. Hope you enjoy.

10 Years Later

Part 1: Their parents

(Pallet Town)

No one wants to go through what we've gone through. "Delia," I looked up at the source. I couldn't bring myself to look into those green eyes, but I had to. "Have you been skipping meals?"

I sighed. "Every now and then, I just hope to wake up to the phone ringing. His voice or hers," I began and then I stopped as I felt my lips get warm. "Chris," I said. *

"I know, Delia. I made the phone calls. I didn't think you'd be up to driving," he said. "I don't want you to think about anything other than breakfast getting cold. Would you want them to know you're not eating?"

I didn't answer Chris, but he had a point as the doorbell rang. I looked at Mimey sweeping. Chris got up and pecked my forehead before going to see who it was. "I hope we're not too early, are we?" came the deep voice from the other side of the door.

"Nope. We haven't settled a time yet. Delia's in the kitchen. I take it you carpooled?" Chris replied.

"Mmhm," came the reply and I heard Chris close the door. I looked up, but said nothing. I ate. "Do you still have it?" she asked.

I nodded. I looked at the locket she had around her neck. "I don't think I've noticed that before," I replied.

She looked down at it. "I haven't worn it in a while. Aside from... well, the time it is, how have you been, Delia?"

Before I could answer, the doorbell rang again and Chris must not have walked back in. That, or he wasn't very far. "Ah. It's a full house now. The ladies are at the table."

Seconds later, I felt myself being embraced. "Well, all under one roof again at last," I heard Camille say.

"Hey," I heard Chris calling. "I just got her to start eating."

I sighed. "Excuse my forgetful husband, but would any of you ladies like a cup of coffee?" I tried to get up.

"I didn't forget. I just thought I'd wait. Guys?" Chris called. Pretty soon, the kitchen was busy again. I looked at Mimey again, but this time, I nodded. I didn't have to wait long. "Way ahead of you. Eat."

I heard Camille sigh. "It's been hard on them, too." I finished eating and went to kneel by him. "Yeah, it has," I replied.

"It's been hard on all of us," Chris said. After a nice breakfast, we're ready to go. I guess it's a plus of being in a small town as we went outside.

"Oh, hey Mrs. K," Gary said as lax as he could, Leaf's fingers intertwined in his. "Mr. K., Mr. and Mrs. Waterflower, Mr. and Mrs. Kenta and Mr. and Mrs. Storm."

Leaf sighed. "We were just on the phone with the Elm laboratory and we realized around what time it was," she said and I watched the yellow blur run by, running to the young couple.

Gary nodded. "I called the others and they said they'd stop by later today. Sun, Moon, Hau and Lillie offered their sympathies and a card in the mail. They just didn't feel comfortable. Also, the Davises and the Kotones said that they were on their way." Gary let us soak that in as he remembered something. "Daisy and Bill are gonna be coming back from Alola with the Professors Kukui and Burnet. I don't know about cousin Sam. That's what he said to call him, even though it's a bit more complex than that. The only other people I know who are coming from Alola are Kiawe, Mallow, Lana and Sophocles. I only know them by name."

"No one knows them better than their parents," Chris said. Pikachu clambered up Gary's body, longing to do so.

I felt Chris' hand link with mine. "You don't mind, do you?" I asked and Gary shook his head. It was a quiet walk, with Swellow occasionally cooing. **

"Delia," Luciana called. "Did ...did all the flowers come from your garden?"

I shook my head. "In the ...few months right after it happened, yes. However, they've been anonymously donated throughout the years," I replied.

Chris squeezed my hand. "I've been weeding it for the past 2 years," he added. Gary nodded.

"Gramps helped where he could," he said solemnly. "I'm gonna see him first, if that's okay," he replied. I looked at the others. Swellow had just been flying around.

I watched Camille enlarge a ball, Austin squeezing her shoulder. Brenda looked at William who seemed to be contemplating something. I looked over my shoulder. Phoenix was rubbing Luciana's back. "Go on," Leaf said as she and Gary backed up. I nodded to Swellow.

"It's hard to believe it, I know. Take some deep breaths," Chris said.

I tried to and I heard Camille prove my point. "No parent wants to bury their child. Why would we be exempt from this?" she said. I just knelt at the grave.

It only seemed like yesterday...

(Flashback. Ten years ago) We were hosting a party in our sons' honors for their latest milestone: they ran the Kanto-Johto marathon, both partnering with their long-time girlfriends. They were going to go out to a party with friends. The phone rang. "Hello?" Chris answered. "What? No, we're on our way. Please, don't do anything."

"Chris?" I called, a bit confused. He bit his tongue. "Just get into the car and I'll explain on the way. William, Brenda, you too. Camille, Austin, it's going to be a bit tight if you want to come with us. Someone should call Lydia and Michael."

Austin shook his head. "I'll do it. Just let me follow," he said and we made a beeline to our cars as it began to rain on the way to Viridian General.

Chris made a sharp parallel park. "This is a nightmare," he called as we got out and went in, through the automatic doors. I remember seeing the people who were there for injuries, with sick children or waiting to visit family. The security guard looked up before he walked to the registration desk.

Chris was holding it in, but I couldn't blame him. "We're the Ketchums. Those are the Kentas, they're the Waterflowers and they're the Davises," Chris said as calmly as he could. "What happened?" The security guard said nothing, only taking us down a hallway that led to a bay. Luciana looked heartbroken. "Good," she said, mostly to Brenda. "You're here." ***

"What?" I had started, but a doctor came to the small area we were. I was getting more confused and I felt like I was frozen in place.

He looked to be a few years older than us, give or take. His orange eyes seemed to show remorse as he said, "Follow me."

We passed by a TV. "In recent news, tragedy struck on I-101. A multi car accident on the east end. The drivers of both sedans behind me were both rushed to the hospital. One of the sedans had four passengers in there, another had two and the count is unknown for the other vehicle. We'll bring you more details when we know them." That wasn't Ash's car. One red and one navy blue car caught my attention. ****

'Please, no,' I thought as Chris embraced me. "Okay doc," Phoenix said. "Lead the way." The walked seemed endless. There were lots of navy blue cars and red ones as well.

"According to the report we received from the Pokémon Center, each trainer had at least one with them. A Pikachu, Gyarados, Typhlosion, Crobat, Azumarill and a Feraligatr were recovered from the six of them," the doctor said as we finally reached the end of the hallway. We made a right. Outside of Ash, only one other trainer had a Pikachu. "I must forewarn you that your children are lucky to be in the condition they're in from the magnitude of the crash," he said. I took in his appearance a bit more. His auburn hair seemed to be graying. "Viridian's best healers are taking care of the Pokémon. Mr. Ketchum and Mr. Kenta received some of the worst injuries, which is why they're further away. Ms. Waterflower and Ms. Kotone received severe injuries, but not as bad as the others. Then Mr. Storm and Ms. Davis received the least of the brunt. I'm not a collisions expert, I just know who received what. Each of them is hooked up to life support because of how low their heart rates were when they were evaluated by the medics on the scene," he said and pressed a switch on the wall. The adjusted the lighting of the room.

It looked like it was straight from a horror movie. I felt myself go numb. "Dr. Raine, there you are," a voice called. She seemed to be the senior nurse. "Let's see. A representative from the Master Committee is on line three, the surgeon is evaluating Ashton and James as we speak, and no word from Nurse Joy yet. Mr. Storm stirred a few times, but hasn't woke up."

He sighed before looking at us. "Terribly sorry I didn't introduce myself. Ken Raine MD at your service. My head nurse, Angela. I'll go speak to the representative as soon as another doctor shows up," he said. "Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum and Mr. and Mrs. Kenta, if you would please follow me. Mr. and Mrs. Waterflower, you may see Misty and Mr. and Mrs. Davis, you may see Marina." We followed and there were Phoenix and Luciana, as well as Brenda and William.

He took us to a farther end of the room, where two gurneys would go. "I was very stunned to hear this myself and one of my coworkers made the call," Dr. Raine began.

"Yeah. I answered the phone. William and Brenda were at our house," Chris said. "We're Ash's parents." ...what was happening right now?

Michael squeezed Lydia's hand. "We're Jimmy's parents," he said. The doctor nodded. "From the medic's notes, Ash and Jimmy's other vital signs were extremely low. Both lost a good deal of blood and unfortunately, they had to stop. The medics had to stop the transport to restart their hearts, twice apiece. Viridian has only one medical chopper and Jimmy lost more blood, hence him being airlifted. If we had more choppers, then we could've airlifted Ash as well. Our paramedics are very fast when they drive the ambulance, though. I myself firmly believe in Electric type attacks saving trainers, if executed correctly. I thought I'd look into their trainer history and it's also a good thing that they've got an Electric type doing the attack. It's a part of my research."

It was silent as we absorbed the information. "Dr. Raine, I wouldn't keep them waiting," another nurse advised.

"I can only talk so fast, Kate," Dr. Raine replied. "Anyway, I'll have more information on their survival rates once I get the reports from radiology. That's all I can give you."

Chris nodded. "We'll wait," he said. We looked at the others.

"Damn drunk drivers," Silver raged. I looked at him and then at Luciana.

She grabbed Silver's hand. "Silver, sweetie if you can hear me it's mom," she said. Phoenix growled. "What's going on, Nancy?" Angela asked.

Phoenix was horrified as Silver thrashed in his bed. "Silver," he called and slowly, he stopped. "I need an anti-seizure unit and stat!" Nancy said and Angela sprinted. Chris and I decided to see how the Waterflowers were doing.

"I'd say it's still a few broken bones," Austin murmured, head down.

Camille turned to us. "Misty's X-ray is being read as we speak. Her CT scan is also being read. That's what her nurse told us. How does Ash look?" she told us.

"We don't know. He and Jimmy are still in X-ray," I replied, looking at what I could see under the tubes and wires on Misty. I found my face buried in Chris' chest. "It's a nightmare," I said and he did what he does best: hold me tight.

"Yuck, blood," we heard Lyra next. I only heard Chris' voice as I tried to picture Ash smiling through whatever he was going through.

"I don't think it's a coincidence. She looks like she's trying to wake up," Chris said. At least a couple of minutes had passed before...

-POP- I turned slightly to see Austin rubbing his cheek. "Ugh," Misty grumbled and Camille grabbed her hand.

"You okay there, Austin?" Michael called.

He grunted. "Meh. I've been through worse. Definitely has the Waterflower smacking power," he said. (1)

"MOM!" that was Marina and it sounded horrible. It sounded as if she was being hunted. "Easy, dear," Brenda tried to soothe. This whole thing just seemed unnatural, really. The doors flew open as at least one gurney was wheeled in. Then the other one. Chris had taken my hand.

"Are the Ketchum and Kenta parents here yet?" someone asked, impatient evident in their voice.

I felt Chris wiping away whatever tears might've been on my face. "I'm Michael Kenta and this is my wife Lydia," I heard Michael say.

"We're the Ketchums. I'm Chris and this is Delia," Chris was quick. Chris looked at me. I wanted to thank them for taking Ash here, but I felt my throat run dry. "On behalf of both of us, thank you for driving our son to the hospital."

It was the paramedics. Five minutes passed and the doors opened, revealing Dr. Raine. He was holding something, seemingly trying to study it and study it as if to memorize it. "If anything changes at the Pokémon Center, we'll give a call," a paramedic said.

"Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum and Mr. and Mrs. Kenta," Dr. Raine said and Lydia said to call us all by our first names. "I have Ash and Jimmy's information right here and I wish I had better news," he said glumly. He explained that both boys lost around three pints of blood, that their blood pressures were low and I didn't think that there would be anything as bad as their hearts stopping. Their pulses weren't there twice. Before Dr. Raine could continue further, Michael spoke.

He took a breath and said, "Doctor, are you saying that there's no chance that our sons will recover?"

"The chances are less than 50%. At this point, they only have a 35% chance of survival," he said and pushed his glasses up to the bridge of his nose.

"So then there's nothing you can do for them?!" Chris asked, horrified. I held his hand tighter, beginning to feel nauseous.

The doctor sighed. "I wouldn't say that. Should they survive, they will need extensive amounts of physical therapy because of the body parts that got hit. They will not be able to battle for around six months. And my coworkers and I would have to go from there," he said. He took a breath and looked over his shoulder at our sons. "It could go either way and I'm not a psychic. But their bodies would only be able to take so much of it. If their odds don't improve, then we'll do everything in our power to make them comfortable. I was put in charge as soon as I had gotten word of the accident. I am also in charge of Ms. Waterflower, Ms. Davis, Ms. Kotone and Mr. Storm. I took some time. All of them are fine young adults. They each had 2 Pokémon with them. All I've found out is that Mr. Ketchum also had a Primeape that he retrieved this morning. I haven't heard about anything else. I'll keep you posted. You are welcome to see your sons and speak to them. No matter the outcome, it will be best for them to hear your voices." He took a breath as he let us soak that in before looking at the boys. "This is like a well-plotted nightmare."

I felt faint as Chris helped me over to Ash. His face wasn't as heavily bandaged as the rest of his body. "Ash," I murmured softly, looking for his hand. I found it and I held it before crying.

"N-no mama," Ash said and at first, I thought that it might've been his aura because even through tears, I couldn't see his mouth moving. "It was an accident! I broke the vase with the soccer ball. P-please don't c-cry."

Chris looked at me and I could see how hard this was for him as well. He gently ran his fingers through Ash's hair. "I can feel some bandaging. He seemed to have just nicked something on his scalp, but that's the least of his problems."

Ash's body jerked to the left, slightly twisting my hand. "Uh oh," Ash said a bit of panic evident. "I overslept and now I might not get my starter!" Chris looked at me. He had a tournament that morning and didn't find out until I called him.

Time slowly ticked by and more memories came out as Ash's body jerked. "Mom, I made a new friend at the Pokémon League," he said, referring to when he met Ritchie. (2)

"Dad, I won the Orange League. Mom said to call you but I gotta leave a message," he said and we had his trophy put into a case.

"Mom, did you see me in the Hoenn League?" he asked. I remembered when Misty came over with Tracey and her Azurill. "Mom! I did it. It wasn't easy and I had a few rematches, but I beat the Battle Frontier. Oh and... I took something but I didn't think anything about it when I got possessed. I even met a Lucario that belonged to Sir Aaron. He's one of dad's ancestors, right?"

I looked at Chris. "He is an ancestor," was his response.

"I got the outfit, mom. Thanks. Me and Pikachu were really in an unexpected situation with Team Rocket," Ash said and Chris looked at me. It was hard because Chris picked the hat colors for Ash. "I came in the top 4. Did you see that match?"

'Ash. Oh, my baby. Why did you have to be so reckless at times when you were younger?' I thought.

Chris nodded. "That Sceptile of his was certainly powerful," he said.

Ash flailed about and talked about his progress in Unova and in Kalos. Then he stopped talking. When it was time for lunch, we all (hesitantly) left our children. When we came back, things hadn't changed. Dr. Raine was looking at results when we noticed him in between Ash and Jimmy. "From some of your son's blood, a part of it that's supposed to be dark is darker than normal."

"It's the blood of someone with aura in their family," Chris said. Dr. Raine nodded. He showed us some of Ash's X-rays before bowing his head as a walkie went off in his pocket. He excused himself.

Right now, Ash had a small smile on his face. "Mm," was all he said. "Mom, Dad, these are the guys of the Master Circuit. Jimmy, Brendan, Paul, Nate, Calem, say hi to my parents." I remembered watching Paul and Ash battle in the Sinnoh finals.

Chris rifled a hand through their hair because he remembered meeting their fathers. "Dad, there's someone I really care about. Her name is Misty ...and I think I want to marry her. My beautiful bride." I cried at that. I excused myself and found that I wasn't alone. Ash and Misty are a lovely couple, but seeing them like this is just too much.

"M-Michael and I started talking about if we decide to pull the plug. What will happen to Marina?" I then thought of Misty and forced myself upright. I fought tears..

I sighed. "I, I don't know, Lydia. Misty would be devastated, too," I said. We didn't know what their chances of survival were, but we were silently hoping that theirs were higher than Ash and Jimmy's. "Ash is going back through his childhood and times as a trainer."

"So is Jimmy. When I first met Ash, I could tell that he and Jimmy would click," Lydia said. (3)

I nodded. It was true that while Ash got along with all his friends, he and Jimmy were like long lost brothers. "It's interesting that they even share some of the same Pokémon. Most notably a Jolteon," I said and Lydia nodded at that. We looked at the artwork from the kids on the walls as we walked down the hallway. We decided to turn back so we could be with our sons and their friends. The hallway just seemed so quiet and abandoned. It wasn't in a spooky sense, though. "Dr. Raine said that Misty has the highest chance to wake up at 75%. Silver isn't too far behind at 72%. Lyra has a 40% chance. Marina has a 37% chance to wake up. Ash and Jimmy have a 35.5% chance of waking up," Lydia said on the way back. (4)

It was just so hard seeing them all like that. Lydia and I talked to our husbands about how we'd want our sons to die if that …were to happen tonight. Ash, Misty and Marina were on the right side of the room whereas Jimmy, Silver and Lyra were on the left. Lydia and I agreed that we'd do it at around the same time if it came to that. I told Chris and he just shook his head. "Delia, I need to think about that. You know I feel bad because of how my league hours went crazy. I did those crazy hours because it was the only way that Ash could go out on his journey," he said and held Ash's hand. To our surprise, Ash put what fingers he could in between Chris'. He had a small smile on his face that seemed forced.

"Mom, how long did it take you to get to Viridian City from Pallet?" Ash asked and Chris sighed, figuring that I had told Ash the story.

I had to think. "It took me 2 days, sweetie. It's because Pallet Town didn't always have its own market and I always had to walk to the one in Viridian," I said, stroking his other hand. I noticed that the bend of his arm had been wrapped, but there was no IV in there.

Chris clicked his tongue before shrugging. "I only know that the IV that was in his left arm was taken out not too long ago," he said and I called a nurse over. Her name was Millie.

"What can I do for you Mrs. Ketchum?" she asked. (5)

I looked at Chris again before laying my eyes on Ash. "I was wondering why Ash's arms have been wrapped," I said and she nodded.

"Well, they tried getting the IV in his arm in the ambulance and that only lasted until they got to Cherrygrove City. They had to stop at Flora Ln so they could replace the IV," she explained. "Then when Ashton was being transferred from the gurney on the ambulance to a hospital bed so he could go to radiology (and I'm deeply sorry that this happened), he violently jerked his arm and knocked out the IV. That's why it's in his wrist. His arms have been wrapped so he doesn't try to subconsciously scratch the stitches from the broken glass. In fact," "Millie, I've got the details understood for the police. They need to talk to you," another staff member interrupted.

Millie nodded and finished, "Basically, not only did glass go flying and because Javier's been on this case longer than I have, he can tell you more." Then she left, causing Javier to grit his teeth.

He rifled a hand through his hair. "Terribly sorry for my interruption. I'm actually new here," he said and then he noticed our expressions. "By that, I mean I'm new to Kanto. I'm from the Orange Islands and finished nursing school three years ago." He grabbed a notepad out of his pocket and decided to use a pen he had in the pocket of his scrub top. (6)

He clicked it before he started drawing. Then I noticed it's a multicolor pen. He drew rather quickly and Chris and I exchanged glances, wondering if it was going to look like something Ash would draw on the wall as a toddler. (7)

He tossed the pen into his pocket for now and showed us what he drew. "Okay. The red car is the car that Mr. Storm and Miss Kotone were in. Then the blue represents the rain. The black is the car that your son, Miss Waterflower, Mr. Kenta and Miss Davis were in. From what we were told by the witnesses to the crash (who are in the waiting room,) all your children were wearing seatbelts. Now as you can see, the position of this yellow car is odd. Well, we're all under the belief that the driver was drunk or otherwise intoxicated. They were on the other side of the highway and drove four lanes over. The witness on the motorcycle noticed how close the cars were together. It was as if it were planned. The instigator hit the sides of both cars and that caused Mr. Storm to come to a halt and Mr. Ketchum's car to strike each other. The instigator was taken to East Viridian," he explained and let us process that when he realized he was talking too fast.

I look at Chris who had his eyes closed -a habit he passed down to Ash- before he slowly opened them. He looked at me and then reached for my hand to hold it. "We've got it. Please continue," he said politely.

Javier nodded. "We concluded that your children were following each other. The witness got off their motorcycle before calling 911 and seeing what they could do," he continued as the doors flew open.

"The witness and his fiancée are here," another nurse said. "He finished talking with Officer Jenny. He and his fiancée would like to come in." Javier nodded and looked at us.

"Did you run it by Dr. Raine, Amy?" he asked and Amy nodded. He looked at us. "It's entirely up to you."

Chris looked at me before nodding. "I'm sorry we can only do so much for them," Kate added. I just threw myself into Chris' arms before crying.

I could only hear the doors open before I heard footsteps. "This… has to be a sick joke. Mrs. Ketchum?" Gary asked. Chris spoke.

"Gary. Leaf. I think I can speak for all of us when I say I wish this was a sick joke. We're sorry you had to witness it," Chris began before calling Phoenix over to sit me down on a chair near Ash's bed as they talked. I looked up, teary-eyed and thought I saw Misty stir a little bit. I felt Camille's eyes meeting my own. It was hard to tell because Misty's bed wasn't next to Ash's. (8)

I knew Phoenix left my side because I could hear him saying to get the doctors and I let Gary and Leaf see Ash and Jimmy. "You know it's a big deal when the G-Men have to act as security," Leaf said somewhat bitterly. I looked up at her. "News travels fast apparently. The other top trainers from here and Johto (save Chance), Brendan, Professors Oak and Elm, Paul, Nate and Calem are here. A few other gym leaders from Kanto and Johto and that's all for the 'celebrities' if you don't count some of the G-Men members."

"They're waking up, doctor," Angela said. Within 5 minutes, Silver and Misty were both up. While both were strong-willed, they agreed to sit in wheelchairs, despite their injuries being less severe.

Silver was rolled to Jimmy and I couldn't hear him. I brought myself to squeeze Misty's hand. 'Should we tell them?' Chris asked through our connection and I bit my lip.

'Better us than the doctors, dear,' I replied and it was what Chris had said that led me to my realization. Leaf had cried into Gary's hold and Misty tried to stay strong as Austin came to console her. "Austin, don't go just yet. Silver, you should probably come over here once you can."

So, I told them and it was so hard to do so. Silver was shaking his head and Misty was losing her fight to tears. "They're too stubborn," Silver said, looking over at Jimmy. He looked at Gary and Leaf. Gary probably felt a chill go down his spine at Silver's gaze. "Oak, you're hiding something."

Gary wiped his eyes. He looked at Chris and I before muttering something. "What?" Chris asked, having heard some of it.

"They're coming all the way from Alola. Do you know how much more security they'll need?" Gary snapped before taking off. Chris wanted to go after him, but I grabbed his arm.

Silver and Leaf exchanged glances. Leaf sighed. "Matthew took time off from being the Viridian gym leader and let Chance fill in. As for Jared," she began, thinking of her words. "Once given the go-ahead from the league, Jared had been teleported from atop Mt. Silver to the airport in Viridian, courtesy of Matthew's Alakazam. It took all of the gym leaders (who knew Jared for a longer time), a few coordinators, Professor Oak and Jared's Pokémon to get him to take time off."

We all soaked that in. "Definitely sounds like him," Camille mused and Chris nodded. (9)

"Misty, Silver, we'd like to have one of the other doctors examine you. Dr. Raine had to go and answer to a league phone call," Kate said and the two had no choice.

Misty let go of Ash's hand. "Don't leave me," Ash said.

"She's coming back, dear," I assured him. Ash just let out a moan of content. There was a bright flash somewhere. The next thing we heard was Marina freaking out.

That was hard to calm down. I could hear Lance talking to Matthew ...and Jared, I'd assume. "M-Mar," Jimmy muttered. "p-please stay s-strong. F-for m-me, if you w-won't do it f-for m- ...your parents."

The doors flew open as Dr. Raine and a few nurses were trying to stabilize Marina. "Unbelievable," Dr. Raine said. Once he was assured that it was taken care of, he turned to us. "It's like he knew she was in a panic mode."

"Told you it'd be faster than taking your Charizard," and I knew that voice anywhere. I looked up and saw Matthew in his vacation clothes. "...and that it wouldn't be pretty."

Chris gave Jared a firm stare. I was surprised to see Jared wearing a predominantly white shirt with red around the back, a 96 on the front and a newer cap. As opposed to Matthew's green shorts, Jared (surprisingly) had on steel gray shorts. He grunted before retorting, "And I didn't say I doubted you. Where's Gary? He said he'd be here, so, why isn't he?"

"He stormed off and Leaf followed him," Chris responded tersely before getting up. "I don't think he was exactly thrilled about Matthew coming."

I watched them stare each other down. "Gentlemen, please," Lydia said as Misty and Silver walked back in.

"I can only inform relatives or very close family friends of the situations regarding my patients," Dr. Raine said firmly.

Matthew put his sunglasses above his head. "The Oaks and the Ketchums have known each other for a long time. My son and Ash are practically like brothers, last I saw them."

"That works enough for me. People think Drake and I are brothers, but we're actually cousins," Dr. Raine said, looking specifically at the Pikachu in between them.

Pikachu recognized me before darting across the room. Jared said nothing and Chris faced the doctor. "Professor Oak is the only other person I've told that Jared is my brother. Not only that, his Pikachu is the father of my son's, the cousin of my Clefable, his Espeon is the father of Gary's Umbreon, his Blastoise is the father of both Gary and Ash's Squirtle, his Charizard is the older brother of Ash's and his Venusaur is the uncle of Ash's." (10)

I didn't even know that as Pikachu squeaked at the mention of his son. "He's getting taken care of. D-" "Why do you suddenly care? You never smile anymore. You weren't there when dad got sick. Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to calm Mom down?" Chris raised his voice. He looked at Pikachu then at Matthew and then Jared. "Tch. I guess training became more important to you."

I just didn't know what to say, but someone had to do it. "Intense," Matthew mused. Chris told them what happened and once he finished, Matthew was shaking his head and came over here.

"Oh yeah," he said in recognition. "Okay. I remember now. Your son had the Typhlosion and Beedrill... and energy to match (if not rival) Ash's." So, he went to see how Jimmy was.

Chris (by this point) had been leaning against the wall as he had finished his rant on his brother. I watched Pikachu go over to his trainer and tap a Poké Ball on his belt. There was a bright flash before Espeon materialized. I watched Espeon flick his tail as he stared at his trainer. Jared's silence was something I could never understand. He (I guess with Espeon's help) came over to look at his nephew. "His aura is very low and he's not alone," Jared said quietly. He then nodded his head in the direction of Jimmy. Jared then looked back at Chris. "You're right. Training did become more important. I caught some of Ash's battles on TV." He took off his cap, revealing his (still) short, light brown hair. "I'm sorry I got obsessed with training, but we can't go back and change the past."

"We could," Gary had suddenly interrupted, "but we'd need Celebi, Dialga or both. Leaf and I brought the guys up to speed."

I watched as Jared came over and gently hold Ash's bandaged hand. Espeon came to me and Pikachu got onto the bed (away from the wires) before rubbing his tail on Ash's leg. "Pikachu," Ash wheezed at this point. "buddy. Your dad would be proud of you."

Jared's Pikachu didn't reply to Ash, but that was probably for the better.

"Ash wanted to be like you both," I said to Chris and Jared. I turned to Chris. "Ash would wear a pair of fingerless gloves and when he wore his hat, he'd turn it backwards in battle. Personality wise, Ash takes more after his father than he does me."

I don't know where those words came from. "Ash is also very kind. He'd go out of his way, Mrs. Ketchum," Misty said before looking at Jared. "He always put himself first, even if it meant he could get severely hurt."

Ash's heart rate slowed and before I knew it, Ash's fellow competitors were here. I had allowed Misty to be closer to Ash; she suffered major bruises, but would recover. "Oh yeah," Calem said. "Silver said he's just got a ton of cuts on his body. They used a fancier term. Lacerations, I guess."

Jimmy's bed had also been placed closer to Ash's. "I think I speak for all of us. Not just us competitors, but their coworkers and anyone who has known Ash and Jimmy personally," Brendan began. He took a breath before continuing, "would know that they're practically like brothers. They're closer than any of us, and that's saying something. If we didn't know them, you could've told us they were brothers (not necessarily by blood) and we'd believe it."

"I second that," Paul said firmly. He looked at Ash and Jared. "Hm. Just wouldn't have guessed that strength ran in his genes."

Jared just nodded his head, having placed his cap in Ash's grasp. Jared and Chris were holding me up. I looked at the others again. Jimmy was also without his hat. Brendan must not have felt like wearing his headband to begin with or he took it off without me seeing. Nate wasn't wearing his visor like he usually does and Calem didn't have his hat on. It was silent until Misty asked, "Wait. Our Pokémon. Where are they?"

Leaf chose her words carefully. "The Pokémon Center. I just dropped Venusaur off for a checkup and learned of it all. Your Corsola and Gyarados are fine," she said.

Misty could only nod. Matthew shrugged. "Pikachu's worried about his son," Matthew said. "Ash and Pikachu. ...just. Thank Arceus Pikachu isn't here right now."

Pikachu. Ash's monitor slowed. His aura dropped and as this happened, so did his heart rate. "I'll meet you there. Take care everyone," Ash said weakly. He told Misty how much he loved her. Ash didn't have much time left. "Uncle Jared. Wherever you are, I hope you're proud of me."

Jared licked his lips. "Ash," he slowly began. I think he tried to find his words.

"It's gonna be okay at some point. I guess I have to go now," Ash began. "I don't know where I'm going or what's there. Guess I'll find out." (11)

The monitor continued to slow and Jared placed his hand on Ash's. "Ash. You're you. My biggest hope for you was that you'd be a great trainer. You didn't disappoint."

I'll never forget those last few beeps. Ash died with a smile on his face. I began sobbing into Chris and Jared patted my back. "His aura has left, but we'll never forget his fire," Nate said. Ash died at 6:15.

We couldn't even process that as Jimmy's monitors flared up. I later learned from Silver that Jimmy had similar last words. He and Marina had been holding hands. "Marina Davis, I love you," Jimmy had said before his heart rate slowed before his monitors beeped like Ash's. Jimmy died a few minutes later at 6:18.

Come 6:30, we were all in a dining area. Misty had been sent to a room. "I hate to interrupt," Dr. Raine began, "but the news is that the Pokémon are staying overnight for observation. They're in decent shape. I can assure you that they're no longer in pain."

"I've seen Pokémon die before," Brendan said. "It's not pleasant to watch, but I guess it compares you for this sort of thing." There was a pause before, "So Jared, are you gonna come back to Kanto?"

Matthew was next to him as he replied, "Maybe to visit every now and then, Ruby." Matthew had nicknames for the competitors. He turned to Paul. "What about you, Indigo?"

Paul took his bite of food. "I'd ...rather not touch base on my experience with death right now. I've seen Pokémon die myself and there's a time and a place for everything, but it isn't here and it isn't now." (12)

It was hard to eat, but I managed to do it anyway. "Hey X," Jared called. Calem looked up. "I thought you spoke Kalosian. Where'd it go?"

Calem wasn't too pleased with his nickname but he replied, "Away for a little while. Not many understand it."

Nate was called "Follower" and it just seemed to make sense. "Broken hearts," Matthew said before explaining what happened when he and Jared landed in Kanto. "Alakazam popped out and he hasn't done that in a long time. Through his sight, I saw two people dying and the cause of death being broken hearts."

"It makes sense," Gary said quietly. At 6:50, we were given word that Lyra succumbed to her injuries and 6:57, Marina passed away. Once we finished, we weren't sure where to go. Matthew and the contenders stayed.

The clock was ticking as the heart monitors kept beeping. Somehow through movement, a few of Silver's lacerations opened and one of the nurses discovered an infection in his bloodstream. He didn't seem to be fazed. We were informed that while walking to her room, Misty's knee gave out on her. (13)

"Mom. Dad. I know you two are strong. You'll just have to trust that I'll live on in your memories," he said with a wheeze. His eyes began to close. Chris was holding Luciana's hand. "Lyra. Together forever." His monitor beeped and flashed before someone came to shut it off. Silver died at 7:10, 20 minutes after Lyra.

Misty's fight lasted the longest and when Chris, Jared and I came back, Austin was on his knees and trying to fight his tears. "First my brother and now my niece, too?" he hollered. Camille smiled at her brother-in-law.

"It's okay to cry, Austin," she said.

Austin stood up and held Misty's other hand. "Uncle Austin. Mom. You really set the bar for Cerulean City. Mama, take Gyarados, okay?"

Camille wiped a tear before stroking Misty's head. Austin swallowed the lump in his throat. "Do you want me to have Corsola?"

Misty looked at him. "If you want. If anyone can get Psyduck to swim, it'd be one of you," she said.

As Misty's heart rate slowed, I could feel Austin's pain. He hadn't had any children of his own (at least that I knew of), so Misty and her sisters were the closest to children that he could have. Austin gave her a small kiss on her forehead. "Well, no promises," he said. "other than to do my best," he added.

Misty gave a weak smile before she looked at me. "I'm sure Ash will be waiting for me. Delia. I've been looking forward to calling you my mother-in-law one day," she said and I didn't know what to say to that. I had to think it over. Would I have time, though? Misty moved her arm a little to talk with Camille, it seemed. I was too engrossed in my own thoughts to listen. I felt Jared's hand on my shoulder and I looked at him.

"Say what you need to say," he said quietly. I realized that he was right. This was gonna be my last chance.

That's what I decided to do. "Misty, I'm honored that you feel that way about me," I began. "I'm grateful that you traveled with Ash for as long as you did. He was never too great with directions." I looked at Chris and shot him a teasing smile. "He gets that from his father," and at that, Misty let out a light laugh. I told her how much I enjoyed her and getting to know her. I told her to give Ash a hug and kiss from me once she got up there. Her oxygen started to drop, as did her heart rate. Before anyone could try and use a defibrillator on her, it was too late. At 7:20, Misty was declared dead in Austin's arms. (13)

-Two years later. June 29, 2009-

I was ready to visit the graveyard. I was admiring the flowers as I did so when I realized that someone else was there. "Dammit, Ash," he said, shaking his head. I couldn't pinpoint who he was at the moment. He had that same shade of hair as Ash and Chris. "You didn't deserve this," and then he turned around. He looked at me for a little while. "I um. Sorry that you heard that," he said and I shrugged it off.

"It doesn't matter, dear. I'm just thankful someone's visiting besides family," I told him. I had Ash's Primeape by my side. I noticed his eyes were green like Chris's, but a different shade. "I'm sorry. I'm just drawing a blank. I feel like I know your name."

He bowed his head and said a part of the guardian's prayer before looking at me. "Troy Black, Mrs. Ketchum," he said and I remembered when he took Ash under his wing. I wiped the tears from my eyes.

"Troy, you can call me by my first name. You know, I don't think you ever met Ash's father, have you?" he shook his head at that. I looked at Primeape. "Well, if you're not busy, I'd like to just be with my son and Primeape for a little bit and perhaps you could come over," I invited.

He had to think it over. "I have to make a call. Go ahead. I'm sure Ash misses you," he said and I let him do that. Primeape nodded and we went over to Ash's grave. Primeape began talking to the tombstone.

-Three years after the crash. June 29, 2010-

I took a breath as Gary held my hand en route to the graveyard today. "Thank you for coming with me, Gary. I know you hurt as much as I do," I said.

Gary nodded. "Take it easy, Mrs. K. You're still recovering from that fall you had a few weeks ago. Ritchie and Leaf are talking with one of the league officials at the Viridian City gym," he said to me. Chris didn't want to go into the limelight and I respected that. Chance was mostly known for his coordinator record, but he happened to be a successful trainer as well. Gary and Daisy had to take care of the Oak corral with the help of Leaf, Bill and Tracey because of Samuel's declining health. (14)

"Yes, dear, I know," I told him and we arrived. I studied the tombstone. "Whoever is doing the weeding is doing a wonderful job."

Gary nodded. "Dad set it up with some gardeners throughout the region and Mr. Goodshow put it on us a few years ago. There are tributes in Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos. I haven't talked to anyone in Alola yet. It's definitely hard work."

-Five years after the crash. June 29, 2012-

It was too rainy right now for me to visit Ash, but I knew I'd have my chance.

-Present day-

We all went back to my house after a while. The others would stay for the rest of the day and then Ash and Jimmy's fellow contenders would come by after visiting the cemetery.

I started this on April 17 and I'm glad I did. I recently uploaded the one-shot that leads to this and the one that takes place during the flashback. Look for "One Last Ride" and "Tick Tock: The Race Against Time" on my profile. I'll be doing the aftermath as one big story, more fleshed out than what I've described to you so far... I won't be making this part of the saga long. Right. Why I started this series is after the rundown.

(*) Chris Ketchum is one of the prototypes I am working on for Ash's father, should his future verse canon [Ash's, in any case but this series] be different than the one of "They've Gone Too Far" and I'm working on the OC form for that. You can still find that cringe-worthy story alongside "Leading Viridian, Rocket Style?" on my profile. So, no. He's not official. Just for this series. I am trying to use a variety of names, so bear with me if something is different. Part two: Chris is from Pallet Town like his brother and has forest green eyes.

(**) For a while, Pikachu is unable to bring himself to ride on a shoulder that isn't Ash's. That obviously changes. Part two: yes, some bird noises are called cooing. Don't ask me why!

(***) I got the emergency room waiting scenery from enough visits in my life to the ER.

(****) I made up the highway/interstate. 101 just happened to be the first number I thought of.

(1) Waterflower smacking power is what it sounds and it will be mentioned in other fics. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

(2) Unless I'm remembering the anime wrong, Delia does meet Ritchie.

(3) I wish that Jimmy and Ash would've met in the anime. That's why I like reading fics [and writing them, as a result] of them meeting and getting along like brothers.

(4) Without spoiling too much for the future verse fics [with "Why Should I?" and certain others serving as exceptions], Ash and Jimmy both have a Jolteon and a Typhlosion.

(5) Chris is very observant to detail.

(6)Yes, it's possible to pull an IV loose without using your hands. I wouldn't recommend it though. It hurts.

(7)Young children like to draw on the walls.

(8) Artwork of the hospital beds and their positions [and who is in which one] can be found on my deviantART page: TheSouthernRebelle67.

(9) Well, if you've figured it out or not, yes. Jared and Matthew are "Red" [Jared. Take the first two letters off] and "Blue" [Matthew and blue rhyme] for this fic saga.

(10) Brownie points and a shout-out if you get the reference with Clefable. Drop your guess in the review section. Part two: I don't think this is a spoiler, but rather an explanation. Chris never told Delia that Jared/Red was his brother because he was afraid she'd dump him and date everyone's favorite mute protagonist. It wasn't until after their honeymoon that Jared/Red [at the insisting of his Espeon, primarily] dropped by. He knew where to find Chris because Delia lived in a house that wasn't too far from the one they grew up in. At the time of the visit, Chris is outside in the backyard and Delia [being the same age as Chris, Matthew/Blue and Jared/Red] recognizes him, but doesn't quite know why. Jared begins to tell Delia why he is there and Chris comes in. Before either Ketchum can say anything, Delia asks Chris for the truth and invites her [still unbeknownst to her] brother-in-law in. It is then that Chris confesses and admits why he never told her. Jared also says that Chris never wanted to be chased by the paparazzi. While Jared's legal surname is Ketchum, he changed it to "Rouge" to aid his brother. Weird, I know, but that's the story behind Chris Ketchum.

(11) Reference here. What TV show? If you can even give me a basic synopsis of the episode, that would count.

(12) Brendan's code name is a reference/homage to his Pokéspe manga counterpart Ruby. Paul's originally was a reference to his eye color, but the story behind his current code name will be revealed in the future. Nate's …well, I came up with "Follower" on account of the events of Black and White being mentioned in their follow-up games Black2 and White2. Xavier is what Calem's pre-release name was, but I shortened it to 'X' for the heck of it and yes, like his Pokéspe manga counterpart, X.

(13) Death causes: loss of too much blood [Ash, Jimmy, Lyra], infection [Silver and Marina], broken heart [secondary cause for Silver and Misty]. Primary cause of death for Misty: internal injuries.

(14) Professor Oak gets sick in 2010.

End A/N: today is the 10th anniversary of a gorgeous couple tragically losing their lives in a car wreck. My cousins Natalie and Tim died 10 years ago today: Natalie was only 30 and Tim was 29. While the aftermath (the immediate stuff) isn't in this part of the saga (this is part 4), I thought I'd mention it here that I didn't see their dead bodies. They were too mangled.

Let me know what you thought of this touching tribute. …and I went backwards in my head, so I'm publishing backwards.

Until the next upload (which shouldn't be too long. I don't want it to be that long), r and r, fave and follow (if you want), vote and ask. Ciao.


Date and time of edit: 7/19/2017 at 11:48:10pm

PS I think that this was supposed to be longer, but I lost some data. I hope I was able to clarify some things through this rewrite and hopefully will be able to finish this book of the story.