Finally, FINALLY, after running/driving for most of the night, Archie chose to stop at the most emptiest rest stop he could see, a single car in the lot possessed by a sleeping form, found by Courtney who easily slipped outside and checked, tired of the road, tired of being still.
The rest stumbled outside, Pok'emon and Master's spread out, two to a group, and as Archie and Maxie knew it would become they watched Shelly and Courtney walking to the vending machines for more snacks whilst Matt and Tabitha stretched their legs in the barely lit park, Matt hugging Tabitha's Numel who gave off some light as they moved forward.
The two X-Leaders too, as their teammates knew they would be, sat close together and shared as much as their mouths allowed before getting dry and words scarce.
In the Park, Matt and Tabitha walked at first together in silence, the air cool, fresh, not stale from the RV, their being together was enough-
"I can't believe we're finally back together!" Matt spoke first, kissing the Numels head which responded with a low, giggling "Muuuuuuel~"
Tabitha was silent at first, but stopped in the pathway, a breeze cooling him off into a small shudder.
WHERE THEY though?
Did he DARE believe this?
A Numels snout poked his nose and gave him a start when Matt saw how quiet his friend was and said as the Numel, "Why are you so sad, Tabittabi?" The Numels paws wiggled by Matt's big hands, the Numel itself bellowed softly, "Meeel~"
"Nothing I wasn't sad, just...lost in thought!" He said quickly before starting off, not without petting his Pok'emons head sweetly.
"Tabs?" Matt spoke softer, holding Numel carefully to his chest.
"Matt?" Tabitha asked back just as softly, looking over his shoulder.
"Your worried, I feel it, I know it…"
Tabitha looked away before whispering, "I'll wake up is all… I'll wake up to find me, Courtney, and Maxie on our own, driving to Arceus knows where while you, Shelly, and Archie are off in buttfuck nowhere…"
Matt approached slowly, eyes sad, hearing the withheld tears in Tabitha's voice, "I'll wake up who knows, maybe behind bars? Hell, maybe even back with my Mom and Dad, withheld by Team Rocket… Fucking Dead even?"
Numel rubbed his snout upon his Master's leg as Matt held his larger friend tightly, squeezing the other as Tabitha could hold it in no more and cried heavily into his chest, holding back just as tightly.
"When I let go…" Matt heard him whimper out as he cried, "I'll lose you… I always lose you when I wake up…"
"I'm not going nowher-"
"You ALWAYS say that, Matt…" Tabitha sobbed upwards into Matt's face, the other crying silently while the other did the loudest sounds of pain.
"You say that, and I always believe you… Courtney's told me the same thing, dreams she's had of her and Shelly… They feel so damn real Matt…"
"Our lives before the dreams end is perfect, we have different jobs, jobs we enjoy…"
Matt closed his eyes tightly and rocked himself with Tabitha in his hold, the sobs all both heard, even the breeze wasn't a present entity, it was like they alone were all that lived in this time and place.
The running from the law, the losing all they once had known, LEAVING all they had known!
Matt and Tabitha and Numel even stood close together, as one in the dark rest stop park, silent, like their last night together all those years ago at the restaurant before the Teams split-
"I never not thought about you," Matt whispered to Tabitha when his sobs had calmed some.
Tabitha looked upwards slowly and saw Matt's warm blue eyes and loving truth filled smile and whispered back, clearing one set of tears with the sleeve of his jacket, "Really you brute?"
Matt beamed, "Hell ya, always on my mind~"
"Don't tell Archie that, you big brute~"
"You kidding, I bet Bro and Shelly placed bets on me just blabbing about how I feel, my little Makuhita man~" He laughed heavily and bellowed louder as Tabitha confessed, "Courtney has dropped hints that she had her suspicion on how I felt~"
Their heads rested together, ruby half lidded orbs upon half lidded blue, their smiles warm, filling their faces more as Tabitha reached upwards and pecked Matt's lips with his then looked away shyly before saying softly, "I never stopped thinking about you either…"
A sweet forehead kiss was granted to Tabitha and the hold on him grew softer, Numel calling happily as both men stopped being sad and became happier, "Nuuumel, Nuuumel~" A small bellow of embers puffed from his small back hole in his joy.
"Easy, Mel, easy!" Tabitha chuckled, petting his Numel upon the head.
"We should get back, who knows if their betting now as we speak!" Matt laughed at this, took Tabitha's hand and held it, turning backwards back towards the group in the parking lot.
With Tabitha beside him, Numel free to run along ahead, both men laughed as the energetic camel like Pok'emon jumped and called out happily as they returned to the rest.
Before returning to the rest of the group, Tabitha and Matt looked to each other and smiled before letting go of each other's hands and finally took the last steps toward the rest who hung outside in the cool night air, together again as only they had in each one of their dreams for many a year.