There was something special about Ash Ketchum, Gou was sure of it. It wasn’t only his contagious smile, the way his cheeks puffed or how his eyes would shine every time he found something interesting or worthy of an investigation.
It was something beyond his demeanor, the way he acted, fast, precise, strong, like his whole body was a bomb about to explode any minute now. Gou would look at his crush and think how athletic and strong he was.
How different he was.
That was the thing. Ash was so different from him, and among all of those differences there was his touch, Gou wasn’t exactly a touchy person, but Ash?
Ash would shake any stranger’s hand, going to the point of hugging that person only five minutes after he met them.
Gou still remembers how Ash extended his hand towards him that day they met each other aboard Lugia. He felt an intense shock, a sensation that left him ecstatic and for a moment, he wished the contact would’ve lasted longer. Then he touched Pikachu’s face and that shock returned.
Gou laughed at the time, realizing the trainer and his Pokemon had a lot in common.
There were no more handshakes during those times, but Ash kept touching him, one way or the other.
Gou rushed to the top bunk, laughing as he felt how Ash shouted from below, grabbing his clothes and trying to yank him down. For a moment, he thought his strength wasn’t going to be enough and he would fall towards the ground, but suddenly, Ash let go of him and Gou claimed the bunk for himself.
He smiled and looked down, chuckling as soon as he saw his new friend making a pout. Immediately, Ash’s face illuminated with a grin and the boy gave him a thumbs-up
“Good job Gou!” he said “You can have the top bunk”
“Good… job?” the boy repeated, not understanding what Ash meant
“You beat me, fair and square”
“You could have pulled me down, you certainly seem strong enough”
“Nah, cheating’s not my style” the raven haired replied
And then, that weird, impossible boy did something else. He stood up his own bed and gave a pat on Gou’s cheek, who blushed immediately. He then got down and exited the room, shouting:
“Now let’s go, it’s time for dinner!”
“I’m coming!” Gou replied, jumping from his bed
He took a moment to touch his still blushed cheek and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
“Ash Ketchum, what are you doing to me?” he whispered, closing the door
The boy from Vermillion City contemplated the last Bulbasaur evolving in front of him, recording everything he could with his camera. His heart was still beating fast, not fully recovered from his first encounter with Team Rocket. Ash was at his side, playing with a Venusaur and admiring its massive petals.
“Why did you do that?” Gou asked out of the blue
Ash looked at him, confused
“Why did you stood in front of all these Pokemon?”
“I had to protect them”
“You could have been…”
“Injured, or worse, I know” Ash interrupted “Still, I had to protect everyone, and that includes you, Gou”
The boy’s cheeks flashed with red and he questioned:
“Why would you care about me?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” that strange boy replied, getting up and putting a hand on the other’s boy shoulder “We’re research fellows, remember?”
“Y-yes… Of c-course” Gou stuttered
Ash left his hand in that place for a few more seconds, confirming his intentions, finally, he gave him a little squeeze and turned around, ready to leave the place.
Without saying a word, Gou followed him.
For the next minutes, a thought kept appearing on Gou’s mind. He was thankful that Ash cared so much for him to the point of risking his own life, but still, there was something about being research fellows…
It wasn’t enough, it felt nice, sure, but Gou felt like he needed something else. He was also pretty sure his hurtful comments from before strained his relationship with the other trainer.
So once they were back at the Institute, and after Sakuragi commended them for a job well done, the boy from Vermilion City said:
“Well then… while you’re at it…”
He doubted for a second and finished the sentence as soon as Ash looked at him.
“Could you be my friend?” he asked, with a little blush
Ash approached him and replied, with an impossible speed:
“What are you talking about? We’re already friends, right?”
“Pika?” the yellow Pokemon, perched on Ash’s shoulder, mimicked his trainer’s question
Gou realized there were a ton of things he didn’t know about friendship, but Ash really wanted to be his friend! That sensation made his heart flutter and he blushed profusely, commenting:
“Oh, of course!”
He scratched the back of his head, starting to laugh and Ash replied with a laugh of his own. Just one second later, a weird sound startled both of them.
Fearing it could be another Team Rocket assault, he closed his eyes jumped straight to his friend’s arms and he was happy to see Ash had the same reaction, locking his neck with a powerful hug.
Koharu entered the room, and both boys fell to the floor, letting out a breath. The girl started to explain why did she took so long to return from school and Gou finally opened his eyes, noticing Ash was still holding him.
Both boys stood up and turned around from each other, and Pikachu was the only witness of how, for a moment, they were both blushing…
Watching so many cool Pokemon in the Wild Area of the Galar Region, discovering Scorbunny followed him and Ash all the way there, running away from the dynamaxing Snorlax.
They were too many emotions for one single day. That’s why, when Snorlax fired that Hyper Beam and Gou pushed Ash out of the way, accidentally falling on top of him, his brain didn’t register the moment.
At least, not until he looked down, seeing how close the raven haired trainer was too him, Gou quickly got up, apologizing. Ash did the same and their arms touched for a second.
He would have wanted to touch Ash’s arm for a little bit more, but they had a Snorlax to move, and a train full of passengers to save!
They were both on Dragonite Island, enjoying the relaxing feel of the water covering their feet, sharing theories about why the final evolution of the line seemed so different from the other two Pokemon. Ash seemed genuinely interested in the mystery.
That is, until he playfully pushed Gou towards the water.
The boy from Vermillion City quickly came out completely soaked. Ash grinned at him and Gou decided he wanted to play for a little more. He grabbed his friend by the feet and pulled towards him, Ash fell into the water and sat there, laughing to his heart’s content
He quickly stood up, pushing Gou once more and falling on top of him. A little bit of water entered the boy’s nose and he coughed loudly.
“Are you ok?” he said, extending his hand towards him. Gou took it and got up, nodding
“Sorry” Ash continued, scratching his cheek “I guess I pushed you too hard”
“It’s okay” Gou replied, still holding his crush’s hand “I want to thank you, Ash”
“For giving me a great time!” he said, siling and squeezing Ash’s hand
Ash smiled too and Gou was about to say something else, when he noticed Dragonite and Dragonair were moving away….
‘Another time, perhaps’ he thought
For Gou, the excitement of seeing how his Wurmple evolved into Cascoon was only comparable to the way Ash was currently hugging him, putting an arm around his neck and squeezing him tightly, practically touching his cheek with his own.
“Hey Koharu!” the boy said, looking at his childhood friend “Wanna come and see my freshly evolved Cascoon?”
The girl raised an eyebrow, confused by the question (she didn’t admitted aloud, but she was more confused seeing how close Gou was to Ash)
“I’ll introduce you to my Dragonite, too!” Ash said, pressing his body against Gou’s and smiling widely
The girl took a step back, confusion evident in her face
“B-but I have to go to school” she said
When Kikuna appeared and reminded her she was gonna be late, Koharu turned around and started to descend the stairs of the Institute.
As soon as she could, she was gonna have a conversation with her friend, since he met Ash, something has changed in Gou. She had an idea of what could be.
And she couldn’t be happier for him
The boys got off the train in Wyndon, ready to watch the battle between Champion Lance and Champion Leon.
“So, which way is the Stadium?” Ash asked
Gou smiled, that kid could be so dumb and oblivious sometimes.
“It’s right in front of us” he explained
Ash took a few steps forwards and stayed looking at a wall, dumbfounded
Gou approached Ash from the back and put his hands on his face, slightly moving it up. He couldn’t help but notice how soft his cheeks felt, and he mentally congratulated himself for not blushing at the action.
“It’s massive!” Ash shouted, running straight to the entrance “Massive, massive!” he repeated excitedly
Gou laughed again and stayed behind the other boy, claiming:
“We’re gonna catch some Pokemon first!”
Ash turned around and looked at the boy, replying
“Gou, let’s enter the stadium!”
“No!” the boy from Vermilion City said firmly “I’m gonna catch some Pok-“
A hand wrapping around his arm interrupted him, yanking him towards the stairs
“Stop pulling me!” Gou protested
Ash did what he was told and Gou mentally cursed himself, he hated to admit it, but he was really enjoying the sensation. The raven haired trainer noticed his hesitation and asked
“Everything okay, Gou?”
“I was thinking maybe you should pull me” the boy replied, trying to hide his blush
“Ummmm…” he doubted for a second, crafting a good excuse “You’re faster than me, and we’ll get to our seat sooner if you pull me up”
Ash Ketchum was dense, but not that dense, there was no way he was gonna fall for that.
“Okay!” the boy replied, grabbing Gou’s arm once again and running up
Oh, what a sweet feeling! Maybe Ash wanted to share those little moments as much as he did!
Coming to think of it, Gou talked about Ash a lot, specially in his daily calls with his mother. When both boys were in front of her and Gou’s Dad, the woman commented Gou was relying on the trainer a lot
Gou looked away as soon as Ash teased him about that, but his mother was right. Decided to switch the topic, Gou introduced his Pokemon to their parents and as soon as Cubone, his newest addition was caught, he remembered what he was doing out of the apartment in the first place.
“I was on the way to bring you some stew” he said, looking at the older couple
“You were?” his father asked, surprised to see his son was so attentive
“I had another thing I wanted to give you too, but…”
Gou looked down for a split second, trying to remember where he could have lost his present, to no avail.
“You mean this?” Ash said at his side
Gou looked at him; there it was, the present, in the hands of his crush!
“You dropped it before you got on the bus” Ash explained, the smile never leaving his face
“You mean you were here to give me this?” Gou questioned
He extended his arms, grabbing the present and touching Ash’s hands at the same time
“You shouldn’t have” Gou muttered
No, Ash shouldn’t have, the boy from Vermillion City knew Ash could perfectly be in his house right now, protected from the sheer cold and with no worries. But this was Ash; of course he was going to worry about him.
Gou loved so much when Ash worried about him…
“I was!” Ash confirmed once more
The contact lasted for a few seconds; finally, Gou took the present and stared at his crush, maybe for too long, maybe hoping the boy would break the contact first.
None of that happened until Gou whispered
He put the present in front of his face, trying to cover his little blush with it. Ash replied with another smile, until he moved his hand away and said:
“Don’t sweat it! Now hand it over to your parents already!”
Gou approached to them and saw their faces. He knew those looks very well. They totally knew
He expected some kind of sarcastic comment, some new teasing from his mother, but both adults remained silent until he gave them the present. They thanked him from it and didn’t mention anything else.
Once the four humans decided to have dinner at Gou’s place, the two boys lead the way
“Thank you, again” Gou repeated
“It’s nothing, really” Ash commented “I didn’t want you to lose such a nice gift. And besides…”
Gou looked at the other boy, expecting him to continue
“I like seeing you happy” he confessed, a small blush suddenly appearing in his cheeks
Gou gave Ash’s hand a small squeeze and the other boy smiled once more. From behind them, Gou’s parents looked at the boys and exchanged a knowing look…
Their son was growing up.
Scorbunny was wrong and he was right. That was all Gou could think about when his Pokemon kicked his back and ran away. The Pokemon was dead set on learning a fire type move, but he was unable to do it, so why bother trying to teach him something he couldn’t learn?
Gou watched his Pokemon disappear in the distance, until Ash voice interrupted his thoughts
“Gou, you’re not gonna follow him?”
“No” the boy replied sternly “What’s gotten into it? I tried so hard to bring out Scorbunny’s strength in battle!”
“Really?” Ash questioned, surprised
“Yeah!” Gou replied, like it was obvious
“Oh, I see” Ash said, he gave him a little frown and continued “But that battle was, how do I put it?”
The trainer made a pause, and continued
“You and Scorbunny really weren’t one”
“One?” Gou asked, puzzled
“Yeah! Like when Pikachu and I battle, it’s like we merge into one being”
Proving his point, the electric Pokemon jumped to the boy’s shoulder and for a moment, Gou forgot about his problems and stared at that lovely interaction.
“And then it’s like our chest starts boiling and blazing up and we go all Ba-Ba-Ba-Bang!”
Yeah, Ash looked really cute every time he tried to explain something, but still, Gou didn’t understand the point.
“I have no idea what you mean” Gou complained
Gou was pretty sure that if he said that to any other person, then he would be criticized or mocked, or even bullied. But this was Ash and he would never do such a thing.
Instead of that, Ash simply hugged him and commented:
“Then you’ve gotta stick with Scorbunny until you do get it!”
Once again, he was too close to him. Gou looked at him for a second and wondered for a moment what would be the raven haired reaction if he decided to kiss his cheek right then.
However, that wasn’t in Ash’s plans. He let go of him and pat his back, making Gou lose balance and almost fell to the ground.
“Ow!” the Vermillion native complained
“Now, let’s find Scorbunny, ok?” Ash offered
On one side, Gou was still mad at his Pokemon.
On the other, how could he say no to that face?
“Let’s go!” he shouted and Ash smiled at the optimism coming out from him
Raboot tried to escape from his trainer’s grasp, to no avail, Gou wasn’t letting him go and he resigned, melting into the cuddle.
“Okay, I understand!” Gou said, crying tears of joy
Just a few seconds before, he thought he was leaving his Pokemon behind forever, but much to his surprise, Raboot made his way to him.
“Let’s be together” the boy insisted, smiling at how Raboot tried to kick him away
Ash contemplated the scene from a few meters away
“That’s great, Gou!” he said
“Yeah! Right, Raboot?” the boy said, taking a picture
They were making their way back to the Institute when Ash noticed Gou had been staring at his sleeping Pokemon for the past ten minutes
“I knew he wasn’t going to leave you” he whispered, startling the other boy
“How could you know that?” Gou asked, surprised
“Be honest with me” Ash said “Why would he leave in the first place?”
“Because he’s bored with me”
“You’re many things Gou, but boring is not one of them”
Gou blushed at the unexpected compliment, but insisted
“Maybe Raboot enjoys being with other Pokemon instead of me”
“He barely knew those Pokemon for a few hours, he’s being by your side for weeks, and you can’t compare that” Ash replied
Ash launched at the boy and put a finger in his lips. Gou gulped, blushing at the contact
“Believe me Gou, you’re a perfect partner”
“Why are you so sure about that?” the boy questioned
Ash pressed the boy’s lips again and concluded
“You feel like a perfect partner for me”
Gou froze in place; how he was suppose to answer to that?
Before he could say something else, Ash yawned and leaned back in his seat, snoring loudly. Gou glanced at him and a bold thought crossed his mind. He gently touched his fingers, one by one.
“Ash… you’re perfect for me too” he whispered
He quickly let go, afraid that the trainer might wake up in that moment. How could he explain such a situation?
Gou looked at his left side; Pikachu and Raboot were awake, staring at him.
“What?” the boy asked
The two creatures simply replied with a look
“What?” he repeated
None of them move, and Gou understood
“I was just… Just checking if Ash was asleep, that’s all” he explained
Not even he was convinced of such a lie. Pikachu and Raboot snickered at the human and Gou frowned.
“Okay, fine, you win” he admitted “I was touching Ash’s hand, happy now?”
Pikachu laughed wholeheartedly and Raboot approached his trainer
“Rab-Rab?” he asked
“There’s not really a reason for that” Gou said “I just like… the way Ash grabs my hand or hugs me”
“Pika-pi?” the electric Pokemon intervened, and for some weird reason, Gou understood him
“No, I’m not used to people hugging me as much as Ash does, but I don’t mind if he does it”
“Rab?” Raboot said, waiting for a confirmation
“Yes, Raboot. There’s something about Ash that makes me feel happy, and the hugging has very much to do with it”
The Pokemon seemed satisfied with the response, and Gou silently thanked them for not asking more questions.
Unbeknownst to him, Ash heard the whole thing.
“So…” the trainer commented, grabbing Gou’s hand “You like this?”
Gou froze in place, unable to respond. Ash squeezed his hand and Gou didn’t say a thing, he closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep. Ash understood the message so he didn’t say another thing.
However, he stayed in that position. If Gou liked the contact, who was he to deny it?
Ash chuckled as he watched Gou trying to teach his newly caught Magikarp to jump out of the water as high as he could. That proved to be a really difficult mission, especially considering how fat Magikarp was.
So far, the water type Pokemon tried to work together with Dewgong, Raboot threatened Magikarp to light his tail on fire if he didn’t jump high enough , and Gou even used an old Pokemon video of a trainer who seemed to be an expert in Magikarp Jump competitions.
None of that worked, until Ash said:
“I have an idea!”
Gou looked at him, expectantly
“Maybe if you threw a treat as high as you can, Magikarp will jump that far”
Gou chuckled at him
“I want him to be more apt to jump, Ash” the boy explained “Not trying to fatten him”
The trainer ignored the comment and put his idea into motion, he picked up a treat and the fat Magikarp stared at it, ready to devour it.
A few seconds later, Gou stared at Magikarp, shocked to see how far he jumped, focusing on the treats Ash launched at him, over and over again. With that ability, his Magikarp would surely win the competition!
“Thank you Ash! You are a genius!” Gou exclaimed
“It’s nothing” the trainer replied, scratching his cheek
Still, Gou insisted, throwing himself at his crush’s arms and hugging him tightly, Ash returned the embrace and they stayed in that position for a few seconds, until Gou decided to let go.
The raven haired, however, decided to hug his friend for a little more.
“This surely feels nice” he whispered, blushing a little
“It… does” Gou confirmed, unsure of what to say
Magikarp jumped once more and as soon as he fell down and touched the water, the splash covered the two boys
“I know we have to dry ourselves” Ash whispered into Gou’s ear, making him shiver “But can we stay like this for a little bit more”
“Yeah… let’s stay like this” Gou pleaded, melting into the embrace
Raihan’s final Pokemon fell to the ground, fainted, and the Stadium roared with a thunderous applause, congratulating Leon, the winner of the battle and still undefeated Champion.
Ash and Gou were watching the battle from their seats and also shouted as soon as the match ended, both of them shouting their congratulations.
“I knew Leon was gonna win!” Ash commented “He’s so strong!”
“You’re right!” Gou confirmed “But I’m sure you can be stronger than him!”
Ash blushed for a moment and hugged Gou’s neck slightly touching his cheek
“That’s such a nice thing to say, thank you Gou”
The Vermillion City boy smiled and Ash questioned
“You really think I can beat Leon?”
Ash looked at the other boy for a few seconds noticing how close his face was. He considered his next move for a few seconds; he knew very well how Gou liked every time they touched, but maybe his idea was a little too far.
He decided to risk it and closed his eyes, leaving a quick kiss on Gou’s cheek. The boy took a step back, surprised by the action.
“I’m… sorry” Ash said, looking down “I thought you would like that”
“You could have warned me, you know?” Gou protested
They both fell into a silence, which Gou promptly broke
“But you’re right tho, I liked it”
“Really?” Ash said, his eyes shining with hope
“Yeah… But now I want payback”
“Payback?” the raven haired questioned
Gou approached him and looked straight at his eyes, commenting:
“I’m gonna do something at some point, but I’m not gonna warn you about it, deal?”
“Deal” Ash said, thinking about how Gou could surprise him
They were going out of the Stadium when Gou said
The trainer turned around, only to feel a soft sensation invading his lips, Pikachu jumped away from Ash’s shoulder, standing alongside Raboot, both Pokemon shocked by the scene in front of them.
Gou promptly let go of his crush and Ash took a step towards him, grabbing his waist and capturing his lips once more, Gou chuckled for a moment and broke the kiss
“I think you liked my surprise, didn’t you?”
“A lot” Ash confessed “I like you a lot, Gou”
They kissed again and Gou took a deep breath, only to kiss the other boy once more. After a few seconds, they finally broke the contact and Ash whispered
“If that’s your way of getting payback, then I want you to do that more often”
“Maybe I will” Gou admitted, walking away
“Wait!” Ash shouted, running behind him and locking his arm with his own “It’s better if we walk like this, right?”
Gou shivered at the pleasant sensation of the contact
“Much better” he confirmed, putting his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder.