Chapter 55: What Are We Now?
Ash groaned, feeling a trickle of sunlight through the entrance of the cave. Lillie moaned as she sat up, moving to rub her eyes...
Only for both her and Ash to notice that they were locked in an embrace, having moved to hold each other in their sleep. The two of them immediately leapt apart, stammering out apologies.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!"
"No, its my fault, really."
After realizing how silly this argument was, they both laughed and put the incident behind them. Ash moved to the cave entrance to check the weather. The sky was bleak, but not a drop was to be found, save for some dew on the grass.
"Looks like the storm's passed. Come on, we should pack up and look for the others."
As Ash moved to pack, the events from last night played in Lillie's mind, and she needed answers.
"About last night...was that...real?"
"If you mean if you telling me I'm amazing and me kissing you was real, yeah it was."
Ash could sense there was more to what Lillie was saying.
"Lillie? Is something wrong?"
"Its just...what does this mean going forward? Do we..."
Ash sighed. He hadn't really thought that far ahead.
"I don't know. I've never felt this way before."
"I mean, I've traveled with girls before, and at times I thought maybe there was something. But in the end, I only ever saw them as close friends. This is all new to me as well."
Lillie's face turned downcast. She feared she had just ruined their friendship for good. After all, how could they stay friends after that?
Lillie's face perked up, a small gasp escaping her lips.
"This time is different. I definately feel something, something that I can't ignore. I'm scared, but..."
He stood up, holding Lillie's hands in his.
"...If you'd like to...I'd like to give this...whatever it is...a try."
Lillie smiled, daring to move closer.
"I'd like that too. So...does this mean we're boyfriend and girlfriend?"
"If you'd like."
"Oh, I like."
The two moved closer and closer, their lips almost touching...
"Hey guys, I found them!"
...Only for their friends to find them, ruining the moment. Quickly they leapt apart. One thing was for sure, they did not want Gladion finding out. Not wanting to look suspicious, they waved to their friends, who quickly caught up.
"Some storm last night, huh? Glad you two managed to find quick shelter."
"Did you guys find anything?"
Gladion shook his head, frustrated.
"Nothing. I checked the whole North side, but all I didn't find anything but trees and rock."
Illima shrugged, sighing in annoyance.
"Same here. Poor Eevee and I searched for hours, but not a hint of a flute."
"What about you two? Find anything?"
Ash and Lillie exchanged a look before Ash opened his back pack.
"You could say that. Check this out!"
Everyone gasped as Ash pulled The Sun Flute out.
"The Sun Flute! Where did you find this?"
"Long story short, Lillie took down a giant Exeggutor."
"Wow! Way to go, Lillie!"
Lillie blushed, embarrassed from all the praise. Ash gently rubbed her arm, calming her down, but Gladion noticed. And he didn't like what he saw.
"Hey, leave my sister alone!"
The two jumped back, scared out of their skins. Gladion marched over and gripped Ash by his collar, bringing them face to face.
"If you did anything to her, I'm going to rip your spine out and put it back upside down!"
Everyone turned to Lillie, who was enraged by her brother's behavior.
"I know you and Ash aren't exactly the best of friends, but you have no right to threaten him like that! Who I decide to date is my decision, not yours!"
Realizing his sister was right, Gladion sighed and released his grip.
"Fine. Back to the matter at hand, did you find anything Hapu?"
Smiling, Hapu brought out a piece of paper.
"Sure did. I found this map in a cavern. It might lead us to The Moon Flute.
Laying it out on the ground, the group of five hunched over it, trying to figure it out.
"Hmm, Its a little tattered, but it looks like a map of Poni Island."
"And the trail seems to lead to this cave system!"
"Hey, I know this place! Its the Vast Poni Canyon. Its a large system of caves and tunnels. If you wanted hide something you don't want people finding, that'd be the perfect place. Plenty of places to hide it."
"Alright, its settled. To Poni Island!"
Their next destination settled, the group of five set off, Ash and Lillie bringing up the rear, holding hands as they made their way back to the boat.