Ash wants affection. He wants his hand held and shoulders to bump into his in a familiar loving way, ￼he just wants to be close to his friends and family. Though he doesn’t know how to ask.
He’s grown up in a household where he was alone for most of his young childhood. Delia is a good mom, a great mom, but she wasn’t the best mom. She was constantly working and his dad stopped coming home. He was friends with Gary who soaked up every piece of attention and demanded for more, Ash wanted to be like Gary when they were younger but he didn’t want to seem rude like Gary does. Ash yearns for the love he’s been lacking most of his life. Yearns to just be seen in people’s eyes and just generally acknowledge.
Ash ended up crying heavily into Brocks shoulder when he cane out of his stone state. Everyone watched as Brock pushed himself and tackled both Ash and Pikachu, frantic in checking every inch of Ash’s skin. Misty and the rest of Ash’s Pokémon followed and Mewtwo day more then Pikachu love the boy with a blazing soul. Brocks hug was warm, tight, and filled with familiar love that Ash aches for daily. He bawled, bawled like a newborn baby. Even after Mewtwo erases everyone memories, Brock still pulls Ash into more and more hugs. Some lasting a minute to three before Brock would press a kiss to the side of his head with one last squeeze.
Misty was just like Ash, she knows the need for family affection and can spot the lack in Ash. She notices how much Ash would press into Brock every hug but was never the one to start it in the first place. So she took it upon herself and used her own lack of family love and reached for Ash. She soon found out that Ash’s hair makes up for a very good stimming toy. It was fluffy and soft to the touch. Ash also found out he really liked having Misty run her hands through his hair. He would always come closer when Misty made grabby hands at him and would lay his head down in her lap or sit between her knees, letting the older girl play and scratch at his scalp lightly.
When Gary comes around Ash doesn’t realize what’s been missing for the past three years. How familiar and warm Gary’s hugs are or when he drags A sleepy Ash up to his bedroom everytime Ash starts coming home from another journey just to crush him in a hug while they cuddle in bed like they ddI while their younger. How much easier it is to just live knowing Gary isn’t an enemy anymore and they’ve worked out their differences with everyone in their families and now their thick as thieves once more. How familiar to tip his face back to accept a kiss of the forehead or cheek from Gary, how his shoulders relaxe when the soon to be Professor reaches out and runs his palm flat down his spine and curls an arm around Ash’s waist to pull him into a side hug that Ash can lean into and feel content knowing he isn’t burdening Gary with his presence.
Even know Asb doesn’t ask because he’s still to afraid. And people that are close to him notice that.
Lance sees Ash struggling with the trauma. Struggling to figure out what is really and what is imagination from his nightmares at three in the morning. He notices the faint look of jealousy everytime their at an even together and Ash spots a loving family walking nearby, eyes trailing the child interacting with their parent or parents before looking back with a slightly heavy sigh. So Lance doesn’t hesitate to be the first one every time to reach out. First were hands softly brushing with Ash’s that escalated to Lance’s hands rubbing between Ash’s shoulders. Feeling Ash lean back against his hand and take a calming breath. Lance finds Ash in the kitchen late one night, breathing heavily into his hands as he sits at the kitchen table. Lance grabs him and drags Ash’s ass over to the living room, corralling the boy until he’s laying back pressed to the couch back and Lance is crowing him in with a hug. They don’t say anything, never spoke a word between or during these actions, but they don’t have to. Ash takes the comfort and runs with it as much as he allows himself to, which isn’t that far. Isn’t that a shame.
Brock does the same, it’s not hard to notice since he has to many siblings and family affection can be overwhelming yet tight between them all. He sees how alone Ash is when it comes to family and Brock makes the choice to step in. Becoming Ash’s older brother in everything but blood. He also shows the signs to everyone of Ash’s more affectionate friends.
He shows Max and May, soon enough Max is always requesting to be picked up by Ash when he’s tired and their a little far from making camp still and everyone can see ￼just how happy and at ease Ash is when Max inevitable falls asleep clinging to Ash like a life line. May takes it upon herself to constantly invade Ash’s physical personal space everytime Ash looks even the tiniest of upset. Soon enough Ash is doing the same, searching for May when he finds himself... lacking in a sense and happily getting a tight hug to make his emotions feel better.
Dawn didn’t need Brock coming to tell her about Ash. She’s already slipping her hand into his and tugging Ash about, curling into his side and racing to find Ash when Conway rears his ugly head. She draping herself over Ash’s shoulders and pressing her knee into his everytime they sit close by. A sister-brother bond grows and flourishes between the two and Brock loves seeing Ash starting to be the first one to reach out, it’s shyly and rare but Brock also notices how Dawn gives him twice the amount of affection then when she’s the one reaching out.
Ash goes through withdrawals during Unova and Kalos and he fucking hates it.
Cilan is to distant and Iris to loud. They don’t care and their teasing hits the wrong mark more then half the time. He yearns for his big brother Brock and big sister Misty. Misses the familiarity with Dawn about not having a dad. Misses how May is loud like Iris but she isn’t mean with her words.
When Meloetta happens and Danw appears, Ash drags her to an empty room and is the first one to initiate the hug. Dawns shocked a little but gathers her barring soon and has her arms locked around Ash’s shoulders. The hug lasts for over five minutes and they only break away when Cynthia comes looking for the two. Ash slips into Dawns room that night and for once has a peaceful night of sleep out of the past few months.
Kalos comes and Ash doesn’t know what’s better. Being put down all the time or being out on a pedal stool.
Bonnie is good, Bonnie is great. Ash has no problem with Bonnie. He even has her start talking to Max over a few video calls. She sees no problem when she skips ahead of Cilan and Serena to link her hands with Ash and start swinging their arms back and forth while talking to Pikachu who ends up weirdly placed on Ash’s shoulder to talk back to the girl.
on the side note it stings that Ash wasn’t there when Max started his journey￼, he was in Unova and never had time to call unless Iris busted in and demanded Ash to let her meet who ever is on the other end with Cilan hesitantly gaslighting her. Though Max happily shows off his motherfucking shiny Treeko to Ash with the biggest smile he’s ever seen since when Groudon and Kyoger were but back to sleep.
Clemont affection feels to forced. Like the teen wants nothing to do with it outside of Bonnie. He’s friends with Ash all right but he can’t give the same physical affection to Ash and says that it feels weird to hug someone that wasn’t family to long, especially when it’s a male as well. Ash shuts up and doesn’t really try with Clemont besides the odd hand patting on the shoulder and guiding Clemont through a crowded street.
Serena’s affection feels... oversaturated. Like she’s trying to hard to make Ash notice her. She gets jealous when he and Meitte talk, when they make light fun of each other and she tease flirts with him. Ash doesn’t know how to circle the topic to make her try and stop being so jealous. Ash doesn’t understand at all how Serena can hate Meitte’s friendly affection, yeah it manifests by tease flirting but Meitte doesn’t actually mean it. Ash doesn’t know how to word it to Brock and Misty either, or anyone else for that fact, and so he suffers in silence until the end. He doesn’t like the kiss though he puts on a brave face, on the inside he’s freaking out and just over all not having a good time.
Ash doesn’t understand that about himself. He likes kisses. Loves it when one of his friends lean up or down to plant chaste ones on the bridge of his nose or when they pull back his hair to land lightning fast kisses before Ash can wiggle away giggling from the feeling of surprise and happiness tickingly his sides. So he’s cofused on how he doesn’t like it when Serena kisses him on his lips. Ash goes to Lance about this, Ash loves his friends but he’ll never trust them with this kind of scenario, and it takes him about half an hour to just frantically spit out that he’s been kissed. Ash feels like he’s five again as he stutters out all the problems he’s facing about it and how he doesn’t know why and how and what he should be feeling.
Lance listens to him intently and gently prods Ash along until everything comes spilling out. Lance then lays out that Ash doesn’t have to kiss anyone on the lips, and that he can stop people from doing that to him as well. It was so simple and yet Ash sits there on the spot utterly floored and anxious. Can he really say no to someone like that? What if Ash looses Serena as a friend? Would it really be a loss for him even after all this time he’s spent with her?
Alola is like a breath of fresh spring air. Ash is only brought into class and a week goes by and he already has Mallow pulling him everywhere by the hand and Lana taking him to meet her twin sisters Harper and Sarah.
Ash thrives in Alola. Thrives when Sophocles leans into him after any hard physical day of class, thrives when Kiawe gets over his cold distance to Ash and talks animatedly about his baby sister Mimo and how good his parents are. Ash beams when Hau comes skidding around the corner everytime he spots Ash and tackle hugs him like they haven’t seen each other in years. He smiles when Gladion starts bumping his shoulders into Ash when they stumble apon each other or how he’ll rarely rest the front of his body agiants Ash’s back. Ash goes soft when Lillie starts reaching out to take his hand hesitantly. When her hands gently brush against his fingers and then intertwined just a finger or two with Ash’s. They never speak about it and Ash feels all kind of warm shit when Lillie starts to become just a tiny bit bolder and can now link both their hands together for long periods of time.
Ash try’s not to cry when he realizes that Professor Kukui has become a dad to him. He calls up Brock and Misty just to make sure what he’s feeling is correct and freaks out when it fully sinks in. He never noticed till now how much he adores and loves the Professors hugs, how when their not out in public Kukui would just... pull Ash into a hug in the middle of the living room. Tucking Ash in his arms and sway just a tiny bit back and forth after a minute or two. Ash does something for the first time in his life, he buys Kukui one of those corny dad mugs when it starts nearing Father’s Day. He ends up stuttering out to Mallow how she celebrates Father’s Day and doesn’t see the horrified and sad look on her face when she realized that Ash doesn’t actually remember celebrating any kind of parent day with his family. In the end Ash ends up with the mug and his own shoddy attempts at malasadas Mallow painstakingly helped him with.
Ash leaves the gifts with just a small plain short hand written note to the Professor on his lab desk before bolting out of the house in fear that he’ll be stuck there when the man finds it. Ash ends up avoiding Kukui’s gaze in utter embarrassment for the entire day and has to once more choke out his feelings to Mallow which causes him to go into a slight panic attack and flood his minds with horrid “what if’s?” That she talks him down from. Ash avoids the house until dinner time, feeling like he’s swallowed an entire commercial plane with the heavy feeling in his gut. He finally comes back to the shack and he sees Kukui with tears in his eyes. Before Ash could really panic and slurring out the most pitiful excuse in the entire existence of the galaxy, Kukui had tackled him in a bear hug. Both end up crying a bit that night and their bond strengthens.
For once Ash doesn’t want to leave, he doesn’t want to leave the region that feels more like home then the rest. Doesn’t want to leave Burnet and Kukui and the gang. But he goes anyways, says good bye and constantly keeps in touch. It’s also the second time he’s cried when Ash had to split up with the people he’s come to live as family.
Ash fears when he meets Gou and Koharu. Fears that this will be another Unova or even Kalos when he sees Gou loom through Logic Lenses instead of seeing the world in its true color. Stops and clenches his teeth when Gou proudly claims he’s going to catch Mew, knowing full well that Gou will never come close because Mew is needed to keep the world in balance and Arceus would rage across the world personally to find his other side of the universal coin. But he holds his tongue, Ash doesn’t know what they’ll end up like for sure but he can only hope.
I’ll What this is. I was just feeling a Mood and *waves arms* this happened.
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