"Can I take off the blind-fold now?" Ash asked, confused that he had to wear one at all. Cilan and Iris had forced him onto a plane and had refused to tell him where they were going. They had tied a blind-fold over his eyes an hour before they'd landed.
"Hold on a few more seconds." Iris said, a little irritably, since he had been asking the same thing about once every hour.
"Believe it or not, we're almost there!" Cilan said, as joyfully as ever.
Ash heard them open a door and felt himself being pulled through it. He heard the door shut, and then the blind-fold was taken off. Ash stood there for a moment.
Wherever he was, it was completely dark. He couldn't see his hand outstretched in front of him.
"Where are we?" was all he said.
Suddenly, the light was swtiched on and Ash barely had time to recognize the room before a mass of people jumped out from behind furniture and doors. Some actually appeared from behind. Apparently, they had decided to stand flat against the wall. They were all shouting the same thing.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASH!"
Ash was shocked. He was in his own home- all the way back in Pallet Town!
Around him he saw what had to be all his friends-Dawn, Misty, Brock, May and Max were behind the sofa. They walked around to the front and took their seats on it. Ash was surprised it could hold so many people. Max held up a pokedex and Ash realized he was a Pokemon Trainer.
Behind the kitchen bar were Casey, Drew, Ritchie, Todd Snap, and Barry. They took seats on the stools as well. There were several trays of food on the counter they put their backs to.
To his left, a group that had been hiding under a sheet consisted of Rebecca, Sid, Rafe and Rafe's younger twin sisters, Audrey and Kathryn, along with Tory Lund, all of whom Ash had met in LaRousse City. Tory held up his own pokedex, signifying, that he too was a trainer, like Max.
To his left stood a much older Molly Hale, who had pokeballs strapped to her waist. He father, Professor Hale, as well as Tory's father, Professor Lund, stood behind her.
Looking back at the door, he saw Cress and Chili behind Cilan, and Bianca looking antsy next to them.
Professor Oak was in front of the staircase, with Professors Birch and Rowan. Caroline, Dawn's mother, and Norman and Johanna, Max and May's parents stood next to them. Also with them, in front of a window, were Gary and Jack "Jackie" Walker, a Pokemon Ranger.
Ash also noticed Tracey Sketchit, Nando, Reggie, Soledad, Roark and several others he didn't recognize.
But he forgot about everyone when he saw someone standing quietly next to his mother. He wore thin, round glasses and a brown shirt and black pants. He smiled at Ash with the air of someone immensely proud.
Ash ran straight up to his father and hugged him, and everyone parted ways to let him through.
"I can't believe you're here!" Ash said when they broke apart.
"I wasn't going to miss a chance to see you." Alexander Ketchum smiled down at his son. "You've grown into a fine young man, Ash."
They were interrupted by an impatient "ahem!". Ash looked at his mother, who had both hands on her hips.
"Ash Ketchum, don't you ignore your mother!"
"Sorry, Mom." And he hugged her too. Delia immediately lost her attitude and hugged her baby back.
"Don't worry about it, Sweetheart."
Ash turned back to everyone else. "I can't believe all of you are here either!"
"Well, we could always leave if it's too unbelievable." Gary said.
"So, who are you guys?" Gary asked, turning to the group Ash hadn't recognized before.
The group consisted of three teenaged girls, a younger boy and an older boy, who looked Brock's age.
The older boy answered. "I'm Ray, and these are my younger sisters, Bambi and Moira." He motioned to the orange-haired girl and the blond-haired girl. "And this is Moira's friend, Jazz, and Jazz's younger brother, AJ." He motioned to the third girl and the younger boy.
"They're friends...of Alexis." Mr. Ketchum said.
"Alexis is here?!" Of all the events that had occurred today, this was the most shocking, but only a few knew why.
"Somewhere." Alexander said, looking out the window, as if hoping the person named Alexis would suddenly appear there. "A few of his friends came, too." He looked at Reggie and Roark.
"You know my brother?" Ash asked, turning to the two.
"Your brother?" Roark seemed surprised, but Reggie wasn't.
Everyone else was repeating the words.
"Yeah...Alexis is my brother." Ash said.
"Why haven't you ever mentioned him?" Misty asked, a little annoyed.
"Why didn't you ever mention your sisters? And the fact that you were the Cerulean Gym Leader?" Ash threw back at her.
"May can't talk either. You didn't tell tell Ash about me, either." Max said.
"Okay, so no one mentions their siblings. That's all I'm getting from this." Gary said.
"Including you. Did anyone but me know about your sister?" Ash said.
Gary thought for a moment. "No...I guess not."
"You have a sister?" Brock seemed a little excited. "Is she pretty?"
"Yes and I guess...Her name is Diane." Gary said. "But she's not in town right now."
Everyone laughed as Brock slumped back on the couch in despair.
"Why don't you cool it with the girl-crazy act for today?" Dawn said.
"NEVER!" Brock was about to continue with a passionate monologue about women, but he was interrupted by a Raichu, who jumped onto his head and straight at Ash.
Pikachu had no time to react as the Raichu grabbed Ash's hat off his head and ran out the front door.
"HEY!" Ash yelled, running after it. "That's my hat!"