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Just Friends?

 Ash looked at himself in the bathroom mirror after removing the fog from the shower.  He only wore a towel around his waist.  He came back to Pallet to home his training skills.  He had all the badges (Gary having a little trouble with the final one but bound to catch up.), but going to the pokemon league was no little step.  He wanted to prepare.  Most of his Peers already left for the pokemon league.  All of them were all most taken apart the first round.  He wanted to wait, bide his time, build his pokemon’s abilities, and make a plan, before heading out to out do his peers.

 Brock left Ash to help his father with the kids.  God only knows how many girls he went ga ga over.  As for Misty his Mother let her live under their roof.  Without any objections from Ash.  He liked Misty more than almost anything he could think of.  But that was fantasy.  What in the world would cause Misty to like Ash.  He wasn’t overly intelligent, handsome, and as yet to be the best of the best.  He didn’t even understand why Misty traveled with him.  Not that it mattered too much.

 After the shower Ash went to his room to change for bed.  Their was no reason he saw for their relation ship to go much further than where it’s at.  They’d probably be just friends.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty waited in her room staring at the small hole in the wall from her bed in her night gown.  It was a small peek hole Ash’s Mother had used when he was little to check up on him.  Misty  now and then took a little look though it.  She wanted to stay near Ash but wouldn’t take dreams to reality.  That’s why she hadn’t gone back to the gym she and her sisters ran.  She liked Ash in a way more potent that friendship.  She wanted to be more than friends.

But that couldn’t happen in reality.  Ash couldn’t be interested in her.  She knew she could yell to much, but never admitted it to any one but herself.    And they often argued like children.  The winning chances were 50/50.  Probably the only reason they argued was to best each other.  Then there was the one reason she was too afraid to do anything.  She didn’t know how he felt.

 By now Ash must have put on clothing so she crossed the room to the hole.  She peered into it and sure enough, Ash was just fixing his PJ’s.

“If you only knew.” She thought.
“Pika, Pika.”

 Pikachu, the poke ball less pokemon was heading into Ash’s room via a “pika door” as Ash called it.  It sort of resembled a doggy door, but in the room door so Pikachu could enter and exit when he wanted.

*************************************************************************************

“Pika, Pika?(Hey Ash, are you here?)” Pikachu said as went in the door in a door.
“Oh, hi Pikachu.” Ash replied.  After hanging with his first pokemon for so long he knew what he said.
“Pika, Pi?(What’s up Ash?)” The mouse like pokemon said as he joined him on the bed.
“Not a whole lot.” He said as laid back on his bed looking at his mother’s old peek hole he found when he was eight.
“Pika, Pikachu?(Planned anything to do?)”
“Nope.”
“Pi, Pika, Pi, Pi?(Thinking about misty again?)”

The statement was followed by an uneasy pause.  Why couldn’t he hide anything from him?

“Pi, Pi, Pikachu?(You are aren’t you?)” Pikachu persisted.
“Yeah.” Ash replied. “For some reason I can’t get Misty out of my head.”
“Pikachu, Chu, Pi, Chu?(You going to ask her out yet?)
“Ask Misty out?” Ash said surprised by Pikachu’s question, and not knowing that he was being observed. “I don’t know how see feels.  What if I do and it ruins our friendship?”

*************************************************************************************

“What if I do and it ruins our friendship?”

 Misty could not believe her ears.  Ash likes her as much as she likes him?  She was wide eyed and almost shocked.  She never knew!  And now that she knows, what is she going to do?

*************************************************************************************

“Pika, Pi, Pi.(Your to close for it just to be ruined)” Pikachu fought back.
“I guess what scares me is that I don’t know what she thinks of me.”
“Pi, Pika, Pi.(You’d be surprised.)” He said for a moment, forgetting Ash can understand him.
“What was that?” Ash said, hearing what his small friend blurted out.
“Pi, Pi, Pi!(Ugh, nothing)” Pikachu said as Ash used a ‘don’t take me for a fool’ look.  Pikachu made a Boo, Boo.
“Pi, Pi, Pi, Chu, Pika, Pi, Pika, Pika.(I often hear her talking to her pokemon about you while she tending them.) Pikachu explained as he turned to Ash.
“Pika…Pika, Pi.(She… likes you Ash.)

Pikachu finished as Ash looked up in shock.  He moved to sit down on the edge facing the window.  He hung his head down as he said only three words.

“She likes….. me?”

*************************************************************************************

 In the other room Misty was close to tears.  She couldn’t understand what Pikachu said but he had told Ash her little secret.  Misty removed herself from the small hole.

“He likes me?” she asked herself in silence.

 She took a quick peek back at the hole.  Ash had his head low.  She had to face him.

 “Better now than later when he won’t talk to me.” She thought.

 Summoning her courage she forced herself to open her door.

*************************************************************************************

“Misty….. likes me.”

 He was still shocked by what Pikachu told him.

“Pika, Pi, Chu.(I’d better let you think.)” Pikachu said as he left the room.

 Ash barely heard that.  He hung his head low as Pikachu left his room.  He was so absorbed by thought he hadn’t heard the door opening.

“Ash?” A almost tear filled voice said.

 Ash’s head snapped up, turned and saw Misty standing at his door. He couldn’t face her now.  Misty was at her own loss of words but she had to say something.

“Would you believe I found a small hole between our rooms?”

 At that statement Ash hung his head down again, and if it was physically possible further than before.  She knew.  Misty came over to sit by Ash.  She slipped an arm around him and hugged him lightly, attempting to comfort him.

“I never knew.” She said almost at a whisper.
“Knew what?” Ash said as he stared at the floor were he couldn’t meet her gaze.
“That you cared.” Ash lifted his head, perfectly straight forward, with a tear in his eye.

A silence followed.  She was waiting for him to say something.  Instead he put his own arm around her and let her head rest on her shoulder.  He couldn’t think of a thing to say.

“Ash?” Misty said summoning what was left of her courage.
“I…I…I…” she couldn’t believe how afraid she was.  She took her left hand, took Ash’s chin and made him look at her.  He was as scared as she was.
“I… care for you.”

She said finally giving into the tears she has held back since she overheard the conversation.  Ash not only gave into his own tears but wore a lopsided grin.  Misty followed it up with one of her own.

“So,” Ash began nervously.
“Where do we go from here?”
“Want to go to the living room to talk.” Misty replied.
“Yeah, I guess.”

*************************************************************************************

 All Pikachu could do was stare at the door.  He didn’t listen in.  Misty probably went to Ash to clear things up.  His thoughts were snapped as the door opened.  He bolted for Misty’s room hopping to avoid Ash and Misty so the two of them could get things straight without him interfering.  He saw both Misty and Ash, hand in hand, walked down to the living room.  Pikachu decided the best thing for him to do is to get some sleep, as it was 10:00 PM and he needed the sleep.

*************************************************************************************

 Ash’s Mother arrived home just after midnight.  She hated it when the bus is late.  She hung her coat and was about to go upstairs when a new sight caught her eye.  There on the couch was both Misty and Ash.  Ash laying on the couch face up, and in his arms, and on top of him Misty with her arms around him.  Mrs. Katchem did not know what happened but it appeared to now be more than just friendship.  She silently walked up the stairs with a good sized grin on her face.

*************************************************************************************

 When Ash woke up he had a smile that lit up the room, even if the light came though the window. He started to get up when he remembered the girl on top of him.  He dared not move for fear of waking her.  Before he could settle back down he heard a slight moan.  Misty flickered her eyes open to look at Ash.

“Still Friends?” Misty inquired.
“More than that.” Ash replied as he hugged her lightly.
“Pika, Pi.(O.K. you two)” Both Misty and Ash looked, and on the last stair down Pikachu was standing up looking at them.
“Pika, Pika, Pi.(Quit all the mushy stuff)” He said teasing the pair.

 Misty began to move off Ash so she could stretch out.  Ash just sat up and yawned.  He looked over at the clock.  It was 11:37 AM.  Just then footsteps were heard coming down the stairs.  As the pair looked Ash’s Mother, in a robe, joining Pikachu on the last step smiling.

“I don’t know what you two were up to,” She began, with both Ash and Misty looking slightly worried.
“But don’t let me stand in your way.” She said reliving the new pair.  Mrs. Katchem then went to the kitchen, without another word.  Both Misty and Ash turned to each other, smiling, and lightly hugged one another.

“Pi, Pi, Pikachu.(Best leave them alone for now.)” Pikachu said as he headed back upstairs.

This was going to take some getting used to.  Before his vision was blocked he took one last look.  They hadn’t released each other yet.  The were content to remain as they were.  Pikachu decided to look into the peek hole to see what kind of view Misty had of Ash’s room.  Curiosity killed the cat, not the mouse.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty was on her stroll to the market to pick up a few things.  She also needed the air.  She and Ash were going to be more than friends.  Way more than friends.  Misty liked Pallet Town more than Cerulean City.  It was a lot quieter, and beyond the town was a beautiful field for a little R&R.

“Well, Well, Well, look who’s here.” A familiar voice said.
“If it isn’t Ash’s little friend.” Gary could be such a pain.
“What do you want Gary?” Now very much ticked.
“Thought you might like a change a pace and hang with the best trainer there is.” Misty did not like the idea of being a cheerleader.
“Well if I recall,” Misty said ready for a new debating opponent.
“Ash got his Earth Badge long ago.  Took you this long to get one for yourself.”
“Nah,” Gary replied.
“Just need a little time to warm up my pokemon to get the darned thing.”
“Now who’s slow?” Misty smirked.  That had to strike a note on his guitar.
“Listen you,” Gary replied confirming what she thought.
“I can cripple you with a few words.”
“Not likely.” Misty shot back as she continued on her way.
“Yeah well listen to this.”

*************************************************************************************

 Ash and his mother was on the couch.  They were talking of the new step Ash’s and Misty’s relationship had gone.  His Mother always was understanding and she didn’t mind what Misty and Ash has shared or may share.  When Pikachu entered the room he leaped on to Ash.  Ash then proceeded to scratch Pikachu’s ear.  He didn’t know if life could be better.

*************************************************************************************

Misty hung her head low as she sulked back home.  The things Gary had said would never had seen censors if he wanted the words published.  She didn’t know that combination of word existed.  No one word could describe what she felt when she reached the house again as she opened the door very slowly.

*************************************************************************************

 Ash’s mother had gone to the dinning room to finish putting food on the table.  Ash had a comb and was combing tangles out of Pikachu’s fur.  Just then the door slowly opened.  Pikachu held his head up as he heard it open.  Ash did likewise just barely hearing it.  Misty sulked in.

“Hey Misty.” Ash greeted, but Misty still hung her head low.

Realizing something was amiss he came up to Misty and tilted her head up so he could see her.  His eyes opened with shock as he saw Misty’s blue eyes all puffy, and tears running down her cheeks.  Ash’s Mother not hearing a reply from Misty also approached.  She was just as shocked as her son at the very upset girl.

“Misty,” Ash began trying to help Misty
“What happened? What’s wrong?”

 Instead of an answer she flung her arms around Ash, muffling her sobs as she cried into Ash’s shoulder.  Ash now hoped he didn’t have to find out.  Ash’s Mother placed a hand on Ash.  She headed upstairs so Ash could find the answer, closely followed by Pikachu.  Both Mother and pokemon had more than moist eyes and cheeks.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty awoke in her bed, passing out around 7:00.  What she had been told was sheer emotional torture.  She couldn’t believe someone could care even for her now.  As she opened her eyes to find where she was she saw a distorted face as her eyes readjusted.  Ash.  She could feel his arms around her.  When her eyes had gotten focused she was a little surprised to find that she was in her room.  She heard a soft moan as Ash’s eye’s opened.  She laid back hoping to avoid his gaze.

“Misty,” Ash’s sleep filled voice said.    She couldn’t face him.  Not now.
“Are you O.K. Misty?” Ash knew she wasn’t, and that was supported by the new tears at her eyes.
“Misty,” Ash began again, mustering the most ‘tell me everything’ tone he could make.
“What happened?” Misty then got up to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Please Misty,” Ash persuaded.
“Tell me.”
“I…. I can’t,” Misty hurt voice shot back.
“Not now.” She couldn’t face him now.
“Then When?” Ash continued.

 Misty hadn’t made a reply.  She just sat down and hung her head as low as it would go.

“I’ll give you some time.” Ash said.  He didn’t want to pressure her but he had to get the answer.
“I want to talk to you later Misty.” Ash let her know he couldn’t leave it to her to solve her own ‘little’ problem.
“I’m here if you need me.”

 Misty couldn’t believe those words.  But what if they were true.  What if no one truly cared for her.  Who truly cared for her?

*************************************************************************************

 Ash sat on the couch, Pikachu by his side and his Mother at work.  He hung his head as low as when Pikachu let loose the truth of Misty’s feelings for him.  He was pegged down because Misty felt…. He didn’t know what she felt.  Almost as if she was a whole different person.  What really worried Ash was that Misty hadn’t even left her room.  They had to talk, and soon.

*************************************************************************************

Misty paced about her room.  She couldn’t go on with this, but was she able to talk to anyone?  Even Ash?  She knew the answer.  She had to.  She couldn’t live a life of confusion.  She heard the front door open.  Ash’s Mother came home.  Even so she needed Ash’s help to get by this.  Summoning every ounce of courage she had she slowly walked to the door.

*************************************************************************************

“Ash dear,” Mrs. Katchem said as she entered the room.
“Has Misty been out of her room?”
“No.” Was Ash’s less than enthusiastic reply.
“She won’t talk to me.  I don’t  know what’s wrong, or what to do.” He stood up and paced like caged tiger about the room.
“If I knew how to help her I would do just about anything.  I have to get Misty to talk.  I’ll try waiting for when she’s ready but sooner or later, we are going to have nice long talk.”

Ash’s Mother came close to a sigh of relief.  Her son was willing to help his long time friend.  If only Misty would talk.  As if on cue soft footsteps were heard slowly coming down the stairs.  It was now 11:30 PM and Misty finally made her way down stairs.  When she came out she was very nervous, heightened by both mother and son looking at her.  She was really afraid, matched only by her determination to go on with her life.

“Ready to talk Misty?” Ash Queried.

Misty now had tears rolling but looked straight forward.  With a nod to answer the question.  Ash had his first smile since the ordeal began.  One which was followed by Misty’s and his Mother’s.  Misty was ready.
 

“Let’s go to the table.” Ash’s Mother suggested.

As the trio sat at the table Misty held her head down as she began the story of what Gary had said.

*************************************************************************************

 Gary was in his room making a game plan for gaining the Earth Badge.  He smiled as Misty unintentionally kept Ash from training.  And that part of the plan worked like a charm.  Ash probably forgot all about the league just to help Misty.  All this was supposed to do was slow Ash down so he could catch up to him.  Thanks to his grandfather, the great Professor Oak, he knew what the right choice of words could do.  Ash would never be able to undo that damage.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty finally capped off the story.  When she finally lifted her head she saw the two of them with separate reactions.  Mrs. Katchem was shocked Gary would say such things.  Ash was angry because of what he made her feel.

“How could that… that….” Ash was close to a loss of words.
“Well first things first.” Ash Mother said as she stood up trying to remain calm.
“I’ll have a talk with Professor Oak and see what he can do.  Ash why don’t you take Misty to bed with you.  She needs someone right now.” Ash made a quick nod before turning to Misty.
“Come on Misty, lets get some sleep.”
“Sure Ash.” Misty said as the pair headed upstairs.

 When they reached Ash’s room Misty hung her head low again.  Pikachu slept in his little bed soundly.  Pikachu had good ears but when he slept, nothing short of a sonic boom would make him flinch.

“Ash,” Misty ventured.
“Yeah,” he said as he turned to her.
“I still don’t know if anyone truly cares.”
 
 He wasn’t too surprised.  Gary’s words worked wonders, and hazards.  She couldn’t even look at him.  Then his brain had it’s own little suggestion.

“What Misty needs is a pick me up.  Something to show her you care.”

 What could he do to show affection?  Then something clicked.  It wasn’t to big, but it was worth a try.  Just this once so she knows.  He used his hand to tilt her chin up and gave a quick kiss on the cheek.  The cheek reddened almost instantly as she felt his lips and saw his now goofy smile.  Her hand gingerly touched the spot and she felt a warm bud within her.

“I care Misty.” Ash said as her smile started and grew.

Misty immediately tossed her arms around him in pure happiness.  He cared.  Tears of joy ran in place of sadness.

“Thank You.” She choked out.
“Thank You.”

*************************************************************************************

 Professor Oak hung up his video phone in shock.  Gary had chosen his words very well.  They crippled Misty’s spirits with the up most cruelty.  Gary was going to get it, but what punishment would be effective.  He knew the pokemon waste storage had to be cleaned out.  A smirk found its way on Oak’s face.  He would have Gary clean out the pokemon waste storage, and it hadn’t been cleaned out in a while.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty awoke as sunlight landed on her face.  She took a short look around.  She was in Ash’s room, but Ash himself wasn’t there.  Even so she knew Ash had been with her last night.  How could such simple things like talking and caring turn one person the right way.  She looked where Ash usually kept his poke balls.  None of which was there.  He must have been out training his pokemon.  She knew where his favorite spot was and she was going to make a beeline for it.

*************************************************************************************

“Okay Ivysaur, chop it.”
“Ivy, Ivysaur. (Consider it chopped.)”

 Ash had made different training tactics for each pokemon.  The near by forest had just what he needed to train all of his pokemon.  For Ivysaur he chopped logs in half with his Vine Whip.  Normally takes him about four and a half minutes.  Ash was trying for three, but he didn’t what to push to hard.  If he did that, he wouldn’t be well liked by his pokemon.  Wartortle used his water gun to roll logs on flat land from one point to another.  Usually landed times around five minutes.  Ash wanted three and a half, without pushing hard.  Pikachu had a lightning rod attached to a voltmeter, placing between seven thousand to ten thousand volts.  Ash really couldn’t set goals much higher.  Charmeleon tried to melt small boulders down in a near by rock pit.  Using a laser thermometer, borrowed from Professor Oak, he measured heat at about ten thousand degrees Celsius.  Not much more there as well.  Finally Pidgeot used his gust on boulders and logs similar to Wartortle’s water gun routine.  Placed about five and a half, Ash was hoping for three.  Then Ash heard a large crack.  Ivysaur broke the log.  Ash checked his time. Three and a half.  Not bad.  Ivysaur was going to land three sooner than expected.

“Good Job Ivysaur.”
“Ivy, Ivysaur. (Thanks Ash.)”
“Ivysaur return.” Ash called as he held out a poke ball.

 He deiced to call it a day.  His pokemon was getting tougher.

“Come on Pikachu, time to go.”
“Pika.(Coming)” The pokemon replied as came up to his trainer.
“Pika, Pi?(Mind if head back on my own?)” The pokemon inquired.
“Go ahead.” Pikachu liked a nice run after training.
“Hey Ash!” He knew who it was off the bat.  Misty knew where his favorite spot was.
“Pika, Pika.(I’ll leave you two alone.)” Pikachu said as he headed past Misty on his way back to the house.
“Feeling better Misty.” Ash queried as he fixed his cap.
“Much.” Misty replied as she tossed her arms around him.  There was one thing that she didn’t figure out.
“Hey Ash.” Misty began some what nervously.
“Yeah,” Ash said wondering what she had to say.
“What was the kiss for?” The question nagged her since the small peck.
“Well,” Ash attempted now nervous himself.
“You….Needed some cheering up so I….” Misty just stared.  He shrugged in defeat.  She saw right trough him.
“Well I had to show you that I care, and at the time it was the only idea I had.” Ash confessed, blushing hotly.
“And here is my appreciation.”

 Misty said as she gave her own kiss, but unlike Ash’s her peck landed on the lips.  It was short but Ash was amazed by how warm it felt.  His blush got hotter as a love struck smile landed on his face.

“Think we’d better head back?” Ash said as it was the only practical thing that came up.
“Sure.” Misty replied, grabbing Ash’s hand as the pair headed back home.

*************************************************************************************

“That lousy little girl.”

Gary bellowed as he shoveled indescribable filth into a truck, so he could dump it.
 
“Well at least it will slow Ash down.  I hate playing catch up.” Now finishing that part of the chore he had to take it to the dump.

“That girl is going to get it right where it hurts.”

*************************************************************************************

 Ash and Misty sat on the bench behind the house.  In front of them Ash’s pokemon were playing a game of tag and Pikachu was it.  All Misty wanted to do was sit there and relax.  Ash was so relaxed he dozed off.  Not that she minded.  Soon the it in the game was Wartortle, and he could get you when you lest expect it.  Misty heard a soft moan as Ash fluttered his eyes open.  He yawned and took a look at the game.  In a sense it helped them develop new ways to fight by one pokemon trying to out smart the other.  Brains over Brawn.

“Hey Ash.” Misty said in a low voice.
“Yeah?” Ash said turning his head.
“Feel like slipping away?” She asked.
“We have to let them finish first.” She knew he wanted to be careful, Team Rocket hadn’t bothered them much lately but he didn’t want to take a risk.
“Later then.” Misty replied.

“War, War.(I forgot who’s it.)” Wartortle said looking about forgetting he tagged Pikachu.
“Pika, Pi.(You are.) Pikachu said as he tagged one of his tails.
“Ivy? Ivysaur.(Who cares?  I want to get some sleep.) Ivysaur said before heading into his poke ball.
“Pidgeot.(Sleep sounds good.) Pidgeot said as he did likewise.
“Charm?(Why Not?) Charmelon said as he went in his own.
“Pika, Pika?(And you?)” Pikachu queried.
“Wartortle.(When in Rome.)” As he finished off the set.

 Pikachu then headed inside to get his own sleep.  It has been a good day as far as he was concerned.

“Well let’s put them away so we can take some time to ourselves.” Misty said.  Ash quickly went in to set his poke balls in his room.
“So,” Ash began sitting back down.
“What do you think?” Ash asked.
“About…..?” Misty said to keep him going.
“Us.  What do you think about where we are now?”
“I don’t know.” Misty said.
“Any ideas?”
“Sit here and relax.” Ash said, as the only thing that came to mind.
“Sure.”

 They were still some what unsure as what to do as in their relationship.  But relaxing let them both enjoy some time together.

“Hey Ash,” Misty knew what they could do.
“Want to go to store?”
“If you want.”
“Well then, lets go.”

*************************************************************************************

 Gary walked up to his car.  He had just refueled it.  But just before he touched the handle he saw something unexpected.  Both Ash and Misty walking to the store, and both were rather happy.  He didn’t know how Misty was smiling,  but he had to catch up to Ash and fast.

*************************************************************************************

 Ash and Misty sat on a blanket, just outside of the town.  Before they settled down the pair saw Gary’s car head out of town.  He was going to try to catch up to Ash.  The pair then sat down to enjoy their meal.  Pikachu came along, without an invitation, to see how the to were doing.  He stayed out of sight letting the two be.  He was happy for Ash.  The two found their feelings and had no trouble sharing them.  He decided to head back.  He didn’t want to be found out there.

“Hey Misty, want another sandwich?”
“Thanks Ash.”

 The two had decided on more R&R together.  They settled down, eating their food.  They sat right next to each other.  Ash had his pokemon, just in case something were to happen.

“Ash, what’s that?” Misty queried.
“What’s What?” Ash asked confused.
“That.”

Misty then pointed skyward as they saw a balloon the shape of Meowth.  Then they heard two familiar voices.
 
“Prepare for trouble.”
“Better make it double.”
“To protect the world from deviation.”
“To unite all peoples within our nation.”
“To denounce the evils of truth and love.”
“To extend our reach to the stars above.”
“Jessie,”
“James,”
“Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light.”
“Surrender now or prepare to fight.”
“Meowth, That’s Right.”

 Finally the losing team (a.k.a. Team Rocket.) came to once more try their luck.

“All right,” Jessie exclaimed.
“We want that Pikachu.”

 Instead Ash had a different response.

“Pigeot, I choose you.” In a flash the bird came out.
“Pigeot, attack the balloon.”
“Pigeot.” The pokemon said as crashed into, and out of the balloon.
“I knew we should have made a ground attack.” James declared.
“But now it looks like,”

Meowth began as the balloon swirled.  The trio finished the sentence together by saying……

“Team Rocket is blasting off again!”
“Good riddance.” Ash said, as the balloon disappeared from sight.
“Lets go home Ash.  They ruined the mood.” Misty said, angered that their nice picnic had just been disturbed.
“Sure.” Ash said not very happy as to what happened.  Fortunately the two had plenty of time to themselves.  They were bound to have a nice day all alone.

*************************************************************************************

 Brock had finally reached Ash’s house.  Brock hadn’t warned Ash about his arrival, but he made sure his mother did.  He already had a key for the house, via Mrs. Katchem, and was ready to surprise Ash.  He was told Misty was now living in Ash’s house, so it would be a double surprise.  All this because a friend had offered to pitch in a hand with the kids.  Little did he know he was in for the surprise.  As he opened the door he saw Ash’s mother who motioned him to be silent.  She then motioned for him to come over and look.  He was confused as why, but what he saw shocked him more than Pikachu ever could.  Their sleeping on the couch was both Misty and Ash.  The pair decided on a nap on the couch even if it was only 1:00 PM.

“Come upstairs and I’ll fill you in.” Ash’s mother offered.  Brock was quite interested.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty began to slowly wake up.  Ash was already awake, but stayed close to Misty.  As the two sat up a familiar figure watched on.

“That was a cute picture.” Both Misty and Ash turned to see Brock on the last step of the stairs.
“Brock?” The pair said in unison.
“I had a friend help with the kids and decided to make a surprise visit.  I didn’t know I’d be the one in for a surprise.”
“Well, Surprise.” Ash joked.
“Glad you can visit.  Your probably wondering what happened, huh?” Misty added.
“Not really.  Ash’s mom filled me in.  You two made any plans I should not be involved with?”
“No.” Both Ash and Misty said at the same time.
“Good.  I made a nice little meal the three of us can enjoy.” Brock said.
“We know a nice spot.” Ash said.
“Well, lets go.” Misty said.

*************************************************************************************

 The door slammed as Gary walked back into his hotel room.  He was having a bad day.  He lost another match for an Earth Badge, his plan to slow Ash down failed, and his Grandfather was not happy with him.  Not much could get worse.  He would have to prepare ‘another’ strategy.  If only he knew how Ash got the badge.

*************************************************************************************

“Wonderful food Brock.” Ash completed as he finished off a sandwich.  The trio were in the field Ash and Misty had their picnics in.
“Thanks Ash.”
“So what else you want to know?” Misty asked.

 Misty and Ash was filling Brock in on the finer details of what was going on, even the Gary part.  Brock was starting to wonder why all this hadn’t happened sooner.  That was going to be the next question.

“Well if you two had these feelings for so long, why hadn’t anything happened sooner?” That put the pair on the spot.
“Ugh…. Well… Misty, help here.”
“Ugh…. Well to be honest I was….. afraid.”
“Yeah…. Me too.”
“I don’t get it.” Brock said.
“Well,” Ash began.
“We didn’t ……. Know how each other felt, and we were afraid that if we did try something it would ruin what we had.”
“Pikachu.(Hey, What’s up?)” Pikachu joined in on the group.
“Hey Pikachu,” Ash said.
“Where were you?  Last I saw you were asleep.”
“Pikachu, Pika, Pi.(Wondering where you three were.)”
“I still can’t understand him.” Misty said.
“Pikachu.(You’ll learn.)”
“Anyway,” Brock said to get their attention.
“How did you two…. Get together?”
“Well that was mainly on my part.” Misty started.
“I found an old peek hole his mother used, and I overheard him and Pikachu talking about me.”
“Pika.(Word.)”
“Then I sort of backed Pikachu in a corner when he blurted out ‘You’d be surprised ’ while on the subject of what she thought of me.” Ash confided.
“Pika, Pikachu.(Best mistake I ever made.)”
“Best mistake he ever made.” Misty said.  Ash looked at Pikachu then at Misty.
“Did you know you and Pikachu said almost the exact same thing.”
“That was…. Different.” Brock said.
“But back to the subject, What happened next?”
“Well Ash appeared rather shocked and I came clean.”
“Then the thing with Gary.  Most anyone will have a hard time liking him.” Ash added.
“Pika.(Agreed.)”
“The only word of Pikachu’s that I do understand, is Ash’s name.” Misty said.

“Prepare for Trouble.”
“Better make it double.”

“Do those two ever give up?” Ash said.

“To protect the world from devastation,”
“To unite all peoples within our nation.”
“To denounce the evils of truth and love,”
“To extend our reach to the stars above.”
“Jessie.”
“James.”
“Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light.”
“Surrender now or prepare to fight.”
“They know the rest.” Meowth said in place of the original line.

 Then Jessie and James fell down like in the anime.

“Well, to business, Hand over Pikachu.” Jessie shouted.
“Why bother when all he has to do is shock you?” Ash said.
“Hey where is he?” Meowth said looking around.
“Pikachu.(Behind you.)”

Team Rocket turned around to see Pikachu Preparing a Thunder Shock.  Team Rocket then was electrocuted by the electric bolts.

“I have something for just this occasion.” Ash said as he pulled out a Poke ball.
“What is it?” Brock asked.
“I little lost pokemon I caught.”
“What is it?” Misty asked.
“You’ll see.” Ash said grinning.

 The last bolts of electricity were shot as Ash prepared the pokemon.

“Hey, Team Rocket!” Ash called as the Rockets turned around.
“Here’s a pokemon you can have.” He said as he gave it a toss.  It placed right in front of the Rockets……
“A VOLTORB!!!!”
“Voltorb.” The ball pokemon said as it blew up sending the Rockets into the sky.
“A ground attack wasn’t any better.” James said.
“But now Team Rocket….” Jessie added letting Meowth finish.
“Is blasting off again.” The Trio disappeared from sight.
“Ash, since when did you catch a Voltorb?” Brock asked.
“It was looking around Oak’s lab, and we caught it and Professor Oak let me keep it.”
“Oh!”
“Voltorb return.” Ash said getting the remains of Voltorb in a poke ball.
“I’ll heal him when we get back.”
“Lets go home.” Misty said.
“They ruined the mood.  Again.”
“Yeah.  Sure.”

*************************************************************************************

“Hey, Ash.” Brock and Ash were walking down the street.

Brock was telling him about what he did in Pewter.  If his friend helped out with the kids a little more, he’d make his dream of being a breeder a reality.

“Yeah.”
“Did you get Misty that bike you owe her?” Ash motioned to go to street corner.
“I got plans for that.” Ash said.
“A guy in Cerulean has a bike store.  We arranged a delivery for the bike.  I already picked it up and she will love it.”
“When are you going to give it to her?”
“On her birthday.”
“Misty never told us her birthday.”
“My mother pried it out of her.  Reason she didn’t tell was she didn’t want a big fuss over it.”
“Well best present I can do is a good cake.”
“We’ll plan for it.  Her birthday is in five days.”
“All right.  I chose a good time to visit.”

*************************************************************************************

Misty awoke in her bed on the day of her birth.  Her sisters made such a fuss over it.  She expected some sort of party, since Ash’s mom got it out of her.  But from what she saw of Ash’s eleventh birthday it wasn’t going to be a big event.

*************************************************************************************

“O.K. The planning is done.” Brock declared.

The three decided to wake up way before Misty.  Everything was set.  They agreed not to make the party too big, but special.  Brock made all the food, including some of Misty’s favored foods.  Ash brought out the new bike, and placed it in the corner.  It had a tarp over it, to save the trouble of making it look like a fuss.  Ash’s mother got a new set of books for Misty, naturally romance.  The three shook hands on a job well done.  Pikachu quickly came down the steps.

“Pika, Pika, Pi.(She’s waking up.)”
“Let’s do this.” Ash said.

 Misty slowly came down the stairs in her normal clothing.  Then the three planners said…..

“Happy Birthday!”
“Well glad it’s not a big event.” Misty thought to herself.
“Before anything,” Mrs. Katchem began.
“Misty should open her presents.” She then handed over a box about the height of Pikachu, to Misty.  She took off the wrappings and opened the box.  It was all sorts of romance novels.
“Well looks like I have reading to do.” Misty joked.
“Thanks.”
“Instead of a present,” Brock began.
“I cooked up several of your delights.  Including French food.”
“I love French food.” Misty replied.
“All that’s left is mine.” Ash said.
“Where is it?” Misty asked.
“Right under there.” He said pointing to the tarp.  She lifted it up with her eyes closed.  When Misty opened them she saw a red, shiny, new bike.
“A Bicycle!”
“You wanted it, I owed it, You got it.” Misty then flung her arms around Ash.
“Thank you Ash.”
“Now then,” Brock began.
“Lets get to the food.”

*************************************************************************************

 Ash and Misty sat on the couch side by side, digesting the meal Brock had prepared.  Pikachu got more than his fair share.  All of witch was quickly coated in Ketchup.  It was just how Misty liked it.  Nice and Simple, and still fun without a fuss.

“So, how did you like your birthday?” Ash asked.
“It was just how I wanted it.” Ash decided on a bit of boldness and gave a quick peck on her cheek.
“Good.” He said as Misty blushed.  She then brought his lips to hers and gave a gentle kiss and held it.  When the two broke the kiss they smiled and hugged each other lightly.  They were now more than friends.

*************************************************************************************
 
“Finally.” Gary said as he sat down in his hotel room.

 Gary managed to get the badge with a lucky hit.  Now he was going to make a beeline for pokemon league HQ.  He was ready to go.

*************************************************************************************

“Give the bottle Pikachu.”
“Chu. (Never.)”

 Brock and Pikachu was having an argument over the ketchup.  Brock wanted it for his own food but Pikachu fiercely defended the bottle.

“Last warning.” Ash and Misty then entered the house and saw the battle.  Ash and Misty kept clear as sparks came from Pikachu’s cheeks.
“Pi…ka...chu! (It….Is….Mine!)” The electric pokemon said as Brock was instantly shocked.  He fell over leaving the bottle for Pikachu.
“Your…. Welcome.”
“Chu.(Got ya.)”
“What ever you do Brock,” Ash began as his friend stood up.
“Don’t stand between Pikachu and ketchup.”
“Trust me on that.” Misty pitched in remembering when once she had her own argument over the ketchup.
“Come on.  Let’s have lunch.” Ash said.
“Chu.(Yeah.)”

*************************************************************************************

 Gary quickly headed back to town with revenge on his mind.  That girl was going to get it.

*************************************************************************************

 Misty walked towards the gym.  It was recently constructed for those who want to battle after leaving Cinnabar Island.  It didn’t have any badges, but it was a good place for experience.  Misty went there now and then to see the local battles and see if there were any new and exciting pokemon.

“Well, nice to see you again.” Gary was back in town.  Misty turned around and sure enough he was standing there right behind her with his cheerleaders in tow.  That meant trouble.
“Check this all eight badges.” He gloated.
“Whatever,” Misty said as she continued on her way.
“Send me a post card when you get your butt kicked.”
“Generally, I going for a direct approach.  Pokemon battle.”
“No thanks, I’ve got better things to do.”
“Guess the story of Cerulean trainers were true.  Their scared to fight.”  That got Misty’s attention.  She would wildly defend her gym’s honor.
“One on One battle.  Pallet Gym.  Now.” Misty screamed.  Ash while also on route to the Gym overheard what was said behind a corner.  He wanted to see that.

*************************************************************************************

 The match between Misty and Gary was about to happen.  Ash found a seat in the far back.  He used a pair of binoculars to see the battle.

“All right.” Gary said, ready to go.  He gave the poke ball a few kisses and tossed it to revel an Ivysaur.  Misty choose her pokemon and held it high.
“Misty chooses Staru.” But before she released the poke ball out of another poke ball came……
“Psyduck!” Misty screamed.  In the bleachers Ash was worried.  Psyduck was not the pokemon you want in a fight.
“I wanted Staru, not you!”
“Psy?” The duck pokemon turned to see the Ivysaur standing.
“Can’t call it back now.” Gary teased.
“Well now that your out give it a try.” Psyduck then walked up to the center.
“Ivysaur attack it.” Ivysaur’s vines then came out and flew at Psyduck.  Psyduck got hit hard.
“Ha, One blow.” Then to Gary’s surprise, it got back up and ran wildly around the ring.
“Ivysaur, hit it with everything you got.” Ivysaur then hit Psyduck with everything it knew.  And every time Psyduck got back up, and ran wild.  Unknown to everyone but Ash in the bleachers Psyduck was getting a huge headache.  Ash smiled.  Gary was going to get it and he didn’t even know.  Gary in the mean time was very frustrated.  Ivysaur kept landing hit’s but the duck got back up and ran like crazy.  Then it stopped in the dead center of the ring.  Misty grinned.  Psyduck was preparing a psychic attack.  Then Psyduck began glowing.  Everyone was wondering what was happening.  Then as if magically Ivysaur was lifted off the ground, with nothing but thin air.

“Ivy!  Ivysaur!”  The frightened pokemon said.

Then it was smashed to the ground, shot to the ceiling, pounded back into the ground and was tossed out of the entire gym.  Over the P.A. a voice announced the winner.

“Misty wins with Psyduck!”

 Gary stomped out of the gym furious.  That was the most embarrassing loss ever.  Misty got Psyduck back in his poke ball, not noticing Ash behind her.

“Good job Misty.” Misty immediately turned around to see Ash behind her.
“You saw?” Misty blurted out.
“Yep.”
“You knew?”
“That’s right.”
“You were there the whole time.”
“Just for hidden moral support.”

 Rather than an answer Misty flung her arms around him.

“And I’m the one heading to the league.” Ash joked.
“Lets go home.” Misty said as the pair, hand in hand, headed home.

*************************************************************************************

 Ash managed to keep stats on Gary when he entered the league.  Like everyone else he was taken apart in round one.  Ash wasn’t going to rush in.  Just a little patience.  Besides, he had new things to explore other than caves and gyms.  He had a new relationship to look at.  Misty lately was practically glowing.  Misty’s Psyduck cleaned Gary’s clock, and fixed his little red wagon, at the same time.  Psyduck was also rather full of himself.  Next battle he’d do the same thing.  Brock cooked a victory dinner and Mrs. Katchem kept up her chores while trying to keep an eye on Ash and Misty.  Not that she had to but she just wanted to know how they were doing.  Pikachu was a little upset Ash wasn’t paying attention to him as much, but he was happy for him all the same.  Ash and Pikachu were on the couch watching Gary’s latest battle.

“Pikachu, Pi.(He’s done for.)” Pikachu said as his opponents Kadabra tossed Gary’s Golbat like crazy.  That ended the match.
“Gary used six pokemon and only beat one of his opponents.  What does that say about him?”
“Chu.(He sucks.)” Pikachu said as the announcer began.
“The newcomer Gary has been beaten by Mysteryo the mysterious trainer.  The newcomer has a long way to go.” Ash then turned off the TV.
“That’s why I’m waiting.”
“Pikachu.(I don’t blame you.)”
“Hey Ash!” Misty entered the room and sat by Ash.  Pikachu jumped on Ash’s lap as Misty could put her arm around Ash.
“What are you up to?”
“We just watched Gary get his butt whipped.”
“Pika, Pikachu.(The joy of all joys.)” Ash then got a comb and began working some tangles out of Pikachu’s fur.
“Pika, Pikachu.(That feels good.)” If there was one thing Pikachu liked as much as ketchup, it was someone combing his fur.
“Looks like Pikachu’s enjoying himself.” Misty said.
“Pika, Pi, Pika.(You don’t know the half of it.)” Misty than reached for the remote control.
“Let’s see what else is on.” She said looking through the channels.  She stopped on a soap opera.  As soon as Pikachu heard that he thought he should give the two some time together.
“Pikachu, Chu, Chu, Pika, Pikachu, chu, ca.(I’ll let you two spend some time together. Sides I hate soap.)” He then leapt off Ash’s lap and went for his bed.  Ash put his arm around Misty as she got a little closer.  Misty had an Idea to see if she could get Ash to comb her hair.

“Well since your finished with Pikachu maybe you could comb my hair.” She said as she got a comb out of her pocket.

Ash took the comb as Misty sat on the floor in front of him.  She let her hair down so Ash could comb it.  Ash then made gentle strokes through her hair.  Misty came close to releasing a content purr.  She liked the feeling of Ash combing her hair like that.  She just wanted to relax and enjoy the feeling.  Ash was also enjoying it.  It gave him a chance to relax as well.  He liked the feeling of her soft hair.  It almost felt like silk.  He tilted her head back and gave a gentle kiss on her forehead.  When her head was level again he continued to stroke her hair with the comb.  This was his idea of relaxation.

*************************************************************************************

 Brock had to head back to Pewter City, but his visit was well enjoyed by his friends.  Ash and Misty just sat on the porch in the back yard.  The two were very happy as to the recent events.  All with the exception of Gary, but otherwise it had been a happy time.  Team Rocket got beaten yet again, but they didn’t interrupt anything for once.  The pair just sat and relaxed.  Pikachu came out and hopped on Ash’s lap.

“Chu. (Hi guys.)”
“Hi Pikachu.” Ash said as he scratched Pikachu’s ear.
“Isn’t this relaxing.” Misty said.
“Sure is.”
“Pika. (Yeah.)” Misty then shifted a little closer to Ash.
“What are you up to Pikachu?” Ash asked.
“Pika, Pikachu, Pika, ca.(Checking out the latest battles.)”
“Any decent things there?”
“Pikachu. (Nah.)” Ash was then surprised by Misty’s quick peck on the check.  She then snuggled in closer.
“Forever.” She asked.  Ash knew what she meant.
“Forever.” He replied.  Pikachu then left the two alone.
 
 

The End