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Thread: The Ira Crystal [pokeshipping focus, but hints of other ships]

  1. #1
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    Default The Ira Crystal [pokeshipping focus, but hints of other ships]

    a/n: Okay, I went over this in my head many times and the best way I could come up with to tell this story was to have two seperate stories going on at once. So, to help keep them apart I've come up with this. I'm going to give this fic an R rating, there are very adult situations.

    Dee/Gabe storyline

    Ash/Misty storyline

    thoughts




    Prologue


    A young dark haired trainer stood at the top of the hill overlooking a quaint, tiny village. There couldn’t have been more than 15 houses including one large plantation with an observatory standing proudly on the edge of town.

    “Do you have to run so fast?” he heard a voice complain behind him. “It’s too hot to be chasing after you like this!”

    “Maybe you should keep up.” he smirked turning to look at her. She was panting heavily as she pulled her auburn colored hair back into a low ponytail. Her brown eyes glared, but there was a softness behind them. “I wish you wouldn’t do that to your hair, Dee, you look like somebody’s mother.”

    “Well it makes sense…I’m going to be.” she proved her point by placing her hands on her slightly protruding stomach.

    He smiled half-heartedly, “I know. That’s why we’re here. Pallet Town, to start our new lives as parents…and regular people…” he sighed, “I’m going to miss being a trainer though.”

    “We’ve been through this Gabe, you don’t have to give up training…it’s just…soon I’ll be too big to keep traveling with you…and we can’t exactly drag a baby around too.” she put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

    “I know that! The baby is partly my fault anyway. I might as well be punished for it! I just thought I’d never have to get a real job…I was supposed to become a Pokemon Master!” he groaned then began to walk towards the town.

    Dee sighed as she followed him. She was beginning to get tired of hearing about his broken dreams. As if she had planned on becoming a mother when she was 17 and moving to a nowhere dump like Pallet Town! Her life was supposed to be more glamorous than that. When her and Gabe became more serious in their relationship they had mapped out their lives together, he was going to become a world renowned Pokemon Master and they would live in a penthouse in Celadon City. Where Dee would spend her days shopping and her nights escorting Gabe to all of the high society dinners. Then the test was positive. Now her parents were so disappointed that they wouldn’t speak to her, and they had to rely on Gabe’s parents for help. Her dream life was slipping out of her grasp and the only things she had to blame was the damn baby! Obviously, her and Gabe held most of the responsibility, but it was easier to blame something she didn’t know.

    “We’re here!” she was snapped out of her thoughts by Gabe. She looked up and saw a large building surrounded by a couple dozen different types of pokemon.

    “It was nice of Prof Oak to give you a job at his lab and a place for us to live.” she finally spoke up as they began to walk towards the entrance.

    Gabe arrogantly brushed a dark curl off of his forehead, “He didn’t really have a choice, my parents are his biggest benefactors. He would have had to find another way to raise money if he had turned down their request.”

    Dee frowned, Gabe’s family was loaded. So she still had a hard time trying to figure out why they had to have Gabe get a job when they could easily have paid for them to live comfortably.

    “Ah! You must be Gabe and Dee. I was wondering when you would show up.” A vaguely handsome middle-aged man greeted them at the door. He had sandy brown hair and dark intelligent eyes. He was dressed in khakis and a sage green polo shirt with a lab coat over it.

    The teenagers nodded with Gabe stepping forward, “Thank you for helping us Professor.”

    “Of course, don’t mention it. I can always use an extra pair of hands around here.” he began to walk into the lab gesturing for them to follow. In the first room was a very pregnant young woman was tending to a couple baby squirtle. She had dark brown hair that fell loosely around her shoulders and navy blue eyes. Delia wasn't sure how anyone so big could be any help to Prof Oak, but it seemed that she was working more than just playing with the squirtle.

    “Jasmine!” he exclaimed, “this is Gabe Michaels and Dee Bennet. The new aides I was telling you about.”

    “Oh, hello!” Jasmine stood and walked over to them, “I’m Jasmine, Prof Oak’s daughter-in-law.” they shook hands.

    “Jasmine, why don’t you show Dee her new home while I finish giving Gabe the tour of the lab.”

    “Of course,” Jasmine gestured to the playpen in the corner, “May fell asleep not too long ago, would you mind listening for her?”

    Prof Oak shook his head smiling as the two women went out the back door and across the field.


    Swirls of brown, pale blue, and white covered the room. Ash Ketchum was bored. Laying upside down on the couch, he watched the entertainment center blur as the blood rushed to his head.

    “Ash? What are you doing?”

    He turned his head to the side and saw a turquoise and orange blur join the others. It couldn’t be anyone but his girlfriend, Misty. They had been friends for a long time, 8 years. They started dating when he was traveling around Sinnoh. Brock casually mentioned to Ash that Misty was going on a date with someone in her hometown of Cerulean City. It freaked Ash out and as soon as they got to the next town he called her demanding to know how her date went. She was coy and teasing, but eventually told him that it was fun but not something she was going to continue.

    “I don’t think I like the idea of you dating…” he said softly.

    “Why not? It’s not like I’m not old enough to date!” she snapped back.

    An arguement ensued as Misty tried to get why he didn't want her to date out of him, with Ash making up one lame excuse after another.

    “Maybe I don’t like it because I don’t want you to date anyone but me!” the second the words were out of his mouth they both froze. He wanted nothing more than to hang the phone up and beat himself over the head.

    “O-okay…” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

    “What?” he asked.

    “Okay…when you get home from Sinnoh….we’ll go out on a date. Until then….I won‘t see anyone…”

    “I won’t either.” he smiled, his face a subtle shade of pink.

    That’s exactly what happened. They went on their first date and had been inseperable since then. Misty was over at his house practically everyday now that her sister’s battling skills had improved enough that she could trust them to run the gym without her. And he snuck out and spent every night in Cerulean City with her, always making sure that he was back in his own bed before his mom woke up in the morning.

    “Where’s my mom?” he asked sitting up. Then he shut his eyes until the dizzy feeling passed from being upside down for so long.

    “She said she had some errands to run.” Misty plopped down on the couch next to him. She looked cute, her orange hair was down around her shoulders with the front pinned back. They were having an unusual heat wave, so she was wearing a turquoise bikini top with white board shorts a matching turquoise floral pattern down the sides. Ash himself was just wearing a pair of swim trunks, anything more and he would be sweating to death.

    “Gotcha…she’ll probably be gone for awhile.” he looked around the room, “Did she take Mimey with her?”

    “Yep…it’s just you and me.”

    “and Pikachu.” he added.

    She nodded, “But he’s asleep, so it’s still really only us.” they sat in silence for minute before she spoke again, “Why were you laying upside down on the couch?”

    “I dunno. I couldn’t think of anything else to do. Not traveling is getting really boring.” he sighed.

    “I see what you mean, because being around me couldn’t possibly be enough to keep you wanting to stay.” Misty rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest.

    “Aw, come on Mist, don’t be that way. You know I want to hang out with you. But there’s absolutely nothing to do in Pallet Town!”

    She sighed, then a small mischievous smile formed on her face, “You’re right…there’s not all that much to do here. But we have the makings of some excitement…”

    “No, we don’t…at least not here” he looked at her strangely.

    “Of course, what could two teenagers possibly do when they have a good couple hours without parental supervision?” she looked at him out of the corner of her eye.

    It only took a couple seconds for him to understand her meaning, and when he did his smile matched hers. He leaned forward kissing her softly. Misty, never the patient one, put her hands behind his neck and deepened the kiss. After a couple minutes, Ash pulled away and cleared his throat, “Maybe we should go upstairs…”

    “Why?” she asked.

    He swung his gaze to Pikachu sleeping in the corner, “I feel weird making out with you in front of him.”

    “Why? It’s just Pikachu…and he’s asleep…”

    “I know…but to me, that’s like…”he tried to find the right way to describe it to her, “it’s like Brock is sleeping over there!”

    Misty scrunched her nose up as she imagined their older friend in the living room with them. She shuddered slightly, “You’re absolutely right, let’s go upstairs!”

    They stood and practically ran up to Ash’s room where they shut the door. “Much better!” he smiled walking toward her and kissing her again. She pulled him slightly leading him towards his bed. They laughed as they toppled over onto it. He pulled her on top of him as she ran her fingers through his hair. He slid her shorts off, slightly dismayed to see that her bikini bottoms were underneath. Misty sat up, her legs still straddling him. She laughed at the disappointed look on Ash’s face.

    “What? Did you think I was going comando?” she giggled.

    “A guy can hope can’t he?” he chuckled with her. Then he sat up kissing her again. She pushed him back down, laughing, before reaching back and untying her top.

    **********

    Ash woke up realizing that he was alone. He glanced over at his alarm clock and saw that he had been asleep for a little over an hour. He got up shaking his hair to unstick it from the back of his neck and got dressed. As he passed his bedroom window he saw Misty sitting on the fence that divided his backyard and Prof Oak’s talking to Gary. He jogged down the stairs, noting that his mom still hadn’t returned, and out to his friends.

    “It’s a lot like being friends…except with more tongue.” Misty was saying as he walked up. His face turned red as he realized they were talking about him.

    “Misty! Stop!” he waved his arm in her direction. Causing both Gary and Misty to laugh. Ash looked over at Gary. In the heat, he was also only wearing a pair of shorts, but he was also wearing his white lab coat.

    “Why are you still wearing your coat? Aren’t you boiling in that?’ he asked pushing himself up onto the fence next to Misty.

    Gary brushed back his brown hair which was damp with sweat, “Yeah, but I feel a little lame without it. I am a pokemon researcher, I have to look the part.” they all laughed.

    “Ash!”

    They looked up to see his mom jogging out the back door towards him. She was really young, for having an 18 year old son. Her reddish brown hair was pulled up on in a high ponytail and her brown eyes were sparkling with excitement. “You got a letter!”

    Ash stood up and met her partway taking the letter from her hand and ripping open the envelope. His eyes scanned the message as a wide smile appeared across his face.

    “Well…looks like this summer isn’t going to be as boring as I thought!”
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 23rd July 2008 at 1:41 AM.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  2. #2
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    Chapter 1


    Dee took the time to admire the small town that had been her home for the past 2 months. It was winter and the entire village was covered in white. She had always loved winter, and it was definitely prettier in this small town than the stuffy gated community she had grown up in. Her hands drifted down to her stomach. 5 more months and she would be a mother. She still couldn’t believe it, she herself had just turned 17. They were doing well in Pallet Town though. The house Prof Oak had given them was bigger than she had expected, but still cozy. And Gabe seemed to be enjoying working with the pokemon, but she knew that he missed traveling. He was restless, but there wasn’t really anything they could do about it. She reached her front yard and smiled slightly as she saw him shoveling the drive.

    “Hey!” he grinned, stopped shoveling and kissed her as she walked up.

    “Hi.” they paused for a long time, she waited for him to ask how her appointment went. Once it was clear that he wasn’t going to, she continued. “So…I found out the sex of the baby.”

    “Oh, yeah?” he scratched his arm absentmindedly, “What is it?”

    “A boy.” his face remained emotionless but she went on, “I was thinking about names on my way home…do you have any that you like?”

    He looked up at the sky, “Not really. I mean, there isn’t really any name that I like more than another…just don’t name him Gabriel…I couldn’t handle a jr.”

    She nodded, “What about Thomas?”

    “Thomas Michaels. I guess it has a certain ring to it.”

    “But we have awhile before we have to settle on anything…we could find something we like better.”

    Gabe looked at her seriously, “Dee, I thought you didn’t care about the baby that much.”

    “I may not want him as much as I should, but he still has to have a name doesn’t he?” she snapped, “We can’t just go around calling him Dream-Crusher!” Instantly irritated at his apathy, she stomped off into towards Prof Oak’s lab. Behind her, she heard Gabe start shoveling again. She saw Jasmine and Joseph sitting in the back with their 2 kids. May was only 3, a pretty little girl with her father’s light brown hair and green eyes. Their newest, little Gerald, Gary for short, was the spitting image of his mother. He was born with a head full of dark brown hair and big navy blue eyes. Dee plopped down next to Jasmine who was making faces at Gary.

    “He’s such a jerk sometimes!” she exclaimed.

    “Why?” Jasmine was used to Dee and Gabe’s fights, which seemed to be happening more and more lately.

    “He can’t even pretend to care a little about this damn baby? I’m not excited in the least, but I can muster up a little interest in doctor’s appointments and names.”

    “Speaking of which, did you find out what you’re having?”

    “Yeah, a boy.” Dee sighed.

    Jasmine’s face fell, “I was hoping that you would have a girl, then she and Gary could get married and we’d be in-laws.”

    Dee had to admit the scenario would be fun, “He could always marry May. Maybe he’ll be into older women…”

    “Dee, seriously though…” Jasmine set Gary on her legs and turned to look at her friend, “Don’t you wonder what he’ll be like? You can’t say that you’re not curious about the little person growing inside you.”

    Dee smiled to herself, “I actually had a dream last night, about the baby. It was a boy then too. He looked exactly like Gabe. And he was running around the backyard with his dad and we were…a family…” she sighed.

    “What? What’s wrong?”

    “It’s just…the more pregnant I get, the less Gabe and I seem to interact. I think that my family dream is just that, a dream.”

    “Oh, Gabe’s just freaked out. You should have seen Joe right before May was born. He was a wreck, I swore over and over that I was going to leave him. It comes with the first child. There’s nothing wrong with the two of you.”

    “Are you sure?” Dee had begun to look up to Jasmine as an older sister and craved for her to tell her that everything would be alright.

    “Positive, you’ll see. Once that baby is born, Gabe will come right out of his funk.”


    Mr. Ash Ketchum
    Your skill in pokemon training has not gone unnoticed
    I wish to extend an invitation to participate in a mission to retrieve a very rare stone from the mountains surrounding Fuchsia City.
    If you accept make reservations at the Watergate Hotel if you give them my name they will know what to do.
    Dr. Pritchard


    Misty read the card over again. She still couldn’t believe that someone wanted Ash to go on a mission for them. Of course, that meant that he was leaving again. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do. She had been looking forward to having Ash all to herself for the whole summer and now he was being called off. She looked over at Ash. He was standing by his bed trying to decide what needed to be taken with him.

    “So, I was thinking that we’ll take a detour through Cerulean City-” he was saying aloud.

    “I know, I know,” she interrupted, “to drop me off while you go on your big adventure.”

    “No…” he said slowly, “So that you can get your stuff.”

    “What?”

    He turned to look at her grinning, “You didn’t think I was going without you did you? I promised you a summer together. No matter where I go, you’re going too!”

    She leapt up from her spot on the floor. “Really? Oh! I haven’t traveled in so long!”

    “So we’ll stop by Cerulean City, then make our way to Fuchsia…I think we should be able to make it there within a week, if we make good time.” he continued pulling stuff out of his bag and putting it back in trying to make everything fit. She sat down grinning from ear to ear. Now that she knew he wasn’t leaving her she mentally went through her wardrobe trying to decide what to bring.

    ****

    Ash sat at the kitchen table with his mother enjoying time together before he set off again. He looked out into the living room at Misty sleeping peacefully on the couch. He smiled, her hands were balled into fists underneath her chin and her hair fell slightly over her eyes. She always looked so harmless in her sleep.

    “So you won’t know anything about this mission until you get there?” Delia asked pouring Ash a glass of lemonade.

    “No, but I’m excited! I don’t care if it’s collecting rock samples. I’m glad to be out of the house and out in the world again!” he caught his mother’s expression, “Not that I don’t love being around you, Mom…” he amended.

    She laughed softly but there was a sadness in her eyes, “You’re just like your father, Ash. He hated being in one place too long.”

    Ash and Delia went quiet, as they always did when his father came up in conversation. Which wasn’t very often to be honest. He never really thought about the fact that he didn’t have a father when he was younger. He spent all of his time with Gary and May Oak who didn’t have either parent. Ash did remember one instance when he was only about 7. He and Gary had gotten into a fight when Gary, ever the sensitive child, yelled out that Ash was so horrible that his own father had run away so he wouldn’t have to be around him. This was a thought that had never occurred to him before, could it really be his own fault that he didn’t have a dad? He ran home to his mom skidding to a stop in the kitchen behind her.

    “Why don’t I have a dad?” he demanded.

    Delia had turned to look at her young son, this was something she had hoped to never have to address. She sighed softly, wiping her hands on the dish towel on the counter. Then she sat down at the table, motioning for Ash to do the same. Once he was seated she began.

    “Your dad and I fell in love a long time ago. But he was a great pokemon trainer and was called away to train in far away lands and help the world learn more about pokemon. He was so sad to have to leave us, you were just a baby at the time. But I know that he’ll be back again someday, when he’s done conquering the world.” she ran her fingers through Ash’s hair. The little boy thought for a long time before accepting the story and running back outside to shove it in Gary’s face.

    He was older now, and at least a little wiser. He knew that whatever had actually happened between his parents, his dad wasn’t coming back. He didn’t even know if the man knew that Ash existed. Not that he had ever really wanted for a father. Things worked out well for him, he had his mom and Prof Oak when he was little, and then when he turned 10 he met Brock who had helped him through his teen years. All in all, Ash had turned out okay. That wasn’t to say he wasn’t a little curious…especially when his mom would say that they were a lot alike, he and his father. He wondered what he looked like. He had to have gotten his hair from him, but that didn’t mean that every dark-haired man he met on the street could be his father.

    “Mom?” he asked hesitantly.

    “Yeah?” Delia looked down at the ice cubes floating in her glass.

    “My dad…what was he like?”

    “He…” she thought about what to tell him.

    “Don’t give me any crap about him being some sort of hero, don’t you think I’m a little old for that?” he interrupted.

    “I wasn’t going to. I knew your dad most of my life, we became fast friends when he moved into my neighborhood. So when he decided to leave to go on his journey, I went with him. That was when we fell in love. We just saw each other in a new light, I guess. But he was…a lot like you. He was loud, and selfish. Cocky, restless.”

    “Mom! Those are all bad things!”

    “He was also kind, and loving. You had to have gotten your love of pokemon from him. His dream was the same as yours, to be a Pokemon Master.”

    “That doesn’t mean anything, it’s a lot of kids dreams. How can I be like someone I’ve never met?”

    “I’m not sure how it happened. You just are.”

    “Does it…upset you? You know, because I’m like him…?” his head was down and Delia smiled a little knowing he would change his entire personality if he thought he was causing her pain.

    “No. It reminds me of all the good times we had together. Sometimes, when I’m not paying attention, I’ll look at you and Misty and I’ll see him and I when we were your age. Just two kids in love.”

    He couldn’t help the smile growing on his face.

    “What time are you leaving in the morning?” she asked changing the subject.

    “I was hoping to be out of here early. Probably around 7...” he yawned realizing for the first time how tired he was.

    “Alright, then I’ll wake up early enough to make you two breakfast before you leave….by the way, are you calling Brock to let him know that you’re leaving?”

    “No. I promised Misty that I’d spend the summer with just her. So Brock’s sitting this adventure out.”

    Delia smiled as she stood up and gathered their glasses. “That’s so sweet of you. Goodnight, I’ll see you in the morning.” she hugged him before walking upstairs.

    Ash stood in the kitchen for a few moments, taking in the quiet. Then he walked out into the living room shaking Misty slightly, “Mist…come on, let’s get you into bed.”

    She sighed softly in her sleep but didn’t wake.

    “Always have to make things difficult don’t you?” he whispered kissing her cheek as he lifted her off of the couch. He smiled as she burrowed her head into his chest, making herself more comfortable as he carried her upstairs and into bed.
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 23rd July 2008 at 2:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Aww. This fic is so cute and easy-going. The pokeshipper in me squeals in delight. Though it may seem sometimes that the text is overwhelming description, you seem to make their words as meaningful as possible, and can make the most of their situation.

    Now, Delia's story as a teenager is getting very interesting. GOT ME very interested. ;]

    My favorite moment.

    “Always have to make things difficult don’t you?” he whispered kissing her cheek as he lifted her off of the couch. He smiled as she burrowed her head into his chest, making herself more comfortable as he carried her upstairs and into bed.
    Awwwwwwwww. <333333333

    Good job, yet again. *applaud*

  4. #4
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    Default Part 1: The Ira Crystal

    a/n: I know there isn't much time between these two chapters being posted. I had basically written all of chapter 2 as part of chapter 1, then decided to split them. I promise from now on they'll be further apart.



    Chapter 2

    There was a baby crying. It was a sound Dee had thought that she would never get used to. She rushed over to the cradle and scooped Gary up.

    “Shh…I know, I know. Come on, let’s get you dressed?” she calmed the sobbing infant. It was all she could do not to break down herself. Today was the day they were burying her friends Jasmine and Joe. She still couldn’t believe they were gone, it had all happened so quickly. They had gone on their second honeymoon to the Seafoam Islands, but their car was hit by a drunk driver on their way home from the airport. At least, they were killed instantly, there wasn’t any pain. That was all that Dee and Prof Oak had to cling to. She sighed. He was taking it harder than she was, of course, Joseph was his son. She was doing all she could for him, she had taken Gary and May to her house and was caring for them. She had called and made all of the funeral arrangements. She spent a lot of time up at the lab cleaning up for him. But he still barely spoke to her, or anyone else for that matter. The worst part, she hadn't spent any time with Gabe during all this. She would spend all day with the kids and be so exhausted that she would be in bed before he got home and he would be gone before she woke up in the morning. They were growing apart and she could feel it in every inch of her.

    “May? Your brother is dressed. It’s time for you to be too!” she called down the hall. May was nowhere in sight. “May?” she rushed downstairs and sighed in relief as she saw May and Gabe in the living room. “Oh thank God! Here Gabe, you take Gary and I’ll get May dressed, and then you can get dressed and we’ll go.” she handed the baby to Gabe as she took in his outfit. He was wearing a plain brown t-shirt and jeans.

    “Um…Dee…” Gabe fumbled through his words as he awkwardly held Gary.

    “What? I really have to get May ready, we’re already running late.” she lifted the little girl into her arms and started towards the stairs.

    “Dee!” he exclaimed causing her to turn around, “I’m not going to the funeral.” He walked over to her holding Gary out. She set May on the floor and took the baby from him. “I’m sorry. I just got back from talking to Prof Oak. He heard about a region in the west that has been reporting new species of pokemon. He wanted to go check it out…but since the accident…he asked me to go instead.”

    “You’re leaving?” she asked softly noticing for the first time the backpack by the door.

    “Oh, don’t say it like that. I’m not leaving.” he avoided eye contact, “I’m going on a trip…”

    “What about the baby?”

    “I’ll be back in time. You’re due in April right?” Dee nodded, “I’ll be back by February easy. That’s just 4 months from now.”

    She didn’t know what to say. He was leaving her, why would Prof Oak ask him to go away when she needed him the most? She inhaled deeply as she realized she was being selfish. How could she expect Prof Oak to go after this tragedy?

    “Dee?” he asked. She had been silent for awhile. He was afraid she would yell at him.

    “Go.” She whispered, “Go, do your research. The baby and I will be waiting for you when you get back.”

    He leaned forward kissing her softly before going toward the door. She watched him walk away with tears rolling down her cheeks and a sinking feeling in her chest. Something told her that this was the last time she’d see him.




    Misty squealed excitedly as they approached the Cerulean City Gym. Her giddiness hadn’t subsided at all since they set foot out of Pallet Town. Ash didn’t realize that she had missed traveling around with him so much. It made him feel bad to have not invited her to go with him more often. It was just that…Brock still teased him a little about he and Misty dating and he didn’t want to give him more ammo. He'd rather spend his time with her without worrying about what anyone else thought.

    “I’m home!” She called when they opened the door.

    “Good! I was getting lonely.” her older sister Daisy walked into the front hall. “Lily and Violet are at the mall, Violet had a bad date last night so some retail therapy was in order.”

    Ash breathed a sigh of relief. As he had gotten older, Lily and Violet had gotten it in their heads that he was good looking and they had told him on many occasions that he could do much better than their baby sister. He always dreaded going to the Cerulean Gym, even though it was a little fun to have such pretty admirers, he knew it bothered Misty.

    “Well, I’m only here to pick up some things. Ash and I are going to Fuchsia City!” Misty ran up the stairs leaving Ash and Daisy alone downstairs.

    “Fuchsia City?” she asked him raising an eyebrow.

    “I got an invitation to look for some rock. I promised Misty we’d spend the whole summer together so she’s going with me.” he shrugged.

    “Mmhmm…Ash, what are your intentions with my sister?” Daisy turned to look at him.

    “My, my intentions?” he stuttered backing away slightly.

    “You’ve been dating for awhile now…3 years right?” he nodded, “I just want to know…that you’re not getting her hopes up.”

    “About what?”

    “Misty’s a good girl. She loves you, and I know that she wants you to live out your dreams. But all this traveling and being apart…eventually it will take it’s toll on her.”

    “We don’t have to be apart. She can come with me! She likes being here, at the gym. It’s a challenge for her.”

    “I know that. And I know that she won’t say anything to you, but eventually she’ll want to get married and settle down and have a family. I don’t know…but I have a feeling you might not want the same things.”

    “Daisy! We’re only 18! Don’t you think we’re a little young to be thinking about marriage and kids?” his face turned a little red, “Besides…I don’t know…I’m not against kids. Or being married…I just….I like the way things are! Do they have to change?”

    “Not now, but someday Misty will want more from you. I'm not saying that you have to want to marry her, just that if you know you won't...I just want to make sure that she’s not going to get hurt. At least…promise me that you’ll give it some thought.”

    He sighed looking down, “I promise.” he mumbled.

    “Good. And, don’t tell Mist about our little conversation. She’ll only freak out.” Daisy laughed as Misty came back downstairs, backpack and sleeping bag in hand.

    “Ready to go?” he asked smiling at her.

    “Yeah!” She hugged her older sister, “See ya Daisy, I don’t know how long we’ll be gone.”

    “Have fun you two! Stay in touch!” Daisy watched them as they walked down the path away from the gym. She silently wished that Ash would think about what she said.

    They walked down towards Saffron City in near silence. She didn’t like it, they never ran out of things to say, yet here they were. He seemed to be deep in thought, his eyebrow furrowed in concentration, and his lips were moving as if he was talking to himself.

    “Ash?” she asked.

    He looked up at her, startled, “Yeah?”

    “What are you thinking about? Your mission?”

    “Uh, yeah. I’m just wondering what this stone could be. I mean, to call a pokemon trainer to get it for you.” his face flushed a little, but he was hoping Misty wouldn’t notice. In truth, he was thinking about her. Daisy had said that she loved him…he and Misty hadn’t said anything like that to each other yet. He didn’t know what it was to love someone. The only things he had ever loved was his mom and Pikachu. That was different. Misty deserved love much greater than that from him. Which was precisely why he hadn’t said that he loved her, and until he loved her that much, he wasn’t going to. He glanced up at her. Her hair was down, she wore it like that more now that they were together because she knew he liked it. She had changed at the gym into white capris and a bright blue tank top.

    “Misty…do you want to get married?” he asked quietly.

    “What now?!” her eyes widened in shock.

    “No! No! Not now! Someday…to anyone…” he rubbed his face trying to wipe the pink he knew was there away, “I meant to say, is marriage important to you? Is it something you want?”

    She gave him a weird look, “Yeah. I’d like to marry…someday. But not now, I’m too young. I’m still living life.”

    He nodded, but still looked to be thinking.

    “Why?” he winced, he had known this question was coming. But he couldn’t exactly say that her sister had told him that she would and he wanted her to confirm it. He wasn’t supposed to mention Daisy’s talk.

    “Can’t I just be curious?” he exclaimed rushing off down the road.

    “Ash! Wait up!” he laughed as she ran after him. Subject avoided, for now.
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 28th May 2008 at 4:16 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Part 1: The Ira Crystal

    Chapter 3


    Dee screamed out in pain. If there was ever a time to resent her child, it was now. She had been playing with Gary and May over at the lab when her water had broken, 3 weeks too early. She almost immediately began to freak out. It was too soon. Gabe wasn’t here. She didn’t want to be a mother, was it too late to take all this back? Luckily, Prof Oak was there. He was great, he sent May and Gary to a neighbor’s and driven Dee to the hospital. He was still there, sitting on a chair in her room, keeping her company.

    “Professor?” she asked once her contraction had subsided, “Did you get ahold of Gabe? Does he know? Is he coming?”

    He looked up at her and forced himself to smile, “I left a message with the Pokemon Center. They didn’t know where he was but would be sure to get it to him. I’m sure that he’ll call as soon as he gets it. I left the number here at the hospital.”

    She nodded sadly, she wasn’t supposed to be doing all this by herself. Gabe had said that he would be back before she gave birth. Although she didn’t know why she believed him. He hadn’t called or written or anything since he had left. Still, she had hoped that he wasn’t lying, that he would be home for the birth of his son. She cried out again as she felt another contraction. That was when Dr. Emmett walked in.

    “How are we doing, Dee?” she asked cheerfully.

    Dee couldn’t muster up more than a thumbs up as she gritted her teeth against the pain. As Dr. Emmett began to check on her, Prof Oak jumped up.

    “How is she?” he asked concerned.

    “Well, she’s at 10 cm.” the doctor smiled.

    “What does that mean?” Dee asked.

    “That means, I’m going to get a delivery room ready, you’re going to have this baby.”

    Dee began to sob, it was all happening so fast, too fast. She wasn’t ready. His room wasn’t done being painted. The crib needed to be put together. Gabe was supposed to do these things! Where the hell was he? He said he’d be here! “I can’t!” she wailed.

    “You don’t really have much of a choice.” Dr. Emmett laughed, “Your baby is coming.”

    “But Gabe isn’t here! He said he’d be back in February! He can’t miss this! I can’t do this without him!” she knew she was being childish, and a temper tantrum wasn’t the best thing to do right before you deliver your baby. But dammit it wasn’t fair!

    “Dee, you’re going to be fine. Everything will work out.” she looked up to see Prof Oak standing next to her. He took her hands in his, “You just concentrate on having a healthy baby. I’ll keep trying to reach Gabe. Okay?”

    She stared at him for a few moments, “You mean you’re not going with me?”

    “What?” he asked, practically choking on the words.

    “I want you with me, I don’t want to be alone.” her voice was soft, barely above a whisper.

    He smiled, “Then I’ll go with you, and I’ll call Gabe afterwards.”

    “Now,” Dr. Emmett clapped her hands getting their attention, “can we go deliver this baby?”


    All together it was 8 hours, a breezy quick labor apparently. It had been agony, and now that it was over, what did she have? A son. A son without a father to be exact. Prof Oak had gone out into the lobby again, calling every Pokemon Center he could think of looking for anyone who had seen Gabe in the last 24 hours. She saw the screaming infant briefly, right after he was born but he was just a big mess of blood and gunk. Not all that appealing to her. Now that she was in her room, a well meaning nurse brought the wretched thing in to see her. She stared at him as he was propped up on her legs, waiting. Weren’t overwhelming maternal feelings supposed to take her over right about now? Wasn't she supposed to wonder how she ever lived her life without this tiny bundle of joy? None of this was happening.

    “You.” she accused glaring her eyes slightly at him. “You’re the reason I had to move to Pallet Town. You’re the reason Gabe left me and I couldn’t go with him. And now you’re the reason I can’t leave. I have no way of taking care of you on my own. I don’t even want to. I don’t want you.”

    They stared at each other, mother and son. She expected the newborn to scream, cry, do something to prove that she was right to hate him. But he didn’t. All he did was watch her. She knew enough about babies to know that he couldn’t really see her, at least his eyes couldn’t focus yet. But you wouldn’t notice that with the way he seemed stare at her with the same intensity as hers. She smiled a little, you win this round, she thought before setting him in the plastic crib the nurse has placed by her bed.

    Prof Oak walked in smiling at her.

    “Did you find him?” she asked.

    “Not exactly, but I talked to the Nurse Joy in Petalburg City, she said that he checked in last night. She hasn’t seen him all day, but he hasn’t checked out so she will make sure that he knows. It’s closer than we were before.” he noticed the crib by her bed, “is he in there?”

    Dee nodded, “Yeah, go ahead. I’m sure he’s awake still.”

    She watched as he walked over to the crib and lifted the small baby into his arms. “He’s very cute. And tiny.”

    “I thought all babies were tiny…” she said.

    “Well, they are. But he’s really tiny. Joseph wasn’t this small, neither was May or Gary for that matter.”

    “He is early.”

    “I guess that’s true.” he stared at the baby for a bit, “he looks like you”

    “No, he looks like Gabe. The only thing he got from me are his eyes.”

    It was true, he had the beginnings of Gabe’s dark hair and most of his features. The only thing belonging to her were his brown eyes.

    “You and Gabe have similar features. He’s one of those babies that will look like whichever parent he stands near.”

    “Well, that’s good I guess. At least he’ll look like me a little and I won’t have to explain to people that little…what’s-his-name looks like his father who left us. I don’t want the sympathy.” she crossed her arms over her chest.

    “What’s-his-name huh?” He looked down at the baby, “You need a name…”

    “I was thinking of Thomas…but then I saw him…and he doesn’t look like a Thomas does he?” she said.

    “Not really.” He studied the baby’s face for a long time.

    “Prof Oak?”

    “I wish you’d call me Sam.” he still didn’t take his eyes off the baby.

    “Sorry.”

    “You know what name I’ve always been partial to?” he set Dee’s newborn back into her arms, “Asher. There’s something about it that I like. I wanted it to be Joseph’s name, but my wife didn’t like it.”

    Dee stared at her son. Asher? It wasn’t a bad name, but she wasn’t so sure that he looked anymore like an Asher than he looked like a Thomas. He didn’t really look like anything.

    “Well, I had better get home. May and Gary are probably missing being in their own beds.” he started to walk out the door.

    “Sam?” he turned to look at her, “Thank you, for everything you did for me today.”

    “Of course, I was glad to be helpful. I’ll come visit tomorrow, I might bring the kids with me…if that’s alright with you.”

    “That would be perfect.” she leaned back slightly, smiling as he left.

    She looked down at her baby. His eyes were closing a little. The nurse had said that he would sleep a lot. Although, he seemed to be fighting to stay awake, she wasn’t sure why. The door opened again, she looked up expecting Sam, but instead a nurse walked in.

    “Hello! I was hoping you would still be awake. Dr Emmett wanted me to give you this. There’s no rush to fill it out, just so that you’d have it.” she set a piece of paper and a pen on the tray table next to her bed. Then left, but not before admiring the baby on Dee’s lap.

    Once she was gone, Dee leaned over and picked up the page, it was a birth certificate. Her baby needed a name…and a father she thought noting that space on the paper.

    “What do you say we name you Gabriel Jr? Your dad said he didn’t want you to be, but he’s not exactly here to stop me is he?” she said in a baby voice. Her son stared up at her blankly. “You’re right, you shouldn’t be Gabriel Jr…what about Thomas? Do you like that one?” once again no reaction “Asher?” no change “Could you help out just a little? I can’t decide this on my own, I’ve never been good with decision making.” The baby yawned before shutting his eyes and finally giving in to sleep. She sighed lifting him and gently placing him in the crib. Then she pulled the table over her bed and grabbed the pen.

    “Mother,” she said aloud, “Delia Renee” then her hand had a mind of it’s own, writing down her mother’s maiden name instead of her own last name. “Father…” she paused before writing ‘unknown’ in the slot laughing a little to herself. “Baby..” she paused again, glancing over at the sleeping infant. “Asher Thomas Ketchum” she said as she wrote it on the line. “Well, Ash…”she liked the way it felt to say the name, is that a sign that she picked the right one? “Looks like it’s just you and me…” she lifted him out of the crib and set him on the bed next to her before laying down herself, wrapping her arm around him to hold him in place. “The funny thing is, “she yawned, “I think you’re starting to grow on me.”



    “Finally!” Misty exclaimed collapsing to her knees as the reached the entrance to Fuchsia City.

    Ash laughed as he walked up beside her reaching down a hand to help pull her up. “And you wonder why I don’t take you with me anymore. You’re way out of shape for traveling like this!”

    She ripped her arm out of his grasp and gave him an indignant glare, “For your information Mr. Ketchum. If you took me with you more often I wouldn’t be so out of shape!”

    Sensing that an argument was soon to follow, he put his arm on her waist and pulled her in for a kiss. When they came apart, she was smiling and he silently thanked the heavens. He knew that he would rue the day that didn’t work anymore, but for now it was all he had to avoid fighting.

    “Come on, we have a hotel to check into. And an adventure to begin.” he grabbed her hand pulling her into town.

    They broke into a sprint as the hotel came into view. Ash had to admit that he was looking forward to sleeping in a real bed himself. Not that he didn’t love camping out, but you can only sleep on the ground so many times before you start to wish for a bed. The teens managed to compose themselves enough to look civilized as they walked through the large doors of the hotel. It was nice, a lot nicer than any place they had stayed before. Misty spun around taking in the grand lobby as Ash walked up to the front desk.

    “Hi! I’m here to check in. The room is under Ketchum.” he said, smiling at the pretty receptionist.

    Misty turned around to look at them. The receptionist was saying something to Ash while twirling her hair and blushing slightly. She bit her lip to force the overwhelming feeling of jealous down into the pit of her stomach. Ash was one of those people who had looked a little dorky when he was younger but as he got older he had blossomed. Now girls were constantly falling all over him. Sometimes it boosted her ego a little to know that while all these girls looked at Ash, he only had eyes for her. Still when she noticed the blonde receptionist touch his arm one too many times, she walked up placing her hand in his.

    Her mood suddenly changed, “Here’s your room key. 348.” she said icily thrusting the card at them.

    “Thanks!” Misty grinned as Ash shook his head laughing.

    “You’re so mean.” he accused jokingly as they walked toward the elevator.

    “What? I didn’t do anything!” Misty was the picture of innocence.

    “Your presence is enough.” they stepped onto the elevator, with Ash pushing the button for the 3rd floor.

    They rode mostly in silence until they got to their room.

    “Oh my God, Ash this is huge!” she exclaimed dropping her bag on the floor.

    “Yeah, I guess that Dr Pritchard guy really wants us to be comfy while we do his dirty work.” he nodded.

    She looked around the room. There was a TV hidden in an armoire and a small living room arrangement with a mini kitchen next to it. On the other side of the room, was a large king sized bed and the door to a bathroom complete with his and hers sinks and a jacuzzi tub.

    “One bed?” she asked slyly looking at him.

    “Yeah…would you have preferred two?” he turned to her raising an eyebrow.

    “No, this is just sort of advertising. Ash and Misty are having sex.”

    He laughed, “Advertising to who? Are you giving out tours?”

    “Oh, never mind!” she blushed, she hated it when he got the better of her.

    “I’m going to take a shower. If you’re bringing people in, have them avoid the bathroom.” he saw her glare at him, “And whatever you’re charging, I want half.” he laughed as he slammed the bathroom door just quick enough to avoid the pillow that Misty threw at him.

    She fell backward onto the bed. That was when a card on the bedside table caught her eye. She picked it up, it was addressed to Ash but she decided to read it anyway.

    Mr. Ketchum

    Please accept my apologies that I could not be here to greet you when you arrived. I am taking care of some business in another region that I couldn’t get away from.

    I’ve called you to Fuchsia City to aid me in finding a rare stone. The Ira Crystal. Most people think that it only exists in legend, but my colleagues and I believe that it is real and wish to study it further and learn about it’s amazing power.

    Our research has led us to believe that the crystal is located somewhere in the mountains surrounding Fuchsia City. It’s exact location is unknown.

    I’ve enlisted another trainer to help you. He is also well known for his skills. I’m confident that with the two of you working together it shouldn’t be hard for you to find the stone.

    Dr. Prichard


    Another trainer? She wasn’t sure how Ash would feel about that. She turned the card over in her hands, there wasn’t a name anywhere, how were they supposed to find this guy? She rubbed her eyes, dismayed to see that there was dirt on the back of her hand, which meant that it was on her face. She could use a shower too. She stared at the bathroom door, willing Ash to come out so that she could go in.

    “Damn…Ash did say he was hungry…he won’t want to wait for me to take a shower after him.” she mumbled out loud, then smiled as she stood and went to the door. She knocked a couple times then opened it and walked in.

    “Who is it?” Ash laughed.

    “Just me and 20 of my closest friends. But just to spite you, I didn’t charge admission.” she joked pulling her t-shirt over her head and kicking the door closed.

    A half hour later they were sitting in across from each other at an outdoor table. Ash had just finished reading the letter from Dr Prichard while Misty worked on a large bowl of ice cream.

    “So we still don’t know what the hell this crystal is?” He set the card down on the table and looked up at Misty who was slowly eating her ice cream. He was mesmerized by her, he really, really wanted to be that spoon. He watched it’s trail. First into the bowl, then up to her mouth, then slowly back out. Although, this time she stopped halfway when she caught him staring at her.

    “Ash?” she asked.

    He didn’t say anything, instead leaning forward and kissing her. He liked being able to do that. Whenever they were around his mom she wouldn’t say anything but she would make the ‘awww how cute’ face. If they were around Brock there would be endless teasing. Around Misty’s sisters there would also be teasing, but Misty and Lily would inevitably get into a fight.

    “Mmm,” he smiled, “cookie dough.”

    She giggled, “Mmm, do it again.” he did as he was told, laughing.

    “So when do you think we should start looking for the rock?” he asked.

    “I don’t know, tomorrow? I want to know who this other trainer is. I’m a little curious.” she went back to devouring her ice cream.

    “I want to know what’s so special about this rock. And why he can’t get it himself.”

    “Why are you complaining? You’re the one who wanted to get out of the house and find something to do. Now that you have something you’re going to whine?”

    “I’m not whining, I just want the whole story.” Ash argued.

    “Excuse me.”

    They looked up to see a man in his early 30s standing at their table. He had messy dark curls and bright emerald green eyes. He was dressed in shorts and a green polo shirt that made his eyes stand out even more. He smiled at them revealing perfect white teeth. In short, he was stunning. Ash, out of the corner of his eye, saw Misty’s smile brighten a little.

    “I couldn’t help but overhear you talking about going after a stone. Are you looking for the Ira Crystal?”

    “Yeah…how did you know?” Ash asked instantly not trusting this handsome man.

    “Great then you’re the trainer I’m looking for!” he gestured to the empty chair at their table, “Do you mind?”

    “Actually, I was spending time with my-”

    “Of course, we don’t mind!” Misty interrupted.

    The man sat down, Ash noticed that he was closer to Misty than he was to him so he moved his chair next to her, wrapping his arm around the back of her chair.

    “I’m assuming that you were the other trainer called here by Dr Prichard to find the Ira Crystal for him?” the man smiled looking at Misty.

    “Oh! No, I’m not! He is.” Misty giggled pointing at Ash.

    “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…and you are?”

    “Ash Ketchum, this is my girlfriend Misty.” Ash introduced his eyed narrowing as he said girlfriend.

    “Pleased to meet you both, I’m Gabe Michaels.”


    a/n: DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUH!!!! Sorry, I had to do it. But you can't tell me that you didn't see Gabe making another appearance in the fic! And... I know I know I know. Those chapters were really close together, but they were easy for me to write and I apparently was in a writing mood. But the next one will take me longer because there's going to be a lot of emotion. I want to make sure that I get it right before I post it.
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 28th May 2008 at 4:18 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Chapter 4


    Sam Oak knocked on Dee’s front door, or Delia’s rather. It was the strangest thing, the day she brought Ash home from the hospital she told him she wasn’t going to be Dee Bennett anymore, she was Delia Ketchum. Of course, he had asked her why, to which she replied. Dee Bennett was a little girl who was pregnant and scared and sat around waiting for her boyfriend to come back to her. Delia Ketchum was a mom, her son was everything to her, and she knew Gabe wasn’t coming home. He was impressed, he didn’t know what happened in the hospital, but the girl that went in hating her baby and everything he represented was not the woman who came out. The thing was, when she was Dee he took care of her, she was just a kid and she needed a father figure, her and Gabe both did. But the fatherly feelings he had for Dee were melting away, and he thought he might be falling in love with Delia. Obviously there were issues, their age difference only being one of them. Once he realized that she wasn’t going to open the door he let himself him, glad that it was unlocked. He wasn’t prepared for the shrieking child he heard upstairs.

    “Delia?” he called.

    “Sam?” she appeared in the doorway of Ash’s room bouncing the normally happy baby on her hip. “Thank God! Please help! I don’t know what’s wrong or how to make him stop!”

    He smiled at them, Ash was sobbing loudly and by Delia’s expression, she was only a few seconds away from doing the same. He walked up the stairs to meet her and held his hands out, she placed Ash in them.

    “He’s not hungry, he doesn’t need to be changed. He’s exhausted, but he won’t sleep!” she finally broke down, “He’s only 8 months old and I’ve already screwed it up!”

    “You didn’t screw anything up.” Sam soothed, he held Ash at eye level then laughed, “He’s fine, he’s just teething.” he took the baby downstairs and into the kitchen with Delia close on his heels. He opened the freezer door and grabbed an ice cube holding his finger against it for a few second before sticking the finger in Ash’s mouth. He was shocked at first, tears still rolling down his cheeks but he calmed down fast and smiled chewing on Sam’s finger.

    “What did you do?” Delia’s eyes were wide with shock.

    He pulled his finger away slightly to show her the tiniest bit of white on Ash’s front gums. “The cold numbs it so he can’t feel the tooth poking through. I’m surprised that you don’t have any teething rings…he’s a little old to be getting his first tooth…” he caught her hurt facial expression, “I think I still have some of Gary’s somewhere, I’ll try to find them tonight. Until then, this will be fine, just make sure your finger isn’t too cold.” he looked down, noticing that after his tooth was soothed, Ash had fallen asleep in his arms. “I guess, I should probably put him to bed.” he whispered, walking slowly past her and up the stairs.

    After laying the baby in his crib, he looked around the room. It wasn’t as if he was unfamiliar with it. He had been the one to paint it, and put the crib together, and he bought him most of the stuffed pokemon and toys in the toy box in the corner. He looked down at Ash, Delia was always saying how much he looked like Gabe, the older he got. Sam didn’t see it, all he saw when he looked at him was Delia, especially now sleeping so peacefully he looked like his mother.

    “You have to go a little easier on your mom, Ash.” he whispered to the sleeping baby, “She’s doing the best she can, but she’s all by herself. Your dad is out there somewhere, but he’s not coming back. He made up a story about me telling him to go away so that your mom would let him go. You’re everything she has now, and I know that you’ll leave someday. Maybe you’ll want to be a trainer like your dad, or you’ll get married…I don’t know what will happen to her then. I hope that I’m still around to take care of her…” he sighed stroking Ash’s hair.

    Outside the room, Delia was leaning against the wall listening to Sam talk to Ash. She smiled a little to herself, it was nice of him to be so concerned for her. She heard his footsteps start towards the door so she ran downstairs arranging herself on the couch cleaning up Ash’s toys.

    “How is he?” she asked looking up when he entered the room.

    “Sleeping soundly. You were right, he was tired.” Sam smiled helping her grab the last few toys from the floor.

    “I can’t believe I didn’t even think that he might be teething. I’m not so great at this mom thing huh?” she mumbled.

    “You’re a first-time mom, you’re not supposed to know everything. Besides, if you did, how would I be able to swoop in and save the day?” he joked causing her to laugh.

    “I want to thank you. Even before Ash was born you were here for me, and you’ve been an immense help. I know it’s hard, you have your own research, and May and Gary to look after. It’s nice of you to still make time to check up on us.”

    He sat next to her on the couch, “Don’t be ridiculous, I always have time for you.” he said softly. They both realized how close they were, “and Ash.” he amended quickly.

    “Of course.” she breathed turning to face him. They sat staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity before he closed the gap between them, kissing her. Delia was shocked at first, but soon kissed him back, placing her hands on his shoulders. His hands moved to her waist as he lay her back on the couch. Neither of them were sure where this was going, but they both knew that they didn’t want to stop. She ran her hands through his hair urging him to kiss her faster, harder, she wasn’t sure, just that she wanted more. His hands grazed the skin on her stomach causing her to sigh and pull up on his shirt. He sat up so she could pull it over his head before moving down to kiss her again, first on the shoulder, then her cheek, and finally her lips. She began to unzip the sweatshirt she was wearing when they heard Ash wail from his room. They stopped and looked at each other before finally getting up and she composed herself as she ran up to him. Sam slid his shirt back on and stood, mentally berating himself as he left.

    Upstairs, Delia cradled her son close to her chest, breathing heavily. What had just happened?

    “Sam and I…” she trailed off combing her fingers through Ash’s hair as she rocked him back to sleep. “It was a nice kiss…but do I feel anything for him? Or am I just lonely?” she knew that Ash wasn’t going to answer her questions, but it felt good to say them out loud. Once she was sure Ash was asleep she set him back in his crib and went into her own room pulling back the covers and climbing into bed. She knew that she wasn’t going to sleep well tonight, she had to figure out what was going on between her and Sam.




    Misty sat at the table watching the two men talking. Ash’s animosity towards Gabe had melted away when he mentioned that he’d seen Ash on TV a few times. Talking about the battles he’s been in was always a way to get Ash to open up to you. They had been talking nonstop since. She laughed at how each man was getting progressively more animated the more they spoke. It was like watching Ash talk to himself in another 15 years.

    “And your pikachu! He’s absolutely fantastic, I’ve never seen a pikachu with so much power!” Gabe commented excitedly.

    “I know, he is amazing! He was my first pokemon, so I’ve trained him really well.” Ash said with a cocky grin.

    “Nice modesty, Ash” Misty laughed.

    “What it’s true, Pikachu is amazing.” he looked at her with a strange expression.

    “I know that, everyone does. But you don’t have to brag every time it’s brought up.” she rolled her eyes.

    “Did you bring him with you for this?” Gabe asked.

    “No, I travel around a lot so I promised Misty I’d spend the summer with her, then I got called away for this so she came with me.” he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, “To make up for the fact that we weren’t relaxing I left my absolute best friend at home so that we could be alone.”

    “Strike one, Ash” Gabe laughed, “When dealing with girlfriends, they are your absolute best friend.”

    “It’s true, Gabe, I had to come to terms with it a long time ago. Ash will always love Pikachu more than anyone in the world.” she shrugged.

    “That’s not what I said.” Ash protested his face turning a little red at having the two of them gang up on him.

    “But we all knew you meant it.” she sighed.

    “You know, “ Gabe started realizing that the conversation was about to take a serious turn, “you two remind me of myself and the girl I used to travel with. We were always arguing too.”

    “Oh?” Misty looked at him with interest, “What happened to you?”

    “Well we dated, fell in love and we were planning on getting married. We settled down and I got a job. Dee, that was her name, and I were pretty happy at first, but then I started to get restless. I wanted to keep traveling and I wanted her to go with me. We fought about it for a long time and then one day I told her that I was leaving for the Hoenn region and she said she couldn’t come with me. It broke my heart, I was so in love with her. But it became clear that we had different wants in life now. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since.” he sighed.

    Ash was skeptical of this story, he glanced over at Misty who’s eyes were tearing up a little. Gabe noticed this too and quickly amended, “But I’m sure it’s nothing like you two. I was just pointing out the fact that you fight.”

    The teens nodded, but it was obvious that the mood had shifted as Misty leaned back into her chair almost glaring at her drink. Gabe quickly changed the subject to people he had met on his travels, realizing that Ash had met a lot of them too.


    *****


    “I can’t stop thinking about Gabe.” Misty murmured later that night.

    Ash looked down at her, “I don’t know how it works with girls…” he started, “but guys aren’t too fond of it when the girl they’re kissing is thinking of someone else.”

    She giggled a little, kissing his chest and shoulders, “I’m not thinking about him like that. I’m thinking about what he told us today. It’s such a sad story, he was in love with her but they couldn’t be together because they had two different paths in life.”

    Ash snorted. “I doubt he loved her as much as he said he did.” he kissed her again before continuing, “If he truly loved her that much, he wouldn’t have been able to leave. A guy won’t leave a girl he loves and then just not come back.” he leaned down kissing her but she didn’t return it, he realized that he must have said the wrong thing. He pushed himself up on his arms above her, giving her a questioning look, “What?”

    She sighed, “You seem to have no problem leaving me…” her eyes met his and he could see the sadness behind them, “Or is that your way of telling me that you don’t love me?”

    He sat up as if he had been slapped, “I come back! Every time!” he exclaimed.

    She propped herself up leaning on her elbows, “Yeah, you come back, sometimes it’s a couple months later, sometimes it’s a year.”

    “I call every day!”

    “I only get to see your face if you happen to be in a town where you can use a video phone. And we never really get to talk because there’s always someone behind you, or you’re in a rush! I want to be able to kiss you, touch you, feel your arms around me! You’re always gone, and I’m always alone!” all of her frustrations came pouring out of her.

    “You think it doesn’t kill me? You think I don’t want to be around you? But we make up for lost time when we‘re together.”

    “Ash, you know this isn’t about sex! Don’t go! Or take me with you!”

    “You wouldn’t be happy traveling around with me, you love being in the gym. And there’s so much out there that I haven’t seen or done, I can’t stop now!”

    “What if it came down to a choice?” her voice softened.

    “What?” he stood at the end of the bed his eyes narrowing at her.

    “What if you had to choose having me or traveling the world?” she sat up meeting his glare.

    “Don’t ask me to do that, Misty.” his voice was strange.

    “Why not?”

    “Because you might not like the answer I give.” he turned and walked out, slamming the door behind him. The force shook the room and Misty felt it down to her core.


    *****

    The atmosphere was tense the next morning as Ash, Misty, and Gabe got ready to go. Ash had only made it down the hall before he had realized what he said to her and came running back, begging for Misty’s forgiveness.

    “I didn’t mean what I said.” he had cupped her chin in his hands and kissed her softly.

    “It’s okay, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked you to choose like that. It wasn’t fair to you.” she had said. That had been the end, but both knew that Misty had every right to ask him that question and that Ash had meant what he said. This was an argument that would have to be settled later. They were both visibly shaken by their first real fight though. Ash sat on one of the couches in the hotel lobby thinking about what Daisy had said to him before they left Cerulean City.

    “She loves you, and I know that she wants you to live out your dreams. But all this traveling and being apart…eventually it will take it’s toll on her.”

    He groaned leaning back into the cushions. Why was this all happening now? He and Misty had been fine, and then they met Gabe and he told them his sob story and now they were falling apart. He should never have decided to go after this damn crystal. They hadn’t even found it yet and it was causing problems. He looked up, Gabe and Misty were whispering to each other. His initial distrust of Gabe was coming back to him.

    “Are you okay?” Gabe asked Misty. He had heard the beginning of their argument last night, since his room was right next to theirs. But they had gone quiet before he heard the door slam so he didn’t know how it ended.

    “I’m fine.” she said shortly.

    “I’m sorry…” he whispered, “If what I said caused any sort of…anything between you and Ash. I honestly didn’t mean anything by it.”

    “I’m glad you did actually.” her voice took on a note of sadness, “I think I’m finding out that Ash and I are a lot more like you and Dee than either of us wanted to believe.”

    “Misty…I’m so sorry…I-”

    “We should probably go.” Ash shot Gabe a glare as he interrupted their conversation.

    Gabe nodded looking from Misty to Ash before standing up and grabbing his bag. Ash extended his hand to help Misty up but she recognized it right away as more of a possessive gesture than out of kindness. She got up without his help and brushed passed him.

    “Misty…” he started softly.

    She turned to look at him.

    “I’m sorry…I think that we need to talk…about us.”

    “I think we’ve done enough talking, Ash. Let’s get this crystal and we’ll figure everything out.” she fought the tears in her eyes as she turned again following Gabe to the door.

    “Misty!” he grabbed her arm pulling her back to him, “Don’t. Don’t just give up like that.”

    “I think you’ve already made how you feel very clear.”

    He pulled her closer kissing her forcefully, she couldn’t help kissing him back. Her knees buckled beneath her but luckily he was there to hold her up. They ended the kiss staring at each other intensely. Misty gulped as his gaze overpowered hers.

    “Ash! Misty!”

    They broke apart looking towards the entrance of the hotel. Delia walked in with a grin.

    “Mom? What are you doing here?” Ash asked walking over to her with Misty close behind him.

    “Oh! Prof Oak was having a pokemon sent over from the Safari Zone but the transfer machine broke down so I volunteered to come get it. I figured that way I could visit with you and see how your….mission…..is….going…..” Delia trailed off staring behind them. Ash and Misty turned and saw Gabe looking at Delia with the same shocked expression.

    “Mom?” Ash asked taking a concerned step towards his mother.

    Misty, who had been looking at Gabe saw his face change from shock to horror as Ash addressed Delia as ‘Mom’ She looked from Gabe to Delia then back to Gabe before gasping. “Oh my God! Dee!”
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 28th May 2008 at 9:46 PM.

  7. #7
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    i only recently noticed this, very good so far, keep it up
    Quote Originally Posted by Romke View Post
    Mmm, its a sandstorm based team and I dont know if spirittomb works well. I keep that 1 in mind Thanks! What about shedinja?

  8. #8
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    Default Part 1: The Ira Crystal

    Chapter 5


    Gabe walked up the dirt path leading into Pallet Town. Was she still here? Would she want to see him? He saw the familiar observatory and grounds that made up Prof Oak’s lab and smiled. Maybe he should scope the place out first.

    As he jogged up to the building he saw Prof Oak in the back, he looked older than Gabe remembered, but then again, it had been 5 years. There were 3 kids running around on the grass, playing some sort of game. He slowly made his way to the fence, not sure yet if he wanted to be noticed.

    Sam looked up and saw the dark haired man watching him, he recognized him right away as Gabe and his eyes narrowed. “You have some nerve coming back here.” he said.

    “So you do know who I am.” Gabe smiled a little.

    “Yes.” Sam took a deep breath as he walked toward Gabe, “She doesn’t want to see you.”

    “How do you know? No one knew I was coming. She might love to see me!” but deep down he knew it wasn’t true. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking clearly when I left.” he looked down, away from Prof Oak. “How is she? And…and the baby? I guess he‘s not a baby anymore…”

    “They’re fine.” Sam answered shortly. He could sense that Gabe wanted to know more, but he was going to make him ask for it.

    “I still can’t believe that I’m a father-” Sam snorted, “In the broadest sense of the word.” Gabe was quiet for a few seconds. “I don’t even know his name…”

    “Ash.” Sam said softly.

    “What?”

    “His name is Asher.”

    “Oh…I didn’t even know she was considering Asher…”

    Prof Oak’s attention was suddenly caught by the children.

    “Ew! She kissed me!” one of the boys shrieked. The other boy erupted in laughter as the dark haired boy frantically wiped his cheek off.

    “Now you’re going to need a cootie shot!” the boy exclaimed between fits of laughter.

    “May, leave Ash alone! How many times do I have to tell you?” Sam yelled back, then winced as he realized what he had just given away.

    “Ash…” Gabe mumbled looking at the boy with newfound interest. He was small, considering that he had to be about 5 years old now. He had unruly black hair and big brown eyes. Ash, his son, Dee’s son. There was a weird feeling in his stomach, was he starting to regret his decision to leave? It had seemed like the perfect solution at the time…but now…

    “I think you should go, Gabe.” Sam was saying, “Delia won’t like the fact that you’re here, let alone that you saw him.”

    “Delia?” he asked puzzled.

    “She doesn’t go by Dee anymore.”

    “Please, Prof…can’t I just talk to her?”

    “It would be best if you didn’t. She went through a change after you left, I’m not sure what she’d do if she saw you again.”

    Gabe nodded dejectedly. “Does he know about me?”

    “I don’t honestly know…I’ve never asked Delia if she tells him about his dad.” he lied, knowing full well the fantastical tales Delia spun to Ash about his father before bed every night.

    “I can’t imagine that a deadbeat father is something you would want to explain to a 5 year old.”

    “Probably not.”

    Gabe looked about ready to say something else before turning and walking towards the edge of town. He stopped a few feet away from the fence and looked back at Prof Oak, “Take care of her for me…and Ash too…”

    Sam nodded and Gabe walked up the dirt road and back out of Pallet Town.



    Once again they were sitting at the small restaurant where Misty and Ash had met Gabe the day before.

    “You son of a bitch!” Ash growled once the connection had been made, “My mother? That’s the woman you left! Whose heart you broke!”

    “Ash, stop.” Delia held her hand up. “I don’t need to listen to you talk to him like that.”

    “Why not? He deserves no less! What sort of man leaves the girl he claims to love at home waiting for him to return?” Ash avoided Misty’s gaze as he said this.

    “The situation was complicated, Ash…didn’t your mother tell you?” Gabe sighed.

    “No…I didn’t…but” Delia sighed heavily, “Maybe it’s time that I did.”

    “Tell me what?” Ash tried to make his voice appear calmer.

    “Ash…Gabe and I moved to Pallet Town when we were 17, and he took a job working for Prof Oak because I was pregnant.” she waited, watching Ash for some sort of reaction. “Gabe was restless, he hated staying in such a little town. I wasn’t lying to you when I said you were like him in that sense. And he left me, us…so that he could continue to travel and see the world.”

    “What do you mean he left us? How did I come into this all of a sudden?” his anger was making it hard for him to concentrate on what his mother was saying.

    “Ash, don’t you see?” Misty asked softly. “Gabe is your father.”

    He looked at his mother for confirmation, Delia nodded hesitantly. Ash turned to look at Gabe incredulously.

    “My mother was pregnant and alone and all you could think about was yourself?” he accused.

    “Ash I didn’t want to…I just…I knew that if I had stayed I would have wound up resenting you and your mother. You were better off without me.” Gabe said quietly.

    “Better off without you? I was better off without a father and Mom was better off raising me alone?!” he shook his head violently. As if he could shake these revelations away. Then he stood and stalked off towards the door.

    “Ash!” Delia called.

    “I need to go think.” he said back.

    Misty jumped up after him chasing him outside., “Ash, please, talk to me. I know this is hard.”

    “Do you?” He turned and laughed meanly, “Yes, I’m sure you know exactly what it’s like to finally meet the man you’ve despised your whole life. Only to find out that he’s been successful. He has nothing to regret! He left his responsibilities behind and went on to become a great trainer. You read the note from Dr Prichard!” there were tears in his eyes, “Everything I’ve done…I’ve done for my father. The man out there somewhere that left my mom and me. I wanted him to hate himself for what he did, like I hated him. Now I see him face to face and I’m no better than him. He didn’t even know I was his son!”

    “Ash…please…” Misty pleaded with him to calm down.

    “Just leave me alone!” he pushed her away, “I need to think about this.” he ran off towards the edge of town leaving Misty standing there dumbfounded.

    *****

    Misty opened the door to her hotel room. Delia was standing there looking behind her.

    “He hasn’t come back yet?” she asked.

    Misty shook her head, “No, I haven’t seen or heard from him. I’m really worried…where could he have gone?”

    “Gabe is out looking for him right now….I know it was a shock for him, but I never thought he’d react this way…” Delia stopped when she noticed the door open behind her and Ash walked in with a strange look on his face.

    “Ash! We’ve been worried sick! Where were you?” Misty exclaimed.

    “I was around…Mom…can I talk to Misty, alone?” he asked his gaze still on Misty.

    “Yeah…I’m going to go find Gabe and let him know you’re alright.” Delia looked at Misty questioningly. Misty shook her head scared for what Ash might want to talk to her about.

    Once the door was closed behind Delia, he walked up to her kissing her hard on the lips.

    “Ash….are you okay?” she asked as his lips moved down her neck and shoulders.

    “I’m perfect.” he murmured sliding his hands onto her waist and lifting her off the ground. He kissed her as he carried her over to the bed.

    “What are you doing?” she whispered still in shock by his sudden affection.

    “I need you. I need to hold onto something that’s in my control.” he sat up slightly pulling his shirt over his head. “I lost everything else today.”

    “What did you lose?” she asked sitting up, interrupting the foreplay Ash was trying to initiate.

    “When I was younger my mom used to tell me stories about my hero dad who was off becoming a Pokemon Master. She always spoke so highly of him, I wanted to be just like him. Then she told me that he left us and he wasn‘t this great guy, and I wanted to show him up, make him regret giving my mom and me up. Now that I know the truth, did I ever want to do all the things I’ve done? Was it for me? Or was it to shove my existence in his face!” he kissed her again pulling her down over him, “You are the only thing I have that’s mine. Not something that I did for my father in any way.”

    “I’m still mad at you.” she said slowly losing her resolve.

    “I don’t care.” his face broke into a smile, “We have a lot more fun when you’re mad anyway.”

    “Ash…we do need to talk…you were right. There’s something happening with us and we need to figure it out.”

    “I know, but not now.” he unbuttoned her shirt kissing her chest.

    *****

    Two people were standing face to face. Ash couldn’t see who they were, but he could sense the tension between them. He took a few steps forward so he could hear their conversation.

    “I’m sorry.” he heard a male voice say.

    “Why?” the female pleaded.

    “I’m sorry” he repeated. His head dropped, “I can’t be who you need me to be.” He turned and started to walk away from her.

    Ash gasped, it was him. He was walking towards himself. He followed him with his eyes as he walked away. Then he heard a sob from behind him. He turned back and saw Misty had sunk to the ground, tears rolling down her cheeks. He walked towards her wanting to console her. He placed his hands on her shoulders but it was as if he wasn’t even there. He knelt down in front of her and that’s when he noticed her large stomach. She was pregnant.


    He sat up quickly, his forehead damp with sweat. He swallowed hard a few times to help slow his breathing then looked over at his side. Misty was sleeping soundly with the blanket pulled up to her chest. He slid away from her slightly before looking at the clock, 2am, it was too early for him to get up. He lay back on the bed thinking about anything but Misty and his strange dream. He soon found himself falling back to sleep.

    Misty opened her eyes slowly blinking in the pale morning sun. The clock said 6:42. She yawned and sat up.

    “Misty..” she heard the soft moan from beside her. She looked over at Ash, his face was scrunched up in pain and he tossed back and forth a little, “No…”

    She was a little intrigued, Ash usually wasn’t one to talk in his sleep, she wanted to hear more but for another few minutes he just kept saying ‘no’ so she lost interest. She stood up, pulling the blankets back over Ash and went over to the shower.


    Sadly, for Ash, his dream picked up where it had left off, with him kneeling in front of a very pregnant Misty. She was sobbing harder than before and he couldn’t seem to make her stop.

    “You’re just like your father, Ash. He hated being in one place too long.”

    “No! I’m not!” he yelled.

    “He was loud, and selfish. Cocky, restless.”

    “That’s not me! I’m not like that!”

    “Eventually she’ll want to get married and settle down and have a family. I don’t know…but I have a feeling you might not want the same things.”

    “I don’t have to want them now! It doesn’t mean I won’t want them later!” he was at a loss. “I would never leave Misty…not like this…”

    “What if you had to choose having me or traveling the world?”

    Misty’s question came back to haunt him. “I would choose Misty!” it was the obvious answer. Then he said it again, “Of course I would choose Misty.” but the more he thought about it, would he?

    He woke up again this time it was about 7. He looked over to his side, Misty was gone. That was when he heard the shower running in the bathroom. He was still shaken from his dream, he wouldn’t leave Misty…especially if she was pregnant. Right? He didn’t know. With each passing second, he was feeling less confident about his answer.

    “Damn!” he yelled sitting up. What was going on with him? 2 weeks ago he knew exactly where he and Misty stood and now… First it was Daisy telling him that he had to decide where they were going in their relationship, so he had to think about that. Then the unexpected arrival of Gabe, all his life he had been told that he was like his father. It never really bothered him until now, as he got older and he and Misty got more serious. All he wanted to do was go home and go back to the way things were. He had to talk to Misty…he didn’t know what he’d say or what would come of it, but he knew that they had to talk. It was at this moment that she came out of the bathroom in a cloud of steam. He looked up at her, she was wearing shorts and one of his old t-shirts with her hair hanging loosely down her back. She caught his eye and he quickly looked away.

    “Are you feeling better?” she asked sitting on the edge of the bed and beginning to put on her sneakers.

    “I dunno…I guess, not really.” he sighed looking down at his lap. “Listen, I’m sorry, about last night…I shouldn’t have forced myself on you the way I did.”

    Her expression remained emotionless, “It’s fine. You didn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to do. I knew you were a little vulnerable and upset.” she finished tying her shoes and stood up looking at him, “I’m going over to the diner, I’m meeting Gabe and Delia for breakfast. We’ll wait for you there, and then we’ll all go up into the mountains to try to find that crystal.”

    He nodded still not meeting her gaze as she rounded up her bag and walked out the door. When she was gone he fell backwards onto the bed again. What was he supposed to do now? He couldn’t talk to Misty yet, not until he figured out whatever it was he felt for her. He did love her. He knew that much. But did he love her like he loved all of his friends? Or was it more than that? He wasn’t sure. How do you know when you’re in love? The questions were making his head hurt so he decided to shower instead.


    Misty walked into the diner noting right away that Gabe and Delia were already there talking quietly with each other. She walked over to them plopping down into the seat next to Gabe.

    “How is he?” Delia asked immediately.

    “I don’t know.” Misty shrugged looking up at her, “He seems better than he was last night but…” she remembered the details from the night before and shook her head sadly, “He’s not being himself…but I don’t know yet if it has more to do with Gabe or me…”

    “You?” Gabe asked shocked, “What do you have to do with anything?”

    “We…” she didn’t really want to share the details with them, even though she knew that Delia would probably be the most help to her, “We’re going through a rough patch right now. The two incidents happened at almost the same time, so I’m not sure which is upsetting him more, or if it’s a combination of the two.”

    “How are you doing?” Delia asked kindly.

    “I-” she stopped as she saw Ash coming in the door and walking towards them, “I think that it may be hard for Ash and I to bounce back from this one.”

    He took the seat across from her next to his mother and flipped through the menu. There was an uncomfortable silence, none of them really wanted to speak to the moody teenager, but they knew that ignoring him might be worse.

    “How’d you sleep last night, Ash?” Delia finally asked.

    “Alright.” he didn’t look up from the menu.

    “I’m sorry, that you found out about Gabe the way you did.” she continued.

    “If it’s alright with you, Mom, I’d really rather not talk about it.” he said shortly.

    “That’s fine.” she looked down at the table, at a loss about what to say next. He immediately regretted his tone. His mom didn’t deserve attitude, neither did Misty. He was just mad, and they were much easier targets than Gabe. The thing that was truly bothering him though, was that they were just taking everything he dished out. Especially Misty, she always fought back, even more so when he was being unfair.

    The waitress came then, taking their orders. When she left, Ash looked up at his mom, “Mom?” Delia looked at him, “I’m sorry. I’m ruining everything.”

    “You’re not! What do you have to be sorry for, I’m the only one that should be apologizing!” Delia exclaimed.

    “Or me.” Gabe said softly.

    “I’m just…” he glanced over at Misty who was looking down at the table, “I’m sorry.”
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 1st June 2008 at 8:58 PM.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  9. #9
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    Default

    Chapter 6


    Delia stood at the kitchen sink washing the dishes leftover from the goodbye dinner she had thrown for Ash.

    “Need any help?” Sam walked up behind her.

    “No, I actually like cleaning.” she smiled at him before going back to her washing.

    “So…Ash is really gone huh?” he was trying desperately to make conversation with her.

    “He’s not gone!” she snapped back. She took a deep breath, “He’s not gone,” she repeated, “He’s just away…for an undetermined amount of time.”

    “You’re right, I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t patronize me! I’m not a child.”

    He held up his hands in surrender, “I know this is hard for you. I mean, at first he was just traveling around Kanto and he was easy to get to. He was close to home, but now he’s off in the Orange Islands. And I‘m the one that asked him to go…” he knew that he was saying the wrong thing. This was hitting her too hard, Gabe’s dream was to be a pokemon master, and now it was Ash’s too. Him leaving was something Delia had been dreading since Ash had first commented on becoming a pokemon master.

    They stood in silence as Delia washed the remaining dishes, setting them on the rack to dry. “Sam?” she asked still facing the sink.

    “Yeah?”

    “There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you…for the last 11 years…” she placed her hands on the side of the sink to steady herself. “I never knew how to say it…and with Ash here, I was so focused on him…”

    “Go on…”

    “When we kissed…that night.” she turned to look at him questioningly. He only nodded, knowing exactly which night she was talking about, “Did it mean anything for you? Or was it just…convenient?”

    He narrowed his eyes slightly in thought, “I don’t know. I’ve wondered that myself. I didn’t know if I really felt anything for you or if I was just…missing my wife…and you were missing Gabe…I’m not sure.”

    “Me neither.”

    They fell silent again, Delia standing in front of the sink and Sam in the doorway. Slowly, he began to walk toward her. Soon he was standing right next to her she looked up at him trembling slightly.

    “There’s really only one way to find out.” he said in a voice barely above a whisper. It could have only been seconds but it felt like forever before their lips came together. This kiss was much better than she remembered the last one being. When they finally separated neither one said anything both just savoring the moment. “Delia?” he started, but was cut off as she kissed him again. He began to lead her towards the living room.

    “Sam?” she pulled away quickly.

    “Yes?” they were both breathing heavily.

    She sat down on the couch motioning for him to join her. She opened her mouth to say something but changed her mind, leaning forward and kissing him again. They were beginning to think that maybe it meant something.



    They made an odd group. Delia and Ash leading the way with Misty and Gabe walking a few feet behind. It was a nice day, not too hot or cold. They trudged toward the mountains no one really talking. Delia looked up at Ash. He was walking with an oddly determined step, his head focused straight ahead. She looked back at Misty, she seemed to be dragging her feet, looked down at the ground her shoulders slumped.

    “Ash?” she asked quietly.

    He didn’t say anything, she thought he hadn’t heard her. She opened her mouth to say his name again.

    “Yeah?” he didn’t look at her, and his voice was just as soft.

    “What’s going on with you and Misty?”

    “What do you mean?” he finally did look over.

    “There’s something wrong…are you fighting?”

    “No!” was his automatic response, “Yes…I dunno!” he shook his head. “Do you think I would leave Misty?”

    She was shocked, she had expected it to be something childish. This was all her fault. She knew that Gabe and Ash were alike, and that she had told him frequently as he grew up. She didn’t think that he would take it to heart. “No, I don’t think that you’d leave Misty!”

    “I didn’t either…but now…I’m not so sure.” he sighed, he didn’t want to go into it with his mother but he really wanted advice, “I had a dream last night…a nightmare really. I…I walked out on Misty…and she was pregnant…”

    “That doesn’t sound like you, does it Ash?”

    “I don’t know…normally something like that…dreams…they don’t bother me. But it was the timing.” he paused, “First Gabe…and then…Mom, Misty and I have…we’ve…” his face turned bright red.

    “I know!” Delia blurted out, she wasn’t sure if it was to spare him from saying it or herself from having to actually hear it.

    “You know?” he asked.

    “Mmhmm, I’ve known for awhile actually…I don’t always wake up at exactly 6...sometimes it’s later…sometimes earlier.” she looked at him sideways and his cheeks became redder, at the realization that he had been caught sneaking in.

    “So…we’ve been having…and the last time…we didn’t…I didn’t…”why was this so hard? He could say it to Brock! “we didn’t use any…”

    As entertaining as it was watching him struggle, Delia knew that she had to save her son, “Protection?” she supplied.

    “Yes!” he exhaled the word loudly. “And then I had the dream! Do you think it means something?”

    “I don’t know…I don’t think it does. But I can’t tell you that it completely doesn’t…on some level.” She had to think of something to say, she hated not having any answers for him. “Ash…if you and Misty are…involved…” they both turned a little pink, “You need to be safe. I wasn’t and you see what that did for me…”

    Ash laughed a little at that, “You got me!”

    She giggled too, glad that they could joke about it.

    “You okay over there?” Gabe asked Misty as they walked down the road.

    She looked up at him, almost confused. “Huh?” she asked, “Oh…yeah, I’m fine…”

    “I may be a guy, but I do know that when a girl says she’s fine, she’s not.” he laughed.

    “Well…I just don’t know if I could talk to you about it. It’s between Ash and I. And no offense, but you don’t really know either of us.”

    “None taken.” he smiled, “But…even though I don’t know you. I’m a really good listener, and sometimes that’s all you need.”

    Misty thought about that agreeing that Gabe was probably right, “We’ve been friends for a long time…Ash and I.” she started, “We met the day he left home. I had a crush on him for a few years before we started dating. When we were 14 I was called home by my sisters who were going on a trip around the world. My family owns the Cerulean City Gym…he went on traveling and I went home. Us dating was sort of a fluke, he was jealous that I was seeing other guys and it just picked up from there. Being apart was fine for us in the beginning. Now…I’m growing up and I want to have my boyfriend around, I’m starting to get tired of being the girl that’s sitting around waiting for him to come home. But he’s not ready to give up exploring the world…I don’t think there’s a middle ground for this one…”

    Gabe was quiet for a long time. His heart went out to her. But he could see things from Ash’s point of view better than he could see hers. He cleared his throat, preparing to try to give some sort of advice.

    “Don’t, it’s fine. You were right, it actually feels good to get it off my chest. Ash and I haven’t really talked about it since this first came out into the open…and if he thinks it’s going to end the way I think it will…I don’t know if we will talk about it, or if we’re going to keep putting it off.” she sighed dejectedly, her shoulders sagging again.

    Ash glanced back at Misty over his shoulder. She didn’t look as happy to be here as she had originally been. In fact, she looked like she would rather have been anywhere but here. He sighed, now would be a good time to think. Misty wanted him to spend more time at home, with her. That was reasonable right? Although, his mom had never asked him to stay home…and she had the most reason to, all things considered. Was it wrong for him to want to travel around? He was being selfish wasn’t he. It’s a really good thing Misty hadn’t been serious when she asked him to choose. He didn’t know what to say to her, so they weren’t really talking. He glanced over at his mom. Delia was looking at the sky, her forehead wrinkled with worry.

    “Did anyone check the weather before we set off?” she asked.

    “No…Mom, it’s the middle of summer and there isn’t a cloud in the sky!” Ash said looking up to prove his point. “It’s perfect out here.”


    “It’s perfect out here!” Misty mocked a hour later, as they ran through the rain trying to find shelter from the storm. A bolt of lightening lit up the sky followed soon after by the roar of thunder.

    “Wait!” Ash exclaimed, “I think I see a cave up ahead!” they followed him relieved to see that there was indeed a small cave that they could easily sit out the storm in.

    Delia and Misty wrung out their soaking wet hair. Gabe looked at his watch, “It’s already 6...I don’t think we’ll be doing anymore searching tonight. We had better get ready to camp out tonight and start over in the morning.”

    Ash and Misty groaned, a night on the cold, hard ground didn’t sound very appetizing. But they sucked it up and began to lay out their sleeping bags.

    “So, what’s for dinner?” Misty asked leaning back onto her sleeping bag.

    Ash at her, confused, “I thought you packed food…”

    “Gabe?” Misty asked, both teens looking at him hopefully.

    “I didn’t…I thought one of you had..” he said slowly

    “Well,” Delia smiled standing and brushing her hands on her pants, “It’s a really good thing that I came along. Ash look in your backpack, I slipped some sandwiches in there this morning.”

    He dug through his bag and triumphantly produced 4 large sandwiches. “Thank God for Mom!” he exclaimed passing them around. They ate in silence, until Ash looked out of the cave.

    “Hey, it stopped raining…” he mumbled. They all followed his gaze to confirm it for themselves.

    Gabe thought for a few moments, should they try to make it back to the hotel for the night? He glanced around at the other members of his group. No, they were starting to look really tired. It was probably best if they stay there. He took the time to take in their surroundings. The cave was small, but it would be fine for the four of them tonight. He looked back at the sleeping bags. Ash and Misty were sitting next to each other, but they looked to be doing their best to ignore the other. He felt so bad for them…if only he knew of a way to help them. Delia probably could, he had seen her talking to Ash earlier. He figured they were talking about Misty because Ash kept blushing and they were talking in hushed tones. Delia should really be talking to Misty. And he should talk to Ash, to tell him that…Gabe didn’t know, he’d have to hear what Ash had to say about the situation before he told him anything. Then he had an idea.

    “If we’re going to be here tonight, we should probably have some sort of fire.” He paused, surprisingly no one argued that it was too warm for one, so he continued, “Ash, can you help me go look for firewood?”

    “Everything will be wet.” Misty said.

    “Not everything, I’m sure we can find something that was covered up enough that we can start a small fire.” Gabe said urging Ash out of the cave.

    “That was weird…” Misty raised an eyebrow at the now empty cave entrance. She looked over at Delia, who was smiling and shaking her head.

    “Apparently, you spoke to Gabe earlier.” she laughed.

    “I guess, how did you know?” Misty stood walking over to her.

    “Well, he just kidnapped Ash and took him out on a pointless errand. My guess would be that he wants to talk to Ash, and he wanted me to talk to you.” she paused, waiting for Misty to say something. She didn’t, instead, she looked down digging the toe of her shoe into the dirt. “Do you want to talk?”

    Misty looked up at Delia, weighing the options. Normally she loved to talk to Delia about anything and everything, she was her adopted mother. But this was so personal, and it concerned Ash. On the other hand, Delia went through something similar with Gabe. She sighed, “How did you get over it?”

    “Get over what?”

    “When Gabe left.”

    “Oh.” Delia closed her eyes and thought, “I don’t know. I had Ash.”

    “But he looks like Gabe.”

    “I know.” she sat down, patting the spot next to her for Misty, “Gabe didn’t tell me he was leaving. He said that he was doing something for Prof Oak and that he would be back before I had Ash.”

    “Oh…he left that part out of the story…well, to be honest, he didn’t mention any sort of pregnancy.”

    “I’m not surprised. No one wants to advertise that they left their pregnant girlfriend.”

    Misty pulled her knees up to her chest, playing with her shoelaces. “So…how did you get over it, once you realized that he wasn’t coming back?”

    “Ash isn’t going to leave you Misty.” Delia exclaimed. “He’s a good kid. You two will work through this.”

    ‘That’s not what I asked! You loved Gabe right? A lot, like how I feel about Ash?”

    “Yes. I loved him.”

    “So, when he left, how did you get over it?”

    “I was angry at first. But then I had Ash…and he took up all of my time, and all of my thoughts. I didn’t have time to think about missing Gabe. Then I didn’t really think about him at all. I used to tell Ash stories every night about his dad. But they kept straying farther and farther away from the truth that I began to believe it…sad isn’t it?”

    Misty smiled, “No, it’s not. I used to do the same thing when I would tell people about Ash. The funny thing is that once we actually started dating, reality was a lot better than anything I had ever come up with.” Delia watched her face glow a little as she continued, “I knew Ash for so long, that I started to tell myself, if only he were a little smarter, taller, stronger. I could come with a million ways that he could be better, but when it comes down to it. It’s all the things I wanted to change that make Ash, Ash. He’s so passionate about so many things.” her voice took on a note of sadness, “I just wish…that I was one of the things that he was passionate about.”

    “Oh, Misty. He is passionate about you! He loves you!”

    “Does he?”

    “Yes.” she gave Misty a serious look, “Ash has always had trouble verbalizing his feelings. But all you have to do is look at him and you can see it. He loves you, so much.”

    “Maybe so…but he doesn’t love me enough. I don’t think we’re going to last through the rest of the summer.” she sighed leaning back into her sleeping bag, “Although, we can’t all be lucky enough to have a baby to take our mind off it.”

    Delia’s eyes widened remembering her conversation with Ash earlier, “Oh, don’t say that! I wouldn’t wish teenage pregnancy on my worst enemy.”

    Misty didn’t say anything as she had fallen asleep. Delia smiled a little, the poor kids had no idea how lucky they were to have each other. And their stubbornness was going to tear them apart.

    “Why do we have to have a fire? It’s like 80 degrees out here!” Ash complained as they looked for dry pieces of wood.

    “We don’t have to have a fire. I wanted to talk to you.” He turned to look at Ash, “What are you and Misty fighting about?”

    “What?” Ash was caught off guard, he composed himself quickly, “I don’t really think that’s any of your business!”

    “Well, you already told your mom…and Misty gave me a peak about what this is all about. You guys are fighting about your traveling aren’t you?”

    “How did you…whatever it is that we’re fighting about, it’s between Misty and I!” he crossed his arms over his chest childishly, “Besides, why would I take any sort of advice from you? You left my mom.”

    “Take it from someone who’s been there. Figure out what you’re feelings are.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “I mean…seeing the world or being with Misty. Which one is most important to you? Because you don’t want to come back 20 years from now only to find out that Misty has moved on.”

    Ash grunted and rolled his eyes, “Some advice. I already knew all that, why do you think Misty and I haven’t spoken about it?”

    “She’s pretty sure she knows what your choice is.”

    “How can she know when I have no idea?”

    “Because she knows you, or she thinks she does…” Gabe sighed, “What are you feeling right now?”

    “I…I don’t know! It all started when Misty’s older sister asked me what my intentions were, like marriage, children, that junk.”

    “And…”

    “And I don’t want to get married…I mean, someday sure, but now? I’m not ready. So I asked Misty and she feels the same way.”

    “Of course she’s going to say that, no girl will admit how much they want to get married. It freaks us guys out!”

    Ash’s face paled, “Are you saying that she told me that she didn’t…but she wants to marry me?”

    “No…damn” Gabe cursed himself, “I’m not saying anything. You were dumb to ask her though, no matter how a girl feels she’s going to say that she doesn’t want to.”

    There was a lump in Ash’s throat, he swallowed a few times to force it loose.

    “Oh God, you’re freaked aren’t you?” Ash didn’t have to say anything, it was written all over her face, “I’m sorry, I’m trying to help…”

    “You’re not.”

    “I know! Look, let me tell you what happened to your mom and I.” he glanced over at Ash looking for any sign of protesting before continuing, “We grew up practically next door to each other. She was one of my best friends. So when I decided to leave home and travel the world, she came with me. That was when we started to see each other in a romantic way. I fell in love fast, she took a little longer.” he smiled at the memories, “We just knew that we had it, that one true love. We planned our lives together, rich, famous, beloved by all.”

    “That doesn’t sound like my mom…” Ash looked at him skeptically.

    “She’s changed a lot. Back when I knew her she was a spoiled, country club princess. I was the same way, that’s why we got along so well. But then she started getting sick, and she was tired all the time. We had her checked out when we got to Celadon City. That’s when we found out that she was pregnant, and everything changed for us. I wanted to be responsible and do what was right by her, but then our lives started falling apart.”

    “Because finding out you were going to be parents wasn’t enough?”

    “That was only the beginning. We told her parents first. They weren’t thrilled, obviously, they were concerned with what the community would think. They wanted her to get an abortion and we would just pretend this had never happened.”

    “What?!”

    “Your mom was against this, she said it wasn’t the baby’s fault it existed. She didn’t want to kill it. So they told her she’d have to fend for herself.”

    “What jerks, no wonder I’ve never met them”

    “Then we told my parents, “Gabe sounded a little wistful as he said this, “We both thought that my parents would take care of us. We could live a comfy life, have you and then go off and travel the world. But they told us that they were making me get a job. They called Prof Oak and he gave us a house he owned and gave me a job at the lab. Neither of us were very happy. But we moved to Pallet Town and I started working. I’m not going to lie to you, I wasn’t looking forward to any of it. I started to hate the fact that I was stuck in such a small town doing such boring things day after day. I tried talking to your mom, but she said that we couldn’t travel around with her as big as she was, and we couldn’t exactly drag a baby around. She wanted me to just stick it out, because one day you would be big enough that we could take you with us. I just hated waiting. I couldn’t do it.”

    “So you just left. You abandoned her and me and went on with your life. Did you ever regret it? Did you ever want to come back?” Ash was so mad, he didn’t want to feel bad for Gabe.

    “I did.” Gabe said quietly.

    “What? Now? You didn’t come back! Circumstances threw us together!”

    “No, I came back, to Pallet Town. 5 years after I left, I wanted to see you, and your mom.”

    “Did you?” Ash couldn’t help but be curious.

    “I didn’t see your mom…but I saw you.”

    “I don’t remember that.”

    “Well, I didn’t talk to you. I was talking to Prof Oak and you were there playing with his grandkids.”

    “May and Gary.” Ash mumbled.

    “Yeah. But I saw you and…I don’t know…I felt something weird.” he ran a hand through his hair, “You want an answer? Yeah, Ash, I regret leaving. I may have my freedom, and I may constantly be moving and learning. But I left Dee, the love of my life, and you, my son. There hasn’t been a day since I left that I didn’t completely regret it.” Ash’s eyes were wide with shock, this was not what he had expected. “So, if there’s any sort of advice I can give you. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.”

    “So…you think I should give up traveling…and stay with Misty?” Ash asked.

    “No. I don’t think anything. I’m just saying that you need to be sure about your decision. I don’t want you to stay with her if it’s not right, but if it is…don’t throw it away.”

    Ash was silent as he thought about what Gabe was saying. He wasn’t any closer to knowing what he wanted, but he started to see Gabe in a new light.

    “Can we go back to the cave now? I’m pretty tired.” Ash didn’t wait for an answer, he just started walking back.

    When he reached the entrance he smiled a little, his mom was making herself busy by cleaning up the mess leftover from their sandwiches while Misty slept soundly on her sleeping bag.

    “You’re back!” Delia smiled, “No firewood?”

    “We couldn’t find anything dry…” Ash mumbled his eyes still on Misty, “How long has she been asleep?”

    “Since not long after you guys left.”

    “I’m so tired, I think I’m going to call it a night.” Ash yawned heading over to his sleeping bag.

    “Ummm, I have a slight problem.” Delia started, “I didn’t anticipate camping out…I don’t have anything to sleep with.”

    Ash and Gabe looked at each other. “Well…you could always…” Gabe trailed off suddenly realizing that he was about to suggest that she share with him.

    “Mom, you can sleep in my sleeping bag.” Ash said gesturing towards it.

    “But, where will you sleep?” she asked.

    “I can…” he glanced around, “I can just sleep on the ground, it’s not like I need to have a sleeping bag, it’s warm out. I can put my head on Misty’s sleeping bag as a pillow.” he shrugged walking over to Misty and settling down on the ground next to her.

    Gabe and Delia sat in silence for a few moments until they were sure Ash was asleep.

    “So?” he asked, “What’s the verdict?”

    “I don’t know…I talked to Misty a little. She seems to have given up completely.” Delia sighed.

    “Yeah, well Ash has no idea what he wants. But I don’t understand why Misty can’t just go with him.” Gabe asked.

    “Oh, she’s the Cerulean City gym leader. And she loves it. I don’t think she’d be happy being away from the gym for too long.”

    “Hmmm there has to be a middle ground for them somewhere.” Delia nodded sadly.

    Ash lay there listening to them talk. Couldn’t they just have the answer for him? He never thought that he’d have to have any sort of decisions like this to make. Everything he had ever been told about love said that it always worked out. The more he thought about it, the less it seemed to be able to work out at all. Misty couldn’t be at the gym and traveling with him anymore than he could travel and be with Misty. There wasn’t any compromise. He could feel tears prickling his eyes. He turned on his side facing Misty. Telling her was going to be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.


    a/n: Chapter 6, just for you! In case you didn't read the post with the spoiler, it's up early because I'm going out of town this weekend.

    So I expect a bunch of reviews when I come back!


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  10. #10
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    Jun 2007
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    Chapter 7


    Sam lay next to Delia, he knew he had to tell her about Ash. But he also knew that once he told her, this would have to end. He glanced around the room, her room. They were never at his house, always too afraid that Gary would somehow know. And if Gary know...Sam loved his grandson, but he knew that Gary loved to push Ash's buttons. And what would upset Ash more than finding out about an affair between his mother and his mentor?

    “What are you thinking about?” she asked propping herself up on one elbow. Her long, auburn hair fell around her shoulders. She was still so young, only 28, and pretty. Being with her didn't make him feel young as he had heard May/December romances could. Instead she made him see how old he was, and yet, she didn't mind. For almost a year they continued the affair they started the night Ash left for the Orange Islands.

    “I talked to Ash and Misty today.” he started.

    “Oh? Is he having fun?” her eyes lit up, the way they did when Ash came up. Their late night conversations always turned to Ash and how proud she was of him. It had been hard at first, to let him go, but now that she realized how truly happy he was as a trainer she could be alright with him leaving.

    “Yeah, he seems to be. He just competed in the Orange League Championship….”Sam trailed off.

    She nodded slowly, realizing what he was saying, “So…he’s coming home?”

    “Yeah. He’ll probably be home within the next couple weeks.” Sam sighed leaning back into the pillows. “So I guess…this is it?”

    “That was the deal we made in the beginning. It was hard enough hiding from Gary…but to try to keep it from both of them…it would be too difficult.” she lay her head against his chest, “We knew it would have to end eventually.”

    He couldn’t help but be sad. He and Delia had realized very quickly that they didn’t feel anything other than a deep friendship for each other. Even so, they continued their affair, promising that they’d stop as soon as Ash came home. Now he was on his way, and Sam didn’t want it to end. Delia was being oddly quiet, maybe she was regretting the end too. Then he smiled.

    “You know,” he started sitting up and looking back at her, “Ash isn’t home yet..”

    She returned his smile as he leaned down, kissing her softly on the lips.


    When Delia woke up the next morning, she was alarmed at first before registering where she was. She sat up, Ash and Misty were still sleeping on the other side of the cave, wrapped in each other’s arms. She smiled softly, they were so sweet together. She looked to her side and saw Gabe. She couldn’t help staring at him, he had only grown more handsome since the last time she saw him. And yet, he was exactly the same. He snored softly, his dark curls falling over his eyes. Her smile grew, he always complained about his hair being too long, but he never cut it. She remembered his hands always brushing his hair to the side, but she preferred him like this. Completely natural. As if he could feel her eyes on him, he awoke slowly, smiling when he caught her watching him.

    “Good morning.” he whispered stretching a little, “Are the lovebirds awake yet?”

    She giggled, “No, not yet.”

    “Come here, I want to talk to you, but I don’t want to wake them.” he waved her towards him.

    She hesitated then rolled the sleeping bag next to him. She misjudged the distance, running into him. He held his arm out to steady her. They laughed quietly until they realized how intimate their position was. They were facing each other, with Gabe’s arms around her, their faces just inches apart.

    “Dee…” he breathed, staring into her eyes. She trembled slightly at the use of her childhood nickname. He slowly began to close the gap between them, their lips touched for only a few seconds before they heard rustling from the other side of the cave. Gabe and Delia jumped apart, and looked toward Ash and Misty, their faces covered in a guilty blush. The teens were still sleeping, one of them must have just changed positions, still, the mood had been ruined as Gabe and Delia lay back down.

    “Listen, Dee…Delia, I’m sorry.” Gabe said quietly.

    “Don’t be, that kiss was nothing.” she scrunched her nose up waving his apology away.

    “No, I’m not sorry for that.” they laughed a little before he grew serious again, “I’m sorry, for everything I did to you, back then.”

    She nodded, “It was a long time ago, Gabe, I got over it.”

    “I know. But I still needed to tell you that I was sorry. I’ve never been more sorry for anything in my life.”

    They fell into an uneasy silence, both at a loss for what to say next.

    “Actually, I feel more sorry for you.” Delia said looking once again toward her son, “You never got to know Ash.”

    Gabe followed her gaze, sighing a little. “I wish I had…he seems like a good kid.” he smiled, “Maybe a little dense at times…”

    “A little?” Delia giggled, “I love my son to death, but he’s not always the brightest.”

    “Like now? With Misty?” their expressions both sobered.

    “Yeah…like with Misty…” they both stared at Ash and Misty for a moment. “I’ve never seen Ash happier than when he started dating her, to be honest…I’ve never seen either of them happier.”

    “So, what’s the story with them?” He tried to change it to a happier subject, “Misty said that she’s known Ash for a long time.”

    “Mmhmm.” Delia nodded, “They met right after he left home for the first time. She stayed with him for four years until her sisters asked her to come back home and take care of the Cerulean Gym. She always had a crush on Ash.” she smiled at the memory, “It was very cute, and he liked her too…it was just harder to see. The day he came home from Sinnoh, she came straight here and he took her out. It must have been something they had discussed beforehand, but they never told me. They’ve been together ever since. I guess I thought they always would be.”

    “It’s not over yet.”

    Delia looked about ready to cry, “She has already given up…and I don’t think Ash knows of a way to save it, and keep both of them happy. Misty said she doesn’t think they’ll last through the summer…and I think she’s right.”

    “That sucks…” Gabe trailed off, “You know…part of the reason I left was because I was afraid to be a father. I thought for sure I would screw him up…and even though I left, I still did.”

    “He’s not screwed up!” Delia protested.

    “Maybe not, but part of the reason he’s having such issues is because of me. I left, and he doesn’t want to be like me.”

    She opened her mouth to say something but stopped when she saw Misty stir and wake up. Gabe and Delia exchanged a look and quietly escaped through the entrance of the cave to continue their conversation.

    Misty’s back hurt from laying on the ground, it was then she remembered why she didn’t travel anymore. She stretched her arms above her head trying to pop her back into submission.

    “Ow.” Ash groaned as she pressed the back of her head into his chest.

    “Oh! Sorry!” she exclaimed sitting up. She didn’t realize that he had been sleeping with her, especially in front of his parents. Her face turned slightly pink as she watched him sit up and yawn.

    “Did you sleep alright?” he asked staring at her, he always loved the way she looked first thing in the morning. Her eyes sparkled a little more, and her hair fell in slight waves from being slept on. She looked so fresh and natural. She was pretty when she dressed up, but she was beautiful like this.

    She nodded, starting to pull her hair back into a ponytail to keep it off her face. He reached his hand over hers, “Don’t.” was all he said as she slowly put her hands down at her sides, letting her hair fall back into place around her shoulders. They both blushed, as they were still prone to do when they shared an intimate moment.

    “Where’s Delia and Gabe?” she asked noticing for the first time that they were gone.

    “Huh?” Ash turned looking over at the other side of the cave. Indeed their sleeping bags were empty. “I don’t know…it’s better that they’re not here. I wanted to talk to you.” he hated himself for springing this on her first thing in the morning, but he didn’t know when he’d get another opportunity to talk to her alone. He stood extending a hand to help her up. She hesitated, then took it, following him as he led her to the back of the cave.

    “Why are we going back here?” she asked as he brought her to a stop against the back wall.

    “Well, I wanted to talk to you in private. This way, if Mom and Gabe come back, we’ll see them before they can hear us.” he shrugged.

    She nodded, there was a lump in her throat. She knew they would have to have this conversation eventually, she had just sort of hoped that it would be later rather than sooner. What was she going to do when they broke up? Go back home to Cerulean City? She didn’t think she could face her sisters, having to explain that she demanded too much and now she had lost him. The thing was, even though she knew that her ultimatum was going to be the end of her and Ash, she wouldn’t take it back to keep him. Maybe it was better knowing that Ash would choose seeing the world over being with her. This was good, better to know now than to get more involved.

    “Misty,” he didn’t know how to start. “I-” her back was against the cave wall, he reached his arm out to place it next to her head, propping himself against the wall as well. The place his hand touched pushed back slightly. There was a loud rumbling sound as the rock behind Misty began to slide away. Ash quickly grabbed her hand, pulling her against him so that she wouldn’t fall as her support gave way. Once everything had settled, they looked at each other then into the new hole in the cave. Whatever Ash had triggered, had opened up a secret compartment. Misty curled her fingers around the fabric of his shirt, holding him close. They looked at each other and blushed, realizing how they were standing. They slowly drifted apart and headed toward the new opening.

    Ash went in first. Taking in the small room. It was basically just a smaller version of the cave they had stayed the night in, except for a tiny wooden box in the back.

    “Ash?” Misty questioned from behind him.

    “Yeah?” he looked up at the ceiling, looking for something worth hiding.

    “What do you think that is?”

    He finally turned to look at her, then followed her gaze to the box. That was when he noticed that it was glowing. They walked cautiously toward it. Inside was a blood red crystal. Ash and Misty exchanged a glance, then he reached his hand in and pulled it out. It was smooth, more like a piece of glass than a crystal, but the really strange thing was that it was warm to the touch.

    “Do you think this is it?” he asked looking up at Misty.

    “The Ira Crystal? Maybe…” her voice was barely above a whisper. They were transfixed by the stone, it had them hypnotized.

    “Ash! Misty! Are you alright?”

    The spell was broken as they heard Delia’s voice calling for them. Within a second, she and Gabe appeared in the opening.

    “We heard the rumble, we thought maybe…” Gabe trailed off as Delia rushed to Ash, hugging him tightly.

    “Mom.” he pushed her away slightly, “I’m fine. Misty’s the one you should be worried about. She was against the wall.”

    “Oh! I’m sorry, Misty!” Delia clasped her hands together, “Are you okay?”

    “Not a scratch, Ash pulled me away just in time.” Misty smiled.

    “Hey, Gabe. Do you think this is the Ira Crystal?” Ash asked, bringing the stone over to Gabe. The older man examined the rock for a moment.

    “You know…” he paused turning it over in his hands, “I think this might actually be it! I did some research on the stone before I left. All of the legends said that it glowed red. I can’t imagine too many rocks do that.”

    “So…then…we found it? Mission accomplished?” Delia asked hesitantly.

    “Yeah, I guess so.” Gabe mumbled as the four of them stared down at the crystal in his hands.

    *****

    “Misty?”

    She looked up at the sound of her name. It had been late evening before they returned to the hotel after finding the stone and the one thing everyone could agree on was that they were hungry. Ash was sitting across from her at the table, he hadn’t eaten a thing, picking up his burger and then laying it back down. She looked back down at her own plate, she wasn’t eating either. How could she? When her and Ash were in that cave, he was going to break up with her. She would have been dumped had the wall not caved in.

    “Misty?” Delia said her name again.

    “Huh?” she finally looked over at her.

    The older woman had a sad smile on her face, “Are you feeling okay?”

    “Yeah, I’m fine…I guess I just…wasn’t as hungry as I thought.” she glanced at Ash who was staring down at his food. “Actually,” she pushed her plate away and stood up, “I think I’m just going to go up and go to bed.”

    Ash finally looked up to watch her leave. They had barely spoken since the incident in the cave. Now that they had found the Ira Crystal, he wasn’t sure what was next for him and Misty. He turned his head slightly noticing for the first time that Gabe and his mom were both looking at him.

    “What?” he asked.

    “Stop stringing her along like this!” Delia exclaimed.

    “If you’re going to break up with Misty, just do it already. It’s killing us to see her like this.” Gabe added.

    “Wait, what?!? I’m not breaking up with Misty!” Ash was taken aback, is that what they thought? That he was just prolonging the inevitable breakup? “Does Misty think that I’m breaking up with her?” Delia nodded slowly. Ash looked back down at his food for a moment, then jumped up. “I gotta go talk to her.” he ran off towards the hotel.

    Delia and Gabe exchanged a glance, the tossed some money on the table and ran after him.

    Misty jumped at the sound of the door being thrown open.

    “I don’t want to break up!” Ash announced as a greeting. He was breathing heavily, as if he had run the whole way.

    “I don’t want to break up either.” she said softly, sitting down on the edge of the bed in front of him.

    “Come with me, wherever I go after this. I want you with me.” he stared at her, his eyes pleading.

    “Ash, I’m happy at the gym, I love working there. I might be happy at first traveling, but…not completely. Something I’ve realized lately is that I don’t like it as much as I used to, I couldn’t do this all the time.” she looked down avoiding his gaze.

    “Then I’ll stop. I’ll move back home and I’ll stay with you everyday, I don’t have to travel to continue training. I don’t need anymore badges, I can just compete in the leagues I’m already registered in.” he was down on his knees in front of her.

    She looked at him and ran a hand through his hair, “Would you be happy, in one place?”

    “I would give up everything for you. Just say the word, and I’ll stop.” he avoided her question.

    “But you wouldn’t be truly happy, and I don’t want to be the one that takes that away from you. Remember what Gabe said to you, about leaving your mom?” Ash shook his head slightly, “He said that if he hadn’t left, he would have wound up resenting you and your mother for keeping him there. I don’t want you to hate me.”

    “I would never hate you!” he exclaimed.

    “I would hate myself.” she smiled placing her hand underneath his chin, forcing him to look her in the eyes. “I want every single one of your dreams to come true. I just think,” she tried to fight the tears behind her eyes, “I think that you have to achieve them without me.”

    “I don’t want to break up.” he repeated his earlier statement, this time his voice cracked with emotion.

    In the room next door, Gabe and Delia sat against the adjoining wall listening to the painful exchange. She leaned her head against Gabe’s shoulder crying softly.

    “I don’t want to break up…but I’m growing up and I want to be in one place. I want to have a boyfriend that I can see whatever I want. I want more than a phone call when I’ve had a bad day. I want to be able to see you for more than 5 minutes on a video phone when you reach a new town. I want to be able to tell you how much I miss you without having to make sure someone isn’t standing over your shoulder.” her voice rose a little, “I just want you. I want you all to myself. Maybe it’s selfish, but I can’t help it. That’s what I want!”

    “It’s not selfish.” Ash mumbled careful to keep his head down, “I want to be able to give you all of that…but you’re right, I’m not ready to give up traveling. Can you wait for me to grow up?”

    “I don’t think I can…” she bit her lip and stood up, leaving him on his knees facing the empty bed. “I’ve been waiting too long. I think that I should just go home…”

    As he heard the door shut behind her, Ash rested his forehead on the edge of the bed, crying for his loss. Not only had he lost the girl he loved, but also his best friend.
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 25th July 2008 at 7:13 PM.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  11. #11
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    Wow, I've just read through the entire fic, and wow. This is great! But you better post the nxt chapter as soon as you can, cuz, I need to know what happens next! I'm an avid Pokeshipper, and this is awesome. I don't know why you don;t have many reviews... I'll try to review every chapter that comes next.

    Araleon
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

  12. #12
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    Chapter 8


    Misty stopped once she reached the doors and pulled her cell phone out of her purse. Hesitating at first, she decided that the people least likely to ask too many questions were indeed her own sisters. She dialed the gym, hoping to bypass Lily or Violet answering.

    “Cerulean Gym, Daisy speaking.” her sister’s bored voice answered.

    “Hi, it’s me…” she sighed and continued, “I was wondering if you could find out when the next train from Fuchsia to Cerulean City is?”

    “Why?” Daisy’s voice took on a note of concern, “Are you coming home?”

    “Yeah.” she hoped that the questions would stop there, but she knew that they wouldn’t.

    “Umm…hang on…okay! The next train is tomorrow morning at 10. I can book your tickets now, two right?”

    Misty was silent for a few moments, “N-No…just one…”

    “One? Misty…are you okay?”

    “Yeah I’m fine, just coming home.”

    “Alone…did something happen with you and Ash?”

    “No. Ash and I are great.”

    Daisy could sense the tension in her sister’s voice and knew it was probably best to drop it, but pressed further, “Why just you? Is Ash going somewhere else?”

    That seemed like a plausible reason for Misty to be traveling home alone, “Yeah, he’s going somewhere else and I didn’t want to go with him. So I’m heading home. I wanted to make sure you guys didn’t mess the gym up too badly.” she let out a fake laugh trying to get Daisy to believe she was fine.

    She didn’t fall for it, “I thought you two were spending the summer together.”

    “Yeah, but he was given a great opportunity and I told him to go. Daisy can we just drop this? I’ll be home tomorrow.” She shut the phone ending the conversation. 10am…that was over twelve hours from now. What was she going to do? She sighed and started to walk back into the hotel room. She slid the door open to their room slowly. Ash was laying on the bed fully dressed his fingers combing his hair down in front of his eyes. He looked over when he heard her enter and quickly sat up.

    “Misty?” his voice was hoarse and he coughed in an attempt to clear his throat.

    “Hi…sorry…I talked to Daisy,” she bit her lip nervously, “The next train isn’t until tomorrow morning. So I came to get my stuff. I’ll just get my own room for tonight.”

    “Don’t be ridiculous, stay here, I’ll get a separate room, or I can switch rooms with Mom. Or,” his face turned a little pink, “Or, you could just stay in here with me. It’s not like we can’t stand one more night with each other.”

    She nodded, “I guess that’s alright. It’s just one night.” She grabbed her bag and walked into the bathroom with it. She washed her face and brushed her teeth, then dug through her clothes for some sort of pajamas. Dismayed, she pulled the only thing she could find out and stared at it. One of Ash’s old t-shirts, big enough on her to be a nightshirt. Was this really how she was going to spend the night they broke up, wearing his shirt and sleeping next to him? Apparently so, as Misty had no other options, she wasn’t going to sleep in her clothes again. She sighed heavily slipping the shirt over her head. The fabric was soft and warm, and oddly enough it still smelled like Ash, considering that she has had it since before they started dating. Or maybe that was just her mind playing tricks on her. She switched off the light and went back out into the main room. Ash had already changed for bed as well, wearing just a wife beater and boxers. She slipped into the bed quickly, staying as close to the edge as possible.

    Ash watched her avoid him with a frown. Was this how things were going to be between them now? He didn’t want to think about it anymore, so he settled himself on the other side of the bed. The events of the day had left him exhausted, but he couldn’t seem to fall asleep. Misty didn’t seem to have any problem though, as he could hear her snoring in her quiet, girly way. He smiled into the darkness. He had told her that she snored once and was smacked across the arm and called a liar. The truth was, he loved the way she snored. It wasn’t loud or obnoxious as he knew his was, it was soothing, almost. When he was traveling, he missed it, he even had trouble sleeping. That was when he got the idea to record her sleeping to take with him when he was away from her. She doesn’t know about that. No one does. That’s a lie, Brock had found out, by accident. He wanted to use the tape to record something else, thinking that it was blank. Ash had to confess when he freaked out. He could feel his eyelids growing heavier as he gave into his exhaustion. I’m not giving it up either. He thought as he finally fell asleep.


    When he awoke the next morning, Misty was already awake, showered, and was now bustling around packing and unpacking her bag.

    “Did I oversleep? Are you running late?” he asked suddenly alarmed.

    “No, you’re fine. I’m just making sure I have all my stuff.” she didn’t look up at him, just kept messing with her bag. He watched her for the next fifteen minutes. Neither one of them said anything, he didn’t even know if she was aware of his gaze.

    “Misty, quit.” he said suddenly.

    “Quit what?”

    “Quit…unpacking your bag. You’ve done it at least three times since I’ve been awake. I’m sure you have everything.”

    “I can’t.”

    “What.”

    “I can’t stop focusing on my bag.”

    He laughed a little, “Why not?”

    She stopped, looking down at the floor, “Because if I stop…then I start to think about why I’m packing my bag…and I can’t do that right now.”

    Ash looked down too, they didn’t know what to say to each other. “Why don’t we…go get some breakfast, then I’ll walk you to the train station.”

    “No!” he jumped at her tone, “Sorry. I just think it would be better if we said our goodbyes here…instead of putting them off.”

    He nodded slowly, she was right, it would be more painful to prolong it. He decided that he should probably go take a shower himself. He walked silently toward the bathroom door pausing as he reached it, “Misty…” he turned to look at her, “promise me you won’t leave without saying goodbye.”

    She looked up at him, they stared at each other for a few moments before she gave him a small smile, “I promise.”


    Delia and Gabe sat on the couch in the lobby, not attempting to hide the fact that they were watching Ash and Misty say goodbye. She knew it was only a matter of time before she burst into tears again. How could this be happening? She had thought that Ash would be with Misty forever, they had been so cute together. Even Gabe was upset and he barely knew them.

    “Call me when you get home, so that I know you made it alright.” Ash said softly.

    “I will.”

    They stood in an awkward silence, neither of them had ever broken up with anyone they weren’t sure what to say. Regardless of that fact, they were best friends, how do you say goodbye to that?

    “Ash?” her voice trembled as she felt the tears pour down her cheeks, “We’re still going to be friends right?”

    He hesitated, he wanted to tell her that they would always be friends, but he wasn’t so sure. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, he just didn’t know how they could go back. How can someone you’ve been so intimate with, who you shared most of your firsts with, suddenly just be your friend? He decided that it was probably be best to tell her the truth, “Do you think we can go back to just being friends?”

    “I want to!” she looked up at him with a glare of determination through her tears.

    “I do too, but can we?”

    She burst into sobs at the thought of them separating completely. He couldn’t stand to see her cry, so he wrapped his arms around her pulling her close. She cried into his shirt as he held her against him.

    He kissed her forehead, “Mist, you gotta stop crying.” he sighed.

    “Why? I’m allowed to be sad!” she pulled away from him but her tears didn’t subside.

    “I know.” he used his thumbs to wipe her cheeks, “But if you keep on like this I’ll start crying.” he whispered.

    She did as she was asked. Ash hated to cry, even more than that, he hated for people to see him cry. She couldn’t help but smile a little at the thought. She looked up, catching the sight of the clock tower. “I have to go.” she mumbled.

    He inhaled deeply and nodded, leaning down and kissing her cheek. “Don’t forget to call me.”

    “I won’t. Don’t forget to come visit me before you go on another journey.” she faked a smile so that he would remember her happy instead of sad. He smiled back, his just as false as hers. She turned and began to walk down the road towards the train station. He watched her until she was out of sight, then he turned on his heel and walked swiftly back into the hotel, a million different things on his mind.

    “Ash.” his mother stood up from the couch she had been sitting on, “Are you alright?”

    “I’m fine.” he said shortly rushing past her towards the elevator. He sighed and fell against the wall as the doors closed and he felt himself rising. He and Misty were done, over. He could feel the tears coming to his eyes, so he shut them shaking the feelings of sadness away. He couldn’t cry, not until he got into the room with the door locked. Thankfully the elevator doors opened then and he ran the rest of the way to his room. He took the time to look around, it looked so empty with just his stuff. It hit him again that she was gone, but this time, he let the tears fall.


    Misty reached the train station only to find that her train was delayed. She sat herself on one of the hard plastic seats and waited. She pulled her phone out of her bag, 5 missed calls from her sisters and a text message from Brock. She opened the message.

    Daisy called me for info. Anything I need to know about you and Ash?

    She inwardly groaned and put her phone away without answering him. Telling everyone would have to wait. She was aware of someone sitting down next to her but didn’t look over.

    “Are you waiting for the 74 too?” the girl asked.

    Misty turned to look at her, she was about her age, maybe a few years younger with brown hair and hazel eyes. She didn’t seem to have any bags with her other than her purse. “Yeah. I’m going home to Cerulean City. What about you?”

    “Uh uh. I live here in Fuchsia City. My boyfriend has been away in Hoenn for the last few weeks, I wanted to meet him here when he got in, but of course, the train is late. I‘m Katherine, by the way.” she smiled.

    “I’m Misty.” she smiled back sadly. There was a loud whistle as the train finally pulled into the station. Katherine’s eyes lit up as a cute boy with blonde hair and green eyes stepped off.

    “Brandon!” she shrieked running to him. He dropped his bags to catch her as she leapt into his arms. Misty couldn’t help feeling a little wistful as she watched them. Her reunions with Ash used to be just as romantic. It was hard to believe they would never have a moment like this again. Another moment when he first came home and all they could see was each other. She closed her eyes, willing the tears that were filling them to go away.

    She felt a hand grab her shoulder roughly, but before she had a chance to see who it was, another hand held a cloth over her mouth. She struggled, becoming weaker with every passing second. Soon she succumbed to sleep, slumping over in the chair.


    Delia took the card Misty had given her out of her pocket and let herself into Ash’s room. She saw him laying on the bed sobbing, his arm covering his eyes. She smiled briefly at her son’s childish way of covering his face when he was upset.

    “Ash?” she asked walking slowly towards the bed. When he didn’t show any signs of hearing her she said his name again.

    “It’s not fair!” he moaned sitting up, still crying.

    “I know it’s not!” she was immediately by his side on the bed rubbing his back the way she used to do when he was younger.

    His first instinct was to recoil at being treated like a child, but he welcomed the comfort.

    “I thought that if you loved someone enough everything would work out!” he was choking on his sobs, “We weren’t supposed to break up.” On the nightstand, his cell phone began to ring, but they both ignored it.

    “I know.” Delia was at a loss about what to say, “Ash, I tried so hard to protect you from this.”

    “I loved her…and I never even told her.” his phone began to ring again.

    “She knew, I can promise you that she did.”

    “I never thought that I’d lose her. She didn’t even want to try…she was ready to just give up…” he trailed off as his phone rang again. Ash groaned in frustration reaching over to silence it, but froze when he looked at the screen. “Hello? Misty?” he asked.

    “Ash?” her voice sounded odd.

    “Misty! What’s wrong?”

    “Ash…I…I need you to come get me.”

    “Of course, from the train station?”

    Delia watched with interest as he scribbled an address down on a piece of hotel stationary.

    “Okay, I’ll be right there.” he stood, walking towards the door.

    “Ash…I need you to come alone…and bring the Ira Crystal.”

    “Why?” he stopped, confused.

    “Just please come, I’ll explain when you get here.”

    He shut his phone and rushed over to his bag, pulling out the crystal. “I think Misty’s in trouble, I’m going to go get her.”

    “Wait, I’ll come with you.” Delia started to follow him but Ash held up his hand.

    “She asked me to come alone. I’ll be back.” he ran down the hall.

    Delia waited until he was out of sight before running into Gabe’s room next door. “Ash went after Misty, he thinks she’s in trouble. I think we should follow him…something’s not right.”

    He nodded and they both ran downstairs following Ash at a distance. He led them to a warehouse on the outskirts of town. He seemed to get inside without any problem, so they went up to the door, also walking right in. They came into a large dark room but they found a pile of crates to hide behind. Ash seemed to be the only one there until a light came on. Two middle-aged men were standing on a platform in the middle of the room. Once of them held a large electronic panel in front of him, while the other had nothing but was wearing a white lab coat.

    “Ah! Ash Ketchum, I was beginning to think we’d never get the pleasure of meeting face to face.” the one in the lab coat smiled.

    “Who are you? Where’s Misty?” Ash was immediately on the defensive.

    “Oh she’s here and fine, for now. Whether or not she stays that way is up to you.” He nodded at the other man who pressed a button. From the side of the room a plastic bubble-looking machine dropped slowly from the ceiling. Inside was a scared looking Misty.

    “Ash!” she exclaimed pressing her palms against the side of the bubble.

    “Misty!” he turned to the men, “You better not have hurt her!”

    “We haven’t done anything, yet. I want to thank you for finding the Ira Crystal so quickly. I was worried I would have to wait-” the man was interrupted by Misty.

    “Ash! You need to stay calm!” she pounded on the plastic, “If you get upset they can use the crystal to-”

    The man, Dr Pritchard, nodded again to the other man who pressed a different button. Electricity filled the bubble as Misty cried out in pain.

    “Misty!” Ash exclaimed moving toward her.

    “Stay calm, don’t get angry.” she cried out before she struck again.

    “Stop! Leave her alone!” Ash yelled at the man. The electricity stopped but Misty had passed out from the pain.

    “I need you to work for me. The Ira Crystal you found contains an ancient power that latches onto a person’s feelings of anger.” Dr Pritchard explained.

    Ash looked down at the stone in his hand and gasped, it had been red when he took it from his bag but now it was completely see through. “What?”

    “Ah…I see it’s already worked. With the crystal’s power coursing through your veins there’s no end to your strength. The only key is, you have to get angry before you can truly use it’s power. Now that it’s in you, work for me, I could use someone like you on my side.”

    “Never!” he called out.

    “Very well.” he nodded to the man who shocked Misty again.

    “Stop! She’s had enough!”

    “I hope you realize, Ash, I have no problem killing her, but her death will be on your conscience.”

    Ash shut his eyes, aware of his difficult decision, he didn’t doubt that Dr Pritchard would kill Misty if Ash didn’t agree. “Fine! I’ll join you. Just please, let her go!” he dropped to his knees in defeat.

    The electricity stopped, and Misty was eerily still. The man controlling the bubble looked down at his panel, “She’s still alive.”

    Dr Pritchard nodded slightly, “Good. Guards! Take Mr. Ketchum to his private room.” two large men appeared behind Ash, grabbing his arms. “Take the girl to her room as well.”

    “I told you to let her go!” Ash cried.

    “I know what you requested. But I feel that she’ll be of more use to me in my possession. You seem to be more accommodating.”

    Delia and Gabe watched helplessly as they all left, taking Ash and Misty with them.

    End of Part 1
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 16th June 2008 at 5:18 AM.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  13. #13
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    Wow, that was good. I liked the kidnapping, but I'm more interested in the Ira Crystal. Only works when angry? Huh. Did it, like, bond with Ash or something? And will they get back together? And hat about Delia and Gabe?

    See ya next chappie!

    Araleon
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

  14. #14
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    Only works when angry? Huh. Did it, like, bond with Ash or something? And will they get back together? And hat about Delia and Gabe?
    yes, yes...and as for the last two, you'll just have to wait and see.

    haha thanks for reviewing!


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  15. #15
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    Whoops.
    Darn it! Why didn't I read the first post enough?!
    Sorry for being here, I'll come back when I'm 13.
    But I loved it!
    Marco says: Awesome sig under construction <3 Please do stand by~ (Yeah, for like how many weeks?)

  16. #16
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    Okay...so my last chapter was like a week and a half ago and I had fully intended on posting the next chapter by the end of this week...then the hard drive on my laptop crashed and I didn't backup the file....

    So I'm in the process of rewritting the chapter. I hope to have it up by the end of next week, but it also depends on my schedule. So bear with me!


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  17. #17
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    Chapter 9

    Gabe could feel the sweat dripping down his forehead as he tried to keep up with Delia. When Dr. Prichard had taken Ash and Misty, Delia hadn't freaked out at all. Instead, she took on a determined step as she marched back through the town. Never taking pause, they passed the Safari Zone and Pokemon Center. His face paled as he realized where they were headed, past the town, into the area of butlers and country club memberships. A place where all the houses sat on acres of expertly manicured lawns. Not that anyone who lived in this neighborhood had ever mowed their own lawn. Gabe had hoped that he would never end up back here again; he would have thought that Delia felt the same way. Apparently he was wrong, as she stopped in front of a large old Victorian style home, surrounded by lush green grass and a wrought iron fence. She hesitated for only a second, steadying herself with a deep breath, before pressing the button on the intercom.

    "Yes?" A slightly distorted, nasal voice asked.

    "I'm here to speak with Thomas Bennett." she said with a sudden burst of confidence.

    "Is he expecting you?"

    What a question! Delia thought, but said aloud, "No...Just tell him...tell him that it's his daughter, Dee." she sighed dejectedly as the gate opened.

    Delia looked back at Gabe who raised an eyebrow at her as they prepared themselves to walk through the gate. They didn't even make it entirely up the long cobblestone driveway before a woman in her late 30's skipped out the door. She was pretty, with a heart shaped face and long curly blonde hair. Her icy blue eyes lit up at the sight of Delia.

    "I didn't think it could be true! And yet, here you are!" she caught sight of Gabe, "And Gabe?! This is a surprise!" she laughed, a tinkly little giggle, "I had my bet that you would have flown the coop a long time ago, but it looks like you stuck around."

    Gabe's face turned a little pink as he looked down at the ground, digging into the dirt with his toe. Had he been so easy to read back then?

    Delia's gaze narrowed at her sister, "Electra, I cam here to see Daddy, where is he?"

    "He's inside; he doesn't know you're here. I happened to be walking by when you said your name." Electra finally took a moment to look her sister up and down, "Well! Don't you look like you just stepped off a farm! Don't you wear makeup?" Delia shook her head, crossing her arms over her chest, "You really should. And you're so think and muscular, like you do nothing but push plows all day!"

    "I don't push plows!" Delia snapped.

    "And your hair! Ugh, it just screams for my conditioner! Do you buy the drugstore stuff? You could look so much better!" She picked up a few strands of Delia's hair between her thumb and index finger.

    Delia slapped Electra's hand away. The older sister laughed, "Sorry I don't keep my appearance up to your shallow standards, Electra. Some things are more important than all that."

    "Don't judge me, Dee; you used to be the same way! Besides," she fixed her gaze on Gabe, her eyes lighting up, "Gabe hasn't changed a bit! He actually looks better!"

    Delia looked at her childhood boyfriend for a moment. Electra was right, Gabe did look a lot better. He was stronger and his experience radiated from every pore on his body. Yet with his bright green eyes, and glossy dark curls, she saw the same childlike innocence she loved in Ash. She swallowed the feelings down and her face turned into a scowl.

    "Well, Gabe and I care about different things." she sighed trying not to notice his face fall, "Now, where's Daddy? It's very important that I speak to him."

    Electra waved them inside laughing, "Come on, I'll take you to him."

    Delia couldn't help but feel slightly nostalgic as she walked through the home that hadn't changed in 19 years. The same marble floors, the same dark wood on the walls. Even the family portrait her mother had made them sit for when she was 9. She stopped walking and stared at her younger self. She had the same round face, same chocolate colored eyes, and same reddish brown hair. She swallowed the lump in her throat, Ash did look a little like her. Her gaze shifted to the image of her sister. Even at 13, Electra was a gorgeous, the spitting image of their former beauty queen mother. When she was younger, Delia used to pray every night that one morning she would wake up in her sister's body. She ached for the attention paid to Electra based on her looks. With her curly blonde hair, and light blue eyes, boys were always after her. She was the popular girl that everyone wanted to be around and Delia...Delia was Electra's little sister. At least until Gabe moved into town. A smile found itself playing on her lips as she remembered the day they met.

    The first day of high school and all the girls were buzzing about the new boy. Dee hadn't seen him yet, but Electra had already decided that she would date him by graduation. Knowing Electra, she probably would.

    Sitting with her friends on the front steps, she watched the cheerleaders and football players on the field. Electra was sitting on Jake Evans' lap, her flavor of the week. She felt a shadow fall over her, but took her time turning to see who it was. Her eyes met a pair of unfamiliar green ones. She could feel her cheeks grow warmer as the ends of his mouth curled up into a smirk.

    "You seemed off in your own world." he said.

    She opened her mouth but momentarily lost her voice so she shut it again. He laughed at her discomfort.

    "My old school wasn't coed, we didn't have cheerleaders." he started in an attempt to make conversation, "Are you a cheerleader?"

    "No." it was all Dee could manage to say without sounding like an idiot.

    "Too bad, I'm starting to see what I've been missing."

    She looked over, following his gaze to Electra. She sighed, and suddenly was able to form whole words again, "Her name is Electra and if you go over there she'll dump Jake."

    "What?" he asked.

    "The girl..."she looked at the confusion on his face, "My sister...she's why everyone talks to me." she pointed to her sister.

    He followed Dee's finger, staring at Electra for a moment. The he smirked, "Her? Nah. I'm not too into blondes...I'm more of a brunette man."

    Neither of them looked at the other, but Dee smiled as her face flushed.


    "Dee?"

    She was brought out of her trance by Electra's voice. Delia blinked a few times before looking at the top of the stairs where her sister stood. Electra raised an eyebrow quizzically at her.

    "Daddy's in his office, he's waiting for you," she said as she walked down to her. "I have to get home, but I'll see you later." she hugged Delia loosely before walking out the door.

    Delia took a deep breath, and then began to walk slowly toward the stairs. That was when she noticed Gabe sitting on the bottom stair watching her.

    "Are you alright?" he asked softly, his voice full of concern.

    "I'm fine...just nervous," she faked a smile and continued upstairs with Gabe following close behind.

    Pushing open the door, Delia was immediately greeted with the smell of cigar smoke and expensive aftershave. Like the rest of the house, it hadn't changed at all. There were floor to ceiling bookshelves on the back wall, burgundy carpet, and overstuffed leathers chairs facing the large oak desk her father was seated behind. He had changed, his dark mahogany hair had turned grey and there were more wrinkled etched into his forehead. But his brown eyes were still as hard as ever. Thomas Bennett was a loving man, but the shock of his eldest daughter announcing the arrival of his baby, the girl he hadn't seen since she had stomped out of here 4 months pregnant with her boyfriend in tow. Nothing more than a small note to say that she had her son had been exchanged between child and parent since then. He didn't know what could have brought them here. Like Electra, he was just shocked to see them still together. He followed them with his eyes as Delia and Gabe settled themselves in the chairs facing him, no one said a word.

    If there was one person who could make you feel like a child with a look, it was the father of the girl you knocked up. Gabe had only been this uncomfortable once before and he didn't care to relive the feeling. He honestly didn't think they were going to live through the night when they told her parents she was pregnant, even more so when Delia defied their orders for her to have an abortion. God help him if they knew that he left her.

    "Daddy...I need your help." Delia started

    Thomas' gaze shifted between the two of them, "I've been wondering when you'd work up the courage," he reached into one of the drawers and pulled out a checkbook. "How much do you need?"

    Gabe's eyes widened and Delia put up her hands in protest, "I don't need money! I just need information."

    Thomas was slightly shocked but he reclined back in his chair, nodding for her to continue.

    "I know that you have a passion for folktales and legends. I need you to tell me everything you know about the Ira Crystal."

    "The Ira Crystal? Why?" his face was emotionless as he asked this.

    "I think Ash...my son...I think he's caught up in something and I need to know what we're dealing with so I can save him," tears came to Delia's eyes and she forced them shut. She couldn't cry in front of her father.

    "Stay here for dinner tonight, I can give you any information I have in the morning," Thomas decided leaning forward.

    "Stay?" she could barely wrap her thoughts around the word, "No! Ash is being held captive!"

    "I need time to gather the information. You can both stay until morning and leave with what you came for, or you can leave now with nothing," he didn't raise his voice at all, but the point was made. Delia stood in a huff and walked toward the door. "If you're staying for dinner," his voice made her pause before leaving, "I'd find something more presentable to wear."
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Before she even opened her eyes, she groaned as the light behind the lids bothered her head. It throbbed, like a bad migraine. She squeezed her eyes tighter, willing sleep to come take the pain away. Then the events of the day came rushing back to her. The crystal, the electricity, the kidnapping, and finally the break up. Tears involuntarily came to her eyes and she slowly sat up to rub them away.

    "Oh thank God!"

    She looked up taking in her surroundings for a second. To her left a metal door, like in an insane asylum, then a small table with a plate of untouched food and a glass of water. A window across the room from her stood high enough up on the wall that there was no way anyone could see out of it. Finally, to her right, her eyes connected with a comforting pair of brown ones. He reached his hands out, stroking her hair.

    "How long was I out?" she asked, her voice surprisingly hoarse.

    Ash looked around the room, "I'm not sure. I haven't seen a clock since I left the hotel. It felt like hours though." he offered her a hesitant smile.

    "Have they come back?" she inquired timidly.

    "A few times, they wanted to use the crystal's power so they could see it. I wouldn't go, I needed to make sure you were going to be okay," His face suddenly became serious. "Misty, I don't know what I would have done if-" he interrupted himself, shutting his eyes at the painful thought.

    "Ash..." she breathed, acutely aware of their closeness and the fact that his hand was still cupping her cheek.

    He could feel the adrenaline pumping through his body as he stared at her. He had almost lost her, which was something he was sure he couldn't survive. She was his best friend. In a rash movement, he closed the space between them, his lips touching hers gently at first, and then pressing harder.

    Misty's entire body froze as he kissed her. What was she supposed to do? Her first instinct was, of course, to kiss him back, forcefully. But to do so would be confusing for both of them. They couldn't get back together. Her reasons for breaking up were still very valid; nothing had changed since that morning.

    Ash pulled away suddenly and awkwardly, realizing what he had just done. His cheeks turned a slight shade of red, "Sorry...I-I guess I got-"

    "It's fine!" She blurted out, her face also flushing.

    He moved away from her slightly. Neither one of them knew what to say to the other. Ash suddenly came back to his original questions, could he and Misty really go back to being just friends? He looked up at her. She was nervously twirling a finger through her hair looking around the room, everywhere but at him.

    "Misty," he said softly. She looked up, still not taking her fingers out of her hair. "I...I don't want things to be like this..." he stared at her as she slowly put her hand down into her lap.”I don't want us to not be able to talk, or anything, without being afraid of what might happen."

    "Me neither," she looked down. They couldn't be anything but awkward now. She opened up her mouth to say something but shut it again when the door opened.

    A strong looking man in jeans and a black t-shirt stood in the doorway, looking at Ash.

    "Dr. Prichard said you'll come with me now that your girl's awake," he said in a gruff voice.

    Ash shot a hesitant look at Misty, who gave him the best smile she could come up with.

    "Go on, I'll be fine. You don't want to make him mad," she pointed out.

    He nodded slowly, swallowing the lump in his throat as he stood.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Gabe strolled down the hallways to Delia's childhood bedroom. He hesitated for a second, not sure if she'd want to see him, before knocking on the door.

    "Yeah?" he heard her call from the inside.

    "It's me...Gabe...can I come in?" he answered.

    "Sure!" she at least sounded a little pleasant, so he turned the handle and walked in.

    Dee smiled as she saw her boyfriend walk through her door.

    "I was wondering when I'd be able to see you again!" she exclaimed, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him in for a kiss.

    When they broke apart, Gabe laughed, "What can I say? My parents wanted me home for my 18th birthday. They just didn't mention that I'd never leave."

    "Ah, the life of a hot shot pokemon trainer." she smiled as he kissed her again, this one with much more passion. His hands slid to her waist, his fingers touching the skin beneath her shirt.

    "Gabe..." she giggled taking his hands and placing them over her clothes.

    "Aww," he moved his lips down her neck, "there's no one here but us."

    "Really?" her voice seemed to perk up at the thought.

    "Mmm hmm," he said between kisses, "just you and me...And it is my birthday..."

    Dee glanced at the clock on the wall, "So it is, for another hour and a half."

    He smiled, "I can to a lot in an hour and a half..."

    Dee bit her lip and though, "How much of that involves me?"

    Gabe playfully growled at her as he scooped her up into his arms and dropped her on the bed, "You are involved with the entire hour and a half...more if you're lucky," he leaned over her, kissing her neck causing her to giggle.

    "If I'm lucky?" she asked, as he put himself to the task of undoing her jeans.

    "You're right, If I'm lucky." he grinned.


    "If you're lucky, what?" Delia asked raising an eyebrow.

    Gabe's cheeks turned red as he realized that he had spoken aloud, "Nothing, sorry," He glanced around, wondering if anyone had set foot in this room since Delia left; obviously so, as nothing was covered in dust. Yet, there were half used bottles of lotion and perfume, compacts and tubes of lipstick strewn on the vanity. Delia was sitting on the stool wiping some of the lotion on her arms.

    He smiled walking closer to her, his thoughts drifting back to his daydream as he recognized the smell, "How old is that stuff?" he asked.

    "Older than Ash," she laughed bringing her arm up to her nose, "still smells good though," she pulled her hair out of its ponytail while reaching for the hairbrush on the table.

    Gabe just watched her slowly running the brush through her long brown hair. He was in such a trance that he didn't notice her catch his eye in the mirror. She stared at him for a moment, not missing the soft smile on his face. She had to admit, it was weird being here. Even more so the fact that she was here with Gabe and without Ash. She turned to look at him, noticing for the first time that he had changed his clothes.

    "Where did you get those?" she asked.

    He stretched his arms out, remembering the white dress shirt and khakis he was now wearing, "Oh! Your dad gave them to me; all I had were my jeans and t-shirt. Where did you find your clothes?" She too had changed into a pink polo shirt and a white skirt that went midway down her calf.

    "I found them in the closet. The really sad thing is they're my maternity clothes. Electra's right, I never completely got rid of my baby weight."

    "Don't let Electra bother you, you look good. Great, even...better than you did before," he smiled.

    Her cheeks turned pink, "Really?"

    "Yeah, you were always so skinny. I mean, you were cute. But you look...healthy now. Delia, you're hot."

    "Well," she stood, feeling slightly flustered, "I wouldn't say hot...I haven't exactly been turning men away."

    "Please, don't play modest with me. I'm sure there have been tons of guys in the last 18 years," he smirked.

    "Slightly less than tons."

    "How many?" Gabe pressed further.

    Delia hesitated, wondering if she should change the subject or lie. To her surprise, the truth slipped out, "One."

    Her answer made him pause. He must have heard her wrong, "What?"

    "One," she answered again with more confidence; "I've only kissed or been with...one man...since you."

    "Oh..." he was immediately embarrassed for asking her.

    "What about you?" Gabe looked up; she was leaning against the wall next to the door looking at him expectantly.

    "What about me?" he shrugged avoiding her eyes.

    "How many women...since me?" he voice cracked slightly with emotion, but her gaze never faltered.

    "More than one," he answered, nodding slightly.

    "More than one," she repeated, "and less than..."

    Gabe opened his mouth to speak but they both jumped as they heard a knock on the door.

    "Yeah?" Delia called clearing her throat.

    "Miss?" a young maid opened the door slightly, "Your father asked me to bring you down to dinner."

    Delia and Gabe looked at each other. "Moment of truth," he sighed walking over to her.

    "I don't think I've ever dreaded anything this much in my life." she groaned.

    He placed his hands on her shoulders and led her out of the room. They walked slowly down the stairs, neither one of them looking forward to the night ahead. When they reached the dining room, they both froze. Dinner at her parent's home had suddenly become more complicated. Sitting at the table was not only Electra and a man who was presumably her husband, but also Gabe's parents.

    "Mom? Dad?" Gabe blinked as Delia looked nervously down at the floor.

    "Gabe!" his mother, Erin, rushed over to him, pulling Gabe into a tight hug, "I heard you were back...with Dee, and I couldn't believe it," she whispered into his ear.

    "Why?" he asked just as softly.

    Erin shook her head slightly and led Gabe to the entryway, "I brought something for you," she smiled handing him a medium size, pristine looking, brown scrapbook, "I've been putting it together, in hopes that you would come back so I could give it to you."

    He stared at the book in his hands. Probably a Michaels family update on everything he's missed. He didn't want to take it, "Mom...I don't think I'll be...I can't take your book," he started to hand it back to her.

    She pushed it back against his chest, "This one is yours. I have my own at home. You don't have to look at it tonight, but I hope that you do...sometime...when you feel lonely, or homesick."

    Gabe didn't say anything, just hugged the book against him.

    "Come on," Erin smiled softly, "We'd better get back in there before they start worrying."

    Dinner went by painlessly with no one mentioning Gabe's absence in Delia's life, most of the conversation, in fact, centered on Ash. His parents wanted to know everything, even prompting Delia's parents to ask a few questions. He let Delia take the reins, only chiming in when they started talking about what had happened recently or when they talked about Misty. He loved the way Delia's eyes lit up the more she talked about her son. He smiled at her as she laughed at one of her own private memories before continuing aloud. As they all went into the living room for drinks, Electra pulled Gabe aside.

    "You know, Ash seems like an interesting kid. Special..." she said with a sly smile on her face.

    "He is." Gabe didn't hesitate in his answer.

    "I bet you taught him everything you know," she laughed, "Acted out every bedtime story?"

    "Hmm," he gave her a non committal shrug. He wasn't going to play into her game of making him feel bad.

    She didn't say anything for a few moments, and then looked him in the eye, "How long did you actually stick around?"

    Gabe went silent, they didn't know? Did they think that all this time he and Delia have been together?

    "Gabe, come on. I can tell you haven't been there. You don't know a thing about your son. But you joined in when we started talking about his girlfriend." she crossed her arms over her chest.

    He sighed, "I left before he was born. I met him for the first time a few days ago."

    She nodded and began to walk into the living room, but then turned before she reached the doorway, "Don't worry, your secret's safe with me."
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Gabe collapsed in the arm of the chair up in Delia's room. Everyone had finally left them to get some sleep, expecting them to share Delia's old room. He wasn't quite sure how she felt about that, to have to spend the night with her ex boyfriend. Although, they shared his room at the hotel the night Ash and Misty broke up, but he also had 2 beds there. There was only one here.

    "You know, we could just tell your parents that we aren't together. In case it's weird, sleeping together like this," he announced.

    "It doesn't bother me, it's just one night. It's not as if we haven't slept in a bed together before," she shrugged, "I'm going to go get ready for bed. I can't wait to get out of here."

    "Ditto," he laughed as she walked into the bathroom. His eyes traveled around the room taking in everything. His attention landed on the book his mother gave him sitting on the dresser. Sighing softly, he stood and picked it up bringing it back to the chair. He hesitated slightly before opening the cover. It was Ash. A birth announcement; Asher Thomas Ketchum, born March 27th at 8:43pm. Attached to it was a picture of the baby, he had a lot of hair. He turned the page, more pictures, as he scanned them all, it was like watching Ash grow up.

    "What's that?" Delia's voice made him look up. He had so many questions for her, but which to ask first?

    "My parents...they know I left?"

    She blushed a little "Yeah, it was an accident. When I went into labor, I was hysterical and Sam-"

    "Sam?"

    "Prof Oak," her blush grew deeper, "he frantically tried to find you for me. He wasn't really thinking, but he called your parents to see if you were there. A few days later they got my number from him and they called to ask about Ash. They wanted to know everything. I didn't let him meet them because I wasn't sure what I was going to tell Ash about you. They understood, but I made up for it by sending them pictures."

    "And your parents?"

    "I sent them the same birth announcement...but I never heard anything."

    "My mom put together a scrapbook of the pictures you sent her," he said shaking his head as he smiled.

    "Really?" she smiled then patted the bed next to her, "Come here! I want to see!"

    He did as he was asked, standing and going over the bed. He sat next to her and they spread the book across their laps. Both of them looked on silently, except when Delia would giggle at some photos.

    "Okay! This one is so funny!" Delia pointed out a picture of a younger Ash and Misty. Ash was half underwater with a bikini clad Misty on his shoulders. Neither of the two seemed to be aware that their picture was being taken, her hand dug into his collarbone as his fingers grazed the bottom of her foot, both of them laughing hysterically.

    "This was Ash's 13th birthday. We all spent the day at Prof Oak's pond because it was unnaturally warm that day. The kids were playing some game when Misty told Ash that he couldn't whine if he lost because he was a teenager now. So he grabbed her foot and began to tickle her and she tickled him back. His neck is his worst spot! It will practically paralyze him!" they both laughed until Della suddenly stopped, her face taking on a sad look, "Ash met a lot of people and made a lot of friends on his travels but he was always closest to Misty. I was so happy for them when they started dating...I can't believe it's over."

    Gabe nodded slightly, "I barely knew them...but from what I saw when I first met them. The way he looked at her and the way they interacted. I can't really believe it either."

    She closed the book silently and leaned back against the headboard. He watched her out of the corner of his eye then sighed. "Delia?"

    She didn't open her eyes or even turn towards him, "Hmm?"

    "Why weren't you mad at me?" she opened one eye to look at him quizzically so he continued, "When you first saw me in that hotel, you didn't yell or scream or slap me. I really expected you to slap me. You even told Ash to stop tearing me a new one. I know that I completely deserved it, and you were the person with the most reason to hate me. Why?"

    "It was too easy to be angry with you. And I was, at first. When you left I hated you for doing that to me," she sighed and sat up, "But then I started to think about how we were right before you left. You were so miserable in Pallet Town, I know that it was killing you to be around kids starting their journeys for the first time and seeing experienced trainers dropping their pokemon off with the Prof and you were just his aide. You ached to be out there, I understand it now that I see the same desire in Ash. You and I were fighting all the time, about everything. Imagine how terrible Ash's life would have been to have grown up with that. I'm not saying that it was good that you left me just that with the way things were going...it may have been worse if you had stayed. There wasn't any way I could be mad at you anymore for potentially making life better for Ash. He's just mad because he couldn't see it that way. Everything is always black and white to him, there's hardly ever any grey. I guess that's my fault." she leaned back again, shutting her eyes.

    "I'm sorry. I was an idiot. Delia, I-" he stopped himself. Now wasn't the time for that. He moved a little closer to her, "Are we ever going to talk about what happened in the cave?"

    "What happened in the cave?" she asked her eyes shut tight so that he wouldn't see that she was playing dumb. Since she couldn't see, Delia was caught off guard when she felt Gabe's lips come in contact with hers. A million emotions ran through her head, most of them told her to shove him away. There was one voice, a voice she hadn't heard since she was 17. That was who she chose to listen to as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer.

    Gabe became more confident when he realized that he wasn't going to be hit. His hands easily found their way to her waist, pulling her against him. After a few minutes of steady kissing, where Delia made no motion to stop, Gabe made his next bold move. He slid his lips from hers to her neck. She sighed loudly, struggling to catch her breath. He pushed up slightly on his knuckles, wanted to see her. She was still breathing heavily and her cheeks were stained with a bright blush. She smiled and her eyes lit up with a wicked glint as she began to pull up on his shirt. He grinned back, pulling his shirt over his head. Delia, never very patient, sat up and kissed him hard. He moaned, separating from her just long enough to get her own shirt off and across the room.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Misty looked up at the sound of the door opening as Ash was brought back in. This was the third they had escorted Ash out, but this time he looked worse. His entire body was pale and his normally bright eyes were dull.

    "Ash?" she asked standing. He didn't say anything, just brushed past her and collapsed onto the bed. She watched him take a few deep breaths before starting to cry. "Oh! Ash..." she sighed sitting next to him and stroking his hair. She wanted to ask him what had happened, but she didn't, he never wanted to talk about it. Her heart went out to him, he looked so vulnerable. His sobs quieted to nothing more than sniffles as she continued to console him.

    "Mist?" he asked looking at her through red-rimmed eyes.

    "Huh?" she didn't stray from her task of combing her fingers through his sweat dampened hair.

    "I-" he shut his eyes and turned away slightly,” I love you and...I-I'm sorry I wasn't a better boyfriend."

    Misty could feel tears coming to her own eyes, "Oh, Ash, you were a good boyfriend. A perfect boyfriend! It just...wasn't our time..." she hoped he wouldn't pick up on the fact that she didn't respond to his 'I love you' She leaned down and softly kissed his cheek, "You should try to sleep. You'll feel better."

    He didn't reply, but she could feel his body relax and his breathing slow down. She watched him sleep, he looked so cute. He was too young to be dealing with all this. Gabe, breaking up, and the crystal, it was all too much. She sighed and stretched herself out next to him wrapping her arms around his waist.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Gabe woke up blinking in the bright sunlight filtering through the blinds. He yawned and stretched carefully, so as not to wake Delia sleeping beside him. He smiled contentedly as he thought about last night. Everything had fallen together so perfectly and better than he expected. When he had kissed her, he never in his wildest dreams thought it would end the way it did. He felt her stir and wake up.

    "Good morning," he smiled at her.

    An odd expression passed over her eyes but she gave him a grin, "Good morning," Suddenly she sat straight up and her eyes widened "Morning! I have to shower! I have to see my dad, I have to save Ash and Misty!" she jumped out of the bed, grabbing the robe from the hook on the closet door, before rushing over to the bathroom.

    He sat up, "Delia?" he asked at the same time that she turned around and said his name. Both of them laughed nervously, "You go ahead," he smiled.

    "I just...last night..." she swallowed and rubbed her arm nervously, "It was very good...and a lot of fun...but it was just sex...right?" she had never had this sort of conversation with anyone before, so she knew she sounded like an idiot but she had to continue, "I had a lot of wine with dinner and being here...it's put me in a weird state of mind. I just wanted to make sure that..." she trailed off, looking at him expectantly.

    "That's..." he exhaled loudly, "exactly what I was going to say." He smiled brightly at her.

    "Really?" she felt a wave of relief wash over her, "That's good. I was worried that...I don't even know what I was worried about. But I'm glad it was the same for both of us." she turned to go take a shower. But before she shut the door, she caught Gabe's reflection in the mirror. He leaned back against the headboard with his hands over his face. She shut the door quickly leaning against it, her heart pounding. What was happening to her? She wasn't the sort of person that just fell into bed with someone, yet that's exactly what had happened with Gabe last night. It was the wine, and all the memories here. Once I get out of here and back into neutral territory I'll be fine. But she wasn't sure if she fully believed herself as she ran the hot water and stepped into it. She found an unused bottle of shampoo and poured some into her hands, as she lathered it into her hair she remembered the way Gabe ran his fingers through her hair as he kissed her. A shiver of desire ran through her body as she hurried to rinse the shampoo out. All she had to do was look at the soap to feel his hands all over her. Delia screamed in frustration, sinking to the floor of the shower crying angry tears. Why? Why does he get to leave and then come back like this? I haven't pined for him once in 18 years! And now, I've seen him for 2 days and I've already slept with him! Even more than that, I can't think about anything but sleeping with him! She roughly turned the dial causing the water to stop and toweled herself off.

    She dressed in the clothes she was wearing the day before and went out into her room. Gabe wasn't there anymore so she took her time brushing her hair until it was almost dry. The bed was completely made, she noticed in the mirror's reflection, their night together completely erased from everything but her memory. And in her memory it was still vivid. The way his lips felt against her skin, the way he whispered her name. Even afterwards, she remembered how comfortable she felt wrapped in his arms. She could still smell him in the room and her heart began to pound. Stop it! Get a grip Delia! You don't want that anymore, you're just...celibate... She sighed, it was true, she was celibate, or at least she had been. There had been Gabe up until a couple weeks before he left, then 11 years later there was Sam, then it was Gabe again 7 years after that. To be honest she had forgotten all about sex. Now, suddenly she ached for it, deep down she was afraid that it wasn't sex she craved, it was Gabe.

    As if on cue, he walked through the door, freezing at the sight of her sitting there. Neither of them spoke, they just looked at each other both thinking things they weren't sure they wanted to say.

    Gabe was the first to break his gaze away, tossing the scrapbook on her bed.

    "Gabe..." she stood, she wanted to apologize, but she wasn't sure for what. For sleeping with him? For dating him? For getting pregnant? For allowing him to leave?

    "Let's go, your dad's waiting for us." he said coldly. She didn't move at all just stared at him, "Well, let's go talk to him so you can get your son." he turned and walked out of the room shutting the door loudly behind

    She felt her eyes tearing up at his sudden change in attitude, "Gabe." she whimpered inaudibly. Then she saw the book abandoned on the bed. Somehow she found the strength to move over towards it, slipping it into her bag before wiping the tears from her eyes and putting on a brave face for her father.





    a/n: There you have it. Chapter 9, the first chapter in part 2 of this story. I hope it didn't disappoint and was worth the wait. Please let me know what you think, angry with me, surprised, thrilled? I love feedback, and I know people are reading...or it's just one person over and over again. I'd love to hear what anyone who reads wants to happen, or what you think will happen. Speculation is half the fun in reading!
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 28th July 2008 at 8:35 PM.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  18. #18
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    Chapter 10

    Ash stood in the middle of a large room trying to control his temper as the speaker in his right ear told him all of the terrible things they had done to Misty.

    Misty's fine, he told himself, she's back in the room waiting for you.

    His irrational side didn't listen, as he felt the familiar warmth flood his body, the sign that the crystal was taking control. He grit his teeth as his hands began to burn, then everything disappeared in a flash of red.

    Ash sat straight up into the dark. He breathed deeply swallowing the tears that threatened to come from his eyes. He felt a drop of sweat falling down the side of his face, so he flipped the comforter off and swung his legs over the side of the bed. As he felt the plush carpet beneath his feet, he paused.

    "Ash?"

    He turned and saw Misty sit up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

    "What are you doing up?" she asked.

    He sat back down on the bed, looking around the room for the first time, taking in their hotel room in Fuchsia City.

    "I-" he stopped, weren't they supposed to be in a cold, grey room? "How did we get back here?"

    "What? Ash, it's entirely too late for stupid questions," Misty groaned laying back into the pillows.

    "It's not a stupid question!" he snapped back, "When I fell asleep we were being held captive, so how did I wake up in our hotel room?"

    "Captive? Why?" she sat back up placing a hand gently on his shoulder.

    "Because we had the crystal and it fused with me..." he trailed off, the look on her face said enough, she had no idea what he was talking about.

    She kissed the back of his neck, "Sounds like a crazy dream to me," she murmured.

    "It seemed so real," he sighed turning to face her. Then, he had a thought, "If that was just a dream...does that mean that we didn't break up?"

    Misty laughed at that, "Break up? Why on earth would we have broken up?"

    He smiled happily, "A very stupid reason, I guess." he leaned forward kissing her gently, loving that he could.

    She kissed him back, but broke away laughing when things started to go further, "Come on Romeo. Go back to sleep. I promise I'll still be here in the morning."

    Ash settled back into the blankets, pulling her against him so that he could wrap his arms around her.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________


    "How do you propose we get in there?" Delia asked as she and Gabe stood outside the warehouse they had followed Ash to the day before.

    "Well, lucky for you, I did some research on Dr Prichard before we left the hotel. And I have it on pretty good authority that he works for Team Rocket. Therefore," with a flourish he pulled something out of his bag, "we are going to walk right in."

    Delia examined the fake uniforms closely then squealed in delight, "Oh! That's perfect; we'll walk out with them! All we have to do is pretend we're taking him to Giovanni!"

    "Mmmhmm. Then once I get you guys on your way, I can head back to...wherever." he said with no emotion.

    Delia's face fell, Gabe was speaking to her now, but once they left her family's home he told her that he would help her, Ash, and Misty get to wherever they needed to go. He also made very clear that he was not going with them.

    "Delia? You should put those things on. We don't want to hang out here too long." he said as she looked up and noticed that he was already changed. He looked so dark and sinister with the scarlet R emblazoned across his chest. She turned away from him, sliding the mini skirt and jacket on over her clothes then pulling her pants off. She felt a little trashy in the short skirt with her boots up to her mid-calf, but smiled when she caught the look in Gabe's eye that he quickly tried to hide.

    "Are you ready for this?" he asked.

    "For Ash? I'm ready for anything." she replied. He nodded and they pushed through the door.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    Ash woke up, dismayed to see the familiar grey walls and rough blanket of his cell.

    "Any chance this is a dream?" he asked aloud. Then sighed as he stood up, that was when he realized that Misty wasn't on the bed next to him.

    "Misty?" he called out. He glanced up at the window, he could barely see a line of sky but what he could see was dark purple. He must have slept through the day. He glanced around the room, nothing had changed, that was a lie they brought him new food.

    He stood up walking towards the bathroom, "Misty?" he knocked on the door and pushed it open. The room was empty. "Misty?!" he exclaimed with more urgency. "Mist-" she wasn't here. They had taken her while he was asleep, they must have. Why did I let myself go to sleep? Oh yeah, Misty told me to. I came back and I was upset. Then I told her... he bit his lip as he recalled what he said, I told her I loved her...and she told me to go to sleep.

    He stood in front of the main door, this was all his fault. He shouldn't have brought her along with him, if he hadn't they would have no idea how much she meant to him. They wouldn't have anything to use against him. He could feel his entire body warming up swiftly, it wasn't long before his hands began to burn and he shut his eyes from the pain. He heard an explosion and the clatter of metal, but he still didn't open his eyes until his body returned to its normal temperature. The explosion had blown the door completely off its hinges. He knew that would happen, but he still blinked a few times in awe of the crystal's power.

    "You know, if you had given us a few more minutes, we would have opened the door for you." a voice came from his right.

    He turned his head and saw Misty standing with two members of Team Rocket. He was wary of them at first until he realized that the one who had spoken to him was Gabe. He cried out in excitement when he saw his mother standing next to him.

    "Sh, you need to act as if you're being taken to the boss or you'll blow our cover." she whispered.

    Ash nodded as Gabe handcuffed him and pushed him forward while Delia followed behind them with Misty. Oddly enough, no one stopped them along the way; they were actually pulling this off. They had almost made it to the door; they were in the room where they had first taken Ash. Only a few more feet and they would be free.

    "Stop!"

    Ash could feel Gabe stiffen as he and Delia turned around.

    "What are you doing with them?" the grunt asked them.

    "We have orders from the Boss to bring the kid and his girlfriend to him right away. He's had enough training; it's time to put him to work." Delia said calmly and Ash was surprised at the tone in her voice.

    "I didn't hear of any plans from the boss."

    "Well I can't imagine that he tells everyone," Gabe smirked, "What does it matter to Giovanni if grunts know his every move?"

    Insulting him was not the best idea, as the man stepped forward and they realized that there were 5 more behind him. "Regardless, I can't let you leave unless I hear from the boss himself."

    Gabe leaned down to Ash's ear. "Get ready for a fight." he hissed as he unlocked the handcuffs in one fluid motion. Ash nodded as he saw Delia do the same for Misty. He told himself that he had to stay calm; they could take these guys easily. It's not as if they had never dealt with Team Rocket before. All 6 men came at them at once, but one of them stopped and stared at Delia and Gabe.

    "You're those two that were with them!" he announced. The others stopped too, looking at the adults with more interest, "I was one of the guys in charge of trailing Ash, that woman is his mother, she might mean more to us than Red." he grabbed Delia roughly by the arm and shoved Misty into Gabe.

    "Let her go." Ash said in a low voice.

    No one paid him any attention as the grunt began to pull Delia towards the door they had come from. He once again felt the warming sensation.

    "Ash?" Gabe looked over at him, his hands were glowing red and his eyes were closed.

    "Make sure Mom and Misty are safe." was all Ash replied as he brought his hands together.

    Gabe hesitated for a second but grabbed Misty and they ran towards Delia knocking the man holding her arm to the ground.

    "Come stand by me!" Ash exclaimed; they did as they were told but barely made it to his side before the entire room lit up in a red burst of light. Ash's eyes were closed while the other three shielded their faces from the blast. Once the dust had settled, Ash fell to his knees in front of them as they surveyed the room.

    The six Rocket grunts lay scattered around the room their bodies still, lifeless.

    "Ash...you..." Misty was looking down at him fear apparent in her eyes.

    "Misty," he grabbed her hands in his, wanting to show her, he was still Ash deep down.

    She pulled them away and started to back up, her eyes darting from body to body.

    "Come on," Gabe said putting his arms around Misty, "we need to get out of here before anyone else comes."

    Delia placed her hands on Ash's shoulders but he shrugged them off and stood to follow Gabe and Misty.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    "So, according to my father, thousands of years ago there were two great sorcerers, one in the east and one in the west. The eastern sorcerer thought that magic was best used when helping others, while the western sorcerer sold himself to aide people who only wanted to better themselves." Delia started as they sat in the cave where they had originally found the crystal; they felt right now it was the best place for them if they had to fight again. "The two were constantly at war with each other, until one day the evil sorcerer cast a spell that could wipe out entire populations if placed in the wrong hands. The good sorcerer knew that it would destroy the world so he cast his own spell trapping the spells' power into a crystal, then he placed a curse on the crystal. That's why it feeds on your anger. In order to break the curse it has we need to return the crystal and its power to the good sorcerer's shrine. There is another crystal there; it's the only thing powerful enough to destroy the Ira Crystal."

    Ash nodded solemnly, he was used to pilgrimages to shrines by now. He glanced behind him; Misty was standing against the back wall her eyes blank as Gabe spoke to her in a low tone. He turned back to his mom who was staring at Gabe with an odd expression on her face.

    "How do we know where the shrine is?" he asked.

    "Well, he gave us a map of the old world and said that the shrine will be in the mountains where his home was. All we have to do is lay the old map over a copy of the current map and see where it lines up." she smiled.

    "I'm going to make sure that you make it there okay then I'm heading out, and I'm escorting Misty home as well." Gabe announced as he and Misty joined the other two.

    "No!" Ash and Delia exclaimed at the same time. Delia's shocked expression met Gabe's raised eyebrow as Ash continued.

    "Gabe...can I talk to you...alone?" he asked.

    "Uh, sure." Gabe followed the younger trainer out the mouth of the cave hoping that the conversation wouldn't be about Delia's outburst.

    "I don't want Misty to go home." Ash started.

    "I can understand that, but Ash, you guys aren't together anymore. To tell you the truth, she's terrified of you." Gabe tried to be gentle, but he couldn't think of any other way to say it.

    "Why?"

    "You lost your temper and those Rocket guys ended up dead! I'm a little scared of you myself!"

    "They were taking my mother, I had to do something. I didn't mean to kill them..." he looked as if he was going to cry at any moment, "There isn't an off switch once it gets started. It's not like I asked for this to happen to me!"

    "I understand all that, but when we were talking, she told me that you two used to fight a lot. She's afraid that she might say something without thinking..."

    "And I'll explode...so to speak..." Ash sighed, "I guess I can see her point, but I still don't want her to leave. They know her, and they know that I care about her. If they can't find me, they may kidnap her again. I can protect her better if she's around me, Mom too."

    Gabe nodded, "I know where your heart is at, but that's something you'll have to take up with Misty."

    "She won't talk to me, she won't come anywhere near me. Will you tell her? Tell her that I won't be able to sleep without knowing that she's okay?" he asked.

    "I...I think I can tell her, but I'm not promising that I'll be able to convince her to stay."

    "What if you stayed too?"

    "What?!"

    "If you're here you can be added protection for her, and for Mom. Protection for when I'm not around...or...protection from me...if it comes down to it." Ash's eyes pleaded with Gabe.

    He hesitated; all he wanted to do now was get away from this, away from Delia. How could he turn down a request like this though? Ash needed his help. "Alright, I'll do my best to convince Misty to stay and I'll help you protect her and your mom until this whole thing is done."

    He watched his son's face break out into a smile, "Thank you, you have no idea what that means to me."

    Gabe sighed, “You’re a good kid, you know?”

    Ash raised an eyebrow, “Did you think I wouldn’t be?”

    “No, I didn’t mean that. I meant…I’m surprised that my kid, turned out so normal.” He sat down on a large rock and gestured for Ash to do the same, “I caused you and your mom a lot of pain, didn’t I?”

    Ash didn’t answer right away; he wasn’t sure what to say to that question. He could tell him that he hated not having a father and that his mom resented him leaving her alone or he could say that they had been so much better off without him. Then, he decided to just tell him the truth, “I’m not sure. When I was younger, I never really thought about the fact that you weren’t there. I mean, I grew up with Gary and May whose parents died before I was born. So there weren’t a lot of dads around anyway. I had Mom and Prof Oak was there a lot. I do remember when I was really small, Mom used to tell me bedtime stories about you. I know now that they were most likely untrue, but she seemed to have just as much fun telling them as I had hearing them.”

    Gabe smiled sadly when he thought that should have been his job, to tell his son fantastical bedtime stories. “So, did she ever tell you what really happened?”

    “Yeah…eventually. She told me right before I left to come here; we were talking about how alike you and I are so I finally asked her outright where you were. I had a hunch that you had left us and you weren’t coming back, but I still needed to hear it from her.” Ash looked a little sad as he said that. “But now, I want to hear it from you, why did you leave?”

    “I was scared.” Gabe answered. Ash snorted and rolled his eyes, “I deserve that, but it’s still true. I was 19 and I was stuck in a small town and I hated it. More than that, I was scared of being a father. I was terrified that I was going to mess it up that I would ruin you somehow. When we found out that your mother was pregnant I just figured nothing would really change we’d have a baby along but that was it. Then she told me that we’d have to stop travelling and settle down a little, which killed me. It’s like you and Misty. She wants you home more often, but you wanted to keep travelling.” Ash’s face turned bright red, “That is partly why you broke up isn’t it?”

    “How did you…” Ash was about to tell him that it wasn’t his business then sighed dejectedly, “That’s why she dumped me, yes. I tried, I told her that I’d give it all up and I meant it. She didn’t want me to. She said I wouldn’t be happy, maybe she was right.” He could feel the tears coming to his eyes, “She didn’t even give us a chance! She knew that we would break up and she was ready for it, I wasn’t!” he began to sob loudly, furiously wiping his eyes, “I didn’t know! I was excited to spend my summer with just her; we hadn’t done that since we started dating! Then we just break up.”

    Gabe watched as Ash began to choke on his own sobs; he didn’t know what to say. How do you help someone with their first broken heart? Besides that, he barely knew Ash, who was he to try to help him? As Gabe stood there speechless, Ash calmed himself down a little, still sniffling. He was embarrassed; he’d been crying a lot lately.

    “Gabe?” he asked softly, “What do you do when you tell a girl that you love her and she doesn’t say it back?”

    Gabe hesitated for a second knowing that whatever he said to Ash had to be well thought out, “You know, when your mom and I first started dating, I told her I loved her all the time.” He laughed a little at the memory, “She used to wave me away with her hand and laugh. She didn’t say it back for a long time. But she still stayed with me, even though she didn’t say it, I knew how she felt.”

    Ash thought about what Gabe said then looked down, “Misty told me to go to sleep.”

    “Oh…Ash…you have to understand how this feels to her. You guys broke up and she planned on leaving so you could both grieve separately but you’ve been stuck together ever since. It’s confusing to be trying to get over you when you’re so close. Trust me, I know.” Gabe sighed.

    “I know that it’s hard, it’s hard for me too. I just needed her to know that I love her.”

    Gabe smiled putting his hand on Ash’s shoulder, “I’m sure she knows.”

    Inside the cave, they saw Misty and Delia kneeling over a map. Both women looked up Misty’s face a soft shade of pink as she finished whispering to Delia.

    “So, I think I’m going to stick around for awhile longer, Ash wants someone to help make sure they’re not going to try to take you again Delia.” Gabe announced once they walked back in.

    “I’ll stay too,” Misty said causing Ash and Gabe to shoot her a confused look, “I-I’m concerned about Ash. I want to make sure you get through this okay.” She blushed.

    Ash didn't say anything, just smiled back at her as Gabe walked over to the map. "So, since we're still a foursome, where are we headed?" he asked.

    "Well, if Misty and I have this centered correctly...We are headed to the Orange Archipelago, Ash and Misty have been there before, and me once. Chosen One." Delia teased shooting a glance at Ash who scratched the back of his head sheepishly.

    "Hmm, I've never been there I think after we've sorted all this out, a vacation of sorts is in order..." Gabe commented the looked at the incredulous looks of his group, "Or maybe just me...so where specifically do we need to go?"

    "Well it's towards the middle of the group of islands...I think the island is called-"

    "Trovita." Misty interrupted looking down as everyone turned to face her.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  19. #19
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    Jun 2007
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    Chapter 11

    Misty reclined slightly in her chair. She didn't expect that a flight from Fuchsia City to Trovita Island would take so long; she was starting to feel restless. Not that she was completely looking forward to actually being on the island again. Ash himself had only been there the one time, but Misty has gone back. It was the last time that she was there that she was worried about, especially in Ash's delicate state. She glanced over to her side where Ash was sleeping, his head rested on Delia's shoulder. She had to make sure that she spoke to Rudy alone before Ash did, she didn't need anything to come out. Trying to get the memories out of her head, she grabbed the complimentary magazine sitting in the pocket in front of her and flipped it open. Her thoughts prevailed as she found herself staring blankly at the pages, her mind wandering.

    It was a warm, breezy night. Perfect for a vacation, she found herself wondering what the weather was like in Sinnoh. Was Ash lying on his sleeping bag looking at the same stars and thinking of her? She could hardly believe that they had finally admitted their feelings for one another; it was more perfect than she could ever have imagined. Smiling happily, she dug her fingers into the warm sand picking it up in handfuls and watching it drain through her fingers. He was going to take her out when he got home, neither of them knew when that was, but she would wait forever if she had to.

    "Hey!"

    Misty propped herself up on her elbows so that she could see her friend Rudy jogging towards her. They had met when she and Ash, and their friend Tracey, had come to Trovita Island so that Ash could win a badge. Rudy had a crush on Misty then, even though she turned down his offer to stay with him on the island they had stayed in touch and were now good friends. He was a cute kid when they had met, but now at 17 he was someone Misty considered good looking. His skin held a permanent tan from his gym being outside, his auburn hair was still a little long but it was shaggy more than anything else. He looked like a surfer, tanned and toned. He stopped when he reached her side and smirked at her.

    "I hope that smile on your face is you excitement about being on Trovita Island again." he teased.

    "No...Not that I don't love it here! I was just thinking about-"

    "Ash" Rudy interrupted.

    "Yeah..."

    "Has he finally realized how lucky he is to have you around?" Rudy settled himself onto the sand next to Misty resting his arms on his bent knees.

    "Actually...last time I talked to him on the phone he asked me out, we're going on a date when he comes home from Sinnoh." She couldn't suppress the smile growing on her face again.

    "Well, that's great! I was tired of seeing you waiting around for him." Rudy looked out to the ocean watching the waves come against the shore. Suddenly, he stood up and grabbed Misty's flip flops running out towards the water with them.

    "Hey! Bring those back!" Misty exclaimed.

    "You're going to have to come get them!" he called back.

    She laughed as she stood and chased after him trying to grab her shoes as he held them above her head, just out of her reach. She made one final lunge, gripping the edge of the plastic shoes. Not one to lose so quickly, Rudy grabbed her waist, trying to hold her down and pull the shoes out of her grasp. Laughing and splashing in the water, both of them were shocked when Rudy's lips suddenly came in contact with Misty's. Both of them stood in that position, his hands gripping her sides as she kissed him back. When they separated, she stared at him for a long time.

    "Rudy...why did you?" She couldn't form the full sentence.

    "It's just something I've always wanted to do and I figure that next time I see you, you'll be taken..." he paused, looking her right in the eyes, "Unless...you might be changing your mind about which boy you want..."

    "I..." she was at a loss for words, it was a good kiss, there was definitely a spark between them, "Rudy...I didn't feel..."

    He held up his hand and smiled sadly, "its okay, I understand. Like I said, I've wanted to do that for awhile and I thought that if I was going to, I'd have to do it now, before you and Ash go on your date." he handed her shoes to her and started to walk back onto the sand, "I'm gonna head towards the house, but I'll leave the door unlocked for whenever you want to come back in, no rush."

    Misty stood there, the waves crashing around her watching her friend walk up the beach, still trying to figure out what had just happened.


    Misty knew that the kiss didn't mean anything, she's spoken to Rudy since and he was always happy that she and Ash were together. Still, with Ash's temper the way it is, it was probably not best for him to find out about it. She stretched her legs out trying to rid them of their stiffness. Weren't they there yet? She glanced out the window the sky was a perfect blue as they flew over turquoise colored water. She did miss the islands, after Rudy kissed her she hadn't been back. Maybe after they helped Ash and Delia get on their way, she'd stick around. She glanced back at Delia and Gabe; they were talking to each other in hushed tones, maybe to keep from waking Ash? Or maybe...Misty wasn't sure but it seemed as if there was a tension between them that wasn't there when Ash and Misty had been kidnapped. She leaned back into her chair shutting her eyes, hoping that if she fell asleep the rest of the flight would go by.

    "What made Misty change her mind about sticking around?" Gabe whispered to Delia hoping that Ash was truly asleep.

    "Huh?" She was caught off guard; they had barely spoken throughout the entire flight. To be honest, no one was really talking to anyone else. Ash had fallen asleep almost immediately while Misty gazed out the window, lost in her own thoughts. She thought why had Misty changed her mind? They had watched the boys leave and Misty had asked her why she wanted Gabe to stay. Changing the subject, Delia had brought out the two maps asking for her help in figuring out where they needed to go. They determined that it was in the Orange Islands and then Ash and Gabe came back in, but Misty seemed to know which island they needed to go to before Delia had a chance to see it. "I have no idea, something to do with Trovita Island I'd guess. Either that or she was telling the truth, and she's just concerned about Ash."

    Gabe nodded, accepting this answer as he leaned his head back against the chair. Delia watched him for a second then suddenly became brave, "Gabe, why are you so mad at me?"

    He didn't answer her right away; she stared at him waiting for something. "Delia...you don't want to know." he sighed softly.

    "I do! I don't ask questions I don't want the answers to!" she protested her voice rising a little.

    "Sh, you don't want Ash to wake up, especially if we're having this conversation." Gabe put his fingers to his lips.

    "If you have it your way, we're not having this conversation." Delia pouted, "I just want to know what I did to make you look at me so coldly."

    "I really don't want to get into this. It will only make the next few days more difficult to get through. Please, I'll help you get Ash free of this stone then I'll disappear from your lives again."

    "But I don't want you to disappear again!" Delia exclaimed. Her eyes widened in shock almost immediately after the words left her mouth, but Gabe's attention was on Ash. His face scrunched up slightly as he shifted positions on his mother's shoulder. Please wake up; both parents silently prayed neither of them wanting to continue the conversation. Even Misty had turned to look at Ash, wondering what would happen when he woke up. On their way to the airport Gabe had taken it upon himself to keep Ash and Misty from talking to each other too much. She wasn't sure if it was because she had told him she was afraid of Ash, or if it was something that Ash had told him when they were outside. She was a little worried that the next time they were alone he would want to talk about why she didn't say that she loved him. Luckily for her, after moving around a bit Ash settled back into a peaceful sleep. She turned back to the window leaving Delia and Gabe alone again.

    She looked straight down hoping that Gabe wouldn't talk about what she had said. She was still a little confused about it too. Things keep flying out of her mouth these days, things she doesn't mean to say.

    She exhaled loudly as Gabe leaned back into his chair, closing his eyes. Delia began to relax too until she heard his voice whisper in her ear.

    "Why is it that you ask me about how I act but you always seem so relieved when I don't comment on your behavior?" She didn't say anything back, just frowned. Gabe sighed, "You're a confusing woman Delia Ketchum."

    "Most of the time I'm only confusing myself," she mumbled.

    Her comment upset him as he sat forward and turned his head to face her, "Then just be honest!" he hissed at her causing her to jump, "Be honest with yourself, instead of telling yourself what you're supposed to think, do, say...or feel." his eyes burned into hers as they stared at each other, "Delia, you're always so concerned about how what you do will affect others. Sometimes you just need to think about doing what you want."

    "I can't do that Gabe!" she snapped back, "I have to think about others. I can't be selfish like-" she stopped herself but the damage had been done. Gabe's eyes dropped away from hers.

    "You can't be selfish like me." he finished.

    "I didn't say that." she whispered.

    "But you were going to"

    Delia didn't say anything, she couldn't deny it. She did think that Gabe was selfish. He sighed and leaned back again into his seat.

    "Mom?"

    She looked down and saw Ash's eyes open slowly as he stretched against her arm.

    "Hey, honey! Sleep well?" she ran her fingers through his hair and faked a smile.

    He nodded and yawned as he sat up, "Yeah, I haven't really slept since we were kidnapped." He paused as his eyes caught hold of Misty's. She had turned to look at him when she heard him wake up. She offered a hesitant smile which he slowly returned. "Misty?" he asked, his face becoming serious. Her whole body tensed as she waited for him to continue. Delia turned toward Gabe in an effort to give them privacy on the tiny plane. Ash opened his mouth to speak but way interrupted but a voice on the intercom.

    "We are preparing to land on Trovita Island. Please make sure your seats and trays are placed in their upright positions."

    Misty sighed in relief and was surprised to see Ash do the same. It was a strange feeling, four people all grateful for the others' silence.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    "I think I need to go shopping," Misty commented as Ash, Delia, and Gabe grabbed their bags off the luggage carousel. "My kidnappers didn't feel that my bag was all the necessary, so I don't have any clothes."

    "Oh! That will be fun! We could make it a girl's day!" Delia laughed, "We could get our nails done, go shopping, maybe even see a movie!"

    "Yeah!" Misty got caught up in Delia's excitement, "The only other women I go shopping with are my sisters, and they're generally not too interested in what I want."

    The two women walked ahead of Gabe and Ash giggling and talking about what they wanted to buy. Gabe shook his head and smiled as he started after them.

    "Uh, Mom?" Ash said catching up to Gabe, "Don't you think you should be more concerned with helping me than whether Misty should buy a bikini or one piece?"
    The entire group froze as Misty turned around. Ash's brown eyes glared into hers, almost daring her to say something. Then she took a deep breath and shut her eyes, "Not everything is about you, Ash," she said quietly turning back around, "Besides, my choice in swimwear used to be very important to you." she smiled softly as she continued to walk. Delia and Gabe tried not to laugh as Ash's face turned red. He shoved his hands roughly into his pockets and followed Misty and his parents.

    "Ash?" He stopped and looked up, trying to find the source of the voice, "Ash! Misty! Oh my gosh, what a small world!" A pretty brunette ran up to them. Her hair was pushed into a half ponytail and she wore a green tank top with a denim mini skirt. Her skin was just tanned enough to make her blue eyes stand out in contrast. Her beachy appearance was complete with green flip flops and her toes painted to match.

    "May!" Misty exclaimed hugging her, "What are you doing on the Orange Islands?"

    "There was a contest a few days ago, but I convinced Drew to take a much needed vacation," May grinned gesturing to the emerald-haired boy behind her who waved at Ash and Misty. May's gaze went from Misty to Ash then back again before she winked, "Is that what you're doing? A romantic vacay?"

    Ash and Misty exchanged a glance and their cheeks turned pink. She cleared her throat and looked down for a second, then back at May.

    "Actually, Ash and I broke up." she said.

    Ash shot her a glare, "You don't have to say it so matter of factly." he grumbled.

    "It is a matter of fact, Ash. We have to start telling people eventually." she sighed.

    "You could have at least sounded a little upset."

    "Maybe I'm tired of being upset! Maybe it's time to start getting over it!"

    Her outburst caught him off guard but he quickly recovered, "You're tired of being with me, you're tired of being upset. Is there anything that you're not tired of?"

    "I'm tired of having to bite my tongue around you! I'm tired of this stupid mission! I'm tired of being the girl that follows you everywhere! I'm just tired of you!" she snapped turning and running down the path.

    Ash groaned, "Misty!" he called chasing after her.

    Misty's feel pounded against the pavement as she ran. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Didn't he realize how hard it was to be around him? Wasn't she doing enough by staying with him when all she wanted to do was go home and listen to Boyz II Men? She plopped down on a bench putting her head in her hands. Her shoulders began to shake as she sobbed harder.

    "Misty?" she felt someone sit next to her.

    "Go away, Ash. I don't feel like talking to you," she mumbled.
    He started to laugh, "Of course, it couldn't be anyone other than that punk to make you cry so hard."

    Misty looked up and to her surprise, saw Rudy smiling at her.

    "So, what are you doing on Trovita Island?" he asked.

    Ash couldn't believe he had lost Misty. She ran down this path and now he couldn't find her. He didn't mean to upset her, he just didn't like the nonchalant way she told May they broke up. He reached the top of a small hill and saw Misty sitting on a bench next to a man with auburn hair. His stomach tightened as he watched her smile and laugh with another man. Was this what it was going to feel like when she started dating someone else? He exhaled loudly and started to walk towards them.

    "Hey!Mist!" he called as he got closer to the bench, "I'm sorry. I guess...I just...I don't know, I was being childish."

    "That's alright, I think I overreacted too." she smiled softly.

    Ash nodded, and then turned to study the man Misty was talking to. He was tall and muscular with a golden tan. He was wearing brown swim trunks and a plain white t-shirt that clung to his still damp chest. He was good looking in a pretty boy way, the sort the worked hard to look good, whereas Ash's looks were more rugged. Rudy caught Ash's stare and laughed.

    "You don't remember me at all, do you Ash?" he asked with a smirk.

    "Am I supposed to?" Ash was surprised.

    Misty and Rudy exchanged a glance, "Well you have changed a lot since then," she giggled. Ash looked back and forth between the two of them feeling left out.

    "Ash, you remember Rudy right? The Trovita Island Gym leader?" Misty asked.

    He wasn't paying attention; he was busy noticing how close they were sitting. Their bodies tilted to towards each other so that their knees were no more than an inch apart. He noticed the secret looks and laughs they shared. He knew that Misty would date again, he most likely would too, but did he have to be replaced so soon? And with this guy?

    "Ash?" Misty's voice brought his attention back to her, "Did you hear what I said?"

    "Uh...no..." he grinned sheepishly.

    "Rudy generously offered to let us stay at his home while we're on the island, that way we won't have to pay for a hotel!"

    Ash shot Rudy a weary glance, "Great...thanks..."

    a/n: The Boyz II Men referrence. I was in an O.C. mood as I was writing this chapter so I was watching season 2 and in the episode The Rainy Day Women(I believe) Seth is upset about Summer and is sitting in his room listening to Boyz II Men and just brooding. I thought it would be a funny little comment for Misty to make.

    "You're listening to Boyz II Men?"
    "I can think of no sadder song in the world..."

    Also, I know this chapter was small and there wasn't much happening, but I promise this was essentially a set up chapter for the next one, in which A LOT is going on. Stay tuned!!!
    Last edited by ashlyrose; 1st September 2008 at 9:14 PM.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    California
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    For those reading...

    I know it's been a couple months since I've updated this fic. To be honest, I sort of hit a rut and have been focusing on a couple other fics that I'm more into.

    I'm not sure how much of an audience this has, but I do intend to finish it as soon as I get inspired.

    Please bear with me.


    credit: pic; Teppo lyrics; "If Only" The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Where my Dragon Army is...
    Posts
    465

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    I'll keep reading!
    Long story....
    No mistakes!
    Nice plot and everyone is in Character!

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