A Matchless Matchmaker
Disclaimer: This PG-13 rated fic has established Contestshipping, one-sided Trovitashipping, and, well, you can guess the last ship, can’t you? (Hint: the ship starts with ‘P’ and involves Ash and Misty)
Summary: Ash and Misty have become close friends. So much that now he, despite Brock and Gary’s fervent opposing efforts, decides to go on the hunt for the perfect match for her. Ash has faced psychopaths and violent, mythical birds, so what’s a little match matching? Apparently he’s overestimated himself because no one seems just right… Could it be that Ash has been looking in all the wrong places?
Chapter Index (for late-comers):
Chapter One: The Perfect Match
Chapter Two: It's Raining Men
Chapter Three: A Little Girl Talk Never Hurt Anyone
Chapter One: The Perfect Match
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
Catch me a catch!
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match!
-Fiddler on the Roof
“Ohhhh! The nerve of that Brock Slate!”
Ash looked up from his notebook and watched in amusement as a redhead stormed in furiously from the doorway. He couldn’t suppress his grin as her small figure marched toward him, her arms shaking with anger. He enjoyed the way the firelight reflected against her, especially her scarlet hair, which blazed several shades of red. Misty had grown up so quickly. It seemed like yesterday that she was still a blushing little girl, but now she had matured and stopped acting all red-faced and flustered for no reason around him.
They had become such good friends over the summer, especially ever since Drew and May had officially become a couple. They had spent endless nights together, teasing the couple mercilessly, playing against each other in chess, and combating each other in Pokemon battles. Now that they were at Fortree Pokemon Summer Camp for Trainers and Coordinators, they had fallen into a comfortable and familiar pattern of spending time with each other whenever they had spare time (something Ash had ever since Drew and May decided to finally get their act together). He might even go so far as to say he and Misty were the tightest best friends now.
Oh yes, they were all at Fortree Summer Camp. Only a year had past since Ash’s skit in Sinnoh, and it very famous and prestigious camp had announced it was reopening. The camp was open for gifted trainers and coordinators between the ages of eleven and seventeen, teaching the aspiring teens how to properly raise your Pokemon, enabling them to succeed, whether it was Pokemon Battles or Pokemon Contests.
The camp was only open for six weeks of summer, before closing again to reopen the following year, and it was very much in style of an elite boarding school in the heart of the lush, middle-of-nowhere Fortree Forest. Originally, the camp was closed because some girl sneaked into the boys’ dormitory and had “illicit liaisons”.
But since now it was reopened, Ash and his current travel-mates – Brock, Dawn and her annoying friend Lucas – had immediately signed on, along with (to Ash’s great surprise) May and her friend-with-benefits Drew, Tracey, Gary, and even Misty. Misty was somehow able to find time in her busy Gym Leader schedule when Daisy told her Ash was going. Violet was the temporary Gym Leader as Daisy decided to tag along and have some fun at the camp. Misty wasn’t impressed at this news, but perhaps not as much as she was now.
“What’s he done now?” Ash asked casually, though he already had a hunch what his squinty-eyed friend friend had done. Misty dropped herself in the seat in front of him, a scowl painted on her face. He ran a hand inattentively through his chaotic black hair—an attempt he knew would fail to tame it.
“Who does he think he is?” she demanded, slamming a pale hand on the table. Her eyes flashed dangerously. “He’s such a filthy hypocrite!”
“Scared off yet another boy?” he smiled sympathetically, setting down his pen. He knew it was useless trying to concentrate on work when Misty was with him.
When Misty pulled Brock away from Nurse Joy again, Brock decided to give Misty a taste of her own medicine by becoming her surrogate “older brother”; countless times during summer camp Brock had threatened all the boys who had come within three feet of his new, precious “little sister”. And, to Ash’s great astonishment, it was hard to keep the swarm of blokes that wanted Misty at bay. Like he had said, Misty had grown up to be very beautiful.
The freckles scattered on her face only accentuated her wide, greenish-blue eyes, which were framed by long, curly lashes. Her scarlet tresses, as smooth as silk, fell softly around her face and shimmered down her slender mid-back. It was a wonder that Brock managed to keep any of them from her at all. Ash vaguely recalled something along the lines of unleashing Steelix on campus as a threat.
“Yes!” Misty hissed. She shoved a lock of hair away from her face irritably, but it simply fell back to where it had been. “I can take care of myself! Ha! Saying that I’m not old enough while he gets all goggly-eyed whenever Winona passes by. He’s only one bloody year older than I am! And I’ve already gone out with Gary Oak so it’s not as if I’m clueless in the area!”
Ash nodded in agreement.
“He has no right,” she continued, idly taking his pen.
“But you know,” he relented, taking his quill back, “maybe it was because Gary was such a prat and Brock doesn’t want you to get hurt again.”
“I wasn’t hurt,” she folded her arms over her chest. “I admit I probably made a mistake, but he wasn’t so bad when we first went out. It was just that he had too much male pride. I did rather feel sorry for him sometimes, being the only boy sitting in the girls’ bleachers during the Winona versus Wallace match. But I never asked that of him in the first place.”
“So you weren’t bothered at all by dumping him?” he asked, feeling somewhat relieved. He was glad that his friend hadn’t been hurt by the whole ordeal.
“Well,” she frowned, absently brushing away the distracting tendril of red hair from her face again. “Maybe just a little. I mean, just the fact that he instantly jumped into that stupid Giselle’s arms afterwards.” Then she winced, looking nervously at Ash. “Sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Ash sighed, patting a sleeping Pikachu’s velvety fur. An image of Giselle’s face flashed in his mind. She was still beautiful and wonderful, but the emotion that he felt for her was gone. “Giselle and I… we kind of just fell apart.”
“Still…the two of them shouldn’t be sucking each other’s faces off in public,” she snorted. “They should at least have the decency to do it locked up in a broom closet somewhere like Drew and May.”
Ash laughed as she pretended to gag. “I agree. Kissing is so…private and intimate. It’s something that should be shared between two people that care about each other.”
Misty arched an amused eyebrow. “You seem to know a lot about it.”
“Oh no, I –” he blushed.
“So you kissed Giselle.” She nodded knowingly. Then she smirked. “Was it your first kiss? How was it? The way you described it, it must have been great.”
“Yes and no, actually,” Ash replied, a red tint reaching his cheeks. “It was my first and only kiss… It was after a Grooming lesson with Noland… It…it wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be. Rather disappointing actually. I mean I had hoped at the very least that the girl I kissed wouldn’t instantly burst into tears. Kind of hurts your ego.”
Misty nodded understandingly.
“What about you?” he asked curiously.
“What about me?” she pursed her lips coyly.
“C’mon, I just told you one of the most embarrassing moments of my life,” he said with a smirk. He rolled his eyes and raised an eyebrow. “It’s your turn. What was your first kiss like?”
“My first kiss…” she whispered, licking her lips nervously. “It was…perfect.”
“Oh,” he said lamely. He couldn’t help but feel a little peeved at this. Ash’s first kiss had been quite mortifying. At least if Misty’s had been disappointing as well, the two of them could laugh about it.
“That is,” she frowned, propping her head against her hand, “it was supposed to be perfect. It was at that tower, the tallest one at Fortree Camp, and he lit candles and everything. Even scattered rose petals everywhere. The whole dinner was so romantic under the stars. There was even a meteor shower! And then, at the right moment, when everything fit, he slowly leaned and…”
“Then what was wrong?” he asked after she trailed off.
“I can’t really explain it,” she confessed, glaring at the table.
“Well, maybe next time it’ll be just right for both of us,” Ash said optimistically.
“Latias! At this rate, Brock will ensure that I’ll never be able to kiss anyone again. He’s better at this “I’m-your-older-brother-so-shoo-off” revenge than I thought,” Misty groaned miserably, covering her face with her hands.
Ash frowned at this. Perhaps Brock had gone too far. Misty didn’t deserve to be restrained from the same happiness Drew and May felt. She deserved it and so much more! He understood Brock’s reasons behind this (Brock was rather annoyed with the frequency of Misty’s ear-pulling) and Ash knew Brock did actually care for Misty’s well-being, but Misty was his best friend too.
“You know what…” Ash said seriously, taking Misty’s hand in his own. “I think you should be able to date.”
“You do?” she asked, a little breathlessly. Her eyes flickered over his face uncertainly.
“Absolutely,” he assured her, watching her intently with his smoldering emerald eyes. “You’ve been there for me so much these past few weeks and we’ve grown really close, even closer than we have before. I’ve never done anything for you, and yet you’re still here. You’ve kicked me in the arse whenever I needed a good kicking and everyone else was babying me.” Misty giggled and Ash even smiled slightly. “I…I just want you to know how much I care about you…”
“That’s why,” he said, breaking into a lopsided grin, “I’m going to help you find that someone. I’ll make sure that you’ll find someone to kiss and it’ll be perfect.”
“What?” she faltered, blinking wildly. She closed her eyes before she exhaled unsteadily, blowing away the persistent strand of hair. “You can’t be serious.”
“What do you mean?” he pouted playfully. “I can play matchmaker! You just wait and see!”
“But what about Brock? Don’t you mind?” she asked hesitantly, smiling sadly.
“Brock’s one of my best friends, just like you,” Ash confessed slowly. Misty’s entire face dropped. “But no matter what Brock says you should be able to be with whoever you want. And you’re my best friend too. Your happiness means a lot to me. Brock’s obviously the one in the wrong in this situation. I can’t just sit here and watch him turn you into an old maid! What kind of friend would I be?”
He smiled when she exhaled deeply before she shook her head, lightly laughing. “Alright, Ash. I’ll let you be my matchmaker.”
“Trust me,” he said, absently tucking the rebellious scarlet tendril behind her ear, enjoying the smooth texture. “I’ll find you someone perfect.”
The End of Chapter One