Redux

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon. I do, however, own this story.

Author’s Note: This fic is slightly inspired by xxshebeexx’s fic “She Kissed Him Instead.” Really, the two fics are very, very different, but since I was slightly inspired by the other fic, I thought I’d give credit; it’s only fair. I hope she’s OK with this.

Summary: Sometimes completely different events can have the same consequences. Sometimes completely different people can perform the same actions. AAML, strong T.

Ash Ketchum hoisted Pikachu up on top of his shoulders, grinning broadly. Though the crowd at Indigo Stadium roared, chanting his name, all Ash could hear was his electric mouse Pokémon cooing in his ear, a long, drawn out “chaa,” an adorable, irresistible sound. He reached up and scratched the yellow rodent behind its ears, the place it most liked to be tickled. Looking around him, Ash saw the people who mattered most to him: his mother, Professor Oak, his numerous friends. He let out a chuckle, no longer able to contain the giddiness inside of him. He literally felt on top of the world.

He had won. Finally, after the years of training, the sleepless nights, the countless skinned knees and elbows, the days filled with both excitement and an indescribable anxiety that always threatened to bubble over but that somehow never did, he had won. Not only had he won, but he had defeated his rival Paul. Not only had he won, but he had won in his home turf of Kanto. He had won.

Later that night Ash plopped down on the bed in his room at the hotel at the Trainer’s Village. Having dropped off Pikachu and his other Pokémon at the Pokémon Center, Ash occupied the room alone. Placing his hands underneath his head, he laid down, crossing his long legs. The events of the day finally began to seep in, and Ash Ketchum smiled as joyful thoughts began to fill his head.

Just as Ash was about to drift off into a peaceful, happy sleep, a knock on the door roused him from the incline position. Sitting up slowly, Ash began to grumble until he realized that nothing could put him in a bad mood after what had happened that day.

Ash opened the door a crack, fearing reporters who wanted to interview the newest Kanto League Champion. Much to his delight, however, he found his longtime friend Misty hovering outside his room.

“Hey, Misty. I was just getting ready for bed,” Ash greeted the redheaded young woman.

“Oh,” Misty replied, looking slightly disappointed. “Well, I guess I’ll go, then. I don’t want to bother you.”

Ash wasn’t sure if it was the disappointed look on the gym leader’s face or the fact that he was too excited now to sleep anyway, but for some reason he didn’t want to turn her away.

“No, you’re not bothering me at all. Come on in,” he said.

Misty smiled, accepting Ash’s invitation into the room. He sat down on the large bed and patted the spot next to him, inviting her to sit down.

“So, what’s up?” Ash asked.

“Well, umm, I just wanted to congratulate you on winning,” Misty responded, grinning slightly.

“Thanks! Can you believe I won? I mean, I really thought Paul had wrapped it up, but when Pikachu unleashed that last Thunder attack, well, it was pretty obvious he didn’t stand a chance, right?”

“Yeah…right…”

Ash noticed that Misty was looking elsewhere, her eyes appearing slightly unfocused as she glanced around the room. It almost seemed as though something was troubling her.

“Is everything alright, Misty? Is something bothering you?”

“Me? No, of course not,” Misty said, although her voice sounded slightly higher than usual.

“Oh, well, it certainly looks like something’s bothering you,” Ash countered.

“It’s nothing…”

“Come on, Mist! Tell me! What could you possibly be upset about? I mean, I just became a champion!” Ash nearly whooped, thrusting his fist in the air, until a horrible thought occurred to him. “You are happy for me, right?” he asked, a little nervous about the answer he would receive.

“What? Of course I’m happy for you, Ash!” Misty stated earnestly. “I’ve never been happier in my life!”

Ash looked at Misty intently. She wasn’t crinkling her nose in that adorable way she did when she was lying, so he had to assume she was telling the truth when she said she was happy for him. What, then, could be bothering her? Why, then, would she be upset?

“It’s just…never mind.”

Ash inched his way closer to Misty, moving towards her end of the bed slightly.

“It’s OK. You can tell me anything, Misty.” Ash looked into his friend’s aquamarine eyes, imploring her to tell him what was on her mind.

“Well, it’s just that now that you’re a Pokémon Master you’ll have hoards of fans and you’ll probably get some gorgeous girlfriend and you’ll forget all about me,” Misty said softly, almost as if she were afraid she had said too much.

Ash glanced at his friend, taking in her sad face, her eyes filled with tears. It was so unlike Misty to cry. Ash found that, for perhaps the first time in his life, he didn’t know what to say.

“Misty, that won’t happen. You’ll always be my friend and I’ll always care about you. How could I ever forget you?”

“Believe me, Ash, you’ll forget my plain looks and nasty temper when someone beautiful and kind comes along, when the kind of girl you deserve comes along.”

Ash, who never did have much of a filter, simply said the first thing that came to mind.

“I don’t think your looks are plain, Misty, and I think your temper makes you fun. A kind girl sounds boring.”

Misty looked at him, her eyes filled with something—was it hope?—but that thing, whatever it was, quickly faded.

“You don’t mean that,” she said, grabbing her bag as if to leave.

“Yes, I do!”

“Well, prove it then.”

Ash, who never did think before he acted, simply did the first thing that came to mind.

The young man, the newest Pokémon Master, reached over and cupped his friend’s face in his hands, slowly brought his lips to hers, and full-on kissed her.

Ash tasted the smooth strawberry flavor of Misty’s lip gloss (when had she started wearing girly stuff?) and tried to remember everything Brock had told him to do, only to find that he couldn’t think straight; all he could do was enjoy the simple ecstasy of his kiss with Misty. After he awkwardly banged his nose against hers, however, he remembered Brock’s advice about not moving around too much at first. Slowly but surely the two young adults found a rhythm, became in sync with each other.

Eventually Ash remembered the second step, and gently parted Misty’s lips with his tongue. She moaned slightly, and for a moment Ash panicked, believing he had somehow messed up and hurt her, but when she replicated his move he realized he must have done something right.

Wrapping his arms around Misty’s neck, Ash slowly turned her body around and gently pushed her down onto the bed. She ran her fingers through his black hair, moaning softly as she continued to kiss him.

Ash wasn’t sure what to do next, having totally forgotten Brock’s words of wisdom regarding being with a woman. Instinct seemed to take over, however, and, panting, the young man slowly undressed himself.

“Ash, are you sure?” Misty asked, barely able to catch her own breath.

Ash nodded hastily, and Misty began to take off her top…

***

Misty lay with her head on Ash’s bare chest, a small smile present on her lips. She sighed contently, then looked towards Ash.

“Well?” Ash asked.

“Well what?”

“Did I…did I, you know, do good?”

Giggling, Misty rolled her eyes upwards.

“Yes, Ash…you did very good. You really are a Pokémon Master.”

***

Ash Ketchum hoisted Pikachu atop his shoulders, and the weight of the Pokémon seemed to really bear down on him for the first time. Though the crowd at Indigo Stadium roared, chanting Paul’s name, all Ash could hear was the electric mouse Pokémon, sighing in his ear, a long, drawn-out “chaa,” a slow, sad sound. He reached up and patted the yellow rodent on its head. Looking around him, Ash saw the people who mattered most to him: his mother, Professor Oak, his numerous friends. He frowned, no longer able to contain the despair inside of him. He literally felt like he’d been punched in the gut.

He had lost. After the years of training, the sleepless nights, the countless skinned knees and elbows, the days filled with both excitement and an indescribable anxiety that always threatened to bubble over but that somehow never did, he had lost. Not only had he lost, but he had been defeated by his rival Paul. Not only had he lost, but he had lost on his home turf of Kanto. He had lost.

Later that night Ash plopped down on the bed in his room at the hotel at the Trainer’s Village. Having dropped off Pikachu and his other Pokémon at the Pokémon Center, Ash occupied the room alone. Placing his hands underneath his head, he laid down, crossing his long legs. The events of the day finally began to seep in, and Ash Ketchum frowned as difficult thoughts began to fill his head.

Just as Ash was about to drift off into a troubled slumber, a knock on the door roused him from the incline position. Sitting up slowly, Ash began to grumble until he realized that nothing could put him in a worse mood after what had happened that day.

Ash opened the door a crack, fearing reporters who wanted to interview the newest Kanto League loser. Much to his surprise, however, he found his longtime friend Misty hovering outside his room

“Oh, hi, Misty. I was just getting ready for bed,” Ash greeted the redheaded young woman.

“Oh, well, I guess I’ll let you sleep, then,” Misty said, turning to leave.

“Wait.” Ash wasn’t sure why, for he had thought he would like nothing more than to be alone and wallow in his sorrow, but for some reason he didn’t want Misty to leave.

“OK. May I come in?” Misty asked.

“Sure. Have a seat.” Ash patted the spot next to him on his bed. Misty sat down.

“So, what’s up?” Ash asked.

“Well, I just wanted to see if you were, you know, OK.”

Ash made a face at his longtime friend. “OK? Why wouldn’t I be OK?” he snapped.

“Well, I don’t know. I thought maybe you’d be upset about the match,” Misty confessed.

“Gee, upset? I wonder what there is to be upset about! Don’t you think ‘upset’ is kind of an understatement!”

Misty looked hurt by Ash’s statement. “Well, sorry for caring! See if I ever try to help you again!”

“Fine! I don’t need your help anyway!”

“Fine! I guess I’ll just be going then!”

“Fine!”

“Fine!”

Just as Misty was about to close the door behind her, she heard a strange sound coming from inside Ash’s room.

Ash was crying.

“Ash?” she asked carefully, not wanting to further upset the Pokémon trainer.

Ash looked up, tears streaming down his face.

Misty slowly crossed the room, sitting next to Ash on the bed again.

“Are you OK?” Misty asked softly.

“Yeah…I’m sorry I snapped at you.” Ash sniffed.

“That’s OK. I’m sorry, too.”

Misty put her arm around Ash’s trembling body, and, much to the gym leader’s surprise, Ash rested his head on her shoulder.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Misty asked.

“What’s there to talk about? I lost. Paul won. I’m going to be the laughing-stock of the Pokémon League.”

“That’s not true, Ash. Coming in second is quite an achievement.”

“Yeah, well, tell that to Paul.”

“Who cares about Paul? The people who matter—people like me—don’t care if you win or come in second. We’re proud of you no matter what,” Misty said gently.

Ash, who had stopped crying, looked at Misty, his eyes filled with something—was it hope?—but that thing, whatever it was, quickly faded.

“Yeah, right. No one cares about a loser. In fact, I’m surprised you’re not over in Paul’s room congratulating him right now,” Ash snapped.

“Ash, I could never congratulate a jerk like Paul. You’re the one I care about.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“Yes, I do!”

“Well, prove it then.”

Misty, forgetting her inhibitions for a moment, leaving behind all her insecurities and doubts temporarily, did the first thing she could think of.
The young woman, the Cerulean City gym leader, reached over and cupped her friend’s face in her hands, slowly brought her lips to his, and full-on kissed him.

Misty felt the texture of Ash’s chapped lips (he was always biting them!) and tried to remember everything Daisy had told her to do, only to find that she couldn’t think straight; all she could do was enjoy the simply ecstasy of her kiss with Ash. After he awkwardly banged his nose against hers (silly Ash!), however, she became more comfortable, knowing that Ash, too, was just learning. Slowly but surely the two young adults found a rhythm, became in sync with one another.

Eventually Misty remembered the second step, and gently parted Ash’s lips with her tongue. He moaned slightly, and for a moment Misty panicked, believing he had somehow messed up and hurt him, but when he replicated her move she realized she must have done something right.

Wrapping her arms around Ash’s neck, Misty slowly turned his body around and gently pushed him down onto the bed. He ran his fingers through her red hair, moaning softly as he continued to kiss her.

Misty wasn’t sure what to do next, having totally forgotten Daisy’s words of wisdom regarding being with a man. Instinct seemed to take over, however, and, panting, the young woman slowly undressed herself.

“Misty, are you sure?” Ash asked, barely able to catch his own breath.

Misty nodded hastily, and Ash began to take down his pants…

***

Misty lay with her head on Ash’s bare chest, a small smile present on her lips. She sighed contently, then looked towards Ash.

“Well?” Ash asked.

“Well what?”

“Did I…did I, you know, do good?”

Giggling, Misty rolled her eyes upwards.

“Yes, Ash…you did very good. You really are a Pokémon Master.”

Author’s Note: Well, there’s the one-shot I said I had been working on. I had actually written about half of it over the summer and then abandoned it, but I figured it was a waste to write so much and not finish it. I was going to write an all-out lemon, but I decided I really don’t have the skill to write smut. Hopefully you can figure out what happened…

Anyway, I hope Ash and Misty don’t seem too OoC in the first part. I know it’s unlike Misty to cry and all, and I know she’s usually all nasty when she’s upset, but she’s older and more mature in this situation, and it’s also very special circumstances…or maybe I’m just making excuses for myself.