Continuation of Pokeshipping: Drifting Apart
Two Years after Inspector Joy’s phone call.
Age: Twenty Two Years old.
Gym Leader’s Tournament: Participant.
For two years, she had trained hard. Misty put a bar on her gym that only those with six badges or above could challenge her. A rule like that was perfectly in accordance with the PLA if she was worthy enough in their eyes. There was talk among the trainer’s that the Cerulean Gym was the strongest Gym in Kanto, next only to Koga’s Gym. Putting the badge limit gave her more time to train and tougher trainers to fight.
And now she was more than confident that she could win the tournament. If she were to be the strongest Gym Leader, become an Elite Four would be a piece of cake.
Misty was currently sitting along with the other Gym Leaders who were being summoned one after the other to decorate the stage.
“And presenting the next participant. The Gym Leader of Orange Islands, Rudy!”
Her heart stopped for a second. Did she hear it right? Misty shifted her attention to the person walking into the arena. It was him…
The auburn-haired man looked as princely ever. He walked into the stadium waving to the crowd who roared in response to his presence. He walked up to the podium where she was assembled along with the rest of the Gym Leaders. When he was about to take his seat, he gave her a brief glance and smiled.
The tournament began shortly after the opening ceremony. Misty was pitted against Flannery, another tough gym leader albeit a fire type trainer. She won the battle without batting an eye. Flannery was good, but not only did Misty train extra hard for the tournament she had an overwhelming type advantage.
Rudy won his own round one battle without a hassle. He was a multi-type specialist and had an upper hand over all gym leaders. His opponent was Pastoria’s Crasher Wake who fell prey to his Electivire’s dazzling performance.
They met right after his battle. It was an unavoidable encounter.
“Misty,” Rudy brushed his hair. “Your beauty multiplied over the years.”
The redhead couldn’t help but blush at the remark. She hated acting like a typical girl, but sometimes things were beyond her control. “Thanks,” she said, “I never expected to see you here.”
“The Orange Crew is a part of PLA too,” he remarked. “I’ve been hearing great things about you. Heard you’re one of the top favorites.”
She blinked at this, “I never knew.” It was a good world to live in when you realize your popularity kept creeping up.
The two of them sat by the stands, watching the other matchups in the tournament. The Gym Leaders were all good, and lived up to their names. Each battle deserved praise, the crowd kept buzzing in excitement.
“So,” Rudy asked after a brief silence between them. “I thought you’d be travelling with Ash. Why the change of plans?”
Not again, Misty sighed. Why do people she knew always mention Ash when they meet? It was as if his name was some kind of Haunter who’d never leave your side no matter how you run away from him.
“I’ve an obligation to be a gym leader,” she said. “I can’t exactly travel with him forever.” They had to part at some point or the other.
“I guess,” Rudy said, observing her as she spoke. She was slightly uncomfortable with his gaze, but ignored it by shifting her attention to the battle between Volkner and Erika. “I’m glad, then.” He broke suddenly.
“Huh,” she looked at him, confused by his words.
“It means you’re still available right?” He smiled, brushing his hair again. “Ash’s a fool,” he said after a pause. “If I were in his place, I’ll do anything for a beautiful woman like you.”
Those were nice words to hear for anyone else. Perhaps any other woman would have liked to be treated like a princess. The redhead however snapped at this. “Will you quit being a Gym Leader for me?” Misty asked brusquely.
“Ah,” Rudy was taken aback by the curt question. “Misty…”
A smile crept across her face. “You’re hesitating Rudy,” she said. “You said you would do anything for me. And I didn’t receive an answer to my question yet.”
The auburn-haired gritted his teeth. Was he angry at her or himself? She wasn’t sure. “Listen Rudy,” she said standing up. “Everyone has their own dreams. Ash wants to become a Pokémon Master. He probably doesn’t value me as much as that dream. But it’s fine.” She paused, placing a hand on her hip. “That’s because I have my own dream. I know where this conversation will lead to and…” She paused to study his stunned expression. “I’m not going to accept your proposal. Not because I don’t like you or something. It’s just that I have other priorities.” She turned around and said, “Goodbye.” And stormed off from the arena.
Did she overreact? Yes. Did she care? No.
Why did she become defensive of Ash? Maybe because she knew despite the fact that he trampled her heart, Ash wasn’t the kind of person who would knowingly hurt anyone. And more importantly, the closer she came to reach her dream the more she understood what it was like to be obsessed by a goal. She could understand why Ash forgot her over the years. But would she forgive him for it? Never.
Five days later…
“The Semi-Finals of the Gym Leaders Tournament is underway! Misty has lost two of her Pokémon and is right now cornered. Volkner on the other hand has all three of his Pokémon intact.”
The three-on-three battle was a disaster to Misty. Volkner was the strongest Gym Leader of Sinnoh and top of that he was an electric type specialist. He was rumored to be strong enough to beat Elite Four. She had used a ground type Quagsire and part-grass type Ludicolo as a strategy to beat him. While Quagsire fell to Raichu’s Grass Knot, Ludicolo fell to Jolteon’s Pin Missile and powerful Thunder.
She was left with her newly evolved Golduck facing his strongest Pokémon, Luxray.
“Luxray,” Volkner commanded the ferocious Pokémon. “Thunderbolt!”
“Golduck,” Misty was down to her last Pokémon, but she was far from giving up. “Use Disable!”
The thunderbolt never came. Misty’s strategy worked. Her dumb Psyduck turned out to be her trump card after evolution. “Golduck, use Psychic!”
The next attack completely controlled Luxray and lifted it high up into the air. The Pokémon’s only chance to fight back was a long range move which was already disabled. “Finish it with Hydropump!”
A Psychic that left the Pokémon dangling in the air, and a quick Hydropump to finish the Pokémon before it could even land on the ground. The strategy was picture perfect. The Luxray crashed on the other end of the stadium, unconscious.
“Luxray is unable to battle,” the referee announced. “Golduck Wins!”
“Astounding! Volkner’s strongest electric type fell to a water type!”
Right after Luxray fell, Volkner sent out Jolteon once more and finished the battle thanks to Jolteon’s brilliant speed. She lost 0-2, but her Golduck taking out Luxray became a monumental moment in her life.
Volkner proceeded to win the tournament after that. But the PLA officials didn’t need much more convincing. Two years later, she was declared the Water type Elite Four replacing Lorelei Prima who specialized in Water and Ice.
Two years after the Gym Leader’s tournament…
One month before Present.
Twenty Four years Old.
Elite Four, Indigo League.
After receiving the official confirmation letter that she was now ‘Elite Four Misty’, the redhead decided to celebrate things by hosting a part at the Cerulean Gym.
“And with that,” Daisy said, setting the envelope in her hand amongst a heap of others. “I’ve completed the list of officials you want to invite.”
“Good,” Misty smiled. “Now that leaves the list of friends.”
Friends…she wasn’t even sure she could even call them so anymore. She was barely in touch with Brock, she was in touch with Dawn because she needed her, but she was absolutely out of contact with May and Max and she met Cilan and Iris only once and that too in the Gym Leader’s Tournament because Iris was a participant. Apparently they recognized her thanks to Ash mentioning her name and the lure that looked like her. She didn’t even know the rest of his friends. Then there was Tracey, but he didn’t count as a guest because Daisy put him up in the arrangement works. If only Ash helped her out too with the arrangements too…
“I need names,” Daisy said, rolling her eyes at her absent-minded sister.
Misty tapped her lips, “Brock, May, Max, Iris, Cilan and a special invitation to Dawn. That’s it.”
“That’s it?” Daisy asked, raising an eyebrow. “Aren’t we like—missing someone important?”
“Ash Ketchum,” Misty smiled taking out an envelope. “Already done.”
The older sister was absolutely surprised. “Wow,” she didn’t know what to say.
“It’s not like he’s going to come anyway,” Misty sighed, arranging all the invitation cards in order. “Thought I liked put the guilt aside and wrote his name first. I’m not a *****, you know.”
“I never said you are,” Daisy laughed, wondering how her sister’s brain worked.
Three days later…
A huge gathering of hundred people assembled at the Cerulean Gym on occasion of the party. For the first time in her life Misty had to play the gracious host. Luckily Lily, Violet and Daisy had enough experience on such things. The fabled Cerulean Mermaid simply had to greet all the people who had come for her. Somehow even that seemed like a daunting task to her. But by then, Misty had perfected the art of putting up a fake personality. She wasn’t the hotheaded, easy to infuriate Misty anymore or so she believed. She was the calm and collected Elite Four Misty of Kanto.
She was dressed in a light blue sleeveless dress, and a pearl necklace that matched with it. The long hair that she let loose extended down till her hips.
She was speaking to Prima, the woman whom she was going to replace. Prima was Misty’s Guest of Honor along with Inspector Joy. “Being an Elite Four can be tiring,” the woman laughed as she took a sip of her drink. “I’ll miss being Lorelei, but if it means I can spend more time on my lectures, it isn’t bad right?”
“I suppose,” Misty said with a smile. “I’ll do my best and live up to your name.”
Prima scoffed at this, “I wasn’t even much serious with my job. But Misty, I think being an Elite Four is just a stepping stone to you.”
To defeat Wallace, yes.
“Thought so,” the woman smiled, reading her expression. “You’ve gotten a lot confident over the years and you are putting up a nice image for the people too…” Prima paused. “But Misty, don’t get lost in your fake personality. Be yourself.”
“I’ll make sure to remember that,” Misty said, not considering the words seriously at that moment.
“Well,” Prima said, adjusting her glasses. “I’ll leave you to your friend now,” she said, walking onto another group.
Misty turned around to find a familiar face smiling at her face.
“Misty,” Brock greeted her with a small hug. “Congratulations!”
Brock hadn’t changed much in appearance. He was slightly taller than when she last saw him. But including the squint eyes, everything else remained the same. Although, he had a small beard sticking out on his chin. It was a failed attempt at French Beard.
“Thanks for coming Brock,” she smiled at him. She looked behind, and found a small five-year old boy who had a face that was similar to Brock’s.
“Aww he’s cute,” Misty said taking the rather shy boy into her arms. “Is this your kid?”
Brock put a sorrowful expression at that. “I don’t have a girlfriend yet,” he said, dejected.
Oh, the poor guy. Wait…does that mean?
“He’s my newest brother,” Brock said, with an awkward expression on his face.
Their parents were still at it? She was surprised. Seriously, someone should talk to them about family planning.
“So, where is everyone else?” Misty asked, searching around for more of her friends.
“They’re on the other side,” Brock pointed at the other end of the gym hall. There were quite a number of people that she couldn’t actually see anything. “Let’s go meet them.”
“Sure,” she said. As they made their way towards the farther end of the gym, she asked, “Did he come?”
Brock frowned at the question. The answer was a no. Good thing she didn’t expect any better. Well she at least threw him an invitation. It was his fault now.
“He’s in a faraway continent right now,” Brock answered after some hesitation. “He hasn’t come back home in three years.”
“I see,” she muttered. He wasn’t home in three years? Just how far would he go? Had she continued to keep her hopes on him like she did back then, she could have been the most miserable girl ever. It was a good thing she renounced him away from her life.
“But he’ll be back soon,” Brock said.
She didn’t say aloud that she doesn’t care anymore. He should have figured it by now.
Brock chuckled despite her lack of response. “He’s coming to challenge you, Misty.”
Misty froze. “What?” She asked him befuddled.
“You don’t know yet?” Brock smiled, “He’s challenging the Kanto Elite Four at last. He’s talking the last leg of his journey to be a Pokémon Master.”
Kanto…Elite Four….oh, that means she would have to battle Ash. Of course, she should have expected it to happen. In order for a trainer to participate in the Champion’s League he should beat the Elite Four of his home region. Ash needs to beat the newly appointed Kanto Elite Four so that he could participate in the biggest challenge ever: The Champion’s League.
Later that night….
What Brock said left Misty puzzled. How should she react when she sees Ash? They haven’t seen each other in ten years. Yes, the first three times were bad coincidences but the rest seven were as a result of her avoiding him completely. Thinking about it now, it did seem a bit silly. Was he really at fault if she couldn’t make it to the reunion.
But, another side of her mind said. He should have tried contacting her if she tried avoiding him. Then maybe she wouldn’t have continued to avoid him.
‘But he called you many times and every time you let Daisy let the phone!’ The first side argued.
Okay, so he called….was she supposed to be grateful for it? How hard is it to make a phone call? He should have come to Cerulean if he was really worried for her. He didn’t come, it was his fault!
‘How could he come to Cerulean when you spend the days he stayed in Kanto, somewhere else?’
Then he could have called Daisy and asked where she was. Daisy would have definitely told him where she would be. She was only pretending to be busy half of the time.
‘But what if he thought you were really busy? He’s too simple-minded. He can’t understand your stupid deceptions.’
All of these are stupid excuses to justify Ash! If he really likes her and misses her and if he was really worried about her then he could have done something to remedy the situation.
‘Why would he be worried about you when he doesn’t even know what’s going on in your mind? You are hurt because you like him and miss him. How the hell should he know something was wrong with you when he doesn’t know how you feel? The poor guy mightn’t even figure out that you are avoiding him on purpose.’
If he’s that much of a moron, then why the heck should she care about him? If he can’t figure out that a person has been missing from his life for ten years, then he something was wrong with him.
Ash might be innocent, but even naďve people can damage hearts. She was a perfect example for that. If she simply forgets everything that happened in these ten years, then there was no meaning to the anguish she felt. There was no meaning to the night she cried. There was no meaning for all those days she avoided all of her other friends to avoid Ash. There was no meaning in her becoming cold-hearted enough to reject Rudy before he even proposed her.
There was no meaning to what she was now either, because it was these ten years that shaped her into an Elite Four.
‘Once again, you are distancing him because of your ego.’
And her ego was justified.
“Fifteen minutes more till your battle starts Ms. Waterflower,” her newly appointed manager noted as she entered the stadium complex. Normally she was expected to be at the arena two hours in advance. But Misty came only fifteen minutes in advance. Two hours would be too much opportunity for Ash to talk with her.
“The challenger is already here,” she said as Misty walked into her dressing room. “He’s really excited for the battle. He told me he wants to meet you the moment you arrive.”
“And what did you say?” Misty asked, as she applied the last-minute make-up. Her hair, yep perfect. The lipstick, yep not bad either. Her eyelashes—
“I informed him that you’ve arrived,” the manager said, a business smile on her face. “He’s on his way.”
“What?” Misty looked at her as if she just allowed a bug type into her bed. “Why are you giving appointments without my permission?”
The woman stuttered, obviously not expecting the reaction. “It isn’t much of an appointment ma’am.”
“Look,” she said, curtly. “You need to ask me when someone asks to meet me. I don’t care what you do, stall him before he gets here!”
The woman swiveled her head towards the entrance. A raven-haired man stood at the entrance, heaving for breath as he seemed to have run all the way from the other end of the arena.
He was the guy she wanted to avoid the most. But fate decided that she had to battle him. Despite that she tried to avoid him. She was late only so that she could avoid him. And now with ten more minutes left for the battle, she had to face him. Thanks to this stupid manager! She sent a glare at the woman who shivered in response.
“Mr. Ketchum,” the manager spoke. “Now might not be a good time—”
“Its fine,” Misty cut in. Yes, there was no meaning in running away now. She’ll have to deal with him directly.
The manager looked unsure. “Y-Yes, Ma’am,” she said after much hesitation.
“Leave us,” she said.
The raven-haired trainer looked at their interaction amusedly as if it was some new Pokémon he discovered. “Wow,” he said as the manager left. “You sure scared her, Misty.”
“What do you want?” She asked, as courteously as possible and that meant in a harsh tone.
He folded his arms and tilted his head, “What do you mean what I want? It’s been too long since we met. Don’t you have anything nice to say?”
“Sorry I ran out of them,” she said, trying her best to not look away.
If she looked away from him then it meant that she had become weak. She wasn’t weak. She simply doesn’t like to talk to him anymore.
He didn’t change, not a bit. He didn’t look anything like 23. He was taller, yes. But he still had the same goofy look on his face, the same brown eyes and he’s still wearing a stupid red cap over his spiky hair. But he did look a bit handsome.
He grinned at her remark, “Just like always, huh,” he teased.
Calm down, Misty! That’s right, she’s not the same Misty anymore. She was Elite Four Misty of Kanto.
Instead of clenching her fists and rage at him like she always did, she closed her eyes instead. “People change, Mr. Ketchum.”
He raised an eyebrow, “What’s with that weird way of talking Misty. You almost sound like Paul.”
Paul was the guy who thrashed Ash before Ash finally caught up to him in the Sinnoh League. And as per her recent info, he began thrashing Ash again and was looking forward to kick his *** in the Champion’s League. Too bad she would kick his *** first.
“Listen,” she said, inching closer to the raven-haired man. “I know you can act like nothing happened. But,” she was looking straight into his eyes although the fact that she had to look up to meet his eyes was annoying. “Ash Ketchum, you must understand that when two people don’t meet each other for a long gap like ten years.” She paused for adding the dramatic effect. “They become strangers.”
With that she brushed past him, leaving the Pokémon trainer standing still in the room. She felt bad about talking to him like that but dealing it this way was better than avoiding him and leaving him clueless forever. At some point or the other it was going to affect him when he realizes it himself. Right now, she settled it by hurting him just once.
“Gyarados is unable to battle,” The referee raised his flag. “Squirtle wins. The match winner is Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town!”
“What a wonderful match! Ash Ketchum has managed to beat the newly appointed Elite Four member in a close match. Will he be able to continue this performance against Koga? I can’t wait till next week, folks!”
Misty looked at the Pokéball containing Gyarados as the crowd roared in response to Ash’s victory. She lost her first match as an Elite Four, and yet…
She watched as Ash lifted Squirtle into the air and dance around in happiness. It was his first win against an Elite Four and he defeated her of all people. For some reason Misty was smiling at the young man dancing in happiness.
But the smile disappeared when his brown eyes finally fell on her. It was her cue to speak.
“You’ve done an excellent job, challenger. You’ve proved that your bond with your Pokémon is strong enough to overpower me, a member of Elite Four. I am proud to have battled someone strong like you.”
Her words caused the crowd to roar in response again.
“Misty has won the hearts of the audience with her beauty and attitude. Her first match as an Elite Four may have ended up in her losing, but I am pretty sure she can surpass her predecessor Lorelei.”
A festive atmosphere filled the stadium at that moment. But the raven-haired man who was dancing till then simply stood like a life-less doll. “Challenger huh,” he muttered as he scooted his partner Pikachu into his arms. He lowered his hat as if to cover the expression on his face but she could see that his lips were pursed. “Thank you for the battle,” he said before walking back.
A part of her felt sad for him, but the other part told that she suffered worse and it was meaningful for him to suffer in exchange.
“I’m a terrible person,” she muttered to herself as she turned around and walked back. “You’re better off without me around.”
As she was about to open the door to her dressing room, Misty’s manager appeared once more. “Ms. Waterflower, someone’s come to visit you. I told them I can’t grant an appointment without your permission but…” she looked at the room timidly.
Misty frowned and latched the door open—
Only to find an auburn-haired woman waiting for her inside. “Misty,” the woman clapped when she noticed Misty at the door. “I’m so glad to see you again!”
“Mrs. Ketchum,” Misty was taken aback.
“Well I was told I needed your appointment or something,” the woman hesitated, exchanging a glance with her manager. “Is it okay for me to talk to you now?”
Damn, why can’t she hate these people and say no.
“Ignore her,” she smiled, causing the manager’s eyebrow to twitch a little. Yeah, being a manager to Misty Waterflower was impossible. “Be my guest, Mrs. Ketchum.” She said requesting the older woman to sit down.
“You know Misty,” she said as she took her chair. “I always wanted to visit you in these ten years.” She said, her expression similar to when she apologized to her back then. “But you know, I understood that bad luck was playing with you. I didn’t intervene till now because I thought knowing Ash, you and he will patch up somehow.” She sighed, “But I never thought he was this hopeless when it comes into stuff like these.” She scratched her hair in apology, “He actually got these qualities from me.”
“You don’t need to apologize for anything Mrs. Ketchum,” she said softly. “Few things are bound to go down like this. I guess Ash and I are never meant to be good friends.” Or something more, she didn’t add.
“Misty,” the woman began to protest weakly.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Ketchum.” She signaled the woman to stop. “You need to stop doing this for Ash. I’ll forgive him the day he comes by himself…” she paused. “Probably,” she added after hesitation. “I’m not going to listen anything else on this matter from you, because you don’t owe me an explanation.” She turned to the manager. “Show her to her son’s room.”
***Time: 10:30 P.M
Location: Her bedroom
“Am I doing this right?” Misty asked herself, as she looked at the ceiling. The question has been haunting her ever since her encounter with Mrs. Ketchum and Ash. Ash probably figured by now that she had avoided him on purpose. But he should also be able to understand that it was his fault…or was it totally his fault? She was acting like a selfish baby on this matter. She trusted her ego over her true emotions.
If she wants to, even at this moment she could patch up things with Ash and call it a day. All she had to do was walk up to the desk beside her, dial the number she was so familiar with and say, I’m sorry.
But her body was refusing to move. It wanted to lie down on the bed lazily, watching the cracks on the ceiling and brood over the same thing again and again.
It’s true. She could simply walk up and call him, but what would that teach Ash? He’d never understand how she felt and then they’d have to talk as if nothing happened. She can’t forget it. She won’t be able to forgive him that easily. She was a slave to her ego and knowing about it didn’t do much help either.
These thoughts won’t come to her mind after today. Ash will forget who she was after the harsh treatment she gave him and she’ll forget Ash. Then she could focus on her final target: Defeating Wallace and become the Queen of water Pokémon trainers. A Queen without a King that is.
A knock on the door disturbed her thoughts. The door slightly opened, revealing her manager who Misty believed should have resigned by now because of all the pressure she put on her. “You’ve received a letter.”
“From?” Misty asked.
“There’s no name on it,” she said, looking at the blank envelope. “We may have to read the subject to discern their identity.”
“Okay,” she said falling back onto the bed lazily. “Just read on.”
She heard the sound of the envelope opening and the unfolding of a paper. “It’s handwritten,” the woman said. “Maybe you should read it yourself.”
“Just read it,” she said, lacking the energy to sit up. The battle with Ash was tiring. As much as she hated him, he was an excellent battler. It’s funny how she lost her composure many a times. His offense was indeed mind-blowing like the commentator said.
“Dear Misty,” the manager read. “I’m waiting for you at the Cerulean Cape. Come by twelve, and you’ll have a surprise. Your secret admirer.”
Misty jumped suddenly. “What?!” She exclaimed. “Are you kidding me?” She jumped for the letter and snatched it from the woman’s hands.
I’m waiting for you at the Cerulean Cape. Come by twelve and you’ll have a surprise.
Your Secret Admirer.”
She read the letter again, not believing its contents. Someone called her to come by the Cerulean Cape!
The greatest spot in the whole world for romantics. The place where every Cerulean born girl dreamt of having their first kiss. Someone was inviting her to Cerulean Cape.
Who could it be?
Ash?? It could be possible. He might be trying to make up for what had happened between them. Maybe he’ll finally propose her.
Ah, that would be such a wonderful scenario. But there were two things to consider here: 1) Expecting romance from Ash’s side is foolery.
2) His writing sucks. The writing in the letter, it seemed like someone actually put some effort into writing it.
So it could be someone else. But what should she do? Reject him just like she did with Rudy? What if he’s someone she knew and someone she might like? She was twenty four and it was high time she went on at least one date. But what if it’s one crazy stalker?
“You must calm down Ms. Waterflower,” her manager tried pacifying her violent thoughts. Was her face that obvious to read? “You must approach this subject with caution. It could be someone who doesn’t like you.”
Misty considered that. Yes, but she wouldn’t know who it was unless she goes to the Cerulean Cape. Besides she wasn’t some weak girl, she was Misty Waterflower, the beautiful Cerulean…okay she was getting tired of saying it to herself again and again.
Anyway she’s Misty, so she could handle it.
‘Just like you handled those three brothers right?’ The crazy Misty inside her mind teased.
“Shut up!” She yelled at herself.
“Y-Yes ma’am!” The manager jumped in fear and shut her mouth.
Uggh, Misty hit her forehead. This was really a messy day.
*** It was twelve in the night. The moon was up, and the sky was dark except for the glittering stars and the shining moon. The night was silent, except for the screeching of the bug Pokémon she hated with a passion.
Misty crossed the wooden bridge that connected the Cerulean City to Cerulean Cape. She had parked the bike by the bridge and decided to walk the rest of the distance.
In a way, the mood was perfect. The moon was casting pleasant silver light; the wind was gentle as if it liked playing with her hair. The Cerulean Sea’s infamous tide was up, and was touching the rocky coast.
A few more steps up the hill and the man who called her would be waiting for her. She didn’t know who it was but he had already scored marks in terms of choosing the perfect time and the perfect place.
No stupid stalker would choose such a perfect time, nor would someone with a grudge. It was certainly someone with a good romantic sense, which means it crossed out Ash too. Well, that was a bit disappointing already.
Although, she mused to herself, it was funny how she still had faith in Ash that he would do something absolutely out of his character and act romantic. It was almost as if she was a teenage girl in love who tries to expect the best from her boyfriend despite knowing his shortcomings.
She walked up the stairs towards the highest point of the Cerulean Cape. As she walked up, she noticed the silhouette of a man standing close to the sea, watching the waters that were playing against the hill.
Please be Ash, she thought.
Please don’t be Rudy, she didn’t want to accept him after rejecting twice. That was bad for her ego as well.
Please don’t be Tracey, Daisy will kill her.
Please don’t be Paul. She doesn’t know who he is, but he was certainly not someone you would want as a boyfriend.
Please don’t be Wallace, he’s too good for her.
Please don’t be the crazy guy who stalks Dawn. What was his name again? Conway?
Please don’t be the guy who constantly insults Kanto on the T.V.
Please don’t be Brock, because he’s a—
Misty was stone-faced. Yes, the moonlight finally shed some light onto the man standing by the sea, and it turned out to be…a man in his late twenties, who was dark-skinned, and had eyes of a Makuhita.
Why the heck was Brock here?!
“Hey Misty,” he greeted with a flirtatious tone he usually uses with Nurse Joy. “Surprised to see me?”
What was her reaction? Dismayed? Disappointed?
“What are you doing here?” She asked, not wanting to guess.
“What else other than wait for the love of my life?” He said taking her hand and kneeling down.
For some reason Misty could feel her cheeks become warm. Oh god why was she reacting to Brock of all people? Well yes, he did pick up a nice spot and chose the nice time. But why should it be Brock? The guy goes gaga over almost every beautiful woman in the world. Well, it feels to be good in his list but still! It’s Brock!
“B—B-Brock,” she stuttered. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
“I suppose,” he said abruptly changing his tone to normal.
“Huh,” Misty’s blush disappeared. “What do you mean?” A frown took its place instead.
“I was only playing around,” he chuckled. “Well yes you’re beautiful but you’re not my type.”
Oh, so now Brock was rejecting her? Alright, something must be seriously wrong with her. Maybe ditching Rudy was a bad idea.
“Then what exactly did you call me at this time in the night?” She clenched her fist and took a step forward threateningly.
Brock jumped back in fear. “C-Calm down, okay!”
“You better give me a good explanation in five seconds or I’m going to hit you with my machete,” she said, folding her arms, putting a demanding expression.
“I’m surprised Misty,” Brock said, while still maintaining a good distance from her. “You’ve dropped the personality mask you put on.”
That was right. Why the heck did she slip up into the old Misty like that? Well for starters she was tired, then she had that distressing conversation with Mrs. Ketchum and there was Ash dancing all over her mind and on top of that Brock just pulled some kind of joke on her.
Uggh, had he not reverted to normal, she could have perhaps ended up being the first woman to fall to Brock’s flirting in the world. She needs to visit her psychiatrist, Misty made a mental note.
“Well I suppose I was kinda disappointed,” she pursed her lips, pretending to be mad. People feared her that way.
“Well, I’m taking this girl called Soledad for a date,” he said. “She suggested that we go fishing and I suck at fishing.”
Who was he kidding? “I know you can fish pretty well Brock,” Misty narrowed her eyes at him, “I smell something fishy.” She rolled her sleeves threateningly.
“W-Wait, let me explain completely!” he said dropping to his knees. “I can fish well, but I can’t fish with this!” He said, picking a fishing rod from the bag that lay by his side.
Misty examined the rod and identified it immediately. “It’s a Super Rod.” It was a special rod that had the power to pull giant Pokémon onto the land. Normally Pokémon like Gyarados are extremely tough to fish as they are much stronger in comparison to a human. But with a Super rod one can fish a Gyarados with as much ease as a Magikarp. But yes, handling it might be difficult indeed. Very few people knew how to handle a Super Rod. But still, something's fishy with Brock visiting at her at this time in the night.
“Alright,” she smiled at last. “I’m still sore over that stupid prank though.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, scratching his hair. “But hey don’t you worry. If Soledad rejects me I might—”
“Not in your dreams,” she said pulling his ear. “Now let’s go to the wooden bridge. It’s the best place to fish.”
Well, it wasn’t what she expected but she could forgive Brock. Besides, it’s been ages since she hung out with anyone on a non-official purpose. Yeah, she had turned into a boring old lady with no fun time over time. She had to correct that. Maybe that’s what Prima meant by then.
“Misty, don’t get lost in your fake personality. Be yourself.”
“I’m glad you know,” she said, as they finally arrived at the wooden bridge. Misty took her favorite spot, which was by the support staff of the bridge. “It’s been ages since I had some fun.”
“Yeah you seem so,” Brock said, sitting beside her. “Lately, you’ve been this strange woman I never knew. If I hadn’t known your other side, I could’ve actually fallen for that cool Misty you show.”
“You fall for anything that’s barely female,” Misty criticized.
“Hey, I have some ethics too,” Brock protested.
“No wonder you were hitting on me,” she said, then shifted her attention to the water. “I’m not sure if we can catch anything at this time. Do you have anything like a lure?”
“Just teach me the basics,” Brock told. “We don’t need a lure for that.”
“Alright,” she said, “It’s basically same like with an ordinary rod.” She pitched the hook into the water. “And when a—” she paused suddenly.
“What’s wrong Misty?” Brock asked, noticing her expression.
“Something’s tugging the line,” she said, excited. “We’re in luck, Brock.”
“Great,” Brock said, jumping to his feet.
“Ssh,” she silenced him. Yes, it wasn’t just her feeling. Something was really tugging the line. It was something big she realized from the force that was attempting to yank the rod out of her grasp. “All the steps are the same. Except,” she used her thumb to click a button. “You need to activate the mechanical system inside so that it can adjust to the force the Pokémon pulls you.” She reeled in after that and—“You pull it out at once!” Misty exclaimed as something heavy rose from the water. But the woman’s force was much more than she anticipated. The catch landed on the soft grass with a heavy thud.
“Ow, that really hurt!” It exclaimed.
The redhead walked closer towards the ‘thing’ she caught and brought to the land. It wasn’t a Magikarp or a Goldeen or a Seaking or even a Psyduck. Instead it was a familiar two legged creature that can talk English a.k.a human.
The said person landed upright on his face. He tried pulling himself straight and landed on his butt. He rubbed his head that must have hurt really badly from that terrible landing. He brushed his wet hair and put the red cap that fell away from his head when she pulled him up.
“Yo,” he said, raising his hand for help. “Are you going to keep looking at me like that or will you pull me up.”
Misty’s mind was completely blank. What the heck was going on here? She hesitated for a second but then pulled him up to his feet.
“Ah,” he rubbed his head again. “That really hurt you know. You’re quite strong, miss.”
He chuckled earnestly. There was no malice in his smile, no hidden intentions behind his words. He was just a plain ordinary guy. He was a few inches short of six feet; he had raven hair that was wet from being in the water. He wore a blue jacket over a white shirt with matching blue jeans.
“My name is Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town,” he said offering his arm in a handshake, “Nice to meet you.”
Misty blinked at his hand. “What’s the meaning of this?” She asked.
“What do you mean by that?” He asked, pretending to be confused by her question. “This is what strangers do, don’t they?”
Yes. What do strangers do when they meet? They introduce each other. She didn’t even know how to react. She looked at Brock for assistance. The Pokémon Doctor shrugged in response. “I don’t know him. He doesn’t seem shady though.”
So it was their plan all along. Yes, she called him a stranger and for that reason he went through the whole effort of reenacting their first meeting. They met the same way thirteen years ago. She had fished him out accidentally expecting him to be rare water Pokémon. He was just a trainer who was desperately trying to save his Pikachu.
‘Only you…only you can respond like this to a negative remark.’
Ash was a doodle when it comes to romance, but that was the guy she fell for. He may be dense, and maybe stupid and maybe sometimes too arrogant but he was still this strange guy who’s always loved by those around him.
“Well Miss,” he said, not taking his hand down despite her hesitation. “My aim is to become a Pokémon Master and I’m planning to challenge the Kanto Elite Four and Champion’s League. I’m short on friends right now. So will you be my friend and cheer me instead?”
“No,” she said, swatting his arm away. “There are two things people do when they meet strangers. One, they shake hands and become friends.” She turned around, “Two, they ignore each other and walk away.”
Life’s not that simple, it doesn’t have a reset button. It’s not a joke to hit the button so that it could cover any mistake the person had made. Maybe she could tolerate it for small mistakes. But this was a big one. If he thinks she could just forget by starting from the scratch, he was only making a fool of himself.
“Wait Miss,” he yelled, trying to follow her. “Now don’t be so rude.”
“Stop following me,” she exclaimed back. “Unless you want your league license cancelled and the rest of your life behind the bars.”
“But Misty,” he tried to protest albeit weakly. “Why can’t you forgive me?”
“Because,” she said, clenching her fists. Things that have been buried in her mind for ages surfaced back. Those were painful emotions that were strong enough to even make her cry. Painful memories that she had desperately tried to forget over the years. They were all coming back as if all her efforts were just a joke.
‘Ash has already left to Sinnoh!’
‘We thought it was a vacation, but he’s decided to travel Unova.’
‘You should have come, Misty. He’s already gone to Kalos by now.’
“Every year,” her voice shook, letting out the emotions that were locked down underneath the fake Misty she created. “Each and every damn year it’s the same! Ash has already left! Ash has already left! Ash has already left! Just how many more times did you want me to hear that?”
Ash was honestly dumbfounded. His face was blank, unable to find any reasonable answer to her question. He was blank because he doesn’t have an answer for what he did.
“I couldn’t take it anymore!” She said, not fighting the tears that broke the dam she built over her emotions. She didn’t care if it was the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night but she no longer cared. “Is it so hard to find an extra day to spend with me?”
“Misty,” he stepped forward, attempting to comfort her.
“Don’t you dare touch me!” She pushed him back with the same amount of aversion she would show against a Weedle. “I’m not a weak woman who needs the support from the likes of you. My name is Misty Waterflower. I am a member of the Elite Four of Kanto! And I achieved that without anyone’s help. You weren’t beside me when I trained hard in my Gym. You weren’t there when I made it to the semifinals of the Gym Leaders Tournament. You weren’t there when I became an Elite Four. And even now you remembered me because I gave you a taste of your own medicine! I ignored you right on your face when you came to talk to me! That’s why you are standing before me, right now!”
Ash withdrew his hand at last. He must have realized the extent to which his actions pained her.