Author: Kayley Laskitt PM
Misty is about to take a huge step in her life, and it could change things between her and Brock forever. Gymshipping.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Words: 1,391 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 5 - Published: 10-23-02 - id: 1027792
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
By Kayley Laskitt
Authors Notes: Written out of pure guilt for not having written anything in many, many moons. Stupid VCE. Blame Dana-chan - she makes me feel sooo lazy! Written very quickly - twenty minutes tops. Should be studying for exams instead of this! Is gymshippy (Misty x Brock) and the first gymshippy Ive ever written, which is very, very cool. As always, C&C welcomed
Misty was scared.
Not the adrenaline-pumping kind of scared, the kind where her breath came out in short bursts and her palms grew sweaty. Not the kind of scared she felt whenever Ash managed to get them stuck in the middle of some kind of disaster. This time she was scared on the inside, a shaky, fluttery, empty kind of scared that felt like a cold mixed with a hangover mixed with hunger.
She buried her face in her hands, struggling to pull herself together, to stop the trembling of her hands and the twisting of her stomach.
She would have been okay if no one spoke to her, if no one looked at her. If she could tune out and stare blankly out the window, she'd be fine. But Ash twisted around in the passenger-side seat to look at her, his brow knitted with mild concern.
"Hey, are you okay?"
She knew he wasn't asking because he had some deep insight into her soul. He was asking because they'd been driving through the Black Spur for fifteen minutes and she was notorious for getting car-sick.
She could have said she was fine. Instead she bit her lower lip, took a deep breath and acknowledged, in a voice as shaky as her hands, "I'm scared".
Brock glanced at her in the rearview mirror, just before whipping around a sharp corner in the Spur. He didn't say anything. Just looked. The way he'd always been able to look at her, as though he could see right through her and understand every single fibre of her being. No one knew her as well as Brock did.
And she started crying, silent tears slipping down pallid cheeks. God, she hated crying, hated it with a passion. She always had. She couldn't even remember the last time she'd cried.
She didn't sob wildly, or choke out melancholy phrases while she cried. That wasn't her style. Instead, she just stared out the window, as the leafy surroundings of the Spur melted into sprawling country properties, tears falling the whole while.
By the time they reached Cerulean Heights, half an hour out of the Cerulean CBD, Misty's cheeks were dry, her eyes red. Not because she felt any better. Because she didn't think she could cry anymore.
Brock was filled with something he couldn't define. There was no word for it, no simple adjective to neatly categorise it. All he knew was that it made his chest hurt and his jaw tighten and his stomach twist in a way that was painful on a whole new level.
Misty stopped crying somewhere between the Cerulean CBD and Cerulean Heights. He should have been glad, because listening to her crying softly in the backseat had been gut-wrenching at best. But somehow, it was worse when she stopped crying - maybe because of the hopeless despair in her eyes.
Ash, tactfully, didn't try to engage either of them in idle conversation, knew it would only make things worse. Ash was content to lip-synch with the radio, and for that Brock was glad.
There wasn't long to go now. Ten minutes, maybe. Ten minutes and it was all over.
He risked a glance in the rearview mirror. She'd given up looking out the window, and was now concentrating on twisting her beaded bracelet around and around her slender wrist, biting her lip as she did. He couldn't see her eyes, but he could read her as well as he'd always been able to.
She was still scared. Worse than scared. Downright terrified of what was only ... eight minutes away.
Ash stopped miming, cast a wary, understanding glance at Brock. Brocks grip tightened on the steering wheel, his mind racing wildly, twisting and turning like it was headed through the Black Spur. They didn't have to do this. Misty didn't have to do this. Brock could stop the car, talk Misty out of it, and turn around the car. They could be back in Pallet by sundown.
But even as he considered it, he knew he could never do that. This was what Misty wanted, even if she was scared. He couldn't take that from her. So, jaw tightened, he kept driving ahead, minutes ticking past. And before they knew it - way before Brock was ready - they were pulling into a parking spot outside Sacre Couer Girls Grammar.
A suitcase, a duffle bag, and backpack full of Pokeballs, all bearing holographic stickers of the Cascade Badge on them, were lying on the asphalt at Misty's feet. She was packed, prepared, all too ready to step through the doors of Sacre Couer and not return until the next vacation.
"So ... you're ready?" Brock asked uneasily, shifting his weight, pushing his hands into his pockets. Misty glanced down at the bags at her feet, more out of a need to escape Brocks gaze than anything else.
"Yeah, guess so," she confirmed quietly.
"I think I'm going to go find a vending machine," Ash said, eyes darting from Misty to Brock and back again. He slipped away. His friends barely noticed.
"Still scared?" Brock asked suddenly, concentrating on kicking his skate shoe at the ground.
"Yeah," she said, folding her arms tightly over her sweater. "Like you wouldn't believe. I'm just ..."
She trailed off weakly, rubbed a hand over her moist eyes.
"I don't know, Brock. Just scared."
He stepped closer to her then, shutting them off from the dozens of other girls milling around.
"I know you are," he said, grazing a hand over her arm. "But it's going to be okay. You're going to be fine. And Ash and I ... we'll muddle along without you somehow." He smiled wryly. "Don't worry."
She exhaled shakily and pressed her lips together, as though she was working up to something.
"But I do worry, Brock, I worry that –"
She cut herself off abruptly, pressing her lips together again.
"You worry about what?"
"I worry that ... you'll forget me."
If Misty had just meant what she'd said, Brock might have laughed, punched her arm, assured her there was no way he could forget her in a few months. But there was so much underlying her words, and Brock knew that she wasn't just worried he'd forget her - she was worried he'd find someone else.
"Like that would ever happen. Mist," he assured her, lowering his head, closing the space between them even more. "No one could ever take your place. No one."
Then slowly, she rested a delicate hand on his chest, and in that simple motion managed to get right to the heart of what they'd been dancing around for so many years.
"Brock, I – "
"I know," he interrupted, saving her the embarrassment of doing the touchy-feely-emotion thing that shed never been good at.
She relaxed visibly, pressed her lips together in a wry smile.
"Figures ... you always did know me best."
He matched her wry smile. Another silence, this time more pained than the last.
"I should go," she said quietly, bending to lift her bags. "Orientation starts pretty soon ... don't want to be late."
There was a question underlying her words - do you want me to go?
Brock lifted his hand in a half-hearted wave.
She blinked - surprised? disappointed? - then slung her duffle bag over her shoulder.
"See ya," she echoed, moving towards the doorway where other new students were trickling through. Brock watched her walk for a few seconds, before calling out to her.
She turned, eyes expectant.
"I know," she interrupted, a slightly lopsided smile curving her lips upwards.
"Figures," Brock said. "You always did know me best."