Disclaimer – Of course I own Pokemon! I'm a regular klepto! (Also totally claiming rights to Iron Man 2 while I'm at it... but not really.)
Author – Warlordess
Notes – This was inspired by a line from Iron Man 2 and, if you've seen the movie (though maybe more than once), I'm pretty sure you'll know it when you see it.
For Dwittz/just-leave-me-alone-to-cry, my Tumblr friend, fan fic author, and a co-supporter of my OTP, Pokeshipping! I hope this gives you a reason to laugh!
Title – "Kiss the Messenger"
Summary – Inspired by a Tony/Pepper scene from Iron Man 2. Ash has some news to share with Misty. It's too bad that they're not currently speaking. Pokeshippy.
Ages – Both Ash and Misty are twenty.
Misty Waterflower, age twenty, lived (mostly) alone in a small apartment in downtown Cerulean City. In an apartment because she'd relinquished leadership of the Cerulean City Pokemon Gym roughly five years ago when her older sisters had retired as gravure models and decided to return to their roots, and mostly because she did happen to have a significant other, a boyfriend, who sometimes spent a few days at a time with her.
However, seeing as she and her boyfriend were not currently on pleasant terms, she liked to think that she lived (completely) alone.
What's more, as it was just turning seven o'clock in the morning, Misty was sleeping quite soundly in her bed, clearly enjoying whatever dream happened to peruse her subconscious... though admittedly not for much longer.
It started with the barely audible snapping of her front door from roughly twenty-five feet away, followed by a single, drawn out creak on a loose panel of her wooden flooring. Then, in reaction, a muttered curse at all of the noise the apparent stranger hadn't meant to make.
Her eyes snapped open to the possibility of a home invasion.
Heart pounding and pupils dilating in the sunlight, Misty lay frozen under her duvet for the following ten seconds, quickly weighing her options. Her cell-phone sat on her bedside table, clearly within reach and she wondered about calling the authorities. However chances were that they'd take ten minutes to get to her apartment – a six minute commute plus the traverse through weekday morning traffic – and she'd probably be well and dead by then.
Her next option was to remove one of her Pokeballs from the top-most drawer of the aforementioned bedside table and teach the supposed criminal a lesson herself.
Lovely, smart, strong, confident Misty Waterflower opted for option two almost immediately. She probably wouldn't even have to hurt the person. If she called on one of her Pokemon and appeared before them, chances were that they'd recognize her (as well as her reputation as the former hometown gym trainer) and would flee in seconds.
Her decision was further cemented when she heard one of her cabinets snap open and her brows furrowed in fury. The person was already rummaging through her things, looking for something worth stealing. (She could at least take pleasure in the fact that there wasn't much of that around. Her sisters were the ones who loved glamour and jewels. Misty rather preferred comfort to fashion and it showed even in her home environment.)
As stealthily as she could, she twisted around in her bed and slowly pulled the drawer open by its handle, taking in the sight of the six Pokeballs sitting pristinely in their velvet casing. Most of her Pokemon team had to be left with Professor Oak – seeing as private residents were only allowed six Pokemon at once, whereas gym leaders could carry more due to the sheer number of battles they had to participate in daily – but even just one of these would be enough to prove her point.
She picked up a Pokeball and silently rose from her bed, placed her feet on the floor and decided not to go with the slippers since they might have given away her position. She did, however, throw her plush robe over her silk nightie to spare her own modesty and then began to creep from her room and out into the hallway.
Oddly enough, the closer she got to the main living quarters, the easier it was to tell that the person who had invaded her home was ambling around her kitchen and not her living room or study area. The only thing of any real value in the kitchen was her signed autograph from her idol and mentor, Prima, and she could easily get that replaced if need be since the woman was only an email or phone-call away.
Then, as she approached the wall right next to the island dividing the hallway and the kitchen, Misty heard the unmistakable sound of something sizzling.
Oh, you've got to be fucking kidding me! She internally screeched, This person broke into my apartment to cook themselves something to eat?!
She grit her teeth and felt her knuckles crack as they clenched around her Pokeball. And then, after some shuffling from the unsuspecting stranger, she made her move.
"Go, Starmie!" she shouted without cause for warning, and launched the Pokeball she'd been gripping so tightly out into the open at last. There was a flash of red light and the mysterious starfish Pokemon appeared, magenta jewel glimmering and ready to fight. "Use your water gun now!"
"Wait, mwah!" the stranger shouted defensively in a mildly familiar tone of voice and the redhead blinked before she too ran out from behind the wall separating the two of them and took in the sight of her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend, drenched and sputtering, one hand still on the frying pan he'd been melting butter in while the other one tried rather unsuccessfully to clear his line of sight.
"What are you doing here?" the former gym leader asked haughtily, hands on her hips as she strode up to her Pokemon and stood beside it, still unconvinced that she should keep Starmie from unleashing another attack.
"I – I was, uh," he started, though he was clearly having trouble finding the words. Misty hoped he'd go on. It was about time he learned to keep his mouth shut for once because, whenever he opened it, he only caused her trouble. Besides, the longer he stood there, the more of a reason she had to simply evict him from the premesis.
"Spit it out, Ash Ketchum! This isn't a free-for-all! What right do you have to come barging into my apartment at seven in the morning? Especially now of all times?!" she interrupted, jabbing a finger in his direction to further emphasize her point.
"I didn't just come barging in!" he rebuffed indignantly, "I used the key you gave me!"
"That key doesn't entitle you to use of my kitchen, my frying pan, or my food!" she fought back on impulse. She couldn't dare to believe that he was actually trying to defend himself! She had every right to slap him in the face and kick him out in response to his most recent indiscretion against her.
"Look, I only came to make you breakfast and to tell you about the Indigo League's decision, okay?" he replied once more with fervor and Misty opened her mouth to say something then faltered, closed it, and bit her lip.
"Do whatever you want, Ash Ketchum." she finally relented, recalling her Starmie to its Pokeball and turning on a bare heel to retreat back down the hallway. "I'm going to take a shower. This kitchen better be dry and spotless by the time I'm done."
She then huffed and pranced away without another glance in his direction, relishing his follow-up struggle to find the proper way to decline her insinuation that he would have to be the one to clean up the mess that her Pokemon had made.
Roughly an hour later she returned, fully dressed and made up with her hair tied in a casual, almost ratty, bun. She found the dishes washed and the counter and floor clear of water and, on her dining room table, a simple breakfast of omelets, toast, and orange juice.
The redhead quirked an eyebrow at all the extra effort her not-a-boyfriend-for-much-longer-if-she-had-anything-to-say-about-it had gone to and couldn't help but wonder why he'd done so. Either the news she was going to receive was really great or it was going to probably ruin her life (as well as her prestige).
Ash sat on one side of the table, twiddling his thumbs, then alternating with tapping his fingers against the tablecloth, then twiddling his thumbs some more but also fidgeting uncomfortably at the same time.
He didn't even notice her until she'd approached him and cleared her throat.
"Oh, good; I thought you'd died in there, Myst! You were gone for so long," he chortled as if nothing was wrong and the redhead felt her irritation at him triple in half a second.
"Don't call me that!" she snapped, but plopped down unceremoniously into her own seat and crossed her arms, trying not to seem too obvious as she sniffed hopefully at the delicious platters placed before her.
"Uh, why not?" he asked, and he sounded so innocently confused that Misty was pretty sure she was going to spontaneously combust from pure rage.
"Why... not?" she begged of him, and felt her left eye start to twitch. "Why not?" she repeated, the pitch of her voice reaching something akin to soprano skill level.
"What do you mean, why not? You should know very well 'why not', Ash Ketchum! Do you know how long I've waited for this day? Do you know how long and hard I've trained, how much I've put myself through and every challenge I've taken on?" she screeched, though she refused to stand up because she feared she'd probably overthrow her own dining table out of ire.
"I played gym leader for over four years before I finally got my chance to escape and figure out my priorities!" she went on madly, cheeks flushed with patches of violent red, "I sent in letter after letter to Indigo League, received recommendations from Professors Oak and Elm and spent an entire year trying to convince Prima to accept me as her apprentice! I had to win the Whirlpool Cup twice before I even received any sort of a recognition from anyone!"
She finally stopped long enough to catch her breath and felt her lungs crack dryly from having used so much oxygen without reprieve. Her nerves were alight with a fanning fire and her conscious sparked with wild electricity. She was quite the deadly cocktail of natural disasters at the present moment and yet she still found the time to appreciate a truly startled Ash, eyes wide and sight wavering in fear of her next move.
"And you," she decided to continue once more, and had to ground her jaw in order to keep from shouting, "you, Mr. Pokemon Master, may have single-handedly ruined my chances of joining the Kanto Elite Four with your stupid, so-called unbiased vote."
"But you were the one who told me that I shouldn't vote for you because it would seem like I was playing favorites!" he exclaimed in panicked response.
"I meant that you should excuse yourself from the vote altogether because I didn't want anyone to think the whole thing was rigged! But for goodness sake, Ash Ketchum, to vote against me just to try and prove a point? Are you kidding me?" she shouted viciously back, gesturing widely with her arms. "What possibly made you think that voting against your girlfriend for the successor role of Elite Four's Prima was a good idea? I mean, what were you on at the time when they cast the ballot? It's not like the council didn't know we were dating!"
"Does that mean you don't care what our final decision was?" he asked after a series of flinches at each wrenching twist of emphasis in her previous statement.
Misty glared at him hard and then felt it soften and fall from her face, somehow deflated.
"... Of course I care, you idiot," she confessed though she was suddenly unable to feel her fingers and toes. It was hard to believe but she'd gone numb from terror.
"Then eat your omelet," he told her plainly, and began to dig into his own without hesitation.
"My...? You've got to be joking..."
"Look, the news I have isn't for the faint of heart, Misty. I think that you're going to have to sit there, calm down, and have a full stomach to rely on when I give it," he warranted with steel eyes and an indifferent tone of voice. "Hey, at least I remembered about the peppers, right?" he goaded her in presumed affection but she chose to ignore him.
Feeling something similar to a giant ice cube settle in the pit of her stomach, Misty did her best to inhale deeply, exhale just as deeply, and then pick up her fork and begin eating. With every bite she felt her abdomen curl in on itself as if wanting to expel everything she attempted to put down. The toast seemed to stick in her throat and every sip of orange juice burned insatiably as it trickled down her gullet.
She had waited seven – count it, seven – years to get this far. She had spent half of her adolescence at the Cerulean Gym wondering what she wanted to do with her life and knowing that sitting at home wasn't the answer. She'd traveled through Kanto, the Orange Islands, Johto,as well as Hoenn and Unova just to take in all sights and scenes related to water-type Pokemon research and she still had plans to journey out to Sinnoh and Kalos – (especially Kalos) – sometime in the near future. It wasn't until she'd been on the road all by her lonesome for two years that she truly understood just where she wanted her love for training water-types to lead her.
And now, faced the the biggest moment of her life, the poor redhead was forced to endure breakfast with her supposedly well-meaning boyfriend (ex, her fury chimed in automatically, still not inclined to give in) while he baited her with the knowledge, the answer, she'd been seeking for the better part of a decade.
She wished she hadn't put Starmie's Pokeball back in her room. She was pretty sure she could convince him to tell her what she wanted to know with a little water torture.
Ash had finished his first omelet and since moved onto his second, as well as his fourth piece of toast. Comparably, she dejectedly continued to nibble at her own food. He seemed to be acting entirely too casual considering how much he was putting her through and she was morbidly tempted to force his hand.
At the same time, however, she felt the tendrils of hurt wriggle around inside her. She and Ash had been dating for a good three years now, and, despite their usual squabbles, they were practically inseparable. Misty had even begun to wonder about marriage (though she hadn't dared to share her thoughts aloud with him yet). She knew that their relationship would eventually end up somewhere but she hadn't wanted to push him knowing that his career with Indigo League was at a very delicate stage of development. She hadn't wanted to damage what they'd taken the time to build.
Apparently he didn't feel the same way if their current situation was any indication.
Maybe he just didn't respect her or maybe he had decided to get her back for her ignorance. She'd spent nearly the entire past two weeks avoiding every call and text he tried to send her. But, to show up at her place of residence and talk with her in person was a bit much for her expectations of him too. Usually a letter of rejection or approval would be sent out, or else an unofficial phone-call from Lance's secretary would be offered.
Finally finishing what had been left of her omelet, Misty softly placed her knife and fork on top of her plate and sat in silence. She'd completely lost her appetite what with the nerves and her negative thought process and couldn't stomach anything more. Ash, noting the empty dishware, finally came clean.
"You're in," she heard him abruptly say.
Pretty sure she'd misheard something (or else that maybe she'd imagined it altogether), the redhead blinked, stared up from her plate, and stuttered, "Come again?"
"I said," he enunciated, a smirk playing at his lips, "you're in, Misty. You did it. Welcome to the Kanto Elite Four."
"I – I'm..." But the rest of the words wouldn't come and she was pretty sure her breakfast really was on its way to regurgitating itself. She sat back and tried her best to steel her nerves once more, but her cheeks were already flushing and eyes burning from tears that were long overdue. She was so many things at once, she knew; angry and liberated and proud and upset and...
… And goodness, more than all of that, she really was in love with this stupid jerk who'd spent the past hour or two trying to bury her in anxiety and strain. At this point, he probably didn't deserve her but she stood little chance against him anyway.
"You said I'm in."
"I said you did it."
"I made the cut?"
"I told you, welcome."
"I – I'm a member of the Elite Four...?" her whisper was barely audible, as if saying so too loudly would cause the truth to evaporate and leave her with nothing but a thirst left unquenchable. It was taking her awhile to fully wrap her mind around it all
That was when he elected to blindside her for the second time.
"Now say you'll marry me."
She knew for certain that she'd imagined that.
Or so she thought but, upon blinking away her refreshed tears and unclear sight, she saw Ash staring purposefully back at her, his food and all former precedence forgotten.
"You said... what?" she asked warily. It couldn't have been real, right? They hadn't even discussed this yet! And she had been so very, very sure that he wasn't ready what with going into his third year as Kanto League Champion and, well, he was Ash. And since when did he care about things like marriage and since when had he decided that he wanted to spend the rest of forever with her and since when was this real?
"Marry me. You know you want to say yes. You love me."
She did of course but that was beside the point, wasn't it?
"I love you too; I've been crazy about you for at least the past two years," he rambled on to fill the holes of bleak silence.
Misty felt flattered until she realized something.
"Hold on! We've been dating for three years, Mr. Pokemon Master!"
"Eh, I was still warming up to you back then."
She considered slapping him but chose to refrain. She'd never been more impressed by her own sense of self-restraint.
"So that was your master plan?" she asked with a blank slate of an expression, doing her best to remain neutral now that she had him in the hot seat.
"You come here..."
She rose from her chair and took one step towards him.
"... Cook us breakfast..."
Another step. The raven-haired Champion remained silent throughout her animosity.
"... Lord over me the fact that you know the very outcome of my entire future..."
Followed by another step. Finally, Ash had something to say.
"I - I wouldn't necessarily say entire... At least not yet."
"... Then finally you tell me that everything I've worked for over the past seven years... All of my dreams are finally coming true? That's the oh-so brilliant plan you came up with?"
"Well, originally the plan included pancakes too but you're out of instant batter," he admitted under his breath, deciding he couldn't find it in him to even look at her anymore.
She took one last, final step and stood before him with her arms crossed, looking rather displeased, all things considered.
"What do you expect me to say, Ash? I'm still pretty pissed off about that voting thing from a couple of weeks ago, you know?" she quipped with a tight-lipped grimace. "Do you know what I would have done to you if they hadn't've accepted my application?"
"Uh, w – well, I'm guessing it's not a good thing but beyond that..."
"I would have killed you."
He tried to breathe but his lungs had clearly fractured at this confession. Finally, he forced himself to swallow and looked her over for any semblance of dishonesty to her claim.
"Killed you dead," she deadpanned, and he knew it was true beyond any doubt.
The two of them continued as they were, Ash in his chair and wishing it had been planted closer to the front door so he could make a break for it if the situation allowed, while Misty stood before him, arms still crossed before she leaned casually against her dining table and stared him down, hoping he'd give her an excuse.
Finally, the Kanto Pokemon Champion chose (rather stupidly) to speak.
"Uh, if it's any consolation, I think my proposal proves that I know better than to vote against you when the chips are down, doesn't it?" She didn't say anything so Ash, licking his lips, went on. "When it really counts, Myst, you should know that I'll always choose you."
The redhead felt the romantic in her flare up but tried to squash it deep down back where it belonged. Still, her stern gaze wavered and her posture slackened enough to put the raven-haired Champion's vigilance to rest.
"Oh, Ash," she simpered sweetly, leaning down and placing a hand tenderly against one of his cheeks before leaning in and kissing him softly. Then she rose back up to her full height and watched her love-struck boyfriend sit there with a familiar goofy grin on his face before shattering his world with a simple choice of words.
"Not. Good. Enough."
Notes – Huzzah! Another one finished! This came to me out of the blue at work today and I decided to run with it. Then I came home and heard that poor Tumblr friend, just-leave-me-alone-to-cry had to deal with some sort of hospital procedure and my heart went out to them. So, even though I'd already been thinking about dedicating a fic to them (and though I had no idea what just yet), I decided to move ahead immediately with this project so that they could have something to look forward to.
I hope it was alright, friend! Please tell me what you think! Reblogs and likes are always appreciated!
(Btw, despite Misty giving Ash a hard time at the end there, yes, she did eventually cave and accept his marriage proposal. Took a good couple of days though.)
Just goes to show that you should never kill the messenger when you can kiss them, wed them, and bear their children instead! (Terrible joke, I know, but that's where the title came from in case any of you were interested.)