A/N: I realize that my idea isn't the most popular but, first of all, I just wanted to thank the few people who have bothered to review this since around chapter seven. Like I said, I know it's not the best but I'm glad that some people have decided to check it out, and have also found it a good read. Thanks so much to you!
Summary: Last time, Ash and Co. (minus Misty; how many times must I say it?) managed to obliterate the challenge of crushing the Gengar ritual monument in Lavender Tower and have finally returned to proper civilization, or so they believe, at the Lavender Town General Hospital. Now Ash, feeling thoroughly miserable at having made what he thinks is the worst mistake of his life, has decided to wait out Misty's revival on his own while the other members of their "team" complete their own business. But, if she does awaken, what will it have been from? The defeat of her attackers... Or the kiss of which has led to Ash's negative mood..?
Chapter Ten: Just When You Think It's Over...
Ash: I can't believe what I've just let myself do... How could she forgive me? Especially after everything I've all ready put her through..?
He stepped away from Misty's bed and walked towards the window. The sky outside was bleary and gray and seemed to have been in the middle of deciding whether or not it should rain. Feeling slightly bitter at his own actions, Ash looked down into the gardens. He shouldn't even be here right now... If anything, he should be trying, yet again, to reach Misty's sisters and convince them of the seriousness of her condition... He shouldn't be standing here, waiting, hoping that something would come of all that he'd just done...
Voice (groggy sounding): ...Wha... What's going on..? Wh-where am I..? (moment of silence) ...Ash..?
He turned and, with what was probably the most dumbfounded expression ever on his face, stared into the cerulean blue eyes of Misty Waterflower, awake and well and staring back at him with a look of deepening confusion.
Ash (sort of wobbling over to her, dazed): M... Misty? Oh my God... Misty, you're okay?! I can't believe it! You... Guys! (walking away, heading towards the door leading to the hall) Guys! Doctor Yomaki! Someone! Misty-Misty Waterflower's awake!
He turned back to her as though still disbelieving. He stepped up to her and traced her cheek with his finger, watching as her eyes widened at the sudden aspiration that something big had to have happened.
Misty: Ash, what's going on? Why am I lying here with... With these cords and things (points to them)? Why are you here and--What are you touching me for?! (slaps his hand away and turns red)
Ash: Eh... Sorry, it's just that... Misty, you've been out cold for almost a week. And I'm just so happy that you're alive, awake, okay... God, there's so much to say but... Wait... Do you remember anything that went on about four days ago?
It was when she shook her head that he knew he'd have to get a professional to explain her position so that she understood.
Misty: Ash... I don't remember anything accept heading towards the Lavender Pokemon Tower and then... (silence) ...And then a bunch of red light and darkness. I... can't remember anything else, really... (looking dazed) ...But I feel kinda sick; and tired...
Ash (worried): Well, there was bound to be a few side effects but I don't--
Brock (running into the room; Pikachu on shoulder): Ash?! What was going on? What's with the yelling? (sees Misty) Hi, Misty; now Ash, why were you... (does a double-take) ...MISTY?! You're awake?! (smiles) Nice to finally see you moving on your own again. Are you feeling all right? (doesn't wait for an answer) I'm gonna go get Dr. Yomaki, okay Ash? He'll wanna run some tests and make sure that she's really physically able now that she's up... (runs out of room)
Ash sighed. This was getting a bit ridiculous. He didn't know how to say anything now he was alone with Misty but he was forced to anyway a moment later because his red-headed friend, having had enough with people running in, making claims, and then running out again, had pulled him by the collar and dragged his head down so that it was level with hers.
Misty (growling): All right, Ash... Now you're gonna tell me exactly what's been going on, where it's been going on, and why it's been going on with me. I want some answers, considering everyone seems to be acting like I've just come back from the dead!
Ash, in the process of thinking that it was great to see her back to acting so... Misty-like again, flinched at the thought of her look into the deathly perspective.
Ash: Well, actually Misty, you're not that far off... Um, you remember about five days ago, back when we first arrived at the Lavender Tower? (Misty nods slowly) Well, yeah, you got angry at me and ran ahead and... You got hurt, we think... We're kinda confused on the subject; we just know that you ran into some... Some trouble and about two dozen ghost Pokemon got a hold of you and attacked you. You were directly hit by a 'Hypnosis' and 'Dream Eater' combo technique. We brought you here to the general hospital so that you could be examined because... You went into a coma-like sleep and haven't woken up once until today...
Misty was slowly processing the information just passed onto her. She was about three quarters into the thought that her condition and absence from life was to blame on Ash when she suddenly felt his arms around her, enveloping her into a hug. Shocked, bemused, and slightly embarrassed, it took a good while for her to realize that Ash's shoulders were jerking as he cried... He was crying for her.
Ash (quiet, sincere, teary-eyed): I... was so worried for you, Misty... I'm so sorry that I ever let anything happen to you; I... I should have done something to prevent you from getting caught up in all this, from getting hurt! I should have... I dunno--I'm just sorry about everything I've ever done to you.
Misty (wrapping her arms around him): Ash... It's okay, really... It's not all your fault and, well, look! I'm just fine; see? (breaks apart and he looks her up and down, noticing her fairly tan complexion and blue-green eyes)
Ash (still weak-kneed): But, Myst... You don't get it... If you hadn't woken up just now, you could have been dead, for real, by tomorrow night... And I dunno if I could have ever accepted that... Cause, you see... (begins to blush) There's this thing I have to tell you, something important, and I really--
Dr. Yomaki (entering room): Well, it's good to see a living, well patient. Although I can't help but think that your recovery was nothing short of a miracle... Miss Waterflower, my name is Reimou Yomaki and I was the physician caring for you while you were ill and I will be doing so until your day of leaving. (holds out hand)
Misty (accepting): Um, hello... I'm not very clear on anything that's happening but, really, after all of that sleep I've just had and waking up to such a warm welcome (side-glances at Ash), I'm feeling just fine. I have a bit of a headache but that's all, really...
Dr. Yomaki: Yes, well, we'll get you something for that. I'm afraid that I can't permit your exiting the hospital, especially since you've just awoken from this serious a case, but I'll personally get started on your health examinations and then, if all goes well, you'll be on the road again in a few days, all right?
Misty (still looking slightly confused about 'everything'): Uhm, yea. Okay, thanks.
Dr. Yomaki walked out of the room and disappeared and in entered... Jessie, James, Meowth, and Brock.
Misty (eyes widening, anger rising): WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THREE DOING HERE?! (grabs a pillow) Get out now or I'll get physical!
Ash: Misty, wait-wait! (takes hold of her arms) Listen, I know that you think they're here for Pikachu but, uh, they kinda (lowers voice) helped save your life... (normal tone) Could you try treating them with hospitality, at least?
There was a sort of mingling glare between her and the evil trio before she sighed and gave in, permitting a twisted, forced sort of smile to grace her face, and placed the pillow back behind her head. She struggled for a moment, seemingly still trying to learn how to talk to someone she couldn't be sure was worth trusting, and then, after muttering something, she finally found the right words.
Misty (muttering and then raising voice): Only for you, Ash... Well, thanks for your help. I suppose that I owe you three a lot for what you did for me. I'll find a way to pay you back someday, maybe buy you lunch.
Jessie (murmuring): That would be a decent start, Twerpette... (raising voice) Don't worry about it; the Twerp's done more than enough on your behalf. You don't owe us anything, as far as we're concerned.
They were all under the impression that the Rocket girl was forcing herself not to manage a list of additional payments besides Misty's apology and thanks so the red-head took the incentive to give her say.
Misty: Nah, I'm a girl of my word. Don't worry; when the time comes, I'll think of something to trade off with you all. I do owe you, anyway, if you managed to control Mr. Wanna-Be-Master, here. (points to Ash, who readies to retaliate)
Jessie (smirking): It wasn't easy, believe me.
Misty (also smirking): I'm glad that we've managed to agree on something.
Ash 'huffed' in silence then, deciding that his presence was unwanted, retreated from the room to leave them to their discussion. Brock got a few words in the conversation, asking Misty if she felt up to eating some of his wondrous stew (he'd all ready asked the doc his permission) and offering to smuggle Pikachu in the ward to greet her, but she declined, still being a little under the weather.
Jessie (talking to James and Meowth): I'm going to give the girl a talking to before we, er, (an edge enters her voice) head off... So I'll be a little while. Meet me in the Cafeteria; perhaps we can jack another meal off of the Twerp. (waves them off then turns to Misty) So, Twerpette, what's going on now between you and the Twerp?
Misty (turning scarlet): Huh? I-I don't really get what you mean. Nothing's going on, nothing was going on earlier on and nothing's going to be going on later. (her blush grew) I wish that people would stop trying to get us together and trying weasel something out of us! I'm tired of defending the fact that we're just friends!
Jessie (scoffing): Then perhaps you should just stop fighting it off. Listen Twerpette (pulling up a chair), you may be trying to fool yourself but there's too much evidence pointing in the romantic direction between you two. I'd hoped that his finally realizing that he loves you too, of all of the things to take place during this catastrophe, would sort of shove you along the relationship route but maybe I was wrong to think that you'd ever give up trying to hold on to your pride for happiness.
Misty (whispering): Did you say that he loves me?
Jessie: Why? Would it actually matter to you? (after a look from Misty) Yes, after seeing you unconscious, practically dead for a week, and finally waking up, he's finally realized how important you are to him.
Misty (beginning to cry): I... I dunno what to think anymore... I love him and... And now he loves me and I dunno where to go. I'd pursue some sort of relationship with him except... I'm sort of afraid. We're not the most compatible people to get together, if you haven't noticed... (sniffles)
Jessie (getting angry): Awe, no! NO CRYING! I'm not here to be a guest at your pity party, Twerpette. I only wanted to get it through your thick head that you can't constantly chase away the man who loves you. Now I've done that, you can handle the rest. You can either run away like a-a defenseless Pidgey because you're afraid of a few arguments tearing you two apart or you can stand strong and head straight into the battle, despite all of the things thatcould go wrong, and finally allow yourself a small bit of happiness. I can only say one thing; you're not going to be the only person torn apart if you deny that you love him, or choose to evade the want to be with him. Don't you think that he loves you for everything that you are, including your attitude? The Twerp has just as much a choice in who he loves as you! He's met plenty of girls out there on his journey, and a handful of them are still, at this point in time, crushing on him wherever they are! But who did he place above all of them? Who did he choose to love in return?
Misty (sniffling, beginning to laugh): God, I don't think I've ever heard you speak so much in my favor... Jessie, I swear that I used to hate you for everything that you stand for but now... I feel as if we have something in common. And I feel that I can talk to you about that 'something'; unbelievable, huh?
Jessie (unreadable expression on face): Like I said, I'm only here right now to set you straight. I have nothing else to say so, you know, I'll be going...
Misty (thinking fast): Er... Wait! (catches Jessie's attention) I wanted to thank you for one thing and, er, (sheepish) I guess that I owe you twice over, now, don't I?
Jessie: Kid, there's nothing that you could give me that I'd actually want or accept.
Jessie walked out of the room, leaving Misty, who'd had so many people there beside when she first awoke, completely alone.
Ash was furiously shoveling some more of the hospital's sad excuse for food down his throat, Pikachu sitting in front of him while he attempted to complain about Misty's attitude upon her other 'guests' entrance. Pikachu, for his part, was currently too busy shying away from the flying bits of food that Ash had managed to spit out at him while talking to actually listen and so Ash, being... Ash, was never aware that he was talking to nobody but himself, still stewing over all that had just happened.
Ash (getting pumped): I mean, c'mon! I just spent a good twenty-four hours in the very tower that almost killed her, fighting off her attackers in order to save her life! I get back, kiss her, wake her up and she has the nerve to--
Pikachu (not paying attention at first): Pikapi! Pi pikachu pipi ka kachu pika?! (Pikapi! Did you just say that you kissed her?!)
Ash (growing sheepish and guilty): Y-yea but... Uhm, she wasn't awake... (remembering that that isn't a good thing) B-but I doubt that it'd matter! Besides, I can't hurt her anymore than I have this week and she wouldn't care if I told her anyway that I did it so (interrupted by a Thunderbolt attack)
Pikachu (angry and more understanding of the female mind): Pikachu pika kachu pipipi! Ka pika chu chu pikachu pi chu ka! (You've probably ruined her life by doing that! Get up there and apologize before she reasons never to talk to you again!)
Ash (confused but stubborn): Pikachu! You don't have the right to attack me like that! And I'm not going to apologize to her! She deserves it after she treated me like all that I've done for her doesn't matter! I mean, I really care about her and I just spent the last week slaving over every way to prove it and what happens?! She wakes up and makes cracks about me with out enemies! C'mon, where's her morale?!
Pikachu (muttering): Pikachu pi chu ka ka pi chu pika pi chu... (I wouldn't be surprised if you stole it when you stole her first kiss...)
Ash (scoffing): Excuse me..?
Pikachu (speaking slowly and carefully): Pikapi, pi chu pipipi kachu pika chu ka pikachu ka chu pi. kachu pikachu pika kachu pi. (Pikapi, girls hold their 'first kiss' closer to their heart than their diary. You could have really messed up by doing what you did.)
Ash gulped. He had felt guilty before now it but he hadn't been completely sure as to why. Now he remembered about Misty detailing him on how she'd always wanted her first kiss to feel, one time a long while ago when he'd barely been listening to her. He remembered how her eyes had gone bright and her face had appeared dazed as she thought of the wonderful Prince Charming that would lift her up and take her away from all of her stress and woes and present her with the gift of her first kiss.
He doubted that, when describing her dream, she'd mentioned that she'd like to be laying in a hospital bed, unaware of the goings on around her, and asleep as it happened...
Ash (sounding off-handedly questioning): Er... Pikachu, do you think I should tell her what I did..? D-do you think she'd forgive me if I did?
Pikachu (seeing Pikapi's fear for his relationship with Pikachupi): Pi... Pikachu pipipi kachu pika pikachu kachu pi. Chu... Pi, (catching sight of Pikapi's expression) pika pikachu kachu chu! (Well... I think that an apology would be a good start on recovery. But... No, she'll definitely forgive you!)
Ash (smiling gratefully): Thanks, buddy. I dunno what I'd do if I didn't have you there to reassure me! (jumps from seat) I s'pose I should hurry along with the confessions and... Maybe she won't be as homicidal as I'm thinking she will...
Ash ran out of the cafeteria doors, up the hall, and into a vacant elevator. Pikachu sat on the table with a quirked ear, his master's half-empty lunch tray in front of him.
Pikachu (looking wary): Pi pika kachu pikapi... (gets excited) Pi! Kachu pi! (I really hope things work out for you, Pikapi... Oh! Ketchup!)
Pikachu pounced on Ash's forgotten condiment and continued to slurp to his hearts content.
Misty (smiling): There you are, Ash. I've been looking everywhere for you.
Ash (nervous): Yeah... M-me too, Misty... cause I've got something to tell you and... It's really important that I tell you before you recover so that you can't kill me--I mean, because it's in your best interest to know what I've done...
Misty (confused): Okay, you go first, then...
Ash (panicked): Are you sure you want me to?! (a look from Misty) Eh... Okay, then... Er... I-I know that this may sound selfish, heartbreaking, and probably pathetic on my behalf, but... When you were unconscious this afternoon--it was only about two minutes before you woke up, strangely enough--I-I kinda did something to you, and...
Misty (panicked): EXCUSE ME..?! W-what are you talking about, you 'did something' to me?!
Ash (realizing what it sounded like): Wait! No, nothing THAT extreme! I mean that I... Misty, I... I (lowers voice) kissed you...
Misty (eyebrows knotting together): What'd you say?
Ash (yelling): I KISSED YOU, ALL RIGHT?! Listen, I know that it was wrong, and sneaky, and perverted in your opinion, but there's really a good reason why I would do something like that to you! And, if you let me live long enough, I'd like to explain myself so... What's that look for?
He had just noticed that Misty's facial expression was somewhere between very stern and very giddy.
Misty (serious, yet tearfully happy): Ash, you kissed me? But, tha-that's so sweet... Did you happen to do it because you... You possibly, maybe feelsomething for me..?
Ash (dumbstruck): Wow, you're good. How'd you guess that I was... (sees something sparkling on her face) Oh, no! Don't start crying! You're gonna make me feel even worse!
Misty (completely GONE): OH! That's beautiful, Ash! (throws herself at him) I love you too! (wipes eyes) (thinking) Who'd have thought that SHE'D be right about something..?
Ash: Y-you do..?! I-I... Thank you, Misty. (she looks up, kinda upset-looking; Ash stammers, knowing he said the wrong thing) I-I mean, I love you too! (thinking) My mom is going to kill me... She always said that she wanted to be there when I first fell in love with someone...
Misty (big-breath, smiling, pulling back from Ash): Now, the only problem is that I wasn't awake to feel it... I wish I had been; it sounds so magical, romantic... Almost like a fairy ta--
Ash cut her off by doing the only instinctual thing he could.
Ash (off-handedly, looking around): So, are we all ready?
Misty (grabbing her bag): Yeah, I am, and I think Brock is getting something out of the room. By the way, where are Jessie, James, Meowth, and Pikachu? I mean, Jessie sent James and Meowth away before she talked to me yesterday... But then it seemed like they just disappeared.
Ash (shrugging): Eh... I guess that it's sorta a 'bad guy'-thing. And they definitely didn't want to be caught by another Rocket while serving the justice system, so... But you're right... Where's Pikachu? Maybe he fell asleep in the room?
They both began heading back, hoping against hope that they were right. Just as they were reaching the doorway, another shadow threw himself out.
Brock (panic): ASH! You're not going to believe this...
He thrust a half-crumpled piece of paper at him, and Ash, looking VERY confused, began to read, with Misty looking over his shoulder.
Dear Twerps and Twerpette,
You must understand that we had no choice. It was for your own safety. He will be safe with us here, if we have anything else to say or do about it.
Ash (angry, soft-voiced): No... You don't think that they... That they meant Pikachu, do you?
Notes: WAHAHAHAHAHA! The end of this fic! I know, I know! It's horrible. Okay, let's get down to the promises that I swear not to break. I've wanted to bring a lot of AAMR and some JAJR fics online before, but after awhile, I got cold feet and posted other anonymous things. I'm sorry.
Hereby, I solemnly swear that, after I finish 'Closure' (which is all ready finished, and seven chapters long), I will start posting the sequel. However, I must warn you that it might not be in 'Play/Script mode'. That's just too much of a hassle to work with when you're using a computer that's infected with a mangy virus.
So, Kiddies! I hope that you... Er... Enjoyed this whole bit of crap (Eh heh...) and are looking forward to a distant, and possibly lengthy sequel!
PS: Okay, for those who might not understand Jessie, James, and Meowth's logic, here we go; the way they saw it, it was either escape with Pikachu and lie to the boss that they'd killed the three Twerps, or REALLY kill the three Twerps. Of course, we all know that, even though Team Rocket's full of violence, no one can actually see them killing someone. So they decided that, while Brock was wrapped up in himself, and Ash and Misty were wrapped up in each other, they'd make their get-away.
Wow, that was one of the longest ever Ending-Authors-Notes I've ever typed before...