When it Rains


Summary--Misty gets pregnant after a night of drunken mistakes, but Ash doesn't know he's the father. After almost five years apart, Ash is a returning Pokémon Master and Misty is still a strong-minded woman, plagued by the past. They meet again at Ash's homecoming party, where things begin to fall apart.

Disclaimer--If I owned any part of Pokémon, not only would the characters develop major psychological problems, but it probably would have been canceled years ago.

Chapter One--Answers with Questions


"Do you want another glass of iced tea?"

Mitch looked up from his crossword puzzle and shook his head at the woman standing in the sliding doorway of the back porch. After accepting his reply, the woman proceeded to head towards the kitchen to refresh her own drink when Mitch abruptly called back at her.

"Hey Misty, could you bring me my glasses? I forgot them on the counter," he said. Misty obliged, and continued on her way to the kitchen. Looking around her house, she couldn't help but feel a tinge of pride. She had made a good life for herself. Nothing too fancy, but it was undeniably home. Two floors, three bedrooms, and the most beautiful backyard anyone could ever wish for. The kitchen was her favorite part though, and not only because she had taken quite a liking to cooking in the past few years. It was the oldest part of the house, with a "servants' staircase" and a quaint old stove and sink. She had chosen yellow to accent the cheery feeling she retained from the room. Today, she kept all the windows open, for it was a perfect summer day. Warm breezes drifted lazily by, gently lifting the yellow, gingham-print curtains and ruffling Misty's hair. The sun was slowly sinking towards the trees on the distant horizon as Misty fixed herself a glass of tea with lemon and grabbed Mitch's requested glasses from the kitchen counter. She was just about to head out to the back porch when she heard something happily bounding down the stairs.

"Mommy!" a little girl squealed as she almost ran into Misty.

"Hi sweetheart! Oh, be careful honey, mommy's carrying her iced tea," she replied to her daughter's enthusiasm with a joyful smile. A girl of about four with a short, sensible pink dress stained with grape juice stood swaying back and forth in front of Misty. She had neglected her shoes in favor of bare feet, and her almost-black brown hair was a tangled ponytail at the back of her head. Misty's ocean blue eyes and trim body were reflected in her tiny physique. She followed her mother on her way back to the porch until Misty made a sudden stop. For several moments, she stood staring at a certain spot on the wall. The little girl looked up at her in mild alarm.

"What's wrong, mommy?" she said with an adorable frown. It seemed to take hours for Misty to process her daughter's words before she finally replied.

"It-it's nothing, Chiharu, go play outside, okay?" Misty managed to choke out. Chiharu obeyed, sensing something was wrong when Misty continued to stare at the wall as if she had seen a ghost. Chiharu slid open the screen door and found Mitch still seated in the wooden rocking chair trying to decipher his puzzle. He looked up, expecting Misty, and then frowned when he saw her daughter.

"Chiharu, where's your mom?" he asked frankly. Despite his young age, Mitch's handsome face was taunted by a few advancing creases around his eyes and mouth. These wrinkles stood out now, as he questioned Chiharu.

"She's inside, Mitch, but I think there's something wrong with her," she mumbled in shyness. Mitch's wrinkles deepened even more as he got up to investigate. He opened the door and told Chiharu to go play in the sandbox.

When he stepped into the dining room, he saw Misty in the exact position that Chiharu had left her in at least five minutes ago. He approached her carefully and touched her gently on the arm.

"Misty, what is it?" When she didn't reply, he looked at the spot on the wall she was concentrating on and looked back in confusion. Finally, she spoke.

"What is that?" She said the words slowly and deliberately, her eyes never leaving the wall and her teeth hardly coming unclenched.

"I uh, I found it in the attic with the rest of your old things when I was cleaning it out the other day," he replied, not knowing he had done anything wrong. It was only an old picture of Misty, when she was about thirteen maybe. She stood smiling and waving in a way only the young and restless could, beaming with pride as she held a Pokéball in her delicate fingers. Mitch had found it, and thought it would be nice to hang it up. Misty hardly ever talked about the time before they met, and he figured this picture would explain something.

"Take it down." Misty's order abruptly ended his thoughts.

"But Misty, it's just,"

"I said, take it down. If you don't, you can bet I will," she said with such finality that Mitch gave up trying to explain.

"Why are you always like this? You never talk to me anymore; it's like you've already given up. How is this relationship supposed to work when you're always hiding something?!?" His voice had risen dramatically with each sentence.

"Shh, Chiharu will hear! Keep your voice down!"

"Don't you dare tell me what to do! I'm sick of this, all of it! I've tried to make it work, but I can't do everything!"

With that, Mitch slammed his fist against the door on his way upstairs. Misty, though shocked at the outburst, was not completely shaken. She knew in her heart that Mitch and she would never have gotten serious, and that this confrontation was inevitable, as it was with every man she dated. Her thoughts drifted instantly back to the photograph on the wall, though, and she gently lifted it off its hook. Holding it seemed to almost pain her as she looked past the smiling teenager to the backdrop of the picture. There lay the true cause of her shock. For, stumbling over his feet behind her, there stood the young Ash Ketchum, barely noticeable to the untrained eye. She remembered the day of the picture well. It was a captured moment of a happier time, a more carefree time. A time she needed, if not wanted, to forget. For several moments, she simply stood there, fighting hot tears as she bore holes into the frame with her eyes. Then, she finally walked up the stairs to the attic to put the photo safely back in its box, where she could keep it locked away for good.

From the porch, Chiharu stood, having heard it all.


Two weeks later, Misty took Chiharu to the beach. The midsummer heat had begun to intensify, and the cool ocean water was a welcomed relief. Living just five miles from Cerulean Cape provided this excellent summer getaway. After lathering Chiharu with sun block, Misty watched carefully as she splashed her way to the water. Chiharu knew how to swim quite well; it came to her naturally, but Misty kept a constant watchful eye regardless. Lying out on the beach, trying to catch a suntan, Misty's thoughts drifted to the argument she had had with Mitch. She knew that they had been having troubles for a long while, and didn't mourn his leaving for very long. It had become almost routine for her now, meeting someone and then having almost the exact same argument every time. Sometimes, the relationships would last longer than others, but they all ended the same. Deep down, she knew the reason why she couldn't commit, but she saw this as a weakness and had never shared it with anyone.

"Mommy, look! I made a castle!" Misty looked up, realizing she had been completely lost in thought. Chiharu stood by the shore, obviously proud of her accomplishment. Her long, dark hair swayed in the warm breeze, and her sparkling blue eyes shone even at this distance.

God, she looks just like him, Misty couldn't help but think to herself. Every time she looked at Chiharu, she saw her father reflected in everything she did or said. There was no doubting that this was Ash's child.

"That's wonderful, honey! Why don't you come up here and get some lemonade?" Misty said. Chiharu ran happily up to her mother and fell into her waiting arms. Misty held her tight, and her heart was filled with such joy that all of her sad thoughts were forgotten. Chiharu helped Misty fix two glasses of lemonade from the small cooler they had brought along and sat down underneath the oversized umbrella. As soon as she had settled, Chiharu looked at Misty with a questioning glance.

"Mommy, why did Mitch have to go away?"

Misty was taken off-guard by her daughter's inquiry, and looked at her with concern.

"What brings that up?" she asked.

Chiharu shrugged. "Was it my fault?" she asked with such a soft voice that Misty almost didn't hear her.

Misty sighed and turned towards her daughter so she could look her straight in the eyes. "Chiharu, listen to me. It was not your fault. It was never your fault, and it never will be. I don't want you to think that ever again," she said gently but sincerely. Chiharu looked confused.

"But I was the one who told him to go inside to see you! It was my fault you got sad."

"Sweetheart, you are not the one who makes me sad. You always make me happy whenever I am sad! You are the best, most precious thing in my life, and I love you so much!" Misty hugged Chiharu tight once again as tears began to well up in her eyes.

"I love you too, mommy," Chiharu replied, though her voice was somewhat muffled. For a long time, they stayed just like that, neither one wanting to leave the comfortable feeling behind. Finally, Chiharu pulled away and looked up.

"Mommy," she started, "why don't I have a daddy?"

If the other question had been a shock, this one was a complete bombshell. Chiharu had never asked her about her father before in her life. When Misty simply sat there with her mouth gaping, Chiharu continued.

"All of my friends have daddies, even if they don't live in the same house with them. But I don't have one," she breathed. To this, Misty could think of no reply. All she could do was to hold her daughter and try to process her words. She knew that this conversation had to happen someday, but it was so sudden...

Misty took a deep, troubled breath. "Well, Chiharu," and with that, she began to fill Chiharu's head with lovely pictures of a tall, dark, handsome man who had left home to become a Pokémon master.


Chiharu seemed content with the story Misty had laid out for her about her father, and life continued as normal after their visit to the beach. Talking about Ash, no matter how much she fluffed the story up, had taken an emotional toll on Misty. She had to fight hard to keep a happy face, so as not to worry Chiharu.

One night, Misty was carrying a worn-out Chiharu up to her bedroom. She swung open the door of Chiharu's room gently to reveal an undersea-themed oasis. Ocean blue walls, seashells, and water Pokémon were everywhere. Misty lay Chiharu down in her tiny bed and tucked a cotton sheet around her. She then proceeded to turn on a music box with a revolving light. As it played a soothing lullaby, the light spun around, creating ocean shapes on the walls. Watching Chiharu sleep in this place of security and comfort made Misty feel at ease. She often watched her daughter sleeping, admiring the amazing gift she was. During times like this, Misty was forced to remember all the good things about her past. Her life as a wandering Pokémon trainer was one she missed even today. All her water Pokémon now resided at the Cerulean City Pokémon Gym, and her battling days were over. Togepi (now a fully evolved Togetic), was the only Pokémon she kept with her, its duty resembling that of a family pet. Misty could see in its eyes the yearning for battle, but Misty just could not bring herself to start up training again. That was her old life; Chiharu was her life now. One cannot be a good mother and a devoted Pokémon trainer, or so it seemed to Misty.

Just as she was about to leave, Misty heard the distant ringing of the kitchen phone. As silently as she could, she quickly rose, exited Chiharu's room and made her way downstairs, praying she would not awake.

Misty got to the phone just as it was starting its fourth ring. "Hello?" she asked, trying to hide the fact that she was panting.

"Good evening. Could I speak to Misty Waterflower please?" a warm, nurturing voice called out from across the line. It was oddly familiar, and Misty felt something stir within her at the sound of it.

"Speaking," she said as she tried to decipher the caller's identity.

There was a short pause. Misty could hear the woman's deep breath as she continued.

"Misty? This is Delia Ketchum."