A/N: I meant to post this the other day, but I never got around to finishing it for Pokeshipping Day. So yeah, this was a bit of a drabble that I turned into a one-shot. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon.
"Why are you staring at me like that?"
"Huh?" Ash asked, lifting his head up, which had been resting in his palms. He and Misty were sitting in a café in Kalos, catching up with each other. They hadn't seen each other in several months, with him running off to a new region and her busy position as the Cerulean gym leader. Fortunately, she had been able to take a week off, due to her sisters using the gym for another show. She had tried at first to conduct gym battles, but there was too much going on. She had been complaining about it over the phone to him when he suggested she come to Kalos to visit, see the sites and maybe catch some new water Pokemon.
Reluctant at first, she eventually agreed, the lure of seeing Ash was too strong for her. She had arrived the day prior, giving her the opportunity to meet Bonnie, Clemont, and Serena. Ash thought that they might scare her with Bonnie consistently asking any female to marry her brother. Fortunately, she found it humorous, and politely declined, stating that she already had someone. Ash experienced a twinge of jealously when he heard that. Who was this other guy? He made a note to find out, so that morning, he asked Misty to come have lunch with him, just the two of them. Now he was wondering if she was assuming that this was a date. Serena seemed to think so, for she made a comment about it and pouted as she walked away with Clemont, though Ash wasn't sure why she seemed upset. He meant for the two of them to have lunch alone because they were best friends, and he wanted to catch up. It wasn't a date…was it?
She had been idly chatting about the gym and her sisters when he had started to tune her words out as he stared, unashamed. Something about her seemed to mesmerize him, and he couldn't understand it. They had known each other for years now, why was he acting differently around her?
"Well? Are you going to answer me?"
'Since when did she get so pretty,' he thought, forgetting to answer her coherently once more. It was true—she had grown more comfortable in her skin as her teenage years progressed. Consequently, it had done wonders for her confidence. She had taken to letting her hair down. It was a little longer than Ash had remembered, realizing this whenever she had to brush her bangs out of her eyes.
The longer they sat in persistent silence, the pinker Misty's cheeks grew, for she became quite aware of the two chocolate eyes observing her every moment. His stare became the scotching sun on a hot summer's day, and she was about to be caught outside without shade. She had grown used to guys gawking at her, but this was Ash, here. He never noticed girls, too busy with his Pokemon to ever see her the way that she saw him.
Even after all of these years, nothing had ever changed. He would forever by that stupid boy who had destroyed her bike, irrevocably altering her destiny. She wondered where she would be if it weren't that moment she had reeled him onto the shore and into her heart.
"Earth to Ash," she demanded, her pulse quickening. "I'd like an answer, sometime today, please."
What could he say to her? He wasn't sure why he was staring at her. To tell her that he didn't know would only anger her, he determined. There was a stirring inside of him, so unfamiliar, and it scared him shitless. Was this sort of thing normal for sixteen-year old boys?
"You look pretty today," he blurted out, to Misty's astonishment. Before she could stare back, he stood, removing his crimson cheeks from her sight. He placed his payment on the oak tabletop, and headed to the door. Misty chased after him, leaving her unfinished hot chocolate, a new seedling of hope taking root inside of her.
"Ash, where are you going?"
She had managed to catch up to him, being the athlete that she was. Misty had grabbed his arm, halting his movements. The two of them stood in the center of Lumiose City with patrons gawking at them. They noticed the audience, and Misty let go, standing there awkwardly. Ash grabbed her hand this time and pulled her into a nearby alley to talk.
"Jeeze, what's gotten into you today?"
"I have no idea," admitted Ash. "I don't know where that came from…"
Misty raised an eyebrow at him. He was acting strange, like he might have been hiding a secret. He had never told her that she was pretty before—not once. It could be that he was trying to make her feel better before breaking terrible news or something.
"Are you dating Serena? Is that what this is? Did you tell me that I looked pretty, so I wouldn't get mad when you told me?"
"No, of course not. I'm not dating Serena. Where did you get that idea from?"
"Well, she did seem awfully mad at you when she found out that we were going to lunch alone. I thought that she didn't like the idea of another girl spending time with her boyfriend."
"No, I don't know why she was acting that way, to be honest," Ash said, shuffling his feet against the stone pavement. "Speaking of boyfriends—who's this guy that you're dating?"
"Huh?" Misty stiffened. Where did he get that idea? "I don't know what you are talking about."
"Oh c'mon. You told Bonnie that you already had someone when she tried to get you to marry Clemont."
"Oh yeah…I forgot about that."
"I only said that to be polite you know. I'm not dating anyone."
"Yeah, but when she asked about him, you told her that he was a great Pokemon trainer with a kind heart and that you loved him even though he could be dense and stubborn at times. You also told her that he could be cute, too."
"Oh yeah, that," Misty said, blushing furiously.
"So who was that about?"
"C'mon Misty. Just tell me already."
"I was talking about you, you idiot," she said, half-shouting it. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, she clasped her hand over it, surprised at her sudden outburst. Years of suppressing her feelings finally caused them to explode, much to her dismay.
"Y-you're in love with me?"
He stood there gaping at her. She had no response for him, embarrassed to the point where she wanted to cry. Her secret was out, and she was petrified that he would laugh at her and never be friends with her again. Ash, on the other hand, was speechless for other reasons. He thought that she basically tolerated him, not was in love with him. As soon as she said the words, he could easily pinpoint his feelings for her that morning. The innate jealously—the feeling of wanting to grab her and kiss her—it all made sense now. He was just as much in love with her and she was with him.
He laughed, not knowing that it would set her off. She started crying. He stopped once he realized. He stood there puzzled for a moment before finally deciding to speak.
"What's wrong, Misty?"
"I knew that it was stupid to think that you might someday feel that way about me…but did you have to start laughing?"
This caused Ash to laugh once more. Misty, too fed up with everything, started to storm off. Still in stitches, Ash rushed to her, catching her by the arm. She halted her movements, tears still streaming down her face.
"I'm not laughing at you," he said gently.
"Then what's so funny?" she demanded.
Ash didn't know what to tell her. He should have said to her that he loved her as well, but he was too shy to do it. He may have been more aware of his feelings, but he was still a teenage boy after all. Instead, he pulled her close to him, until their bodies were pressed up against each other. Her cheeks grew bright red at their contact. Before he knew it, he had swept in and pressed his lips up against hers. Misty's eyes widened. Her heart skipped a beat before moving at a rapid pace. It took a few seconds to register what was happening before she reciprocated the kiss, moving her lips with his in a gentle dance, one that neither wanted to end.
"Ah so this is the guy then?"
They broke apart, realizing that they were not alone. Bonnie had found them. Thankfully she was alone at the time. Ash did not want to have to explain to Clemont and Serena. He would tell them, but Bonnie knowing first didn't bother him as much, for some reason.
"Yup," Misty said, brushing the tears away, leaving nothing but a smile. "This is my guy."