Would you miss me?
So here's a November one-shot! My birthday is in two days and I'm super excited! Here's a Pokéshipping one to hide behind while I attempt to finish the next update for Sand. Look for it soonish I think. Anyways, this takes place in the Pokémon world with universe alterations (UA). See my timeline below.
Kanto/Johto: 3 years
Hoenn/Battle Frontier: 2 and a half years
Sinnoh: 1 and a half years
Unova: 2 years
Ash ran his hand across the blades of grass. The earth was soft and the grass was still damp from morning dew. He didn't care. Through his jacket, his jeans and his trusty old hat, he couldn't feel the water. The air was a little nippy, but the sun was rising and bringing the warmth of the day with him. It would be another long one just like every other.
Serena unzipped her tent and stepped out, stretching her arms upwards. She noticed Ash and cast him a quizzical look but didn't say much else as she brushed past him towards the edge of the forest, probably to freshen up since the Pokémon Centre was just on the other side of the small wooded trail. It had been full the night before, so the group had voluntarily camped out nearby.
Bonnie asked Ash a question that he didn't listen to. She huffed at his disinterested answer and left him alone. Clement just greeted Ash pleasantly and headed towards the Pokécentre after Serena and his sister. Ash closed his eyes and remembered the last time he traveled with siblings.
May and Max Maple. They were from Petalburg, Hoenn. May had become a Pokémon Coordinator. Even though Max hadn't been old enough to be a trainer, he still tagged along. Now that he thought about it, Max would have received his starter in April. Last he heard from May, she had been on her way to compete in the Johto Grand Festival. However, that was three years ago when he was still in Sinnoh.
Sinnoh reminded him of Dawn. Dawn was also a Pokémon Coordinator. She was much girlier than May, a little like Serena. She also took an interest in Fashion Design. She was from the small town Twinleaf Town. The last time he saw Dawn, she was heading to Johto after the Junior Cup a year and a half ago.
The Junior Cup was a tournament in Unova that he had competed in. Just thinking about the region brought on memories of Iris and Cilan. Iris: the stubborn, wanna-be dragon master from the Village of Dragons. Cilan: the A-class Connoisseur and one of three triplet brothers from Striaton City that ran the gym. They had both been going to Johto for some more development last he spoke to them a year ago. They had been good friends and Cilan's cooking was certainly memorable.
His mind started confusing Cilan's recipes with Brock's. Ash had no doubt; Brock Slate of Pewter City was his best friend. Brock had started out as a Gym Leader that wanted to become a Pokémon breeder, but over the course of their journey, Brock's ambitions had changed to becoming a Pokémon Doctor. Ash felt tightness in his chest; he had not spoken to or seen Brock since Sinnoh just over two years ago.
Brock, in his mind, was often associated with receiving his first Pokémon, as he had been the first Gym Leader that Ash fought. From there, the train took Ash back to Pallet Town, his home, and to his rivalry with old friend Gary Oak. Gary had been an aspiring trainer like Ash himself and they had a strong rivalry for years. Then Gary decided to become a researcher and had worked under Professor Rowan in Sinnoh where they had met once again. That was two and a half years ago.
From Gary, his mind went to Ritchie, an old friendly rival. He then thought of other rivals and friends like Barry, Trip, Morrison, Kenny, Zoey, Paul, Harrison, Stephan, Luke, Chili, Cress, and Bianca. Then he thought about rivals of friends and his acquaintances like Drew, Ursula, Burgandy, Georgia, and Solidad.
He had met a lot of people on his journey. However, any thoughts of traveling at all always came back to one person. It was the same girl that had fished him out of the river on day one. Misty Waterflower, the Cerulean City Gym Leader. They had not corresponded in four years, and he had not seen her face to face in almost five. They had not traveled together in six years. Still, Ash barely went a day without thinking of her. She was in every water Pokémon he saw and especially in those caught with his special Misty lure and in every rival and female companion he had.
He supposed that she was long overdue a visit. "C'mon buddy," he said, scratching Pikachu's head. "Let's go."
When Serena came back to the camp looking for Ash, she found all his stuff strangely absent. There was a note attached to her tent door, which she plucked off curiously. It read merely, "Gone Fishing, call 324-167-9371."
Puzzled, Serena fetched Clemont and Bonnie. They broke camp and headed back to the Pokémon centre where Clemont recommended they call the number that Ash had left them. Three rings later and the phone was answered by a young man with light green hair.
"Hello?" He greeted curiously. "Who is it?"
"Um," Serena stuttered awkwardly. "You wouldn't happen to know Ash Ketchum would you?"
The man's face lit up. Before he could answer, a girl pushed his face slightly out of view to peer at the screen. She had wild purple hair and tanned skin. "Of course we know Ash Ketchum. What business of that is yours, and who are you anyways?" She demanded.
"Iris, calm down. I'm sure they're friends of his as well." The green haired guy placated. "Sorry," he addressed Serena, "continue."
"Well, my name is Serena, this is Clemont and this is Bonnie. We're Ash's new traveling companions in Kalos."
The girl called Iris smiled widely. "You're his new traveling companions? It's nice to meet you. I'm Iris and this is Cilan. We traveled with Ash in Unova."
"Well this morning we got back to camp and Ash and all his stuff was missing. This note is all he left us." Clemont explained, holding up the note so the Unovans could read it.
"Gone fishing?" Cilan questioned, clearly just as confused. "He left you my number though. I wonder why."
Clemont scratched his head and pushed his glasses up. "That's what we're trying to figure out. Do you know anyone else that might know where Ash could be?"
"Cilan, what about Dawn? She might know." Iris asked her friend.
Cilan mused over that. "Yeah, I think I still have her number too." Turning his attention back to the Kalosians, he smiled. "I can give you the number of his friend from Sinnoh. She might know better than us."
"I've got a pen!" Bonnie called out. "Read away!"
"Dawn's number is 432-234-5362. I hope you find Ash! Tell him we miss him lots." Cilan said cheerfully. Iris waved goodbye and they disconnected the call.
Bonnie passed Serena the notebook and the blonde dialed the next number. This one went several rings before it got picked up. The receiver was a young pretty girl with navy blue hair and bright blue eyes.
"Hello, this is Dawn!" She greeted. She blinked when she noticed that she didn't know any of the people on the other end.
"Hi, I'm Serena, this is Clemont and this is Bonnie. We're Ash Ketchum's traveling companions from Kalos and I was just wondering if you could help us with something?"
Dawn smiled. "Wow, so he hit up Kalos after Unova. That's so cool. Anyways, I'd love to help you with whatever." She paused awkwardly. "But how'd u get my number?"
Clemont took over. "Well Ash left us this note this morning with someone's phone number on it. It turned out to be his friend Cilan's number and his other friend Iris was there when we called. We called them wondering if they knew where Ash might be, and they didn't but they said you might." Clemont held up the note. "This is what he left us."
"Hm," Dawn mused. "I'm so sorry, but like Iris and Cilan I don't know what he could mean by that. I'll ask my friends quickly." Dawn briefly turned away from the screen and asked somebody something they could hear. A moment later, a girl with red hair, a brunet boy, a boy with blond hair and a guy with purple hair were standing behind Dawn. Dawn smiled at the Kalosians. "This is Paul," purple hair, "Barry," blond, "Kenny," brunet, "and Zoey. They're all friends of mine and some of them know Ash quite well too. It's funny you called today, because it's almost an 'everybody knows Ash' party because there's this big tournament going on. Anyways, I'm rambling. Nobody here knows anything about that, but maybe another of his friends does. I can give you the number of a friend from Hoenn if you like?"
Serena and Clemont exchanged glances and sighed. "Sure," Serena said, "why not."
"Her name is May Maple and her number is 673-887-2260."
"Thanks so much Dawn," Bonnie said happily.
The bubbly blunette laughed. "No problem. Good luck finding Ash! Tell him to call me!" Dawn waved cheerfully and disconnected the call.
This time Clemont made the call. It picked up after one ring. It certainly wasn't May Maple who answered the phone as the guy who did had hair a more vivid shade of green than Cilan's. He narrowed his sharp emerald eyes in confusion at them.
"Hello?" He asked suspiciously.
"Is this May Maple's phone?" Bonnie asked, leaning on to Clemont's shoulder.
"Yeah, sorry she's just checking out of the Pokémon centre. I'm her boyfriend, Drew Hayden. Can I take a message?" The guy explained.
Serena shrugged. "We need to ask her a question about an old friend: Ash Ketchum. We're Ash's new traveling partners: Serena, Clemont and Bonnie."
Drew perked a brow. "That's a name I haven't heard in a long time. May's coming now, I'll pass you over to her."
May Maple was a pretty girl with brunette hair and crystal blue eyes. She smiled warmly at the Kalosians and got all their names. She, like Dawn, Iris and Cilan, also had no idea what Ash meant. May apologized about the wild goose chase and for sending them on another leg of it. She gave them the number for a guy named Brock who had traveled with Ash for almost 7 years. May ensured that Brock would almost definitely know the answer.
Before they could hang up, Drew noted that the time change would make it really late at night in Kanto at the moment. He recommended that they wait until evening their time before they called Brock. Serena thanked the couple for all their help and ended the call.
"Ugh," she groaned, rubbing her temples.
"Wait a minute," Bonnie said suddenly. "That was May Maple and Drew Hayden, the Prince and Princess of Hoenn! They're the 'it' couple in Coordinating! That other girl was Dawn Berlitz, a big name is the Hearthome Fashion collection and another coordinator. Those two from Unova were a Gym Leader and a fledgling Dragon Master!" She announced.
Clemont raised an eyebrow at his sister. "Bonnie, why do you know that?"
She shrugged. "I read magazines."
Serena nodded. "You're right! I recognize Dawn from that fashion magazine I've read, and the names May and Drew are definitely familiar. Ash sure knows a lot of famous people doesn't he?"
Clemont nodded. "All his friends were really nice. We should call this Brock guy. May sounded so sure when she said that he'd know."
Serena nodded. "We'll call him tonight when it's a reasonable time for them."
They decided to scout around the area for a bit. They checked everywhere there might be a river or a pond to fish in, but there was still no sign of Ash. They still had some time to kill before it was reasonable to phone Brock, so Clemont suggested they check for flights leaving Kalos. Bonnie pointed out that there would be too many to scroll through. Clemont agreed, but since his friend in Unova, Sinnoh and Hoenn hadn't heard from him, it was likely he was in Kanto or Johto, Kanto being more likely as his home region.
Serena was impressed; it was a very good train of thought.
After that dead end, nobody had any bright ideas. Serena did some baking that afternoon to get Ash off her mind and Clemont tinkered with some invention of his. Bonnie split her time between the two. As Serena was icing her cupcakes, Clemont knocked on the kitchen's doorframe. She looked up.
"It's about 8:30 AM in Kanto now. We decided that we should phone Brock now." He explained.
"Okay, just let me finish this one." She finished icing the Fenniken onto the cupcake and out her icing down and followed the siblings back to the videophones.
Serena sat down and punched in Brock's number. It rang several times before a young boy answered it. He was darkly tanned and had spiky brown hair. Serena cleared her throat. "Hi, are you Brock?"
"Nope, I'm his brother Forrest. I'll go fetch him for you."
Forrest disappeared for a minute and then reappeared with an older version of himself. The young man smiled. "I'm Brock. Forrest told me you were looking to speak with me."
Serena glanced at Clemont. She was getting tired of explaining. He nodded encouragingly. "We're friends of Ash's from Kalos. He disappeared this morning and left us a note with his Unova friend's number. They didn't know where he was so they told us to call Dawn who also didn't know. She told us to call May. We ended up with Drew, May's boyfriend, who then passed us to May. May didn't know either and told us to call you. Do you have any idea where Ash is?"
Brock was silent for a moment. "May and Drew got together?" He asked incredulously.
Clemont sighed. "Sorry, I hate to sound impatient, but we've spent a whole day worrying about Ash."
Brock nodded. "Of course. I've done my fair share of worrying about him. What did his note say besides to call his Unova friends?"
"Gone fishing." Bonnie filled in.
Brock's face lit up. "I know exactly where he is. You have absolutely nothing to worry about. I'm sure he'll call you as soon as he can and be back soon. I never actually caught your names."
"I'm Clemont, this is my sister Bonnie and our friend Serena. So we don't need to worry at all?"
Brock grinned. "Nope. He's just visiting a friend."
Serena nodded slowly. "Okay. That's a relief. Do you know why he sent us on a wild goose chase by phoning all these other people instead of just phoning you?"
Brock's smile waned, but was still very genuine. "I think this was his way of doing two things: he wanted you to see and or meet his past companions, and he wanted them to know that he still thought about them. It's funny. Some of my best friends came through meeting Ash. I think he's trying to emphasize this effect and bring everyone together. It's a very Ash thing to do."
Clemont nodded. "It does seem like his thing. So, are you going to tell us where he went?"
Brock's smile turned to a smirk. "For a long overdue visit."
Misty Waterflower was not amused. One: it was 3 AM and she couldn't sleep. Two: it was winter, the worst season. Three: someone was insistently banging on her door.
Wearing a pair of blue and green plaid pj bottoms and an oversized grey KU  hoodie, she descended her stairs. "I'm coming, I'm coming." She growled under her breath as she made her way to the front door. Her red hair was down at shoulder length as usual.
She threw open the door and prepared her most withering glare and angriest tone. When she identified who was standing on the other side of the door, her entire angry mood shattered. Her hand, previously gripping the doorknob in a death grip, slackened and fell to her side. Her jaw also went slack. She couldn't find words to say anything.
Opposite, her guest wasn't having much luck either. His hair was longer and shaggier than she remembered, but he still wore his trusty hat, even if it was a newer one than the one she was used to. His face was older, more mature, but his smile was still the same warm grin she was looking for. His brown eyes twinkled as he gave her his brightest smile. The familiar electric type sat on his shoulder, looking leaner and stronger than the last time she'd seen him.
Ash Ketchum, in all his glory, stood on her doorstep at 3 in the morning.
"Hey Mist," he said. He was the first to find his voice and it was deeper than Misty remembered. Then again, the tall young man standing before her was certainly not exactly whom she remembered. "Long time no see."
Suddenly, all warm and fuzzy thoughts of him vanished replaced by a white-hot ball of anger that exploded outwards from her chest. She threw herself towards him with the intention of bashing his face in, but he caught her hands and struggled to restrain her. After a moment of struggle, Misty's emotions caught up and she went limp in his grip. Tentatively, Ash pulled her arms closer to him and pulled her into his chest. Misty's fingers curled into his shirt and she broke down. Ash rested his chin upon the top of her head as she cried. A small smile tugged at the corners of his lips. Pikachu curled atop her head, letting out a soft 'chaa' sound.
"I missed you too."
Misty pulled back and brushed at her tears, pushing away the evidence they'd existed in the first place. She studied him. It was three in the morning in December and it was cold out. She opened the door wider. "Come inside." She turned and headed for her living room. After removing his shoes, Ash followed her, Pikachu returning to his perch on his shoulder.
They stood in the middle of the room awkwardly. Pikachu glanced between the two trainers in amidst the awkward silence before jumping off Ash's shoulder and scampering off and leaving the two alone.
"Do you need anything?" Misty asked.
"Water would be great," Ash replied. He chewed the inside of his lip for a second in deliberation. "It's been a while Misty."
She returned from the kitchen, her knuckles white around the glass. "Sit," she ordered. He did. "Drink." He did. She crossed her arms and stared down at him. "You do not get to walk back into my life after four years of no communication and five years of no face to face contact." She said strictly.
"Misty, I'm so sorry. I got busy." He tried to explain, but she shut him up with a sharp glare.
"You got busy." She deadpanned. "You've been busy gallivanting around other regions with your new friends and I've been here running a gym for six years with absolutely no help."
"But Mist, you had your sisters and Tracey here to help out whenever they could and you could have called Brock to visit you anytime. You couldn't have been lonely."
"None of them are you!" She snapped in reply. "I was hoping at least for a letter after Sinnoh or Unova, a phone call maybe. But, I got nothing. I got nothing. I wasn't lonely you dolt." Misty narrowed her eyes angrily. "Why did you never call?"
Ash looked down. "I guess, I thought you'd just forget about me and move on. It's not like I'm exceptionally special. I'm not even that good of a trainer since I can't win a league to save my life."
Now it was Misty's turn to be surprised. "Forget about you?" She sat next to him on the couch. "I don't think that's even possible." Ash glanced at her. She smiled, her green eyes twinkling. She bumped their shoulders. "Besides Mr. Pokémon Master, I thought we were over all the 'I'm a bad trainer' shit."
Ash scratched the back of his head. "Yeah I know, but you lose in five different regions and you begin to wonder."
"Need I point out the Orange Islands and the Kanto Battle Frontier? You won both of those." She said firmly.
Ash chuckled. "That's very true. I am really sorry I never visited Mist."
She just shrugged. "I get it actually. It's the whole feeling of 'look how far I've come' and you know, that's actually strangely okay with it. I just miss you, that's all."
They sat in silence for a moment longer, their legs brushing, and Ash took a sip of his water. "Hey Mist? Would you miss me if I was gone?"
Misty had been tracing circles on her pajama pants, but she stopped and glanced at him. "Why are you asking?"
He shrugged. "I guess I just want to know if you miss me as much as I miss you."
Misty was silent for a moment as she processed the information. "Ash," she began slowly, "what kind of gone are you talking about? If you're going away again without talking to me for another four years, I'm not going to forgive you because I already miss you and you're right here beside me."
He stared at her. "Mist, I," he trailed off, not knowing what to say.
"Don't just leave again, okay? You're my best friend." She said firmly.
He grinned. "Never. And for the record, you're my best friend too." He wrapped an arm around her shoulders in a side hug and she leaned her head onto his shoulder.
"How's Unova?" She asked eventually.
Ash's grin split even wider. "Actually, it's Kalos now. But, Unova was incredible. I'm sure Brock's told you about Dawn from Sinnoh. While in Unova I traveled with Cilan, a Gym Leader from Striaton City and a connoisseur, and Iris, an aspiring Dragon Master. Now they're traveling in Johto. In Kalos, I have new friends too. First there is Clemont, the Lumoise City Gym Leader and an inventor, and his little sister Bonnie. She's too little to be a Pokémon trainer, but she looks after Clemont's Dedenne like it's her own. Lastly, there's Serena. We actually met at one of Professor Oak's summer camps when we were little, but she moved to Kalos. She wants to become a Pokémon performer."
Ash blathered on about Kalos, Unova, and even Sinnoh since Misty had never been to any of them. He told her about the landscape, the climate, the cities, and the food. He talked about the Gyms, the trainers, his rivals and his new Pokémon. He talked about his challenges in the leagues and the times where he fought against Team Plasma, Team Rocket and Team Galactic. He even made her jealous by talking about the legendary Pokémon he'd met.
Misty knit her hands in her lap. "Ash, this all sounds so incredible. I miss traveling." She admitted.
Ash wracked his brain for a moment. "Mist, I have a great idea. We can both finish this season, me in Kalos and you in Kanto, and then you should put the gym on temporary closure leave and travel with me again. We could go somewhere new or even retry at the Indigo League. It would be just like old times."
Misty looked at him. "That sounds amazing." She threw her arms around him and just about squeezed the life out of him. "Don't ever change Ash." Misty said firmly, brushing some hair out of her face.
"Hey," he mused. "Your hair is down," he commented.
Misty rolled her eyes. "Well I was asleep when you arrived, hence the pajamas as well."
Ash chuckled. "It's kind of late isn't it? We should both probably get some rest."
Misty stood up and walked to the storage cabinet in the hallway. She got out a blanket and a spare pillow and tossed them to Ash. "You can have the couch Ketchum. I'll see you in the morning." She smiled at him one last time before she disappeared upstairs for the rest of the night.
Ash watched her go, a smile on his face. He hadn't felt this genuinely happy in a long time. Now he just had to gather the courage to admit to Misty one more thing.
In the morning, Ash awoke to the smell of pancakes. He rubbed his eyes, took in his surroundings and sighed. It hadn't been a dream. He really had hopped on the first plane to Saffron and came to Cerulean City. He neatly folded up the borrowed blanket and stretched, his back clicking comfortably.
He headed into the kitchen. Misty's hair was tied up in its usual side ponytail now and she wore blue skinny jeans and a white t-shirt with a yellow apron overtop. There were two plates of steaming pancakes on the table as Misty scrubbed at the frying pan to get it clean. Pikachu was stuffing his face in a bowl of Pokémon food that Ash was almost positive was from Brock. Misty glanced over her shoulder at Ash as he entered.
"Go ahead and eat. If you wait for me they might get cold." She said, waving him over to the table as if it was a perfectly normal occurrence.
Ash walked over to the table and pulled out his chair. Despite Misty's encouragement, he waited for her to be seated before he started eating. She raised an eyebrow at him as a result of his table manners.
"When did company come over food for you Ash?" She asked, amused.
His mind blanked and he couldn't think of a response. When one finally came from his lips, he wasn't sure what to do. "I love you." Misty's eyes widened.
"What?" She asked, all humor gone. Her surprise was genuine.
Ash figured he could do three things: he could say it was a slip of the tongue and that he liked her food, he could say he loved her as a friend, or he could say that he really did love her. The gears in his brain turned so quickly that he reasoned he had smoke coming out of his ears. With women, honesty was always good so he decided to follow option three.
"I'm in love with you." He repeated, more confidently.
Misty gaped. Ash would've laughed at her expression if he wasn't so bloody nervous. When Misty managed to shake herself out of her stupor, she slumped in her seat, pressing her palms to her eyes. "Please tell me you're joking."
Ash was offended. "Why would I joke about this?"
Misty stood up, her famous temper flaring. She slammed her palms down onto the table and Ash noticed that her eyes had become watery again. "Because I have been in love with you since I was 13 and you were 12! God you're so blind!" She yelled at him. "You can't just show up here and tell me you love me! It's been years Ash! Years! We haven't spoken and you haven't visited. How could you possibly be in love with me?"
She turned to storm out of the kitchen, but Ash reached out and grabbed her arm to stop her. He stood and faced her, but Misty wouldn't look at his face. "Mist, I've always loved you. I may have been blind and stupid, but I have never loved anyone else. Maybe the reason I never came back is because I was afraid you wouldn't love me back! Maybe I thought that I had to prove myself before you would see how much I care! I thought I wasn't worthy of you!"
"And becoming a Pokémon Master would make you?" She asked, her bitterness fading slightly.
"No. But at least I could almost be worth something then. It's always been my dream to be a Pokémon Master, but along the way I think it became another of my dreams to do it with you at my side. I may never have come back, but you were never off my mind. Every person I've traveled with since you and Brock hasn't quite measured up to that bond that we shared and I miss it." Ash's voice dropped in volume. "I miss it a lot."
Now Misty seemed to believe him. She pressed her lips together nervously, before tilting her head to look up at him. Repeating his question from the night before, she asked, "Would you miss me if I was gone?"
"Every day." Ash replied without hesitation. "Without Misty, I'm not really Ash."
Her lips curled up. "Without Ash, I'm not really Misty." She mimicked lightly.
He looked at her, really looked. Her eyes reflected his own and there was a lot that they were saying. He loved her and she loved him. "I promise that I'm not leaving again. Not like last time anyways." He said firmly.
"You're an idiot Ash Ketchum." She told him, but threw her arms around him and kissed him anyways.
Ash felt like someone had just lit his insides on fire. This was Misty and this was the fire that she brought. It was addicting and he wasn't going to let it slip away. When they broke apart, Ash rested his forehead against her own. "I'm your idiot."
Misty smiled. Then her gaze flickered back to the table. "We should probably reheat our food." She commented idly. Ash laughed. Misty flicked the inside of the brim of his cap and pulled away. Remembering the original hat and all the variations of it, her thoughts were drawn to Ash's Kalos journey. "Ash?" She asked, her eyes narrowing. "You did tell your friends in Kalos you were coming to see me right?"
Ash scratched the back of his head sheepishly. "Uh, yeah. Kind of."
Misty whacked him. "What does that mean?" She growled.
She whacked him again. "Idiot."
 KU is Kanto University. I feel like even though most kids are trainers there are still Universities in their world.
Author's Note: Anyways this was just an idea that popped into my head, but I really like how it turned out. I know some of the characters were OOC, but they are a lot older than they used to be (in my Universe anyways). Also I couldn't help the little Contestshipping hints and maybe a teeny, tiny hint of Ikari and Geekchic too. Hopefully Sand will be updated soon! And happy birthday to me!
Don't forget to speak up!
~ The People Speak/TPS/Nicole ~