Disclaimer - I don't own it. I just like to borrow it once in awhile.
Author - Warlordess
Notes - Written for a prompt request on Tumblr. The first thing I've been able to write in a very long time it feels like. I have been so uninspired. Originally this was only going to be posted on Tumblr but I thought it could serve as a reminder to everyone here on FFN that I'm still alive. Sort of.
Anyway, reviews and faves are appreciated!
Title - "Push"
Summary - She supposed that THIS was the problem with starting a relationship over the phone. Lo and behold, Ash Ketchum doesn't disappoint her as much as she expected him to. Pokeshipping one-shot!
She supposed that this was the problem with starting a relationship over the phone.
"Wha'd'ya mean, you got asked out on a date?" he whined at her through the screen, his voice so high-pitched she had to pull the receiver an inch or few away from her own ear.
"I mean what I said, Mr. Pokemon Master! After I finished battling my last challenger today, one of the Cerulean residents who usually comes to watch my battles asked me out for ice cream! That's why I can't talk long this time around, okay?"
"B - but isn't this a little short notice? I mean, don't you gotta clean up and take your Pokemon to the Center so that they're ready for tomorrow and stuff?"
"Ash, c'mon, the mess isn't going anywhere so an hour or two won't hurt me. And I'm sure my date would be just fine with me dropping off my Pokemon on our way over to the mall."
"But still, you have a lot to do. It seems pretty irresponsible for a gym trainer like you to just put off your basic responsibilities so that you can do something stupid like go out with a guy!" he went on flippantly with a wave of his hand and an aversion of his gaze, the latter of which was probably for the best because Misty's new facial expression probably would have killed him if he'd stared directly at it.
"Alright, Ash Ketchum, you listen here! It is my business - mine - whether or not I decide to go out with anyone in my free time! And, again, not that it's got anything to do with you but there are plenty of gym trainers who leave their gyms - even while those gyms are supposed to be open to the public - to explore their own hobbies or whatever! In fact, you've met a few of them yourself! Even traveled with them! So don't go telling me what is or isn't in my best interest because I know what I can handle!
"Besides, going on like you do about something as stupid - or so you phrased it - as my dating life just makes it sound like you're jealous or something!" she finished smugly, her temper quickly wearing off at the abject fear on Ash's face, followed by her own confident remark about his behavior.
"Wha-?! W - Well, I'm not! As if there's anything to be jealous of! Hah, so lame, like I'd be jealous over the poor sap who gets to buy you your stupid triple chocolate sundae with extra whipped cream, hot caramel sauce, shaved almonds, and two cherries per scoop."
"... Ash, did you memorize my favorite ice cream order?"
"No! That's - pssht - you're crazy and I'm not jealous or worried or thinking too much or anything!" he finished without pause or assistance. It was enough to convince Misty once and for all.
"Holy… You really are, aren't you? Oh ho hoooo, poor widdle Ash Ketchum, not even brave enough to tell a girl he likes her even when it's this obvious to her! You should just go ahead and say it, Ashy-boy, say that the reason you don't want me going out with anyone is because you wanna take me out yourself. Go ahead!"
"I would never wanna go out with some scrawny, water-type obsessed, abusive wannabe gym trainer like you!"
"Insults can't hurt when the person you're trying to insult knows you're l-y-i-n-g, Mr. Pokemon Master! Just give up! Tell me you like me already if you want to keep me from going out with other guys! It's not that hard, ya know?"
"The only lie in this conversation would be me actually saying that I find you attractive or that I have any sort of feelings for you at all!"
"Are you sure?" she asked in a hushed tone and Ash bit back the insult he'd been preparing for their heat of the moment spat and stared at her suddenly blank face as if waiting for her to give something away, give him the proper answer - or else the confidence for him to know the answer for himself.
"O - of course, I'm sure."
"Oh, well then, my mistake… Anyway Ash, sorry to cut this short, but I gotta go!"
"You know, my date? He's gonna be here in about an hour and I have to at least shower and change my clothes! Battling gym challengers all day definitely isn't the cleanest way to earn my keep while I'm back home!" she told him cheerily, something in her smile - or was it her eyes? - still remaining oddly blank, though he couldn't figure out what it was in the end.
"B - but Misty-"
"-Sorry Ash, but this kind of thing doesn't happen to me often. I'm actually really looking forward to it, you know? So the last thing I want to do is give a bad impression."
"Wait, but what about-"
"-We can catch up tomorrow night or something, can't we? It's not like it has to be now or never. I'm not going anywhere."
But she was, wasn't she? Ash didn't know much about the world of romance Misty was always so fascinated in but he couldn't help wondering what would happen to… to what they had (which was nothing romantic, oh no, definitely not)... if she started pursuing a relationship with someone else. What if they talked less often? What if things got serious? What if the guy ended up not liking him and wanted he and Misty to stop talking? What if she ended up being crazy enough to listen to him? What if they lost touch and stopped being friends and she ran off with Mr. Random-creepy-battle-watching-guy and decided she was too good for him? What if-
"-You can't go!" he yelped suddenly, but it was enough for her to draw the receiver back from its inch or two distance from the hook and place it back to her ear once more.
"Oh, can't I? And why is that, Ash Ketchum?"
"B - because I," and he drew out the final syllable, eyes wide and glancing around in mortification as the words tried to tumble naturally from his mouth while his ego did its best at the same time to lock them back up in the small corner of his mind where he'd kept them for the past four or five years of his adolescence, "I li… I ca… I have to say... I like you more!"
Misty gave pause at his confession here. Sure, she'd been coaxing and goading him into saying something along these lines but, to be honest, she hadn't thought she'd actually get him to go that far. Of course, much like any admission made in a pressured heat of the moment scenario, Ash's eyes immediately widened, lips pursed tightly shut, face flushed red, brows furrowed and gaze darkened.
He regretted his words immediately… but how could he take them back now? And would Misty allow him to?
Ash had no idea how long she'd been waiting for him to snap to it and realize how he felt. As someone who had invariably learned to understand him better than he apparently understood himself (emotionally, at least), Misty had known for at least a few years that he liked her the same way she liked him. But Ash, oh man, was as dense as they came, one-track-minded, stubborn, and shallow when it came to people.
With Pokemon, he'd go so far as making the ultimate sacrifice without a second thought, but with people… well, perhaps it had never come to that, but either way, Ash had always limited everyone he met to acquaintance, friends, or family. Even when he did find someone attractive, he didn't understand it and it never seemed to last, mostly because he never had prolonged exposure to the person so the feeling couldn't be explored.
At thirteen years old, upon having to say their farewells and return home after the Silver Conference, Misty learned that there was indeed some emotional depth left unexplored between the two of them, that Ash could form perfect statements to romance but for the life of him couldn't see that that's what he was doing at all. So, at peace, she'd gone home, at the very least knowing that he felt the same and that someday, he'd get mentally slapped to his senses and figure it out for himself.
Of course, weeks of her absence made her less hopeful. Even when he first sent her a letter claiming to miss her, there wasn't much else there being said. Weeks turned to months, and her hopes were further dashed by his physical and emotional distance. Certain events he kept from her altogether and she had to learn of them from Brock, who'd rejoined him in Hoenn, and Sinnoh.
Months became years, Brock returned home as well, and suddenly there was a starch blank stretch between them she had to acknowledge. Ash still had his friends, she was still introduced to them during the casual first or second phone-call between them after he journeyed to his newest region, but there was no way she could ask them to keep tabs on her best friend for her, no way she could confess that she was worried for his life, worried for the sake of their dwindling relationship.
Misty shook her head, regained her bearings, refusing to think more on those details and coming to just in time to hear Ash rambling senselessly to himself, a glistening nervous sweat dripping from his forehead.
And she hoped to goodness that the reason for his anxiety was because he couldn't be sure of her feelings and not because she was still expected to sit back and bide her time over him while he wandered around in the psychological dark.
Well… only one way to be sure.
"Finally, Ash Ketchum! It's about time!" she told him with an almost twisted grin, and her exclamation was enough to shut him up. "I was getting tired of waiting for you!"
Fast-forward two weeks or so and Misty was back to her regular routine. Of course, she'd canceled the date from that night, claiming - much like Ash had said on the phone - that she had too much responsibility on her hands right now and simply couldn't drop everything even for a casual date. The guy had claimed in a huff that she took herself too seriously and she'd bit back the urge to punch him in the mouth.
Well. So much for her expectations.
And even more-so after the climax of her conversation with Ash the same night. After finally telling him that she accepted his confession, that she sort of even felt the same or was at least open to exploring their maybe-something-romantic (and no, she wasn't giving him any more details), he had asked her what they were supposed to do next.
"Well, normally I'd say we would go on a date but, you know…"
"I know… what?"
Oh, right. Of course he wouldn't. This was Ash after all.
"Ash, you're a thousand or few miles away from me right now. Clearly us meeting up and going out to dinner and a movie is a little impossible."
He'd told her at the time - as if it was absolutely no big deal - that he could just catch a flight out to see her. The gym challenge wasn't going anywhere and his current companions would understand if he just explained that something important with a friend (girlfriend) had come up. She'd laughed despite her heart somersaulting on the inside of her chest cavity. She never would have expected him to put his trainer journey on hold for her, even for a few days. And, some years ago, she would have been right.
But it felt nice to be prioritized like she was.
Still, she had low expectations, and up until the morning in which she was woken at 5:30am to the sound of her doorbell ringing, she fully expected to receive another call or email in which he told her something had indeed suddenly come up wherever he was and that he would have to put her on hold. Again.
"Okay, Myst, let's do this thing!" he told her with a guffaw, eyes closed and smile wide, only to be interrupted by a very irritable redhead pinching his cheek and dragging him inside, showing him to her couch, and pushing him onto it. Then she went to her linens closet, rummaged around for an extra blanket, and absently tossed it at him with a grunt before returning to her room and falling asleep once more.
Two-and-a-half hours later when she woke up a second time, she had forgotten all about this interaction and nearly blew Ash (and Pikachu's) eardrums out upon walking in on them brushing their teeth in her bathroom.
"W - why are you… what are you doing here, Mr. Pokemon Master?!" she yelped agonizingly, still in her pajamas, face and hair and basically everything about her a disheveled mess she wouldn't have cared about showing him when she was eleven years old. But things were different now. She was almost eighteen and she looked as scruffy as she had when they were still preteens.
"You said we should go on a date. I told you I'd be coming," he exclaimed with a slightly furrowed brow. "I'm confused, Myst. We talked about this a few weeks ago. Did you forget? Ice cream, dinner and a movie, you saying that you were okay with me having… you know... Anyway…"
"I didn't forget!" she replied with a furious flush covering her face, neck, and ears. "I - I just didn't think… expect… Ash, why'd you come so early? Why didn't you go to the Pokemon Center or something?"
"Why…? I dunno. I guess Pikachu and I were excited to see you, weren't we, buddy?" he asked, craning his neck and gazing fondly at his Pokemon friend, who grinned excitedly and chirped in agreement.
"But yeah, I guess I was pretty early. So let's just hang out for the day. I can help out with the gym. Your sisters aren't around anyway, right?"
"Yeah, they're out of town on a modeling job. I guess… the help would be nice…"
"See? Problem solved, Misty! I usually don't get to help out at Pokemon Gyms so this should be fun!"
And he was right.
All throughout her ten hour day - minus an hour or so for lunch - the two of them kept challengers in line, the Pokemon confident and healthy, and the gym relatively clean. It was nice to catch up on some of the things that had taken place for him without her presence at his side. In fact, things were going so smoothly, it reminded her of their old times; traveling together, jokingly egging each other on, the occasional disagreement, some light slapstick comedic situations.
It was fun. It was nice. But it wasn't what Misty had been looking for.
She had spent a good seven years being just Ash's friend, however tentative or awkward the build-up was. She'd been locked into that role for so long she knew it like the back of her hand, and it wasn't that she was unappreciative about it. She had always wanted a close friend like what Ash had become to her, but… that was not the point of his visiting her now, was it?
Was she selfish for feeling so suddenly impatient after all the time she spent waiting? After finally moving forward a little bit? After Ash's moment of clarity and subsequent confession?
So that night, after finally closing the gym and taking the few Pokemon she'd relied on that day to the Center for a good rest, she returned home with the full intention being that she would pull out all the stops she could to shift their dynamic in a new direction.
A good hour or so later, face and hair made up, she made her way downstairs in a pretty red sleeveless number her sisters had convinced her actually brought out the subtle curves in her lanky figure a few months ago at the mall. She spent the entire time practicing the proper facial expression that amounted to the statement of, 'I know we're best friends but here we are trying something new so you had better notice the effort I'm putting into it.'
And, thinking of their potential future, she huffed a sigh and walked into the living room where Ash was waiting for her.
"Well, I'm ready now."
Ash craned his neck from his position on the couch so that he could look at her properly, blinked a couple of times without saying anything at all about the outfit she'd chosen, stood up and stretched, revealing to her that he hadn't even bothered to change his own clothes, and turned to Pikachu with a grin.
"Well, c'mon, buddy!"
"Ash!" she immediately reprimanded in reply, "Don't you think that you should… leave Pikachu here? I mean, I love his company too but… this is supposed to be a date. As in one-on-one."
"Really? Sounds a bit boring… but I guess that makes sense. Uuuh, sorry pal," and Ash turned and leaned down to where the electric mouse had been perched on the arm of the couch, preparing to leap up onto his shoulder and accompany them both, "but Misty probably knows more about this than us. I'll miss you while we're out but do you mind staying here and keeping the rest of the Pokemon company for the next hour or two?"
"Thanks, Pikachu!" the raven-haired trainer replied with a larger smile than before and scratched his friend behind the ears in gratitude. Then, turning to face his date, he went on. "Well, I guess we should go, right?"
"Yeah, speaking of that, Ash," the redhead started, doing her best not to sound disappointed at the fact that they were already starting off on the wrong foot, "where are we going anyway?"
"Don't know. I thought you had something figured out. Like I said just now, you seem to know a lot more about this than I do, right?"
"Well, yeah, but c'mon, Mr. Pokemon Master!" she huffed, "I mean, I was running a Pokemon Gym all day today, and every day since we talked about finally doing this! Don't you think that you could have tried to come up with a plan while you were sitting on your comfy plane ride back to Kanto? Or even while you were waiting for me to get ready tonight?"
"But it's not like I know where to go in Cerulean City! This is your hometown, so you should be the one to pick where we go, shouldn't you? In fact, this was really all your idea, wasn't it?" he fought back.
"Yeah, but how hard is it to come up with a general place and then look up specifics on the internet, Ash?!"
"... You know what, Ash? Never mind. Let's just go out for ice cream, okay?"
His continued escapade made her consider rejecting the offer to go out at all anymore. Everything about tonight suddenly seemed so very wrong. Ash had put no effort into anything other than making the trip here at all, while she'd been doing her best for years considering what could happen between them if this day ever came to pass. She'd already gone through immense struggle just trying to show him how different things were supposed to be, how progressive they could be if one tried to make them so, and that was only within the past few hours of consideration.
And now, after refusing to take ownership of the fact that he'd neglected to think of anything for them to do together (which made sense, she admitted, acknowledging his inability to consider anything romantic without his brain exploding), he was trying to shut down the one thing she'd thought up for them to do together.
"Okay… why not, Ash? Why no ice cream?"
"B - because…" he sputtered, faltered, trying to find the appropriate way to word his explanation without sounding childish. Or jealous. He definitely didn't want to arm her with anymore ammunition. "Because… that was… what you were going to do… with that other guy, wasn't it? Why would I want to take you on some sort of… of recycled date?"
"Recycled…? Ash, it's ice cream. I'm not choosing it because I'm thinking of what could have been; I'm choosing it because it's simple and convenient, and you've already proven to me that you know me intimately when it comes to this. I thought it would make sense for us to do something like that."
"But I…" he struggled again, eyes nearly crossed as he did his best to word his statement without inciting her anger anymore, "I… don't like it. Let's do something else."
… And failing miserably.
"Okay, Ash, since you don't want to do what I want, what do you want to do? I'm guessing you've come up with something now, right?"
"Exactly! Okay, fine! We'll get crepes instead, okay? There's a place on the boardwalk that I've heard a lot about! Does that work for you, your highness, Sir Whiney-Pants?"
"What's a crepe?"
"Agh!" she shouted, throwing her arms up in the air in frustration before lunging forward and grabbing his arm, "That's it, Ash, let's just go!"
Ash was completely unaware of the mental checklist Misty was making throughout the night. She couldn't help taking into account all of her own effort while noting his abysmal lack-thereof. All she'd wanted was some change, some progression. She wanted proof that her patience hadn't been wasted, more proof than was provided by Ash's impromptu jealous confession over the phone a few weeks prior. She didn't want to think about what their relationship would be like if she was the only one contributing proactively to it while he spent days, weeks, months doing his normal, everyday thing and never allowing her any special consideration.
Was she selfish for wanting something more concrete, for wanting to disengage from her restricted "friend" title? Was she selfish for expecting, hoping, for more?
And, to think, she'd already faced several disappointments tonight. Ash hadn't given any thought to his visit, hadn't said anything about her dress and hair and just the general amount of time she'd invested to earn a satisfiable reaction from him, hadn't considered that a date - an intimate two-person outing by definition - should remain between them without a third party present (no offense to Pikachu, as dearly as she loved him), had already gotten into an argument and had followed that up with a bunch of immature commentary with no regard towards her feelings.
She was beginning to think that the wall separating his comprehension of their relationship from her suppositions was completely unbreachable.
How do you explain to a friend like Ash that you wanted more than that? How do you explain the growth you want from him, or the endeavours you'd made in order to push him towards that growth without upsetting or scaring him?
"So… a crepe is… Why does it look like a really flat frisbee?" he asked a good half-an-hour later, watching the patisserie behind the counter as they worked and nudging Misty obnoxiously in the shoulder. "Or is it a pancake?"
"Sure, Ash, it's a pancake. Let's go with that," the redhead scoffed at his indelicate comment towards the fine art taking place before them and his clearly unrefined palette, "Um, can I get mine with chocolate and strawberries please?"
"Sure, hun… and what would you like, son?" the middle-aged woman asked with a soft smile, but Ash's brow furrowed in response, still staring down their supposed date snack.
"It doesn't look all that filling, Misty…" he muttered to her, only for her to elbow him in the ribs and hush him with a fierce stare.
"Just order!" she stated warningly, then turned her nose up at him and waited for her dessert to be wrapped and handed to her from over the window.
"Uh, I'll get… Nutella, almonds, strawberries, almonds, ice cream, and… Can I just get everything?"
"What? I'm starving! If I'd known that we were going out to eat paper, I would have doubled up my snacking at home!"
"Ash, it won't all fit! Excuse me, I'm sorry," Misty interrupted him from further embarrassing himself, "He'll just take the first three things; Nutella, strawberries, and almonds. I'm sorry about this."
"It's fine, dear. You two make the most interesting pair I've seen all day!"
The redhead offered a stiff smile in response to this comment, unsure if it was meant to sound complimentary or insulting. After everything she'd been taking note of, though, she couldn't help thinking it was meant to be the latter.
After they both had their crepes in hand, Misty turned on her heel and led Ash to a nearby bench so they could sit while they ate.
"So… how is it?" the redhead asked as absently as possible, though she eyed him eagerly between bites.
"It's… alright. Like I said before, not that filling, but it does taste good so I guess that's what important…" Ash replied, only adding the last part of his statement after noticing the sudden fire in her eyes.
It took them less than ten minutes to finish their treats. They disposed of their trash together and then turned to stare at each other awkwardly.
"So, wait, is this it? Is this what the end of a date is like?" the raven-haired trainer asked in blank curiosity.
"Well, n - not really. I mean, the date can technically last all the way back home, especially if the two people involved are going to separate places, because at the door…" But Misty faltered, thinking better of explaining the mechanics of how to properly end a date. As mentioned before, it's not like she wanted to scare him off.
"But we're not, so what now?"
"Let's just… keep walking and talking. We can look in the local storefronts on the way back. I mean, unless you want it to be over this soon."
"N - no! I mean, um," Ash paused, unsure of how to explain that he was currently feeling so unfulfilled. Could he get away with saying that without coming on too strongly? Either way, yeah, it felt like something between them was just… lacking. Missing.
Had he been doing something wrong? Because it felt like they were just doing what they always did, like nothing had changed at all. That was all fine and dandy at the gym earlier. They were just supposed to be helping each other out for the day - as friends. But once they'd left, once the date had officially started, he had started expecting… something.
"No? Okay, then, let's keep going." Misty told him, holding in her own excitement. Hey, at least Ash was admitting to the fact that he wanted more out of this. Perhaps there was hope for them yet.
So they whiled away some more time slowly ambling back towards the gym, stopping every once in awhile when something caught their eye. Misty's face lit up at a water-type Pokemon plush collection at the local collectors' shop while Ash stopped at a kiosk advertising app upgrades for his Pokedex. At some point, he found them holding hands as she led him down the street.
All too suddenly it felt like the evening was indeed drawing to a close. Despite the fact that the two of them would return to the same home and sleep barely a hundred feet from each other, there was a distinctive window the both of them felt was squeaking its way shut, or at least Misty felt it doing so. She couldn't be sure at this point what was going through Ash's head.
"So then, this would be the end, right? Since we're back at the gym?" he asked, his statement sounding like one giant word due to the bundle of nerves exploding in his stomach.
Unfortunately, to Misty, it sounded more like he was eager to get things over with… As if the dating life was not something he'd found to be all that appealing… which would make sense for one, Ash Ketchum.
"Yeah, I guess. I bet Pikachu and the other Pokemon are getting pretty antsy after waiting for us to come back all this time. Well, c'mon, Mr. Pokemon Mas-"
His interruption came out sounding awkward and strangled, as if he couldn't retain enough air to call out to her more confidently. When Misty indeed wrenched her neck around to face him, her key still in hand and trying to find its way into the slot in the doorknob so that they could get back in, she wasn't expecting to find his face so close to hers.
"Whoa, wait, what's going on?" she yelped, taking a sharp step backwards and almost tripping over the slight elevation in pavement.
"I, uh, I guess I just wanted to ask you, you know, since it's over now, if you… had a good time?" he implored, gaze still intently on her and face drawing ever closer as she backed away in the dark.
"H - had a… I mean, s - sure, Ash. Yeah, it was fun," she lied through a smile, unable to look him in the eyes at this point.
This didn't seem to be what he'd expected to hear from her, or wanted to anyway, so he too averted his gaze and mmed under his breath before trying his best to articulate whatever it was he was feeling.
"Really? Huh… It must just be me then. 'Cause to me… it felt like something was… missing."
"Missing," the redhead repeated in a monotone. He hadn't enjoyed himself. He was telling her that their date had been a failure, that her attempts at getting his attention and making him understand how they felt about each other - and how long they'd felt that way - were all wasted on him because he still didn't understand.
"W - well, you know," she tried with a weak laugh, "I guess that makes sense since Pikachu wasn't there to keep you company, right?" she tried to explain away his discomfort and her own fears. So maybe Ash still needed a third party around in order to fully enjoy himself. So maybe he didn't understand the intimacy one was supposed to embrace during a romantic setting. She could live with sharing him. She'd done a hell of a good job of it so far… and she'd long since learned that, with Ash, sometimes it was just easier to settle.
"Huh? No, that's not it!" he told her, blinking away his own confused expression in lieu of the shock that followed after her statement. "It's not about Pikachu! I mean, I - I didn't mind him not being there."
"Oh," the redhead amended, hopes dashed, "So then it's about us?"
But she couldn't force herself to say that part aloud.
"Yeah, I think it is."
And the raven-haired trainer took one step, and then another, closing in on Misty before she could even purse her lips in frustration over her loss. Before she could respond in any way to his advances, he was standing less than a foot away from her, face so close his breath on her lips was unbearably intense.
"Wh - wha - why - wha…?"
"I kept feeling like… we were missing something tonight. And I know it's not about our feelings 'cause I like you a lot and you told me you like me. I know you wouldn't lie about something like that since you're such a sap, Myst," he murmured to her, his eyelashes fluttering and face pinking just a bit. "So it's gotta be something else, right?"
"... R - right," she agreed with him, inwardly ecstatic at the thought that he wasn't denying that he felt the same way. That was almost more than she'd expected from him tonight. "Must be…"
But any other broken sentences or exclamations she might have been trying to form were lost at the back of her throat when Ash pushed her the few inches back into the front door and their lips met.
Misty dropped her keys in a perfect mix of panic and surrender, ignored the way her back was meshing uncomfortably against the doorknob behind her, and let Ash do whatever it was he felt needed to be done to find the thing they'd been missing, during which multiple nerves along her fingers burst aflame as she grabbed ahold of his arms, her chest hollow from lack of breath while her heart beat around anywhere between her ribcage and her throat, her brain shutting down as synapse after synapse exploded at the realization that this was really happening.
And then it was over and it wasn't until Ash pulled away that Misty registered that the kiss had actually been rather short-lived, even if her world had stopped spinning for the duration of it. It hadn't been the perfect lip-lock her romantic, childish heart had spent years wondering about, to be honest. It had been a bit stiff, a little too wet, and more soft than passionate, as if Ash wasn't sure what he was doing and was just experimenting his way through the process… which, of course, had been exactly the case so she couldn't fault him for it.
But it had felt amazing to her anyway.
Still, now that it was over and the two of them were just standing there, staring each other down, she knew she had to do something to break them out of their pregnant silence so she squeaked and took it upon herself to rapidly bend down and pick her keys back up.
"Well, that wasn't so bad," Ash noted absently.
"Wasn't so bad…?" the redhead quirked a brow at him, slightly affronted but also interested in what else he might have to say.
"Yeah," and he smirked faintly at her in the dark, showing off his canines in a rather predatory fashion. "I mean, it was pretty nice." Then, when her brow rose even further into her fringe, he let his over-confident expression fade away into a more well-meaning smile, "And I think I figured it out too."
"O - oh, well, that's good," Misty replied, face burning brighter with his every word as they all reminded her of what had transpired between the two of them just a few minutes previous. "I'm glad to know that my efforts weren't wasted after all."
She'd meant to say it under her breath, meant to be talking only to herself, but Ash had apparently heard her because he suddenly looked confused for the eighth or so time that evening.
"Efforts… What are you talking about?"
"Well, you know, just the general planning and coaching I gave you to get us this far… Not to mention my hair and dress," she went on, ticking each item off on an invisible hand in her head as she said them, pausing after finally succeeding in unlocking her front door and pushing it open.
"Your… what and what…?" he asked, blinking a few times and looking her up and down, mouth hanging just a bit open. "Ooh, man! I thought something looked different about you! Sorry, Myst!"
She should have known.
Notes - The end! Sorry it dragged on like it did! Like I said, I honestly haven't been feeling the whole writing thing lately, but I've also desperately wanted to write something, anything, for a good long while now! Let's hope it was satisfactory!