I decided to re-upload this fic, because of some minor errors.  I unknowingly made the story a teensy bit confusing in the beginning, so I'm sorry if you didn't understand. If you didn't, that's okay, it was my fault.  I'd like to thank 'Heh' for confronting me about it!  (I hope you know who you are!!)

Author's Incoherent Babblings:

Hey!  I'd just like to inform you that no, I am not dead.  I've just been in a little jam in ABO, that's why I haven't updated in like forever.  There should be an update soon, though… I hope!!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this fic!  You may want the song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" for the ending to make sense.  If you don't have it, you can go here to listen to it:

http://www.geocities.com/winter_light23/CYFTLT.htm

I do not own that song, nor do I claim to own it.  I'm just making good use of it.  Oh, and if you already have the song, please make sure it's the "Lion King" version with Timon and Pumba in it, or else it won't work.  Thanks, and I hope you like it!! 

~*~ means time change and/or POV switch.  Hope you don't get too confused!!

~Because~

~*~

(Misty's POV)

February the fourteenth was a day that most people cherished.  It was a day to spend with your significant other, to coo and aw at the romantic things they did for you and to pile up thoughtful memorabilia you'd acquired throughout the day.  Yes, a lovely day indeed for most people.  But not for me.  Today was a day for curling up at home on the couch with a romantic movie, wishing that I had someone special to spend the day with.  Which was just what I was doing right now.

Okay, so maybe I'm not at home.  And maybe it's not exactly a couch.  But a romantic novel is just as good as a movie, right?  Alright, I was sitting uncomfortably on a stiff tree root in the middle of the woods.  But that doesn't matter; it's the principle of the thing.  Whichever way you look at it, it was February the fourteenth and I'm still wishing I had someone special to spend the say with.

I squinted my eyes, finding it hard to read this early in the morning.  I'd estimate it was about six-thirty or so; the sun was just barely scratching the surface of the land.  Curling my legs closer around me for warmth, I continue reading my sappy romance novel.  Well, if you could call it reading.  My eyes were following the words, but my mind was somewhere else, floating in and out of reality.  

Deciding that reading was not what I felt like doing for too much longer, I dog-eared the page I was on and lay it down on the dewy grass beside me.  Princes finding their Princesses, fighting for the sake of undying love, defying all odds for love to prevail; things I'd find extremely heroic and romantic on any other day were now beginning to annoy me. 

Sighing, I wondered for what had to be the millionth time that morning why I bothered to get up so early.  I turned my head back slightly, admiring my two comrades lost in the land of dreams curled up tightly in their sleeping bags, unaware that I was already up and dressed. 

I slowly let my eyes wander to the person closest to me, Ash.  Some of his dark ebony hair fell into his closed eyes, and I desperately wanted the courage to reach over and brush them away.  I blushed lightly at this thought.  I still found myself somewhat shy to these thoughts, even though I'd had them ever since I began to like the guy, which had to be at least four years.  Yes, I had started travelling with him at age twelve, and liked him at just about as young, so that would be a good estimate.

I sighed at my previous thought.  Liked, huh?  What an understatement.  I was completely and totally head over heels with the guy.  Too bad he only sees me as a friend. 

I looked at the other two people sleeping at the campsite.  Brock and Tracey.  Ever since Ash had won his last championship nearby and had earned himself an even more famous profile, the both of them had decided to stay with us and travel around, offering as much moral support that they could.  I was sure Ash would need it.

I skittishly turned back around when I noticed Ash's eyes begin to flutter open.  I gently picked up my book and stood up.  Better get this day over as soon as possible.

~*~

(Ash's POV) 

I stretched out as far as I could on the soft bed, glad for once to be out of the woods.  It had been a long time since we'd last stopped at a Pokemon centre, and I was glad when we finally stumbled upon the next town.  Since waking up that morning,  we had walked for a while and managed to make it to the Pokemon centre by noon.  I relished totally in the fact that we had an actual room for the night, and was proud that we'd made it here for Valentine's Day.  This should make Misty a bit happier.

I'd noticed that, on our way here, Misty seemed to be a bit out of it to say the least.  She'd be there one second, and the next she'd get this distant look.  I would think she'd be happy, considering Valentine's Day is such a stupid, sappy holiday.  And she's such a romantic. 

I groaned in annoyance.  Why were girls so hard to figure out?  I mean, one second you think you know them, and the next?  They just change into a totally different person!  Like one minute Misty can be such a sweet girl, and then she's pulling out that damned mallet and bonking me over the head with it.  Hold it – did I just say Misty was 'sweet'?  Jeez, I've been thinking about that girl so much lately…  If I didn't know better, I'd say I liked her.

But I do know better.  I don't like her – I love her.  Ugh, there I go again.  Is there ever a time when she's not in my mind?

Thankfully, my stomach grumbles and reminds me that its time to eat.  I eagerly hop up off the bed and leave my room, heading down the hall to get Brock, Tracey and Misty.

~*~

"Ahhh…" I say, patting my stomach as we enter the Pokemon centre after a large meal.  "That was good."

"I'm surprised you tasted it, it sure never stayed in your mouth long enough," I heard Misty snicker, cradling Togepi in her arms.  I make some sort of snotty remark back at her, and before anyone knows it, we're engaged in another argument.

We couldn't hear Brock over the noise we were emitting, but apparently he'd been calling us for a bit.  "Guys?!" he yelled, starting to go red.  I think it'd be safe to assume this wasn't the first time he'd been calling us over the length of our fight.  Once he'd seen he'd gotten our attention, he pointed to a poster on the wall near the front desk.

Misty and I slowly walk up to where he and Tracey were standing, putting our argument behind us.  Looking closer at the poster, I could now make out the words and see what it said.

"Valentine's Day Dance?" I read, scrunching up my face in mock disgust.  Misty apparently noticed this, as she immediately said "Oh yeah, anything to do with romance and Ash Ketchum instantly wants nothing to do with it."

I was just about to retaliate when Tracey intervened.  "C'mon guys," he pleaded.  "Do you honestly have to start again?"  Pikachu agreed, as I heard a small "Pi, Pikapi," emit from somewhere in the floor's general direction.

We reluctantly halted our feud for the second time in the past five minutes, only to have Nurse Joy appear from seemingly nowhere a second later. 

"I see you're looking at that poster.  Would you be interested in attending?"

The three of us bowed our heads in embarrassment as Brock made his way to Nurse Joy, asking "That depends.  Are you going to be there?"

I heard Nurse Joy stutter a bit, and I looked up to see Brock on one knee in front of her with her hands clutched in his own.  "Why yes," she began, trying to be as gentle as possible while ripping her hands out of his at the same time.  "I'm going to be running it.  Its to be held here at eight o'clock tonight." 

I laughed lightly as Misty pulled Brock away, giving Nurse Joy some breathing space.  "No, I don't think that we'll ha—"

"We'll all be there," I interrupted, answering Joy's earlier question. 

She smiled happily.  "I'm glad," she said. 

We chatted for only a few moments longer, Misty having her hands full with an over-determined Brock, when Nurse Joy announced she had to get back to work.  "I'll be looking forward to seeing you tonight!"

With that, we all began to head to our respective rooms.

~*~

(Misty's POV)

Ugh, what did he mean by 'we'll all be there'?  Hasn't he seen how I've been acting all day?  I don't want anything to do with Valentine's Day at all!  And a dance is one of the worst things to go to when you're single… and in love… with your best friend…

I'm sorry, Nurse Joy, but I can't go.  There's bound to be other pretty girls there that will want to dance with Ash.  I mean, he's damn good looking after all, and has a rich Pokemon background to boot.  He's sure to have some fans.  And I couldn't stand the thought of seeing him with someone else. 

I shake my head, hoping to clear these thoughts from my head.  Unfortunately, it didn't work.  I glanced over at the clock, still debating on whether to go or not.  Okay, it was seven o'clock.  Still time to get ready if I wanted to go or not.  I sigh and rub my temples.  Ah well, time to get some good, quality reading in.  I'd have a lot to do if I wanted to finish this book by tonight.

I fluff th epillows behind my head and lay back on my bed, rustling around a bit to get comfy.  With that, I took my book out and began from where I left off. 

Pretty soon, however, I found myself becoming more and more engrossed with the book and less with the time.

~*~

Athough it had only seemed like a few minutes for me, it was apparently much longer, as I soon heard a loud rapping on my door.  "Misty?  Are you coming down or what?"

Coming down? I thought.  Down for what?  Oops… dance… eight o'clock…  I glance at the clock slowly, almost as if I were afraid to see what time it was.  Eight fifteen.  I guess I'm not going. 

"Hello in there?" the voice continued, accompanied by more incessant banging.  It was Ash. 

"I'm not going," I announced loudly enough for him to hear me through the door.

"Why not?"  I heard him fiddle with the doorknob for a second and, upon realizing that it wasn't even locked in the first place, entered my room.  I noted with an amused smile as he came closer to sit on my bed with me that he wasn't wearing his regular clothes, but black pants and a green sweater that I never even knew he had.  Also, his ever-present hat was kind of… erm, not present.

"Because," I answered him, sticking my nose back in my book which, by the way, I still haven't finished.

"'Because' isn't an answer," he reprimanded, pulling the book down from my face.

"Sure it is."

"Not a good one."

"So?  Do I have to give good answers?"

As if seeing where this was going to lead to already, Ash stepped back from the argument; something he'd never done before.  I gave him a funny look, as if telling him silently that this was a very paranormal event.

"Just come down.  It's bound to be an interesting night, Brock actually found himself a date."

I couldn't help but chuckle at this.  "Brock?" I asked in dismay.  "Our Brock?"

Ash also emitted a small laugh at my fake nativity.  "Yes, 'our Brock'."  He smiled at me in that way only he could, and my defences melted almost instantly.

"So, whaddya say?" he asked again, peering in my eyes questioningly.

I was just about to comply to his wished and make a mad dash down the stairs and to the dance until I noticed what I was wearing.  I looked down at myself almost sheepishly, embarrassed about how underdressed I was compared to him.

"I can't," I almost whispered.

"Ugh, Misty!  You're supposed to like all of this romantic stuff!  I mean, by rights, Valentine's Day should be your favourite day of the year!"  He took the romance novel from my hands and tossed it on the floor.

I folded my arms in mock annoyance.  "Oh great, now you've lost my page," I commented sarcastically.

"C'mon, Mist," he pleaded once more.  "Stop reading that stupid book.  Why do you want to read about other people falling in love when you could be out there doing it yourself?"

This question made me think – why was I keeping myself bottled up in books and movies ever Valentine's Day?  Because I'm already in love and won't do anything about it.  But I couldn't tell him that, he'd start asking questions, and…  Noting that his eyes were still on my and waiting for an answer, I said the first thing I could come up with.

"I can't go to the dance now because I'm not dressed to go anywhere!"  I motioned down to the tear-away pants and plain t-shirt I was wearing.

He sighed exasperatedly.  "No one's dressed up down there, this is the fanciest you're gonna get," he said, gesturing to his own attire.  Deciding that I definitely didn't want to sit up here and listen to him plead all night long, I finally gave in to his wishes.  The next thing I knew, I was being dragged downstairs into an environment of music and crowds of people.

~*~

I was actually surprised at the environment down here.  I had originally thought that they would be playing all slow songs for couples all night long, but I was wrong.  The only way you could really tell that it was in fact a Vanentine's Day dance, was because of the large wall banner stating it.  Fast, upbeat music was playing and, in the whole twenty minutes I had been down here so far, not one slow song had played.

It would seem as if luck was against me, however, as the currently playing song shifted tempos to a slow song.  Almost immediately, I saw Brock couple with a pretty brunette, and giggled despite myself.  It was definitely new seeing him with a girl and not having her threaten to call the authorities.

I wandered over to the punch table to pour myself something to drink.  Carefully sipping the red punch, I smiled as I saw a familiar face come towards me. 

"Tracey!" I exclaimed, skipping over to him.  Due to the unexpected crowd, I had lost Ash no less than ten minutes after coming down an dhadn't met up with either he, Brock, or Tracey until now.

"Hey Misty.  So I see Ash convinced you to come down after all, huh?"

"Convince me?" I repeated sceptically.  "The poor kid had to get down on his knees and grovel to get me to come down here."

I heard Tracey laugh a little before walking closer to the punch table to pour himself a glass.  I followed him, having no one else to talk to at the moment, and tried to endure the slow song for as long as possible.  I was only thankful I hadn't seen Ash dance with another girl yet.

~*~

(Ash's POV)

"No, sorry, I don't feel like dancing."  Gosh, what is this, 'Ask-Ash-to-dance Day'?  I grumbled inaudibly.  This was getting annoying.  Absolutely every girl in here around my age was asking me to dance.  I don't know why they'd want to, anyway.  But the only girl that I actually wanted to dance with was nowhere in sight.  I sighed as another girl approached me.  Do these girls even care that the song is practically half over?

I turned her down as politely as I could when this agitated.  I walked around a bit more, trying to scope out the punch table, considering my stomach had now gotten the better of me.  I sighed in complete bliss when the song ended and a faster song took its place. 

Dammit, fate has a way of turning against you, doesn't it?  Just as I'm thankful the song's over, because no more girls will ask me to dance, I start to regret the song's over, because I just spotted the one girl I wanted to dance with.  Ah well, it'll have to wait for the next one.

I walk up to Misty and Tracey at the punch table.  We chatted about anything and everything, even about when we were going to leave tomorrow and where we were heading.

Soon enough, Brock spotted us as well and came up to us.  He'd been with his date the entire time – Krysslyn, I think he said her name was. 

Anyway, this conversation was starting to get boring, as you could tell when I came up with the question "I wonder how Pikachu is holding out taking care of Togepi?" to enhance the conversation.

A second later, my ears pricked as I heard the beginnings to a slow song play.  My heart sped up almost instantly, knowing exactly what I wanted to do and that Misty was right beside me.  I gulped nervously and turned slightly to face her.

"Um, Mist?" I asked to get her attention.  Her ocean blue eyes locked on to mine as she answered me.

"Yeah Ash?"  I had to smile at her for this.  Even though some other girls had their hair up fancy, wore expensive-looking clothing, and had endless amounts of makeup on, I couldn't help but think she was the prettiest of them all.  'Beautiful in its simplicity', I guess one would say.  Realizing that I had yet to ask her to dance, and the song had already started, I quickly cleared my throat and, in a sudden rush of courage, asked the question all in one breath.

"Misty, will you dance with me?"

I swear that her face, which had been a tad on the depressive side all day long, lit up like a lightbulb at that statement.  Wow, amazingly I think I've done something right!

"S-sure."

I took her hand and led her out on to the dance floor.

~*~

(Normal POV)

Brock and Tracey stood rooted to the ground, the previous scene playing in their minds.  Their minds almost couldn't comprehend it.  Brock was first to overcome the initial shock, however, as he started singing. 

"I can see what's happening," he sang, his gaze directed to the dance floor in which Ash and Misty were now dancing.

"What?" Tracey asked, bewildered, blinking his eyes.

"And they don't have a clue," Brock continued, almost as if ignoring Tracey's previous question.

"Who?"  Tracey was still left in the dark.

Brock turned and grabbed Tracey's collar, pulling his face inches short of his own.  "They'll fall in love and here's the bottom line.  Our group's now down to two!*"  He unlatched himself from Tracey and went back to viewing the pair.

"Oh," Tracey slumped dejectedly, finally getting the gist of it.

Brock eyed the couple sceptically.  "Ze sweet caress of twilight," he continued singing in a French accent, making suggesting hand movements.  "There's magic everywhere."  He motioned to the confinement of the room with his hands.  "And with all this romantic atmosphere, disaster's in the air…" he drawled, scrunching up his face.  Then the both turned around to grab some more punch.  Of the alcoholic kind.

~*~

(Misty's POV)

I smiled brightly as Ash led me to the centre of the dance floor, further from Brock and Tracey's peering eyes.  We knew they were staring at us, but we really didn't care. 

We stopped and he shakily placed his arms around my waist.  I could feel the apprehension in his moves, but right now, I couldn't care less.  This was like a dream come true for me.  I swear, if my smile got any bigger at the moment, it would crack and fall off my face. 

I brought my arms up and placed them around his neck.  Slowly, we began moving on the spot in an endless circle.  I knew I was blushing, but I was relieved to see that his face was just as red.  Gosh, that was really clashing with his green sweater…

The words of the song weaved into my head, but I paid no attention to them.  The only thing I cared about was that I was grinning like a complete idiot and in the arms of the only boy I could ever love.

I took the time away from staring at him to look at some of my surroundings.  It was then that I noticed some girls were sending me glares.  But, the thing that caught my eye was that those girls were quite pretty.  Surely Ash could have chosen one of them to dance with…

"Why didn't you dance with any of those other girls?" I blurted out on accident.  I didn't want to ruin any mood we may have created by speaking…

He looked down at me, yes dammit, he was taller than me now, and smiled nervously.  Uh oh.  This probably wasn't going to be a good answer…

"Because."  He smiled impishly at me, reminding me of earlier in the night when I had used that exact same answer.  And it could have been my imagination, but I swear he leaned in closer to me.

"Because isn't an answer," I retorted, almost out of breath at the proximity between us.

"Yes it is," he continued, mimicking our past conversation perfectly.  Except that he was now about two inches from my face…  Oh my god, was he going to kiss me??

I locked eyes with him and moved my head closer to him as well.  "Not a good one…"

"So?  Do I have to give good answers?"  Those were the last words spoken before our lips met.

I had been dreaming of this moment from before I can remember, and not one of my dreams even came close to what the real thing would feel like.  His lips were so soft and warm, and nothing I could think of at the moment could describe it.  I'm actually quite surprised that I was thinking at all, considering my whole body felt like a pile of mush.  I could feel my heart pounding loudly against my chest, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Ash himself could her it.  Not that I cared at the moment…

When we broke from our kiss, it seemed as if an eternity had passed, and at the same time it felt like no time at all.  I knew my face was extremely red, but all I could see now was Ash's eyes.  And he didn't even have to say it, because I could see it in his eyes.  He loved me.  Ash Ketchum loved me.  I would have shouted it out to the world, except for the fact that I couldn't move from this spot now if I had wanted to, and I'd probably be tortured to the brink of death by the girls around us that I'm sure were wishing me dead at this moment.  Well, I'd have to say, I couldn't have died happier.

The song had ended now, but we didn't feel like breaking our embrace.

"Wanna go outside for a bit?" I heard him ask softly.

"I'd love to."  And with that, we both left the Pokemon Centre to celebrate the end of my happiest Valentine's Day ever.

~*~

(Normal POV)


Hours later, when the janitorial staff was cleaning up the place and everyone else went home, Tracey and Brock sat on the floor leaning up against the punch table.  Empty plastic cups littered the whole area around them, proof that they had many drinks each that night.  They hadn't noticed that everyone was gone, so they continued singing their song, serenading the pieces of garbage on the floor that were quickly being thrown in the garbage.

"And if he falls in love tonight," Brock sang, sniffing loudly, the after-effects of the alcohol getting to him.  "It can be assumed…"

Tracey raised his almost empty plastic cup into the air and waved it around a bit drunkenly.  "His carefree days with us are history..."

Brock slung an arm over Tracey's shoulder, and Tracey did the same to him, stretching out their other arms as far as possible, finishing their song with "In short, our pal is doomed…"  Then, they both began crying rather loudly, causing the custodians to look back at them oddly for a moment before resuming their work.

~*~

* - I had to alter the words a bit, since there were more than a 'trio' being referred to.


That's it!!  C'est fini!  Here's my little contribution for lack of updating in other areas and wanting to get *something* out for Valentine's Day.  Hope you liked it!!

~Violet Emeralds~