Disclaimer - I don't own any of the things. If you were expecting otherwise, you were fooling yourself, I think. :-P

Notes - Alright, folks. I'm at the end of my rope. I have posted two other fics recently and neither has gained even five reviews despite both receiving two hundred views in three or so days. This will probably be the last fanfic I post on this site because of this unending situation. I'm sorry but I value my time and my skill as a writer too much to waste all of it for nothing, and that's what i feel is happening.

To quote the comedians Key and Peele, "It's been real, and it's been good... But it ain't been real good."

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Title - "Best Days"

Summary - Jeezus, why does Misty have to be so annoying anyway? What did you ever do to her? Why can't she just go back to being that scrawny, loud, aggressive water-type trainer you remember from when you both were kids?

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You know, it's been months since you last saw her in person for any extended amount of time so you were originally really looking forward to this.

A week-long vacation with some of your best and oldest friends, including Brock, Tracey, and Misty.

Yep, her. It's, in fact, that particular her that is making you feel really frustrated right about now as you and your three friends pass the beach ball to one another in the water, currently enjoying a day by the seaside in Cerulean City.

And you can't quite put your finger on what it is about her that's annoying you. Sure, it could be the way she practically mocks you by referring to you with her classic nickname, Mr. Pokemon Master, though the joke is technically on her at this point since you've finally accomplished your childhood goal and are now a minimum of one year into your first term as Kanto's highest-acclaimed trainer.

It could also be any one of the number of short jokes she's handed you on a silver platter because, hey, you're nineteen years old and you're still an inch shorter than her after all of these years (which is a bigger disappointment than basically anything you've ever known in your entire life because you're quite sure that she'll never let you live it down). Or maybe it's about her practically threatening you with the idea of how stupid it is to wear your official Pokemon League cap in the water because all it would take is one well-placed wave or breeze for it to blow right off, and who knows how far it would be carried, and you'd never be able to catch it what with you being stuck wading through the sea.

But oddly enough none of these things seem to upset you in the moment when she says them hoping - forgive the pun - to make a splash and upset the balance between you.

In fact, what really seems to eat at you more than anything is, well, her smile

And that's not all.

You're not a huge fan of the way she's dressed either, or the way that other guys take the opportunity to approach her when she leaves the water to grab a drink from her canteen on the shore, and you're certainly - most definitely - not a fan of the fact that you… just can't… seem to tear your eyes away from her for more than a few seconds at a time. Not to mention, once that group of teenage guys approaches her, they seem to make her laugh quite an awful lot, and it's just… really annoying to have to watch her react that way as she places her canteen back on the blanket laid flat under your umbrella, taking the chance to scratch behind Pikachu's ears as she does so.

"Yo, Ash! You're gonna get–" Brock shouts from some other nameless direction but falters when you feel the zinging slap of circular rubber hit you in the face.

Luckily, since it's a ball filled with air, it's doesn't really hurt all that much, but the situation (mostly Brock's attempted warning) is enough to draw in the awareness of anyone within roughly a hundred meters from you.

"Uh…" you try eloquently, gaze on Misty once more, but you finally manage to peel it away when she looks you dead in the eye, effectively interrupting her conversation with the group of local swimmers who'd decided to walk up and fuss over her, pale yellow and blue bikini and all.

"Hey… Hey, Ash!" Tracey succeeds in drawing your attention even further by waving his hand in front of your face and you're actually really grateful for the gesture because it blocks your redheaded friend from view for a few seconds and allows the spell you've been sucked into to be broken.

Finally.

"Ash, you okay? I didn't think it was possible for a beach ball to make that much of an impact but your eyes are pretty unfocused and glassy, and you seem kind of distracted." Brock makes a mental list as he also waddles through the thick of the water to inspect your condition, "Are you hurt at all?"

Tracey follows the direction your gaze had formerly been undividedly centered on, then back at you, then the shoreline again, then back at you with a knowing grin.

"Oh, well, maybe it wasn't the ball that did this to him."

"Uh, what do you mean?" Brock asks with a quirked brow, finally releasing you and allowing your muscles to slacken a bit as you let the water carry your body weight more in the absence of someone else purposefully holding you up.

"Oh, nothing."

It takes Misty only about sixty seconds to swim the ninety or so meters from her position on the beach to where the rest of you are, though it's not a skillful feat you know to acknowledge.

"Ash, what happened? I heard Brock shout and then saw you get hit with the ball…" she starts, loosely looking you over to make sure nothing's wrong before backing off with a scoff, "Well, I don't know what caused it but trust Ash Ketchum to find some way of getting hurt in the water. I'm beginning to think we should ban you from swimming or going anywhere near the sea at all. Only bad things happen when you do."

"Hey, that's not fair, Myst! None of those things are my fault!" you state in an attempt to defend yourself, but she eyes you accusingly before responding back.

"Right, because you definitely didn't attack a Spearow with a rock on your very first day as a trainer - even though you had no useable Pokemon to help you battle - and you didn't go looking for adventure in the middle of a torrential downpour when we were on Shamouti all those years ago and–"

"What's Shamouti again?" Brock whispers to Tracey.

"Aah, big adventure with birds and helpful Team Rocket, plus a girl who both tried to win Ash's heart and at the same time conceded that he and Misty were probably already dating, even though they wouldn't admit it," Tracey whispers back with something akin to the same knowing grin he had been wearing before Misty had rejoined them.

"Oh, right, you told me about that. Girl knew what she was talking about, didn't she?" Brock chuckles under his breath.

"Hah, yeah, she–"

"–that time definitely wasn't your fault, right? And what are you guys talking about anyway, huh?" the redhead screeches, finally finished with you and beginning to berate your other two friends.

And good timing too because things were getting mightily uncomfortable what with her barely two inches away and wearing almost nothing and you swear your eyes were focused on the small star on the bikini top fabric, even though that star happened to be right above her left brea…

Yeah, okay, it's time to get out of here.

"See ya, guys, I'm heading back to the gym for now, this was fun but I gotta go, c'mon Pikachu, let's hurry!" you shout obnoxiously in an attempt to drown out your own thoughts, doing your best to get back on solid land as fast as possible, holding out an arm for your best friend to climb up onto before stumbling over the unstable terrain that's presented by the Cerulean Beach sands.

OoOoO

It takes one hell of a cold shower to get your body to stop humming with electricity after the incident (that wasn't really an incident) with Misty earlier.

Due to the older Sensational Sisters rarely ever being home thanks to their careers as gravure models, two of the bedrooms in the Waterflower sister condo had been renovated into guest rooms. Tracey and Brock had been sharing one for the past two days and you and Pikachu have taken up the other, slightly smaller one for yourselves.

You've never been happier to have the space to yourself than you are right now after that debacle back at the beach.

Jeezus, why does Misty have to be so annoying anyway? What did you ever do to her? Why can't she just go back to being that scrawny, loud, aggressive water-type trainer you remember from when you both were kids?

Well, to be fair, she still exhibits most of the qualities she had when she was younger. Definitely still loud and aggressive anyway… but, oddly enough, you don't really… mind that aggressive nature… especially not when it… leans all up on you and presses square against your chest.

Except those weren't squares. Oh no. Absolutely not.

You may not be that great at geometry but you certainly know how to tell your basic shapes apart and those things on Misty's chest were most surely…

"Ash, why are you sitting in the kitchen, in the dark, at two in the morning?" a random female voice whispers to you from the archway leading into the hall.

You're so startled that you nearly drop the glass of water in your hand, but you regain a firm grasp on it and hold it - and yourself - as steady as possible… though, incidentally, you do manage to forget how to breathe upon realizing that the voice is definitely not random and is definitely very Misty instead.

"Auegh…." you try in a complicated mix of greetings and random words that you can use to distract yourself, noting her silhouette against the doorframe. And you're a little impressed with the fact that you're only just now registering that she'd turned the upstairs hall light on before heading down here, something that had somehow escaped your notice even though you were already staring in the proper direction to have seen it before.

Though you suppose your mind was elsewhere at the time.

"Wow, that's articulate," Misty mocks you for the trillionth time today, but you're okay with it as long as that means she doesn't dive any deeper into the reasons behind what happened earlier.

She stalks around you in a huff to grab her own glass from the cupboard, then switches on the tap and waits for the water to cool before placing the cup under and filling it roughly halfway and swigging all of it down. Finally, she refills one more time, switches the tap off, and comes to sit on the other side of the table.

Every part of you is on edge, but hey, Misty is currently enjoying her glass of water, right? And as long as she's doing that then she can't possibly ask you about–

"–So are we gonna talk about why you ran away from me earlier, Mr. Pokemon Master?" she asks suddenly and seriously, and your hopes are quite derailed at the introduction of this particular topic.

Crap.

"I - I didn't run away, Misty, and not from you of all things," you stutter valiantly through your nerves, "Why would you think that? I mean, it's silly to think that a Pokemon Master would be scared of someone like you when a Pokemon Master is the strongest Pokemon trainer there is, right? And a Pokemon Master such as myself would never run from any challenge because I know that I'm tough enough to take whatever anyone or anything dishes out. And another thing about me being a Pokemon Master is–"

"–I swear to Arceus, Ash, if you don't shut up about that stupid title, I'm going to rip out your tongue and then shove it up your ass," the redhead states so calmly and coolly that you're not entirely sure just how truthful she's being, though she continues speaking without much pause for effect, "Besides, it's not necessarily about you being scared of me," and here, she does pause as she takes another considerate sip of her water, "It's about you being attracted to me."

You cough and stutter a dozen different ways and times as you try to consider a way around her accusation. There's no way… How had she even noticed? But more than that, what the heck did she mean, "attractive"? You don't find any girls attractive; oh no. You find the unknown (but surely eventful and appealing) future that your title as Pokemon Master gives you attractive. You find greasy triple-cheeseburgers with gallon sides of fries attractive. But, other than those few, rare things, there's not much else you could speak on.

A passing thought leads you to believe you should probably be saying some of this out loud so you stop gaggling and gasping for the right words of denial and go for it.

"I have no idea what you're talking about. There's no way I'd find someone as scrawny, pale, and loud as you attractive. H - how can you even take yourself seriously, bringing something like that up?" you try and fail miserably, stammering all the while, cheeks blotched red and heat claiming them, your forehead, and the back of your neck.

But you're not uncomfortable or anything. Oh no.

"Hmm, maybe you're right…" she considers, and you turn your nose up at her in success of your victory, though that feeling is rather fleeting when you suddenly feel the soft, direct pressure of her touching you.

You immediately attempt to leap from your seat to escape the fire overtaking the pit of your stomach but stumble and fall straight to the floor in your stead.

"Wow, walk much, Ash?"

"Y - you… But you touched me!" you shout from the floor, appalled by the measures she would go to just to make her point.

"I poked you. With my finger. In your arm. As far as skin-to-skin contact goes, I'd say that's pretty innocent and inconsequential. Besides Ash," and she waits just long enough for you to get up, stare at her wild-eyed for a few seconds, and then courageously attempt to regain your seat while continuing to fervently gaze alertly at her as if you'd been previously violated, "I was there when it happened. I know what you did, and it's fine."

"I… didn't… b - but you… but I've never been… attracted to anything ever about anything," you mumble, the words tumbling from your mouth before you can censor them.

"No, you're right, that definitely wasn't what happened on the beach, Ash. Not at all. You didn't have your eyes on me ninety percent of the time and that's not what caused Brock to hit you in the face with the beach ball and it's absolutely not the reason why you bailed on us after I came back out to hang with everyone and got," she stops here for a moment, just long enough to lean slightly forward so you can make out her facial features a bit better, "close," she leans in a little more with that next syllable and your eyes are on her lips in an instant, watching as the words form before leaving her mouth, "to," but your eyes drop from her lips to the very appealing cleavage revealed by her choice of sleeping attire (a thin spaghetti strap tanktop) and the interesting view her pose is giving you, "you."

Your eyes scurry back up to her lips so as to not seem like such the guilty party, then back down to her chest, then to her lips again, then her eyes, and then you take in her whole face; her whole smirking face.

"I saw that, Ash. You just checked me out. Again."

"I - I didn't! I don't even know what that means!"

"Riiight."

"I don't! I really don't! I mean, I'm Ash Ketchum, right? A - and stuff like that… I don't have time for it! And you're you! If it has to be anyone, it certainly wouldn't be you that I'd f - find…."

"Find…?"

"You know…. that thing you said I found you…"

"Whatever you say, Ash… but I know what I saw. Anyway," she rises from her seat across the table and stretches luxuriously in such a manner that her breasts rise and her midriff shows more skin - not that you'd notice such things - before picking up her glass, finishing the last of her water, and placing it in the sink, then walking back around the table and stopping in front of you, "goodnight, Mr. Pokemon Master."

Then she does the unthinkable.

She leans in and kisses you on the cheek.

And that stupid fire, that stupid and ignorant flame bursts alive in your gut once more after being ignited and stifled and reignited on multiple occasions today, and it spreads through your chest - grazing your erratically beating heart, spreads through your arms and legs, fingers and toes, infects your brain to the point that your hand snaps and grabs her by the wrist, pulls her back and turns her around, and lands her in your lap.

Then that hand releases her wrist to grasp firmly at her back instead and you lean forward and kiss her as hard and breathlessly on the mouth as you can.

Good night, indeed.

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Notes - There ya have it, folks! Young adult hormones (and possibly more) all around! Woo! They're so great together and they probably end up having sex on the kitchen floor but you'll never know for certain, will you?!