Author's note: I thought it'd be fun to see how Ash and Misty were getting on in their travels together. I hope you enjoy! Please, as always, leave me reviews. Look out for my spin off story focusing on Gary and Dawn - there may be some pokéshipping cameos!
"I'm going to kill you, Ash Ketchum!" Misty whispered angrily at the dark-haired trainer crouched at her side.
"Come on," Ash protested under his breath, "it's not so bad!"
"Not so bad?" Misty grumbled. "Not so bad? We're stuck in a cave because you just had to bring Gabite out for some so-called much needed training in the mountains where rock Pokémon live. You know that rock Pokémon take damage from dragon types!"
"You have water type Pokémon," Ash reminded her. "Why didn't you bring them out?"
"Because we had seven Onix chasing us through the mountains, you brainless twerp," Misty snapped.
"Twerp? Seriously? You're going there?"
"Maybe Team Rocket was onto something," Misty replied.
Ash made to open his mouth for a smart-assed reply, but a deafening roar interrupted them. They peeked over the rocks they were hiding behind and saw rocks flying in every direction. Ash's head shot round to the fuming red head.
"Quick, pass me your Pokeballs!" he urged.
"Ash," she seethed, "I can't get to my Pokeballs. In case you haven't noticed, we're cramped in this tiny hell hole."
"Well, where are they? I'll see if I can reach them," Ash suggested.
"They're around my waist, by my right jean's pocket," Misty told him.
"Alright, hold on," Ash said, shifting himself slightly as quietly as possible.
His arm encircled Misty's waist and he ran his hand down her side to locate her waist, causing Misty to squirm. She glared at him and he grinned. He found her belt that held her Pokeballs and then he jumped when another roar rumbled through the cave, causing his fingers to brush up her spine. Misty squealed and she immediately clapped a hand over her mouth, her eyes widening. They stared at each other in alarm.
"Ash, quick," she pressed, turning her body and gesturing to her Pokebelt.
Without hesitation, Ash reached down and yanked her belt from her waist, they took three Pokeballs each and threw them in the air, calling forth the Pokémon that lay from within them. In a bright glow of light, Politoed, Azurill, Corsola, Starmie, Caserin and Golduck appeared before them. Ash immediately threw his Pokeball to bring out Totodile who shot out a water gun to help Caserin to attack the oncoming Onix.
Two of the Onix caused a rockslide, freeing Ash and Misty from their tiny hiding hole. A third Onix aimed an iron tail at them and Ash pushed Misty out of the way, diving after her. Ash shouted orders to the Pokémon, letting Misty in on some tricks he'd learned over the years travelling with Pokémon coordinators. Misty followed Ash's example, ordering her Pokémon to carry out combination attacks, causing a few of the Onix to back away as water was sprayed in every which way direction.
Suddenly, the largest of the group of Onix shot out of the ground behind Misty. She whirled around and winced, as her foot slipped from under her, the water having dampened the cave.
"Mist!" Ash shouted. He looked around and found who he was looking for. "Golduck!" The blue duck Pokémon turned to see his master and with no hesitation, leapt to the red head's side and promptly used his hydro pump, knocking the huge Onix back.
"Golduck, confusion!" Misty ordered, holding her ankle.
Golduck's eyes glowed a hypnotic blue and the two trainers watched as the seven Onix were sent flying out of the cave. Ash shot to Misty's side.
"Are you alright?" he asked concerned.
"I slipped and I think I sprained my ankle," Misty sighed, wincing as Ash moved her hand off of it.
"Come on," Ash said, standing up and taking her under the elbow to help her up. "There's a Pokémon Centre down the road."
"I can't walk on this!" Misty protested.
"I could carry you?" Ash teased, his arm round her waist as she leaned on him.
"You must be joking," Misty scoffed, unimpressed. "Knowing you, I'd end up in a mud pit."
"Have a little faith, Mist!" Ash said, offended. Then he tweaked her nose. "I have a better idea."
He reached for two of his Pokéballs and threw them in turn. Noctowl emerged first and next followed Pidgeot in a bright beam of light. Misty smiled at the two birds that fluttered down to the ground in front of them. Pidgeot was stronger than ever. Three years ago, when Ash and Misty were leaving Kanto to travel together to Sinnoh, they made a pitstop just outside of Pallet Town where Pidgeot still resided and Ash finally fulfilled his promise to his old friend. Pidgeot joined them on their travels through Sinnoh and became one of his strongest Pokémon, helping Ash to battle and win against all of the gym leaders in the region for the second time and finally win the Lily of the Valley conference.
They were now going through vigorous training to challenge the Elite Four before Ash has a chance to battle Cynthia. Needless to say, both Ash and Misty got stronger on their travels. A year into travelling in Sinnoh, Misty caught her very own Piplup, though not one quite as proud as Dawn's penguin partner. Dorian was a partner with the Cerulean Gym, thus allowing Misty to continue travelling with Ash longer than the original two years. He was, much to Misty's disbelief, also partnered with Lily, who Dorian had once upon a time commented on that the vibrant-haired water specialist was prettier than the feisty redhead, resulting in their first underwater challenge. Lily had taken on a more active role as a gym leader as Daisy, who was usually Misty's second in command at the gym, was spending a lot more time with a certain Pokémon watcher. Misty was pleasantly surprised that Dorian was a positive influence on the youngest of three sensational sisters and that gym was maintaining it's prestigious title in Kanto. Much to Misty's dismay, last year, Lily requested to have Piplup at the gym to challenge and surprise Kanto trainers with a water Pokémon not native to the region. Only out of her gym leader pride did she grudgingly oblige.
Ash helped Misty onto Pidgeot's back and he hopped on behind her. They took flight with Noctowl spotting behind them and made their way easily to the Pokémon Centre where Nurse Joy helped to strap up Misty's ankle.
"Thanks, Nurse Joy," Misty called as the gentle nurse left the room to see to the various Pokémon populating the centre.
Ash smiled and came over to Misty's bedside and sat down.
"Well, that was fun," he grinned.
"You are such an idiot, Ash Ketchum," she said, rolling her eyes.
"Oh, come on!" he wheedled, "it's just like old times!"
"Old times was when we were ten or eleven," Misty argued. "We're 21 now and you're still just as impulsive and reckless as ever. This is what, the third time I've ended up in a hospital bed this year?"
"Okay, the dislocated shoulder was not my fault!" Ash defended himself. "You're the one who wanted to dive into that lake for that Vaporeon."
"And you're the one who failed to help me get out of the water when it got away!" Misty huffed. "For the record, it was totally your fault when that Shellos hit me in the face, causing that fall that broke my wrist because your training was atrocious that day."
"Hey hey hey!" Ash said in alarm. "It worked out fine!"
"I couldn't swim for six weeks, Ash," she stated. "Six weeks! Do you know what it's like to not go in the water for six weeks?!"
"Like going four years without me?" Ash asked impulsively.
"It was a calmer time," Misty said deadpan.
Ash looked at his grumpy girlfriend of almost four years and stood up. He leaned over the bed, resting his head on her arm.
"Are you really okay?" he asked, serious.
Misty looked down at Ash, her face softening.
"Of course, I am, Ash," she smiled. She shifted herself over, leaving space at the side of her and Ash jumped up onto the bed with her, lying on his side.
"I'm sorry," he apologised, sounding the sincerest she'd heard him in a long time. "I wanted to take you somewhere tomorrow, but we can't go down there with your sprained ankle."
"Where was it?" Misty asked, curious.
"I wanted it to be a surprise, but I want everyday of your life on this journey to be as good as the last and I doubt another injury counts as a good day," he rambled. He took a steady breath. "There's a lake a mile out from here. I figured it's time that you add a Tentacruel to your water Pokémon collection. I don't want to take the experience of catching one away from you."
Misty's bright cerulean blue eyes lit up instantly. She carefully turned onto her side to face Ash directly, attempting to avoid aggravating her ankle and she smiled at him in genuine joy.
"That sounds amazing!" she exclaimed eagerly. "Nurse Joy said I should be better in a few days. Maybe we can go then?"
Ash nodded, reaching up slowly to kiss Misty chastely on the forehead. He came back down to rest his head on the pillow with her.
"For the record, Mr Pokémon Master," Misty murmured, "I wouldn't have our journey any other way. Never change. It's why I fell for you in the first place."
"I promise we'll minimise any possible injuries in the future," Ash assured her.
"I'll take you up on that," Misty laughed.
"We should visit Brock next month," Ash told her. "He'll be visiting the Pokémon Centre in Celestic Town to work with Nurse Joy there. We'll be passing by Lake Psyduck, so I figure it'd be good for Golduck to get out for a swim there."
"Yeah, sounds like a great idea," Misty nodded into the pillow, closing her eyes.
Ash smiled faintly at her. A lot had happened in the past couple of years, one of which was Brock's qualification as a Pokémon doctor. As of this year, he was into his first year in practice and he was looking into working in various centres across the regions to get experience with many types of Pokémon. Croagunk was still keeping an eye on him but his relationship with the cousin of the Nurse Joy family eventually blossomed into something more and Brock finally found himself committing to one girl. However, it was pure luck that he was in Sinnoh practicing medicine so his two best friends could meet up with him, just like old times.
Ash regularly keeps in touch with Gary. There was no change on his front though. He was currently travelling through Unova where he knew Dawn had been travelling for a time. However, nothing new seemed to have changed there. Though, that's another story.
Misty was now fast asleep. Ash leaned over and pushed his lips gently against hers. He noticed Misty smile in her sleep as he relaxed back into the bed, leaving his arm encircling her. He brushed her bangs out of her eyes and he closed his eyes contentedly. Their journey had been a wacky and wonderful one, not unlike their previous travels together and that's what made it all the more epic. Ash went to sleep, happy in the knowledge that Misty was happier than she ever was, travelling in the world they loved, meeting more Pokémon than they could have imagined, getting stronger every day, hearing the news that their friends had many more exciting times ahead of them.