On Angels Wings

Crap, it's been forever since I updated this. I don't actually have anything written after this chapter, but I'm hoping to inspire 'flow' by inducing stress. I don't know what I'm thinking.

This chapter is for warlordess who was completely subtle in their hints that this should be updated. As you can probably tell, the chapter was written in two different stages in my writing, but I'm hoping it doesn't come off too disjointed. I'll know if you are able to guess the exact point where one half ends and the other begins.

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. If I did own Pokemon, episodes would obviously be shown far less regularly, with intermittent breaks for my writers block.

On Angels Wings - Burning Bright

"Pikachu," she whispered quietly as she touched her hand to the small yellow rodent. It stirred slowly, somewhat startled by the intrusion. "It's ok Pikachu," she whispered again, being sure not to wake her other companions. "It's me."

Pikachu looked at Misty for a few moments and tilted its head, unsure of what was happening. She gestured for him to follow her away from their sleeping friends.

"Pikachu, I need your help," she told him once they were far enough away. "I need you to help me test my powers. Just so I can know my limitations."

Pikachu tilted his head at her once again.

"Just try to say something to me," she commanded, looking anxious. Pikachu nodded and the two sat in silence for a few minutes. "Nothing," she sighed. "What did you say?"

"Pikachupi, pika pi pik pika pi," Pikachu explained, its small eyes narrowing in concern. ((I said 'you look different'))

"They had to take away some of my powers to save you guys," Misty explained, scratching her head in embarrassment in a way similar to Ash. "I just wanted to check what I could still do.

"I'm assuming I can still heal other's in any form, or at least Ash," she continued seriously. "They have to at least grant me that. I think we've just established that the telepathic link thing is gone – although I should probably be fine with psychic Pokémon given that I can still talk to Sabrina."

She sighed again as she looked at Pikachu. "I can't read Ash's mind," she said ticking her powers off her list.

"Not that I used it all that often anyway," she added with a blush as Pikachu raised his eyebrow in her general direction. The electric mouse seemed unconvinced. "I can't heal myself. And watch this."

She delicately gestured in the air and a small twig jumped a few inches in the air and back down. "That's the best I can do," Misty explained with a sigh. "Before I could have lifted a whole tree into the air, but that's all I can manage. And it took a ridiculous amount of concentration just to manage that."

"Pi. Pi chu pika pka chu?" the small yellow people asked, watching her very carefully. ((Do you regret your decision))

"No," Misty sighed, her eyes turning back in the direction where she knew Ash lay safe and sound asleep. "I offered my own life for his, but all they took were my powers. I should be happy I guess," she said with a sarcastic smile. "I just miss how much easier things were."

"Pika ka pi pikachu?" Pikachu asked with a concerned look. ((What will you do now?))

"This doesn't change anything," she shrugged, realizing that Pikachu was trying to ask her some deeper question that she wasn't ready to confront yet. "It just means we're going to have to be more careful and watch out for him a bit more," she said, forcing some confidence into her voice.

"I just hope . . ." she started, but trailed off with a soft sigh as her eyes turned towards Ash's position once again.

"He'll be fine," she said determinedly with a nod that put both their minds at ease. "He's resourceful and has a knack for getting himself out of the worst sorts of situations, even without my help. Sometimes I wonder if he even needs me."

"Chu pik chu pika," Pikachu assured her, jumping from his spot on the log and into her arms. ((Of course he does.))

Misty sighed once more as she gently caressed the Pokémon's yellow fur, putting him to sleep.

"Just not as much as I need him . . ."

A storm was brewing. But Misty already knew that. She had been warned this time, and told to direct her companions to the Pokémon Centre early in order to avoid the oncoming tempest.

She was surprised by the warning. Her 'gift' of prophecy had never been one of the powers she had put heavy reliance on. Ever since she became Ash's guardian angel, premonitions had been sparse and rarely useful, and thus she had learnt not to depend on them for warnings of eminent danger. The PTB seemed happy enough to let her walk right into any old situation and fend for herself. For someone who was supposed to be 'The Choosen One', the PTB didn't really seem all that concerned for Ash's personal safety.

Being led out of a storm was certainly unexpected, especially when less than a month ago they had let him get himself killed under a chandelier. Sometimes she felt like she was the only one looking out for Ash's best interests. Well, her and Ash's mother who would always be there to remind her son to change his 'you-know-whats'.

Misty sighed. She couldn't stop thinking about the charmander they had come across in the forest. It was so sad, and in the past she could have asked the creature what was wrong and comfort it as only she could. But now, stripped of her powers, she could do nothing more than hope that his trainer returned soon before the storm began.

If she had her powers she wouldn't be stuck here worrying and wondering if charmander was safe. She would only have to turn her thoughts to the fire lizard to know and have her mind put at ease by the knowledge. Not knowing was torture.

She hoped Charmander would be ok. She hoped he had an angel of his own; watching him, guiding him, protecting him. The Pokémon reminded her a lot of Ash in his determination, stubbornness and loyalty. She suspected that was at least part of the reason why this was affecting her so much.

Maybe she could find Emilie . . .

A loud boisterous laugh sounded through the Pokémon Centre, drawing Misty from her sombre thoughts. She turned her attention towards the laugh, catching Ash and Brock doing the same. Their eyes fell on a group of slightly older trainers resting languidly on the couches.

"The silly lizard's probably still sitting there waiting for me to come back," a tall, dark haired boy said proudly, his friends laughing along with him as he spoke. "Like I would let a loser like that charmander on my team."

A loud THWACK! echoed through the Pokémon Centre before the boy could even finishing chortling at his own sick humour. As the last word left his mouth Misty had stormed across the room in an instant and slammed her open palm across his face.

The room was silenced and the boy's eyes widened with surprise as he touched his reddened cheek.

Misty's eyes narrowed as she glowered at the older boy, covering her embarrassment for taking such a rash action. "How could you be so despicable? You're right – your Pokémon is still there waiting for you because he loves you and believes that his trainer is a good person who would never leave him and desert him just because he wasn't as strong as some other Pokémon!" she yelled crossly, looking more and more intimidating as the seconds passed.

"You disgust me," she told him with a sense of finality as she turned on her heal and strode towards the doors. She would not waste anymore of her time on that worthless piece of filth, not when there was someone who needed her help.

"Misty, wait, you can't go out in that," Brock told her, prying himself from Nurse Joy whom he had been flirting with half-heartedly. He didn't need to read her thoughts to know exactly what she was thinking of doing.

"Of course I can," Misty replied, pulling a rain slicker on over her sweatshirt and shorts. "That jerk just abandoned his charmander out there and the poor thing is probably still waiting for him like the loyal creature he is. I know its bad, but I have a better chance in this weather than a fire-type left to fend for itself."

"Ash, maybe you can talk some sense into her," Brock said, turning to their unofficially appointed leader for the deciding vote. "The weather report says that it's the worst storm they've seen in years."

"I don't care what anyone says about it," Misty replied angrily, glaring at anyone who dared to defy her, "I'm going with or without your blessing."

She glared at Ash, daring him to try and say something to change her mind. She hated how Brock would defer to Ash to do so. She hated it almost as much as she hated the fact that Ash was quite adept at changing her mind when he wanted to be. She had a soft spot for Ash's warm brown eyes that Brock constantly tried to use against her.

"Brock's right," Ash said with a sigh, looking directly into her eyes as they filled with sadness. "But so is Misty," he added determinedly, breaking their locked gaze to turn to Brock. "We can't just leave a defenceless Pokémon out there on it's own."

He caught Misty's eye again and the proud smile gracing her lips. The familiar warm feeling spread from his chest as he returned her smile with one of his own; he felt incapable of containing his own joy or how happy even the smallest smile from her made him.

"Alright," Brock said stoically as it became plain that there was no sense arguing with either of his young companions. "But we can't just go out there 'gung ho', Misty," he said commandingly, his tone almost paternal. "We need a plan, and supplies, and a place to start."

"Ok," Misty said, conceding to Brock on that point. She hadn't really thought much further ahead than storming out of the Pokémon Centre.

"We can't be more than about an hour from where we saw Charmander," Brock continued, taking out the map from his backpack. He pointed to the Pokémon Centre to indicate their location and then indicate the maximum area they'd have to cover.

"We must have been heading east, because the sun was behind us," Misty interjected, narrowing their search area.

"I suddenly wish we'd kept to the actual path like normal people," Ash complained with a groaning, seeing how much of the area was still left to be covered.

"Ash, that's an awful thing to say," Misty admonished. "If we'd have stuck to the path there would be no one to look for Charmander right now."

"Right," Ash nodded, "but don't forget that you said that the next time I get . . . I mean, someone gets us lost."

"So can we go now?" Misty asked, looking hopefully towards Brock. The older boy nodded reluctantly.

"I hate to say this," he replied, "but we'll get through more ground faster if we split up. I'll call out Zubat, will you two be ok together?" he asked, parental concern flashing across his features. Ash and Misty nodded in unison.

"In that case," Brock said, "take the map and I want you guys to go directly east. It's six now so when it gets to half eight, I want you to start making your way back to the Pokémon centre no matter whether we've found Charmander or not, you got it?" They both nodded once again. He sighed reluctantly before sending them on their way, knowing full well that they would not return without Charmander and just hoping that they found the Pokémon before the storm got worse.

'Emilie,' Misty called in her head, 'I know you're listening. I know someone out there is listening, so don't pretend you're not. It's just me and Ash now – no Brock, no voice of reason – and you should know both of us fairly well by now.

'You should know that the two of us are stubborn as anything. We're not turning back until we find Charmander. And so I'm giving you the opportunity to actually be of use instead of sitting on your self-righteous butts watching the rest of us nearly kill ourselves for your higher causes.

'So help,' she demanded. 'If you want to keep 'the chosen one' safe, tell us where to go. We're not leaving until Charmander is safe, so either help us, or hope that we get lucky.'

She paused for a moment, waiting for their response. This came in the form of a pretty French angel that suddenly appeared in front of her.

'Come on,' Emilie called as she headed slightly off course, gesturing for Misty to follow. 'They're pissé as hell at your ultimatum, Kas, but you leave them no choice at all. Venez avec moi. He's this way and he is not looking well – malade.'

Misty nodded subtly to Emilie to show she understood. "Ash, I think it's this way," Misty said, gesturing in the same way Emilie had indicated.

"Are you sure?" he asked, noting it was more southern than they had intended to venture.

"I just got a gut feeling," Misty replied with a shrug, hoping that might convince him.

Ash nodded, flicking away the compass and setting it back in his pocket. "Arlight, Myst," he agreed. "You're usually right about these things."

Grabbing hold of Ash's hand to make sure he followed (or at least that was what she told Emilie when questioned), she raced after the other angel until they came to a small clearing with an orange lizard perched on a rock, it's life giving flame a dull glow. Misty gave a small sigh of relief at the sight of the fire Pokémon.

"We got here just in time," she said gratefully, "but we've got to act fast."

"Thank god," Ash agreed. "We've got to get him to shelter, Myst. Look at his tail. It's nearly been blown out."

Misty nodded, glancing at her watch. More than half an hour had passed since they left the Pokémon centre and it would probably take them an hour to get Charmander back. In this weather, she knew that Charmander wouldn't last the journey, so there was only thing she could do.

"What are you doing?" Ash asked in surprise as he watched her remove the plastic rain slicker.

"He's not going to make it if we don't keep his tail dry," she explained logically. She continued before he could protest, "I'm doing exactly what you would have done, Ketchum, only I did it first so just shut up and help me."

"Aye aye, Myst," he agreed playfully.

The two began their journey back, Ash carrying the bulk of the lizards weight while Misty paid careful care and attention to the tiny flame, encasing as much of the Pokémon as she could in the plastic shelter. Had Ash not been paying such close attention to her and the Pokémon, she would have taken the opportunity to test her powers, but with Ash being almost uncharacteristically attentive, she had to leave it for now and simply do what she could.

It took even longer than she expected to return to the Pokémon centre. They had to move slowly so they could walk together, and the path they had taken to reach Charmander almost seemed to have closed up behind them. They had to return by a longer route – the route they had used earlier that day, so it was thankfully familiar – and so it was after eight by the time they returned.

"Nurse Joy!" they called in unison as they made it through the Pokémon centre's doors. "Nurse Joy, come quick!"

"Oh my," Nurse Joy gaped as the rain slicker slipped down to reveal the ill Pokémon. "We've got to get him in the incubator. Chansey," she called to her own Pokémon. "Chansey fetch me some supplies."

"Nurse Joy, will he be alright?" Misty asked worriedly, her eyes filled with concern.

The nurse nodded solemnly. "You must have got there just in time," she told them. "If Charmander had been out there any longer the outcome might have been very different."

Misty sighed with relief as the nurse darted out of sight, taking Charmander with her. She sat down, smiling gently at her best friend. "Thank you, Ash," she told him lightly.

"What did I do?" he replied, frowning in confusion. "You were the one who did all the work, Myst. You were the one who wanted to go after Charmander in the first place. You were the one who found him. You were the one who kept his tail dry.

"I was just along for the ride, Myst," he finished with a beautiful crooked smile. "You were the hero this time. I was just the side kick."

She had to laugh at the title. "Well then thank you for being such a good side kick," she forced on him. "I couldn't have done it without you, Ash."

He just smiled in response, dropping down on the seat next to her. After mustering incredible measures of both self-control and courage, he reached for her hand, gently squeezing it in his own as a sign of encouragement. When she turned to meet his eyes, he gave her another heart-warming smile.

"What else are friends for?" he asked her rhetorically. "Any time you wanna run out into a thunderstorm, Myst, I'm there," he assured her. "Always."

"Same here," Misty replied, her voice barely above a whisper. "Any cliffs you want to jump off of . . . any oceans you want to drown in . . . any heated battles you want to step in the middle of . . ." she trailed off, the words almost failing her as she thought of all the crazy situations she could potentially lose her friend to.

Her heart was racing and she almost felt dizzy as she spoke three words that Ash would carry with him for the rest of his life.

"I'm your girl."

~ to be continued ~

So sweet. That's like a borderline confession. And a totally sweet one at that. Although, obviously, going into creepy haunted buildings crosses some sort of line in Misty's devotion, but the sentiment is good all the same.

Thanks for reading. Review.