By: Chibi-Suiko

A/N: I just updated with the third chapter today, haven't posted the fourth yet... So, you know I'm really coming onto this now. It's really weird, actually, because even though I chose to make it a chapterized fiction, I was going for three chapters at the most... But here I am on chapter five and still in mid-plot. Should I feel bad because I didn't make my goal, or pleased because I surpassed it..? Oh well **Sigh's distressedly**... I don't know who chose to review chapter three yet, obviously, and whoever did, along with chapter four, thanks to you and warm fuzzies all around. I feel loved and admired as long as you few people out there decide to check out my fic.

Now for the polls... That I'm not so sure about. One thing has been really eating at me since I posted this story. The reason why I made it such an abrupt one-shot at first, the only one worth determining why I placed it under first 'Drama' category... Because I was unsure whether to pull out a confession or what. So here I am, going through mind boggling fury-fights right in the middle of my mid-term days. Hell is sweet, yes? Anyway, those who care, tell me whether I should fix in some sort of... Thing... Between our friendly, little brats or not. It's up to you.

Again, check out some of my other work if/when you get the chance. Thanks to those who all ready have!

Summary: Ash-Tachi have arrived on Salmon-Clay Isle and are besting themselves in the wonderful thought of... Vacation! But, only there for a day and all ready, trouble is stirring! Misty disappeared to train on the beach and left Ash and Tracey to their hobbies and now she hasn't ever returned..! Will this little spurt of fear for his friend push Ash in the direction towards self-admittance or convince him further that they are not right for each other..? (I know that didn't make much sense but bare w/me.)

Disclaimer: I don't own Ash-Tachi (Neither which of includes Brock or Tracey). I don't own Archipelago. but I own every right to use them behind Satoshi Tajiri-San's Back. Thanks for not spilling the beans (Because they stink pretty badly anyway)..!


Chapter Five: Deliriously Dreaming

Misty hunched, huddled between to metallic boards of metal, one above and below, leaving her very little room for comformality. She hitched a quick breath before she tried to move forward in the musty-stenched vent then felt herself slip unceremoniously onto her aching leg. She hissed angrily and pulled up on it, falling backwards so that she hit her head next (Her self-abusiveness is rivaling that which extends onto Ash..!). She felt the strange sensation of something pouring murkily down the back of her neck, but when she felt behind her crook, there was nothing there. Excusing the absence of blood, she turned back forward, hearing nothing from ahead.

That was until she heard a familiar voice echoing into her cramped space, "Attention Trainers resting overnight in the Salmon-Clay Centre. Please proceed to the lobby at once. This is not a drill. The Centre it being penetrated by thieves. Keep all Pokemon as close to you as possible for precaution. I repeat, this is not a drill..!"

Her breath caught in her throat again. Great, just wonderful. Here she was, ledged between two slabs of steel (Four counting the narrow splices beside her) and the Centre was being attacked by, most likely, Team Rocket. But then again, this could have worked in her favor. Maybe now Ash would wake up and catch on to the fact that she wasn't there. She drew another breath, readying herself for more jolts of pain, and slipped forward a bit more. She felt the hair on the back of her neck prickle again and she shook her head, hoping to rid herself of the feeling that something was about to go wrong. Of course, she still felt it, like a small twinge in the back of her nerves. Something like she was going to get stuck there before she turned fifteen.

She blew some air and felt her bangs flutter before she happened upon the railed touch of another vent entrance. She looked down and gasped as she spotted three people moving hurriedly beneath her. And all of them looked familiar. Joy stood next to the computer, all ready in the act of transporting the Pokeballs to Delta, a neighboring Island. Tracey was securing all windows and such, making sure that everything was locked up to prevent unwanted entry and Ash... Ash was standing in front of the doorway leading to the dorms. She saw Pikachu on his shoulder and a clipboard in his hand. She also noticed a very distraught expression on his face, his brow furrowed, and his foot tapping anxiously on the linoleum floor.

The next thing she knew, two by two, new faces began to enter the room, walking slowly by Ash as he took down their names and possessions and admitted them into the lobby. It was like he was concluding a survey on the belongings each trainer had brought. She noticed him growing more impatient with every entry and placed her now nimble fingers over the shaved blades of the flue and tracing them as she watched him acting so... Mature and responsible, something she had thought him totally incapable of.

But then again, She thought, He wasn't the one who fell asleep on the beach until after hours. She scoffed at her own deflation of esteem and returned to trying to pry the welded escape from its bar so that she could finally breathe freely and get her slight injury managed. She couldn't believe she'd been so much of a klutz as to fall on that dumb boardwalk. There had always been one just North of Cerulean and she'd never tripped over that!

She clutched the handy, little number that Brock had bought them (Refer back to last chapter if you don't remember what the heck I'm talking about) for just such situations (Or, maybe not so much **Sweatdrop**) and began trying to poke it through into the screws. There was a small, well-disrupted commotion coming from her work but, because of the many people below her chatting animatedly with each other, it went unheard. She again tried to focus all her gain onto her task, hoping that she could get them all finished fast so that she could help with whatever business was going on down there.


Ash sighed as he slammed the clipboard onto Joys desk and looked on to witness the turn out of the Centre's room stock. Now he could understand why there was only one space left. In fact, he couldn't even get how there was that! The Centre wasn't made to hold more than twenty non-patients overnight but there was at least two dozen standing within his frontal range of sight. And none of them have suspiciously familiar red hair... He noticed despondently. God, if he continued to wait like this she could be dead before they even knew her whereabouts.

Coincidentally enough, right above him, Misty was thinking along the same lines before she got back to her current affair.

Only one... More... Left..! She thought with triumph as she heard a splitting between steel and nail. She could feel the bolt loosening easily enough and knew that soon, she'd be able to get out of the filthy little space of hiding. She still didn't understand how the Centre had been locked to such an extreme. Had they always had a large problem with robbery?

She felt the screw come undone and watched as it fell to the floor, also taking notice of an easily recognizable red and white cap, just below her nose. She sniffed angrily, there was Ash, just standing there without a care in the world. She jerked angrily and gasped in a sudden spout of pain from her minor (And NO, I'm not gonna break bones for your enjoyment, people) injury. The leg mentioned was currently resting behind her back (Under her) as she crouched to get a better view of Ash's expression. He didn't look exactly pleased with his surroundings... But then again, who would when there were shouts among every pair of conversationalists..?

Letting her hands grasp the top of the vent again, she totally forgot that she'd taken out the bolts, and immediately felt a rush of wind escape her throat as her head ducked through the shaft and she fell completely forward, losing balance and, ironically enough, falling right into Ash Ketchem's arms.

Well, not exactly. More right on top of his head.

There was a moment of silence in which her still mussed mentality gained the attention of several unknown prospectors. Then they realized that this girl must have been the reason for their calling in the middle of the night and signaled irrationally for Joy to come investigate. As for Ash, well, he was still getting a hold of their awkward position, let alone the fact that his seemingly kidnapped/vanished/presumably dead friend was right on top of him. He pushed her off, finally coming to the indulging discovery that she was there and he wasn't just imagining another extra hundred pounds on his upper legs. He knew he ate but that whole 'It goes straight to your thighs' theory was just a little to literal for him.

"... Tentacool--!" He stuttered, finally catching onto what had happened (Though she was now looking thoroughly confused at his sudden spout of a Pokemon name), " I-I mean... Misty?! You're all right!" He shouted, his overexcitement getting the best of him and he lept forward, beginning to shake her shoulders in barely contained enthusiasm. Misty could feel her mashed brains slaw around the central lining of her skull and turned to dazedly smirk at him, finding his sudden fretty behavior amusing, "Where have you been?!" He asked, suddenly aware that he was still gripping her and letting her go so that she could get up.

Needless to say, it was a pointless gesture as, by now, her legs had both fallen asleep, the injured one numbing into a swollen golf ball sized knob. He didn't taken notice till she grasped his shoulder and pulled herself up so that she could hop over to the counter and lean against it for support, rather than her all ready boisterous friend.

Ash finally glanced over as Nurse Joy came to close in on the scene of one; a newly visible girl with obvious grievance sustained within her left leg, knee and lower. She helped Misty over to a chair and asked Tracey, who readily agreed, to go get some ice and an ace bandage. And then she began her interrogation as to why the girl was found falling from her ventilation system and how she could have possibly gotten in through there in the first place. There was also the simple accusation as to what she was planning to pilfer from her Centre.

Ash scoffed and watched as Misty's mouth dropped open, obviously hurt that anyone could even think her capable of stealing from a place that did so much good. So they thought that I was the Poke-Napper--?! Come on, I don't sound that suspicious, do I?! But thinking it over, she concluded that from where they were standing, it would sound a little apprehensive on their part.

She looked to Ash for help, and he sighed and explained the situation for her, "Nurse Joy, this is Misty Waterflower, the friend of ours that went... Missing." At this, Joy's interest was deeply aroused though she still looked slightly suspicious as to the whole air shaft thing, "Something must have happened at the beach because she didn't make it back in time for closing hour and was forced to excavate your AC structure. But she is, in no way, a Pokemon Thief. You have mine, Traceys', Professor Oaks', and my mothers' guarantee on that." He then caught Misty's eye as she silently thanked him for breaking the ice, "But I'd like to know why she'd put me through so much just to fall right on top of me..." He ended in an embarrassed mutter, suddenly finding the speckled tan linoleum floor much more interesting than Misty's expression.

I put him through..? Was he worried about me..?! Could have fooled me with that Devil-May-Care attitude of his! He could express it a bit more than that! I mean, it's nice to know people care--! She opened her mouth to express herself more clearly to the object in mention but Tracey stepped up, holding out the accommodated health issues for Nurse Joy to use for tending to Misty's leg. She felt another burn as pressure was forced upon her swollen ankle. Flinching, she caught sight of Ash, just managing to look away before she could accuse him of staring at her. Joy helped Misty stand and led her towards the door that would finally get her into a soft, warm, comfortable bed.

That was until, one, the other Centre moochers decided that they'd like to know when they were going to be 'robbed' and, two, Jenny happened to show up on her motorcycle, crashing into a halt twenty feet from the glass front doors and almost setting off the screeching alarm system. Ash and co. sweatdropped as every single part of the scene became steadily more complicated and as Joy turned to ask them to help her out, they became seriously involved with Misty's sprain, making it clear that they thought her the priority (And trying to deny the fact that they didn't want to get stuck cleaning, everything they'd caused, up).


Tracey let Misty lean on him as he helped her drag herself towards the bed that so beckoned to her. She felt her head crash onto the pillow and immediately felt sleep welcome her but she forced her eyes awake so that she could at least grab at her side-ponytail and remove her hair from its restraint so that it didn't knot too badly by morning. She felt the release and suddenly her face welcomed her slightly wavy locks. She, then, turned out the light on her side and was about to fall asleep when Ash happened to realize something. With Misty on one bed and Trace on the other, he was left with nothing but a stone-cold, unwaxed, unswept, stubble of a floor to rest upon.

At first it would have been nothing to him; take out his sleeping bag and he could have been out within a half-hour. But he just happened to feel that night that he deserved more than that. So he decided to complain. Loud.

"Heyyy--!" He whined and caught the attention of one; Tracey, who began to move his fingers to his ears in hope of drowning out the immature boys cries, "How come you two get the beds! I've been through more than you! I'm the one who needs comformality! You guys should have to be the ones settling for the floor!" He finished with a stomp of his foot, causing a slight *Thwap* noise to echo around the plain room.

Misty yawned exhaustedly and waved her hand to show she was listening to him, no matter how much her mind argued that it wasn't a good idea so late at night, "Well, I have one for obvious reasons and Tracey is... He... I don't know about him. Direct your question that way." And her elevated hand pointed her index finger over in the direction of the huddled lump that was Tracey's body. He sighed and angrily flopped off the bed but as Ash moved to lay down on it, he raised his foot into the air to stop him as he shoved himself off of the ground. Ash pouted again as Tracey tried to explain himself.

"Listen, with two single beds, there obviously isn't enough room for all three of us to get a good night's sleep without some gauche circumstance presenting itself. So I propose that we shove both beds together so that all of us can uncomfortably fit on a giant king-size." He ended and again, before Ash could state a word, "And you get middle. Now, c'mon. We can just move this one closer to Misty's so that we don't have to worry about waking her up or having to drag her extra weight over to this side--"

"--I HEARD THAT." Misty stated in what sounded like a deathly calm tone, yet it couldn't have sounded more loud to them. Tracey decided to ignore it for the most part as he took hold of the opposite side of the bed and beckoned Ash to pull it to the closest side of Misty's. He met in between two mattresses, feeling more like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich all the while. He dragged his feet up, crawling over the bed again and leaning towards the other side. Jumping off, he smashed his hand into his bag and, not finding what he needed, left for the small sanctuary that was a private bathroom.

He emerged thirty seconds later, clad in nothing but his black tee-shirt and a plaid pair of boxers, and jumped onto the bed, thinking nothing of the fact that he was going to be sleeping next to the very girl he was trying to avoid. He soon remembered, though, when his hand fell over her shoulder and he jumped (Forgetting that Tracey was on the other side of him) and knocked himself into his other friend. Needless to say, the results were not pretty.

"Ash! What the Heck is wrong with you lately--?!" Tracey shouted at him, shoving him back into his designated space and placing his hands between then as some sort of makeshift wall. Ash looked at him skeptically before thinking over his question and turning straight (Because looking at Misty would whack him out to much), placing his pillow over his head. Exasperatedly, Tracey pulled it from his grasp and tried to talk something out of him, "What is up with you?! I mean, before two days ago, you were never this jumpy! And I may not have known you two for long, but I know that you never acted this eccentric."

"There's nothing wrong with me, Trace. Just a little preoccupied after all that's happened tonight. Or are you saying that it wasn't a big deal for you at all?" Ash asked him, hoping he'd drop the subject on the spot. Because he didn't really feel like answering any questions about... Lately.

"Ash..." He sighed before throwing the pillow back into his face, at which time he placed it back under his head, "Just go to sleep, all right? And try not to wet the bed in your urge to stay on top of things cause there's more than one person sleeping in the bed this time." He yawned and turned the other way, leaving Ash to himself.

With nothing else to be scrutinized about, Ash soon heard the soft snores of Tracey, along with the all ready familiar leveled breathing of Misty. And it gave him goose bumps. He could feel his hair prickle at the thought of being somewhat... Crushed into his crushing friend. Pun intended. He sighed in order to let himself calm down then dug the covers up and put his head beneath them. He tried to keep his eyes and ears closed to any and everything that could make him start up some panic attack that he was well-rare to receive.

Dum, dum... Dum, da, da, dum... La, la, la... I'm not thinking of anything. No Tentacool, no Misty... Nothing but my future. I'm gonna win those badges and get into the championship! And this time, I'm coming out on top! He thought to himself, happy to have discovered something to maintain him until his dreams took him over. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be the normal night of dreams...


(Dream Mode, in case you couldn't guess...)

Dum... Dum, dum, dum... Dum... Dum, dum, dum... The soft beat of the drumming waves against the shore reminded him of many things. It reminded him of thunder, it reminded him of drum rolls... It reminded him of a heart beat. Which was something he felt quickening as he found himself standing on a scratched marble surface, obscenely waxed to look as illustriously polished as possible. His next view was that of a fish tank, filled with small, glistening rainbows, it seemed. But, through the glass, he saw a pair of bleary, sea-green eyes staring back. He reeled back slightly, catching onto the fact that he was being watched, and walked around the small stand to approach his semi-stalker.

He was met with a sweet smile dancing on a young girl's face, dressed as an angel. He looked down at his clothes, expecting to feel quite out of place, but saw only a metal casing, like that of a steel knights' suit. Around his waist lay a glistening silver sword. Suddenly feeling less apprehensive, he held out a hand, only to be held back as the unknown being was taken by someone else. He looked into the face to see deep forest-green eyes, a smirking face, nearly blackened hair falling freely around his cheek bones, a towering being. It was Tracey.

He turned around and saw a dance floor. There, holding the crowd in awe, were the two of them and he felt a sort of constricting in his chest. Like some... Urge... Wanted so badly to jump and punch the older male until he was pummeled through the floor. But he had no idea why. It was just something about that girl that kept his eyes on her... And, he realized, her eyes on him, for he had noticed that with each sweeping twirl, she would catch sight of his face, almost pleading with him to cut in.

So he stepped forward, tapped the one he called his friend on the shoulder, and bowed respectably, hoping to grace the man with gentlemanly ways he did not have. There was a silence as the room began spinning and he though he was collapsing for a moment before...


He woke up to the sight of a balcony. He stood on a chipped, cracked ground he did not remember standing on before. He looked in the direction he was facing, noticing a beautifully structured tower, lined with vines and lilies. He had no idea, though, why he was suddenly here. Then, as though someone else was controlling him like a puppet, he stepped forward into the moonlight and spotted a figure he knew quite well as she faced him from the edge of the balcony--

Romeo, Romeo; wherefore art thou, Romeo..?

He didn't know what to do now. Didn't know what to say. Heck, he didn't even know what/who half of those words stood for! All he knew was that, next moment, he was replying to her, bounding up into the first misshapen crutch of the terrace, speaking in a language he'd never heard before. Which made him feel even more astonished with the fact that he was saying it! But never the less, he continued to speak, because it made the one above him glow with contentment--

--But next moment, before he could finish his words, the grasp he held on the wall in front of him loosened and he fell. Expecting to hit the ground, Ash braced himself, not for a real dash of pain, though, because he'd only been a few feet from it. But after a few moments, when he'd finally taken notice that there was no land below him and he fell... Right through a big, black hole. (A/N: Just used that for the sake of his vocabulary **Sweatdrop**.)

He felt his heels hit the ground before the rest of him, a howl was heard (Though not from his mouth), and, next moment, Ash was being thrown around by an unknown force which woke him up with a start...


A/N: We're gonna leave it here, thanks. I'm sure you all can manage a wait of however-long until I see fit to let you hear what happens next. Yes, I did steal a quote from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' (And for that, I give him all the credit, though he's dead anyway and it's not like he can sue me), and I'm sorry to say that it's the only line I know clearly. Everything else is just bits and pieces... But can you blame me?! I got a memory like, well, like water and oil.

I mean, it seems like I can remember things that happened a decade ago (Like I clearly remember my childhood) but when it comes to things that happened say... Ten minutes to a year ago, you might as well buy off Dumbledore's Pencieve from him because I have no idea. What would you call that..? Short-Idiot-Term-Memory-Loss? Dimwit-Who-Forgets-Things-As-Soon-As-They-Happen-Term-Memory-Loss..? I'm still trying to figure it out...

Ciao, ja ne, whatever till whenever my friends/fans from the digits!

-- Chibi-Suiko