Chapter 10

Love Is Confusing I hope I didn't take too long with this one. It's kinda short, but I just needed to do a couple of things. It's the last chapter, but I'm glad. I've been dying to start a new fic. The next one will be called "Kokoro no Doborou". Look for it soon!

Misty woke up to a dream that morning. She still couldn't believe what had happened the night before. Ash had actually told her that he loved her. And the best part was, it wasn't a dream! Misty felt so full of happiness and energy she felt she would burst. But it was a good feeling that she never wanted it to go away. But there was another feeling too, one she couldn't name. For three whole years, she had dreamed of the day Ash would tell her he loved her. The thing was, she had never given any thought to what would happen after that. Misty had no idea how she was supposed to act now that Ash was hers. How did other people act when they were in love? There was holding hands, and hugging, and whispering sweet nothings to each other, and . . . kissing. She knew that she'd have to work her way up to that last one, but it was a standard to go by nonetheless. Misty decided to put her plan into action the first chance she got.

Ash was not nearly excited about the whole thing as Misty was. It wasn't that he didn't feel the same way, because he did, but he was afraid things would change now that they were going out. What if she started acting all weird? What if she tried to . . . kiss him? It was unthinkable! But maybe she wouldn't. Maybe things would be exactly like they had always been. Maybe he was worried about nothing. Ash hoped for the best as he got ready for the day and headed downstairs for breakfast.

When she saw Ash coming down the stairs, Misty immediately got a lump in her stomach. She was mostly nervous about how he would react to her new romantic behavior, but she had to admit that she was a little excited too. Brock, May, and Max had already taken their seats at the round wooden table, making sure that Ash and Misty ended up sitting together.

May could not wait to begin. She started in as soon as good-mornings had been exchanged.

"So, where did you two go last night?" She said.

"Yeah," Brock joined in, "you were gone for a whole hour!"

"It wasn't that long!" Ash retorted.

He was already embarrassed, and was starting to get irritated. They knew exactly what had happened the night before. Why did they have to tease him like that?

"Don't be embarrassed, Dear," Delia said as she set down a plate of pancakes on the table, "I think it's sweet!"

"Great, now I'm sweet." Ash thought bitterly.

Misty wasn't sure how to feel about the teasing. There was nothing to hide anymore, so why should it matter? But it seemed to be making Ash uncomfortable. And She certainly didn't want him to end their relationship just because he was embarrassed about it, so she glared at Brock and May viciously. They wisely gave up on their jokes after that.

But what she did next was even worse for Ash than the teasing. Gathering up all her courage, Misty grabbed her opportunity . . . and Ash's hand.

Ash jumped in surprise when he felt Misty's hand clasp his own. He glanced at her nervously out of the corner of his eye to see if he could tell from her expression what she was thinking, but she was deliberately averting her gaze, too nervous to even look at Ash. He was just glad that she had done it under the table, hidden from their mocking friends. Finally she had to let go so they could eat. But Ash wasn't very hungry after that. He was too worried that this was a sign of things to come.

"Hey, Professor!" Ash called out as the group approached a large farmhouse.

Professor Oak, who was feeding the Pokemon in his enormous yard, waved back at Ash.

"Hello!" He said as Ash and the others reached the white picket fence. "How have you been?"

"Great! Did you see me in the Hoenn League?"

"Of course, Ash. Fourth place is excellent, you should be very proud!"

"Don't encourage him!" Misty remarked from behind. "It'll make his inflated ego even bigger."

"Hey! What's that supposed to mean!"

"I see things are still the same here!" A green haired boy interjected. He stood up from where he had been sitting while drawing a Nidorina, and brushed his hands off on his green shirt.

"Hi, Tracey, long time no see!" Ash greeted.

"Hi guys! What are you doing here?"

"Just taking a break before the next League comes up. Oh, you guys remember May and Max, right?"

"Of course!"

"Yes," Professor Oak said, "it's nice to see you both again."

"Nice to see you too, Professor." Max said, suddenly getting big-eyed. "Especially after reading your article on the bioluminescence of Illumise and Volbeat. I thought it was genius! But I had a few questions I was wondering if you could answer."

"Sure. It's always inspiring to hear that people are actually affected by my work. I would be glad to answer any questions you have."

Ash could see how this was going to go. They would be talking scientific nonsense for hours.

"But first," he said quickly, "can I see my Pokemon?"

"Follow me!" Tracey answered. "We were about to feed them anyway."

So the group followed Tracey through the grass with Max and Professor Oak heading up the back, lost in a complex conversation.

After a minute, Tracey stopped and called out "Come on out guys! Ash is here to see you!"

Rustling was heard as Bulbasaur emerged from some shrubbery with Bayleef following not far behind. Bayleef abandoned all self-control at seeing Ash and made a mad dash toward him.

"Bayleef! No, stop!" Ash called frantically.

But Bayleef did not stop. It knocked Ash to the ground in an effort to hug him, happily singing to itself and totally ignorant of Ash's pain.

But Ash did not really mind.

"It's great to see you too, Bayleef!" He said, petting Bayleef's head.

They were joined by Bulbasaur, and soon Noctowl, Totodile, Cyndaquil, Muk, and all the others, and packed around Ash as if he were a celebrity or something.

Misty smiled to herself as she watched Ash let himself be tackled to the ground again, this time by Muk. It was funny, before she had met Ash, Misty had always dreamed of falling in love with a tall, handsome prince. Someone who would sweep her off her feet and treat her like his princess. So how did she end up with Ash? Ash, who was not interested in the least about romance or love or any of that "mushy stuff". Ash, who teased her about her looks, and her training abilities, and her personality every chance he got. Ash, egotistical, naive, and childish had completely stolen her heart. Sometimes even Misty herself did not understand it. But right now, in this moment, she could see it in his eyes. They reflected his emotions so clearly, the way he loved his Pokemon; he treated them all as if there were the only one. And now she was getting to experience that love for herself. Misty could not wait for this to begin.

All the Pokemon on Professor Oak's reserve had now been fed, and most of them had fallen into a satisfied slumber.

"What do we do now?" May asked Professor Oak politely.

"Oh, there's not too much to do at this time of day. It's always quiet right after the Pokemon finish eating, so that's when I get my reading and writing done. But that's no fun for you kids. Why don't you head into town and find something more entertaining?"

"There's this movie I've been dying to see called 'The Pokemon Painter'!" Tracey announced. "It's based on the life of the great Pokemon artist Paulo Pizzaro! I'm a huge fan of his work!"

"Wait a minute," Brock interrupted, "I think I've heard of that movie before! It has Roberta Juliano in it! She's my favorite actress of all time!"

"They're all your favorite, Brock." Misty said sarcastically.

"I can't help it! How can you expect a mere mortal like me to name the most beautiful star on the silver screen?" Brock said as everyone sweat-dropped.

"I'll show you stars!" Misty threatened.

May laughed, but she was thinking of other things.

"Hm . . . movies equal dark. Perfect setting for a little romance!"

Ash and Misty were already together, but she was going to make sure they stayed together.

"Ok!" She yelled. "Movies it is!"

After dragging Brock away from the girl in the ticket booth, the girl at the concession stand, and the girl taking tickets, the group finally made its way into the theater. May immediately noticed four seats right together and quickly grabbed them for herself, Brock, Tracey, and Max.

"Um, May, why don't we move back there so we can all sit together?" Ash asked, pointing to a row farther back.

"Oh, we would, but . . . Max is as blind as a Zubat, even with his glasses, and he won't be able to see if we move up there."

"What are you talking about?" Max said indignantly. "I can see just fine!"

"No need to be shy about it, Max!" May giggled, clapping her hand over his mouth. "Ash doesn't mind, do you Ash?"

"No, of course not."

May winked at Misty who was following Ash up the aisle.

And that's how Ash and Misty ended up sitting together for the second time that day.

"Gosh, I never knew Max had such bad vision." Ash said, completely serious.

Misty face-faulted in her seat at this display of density.

"What?" Ash asked innocently.

"It's nothing, Ash. Don't worry about it."

Ash was still confused, but he didn't have time to ask about it again because the movie was starting. Unfortunately for him, it was in Italian. Subtitled, of course, but still confusing.

Misty however, was not really concerned about the movie. Here she was- alone with Ash, in the dark. Now what? She'd never been on a date before, at least, not a real date. How was she supposed to know what to do? Misty had always assumed that she would just know when the time came, but that wasn't happening. Maybe it just wasn't the right moment though. She'd know then, right? So for the moment, she tried to ignore her nervousness and enjoy the movie.

"No, Paulo! I will never leave you! I know I can never compete your with art, but it is enough for me just to be with you!"

Roberta said. Or rather, the screen said. What she was saying was incomprehensible to those in the theater. But the language barrier did not seem to deter Brock.

"No, Roberta!" He called. "Can't you see that you belong with me!"

"Quiet down there!" Someone called from behind, hitting Brock with a half-full box of popcorn. But did not seem bothered by this. He simply sat back in his seat and started munching on the remains of the popcorn in the box that had been thrown at him.

All the noise woke Misty up. She hadn't even realized that she had fallen asleep!

"How could I have fallen asleep!" She thought. "I'm missing my chance!"

From what she could tell, there was something romantic going on in the movie. It was now or never. So carefully, very carefully, she laid her head on Ash's shoulder and grabbed his hand again.

Ash was glad it was dark in the theater because no one could see how red he was turning. He didn't dare look at Misty. Eye contact was to be avoided at all costs. That might encourage her. What was he going to do? He didn't want to hurt Misty's feelings, but he also didn't want her hanging all over him like that either. In the end, he decided to just deal with it. It was only another thirty minutes anyway. But he didn't think about what would happen when the lights came back on.

"Aww, isn't that cute?" He heard one girl woman say.

"Hey, look at those two!" Said another. "Why aren't you ever sweet to me like that?"

Ash just wanted to disappear.

But Misty was too concerned about what Ash was thinking to notice what anyone else thought. When he got up and mumbled something about getting something to drink, she knew that he was mad at her. He wouldn't even look at her!

"I'm blowing it!" Misty thought sadly.

Ash met Brock at the concession stand, where he was accosting the girl at the counter again. He apologized to the girl, who looked very confused, dragged Brock off.

"Brock, I need your help!" He said. "Misty's been acting really strange. You know about girls, right?"

Of course, Ash knew that Brock did not have the best date track record, but he was the only one whom he could talk to. May was a girl herself, she loved all that mushy stuff. Max was too young, and Tracey was sort of oblivious to these things.

"What do you mean?" Brock asked, suddenly over his latest "true love".

"She's been acting all . . . mushy!"

"Call me crazy Ash, but isn't that how you're supposed to act when you're going out with someone?"

"I guess, but it's so weird! I mean, it's Misty we're talking about!"

It didn't take Brock long to think about the situation.

"You should tell Misty how you feel." He said sternly.

"I can't do that! It would hurt her feelings!"

"Well, I don't know what else to tell you. You should do something about it soon though, or it's just gonna get harder."

"Why does love have to be so confusing!"

Ash knew Brock was right. It wasn't just that he was embarrassed. Misty had been his best friend for years. He could always go to her if he needed to talk, but now he got nervous every time he saw her. It was like he didn't even want to be with her anymore. She made him really uncomfortable. So Ash decided that this had to end. Love was not worth sacrificing his friendship with Misty. It was not going to be easy though. She was sure to get hurt, but there was no way around it. Still, he couldn't find the words even though he thought about it all the way home. So finally, he decided that he just had to say it.

Ash caught Misty alone in her room that evening.

"Misty, I need to talk to you about something." He said seriously.

"Oh. Ok Ash. Why don't we take a walk?"

Misty knew what was coming. And even though she tried not to show it, it was killing her. She couldn't believe what she had done. She had everything she wanted, and then she ruined it. She knew she couldn't stand to hear it.

"It's ok, Ash," she interrupted as Ash started, "I know what you're going to say."

Ash stared at the dirt path they were walking on.

"I'm sorry, Misty." He said, as kindly as he possibly could. "It's just that this whole dating thing isn't working out for me. I'm really sorry."

"Don't apologize. It's not your fault if you don't feel that way about me."

"Misty . . ."

"I just wish you had never lied and said you love me when you don't. I know that you were just didn't want to hurt me, but it hurts a lot more now than it would have, you know?"

She looked like she was going to cry again, and it made Ash really hate himself.

"Oh please," he thought, "yell at me, hit me, just don't cry!"

But then he realized that there was something wrong with what she had said.

"I just wish you had never lied and said you loved me when you don't."

"But it wasn't a lie."

"Huh? I don't understand."

"Misty, I meant it when I told you that I . . . well, you know. But this is just too weird. I don't know how to be romantic or sweet, and when you act like that, it makes me feel really awkward! I used to be able to talk to you about anything, but now it makes me nervous just being with you. I do love you Misty, but I don't want to risk our friendship over this. You're too important to me. Maybe when I'm older, I'll be ready to have a girlfriend. And I know that when I am, it has to be you. I understand if you don't wanna wait for me, but if you can . . ."

Misty wiped away a tear from her eye and smiled. Ash had no idea, but Misty thought that what he had just said was the most romantic thing she had ever heard.

"Is that all?" She asked. Then she tried to turn serious. "Ash, I would wait forever for you,

but . . ."

"I understand, Misty. I'm sorry." Ash said, his heart sinking.

" . . . I don't have to."

Now it was Ash who was confused.


"Ash, you should have just told me how you were feeling!"(Ash couldn't believe that Brock had actually been right about this.) "Actually, it was pretty weird for me too. I don't care if you're no good at being romantic. I love you because you're you, so just be yourself! It's enough just knowing that you love me. And no matter what happens, you'll always be my friend first."

"So I was worried about nothing? But why were you acting like that if it embarrassed you too?"

"I just thought that was what I was supposed to be. Sorry I freaked you out like that. I should've known that you were too immature."

"Hey! I'm not immature!"

Misty laughed at the immaturity Ash was showing right now. She hoped he never changed.

"Come on, we should get back. May will start getting weird thoughts again."

For now, they decided to let romance take a back seat to their friendship. Romance was a big change, and neither of them were ready for it. That would come soon enough. But as they made their way back to the house, Ash nervously took Misty's hand. They looked at each other and exchanged blushes and giggled, both embarrassed. But at least now they were embarrassed together. When they finally got home, things went back to normal, and they were already fighting again over some trivial matter. But it was a step forward, even if it was a small one, and slowly, slowly, maybe romance would become normal. But who really knows? Love is confusing!


Ok, it was kinda an anticlimax. But I just really can't see Ash being romantic, so I decided that it was best. Hope you liked it anyway!

Warlordess: Ok, where to start? Well, I don't really know too much about May's personality because I haven't watched the show since I found out they were going to take Misty off, so I'll just trust you. I took off the part where she's going on about how romantic it is, but I left on some of the other stuff since I've heard that she is a romantic. Your idea is fine, but I think Misty has the "it's too good to be true" complex and wouldn't suspect anything. I almost didn't have May help out because it looks a little like Advanceshipping, but I like how it turned out anyway. And thanks for pointing that out about her name. I can't believe I left that in there. Just glad I fixed it before too many people saw it. I know, but it did kinda seem like I was wrapping things up. Plus someone at Serebii asked me if chapter 8 was the last chapter, so you never know what people will think, lol. Glad you liked it, despite its short comings.

Sensational Sista: Glad you liked it. I worried about it because it's so hard to get Ash in character with a confession. In a lot fics, I don't really like how it's done. Thanks for saying you liked the plot! I hope it isn't too cliched.

psheartslie: I didn't think I took very long with this one myself . . . but I'm glad you want to have the next chapter immediately, lol. Thanks for mentioning that you didn't see any grammar errors. That must mean I got them all out. Oh, your welcome. Can't wait to see what you've got planned next either!

Funkyafroman: Thank-you! Yeah, Misty likes to think she knows what's going on, lol. Hope you liked chapter 10 too!

Marlex: Thanks! Yeah, I felt like the story was too incoherent, and I wanted a little continuity to the last chapters. And I'm glad you think I got my emotions across well. And thanks for saying the confession was sweet. Hope you liked the last chapter!

Bottled: Yeah, hopefully he'll figure it out in the show as well. But I know, it's so frickin' obvious. Frustrating, isn't it? Well, anyway, I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the review!

litto-passionfruit: Wow, I'm really glad you liked it so much! Thanks for your enthusiasm. And don't worry, I've got more stuff planned. I hope you'll read my next fic too!

Special Agent Black Storm: Thanks! Max? You mean Misty? Or from a couple of chapters back? Oh well, whatever, thanks for the review! I need some sugar too . . . anyway, thanks again!

Story Weaver1: I'm glad you liked that part, I was afraid it had been used in too many other fics. I like Contestshipping, so I thought I'd throw in a line about it here and there. Glad you thought it was funny too. Thanks!

Leonardo Cascadan: That is a huge compliment. I'm glad my writing was good enough that I could make a non-Pokeshipper think it was sweet. Ironically, that's why I write in the first place. I have a friend who thinks it's weird that I'm a Pokeshipper, and I always thought "If she could just see what I see, she wouldn't think it was so weird." Of course, I'd be humiliated if she ever read this, lol. But anyway, thanks for your review!

Babie A: Thanks a lot for your review! Oh, and that's not supposed to be sarcastic. I'm glad you liked it so much! Yeah, it was my longest chapter, I think. Hope it wasn't too long! But anyway, I'm glad you thought it was funny and sweet. That means it came out just how I wanted! Sorry I take so long to update! I'll try to be faster with my next fic. I hope you read it!