The Box

By Kawaii Cherry Blossom

Chapter 6


Ash had never driven so irresponsibly as he had after he'd received Misty's phone call. Anxiousness motivating his every move, he'd sped down the dusty road that was Sea Route 21, reaching speeds he didn't even know his car could do. His eyes were focused on the walking path, desperately searching for a head of orange hair, needing to see that Misty was alright.

When he'd awoken in the middle of the night to find the house empty of her presence, he'd panicked. He didn't know what to think, how to feel, whether to speculate what he dreaded and blame himself or find a logical explanation. His thoughts became a whirlwind inside his mind; he couldn't make sense of anything but the simple fact that she was gone. All he knew was that he needed her back, he couldn't bear to lose her again. Ash held feelings for her that were so strong, he couldn't even contemplate living without her again. Not after he finally had the chance to be with her.

And now, he stood outside of his car, breathing a sigh of relief as he faced Misty. She was sitting against the trunk of a tall, tree with a thick trunk. Ash could tell that she knew he was there, though she hadn't acknowledged him at all. Instead, she proceeded to stare to his left, at nothing in particular.

Ash took this moment to move cautiously towards her. His heart screamed out to him as he yearned to dart towards her and sweep her into an embrace. But his instincts pulled him back, telling him to take it slow. He was just a few feet away from her when she glanced up at him, with eyes that seemed to have a life of their own, telling him a story of confusion and hopelessness. Ash seemed to be frozen there for a moment, desperately searching for the answers he desired, no, needed to find. Instead, he got lost in the azure depths of her eyes, swirling around in a whirlpool of emotion that seemed to never cease.

"Why did you leave?" Ash asked then, sounding slightly hurt. He hadn't wanted to, for fear of making her feel guilty, but it came out that way anyway.

Instantly, she took her eyes away from him. Her head was turned to gaze downwards, her hair falling over her face as it fell loose from its place tucked behind her ear.

She attempted to provide him with an answer a few times, but for the first few, all that she could manage was a choked sigh. Ash remained patient, kneeling down in an effort to make her feel more relaxed.

"I didn't want to hurt you. I don't…want to hurt you," she finally uttered, her words minute in volume yet loud and clear as Ash took them in.

"Hurt me how?" he asked almost instantly, genuine concern written across his face as he waited attentively for her answer.

"Like I hurt Brock…" she muttered, and trailed off.

Ash nodded understandably, knowing how hard it must be for her and the tough time she had been through alone. At least he had been blessed with the compassion and support of his family and friends, as he grieved and attempted to move on with his life. Misty, on the other hand, had been facing it with only herself to reply on, and he couldn't imagine the toll that must have taken on her spirit.

"The only thing that could hurt me, Misty…is if you left me," he offered pleadingly.

She still hadn't met his gaze, and remained in a trance of silence for a few long moments. Suddenly, she rose from her seated position and stood, facing away from him. Her head still turned down, she sighed mournfully.

"I shouldn't have come back, then all of this could have been avoided," she said, her tone somewhat bitter. "I'm sorry Ash… I just…I can't…"

"Yes you can," he interrupted her words, so coated in doubt. "Obviously if there wasn't some part of you that wanted to come home with me, you wouldn't have called me here."

Still, she didn't turn.

"You always want to run away, but you can't run forever. Sometimes you just need to face your fears."

At his words, she tensed up, but still remained silent. His words were making more sense than her logic, and she knew that all she had to do was take that first step. But it was the first step that was the most difficult to overcome.

Ash breathed out a sigh as he attempted to collect his thoughts, trying to form words that fit what he was desperately trying to convey.

"To put it simply, Misty… I need you, and I don't want to lose you again…I can't…lose you again…"

Silence engulfed the air around them then. All that could be heard was the rush of wind through the leaves of the trees lining the path. A cloud drifted past the moon, allowing its eerie gray rays to cast a little more light on the earth. And in that moment, in the soft silence surrounding Ash and Misty, something changed. It wasn't something either of them could put their finger on, just a knowing feeling. A warmth inside their hearts that told them things were going to be okay. It was as if the bond they'd shared had been re-connected, re-established, as though it had never been broken at all. A mutual feeling of respect, of love…

And a moment later, they were in each other's arms. Neither had told themselves to do it. To put it in its simplest form, it just happened, as if it were a natural progression to the moment. As if it were meant to be.

Misty let herself fall apart in Ash's arms. She didn't think she had any more tears left inside of her, but apparently she did. She let them fall, didn't bother to wipe them away. Misty was unsure as to whether she was making the right decision, but something inside of her told her not to question it. She felt undoubtedly safe in Ash's arms, safe and at home.

Ash tightened his grip on her slightly. He'd missed her so much, and holding her only strengthened that feeling. He knew he couldn't lose her; there was no way he could deal with trying to let go again. Sighing softly, he pulled away from their embrace, before pressing his lips to hers softly, enveloping her in a kiss full of longing. This was it, she was the one, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

"Let's go home, okay?" Ash asked her, sounding slightly like he was pleading for her reply to be a positive one.

Misty glanced downwards for a few seconds, seconds which ticked over to hours in Ash's mind. Finally, she lifted her eyes to meet his and gave him a small smile.

"Yes, thank you."

Ash took her hand, breathing a silent sigh of relief, and led her back to the car. He opened the door for her and she slid into the passenger seat. Then he walked around to the driver's side and sat behind the wheel.

"You must be tired, do you want me to drive?" Misty asked as he was turning the keys in the ignition.

"No that's okay, you just relax, I'll be fine," he replied.

"Thank you for coming to get me."

"Thank you for calling me."

Smiles graced their faces and lit up their eyes, as the car drove off into the darkness, away from Sea Route 21, and finally, towards a life together.

One day later…

"In news today, the bodies of a man and a woman were found early this morning amongst the wreckage of the car they were traveling in after it smashed into a tree on Sea Route 21. The 20-year-old man from nearby Pallet Town, who was driving the car, died at the scene of extensive head injuries. His female companion of the same age survived with cuts, bruises and a broken arm. Police have ruled the crash an accident, bringing Kanto's road toll to a shocking 15 so far this year. Police are urging drivers to take regular rests and avoid driving at night whenever possible, to reduce the risk of…"

The End

Well, that's it… I'm sorry to everyone who was expecting a happy ending. Hehehehe, I'm not as predictable I seem am I! Ha! Hehehe. I have to say sorry to Teneal, though, whom I know is going to kill me when she reads this. Sorry girl!

I hope the end of this was worth it to everyone. I'm so sorry it took forever to update it. Hope it was worth the wait!

Aside from the sequel to Fragile, I don't really have any other fics planned. Yes, you heard me, a sequel to Fragile. Hehehehehe. Keep your eye out for that – it's coming soon.

I hope you are all well. Thank you for keeping up with this fic. I love reading your reviews and comments, as well, so please leave me something. Even if it's something really small. :)

Love you guys, take care!

Love and light,