A/N: This story takes place right after the Pokémon episode "Gotta Catch Ya Later", where Ash, Misty and Brock go their separate ways…

What Makes Me Misty Most of All

Misty Waterflower cycled along the small river, pedalling furiously. She was trying to forget about what had just happened, so she concentrated on peddling, her legs pushing down hard on the bike pedals as she released her anger and frustration on them. Her red hair was in an untidy ponytail at the side of her head and her beautiful aqua eyes sparkled with tears that had recently fallen. She felt weak and shaky as she struggled to stay on the bicycle. She didn't want to believe it, couldn't believe it; after all the years she had stuck by him, he had finally freed her. The bike that he had utterly destroyed at their fateful meeting almost five years earlier was back in one piece. She ran her hands over the handlebars, this was the same bike that had pulled her and Ash Ketchum together, and now it was tearing them apart.

Misty's thoughts were broken by the sad trilling of her Togepi, who sat forgotten in the basket of her bike. Togepi looked miserable, as it knew that it's mother was unhappy. Misty's eyes welled up with tears, obscuring her vision so that she was forced to slow down and take in her surroundings. She was still following the small path to Cerulean City that ran along a river, but she was now surrounded by a large forest with thick foliage. Togepi trilled again, louder this time. Misty stopped pedalling for a moment and looked down at the little Pokémon, tears in the corners of her eyes. She dismounted her bike and wheeled it toward a tree where she rested it against the sturdy trunk. Gingerly she picked up the baby Pokémon and rocked it gloomily in her arms, until a content smile appeared on its small face as it drifted into a light sleep. Misty smiled at the baby Pokémon, even though her azure eyes were clouded with sadness, and then placed Togepi back into the basket of her bike to rest.

She then stopped to admire the small stream that flowed through the forest she was currently in. The water was crystal clear as if the breath of the North Wind had purified it. Water was Misty's element, she loved the feel, the sound and the smell of it. It calmed her and made her feel at home. Misty walked right to the bank and sat down, her fingers trailing in the lucid water. Above her the cries of flocking Pokémon echoed through the skies. Night was fast approaching and Misty shivered under the setting sun. She stared into the water as thoughts of that day rushed through her mind.

Funny how that's such a hard thing to say.
Now it's time to let go but,
Never thought I'd feel this way.

"It's not fair." Misty whispered, quietly but angrily.

She didn't want to leave Ash and Brock. She loved travelling the world, meeting amazing people and mysterious Pokémon, discovering new cultures and participating in different rituals. For the last few years she had felt free. She had felt that she could go wherever the path led her, and do whatever she wanted. She didn't need a place to call home and she didn't need her sisters. She didn't think she was attached to anything, but now she realised that she had been tied down to something all that time, and that something was Ash. She had a family in Ash and Brock, and she had become so attached that she was almost dependent on them.

Promised not to be sad but,
We both knew I was lyin'.
Gotta fight back the tears 'cause,
Can't let you see me cryin'.

Misty felt her eyes welling with tears again and she struggled to keep them under control. She lifted a cupped hand out of the stream, and then let the caught water flow through her fingers. She had fished Ash out of this very stream all those years ago, just a little further down the path. This was where their adventure had begun. Misty curled herself up and shut her eyes, praying that she could wake up and none of this would ever have happened. She hoped that she was dreaming and any second she would open her eyes and find herself in the middle of a strange forest with Brock and Ash by her side…especially Ash. She opened her eyes slowly to see the small stream in front of her. She was sad, but not surprised that she had not been dreaming. Everything had felt too real to be fantasy, the tears rolling down her cheeks, the aching in her chest, and the lump in her throat that told her something terrible had happened. She had deserted him.

You're more then just my best friend.
What makes me misty most of all,
In our final curtain call,
Is knowin' that I won't see you again.

Tears rolled down Misty's cheeks as she remembered the last moments of her time with Ash. She couldn't believe this was happening; and she had never even gotten a chance to tell him how she truly felt. She lifted her hand from the water, casting ripples outwards. She started to sob harder, wondering if fate had led her this way, wondering if she was even meant to pull Ash out of that river all those years ago.

"It couldn't be a coincidence that we became such good friends…" Misty sobbed quietly to herself. "It had to be…something more."

Then she remembered something Ash had said, about how they were meant to become best friends. She wondered if Ash was as upset as her. Larger tears began to well in her eyes fogging up her vision. She tried wiping them away with the back of her hand, but still they kept flowing. Behind her, Misty could hear Togepi moving restlessly in its sleep. Wearily and reluctantly, she stood up and moved toward her bicycle. Just as she was about to clamber on, something made her look back. She turned and faced the river once more and through her teary eyes she could see a blurred figure watching her from the other side of the stream. She stopped, surprised and quickly rubbed the tears from her eyes so that she could see better, but when she glanced back again, the figure was gone. A sudden fierce breeze blew across the stream, blowing Misty's red hair furiously, and then as suddenly as it had begun, it died down, leaving no reminder of its visit, except for Misty's ruffled hair.

A tiny smile crept across Misty's face as she held onto her last glimmer of hope. "Thank-you Ash…" she whispered slowly, her eyes fixed to the spot where the figure had stood, "…and goodbye."

The redheaded girl cycled silently toward the sunset, leaving nothing behind, but her heart.

The End

A/N: Hello again I haven't written in a while so my style was probably a little bit rusty, but I tried ; Please review and let me know what you thought!

Thanks for reading!
-- Jirachi