Disclaimer: If I owned pokemon, I'd have so much money, I'd probably own you as well. Yes. You.

Summary: When Ash's Snorlax eats the birthday cake, ruining Brock's surprise party, It's up to Misty to make things right, and she has to turn for help to the one person she never wanted to see again... Gary Oak. Egoshippy

Author's note: One shot, Egoshippy. This means the pairing is Gary x Misty.If you have no tolerance for this couple, I strongly suggest you do not read this. For everyone else, constructive criticism is more than welcome, reviews are encouraged, and I hope you enjoy!

Ah yes, trying new characterizations, setting, plot ness and whatnot.

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"The birthday planners"

By Midnight Mist

God this was an awful day.

Of course, the statement wasn't weather-wise. The sun was high up in the sky, timidly approaching the vast blue skies from behind feeble clouds. It was morning and way too early for him to be up yet. It was way too early for anyone to be up yet, but as he approached the Ketchum residence, he could feel a faint argument in the backyard.

Gary rolled his eyes and tried to suppress the annoyance in his face. He blatantly didn't want to be there. He knew what was going on, it was Brock's birthday that day, so the planning for the surprise party had started obnoxiously early. How did Gary Oak play into this?

He didn't.

Gary walked around the house to the backyard, carrying the oversized box full of outdoor decorations. He had been sent by his stubborn grandfather that apparently didn't feel like getting up too early that morning. He had denied at first, but the great blackmail material Samuel Oak had gotten from all the years he saw Gary grow up and do one stupid thing after the other, made him comply.

Who said his grandfather couldn't be an evil scientist?

As he kicked open the gate to the backyard, his hands busy from holding the immense box of decoration that didn't even fit in the Ketchum's backyard, he recognized chaos.

Unadulterated chaos.

A girl carrying pizza boxes almost shoved him out of the way, making his lose his balance for an instant. Brock's brothers, all of them were running around the place, Delia was trying to greet every helper at the same moment without going insane, Ash was still half asleep, sitting in a far away folding chair. He appeared to be zoning out, and was literally half-asleep; wearing his typical black t shirt and pyjama pants. Gary rolled his eyes and tried not to trip over something or someone as he moved forward. Delia spotted him and politely excused herself.

"Gary, dear, just drop the box right here please" Her merry voice said casually.

"Sure" Gary replied, dropping the box a little too hard. Delia tried not to wince as she heard the glass clash against each other. Gary seemed uncomfortable. It was one of those silences that crept under his skin, so he slipped his hands into his pockets and looked around, aimlessly. "So, how's everything?"

Delia just smiled, trying not to look in the border of a nervous breakdown. "Brock's still in Pewter, poor thing's got no idea what we're doing here—he still thinks his brothers went camping!" her voice trailed up one pitch too high and he smiled, amused.

Gary tried to look interested. His eyes wavered, betraying him. "Ah, that's… nice" he finished dryly.

Delia crouched and ripped the box open so brutally it surprised him. He hesitated. But she interrupted him. "Yeah, Ashy's gonna go pick him up later on—You're more than welcome to come, Gary dear"

Gary tried not to snicker at 'Ashy' and bit back a remark as he heard the 'Gary dear' that had ensued. He chuckled. People like Delia never changed. Especially Delia. She never aged a day, nor even after the two last years, and still had that cheerleader attitude that made her famous in Pallet. Yet, there was a hint of a neurotic breakdown behind her merry voice that said the party wasn't going as planned. Of course, he wanted nothing to do with it. He had to get out of there before he got sucked into it. His eyes travelled around jostling for escapes.

But this wasn't Gary Oak's day, and something in the air spelled it out. The silence ripe with dread got slashed and broken by a feminine scream from behind him. Delia, startled, dropped a glass fountain, which shattered in the ground.

"WHAT! There's no BIRTHDAY CAKE!" her voice was heard throughout the backyard. Delia could only try to conceal the distress in her face when hearing such a scream. His eyes travelled to the source of such infuriated scream, turning around. And there she was, perhaps the only good reason to get up early that morning, a fiery red head with waist long straight hair was arguing with a delivery guy who looked as scared as a man could be. She was wearing jeans and a scarlet top which made her figure look absolutely… perfect. Gary tilted his head, appreciating the view, and Delia waved her arms around.

"Misty! What's the problem?" She shouted and Gary felt something break in his mind.

'Oh'. His inner voice was baffled. '…her'. Truth is, Misty Waterflower and Gary Oak never cared for one another. He slumped his shoulders seemingly loosing interest and rolled his eyes. The delivery guy must have seen his getaway, because as soon as Delia waved her arms, he was running away from Misty, into the truck and quickly driving away.

Misty realized this too late, when she turned around her eyes immediately settled on Delia, soon realizing who she had been talking to. She grimaced… Like that day didn't suck enough. As the delivery guy turned the engine on, she spun around, outraged, but he was driving off before she even got the chance to speak—or swear, like she would have. Misty exhaled deeply and turned around yet again.

"Misty, honey, what's this about the cake?" Delia asked.

Misty walked up to her, noticeably keeping a distance from Gary, who huffed. "I don't know, it should be over the table back there, but I can't find it, I have no Idea wh—"

"SNOOOOOR" a deep sound shook the earth. Misty's eyes widened. "LAAAAAAAAAAX" a rampage of Ash's pokemon got loose, and ran around the place and the children chased them around, and some around the Snorlax which was on the middle of the vast backyard, with cake all over it's face.

Misty went pale at the chaos, her hands went into fists. "ASH!"

Ash startled awake and recoiled at the sight of the irate red head. "M- Misty!" She glared at him from afar as he looked around wondering where his pokeball belt had gone. He spotted it a few feet away, lying on the floor. The pokeballs were scattered on the ground and he sweatdropped. He slowly looked back at Misty. She was tapping her foot against the ground.

"ASH! You ONLY had to BABYSIT for a while!" Her cold voice broke through the air. Ash visibly flinched.

"I'm sorry Mist, they were up until 5am last night, I don't know where they get all this stamina from!" his tired voice almost broke.

Misty's clenched fists shook softly by her side, and slowly dropped the scowl on her face. Her brain was in a full processing state, the concentration on her face was almost tangible. Gary seemed to study her, and for a minute, the chaos in the backyard fell silent. He shifted, uncomfortable, wondering if his cue to leave had passed, or was still there. Something in her eyes twinkled. "Fine, the bakery won't be able to make such a big cake in such a short time, right?"

"Right" Delia echoed.

"So we need something fast, something everyone likes"

"Right" Delia said again, trying to help her think.

Misty frowned looking for answers. Gary simply raised his eyebrow. "Gees, might as well shove some pizza down their throats" He mumbled to himself. Too bad Misty picked it up. Her ear almost twitched. "What?" She asked.

Gary shook his head "Nuthin''" He replied, quickly. Her eyes almost stabbed him, acknowledging him for the very first time; he froze up. "Pizza…" She looked back to the ground, thinking. "What about a pizza cake, we'll have the biggest pizza ever"

Delia tilted her head, perplexed. She opened her mouth to disagree but as soon as she gave it some thought, she lacked the strength to. A pizza was quick to make, and the bakery closed on the weekends. The pizza delivery service could definitely make the biggest pizza in Pallet for a special occasion, right? However, Delia started to doubt any sort of willing cooperation. As she and Misty exchanged glances thinking of the same. They needed some leverage, or bribe, but the party had drained them of all their spare money, and even if they could gather some money to bribe the 'Pizza palace' the manager of the place, Cassandra, wasn't too fond of them.

It had been Ash's fault, the incident of only the day before, He had again fallen asleep in the baby-sit duty and Brock's youngest brother saw his chance to order an obscene amount of pizza. After the delivery girl had gotten down from the motorcycle, leaving the engine running, a groggy Ash had opened the front door. As she and Ash were arguing about the pizza Ash swore he never ordered, Brock's little brothers "accidentally" pushed the motorcycle down the cliff, which promptly crashed against a building wall down the street.

"Pallet only has one pizza place, doesn't it" Misty assumed, dejectedly.

Delia smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry dear"

Misty winced. They needed a favour from Cassandra. Her eyes travelled from one place to the other; And they couldn't bribe her to do it. She looked at Delia, Ash, Pikachu drinking Ketchup in the corner of the yard. They had nothing to offer, and Cassandra disliked every single one of them.

Except…

Her eyes settled on Gary who seemed taken aback for an instant for being in the spotlight. His surprise was quickly concealed with his trademark smugness. He casually raised an eyebrow, as Misty studied him, silently. She huffed, he smirked.

However cool he was trying to appear, his charade still faltered when she reached out and grabbed him by the wrist. "You're coming with me" She blatantly informed, and Gary gaped. "What the hell is going through your obtuse mind now!"

Figures the first thing he had said to her was insulting. She tightened her grip around his wrist and he rolled his eyes. Misty turned around, dragging him to the yard's gate. Delia sweatdropped waving them goodbye as Ash started to collect his pokeballs and calling his pokemon back. However, Gary was still pulling back every so often. "Let go, crazy" He seethed.

"What, Don't you wanna be useful for once?" Her fiery voice was bitter and meant to sting, but as she looked back at him, trying to be angry and demanding, her eyes betrayed her. They were twinkling with just the slightest slip of despair, and he hesitated. Misty didn't plead. Heck, she wouldn't even ask, but she was in a tight spot. He blamed it on the early rising, or being out of his mind, because he stopped struggling. He actually wanted to help her out for once. It was good to do a good deed once in a while, right?

He frowned. Didn't sound like it at all, but he guessed it was only natural. No one liked to be kicked when being down, and one more person owing him didn't exactly hurt him now, did it?

Misty dragged a reluctant Gary outside of the backyard of chaos and into the street. The silence there was a relief. She took some keys out of her pocket and dragged him to a small black car Gary didn't even notice on the way in. Gary gaped. "Oh no—Don't tell me that's a CAR"

Misty glared, looking offended and she patted the car as if it were a pet. "Don't upset Roberto. Or he'll run you over".

Gary ran a hand through his spiky hair. "First of all, you named your piece of…" He stopped "…car, Roberto?" She glared. "And since when do you even drive?" He finished. Misty turned the key in the lock and opened the driver's door, climbing in the car. It was a very old car, the cheapest one and the only one Misty could afford, but it could still go and Misty was damn proud of it.

"I learnt on my own" She said, casually. Gary gulped, eying the car warily. He was seriously starting to fear for his own safety.

"Do you want me to drive?"

Misty glared at him for what seemed decades. He stared at her back, amused. Misty huffed again.

"Quit bitching" She spat out. Gary raised his eyebrow. It had been a while since he had actually heard Misty speak, and whenever she did she kept on surprising him. He threw his hands up. "Fine, I'll go on the death machine" He informed, walking around the car, and opening the passenger's door. He promptly sat down and looked straight forward for a second. He was still pissed off. Only a little sympathetic, but pissed off nevertheless.

Misty struggled to get the engine running, and Gary bit back a snicker. But before too long, she grinned in victory as the engine did a soft purring sound and started.

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The drive to "The pizza palace" was probably the longest Gary Oak had ever endured. He tried not too wince or not to cling too much to the seat whenever she took a turn. Misty was frightening behind wheels. It was as if the streets were endless, and he knew they weren't. It was only Pallet after all, a small town above all. He let out a breath. "What are you, blind!" He yelled out as Misty dodged a trash can in the last second, making his head hit the glass window.

"What are you talking about? Now like you have any brain-cell to loose" She said, half smirking. He stared at the corner of her lip twitching upwards and cursed to himself. "You are the most unpleasant person I've met" he said looking away, arrogantly

Misty visibly flinched, and looked at him evilly. He knew what she was going to say before she even opened her mouth to speak. "You didn't seem to think so two years ago" The mockery in her voice ticked him off. That had been a particularly stinging remark. But he knew she was bound to bring it up, it was almost like the world's biggest pink elephant in the world's tiniest car.

"Oh, that's low, you brat" He seethed. "You know I was out of my mind, I had to be temporarily crazy if I even thought, for a MOMENT you were ANYTHING but a spoiled little girl with a morbid sense of entertainment"

Misty went pale and hardened her eyes. She hit the breaks so hard; it would have smashed his head through the glass if he weren't wearing the seatbelt. Thank god the streets were empty at that hour, or it would have caused some serious traffic accident. Gary closed his arms and looked out the window, stubbornly. Misty clenched her jaw and tightened drummed her fingers against the plastic of the door handle. A thick silence settled in the car, making the air only a little harder to breathe. She could hear his soft panting, due to jerk of the seatbelt against his chest. He seemed offended, insulted… even, boyish.

For a girl prepared to unleash hell on him, she surprised herself as she hesitated in doing so. She stopped drumming her fingers and considered apologizing. As Gary turned to look at her, her eyes widened at the fire buzzing within his usually cool eyes. "If anything, I can't thank you enough for turning away when I tried to kiss you, I couldn't have washed the Misty out of my mouth afterwards" he said mockingly.

If there was any hope of her apologizing, it had al vanished in a very, very short span of seconds. She was infuriated. "Sure, you could have used the extra soap to mope your dignity off the floor, right?"

And if there was a reason Gary had been avoiding the whole Ketchum lot for the past summers, that last remark only reaffirmed it had been because of her, and only her. If they were flammable, the car of hers would have been reduced to ashes already. However irritated and hurt he was, he still managed to lean back on his seat, acting cool. Misty's eyes wavered, mistrusting his serene outlook.

He looked at her, as coolly as he could and slightly nodded. "It's been a pleasure sharing time with you, Misty" He seethed, with sarcasm dripping from his mouth as venom. He gracefully freed himself of the seatbelt.

"b—"

Before she even got the chance to speak, Gary got out of the car, brushed his clothes, and slammed the door behind him.

"Wait—" She mumbled, baffled.

But Gary was already walking away, shaking his head at the ground, probably making up ways of killing her in his mind. Misty closed her eyes in dismay and punched the place where the radio was supposed to be but wasn't. "Crap!" She yelled out, cursing at herself for screwing everything up again. She had taken it a bit too far, the entire subject was awkward for the both of them, and she just had to rub salt in the wound, didn't it? Gary Oak was above all, proud, and going for his Achilles' heel hadn't been the greatest idea. Especially not when she was trying to get him to help them out. She threw her head back as she ran a hand through her long hair, and sighed. Pulling the keys out, she made sure Gary's door was locked, and got out of the car, locking the door behind her.

'Come on, Misty, just remember to be nice this time', she thought, trying to encourage herself as she started to walk down the street, after him.

"Gary!" She yelled as she ran after him, the best she could. "Gary, just wait, come on!". He slumped his shoulders and let out a breath wondering why he was still listening to anything she had to say. He turned around slowly, as if it were the hardest thing in the world to do. Didn't even reply, but just stood there, looking pissed off, and annoyed.

Misty panted as she caught up with him. "You walk so fast" She gasped.

His eyes wavered. "I had a good incentive"

Misty closed her eyes in dismay and let out a breath. As she opened them again she dropped every ounce of sarcasm on her, and did her best to be as honest as she could be. "Look, Gary, I'm really, really sorry"

He raised an intrigued eyebrow.

"But truth is, you were kind of getting on my nerves, so I wanted to get on yours, and—" She shook her head, wanting to start again. "Look, let's just start from scratch. The bottom line is, I—we, we really need your help today. I swear it's the last time I bring that subject up. It's all behind us now, I swear Gary"

He wanted to blame it on the pain of his chest that was probably going to get a safety-belt shaped bruise, or some other kind of lack of judgement, but he actually believed her. He stared at her for a moment, deliberating. Her big cerulean eyes were pleading, and opened at their most, and he almost recoiled at their intensity. He tilted his head and shrugged, which was the closest to agreeing he was going to get.

Misty visibly relaxed and smiled wholeheartedly. "Thank you"

His eyes wavered and he looked away, stubbornly as they fell silent. He seemed to be judging her, or himself, but whatever it was he was doing, it seem to take a whole lot of concentration. But Misty didn't know was that he wasn't calculating or judging anything—he was reminiscing;

It had been at least two years ago, Ash's triumphant return home was loud and unexpected, and it was only obvious to see Misty and Brock still travelling with him. The homecoming party Delia offered was so perfect it was even sickening. Especially for someone as easily jealous as him. No, of course, he didn't hate Ash, he even respected him for setting a dream as a goal and achieving it at such young age.

That party had been massive, everyone in Pallet attended. Professor Oak had stated his attendance was mandatory there, so he reluctantly showed up. After a few greetings, a pat on the back for Ash with a smile so rottenly fake it singed, Gary had found himself alone as he always appeared to end up. He had been there leaning against the party's furthest wall. He never expected Misty to show up, as dejected as him. She was feeling a bit down in the dumps, it was only obvious. After travelling years with the guy, seeing the journey end was a bit hard on her.

He had been So. Freaking. Stupid.

Gary shook his head, but she was still there, possibly waiting for the right time to urge him to get back in the car, and he half smirked. It was enough to loosen the atmosphere up a little.

"What do you need me for anyway?" He asked her, as they walked back.

Misty blushed for a brief second. It made him raise an eyebrow. "Um…"

This was probably not good.

"You see, this girl, Cassandra, she pretty much temporarily owns this pizza place and hates all of our guts, but what I DO know is…" she trailed off.

He squinted his eyes, scrutinizing her. "Wait." He let out a breath "Cassandra as in wavy hair, brunette, queen bitch of hell trying to get me drunk on Ash's big party?"

She tried her best to look innocent and appear like she knew nothing of what he was talking about, but failed as a tiny giggle escaped her lips. She tried not to snicker. "Um… maybe"

And he got what he had to do. He had to convince her, in all his Oak charms to do Misty one last favour before she got out of her hair for good. Misty's attempt of an innocent gleeful smile didn't help either. He glared at her as he got back into the car and she sat down, turning on the ignition. "I feel cheap" Gary mumbled to himself and Misty laughed.

"Don't worry about it, just flash a few smiles, do whatever you with other girls, oh-flirtatious-one." Misty smirked. Gary raised a smug eyebrow, chuckling. "Gees, nice view you have on me there"

"Oh come on!" She turned right in the next corner "All the times, I've been visiting Ash in Pallet, not once I've seen you by yourself!"

Gary remained silent for a moment and just kept on smirking, trying not to let her know that, that particular thing had actually been on purpose. "What can I say? The ladies want me" He promptly announced trying to dodge the bitterness in his voice. Sure, a huge number of girls had. Just not her. And that alone annoyed him more than he could ever even explain.

She rolled her eyes playfully and drove down the very long avenue. It wasn't too long until they reached "the Pizza Palace" Bathing in all its lack of glory. Even for a town as small as Pallet, the building was surprisingly tall. Misty pulled over and they simultaneously exchanged looks and got down. He pushed the door open and let her in first, gallantly flashing a grin and she just chuckled walking into the building.

Cassandra's office was very beautiful, it had no actual walls, but it was lined by glass walls, which made the entire interior visible. There she was, turning her back on them. She had curly brown hair and intense brown eyes that could almost be mistaken for red. Misty knew Cassandra always had a soft spot for the Oak last name. It was simple. She wanted to be one. Gary raised one eyebrow.

"I feel like your man-whore" He announced sarcastically. She had to cover her mouth to stop herself from bursting into laughter.

"Okay, fine" She whispered lively. "Do this and I'll let you know one embarrassing secret about Ash"

He tilted his head, obviously interested for such taunting material. But quickly recoiled. "I'd prefer one embarrassing secret about you"

Misty's eyes faltered, as her entire charade almost wavered. They maintained eye contact for a long moment before he forced himself to snap out of it. Gary shook his head. "Right. I should go" Misty nodded, silently, as he softly pushed open the glass door, and stepped in.

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The way he moved was so gracefully was bewitching. She couldn't hear a trace of what he was saying, but his body language and that sexy smile suggested she was witnessing the grand premier. He was leaning over her desk, and she was so stiff she was barely even breathing, but smiling. Cassandra's tough image was pierced by what seemed to be intense blushing, and Misty almost let out a snort but she quickly wished she could have withdrawn it.

She remembered to be in that exact position. Only… she had hidden that blush better. But—

Her mind was reeling. She studied his composure, the way he spoke and smiled, the intense look on his eyes, the deliberate invasion of her personal space, and she froze up. She was just realising that two years ago, on Ash's homecoming party, Gary Oak hadn't been flirting with her. Pallet's ladies man had been acting… perhaps for the first time in the presence of a female, as himself. And she had stomped on him. Her eyes widened. She had stomped on the real Gary Oak out of fear of being played. After all, his reputation wasn't exactly the best.

But he—He hadn't been playing her. She had accidentally waltzed into a scene where Gary had been open and honest, and had established a relationship without any sort of ulterior moment. And that he, Gary Oak, and not the player had tried to kiss her.

No wonder he had never forgiven her completely. It's not like he had actually said out loud he was still a bit scorned, but it was something she could pick up in his rough edges. Something that still stung that sprouted out his eyes whenever he looked at her and tried to appear smug.

She let out a shaky breath at such revelation and felt an immense weight over her shoulders.

It was guilt.

She raised her eyes from the ground and looked back into the office from her strategic point that provided her a hideout as well as a spying place. She saw Gary and Cassandra, talking business-like, probably already about the making of the biggest pizza ever. Cassandra was nodding like mad and writing down on a post it. It appeared to be going swell.

She tried to ignore the beating her heart as Gary's eyes and hers met briefly for one instant. It was short enough to go unnoticed and to Misty's relief, Cassandra didn't pick up on it.

Gary was starting to be uncomfortable, and it was starting to show. Before it was too evident, he tried to speed the conversation up, and stood up from his seat across the desk. Cassandra stood up as well, as they headed towards the door. Cassandra was waving her brown hair around, flirting so much it embarrassed even Misty, quite a few meters away.

But then she did something unexpected. She stepped forwards and kissed him seductively slow on the cheek. The surprise on his face was so tangible it was good Cassandra didn't see it, or everything would have failed, right there.

Misty was gaping, not to the fact itself, but for the reaction it had gotten from her. It wasn't heartbreak, it wasn't disappointment, it wasn't even sadness, or dejectedness.

It was an attack of pure, flammable jealousy. The kind of jealousy that made her imagine how to kill her, how ways to break into the office and drag Gary out of that damned place. The kind of jealousy that ate you and surprised you, and bewildered you above all. The kind of jealousy you didn't even know you could even store in just one body, or just one mind, and you felt so over protective and angry it was Cassandra and not her who was so close to…

Her trail of thoughts drifted off, as she still gaped at the rambling in her head.

This plan of hers. This stupid plan of hers. It was backfiring already.

She stood up and slowly made her way to the front door. As she got out of "The pizza palace" she glanced up the big blue sky and ran a hand through her long hair. She leaned her back against her black car, and crossed her arms, patiently.

It wasn't too long until he came out, slightly bewildered. "Thought you'd be inside"

She shrugged. "Yeah. Got bored" she said looking down. Raising her eyes to see him stare at her was harder than she would have suspected it to be. She almost winced as she established eye contact again. "So I assume you pulled it off?"

He smirked. "Course I did"

She nodded sombrely and walked around the car, trying to ignore the consternation look on his untainted face. She got into the car, and a few seconds after, he did as well.

The drive home was painfully silent. Gary was in a fairly good mood and tried to have some kind of conversation, but her sharp answers cut him off, returning to silence again.

Misty was acting strangely silent, and for all Gary knew, there were many things females did that he could blame their period for…. And silence was not one of them.

"Misty?"

She didn't answer.

"Are you okay, you seem kinda dead there"

Misty's head turned to face him, but she seemed to regret that move and faced the road again, without even looking at him once. "Yeah, of course I am".

"Dead?" He said boyish.

A faint smirk decorated her glum lip, brightening it up for a split second. But it was gone before too long. They were nearing the Ketchum house, and Misty didn't even answer. Gary tilted his head, his frail temper trying to stay at bay. Something glistened in his eye. "You owe me one embarrassing fact on yourself" he said, smiling again.

Misty's eyes wavered. "Look, Gary, I'm sorry but everything's really hectic right now, some other day, okay?"

There would not be another day. It was enough to set his temper on fire. He got out of the car right after her and slammed the door. "Okay, I'm trying to be nice here, what the hell is your problem!"

She turned around, her cold facade facing him for the very first time, it made him raise an eyebrow. "That's you trying? Damn. You suck at it"

He was ready to reply but as soon as she said it, she turned away and walked into the house. Gary was slightly gaping, fuming. He wasn't going to let it go that easily. He ran after her, almost breaking into the Ketchum residence. Misty was in the kitchen already, trying to escape to the backyard through the backdoor, but he got there just in time to step in-between her and the handle.

"Could you move? You're a great inconvenience" She glared.

"Not until I get one convincing answer on why you went from Misty to insane bitch of Hades. Did you just body swapped with Cassandra?"

The mention of her name only made her stone eyes grow harder.

"Misty, at least answer!" He yelled at her, his hands moving to grasp her arms "Come on! Call me a moron, say something witty, don't just stand there!" He was one step away from pleading but she— she was sinking. The ice around her was cracking and he saw her wane. "Mist?" He called after her. She tried to free her arms of his hands so faintly it was more like a simple shrug. His expectant eyes were tearing a hole into her. Her eyes wavered, but tried to keep her emotions at bay.

Misty took one step ahead and rested her head against Gary's chest. His body stiffened up, in surprise, but soon he laid a hand on her back. "I'm sorry" Misty whispered, her voice picking up, breaking. "Gary, I'm so sorry" . His grip on her tightened a little in reassurance, but the confusion in his face showed how little of her rant he actually understood. However, he remained silent and listening.

Her apologies died down for a minute and they stood like that, for several eternities. Misty seemed to calm down, for she quickly jerked away, looking down. Gary leaned against the door, perplexed. He was going to say something, but something about that silence seemed so sacred, he didn't dare to disturb it. It seemed like every wild flower had a soft spot. She chuckled bitterly and sniffled. "Is that embarrassing enough?" she said, choked.

His lips curved to a half smile, as she looked up and gazed into his eyes.

And he hated her. He damned her for her big cerulean eyes that looked like the purest glass when they watered, and the rebellious stand of hair casually falling into her face. He damned her for being witty, and smart, and understanding. He damned her for the way he could make him forgive one thing after the other, the way she made him comply with just the bat of an eyelash, the way she attracted him not only physically, but mentally. And he... he hated her. He hated her for all the things she made him do. As if those big cerulean eyes forced him to do one stupid thing after the other.

His eyes grew sombre, as he looked into her newly smiling face. He leaned in to kiss her, but doubt swiftly crossed his eyes through and through, and he hesitated, the memories of two years ago playing in his mind like they had before, as he backed away.

Misty studied him, quite aware of what he almost did. She looked sorry. "Don't… don't do that"

He nodded bitterly, feeling the wound just re-open. Gary looked away, smirking at the irony of it all, but she placed one finger in his cheek and drew his eyes back to her. He had understood she had stomped on him again. And she was aware of it.

"No" Misty explained. "D… don't hesitate"

A brief flash of raw emotion sparkled in his eyes as he tilted his head, grinning and slowly leaned back in, giving her plenty of time to back away. When he was close enough to feel her breathing on his skin, she closed the gap, as everything they had been accumulating from the last two years came clashing down on them, every doubt, wound, fear had instantly vanished as they lips met in the middle, dissolving all the past. And however important it was, the kiss itself was gentle and almost solemn, desired and sacred. Above all, long overdue.

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Delia Ketchum's day hadn't been much better. After dealing with the rampage Ash's Snorlax had gone to, starting the decoration from scratch, cooking for all of Brock's brothers avoiding the temptation of slipping some kind of laziness-inducing drug into their drinks, she was frankly tired. She hadn't heard of Misty and Gary for quite a while, and above all, Brock had made a surprise call to Ash, to check up on him.

Brock's youngest brother was too close to the phone and Brock had spotted him. Ash's lousy lying skills had blown their entire cover away. And even though Delia loved her son even more for not being able to lie well, it was still a great inconvenience. Brock had been touched, but the surprise of the surprise party was practically gone, and as she walked into the kitchen, with a basketful of laundry under her right arm, she stopped, opening her eyes wide.

In the back door were Misty and Gary, former natural enemies that avoided each other like the plague, kissing energetically in the middle of her kitchen.

She tried to speak up but decided against it, smiling to herself.

They had to be the greatest birthday planners, if they could put the 'Surprise' back in 'Surprise party' even after the birthday boy already knew about it.

Because this appeared like it was going to be a surprise party after all.

The end.

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Thanks to: everyone who made it this far, all the egoshippers out there, and my lovely computer, named Rosita, that allowed me to type this up. Gawd Rosita. What would I do without you.

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