I'm so sorry, first of all. Not only did I have the worst case of writer's block known to man, I was extremely busy with school, being in the play Grease (rehearsals every night for three hours), and work. But, now it's summer, and I'm back with a totally new multi-parter fic for ya' all. This story was a result of two storylines that have been bouncing around in my head for four months. Throw em' together, and wadda ya got? A new Pikashan fanfic, that's what! LOL, this also marks the first fic since my first posted fic that I haven't said, And the next part of Storming the WB is on it's way! Anyway (moving on...), as always, enjoy, for the next part of this fic is on it's way!

Disclaimer: Yeah yeah, you know the drill, I don't own Pokemon. If I did, PD would be an OAV of it by now. Don't take all my money in costly legal battles. Also, the song Sweet Misery is property of Michelle Branch.

Sweet Misery
By Pikashan61

The night was a dark one, the moon only a small silver crescent in the clear black sky.

Indigo Stadium, it's great torch lit, lay still save for the flickers of light and shadow caused by

the massive flame. Inside, a man and a pokemon sat, still and unmoving on the hard, ash-

gray concrete seats. The man stared out at the empty stadium reflecting on days and

adventures gone past. Inside these walls, lives would be changed, dreams would be

crushed, and tears of happiness and defeat would flow and be hidden by the quick wipe of

a sleeve. The man knew it all. He knew what it felt like to be defeated, to feel as if life could

end right then and you wouldn't care. The burning feeling of humiliation and the twinge of

jealousy when spying the trainers in the winner's circle. He also knew the feeling of elation

that came with a win. The adrenaline slowly draining out of your body as you are embraced

by your pokemon and your friends. The feeling that, yes, you've made it. Even then, as he

thought it, the rush came back to him. The sweat that fell in tiny droplets along your hairline,

the taste of the dusty air as your mouth is suddenly dry, gripping the pokeballs on your

belt, seemingly a lifeline to sanity. Instinct takes over, and the battle is the only thing on your

mind. That creature is battling for you and you're not going to let it, or yourself, down. You

shout out orders as if both of your lives depend on it, though deep down the feeling that,

no matter what, your pokemon will still love you, keeps your mind grounded. The man

couldn't forget this feeling. It was compounded in his brain so defiantly by countless battles

that he could often see them when he closed his eyes. He reached down to rub the furry

golden pokemon's head, and the yellow mouse cooed in response. The man smiled at him

and chuckled.

This is a crazy business, Pikachu.

But we all find ways to pull through, eh Ash? A playful female voice pierced Ash's

cloud of thought as he turned to see Misty, his best friend/ sparring partner/ wife, trotting

toward him. The years had been kind to both of them. Ash, though thirty-eight, was still

muscular and determined, the only hint of his age a sprinkling of gray in his unruly black hair.

The thirty-nine year old Misty, with a metabolism that Kathy Lee would die for, still

maintained a slim figure and sported only a few wrinkles as a result of two kids who were a

little too much like their mom and dad. Misty took a little leap over the railing of the walkway

and landed next to Ash with a look of mock annoyance. Pikachu greeted Misty with an

enthusiastic Pika pikachu! as he leaped onto her shoulder. Ash grinned sheepishly.

Hey Mist.

Hey yourself. May I ask why you're out here in the middle of the night? She said

with her arms crossed as she stared down at him. Ash rolled his eyes.

Don't give me that look, Misty. I know you're not mad. She shook her head and

settled down beside him.

Who says I'm not? You wake up and find your husband gone there's a little worry

involved. He smiled and when Misty saw that, she smiled too.

she poked him, Spill it Ketchum... what's on your mind? He sighed.

It feels weird not to battle anymore in these things, but that's not anything new... and

this is going to be the first year where Professor Oak won't be able to make the trip up

here, not to mention the fact that Kassy is battling tomorrow... this is her first tournament...

So that's what this is about. Misty cut in. You're worried about her, aren't you?

Ash tried his best to look aghast. What? Why should I be worried about Kassy?

She's more then prepared! Heck, if I had been that prepared, I would have won that first

year! Not to mention the amazing gene pool she has... Misty and Pikachu both looked at

him, eyebrows raised, obviously skeptical.

Ash stared at them for a moment. How in the heck did he manage to marry the only

woman and own the only pokemon in the world who could read his thoughts? Jeez... he


Alright, fine. So I am kinda worried. Shouldn't I be? I'm her father after all. He stared

back at Misty.

What if she loses, Mist? What if she get hurt? With a sigh, Misty smiled at him.

Then she loses. She'll survive. After all... She wrapped her arms around his whist

and laid her head on his shoulder, ...you turned out okay. He sighed unhappily.

Ash, don't worry. You know she's gonna do just fine. I swear, that girl is part golem.

She gets through virtually everything unscratched. Pikachu nodded. Pika pikachu pika, pika

pi. (Misty's right, Ash.)

I just remember what it feels like to lose in this thing, Misty. It's like having your heart

ripped out. She shouldn't have to feel that.

And as I remember, recovery is amazingly quick, Mr. Pokemon Master. She

kissed his cheek. Kassy will do great. He crossed his arms and tried his best to look


If she loses and decides run a Magicarp Aquarium for the rest of her life, I'm blaming

you. Misty rolled her eyes.

I'm willing to take that risk. She said with a grin. He looked at her and smiled. Pikachu

stared at both of them and shook his head. Twenty-eight years with these people, and he

was still baffled.


Meanwhile, a fourteen year old girl laid wide awake in her bunk. The dark

atmosphere of the cabin matched countless Pokemon Centers, proving to be a little

disappointing. One would think that during an event as important as this, the digs would be

a little more posh. But it wasn't this thought that was keeping her awake. No, the narcoleptic

remedy was one of her three traveling companions, Clover, snoring loudly enough to wake

a small village in the other bed. Not that she hadn't gotten used to this after a year or two,

but the sound seemed amplified in the small room, and the poor girl couldn't even blink.

Dear lord, it was loud. She wanted to barge, snarling, out of there and into Luke and Allan's

room, kick one of them unceremoniously out of bed and go calmly to sleep. But what good

would that do? She could just imagine the fight that would come in the morning and she

knew that she would be forced to sleep on the hard wood of the floor the next night. Her

bed would be hanging in a tree somewhere. Her friends were like that. Kassy sighed. She

probably wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. The battles the next day didn't worry her in

the least. She had the skills to go all the way, and she had the genes of an acclaimed water

pokemon master and the reigning Pokemon Master to pad her if she fell. Battling was in her

blood, and she had proof. No, she wasn't worried about that. It was the recent sighting of

Otto that had startled her sleepless. Growing up, Otto Slate had been her best friend, a

guy she could count on in good times and bad, and the only boy she knew that would help

her dress up Pikachu (much to the poor, patient pokemon's dismay). But leaving for training

at eleven had hit both of them hard. She had insisted on traveling the route that their father's

had taken, while Otto wanted to hit the lesser known gyms. With that, a promise to travel

together that had been in place since they had known each other went up in smoke. Kassy

had tried to be upbeat of course, but the indifference that Otto showed toward her after that

hurt, and Kassy had left with nary a goodbye to him. He had always been a quiet reserved

person, but never totally indifferent. Now, seeing him today, strong, tan and very attractive

looking, she was suprised at not only the resemblance to his father, but the degree he had

changed. It scared Kassy that her former best friend had grown up without her. Not that she

hadn't changed, she thought as she ran her fingers through her red hair, short in the back of

her head, and long, soft bangs in the front. The early 90's style cut had been the brainchild

of Clover and a brainless night of caterpie cola, but she grew to love the don't-mess-with-

me hairstyle. She had changed in other ways too. As a person and as a trainer. How would

Otto be different? Would he have forgotten how much they cared about each other? A

particularly load snorf from Clover broke her out the trace. She snarled. Grabbing her pillow

and a sheet, Kassy stormed toward the boy's room. All this stuff could be dealt with

tomorrow. Right now, sleep was top priority. As Kassy moved ever closer to the boy's

room, she put another item on her mental to-do list: Buy padding. The floor is awfully hard.

Can you catch all the references to other comics and to a certain Pokemon chara's Japanese name? LOL, hope you enjoyed... please review! I love reviews... no flames though... Sam is sleeping and won't be able to put them out. Send any rants you have to the good ol' addie (which, in case you've forgotten, is pikashan61@yahoo.com). Pokeshippers Rule!

This fic is © Pikashan61 2001, as are all my fics. Don't take!