Holy crap! Have I taken long enough or WHAT?! Actually, this part has been finished for a month or so, but I was waiting for ff.net to return from it's semi-permanent cyber grave before I posted it... it's been almost four an a half months since i posted part two, and it's about freakin' time, do you not agree!? I mean, part four is half done already, fok sake! But don't worry folks, this fic is in it for the long haul. I like the charas that seem to be coming out of my silly little mind for this particular story, so this actually might prove to be longer then any of my fics before it! DUDE!!!! LOL, on a skippier note, it's almost December, and you know what that means... that's right, SHAN-FANS!!!!! PIKASHAN'S THIRD ANNUAL AAMRN CHRISTMAS FIC!!!!! This year's fic is going to be called The Gift and is going to mainly revolve around some deep discussions between Ash and Misty while facing a difficult time during the holiday season. As always, it will be multiple parts, with the last part being posted as my gift to you on Christmas Eve. I hope that you all read and enjoy, and pray for more fics during the coming year... because I really screwed with you, only having the last part of Storming the WB and Sweet Misery during the year of 2001. I'm doing my best, girls and guys! Anyway, enough random fic babbling! READ!!!!!

Sweet Misery
By Pikashan61

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon, never have, never will. I also, though I know Michelle Branch, do not own her song. Ever strike you, that when I started writing this fic, she was still little unknown Michelle, who sings at talent shows in my hometown and stuff, and now she's all famous? It's struck me. Anyways...


Hey, compadre, may I ask why you're out here moping about? And where's the

Otto kid?

Clover's strong voice startled Kassy, causing her to jerk her head up from the tiny

circles she was drawing in the dirt.

Jeez Clover, you scared me! Kassy gasped, trying to wipe the remaining tears

from her eyes. Clover looked at her inquisitively, and her face filled with surprise when she

realized Kassy had been crying.

Wha.. what happened? The alarmed look quickly turned to one of rage.

What did he do to you?! Clover turned to the road, hand on Chuck, her Wartortle's,

pokeball. Which way did he go? I'll kill

Kassy jumped up. No Clover! Clover stopped and turned to her, her face twisted

in a scowl. Kassy smiled, her friend's concern for her strangely comforting. Clover was

always there for her... the way a best friend should be.

It's okay, really. We just... kinda... had an... argument. Clover lifted an eyebrow at

Kassy, and dropped her arm back to her side.

Um... okay... excuse me for being out of the loop,' but I'm confused. Kassy

sighed and sat down against the cabin once more.

It's very hard to explain. Clover rolled her eyes.

Try me.

Kassy sighed again. Believe it or not, the guy used to be my best pal.

Clover stared at her in disbelief. You're kidding! Him? Kassy nodded. Clover

chuckled disbelievingly, But he's nothing like you! He's uptight, quiet, and was wearing a

Flaming Digletts' tee! You're into hanging loose, too loud for most of us to stand, and hate

the Flaming Digletts!

Kassy rolled her eyes. Opposites attract, right? He's also sweet, funny, and... She

stopped. What was she doing? Was she defending him?! She mentally smacked herself

upside the head.

Was, I mean, was sweet and funny. Kassy scowled. Now he's an inconsiderate,

mean spirited... GUY!

Clover smiled at her friend's lame attempt at being

HERE HERE! They're all scum. She stood up and brushed herself off.

She stretched her hand to Kassy to help her up, ... just keep that in mind and keep your

wits about you. Remember, we have some incompetent trainers to annihilate this


Kassy laughed and took Clover's hand. What a pal. Thanks Clover. She


What are friends for, eh?


Otto couldn't believe it. They had been together for less then a half an hour and

already they weren't on speaking terms. Sure, he had been a little distant with her weird

friends, but she knew he was quiet, right? And he couldn't help staring at her during

breakfast... she was... well, she was Kas.

You can't get all bent out of shape now, Otto old boy, he mentally coached himself,

you've got some battles to win.

It all came down to that. Every single person at this tournament wanted it more then

the last, and any sort of mental interference could spell doom during battle. It was still all

about the pokemon, the thrill of battle, the moments that had all lead up to this... the

Pokemon League Championship on Indigo Plateau. The title, the glory. And that, Otto

thought, has to be the first thing on the priority list. No matter how much he had missed her.

No matter how much he cared.


Nervously, Ash straightened his coal black tie as he muttered his prepared speech

over yet again in the full length mirror.

Welcome trainers, breeders, and pokemon enthusiasts from around the world... He

stopped suddenly, rolling his eyes at himself. I sound like an idiot, Pikachu.

Pikachu, who was making suave gestures at himself in the reflective glass, paused

for a moment to look up at him. Pika pika chu pi chu pikachu pi Pikapi. (No argument from

me, Ash.)

Ash stared down at him and scowled. Thanks. At least I have a supportive

pokemon, eh buddy?

Pika... (Hey...) The pokemon went back to practicing looking cool again, just in case

there would be any cute girl pikachu at the tournament, ...pika pika chu pik pikachu pi pi

pikachu. (... I was just agreeing with you like a good and loyal pokemon should.)

Misty, who had been getting ready in the small bathroom of their cabin at Indigo,

stuck her head out, the intent being to find out where Ash had put the toothpaste. Ash

noticed her in the mirror and grinned.

Misty, Pikachu is picking on me again!

She laughed and shook her finger at Pikachu. Leave Ash alone, Pikachu. You know

that cleaver comments are beyond his level of thinking. The pokemon burst out laughing.

Ash rapidly turned around, trying hard to look angry, but unable to wipe the smile off

of his face.

She rolled her eyes and stepped out, hands on her hips, reviling a simple form-

fitting blue sundress, most befitting for a water pokemon trainer of Misty's stature. In the

past, wives and husbands of Pokemon Masters had all willingly taken a back seat to their

spouses fame. This had all changed with Misty in the position. Misty was well known for her

battling skills before Ash's victory at Indigo, and often still could be found in trainer

magazines without mention of Ash. It could be safe to say that the two were some of the

most well known figures, apart, as well as together, in Kanto and Johto. But, as Brock

always said, If only they could act the part. The fact was that things hadn't changed that

much. They still fought playfully in public, not to mention in private. Ash was still dense, and

Misty was still short fused. That day, they were both running late, and their good-natured

arguing was holding them up.

She sighed at him with a gaze of entertained exasperation as he grinned at her, All

joking aside sweety, we're behind already, and I need the toothpaste.

He laughed. Fine, fine. Behind the mouthwash, I think... She smiled back at him.

Thanks... and Ash?

I think your speech is wonderful. She smiled coyly at him before disappearing

back into the bathroom.

Ash bellowed at Pikachu, See, it's great.

Pikachu rolled his eyes. Only those two, he thought...


Come on water! Clover shouted as the her field schedule scrambled on the large

screen above the registration desk.

Idiot, you'll have all of them. Allan said quietly.

Clover swiftly elbowed him in the stomach, knocking his breath out of him. I'm

aware, ya daft fool. I want the water field first, so Chuck can gain experience. Jeez...

He coughed, unable to answer.

Kassy grinned at her friends, acting so quintessentially like themselves that all she

could do was smile. Clover and her had become buddies early in their respective journeys.

While at a Pewter City pokemon center party, they had both been dragged up to the

karaoke stage to sing Throw You Out, a high pitched, annoying song by the Mankey

Boys. During a conversation afterward, they found out they were both going to the same


Travel together? Why not?

A fast and furiously loyal friendship was instantly established, and Kassy had never

doubted Clover's undying friendship, nor had she had any reason to.

Luke and Allen had joined the duo six months before, after almost accidentally killing

them both. They had been rolling boulders down a hill in efforts to attract Golem (Luke,

being a rock trainer, wanted one, really, REALLY BAD!), little knowing they were rolling

them onto a frequently used path. After the close call, they were quickly made aware of that

by Clover. For some odd reason, the boys thought, Hey, let's travel with these rather

short tempered girls and see if we can get killed! At least, that was Kassy's rational. As

much as both she and Clover ridiculed them both, they were also kinda fond of the guys,

who were always good for a laugh on a bad day. That understandably downcast day,

Kassy was getting a kick out of watching them anger Clover.

I said shut up ya idiot! Clover said, bopping Luke on the head before turning back

to the kind, but confused, desk woman.

I'm sorry. My friends... Clover cast an angry, comedic glance at both the boys.

..were bring loud. What did you say?

You're battling Lena of New Bark in the first round,one o' clock, in the water field. The

rest of your schedule... She handed her a piece of paper, ... is on here. Good luck!

Thanks a bundle! Clover swirled around excitedly. WATER! Alright!

She rushed up beside the laughing Kassy and grabbed her arm. Lunch is on me

after the ceremonies, my friend! VICTORY IS OURS!

The boys, being the mooches that they were, jumped in front of them.

Us too, right Clover ol' pal?! They both begged in perfect unison.

She grinned and rolled her eyes. Aw jeez, why not? Tis' the spirit of goodwill


Hear hear! Kassy chorused, her friend's mood to good not to rub off.

Just then, the intercom speakers of the city all crackled to life.

Attention all Pokemon trainers- in one half of an hour at eleven o' clock, the opening

ceremonies of the Pokemon League Championship will begin. All competing trainers

please proceed immediately to the north entrance of the Stadium to line up for the

presentation. Thank you, and good luck!

The four friends fell silent for a moment, staring at each other.

Kassy broke the silence with a wide grin of adrenaline and excitement,

Let's do this.

She stuck her hand out. Clover and the boys laid their hand one top of hers.

Clover said, her voice edgy. They three of them nodded. And

together, they screamed-

One... two... three... WASTE


Kassy tried to stand as tall and proud as she felt, as the screams and yell of the crowd

around her filled her with electricity and adrenaline. Her dad had always told her this was the

hardest part of the tournament, knowing that everyone you know and love was expecting

something from you... and everyone else was sizing you up. But, contrary to her father's

experience, Kassy found it surprisingly easy. Back straight, head up, she stared ahead,

unable to contain her grin. She stole a glance at her mom and dad, also smiling, up on the

center podium. The look on her father's face, so childlike and warm, made her face glow

even more. Her mother whispered something to her dad, and he and Pikachu chuckled at

her comment, whatever it was. Those two, her mom and dad, they were Kassy's

inspiration. She still could hear her father's voice, excitedly telling her stories about flying with

ghost pokemon, about a mighty Spirit of the Sea, and adventures beyond her wildest

imagination as she sat on the grass of their backyard in Pallet, awestricken. Her dad was the

very symbol of a hero in her mind, and always had been. As he was introduced to the

crowd at Indigo Stadium, a mighty yell came up from the masses, causing her to swell with

pride. That's my father, she wanted to shout. That's my hero.


Alright Shan-fans, you know the drill. PLEASE REVIEW! *begs* PLEASE?! LOL, Send all rants and various flames to my good ol' addie, and, as always, Pokeshippers Rule!

© Pikashan61 2001, as are all my other fics. DON'T TAKE!!!!

~*Pikashan's heartfelt prayers go out to all those who where affected by the events Sept. 11th. My love and prayers are with you*~