A/N: Well! Since someone called me an -ANIMAL- for rating this story G, I changed it to PG. Sorry if I offended you sir, but if you yell at me OR call me an animal again I'll offend you some more!! ::deep calming breaths:: Well I finished the last chapter after having a lot of trouble posting the second. I didn't even think it worked until I checked today! I hope you're all happy with the way it turns out. I didn't want this one to be so popular! over 50 reviews for 2 chapters! @_@ Oh well, on with the fic!

Chapter 3: The Storm Clears

Ash forced his way through the pouring rain and powerful winds, moving steadily toward where he thought he'd heard the noise. He thought he'd heard Misty call his name, but didn't want to turn around or he'd lose sight of the spot he was focused on. Nothin's gonna stop me from finding Psyduck! I've gotta get him back for her! After running for a while, Ash noticed that he'd wandered into a very dark area. It was hard for him to see his surroundings. Still, he was sure this was where he had heard that noise coming from. He started walking a little slower. The thickness of the trees in the area had stopped some of the harshness of the weather. He strained his eyes to view the area around him, trying to spot Psyduck somewhere in the darkness. Suddenly, he heard another noise. Now that he was closer, Ash could tell that the noise definitely wasn't caused by Psyduck. It was more of a hissing sound. And it sounded like it was getting closer... Ash whipped around, looking for whatever it was that was creating the frightening sound. His heart started to beat rapidly, his eyes darted in all directions. Finally, his eye caught something bright. But it wasn't what he was hoping to see. A pair of very unfriendly looking, slanted, glowing red eyes were staring right at him. Ash froze in fear. The eyes started moving closer. They kept advancing until they were close enough for Ash to see their owner. "Chaaaaaaah!" It hissed menacingly. Ash gulped. It was a wild Arbok. Not an arbok like the one Jessie owned, this one had a malicious look to it, its fangs gleamed dangerously as it released another terrifying hiss. Ash was even more frightened when he remembered that he'd left all of his pokemon back at the campsite. He quickly thought of using Charizard, but knew that calling a fire pokemon out in the rain was useless. Ash looked at the arbok and knew what it's intentions were. He slowly started to back up. Right now that was the only thing he could do....

Meanwhile, back at camp...

(I'll put pokemon translations on for now)

The pokemon were all sitting inside their hut, safe from the rain, but extremely worried. Squirtle had spotted Ash and Misty run off into the jungle in search of Psyduck. Pikachu's first instinct had been to go after them, but it knew that it would be too difficult to find Pikapi's scent in the rain. Pikachu could wind up getting lost too, and that would only make things worse. Besides, Pipipi(Togepi) needed Pikachu too. The other pokemon were okay at taking care of Pipipi, but none of them were as important to the little egg as Uncle Pika.(or aunt) So all Pikachu could do was sit in the hut and wait, praying for Pikapi and Pikachupi to come back safely.

"They've been gone a long time." Said Bulbasaur in his usual serious voice. "I hope they're ok."

"Yeah," Squirtle agreed with his friend. "And to think it's all 'cause of that idiot Psyduck. Sometimes I think we'd all be better off without him." He sneered.

"You shouldn't say that about any fellow pokemon!" Pikachu scolded. "Psyduck's saved us plenty of times. I know he's got his faults, but he's proved himself worthy to me!"

"Well, if they wind up dead tomorrow, it'll be all that moron's fault. Then what'll ya think about him?" Squirtle challenged. Togepi looked scared.

"Dead? Doesn't that mean that you sleep and never wake up?" It sniffled. "Is that going to happen to Mommy and Daddy?" Tears were forming in the baby's little eyes, and Pikachu went to comfort it.

"No, they'll be fine Pipipi, don't worry. I know that when the rain stops, your mommy and daddy are going to come back with Psyduck and tell you that everything's okay." Pikachu told Togepi reassuringly, wishing that it could believe its own words. Before any of the pokemon could say anything else, someone entered through their door.

"Hi guys." It was Psyduck.

"PSYDUCK?!?" All of the pokemon cried out at once in surprise.

"What are you doing here?" Pikachu demanded.

"It was raining. So I came in." Psyduck stated simply. All of them stared at him, sweatdrops forming on their heads.

"You mean you weren't lost?" Bulbasaur asked. Psyduck looked at him blankly.

"Lost? I knew where I was, so I wasn't lost. I took a walk and came back when I noticed it was raining." He answered. Squirtle slapped his forehead.

"Great." He mumbled. Pikachu looked worried.

"So now you're safe in here, but Pikapi and Pikachupi are still out there....." It looked outside at the raging storm, where its two dearest humans were lost.

After catching her breath, Misty headed off in the direction Ash had gone at full speed. There was no way she was going to lose him and Psyduck. This is great. She thought. Who knows what could happen to him when he's out there on his own? I'll bet that idiot forgot to bring any of his pokemon to help him just in case... good thing I brought Staryu. Misty thought of the danger Ash could be in and quickened her pace. While moving, she thought she heard his voice, like he was calling out. It had come from a dark area in the jungle. Ash is in trouble...Without thinking twice, she raced off to where the voice came from.

Ash found himself backed up against a rock with nowhere to run. He knew that if he tried anything suddenly, the arbok would strike, and it would be all over. The giant snake advanced on him further until it was only a foot from his face. It flicked its forked tongue at him, hissing viciously. Ash gulped. He knew that there was little he could do. In a last attempt, he put up his fists in a fighting stance, refusing to go down without a fight. The arbok simply flashed a sinister smile at him, and reared up. It opened its mouth, revealing all of its dangerous fangs. Ash knew that it was getting ready to strike. He braced himself for the oncoming attack.

To his surprise, it never came. A powerful blast of water had knocked the serpent off of its coils and sent it careening into a tree. Ash looked in the direction of his savior, and saw Misty standing there, Staryu in front of her, ready to battle. She smiled at him confidently and pointed her finger at the arbok.

"Staryu, swift attack!" She commanded. "Hiya!" Staryu leapt up into the air and fired a barrage of little glowing stars at the snake. It cried in pain, then dove at Staryu. "Agility!" Staryu obeyed and easily dodged the arboks attacks. "Great Staryu. Hit it with a double edge!" Staryu started spinning rapidly and flew at its opponent, hitting it hard. Once the arbok was on the ground in pain, Misty saw her opportunity. "Okay Staryu, finish it off with your best water gun attack!" Staryu fired another powerful blast of water from its tip. It hit the arbok full force, sending it flying far away from the two trainers. Once sure that the threat was gone, Misty recalled Staryu and gave her full attention to Ash. "Are you ok Ash?" She tried hard not to show the great worry that had filled her only a few moments ago.

"Yeah, I'm alright." Ash answered shakily. He finally allowed himself to breathe again and put his hand over his chest in a small attempt to calm his heartbeat. Misty saw his shaken condition and thought about what could've happened to him. The thought alone frightened her greatly.

"Ash, why did you run off like that?! Do you know what could've happened to you? You could've been hurt, or you could've been... been...." She was trying desperately to hold back tears. They were forcing their way into her eyes and starting to fall. Misty hoped that the raindrops on her face would disguise the tears. She looked down, trying to hide her face and erase the thoughts of what could've happened to Ash. Ash saw how upset she was, and this time, noticed that she was trying to hide it.

"I'm sorry Misty." He said with all the sincerity he could. "I didn't mean to upset you, I just-"

"I'm not upset!" Misty cut him off. "I'm fine." Ash was about to respond to her when another bolt of lightning startled both of them, leaving them frightened. "Maybe we should head back... we'll have to look for Psyduck when the storm passes." Misty suggested. She hated to say that, but knew that if they continued looking, something even worse could happen to either one of them.

"Good idea." Ash agreed. He started walking, but stopped and turned to face her. "Um.... do you know which way camp is?" Misty sighed.

"No. I don't." She said dejectedly. Great. Now they were lost out here. "Well, we can't stay out here, that's for sure."

"Right." Ash said. "Let's find a spot that's a little dryer." They weren't looking for very long before Ash found a tree with a large hollow area in its base. There was enough room for both of them, and it was perfectly dry inside.

Once they had both gotten inside the hollow, Ash reached into his pocket and pulled out his mini flashlight. It's light was too weak to be of any use outside, but it was enough to slightly light the small area they were staying in. "We can stay here until the storm passes, and then keep looking for Psyduck." He said to Misty. He noticed that she still looked worried about her pokemon. "Don't worry about it Misty, I'm sure he's fine." Misty looked up at Ash, but didn't say anything. "You know Psyduck is full of surprises. We'll find him and he'll be okay." Misty felt very comforted by Ash's words. She gave him a small smile.

"You're right Ash. I have a feeling that he'll be alright too." She then turned her gaze to the ground. Ash looked outside at the pouring rain and wondered when it would finally stop. He took off his cap. It was totally soaked. He held the hat out at arm length and squeezed the water out of it, then did the same with his jacket. After getting it mostly dry, Ash looked at his jacket sadly. To think I just cleaned it... He thought, and put it back on. He placed his cap next to him. A strong gust of wind blew outside, not failing to chill inside the hollow as well. Ash heard a noise coming from where Misty was sitting. He looked over at her and noticed that she was shivering. Ash looked at Misty with pity. He remembered the kindness she had showed him when she allowed him to stay in her hut. It was only right to repay her. And he couldn't just leave her there, shivering from the cold.

Misty was blaming herself for this situation entirely. If she had just remembered to bring Psyduck back with her, none of this would have happened. Now they were stuck out here, Ash had nearly been killed, and Psyduck was still lost. A wind blew through, chilling her. She shivered, but tried to bear through it, believing she deserved it. Only a few seconds later, she felt something soft and warm (but slightly moist) drape over her shoulders. She turned and saw that Ash had placed his jacket over her shoulders, and was now looking at her, looking nervous and embarrassed.

"Um... uh, you looked kinda cold, so.... you know.." Ash was stuttering, trying to come up with a good excuse for his gentleman-like actions. Unfortunately he couldn't think of any. Misty smiled a little.

"Thanks Ash, but you don't have to.."

"Aw, just wear it. I'm tryin' to do somethin' nice here, okay?" Misty blinked at him a couple of times, but then looked back at the ground again. She thought for a couple of seconds, then looked back up at him.

"Look Ash, I don't want you to get too cold either. Then you'd probably get sick or something, and that would be another thing I'd have to deal with. Why don't you... sit closer to me... so we can keep a little warmer?" Misty shut her eyes. That wasn't easy to say. Ash stared at her for a little. He could tell that she had had difficulty saying that to him. He also believed that the excuse she had used wasn't entirely sincere, and that she wanted him to stay warm because she cared.... maybe.

"Yeah okay, that sounds like a good idea." He said finally. Misty opened her eyes. He had agreed. She just hoped that he believed her dumb excuse for caring, just like he always did. Ash moved closer to Misty, so that they were both leaning on one another. Both had to admit to themselves, that this was much more comfortable than sitting apart.

Ash looked over at Misty. She was still staring at the ground, looking upset and a little angry. She also looked kind of uncertain and scared. That was how he felt. It was strange how being close to Misty could make him feel so comfortable and so uncomfortable at the same time. His mind drifted back to when he had woken up and found her resting on him. He made a little anime sigh. That feeling was back. It was telling him to talk to her, comfort her and make her smile, put his arms around her and tell her everything would be okay, and he'd stay by her no matter what. Ash wasn't willing to do all of those things, but he figured he should at least talk to her.

"Hey Misty, why do ya still look kinda sad? I told you that we'll find Psyduck. Don't worry." He attempted to be helpful.

Misty just looked at him. She was wondering why he was being so kind to her. It was almost as if he cared or something. It was really the earlier situation and what could have happened to Ash that was weighing on her mind most heavily. He could have died, the person who she cared for most could have been lost forever, and it was her fault that he was in that danger in the first place. "Thanks again Ash." She said to him softly. "I know that Psyduck will be alright, and that's really not what's bothering me. It's just..." She couldn't tell him what was really bothering her. Not now. Maybe not ever.

"What?" Ash asked, waiting for her to finish.

"Never mind." She finished. But this time Ash wanted to know what was on her mind. He wanted to know so that he could make it go away, and she would be happy again.

"Misty, please tell me. What's wrong?" He asked again.

"Just forget it Ash, it's not important." She said a little more firmly this time.

"Yes it is!" He stated. It was time to be honest with her. At least as honest as he would allow himself to be. "I.... don't want you to be sad, Misty. You're my friend, and seeing you like this... makes me sad too. And I want to know what's bothering you.... maybe I can help... please tell me." Misty was feeling guilty now, even more than before. He was being so honest with her, showing such care. It was something she would never have expected from him. She should at least be honest with him too. She took a deep breath.

"It's just that.... out there, in the storm... when I lost you I got so scared." She was talking very quietly, and Ash was leaning in towards her slightly to listen better. "I heard you cry out, and ran to where you were as fast as I could. When I saw that giant arbok ready to... attack you, I just acted on my instincts and called Staryu. But when it was over... when it was over, and I saw how frightened you were, I realized what could've happened to you.... and it scared me even more, to know... that it would've been... my fault...." Tears were forming in her eyes again, and she fought them with all her might, cursing them inside her head. Ash watched her fight the tears, and almost felt like crying himself. She cared about him. Much more than he ever imagined she would.

"Hey Misty, it's alright." He said softly. "If anything... had happened, it wouldn't have been your fault. I ran off on my own. It was my decision. Please don't blame yourself for anything." He smiled. "Besides, everything's fine. I'm here now, aren't I? And you were the one that saved me." Misty looked up at him, as a single tear escaped her eye. She was about to wipe it away, when Ash carefully brushed it away for her. "Please don't cry." He said gently. He looked into her eyes, and for the first time, saw how beautiful they were. He felt like he could get lost in them, just stare at them for hours. But he wasn't able to as Misty leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder. It was a bold move for her and she knew it, but she felt like it was right. Ash looked down at her and smiled.

"Thank you." Was all she said just then. Ash saw that she was smiling in the same way she had when she had been resting on him earlier. He started thinking, about how she had somehow wound up in that position with him, and looked very comfortable. He hadn't minded it either, and he didn't really mind it now. He also began thinking of when he had started hugging her while she was sleeping, and wondered what had come over him. Was it happening again? His mind was starting to piece things together(as hard to believe as that seems). How happy she had looked both then and now. The way she had cuddled up to him, and kissed his cheek. How he had responded to all of that. The way they had always been there for one another, though too proud to admit that they wanted to stay together. She had stayed with him when Brock had left. He would always worry when she was in danger, even if he never let her know. He had wanted so desperately to make her happy lately. It hurt him to see her upset. His mind drifted back to what Team Rocket had said to them, just before the blimp crashed and left them stranded here.....

"Jessie, I think we may have caught a pair of very romantic creatures in our net."

"You mean... Aw..."

"De're lovboids!"

Ash and Misty looked at each other, blushed and turned away.

"Aw, you guys are crazy!"

"Crazy is right, never in a million years!"

Team Rocket was howling with laughter.

"But you're blushing!"

"Kissy kissy!"

"It's not true!!"

Ash recalled his thoughts during that. The thought of him having feelings for Misty was ridiculous. But why did he blush? Why did she blush? Could they have been right? Could he really........

"What are you thinking about Ash?" Misty interrupted his thoughts before he could continue. She wondered why he looked like he was thinking so hard. Ash just looked at her uncertainly. Maybe he should ask her, and see what she thought about what they had said...

"Well, do you remember what Team Rocket said about us? On the blimp, I mean. You know, about you and me..."

"Being together?" She finished for him.

"Yeah." He faked a laugh. "Crazy, huh?" She laughed too.

"Yeah, crazy. I mean, us? What would make them think that?" She said. They both laughed lightly for a little.

"Right. Well...." Ash trailed off. "We were alone together, and it seemed like we'd ditched Brock or somethin'... maybe that's what made them think that." Misty nodded.

"Or maybe it's the way we always fight." She added. "Lots of people have told us that when you fight with someone a lot, you really care for them."

"Yeah, that could be it. Or maybe it's just cause we've got a lot in common. We both like pokemon, and we both hate to lose." He said with a slight laugh.

"Or maybe it's the way we're always supporting each other, like how I always cheer for you during your matches, even though I act like I don't care..." Misty said.

"Or it could be because we're really good friends... and we mean a lot to each other..." They were looking directly at each other now. They didn't notice it, but their faces were very close.

"It could be because I look at you sometimes, when I know you won't notice...." Misty said, sounding more serious.

"Or because I do the same thing sometimes..." Ash said. They were moving closer.

"Or maybe it's the way I admire you for the wonderful person you are..." Misty said with great sincerity.

"Or the way I admire you for the amazing girl you really are under that tough shell...." Ash spoke with equal sincerity in his voice.

"Or it could be that I really do care for you..." She spoke barely above a whisper.

"Or that I care for you too...." He whispered back. They froze for a moment, not seeing, hearing, or feeling anything but each other. "You know," Ash said. "Maybe it wasn't such a crazy idea after all...."

"Maybe not..." She said. And with that, she moved past the little amount of space that was separating them, and met his lips with her own. She was a little uncertain as to whether she should have done that or not, but soon she felt Ash returning her kiss, even though he was a little surprised himself.

Ash was overwhelmed by the wonderful feeling that was coursing through him. He could hardly move, but gladly returned Misty's gesture when she kissed him. He regained his senses a little, and folded his arms around her, holding her tight.

Misty responded to Ash's action by putting her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. Their kiss became more passionate, and they managed to hold it for quite a while. Misty regretted having to separate from him. After they parted, they were still a little overwhelmed by their sudden display of emotion and affection. Misty seemed almost unable to believe that that had just happened. Ash just sat there with a goofy smile across his face.

"You know," He said. "Maybe kissing isn't so gross after all..."

"Gross?" Misty asked. "What do you mean gross?"

"Uh, nothing!" Ash quickly answered, not wanting to go into that. "So... I guess this means that Team Rocket was right after all." He said, red as a magikarp. Misty nodded.

"Yeah, they were right Ash. For the longest time I've had feelings for you. I just.... didn't feel ready to tell you... I never thought that you'd seriously consider a relationship with anyone until you were eighteen or something."

"Hey!" Ash defended. "I don't always think of pokemon! I think about other stuff!"

"Yeah?" She questioned. "Like when?"

"Um.... uh.... lots of times!" Was the best he could come up with. "Actually, I'd been thinking a lot about you ever since we came here!" Misty looked surprised.

"Really?" Ash looked embarrassed and nodded. She smiled warmly at him and cupped his cheek in her hand. "Well I want you to know now Ash, that I always think about you. You mean everything to me... and I love you." She said with as much gentleness in her voice as there was in her touch. Ash turned red again.

"Thanks Misty." He answered. "I... may not have realized it until just a few minutes ago, but I... love you too." They smiled lovingly at each other and Ash spoke again. "I also want you to know that there's no one else I'd rather be stranded on an island with... especially not now." Misty just smiled again and pulled him into another kiss, as the rain poured and the winds howled outside.

The next morning, the storm had finally cleared, and the pokemon could finally come out of their shelter. Pikachu was about to lead all of them off on a search for Pikapi and Pikachupi. The group had reached the edge of the jungle when they saw two figures walking toward them. Pikachu immediately recognized the two trainers, and also noticed that they were holding hands. It put that thought aside and bounded toward them, overjoyed that they had made it safely through the storm.

"Pikapi! Pikachupi!" Pikachu cried happily as it dove into Ash's arms.

"Haha! Pikachu!" Ash cheered as he gave his pokemon a hug.

"Bulbasaur!"

"Squirtle squirt!"

"Toke brrrrri!" All of the other pokemon ran to their respective trainers. Ash greeted Bulbasaur and Squirtle with a hug and a pat on the head. Misty scooped up Togepi and hugged her little baby as it clung to its mommy, never wanting her to get lost again. During the happy reunion, one yellow pokemon slowly made its way to its trainer, bumping into her leg.

"Psy..." It mumbled, rubbing its head. Misty gasped.

"PSYDUCK?!" She immediately bended down and hugged the duck, glad he was safe. "Oh Psyduck, I was so worried about you! I'm so glad you're okay!" Misty suddenly stopped hugging Psyduck and bonked him on the head. "You idiot! I thought you were lost and you were here at camp the whole time!! I just don't believe you Psyduck, you're such a pain!!!" She yelled angrily.

"Aw, go easy on him Misty." Ash interjected. "If it weren't for Psyduck, we never would've gotten stuck out there, and that means that we never would've told each other..." Misty calmed a little.

"I guess you're right." She sighed. Pikachu gave them a sly look.

"Pika, pikachu?" It asked. Ash looked nervous.

"Heh heh.... we didn't do anything Pikachu... I don't know why you're so suspicious..." Ash flashed a very non-convincing smile. Pikachu just looked at him. It smiled.

"Pikapi chu Pikachupi, pi pikachu!" It said. Ash blushed.

"What did Pikachu say Ash?" Misty asked. Ash put his hand behind his head nervously and laughed.

"Uh.... it said.. nothing!" He said.

"Oh, don't try that with me, Ash Ketchum! You tell me what Pikachu said right now!" Ash started to run.

"Nothing!" Misty chased after him, mallet in hand.

"I'll just have to make you tell me then!" She shouted.

Before Ash could get smashed by her mallet, they thought they heard something coming from the shore.

"Misty, did you hear that?" The redhead stopped chasing him and turned her head in the direction of the sound.

"Yeah, I did. Maybe we should check it out." She said.

"Let's go!" Ash shouted as he bolted toward the shore. Misty followed.

When they reached the shore, Ash and Misty shouted out with glee as they saw a motorboat headed their way. On board was Officer Jenny, and leading the motorboat to the island was Goldeen. The boat finally reached the shore and the two teens ran over to it, accompanied by all of their pokemon. Misty happily greeted Goldeen, hugging the pokemon and thanking it over and over again.

"Are you kids okay?" Jenny asked the two.

"We're alright, Officer Jenny." Ash answered. "We're just glad that someone finally found us!" Ash and Misty hugged happily. They were saved.

After explaining everything that had happened (well, almost everything) to Jenny, the two trainers gathered their pokemon and their belongings and got on the boat. They sat together in the back while Jenny drove. While waiting to arrive, Misty snuggled comfortably up to Ash and kissed him on the cheek.

"You know," She whispered to him. "It really is a good thing that we were stranded on that island together, isn't it?" Ash smiled again and nodded.

"It sure is. Right now I can't wait to see the look on our friends' faces when they see us together." Misty rolled her eyes.

"Can't we just stay like this, and not have to show it off? I don't want a lot of attention..."

"Neither do I." Ash agreed. "Guess we'll just let them find out for themselves."

"Where are we headed right now anyway, Ash?" Misty asked.

"To one of the Orange Islands. Jenny told me there was a league there, and I've gotta enter it!" Ash exclaimed, shooting a fist in the air.

"But Ash, we were supposed to give that GS ball to Professor Oak, remember?"

"I know, but I'll get around to that later." Ash replied. "Besides, wouldn't you love to go to some of the beaches around there? I'll take you wherever you want..." He kissed her on the lips. Misty smiled dreamily.

"Okay....."

Not soon after they had reached the next island, Ash and Misty made it to the pokemon center, where they found an abused Lapras that had been saved by a young artist named Tracey.....

They continued from there, happy with their upcoming adventure and their newfound love.

The end.

Finished!! ::throws confetti in the air and does a dance:: Finally! I hope the ending or the "confession scene" wasn't too mushy for you peeps. I did my best to be original. It took me a very long time to finish this, so I hope you all like it. I'm running out of ideas again now.... @_@. I did promise someone that I'd bash brock again, just gotta find a creative way to do that! Well I'm glad it's finally done, and I'm sure alla you peeps are too. I'll be seein' ya all later!