A/N: This was written some time ago for the Orangeshipping club at deviantART, but I delayed posting it here until now... during Valentine's Day! xD
This is the first het fic that I've written in some time. xD It was really fun. I like bubbly things. (heehee)
Anyway, this is Orangeshipping (Misty/Tracey) and sided Pokéshipping (Misty/Ash). I used English names for easy reading among everyone, but I had a hard time not putting in the Japanese names.
Okay, my yaoi fans, don't kill me. Updates are coming, slowly but surely.
The title is a play on words. It's pretty obvious.
Maybe one day, you'll take the ache that lingers in this young heart.
Misty was about ready to explode in her own kitchen. Throwing down the apron on the counter in a heated fit, she raised a hand to her three sisters. "Will you please just leave me alone?!"
"But we just want to know who the chocolate is going to…" Lily said, trying to act like she hadn't just been peeking over Misty's shoulder like a bothersome child. "Can you blame us for being curious? Our little sister, in love!"
"UGH!" The redhead stomped down her foot hard to silence her three driveling sisters. It had worked—but it had also brought a tingling pain to the ball of the foot used to do so. "I'll see you in a few days; you can take care of the gym yourselves!" She swiped a bag off the countertop and stormed out of the doorway, making a beeline for her room.
"Where are you going?" Daisy shouted, the sisters following the youngest one to her room. But before they could stop her, Misty was already throwing a pack on her back and heading for her bicycle.
"Far away," was the vague answer she gave, throwing a foot around her bike and speeding off.
"Wonder what her problem is…" Lily said, looking at the other two for guidance, who just nodded in response. The blonde shook her head. "I didn't think we were being that bad…"
Professor Oak was humming a merry tune as he sat at his computer, finishing up some work that needed done that afternoon. However, his tune had a fairly quick decrescendo into silence, when he listened to a peculiar banging coming from the second floor. He heard Tracey screaming, but then something else he couldn't quite identify…
"Professor!" A boy was speeding down a staircase, and nearly tripping on himself, entered the main office of where the old man resided. Leaning back in his chair to look at the addressee, the professor wore a perplexed look.
"What's wrong, Tracey?" he asked. "What's with all the noise upstairs?"
"W-well, it's like this!" he spat out, a wild look about him. Professor Oak raised an eyebrow in question. "You see, there's a Pidgeot in my room, a-and well…"
"My sketches!..." He wore a look of desperation, trying to find the right words to explain his predicament. "They're… everywhere…"
"Is a wild Pidgeot?" The professor asked, rising from his chair and reaching for an empty Pokéball lying beside the monitor. "How did it get in? Did you leave your window open?"
"I had left the window open, and all of a sudden it flew in and starting flapping its wings! Maybe something had made it mad… I'm not sure!"
"We'll just have to see. Come on, before your sketches are ruined." He snatched the small sphere from the desk and ran to the boy's room, signaling that young Sketchit tag along as he crossed him.
"Oh, please don't say that…" Tracey sighed dejectedly, quickly picking up in step and following behind. "I think it may be a little late for that now…"
They reached the top floor to Tracey's current bedroom. A couple of pages with sketches were scattered about, and upon noticing them the green-haired boy bent over to pick them up. The professor put his hand on the doorknob and began to explain his plan of action. "We'll catch the Pidgeot in a Pokéball and from there we'll—GOOD GOLLY!" It was at that moment that Professor Oak had chosen to open the door and was showered with a mess of papers that exploded from the doorway. Tracey looked up, rather surprised, and nearly cried when he saw the myriad of sketches become nothing more but huge pieces of confetti.
Misty found the hush of the open fields quite relaxing compared to the obnoxious buzzing of her sisters, able to find peace for the first time in a long while. Actually, it hadn't been since she had been traveling with Ash and Brock that she had felt this kind of calm. (Well, it is to say that Ash had always managed to get into some sort of trouble—but in the end it turned out well for the most part.)
Thinking about Ash suddenly turned her calm attitude into a forlorn feeling. To be honest, Misty was making the chocolate in that small hope that she may run into him around Valentine's Day (but it was so unlikely—in three day's time it would arrive) and if he didn't come—well, she could eat all the chocolate herself, probably moping about getting left behind again.
It hadn't been his fault that she was unable to express her true feelings to him—but she couldn't help blaming him for being so incredibly dense about the way she really thought about him. The small glimmer of hope that was still lighted inside of her was flickering out like a candle with melted wax, and this was one last way to convince herself that he didn't realize it (or just didn't care) and that she should let herself get over it. But in some way, she had a feeling she would never truly lose her feelings for him.
Reaching the winding hills of Pallet, certain nostalgia attacked her heart… memories of her beloved's home town making her want to shed tears. Biting her bottom lip, she fought back showing her sadness and prepared herself for Delia Ketchum. Upon reaching the small house, Mr. Mime greeted her with a smile and a wave. "Mr. Mime!"
"Hi, Mr. Mime," Misty greeted back, using the heel of her right foot as a brake and leaned on her side. "Is Mrs. Ketchum home?"
"Mr. Mime!" The psychic Pokémon nodded and abandoned his broom to fetch the woman, bringing her out quickly in seconds. She was wiping her dirty hands on a soiled white apron, bewilderment in her eyes until she saw the redhead parked outside.
"Misty! It's great to see you!" she greeted, jumping down from the porch and approaching Misty to talk to her. "What are you doing here?"
"Well, actually, I needed to ask you of a favor…" Climbing off her bike, Misty rolled it to the side of the railing on the porch and gave the mother a pleading smile. "You see, I don't cook very often, but I wanted to make something…"
"Oh, I haven't made chocolate in years!" Delia took the bag of cacao beans and spread them across a pan that lay on the oven top. "Not since I had given them to my husband, but that was such a long time ago…"
'Ash's dad?' Misty thought, suddenly feeling guilt. 'I had never heard about Ash's dad, thinking about. Neither of the Ketchums ever brought him up…and Brock and I didn't want to bother by asking.'
"Now, we need to bake these for a while…" Misty took the pan and placed them on a rack in the oven, as Delia explained how to start. "Every ten minutes we'll give them a taste, and when they're ready, we'll have to hull them all."
"Hull them all?" Misty's shoulders slumped as her short term memory brought back the sight of the entire pan full of small cacao beans.
"Well, of course! You can't have the husk in the chocolate!" Delia giggled. "Then that wouldn't be any good!"
While waiting for the beans, Misty and Delia lightly chatted at the table. About what had been happening lately, how things have been… the usual, boring conversations.
"So, is this chocolate going to anyone special?" The mother brought up after a short moment of silence. "It is close to Valentine's Day…"
Misty's muscles tensed and a fine blush drew across her face. If she told Delia it was secretly supposed to go to Ash (though he would never get it), she would know about her crush on her son! How embarrassing!
"I'm not sure yet…" she mumbled. "Maybe somebody in Cerulean City…"
"You're making chocolate but you don't know for who?" Delia asked, though the smile dancing her eyes indicated that she had a feeling Misty wasn't telling the truth. "That's a little… strange…"
"Hey, it's been another ten minutes! Let's go check on those beans, huh?" Misty rose from the table and dashed for the oven—and more importantly, avoided the subject.
Delia sighed and shook her head, following the girl to the kitchen.
After hulling the beans, grinding them, and mixing them, Misty discovered that perhaps the result of the chocolate would not be worth the effort. Pouring in ingredients, Misty couldn't really decide all of what she wanted to put into her chocolate. Sugar, vanilla, a little milk…
She spotted a bottle of orange extract sitting on the shelf of the spice cabinet. An idea hitting her, she plucked it off and showed it to Delia. "Mrs. Ketchum, what do you think would happen if I added a little orange?"
"That sounds like a good idea. Why don't you try it?" Misty nodded and added in a very small amount—just enough to give the chocolate a different flavor.
And after hours of hard work, the chocolate was finally cooling in the molds. "I hope it'll be okay…" Misty said. "This is the first time I've ever made chocolate…"
"I'm sure it'll be fine with my help," Delia chuckled. "Don't worry, my chocolate isn't bad—I always couldn't help myself to it after I gave it to my husband." In the memory, a mischievous grin formed on her lips.
Misty couldn't suppress the light giggle that came, trying to imagine a younger Delia snatching her own chocolates from her lover's box. "So, now that the chocolate's setting… what can I help you with?"
"Well, I was supposed to run these fruits over to the Professor's," she pointed to the two baskets of fruit sitting on the countertop as she explained, "I had bought them at the market for his Pokémon as a favor I owed him—would you mind doing that for me? I had been cleaning, but when you came over I had abandoned that…"
"No problem." Misty grabbed them before Delia could finish her story. "I owe you one for helping me. See you then." She headed out and on her way to Professor Oak's lab, not anticipating the greeting she received.
"Well, we caught it, finally…" Professor Oak lay on the floor, breathing heavily with a Pokéball clasped in his hand. By his side was Tracey's Marill, exhausted by the battle. "What a mess."
"You can say that again," the boy sighed, picking up his sketches into a disassembled pile in his arms. "Months of hard work so easily thrown about… it's poignant."
"Oh no! What happened?" The small squeak of Misty's voice caught the trio's attention to the doorway, who quickly scrambled to start picking up papers. She looked at one to see a picture of Ash's Pikachu gnawing on the end of a catsup bottle, but it had a small tear running across the side. "This is awful—are all of these your sketches?"
"Yeah—but what are you—" Tracey was a little startled to see the redhead at the lab so randomly (and perfect timing, while he was getting upset over sketches!) and could feel a light blush come to his cheeks.
"I was bringing some fruit over from Mrs. Ketchum, but I heard some voices from upstairs and came up to say hi." She continued to crawl across the floor, shortly glancing at each sketch before forming her own disarrayed pile. "It looks like a tornado came through your room!"
"Actually, it was a whirlwind," the professor corrected, not moving from his spot on the floor. "Tracey had left his window open and a Pidgeot came in. But I caught it." He rolled the small Pokéball across the floor, and it tumbled until the small button was accidentally pressed—and out popped the bird Pokémon, tired but enraged.
"AAARRRRGGGHHH!" was the general screaming noise that came from the three humans, and the redhead struggled to pick up the Pokéball and return the Pokémon back to it's encasement.
"Professor!" Misty scolded, watching as the scattered papers fluttered back to the floor and random furniture about the room. "How could you be so careless?"
"He didn't try it, Misty," Tracey defended softly. "It was quite a battle trying to catch that Pidgeot, so he's tired."
"Did you ever consider getting screens for the windows?" she asked, changing the subject trying to hold her tongue.
"Well, now I am," he said, currently sprawled across the floor. "I'll call that department store tomorrow about it…"
Settled with the response, Misty continued to pick up the sketches (including the ones she had dropped in the sudden excitement,) when a particular one caught her interest. It was a girl sitting at a table, a distant look in her eyes. She looked very familiar, even more so with the side ponytail peeking out from the side…
Suddenly feeling the heat rise to her cheeks, she quickly stuck it into
her pile and covered it with another sketch she didn't even bother to
peek at. She hoped Tracey hadn't noticed she had found the picture—he
had never shown it to her before, so apparently it had
been something he had secretly drawn.
'But he doesn't… like me, does he? Or at least did…'
The thought made her heart flutter with excitement. It was somewhat a familiar feeling, but it had a different kind of response…
It made her want to soar with high hopes, rather than make her sink with dropped dreams.
And suddenly, the chocolate had a recipient, for sure.
After dinner, Misty headed back to the lab. Though it was becoming dark, she biked through the dark, a flashlight crudely taped to the handle bars to light her way. (A trick she had taught herself as a young girl—often getting away from her siblings at nighttime.) She noticed Tracey sitting out on the porch, looking gloomy with his chin resting in his palm. When she got closer, he must have heard her coming—he looked up straight at her, and then a look of stun flashed across his face for a moment.
"Oh, hey—I wasn't expecting you… again," he confessed, scratching the back of his head with a hand. "I was just out here, thinking…"
"About what?" Without being told to, she turned the flashlight off and set the bike down on its side, abandoning it to sit by Tracey's side on the porch.
The boy sighed. "I'm just a little down… I was trying to reorganize my sketches, but a lot of them got torn or wrinkled by the whole ordeal…" He ducked his head a little lower to cup his palm on his forehead. "You must think I'm stupid, getting upset over something as trivial as sketches…"
"That's not true!" Misty said. "I know that you work really hard on those, and that that's a lot of effort to have ruined!" Tracey was surprised by her sudden outburst—not that he never heard her shout before—but he wasn't expecting it to be… in such a supportive tone. "It's not stupid. I think I know where you're coming from."
The older boy opened his mouth to speak, but he had nothing to say. The only thing that came was a sigh, and then he put his head back down. "If I had known that a Pidgeot was going to fly into the room while I had all my sketchbooks out on the table, I would have waited a while longer to start filing away my sketches…"
"Is that what you were doing?" Tracey nodded. "But, you didn't know that. Don't blame yourself for it."
"I'm not… but I can't help thinking it." The second sigh in the last five minutes broke the silence of the night air. "Good thing I was doing nearly all of them, huh?" he murmured sarcastically.
"Tracey…" She knew that his work had meant so much to him—and to have almost his entire collection of sketches ruined—must have been devastating. Without a word of comfort left for her to say, she began to rub his back gently, letting the gesture do the talking for her.
There was an awkward look on Tracey's face as he peered at her, asking, 'What are you doing? You've never done this before…'
But the smile she gave back whispered, 'Hey, it'll be okay. Let me be here for you.'
It was all he needed to grin back, touched by such a simple motion.
"Hey, um… what are you doing out here, you two?"
The shaky-sounding voice jolted Misty out of her slumber. The temperature around her was chilly, but the material she clung onto was warm, like a blanket…
But since when did her blankets smell like cologne?
When she realized that the blankets were actually a green shirt, she tried to squirm away, but was anchored by a pair of arms. In her movement, she awoke the boy who they were attached to, and both yelped when they realized the situation they had found themselves in.
"Pr-Professor! We were just—ahh…" Tracey chuckled embarrassedly, looking up at the old man. The professor had his arms crossed and a look bred between discomfort and tease on his face.
"You know, Tracey, I know you were upset about your sketches, but to make yourself feel better you shouldn't—"
"We weren't doing anything! We were just sleeping together out here, is all!" Both men glanced at her, giving her a priceless face with pink cheeks to match.
Well, rather, Tracey's face camouflaged with this bandana…
"That… didn't come out right…"
The green-haired teenager scrambled to stand on his feet, and then helped Misty up. "I'm—going to change and start my duties—I-I'll see you around, won't I?"
"Y-yeah… of course…" Misty stuttered, looking over to her bike, still on the ground where she left it (but now it was covered with dew since it was morning and the sun was rising…)
When she came back to the Ketchum residence, she changed her outfit
into a clean one, and helped Mrs. Ketchum around the house. All day,
she couldn't keep her mind off Tracey. How had they fallen asleep like
that? She could remember comforting him, and before she knew it, her
eyes were closing and an arm had pulled her closer until her head
laid on something soft and warm…
'Oh. Oh, wait a sec…'
She could feel her heart palpitate with excitement, and her movements became more light and fluttery when the thought turned her into melted goo.
"Well, Tracey, once again this old man won't be getting chocolates…" Professor Oak chuckled, bending down to feed some Pidgey in the meadow. "What about you? Anything?"
"Me? Why are you asking?" But the boy couldn't hide the blush that came. "I don't know any girls in Pallet—or any that would give me chocolate, for that matter."
"Are you sure about that?" Professor Oak hummed a chuckle afterwards, throwing more down feed for the Pidgey.
"What are you laughing about?" he asked obliviously, confused by his superior's odd remark.
"Tracey! Professor Oak!"
The sound of Misty's voice immediately perked Tracey's ears up. The blush that had disappeared flared back—even more so than the first time. "Misty! Hey, good morning!"
"It's nearly noon, silly!" She explained, pointing to the watch on her wrist. "Mrs. Ketchum asked me to come get you two for lunch!"
"What's the occasion?" the professor asked, flipping his palm down to dispel of the last of the corn stuck on his hand.
"Valentine's Day, of course!" This stunned the two—they had never expected to be invited to lunch on Valentine's Day.
"Tracey, I'm going to finish up feeding these Pokémon, and I'll meet you over at the house."
"No buts, if I could do it without you before, then I can do it without you now. Go on, and tell Delia I'm on my way." The professor grabbed a pack on the ground and began to walk towards a shed full of Rapidash and Ponyta. The two younger teens looked at each other, shrugged, and headed in towards the lab.
Setting his bag down by the computer desk, Tracey fidgeted with his headband and walked towards the door. "Um, all right, well let's go then—"
"Hold on." Bewildered as what would make Misty want to stay, Tracey turned on his heel to face her. "I… I had something for you…" He noticed the sudden red tint forming on her face as she dug into her own bag and pulled out a box. "I-I hope it's o-okay…"
The boy approached her, taking the box nervously into his hands. He had a hunch to as what it could be—but somehow couldn't imagine it—and opened the lid. Inside was chocolate—assorted into different designs.
"I had made it the other day—it's for you. Happy Valentine's Day." Ducking her head down to hide her cheeks, Misty's words her muffled slightly—but still coherent to Tracey's ears.
He couldn't wipe the silly grin on his face. He had given up on his dreams some time ago—when she left again with Ash on more journeys. But to receive chocolates on Valentine's Day from her… was a dream come true.
"I don't know what to say—thanks…" Though, to be honest, he was afraid to try the chocolate in front of her—he could guess that she didn't do much kitchen work and wasn't the master of food… and didn't want to have a negative reaction to it while she was watching.
But he supposed he could try to repress that as best as he could, and reached one to try it. He observed it a moment, acting like he was awing in it's design when he was really saying a silent prayer that it wouldn't kill him—and took a small bite of it. It was just enough to make his taste buds sense the dark chocolate flavor—with a hint of something sweet he couldn't quite recognize, but it was familiar…
He took the rest of it in his mouth and let the chocolate take over his mouth, giving a short hum in content for its flavor. Now he knew what that particular taste was—orange.
"This is really good!" he said bluntly. "Orange chocolate—I haven't had orange chocolate since I lived in the islands!"
She was taken aback slightly. 'Living in the islands… he means when he was home…'
"Thank you so much, Misty!" He took his free arm and embraced the redhead with it, filling her to the top with a feeling she really had never known before.
To love, and to be loved back… even as a small crush, it was an awesome sensation that she didn't want to leave.
-a month later-
Back in the gym, Misty sighed happily, popping a piece of white chocolate in her mouth and enjoying the taste in happiness. She lay down on the bed, and sighed again. The scream of her sisters, "Misty! Misty! Come down here!" shook her from her girlish-like fantasies, but choose to ignore them and went back to La-La Land, happily enjoying the view of Tracey's face.
"Miissssty! Ash is here! Don't you want to say hi?" The announcement nearly knocked her off the bed, but somehow, the announcement didn't quite shake her as much as it used to.
"I'm coming!" she shouted back. When her hand lay on the doorknob, she remembered the white ribbon tied on her hand that had been left there from a few days back. She stared at it momentarily, debating if she should untie it in her former crush's presence, or just keep it on anyway and wonder what would happen.
The latter brought a mischievous grin to her face, and she couldn't help laughing as she marched downstairs without thinking, able to see Ash for the first time—without feeling like her love was going to be unrequited forever.
A/N: Awww... okay. Yeah. The end.
For those of you uneducated in the Japanese way of celebrating Valentine's Day, girls give boys chocolate on Valentine's Day, and then a month later is White Day, where the boys repay the favor. I don't feel like explaining in extraordinary detail, go look it up.
And that's all I've got. Hope you enjoyed, and please review!