Circumstances Of One's Birth

Once again, this is rated PG-13 for mild language and a topic dealing with a mature situation.  And may I say that I had to reload this story, so apologies to anyone who received errors the last time.


Circumstances Of One's Birth

            "I wish you had never been born."

            I can't believe I said that...

            She always went too far.  She just couldn't let him have the last word, could she?  And to think, that was one of the faults she was constantly throwing at him—stubbornness.  Well, he had learned from the best.  Her.

            It's not as if they hadn't fought before.  And it had gotten bad.  Both of them had yelled that they wished they had never met each other.  Both of them had refused to speak to each other for days.  But somehow or another, without either of them acknowledging an apology, before too long they just seemed to mend their differences and were friends again. 

            She wasn't sure if it was possible to mend this, though...

            She had seen it in his eyes the minute she'd spoken.  She'd always thought that 'the atmosphere in the room dropped' was a figure of speech, but it was as if there were some psychic energy that chilled them all the moment she hurled that last insult at him.  She felt like she'd blasphemed.  He had taken a step back, his anger dying instantly, to be replaced by a look of hurt so deep that she knew there was nothing she could do or say to make penance.  He hadn't even answered.  In one horrified moment, she realized there were tears in his eyes as he turned around and fled up the stairs to his room.

            "That was wrong." 

            Brock's tone had never been so biting.  Misty looked at him wide-eyed, not believing she could have hurt her best friend so badly.

            "I didn't mean to..." she said frantically, trying not to cry herself.  "My God, I never meant..."

            "What's wrong with you?"  Brock asked coldly, and Misty couldn't hold back her tears  at this accusation.  "You know, I had always assumed your fights were just show before.  But if you're playing around, Misty, you've gone too far, and if you're not..."

            "Brock, I didn't mean it!  I really didn't!  I just got so mad, I didn't think about what I was saying..."

            "And your thoughtlessness has just hurt one of the best friends you'll ever have."

            "Don't you think I know that?!"

            "Do you?"  Brock asked quietly, and Misty stared at him in shock.  He didn't really think she felt that way...did he?

            "I think you need to go apologize right now," he said, turning his back on her.

            "I..."  She stopped and swallowed her words.  If she wanted to win any of her friend's respect back at all, for once she wouldn't argue and would simply do as she was told.  "I will.  I am."  She turned and retraced Ash's steps.  Her legs were shaking.  She shouldn't be this nervous...

            But I shouldn't have been so cruel, either. 

            She reached the top of the stairs all too soon.  Funny how your legs could bring you to the guillotine so quickly...she hated apologizing.  But her desire not to lose a friend was stronger.

            She knocked on the door.  "Ash?" she said hesitantly.  There was no answer.  She tested the door.  It wasn't locked.

            "Ash?" she said again as she carefully opened the door and slowly walked in.  There was a lump on his bed.  A shock of black hair stuck out from under the covers.  She walked over to his bunk and started to climb the ladder.

            "Leave me alone," he said, startling her as he buried himself under the blanket so that none of his body was visible at all now.  His voice was muffled.  Evidently Ash wouldn't even let his pokémon comfort him—Pikachu was sitting on top of the blanket, staring forlornly at the lump underneath.  He gave Misty a sorrowful look that plainly said, How could you do this?

            "I can't," she said to Ash.  "Not until I can tell you how sorry I am."

            "Yeah, right."

            Misty's heart turned.  She deserved this.  She gave Pikachu a pleading look.  "Can I talk to him?" she asked softly.  "I promise I won't hurt him again, and I won't leave until he's alright."  Pikachu hesitated.  What do you do when one of the two humans you trust the most is hurt by the other one?  In the end loyalty won out, and he shook his head.

            "Please.  I promise...I just need to talk to him...alone."  She swallowed.  Pikachu still looked torn.  A tear slid down her cheek, and he knew that she was truly repentant.  He walked around his trainer, nudged Misty's leg in sympathy, and made his way out of the room. 

            "Ash..." she said.  "God, I don't even know what to say."

            "You didn't have any problem with that earlier," he said bitterly.  His voice was weak.  He had been crying.  Why had he taken her words to heart so much?  Misty swallowed another lump in her throat and reached out to touch him on the shoulder.  She could feel him flinch even underneath the blanket, but he didn't pull away when she started to massage his back gently.

            "Ash, I was an idiot.  I didn't even think about what I was saying.  I didn't mean it.  Ash...believe it or not, you're one of the nicest people I know.  I was just mad...I can't believe I tried to hurt you like that."  She closed her eyes.  She wouldn't cry, she wouldn't...

            He didn't answer.  "Please, Ash," she begged.  "I need you to forgive me.  I don't want you to hurt like this, and I especially don't want to be the cause of it.  I feel so horribly guilty right now..."

            Damn it, the tears came anyway.  She sniffled.  He relaxed just the slightest bit underneath her touch.  "How do I know you're telling the truth?" he asked.

            "Because you're my friend.  And because...I care about my friends.  Even when I'm too stupid to let it show."  She tried to laugh it off.  "Think about it, Ash.  You know how dumb I am when I'm angry.  Remember how I once told you that you were as ugly as a tentacruel?  And you know that was a lie.  How could I have ever said that such a beautiful creature was ugly?"

            It worked.  He tried not to laugh, but she could feel him relax even more, and he unsheathed his head.  He still didn't say anything.

            "Ash...I'm sorry," she said softly.  "Please forgive me."

            "I can't."  He suddenly tensed again, and Misty pulled away from him at this refusal, biting her lip to keep the tears away. 


            "I can't—because you're right." 

            It was him who had tears running down his cheeks as he spoke.  He buried his head in his pillow—he hated to cry in front of her.  Misty replaced her hand on his back and began to rub it.

            "What are you talking about?" she asked, shocked at the anguish in his voice.  "You can't be serious."

            "It would have been better if I had never been born," he said, and Misty could feel him trembling uncontrollably.  "I was an accident.  No, worse than an accident—a sin.  I was a sin."

            "Ash..." Misty tried to comfort him.  "How can you say that? There's nothing you could have done to ever make you believe that..."

            "You don't understand, Misty.  You don't understand..." he said.  He was about ready to break out into full-fledged sobs, the pain overwhelming him.  In desperation Misty did something she had never done before.  She pulled him up, ignoring his surprise, and gripped him to her in a fierce hug.  After a moment of resistance he stopped fighting and just let her hold him.

            "Then help me understand," she said, stroking the back of his hair.  "It's alright, Ash.  You can tell me."

            "I should have never been born..." Ash whispered.


            "Mommy...what's a bastard child?"  The little boy's voice was timid, as if he knew he was about to get punished for what he had said.

            Delia nearly dropped the plate she was drying.  "Ash Ketchum, where on earth did you hear that word?"

            Ash hung his head.  "Gary Oak said I was a bastard child."

            Delia sighed and set down her towel.  She sat down and motioned for her child to come over.  He did, reluctantly.  She took him in her arms in a hug and relief washed over him when he realized she wasn't mad.

            "Honey, Gary's going through a hard time right now," she said.  "You know his parents are getting divorced, and they're both fighting over him so viciously that he had to come live with his grandfather until they could work things out.  He's hurt and he's confused, and he's just trying to take his anger out on you.  He didn't mean it."

            "But why did he say it?  What does it mean?"

            Delia looked at her son at arm's length.  "You're only're so young..." she sighed, her face pained at the truth she had to tell him.  "But you're not too young.  Ash, you know I love you with all my heart and soul.  You're the best thing that has ever happened in my life."  She kissed him on the forehead.

            "I know.  I love you too."  He gripped his mom as hard as she was in a hug.  "What does that have to do with what Gary said?"

            "I just don't want you to ever doubt it."  She blinked tears away.  "I've told you before, when you asked about your daddy, that I didn't love him. But just because I didn't love him, it doesn't mean I don't love you.  I don't know what I would have ever done without've made my life worth living, sweetheart..."

            "I love you, Momma," he felt obligated to say again. 

            "I love you too, baby..." she whispered.  She cleared her throat.  "Ash, your daddy was a bad man.  He hurt me..."

            "Why would he hurt you?" Ash asked.  He had tears in his own eyes at seeing his mother so upset.  "How could anyone hurt you?"

            "I wish I could tell you, Ash, but the truth is, no one knows why one person would willing choose to hurt another person.  Especially as bad as he hurt me..." she said softly.  "That's why people say what they did.  Because he did something...evil.  But Ash, listen.  I want you to learn something from this.  Sometimes good can come from evil."  She smiled through her tears.

            "And I know this, because you were the good....for it was because of what your daddy did to me that you were born..."


            Misty was absolutely still.  The room was silent for a moment.  She started to shift so that she could see him better when he burst out angrily.

            "Do you understand now?  I was conceived by rape, Misty, by rape.  I didn't completely understand it when I was a kid, but I do now...I should have never been born..."

            He started crying into her shoulder.  Misty had barely been able to breathe during the story.  She let her tears fall freely now, because they weren't for herself.  They were for him and his heartache. 

            "Oh Ash..." she said softly.  "I didn't know...I'm so sorry..."

            "She didn't even know him...I asked, once, before I knew what had happened, what his name was.  She said that she didn't know.  I was too young to know that most little boys' mommies knew who their father was...I found out later what happened.  She was just walking home one day...and he stopped her, pretending to ask her for directions...and he kidnapped her...and he..."  Ash choked.  Misty opened her mouth to speak, to console him, but Ash cut her off again.

            "Do you know how many times I've wished I had never been born?" he cried.  "How many times I've wished that my mom had never had to go through all that pain?  If it hadn't been for me..."

            "She would have been hurt a lot worse than she had been," Misty said, gripping him by the shoulders and forcing him to look at her.  Both of their faces were damp.  "You heard her say that you were the best thing that ever happened to her.  She loves you—it doesn't matter to her how or why you were born.  What happened to your mom isn't your fault.  You're just as innocent as she is."

            "She didn't ask for me to be born..."

            "Neither did you," Misty said, her voice breaking.  She shook him gently, trying to make him understand.  "Ash...I don't have any idea of what your mom felt.  She had to endure something that no one should ever have to endure.  But you can't think that just because she didn't plan to have you, that it means she didn't want you."

            "How could she not?" he cried.  The look on his face was miserable and Misty wondered how long this burden had been upon him.  "I'm just a reminder of what he did.  How can she even love me?"

            "Ash..."  She stopped as he started crying the hardest he had cried since their fight.  She just held him.  "It's okay, Ash...let it out...just let it out..."

            She didn't know how long they stayed like that.  It seemed that Ash was releasing tears that he had held inside of him for two long years.  He hid it well—always trying to do his best, always trying to make his mother proud—always trying to make sure his mother never regretted the decision to keep her son.  But the time had come that he couldn't avoid the hurt any longer.  Finally the crying slowed to a stop, until the only evidence of his outburst was a slight shudder that went through his body ever so often.

            "Ash..." she carefully tried again.  "Ash, don't you love your mother?"

            He took it harder than she had intended, as he immediately started jerking away from her.  "Of course I do!" he said angrily.  "Of course I do!  That's why I know she never deserved to become pregnant with me!"

            Misty held firm.  "Ash, if you love your mother, why do you think that she would lie to you?"  He gasped and stopped struggling. 


            "Ash, she wasn't lying when she said she loved you..." she said softly.  "Like I said...I can't even imagine what she's gone through.  But Ash, your mom...she's special.  She finds her purpose in life by loving others.  When she said you made her life worth living, she really meant that.  You know what I think?  I think you were what saved her.  She doesn't think of him because of you, she forgets about him by loving you."
            He had leaned against her and was shedding silent tears into her shirt again.  "'s just so hard.  How could she deal with it...being an unwed mother...all the talk, all the responsibility.  She had to work two jobs when I was a grandparents baby-sat me.  They would have supported her, but she didn't want to be dependent on them for all her life, and she didn't think anyone would want to marry a single mother who had a child by..." He shook at this point, then continued.  "My grandparents died in an accident when I was barely old enough to remember them.  That was less than two years after she had been...attacked.  She was barely able to cope with it.  It was only because of that tragedy...another tragedy...that we're living where we are today...they left her an inheritance.  That's the only way she would ever take any of their money.  We're not rich, but Professor Oak helped her to invest will support her for as long as she needs..."

            "I'm not saying it wasn't hard," Misty said compassionately.  "Life is hard, and some people have it harder than others.  But I think it would have been harder if you hadn't been there.  What has your mom told you about when you were a baby?"

            "I don't know..." he said uncertainly.

            "You've talked about it before.  What did she say?" She gave him an encouraging smile.

            His voice was a little timid, but as he spoke, the memories soothed him.  He smiled a watery smile and said, "She said...that I was the most contented baby she had ever seen.  I was energetic, and I was always getting into things, but whenever she'd catch me I'd just laugh and give her a slobbery baby kiss and she couldn't get mad at me.  She said I hardly ever woke her up during the night more than I needed to, and she swears up and down that this was because I somehow knew that she needed sleep because of her jobs.  And she said...that she thought I knew when she was feeling down, because whenever she needed a hug, that was always the time that I wanted her to hold me...when she just wanted someone to love her..."

            "So...even though that was one of the hardest times in her life...the only things she remembers about you are good memories...?" Misty asked softly.

            "Yes...." he said, faltering.

            "Does that sound like somebody who didn't want you?" It was less of a question than it was a tender statement of truth.  Ash didn't answer at first, he just gripped her tightly and sobbed once.  Misty stroked his hair but he recovered quickly this time and pulled away, wiping his eyes.

            "Thanks, Mist," he said, his voice hoarse from his crying but gratitude written all over the hesitant look he gave.

            "What are friends for?" she said, taking his hand affectionately.  He smiled and looked down. 

            "I's just always been hard for me to imagine being loved.  For nine years I knew my dad didn't love me...then I found out that not only did he not know I existed, but my mom hadn't...asked...for me either.  And I guess I knew deep down that she loved me, but I couldn't understand why..."  He trailed off.  Misty patted his hand.

            "I don't think it's so hard to understand," Misty said, honestly, though her eyes began twinkling the moment she said it.  Ash looked up awkwardly and blushed at the smile on her face.

            "What...what does that mean?"

            "Just that I think you're perfectly capable of being loved," she said, still being perfectly truthful, and still entirely enjoying his bashful reaction.

            "Oh..." His face turned even pinker when she winked at him.  She giggled.

            "...and you know what they say.  You're loved by more people than you know..."

            And now she had to stop or else she was going to burst out laughing at the expression on his face, and she had worked too hard to get him to this point to risk doing anything that might possibly upset him again.  She still had to giggle again as she moved away and climbed down the ladder.  "I'm going to leave you alone now..."  She had a feeling Ash would want some time alone to regain his composure. Unless she missed her guess, she was the only one who would ever know he had cried—he was funny about that.  "Pikachu's probably anxious to come back in, anyway."  She was at the doorway when she heard his voice call out to her.

            "You someone like you?"

            She stopped short, and wondered how much courage it had taken him to say it.  She looked back and his face was hot with embarrassment, but his face was so pitifully hopeful that she didn't think she could have said no even if she meant it. 

            "Maybe," she said teasingly.  That wasn't a no.  She may care for him, but she also happened to like their playful relationship, and she knew he did, too.  "Maybe." 

            Ash's face was a permanent shade of pink by now, but he looked down with a smile and said.  " too."

            Warmth washed over her.  She grinned as she said, "What, you might love yourself too?"

            "'s not what I meant..." the poor boy stuttered, but she cut him off.

            "Because you should," she said seriously, her teasing ended, and her look was so caring that he had to look away in embarrassment.   "You're worth it, Ash—you're worth it.  Don't you let anybody ever tell you differently and don't you ever believe anything else.  The most important thing is that you love yourself, you hear?" 

            You'd better...because I do. 

            He nodded self consciously and she started to walk away.  "Misty?" he called to her cautiously.

            "What?" she asked.

            "I forgive you." 

            She stopped in her tracks and looked back at him.  Both of their glances were grateful.

            "And yourself too?" she asked softly.  He looked a little surprised at the question, but after a moment, nodded his head in answer to that too.

            She smiled at him.  "Good."

The End



This is for Latonya Wright, because (a) I haven't written a fic "for" you before and I wanted to, and (b) I probably won't be able to write you back until Sunday or Monday and hope this makes up for it—the library of death strikes again.  Incidentally I'm still singing "MotownPallet."  ^^

You may have noticed the story is slightly alternate reality.  Though delete a few lines from the series and it works surprisingly well.  Yes, the title is a (hopefully valid) reference to the first movie.  The AAML at the end wasn't really necessary, but hey, I like it, I wanted it, I'm the author, 'nuff said.  Besides, it was a good segue.  ^_~

I apologize if this is similar in any way to any other fic.  Trust me, I'm relatively new to, and with the number of fics I've read (about, oh, 1.5 % of those stored here) it would be practically impossible for me to have done it intentionally.

Thank you to Sharon, for beta-ing this for me.  Though I must admit to being surprised at you objecting to a line with a beheading apparatus in it.  ^^  Thank you to everyone else for all your reviews—you've been amazing with your generosity, and it really helps me out to know what I'm doing right!  Wow!

Disclaimer:  I don't own pokémon.  However, if I did, the WB would have definitely refused to air this episode, so we're even.