A/N: Wow, it's been a while hasn't it? Again no excuse for the lack of update but I promise this is a story I plan to finish.
Disclaimer: Still don't own Pokemon!
. . .
The four of them were walking backstage, May and Dawn using a towel to somewhat dry their hair while Paul and Drew were shaking the water from their ears – not that it mattered, they'd be submerged again in a matter of minutes. Their battle scene had ended, or at least, had taken a break and the four of them had a few minutes before they had to reappear.
For now, the spotlight was on two other characters.
They all huddled backstage and shamelessly peered at Ash and Misty. Dawn would call it harmless snooping, while May would say they just needed a 'better view of the stage', and the guys honestly just wanted to see how their friend would play his cards.
"This is it!" Dawn whispered but couldn't help a giggle escape her lips as she nudged May. Though the kiss was claimed to be taken out, she was still holding on. The two peeked excitedly to catch a glimpse of the two in their cavern and though there was no kiss, it was still a highly anticipated scene.
"Years from now when their kids asked when was their first kiss, they'll say-" May began to fantasize but Paul cut in with the most dreary and skeptical of tones.
"It was in a dark, damp, underwater cave and we had no choice?" he offered.
Drew shook his head, "We'll tweak it a little bit and the kids will love it" he shrugged.
Brendan suddenly popped into their small space and grinned, "You guys doing okay?" he was going back and forth between running the concessions and checking up backstage. Since the climax was nearing, the lobby was empty and the audience was glued to their seats.
"Perfect!" May cried enthusiastically before turning her attention back to the scene about to unfold.
Dawn suddenly sighed and looked around carefully, "Actually have you seen Kym? I think a few pearls are falling off my tail," she muttered, lifting up the damp fabric slightly.
He thought for a bit and shook his head, "No sorry, the last time I saw her she said she was going to go talk to Daisy, Lily, and Violet about something" he recalled.
"Oh," Dawn slightly slumped.
"Do you want me to go get her?" he offered.
"No, I'm sure she'll be back in a few seconds," Dawn concluded, soon turning her attention towards the same line of sight as May's.
. . .
"This is all your fault you know, if you hadn't of kidnapped me and run away, my friends and your pirate idiots wouldn't be engaged in an all-out war right now!" she shouted.
Her curls pooled around her as she pushed herself towards the edge of the cave's walls. Her brows were knitted, cerulean gaze on fire with anger, and tone sharp and harsh.
Ash on the other hand sat carefully on the small sandy bank, his feet dipped in the water as he had his arms draped across his knees.
He was supposed to be playing the character of a pirate who realizes how much this mermaid means to him, and how he tries to do anything just to get her to come closer so he can finally tell her the truth and of course his feelings – (Daisy was quite adamant in adding in that happily ever after element). He shivered a bit, his wet clothes settling into the cold and also from his nerves. His character's story was surprisingly parallel to his own.
He cleared his throat before speaking, "Look, we both know that if you wanted to escape you could have," he said.
She growled and moved forward, pulling herself up on the bank, "Excuse me?" she asked.
He frowned, "You heard me," he said, leaning forward, "Don't pick this moment to act all innocent. You're a powerfully, magical creature while I'm just a measly pirate, you could've easily knocked me out or drowned me and been on your merry way," He accused.
Misty pulled herself up slightly, "And just what are you suggesting by it?"
Sudden memories ran through his head, from the moment she fished him out of that river up until the day she left. She had stayed with him through Kanto, the Orange Islands, and Johto; being the strong, independent, head-strong girl she was, she could have left anytime but she didn't. Though that part was easy to see, he couldn't quite understand the why. He had some theories, or rather hopes but stuck to the idea that she just really wanted that damn bike.
But lately, he began to think that maybe the bike wasn't the whole point here.
"You wanted to stay."
That line wasn't in the script, but he said it before he realized what had happened.
It was like a realization that finally hit him.
Misty furrowed her brows slightly, in confusion rather than anger and was a bit taken aback by his ad lib but she proceeded with the next part. Amidst his silent epiphany and little mid-mid-life crisis he had been oblivious to Misty's actions.
She growled and reached up to pull his collar and before he knew it, she pulled him right into the water.
'Right . . .how could I forget this?' He reminded himself and tried to put his head back into the scene as he kicked to the surface. This move was labeled as "Misty dunks Ash in water" in the script and though they had practiced it several times it caught him surprisingly off guard.
When he resurfaced he took in a break and greeted Misty's fuming face.
"You pirate!" she gritted, "How dare you even think that I wanted to stay with you! You creatures really do have high egos because to even think such a thing is ridiculous-!" She was wonderful actress, had every audience member hanging on her every word.
And though Ash admired her talent, he couldn't pass this chance up to get some answers.
"Then lie to me," he spoke, again adlibbing, "Tell me that you couldn't escape,"
Misty was frozen slightly. She gave him a look that screamed 'what are you doing?' but he ignored it. He reached forward amidst the water and pulled her wrists.
In an attempt to keep the scene flowing, Misty struggled.
"Tell me that you hate me," he commanded pulling her closer. Though the water was her turf, he found it extremely easy to pull her against him.
"I-" she fumbled for her words.
Ash mentally scolded himself as he advanced. He knew her sisters were going to kill him for messing up, quite possibly the best scene in the script but, he couldn't stop. He was an impulsive guy, he made impulsive decisions 90% of the time, and from that percentage, only 40% was good. He wasn't sure if this would be one of them or not.
"And tell me, you didn't enjoy every second we spent together," he whispered to her, one hand keeping her wrist clenched and the other moved to the small of her back as he pushed her into him. The soft ebb and flow of the water filled their scene with miscellaneous noise and just like the audience, he waited for her response.
. . .
"Let me GO!"
"Oh, I don't think so!"
Kym made another futile attempt to break free of Violet and Lily's hold as she moved her arm towards the lighting system. What she couldn't fathom is why the hell she decided to climb back into this box and try to stop them from executing their little plan.
But after thinking about it some more, she realized she couldn't let Daisy, Lily, and Violet execute their little 'force-Ash-and-Misty-to-kiss' idea. She understood where they were coming from, hell she wanted those two to get together just as badly as they did but this was not the way to make that happen. And with Ash in the pool in the middle of the play it wasn't like he could really do much to stop it.
Knowing Daisy, she'd do everything in her power to make sure that kiss would happen, no matter how uncomfortable her baby sister felt.
It only took a few minutes for her motives to be discovered and Lily and Violet were suddenly trying to keep her from ruining their piece de resistance, as they called it. Violet kept her hold on the young trainer's right arm while Lily had her left. They kept her subdued in a chair in the corner of the room while Daisy guarded the tech board with a glare.
Kym blew a stray strand that had fallen in front of her face and sighed, trying the reasonable good cop approach rather than the aggressive, 'move or I will personally shove you to the ground' bad cop approach, "Guys listen, you can't do this to Misty, she's your baby sister! When they're ready they'll go for it but for now-!" she moved to make another attempt but didn't get very far.
"We appreciate your concern Kym but this is the only way, besides, it's a fool-proof plan," Daisy smiled, flicking a blonde curl over her shoulder.
She scoffs and cocks a brow, "Clearly you have inhaled too much hairspray because you guys are, insane," Kym declared, settling back into her prison of a chair.
"You just don't dream big enough," Lily chided with a grin just as wide as her sisters.
Kym rolled her eyes, 'Sorry guys, I tried' she commented.
"You wanted to stay," Ash's voice came over the speakers and those four little words were enough to catch Daisy's full attention as she grabbed the script and began to furiously flip through the pages.
"He did not just say that," she frantically muttered, her eyes moving incredulously from the script to the scene.
Violet raised a brow and slowly but surely, Kym felt their grip loosening.
"What is he doing?" Lily muttered as she moved forward.
Apparently, Ash was making up lines, completely going off the script. This was something that the Sensational Sisters clearly couldn't handle but what probably shocked them the most was the fact that they couldn't do anything from their tiny little, director's box.
It only took two seconds for all of them to lunch forward towards the front window and watch frantically as their scene, the epitome of their play go downhill.
Kym takes the opportunity to push her way between Daisy and Lily and squinted her blue eyes at the two figures in the pool.
'Yeah, what are you guys doing?'
Daisy watched in horror as a silent moment passed between them; she was literally about to come undone and Kym didn't know if it was all warranted or just straight up overdramatic. The three of them start to fumble around as the brief pause seems to stretch out longer and that's when Kym decides she needed to get the three overreacting directors away from the control system as soon as possible.
"You pirate!" they finally hear Misty shout back, "How dare you even think that I wanted to stay with you-!"
"She's adlibbing back?" Violet shouts as Kym begins to push them back into their respective seats. She keeps the control panel in front of her though and is thankful that they're more fixated on what was happening in the pool than what she was attempting to do.
As the next lines unfold she can't help but be captivated at the scene they're creating-sure it was off script but it wasn't like the audience knew that and by the way he grabs her forward and she inclines her head ever so slightly at him, Kym finds herself smirking triumphantly.
"And tell me, you didn't enjoy every second we spent together," She watches as Ash whispers it to her ears, a seemingly private moment between the two that immediately touches the hearts of many. Despite this crazy roller coaster ride that was dubbed an 'Original Sensational Sisters Production', things were actually going pretty good right about now.
. . .
Panic pumped through her veins. This was a new type of nervous that she had never felt before, sure she was a Gym Leader but there was difference between the Butterfries in your stomach before a battle and the Beautiflies going crazy when you were about to embarrass yourself in front of hundreds of people.
She wasn't trained for acting so she didn't know what to do.
The way his hand rested on her back didn't help her concentration. His palm was big, soft, and slow as he occasionally let his fingers tap lightly on her spine, sending small shivers through her.
If it weren't for the fact that the lights were blinding and their extravagant costumes, it would be just another awkward, flirtatious tension-filled moment with them. How they even managed to stay afloat, in such a stagnant position was beyond her, but that was the least of her worries at the moment.
Misty took a breath and forced herself to think quick on her feet.
"Well, then you tell me why you still kept me in captivity when I refused to grant your wish?" she was playing along, deciding to pull in some more plot points, hoping that Ash had just blanked on his lines and that by doing so, she'd be helping him out. Overall, she was trying to "fix" the scene with a different approach, but his sudden tense posture indicated that she maybe didn't get something right.
Ash sighed-she wasn't picking up on what he was trying to say. If only she could read between the lines…
"Looks like we've both been lying to ourselves then huh?" He settles.
Now that did it.
The way he said it didn't sound like something a pirate would say, it sounded like something Ash would say, her Ash.
Though the context was off, the words struck familiarity. She hated to admit but she finally realized that for the longest time she had been lying to herself. But there was no way he was bringing up their . . . relationship? Was he? Especially at a time like this? There was no way, it was impossible.
Ash would never.
But then again, he had been proving that he wasn't the same 10-year old that the world knew him as anymore.
"Oh just kiss her!" An audience member shouted, causing a ripple of laughter to flow through the auditorium.
They both found themselves chuckling.
Thanks to Ash's improv this scene was going downhill fast. Neither even knew where to pick up with the real script and the crowd was getting antsy. But Misty felt like a Stantler in headlights; she was now paralyzed by impending realization and inability to form a coherent answer to Ash's words.
She tensed up and Ash felt it, the situation was in his hands now so he did what he had to do-wing it.
He knew he had gotten his point across to her, unfortunately at the expense of the scene and possibly the whole ending but he couldn't spend too much time thinking about that, he just had to fix it and get things moving back on track. So he pulled himself back into character and then restarted his adlibbing process, praying he didn't fumble his words.
"And to be honest, I've never liked liars," he says, grinning once again.
He begins to pull away realizing that he had gotten a tad bit too close to her before and for the sake of the scene, chooses to end it there but it isn't until he feels her arms wrap around him does her freeze.
And the crowd goes wild as she softly presses her lips against his.
As if he had any reaction time before, there is even less time for him to process the kiss as the lights go black and after a few seconds the spotlight is turned back towards the others. He reels himself back in; it was all a show, oh yeah.
But damn did he give it five stars.
Their cavern was pitch dark and it wasn't until they feel Misty's Corsola surface with a couple of hand-sized rebreathers for the pair do they realize that they needed to get out of the cave and put their heads back in the game. Misty grabs her's first and bites down on it and Ash suddenly, isn't sure if she went ahead of him but when he feels her hand tug him underwater he feels a wave of relief.
They swim through a small tunnel and back up to the same platform they emerged from last time. Corsola chirps happily as she notes that the two made it and dives back into the water for her small appearance.
Only now do they sit in a private, soft, silence and finally process what the hell exactly happened out there.
If they weren't speechless before, this moment could give that last scene a run for its money.
It's finally Ash who speaks first.
"Wow, that was-" he stops, realizing that was probably not the best way to react.
Misty brings a hand up to push some damp hair back and then groans, "Probably not a good idea…" How embarrassing was it to have your first kiss with the guy you were head over heels in love with, on tape and in front of hundreds of people…
His face falters, if just for a moment but she's quick to defend.
"No! No I mean that wasn't how I was picturing that to be at all," she explains, still can't believing she decided to "man up" and just go in for the kiss. It wasn't like her at all, she was always 'the think first then act' person, Ash was the 'act first think later guy'. She supposed just being around him again made his traits rub off on her.
Another grin is spread onto his face, "So you've pictured what our first kiss would be like?" he asks, not teasing, not coy, but equally curious and happy.
She reaches out to punch him lightly in the arm but her pouting face is all the answer he needs. He's chuckling and brining a hand up behind his neck before she has a chance to respond.
"Look, I'm not going to try and tiptoe around this so I'm just going to be honest," he says, calculating that even though Drew, May, Dawn, and Paul's scene still had a few more lines, he just had to get this off his chest, "I like you-and I know that this," he motions at their surroundings and at the fact that they're both in costume, dripping wet, "isn't the most practical or ideal situation to be having a conversation as heavy as this but I'd take chlorine in my ears and you wearing a mermaid tail over having to wait another day," he tells her.
And he most definitely doesn't miss that smile that graces her lips when he's done talking.
"I had a hard enough time straightening out my feelings, I didn't think I'd be able to keep it in for very long," he confesses and she laughs.
"And here I was," she speaks, her voice brining relief to his nerves, "Worried that this play would mess everything up-would mess us up," she says.
He shakes his head, disagreeing with her completely, "You'll always be my best friend," he tells her, his intensity suddenly matching the determination in his eyes during a battle, "And you'll always be the first," he tells her, reaching an arm out, draping it around her shoulders and pulling her into his chest as much as he possibly could.
Being first meant a lot of things-she was (or one of) his first traveling companions, she was the first trainer he had really wanted to beat, she was his first best friend, she was the first one he really cared for, and she was the first one who left him and had created an irreplaceable void in his life. In retrospect he supposes that she's the first one he really ever fell for too.
He chuckles realizing that maybe he was being too dramatic-he was already fourteen by the time Misty left so technically he was a "big boy" and he should have been able to handle himself but, he guessed it took her leaving to make him realize how much she meant to him. Absence did make the heart grow fonder.
She breathes a sigh of relief and turns to press her lips against the base of his neck, shutting her eyes and taking a breath that synced her breathing up to his. It wasn't supposed to be a kiss and it wasn't supposed to be a seductive, flirtatious move, it was just her way of telling him that she was grateful for what he had just said-those were the words she had been waiting to hear all along.
He turns towards her slightly and this time, plants a kiss to her forehead. It doesn't even occur to him how quickly the two fall into this cuddling-kissy persona, it was all incredibly natural for him and her and as an impulsive guy, who was he to ignore his instincts?
"You know we're going to have to go back out there," she mutters, laughing as he groans.
"It's almost over, I can deal," he tells himself. She pulls away, straightening herself up and before she can attempt to pull herself up in her ridiculously hard to walk in, latex and shiny tail, Ash's hands are in front of her in an instant.
She grabs onto them and he helps her up with ease. There's a brief moment where they look at each other and even though they're not completely done with this conversation, they're both content with the point they're at right now.
"We're not done talking about this-us," she corrects, "Nowhere near close," she tells him.
This for the most part was true, he still had so many things to say and she had so many questions to ask. This moment was a long time coming so all those pent up feelings were just asking to be let out but, as previously stated, this was not the best time.
But for now, they could both live with stolen glances, butterfly kisses, and the overwhelming scent of chlorine.
. . .
To say the crowd was ecstatic would be an understatement. They had been so enthralled with each part of the play, from the introductions, the battles, and of course, the kiss. Now, they were ready to ride the whole thing out and waited patiently, but excitedly for the end.
Everyone was so wrapped up in it, it was hard to believe that underneath the costumes and characters, they were just a few teenagers who got roped into this charade by complete accident.
When Ash and Misty emerged back into he spotlight the crowd cheered incessantly and they didn't miss the knowing glances and grins of their fellow cast members. But, despite her urge to wipe those smiles off their faces and save herself the embarrassment, she calmed down-she figured the play could only suffer so much improvisation.
The scene had only just started and with the climax over, they knew they had to finish it all with a bang.
Drew's line was next and he took a step forward, crossing his arms incredulously, "You mean to tell me that this whole time-you actually fell for that, that little mermaid?" the play on words was not missed by the children in the audience, but the rest seemed equally invested in the scene.
Ash held up his hands slightly, almost as if to calm Drew down, "Believe me, it wasn't intentional," he begins, "But sometime things happen. We've dedicated our whole lives to hunting them down and using them as objects for our personal gain but we never once, stopped to think how wrong we were," he tells him.
Daisy, Lily, and Violet were sure to add a moral to the story, one that was relevant to any situation-and in this case, it was an 'us vs. them' theme. Sure mermaids and pirates weren't exactly going toe to toe anymore in the present day but they wanted to audience to take it as a lesson, one that taught little kids to play nice and be compassionate and thought it was a bit cheesy, all audience members enjoyed it nonetheless.
"He's right," Misty chorused, turning back towards May and Dawn, who both looked at her with eager eyes. They all sat on the rocks, in a similar fashion to storybook sirens while the pirates stood across from them. She reaches out to them and grasps their hands, reciting her next words with perfection, "We were no different than them and it sickens me. From now on, I need this to stop, this rivalry needs to disappear and I'm making it a royal decree," she proudly states.
The crowd gasps slightly in shock and slight whispers and claps were heard.
Ash's eyes widen as he mimics the crowd's reactions, "You're the mermaid princess," he mutters breathlessly, "So all those legends were true," he states.
The audience ties together the scenes and recalls; the pirates sought out mermaids for their ability to lead them to great treasure and grant them a wish. They were fueled by a legend known as 'An Underwater Tale'-so strategically named by Daisy, and searched the seas to capture these creatures.
This "legend" told of where to find the mermaids and the riches that would be in tow-but also mentioned a royal princess who would bring more than just material goods, but rather peace and harmony to whomever she trusted.
The crowd fills with an excited murmur as they piece it all together-May and Dawn had indeed brought Drew and Paul gold, jewels, pearls, and one hell of a battle but, it was Misty, who played the role of the princess who brought peace between two enemy parties and harmony to the land and seas.
All hypothetical of course, this was just a play.
Dawn had to keep her wild grins in check for this was her favorite part of the entire play.
A soft, melodic soundtrack begins to play in the background as the scene is close to its end. All the water Pokémon begin to surface and crowd around in a well-staged semi-circle around the cast.
"Normally legends are nothing but stuffy, glorified fairytailes but in this case, I am happy to inform you pirates," she says the word with a grin rather than a scowl, "that you have helped change history, and if I hadn't of met you," her eyes fall onto Ash, to whom she reaches out for and he walks up to her in an instant, "Then this never would have happened," she motions around them.
The Goldeen and Seaking cry out triumphantly while the others begin to whirl around excitedly.
"You know, I could get used to this whole peace thing," Drew speaks, earning a few laughs from the audience, but the only laugh he really cares about is May's. She chimes in with the audience and flips her tail around in the water, leaning back on her arms.
"Well, we have those two to thank," she motions back towards Ash and Misty and helps bring the focus and spotlight back to them.
Dawn finally lets out her giggle, and though she's lounging on her stomach, head in her arms on the rock, she flips her tail back in the cutest of gestures as she sighs dreamily, "They make a great team huh?" Piplup chirms happily from the water beneath her but it's Paul's sudden presence beside her that really catches the eyes of the crowd.
"We all do," he says. When a few sections of the audience 'aww' he immediately pulls his gaze away from Dawn, almost embarrassed and thankful that Misty and Ash have the ending lines of the play.
"So let's do this again sometime, princess," Ash speaks.
Misty looks at him right in the eyes and then has to pull away before she starts laughing, she knows he would have done the same and she supposes that this play was a bit ridiculous but she was appreciative regardless.
Ash tightens his grip on her hands as if to tell her to pull it together and she looks back up at him; there's a moment when the audience thinks and waits for her to surprise kiss him again but she knows she's not going to. She'd rather not have the very start of their relationship be on camera, on display, and done entirely in costume.
But she throws her arms around him in a hug that makes the audience just as happy and replies with soft, "You have my word, pirate."
And on cue, her Gyrados and Brendan's Milotic leap from the water, creating two adjacent bridges that frame the ending scene. Dawn's Piplup then starts the round of spectacular bubblebeams that suddenly help fill the stadium with sparkling bubbles that float into the audience and with the Shelder, Cloyster, Goldeen, and all the others blowing up streams of water guns, it was a great water show to quite possibly the greatest play the Sensational Sisters had ever put on.
The lights black out and the music comes to a finish and the crowd gives them all a standing ovation.
. . .
The lobby and entrance was just as packed, if not more so, as the start of the play. They had all lined up accordingly, Ash, Misty, Drew, May, Dawn, and Paul and greeted and thanked every person that came up to them.
Little girls gushed at the 'mermaids' while the boys were more than excited to meet the 'pirates', both wanting pictures with their favorite trainers and coordinators underneath the costumes. Families praised them for their performances and many said it was the best thing they had seen in a long time. Their Pokémon stood beside them, also sharing the spotlight-Piplup chirped away at every little kid who came up to shake hands, rather fins with it while Misty stood proudly with her Corsola in her arms and Azumarill and Starmie at her side.
Drew's Flygon growled happily alongside his usual partner, Masquerain as young couples recognized the coordinator and his prized, contest winning knock out Pokémon while Paul kept Honchkrow at bay. The dark, flying type wasn't so used to a never ending parade of praise and over-smothering so he sat contently on his trainer's arm, stretching his wings every now and again.
Kym peered behind the doorway, saying a standard, "Thank you so much for coming, have a good night," to each person that left with a satisfied grin.
She had to admit that this was a good distraction in all that training she'd been doing lately and she didn't mean to toot her own horn but come on, all the girls looked fabulous. She stole another glance at her creations to see May motioning at her costume and grinning madly to a pair of audience members who looked on starry eyed.
She felt herself smile triumphantly.
"Hey," she turned to see Brendan fill in next to her, hands in his pockets, shoulders back, "Guess we did pretty good on publicizing this whole thing huh?" he commented as the sea of people leaving just kept coming.
She almost laughed at the memory, "Guess so," she mused.
They felt two arms hook around them and pull them in and they turned to see Violet pulling them in as tight as she could, "You guys should totally tech all of our plays!" Violet suggested with a grin a mile wide batting her lashes oh so swiftly. Daisy and Lily filled in in front of them, each with a similar look on their faces.
It didn't take them too long to answer.
"Well I've got the League to train for-" she immediately stated.
"And my dad needs me to help out with the researching stuff…" He nearly fumbled over his words.
It was fun but the 'once-in-your-life' kind of fun.
The pout on their faces isn't took hard to miss.
"Oh too bad, you guys made a great team," Daisy comments, or rather taunts and then turns to greet and a thank you a few more people.
Daisy is the one who comes up to them though and gives the two young trainers a hug, "Seriously though, thanks you guys," she says wholeheartedly. For a brief moment they're both shocked that there isn't a 'like' or 'ohmygod' in there somewhere but hug her back.
They don't hesitate to speak again this time.
"Wasn't a problem," Brendan says politely and graciously.
"We're really going to miss it," Kym adds.
Daisy sends her gratitude once more before tittering off with her sisters to go greet some more fans and what looked like, potential investors…
She doesn't however miss the shy grin on the Brendan's face as mutter something else and pulls Kym into a hug.
"Oh the romance," Lily sang devilishly, coming up beside Daisy, hooking her arm with her older sister's. Violet was soon on the other side and joined her sisters and by the grin on her face, shared the same sentiments and emotions.
"Seriously, at the rate we're going we might as well open up a dating service," Daisy joked as the three sisters started in a chorus of laughter.
Though the main cast hadn't heart this light hearted suggestion, they were sure to be okay with them not doing so.
"Pika-"The electric mouse purrs as a young boy reaches out to scratch him behind the ears.
Misty nearly died of cuteness when he came up to Ash, clinging onto his mother's pant leg, and was so nervous to ask him for a hug and a picture. Ash however, wouldn't let him get away with just that so he immediately whips out the charm-not that he really needed to-and drops to his knees to be eye level with the boy.
And of course this boy's favorite Pokémon was Pikachu.
He laughed as Pikachu stuck his nose up in his hand and licked it accordingly.
"See look at that, he likes you already," Ash gushed, "I'm sure as soon as you become a trainer you'll be a great one and all your Pokémon will just love you," he tells him and by the look in his eyes and the sincere smile on his face, Misty knew that Ash's wasn't lying.
"Marcus, what do you say?" His mom chided gently behind him and he nodded as if he had suddenly remembered.
"Oh! Um thank you Mr. Ketchum," he says, throwing his arms around Ash again and giving Pikachu another pat on the head, "Goodbye Pikachu," he laughs.
"Pika-chuu," he squeals raising a paw to wave at the young six year old boy.
Ash rises to his full height again and shakes the mother's hand as she begins to take their leave and praise the two on their performance.
They are about to leave when Marcus, the boy suddenly darts in front of Misty with his hands behind his back and his eyes on the ground. She almost doesn't catch it but she hears him say a quick, "You're really pretty!" But before she can say thanks he's back by his mother's side, clutching onto her hand.
She exchanges a smile with the mother as she ushers out of the lobby with another goodbye.
She hears Ash's chuckle beside her, "Don't tell me you can't get used to something like this?" he jokes, placing his arm subconsciously at the small of her back as he takes a step closer to her and continues to wave at the fans (If no one knew any better, they were just like the perfect characters that walked around Disneyland).
She laughs and then recomposes herself and nudges towards the three coordinators to her left, "Um I'll let those three handle the spotlight," she comments.
Ash turns and notes that they were indeed 'handling that spotlight' as May twirled extravagantly in her costume, showing it off for the mini audience that seemed to crowd around her, Drew, and Dawn while Drew was taking pictures with fans-of all ages mind you, with Flygon and Masquerain in tow, and Dawn giggling away as she was chatting it up with an elderly couple that happened to be from Sinnoh.
"Well you didn't look half bad in it," he tells her.
She stops herself from turning to him completely slack-jawed.
"Did you just flirt with me?" She whispers at him instead, realizing that that line was way more suave and smooth than anything he had ever said to her before, not including their impromptu "confession" backstage.
He turns back to her, suddenly nervous and confused, "Why, am I doing it wrong?" he asks, completely curious and concerned.
She can't stop the laugh that escapes her lips when he asks and the next then she realizes her arms are around him and she's laughing into the crook of his neck. His hands place themselves perfectly around her waist as he pulls back a bit, trying to not laugh as he speaks, "No really, was that bad?"
She shakes her head and one hand rests on his shoulder while the other reaches up to let her fingers brush lightly against his neck and cheek, "No, no I liked it-gonna take some getting used to I guess. Two days ago I would've thought food was still your first priority," she mutters.
"Yeah well, it'll be taking a permanent back seat from now on," he tells her. To anyone else that would have been just a little joke that you could laugh at then brush off but to Misty she knew what that meant. It wasn't so much of the fact that he was literally shifting food from his top priorities list, it was more of the fact that she was now at the top of it and his Ash way, that's how he was telling her.
She pulls her arms in and pulls herself closer against him and the two almost rock slowly to an imaginary soft rhythm.
A little over a month ago, if someone told her that a ridiculous play put on by her sisters would turn out as amazing as this she would have laughed in their face. But now she had everything she had ever wanted-her best friend back and his role in her life had just taken a drastic but much anticipated turn.
Sure they still had a few things to work out but for now, they were both blissfully happy in just being able to enjoy each other's company as something more rather than as the best friends who don't know what to do with their developing feelings. And as Ash let his hands draw light cirlces on her back and her breath tickled his neck, they were both blissfully happy indeed.
Unknown to them, the lobby had cleared out and the rest of their cast had congregated to the center of the room.
It was Drew's sharp whistle that cut through the lobby and caught their attention, "Okay lovebirds, you save the cuddling for after," he chides.
Ash looks around and notices Pikachu on May's shoulder, sharing the same little smile as the rest. Misty nods at her sisters and they all share this kind of quiet, but excited look between the four of them. They knew what their play had essentially done for their baby sister but instead of running around saying 'told you so' they just smiled and were sure to congratulate her later.
"We're going out to eat!" Dawn exclaimed, "I've never eaten anywhere in Cerulean before," she says, Piplup chirps as if to reinforce the point.
"Well there's this fabulous seaside restaurant that overlooks the cove, its five stars and after the performance tonight, we all deserve it," Daisy tells them.
"Perfect I'm starving," May exclaims as they all begin to shuffle back to the showers and dressing rooms.
"Wait, don't think you're leaving yet," Lily calls out and there she is again, with the camera in her hands and immediately she'll telling everyone to shuffle together.
They all kind of fall into place with Misty and Ash in the middle, Drew's arm slung over May's shoulder, and Paul standing behind, but close to Dawn. It was like it was automatic and they supposed the play maybe did have something to do with that.
Kym and Brendan kick Lily off camera duty and tell them to join the picture considering they were the co-writers, creators, and directors of the show. They fill in happily and nearly twenty pictures later they're all laughing again while scrolling through candids and the group shots.
If it wasn't time to eat before, now was the time and they all bolt back to the showers in record time. It isn't until Ash reaches out to pull Misty back does she realize that he still had something to say. He puts her hands back around his neck and places his palms on the curve of her waist, the exact same position they were in before, before Drew had interrupted them.
She feels the heat rise to her cheeks as she grinned up at him, cerulean meeting chocolate brown.
"Yes?" she asks rather lamely.
"Let's try this again-no lights, no cameras, no lobby full of people just me," he pauses to grin, "and you."
She doesn't miss the way his grip tightens around her and he sure as hell doesn't miss the way she trails her lips up from his neck to his lips. She kisses him swiftly at first, just a soft peck and pulls back but he's chasing her down faster than she realizes.
Now this, is what their first kiss should have been like and it seems like Ash is enthusiastically trying to make it so. Up until now she never understood how couples were on each other all the time and she most definitely wasn't the most girly girl you'd ever meet but, with a rush that he was giving her and the soft spark in his touch she was beginning to understand.
Sure she didn't wake up from an eternal slumber, nor did she turn a frog into a prince but she had something better than those age old fairy tales.
She had Ash and Ash had her. She was his princess and he was her pirate and this, was their Underwater Tale.
. . .
A/N: DONE! Finally and THANK GOD. Whipped this sucker out in two days. It's honestly not much of a story but again, I'm finishing it for you reviewers out there, thank you so, so much, your kind words and feedback mean the absolute world to me so for that I thank you.
Also, ending is so cheesy I didn't even know I wrote that.
They all crowd behind the curtains and peer on at their two friends. Granted Paul and Brendan turned away as soon as Ash connected his lips with Misty's but everyone was still quite invested in this blossoming romance.
Paul wondered if it was creepy or caring at how invested they were in Misty's personal life, Dawn just dismissed it all and was sure to gush about their new found romance, May was in a similar state and watched on with hearts in her eyes. Meanwhile Kym and Brendan were just thankful they didn't have three older, meddling sisters but were happy nonetheless.
It was Drew however who had something else to say. He was happy for them of course! But…
"So…how about that dinner?"
Daisy, Lily, and Violet responded by giving him a prompt shoving. They'd choose snooping over dinner any day and that's what he was afraid of.