Pinch to Grow an Inch

Due to snow days and the active imagination of yours truly, here's another AppealShipping work from yours truly. It's a short one, and the character's ages are going to be raised slightly from 10 to 12. The way I can describe what happens here is…playful perversion. It's cute and an admitted change of pace from my two epics. Zoey wants to…push a boundary and bend an unwritten rule with her blooming relationship with the blue haired girl. To be safe, I'll rate this 'K-Plus'.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.

"Hey, Zoey! Look! We made it!" Dawn exclaims as they reach the top of the hill after a long walk through the forests of the Kanto region. At one of the highest points in the outskirts of town, the redheaded tomboy and the blue haired beauty can both get one of the finest and most breathtaking views of Saffron City that can be found.

Saffron City is the largest city in the entire Kanto region. It is nothing short of a booming metropolis that serves as the shopping, corporate, advertising and legislative capital of the region, but to 13-year old Zoey Volek and 12-year old Dawn Berlitz, none of those things matter. Likewise, the reputation of the extensive city and night scene for the youth during contest weekends doesn't matter much to them either.

The fact is that since deciding to travel with each other after wrapping up business in the Hoenn region, the two prefer the time they spend alone with each other over just about anything else. For as Dawn likes to put it, 'It's when we're alone that we can truly be ourselves; you for me, and me for you.'

Indeed, the two are committed to each other in more ways than one. Obviously, both of them work diligently to make each other better in the sport of pokemon coordinating. But what is often not seen by the observers in contest houses across the regions is the true closeness that they have for one another.

Getting a vast view of the downtown, Dawn comments to the girl standing next to her, "It really does look beautiful, doesn't it, Zoey?"

Smiling in half agreement with Dawn, Zoey replies, "Yeah, I suppose. It does look nice, but…"

"But what?" asks a confused Dawn.

"With all due respect to this great city and the people in it," Zoey elaborates, "none of them or it can compare to you."

Dawn gets quite glossy-eyed, and she says, "Aww," in response. "That's sweet of you, Zoey. Really sweet," and then she leans forward to give Zoey a hug and a kiss. Dawn is not surprised to see Zoey back away from Dawn's desire to show the older girl her appreciation and her affection.

"Dawn," Zoey reluctantly defends, "we've talked about this. People…are cruel. I didn't say that people can be cruel, but I know that people are cruel and they will be nasty if they ever saw this. Need I remind you about my parent's blowup last week when I told them the reason why we were going to the Kanto region together? People just don't like things that are different and even though you say that we have nothing to worry about, I know—I just know they won't understand or accept the two of us being together when we're barely even in our teens. Heck, I didn't even want to explain to Ash Ketchum why you insisted traveling with me to Kanto because I wasn't sure what he'd think."

"Simple," Dawn says. "He'd think whatever he'd think, and do whatever he'd do, just like anyone else out there."

"You know, I beg to differ. You are the sweet one, Dawn," Zoey replies almost out of the blue. "I just—as good of a friend as he is, that's all the more reason why you can't use Ash Ketchum as a measuring stick in this instance. I know it's sad that we can't be all that we want to be as a couple publicly as we are privately, but think about it, Dawn." Looking around for a second to see if anyone is watching them or not, Zoey places her hands on Dawn's shoulders and explains, "Now, it's been about…ten days since we both made our true feelings be known for each other and a week since you left Ash and Brock to come with me. You and I are still feeling out being together, and for both of our sakes, I just think that we should…not move too fast. Let us first come to terms with this completely before we let everyone else know. You know?"

The two of them only have each other to look at in this instance for advice as Dawn still has not told her mother about her and Zoey. "There is a lot of truth to what you're saying," Dawn tells Zoey. Dawn won't completely agree with her girlfriend's assumptions concerning coming out, but will admit that they still have time to figure each other out before letting everyone else in. "We are still just 12 and 13 years old. Despite our age, we still feel that with every fiber in us that we are in love and…all that we have right now is time. I hate—and that's not a word that I like to use at all, but…I hate the fact that you're right. It's—it's probably the reason why I haven't told my mother about us. I know at times I'm ambitious…"

"At times?" Zoey questions.

"Okay, okay," Dawn clarifies. "I'm very ambitious pretty much all the time, but…there's a big part of me that thinks that if I keep my positive attitude, it'll rub off on those around me including my mother, my friends and even you. It's my belief that I can kind of make all of my dreams a reality by just saying to myself over and over again, Dawn Berlitz, there is no need to worry, and hope and pray that that can have some lasting affect on the people I care for the most. I do want to come out, but you're right about taking things too quickly, which is something we shouldn't do." 'Baby steps,' Dawn thinks to herself with the two words slowly but surely becoming the couple's motto.

"Hey," Zoey attempts to console as she let's go of her girlfriend, "at least we have tonight. Once we go to register for tomorrow's contest, there's just the matter of finding something to eat and then we've got the rest of the night to ourselves." Even though Zoey drives a hard line on what she and Dawn can and cannot do in the public, she will admit to herself that at times, she is curious about what buttons she can press while the two are alone. 'She is beautiful, that much is true,' Zoey ponders, 'but I haven't been with her long enough to see if she would really be into that stuff or not.'

"Well, let's get going," Dawn declares. "I mean, the faster we get to the contest house, the more time we'll get with each other," and Dawn accentuates this comment by running two of her fingers across Zoey's right cheek. This touch is enough to warrant a chuckle from the older girl, and a pat on Dawn's near shoulder.

"Ready, Dawn?"

"Ready, Zoey!" Dawn affirms. Once Dawn turns to look at downtown Saffron City once more, Dawn's energy within her starts to boil like a pressure cooker as she gaily anticipates being a part of her first contest in the Kanto region.

Then, all of a sudden, Dawn runs as fast as she can to the city limits, cheering "Yeah! Our first Kanto pokemon contest! Whoo!" This excitement catches Zoey off guard for a minute or so and leaves the short-haired girl speechless.

"Come on, slowpoke!" Dawn implores of Zoey excitedly. Zoey chuckles and says to herself, "I know there's a reason I'm with you, Dawn. You make life fun." Zoey then tells Dawn, "All right, Dawn! Hang on! You know my ankles are weak!" and Zoey runs quicker than Dawn to catch up with her so they can register for the Saffron City contest.

After several hours or so spent registering for the contest, talking with several friends that came to the same contest, having dinner, doing some shopping through the many stores and boutiques in the area and taking a long walk through the city, Zoey and Dawn finally decide to call it a night and head to their hotel room nearby the pokemon center. Using a key card to enter room number 213, Zoey opens the handle to the door to see the modest accommodations of their living quarters.

"Well, here we are," is all that Zoey can muster from her mouth as she enters the room and places her backpack onto one of two beds. Dawn follows right behind her girlfriend and places her bags on the side of the other bed in the room.

Resting her head and the rest of her body onto the bed, Dawn comments, "This feels real good, Zoey."

A few minutes pass, and in this time, Zoey unpacks a lot of her essential items and is now watching the evening news. She is waiting for a specific story concerning tomorrow's pokemon contest and to see if her interview with a local reporter made it to TV.

During this time, Dawn has done nothing but lay in her bed. As a sign of how long of a day it's been, Dawn rests her eyes in a form of half-sleep. She didn't even bother to take anything out of her bags and unpack. With her attention diverted away from everything else but resting her body, Dawn is woken up suddenly by someone pressing something against her mouth.

Opening her eyes, she sees the real Zoey Volek for the first time in quite a while. She sees the cool, eager and controlled girl with a very boyish edge about her. It's not often that she gets to see this side of Zoey because the two of them are in the public eye so often, but whenever she shows up, Dawn always welcomes her with a kiss. Or rather, the Zoey that she has grown to love and care for welcomes Dawn back into her world with her many loving charms.

Now sitting up on her bed, Dawn leans forward to receive even more of Zoey's version of mouth to mouth. Nearly 15 or so seconds pass as the two continue their back and forth spar, but something causes Dawn to unexpectedly jump up in her position and over-exclaim some unknown feeling of pain on her backside.

"What was that? A mosquito?" Dawn questions rhetorically. To the surprise of Dawn, her girlfriend answers "No that was me. I…pinched your butt. I was curious. Is—is that alright, Dawn? I won't do it anymore if you don't like it."

"No, it just caught me off guard," Dawn admits. "I actually liked it. You're not afraid to push…or pinch when you want to when we're alone. I thought it was really cute. It's like that saying, 'A pinch to grow an inch,' and with each pinch, we grow little by little."

"Dawn Berlitz," Zoey explains looking the younger girl directly in the eye, "I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not ashamed of our love and building our love, but at the same time, I live in a world that for whatever reason looks down at what we do and how we love. It's sad but true."

"Yeah, but…you know something, Zoey? " Dawn inquires. "I'm beginning to see things your way a little bit more each day. I think that's one of the reasons why I'm with you. You keep me on solid ground and make me think. I like that. I know at times I would rush into things and still do, but…this isn't something that we have to rush, at all."

After Dawn stops speaking, both parties lean in to give each other another kiss on the lips. Zoey, knowing that some taboos have been relaxed has no inhibitions of giving her girl yet another pinch to grow an inch, as Dawn so aptly put it.

Ten seconds or so pass, and Zoey regretfully pulls away from Dawn and turns to the television. The news story that she has been looking forward to since her interview earlier is on. Zoey watches it progress from the anchorman talking about tomorrow's contest to a reporter out and about the contest house that will hold tomorrow's festivities.

Nearly a minute passes, and Zoey, to her excitement sees herself talking on the television about the Saffron City contest. The part of the interview that the station shows has Zoey speak about the excitement of traveling to a new region, and the thorough planning that goes into winning a contest ribbon. As the piece cuts to stock footage of the contest house lobby from earlier, Zoey feels something creep across her lower back. Making an educated guess, she assumes correctly that it's Dawn, who seems to be taking her own liberties on Zoey's behind.

Zoey, looking at Dawn with a face of approval, allowing her to continue her rubbing. Though some will argue that they're too young for this, Zoey is fine with the attention her girlfriend gives her knowing that she, like her, will take 'baby steps,' as they grow inch by inch and pinch by pinch.

A/N: This is somewhat of a response to one of my most vocal detractors out there, an artist, forum hopper and fellow Appealshipper named momogirl. She claims that my fics like 'Sharing' and 'A Confession Gone Awry' are bad because she can't picture Zoey or Dawn in their respective roles in those works. I say keeping characters in character is NOT the most important thing. Character shifts due to past experiences, growing up and several other factors can cause what you perceive to be that which is out of character.

Over the past eight years of being a fan fiction reader and writer, I've learned that the most important thing you can do as a story writer is form a good plot and build effective characterization and character development (making your characters multi-dimensional, even in a drabble) to drive home said plot. That's why I have so many positive reviews. Yes, I realize that the character traits of many characters in my stories are exaggerated to a point, but this is fiction, where actions and emotions are often exaggerated. So, to call me out on that would be like calling me out for breathing in air. What's the big deal? It happens with ALL authors. Not just me! That's it. I hope someone out there likes this and can let me know in a good review.

Until next time, it's been Rave!