:.: Pick Up Lines (How To Get The Girl) :.:

A Pokemon Fanfic By Kayley Laskitt

Summary: He's smooth. He's cool. He's practically turned picking up girls into an art form. And for the first time in his life, Gary Oak has met a girl whose only response to his lines is laughter. Egoshippy.

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. I don't own the concept of disclaimers. I do not own the term 'egoshippy', nor do I own any of the words used in this entire fic. Now that we've established I own nothing, I think I'm going to sit in a corner and mope.

Author's Notes: You know the drill. This is egoshippy, GAMR, whatever you want to call it, it is a romance fic about Gary and Misty. Okay? You clear? No flaming from anti-egoshippers, please. I'm just going to respond with nasty words.

Title Credits: This song is named for, and inspired by, the very cool song 'Pick Up Lines' by Ugly Duckling which has received a lot of play on Triple J lately.


Chapter 1: Hey baby, what's your sign?

"I'm not going."

My grandfather looked down at me, looking more disdainful than I thought the old guy was capable of. I ignored him and channel-surfed aimlessly, hoping he'd get the point.

"You should go, Gary," he said, putting on his preacher hat and snapping into reconcile-Ash-and-Gary mode, which he thinks is tactful but is in reality about as subtle as a sledgehammer. "It's Ash's birthday, and I'm sure he'd want you to be there."

I snorted derisively. Right. So I can call him a loser all night and so he can sit there and try to piece together coherent comebacks? As if that'd happen anyway - I'm not sure the guy has mastered any basic language skills.

"Look, pops," I said, throwing in the nickname I know my grandfather hates. "It's just not my scene." I settled on MTV, and preoccupied myself watching some cheesy boy band video clip, complete with massive pants and fuzzy facial hair and poor attempts at dance.

My grandfather folded his arms over his gray button down shirt and lifted an eyebrow. "Since when has a party not been your scene?"

I rolled my eyes. "Since Ash doesn't know any chicks," I muttered.

My grandfather heaved one of those sighs, those 'why am I burdened with such a grandchild' kind of sighs that I always illicit from him. "Is that your whole life, Gary?" he demanded, sounding exasperated. "Going to parties and hooking up with pretty girls?"

I twisted so I could face my grandfather. "I'm young and attractive," I pointed out. "That's what young and attractive people do."

Grandfather looked all too ready to put his head through the wall out of sheer frustration. "Does an ego the size of Texas also come with being young and attractive?"

I turned back to the TV and shrugged.

"Misty will be there," he reminded me.

I laughed outright at that. Right. "She's not exactly my type," I responded wryly, watching as the boy band was replaced by some funky chick rock band. The lead singer was pretty cute.

"Why not?"

I heaved a sigh and raked a hand through my hair. "Where should I start?" I asked sardonically. "The fact that she's got the body of a ten year old or the fact that she acts like she'd break my jaw given half the chance?"

My grandfather muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'Can you blame her?', but I was too busy watching the chick rock band to pay attention.

"You're coming, Gary," grandfather stated firmly, taking the remote from my hand and flicking the TV off. "And that's final."

I mumbled a few curses under my breath and stood up. "Like you're not doing all this just to score enough good points with Delia so you get somewhere with her," I muttered irritably as I stomped towards the front door.

"I heard that, young man."

"Yeah, I know." I threw him a grin. "But it's funny because it's true, right?"

My grandfather rubbed his temples like I was causing him immense grief. "Just get moving."

"Say something nice about Ash for the camera, Gary!"

I lifted my head and stared at Tracey, who grinned, shrugged, and switched the camcorder off. "Can't blame a guy for trying," he said, sitting beside me on the back step.

I chuckled. Tracey's not a bad guy, really, for someone who was shortsighted enough to hang out with Ash. Got to know him when he was working with my grandfather.

"So Professor Oak bullied you into coming?" Tracey guessed, swinging the camcorder by it's strap and jutting his chin in the direction of my grandfather and Delia.

I lifted my shoulders slightly and smirked. "He didn't have to twist my arm too hard," I confessed. "The least I can do for the old man, really, helping him get in Delia's good books. He's really got it bad for the woman."

Tracey looked amused. "Very humanitarian of you. I would have thought that the possibility of becoming Ash's nephew would have been enough to make you do anything to stop anything happening between those two."

"Ash's nephew," I echoed, shaking my head. "I think that's my personal hell."

Tracey laughed.

"So where is the birthday boy?" I asked, scanning the crowded backyard. "Suppose I should go wish him a happy birthday or something."

Tracey nodded in the direction of the barbecue, which was hidden by a cloud of smoke. Several hands moved to wave it away, and before long I saw Ash, suited up in a white apron and making a royal mess of the burgers. I barely noticed that, though. I was more interested in the girl fighting him for the spatula.

"Who's the chick?" I asked with undisguised interest, following her every move. She wore a pale blue cotton, strapless sundress, which fell to calf-length and followed her curves like hot fudge on a sundae. A silver anklet was fastened around her left ankle, and her hair fell in masses of strawberry gold curls down her back. She was an absolute stunner.

If she was Ash's girlfriend, I was going to have to kill myself.

Tracey chuckled, but this time it was more complex. "You don't know?' he asked rhetorically. "That's Misty. Misty Waterflower."

I could practically feel the grazes on my chin from my jaw dropping so far.

"Not bad, huh?" Tracey asked, again rhetorically, as he quirked an eyebrow at me.

Not bad? Try absolute perfection.

I nodded my head towards where Misty and Ash were loudly, happily trying to pound each other into the ground. "What's their story?" As little respect I had for Ash, even I wouldn't try to steal his girlfriend on his birthday. It's just not cricket.

Tracey smirked, shaking his head knowingly at me. "Just friends," he reported. "Dated way back when for about five minutes, but it pretty much crashed and burned pathetically."

I nodded slowly. "And her story?"

"Single," Tracey informed me. "Last boyfriend was some tennis-playing rich boy from Cerulean - Curtis someone. That was about four months ago."

Hell, that was all the encouragement I needed.

I flashed Tracey a grin and rose, brushing my hands against my cords.

By the time I made my away across the yard, Misty was perched daintily on a white plastic chair at a matching table strewn with empty cans, methodically sorting a handful of M&M's into color groups. It was cute - in a quirky kind of way.

I stood opposite her at the table and cleared my throat a little as I launched into the mode. "Hi. Is this seat taken?"

Misty looked up at me with large blue-green eyes. At first she looked surprised, but that soon melted into another look that looked strangely like amusement. "Uh, no," she responded lightly, lifting her eyebrows slightly. "Go ahead."

I pulled out the chair in front of me and sat down. Misty resumed the important task of grouping her M&M's. Blue, green, yellow, red, orange, brown - in that order.

Slightly thrown off by the fact that she found chocolate in a candy shell more intriguing than me, I cleared my throat again. "So I don't know if you remember me, but -"

Misty lifted her head, and this time she definitely looked amused. "Gary, of course I remember you," she cut me off with a laugh. She looked at me directly in the eye, almost knocking me over with her boldness. "Yours isn't an ego a girl can forget." She turned back to her M&M's. "No matter how hard she tries," she added, mumbling sarcastically.

I let it slide. "It's been awhile," I said conversationally, leaning back in the plastic chair I was in, which was so uncomfortably rigid I worried it would reshape my spine. "I haven't seen you around." I paused emphatically. "Though, come to think of it, I did see a picture of a model who looked just like you in one of my sister's magazines the other day. Was that you?"

Misty was biting the inside of her lower lip, like she was trying to keep herself from laughing. "Not unless that magazine was Pokemon Insider and it was last September's issue," she replied with a slight, amused shake of her head.

I scowled inwardly. I tried that line on Carlyn McNamara last weekend and it worked like a charm.

"So if you're not a model, what are you doing these days?" I asked, sounding as though her resistance didn't at all throw me off.

The fact that she looked continuously amused by everything that came out of my mouth did absolutely nothing for my confidence.

"Oh, the usual," she said, with a shrug. Misty met my eyes again and tilted her head slightly, looking alarmingly lucid. "Here's a question - why do you care what I'm doing these days?"

I opened my mouth to respond, realised I had absolutely nothing to say and closed it promptly. Misty threw me one last amused, triumphant look before standing up and drifting across the yard to where Ash and Brock stood.

I remained in my chair, still trying to figure out what had just happened.

I heard chuckling from behind me and I twisted in my seat to see my grandfather standing there, drink in hand, laughing at me.

He stopped laughing suddenly and cupped a hand around his ear as though listening for something. "Do you hear that, Gary?"

"Hear what?" I demanded irritably, struggling to scrape up the remains of self-esteem and hear whatever my grandfather was hearing over the obnoxiously loud Men At Work song playing. Brock must have picked that song - he was so into vintage 80's it was scary.

"I think it's the sound of your ego deflating."

I stared, open-mouthed, as my grandfather walked away, shoulders shaking with laughter.


Author's Notes: There's more to come. Constructive criticism and comments welcomed - savetheempire@optusnet.com.au