pickup4

:.: 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.

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Chapter 4: Here's what I'm about . . .

The coals of the barbecue were slowly fading into a dull orange glow, matching the color of the sky as the sun sank into the horizon. Brock's barbecue had tapered off, and the few people attending were scattered throughout the Ketchum backyard.

May was sitting opposite me at a white plastic outdoor setting, her elbows propped on the surface. "Your turn," she pointed out, adjusting her one-sleeve white top, causing the red stars printed across it to glimmer in the fading light.

Distractedly, I nodded and held my fist out obediently.

"1, 2, 3," May chanted, matching each word with a shake of her fist.

I was scissors, May was paper. She made a face and extended her bare left arm, holding out her reddened inner elbow to me.

With my index and middle fingers, I slapped May across her inner elbow as hard as I could. A loud crack resonated and she cursed audibly, totally put of character for my prissy sister.

"Gary!" my grandfather reprimanded from his position across the pergola. "Stop hitting your sister!"

Ash, talking to my grandfather, shot me a reproachful look like my grandfather had just told him that I enjoy going out and kicking puppies for fun. May laughed.

For years, I've been playing May's violent interpretation on Paper Rock Scissors and for years I've been getting in trouble for it. Some people never learn.

The glass sliding door opened then, and I immediately turned my head to see who it was. Seeing Brock slip through, I sighed and turned back to May.

She was glaring at me.

"What?" I asked, shifting uncomfortably. Even though her eyes are just like mine, they're still damn scary sometimes.

"For God's sake," she said exasperatedly in her wispy voice, tossing her dark locks. "You've been acting like a hummingbird on speed all night." She leaned across the table towards me, her silver locket dragging along the plastic. "Why don't you just go talk to her?"

I flushed - was I that predictable? "Because," I hissed, leaning towards her. "She hasn't exactly been receptive, has she?"

May sat back in her chair and eyed my reproachfully, managing to look far wiser than her years. "See, that's your problem, big brother. You still can't distinguish the difference between talking to a girl and hitting on a girl." She shrugged her narrow shoulders. "She's leaving tomorrow, Gary. Just go talk to her. You know you'll regret it if you don't."

So I set out looking for Misty, able to feel May's dark eyes watching me the whole time.

I found her at the front of the house, sitting on the front steps, nursing a can of Diet Coke. She was dressed casually, in faded bootleg hipster jeans and a strapless top made of eyelet lace. She was staring wistfully up at the stars emerging in the sky, and I felt incredibly intrusive.

Hesitantly, I sat beside her on the front step. "Hey," I greeted her quietly.

Misty turned her head slightly to look at me, before returning her attention to the sky. "Hey, yourself," she responded.

"You okay?" I hedged, tugging at the collar of my Mooks shirt. I couldn't recall seeing Misty so pensive, and it was a little alarming.

She smiled and picked at the metal ring of her Coke can. "Yeah I'm cool," she assured me. "Just thinking. How it'd be nice if life was eternal holiday."

I shrugged slightly. "Yeah. But if you had holidays all the time, would you really appreciate them?"

Misty blinked, surprised. "No," she said slowly. "I guess not." She grinned and nudged me slightly. "You're smarter than you look."

"Thanks."

Misty laughed.

A few silent seconds later, I spoke up. "So, I have to ask . . . why'd you invite me?"

Painfully slow, Misty angled her body to face me, and met my eyes with a boldness that was slightly intimidating. "Why wouldn't I?"

I coughed slightly, raked a hand through my hair. "I don't know. I just assumed that . . . you know, after everything that you must . . . "

"I don't hate you," she interrupted, reading me like a Dr. Seuss. She grinned charmingly. "You irritate the hell out of me, but I don't hate you."

Well, it's a step up, I guess.

It occurred to me that this was the first time I'd actually attempted to have a conversation with Misty, the first time I'd seen past her looks.

And I suddenly felt like the world's biggest jackass for hitting on her.

Before I could tell her, the front door swung open behind us. I twisted my head and saw May there, looking apologetic. "Sorry," she said. "Gramps said to tell you we're leaving."

Behind May, I could see my grandfather saying goodbye to everyone. I couldn't believe it. Here was my chance, and it had just flown out the window.

Misty and I stood as my grandfather made his way out to the front. "Misty," he said, smiling fondly at her. "It's such a shame to see you go."

She angled her head and smiled. "Yeah, I know. I hate to go. But I'll be back, don't you worry. Cerulean City's not so far away."

My grandfather kissed her on the cheek, May gave her an awkward hug and I stood there feeling like a leper. A leper who didn't know what to say.

"Come on, Gary," my grandfather said, nodding towards the car parked out on the curb. "Let's go."

I licked my lips out of nervousness. "Um, I'll be with you in a second." I turned to Misty, dropping my voice. "Can I talk to you for a second?"

She nodded, brow furrowed, and allowed me to pull her aside. May winked brazenly at me then dragged my grandfather towards the car.

"Can I call you sometime?" I blurted out, my words falling out anxiously.

Misty stared at me silently, and bit her lower lip. "Gary . . . "

"Just to talk," I jumped in, my heart pounding so loudly I was sure she could hear it. "I'm sorry about all those lines I tried on you, okay? You deserved better than that. But I do like you and if you'll let me, I'd like to call you and get to know you a little better."

I've never spoken so fast or so honestly in my entire life.

I was half-expecting her to write her number down for me, half-expecting her to tell me in no uncertain terms where to go. Those were the only two possibilities running through my head - so when she moved forward and kissed me, my brain failed to handle it.

It took me a few seconds to process. It took me a few seconds to process the fact that her lips were soft and that her lips tasted of butterscotch and that her lips were on mine, kissing me sweetly.

When she pulled away, my heart nearly exploded out of my chest and retired on the lawn.

"I've been waiting all week for you to say that," she told me, touching my cheek and smirking. "I was really hoping you'd come to your senses."

I was speechless.

"Ash has my number. Call me anytime."

I was still speechless.

Misty laughed and tossed her red-gold curls back over her shoulders. "You better go. Your sister and grandfather are waiting."

I nodded wordlessly and headed across the lawn towards the car. Halfway there, I spun around, recovered the steps I'd just taken and pulled Misty to me, kissing her.

After a few seconds, Misty pulled away, laughing. She walked backwards towards the house, not taking her eyes off me the whole time.

"Call me," she said as her lips quirked into a smile.

I grinned back, also walking backwards, not wanting to take my eyes off her anymore than I had to. "Count on it."

And for the first time in my life, I actually meant it.

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Author's Notes: Finally, the end is here! Thanks for sticking it through. Go listen to Pick Up Lines by Ugly Duckling if you haven't already. I wouldn't have written this if it wasn't for that song.

In honor of a day that profoundly changed the world and everyone in it forever - remember September 11 always.

Kayley Laskitt