Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

Authors Note: If you haven't, or were unable, to read the summary for this fanfic, here's the jist of it: Misty meets up with Gary instead of Ash at the beginning of the Pokémon adventure. So please don't review and tell me you're 'confused' and please don't tell me she should be with Ash! This is a different damn dimension, she doesn't even know Ash yet, so shut the hell up! And now, enjoy the fic ^_^

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Misty cycled happily, her fishing rod swaying from side to side; fitted onto the back of her bike. The sunshine was splashing onto her face, bringing shadow during brief intervals of trees. She was so pleased with herself, it was showing in her bike-riding. She was twisting in all directions, humming cheerfully. She had woken up earlier this morning, earlier than she had planned; and she had actually caught a Gyrados in the river. After days and days of nothing -- a Gyrados.

Oh yes, days were going to be a lot better now. She turned her head to her right, where she heard a bird Pokémon sing, its voice as pleasant as a Jigglypuff. She delighted while listening to it, and decided to try and lift her hands from the handlebars. The forest path was completely deserted, she wasn't going to hit anything trying.

So she lifted one hand off, and then the other. After a moment of careful balancing, she was riding with no hands. She continued on, swaying slightly and pedaling cautiously. Her heart then pounded in her chest -- there was something coming. It sounded like a car.

Before Misty knew what was happening, a red car was speeding up towards her. She screamed as she tried to catch the handlebars again, but the bike swayed uncontrollably. Misty winced at the screech she heard. The bike scratched along the side of the car, before Misty pulled her breaks and skidded to a halt.

The car stopped a few yards after the collision. Misty's face hadn't changed since the screech, she was expecting the worst as she saw the door open. The car looked very expensive, it was gleaming red in the sun, with its hood pulled back. She watched the row of girls sitting in the back guiltily, they all looked a lot more shaken up than she was.

The car door opened, and Misty saw that it wasn't the driver that got out; the driver was a girl like the passengers. All wearing what looked like... no, Misty thought to herself. It was a young boy, probably her own age, who was walking towards her.

Misty dismounted her bike as he came closer. "Hey, I'm sorry about your... car." Misty was cringing as she looked at the long scratch, stretching from the driver's door along to the very end.

He seemed slightly angry, but not nearly as much as Misty had expected. "You should learn how to ride a bike, you know, before you go on one." He smirked, and the collection of girls in the car had burst into giggles.

Misty stamped her foot down, raging against the humiliation. "I know how to ride a bike!" She protested. "I said I was sorry, Ok?"

"Sorry's just not good enough. I think I'll be needing some payment..."

Misty's eyes widened as he put his hand out towards her. "I'm not paying you anything! It was an accident -- It was as much your fault as it was mine!"

Misty watched him as he look away for a smug-filled second before turning to her again. "Alright, I'll go easy on ya. You don't look like you have much money anyway."

Misty was lost for words. She felt hatred for this guy more than that for her air-headed sisters combined -- and she had only known him for a few minutes. "I wouldn't pay you anything even if I could." She spat, and she began rolling her bike away, feeling her face flush with rage.

"Well, I'll just be seeing Officer Jenny then. I'm sure she'll find a solution to our problem." He said airily, and Misty stopped in her tracks. She suddenly imagined being kicked into a cell. We're soooo like, disappointed in you, Misty! You told us you were gonna become the best trainer, like, ever! Her sisters were looking in on her through the bars, Misty maniacally crying out her innocence to them.

She turned around slowly. He was looking at her, his head cocked to one side lazily; waiting for her to react. "What do you want me to do? I can't give you anything." She told him coldly; feeling like a insect underneath his boot, threatened to be crushed. She was surprised when he started walking back to the car.

He opened the door and then turned back towards her. "What are ya standing there for stupid? Get in the back."

Misty stared at him in confusion, letting the insult fly past her. "What?"

"If you can't pay now, you'll pay later. Get in the back, and dump that bike in the trunk." He swang himself over the door into the passenger's seat. Misty stepped back, feeling extremely reluctant to join him in a moving vehicle. Would there by any turning back? "Police office isn't far from here, ya know." He reminded her, seeming to enjoy this.

Misty gulped down and stomped towards the car moodily, fitting her bike in the trunk. She found a place beside a short haired girl, dressed in a Cheerleader uniform. She was right, what she had thought before. They were all cheerleaders, wearing identical smiles and outfits.

As the car started up, Misty looked to him sitting in his seat; his arm hanging out the window. "So what are you, a trainer?" She asked him bitterly.

He twirled around in his place and grinned at her. "I'm Gary Oak -- the greatest trainer from Pallet Town -- future Pokémon Master. I've just got my license today, so I'm not surprised you haven't heard of me yet." Gary had reached out his hand for her to shake, but Misty ignored it.

She had raised an eyebrow. "So you're modest and nice. What a pleasure it is to meet you."

Gary choose to ignore her sarcasm and continue talking. "These are my friends, Chrissy -- Kelly --"

"I couldn't care less what their names are." Misty moaned angrily, turning her head to the trees and sunshine she had so enjoyed before. Now they just seemed too annoyingly good to be true.

"Well that's not very nice, considering how much you owe me." He grinned at her cockily. "You should be glad if I offered you to join the squad."

"I'd never become a bimbo cheerleader -- especially for someone like you." Misty's face was looking sourly at the him, his mouth still upturned in a grin. The cheerleaders around her seemed oblivious to the insult.

"Don't worry sweetie, you don't look good enough to be one anyway." He teased, and he turned back around in his seat, leaving Misty fuming.

"URGH!" She screamed in frustration. "Stop the car! I'm getting outta here -- I'd rather goto jail!"

The car continued gliding between the trees, they were coming closer to the edge of the forest. There were less clumps of trees, and the path was becoming wider. "Don't worry, we're nearly in Viridian. If ya wanna go that badly."

Misty was considering suicide, or maybe mass murder as she attempted to relax in her seat. Maybe she could run for it when they stopped; Gary's attitude wouldn't exactly leave her feeling guilty. She set her thoughts on the Gyrados she had caught... resting in a Pokéball in her backpack. Her backpack...! Misty panicked when she realised she wasn't carrying it. She knew it wasn't with her bike. She swallowed her pride and spoke up.

"We need to go back, I've left my bag -- it's got all my Pokémon in it."

"You mean, this bag?" Gary was hanging it from its string in front of her. "I was looking at how little Pokémon you have."

"Gimme that!" Misty growled, snatching for it.

Gary pulled it back from her reach. "I'm surprised a girl like you hasn't caught more, eh Misty?"

"How'd you know you name?" She asked him, taken aback.

Gary leant back in his seat, tossing the bag between both his hands. "I picked it up when I got out, in case you thought of running away." He was right, Misty would never leave without her Pokémon.

"Misty Waterflower, Cerulean Gym," Misty watched him read from the small name tag. "Now I can't help but wonder why you're here if you train at Cerulean Gym? Or work there by the looks of it." He added with a smirk.

"Actually," She began angrily. "I am Gym Leader of Cerulean Gym, and I'm sure looking forward to seeing you there."

Gary held out his fingers and began counting. "One, two, three -- three Sensational Sisters. Are you saying you're the fourth? What a honour!" This time a sound of giggles erupted in the car, as the girls didn't try to contain themselves.

Misty felt herself turn red. She'd heard it so many times before, it barely affected her, and yet hurt the most at the same time. "I am a Gym Leader!"

Gary chuckled shortly. "Alright, whatever you say."

Misty sat silently until they reached Viridian. Silently frustrated, she tried to think for herself. When the car stopped, Gary got out -- leaving the cheerleaders behind. Misty saw him clutching her bag in his hand, and she climbed out of the car after him.

"Bye Gary!" The girls purred in unison, waving delicately. Misty rolled her eyes and stood waiting, as Gary waved back proudly.

He turned towards her and smiled. "What? You're following me around now?"

"My bag, remember." She told him through gritted teeth.

He laughed in mock disbelief. "And watch you walk away without paying? I don't think so, Misty."

Misty twitched with anger. Every time he said her name it felt like a blow to the face. Maybe something drastic would work. "Watch me run then." Misty said, and she quickly grabbed his arm, snatching the bag away.

She did run -- as fast as she could -- clutching her bag like a heap full of treasure. She could hear loud panting behind her, panting she knew couldn't have been Gary. Suddenly, she felt her bag being torn away from her hand. She twirled around to see an Growlithe running away from her. It then sat in front of Gary, while he bent to take her bag from its mouth. Misty moaned, and sulkily walked back to them.

She stopped a fair distance in front of him, while he returned his Growlithe. "Caught this little guy earlier on today." He grinned, fitting the Pokéball to his belt. He looked at her and shook his head. "When I say, I don't think so -- I mean it Misty."

Did her name have another meaning she wasn't aware of? She looked up at him, her eyebrows lowered as much as possible.

"Come on then, I need to get some more Pokéballs -- I caught so many today. And after that, we'll set off to Pewter, so I can get my badge."

Misty found it amusing that he thought getting a badge was so easy. But as he calmly made his way towards a Shop, Misty realised something else. She jogged up to his side. "You mean we have to walk? What happened to the car!?"

Gary stopped for a brief moment. "Well, the girls want to be around me all the time. But I need some time for some serious training."

Misty ignored the egotistical remark, her thoughts on something else. "Wait," She said, as they walked in through the Shop's doors. "My bike's in the trunk!"

Gary climbed each of the shop's aisles, looking around him carefully. "I already told them to sell it -- you're in debt, remember?"

"You what?!" She shrieked, holding up her fists instinctively.

Gary filled his arms with goods and brought them to counter. "Calm down," He said nonchalantly, proceeding to pay the shopkeeper. "you're lucky I haven't sold your Poké--"

Gary's mouth swung to the side, after Misty had slapped him full-force across the cheek. "If you ever sold my Pokémon, you wouldn't live to be a Pokémon Master."

He raised a hand to his face, looking at Misty in pained shock. He tried to force a grin, rubbing his cheek as if it would stop the pain. "You're really not worth the hassle, you know that?" He walked out the door, Misty following her bag behind him.

---

Three days had passed; Misty was tagging along behind Gary in Viridian Forest. She was constantly grumbling and moaning, but he choose to ignore her bad humor -- therefore making it worse. Their daily routine consisted of Gary catching Pokémon -- Gary training Pokémon -- Gary repeating everything all over again until Gary had no energy left. Misty was becoming more tiresome, in all meanings of the word, with every step.

Fortunately for her, the their final night in the forest was drawing ever nearer. Gary had found a perfect place for them to camp. After speaking to his famous Grandfather on the phone a few days ago, Gary would 'treat' Misty to doses of information. Most of them being about a struggling trainer named Ash. By this time, Misty knew everything to be told about the supposedly pathetic Ash Ketchum; from Gary's perspective, of course.

"He couldn't catch a Pokémon if it jumped into the Pokéball for him." Gary shook his head, chuckling. "Poor Ashy. I bet I've caught more Pokémon today than he'll catch in his whole life."

Misty turned towards him, breathing out angrily. "It's not about how many Pokémon you catch." She scolded. "Ash could still be a good trainer; maybe even better than you."

Gary made his snort heard to her. "You ain't seen nothing yet."

It was during the night when Misty had tried to steal her bag back, and tonight was no different. Gary had anticipated this from the start however; and Growlithe kept guard.

"I'm really getting sick of that stupid mutt -- he tried to bite me!" Misty complained to the source of her anguish, standing with her hands on her hips.

Gary laughed from the comforts of his sleeping bag. His undying determination to torture her was the most infuriating thing; especially when he carried it out with such sickening ease. "Give it up, one way or another you're gonna have to pay me."

"I don't care about the money -- just gimme back my Pokémon!"

"My girls don't wanna go round in a scratched car, what'd that be saying about me?" Gary lifted his arms up and rested them behind his head. "Besides, I'm sure they're already upset, without me an' all."

"If you're such a great trainer, why don't you work for the money yourself?" Misty asked him smartly.

"Don't you know I've got better things to do?" Gary argued. He then took on her own teasing tone, "I'm wasting enough time dragging you along." His eyes lazily examined her from head to toe. "You're so skinny, don't you eat?"

Misty's face grew scarlet with anger, hiding embarrassment; Gary's laughter deepening the hue.

"And jeez, did ya do your hair in the dark? You might look better with it down or something... and who told ya those things looked good." He indicated towards her red suspenders. "Barely know you were a girl." He told her, with one last snicker.

Misty remained speechless for a moment, only producing the sound of her teeth grinding. Her anger was bubbling as Gary twirled around in his sleeping bag, cuddling himself up away from her.

"That's it!"

Misty stamped her foot down and Gary turned his head slightly. "I can't take this anymore! All I've been doing this whole time is listen to you blab on about how great you are! I'm not surprised you have no friends -- I bet your parents were happy to see you go!" Misty's screaming stopped abruptly from her loss of breath, and in a much lower, and strained voice she spoke again. "The closest thing you have to a friend is me, and you know it."

A still air remained. Gary had been facing away from her, and the thought that he was now laughing made her feel sick with anger.

"Go then." She heard him say.

The tension released from Misty, her eyes became narrowed with confusion. "W-What?"

"Take your stupid bag and forget the money." His voice was serious.

Misty was left shocked. She had never heard Gary speak like this before.

"Fine. I'll go tomorrow." She told him, not weakening her voice.

She slipped into her sleeping bag, her eyes straining to close. Sleep was the only escape, for nothing chilled her more than knowing Gary was lying awake; his blood-boiling by what she'd said. She had finally gotten one up on him. It didn't feel like it.

---

Gary hadn't kept still after he knew Misty was asleep. He had abandoned the warmths of the sleeping bag, and traveled in the darkness to Growlithe. It lay curled up in a ball, its back raising slowly as it breathed into the night's air. It awoke with Gary's presence, his trainer stroking its long clumped fur. It gazed up at him with two dark round eyes. Gary realised how he mistreated his Pokémon, over the past few days with Misty.

"It's Ok boy, as soon as we get to Pewter, I'll get ya some treats." He smiled as Growlithe raised an excited paw onto his arm. "Yeah, a nice warm bath'll get your coat looking all nice and shiny." He brought his attention to Growlithe's face, scratching it playfully behind its ears.

With his other hand, Gary took a moment to wipe his face. He was still well-aware of the tear that had escaped when Misty was asleep. He had scraped it away from his skin, wanting to kick himself for letting it happen. He just wished she hadn't said any of that -- that she wouldn't be going tomorrow; leaving him by himself. But he knew that she couldn't, not now, he wouldn't want her there now.

He looked down at his Pokémon again. "You should--" But he stopped mid-sentence as Growlithe's head perked up, his ears twitching. "What is it, boy?"

Gary kept as silent as possible, listening carefully. He did hear something, a loud clicking sound, followed by a sort of whir. He jumped up immediately, Growlithe raising at his side. "Hello?" He called out, but nothing replied. "Hello!" This time speaking louder, he almost shouted.

Becoming a little weary, he stepped outside their camping site, through the thick trees that surrounded them. Despite their stumpy bottoms, their branches were slender; and they stretched right out over Gary's head, almost creating a leafy roof above the campsite.

They both continued on slowly, Growlithe stopping to sniff at various things, Gary squinting at others, but after no more than twenty minutes, it had become tiresome. "It was nothing," He lied unconsciously. "let's go."

They retraced their footsteps back to the campsite, two sleeping bags set out neatly in the distance; Misty's spread unsurprisingly far away. As they grew closer, and were just emerging through the last of the trees; loud, angry barking sounded like a trumpet in complete silence. Full of surprise, Gary's eyes widened as Growlithe growled at something beyound Misty.

"What is it, who's there?!" Gary asked it frantically. But Growlithe was too caught up, now bearing its fierce looking teeth. It started bounding away from Gary, jumping across Misty and then leaping to a halt.

"Growlithe! Where're you going?" Gary called out. He had taken a step to follow, when a blaze of fire illuminated everything in sight. "Growlithe!" He bellowed out after it. He looked around in horror. Every tree was alit with fire, and every branch was carrying flames across to its neighbour; until all the trees formed a circle of fire, burning in front of his eyes.

Growlithe appeared from the flameless centre, panting wildly. Gary bent down and put his hands on its head. "Why'd you do that Growlithe? Why?" He questioned it desperately. He removed his hands quickly and stood up, seeing nothing in his Pokémon's eyes.

And like an axe, being dropped onto the back of his head, Gary remembered Misty; still sleeping peacefully amidst the growing inferno around her. "Misty!" He shouted immediately. He leapt forward, but was forced backwards again by the immense heat which blasted against him. He wrapped his arms around his head, and dived in again quickly.

He had vanished into a cloud of smoke, his eyes now useless. He started coughing painfully, plunging blindly through the dark sea for Misty. He was hunched over, grabbing through the air near the ground. "Misty!" He shouted again, the words scraping through his troat.

A screaming girl had never left him so relieved.

It had come from below, and he stumbled towards it. Just as he lowered himself down, a strong dizziness over came him; weighing him down. The clouds around him were becoming darker still, and a deeper darkness crept across his eyes...

"Gary!"

Misty was looking all around her, until she saw him. He had collapsed in a heap close beside her. "Gary!" She reached out to him, fighting against a violent cough.
She ripped herself out from the restraints of her sleeping bag and rushed over to him. "Gary, get up! Get up!" She cried out angrily, tugging and pulling with as much force as possible.

Then she remembered something, a thought sprang to her mind; one she used to dream about before it had become reality -- her bag. Misty reached out and grabbed it from the place she'd gazed at so longingly before. She tore it open and threw out her Pokéballs.

She released three. Gyrados grew into a tower above her; under her control for the first time. Staryu and Starmie stood alert and ready, shoulder to shoulder. She didn't hesitate to send orders, as the smoke began burning around her eyes. "Starmie, Staryu -- Watergun! Gyrados -- Hydropump!"

All three emitted streams of water from their mouths, sprouting high above and through all the trees. The fire was killed within the blink of an eye, as Gyrados' Hydropump saturated the trees -- along with everything else.

Misty covered her head, feeling water blasting her skin from all directions. "Stop!" She shouted.

The sound of Pokémon gurgling water from their depths was stopped. The loud noises of tree branches breaking, and falling, diminished slowly. Gyrados let out a roar, celebrating its victory over the blaze.

Misty stood sheltered by her arms. The forest slept in the wake of a disaster, only Misty's erratic breathing heard seeping into the air. "Good work you guys," She managed to tell them, before gasping, "Return!" She collapsed down onto her knees, the ground now covered in a thick layer of mud. Dropping her bag and her shoulders, she turned to Gary.

There was still smoke hanging in the air, acting like a thin slip of mist; draped across everything in sight. She bent down towards him, being sure to whisper. "Gary, wake up. Can you hear me?" She patted his cheek gently, seeing the last signs of the mark she'd given him, still coloured into his complexion. She waited wearily. "Wake up, Gary."

Gary shot upright with the speed of a bullet. His head shot around in all directions. "What? W-- is-- is it-- what happened?"

Misty lightly put her hand on his shoulder, trying to calm him. "It's ok. The fire's out."

Gary let out a sigh of relief, his entire posture relaxing. But as he looked around him again, he looked more shocked than ever. "You used..."

"Water Pokémon." Misty finished.

"I..."

"You must of fainted, Gary." Misty watched his open-mouthed face, as he silently took everything in.

"I-I fainted...?" Gary asked, his face dropping, almost disappointed. He looked downwards, and then up at Misty again. "You saved us..." He said in realisation. "You..."

"Yeah, me. You gonna thank me or what?" Misty gave a weak laugh, wiping away the strips of wet hair sticking to her face.

Gary continued to gaze at her. And as if fighting a conflict deep within, he muttered, "Thanks." Never once looking away.

Misty smiled warmly and stood up. "This place is a mess, maybe we should go somewhere else to sleep."

"No kidding." Gary had followed her decision to rise a second later, and turned towards her with a curious look. "You tired?"

Misty blinked her eyes, as if testing herself. She was cold and wet, her eyes and skin still irritable and stinging, but she was far from tired. She shook her head slowly.

"Well," He said to her, his feet sinking and making muddy footsteps in the ground. "we should start walking to Pewter City. We'll get there by morning."

They had both agreed, Misty forgetting to moan about the long journey on foot, and started to plod past the destruction they'd made; never really leaving it behind, as they talked about it all through the night. Gary thoroughly enjoying adding intricate details onto his side of the story.

"Why'd you go back in then?" Misty had asked him, after he told her how the fire had started.

Gary hesitated, dragging his feet along the ground all the way. "Well you-- you were, I--" He hesitated with the words. "Come on, I wasn't gonna let ya die!"

"Even after," Misty avoided his eyes, looking sideways. "what I said, you came back to save me?"

Gary's entire body seemed to flinch, his face wincing. "Whad'ya say again? I forgot. No-- Misty, it--" Misty had tried to hug him, in a over flowing spur of emotions, but he caught her arms before she could. "It was nothing, ok?"

He shrugged off any essence of sentiment that remained; Misty smiling to herself. "You're really not a bad guy, you know that?"

"Yeah, yeah." He mumbled to her in reply.

Chapter 2 coming soon.

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Author's Note: Ah bhuel, twasn't that bad, was it? I kind of hoped I might be able to enter this in the Egoshipper contest, but I'm exactly sure if I'll get it finished in time. I suppose by now you're in tune with the relationship between them, no? Of course there's nothing romantic... yet. ^_^;; Jesus, do you know how young they are? Besides I don't like fics when they're just stuck together as a couple, barely knowing each other. *cough* Only about a week together and they're further than Ash and Gary'll be for years to come. *cough* ^_^;; Anyway. Sorry if you thought this was going to be better or something, 'Cause it wasn't. Look forward to the next chapter if you want to see them battle Brock, meet Ash, face danger and adventures (oh, whoop-di-dooh!) meet some other known characters, and of course a lot of those friendship and love values as well. Awww... ^_^