Okay, so here's the next big project of mine! Each one-shot in this fic will be based on a piece of AAML artwork! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon or anything associated with it, nor the picture provided in the link.

This chapter's picture: bit . ly/1v3YJsc (Remove the spaces)

The Story Behind The Picture
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Story 1: Looking Up To You

Ash Ketchum placed a hand over his mouth, yawning quietly, before setting it under his raven-haired head, using both of them to pillow himself from the grassy ground. He smiled peacefully, closing his eyes as a gentle breeze blew across the hills near the outskirts of Pallet Town, green leaves floating carelessly in the air. The shadows of trees and clouds paraded through the grass as the sun shone down brightly. He extended his legs out, stretching them vigorously, before settling them down again, sighing gently. "Nice day…" He thought to himself.

Gazing out into the mountainous horizon, his chocolate eyes shifted into a solemn look, his mouth shifting and his nose wrinkling as numerous thoughts raced speedily through his mind. He wasn't out at the hills by coincidence; he was taking time out to think. Yes, Ash Ketchum, the "mind set only on Pokémon", "gonna be a Pokémon Master someday" trainer, was spending time reflecting on his thoughts, a feat thought to be impossible by many. The person whom he currently had on his mind would especially be surprised at the fact that he wasn't out doing something Pokémon-related, and that thought brought an amused smile to his lips.

Misty Waterflower. He wasn't an expert with names, so he didn't really know if it matched her personality, especially since he didn't know if a Waterflower was a real flower or not. He'd look it up later. Even so, he liked it. Misty Waterflower. It was a pretty name, and it wasn't a stretch to say that she herself was pretty, as well. A few years ago, if he'd had that thought, Ash would've likely blushed, wondering why he had such a thought. Instead he simply smiled joyfully, his dark eyes sparkling with admiration.

In many instances, he did admire Misty, despite how often they argued. He chuckled to himself, knowing he'd probably never give Misty the satisfaction of knowing that. She was always able to give him a level head when he got overconfident, and she could cheer him up when he felt down. Even though she had a harsh temper, she cared dearly for her friends and her Pokémon. She was able to get him fired up for any competition, and was never at a loss for words when it came to cheering him on in a battle. She was a great trainer as well, but that wasn't much of a surprise, seeing as how she was a gym leader, as well. He'd forgotten that fact many times. He very rarely saw her as a gym leader anymore; instead, she was his best friend, his inspiration, his confidant, and his crush.

He wasn't as clueless of an idiot as he'd been a few years ago. He knew was love was, and was no longer the young boy who saw love only as a distraction from being the world's greatest Pokémon Master. Now, he looked at love with an open mind and an accepting heart. And his heart had no other option than to accept the fact that he had feelings for his best friend. Was it a bad thing? Hardly.

He couldn't see any reason why liking Misty could be anything detrimental to his success. On the contrary, the young boy only saw it as motivation to push himself further. Trying his hardest at everything thing he did in order to impress Misty would equally help his chances of becoming great. Winning a gym battle would not only earn a badge, but a compliment from the redhead, and both, in his eyes, were worth fighting for. It was a win-win situation for Ash, and he planned to take advantage of it.

Despite having a logical outlook on it, he didn't disregard the fact that his feelings were emotionally valuable to him as well. He was aware of himself when he blushed every time Misty smiled at him warmly, or how his stomach tingled whenever they embraced. It brought a smile to his face at how much he was grateful to Misty. She was his best friend, and she also was the girl who made his heart leap to his throat whenever she did anything generous for him.

Of course, he'd spent a lot of time considering revealing how he felt to her. The thought that she didn't feel the same way as he did wasn't was caused him to choke up every time he tried to tell her. He didn't believe that if he told her, she'd respond with a negative comment. She was his best friend, as well as a girl, so saying something concerning love wouldn't get a mean response from her. It was the fear that if she didn't feel the same way, things would become awkward between them. Then, slowly, they'd grow apart, and eventually wouldn't be friends anymore. He was never one to leave a friend, regardless of whatever may happen between them, but this particular scenario wouldn't be completely in his control. She was too good of a friend, and he didn't want to risk losing her, even if it meant not being with her.

Ash, so deep in his thoughts, didn't notice a young girl sit behind his head, her legs bent so that her knees were inches from his hair. She lowered herself so she could whisper to him.

"Hey, Ash."

Jerking from his though, his head tilted up, a look of surprise lit in his eyes. A pair of cerulean eyes gazed into his chocolate brown eyes, her fiery red hair pulled up into its usual ponytail with a blue band, as the rest of her tresses framed her face. He could see her yellow tank top and red suspenders, and he had no doubt that, while they were out of his line of sight, she was wearing her blue jean shorts. She smiled softly, warmth emanating from it, causing Ash's cheeks to go pink.

"Hey, Misty." The boy whispered back, realizing how close she had positioned her face to his. Six inches was the only distance that separated their lips, and the thought only brightened his face further.

"What are you doing out here?" Her hands landed on the ground on both sides of Ash's head to support herself, keeping her head floating above his.

"Um…thinking." He replied before he could stop himself. Sure enough, as he'd imagined, her smile grew almost insulting.

"Ash, thinking? Is the world coming to an end?" She laughed.

Ash shot her an agitated look. He knew to expect a response similar to this from her, but that didn't make the actual thing any better. Seeing that Ash was actually serious, Misty's expression eased slightly, and she hovered her head above him.

Only five inches now.

"So what are you thinking about?" She asked quizzically.

"Um…nothing, really." Ash lied, his voice squeaking partially.

Unfortunately for him, Misty knew him too well to believe that Ash was telling the truth. "Come on, tell me." She insisted.

"No, you'll make fun of me." Ash laughed, using one finger to push against her forehead.

She grumbled angrily, pushing his hand away. "Will not."

"Well…" Ash lightly bit his bottom lip, chewing it tenderly as his eyes moved southward, considering whether he should tell her.

"It's okay. I won't make fun of you or anything if it's important." She motioned her body so that she would sit at his side, but Ash's hand, mostly of out reflex, shot out and grabbed her arm.

"Wait…I'll tell you, but…" He wouldn't have been surprised if Misty could feel the heat radiating from his face, especially with what he was about to ask of her. "Can you stay where you are?" He mumbled, referring to her holding her head above his.

Misty, to put it mildly, was speechless. Her eyes had widened, and Ash could see her mouth open a little, as though she were about to say something. Her cheeks grew a small shade of pink; he could almost swear that she was nervous. Then, she smiled. "Um…sure." Her voice was rough and quiet, as though she was trying to convince herself that what she would do was okay. It almost made Ash think there could be hope. The girl moved her hands away from the sides of Ash's head, and placed them on the ground on both sides of her legs, her hands positioned that her fingers were facing away from her body, so that she could lean in closer to him.

Four inches left before their lips touched.

"Okay, what is it?" Misty smiled. If Ash didn't know better, he would say that Misty was enjoying being so close to him. He let the idea float to the back of his mind, as his chest tightened. He wasn't ready to tell her, but he'd said that he would.

"Well…the thing is…I like someone…" Ash initially thought Misty would turn giddy at the idea, pinching his cheeks and teasing him for having a crush. However, what actually happened was that a small trace of sadness covered her eyes, and the corner of her mouth tightened, the same action she always made when she was worried. Ash grew apprehensive. Had he said something wrong? He knew he shouldn't have told her. "Are you okay, Misty?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah, I'm fine…" Her voice, however, said otherwise, her head falling sorrowfully.

Only three inches remained.

She sounded worried; scared, even. Ash didn't know if it was something he said that made her feel upset, or if it was something that was on her mind as well. Regardless, he didn't take pleasure in seeing her upset, so to comfort her, he reached one of his hands up to tenderly cup her cheek. "Misty, please don't feel sad. I don't know what it was that I did, but-"

"No, Ash, it's not your fault." Misty shook her head, though he could feel her leaning into his hand somewhat.

"Well, what's wrong?" Ash's voice was filled with concern.

"Well, the thing is…I like somebody, too." Misty admitted quietly.

Ash immediately felt like his heart dropped right through his chest and into the center of the Earth, where it suffered a fiery and painful torture. His mouth went dry, and though a chill ran though his entire body, it refused to move an inch. His mind was blank, hollow and empty. The fact that she had revealed such a secret to him only proved that he couldn't be the lucky guy; if he was, she wouldn't have said anything. Then again, Misty was the girl that he liked, and he had told her…his body allowed him to gingerly bite the inside of his bottom lip, as it had began to shake very slightly. "You…do? Is it…Brock?" Although the spiky-haired breeder was one of his closest friends, the thought of him holding Misty, caressing her, kissing her…it made his stomach churn.

Misty's face exploded into laughter, falling to her side as she clutched her arms to her chest, releasing Ash's hold on her cheek. The young trainer had a startled and confused expression as the girl rolled from left to right. It took Misty a full minute to calm down enough to speak.

"Ash…what made you…think…Brock…" With that, her fit of giggles resumed with full force.

He could swear that her face matched her hair, and although the sight would normally bring a smile to his face, he was still in slight surprise at Misty's reaction. Placing his hand underneath his head once more, he gazed up at the sky as Misty finished her laughing session. He let out a soft sigh, closing his eyes as he let her reaction sink into his mind. "Well, I guess she doesn't like Brock. But who else could it be? Gary? Tracey?"


He opened his eyes, and blushed profusely. Misty had moved to sit at Ash's side, still leaning over him similar to her former position, with one exception: her face was definitely closer.

Two inches left.

"Um…yeah?" He replied timidly.

The girl suddenly had a bold look on her face. "If…I tell you who I like, will you tell me who you like?"

If his head was hot before, it was nothing compared to how it felt now; it was as if all the blood in his body had instantaneously rushed to his head. He could feel his heart thumping in his throat, and he became lightheaded. He felt like the air in his lungs wanted to exit his body forcefully, leaving him slightly short on oxygen. "Um…sure." Instantly, his thoughts began speeding by. "You idiot! Why'd you say yes? You know it's not you she likes! You're just going to end up making things awkward between you two! Oh, why does she have to be…cute?"

"Well, Ash…" Taking a closer look at her face, he noticed that she looked extremely nervous, and her face was as red as an apple. She had almost stuttered his name, and he was sure her eyes were shaking out of anxiety. Despite this, however, he noticed that, while it was slow, her face was steadily moving towards his.

Only one more inch.

His mind was going crazy. "Is it really that hard to admit who you like? Well…I guess it's always hard to admit you feel something towards someone. But…why does Misty look so nervous? I don't think she'd be this nervous about telling me…" Suddenly, it was if everything in his mind finally clicked, and it all began to make sense. The level of closeness she had shared with him; her extreme apprehension that came out of nowhere; her allowing him to hold her cheek; it all pointed to one thing, and he was surprised it had taken him so long to realize it. "Wait…could it be that she…"

"Ash…I like…" He could almost hear her gulp, and he was fighting the urge to do just the same. Ash could feel her breath on his lips, and he felt like his heart was going to jump out of his body and began dancing circles around them. The suspense was killing him, and despite how he tried, he found controlling his breathing to become increasingly difficult. There was only one word left, and he'd give almost anything for that word to be…


And there it was. Suddenly, it was as though the blood in his body was everywhere in his body except his head. His entire being felt warm, and a feeling of lightheadedness filled his head. He wanted to move, to do something, anything; the problem was, he felt like his body was asleep. It was tingly, and nothing wanted to move. He couldn't move, but he could see, and he saw that Misty had closed her eyes, her lips shaking the way they always did when she was nervous. Seeing her in such a state only brought one desire to Ash's heart: to make her feel happy. And he knew exactly how he could do that…

"Misty…" He whispered, smiling. The redhead opened her eyes, and Ash could see that, while nervous, a small ray of hope was glimmering in her eyes. "Why are you so nervous?" His voice was quiet, but held safety and warmth.

"Um…" The girl's lips moved faintly, but no words came out. He could see the surprise in her expression, and he could already tell what she was thinking: Why isn't he saying anything? Instead, Ash simply tilted his head up, very slowly.

A half an inch.

"Misty, the girl I like is you." He'd like to say the risk of telling her was high, but he knew it wasn't true, seeing as how she liked him back. He normally would believe that she would tease him for such a confession, but that wasn't the case, judging from the sparkle in her eyes. And no matter what he did, he couldn't stop his lips from moving closer.

"Ash…" Was all Misty could utter out, before their lips touched.

It was a truly romantic kiss. There was passion behind it, but it was slow, gentle, and serene. They didn't need to go crazy with the kiss to tell the other how they felt; it was all conveyed in their meeting of lips. Their eyes were closed, not out of knowing that it was the appropriate action, but out of nervousness of their first kiss. Ash felt like he was flying; in fact, with the gentle breeze going by, he could swear he was. His chest felt the strong urge to rise up off the ground, and he couldn't help but smile into the kiss. "Is this for real? Am I actually kissing Misty?" The fluttery feeling in his stomach confirmed his thoughts. He opened his eyes to see her face, and her eyes were looking into his as well. Her lips quickly left his, out of surprise, but still hovered two inches above.

Ash's chest rose and fell with great breaths. He was positive that he was blushing considerably, but that wasn't a big deal to him at the moment. His lips felt cool, yet tingled with the sensation that they were on fire. He slowly moved one hand from under his head and placed it on her cheek. The redhead let out a quiet, blissful sigh, leaning into his hand. Ash took the opportunity to admire her facial features. Her cerulean eyes that seemed to match her calm, caring personality; her fiery red hair that seemed to fit her temper perfectly; although, there was something about having it in a ponytail that made it seem to diminish her looks. So, with his other hand, he reached up and removed the band from her hair, letting all of her silky hair fall to her shoulders. The girl gasped softly, her face tensing in his hand. However, she soon relaxed once more, closing her eyes as Ash ran a hand through her tresses, and in his hand, he could feel her lips and cheeks form into a smile.

All of this was completely new to Ash. He'd had feelings for Misty for quite some time, but he'd never actually thought of what to do in the unlikely event that she reciprocated his feelings. Well, at the time, it was unlikely, since he never noticed any signs that she might like him back. Of course, kissing her was an obvious though, but other than that, he wasn't sure of what to do. He simply allowed his instincts guide him, and quickly, his instincts brought him another idea. He slowly raised his body off the ground for the first time in a while, both of his hands leaving Misty's touch. The girl opened her eyes in confusion, as Ash sat down in front of her. He smiled, appreciating all of Misty's beauty.

Wow…that was a really romantic thought, he figured, and the action caused him to laugh sheepishly, placing his hand behind his neck. Misty only smiled back, and Ash, seeing the collective image of Misty's hair down from its ponytail, her lips forming into a loving smile, a cute blush on her cheeks, and her cerulean eyes, filled with love, looking at him, found himself saying something before thinking.

"You're really pretty, Misty…" The statement caused Ash's grin to grow, as Misty's face grew a darker shade of red, her gaze dropping slightly out of embarrassment. He knew the statement surprised her, seeing as how it seemed slightly out of character for him, as many saw him as unromantic. Then again, a lot had changed in the years. True, Pokémon training was important to him, but now, love had a bigger place in his heart. He placed his hands around her waist comfortingly, and her gaze rose up once again to look into his eyes. She smiled nervously, and at that moment, two things dawned on Ash. First, it was that even though Misty was a girl, she was as nervous about the concept of love as he was.

The second was that he was looking at the most adorable girl in the world. The thought brought a blush to his face, and Misty giggled. He simply smiled, and pulled her in closer to him, wrapping his arms completely around her waist. Her body tense up in surprise, her hands pressing against his chest. She soon relaxed, leaning her head on him, smiling contently. Ash looked down at her, and her hair was in his face. He took a small sniff, and he reveled in the scent of her shampoo, a mixture of strawberries and cream. He knew she could feel his rapidly beating heart, and he grew warm. Holding Misty brought a sense of joy to him. She was so warm, and he felt like he was her guardian, her defender. Their position made him think of her as a small child, and he was the one who cared for and protected her.

The idea made him smile goofily. That was certainly a romantic thought. Well, Misty made him think that way. The girl snuggled closer into his chest, and the action made Ash's heart jump. He took a deep breath and sighed contently. The redhead lifted her head off his chest and giggled at Ash's obvious nervousness.

"Don't tell me the great Ash Ketchum is scared of a girl." She grinned teasingly.

Ash chuckled. "Well, I should be scared if that girl has a huge mallet."

The girl made a face at him, and stuck her tongue out at him. "Well, I don't think I'll be hitting you anymore." She smiled eagerly.

"If you say so." Ash made a face as though he didn't really believe her.

"Yeah." Misty whispered sweetly. Then, her arms moved from his chest and wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer. He blushed at her sudden assertiveness. "Unless…you want me to hit you."

"Misty, your mallet hurts worse than Pikachu's Thundersh-"

"That's not what I meant." She cut Ash off before he could finish. He didn't understand what she was talking about, until she firmly planted her lips on his. He wasn't sure where here sudden burst in confidence came from, but the feeling of her lips on his made him forget about that. He didn't want to worry about it, anyway.

"So this is what she meant by 'hitting' me." He thought, savoring the kiss. The taste of her lips was something he could definitely grow used to. It was intoxicating, seducing, and he wasn't one to object to such a treat. He pulled her closer, and kissed her with increased fervor. Her hold in his neck increased as well. As they slowly parted their lips, one thought entered Ash's mind.

"Misty Waterflower. It suits her perfectly. Though I still don't know if a Waterflower is a real flower."


While thinking of an idea, I kinda thought about how Misty has likely spent a lot of time thinking about her feelings for Ash, possible rejection, and all that jazz. I figured, "Why not have Ash go through something like that?" And that's how this story came about.

Anyways, there's story number one! Expect another one fairly soon!