Disclaimer: I do not own pokemon... etc., etc.,...

The Chains that Bind

Ambezua: Aw, yes... this is the third (and most likely final) installment of the "Ash and Misty's Young Love" series. Yes... I know you are all looking forward to more of my writing. Keep giving me reviews, and I might start another series! Anyway, I am sure you all want to figure out what on Earth the title has to do with this story, so I will hurry up and finish up this annoying preface.

Chapter 1: A Beautiful Day in... May

The sun was shone brightly, gently warming the spring air. The wind rippled slowly across the surface of the river which ran along the road, and it weaved through the leaves of the blossoming trees. Oddishes hummed to themselves, releasing sweet-smelling pollen into the air. Spearows soared through the branches of the trees, quietly singing their spring calls. Pidgys gathered sticks and small branches with which to make thier nests, and an occasional Buneary hopped among the flowers.

Misty breathed deeply, enjoying the scents of spring. It almost reminded her of perfume. she looked over at Ash, who walked beside her. She reached out and hugged his arm, rubbing her cheek against his shoulder.

Ash looked down at her, and stroked her hair.

Brock's eyes narrowed. Even though he was walking up in front of the group, and couldn't actually see Ash and Misty, he had an almost innate knowledge of what the two of them were doing at any given time.

'They are at it again,' Brock sighed.

Duplica took up the rear of the group. She had joined up with them a few weeks ago, as they had invited her to come along. She looked up at the two lovers, and couldn't help but feel happy for them. It was true that she had, at one time, desired to have Ash for herself, but had come to realize that they were made for each other. She knew better than to fight against destiny. She looked over at Brock, who was beginning to look a bit irritated at Ash and Msity's behavior. She thought he looked cute when he became annoyed. Over the last few days, she had begun to grow rather fond of Brock. Brock, however, remained oblivious to this fact, and continued to go crazy over every other pretty girl that crossed his path.

Pikachu hopped up onto Ash's hat and began chattering with great excitement.

"Pika, pikachu chu chu, pi pikachu!" (Look, over that hill, I see the next town!)

"Thanks, buddy. You really are a good lookout." Ash smiled, took Pikachu off of his head, and held him in his arms.

"Pika." (your welcome)

"Hey, guys, I think I see someone running out to greet us." Duplica noted that the person appeared to have long, brown hair... A red shirt, and matching shoes...

"Hello, guys!" May waved.

"Huh... what a coincidence... There's May, and it just so happens that we are in the month of May..." Brock mused, but no one seemed to notice his remark.

"Uh... What are you doing here, May?" Ash asked.

"Oh, I heard that you all were coming to the big tournament. It's a small town, and word gets around quickly... Oh, and who's your friend with the green hair?" May peered past Ash, Misty, and Brock to get a better look at Duplica.

"Hello, my name is Duplica," Duplica smiled weakly, trying not to take offense at May's attitude.

"Oh, and hi Ash, and Misty... What are you doing, Misty?..." May pointed at Misty's whose head was still resting on Ash's shoulder, and her arms wrapped around his left arm.

"Oh, I guess you don't know yet... Misty's my girlfriend." Ash grinned, and wrapped his arms around her shoulders.

"Your WHAT?" May yelled, "I thought you two were just friends."

"That's what we kept telling everyone, but we have really had a crush on each other from the start. It hasn't been until the last few months that we have actually been dating."

"Oh... I see..." May was still quite shocked.

'What's gotten into me? I should have known that they were together...' May thought to herself

"WELL, not that this isn't fun and all, but, could we get going? We have been walking for several hours today, and we would like to rest." Brock spoke up.

Everyone nodded in agreement. May led them through the small town to a house she had been staying at. She had already made arrangements, so the house was ready for them when they walked in. It was a small, log cabin which had three bedrooms, a large living-room, a kitchen, and a dinning room. Ash left Misty's side, jumped onto the couch, and began flipping through the TV channels. Misty couldn't help but giggle a bit. Duplica took a seat in one of the chairs, while Brock snuck off to prepare lunch. May motioned to Misty to follow her, and she led her up to her room.

"So... What's up with you and Ash?" May began.

"Uh... what's there to know? " Misty blushed.

"How did it happen?"

Misty gave a brief summary of the events that led up to their confession of love for each other.

"From then on, we have been together." Misty finished.

"So... From then on you have been completely in love with him? You have given him your whole heart, soul, and body?"

"Yes... I guess."

"Are you sure he feels the same way?"

"Of course." Misty tried to sound confident, but she was starting to look uneasy.

"Look, I am only saying this because I am your friend and I don't want you to get taken advantage of. All I see is you giving him everything you have, yet, he gives nothing back. He just lays around and passively accepts every loving caress you bestow upon him. Shouldn't that cause you to wonder?"

"He's just not really a very romantic guy, that's all. That's just how he is. I'm not going to ask him to change if he doesn't want to." Misty shrugged.

"I can see that you love him for who he is, but are you sure that he loves you for who you are?" May see the terror in Misty's eyes, "What I think is that he just likes having you around for your body."

"NO!" Misty shut her eyes tightly, trying to keep the tears from flowing, "That's not true!"

Even May was a bit surprised at what she had said. She occasionally tried to help people with their romantic problems, but she had never actually caused romantic problems herself.

Misty ran out of the room, covering her ears so she couldn't hear May any longer, and zipped down the hall. She lept into Ash's arms, as he lay sleepily on the couch. Tears began to run down her cheeks and absorb into Ash's shirt.

"Hey, what's wrong Mist?" Ash began to sit up.

"I'm alright... I just want you to hold me..."

Ash complied, but still felt that there was something that Misty was hiding from him.

'What if May's right? What if Ash really doesn't love me?'

Ambezua: Yeah, Misty's uncertainty about Ash is a central theme throughout the first few chapters. Oh, and, yes, in case you were wondering, I do dislike May a LOT. Those of you who thinks Ash and May belong together... I will deal with you later!