I've decided to upgrade this to PG-13 on the account that this part contains nudity, but no detail. If I should put it up to R, or if it's fine as PG, then tell me! The reviews really helped me through, and I'd like feedback on overall impressions and suggestions for improvements. They have been positive and helpful to this point, so if it's worth me writing another let me know. (Tries big Anime Cavalier King Charles puppy eyes.) Pleeeeease?

Enough simpering, on with the epilogue!

Picture a scene. The sun shines down, view only obscured by a few errant clouds which hovered in the sky, as if modelled by cotton wool and stuck into place just as a reminder of how it could be. Pan downwards, see a few green and brown mountains sat in the hazy distance, as they have for thousands of years, motionless and ageless. Further down, nearer to the viewer, a forest, a seemingly endless crowd of green, moving as if blades of grass in a rich pasture. A distant city sits, waiting. Look closer. A leafy glade. A few figures stand in it. Come closer. One, a tall girl of about 14, with red hair tied cascading over her shoulders, watching the scene in front of her, and in particular one of the trainers with unconcealed delight. One, a older teen with dark brown hair, applauding the events which have just taken place and not-so discreetly drooling over the losing trainer. One, a young lady in her twenties with golden hair and blue eyes blank with shock, a charizard and Jolteon in a crumpled heap before her. The other, a young teen of around 14 crouching down to receive the hugs of his pokemon, and winking at the red-head stood alongside him.

"Wow. I didn't expect that.." The woman shook her head in disbelief, mane of hair rippling at the movement, sending Brock into further paroxysms of lust. "You've really got some skill, y'know."

"Thanks miss." Ash stepped forwards, tailed by Chikorita and Pikachu, and shook her hand.

"That's Mrs." The other trainer angled a golden ring so the sunlight glinted off it into Brock's face in obvious warning. Brock slumped to the ground in defeat, and pounded it with his fist. "Good move, using your Chikorita to catch my Charizard, and having Pikachu jump across it's path, so Jolteon shocked it as well as Pikachu. Then using Chikorita's vine whip to direct it's fall onto Jolteon." Ash scratched his head in embarrassment at the praise.

"Uh, well, I used to have a Charizard, so I know how to deal with one. But you're pokemon were good too, I just got lucky."

"Maybe." She recalled her Pokemon and looked Ash in the eye. "But maybe not. I know class when I see it, and I see it before me. Beating me with unevolved pokemon with an overall type mismatch, well, that's not luck." She turned around, and strode off through the undergrowth.

"You two were great together. You should be congratulated not me." Ash bent down to Chikorita and Pikachu, and stroked them together, careful to keep his right hand in it's sling.

("We couldn't have done it without your plan.") Pikachu said, nuzzling him back.

("Yeah! Besides, I still have to pay you back for that.") Chikorita glanced at Ash's bandaged hand, her face a painting of remorse.

"Chikorita, I forgave you as soon as it cut into my hand. Don't think you have to do this for me, do it for yourselves. I'm not the one winning the fight."

("Ash, you know you said that Chikorita and I make a great team?") Pikachu nudged me, a look of annoyance on her face.

"Yes?"

"("Don't you realise that this battle wasn't two on two, but three on three?") Chikorita and Pikachu looked at each other and nodded. ("You don't use a tackle attack or thunder Ash, but you're still one of the team.") Ash's smile widened, and he drew the two of them into a tight hug.

"You were great Ash!" Misty stepped closer to him, and helped him up from his crouch. Ash gave her a winsome grin.

"This seems a little like deja-vu to you?" Her face briefly creased into a frown, which broke into a laugh.

"Yes, until this." She drew him into a deep kiss, her mind dancing in delight. As they broke apart, they blushed slightly at the assorted audience. Chikorita's eyes flashed in jealousy for a split-second, but she broke into a smile nonetheless. Pikachu balanced herself on her tail tip, and gave them an ironic round of applause. Brock peeled himself off the floor after his seventeen-thousandth rejection, and gave them both a big cheesy grin. Misty gave them all a warning glance, before sitting down.

"So guys, we'll set up for the night here, and I'll go off to the river to get us some water." Brock bent down to his bag, and picked up a container before sauntering off into the woods himself.

"Mist, I'll get the utensils out." Ash began to rummage in the bag, as Misty leaned over to rub his back.

"Ash, why did you try to blow off that last victory? Like it was an accident, or luck?" She probed gently as Ash delved further into the bag.

"Well, I wasn't really responsible, it was Chikorita and Pikachu's combination work with a little luck which pulled it off." He replied, hand still blindly seeking a spoon.

"Ash, we talked about this. You have to believe that you can do things, that you can believe in yourself." Misty soothed.

("Don't forget it Ash.") Chikorita chipped in.

"Yeah guys, maybe you're right." Ash thanked them.

"Of course we're right! We're women!" Misty and Chikorita sniggered. Pikachu looked on blankly. *Someday I'm gonna shock the living daylights outta them until they tell me what they know that I don't!*

"Why you."Ash began in mock indignation, but then froze. "What the!"

"Ash?" Misty's eyes flashed in astonishment as Ash's left hand drew out a thick wedge of banknotes.

"H-how the hell did Brock get this?!" Ash's hand dug into the bag again, and withdrew a picture envelope. "He didn't tell me he'd taken any pictures!" He drew the sheaf of pictures out of the envelope, and smiled. Pictures of the festival, Misty with her face obscured by candy floss, Ash playing a throwing game (to great effect, his years of throwing pokeballs had made him a certain winner.) Him and Misty striking victory poses, them on the dodgems together, and shots of and from on the big wheel. Ash and Misty held hands as she leafed through them, examining them and recounting the memories.

"Doesn't seem like a week." Ash dreamed.

"Yeah - Hang on a minute. There's only twenty-three pictures here!" Misty wondered aloud.

"So?"

"Films come with twenty-four pictures, not twenty-three." Misty lifted up the flap of the envelope the pictures came in while Ash dug into the bag, fingers searching for the lost photo. As his fingers drew out a piece of paper, Misty gasped beside him. "Oh Ash, look at this!" Ash looked across, and saw himself and Misty in a passionate kiss, bathed in pink light and framed against the night sky. He looked back at this piece of paper, and his eyebrows did the high-jump.

"Forget that Mist, look at this! It says: sent photocopy of the picture to Deliah Ketchum, Tracey, Duplica, Buggsy, Sabrina, geez there must be fifty names here! It goes on to say, this picture is proof that I won the bet, Ash and Misty got it together within one week of his 14th birthday..received twenty dollars from Tracey, Ritchie, Prof. Oak, Gary..What the hell?!" Misty craned over to read the paper, and her mouth dropped open so wide it could have acted as a garage for a Cadillac.

"He's bet with all these people when we would get together?! Gary's there, your mother, my sisters, professor Oak, Gary?! Twenty dollars each, this goes back as far as back when we first started the journey! All these people thought this would happen, and it's taken us four years?" She scanned the list again. "Looks like daisy was next in line if we'd waited a few days. Brock stands to make, well, over a thousand dollars out of this!" Chocolate eyes met aqua, and both pairs narrowed. Pikachu and Chikorita, who were both with Brock at the time he took the photo, took the wisest option, and ran for the hills. Misty drew her mallet, and handed a backup to Ash. "Lock and load. When our little friend returns, we're going to be having a little friendly chat. Remember, kneecaps first.."

"And then where you really don't want it!" Ash finished, with an evil snicker. They shared a quick peck on the lips, and settled down to wait for their prey. A few minutes later, Brock approached.

"Okay guys, I've got the water, now let's AAAAAAH!!"

"Threatening Brock was kinda fun!" Misty swam across the moonlit river, clothed by darkness.

"Yeah. He can be thankful we said he could keep some of the money though." Ash said back, diving into the river, sending ripples randomly in a million directions. He surfaced, and looked across at Misty's silhouette cast as a shadow on a canvas of woods and water, and bathed for a moment in her beauty. "Y'know Mist, we've been together for four years, and this is the first time we've ever taken a swim together."

"Yeah, well it would look.odd for two teenagers to be together in a river together, well..." Misty's cheeks reddened.

"Too late to get bashful now Mist. Besides, the water's so soothing. I could just float away, happy as a baby in a cradle." Ash soothed, drifting on his back, staring up at the moon.

"It is a beautiful night. I just can't believe that a week ago you were ready to walk out of my life." A nervous giggle escaped her, and bounced across the water. "And now the two of us are here in the dead of night, swimming.naked." Ash smiled to himself at .

"Can you think of any other way? I always find that my cap gets washed away otherwise. Don't worry about it Mist. Even if you feel self-conscious, darkness is the best cloak known to man. And it's only me here. Brock is a little.tied up, as we both know." Two peals of laughter echoed through the silent forest as the image of Brock's bound and gagged figure swam into their minds.

"Ash?" Misty's voice, now sounding timid, echoed across the scene.

"Yes Mist?" Ash replied wading across to her.

"I don't think I can ever remember a night as beautiful as this." Misty gazed in wonder at the dark sky, the crescent of the moon, and stars winking throughout the black screen.

"You do know what the most beautiful thing tonight is?" Ash reached Misty, and pulled her into a gentle embrace. "It's you." Misty gasped in delight, which was drowned as they pulled each other into a deep, all-enveloping kiss. There they stayed, beneath the pale moon for what seemed a lifetime, until eventually they waded to shore still holding each other tightly. Ash giggled again as they slowly let each other go. "I wonder how Brock would react if we walked in hand in hand like we are now?" He smiled.

"He'd throw a total hissy fit!" through the glow of the moon, each of them could just make out the wide smiles of the other. "then, he'd probably jump straight to the wrong conclusions."

"Or start drooling over you!" Ash joked, wandering over to his clothes.

"Uuurgh, there's an image I really didn't want!" Misty paused for a moment. "Ash?" She picked up her towel and rubbed herself off briskly.

"Yes?" Ash replied softly, drying himself.

"I know we were under darkness, and we only kissed, but would you not tell anyone? About tonight?" Misty's fears were burnt to the ground as Ash silently kissed her again.

"Mist, this has been one of the best nights of my life, and it'll stay in my memory forever. I don't want it tarnished by other people. Of course I'll keep it secret. There are a few secrets you shouldn't have to share." A shared wink and a smile, and the two of them walked back to the camp, hand in hand.

THE END