Disclaimer: I'd settle for just owning all of the Pokémon seasons… my goodness, this is an expensive series to get obsessed with!

Author's Note: This fic has been stuck in my head since my recent rediscovery of Avril Lavigne's song "Innocence." I didn't add lyrics here because song fics are… well, they're very hard to do well, if you ask me, and the song isn't really necessary, just complimentary. But if you wanna listen to it before or after reading this, I'd highly encourage that you do so; it's an incredibly beautiful song.

Warnings: Hokey-ness ahead! (This is a warning for you, Andrew! XD)

Ages: Ash- 21 / Misty- 23

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Innocence

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Pallet Town had the most extraordinary mornings.

Smiling slightly, Misty pressed a hand to the cool glass of the second story window, gazing out over the meandering fields that shone like amber seas in the light of dawn. Dew had collected on the long grasses, twinkling like diamonds; the brisk weather held the promise of frost soon replacing the iridescent beads. High above the ground, crimson leaves reached for the pale pink heavens, their scarlet hue dampened by the overwhelming golden glow of the rising sun. It was a radiance that refused to be stopped: the vibrant beams even pushed through Misty's fingers, painting the quiet bedroom behind her in a brilliant array of dark yellows and subtle creams.

At the reminder of where she was, a soft fuchsia blush colored her cheeks.

It was strange, almost surreal, to be standing there, dressed only in a pair of panties and a discarded long-sleeved shirt— a shirt that was distinctly not her own, one that smelt faintly of spicy cologne. It was even weirder to mentally reestablish the steps that brought her to this place, to this room, to this time, alone with her current, slumbering company.

But for all of the embarrassment she was feeling, Misty couldn't keep a grin off of her face.

Pushing a messy strand of ginger hair behind her ear, the young woman padded noiselessly back to the rumpled queen-sized bed, fingers trailing over the bunched sheets and old comforter. They were just as soft in the morning light as they had been the night before… though maybe a little warmer, now that they'd been slept in and were absorbing the brightness of sunrise. It surprised her, in some distant part of her mind; it had all felt like such a dream, but the tangibility of everything around her— not to mention the lingering throbs of pain between her legs— told her otherwise.

Encouraged by this, Misty set her eyes up farther, following the bumps and rolls in the quilt until her gaze fell upon the bed's current occupant: Ash. Head tilted to the right, black hair disheveled, bare chest rising and falling in a gentle, repetitive pattern as he slept through the dawn… His right arm had been lazily draped across the expanse of the bed, and she couldn't help but remember how cherished and safe she'd felt cuddled in his embrace.

With a delicate flick of her wrist, she allowed her fingers to skim over his temple, thrilling in the small electric current that fizzled through her body when her skin met his.

And apparently, she wasn't the only one who felt it. Beneath her ministrations, the unconscious Ash hummed— nuzzling closer, sighing happily. It almost made her laugh, the dazed pleasure on his face, but the amusement vanished in a rush of emotion when the young man smiled, still dreaming, and breathed into the silence:

"Mis…ty…"

For a moment, Misty's heart stopped. Certainly her hand did, too. In fact, it was almost enough to make her cry... Almost, but she forced the tears back with a beam so bright that it put the beautiful morning to shame. And, though her original wish had been to merely watch him for a while longer, to appreciate the beauty of the golden sunrise as it washed over his pale flesh, the young woman couldn't resist the immediate pull she felt to join him back in bed. Hesitantly, as if moving against her will, Misty crawled onto the mattress, kneeling beside her dozing lover.

"Ash…" she then whispered, again touching the side of his face—her wet eyes full of such love and devotion and joy that they almost seemed ethereal, especially in the ocher haze of dawn. "I… I don't know if I'll be able to say this when you wake up, so… I figure I should say it now. Th— thank you…" A lump formed in her throat; Misty laughed quietly at her own anxious antics, trying to find her voice once more. "That is, thank you for… for, well, everything. For being my friend, for loving me— for just being you. And for letting me be me. I don't know how things will change after today… for the better, I'm sure, but still… I just want to tell you now how grateful I am… and how much I love you."

With a soft creak of the bedsprings, Misty leaned over and— cautiously, tentatively, careful not to wake him—pressed her lips to Ash's forehead in an airy kiss.

There was a rustle at the foot of the bed.

"Pikachupi…"

Startled, Misty turned her head in time to see a groggy Pikachu peek out at her from under an eyelid; apparently the small pokémon had crept into bed with them after they'd fallen asleep the night before. And while he didn't seem to mind sharing the room with his trainer's old traveling partner, he did take offense to her early-morning blathering.

"Pikachupi," Pikachu addressed her again, a yawn in his admonishment as he readjusted his tail, "Pikapi ka pikachu. Pika." As if to make his point, Pikachu pointedly curled up once more, pressed down his long ears, and tried to return to sleep.

One didn't need to understand pokémon language in order to know what he was saying.

Giggling soundlessly, Misty couldn't help but smile at the disgruntled electric mouse; with a playfulness that Pikachu clearly wasn't expecting, she leaned forward and snatched the little pokémon into her arms, cuddling him to her bosom like a teddy bear. That fact that he didn't immediately thundershock the young woman spoke volumes of his love for her.

"Pika—!"

"Shh. It's alright, Pikachu, I get it," the young woman murmured over the pokémon's squeak of surprise. "I get it, don't worry. I'm going back to bed…"

And so, following Pikachu's stern orders, Misty allowed herself to flop backwards: beaming as she nestled into the young man's side, marveling at how the space seemed to have been sculpted just for her. Perhaps it had. It definitely felt that way… and the feeling only grew stronger once the snoozing Ash registered her warmth and pulled her closer, this time refusing to let go. Not that Misty minded: with a satisfied Pikachu snuggled into her chest and Ash's arms around her, she could have stayed happily in that bed forever.

With one last glance around the golden bedroom, a contented Misty allowed her blue eyes to drift shut.

Pallet Town really did have the most extraordinary mornings.

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