Keeping in Touch
By: Manna


The Microfic/Drabble Meme!
Christmas Edition!
Requested By:
Princess Priscilla (FFN)
Prompt: "A Christmas party at Delia's house. With mistletoe lurking in the shadows…"
Spice: N/A
Pairing/Characters: Ash, Misty
Fandom: Pokémon


Parties really aren't my thing. No, I swear they're not. Except for maybe the food. I love food. I always have.

My mom tells me that I used to eat sticks of butter off of the kitchen table when she turned her back. She's probably right, but if she ever tells any of the others about that, I'll most likely die of shame. I'll get that stupid sheepish smile on my face, and I'll rub the back of my neck… Of course, that never does anything to help fight off the blushing and the, "Moooommm!"

She gets some kind of twisted sense of humor out of putting me into those kinds of situations, I think. But she's my mom and I love her anyway. I especially love her cooking. And whoa, I think I just found some kind of tart that should win a Food of the Year award. If there isn't such a thing, there ought to be.

I'm not sure what's in it, but it doesn't matter. It's good. Very good. In fact, it's so good that I'm not even paying attention to where I'm going. That's generally a bad thing, but seeing as how the food's so good, I don't really care. It's not like I'll bump into someo—oops.

Well, I take that back. When you don't watch where you're going, you're about a hundred percent more likely to bump into someone. Someone you want to bump into, even. Wow.

"Er… Hello, Misty," I say, slightly dazed and confused as the last crumb of the tart falls, alone and scared, to the carpet. Mom'll clean it up later, but I hope she won't suspect me of putting it there.

"Hi, Ash." She smiles at me and steps a little closer and I'm slightly disturbed by this.

It's not that I don't like her. Hell no! In fact, I do like her. A lot. Perhaps too much, sometimes. It's just…I don't see her every day. It's probably horrible of me to think that I feel a bit uncomfortable around her because I don't see her much anymore, but it's true. We don't have that same connection we had years ago. We only see each other a few times a year at best.

"I saw Pikachu earlier," she tells me lightly, tucking her hair behind her ear.

I wish she would wear her hair down more often, but I can't tell her that. Well, I can…but she'll probably beat my head in with some heavy object and tell me I'm insulting her when I'm not. I'm not sure how that kind of comment can be taken as an insult, but it's Misty I'm talkin' about. I'm sure she could manage it.

"My little buddy's been pigging out since seven o'clock this morning," I manage with a slight smile.

"Sounds just like him." Suddenly, she pauses and then looks up at me. "How long have you been taller than me?" she asks, her hand comparing our heights. Shaking her head, she grins, "Never mind. I haven't seen you in ages. You never email or call me anymore."

I don't communicate with her through email or the phone because I never really know what to say. What do you say to someone when you don't have anything to talk about anymore? When anything and everything that you might manage to spill out of your gaping maw seems very trivial?

"I've been busy—" I start to say, but she cuts me off.

"You're no Master yet, Ash." She blinks slowly, almost looking disappointed for a split second before she steps backward a little. "I watch all of your matches on the television."

I feel guilt in the pit of my stomach and take a step forward to match the one she took back. She takes another one, moving her away from me, and I follow, though I have no idea why.

"I'm sorry, Misty," I say. "I'll try harder."

I always say that.

One of these days, I think, I'll have to stop saying it and actually do something about it. Typing up an email can't be so hard, can it?

But it can, it really can. I don't think Misty would understand, and if I try to explain it to her, the words will come out of my mouth all wrong and I'll make her angry. Then, instead of seeing her a few times a year, I'll be lucky to see her even once.

"For real this time?"

I nod, but I know how it will go. I can see it all in my head as she leans against the side of the doorway to the living room, and I stand next to her. I'll email her once or twice about how my travels are going, and they'll be a few paragraphs long and in decent English, no less.

Then, a month will go by, and I'll send a few more emails, hurriedly and from Pokémon centers along the way. Words will be abbreviated, and when I forget to type my own name at the bottom before I send them, she'll know not to expect more than one or two more emails, about a sentence in length that let her know I'm alive.

Because after that, the emails will stop. And months will fly by, and then she'll say, "Ash, you never email me anymore," and I'll say, "I'm sorry, I'll try harder."

Rinse and repeat as necessary. My life is just like a bottle of shampoo.

"Seriously, Misty. I'll email you every week." And I realize I've never said that before.

She smiles slightly and points up, and my eyes follow; I'm totally unsuspecting Ash, as always. A sprig of mistletoe dangles right over us, and I'm suddenly really nervous.

Words and thoughts can't do anything for me. I'm just nervous because I haven't spent much time with Misty lately, I tell myself, but nothing doing. No, my mind knows better than that.

I look down at her and she's got this grin on her face that's half sweet, half devious, and I think my heart knows better too. It flips over just slightly when she stands up straight in front of me.

When did she get so much shorter than me?

And when, in God's name, did she start to fill out? She's still scrawny, but…perhaps not so thin anymore. She looks good. The thought almost scares me.

I blink at her stupidly, and she laughs.

"The same old Ash, I see," she teases, and leans in close to me. My heart's pounding out a rhythm to a song that shouldn't even be legal. "I got stuck under here with Professor Oak earlier, and it would be really nice of you to help me erase that particular memory."

I can't even blink. I'm afraid that if I move, everything will be ruined.

I don't even realize that people are staring at us, or that my mom's in the background with her Soon There Will Be Grandchildren look on her face.

Obviously, I'm not objecting to this offer. I'm scared as hell, but apparently not saying, Go away Misty, makes her think she can do whatever she wants, and before I'm actually aware of what's going on, she's grabbed my face and kissed me.

Just…a really light one.

But it is on my lips.

And the sensation kind of lingers there as she gives me a quick hug and goes off on her merry way.

My face is burning with embarrassment, but I find that I want more. Damn, how to ask for more? Oh, I know! I'll have to…there. I spot a sprig of mistletoe and off I go!

It doesn't even occur to me to just ask her if I can kiss her. Maybe she won't say no.

But I do know one thing. I'll definitely be emailing her more often. Maybe…more than once a week. I might even call her once in a while, too.

I suddenly spot her talking to Pikachu, and my little yellow buddy climbs up her shoulder and plants a kiss on her cheek. I notice the devious creature is holding his own bit of mistletoe.

No fair, I think. Pikachu, you can't put the moves on your best friend's woman! It just isn't right.

I ignore my blushing and head over there anyway as I try to come up with something to say that won't get me pummeled with one of my mother's nice vases.


Author Notes:

This was… Well, I thought it would turn out worse than it did. I'm seriously made of epic fail when it comes to ending stories. I never know how to end them. But I didn't think the 'fic itself turned out too bad. Ash might have been too smart? Maybe? But this is a…17/18-year-old Ash, so… Yeah. Feedback is appreciated, as always! Reviews make the (my) world go 'round. Thank you for reading!