Protecting Me by: Brittany

Misty awoke suddenly into the starry night. She took in her surroundings before making any movement. Once she accomplished that, she carefully broke away from the confines of her sleeping bag.

Misty then propped herself up against a tree. It was then she noticed the steady rise and fall of breathing from the chest of her sleeping friend, Ash Ketchem.


She met Ash some years ago, reeling him in with a fishing rod from a river. It happened all very fast. First a boy came from the water, then he stole her bike to save his pokemon. While at first she didn't believe him, thinking he was just some punk.

But then time proved her different, all in the same night. It was fate. It had to have been. Since that night, she and Ash had become friends. She traveled with him, and his other friend Brock Slate. She knew from the moment she had met Brock, that nothing romantic would ever develop. Brock was more of a mentor. He was older than the two, and was always very level headed with a sense of understanding and calmness.

Like a peacemaker, Misty mused. Brock was somewhere between a father and brother type to her. He was very wise. Except when it came to girls, then he was a hopeless mess.

Ash however... well, he's a different story. She tried to wonder what on earth was going on with her since she didn't feel the same feeling like she had for Brock. Was it love? No, it couldn't be...right? It had to be a phase. This had been Misty's solution for a while. She started to get suspicious of herself when the feelings just wouldn't stop, but rather grew more intense. It was only a matter of time before she figured out that she had in fact, fallen in love with Ash Ketchem.

He didn't know of course, no one did. She just couldn't help it. His deep brown eyes, his spiky, unkept black hair.. and his pokemon training had paid off. His muscles had started to tone up and take shape. She couldn't help the flutter of butterflies that exploded in her stomach when he was near, or the crimson blush that rose to her face if their hands brushed against one another. Contact like that probably meant nothing to Ash, but it had to Misty. The world in fact. Every moment they spend together, the talks they have, the adventures.. everything. Don't even get her started on what happens when she makes eye contact with him. Misty always thought herself to be independant. Took care of herself, did everything on her own with no one's help. Maybe that's why she was so against falling as hard as she had for Ash at first.

Of course now.. they were close. Very close. Misty had to admit, they did have their occasional moments together. She was afraid she'd ruin that by bringing her feelings for him into the spotlight. At the same time though, she knew she couldn't keep it a secret forever. Ash will undoubtedly be noticed by the time they reach the next town.

Come on Misty, get it together.

Then a deep voice sounded from behind her snapping her from her reverie. "Misty?" It was Ash. shirtless, running a hand through tousled black hair and all. Misty jumped and turned, blushing instantly.

Oh God, he's shirtless again. Oh God oh God oh God.

"Oh, Ash, I'm sorry. Just.. I don't know. Couldn't get back to sleep." She replied. Good thing it was dark out. "Yeah. All this silence can really keep a person up." Ash said with a hint of amusement in his eyes. "Oh shutup." Misty smiled. Ash laughed. Then Ash moved to sit himself next to her. Misty felt their shoulders touching. Oh God. This was not helping decrease Misty's blush. "So.. okay, why are you up?" Misty ventured. "Looking for you." Ash answered in the same deep voice. Okay, now Misty was pretty sure her heart just beat twice in one second. Nice. "Me huh?" She answered. Ash just nodded, staring off into the ocean. Then Misty noticed the moon reflected in his brown eyes. She felt the all too familiar blush intensify.

Great. I'm not obvious or anything.

"You just never know. Especially out here, and with the witless wonders wandering around." Ash continued. Misty knew he was referring to the ever famous Team Rocket. At this she let out a small giggle. This made Ash smile. Then suddenly a small electric pokemon lept up onto Ash's shoulder. He smiled even more. "Hey there Pikachu. Did this silence wake you up too?" He winked at Misty smiling. She felt herself melt into mush.

Oh good grief, what has happened to me? I blame Ash for this.

She must look ridiculous. Her face is no doubt the color of her hair by now, and she has a goofy smile plastered on her face. "Pika Pi!" The little yellow pokemon responded smiling. Misty smiled and reached her hand out to pet Pikachu. It closed it's eyes. "Chaaaaa!" It replied happily in a tiny voice. Ash was still smiling. "He came out because he was worried that I wasn't there when he woke up. So he came looking for me." He raised an eyebrow at her. "Sound familiar?" He said in a low drawl that ended with another smile from him. Misty was pretty sure she had lost the ability to speak at this point.

Damn. You. Ash. Ketchem.!

She was starting to get uncomfortable with the silence growing between them. Luckily Pikachu ended the silence by leaping from Ash's shoulder to his lap where he curled up and fell asleep.

"Oh Pikachu, not again." Ash groaned. "What's the matter? Why don't you carry him back?" Misty questioned. "Oh no, last time I tried that he sent a shock through me so quick I hadn't realized I was electrified till at least two hours afterward. And some of my hair is still fried!" He replied.

At this, Misty burst out laughing.

"Shh! No!" Ash whispered, reaching his arm over covering her mouth to stifle her laugh. Well, that contact shut her up immediately.
Holding a laugh himself, he went on, "If he gets woken up by surprise and I get shocked, you'll be in on that too."

Oh she loved his hands. And one of them was touching her. Okay, it was over her mouth, but still...

"Wha..huh? Oh, oh right.. yeah." Misty replied once Ash took away his hand.

Smooth, Misty. Reeeeal smooth.

"So.. so what do we do? ..Sleep here?" She asked.
"Looks like it" Ash answered.

"Won't err.. won't you um.. get cold?" said Misty, referring to Ash being shirtless.
At this he raised an eyebrow at her again. And again, she blushed.

I may as well just wear a sign. It would save me the trouble.

"Me? Nah. I'll be fine." He answered. And with that, he sunk down a little bit and tilted his head back against the tree. Misty thought for sure that the pounding of her heart would keep him up. Here was Ash, her secret love, sitting beside her under the moonlight with his chest exposed. Then she noticed it began to rise and fall deeply as he had done earlier. He fell asleep.
Misty then eased herself ever so slightly toward him. Very carefully, she layed her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. This was heaven to Misty Waterflower. But just then.. she felt Ash lift his head up.

Oh. No.

She flinched and pretended to be asleep. Much to her relief, he didn't shrug her off. Instead he took Misty by surprise by laying his head on top of hers. It took everything she had not to let out a girlish scream of happiness. She fell asleep smiling of course.
But unbeknownst to Misty... Ash had fallen asleep with a smile of his own.

Something they both didn't know however, was that Team Rocket themselves had witnessed the entire scene from afar.
"Hmph." Came the soft retort from the female of the group, Jessie. "Witless wonders are we? We'll show that twerp." She remarked with a scowl. Meowth rolled his eyes at this.
"Yeah, like every other time you said before!"
"Quiet you rodent!" Jessie backhanded him. Meowth lay dazed in the bushes.
The male of the group, James, only smiled. Seeing this, Jessie snapped. "What?!"
"It seems Pikachu isn't the only thing he's attached to." There was an evil glint in his eye. Jessie surveyed the scene again to see Ash and Misty together asleep under the moon. It clicked.
"Hmmm. You may have a point James!" She grinned maliciously. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" He asked. Jessie nodded.
"That we take the girl." They both said at the same time.

A/U: Okay I know! A cliffhanger! I have to keep you intrested don't I? *smiles innocently* =)
But I plan on another chapter. Hope you enjoyed though! Please R&R! =)