Ash

Um…First of all…I'm really not as sick as everyone thinks I am…Um…I just kinda really hurt all over and I only threw up three times…but um…yeah the hospital people came…and they took me to the hospital…and they did stuff to me to get rid of the poison….and um…now I have my own room here…heh…I do feel better now…not that…I was feeling really bad before……erm…Okay, fine…So it was really really bad…I had this awful headache too and Misty wasn't helping…

Speaking of Misty…

Why…Why…of all people…did she have to be the one to find me!? Why not Brock? Why not just Pikachu!? Is that really too much to ask? I can't believe she…eghh…You know, with just a little more time I could've been outta there all by myself. But no, she's not patient enough for that…Forget what she's been saying about a little more time and I'd be dead. She's lying. I'm fine.

Really though, I think she was enjoying herself a little too much up there…Really, she didn't need to hold me that close…I think she might still want to kiss me…and then what…? Er…No, we don't want to find out…I just won't let her kiss me…I really, really hope she doesn't try…

When I told Pikachu why I was hiding from Misty in the first place, he started laughing…Can you imagine that? It really wasn't very nice…He doesn't believe Misty's gonna eat me or even just hurt me or anything, even after I told him about the spiders. I think he trusts Misty a little too much…

…I guess I can't really blame him…I mean…If it wasn't for her, I'd still be sitting up in that box…being sick…and scared…Don't get me wrong, I'm still scared…but not really as much as I was before…She hasn't even said anything about the mistletoe thing or kissing or anything…I…think she's really worried about me…so…maybe that means…she isn't gonna…do anything…to me…I think…

Huh, what's that? Oh…the door…Wait a second…That's Misty!

I can't help it. I freeze up when I see her…She already did scare me a little even before the mistletoe, but now…

"Pikachupi!" Pikachu…You're way too happy to see her…

"Merry Christmas…" she whispers. What's she talking about? This doesn't seem too merry to me…"How are you feeling…?" She's being really quiet…Not just whispering, but she's also walking and sitting down next to me really quietly too…Um…That's weird…

"I'm fine…" I answer her tightly. I…don't really want her there…alone…or anything…but…um…Hey, where's Brock? Um…She wanted to see me all by herself? Why!? What's she gonna do??

"I'm glad…You had me scared back there…"

You think you were scared!? No, I'd better not say that…

"Um…Sorry…"

"It's alright now…I'm just glad you're okay…"

Yeah me too…um…Why is she being so nice?? I'm better now. You'd think she'd be using that as excuse to get really mad at me for causing all that trouble in the first place.

"I…I guess I kinda ruined the party, huh…?" The Christmas party…The hospital guys carried me through it on the way to the ambulance…It wasn't lively at all…I just ruined the whole thing… "And…and Christmas too…" Christmas isn't gonna be the same with me in the hospital…

"What…? Ash don't say that…Maybe…the party yeah…but it was good while it lasted…but no one can ruin Christmas…Especially not you…"

What!? What's that supposed to mean…??

"Uh…"

I think she's blushing a little…She's kinda ducking her head to hide it I guess…but I can still see……Um…Why is she blushing…??

"Don't…don't worry about it, Ash…It's gonna be fine…"

"…I hope so…"

"It will be…"

Um…She sounds pretty positive about that…What's she thinking about…? She looks like she's thinking about something…uh…

She swallows and smiles strangely at me. "It's gonna be fine, because you're fine…"

…Whoa…! Um…I'm glad that she's glad that I'm okay, but…what is she talking about!? I could be wrong, but I think she's trying to say more than what she's saying…and I'm getting confused now…

"Th…anks…"

Um…Hey, it's the only thing I could think of, okay?

"You're welcome…"

She looks down again at her lap…I didn't really pay attention before, but she has her backpack with her…and now it looks like she's getting something from it…

"Um…I brought your Christmas present…" she says quietly and takes out a little, flat, long package that kind of bends when she picks it up. "It's…not much…but I think you'll like it…"

She got me a present!? Well, wait…Of course she did…I mean, I got her something too…Uh oh…I don't know where it is! I left it in my backpack and that's…still at the Pokémon Center I think…Wait…She got me a present and she's still giving it to me after everything I did…!?

I start to stutter as I take it from her. It's really limp and it makes a funny sound with the paper and all…It also seems pretty soft…

"Th-thanks…Uh…I mean…Y-you really…shouldn't've…I…"

"Ash, I already bought it, and I already gave it to you, so you'd better take it now…"

"Uh…Yeah, I guess…Oh, Misty! Your present…It's in my backpack…I think I left it at the Pokémon Center…"

She giggles a little at that. "We made sure we took it with us over here…In fact…" she looks over her shoulder and points at a little table in the corner…with my backpack on top of it, "it's right there."

"Oh…I guess you could go get- Uhhhh…Actually…Pikachu, you think you could go get Misty's present for her…?"

"Pika!"

Pikachu hops off the bed and goes to my backpack. I wouldn't have minded if Misty went to go get it, normally…but…well Mom sent me an extra pack of…yuck…holiday underwear the other day and insisted that I open it right away…That's not something I want Misty to see!

While we're waiting for Pikachu to find it with all that underwear, I try to figure out what's in this gift that Misty gave me…I know we're supposed to wait until everyone's gone before we open presents, but Misty might not leave…

"You know, I won't mind if you open it now," she giggles.

"But…um…?"

"Ash, if you really want to follow tradition that badly, then I owe you a kiss."

"WAH!! Nonononono!!…I…I think I can open it right now…!"

She does still want to kiss me!! I knew it!! I'd better hurry and open this before she gets the wrong idea!

I tear at the paper like I always do, very fast and very messily. The shredded stuff falls to the bed to reveal…blue wool…with little yellow stripes…No not stripes! Those are lightning bolts…I think…It's all woolly and knitted so I can't really tell…but…what is it…? I hold it up so it unfolds to my lap. It's…a long piece of cloth…Umm…Oh!!! I know. It's a scarf!! Ha!

"A scarf…?"

She nods a little. "Yeah…I know, it's not all that special, but…well you don't have anything to keep you warm and I've heard it's going to be really cold this winter." She laughs a little. "I would've got you a thicker coat, but that was too expensive and I don't think I could make you part with yours anyway."

"Heh…Maybe not before, but now it's pink and purple instead of white and blue…" We have the punch to thank for that…

She laughs again. "Yeah, Brock said he's working on getting rid of that…"

"I hope so…"

We're quiet for a moment and I look at my new scarf again…It really is a nice scarf I guess…Soft…Probably warm too…

"…Do you like it…? I…I picked that design because…I know blue's your favorite color and…well you like lightning bolts too, right?"

I look at her in surprise. She hit everything on the mark…

"Uhh…Yeah…Um…Thanks, Misty…I, I really do like it…"

She smiles, maybe in relief. "I'm glad…"

"Pika! Pikachupi!"

We both look down to see Pikachu holding Misty's present up for her to take.

"Oh, thanks Pikachu…and you too Ash…" She giggles again. She's been doing that a lot actually…Pikachu jumps back on the bed with me.

She looks at it curiously…It's a small, rectangle box, with um, blue wrapping paper. Yeah, I know she likes blue too…I'm kinda nervous about her present too…I…well, me and Pikachu really, worked hard on making it…I even…got a little book on how to make lures…It's a lot harder than it looks…Then finding a box for it…I ended up buying a real lure and keeping that one for myself…

"Um…You can open it…now if you want…" I shrug, "We don't have to follow tradition," I add hastily. Tradition is baad…

She giggles…again! What's with the giggling!? "Alright, Ash…"

She opens it, just a little more carefully than I did. Not by much actually…When she sees it in it's little plastic box, she gasps a little…I can't tell if it's a happy gasp or a horrified gasp…Either way, she carefully lifts the lid and takes the…rather crude Pikachu lure out and holds it up to see it better.

"It's…It's…" she begins…I can't tell if she's going in a good direction or a bad direction, so I just start babbling to save myself in case she's going in a bad direction.

"It's not really that good, I know…Um…I know you don't like store bought lures so-"

"Oh, that's okay…" she starts, "This one-"

"-so I made it myself," I finish quickly, then glance at Pikachu and correct myself. "Pikachu helped too…a lot, really…"

She nearly drops the lure because she's so surprised and she's staring at me too.

"You…You…made this!?"

I nod…I…think she's going in a good direction now…I hope…

"It's…beautiful……Thank you so much!"

…Wow…That was a very good direction…I just hope it's not so good she's gonna try to kiss me…

She's smiling a lot now and she takes her…"tackle" box out of her backpack…She had to explain to me the first time I saw it that it's not called tackle because it can use the attack tackle, but because the stuff in it's called tackle. It's very confusing fishing stuff, so I just agreed with her to make things simple.

"I'll put it right next to my mini-Misty…" she grins and sure enough, that's where it goes…

"…I'm…glad you like it…" I tell her. I don't know what I'm doing but whatever it is it's happening anyway. "…I like your present too…um…I'll wear it when it gets really cold…"

She laughs again. I guess she's really happy…because…I'm okay…? Or maybe because I'm not running away from her anymore…Well, the only reason I'm doing that is because she's not trying to kiss me anymore…I think…

It gets quiet again…I start to wonder if she's thinking about what I'm thinking about…I…guess it can't hurt…to ask…

"Ash?"

"Mi-Wa?"

"Oh…You go ahead…"

"Uh…That's okay…You can-"

"No, really…You go ahead…"

"Um……Okay…"

I try to think of what exactly I want to say before actually saying it…

"Um…Misty…Um…Yesterday…at the party…um…Were…um…"

"Yeah…?"

"……Were you really gonna kiss me?"

"Uh…" She looks a little alarmed now, I think…Well, I'm nervous about it too, but I still want her to answer… "I……I don't know…" she whispers, "It is…tradition…but…I wouldn't have…if you didn't want me to…"

Really!!?

"…Really??"

She nods. "…If…it was going to make you uncomfortable…I wouldn't have tried…" she laughs a little again, but now it's more of a nervous laugh, "…if you'd even given me a chance…"

"I……sorry about that…"

"It's okay…but…are you really that scared of…kissing…? Or………or just me…?"

"Wha…!? It's not just you…umm…Kissing's gross…but…you were the only one who talked to me while I was under the mistletoe, so…I…was…kinda scared of you too…"

It takes her a moment to say the next bit. "…If you're so afraid of being kissed, then why were you under the mistletoe in the first place…?"

Oh man…

"Ummm…Honestly?"

"Yeah."

Oh boy…She's gonna think I'm really stupid now…

"…Well…You remember how crowded it was there…?"

"Yeah…?"

"It was really crowded, right?"

"Yeah…" I think she's getting impatient…

"…Well…That was the only place that wasn't really crowded…and I didn't think anyone was gonna try to kiss me…"

She stares at me for a while…I can't tell what's going through her head and I'm not sure I wanna know…Finally, she starts laughing…

"That's all!? You…You know, most people stand under the mistletoe because they want to be kissed…!"

Yuck!

"…Why would anyone want to be kissed…?"

"Because…then…maybe after…"

Not that!!

"They get eaten!?"

It gets silent really fast. Misty is really staring at me strangely now. Pikachu's trying his hardest not to laugh.

Misty finally speaks, slowly and carefully, with a strong hint of disbelief.

"…Eaten…?"

"…Yeah…Isn't that what girls do to guys after they kiss…?"

…I think she thinks I've gone crazy…

"…No girl would do that…" she says solemnly.

"…Yeah they would…I saw…I saw…the spider…she…"

"That's what you're talking abo-!? We're not spiders!!!"

…Um……I guess she has a point there……

"…Uh…Oh…I didn't thinka that…"

She sighs really loudly. "Ash…what are we gonna do with you…?"

"Uhh…No kissing, I hope…" I grin a little.

She laughs too. "…No kissing…" Then she whispers to herself, and I don't think I'm supposed to hear this, but I did… "There's always New Year's Eve…"

Um…I'm scared…

A/N: *evil laugh* This is for all you good folks who read and review…Especially cheers and whoa-oh!s to Spook and Llyxius, lol, you guys are great *^.^*;; Belated Merry Christmas and be-earlied Happy New Year! *^o~*; Btw, yeah I know black widows don't just bite for no reason…I fixed that problem, and the edit's in the last chapter if you really want to go back and look for it…and to everyone who was expecting bad stuff to happen to our dear Ash…I think I did enough damage in the last chapter…Oh, and for those curious…

Philematophobia – Fear of kissing

Anablephobia – Fear of looking up (I couldn't find fear of attics *^_^*;;)

Arachnophobia – Fear of spiders

Kasumiphobia – Fear of Misty *^-~*;