I finally finished writing this. It was intended to be a oneshot, but it is more than 15,000 words long so we can forget about that. Only took me 4 months so pretty good right? Now it's just a matter of typing up the final chapter, but that's the easy part.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Pokémon. If I did they would probably have to put the rating up – that shows supposed to be like a G or something right? Doesn't matter, the way I write they'd have to rate it R based on language alone and PG13 for everything else.
Ages: Ash = 15, Misty = 16, Dawn = 13 (I know she's probably younger relatively, but it seemed kind of weird having her at anything less than 13), Brock = 18 (this is why).
Rated: PG13 because I'm dealing with a teenage boy here so there are going to be some warm tingly feelings and cold showers. Only innuendo's people (which I think has got be one of the dirtiest sounding words ever but we'll just have to live with that).
Summary: Misty has finally been given the chance to prove herself to her lovely sisters in the one thing that matters most to them. She's about to direct, produce and co-ordinate her very own Water Show and she knows that Dawn would be just perfect as the star. But who will play her prince? Who else. AAMRN. A One-Shot in three acts plus encore.
Each act is named after a famous musical and each title based on a lyric from one of the songs. Extra credit to anyone who can name the song the lyric is taken from, but I think I've given you one hell of a hint in naming the musical for you.
The Show Must Go On – A Little Flirting Can't Hurt
Act One: How to Succeed in the Business without Really Trying
"I'd love to!" Dawn called from where she was talking on the phone. "That sounds great Misty."
'Misty,' Ash thought questioningly, his head perking up at the sound of his best friend's name from where he had been mindlessly absorbed in a game of poker with Pikachu (the damned rat was winning, of course). 'Why would Misty be calling Dawn?'
It had been only two weeks since they last saw her at the competition in Jubilife City. And as much as he loved to hear from her (and currently felt very put out by the fact that she was talking to Dawn and not him), and as much as he thought about her pretty much every single day, he generally restricted himself to calling her about once a month, emailing her once a week, and sending her two lengthy handwritten letters a year (one for her birthday and the other for Christmas). Said letters were barely comprehensible given Ash's handwriting, but it was the thought that counts, and they were always accompanied by a picture of Pikachu and several origami stars for her collection.
Misty had no idea of this resolution or the reasons behind it (neither did Ash to be perfectly honest) or how resolutely he held it. She did however feel its effects.
She had been pleasantly surprised the one week she had received not one, but two emails from her friend, only to be unpleasantly surprised the following week when she received no emails from Ash. It was almost ridiculous the amount of times she had checked and re-checked her emails that week, and if she had been brave enough she would have sent him a very strongly worded email reprimanding him for his callous neglect of her.
His scheduled phone call to Misty wasn't due for several days, and Misty usually left the calling up to him seeing as she could very rarely be sure of where he'd be in any given moment. Thus his surprise by her suddenly calling out of the blue, and talking to Dawn (and not him) of all people.
Pikachu chuckled at his master's sudden interest in the phone conversation, which caused Ash's cheeks to redden conspicuously. This only caused the electricity loving Pokémon to laugh even harder, calling Brock over to share in his mirth.
"Ash, Misty wants to talk to you," Dawn called lightly, interrupting the interaction between a scowling trainer and his giggling Pokémon.
"T-to m-m-me?" he stuttered, his cheeks burning brightly as he pointed to himself in wonder.
"Yeah," Dawn replied, looking at him curiously. "Is that strange?"
"N-no," he replied, still stuttering. "W-why?"
"No reason," she said, rolling her eyes and sharing a knowing look with Pikachu.
Ash took a deep breath to calm his nerves. He didn't know why he was so nervous. This was Misty after all; she was his best friend and the one person he could tell absolutely anything to. Well, almost anything . . .
Ever since Misty left he had started to think about things (Misty in particular) differently. He had expected to miss her, but not all the time like he currently did. And he had expected things to be awkward at first, but not to the extent where his stomach would do flip flops every time he saw her and he'd start blushing and practically forget how to breathe. He had expected things to change, but not like this.
It was her latest visit that had finally cinched thing for him – he had fallen in love with his best friend. He wasn't entirely sure when it had happened (although he suspected it was a lot earlier in their journey than he would like to admit to) or how it happened, but there was really no point denying it now. He was in love with Misty Waterflower.
"H-hey Misty," he said awkwardly into the screen upon seeing the object of his affections staring at him imploringly.
"Why are you nervous Ash? I'm the one with the favour to ask," she told him, annoyed that he appeared to be stealing her thunder. She had very much intended to come off all coy and nervous to try and trick him into agreement, but clearly that plan had been halted.
'Think of a lie. Think of a lie,' he commanded his brain. He was always surprised of how quickly he was able to think on his feet when it came to Misty. "Because I know exactly the kind of favours you tend to ask," he replied astutely. "And I know I'm not going to like it, but if I don't say 'yes' you'll make sure I regret it."
"Well if you're going to be like that maybe I'll just ask someone else," she replied with a pout, crossing her arms over her chest.
"No," he said far too quickly, forgetting to censor his thoughts. The thought of her going to someone else made his insides go all squirmy and that was not the slightest bit agreeable to him. "Just tell me what it is already," he offered tiredly, catching himself before he said anything more regrettable.
She frowned, staring at him incredulously. He noted, as he often did, that only Misty Waterflower could look that beautiful when she was mad at you. Her red hair seemed to blaze brilliantly as it framed her heart shaped face in a way that seemed to kill him, and her blue-green eyes seemed to swirl with the fire inside her. It was enough to make him want to provoke her, even with the threat of her mallet looming worryingly near.
"Well . . ." she started, either satisfied by his response, or choosing not to care. "I finally managed to convince my sisters to let me direct my own Water Show . . ."
"And you want me to play the hero," Ash finished for her sarcastically. He was sure that would annoy her as he wondered how long she wanted to keep his water Pokémon hostage for.
"Well, yeah actually," she replied to his surprise, her voice sincere. "That's exactly what I called to ask you."
"Oh," he said, his face falling.
His mind wandered to Misty prancing around in one of her tiny little mermaid costumes and if nothing else, he knew he didn't want anybody else playing the hero for her. And pretend saving Misty wouldn't be so bad; in fact it would be kind of perfect. He would get to kiss her, and hold her, and touch her face – all things he longed to do – and all under the guise of the performance.
"Sure Myst," he said with a warm smile as he made up his mind. "Anything for you."
"Oh Ash thank you so much," she replied, her eyes lighting up with joy as she returned his smile. "Remind me that I owe you a hug when you get her. I've already sent the tickets. Bye Ash."
"Bye," he only just managed as she disappeared from the screen. His cheeks burnt bright red as he thought about what was waiting him in Cerulean and wondered if he really would have the courage to remind her if she forgot.
"I take it that you've agreed to be my co-star," Dawn smiled, seeming to misattribute his blush and being entirely confused by the goofy grin on his face.
"Waa!" he asked, snapping out of his reverie. "I thought . . ."
"She's directing, producing and co-ordinating the show," Brock answered for him, the blush and grin suddenly making complete sense to Brock, if not Dawn. "She's got posters to design, scripts to write, routines to choreograph, and tickets to promote. You can't expect her to star in it as well."
"I just thought . . ." he started, remembering the shows of the past when Misty had been the star. Nobody was as good a swimmer, or as graceful, or as good with Pokémon as Misty, but if she couldn't play the part her self, it made sense that she would choose Dawn who could be pretty personable and appealing enough to carry the show.
Dawn looked at him pityingly, guessing his thoughts. "I'm sorry Ash," she offered helplessly. "I swear she wasn't using it to trick you. She was probably just so happy about the whole thing that she forgot to mention it.
"You were her first choice, you know?" Dawn added, hoping that the piece of information might perk him back up. "She hadn't even considered asking anyone else."
"Yeah, well . . ." he sighed, his mood mildly improved. "We better get packing. Knowing Misty she probably hasn't given us that much time to get there."
"Ash! Over here," Misty called as she met her three closest friends (Ash, Brock and Pikachu) and their female companion at an airfield just outside of Cerulean. She ran up to them and wrapped her best friend in a warm hug.
Ash smiled awkwardly as he hugged her back, a blush crawling up his cheeks. He savoured her touch just as he had two weeks ago, only this time he let it linger a bit longer than he intended, needing a cough from Brock to remind him to let go.
"Hey guys," Misty said, sporting a blush of her own as she noticed their other friends standing nearby. "Brock, did you bring what I asked?" she added, looking sternly at the older boy.
Brock nodded, indicating a small brown bag in his hand. Misty pounced on it before he could pull it out of her reach, almost tearing open the bag to grab the treats inside and shove them in her mouth.
"I never understood girls and chocolate," Ash sighed as he saw Misty devour the bag of chocolates brought back especially from Sinnoh. According to Misty Sinnoh made the best chocolate.
"For that you aren't getting any Ketchum," Misty replied, her glare defeated by the small smudge of chocolate around the corners of her mouth. Ash was tempted to reach out and wipe it for her, but resisted the urge.
"There's none for me to have," he replied instead. "You keep that up, you can guarantee that no one will ever call you scrawny again."
'Not that anyone would,' he added silently in his mind as his eyes wandered appreciatively over her form. Misty had certainly filled out, and he often wondered if she was even aware of this given that she still dressed almost exactly like she did in their travelling days in a short denim skirt, a yellow baby-tee which said something on it about 'gym leaders doing it better' (whatever 'it' was) and a pair of blue sneakers. She looked even prettier than he remembered, especially with her hair hanging down past her shoulders and framing her face.
She flicked his nose, almost playfully, stealing his treasured official league hat as she went. "Just for that Ash Ketchum, you can find your own way to they gym," she told him, her eyes sparkling in a way that told him that she wasn't really mad at him, but was serious about the threat. "The rest of you come with me," she said turning to the rest of the group and pulling a card out of her pocket proudly. "I have my permit."
Ash laughed, winking at her as he caught her eye. "Good luck guys," he told them. "If any of you aren't feeling particularly suicidal today, I wouldn't mind the company."
Ash thanked Charizard as he returned him to his pokeball. He couldn't wait to see the look on Misty's face when she saw him waiting on her front porch for her to arrive. Of course, it wasn't like he couldn't have gotten into the gym without her, but it was the effect he was going for more than anything.
He watched as an old blue car took a hard turn into the driveway and smiled to himself. She drove exactly how he suspected and, if Brock's remarkably white face was anything to go by, she wasn't going to have that licence for much longer.
"Dammit!" Misty cried, slamming her door and glaring at the boy in front of her. Togetic flew out to meet them at the sound of her mother's voice, only to be diverted when she noticed 'Daddy' standing nearby, floating instead into the dark haired boys arms.
"Toge! Tic tic tic!" the creature called joyously as it snuggled into Ash's side.
"Is Togetic always this happy to see Ash?" Dawn asked as she got out of the car. "The way she greets him, you'd think he was her long-lost father."
"More or less," Brock replied, some of his colour returning.
"As Togepei, she made an attachment to the first person she saw which was Misty, which makes her 'Mummy'," Brock explained. He finished lowly, making sure that Misty couldn't hear him, "and given what Misty was attached to, Ash became 'Daddy'."
"It's so sweet," Dawn sighed. "They're like a cute little family."
"I wouldn't say that too loud," Brock warned. "If Misty hears you she won't hesitate to kill you, and probably me. And Ash now that I mention it. It'll be a massacre."
"Follow me guys," Misty said sweetly before Dawn could make a reply.
Dawn wondered if Misty was really capable of what Brock was suggesting. But as she saw Misty whack Ash upside the head, she knew that Brock was wrong about Misty . . . she would never kill Ash.
"Wow Myst," Ash awed as they walked into the auditorium where the performance would take place. "This place is even bigger than I remember."
"We did a few renovations," Misty admitted modestly. "It's the second biggest venue in Kanto."
"What's the biggest?" he asked.
Misty rolled her eyes at his denseness. "You of all people should know the answer to that Mr. Pokémon master," she told him, striding up to him and returning his hat to its rightful place atop his head.
Ash had to physically restrain himself from reaching out and touching her. Misty was looking remarkably cute today and even the slightest touch from Misty was enough to have him longing for more. The light brush of her fingers against his forehead as she returned his hat sent tiny shivers down his spine and made him want to hold her hand in his own for as long as she would let him.
"Here are your scripts," Misty said handing each of them a large fodder of paper.
"I thought you said it was a ballet, not a play," Dawn complained, struggling to keep the mass of pages in her arms.
"It is," Misty explained. "That thing is mostly stage directions and narration. Here," she said, adding four more pieces of paper to each of their piles, which was too much for Dawn who dropped her script to the floor with a loud 'thump'.
"There's only one major talking scene and that's the finale."
"Misty, I don't have any lines in the scene," Brock said, his eyes quickly scanning the pieces of paper Misty had handed them. "In fact, it says here that I die at the beginning of the scene."
"Right . . . um . . . I guess you can practice being dead?" Misty suggested.
"It's fine," Brock shrugged, a smile forming on his face. "I'm sure your sisters could find me something to do." Brock raced out of the room before Misty could say a word.
"Aren't you going to try and stop him?" Ash asked, his confusion obvious.
Misty shrugged indifferently. "Things could do with a bit of a clean and at least I know he'll do a good job. I had to throw away my favourite pair of shorts after one of their admirers had been fooled into doing Daisy's chores for the week."
Ash suspected they were probably his favourite pair of shorts too.
"Now the script," Misty said, drawing their attention back to their vital task. "Ash, you start."
"Serena, Serena," Ash read blandly, his eyes glued to the sheet of paper in his hands.
"Philippe," Dawn called weakly, falling into her character.
"Serena, what's happening?"
"I made a wish," Dawn explained, her voice heavy with the correct emotion. "Just one kiss was all it took to make it true forever. But I gave it all up for you."
"Serena, I . . ." Ash began, his voice lacking tone and depth.
"Ok, I cannot take anymore of this," Misty huffed, throwing her arms in the air in exasperation. "Dawn you're doing great, like I knew you would. But Ash . . . you suck!
"You need to put some emotion into it," she screamed. "Come on. The girl you love has just given up everything for you – that's got to make you feel something. Try again," she commanded, sitting him down and sitting herself opposite him.
"I gave it all up . . . for you," Misty told him meaningfully, reciting Serena's lines. She looked up into his eyes slowly.
"I-I don't know what to say," Ash replied gravely, his voice low and his eyes locked on hers.
"You don't say anything," Misty replied, breaking eye contact as she turned her face away from his. "This is it," she shrugged. "We have until sundown, and then I must go back to the ocean and I can never leave it ever again."
"But I love you," Ash told her, kneeling down in front of her and turning her face so he could look her in the eye. His brow was furrowed in confusion and his eyes clouded with concern. "I don't care about what you are or any of this. The only thing I care about is you."
"I love you too," Misty said quietly, her lips trembling and eyes glistening with tears. "But it's not enough."
"Let this be enough," he said as he cupped her face in his hands and drawing her ever nearer. He closed his eyes, gently pressing his lips against hers. She kissed back, softly at first and more passionately as the kiss continued. Ash had never been so happy in his life.
"Wow," Dawn gaped, applauding loudly. The two jumped away from one another as they became aware of the other occupants of the room. Dawn felt mildly guilty but decided it wasn't worth attending to.
"Pika!" the yellow mouse cheered, laughing to himself as his two best friends turned bright red.
"I . . . uh . . ." Misty started in a sort of daze. "That was . . . uh . . . really good Ash. Great . . . um . . . acting! Yes acting," she finished lamely.
"Um . . . I should probably go check on Brock," she said quickly, almost running out of the room.
"Yeah, great 'acting' Ash," Dawn snorted hardly able to contain her laughter. "I never would have taken you for such the thespian."
"I'm not really sure what that means, so I'm going to let is slide even though I'm pretty sure you just insulted me," Ash replied, coming out of his own daze as Misty hotfooted out of the room.
"Oh c'mon Ash," Dawn whined playfully. "You guys like missed like half the lines and you ad-libbed the rest of them. I'm not sure 'acting' is the right term, and if it is, you were acting out something completely different to what was on the page.
"That kiss wasn't even in the script," she added, laughing again. "How can two people be so obvious to the rest of the world, but not to each other?" she muttered to Pikachu.
"Yes it is," Ash rebutted, directing her to the script in question. "It's right on the last page. It says they kiss."
"No it say they lean in to kiss," Dawn countered, adding emphasis and pointing to the specific stage directions. "Then the lights dim and it ends giving the impression of people kissing without anybody actually having to kiss anybody." She made a face as she looked at him, "did you really think Misty was going to have us kiss for real?"
"You never know with Misty," he shrugged.
While the thought of having to play all lovey-dovey had been an incredibly pleasant one when he was labouring under the misapprehension that Misty would be the one playing beside him, such thoughts hadn't even occurred to him in the context of Dawn. It was a problem he had on many occasions; with all his thoughts consumed by Misty there just wasn't the brainpower left to deal with anything else at times.
Dawn rolled her eyes as Ash got that far off look in his eyes again. "Well I'm going to go find Misty," Dawn commented lightly. "You stay here and think about . . . whatever it is you usually think about when your eyes go all dreamy like that."
Pikachu giggled helplessly at his master as Dawn left the room. "Pikachu pika 'pika Pikachupi' pi," the electric mouse laughed, rolling around on the floor with tears in his caramel coloured eyes.
"I do not have an 'I love Misty' face," Ash growled as he was snapped out of his reverie. The scowl on his face played in contrast to his reddening cheeks which put even Pikachu to shame in their colour.
This just caused Pikachu to laugh even harder, his sides and face aching with joviality.
"I'd be quiet if I was you, or I'll let Misty use you to train her gyarados," Ash warned, his eyes narrowing at his prized Pokémon.
Well that certainly shut the Pokémon up. He stood up and crossed his tiny paws over his chest, making faces at Ash for ruining all his fun.
"Pika pi chupi pik pikachu chuchu pik 'pika Pikachupi' pi? Pi-kaka chu pika ka chu pika ka chu piii ka pik," he replied sulkily, turning his back on Ash.
This roughly translates to 'Why are you always so grumpy after someone catches you with your 'I love Misty' face? Stupid humans, you'd think he would be happy finally getting the chance to practically mate (for Pokémon have no real equivalent to a kiss in their own language) with the girl he's been in love with his whole life.'
Of course, all this was said too quickly as Pikachu exited the room for Ash to catch anything but the words 'Misty' and 'mate' causing him to turn a few shades brighter and his mouth to hang open in shock. The linguistical combination ran through his head making him feel all warm and tingly, and hot and flushed.
'I need a shower,' he thought to himself with a sigh as he tried to put his mind to good clean thoughts that did not involve Misty's goldeen costume. His face began to heat up again as it became apparent that this was going to have to be a cold one.
~ INTERMISSION ~
Firstly, before anyone says anything, I know Togetic went to the mirage kingdom thing, but I like to use her as a plot device. Also I like to pretend the advance season didn't happen.
Secondly . . . well actually there wasn't really a secondly, other than for everyone to tell me what they think. Review.