Kathy: Um, hi guys! I know I really deserve to be hit with bricks. I'm not even gonna try to make excuses as to why I haven't updated in the longest time. It's basically life. I'm really sorry that I don't update as often as all of you would like me to.

Just know that all of your reviews mean THE WORLD to me! Everyone who has reviewed and told me how much they love the story and how much they can't wait for the next chapter...THANK YOU. Your reviews were the things that motivated me to get on and write the next chapter! Your reviews are also the reason why I'm trying to write this chapter now! So thank you all for your support!

I can't promise to finish this story by next year, but I CAN promise to finish this story before I go to college, which is, like, in two years, hahaha.

So, I hope all of you can be patient with me and continue to support me as I try to finish this story for you guys. I love you all! 3

Gary: *rolls his eyes* Just get on with the story.

Kathy: glares at him* Clearly, YOU haven't changed since I've been gone.

Dawn: Time for the disclaimer thingy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon. (still wish I did) And I do not own the song "Teardrops On My Guitar."

Ash: Why...? Oh wait. I won't even bother asking anymore. I know everyone's gonna yell at me or slap me or something.

Kathy: Hehehe, thanks. That saves me SO MUCH TIME.

Ash: ...What's that supposed to mean?!

Gary: *sighs* Just get on with the story.

Ash: Geez, what's with you today Gary?

Gary: JUST GET ON WITH THE STORY!

Ash: Okay, okay! Kathy, start the story!

Kathy: Bahahaha, okay! Here you go!


Chapter 11: Love

"Misty?" Gary called out for the redhead. He walked down the hall of the villa, peering into every room to see if she was there.

She wasn't.

'She's probably outside,' he thought to himself. He approached the villa's backdoor in a hurried manner, opening it and closing it as he walked out into the patio. He didn't know why he was acting so rash and hasty. Usually, he kept himself in order.

It felt like whenever things came to Misty, he couldn't think straight. Why?

Once on the patio, he saw a girl with red hair and a red dress sitting on the sandy ground just a couple meters away from the patio. She hugged her legs with her bare arms, and her forehead leaned against her knees.

"Misty," he breathed out. He walked towards her and sat beside her.

He looked at her. It was obvious that she was crying. Even though the area was poorly lit, he could see tears streaming down her face. He could hear her sniffling.

Misty looked to her right, realizing there was a presence beside her. Once she saw it was Gary, she quickly turned away, wiping away her tears, and managed to snap out, "What are you doing here?"

"To see if you're okay," he replied. He knew it was the wrong time to be thinking this, but he couldn't help but think she looked so cute when she was mad.

She turned to look at him and pouted. "To see if I'm okay? You're the one who yelled at me and made me run out the room!"

'Even more cute,' Gary thought to himself as he flushed. Realizing what she said, he shook the thought away. "Well...I'm sorry about that," he sincerely told her. "I guess I was just so worried about you that I ended up yelling at you instead."

Misty couldn't help but chuckle a little bit. "Gary Oak, worried about me?" she said. "That's a new one."

His cheeks warmed up. "Yeah..." he sighed. He looked over at her again and saw that she was shivering. "You're cold."

"We're sitting in front of a beach, so yeah. Of course I'm cold," she snapped back at him. She turned to look at him and saw that he was unbuttoning his white collared shirt.

Misty immediately blushed. "What...what are you doing?!"

Gary rolled his eyes. "Relax. I have a shirt underneath." Once he unbuttoned all the shirt buttons, he was left in a white T-shirt and his lean yet strong arms exposed. He handed his unbuttoned shirt to Misty, looking away from her as he did. "Take it," he told her.

"Ew. You expect me to wear your sweat?" she said. But even though she made that remark, she hesitantly took the shirt from his hands and slid it on. She felt a lot warmer than she did with just her dress. "...Thanks," she muttered out.

"Y-You're welcome," he replied.

A silence came upon them as they sat there. Both of them looked out into the distance. A full moon was in the sky. A lot of stars were visible compared to within Sunyshore City due to the lesser amount of lights and technology in the town's shores. Waves roared in the background.

"I know it's not my fault that Ash and Dawn are in this situation right now," Misty said, finally breaking the silence.

"It's really not," Gary added.

Misty glared at him. "I know, thank you for repeating that," she grumbled. Gary chuckled once she said that.

She turned to look at him. "Thanks for worrying about me," she told him, flashing him a smile.

The smile disappeared right after it came though. "But even though I know it's not my fault, I still feel like I shouldn't have come and visited them," she admitted.

Gary sighed, locking his dark eyes with her sea green eyes. "Why though?"

Misty felt her throat tighten up a little bit. "Didn't I already say it before? If I never came, Dawn wouldn't be as hurt as she is now," she explained. "If I never came, Dawn wouldn't be so depressed. Ash would've never yelled at Dawn. Dawn and Ash wouldn't have argued with each other. Dawn would've never fell into the ocean."

She paused for a moment, feeling that if she talked some more, she would end up crying again.

Misty could feel her eyes watering. She tried to smile to lighten the mood, but it failed. "...See? If I never came, Dawn and Ash wouldn't be in this mess."

Gary's eyes remained away from her. It sort of pained him to hear her think so low of herself. He had to get her in a better mood.

"...Well, if you look at it that way, it does look like they'd be better off if you never came," Gary breathed out. He looked at Misty, and saw a few tears fall from her face. He felt the strong urge to wipe them away with his finger.

He continued to speak. "But, the way I see it...I think it's good that you came."

Misty wiped away a tear, letting out a small laugh at the same time. "Why would you think something as stupid as that?"

He flashed her a smile. "Well, because you came, Ashy Boy was able to realize that he really loved Dawn," he started. Once he said the first reason, he could feel the tension in Misty gradually decrease. He liked that.

Gary continued to list the good effects of her coming. "You were able to realize that you really didn't love Ashy Boy," he explained.

The next reason, he knew, was one that would be hard to admit. He let out a small breath, and started to speak once more. "And I...I was able..." His words started coming out slower. And subconsciously, he started moving closer to Misty.

Before he knew it, their bodies were so close that his arm was touching hers. His face was just a few inches away from hers. He continued to speak, his voice getting quieter, "...I was able...to realize..."

At that moment, his forehead was touching hers. He could feel her breath and the heat radiating from her.

Misty's face was all red as she realized how close they were. His hot breath, his heat, she could feel it.

"...R-Realize what?" she asked.

"That I love you," he breathed out.

And at that moment, Gary couldn't hold it in any longer.

Right after he said that, he placed his lips on hers, and kissed her.

At first, he came on softly. But after the first second, he deepened the kiss. Misty, caught off guard, had her eyes wide open in shock. She couldn't resist him though. She gave in, closing her eyes and kissing him back.

When he felt her kiss back, he smiled and kissed her some more. His arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her towards him. He placed his other hand at the back of her head. She wrapped her arms around his neck.

The kiss was genuine, yet strong at the same time. It was like an explosion of feelings that had been bottled up for the longest time.

They pulled away, their arms still around each other and their faces still very close.

"Gary," Misty breathed out. She was speechless. It was all surprising to her, especially that he came head on with a kiss.

"You have no idea how long I've been wanting to do that," he told her, his voice full of desire. He kissed her again on the cheek; he really couldn't stop himself.

She flushed. She never knew he had such strong feelings for her. "How...How long?" she asked.

"Since Ash left for Sinnoh," he replied. "That's when we started spending more time with each other."

Her eyes widened. "That was two years ago!" she exclaimed. All that time, he had his eyes on her. She really couldn't believe it. Gary Oak, the Gary Oak...was in love with the Cerulean City gym leader, Misty? How? Why? Her head started to spin.

"I know," he breathed out. His lips neared hers as he attempted to kiss her again, but Misty quickly blocked it with her hand.

"Hold on, Gary," she said. She couldn't think straight with him kissing her.

She took a few deep breaths, attempting to calm herself down. After she took those breaths, the rushed feeling her head was going through slowed down to a halt. She was relieved, she could now think straight.

She looked up at Gary, whose eyes were all on her.

So much had happened all in one night; Ash realized his love for Dawn, Misty realized she didn't love Ash, Dawn and Ash argued, Misty and Gary argued, and now Gary was telling her that he loved her! ...Was this just a spur-of-the-moment thing? Were all of their mixed and jumbled emotions just going to their heads?

Misty took one more breath before talking again. "Are you sure this isn't just a spur-of-the-moment thing? Or that this isn't just a physical thing?"

Gary smiled. "Yes, I'm sure," he reassured her. "I love you, Misty." Misty couldn't help but blush again once he said that.

Gary chuckled. "I love how you make fun of me. I love how you care about others so much that you're willing to say it's your fault," he told her, looking at her with loving eyes. "I love how you smile when you win a Pokemon battle. I love how fired up you always are. I love everything about you. This whole vacation helped me realize that, after seeing you with Ash, dancing with you, everything!"

A sincere expression then entered his face. "And even if you don't love me back, I'll keep loving you. I wouldn't be able to get rid of these feelings, even if I tried."

Misty felt her cheeks warming up. "Gary..." she breathed out, "I never knew...I mean, sometimes I had a feeling there was something, but I didn't know it was that strong." All those things he'd said, she just really couldn't believe it.

Gary chuckled. "Well, I've been hiding it for two years, so it's alright."

Misty let out a small laugh. "Well, just to let you know...I like you too," she admitted, her cheeks red. "But, let's try to take it slow first. I don't wanna rush everything and realize that I really don't have any feelings for you. It'd be the same thing that happened between me and Ash. I thought I loved him and then realized that I didn't." She didn't want another confusing emotional event to go through. Taking things slow would probably be best if she wanted that.

"So what do you want to do?"

Misty took some time to think about it, and then came up with an idea.

"What if we start out with dates and stuff first?" she suggested. "And then, if we realize that what we have for each other is really love and not just a physical thing, we can become boyfriend and girlfriend..." She looked at him, and then looked away, blushing furiously. "Oh! This is so embarrassing."

Gary chuckled again, kissing her cheek. "I'm okay with that," he replied. "So, dinner tomorrow at seven o'clock?"

Misty looked at him and smiled. "Yes, I'd like that."


Water.

Water was the last thing she remembered.

Water surrounded Dawn as she fell into the raging waves of the ocean. Everything around her was going mad; the water, the ocean waves, and herself. She couldn't take the emotional roller coaster she was going through anymore. She just wanted to give up.

She let herself drown in the water. She let herself get pulled by the raging current.

She couldn't take it anymore.

But even though she was letting herself give up, she was terrified.

Dawn remembered the loneliness she had felt whenever Ash brought up Misty; whenever he said her name, whenever he talked about her, whenever he said that he missed her. The loneliness got even worse when Ash yelled at her at the ball, practically humiliating her in front of everyone, saying that there was nothing special about her and that he would never love a girl like her.

At that moment, Dawn was crushed.

And then all of a sudden, he came back and told her that every insult he told her at the ball was a lie and that he didn't mean it. Really? REALLY?

What was she supposed to say? What was she supposed to believe?

She was terrified of what the truth would be.

She wanted to know though.

But, she was too tired. She had enough. The ocean waves dragged her and dragged her further from the pier. Further from Ash.

'Ash...'

She really loved Ash though.

She started to cry again. "Ash..." she breathed out. "...Ash. Ash!"

Suddenly, her eyes opened. The first thing she saw was a ceiling. She wasn't in the ocean anymore? Ash insulting her at the ball, the argument she had at the pier, falling into the ocean...was all of that just a dream?

She sat up, or at least tried to. Her body ached as she got into a sitting position. She looked down at her clothes and saw that she was still in the white dress she wore to the ball. The gossamer around the skirt of the dress was torn, along with bits of sand all around it. Her clothes and her body felt damp. She ran her hands through her hair; it was damp as well. It also felt grainy, like sand was all over her head.

'So it wasn't a dream...' she thought to herself. She didn't know how to react to the fact all of the past events were real.

Her thoughts were interrupted by light snores. She turned to her left and blushed after seeing the source of the snores.

Ash was sitting - more like slouching - on the cushioned chair right beside the sofa Dawn was sitting on. Although it wasn't as much compared to herself, there were bits of sand all over him as well. His clothes and his hair looked damp too. The fedora hat he'd worn at the party remained on his lap. And he looked exhausted. He was asleep, with light snores escaping from his mouth. His eyes were closed and his head leaned against the back of the chair.

Dawn couldn't help but smile a bit. 'So cute,' she thought to herself as she looked at him.

It took her awhile to realize again that he was equally damp and sandy as she was. 'Wait...so, if there's sand all over him, and his clothes are damp...then that means,' she started processing her thoughts, and her eyes widened as she realized the answer, '...then that means-!'

"He saved me," she breathed out, blushing and smiling at the same time.

She smiled even bigger this time as she continued to look at him.

Just knowing that he gave in the effort to save her was enough for her to accept his apology. She now knew that what he'd said at the pier was the truth. He didn't mean all the insults he told her at the ball. He still cared for her. She was still his best friend. Of course, the conflict between them won't be fixed just like that; she'd still make him or wait for him apologize to her again.

But, knowing that he still cared about her was enough for her to mentally forgive him.

Overall, she was just in a better mood after realizing all of that.

She couldn't stop smiling.

Dawn slowly got up and stood next to the sleeping Ash. She leaned down her head, her mouth next to his ear, and whispered, "Thank you, Ash." A blush creeped up her face as she thought about the next thing she was going to do.

At first she hesitated, but then she gave in and kissed Ash on the cheek as another way of saying thanks.

Right after she did, Ash moved a little bit, but he remained sleeping. And to Dawn's surprise, his mouth formed into a smile.

That made Dawn blush even more.

She shook her head, and then walked out of the room. She knew her whole face was red.

'He smiled. He smiled!' Her mind couldn't help but replay that moment in her mind.

She sighed, and then remembered that she was covered in sand and seawater. "...I really need to take a shower," she muttered to herself. She walked into her room to grab her towel, and the clothes and undergarments she would change into. She then walked into the bathroom, closing and locking the door.


Kathy: Okay, finished! I hope this chapter was decent enough! In the past, I wasn't planning to make the Egoshipping in this story official, but...I guess I changed my mind, hahaha. I hope the Egoshipping scene was okay, 'cause that's the first time I've written that kind of scene in a lonnnnggg time. I also hope the Pearlshipping scene was enough to satisfy all you Pearlshippers! And I also hope that this chapter wasn't too corny.

Ash: Is the Egoshipping scene why you wanted to get on with the story already, Gary?

Gary: *blushes* Shut up!

Ash: *singing* Gary and Misty sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-

Gary: *glares* SHUT UP, ASHY BOY.

Ash: *gets scared* Shutting up now.

Kathy: Ignore them, hahaha. So, review if you want to! I won't promise to update by next month, but I will promise to update as soon as I can! (: Bye!