Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon (which is in my Microsoft word dictionary…surprisingly)

A/N: First time I've done this in years…we'll see how it goes.

As far as age goes for all of my stories, I will be going off the idea that at the beginning of Ash's pokémon journey he was ten, Misty was twelve, and Brock was fourteen. I'm not sure if those are exactly accurate, but they're what have been ingrained in my brain since a very young age…so I'm going with them. Cry about it.

Seven years after "Pokémon: I Choose You!"

It was dark. The kind of darkness the eye could not readily penetrate, but he didn't mind as he sat in its midst. Ash Ketchum had more important things to think about, and he was never one to be frightened of simple darkness. In fact, he had grown quite fond of it over his travels because it was only in darkness that he could truly be himself. The thought of this sent a sad, half hearted smile crawling up his face, but he knew that it was for the best.

How did it come to this? He pondered, but it truth he knew very well what had caused it: it was her. The only person in the world Ash would stay up all night wondering about, staring at the patch of darkness beside him where he knew she was peacefully sleeping. The thought would send a surge of warmth rushing through him, listening intently to her soft breaths and occasional snores.

It was at this time of night that Ash could unbridle his affection for his travelling partner; with all of the goofy smiles and caring looks it entailed. Luckily for him (or so he believed), in the companionable darkness the girl sleeping only a few feet from him would never know, and continued dreaming peacefully. But what does she dream about? He sighed dejectedly coming to his standardized conclusion. A love of her own, most likely. Furrowing his brows, he cast his eyes down away from where he knew she lay.

"If only…" He weakly muttered. Misty moaned softly and twisted in her sleeping bag, causing Ash's eyes to become as wide as dinner plates and his stomach to perform an array of gymnastics in his stomach. He waited and listened silently, hardly daring to breathe, but when he heard naught but the sound of her rhythmic breathing his muscles loosened and he let out an internal sigh of relief.

He could not bear to think what would have happened had she heard him. Though it was true that he might one day gain the courage to tell her how he felt, he knew now was hardly the place or time. He smiled to himself thinking of the way it might happen: He would finally attain the title of Pokémon Master, then confess his love to her in that very stadium. Fire coursed through his veins just thinking of that perfect moment; the culmination of all he had worked so hard for. He knew he had to have it; have her, but first he must prove himself. When it was all over he would tell her he had worked all his life for this moment, but not for the fame or the fans, but for the love of his life. She would look at him slightly puzzled and ask him who he meant, and in that moment he would pull her to him and finally feel her lips on his.

After that, they would go off to a small house in the countryside and…well…let's just say he'd have two firsts in one day. He gasped slightly at the tightening of his jeans (after all, he contemplated that more than I'd like to get in to) and shifted uncomfortably in his sleeping bag looking wildly at the place where Misty lay. He knew she couldn't see him, he could now just barely make out her form, but he was frantic nonetheless.

That would be even more embarrassing than any accidental love confession. Ash thought, shaking slightly while his gaze retreated to the ground. He wasn't so much afraid of his own emotions as he was of her seeing them, after all he was not the same emotionally dense child from Pallet that he once was. That was why he liked the darkness so much, even the emotions of his that were the most intimate and hard to show, much less communicate could be shared with her (in varying degrees, as you've seen) through the warm night air.

His composure returned and he looked lovingly back at the alluring outline of his best friend. The feeling of pure euphoria enclosed him again in its soft embrace, and he stayed that way until morning.

Damn it's dark. She thought as she tried to get her eyes used to her surroundings. She stifled a small yawn, knowing that the boy in the sleeping bag beside her might still be up, and she did not feel very much like talking. And on the off chance he's asleep already; I wouldn't want to disturb him. She smiled. It wasn't as if she didn't enjoy talking to the young Pokémon-Master-in-training; she just liked the solitude of the night. Besides, with him being so close to her she felt as if she was sharing her thoughts and dreams with him anyway…as if the darkness that took away their vision gave them a kind of connection unthinkable in other circumstances.

And dream she did. Though she was easily angered and prone to rashness, Misty was a romantic at heart and could not help gushing over the boy she loved so much, if only privately. After all, he had many desirable attributes: his kindness, his confidence, his compassion, the way his messy hair was a perfect parallel to his lack of organization and zealous spontaneity. Her chest swelled with warmth just thinking of his fiery, passionate personality…a trait she couldn't help but guess would transfer over as a lover.

Suddenly, Misty heard a noise (or at least thought she did) that made her jump with a soft squeal. She quickly turned in her sleeping bag to look at the culprit, but as much as she strained her eyes she could not even catch the slightest glimpse of Ash. I could have sworn he said something. She narrowed her eyes intently into the darkness, again to be thwarted by its thick blanket. After a while, the tenseness in her body subsided and she again found the night around her to be peaceful and inviting. She smiled sweetly in Ash's direction, reminiscing about their long journey. From the day when she fished him out of that river she had reasoned that it was no longer his journey; at least not his alone. She had always and would always be there to celebrate the victories, share the burdens, and learn the lessons along the way, and therefore it was their journey.

I'll always be there for him. She concluded with an enraptured look at his now barely recognizable form. Even if we can't be together, I'll always look out for him. The thought sent a twinge of sadness through her heart, but she shook it off. I decided this a long time ago, and there's no use being depressed about it now. If I can't show my love for him conventionally, then I'll stand beside him to offer whatever love and support he needs.

Her own strength surprised her, but she knew it would be hard to have such resolve without his smiling face to greet her every morning, or his playfully scathing remarks in their daily arguments. Besides, She thought looking at the boy with all the love and admiration she possessed, It's always possible for something to happen…I just have to wait for him a little longer.

The first rays of the morning sun found the two still enthralled in their feeling for one another, and they found themselves accidentally staring into each others' eyes. Scarlet is not quite the right word for what astonishing color of red their faces turned as they saw and felt, if only for a split second, the love in each others' gaze.

"What are you doing staring at me, you creep!" Misty shrieked, capitalizing on the opportunity to tear her madly blushing face away from her friend.

"Don't flatter yourself, I was just zoning out!" Ash yelled back, heart racing and brow sweating like never before.

"Yeah whatever, I just better not catch you doing it again!"

"You were looking at me too!"

"I-I thought I heard something over there, and when I looked up you were staring at me!"

Misty retreated into her covers and pulled them over her head, making sure to turn away from the young pokémon trainer. Ash did the same, smirking to himself as he did so. He felt renewed vigor for his quest ahead, hoping he had seen what he thought he had. He was certain he could achieve it, that his dreams would be realized, because from that moment on he knew he had her love.

You just have to wait for me a little longer, Misty. I promise.

Well there it is…I'm not much of a fan, but I think it's a good start. I'll probably have some more one shots up soon.