Disclaimer - I don't own Pokemon. I do, however, own the massive amount of creativity used for my disclaimers.

Notes - This is an epic little two-shot for me. I really like the idea, although I think I may have stolen it from another fic of mine that I wrote semi-recently. . . But I also seemed to have magnified the plot in this one. Which is strange, seeing as that other fic was longer. . .


Title - "Tactless"

Summary - When Ash confesses to Misty during a personal moment, it is the cause for humiliation. But how many chances will she give him before finally getting fed up?


Characters / Ages -

Ash / 16

Misty / 16

Brock / 19

Dawn / 12

Tracey / 18


part one of two


Misty gaped at the imitation marble that colored the Ketchum bathroom floor. She couldn't believe what had just occurred, what had just taken place between her and the younger of the two inhabitants of the home.

Her grip on her shorts tightened as she let the words that her best friend had just told her settle in her numb mind, slowly sliding the undergarments up and over her bum. She took a gulp, attempting to remain calm as she turned to wash her hands.

She was not exasperated.

She was not frustrated. Oh no.

She was effing pissed.

But she inhaled again and gripped the door leading to the upstairs hallway, twisting the knob and ripping it open and staring at her target - I mean, her best friend - with murderous intent.

"You did not just do that." She muttered, embarrassment peeking through her fury as she glared at Ash Ketchum. He stared confusedly back at her, not knowing what he'd done wrong. She would have considered him immature, almost would have let the subject drop, if not for what he'd told her approximately two minutes ago.

No, now she knew better.

"Uh. . . do what?" He asked, aware of her anger to the point of wishing that Brock, or Dawn, or Pikachu, or even his mom would walk by and diffuse her (as embarrassing as the last option would be).

"Ash, did you just tell me you liked me?" She yelled at him. Spit almost hit him in the face and she contemplated slamming the door closed on him except for two things. She didn't want to risk damaging Mrs. Ketchum's property and she also reminded herself that she'd be trapping herself in the bathroom again. And after Ash's last display, she was afraid of what he'd do next.

"Oh, that? Yeah." He sounded a little relieved actually. Perhaps he thought she hadn't heard him. "Man, and am I glad to get that off my mind. I've been thinking on it so long and, well, the perfect opportunity presented itself what with you coming to visit before I leave again. I'm glad Pikachu gave me so much practice and so many pep-talks. I was losing sleep too!" He gave a laugh and an overly-dramatic sigh to show the tension lifting from his chest.

But Misty continued to stare beadily at him. The flattered part of her was ready and willing to forgive at the sound of Ash's distress over his feelings. She'd been there before after all. Anxiety, curiosity, fear; all leading to sleepless nights. . . But her other half was not so easily swayed.

Misty had waited four years, four very long, very excruciating years. For what? For this? She narrowed her eyes at him. Oh, hell no.

". . . The perfect opportunity. . . ?" Misty murmured to which Ash nodded vigorously. "Ash, in case it somehow escaped you. . . I was using the bathroom!" She threw open the door again and let him get a good view as she pointed, "I was sitting on that toilet, right there!" She shrieked loudly. She felt all semblance of control she had waver and flutter away. Ironically speaking, it had simply been flushed down the drain. And as if it could get any worse for her, Ash wasn't finished yet.

"Oh boy, well that's embarrassing. For you, I mean!"

"Ash! What the hell made you think I would accept a confession like that?" She huffed.

"Pikachu. He said you'd liked me for years so there shouldn't be any problem."

"Are you-? Ugh! You are the densest person ever! Don't you get it? You just told me you had a crush on me while I was using the bathroom. Nobody in their right mind would accept that! I definitely won't. I mean, you don't even see what you did wrong, do you?"

"So," and for the first time it looked as though her tone had phased him, "you don't like me?"

Misty wanted to slap him, she admitted it to herself. He just didn't understand, did he? She tried to reason with herself, this was Ash, and he had never been the smartest Vulpix in the litter but. . . She had always been such a romantic. She had spent most of her adolescence waiting to be swept off her feet. And when she had realized her feelings for her best friend, of course those dreams had become more centered on him. It was mostly for that reason that she knew this was all wrong. She couldn't let all of her feelings go to waste! If the two of them started out like this, she knew it would be impossible.

"Ash, it's not about that, okay? Sometimes liking someone isn't enough!"

Ash looked as if she'd just banned him from his next League. To be fair, she felt a little guilty thanks to the look on his face. But she knew what she had to do. She owed it to herself. She had waited far too long just to get here and she wouldn't stop now. And with that renewed vigor, she continued speaking.

"C'mon, seriously, it's not as bad as you think. I mean," she sighed and decided to throw him a bone, "it's not that I don't like you necessarily but. . . How do I explain it? Hm. . . Say, for the sake of making a point, that your mom decided to call you on your journey and say she was remarrying."

"My mom's remarrying? How come nobody told me?" He yelped.

"No, she's not, but let's say she did that-"

"-But she's not even dating!"

"Ash! She's not really remarrying. But if you got a sudden phone call from her and she told you she was, how would you feel?"

"Like someone should have told me she was dating!"

"Guh!" Misty slapped a hand to her forehead. This didn't seem to be working, "The point is that it would be really inconvenient and troublesome, right? At the very least, you would have liked to have been told in person, wouldn't you? Don't you get it, Ash? There's a time and a place to say these kinds of things! Over the phone during a normal 'how was your day' kind of conversation while the person you're talking to is five hundred miles away? Shouting it casually while the other person is," she faltered here and blushed a little bit, "using the bathroom? Those are bad times to say those things."

It looked as though she'd finally broken through whatever mental obstacles were blocking her out. Ash seemed to have a contemplative expression on his face before breaking out into a wide grin, seemingly inspired.

"Oh, okay, Misty! I got it now! Hahah!" And then he was serious again, Misty on her guard to prevent any moves he would attempt to play against her. "But I swear I'm not gonna lose! Prepare yourself, Myst, this isn't over!" He pointed a finger at her threateningly before turning and marching in the opposite direction, down the stairs and joining the others in the living room for some television.

The entire thing had reminded Misty far too much of Team Rocket. Luckily, they had never popped up as inconveniently as when their group was taking a restroom break but still. . . Misty had never known Ash would be the type of boy to pursue her with such hostility. She frowned, thinking on it a little more. And what was this anyway? Was he challenging her to a Pokemon battle? She couldn't help but wonder. Ash lacked a fair amount of common sense, after all. What if he tried to battle her as a strange tactic to win her heart?

"Well," she muttered, recovering from the reverie and wandering to the guest bedroom to avoid him for the time being, "if he thinks that beating up my Pokemon will do the trick then he's got another thing coming!" She sighed in irritation.

Because, truthfully, she knew Ash was the stronger trainer between the two of them. It was rather painful to admit it at first but he was always testing himself against different challenges on the road, and he was at least moderately capable with all types of Pokemon. However Misty coped well with this knowledge, mostly because she would never admit it to him, but also because she was passionate about water-types. Always had been and always would be, as it was in her blood. And she was confident that, just as it had been witnessed in the Whirl Cup competition, she would always be more well-versed when it came to Water Pokemon.

And, strangely enough, that was fine with her.

But Misty remained wary throughout the rest of the day. She was cautious towards Ash whenever they got within eyesight of each other, though Ash seemed hell-bent on ignoring her very presence. And when she happened to walk in on a conversation he was holding with Brock or Dawn, the discussion would cease until she'd left the vicinity.

By the time evening came around, she was highly frustrated. She'd even lost her appetite earlier during dinner (leaving Mrs. Ketchum to think she was ill and fret over her for a long while). Now she laid in her sleeping bag in the guest room while Dawn slept on the bed to her right, reading a book labeled Coordinating Champion Guide.

"Hey. . . Dawn. . ." Misty asked, still curious as to how familiar she should act towards the younger girl. They were both friends of Ash but neither had known more than a name and a few details up until a couple days ago when they'd all met up in Pallet Town. Professor Rowan had apparently explained how Professor Oak was the authority on Pokemon and Dawn, who had high hopes in pursuing her mother's former title as Sinnoh Coordinating Champion, had leapt at the chance to meet one of the few people in the world who could point her in the right direction.

"Hm. . . ?" The younger girl replied absentmindedly, although maybe she was just getting tired. However her eyes remained glued to the article she was reading and Misty, feeling awkward, bit her lip and remained silent. This seemed to prove to Dawn that something was distressing her so, next second, the book was flat against her chest and she'd craned her neck sideways. "What is it?"

"It's, uh. . ." Still, though Misty wanted to ask, she didn't know how. "Well, today. . . Did Ash tell you about something he said to me today? Something important?"

Dawn stared at her as though she had no clue what she was talking about or something, which led to Misty feeling a little embarrassed. But she would have to explain what she meant before she could ask any other questions she had.

"He told me he liked me."

Dawn squealed, leaping up and tossing her book from her torso. Misty feared it was so loud that everyone else in the house would hear so she sat up too, shushing the younger girl. Finally Dawn noticed that she was alone in this affectionate moment.

"That's so sweet, Misty! I'm happy for you, though I've known for awhile that it would happen someday. So. . ." She broke off here for a moment, sighed blissfully, and then continued, ". . . What did you tell him? Will there be a first date anytime soon?"

"Well. . . probably not, considering I yelled at him until he practically swore his revenge and told him I wouldn't accept the confession."

Dawn gaped open-mouthed.

"Hey, don't look at me like that! I was. . . I was using the bathroom! Do you know what it's like to hear someone tell you something so personal while you're on the toilet?" She exclaimed, not noticing that she was now the loud one. "I mean, c'mon! And when I tried to tell Ash that, he just kept looking at me like I was the one not making sense!"

"You were. . ." Dawn snorted, unable to control her laughter, ". . . and he. . . But that does explain it anyway. So, uh, why did you tell me all of this? It doesn't sound like you need any help or anything."

"Oh, well, really I had wanted to ask you, though it's not important now I guess. . . But today I saw him talking to you and I noticed he stopped whenever I came around so I wanted to know if. . ."

"No Misty, he didn't come after me next."

"Huh? No, that's not what I meant!"

"Oh; then what? He didn't mention anything about revenge or anything like that."

"Oh. Okay then, I guess. Maybe it was just me." Misty turned back over to face the other side of the room and Dawn got up to retrieve her book from the floor. However, instead of reading anymore from it, she placed the object on the bedside table and got back under the covers, turning out the light. Misty presumed the conversation was over but apparently Dawn still had something to say.

"Hey Misty, you were right to tell him to try harder or. . . whatever it was you said to him. I'm sure he took your words to heart, especially if he was serious about what he said. I'm pretty sure he was, too. Ash doesn't seem the type to play around with his friends that way. He cares too much. . . So I think everything will work out in the end. Don't worry."

Both girls were silent after that and, though Misty wanted to thank Dawn for her considerate words, her mouth was strangely dry. She couldn't help but worry, could she?

The next day proved to be very - er - exciting for Misty. She had stayed up so long wondering about what to expect that she had ended up sleeping in. She rolled over towards the bed and saw that Dawn was gone. Her reasoning that the younger girl must have gone downstairs for breakfast lasted long enough for her to yawn, taking in a large gulp of air, but just before she was going to let it out, her nose caught a whiff of something sweet (even considering it was a girl's room for now) and her morning sigh turned into a hack.

Immediately after that she noticed the shadow, another person in the room after all. She managed to half-leap and half-twist her body back in the opposite direction again, her fist blindly flying before she could even adjust her eyes and tired mind to the change of view.

And then said fist collided with something squishy and the assailant responded to her random act of violence.

"What the heck, Misty? Man, and I was waiting here all this time for you to wake up! You didn't have to hit me for no reason!" Ash managed to say as he nursed his rather sore jaw.

"No reason? Honestly Ash, your ability to screw up even the smallest thing really baffles me! This is just like yesterday! You don't sneak into a girl's room while she's sleeping! You really shouldn't do it at all but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt there since we're, you know, talking about you." She crossed her arms and dropped her voice a little, trying to sound maturely authoritative rather than just abusive.

Ash looked the same as he had yesterday too, as if she was overreacting and he didn't know what the fuss was about. But he had learned not to fight her on it anyway, for which she was grateful. She really didn't feel like explaining it. . .

Suddenly she realized something that made her chest flutter in an uncomfortable way.

"Ash. . . How long did you say you'd been in here again?"

"Huh? Uh. . . almost an hour, I guess. . ."

Oh no. Oh no, no, no. . . What if Dawn had seen him there? What if he'd been there when she'd woken up too? What if she had been leaving the room when Ash wandered in, saying that he wouldn't take no for an answer? Misty's head started to spin some as her thoughts began spiraling downward in a negative fashion. She had always prided herself on being a respectable young girl, a virtuous romantic maybe but still modest, humble, and innocent. . . She was even a role model for other trainers, leading them on the path to strength and perseverance.

Just think of Brock (who didn't have an ounce of self-restraint no matter how much she admonished him)!

Okay then. . . but there was May (who had befriended her based on whatever she'd learned from Ash and Brock beforehand and still didn't know her that well).

Um. . . well. . . she still had her sisters, right? (Even though Daisy was the only one to treat her with even an ounce of respect and, despite that, still liked to manipulate her while Lily and Violet treated her like a coat hanger.)

But. . . but there was still Ash, her first pupil, her student (who she had claimed to be coaching for about two weeks before giving up on it since he never seemed to listen to her; case in point taking place right now).

And now Dawn too would think nothing of her, would look down at her naturally as if she were not worth the time, as if she were an insult, a waste, a disgrace. . .

Okay, so maybe she was blowing this just a bit out of proportion.

"Did. . . uh. . . Was Dawn around when you came in?"

"Huh?" Ash started and he was wearing the look that said she must have been denser than him for once. "Of course not! Why would I want her to be here when I was waiting for you to get up? I wanted to be alone with you, not her. Besides. . ." He grew bashful as he removed a small bouquet of wild flowers he'd found outside earlier on from behind his back. Well, at least that explained the sweet smell Misty had been wondering about. ". . . Uh. . . hm. . . I wouldn't dare wish for the sight of anyone other than you!" The words sounded broken and foreign as he spoke them, like he'd read them somewhere and was trying to apply them to the moment.

But Misty's cheeks glowed at the unexpected compliment anyway and she even accepted the flowers he held out for her. This seemed to be a good sign and he continued speaking.

"Y - yeah. . . Your face is like. . . like the sun? Yeah, the sun! And I want to bask in its glow forever!"

Awe. . .

"And, uh, I want to wake up every morning to your clear blue skies!"

Awe. . .

"A - and to your calm seas!"

Awe. . . Wait, what the hell?

"Ash, what the heck are you talking about?"

He stopped quoting finally and gaped for a second, then closed his mouth and just sat staring through her for a moment longer than necessary.

"Hm," he started, arms crossed and eyes closed as if working out the repercussions for the answer he was about to give her, "I have no idea."


"None at all."

"Then why the heck are you saying all of it?" She asked him, her voice escalating as she finished the question. The two of them stared each other down as the minutes wore on. Screw being mature. Screw being sensible. This was ridiculous. She hated being tricked more than almost anything else! The least he could do was tell her he meant what he said.

Oh, and then Ash got real smart.

"Why? Because that's what Brock told me to say."

There was a bomb ticking in Misty's head and it was about to go off. Jeezus. Ash was quoting Brock. Brock. She had hoped for so much when it came to Ash confessing to her, well, before what he'd pulled on her the day before. And even after that to be honest. He'd told her to expect the worst, or the best, whatever. So she had thought about everything he could do to win or lose her. . . and then the best he could do was quote one of Brock's cliche, hormone-driven lines? How was she supposed to take him seriously?

"Ash, why would you possibly go to Brock for advice?"

"Well, he told me that he was the master when it came to impressing women. And when I told him I was doing it for you he said he'd give it a try anyway."

"What?" Misty shrieked at the implication Ash had just made about her. Or Brock. Either way, someone was taking the blame for it. "No, never mind for now. . . Still Ash, Brock has never ever been able to win a girl over. Pay attention to all of the times he's tried for a second! Whatever love guru he thinks he is, that's a lie, I'm telling you now."

"But he said that all girls are romantics from as early as age eleven and that a man needs to take advantage of that time frame or risk being lonely forever. He even said-"

"-Forget what he said! I'm talking from years of experience and surveillance! And you definitely shouldn't be saying something he told you to! If you don't understand the meaning behind what you're telling me then I don't want to hear it! It's all meaningless!"

"Huh? Wait, so I did something wrong again?"

Misty repeated a motion she was becoming far too familiar with now-a-days, a palm to her forehead before getting dragged downward past her chin with a frustrated sigh.

"Yes Ash, that's exactly what I just spent the past ten minutes trying to tell you."

"Wait, wait; so you're still rejecting me?" He asked incredulously, pointing an accusatory finger at her.

"Yes! Geez, Ash, it's not that hard to understand where I'm coming from! Now you can either give up finally. . ." But gah, she didn't want him to! She hadn't meant to say it like that! Darn her big mouth and her aggressive-to-the-degree-of-impulsive personality! ". . . Or you can try again some other time. Your choice, Ash."

"B - but. . . Agh, darn it!" He got up from his cross-legged position on the floor beside the door and huffed, "Well, don't think I've given up! No way! Ash Ketchum never denies a challenge! Be on your guard, Myst, 'cause I'll be back!"

It was at this point that Misty realized - holy crap - she was nothing more than a Pokemon Ash was trying to capture.

"Fine. Whatever." Her reply was interrupted by her stomach grumbling. "Now, could you get out of here please so I can get dressed? I already missed breakfast and I'm starving so I'd like to make it to lunch."

"Yeah, sure. But, ah. . ." And he seemed to be trying to put the words together the right way, ". . . can I get those flowers back? I gotta replant them in my mom's garden before she realizes I took-"

"-What the-? No way, they're mine so I'm keeping 'em! Now get out of here!"

"But I'm serious! You don't know what she's capable of when-"

"-No! Now get out!" And he fled the room as she picked up her pillow to use as a weapon against him, smart enough to realize that there would very well be worse things to come.

After a very awkward lunch (during which Ash chose to sit wedged between Brock and Dawn even though he was going to be traveling with them again by the end of the week and he and Misty only had a few days left together), the group of four plus one Pikachu left to go visit the Professor and Tracey at the lab.

Dawn really wanted to show her Pokemon off and Misty was excited too since she would get to meet a starter water-type from the Orre region. Very rarely someone who had journeyed to Cerulean from Sinnoh would have a water-type from the foreign land and even more rarely would it be a Piplup or one of its evolved forms. In fact, in some strange way, she felt like she and Dawn were somehow closer just because their preceding connection to Pokemon had to do with water-types. Of course, Misty refused to see that Dawn had not in fact chosen Piplup out of love for the water but more because they'd gotten to know each other in the beginning and their personalities suited one another.

Since that time, Piplup had evolved into Prinplup and Dawn was hoping to continue the trend by the end of her next coordinating festival. Misty hoped she'd get to see Empoleon too when the time came but for now she was content with what was available.

"Oh, hey Ash, guys! How's it going?" Tracey asked in a friendly and expecting tone as he opened the front door. Everyone nodded back with a smile and he let them in just in time to see a hectic Professor Oak run by.

"What's going on? Is something wrong?" Brock asked cautiously.

"Not really, no. Gary sent us some new research data from Hoenn and Professor Oak was so excited by it that he started phoning researchers from other regions as well. He's trying to set up a private conference so that they can discuss it all further. Sorry Dawn," he said as he stared at her in particular, "he said that it's unexpected but it sort of takes priority. He hopes you'll understand."

"Uh, sure," Dawn replied and hid the blow to her confidence with a smile. "No need to worry! I'll just try again some other time. Besides, we'll have to come back soon, won't we Ash? The Professor was going to talk to you too, right? About some new Leagues you can enter in next."

"Oh, yeah. . ." Ash said thoughtfully as if he'd forgotten all about it. Misty didn't fail to see this either, a pang of shock hitting her. How could he possibly forget something like that? The Ash she knew forever and always had his mind on Pokemon training. Very rarely could something distract him from that. This didn't have to do with their current predicament, did it? "Well anyway, we're here now so let's go see my Pokemon. That's okay, right Tracey?" He asked next with an infallible recovery.

"Ah, yeah, sure. Come with me. They're out back. It's almost snack-time anyway so I can feed them too."

"Hahah, great! C'mon, let's go!" And he grabbed a hold of the closest person to him - Dawn - and dragged her towards the back exit Tracey was pointing out to them. "You haven't met anyone yet, right? There's Bulbasaur, Glalie, Heracross, Swellow, Corphish, Muk. . ." And then he was on a tangent, listing all of the Pokemon he'd left at the preserve over the years. Of course, Misty had met most of them already so she felt comfortable ignoring him. Instead she had her eyes set on a jealous glare at the way he was linking arms with the younger girl.

"Wow, Ash. . . I mean, I know you had traveled a few other regions but still!" Dawn said in awe. She was looking forward to meeting everyone, she knew, as the group of roughly a half dozen made it outside again.

"Yeah, well, you know. . ." Ash boasted and his ego grew to three times its original size.

"Oh, please. . ." Misty said, turning her nose up at the display. Brock and Tracey in turn gave each other an all-knowing glance, "spare us," she ended with a scoff.

"There's also Quilava, Kingler, and-" Ash, who had chosen to ignore her comment, was interrupted by the very Pokemon he was about to mention.

"Bay bayleef!" The grass-type yelled excitedly as she leapt at him, tackling him to the ground and ripping him away from Dawn at the same time, "Bayleef! Bay bay bayleef bay!" And she began nuzzling him affectionately. Misty wasn't sure how to react at first, between relief at Ash and Dawn's physical contact being stunted and humor at Ash's current predicament.

"Hey Bayleef! How are you doing? I missed you, you know." Of course Ash was sensitive enough to miss all of his Pokemon when they couldn't be together. However some were. . . more needy than others.

"Awe, she's so cute!" Dawn clapped her hands together with glee at Bayleef's affectionate attitude. However it didn't last long once the plant-type Pokemon was able to sniff out another feminine scent all over her trainer.

"Bay!" She yelped aggressively, rising to her feet and standing in front of Ash as if protecting him. Dawn knew better and chose to back off and make herself scarce for the moment. Ash took this chance to pick himself up off the ground, laughing almost uneasily as he dusted himself off.

"I'll be right back," Tracey said with a smile and pointed towards a glass-encased building. It resembled a greenhouse though on a much smaller scale, the size of a shed. "That's where we store and dispense the PokeChow. I'll be back in a couple of minutes after I've set the snacks out. . ." And he wandered off, leaving the rest of them to one another.

"Hey Dawn, I know you had your sights set on Professor Oak looking at your Prinplup and I know I can't compare but," Misty could barely contain her excitement as she found enough nerve to ask the question, "can I see him? I am a water-type trainer after all."

"Oh, sure," though Dawn wasn't sure if she should be nervous or flattered that a specialist would be interested in her Pokemon. Still, she turned and scrambled for the bag on her back, rummaging through it until she found what she was looking for. It was a magnetic key chain with six Pokeballs attached. "Here we go. . . I choose you, Prinplup!" She tossed the Pokeball a few meters in front of her where it burst open and flooded everyone's vision with light for a second. Then the light formed a silhouette and a penguin-like animal appeared before them.

At first Misty just stared as though trying to come up with the right words. When at last she found them, she chose to speak her opinion.

"Wow Dawn, h - he's so. . . so. . ." Her eyes lit up into stars as she dropped to her knees and embraced him as if she'd known him forever, "cy-ute!" And she continued to fawn over him for the next few minutes, petting his silky coat and holding his fins as though she wanted to dance with him.

Of course, Prinplup had not expected this degree of fan-service when he'd been called out and so, out of shock, he released a mist-like secretion which effectively chilled her out and froze Misty's joints for a moment.

"S - so cold. . . but still so cute. . ." It was pretty easy to tell that the redhead didn't want to let go of him even through the discomfort.

"Ah! I'm sorry, Misty! I didn't think he'd do that!" Dawn turned a stern gaze on her Pokemon and began to reprimand him. "That was wrong, Prinplup! Misty's a friend, you know? Haven't we learned by now that attacking friends is wrong?"

"We?" Brock quoted with an eyebrow quirked.

"By now?" Ash followed suit before finally begging the question, "Hey, Myst, are you okay? Do you need to be thawed out?"

"N - no," and she might have been just a little embarrassed by now, seeing as she still couldn't seem to move. But at Dawn's insistence, the chill evaporated almost instantly. Prinplup finally smiled, accepting Misty's attention, which only made her think the obvious, "So cute."

"Pikachupi. . ." Pikachu sweat dropped a little bit, although he too remembered the good old days when Misty would hold him close. You know, whenever she managed to pull him away from Ash.

"Still," Brock made note of the situation as one hand lightly graced his chin, "Misty seems more like a Water Pokemon fan right now than she does a Water Pokemon trainer."

"What? I can't be both?" Misty turned to glare daggers at him even if he did have a point. She decided to let go of Prinplup - if only to prove she could. Prinplup actually looked disappointed, deciding that he rather liked the girl who seemed to love him just as much as his trainer did. And Dawn glowed with pride, even if the only thing she'd really learned about her Pokemon was that he was cute. (Hadn't she known that already? Well, being a coordinator was at least partially about appearance.)

"How's about nei'ter?" Called a voice from above them. Everyone looked up on impulse though they had basically already figured out who would say such a thing to them.

"Take us down, James!" Jessie commanded with a smirk and a diabolical laugh.

"It's Team Rocket!" Ash and friends all gasped in unison, including Tracey, who ran out to join them after he had finished dispensing food for the other Pokemon in the preserve.

The giant Meowth balloon started drifting downwind towards the ground. Deciding to use a distraction so they wouldn't get blasted off so soon, Jessie and James began their motto.

"Why yes it is, twerps; how very clever of you to figure us out! And, listen, what are those I hear? One, two, three, four, five voices that had better prepare for trouble!"

"Speaking to me loud and clear. . . So immature and obnoxious that they'd better make it double!"

"On the wind, we protect the world from detestation!"

"Past the stars, we unite the people from every nation!"



"And Meowth, in yer ear an' revampin' deh motto faws a reunion wit' deh twoips!"

"Bringing chaos at a breakneck pace and blasting off at the speed of light!" Jessie continued, attempting to pose but it was rather cramped inside the hot air balloon basket. Nevertheless, she elbowed James to get him out of her way so that she could pull it off successfully.

"With dashing hope, we put fear in it's place; surrender now or. . ."

"A rose by any other name is just as sweet!" Jessie cooed until her partner began to whine.

"But Jessie, I didn't get to finish my part!"

"Oh be quiet, James, the timing was way off anyway. Besides, the twerps have heard the old one a million times but there are a couple here who haven't heard the new one!" She stared confidently at him, waggling a finger in his face until his eyes sparkled with inspiration.

"When everything's worse, our job is complete!" He shouted as loudly and heroically as possible, a fist jammed towards the sky.

"Mime Jr.!" Whinnied a high-pitched voice to his left.

"Carnivine!" To Jessie's right.



"Wait, where's did all of yehs coim froim?" Meowth yelled aggravatingly with a paw to his mouth. "And get offa me, yeh stupid-" For Jessie's blue Pokemon had landed right on top of him upon escaping its Pokeball.

"Back to the motto!" Jessie shouted furiously, trying to persevere, "Putting do-gooders in their place!"

". . . Recapping, we're Team Rocket!" James continued, though it was rather hard when his face was getting mashed into the ropes holding the basket to the balloon.

"In your face!" All of them concluded, though the Pokemon only chimed in with a calling of their own names.

By now they were only a couple of feet from the ground so they tried leaping from the basket in a stylish fashion but it resulted in them falling all over one another and hitting the grass chins-first, Seviper slithering around on top. Ash and his friends continued to stare, especially Misty and Tracey, who were the ones Jessie had been referring to since they'd definitely never heard the new motto until now.

"Wow," was all Misty could think of to say.

"You should fire your writers." Tracey offered next, almost as though he were trying to help the situation.

"Do you think they're dead?" Dawn whispered to Brock, not confident enough to walk up to the wanna-be villains herself and investigate firsthand.

"One can only hope. . ." Brock muttered in response, though he didn't move any closer either.

Team Rocket groaned unanimously from their place on the ground, twitching their limbs every once in awhile to see if they could still work properly. Finally they began to untangle themselves from one another, jumping to their feet in such a hurry that they should have received some form of whiplash.

"Haha, you twerps can think what you want but we know that the new motto is just too genius for you to understand it." Jessie said with her arms crossed and a smile on her face. Interestingly enough, everyone decided to ignore her.

"So it looks like they didn't use any disguises or fake stories this time. Does that mean they've gotten stronger or stupider?" Misty asked, turning to look at Ash and Brock for confirmation.

"What do you think?" Ash asked, quirking an eyebrow, twisting his cap properly around and letting Pikachu leap onto his shoulder.

"Oh, right. Silly me." Misty sighed, pulling out a Pokeball. Dawn stood beside her with Prinplup at the ready. "It's been awhile since I had a chance to do this. You guys don't mind if I get first dibs, right?"

"Not really, as long as you remember to save a turn for us."


Notes - Okay, well, this was originally going to be a one-shot. . . But I figure that it's over 6,000 words long and I wanted to try and see how many reviews I could get for it if I split it up into two parts. Plus I wanted to post something not related to SKoL (my main project right now) and something also not related to the other fic I want to start even though it would obviously be a bad idea to do so because it's another long fic and. . . well, how many years did it take for me to finish IS? And how much long would it take to finish SKoL if I started something else too? Not that I definitely will or won't post the other fic since I feel so inspired to write it and my love for SKoL is vastly waning as of late but. . .

So anyway, feel free to comment. I'm sort of in a shitty mood right now though so if all you're going to do is insult me, please take it elsewhere. I just don't really feel like dealing with, "this isn't right," or, "this doesn't work," criticisms. Only a fair few people will actually elaborate into the definition of criticism and if you're not going to do that then I don't want to hear from you.

Sorry to bitch about it but SKoL is pissing me off, and I don't mean writing it.

Reviews would be very appreciated, since nobody seems to do it anymore. So disappointing. . . Anyway, do you think Ash and Misty stand a chance of getting together? Will Ash finally realize that he needs to do something heartfelt in order to win her affections? Will Misty blow her top and just decide to kill everyone and save herself some trouble? Will Team Rocket figure out that their D/P motto was the worst shit to have ever been adapted into the English anime? Will Dawn turn lesbian? Will Brock get a girl? Will Prinplup decide to start an online club in its own name to earn more invaluable (cheap) fan-service?

Stay tuned for the final part of Tactless, where all (or most, or some) of these questions will be answered! (Oh, one last thing. I'm not entirely sure of Prinplup's abilities - like if it can secrete an icy mist as mentioned in this fic - but I was thinking that it's related to a penguin, which live in ice lands, so maybe. . . Plus it would be cool. Well, the basic principle anyway. Not the freezing-Misty-to-death part.)