Harry Potter 7 is out, hooray! And if you're like me and can't go to the premiere, then hey, stick around, pull up a bowl of popcorn and watch unreality ensue!
Brief intro: this was originally planned to be the Pokeshipping one-shot in one of my other fics, Project Valentine. When I realized how long it was going to end up, though, I decided to use something else for it instead. Of course, the idea of writing this fic was too good an opportunity to pass up, and the rest, as they say, is history.
As stated in the summary, this was "inspired" by My Immortal (yes, that My Immortal), but rest assured it is only similar in the events that happen, not in how it's all written. Here, I shall take that infamous tale, move it to the Pokemon world, flesh it out, and give it actual plot, characterization, villains, and believability. Oh, and make it more kid-friendly. That always helps.
tl;dr: Pokeshipping in a My Immortal-esque story. Yay.
So this is how it starts, is it? All right, then. My name is Misty Waterflower: youngest sister, Cerulean gym leader, and water Pokemon expert. At the risk of sounding full of myself, I really do know what I'm talking about when it comes to the water-type. Take my Gyarados, for example: he's one of the toughest Pokemon I've ever had, and when I first caught him he practically scared me to death. But it just took some time and trust to get him to warm up to me, and now we trust each other completely.
Things were okay for me, at least for a while. Trainers would put up a good fight, and it was actually fun in its own way. But then the crime syndicates merged to become a much bigger threat, to the point that traveling trainers would disappear daily. Pretty soon Professor Oak finally put his foot down, pulling some strings to have all underage trainers sent to a single new academy for their own safety, who knows why.
Unfortunately, that included me.
Fortunately, it was being built here in Cerulean City, so no annoying moving-to-some-hick-town for me.
Unfortunately, life took a turn for the crazy from there.
Let me start from the top. It all started on one drizzling day, while I was busy studying for my biology test in one of the gazebos in the outdoor courtyard. I was trying to concentrate, seeing as this would be the first midterm of the year, and I sure as hell didn't want to have a bad start. But all of those rules and vocabulary sets were so confusing, even after going over them in class for the last couple of weeks. Try as I might, I couldn't get into the right mindset for it.
For a long while I just looked out at the rain outside the gazebo, watching the tiny droplets of water splash constantly against the surfaces of small puddles. As the courtyard grew gradually wetter and wetter, an idea started to form in my head, and I grinned mischievously to myself. I glanced around, double-checking to make sure nobody was around. But the place was as deserted as a tomb.
Without a moment's hesitation I set my notes down, pulled off my shoes and socks, and strode out into the rain. It was still just late September, and the humidity made the air feel pretty warm even in the drizzle, which by comparison was a sprinkling of tiny snowflakes. There was something about the atmosphere that made me feel really alive for the first time since I'd arrived at the academy, or perhaps it was the feel of damp grass under my feet. Whatever it was, I couldn't help myself from dancing around in the courtyard, barefoot, shivering and happy.
The sound of somebody giggling made me spin around, and I ended up losing my balance and landing hard on my butt. When I gasped at the impact, the giggling only grew louder, and I glared upwards, squinting through the rain as it began to fall harder, searching for whoever was watching. After a few seconds I finally noticed a horde of girls peering down at me from a second-story window, tittering like the ditzes they were.
I sighed to myself, trying to shake off the embarrassment. Fire trainers, I thought, shaking my head. Who knows why, but there's something about people who train fire Pokemon that just irks me. Maybe just their general dislike for water-types. It's a likely enough theory.
"Go jump in a lake," I told them wearily. I hadn't meant to say it so loudly, but the giggling grew a bit more amused and obnoxious. More like them.
I waited for a while before the fire trainers finally grew bored of watching me sit in muddy grass; after all, I wasn't about to give them satisfaction by entertaining them more. Only once I was sure they had left did I push myself onto my feet, wincing at the feel of mud on my butt. I glanced behind me to look at how bad the mess was, then sighed. I had liked those shorts, too …
I bit my lip. Great, I thought, wincing inwardly. Someone still watching me look like a fool. Putting my hands on my hips, whirling around and ready to give whoever it was a piece of my mind—
And I froze.
Standing there in the courtyard, not five feet in front of me, stood none other than my old travel companion, one who I hadn't seen in years and certainly looked it – but there was no mistaking that untidy black hair, the shape of that familiar cap, or the glint in his curious brown eyes. It was definitely Ash Ketchum.
My mouth opened, feeling the anger drain away as quickly as it had come. I tried to think of something relevant to say, even though my mind was jumping all over the place. Of course he would've become a student here, I realized, kicking myself mentally. After all, he is a trainer. How did I not see him here before? But it's been so long, obviously … Has he actually gotten taller than me? That can't be right, it's only been a couple of years!
I stood like that for a few moments before realizing that I was gaping like a stupid fish, and hastily shut it. Then I remembered that we were just standing there in silence, staring at each other like idiots, out in the pouring rain. Talk about awkward.
"Uh," I said, casting about wildly for something to break the tension, "what's up, Ash?" I cringed at how choppy and forced those words sounded. Smooth, Misty. Real smooth.
"Nothing," he said, a bit too airily to be really casual. I hoped he was as relieved at the start of actual communication as I was.
Good, good, I told myself, thinking hard. We're talking. What can I say now? And how the hell am I supposed to keep it from feeling completely awkward? It's not like I can say, "Look at how much you've grown," right? But what else is there to say? I don't know if we even have anything in common anymore … but he remembered my name, didn't he? And I remembered his face. That's a start, but where are we going to go from here—?
"Mist! Like, what are you doing in the rain? Honestly, get in here before you turn into that warm ice we heard about on the newspaper!"
I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath forcing myself not to shoot back a retort. "Hello to you too, Violet," I said as calmly as I could, turning just far enough around so that, when I reopened my eyes, I could only too easily see my three ditzy sisters staring at me like I was a particularly drab-looking fish. "Daisy, Lily. But if you haven't noticed, I'm in the middle of a conversation."
I didn't trust myself to look at Ash as I said that. He knew perfectly well how much our little awkward moment had qualified as a "conversation".
"Like, we know," Daisy said, pretending not to notice Lily snickering behind her. "But the sky's raining all over you, and there's mud all across your butt, and you so don't look like a girl right now. So come in here before you dissolve like Uncle Rhodes' Vaporeon."
I swear that if someone had held a thermometer to my face, it would have exploded.
"S-sorry, Ash," I stammered, far too embarrassed to glance at him. "I-I have to go."
And with that, I strode to the gazebo, picked up all my stuff, and hurried towards my sisters, hoping that maybe, by some miracle, he would forget that all that ever happened. But I could feel his eyes burning into my back as I left him behind, out there in my dancing ground in the rain.