A bright white light pierced through the darkness, sweeping over chairs and desk tops, searching for any sign of movement. The beam shot everywhere in a rush, trying to discover the culprit who lurked the shadows and disturbed the building's silent night. With one more hopeful sweep across the room, the white spot of light on the wall disappeared before the sound of footsteps faded down the hall, away from the classroom's door.

A moment passed before a dark figure emerged from behind the main desk at the front of the class, quietly looking both ways before whispering, "The coast is clear."

"Finally," another voice whispered back, this one more feminine than the last. Another head emerged from behind before the whole body of the person came into view as she stood up.

"Yeah, I thought we'd get caught." The first person put his hand behind his head in a sheepish gesture, but the feminine one shrugged it off before flipping up the switch, bathing the walls and floors in light. The room looked like your everyday classroom: rows of desks, books stacked on shelves, posters on the walls, pencils in cups, and erasers scattered on tables. The two figures revealed themselves to be a boy and a girl, each seeming to be of the same age.

"Ash, the day we get caught for sneaking into the school at night will be the day I stop making other people worried," the girl laughed. Her blue eyes scanned the room as she talked, taking in the space where she had experienced many treasured memories. Her eyes softened as she looked down at her old and washed up desk from when she was only new to the school. There were scratches everywhere and writing all over it. The chair squeaked when she sat down, and she stared at all the inerasable jumbles of words carved into the surface by her and the many friends she made over the years.

The boy chuckled at her joke before following her and staring down at the desk with fond eyes. He patted the top of her head, rustling the hat covering her eye-matching blue hair, messing that up as well. She glared at him for ruining her 'do while he grinned at her cheekily, knowing all too well that having her hair ruined was her greatest pet peeve, second to being called "Deedee" by her childhood friend. He sat down at the desk in front, albeit backwards so he could be facing her, and folded his arms on the surface with his chin rested on top, staring at her face with eyes dancing with amusement.

"Hey, Dawn," Ash said quietly, startling the girl. Ash was usually a goofy and cheeky boy who always joked around with his friends, and only got serious when it involved the people close to him or the things he loved. His voice always carried a hot-blooded tone and was always as excited and loud as he was.

"Yeah, Ash?" she responded, noticing how his eyes changed from amused to loving in a few seconds. She stared back at him, her cheek resting in the palm of her hand and her elbow propped on the table's surface, her head tilted to the side with the pressure on her arm. They kept silent, lost in the calm and serene atmosphere that engulfed the perimeter of their presence. Blue melted into brown, and brown into blue. Neither said a word as their eyes did all the communicating for them, something that the couple where known campus-wide to do often. They were an item together, a set piece. One without the other was a rare sight to see, but that was fixed when the other steps into the equation not long after. Their personalities were similar; they had the same hobbies and shared the same interests. They cared for others with the same style, and they both never gave up on their goals. Selfless, considerate, caring, friendly, determined, brave—words to describe each as an individual, as a pair, as a couple. He loved her, she loved him. It was so simple, and for that they were a well known set in the school.

Ash was the first to speak; "Remember the first month after you transferred in?"

The bluenette stayed quiet as a knowing grin flashed across her features, her tantalizing orbs probing his. She brought the hand not holding her head up and grabbed one of his, giving him a small squeeze. He returned the action.

"…And what if I don't?" she teased with a small smirk. He rolled his eyes playfully at her answer, grinning as he recalled the events of that fateful day.

When Dawn first transferred into the school, the first person she befriended was Ash himself. They didn't get along well at first, what with Ash having a hard time adjusting to new people quickly. A close friend of his joked that they acted like a married couple already, embarrassing the two to the point of shutting up and calling a silent truce. Dawn had made many friends that day, including Ash who she shared a connection with already, and found herself developing feelings for the raven haired lad.

One day, she absentmindedly wrote on her desk with him on her mind. It wasn't until she looked down that she realized what she wrote, and with humiliation she couldn't erase what she had written. She tried to hide it all day, but when her friends came up to her, including Ash himself, they questioned her until they had to use force to reveal what she had been hiding. When they saw what she wrote, she ran away in embarrassment and a flushed face, away from the reactions she'd get for thinking such things. Away from him.

He had run after her, and when he caught up, one thing led to another…

…and they confessed.

"I still can't believe I did that…" Dawn giggled, her cheeks tinted with pink. The light drizzle outside evolved; now falling down in sleets of rainwater, thousands of droplets cascading down the window panes. A heavy mist surrounded the building, and the darkness enveloped the surrounding areas. Dawn caught sight of the weather and frowned, eyeing the crystalline blotches on the glass.

"Looks like we won't be leaving for a while," Ash said, noticing her obvious discontent. His grip on her hand tightened as he thought of a way to lighten up the usually cheerful girl. His eyes swept across the room, passing by a permanent marker before going back, a light bulb flickering on above his head. He broke contact with her warm and inviting hand as he got up, moving between the aisles of chairs and desk, grabbing the black marker from a student's. Dawn eyed him curiously, watching as he moved like an eager child looking forward to playing an exciting game.

"What're you up to?" she asked. He sat down in his chair again, a playful grin plastered on his face. He popped the cap off the top of the marker and handed it over to her, watching as she retrieved the utensil and stared at it. Realization dawned on her and she immediately set to work. The marker's squeaks were the only sounds heard in the cold and quiet classroom, yet with the two teenagers a familiar warmth blanketed their hearts as they created a new memory on the old, beaten and used up desk.

With a satisfied hum, Dawn admired her work as Ash nodded approvingly, intertwining their hands again as they read the new set of words that accompanied the original.

"Ash x Dawn" was on the left, the black and dark ink faded and scratched from the wood's years and years of use.

"Forever & Always" was on the right; the smell of fresh ink and still visible traces amounts of liquid still drying in the process.

A/N: I've always wanted to write Pearlshipping in a school setting... Well, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I think it's safe to say my skills as a writer have improved over the past 2 years, and I hope to continue improving.

Also be wary of mistakes as I'm too lazy to check a third time. I hope the characters aren't too OOC, since this is romance. But remember, they are teenagers in this AU one-shot, so Ash's denseness shouldn't be as severe as when he was a 10-year-old. Ditto with Dawn.


- Pat