Fiery Presence

By Perfect Soldier

Chapter 6:

Ash stood there, watching the scene before him. Misty had broken down into tears because of him, and he was just standing there, watching her tears cascade down her face. She had always been his weak point, his distraction. He wasn't sure what he was feeling at that moment. It was new to him, but vaguely familiar. These three years that he had been training up here, his emotions that he had been familiar with had been kicked out of his system, by new, strange, overpowering ones. They had driven him to forget about his friends, his former feelings and his old ways of thinking.

He walked over to where his friend was crying and knelt down to her level. Misty looked like a small, defenceless animal, which was hurt and heartbroken. Her tears echoed through the torch lit chamber with her face pressed against Pikachu's body.

"I never knew you cared." Ash said. Misty's head shot up in response. Her mouth hung open a little as she slowly registered what she just heard. Her blue green eyes sparkled for a fraction of a second, but Ash was met with a sudden pain growing on his cheek. Ash brought his hand up to feel the sore spot where Misty's hand had just contacted with his skin. Her eyes had lost their sparkle and showed hatred instead.

"Don't play all innocent with me Ash!" Her voice sounded harsh and unforgiving. Ash smiled. He deserved that slap. He had also deserved such a hateful comment. Misty let Pikachu out of her embrace and he ran to find Togepi who had rolled out of Ash's arms as he had knelt down. "Why are you smiling?" Misty shouted.


"Because what?!"

"Just because…" Ash's smile grew wider. His eyes looked at the floor, avoiding her angry eyes from seeing his expression. His smile grew to a laugh. Misty grew madder at his behaviour.

'He's laughing at me! How dare he do that!' Misty thought. Her rage was boiling inside her blood.

"What is so funny!" Misty sounded ready to kill.

"You…" Ash said in between laughing. He brought his head up only to receive another hard slap. Her tears broke out again, and Misty continued slapping him in the same place until her tears got the better of her. She ended up crying in Ash's lap.

Ash rubbed his sore cheek and looked down at the girl crying her heart out in his lap. He brought his hand down from his red cheek and rested it on the top of her head. Gently, he stroked her stroked her soft red hair. Ash heard her gasp at his sudden touch but didn't make any move to try and stop him from continuing. The rough material of his glove was a complete contrast from his smooth, worn fingertips that ran through her hair.

Misty knelt there, crying into Ash's shirt as he stroked her hair. Her tears rolled freely down her cheek. Eventually, there were no more tears to be shed, and Misty shook from crying for so long. Ash held her until she was ready to be let go of. He whispered soft, comforting words to her as she shook violently. A long silence overcame the two adults as they sat together in each other's arms. Each comforting the other with their presence.

"I've missed you…" Misty said breaking the silence between them.

"Ditto." Ash replied. Misty had forgiven him. She had broken down the barriers that had been built over the three years of separation, and his old, familiar feelings flew back to him. They drove out the new, unwanted emotions that had taken control of Ash's body for the last three years. His former self had been regained.

Misty knelt up, away from Ash's arms and looked into his eyes. His brown orbs sparkled as they did when she had last seen him. They still held their childish look. Misty smiled at Ash pulled him in an embrace.

"Glad to have you back." Misty said. Ash returned her kindness as he hugged her back in a tight, but gentle hold.

"I'm sorry for being such a jerk."

"Apology accepted." Misty smiled as she held onto Ash tighter. As Misty let go of Ash, he came forward again and brought his hands to rest on her head. Before she could ask what he was doing, Ash leaned forward and kissed her softly on her forehead. A red flush spread through Misty's face as Ash pulled back. He smiled at her and stood up. Ash held out his hand, which Misty took it pulling herself up off the ground.

All this time Pikachu and Togepi had been watching the scene between the two trainers. Togepi hugged his friend as he now knew that he would see him on a regular basis, instead of leaving him yet again. Pikachu held the round egg pokemon as best he could in his little yellow arms. He to had returned to the ordinary pokemon that he once was. Togepi had told him what had happened since Ash had left. He had been told about how Misty usually cried herself to sleep, how she had shut down the gym, and only used her pokemon to have as swimming partners. He had been told how Cinder knew where Ash was and how long and scary the journey to Mt. Silver was.

In turn, Pikachu had told Togepi his side of the story. Both of them now knew not to let anything like that happen ever again. Both knew the effect it had on their trainer, both of the pokemon knew that their trainers couldn't cope without each other.