This the last chapter. No jokes, guys, I've finished it. I hope you all enjoy.

The train let them off, and they calmly strode down the road together in silence. Ash's backpack looked light on his back, and Misty gave him one or two envious glances as her heavy suitcase rumbled over the concrete and gravel and dirt as they made their way to the Cerulean Gym. As they got closer, Misty took the time to explain the housing. The gym had a rather large basement, where her and her sisters lived. Their parents had left them a house, but the gym was big enough that they didn't bother keeping it running - mostly using it for storage. They didn't have any kind of guest bedroom for him, so Ash would be sleeping on the couch. He didn't seem too upset about it, but she was very insistent that the couch was perfectly comfortable and he wouldn't have any trouble sleeping.

Of course, she eventually had to cover the topic that worried her the most. There were no parents he had to meet, but there were three very over the top sisters who were eager to meet him. "Ash, uh, you know my sisters are…" Misty trailed off awkwardly, biting her lip.

He looked at her curiously. "All I know about your sisters is what I heard from Gary and some of the other guys. So, I know they slept around and they were hot, but that's it. Is there something else I should know? Are they like Melody and going to force kiss me or something like that?"

She shook her head, smiling a little. "No, nothing like that. They aren't that bad. I mean, they'll probably hit on you. They're just…they're flirty and girly. They can be pretty mean, but they're usually joking about it. They're not like me, and that makes us fight a lot. I'm not really…I'm not the best person around them. So I hope you don't hate me if I show my nastier side. They just tease me and goad me into it so I'll fight with them. They do it on purpose, Ash, I'm not always that bad. They just know how to push all my buttons and-"

He cut her off, laughing. "Misty, do you even remember how you were when we first hung out together? You made fun of me and we always fought and you called me all kinds of mean names. I'm pretty sure however you are with your sisters can't be any worse than that." He bumped her playfully, and she smiled back.

Misty led him inside, and the heavy smell of brine immediately hit her nose. She smiled, breathing the smell in deep. Her school had a tank as well, but it was nowhere near as large as theirs. The school didn't have several tanks in the back, either, and her filter's motor had a much deeper purr. There was the comforting sound of water slapping against the glass and the echo of their footsteps as they walked forward through the massive arena. She looked at Ash, biting her lip once again, but her nerves were gone almost instantly. Ash was awed by the place, as was Pikachu, craning their heads back to look at the diving board, spinning around to get a feel for how big it was. He smiled at her, and she felt a blush rise up in her cheeks.

"Misty, this is absolutely amazing. I can't believe you live here! This is almost as amazing as professor Oak's ranch." He grinned tauntingly. "I mean, Pallet is obviously a million times better, but if I had to choose a second place to grow up, I think I'd choose this. You're so lucky."

"Thanks. I know it." She winked at him.

There wasn't much time to enjoy the moment, as they were almost immediately ambushed by the three Sensational Sisters, Violet darting over the high heel shoes so quick Misty barely had time to shout a warning about wet surfaces before the girl had made it to Ash, catching his chin and tilting it up to gawk at him, giggling all the while. "You're the boy? Oh, you're just adorable! You're so cute! Misty didn't say you were cute. I never thought she could get anyone like you. Well, I never thought she'd go after a guy. You know, I always thought she was gay - not that there's anything wrong with that."

"Violet!" Misty snapped.

"Don't sound so grumpy. It's not an insult. I was the only one who thought it, anyway." She beamed as the other two sisters made it over, moving much more carefully over the slick surface. A few water pokémon peeked out from the tank to see the commotion. "Have you two seen him? This is the boy Misty brought home! And he's cute! Can you believe how cute he is? Look at him! Have you seen him?"

Daisy laughed, a perfectly manicured hand covering her mouth. "Yes, Vi, we saw him. He's very cute."

"Oh, I could just kiss him," she said, her eyes dancing as Misty began to flush with anger.

"Would you keep away from him?" Misty growled. "You're crowding him. Look, he's blushing. Leave him alone."

"Don't worry. I won't steal him." She winked. "I like you, though. I'd be happy to have you around. I bet a cute boy like you can act."

"Dammit, Violet, don't you dare. I don't need your help with my relationship. You're not playing matchmaker. You crawl back into your little romance hole." She crossed her arms. Her sisters all had the habit of matching her up with people. Plenty of boys had wandered through the gym, perfectly innocent to any kind of romance, hoping to challenge the gym, and the older girls had tugged out Misty and spent far too much time trying to get the two to flirt, and telling them how cute of a couple they would be together. Violet had always been the worst of the three. "He can't act, and there's no way he wants to be in a play."

He shrugged, stepping back. "I wouldn't mind, I guess. As long as I don't have to remember a lot of lines or anything, right?"

"Oh, no!" Lily stepped in now, beaming. "You won't have many lines. We can make it so you don't have to say anything at all. You just have to fake die! Will you do it? It'll be fun, we promise."

"It's a trap, Ash."

"What could they be trapping me in?" He snorted.

"Shake on it," Violet demanded. "You're really important even if you don't say anything."

"I promise I won't back out, okay?"

He shook, rolling his eyes at the whole thing. Unfortunately, when he went to pull away, he discovered that both of Violet's hands were tight on his. He had a moment to look confused before the girl was speaking, all in a rush, "Alright, but you have to make out with Misty! No taksies backsies!" then squealed with delight, leaping away from him and clapping her hands from a few feet away. Misty was fuming, her fists clenched at her sides, and Ash looked back and forth between the two, already baffled just a few minutes into his visit.

"Violet! What are you, five?" she said, exasperated. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Haha! You have to make out with your not-boyfriend!" she taunted, and stuck her tongue out.

"Kissing shouldn't be a punishment!"

"Wouldn't be a punishment for me," Violet agreed, her eyes running over the blushing boy again.


But the girl was gone, rushed away to somewhere in the back, most likely to play around with her script now that she had an actor in mind. Lily and Daisy, both still smiling, led Ash down to the couch he would be staying on. They'd taken the time to wrap the couch up in sheets, and put a stack of thin blankets on top, since they hadn't had any spare comforters. They apologized for the lack of extra pillows, but the decorative pillows were more than enough for him. He had spent more than one occasion with nothing more than a rolled up sweatshirt for a pillow, and he had been happy with that too. They seemed relieved.

Misty sat on the couch with him as they settled in, the television volume turned down low as her sisters had all gone to bed, though Daisy had been sure to take the time to explain to both of them that she better not wake up in the morning to find them sharing the couch, and that she better not wake up in the middle of the night thanks to any mysterious sounds. Both Ash and Misty had rolled their eyes with a blush, and not long after they had turned on a stupid made-for-TV movie and Misty had brought out a bowl of popcorn.

"I thought they'd be a lot worse," Ash said, tossing some more kernels into his mouth.

She shrugged. "They're annoying, sure, but they're not terrible. I probably built them up more than I needed too. I don't know, I guess it's just kind of a big thing. I don't take people home that often. And this is the first time that I…well, I don't know if it really counts, but it's the first time I ever brought a boy home. I've never had a lot of friends, and even fewer who were boys, and you already know that Gary was basically my only boyfriend. He never came home, and I was never close enough with the others to bring them home so…you're the first. Congrats, I guess."

"I am a boy, even if I'm not your boyfriend."

She swallowed. "Are you really going to do this now?"

"I'm not doing anything. I'm just enjoying the movie. It's your first night back." He leaned back calmly, shoving another mouthful of popcorn in his mouth. "Actually, that's a little bit of a lie. I have no idea what's going on in this movie. It's been really boring, so I've just been going over battle strategies in my head. Do you know what's going on?"

She looked at him for a minute, then smiled and leaned back against him - thigh to thigh, shoulder to shoulder. "Yeah, I know what's happening. I'll explain."

They started the play the next day. The first half of rehearsal was easy enough for Misty. She had the script memorized, so she got up early and strode onto the stage that was the currently covered tank, and delivered her lines merrily enough with the few other people they had called in. Ash was asleep downstairs, apparently able to snore through drama geeks and their fake gunshots, so she was able to pull off the part of a mobster's girlfriend perfectly. Ash was the mobster, but he really didn't have any other part but to die. He didn't have to say a single line, which was probably for the best considering they had no idea what his acting ability was.

Of course, around noon he finally tumbled out of bed, hair a wild mess and looking surprisingly good in his black t-shirt and jeans. Violet whistled as he came in, and he blinked sleepily, his gaze focused on their lunch break sandwiches. He beamed at Misty, who instantly blushed. "Can I have one?"

"Sure," she said, taking him by the hand and leading him away from the eager eyes of Violet's theater friends. "We've got all kinds of stuff, whatever you want. What kind of sandwich do you like?"

"Ham. What's up with you and shorts? Do you sleep in those shorts?" He tugged at the belt loop of them, and she slapped his hand away. "All you ever wear is jean shorts. Your sisters has loads of clothes. You can borrow some of theirs. I bet they have lots of shorts that aren't jean shorts if you only like shorts."

She rolled her eyes. "Are you always this chatty in the morning?"

"Did I manage to wake up early for it to be morning?" he asked, sounding excited. "I never do that."

"It's twelve."

"Not bad for a vacation day." She had handed him one of the premade sandwiches from the rather large stack, and he grabbed a couple more.

"How much do you eat?"

"Awot," he said around a mouthful of ham.

After the first sandwich, he looked much more awake, taking the time to finger comb his hair back into a proper position. By the second, she was unhappy to discover he was awake enough for Violet to discuss his role, and all too eager to sit in as they continued their rehearsal. Violet was quick to point of that Misty was stiff and nervous, and it took about an hour of having Ash there before she was able to relax and get back into character. Soon enough, Violet was focusing on everyone else, and Misty was going through the play without too much trouble.

After a few hours, most everyone went home, and Violet dragged Ash onstage. For awhile, Misty enjoyed seeing Ash on the other end of it. Her sister made him lay still for twenty minutes, ordering him to slow his breathing, making sure he didn't fall asleep, and stopping all the little twitches and movements that the body tended to do without the person noticing. Of course, once she was satisfied, Misty's fun was ruined when she was dragged onstage and ordered to deliver her lines. Ash sat up slightly, looking curious.

"Do I just keep playing dead?"

"Well, you're dying," Misty said shortly. "So, yes."

"She's going to kiss you. You're dying. Try to put a bit of passion behind it, could you?" Violet added.

Misty rolled her eyes, but as soon as Ash went back to playing dead, she gave him a quick peck on the lips, pulling away to start delivering her lines.

"No. Nuh-uh. I don't care what you guys are denying or whatever. This is a show. From what I heard you two managed to get together pretty hot. At the very least, you two are friends, right? Ash, kiss her like you'll never see her again. Misty, he's dying. Kiss Ash like he just got hit by a bullet, alright? I want to see passion. Do it again."

Ash sighed and pushed up so Misty could hold his head in her lap, then went appropriately dead-limp. Misty forced tears to her eyes by thinking of cute dead things, and whispered, "Please, please don't leave me. I know I haven't been there, I know you haven't been there, but we should get a second chance. We can make the second chance work but you have to be there for it. Don't leave me. Please."

Then she tried to do what Violet said, thinking of him dying. It was shockingly easy. The images came to her quickly. He's dead. He's falling over a cliff, getting shot at, bloody and beaten, turned to stone. You'll never kiss him again. She was surprised that tears sprung fresh to her eyes. So she kissed him for the last time, eyes closed and lips desperate on his, and he pressed back and flooded her with warmth. She'd gotten the feeling from Gary, but not to the tips of her toes, not warming her from the outside in and back out again. And after he said her goodbye to the dead Ash in her mind, she pulled away and continued her line.

That was all Violet was after.

It worked for several days. It worked for several times each of those several days as they ran through the play again and again. Misty was used to rehearsals, and where Violet and many of her friends found it tiring but fun and well worth it, Misty found it unbearably exhausting. She had been in several of Violet's plays, as she was not the best actress in the world but she was good enough that people were willing to pay to see her, and every single one of them made her practice so much she felt like tearing her head out by the time opening night finally came around.

This, however, was swiftly becoming unbearable. Misty tended not to think too much about her loved ones dying. She had seen death plenty before, had felt the impact of it from both the passing of her father and her mother. Part of it was because thinking about it was far too worrying, her sisters managed a water gym and spent plenty of their time with dangerous water pokémon who could send an errant wave of water or fin their way and leave them spinning, unconscious, floating to the bottom of the pool. Misty had been told often enough to be careful, that she dealt with plenty of dangers of her own with some of her more terrifying pokémon, and that her sisters would be absolutely devastated if she ever died.

But every day, several times a day, she forced the image of a dying Ash into her mind - so many of them so unbelievably vivid they felt like memories instead of ideas. Maybe it was that she grew up far too much around water, had seen far too many trainer's with the touch of blue around their lips as one of her sisters or a medical professional pumped life back into them. She'd felt a few ribs crack under her fingers as well, felt the sticky, icy horror of dying lips against her own. Putting Ash in the same place was effortless. And it was terrifying. It was painful.

She found Ash after one of the rehearsals, bringing him a plate of mashed potatoes with a piece of chicken along the side. Ash took it eagerly, digging into dinner and setting his textbooks aside. Misty watched him for a bit, her stomach growling to signal that she needed food, though she didn't feel hungry in the slightest. The thought of eating anything actually made her nauseous, and the smell of the food was almost more than she could bear.

He looked at her curiously. "So, what's wrong? You've been looking worse and worse the past couple of days."

"Ash, I don't think I can do this," she said quickly, ignoring how she could have easily taken offense at her looking worse than usual. Still, he was looking at her patiently, so she continued on: "I can't kiss you every day and pretend you're dying to get the right passion for Violet's stupid play. All I can think about is how next year I'll be in the gym and you'll be traveling and so many travelers die and…and…it'd be so easy for you to be one of them, Ash. So many of them just make one stupid mistake and they're gone, and you've made a lot more than one stupid mistake in the time I've known you, Ash."

He shrugged, tickling Pikachu under her chin. "I'll have Brock. He'll keep me from getting the crap beat out of me. Pikachu too."

"I want to be there," she whispered weakly. "Isn't that stupid? I want to travel with you."

He cocked his head to the side. "It might be giving up the League, you know. I mean, there's a chance that the job'll still be there when you come back. Lorelei's not exactly in a rush to retire and find a replacement, but someone else could come along, someone as good as you, and she's not going to push that person away just because you want a back-up plan."

"I know, and I'd be really happy, too." She pressed the heel of her hand to her head and groaned "I want to see the world, and I'd be really happy to do it with you and Brock. I've gotten really close to you. I can't…I can't think of anything I'd like more than traveling, but it's so stupid. I can't believe I'm even thinking of it."

He laughed, mixing his potatoes with the gravy pooling on the plate. "Okay, you can stop buttering me up. You can come. You know all you ever had to do was ask."

"Ash, I can't!" she snapped.

"Sure you can. Why not?"

"I have all my future stuff to think about," she said. "Going with you would mean that I'd have to give up all the stuff I'm supposed to do so I can be rich and famous and crap."

"Yeah, but I thought you said you wanted to travel more than you want that stuff."

"I do, but-"

"No buts." He shook his head. "Just be like me and follow what you know will make you happy."

She rolled her eyes. "Ash, that's so juvenile."

"Yes. It is." He blinked. "What's juvenile mean?"


He grinned. "Maybe, but it's not like I'm telling you to do something crazy. There's loads of professional trainers, and even if there weren't, you've still got a Gym in your family. If it all goes wrong, you can come back to this. Maybe you won't be rich and famous, but if you don't care about being rich and famous, what's it matter? We're all about following our dreams nowadays. We can choose our jobs, we can choose whether or not to have kids, we can choose who we have those kids with. It's not the same world it used to be, Mist."

"And who told you that?"

"My mother, after May Oak tried to propose to me. We'd been making out for a while, and out of nowhere she started trying to get me to marry her, telling me all the reasons it was the right thing to do, and how my mom could have a way better life. My mom took me aside and said that she was happy just the way she was, and I could make up my own mind. If I wanted money, I could work towards that. If I wanted to be famous, that was okay too. She said I needed to do what made me happy, and that all I had to keep in mind was that it's really hard to be happy when you don't have any money at all."

She rested her face in her hands. "I'll think about it, but it doesn't really help my problem about you dying, Ash."

"Maybe you could just think about me getting beat up real bad instead of dying. Can you handle that?"

She smiled. "I'll give it a shot."

She sighed, whipping off her wig and collapsing onto the couch next to him. Her entire body was soaked in sweat from the hot stage lamps. She ached from going through the same motions, over and over again, for the past couple days. She was sick of staring into the lights and seeing a black, moving blob that occasionally laughed, gasped, or shifted suddenly and greeted her with the thunder and flesh slapping together as they applauded. But the wig was off, now, and it was cool in the basement. It was far better than being upstairs, that was for sure. She groaned, rubbing her hands over her eyes that were still spotty, and muttered, "Mew, that was so stupid."

A weight fell next to her on the couch, and she couldn't help but smile. Ash had been on the stage far less than her, but he smelled of sweat too. At least she wasn't alone in that, and she doubted he would dare make fun of her when he had sweat so much too. She was right, because he ruffled her hair and said sweetly, "You did good, Mist."

"I did well," she corrected, knowing full well she made the mistake herself all the time and was being completely hypocritical. She opened her eyes to find him staring down at her, and she was happy she had decided to throw her legs over the arm of the couch so he had enough room to fit with her. "And, yeah, I did, but it was stupid. I hate getting up on the stage and having to be a dork in front of people. Especially when I have to play someone stupid. Or make out with someone I have to pretend is dead."

"You'd rather be a dork in front of your friends, huh?" he said, tweaking her nose.

"Stop." She slapped his hand away, then caught it, lacing her fingers through his and smiling as the color began to rise in his cheeks. "You know what I mean, Ketchum. I hate doing this. My sisters love the stage and the spotlight. They love singing and dancing for people. They love attention. But, then again, you'd know all about that, huh? I bet this was a big ball of fun for you, wasn't it?"

"I got to die." He laughed. "You don't get to dramatically die every day. If you're really lucky, I think you get to die dramatically once in your life. I mean, it's not too often anything really bad happens. No one gets to save the world once a year, right? If you get the chance to dramatically die and kiss a hot girl, you have to have fun with that."

"Kiss a hot girl," she said, rolling her eyes. "I guess. Glad you had fun even if I didn't."

"You looked…" His hand squeezed hers tightly. "You looked really pretty up there tonight. I meant that I got to kiss a hot girl. And I meant that you did well. And I meant that you looked really pretty."

"It's the dress." She tugged gently on the long, black garment that had made her so terribly hot. She absently realized that the ankle length dress was pooled around her thighs, but she supposed it wasn't any higher up than her shorts had been, so she didn't bother going through the awkward tugging and shifting to fix it. "Lily made the dress. She does amazing stuff. She said that she made it especially for me, she tailored it so it fit perfect. That's why it looks so good. You should see the rest of my sisters when they're all dolled up like this. They'd blow me out of the water."

"Maybe," he said, shrugging. "But I don't really like them. Not like I like you, I mean. I think your sisters are nice and all but…but that wasn't even what I meant when I said you were pretty. I was talking about really dramatic stuff. You looked pretty when you were acting. You're really, really good at it. It looked like you meant it."

She laughed. "I'm supposed to, stupid. That's the point of acting."

He looked at her, and the air was suddenly thick and tense. "Misty, I know this is kind of sudden, and I guess it's kind of coming out of nowhere, but we've been pretending to kiss for a while now. It's not even pretending to kiss. It's real kissing, and it really means something, but we act like it doesn't mean something, and then we have to act like it means something else and that's just really confusing. So, can we kiss for real? Because I'd really like to kiss you, if you're okay with that. I'd really like to kiss you for a long time."

She couldn't help it, staring up into his face and seeing him look so nervous and confused, giggles bubbled out of her mouth as she struggled to rein them in. After a few seconds of him looking even more confused, she laughed a bit and asked, "Do you want to get married? Kiss me for a long time. Are we just going to sit on this couch and make out until we die? Moltres, Ash, you idiot, what is that supposed to mean? Kiss for a long time. You really are an idiot. I can't believe you, Ash, I really can't."

He blushed. "So, is that a no?"

"Like I said, Ash, you really are an idiot."

Being far too tired to lean up, she grabbed him by his tie and tugged him down. It was a weird angle for him, she knew, because she had been kissing him in the same position - sitting down with her body all bent over so she could catch her lips with his. The angle was weird, though, because he hadn't bothered to turn his head so their heads were ninety degrees from each other. She was already starting to warm up when he pulled back, half laughing, and she laughed as well. He turned, though, laying next to her on the couch, and that kiss was much better.

The kissed for a long time.

Ash was woken up early in the morning by a rain of boxes on his head. He yelped, desperately shoving them off and him and looking around baffled. Pikachu was giggling at him from a few feet away, and the oldest Sensational Sister was glaring down at him, arms crossed. He stared at her, trying to think what he could have possibly done to make her angry, and wondered if she somehow knew that Misty had taken off her bra for him the night before. Daisy did seem to be fairly psychic about everything else, maybe she had magical psychic second base sensing powers.

He picked up one of the boxes, frowning curiously. "Condoms."

"They're for sex," Daisy explained calmly.

"I know." He picked up a few more boxes. "It's like someone burst open a pinata. There's so many kinds."

"Different sizes, mostly. You should figure that out. There's also a couple different materials, in case you have a latex allergy. Do me a quick favor and see which size fits best, won't you, Ash?"

He blushed, looking uncomfortably at the boxes. "But, uh, won't you know what, uh, si-"

"You don't have to tell me which size fits. Just figure it out." She handed him a pamphlet. "This is how you use one properly. Read it from beginning to end. No diseases, no babies, that's all I'm asking. You're both old enough that I can't really stop you from having sex, and it'd make me a hypocrite to even try."

He took a few boxes, and started making his way towards the bathroom, but she grabbed his arm. "Ash, be safe. Not just with sex, but, you know…with everything. Please."

"Of course." He smiled, just slightly awkwardly.

"Your sister threw condoms at me," Ash complained, striding into the main pool room.

Misty swam up to the edge with a grin, resting her arms on the edge and looking up at him from under the bangs that were stuck to her face with brine. She pushed it back, letting it stick to her cheeks instead of her forehead. "I told you she'd do something like that. I'm just relieved she didn't take us to the store to pick them out. She gave me a bunch of condoms to put in my nightstand too. She caught us kissing last night and didn't say anything. She said she didn't think we'd have sex on the couch when anyone could walk in."

"How much did she see?"

"Enough." She shrugged.

He held out his hand to hoist her out, and she let him, letting herself be easily tugged out of the water and onto the rubber siding, laughing at her feet touched the edge. She giggled, "Ooh, strong" but didn't get out much more than that, because he immediately pressed her to him, kissing her despite the fact that he was fully clothed and the water was soaking into his clothes. She smiled into the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck. He grinned after a few seconds, pulling away just enough so their mouths weren't touching.

"Sorry about that, you're just all wet and in a bathing suit and…well, I just really wanted to kiss you." He cocked his head to the side like a confused growlithe. "Is that okay? I've never done this kind of stuff before. Can I just…kiss you whenever now?"

"I don't mind." She kissed his nose with a smile. "Besides, I sort of think we're dating now. If we're dating, I think it might be pretty convenient to have a rule that says we can kiss each other whenever unless the other person says no. I'm pretty sure most couples have that rule, the kissing whenever rule."

"And I guess we're a couple now," he said thoughtfully, frowning slightly. "Hey, Mist, what you said about traveling before…did you mean it? You really want to come travelling with me when we graduate? I mean, there's nothing left in school. It's a couple weeks of finals and then…then we're done, Mist. Travelling would literally be just a couple weeks away. Are you ready for that?"

She nodded seriously, then led him over to the bleachers, tugging him down next to her. "Of course I did. I wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it. I'd love traveling with you and Brock. And, if anything, I should be asking you that. I'm the one who overthinks and overanalyzes an over everything. I've thought this through backwords and forwards, Ash, and this is really what I want to do. I want to travel, and I know that means there's a big chance that the league job won't be here when I come back, but I don't mind. I'm not even sure if working for the League is something I'll ever enjoy."

"I know all that. But we're a couple now, Mist. I don't want any of this to mess up for either of us." He grabbed her hand and squeezed. "I mean, if this really doesn't work out - I think it will but, you know, if it doesn't - do you think we could still manage to travel together without wanting to rip each other's throats out? This is going to be at least two or three years of both our lives, and the last thing I want is for either of us to be miserable. I want you there, and I think we'll be okay, but if you-"

She laughed, cutting him off. "Calm down, Ash. You're starting to ramble now. I think we'll be fine. I don't want to suck your face off all the time, and we've been fighting since day one. We know how to apologize. And Brock being around will ensure that we…we don't need condoms." She cleared her throat awkwardly, both of them blushing lightly. "And, if we break up, I don't think it'll be that big of a problem. You know, unless one of us did something really bad to the other. But if we can't, I'll go on my own. I don't mind, and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find myself a friend. If I can't, I still have my gym to come home to."

"I hope that doesn't happen. I think that Brock n' me will have more fun when you're there," he said.

"Well, I love hanging out with you two." She bumped him playfully. "And, as much as I like being alone with you, I think I'll have even more fun with Brock there. I can only take so much of you before I go completely insane."

"You'll come up with me then, right?"

"You know, Ketchum, I'm getting pretty sick of repeating myself.

But she said it with a raise eyebrow and a smile playing around her lips, and he was too happy to be witty. Instead, he laughed and covered her lips with his, tugging her close until she was in his lap, legs wrapped around his waist and the uncomfortable feeling of salt water seeping into his clothes barely present as her fingers went under his shirt, scratching at the lean muscles along his back. He gave her one, deep, forceful kiss, before pulling back, resting his forehead against hers and wishing they had started the conversation somewhere more private. She was smiling at him, breathing hard, and he allowed himself to feel a little bit of pride that he had managed to get her so breathless from a little bit of kissing, not realizing she was thinking nearly the same thing about him.

Her hands cupped his face teasingly, and she gave him a wicked smile. "'Sides, I have to keep an eye on you anyway. You still owe me a bike."

So, let's cover the bases real quick: No epilogue, no sequels, nothing pertaining to this universe. Yes, I also agree that I'm whatever names you want to call me. Of course, this story was horrible, I'll kill myself right away. No, I will not write you a sex scene.

I always love constructive criticism. I know this ending won't be what everyone wanted. If there's something you wanted and this didn't have, tell me! I can't improve if I don't know what's missing. I have no life, so I'm very eager to respond to messages - the longer the better! I'm a very lonely, sad person.

All that being said, I genuinely hope you enjoyed this. Thank you for reading and reviewing, as always. I would never have finished this if it wasn't for readers telling me how much they enjoyed it. Hey, this story never would have come to be if I didn't get so many requests! So, thank you very much. I appreciate every last one of you.


Bittersweet Romanticide