Disclaimers: I do NOT own Pokémon! This is just fanmade.

WARNING: This will be an Egoshipping (GaryxMisty) story. If you don't like this pairing I suggest you stop reading right now.


Chapter one: All alone

"Winters at headquarters are the worst," the young woman sighed as a shiver ran down her spine. She hugged her blue jacket closer to her body and snuggled her nose into her scarf. Her hands trembled when she tried to light her cigarette. A bad habit, she knew. But she was bored. Bored and cold. She could use it to warm her up a little.

She frowned when she heard footsteps behind her. The snow cracked under the man's heavy step and the auburn-haired woman relaxed a bit. No one could get up this high on the rocks without her noticing. It was just a grunt.

Concentrating on her cigarette again she kept on frowning. The wind was too strong. No way she was going to have a smoke tonight apparently.

The man stood directly next to her now and offered her a little box. "Having troubles?" he asked.

She watched him suspiciously out of the corner of her eye. He looked strong, yet a bit dull. His eyes had been on her for a few days snow. At first she had been amused. Another one to turn down. Another one to lose a bet. Now she was annoyed by his presence. No one should come this close to her.

"Thanks," she managed to mutter as she took a match out of the box and finally lit up her cigarette. The man kept standing next to her and she noticed he was only a few years younger. His face still had the rounder features she'd lost. She had to suppress a sight when she inhaled. Warmth. That was all she need now. As an admin she had loads of freedom. Yet, she still had to do these humiliating and annoying tasks as guardian HQ.

Looking at her watch the man spoke again. "You are an admin, right? Admin Emerald."

He looked at her expectantly, flirty and yet scared. She smirked at him, glad she was wearing her heels. Being taller and being able to intimidate others was something she loved.

"You are clearly still a grunt," she commented as she exhaled. "What's your deal? It's not as if you don't know my name. I saw you watching me the other day."

The youngest of the two squeezed his eyes shut for a second. "So you saw."
"You don't want to know what I know about you and your friends, Clint," she answered him as she put her cigarette in her mouth again. "What are you here for. Just ask what you want to ask and then leave."

"I was just wondering," he began as he darted around her, trying to intimidate her. One stern look of her made him stop immediately though, his pride hurt because of this woman. "You are quite young to be an admin. So tell me," he almost purred at her. "What's your secret? Slept with the boss?"

A laugh came out of emerald eyed woman and she snorted at him. "If you are looking for a good lay, I suggest the women's room at the second floor, room 206," she answered. "And if you want to become an admin, I suggest you start training your Pokémon and your skills."

"I might just follow your orders for once," Clint said before walking off again.

A sigh escaped the young woman's lips and she shook her head. These grunts always thought they had a chance. Yet none of them had been so cocky before. But in the end she had managed to scare him off a little. They were all losers. Not more than a bunch of tools.

She shifted her weight as she threw her cigarette into the ocean beneath her imagined the warmth of the building behind her. The feeling of a soft pillow against her head. She could use a bit of sleep after today's events.

In the morning they'd gone to Lilycove City, where one of the new grunts just had to fall off the boat and almost drown himself. She was a trained water Pokémon trainer, and being in the water was her second nature. How that dumb blonde had made it into Team Aqua, she had no idea. In the end she saved the fella and locked him in one of the cabins while she studied blueprints of a new submarine they were about to steal.

When they succeeded, they almost got caught at Mossdeep City. They were quite lucky to get to HQ on route 130. Her Pokémon were the best of the whole organization. If her Swampert and Dewgong hadn't been there, they would be in prison by now.

After her rounds were finished she rushed back inside, appreciating the warmth that greeted her. The grunt that sat at the front desk nodded at her but she just ignored the older woman. There was no need to be nice to people. Everyone could be your enemy in here.

Her heels clacked on the steel floor as she approached the elevator and waited for it to arrive. When she got in there were two grunts arguing but when they noticed her they nodded and stayed quiet immediately. Although she appreciated the quiet sometimes, she wished there was someone who dared to defy her. If only it was to have a little fun.

As soon as she left the elevator and turned the corner towards her quarters the two started bickering again. She pressed some buttons on her alarm system and fell down on her bed when the doors closed behind her. The covers felt so soft and warm she just wanted to lie there forever.

After half a minute she stood up again though and went to the bathroom to get her pajamas. A little smile crept on her face when she took the Togepi shirt in her hands. There was no need to be nice to others. But when she was alone in her room, she started to appreciate the little things a bit more. She could let her guard down and enjoy the luxury, or on this occasion, the cute shirt she had.

Her auburn hair spilled over her pillow as soon as she laid down and fell asleep, dreaming about swimming with her water Pokémon. But her dreams would almost always turn into nightmares. Just like they did this night.

A knock on the door made her get out of her bed, and when she opened it he was standing in front of her. The raven-haired boy hadn't changed at all. "It's six in the morning," he shouted at her enthusiastically. "We have to go to Evergrand City! If I manage to beat Steven, I will be the Pokémon Master!"

His smile tugged at her heart. She didn't want to say no to him. But there was no other option. She did not belong with him anymore. He knew that. "May and Brock will go with you, you know I can't come…"

He stopped her words as his eyes turned dark and he said "You're right. You can't come. Because I don't need you. You are all alone. And so you will stay."

With a gasp the woman woke up, sweat dripping down her face. It had been a while since her dreams had seemed so real. Most of the time it were her old memories that woke her but not this time.

"Something bad is going to happen", she whispered to herself as she turned around and watched the full moon through her bedroom window. Her eyes closed again and remembered his words. All alone.

When she woke up the next morning she took an aspirin to get rid of the migraine that had forced its way into her head last night. In her bathroom she opened one of the yellow cabinets and started to brush her teeth. She needed the taste of mint to wake her up every morning.

A few minutes later she entered the shower, still rubbing her eyes as a content sigh escaped her lips. The warm water was so soothing. She smiled a little when she remembered the old days. When she first arrived she was nothing but a mere grunt. And that meant taking a cold shower in a common bathroom. She hadn't been fond of that at all.

Her companions Shelly and Matt were waiting for her in the cafeteria so she didn't blow her hair dry but quickly dried it with a towel, brushing it afterwards.

In all these years she'd been with Team Aqua, there never was a real friend. Not someone to trust her life with. Shelly and Matt had been members since they were little and yet, they were not as good as her. She knew they envied them but they acted as friends towards each other. It was to keep their mind sane. And maybe, if they weren't killing machines by heart, they would be friends.

But there was no time for such thoughts. With one last glance in the mirror the admin took her belt with pokéballs and made sure her gun was loaded. She wasn't an excellent shooter but she knew how to handle the weapon. If anyone tried to creep up on her, that person would be pinned to the ground with a gun against his or her chin in a second. She hadn't shot someone before but she would not hesitate to use it in nasty situations. When she'd gotten an offer to work with the special unit, she denied. There was no purpose in shooting other people. Archie didn't like it one bit but when she defeated him with her Pokémon he told her she could stay and train the grunts. Only if she went on missions from time to time.

She locked the door and walked towards the elevators again, this time no one in sight. The two grunts from yesterday were probably still in bed or guarding HQ. When she got out again, she plastered her stern look on her face. Everyone she encountered nodded or bowed at her and she did not even glance at them. She just made her way to the cafeteria, holding her head up high.

When she entered Clint was seated close to the doors and she looked down on him and smirked as she saw one of the women of room 206 next to him. He smirked back and she just glared at him, making both him and the woman avert their eyes.

Her hot temper was one of the few things she hadn't lost over the years. She never said no to a fight, verbal of physical. But she had been weaker than she was now. When she first became a member of Team Aqua she was an emotional mess. They had laughed at her. She, a gym leader, one of the good ones, the best friend of the Pokémon master. She was there to take them down. For weeks she was locked up in a room. They waited for someone to come and save her. Nobody came in the end. Nobody knew she was gone.

Archie was the first to let her out of the cell, the others eying her suspiciously. He took her with him and told her she could join but she could never leave HQ. No matter what. When he tried to take her Pokémon she begged him to let them stay and in the end he did. He said he'd help her. Take her memories from her. There was nothing she wanted more.

And so it happened that she, and all the others were moved towards the training fields. One by one they passed a Crobat or Alakazam. Everyone needed to forget that Misty existed. They couldn't know that the grunt was a former Gym leader. And so they all forgot. All but Archie. When it was Misty's turn she asked to keep the memories of her childhood intact. She had a mother and father she'd loved. Archie agreed once again but in the end, her memories didn't fade. She still had the bad memories stuck in her head. Only the good ones were sometimes too far away to remember.

She was 13 back then and as she got older, she found her place within the organization. Over the next five years she'd become a young woman. Her hair was shoulder length and instead of carrot orange like it used to be when she was younger, it was now auburn. The pricks that picked on her when she was younger almost crawled down at her feet at that time. Not only because of her looks but because she'd made it to an admin.

Now, at the age of 22 she was Archie's right hand, just like Shelly and Matt. Matt was Archie's cousin, and the next one in line to become the leader of the organization. That was the only reason Shelly loved him. Because he had power.

"Emerald! Over here!" she heard someone yell and when she turned her head she saw Shelly waving at her. This woman would make her headache even worse.

"Good morning, Emerald" she chirped, her red curls bouncing on her back.

When around other people Matt, Shelly and Misty always used each other's code names. It was much safer that way. Only they and Archie knew their real names. But no one knew she was Misty Waterflower, the Waterpokémon trainer. She was just Misty, an orphan from Slateport in their eyes.

"Matt is getting us some food," Shelly said as she was powdering her nose a bit. Misty just nodded and sat down. Every morning Matt would get their food and Shelly would be powdering her nose. Nothing interesting about that.

Shelly kept giving details about the night before. How Matt had almost ripped her clothes from her body when she entered their bedroom. Misty just slouched in her chair a bit and let her eyes wander around the room, not interested in Shelly's story at all.

From the moment she walked in someone had been watching her, she was sure of that. And it wasn't Clint. He was too busy kissing the bimbo. No. There was someone else.

Her eyes kept looking around the cafeteria until they locked with a pair of sapphire orbs. She gulped for a second as she was captured by them. A few feet farther sat a grunt, holding the newspaper. His eyes, looking straight at hers. She knew those eyes. She was sure of it. They were challenging her.

The young man lowered his newspaper a bit and turned the page, acting as if nothing had happened. Yet, when he kept on reading he smirked. He smirked at her. She was sure of it.

"Who is he?" Misty elbowed Shelly who was now taking a sandwich from Matt. Her siam eyes followed Misty's and she started giggling immediately.

"Oh he", Shelly whispered, still watching the brunette. "He's some new meat. Just entered three weeks ago. I'm surprised you haven't noticed him before. He has been watching you for quite a while now."

"He has?!" Misty shouted at her red-haired friend. "But…"

"I guess your killer reflexes betrayed you," Matt laughed and Misty just growled at him, nibbling on a piece of toast.

Yet, she could not find herself to NOT watch the guy so she watched him out of the corner of her eyes while still in conversation with the two other admins. She would not be caught by him.

It was then that she saw him smirk even harder and she could not stop herself from turning her head towards him. She wanted to say something. She wanted to shout at him, to pin him down and wipe that smirk of his face. That was what she would do.

Then, he locked eyes with her and winked at her. He winked at her. Misty felt her right eye twitch and she looked at her plate again, her cheeks flushed.

A loud laugh came from his direction and Shelly looked from him to her. "Well, well Emerald. I see you've taken a liking to the stranger," she nudged her friend.
"I have not," Misty replied, standing up. "How dare he think of me as any other woman that he can woo. I will not stand for this," she answered. "Let's start training now. And put him in my group. I will make him suffer."

Later that day:

"Alright everyone listen up!" Misty shouted as she looked at the ten new recruits in front of her. This was her job. Training grunts and their Pokémon. This was what she loved. To train Pokémon. Especially the water Pokémon.

A few of the grunts gulped at her stern tone, all but one. Well, that problem would be solved quickly enough. None of them were good material. Yet. All the grunts trained by Misty were the best. Some of them had made it to executives, which was only one class below the admins.

"You shall all address me as admin Emerald, am I clear?" she shouted again, tapping her fingers on her arm.

"Yes admin!" they shouted in unison, their hands next to their heads.

"Good. As you can see you've been divided into three groups. You will be group number one and I will be your trainer. If you ever might cross any of the other admins you will address the woman as Siam and the man as Jet," she continued. Still eying the brunette out of the corner of her eyes. Something was off about him. She knew it.

"Yes admin!" the ten grunts answered her again.

"Now, order out all your Pokémon!"

After a moment all of the Pokémon were standing in front of her. Some as scared as their trainers. Misty couldn't help but smirk. There wasn't much to the Pokémon to be honest. There was one person with a Ludicolo and a young girl owned a strong Pelipper. She could work with them for now. The others would need more training, especially the little dancing Totodile.

When Misty came at the back of the row a huge Blastoise greeted her. For a second she blinked and watched him, not believing her eyes. It had been long since she'd seen an adult Blastoise and she'd forgotten how big they could get. She put out her hand and told the Pokémon to put out his paw. She murmured something after touching his skin and went to inspect his shell. The Pokémon was not disturbed by this at all, as if he was used to it.

"Like what you see?" the brunette asked her. She frowned at his sapphire eyes and felt strange inside. He knew something she didn't. She was sure of it. And that smirk that she wanted to go… It was so… Familiar.

"I am impressed," she admitted. "But a Pokémon says nothing about the qualities of the trainer," she smirked back. "Tell me your name."
The grunt did something she never expected him to do. He leaned down towards her face, staring intently at her eyes. Misty scolded herself. This man could not be intimidated easily it seemed.

"I'm afraid I can't tell you," he whispered while putting some strands of hair behind her ear. "I'd have to kill you if I did. And that, would be such a shame," he sighed as he took her cheek in her hand.
The others grunts gasped, some of them hiding themselves behind their Pokémon. Yet, Misty just stood there and let the grunt continue. He was challenging her. And she rather liked it.

"And how, would you kill me?" she answered seductively.

"There are a lot of ways to kill someone," he answered. "But I'd let you choose. After all, someone as gorgeous as you should…"
Before Misty could pull out her own trick, the grunt lay down on the ground, floored by his own Blastoise who was shaking his head and grumbled something at his trainer.
"What did you do that for?!" the grunt shouted at his Pokémon. "You know that I..."

Another growl from the Blastoise made the trainer stop and he stood up again, shushing himself in defeat.

"You are lucky my Pokémon here doesn't let me kill you," he said to Misty. "Else you would've…"

"First lesson!" Misty shouted. Her gun was now touching the grunt's chin and he looked down at her with a scared look in his eyes. Finally. "Never play with your target. Always go straight for the kill."

She almost pulled the trigger, making the Blastoise walk a step forward but she smirked at his trainer and put her gun away. "Lesson number two. Never kill an ally. Now all back in line!"

The grunt kept watching her suspiciously and Misty couldn't help but laugh. "As I said. The Pokémon says nothing about the qualities of a trainer. He's definitely smarter than you are."

Before walking away, she patted the Blastoise on his arm. "And I think, I do like you big boy."

A few weeks earlier somewhere in Kanto:

"Mew, please help me!" Gary Oak shouted to the sky. He held his arms wide open, waiting for a sign. Of course the Pokémon didn't come. Not that he had expected him to anyway.

He was standing in the middle of his grandfather's garden, in a pond, surrounded by about 10 Starmies and Staryus and an Umbreon sitting on the edge, looking at his master as if he'd gone crazy. The Pokémon however was not far from being right. His trainer didn't need any mental help but he did need some help. The help of someone who knew more about water Pokémon than he did. For months he had tried to determine the gender of a Starmie and a Staryu. He had tried to determine how they reproduced.

"Hey Gary, how are things going?" he heard his grandfather ask, holding a cup of coffee in his hand. The man had just woken up after two days working straight. He'd probably continue as soon his cup was empty.

"They're going bad gramps. I think I need some help. But the problem is I don't know anyone who knows more about water Pokémon than you and I, not even a-"

Gary stopped in the middle of his sentence and his eyes lit up. He did know someone who had spent all her life around water Pokémon. Someone who even owned a Starmie. Someone who could help him.

"Everything all right?" the older professor asked the younger one with a raised eyebrow.

"Couldn't be better!" Gary shouted before running back to the house to make a phone call. He couldn't believe that he hadn't thought of her earlier. The only problem was that he'd been gone for years. He had no idea if she was even still leading the gym. But there was someone who did. An old rival. His best friend.

Although he had rolled up his pants until it reached his knees, water was still dripping down on the floor once he got into the kitchen and he cursed himself for having to clean afterwards. The only thing he wanted to do right now was to get in his car and drive to Cerulean as fast as he could.

"Ash Ketchum speaking!" he suddenly heard in his right ear and Gary smirked.

"Hey there Ashy-boy. How's everything going?"

"Gary! It's been too long! I'm really sorry, guess I've lost track of time but I'm currently in Castelia City and it's so big here. You should see it!"

Gary rolled his eyes and sighed. "I have Ash, I have. And I know you. You always get caught up when you're traveling. Don't worry about it. I'm exactly the same when I'm doing research. That's the reason I was calling you actually. Is Red still living at the gym in Cerulean City?"

"Red?" Ash asked. "You mean Misty? Of course she is! I haven't gotten a letter or a call from her to tell me she quit, so. Why? Having some trouble?"

"Me?" Gary frowned. "Never. I could just use her opinion on something since she's a water Pokémon trainer."

A few minutes later the brunette laid down the phone and started to look for something to clean the floor. Eventually he just took a towel and decided to throw it in the washing bin when he got upstairs to put some other clothes on. He could imagine the sensational sisters giving him weird looks if he arrived in his old pants and a ripped shirt. He had a reputation to maintain after all.

His days as a don Juan were long past. Over the years he had matured and learned to respect the feelings of others but sometimes he just couldn't resist it when some drunk bimbo came up to him and started flirting. He loved all of the attention. He was Gary Oak after all.

When you asked his male fans to say something about him they would all say he was one of the best researchers in the world. Women would say he was handsome and charming. However, there were also people who didn't like him at all. They would say he was cocky, spoiled and desperate for attention. All of these people were right about him. But only few knew his positive traits.

Once he got into his room he opened his closet and took a black and blue sweater and a pair of grey jeans out of it. He dumped his old shirt on the floor and took a look at himself in the mirror before pulling the sweater over his head. His old yin and yang necklace hang in place, right on his chest. It was a gift his mother had left him before she died. His sister had the exact same one but in different colors.

He quickly put on his clothes, realizing it was already past 4 pm and he hoped the gym would be open until 6. He had no intentions of staying home now. He would go and see Misty and ask her all she knew about Starmies. If she couldn't help him then at least he had tried. But he was certain she knew. He had seen her love for water Pokémon back when they were both still travelling.

When he was back downstairs his Umbreon was already waiting for him and he wrote a quick note to his grandfather so that he knew where he was going. After he pasted it on the fridge he ran outside and got into his red convertible. Umbreon sat down next to him on the passenger seat and he turned on the radio with his nose. It was as if the Pokémon shared his good mood. Gary was actually quite excited.

"Gary, Gary," he muttered to himself. "Being excited about seeing Misty Waterflower, the eternal tomboy," he laughed. "What has happened to the world?"
His Umbreon laid himself down and nudged his trainer to tell him more.
"Don't you recall Misty?" Gary asked. "Man she was feisty to say the least. That hot temper of us must've made Ash scared quite a lot. She was actually quite funny back in the day. She was even better at bickering with Ashy-boy than I was."
The Pokémon responded and Gary raised one of his eyebrows at him. "What do you mean? You should remember Red. You know, the girl with her Togepi."
Umbreon seemed to think for a while and then let out a loud cry, letting his trainer know that he now remembered the girl.
"I wonder if she has changed," the young professor said out loud before getting on the highway to Cerulean City.

Half an hour later Gary entered the Cerulean Gym, his Umbreon now in his Pokéball. There was a show going on at the moment and he walked over to the receptionist. She was an older woman an eyed Gary for a second before turning back to the computer screen. There was a small frown on her forehead and she let out a frustrated sigh when she had to look up because Gary was now right in front of her.

"Can I help you, professor Oak?" she asked. Her voice didn't sound really friendly but it was clear that the woman tried not to let her frustration get the best of her.

"I was looking for the gym leader. Is she currently performing in the show?"

He smiled at her and he tried to hide his impatience. It was not this woman's fault that he hadn't thought of talking to Misty before.

"All three sensational sisters are currently performing, yes. It should be over in ten minutes. You can wait here if you'd like."

The woman looked back to her screen but Gary coughed to get her attention again. "I was talking about miss Misty Waterflower. Not Violet, Lily and Daisy."

The woman in front of him froze. "Professor," she said, the sound of her voice suddenly changing. "Hasn't anyone informed you that miss Waterflower has left this house nine years ago?"

Gary burst out in laughter. This woman was clearly trying to make him leave so she could continue with her work. If Misty really had been missing Ash would've known. They were best friends for Mew's sake!

"I don't know why you are laughing professor but I'd like to continue with my work. You are only distracting me and I have to finish this before tonight." The old woman stood up and her hands leaned on the desk. She was gazing at him with two cold, grey eyes and her frustration did seem to get the best of her this time.

"I'm really sorry," he said. "But I just called Ash Ketchum, the Pokémon master, and he told me that his best friend, Misty Waterflower, was still here."

"Mister Ketchum hasn't been here for over ten years," the old woman said. "Not since he left for Hoenn. He never called either."

Gary raised an eyebrow. He knew Ash lost track of time sometimes but he wasn't a man who would ignore his best friend for ten years. He would've known if she had really left home.
Right at that moment Violet entered the entrance hall and smiled when she saw Gary.

"Professor, how nice of you to visit! Did you like come to see the show?" she asked before walking over to him to give him a kiss on his cheek.

All the women in Kanto knew him. How could they not? If it wasn't because of his fortune and fame it was because of his looks. Every woman would like to kiss him after all. Even if it was just one the cheek.

"My dearest Violet, I would've loved to see the show but I was actually looking for Misty."

"Misty?" she asked. "She left home when she was thirteen. Didn't you know? We're actually better off without her. The only thing she did was researching for days. She's such a boring person! Not that you're not cool, professor!" she giggled.

The receptionist let out another irritated sigh but managed to keep her cool. "Professor," she began. "I'd love to offer you a cup of coffee. Why don't you let miss Waterflower go back to her sisters so they can properly change before talking to you."

Later that night:

Gary drove back home with a strange feeling in his stomach. The sisters had told him about Misty leaving home. None of them ever thought it was important. After all she had been traveling since she was ten years old. She could take care of herself. Ash had called a few times apparently but the sisters informed him she was traveling. As they suspected she was doing.

The young professor had asked if she had left anything and they said she had only taken her Pokémon with her and a few clothes. One day they woke up and their little sister was gone. They suspected she wouldn't come back so they transformed her room to a sauna for them to relax him.

"Do you still have her stuff?" Gary asked.

"We gave like most of it away to charity," Daisy shrugged. "About a few years ago we just like needed room in the attic for all our old clothes so we removed her stuff."

"We still have her work though, if you want it," Violet offered and Gary accepted it. A few minutes later he was carrying a big box full of books down the attic and kissing goodbye to the sisters. When he left the receptionist eyed him again and he could see that she was actually glad he was leaving.

However, he didn't really care. Misty was probably traveling the world and trying to figure out everything about water Pokémon. The hot tempered tomboy was having the time of her life while he was still trying to figure something out she had probably discovered years ago.

When he got home he took the heavy box in his arms and took it to his desk in the lab. When he opened it he immediately realized that there was a lot of reading material and he probably had to spend two days reading everything. But it was worth it. Even if there were things he already knew he could see her opinion and compare it with his own.

"The only thing I do find strange," Gary said to his Umbreon who was happy to be out of his pokéball again. "Is that Ash never called his best friend, but always just called to the gym. And why did Misty leave all her research? It' must've taken years to gather all of this."

Five hours later, Gary took another book out of the box and put his glasses back on his nose. In one of her notes he had found some interesting subject about the horn of a Seel and in another one he had learned more about the evolution of an Eevee into a Vaporeon. Misty sure was a talented researcher. He just wished he could contact her now. This was work from when she was 13 years old. Mew knew how much she had learned by now.

He began reading in the book, scanning over the words to see if he found the name of a Pokémon. He would read everything if he had more time but right now he just had to have the main topics about Pokémon. He would deal with the rest of her research later. It was then that he suddenly saw the name Togepi and he decided to read the page from top to bottom.

He's been gone for over a year now. He never calls. He left. Brock left. They all left. The only person I sometimes talk to is Tracey but he's heading to Unova to study at Mode Street in Castelia City. He's planning on becoming a real artist.

I miss them, my friends. I miss travelling. I miss my little Togepi. She left me too. They don't care about me. They're all living their own lives. Even here at home my own sisters don't care about me. I thought that they would've changed. That they would've seen a change in me. But I'm still the little runt. Because in this home there are only three Sensational sisters and one little runt. At least that's what Daisy always says.

I don't think I can keep this up for much longer. I feel so alone. I'm planning on leaving. Leaving this life. Not just travelling. But letting the old Misty die. Who would miss me anyway? But I'll have to make sure I have a plan so no one ever finds me again. I'll have to leave the region. Maybe I can go to Hoenn. Mom was born there, somewhere in Slateport. Maybe I can start a new life there. A happy life.

I'll write you soon. And if I don't, I'm already gone.

The young professor closed the book and took a better look at the cover. 'Misty Waterflower's diary' it said. Realization dawned upon him. Misty wasn't traveling. She wasn't traveling at all. She had been depressed when writing this. She had been all alone. There was a chance she still felt lonely right now. There even was a chance she had died long ago. Maybe she had died in a forest, attacked by a wild Pokémon without any of her friends to protect her. Maybe she had suffered, all alone. Lying somewhere and not letting anyone see the pain. Just like his mother had done when she died. She had been lying in the hospital, telling her father to keep her children at home. She didn't want to make them see her pain. She died, all alone.

Something tugged at Gary's heart. Part of him felt he wanted to help the girl. He wanted to know if she was alright. He'd never liked her, but he had never disliked her either. He wanted to make sure she was living that happy life in Slateport. But why?
"It's just for my research, okay?" he said to his Umbreon, who was not convinced by his excuse at all. The Pokémon snorted at him and turned his head.
"I am NOT doing this because I'm worried. She is NOT my friend," Gary answered, not sure if what he'd said was true.

A few weeks later at Slateport

Gary was standing on Slateport Beach, the sand warm beneath his feet. He had brought his Kingler with him to make sure if Misty's research was right. Although she never discovered anything about Starmies, she had written down some interesting facts about Krabby's and Kinglers. Doing research was just one of the things he had to do in order to distract himself. He had been looking for Misty for days but no one seemed to recognize her. Of course he only had an old picture he'd found in her diary but she couldn't have changed that much over the years.

"Maybe I should've called Ash," he murmured to his Umbreon next to him. "But he's too busy being a Pokémon Master. Besides, he'd be worried sick. Hell, even I'm worried sick and she's not even my friend. What kind of fool would go to another region to find his best friend's old friend?"

His Umbreon looked up at him, cried once and waited for response. He and his trainer would often have important conversations when he was doubting himself or his actions.

"You think it would've been wrong if I didn't come, don't you?" he asked.

Another cry.

"But I don't even know her! Who would do that? I'm not that kind of person. I'm not the hero! Ashy-boy always was. Remember that one time at the Radio Tower? Or when he befriended a Latias and saved a whole city?"

The Pokémon sighed and turned his head, growling something. Kingler just stood there, watching them.

"Why am I a fool?" Gary asked, letting his arms fall down to his side. Ever since his Umbreon was just a little Eevee they had become best friends. But, like trainer, like Pokémon. They were both very stubborn.

The Pokémon turned its head and looked up at him. If he could raise an eyebrow he would've probably done that as well. He didn't like his trainer thick, black hair. He was wearing a wig to make sure no one recognized him but it was just a ridiculous idea. The sunglasses were stupid as well. Almost no one here in Hoenn knew him except for a few researchers and such. Besides, they all thought he was still in Kanto. The only one he had told was his grandfather but even he didn't know why Gary was on a trip.

"Fine then," Gary said, crossing his arms. "Why don't you tell me after I finish. I hope you'll have a good explanation by then."

Half an hour later it was almost 7 pm. Everyone had gone home or to the café for a drink. Gary however was standing on the shore, wearing his glasses and holding a paper in his right hand. With his left hand he was ordering and showing his Pokémon what to do and the pen behind his ear almost fell onto the sand when he shook his head.

"It's not like that Kingler, you have to-"

He stopped in his words when he heard someone running towards him and when he turned around a pair of siam eyes greeted him. The woman wore a dark blue sweater and black shorts, her dark red, curly hair moving with the wind. Her cheeks were a bit flushed and Gary wasn't really sure if it was because of her running.

"Can I help you?" he asked, his famous smirk plastered on his face. Now that the woman was closer he could clearly see that she was a few years older than him. She seemed to be in her late twenties but Gary didn't mind. This was probably the first woman that had the nerve to walk up to him in the four days he had been staying here. Maybe women really fell for his untamed mane, and not for the thick black hair he had now.

"Actually you can," she giggled. "I've been looking at you for the past hour or so. Do you want to have a drink? You seem so lonely here by yourself..."

Ah. The flushed cheeks were clearly because of the alcohol, he could smell it in the air when she had spoken. Gary didn't mind anyway. Who would say no to free a drink offered by a woman? Besides, he could use some distraction. He really had been standing here for an hour and he still hadn't written down anything. Maybe this woman even knew something more about Misty.

"Sure," he smiled, charming her. "I'll just get my things and we'll go. Could you wait just a-"

"Siam!" another woman screamed and when he looked up an auburn haired woman with a blue summer dress was walking in their direction. She had goose bumps all over her skin due to the wind and a frown was plastered on her face. Her right index finger was pointing at the woman in front of him. "You, come with me. You've had enough to drink for today. You need your bed."

"But Emerald," she whined. "It's just 7 pm and this handsome young man," her hands found their way to Gary's arm, "wanted to have a drink with me."

Gary could feel the affectionate grip the woman held on him and he tried to rub her off gently when he saw the murderous look of the younger woman. She was about his age he figured but she surely acted as if she was the other one's mom.

Emerald sighed. "You," she shouted at him. "Leave her alone. She already has a boyfriend. Remember Siam? Remember Jet?"

The woman giggled and nodded. "Oh, yes! Of course! But he's not here. We could always..." Her hands found their way to Gary's cheeks and she pinched them a few times. "So adorable..."

"If the lady wants to have a drink, I'll buy her one," Gary smirked. "And I'll buy you one too-"

"You, listen to me very carefully." Her voice was trembling a bit out of anger and she pushed his chest with her hand. "This woman is taken and wouldn't even like you if she was sober. Second of all, I don't want to have a drink with you. And third, let me show you how a professional Pokémon trainer does things".

She took a step to the right and crouched down in front of the Kingler, her tone and expression suddenly changing.

"Hello there," she said. "Is it alright if I help you for a second? Else your trainer will probably make you do it over and over again and I know how heavy those claws of you can be."

The Kingler looked up at his trainer who just shrugged and carefully the woman took the Pokémon's left and biggest claw in her hands.

"I noticed that you were trying to see how the upper body connects with the lower," she almost growled at the young professor. "You have to help your Pokémon in order to see it long enough to write everything you need down. This Kingler is almost an adult which means it's at least ten years old. You should know that his claw is too heavy for him to lift such a long time. Now come here with that paper and write down what you need. If you look here-"

Gary's mind did two things at the same time. One part was listening to her and writing down whatever she told him, sometimes even checking if she was right and the other was wondering what had happened the moment she had met his Kingler. She had gone from bossy and overprotective mom to a friendly and caring Pokémon trainer. The most surprising thing of all was that she knew all of this. She knew what she was saying and even pointed out other things when she walked around the Kingler and started to point at its paws.

"How do you know all of this?" he asked, his tone filled with confusion.

The auburn haired woman stopped talking and the only sound he heard was a drunken Siam, patting his Umbreon. He could feel the tension in the air. Her mood had suddenly changed and he didn't like it one bit.

"I was a water Pokémon researcher in a past life," she said with a sad smile.

The next morning:

"What a headache," he murmured to himself when he got up the next morning. He rubbed his eyes and put out his hands, searching for a shirt to pull on. The only thing he found was a wall and he realized that he wasn't home but in a pokécenter in Hoenn.

"Great," he continued while almost dragging himself out of his bed. "I can't even remember what happened last night."

He walked through the room to the small bathroom and almost stumbled over his shoes while doing so. Once he felt the ice cold water of the shower in his face everything slowly came back to him and he remembered that he had gone to the café after the drunk and the sober woman left. The bartender had given him a bit too many shots.

He got out of the shower again a few minutes later and when he had put on his clothes he realized that the notes he had written down had disappeared. He started to look under the bed, in the pockets of the clothes he wore yesterday, in his suitcase but he couldn't find them anywhere.

A sigh escaped his lips when he sat down on his bed again. It was then he saw a paper lying on Misty's box. He smiled, got up and took it in his hands. This woman really was a smart one. He wondered where she'd learned all of this. There were only a few people talented as her and even in Misty's books there weren't any notes of-

"I was a water Pokémon researcher in a past life."

Gary's eyes widened. The woman he had seen yesterday. "That hair color," he murmured. "That temper, that knowledge, those eyes..."

He took the picture of Misty out of his pocket and looked at it carefully. There was no doubt about it. The woman he had seen was Misty. She wasn't alone, she had a friend here. She was safe.
"But why the name change…" he murmured.

20 minutes later at Slateport beach:

"Do you know her very well?" Gary casually asked the bartender. His Umbreon had convinced him to go back to make sure she really was alright. He had only seen her for a few minutes after all.

"What do you mean?" the man asked. "She's not a friend of mine but she comes to the café from time to time. Why? Are you interested?"

"In her?" Gary smirked. The idea of him being interested in that little tomboy. Not a chance. Although he had to admit that the years had done good things to her. Maybe the tomboy part had disappeared.

"In the organization," the man whispered. "You've been talking to both Siam and Emerald yesterday. It's not often I see someone do something like that."

"The organization?" Gary asked. "As in-"

"Team Aqua of course," the man continued. "Do you want to become a grunt? Maybe you can get in, if you have a strong Pokémon or a strong will. Why don't you ask Emerald herself? She left half an hour ago. She's probably somewhere near Route 110. At least that's what she said to Siam."

"Do you mean that she's in team Aqua?!" Gary shouted.

"Keep your voice down," the older man hissed. "Of course she's a member of team Aqua. She's an admin. The best we have."

Gary shook his head. Misty part of an evil organization. No way. She belonged at the good side. She was a good person.

"Of course," Gary agreed. "I think I'll go and look for her."

Gary left the building as soon as he could, taking his jacket in his hands and running back towards the Pokémon Center.

"I can't believe it," he said to his Umbreon. "She just can't be… bad."

10 minutes later at Route 110:

Misty stood still in front of her mother's grave. No tears fell. There was nothing but silence. Whenever she visited Slateport, she would always come here. Her sisters never did. Not that she expected them to. Being here, on her own was a good opportunity to control her emotions.

"I miss you," she whispered as she crouched down and put down a lily on the grave. Her Vaporeon sat next to her and curled its tail around her leg to comfort her.

About 100 feet farther Gary Oak and his Umbreon looked at her. "Surrounded by many and yet so alone," he murmured. "Just like mom."

The Pokémon looked up and nodded once. He had never seen his trainer's mother because she'd died long before he was even born but he had heard stories about her. Loads of stories.

"What should we do? When I heard she was a team aqua member I wanted to let her be, but now.. She looks so lost. Maybe she just got off the right track and she needs someone to help her find the right track again.. Maybe Ash can get her back..

Gary leaned to a wall of a house with his shoulder and sighed. The young woman in front of him looked so vulnerable and nothing like the one he had seen before. Yet, she hadn't changed a bit. She was still the girl from the diary only older and more able to hide her real feelings.

"Why aren't you answering?" he whispered to his Pokémon but when he looked down he immediately shook his head.

"Oh no, you've got to be kidding me. You think that I am the one who should go and help her? Why?"

"Umbre, Umb!"

"Because we're in the same position?! Oh please. I'm not lonely, I have a lot of friends and Pokémon around me. She has a hot temper and always looks for trouble with her stubborn attitude. And that big ego of hers is probably still somewhere in there. We're not alike at all!"

The dark type Pokémon decided to end the conversation and look into the other direction. His trainer would realize the real truth soon enough. He'd go after her.

A/N: I'm very sorry to everyone who was waiting for a new chapter. There aren't any yet, as I've started to rewrite this story. But hey! The good thing is I started writing again I guess ^^ I'll try to upload the rewritten next chapter this week :)

Chocogreen x