Disclaimer - Don't own nothin'.

Author - Chibi / Warlordess

Notes - Whew, it's been awhile since I updated this series! I'd totally never planned to take a break from it but then I just got caught up in life and writer's block. Blech. I have a couple more ideas I want to add to this now and this is the first of them. I ask this at the end but I feel compelled to do the same here. I'm currently looking for an episode of Pokemon where Gary beats Ash in battle. I know it happens, or at least I think it does. So, even though it's been a gazillion years since the first season, if anyone knows what episode (even roughly) the two of them meet up again and battle, please let me know! Thanks!

Series Title - "Our Best", Ash and Misty Mini-Series

Inspired by the song, "My Best", sung by Vanessa Carlton.

OoO

oNe-ShOt TiTlE - "Learning Curve"

Location - Cerulean Gym, during the episode, "The Water Flowers of Cerulean City".

. . . teerts yaw-owt a si noitacinummoc esuaceb . . .

Summary - In the aftermath of Team Rocket's attack on the Cerulean Gym, Misty learns another one of Ash's many flaws and takes it upon herself to cure it.

OoOoO

Misty sighed as she took in the massive damage that had been done to the wall of the water gym's arena. It had been roughly an hour since Team Rocket had been blasted off by Pikachu's thundershock and she, her sisters, and Ash had all decided to chip in with the clean-up. That being said, rather unfortunately, she and Ash were stuck working together in backing the giant vacuum Team Rocket had barreled through the wall with into the front yard area outside the gym while her sisters called both the authorities and the Pokemon League about the crime and the repairs they would need.

"You're doing it wrong!" she claimed coolly as Ash fumbled with the controls before the two of them and tried to set the machine in reverse.

"Oh, really, Misty? I suppose you would know since you probably use these kinds of things so regularly yourself!" he retorted in defiance, pulling a random lever and pushing a couple of buttons for good measure.

The redhead bristled but bit her tongue, knowing that he was right. She didn't know any more than he did about things like this but that didn't mean that he was any less wrong about how to operate it himself.

The hose outside began to flail uncontrollably despite having nothing inside its reservoir that it could spew out now that all of the arena water had been successfully placed back in the pool. And, as Ash pushed a third button, the hose went limp once more before there was a triple-clicking sound from the base where it was connected to the giant machine and it detached itself and fell to the ground.

"Hah, at least I got the hose off! That means we can give it back to that store owner since Team Rocket stole it from him!" He turned his head away from her and held his nose high in the air as his ego flared. "What can you do to help now that I've already done half the job myself?"

Misty told herself at first that it wasn't worth giving in to the temptation to show him up but such thoughts were lost after she noticed him double-checking his belongings - including the Balls on his belt and the badges inside his vest - and she was forced to endure the sight of the Cascade Badge he'd pinned their since her sisters had given it to him.

Her temper flared at the bitter reminder of his not-a-win in their Pokemon battle and she responded to it by shoving Ash out of the driver's seat before sitting down there herself.

"Hey!" the raven-haired trainer shouted, twisting around and glaring at her reproachfully.

"Pikapi pika pikachu?" the electric mouse at his side asked his trainer but received no response seeing as the boy was too busy glaring at his so-called friend.

She stuck her tongue out at him and pulled on the bottom of her eyelid with a, "nyeh!" sound before stretching back in the chair and taking in everything that sat before her. There was another lever to her right with key commands such as D for drive and P for park and, amongst them, R for reverse. And to the left of those commands was an analog stick used to control the direction the machine traveled in as well a blank computer screen.

Misty scoffed at how easy a task it seemed to be to successfully do as her sisters had asked and pulled the lever down until it was locked onto the R. There was a rumbling sound and their entire surroundings began to tremble violently as the machine was turned on and the blank computer screen lit up, a camera apparently having turned on so that the driver would be able to reverse successfully since there were no rear-view mirrors.

As carefully as she could, she pulled back on the analog stick and felt the machine start to move, watching as a bit more of the gym wall crumbled to her left after accidentally jerking the controls in that direction. Ash laughed at her but she forced herself to ignore him, continuing to back straight out before twisting cautiously right and parking the giant super-vacuum outside on the gym grounds. She pushed the lever up until it was beside the P again and felt the rumbling stop automatically before she twisted in her seat and sneered at the wannabe-Pokemon-Master before her.

"Hah!" she mocked back at him after he'd done the same to her earlier, leaping up and relishing her victory. "At least I know how to read the controls, and I drove us out of there, no sweat!"

"Oh yeah? Tell that to the wall you just crashed into!" he replied ignorantly.

"Hey, shut up! I would have liked to see you do any better with no experience!"

"Well maybe I will if you wanna drive this stupid thing back into the gym and give me a go at it! I bet I can get it back out here without even touching the walls!"

"Oh, really?" she asked skeptically, crossing her arms, fury causing her cheeks to flush patches of red.

"Yeah, re-," but he was interrupted by his Pokemon as the electric mouse fell back from his hind legs and onto his butt, sighing at yet another disagreement between two of his favorite people ever.

"Oh, Pikachu, I'm sorry!" Misty exclaimed before Ash could get any chance, and she fell to her knees and sat with the Pokemon, picking him up into her soft embrace and holding him there. "Are you okay? I never even got to ask after we got rid of Team Rocket! Are you hurt anywhere?" she asked passionately.

"Pika, Pikachupi," he replied contentedly as he shook his head. Ash felt his chest tighten up at such an expression, half from the annoyance this his buddy had so easily turned traitor for the scrawny redhead and half from the concern he too had felt when he thought Team Rocket might get away and take his Pokemon with them.

The three of them left through the exit and hopped down the side of the mega-appliance, leaving it behind and walking back into the arena from the massive hole in the wall. As they did so, Pikachu hopped from Misty's arms onto Ash's shoulder and the youngest self-proclaimed sensational sister took in her surroundings.

Luckily, despite what had happened, the damage to her home was mostly contained. There was obviously rubble on the floor, but in between she only saw minor scuffs and scratches, and the pool itself was left completely intact.

"It doesn't look so bad," Ash said to himself, or maybe he was trying to say so for her benefit despite the animosity between them. She felt her insides cool down considerably at his attempt to reach out to her before responding.

"Yeah, I guess it could have been a lot worse. Team Rocket really don't concern themselves with delicacy, do they?" she asked by way of making a joke but it seemed lost on him so she went on. "If they'd gotten away with Seel or any of our other Pokemon, I'm not sure what I would have. . . well, anyway, thanks."

"What?" he replied with a furrowed brow, waiting for the punch line. But it didn't come.

"Yeah, I mean, you were the one who actively tried to stop them from taking the Pokemon. And," she faltered here as she considered (not for the first time since meeting him) that he really did seem to be a special kid. He truly cared about Pokemon in a way that few others did. Still, she refused to tell him so and instead felt a smile tugging at her lips.

"What? What is it?" he asked again.

"I was just thinking," and she couldn't refrain the giggle that managed to escape her, "I'm kind of shocked that you handled the situation so well. When Pikachu was dragged into the current and sucked up into the hose, I thought for sure you'd do something crazy like dive in after to save him."

"Well, yeah, if that were the only option, I probably would have. . ." He paused and glanced at his Pokemon appreciatively and Pikachu cooed his own name softly in reply. "It would have been a pretty bad idea to do that though since I can't swim."

The silence that followed this confession was rather stifling and Misty felt her breath die in her throat for some reason as she twisted on her heel and confronted the boy before her. He was staring at her blankly, maybe a bit curious as to why her eyes were so wide and she looked so suddenly furious, especially since things between them had recently seemed to take a turn for the neutral.

"You can't. . . I'm sorry, you can't what?" she asked incredulously, nearly hyperventilating as his words repeated themselves in her head.

"I can't swim," he told her once more with a casual shrug, "I mean, not really. I've never really been in the water, never had formal lessons, never really cared to learn how to."

"Ash!" she shouted and he flinched at her sharp tone, "Did I or did I not fish you out of the water when we first met?" she implored, advancing on him with almost every word.

"Uh, yeah. . . ?"

"The river that runs from Pallet Town to Viridian has a strong current! It was probably carrying you all the way downstream! What would you have done if I hadn't been there to pull you back above the water?" she begged of him, eyes wide as Electrode.

"I don't know," he had the decency to admit, though it did nothing for her nerves, "I hadn't really thought about it. There wasn't much time to think anyway. The Spearow were gaining on us and Pikachu was already injured. It was a last resort to get away." And finally, under his breath, "It didn't even work that well. . ."

Misty stood still as stone before him, though her limbs were starting to shake worse with each passing second and he knew that she was going to blow her top. Surprisingly though, she simply turned and stomped out of the arena, hanging a sharp right and vanishing completely from his sight.

"Pika cha?" Pikachu mumbled, half-asleep as the raven-haired trainer continue to stand where he was, unsure of what to do now.

He had his Cascade Badge and, under any normal circumstances, that would be his queue to leave. . . But he couldn't just go without Misty, could he? Or could he?

Thinking about it, it was the perfect opportunity to leave her behind and escape the wrath that wrecking her bike had instilled in her. And he could easily claim it was her fault since she'd left him alone and given him the chance to come up with such a plan.

But no, a voice in the back of his mind insisted, you did destroy her bike and it wouldn't be right to turn tail and run. And since when do you run from your problems? Besides, she isn't so bad. . . sometimes.

It was at this time that Misty chose to re-enter the arena, only she was wearing far less than when Ash had seen her a few minutes ago. Instead of her usual crop top and jean shorts, she was instead wearing a semi-familiar red bikini, strapless, with a skirt knotted at the base of her hips, traveling down a few inches of her thighs.

Ash blinked and shook his head to help ease the flushing on his cheeks and neck.

"What. . . what are you doing?" he asked her when he'd gained control of his thoughts.

"I'm teaching you how to swim. So c'mon, strip down to your boxers," she urged him on with a flippant wave of a hand, the other poised at her hip. She was trying her best not to look embarrassed by what she was asking him to do.

"Mwah!" Ash cried out as the blush was immediately renewed. Trying his hardest to ignore it anyway, he continued, "Why would I do that? Geez, Misty, I don't have time for swimming lessons! I don't even need them! I'm trying to be a Pokemon Master, not an Olympic athlete!"

"Pika," Pikachu started almost in a growl and then removed himself from the comfort of Ash's shoulder, leaping down to the ground and stepping back only to nudge Ash forward instead, "Pi pikachu Pikapi."

"Looks like Pikachu thinks it's a good idea too," Misty noted smugly, now with both hands on her hips, clearly assuming she'd won the fight. But Ash still wasn't quite convinced and he certainly wouldn't be giving in without a struggle.

"B - but why would I need to learn how to swim? I mean, how often do you think I'm gonna need to use this kinda skill when I'm walking everywhere?"

"Ash, we're not having this out right now. You need to learn how to do this yourself. I'm not going to travel with someone that I have to save from drowning every time he falls into the water!"

The raven-haired trainer sputtered and thought for a moment about telling her that she needn't travel with him at all, hoping to get her out of his hair, but felt his stubborn streak peak out in place of that statement.

"I don't need you to save me!"

"So you'd rather have Brock give you mouth-to-mouth in a worst case scenario?" the redhead asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Wha. . . ? No!" he exclaimed in response, looking quite appalled at the very idea. She continued to stand there and stare at him, waiting for him to figure out the rest of what she'd meant, and then he finally cottoned on and retorted, "Not that I want you to give me mouth-to-mouth either!"

"Which is why you need to learn how to swim on your own!"

"Argh. . . Alright! Fine!" And he indeed quickly removed his backpack and vest, tossing them to the ground with no regard (which was quite something since his badges were still pinned to the inside lining of aforementioned top) before unbuckling his belt and dropping it beside Pikachu for safe keeping. Next was the black tee-shirt usually worn underneath his vest and finally came the pants.

Forcing himself to ignore the Beedrill buzzing in his head and the Butterfree fluttering in his stomach, he wrenched the waistline of his jeans downward after undoing the button and zipper, kicking them off with his shoes and ripping his socks off as well.

"There! Happy?" he practically snarled out of embarrassment but was taken aback by her intent gaze on his boxers. Then he looked down and realized they were the ones his mom had picked out for him the day he'd left home with little Pikachu all over them.

"Cute," Misty said with a snarky grin, probably hoping to lord such embarrassing undergarments over his head for the next few weeks.

He told himself to ignore her and made to dive straight into the pool before Misty threw out an arm as he tried to pass her, catching him in the chest.

"Hold on a sec, Ash! First tell me, have you ever gone swimming before? At all? Have you been in any body of water outside of your bathtub and the river I found you in?" she asked him in innocent curiosity. It was best to gauge his level of experience before recklessly assuming anything at all.

"Well, sorta. I mean, I'd never really gone swimming as a kid, no, but when I was in the river before I met you. . ." his voice faltered as he lamented how the current had been pushing him further and further away from his hometown, how he'd been holding Pikachu so close and hoping that the poor Pokemon could hold his breath just a bit longer, how sheer panic had welled up in him at the sight of the Gyarados fast approaching from the direction he was traveling, clearly easing his way through the water no matter how much it tried to force the water snake Pokemon the other way.

He had swam then, hadn't he? Though it had been such an instinct to do whatever he could to get away from a new threat that he couldn't remember how he'd done it, especially now, weeks later. He just remembered kicking his legs furiously and hoping that, when he broke the surface of the water, there would be someone who could help him save Pikachu.

And then there'd been a vicious tug on his collar as he was yanked straight from the river, and he'd met Misty.

Huh; he'd never really thought about it before but, glancing at her, Misty didn't look quite like she'd be as strong as she was. He didn't say so aloud though, tucking the thought away and wondering if he'd ever reflect on it again, rather deciding to tell her what had happened before the two of them had met after all.

"Hn," she started as she wondered about his story, "so you're probably not afraid of the water then either."

"Of course not!" he replied before he could help himself, his pride burgeoning through any other emotion he'd been sporting at the time.

"Well, that's good then. It's usually not a one-day thing, training someone to swim. Most of the time, people learn over the course of a few months, depending on how frequently they get to practice. But I think we could get a lot accomplished with a couple of hours.

"Anyway, since you're not scared, the first thing you should learn how to do is float. Considering the only extended amount of time you've spent in the water was when you were letting the current toss you around, this is probably the best idea."

Then Misty walked past him and sat down at the edge of the pool, dropping in upright and turning to face him, holding onto the ledge and letting her torso down to her feet dangle out behind her in the water. Ash felt almost disappointed in her elementary way of entering the pool. Seeing as she'd come from a family of trained divers and swimmers, he thought she'd have a bit more flair to her.

Nevertheless, he did as she had, nudging himself forward from the ground and easing into the water before grasping the edge of the wall and twisting onto his belly. Then he waited for further instruction.

"We're in a pretty shallow area so go ahead, put your feet on the floor," she told him and after he did as encouraged, "So if you do start to feel like you can't hold yourself up anymore, keep in mind that there isn't far to go so you'll be safe no matter what."

He nodded but didn't speak quite yet.

"Now do what I did when I got in. Keep holding on like you're doing, but let your body drift into a horizontal position."

Clenching his eyes shut and waiting for something, or nothing, to happen, he felt his feet fly away from the floor and his torso lengthen out along the surface of the pool. It wasn't entirely stable but he managed to keep half of his body above the water without struggling too much.

"That's good," Misty told him to boost his confidence. His eyes shot open and he stared at her curiously. He didn't know the redhead was capable of complimenting him. Offhandedly, he wondered if she even remembered it was him that she was trying to teach. "Now let go of the wall and try and float on your back instead. I'll stand beside you in case you start to feel like you're sinking." And, true to her word, she also let go of the side of the pool and stood to his left with her arms held halfway out before her and, when he followed suit and tried to drift while facing the gym ceiling, she maneuvered her arms the rest of the way under him and gave him an extension of balance.

Ash felt his eyes slip easily closed and he actually forgot that she was assisting him, even when one of her arms accidentally bumped into his back as he felt himself dip under for a second. He went rigid though when he felt his legs fall completely below the surface of the water again, and his body recoiled itself in a state of panic.

He couldn't help it when he started flailing his arms and twisting himself in the water, trying to regain that sense of comfort he'd felt a few minutes ago.

"Whoa, calm down!" Misty told him, "Remember to put your feet on the ground if you don't think you can keep floating!"

Holding those words as close as possible, he did as she instructed and purposely flipped his body into a standing position, composure refilling him as he felt the granite firmly planted under his feet once more. Then he blinked and glanced around at his surroundings, realizing that he was now roughly eight feet away from the side of the pool he'd entered from.

"Pikapi!" his Pokemon squealed from the same ledge he was currently staring at.

"It's alright, Pikachu, I'm okay!" he responded in reassurance with a wave of his arm. Then, when his Pokemon's fears seemed abated and the electric mouse had decided to lie back down next to his trainers clothes, Ash turned back to Misty.

"I. . . that's never really happened before. I didn't know it would feel like that to lose your balance in the water."

Misty blinked at him before sighing and shaking her head.

"Ash, you're dense."

Of all things the raven-haired trainer had expected, he had not thought she'd bite back at him with an insult. Immediately, a scowl replaced his half-worried expression from before and he crossed his arms and turned his nose up at her.

"Oh, yeah? Well you're scrawny!" he told her, peeking one eye open to watch for her reply.

Surprisingly she looked unexpectedly confused and affronted. Then, apparently realizing what he must have assumed, she rapidly shook her head and punched him in the shoulder, knocking him out of his pose.

"No, Mr. Pokemon Master, I meant that you're dense, you know, like physically!" Seeing as this didn't seem to clear up anything for him, she decided she would have to elaborate. "Generally boys have more muscle than girls so they're naturally heavier. In the water, this can make a key difference in buoyancy and staying afloat and stuff."

"Oh," he responded simply, making a mental note of such information and shuffling it into the back of his mind, realizing also that she had been trying to appease his discomfort all along. Then he grasped the fact that he'd needlessly offended her and felt what may have been regret or guilt bubbling up in his stomach.

Before he could take back what he'd said, however, the redhead decided to force him back into the impromptu swimming lesson.

"You've actually been doing pretty well though," she said, avoiding the subject of his slight towards her before. "If you keep up your balance practice for a bit longer, we can try proper swimming postures and then maybe go towards the center of the pool where it's deepest."

The gym arena was built like the lower half of a hexagon, meaning that both ends of the pool where the trainers stood on their platforms were rather shallow, but the middle area was quite steep since it was where most of the Pokemon would battle.

Biting back any response at all (though he told himself it was not because he was worried he'd make another error in conversation), he returned to the position he'd been in before his body had betrayed him before, lying flat out on the water and waiting for Misty's arms to reappear behind his back to help hold him up. He refused to acknowledge the fact that it took them an extra few seconds to do so.

They continued with the lesson for another half-an-hour or so, more floating leading into underwater breathing exercises that would increase endurance and repose. It was after those that Misty decided to show him, somewhat melancholy, how to actually swim.

First she started with the eggbeater kick, which helped in keeping Ash in an upright position without standing on the pool floor. She made sure it was engraved in his head before moving on, since it would be the most helpful when they entered the pool center. Next was the backstroke and then the flutter kick which she used to lead to the introduction of the crawl.

"Okay!" the redhead said some time later, beaming impressively, "This is great, Ash. Now," she paused as she turned and dove like an expert, gracefully treading water until she was ten feet away from him before reappearing and eggbeating from a slightly deeper area of the water, "see if you can swim over to me. Remember that you probably won't be able to keep your head above the water and touch the ground with your feet at the same time and, if you think you're starting to lose balance, remain calm and let your body keep you afloat. After that, just do as I am and use your legs to ensure your head remains above the water."

Obviously not for the first time that day, Ash followed her direction to a tee. It took him quite a bit longer to reach her than it had taken for her to swim the distance she had in the first place (though he begrudgingly admitted that, of course, she was far more experienced at this than him) but when he finally did reach her, after he'd proceeded to stand upright with his arms before him and his legs propelling comfortably in the water, he realized just how much he'd accomplished.

Misty, however, didn't give him any time to pat himself on the back, repeating what she'd done before and diving under again before reappearing another ten or so feet away. He didn't need her to tell him, immediately following after her but, before he'd even gotten close, she was gone again, another fair few feet away. So he followed some more. And she ran. And he chased.

And then the two of them were somehow on the complete opposite side of the pool, both gasping for breath, though he more strenuously than she. Misty wiped her fringe from her eyes and hopped out of the pool as only an experienced swimmer could, twisting around and dangling her feet in the water as she wrung out her hair on the ground beside her.

Ash stumbled after her as well, again taking almost twice as much time to do so, before staring out at the vast eighty feet of water before him and taking it all in. He had swum through that? He had swum through that. He would have never been able to accomplish such a task (at least not without a bloodthirsty Pokemon chasing him) had Misty not pushed him into learning how to do so.

And though he wasn't sure if learning such a thing would really be all that much help, he couldn't contain the pride bristling in him for achieving such feats, nor could he help the gratitude he was feeling towards the redhead, though she was refusing to look at him even now. And he, unfortunately, knew why that was.

He was never very good at apologizing, and everything was always ten times harder with Misty involved. She never let him get away with anything, never gave him credit for anything, never. . . Well, the only girl he'd really ever known was his mom and he hadn't thought that he'd meet someone so completely different from the one source of femininity he'd become accustomed to.

So, taking the highest road he could think of, he mustered up his courage and humility.

"You know, Misty. . . You're a pretty good teacher. Thanks for today," he told her and when she turned her gaze on him, finally really looked at him for the first time in a good hour or so, one brow quirked at his strange behavioral development.

"You're welcome, Ash. But in case you're wondering," she replied in a controlled tone, so deprived of emotion that Ash wasn't sure what to expect beyond the words she offered him. . . until she kicked up one of her legs and flung a wave of water at him, "that doesn't count as an apology for calling me scrawny before!"

And she stuck out her tongue at him again, pulling on her eyelid as she had done to him earlier that very same day, before leaping back into the water and swimming away as fast as she could with a laugh at his disbelieving expression.

Pssht, as if she would let him off the hook so easily!

Rather than think to outsmart her by running around the ledge of the pool, Ash fell back into the water as well and followed after her. Their so-called practice dissolved into a splash fight so intense that they were hardly able to catch their breath until, finally, a voice shouting from the lobby distracted them.

"Hello?" the somewhat familiar tone called.

"Um, we're in the gym! First door on the right!" Misty replied as she left Ash to his own devices and turned to go greet what she could only assume was another challenger for the Cascade Badge. However, with the wall out of commission, of course her sisters had said that they would be declining any further challenges that day. . . which meant, of course, since they were nowhere to be found, it would be up to her to deliver the bad news.

She sighed. Terrific. When she'd told them that she wanted to be a part of running the gym too before leaving home, she hadn't meant it like this.

"Huh? Misty, why are you wearing that? Come to think of it, why are you even here?" the person asked, and she snapped to attention and realized it was Brock who was standing before her.

Somehow feeling uncomfortable, she half-covered herself and grabbed a towel she'd set on one of the chairs as she and Brock entered the arena. The future Pokemon breeder caught sight of Ash just as he was in the middle of putting his clothes back on and he blinked, warily gazing between his two friends in curiosity.

"Do I want to know what happened here?" he asked, also noting that there was a whomping twelve-by-fifteen foot hole on the other side of the pool. Let alone that both kids he had been traveling with were half-naked. . . though, in lieu of anything inappropriate, he was actually considering that they'd been trying to drown one another somehow.

Seriously; he wouldn't put it past 'em.

"Oh, that?" Ash asked, jerking his thumb at the aforementioned wall as if there had been no gap in conversation between the two of them. "Eh, it's being taken care of. Besides, it wasn't so bad until Misty got to it."

"What?" the redhead screeched in fury, "You're really going to blame me for this, Mr. Pokemon Master? If Team Rocket wasn't so interested in your Pikachu, they wouldn't have followed you all the way to my gym!" she claimed, pointing a finger accusingly at him.

"Wait, your gym?" Brock asked with a double take, "And Team Rocket was here?"

"Don't worry, Brock, it's not really her gym," Ash retorted, making sure to use air-quotes to add insult to injury, "But who cares about that right now? Why are you blaming me when Team Rocket came for all of the Pokemon here! They took your Seel too!" he went on defensively.

"Hey, Seel isn't my Pokemon!"

"Hah, I guess that's true! He belongs to your sisters, doesn't he? In fact," and he put on a fake-thoughtful expression before continuing, "All of the Pokemon they tried to take today belonged either to me or your sisters. . . Huh; doesn't that just mean that your Pokemon are too weak for them to even consider stealing?" he goaded.

"Why, you. . . ugh!" Refusing to let him win this round, she tried to think of something else to say to that. "My Pokemon are plenty strong! After all, they were able to take you on without much trouble!"

"Oh! Is that why I have this Cascade Badge?" Ash asked innocently as he opened up the flap of his vest and showed off his latest acquisition.

"Hey, you won your second badge!" Brock said, hoping he could somehow diffuse the argument, though all he did was add fuel to Misty's fire.

"He didn't win it! He didn't win anything today!"

"I don't need you trying to tell me what I did and didn't do! I earned this badge fair and square!" he shouted back at her, "And if Pikachu had fought in our battle, you wouldn't have stood a chance!"

"But he didn't fight, and using him would have been a pretty unfair advantage, though I guess it's all we could expect from you and your skill level," she scoffed at him.

The argument continued to degenerate all the while as Brock decided he wanted no part in the matter. Then a familiar electric mouse ambled up to him affectionately.

"Hey, Pikachu, how are you doing?" the future breeder asked. "Hey, do you think you can solve this problem for us? If we don't leave soon, it's going to take forever to get to Vermilion City."

The electric-type Pokemon nodded before turning an almost feral gaze on the two trainers arguing before him. Hey, they may have been his favorites, but that didn't mean that their pointless fighting was any more enjoyable to watch. Lightning began to twitch to life from the sacs in his cheeks and he let it build up a bit more before unleashing his attack.

"Pika. . . chu!"

OoOoO

Notes - Holy. . . haha. . . HAHAHA! I finished this all in one sitting just now! I'm so on a roll, dammit! WooT! This is great! I'm so excited! Oh please, merciful heavens, let me keep this up! I haven't been able to put together a whole chapter/story (depending on whether it's a one-shot or not) at once in years! Let's do another one! C'mon, right now!

Well, maybe not right-right now. . . I mean, it is almost three a.m. . . .

Um, I am still working on/writing the second part of "Reunions". Don't worry; it's totally happening. I also wanted to write something about Ash's rivalry with Gary and Misty's interpretation of it. . . It's gonna be cute! I just need to find/remember an episode when Gary beat Ash in a Pokemon battle. If anyone happens to remember an episode where that happens, please let me know so that I can rewatch it and get my facts straight!

Anyway, thanks for reading! Until next time!