Look, another one shot! So originally I was going to put this in a one shot collection I'm currently planning, but this one just got too long, involved, and sweet to be thrown in with just one story. I felt like it needed to stand on it's own.

I guess you could almost consider this a "prequel" to most of my other stories (with my little future universe that I've created :P) because this tells the story of Ash and Misty's engagement. The story also features very small mentions of Wishfulshipping and Handymanshipping.

Engaging Success

Ash sighed deeply as he rested his back against the wall, tiredly sliding all the way down to the floor. His day had been long and exhausting, but at the same time fulfilling.

Finally, after traveling the Pokémon world for ten long years, Ash Ketchum was a Pokémon master.

The battle for the title had been long and hard fought. Ash had faced the current master, a much older man by the name of Nolan. Only one person could hold the title of Pokémon master at a time, although once someone was bestowed the prestigious designation, they were viewed as the most elite trainers in the world for the rest of their lives. Nolan had been Pokémon master for the last twenty five years; since he was 30 years old.

Ash, of course, had heard all the talk before his battle. That if he won, he'd be the youngest Pokémon master in history. That many people were cheering for him. That many trainers had challenged Nolan for the title, and all had lost. Ash, of course, was not easily deterred.

The fierce mêlée between Nolan and Ash had lasted for several hours. Ash couldn't be sure of exactly how long it had lasted. It was a full six on six battle, and Ash had saved Pikachu for last. The electric mouse was sparring against Nolan's own partner, Skarmory. It took many close calls and careful strategizing, but Ash and Pikachu were able to just squeak past Nolan and his Skarmory, earning the raven haired trainer the title of Pokémon master.

After Skarmory's heavy steel body had hit the ground, most of the events that followed were a blur to the handsome young man.

He remembered the crowd screaming and cheering at an unbelievable decimal. There was a trophy rewarded, a speech given, and a disharmonious press conference where members of the media seemed to ask a million questions per minute. And although the rest of the afternoon had not remained clear to the young man, one specific moment was perfectly vivid for him. And that was the first person who had gotten to him after the victory.


His perfect, beautiful girlfriend, who had immediately jumped into his arms to deliver a tight, bone crushing hug. Although he was sore, tired, and rather filthy from the long battle, Ash did not hesitate to pick her up and swing her around in a jubilant fashion. Once he was finished, the midnight haired boy pressed his lips against Misty's, kissing her deeply and passionately. When he pulled away from her, he had blushed very heavily, realizing that he'd never kissed Misty like that in front of so many people before. Misty, however, clearly didn't mind. She simply touched the back of his neck and moved closer to him again, cheering softly, "you did it! You did it!"

Now, sitting on the carpeted floor of the hotel hallway, Ash breathed out deeply as he reached into the pocket of his suit jacket, pulling out a black velvet box. As he pulled back the hinged top, Pikachu, who had been sleeping on his trainer's shoulder, opened up his eyes, yawning slightly as he twitched his long ears.

"Hey there buddy," Ash smiled at the electric type, "did you have a nice nap?"

"Pi," Pikachu smiled and nodded before looking down into the little box. A little glint appearing in his beady eyes, Pikachu gazed back at Ash and asked, "Pikapi, pika pikachupi?"

"I want to," Ash suddenly sounded rather nervous, "you know I've been trying. But every other attempt has just gotten messed up. Do you really think I can do this?"

"Pika," Pikachu nodded yet again, giving Ash a new surge of confidence.

"Thanks Pikachu. You're the best, you know."

As Ash scratched behind Pikachu's ears, the door next to him opened, causing the young Pokémon master to jump to his feet. His heart beating quickly, Ash gulped ever so slightly when he locked eyes with the person who inhabited the room.

"What're you doing out here, Ash?"

"Waiting for you," Ash smiled sheepishly, "you're running a little late."

"Well sorry," Misty snapped, her emerald eyes narrowing, "I just don't want to look like a slob at your inauguration party!"

"You could never look like a slob," Ash shook his head as he grinned sweetly; "you're effortlessly beautiful."

"What do you want?" Misty snickered as she rolled her eyes playfully.

"I didn't want anything," Ash chuckled, "but now that you brought it up, a kiss would be nice before we go. And not a little one. I mean something like…"

"This?" Misty stepped forward and pressed her lips against Ash's, having to somewhat stand on her toes in order to do so. She gingerly touched the back of his neck as she danced her tongue around his. Ash, in turn, moaned happily as he wrapped his arms around Misty's waist to pull her closer to him. Eventually, the need for air arose, and the two broke apart while breathing heavily.

"Yeah," Ash panted with a gentle blush, "like that."

"Glad you liked it," Misty giggled lightly, her own cheeks growing slightly red as well.

"Alright, come on sweetheart," Ash smirked as he held his hand out, waiting for Misty to take it. Instead, she simply frowned at his palm before gazing up into Ash's deep brown eyes with a slight look of longing. "What is it, Mist?"

"Do I look okay?" Misty murmured shyly as her eyebrows gave off a little twitch. Ash sighed quietly and took a step back in order to examine his girlfriend's outfit. He typically couldn't tell one dress from another, as they all looked perfect on the gym leader's delicate frame. This one, however, had to be one of the most beautiful outfits he'd ever seen Misty wear.

It was a jade green color, not too dark or too light. The bodice was strapless, ruched in the chest area while the waist was lined with glittering sequins, tiny gemstones, and elaborate stitching. The front of the dress was short, ending about mid thigh on her perfectly toned legs, while the back went all the way down to her ankles. The high-low skirt was made up of layers of long, cascading material, effortlessly highlighting those perfect legs of hers. Misty's heels were strappy and silver, giving her enough of a height boost to appear just about equal with Ash. A collection of silver and emerald dotted bangles wrapped around her slender left wrist, and a silver clutch was held in her right hand. Dangling from her ears was a pair of silver and emerald earrings, all twisted together to look like an intricate puzzle. Her typically mid arm length ginger hair was pulled up into a loose bun, with two curly strands left at either side of her face. Somehow, Misty had pinned back her wispy bangs that usually hung right above her deep green eyes.

"You…you look amazing," Ash stammered, his eyes glittering as he continued to stare at the red head.

"I certainly hope everyone else thinks so," Misty's itchy smile began to deceive her as she stepped forward, eagerly searching for Ash's arms. He frowned slightly and wrapped them around her, rocking her slender body gently back and forth.

"Why do you say that, angel? Everyone thinks you're beautiful."

"No, you just assume they all think that," Misty mumbled sadly, "think about it Ash. It's just like Scott said. You're the Pokémon master now. Why stick around with a plain old girl like me when you could date anyone your heart desires? Celebrities, models, princesses, you name it."

"Who wants to date anyone like that?" Ash scrunched his nose up, which caused Misty's heart to skip a beat, "you're what my heart desires."

"Really?" Misty smiled against his chest.

"Yes, really," Ash kissed the crown of her head, "now let's go, dream girl. We're already going to be late to my own party!"

"They can wait a little while longer," Misty winked playfully as she pulled Ash's head down for another passionate kiss.


When Ash and Misty finally made it to the banquet hall, they arrived arm in arm, gazing lovingly at one another. Delia, who had been waiting outside of the building for the couple, smiled broadly at the sight. She knew of Ash's secret plans, and approved greatly of them. Delia loved Misty like a daughter, and of course she adored seeing her son so happy. This, she knew, was true love.

"Hello you two," Delia greeted warmly, "everyone has been waiting for you!"

"Sorry Mrs. Ketchum," Misty gave an apologetic smile, "it's my fault. I was taking a long time to get ready."

"No worries, dear!" Delia shook her head, "and remember, I want you to call me Delia now!"

"She's been telling you that for awhile," Ash chuckled at his girlfriend, who gave him a teasing glare in response.

"I know that! It's just a little…strange. I've been calling her Mrs. Ketchum for ten years now. I'm sure I'll get used to calling her Delia eventually." Misty flashed Ash's mother another warm grin, to which Delia happily returned.

"I think we should go on inside now," Ash chuckled dryly, "I'm sure everyone wants to hit me right about now."

Delia walked ahead of Ash and Misty, peering over her shoulder every now and then to catch Ash nuzzling Misty's head or the gym leader reaching up to stroke the Pokémon master's soft cheek. Pikachu, who sat on Ash's right shoulder, liked watching the scene as well.

As soon as the couple walked through the heavy wooden doors of the hall, they were ambushed by their friends, who quickly separated the two. Ash looked around frantically, fearing that Misty had been trampled or even worse, attacked. But when he caught sight of her in the grasps of May, Dawn, and Iris, he was able to breathe a sigh of relief and turn his attention back to his close acquaintances.

"Hey there bestie!" May squealed, giving Misty a tight hug. The red head rolled her eyes playfully. May was sweet, and she always meant well, but sometimes Misty couldn't help but to question the actions of the brunette coordinator.

"Hi May," Misty giggled.

"Wow, you look beautiful!" Iris gasped, admiring Misty's gorgeous dress. Iris was an exotic beauty whose personality was more comparable to Misty's. It was rare to see the tan skinned dragon master in a dress, but tonight she was sporting a short and elegant violet frock.

"Thanks, and so do you!" Misty reciprocated the kind comment as light danced in her emerald eyes.

"So, how does it feel to be dating a celebrity?" Dawn trilled as she clasped her hands together. The youngest of the four girls, Dawn was a hopeless romantic and the girliest of them all. She was a constant mole in Ash and Misty's relationship, demanding to know every move made by each member of the union.

"It doesn't feel any different than it did before," Misty shrugged simply with a smile, "he's still my Ash."

"Aw, that's so cute!" Iris chuckled.

"Do you think he's going to propose any time soon?" Dawn was practically jumping up and down with excitement.

"Dawn!" May hissed quietly.

"It's okay," Misty assured May with a playful grin before turning her attention back to Dawn, "I'm not sure. Maybe. I haven't noticed anything unusual with him, so my guess is not any time soon." That response caused Dawn to frown rather deeply.

"Hey, aren't you hungry Misty?" May asked almost desperately. She could sense the growing tension between the four good friends. "It's getting pretty late, and I know for a fact you haven't had anything to eat since last night."

"That's true," Misty nodded with a little smirk. She had refused to eat breakfast that morning; she'd been too nervous about the battle that would take place later in the afternoon. There also hadn't been time for lunch.

"Well, I may have had a pretty big breakfast, but I didn't have any lunch," Iris piped up, "so I'm starved! Let's go find some little appetizers to hold us over until dinner!"

As the four girls went off in search of some food, Ash was pulled out of the giant mob by three of his own friends, who were all giving him expectant stares.

"Thanks for getting me out of there guys," Ash chuckled gratefully, "I thought I'd be stuck in there forever!"

"Did you ask Misty yet?" Brock murmured, jumping right to the question. He was the eldest of the four boys; the tallest, the darkest, and the wisest.

"Uh…no," Ash blushed slightly, "not yet."

"Why ever not?" Cilan gasped. He was the second oldest of the group; a sophisticated Pokémon connoisseur who was engaged to Iris. "Misty is a lovely girl, there's no reason to be so nervous!"

"Of course she's lovely," Ash furrowed his brow gently, "I'm in love with her. And…it's not really that I'm nervous. I mean…I am. Just a little, anyway. It's just…every time I try to ask her, something bad happens! I've already tried twice, but it got screwed up before I even got to the question."

"You've got to do it soon Ash," Tracey frowned. He was closest in age to Ash; a part time Pokémon watcher and full time assistant to Professor Oak. "Daisy, Violet, and Lily won't stop debating about when you're going to propose, and they're starting to doubt you." He was also the husband of Misty's oldest sister, Daisy.

"They have no reason to doubt me," Ash bit his lip, "I'm going to ask her, and I'm going to make their baby sister eternally happy. They don't understand how difficult this is!"

"I've tried to explain that to Daisy," Tracey smiled sympathetically, "but she doesn't like to listen to me when it comes to this."

"Daisy rarely ever listens to you," Brock snickered, "whether it has to do with Misty's future engagement or not."

"Guys, seriously," Ash darted his eyes between the three older males, "what am I supposed to do?"

"You should ask her right now," Cilan nodded slowly, "that would be best."

"You think so?" Ash suddenly looked very pale.

"Cilan's right, doing it tonight would be very memorable," Brock slowly grew a devious grin before teasing, "Unless you need me to do it for you."

"Haha, very funny," Ash rolled his eyes, "but I'm pretty sure I can handle this on my own."

"We believe in you buddy," Brock smiled reassuringly, "now, why don't you let us watch Pikachu while you do the deed?"

"Would that be alright with you, Pikachu?" Ash asked the small electric type. Pikachu nodded feverously before jumping into Brock's arms and flashing his trainer a determined look. Ash returned the expression and gave a single nod before heading over to the table where he'd seen Misty and the other girls sit down at. As he made his way over to the group, however, he was stopped by a pretty blonde girl whose deep blue eyes sparkled as he gazed at the Pokémon master.

"Uh…hey," Ash smiled at the girl, trying to be polite. On the inside however, he was screaming, desperately wanting to run away in order to ask Misty his most important question.

"Hello there Mr. Pokémon Master," the girl giggled. Ash's heart panged at that. 'Mr. Pokémon Master' was Misty's nickname for him. It had been ever since they were ten years old. "Don't you know who I am?"

"Heh…not off the top of my head," Ash offered another lopsided grin, "I'm pretty tired; my brain is fuzzy."

"It's not a problem," she purred, "the name's Seraphina Engel."

Ash's russet eyes suddenly flickered to life as a look of interest overtook his face. "You…you're the famous actress!"

"The very same," Seraphina winked playfully.

"Wow," Ash was amazed that this famous figure even knew who he was. He really was a celebrity now!

"That was some battle you had today," Seraphina moved closer to him, "I've never seen such stamina before. You really are quite determined, aren't you?"

"Yeah," Ash nodded quickly, "always have been!"

As Seraphina and Ash continued their little conversation, Misty looked up from her friends and caught sight of the two chatting away. Instantly, she could feel her heart break and the color drain from her face. She watched how close the blonde got to Ash, and how much wider Ash's smile got with each passing moment. All too soon, Misty realized what this meant.

She'd been lied to. Ash didn't want her. There was just too much temptation. He couldn't stay tied down to just her.

This was the end.

"Oh my gosh Misty!" May roared with laughter as she tugged at the red head's slender arm, "you've got to hear this story Iris has about what Cilan did last night! It's so funny!"

"I…I'm crying!" Dawn struggled to get the words out as her body convulsed with heavy laughter. May and Iris were still guffawing as well, but all of that stopped instantly when they realized Misty was paying no attention to them. May quickly raised her head to try and figure out what was up with her gym leader friend. "Hey Misty, what're you looking at?" No response.

Dawn and Iris now looked in the same direction as Misty, gasping at the sight.

"Oh no…" Iris whispered under her breath.

"How could this be?" Dawn gasped softly, "It…it doesn't make sense!"

"Misty…" May murmured, gently touching Misty's upper arm. The red head flinched in response, but didn't bother to move afterwards. Instead, she gave a little smile and shook her head sadly, trying desperately to will back the tears that so badly wanted to escape from her eyes.

At the same time, as Seraphina continued gushing to Ash, the young master looked over at Misty. He smiled when he saw the pretty girl looking away from him, paying careful attention to whatever May, Dawn, and Iris were saying. It looked like a pretty serious conversation. Girls, Ash thought laughingly to himself. Looking back at Seraphina, he smiled sympathetically. He had to get out of there.

"I hate to break this up," Ash apologized, "but I need to go over there for a little bit," he motioned his head towards the table. "I'd love to talk again sometime!"

"Oh, okay," Seraphina gave him a tiny smirk, "later."

His heart rate and anxiety increasing greatly, Ash quickly strode over to the girls as he let his fingers linger against his jacket's pocket. The box was still in there. Good, Ash could feel relief washing over him, losing this would've been really bad.

When he finally reached the group, Ash offered a broad grin to all of them, which none seemed eager to return. Weird, Ash thought nonchalantly.

"Hey Mist," Ash said her name so sweetly and tenderly that it physically hurt Misty's ears, "do you mind if I take you somewhere for a few minutes?" Misty could feel her head spinning.

"Where are you taking her?" May stormed as she folded her arms.

"Just outside," Ash blinked confusedly.

"Why?" Iris snapped.

"I want to spend some alone time with her," Ash shrugged simply. Dawn was about to say something extremely biting, but Misty laid a hand on the young bluenette's knee, encouraging her to stop.

"Fine," Misty grumbled as she stood up, walking around the table so she was next to Ash.

"We won't be long," Ash assured Misty with a gentle smile.

"You'd better not be," Dawn growled, "they won't serve dinner until you give your official inauguration speech, Mr. Big Shot. And I'll have you know that I'm very hungry."

"Like I said," Ash was beginning to sound annoyed now, "it won't take long."

He hooked arms with Misty, who didn't bother to fight it. Her steps were slow and miserable, as though she was being taken to her death. Ash looked confusedly at Misty, but soon revealed a knowing smile. She must be tired and hungry, Ash thought, poor thing.

Ash brought her outside of the banquet hall through the back door, which led to a beautiful garden. Misty gazed sadly at the rose bushes that lined the stone pathway, hoping that the beauty of the flowers would give her some kind of optimism. Sadly, that idea was proving to be futile.

Ash, meanwhile, was beginning to grow extremely anxious. He didn't want to take too long to ask Misty his all important question, because she was clearly worn. But he still wanted it to be romantic. Misty, in his eyes, was perfect, and so the query had to be as well. Maybe I should start with a joke, Ash began to wrack his brain for ideas, no, she'll definitely hit me for that. And it might not even come out funny. Should I just come straight out with it? No, that's not what I want to do either! It has to be memorable.

Raising his eyes from the walkway, where he'd been trying to spot shapes in the stone, Ash caught sight of a beautiful white gazebo. Red and yellow roses wrapped around the structure's spires, and twinkling lights were strung from the inside of the ceiling. A small, manmade waterfall stood nearby, the clear water sparkling in the moonlight. This is perfect! Ash cheered mentally, his eyes gleaming.

"Come here," Ash gently tugged at Misty's slender arm, leading her towards the gazebo. She trudged up the small collection of steps and stood perfectly straight towards the structure's railing, staring intensely at Ash. She may have been miserable, but Misty certainly wasn't going to let Ash see that. She was too strong for that nonsense.

"Misty," Ash began with a heavy sigh. Redness quickly overtook his cheeks, and he continued, "You know I love you. I always have; ever since the day we met. I might not have realized it then, but I do now. As soon as you fished me out of that lake, I had feelings for you. They were just…really hard to figure out." He looked up sheepishly at Misty, and his heart skipped a beat when he realized she wasn't smiling. She didn't even look amused.

"Uh…" Ash's nervous hands now found their way behind his back, fumbling with one another as he tried to come up with what to say next. He figured he might as well just get to the point. "With that being said…"

"Just do it already," Misty's sullen voice gained Ash's attention again.

"What?" Ash asked softly.

"I know what you're going to do," Misty's tone became stronger, "so just do it."

How did she figure it out? Ash panicked silently.

"M…Mist, its okay," Ash stammered, "If you're not ready for this, we can wait."

"Are you an idiot?" Misty stormed as anger flashed through her dark green eyes. Ash flinched, his confusion growing. Why was she so angry?

"No," Ash shook his head, "I just thought…"

"You just thought what?" Misty interrupted as she folded her arms, "that maybe if you broke up with me some other time, it wouldn't hurt as much?" Ash's eyes opened up more widely now. "Look, clearly this is what you want. So go ahead, get it over with."

Water began to fill Misty's eyes. She shut them tightly, hoping to hide the tears. As she did so, however, she could hear Ash chuckling gently, and her fury grew even more.

"Why are you laughing?" Misty screeched as she whipped around so she wouldn't have to face the Pokémon master, "you're a jerk Ash. You can't even break up with me sensibly. I actually feel sorry for any girl who decides to get involved with you."

"Turn around, Misty."

She refused to move, instead letting her hands tighten into fists.

"Misty…look at me."

Misty shook her head.

"Please, Mist."

Misty growled and spun back around, her only reason being she wanted Ash to shut up. When she looked at him however, her eyes widened and she took a small step back. He looked much more relaxed and actually had a smile on his face. And aside from his new found calmness, Ash was now standing on bended knee.

"As I was saying," Ash went on, the clear shock on Misty's face increasing the size of his grin, "I love you. More than any other guy in the world could possibly imagine loving you. I know that I'm famous now, and it's going to take some time to adjust to. But it'll be a much easier process if I have you by my side. No matter what happens to me in the future, no matter how much of a celebrity I become to all these people…all I know is that I want to be able to wake up next to you every day, and tell you how much I love you and how much you mean to me."

Misty's heart was racing, and all of the color had drained from her face. That was most definitely the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to her, and she had nothing to respond with. Misty, in fact, was so busy trying to process the entire moment, that she hadn't noticed Ash reaching into his jacket pocket to retrieve the black velvet box. Flipping it open, he held the box out towards Misty. The stringed lights hanging above the couple caused the ring inside to shine like a star, and its jewels to glitter like freshly fallen snow.

"Misty," Ash's voice became somewhat shaky again, "will you marry me?"

Misty's breathing became ragged, and her tears returned. This time, however, they were happy tears. She tried her hardest to get the answer out, that one simple word. But she just couldn't. She couldn't speak. And when she saw Ash's face begin to fall, she knew she had to find a way to give him the answer.

So she simply nodded.

"Yes?" Ash breathed, almost in awe by the decision. The tears were now falling freely down Misty's cheeks, and as a wide smile appeared on her young face, Misty nodded again with more fervor.

Ash jumped up, his face bright with sheer joy and happiness. He gently pulled Misty's left hand closer to him and pulled the ring out of its package, sliding it onto the gym leader's ring finger. Misty brought her hand back and held it in front of her, examining the piece of jewelry.

The base of the ring was a brilliantly gleaming silver band. At the center of the band sat a marquise cut diamond, sized about one carat. On the left of the diamond, imbedded into the band, was a row of three small emeralds; Ash's birthstone. The pattern was repeated on the right, but instead of emeralds, there were rubies; Misty's birthstone.

"Do you like it?" Ash asked shyly. He was absolutely terrified that Misty would find the ring hideous, imperfect, or just not good enough.

"It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," Misty breathed as she continued to admire Ash's gift, "I love it!" Ash took a sigh of relief, clearly happy that Misty liked his choice.

"I picked it out on my own," Ash commented proudly, "well…Brock helped a little. But I did most of the work."

"I love it," Misty repeated, her smile widening. She jumped forward into Ash's arms, hugging him so tightly he could hardly breathe. Ash rested his head against hers, breathing in her sweet scent, and touching the familiar skin of her neck.

"And I love you," Misty pulled away in order to touch Ash's face, "I'm sorry for lashing at you like that."

"It's alright," Ash kissed her forehead, "just know that I'll never abandon you. Ever."

Misty nodded happily and leaned up to kiss his lips. Ash touched her lower back, and when she separated her mouth from his, Ash gave her a heartwarming smile.

"I think we should go back inside," Misty suggested. Stifling a giggle, she added, "Dawn needs to eat."

"Alright," Ash laughed as he grabbed Misty's hand. He felt the ring pressing into his palm, and his grin grew even wider.

Just as Ash had told his beautiful new fiancée, he couldn't be sure of what the future held for them. What he did know, however, was that the two would always be there for each other, and no one would ever get in their way. Not to mention, Ash finally knew how he was going to start this speech of his. He would start it with the exact words he said to Misty before re-entering the banquet hall.

"This is the best day of my life."

I always thought this would be a sweet way for them to get engaged. It would certainly be, as Ash said, the best day of his life!