Disclaimed.

Happy Pearlshipping Day!


Beyond

It was odd, really. She hadn't meant for it to have ended up this way, but fate had a way to alter and warp even the simplest of outings to make it one of the greatest nights of her life.

Dawn sunk into the loveseat and sighed dreamily. She had just came back from a friendly date with her childhood friend Ash – which probably went beyond friendly by the end of the night – and she was in total bliss. Her hand reached up and tenderly touched her lips where his were not long ago before they separated to their respective homes, and she giggled with contained giddiness at the memory of it.

Her eyes closed as she leaned back into the seat's soft, pink cushion. The evening's events played back in her mind like a movie reel in perfect clarity.


A knock was heard as Dawn set her hair brush down in front of her large, white vanity mirror. She had been getting ready for her evening out with her close friend and she wanted to make sure she looked decent for him, hoping deep in her heart to evoke a reaction out of him or receive a compliment. She stopped applying her light makeup and blushed a bit. He's just a friend, she thought. Nothing more, nothing less.

The knocking continued in a rhythmic fashion until she called out, "I'm coming!"

Down the stairs she went, and with a last second check in a mirror to make sure she looked perfect, she laid her palm on the door's knob and heaved a nervous sigh. With a smile graced on her lips she opened the wooden door.

"Ash!" she greeted. A boyish grin broke out on the lad's face upon seeing her and he spread his arms wide, inviting her in for a friendly hug. She took the invitation and tackled her companion, burying her face in his shoulder with a laugh erupting from her throat. He returned her hug and dipped his nose into her lilac-scented hair, inhaling all that he could before the hug ended. They released their hold on each other after a moment, but kept themselves at arms length.

"So Dawn, you ready to go?" He grabbed her hand and tugged a bit, laughing at the way she stumbled a little. He found the way she puffed out her cheeks and huffed in mock-irritation to be rather cute, not that he'd ever admit that to anyone, much less her. It was bad enough that he noticed almost every little detail about her, more than he ever noticed in the years that he knew her, so enlightening her on that tidbit was not something he planned to do anytime soon.

"Okay, okay, Mr. Big Shot. Lead the way," she said. Together they walked away from her house, conversing and laughing, with their hands intertwined, and let their feet lead the way to the carnival down the block.


"Wow!" Dawn's eyes almost popped out of their sockets when she saw how large and colorful the carnival was, and she couldn't help letting them wander towards all the booths and prizes and banners and balloons scattered around. What really got her attention, however, was the colossal Ferris Wheel at the center of the park. The light of the setting sun cast a golden orange glow onto the giant circular attraction, hypnotizing her with its lazy clockwise rotation. Another tug at her hand snapped her out of her daze and she smiled in amusement when she saw the eager look on Ash's face, the childish aura exuding from him reaching her, giving her a sense of excitement she hadn't felt since her elementary days.

She called to his attention: "Ash," she said, "where do you want to go first?" She could have sworn her heart melted when he energetically bounced with a playful smile on his face and pulled her along, listing all the attractions he wanted to visit and see.

Games were played such as Ring Toss, Balloon Darts, Whack-A-Drilbur, etc. They were exhausted by the time they played their last game at approximately ten o'clock. The carnival was scheduled to close at midnight, and half of the game booths were already shut down for the day when Ash and Dawn finished eating their food. Ash was about to ask her if she wanted to call it quits and go home for the night, when he caught her staring wistfully at the still functioning Ferris Wheel ride. The shadow of the iron giant hung over them thanks to the moon's white luminosity shining against it in the cool summer night.

There was something magical about that Ferris Wheel, and he was sure she felt it too, as if it were calling to them, pulling them in, waiting for them to ride it. He wasn't sure what it was, and there was a gut feeling in the pit of his stomach that he couldn't put his finger on, but he figured that if he took her on that ride, something important and potentially life-altering would happen between the blue-haired maiden and himself. He took his chances and asked her.

"The Ferris wheel?" Here eyes were wide and held a definite sparkle in them. His cheeks burned and his heart skipped a beat for no real reason, and before he could ponder these odd symptoms, he found himself being pulled off his seat and dragged by her hand which grasped his. He noticed the ear-to-ear grin on her face and could have given anything in the world to see her like that everyday.

The pair arrived at their destination and were pleasantly surprised to see no lines. They did, however, see a man – part of the carnival staff, they realized – preparing to shut down the ride, escorting the last pair of teens out of the passenger car.

"Oh, no you don't," muttered Ash under his breath, and with a burst of energy, he sprinted towards the lone man with Dawn in his wake being pulled along. He called out a "Wait!", effectively stopping the worker before he started shutting down the machinery.

"What do you want?" the man asked, eying the two teens with apprehension.

"Please, sir, could you let us on the ride before you close it?" asked Ash. Dawn stood beside him, pleading the staff member with her eyes, her hands clenched beneath her chin.

The male sighed and gave them a tired smile. "A'right, I'll let you two in, but only 'cause I want to see you both come out of there with a different air around you."


The inside of the car was cold, empty, and not exactly extravagant, but that didn't deter Ash and Dawn in the slightest. Their gazes were set on the shrinking view of the carnival lights below as they ascended slowly into the night sky.

The view from above didn't keep Ash's attention for long since he soon found himself staring at the awed expression of his close friend. He frowned at the term 'close friend' as he believed that, after this night, Dawn was certainly more than just a close friend. Ash doesn't stare at his close friends, or blush for them for that matter. He doesn't compare close friends to angels or goddesses, or think about them more often than normal. No, he was sure he felt things for Dawn that he never felt for anyone else, not even his mother; and he was sure there was a word for it, a word he has heard over and over again when talking to his pal, Brock. A word he felt would perfectly fit his feelings for her.

Love.

The realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He was in love, and it was with his long-time friend Dawn. It took him years to figure this out, but he was as sure as the sun sets in the East that this was what people talked about when they claimed they were in love. He looked at her again this time, but with a new light, a light that made her look more like the angel she was. Yes, he was a big ball of cheese for thinking such things, but who could blame him? Love does things to people.

His hand reached out and grabbed hers, drawing her attention away from the scenery and to him. She was startled with the soft but serious look he gave her, the way he held her hand so gingerly, how he tenderly ran his thumb over the skin on the back of her hand. It was all these actions that sent her heartbeat into a frenzy, causing her cheeks to flush a brilliant red. They were at the pinnacle of the wheel, the perfect scene for a cliché romance film scene, except this wasn't a movie – this was real.

She didn't know how long they stared at each other, nor did she notice when his hand found its way to her cheek. All she knew was that they were leaning into each other, and she could easily make out the distinct fragrance of his pine-scented cologne. It was a pleasant treat to her sinuses, but she was vaguely aware of anything else as his face neared hers.

And then their lips met.

The contact set off fireworks within them. Their senses exploded, and their hearts beat rapidly with the sensation. It was a simple action, yet it was amazingly complex at the same time. At some point Ash's other hand cupped her other cheek, pressing her lips closer to his. She responded and kissed back with a small amount of pressure. They never went beyond the simple lip-to-lip contact, for it only lasted half a minute, but once they separated for air, they both knew that it was one of the most magical moments in their lives.

They also knew it wasn't the last.


A/N: This was sooo CHEESY! But hey, what did you expect from a teenage girl writing shipping fics? Hope you all had a great Pearlshipping Day. ;)

And yes, this is AU, hence the absence of anything Pokemon-related except that one obvious reference to them in the first half. Can you find it? -giggles-

Review please, even if it's just to tell me how much you loved it or to just say "Happy Pearlshipping Day!" I would also love to see some constructive criticism too.

Thank you for reading!

- Paty