Birthday giftfic to Shai-Duck; it's that sequel to Little Secrets I promised on a buzz of Kyoya fangirlism. Also (if I can pull this shit!) a gift to Lili-Neko - for being the best freaking Pokemon gijinta Ive ever seen at 'con. C:

I'm sorry really - this is just really therapeutic at the time. I will still finish my other stuff but right now I just have to do this. Bear with me.

Okay.

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Sugar Sweet Lies

Part One

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Despite what the media may tell you, romance - and the consequential relationships that follow - isn't always easy. It takes time, and effort, and patience, and compromise; none of which were traits that any of the Waterflower sisters would have named as Misty's strong suits.

Therefore, when the aforementioned redhead and a certain brunet researcher celebrated their six month anniversary, there was a huge celebration. A celebration that did not involve the couple, but one created not entirely behind their backs by their well meaning but suffocating relatives. Today was that day, actually, and Misty was in poor spirits.

Mostly because of the pink striped box sitting on her mattress from the lingerie store, 'Fatale Attraction', with a note pasted on it. The Gym Leader snatched the paper off it, reading the contents hastily.

'Our gift to you - a pretty bow on the gift that is your own sexy body!

Love,

Violet, Daisy, and Lily'

With a hiss of rage she crumpled the note, already knowing that all over her other underthings would have been raided and hidden (or possibly burned if they merited the term 'granny panties') by her siblings. Daisy and Lily had done the exact same thing to Violet when she'd confessed to be visiting Ecruteak City so often just to get a chance to flirt with Morty.

The redhead remembered her own participation in the event; none. Another scream of rage bubbled in her throat.

Damn it, why didn't I help my sisters hide those clothes? Yes, it was a stupid plan, but maybe then I'd know where they might have hidden mine!

"Miiiisty," cooed a voice from the other side of the closed door to her bedroom.

"If you keep growling like that..."

"You're going to have a sore throat for this evening."

The door opened, revealing a totem pole of Waterflower sisters peering at her through the crack.

"And we can't have that, can we?" Almost magically, their eyes gleamed; Misty grimaced. When did they get so creepy?

"What's stopping me from wearing the underclothes I have on right now, huh?" The youngest sister tugged on the hem of her top impudently. There was a brief pause, then a sigh, and Violet (the lowest on the totem pole) held up a two-liter of soda.

"We really don't want to wash Pamtres Bien out of your mattress but..."

Daisy flashed an evil grin. "Gary will see you in sexy underclothes or he won't see you at all!"

"You." Misty pointed a finger at her siblings. "You are all so evil you make Team Rocket seem like they're in the PokeCenter Business!"

It was Lily who played the trump card, though. "Think of how he'll look at you if you tell him you bought panties especially for him."

And, Arceus help her, Misty did.

He'd turn from whatever he was doing to fix her with his full attention; one eyebrow would start to inch up his forehead as he analyzed whether she was kidding or not. A smirk would part his lips, flashing white teeth that should not be possible for a man who drank that much coffee. He'd lean in until her eyes were fluttering closed from anticipation of a kiss; then he'd whisper, in that husky voice he used when they were close and he wanted them closer, if she'd show him what she'd bought...

Their giggle brought her back to reality, and Misty gathered up her clothes for their date - including, rather reluctantly, the black lacy set of vapor-wear inside the pink box - to head for the shower.

"You have to do my makeup again to make up for it."

Three squeals of glee met her muttered demand, flew down the stairs to relay the message to their consorts on videophone.

"Guys, we got her to wear it!"

There was a massive, static cheer as several female voices chimed in their shouts of praise; Misty stopped halfway out of her sports bra to scream down the staircase.

"Don't you people have Gyms to attend to?"

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Apparently, parading her wardrobe choices in front of their large, video conference phone was part of the deal of her sisters watching the Gym that night. The split screen visages of Phoebe, Gardenia, Winona, Flannery, Whitney, Clair and Sabrina passing judgement on her was almost more uncomfortable then the tiny, itchy, lace undergarments that lurked beneath her clothing.

"The jungle green's a nice color," Gardenia commented, gesturing to the top made of some shimmery fabric with a hemline that hovered above her black skinny jeans and faux fur-lined gray boots. The neckline was loose and taunted a peek of cleavage if caught at just the right angle.

"You would say that," Clair sniffed, sitting back further in her chair.

Whitney would have her say, despite being the youngest there (and Misty suspected she was there to try to wheedle hints for seducing Morty out of her sister); "Green brings out the color of her eyes, though!"

"But with the orange of her hair," and Flannery tugged at her own bangs that were just a shade darker, "most shades of green are too intense."

"Pastels are out, though," Winona added, lacing her fingers and leaning forward. "Where's your date again?"

Misty sighed, anxious to get this done so she could pack. "We're having a candlelight picnic in the Cerulean cave."

There were some murmurs throughout the panel; "Kinda cute and unorthodox," Phoebe cooed. Whitney and Gardenia looked totally unimpressed, though, while Clair and Sabrina nodded keenly.

"It's a landmark, so it's memorable, though it's not much of a tourist spot so it's secluded. Plus it's protected by the Pokemon League so no media attention," the dragon Leader listed its virtues as Sabrina murmured agreement.

"A wonderful place to propose," the Psychic added.

Every single jaw dropped.

The cry of shock echoed through the Gym a good second or two before it blasted from the giant monitor (thanks to video lag) then the Psychic Leader held up her hands.

"No, no, no. That's not a prophecy. My third eye has been clouded for a few years now, after all."

Misty's sigh of relief was probably the heaviest of them all; it took her a moment to notice the silence around her, and when she glanced up all eyes were on her.

"Something you want to tell us, Mist?" Violet asked cautiously.

"What? No," she laughed. "We're fine, really. I just... think I'm under dressed to be proposed to. But,"
she snapped her fingers and sharpened her eyes to a glare, "I'm not changing. I'll be late as it is."

"Awww." The disappointment sounded first in the Gym from her sisters, then a breath later from the monitor. Then voices were clamoring;

"Don't forget to have fun!"

"People in love are so cute, aren't they?"

"Let's discuss what their babies will look like!"

"Hey, you know it really turns guys on when you-"

She slammed the door brutally behind her, muffling a snort of rage as she stared at the solid surface. Half a second later, the faint smell of cologne alerted her to a presence behind her. Then a strong set of arms wrapped around her, and a man chuckled into the side of her neck.

"Next time you want to make a dramatic exit, you should probably try and take your coat with you."

Breaking out of his embrace only to return and thread her fingers through the softly spiked brown hair on the back of his head, Misty smirked at him to best of her abilities.

"Why should I, Gary? I have you to keep me warm."

He raised an eyebrow. "Been practicing your comebacks?"

"Of course. I can't have you getting the best of me all the time. Oh," she stopped and released him to kneel in the street and wrap her arms around the neck of Arcanine. "Hi there to you, too."

Gary smiled down at her, pushing his hands into his pockets and letting his shoulders slump under his simple black jacket. Snow was falling gently around them, painting the whole city in white except for the area directly around the Legendary Pokemon; a corona of heat surrounded him, complete with a faint golden glow.

Basking in this, Misty gave her boyfriend a quizzical glance. "Why do you look so happy?"

"Because I am," he chuckled, reaching up to mess with his hair with one hand. Her expression shifted to faintly suspicious as she rested her chin in the warm ruff of creamy fur around Arcanine's neck.

"You're so weird."

That odd fluttery feeling was stirring up in the pit of her stomach again - a giddy sensation as he kept smiling at her, looking at her like she was the only thing in the world that mattered.

It'd been happening more and more often recently. They'd be in the middle of something mundane, and Gary would just stop and stare at her for a while. It wasn't a teasing look - that she could handle... It wasn't a hungry look - she could handle those, too, and came consequently prepared for...

But this was too new, too intense for her to be comfortable under.

Reaching down into the ground, she groped blindly for enough precipitation to form a snowball. Unfortunately, Arcanine had melted most of it, so she settled for slinging slush at her boyfriend. He ducked, predictably, then headed for a promising looking pile under a lamp post.

Most of the slush had run down her arm when she'd thrown it, so Misty rolled her sleeve up and awkwardly wiped the filthy water off her arm as she hobbled for her own pile of snow. It was still rather fluffy, but when Arcanine took a couple steps in her direction, it softened just enough to be packed.

Her grin stretched her face, wicked glee not unlike a Banette, and she glanced up just in time to see Gary hurl his snowball with exceptional grace - or it would have been exceptional, except that he, like most of the population, was well used to hurling things around.

The snow was less compliant, though, and Misty held the melting snowball carefully in stiff, cold fingers as she charged her boyfriend. He laughed, halfheartedly fleeing, and she smashed the wet slushy fistful of precipitation into his side.

"RASENGAN!" she shouted through her laughs, grinning up as he made a hissing noise when she laced her cold fingers through his hair. He quickly submitted to her kiss, shivering as melting snow slid down his back.

There was a strangled chorus of glee, then Misty's face was jammed against Gary's shoulder and chest - his chuckle reverberated through her whole body even as she struggled away and stormed away from the gym.

Stupid sisters.

"Good night, ladies," Gary called, catching up and lacing his fingers with Misty's. He leaned over and nuzzled the side of her neck. "Hi there."

Behind them, Arcanine radiated warm, rosy light and cast their wavering shadows before them. The snow, dimpled already by footprints and car tracks, stood out in sharp relief as though embossed. The Gym Leader closed her eyes, quietly focused on commiting the scene to memory.

The chill of the winter air around them -

The puff of Gary's breath as he blew a plume of steam into the night -

The warmth of his fingers between hers -

The faint itch of her lacy undergarments -

Absently, she reached up and adjusted the bra strap, catching Gary's amused gaze.

"If there's uncomfortable, you could always take them off?"

A smack then a laugh sounded in the otherwise quiet Cerulean City as the couple headed off into the night.

0-x-0

He'd done it again several time through dinner - which had been on the little spit of sand outside Cerulean Cave, accessed by Lapras and lit by Arcanine-light - and Misty each time avoided his eyes. He had to have noticed by then, but he hadn't said anything.

Yet, the small pessimistic voice in her whispered. Not yet. Soon, though. Nothing good lasts forever.

This too was a new development - the nagging feeling that something was not right between them, something that seemed to come up whenever she spent time apart from him. Something that happened when she was alone with her thoughts.

It was worst when she'd heard about Ash - he'd left Dawn for a new region, a new girl and new adventures. The press had, naturally, made him out to be a womanizing monster, but that wasn't the case. He was a good kid, but in some ways just a kid.

"Misty?"

Gary waved his hand in front of her face. "You with me, Red?"

She shook her head. "Yeah, sorry. I'm here."

He tilted his head slightly to the side, his voice cool. "Anything you want to talk to me about?"

Misty hesitated - his expressed sharpened, an almost imperceptible change if she hadn't known him so well. He's on edge.

"I was thinking about that old tale about the Pidgey and the Trainer..."

Shoulders slumped briefly only to stiffen as she finished her thought.

"...And Ash."

"Which story is this?" His tone was a little more relaxed, but he reached out to pull her a bit closer anyway. Misty gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, feeling the faint rough texture of his skin, then did her best to collect her thoughts.

"I was thinking about... if Dawn felt the way I felt when I was dating Ash. There's an old story about a Trainer who loved a Pidgey, but that Pidgey was helplessly in love with the sky. Every day, the Pidgey would fly up as high as it could reach, then when it collapsed with exhaustion, the Trainer would take it home and fix it up."

She snuggled closer to him, closing her eyes and yawning as she continued.

"The Trainer never tried to capture the Pidgey because he knew the Pidgey would die if imprisoned. But the Pidgey never stayed longer than the night. I remember... I felt like that Trainer sometimes - when he'd leave to chase the impossible dreams. Like, I would be his but he could never be mine."

Gary was quiet and mostly still, then he took in a deep breath and released it.

"I miss him."

"Me too," she murmured with a squeeze, then another yawn. He followed suit, then pushed her off.

"Shoot! The wild Misty used Yawn. Gary became drowsy."

She threw herself on him, rolling around on the clean, warm sand in the bubble of heat provided by the dozing Arcanine. He struggled in her grip, then flipped her over onto her back, pinning her wrists about her head and smirking down on her.

He looked like a predator, and she arched her back under him, pressing her chest against this, then turning the motion into a roll and trapping him in a hungry kiss. Her lips worked against his, and he chuckled against her mouth as she flicked her tongue across his lips.

"Hey."

"Mmm?" She blinked up at him, collapsing back onto the sand.

"I'm yours, you know."

She made a face, and he lowered himself down closer until he could whisper intimately in her ear.

"I won't chase the sky. You're all I want. Okay?"

The sudden rush of affection that caused her to wrap herself around him with an almost sort of savagery came with a bitter aftertaste.

I don't deserve him.

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I think I forgot how to write things that aren't school. Or happy things. Oops.