So yeah, my first real non-drabble. Jaw-droppingly Clichéd, I know, but bear with me, I'm new to this. Oh and for the love of god, reviewing will not kill you. I don't care how crappy you think this is, just drop a review

Midnight was without a doubt, Iris's favorite time of the day. There was something unnerving, yet oddly soothing about the majesty of the night, the stars forming a diamond veil over the heavens, guarding their secrets against would-be prying eyes. Stargazing at midnight was something of an addiction for Iris, and sneaking out while everyone around her was asleep was a skill she'd mastered over her years in the dragon village.

As par her habit, Iris sat dangerously perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking a sea of bright lights, watching a massive ferris wheel slowly turn, oblivious to the sleeping city around it. It was magical night, not only because of the view in front of her, but also because of the ludicrously large full moon, that seemed to complete the vision before her. Midnight was one of the few times Iris felt the need to be truly alone. One of the few times not even Axew could be found on her shoulder. A characteristic wave of guilt washed over her, as it so often did, when she thought about her poor baby dragon, curled up in her sleeping bag, believing it was huddled up to its mother. The guilt soon passed though, as another set of much less welcome thoughts entered her mind.

Perhaps what Iris found most inviting about the solitude of night, was the time it gave her with her own thoughts. The heart of night was when she best loved to muse of a range of topics: her lofty goals as a trainer, her friends, or what few of them there were, in the dragon village, the old village matriarch, and of course, her annoying pinkette of a rival. But on this day, or rather, on this month, she found herself unable to concentrate on anything worthwhile. On this day, her mind refused to thinking about her flying on the back of a Salamence, or defeating Lance is a battle, or returning to the matriarch as one of the elite four. Today her mind remained obstinately fixed on thoughts of a set of gorgeous soft chocolate brown eyes, swirling with determination, brimming with that other-worldly glint.

"Ughhhh". The groan that she let loose was completely reflexive, a form of self-chastisement she'd developed to prevent her from thinking about his eyes, or indeed any other part of him. Burying her face into her knees, Iris started thinking about the first time these completely irrational feelings had started to dominate her thoughts, had started tugging unrelentingly on her heartstrings, had made her feel weak-kneed and tongue-tied, whenever he talked to her.

It wasn't that Ash was a demigod, straight from a Greek tragedy. Arceus knew he had more than his share of faults, some of them the types that by, all regards, should have driven Iris insane. But he had that heart, so preposterously pure, and he had that smile, that could melt an iceberg into slush, (and ironically, did just that, to every muscle in her body), and above all he had those stupid eyes, that made her want to scribble emo poetry in black ink. Those eyes, that she had to use every ounce of determination not to stare into, lest she lose another hour of her day fantasizing (especially since fantasizing was what took up most of her midnight lonesome hour these days). Letting some of her restraint slip, Iris imagined herself and Ash, under a full moon, rather like this one, his arms wrapped around her frame, as he kissed her, deeply, lovingly, stroking her lower back as she ran her hands through that frustratingly smooth hair, that seemed to stay silky, no matter how much he ignored it. It took a lot of willpower for Iris to pull herself from these thoughts, and goodness, it felt like her heart was being torn, strand by strand, from her chest. But once again she ignored the pain, and feverishly wiped away the single tear that rolled down her cheek, gasping in awe at what she'd become. Yes, it hurt to acknowledge that he could never be hers, but never before had it stung so badly, and crying was something she'd always associated with weakling, who were too feeble to get up and do something about their problems, and yet here she was, the tears slowly dripping down her face, over a boy of all things (though not just any boy, her aching heart whimpered).

At times like these, the best way to quell her rebellious heart, was to think about the fact that she most probably wasn't the only one who found Ash attractive. She'd seen the pictures of Ash, ones with the water-type gym leader from Kanto. His native Kanto she thought, so conveniently placed from him to visit, to grow intimate with. The girl was, without a doubt, beautiful, but she wasn't Ash's only option. There was the coordinator from Hoenn, equally beautiful, who, as Iris understood, was something of a protégé to Ash. She scoffed at the thought; student-teacher relation indeed. Finally there was that bluenette stylist (Pokestylist? really, was that even a career?) from Sinnoh, the one with the preposterously short skirt, the one who, Iris thought, looked like she was unable to tie her own shoelaces, without Ash holding her hand. For some reason, the bluenette drove her insane, with her sleek midnight blue hair, and that overly developed bust. Iris looked down at her plain clothes, her ugly, dark skin, her bloated, weird hair, her thin, lanky frame. All three of those girls were beautiful, and, as much as it pained her to admit it, all three were further ahead in their careers than her. Most disturbingly, all three has amazing cerulean blue orbs, eyes that contrasted so perfectly with Ash's chocolate brown one. Iris on the other hand, had dirty, brown puddles in her eyes. Not the soft brown of Ash's eyes, rather a vile dark shade that made her want smash whatever mirror she was staring at. No, Iris was never one to delude herself, and much as acknowledging it made her feel like her chest was being trampled over, Ash would never be hers. Right now, Iris decided to give in to her desires, and cry until she felt like getting up again.

"So this is where you disappear to every night" That was a voice she knew all too well. Immediately she wiped the few nascent tears on her face, whirled around, and found herself, unwittingly, staring into an all too familiar pair of brown eyes. In the night, his eyes sparkled almost inhumanly, so much that she could almost see the moon's reflection, adding a white sheen to the background of coffee. It took a while for Iris to stop fantasizing about those eyes, and register the fact that he'd just addressed her.

"Umm, yeah, I just really like the night" Was that too laconic? Surely she spoke that too fast; now Ash would no doubt think of her as antisocial, another reason for him to go back to slutty-miniskirt girl.

Instead Ash bent and sat down right next to her, closer than he'd ever before. Iris felt her cheeks flare up, her heart hammering into her chest, the thumping almost loud enough to betray her emotions.

"Wow, Nimbasa city looks amazing at night" He said, with that beautifully innocent voice.

"Yeah the view is pretty good" The obvious hint in her voice was disregarded, she almost felt like face palming; since when did she ever flirt?

For a while, neither of them spoke, Iris didn't even bother asking what Ash was doing up in the first place.

After a while, Ash finally raised his voice.

"This kinda reminds me of a place I found back home" That definitely got Iris' attention. For one thing, Ash had never talked about his life in Kanto, and more importantly, a tone had entered his voice, one she had never heard before. He sounded almost, dare she say it, affectionate.

"Really?" she asked simply for the purpose of spurring him on.

"Yeah, it was a cliff overlooking Viridian city. That's the largest city in Kanto. It was pretty near my home, so I used to sneak out at night, and just stare at the sky. My mom used to catch me lot, but I still snuck out sometimes."

"Sounds about right for you." It came out a bit harsher than she wanted, but at the moment Iris hardly felt very forgiving towards the boy who had managed to knot up her emotions into a tangled mess, even if inadvertently.

"I can see why you never tell anyone about this. I never trusted anyone enough to tell them about my secret spot either. Except….. well, no one from Pallet town anyway." THAT definitely roused Iris' attention. Perhaps it was her scrambled emotions looking for reassurances, but Ash almost seemed like he was suggesting something.

"Anyone outside pallet than?" She egged on.

"Well, ummm , There's this girl…" And now the tears threatened to return in full force, as Iris felt her heart shatter into tiny irreparable pieces. It had to be the miniskirt girl, she had that amazing hair style. But then again, Ash had known the gym leader the longest, perhaps it was her? Oh hell, what did she even know about Ash, maybe it was all three of them.

Despite everything, she managed to choke out a sentence.

"What's she like?"

"Uhhh, She's a really strong trainer. She even beat me one time, when I was sure I'd win" So it was most probably the gym leader. What was her name? Misty?

"How do you feel about her", she managed to say.

"To tell you the truth, I don't really know. I mean I find myself thinking about her, but I cant really be sure". This was the first time Iris had ever heard him talk so freely about anything besides Pokémon or battling. She never even knew Ash was capable of having such deep emotions. Despite everything, Iris couldn't help but smile a bit.

"What's she look like. Have you ever told her how you felt?"

"Well, she has the most amazing chocolate eyes. I feel like staring at them all day, but I know she'd kick me in the shin if I did." Somewhere in the middle of his sentence, Iris was sure her heart skipped a beat. None of those three girls had brown eyes. Before she could think any further, Ash continued.

"She also has the coolest hair in the world. I can tell from a mile away, where she is. It makes her stand out so much from every other girl in the world, and in a good way too". If her heart had skipped a beat at his last sentence, it completely stopped beating during his current one. He was talking about her. That doesn't mean anything, her brain tried to rationalize. He just admitted to thinking about you, that's not much.

"Sometimes I feel like running my hands through her hair, just to see what it feels like. I know she'll probably get angry, but she looks cute when she'd mad." Why was he still putting up this charade? Was this some kind of sick practical joke, payback for all the times she'd called him a child maybe?

"When she's mad, her eyes get kind of shiny, like chocolate with bits of gold in it". What exactly was going on? Since when was Iris the flustered-in-the-face-of-love one, and, more importantly, when was Ash ever so confident with his feelings? Mustering up the willpower to untie her tongue, Iris managed to choke out:

"You're not even supposed to like me"

"Really?, because you're the one whose always calling me a child". One of his hands has crept into her hair, gently toying with a strand. It took a lot more resolve to ignore how right it felt to have his hands on her any part of her.

"I've never given you a reason to like me. My eyes aren't even blue" The comment apparently puzzled Ash, about as much as it did her, because his hands dropped from her hair, only to reappear by her temple, gently stroking her cheek. Iris was sure he could feel heat that flooded to the point of contact. Her brain screamed at her to push his hand away, to cover up her face, and run until she hit Black city. This was so wrong, on so many levels, and yet it felt so right. Iris would have been content to spend the rest of her life in that one spot, with Ash stroking her cheek, but this moment was too important.

"I know they're not blue. They're so much prettier this way." Her hand crawled onto his, stopping it's motion, giving her a chance to recuperate from the dizziness of the past minute.

"But I've never…. I.. I'm not….."

"Iris, there's not much that you're not. I mean you're funny, and smart and exciting, and…." He spoke cautiously "Beautiful" Beautiful, he'd called her beautiful; a word, she was sure, not even her parents would have used to describe her. Certainly a term she'd never been so crass as to use on herself. Most definitely a word she did not deserve to be called.

"But, Im not at all…."

One hand crept up to her mouth, as he placed a lone finger on her lips. The other staunchly wrapped around her waist. Once again Iris had to subdue the urge to squeal like a child with a new toy. His arms fit so snugly around her frame, like they were tailor made for each other. Now, freed from the unnecessary wastage of speaking, her mid could begin to absorb the situation, how it felt like something she wouldn't even dream about. Her previously fractured heart felt like it had swollen to 5 times its size. Sometime during their conversation, they had stood up, Iris hadn't even noticed. Their bodies fitted together perfectly, and Iris felt like spending eternity standing on that cliff with him. But again he chose to interrupt her

"I've never done this before Iris, I just saw in this movie once. Sorry if it doesn't go right". And then slowly, almost teasingly, he closed the narrow gap between their lips, planting his mouth over hers. The stupid rational part of her yelled at her to push him away, but so far, her logic had gotten her nowhere, and she decided it was time to throw that part of her out the window. She was unsure of what to do at first, as any young girl would be, at her first kiss. She was afraid of kissing back. But he had called her exciting….He had called her smart…Beautiful. There was no reason not to kiss back. Raising her, up till then, limp arms, she wrapped them around his neck, pulling him closer, deepening their intimacy. Ash tensed up, apparently not having expected her to respond so soon, but quickly regained his step, tightening the arm around her waist, while the other cradled her head. Iris could honestly say she'd never felt so unbelievably happy before, but part of the burning sensation, she realized, might have had something to do with the fact that she was running out of air, though since she'd disbanded the logical part of her brain, she didn't really care. Ash however, wasn't content with her dying, so he pulled away, and for a while stared into her eyes.

"How bad was it?"

"It was perfect" She giggled (Really? Did that sound just come out from HER mouth?)

Ash simply responded by smiling, and kissing her again. His hand cupped her cheek, and somewhere along the way, their long romantic kiss broke down into a smaller bunch of kisses. Iris was sure she heard him mumble something, but it was not after the tenth or eleventh peck, when they once again broke apart for air that he finally let out

"I love you Iris' there was no hint of doubt or confusion in his voice, only absolute surety. Love. He Loved her. It wasn't just a petty crush, It was love, he'd said so, she'd heard him. Wrapping her arms around him, she did something she'd never so much as let herself fantasize about, placing her face against his chest (a difficult deed, since they were the same height).

"I love you too", she mumbled into his shoulder. There; she'd said it, and instantly she felt like a burden had been lifted off her shoulders. After the weeks of angst, and the petty bemoaning, she'd allowed herself to say it, and it sounded so freaking corny, and yet it felt so very right. Mine she thought, wrapping her arms tighter around his shoulders. Mine, mine, mine, all mine.

They lay for while in the grass together, no words necessary to communicate their emotions. When the sun started rising, it occurred to Iris, just how long they'd been awake.

"We should get back", Ash slowly spoke, though his tone spoke volumes about how much he really wanted to. He got to his feet, and helped Iris to her feet.

"What are we supposed to tell Cilan?" Ash asked

"I have a feeling he'll figure out on his own" Iris giggled (again, that weird noise?), as she clamped down on his hand, and started pulling him towards their camp.