To the following:

Crystal-Rock: Well, thanks, glad that you enjoyed it! Yeah, them ninjas be too cool! I've always had a soft spot for Koga. Not as much as Lance, though. But I felt we needed a small break, and to remind some of us that there was, indeed, a series of unfortunate events that led to their situation, that may not be so random as they seem (wink wink).

Anime-GuardianAngel: Lol, am I giving you dem feels? XD

TopazDragon: I guess I'm just used to writing (and thinking that I'm not being that fantastic at) action-things, and here I really wanted to dive deeper into their characters but still leaving a good portion for us and the characters themselves to continue to discover(especially with Lance being such a clean slate to use). And for a moment I wanted to branch out and remind us that the couple aren't the only ones doing anything, ship wreaks don't go quietly by in the news, and maybe hint at a few not-so-coincidential happenings.

japaneserockergirl: Yeah, I suppose it's not so bad a chapter, I guess it's that I went deeper and stayed to character analysis with them, and I'm not totally used to that. I think the creators weren't looking to get deep with characters really, considering it IS a kids show, and the audience they want to forever have in their hands is each new generation of kids. It's why I really like the Pokemon Special manga (also known as Pokemon Adventures) is, while they still can't decide whether to call the RBY rival Blue or Green even in the RubySapphire chapters (lol) it's a bit more grown up in concept (and Yellow is absolutely ADORABLE). And I too was disappointed they hadn't done anything with Janine (me watching anime:"...Son, I am disappoint.") and I wish they would have let the Chronicles continue, let us see the progression of every other person's lives go while Ash does his journey. I know one of the underlying themes of Pokemon is "Life changes, you go places, meet new friends, have to let go old friends and hope to see them again later" and so on, but I hate that we don't see what changes for his old friends, like what is Brock going through as he becomes a Poke-doctor, does Misty have to open up her gym's roster now that more foreign region trainers come to Kanto, does Gary get to break from his research and visit Professor Oak, what's Tracey up to, where's Ritchie, what are a few events and mysteries Ash's Squirtle faces as part of the squad, what about Pidgeot's flock-there are so many characters that Ash's journey's affected, and I hate that the show stopped showing us how they were affected. And those small adventures of Jimmy and Marina (Gold n Crystal's anime versions) were pretty neat too, we finally gave Raikou the electric legendary his own special! Ah, dear I'm rambling, anyway, thanks for the review!

sesshoumaru-sama's lover: (1) A long time, (2) not telling that, (3) updating right now, and (4) I don't know but I don't mind the questions at all so ask away! C:

Alumina: Oh gosh that Raikou special with Marina XD her fangirling made my day, people do not even know how much. Nah, I didn't much count the cameos. I'm not saying anything or naming anything...but holy crap are you freaking PSYCHIC?

Limplict: Haha, thank you! Glad you like it so much so far, and trust me, a LOT of us could fangirl over Lance all day, well I would anyway. As for Misty, eh well, I can't promise she won't land herself in some more trouble that'll put her in that damsel-in-distress role buuuuuut I can promise she'll be getting her drive back...soon... C:

New Readers: mupp3tbab3h, Alumina, sesshoumaru-sama's lover, sonicxjones, and limplict

Welcome aboard C:

I'm a little curious; so far the reception of you guys said the small break with Karen and Koga was good, and I was wondering whether I should include more of those short breaks at the beginning or the end of each chapter or every other chapter. They wouldn't be long, just quick snips of what's going on outside the island, like little "meanwhile..."'s but the focus of the story would still be on Lance and Mist, we'd just also be getting extras of "Oh, by the way, the rest of the world's doing this too". What do you guys think?

Also, I'm sorry I didn't ask everyone, (only like five) but for those of you in the know: I completely lied, and the verdict's Growlithe.

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for any OOCness that you think or know you see. It happens.

I hope you guys like Water-types, cause they just busted into the chapter and made themselves comfy while I wasn't looking.

Interestingly enough, they weren't the only ones to have sought shelter from the storm; they were just the first to get inside the cave. Sometime during the night, or maybe even an hour after she had fallen asleep-the time was still indeterminable-a particularly loud blast of thunder had jolted her awake and Misty had noticed despite the terrible amount of lighting filtering for her eyes to see that a variety of small pokemon had or were in the process of getting inside. Most were water-type, or she thought they were anyway, and given that pokemon were supposed to be more in tune with nature than humans, she was mildly surprised they hadn't sought shelter earlier. Perhaps their own shelters had been taken by others, or were too weak to handle the storm somehow?

Either way, a couple lobster-like pokemon called Corphish had crawled inside and curled up in a corner to sleep, along with a few white and blue sea-gull pokemon, Wingull, that were nestled into each other, switching stares of absolute fear between the storm outside and Misty and Lance. A squirtle and slowpoke were desperately trying to climb in, though it wasn't so obvious with how lethargic the Slowpoke was climbing, and consistently slipping.

Managing to separate herself from Lance-huh, she didn't remember his arm being that close...- Misty grasped the Squirtle's arms and pulled him in first. The turtle pokemon was absolutely shocked to find an occupant in the cave, and more so that it wasn't a pokemon, but when it started to struggle she settled him with the other pokemon before going after the Slowpoke. She'd have to let it deal with her presence once she got the Slowpoke into safety.

"Misty w-what are you-" Lance's surprised, groggy from sleep voice jumped from behind her, interlacing with a flash of timely lightning above.

"Help me!" she cut him, trying to pull in the big pink pokemon. It was ridiculously heavy, for its size! Or maybe her arms were just weak, or her muscles hadn't fully awoke from their rest? Either way, the storm's wind was pulling the pokemon stronger away than she could pull it in.

Lance's frame shifted and he was then right behind her. His hands grasped just above hers on the Slowpoke's legs, and with his added strength they were able to get the Slowpoke inside their small, and now very cramped cave. Unable to move much, Lance found himself the metaphorical pillow as Misty was laid right on top of him, her back on his torso, while the heavy pink and white pokemon rested lazily and contently on Misty's lower body.

"Oh come on, don't you get comfy on me!" Misty snapped at it. The pink lug was heavy!

It blinked slowly at Misty, and opened its mouth even slower, and let loose a lethargic, calm "Sslooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooowwwwww..." and let its fleshy pink head plop down onto the bottom portion of her stomach, heedless of the fact that Misty wasn't a pokemon but a human. Too late.

Unable to resist the temptation, Misty's hand lifted and scratched softly at the back of one of its rounded ears. For several, long seconds the Slowpoke didn't react at all at her touch. Finally, after a long delay the Slowpoke's head turned slightly into her fingers, and a pleased "Sloooooooooooowwwww..." found its way out of the pokemon's mouth.

Misty giggled, and looked at the other pokemon. The Corphish were snoozing along in their curled up positions, unaware of anything going on around them. The wingull were very much afraid of them still, while the Squirtle had become brave by Slowpoke's reaction and crawled closer to them. Though, she considered, it might also be in need of warmth rather than being friendly.

"These are all water-types. I can understand the Wingull being here, since it's a bird," Lance began musing, "but what I don't understand is what are the other ones doing here. They should be safe and sound in the reefs."

"Landlubbers aren't the only ones afraid of storms." Misty replied with a bit of sailor-talking terminology, "At the Cerulean cape, some storms are bad enough that I've found chunks of the coral wash ashore. The water beneath the surface is dangerous too, it's just that those of us above the surface get, I don't know, the bigger, badder part of the storm. You know, with all the lightning and wind, plus water. Maybe some of their shelters underneath weren't enough to take the storm? OR got taken by another pokemon?"

"Maybe." Lance agreed.

"Squirtle-squir," the squirtle said, inching closer, wary of them, but also impressed by her help and the Slowpoke's content nature.

"Hey there, it's okay, we're harmless." Misty cooed, not even skipping a beat as she smiled, "He only looks fierce, I promise."

"What? Hey!" She could tell by tone alone that Lance wasn't offended, just surprised, and perhaps a bit amused.

"Ssslooooooooooooooooooooooww wwww..." the pink pokemon yawned, and whatever it said apparently quelled the Squirtle's suspicion though the fearful Wingull behind it were anything but soothed. He relaxed beside the two humans, and after poking Misty's and Lance's side, and receiving a cute jump from Misty who was ticklish, the Squirtle plopped down beside them. His head was right under her arm that was scratching the Slowpoke's ear, so she switched arms and carefully laid her left on the front, softer side of his shell while her right arm draped over Slowpoke.

"Squir!" it said, its own blue arms falling over hers and smiling at the two humans, appreciative of their warmth.

"Well, at least they all are friendly." Lance mused, amused by the Squirtle's attitude and the Slowpoke's contentment.

"Yeah, though I wouldn't mind Slowpoke here being a few pounds lighter. I'm afraid my legs might fall asleep." Misty admitted. Her legs weren't falling asleep as she spoke, it was just the big pokemon was rather heavy!

Underneath she could feel Lance's body shift, and the weight of the slowpoke had slightly lifted. Now his legs were on either side of her and barely lifted, helping distribute the weight of the pink pokemon.

"Thanks." Misty voiced, thankful that the lighting around them was awful. She was blushing, probably as pink as the Slowpoke's skin, thinking about how their current position was, she supposed, rather intimate. It wasn't that she particularly minded, as the combination of his body behind her and the Slowpoke on top of the cape draped over them kept her pleasantly warm, even though the Slowpoke and Squirtle were wet from the rain. Plus his body was a lot nicer to be propped or laid against than the rock was. It was that the intimacy the position usually was associated with in her mind had her slightly alarmed, and Misty wondered if Lance was bothered by it too. Did he think about it? Or did it not bother him? Or maybe he was ignorant about it?

"No problem." he nodded. Misty supposed he didn't then either way, if his tone was anything to go by. She let her head fall back onto his chest, which was pleasantly soft thanks to his clothes, but solid with muscle too. Then a chorus of grumbles interrupted the ensued, tentative silence and Misty was only half aware that part of the grumbles could be traced to the thunder outside, and that her stomach was feeling particularly empty.

The Squirtle shyly grabbed at the midsection of its front shell, just as Misty's hand instinctively grabbed at hers, and she felt the barest of movement of Lance's own stomach at her back. The Wingull tried to play cool and keep unnoticed, but the way they shifted with soft cries and stared ruefully at their feathery bellies was tell-tale enough.

Well, when you're hungry, you shouldn't stay that way, Misty mused, though they didn't have much to spare... but it didn't feel right to leave the pokemon out of it either. Reading her mind, Lance leaned a bit toward their stuff, which was bundled in the adjacent corner and he grabbed at the packed up food, as pathetic in amount as they had.

Slowpoke then groaned, "Sloooooooooooooow," several seconds after his own tummy grumbled.

Fantastic. Save for the sleeping Corphishes, everyone in the cave was hungry.

"Oh come on, you can fish with that tail!" Misty said with frustration at the Slowpoke, though it was mostly empty in feeling anyway. She wasn't really mad. In reply, the Slowpoke blinked slowly a few times at her, which wasn't really a reply at all.

"Bah, whatever." she took the wrapped up coconut meat they had long before harvested and started, as best as she could, to make equal rations of the jelly-like meat. Since being removed from the husk, it had lost some of its gelatinous attributes and become more solid, and fleshy. She split it first in half, then one of the halves into as many but decent sized pieces and handed the other half to Lance to re-wrap and put it aside.

The eight pieces were small considering the original amount it was intended for, but Misty shrugged the thought aside; as long as it quieted hers, and more importantly the other pokemon's hunger pains she'd be content she supposed.

"It isn't much, but here." she offered the Slowpoke its portion, and it lethargically lifted open its jaws and let her plant the coconut into its mouth. Then equally slow it chomped down and chewed. Lance, meanwhile handed Squirtle his bit, who greedily grabbed at it, making the Champion smile, as it voiced its cheer in-between chomping down what little it had.

The Wingull shied away at first, wary and scared of the humans even as Squirtle's behavior indulged otherwise of their danger.

"Come on, it's okay. It's just coconut!" Misty cooed at them, holding out as far as she could reach with a large slowpoke on top of her, their four portions in both hands. They were content with glaring at the offered food, like it was a weapon she was waving in front of them, and then they cringed as a quieter round of hungry rumbles ran through their bellies. Then the bravest, or perhaps naive-est, Wingull, the smallest of the four actually, cautiously approached.

It pecked at the offered meat, to see if it would rear up and attack, or maybe to get a taste. Whatever the case, it became eventually content and snapped one of the four strips away and dove back into their tiny flock. Encouraged by their smallest's success, the other three dove in to snag their own coconut portions, and jumped back just as quickly once all four were served.

Misty shrugged inside, at least the approaching was an improvement, and they wouldn't go entirely hungry. She and Lance took theirs last.

"Ladies first," he insisted. Considering the situation, Misty rolled her eyes at him though he wouldn't be able to see, manners weren't really important right then. So, she ate at her small strip, first sucking whatever juice was still inside it then chewing as long as she could with small bites.

"So this one time..."


Misty shied down, "I don't know, I was just wondering if you were listening. I can feel you nodding off."

"Sorry..." he shifted beneath her slightly, and then his voice trailed to her ear, "I don't remember, did I tell you about the fiasco in Hoenn?"

"No, not really. You went to Hoenn?"

"Yep. I came across your friend Ash, and Brock there but not you."

"Oh..." she tried to stop the small twinge of pain from escaping her voice. It wasn't the fact that he had come across those two lugs miraculously, it was just...Hoenn was still a sore spot in her heart. The one time she had gotten to leave the gym and see her friends again, she met May and Max. She hid it rather well, but it had hurt seeing another girl traveling with them; partly because, at the time, the girl posed a threat to her crush on Ash, but mostly because it had felt like she was replaced, as if her little role in their trio was so easily filled up and substituted that it just hurt. Then, lo and behold, she loses-well, really let go, but it still felt like losing- Togetic after all those years of being its Mama.

"I was kind of surprised to not see you with them, to be honest."

"Yeah well, after Ash competed the Johto League, my sisters called me up and begged me to come back to being gym leader, and Ash wanted to keep going on his pokemon master we split. I went home, he went to Hoenn, Brock caught up with him, and off they go to have more merry adventures. He went through Sinnoh too, and got to go to Unova, that lucky jerk." He wasn't really a jerk, Misty knew that, but she was finally getting to vent, little by little, her feelings on the whole matter, and she just didn't bother holding back the acidity of her words.

"You missed being with them-with Ash." he observed.

"Of course! We spent years traveling on the road! YEARS!" she vexed, "We were best friends, they were the best friends I'd ever had, maybe even the only friends I'd had besides my pokemon!" they had traveled together for years, grown so close during that time, but then in literally ten minutes they were gone from her life and frankly, Misty couldn't hold in her anger at the whole situation any longer, not when this opportunity had finally come upon her, "And then they hop off to Hoenn, never calling, or writing, and the one time we see each other, Ash's trouble magnetism kicks in, reunion kicked to the curb while we save some kingdom from a tyrant, and I have to leave and go home not even an hour after we finish saving people." And the one time he actually visits his friends in Kanto after returning home, it's not even to see us, but to let May go for the contests! Just drops by and goes "Hey Misty, sup, oh look a battle!" and maaaybe it didn't help that she had a-a thing for Ash, but that was it! A little girly crush, and then Brock just goes along with the whole "Hey Misty, long time no see, let's put off proper reunion stuff for saving the day and making sure Ash doesn't walk off a cliff cause he still does that," and- there's a tense pause, with Lance not knowing what to say, and Misty unsure where to go, especially as she barely manages to rear in control of the metaphorical broken dam in her mind before any really secret stuff comes spilling out.

"...I'm sorry, that was—" she didn't know what words to call her little outburst, and when she did, it made her feel worse about making him a victim of a fit, "sorry, memories catching up with me."

"It's okay, Misty. I know what you mean."

"Yeah, but that was right in the middle of you beginning your story, and I was...well, what happened in Hoenn?" she questioned, switching subjects. Lance respected her desire to keep the rest of her turmoil to herself and elaborated.

"Well, this, and that. I was originally just there to catch the trail of a particularly nasty Rocket branch I'd been hunting, and of course to promote some more good relations between Kanto's League and Hoenn's. And..." he paused shaking his head a little this way, and little that way as he thought, "...okay, maybe a part of me was particularly eager to find and train for myself the region's own dragon types."

Misty giggled, a funny image of a tiny, "chibi" Lance jumping up and down on a boat at the prospect of catching Hoenn dragon-type pokemon. She herself understood, being host to a few of her own longings to discover for herself new water type pokemon. Heck, she was still stuck learning about the Hoenn and Sinnoh region water types, while everyone around her talked animatedly about Unovan water-type pokemon...and what was with that craze about "Mudkips" anyway? The only time she'd seen a Mudkip was Brock's, and she admitted that it was indeed a little cutie, but the craze about it she wasn't sure. She just knew every once in a while one of her sisters would use really bad spelling to say in a text message, "I heard you like mudkips".

He continued his story, keeping her hooked as he went on about his search for the Rockets in Hoenn, to meeting a few...interesting characters, and indeed getting his hands on a Vibrava and a Bagon. At her insistence, he promised to show her the scars from training them at a later, more appropriate date, and his story continued on til finally, he had wrapped it up with the defeat of Archie and Kyogre with Groudon, Ash, and Pikachu. Then, they settled into a rather nice, content silence in which Misty's head fell back to rest on his chest, his chin ended up resting on the top of her head.

To the sound of his heartbeat, a solid, steady beat, and the various other sounds from the pokemon around them, Misty was able to fall back asleep despite the roaring storm. Her last sight, before inevitably waking up, was the Wingull warming up finally to their presence and all four of them sleeping right beside them and the Squirtle, their beaks tucked deep to their breasts and wings enclosing their body heat within.

When they next time woke up, it was to the sound of hungry bellies again, and so sadly the last of the coconut was shared. Next, when she jolted awake, Misty noticed the missing presence of the Corphish, and that was it. Lance's arms were still tightly woven around her waist, pinning her down to hi-wait just a minute, when had his arms gotten there?! She didn't remember falling asleep with his arms or hands around her! Though they did fit quite cozily, and felt pleasant around her...

Anyway, the Slowpoke was splayed out on top of her now, its tail hanging off the cave end and its legs this way and that as it snoozed away, a humorous but gross snot bubble coming out of its nose. The Wingull were more neatly in their own curled up positions, heads tucked to their chest and wings tight to their bodies as they snoozed away. The Squirtle had fallen over at some point, but it's arms were still wrapped around her own, as if her arm were a teddy bear, as it snored. There was something distinctly missing in the scenario though, however adorable and cute it was...

The storm! Misty's eyes followed the hanging Slowpoke tail and lo and behold, the sun's rays had finally come out, the wind was a soft breeze barely getting inside their cave, thunder no longer rolled, and the waves' crests were completely out of her line of sight from inside the cave, meaning the waves were low again! The storm was over!

Misty turned her body as much as it could and she started poking and prodding at Lance's chest, ignoring how solid it really was under her finger, and beckoning for him to wake up.

"Lance! Lance! Wake up!"

He shifted, then growl-moaned making Misty pause then continue poking, and finally he mumbled, "I'm up, I'm up! Wha-" and then he yawned, really big and reeeally loudly, "-what is it?"

"Mornin, Lance." she grinned at him. She was pleasantly surprised by her own cheeriness immediately after waking up. She wasn't a morning kind of person, really, and she actually didn't know what time of the day it was.

He replied with a couple blank stares intercepted by blinking of his lashes, almost rueful looking at her bright cheer, then looking at the outside. The corners of his lips barely twitched upward, but she could tell he was just as pleased as her to find it void of stormy darkness and rain. He was just too groggy at the moment to fully care. How cute.

"Oh, good, it stopped."


"'..." he lifted his right hand to wipe at his face, leaving only one of his now-loosened arms draped over her person, which a few seconds too late did he realize was there and hastily removed, "Uhm, right. Storm ended. We need to get back to shore and start making a new shelter."

"Yes, but uh," she stopped him, eying the pokemon around them meaningfully, "we should probably get these little guys up too."

"...oh...yeah, you're right." he agreed after a long moment. He was obviously not all the way awake, which made Misty laugh. At least she wasn't the only one that could be a sleepy bear.

"Squirtle, hey," she shook him by moving the arm it was hooked onto around, "hey, wake up little guy, Squirtle!"

'Squi-uir-uir-uir-tle! Squir-tle!" it moaned, waking at the sudden shaking thanks to its 'teddy bear'. He hoped to his feet, "Squirtle squir Squirtle!" he growled, angry at its sudden wake-up-call.

"He has quite the amount of energy for being asleep a minute ago," Lance noted, sounding a little jealous.

Misty pointed to the outside, and the Squirtle's anger washed away fast in replacement of a happiness that had it bouncing and jumping for joy-until it jumped too high and hit its head on the rock above them. The impact was loud enough to wake some of the Wingull, who cawed in alarm.

"Easy there, fellows, he's just excited that the storm's over," Lance said to them, though neither of them were really sure just how much the Pokemon could understand them. Apparently well enough, as the Wingull settled down, but stayed awake.

She stifled her laughter to save the Squirtle some dignity, then started prodding at the Slowpoke. "Hey! HEEEY! Wake up, Slowpoke!"

It didn't stir, the snot bubble in its nose still growing and shrinking in time with its sleepful breathing. The Squirtle hopped ontop of Lance's exposed leg and started poking at the Slowpoke too.

"Squirtle! Squirtle squirtle!" it yelled. The Slowpoke continued sleeping, blissfully oblivious to the outside forces of Misty and Squirtle who were trying to wake it.

"Slowpoke, wake up! Storm's over!" Misty said, bringing her voice up in volume.

Squirtle got on top of her and pushed the Slowpoke a bit off of Misty. Then it aimed it's back end at the Slowpoke's face and a loud smack announced the Squirtle's harsh, sudden Tail Whip to the face. It Tail Whip'd the Slowpoke's head twice before pausing, and giving it a good, final smack and hopping off of the human pair.

Slowpoke, for about ten seconds, was still soundly asleep though his snot bubble had popped long before. Then, its eyes popped open, and it released a long "Slooooooooooow!" that, really, Misty wasn't sure whether it was pained or just surprised.

"Squirt Squirtle!" said the blue turtle, and after a long, contemplative moment, the Slowpoke turned toward the outside and stared.

It just...stared.

And stared.

...and stared.

Okay, she had had enough of this! Misty pushed the pokemon off her legs, shuffled out of Lance's arm and had her legs dangling on the side of the cave. She could see out better now, and the water level had returned to the way it should have been, low and calm. She peered behind her just in time to see Lance's hand lifting from Squirtle's head, who once more leaped over Lance and started pushing the entranced, unresponsive Slowpoke.

"Keep going," he told her, "I'm coming." Misty nodded, letting her feet touch the first step-like rock and then stepping down until her shoes crunched into the wet sand. Lance followed behind her, and promptly moved her out of the way when Squirtle tackled the Slowpoke out of the cave. It fell down, smacking its body or head into the rock steps and then slapping into the sand on its back.

After a minute, it moaned and wiggled its feet in the air, but sadly it was unable to flip itself over, "Slooooooooooowwwwwpooooooooo oooooooke."

Squirtle snorted with a quick "Squir." at Slowpoke, partly amused but partly not at the same time. It's attitude sort of reminded Misty of Ash's Squirtle, before they separated and Squirtle joined Officer Jenny. Then it ninja'ed its way nimbly down the rock steps. The Wingull followed it in a train, then with joyous cries all four spread their wings, basking in the sun for a minute then taking off. A few feathers were the only souvenirs they left behind as they took off into the sky like rockets.

Squirtle helped the wriggling Slowpoke flip over and get back onto its feet, where it yawned, waited a few seconds then looked at Misty and Lance, but mostly Misty, and crowed cheerily, "Sllloooooooooowwwwwpoooooooo okkkkeee sloooooooooooooooooooooooooo oowwwwwwww." Leisurely the pink pokemon turned around and headed in the particular direction toward the rock shelves, presumably to fish for food. Squirtle waved them bye, then headed in a similar direction as the Slowpoke, leaving Misty and Lance alone.

For a few very long minutes, Misty was content with simply spreading her arms and, copying the Wingull, bask in the bright, warm sunlight for as long as she fancied. It was hot, but after so long of being surrounded by the freezing cold of the tropical storm, she was more than pleased to take whatever the sun had to offer, if only for a minute or two. And it felt wonderful, as she stretched her body this way and that to just let the sun's rays burn and warm skin.

Finally she turned to Lance and he nodded stiffly when she told him they could go back to shore. They grabbed their things and crossed the rock shelves. Lance helped Misty across because of her leg, and once they climbed over the shelves they were back on the beach of their shelter. Misty surveyed the beach-side as well as the edge of the forest. A few of the palm trees had been uprooted, and one looked charred from being struck by lightning. A few were just plain broken, torn right at the base of their trunk. Debris of trees, plants, rock, and even a bit of coral was washed all across some of the sand, along with plenty of driftwood.

"Good news, Misty." Lance spoke while her back was turned. When she faced him, he was holding up the a-frame shelter they had been using prior to the storm above him, ignoring the sand that fell from its edges onto him. "We didn't lose anything to the winds, at least it doesn't appear that way."

"Really?" she voiced her surprise. Surely the storm would have taken something?

"Well, the clothes are soaked and sandy, so I wouldn't want to mess around with them until we've taken them to the stream for a quick wash, and that little journal's soaked so it's a nix for use, but anything else looks fine." He admitted. He then flipped the collapsed shelter top that had been protecting the objects beneath over and let it plop onto the sand.

"I don't suppose you know how to set up nature-y shelters from camping with your friends, do you?" he asked her, glancing around at all the debris and driftwood scattered on the beach.

"No, we had sleeping bags. I used to complain about them, but right now I'd kill for some." Misty said with a frown.

"That makes two of us. Hmm..."

"What are you thinking?"

He was considerate for a while, still sweeping across the debris all over the sand, then switching to gaze at the forest parallel to them.

"The only tool we've got to work with is a dull dagger, and whatever rocks we can get in the shallows after that storm." he noted aloud, "I don't know whether we should just set up a bigger version of what we had previously, or use some of these palm trees as a support... or make the shelter closer into the woods where there's bound to be more to work with."

"Well, if we're going with woods, then we should definitely make some sort of S-O-S sign on the beach, doncha think?" Misty said.

He snapped his fingers, "Oh yeah! No, we should make that regardless of where we make the shelter."

"How about we stick with what you did before, since we know how to do that, and make whatever changes we'll need then?" she suggested, "Obviously we're getting it a bit bigger to fit both of us and we are just meaning to set up and recover from the storm. Set up this new shelter, and we'll be able to gather things up so we can get into making bigger things later, don't you think so?"

" know what, that's a good idea! Let's collect all the debris and driftwood from the sand first."

Misty shook her head, "Better idea; you collect the driftwood and stuff," Misty emphasized with a timely poke of her finger at his chest," and I'll get started on that S.O.S."

"Wait, Misty-" he tried to stop her, "Are you sure you're up to it? With your le-"

"Laaaance!" she half-heartedly groaned. "Your concern is sweet, but just stop. It's not like I broke my leg and am completely disabled! It hurts, yeah, but I'm a big girl. I can tough it out, I promise."

She wasn't sure whether it would be okay or not to laugh at the surprise on his face at her sudden rebuke of his concern. It wasn't that it offended her, but after the past few days and nights of hearing and dealing with him treat her like she were made of glass, Misty was honestly tired of it. They were on the island together, and that was it. He was all she had, and she all he had. If they were going to effectively stay alive it would take teamwork from both of them, and Misty was not going to let the sharp pains in her calf stop her from keeping the both of them alive. Whether he liked it or not, she was going to work to make that S.O.S., then help him set up that shelter, and go on to see what they could successfully catch in the shallows with what little they had.

And whatever the next day would have in store for them, Misty was going to push even harder to do her part. The storm had passed, and the idle wasting of time wasn't a luxury anymore-not that it had been at any point in the first place.

First, she grabbed a stick from the edge of the woods and used it to trace out the beginnings of the S.O.S. a few times. She had to adjust twice because the drafts were too close to the tide but finally she settled a good five feet from the darkened line of wet sand that visually separated the dry white beach sand from the ocean water. Then she went over it, forcing the stick deeper into the sand.

A girly voice inside of her squealed in disgust at the gritty, intrusive sand forced in between her nails once she started really digging into the sand, but it was easily pushed aside as Misty concentrated. With her bare hands she shoved out armful after armful of sand, losing track of time as she concentrated on carving into the sand. She stopped only to lift up from the ground and look at it every couple of minutes, wondering if it was deep and wide enough or if she should go bigger. Then Misty'd dive back in to continue.

Finally she had come upon the last inch of the curve in the final "S" and took a few minutes to step back and look at her work. Each letter had ended up being a several feet longer than her own height, which she supposed was good enough. The curvacious trenches weren't any deeper than maybe eight inches deep, but she supposed it would do considering the width of each letter to the S.O.S. was roughly the length of her forearm.

Waiting for the sharp lightning bolt of pain to stop racing back and forth from her calf to her brain, Misty checked on Lance's own progress. He had indeed gathered up most of the driftwood and other such debris and collected it into various piles. It appeared he was in the middle of stacking up a basic frame to their shelter, with was at the moment using, as supports, two palm trees that had split at roughly the same point because one had been struck by lightning, and fell on top of the other and broke it in conjunction to whatever the storm had done to it. The palm trees themselves were wider apart than Lance's arm span from finger to finger by just a few inches. He had a few sticks perched on top of the trunks and fitted into the splits of the wood. Where the edge of the forest faced, he was taking some of the larger pieces of driftwood and debri and propping it against the palm tree trunks in between the fallen tops and making a very barren, basic wall.

"So it's just going to have the back facing the woods and an open front?" she questioned when she neared him.

"No, I'm thinking it's going to have a sort of small roof, and slightly angled sides. At the front we can dig out a place for a fire once we can get one going. And," he paused to move aside and slightly lift up the mostly flattened collection or stuck sticks, leaves, and sand that had once been the measly shelter they had depended on prior to the storm, then he let it fall back to the sand "we can use this at night to pull over the front like a slide door."

"What if we just pulled the fallen tree part," she kicked the fallen hunk of wood to see how strongly it still clung to the main trunk, "to the front and used those as supports or whatever for those side walls you want?"

"That's a good idea!" Lance brightened, but Misty failed to notice the proud, impressed rise in his chest as he spoke, "Plus it can double as support for the roof! Let's move those first, then." He jumped away from the back wall he was setting up previously and approached the fallen tree top that was on top. His eagerness amused Misty, though she understood it well herself.

He grabbed at the end, and waited for her to grab the middle. This time, she noticed how he watched her movement carefully as she stepped over, looking for any signs that meant her wounded leg might prevent her from helping with the lifting. In reaction Misty forced her body from reacting to the small, acute shocks of pain that ached in her leg and wrapped her arms around the middle of the fallen tree top and nodded for him. On his count of three, they hefted up the broken palm tree top and steadily, but perhaps too slowly for Misty's tastes, managed to shift the fallen tree top to the designated front of what was going to be their little haven, which would coincidentally face the ocean.

Once they pulled it all the way to the front and in the intended spot, the two redheads eased the fallen tree top down to the sand with a heavy but sand-softened thump. The second took just as long, but as they finally moved the tree top to a proper spot, something funny reached Misty's ears and she nearly dropped the trunk.

"Sorry, sorry!" she said, fumbling to get her grip back on the tree, while Lance strained to hold up the full brunt of the wood's weight that had suddenly dropped onto him.

"What in the world did you do, go brain dead or something?" he snapped, his angry tone only letting up as the weight equalized with Misty regaining her grip. Promptly the tree was dropped into its place, almost unceremoniously.

"No!" she snapped back, "My brain's working just fine thank you! I just..."


"I... thought I heard something. Didn't you?"

The red eyebrow that rose upward easily answered enough for him in his expression, "No."

Misty frowned, "I swear though... just now, it was high-pitched and quick, and faint..."

Lance appeared concerned as he crossed his arms and scrutinized her for a moment, "...I think we should take a break if you're hearing things."

Misty scowled at him, "I'm not crazy! I really did hear something!"

His mouth opened just at the same time that whatever sound she had heard once more resounded into the air. This time, it was much louder, and clearer. Lance heard it this time, she could have been able to tell by the surprise in his eyes. However, she was much too caught up in the one single realization that completely shut down her normal thought process.

It was the shrill cry of a very particularly familiar, and very distressed pokemon species.

She didn't even think twice and suddenly Misty was tearing through the forest, screaming the name of the only thing that mattered to her right then, "AZURILL!"

It was stupid, some part of her tried to vainly speak up, she didn't know where she was going! And what in the world could the chances be of it being an Azurill, much less her Azurill? They were way too small! She shouldn't be doing this! But everything else in Misty's being, especially that maternal instinct she had developed from the moment Togepi hatched before her eyes, and that moment Tracey handed her Azurill's egg, was screeching the exact opposite. Especially as another burst of the pokemon cry struck the air, louder and clearer yet.

She stumbled upon the stream she and Lance had been receiving their water, and paused to catch her breath and to survey the area. There was nothing but grass, trees, shrubbery, and the stream but her beating heart said she was close.

"AZURIIIIILL!" she called, and waited for a heartbeat-two beats-three-

THERE! Farther down the stream to her left! Behind her crunched the footsteps of an utterly confused Lance, desperately trying to keep up but Misty was heedless. She took off again, ignoring the searing burn in her leg and followed the stream around its small bend and further on until finally the growing stream joined into an obstacle she stood little chance of crossing.

A huge, roaring river. The water was white with foam and rage as it ran down the rocks and trees, so it looked impossible to tell its depth. The river had to be twice her own height though, and far, far, so very far away to her left the river traveled until it fell down a cliff into a cascading waterfall. The only way she could see across it was a large fallen tree bridging the opposite side of the riverbank farther down the river.

"MISTY!" she finally recognized Lance's voice in her haze of anxiety, and she knew he was not going to be happy at all, but at that moment she couldn't find herself caring.

"AZURILL!" she called out, while Lance finally caught up to her and stood beside her.

"What in the name of Arceus is wrong with you?!" he shouted, "Just dashing like a mad woman through the forest; you could have been hurt! What could possibly possess you to do that?"

"That cry I heard-you heard it too- it's Azurill's I know it!" she explained shortly and inhaled to release another loud call.

She was beaten to it, however, by the reply of a shrill, terrified squeal right above their heads accompanied with two other various cries, and Misty and Lance both shot their eyes skyward to search the source. There on a lonesome branch was a bright blue furred little Azurill, with a small, orange furred Growlithe desperately clinging to the thin branch. A coiled Ekans was spitting menacingly at them at the thickest part of the branch, closer to the tree.

"How in the world did they get up there?" Lance wondered. That was a good point; how that Growlithe managed to climb that branch was a complete mystery to her, but it wasn't the focus of her attention, needless to say.

"Azurill!" Misty gasped.

The Pokemon in question noticed Misty below them, and the absolute happiness that replaced its fear seemed to signify that it recognized Misty.

"Azurii! Azurii!" it cried happily, bouncing on the branch carelessly. It stopped only when the Ekans before the two pokemon on the limb hissed and caught its attention again. Then Azurill resumed its previous expression of terror.

"Azurill, Water Gun!" Misty commanded, right as the Ekans thrust its head forward with its poisonous fanged jaws wide open. With a surprised jump at her command, Azurill spat a thick stream of water from its tiny mouth that struck the Ekans's head. The sudden jet-stream was enough to knock the Ekans backward and right off the branch into the forestry. Misty released a relieved breath, Azurill was safe now.

"Good job Azurill," she smiled. Now they just had to think of a way to get Azurill and the Growlithe down.

"That went rather well." Lance said. Misty turned briefly to see relief in his face; so he was worried too! "We can cross the river by that tree down there, if we're careful, and we can get your Azurill." he pointed out and Misty nodded.

"Azu! Azurill! Azu!" the little blue pokemon cheered, resuming a joyful bounce. The Growlithe, however, cried out for the baby pokemon to stop shaking the branch as it clung tighter to the flimsy limb. The poor thing looked sick and petrified from the height it was above the ground. Not for long, Misty told herself.

Then the branch snapped clean in half, and Azurill and the Growlithe fell to the raging depths below.

Did I? Did I really? Yes I just Cliffhanger'd you guys. MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and HAPPY NEW YEAR XD

BTW's: for the curious, the storm was pretty much two entire days and then passed them by the third morning. I decided to be nice.

HEEEEYYYYY! Big shout out guys, this super coolio reader Anime-Guardian Angel wrote a MistyxLance oneshot called Love Finder, so go support your love or liking of the MistyLance pairing and read it! C:

If you like this, review. Fave's are nice... but reviews are better. Short reviews, long reviews, rambling reviews, inquisitive reviews, big fat llama reviews, any reviews!

If no like, review and tell me so.

If not, I'll just continue anyway. Whenever I get around to it. C: