The Battle of Emotions

Meadow Wood

"We spend too much time living in the "what if" and need to learn to live in the "what is" - Rev. Leroy Allison

"Hey Misty?"

"Yeah?"

"What if I was the Pokemon Master?"

Misty blinked, turning around and facing the young boy whose eyes were filled with hope and curiosity. She was surprised to hear him sounding so unsure, like maybe he wouldn't reach the goal. The way he talked so confidently and proudly all the time, it was like a definite thing that he would achieve his dream eventually. Even though Misty made snide comments in return, deep inside, buried in the contents of her heart, she was positive he deserved the position and would rightfully earn it.

Yet, here he was, acting like it was impossible for him to be the Pokemon Master. "Um, if you were the Pokemon Master..." she chuckled. "You'd have to give me at least half the money you earn."

Ash momentarily forgot his question, his eyes narrowing. "Now why would I do that?"

"Simple. You would never become a Pokemon Master without my help." She said slyly. "I'm the one who keeps your ego in check."

Ash scowled. "Oh yeah!"

"Yeah!"

"Oh no, don't you guys start on your arguments again." Brock, the eldest, was sitting in at the front of the car, driving. Pikachu had called shot gun and had the gigantic seat belt fastened around its tiny yellow body. "Pika!" it shouted in agreement.

"Aw Brock, you haven't heard us argue in years." Misty pointed out. "Since I was gone at the gym, you were headache free for ages. I'm sure you can handle a day."

"I don't think I can." he groaned, but reassuringly patted his pant pocket which had emergency ear plugs. Just in case.

"Then you can have Pikachu shock us." Ash chimed in, smiling at his electrifying best friend. "Right buddy?"

"Pikapi!"

Ash grinned, before facing his red-headed companion once again. "So, imagine if I were the Pokemon Master."

Misty squinted, acting like she was thinking hard. Then, with a sigh, she said. "Sorry. I can't imagine it."

"Mist!"

"Okay, okay." she shrugged, raising an eyebrow. "I guess that would be really great."

"Do you think I can do it?" he pressed eagerly.

"Why, don't you think you can do it?"

A frown appeared on Ash's face, and he stared at his shoes, timidness overcoming him. Misty nudged him, and he looked up rather shyly. "Uh, I know I can." he admitted. "It's just, today we're going to go see one of the matches live, and now I'm sorta scared how good they're going to be...I bet getting in the top sixteen in the Indigo League is a breeze for them."

Misty tipped her head to the side, studying her best friend - he never looked so uncertain and it surprised her. "Hey, they're..what..twenty? You're only twelve Ash. I'm sure you'll be ten times better than them when you're their age." she comforted gently.

"Really?" Ash was surprised by the rare compliment.

"Really."

Ash beamed at her response, before nodding firmly. "You're right. I'll be kicking their as-"

"Ash! No swearing." Brock cut him off, giving the adolescent a silent glare. He was the most mature, and acted as a father and older brother for the raven-haired boy.

"Sorry Brock." Ash rolled his eyes, leaning back and slouching against the carseat.

The trio of three were heading over to the Indigo Plateau, where Pokemon Master Jadreich Manner would be protecting his title against an unknown opponent. Ash had been beyond lucky to get three tickets to the live performance, and had decided to share it with Brock and Misty because they lived closest and he naturally thought that his two oldest and best friends deserved to accompany him

"You know, I wonder who's facing off against Jadreich." Misty said.

"Do you think we'll know him?" Ash wondered happily.

"Probably not." Brock said from the front, veering a left turn. "So many people, unprepared, challenge Jadreich everyday - and he has to protect his title."

"I guess your right." Misty tightened her ponytail. "I hope this is a good match though; we paid a hell lot for these tickets."

"We?" Ash cleared his throat loudly.

"Sorry Ash." Misty shook her head at his immaturaty. "It was all you. But technically, you had to pay me back for my bike anyways, so this works."

"You already have your bike back." Ash protested.

"Yeah, but you didn't pay me back. Just 'cause Nurse Joy did your dirty work doesn't mean you're off the hook."

"It was just a dumb bike."

"If it wasn't for the bike," Misty corrected him. "we wouldn't have become friends."

Ash smiled to himself, then to Misty. "That's not true. Remember what Brock said the day you were leaving? Somethin' about us destined to be friends. Bike or no bike, I think you would have ended up following me anyways."

He smirked at the last part, and Misty gave him a threatening I'll-take-out-my-mallet glare, but she was sort of touched by his sweetness. Ash and her destined to be friends. She liked the sound of that. Ash had always been random - she never knew when he was going to strike out something adorably cute or when he was going to lash out in anger. But his unpredictability always made Misty's life a jumble of excitement, and sometimes that was just what she needed.

She needed him to show up out of the blue at the gym and give her a hug. She needed him to invite her to go places with him even after they had a big fight. She needed him to keep her life moving.

Staying at the gym was probably the most boring thing Misty had been ever forced to do - or maybe it hadn't been, but after you spend years and years with Ash Ketchum, almost everything seems sorta ordinary and uninteresting. He was like an addicting drug she couldn't get enough of.

"Look guys, we're almost here." Brock suddenly said, pointing to a large sign stuck in the ground. It read Welcome to the Indigo Plateau.

"Yes!" Ash pumped a fist in the air, leaning forward until his seat belt pressed against his waist so hard that Misty thought it would cut off his circulation. Still, she understood his enthusiasm. People were milling everywhere, large banners, food stands, erupting music, and the most beautiful decorations hung up. Jadreich faced many challengers, very frequently too, but his manager would often have random live performances just to keep the public satsified.

The smell of the food wafted in through their open window, and Ash felt his taste buds perk up. "We'll have to get something to eat." he said, his hands curled up into fists. "The food smells great."

Misty nudged him. "Everything smells great to you Ash. Even my hair, I bet."

"It does." Ash's eyes lit up at the topic. "Do you use strawberry shampoo?"

Misty stared at him, her face getting hot.

"What?" He shrugged. "Your hair smells a lot like strawberries. A little bit of pineapple too."

Cheeks pink, Misty looked away from him and tried to concentrate out the window. How did Ash know what my hair smells like? Does he actually notice these things about me? Maybe when we sit next to each other...

She snapped out of her thoughts just in time to see them parking into the loaded lot, and Ash screeching excited sentences.

"Oh man, c'mon, lets get out of this stupid car." He said, his face pressed up against the window.

"Hey!" Brock sounded offended. "You can walk back on foot instead if that's how you show your appreciation.

"I think that it's wonderful that you drove us here in your equally wonderful car." Misty grinned. "Ash can walk back by himself, since he doesn't know how to show some gratitude."

"Shut up Misty." he stuck out his tongue, climbing out of the door and slamming it behind him. His breath quickened and his stomach filled with spontaneous butterflies. The place was so lively, and the anticipated match between Jadreich and his opponenet made his body ooze with enthusiasm.

He looked behind his shoulder and saw Misty and Brock getting out of the car, a similar look on their faces.

"I can't wait to see the match." Misty said, walking beside Ash. Ash nodded. "Me neither."

"Pikachu!" Pikachu jumped out of the front seat and scrambled to get on his master's shoulder. Brock followed, tapping Ash on the shoulder. "Want to get some food first?"

"Oh yeah! Can't enjoy a good Pokemon match without a nice batch of popcorn."

"With extra butter." Misty chimed in.

"Well," Brock squinted at the hot summer sun, surveying the bustling crowd of people squeezing their way around. "It seems pretty clustered 'round here, and we want good seats, so how 'bout Pikachu and I go save us some? Mind getting the food, you two?"

"Not a problem." Ash beamed. "Anything for food."

"Yeah, food and Pokemon. The only things you care about." Misty said under her breath, finding her tone rather bitter. It wasn't that she didn't like his food-obsessed personality, or his brave, strong love for his Pokemon. She just sometimes felt like a sidekick who didn't really mean anything to him. Would he ever say "Anything for Misty?"

Yeah, right. Snort.

As Brock and Pikachu walked the opposite direction, the two best friends turned toward the stands and markets of food. "Whaddya say we get? Besides the popcorn, of course."

Misty tugged at a loose strand of red hair. "Hot dogs, I suppose. I don't even think they sell popcorn - this isn't a theatre you know."

"Then how about Cotton Candy?" Ash asked slyly, knowing his friend loved anything sweet.

"That sounds good." Misty stared at her worn out sneakers. "But, you know..."

"You know what?" Ash asked confused as she trailed off.

"I've been thinking of going on a diet." Misty pursed her lips. "I gained like twenty pounds from all the dessert I've been eating."

Ash stared at her in disbelief. "A diet?" he said incredesouly. "That's stupid."

"What's so stupid?"

"You didn't strike me as those dumb girls always trying to get skinny and living off salads."

"Hey! I'm not dumb, first of all, and I'm just saying...I just want to lay off on the junk food for a little while.."

"But you're not even fat!"

"Ash, I'm a teenage girl! We're self-conscious."

"Self-conscious my ass." Ash snorted, huffing and snubbing his nose. Then, he added. "Good thing Brock's not here, or he'd have killed me for swearin'."

"Yeah, well you would have deserved getting killed. You're so mean!"

Ash sighed, touching her arm. Misty blushed, but Ash was completely relaxed, like he didn't even realize what he was doing. "Look, will you eat Cotton Candy if I pay for it? My treat?"

"Ash, I was gunna eat it anyways." she rolled her eyes. "I told you, I'm not like counting calories or anything. I'm don't care all that much about my appearance."

"Right, because you're charming personality really wows the people." Ash said sarcastically.

"Ooh, you didn't just say that Ketchum!"

He shrugged. "You know what I think? With how many times you've hit me with your mallet, we should sign you up for Anger Management classes. Ever heard of those?"

"Ever heard of concussions?"

"Just about a million times, with you threatening me nearly every second of my life."

"Shut up!" Misty glared at him, yanking her arm away from his light grip. "Just go get me some cotton candy now! Slave!"

"So that's what I am now. Whatever, bossy." Ash straightened up, marching towards the stand of Cotton Candy, head held high.

"You owe me for being so mean." Misty called faintly as he strode away. Her eyes filled with hurt and pain, and she swallowed the lump in her throat. He doesn't mean that...he doesn't actually see me as bossy...does he? I hope I'm not acting annoying or bratty. I love arguing with him, but sometimes, even the lighest insult can feel like a harsh stab in the heart.

Misty kicked a stray pebble, watching it bounce down the sidewalk. Anger Management? And did he really dislike her personality? She wondered if he knew how much she took his small remarks to heart, even thought she put on a smile and hid everything inside.

It actually hurt, especially lately. Before, she would just roll her eyes and wave it off, thinking he was joking and playing around. But now, it seemed like the things he said were real, and she would contemplate them late at night, pulling apart the sentence to figure out what he meant. She knew she could be a bit tempermental sometimes, but she assumed it was a trait that maybe Ash would appreciate.

Just because...it was her. Misty always felt like she was an exception, someone special to him, but more and more she was realizing that she was just this grumpy red-haired freak. Her eyes watered, burning, and she tried to relent from crying like she often did deep into the depth of twilight.

"Misty?"

Misty jerked her head up, a single tear trickling down her cheek before she could stop it.

Ash shifted the cotton candy in his arms. "Uh, are you okay?" he whispered, his mouth agape. Never in his life had he seen Misty cry so out of the blue. Sure, there were a few times where she covered her face with her hands or felt a happy, nostalgic tear escape her, but it was usually for a good reason.

"Of course I'm okay." Misty pressed her lips into a tight smile. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Ash dumped the bag of foods carefully on the ground, and reached out to touch her cheek. "Aw Mist, did you gain another pound? Is that why you're sad?" he joked, trying to ease up the uncomfortable feeling in his stomach. He wiped the wetness away with his thumb, hoping she would show a real grin.

"Yeah, that's it." Misty scoffed, but her eyes glinted. Then, she coughed, a few more tears sliding down her face. "You're such a moron."

"You're still crying." Ash said worridely.

Misty wiped her face with her arm. "I'm okay now."

"Are you sure? Did I get the wrong flavour?" he gestured to the the bright blue cotton candy. "Didjya want the pink colour?"

"Ash," Misty sputtered, and then she couldn't help but laugh. The knots in her stomach loosened up. He cares about me! He really does, even if it's in his own Ash-ish way!

"What?" Ash blinked. He was confused at why she was suddenly laughing, but also relieved. He never liked to see girls cry. Or maybe he just never liked to see Misty cry.

"You know, I'm no wimp." Misty stuck her nose in the air. "I don't cry over candy flavours."

Ash smiled, regaining the cotton candy in his arms. "Great. Here, lets head to the stadium. I'm sure Brock's got us good seats and he's probably sick of waiting too."

"Okay." Misty grabbed a handful of cotton candy from Ash's arms, stuffing it into her mouth.

As they walked back, Ash couldn't help but admire how beautiful his best friend was. How can she manage to look so attractive while cramming her face with cotton candy? Some people would say she's ordinary, but with bright orange hair that was as soft as silk, the most weirdest mix of blue and green eyes, and a smile that could cheer him up no matter what, he thought she was gem.

"Hey Ash?"

Ash snapped out of his gazing, his face flushing pink. "Y-yeah?"

"Aren't you gunna have some?" Misty stuck another piece of blue cotton into her mouth, cocking her head curiously.

"Of course." Ash grinned broadly. "Just not until the match starts."

Misty smiled back, and Ash could feel his heart hammering against his chest at a insane speed. "Uh." he managed, his eyes boring into hers.

They maintained eye contact for a second longer than usual, before Ash broke away with his face cherry red.

. . .

The stadium was buzzing with screaming, laughter, and chaos. Ash and Misty had to squeeze their way over people's legs, trying to say excuse me, but were greeted with glares and annoyed looks instead.

They saw Brock waving his arms wildly at the very top, and they two companions raced up, Ash trying to balance all the food he'd bundled up with.

"C'mon, the match'll start soon!"

Ash and Misty sped up their pace, skipping up the steps, but that caused a slight problem. A teenage boy had his foot lazily stuck out, and in the rush, the raven-haired boy didn't quite manage to step over it.

Crash!

Ash hit the floor hard, food flying out of his arms and onto the ground. He groaned, popcorn splayed over his mop of black hair. He could feel people around him staring, and blushed in embarassement. Could anything be more humiliating than tripping over a crowd of millions of people and falling flat on your face with food spilled all over you?

Oh, and his elbows stung from landing on them so hard.

He lifted his eyes to Misty, who was a few steps above him and staring at him - she looked mortified. "Ash?" she took a step down, narrowing her eyes. "You okay down there?"

Ash smiled weakly, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. If things were bad before, they were absolutely horrifying now.

In front of him, smiling kindly, was Jadreich Manner, the World's Greatest Pokemon Master. "Do you need a hand?" the man held out his hand to Ash.

"W-wha?" Ash was in a daze. Did my role model and famous celebrity just witness the incident? Oh, just great!

He chuckled. "Well, I was just on my way down from the upper glass room of the stadium, when ah..." he smirked. "When this happened."

Ash turned crimson, scrambling to get up even though Jadreich had offered him a hand. "O-oh." he stuttered. He tried to say something intelligent, but Misty pushed him out of the way. "Hi, I'm Misty." she said sweetly.

Jadreich just grinned, running his hand through his hair. "I was just like you when I was a kid. Always tripping, falling. I was so clumsy."

Ash shrugged, relaxing. "I'm not always clumsy."

"Oh, I'm totally clumsy." Misty's eyes twinkled. "I can't believe I'm talking to the Pokemon Master."

Jadreich laughed. "Hey, who knows? Maybe you're friend here will be the next one to beat me."

"Maybe?" Ash asked slyly.

Jadreich guffawed, giving them both smiles. "Nice talkin' to you kids, but if you don't mind, I've got a title to protect."

"We don't mind." Ash and Misty sang. As Jadreich turned around and walked down the remaining steps of the stadium, the raven-haired boy and red-haired girl realized that everyone around them had been watching jealously.

"Lets go." Ash said meekly, grabbing Misty's hand. Together, they clambered over to where Brock was sitting.

Brock had a look of shock and bewliderment on his face as Misty and Ash slid into the open seats.

"That was so embarassing." Ash said.

"Embarassing? You guys got to talk with the Pokemon Master! Do you know how lucky you are?"

"It's all thanks to Ash's clumsiness." Misty nudged him. "Nice going, you actually did some good this time."

"T-thanks?" Ash wasn't sure if that was an insult or a compliment. Probably both. He glanced around. "Where'd Pikachu go?"

Brock took a handful of Cotton Candy - the only thing that hadn't been knocked over since Misty had been holding it. "That's weird. I swear he was with me a minute ago."

"Well, hours tend to be minutes when you're too busy staring at pretty girls." Misty mused, pointing to some of the rather attractive women close to Brock. "I bet you were really distracted and weren't really paying attention to where Pikachu went."

Brock grinned. "I guess I was a bit engrossed."

"I should go look for him..." Ash started to get up, but Misty grabbed his arm. "But the match is going to start! You'll miss it."

Ash opened his mouth to reply, but found himself unable to speak with the sensation of Misty touching him. His body tingled with sparks like he'd been recently shocked by Pikachu, and his mouth couldn't seem to form any words. Misty, noticing him squirming under her grip, quickly let go - but her face was a deep shade of red. She prayed Brock hadn't noticed them, but he very well had and was smirking in satisfaction.

Finally, managing to talk, Ash said. "It's okay. I want to make sure Pikachu is okay, because he might be in trouble. He normally wouldn't go off like that without telling me."

"But Ash, you've been so excited about this match!"

Ash bit his lip. "I know, but my Pokemon are more important. I would be a bad trainer if I chose watching a Pokemon battle over my Pokemon."

Misty sighed, giving him a weary smile as he manevoured through the crowd of people. It was an admirable quality - his love for Pokemon - and she really thought he could be the one in this stadium one day, having thousands of fans cheering for him all over the world.

Hoping that he would return quickly, Misty twisted around into a comfortable position and decided to enjoy the upcoming battle - Ash or no Ash.

. . .

Ash raced across the grassy field behind the stadium, his footsteps pounding against the ground. He wanted to find Pikachu, wherever the yellow fellow had ran off to, and head back to see the battle.

It was something Ash had been pumped about for ages, and so he didn't want to miss too much of it.

As he ran, his thoughts trailed to Misty. It struck him that he was feeling very different whenever he was around her lately. His stomach would flare up in little knots, his heart beat quickening, and most of all, his face flaming up like a Charizard's fire. Plus, their conversations had definitely drifted out of his comfort zone.

Maybe it was just him.

Padding across with the grass tickling his ankles, Ash came across a lonely hot dog stand. Knowing that he had dropped all the food, he decided to get some for his friends while he was here.

"Three hot dogs please." Ash held out some dollar bills to the nice-looking clerk with lilac bangs flicking in his face.

"Sure thing. Hey, you better hurry up. The match'll be starting about now."

Ash slumped his shoulders, brushing a lock of black hair from his face. "I know, but my Pikachu went off somewhere, and I'm looking for it."

"A Pikachu?" The clerk asked quizzically, raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah."

"Well, you're in luck! A Pikachu just scampered up here awhile ago - I assumed it was wild - and it was rather interested in the ketchup." The man pointed to the red bottle sitting on the counter sheepishly.

Ash groaned. "Oh Pikachu. Sir, do you know where he went?"

"Sure I do. It's trapp-" Just then, the man was cut off by a rather hasty women with swirly pink locks who clamped a hand over the man's mouth. She was also dressed in a hot dog selling uniform. "Shut up!" she hissed. "Are you exposing us?"

"Oops." The man muttered.

"Uhm, excuse me..." Ash tilted his head. "Can you just tell me where my Pikachu is?"

"Well, since you asked so nicely..." the pink-haired women snickered.

BLAM! The hot dog stand was pushed aside as the man and women ripped off their clothes, to reveal fine white uniforms underneath. The R's lettered on their back made Ash's mouth fall open.

"Prepare for Trouble!" Jessie cried.

"Make it double." James added.

"To protect the world from devastation."

"To unite all people within our nation!"

"To denounce the evils of truth and love."

"To extend our reach to the stars above."

"Jessie!" the female flashed her celebrity smile, her bright pink lipstick curved in a grin.

"James!"

"Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light."

"Surrender now or prepare to fight."

Ash growled under his breath. "Oh, I'm prepared to fight alright."

"MEOWTH! THAT'S RIGHT!" Out of the hot dog cart came a familiar talking beige cat, it's stubby claws smeared in front of his face threateningly.

"Team Rocket." Ash announced, his fists clenched at his sides and his teeth gritted. "Where's my Pikachu?"

"Oh, look Jess." James smirked. "The twerp wants his Pikachu back."

"Ha! Well too bad! We stole it." Jessie said in triumph.

"That's right." Meowth agreed in his cat-ish voice.

"Gimme a break." Ash's eyes had a certain angry fire to them, and he took a step forward. "I'm missin' out on a incredible battle because you three fools couldn'-"

"Fools." James gasped, stunned. "Jess, did he just call us fools?"

"Arggh! We'll show him who's the fool." Jessie snarled back, baring her teeth at the young raven-haired boy. "Meowth, time to put our plan in action."

Meowth grinned, taking out a remote and pressing a few buttons. Out from behind a small batch of trees veered a large Team Rocket labelled truck, with rusty hinges and fading paint.

"Ha! I bet you'll never guess where your Pikachu is until we're gone." James snickered menacingly, his eyes dancing with delight.

"Yeah, you'll never know that your precious little Pikachu is holed up in that truck over there." Jessie threw her head back and laughed delicately.

Meowth glared at the both of them. "YOU IDIOTS!"

"Wha-"

"YOU JUST TOLD THE TWERP!"

. . .

The crowd erupted in cheers as Jadreich made another fantastic, breath-taking move. Misty screamed along with the fans, but she was somewhat out of the spirit. Her eyes travelled to the empty spot beside her, and she wished Ash would hurry up. He was worrying her, how long he was taking.

Even the cotton candy wasn't helping anymore. It was tasteless now that she didn't have Ash's warm brown eyes and boisterous laugh along with her.

Recently, her feelings for the raven-haired boy had grew. She always thought he was sort of cute and had a mini-crush on him, but it seemed like she was really starting to feel an intense burning desire for the boy.

"Hey Brock?" Misty whispered, but her voice was drowned out by the loud hooting and hollering of the crowd. Sighing, she straightened up and decided she would do a quick search for her friend. Her concerned state wasn't going to let her enjoy the battle anyways, so she might as well find peace at mind.

Glancing over her shoulder on final time to where Brock was heavily distracted by the battle, Misty turned and swiftly walked out of the stadium.

Time to see just what that boy was up to.

. . .

So Pikachu's in the truck.

Ash was wholly glad for Team Rocket's slip up. He wanted to grab his lovely Pikachu, race out of there and go watch at least half of the remaining battle between Jadreich and his facing opponent. With a surge of energy, he sprinted across the field and towards the truck.

He heard Team Rocket's screeching and scrabbling as they scrambled to catch up to him, but with they way they worked, Ash outran them easily. He approached the truck, flinging open the front door - which had not surprisingly been unlocked - and crawled into one of the ripping leather seats.

He crawled across the dusty floor, coughing slightly, and reached the back of the trunk.

The first thing he noticed was a pile of golden bottle caps, and he shoved them in his pocket. That's for all the problems you 'cause me and my friends...James...Ash grinned devilishly.

The second thing he noticed made his heart leap happily. His Pikachu was sitting in a corner, curled at the back with rope tied around him. "Pikachu!" Ash said, going over and grasping the electric-type in his arms. "You're safe."

Pikachu chirped back in response, squirming around the ropes. "Here, let me try to get you free..." Ash struggled to undo the tight grippings.

The trunk door rattled, and Ash sped up his pace. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon."

Ash just finished untying the last strand of rope from Pikachu's sore paw when the trunk door burst open and the three bizarre villians stumbled inside.

"He's got the Pikachu!" James and Jessie exclaimed in horror. Meowth shuffled in between them. "Drat!"

Jessie stomped her foot. "Well, he's not going to get away for it." she reached for her pokeball, but Ash wasn't stupid - no matter what people said.

"Pikachu, thunder bolt attack!"

Charging up with all his energy, Pikachu mustered a powerful electric attack. So powerful in fact, that it sent the Team Rocket trio blasting off high into the sky. Ash walked out of the truck just in time to see them disappearing into the air and the faint sound of their screams, "We're blasting off again!"

Chuckling to himself, Ash cradled Pikachu to his chest. "Lets go Pikachu...we've got a match to watch!"

Ash began to walk, but paused. "Hey Pikachu?" he asked with furrowed brows.

"Pika?"

"How come you were over there anyways?"

Pikachu blinked innocently, and Ash smacked his forehead. "They lured you with the ketchup, eh buddy?"

"Pikachu!"

Laughing, the two companions hurried off, eager to at least catch of a glimpse of the second half of the match.

Unfortnately, or - fortunately- depending on how you look at it, Ash bumped smack into Misty just as he was nearing the stadium.

"Ash?" Misty said, relieved as she saw him and Pikachu standing in perfect health. Her face seemed to light up, the weight diminishing from her heart, and a light smile proceeding her face. How could one boy do that to her?

"Misty." Ash was surprised, but he could feel his heart pounding against his chest, his ears ringing. What had started out so casual in the morning had seemed to turn into something a lot more complicated just after one afternoon. Could emotions change that fast? It's the hormones...

That's what Brock said anyways, whenever Ash questioned him about it.

"What took you so long?" Misty's soft expression suddenly changed to furious. "I was so freakin' worried that I came out here looking for you! You better not have been goofing off or you're going to have another meeting with my mallet."

"I wasn't." Ash assured her. "It was Team Rocket."

"Oh, I should have known. So no one noticed Team Rocket come and steal Pikachu right out of Brock's hands?"

Ash rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, you see, Pikachu headed over to the hot dog stand to have some ketchup, and well, the people selling the hot dogs were Team Rocket in disguise..."

"Of course they were." Misty shook her head. "What losers."

Ash nodded in agreement. "Lets go back and see if we can catch the last bit of the match? I'm sure someone will end up posting it on Poketube so we can watch it there."

"Yeah, but it's nothing like the real thing." Misty said wistfully.

Ash just smiled, and took her hand. It was like he didn't even realize his action, because sometimes in life, things just felt right and you did it. Misty, however, was not feeling so calm and at ease.

The moment Ash grasped her hand, her stomach clenched and her breath quickened. ASH. IS. HOLDING. MY. HAND. She wasn't sure if she should laugh or cry, but instead, settled for a deep blush and shy smile.

At least he didn't notice that he's holding my hand...that would just make things even more awkward...

As if on cue, Ash realized what he was doing and his eyes widened considerably. "Sorry." he said breathlessly, letting go. Instantly, the warm feeling that had erupted inside of him disappeared, and he hung his arms to his side stiffly. "Sorry." he repeated.

"Nothing to be sorry about." Misty murmured. She shakily lifted her head to see him staring intently at her. Aw, is he actually looking at my face...maybe...just maybe he thinks I'm sorta pretty...

Ash's legs felt weak and his throat clogged up as he looked at Misty's face. Or her lips for that matter. He just sort of noticed them, the way they seemed so soft and rosy pink. So kissable. Almost in a different state, he let himself lean forward in a intense craving, his eyes naturally closing.

Misty froze as Ash's eyes shut and his body closed in on her. His lips were inches away from hers, and for a moment, she couldn't breathe, speak, or even blink. Is he...is he going to kiss me? Omigod, he's going to kiss me...

Slowly, Ash pressed his lips against her. Misty didn't reciprocate because she was quite in a state of disbelief and could only limply stand there. She had to admit though, it did feel good.

It was quick though, only lasting two to three seconds, before Ash broke apart and stumbled backwards. He didn't know what to say, for that had been an exhilarating experience for him.

But not for Misty. She hadn't kissed him back. He was too ashamed to even look at her. "I'm sorry Misty." he tripped over his words as he tried to apologize. "I don't know what ha-happened, I just lost control, and I just...I just...I'm sorry."

"It's okay." Misty said quietly. "It wasn't...it wasn't your fault."

Ash swallowed hard. "I...I don't know why I did it Misty, I swear! I'm sorry, it'll never happen again."

"I said it's okay." Misty was now amused, enjoying her best friend sweat it out and squirm helplessly.

Ash didn't look convinced. He actually looked utterly miserable, now that it fully hit him what he had done, he felt horrible and mortified.

"Ash..." Misty saw him suffering and decided to ease his tension. "Don't worry about it, okay? I kinda liked it."

Ash's head flew up. "Really?"

"Really." Misty grinned. "Now lets never talk about it or do it again."

"Good idea."

Feeling contented and happy, Ash and Misty started to head back to the stadium.

Just as they heard the buzz of the crowd, Ash stopped and turned around. "Hey Misty?"

"Yeah?"

"When I k-kissed you..." he still couldn't believe he had. "You tasted like cotten candy."

"Well, I ate cotton candy, so I'm not surprised."

"Don't tell me." Ash looked at her accusingly. "You finished all of the Cotton Candy while I was gone, didn't you?"

Misty shrugged. "Your loss Ketchum."

Ash growled. "What happened to the whole "I'm on a diet." and "I'm gaining too many pounds." and "Girls are self-conscious."

Misty stared at him, then chuckled. "Self-conscious my ass."

Well, there you have it! It took my forever to write, my longest one-shot, and probably the craziest one I've ever written. I liked how I wrote it, but I hated how I changed the emotions so much. I never really built up to the kiss and I sorta made the emotions mix around sooo much. I guess it's believable since they ARE teenagers but that was a little too quick I guess. Still, I wrote the whole thing going with the flow, and I hope you enjoy. Oh, and I apologize for the swearing. I normally don't use swearing, but it just seemed to fit. OHHH, and THE QUOTE AT THE BEGINNING HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STORY. IT WAS THERE FOR FUN!

HAPPY WRITING! And reviews are greatly appreciated!