Pieces of Us

Meadow Wood


Alright, where do I start? LOL, this was an idea requested by Auramaster24 and I'm using the characters Joel and Lily, otherwise known as Auraquashipping, as well as Pokeshipping. These will all be short one-shots, and every odd numbered chapter will be Pokeshipping and every even numbered chapter will be aquaaquashipping, that way, if you prefer one over the other, you can easily find and seperate the ones that are Pokeshipping and the ones that are Auraquashipping. Lots and lots of credit to Aurmaster24 for the request, idea and use of his own character Joel. Thank You and Enjoy!

Misty wasn't used to feeling vulnerable.

The underhand emotion was foreign to her because of her built walls of fiery temper and independent confidence. It surpassed her like the wind flew past certain trees. It surpassed her like the hurricanes passed certain countries. In all the moments of her life up until now, she couldn't remember anyone ever making her feel so vulnerable.

Except him. It was always him.

She was standing outside the porch of the Cerulean City gym, her fingers clenched tightly in fists, her unpainted nails digging into the palms of her hands. Of course it was him. It used to be him and it was him now. He made her feel vulnerable because he was the man that made her forget what she was supposed to be, made her forget how to control her emotions or how to speak without stuttering.

The boy did a lot of damn things to her, and when she finally thought she was getting over him and his stupid hat and his stupid dreams, he had casually decided to show up at her front door, smiling, the sunlight streaming on the side of his face.

That was where they were now.

Misty wasn't sure what to say as she stared up at the now taller guy in front of her. Her knees were quavering and she made an effort to go still. She was still in her pajamas, hair undone in a frizz down to her elbows and her favourite Staryu slippers on her feet.

God, he was smiling.

"Hey Mist," he said, cheerfully, albeit a nervous twinge in his voice. He shifted his feet, his skater jeans rusty and baggy. His black t-shirt brought out the dark brown of his gorgeous eyes and he lifted them to meet hers, an unspoken apology. "I know it's been awhile but," he started.

He didn't get a chance to get any further.

"Ash?" Misty said her voice icy yet showing off her shock and bewilderment. She had known for awhile now that this was indeed Ash Ketchum standing in front of her door, but she had yet to express her disbelief

Ash nodded, his hair falling in front of his face and his eyes flying to the ground. He sounded almost anxious, which took Misty by surprise. Maybe she wasn't the only one who was feeling vulnerable.

The red-haired girl looked around, unable to find Pikachu. "Where's Pikachu?" she finally asked.

"Home." Ash muttered, kicking at the porch steps with the scruff of his foot. He had quickly figured out that the cheerful act wasn't going to work. He winced, looking up at her. "Um, I thought we should talk alone, just us…since it's been so long."

Misty swallowed, her mouth dry as she looked into his large, inviting pools of brown. They were almost begging her to compromise. Her heart lurched. "You're damn right it's been awhile." She said, like she was angry but couldn't quite manage the anger. "Seven years to be specific."

Ash cringed, turning his eyes to the ground once again. "Well," he said. "I was, uh, pretty busy."

"Right. Sure you were." Misty said, her aquamarine eyes flaring up. She took a step forward, before gulping and stepping back. "I don't even know why the hell you're here."

Ash stiffly made no move to answer. He refused to answer, as that statement hurt. They were best friends, weren't they?

As if reading the injured expression on Ash's face, Misty crossed her arms tightly. "Don't even start thinking that crap about us being best friends, okay? It's been too long Ketchum. Way too long. I've changed. You've changed. Everything has changed."

"No," he squeaked in reply.

"Yes," she stated the obvious, her feet planted firmly on the entrance to the gym. She wasn't letting him in. "Why're you here anyways? Huh? To hurt me again? To come, make up and be friends and then suddenly leave for another seven years?"

She laughed a humorless laugh, leaving Ash feeling broken and guilty.

"I'm sorry." He said immediately.

Misty pursed her lips, looking away into the distance. The sun had risen, but the sky was still dipping orange and contrasting purple. "Ash, why are you here? I was finally forgetting. Honestly," her voice cracked. "Do you have to keep ruining my life? Can't you finally let me be? You had to come and make the memories come back, didn't you?"

He stared at her, eyes wide. "I just, I just…" he struggled to answer, still in part shock of how bad the visit was turning out.

"Why did you come?" she screamed into the morning hours, her voice hoarse. A tear slipped down her flushed cheek, and she desperately tried to prevent it. In turn, more tears rolled down, skimming her mouth and making her taste salt. She hated feeling vulnerable in front of him.

Yet, it was impossible not to. After so many years of trying to forget, trying to make the hurt go away and trying to get over him, he was back. Just when she was succeeding, he was back. He was back and the feelings had resurfaced all over again, and it was probably going to take her another damn seven years to forget him all over again.

Ash reached his hand out, frightened. "Oh, don't cry…" he said.

"Don't act like you care." Misty replied, sniffing, her throat aching as she held back sobs. The wind tossed through her hair and she started to close the door. "Please go, I don't even know why you're here. I just, leave me alone. You come out of nowhere, with no reason to justify besides y-you want to talk and you expect…"

"I do have a reason!"

"Leave!" Misty shouted back in response, tears flowing freely once again from her eyes. She trembled all over. "I told you so many times now to leave. Don't you understand?"

Ash's throat tightened and as he stared into her firm eyes, he suddenly knew there was no point. Turning his cap over his head so she wouldn't see him trying to fight brimming tears, he said nothing as he faced his back to her. He took a shaky breath, trying to find his voice as he started walking down the steps.

Misty felt her knees buckle as he began to stride away, shoulders slumped, when he turned around, looking over at her.

Softly, he said. "I just came to wish you a happy birthday."

Then, he was walking again, disappearing down the trail of the busy streets of Cerulean, leaving a beautiful, lonely red-haired girl crying into the palms of her hands, a girl who was so broken by the memories that she refused to laugh a real laugh and barely did anything but train, a girl who would forever be haunted by his existence.

A girl who was so miserable that she had forgotten it was her own birthday.

Review? :P Next chapter, Joel and Lily!