Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon.

Misty stared at Ash in wonder.

Or at least she thinks it is Ash. She's not entirely sure. The last time she's seen him was when he was still a scrawny kid. A skinny boy who was so optimistic about the world and ran head-first into every situation. But that was ten years ago.

This was now.

The man who stood before her is golden tanned. Muscles strained against the black T-shirt he wore. He grew taller. She used to be taller than him when they were younger but now he towered over her a good foot or so. The top of her head only reached his shoulder. Messy black hair peeked out under the black cap he wore.

Her eyes finally reached his face. His chocolate-brown eyes showed as much surprise as she was to see him again. He snapped out of it when an explosion sounded near the pair. He tackled her and they both fell to the ground. Bits of debris rained on top of them, but his body shielded her from harm.

"Stay down," he hissed into her ear.

A round of gunfire throttled next to where they hid. Ash clamped his hand over her mouth, afraid that she might give their position away. He pulled her tight to him as they seek refuge around the corner from where the action is.

The Team Rocket grunts were clearly outnumbered by the Trainers. Even against the odds, they continue to open fire against the Trainers. The grunts have exhausted their Pokémon so they can only rely on firepower now. It won't be long before they run out of bullets too. Until then, the Trainers will just have to hold out.

Ash sighed. He was hoping they would be able to minimize the damage on the surrounding area but now that's out of the question. Ash began to map out the home route in his head.

Suddenly, Misty shifted.

They were sitting against the brick wall in an alley. He kept her pinned to his chest. She was nestled against him, with his legs spread out on each side of her. So when she shifted, she unknowingly brushed against his crotch.

Ash let out a disgruntled sound. Misty turned around to see what the matter was. Ash clenched his eyes tightly as the sensation ebbed away. Worst timing ever. How unprofessional of him.

When he opened his eyes again, Misty gasped at how dark they look now. His eyes revealed a bit of lust swirling around in him. He closed his eyes again and the next time he reopened them, the desire disappeared and his eyes returned to chocolate-brown again.

"Stop squirming."

Misty could only nod in response, mentally noting to be cautious of her movements.

Ash could hear the sound of gunfire dying so he could only assume that Team Rocket was retreating now. He stood up and peeked around the corner. Sure enough, there was only a few more grunts left and they quickly fled the scene. Trainers cheered for victory.

Misty got up from the floor and dusted herself off. She felt a rough hand firmly grip her upper arm and she turned to look at Ash.

"You're coming with me."

"Ms. Waterflower, is it?"

The inquirer came from her right but she refused to turn to him. She faced straight ahead, her eyes locked onto the raven-haired man in front of her. His eyes narrowed in response.

A staring contest? One of his eyebrows raised in question.

Misty kept her expression devoid of emotion. She will not let Ash see the chaos inside her. A multitude of emotions raged inside of her. For starters, she felt confused as hell. One minute, Misty was strolling downtown in Cerulean City, next thing she knows, she is placed in the back of a Jeep and transported through hundreds of miles to the base. Now, she is being scrutinized and questioned in the conference room.

Misty fidgeted under the gaze of several directors and high-ranking officials. They sit around a half-circle table while Misty sit in a lone, folding chair before them. But she forgets all about her nervousness once her eyes finds Ash.

His eyes were hard as stone as they stared into Misty's eyes. Misty assumed that that look was of disdain, but she can't understand why. She felt herself becoming angry for no reason and soon the two were locked in a deadly staring contest.

The man on the right cleared his throat again. Misty slowly turned her attention to him. The Trainer visibly sweatdropped under her glower and reached up to mess with his tie. Oops, some of her control slipped. Time to tone down the glare.

"Is it true that you have recently produced a potion that will significantly increase water Pokémon strengths?"

"That's correct. But the Optimi potion has a drastic side effect. It can cause the Pokémon to go into a violent frenzy." Misty paused to draw in a breath. "Due to the sudden stat change, the said Pokémon will feel unstable and easily irritated. Their body hasn't had time to mature to accommodate it so the Pokémon will go into a frenzy. I am currently gathering more research on the matter."

Misty earned a couple of looks of respect and nods around the table. Ash just stared at her blankly. She glared at him.

A tanned man erupted with a booming laughter. He sat next to Ash at the center of the semicircle. Misty gave him a genuine smile.

"You've been busy, Misty," Brock said.

"So have you, co-founder of TRAINERS." Misty countered. Apparently, sometime after her departure from the group, Ash and Brock founded the secret group TRAINERS. TRAINERS is a group of elite Pokémon trainers who have sworn to fight against rogue groups such as Team Rocket. They have bases stationed all over the Kanto region. The one Misty is at right now is the TRAINERS Headquarters, hidden deep within Mount Silver.

"Well, look at where your work lead to." Ash spoke up.

Misty glared at him, "What do you mean?"

Ash leaned forward in his chair. "Did you think that there was a Team Rocket attack just coincidentally where you were?" He shakes his head. "No, they were after you and your research. Team Rocket was going to kidnap and use you, Mist."

A twang of pain hits her heart when he used her old nickname but she ignored it. "So, I wasn't ever going to help them, if that's what you're implying. I can protect myself."

"Oh, can you now? They are not the weak Pokémon thieves back ten years ago anymore! They are murderers, arsonists, and rapists! Those people would have tortured you into submission."

Misty was stunned into silence. Ash closed his eyes and tried to calm himself again. The rest of the directors and Brock were silent also.

"This is what I love to do, Ash." Misty stared at him. "I am going to be a Water Pokémon master. I understand that with my job, I am put under danger. A little setback like this will not discourage me from my dream. I am not going to abandon my dream for anyone."

Ash's head lowered. He gave a tiny nod as he processed her words. A few minutes passed before he excused himself from the conference room.

"May I return to Cerulean now?" Misty asked.

Brock cleared his throat, "Actually, Misty, now that we are certain that Team Rocket is targeting you, we highly suggest you stay here at TRAINERS headquarters."

"You mean, you're holding me captive here."

"More like, keeping you here for your own safety," Brock corrected. "Please, Misty. I don't want to see you get hurt."

"But Brock! I can protect – "

Misty stops mid-sentence when she saw Brock pouting. His whole body was pleading with her to stay. Misty couldn't ever stand her ground when someone used the puppy-dog pout.

She caved.

"Great to have you aboard, Misty. Welcome to the TRAINERS Protection Program."

AN: Hi! This is my first ever fanfiction. Reviews are certainly welcome. Hope you stick around for more!

Update (5/13/14): Hey guys! I'm back and I'm tweaking a few chapters before I write new chapters. Tell me what you think by reviewing!