Ash sighed. Things had been going from bad to worse between him and Misty recently. They'd been fighting more and more until almost any little thing would set her off.
Ash won a battle, she told him he was getting a big head, and that it was only luck. Ash tried to strike up a conversation with her, she'd yell at him and tell him to shut up. He even fixed dinner one night and she'd poked fun at it the entire time. Nothing he'd do ever seemed good enough for her.
Ash rolled over and looked at Misty, who was sleeping on the cot across from his. "Why are you so mad at me? What can I do to make you happy?"
"Ashy, go to sleep!" Brock ordered, tiredly.
"Ok. Sorry. Night," Ash muttered rolling over again.

***

Misty woke up early, and glanced around. Every one else was sound asleep. She left Togepi sleeping on her bunk as she went to get ready for the day. She came back a few minutes later dressed in her normal attire. Glancing around to see if she forgot anything, her eyes landed on Ash.
"Why are you being so mean to him? He's just trying to make you happy. He's even putting off going to the gym until tomorrow, so you can go swimming," Misty thought to herself.
"Where did that come from?" She mentally yelled at herself.
Shaking herself back into reality, she woke up Togepi. "Morning. Time to get up," she cooed gently.
"Togei."
"That's a good little Togepi. Let's get you something to eat."
Misty took Togepi into the dinning hall and commandeered a table for the still sleeping boys.
Togepi and Misty had finished eating, and Misty was starting to get impatient when Ash finally bounced into the room, with Pikachu at his heels. Ash's bag was in one of his hands and Misty's was in the other.
"I though maybe you'd wanna hit the beach right way," He explained quickly, sitting Misty's bag on the table.
Misty nodded her head. "Thanks."
"You're welcome," He answered smiling at her. They're eyes met for just a moment causing Misty to smile back at her companion. "Wow. He's got really warm eyes."
"Pika!" Pikachu declared startling Ash.
"Right! Let's get some breakfast!" Ash replied. "We'll be right back!" The trainer and pokémon took off running for the small buffet table.
A few minutes later the two came back with plates heaped. "Be right back. Just need to get something to drink," Ash explained.
"Take you're time. Brock's still not up yet." Misty watched as the two rook off once more for the table.
"Those two are so much alike, it's scary." She thought as the two walked back to the table with a glass in each hand.
"We thought you two might want a drink too," Ash said handing a glass off to her.
"Thanks, Ash," Misty exclaimed. "Here I've been treating him like dirt, and he brings me juice!" Misty watched in amusement as Ash ate like he hadn't seen food in days.
"Sorry I overslept!" Brock exclaimed running in.
"It's ok. We're still eating," Ash said around a mouthful of food.
Misty suppressed an urge to scold him for talking with his mouth full.
"Oops," Ash said, swallowing quickly. "Sorry, didn't mean to gross you out," he apologized quickly.
"It's...alright."

***

Brock and Ash stood back a ways watching Misty and Pikachu play with Togepi. "Is it just me, or is she different today?" Brock asked.
"Yeah. Maybe all she needed was a good night's sleep," Ash suggested.
Misty turned to the boys and waved them over. "Could one of you watch Togepi for me? I want to swim a bit."
"I'll watch him," Brock volunteered.
"Thanks, Brock."
"Misty?" Ash asked suddenly. "Can I come too?"
"Misty smiled. "Sure...if you can keep up with me!" She teased as she jumped into the cool water. Ash was in a second after her.
Ash and Misty matched each other stroke for stroke, neither gaining an edge on the other. They both reached a small raft, that was floating out in the lake, at the same time.
Ash pulled himself onto the raft and moved over for Misty to join him. After a few attempts of trying to pull herself up she let herself sink into the water. "Want some help?" Ash asked, offering a hand to Misty.
Misty nodded and gave Ash her hand. He pulled her up next to him. Misty flopped back onto the raft and smiled.
"She's really pretty," Ash thought to himself.
"That beach is a lot further away then it looks," Misty muttered.
"Yeah, it's a ways," Ash agreed, glancing out across the water.
Misty glanced up at Ash. "This is nice. I wish we could just sit here for ever!"
Ash stood up and walked to the other side of the raft and sat down. "Misty?"
"Yeah?" Misty asked sitting up. After a moment of silence, "What's wrong, Ash?"
"Nothing," he muttered.
Misty walked over to Ash, and sat next to him. "What's up?"
"Why haven't we gotten a long the last couple of months?" Ash asked, eyes down cast.
"I guess...I don't know, maybe we've been around each together to much," Misty suggested. "Why did I say that? Now he's gonna think I want to leave!"
"Oh." Ash continued to look down. "I can't believe I'm going to say this," he thought to himself. "If you want too, you don't have to follow me around."
Misty felt herself freeze. "Does he really want me to go?" Misty thought, nervously.
"Why did I have to say that?" Ash yelled at himself. "I don't want her to go, but if it's what makes her happy...Even if it's not with me..." Ash thought. "I really hope she stays."
"Do you want me to leave?" Misty asked softly, eyes starring out across the water.
"I just want you to be happy," Ash replied automatically. "Blurt everything out why don't ya?" Ash scolded himself.
"Here's your opportunity!" Misty's mind screamed. "I am happy."
Ash looked at her. "Then why-"
"I'm also afraid."
"Of what?"
Misty's eyes met Ash's. "Of being left behind."
Ash laid his hand on top of her's. "I will never leave you behind, unless that's what you want."
"Thank you," Misty whispered, tears sparkling in her eyes.
"What's wrong?" Ash asked, seeing the tears.
"Nothing." A tear slipped from here eye.
"You're crying," Ash said wiping the tear from her face.
"I'm happy you don't want me to go. I was afraid you'd want me to leave, especially after the way I treated you."
"I'll be at your side as long as you want me to be."
"Thank you," Misty whispered, resting her head on Ash's shoulder.

***

"Finally! I though those two were going to kill each other!" Brock exclaimed from the shore line.
"Pika!"
"Come on you guys, let's leave 'em alone for a bit," Brock suggested walking away.


Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. If I did I could pay some one to get my network running...