Shadows on the Heart - Window to the Soul (PG-13)
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August 28th, 2012 (7:09 PM).
At home, Ash told his mother what he wanted to do and as usual, she got teary eyed and nodded. It was during dinner that she started to make suggestions.
"It might be a good idea to call Brock," Delia Ketchum told her son while he was finishing his meal.
"But mom, I wanted to do this alone." He complained.
"But nothing sweety." His mom said in a slightly stern way. "Can you cook, yet?"
That stopped him. He knew that he couldn't cook a meal in the out doors to save his life. All his efforts in that area were either burnt, or horrid tasting. So Brock would be a good companion. Not to mention that he knew a lot more about pokemon and the caring for them then he did. He just hated to admit that.
"OK, Mom." He began, taking a quick drink of milk. "I give."
"Good," She said with a smile as her Mr. Mime came in to collect the dishes. "Plus I would feel better and rest a lot easier if you had a friend or two with you. It is safer to travel in groups."
"I'll call him in the morning." Ash said.
He went up to his room followed by pikachu and clicked on his computer. Checking his Email he noticed that he had messages from May, Max, Professors Elm and Birch, and *Misty*. He froze. Almost automatically his hand moved to the one from Misty and clicked it, First thing he saw was a jpeg of Misty holding a small blue ball-like pokemon, a Marrell. He scrolled down to the message quickly.
As you can see from the pic, azurill evolved. It was a shock to me. I was in the middle of a battle with a boy from some place called Eterna city in an area that is called Sinnoh and we were both down to our last pokemon. Azurill stumbled onto the field and the rules say that I have to use any pokemon that is on the field so I was ready to concede when azurill used bubble beam and then followed it up with a bubble attack that beat the boys pokemon. Then she evolved. I renamed her Cutie, because she is. I wanted you to be the first person I told this to, after Professor Oak of course. I mean, I needed to know how to care for her and since Tracy was there he told me. right after that I sent this and a pic to you. I would like to hear from you so please call me or email me.
Ash felt his heart racing. He scrolled up to the pic again and looked at it, focusing more on Misty then the pokemon for once in his life. She was still wearing the same outfit that she seemed to favour when they had wandered the Kanto, Johto, and the Orange Islands. Blue Jean shorts with red suspenders and a yellow half t-shirt. The pic showed her face clearly and Ash could make out her sea blue-green eyes and that fiery red hair of hers. His mind drifted back to all the adventures they had had with Brock, Tracy, Todd. He remembered all the arguments that they seemed to get into, and the most wrenching moment of his life. The day that she had to leave to take over the gym while here sisters went on a world wide tour. He pulled out the gift that she gave him when they parted, a handkerchief and unfolded it to reveal a picture of her. Ash looked back and forth from one picture to the other until his friend jumped up on his desk and poked him in the shoulder.
"Huh, what's up little buddy?" He asked. perplexed at this behaviour.
"Pika....pi pi choo." it stated with exasperation pointing at a clock that showed it was now one O'clock in the morning.
"Damn it," he gasped, seeing the time.
He realized that he had gotten up to his room at about eight, and spent a little over four hours simply looking at pictures of Misty.
"Sorry, Pikachu." he said as he began to get ready for bed. "Your tired and here I am keeping you awake."
He folded the handkerchief over the picture before returning it to his pocket. Then fully dressed for bed, he reached over to switch off the computer, which still had Misty's picture on the screen. He paused for a moment, taking in her smile.
"Sweet dreams Misty," He whispered and switched off the computer before going to bed.
It was evening and Ash was sitting on the bank of a lake with Misty next to him watching a sunset. There was a small forest around them and they were alone. They both watched the sun go down behind distant tree lined hills turning the sky into a rainbow of reds and oranges as it set. He could feel a peace come over him that he had never felt before in his life. He looked over to his companion and saw her profile as she smiled shyly and seemed to drink in the whole scene. Her eyes were glued to the sunset and the breeze that blew tousled her short red hair just a bit. He lost track of how long he gazed at her.
"Thank you Ash," She seemed to breath out softly. "This is so beautiful."
"Yea, it is," He replied in soft tones that caused her to turn towards him and meet his gaze. "But not as beautiful as you are."
He heard a catch in her breath, and her sea coloured eyes seemed to soften a bit. She looked like she wanted to say something but could't.
"I know that we were meant to be together since we met that day when I took your bike to escape the flock of spearow." He began and placed his hand on top of hers. "I know that I have been a bit of a brat at times, but you never left my side because of it. We have been through a lot and I think that we have gotten closer then either of thought possible." He pulled out the handkerchief from his pocket, and held it in his open palm.
"You kept it?" She gasped looking first at the handkerchief then to Ash's chocolate brown eyes. Then her gaze turned puzzled when she seemed to notice that there was something inside the folded piece of cloth.
He slowly unfolded it to reveal a picture of her sealed in clear plastic sheets, and what seemed to be a small poke ball.
"I used to have a dream of being a pokemon Master." he said while looking into her eyes. "Now I have a new dream and there is only one person in the world to help me realize it." He continued and then pushed the button on the poke ball.
It popped open to reveal a ring that looked at if it were made of rope with bands of twisted gold and white gold in it. In the setting was a star sapphire shaped like a heart with two diamonds on either side of it. He watched as she looked at it for only the briefest of moments, gasping. He saw her eyes begin to fill with tears, yet a smile began to form on her lips. He reached out his hand to touch the side of her face and it felt as if he had touched soft warm velvet, then he slowly brought his face closer to hers. He could smell lavender that was in the soap she used, and saw her eyes close ever so slightly as she tilted her head. A single tear drifted down her face toward her chin and he felt her breath softly on his face just as their lips began to brush together...
"Ash, Breakfast is ready" His mother called through his door, and for the first time in his life he wanted to scream at her in anger. He didn't notice a small shimmering ball just outside his window, though Pikachu did, yet the little mouse pokemon saw nothing when it looked out the window but the sun peeking over the tree line.
Brock arrived at home just in time to stop his mother from turning the gym into a twin to the water gym at Cerulean city. It had taken him almost an hour to convince her that this city and gym would not be able to support the water types that she seemed to love so much. And now that she was gone, he wondered for the hundredth time how his rock pokemon loving father could have fallen for her. He wondered the gym looking at all the changes that she had made already and that would have to be undone. Then he saw Forrest, his younger brother who had taken on the task of Gym leader for him while he was with Ash.
"Is she gone?" Forrest asked with a roll of his eyes.
"Yea," The older one responded.
"That's not the way you should talk about your mother, Forrest." Their father said coming out of one room.
"I know Dad," Forrest replied, again rolling his eyes but facing Brock so their father could not see. "But look at what she did to the Gym." He indicated the rocky walls that had been painted the colours of the ocean. "It's going to take us weeks to get this place back in shape." Then he looked to his older brother and smiled wanly. "I guess that you want to take over now, Brock?"
"No, Forrest." Their dad said with a decisive tone. "Your older brother has his dream of being a pokemon breeder." He looked to a very surprised Brock. "He had to put that dream on hold when I turned chicken and left, But I won't allow that to happen again. You remain as the Leader of this Gym, Forrest, and let your brother chase after his dream."
"Besides, Forrest," Brock said after a shocked silence. "You're doing a great job as it is."
"I wasn't doing a great job to let our mother come here and do this to the Gym." he said with a twist of his mouth. "I wasn't even here."
"You were at the Badge makers home getting more Boulder Badges," their father interrupted them. "Like a real gym leader should do. Like your brother Brock has done many times."
"That's right Forrest." Brock stated with feeling, seeing his younger brother's spirits drop slightly. "Besides," he continued, "Your name is now registered at The Pokemon League as the Gym leader here, or the badge maker would never have given you those badges. And You got two of our Onixs to evolve to steelixs. Your a natural for this job."
Forrest beamed at that, and he gave them both a big smile.
"Thanks Brock, Dad." Then he turned to Brock, "How long are you going to be here for?"
"I don't know Bro." Brock said, putting his arm around the shoulder of his little brother. "I learned a lot while I was going with Ash, but I learned that there is a lot more that I need to know before I try to open a breeding salon."
"Why don't you go to that new salon that opened up across town?" Forrest meant that as more of a suggestion then a question. "It's run by somebody named Suzie." And the younger brother stood there, mouth dropping as Brock turned and started running up the stairs two at a time yelling that he would be back.
Misty fed her hungry marrell some of the Poke chow, and the occasional poke block while she looked through the window at the Cerulean city skyline. It had been a long time since she had come back and took over the gym and a lot of money had to be spent. She remembered when she got to the gym, and saw the disrepair that it was in. The filtration system had to be totally replaced, the pokemon needed to be checked out by the local Nurse Joy. Her sisters had almost ruined the gym because they couldn't control their impulses to shop for clothes and other things. Not to mention all the eating out and take out food that they had gotten instead of cooking their own. It had taken her three weeks of hard work after the PIA had declared the gym to be in competent hands to get it in shape to open.
That and the arrival of Sandy, her older cousin from Johto and Roxy, Sandy's younger sister. Her light chocolate brown skinned cousins had brought in a collection of the Johto water pokemon that she had caught and together they had opened the gym. Misty as the leader and Sandy as her top trainer and breeder. Then four other trainers joined and the gym started to hum along like it should have done, and never had. She heard the main doors open.
"Is it another trainer after a cascade badge, Sandy?" She called out coming to the main entry area, "If so, they have to come back tomorrow, cause we're closed..." She stopped and her expression turned from smiling to a frown. "What are you doing here?" She practically yelled.
There stood her three sisters, Daisy, Lily and Violet with a suitcase each and shocked looks on their faces. And behind them was a very stern looking Nurse Joy.
"Well, like, is that anyway to greet your sisters?" Daisy said, coming out of the shock first.
"Yea, like we just came back to take the gym back so you could get on with your life." Violet responded.
"Like I really love what you did with the place, Misty," Lily said looking around the place. "Hope you left some money for a quick shopping spree, cause like, we need some new outfits before we do any gym battles with anybody."
Misty advanced on her sisters with a scowl on her face and they backed away slightly.
"You expect me to give you the gym after you abandoned it to scurry all over the globe, instead of taking care of the pokemon?" She started raging. "You left this place in such a state that I had to spend weeks and almost twelve thousand dollars to get it back into shape. You blew money on shopping trips, restaurants and take-out and didn't think of the pokemon at all. There was algae growing in some of the tanks here, and the filtration system had to be completely replaced. Three of the tanks had to be overhauled because they leaked and Nurse Joy had to heal several of the pokemon because they were sick, and all you three could think about was shopping and a round-the-world trip. And now you come back and expect me to just hand over the gym and money that has to be used to pay the bills here so you could go shopping?"
"Well, like, little sister," Daisy began with a smirk. "You were only a substitute leader in the first place. The gym is, like, in our name so we say who is who here. I mean, like we are the Sensational Sisters and the real leaders of this gym."
"Not really," Said Nurse Joy from behind them, causing the three to spin around with a collective 'Huh?'
"What do you mean?" Lily advanced on the nurse with a scowl on her face. "We are like the registered gym leaders with the Pokemon League."
"The gym was officially transferred to Misty when she came back and showed that she was capable of running it right and caring for the pokemon." Nurse Joy began, scowling herself. "Two other PIA agents and I inspected this place and were ready to close it down before that. And as for your registration, it lapsed six months ago and you three are not even listed as official trainers with the Pokemon League. And furthermore, you won't be able to re-register, 'like', until you prove to the League and the PIA that you know how to care for pokemon in the first place."
Misty watched as Nurse Joy collected their cascade badges and Gym leader Ids and they left in a huff. She felt drained and told Sandy that and also to lock up for the night. Then she began to make her rounds to see that pokemon were fed and returned them to their poke balls. During this she was stopped by Katie and Marie, two of her junior trainers.
"You aren't thinking of leaving us are you?" Marie said with worry showing in her green eyes. "I know your bored here but if you leave, those three may have a chance to take the gym."
"My sisters won't cause any trouble, Kate." She said to reassure the Blue eyed girl. "And I didn't know that my boredom was that apparent." She responded to Marie.
"It's just, you know, like, all the trainers here noticed it." Came a quip from Sandy who came back from the entryway.
They all laughed at her flawless mimicry of Misty's sisters while Misty looked at the three. It was true, she admitted to herself, she was bored with the day to day routine. She missed the travelling, the excitement, and most of all she missed a certain brown eyed trainer with a mop of black hair that always seemed to scream for fixing. She never thought that she could miss somebody like that. She never missed her sisters, and her mother died when she was born, and her father soon after, so she never got to know them. She never knew anybody well enough to miss them, save Ash. Her mind flashed back on all that they had been through. The Battles, the squabbles, foiling Team Rocket at every turn they could. She could almost hear Ash saying something and her arguing back at him. She always meant to tell him that she really cared about him but was always afraid that he would either laugh, or just reject her. She knew she wasn't much. She wasn't pretty like her sisters, or wise and knowledgeable like that breeder Susie, so she hid her true feelings by picking on him and arguing with him to try to get him to notice her.
"If I do leave, I'll put Sandy in charge." She said finally. "She is the most capable trainer here for the job, and as you heard, my sisters have a lot to prove before they are even recognized as trainers, let alone Gym Leaders."
"Misty, I'm not good enough to be a leader." Sandy stated, fear tingeing her voice.
"Sandy, your more then good enough," Misty reassured her and put a hand on her shoulder. "You were the one who took on four trainers in one day and only one of them got through you to me and he failed to beat me. You have more in you then you know and it will show, if you give yourself a chance." She laughed. "I may leave to go on a journey or two, but I will always be back here because this is my home, this is where my heart is." She felt the lie of that statement even as she said it, but hid her feelings well enough to fool the others. Her heart was being carried around by a thirteen year old pokemon trainer, and the crazy thing was that trainer didn't even know it.
Misty sat in her room brushing her hair and thought back on the day. She remembered her fear when azurill stumbled onto the field with that trainer that managed to get through Sandy. She remembered her shock when the little girl did a bubble beam that knocked back a pikachu. And when she was going to call the pokemon back by her cute nickname, 'Bubbles', the azurill took that as an attack command and proceeded to knock-out the pikachu. Then her little 'Bubbles' evolved into a marrell and she changed it's name to Cutie, both because it was and so that another mistake like this would not happen again. And when the boy asked how a water type could possibly out battle an Electric type, her remark to that trainer came clearly to mind.
"You'll have a ways to go kid, with that pikachu before you can even begin to measure up to Ash."
That was so not like her, she thought, wincing at that thoughts resemblance to how her sisters sounded. And then, instead of calling her best friend across town to tell her the good news that her azurill evolved she fired off that Email to Ash. And she still had not told Florence the good news. She remembered watching Ash in his Hoenn competition and cheering every victory he got. She had burned the whole thing onto both tape and DVDs and still watched them over and over again. And she remembered the hurt she felt when she saw that girl and her brother in the same spot that she and Brock used to be in. She remembered the relief she felt when she met Ash and he didn't seem to have any real feeling for the girl. And she remembered Tracy telling her that Ash thought of May as a sister, and then gave her the little azurill.
Misty looked at the scrapbook she had on her computer desk and thought of all the articles about Ash that she had collected. What would that trainer from Pallet town think, if he knew that two thirds of that book was about him. She began to hum a tune while she continued to brush her hair.
Brock didn't even try to explain to his brother about his uncharacteristic departure from the gym. He had bolted clear across town to the Salon that was supposed to be run by Susie. When he had arrived at the shop he was informed that Susie was not present but had gone to a place called Sinnoh to learn more about different pokemon.
"With Zane, no doubt." He could not help but feel a bit dejected.
"Zane? No, she went by herself." The young lady informed him. "Susie and Zane parted company a while back."
"What happened?" he had inquired, feeling his heart give a leap at this news.
"And who are you, sir?" The girl inquired somewhat suspiciously.
"My name is Brock, I was the Pewter City Gym Leader a while back." he began. "And I was the one who Susie gave her vulpix to, to raise for a while."
"OH, Brock, I thought you had said Rock." She had gone on to explain that Zane had used a fire stone on vulpix without Susie's permission to get it to evolve so he could breed it with his Nine tails. She told Brock how she was so furious when he made a remark about her wanting to keep a cute but weak vulpix over an obviously more powerful pokemon.
Now he was home and looking up the Sinnoh region on his computer. He had told his family that he was going there as soon as he could, but he did not tell them the reason.
That night Misty dreamed.
It was evening and she was sitting on the bank of a lake with Ash next to her watching a sunset. There was a small forest around them and they were alone. They both watched the sun go down behind distant tree lined hills turning the sky into a rainbow of reds and oranges as it set. She could feel a peace come over her that she had never felt before in her life. She could feel him looking at her as she watched the sun set Her eyes were glued to the sunset she felt a breeze ruffle her short red hair just a bit.
"Thank you Ash," She said in a soft breathy tone. "This is so beautiful."
"Yea, it is," He had replied in soft tones that caused her to turn towards him and meet his gaze. "But not as beautiful as you are."
Her breath caught in her throat and she couldn't seem to talk. For the moment she lost herself in his brown eyes.
"I know that we were meant to be together since we met that day when I took your bike to escape the flock of spearow." He began and she felt a tingle as he put his hand on hers. "I know that I have been a bit of a brat at times, but you never left my side because of it. We have been through a lot and I think that we have gotten closer then either of us thought possible." She watched as he pulled out the handkerchief from his pocket, and held it in his open palm.
"You kept it?" She gasped recognizing the handkerchief as the gift she had given him when they had parted. Then she got puzzled when she noticed that there was something inside the folded piece of cloth.
She watched as he slowly unfolded it to reveal a picture of her sealed in clear plastic sheets, and what seemed to be a small poke ball.
"I used to have a dream of being a pokemon Master." he had said while he looked into her eyes. "Now I have a new dream and there is only one person in the world to help me realize it." He had continued and then pushed the button on the poke ball.
It popped open to reveal a ring that looked at if it were made of rope with bands of twisted gold and white gold in it. In the setting was a star sapphire shaped like a heart with two diamonds on either side of it. She looked at it for only the briefest of moments, gasping at it's beauty. She felt tears of joy begin to fill her eyes and looked into Ash's chocolate brown eyes and began to smile She felt an almost electric charge as he placed his hand on the side of her face and began to move closer to her. 'Oh if I am awake, don't let me sleep, and if this is a dream, I hope I'll never wake' she thought as she could begin to smell the fragrance of the plain soap that he used. She closed her eyes slightly and tilted her head, praying that this magic moment would not end. She felt a single tear drift down her face toward her chin and he felt his breath softly on her face just as their lips began to brush together...
Her alarm clock went off, and she threw it in a fit of rage into the wall, causing it to shatter. Then she noted a slight movement near her window, but she only saw the city of Cerulean when she checked.
Programming today is a race between the programmers trying to make bigger and better idiot proof programs and the universe, making bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
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