Single By 30 @shinygrowlithe12
Prologue

Yeah. I already have a pokeshipping story I recently started. I also have one that needs 2 more chapters to be done. And I have a contestshipping story that's taking way longer than any of my other stories. Plus, more incomplete stories, but I like the idea of this one. I teased it in Operation: Family Reunion last month and got good feedback for it. It's something I want to write, so I typed this prologue just now. Let me know what you think. I'll be back after I finish Operation: Family Reunion.


Prologue

"I had fun this week." the redhead smiles. "Thanks, Ash."

Ash gives her his signature goofy grin. "Thanks for visiting me, Mist!" Although Brock came along too, Brock has spent most of the trip doing research and learning from the professors. Nevertheless, Ash does enjoy the quality time he gets with his first traveling partner. Pikachu has been clinging onto Misty most of the time too.

"Well, you are in one place this time around." Usually, Ash travels across regions. With him being in Alola, he's just at the school. It's easy to find him and make plans together now.

Sheepishly laughing, Ash knows she's right. He's glad she hasn't berated him too much for losing contact with her. After she took over the gym, Ash slowly quit communicating with her. He saw her a few times while he traveled with May, and he thought about her in Sinnoh. However, he hadn't thought too much of her since then. It makes him feel guilty because Misty means so much to him.

"Yeah. I am." Ash looks out at the setting sun over the beautiful ocean. He knows she loves Alola with its vast waters. "Remember when you said it's romantic to walk by the sea with the person you love?" His cheeks heat up from this comment. "Uh. I'm not saying we're in love. I was just uh...you know…"

Pikachu sweatdrops in second hand embarrassment. Fortunately for Ash, Misty is blushing too. Whenever she'd talk about romantic things, especially to him, they were always about him. She can only see herself with this dense boy who sees her as nothing more than a forgettable friend. "Um. Yeah. It's a romantic date."

Ash chuckles awkwardly. "Have you gone on one yet?" It's been years since they've seen each other. She could've gone on some dates or even had a boyfriend during that time. Mew. Ash got his first kiss last year.

She peeks at him in the corner of her eye, making her blush deepen. Thankful that Ash isn't looking at her, Misty thinks about how this is her romantic walk on the beach at sunset. Well, it's not necessarily romantic, though she can dream. "Yeah."

The boy fights the frown threatening to form on his lips. Why is he upset? Why does his chest ache? It's not like they have romantic feelings for one another. On the contrary, they're just good friends. Maybe Ash never expected his friends to move on without him? He hasn't done much but win a bunch of badges. He was close to winning the Kalos last year. Now, he's back in school. It feels likes all his old traveling companions are advancing except for him.

Hearing Misty has already gone on a date just reminds him of how far behind he is from everyone. They both started their journeys around the same time, yet Ash isn't as established as her. Misty could be an Elite Four member some day if she chooses. Her reputation is large in Kanto due to turning the Cerulean City gym from a joke to a challenging gym badge to earn.

"How was he?"

"Hm?" Misty raises a confused eyebrow at Ash. He was quiet for so long, and she was lost in her own thoughts, that she doesn't recall what they're talking about.

Ash is glad he's walking ahead of her so that she can't see his face. "How was he? The guy you went on a date with."

"It's not exactly a date." Misty responds. "But it's nice and close enough to what I want."

Stopping in his tracks, Ash turns to face her curiously. "What do you want?"

Her warm blue eyes meet his large brown ones, like he's peering into her soul. Deciding to take away the tenseness, Misty playfully inquires, "Jealous, Mr. Pokemon Master?" Why else would Ash be so inquisitive of her love life?

He averts his gaze to stutter, "No. I, uh, am just, uh, curious. Ya know. It's been years, uh yeah…"

Now it's her turn to look away disappointedly. "Yeah. It's been years." If not for Professor Oak calling her and Brock about the Alola fieldtrip months ago, Misty would have never reunited with her crush. She wasn't going to go greet Ash and his classmates, but Brock convinced her to. Brock always manages to convince her to do things she would prefer not to but should.

Not a fan of the current mood, Pikachu decides to happily exclaim, "Pi pikachu!"

The two teens look at him, who is still perched on Misty's shoulder. "What is it, Pikachu?" Ash questions his starter Pokemon.

"Pika pikachu pi." Pikachu sheepishly rubs the back of his head. Deciding to leave the awkward pair alone, Pikachu excuses himself. "Pi pika pikachu pika pichu pi." He makes a bogus excuse and scampers towards the deck further away from the sea.

Misty and Ash exchange confused glances before laughing away the tension. They're supposed to be enjoying each other's company. Not thinking about the lost years between them. "Will he come back?" Misty asks through her tears of laughter.

"Eventually." Ash chuckles. Glancing at the darkening sky, he frowns because it just signals her departure in the morning. "We should probably head back, so you can sleep."

She shrugs. "I can wait." Walking towards the sea, she sits down just far enough for her feet to reach the tide but not her bottom, thus, keeping her shorts dry.

Ash joins her to look at the beautiful sight ahead. "I love the views here."

Nodding, Misty blushes when she feels Ash's shoulder brush hers. "Me too." She's always wanted to be by the sea. Cerulean Cape is nothing. Why would the water type gym be in the center of the region? There is barely any water in Cerulean City. Nonetheless, it's her city.

After some peaceful minutes of watching the sun fully set, Ash isn't ready to go back yet. Going back would mean that's it. The next time he'd see her, it'll be watching her and Brock depart at the airport. He's not ready for that. Surprisingly, whenever he'd see his previous traveling partners, he would send them away with a smile. For Misty, though, Ash is always conflicted when she leaves. Like a part of him doesn't want her to.

Maybe it's because she has to leave him. His other traveling partners chose to leave him due to wanting to focus on their dreams alone. For example, Dawn, May, and Serena willingly chose to travel alone to improve coordinating. May is apparently traveling with Drew now, but May did still leave Ash. Even Brock eventually left to pursue being a doctor. Misty, however… Ash catches a glimpse of her looking at the waves, which makes his heart beat quicken.

He knows she only leaves him because of the gym. Her sisters had abandoned it to her, and to prevent her family from losing their home, Misty had to take over. Her selfish sisters imposed it on her without thinking of how Misty would feel. Although it angers Ash remembering this, he understands that Misty wouldn't leave the gym anymore. Even if her sisters came back to take over it, Misty wouldn't let them run its reputation to the ground again. It's something he admires about her. She always makes the best of every situation as well as putting her all into everything, despite not asking for it.

Thus, he is pretty sure he won't be seeing her again for some time. How long has it been? Five years? He last saw her at the start of the Kanto Battle Frontier with May. Wow. It's really been 5 years? No wonder why he's taller than her now. And her figure. Blushing, Ash refocuses on the ocean. She's no scrawny 10 year old anymore. Years of managing the gym have really toned out her body. It surprises him that she's still single.

Mew. His blush is really hot now. Fortunately, the cool air helps it. Trying to avoid thinking about her body, Ash continues his train of thought from before. If it took him 5 years to see Misty again, would it take him another 5 years? He doesn't plan to settle back in Pallet Town any time soon. What if he's traveling again next year? That'd mean they'll go right back to a lack of communication. He doesn't want that, but he knows he's part of the problem for always being in various places and never calling. Ash just doesn't know what to say when he calls her. Like he feels as if he's a bother.

"I'm not ready to go back." The voice gets his attention as he gazes at Misty. Her eyes are still on the waves, though a small smile is on her face. "Everything I love is here in Alola." Her sisters are currently on one of the islands for a vacation, the beautiful ocean waves, and… Misty fights looking over at her crush. Everything she wants is currently in Alola, but she needs to go back to Kanto to run her gym.

"Me too." Ash agrees. He isn't ready to return to Kanto either as well as watch her leave him again.

Sighing, Misty faces her friend. "We're gonna go back to our busy lives and never talk again." She playfully teases despite her realistic words aching her heart.

Ash frowns. "Not never."

"Let's not lie to ourselves here, Ash." Misty gives him a reassuring smile. "It's not your fault. I'm busy too." However, Misty would make time to talk to him if he had it. "I just don't want you to feel guilty thinking you're neglecting me once I leave."

"I-"

"Ash, c'mon." Misty knowingly remarks. "It doesn't matter how much time goes by. We'll always be friends." Having not seen or spoken to each other in five years, the two hit it off right away once they reunited a few months ago. Misty has no doubt their friendship will remain strong. "I'm just saying, you better be a Pokemon Master next time I see you."

Seeing the large warm smile on her lips makes Ash break into one of his own. "I will, Misty. I promise." His heart continues to pound louder just by looking at her under the beautiful moonlight. Can he really wait another 5 years before he sees her again? She's his first friend and traveling partner. She's the closest girl he has to a girl best friend. While he doesn't see Brock too much, Ash feels worse about not seeing Misty.

"How long do you think it'll be?"

Misty's question breaks him out of his train of thought. "How long will what be?"

Rolling her eyes, she replies, "How long do you think it'll be before we see each other again?"

Ash sheepishly looks away. "Hopefully not too long. Less than 5 years."

Giggling, Misty shakes her head at him. "Let me be the realistic one here, Ash." He shoots her an annoyed glance. "We're 18 now, right?"

"Yeah. Mew, we're old." Ash breathes out. He met her when they were 10. Has it really been 8 years of friendship, though five of those were without any communication.

"Yeah. We are." Misty sweatdrops. "Uh. Since it took us 5 years to reconnect, I'm gonna give us more time now that we're adults with busy adult stuff."

"Technically, we're still doing the same things even if we're adults." He prefers seeing her in under 5 years. Why is Misty making it seem like they're going to go decades without communication?

"True, but just in case, let's make it 30."

"30 years?" Ash exclaims. That's way too long to go without seeing each other. He might as well not let her out of his sight at this point.

"No, idiot." Misty sighs. "If we don't see each other for years, we need to promise to meet up when we're 30. No matter what we're doing or who we're seeing, we need to meet before either of us turns 31."

Frowning, Ash asks, "And then what? We see each other at 40? Is it gonna be once a decade?" He doesn't like this kind of friendship.

"Are you even listening to me?"

"I don't want to."

"Bang!" Out comes Misty's trusty red mallet connecting to the skull of her favorite victim.

Rubbing his head painfully while he glares at her, Ash exclaims, "Hey! What was that for?"

"For being rude, Ketchum." Misty pockets her mallet. "Look. We don't need to see each other every decade. I'm just putting this in place because I know we're busy." She groans in frustration. "If we see each other before we're 30, great. If we don't, then to make sure our friendship is preserved, we need to hangout by 30."

"Okay. So I can see you next month?"

"Yes." Why does she like this dense boy?

Grinning widely, Ash tackles her in a hug, making her blush profusely. "Cool! I was scared you only wanted to be my friend every 10 years."

"Never, Ash." Misty whispers, which he can hear due to his close proximity.

Ash feels the exact same way. He doubts he can just see her every 10 years. A friendship shouldn't be like this, despite his current friendship with her having had 5 years of no contact. Pulling away from the hug, Ash ponders, "Let's say we don't see each other until we're 30. Hypothetically."

"We'd still be friends. It'll be like this where it feels like no time has passed."

He shakes his head. "No. We need to do something big. It'll be 12 years. We'll be 30! That's a big number and a long time to be out of contact." Ash gives her his goofy smile. "We have to do something special if this happens." It cannot be an ordinary reunion. An old friendship reunited after over a decade of separation calls for a celebration.

The redhead giggles at his childish behavior, which she adores. "What do you suggest, Mr. Pokemon Master?"

Shrugging, Ash thinks about what they could do. The words came out of his mouth before he would really dwell on the idea. "I don't know. A ceremony?"

"Like a wedding ceremony?" Misty deadpans, though the blush creeps back on her face.

"A wedding?"

"Uh yeah. That's what comes to mind when I think of a ceremony. Or a cult, but I'd prefer a wedding over a cult."

He puts a finger on his chin. Was ceremony the right word to use? This is why he's in school: to improve his vocabulary. What should he have said instead. Noticing Misty's expectant eyes on him, Ash panics. His train of thought is lost as her words finally hit him, thus, causing a deep blush on his face. "Wedding?"

"I'm just joking, Ash." Misty tries to play off her words. She recalls the time they were traveling around Kanto when she told him they'd be married some day. Misty knows she's daydreamed of marrying this boy. Doubting it'll ever happen, Misty decides to toy with him and the idea. His reaction confirms that he doesn't see her as anything more than a friend, which she's fine with. She prefers their friendship over not having him at all, even if they only see each other every couple of years.

To Misty's relief, Ash laughs. Phew. His denseness will make him think that she really was joking. That she doesn't have feelings for him. If he knew about her crush on him, their relationship would be really awkward. Misty likes it the way it is. "No. Let's do it." He says between laughs.

Now, it's her turn to give the shocked expression. "Do what?" Had she heard him correctly?

Wiping at his tears, Ash breathes out, "Let's get married."

"Uh, Ash." The redhead knows her face color rivals her hair. "That's not a reason to marry someone."

"I know. You should marry for love. Yeah." He's listened to enough of Misty's hopelessly romantic remarks to know her take on anything related to romance. "But I am so confident that we'll see each other before we're 30." Meeting her eyes with his playful ones, he proudly tells her, "12 years is a long time, Mist. I know we're gonna see each other, so we're not gonna get married."

"Are you really betting your marriage right now?" Misty narrows her eyes at him.

"Scared?" Challenges the boy.

"Never."

"Good. Because I plan to see you before I'm 30." Just to make this fun, Ash will add in the wedding ceremony. He hasn't thought about marriage since he's so focused on his dream of being a Pokemon Master. Thus, the boy isn't too strict about the sanctity of marriage, like Misty is.

"Same here." Misty extends her hand out. "It's a deal, Ash Ketchum."

Ash shakes her hand. "If we don't see each other by the time we're 30-"

"And we're single!" Misty adds. She won't be cheating or helping him cheat on someone over this silly deal.

Nodding, Ash agrees. "Then we'll get married."

After letting go of his hand, though she'd prefer to hold it longer, Misty stands up to dust the sand off of her. "This is so stupid."

"But it's fun." Ash chuckles beside her. He likes having something tying him to Misty. He has her handkerchief and lure, but it's not the same. Those are materialistic. He prefers having something personal, like his nickname for her. "Mist." Ash calls to the redhead walking towards the deck ahead of him.

"Hm?"

"I'll be a better friend this time. I promise." Screw 12 years! He won't even let it be 5 years before she hears from him. Ash Ketchum has been reminded of how much he misses her friendship as well as how much she means to him. He won't let time go by like it has.

Looking over her shoulder, Misty shoots him a warm smile. "You'll always be my best friend, Ash." It doesn't matter how much time goes by. This boy has her heart and her friendship. He's the only one who can hold that best friend spot. She even has him higher ranked than Brock who she sees often.

With her attention back at the deck ahead, she spots a small yellow dot that must be Pikachu patiently waiting. Misty hopes this won't be her last time seeing these two. Even with this marriage deal, Misty doubts they'd follow through with it. It's just a silly bet. Also, if they go 12 years without seeing each other, they'll go even more. There will be nothing compelling them to see each other by then. Thus, Misty hopes Ash stays true to his words of not letting it get to that point.

"Ash."

"Yeah?"

Before they reach Pikachu, who Misty doesn't want knowing about the embarrassing deal, the redhead turns to face Ash fully. "This stays between us."

"What? The marriage pact?"

"Yes." Misty nods with her blush returning. "If we're single by 30, we'll get married."

"That's only if we don't see each other until we're 30." He reminds her of the main condition.

"Yeah. That's the deal, and it stays between us."

Even better. Ash prefers having something only he and Misty shares. He puts out a pinky to her. "I promise, Mist."

With her face getting hotter, Misty connects her small slender pinky with his slightly larger tan one. "Thanks, Ash." Thanks for the privacy. Thanks for the friendship. Thanks for the Butterfrees in her stomach. Thanks for being her best friend and crush. She knows she's looking forward to this deal happening more than he is, but Misty would prefer marrying due to feelings rather than a deal. Locking eyes with his warm ones, Misty reiterates, "If we don't see each other-"

"We'll get married." Ash's cheeks tint pink.

Chocolate and cerulean light up determinedly as they both complete the terms of the deal together: "If we're single by 30."

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Prologue 3335 0 0 2. Chapter 1 3889 0 0 3. Chapter 2 5728 0 0 4. Chapter 3 6858 0 0 5. Chapter 4 7312 0 0 6. Chapter 5 8640 0 0 7. Chapter 6 9818 0 0 8. Chapter 7 19153 0 0 9. Chapter 8 16786 0 0 10. Chapter 9 13286 0 0 11. Chapter 10 15358 0 0 12. Chapter 11 19491 0 0 13. Chapter 12 16349 0 0 14. Chapter 13 11771 0 0 15. Chapter 14 20732 0 0 16. Chapter 15 (Part 1) 17389 0 0 17. Chapter 15 (Part 2) 11842 0 0 18. Chapter 16 16313 0 0 19. Chapter 17 14979 0 0 20. Chapter 18 14493 0 0 21. Chapter 19 13362 0 0 22. Chapter 20 19263 0 0 23. Chapter 21 19779 0 0