Single By 30 @shinygrowlithe12
Chapter 9

The long awaited Single By 30 chapter. I realized that my grammar was off, so it should be Single At 30, but we're in too deep to change this now lol.

Anyway, I was gone because I was busyyyy. I start my class next week. . Sorry, y'all. Also, I was feeling Hoping For You lately, so I was working on that. I'm itching to type up a chapter for Things Money Can't Buy (contestshipping), but we'll see if I'll have time for that, or if I'm in the mood when I do have time. This chapter right here took me all day to type.


Chapter 9

"Ready, Ash?" the woman walks into the bathroom.

They're currently at Ash's Pallet Town home for Gary's and Leaf's wedding. They've been here for a few days preparing for the wedding and practicing. Despite the stressful time, everyone has had fun. Of course, Ash and Misty are constantly subjected to Gary's and Leaf's teasing, but they're getting used to it. Misty is happy that the wedding will finally be over so that she can resume her normal life of seeing Leaf and Gary every couple of months. There's only so much teasing she can handle.

Delia had left earlier to help Professor Oak with getting the last minute decorations set up at the lab. Pikachu and Mr. Mime joined her, leaving Ash and Misty alone. While Misty has been changing into her pastel green bridesmaid dress in Ash's room, he was changing in the bathroom. She stops in the doorway admiring his handsome features in the suit. This Ash looks very different from the Ash she met at the League dinner months ago.

Although Ash was in a suit at the dinner, he looked rough, like he rolled out of bed to put a suit on. Today, he has tamed his hair somewhat, and he looks more alive, not like he's dreading a League dinner. Mew. His weeks of training with his Pokemon are starting to show too because Ash has a sharp jawline again. He fits his suit nicely. Is she really married to this man? Yes. It's a fake marriage.

Noticing eyes on him, Ash sheepishly smiles at the doorway where he instantly spots the beautiful redhead. His smile falls as his mouth is now open in shock. Misty's red hair really complements the pastel green dress, which shows off her curves. Although Ash has seen more of Misty's skin in her swimsuit, certain clothing she wears gets him to blush profusely. Is he really married to this beauty? Yes. It's a fake marriage.

"Uh. Do you know how to tie a tie?"

His shy question snaps Misty from her daze. Blushing slightly, she approaches Ash who has the tie around his neck. "Surprisingly, I do." Not because she's had dates in the past. Misty only knows how to tie a tie because of Daisy. Daisy wanted to learn because she thought it'd be sexy to tie Tracey's tie while it's on him. However, the instructions online were not helping her learn, so she had Misty teach her. Of course, Misty figured out how to follow videos, which led to hours of being Daisy's tie tying teacher. Daisy is a lot slower than Misty, thus Misty has tied a tie so many times, she cannot forget it. Occasionally, she has to help refresh Daisy's tie tying skills.

Ash smiles, causing Misty's heart to pound again. He's so devilishly handsome, and with their close proximity, she just wants to capture his lips in hers. Instead, Misty narrows her eyes at his neck to focus on the tie and not that chiseled face of his. Their life in Cerulean City has fallen into a routine of Ash helping at the gym, training during downtime, and sleeping in separate bedrooms. They share meals together and have their Friday movie nights. Last week, Ash even asked Misty for them to go to the drivethru of the nearby burger place. There are definitely improvements being made between them and for each of them personally.

"There." Misty tightens the pastel green tie. "I feel like we're going to prom." His tie matching her dress. It makes her giggle.

Ash chuckles at their reflection in the mirror. "Guess that would've happened if I didn't become a Pokemon trainer." With the way he's been living his life these past few years, Ash thought about what would've happened if he continued schooling instead of leaving for his journey at 10. Would he be in a better place than he is now? A high earning career since being a Pokemon trainer hasn't earned him any income.

"We wouldn't have met if you didn't become a Pokemon trainer." Misty knowingly remarks.

Ash shakes his head. "Remember, I said our meeting definitely wasn't a coincidence. We would've met somehow." Maybe they would've met through Gary? Of course, Gary only met Misty through Ash, but eventually, Gary and Misty would be working together. Gary has to work with the region's leaders. And Gary would've been good friends with Misty, and maybe Ash would've visited Gary during one of the times Misty was there, and then the two became friends too? The what ifs don't matter because Ash knows he would have met Misty regardless of which path they chose.

"Maybe." Misty agrees. "But you definitely wouldn't be this Ash Ketchum."

"I'd probably be better." Ash doubts he'd feel like a failure if he took the school route.

"You'd be boring." She tells him, causing Ash to raise a confused eyebrow at her. Misty smiles warmly before walking towards the doorway. "I like Pokemon trainer Ash a lot more than some average Joe."

With Misty gone, Ash rests his hands on the sink to heavily breathe over it. All he can hear is his pounding heart, and he hopes Misty didn't hear it before she left. She likes him for him. While he knows about Misty's past crush on him, Ash still finds himself hoping that these words mean she currently likes him now. It just makes him want to train his Pokemon right now, but they have a wedding to go to.

Eventually, Ash has calmed down enough to meet Misty downstairs. She smiles warmly at him, resulting in his heartbeat picking up again. "Got everything?"

"Uh. Yeah?"

"Your speech?"

Ash didn't realize that agreeing to be the best man meant he'd have to give a speech too. He practiced with Misty, but he's since changed his speech after hearing hers. Gary has done a lot for Ash during these past few years, so Ash doesn't want to give him a half-assed speech. This is Gary's wedding. Gary deserves more than that.

The man pats around his pockets and feels the crinkle of paper in his chest. "Got it."

Rolling her eyes, Misty grabs her coat. "As much as I'd like to spend less time with those two, we really shouldn't be late to their wedding."

Ash chuckles. "If I remember Gary, he might be late to his own wedding."

"Leaf is just the same." Misty tries to block out her thoughts on what could be making that couple late.

Once outside, Ash heads to the driver side. He's been getting a lot better at driving around small Pallet Town, so Misty allows him to get the practice in. They would normally fly, but flying would mess up their outfits. "This is gonna be a long day." Ash tells Misty, though he doesn't sound like he's dreading it. Instead, he gives Misty a smile, "Ready?"

Why does it feel like this is their wedding? They're constantly preparing themselves for this wedding that isn't even theirs. Misty raises a hand up. "Let's get it over with."

Ash high fives her with a chuckle. That's something he'd constantly think about prior to reconnecting with Misty. He'd have to mentally prepare himself, and he couldn't wait to be through with a public outing. Today, he's looking forward to his best friend's wedding. Moreover, he feels a lot more prepared with Misty by his side. As Ash drives towards the lab, all he's focused on isn't the nerve wracking speech he'll have to give in front of many people. No. He's focused on being able to spend this magical day with the woman beside him. This day isn't like any of their normal routine days. This day is a beautiful one, and he can't imagine spending it with anyone else right now.

"Mew, Ash. How'd you do it?" Gary asks as he faces himself in the mirror.

The wedding ceremony is going to start soon, so Gary will need to be out there. Gary has two groomsmen, Tracey and Silver. Tina is the flower girl. Silver is the Mahogany Town gym leader who replaced Pryce years ago, and Silver is an older brother to Leaf. Silver is currently talking to Leaf in the bridal chamber, but Gary isn't allowed to see her before the wedding. Well, he and Leaf were late this morning due to their own fun. It was their last time to have the unlabeled relationship they love. Tracey is currently with his family and helping organize everything in the chapel; thus, leaving Ash alone with Gary.

"What?" Ash inquires.

Gary takes in a deep breath that is doing nothing to calm his nerves. "I mean, I love Leaf, but I'm so nervous." He chuckles sheepishly. This is the first time he's ever openly admitted genuine feelings, indicating to Ash that Gary is very anxious. "How'd you marry Misty?"

Ash quickly tries to think of an excuse. "Misty and I didn't have a wedding. We just filed papers." He reminds the professor.

"Right." Gary remembers. "But weren't you nervous doing that?"

Of course Ash was nervous! This marriage of his is a lie, and he had to make it legally official. Nevertheless, Ash pulls up a chair behind the pacing groom. "Sit, Gary. You're making me dizzy."

"Can't."

Ash forcefully pushes Gary into the chair before sitting in his own. Sighing, he meets Gary's shifty gaze. "I was nervous too. Asking her to marry me. Thinking of a wedding and planning for one." Ash feels his heart ache because he's drawing on his real proposal and wedding planning to help Gary. His real engagement to his ex. However, this is Gary's special day, so Ash will do what he can to help his friend. "But no matter how nervous I was, I knew I could do anything for her."

Gary nods, too anxious to notice Ash's frown. "I agree. Shit. I'd do anything for Leaf, and now she's pregnant with my kid too. Mew." Who would've thought that Ash Ketchum would be calming him down on his wedding day? As Ash is silently in thoughts about his failed engagement, Gary says, "I'm glad it's you who married Misty. She deserves someone who treasures her." Gary has noticed that both Ash and Misty are a lot happier together. They also seem to be enjoying life a lot more too. Whether this secret marriage is true or not, Gary will always support his friends.

Ash, who hasn't been thinking about Misty, gives Gary a grateful smile. Gary is right. It's a good thing Ash and Misty are married because they have helped each other a lot. While Gary doesn't know that this marriage is fake, he does see some very authentic interactions. "Uh. Yeah. Me too." Ash agrees.

Calming down, Gary's trademark smirk dons his lips. "Hey. You and Red should have a kid too. Then our kids can grow up together."

Ash's face flushes in embarrassment as he stutters, "W-we're not, uh, r-ready yet. Um. Yeah." He shyly looks at the ground.

Chuckling, Gary checks his watch. "Alright. I've been late enough. Wish me luck." Despite enjoying his relationship just the way it was, Gary knows he wouldn't want to marry anyone else. Leaf Green is the only one who's ever had his heart.

Before Gary can leave the room, Ash says, "Gary?"

Gary curiously faces him. "Yeah?"

"Why Leaf? Before she was pregnant, why did you start seeing her? Was she a fling?"

The professor shakes his head. "She's never been a fling. You know I don't bring flings around my friends." Leaf and Gary have hung out with Misty plenty of times. Leaning against the door, Gary contemplates the right words to describe his feelings for Leaf. He knows she isn't a fling. She's never been one, but they've never established their relationship. Shrugging, Gary stands again. "Dunno. I just couldn't get enough of her. Why Misty?" Gary spins the question on the now blushing best man.

Ash's ears heat up, so he turns his attention to his feet. "Don't know." Well, Ash does know why he married Misty. It was his own idiotic idea of solving Misty's scandal with him in the media. His own idiotic idea that he should've learned from the last time he interfered with the media. Nevertheless, Ash has enjoyed how much this idiotic statement brought him into the man he is today, and he knows he owes that all to Misty.

Gary, though, just thinks Ash is too shy to tell him. While Gary would normally tease Ash, this is a lot of improvement from the Ash Gary saw these past few years. Moreover, this is Gary's wedding day. It's a happy day, so teasing can wait. He's still learning how much he can tease Ash before Ash shuts down. Gary doesn't want his best man clamming up on his wedding day. Thus, Gary smiles warmly at Ash. "I know you guys are already married, but it's never too late for a wedding ceremony. I know Misty would like one. Think about it when you're ready, Ash." Gary then opens the door. "I'll see ya out there."

Ash nods, and once the door is shut, the best man lets out a long breath. He never expected his next wedding to be Gary Oak's wedding. Ash always thought his wedding in Kalos would be the next wedding he was at. It's also why he ignored May's wedding invitation two years ago. Ash feels terrible for missing so many important events, but he just wasn't ready. Helping with this wedding has only reminded him of his failed engagement. As much as Ash wants to be happy today, his heart aches tremendously. That engagement ring is still in his sock drawer in his room because he still isn't over her.

He doesn't know how long he's been sitting alone in the room, but the door soon opens. Ash hears light footsteps before a worried, "Pikapi?"

Raising his head, he sees Pikachu in a little green bowtie. The same color as Ash's tie. "Hey, Pikachu."

"Pi pikachu pi pika chupi."

Ash glances at his watch and sighs. It's time for the wedding, but noticing that Ash wasn't there, Pikachu came to find him. "I'm fine." He lies.

"Chu." Pikachu shakes his head. He can always tell when Ash is lying.

With a small smile, Ash scratches Pikachu behind the ears. "I'll be fine." Pikachu knows pregnancies and weddings deter Ash. Weddings remind him of his failed engagement, though Pikachu isn't sure why Ash gets uncomfortable about pregnancies.

"Pika chu." Pikachu smiles and jumps on Ash's shoulder.

Taking in a deep breath, Ash glances at himself in the mirror. Compared to the last time he wore a suit, he's unrecognizable. This Ash is more lively. Also, with Pikachu on his shoulder, Ash resembles himself back in Kalos when he was trying on suits with Pikachu. Kalos. All this wedding is reminding him of is that wedding he wished he had. Thus, Ash slumps back in his seat, causing Pikachu to panic.

"Pikapi!" Pikachu figures Ash must be nervous to walk in front of so many people and give a speech to them later.

"There you are." comes a relieved voice from the doorway, which makes Pikachu let out a breath.

"PIkachupi." Pikachu pleads with the woman for help.

She approaches the defeated man where she stands directly in front of him to extend her hand. "C'mon. It's almost our turn." First to walk down the aisle is Silver and Lyra. Then it's Tracey and Crystal. Lastly, is Ash and Misty before Leaf makes her way down there. Tina is currently walking as the flower girl while Leaf's friends Crystal and Jimmy have a 4 year old son as the ring bearer.

Ash still doesn't respond, so Pikachu lightly nudges the man's face. "Pikapi."

"Ash." Misty kneels down to his eye level where she peers up into his face. She's caught him staring at that ring in his bottom drawer a few times this week. Bringing her hands up to his shoulders, Misty looks Ash straight in the eyes. "We can still play hooky?" She suggests.

To Misty's and Pikachu's reliefs, Ash's lips twitch up into a small grin. That idea sounds very appealing. If he wasn't the best man, and if he wasn't at a wedding he cares about, he'd totally consider that option. Just to get away from everything reminding him of his painful memories. Meeting those warm cerulean blue eyes allows Ash to relax. His thoughts return to the present, including this caring woman in front of him.

"I don't think this is a wedding we can play hooky at."

Misty giggles while standing back up. "We shouldn't." Plus, she never expected she'd be at this wedding. Leaf Green and Gary Oak don't do commitment. Thus, this wedding for them together is special.

Ash raises a curious eyebrow at her as he takes her hand to stand too. "Why does it sound like you wanna ditch this wedding?"

"Ditching an important event to hang out with my husband sounds pretty romantic, huh?" Misty links her arm with the blushing man. Pikachu stifles his laughs from Ash's shoulder. "I'm straight as an arrow, Ash. Sometimes, I like being different." Maybe that's the reason she doesn't mind the publicity over her Cape affairs? Or the reason she wasn't as upset about this fake marriage. Misty Waterflower needs some excitement in her life.

Chuckling, Ash replies, "Is that why you hung around me so long?" He was such a reckless unpredictable child who went on many adventures.

"No." Misty rolls her eyes. "You owed me a bike, and may I remind you, you still owe me one." Nurse Joy repaired her old one. Not Ash, so Ash isn't off the hook. "But I guess I got so used to all our adventures that when I returned to the gym, I didn't know what to do. My life fell into a boring routine."

"Is it still boring?"

She gazes up at him as they near the rest of the bridal party at the lab's back door. The wedding is in the lab's field. "You know, even though we live a routine life at the gym, I don't feel as empty anymore. It's not like we have any adventures, but I'm content."

"I am too." Ash feels like every day is an adventure compared to when he used to sleep all the time. Their routine is actually helping him prepare for the world because he knows what to expect. He prefers it, though he hopes to someday return to the spontaneous Ash he once was.

They reach the rest of the wedding party, and Silver mutters an annoyed, "Finally."

Lyra knees his leg. She's met Ash once before, and she had a small crush on him at the time. Keeping up with the news, she knew about his relationship with the Kalos queen, his broken engagement, his reclusiveness, and then his surprise marriage to Misty. Therefore, Lyra understands that Ash has made a lot of progress to even be here right now, especially as Gary's best man. "Stop being grumpy!"

Silver has every right to be grumpy, which leads to any inconvenience irritating him more. His little sister is getting married to Gary fucking Oak, the notorious playboy. Silver knows Leaf can handle herself just fine. He's had to intimidate a few persistent men after Leaf's flirted with them too much. Nevertheless, Silver has never been a fan of Leaf's relationship with Gary.

When Leaf suggested that she'd sign up to be a gym leader like Silver had done to become the new Mahogany Town gym leader, Silver was all for it. He thought Leaf was finally growing up. Had he known this would lead to Leaf being placed in Viridian City and working with Gary Oak, SIlver would've thought otherwise. Therefore, Silver is not amused with this wedding at all. He's only a groomsman because Gary needed another person, and Leaf asked Silver to be it.

"It's our turn!" Lyra grins happily and tugs at Silver's arm to walk outside the lab first.

Silver and Leaf grew up in the same orphanage together. Silver is only older than Leaf by a few months, but he feels like he needs to be her protector. During their first year on their Pokemon journey, they both wanted to travel alone. Leaf mainly did this because she knew Silver wouldn't approve of her thieving ways. Little did she know, though, that Silver would end up stealing Totodile from Professor Elm. This and a series of other events eventually led to Silver befriending Crys and Jimmy.

Jimmy and Crys have known Lyra, who is a few years younger than them, due to the three being from New Bark Town. Leaf met Silver's friends and Lyra a few times when they were younger. The New Bark Town natives are still very surprised that Leaf and Silver get along so well due to their very different personalities.

Since Silver is still in Johto, he sees his friends pretty often. Lyra wants to be a gym leader some day, so she is currently working at the Mahogany Town gym alongside Silver to learn from him. He's the gym leader she feels most comfortable with. Jimmy and Crys assume it's because she has a crush on Silver. Silver is very smart and observant about everything except for love. He has yet to notice any of Lyra's advances. Leaf has seen Lyra's crush on Silver, which is the reason Leaf paired them up together for the wedding. Silver deserves to be happy too.

"Tina can't wait to battle you again." Tracey whispers to Ash. Everyone has been too busy with the wedding these past few days to interact freely. Thus, Ash hasn't had a chance to talk to Tina. It's funny how he once was wary of the little girl, but he is eager to see her again.

Smiling, Ash replies, "I can't wait to battle her too."

Soon, Tracey and Crys make their way down the aisle. Pikachu scampers inside to find Tina, leaving the fake couple alone. Misty glances up at Ash. "It's not too late to ditch."

Chuckling, Ash stands up straighter. "I'll go wherever you go, Mist."

Seeing that Tracey and Crys have reached the altar, Misty puts on a bright smile. "Guess we're finally walking down the aisle together, huh?"

Before Ash can formulate a response, Misty drags him outside as Leaf walks into the room behind them. Ash feels very nervous with all the eyes on them. Due to Gary wanting this as a small event of close family and friends, the media isn't here. They're deep enough in the field where the media can't see them. Gary has the lab's Pokemon on guard near the fences in case some reporters try to catch more of the wedding.

There is one photographer who Gary paid for, and Ash's mother is snapping many pictures. This is the closest she's ever going to get to Ash's wedding, so she's trying to take in the moment. Feeling his arm tense up, Misty wonders just how muscular Ash has gotten from training. She's seen a bit of his biceps when he wears tshirts, but she hasn't seen him shirtless in a long time. Not since he started training seriously alongside his Pokemon.

Squeezing his arm reassuringly, Misty diverts her gaze from the altar to the man beside her who now happens to look down at her too. "Pretend like we're just practicing." They practiced a lot yesterday, which Ash handled just fine.

"There are too many people." Ash whispers to her.

"Then just look at me." Misty is walking slightly ahead of Ash so that he can see her and the path. Thus, he won't trip and embarrass himself. If Ash embarrasses himself, he'll close up again for who knows how long.

Relaxing into those comforting blue orbs, Ash finds that the walk the rest of the way towards the altar is a lot easier. He's moving in tandem with Misty that by the time Misty releases him, he doesn't want to let her go. For a split second, he stops at the front of the altar to give Misty a disappointed look.

Fortunately, Gary claps Ash on the shoulder. "This is my wedding, Ketchum."

Misty walks to stand in front of Cris and nearest where Leaf will be standing. Ash watches her in awe. This beauty who he hopes to someday see in white at an altar like this someday. Granted, he's not thinking of her with him, but Misty deserves the happily ever after she's always wanted. Ash then stands behind Gary.

"Glad to see the love is still strong in you." Gary teases.

"You guys are so sweet." Tracey chimes in as the music changes, signalling the arrival of the bride.

The moment Gary turns his attention back to the lab door, his breath hitches. He could practically faint from the beauty he's seeing. The sight of Leaf is almost as stunning as the day he met her. Almost because nothing will ever top the day she was brought into his life. His eyes gloss over, and when he meets Leaf's slightly nervous green orbs, Gary feels a tear slip. Leaf looks very composed on the outside, but Gary can read those eyes. She's nervous.

Everyone watches in confusion as Silver steps off the altar. He hurries down the aisle where he meets Leaf halfway, causing her to disappointedly tear her gaze from Gary. "What are you doing, Silver?" She hisses.

"Walking you down the aisle." What does it look like? Leaf is an orphan. They grew up together. They're the only family each other has. Silver wanted to be the one to walk Leaf down the aisle, but she placed him as a groomsman to walk with Lyra. Although Silver doesn't understand why Leaf wanted him to walk with Lyra rather than her, Silver can't allow his only family member to do this walk alone. This will hopefully be her only wedding. It needs to be done right.

Deciding now isn't a time to argue with Silver being sweet, Leaf latches onto his arm affectionately. She then returns her large grin to an equally smiling Gary Oak. He looks very handsome in his suit. "Don't worry about me, Silver. Gary actually loves me." She reassures the man once they reach the altar.

Silver shoots Gary one of the glares he's been giving the professor a lot of lately. "I'll be watching you, Oak." The moment Silver sees the look in Gary's eyes as he's completely infatuated with his bride, Silver knows he has nothing to worry about. Gary doesn't even hear him. It's like Gary can only see Leaf. Reluctantly letting go of Leaf, Silver heads back to his place next to Tracey.

"Wow." Gary breathes out as his face flushes a dark red. She's stunning. He can't believe he's marrying her.

While Leaf is usually very confident, she's shy under the eyes of the handsome man in front of her. Nevertheless, this is Leaf Green. The biggest player in Johto. Thus, a small smirk plays on her lips. "I still prefer your birthday suit, Gare."

"Me too." Gary hovers his face dangerously close above her.

The wedding officiator jokingly exclaims, "You will have time to kiss all you want later. Just a few more minutes, professor."

Chuckling, Gary takes a small step back to prevent himself from wanting to crash his lips onto Leaf's right now. "Make it quick, sir."

Normally, Misty would be very annoyed with the couple of the hour. However, all she can do is smile brightly at them. They deserve to be happy with each other, even with all the people they've played with and teased. Gary and Leaf work hard in their professions. They are very respectable people regardless of their personal affairs. Ever since they got together, they've been nothing but faithful to one another. Misty has seen their relationship grow throughout the years.

In the corner of her eye, she makes eye contact with her own husband. How long has he been looking at her? Instead of awkwardly looking away, Ash smiles, causing Misty's cheeks to flush. Mew. In the natural light, Ash Ketchum looks even more handsome. She's going to need some copies of these wedding photos from the photographer later. Shit. Misty. Stop. It's a fake relationship. She's since gotten over her feelings for that man. Nevertheless, Misty just stays lost in Ash's warm gaze.

It is only when people start cheering that the married couple realize Gary and Leaf are kissing. The newlyweds already read their vows to one another and everything. Were Misty and Ash really lost in their own world for this long? With Misty's attention back on her friends, the maid of honor cheers too. Leaf and Gary walk down the aisle together, which means the wedding party will be following in reverse order.

Taking a step up, Misty links her arm with Ash's. "One more time."

"I was kinda starting to enjoy this." Ash admits with a pink tint on his cheeks. The two walk down the aisle towards the lab.

"Me too." She's been to Brock's and Daisy's weddings. However, Misty didn't feel as happy as she is now being at this wedding. Ash was the best man at Brock's wedding five years ago. Misty didn't know Lucy too well, so Misty was just a guest. Due to Ash's date being Serena, Misty didn't interact with him. She saw him from afar, but her crush had since been gone. Thus, she enjoyed the wedding with other guests she knew. Ash didn't even notice her.

At Tracey's wedding, Ash was supposed to be one of the groomsmen along with Misty who was a bridesmaid. Tracey's wedding was a few years before Brock's, but, being one of the top trainers in Kalos, was off on a mission. He couldn't make the wedding, so Serena went in his place. Misty has never been too keen on Serena just because Misty felt like Serena took Ash away from all of his loved ones. Serena didn't intentionally do it, but it just happened.

Therefore, this is the first wedding where both Ash and Misty are a part of. And there's no Serena. Misty tightens her hold on Ash's arm as she leans her head against it. This makes them both blush more. They really are looking like a married couple to the public, though Misty isn't doing this for show. She just wants to feel closer to Ash. To let him know that she's here.

After some time, everyone is getting situated for the reception. The wedding party has taken all of their many photos, and Leaf switched out of her wedding dress into a white dress she doesn't mind getting dirty. It's also a dress that will make dancing a lot easier than the long tail on the wedding dress she wore at the ceremony. While Gary is waiting for Leaf inside, the rest of the wedding party heads to the reception where the guests already are.

"Auntie Misty!"

Misty is used to this shout, so she instantly catches her young niece. "Hi, Tina." Misty kisses the little girl's head.

Giggling, Tina looks up at Ash who is smiling down at her. "Hi, Uncle Ash!"

"Hey, Tina." Ash ruffles her hair. Tina is a lot cuter when he isn't scared of her trying to expose him. Plus, he feels a lot less timid than he did when he met her. He knows that Tina has helped him come out of his shell too. She's the one who got him to start training again.

"Thought about having a kid yet?" teases a voice that just makes Misty roll her eyes.

She glances up at Daisy who isn't quite showing yet. "Hey, Daisy." Misty passes off Tina to Ash so that Misty can hug her sister. Tracey walks up behind Daisy. The wedding party has to sit at the front for the speeches, but afterwards, they can sit wherever. Thus, Tracey will join his family in an hour or so.

Tina clings her arms around Ash's neck, and Pikachu runs over from his seat beside her. He jumps on Ash's shoulder. "Pikapi!"

"Daddy says our plane leaves tomorrow night. Can we battle in the morning, Uncle Ash?"

Ash nods. "Yeah. I've been waiting for our rematch."

"Daddy's Pokemon are really strong! I'll win again!" Tina has been training with Tracey's Pokemon since those are the Pokemon she has access to.

With Tina and Ash talking, Misty crosses her arms over her chest at the other couple. "No, we're not having a kid."

"C'mon, little sis. Our babies can grow up together." Daisy urges.

"You guys live in Johto."

"We'll move." Tracey suggests. He works for Professor Elm in Johto, but Tracey is sure he can move if his family wants to. The only reason they resided in Johto to begin with is because Tracey wanted to be near his parents. However, if Misty and Ash have a child, Tracey would prefer the cousins grow up together.

Misty waves off the comment. "No need to move. We're not having a kid."

Before the Sketchits can do more persuading, the mic screeches, causing everyone to cover their ears. Tina uses one hand to cover her ear while the other covers one of Ash's. His hands are preoccupied carrying her, so he can't cover his own ears. Gratefulling grinning at the girl, Ash says, "Thanks, Tina."

"We'll be starting soon, so if the wedding party can join us up here, that'd be nice." Comes Gary's playful voice.

Misty locks eyes with Ash, causing them both to laugh. Ash sets down Tina, and he places Pikachu on her head. Tracey kisses Daisy and Tina. "We'll be back." He tells his family as the three make their way to the front.

Food was being served when the wedding party was taking pictures. Thus, a few people are done eating. Nevertheless, there are still snacks around the area for guests. Gary clears his throat at the mic. Leaf is standing beside him as he says, "Thank you all for joining us on such short notice."

Leaf nods. "We wouldn't want to spend our special day with anyone else."

"So how this is gonna look." Gary smugly speaks. "First, you're gonna enjoy the food we got you." The guests laugh because they know this is typical arrogant Gary Oak. "Then, you're gonna listen to this mysterious married couple speak." Gary motions to Ash and Misty who are blushing from being put on the spot.

"And then you're gonna watch us share our first dance." Leaf tells the guests before winking. "Then we all party." The guests start cheering as Gary and Leaf share a quick kiss and sit down.

Gary looks at Ash and Misty. "Who wants to go first?"

Neither of them want to speak in front of a crowd, but Misty won't let Ash be subjected to going first. Thus, she reluctantly takes one for the team and reaches for the mic. "I better cry." Leaf whispers.

Misty rolls her eyes. These two really do deserve to be married to one another. Bringing the mic to her lips, Misty nervously sees the many eyes on her. Some people are still focused on their food, but there are still lots of people giving her their attention. Mew. Going first is nerve wracking, even with the small audience Gary and Leaf invited.

"Um. Hey, everyone." Misty awkwardly laughs. This is her first time being a maid of honor. Violet was the one for Daisy's wedding. "As you all may know, I am the Cerulean City gym leader, Misty Waterflower."

She never changed her last name to Ash's on the marriage documents because she knows she'll be divorcing him in a year. The world thinks she kept her last name due to being a strong independent woman. Also, some reporteres claim Misty is embarrassed with the current Ash, though that is not the case. There was a time Misty hoped to share the same last name as her husband.

Turning her attention to the smirking brunette beside her, Misty surprisingly finds some comfort in Leaf's playful eyes. "Well, I met Leaf a couple of years ago at one of our gym conferences. She approached me, and that's how our beautiful friendship began."

Leaf innocently smiles at Misty who is standing. "Love ya too, Misty."

Rolling her eyes, Misty faces the crowd again. She's feeling a lot more comfortable. "I knew Gary from when I used to travel with Ash." Despite the many eyes now on him, Ash watches Misty in awe. How can she be so confident in front of so many people? Well, she is a leader who has had many press conferences. "Like he is now, Gary is an arrogant egotistical playful guy, and no one can ever figure out what he's thinking."

"You got me perfectly, Red!" Gary shouts, causing people to laugh.

Smirking, Misty motions to Leaf. "I knew nothing about Johto Leaf. The Leaf I knew was a serious gym leader who wanted to perfect her craft. The day I found out that sweet innocent hardworking Leaf was involved with our notorious Gary Oak, I became overprotective of Leaf. That is, until I saw how easily she could thwart off Gary's charms. That day I witnessed them together, I realized there is more to Leaf Green than the serious gym leader I thought I knew."

Seeing Misty's smirk grow makes Leaf slightly nervous. "This doesn't look good." LEaf whispers to Gary who's smile falls a bit.

"Let me tell you about the day Leaf tried to set me up on a date with Gary."

Ash's eyes open wide in shock, and the newlyweds blush profusely. That really happened? How come Misty never mentioned that to him before? Judging by Leaf's and Gary's demeanors, Misty is telling the truth. The guests are laughing, but there are a few who are just as shocked. Tracey quietly gasps, "I had no idea." Ash is too focused on Misty's next words as the crowd quiets down.

"See. Leaf didn't know that I've known Gary since we were 10. So when she saw us interacting, she thought we had some chemistry from before she arrived. I didn't know Leaf was setting us up. I thought Leaf just wanted to get to know me more personally so that she could get closer to Gary." Misty narrows her eyes at the auburn haired man. "But Gary and I were definitely not friends."

Shrugging, Gary gives Misty a sheepish smile. He mouths an, "Ouch" platfully.

"When Leaf told me to meet her at the Pallet Town Royal Diner after one of our League meetings, I thought we were just going to have one of our many dinners and then go our separate ways. I figured she wanted to meet in Pallet Town to be closer to Gary. Little did I know…" Misty giggles. "That Gary freaking Oak would be sitting at a table for two. I wish I had a camera, but you should've seen the smile fall from his face when he saw the waiter bring me to his table."

The crowd laughs again as Gary playfully hides his face in embarrassment. He recalls that failed date all too well. Innocently smiling at Ash, Gary whispers, "Sorry, buddy." Gary is pretty sure he went on a date with Misty before Ash did. Ash just reassuringly smiles at Gary in return as Misty continues.

"I know it's hard to believe, but there are women who don't ever want to go on a date with Gary Oak. I'm one of them." Misty notes. "After we realized Leaf had set us up, we spent the whole time talking about her. I've never seen Gary talk about a woman this way. Not objectifying her. Not assuming anything." The redhead warmly gazes down at Gary. "He spoke about her like he genuinely cares." As someone who's known Gary since they were children, Misty can tell when his words are not sincere.

"Anyway, Gary, I'm reminding you of this story because, even though Leaf was in love with you, she selflessly gave you to me. Yes, it was all a misunderstanding, but it still shows the kind of heart she has. The kind of hearts you both have. To the world, you come off as playful heartless professionals, but in reality, the only ones you can ever love are each other. I know I say this a lot, but you two really deserve each other. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I love you two." Misty's voice breaks at the last sentence, so Leaf stands up to hug her tightly.

With her own eyes glossy with tears, Leaf says, "Thanks, Misty." That was beautiful. Leaf didn't expect a touching speech from Misty. However, it was both playful, like their relationship, and from the heart. Misty truly captures all of their relationships.

After Leaf and Misty stop hugging, Gary wraps the redhead up in his arms. "Mew, Red. I love you too."

Laughing through her happy tears that had slipped out, Misty replies, "You better have recorded that because it's the last time you hear such nice words from me." The next time will be at his funeral.

The man grabs the mic from her and chuckles. As everyone returns to their seats, Gary speaks into the mic, "Thanks for exposing us, Red. We like looking like we don't have hearts." The crowd laughs while Ash is nervously digging through his suit jacket for his speech. He knows it's his turn now. Misty saved him the trouble of going first. "You better cry for me too, Ashy Boy." Gary passes Ash the mic.

With the many eyes on him, Ash's face heats up. His hands are sweaty as he opens the paper. How did Misty do this? "Ash?" comes a hiss, so the best man glances to his right. Past Gary and Leaf sits the bridesmaid, with Misty being right next to Leaf. Misty gives him a reassuring smile while still wiping her few tears. "You can do it." She holds up two thumbs, which reassures him a lot. Just having Misty's support makes Ash feel like he can do anything.

Clearing his throat, Ash tries to hold the mic steady. Misty had suggested that he focuses on his paper rather than the crowd. That way, he won't be so nervous. He still feels nervous, though this is a lot more manageable than when he glanced at the crowd earlier. "Um. Hello." He awkwardly speaks to the quiet guests. "I'm Ash Ketchum. Gary and I grew up here in Pallet Town together." Ash skims his paper and chuckles. "I appreciate Misty for going first, but it's kinda hard to top that."

There is a small murmur of laughs from the crowd. "It's alright, Ash." Gary reassures him. Just Ash showing up and giving a speech already means a lot to Gary. Compared to the Ash from a few months ago, this is a major improvement. If Misty and Ash's relationship enver became public, Gary doubts Ash would be at his wedding. Delia may force him to be, but Ash would be sulking in the back. This wedding wouldn't be as happy as it is right now.

"I met Leaf two weeks ago. Probably when you all heard about the wedding too, so I don't know too much about her, but I know a lot about Gary." Ash says. "Misty is right when she says Gary likes to look like a selfish player. He's not though." Ash recalls all the times Gary visited him these past few years. "Growing up, we were best friends. When we were 10, we had an argument that broke us up almost forever." Ash sheepishly rubs the back of his head. "It's kinda silly now, but it meant a lot to us back then. We were fishing in the river, and we both caught the same old rusty pokeball. None of us wanted to back down, so we both pulled it so hard that it broke. I got one half, and Gary got the other."

Misty recalls Ash telling her and Brock that story. She's really proud of Ash for not stumbling over his words. He's practiced his speech to her many times just to be sure it's perfect. Ash has put a lot of effort into this wedding. He puts a lot of effort into everything he does. It reminds her so much of the old Ash. Compared to when he was just casually getting through life, Ash is putting his all into everything again.

"Years later, when we were traveling, I found out he still had his pokeball half. Gary is rich. He can get anything he wants, but he still held onto that old pokeball half for all those years. I'm pretty sure he still has it."

"I do." Gary confirms, causing Ash to smile slightly.

"I thought Gary hated me. He teased me all the time. When I found out he still had his half of the pokeball, I was angry. I wanted it. It's the principle of the pokeball that counts, even if we couldn't use the pokeball." The best man sighs. "I didn't realize this until I had to write this speech, but Gary had that pokeball half for the same reason I had it. It symbolized our friendship. Well, what was left of it. If we got rid of our half, that would mean we got rid of each other for good." Reaching into his pocket, Ash meets Gary's curious gaze. "I still have my half too." He pulls out an old white half sphere, causing Gary's features to soften.

Misty opens her eyes wide in realization. Is that what Ash was looking for? He spent a lot of the past few days in Pallet Town searching his room and talking to his mother. Misty had asked him what was wrong, but he wanted her to focus on her gym work. Despite being on a vacation, she always has mountains of paperwork. Ash never wants to distract her from his problems when he can handle them himself.

"We made up at the Indigo Plateau that year. I quit carrying this half because it wasn't the last thing from our friendship. We had our friendship back, and we've kept it." Ash's smile grows into a more confident one. He doesn't even feel the eyes of the guests on him as he reaches past Gary towards Leaf. "An original pokeball made from apricorns only has one perfect half. Growing up, Gary and I were the only ones in town without two parents. I don't know. It just made our bond stronger. We were partners. Two halves of a whole." Ash's eyes soften on Leaf who doesn't know what he's doing with his pokeball half.

"Ashy Boy…" Gary breathlessly speaks as his heart feels warm. Who would've thought that Ash Ketchum would've written such a touching speech? It almost brings Gary to tears.

"And now you're his perfect half, Leaf. I want you to have this. I don't know you too well, but from what Misty has told me, I know you're a nice person. Seeing you and Gary together, I know you make him really happy. I've never seen him this happy with anyone. Misty is right. You two are perfect for each other."

Leaf raises her hands up to block his. "Ash, I can't-"

"Take it. Please. Gary and I don't need this anymore. You're his partner for life now." insists the best man who isn't so nervous anymore.

Misty pats Leaf's back reassuringly, so Leaf takes the half from Ash. "Thank you, Ash." Despite her playful relationship with Misty, Leaf can't believe how touching their speeches are. "I'll cherish it forever too." Ash really doesn't know Leaf well. He just met her the other week. However, he's parting with something so important to him because he really believes in her and Gary.

Standing back in his place, Ash awkwardly mutters, "Congrats, Gary. I'm happy for you."

When Ash sets the mic down on the table, Gary tackles him in a tight hug. "Fuck you, Ashy Boy!" The groom laughs through his glossy eyes. He never would've thought this recluse from a few months ago could bring him to tears like this, and Gary knows Ash's improvements are due to Misty. While Misty and Ash say Leaf and Gary are perfect for each other, Gary knows Ash and Misty are perfect for each other. Gary is glad that everyone has found their match. Their other half of their pokeball.

Ash awkwardly hugs Gary back. When Gary finally releases him, Leaf hugs Ash too. "That was so sweet, Ash. Thank you."

"Thank you, Leaf." Ash smiles. Gary deserves to be happy. Of course, Gary was the main reason preventing himself from his full happiness by playing with women, but Gary still deserved someone to love him as much as he loves them. Now, Gary if officially with that person: Leaf.

Leaf reaches for the mic since Gary is still trying to regain his composure. "Thank you, Ash and Misty. When we asked you to be our maid of honor and best man, we didn't expect you to make us cry. Tears of laughter maybe, but nothing like this." Leaf giggles as some of the crowd is wiping their eyes too. "Anyway, Gary and I are gonna dance, and then everyone can party!" The crowd cheers. "Also!" Leaf shouts, casing everyone to quiet down. "Some of you may have guessed it, but the reason Gary and I got married so fast is because… I'm pregnant!"

Silver drops his fork and knife as he snaps his glare towards the side of Gary's head. Fortunately, Gary and Silver have two people sitting between them. Most people clap and cheer, though there are some who are confused. Of course, this is just close family and friends; thus, there are no judgements. There are a few "I told you so!"s in the crowd.

"He's fucking head." Silver mutters under his breath. How had Leaf not told him?

Tracey sweatdrops. Silver is very scary, and Tracey only met him the other day. "They're married now." Tracey tries to alleviate Silver's anger. For what it's worth, Gary stepped up, and Gary really is in love with Leaf.

"Thank you. Thank you." Leaf bows to the many people shouting congratulations at them. "Since I'm pregnant, I unfortunately cannot partake in some of these festivities with you all." She winks and turns to Misty who gulps. Misty doesn't like that smug smirk on Leaf's face. "Buttttt as my maid of honor, Misty will be taking care of the alcohol for me! Make sure to pass her a drink and let her know it's for me!"

"Leaf!" Misty hisses, but Leaf turns away from her friend's glare to wave at the DJ who puts on a slow song.

"Ready, hubby?" Leaf extends a hand to Gary. Chuckling, the auburn haired man turns off the mic in Leaf's hand before taking her open one. He leads her to the dancefloor where they slow dance to the song.

As everyone watches the newlyweds dance, Ash leans over to whisper to his wife, "How'd I do?" He was nervous, and he can feel the intense sweat on his shirt.

Misty is still glaring down at Leaf. What did Misty expect? That Leaf and Gary wouldn't use any opportunity to mess with Misty. Mew. Now that Leaf and Gary are married, their relentless pranks and teasing on Misty will be much worse. "You made Gary cry. I think that means you did more than good."

"I didn't mean to make him cry." Ash sheepishly scratches the back of his head.

The song is coming to an end, so the DJ throws on a fast pace song and yells, "Everybody in!" Some people join the newlyweds on the dancefloor.

Tracey stands to go find his family, but he's stopped by Lyra who exclaims, "Wedding party shot!" She and Crys had gotten a bottle earlier and poured shots. They now hand them out to Misty and the men. Silver doesn't want his shot, but Lyra manages to get him to take it.

The six take their shot, and Misty is surprised that Ash drank. She's never seen him drink alcohol before. Tracey ventures off to find his family as Lyra and Crys return with a shot from each of them. "We were gonna take a girl's shot." Crys apologetically looks at Misty. "You don't have to take Leaf's if you don't want to."

Misty gazes down at the dancefloor where Leaf and Gary are having the time of their lives. Misty always expected Leaf and Gary to get piss drunk at their wedding. Nevertheless, Leaf is pregnant, so she won't be drinking. Despite being annoyed with Leaf, Misty will honor her friend's request. This is Leaf's wedding day. Thus, Misty grabs both shots from the bridesmaids. "Let's do this."

"Whoo, Misty! You're the best!" Lyra exclaims when they down their shots. Crys then heads off in search of her family, and Lyra sits in Tracey's seat to try and convince the scowling Silver to dance with her.

Ash moves into Leaf's seat to sit next to his flushed wife. He hands her a glass of water. "You know you don't have to take Leaf's drinks, right?"

"It's her wedding day. I'll do it." Misty groans. It's a good thing Misty has drank with Leaf and Gary plenty of times, so Misty's tolerance is high. "I didn't know you drink?"

He takes off his suit jacket because he's still feeling hot. "I tried not to. You know. When I was depressed. I didn't want to get addicted." Ash has also never been big on alcohol.

Misty nods. "That's good." She's relieved to hear that he was somewhat responsible. Seeing Lyra get Silver to the dancefloor makes Misty realize they're the only ones not enjoying themselves. She looks at Ash. "Wanna dance?"

"Uh. I'm clumsy."

"I know." Misty knowingly remarks. She's danced with him a few times during their travels, and Ash has two left feet. Nonetheless, Misty always enjoyed dancing with Ash the most. "C'mon, let's have some fun."

With Misty on the dancefloor, Ash sighs. He likes sticking to himself at these events until their over. However, Misty is right. They're here for Gary's and Leaf's special day, so they should enjoy themselves too. Ash spots Misty dancing to the fast song alone, causing him to head down and join her. Fortunately, Tina and Pikachu dig through the crowd and run into them, which allows Ash to jump to the beat with multiple people.

A few hours later, some guests have left, Misty has drunk a few glasses of champagne, and Tina fell asleep in Tracey's arms. The girl had a sugar crash from all the sweets here. Ash and Misty danced a bit to fast songs before Misty was dragged away by Leaf to drink for her. Ash spent time with Tina, and he may have been the one to indulge in many sweets with her. Silver caught the bouquet, much to his annoyance. Leaf had targeted him by throwing it way past the single women so that it'd land on Silver's lap. Of course, married Misty couldn't partake in the bouquet toss.

Walking up to the grouchy man, Leaf says, "Come dance with me, Silver."

"No." He doesn't know how Lyra convinced him onto the dancefloor, but he's done now. He just got away from her to rest. Fortunately, she's infatuated with Crys's son right now.

"But we never had a father-daughter dance." Leaf pouts. "You were the one who walked me down the aisle." She reminds him, causing Silver's scowl to deepen.

Sighing in defeat, he stands. This is Leaf's lucky day. While he would normally do anything for Leaf, today in particular, he won't put up much of a fight. "Fine." Holding out his arm for Leaf to grab it, Silver leads her to the dancefloor where Leaf tells the DJ to put on a slow song.

The giddy bride relaxes in Silver's embrace. "I love you, Silver."

"I love you too, Leaf." Silver holds her closer. It hurts him having to let another man look out for her now. Nevertheless, Silver is starting to be okay with allowing Gary Oak to have this duty. If what Ash and Misty said was true, which Silver knows it is based on the emotions from everyone, then Gary is the perfect match for Leaf. "Make sure he knows I will kill him if he hurts you."

"He won't hurt me." Leaf reassures Silver. In the corner of her eye, she spots Gary mingling with some guests. They make eye contact, and he gives her a wink.

"I'll make sure he doesn't." Silver grumbles, making Leaf giggle. When she got assigned to Viridian City's gym, she was very sad to be apart from Silver. Granted, they didn't see each other too often since leaving the orphanage, but it was still nice being in the same region as him. Fortunately, Viridian City is one of the cities closer to Johto. Leaf is glad she was placed at the Viridian City Gym. It's the whole reason she got to meet these wonderful people. Her best friend and her husband.

At the table, Misty and Ash had eaten a late meal so that Misty can sober up somewhat. Although the old Ash would normally gobble down mountains of food, this new Ash still doesn't have that appetite quite yet. He did eat a lot of sweets with Tina, so that could've spoiled his appetite. Misty is currently drinking water. She's tipsy, but she can still function.

"Wanna dance?" Ash asks with a slight pink tint on his cheeks.

Misty curiously looks at him. Where did this confidence come from? He has been timid all evening, involving her and Tina dragging him around. The slow song, though, makes Misty nod. She hasn't had a slow dance with Ash ever. "Lead the way."

Ash supports Misty down the steps where they join the dancefloor. Misty had danced a bit with Gary earlier, and both couples danced to a fast paced song. Ash had also shared a dance with his mother who spent the whole song gushing over how handsome he is and how beautiful Misty is. The wedding festivities really are lots of fun. With Misty in his arms, Ash clumsily stumbles around. He's not the best at dancing to slow songs. Fortunately, Misty helps him by whispering softly to him about where to step. Soon, he's getting the hang of the rhythm, so the two can stop staring at their feet.

Misty looks up into Ash's brown eyes, making them both blush again. Despite the alcohol in her system, Misty can still process her surroundings. "Did you have fun?"

Ash nods. "Yeah." Surprisingly, he's enjoying himself at this very public event. With the right people, Ash feels like he can overcome his fear of the public. Well, with Misty he can. He's gone to a few events with his mother and Gary in the past, and nothing helped. The only thing that's changed in his life these past few months is the addition of Misty. Thus, Ash finds his arms holding her closer in a hug. It also keeps him from seeing those glossy beautiful slightly lustful blue eyes of hers that can entice him into anything. With his chin on her head, he mutters, "Thanks, Mist."

Her hands were originally resting awkwardly on his shoulders, but now, her arms are wrapped around his neck as her head leans on his chest. She can hear his rapidly beating heartbeat, which she figures is from him moving around and his nervousness. Ash is always nervous out in public. It's nothing new to Misty. "What for?"

Chuckling, Ash whispers, "For marrying me."

"Don't get too comfortable." Misty reminds him, making both of their hearts ache. Yes. This marriage between them is only temporary. It is fake. Despite the real wedding they are at, celebrating a real marriage, Misty's and Ash's marriage is far from it. "You're gonna have to drive us back." Misty mumbles once the song ends and the two break apart.

"I figured." Ash replies.

The two walk off the dancefloor when Leaf swoops in behind Misty. Grabbing her arm, Leaf exclaims, "Come with me, Misty!" Misty gives Ash an apologetic look as she's once again, dragged away by Leaf.

Silver, who had arrived with Leaf, steps up beside Ash. "Can I ask you something, Ketchum?"

Ash nods, curious about what Silver would want to know. Also, Ash is shocked that Silver is initiating conversation. The past two days, Ash has compared Silver a lot to stoic Paul who is now the reigning Sinnoh Champion and engaged to the Sinnoh Top Coordinator, Dawn Berlitz. They're both people Ash knew well, and Ash also never expected them to be together. Opposites really do attract. Moreover, Ash figured he'd never have a conversation with Silver at this wedding, so this is new to him.

"Why'd you stop battling?" Silver gruffly inquires.

Ash Ketchum was once a common name to be heard in the trainer industry. He placed in the top 16 as a 10 year old in Kanto during his first year as a trainer. Every year thereafter, he improved and even won the first ever Alolan League. After a couple of years in Galar and competing in the world tournament, Ash completely stopped. He ranked fairly high into the Ultra class at world rank 99, and then he was removed from the battling scene entirely.

Shortly after he stopped traveling, it was revealed that he was living in Kalos preparing for the Kalos League again because he started a relationship with the Kalos Queen, Serena Yvonne. Even though he started dating, Silver doesn't find that a good enough reason for someone like Ash to stop competing. Someone who spent his whole life up until that point trying to be a Pokemon Master wouldn't give up everything for one relationship...right?

Silver hoped to battle Ash some day, but Silver will not battle this Ash now. This Ash is not the strong Ash who placed 99th in the world. It'd be a waste of Silver's time to battle Ash right now. Ash had fallen off the trainer scene, so most people don't know that he's started training again. Most people think he's still a complete recluse living with his mother in Pallet Town. Many people in Kanto do know that Ash is married to Misty.

Watching Misty drink some champagne at a table with some of Leaf's guests, Ash thinks over his response. Why did he stop training and competing? It's been so long that he isn't sure what happened. "Personal reasons."

"You got in a relationship and then quit the world competition." Silver notes.

Ash lets out a breath and loosens his tie some more because he feels like he's suffocating just from thinking about his past. Silver is a stranger, so Ash doesn't need to tell him anything. "Sorry, Silver. I don't wanna talk about it."

Sighing in frustration, Silver shakes his head. To think, this sorry excuse of a man was once a much stronger and better trainer than him. Ash left the world competition before Silver could battle him and finally rise above him in rank. It infuriates Silver when strong trainers stop getting stronger. They're wasting their potential. This just reminds Silver of ungrateful children who took many things for granted when an orphan like him would appreciate anything in life.

"You're pathetic." Silver then walks off, leaving Ash to breathe deeply.

Misty isn't here to make him feel better, and Ash should know that Silver is like this. Ash is trying not to let Silver's demeaning words affect him too much. That is a lot easier said than done, so Ash sits down nearby at an empty table. He gets a cup of water from a passing waiter and then shuts his eyes. It's not just Silver's words that are getting to him. It's what Silver was talking about. This whole wedding just reminds him so much of the one he was supposed to have with her. The only times Ash enjoyed this wedding wholeheartedly was when he was with Misty. He can't keep relying on her.

Eventually, Ash calms down a bit when Tracey walks over with a very drunk Misty. "There you are, Ash!" Tracey shouts over the speakers.

Grateful for the distraction, Ash looks up at his friend supporting the drunk woman. This makes Ash quickly stand to relieve Tracey of Misty. "What happened?"

"She drank a lot with Leaf, I guess." Tracey shrugs. He stretches his limbs because it was a lot of work dragging Misty around looking for Ash. Misty wanted to return to the dancefloor. After drinking with some of Leaf's guests, Leaf ditched Misty with Daisy so that Leaf and Gary could leave their own wedding early. Misty was being too annoying with the pregnant Daisy, so Tracey had to take Misty away.

Ash worriedly looks at his wife as she hiccups. Opening her eyes, she notices that she is now in a very handsome man's presence who looks a lot like her childhood crush. "Ash?"

"Yeah." Ash answers.

Tracey cuts in on them because it's pretty late now. "We're gonna head out. Tina is asleep. We'll take Pikachu too." Pikachu and Tina are inseparable. The little mouse enjoys playing with Tina. Moreover, Ash will get Pikachu back when he battles Tina in the morning.

Ash gratefully nods at his brother-in-law. "Thanks, Tracey. See you before lunch." The raven haired man figures that Misty will be too hungover to want to do anything too early. Meeting the Sketchits to battle prior to lunch will then result in everyone having lunch together before going their separate ways again.

"I'll text you!" Tracey waves at Ash and runs back to his family.

Sighing, Ash glances back down at the redhead who is still looking at him starstruck. "You know, you look a lot like this boy I liked."

"I know." Ash replies and starts leading Misty out of the field. She's had enough to drink, and he's done with this wedding. Plus, Gary and Leaf already ditched their own wedding, according to Tracey. The festivities will end soon, and then Ash and Misty will make the drive to Cerulean City after lunch with the Sketchits tomorrow.

When they exit the field, Misty pulls away from Ash's embrace. She stumbles and falls to the ground, so Ash tries to pick her up. However, she shoves him away from her. "Hey! I don't sleep around! Leave me alone!"

Her shouts are getting stares from nearby wedding goers, and they're near the fence, so the remaining media might hear her. Ash frantically hisses, "I'm not gonna hurt you, Misty!"

"Who even are you?" She narrows her eyes at him.

"I'm Ash Ketchum."

"Oh." Misty blinks at him as she studies the man's features under the moonlight. "Where's Serena?" She's always at weddings with Ash.

The man stiffens up from her name. "C'mon, Misty. Let's go." He changes the topic, but Misty shakes her head.

"I want no scandals or bad media, Ash. I'm not going anywhere with you without your fiance with us."

Taking in a sharp breath, Ash replies, "We're not together anymore."

"Really? Why?"

"That's personal." He can't blame her for asking. She's drunk. Ash has never seen a drunk Misty.

"Sorry." Misty mumbles as she takes his hand to stand. She doesn't trust a stranger, but she trusts Ash Ketchum, no matter how long it's been since they talked. "Are you seeing anyone now then?"

With his thoughts still on his ex, Ash nods. "Kinda."

"What does that even mean?"

"Dunno."

Giggling, Misty leans into Ash's side. "So I won't get in trouble if you give me a ride home alone?"

"No." Ash lets go of her so that he can put his suit jacket around her shoulders to keep her warm.

"So it's not serious?"

"I'm married, Mist." Ash doesn't want to say anything he'll regret. He can't be too safe with who's listening.

"Really?" Misty steps away from him again, causing Ash to internally groan. Nevertheless, no matter how intoxicated Misty is, she knows better than to do anything that can lead to a scandal. Thus, she starts to take off his suit jacket to give back to him. "To who?" A married man definitely can't be seen alone with her, even if they were once childhood friends.

"To you." Ash deadpans with his hands on her shoulders to keep the jacket there.

"What? Really?" Exclaims the happy woman.

Sweatdropping, Ash nods. "Yeah. Now can we go to the car already?"

Misty quickly jumps on his back, which makes Ash stumble. Fortunately, his weeks of training has made him stronger. "Give me a ride, hubby!"

Her childish antics make him feel better, so Ash chuckles. Although he has a dark blush on his face, he prefers giving Misty a piggy back ride because they are reaching the car a lot sooner than when he was escorting her. Her arms are wrapped tightly around his neck, and her face is in it. He can feel her soft skin along with her warm breath breathing on him. It makes Ash hurry to the car where he helps her inside.

Sitting in the driver side seat, Ash rests his hands in his lap. The two sit in silence for a few minutes without Ash starting the car. Misty curiously faces him to ask, "Why aren't you driving?"

"Give me a minute." mumbles the embarrassed man. Mew. Why now? It's better now while she's drunk and hopefully won't remember anything. Last time, she was sober, but he was lucky that she was focused on her movie.

The drunk woman doesn't think anything of Ash's words. She shuts her eyes again tiredly. She really enjoyed laying on his large back, but it's about time that she gets to a bed. "Are we really married?"

Ash isn't sure how to answer the drunk woman. "Why are you asking?"

"I just can't believe it happened."

"It did." sighs the man as his bulge calms down a bit.

Misty yawns. "Hey, Ash?"

"Hm."

"Remember when I visited you in Alola when we were 18?"

"Yeah."

Her lips twitch up into a smile. "Do you remember our marriage pact?"

Ash nods, nervous by what she is going to say. He already had to deal with her wrath when he brought up the pact as an excuse to him lying to the media about them. She was not happy about that at all. "Yeah."

The woman meets his eyes for him to see her warm gaze. "We really got married to each other by 30. We're 30, Ash."

He sheepishly rubs the back of his head with one hand. "Yeah. We did."

"I can't believe it. It's like a dream come true."

Ash now blinks at her in confusion. "Uh. What?" What does she mean by that? She seemed to really hate the idea of the pact recently. She would always call it stupid and childish.

"I've always liked you, Ash. I can't believe we actually got married." confesses Misty.

"Oh. Uh. Yeah. I liked you too."

"Why did you say that in past tense?" pouts the woman.

Not trying to have this conversation right now because a sober Misty knows all the answers, Ash feels well enough to start the car. Fortunately, Misty falls asleep quickly, though Ash's heart is still pounding. Drunk Misty seems to be stuck in the past. Right? She got their ages correct, but she was talking about a lot of old things, and she forgot about their recent marriage. Why did it sound like Misty still has feelings for him right now?

When Ash pulls up to his mother's house, Misty is still asleep; thus, Ash gently picks her up to carry her inside. Like with piggybacking her, he notices how light she is. They both don't eat much. They just eat for survival and energy. Is he getting stronger? Ash isn't sure, but one thing he is sure of is that he really likes the feeling of this woman in his arms. It's been years since he carried anyone like this, and while he enjoyed carrying his ex, this feeling with Misty is very different.

Careful not to make too much noise and wake up his mother, Ash gets Misty into his room where he gently rests her on the bed. He knows where his mother keeps her makeup wipes in the bathroom, so he brings one back to wipe away Misty's face. Misty rarely wears makeup, but this was a wedding. The times she does wear makeup, she takes Ash's breath away. Her beauty is already astounding without it, making Ash surprised at how someone can look as perfect as Misty.

With his hand on her cheek he's rubbing with the makeup wipe, Ash hangs his head low and lets out a long breath. He needs to stop thinking these thoughts. Misty is drunk. She is his friend. They are in a mutual fake relationship. Moreover, Ash has vowed to never get in a relationship again. His last heart break was too much for him, so he's done.

"Ash?" The man directs his gaze back up to see the tired sincere blue eyes he finds far too dangerous. Her hand cups his that's on his face, causing him to drop the wipe. "Thanks." Misty knows he was wiping away her makeup. He's such a gentleman.

"Uh. Yeah."

Despite deciding that he's gotten enough makeup off, Ash doesn't move away from her. Misty is more than just attractive. Ash has never liked Misty for her appearance. She was a scrawny annoying tomboy when they traveled together. Nevertheless, he liked Misty because of her heart and care. He still likes Misty for that. It's a reason Ash doesn't want her with just anyone. Her body is appealing to many men, though Misty isn't just a body. She has a mind and spirit like no other. Someone who deserves her needs to appreciate that. Only then will Ash feel comfortable handing her off, like he did with Gary today.

"Misty."

"Yeah, Ash?" She softly asks with a smile.

"You were really pretty today." He blushes, but Ash can't find a filter in his brain right now. Those dangerous cerulean orbs are affecting his mind.

Giggling, Misty replies, "Leaf is the bride."

"I think you were prettier than her." Ash quickly states. "You're beautiful, Mist."

Studying his face, Misty's smile falls into a blank stare. What is Ash saying? He did say they're married, so of course he'd be complimenting her. This man is so sweet. She's always dreamed about being married to him. It's the reason she was so excited when he created that marriage pact over a decade ago. Ash Ketchum has always been the only one to have her heart, and no matter how much she tries to get over him, she knows she never will.

Therefore, with her gaze on his affectionate brown eyes, Misty leans over to capture those lips she's always dreamed of having. They are married, but she can't remember anything about their married life, especially his kisses. This kiss electrifies her, making her have more energy to lean into him. Misty uses her tongue to pry open Ash's mouth, and the stunned man allows her too.

Initially, he isn't too sure what's going on, so his body acts on impulse. It kisses her back, allowing his tongue to snake into her mouth. Ash leans towards her to deepen the kiss even more. It is only when Misty's hands go from cupping his face to pulling off his tie that Ash's senses come back to him. He jolts away from her and tugs at his tie awkwardly while clearing his throat. "Uh-"

"What's wrong?" Misty disappointedly asks. She's hurt that he reacted like this to her kiss and that he stopped what was going on.

He shyly turns away from her to hide his flushed face. Shutting his eyes, Ash mutters, "You're drunk."

"So?"

"It's not right when you're drunk."

"But we're married." Presses the woman who gets up to hug him from behind.

Feeling her arms, Ash quickly walks away from her embrace. This hurts Misty even more. "I'm sorry, but I just don't feel comfortable with this, Misty." She's drunk. She doesn't know what's going on. Ash doesn't want to take advantage of her. He doesn't want to use her to alleviate the aches in his heart from being reminded of his failed engagement. Misty deserves much better than that.

Already hurt enough, Misty defeated walks away to her suitcase. She clumsily takes off her dress, though Ash's back is still towards her. He can hear her fumbling around. The tension between them is high right now, so Ash grabs his pajamas and leaves to the bathroom to change. Once there, he locks the door and hovers over the sink like he did this morning. This feeling is different from before, however, because Ash can barely stand. Legs feeling like jelly, and his stomach flutters with Butterfrees.

"Fuck." Ash mutters angrily to himself at his still pounding heart. What is he doing? He kissed her back! She's drunk. She has somewhat of an excuse for her actions, even though he doesn't understand it. He didn't tell her they're married, but she doesn't remember that it's a fake marriage.

Nevertheless, Ash should know better. All day, he's been thinking about her. Mew. He still has her ring in the very room Misty is in right now. Ash was just thinking about how Misty deserves someone who loves her for her. Yet here Ash is using Misty. Granted, she does make his body react in ways he hasn't felt in years, though she is his friend! He just kissed his friend. This is going to be so awkward now, even if Misty doesn't remember the kiss.

Eventually, Ash manages to change his clothes. He takes his time returning to his room because he isn't sure how to face Misty. By the time he manages to open his bedroom door, he sees Misty is sound asleep, making Ash grateful that the alcohol put her to sleep. What got into him? Why did he compliment her outloud? Ash has grown so comfortable with Misty that the words just slipped out.

Locking the door to, Ash lays out his sleeping bag to climb in. His heart is still beating too fast for him to fall asleep. If Misty doesn't say anything tomorrow, then Ash will forget the kiss ever happened because he doesn't want to ruin what they currently have. He's improving a lot by being with Misty. Thus, he must be confusing these grateful emotions as something more. Maybe he's relying too much on her that he's projecting onto her? Whatever the reason is for his actions tonight, he knows it's not justified. Years ago, he made it obvious where Misty stood in his life, so he needs to respect that decision. Misty doesn't deserve someone who once put her second.


So I didn't plan for this chapter to be about only the wedding. I wanted it to be two-part. Like the first half is the wedding, and then the second half is a time months later. However, the wedding got really long, so I ended it here. Also, it's late at night, and I have work again tomorrow. Just because it's MLK Day, doesn't mean we all get off of work. Sadness... See ya when I see ya. :,(

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