Single By 30 @shinygrowlithe12
Chapter 2

No. I'm not gonna change my writing style for YOU. This is a hobby and I frankly don't care whether y'all like my writing or not. I appreciate those who like my writing unconditionally. But yeah. I'm not changing for anyoneeee. I got a college degree in TECHNOLOGY. English/Literature has always been my worst subject. I graduated college, so I don't need to learn how to write UNLESS I'm getting paid for it, which I'm not. Deal with it or leave. :)


Chapter 2

"Ash?" the redhead curiously asks.

As Delia expects, there's no response. She waves off her son. "Just leave him, Misty." She excuses Ash. "He's tired."

Misty's attention is still on the quiet man. She can tell he's more than just tired. It looks like he's exhausted with life. He's exhausted with himself. He's quitting. "Oh, um, okay." Smiling back at Delia, Misty says, "It was nice seeing you. I'll be going back home now. Have a safe trip, Mrs. Ketchum."

"Thank you, Misty. You too."

Misty gratefully smiles and walks away. She makes a point to walk past Ash where she pretends to trip over her heels. As she expected, he catches her before she can hit the blacktop. Looking up, Misty's cerulean blue eyes meet with the defeated chocolate orbs of her childhood crush. "Thanks, Ash."

He helps her stand. Delia worriedly rushes over. "Are you okay, Misty?"

"Yes. I'm fine." Misty then smirks at Ash. "Glad to see you're still caring."

Sighing, Delia responds for Ash. "He's still a kind boy. He's just-"

"Mom." Ash's stern voice makes Delia look at him where she finally sees his eyes.

Pursing her lips, Delia decides now is not the time. Delia hasn't spoken to Misty in years, and she knows Misty and Ash haven't spoken in even longer. There's no use in telling Misty everything that Ash is going through. "Get home safely, Misty." Delia starts walking to her car thinking Ash will follow her. He likes to hide himself. There's no way he'll hang back with Misty and have her learn about how he's doing.

When Ash takes a step towards his mother, Misty grabs his arm. To her surprise, he stops. "Ash." He doesn't know why Misty keeps doing this. It's obvious he doesn't want to talk to anyone yet Misty won't leave him alone. With him being taller, Misty peers up at his eyes, though he's looking at the ground. "Are you okay?"

Ash nods and gently pulls his arm away from her. He's starting to regret arguing with his mom in the parking lot because now he ran into her. The one person in Kanto he doesn't want seeing him like this. It's already enough having Gary come around every now and then. But Misty. No. Ash can't let her see how reclusive he's become.

Unfortunately for him, Misty is still as fiery as when they were younger. She rushes after him to pull his shoulder back and face her furious blue orbs. "You could never lie to me."

Sighing, Ash finds the courage to speak. "Leave me alone."

"Not until you look me in the eyes and say it." She hates how he's avoiding her. What happened to him? Last she heard, he was happily engaged in Kalos.

"Please let me go."

"Like how I did 12 years ago and never saw you again?"

Ouch. That hurt. Well deserved, but it still hurts. "Technically, I let you go." She was the one who left Alola.

She crosses her arms over her chest, which also means her hand is off of him. "I'm also glad to see you still have that snarkiness to you." Ignoring her, Ash continues walking to his mother's car. This time, Misty lets him go, though she does yell, "I'm disappointed in you, Ash Ketchum."

He freezes. The word he'd been asking his mother about this whole time. He sees the way his mom looks at him. The way Delia is gentle and tries to tiptoe around him. The way her eyes show she's given up on ever getting him back to his old self. However, Delia has never said she's disappointed in him. No one has. Only Ash has thought it to himself. That is, until she just said it now.

"Why?"

Misty rolls her eyes at him. "Why else? Have you seen yourself?" Ash bites his inner cheek. Although he showered and looked somewhat presentable today, he knows he's out of place here.

Before he can respond, the two hear a high voice in the distance. "Typical! The stuck up and the recluse are hanging out."

Ash shies away from the comment, hoping he can just disappear. While Misty would normally ignore these people, she doesn't like how timid Ash is. This is not the Ash she remembers. Thus, she turns to glare at her arch nemesis. "He did save your island one time."

"That was years ago." the brunette waves off Misty's remark. "People change, and he obviously changed for the worst."

Irked, Misty storms over to Melody until Ash speaks, "Leave it."

"No way." Hisses the redhead.

"She's not wrong about me." Ash just wants all of this to stop already. He misses his private bedroom.

Smirking, Melody adds, "Better listen to your boyfriend, Misty. Go hide away like you two do best."

"Watch it, Melody!" snaps Misty.

"Or else what?" Melody sizes up Misty. Their little dispute has drawn the eyes of some of the media nearby.

Misty's intense glare is on Melody's smug expression. "Leave him alone."

Melody has been trying to provoke Misty for years now, though Misty has been good at ignoring her. Now that Melody is able to infuriate the gym leader, Melody knows why. With the media on them, Melody will use this as a chance to ruin Misty's perfect public image. Thus, Melody looks past Misty at the shy man. "Why'd Serena break up with you, Mr. Chosen One?" Ash flinches, which adds to Melody's smirk.

Annoyed, Misty block's Melody's view of Ash. "Don't you have some gossip to spread?"

"This is better." Melody is enjoying herself. Motioning to the media nearby, Melody loudly says, "I'm sure the world would like to hear about the breakup that turned you into this socially inept person."

"Enough!" Misty closes in on Melody to whisper, "Say one more thing and you'll regret it."

"Your threats hold no weight."

"Try me."

Deciding that she doesn't want to make herself look mean to the media, Melody takes a few steps away. She waves at Ash. "I hope you get some help, sir. You don't look too good." Glancing back at Misty, Melody gives her an innocent smile. "See you around, Misty."

Even though Melody walked away, there are still some reporters nearby with their attention on Ash and Misty. Misty walks over to the defeated man where she says, "Sorry about Melody. You know she's never liked me."

"I'm gonna go." Ash ignores Misty's comment. He's been ready to go home since he left his bed.

"Uh. Right." Mumbles the redhead. She looks in the direction Delia had walked off in where she doesn't see any headlights on. "Which car is yours?"

For the first time all day, Ash lifts his head up. He furrows his brows when he doesn't see his mother's car. Did she really leave him? He thought she was just threatening him, like it wasn't going to happen. Groaning, Ash mutters, "She left me."

Misty doesn't blame Delia for wanting to teach Ash a lesson. He should've followed Delia when she told him too, but Misty was the one who stopped him. Feeling slightly bad since she's also noticed he has no Pokemon on him, she offers, "Want a ride?"

"Pallet Town is out of the way."

"I'm not in a hurry. And I need to pay back Gary for making me come here." Misty expectantly watches her estranged friend where she's relieved to see the corners of his lips tilt up slightly.

"You can drop me off at the train station."

She shakes her head while grabbing his arm to lead him to her car. "No way. You look like you rolled out of bed and didn't bring anything." She doubts he has his wallet on him. "C'mon. Get in."

They soon arrive at her car where she opens the passenger side for him. It's like taking care of a child. She has to push Ash inside, but he is able to put on his own seatbelt. Why is he so lethargic? The Ash she remembers was energetic and free spirited. If not for Delia, Misty wouldn't have known this is Ash.

They drive off towards Pallet Town listening to Misty's playlist softly playing on the stereo. It's a couple of slow pop love songs, making Ash's heart ache. He hates anything having to do with love. Thus, he reaches over to turn off the stereo. Misty shoots him a glare. "Have you heard not to touch a driver's radio?"

"I prefer it to be quiet."

"You're not the one driving hours today."

Sighing, Ash decides to stop arguing and look out the window. "Why are you helping me?"

"We're friends."

"We haven't talked in years. It's hard to consider us friends."

She rolls her eyes. "I thought you like it quiet."

The man glances over at her to see she's focused on the road. He still doesn't know why she's helping them. They're not considered friends anymore. It's the first time they've seen each other in over a decade, yet she is giving him a ride home to Pallet Town. He's practically a stranger to her now. "You're not gonna ask me why I'm like this?"

"You're not gonna tell me." While she is curious, she's not one to force information out of people.

The two drive in silence for an hour. They're finally out of the mountains of the League and nearing Viridian City. Rather than continuing west towards Cerulean City, Misty prepares herself to go south towards Pallet Town. That is, until Ash mutters, "Can we stop here?"

She raises a confused eyebrow at him. "Pallet Town is only a two hour drive from here." She's the one who will have to back track and won't make it home til past midnight. Not him.

"I don't wanna see my mom yet." Delia left him because she's fed up with him. Although Ash knows his mother won't say anything at home, he'll be able to read her defeated face. Her disappointment and shame. Moreover, Ash can't take it from hearing Pikachu scold him tonight too. "Just leave me at the Pokemon Center."

"Do you even have your trainer ID?" Only trainers can stay at the Pokemon Center, which is free.

Remembering that Misty is right about him not having his wallet, Ash sinks deeper in his seat. It's been years since he's taken out his wallet, especially his trainer ID. He knows it's lost somewhere in his messy room. "It's not too cold out." mutters the man.

Shooting him a sharp look, Misty tells him, "You're not sleeping on the streets."

"I don't wanna go home."

"That's surprising." She scoffs, earning her a curious glance from him.

"Why do you say that?"

"It looked like you couldn't wait to go home this whole time. Now you don't."

"You don't know me."

"You're right. I don't." She has no idea who this Ash Ketchum is. Pitying her former friend, Misty tells him, "I'm tired from all the driving. I'll get us our own hotel rooms."

"I'll pay you back." He gratefully mutters.

"With what?" she inquires. "I doubt you have money."

"Ouch."

Rolling her eyes, she turns the car towards a hotel. "I don't expect you to pay me back. Just get better." Get back to the Ash she remembers.

Just get better. Easier said than done. "You don't have to take me back home tomorrow."

"How will you get home then? Hitch hike?"

Shrugging, Ash replies, "I can walk."

"You have no Pokemon."

"I can have Gary send me one through the PC."

"You're a piece of work." the redhead says in amazement.

Ash shoots her an annoyed glare. "What do you mean by that?"

Misty parks the car in the hotel parking lot to eye him up and down. "Have you seen yourself? You're such a mess. You're screaming for help, but you won't take any."

"I'm not screaming for help!" Ash hasn't asked anyone for help since he returned to Kanto.

"Not literally, but your whole appearance is." Misty opens her car door. "Let's go."

"Stop judging me." Ash calls after her when he gets out.

Furious that he would even assume that, Misty turns to glare at him. "I have never judged you, Ash Ketchum!" She motions her hand up and down over him. "I'm just calling it like it is. You need some fucking help, but you don't want it."

"I don't need it from you!"

"You need it from Serena?" challenges the woman, causing Ash to shut his mouth. That was too far, and Misty knows it too. She just learned about Serena breaking up with Ash. That is, if Melody's words can be trusted. Judging by Ash's demeanor, those are accurate words. Letting out a breath to calm down, Misty apologetically mutters, "Sorry."

"It's okay." His voice is small. Despite him being much taller and bigger than her, he looks so small. Who is this man?

Gently linking arms with him, Misty softly says, "C'mon. We're both exhausted." If she were to drag him by the arm, it'll look weird to the hotel staff. Linking arms with him looks more normal, though it does make her heart beat.

Ash nods and allows her to lead him inside. Mew. He is so defeated. Just being reminded of his ex brings him back to that moment. The lowest point in his life. Even lower than he is now. Not even Pikachu knows what happened back then. Ash hates thinking about it, so as Misty is busy checking them in, Ash is trying to get the painful memories out of his mind.

Eventually, he follows Misty to the elevator. Once they're in front of a room, Ash curiously asks, "Where's your room?"

"Here." mutters the redhead indicating that the door they're in front of is hers.

Awkward, Ash hopes he didn't ignore her downstairs. Had she handed him his own key? Mew. He should've been paying attention, but his mind wanders often these days. "Uh. Where's mine?"

"Do you even listen to me?" Misty exasperates while opening the door. Not getting a response from the man still standing in the hall, Misty sighs. "Due to the party, this is the last room." The receptionist had told Misty this downstairs. Large League events always sell out in Viridian City and at the Indigo Plateau. Although Misty thought about leaving Ash here while she goes home, Misty knows he needs a ride tomorrow. She doesn't trust him getting a Pokemon and walking home. She doesn't trust leaving him alone.

"I-uh" The man's face heats up. He hasn't been alone in a room with a woman since…

"Ash, we've shared rooms before."

"Yeah. But we were 10." He reminds her shyly.

Rolling her eyes, Misty grabs his arm to drag him inside. Ash doesn't put up much of a fight. He seems indifferent to life, so it's easy pulling him everywhere. "I'll sleep on the couch. You can have the bed."

Noticing there is one king sized bed and a small couch, Ash shakes his head. "You're the one who'll be driving. You can have the bed."

"You're too tall for the couch."

"I'll manage." All he does is sleep when he's home anyway. He knows Misty has her gym and other duties. Thus, she needs a good night's sleep while he can spare one night of uncomfortable sleep.

Even though he is very different from the Ash she remembers, Misty is glad to see he still has his kind side intact. Reluctantly giving in to him, she heads to the bathroom. Misty didn't plan on staying overnight, so she didn't bring anything to change into. "How's Pikachu?" She'll make some small talk with her guest. Plus, she's curious about the well-being of her old Poke friends.

Ash unbuttons his shirt, glad that he has a white tshirt underneath to sleep in. "Good." He won't tell her how Pikachu feels just like his mom.

"Charizard?" Misty tries her best to remove her makeup using the sink water. Fortunately, she never wears much makeup anyway.

Shrugging, Ash takes off his shoes and belt. "I haven't seen him in a while." It's been years since Ash last saw the orange lizard who is training at the Charicific Valley.

Ready for bed, Misty comes back into the room where she sees Ash is laying on the couch. His legs dangle over the armrest. Sighing, she grabs the blanket from the bed to bring over to him. "You can have the blanket since I get the bed."

Ash gratefully nods. Even though her makeup is off, she still looks the same. He never understood why women put on makeup, especially Misty. She's a tomboy who was never into that stuff. Adulthood really changes people. "Thanks." When he sees Misty climb under the sheets in her dress, he asks, "Are you gonna sleep in that?" She looks very beautiful in her dress, but Ash isn't thinking about that. Also, it must be uncomfortable sleeping in that.

"I wasn't planning on staying the night." She reminds him. He wasn't either since he didn't pack anything.

The man grabs his light blue button up shirt and approaches her with it extended. "It's a clean shirt. I mostly sweated in this one." He refers to the tshirt he's wearing.

"What?" Misty raises a confused eyebrow at him.

"You can wear this to sleep. It's long enough to cover everything. And it's big, so you can sleep comfortably...if you want…"

With a dark blush on her cheeks, Misty studies his face. Nothing on it indicates anything but sincerity. She guesses he still has his childhood denseness. Does he not realize what she'll look like wearing his shirt over her underwear? "Uh, Ash?"

He sets the shirt down on the bed before going back to the couch. "Just offering. That dress seems too tight to be comfortable."

"I can manage." Misty shuts her eyes to try and sleep. However, after some time, Misty can't. Ash is right. This tight dress is uncomfortable to sleep in. She feels so constricted, and she hates it. Thus Misty gets up and grabs Ash's shirt. "No peeking." she mutters to the man sleeping on the couch.

Heading into the bathroom, Misty is relieved to take off the dress. Looking at Ash's shirt, Misty finds herself slowly bringing it up to her nose. He smells different than when he was younger. More manly. Her blush intensifies, so she decides to quickly put on the shirt. Buttoning it up, Misty makes her way out of the bathroom to the bed. Ash was also right about the length of his shirt. It goes down to a few inches above her knees, like a nice flowing nightgown.

When she gets into the bed, she whispers, "Thanks, Ash."

"Thank you, Misty." comes the quiet response, which makes her open her eyes again.

She thought he was asleep. And this is the first time he's said her name all today. Looking over at the couch, she sees his back is to her. "Good night."

"Night."

Why does everything feel so strained? Well, it's been years since they've seen each other. They're both very different and grown. They're in this hotel room alone. It's awkward. But it shouldn't be, right? They were once best friends. Time didn't matter whenever they met, though that could be because Ash was so happy-go-lucky back then. Misty misses her old friend. She hates this tenseness between them.

The next morning, Misty wakes up to knocking on the door. Due to not planning on sleeping over, she didn't bring a charger. Thus, she asked the hotel staff to wake her up in the morning. Careful not to wake up the dozing man on the couch, Misty makes her way over to the door. She cracks it open so the staff can only see her head peeking out along with her shoulder donning the collar of Ash's shirt. "Thank you, ma'am." Misty smiles gratefully.

"Pleasure to help." the woman smiles a little too largely and leaves.

Although tired, Misty knows she has things to do today. She closes the door and looks at Ash. Seeing that he is still sleeping, she tries to wake him up. Her many attempts are proving difficult. She knows it's hard waking him up, but it's never been this hard. "Ash!" She shoves his arm. "Get up!"

"Mhm." he mumbles tiredly.

Annoyed, she rips the blanket off of him, though all it does is just make him curl up into a ball. "Time to wake up!"

"Leave me alone." he groans. Okay. That's enough. No adult should be sleeping past 9AM. Well, not in Misty's Waterflower's book. Thus, she drags Ash off the couch where he crashes onto the ground, instantly waking him up. "Ow! What was that for?"

"It's time to go. Get ready." She hisses at him.

Ash opens his mouth to retort. Instead, nothing comes out as his face heats up. Seeing her in his tshirt. Mew. She looks even more stunning than when she was in the dress. When Misty returns from the bathroom, she's back in her dress from last night. "I'll be quick." He mutters. Despite not normally waking up at this time, Ash won't keep Misty waiting. She is the one nice enough to give him a ride, and she gave him a warm place to sleep.

On the drive to Pallet Town, the two have mainly been quiet. Well, that's because Ash has slept for most of it. Misty is glad he's sleeping because it saves them from any awkward conversations. Plus, she can play her music quietly. She's surprised she still remembers how to get to Delia's house. Pulling up in the driveway, Misty shakes the man awake. "We're here, Ash."

"Five more minutes."

"I'll get Pikachu."

Groaning, Ash opens his eyes to see his house. Thank Mew! Now he can sleep in his bed. Sleeping on that small couch and in this car isn't that comfortable at all. He takes off his seatbelt. "Thanks for the ride."

"You're welcome." Misty's heart aches slightly. She isn't sure when she'll see him again or if she will. He's a social recluse. After last night, she doubts Ash will be leaving his house any time soon. Moreover, they're not close enough for her to contact him. He definitely won't be contacting her. It was chance they happened to meet at the League dinner, though Misty is starting to think that Gary Oak has something to do with it. Nevertheless, Misty is pretty sure she won't run into Ash for at least another decade.

Before Ash shuts her car door, he hesitates. Why? He's already home and so close to his bed. So close to privacy and safety. So close. Yet he stops. Without looking at her, Ash peeks his head in the view of her. "Wanna come see Pikachu? I'm sure he misses you."

A part of her contemplates leaving before she makes her heart ache more. Seeing Pikachu will only add to her sorrows. She would've reconnected with both Ash and Pikachu only to not know when she'll see them again. Nevertheless, she misses her yellow friend. Turning off the car, Misty nods. "I miss him too."

She follows Ash to the front door where he knocks. He doesn't know where his house keys are since he only ever leaves the house with his mother. When the door swings open, the two are greeted by a surprised Mr. Mime. "Hey, Mimey." Ash mutters. "Where's Pikachu?"

Mr. Mime blinks at Ash's companion, dumbfounded to see them together. The Pokemon had scolded Delia for leaving Ash, especially when Ash didn't return last night. Ash didn't bring his pokenav. It's out of service because he has no one to communicate with, and he never leaves the house. Thus, no one had any way of contacting him. Delia's only solace was hoping that Ash was with Misty. Here the two young adults are together.

"Hi, Mimey." Misty smiles at the Pokemon, breaking him out of his trance. He steps aside to let them both in before rushing down the hall yelling for whoever is there.

Soon, Misty and Ash spot a quick yellow blur enter the room and into Misty's arms. "Pikachupi!" exclaims the excited mouse.

"Pikachu!" Misty happily squeals while hugging him tightly. She's missed her furry friend. He's adorable and powerful. She knows Pikachu is keeping Ash in check. "I missed you."

"Pi pikachu pika!" Pikachu agrees with her. He had overheard Delia and Mimey talking last night where Delia told Mimey not to worry because Ash was with Misty. Pikachu is confused on how this happened, but he's glad to be able to see her.

Awkwardly rubbing the back of his head, Ash looks at the hallway calling him to his bedroom. "Uh. I'm gonna go now. You and Pikachu can catch up."

"You're rude." Misty teases.

"I'm tired."

"Says the one who slept the whole car ride. I still need to drive 5 hours back home and then work."

Sighing, Ash asks her, "What do you want from me?"

"The old you." Misty shrugs and scratches Pikachu under the chin. The mouse warily watches them.

"He's gone." Ash's pained voice keeps Misty from prying.

She's not going to see him again anyway. Setting Pikachu down on the couch, much to the mouse's dismay, Misty fights her aching heart. "It was nice seeing you two." Misty whispers to Pikachu, "Take care of him, Pikachu."

"Pi." Pikachu sadly nods.

Looking over at Ash one final time, Misty sees his slumped shoulders. He's always walking around like he's small, but he's not. "Tell your mom I say bye." Seeing Ash nod, Misty makes her way out.

Once the door is closed, Pikachu glances over at his trainer. "Pikachupi pika pikapi pikachu?"

"Not now, Pikachu." Pikachu's ears go flat. It's never now for Ash.

That late evening, Ash makes his way to the kitchen for food. He's finally gotten some good rest, and he's glad to return to his routine life. Pikachu and Mimey are in the garden with his mother. Ash heats up the leftovers his mother put in the fridge. He turns on the TV so that he can listen to one of the many sitcoms he's watching. Grabbing a plate of his now heated food, Ash makes his way back to the living room.

"Misty is involved with many different men."

Ash's attention snaps to the news, which is airing right before his show starts. There, on the screen, are two reporters talking. There is a small square of two photos side by side. The news headline reads: Cerulean City Gym Leader's Secret Affairs. Ash quickly rushes over to get a better look at the TV as the reporters talk. The top photo shows Misty at Cerulean Cape at night with a hooded figure. It's difficult to makeout the figure, but it's clear that Misty is there. The bottom picture is of...oh no…

The man sinks to the ground with his head in his hands. The news has got it all wrong! He hates gossip! This is terrible. Painful memories plague his mind, which he attempts to shake out. "Misty Waterflower's mystery man at the hotel has been identified as Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town. The two used to travel together years ago."

"Ou! Spicy!" the other reporter giggles. "One of Kanto's most serious gym leaders actually has a secret love life where she sees different men. I wouldn't be surprised if she has more men."

"It's nothing to be ashamed of." The first reporter smiles. "Own it, Misty!"

"But that Ash guy isn't too hot." the second woman remarks. "Ever since his broken engagement with Kalos Queen Serena Yvonne two years ago, reports say he's been hiding at his mother's house in Pallet Town."

"To each their own. Maybe it's what made him easy for Misty to get to? He's vulnerable."

"Whatever the reason, the esteemed Cerulean City Gym Leader can totally get better men. It's like-"

"Ash!" Delia rushes to her son's side. His hands are clamped over his ears while his eyes are shut tightly. She happened to come inside to get some water when she heard the TV was on. Deciding to check on Ash, she was surprised to see him practically curled on the floor. "Sweetie."

"I hate it, mom." He gasps out painfully. The gossip sucks. He's gone through it once. He can't do it again.

Delia takes in a deep breath as she holds Ash tightly in her arms. Seeing this 30 year old man crumble like this hurts her. He's her son. All she wants is to protect him and for him to be happy. "I'm sorry."

He shakes his head. "It's not fair."

"I hope Misty is okay." Delia ponders out loud.

To her surprise, this snaps Ash out of his trance. His worried brown eyes meet his mother's equally concerned ones. "Misty!" How can he be so selfish? The gossip is affecting her the most. She's the famous one. He won't make the same mistake as last time and let the gossip put him over someone else.

"Are you okay, Ash?" Delia watches him rush to the videophone.

He hopes the Cerulean City gym's number is still in it. After some searching, he finds it, but no one picks up. Due to the gossip, he assumes the lines must be going off. Misty most likely turned off all her devices. Ash slumps in his chair defeatedly. It's all his fault. If he hadn't given her his shirt. If he hadn't insisted they stop in Viridian City. If he hadn't argued with his mom in the parking lot. None of this would've happened. The media wouldn't have gotten those compromising pictures of them at the hotel.

Delia had gotten Pikachu and Mr. Mime to come inside where Pikachu worriedly watches his trainer. "Pikapi?"

Ash takes in a deep breath to steady his pounding heart. He's scared. This might be a repeat of before, but he will do everything in his power to stop it. More than just his life is at stake here. He searches the videophone's contacts for the someone new. Delia mutters, "I don't have Misty's number."

He isn't calling Misty. Soon, the call is picked up by a very surprised auburn haired man. "Uh. Hey, Ash?" Ash never calls anyone, especially him. Plus, the auburn haired man was just watching the gossip show about Ash.

"I need Dragonite."

"Uh. What for?"

"He's my Pokemon, Gary." Ash sternly says, which makes Gary even more confused. This is not the timid Ash he's used to seeing.

"Yeah. Um. One sec." Ash hasn't seen his lab Pokemon in years. The only Pokemon he sees is Pikachu because Pikachu lives with him. Pikachu makes trips to the lab to see everyone and update them on Ash. Therefore, Gary spends some time trying to find Dragonite's pokeball.

Ash is growing impatient waiting for Gary. The raven haired man runs a nervous hand through his hair. "Pikachu, pack a bag for me." Pikachu is even more confused. Ash is leaving the house? On Dragonite? Ash is giving orders? Is this a dream? "Now, Pikachu." Ash says when the mouse doesn't move. This gets Pikachu to scamper to the bedroom.

"Ash, honey, what are you doing?" Delia hesitantly asks.

However, Gary is soon back where he sends over Dragonite's pokeball. "Here he is."

"Thanks, Gary." Before Gary can ask Ash any questions, Ash ends the call. Pikachu is soon back with a backpack of a few clothes and Ash's toothbrush. The basic stuff Pikachu remembers from when they used to travel.

"Ash." Delia follows her son to the front door.

"I'll be back, mom."

"Where are you going?" She watches him call out Dragonite outside who happily hugs him.

After Ash manages to get Dragonite to stop hugging him, Ash climbs onto the dragon type's back. "Cerulean City." He tells both the Pokemon and his mother.

Dragonite takes off into the sky, eager to fly with his trainer after so long. Left on the ground, Delia is joined by Mr. Mime. "I think he's going to see Misty." She tells the Pokemon who nods. No one is sure why Ash is suddenly behaving like he used to. Did something happen between him and Misty? Delia didn't know the two were still in contact. Ash has never left the house for Gary, yet he's leaving without Misty asking for him. Delia is confused.

On the long flight, Pikachu is trying to figure out what's gotten into Ash. Why does he want to see Misty? The two aren't friends anymore, last time he checked. The only reason Ash would go to Cerulean City is for Misty. Thus, when they near the city, Ash directs Dragonite to the gym where they see the many reporters outside. Misty is holding a press conference.

"How are you going to address these allegations that you frequent different men?" one reporter asks as Dragonite nears them crowd.

"They're not true. That is not who I am." Misty is only having this press conference because the League made her. They want her to keep their pure image. There are more scandalous gym leaders, but the League wants to crack down on her who only has this one issue. It's annoying.

"Then are you saying Ash Ketchum is the mystery Cerulean Cape man?"

"Nothing happened between me and Ash." Misty knows this is useless. Everyone already has their ideas of what occurred last night.

"Don't you think it's about time you got married and stopped with these silly games?" a reporter asks, irking Misty.

What silly games? She's an established gym leader! Everyone wants to bash her image over something that is not like her. Those who know her know that she wouldn't do anything like this. Misty formulates a snarky response, but someone beats her to it. "We are married!"

Everyone looks over to see a Dragonite fly to the front. There, on the back of Dragonite, is none other than the man at the center of Misty's scandal. Misty can barely recognize him from this morning. His serious gaze on the crown along with his straight back are nothing she's seen from him lately. He looks so confident, like the Ash she remembers.


Last chapter I have for now. I'm going on vacation on Tuesday for a week, so y'all won't be getting any updates from me. This might be the last one for this story until I come back in December. 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