Chapter 11: Mistletoe
11:50. Ten more minutes and she’d be okay. The ginger haired girl sighed as she held her delicate hand to her beating chest, letting out a sigh of frustration. She should have known better than to agree to this party that the brunette wanted to host. There were always concessions.
It was December 24th, the day known around the world as Christmas Eve. And Misty Waterflower was spending the last few moments before it turned to Christmas Day hiding away from the sight of her closest companion over the past two years, one Gary Oak. Why you may ask?
Quite simply, the aqua eyed teen had made the mistake of betting with her fellow gym leader of Viridian City. The bet had been made as the tall former researcher had asked Misty to help him co-host a christmas party the brunette had in the works. Easy enough. After all, they had similar tastes in decorating and the youngest Oak knew that Misty was an exceptional baker who’d provide delicious pastries to be munched on during the festivities. So as they were setting up in the morning in preparation for the afternoon’s gathering, he’d made the proposal that had her where she was unfortunately situated now.
“Hey Red, let’s play a game,” announced the tall brunette, dressed in a crimson cashmere sweater and fitted jeans that enhanced his figure as he stretched up to hook some tinsel onto the window sill. Misty half glanced at him from the corner of her eye, setting the last few glass ornaments onto the pine tree with precision. Brushing her hands on her own dark washed jeans, Misty unrolled her yellow blouse sleeves before turning to her partner with her hands on her hips.
“What game Oak?” she warily asked, cocking her eyebrow at his slowly grinning features. Though she’d gotten to know Gary’s personality over these two years and it dispelled many rumors surrounding the boy, the water type trainer knew of his incorrigible streak of mischief. As he sashayed his way over to her, the redhead felt her shoulders tense and her chest tighten.
“There’s gonna be some Mistletoe hanging around the house, you know, so we can catch Ashy-boy and Blondie together in a lip lock.” Misty nodded her head in understanding as he reached an arm around her shoulders in his buddy fashion. All of their friends had collectively agreed that Mari and Ash didn’t give off enough lovey dovey vibes for a serious relationship and wanted confirmation with a kiss. Unfortunately, catching the two in the act had been nearly impossible; so being the genius that he was, Gary has concocted this Christmas party facade in order to do just that. Well, that and the former researcher loved to be fawned over, so what better way to achieve that than hold an exceptional party?
“And,” he continued as they started walking through the Oak Laboratory in Pallet Town where the event was to be held, “I was thinking that you’ll definitely get caught under it-”
“Hey! What do you mean? I won’t get caught underneath that stuff! Please, no one gets to kiss Misty Waterflower without deserving it, NO ONE.” Her indigent voice replied, pulling away from his grip and twirling to poke his chest with her index finger. The overbearing smirk that laced his features should have warned her of the trouble stirring, but being the hot-tempered girl she was, that thought passed through her without much consideration.
“No one huh? Well, I bet I can catch you under the mistletoe no problem.” His forest colored eyes twinkled from the glow of the christmas lights, patterning them with pretty flashes as Misty stared into them head on.
“Oh, you think so, you egotistical freak?” she challenged passionately, putting more force into her poking as she spoke.
“Yeah, I do.” Here, his larger hand grabbed the finger prodding him and squeezed it gently. “I’m certain I can catch you under the mistletoe before midnight.” Now, if the redhead had been anyone other than herself and without a mass amount of pride, she’d have denied such a confrontation and dropped the entire, stupid exchange. However, she was Misty Waterflower and she NEVER gave up on anyone’s provocation, especially Gary Oak’s.
“Well, you won’t. And I’d love to see you try only to have your hopes and dreams crushed when you won’t.” With a flourish of her tongue, Misty pulled her finger free and stepped away from their combined invasion of personal space.
“Okay, well if I do, and I definitely will Red, you have to cook for me for a week in Viridian, and if somehow you escape me, then I’ll come to Cerulean and clean the gym for a week. Sound like a deal?” Reaching out his hand for a contracted shake, Misty narrowed her watery eyes and grasped back.
And now here she was, hiding amongst one of the many hallways the Oak Laboratory housed, avoiding her friends in fear that Gary would be around the corner to push her under mistletoe bushels that littered the hallways for Ash and Mari. Mew damn it, she should have realized that avoiding such an obstacle wouldn’t be easy. There was a creak of floorboards somewhere behind her and the ginger haired girl jumped a foot into the air in fear only to discover her Vaporeon skidding to her side happily.
“Vaporeon! Great, no signs of the Oak right?” At the finned creature’s nod, Misty and her Pokemon started heading down the path the water type had come from. Using her brains, Misty had opted to recruit the assistance of one of her most loyal companions to scope out any tricks the Viridian gym leader plotted. No one said Pokemon help was off limits.
11:55. The girl dressed in jeans and a long sleeved blouse tiptoed behind her lead, observing her surroundings left and right for any surprises. Soon she’d be able to get back to her partying friends and the delectable dinner cooked for the guests of this engagement courtesy of Professor Oak and Delia. Soon she’d be gloating about not having to clean her gym for a week. Soon she’d---
“Oh wow, it’s snowing,” her hushed voice said to Vaporeon as she pressed her hands onto the chilled glass panels on one of the many windows lining the hallways and watched the white fluff flutter to the ground, building up softly. It had been a while since Misty had seen snow, especially coinciding with a holiday. Cerulean was a city based in more fog and rain than snow.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” The husky voice that called from out of nowhere had Misty jumping higher than a bouncing Totodile, straight into the frozen glass behind her as Misty screamed and turned. Right before her was Gary Oak, looming with his spiky chocolate locks and hands folded behind his back in a professional manner. Glancing above her quickly, Misty let out an subtle sigh of relief because there were no white berries hanging above her anywhere.
“Yes, it is,” she said with an almost unnoticeable quiver to her voice. She’d been scared witless by his appearance, though the girl would go to her grave before mentioning it to him. She watched the sweater clad teen approach her steadily until there was barely an inch between their chests. The leader of Viridian was certainly gaining in height, so the redhead had to look up for their gazes to lock.
“It’s almost midnight Red.” The green eyes that were so familiar to the girl unfalteringly watched her, a small smile curving his lips as she blinked back at him steadily.
“And you have failed to catch me Oak.” There was a touch of pride to her words, knowing that she had beat the boy out at his own choice of games. Misty could allow herself the feeling of elation as she planned out the chores to plague the other teen with.
“Oh?” his smooth voice replied as a hand freed itself from behind his back to present her with a tied bundle of mistletoe that he waved above their heads. The horror at this revelation widened Misty’s eyes comically as she waved her hands in the small space between their chests.
“Th-that’s cheating Oak, you can’t-” she didn’t have time to complete her words though as Gary took initiative in connecting his plush lips with her own to silence her. He was gentle with his touch, simply pressing their mouths together as her eyes slid closed at the sensation. She’d always wondered what it would be like to kiss her friend, even if this thought was buried so far in her subconscious that she couldn’t comprehend why it even existed. Her mind turned to putty regardless as somewhere in the distance twelve consecutive rings echoed throughout the Oak mansion and voices rang out in happy cheers of ‘Merry Christmas’.
She knew in that instant that she’d lost the bet, she had feeding responsibilities to the Oak for the next week, and that Vaporeon yipped excitedly as she kissed someone she never considered lip locking with and thusly embarrassing her. But in all honestly those thoughts faded away almost as quickly as they came. This very moment, Misty decided that maybe there was something about this person she was attracted to, even if it resulted from a harmless, but competitive game.
So running a hand up and into his thick, cinnamon spikes for a better grip, Misty kissed Gary Oak for the first time with unexpected vigor and smiled when his hand dropped from above and wrapped around her waist.
They’d blame it on the spiked punch when confusion hit them after this kiss ended. Misty might be attracted to him slightly, but this kiss was a game.