Chapter 15: Pebbles
“I fucking hate What’sHisFace!” a raging ginger haired girl screamed as a smooth, oval rock was sent flying over the rippling water crashing gently against the sandy shore near her feet. Her fiery hair was loosely tied back with a thread she pulled hastily from her fraying top, allowing the shorter fringe not held back to frame her face in soft waves that developed from the humid air. She saw her rock skip four times before disappearing into the foaming surf and huffed angrily.
“You mean Volkner?” a husky voice chuckled from behind her, observing the way the girl in front of him kicked up wet glops of sand only to have them fall back down with unflattering plops. The male stationed on the dry portion of grains casually looked on, face in an easy smirk as he felt the cooling sea breeze twist its way through his cinnamon colored spikes. Allowing his viridian eyes to fall closed at the sensation, he allowed his sensitive ears, an organ trained from years of Pokemon research and battling, to follow the actions of the redhead ahead of him.
“Don’t say his name!” the girl barked back as she reached for another stone, turning her angered gaze around to face the sight behind her. Gary was leaning back with his elbows propping him up, his trademark white wife-beater and black leather jacket swaying lightly in the Cerulean breeze. His cargo pants, covered in minute particles of beige sand here and there, were rolled up to his knees exposing his lean legs and bootless feet. His chiseled face was relaxed, and his normally conceited eyes shut smoothly so his chocolate lashes were grazing his cheeks in almost a seductive manner. His gravity defying hair also billowed around his face and it took all the strength Misty held not to run over to him and tackle him into a kissing session.
She instead looked away and focused on the cold, smooth rock in her hand, rolling the stone over and over as she calculated the trajectory at which she would toss it. Sometimes watching Gary for too long a period would bring up unintentional or unwanted images for the aqua eyed girl. And it was best for the both of them that she refrained from drawing her attention to such imaginings.
As of late, Misty had been trying to control the overwhelming thoughts she had concerning the brunette and her feelings. They had been dating for about a year and a half now, so it wasn’t the ideation about being intimate together or affectionate in public that plagued Misty’s mind at all hours of the day. No, the daydreams in her head that she chose to hide from her best friend and boyfriend were a different kind.
It had happened out of the blue for the redhead; sitting on her kitchen counter at home one day and devouring a pint of mint ice cream, Misty had the passing thought about how she wouldn’t mind leaving Cerulean and getting a place with Gary somewhere near or on one of the many pleasant Orange Islands. Somewhere where they could live and study the Water Pokemon and maybe even have their wedding on the shore near their home-
And that was the catch. The idea that she didn’t care and even envisioned getting married to the attractive male enjoying her presence even as she raged on about a fellow gym leader causing her strife. The mere assumption that Misty would happily settle her hectic, but much loved, life and spend the rest of her days with the arrogant, but most loving gym leader of a boyfriend. It terrified the girl.
Shooting the pebble in her hand forward, Misty cursed softly as this rock only skipped twice before being engulfed by the waves. Again, her mind chose to wander to unpleasantly pleasant thoughts. She was imagining Gary dressed in an expensive wedding tuxedo and then the two of them sharing a passionate kiss with the sunset as their backdrop. Or causal Gary running ahead of her on the beach, playing with a little Poochyena and waving at her to join the fun. Or the two of them spending a tropical evening together, romantically kissing and---
Shaking her head and huffing angrily, the aqua eyed girl was ultimately frustrated between the thoughts of her ever enticing boyfriend and the rage she was still harboring towards the electric type gym leader Volkner, whom she had the misfortune of meeting earlier today. Between feeling ready to explode from being defeated by her type advantaged fellow gym leader in a ‘friendly’ match and ready to explode from an overabundance of heavy, romantic emotions toward Gary, it literally was a surprise that she hadn’t actually exploded yet.
It was also a surprise that three plopped stones later warmth curled from behind her to restrict her arms to her sides and puffs of delicate air twisted around her ear as a very familiar scent engulfed Misty. Frozen as her heart palpitated uncharacteristically quickly, the spitfire redhead took shallow breaths and kept her eyes focused on the waves as she stiffened.
“Hey, let it go. He’s not worth your time Red.” Here a gentle suckling on her earlobe had Misty shivering in, uncertain, excitement. “It was a fluke win. I’ll take care of him if it really bothers you, babe,” the former researcher continued; but unbeknownst to him, the Sinnoh trainer wasn’t even on her mind anymore. The redhead was trying to contain her mouth from exploding emotional words she would certainly regret if said. So, with unbelievable strength, the shorter girl shoved away from the brunette and turned around in a blushing frenzy.
“Don’t do that!” was the shout as Misty protectively wrapped her arms around her chest and shook her head frantically. The green eyed gym leader who’d previously had his arms securely surrounding Misty could now only stare dumbfounded at her petite frame before him, arms dropping from their mid-air hug.
“W-What? Misty what’s-” he fish mouthed, completely put out and, for the first time in a while, lost. But Misty was embarrassed and upset, so the statement was never finished from his end.
“Nothing, just don’t touch me!” The manner in which it was shouted sounded almost victimized, though the Cerulean Gym leader had no idea why. Gary was kind and sweet when you got passed his rough exterior, certainly not deserving of such behavior. Yet, in a strange way, Misty did feel violated. Her emotional energies were all askew because of this one perfect, loving, gorgeous, talented, amazing human being. Her beloved Gary Oak.
“Stop! I can’t handle you doing this anymore!” she cut him off again. Throwing her hands onto her head and shaking her thoughts away, the ginger haired teen hunched over as she quietly mumbled to herself.
“Doing this? What in Mew’s name do you mean this?” The tall Kanto gym leader was confused beyond belief. His girlfriend, his best friend, never behaved like this. Fighting between exasperated irritation and tender concern, he managed to spit out without stuttering, “I’ve held you like this before, why the sudden change!?”
“It’s not the same anymore!” was her sharp retaliation as she shot her head up to glare at him in remorseful chargin. Her feet were sinking into the toasty sand as she steadied herself on all fronts.
“I can’t have you keep touching me and being with me anymore without imagining-” She quickly cut herself off as her petite hands shot down from her head to cover her mouth as cerulean eyes bulged in fear. No, she would not say it to him, no!
“Without imagining what? Misty, you’re not making sense!” Behind the obvious anger floating in his eyes, Misty’s gaze lingered on his own for longer than necessary, and she could easily read the hurt shining through. It made her feel guilty. The cerulean eyed girl tucked her chin into her chest to avoid making eye contact. After getting to know her boyfriend the way she did, though, she should have expected this tiny action to register poorly with him.His rapid steps toward her and the gripping of her shoulders by his powerful hands should not have been so shocking.
“Let go,” she whispered weakly, knowing that internally she was breaking down bit by bit. Pure anger and danger never could drive Misty the way Gary’s heartbreak and pain easily could. Particularly when it was her own fault at causing him even the slightest injury.
“Not until you tell me what the hell just happened!” It was impossible to break from his hold when Gary’s mind was set, physically or mentally. Add to her already crumbing resolve and you had the Misty Waterflower few but family and close friends knew. The Misty Waterflower who could be as fragile as porcelain.
“G-Gary,” the redhead’s voice quivered softly, eyes still locked onto the particles of sand caving in around their feet. The simple prickle at the corners of her eyes clicked within her psyche and slowly leaning forward into the chest before her. The redhead felt salty water tickle her cheeks as she started tearing. Above her, the spiky haired teen watched the actions below with a frazzled expression, thrown for a loop. Was Misty . . . crying?
“Misty . . . Misty, what’s wrong? What’s going on with you?” No longer a bundle of frenzied nerves, the youngest Oak naturally released his captive’s shoulders and instead hugged her to his chest securely. Logical thoughts started passing through the brunette’s mind as he tried to search for an explanation while the redhead stayed silent. How did losing a match create a no-touch zone between them? Was Misty that distraught by the loss to their fellow gym leader that she was denying him for not caring enough about the issue?
“Hey,” he calmly cooed, “are you really that upset? I swear I’ll go find Volkner right now and pummel him if it’ll-”
“No,” the water type trainer mumbled into his chest. She brought her arms forward to cuddle her boyfriend closer to her and felt his cotton shirt start absorbing her salty tears. He was so stupid to think this was still about Volkner and her lost match, but honestly who could blame him? It was all she’d talked about for an hour before lashing out at him. There was no way he’d know about her inner turmoil, considering how well she’d managed to keep it from him.
Slowly, the male rubbed comforting circles into her back since she was no longer snapping at him and keeping a rifted distance between them.Yet, Misty knew that he was fretting above her. What just happened would not be forgotten or dropped until an explanation was provided . . .
Gathering her nerves and hoping beyond the universe that Arceus was watching out for her, the aqua eyed girl took in a shallow breath before raising her red and blotched features to the perfect and chiseled ones watching her carefully. Opening her mouth with a miniscule amount of courage, Misty whispered,
“I love you.” That was difficult, but the water type Pokemon trainer knew she had to continue. “I’ve been in love with you for a while, and I can’t keep being with you the way we have been until I know how that makes you feel.”
It was like watching a movie. The former researcher’s eyes blanked out before widening as his eyebrows lifted. This was followed by a furrowing of said brows and narrowing eyes until finally they settled back to curiously surprised and gentle.
“You . . . love me?” he questioned lightly, testing the words she was sure he knew she’d never spoken to him before. Nodding once, they continued to observe each other in their own, contemplative worlds. The wind was waving Gary’s spikes just as she was sure it was twisting through her fringe, cooling their heated skin in the fading summer sun as they clung to each other.
And then, in a moment, a small smile perked his lips before he kissed her with a fervor they often saved for the privacy of their homes. Unsure of whether this was the appropriate response to such a confession, the ginger haired gym leader chose to lose herself in the atmosphere and return the lip lock with equal force. Her eyes fell closed and nothing filled her head but the heat rolling off of his face and body. His tender motions as he caressed her lips while his hands did the same to her waist, coupled with the breeze, all sent chills down the back of her neck.
Then the tall leader of Viridian Gym broke their kiss to hug the girl in his arms tightly and rest his chin on her shoulder. She could feel his smile as his leaned in as close as possible to her ear and whispered,
“Good, because I love you too.” A kiss to her auditory organ and she let a strangled laugh. He loved her too? Was this a dream? Did he even know what that meant to her? He felt the same, emotions beyond liking and dating?
“I have for a long time now. And I’m glad you feel the same.” He affectionately spoke, blissfully running a finger down her spine. Shivering in pleasure, Misty willed herself to pull away from Gary’s grasp to stare him down in seriousness. There was a yearning to know whether he was being playful or if he understood her sincere implications.
“I’m not joking. I love you. Truly.” Emphasizing her words, the aqua eyed teen slowly pressed her lips to his as she raised her hand to rest over his heart. “As in, I want to spend my life with you.”
“I’m okay with that.” He smirked at her, but there was a genuine joy playing in his eyes. It seemed that despite his joking tone, the emotions were understood as his own hand landed on top of hers. “I could happily spend my life with you so long as you never stop being you.” Lacing their fingers together, the girl let tears fall from her eyes again, though this time in elation.
Gary Oak really loved her. Just as she loved him.
They kissed again, mumbling back another round of heartfelt ‘I love yous’ as the sun edged over the horizon to allow night to take over their beachy enclave.