Chapter 7: Questions
“. . . Did you know I was allergic to carrots and peppers?” she questioned out of the blue, playing with the strands of chocolate that were splayed across his forehead. Taking his glance from the pages of his grandfather’s research paper in his hand to the pretty redhead above him, the addressed male raised a brow and blinked twice before an awkward smile graced his lips.
“Umm, no. But I guess I do now?” he flummoxed. Being cradled in this particular girl’s lap was both a soothing retreat and a calculated risk. As comfortable and relaxing as it was resting on Misty Waterflower’s legs, should he say something in the slightest wrong manner, his beautiful face would be sporting bruises. “Is there a reason for this piece of information you’ve suddenly thrown out there?”
She shrugged her shoulders, continuing with her ministrations as she stared blankly ahead at the murmuring television, not really paying attention to the news. “I don’t know, I was just thinking . . . we don’t really know all the little things about each other, you know? Even if we’ve been dating for a few months. So I wanted to share.” Her thoughts were simply as she stated them, a curiosity. Her companion deemed that a reasonable reply and returned to the material in his hand.
“So that was some strange variation of twenty questions you started playing?” he mused, trying to make sense of his grandfather’s proposal. He wasn’t being antagonistic with the remark, it was just a default for him to mock situations in which his control was cut.
“It’s only like twenty questions if two people share,” she replied with a pout, miffed that he was judging her randomness when he actually wasn’t. The green eyed gym leader’s attention was caught by the comment and he lowered his work again to stare at her face above him.
“So ask me a question. Anything at all.” His voice was all innocence, not the least bit concerned at what she’d want to know. Gary had little to hide from his beloved girlfriend, especially after pining for her for so long and dealing with all the friend-baggage that they’d been through. It honestly intrigued the brunette to see her Cerulean gym leader’s train of thoughts, considering his impression was that they in fact knew each other very well. She, on the other hand, looked down at him in confusion, clearly not expecting an information session with her boyfriend on his couch behind his gym in Viridian City on a quiet Wednesday evening.
“Okay. Umm do you know my favorite color?” she tentatively tested the waters, trying to break the ice with her suddenly questionless mind. Misty felt the man with the cinnamon spikes below her shake with an easy laugh, depositing his work on the floor beside the couch and watching her solely.
“Too easy. It used to be cerulean, the color of the ocean here and most of the water Pokemon you own. Now it’s yellow, the pastel kind.” To say the ginger haired girl was shocked was an understatement. When had she ever mentioned that her favorite color had changed to him? Arceus, she never even recalled telling him her previous favorite color! It seemed her fellow gym leader was a mind reader too because he was answering her next set of questions without even being asked.
“No, you never told me your favorite colors, FYI, but it wasn’t hard to guess. Besides your travel clothes and swimsuits, basically everything you own was in cerulean blue. And I know your choice of color changed recently because of Tracey. He’d mentioned to me some time ago that you’d really been inspired by the yellow tulips Delia had brought over and wanted to paint your walls that color.” During his explanation, Gary had opted to take Misty’s free hand into his own and start playing with her fingers like a spacey Skitty.
“Oh.” Not the most intelligent of replies, but the water Pokemon trainer couldn’t do much else. She never knew he was so perceptive. It made her feel a little embarrassed.
“Since this is twenty questions Misty Style, it’s now my turn,” he declared quickly, giving her little time to build up a counterargument. A glint had found its way into his charming forest eyes as he proceeded to kiss her hand and smirk in his Gary-esque fashion.
“Since I know you know my favorite color, I won’t waste time asking that.” She held back a nervous giggle, debating his comment as truth. She was pretty sure his favorite color was purple, but with his recent wardrobe changes delving into monochromatic blacks and greys, there was a possibility she was wrong. “What’s my favorite time of day?” he smoothly demanded, feather soft touches being bestowed on her knuckles now. She couldn’t help the blush at his actions, but replied to him with little hesitation. This was an easy question.
“Midnight and the wee hours of the morning,” was her answer as she pulled away both her small hands from the youngest Oak and crossed her arms in mock anger. The redhead didn’t want him thinking he’d one upped her with his touchy tactics.
“Ooh, impressive. I was sure you wouldn’t recall,” the former researcher complimented.
“Don’t doubt me,” she stuck her tongue out. Her hands returned from above and stroked his cheeks mechanically as she looked out his curtained window into the depth of the Viridian Forest near the edge of town. Her expression became wistful as she explained the reasons to him in the same manner he had to her. “It helps you think of strategies for gym battles and conclusions for your grandpa’s research.” Smiling to no one in particular, she added a final note.
“You also like exploring the darkness. It soothes your nerves. Especially when Umbreon’s around.” He gave a small whistle and reached up momentarily to tap her nose.
“And you said we don’t really know little things about each other, suuurrrreee.” His sarcasm earned him a light smack, but he laughed it off. Her love taps were always worth a few stray words of joking.
“I’m serious!” she quipped. “Like I have no idea about you sometimes. I don’t know if you wanna travel the world for adventure if given the chance or whether you’d happily settle down as a hermit on Mt. Moon and study Clefairy scat for signs of evolutionary predispositions until your dying days! I don’t know what makes you tick and what warms your heart! I don’t even know anything about your childhood other than Ash’s one-sided stories,” her nervous voice continued, trying to get him to understand her bundle of emotions instead of teasing her about it. The message seemed lost on the male as he chuckled again and answered her example questions in order.
“I’d rather travel with you by my side everywhere, but as long as you’re with me on Mt. Moon, I’d be a Clefairy scat hunter too. You know exactly what makes me tick and you’re all the warmth my heart can handle,” he dramatically joked again, referring to her ‘firecracker’ nickname and temperament. Her flush turned into a pout at this, but she let him speak further uninhibited. “As for my childhood, I think you’d rather hear that from Gramps seeing as he was there for it all and I’d rather not recount all my embarrassments from my younger years.” His tone on this topic held finality.
The ginger haired girl huffed in exasperation, not really liking his answers but still gaining insights from them all the same. She was about to ask another question but Gary was quick to remind her of their shared turn taking.
“Alright Miss Waterflower, you got like a million questions in that round, but I’ll overlook that fact if you answer this: what are your feelings towards a certain Ash Ketchum?” Though he let it come out in humorous tone, Gary watched his fellow gym leader’s face sincerely, curiosity about this topic that’s been killing him from day one. Once upon a time, long before he’d really come to know of this girl’s existence and the meaning it would hold to him now, she was the sidekick of his greatest rival in Pokemon training.
“Ash?” she repeated in surprise, not expecting the Pokemon Master-in-Training to appear in this conversation topic. “Well, Ash is . . .” she paused and let her wayward thoughts try to morph into relatable adjectives. Unconsciously Misty looked away from Gary’s awaiting gaze back to the window as her index finger began doodling on the former trainer’s t-shirt clad chest.
“Ash is . . . I guess Ash was my first best friend,” the cerulean eyed girl smiled, “my first adventure, my first pillar of hope, my first love . . . And my first mistake,” she nodded at her thoughts, as if that came out just as she intended it. Gary’s eyes widened a bit at the choice of descriptives (not what he’d thought she’d say) but the cinnamon haired male didn’t dare interrupt. He instead took her fingers between his own and squeezed her hand softly. She still didn’t look at him though.
“I’m not sure how to explain it to you Gary, but I had a lot of things that were special with Ash, a ton of my firsts. But in the end he was also an illusion of what my girlish, ten year old self had romantically fantasized about. And my mistake was to hang onto his ten year old self and expect a fairytale happily ever after. For four long years, mind you.” In the end, her watery eyes landed on the youngest Oak’s enlarged ones, returning the squeeze on her fingers with delayed time.
“But because of that, I managed to find not only a lifelong friend, but a man who does love me just like in fairytales.” Her smiles were always radiant, but the Viridian gym leader decided that none could match the earnest display his tomboyish girlfriend was giving him right this second. Furrowing his manicured brows, the brunette spoke gently.
“Thank Mew that Ketchum is such an idiot for overlooking you then. Because that made me the luckiest man in the universe.” There was no jest to his words and no snarky facial gestures, but they flustered Misty all the same. When he got like this, so serious and manly and sexy and romantic, the redhead felt utterly shy and in need of maneuvering to a different topic.
“And don’t you forget it Oak! But being all lovey dovey doesn’t mean you’re done playing!” The water Pokemon trainer tapped his chest with a trapped index finger to enhance her point. “Anyway, my turn again: what’s my favorite activity?”
Gary was sure this was Arceus giving him a freebee as he chuckled at her diversion. His large hands reached up towards her face and curved around her cheeks at a slight angle before gently pulling her face toward his. He tantalizingly brought their lips together, watching the redhead’s eyes flutter closed and succumbing to him. Their kiss wasn’t fiery and intense, but it definitely wasn’t chaste and fleeting either. It was a subtle hint of wanting within patient lip touching but before the youngest Waterflower could get too caught up in the moment, her partner pulled away and smirked at her.
“That is,” he whispered seductively. “And this.” His lips returned to hers after the comment with the addition of his fingers skimming down her cheek and neck, across the curve of her breast and waist to settle teasingly on her hipbone. He could feel her lips curving upward as she helped him slide up to the armrest of the couch and simultaneously turned and lowered herself so their bodies were aligned comfortably on the small sitting space. Gary allowed Misty to distance herself so she could press kisses to his neck while his hands traveled to her bum and secured her to him. She blew cool air onto each burning spot her kisses left near his jugular before her words were mumbled into him.
“Hmm, always were quick to catch on, weren’t you?” she purred against his delicate skin. The green eyed gym leader kissed the top of Misty’s flame colored hair and pulled his hands north so he could squish her around the midsection, hugging her possessively.
“I’m a genius remember?” Laughing with him instead of the expected whack, the youngest Oak took her positive mood as a sign to continue in a way that would please her. “But so are you for inventing this style of twenty questions.” Gary proceeded to collide lips again with no retaliation from the girl above him.
“You can tell me facts and ask questions every night,” he puffed against her lips.‘As long as it always ends like this,’ was their mutual, unspoken thoughts.