Misty awoke to the sound of panting and heavy footsteps. Blinking the sleep out of her eyes, she cast a bleary glance in the direction of the sounds. It was none other than the Pokémon Master to be, Ash Ketchum. At first she was confused as to why Ash was awake before she was until she realized the sun had risen well above their campsite and it was nearly noon. Gasping at the waste of a morning, Misty stumbled out of her sleeping bag and quickly jumped up.
"Uh… You okay, Mist?" Ash's husky voice sounded from behind her and she quickly turned around to face him. Only then did she realize that Ash had stripped off his usual black shirt and was using it to mop the sweat off his face after training with his Pokémon. Flustered, Misty busied herself with her morning rituals, trying to make sure Ash didn't see the spreading blush creep across her pale face.
"Oh, y-yeah. I just didn't realize what time it was, I can't believe I slept this late." Misty stammered trying not to stare at his bare upper body.
"We traveled a long way yesterday, I don't blame ya! I would've slept longer myself if my stomach didn't tell me to get up." Ash smiled cheekily and Brock scoffed, appearing behind him.
"Yeah, and he ate almost all of our food, I managed to save you some, Misty, but we should probably get going soon to make it to the next town and be able to get a room at the Poké Center." Brock concluded, handing Misty a tin of some scrambled eggs, toast, and a few strips of bacon. Misty sighed quietly and began to pick at her breakfast. She was certainly happy to be traveling with her friends; she loved the new places they visited, seeing the new Pokémon, especially the water-type of course. She was just in an inner turmoil because the older they got the more she realize how strong her feelings were for a certain raven haired boy, no man, now. Her eyes traveled over to where Ash sat, watching Pikachu practice Iron Tail on a nearby boulder. His shirt was still off, lying in a damp heap at Ash's feet. She couldn't help but admire how dedicated to his Pokémon he was, he always had been. She inwardly groaned as Ash stood up, she watched his muscles bunch up and then straightened out, as he stood tall. He walked over to the stream that stretched on behind him and dunked his dirty shirt into the water. It was now sopping wet, thankfully it was a rather warm, fall afternoon, and Ash put the shirt back on where it clung to him, showing every divot and curve of muscle.
"Hey, Misty, you've got a bit of drool hanging out of your mouth." Brock's deep voice scared Misty and she quickly tore her eyes off of Ash and glared at Brock.
"Shut up, Brock." She hissed, feeling more than embarrassed and Brock just snickered.
"When will you kids ever learn…" He sighed wistfully and cast a glance over at Misty.
"Brock, I'm twenty, I'm hardly a kid anymore." Misty retorted defiantly.
"Well, be that as it may, then why are you guys still playing the 'flirting-and-not-realizing-we're-flirting' game like you're back to being thirteen?" Brock asked with a smirk on his face. There was no point in denying it to Brock, he already knew, he'd known since she and Ash were ten, or so he says.
"Well, it's not as easy as just admitting it." Misty said sourly and Brock looked at her sympathetically.
"You should know I know that," Brock sighed, "But from the way things are going, you guys are going to keep doing this back and forth thing for years to come until one of you finds someone else." Brock stated and Misty knew he was right, it was a 'now or never' kind of thing. Brock suddenly piped up again, "And what a waste it would be if you guys didn't get together! Do something about it, Misty; I would be let down if it didn't happen. It would be a tragedy, a waste!" He ended dramatically and Misty rolled her eyes but understanding the truth in his words.
"What would be a waste?" Ash questioned, bounding over to them with Pikachu opting out by running instead of sitting on his shoulder because he didn't want to get his paws wet. Misty nearly fell over at the thought of Ash overhearing the conversation she just had with Brock.
"Nothing." Misty said quickly and at the same time Brock said, "You'll find out," and winked at a puzzled looking Ash. Ash just shrugged it off, gathering his things in his old, green backpack. Misty groaned and eyed Brock scathingly who seemed to be purposefully ignoring her. Sighing, she rolled up her sleeping bag and gathered the rest of her things so she was ready to travel.
The trio finally reached the town over from where they had made camp the previous night, and booked a room for later in the evening. It was nearing dinnertime and they were looking for a reasonably priced restaurant to eat at to give Brock a rest from cooking. After washing up and getting changed out of their dirty clothing, they set off into the town and found a fine bar and grill called Charmander's Flame. Ash and Brock went ahead to see how long the wait was and Misty walked slower, taking in all the little shops and sites in the town. She decided to pull her hair out of her usually ponytail and let it hang loose around her shoulders. As Misty approached the area where they were waiting to be seated, she saw Ash chatting with a far too friendly brunette girl. Misty didn't know what they were talking about but the girl kept touching Ash's arm and flipping her hair back while Ash smiled at her. Misty fumed and resisted the urge to go and whack the girl in the face. Brock made eye contact with her and made a shooing motion to her to go to Ash and Misty sighed. She tried hard not to stomp over to the pair but she rather quickly reached them.
"Hey, Ash, how's it going, how long is the wait to go eat?" Misty barged in, ignoring the girl who had been cut off mid sentence.
"Oh, hey Mist! It's about twenty minutes before we eat." Ash said with a smile and then the girl interrupted.
"Excuse me, but we're having a conversation here." She snapped at Misty and she tried very hard not to lose her temper in front of strangers.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Misty apologized though her voice was dripping with sarcasm, "I wasn't aware."
"This is Abigail, by the way, Mist. She was just talking to me about-" Ash started and then was cut off by Abigail.
"I was just saying how we should be alone." She said coldly and Misty pulled a face.
"My pleasure. Enjoy her, Ash." Misty turned quickly and stalked away, leaving a confused looking Ash. Misty slumped back over to where Brock was seated and sighed in defeat.
"I'm probably too late, Brock. He doesn't feel the same way, he'll find someone else and… that's that…" Misty trailed off and Brock put a sympathetic arm around her and said, "I wouldn't give up just yet." As soon as he finished his sentence, Misty looked up to see Ash standing in front of her.
"Hey… You wanna come with me for a minute? We'll be right back, Brock." Ash asked and nodded to Brock and Misty begrudgingly got up. She had a small ounce of satisfaction as she saw Abigail staring daggers at her and Ash as he led them out of the waiting room and onto the sidewalk outside the restaurant.
"What did you need, Ash?" Misty asked flatly, looking at the tanned boy in front of her.
"Well, you seemed upset… I wanted to make sure you were okay…" Ash shuffled awkwardly and Misty felt like she was being pitied.
"I'm fine. You can go back to Abigail now, I'm sure she'll be missing you." Misty spat out her words and turned to leave only to be stopped by Ash's hand on her shoulder.
"No, wait. I don't want to go back to Abigail…" Ash answered and rubbed the back of his neck nervously.
"Well, she certainly seemed better than I am to talk to so, just go, you don't need to worry about me, I'm fine." Misty finished, crossing her arms across her chest.
"She's not better than you, don't say that. She's just some random girl who was talking to-"
"She's some random girl who you'll probably want to go off with." Misty blurted out, interrupting Ash.
"What?" Ash asked in confusion and Misty felt like slapping her hands over her mouth for saying that. "Why would I want to go off with her?"
"Because she's better…" Misty whispered dejectedly and slumped her shoulders.
"How could she be better than you?" Ash murmured, glancing down at Misty.
"Maybe not her, but you'll find someone better…" Misty was barely audible at this point and she felt utterly defeated and embarrassed. To her surprise and anger, Ash gave a small chuckle and smiled at Misty's scowling face.
"Misty, if you think that's possible then you really doubt yourself."
"What?" Misty asked in confusion and Ash smiled at her.
"How was I supposed to know that the perfect girl actually liked me?" He whispered, stepping closer to Misty and making her shiver.
"I never said I liked you." Misty said stubbornly and Ash smiled and snickered. "And what do you mean you didn't know, are you that dense! I mean it was pretty obviously, Brock said he's known since we were, like ten and-" Misty's rant was ended by Ash placing a tender and nervous kiss on her lips.
"Shouldn't you know by now I'm a little oblivious?" Ash said with a small smirk and Misty rolled her eyes but then pulled him in for a hug.
"So... does this mean you like me?" Ash asked, actually sounding unsure of himself, even a little worried and Misty laughed.
"Yes, I think this would mean I like you, Mr. Pokémon Master. It took you long enough." Ash sighed and said, "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that. You're just, kind of intimidating, Mist!" Misty scowled.
"Oh, I suppose this is a new feeling for me that just conveniently worked out with perfect timing. And I am not intimidating!" Misty growled in defiance and Ash laughed.
"That's my Mist." He guided her chin up and planted a stronger kiss this time and Misty smiled; in a way, this had conveniently worked out and she was happy.