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The One
Chapter 15
Amazingly, it had only been one day since Ash, Misty, and Brock had woken up inside of the Mt. Silver Landing pokemon center to a beautiful spring morning, the morning after they had arrived in the small city.  Once again, it was another beautiful morning, bright and early.  Moist dew still clung to the short blades of newly sprung grass on the gently rolling land near the top of the mountain.  The landscape was so serene that it almost seamed like a perfectly normal morning near the crest of Mt. Silver.
  But nature is full of mystery, and the pokemon knew better than to believe her tranquil facade, for each and every woodland creature knew what had taken place.  It was an instinct to know when the balance of nature had been tampered with, but this morning, they had evidence to prove it, lying on the soft baby grass at the mountain peak.

  Ash: [slowly opening eyes] "Huh?...Pikachu, what time is it?"
  Ash slowly sat up from his position on the hard terrain.  If it weren't for the new spring growth, he would have woken up with aches and pains all over.  He didn't even bother to smooth the wrinkles out his black t-shirt or run a hand through his somewhat tangled smoky hair.  From his sitting position, still slightly slumped forward and rubbing his eyes to get the sleepy dust out, he was unaware of the imprint he left upon the vivid greenery below him.  Much less, he was momentarily unaware of the events that had taken place just one day before.
  Ash: [opening his eyes once again] "Pika...chu? Oh no, I thought it was all a dream!"
  He quickly stood up and spun around to take in the entire scene.  He remembered everything.  Arriving in the small city, meeting that 'unique' Nurse Joy, learning of the mysterious presence of Team Rocket, coming to the Rocket base, and seeing that creature.
  ~Was the creature healed?  How did we escape?  Wait, where are the others?~
  Ash looked around frantically again.  He also remembered meeting the man who dissapeared from his life ten years ago, a man he never imagined he would see again, much less learn that he became the leader of Team Rocket.
  Ash: "Dad?  Where are you?"
  But he wasn't the only person here he cared about.
  Ash: "Brock? Hello, Brock?"
  There was Brock too, and Pikachu.  Where were they?  But they weren't the only ones.  His father, his friends, and...her.
  Ash: [to himself] "Misty...MISTY? Where are you?"
  Ash grew really scared when he thought of Misty.  The scene was all coming back to him now...

~Ash: [weakly] "Is Steel, Steelakazing...alright."
   Misty: "He'll be okay. Don't you worry Ash...I'm here."~

  Ash: "Misty!"
  Ash was about to run down the mountain in search of her, of anyone who could help him find her and the others.  Misty was gone, Pikachu, Brock, his dad, everyone was missing.  He had to find help, until...
  Ash: [turning back around] "Huh?"
  Behind where he had been lying earlier, there was a small dip, almost like a small hill that rolled down before it continued up to the peak of the mountain, which was not very far away.  Ash stepped past his earlier spot and peered over the side of the very small hill.  Sure enough, the sun touched one spot at the base of the hill, illuminating the firey, coppery red tresses of a beautiful fallen angel.
  Ash: "Misty. Misty!"
  Ash rushed down the small hill and jumped half way down,
landing with a thud right by her side.  Scared she was hurt, he
was afraid to touch her delicate skin or move her in any way. 
He gently nugged her and continued to call her name.
  Ash: "Misty?"
  Misty opened her eyes fully and looked up for the first time that
morning.  This had to be a dream.  The last time she saw this boy,
he was practically lifeless in her lap, until...
  ~I remember...~
  Misty: [tears in her eyes] "Ash, is that really you?"
  Ash: "Ash? No Misty, this is like, one of your totally cool sisters from the Cerulean gym.  Like, go water pokemon, and some stuff."
  Misty: [sitting upright and hitting Ash on the head] "How dare you make fun of me when just a little while ago we all thought you were dead?!"
  Ash: "D, dead?"
  Misty: [softening up] "Yes.  You were lying in my lap, so lifeless, when all of a sudden the room started to collapse and..."
  Ash: "What happened?"
  Misty: "You really don't remember, do you?"
  Ash: "Well if I was half dead like you said, I don't guess I'd remember to much."
  Misty: [fuming] "What?!"
  Ash: "I'm sorry.  I'm just trying to lighten the mood."
  Misty: "It's okay.  Anyway, the creature, that monster Ursuring thing, it defused back into Steelix, Alakazam, and Ursuring."
  Ash: "Yeah?"
  Misty: "The three joined back up with the pokemon and they were all about to go back into the tunnel to take them back into the mountain when the room started to collapse."
  Ash: [gasp]
  Misty: "They all turned around and looked at you, and saw your lifeless body. [starting to cry] They looked at each other, then they all started to glow again."
  Ash: "Misty...[reaching up to wipe a tear off her cheek]"
  Misty: [looking at the ground] "Alakazam stepped up, and with all of their power together, they transported you and the rest of us out to safety on the top of this mountain.  It was there way of thanking you. [looking back up at him] You know, you were the one who saved us all."
  Ash smiled. "You're wrong about that."
  Misty: "What do you mean?"
  Ash: "It was you, because you were the one who saved me."
  Misty: "Oh Ash..."
  The two teens were really close now, looking deeply into each other's eyes, trying to find some sense in everything that had happened to them in that incredibly short amount of time, yet the longest day of their lives.  Misty broke the stare by letting go of her emotions, perhaps for the first time, and falling into Ash's embrace.
  Ash held her there for a short time, letting her cry out all of her pent up tears and sadness while he held her gently and stroked her beautiful hair.  It had fallen out of its pony-tail some time during the past day or night.  He always loved those rare times when her hair was fully down and given its full honor for being so beautiful.  Needless to say he had no intention of letting her put it back up.
  Misty: [rising up from their embrace] "Thanks Ash."
  Ash: [smiling] "Hey, what are friends for?"
  Misty: [looking a little disheartened] "Is that what we are?"
  Ash: "What do you mean?"
  Misty: "Well, I mean, just friends?"
  Misty looked into his eyes again, those eyes that were just barely above her level of sight.  She explored them, trying to find a truthful answer and hoping at the same time that he could read hers without her having to speak.  Usually he was so bad at reading her, but maybe just this once, after everything they went through, it wasn't too much to ask for another miracle.
  She never dreamed that she would get the answer that she received.  There were no words.  Only true emotions that had been kept hidden for too long.
  Ash got up and helped Misty to her feet.  He stepped close to her,
their bodies so close they were lightly touching.  They could almost
feel each other's hearts beating rapidly, faster and faster as the intensity
of the moment built up.  Their heads moved closer, a natural force taking
over so that even if they had wanted to move, their bodies would not
allow it.  Not when they were finally so close.
  And then it happened.  Their lips touched for the first time.  It was a soft,
light kiss, lasting but a mere moment, but it was more than either could have
wished for and it was just enough for them to finally know how the other truly felt.
They parted again, almost reluctantly, and smiled sweetly while gazing into the other's beautiful eyes...
  Brock: [crying] "That...was so...sniff...beautiful...waaaahhh!"
  Ash/Misty: [still embracing but looking over] "Huh?!"
  Giovanni: "Oh, my little boy is all grown up now!"
  Ash/Misty: [glowing from embarrassment] "..."
  Pikachu: "Pikapi Kachupi, pika chuka pi, pika,chuka, pi pi pi/Ash and Misty, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g..."
  Ash: "H, how much, did you all see?"
  Joy: "Well, pretty much, well let's see, the whole thing!"
  Giovanni: "We didn't want to interupt you. It just didn't seem right. [reminising] Ah, young love..."
  Brock: [poking fun] "Our little Ashy and Mist are all grown up."
  Ash/Misty: "Hey, I'm the only one who can call her/him Mist/Ashy. [looking at each other, blushing] Wa?!"
  Joy: "Well, shall we be heading home now?"
  Ash: "Home?  What are you talking about?"
  Brock: "Oh yeah, you all don't know.  This morning, Giovanni and I went to find help, and don't worry Ash, he filled me in on the whole his being your dad thing.  So anyway, we got all the pokemon back to the pokemon center, and it turns out one of Joy's sisters had come to help her yesterday and they said she was free to go."
  Joy: "I never really wanted to be there anyway.  I mean, I love pokemon, but what I really want to do is be a water pokemon breeder."
  Misty: [letting go of Ash, stars in her eyes] "You love water pokemon? I'm a co-leader of the Cerulean City water pokemon gym!"
  Joy: "No way!"
  Misty: "Way!"
  Joy: "You have to tell me all about it on our way back to Pallet Town."
  Misty: "You're coming with us?!"
  Joy: "Yeah!"
  Misty: "This is so cool! We can talk about water pokemon all the time! Oh Joy, you and I are going to be such good friends."
  Joy: [removing a pink wig and blue contacts] "Call me Shakira.  Joy is my middle name and what I went by for the pokemon center.  I really have blond hair and brown eyes too, but I had to look the part ya know."
  Misty: [arm in arm with Shakira, already walking down the mountain path] "That is such a pretty name! So what's your favorite water pokemon..."
  From the sidelines, Brock, Giovanni, Pikachu, and Ash could only sweat-drop.
  Brock: "Ahh, girls...Gotta love um."
  Giovanni: "They are a handfull."
  Ash: "Just two seconds ago, she was all over me.  Now its like I don't exist."
  Giovanni: "Son, that is how women are.  You just need to get used to it.  But you know, there comes a time in every couples lives..."
  Ash: [eyes wide with terror] "Oh no, not that talk! Hey Misty, wait for me!"
  Ash took off as fast as he could in the direction that Misty and Shakira had just gone.
  Pikachu: [taking off after Ash] "Pikapi, pika PIka/Ash, wait for me!"
  Brock and Giovanni just chuckled at Ash's innocence.  The new little couple was still very young, and unknowing to them, had many challenges to face in the future.  But for now, they were able to just enjoy life together, being kids for just a few more fleeting years.
  Brock: [to Giovanni] "Are you ready to go back?"
  Giovanni: "Yes, but it's not going to be easy.  Team Rocket is bound to catch up to me someday, especially with their ruthless head master."
  Brock: "But I thought..."
  Giovanni: "That I ran Team Rocket? No, I was only second in command.  But I will save that for another day, perhaps when we are back in Pallet Town.  I must admit though, I am a little worried about my reception from Mrs. Ketchum."
  Brock: "I wouldn't worry about it."
  Giovanni: "And why do you say that?"
  Brock: "Because of what you told me about Ash and Misty."
  Giovanni: [looking at Brock] "What was that?"
  Brock: "Their love is beautiful, a real rarity at such a young age, but only can time and hardship test its validity. Only after adversity will true love be known, and that is love that never dies."
  Giovanni: "I'm impressed you actually listened to my babbling on the way to town, much less that you remember all that."
  Brock: "Ash can tell you that I'm a hopeless romantic, or at least obsessed with the opposite gender.  I'll find that love someday."
  Giovanni: [to himself, smiling] "Maybe sooner than you know."
  Brock: "What was that?"
  Giovanni: "Oh nothing."
  Brock: "Anyway, Ash has told me things that his mother told him you all went through when you were younger, and you made it through.  He said that even when you were gone, she still talked about you with hope that one day you would come back.  So that's how I figured that you won't have to worry about her not accepting you, because the way it sounds, she accepts you for who you are."
  Giovanni turned to Brock in amazement at the boy's wise words, but Brock was already heading down the hill to catch up with his friends.
  He smiled and turned to take one last look from the top of the mountain.  He saw such beauty from the breathtaking view, and in every glance he was reminded of the beauty of his own wife's generosity and compassion, Pikachu's faith in his master and friend, Shakira's healing touch, Brock's wisdom, Misty's loving heart, and his son's bravery and determination.  He saw so much of his mother in him.
  In his final moment on the mountain, a peace settled in his soul, a tranquility that he had not known for ten years.
  Ash: [faintly in the distance] "Dad, let's go! We wanna get back to Pallet!"
  Giovanni: [turning to start down the hill with a smile] "Alright Ash.  Let's go home." 

Back to Your Heart
Back to Your Heart