This is, of course, an AAML, meaning its an Ash and Misty story. I can't help it, I just love this couple. Comments are more than welcome. Enjoy!


Birthday Blues

For most people, a birthday is a great celebration of one more year of things done and things to do. For one red-headed, water Pokémon gym leader, however, it was a day that she would rather forget had arrived or ignore it all together. She did not feel this way about every birthday, but this one, in particular, was one she would rather miss.

Misty woke up in her bedroom, groggy and complaining as she looked at her clock. It was just past nine and she did not want to get up. Today was her birthday but, for reasons that she could not quite explain or did not want to, she did not feel much like celebrating. Misty tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but she knew that was not going to happen when someone began pounding on her door, especially when she heard the voice of the one doing the pounding.

"Misty! Misty-ee!" Daisy's voice rang from the other side, "Are you awake? Like, Misty, get up! For crying out loud, girl, it's your birthday! You think you could at least get up early for tha-at!"

Misty groaned more and pulled the covers over her head. She definitely did not want to deal with her sisters right now. Ignoring her little sister's pirvacy, Daisy then opened the door, walked right into her little sister's room, and stood next to her bed.

Daisy then folded her arms. "Misty, it's nine in the morning. You have five seconds to get up or I, like, drag you out from under there. Lily and Violet are waiting for us!"

Misty moved the covers and, in one amazingly fast motion, threw her pillow at Daisy, hitting her square in the face. Misty was not actually trying to hit Daisy, just get her to leave, though hitting her was an unexpected bonus. Misty then pulled the covers back over her head and Daisy growled as she stared at her sheet-covered little sister.

"Why you little…" Daisy said, holding the pillow, "That's it!"

Daisy then whacked Misty with the pillow as hard as she could. Misty growled, threw the sheets off, stood on her on bed, and leaned down a bit to get right in Daisy's face.

"Will you leave me alone?" Misty shouted.

"No!" Daisy shouted back, "We're, like, trying to take you out for your birthday, you brat! Now, get ready!"

"Did it ever occur to you that, since it's my birthday, I can spend it how I want?"

"And your way is asleep? Away from the outside?"

Her anger level plummeting down, Misty stepped down from the bed and sat on the edge and said, "Maybe."

"Like why?"

"Maybe… I just don't feel like going outside."

Seeing that there was more bothering her than she was letting on, Daisy sat down next to her. "Alright, now, like, the truth comes out. What's up, Misty?"

"Nothing." Misty was lying. She was hoping Daisy would not catch it.

No such luck.

"Come on, come on." Daisy kept on, rather determined, "Why so blue?"

Misty looked at her older sister, "Was that a lame water related joke?"

"Maybe…"

"That's a yes." Misty knows her sisters.

"Okay, it was. So, come on, before I make them worse and you, like, know that I can. Tell me what's up."

"I don't know." Misty sighed. "I just… feel different. I'm 21 now but I feel… I can't explain it."

Daisy sighed seeing the plight in her sister's eyes.

"Plus, Tony and I had a fight last night."

Daisy gasped. "Over what?"

Misty got up and walked toward her desk and pulled out a letter. It was from Ash and Brock, with a hand print at the end obviously made by Pikachu. She handed it to Daisy, who read it over. It simply stated that they were all doing well and Ash was up for another chance at the Johto League Championship in another month.

"So?" Daisy said.

Misty snatched the letter. "So, it means that they are still out there doing what they love doing and they are free to do it. And I'm… I'm stuck here."

"So, what does this have to do with Tony?" Daisy asked. Suddenly, she started smiling.

Upon noticing Daisy's imitation of a Cheshire cat, Misty asked, "What?"

"Did Tony find out that you are in love with Ash?"

Misty groaned while rolling her eyes. "No! He got mad because I told him I want to leave Cerulean and travel again. He went into a tirade about me not caring about him or his feelings or something like that. THAT'S what we argued about! And, for the fourteenth-millionth time, I am NOT in love with Ash!"

Daisy and the other girls would admit that they are nowhere near as smart as Misty but there were several things they knew as fact and could agree on: the sky is blue, water is wet, dirt is dirty, grass is green, Misty's Togepi was one of the most adorable things that they had ever seen and Misty loves Ash. They were all just waiting Misty to realize that last part, as well.

"So in love with him." Daisy stood up, "Well, whatever you two argued about, you shouldn't, like, lead Tony along. It's not fair when you're going to end up marrying Ash anyway."

Misty was going to argue with Daisy more until the latter threw a shirt in Misty's face.

"Get dressed. The other girls are waiting for us."

A little while later, Misty came down stairs in a t-shirt and blue jeans wearing her hair down long, as opposed to ponytail she used to have.

Once she grabbed her purse, Daisy asked, "Are you ready, little sis?"

"Yeah."

Just then, there was a knock at their door. Violet opened it to Tony standing there. Tony is, by all accounts, a good looking guy: blonde hair, green eyes, and great features. He had known Misty for a few years but they had only been dating for almost a year.

Tony walked in, holding a bouquet of flowers, "Hey, ladies."

"Hi, Tony," the girls said.

"Can I speak to Misty alone?" Tony asked.

"Oh, sure," answered Lily. She then began to push her other sisters out the door, "Let's give them a minute girls."

Lily was always in favor of Tony dating Misty as he was slightly rich and she felt that he was good for her. But, Lily had admitted to her sisters, sans Misty, that she also believed that Misty would be with Ash someday, anyway. Tony just seemed a good fit for now, Lily reasoned.

Once Misty's sisters were outside and away from the door, Misty folded her arms. "You think bringing me flowers is going to make up for everything you said last night?"

"I know and I'm sorry about all that."

"Yeah, but you said it."

Tony started to get a little upset. "Is being here so terrible?"

"Here we go…" Misty sighed, disgusted.

"What's wrong with here? What's wrong with staying here? In Cerulean? With me?"

Misty groaned. "It's not about you! It's not always about you! This is something that I'm dealing with! Me! And you don't seem to get that!"

Tony calmed down. "I'm sorry. I just…"

"You know what? Today is my birthday and I don't want to deal with you… or us, right now." Misty then opened the door. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going out with my sisters."

Misty then escorted him out and got in the car with her sisters.

Misty's sisters took Misty to her favorite store in Cerulean and bought her some dresses, their attempt to make her more a girl, though Misty did not need that much help in that department these days. Misty had gone from the tomboy that everyone knew to a quite the beauty, rivaling that of her sisters. However, she still had her Misty attitude that made her unique and, as evident to her t-shirt and jean ensemble today, she still loved her casual clothing. After taking her shopping, Daisy, Lily, and Violet took her to eat at her favorite restaurant downtown called Reggie's.

Later, after the girls had just finished eating, Daisy to turned to Misty and said, "So, Misty, how is your birthday so far?"

Misty finished off her desert. "Great. I'm actually glad you dragged me out of bed."

"Drug," Violet corrected.

"Dragged," Misty retorted.

"Drug," Lily said.

"Shut up," Misty fired at them both along with a smile.

"Anyway," Daisy said, "like I was going to say, we have a little surprise for you, Misty."

Misty looked at all of them and asked, "You guys? Surprise?"

"Yep," Daisy smiled.

"For me?" Misty asked.

Daisy giggled. "Of course."

"And you kept it a secret? From me?"

"I know, right?" Lily said, "Like, Violet almost blew it three times today."

Violet scoffed, "It was, like, your idea to have me…"

"Will you two stop?" Daisy asked.

Lily and Violet stopped arguing.

"Anyway, again, we managed to get you a couple of things. Close your eyes."

"Daisy…" Misty sighed, "I don't want Tony hopping out of somewhere."

"Well, it's a good thing we didn't ask him to be your surprise then. Now, your eyes. Close 'em. And put your hands over them."

Misty sighed again, not fully trusting her sisters to give her a good surprise, closed and covered her eyes, not expecting much. Misty loves her sisters but she cannot believe they can pull off a good surprise to save their lives.

A couple of minutes went by and Misty was starting to get anxious. "Daisy, when…?"

"Now," Daisy said.

Misty opened her eyes and she could not have opened them to a more welcomed sight if she had planned it herself. Standing before her was best friends in the world: Ash, Pikachu, and Brock.

"Happy birthday, Misty!" Ash and Brock said at the same time.

"Pika Pikachu!" Pikachu shouted.

Without word, being far too excited to speak, Misty hopped out of her chair and made a beeline for Ash, throwing her arms around his neck and pulling him in for a tight hug. She then grabbed Brock and Pikachu for a huge group hug, tears coming out of her eyes.

"All of you…" Misty breathed out, "You guys came. Just for me?"

They released their group embrace and Ash said, "Now, you didn't think that we would actually forget about your birthday, did you?"

"Give us some credit," said Brock, "We're only been your friends for what? Ten years, now."

"Pika Pika," Pikachu said. He then hopped into Misty's arms, causing her to gently hug Pikachu back.

"He's been on a natural high ever since we made the plan to surprise you," Ash said.

"And he wasn't the only one," Brock said, lightly elbowing Ash, which prompted Ash to punch Brock in the arm.

Misty laughed at them, wiped tears from her eyes, "How long you guys here?"

"Until tomorrow," answered Brock, "We head back to Sinnoh so Ash can compete in a new Hardcore League that they started there."

"Says a lot if you're the first champion, ya know," Ash said.

"Think you're good enough?" Misty joked.

Ash chuckled, "I know I am. And Pikachu," he looks at it in Misty's arms, "although you can't tell by looking at him now, is tougher than any Pokémon we're bound to run into."

Misty snuggled up with Pikachu, "But he's so cute."

"Piiiikaaaa," Pikachu cooed.

Ash rolled his eyes, "Like he needed to hear that."

"I'm a little sad that I only get you guys for today though," Misty said.

"Well, we better make the most of it, then," Ash said. He then took Misty's hand, much to her surprise, and said, "Let's go."

Misty looked back at her sisters.

"Don't look at us. Go," said Daisy.

"You, like, see us all the time," Violet said.

"Totally," Lily chimed in, "Have fun."

"And happy birthday, little sis," Daisy said.

Misty let go of Ash and lifted Pikachu up to her shoulders and went and hugged her sisters. She had never been more grateful to them in her life.

"Thanks a million, girls," Misty said.

"You're wasting time with us, Misty," Daisy said, "Now, like, go on."

After they hugged, she left arm and arm with Ash and Brock, noticeably resting her head on Ash's shoulder.

Daisy smiled and breathed a huge sigh of relief. She was thrilled that she could actually make Misty happy, and was really glad because she could tell that she just helped Misty's birthday a good one.

As Daisy thought about all of this, Violet said, "So, like, what now?"

They all looked at each other and all shouted, simultaneously, "SHOPPING!"

For the next few hours, Misty could not have been happier since she got to be with her guys. She eventually just ignored the fact that she was only going to be with them for just the one day. She soon even forgot the depression she was feeling earlier. At this point, it really did not matter.

They all eventually got hungry again and stopped at a restaurant to eat.

While they were at there, Brock held up a glass and said, "To Misty, our best friend. Happy birthday and many more."

"Here, here," Ash said.

"Pika!" Pikachu cheered.

Misty giggled. "Thanks, you guys."

They then all took drinks from their glasses.

"So, how is the journey going?" Misty asked.

Ash and Brock flashed quick smiles at each other.

"It's going alright," Brock answered.

"The occasional adventure here and there," Ash said, "Team Rocket every now and again."

Misty was surprised. "Their still together?"

"More or less. They just run around getting into trouble and we have to bail them out."

Misty giggled. "Sounds like you guys have a lot of fun."

"Not as much as we used to have," Brock said, "which actually brings us to our next question."

"Huh?" Misty asked.

"Look, Mist," Ash said, "we know that you have your obligations here… but… well, the road just isn't the same without you along for the ride."

Misty was pleasantly surprised.

"Yeah," added Brock, "everyone else we've ever travelled with were cool but nothing compared to the original four of us."

"Pikachu!" Pikachu agreed.

Misty was shocked. She could not believe that had actually missed her and, even more so, they wanted her to go with them again. "You guys… want me with you again?"

"Well, yeah," Ash said, "you always keep things so interesting."

"Pika!" Pikachu agreed.

"Guys, I…" Misty said.

"Hey, look, you don't have to decide now," Brock said, "After the tournament in Sinnoh, we're gonna head back here and you can tell us then."

Misty thought it over and already had her answer but decided to wait to give it to them; for now, she simply replied with, "Okay."

Brock then looked at his watch. "Hey, we better get you back home. Your sisters must have everything ready already."

"And you can't have a party without the birthday girl," Ash said, "right?"

"Guess not," Misty giggled.

Later, back at the gym, Misty's sisters had put up a lot of decorations for their baby sister. With primary sea themed decorations, they had a few Pokémon pictures scattered throughout the room, including an ice sculpture of a Dewgong. The group walked in and Misty was absolutely astounded by the sight.

As she took it all in, her sisters sang "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

Misty was stunned. "W-w-w-wow… You guys… did all… this for me?"

"Well, yeah!" Lily exclaimed, "How often do you turn 21?"

"3 times if you're Violet, if you, like, just can't get over it," Daisy said, causing Violet to stick her tongue out at Daisy.

Brock looked at some of the decorations, which were various Pokémon cut outs with glitter, "You guys even managed to put up the stuff we brought."

"Yeah," Violet said, "They, like, fit in perfectly."

Misty looked at Brock. "You brought decorations, too?"

"Well, yeah, I helped bring them." Brock pointed, "But it was Ash who picked them out."

Misty was so shocked. She knew Ash knew her but he had never really done anything this sweet for her.

Misty looked at Ash who just shrugged, "Guess I have a good knowing knack for what you like. What can I say?"

Misty calmly walked up to him and slowly yet very tenderly hugged him, which caused Ash to put his arms around her.

"You… have always known me… haven't you?" Misty asked.

"I'd hope so. If I don't by now, I'd be one lousy friend."

"Well, you're anything but that." She then squeezed him tighter. "Thank you."

"My pleasure."

Just then, the doorbell rang to the gym, causing them both to snap out of there semi-trance.

Furious as their mood being ruined, Daisy stomped her foot and thought, 'And they were sooooooooo close.'

Daisy went to the door and opened to see Tony standing there, holding the same bouquet of flowers that he had before.

"Hi, Daisy," he said.

Daisy, who was not at all happy to see him, especially at this point, asked, "Really? Are you serious, Tony? Really?" She looked at the bouquet. "You didn't even bother to get new flowers!"

"Look, I just want to see her."

"There's, like, four 'hers' here. Be specific."

"You know I mean Misty."

"Well, you, like, can't. She's busy. We're having a private party and you're, like, not on the guest list."

"I am her boyfriend."

"Not from how she's been acting, you're not."

"Come on, Daisy."

"I said no!" Daisy said, raising her voice.

"Daisy, please."

"Not happening!"

"I just want to apologize!"

"For the last time…"

Daisy started before Ash walked around the corner.

"Everything okay, Daisy?" Ash asked.

Tony looked and instantly recognized Ash from the more than a dozen pictures Misty had of him, and, while there were some of Ash along with Brock, Pikachu, and others, a good number of them were just of Ash. Suddenly, Tony realized why Misty was so busy.

"So," Tony said, "it's that guy, huh?"

"Leave, Tony," Daisy said, "Now!"

"Not until I see Misty."

Ash walked up behind Daisy, slowly moved her back, "She said leave, pal. I wouldn't want to have to make you."

In a fit of rage, Tony threw the flowers he was holding in Ash's face, "Get out of my face, poser!"

Ash knocked a few petals from his face, "Look, I'll let that slide because I can tell you're mad for some reason."

Tony just became very offended.

"But, listen…"

"Wait!" Tony said, holding his hand up, "You… don't know me?"

'Uh-oh,' Daisy thought.

Ash looked at him confused, "Uh… no?"

"You have no idea who I am?" Tony asked.

'Like, not good,' Daisy thought.

Ash just shrugged, "Sorry. Should I?"

Ash had no clue as to who Tony was. But Tony could have picked Ash out of a crowd of a million people. Misty had told Tony all about Ash, but, it seemed, she had never once mentioned Tony to Ash.

Tony's anger hit its peak.

He took a swing at Ash, hitting him in the jaw. Daisy shrieked while Ash stumbled and soon hit the floor as Tony forced his way in the house. He then jumped on top of Ash and punched him again. He lifted his fist for another blow until, out of nowhere, Brock tackled him. Misty, Pikachu, Lily, and Violet appeared right after Brock.

Brock and Tony wrestled for a second until Brock turned Tony over on his stomach and bent his arm back into a chicken wing position while Misty ran over to Ash.

"Ash? Ash!" Misty shouted.

"Pika, pika!" Pikachu yelled as he ran up to his master.

Ash groaned and Misty pleaded, "Ash, speak to me. Say something, please!"

Ash then shook his head a bit, "Ow… and when I say ow, I mean ow."

Brock stood Tony up. "I don't care at all who you are, but you're leavin' right-freakin'-now!"

"Hold it!" Misty yelled.

Misty got up and walked up to Tony and slapped so hard across the face that his cheek became beet red immediately as did her hand.

"If we weren't over before," Misty said, "WE ARE DEFINITELY DONE NOW!" She slapped him again, "NOW, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE AND DON'T EVER COME HERE AGAIN!"

Tony just looked at her in extremely upset as Brock dragged him out the door.

Misty took a few deep breaths and then knelt down next to Ash, "Are you alright?"

While still clearly in pain, Ash managed to get a chuckle out, "Oh, yeah… Get hit like that all the time…"

Misty actually giggled, "Come on. Let me help you into the kitchen and get you some ice."

"We'll help, too," Lily said, "Violet, like, stop staring and go get the ice ready, already!"

Violet nodded, "Got it."

A little while later, the girls got Ash to the kitchen and sat down in one of the chairs. Lily got him a bag of ice to put on his face. After making sure that Tony had left, Brock joined them in kitchen. He began checking on Ash, moving the ice pack, to make sure there was no real permanent damage. The whole time Brock looked Ash over, Misty stood near the kitchen counter, subtly shaking and biting her nails, blaming herself for what just happened.

After looking Ash over, Brock said, "Ah, you'll live. Guy barely left a bruise."

"Thanks, Brock," Ash responded.

Violet handed the ice pack back to Brock who held it in front of Ash, "Besides, he couldn't have hit you hard. We both know you can't take a punch."

Ash snatched the ice pack away from him, pressed it to his face, and, sarcastically, said, "Thanks. Brock!"

"No problem." Brock smiled.

Ash just rolled his eyes. He leaned over a bit as he pressed the ice to his face.

"Let's give him a minute to recover," Brock said to the girls.

"Pika pi," Pikachu said.

"You, too, pal," Brock insisted, "Trust me. He'll be fine."

Brock, Pikachu, and the other girls, started to leave when Brock said, "Misty, you stay here and make sure he doesn't pass out or anything."

"Sure," Misty said as she gave a slow nod as they all left the kitchen, leaving them both alone.

Once they were gone, Misty stayed staring, nervously, at Ash for a few seconds. Soon, she moved a chair to right in front of Ash and sat down.

"Ash… I'm so sorry."

"You're apologizing again? Misty, it's okay."

"But…"

"You didn't hit me, Misty. And, if I remember right, you hit harder… much, much harder."

They both laughed, remembering all the times that she had hit him in the past. As they laughed, Ash did wince in pain which caused Misty to, almost on instinct, reach out for him. She then drew her hand back and felt her guilt return.

"Are you sure you're alright?"

Ash chuckled. "Yeah, Mist, I'm fine. Trust me; Pikachu's Thunderbolts hurt a lot worse."

Misty giggled, amazed that he was still able to make jokes and just laugh at this. It occurred to her that the jokes were for her benefit; just like always, he was looking out for her. He was definitely the same Ash she had known all these years.

She then frowned, "I still can't believe Tony did this… I'm sorry, Ash."

Ash just scoffed. "For the hundredth time, Misty, it's not your fault."

"Yeah, it is, because… if I'd've just been honest with him from the beginning… and myself, for that matter, you'd wouldn't be sitting in my kitchen with a bruised jaw and ice on your face."

"With all stupid things I say, yeah, this still was a likely ending to the night."

Misty rolled her eyes. "I'm serious, Ash."

Ash looked at her and could tell she was serious and decided to not joke around right now.

"Tony only hit you… because I kept telling him there was nothing between us… but… I was lying…"

Ash's eyes got wide and, oddly enough, he forgot all about his pain. Regaining his composure, he put his ice on his leg. "What do you mean?"

Misty looked at him, grabbed the ice, and pressed it back to his face. "We've… been through a lot together, right?"

Ash nodded.

"And… in the midst of all of that… do you…" She stopped and looked down before looking back up, "Do you think we've become more than friends?"

He looked at her for a few seconds and then smiled. He puts his hand on top of the one Misty was using to hold the ice with. "Like you wouldn't believe."

"Then… would it be okay for me to say that… I like you, Ash?"

"As long as it's cool for me to tell you that I like you, Misty."

Misty smiled, "Like you wouldn't believe."

"After all, it was more than just it being your just birthday that got me out here. Getting you the gifts, the decorations…" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a long dark blue velvet bracelet box, "And getting you this."

Misty gasped as she looked at it.

"I wanted to make sure we were alone when I gave you this."

"Why when we were alone?"

Ash chuckled, "The never ending teasing I would get for getting you this, for one. And… and it's a personal gift and… well, let's just say that I have my own, very personal reasons for wanting you back on the road with us."

She took the box from Ash, removing her hand from the ice pack, which Ash subsequently put on the table as he did not even feel any pain anymore.

"And this is your incentive to get me back out there with you?"

Ash shook his head. "No. I got you this… because I think you'll like it."

Misty opened the bracelet box to find a silver bracelet with small light blue diamonds within it.

It was gorgeous.

Misty was stunned.

She took the bracelet out of the box and just stared at it. She absolutely loved it. The thought entered her mind was how much this cost Ash and that he was willing to spend it on her.

"I'll skip the obvious dumb question of whether or not you like it, and get straight to the point: Misty, for as long I can remember, I've liked you. I've always just been too afraid to say. Especially if you didn't feel the same way… then I'd might lose you as a friend… and I wouldn't have forgiven myself if that had happened. You were the first friend I made in a long time… and… I have no idea what I would be if you hadn't been there. Because, through win or loss, you've always had my back and I can't tell how much that means to me. I mean, you've always had my back when you weren't there but… it's always something more special when you are there. I want you to be back out there with us because…"

He stopped and she looked at him.

Ash took a deep breath and admitted, "Because I love you… and… I miss you. Things… just aren't the same if you aren't there. I just really want you to come travelling with us… with me… I know may sound strange… but I… I need you with me. No matter how things go… bad or good… they always feel easier… when you're there."

Misty could not help but let a few tears fall. It was all she could do. She could not find the right words to respond because Ash had just left her speechless.

Ash scoffed, "That may sound kind of lame… but…"

"Not one thing… you just said… was lame. Not one. Ash, I miss you… and I love you, too."

They both then just smiled as they both just stared at each other.

"I… I want to kiss you… but I'm afraid I might hurt…"

Her words were cut off when Ash began kissing her. Both of them had imagined this for so long that is went way above any fantasy of what kissing the other would be like. They kissed for several minutes before stopping.

After their kiss, Misty looked at Ash, "Wow."

"No kidding…"

"And… wow…"

"Yeah…"

Misty giggled. "Your lips are all cold from the ice, though."

Ash chuckled. "Can't even kiss me without making fun of me, huh?"

She giggled again. "You could find ways to keep from doing that."

Ash just thought about it. "And what ways might those be?"

Misty rolled her eyes, "And you wonder why I make fun of you so much. You make it so easy."

"Just like to give you something to do."

They both laughed and Ash took hold of her hand and pulled her closer, guiding her to sit on his lap. She smiled as she leaned against him, running her fingers through his hair.

"You're not uncomfortable like this… are you?" Misty asked, praying his answer was no.

"Are you kidding?" Ash asked, "Best I've felt."

His stopping left her curious. "In a longtime?"

"Ever." Ash answered.

Misty gasped and then smiled. She then thought about it and said, "Funny."

"What?"

"I feel the same way."

Ash just smiled more. "Happy birthday, Misty."

"Best one ever."


And there you have it! Like I said, please comment!