Enough is enough!
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything to do with Pokémon, or ‘Aspirins’ for that matter. They are both the sole property of their respective copyright holders, so there.
Summary: After Ash and Misty’s constant arguing causes Brock to develop a ‘problem’, they have to take stock of the impact they have on other people.
Note: Drug addiction is a very serious problem. Some people don’t even know that they have a problem until somebody points it out to them. Thankfully, there are many ways for people to get the help they need. If you know someone with a substance abuse issue, tell them. Have an intervention, tape them when they’re ‘under the influence’, anything to get them to face up to it and seek help. They may not appreciate it at first, but you’ll be doing them a favour. If you are the one with the problem, listen to your true friends. They’re the ones trying to tell you about it. (Oh goody, a fanfic with a moral.J)
New Note: Another day, another re-formatting... I’ll fix stuff like punctuation and a bit of grammar, but the story will remain the same as before.
Speech. Thoughts. Pokémon.
“Oh yeah?!” “Yeah!” “Twerp!” “Runt!” “Loser!” “Scrawny!” “Grrrr!” “Grrrrrrrr!” “Oh boy, will you two give it a rest already, you’re giving me a headache!” “Pika!” Ash and Misty were at it again. Once again, Ash had gotten them lost in the middle of a bug-infested forest, and Misty was letting him know she didn’t appreciate it. Brock as usual was trying, and failing to keep the peace. He sighed. ‘Why do I have to be the mature one all the time? I ought to just leave them here to fight it out, and they can catch up to me when they’re done.’ He sighed again, and reached into his pocket for the bottle of aspirins he kept there for these moments. “Pika-chuuu!” “Ahhhh!” ‘Oh good, that’ll do wonders for my headache.’ Brock thought sarcastically as Pikachu shocked both Ash and Misty. ‘Oh well, at least it’ll stop their arguing for a while, so I can’t complain about that.’ He downed a couple of aspirins then turned to his now slightly crispy friends. “If you two are quite finished, maybe we can work on getting out of this forest before I really lose my patience with the both of you.” They stared up at him blankly. “What do you mean, Brock? We weren’t doing anything.” said Ash, knocking a few burnt bits off his arm as he got up. “Yeah.” added Misty. “Besides, what are you gonna do? Go homicidal on us or something? Pleeaase! We all know you’re scared of me.” She laughed as she stood up and shook the soot out of her hair. Ash laughed. “Yeah, all you’d have to do is glare at him and his face would probably melt off or something.” She looked at him. “Oh, you mean like this?” she gave him a fake scary glare, and then laughed as he pretended to melt. “Ah, I’m melting, oh the pain, nooo!” Brock sighed. “Oh well, at least you two can agree on something for a change.” ‘Man, sometimes I don’t know if they’re best friends, best enemies or just plain crazy about each other.’ He chuckled slightly. ‘Or maybe all three...’ “What is he laughing about?” “I have no idea.”
Several days (and arguments) later... “Hey Brock, are you okay?” “Huh, yeah, I’ve, uh, just got a headache, that’s all.” “Oh, okay.” Misty started to look away as Brock downed a couple more aspirin. ‘Hm, that’s his third round today. He’d better be careful, those things aren’t really meant for long-term use.’ She watched as he rubbed his temples. ‘I think I’d better keep an eye on him, just in case.’ “Hey Brock, what’s for lunch, I’m starving!” Brock groaned as Misty rolled her eyes. “Ash, can I talk to you, now.” She grabbed his arm and pulled him aside. “Er, what is it, Misty?” Ash asked nervously, glancing down. She still had him by the arm. Misty blushed and broke contact. “Sorry.” She took a deep breath. “Look, leave Brock alone for a while, okay?” “Huh, why?” Misty glanced back at where Brock had settled himself down with one hand on the pocket where she knew he kept those aspirins. “I’m just, worried about him a bit right now, okay?” Ash looked over as well. “How come?” “It's just, well; even you must have noticed that he hasn’t really been himself lately. All these strange headaches, even when we’re not fighting. It’s just, weird, that’s all.” Ash looked at her, wondering where all this was coming from. He’d never seen Misty like this before. She was chewing her lower lip, and kept glancing back at Brock like he was about to mutate into a Beedrill or something. Well, even though he didn’t like to admit it, she was usually right about, well, pretty much everything, so if she was worried, then he should be too. “Okay Myst,” he nodded. “I won’t bug him for a while.” She smiled. “Thanks Ash.” She said, blushing slightly, then went back to watching Brock.
The next night... Misty woke with a start. Someone was moving around the campsite. ‘That better not be Team Rocket again.’ She thought, reaching for a pokeball as quietly as possible. ‘No wait, oh, it’s just Brock. What’s he doing up at this hour?’ She watched through half-closed eyes as Brock paced back and forwards, muttering to himself under his breath. ‘What’s wrong with him? Oh-no...’ Brock sat down, glanced around and uncapped the aspirin bottle again. ‘That’s the fifth time today! This is serious!’ Misty bit her lip so hard it started to bleed slightly. ‘That’s it! I’ve gotta talk to Ash about this, even if I have to spell it out to him.’ After Brock had fallen asleep, Misty got up and crept over to him. Carefully, she removed the half-empty bottle from his jacket, which was made difficult by his near death-grip on the pocket. ‘He can’t have any more of these, even if his head explodes. Brock, you idiot...’ She glanced at his face sadly. ‘Why are you doing this?’ She licked her finger and tapped it to his cheek. His smiled widely. ‘Well, at least I know he’s still there, somewhere.’ She sighed.
That morning... “Where is it?!” Misty glanced at Brock as he tore the campsite apart looking for the bottle. ‘Well, I guess that proves it.’ “Ash, can I speak to you in private please?” Ash looked at her. “Um, okay.” As they walked off slightly, he glanced at her face. ‘Man, didn’t she sleep last night? I wonder what’s wrong.’ Misty’s eyes were dark and slightly baggy underneath from staying up to watch over Brock. She had to make sure he survived the night, after all those painkillers. “What’s wrong, Misty? You look terrible, and what’s with Brock?” Misty sighed. “Ash, I think, we have a serious problem here. Or rather, Brock has the problem, and I think we’re to blame.” Ash turned his head, confused. “Huh?” Misty reached into her pocket and took out the bottle. “These are what Brock is looking for. I think,” she sat down on a nearby log, “I think, he’s gotten addicted to them, and it’s our fault.” Ash looked at her. “What do you mean, ‘our fault’?” Misty sighed. “He only started taking these stupid things because our fighting all the time was giving him a headache. Now he’s taking them even when we haven’t fought in days. And last night,” she paused. “Last night, I was woken up by a noise. At first, I thought it was just Team Rocket trying to steal Pikachu again. But it was Brock. He was pacing back and forwards, muttering incoherently to himself. Or at least, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.” Misty stopped and looked up at Ash sadly. “The thing is, I’ve seen this kind of thing before. One of my cousins. He got into some pretty bad stuff, and he’s whole personality changed. Before, we were more like siblings. He was like the big brother I never had. But after,” she sighed, and Ash could have sworn he’d heard her stifle a sob. “Well, let’s just say he’s been disowned. Nobody really considers him a part of the family anymore.” Ash saw her hand clench around the bottle. “Not that it really matters anymore. He overdosed a couple of months before I became a trainer. He died. I don’t want that to happen to Brock, ‘cause he’s like a brother to me too.” Ash sat down and put his arm around her shoulders awkwardly. “It’s okay Misty, we’re not gonna let it happen to him.”
A couple of hours later... “Where is it?! Why can’t I find it?!” “Looking for this?” Misty held up the bottle. Brock leapt forwards “Yes!” Misty sidestepped him. “No! Brock, we need to talk to you, now. So sit down and listen to us, or I’ll tell every girl I know that you wear purple boxers with Jigglypuffs’ all over them. And not only that, I’ll tell my sisters as well. They couldn’t keep their mouths shut even if I glued their lips together, so by the end of the month, every girl in Kanto will know.” She glared at him. Brock gulped and quickly sat down. However, he kept one eye on the bottle in her hand. This didn’t go unnoticed. Misty frowned and put the bottle down her ‘front pocket’. Brock gulped and looked away, fidgeting. Misty glanced at Ash, then they both sat down. “Brock, I’m gonna cut straight to it. This is an intervention. You’re addicted to these painkillers, and if you don’t stop, it’s gonna kill you. Trust me on this one.” She sighed deeply. “What do you mean, addicted?! I’m not addicted, I just, get a lot of headaches that’s all. In fact, I have one right now, oww!” Brock placed a hand on his forehead and moaned pathetically. However, he said it all very fast, like he’d had a jolt of caffeine. Ash shook his head. “Brock, even I’m not dumb enough to fall for that. I agree with Misty, you need help, buddy.” Brock stood up and started shouting. “Oh, so now you agree with her?! All you two ever do is bicker, fight and argue, and all of a sudden, you ‘agree with her’!” He stomped around the campsite. Ash turned to Misty and whispered, “Um, shouldn’t we...?” Misty shook her head. “No, let him get it out of his system. He’s not gonna listen til he calms down, so just be patient.” Brock turned and stood in front of Misty. “Give me the bottle, Misty.” He said, holding his hand out. Misty folded her arms. “No.” “Give it to me!” he screamed, shaking. Ash stood up, ready to protect Misty if Brock got violent. “Calm down, man.” Misty shook her head. “Forget it, Ash. It’s no use trying to talk with him, he’s suffering from withdrawals.” “Give it!” Brock clenched his fists in rage. “No.” Pikachu looked back and forwards between them. <Should I, shock him?> he asked, confused. Ash shook his head. “No, but be ready, just in case.” Brock let out a roar. “GIVE IT!” he screamed at the top of his lungs, then threw his fist back and punched Misty.
“Pika-chuuu!” Pikachu let loose with a Thunderbolt attack so powerful, Brock fell to the ground and twitched before finally passing out. “Ow!” Misty winched and held her face. Ash knelt down next to Misty. “God, are you alright?!” he asked desperately, his voice cracking slightly from concern. “Yeah, I-I’m okay. Just, ouch, that’s all.” She winced. “I can’t believe he did that!” he clenched his fist as he glanced at the now unconscious Brock. “It’s okay.” He turned back to Misty. “He wasn’t himself.” She looked up, and he inhaled sharply as he saw her face. There was a cut across her cheek, which was bleeding quite badly, and one side of her face had already started to puff up and was turning purple. “Misty!” “I’m, I’m fine. He wasn’t himself.” She repeated. “It was the withdrawals talking, that’s all. Not himself.” She mumbled. ‘God, I think she’s in shock.’ Ash turned and started rummaging through Brock’s backpack. “Come on, where is it? Yes!” he turned back to her, first aid kit in hand. “Now, how do I do this?” he wondered, opening the kit and taking a bandage out. “Pika-pi, pika?” “Huh? Oh, I need to put something on that cheek, to stop the bleeding, but I don’t know how. Um...” “Just withdrawals, not himself.” Misty repeated softly. ‘Misty...’ Ash sat down and held her. “It’s okay, I’m here, don’t worry.” Pikachu ran off and soon came back with a water bottle. <Wash her face, get the blood off> Ash nodded. “Right, thanks Pikachu. I’d better be careful, though, she’s bruising pretty badly.” Slowly, even tenderly, he started to wash the blood off the side of her face with the utmost care. When he was finished, he carefully applied the bandage, making sure he didn’t press too hard on her bruise. “There, all done.” he said cheerfully, and then paused. ‘Wow, she’s fallen asleep.’ Carefully, he picked her up then tucked her into her sleeping bag. After a brief pause, he threw a blanket over Brock.
The next morning... “Oh, man, what happened?” Brock groaned as he woke up. Ash glared at him from where he and Misty were eating breakfast. She had woken up earlier and seemed to have gotten over her initial shock. “Do you want the long story, or the short one?” he asked sarcastically. Brock turned around and looked at them. “Huh, what are you...? Whoa, what happened to...?” Ash glared at him again as Misty looked away. “You happened, you jerk...” “Ash.” Misty sighed. “He wasn’t himself, so he probably doesn’t remember.” She proceeded to explain the events of the previous day, stopping only when she reached the part about the attack. Brock was terrified. “Oh, man, I-I’m so, so sorry Misty. I swear...” Misty shook her head. “No, it’s, it’s okay. Really.” She added at Ash’s disbelieving look. She turned back to Brock. “Now that you’re yourself again, do you accept that you need help?” “Yes.” Misty nodded. “Good. At the next town we come to, you’re going to talk to Nurse Joy, and I don’t mean flirting with her, and find out what your options are. I’ve taken the liberty of checking the map and, provided we don’t take any of Ash’s so-called ‘short-cuts’, we can be there by lunchtime. But only if we leave in no more than five minutes.” Ash nodded. “Right. I’ll start packing up then.”
Later that day... “Okay, um, Nurse Joy gave me the address for this support group she thinks they can help me with this so, um, I’ll see you guys later, okay?” Ash and Misty nodded. “Right. Good luck.” “Thanks. And, um, I really am sorry about what I did yesterday...” “I know. Now go, get help. Then we talk about trusting you again.” Brock sighed. “Right, see ya.” “Hey, um, are you okay Misty? You’ve been kinda quiet, which is weird for you, so...” Misty smiled. “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just that, well...” she sighed. “All this is still kinda our fault. I mean, Brock wouldn’t have gotten hooked on those things if we didn’t argue so much around him.” Ash sighed and looked at his feet. They were sitting on one of the beds in the room they were to stay in til Brock got ‘better’. “Yeah, I know.” They sat in silence for a while. “Misty.” “Yeah Ash?” “Why, do we fight so much? I mean, we’re supposed to be friends, but...” Misty shrugged. “I dunno. We just do, that’s all.” She sighed. “What gets me about all this is that, well... I guess I’ve never really thought before about how our bickering affects others, like our friends. And it probably upsets our Pokémon, too.” Ash nodded. “Yeah. I’ve never really thought about it either. I know it upsets Pikachu.” “Yeah.” They both fell silent again. “I wish we knew why we fight so much.” Ash sighed. Misty shrugged. “Yeah. I know I only do it because I lo...” she stopped and looked away, blushing deeply. Ash stared at her. “Because you what?” “Nothing.” She started fidgeting, then stood up. “I-I’m gonna go check on Pikachu, see if Nurse Joy’s done with his check-up yet.” She made it almost as far as the door before Ash stood up and hugged her tightly. “Ash, what...?” “Misty, I...” he loosened his grip and stood aside, blushing fiercely. Misty turned and looked at him, stunned. ‘Wait, does this mean that he...?’ She smiled and stepped forwards. “Ash, I-I love you.” She blushed. Ash looked shocked for a second, then grinned. “Misty, I-I love you, too.” They slowly moved forwards and, after a brief pause, gently kissed. Ash broke off suddenly. “Sorry, your bruise...” “What bruise?” Misty giggled. Ash blushed. “Uh, never mind...” he said as she kissed him again.
Nurse Joy looked up from where she was playing with Pikachu as Brock came through the door. “Oh, there you are. How was the meeting? Was it any help?” Brock nodded. “Yeah. I think I can deal with this, thing, now.” She smiled. “Good.” Brock looked around. “Where are my friends?” Joy thought for a moment. “Oh, right. I think the last time I saw them, they were going into the room to relax.” Brock nodded. “Thank you. For everything.” Pikachu leapt down from the counter and stood next to the door waiting for Brock to open it. “Hey, I’m...” Brock stopped and stared. He’d never expected this. Ash and Misty were standing in the middle of the room holding each other and doing some serious making out. They were so focused on each other, neither one noticed Brock and Pikachu standing in the doorway shocked. Slowly and quietly, Brock closed the door. “Um, I guess I won’t need those painkillers anymore, hey Pikachu?” “Pika.” He nodded in reply.
Okay, hopefully my point can get across a bit better now. FYI, the ‘front pocket’ is Misty’s bra. After all, what girl hasn’t hidden something down there at some point? Personal fact, Misty’s ‘cousin’ in the story is actually my brother. He used to be really nice, take me fishing, and take me on bike rides... until he started drinking, smoking and doing drugs. That was when he was about 13-14 years old. He’s been in and out of jail for years, in fact, he’s in there right now, he’s 26, and he probably won’t make it to his 30th birthday. (the way he’s heading...). He went from being my awesome big brother, to trying to kill me at Christmas one year. THAT’S what drugs and alcohol will do to you. Don’t do that to yourselves, or your family, trust me on this one...
P.S. I’ll be re-submitting several of my fics, including ones I posted in HTML, in order to fix up several typos I’ve since discovered. Therefore, it’ll be some time before I’ll be able to post any new fics, which’ll be under my new alias, PROFESSOR WOLSFBANE. Ah, the price of being a bit of a perfectionist with a slight obsessive-compulsive disorder... That, and my new fics are kinda on the long side, so I need waay more time to finish writing them. I don’t like posting an incomplete fic if I can help it.