Opposites Attract.
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokιmon. The rights to the song belong to Paula Abdul, or the company, or whoever owns them. Not me, anyway...
Summary: When the gang run out of money, they have only one option left: Talent Show.
Note: I decided to re-submit this fic after it received the 'Best In Category' award for March '09'. I read it through then to re-familiarize myself with the story, and ended up finding several typos, some of which alter the meaning of the sentence. So, here it is, the (apparently) best AAMR fic in March '09', with no mistakes.
EDIT: I edited the French bit near the bottom, as it was a little off... I also fixed up a few bits of grammar, and clarified a couple of things...
“Speech”. 'Thoughts'. “Lyrics”.

“Okay guys, come here.” Ash and Misty looked around as Brock came in the Pokιcenter doors and beckoned to them. “Hey, what's up, Brock?” Misty asked, noticing his worried look. Brock sighed. “I just came back from the bank, to get money out of our training account...” The two younger teens nodded. This they already knew. “We're out of money.”

“What?!” Brock handed the piece of paper he'd been holding over to Misty. She looked at it numbly and showed it to Ash. “But, how can we be out of money?” Brock shook his head and sat down heavily. “I don't know, Misty. I guess, all those supplies we've brought, over time, kinda added up. It's a good thing staying at a Pokιcenter is free, because right now, we can't even afford to buy a Pokιball between us.”

Ash gulped nervously. “This isn't because of my new shoes, right? Because...” Misty shook her head. “No, you needed new ones, Ash. We couldn't let you wander around barefoot after your old pair fell apart, right?” Brock nodded. “Yeah, those were important. I think our money was almost gone anyway.” Ash breathed out, more than a little relieved. They all fell silent.

“Excuse me.” They looked up. It was a true marked of just how worried Brock was that he didn't jump up and try to flirt with Nurse Joy. “Um, I couldn't help overhearing. I think I might know of a way to solve your money problems, for a while at least.” Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a flyer and unfolding it, handed it to them. Brock smoothed out the creases. “Talent Show?” he read out loud. “First prize, 100,000 Pokι...” he trailed off in shock. Misty whistled softly. “That'd keep us going for a good while...” Ash nodded. “Yeah, it's worth a shot, right?”

Ash was quickly disappointed to learn, as they signed up, that showing off your Pokιmon skills wasn't gonna win this one. “Man, why'd it have to be singing, and dancing?” he moaned, flopping down on his bunk. “I might as well quit now...” Misty looked at him, stunned. “Who are you, and what have you done with Ash Ketchum?!” He sat back up. “Huh?” Misty stood next to the bunk, hands on her hips, looking sternly at him. “Since when do you give up that easily, huh Ash?” Ash flopped back down. “Since I can't sing, or dance.” Misty rolled her eyes. “Tell me about it. I've both seen, and heard you. Psyduck is better... but that's still no excuse. The show isn't for two weeks. You can learn by then, at least enough to have a chance.” Ash sighed. “Yeah, sure Misty, and who's gonna teach me, huh?” Misty straightened up and smiled. “Me, of course.”

After a quick read of the small rule book they'd been given, they decided to perform as a duet. “That way, we can get the whole thing over and done with as quickly as possible.” Brock had decided to do his trademark song. “Not like he has a choice, it's the only one he knows.” Misty whispered to Ash, both chuckling slightly. They'd decided to do 'Opposites Attract' by Paula Abdul, as it sounds a lot like them. With a few small changes, of course... “Okay, here where it says 'lovers', let's change that to friends. Although, that does mean I'll have to 'fix' the next line a bit, so it still rhymes...” Misty scribbled frantically, stopping briefly to chew on her pencil. “Okay, done.” She held the notebook out to Ash, so he could read it. “Yeah, that's much better. Sounds a lot more like us now.” Misty nodded. “Yep. Now, let's see what I can teach you...”  

Two weeks later... “Okay, places!” Ash shuffled nervously as the next act was called. Misty placed a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, it's okay to be nervous Ash. I know I am. There'd be something wrong with you if you weren't...” Ash smiled grimly. “Yeah, but...” Misty sighed. “Look, we've got the song perfect, the dance moves are simple enough, even Gary could do them, Brock's already scared the crowd enough so that they'll be happy with anything, as long as it's not him again...” She smiled as Ash gave a tight chuckle. “Just a tip, though... Don't imagine everyone in their underwear. Because usually, it doesn't end well. You might end up imagining yourself like that, which can be even worse than the nervousness.” Misty frowned. “And don't even think about it with me, twerp.”

“And now, we have a duet. Give it up, for Ash and Misty, with, 'Opposites Attract'!” The music started. Backstage, Misty threw a wink over at Ash and stepped out on the right side of the stage.
“Baby, since we never, ever agree
You like the movies, and I like TV.
” Ash swallowed nervously and stepped out from the left.
“I take things serious, and you take them light.” They each took another step forwards towards the middle of the stage.
“I go to bed early.”
“And I party all night.” They both took a breath for the next line.
“Our friends are saying.” Misty shrugged.
“We aint gonna last.”
“'Cause I move slowly.”
“And baby, I'm fast.”
“I like it quiet.”
“And I like to shout!” They stopped and grinned at each other.
“But when we get together, it just all works out.” They took their positions for the chorus.

“I take, two steps forwards.”
“I take two steps back.” They stood back to back, leaning against each other slightly.
“We come together, 'cause opposites attract.”
“It aint fiction.”
“Just a natural fact.”
“We come together, 'cause opposites attract.”

“Who'd a thought.”
“We could be friends
You and me.
“Together to the end.” They grinned at each other again.
“She likes it neat.”
“And he makes a mess
I take it easy.
“Baby, I get obsessed!
She's got the money.
“And he's always broke
I don't like cigarettes...
“I like to smoke.” They walked away from each other.
“Things in common.” Ash came back.
“There just aint one.” Misty joined him.
“But when we get together, we have nothing but fun.” They carefully went through the chorus, smiling a bit more.

Ash stepped forwards, and took a deep breath. 'Man, why'd I have to get a solo?!' Looking back slightly, he saw Misty smile at him. 'Go for it, Ash.' He nodded and turned back to the crowd.
“Nothing in common, but there's trust
I'm like a minus, she's like a plus
One going up, one going down
But we seem to land on common ground
When things go wrong, we make corrections
To keep things moving in the right direction
Try to fight it, but I'm telling you, Jack
It's useless, opposites attract!
” He stepped back and caught his breath.

“Baby, aint it something, how we've lasted this long.”
“You and me, proving everyone wrong.”
“I don't think we'll ever get our differences patched.” They threw an arm over each other's shoulder.
“Don't really matter, 'caused we're perfectly matched.”

They completed the last chorus and stopped, leaning forwards in a slight bow as the music ended. The crowd cheered as they straightened up, breathing hard and blushing slightly. “What a performance! There will be a short break, while we added up the scores, and then we'll announce the winner! Don't go away!”

Ash and Misty stepped back-stage where Brock greeted them with a grin. “Wow guys, that was amazing!” Ash sat down, exhausted. “Thanks, Brock.” he panted. Misty grabbed a couple of drinks off a nearby table and handed one to him. “Yeah, turned out better than I expected myself, actually.” she mused before she took a huge gulp of water. “Wow Misty, aren't you out of breath?” She shrugged. “Let's just say, this isn't my first performance. We've got this club back home, which is sorta like a nightclub, but only for under 18's, you see? I used to sing there every so often.” Misty smiled at their stunned faces. “I was always the star of the show, ya know?”

“And now, we'll announce the winner of this Talent Show! But first, we have to award a special award.” The MC reached into his left pocket. “This Moon Stone goes to a special comedy act, the likes of which we've never seen, and hopefully, never will again.” He gestured towards the backstage area. “Let's hear it for, Brock Harrison!” Brock blushed deeply and walked out on stage. Ash and Misty looked at each other and sniggered. “Figures.” Misty rolled her eyes and grinned.

“The first prize goes to the most amazing duet I've ever had the privilege of hearing. Ash, and Misty, come accept your prize!” Ash's mouth gaped open. Misty grabbed his arm. “Come on, Ash.” she hissed. They stepped out and accepted the check for the prize money. “Also, we have a special prize, which was for the event of a duet winning.” The MC removed a slip of paper from his right pocket. “A romantic, all-expenses-paid dinner for two, at the fanciest restaurant in town,
La Chambre des aliments!” Ash and Misty glanced at each other and blushed. 'Oh boy...'

Brock smirked at them as they came back, but as he opened his mouth, Misty raised her index finger, silencing him. “Say one word, Brock, just one word, and I'll rip your ears off and staple them to your backside, so you can hear me kicking your arse all the way back to your momma.” Brock stepped back and covered his ears. “Er, right... congratulations...”

Later that night... “No use wasting a free meal.” Misty shrugged as they sat down at a table opposite each other, the waiter fussing over them. “Uh, yeah...” Ash nervously pick up a menu and scanned it. “Uh, Misty... What is this stuff?” Misty picked up her own menu and looked it over. “That, is French.” “Oh.” There was silence as they read over their options, pausing only to thank a waiter when he brought some breadsticks. “Thanks.” “Merci.” Misty smiled. “What that mean?” Ash whispered as the waiter moved away again. “It means, thank you, it's French.” Ash raised an eyebrow. “I didn't know you spoke French, Misty...” she smiled faintly. “I used to have that whole French obsession, remember? I picked up a few things...”

“Er, okay, um, ess- car- got?” Misty kicked him under the table. “Um Ash, that's snails...” Ash pulled a face. “Ugh.” he put the menu down before anybody got hurt. “Um, you know what this stuff is, can you order for me, Misty?” she smiled. “Sure thing, Ash.” She beckoned the waiter over with a mere flick of a finger. “Yes, are sir and madam ready to order?” Misty smiled. “Yes. I'll have the pommes de terre et le steak de porc, and a gβteau au chocolat pour le dessert. And my friend here will have, um, okay, the steak de boeuf aux champignons et sauce soya. Plus the same for dessert.” The waiter wrote the order down, and look at Misty impressed. “I must say, Madam, that your French is par excellence.” “Merci.” Misty smiled as the waiter hurried away.

Ash sat, nervously fiddling with a breadstick. “Um, Misty... what exactly did you order, anyway?” Misty smiled. “Oh, a pork steak and mashed potatoes for myself, and a beef steak with mushrooms and soy sauce for you. We're both having chocolate cake for dessert.” Ash sighed. “Good, 'cause I don't think I'll ever be hungry enough for snails.” Misty winked and leaned across the table. “To tell you the truth, Ash, neither will I.”

Ash sat back and relaxed. “Aahh, that was pretty good.” Misty nodded. “Yep. The French might like eating frogs and snails, but they do a good steak.” They sat in a nervous silence for a moment. Finally Misty spoke up... “You know, we should probably be getting back to the Pokιcenter, even though Brock's gonna tease us like crazy...” Ash nodded and stood up. “Right. If he does, I'll just get Pikachu to zap him.” They stood, smiling at each other as they both imagined Brock being half-fried by a Thunderbolt. Misty giggled as Ash chuckled.

“You know, that actually wasn't too bad. Going out to dinner, with you, I mean...” Ash trailed off and blushed. Misty blushed too. “Yeah, I was kinda amazed that you didn't even embarrass me once. Fancy restaurant and all...” Ash frowned. “Er, thanks, I think... Anyway, you look, kinda, nice, in that dress, I mean...” As they were going to a fancy restaurant, they had both gotten dressed up. Misty was wearing a strapless blue dress, which cut off just below her knees. Misty giggled. “Careful Ash. You start complementing me now, I'm gonna start wondering if you're bucking for a kiss...” Ash blushed deeply. “No I'm not!” 'I think...'

After walking on a bit, Misty glanced over at him. “Actually, you don't look half-bad yourself.” she blushed. Ash had managed to force himself into a decent suit. He grinned and blushed deeply. “Um, yeah, it feels kinda weird though...” he said, pulling at his collar. Misty smiled. “Well, you can at least undo the tie now...” Ash breathed a sigh of relief as he removed it and shoved it into a pocket. “Ah, that's better.” Misty giggled. “Also, you might want to think about removing all those little bits of comb stuck in your hair...”

As they drew near the Pokιcenter, they could see the shaft of light shining through the door. “Ah, looks like they left the door open for us.” Misty mused, pausing sightly. “Yeah, I'm beat.” They stood, looking everywhere but at each other. “Tonight was pretty good...” “Yeah...” “I'd like to, do it all again, sometime.” Misty said, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek. Ash stared as Misty strode away and disappeared into the Pokιcenter. One hand slowly raised and touched his cheek, where the kiss still burned faintly. Ash smiled. “Me too, Misty. Me too.” he blushed and followed her in, grinning slightly at Brock's raised eyebrow.

Awww, aren't they just the cutest couple! The perils of the Not-A-Date. This one turned out a bit long, way over my usual personal word limit for one-shots, but all in all, not too bad. I think... If you're not sure who is supposed to sing what in the song, get a hold of a copy of Paula Abdul's 'Opposites Attract' and have a listen. It might clear things up a bit... bye.
3-Apr-09. (originally fixed)

12-Jul-10. (edited a few minor details and re-submitted)