Author's Note: I am so so sorry that I didn't get this done sooner. It's just with school and other things, I've been kind of side-tracked from writing this story, but I have been writing other stories which may or may not make it to the Tower one day. I think this is one of the best parts in the whole story, so I'm sorry you had to wait so long. This story was written in between July 2004 and December 2005.
When we last left Ash and Misty, they were just about to enter Le Monde de Pokémon, a very fancy French restaurant, the fanciest on the entire ship to be exact. Ash had just opened the door into the restaurant and Misty went inside first, while Ash held open the door. Ash followed her in as Misty and him were in awe of the restaurant.
They were both at the edge of a railing looking down upon the main room. It was huge. In the middle there were a lot of couples dancing to the fast-paced music that the band was playing at the moment on the far side of the restaurant. Around all the dancers, there were many tables where still many more couples sat eating and talking to each other.
"Excuse me young sir," a man to Ash's right said in a French accent. He was an old man, in his late fifties where only white hair was showing on the sides of his head, as the top was mostly bald. He was standing behind this podeum ready to greet customers.
"Yes?" Ash asked simply to this man.
"Young sir, are you and the young miss here for dinner?" the man asked.
"Oh, yes, we are. My name's Ash Ketchum."
"And I'm Misty."
"Hello, my name is Jeac. Will it just be you two tonight?"
"Yes," Ash said with a smile.
"Then," Jeac said and rung this little bell on the podeum. Almost immediatly, a guy in his mid twenties came up in a black suit. "Will you take these two to a table now, Gene?"
"Sure," Gene said as Jeac handed him two menus. "Just follow me." Surprisingly, unlike Jeac, Gene didn't have a French accent. He just talked in normal English. As Gene began to go down the stairs to the left, Ash and Misty quickly followed so not to lose him. As they decended, Ash and Misty could see people going up and down the other staircase on the opposite side of the room, which led back up to the entrance, which was also the exit.
Finally, they had made it to the bottem of the staircase, but they still had a little ways left to go. Less than a minute later, Gene was standing by a table on the edge of the dance floor. Misty immediatly went to sit down but before she could grab the chair herself, Ash quickly moved behind the chair and pulled it out for her.
"Thank you Ash, that's sweet of you," Misty said as she sat down and then Ash gently pushed her chair forward, taking notice to give Misty enough space between the table and herself.
"No problem, Misty," Ash said and then went to sit down opposite of Mitsy. The table itself was obviously built for just two people, as most of the tables in the restaurant were.
"Here you two go," Gene said as he handed both Ash and Misty a menu each. Each one was identical, as they were both black on the outside. On the cover in big white letters was "Le Monde de Pokémon" in fancy writing.
"Thank you," Ash and Misty said together to Gene.
"And I will also be your waiter this evening. May I get you two something to drink while you decide what you want to order?" Gene asked.
"Okay, um, do you have root beer? Ash asked.
"Yes we do, so that'll be one root beer, and for the lady?"
"Uh, just a glass of water with some lemon juice in it please."
"All right, I'll be back shortly with your drinks," Gene said with a smile, then he turned around and left Ash and Misty with each other.
People were talking all around Ash and Misty, though not that loud, so if Ash and Misty had been talking at that moment, it wouldn't have been hard to hear each other. Misty broke the silence.
"So, Ash," Misty said opening up the menu and looking at it, only to find that it was printed all in French. "Um, what are you going to order?"
"I don't know, let me just take a look at the menu." Ash opened the menu to also find nothing but French staring back at him. "Hey, how are we supposed to order if we don't know what we're ordering?"
"Maybe we could just guess," Misty suggessted. "I mean this whole dinner is free thanks to that prize you won so it really doesn't matter what we order, as long as it tastes good. And if we don't like what we order, we can order something else."
"But," Ash started, "if that happens we'll just have to wait longer to eat, and I don't want to be here all night. How about we just ask for an English menu when Gene comes back?"
"Yeah, good idea Ash. They're bound to have an English version." Just then Gene walked up again. He set the two drinks down on the table and Ash quickly took his drink up and took a sip.
"Are you two lovers ready to order yet?" This comment made Ash choke on his root beer and started coughing frantically as he set his drink back on the table.
"Ash, are you okay?" Misty asked concerned for his health. After a few more coughs he said,
"Yeah I'm," cough, "fine." cough "It just went down the wrong pipe." Ash then took a few more sips of the root beer and stopped coughing soon after.
"Was it something I said?" Gene asked.
"Yes, you see we're not boyfriend and girlfriend. We went out because after the Kojho tournament, Ash won a gift certificate for a free dinner for two at any restaurant on the ship, and we decided to come here."
"Oh so that's it. Sorry 'bout that. Well back to my original question, are you two ready to order?"
"Well these menus are printed in French and we can't read French, so would it be possible for you to bring us some English menus?" Ash asked.
"I'm sorry sir, but at this restaurant we only have French menus. It adds to the authticity of the restaurant. But I could make some suggestions, if I may?" Gene said and picked up Ash's menu and opened it. After a few moments, Gene turned the menu around and pointed out two selections, one on the left page and one on the right.
"These two are very popular, and just as long as you're not allergic to any beef or chicken?"
"No, we're not allergic to anything like that," Misty said.
"All right, then I swear you'll love both of these dishes. Just one thing, who wants the ckicken and who wants the beef?"
"I'll take the chicken," Ash and Misty said in unison.
"Oh, why don't you have the chicken, Misty."
"No I couldn't. You take it, Ash."
"Um, how about you both have the chicken?" Gene suggessted.
"Okay," Misty said.
"Sounds good," Ash said.
"Okay then," Gene said and picked up Misty's menu as well. "I'll be back soon with your food." Gene then turned and left heading towards the kitchen to place their orders.
"So what should we talk about until our food gets here?" Misty asked suddenly without anything to think about.
"Well today I was over at PATCH dropping off Pikachu while we're out eating here and I met Professor Redwood."
"He's a Pokémon researcher and lives in Green Leaf Town where he does all of his research at his lab. On what he described of the town, it doesn't seem that much larger than Pallet Town, so it should be fairly easy to get around. And Green Leaf Town is where this ship is docking once we get to Ohnee. I told him that we could stop by and say hello before we set out on my next badge quest."
"It would be cool to meet Professor Redwood, not to mention all of the Water Pokémon that he must have at his lab."
"Yeah, and he even updated my Pokédex so now it has data on all of the new Pokémon we'll encounter while in Ohnee."
"Awesome, Ash. I think Ohnee's gonna be great, and I couldn't imagine traveling through Ohnee without any other person than you, Ash."
"Uh, what do you mean?"
"Well you know, I've known you for such a long time, and in that time you've become one of the closest friends that I've ever had. I know almost everything about you, and you know a lot about me too. So I wouldn't want to travel with anyone else than you on this trip," Misty said.
"Thanks Misty, that's nice of you to say, and in fact, I feel the same way about you. I had so much fun on this ship the past week."
"Yeah me too. The Kojho tournament was great, and even though we both didn't end up winning, it was still a lot of fun," Misty said.
"Who says I didn't end up winning? I got the gift certificate which payed for this dinner for us, and I see that as a victory in itself." This caused Misty to blush slightly, mainly because of what he said, but also because he was looking straight into Misty's eyes when he said it. Misty quickly took a drink of her lemon-water, and in the reflection of the glass, she could see that she was blushing a little, so she looked out across the dance floor for a few moments.
"What are you looking at Misty?"
"Oh just admiring the dance floor," Misty lied. "It really is beautiful in here, isn't it?" Misty asked, still looking out, away from Ash.
"Yes, it is, and so big. And with all the people in here, it must be pretty popular."
"Yes, I suppose it is," Misty said, turing back to Ash. She picked up her glass again and took a drink. As she was putting the glass back onto the table, she could clearly see in her reflection that her blush had subsided, thankfully, for now.
Ash was thinking of something to say, but nothing was coming to him. He then remembered something that Sean had told him today - 'Don't be afraid to complement Misty and tell her that she looks nice. Take it from me, it makes a girl feel amazing.'
"You look really cute tonight Misty," Ash blurted out without even thinking. Misty wasn't expecting him to say that. The sheer surprise of what he said made Misty slightly more nervous then she already was.
"That's really nice of you to say, Ash, but I think I could look better."
"Are you kidding? You don't only look cute, you look gorgeous. Don't be so modest."
"You really think I look gorgeous?"
"Well of course. I wouldn't say it if I didn't really mean it." This made Misty feel a lot better inside now, and for a few seconds she wasn't nervous at all that she was on her first date to a fancy restaurant with the love of her life. Misty smiled and looked straight at Ash's eyes.
"Thank you for saying so Ash. That makes me feel better."
"What do you mean 'feel better'? Do you feel sick or something?"
"Oh no, nothing like that. It's just, well, no guy has ever told me that before. It was always my three sisters who got those kinds of comments from all of the boys that they would meet. So it means a lot to me for you to think that way."
"Well it's the truth Misty. In my opinion, you're the best looking out of all of your sisters. And I don't just mean your outer beauty. I also mean your inner beauty which is far more beautiful than anyone I've ever known. It takes a lot of time to see that beauty, and I'm glad to have gotten to know you so well as to have seen that inner beauty of your personality."
"That's so sweet of you to say. In all truth, I feel the same way about you Ash. You're very hansome yourself, and if I may say so, cute at times. But it is your personality that truly defines who you, and who anyone, is. You have an amazing heart and would do most anything for a friend or for a Pokémon in need. In my opinion, your loving and caring heart is the best quality of your personality, plus you really are a handsome guy."
"Thanks for the compliment Misty."
"Ya know I heard once that the best compliments come from lies, but in this case, that saying is false." Before either of them could say another word, Gene came back to their table holding a tray with their food on it.
"Here you two are," Gene said and placed the two dishes of the chicken in front of them. In addition to the chicken slices that had some gravey poured on it, there was some greenbeans on the side along with some mashed potatoes also with some gravey on them. And there was a lot too, too much for even Ash to finish all of the food on his own dish.
"Thank you, it smells delicious," Misty said.
"Yes, thank you Gene."
"Well it's my job. And trust me, it tastes even better than it smells. I'll come back later to check if you want anything else." Gene then once again left them to be alone.
Ash and Misty then started to eat, and weren't at all surprised that it tasted great. But then it was quiet again, and Misty couldn't bear the silence for very long, so she spoke up.
"Are you having a good time, Ash?"
"Oh yeah, it's been really nice. Why? Aren't you having a good time?"
"Oh, yes of course, it's just..."
"Just what Misty?
"Well...it's nothing. Forget about it."
"No really, what is it? Was it something I said, or did?"
"No, nothing like that, Ash. Just continue eating, I'm fine." Just then, Ash was reminded of another thing that Sean told him earlier today - 'And remember, when a girl says "I'm fine," she's really trying to hide something that is bothering her. If Misty says "I'm fine," get her to tell you what's bothering her.'
"Misty, if there's something bothering you, you can tell me."
"Really Ash, there is nothing bothering me."
"Oh come on, Misty. I've known you for years, and I think I know when something is bothering you." Misty was stuck. There was something bothering her. She wanted to dance with Ash, just, she couldn't ask him.
"Well I just will hate to leave the ship tomorrow, when we arrive in Ohnee. This experience has been great," Misty lied.
"Oh so that's it. Yeah, me too. This ship has been great, and we even got to meet a lot of new friends."
"I wonder if we'll ever see Natalie, or Sean or their dad ever again after tomorrow."
"Sure we will Misty. Good friends can't stay apart forever. I mean, take us for example. We were apart for close to a year when I was in Hoenn and when you were the gym leader of Cerulean City, but just look at us now. We're still the best of friends on a fantastic ship in a gorgeous restaurant."
"Yeah, you're right. We'll see them again." They continued to eat. About halfway through their meals, Ash caught a glimpse of Misty looking out over the dance floor again. He wondered for a few seconds if she wanted to dance and said,
"Hey, Misty, would you like to dance?" Misty was so shocked at what Ash said. She wasn't expecting him to ask her. "It's just, it looks like fun."
"S-Sure Ash," Misty stuttered out.
"Great, lets go." Ash got up from the table, followed by Misty. Ash then took Misty's hand and led her out to a vacent place on the dancefloor, near the middle. The dancefloor was in the middle of the restaurant, and there were several couples dancing around them; some young, some old.
Once they were there, Ash put both of his hands on Misty's hips as she took her arms and draped them over Ash's shoulders. They started dancing, and were especially close too. The music at the moment was slow-paced, and Misty hoped that it would stay that way.
"Have you ever been to a dance before, Misty?"
"Well no, I haven't, but I do know how to dance."
"How did you learn?"
"My sisters taught me several years ago, before I met you. They did it because I think they knew that one day I would be in this situation, and they didn't want to make me look like an idiot."
"Well that was nice of them. And I'm glad they did, you're a great dancer."
"So are you, Ash. Where did you learn?"
"Well, back in Pallet town, I used to have to go to a lot of parties that people that my mom knew would hold. At these parties, people would dance, and so everytime I ended up dancing with a girl my age at the party. After going to a few of these parties, I got the hang of how to dance, and the rest is history."
"Did you like any of these girls?"
"Oh no, I was still to young and I didn't like girls back then. In fact, I didn't start liking girls until right around when I met you." Misty got a little flustered by this and looked down at the floor for a few seconds. When she looked back up at Ash, he said,
"Hey Misty, you're face is all red. Do you feel sick or something?"
"No, I guess it's just a bit hot in here," Misty lied and started faning herself with her left hand.
"Well then maybe we should sit down-"
"No!" Misty nearly shouted. She had been waiting to dance with Ash for so long. "...I mean it's okay Ash, I'm okay. Lets keep dancing."
"Well if you're sure you're alright."
"I'm alright. Um..." Misty said, trying to think of something to say quick. "...do you know of any Pokémon that are in the Ohnee region?"
"Not off the top of my head, but since my Pokédex was updated, I could show you once we get back to the cabin."
"All right, cool."
"It's strange to think that we've been on this ship for almost a week."
"Tomorrow is the seventh day, I think," Misty said.
"Yeah it is. It's the longest I've ever been on a ship before."
"Me too. But I love being out in the middle of the ocean. I feel so at home."
"What do you mean?"
"Well the Cerulean gym is a giant aquarium. As such, I'm almost always near the water, or some kind of fish, just like out here on this ship." Ash nodded.
"For me, I feel at home whenever I'm with my friends or family since I've always been around, and had a lot of, both."
"So we both feel at home right now, huh?" Misty said with a slight giggle.
"Yeah, I guess so," Ash snickered. The music suddenly stopped and all of the people stopped dancing and turned towards the music stage and all started clapping.
"Thank you everyone for your applause," the singer said. "We would just like to dedicate this next song to all the couples out there, young and old." The band started to play again, with another slow song. Ash and Misty turned back to each other and started to dance, along with all the other couples around them.
"Do you think it's okay that we're still dancing even though we're not a couple?" Misty asked.
"Well sure it is. Unless you want to stop dancing?"
"Oh no, I want to keep dancing. It's just that it's funny that we're dancing to a song which was dedicated to all the couples in the room, yet we're not a couple."
"Well that doesn't matter, Misty. We may not be a couple, but we are a couple of really close friends," Ash said.
"Yeah," Misty said.
'I just wish that we were more than just "really close friends",' Misty thought to herself and she faked a smile.
"Remember when you said once that you thought that it was our fate to meet that day?"
"Do you still believe that?"
"What are you talking about Misty? Of course I still think that's true. It has to be. We've been through too much over the years for it not to be fate."
"Yeah, I think that too. I can't imagine what I'd be doing right now if I would have never met you."
"Well there's no need in thinking about that because I know we'll always be together forever."
"You know, as friends."
"Oh right. Friends," Misty said while faking another smile. She was starting to lose hope that she and Ash would ever be able to get into a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.
"You seem almost disappointed when you say that. Is there something still bothering you tonight?"
"Disappointed? Why should I be when I'll always have you by my side. Now if you left forever or died, I wouldn't know what to do with myself anymore."
"That's what happens when you love someone," Ash said matter-of-factly without even thinking.
"Love?! Who said anything about love?"
"So you don't love me?" Misty was speechless. It was like someone had just pressed the mute button on her throat and she even had trouble breathing. What was going on? Why was Ash saying these things to her? And what kind of love did he mean? Friend love, family love or romantic love? All these questions started popping up in Misty's mind as she stared back into Ash's black eyes looking for something, anything, to give her a clue on what he meant, but she couldn't find anything.
She noticed that it had become quiet and neither of them said anything. Ash was still waiting for a response to his question while Misty was trying to think up a good enough answer and simultaneously trying to figure out what Ash meant without just coming out and asking him.
'This was it,' Misty thought. 'This is exactly the thing I was waiting for and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect time to tell him how I really feel. I had decided even before I set one foot on this ship that I was going to tell him on this ship no matter what. I've waited too long for this moment and I can't let it go away so easily.'
Meanwhile, in the legthening silence, Ash had his own thoughts to think over. Why was Misty so silent when he asked her that? Is it that she doesn't really love him and is just with him for other reasons?
'No,' thought Ash. 'That can't be. Why would she still be around if she didn't love me in some way? If not romantically, then what about as a friend or in a family way? There really is no other explanation because she knows we'll be in Ohnee together with no one else around but Pikachu for over a year at least, and people usually don't make such decisions if not for valid reasons.' It was then that Ash decided to finally break the silence.
"Misty?" Staring straight into his eyes, Misty replied,
"Ash. I love you."
"As friends right?" Ash said, already getting disappointed.
"Then in a family kind of way?"
"Not quite. Ash, I love you..."
"...in a girlfriend kind of way." Misty felt so embarrassed and her red cheeks showed that. Another silence insued.
'So this is what's been bothering Misty this entire time. I can't believe I never saw this coming. Well between the fights and everything, who could blame me?'
"If you don't feel the same way, I can understand..." Misty said close to tears.
"Misty," Ash said, looking into her eyes with a smile. "Don't even say things like that. I love you too in the romantic sense of the word. I just never told you until now because I was too scared of what..."
"Me too! I was scared of what would happen but I wanted to always tell you very badly."
"I felt the same way," Ash added.
'This was it then,' Misty thought.
'No turning back now,' thought Ash.
And as if there was a mysterious force attracting one another together, both simultaneously leaned in and touched lips. They were sharing their very first kiss. Both of them were so caught up in the moment that neither of them had any sense of anything else happening around them. For those few precious seconds that they shared together, it was just Ash and Misty and no one else mattered or existed anymore.
Once the kiss ended, and they pulled apart gently from each other, they both noticed that not only had the music stopped and all the people around them had stopped dancing, but they were now the only ones left on the dancefloor as all the other's had cleared off it and they were in full-view of everyone in the restaurant. Noticing this, both Ash and Misty got a little embarrassed and started to walk back towards their table, hand-in-hand.
"Ash, lets get out of here, okay?"
"Sure, just let me get out the certificate," Ash reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out a folded sheet of paper, unfolded it, and placed it on the table. This was his prize that he got in the Kojho, and paid in-full for the whole dinner. Ash then took Misty's hand in his own again, and they started walking to the opposite staircase to head up to the exit. After walking up it and while Ash held the door open for Misty again, they exited the restaurant and headed down the hallway, planning to go back up to the deck out in the open night and sea air.
Once outside again on the open deck, a slight breeze blew by which made Misty shiver slightly. Instinctivley, she moved in closer to Ash.
"Are you too cold up here? Maybe we should go back inside to our room then-"
"No Ash, let's stay up here. The moon is out tonight and the sea looks so beautiful too."
"Well, if you insist." Ash removed his hand from Misty's and quickly slipped off his jacket which he then drapped over Misty. "No need in you getting a cold while we're up here." Ash looked into Misty's eyes, and they both smiled. Ash took Misty's hand in his again, and they started to walk down the deck once more, admiring the scene that was before them. A cloudless sky and a beautiful stary night as well as having the nearly-full moon out tonight made it all the more romantic for the both of them.
Misty leaned in closer to Ash once more and rested her head on his shoulder much like she had done earlier in the week. Never was there a time in either of their lives that they were happier with how things had turned out. As they headed closer to the front of the ship and were turning a corner, Misty felt Ash shiver in the cold.
"Ash, now you're the one who's cold. Here, take this jacket back. It's my fault for not bringing a coat tonight-"
"No Misty keep it. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if you got sick." From these words, Misty got an idea.
"Well there's no way I'm going to let you get sick either!" She quickly took the left side of the jacket and threw it over Ash, and made sure that the right side of it was still around herself. In doing this, it made them get much closer together, and their body heat alone made them warmer already. "See, good idea huh?"
"Wonderful idea. Now neither of us will get cold anymore." Ash looked into Misty's eys once more and stopped walking. As Misty looked on, she could tell what was on his mind since it was on hers as well. They both edged in once more and kissed again while bathing in the moon light. Following this, they continued to walk down the deck, sharing the same thoughts that they loved this person more than anything in the world. "How long do you want to stay up on deck? If we stay out here too long, it may get too cold regardless of this jacket we're sharing."
"Just for a bit longer. I want this moment to last an eternity."
"It will as long as we keep each other in our hearts."
"Yes, of course it will." Misty leaned in again and put her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes. All that has happened up to this point, she knew that it was all worth it just so that she could be here.
'Please, if this is a dream, don't wake up,' Misty thought. But there was no reason to have such idle thoughts. She knew deep down that this was real and nothing would ever change that. As she walked, she continued to think and dream about the future and what it held in store for the both of them.
Ash's thoughts were not far from her own. He too was very thankful to have gotten to this point after all the time he had known Misty. He knew that it really was fate that one day he met Misty, or else he would have never found his soulmate.
Ash and Misty continued to smile all the way back to their cabin, which they went back to close to an hour later. Once they had arrived back there, both of them got ready for bed by getting undressed and getting their pajamas on. After they went and brushed their teeth, they came back and were just about to climb into their respective beds, when they both got a great idea. Ash and Misty pushed both of their beds together and then got into them so that they could share their first night together as a couple finally.
Right before they drifted off to sleep, a few more words were exchanged between the two lovebirds.
"I love you Ash. Just don't ever leave me, okay?"
"I love you too Misty, and I'll never leave you. You can count on that." This reassured Misty even more and made it feel even more right that this is how it should be. Misty cuddled in closer to Ash and the last thing either of them heard before entering their dreams were the slowing pace of their breathing together, almost as if they were one.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ah, finally I'm done with this part. The good news is that you're finally able to read it. The bad news is that I'll probably be burned at the stake for not updating in about 1 and a half years, and the fact that there is still at least one more part left with this story. If you still have the courage, stay tuned for the conclusion of my very first fic ever, "New Beginnings." Gotta Catch Ya Later! Misty101803 signing off.