To Misty: A Green Backpack
A Short Pokemon Fan Fiction by Tokumeinohito


    Misty Kasumi Waterflower Slate lived a happy life.

    At sixteen, she had returned to Cerulean to try to restore some honor to the floundering Cascade Badge.  At the same time, Brock had returned to Pewter to help his father maintain the Slate gym.  They continued dating for two years before Brock finally popped the big question.  Misty Waterflower happily became Misty Slate on a fine June day in the most picture-perfect wedding ever.

    As leaders of two of the most quickly rising gyms in Kanto, Brock and Misty were able to build a good life as a couple.  They built a nice house south of Mt. Moon for themselves, and less than a year later, Misty gave birth to twins--one boy and one girl.

    Now the kids were each five years old, and the Pewter and Cerulean Gyms routinely rivaled each other for the title of the best gym in the Pokemon League.  Brock had opened a small breeding center on the side, which was also doing quite well.  Though she wasn't living a luxurious life, most would say that she had it made at twenty-four.

    There was only one blemish in her perfect life: Ash.


    He wasn't actually doing anything to aggravate Misty; in fact, she hadn't seen him in person since that day eight long years ago.  No, the way that Ash had become a wound that just would not heal was through her mind.

    Eight long years ago...

    She had been sixteen and had just bloomed into quite the Waterflower. Brock's hormones had finally settled down at twenty, and he had become content to wait for the right person to come along.   However, he had found that person right under his nose, as Misty started to grow into a young lady.  They had started dating, with Ash's blessings, and soon, they were the happiest couple under the sun.

    Then, one morning, Ash left.  Misty had not even been able to say goodbye.  All that was left was a shakily written, slightly tear-stained letter...

Dear Misty and Brock,     Wow, these past four months have been quite something, don't you think? Each day has gotten brighter and brighter with love blooming before my very eyes!  Well, it's been four months and it seems that this relationship is trying to go somewhere, except I am holding it back.  But I'll be a third wheel no longer, and I shall be gone this morning to let your love go to even greater heights!  I hope that you will continue on happily, and one day get married; there could not be a better match made in heaven.

With the fondest blessings, Ash Satoshi Ketchum

P.S. I'll send you the bike for a wedding present!

    That day marked a major turning point for Misty.  Over Brock's minor objections, Misty decided that since Ash apparently didn't want to have anything to do with her, she wasn't going to have anything to do with Ash. She resolved to forge a new life with Brock as the Cerulean City Gym leader and to forget about Ash...about the bike...about the memories and the good times.

    She stayed true to her promise, returning to Cerulean, marrying Brock, creating a family.  And the fact that Ash decided to keep a low profile for the next few years also helped her forget about him.  But, every once in a while, a memory, a good time with Ash, would sneak up on her when she would least expect it, and would leave a cloud hanging over her usually cheerful attitude.

    Then, over a span of the past year, in the most amazing show of Pokemon talent and dominance, Ash swept through in succession the Pokemon League, the Orange League, and the Johto League.  His name and face had started popping up all over the place, and Misty couldn't take it.  She slowly but surely stopped keeping up with current events, just to stop from seeing his face, still as cute a ever, pop up on the television or in the newspaper or in a magazine or everywhere.  In fact, she didn't even know that he had won the Johto League until a package had come in the mail two weeks ago...

    Two weeks ago, a medium-sized package had arrived at her house.  In it were a green backpack and a short, terse, impersonal letter from some law firm in Viridian...

Mrs. Misty Kasumi Waterflower Slate:     On February 14, Ashton Satoshi Ketchum--Pokemon, Orange, and Johto League Champion--died in a cave-in while exploring the Unknown Dungeon at the age of twenty-one.  In his will, he left the enclosed backpack to you.

    Immediately after she had read the letter, she stuffed the backpack, letter, box, and all into a dark corner in a closet somewhere and tried to forget about it--to put it out of her mind as she had the owner years before.

    But just as its owner had before, the backpack and its arrival cast a noticeable shadow over Misty's usually happy demeanor.  Finally, Brock had been able to pry out what was bothering her and had convinced her to bring some closure to it all by actually looking through the backpack.

    Now, she was sitting in her living room with the contents of the backpack laid out in front of her.  There was the usual traveling and spelunking equipment.  Then there were seven Pokeballs, one with a tiny lightning bolt on it, another colored blue.  Nothing really unusual there. Then there was a Cascade Badge.  There was a tattered, faded picture of a black-haired boy and a red-haired girl both in kimonos seemingly enjoying themselves dancing.  Finally, a slightly crumpled plain white envelope that said nothing but "To Misty".  She had sat there for the past ten minutes, trying to work up the courage to open the envelope.

    Brock had decided to drop down in the living room again to check up on her, and found her in that state.  He finally was able to coax her to open the envelope.

    Out spilled a wad of assorted paper bills and a letter, which Misty shakily took up and read.  She noted that it was dated about a year earlier...

Dearest Misty,     I don't know why I'm even writing this letter, or doing this in my will.  What am I're a married woman with two kids and here I am, poor rejected Ash, still trying to steal your heart.

    Well, there, I said it.  I loved you all those eight years ago, and I love you still.  I don't think that you'll ever know how much your dating Brock hurt me, but I knew that as long as you were happy, my heart could wait.  I watched for four months, always wishing you two the best of luck on the outside, slowly tearing myself apart on the inside.  By the time I left you two, I was nothing but an empty shell.

    I tried to forget about you, to move on, but I just couldn't.  For a while, something about every single waking moment reminded me about you. You even invaded my dreams, sometimes in a good way, but many times in a nightmarish way.  Many times, the friendship of my Pokemon, especially Pikachu, was all that kept me from calling it quits right then.

    After a year, I was finally able to slowly cope with life after you. However, I still trained a Tentacool extensively in hopes that one day you would break up with Brock, and I might get a chance and finally pop the big question and give you the best-trained Tentacruel in the world as an engagement present.  But I guess (and probably subconsciously knew) that wasn't destined to happen.

    I was there on your wedding day.  I don't know why exactly I went, but I did.  I hid in the shadows in the back for most of the service.  Seeing you go up the aisle in that gorgeous white looked like the most delicate, beautiful angel ever produced by heaven.  Then, I saw how happy you were as you got married to Brock and became Misty Slate, instead of Misty Ketchum, and I knew that even if I could do something to ruin your perfect union, I wouldn't because you were happy and that was all that mattered.  Since I hadn't been able to save up fast enough, I didn't have a bike for you, but I did bring a water stone and a moon stone and I left them as I quietly slipped out of the area.

    Did you know I came by to visit you once?  I was the challenger in the Pokemon League cap who used a Butterfree and a Pidgeotto to win but refused the badge.  I dyed my hair blond and convinced Pikachu to get in his Pokeball for once, since I didn't think that I could take a face-to-face meeting if you actually knew who I was.  I stayed behind to play a little with Junior and Mary a bit.  Those kids of yours were quite cute, and I hope they become as successful as their mother and father.

    It was then that it finally really sunk in that the love I held would forever be unrequited, as it should be.  That was a week ago.  Now I'm writing this letter as a person who is trying to let go of a crush from seven years ago, who knows that that crush will never blossom into mutual love, but who just can't let go.

    If you're reading this, I've probably died.  Maybe it will be by accident, maybe it will be forced, maybe it will be natural...I don't know. All I know is that I hope that this doesn't change in any way your relationship with Brock.  I know that that's wishful thinking from a lovelorn soul who can't move on from first love that you might have ever harbored any feelings for me, but I want you to understand that I am just trying to find some kind of closure for myself by doing this.

    Well, I've dumped my emotions for long enough.  I'm going to bring my letter to a close soon.  But first, explanations of what I hope you'll find in my backpack.  There should be seven Pokeballs.  Recently, in my travels, I came upon my old Butterfree.  Having brought my first six back together, I decided to release Muk and Kingler.  (Muk actually decided to stay on with Professor Oak.)  Now I've decided just to use these six: Butterfree, Pidgeotto, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charizard, and Pikachu.  Since all of these Pokemon were the most comfortable with you and Brock at the beginning of my journey, I have decided to leave them to you.  I am sure that you will treat them well.  If I wasn't able to get them back into their Pokeballs and into my backpack in time, you can ask Professor Oak for them.  I think that he'd be glad to give them to you if you tell him the reason.  In addition, in the blue Pokeball is the Tentacruel that you always wanted. I've worked hard to train that Pokemon, and I hope that you get along with him very well.

    The Cascade Badge I won from you is also probably in there, along with a picture of you and me at the summer festival on Maiden's Peak.  These are the only mementos that I have of you, and I have kept and probably will keep them with me to help me remember you.

    Finally, there is the money in this envelope.  I've been saving slowly from day one to get you your new bike, and I finally just recently gotten to my target amount.  I hope that this will cover the cost of any new bike that you want.  Well, I told you I was good for it, didn't I?  I just hope that inflation doesn't drive the price up too high.

    Sigh, however funny I try to be, I just can't hold back my tears.  I'm writing this in an attempt to close one chapter in my life, and although much of it was bitter and depressing, I will never forget the best part of my life: the time I spent with you.

With the best and final regards, Ashton Satoshi Ketchum

    As Misty read the letter, her tears joined those that had blurred the ink a year earlier.  Finally, as she finished, she dropped the letter beside the lovingly collected money for the best custom bike in the world, and she fell into her husband's comforting hug, knowing also that this might be a close for an important chapter of her life as well.


Author's Notes

    Wow!  I thought up the idea of Misty going through Ash's backpack which he had left her in his final will as I was going to bed one night, and have felt so inspired that I just had to write this little angst-filled (hopefully) fanfic.  It feels good to write off an inspiration, especially if you suffer from permanent writer's block. ^_^

    Anyways, I hope that you felt rewarded for the time you wasted reading this melodramatic foray into human emotions.  I'm pretty sure the central idea (the final letter from Ash) is mine, though you never know, considering the amount of fan fiction that I've read.  There are probably many influences from many different sources, too.  Nonetheless, the long time it took to write this little piece of sadness was mine, so please tell me what you think, even a simple "I liked it" or "I hated it", either through the email below or (for those of you on FanFiction.Net) through the review box even further below.  Thanks.

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    In the United States, Pokemon and its affiliated characters, creatures, machines, and concepts are copyrighted and/or licensed by Nintendo of America; Game Freak; Creatures, Inc.; 4Kids Productions; and many others, none of whom the author is affiliated with.  This fan fiction is not for profit and is not intended in any way to be harmful to the above-mentioned companies.

This fan fiction was first released on July 4, 2001.