This is a little Christmas Pokeshipping fic that I wasn't going to write but some how I did...anyway, rating is PG-13 to be nice and safe...I think that is all, on with the ficcy! (6.5 pages)
A Stranger in the Night
'Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the gym,
not a creature was stirring,
not even him! (Pointy arrow on Gyarados)
Snuggling deeper into her duvet, Misty let out one arm to switch off the lamp next to her bed and cuddled Azurill closer to her to share their warmth. Her baby let out a faint "Azuu..." as she became comfortable and relaxed into her mother's arms to drift off to sleep.
Closing her eyes also, Misty calmed down every sense that tingled with the approach of Christmas Day. As she fell asleep, she found herself thinking that the next day was going to be good, even though she was alone. However if that one person was to come and see her, her Christmas would be perfect.
"Merry Christmas!" boomed a large man standing at the station, dressed as Santa Clause and collecting for money for the local orphanage. Most people on the platform ignored him, too intent on getting home to see those they loved most and wrap those last few gifts for their special someone. However a young man paused for a moment, digging into his pocket to retrieve some coins before dropping them into the bucket that served as the collection. Peering into the bucket, the large man raised his eye brows to look at the handsome, dark haired man before him, a cap obscuring his face while a small yellow pokemon sat sleepily on his shoulder as if to question the amount put in. The man shrugged nonchalantly and turned towards the exit that led into the main City of Cerulean. Regaining his senses, the man called out to him, "Thank you young man, and have a very Merry Christmas!" The man smiled gently to himself at the comment, giving the large man no knowledge if his reply had been heard. However the pokemon on his shoulder jerked awake at the large man's call and looked back for a moment before asking, "Pikapi, chu pi pi pikachu?"
He smiled again for the little pokemon and told him it was nothing and to just go back to sleep. But the yellow rodent was too awake now to go back to sleep so he sat up until they had left the station, needing to clutch onto his trainer's hat to prevent himself being blown away by the sudden blast of cold air that brought a flurry of snow along with it for the ride that chilled the people on the busy streets to the bone.
Together, the young man and his Pikachu walked the streets away from the main metropolis and hive of desperate late night Christmas shoppers and into the calmer streets of housing. Here, the snow lay fresh and neatly powdered and his footsteps broke the uniform white to show the dark places where his travel worn shoes had taken their master closer to his destination.
The snow continued to swirl around them and gently fall to the ground as he neared his destination, a domed building with a sculpture of a seel like pokemon mounted on the roof. The bright, gay colours on the roof couldn't be seen through the powder of snow that had taken over the building and the street lights could never hold enough power to reveal them in their full glory under the cover of darkness. But this was the man's destination and the lack of vibrant colours could not fool him in what the true nature of this building was. It was the Cerulean Gym and home to one of his best friends.
Staring at the blank, vacant windows he heaved a sigh and walked up to the glass doors, brushing a place on the floor clear of snow before turning around and taking a seat to wait for morning and the occupant to open the door.
"Pikapi?" questioned the rodent carefully as he hopped off his shoulder and onto the ground, creating tiny black paw prints in the white snow.
“What?” asked his trainer, frowning at the now wide awake Pikachu before him.
“Pika pi chupi pipichu pikachupi pi chu pi pi chupi?” (Why aren’t you calling Misty to get in the Gym?) Asked the Pikachu with his head to one side.
“Because,” he said with a smile, “I don’t want to wake her up when she’s asleep.”
“Pika pichu chu pika pi chupi pika pi?” (Why don’t you want to wake her up?) Asked the ever curious Pikachu with a wicked grin on his face.
Not liking the pokemon’s expression, the man shuffled on his cold seat and answered, “Well, one I don’t want her to end up tired for Christmas Day because I she had to let me in. Two I’ll also wake up the pokemon and three…” he gave a slight shudder before continuing, “Hell hath no fury like Misty when you wake her up!”
Sitting on his haunches for a moment, Pikachu thought through what his trainer had just told him before looking up and along the building in front of him. Giving his trainer only a wicked grin of mischief, Pikachu bounded forwards, up onto his head and grabbed onto the drain pipe running down the wall a few feet to the left of the young man’s seat. Quickly, the man got to his feet and hissed for his pokemon to come down before he could disturb the occupants. Pikachu gave another of his trademark cheeky grins and shook his head before scampering up the pipe, onto the roof out of site of the panicked man beneath.
Tap Tap Tap…
Misty shook her head to dislodge the noise in her head and buried her head deeper into the pillow.
Tap Tap Tap…
She pulled her arm over her ears, wanting the disturbance to go away and let her sleep in peace. However the noise and her movements had awoken the Azurill beside her who sat up, blinking blearily about the room. The tapping noise came again and she directed her attention to the small gap in the curtains over the window. Removing herself from Misty’s grasp, Azurill hopped onto the ground and over to the chair by the window which she used as a stepping stone onto the window sill. Her movements stirred her trainer who sat up and rubbed her eyes to look at what had captured her pokemon’s attention.
“Pikachupi!” Came an excited voice from the window where a small yellow being could be just made out through the thin slit in the curtain. Frowning at the strange occurrence, Misty gingerly swung her legs out of her warm and cosy bed, shivering in the frigid air. Wrapping her arms tightly around herself she approached the window and pulled back the curtain to discover a jubilant Pikachu perched on the window sill.
With a shocked expression she opened the window, letting in a blast of freezing air into the room as well as the grateful Pikachu. Shaking the snow from his body, Pikachu leapt up onto the surface next to Misty and began babbling away in his native tongue. She immediately regretted never keeping up her Pikachu speak understanding skills as she could make out just a few words such as, “Pikachupi”, his name for her, and “Cold”.
Giving Pikachu a look of hopeless misunderstanding she said, “I’m sorry buddy, I can’t make out what you’re saying. Hang on…” she paused for a moment to think, “If you’re here, then where’s Ash?”
Giving her a look that obviously meant “Finally!” Pikachu bounded onto the floor and over to the door, leaping up to pull down the handle and disappearing through the open doorway in a flash of yellow. Misty grabbed Azurill before she followed Pikachu, along the corridor and down the stairs, wishing she had put on her slippers once her feet touched the freezing surface of the linoleum tiles of the kitchen. Moving out of the house area of the Gym, Pikachu lead Misty to the foyer and began pointing through the glass doors at a dejected shape slumped against the door. Placing Azurill on the reception desk, she grabbed the keys from their hook and proceeded to open the door.
A strong cold wind blew through the open door as the unknown figure fell backwards when the door opened to stare directly up into the face of a very surprised and frozen red haired girl. Their eyes held the other captive for a moment until the young man on the floor jumped to his senses and leapt onto his feet to help her close the door and leave the frigid wind out of the gym.
Once the door was finally shut, Misty took a look at the man before her, comparing his image with how he was when she had last seen him, back when he had returned from the Hoenn region. The first thing she noted was that he was much taller, and broader in his physique that before. His hair was still as untamed as ever beneath the red and black hat with a pale blue semi-pokeball design on the front. He looked good in the black and yellow shirt with the white collar turned up, older and more mature than his previous look. However, the shirt had short sleeves and it was freezing outside so he was shivering quite badly.
“Ash…What are you doing here?” she inquired, giving him a searching glare.
“H…he…hey Mist-st-sty” he shivered while giving her one of his trademark grins and rubbing his frozen hands briskly up and down his arms.
She gave him a scathing look and murmured “Idiot…” before picking up Azurill from the counter and walking through the Gym, back into the house.
“Pika! Pi pika chu kachu pikachu!” (See! I knew she wouldn’t mind!) Chirruped Pikachu as he leapt onto his trainer’s shoulder with a smile and received a glare in return.
Flicking on the lights to the lounge, Misty motioned for him to sit on the sofa while she fetched him a blanket and entered the kitchen to make some hot chocolate for all of them. Waiting for Misty to return, the Ash admired the wonderfully decorated Christmas tree in the far corner of the room. Pale blue lights adorned the tree, alongside blue and silver tinsel and every ornament was in the shape of one of Misty’s pokemon – even Psyduck!
One ornament caught his eye. It was right in the centre of the tree and it was a picture of himself and Misty at a Christmas party a few years ago, sometime during the Johto League when they had returned to Pallet Town for a few days. They were both wearing Christmas hats and Misty had expertly placed some silver tinsel in her hair. Huge grins were plastered over their faces and he could remember the moment the photo had been captured. Immediately afterwards, Brock had pointed out they were standing beneath some mistletoe, making Misty blush quite badly. He had been so terrified he’d sprinted off faster than anyone could have believed and avoided anything to do with Misty or mistletoe for the entire evening.
“You were so funny that night.” Said Misty from behind him, holding forth a mug of steaming hot chocolate. “I had wanted to tell you something that night, but every time I got near you avoided me, terrified of what might happen!”
“Yeah well, we all know I wasn’t the brightest spark when I was younger.” He grinned back and taking a small sip of the scalding drink, decided to wait a while before enjoying the chocolaty goodness. “What had you wanted to say?” he asked her with a frown, she hadn’t said anything out of the ordinary the next day.
“Oh, nothing important really, anyway…that was a long time ago.” She turned her back on him and took a seat on the sofa, waiting for Ash to sit beside her before asking, “So what are you doing here?”
Taken by surprise at the bluntness of Misty’s question, it took a while for the request to process in him mind and for a plausible answer to be given. “Well, Hikari had to go back and spend the holidays with her mother. There was no way of her of getting out of that, so Brock and I decided to come back to Kanto for the holidays rather than hang about in Sinnoh.” He shrugged slightly. “And I’m sorry to have woken you up at this time, I promise you it wasn’t my fault a certain someone ran off and up a drain pipe!” he gave Pikachu a glare of annoyance.
“So what were you going to do for the night if you weren’t going to wake me up?” she inquired, putting her hot chocolate on the coffee table and pulling her legs towards and under her for comfort.
“I was going to wait until the morning…” he muttered.
“You were going to stay out all night in the snow storm so that in the morning I could come down and find a frozen popsicle stick on my porch? Yeah, great plan you idiot!” she scathed and whacked him over the head, but a little more gentle than normal and more playful than with the intent of causing him any serious harm.
He tried to dodge the in coming attack but failed and the two ended up laughing at how immature they still were together. But it was different to when they had travelled together all those years ago. The atmosphere between them was more friendly and fun than actually argumentative.
For a moment, silence filled the air and Misty clutched her mug and stared into the murky depths of the chocolate. She looked up again at Ash to ask something that had been bothering her since he had mentioned coming back to Kanto for the holidays. “So why did you come here rather than go to Pallet Town to see your mum and everyone else?”
Ash shuffled in his seat for a moment, looking a little uneasy but replied, “Because I didn’t really want to spend Christmas with her…I wanted to spend it with you…” he began to blush a little and looked away. “I mean, I knew your sisters were away and I didn’t want you to have to spend Christmas on your own so I thought you might appreciate my presence more than my mum who is spending it with the professor and Tracey anyway!” he finished in a rush, hoping that this rather lame excuse would be enough to hide his true intentions.
“Oh…” responded Misty, also turning a faint red. “That’s really sweet of you, thanks…” She looked away and saw Azurill’s eyelids beginning to fall a little so she drained her mug, took Ash’s and deposited them in the kitchen. Returning with another blanket she gave it to Ash, “Azurill’s really tired so I think we should go to sleep. Do you mind sleeping down here? It’s just that the guest room isn’t fit for human inhabitance at the moment!”
“Yeah, that’s ok with me.” Ash got to his feet, kicked off his shoes and unfolded the extra blanket. While he was busy, Misty was just about to pick up Azurill and go back to her bead when the bells of the local church could be heard, tolling the hour. They paused to count the dongs as they reverberated through the air…Dong…One…Dong…Two…Dong…Three… And so on until the last dong, the twelfth faded into the darkness. Approaching the window together, they observed that the snow storm had abated in its fury and was now a gentle falling of tiny flakes of snow that covered the ground to turn the world a shining white.
Walking back to his bag, Ash began to look for something and called Misty back into the room. “Considering it’s now Christmas day, I’d like you to have your present now…” Ash offered forward a small box, wrapped in blue and silver wrapping paper that came from the bottom of the bag. Knowing what the gift was, Pikachu gave his trainer a look of surprise and the image of being impressed, receiving a knowing look of understanding in return. He was really going to tell her…unless he combuskins out in the end though. Deciding that a little privacy may help the proceedings along, Pikachu approached Azurill and helped lead the little mouse up the stairs to tuck it into Misty’s bed, getting comfortable as well to keep Azurill company in the land of dreams.
Gently taking the parcel from him, she looked at it for a moment before placing it on the sofa and walking over to the Christmas tree. She picked up one of the parcels, wrapped in pale blue with Christmas styled water pokemon motif wrapping paper. She turned to face Ash again and handed him the parcel. “Since you want me to open mine, it’s only fitting that you open yours.”
“Thank you Misty, I didn’t think you’d get me one cos you didn’t know I was coming.” Said Ash, taking the parcel from her and blushing slightly when their fingers brushed against the other.
“I’d get you one whether you were coming or not, the problem would just be getting it to you.” Smiled Misty as she sat beside him on the sofa with her present on her lap. “Go on, you open up yours first.”
He gently removed the wrapping paper from his gifts and gasped at what emerged found. On his lap lay a black, leather bound book with a gold trimming and held closed by a ribbon tied around the covers. Glancing at Misty for a moment, he pulled the ends of the ribbon and opened the first few pages.
“I got the idea a while ago.” Said Misty as she explained her gift. “I decided to make a copy of every photo I had of the two of us, as well as take more photos of other important places for us, such as the lake where I pulled you out of the water.” She pointed to the first picture of the album of a lake with a slightly rocky shore, taken from the exact spot she had been standing when her line had snagged a suspected water pokemon to only be a boy and his Pikachu. “I then compiled two sets of scrap books that are identical, one for you and one for me so that we could always remember the great times we had when travelling together. I also went through and annotated when it was and other information. You’re welcome to add to them.”
Ash remained in silence as he flicked through the pages, certain places and incidents he could remember very well himself, such as the reason she had travelled with him, wincing at the photo of a wrecked bike she had taken as evidence of his destructive nature. Further on was a photo he had a copy of anyway, taken at the Maiden’s Peak festival which Misty had annotated with the caption, “The first time I got Ash to dance, an experience no one should have to endure again!” He gave her a mock glare once reading this and she replied with a faint blush while he continued to flick through the pages again. Cutting to nearly the end of the photos, Ash found the last one of them all together, right after the Silver Conference in Johto when Misty had needed to return to the Gym. It had been taken by Nurse Joy, just out of Viridian City and pictured them with the hills and mountains rolling behind them while the group, accompanied by every pokemon who had gone through the Johto League with them, were smiling and had their arms around each other, Brock on the left, Misty on the right and Ash in the middle with Pikachu perched on his head. Misty had written next to the photo, “The last time we were together.” Next to this statement were a few small splodges on the perfectly white paper where small drops of water or tears had landed and left their solitary mark.
Seeing the photo he was looking at she murmured, “I was so sad that day when I had to leave and come here. It felt like I was losing a part of myself when I had to say goodbye like that. However much you say to a person that you will meet again some day, because you never know when that day is, there is nothing to look forward to, no countdown to begin. Nothing.” Tears were forming in her eyes again as she remembered that moment and Ash pulled her into a hug that was full of warmth and comfort.
She clung on to him while he murmured back, “It’s alright Misty, I’m here now. And thank you so much for the scrap book, this is truly one of the best things I have ever received,” He paused for a moment, contemplating whether to say what he truly wanted to tell her but instead added, “other than meeting you in the first place of course.”
She pulled back with a smile on her face and whispered, “Thank you…” before turning her attention to her own present on Ash’s request. Under the wrapping paper was a small blue box that opened when the top halves were slid away from each other. Inside, nestled on some ruffled blue silk lay a pale blue half of a heart. Its blue colours swirled slightly when moved to give the shape an almost liquid appearance. Where the heart was severed from the other half ran a jagged line that was bound by pure gold. Misty gasped and for a moment could barely breathe when the familiarity of the object hit her. Slowly, as if under a trance she removed from beneath her pyjamas half of a blue heart, similar to that of the one in the box but this time on a gold chain that attached where the top centre of the heart would lie if it was intact with gold binding running down the jagged edge. This had also been given to her as a gift from the man beside her, only two years before when she had left him in Hoenn after bidding a farewell to Togepi in the Mirage Kingdom. At the time, she had not been able to open it with him there, the rush for her boat had been too great so he had written her a note to explain the item, a note she had kept and read over and over again since.
The words of what he had written back then flowed through her mind as though she was reading it again.
I don’t know if you have ever seen one of these before, it’s not exactly common, and it’s given as a gift to the person that means most to you. Here is one half of the pendant and symbolises that a great and strong friendship operates between the two people. When the pendant is separated, as it is now, whenever one holder of the heart thinks of the other, their feelings can be felt, regardless of the distance by the heart glowing red and becoming warm to the touch. This is my way of showing you that I do care about you and I do think of you when we’re not together. I wish you could be travelling with us again, but I understand that you have to stay at the Gym so all I can do is think of you when I win a battle or when Max has to remove Brock from Nurse Joy, Officer Jenny or any other beautiful woman because it has always been your job to comment on my battle and to sort out Brock, in a way only you know how.
Thinking of you always,
Coming back to the present day she looked across at Ash before lifting the half of the heart on the satin backing to the one on the gold chain around her neck. When the two halves connected and became whole again, the gold along both sides of the jagged edges of the heart shone a blinding gold for a moment before the heart glitters and appeared a beautiful ruby red that merged with the gold. Once the light faded, the heart was completely whole and now glowed as if made of ruby.
“When I gave you the first half of the heart,” began Ash, turning to slightly face Misty but keeping his eyes on the pendant in her hands. “I wondered if I would ever be able to give you the other half. If I could be brave enough to tell you how I really feel. If I would be brave enough to tell you that I love you, and I have done for as long as I can remember.” He looked up into her face when he said this, to see her face of perfection fill with emotion. She looked back into his nervous face, so full of hope that she wouldn’t spurn his affections and reveal her feelings for him were to a much lesser degree than his own.
Placing her hands in his, she interlocked their fingers and whispered back, “Since the moment I met you, I knew you were something special, someone I would never be able to live without later in my life and to leave you for this place tore my heart in half. I have loved you since almost the moment we met and being apart has only made my love for you grow stronger in the hope that one day I would be able to tell you how I feel and that you would return my feelings.”
The stared deeply into one another’s eyes and Ash brought up his hand to gently brush away a strand of red hair that had fallen across her face. She closed her eyes and rubbed her face into his hand, needing more of his touch, placing her hand over his to hold it against her face before opening her eyes again.
The distance between them narrowed and their lips met for the first time. Gentle at first, their emotions soon over came any hesitancy as Ash placed his arms around her waist and pulled her towards him while she locked her arms around his neck, revelling in the close contact between them.
Breaking apart, Misty lay her head on his chest, her arms still wrapped tightly around him, now over his broad chest while his hands played with her soft hair. Snuggling closer towards him she pulled one blanket over them both as Ash rested his arms over her back. He softly kissed the top of her head and whispered, “Are you sure you want to stay here? Wouldn’t you rather sleep in your bed?”
“You’re so silly. I just want to be with you so I couldn’t care less where I sleep, as long as I’m with you. Plus I think Pikachu and Azurill have already taken the bed.”
She smiled cheekily from his chest and he lent forward to give her another kiss before whispering softly, “Merry Christmas Misty.”
“Merry Christmas Ash.” She replied, returning the kiss and they soon fell asleep in each others arms as the snow drifted past the window to pile up against doors and windows, blocking the world from view and snowing in all occupants to the Gym. Yes, it was going to be a very Merry Christmas.
Well, I hope you liked it, and just in time for Christmas so I hope this puts you in the festive mood. ^^ Just a few points, I’m sorry for using the Maiden’s Peak festival photo, it’s just such a good moment for pokeshipping that it can’t not be used! And sorry for the corny ending…*shudders* In fact, sorry the whole thing is pretty corny and I hope you forget this fic before the final of The Beginning of A New End arrives cos that bit and all ideas came before this one, yet the two kinda similar…yeah…any comments?