Happy Holidays everyone! Here's a Christmas inpired fic for your reading pleasure.

And just for the record I do own Pokémon and I... (lawyer walks up and whispers something)... what do you mean I don't own Pokémon? (whispers something else)... what do you mean the games don't count?! (whispers something else)... oh, alright!

Other than the games I purchased I don't own Pokémon... man, that sucks.

Anyway, on with the fic!

The Perfect Christmas

Christmas was always a highly celebrated holiday throughout the world of Pokémon, and this year would be no exception. All over Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and all the other regions families were getting ready for that magical day. This was especially true in Pallet Town. Despite being on Kanto's southwestern edge near the ocean the small town still enjoyed a modest amount of snowfall the previous night. Children were outside building snowmen and having the occasional snowball fight. Among those outside were a trio of familiar trainers and their Pokémon. Ash, Brock and Dawn had decided to take a break from their Sinnoh journey to spend the holidays in Pallet Town.

"Are you sure you two don't mind spending the holidays with me?" Ash asked. "I mean you do have your own families to think of."

"Of course we don't mind," Brock replied. "Besides, have you seen my house during Christmas? I'd be much safer spending it with you."

"And my mom didn't mind either," Dawn said. "In fact she wasn't even going to be home for Christmas. She said she was going to spend the holidays with some friends of hers from another region. Besides, your hometown looks absolutely beautiful."

"I know. Pallet Town was always a great place to spend the Christmas holidays at," Ash said. As the three of them looked around Ash could feel something moving around in his backpack. Then, a pair of black-tip, pointy yellow ears popped out. That was soon followed by the rest of Ash's Mouse Pokémon companion.

"Pi Ka Pi Chu? (Are we there yet?)" Pikachu asked.

"Yeah, we're here," Ash answered. Pikachu quickly scrambled out of Ash's backpack and climbed to his favorite spot on top of his head. He let out a few 'cha's as he looked around the snow-covered town.

"So, has everyone finished their Christmas shopping?" Dawn asked.

"I finished my Christmas shopping a few months ago," Brock said. "When you have a family as big as mine you learn to take care of things like that as early as you can. What about you, Dawn?"

"I already gave my mom her Christmas gift," she replied. "I gave it to her when we passed through Twinleaf Town on our way here."

"Good thinking," Brock said. "Have you finished yours, Ash?"

"Huh? Oh... well, most of it," Ash replied.

"Most? Who haven't you gotten one for yet? Not me, I hope," Dawn said.

"It's not one of you guys," Ash replied.

"Then who is it?" Dawn asked.

"An old friend, one that Pikachu, Brock and I used to travel with," Ash replied. Right then Brock and Pikachu knew who Ash was talking about. Out of all their old traveling companions there was one he hadn't gotten anything for yet.

"Well, maybe I can help," Dawn said. "What's this person like?" Ash wanted nothing more than to have Dawn's help, but he also knew if she found out exactly who this person was she'd tease him about it the entire trip.

"Well, she's really... oh, what's the word I'm looking for..."

"Independent?" Brock suggested.

"Yeah, that'll work," Ash said. "She's real independent, and she loves Water Pokémon more than anything." Dawn had to think for a bit. Whoever Ash was talking about was independent, a lover of Water Pokémon, and on top of everything else a girl. She had a feeling that she should know who he was talking about, but she couldn't put a finger on it. That is, until Pikachu went back into Ash's backpack and came out holding something.

"Pikachu! What are you doing?!" Ash asked. The small rodent was holding what looked like a fishing lure. But it wasn't just any fishing lure. When Dawn looked at it she immediately knew who Ash was talking about.

"It's Misty, isn't it!" she said.

"Pika! (Bingo!)" Pikachu said. Ash knew what was coming next. He hung his head and prepared to face Dawn's teasing. But when it didn't come he looked up slightly, only to be greeted with Dawn's smiling face.

"What?" he asked.

"That's real sweet of you, Ash," she said.

"Wait. You mean, you're not going to tease me about it?" he asked.

"Why would I do that? I only wish I had a guy thoughtful enough to get me a special gift," Dawn replied. With the threat of Dawn's teasing brought to an end the group started thinking about what would be the perfect gift for Misty.

"Why not get her some perfume, or maybe a make-up kit," Dawn suggested.

"That's not her style," Ash said. "Misty's not into beauty products."

"Okay then... well, how about getting her a Pokémon. You did say she loved Water Pokémon," Dawn said.

"I don't know," Ash said. "Misty the type of person who would prefer to catch her own rather than let someone catch them for her."

"Not that either, huh? That's fine," Dawn said. "How about a custom Poké ball! Those are always a nice gift."

"No, that wouldn't do," Ash said. "Man, why did I have to wait so long to get her something?! All of the best gifts are gone already!" Dawn and Brock were beginning to feel sorry for Ash. They both knew he needed a gift for Misty, but with all the good ones already bought it appeared as though he wouldn't have anything for her.

"You know you're not making this easy, Ash," Dawn said. "Those were good gift suggestions."

"I know, but I want this to be more than good," Ash replied. "It has to be perfect." Before Dawn could ask why Ash spotted his house in the distance.

"Come on, guys!" he said. "I can already smell my mom's cooking!" With speed that would put a Rapidash to shame Ash took off towards his house, Pikachu holding on for dear life. With Ash gone Dawn decided to ask Brock something.

"Do you have any idea why Ash didn't like any of the gifts I suggested?" she asked. "They may not have been the perfect ones in his eyes but they're better than nothing, right?"

"True, but I think there's more to this than he's admitting," Brock said.

"What do you mean?" Dawn asked.

"I think Ash finally realizes what everyone else did long ago," Brock said. Dawn was more confused now than she was five minutes ago. But rather than try to get Brock to explain she decided to wait a while. With that the two hurried ahead to catch up with Ash.

"Mom! We're here!"

"Pika! (Hello!)" As soon as they entered the house they immediately smelled something from the kitchen. No doubt Mrs. Ketchum was preparing a welcome home meal for Ash.

"Oh man. I hate to say this Brock, but if Ash's mom's cooking tastes half as good as it smells then you've got some serious competition," Dawn said.

"There won't be any competition, Dawn," Brock said. "No matter how good my cooking is there's no substitution for home cooking."

"Mom? Are you back there?" Ash called.

"I'll be with you in a minute, sweetie." Seconds later Ash's mom Delia walked out of the kitchen, a smile on her face.

"Welcome home, Ash," she said as she hugged Ash.

"It's good to be home," Ash said, returning her hug.

"Hello to you too, Pikachu," Delia said, picking up the mouse and giving it a hug as well. Pikachu let out a content 'cha' before being put down.

"It's good to see you again, Brock," she said.

"It's good to see you too, Mrs. Ketchum," the breeder replied.

"And it good to finally meet you in person, Dawn," she said.

"Nice to meet you, too," Dawn said. "I hope you don't mind us staying for the holidays."

"Of course not," Delia said cheerily. "Any friend of my Ash is welcome in our home." While the greetings were still going on Ash noticed Pikachu had vanished.

"Hey, did anyone see where Pikachu went?" he asked.

"I didn't see him go anywhere," Brock said.

"Me neither," Dawn said. Then, they heard a commotion coming from the kitchen. Ash immediately knew what it was.

"Oh man. I think he went for the ketchup," he said. "Did you by any chance get a few extra bottles?"

"Of course," she said. "When you called and told me you were coming back I made sure to get a few extra ketchup bottles just for him."

"Hey Pikachu! Take it easy on the ketchup, okay?!" Ash called.

"Pika! (Okay!)" Pikachu called back before resuming his task of emptying his current bottle.

"So, is everyone finished with their Christmas shopping?" Delia asked.

"Brock and I are," Dawn replied. "Ash is still looking for something."

"You're not finished yet?" Delia asked. "Who are you still shopping for?" Ash mumbled something that she couldn't understand.

"Who?" she asked. Ash said it a bit louder, but she still couldn't understand who he said. Brock decided to save Ash from any future embarrassment.

"It's for Misty," he said. Ash looked at Brock. He gave the breeder a 'thank you' look.

"For Misty, huh. Well, what are you looking for?" Delia asked.

"That's the problem," Ash said. "I don't know. I know there are great gifts still out there but none of them are good enough."

"You can say that again," Dawn said. "We already suggested a lot of good gifts but Ash didn't like any of them."

"It's not that I didn't like any of them. It's just... I don't want just any gift for Misty," Ash replied. During this Delia started thinking about the real reason Ash hadn't found a gift for Misty yet.

"Well, I'm sure that she'll love whatever gift you get her," she said. "Now, I'll let you get settled in." Ash and Dawn left to go get themselves unpacked for their stay, but Brock stayed behind to speak with Delia.

"So, you noticed it too?" he asked. Delia nodded.

"Looks like my Ash has finally found someone," she said.

"I just hope he doesn't obsess too much over the gift he wants to get her," Brock said.

"I wouldn't worry too much about that," Delia said. "I've got some gift catalogs he can look through later."

"That might help," Brock said. With that he left to join Ash and Dawn while Delia headed back into the kitchen to finish her cooking and supervise Pikachu to make sure he didn't overdo it on the ketchup.

It was much later in the day. Brock and Dawn had left to go check out the town while Ash stayed home and looked through the gift catalogs his mom had mentioned earlier. They all had good gifts but...

"Man, none of these gifts are good enough," Ash said. Right then his mom walked in.

"Still don't see anything?" she asked. Ash shook his head.

"These are good, but not good enough for Misty," Ash said.

"Christmas is a little more than two weeks away. You need to decide on something before it gets too late," Delia said.

"I know, but that's easier said than done," Ash said. At that moment Brock and Dawn came back.

"Pallet Town is so beautiful, much better than Twinleaf Town!" Dawn said.

"Yeah. Pallet Town always looks beautiful during the holidays," Ash said.

"Hey! Why don't we head over to Professor Oak's lab and let our Pokémon out for some fun," Brock suggested.

"Good idea," Delia said. "What do you think, Ash?"

"Sounds good to me," Ash said. "I haven't seen them in so long and I know they'd love to meet all my new Pokémon." Upon hearing they were heading to Professor Oak's lab to meet all of Ash's other Pokémon Pikachu ran up to Ash and jumped up on his shoulder. The two of them then joined Brock and Dawn as they left the Ketchum house on their way to Professor Oak's lab.

Despite the cold weather outside all of Ash's Pokémon came out to greet their trainer and his friends. Even those who didn't like the cold that much like Bulbasaur and Bayleef were out. Even all 30 of his Tauros (who thankfully were behaving) came out to greet him.

"Wow! I didn't know you had so many Pokémon!" Dawn said as she looked at large group before them.

"I've seen them time and time again and I still can't believe how many he has myself," Brock said. While the two of them stood back Ash and Pikachu were somewhere in the middle of the group.

"I missed you guys, too," Ash said. On one side of Ash were Bayleef and Corphish and on his other were Donphan and Totodile. To Ash it felt good to be surrounded by all his Pokémon. But of course there were a few who hadn't come out yet.

"Okay! Time to meet my new Pokémon!" he said. "Come out, everyone!" He tossed out four Poké balls, calling out his team from Sinnoh. Turtwig, Staravia, Chimchar and Buizel appeared and were immediately greeted by all of Ash other Pokémon.

"Looks like they're fitting in just fine," Dawn said.

"Sudowoodo, Croagunk, Happiny, come out!" Brock said as he called out his three Pokémon.

"Alright, gang! Time for some fun!" Dawn said as she called out Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu and Aipom. Just like with Ash's Brock and Dawn's Pokémon were welcomed with open arms (or paws) by the others. Now that their Pokémon had been introduced to each other Ash, Dawn and Brock headed back inside Professor Oak's lab. Inside they were greeted by the professor and Tracey.

"Seems as though all of your new Pokémon are fitting in quite nicely," Oak said.

"I know," Ash said. "It's great to see them all together like that."

"It is," Oak said. "By the way, did you mom tell you the party will be here this year?"

"It is? She never mentioned it when we were there," Ash replied.

"Party? What party?" Dawn asked.

"Every year Mrs. Ketchum has a big Christmas party at her house," Tracey explained. "This year, though, she wanted to have it here because her house isn't big enough for all the people coming this year."

"There's really going to be that many people coming this year?" Ash asked.

"Well, everyone who usually shows up will be there, but there's also going to be a few more showing up this year," Oak said. "Many of them are people you met during your journey." Ash started to think about everyone he met that might show up.

"Let's see... I'm sure May, Max and their parents are going to be here, and May might invite Drew to come along," he said.

"You can add Gary to that list," Oak said. "He's taking some time off from his research to come."

"That's good," Ash said. "Anyone else?"

"Let me think... oh yes. Misty said her sisters were coming with her this year," Oak added. At the mention of the Sensational Sisters Brock went into his usual girl-crazy mode.

"Daisy... Lily... Violet... three holiday angels to choose from... How will I decide?!" he cried.

"I don't think that'll be a problem," Dawn said. "Right, Ash?" But Ash was too busy in thought to hear her.

"Hello? Earth to Ash?" Dawn said while waving her hand in front of his face.

"Huh... what?" Ash said.

"Did you even hear what I said?" Dawn asked.

"Sorry, I wasn't paying attention," Ash said.

"Let me guess... you were still trying to figure out what to get for Misty, weren't you," Dawn said.

"Misty? You mean you haven't gotten her anything yet?" Oak asked.

"I just haven't found that perfect gift yet," Ash said.

"You're cutting it awful close there," Oak said.

"I know, but I want this to be the perfect gift," Ash replied.

"Well if you ask me celebrating Christmas with her friends and family sounds like the perfect gift to me," Oak said. Right then Ash looked up.

"What did you say?" he asked.

"I said the perfect gift would be spending Christmas with her friends and family," Oak repeated. Right then Ash knew what the perfect gift for Misty would be.

"Professor, you're a genius!" he said. Without sticking around to give an explanation Ash left Professor Oak's lab on his way back home.

Delia was expecting Ash and the others to spend all day at the lab, so when Ash came running into the house she was a little shocked.

"What are you doing back so soon, Ash?" she asked. "I thought you'd be at Professor Oak's lab all day."

"No time for that now! I finally figured out the perfect gift for Misty!" he said.

"That's wonderful," Delia said. "What did you decide?" Ash sat down and told her what Professor Oak had said and the gift he wanted to get for Misty.

"You're right, that does sound perfect," Delia said, "but do you think you can get things ready before Christmas?"

"It'll be a close shave, but I'm confident I can pull it off," Ash said.

"But it's so far away. How will you get there and back in time?" Delia asked. Ash simply looked out the window of his house, towards the forest to the south of Pallet Town.

"By calling on an old friend," he replied.

Brock and Dawn came back later that day. Pikachu was riding on Dawn's shoulder (their other Pokémon wanted to stay at Professor Oak's lab, so they left them there).

"Welcome back," Delia said. "Did you have a good time?"

"We sure did," Dawn said. "I really liked seeing all of Ash's Pokémon."

"Speaking of which is he still here? He left so quickly we didn't get a chance to find out what the rush was," Brock said. Before Delia could answer Ash came into the room looking very excited.

"It's all set," he said. "I'll be leaving tomorrow morning."

"Hold on, mister! I think we deserve an explanation," Dawn said. "Why did you leave in such a hurry earlier?"

"I guess I should tell you," Ash said. He then went over everything that happened from the time he left Professor Oak's lab to what he was doing right before they got there.

"Pi Chu Pika, Pikapi?! (Are you serious, Ash?!)" Pikachu asked, almost not believing what he was hearing.

"I sure am, buddy," Ash replied. The little mouse started bouncing around the room.

"I have to hand it to you, Ash. She'll definitely love it if you can pull it off," Brock said.

"But just how do you plan on getting there and back before Christmas?" Dawn asked. "That's quite a bit of traveling you have to do."

"I know, but I also have the fastest Pokémon in the Kanto skies," Ash said.

"You mean," Brock said.

"Yeah," Ash replied.

"Well I say we have a big dinner before you leave," Delia said.

"Good idea," Ash said. With everyone in agreement the group headed into the dining room for one of Delia's home-cooked meals.

That night, while everyone else slept, Ash was wide awake, his mind filled with thoughts of how happy Misty would be with his gift.

"If it all works out the way I hope this'll be the best Christmas yet," he said.

"Pikapi? (Ash?)" Ash turned to Pikachu, who was rubbing his eyes like he just woke up.

"I didn't wake you, did I? Sorry," he said.

"Pi Pi Ka (No big deal)," Pikachu replied. "Chu, Pi Pichu Pika Chupika? (So, you thinking about tomorrow?)"

"Yeah," he said. "I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it." Pikachu always did admire his trainer's enthusiasm. That was one of the things that made traveling the world with Ash so exciting.

"I'm telling you, Pikachu, Misty is going to love this one," he said. Even though he was excited about what Ash was planning on doing Pikachu had to know one thing.

"... Chu? (... Why?)" he asked.

"Why what?" Ash asked.

"Chu Pi Ka Pika Ka Pi Chu Pi Ka Pikachupi Chu Pi Picha? (Why are you going so far to make sure Misty's gift is perfect?)" Pikachu asked. "Pi Kacha Chu Pika (You've never done this before)." Ash opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. The truth was he had no idea why he was doing this.

"To tell you the truth I have no idea why," Ash said. "For some reason I feel as though I have to do this for her."

"Pi Chu, Pichu, Pi Chupi Ka Pikachupi Pi Kacha? (You think, maybe, you feelings for Misty have changed?)" Pikachu asked.

"Changed how?" Ash replied.

"Pichu Pika Ka... Pika Pikachu? (Maybe they've gone... beyond friendship?)" Pikachu said. That was something else Ash hadn't though of. Maybe the reason he wanted Misty's gift to be perfect was because he wanted her to see him as more than just a friend. Perhaps his feelings for her had gone beyond friendship. Maybe... just maybe...

"You might be right, buddy... you might be right..."

The next morning Ash, Pikachu, Delia, Brock and Dawn were standing near the forest on the southern edge of Pallet Town.

"Are you sure you've got everything you'll need for the trip?" Delia asked.

"I'm sure, Mom," Ash replied. "I don't plan on being gone that long."

"But where you're going is so far away," Dawn said. "How do you plan on getting there and back in time for Christmas?"

"You'll see," Ash replied. He faced the forest and whistled loudly.

"Pidgeot! I need you!" he called. Moments later a strong gust of wind blew around the group. Then, a large brown bird landed in front of them.

"Pidgeot, Pidg (Hello, Ash)," Pidgeot greeted.

"It's great to see you again, old friend," Ash said as he gave the bird a hug.

"Wow! I've never seen one that big before!" Dawn said. She immediately took out her Pokédex and scanned Pidgeot.

Pidgeot, the Bird Pokémon. By flapping its wings with all its might Pidgeot can make a gust of wind capable of bending tall trees.

"Now that's what I call power," she said.

"Pidgeot, I need to get somewhere really far away fast," Ash said. "Can you take me there?"

"Pidg eot (Of course)," Pidgeot replied.

"Thanks," Ash said. Pidgeot lowered his wing to let Ash climb on his back. Once he was safely on Ash patted the Bird Pokémon's back.

"Pidg eot! (Hold on!)" Pidgeot said. With one flap of his wings he took to the skies.

"Whoa! I had forgotten how fast you are!" Ash said. He then looked down towards Pallet Town and waved to his mother and friends.

"I'll be back in less than two weeks!" he called.

"We'll be waiting!" Brock said.

"Good luck, Ash!" Dawn said.

"Be careful!" Delia said.

"Thanks, everyone," Ash said. "Okay, Pidgeot. Next stop... Hoenn!"

Two weeks had passed. Christmas Eve had arrived and Ash hadn't returned yet. Delia and Brock knew there was nothing to worry about, but Dawn thought otherwise. She had already spent most of the day calling different Pokémon Centers and asking if he had been at any of them. But so far none of the ones she called had seen him.

"I see... thanks for checking," Dawn said. She hung up with yet another Pokémon Center that Ash hadn't been to.

"Oh man... I'm running out of places to check," she said.

"Still looking for him?" Brock asked as he walked into the room. Dawn nodded.

"I just don't want him to miss this," she replied.

"Trust me, with as much effort as he's putting into this there's no way Ash is going to miss this," Brock said. "He'll make it back in time."

"I hope you're right," Dawn said.

Ash was already back from Hoenn. He was at the Viridian City Pokémon Center getting Pidgeot checked up before he went back to the forest. After traveling as far as they did Ash felt it was the least he could do. While he waited for the Bird Pokémon to be healed he looked over to where Pikachu was playing with a very special guest of theirs. He could help but smile at the two.

"It's great to see those two playing together again," he said. Right then a chime went off inside the Pokémon Center.

"Pidgeot must be finished with his check-up," Ash said. He walked over to the front desk where Nurse Joy handed him Pidgeot's Poké ball.

"Your Pidgeot is in perfect health," she said.

"Thanks," Ash replied.

"If you don't mind me asking, is this the same Pidgeot that I usually see in the forest between here and Pallet Town?" she asked.

"Yeah, this is him," Ash said. "He used to be mine but I let him go so he could protect some Pidgey that were being attacked by a Fearow."

"Wow," Nurse Joy replied. "Well, I can tell you that he's been doing a great job."

"I know," Ash replied. "Well, I'd better start heading back home now." Hearing that Ash was ready to leave Pikachu and their special guest approached him.

"You two ready to get going?" he asked.

"Pi Ka! (You bet!)" Pikachu replied. Their friend just nodded excitedly.

"I know you can't wait to see Misty again," he said. "I know she's going to love to see you again after all this time." Before leaving Ash decided to give his mother a call and let her know he was almost back home.

"Hurry up, Dawn! We don't want to be late!" The party had already started, but Brock, Dawn and Delia were still at the Ketchum household. Dawn was still waiting for any word from Ash.

"But what if he calls when we leave?! Or what if he comes here and no one's home?!" Dawn asked from another room.

"Ash knows where the party is going to be! He knows that if we're not here we'll be at Professor Oak's!" Brock replied. Finally Dawn entered the living room.

"I hope you're right," she said. "I'd just like to know where he is before we leave." Right then Delia joined them.

"Well Dawn, you'll be happy to know that Ash just called," she said. "He said he's leaving the Viridian City Pokémon Center right now."

"Really?! That's awesome!" Dawn said. "With Pidgeot he should be here in a few seconds, right?"

"He's not using Pidgeot," Delia said. "He said he's going to release Pidgeot back into the wild and walk the rest of the way."

"He's walking? Why's he doing that?" Dawn asked.

"If I know Ash it's so he can more time to think about what he's probably going to do tonight," Brock replied. "In any case we should get going. The sooner we get to Professor Oak's place the sooner we'll know what Ash's got planned."

"Well then, let's go!" Dawn said. The three of them left the house and headed to Professor Oak's lab. They were all eager to join in on the party and see just what Ash was going to do once he arrived.

Just as Professor Oak said there were plenty of people at the annual Christmas party, more than the Ketchum house could handle. Thankfully his lab was more than big enough to hold it. While Delia went to find Professor Oak Brock and Dawn were mingling with the other guests.

"Is it always like this every year?" Dawn asked.

"For as long as I've been coming it has," Brock replied.

"Brock! Hey Brock!" The two turned towards the voice and saw two people Brock recognized from Hoenn.

"May! Max! It's been too long!" he said.

"You can say that again," May replied. "How have you been?"

"Never better," Brock said. "So, how's Johto treating you?"

"Johto's been great," May said. "I've already got three ribbons. Just two more to go."

"Ribbons? You mean you're a coordinator?" Dawn asked.

"One of the best we've seen," Brock said. "May, this is Dawn. She's a coordinator Ash and I met near Sandgem Town."

"Hi," Dawn said. "It's always great to meet a fellow coordinator."

"I know," May said. "How many ribbons do you have."

"So far just one," Dawn said, sounding a bit embarrassed. "Being a coordinator is a bit tougher than I thought."

"It always is at first," May said. "Why don't we go out back and talk about it." Dawn agreed and the two girls left.

"They're going to be out there for a while," Max said.

"I know," Brock said. "So, I hear you're getting ready to start your own journey."

"I leave after the first of the year," Max replied. "I even have my first two Pokémon already."

"You've already got two?" Brock asked.

"Yeah," Max said. "Let me show you." He took out a pair of Poké balls and let out the Pokémon inside, a Treecko and a Ralts. Brock immediately recognized the Ralts.

"That's the same one we met in Hoenn, isn't it," he said.

"I promised her I'd come back when I started my journey," Max said.

"Well I'm glad you were able to keep your promise," Brock said. While he and Max talked four new guests walked in.

"Hey Brock!" one of them said. The breeder looked up and smiled.

"Misty! You finally made it!" he said as he and Max went over and greeted her.

"Merry Christmas," Brock said as he hugged her.

"Merry Christmas, Brock," Misty replied, returning his hug.

"Hi, Misty," Max said.

"It's good to see you again, Max," Misty said, ruffling his hair a bit. "I think you've gotten a bit taller since I last saw you." Max blushed a bit out of embarrassment.

"The party just wouldn't feel the same without you," Brock said.

"Like, hi Brock." The breeder's eyes looked behind Misty towards her three sisters. Just as expected he immediately went into his girl-crazy mode.

"Forget the three wise men! I see three beautiful maidens before me!" he said.

"Are you, like, okay?" Lily asked.

"I will be as soon as one of you agree to go out with me!" Brock replied. Misty and Max simply sighed.

"You want to do it or should I?" Max asked.

"Well, it has been a while since I had to, and my fingers are just itching for a workout," Misty said. She was about to walk over and get Brock back under control when a certain Pokémon appeared, Poison Jab ready. Brock felt his presence and calmed down instantly.

"Alright, Croagunk, I get the message," he said. Confident that his trainer understood Croagunk left.

"There's always a grinch somewhere," Brock mumbled. Misty giggled as she walked to him.

"So that's who's been keeping you under control without me or Max," she said.

"Yeah," Brock said. "If there's one thing I don't need this holiday is a taste of Croagunk's Poison Jab."

"It can't be that bad," Max said.

"You have no idea," Brock replied. Right then Misty looked around, noticing someone was missing.

"Where's Ash? I haven't seen him since I got here," she said.

"He should be here in a few minutes," Brock said. "He... had to take care of something."

"This late?" Max asked. "What could he have possibly needed to do?"

"Oh, you'll see soon enough," Brock replied. He glanced towards the back of the lab where the Pokémon were. He was eagerly awaiting the young trainer's return.

May and Dawn were outside with all of their Pokémon. May couldn't get over how cute Dawn's Pokémon were.

"They're all so cute," she said. "I really love your Pachirisu and Buneary." The two Pokémon in question blushed.

"They are really cute, but I think all my Pokémon are cute," Dawn said.

"Speaking of your Pokémon how did you end up with Ash's Aipom?" May asked.

"He traded her to me for one of my Pokémon," Dawn said. "You see I caught a Buizel that was better off in gym battles than in contests. At the same time Ash Aipom seemed better off in contests than in gym battles. So we agreed to trade the two."

"That's Ash for you," May said. "Speaking of which I didn't see him inside. I wonder where he is?" Then, as if on cue, Ash walked around the corner of the building. Dawn was the first to spot him.

"Well it's about time you got back," she said.

"Sorry," he replied. "I guess I should have gave myself a bit more time."

"Well you did make it back so I guess it all worked out good in the end," Dawn replied.

"Hi, Ash!" May said.

"How's it going, May. Merry Christmas," Ash said.

"Pika Pikachu, Pipika! (Merry Christmas, May!)" Pikachu said.

"Merry Christmas to you too," she said. Right then May noticed the third member of Ash's group. Her eyes grew wide when she realized who it was.

"How in the world did you find her?!" she asked. "Does Misty know she's here?!"

"Not yet," Ash replied. "This is my gift to her."

"Oh man is she going to love this," May said.

"Speaking of her has she gotten here yet?" Ash asked. Dawn took a peek inside.

"She's here," she said. I can see her talking to Brock and Max right now." Ash took a deep breath.

"Well, this is it," he said. "Pikachu, I need you two to stay out here until I call for you, okay?"

"Pi Chu Pi (You got it)," Pikachu replied.

"Well, wish me luck," Ash said.

"You won't need it," May said. Ash flashed her a smile before heading inside. While May thought about how big a surprise Misty would get out of this Dawn had no idea why this was so big.

"So, Misty knows who she is?" she asked.

"You bet," May replied. "She and Misty have a lot of history with each other. Getting to see each other again is going to be like a Christmas gift for the both of them." Now Dawn understood how big this was.

"Wow," she said. Now she too was eagerly awaiting the time when Ash would give Misty her gift.

With the time nearing midnight both Professor Oak and Delia decided it was time to start the final activity of the night.

"Okay, everyone! It's time to hand out the gifts!" Delia announced.

"But Ash isn't here," Misty said. "Shouldn't we wait for him?"

"No need," someone behind her said. Misty turned around and saw a pair of chocolate brown eyes looking back at her.

"Merry Christmas, Misty," Ash said. Misty hugged Ash.

"Merry Christmas," she said. "For a second I thought you forgot to show up."

"No chance of that happening," Ash said. "Especially with what I have planned."

"Well, now that everyone is finally here it's time to hand out the presents," Oak said. So everyone gathered around the Christmas tree and handed out the presents. Both May and Dawn got one year subscriptions to Coordinator Monthly and box of treats for their Pokémon (Poke block for May's and Poffin for Dawn's). Max got a prototype Pokédex from Professor Oak and a box of custom-made Poké balls from his parents. Brock received the latest breeders handbook and a book titled "What Not To Do When Trying To Get A Date". All three of Misty's sisters received make-up kits and trainer guides (which Misty believed would never be used for anything). Finally, Ash received a new set of Poké balls.

"Well, I guess that's all the presents," Oak said.

"Not quite," Ash replied. "There's still one more." No one but him, Delia, Brock, May and Dawn knew what was about to happen.

"One more? But there aren't any more under the tree," Misty said.

"That's because the one that's left never was under the tree," Ash said. "You see, the reason I didn't get here sooner is because I was out getting this gift."

"You mean you waited this late to get one Christmas gift?" Misty asked. "Well, who is it for?"

"It's actually... for you, Misty," Ash replied. This took her completely by surprise.

"F-For me?" she asked.

"That's right," Ash said. "Okay, Pikachu! It's time!" Everyone moved out of the way as the yellow mouse ran into the room and jumped into Misty's arms.

"Pikachupi! (Misty!)" he said.

"Hi, Pikachu!" Misty said. "Now I'm sure you're not the gift Ash got me."

"Nope," Ash said, "but she is." Before Misty could ask Ash what he meant she heard a familiar voice.

"Totic? (Mommy?)" Misty froze, letting Pikachu go in the process. There was no way she heard that voice just now. She firmly believed that she was hearing things. And yet...

"No way... that can't be her," she said. "She's still in Hoenn. She can't be here... not now... but what if..." Misty was too scared to look in front of her. She turned to Ash with pleading eyes, begging him to tell her she was mistaken. All she got from Ash was a smile.

"Go ahead and look," he told her. Misty was still a bit scared, but Ash had never said or done anything to cause her harm. Believing him she slowly looked in front of her. There, floating in the air, was a small white Pokémon with a red bow around her neck. Misty's eyes filled with tears at the sight of the Pokémon in front of her.

"T-Togetic? Is that... really you?" she said.

"Tic Tog, Totic (It's me, Mommy)," Togetic said, tears in her eyes as well. Misty couldn't believe it. The one Pokémon she never thought she'd ever see again was right there in front of her. Unable to hold it in any longer Misty ran to Togetic and took her in her arms.

"It's really you!" she cried. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again!"

"To Tic Ku, Totic! (I missed you, Mommy!)" Togetic said. Everyone in the room was moved, many to tears. Ash and Pikachu looked on, taking pleasure in the scene before them.

"How... how did you get here?" Misty asked.

"Totic Tic Tiku Toticku Totic Ti Ku (Daddy and Uncle Pikachu brought me here)," Togetic replied. Misty looked back at them wide-eyed. Ash knew she would want an explanation.

"You see Misty, I spent a long time trying to figure out the perfect gift for you but nothing I saw was good enough for you," he said. "That's when Professor Oak unintentionally gave me the idea of going to get Togetic for you."

"But the Mirage Kingdom... what will they do without Togetic?" Misty asked.

"I called ahead and explained what I planned to do to Princess... I mean Queen Sarah," Ash said. "She said that the Togepi's Paradise was doing fine and that some of the other Togepi evolved into Togetic. Because of that she said it was okay for me to come get Togetic and bring her back to you."

"So... that's why you..."

"That's why I wasn't here when you arrived," Ash said. "I was in Hoenn for the last two weeks getting Togetic." The next thing he knew Misty had thrown herself into his arms.

"Thank you, Ash! You have no idea how much this means to me!" she said. "I just wish I had something this good to give to you!"

"Just seeing you happy is gift enough for me," Ash said. Misty looked him in his eyes and smiled. Her eyes... her smile... Ash could stare at her for hours on end. Right then his feelings became clear. He knew what he had to do.

"Hey Misty... can I tell you something?" he asked.

"Sure," Misty replied. Ash was about to tell Misty how he felt about her when...

"Pi Ka! (Hey guys!)" Pikachu called. Both Ash and Misty looked towards the Mouse Pokémon. He was pointing up over their heads, where a sprig of mistletoe was hanging.

"Well how do you like that," Ash said. He once again looked towards Pikachu. Ash knew that mistletoe wasn't there before but he had no idea how it got there without either him or Misty noticing. That's when Pikachu nodded towards Togetic, who gave Ash a wink. Ash gave her a nod, thanking her for that.

"Pi Chu, Pikapi... Pi Ka Pikachu Pika Chu Kachu (No words, Ash... let your emotions speak for themselves)," he said.

"Let my emotions... speak for themselves..." Ash knew Pikachu was right. He didn't need to say anything. All he had to do was let his emotions speak for themselves. Slowly his and Misty's faces were moving closer and closer to each other.

"Well... it is tradition," Misty said.

"True," Ash said, "but I'm not doing this out of tradition." That was the last thing that was said before their lips met. Ash put all the love and passion he could into that one moment, and he felt Misty do the same. They were completely oblivious to everyone in the room, who were applauding the two of them. When they finally broke the kiss everything they needed to know was known. Like Pikachu said no words needed to be spoken. Everything was said in that one kiss.

"Merry Christmas, Ash," Misty said.

"Merry Christmas, Misty," Ash said. As the two kissed once more they knew that everything had changed for the better. Reunited with friends and family, and coming together with the one you love was the ending to a Christmas that could only be described in one word...


There you have it. Hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Holidays and please review