I'M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS
Author's note: OK, before you read on, download this midi file- http://www.angelfire.com/sd/suzanne01/Im_dre.mid It's the song "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas", and I think it really adds to the effect of the story if you're listening to it ^_^! So happy holidays everyone! Enjoy! Oh yeah, and don't forget to review ^_^
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. Are you happy now, 4Kids and Nintendo?!!! ^_^;
* * *
It was a bleak December afternoon in the district of Nova City- December twenty-fourth to be exact. Christmas Eve. The sky was overcast and there was a predominant chill in the air, but as of yet, no snow has fallen. The sun was just beginning to set behind the blanket of clouds that covered the city, giving them a slight pink hue.
In a thicket of forest on the city's outskirts, three figures made their way towards a cabin, a pine tree in tow.
"I can't believe da Boss gave us a Christmas bonus!" The Meowth chirped as he skipped ahead of his two counterparts. He opened the door to the cabin, which had a large red R' on it, much like on the jackets of the two humans in the team. "And we even got a Team Rocket cabin ta spend da night in!"
"Yeah," The blue haired boy replied, hauling the tree inside with his female friend, "I guess that Jolteon we managed to capture last week put us in Giovanni's good books!"
"Can't we just stick this thing in a bucket already?!" The girl complained. "I've been jabbed with less needles at a doctor's surgery!"
The cat-type grabbed a near-by bucket, and helped his friends position the tree in it, jamming a couple of rocks in to hold it in place.
Jessie, James and Meowth of Team Rocket looked their freshly cut Christmas tree over.
"It looks even better than last year's!" James commented, pleased with their efforts.
"James," Jessie grumbled, "last year's Christmas tree was a bare branch we found on the roof."
"That didn't mean he had to use it as a scratching post!" Came her friend's reply, as he pointed at their feline companion.
"Hey, ya know what dey say," it commented, "if ya'v got an itch, scratch it!"
The two human members of the team groaned.
"Okay, let's decorate it already!" James said, hastily grabbing a plastic bag full of decorations from behind the couch.
* * *
It didn't take long for the trio to adorn the tree from top to bottom in decorations. Multi-coloured baubles and ornaments hung from most of the branches, and thick, glittering tinsel encircled the entire tree. Most of the decorations were from previous Christmases, and thus the Team had accumulated a substantial amount over the years.
"Wow!" James said, attaching the last bauble. "It looks positively perfect!"
"I've seen better, I've seen worse." His partner commented, half-heartedly. Jessie seemed to be more content re-applying her make-up than trimming a tree. Meowth popped out to the balloon for a moment, and returned lugging several shopping bags, each containing gifts. He knelt down next to the tree, and put each one of the carefully wrapped presents under its branches. There were five in all, and the team members eyed them anxiously.
"Jessie, can I open one?" James asked, like he had every other year. And, like every other year, Jessie slapped him upside the head with her paper fan.
"No!" She replied firmly. "You know the tradition- no-one opens any of their presents until Christmas Day!"
"But I wanna open one now!" He whined back. "I can't just sit here all day staring at all those presents. I hate suspense!"
"Well, if ya lookin' for somethin' to take yer mind off it" Meowth handed him a brochure he had picked up whilst they were doing their Christmas shopping earlier that day. Jessie leaned over his shoulder and read what it said.
When: 6:30 p.m. til late, Christmas Eve
Where: Nova City Gym
Cost: Free. Food & drink provided.
Live band playing Christmas songs
"They've got free food!" James squealed.
"I can't remember the last time we had a decent Christmas dinner!" Jessie added.
"I could really go a big dinner tonight," Meowth commented, tapping his foot on the floorboards, "just as long as Jessie's not da one cookin' it."
The feline rubbed the newly formed bump on his head, and Jessie put away her mallet.
James looked at his watch. "Well, it's almost six fifteen. If we want to get there on time we should probably go now."
"Do we have to?" His female counterpart groaned. "I don't want to walk all the way into town in this weather. Besides, the place'll probably be packed, and all the food'll be gone by the time we get there. And all those stupid Christmas songs"
"Oh, come on Jess!" James said, grabbing his thick, black parker and handing his teammate her's. "It'll be fun! Besides, what could be more enjoyable than getting on the dance floor with a tummy full of egg-nog?"
"DON'T mention egg-nog." Came the angered reply. Meowth giggled.
"Don't tell me yer still sore bout drinkin' too much o' da stuff last year!"
"Yeah," James added, "I'm sure that Psyduck's completely forgotten the French kiss you gave it."
* * *
It took the Rocket trio just over half an hour to walk into the city form their cabin. They had decided to leave the Meowth balloon back at the Team Rocket cabin, in case it aroused suspicion. Jessie shivered slightly as she and her friends walked along the streets, closing in on their destination.
"Are we there yet?" James asked his feline companion.
"Da map on the invitation says it's that big building at the end of da street." Meowth replied, pointing towards the large building ahead of them. They could see that the entrance was framed with multi-coloured fairy lights.
"Can't we just go home already?" Jessie quipped, lagging behind the rest of the group.
"Aw, c'mon Jess!" James said, taking her by the hand and practically dragging her down the street. "Just think of all the free donuts they might have!"
Jessie rolled her eyes. "Typical."
When they finally arrived at the gym (Jessie in tow), they were greeted by a lanky man with brown hair and spectacles.
"Hi, my name is Lee!" He greeted. "I'm the gym leader here, and I'm glad you could make it." Looking past him, the group could see that there was already a large crowd gathered inside. "Your Pokemon are welcome to go upstairs, where a special Poke-party has been set up for them. And please, help yourself to the buffet."
James perked up at the mention of food, and immediately started for the buffet table.
"Jess, come get something to eat with me!" He said, only just letting go of her hand.
"Thanks, but I think I'll just find a dark corner and assume the foetal position for a while." Came the snide reply.
Jessie rolled her eyes as she watched her partner disappear into the crowd in the direction of the food. The cheery holiday music the band was playing only succeeded in irritating her more.
"Perky tonight, aren't we?" Meowth commented.
"Shut up, cat."
The feline sighed. "Well if you're going to be like that all night, I think I'm gonna head upstairs."
"Fine." The Rocket girl pulled out her two Pokeballs and tossed them in front of her. In a flash of white light, Arbok and Wobuffet appeared. "Take these two with you."
Meowth motioned to his workmates.
"C'mon guys," he said, making his way upstairs, "no point in stayin' with da Grinch over dere."
Jessie scowled and watched them leave.
Meanwhile, James was stuffing his face with all the donuts and other nibblies he could lay his hands on, when he heard a very familiar and unwanted voice.
"It's Team Rocket!"
He turned around, cheeks still stuffed with food, and came face to face with none other than Ash Ketchum, along with Brock, Misty and Pikachu. He quickly swallowed his food, almost choking in the process, and assumed and confident stance.
"What are you twerps doing here?"
"I came here to battle the gym leader and earn another badge," Ash explained, "but the gym's closed for battling today because of the Christmas party." His face then contorted in anger. "I can't believe you guys are actually following me on Christmas Eve!"
"Yeah, get a life!" Misty added.
"Actually-" James began, but he was cut off by Ash.
The little electric mouse jumped out in front of his adversary and started powering up, just as James threw out his pokeball and released Weezing.
"Sludge attack!" He ordered. The Pokemon complied, hitting Pikachu with a thick, brown sludge before it could attack. Ash growled.
"Pikachu, use you agil-"
"What's going on here?!"
The rival trainers turned around to see Lee, the gym leader.
"There will be no battling in my gym in the middle of a Christmas party, thank you very much!"
"But I-" Ash started, but was cut off again.
Jessie sat on a chair on the far side of the room holding a cup of egg-nog. As her eyes drifted through the crowd, her gaze fell upon her partner and three young enemies (along with Pikachu) being escorted to the door and out of the gym.
"And don't come back until you're ready to act civilised!" Lee quipped, closing the door behind him.
"Great." The irritable teen muttered, taking another swig of her drink.
"Now look what you've gotten us into!" Ash announced, pointing an accusing finger at his adversary.
"Are you kidding?!" James replied, angrily. "You were the one sicking your little yellow rat one me!"
"Pika!" (I resent that!) The creature in question growled.
The two opposing young men were soon in a fully-fledged argument, and Brock was forced to intervene.
"Can't we discuss this civilly?" He asked.
"NO!" Both opponents snapped back at once.
"Look," he continued, "it's Christmas Eve. We're supposed to be acting kind towards one another."
"But," Ash said, glaring at James, "he was the one who followed me here to try and capture Pikachu!"
"Oh please!" James answered, irritated. "This is my only day off in months. I don't really feel the urge to be put in a life threatening situation by your little electric rodent."
"Pikachu, pika!" (Hey! I have a name, you know!)
"Huh?" Ash asked, somewhat suprised by this break from routine. "Then why are you here at the Nova City gym?"
"Actually, Jessie, Meowth and myself thought it would be kind of fun to come to the Christmas party." Came the reply. "Well, me and Meowth, at least. Besides, they've got free food!"
"They do?" The young Pokemon trainer asked. James nodded. "Well then what am I standing out here for? I haven't eaten for ages!"
"You ate an entire packet of chips less than half an hour ago!" Misty snapped. But Ash was already rushing back inside the gym, along with James. She sighed in frustration, and she, along with Brock and Pikachu, followed them back inside.
Meowth, meanwhile, was partying down with all the other Pokemon upstairs. The large room had been decorated with tinsel and cardboard cutouts of Santa. The lights had been dimmed, save the multi-coloured mood lighting, and a large, rotating disco ball reflected broken light all over the room and its occupants. The music from downstairs was being relayed up to the room, and blared out through large speakers.
"Do you reckon tonight's the night?" Arbok asked Wobuffet.
"Maybe," the patient Pokemon replied, "after all, there's lots of Mistletoe about this time of year!" The two of them laughed, only to be interrupted when Meowth walked over to them to socialise.
"Hey guys!" He greeted. "What's so funny?"
"Well," Arbok said, "we were just wondering if our master and her friend will get together tonight."
"You mean Jessie and James?" The cat-type asked. His friends nodded, giggling. "Dat'd take a Christmas miracle! James'll probably spend da whole night stuffin' his face, and I think Jess has got a bad case of PMT or somethin'. I doubt dey'll be kissin' when dere mouths are full of either food or full o' insults."
"There's still the rest of the night to go." Wobuffet mentioned. "Have patience."
"Easy for you to say." Meowth and Arbok replied at the same time.
Jessie was sitting and staring aimlessly into the creamy depths of her third egg-nog that night, starting to feel a little dizzy.
"A few more of these and I'll be under the table." She thought. "Actually, that's not such a bad idea."
Her thoughts were interrupted when James came over and sat next to her, carrying two plates piled high with food.
"Thought you might be hungry." He said offering her one of the plates. Reluctantly, she took it.
"Thanks." She muttered, popping a cherio in her mouth. "So I see you and the twerps managed to get thrown out."
James sweatdropped. "Well yeah."
"You know what'll make you feel better?"
"Egg-nog." Jessie downed the rest of her beverage, ready to get another one.
"Maybe you'd better stop, Jess." James suggested. "Remember that Christmas you drunk too much nog and stayed up all night trying to climb the walls of the unit we rented?"
Jessie inwardly scowled at herself. She had been left quite bruised – both physically and egotistically – the day after that incident.
"I suppose." She said, grimacing at the thought. "Is the party over yet?"
"Oh come on, Jessie," James said, encouragingly, "'tis the season to be jolly!"
"Ho, ho friggin' ho." She muttered, staring aimlessly at her plate.
Time passed, and it was soon eight o'clock. Jessie hadn't moved from her spot, and James had eaten so much that he was actually full. After finishing off a glass of punch at the buffet table, he moved over to Jessie once again, extending his hand to her.
"No thanks." She replied, listening to the band play The Twelve Days of Christmas'. They were actually rather good, though she refused to admit it.
"Come on, Jess! Enjoy yourself!"
There was no reply. Being a patient man, James sat down next to his friend.
"What's wrong?" He asked sympathetically.
"Nothing." She answered back, a little too quickly.
"Jess, you're always grumpy around this time of year and you always say nothing's wrong. Is it your time of the month or something?"
Still, he received no reply.
"Alright, if you don't want to talk about it I can't make you." He finally said. "I'm going to take Weezing and Victreebell upstairs so they can have fun with the rest of the Pokemon."
Jessie turned away in response, watching him leave from the corner of her eye. She sighed. It wasn't James' fault she was so grumpy, though she certainly took it out on him.
"Stupid Christmas." She growled under her breath.
"Weezing wee!" (Ah, fresh air!) The poison Pokemon said as he and his counterpart were released from their Pokeballs.
"Eeeee!" (Food!) Victreebell screeched, immediately chomping down on James's entire upper body. After much struggling (and a little help from Weezing), he managed to free himself.
"Now that's no way to treat the person who brought you to a Christmas party!" The distressed trainer scolded. Victreebell drooped.
"Hey Jimmy!" A familiar voice called. Meowth went over to greet his three friends.
"Hi, Meowth." James said, in a somewhat sombre tone.
"Somethin' da matter James?"
"By any chance, would you know why Jessie's so upset?"
Meowth shrugged. "Sounds like typical Jess ta me."
"I mean really upset." The bishounen replied. "She just seems so so"
"Well," Meowth said, thinking, "it seems like she always gets dat way around dis time of year. Maybe it's the cold or somethin'."
The two friends looked to their side, where Pikachu stood. His eyes were half-closed and he could barely walk.
"Aw, Pikachu, I told ya dat egg-nog wouldn't do ya any good!" Meowth scolded. Pikachu gave a Victory' sign before passing out on the floor. "I knew it wasn't a good idea for dat twerp to bring im up here."
"That thing's even worse with egg-nog than Jessie!" James laughed.
"Yeah!" His feline friend replied. "Remember da year we had ta coax her down off da roof when she was convinced she was one o' Santa's reindeer?"
"Now THAT was funny!"
The hunter eyed his prey from afar. His every muscle was tensed, and there was a look of determination and concentration in his eyes. He had been stalking his victim all night, forming a plan to attack it, all the while growing closer. Now, it was time to move in for the kill. Brock pushed past a few party guests and went over to Nurse Joy.
"Hello, Nurse Joy! I have been watching you all night and have found you impossible to resist and I was wondering if you would like to join me under the mistletoe and- AUGH!"
The hormone-driven boy squawked and flailed about as his carrot-top friend dragged him away by the ear.
"You won't be ringing her jingle bells tonight, Brock." She commented. Ash looked on half-heartedly.
"I wish Christmas day would hurry up already." He groaned. "Mum says she's gonna get me something really cool to keep me safe on my Pokemon journey. I bet it's a big bazooka, or a Hitmonchan, or a Siamese sword!"
"First of all, it's Samurai sword," Misty replied, "and secondly, I don't think your Mum's going to be getting you weapons for Christmas!"
"Well, maybe it's something that'll help me in battling I haven't had a Pokemon battle in almost two days!"
"Well," Brock said, regaining his composure, "you battled James earlier on, didn't you?"
"That wasn't a real battle and you know it!" Came the stubborn reply.
"Touche`." Brock muttered back.
"Speaking of Team Rocket," Misty said, looking around the room, "I think I see Jessie."
"Has she captured Pikachu?" Ash asked.
"Then who cares?"
Misty rolled her eyes.
"She looks kind of sad." Brock observed. "Maybe we should I don't know go over and say hi'?"
"Augh! No way!" The Pokemon-Master in training shrieked.
"But she's all by herself." Misty added. "I'd feel kind of guilty just leaving her there on Christmas Eve. Besides, James said they weren't here to try and cause trouble. Maybe she'll be nice to us."
"We're enemies, remember?" Her younger accomplice growled.
"It's Christmas, remember?"
Jessie sighed. She was having an utterly boring time, though she blatantly refused to even attempt to join in the fun of the party. She glanced at the band, now playing "Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart)". The sad lyrics made her feel even more negative. In her opinion, things couldn't get much worse.
The Rocket girl looked up to see Misty smiling at her, along with Brock. Ash was lingering behind. Perhaps things could get worse after all.
"What do you want?" She grumbled back.
"Well," Brock said, "we just thought we'd come over and say hello. You were looking kind of depressed."
Jessie scoffed. "You're not going to win any goody-two-shoes badges for that, you know."
Misty frowned, and Ash grimaced.
"See, I told you she was too nasty to be bothered with." He commented.
"At least being nasty is better than being a dumb-ass Pokemon-master wannabe!" The fiery redhead retorted, standing up and glaring down her nose at him. He growled in response.
"Alright alright, calm down." Brock interjected. "We don't want to get thrown out again!"
"Can it, Squinty!" Jessie snapped back.
"Can't you even be nice when it's Christmas?" Misty asked her. "I mean, it's one thing to be mean to us when you're doing your job, but I just thought"
"What, that just because I'm off-duty means I like you?"
The younger girl sighed. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all."
"Shouldn't you kids be back at home with your mummies?" Jessie growled. "Freaks like you shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets at night."
"No fair!" Ash quipped. "Why don't you go home to your Mummy, you you freaky-haired criminal!"
"My hair is not freaky, you bed-wetting little twerp!"
"Cut it OUT!" Misty screeched. "Look, it seems that Team Rocket doesn't exactly feel like socialising tonight, so let's just-"
"Maybe I should go home to my Mum." Ash cut in. "She said she's going to get me a present to help keep me safe on my Pokemon journey. Safe from creeps like you!"
"You're such a mummy's-boy, you know that?" Jessie replied.
"Well then, what did your mum get you for Christmas?" He asked, angrily. "I'll bet it won't be able to protect you from whatever my present is!"
"Shut up, twerp." Came the seethed response.
"Oh, I get it," the boy continued, "your Mum isn't getting you anything this year because you've been so bad!"
Jessie simply glared at him, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of a response. Unfortunately for her, this only further provoked him.
"Jessie's not getting any presents, Jessie's not getting any presents!" He chanted in a singsong voice. Brock and Misty sweatdropped.
"Do you think this could possibly get more embarrassing?" The younger of the two asked her friend.
"Knowing Ash probably." He replied.
Jessie sighed, deciding there was only one way to shut her opponent up. She pulled out her mallet, and whacked him hard upside the head. Ash fell to the ground, swirly-eyed.
"At least my Mum gets me presents" he groaned, before passing out. Jessie seethed. As she turned to leave, the remaining children barely heard her grumble,
"At least you have a mother"
James was on the dance floor grooving to "The Jingle Bell Rock", when his attention was caught by the sound of his partner and the twerps in the midst of a rather loud argument. He watched for a moment, and was about to go and join in the argument (after all, he never did finish the one he got into with Ash earlier on), when Jessie hammered Ash and walked away from the scene. As a matter of fact, she walked away from the Christmas party altogether, right out the gym's door.
Jessie couldn't help but sniffle as she walked back down the path that led to the gym.
"Stupid twerp." She muttered to herself, shoving her hands in her pockets to warm them. "He thinks he's so smart just because his mum's getting him some mysterious, big-shot Christmas present. Then he has to go and say my mum won't get me anything for Christmas cos she reckons I've been a bad girl." The Rocket girl furrowed her brow and sat down under a tall, bare tree. She shivered in the cold. "Just because she couldn't afford to buy me much for Christmas doesn't mean I was a bad girl. Just because she's dead doesn't make me a bad girl" Tears began to well up in her eyes. "Stupid, stupid Christmas." She whimpered.
As she spoke to herself, Jessie heard footsteps coming towards her.
"If you're coming back for more insults, I suggest you leave, twerp." She hissed.
"Jessie? It's me." A familiar voice replied. She looked up to see James standing over her. "Are you okay?"
Jessie blinked to clear her eyes of tears, which only succeeded in them running down her cheeks. With a look of concern on his face, her fond partner – and friend – sat down on the ground next to her, putting his arm around her shoulders. She pulled away.
"Jess," he continued, "I get the inkling that it's more than the Twerp's insults that are upsetting you."
She sighed- it was impossible for even someone as tough-skinned as Jessie to hide their feelings from someone who they had spent almost every waking hour with, day in day out, for the past four years.
"Well sort of." She admitted.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
The usually temperamental girl paused for a moment. Then, due to the sheer fact that someone who actually cared was willing to listen to her, Jessie began to speak.
"Well it's sort of about my mother." She began. "When that little brat had the nerve to say the things he did about her not getting me Christmas presents, it kind of hit a nerve, I guess."
James put his arm around her shoulders once again. This time, she did not refuse him, instead appreciating the comfort.
"You see, my mother was very poor, and she couldn't afford to buy me much for Christmas. Even though she worked for Team Rocket, and was a very high ranking agent, she owed a lot of debts to the people running it. They'd helped pay for helping her through life before I was born, and payed for me to attend Nursing school and Pokemon Tech. So, when Mumma was offered a mission that payed big, she immediately took the opportunity.
"Unfortunately, the mission was to capture a Mew, deep in the blizzard-prone Andes mountains. I begged her not to go I was afraid she wouldn't be back in time for Christmas, which was two weeks after the day she was due to set out. But she said that she would be able to buy us better clothes and real food if she got the money." Jessie paused once more, the very thought of her mother's tale pulling on her heartstrings. "On Christmas Eve, a couple of Rockets arrived at our shanty and told me that she'd died in an avalanche."
James sighed in sympathy, and held her tighter as she cuddled into him for comfort. Jessie had told her about her mother, Miyamoto, before- but never the details.
"That's why you hate Christmas, isn't it?" He asked. She nodded. The cerulean-haired Rocket rocked her in his arms as she sobbed softly into his parker. "I'm so sorry to hear that but you know," he continued, "your mother wouldn't want you to be sad on Christmas Eve."
"How else am I supposed to feel?" Jessie replied, still sobbing. "I mean, after everything that's happened I lost the only person who ever loved me on Christmas!"
"That's not true." James stroked her hair. "Meowth, myself and all of our Pokemon love you very much. Jessie, I know your mother meant so much to you, and I know that Christmas must seem like the worst day of the year but Miyamoto is still with you. She always will be. In a way you'll always be together, because you're both part of each other." Jessie closed her eyes, allowing one last tear to escape.
Suddenly, she felt something icy-cold land on her nose. She opened her eyes, just as more of the icy substance landed on her arms and hair.
"It's snowing." She whispered, surprised. James looked up to see the small, crystalline snowflakes falling from the overcast sky. They sprinkled down upon the city like icing sugar, and in a couple more hours, the ground would be covered in a blanket of white. Jessie couldn't help but smile.
"You know," She said, half-smiling, "the last time I had a white Christmas was the year before Mumma died. It was the only year she could afford to buy me a present, and even some canned turkey meat. It was the best Christmas I ever had."
"Well," James replied, "maybe this her gift to you this Christmas. Maybe it's her way of reminding you that she'll always be with you."
As the pair stood up to admire the falling snow, the music from inside the gym drifted outside to the Rocket duo. Jessie's face lit up when she heard the song the band was playing, which seemed very appropriate for the situation- "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"
"James, listen!" She cried. "Do you remember this song?"
"How could I forget?" He replied tentatively. "We danced to it at the Pokemon Tech Christmas Party, three days before our graduation!"
"You know, I think that's about the best memory of Pokemon Tech I have." Jessie giggled. James nodded in response.
"May I have this dance?" He asked. Without hesitation, Jessie took his hand. He brought her close, putting his arm around her waist, and they began to do a slow dance. She couldn't help but smile as they gazed into each other's eyes.
"Maybe this Christmas party wasn't such a bad idea after all." She commented.
"Yeah," her partner replied, "it has its pluses. Besides I've often wondered what it would be like to slow dance with you outside of Pokemon Tech."
Jessie cocked her head.
"You've thought about this kind of thing before?" She asked hesitantly. James nodded, trying to hide the blush creeping up his neck, but to no avail. Jessie couldn't help but giggle at this. "So what else have you wondered about? Regarding us, I mean."
"Well," he continued, "I've been thinking about how you'd react for a long time If I did this." He moved in closer to her, his eyes closed and his heart pounding. When his lips touched her's for the first time, he was pleasantly suprised to find that not only did she not pull out her mallet, but instead returned the motion. They were locked in a passionate kiss, not even caring about how much colder it had gotten since the snow had begun to fall. The feeling in their hearts as they shared their very first kiss was enough to keep them warm for an eternity. When they finally did break apart, Jessie slinked her arms around her partner's neck and smiled.
"How's that for a reaction?" She said, grinning. James's eyes sparkled.
"I love you, Jess." He said, leaning in for another kiss.
"The feeling's mutual." Came the reply, as their lips met for the second time that night.
"Hey Arbok, Wobuffet, Victreebell! You too, Meowth!" Weezing called as he looked out a window and down at Jessie and James. The aforementioned Pokemon made their way to where Weezing was floating, their gaze following his own.
"Well I'll be damned!" Meowth said, a stunned expression on his face. Then, he smiled. "It's about time dose two got togedda!"
"Here, here!" Wobuffet replied. Arbok grinned.
"It's so romantic!" She swooned, starry-eyed.
"I thought I was the only one who was supposed to be nibbling on Master like that!" Victreebell added.
"Just you wait til the honeymoon, Viccy." Wobuffet giggled.
The song eventually came to an end, thus did the dance between Team Rocket's newest couple. Still, they did not let go of each other.
"I wish that song would never end." Jessie sighed.
"Well," her newfound lover replied, "I think I have it on an old cassette tape somewhere."
The red-haired girl looked down at her watch.
"It's getting kind of late." She commented. "Perhaps we should get back to the cabin and pass the time with that cassette of yours."
"Sounds good to me." James replied. "Let's go round up the Pokemon and make our way back."
With their arms around each other's waists, the newly formed couple made their way back inside the gym.
As Brock was going into overdrive watching a clan of Nurse Joy's and Officer Jenny's socialise, Ash and Misty were, once again, arguing amongst themselves. This time, the topic was the young trainer's Pokedex.
"But Ash, you already saw Vileplume at least twice before you asked Dexter about it again today!" Misty argued.
"I just forgot about it, that's all!" Ash retorted. "I'm learning so much new stuff about Pokemon that it's pushing the old stuff out of my brain!"
"You had nothing in there to begin with!" Misty folded her arms and turned away from him, just in time to see Jessie and James walking upstairs, hand in hand. The male of the team gave his partner a quick peck on the cheek before entering the main party room on the upper level of the gym.
"They're looking rather intimate tonight!" Said Brock, who had managed to divert his attention away from the group of girls he'd been admiring in order to stop Ash and Misty's argument. "Aw, Jessie and James are in love." Ash commented, half-sarcastically. Misty, being the hopeless romantic she was, whacked him upside the head with a mallet.
"So guys," Meowth said as he and the other Pokemon returned to the human members of the team, "we see ya managed to find some mistletoe outside- even if it was invisible!"
Jessie and James blushed furiously.
"You mean you were watching us?" James yelped.
"Arbok sez she wonders how ya could've gone dat long without takin' a breath!" The feline translated. Jessie sneered, then half-smiled.
"Because it's Christmas, I'm going to let that one slide." She replied. "Now that you've had your fun, we should probably start making our way back home."
Weezing, Victreebell, Wobuffet and Arbok were all returned to their Pokeballs, and the remainder of the team started to head downstairs.
"Hey guys," Meowth said to his comrades as they left the gym, "just promise me youse two'll keep it down when ya decide to get frisky. Meowth needs his beauty sleep!"
A crimson-faced Jessie quickly pulled out her mallet and ensured that the cat would have to be carried the rest of the way to the cabin.
The following morning, James awoke at the crack of dawn, and was quick to wake the rest of his teammates. Remembering that it was Christmas day, they quickly emerged from the warmth of their sleeping bags and gathered around the Christmas tree, releasing their Pokemon as they did. Meowth sat down next to the pine, picking up a random present and reading out the name on the nametag. James shifted about nervously, hoping that the first gift would be for him.
"Dis one's for Arbok, Wobuffet, Weezing and Victreebell from Jess and Jim."
The aforementioned Pokemon gathered around the large bundle, wrapped in green paper and tied with glittering, gold ribbon. However, the outer appearance mattered little, for it was hastily torn off with tooth, tail, vine and what could almost be classed as hands. The recipients oooh'ed and ahhh'ed (in Pokemon language of course) at what they found inside the wrapping- a large bag of premium Poke-chow, a few rubber chew-toys (which Victreebell instantly lunged at), a large ball to play with, and some beautifully scented perfume- made especially for Pokemon! After admiring what they had received, Arbok, Weezing and Wobuffet nuzzled their masters affectionately.
"Dat's dere way o' sayin' thank you'." Meowth observed.
"You're very welcome!" Their masters replied in unison, just as Victreebell bounded towards James with its mouth wide open.
"Oh no, not this again!" He cried, bracing himself to be swallowed for the umpteenth time only to receive a big, sloppy thank you' lick from the mischievous Pokemon. "Oh well, I'm glad you liked it." James said, patting Victreebell.
Meowth pulled out another gift from under the tree. James eyed it, looking to see if his name was on the gift tag.
"Dis one's mine!" The feline declared, using his fury swiped to tear open the carefully wrapped box. "Oooh!" He swooned, leaning into the box. When he emerged, he lay on his back with a big ball of wool in his arms, and a little chewable toy Marill in his mouth. "Thaaaaanks!" He purred, batting the ball of wool about. After a while, Jessie cleared her throat, bringing the cat-type back down to Earth.
"Oh right, da presents!" He said, sweatdropping.
"Is it my turn yet?!" James whined, watching Meowth bring two more presents out from under the tree.
"Hold yer Ponytas!" Came the reply, as the cat handed both he and Jessie their gifts. "Dese are from me and da rest of da Pokemon." He told them, as the pair tore open their gifts. Inside each was a box of high class, expensive chocolate truffles.
"Wow Meowth, these look great!" Jessie said, tossing the wrapping paper aside. "For once I think I can safely say you have great taste!"
"Thanks I think." Meowth replied. The Rocket girl cuddled their Pokemon, thanking them.
"I can't wait to get into these, don't you agree James? James?!"
"Huh?" He replied, looking up from his open truffle box with chocolate all over his face. Jessie rolled her eyes and smiled.
"Alright, c'mon fellas, we're down to da final two." Meowth said, proceeding to hand out the second last gift. "Here ya go, Jimmy boy! Dis one's from Jessie. Maybe it's a weddin' dress for ya to wear on da big day!"
Ignoring Meowth's remark, James wasted no time in unwrapping the parcel. His face lit up as soon as he opened the velvety, drawstring pouch it contained.
"These are mint, discontinued bronze bottle-caps from the nineteen thirties!" He gasped, admiring the small bag of shiny new bottle-caps he was holding. "Jessie, how did you get these?"
"Believe it or not, I won them in a bet." She replied. "I was looking through the shopping centre, wondering what I should buy you, when I ran into Cassidy. Well, it just so happens she had grabbed them in a heist when she robbed an old hobbyist store, and she said I could have them if I followed through with a dare."
"Which was?" Her two teammates asked in unison. She sighed, slightly embarrassed.
"Well, Cassidy dared me to stand in the middle of the shopping centre and scream about what an idiot I was until the security guards came and restrained me."
"So that's why we had to sign that document saying that you were clinically sane!" James said.
"Yeah, and also why I kept getting brochures about Turret Syndrome treatments in the mail." She grumbled back. But she was soon smiling again when James pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.
"Aw Jess, that was so sweet of you!" He said,
grinning from ear to ear. "I love it!"
"I thought you might." She replied, briefly kissing him on the lips. "Glad they appeal to ya."
"Okay guys, are ya ready for da last one?" Meowth said, bringing out the final gift from under the tree. It was very small, but very nicely wrapped with snow white paper and a gorgeous red bow. "Jessie, dis one's for you, from James." Jessie took the final gift and carefully unwrapped it. Inside was a velvety, maroon box. As she opened it, the red-haired Rocket smiled. It was a silver locket- shaped like a Meowth!
"Oh James!" She gasped. "It's beautiful!"
"Open it!" He hindered. Jessie put the wrapping paper and velvet box aside, slipping her nail in between the two halves of the locket. It popped open and revealed two tiny pictures. She put her hand to her mouth and gasped softly as her eyes fell upon them- on one half was a picture of her and James when they had dressed up as Princess dolls on the day that she had lost a competition to win a real set. On the other half, there was a picture of a woman with long, cascading purple hair, and eyes as blue as Jessie's. Though it was only a headshot, there was no mistaking the black Team Rocket Elite uniform she was wearing.
"My mother." Jessie whispered. "Where did you find this?"
"I logged onto the Team Rocket data base." James replied. "They have pictures of all their employees, past and present."
"James" Jessie was at a loss for words. Instead, she simply wrapped her arms around him. "This is the best Christmas ever! Thank you so much you're the best."
"I was hoping you'd like it." He replied, taking the necklace from her and fastening it around her neck.
As they were about to kiss, James felt something cold and wet hit the back of his head.
"Woooob!" The blue Pokemon said proudly, holding a batch of snowballs.
"I'll get you for that!" The Rocket boy laughed, as he chased Wobuffet back outside into the snow, where the rest of the team's Pokemon were playing. Jessie and Meowth followed, readying themselves for combat. When they got outside, they were bombarded with and arsenal of snowballs.
"This means war!" Jessie cried.
* * *
Elsewhere, in the town of Pallet, Ash, Brock and Misty had travelled to Mrs. Ketchum's house for the Christmas dinner she was preparing. There were gifts sitting under their tree also, and Ash was the first one to receive his present.
"Now darling," Mrs. Ketchum said as her son began tearing away the wrapping paper, "I know your Pokemon journey can be very dangerous. So that's why I thought I'd better get you something to protect you in your journeys."
As he tore away the remaining wrapping paper, the young boy came face-to-face with his gift.
"Underwear liners and pocket protectors." He said, in a less than enthusiastic tone. "Thanks Mum."
His two friends chuckled.
"I'm sure those underwear liners will do him a world of good, Mrs. Ketchum!" Brock giggled. "You never know when you're going to run into a big scary Pokemon and get such a fright you-"
"Shut up, Brock." Ash interjected.
* * *
"Hey Jess, prepare for trouble!" James called, shoving a handful of snow down the back of her parka. She squealed, frantically jumping about in an attempt to shake the cold sensation.
"Make it double!" She screeched back, picking up a snowball and smooshing it into her partner's face. They giggled together, before Jessie pulled James into her arms, and wiped the snow off his face affectionately.
"You know you look absolutely adorable with snow all over you?" He said, grinning.
"Such a compliment deserves a kiss." She replied. Once again, their lips met, and they were soon locked in a passionate kiss.
Meowth looked on, a smile spread across his face.
"Well, I guess Christmas miracles can happen after all!" He giggled, before being pelted in the face with another of Wobuffet's snowballs.
"Wobuffet!" (Too true!)