MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! And here we are, the very last chapter :D This has been really fun to write, and has deffintely inspired me to write an albphabet challenge in the future. But for now, enjoy the very last day of the 12 Days of Christmas! Oh, and if anyone was curious for the childrens' ages:
The doorbell had to ring just once, and a small blur came rocketing through the house; the child who had been running easily beating out any of her other family members to the door.
"I've got it!" The girl announced to no one in particular, having to stand on her tippy toes in order to reach the knob. Once she grabbed hold of the circular gold object, she pulled the door open, grinning wildly at the man who stood in front of her.
He was quite tall, wearing a dark brown coat. His shoulders and hair were dusted with tiny snowflakes, which fell idly all around him as they covered the ground, forming small white mounds. In his hands he held a stack of three presents, while at his sides, Chansey and Sudowoodo held some others.
"Hi Uncle Brock!" Elizabeth cheered, rushing forward to hug his legs.
"Hey there Lizzie," Brock smirked, looking down at the young girl. She released her grip, still smiling boldly as she spun in a little circle.
"Do you like my dress?" She squeaked, "Grammy made it just for me for Christmas!"
Brock surveyed the green satin dress; its short puffy sleeves, delicate white lace sticking out of from the skirt's hem, and the green sash tied into a perfect bow. Delia makes this little girl the most beautiful clothes, Brock thought happily, no wonder her parents worry about her getting spoiled!
"It's lovely!" Brock laughed, "Now, why don't we go inside? It's far too cold out here for you!"
"I could put on my coat," Elizabeth mused, "and then we could play in the snow together! Oh, please?"
"Maybe in a little while. I've been out here for quite a while, and I'm pretty cold! You don't want me to freeze, now do you?"
"Of course not!" Elizabeth shook her head feverously, "come with me! I'll tell Mommy and Daddy you're here!"
The little red head skipped back inside, Brock following dutifully behind the joyful child. Waiting for them by the kitchen doorway was a fairly tall adult, his black as midnight hair hardly tamed as a lopsided smile graced his handsome face.
"Hi Daddy!" Elizabeth cheered, running to her father. She leapt into his arms and cuddled into his chest, causing him to chuckle and press a kiss atop her dark red hair. Looking back up, his eyes glinted mischievously at Brock, causing the older male to laugh bemusedly.
"Hey there Brocko!" He greeted playfully, the young girl turning around to once again face the visitor.
"What's up with that look, Ash?" Brock smirked, "up to no good, are we?"
"I'm always good!" Ash laughed, and Elizabeth tilted her head in confusion.
"Mommy says you can be pretty bad sometimes," Elizabeth piped up, "she said you may be on Santa's naughty list."
"There is no way I'm on the naughty list!" Ash raised the girl to his face so they could lock eyes, causing his young daughter to laugh joyfully, "that's reserved for the really bad people, like Team Rocket!"
"I brought presents for you guys," Brock held up the pretty paper wrapped boxes to prove his point, and his two Pokémon followed suit, "where would you like me to put them?"
"Presents?" A younger raven haired boy, who looked quite a bit like Ash, came running into the room, his chocolate brown eyes aglow.
"Ah, Aiden," Brock chuckled lightly, "there you are."
"Can we open them now?" Aiden turned to his father, giving a hopeful look.
"Yeah, now!" Elizabeth agreed, clapping heartily.
"Don't act so spoiled you two!"
The children's mother had come into the room now, hands placed firmly on her hips as a disapproving glance was cast towards both her offspring.
"Aw, but Mom…" Aiden frowned.
"No buts Aiden. You'll just have to wait until tomorrow. And what do you say to Brock for even bringing you a gift?"
"Thank you," Aiden turned back to Brock, giving a little smile.
"Thank you!" Elizabeth fluttered her eyelashes.
"They're so cute," Brock laughed some more. This comment caused Elizabeth to grin wildly, and Aiden to scowl ferociously. "They can open them now! I don't mind it one bit."
"Brock, you don't have to…"
"No, I insist Misty!" Brock smiled yet again, "In fact, I'd really like it if they opened them now."
"Please Mom?" Aiden pouted, knowing very well that this tactic worked like a charm. His mother could never resist the patented "Ketchum Pout," because it always worked for his father, and Aiden was blessed with the good fortune of looking just like him.
Misty's emerald eyes faltered, and Aiden knew he had won the silent battle. "Fine," Misty allowed a tiny smirk to grow on her face, "but get Michelle so she can open hers too."
"MICHELLE!" Aiden screamed, not bothering to budge from his spot.
"Very nice Aiden," Misty narrowed her eyes disappointedly. Aiden blushed and dug his foot into the carpet.
"What?" Another red headed girl, this one the same age as Aiden, gliding into the room, "I was helping Gram with something."
"We get to open one present each," Aiden announced wisely, "and we need you here to do it."
"But…I like opening all of my gifts on Christmas morning," Michelle scrunched up her nose.
"Why do you have to be such a loser?"
"Aiden!" Misty snapped.
"Aw, come on Shelly! I want to see your reaction!"
Michelle's head shot up, not realizing that someone new had walked into the house. Making eye contact with Brock, she squealed and ran forward, giving the man a tight hug.
"Hi Brock!" Michelle greeted warmly as she embraced the Pokémon doctor.
"Hey there!" Brock smiled, "so, come on! Present time!"
Michelle sighed, but then nodded her head innocently, "if you insist!"
Brock handed the adolescent girl a rectangular box, wrapped in shiny green paper.
"Like the color of your eyes," Brock teased playfully. Michelle let out a short laugh and rolled her eyes. All people ever seemed to talk about was her "pretty emerald eyes," and how they were "so much like her mother's."
Next was Aiden, who hurried over to the former gym leader.
"We didn't even greet each other properly," Brock snickered, and Aiden grinned deviously in response.
"You're right! Sorry Brock."
"No problem," Brock grabbed the pre teen's hand and gripped it tight. Aiden smirked and returned the strong hold. Brock was stronger, however, and he kept applying the pressure, until Aiden nearly toppled over in pain.
"Fine, you win again," Aiden grunted as he flexed his sore hand, "but I WILL beat you one day!"
"We'll see about that," Brock shrugged jokingly, "hey, maybe because you lost, I should keep your present…"
"Oh Brock, that's not fair!" Aiden whined, his brown eyes filling up with undeniable horror.
"I'm just messing with ya'," Brock chuckled, giving Aiden a square shaped object wrapped in dark red.
"Me now!" Elizabeth cheered, pulling at her father's arm, "down Daddy! I need to go!" Ash smiled and gave the child another kiss on her hair before placing her on the floor. Elizabeth instantly dashed over to Brock, and began to dance around the tall man.
"Present! Present!" Elizabeth sang, "Oh, I'm so excited!"
"Easy there Lizzie!" Ash chuckled. Elizabeth stopped in her tracks, standing right in front of Brock with glittering eyes.
"And here's the last one, for the cutest of them all!" Brock placed a somewhat lumpy gift into Elizabeth's small hands, causing the girl to shriek excitedly.
"Oh, what is it?" Elizabeth sat down on the floor, tearing through the wrapping paper faster than both her older siblings combined. Upon seeing the paper's contents, she cried happily yet again, and gathered the objects into her hands.
"What is it sweetheart?" Misty asked curiously.
"They're poke dolls, of Pikachu and Vaporeon! But they're special! Look!" Elizabeth whipped around, showing off the stuffed Pikachu, who wore a Santa hat, and the stuffed Vaporeon, who had a red and green plaid ribbon tied around its neck.
"Wow, those are so cute!" Ash commented.
"It's you and Mommy," Elizabeth grinned, "you're the Pikachu, Daddy, and Mommy is the Vaporeon!" She pressed their faces together to imitate a kiss, and began to giggle sweetly. Ash and Misty exchanged glances, both blushing in the process.
"You two still act like a couple of kids," Brock added slyly, causing his two best friends to look back up sheepishly. "So, where would you like the rest of these presents? They're for everyone else."
"You are so sweet Brock," Misty sighed, walking over to Brock in order to give him a gentle hug, "we can put those under the tree, for now."
Chansey and Sudowoodo both called out in their perspective languages, before heading over to the tree and placing the other boxes underneath the decorated pine. Pikachu, meanwhile, came hopping in from the kitchen to converse with his two old friends. Shortly after Pikachu, Ash's mother, Delia, walked into the room and lit up at the sight of Brock.
"Hey Mrs. Ketch…uh, Delia!" Brock blushed embarrassedly, rubbing the back of his neck. He had always called her Mrs. Ketchum, up until Ash and Misty were married. Considering that name became shared by both women, Delia insisted that Brock call her by her first name. And after all those years, Brock still had a habit of forgetting.
"Hello Brock!" Delia smiled sweetly, "it's so nice to see you! Will you be staying for dinner?"
"If it's okay," Brock nodded slowly, "I was going to eat with Forrest tonight, but…his wife isn't the best cook," Brock laughed, before adding, "oh! I almost forgot! Brandon wanted me to say hi to Aiden and Michelle for him!"
Brandon, Brock's nephew and Forrest's son, was a very good friend of Aiden and Michelle's, if not their best. They'd known each other since they were babies.
"Aw, tell him I said hi too!" Michelle piped up, "and also, thanks for the hoodie Brock!" Michelle hugged the soft, light blue article of clothing, "I love it!"
"No problem," Brock smiled. Aiden, however, had no comment. Everyone turned to look curiously at the young boy, only to find him busy pouring over a book of battling strategies, one of his gifts from Brock. The other, a DVD of some of the greatest battles of all time, sat patiently on his lap.
"He's reading!" Misty gasped, "This…is a first."
"Aiden's just like his Daddy," Delia giggled, "never one to open a book unless it has to do with Pokémon!"
"That's being generous," Misty snickered, "I don't think Ash has ever opened a book that has only words in it."
Ash winced, "ouch Mist. That one hurt."
"Well, it is the truth," Misty winked, "and you know what they say about the truth."
Suddenly, the doorbell rang again, and Pikachu parked himself in front of it, ears twitching curiously.
"Who could that be?" Misty rubbed the back of her head. She went to open the door, Pikachu jumping onto her shoulder to avoid being stepped on.
"Ah, hello Misty!"
"P-Professor Oak!" Misty appeared shocked, but then showed off a warm smile, "hello!"
"I'm terribly sorry for dropping by on Christmas Eve," the elderly man bowed politely, "but I just remembered I had something to give to Ash, and I completely forgot!"
"Oh, it's no problem at all," Misty shook her head, "why don't you come inside? It's so cold outside."
"Oh no, I couldn't possibly intrude on you!"
"You're not intruding," Misty giggled, "in fact, this feels like an honor; having the world famous Professor Oak in your house on Christmas Eve."
"You're too kind," the Professor laughed heartily, stepping inside by Misty's request. From behind him came a young boy, looking to be the same age as Aiden and Michelle. His dark brown hair was trembling, along with the rest of his body, from the frigid cold.
"It's FREEZING out there!" He yelped, rubbing his arms in an attempt to warm them up.
"Sam?" Aiden and Professor Oak shrieked at the same time.
"Oak, what're you doing in my house?" Aiden jumped up, standing firmly in front of his rival.
"Chill out Ketchum," Sam rolled his dark, sleepy looking eyes, "I didn't come here to see you. I was following Gramps is all."
"Samson!" Professor Oak scowled, causing the younger boy to wince at the use of his full name, "why on Earth did you follow me all the way here? Did your mother and father allow this?"
"Well…" Sam blushed, "not exactly…"
"Ugh, why is everyone using my whole name?" Sam groaned as he slowly turned around. Facing his infuriated parents, he gasped a little before hanging his head.
"Why would you run out like that?" His mother scolded, her dark blonde, wavy locks falling into her angry amber eyes.
"Sorry Mom," Sam grumbled, his voice barely audible.
"As you should be," his father, a very familiar figure crossed his arms, "I don't know what's gotten into you boy."
"Nice job Gary," Ash snickered, "and you were always saying I was the one who'd never be able to control my kid!" As he laughed merrily, Misty delivered a swift smack to the back of his head. "OW!"
"It's so dark out now," Kayla, Gary's wife, sighed tiredly, "I truly wonder why you do the things you do Sam."
"Sorry Mom," Sam repeated, lowering his head even further.
"Don't worry about it," Misty spoke again, both Aiden and Ash turning to give her curious looks, "why don't you just stay here for the night? We have plenty of room."
"Mom!" Aiden hissed, his eyes wide with horror. Misty shot him a stern glance, and he straightened himself out, still frowning.
"Mist, maybe you should quit being so generous," Ash furrowed his brow.
"Silence," Misty ordered softly, pressing a finger against Ash's lips.
"It's alright Misty," Kayla smiled kindly, "I don't want us to bother you all just because of my son's foolishness."
"I said I was sorry!" Sam wailed. Aiden choked back a snicker.
"Don't worry about it. We can let Aiden and Sam have some fun," she smirked, and Aiden gave her a dark look. He and Sam were only fair weather friends, at best. He had picked on Aiden way too much when they were kids.
"If you're sure…" Gary raised his eyebrows.
"Positive," Misty nodded surely. Ash grimaced and grabbed Misty by the wrist, tugging her towards the kitchen. "Ow. Ash, where are you taking me?"
"Huh? Nowhere. Uh, I mean…the kitchen. Yeah. I need your help with…something! Yeah!"
Once they were alone, Ash scowled at Misty, to which she gave a taunting laugh.
"Oh, what's with the face Ash?"
"Why are you so big on just inviting people into our house? Usually this would send you into a fit that's only acceptable for people Elizabeth's age."
"That's true," Misty mused, "but its Christmas. And they're not just people. They're our friends, and pretty much our family. It's fun. I mean, that's what the holidays are really about, right?"
A little smile broke out onto Ash's face, and with a slight nod, he responded, "you have a point there, Mist."
"Of course I do," Misty pressed a quick kiss against Ash's lips, "besides, you like these people. Consider it me making up for tomorrow, when we have to spend all day with my family."
Ash's grin quickly faded, and he let out a dramatic groan. "Oh Misty, no. Not your family, anything but that!"
"Sorry dear," Misty's eyes glinted mischievously as she bounced back into the living room, "but its Christmas!"
Okay, so I was gonna make this a little more sentimental, but then by the end I wasn't in that kind of mood. Besides, around the holidays, while you're grateful for your family, they can SOMETIMES drive you crazy XD So I sort of split up the perspectives: Misty enjoying the company and Ash being a little ticked. It probably should've been the other way around, but I always picture older Misty as embracing the housewive role (while of course also retaining the tough, gym leader facade, so feeling almost like she has a double life.) And I imagine Ash, despite now being friends with Gary, doesn't exactly enjoy his former rival taking up residence in his home, no matter what time of year it is XD
Oh, and have I mentioned I'm OBSSESSED with future fics? :P
Anyway, writing this has been amazingly fun. Thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed, anything! You're all awesome! I'm off to get my regular fics back on track, so until then, I hope everyone has a very happy holiday, and a healthy, happy New Year! :D Oh, and if we could get a Misty cameo/special in 2011, well, that'd be great too ^^