A/N: 8D Hooray for Charles Dickens for writing 'A Christmas Carol'. Merry Christmas to you, Charles Dickens! Merry Christmas to you, everyone! ^^ Oh, and Happy Birthday, Jesus! ^.^ (No, I am not exactly a fan of Twilight the vampire movies. Don't hate me! QAQ)
Notes: Satoshi/Ash/13-years-old, Hikari/Dawn/11, Takeshi/Brock/16, Reiji/Aniki (Brother)/Reggie/18, Shirona/Cynthia, Goukazaru/Infernape, Yukimenoko/Froslass, Sumomo/Maylene/17, Ringuma/Ursaring
Warning: Mention of Shinji and Reiji's unknown/non-existing (in anime) father and mother, some swearing, some Shinji OOC-ness
3 Christmas Twilights
It was Christmas Eve, and a plum-haired boy was walking through the snow in dusk. His name was Shinji, a thirteen year old trainer who was coming for a Christmas party in his house. Reiji, his older brother, always held a Christmas party along with a few friends.
This time, there were more friends than last year. When he entered the house, he was greeted by his rival Satoshi.
"Shinji, Merry Christmas!" Satoshi was dressed in a red suit with white fluff decorating the sleeves, hems, and collar. A Santa hat was also on his head. Pikachu was only wearing the hat.
Takeshi was also the same. "Reiji-San invited us to your Christmas party. We hope you don't mind!"
Shinji rolled his eyes and brushed past Satoshi in a brisk manner. On the way to his room, he bumped into Hikari. She was wearing a red dress with white fluff on the sleeves and hem. The golden triangular barrettes were replaced by white circular ones and a red collar with a silver bell adorned her neck.
"… So you're here too?" he hissed. Without giving her a chance to speak, he went into his room and slammed the door behind him.
Hikari was standing in the same place, her clenched fist shaking. "Well, excuse me for living, you Christmas killjoy!" She stomped downstairs, wanting to punch the nightlights out of Shinji. It was evening right now after all. She began to mumble incoherent words.
"Uh, Hikari, are you okay?
"No, I'm not!" The blunette crossed her arms. "Why is Shinji so grumpy today? It's Christmas Eve!"
Reiji sighed, shaking his head. "He should've gone over it…" Sadness glazed Reiji's eyes as he remembered that last Christmas they had with their family.
Hikari placed her hand on Reiji's arm. "Can you tell me, Reiji-san?"
"Don't tell Shinji I told you this," he pleaded. "It was – let's see – about five years ago…"
Other than Valentine's Day, Christmas was one of the worst holidays for Shinji. It wasn't because he knew that Santa Claus wasn't real. It was because of that Christmas five years ago.
Shinji remembered that he was actually a happy boy in those years. His parents were kind, Reiji won many leagues, and he had many hopes. However, all that was shattered in his 8th Christmas.
Their father had come home drunk that Christmas evening. He shattered the ornaments, ripped the presents to shreds, and destroyed their Christmas tree, and hit Shinji and Reiji for the first time. Worst of all, he pulled out a gun and shot their mother. But when he realized what he has done, he shot himself out of sadness, guilt, and anger.
It gave Shinji more than enough trauma to despise Christmas. Reiji took care of him all these years, but he still hated Christmas. Every year, it was that memory that was always brought up in his mind. It was that memory that tore his cold demeanor down and hurt him very badly.
That hurtfulness caused him to put a solid wall between him and anyone else. It made him seem very grumpy and harsh to them. He didn't really mean anything he would say.
He just wanted something to make his dark Christmas into a warm Christmas.
Hikari was on the verge of tears. "You two had that bad of a Christmas?" She wiped her eyes before the tears could spill.
Reiji chuckled sadly. "Yes. I put that behind me, but Shinji was still young." He rubbed the back of his neck. "It gave him enough mental wounds." He looked at Hikari, smiling. "I'm really grateful that you guys are here. It seems like you guys, or at least one of you, might be able to help him."
"I should go apologize to Shinji."
But when she was about walk upstairs, Reiji leapt and grabbed her leg.
"No! You cannot apologize to him just yet!"
Hikari blinked in surprise. "U-uh, why?"
The older brother continued to grab on. "Shinji's a sharp one, Hikari-Kun! He's going to figure out if you apologize so quickly like this!"
"Um… Okay…" She retreated and returned back to the party.
Reiji sighed in relief. His expression became concerned as he looked upstairs where Shinji's room was.
Sorry, Shinji, he thought, I had to tell her.
It was 11:59 PM and everyone was sleeping over at Shinji and Reiji's house. Shinji skipped dinner because he was a little too grumpy to be hungry. Takeshi left him a bowl of soup just in case. But by this time, it was definitely cold. Shinji was asleep in his bed.
When the clock struck midnight, a bright light shone in front of him.
He jerked awake, shocked. "Who are you?" He made an aim for his Dodaitose's PokéBall, but it vanished. "Hey!"
Shirona was standing before him. She had teal-colored tags as earrings. The third tag was on a collar on her neck. Her usual black outfit was replaced by a golden one with long streamers behind her. Her sleeves were also longer than usual. There were two teal triangles beneath her eyes.
"Shirona?" she repeated. "I'm not Shirona, Shinji-Kun!" The being before him giggled before grinning. "I'm Jirachi!" She waved at the dumbfounded Shinji. "I'm here to tell you about what you will experience after me. You will be visited by a Christmas spirit like me."
Shinji gritted his teeth. "What is this? Is this some kind of sick joke?" He clenched his fist. "Get the hell out of here!"
She held up a finger. "There are three Christmas spirits, Shinji…" She pointed to her right teal-tag earring. "One is the Spirit of Christmas Past." She then pointed to her left one. "The second is the Spirit of the Present Christmas." She pointed to the last one on her collar. "The last is the Spirit of the Future Christmas." With that, she disappeared in a ball of light.
"What the-?" He woke up, slight panting. "What was that…?" He looked at the clock and it read 1:00 AM. "Tch…" Shinji went back to sleep, but he had a weird feeling that what Shirona, or Jirachi, said will come true.
Shinji woke up to the sound of his clock beeping. He rolled his eyes, recalling Shirona's words. On cue, an orange and yellow ball of light appeared before him. He nearly jumped from fright. "Great, who can you be now?"
To his surprise, Reiji appeared. "Aniki? You set this up, didn't you?"
"I am not Reiji, Shinji-Kun," the spirit replied. "I am Goukazaru, the spirit of your Christmas past."
"Don't fucking joke with me!"
But Goukazaru didn't listen to him and approached him. "I'll be taking you to the Christmas you thought had shattered your hopes." He grabbed Shinji's wrist and jumped out the window.
Shinji tried to get Goukazaru's grip off of him. "Let me go!" He growled in defeat after many tries.
They flew above the clouds for a while. Shinji heard Christmas music beneath the clouds. Goukazaru flew back down to Shinji's original house, the place where his parents died. His eyes widened in anger and fright. He didn't want to go back to this place ever again! But it was too late.
It was that day when all of Shinji's hopes had shattered. He was eight and Reiji was fourteen.
"Mom, where's dad?" Shinji tugged on his mother's apron.
Shinji's mother looked out the window, looking worried. "I don't know, Shinji… He should've been here an hour ago." She then saw snow. "I hope he'll make it before the snow piles up."
"Mom, I see him! He's coming!" Reiji called out from the front door. But something was wrong. Shinji thought he heard Reiji's voice falter. "Is he… drunk?"
That was when they rushed out to get their father inside. They set him down on the couch and waited for him to come to.
"Where was dad?" Shinji sniffed him and wrinkled his nose. "Why does he smell so bad?" He pinched it, coughing.
His father's eyes opened. "Where am I…?" He got up with a grunt and looked around. "Oh, I'm back home…"
"Dear, where were you? I was getting so worried!" Their mother embraced him. "Were you drinking before you came here?"
"Yeah, what's it to you?" Shinji's father narrowed his eyes, wiping his nose. "Who the hell are you? My mom?" He let out a rough laugh before grunting again.
Reiji approached their father with a glass of water. "Dad, drink this." But what he didn't expect their father to do was slap him. "D-dad?"
"You! You're always obsessed about gym battles and winning those leagues!" He knocked Reiji down to the floor. "You're nothing but a gym battle freak! You never worry about our good being! It's always battles, battles, and battles!"
Their mother gasped and rushed to Reiji. "Are you okay?" When Reiji was too shocked to even speak, she looked at her husband with frightened eyes. "Honey, what has gotten into you? You were never like this!" But it was futile. He had thrown her to a wall, nearly knocking her unconscious. Blood began to trickle down the corner of her lip.
"Dad, what are you doing…?" Shinji approached his father. "C-come on, dad… It's Christmas. You shouldn't be hitting them!"
His father turned around to Shinji, crossing his arms. "Christmas?" He laughed loudly, but returned back to his unusual self. "You're always excited about Christmas like it's some fairy tale." He kicked Shinji on the stomach. "You're such a worthless son. I would like to see what you'd become when you're going to become a Pokémon Trainer. You're probably going to be weak!"
He then began to thrown the ornaments at the wall, shattering them one by one. He kicked the Christmas tree down until it was nothing but branches and wood pieces. Once in a while, he hit Reiji and Shinji with insults.
Their mother couldn't take it anymore. She rushed forward and embraced her husband by the waist. "Stop it! Just stop it! What happened to you? What made you become like this?"
"Get off me!" He tried to shake her off but to no avail. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at her chest. With one motion, he pulled the trigger and she fell to the floor. A puddle of blood began to spill.
Shinji and Reiji stared with shock beyond the actual feeling. "Mom… No… Mom!" They scrambled to her, trying to shake her awake. "No! Mom!"
Reiji looked up at their father with blind anger in his eyes. He screamed and tackled their father. They both fell to the ground and Reiji started shaking their father. "Snap out of it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! What's wrong with you, dad?" He punched him on the jaw.
Their father blinked and widened his eyes. "Reiji…? W-what happened?" He got up, massaging his head. He suddenly realized what he did. "No… No… I-I… I'm so sorry…" He looked at the hand that shot his wife with the gun. "I'm a monster…"
Shinji was curled next to his mother, shaking from fear. "Daddy…!"
Reiji backed away from his father as he grabbed the gun again. "W-what are you doing, dad?"
He sniffed, tears spilling from his eyes. "I'm glad, Reiji and Shinji…" he glanced at him with sadness in his eyes. "… that you still called me your dad after all this." He held the gun to the side of his forehead and said his last words. "I don't deserve to live after this. I'm sorry, Shinji, Reiji, Kiku." With that, he shot himself and fell to the ground.
Reiji fell to his knees, looking at their dead parents then to Shinji, who was unconscious… but crying. He crawled next to Shinji and fainted while holding him.
Shinji was quivering. He grabbed his head and shouted in fear. "No! Why are you showing me this?" He snatched his wrist from Goukazaru and gasped for breath.
"It wasn't his fault that he became like this, Shinji-Kun." Goukazaru pointed to his dead father. "If you saw his eyes, they were glazed. He was brainwashed."
"Brainwashed…?" Shinji looked at his father's nearly-dead eyes. Tears were flowing down his cheeks. He heard his father whisper:
"I'll probably be going to hell for this, but I'll get my revenge on that hypnotist there…"
He looked at his now-dead father with wide eyes. "…" His surroundings disappeared and he blacked out.
Shinji woke up. He panted, remembering the dream. "So… dad was… brainwashed…" He couldn't believe it. He couldn't understand it. Why did Reiji, or Goukazaru, show him that?
He was much too tired to even think about it. He fell asleep.
Later, he was awakened by the beeping of his clock. He expected another spirit to take him away somewhere to another painful memory. A red ball of light appeared and out came Satoshi and Takeshi!
"Who are you two now…?"
"We're Delibird!" they chirped. "We're the spirit of your present Christmas!" Satoshi and Takeshi were dressed in the suits they were wearing at the party, a Santa hat, and a white sack for each.
Shinji stared at them with deadpan eyes. "Why did I somehow see this coming…?" He got off his bed, rolling his eyes. "So where are you going to take me this time?"
Takeshi snapped his fingers and their surroundings changed. Shinji was taken to a room of his house.
It was Hikari's room. It was lit with a small candle and she was gazing out the window. She was holding something in her hands.
"I was hoping that I could give Shinji his Christmas gift…" she whispered to herself. She looked at the gift wrapped in blue with a lilac bow tied around it. "Maybe I'll give it to him tomorrow…" She suddenly blushed at the thought. "W-wait, what if he rejects my present? He hates Christmas!" She pounded herself with her fists. "Aw, man, I'm so stupid!"
Togekiss woke up and glided over to Hikari. She smiled, asking her what's wrong.
"It's Shinji." She put down his Christmas gift and stared out the window again. It was snowing and the snowflakes looked beautiful. "Do you think I should put his present under the tree or should I give it to him directly?"
"To! To!" Togekiss held up two wings to show that she should give it to him directly. She smiled slyly at Hikari, knowing what her trainer was thinking about.
"Togekiss! I-it's not like that!" Hikari denied, her arms flailing about. "I-it's not like I… like him or anything. I just want to be a good friend. That's all."
To Togekiss, that was just pure denial. She shrugged smugly, teasing Hikari. She insisted that Hikari should tell the truth.
"F-fine!" Hikari crossed her arms, pouting. "I might l-like him a bit, okay?" She dug her face into her hands, embarrassed. "Waa, I won't be able to sleep now!" Togekiss pushed her present to Shinji to her hands. "Thanks, Togekiss. You're a great friend." She petted her. Togekiss smiled and went back to the futon, where Pochama and Pachirisu were sleeping while leaning against each other.
Hikari giggled. "Merry Christmas, guys." She blew out the candle and the room was lit by the moonlight. She looked up at the moon, smiling. "Merry Christmas, Shinji."
Shinji stared at Hikari with soft eyes. He saw the hope flicker in her eyes. They looked so warm and happy. He felt a warm feeling inside him as he continued to watch.
"Hn, so Troublesome Girl likes me?"
"Yep!" Satoshi, or Delibird #1, replied. "It looks like it!"
"We wish you good luck with her!" Takeshi, or Delibird #2, gave him a thumbs-up.
"Wait, what?" He stared at them with wide eyes and a blush on his face. But before he can protest, his vision faded to black. He woke up again, but this time, he felt weird. "… That dream is probably the weirdest dream I've ever had…"
The plum-haired boy nodded and got off his bed. When he turned around, he saw none other than Hikari! "Troublesome Girl…?"
Hikari shook her head. "I am Yukimenoko and I am the spirit of your future Christmas." She was dressed in a kimono with a red obi tied around her waist. Her sleeves were long and covered her whole arms. Her hair was tied in a bun and wore blue lipstick. She extended out a hand. "Come with me and I will show you your future."
Shinji took her hand and they were enveloped by a ball of icy wind. He landed in his room, but everything looked so… old. He looked around and saw himself sitting on his bed. He looked like he was in his seventies. Hikari, or Yukimenoko, stood next to his future self and the actual Shinji followed.
"… It's Christmas, huh…?" Shinji stood up and walked out the door. "Reiji, are you there?" He walked downstairs to see Reiji and Sumomo on the couch.
"Merry Christmas, Reiji-Kun!" Sumomo gave her husband a present. Her pink hair had faded into a pale pink and she still looked strong. "I knitted you a scarf! It's purple to represent you and pink to represent me!"
Reiji had longer hair and he accepted his wife's present. He opened and took it out. "Wow, Sumomo. It's pretty long…"
Sumomo laughed. "That's because it's supposed to be like this!" She wrapped the scarf around Reiji's neck, then hers, and wrapped the rest around both of them. "We'll never be apart, ever!" She hugged her husband, blushing.
"Aw, you're such a great wife, Sumomo…" Reiji kissed her on the forehead. "Here's mine." He handed her a small box. "It's not much though…"
"Not much?" she exclaimed as she opened it. "I love it!" She held up a beautiful picture frame with Reiji and Sumomo's picture of when they got married. "I love you so much, Reiji-Kun!"
Reiji hugged her, smiling. "I love you too, Sumomo. I'm really glad I'm with you."
Sumomo returned the hug. "I'm happy to be with you too." Unfortunately, she hugged her husband a little too tight because his back made cracking noises. "Oops! Sorry!"
"It's no problem at all." He chuckled.
Shinji was watching from the stairs, unnoticed by the couple. He sighed and walked back upstairs. "… At least they're happy…" He slightly smirked, covering his face with his hand. "… I have no one…" A tear had escaped the once sharp and cold midnight black eyes. Now they were worn down and sad. He let out a weak chuckle. "It's probably better this way…"
"… Am I going to be that lonely…?" Shinji asked Hikari, or Yukimenoko. But he received no reply. "Yukimenoko?" He looked around but found nothing. Darkness enshrouded him and he once again faded.
"Hey!" he cried out. Shinji slightly gasped for breath. Yes, he was that shocked from the visits of the spirits. When he looked outside, a bit of sunshine was showing over the horizon. Dawn was beginning to arise. He recalled every visit of the spirits and the message that they left for him to decipher. He looked out his window and smirked.
There was a knock on the door.
The door opened and Hikari's head popped in. Shinji recalled when Hikari admitted that she liked him. His cheeks became pink. "What do you want?"
Hikari approached Shinji's bed. "Sorry, did I wake you?"
"No, you came at the right time." He fully sat up on his bed and watched the blunette fiddle with her fingers. "So… why are you here?"
"O-oh!" Hikari seemed to have forgotten. "W-well, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas." She laughed nervously. "That's all…"
Shinji raised a brow. "Is that so? It seems like you have more to say than just that." He smirked. "Otherwise, you wouldn't have come here."
"Sh-shut up!" Her face was pink and she was fiddling with her fingers. "About yesterday…" She took a small bow. "I'm sorry I called you a Christmas killjoy!" She bit her lower lip, remembering what Reiji told her. "I didn't know that you went through such a past…"
That clicked in his head. "So Aniki told you…?" His tone was intended blank, but in Hikari's head, it was dripping with venom. He got up and made his way to the door.
Hikari chased after him. "W-wait, Shinji! P-please don't blame Reiji-San! He didn't mean any bad intentions!" She gritted her teeth. "Don't blame him! You can blame me! I was the one who asked him to tell me!" It was frustrating to have him keep walking and not listening to her. "Shinji!" She skipped an extra step and embraced him.
"I'm sorry." Hikari didn't let go. "I want to give you a Christmas that'll at least cheer you up." She leaned her head on his back. "I don't want you to be alone on Christmas…"
Shinji remembered the future Christmas where he was all alone. A small smile formed. "I've always wondered…"
"How do you feel about me?" He felt Hikari's face turn hot against his back and his guess was confirmed. Hikari did like him.
"W-well, I… uh… I l-l-like you…" She exhaled in embarrassment. "D-d-don't make me repeat myself…!" Shinji turned around, still in Hikari's embrace, and wrapped one arm around her. "Sh-Shinji…?"
"Mind if I return those feelings?" He lowered his head and kissed her forehead. "I think I've liked you for quite a while, Troublesome Girl."
The way she said that she didn't want Shinji to be alone on Christmas was enough warmth for him. It was like that horrifying past was put behind him. The present was what he wanted to enjoy. And… someday… that lonely future will change into a happy and family-like future. Shinji couldn't believe that those visits of those three spirits – dreams in his thoughts – actually helped him change.
Shinji nodded once. "You're one of those people that I want to thank…" he paused to grunt smugly, "… and wish you a Merry Christmas." He chuckled. "I never thought I'd say that again."
Hikari looked up at him hopefully. "Am I the first one you said that to?"
She giggled and gave him a big Ringuma hug. "Merry Christmas, Shinji!"
"Merry Christmas, Hikari."
Everyone was finally up and about, since it was Christmas. They found many presents underneath the Christmas tree. There was one for everyone, except Shinji. It was from Santa's helpers, Delibird! (Not really.)
There was even one for Shinji. He was surprised to get one, but he still felt happy.
"So who wants to open their present first?"
"I think Shinji should go," Hikari announced. She nearly shoved her present to Shinji. "Th-this is for you…"
Shinji rolled his eyes smugly and opened his present. It was the same package from his second dream. It was a blue scarf with his face and his Pokémon, in Chibi form, sewn on it. Shinji smirked, feeling that it was typical for Hikari to give him this. "I like it. It's a great present."
"Really?" Hikari chimed joyfully. "Thank Arceus! I thought you would've hated it!"
"Hate it?" Shinji slightly frowned. "Now, why would I hate it? I wouldn't even be here if I didn't want a present." He slightly sat closer to Hikari. "Thanks, Hikari." He petted her as a thank-you.
Sumomo clapped. "Whoa, is that what I think I see? Shinji is enjoying Christmas!" She giggled at Shinji's slightly annoyed expression. She looked up and smiled coyly. "And is that a mistletoe I see?"
At the same time, the two looked up to see the mistletoe hanging above them. They looked at each other with a blush on their face.
Shinji scratched the back of his head, hesitant to kiss Hikari. He knew he could kiss her on the cheek or forehead, but it felt so awkward to do it front of everyone! However, Hikari didn't hesitate. She kissed him on the lips. It felt like time stopped for Shinji. He kissed her back, despite that awkward feeling he had when everyone whistled. They pulled back, their faces red.
Reiji laughed. "I have never seen you like this before, Shinji! What got you back into enjoying Christmas?"
"Just a little message from my past, present, and future," he replied. He knew no one would get it, but he didn't care. Those messages were for him to find out and change. "This Troublesome Girl here is another reason." He pointed to Hikari with a smirk.
"Shut up, Shinji!" Everyone laughed.
Satoshi got a pair of fingerless gloves from Takeshi.
Sumomo got a Christmas dress from Reiji.
Takeshi got a booklet of advice for Pokémon Breeders and Doctors from Sumomo.
Hikari got a pair of new barrettes for her hair from Satoshi.
As for Reiji, he stared at his gift for a while. He looked at his younger brother. "Shinji… You got me this?"
Shinji raised a brow. He didn't remember getting anyone a present. Suddenly, he saw the actual Jirachi waving at him from outside. Jirachi pointed to the present then to her, smiling. She winked at him disappeared. Shinji knew what happened.
He smiled, nodding. "I had a feeling I should've gotten you that."
Reiji held out a picture of their family. It was the happiest day for Reiji. He smiled and hugged his little brother. "You're the best, Shinji." He stuck it in a picture frame and put it on a table. The picture showed four-year-old Shinji and ten-year-old Reiji along with their parents. They all smiled warmly. The difference was that it wasn't just a family picture.
It was the day Reiji won his first badge.
That morning was filled with Christmas cheer and laughter.
Shinji then remembered something from one of his dreams. "Hey, Aniki!"
"What is it?" Reiji was twirling Sumomo to the music. "Something you want to say?"
"Yeah…" Shinji knew he was going to enjoy this. "When are you going to propose to Sumomo?"
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
A/N: Merry Christmas from Hana and Ichi! ^.^ We thank you for your support over half the year of 2010! xDD Have a happy new year, everyone! Next year is the year of the Rabbit, so all you people who were born twelve years ago… We hope you have a good year in 2011!
For those who read my Mystique story:
The art that I promised to draw with Hikari and Jun in their Isshu outfits are on my deviantART! The link is on my FF profile, so please check it out! Oh and I also included Shinji in it too! No, he's not a Luxio. He's in human form.