BR/N: First time proof-reading something other than SOTF's main fic. Hope it's to your satisfaction. Oh, and Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.
Well, it's that time of the year again where we haul out the Christmas tree and give each other presents with gratitude and thankfulness, and another year is soon to pass by. And what better time to make a Christmas-themed story for the year of 2011? However, I've got my own twist in mind.
This short story is about several Legendary Pokémon trying to get accustomed to human life and getting the right presents, with only the help of some human friends! Will Dialga, Palkia and Giratina be able to fit into human life as they search for the right presents in time for Arceus's grand party that he has held for all his followers, along with the human friends they've made?
Note: There is a very small amount of OCs in this story (one is a legendary, mind you!) but it won't divert too much from the canonical storyline in terms of character originality. Note that Ash is eighteen-years-old here, but he'll retain his well-known traits from the anime (such as eating endlessly). Deciding the main character was difficult too, but I picked Arceus and Mew because they both appear throughout tge fic. The main character, as a whole, is a nightmare for me to decide for starters.
BIG WARNING: This contains some spoilers for Pokémon Heroes: Uprising. Read at your own caution. You have been warned!
Finally, all legendaries are able to speak and understand the human language, and so can their human companions that they befriended.
I really hope you enjoy this! I had a blast making this story. And before I forget, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, along with any other holidays you may celebrate during this month. Don't you all agree that 2011 went by fast? It sure did for me.
While I'm typing this up, my first semester for my third year of university is already over. No, I will not tell you which university I go to, so don't ask. =P
Once again, I have to thank my beta, Tendou Souji, for fixing this up.
And before I move out, I don't own Pokémon or any of its characters. Saying that I do is like taking on Giratina with a pistol and hoping to win against her with a peashooter.
Darn, my author's notes are getting longer and longer these days. Forgive me for that.
We Wish you a Legendary Christmas! (Part 1)
"Knowledge can never replace friendship. I prefer to be an idiot and have you as my friend!" - Patrick Star
Hall of Origins
The cold winter weather of December was beginning to settle in, with the malls and shopping locations all over the Pokémon World jam-packed with individuals trying to finish up their Christmas shopping before the 25th hit home. There were only two weeks or so until the holiday arrived, and there was no time to waste as everyone who needed presents got straight down to a mad shopping spree in malls all over the world, from Kanto all the way to Oblivia.
They say that humans were the only ones who celebrated this holiday but among those who watched over them from the stars and heavens up above, Christmas was just as an important festivity to Arceus and his subjects as it was to the average family looking forward to receiving presents from their loved ones. To this end, the Alpha Pokémon took the liberty of throwing a party in the Hall of Origins. Every legendary, along with any humans they had befriended, was invited to the annually-held celebration. It was also a thank you gift from the Pokémon Overlord to those who sacrificed so much to achieve victory in the last battle that saw great ruin being dealt to the planet.
Like the humans, who were all given a minimum vacation time spanning an impressive three weeks, Arceus sent all his followers to enjoy themselves ever since December began. He knew their jobs were just as difficult as his, and the humble Lord knew they deserved that break for putting so much dedication and effort into their tiring assignments and tasks.
Each and every legendary, especially a high-ranking one such as a General, was assigned a human companion to travel with them for the shopping procedure. Lugia, Ho-Oh, and Rayquaza, being Earth's Administrators, were allowed to go alone as they had spent their entire lives living and breathing in the blue planet's atmosphere so they were very well acquainted with the lifestyle of the mortals. On the other hand, the Generals, being Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, were far less skilled with the standard day of life as a human, and as such were given a human to guide them. A Pokémon Ranger was assigned to Palkia, while Ash had Giratina tag along with him. Dialga went along with a Pokémon Trainer who was a seemingly newfound friend of Ash.
Of course, all three boys were Pokémon hybrids too, but this had to be kept a secret. They did a particularly good job at it, being able to mask their alternate forms without drawing too much attention. But what he worried about most was the Creation Trio losing their forms in public; this would generate tremendous public shock if they revealed their gigantic body shapes in the eyes of thousands, even though they had fought alongside humanity during the Uprising conflicts.
From the corridors of his pristine, heavenly palace, Arceus could hear the voices of Celebi and Jirachi happily commenting on how fun their jobs of putting up Christmas decorations were. Other Legendary Pokémon, such as Raikou and Groudon, were… not having a very enjoyable time with their tasks.
"Wheee!" This is fun!" Jirachi squealed childishly as he flew around in a hyper manner, clutching a batch of Christmas lights in his tiny arms. Various colors of staple-sized light bulbs protruded from a long length of wire as the tiny Wish Pokémon hung them up eagerly and with care. "All's finished here, Celebi! Flip the switch!"
The Grass/Psychic-type legendary giggled before she activated the switch that illuminated the lights, flooding the room they were decorating in with a multitude shading of colours that emanated from the small, coloured bulbs. "Now that's what I call colourful."
"Yay! I like the pretty colours that these lights give off!" Jirachi commented frivolously at their hard work before picking up two red-coloured stockings with his tiny hands. "Let's put up these stockings now!"
"Sure thing. You're sure in the holiday mood, aren't you?" the small green Pokémon who had the power to travel through time commented.
"Christmas means wishes in need of granting, and wishes that are granted mean happiness!" Excited, Jirachi immediately got to work at hanging up the stockings that would soon be filled with treats, pint-sized gifts, and other surprises for the guests that would be arriving in two weeks.
"I guess," Celebi shrugged in a clueless fashion as she assisted the Psychic/Steel-type in his task.
Across the room, the legendary beasts were not having an easy time unlike the small-sized legendaries. Raikou got himself entangled in some strands of Christmas lights, and it took the combined effort of Entei and Suicune to free the Electric-type Pokémon from his self-inflicted trap.
"Be careful," Suicune scolded Raikou. "You'll short out all the lights if you try to Thunderbolt your way out of them!"
Raikou simply snorted without a care in response. "Give me a break, it's not like I'm paying for these contraptions."
The Alpha Pokémon heard his followers' excitement and enjoyable time of decorating his residence, but the god himself had more stressful matters on his mind than a military general about to suffer defeat at the ends of an enemy army.
"…I just hope I did not make the wrong choice inviting the humans here," Arceus muttered under his breath as he stood alone in the vast chamber in which he resided in. He wanted all of his children to enjoy their time off from their mind and soul-deteriorating duties, but at the same moment, he could not help but worry that things might go wrong. "How am I going to provide a present for each and every one of my children, along with their human companions? I can't even get a decent present for the Creation Trio except for a scolding!" The thought of having to scold his three most important advisors gave him a serious headache.
"Aw, Arcy, stop being such a grump!" a cheerful voice echoed throughout the chamber. The Alpha Pokémon cocked his head towards the source of the noise and witnessed Mew flying in with a bright and sunny smile plastered on her tiny face. "You know your entrusted human friends will take good care of the Creation Trio, so why worry?"
If there was one thing that annoyed Arceus more than his disciples participating in infighting that resulted in tremendous chaos, it was Mew and her playful antics. "My occupation is dauntingly difficult, even during times of peace. You know that, correct?"
"Well…" Mew fidgeted as she performed several twirls in the air, trying to think up of a viable excuse. "It's the holiday season! It's time for us to unwind and just enjoy the holiday atmosphere. Don't you agree? And I'm sure they'll all appreciate the party you're throwing them!"
"If only it was that simple," Arceus groaned in reply. "Being a god isn't child's play…, far from it. I can say that my job is more daunting than a military commander or the President of Kanto himself."
"Everything is hard for you!" Mew whined, her face transforming to one of a pouty child. "From deciding what's for dinner all the way to things like conflicts. You can never make things simple."
"Each decision I make may have a drastic impact on fate itself," Arceus warned in a noble voice. "It is only reasonable that I take the time to decide so that my decisions' benefits outweigh the potential consequences that come with it."
"Excuses, excuses! That's always your reason," Mew giggled. "Come on, let's go help Lady Reshiram finish up that special pie she cooked up! It's going to be dreamingly delicious and I'm sure our guests would love her delicacies!"
The Alpha Pokémon shook his head slowly. "Not in the mood. I have to make sure there are no more conflicts." The Supreme God of all Pokémon turned to one of the psychic surveillance scenes of Earth where a riot was currently taking place somewhere in Hoenn. However, a band of riot police and Pokémon Rangers had arrived on the scene and threatened to disperse the mob with non-lethal weapons. Although Arceus would have punished the ones who sided with the law given their usage of violence, it was justified. They were only trying to quell the riot. "Not again. At least I don't have to send in my greatest soldiers to handle this mess."
"Something wrong, Arcy?" Mew questioned in a caring fashion, taking note of the troubled-looking face that Arceus sported on his grim-looking expression.
"No. Just a bit stressed. Why don't you go help the others preparing for the party that's in two weeks? I'm positive they would appreciate your assistance. I for one would appreciate it if you left me alone for a bit," Arceus told her bluntly, hoping to send off the New Species Pokémon that buggered him to no end.
"They don't want me!" she whined in high-pitched tone. "Zekrom is a grumpy one while Reshiram doesn't want me to bother her, the legendary birds and beasts are far too busy with the decorations everywhere and don't want any assistance for starters, while Groudon and Kyogre are once again arguing who made the better Christmas tree. Besides that, Mewtwo is being the casual grump he is as he's busy with name allocation and making sure we have enough seats for the dinner party, and I'm not even sure if he's even going to show up anyways. Then there's Celebi, Jirachi, Shaymin and the Lake Trio, and they are even more heavy-handed as they're occupied with making sure that Santa Claus has every house filled out on his "to visit" list." Mew paused for a moment, happy that many of her friends are willing to help out the iconic jolly human of the North Pole with his busy and upcoming adventure around the world to deliver happiness to every child on the planet. "Of course, there are the other legendaries that I haven't mentioned - they're either not going to participate in the party, or are busy with shopping."
Arceus sighed, disappointed that not all of his followers and trustees would be participating in the gathering. "Most unfortunate for them, but they have priorities over others. It is perfectly understandable." He knew that Darkrai and Cresselia in particular were busy with the reconstruction of Sinnoh's natural landscape after the majority of it was sucked lifeless by a sinister Black Obelisk, one of the many inventions that their enemies developed during the war to terraform entire worlds to their own liking. "It is a nightmare beyond comprehension and realization, even for my ancestors."
"So, now can I play with you?" Mew shot up impatiently, eager to have yet another fun-enriched hour or two with the god. "Or at least have a friendly talk?"
The Alpha Pokémon shook his head before finally surrendering. There was no way he was able to get rid of Mew, as she was just that pestering in most cases. "Okay, I give up. What do you want to hear about?"
Mew clapped her hands in glee as she realized she finally got the better of Arcy, flying around in circles excitedly like a fighter plane having a severe technical issue with its ability to fly properly. "First of all, I want to know about this 'Christmas'! Where does it come from? Why is it declared such an important event? Pleeeeeeease tell me!"
Arceus chuckled lightly as he gestured Mew to sit down and hear the origins of Christmas, and the small pink-colored Pokémon obliged as she flew down and made herself comfortable on the Overlord's head. "Alright Mew, I'll tell you all about it, so sit down and listen carefully. It all started when humanity…"
The New Species Pokémon gave her utmost attention to her dear Father as he began his story. Arceus started it off with a history of it being a tradition of many human cultures that saw Christmas as a festivity for families, friends and loved ones to gather and celebrate a great time during the cold winters. However, the history of the holiday was not without its dark sides, as Arceus had revealed there were those who were willing to take advantage of it for their own desires.
"Is it any different from the many knowledge-lacking humans, such as Cyrus?" Mew questioned as she thought about the story.
"Not one bit," Arceus responded in a rather toneless-sounding voice. "History repeats itself, and it will continue to do so until those who choose to break the harmony of nature learn their lessons. It's a sad prospect but as many of us have seen, it is true."
While some of the more arrogant legendaries would call this crackpot and nonsense, they had grown to respect the majority of humanity's religions too as appreciation for other viewpoints, as long as it wasn't taken too far or bigoted, was a code of honour among the Arceans.
"I just hope Dialga, Palkia and Giratina are having it easy," Arceus spoke with a tone of worry. "If anything, they're probably causing a rampage at the mall after someone offended them."
Mew giggled in a carefree fashion. "Stop being negative, Arcy! You need to have hope for your children, especially when they are your top-of-the-line commanders!"
"…Unfortunately, I lost hope in them a long time ago. Their constant fighting is proof that putting my trust in them is not a wise move and should be avoided at all costs." The Creation Trio had gotten into so much fights throughout history that even the Alpha Pokémon had stopped taking count of how much times they were willing to kill each other.
"They worked together during the Uprising war!" Mew spoke up with a demure smile, willing to change the god's opinion of his three fiercest followers and offspring. "The same goes for Reshiram and Zekrom. Until recently, they would never stop agreeing what was correct: truths and ideals. At least they have settled their differences now!"
The Alpha Pokémon shook his head. "They do not exactly live under my order, so I'm still slightly sceptical regarding them."
"They helped us out during the Uprising war!" Mew repeated, giggling all the while. "Shouldn't that prove their loyalty us?"
"Mew, isn't it time for you to help Reshiram out with desserts?" Arceus asked, hoping to get the hyper and energetic Pokémon to stop badgering him. "I am positive she would greatly appreciate your assistance."
The Psychic-type legendary that was no taller than two feet shook her head rapidly. "I've already did that! I want to hear more about Christmas! Please?"
Arceus groaned troublesomely. This was going to be a frustrating Christmas; that, he was positively sure about.
In the kitchen area of Arceus's pristine and grand palace, the Legendary Pokémon Reshiram and Zekrom were busy prepping for the eventual buffet that would be served to all the guests at the party. Both Pokémon were just as old, knowledgeable and experienced as the rest of Arceus's followers, although they did not fall under his jurisdiction like the majority of the gods and goddesses. However, both had also played pivotal roles during the Uprising war against Team Rocket, the UAAF, the Renegade Rangers, and other enemy factions all united under one flag to plunge all of existence into darkness; both Pokémon even contributed their strength to the battle. While nowhere near the power or strength of the Creation Trio, they were on par with the likes of Groudon and Kyogre. Controlling the elements of fire and electricity respectively, the pair of deities administered the necessary needs to the faraway region of Unova in the United States.
Although both entities have been known for the vicious clashes on Earth over different ideological ways of thinking (Reshiram placed great emphasis on truth, kindness and happiness, along with the well-being of those who believed in her while Zekrom cared nothing more than ideals, valor, and bravery and thus, cared for those who displayed such personalities and traits), the two placed their differences aside eventually, much to the relief of Arceus and the rest of his legendary ranks.
"My, do you think this party will be enriching and successful?" Reshiram queried her counterpart as she psychically chopped some vegetables up before moving the contents into a dumpster-sized cooking pot placed over the stove. From within the boiling soup, a gentle aroma of vegetable soup rose from within the heated liquids.
"It sure will. While I'm not a fan of human festivals, it's an honour to be able to thank those around us for the sacrifices they've made for our freedom and happiness," her brother, Zekrom, huffed as he carefully placed the finished cheesecake into the fridge. "Lord Arceus would definitely love it, especially when the majority of his followers and allies will show up at this festivity. …I hope my food turns out well." He was looking forward to see how the guests would react to his "shocking cheesecake surprise".
"If your food turns out to be god awful, you can always get Lady Dialga to help you. She's an outstanding cook," the dragoness recommended, having learned the majority of techniques on how to make heavenly meals from the Temporal Goddess.
Zekrom shrugged his wide, imposing wings that were tougher than titanium. "Cooking's not my forte. I'm better off at warfare so I'll leave the meal-making process to the females!"
The Vast White Pokémon smiled. She was definitely looking forward to seeing some old faces again, especially Ash and his allies. The trainer had recently completed his journey throughout Unova, and while he not declared a Champion in the league, the fall of Team Plasma thanks to the young trainer, now eighteen years of age, made the Fire/Dragon-type goddess all the much happier. "I can't believe Team Plasma would resort to cloning us two and using them as fake figures to give us a bad name. It's outrageous."
Laughing deeply, Zekrom immediately got to work with mixing the gravy that would be used to provide the mashed potatoes, homemade chicken and steak a heavenly taste. "I don't know about you, but I'd say they got their hands around some of the UAAF's cloning tech. Just because that corporation was brought to its knees doesn't mean there won't be others willing to pick up their pieces to continue their research."
"Poor N," Reshiram lamented, feeling gratefully sorry for the misguided and disillusioned boy. "He was lied to and cheated by that spineless Ghetsis. I'm glad that vile-minded cultist received a lifelong sentence for his attempted insurrection in Unova."
"Lifelong sentence? Give me a break!" the Deep Black Pokémon chortled arrogantly, the name bringing a deep rage and hate from his heart. "He's lucky he didn't encounter me, otherwise I'd reduce him into a pile of smoldering ash in one strike like I did with the majority of the UAAF troops!"
"…Is it necessary, though?" his sister asked as she glanced at him from the corner of her eye.
"Don't be a hypocrite. You burned them to nothingness in the major battles," Zekrom countered, recalling the times where his sibling would burn a swathe of destruction in the legions of troops, vehicles, corrupted Pokémon and anything else that bore the Team Rocket or UAAF insignia. "We would be condemned, but then, what's to say against an enemy who contributed to the fourth fall of Earth?"
Reshiram sighed deeply inside her mind. It was years ever since that event and still, the terrible and mind-scarring memories from that war left a dark shadow on the history of deities and mortals alike all across the world. While they thought the Uprising war was the last major battle that Earth would be devastated by for a very long time, they were rightfully wrong when a mysterious faction by the name of Team Plasma surfaced in the United States, using experimental and stolen tech from the defunct UAAF to once again, endanger the world on a global scale. To this end, both the Vast White and Deep Black legendaries were cloned and given to N and Ghetsis as a means of implementing their new authority. Of course, it was foiled by Ash's noble actions, with the help of some legendaries.
"Why waste your life for a lost cause? You know existence itself will fall to us, and all those standing in our path will be crushed without mercy." Ghetsis laughed. "The people believe in my lies, but I will lead them to happiness. Don't you think so? Hmm?"
"…that's something you have to ask yourself." Reshiram snarled in return, glaring at the mockery of a clone with extreme hatred.
"…I'LL CRUSH YOU LIKE THE INCOMPETENT CREATURE YOU ARE! Subject 643, burn her to smithereens!"
Speeches and quotes from the past haunted the minds of both siblings alike, never being able to imagine the insanity of the megalomaniacal antagonists they had triumphed over. Even though the conflict had come and gone, it was something that would never disappear from their histories.
Castelia City, Shopping Zone
Two individuals attempted to manoeuvre their way through the jam-packed streets of Castelia City, with the younger boy leading the white-haired individual like a tour guide assisting tourists in a hot vacation spot.
"Man, what did I do to get myself into this position? This place is jam-packed with people, and it'll take forever for us to get presents!" the God of Space, Palkia, grumbled. As much as he would have loved to clear the crowds out with one powerful Spatial Rend or simply fight his way through with both his arms adorning Spatial Sabers, it was a ridiculous prospect. They were not at war, and of course, Arceus would have very likely condemned it as a crime unless they were attacked by the masses. "We should have come here back in November instead of now!"
Leon simply chuckled at his statement. "Calm down, Palkia. You're the supreme ruler of space. I thought you knew better than to snap at a situation like this. You know I couldn't come anyways as we were both busy back then, remember?"
Fidgeting nervously, the Spatial Pokémon shrugged in stupidity. He realized he had to lose his war-like attitude sometime ever since peace and security was achieved. "I guess. By the way, I have to owe you lots for being able to come along and help me with my Christmas shopping. I know it's tough for you to be away from your Pokémon Ranger Corps duty or spending time with Latios and the others, but…"
"Don't sweat it! I'm honoured to be an advisor for one of Arceus's greatest generals!" the Ranger exclaimed sincerely in a humble manner. "We're on leave anyways, and they still have to clean up that fiasco after Commander Flynn Dacote sold us out as a traitor to Team Rocket. Thankfully, they let me off the hook. I could've been trialed seriously for going against orders. Latios and the others are busy with their own engagements anyways, so don't take it too hard on yourself."
"What happened to the little guy anyways?" Palkia asked, referencing Latios's young age compared to him - approximately 500 compared to 700 trillion, respectively.
"He's in Alto Mare with Krakatoa, taking care of Bianca and Lorenzo. Heard that the dear old man's beginning to fall weak. I hope he doesn't pass away anytime soon, though," Leon responded sadly. "After all, good-hearted people like him were the only ones who didn't attempt to sell me out for my betrayal after the majority of Rangers rebelled against Arceus or anyone who didn't side with the Rockets and the UAAF." It was one of the most shaming events in the history of the Pokémon Ranger Corps. A major figure in the command chain of the organization had led a large amount of troops that were loyal to him and organized a treacherous movement against justice as they sided with the UAAF and its allies.
"If they so dare put you on death row for something you did for the better of Father, the future and all of us," Palkia growled angrily, "I would have butchered each and every one of them. Goddamn corporate and government swine don't have respect for any heroes; they just love to bathe in their hoarded greed without a care for what they're actually doing." The corruption of humanity greatly disgusted him and made him loathe the race, but it was only recently where he gained respect for the few individuals that were brave and courageous enough to aid his kin in their greatest hour of need, such as Ash Ketchum and his friends.
"Calm down, bud," Leon warned anxiously. "We don't want your rage to trigger your transformation in such a mass gathering of people."
"I know. Thanks for reminding me," the Spatial Pokémon huffed before clearing his mind of the vile thoughts towards the darker side of humanity.
They strolled through the snow-covered streets of Castelia City, looking for the perfect present for their friends and family members alike. None of them really caught their attention, mainly because the products were either dull at first glance or just overly expensive.
"What a place," the god complimented at the towering skyscrapers that rose into the heavens. "Who knew Lady Reshiram and Lord Zekrom would be administering to such a populous place halfway around the world?"
Leon scratched his head slightly. "Beats me. This is actually my first time in Unova. Zephyr knows Unova like the back of his hand so he'd be a great help in our endeavour. Shame I couldn't contact him though. I'm grateful to him for helping me control my powers and all… but I don't think he deserved all the losses he suffered in the war. He seemed depressed when we went our separate ways…, I hope he's okay."
Palkia chose not to comment on Leon's muse. He does not particularly share Leon's opinion about the aforementioned teen. During the course of the war, the legendaries had a very rocky partnership with Zephyr. They were rather wary of him since his heart was heavily corrupted by darkness like many of the UAAF soldiers that dared cross their paths. The fact that he acted dismissive, especially towards Arceus, did little for his image in the legendaries' eyes. Heck, there were only four legendaries who do not possess an ounce of hatred towards him: Giratina, since she admired his way of life; Mew, as she pitied the human and viewed him as a victim of circumstance; and the Unova legendaries, Reshiram and Zekrom, mainly because of their unorthodox way of thinking and that they weren't under Arceus's rule.
A thought suddenly crossed his mind as Palkia reminded himself that he needed to know how much money they had on hand. "That reminds me. How much money do you have?" the Spatial God questioned. "I didn't really bring too much cash, as I didn't know human gifts would be so expensive…" The pricey gifts on sale greatly baffled him.
"I currently have twenty thousand Pokédollars in my bank account. Don't worry. I'll pay for everything. I've been doing so ever since I met Ash and the rest of his crew," Leon answered in a carefree voice.
"Holy Mew!" Palkia screamed, drawing the attention of other humans but they didn't pay him too much attention. After all, it was almost time for the most exciting part of the year aside from summer vacation. "You're that rich?"
Leon laughed quietly in response. "Don't act surprised. The Ranger Corps pay their soldiers surprisingly well. If you think a Corporal is rich, ask Lieutenant Havoc, one of the most decorated veterans next to Lunick and Solana. That gruff bum makes hundreds and thousands of Pokedollars a year, but considering what he's gone through… well, you get the point. I got a boost of income too after the war." He paused for a moment as he waved in a friendly fashion towards a family who were amazed to see a Ranger in public, adorning a full uniform. Two of the kids were clutching packaged Zekrom and Zoroark action figures in their small-sized hands. "As I was saying, money doesn't matter to me. You can't buy friends with cash. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to earn Dialga's friendship even if I stole everything the Pokémon Ranger Corps had in their bank accounts and handed it to her."
"Wish I was that rich on Earth, but we gods and goddesses have no use for money," Palkia soliloquized, rolling his eyes. "Too bad Dialga and Giratina are the preferred ladies, as Arceus gave them enough money to spend on a new sports car, while I only have enough for a new Wii console!" He shoved his hands into his pockets and realized he only had about three hundred dollars' worth of bills and coins.
"Uh, actually… you spent it all on that slot machine and Poker game this afternoon at the casino, and you lost…, badly. Arceus gave you a truckload worth of human money but you threw the majority of it away in one sitting," Leon reminded him. While Palkia wanted to gamble even more, the Ranger talked some sense into him regarding the money he was throwing away like candy wrappers and managed to snap him out of the madness that had addicted the god's mind.
"Oh, be quiet. I only wanted more money so I can buy a gift for everyone!" he shouted in protest.
Leon shook his head. "Gifts aren't all about items of materialistic value. I'm sure there are some who would appreciate it you simply sent them a Christmas card."
"If only that was true…" the Spatial God complained in a disappointing mood. "Giratina probably got me a lump of coal from the Distortion World's putrid mines for this year."
While one would be alarmed at Palkia given his gigantic, forty feet tall build that towered over anything smaller than the Water/Dragon-type, Arceus had granted each and every one of his children (the Creation Trio, to be exact, as the rest of the legendaries were either busy in their own homes or at the Hall of Origins preparing for the surprise party) the power to transform into a human at will so they would be able to travel to Earth, along with their newfound friends, to celebrate Christmas. In this state, Palkia had transformed into a grey-haired teen in his twenties, wearing a white button-up shirt with a grey T-shirt underneath and a pair of sky-blue jeans. To protect himself from the harsh winter, he had worn a Ranger-issued winter jacket that Leon had gratefully provided him with. His power was greatly diminished as a human, and thus, Arceus had decided to send a human who had fought in the Great War (codenamed the Uprising fights) to help the Dragon/Water-type with standards and pieces of advice to help them buy their desired presents.
"This jacket… you're going to let me keep it?" Palkia asked, having grown fond of the comfortable yet durable and semi-bulletproof jacket (at least when hit by regular, smaller caliber bullets) that was the standard issue complement of the Ranger uniform for those who served in the colder climates.
"It's all yours. I have surplus pieces of clothing like that back at home and they are gathering dust for starters anyways," Leon shrugged with a friendly smile.
"…is this my Christmas gift?" Palkia scowled at him, wishing to receive presents that were far more impressive than a mere piece of clothing. "You're cheap."
The Ranger snorted. "No. But it's one of them! You have to be a bit more grateful for what people give to you, even if it's just a rock. At least that means they care for you enough to even give you something!"
The Earth was still in a state of reconstruction after Donald Zetta's syndicate had laid waste to the majority of the planet with their conquests and brutal campaigns. This, however, did not ruin or damper the spirit of Christmas for Pokémon and humans alike as they saw the holiday season as a way to get over the past and focus on a better and peaceful future ahead of them.
Leon was a Pokémon Ranger, but he too held a secret only known by other Legendary Pokémon and few of his friends; being a Latios hybrid from the last battle, he carried on his duties as an enforcer of peace and justice. He sported the Almia-issued Pokémon Ranger Corps uniform, complete with rough-terrain shoes, a pair of coal-coloured combats and a T-shirt of matching colour, all coupled with a red-coloured short-sleeved jacket that had gold-coloured collars and white ends. The cold weather was no stranger to the Corporal-ranked Ranger. He had served in multiple theaters and thus, he had developed a type of immunity to all kinds of weather unless it was really extreme. He never really placed his Latios form to the test all that much - he believed the honour of being a Legendary Pokémon belonged to Ash Ketchum, a trainer he befriended during the Uprising conflicts. Having been stuck with the power, he only went into his transformation state only when it was necessary.
"Too bad Raine and Zephyr couldn't make it. They were both outstanding partners during the conflicts, but they're busy with other restoration projects. Riley is helping with Sinnoh's reconstruction with Cynthia too, but it's their homeland. How can I object to that?" Leon thought. Raine, being the renowned trainer she was, placed her efforts in using her prize money from tournaments as donations to those who were stricken greatly by the war. The enigmatic teen known as Zephyr aided in the recovery of Levis Town and parts of Unova ever since it was razed to flames and ashes by the UAAF. The dainty and small town was seeing repopulation and re-growth, but it would take years before the town was going to recover fully after the forsaken fate it had undergone. Riley and Cynthia participated in humanitarian missions alongside with other Rangers as the veterans from the previous conflict brought relief to the stricken regions of Sinnoh after the war ended.
"I have to apologize that I'm taking precious time away from you to spend with your mother," Palkia sulked, knowing that it was Christmas and that Leon's mother probably wished to have her son be home for the holidays with her. "Christmas is a season where you're supposed to be with your family, and this is particularly true considering you always travel the world in your Ranger campaigns and missions."
The black-haired boy smiled. "Don't worry. Sceptile is keeping her company. She understands, even though I sort of lied to her that I went away to celebrate the season with my friends."
"Haha, feel the need to keep your allegiance with us a secret?"
"I guess. I don't want to shock her anyways. She's getting close to her fifties."
The two promptly passed by a small café before Leon took notice of Palkia's stomach grumbling extremely loudly. The Pokémon Ranger had already noticed his friend continuously whining in his mind that he wanted food (since his telepathic abilities as a Latios hybrid allowed him to do so) but it was only this time where the earthquake-like rumbling of Arceus's third most important General (much to Palkia's chagrin and dismay, but Dialga and Giratina were overall better leaders compared to him) that finally made the twenty-year-old human/Pokémon hybrid decide that it was dinnertime.
"Come on, I'll get you some food," Leon said as he pointed towards a nearby café called Stellar Cup, an establishment known for its beverages and snack-sized sandwiches, salads, donuts and other small food items.
"What about Christmas shopping?" Palkia questioned, worried that the shops would close.
"They don't close until like…-" The human paused for a moment before glancing at his wristwatch adorned on his right arm. "-ten o'clock. And it's only five in the evening; don't let the dark sky fool you. Daylight savings time can really alter the mood of day, trust me on that. Now let's get some grub, because I'm a bit hungry too."
Palkia raised an eyebrow, wondering if his friend would, once again, pay for his meal like he did this afternoon. "You'll pay?"
"Of course. It's on me. Don't worry about paying me back. Money doesn't matter especially when you have friends that are legendaries and happen to treat you like their own brother, sister, or child." Leon stepped inside the small restaurant, where some shoppers were taking a quick break with small snacks such as donuts, muffins, and a variety of hot drinks. "Now come on. You're looking awkward standing out there like that!"
Palkia followed him speechlessly. He couldn't complain though as Pokémon Rangers were known to be the most cool-headed individuals on the planet, no matter what the situation was. From massive riots to chaotic theaters of war to shopping crises, they could handle it all with a cool head and be home for dinner without a scratch.
"Too bad not all of that was true. At least Lord Arceus made sure all those who bravely sacrificed their lives in duty and honor were put to rest peacefully," he pondered, remembering how much men and women the Pokémon Ranger Corps lost during the war against the United Aerospace Armed Forces/Team Rocket alliance and their gigantic war machine.
He just wondered how his sisters - Dialga and Giratina - were doing with their side of the Christmas shopping. For one thing, he was almost certain that the Renegade Goddess would give him nothing more than a lump of coal, but Leon encouraged him to look positive. As a matter of fact, the Ranger had taken note of Palkia's somewhat rude behavior as the main reason why Giratina and some goddesses treated him in such a sour fashion.
"I'm sure if you appreciated her a bit more, she'd be more kind to you. I'll be honest with you - you aren't the most proper mannered representative out there, and minus more points for being an Arcean General," Leon scolded good-naturedly.
"How can I? She always gives me the cold shoulder. At least Dialga gets some respect from her due to her wisecracking nature. That's not saying much as both of my sisters get into more fights than you burp in a week. That and I'm a god of war! I'm supposed to be rough and bad mannered, so my enemies will fear me!" Palkia groaned, pressing his head against his head. For one thing, the only beings he did not want to get into a conflict with were either his sisters or Arceus himself.
The Ranger gave a small chuckle at his metaphor. "You'll be okay. Just keep your head up."
The lineup was fairly short, as it took less than a minute until it was Leon and Palkia's turn to order their food.
"Welcome to Stellar Cup!" the young lady greeted Leon with what was possibly the most cheery yet obnoxious voice to him. "How can I help you?"
"Uh, yeah, give me two hot chocolates and four chocolate-glazed donuts." The Corporal-ranked Ranger could have sworn the girl's voice would have burst his eardrums as turned to Palkia. "Is that fine with you?"
"Sure. We might have to order seconds though. Is that fine with you? I don't want to act too much like a freeloader here," the Spatial God informed him, unsure.
"Treat's on me, don't fuss about it."
The pair was soon seated by the tables that overlooked the busy streets, with the sky snowing slightly as small flakes of white snow slowly descended from the sky like leaves separating from a tree during a windy autumn afternoon. Throughout the time that passed, Palkia could notice Leon staring quietly into his hot chocolate, as if there was something- or someone -inside telling him something. "Hope my buds are resting peacefully in the afterlife. They didn't deserve this. Most importantly, they left me behind-"
"…still thinking about that incident?" Palkia asked quietly, remembering that this was the anniversary that the Ranger had lost his entire squad on a mission in Oblivia.
Leon looked up with somewhat teary eyes. "You knew? Or are you just reading my mind again?"
"I'm the God of Space. I see all. …I'm gratefully sorry. I know we couldn't do much, but… those souls chose to rest in peace. It is not in our rights to force them back to the living, as that would be a direct violation of several policies. I'm sure Arceus and everyone else, myself included, would rather prefer to see them resting in peace. I hope you understand. But if there's anything that I can do for you… don't hesitate to ask. You've helped us more than the combined arms of a billion humans that don't even know we exist to begin with," Palkia intoned hesitantly, trying to comfort the Ranger. He wasn't exactly too good at cheering others up, but he seemed to have the responsibility of doing so here.
"It's alright. Good men and women come and go in wars. It's the course of nature. Lieutenant Havoc understands this perfectly, that's for sure," he muttered. If there was an inspirational figure that he looked up to, it was the legendary Ranger of the PRC that won more battles than any other person in the organization. "I just wonder how the old dog is doing. He's turning forty-three this year and from the looks of it, he'll be retiring soon."
"That early?" The Water/Dragon-type asked.
"Retirement in the Rangers comes faster than office work or those other action-lacking occupations. He's probably lost more friends than me over the years he's served."
Palkia knew what he meant. He too, had lost many brothers, sisters, friends, family, and companions during the times when Earth was nothing more than stellar debris floating in space, but intergalactic wars raged throughout the cosmos between the deities and various antagonistic factions that roamed the universe, hungering for power and domination.
Ranger HQ, Almia
A knock came from Lieutenant Havoc's door, and the soldier looked up to see who was requesting to come into his office. Placing his pen down on the table and breathing deeply, he granted the request for the individual to enter. "Come in."
A young-looking secretary, no older than the age of twenty-five and bearing the rank of Gunnery Sergeant stood at his door with a sunny smile on her soft-looking visage. "Lieutenant, you're due for a meeting at 1700 hours."
"Roger that," the battle-scarred veteran huffed tiredly as he shifted through some of the stacks of paper that were scattered on his desk, ranging from forms requiring signatures or reports that were in need of being completed as soon as possible. "Tell them I might be late as I still have some paperwork to take care of."
"Will do. They might not be too pleased though."
"Tell them to put a sock in it and mention that this overdue work belongs to them, not me."
The secretary didn't say a word in response as she disappeared through his office doors, leaving the legendary Pokémon Ranger to his own room cursing to himself for talking in such a disrespectful attitude.
"Good job, Havoc. You just had to open your mouth like a rude bum at the local tavern. Real smooth there…"
The middle-aged Lieutenant in his early forties sighed with the busy schedule that was burdened on his shoulders. Even in peacetimes, there was no time for leaves, vacations, or leisure times. He looked forward to spending some quality Christmas time with Ash, Arceus, and their friends and comrades alike, but the Ranger High Command wasn't allowing that for many reasons.
His real name was Nick Seymour Parker, although many called him Havoc as his code name. After years of usage, his friends had begun to call him Havoc as opposed to his real name, but this didn't bother him in the slightest.
The world had been stricken by one of the greatest wars in human history that practically left five billion people dead, with the human race having been driven to the point of extinction due to the bombardment from the UAAF's bioweapons and experimental arsenals. It was only through the intervention of Arceus and the gods and goddesses that served the Primal God which saved them, as humanity's military forces were practically helpless against the combined might of the UAAF, Team Rocket, the Renegade Rangers, and the many subdivisions that provided support for the triple alliance, such as Donald Zetta's last troops straight from Phaaze in the form of poisoned Deoxys soldiers and warriors. Havoc was among those few men who stood out distinctively, having saw action in some of the hottest combat zones during the Uprising war and lived to talk about it. The united force of the Arceans, along with the scattered and demoralized human soldiers, launched a bloody counteroffensive against Giovanni, Donald Zetta, Flynn Dacote, and their associates in a maddening war that left 80% of the world in ruins.
However, he was not recognized by the Ranger High Command given his recklessness, and while he faced discharge, the legendaries, Palkia and Zekrom in particular, threatened to "rip the spines out of the bureaucratic bastards should they attempt to punish a rightful hero" should they attempt to fire Havoc or put him on death row. Because of that, High Command did not promote or discharge him - he was given three years of probation from any promotions.
While Palkia and Zekrom believed his honour and bravery throughout the war was enough to net him a seat in Arceus's inner circle as a human advisor, Havoc chose to stay on Earth due to his diplomatic relations that he had with other countries and officials. The gruff and charismatic, yet foul-mannered Ranger commando was a very influential figure in governmental relations with other nations, especially the United States in particular.
Having believed he wasn't ready yet for such a task, the aging soldier knew the likes of Ash Ketchum deserved that honour more. He did promise Zekrom, though, that he would be there once his time came.
"I look forward to seeing you there, soldier. We will welcome you with open arms even though humanity didn't show much appreciation for your daring contributions to the war."
"I do too. Save a spot for me, but I have unfinished business to take care on Earth first. For starters, the world needs me as a representative for the governments all around."
"I respect your choice, Havoc. See you soon, Marine."
"What a bunch of jokers," Havoc chuckled to himself quietly as he kicked back in his office located on the eighteenth floor of the Pokémon Ranger Corps HQ. "That's the first time someone has ever called me a hero since my old buddies passed away." He eyed Helly, his Houndoom, sleeping peacefully on a plush carpet laid out on the floor before he cracked a small smile at his faithful companion and partner.
He had his fair share of losses of friends and close compatriots in the Rangers, like any other recognized soldier in the PRC, along with much recognition in the forms of medals, awards, and other distinctions. However, none of that mattered to him. It was the experiences that he shared with his friends, ranging from human kids and soldiers to gods and goddesses alike.
"I won't be showing up at the private party that Arceus is throwing, but… oh well, I wish them all a merry Christmas. That magnificent bastard Leon is going to party all night while I'm going to do all this bullshit work… who am I kidding? He deserves a nice break after the Uprising conflicts!" he thought before he rose out of his seat and made sure that Helly was sleeping well and that there was enough Pokéchow and water to sustain her appetite for the dinner hour, as he knew the meeting was going to take some time. Once that was done he departed from his office and headed off to the meeting.
As he headed towards the meeting, he just imagined how the lovebirds, Ash and Latias, were doing. It had been two years and yet, he hadn't heard anything from them. Though he found the relationship between the two seemingly awkward, he didn't really have a problem or throw a big fuss about it.
Saffron City, Kanto
"Hurry it up, Dialga!" an excited boy cheered as he paced himself towards the mall entrance, making sure not to slip on any ice that was concealed under the sheets of snow that were around 3 inches in terms of depth.
"I'm coming, hold your horses," a female voice responded patiently as the individual walked over to join her companion. "Can't you be a little more patient?"
"No way! I have to make sure that new Metroid game isn't sold out!" Jimmy laughed, impatient to buy the newest game that involved Samus Aran's dangerous space adventures.
"This kid would have been perfect for Palkia, as they're both mutually excited for anything that's big and festive. Why couldn't I have gone with Leon instead?" Dialga mentally bemoaned while she shook her head in disappointment and absurdity, as they were here solely for the purpose of getting presents for their friends. She reminded him, "…you are here to buy presents for others, not for yourself. Get your facts straight."
The young Pokémon Trainer suddenly realized he had gotten so sidetracked with what he was really supposed to do. "…Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. I remember that I have to buy that present for Ash and his friends, but… I want that game so much!"
"I'm sure someone else would get it for you. Ash, Leon, Palkia and Zekrom are particularly notable gaming maniacs," she murmured, remembering the times when the two legendaries would burn countless hours during their breaks playing the latest fighting games, such as Legendary Fighters or Super Smash Deities Brawl.
Jimmy was a fairly standard-looking trainer in terms of outfit, as he wore a yellow and black colored trainer's cap that was often drawn backwards, while his clothing consisted of a pair of yellow shorts and a hoodie that was red and white-coloured in coordination. He stood relatively average, being around 5'5" in height. To complement his clothing for winter purposes, he swapped out his yellow shorts for brown-colored jeans. He had messy black-grayish hair while his eyes were predominantly black.
It was Dialga that stood out along with the trainer. Her human appearance was absolutely gorgeous and stunning in the standards of a male looking for a date, which prompted many men, boys, and male teenagers to stare at her with a state of infatuation, and those with girlfriends or wives were slapped across the face humorously. Some even considered Jimmy to be her date for the evening, but the trainer simply brushed it off while hiding his blushes. The Temporal Pokémon while disguised as a human had long, flowing blue hair that was at shoulder length, while her glittering red eyes complemented her perfect white skin. Her clothes mainly consisted of a pair of winter boots that were silver and navy blue-coloured to keep with her traditional Pokémon body design and colouration, a white short-sleeved shirt that hugged her body perfectly along with a black-coloured skirt that was slightly shorter than the length of her knee. To keep her body and legs comfortable in the freezing temperatures, she had a warm, blue-coloured winter fur coat that felt like velvet along with knee-high black socks that she adorned on her feet. A gentle aura of perfume emanated from her body, generating a pleasing scent that resembled a combination of oranges and lime.
"You think this outfit makes me look fat?" the Dragon/Steel-type Pokémon questioned. She wanted to look her best, but not because she was vain about her appearances. Like many of the other goddesses, especially Ho-Oh in particular, she wanted to put on a good impression for her friends and companions with her looks and caring yet serious attitude.
"It looks perfect on you," Jimmy simply answered, not even bothering to take a look at her figure. In his mind, Dialga was the perfect model of a cute and charming girl in winter clothing and if he wasn't embarrassed about it, he'd certainly ask her out for a date.
"Aww, really?" she gushed charmingly in reply, fully aware of the fact that Jimmy had a silly crush on her but decided not to say anything about it until the boy admitted to it. "Care to give me some reasons why? I'd love to hear them!"
"Yes, you're pretty beyond belief! Now quit asking me every five minutes!" the trainer retorted, somewhat annoyed.
"…wish I was with someone more psychologically mature instead, like that insecure Ranger Leon or even that rebellious Havoc," she mused, rolling her eyes.
Just like Leon and Palkia, Jimmy and Dialga had their own stories to tell about regarding the Uprising conflicts that they too participated. Formerly known as Krakatoa, Jimmy was a Pokémon hybrid, just like Ash and Leon, but unlike the other two, he was stuck in a permanent state as a Typhlosion. It was only after the battle that he was granted his old human body back, while Krakatoa benefited even after the separation. He was perfectly capable of human speech, not to mention being able to walk in a bipedal fashion. Because of his unwavering courage, support and friendship with Ash, Jimmy and Krakatoa were considered heralded individuals of Arceus himself, and to his luck, he was assigned with Dialga for the Christmas shopping procedure.
"How's your Typhlosion?" the red-eyed goddess asked sweetly, smiling at the young human companion she accompanied with for the night. "Has the hot-headed Typhlosion kid cooled down now that everything's back to normal and the UAAF, along with all of its affiliates, are finally discarded into the trash bin of history?"
"Oh, he's in great shape, thanks for asking," the Pokémon Trainer replied. "He's currently back in Alto Mare taking care of Bianca, Lorenzo and Latios. I don't blame him. My Pokémon has forged a close bond with them, especially Bianca."
During his adventures as a Pokémon, Jimmy was Bianca's primary fighting Pokémon, watching after her and protecting the young girl wherever she went. When Christmas came around, the aging Lorenzo chose not to join the legendary gathering that Arceus organized, as his body was beginning to deteriorate given his age. While Jimmy wanted to go, Krakatoa, Latios and Bianca did not. He had to go by himself, but was nevertheless pleased that he was going to see some old friends again, such as Ash and Leon, in particular.
"I understand. It would have been exciting to see them again, especially Lachlan," Dialga commented. "He's really proven himself as an exceptional Pokémon worthy of being one of our inner circle members."
"I don't know about that…" Jimmy whistled innocently, rolling his eyes while trying to hide his blushes as he witnessed a group of three Pokémon Trainers laugh at him.
The Supreme Goddess of Time scowled at the immature actions of the teenagers. "What an immature bunch. What's wrong with a young man shopping with a girl? If anything, it proves how sweet and caring they are, willing to sacrifice their time being with someone." Dismissing the prospect of vaporizing the teenagers with a powerful Roar of Time or Aura Sphere, she smiled in a charming way as the goddess leaned over to her human companion, holding onto his hand. "Oh, what's the matter? Embarrassed that you're accompanied by such a beautiful girl that's wearing some nice-smelling perfume?"
"No!" Jimmy shot up in defense. "I'm…was the popular guy back in school with the girls! Why would I be embarrassed?"
"Your blush, silly," the Temporal Goddess giggled as she rubbed his cheeks playfully. This only made the young Pokémon Trainer's face to glow red even more. "It's dead obvious."
"Come on Dialga, stop embarrassing me! You know it's tough for me to adjust considering this is the first time I've walked around with a goddess," Jimmy explained. "If anything, Ash should get the honour. And can you please let go of my hand already?"
"You know Ash is busy with Latias and Giratina, right?" Dialga chimed. "Alright, alright. We're both single so I don't know why you're so worried." She released her grip on his hand. "I thought you were cold anyways."
"Didn't you like the other kid?"
"Who? Leon? Kellyn?"
Jimmy nodded. "Uh, yeah, one of them. You two fought pretty close. Both are Pokémon Rangers too, meaning that he would have prepared to sacrifice his life for the better of all of us, especially a god or goddess."
"We're friends. The Ranger's too dense, he's worried he might lose his job if High Command finds out he's dating the Goddess of Time itself," she grumbled and rolled her eyes. "He's a cute one for a soldier, though! Too bad he doesn't look interested in the bit. Kellyn's cute too, but I think he's taken. I'm not too positively sure about that prospect though."
While Jimmy was a very mature person when it came to Pokémon battling and other issues, he was absolutely awful with social factors, especially with girls since Krakatoa did a better job with that due to his strong, confident nature and bravery in life and all of its challenges. "Aren't you with Palkia?"
"Uh, we're siblings, if you don't remember that prospect. But in general…I usually don't get along with him." Dialga fidgeted her hands nervously, hefting her purse over her right shoulder as she tried to find a reasonable explanation. "Nah. I'm sure Giratina has a thing for Ash or two, but she's just not willing to show it because that would break Latias's heart. Palkia's just uninterested at the moment so whatever. He cares more about smashing things using his Spatial Sabers and impressing Father with his combat skills. Before I continue, I have to thank you for being so kind for accompanying me here," she offered him her thanks.
"Anything for a pretty lady!" Jimmy exclaimed, but quickly fell short as he realized how stupid that statement was. "That was ridiculous."
As the majority of gods and goddesses had telepathic and mind-reading powers (or just about anything that was of a psychic element) Dialga was able to trace Jimmy's thoughts with little to no difficulty. "That was a kind compliment. I haven't had someone say that to me in over 10 billion years," she responded before giving the trainer a cute-looking face - which was ironic, considering her Pokémon form was outright fearsome in the eyes of many, even to other legendaries.
Hoping to change the subject, Jimmy quickly realized they were at the newly-opened department store of Saffron City. "…okay, we're here! Let's go!" He was about to dash inside, but several excited children blocked his way as the youths tried to all fit into the revolving doors at once. "Aw, come on!"
"Patience, Jimmy," Dialga advised as she caught up to him slowly, clearly not in a hurry. "Time is on our side, if you know what I mean."
"Geez, but what if they don't have anything more to sell? You know how fast the products they sell here go out of stock?" The impatient Pokémon Trainer yelled, drawing the attention of many.
"Christmas is two weeks away, so quit worrying! There's always time, especially when I'm here," the Temporal Goddess laughed outrageously. Looking at her human visage, she was beginning to show a liking of her body. She just wondered if the other human trustees of Arceus himself would have liked it.
Getting into the store was only a matter of lining up and waiting with passivity (although on Jimmy's part, he felt more impatient than waiting at the bathroom as his bladder was about to explode) as security guards had taken a liberty of allotting a certain number of people into the store at a time. This was to prevent overcrowding and a gigantic influx of people that would literally tear the store down in a state of dismay, disorganization, and fighting among those who wanted the gifts. Jimmy and Dialga lined up as they waited, and time passed as shoppers were allowed in and out of the department store that was divided into seven stories. It practically sold everything that one could imagine - from clothes to video games to washing machines to Pokémon products, it had it all. The price tags came cheap, fortunately, but that was mainly because it was the holiday season at the moment. When it was their turn, Jimmy bolted into the store like a Growlithe going after Pokémon food, which left the two security guards wide-eyed.
"Is that your date?" one of them asked.
"No," Dialga denied. "Just a friend who's doing some shopping with me."
The same security guard decided to take this chance to strike up a date for a party he was attending. "Well, do you want to come to this party that my friends-"
"No. I'm already taken," the Temporal Goddess answered bluntly almost immediately before walking off and catching up with the Pokémon Trainer. This left the rejected man to sniffle in sadness, which led to his partner to gawk at him in laughter.
"Haha, stinks to be you!"
"Oh be quiet," The man groaned to his companion. "It's not like you can do any better." This caused his friend to shut up, as he too lacked a date for the party they were going to.
"If Arceus allowed me to, I'd give that kid a serious whipping for his impatient self. How can he even leave me behind like that?" Dialga caught up with Jimmy with some difficulties, as she had to limit her powers as a human, and thus, she couldn't perform the energy-exhausting tasks that she would be normally able to do effortlessly in her Pokémon form. She wasn't too athletic either, and her selection of clothing only dampened her efforts to catch up with the Pokémon Trainer even more. After she was able to find the overexcited human, she was not surprised one but that he was browsing in the video games section.
"JIMMY!" she screamed as she angrily stormed over to the trainer. "That's the last time you leave me back there!"
An alarmed Jimmy turned around and witnessed the Temporal Goddess stomping angrily towards him. "…sorry Dialga, but-"
"No buts. But I'll forgive you this time. You need a lesson or two in patience." She placed her hands on her hips like a scolding mother, shooting a disapproving look at the young human with her red irises. "I'd slap you hard if you were my boyfriend, but… I don't want you to feel too hurt since you voluntarily chose to come along with me."
"Yeah…, I understand," the trainer apologetically spoke.
After a small lecture from the Dragon/Steel-type, Jimmy had asked the store clerk whether or not the two of the newest video games that he wished to purchase (and of course, play during the Christmas party with his friends and other humans that were lucky enough to be acquainted to be Arceus's human trustees) - Pokémon Stadium 3 and Extermination Warrior 4 - were in stock, but to his disappointment, they were sold out. His chance of getting Ash and Leon their favorite and most wanted games, respectively, was out the window.
"Sorry sir, we're sold out. They're the hottest games of the season but I'm afraid we don't have them. They keep selling like hotcakes that we're not able to keep up with the supply and demand," the store clerk explained, hoping the young man would understand. "If it helps, you can place a preorder ticket here and we'll make sure that you'll have a copy reserved for you."
"Aw, come on!" Jimmy whined loudly. "I thought we'd be able to get those two games in time for the party!" This prompted Dialga to shake her head in disagreement. He was getting all whiny and upset just because of a video game? If anything, it would take a worldwide catastrophic disaster to even make her be remotely stressed to a level like Jimmy's.
"Sir, like I said, would you like to leave a preorder ticket?" the store clerk repeated the offer. "It's a 75 per cent guarantee that you'll be able to get the game you want."
Jimmy sulked, but Dialga placed a hand on his shoulder with a smile. "It's alright, Jimmy." she assured him softly. "If it helps…, I'll make it up to you." She turned her attention to the clerk, reached into her purse, and paid the fee to preorder the games. "Yes, I'd like to preorder the games please, but make sure they are reserved and available within the next week or so. Otherwise…, I'll have this store closed down, as I happen to be a Pokémon League representative and an advisor for Cynthia herself."
"Uh…yes, ma'am! As you requested!" The panicked store clerk immediately made the needs necessary to ensure the game was preordered. He knew Pokémon League officials had a large saying in many fields, including governmental matters.
"Glad to see things are seen my way," Dialga finished with a pleased grin.
The two were promptly on their way out of the store empty-handed, but Dialga's "threat" had ensured Jimmy would get the presents he needed before Christmas hit.
"Was that necessary?" the trainer asked the Temporal Goddess confusingly.
"Hey, anything to cheer you up," she responded sweetly. "Besides, we did work alongside Cynthia during the Uprising conflicts, even if she was a Pokémon at that time." It felt weird that one of the most renowned female Champions alive on the face of the Earth at that time was a Pokémon, but with a little help from Arceus after the conflict, she was back to her old self again. Like Krakatoa, her prized and fierce Garchomp gained the ability to chatter in the human language as opposed to incomprehensible grunts, snarls and growls, in terms of the human perspective anyways.
"Just one thing," Jimmy wondered aloud. "Are you actually human? You know, only Laia, Latias and Latios are able to achieve that ability as far as I know…"
The blue-haired goddess raised an eyebrow. "Why do you ask that?"
"…just curious. It's amazing how your kinds are capable of transforming into humans," the trainer said in awe.
"Of course I am!" Dialga spoke in a silly-sounding tone. "We're deities. I'm fully human, from the top of my hair all the way down to my toenails. Laia's a master of that and of course, way better than me in terms of maintaining a stable form, but I can say she enjoys being a human just as much as Alto Mare's Latias," she explained, referencing to the ascended mother of Latias and Latios who had also played a pivotal role in the conflict against the United Aerospace Armed Forces. "We have all your functions, but that also means we have to go to the bathroom more often." She then laughed a bit, wondering why humans needed to use the bathroom every few hours or so when the deities themselves rarely even needed to expel their waste given their advanced body structures and anatomies.
"It's just weird," Jimmy said truthfully. "That you're a gigantic metallic dragon goddess yet you are capable of turning into a human. It's really fascinating."
"Life's full of funny things," She replied in agreement. "So, are you hungry? It's getting late and we should get some dinner."
The black-haired trainer was about to speak up until his stomach rumbled and he felt as if someone was puncturing a gigantic hole in his gut.
"I guess that's a yes," Dialga giggled. "Come on. We'll find a nice place to sit down and eat."
While Palkia didn't mind eating at a simple café, his sister was radically different. She was a Pokémon that lived by the highest standards possible but of course, attempted to not spoil herself with her luxuries. After all, most of her material possessions were earned with her own strength and will and of course, this made the things she owned to be more of a symbol to her testament as opposed to objects acquired through simple desires of wanting. She chose a classy diner that had a magnificent view of the Saffron City skyline, and while Jimmy objected to eating at such an expensive restaurant, Dialga had offered to pay for it all. Unlike Leon, Jimmy was not a very rich trainer but even then, he was known for his generosity and unwillingness to accept extremely expensive gifts.
"Uh, Dialga, are we really eating at such a place?" he nervously asked as the Temporal Goddess forcefully dragged him over to the establishment entitled "The Deoxys Cosmos". It didn't help that they were eating at a place that had the namesake of an enemy they fought against during the Uprising wars. "It looks terribly expensive!"
"It's the best I can repay you after you so voluntarily chose to come out and shop with me. This means the bill is mine so don't worry," she voiced in reply. "Now come on, you're making me look like as if I'm forcing you to jail!" Many passing people were giving the couple awkward looks, but many dismissed it as a first-time date between the two.
It took a little convincing, but it wasn't long before Jimmy finally gave in and decided to eat with the dragon goddess at the posh (and extremely expensive-looking) restaurant.
"Welcome to the Deoxys Cosmos!" the waiter, dressed up in an expensive-looking outfit, greeted the two. "Can I help you?"
"Table for two please. I would appreciate it if you managed to give us the seat with best view of the city," Dialga answered without hesitation.
The waiter nodded as he pulled out two menus and led Dialga and Jimmy to the requested dining spot. "Right this way."
Seated by the window that gave the pair a glamorous overview of the city, Jimmy spent more of his time overlooking the Saffron City skyline than actually deciding what to order for dinner. On the other hand, it was clear to his companion that he would have enjoyed it, even if it came with a ludicrous price.
"So, like the view?" Dialga asked.
"Heck yes! There are rarely any opportunities to get such a view, except for the time where we flew to Alto Mare," Jimmy exclaimed but realized they were here for dinner, not sightseeing. "Oh, yeah, I'll try to decide what to eat now…"
"He may not be the brightest, but he's just as friendly as Ash or any pure-hearted Ranger that fought in the wars," Dialga wondered happily in her wise mind. "Hey Jimmy… can you help me with something?"
"Hmm?" The humble trainer looked up from his menu. "Sure, what do you need?"
"Well, what does Leon like?" she asked, unsure. "I haven't really talked to the kid."
The black-haired Pokémon Trainer wasn't exactly sure of how to answer the question, but he nevertheless did so to the best of his abilities. "Haha, well, as far as I know, he's a Ranger. You can give him the biggest cake or amphibious assault hovercraft and he'd be happy. But he values his friends more than anything else. Perhaps if you spend the night with him, he'll be happy. Why do you ask?"
"I don't know," she shrugged. "I was just wondering of getting him something nice. Remember last year Christmas? No one gave the poor kid anything, not to mention the majority forgot about him to begin with."
"Well, he was away on duty. You can't blame him for that." Last year's Christmas was radically different, as few attended the party that Arceus threw mainly for personal reasons. The Ranger himself had to participate in cleanup operations in Oblivia, cleaning out the last of the UAAF forces holed up on the small island archipelago. By the time he came back from his tour of duty, New Year's Day had already passed, and all he got were some leftovers from the buffet. "We can't say he's a kid obsessed with his job, but it's his duty. Can't blame him for it. He has a mother and several Pokémon back at home that he needs to support."
Dialga placed a hand on her chin and breathed softly, wondering what would be the ideal gift for the one individual that was always busy with his occupation as a Ranger. "Then I'll have to make it up to him this year around."
That's part 1! Part 2 will be out sometime next week.
-Soldier of the Future