Ash smiled as he put the CD into the CD player, and turned around. He thought he'd done a pretty good job of cleaning up his old house. where the couch had been, there was now only the wooden flooring. The old fireplace that his mom had never used was now filled with wood and burning, creating dancing shadows that semed to have a life of their own and snapped, crackled, and popped like some kind of cereal, and making the fragile glass balls on his intricately decorated Christmas Tree shimmer in its dull glow. He had dimmed or just plain shut off all the other lights, and he considered it to be pretty romantic.

He glanced out the partially snow-obscured window and smiled as he saw the moonlight illuminating the soft flakes of snow falling. Misty would be here any moment. He smiled. Ever since he'd decided to give up Pokemon Training and take a position at Pokemon Technical, he'd had a lot more time to see Misty, and he'd grown more mature. Slightly. At least he thought so.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

There was a soft knock on the door, and he rushed to open it, even though everyone, even Pikachu, was at Professor Oak's Christmas party at his lab. And there stood Misty, in all her radiant beauty. The moon reflected off of snowflakes caught in her flowing red hair that peeked out around the fur in the hood. Her light blue coat, while reasonably heavy, considering the temperatures, wasn't very bulky. From somewhere down the road, carolers could be heard, singing as loud as they could, although their harmony and quality of tone could have used some work.

Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Ash smiled. She hadn't changed a bit. "Misty." he said warmly, and hugged her. "It's so good to see you again. I haven't seen you since your last speech at the school. won't you come in?" he asked, stepping back, and gesturing.

Misty smiled and nodded thankfully, "It's freezing out there," she said. "I was actually planning on going to Oak's party. Why did you insist that I come over here, first?"

Ash smiled mysteriously, and grabbed her arm. She looked at his arm, then returned her gaze to his face. "Ketchum, you better have a good explanation for-" She was interrupted by a sudden kiss that came out of nowhere. It lasted but a second, but both seemed a bit disoriented after it was done. "-this." she finished, much more quietly and a lot shyer.

Everybody knows, a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright

Ash smiled, and pointed up. "We're under the mistletoe." He drew further back and released her arm. He turned his hand over, so his palm was facing her. "May I take your jacket?" he asked.

Misty relinquished her jacket and, after Ash insisted that he had to go do something, wandered into the living room. Immediately she wondered where everything had gone, and flipped on the lights. She wandered over to the mantle, and saw pictures of Ash when he was only a baby, and smiled. She smoothed her white and green knee-length dress and side-stepped down the mantle in her army boots as she saw that Delia Ketchum had made a time line of her son on the mantelpiece.

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

Misty heard something behind her, and suddenly the lights were doused, she spun, dropping into the self-defense posture she'd practiced so many times, and saw that it was Ash, wearing an ill-fitting santa costume, a red and white stocking cap several sizes too big for him, and a beard that looked like it would fall off any second.

"Misty," he said, approaching her, "I know it's been hard for you since your father died. I know how it is. Well, actually, that's not true, sinceh e died in that construction accident just after I was born. I just wanted to let you know that when I appreciate our time together, and hope to never see the end of them. And now, I'll do something you've been hounding me to do since I came back from Hoenn."

He pulled a remote out of his pocket and aimed it at something behind her, and suddenly there was music, and someone was crooning a christmas song. Ash smiled and put the remote down on a chair behind him, and held out his right hand. "May I have this dance?" he asked.

Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you

Misty stood there, speechless. She'd been asking Ash to dance with her for at least ten months, but he'd copped out each time, saying he didn't know how to dance. Then she smiled shyly and took his outstretched hand, and brought herself close into Ash.

"Didn't you always want to dance with Santa Claus?" Ash asked, smiling through what now, upon closer inspection, looked like cotton balls held together with some kind of glue held onto his face by some frayed yarn.

Misty's eyes narrowed. She'd never told that to anybody. "Ash Ketchum," she said quietly, standing in the middle of the love of her life's living room, "Did you read my diary when we used to travel together?"

Ash looked like he was caught in the path of a freight train, and hesitated only a moment before confessing. "Yes," he said quietly, "I did."

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

Misty smiled. "I knew you used to," she said, She nudged Ash, and he began to waltz stiffly. He wasn't that good, Misty mused, but he was trying his best--she could see that much. "I saw you several times. Let me tell you something, Ash Ketchum. Hiding behind your tent isn't always the most private place. Believe me, I caught Brock behind mine quite a few times."

Ash blinked but continued to dance, "He told me that there were good mushrooms growing back there. I went back there that one time you caught me to see if there were any left, because I figured that since we never ate 'em, he always got them all."

Misty laughed, and they continued over the floor without talking for a short while, Ash stepping on her feet only occasionally.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase

"Misty," Ash said quietly, "There's been something I've been wanting to tell you for a long time."

To kids from 1 to 92

Misty smiled, "And what's that, Master Ketchum?" she asked when he hesitated for a moment.

Although it's been said many times, many ways

Ash took a deep breath, "Misty, you're the most wonderful person I've ever met in my life. I don't think I'll meet anyone else who makes me feel so alive. Someone who can make me any more upset. Someone who can make me laugh so hard, or feel so much pain." Ash took a breath, and stopped dancing. "Misty," he said quietly, "I love you. Will you marry me?" he asked as he dropped to one knee, producing a ring box from one of the large pockets in his costume.

Merry Christmas to you

Misty drew a breath in sharply. She hadn't been expecting anything like this. Well, something almost like this, given the romantic settings, but she had expected it to be something much more lewd. Fortunately, she'd been wrong.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from 1 to 92

A tear slid down Misty's cheek as she remembered all the wonderful times that they had had together, and she wondered how many she had missed out on.

Although it's been said many times, many ways

She smiled, and swiped at her face, embarrassed, and said in a small voice, "Ash, you've always been there for me. I'm the one that left you. I'm sorry. I really don't deserve this, but I accept."

Merry Christmas to you

Ash smiled and rose back up to his full height, and slid the ring onto her finger. "Thank you," he said, "Now, let's go tell everybody at Oak's the good news."

Misty smiled, and walked towards the door. "Yes," she said, "Let's go. I can't wait to start planning the wedding."

And so I'm offering this simple phrase

A short while later, Ash, changed out of his ridiculous Santa costume and into a tuxedo, knocked on the door to Samual Oak's Laboratory, and was surprised to see a kid with an Eevee on his shoulder at the door. "Hey," the kid said, "I'm Mikey. You must be Ash. Gary's been looking for you."

To kids from 1 to 92

Ash thanked the kid and smiled. He looked around, and saw that Oak had spared no expense. he probably had miles of streamers strewn around the room, hundreds of balloons, and had probably invited half of Kanto, plus a lot of others from around the world to his party. May, Brendan, Tracy, Brock, and many more familiar faces were scattered around the room, and he made a mental note to talk to every one.

Ash hurried up to the main stage where the live band was playing, and, after a few hushed words to one of the member's of the band, hurried up onto the stage proper, and up to the microphone. "Ladies and Gentlemen," he said, smiling, "I have an announcement to make."

Although it's been said many times, many ways

"I finally beat Gary at something. I'm engaged, to Misty Waterflower." he raised a hand, and pointed at Misty, who had been filling her plate with cake and chocolate at the huge buffet. When she heard his voice, she whirled around, horrified, and glared at him. "I just asked her a half hour ago. I just want all of you to know, as most of you are the people who have helped me get to this point today." He nodded once, smiled and waved, and got down off the stage.

He passed a smirking Gary on the way down, and was heading over to his mother when Misty snagged his arm. Ash prepared himself for a beating, when Gary said into the microphone, "Well, Ash, you may have been the better of the two of us when it came to Pokemon, but I'm the better one when it came to girls."

Ash's Attention was instantly on Gary. "Because," his former rival was saying, "May agreed to marry me last night. Better luck next time, Ashy Boy."

Merry Christmas to you.