Sun shone through the hotel room window, striking an unprotected sleeper on the face with deadly accuracy. He mumbled and tossed, trying to escape, but it just wouldn't leave him alone...
"AAAAGGGHHH!!!" Satoshi sat bolt upright, eyes wide. "OH NO! It's almost Christmas and I haven't gotten any presents yet!!!" He shook the yellow pokemon beside him. "Get up, hurry! We have to go Christmas shopping before it's too late!"
"Kaaaa," the Pikachu said, sounding irritated. It rolled over and ignored him, as if to answer, 'It's seven o'clock in the morning, you nut! Go back to sleep!'
"Aaa, fine then!" Satoshi tore out of bed and threw on some clothes. "I'll go alone! I've just got to get presents for mom and Takeshi and Kasumi and Pikachu and..." He stopped. "Er, I could get one for Hiroshi... or Kenji... or..." A scowl graced his face. Oh no! No matter how Christmas-y it feels, I am not getting a present for Shigeru!
"Are you sure you don't want to come, Pikachu?" In answer, the pokemon glanced up at him balefully, sparks forming around its cheeks. "Aw... Fine! Be that way! See if I care!" He stomped out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
"Hmm..." Satoshi glanced toward the room next to him. "Maybe Kasumi will come with me..." He moved in front of the door and knocked.
Kasumi stirred, then brought a pillow over her head with a groan as she heard a knock on the door. "Who'd be knocking on the door this early?" she grumbled, turning to her right. "Hmm... Hiroshi, get the door, OK?"
The young man lying next to her gave a half-asleep sigh. "Do I have to?"
"Yes! Just... grab a robe or something."
"Fine, fine." He yawned and rolled out of bed, grabbing up a bathrobe. "But you owe me for this." He stumbled forward, and flung open the door, just as the person on the other side raised their hand to knock again.
Satoshi looked startled. "Hiroshi?" He blinked. "Am I at the wrong room?"
"Satoshi!" Kasumi sat up suddenly, clutching the covers to her chest. "What are you doing here?"
"Uh... I'm staying right next door, remember?" He scratched his head, then grinned. "Wow, Kasumi, you've been keeping secrets from me! So, just how long has this been going on, hmm?"
Hiroshi turned bright red. "Er..."
"Get out of here, Satoshi!" Kasumi snapped, irritated.
"Wait! I mean, I wanted to know if you'd like to come Christmas shopping with me." Satoshi tried an appealing smile. "Come on, it'll be lots of -- YIII!!" He dodged as a flying pillow nearly struck him across the face. "Is that a no?"
"Get OUT!" Kasumi threw another pillow.
"Hey, no need to get violent!" He ducked as she started throwing shoes. "OK, OK, I'm going, I'm going!" He zipped out the door and slammed it shut, just as the three-inch platforms thumped against it. Wincing, he slumped down by the door. "Boy, some Christmas spirit!"
Standing, he brushed himself off. "Well, maybe Takeshi will be in a better mood." He moved on to the next door, and knocked.
"Who's there?" the rock-pokemon trainer's voice asked groggily.
"Satoshi. Want to go Christmas shopping?" He leaned back in case Takeshi opened the door on him.
The door stayed closed. "I'm busy, Satoshi."
"Aw, come on!" Satoshi couldn't believe it! What's up with everyone today? You'd think it wasn't even Christmas! "Don't you want to get presents for everyone?"
"I said, I'm busy!"
"But, Takeshi, I -- "
"He's busy!" That voice was decidedly female.
"WAAAAH!" Satoshi fell back onto the ground, eyes wide. "Aaah... Never mind! Sorry!" He scratched his head again. "Geez, what's with everyone? First Pikachu, then Hiroshi and Kasumi, and now Takeshi and..." He paused. "Well, whoever that was." He shivered. "That was scary. But I wonder why I'm the only who seems to care at all that it's already December and we haven't even gone Christmas shopping yet!"
He sighed and stood. "Oh well... I guess I'll go alone."
The stores were just mildly crowded. Satoshi wormed his way through them and grabbed a leather-bound book meant for storing phone numbers. "Hey, maybe Takeshi can keep all the names of the girls whose numbers he can't get in here." He grinned.
It wasn't so bad, shopping alone. So far he hadn't actually picked out any gifts, but the address book seemed like a good one... I guess I'll buy it. He moved back through the crowd, toward the counter, then stopped as he felt a slight chill on the top of his head.
"Huh? Wha...? My hat!" Reaching up, Satoshi discovered the absense of his priceless headgear. "No! It must've gotten knocked off my head!" He dropped the address book and squeezed back through the crowd, searching the floors. "Aah, no! Where is it?"
Dismayed, he sank to a sitting position on one of the benches. "Great. Some Christmas this is. First no one wants to come shopping with me, and now I lose my hat! What did I ever do to deserve this?"
"Maybe it's because you exist." Satoshi's head whipped up at the voice, and he scowled at the auburn-haired boy who smirked back down at him. "Ever think of that, loser?"
"Shigeru." Satoshi growled out his rival's name. "What do you want?"
Grinning wickedly, the older boy held out the prized league cap. "Lose something?"
"My hat!" Satoshi lunged for the cap, but Shigeru was too quick for him. He wound up sprawled face-first on the floor. "Hey!" Scrambling to his hands and knees, he glared up at his enemy. "Give that back!"
"Finders keepers." Shigeru smirked again. "You want it, come and get it!" He took off through the crowd.
"Come back here, you -- you -- " For some reason, he just couldn't think of an insult that was good enough. "Gimme back my hat!"
"I told you, try and take it from me!" Shigeru laughed over his shoulder. "What's the matter? Afraid?" He dodged past a man with his arms full of packages, just barely avoiding knocking them all down.
"I'm not afraid of anything!" Unfortunately, he wasn't as lucky as the older boy. The man's packages went flying, and Satoshi fell flat on his face, just catching a glimpse of Shigeru running out the mall entrance. Great. Just great. Ignoring the lecture he was being given, he scrambled to his feet and burst out the front doors, looking around with a murderous expression on his face.
"Where are you?" he snapped, hands clenching into fists. "Shigeru! Come back with my hat!" He saw a flash of red over past the parking lot, where a grassy downhill slope bordered a grove of trees. "Hah -- found you!" He started over that way.
"It doesn't take a genius." Shigeru stood in front of him, swirling the cap around his finger, with the most irritating grin ever on his face. "You know, Satoshi, sometimes you amaze me with your stupi -- OOF!" He was cut off as a furious Satoshi tackled him, knocking them both back into the snow.
"I'll show you!" It was just his misfortune to land just at the top of the hill, where the momentum made the two of them roll down the slope, before coming to a halt at the bottom, Shigeru wincing as a tree root dug into his back.
Satoshi straddled Shigeru's waist and made some futile grabs for the hat, his face getting more and more frustrated every time Shigeru snatched it out of his reach. The older boy smiled in a superior sort of way.
"Your turn," he began, then suddenly shoved up and over, pinning Satoshi to the ground instead, "See how you like having stones digging into your back!"
"Well, I... wouldn't... if you'd... just... give me... back... my hat!" Satoshi growled, straining to reach the prize that Shigeru held just out of his reach. I can't let him beat me! He half sat up abruptly, hoping to surprise the older boy.
He definitely surprised him. Just... not the way he'd hoped to.
"Mmmph!" Both boys' eyes went wide with shock as their lips meshed together. Wait a second... This wasn't supposed to happen... Shigeru wasn't moving. His eyes slid shut slowly.
Satoshi blinked, then relaxed. Ummm... this actually feels good... Suddenly, the hat seemed rather unimportant. Shigeru's tongue plied at his lips mercilessly. Well, can't let him beat me... He returned it full-force, until the both of them were locked in their most intense battle ever.
Shigeru's hand dropped to the ground, still loosely clutching the hat. Almost of its own accord, Satoshi's inched its way over, and snatched the prize back -- then his arms triumphantly locked around Shigeru's neck, as if he'd finally won.
The older boy pulled back a little, panting. "You got a room around here?" he asked breathlessly.
"Actually, yeah." Satoshi pulled out his room key and held it up. Shigeru snatched it from his hand. "But, Shigeru, I didn't know you felt this way about..."
"Yeah, well, I didn't either." He grinned sardonically. "How about you? I wasn't aware of the fact that you swung this way, Sato-chan."
"Uh... one of my best-kept secrets." He wasn't about to admit that he hadn't known it before this, either.
"You didn't know." Shigeru smothered Satoshi's protests with another passionate kiss, and all rational thought was lost after that.
Satoshi winced as his back hit the door, but didn't break from Shigeru's tight embrace. "Let me just get this open," the older boy murmured against his lips, and a thrill of excitement ran through him. You'd better hurry up with that, Geru-chan...
Shigeru struggled with the key. "Ever done this before, Satoshi?"
"Nope." He stole another kiss. Wow... "You?"
"Not even once." His mouth was invaded with another bout of that intense battling. Shigeru grumbled a little, under his breath. "Stupid door."
"Oh, for..." Satoshi grabbed the key and twisted it, feeling the lock click open under his hand. He smiled at the scowling Shigeru. "There you go."
"I'll get you for that one," Shigeru growled, pushing him into the room. Pikachu seemed to have left... Good. The older boy kicked the door shut and they fell onto the bed together. What a Merry Christmas this is...
Kasumi stretched luxuriously and walked out of her door, feeling considerably more awake. "You know," she remarked to Hiroshi, "I feel kind of bad about how I treated Satoshi. I mean, all he wanted was to go Christmas shopping. You can't really blame him."
"That's true." Hiroshi smiled slightly. "It is December already. But, it was a little early..."
"Hey guys." Takeshi joined them in the hallway. "So, did you get an early-morning visit from Satoshi as well? He said he wanted to go Christmas shopping."
"Yup." Kasumi sighed. "Well, we weren't very nice to him. I think we should apologize, don't you?"
"That's a good idea." Takeshi brightened. "Hey, if he's back in his room, maybe he'll want to go shopping now!"
"Great! Let's check!" Kasumi turned and knocked on the door.
"Who'sere?" Satoshi's muffled voice answered, after a few seconds.
"It's just us, Sato-kun," she replied. "We're sorry for being so rude before."
"Yeah," Takeshi chimed in. "We're ready to go Christmas shopping now, if you want!"
"Sorry, Take-san!" Satoshi called back. "I'm busy now!"
"Huh?" Kasumi, Hiroshi, and Takeshi looked at each other. "But Satoshi," Hiroshi protested. "I thought you said you wanted to go shopping."
"Sorry, Hiroshi! I'm busy!"
Kasumi looked puzzled. "But -- "
"He's busy!" Shigeru shouted back, and she jumped away from the door as if it was on fire.
"Er... we'll just leave you two alone, then," Hiroshi managed, blinking.
Kasumi and Takeshi looked at each other. "Who knew?" Takeshi remarked, shrugging.
She bit back a smile. "Maybe we should've gone with him the first time."
Hiroshi glanced back at the door and grinned. "Well, at least now I know what kind of Christmas present to get Satoshi!"