Diamond 35: Give me Holidays
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 35: Give me Holidays
After Blastoise and the others left, Giovanni, Delia, Meowth, Pikachu, Charmeleon and Eevee were the only ones left in the valley with the unconscious crystal Onix. Meowth and Eevee were playing tag, chasing each other around Onix, while Charmeleon tried to get them away from her in case she suddenly woke up in a bad mood.
"Is she going to be okay?" Delia asked with genuine concern.
Giovanni curiously approached, if only he had a pokeball, "I wish I could catch her."
The crystal Onix suddenly opened her eyes causing Giovanni to jump back in surprise. Charmeleon picked up Eevee and Meowth, rushing back to the group. Pikachu looked ready to stubbornly hold her ground and Delia hoped for a peaceful resolution.
Onix stared right at Giovanni, her eyes shining with joy, "do you really mean that? Oh how sweet, no pokemon has ever declared his love for me before. I was really upset about the mean things Gengar and his friends said, but I feel much better now. You're not my type, but thanks for the compliment. Sorry about being such a drama queen before. I should be going home now, good bye," Onix left with a big smile on her face.
The crystal Onix disappeared in the distance, leaving the group in open mouthed perplexity with her reaction. Pikachu finally snapped out of it and shot a deadly glare at Giovanni with sparks flying from her pink cheeks. "What was that all about? Isn't Delia your mate?"
Giovanni was shocked with the situation, he wasn't expecting the Onix to wake up and think he was flirting. "That's not it! I didn't mean it like that. I was talking as a human, as a pokemon trainer!"
Both Giovanni and Pikachu demanded in unison, "Delia, say something!"
The sheer strangeness of the situation finally got to Delia and with a big grin she voiced, "something," and burst into a fit of laughter.
"I can't believe you're so calm!" Pikachu pouted, glared and stomped her feet as the electricity around her continued building up.
"Now Pikachu, I'm sure it's just a misunderstanding," Charmeleon tried to talk some sense into his mate, who as a result turned her anger towards him.
"If it were me I would GGRRR!" Pikachu grabbed Charmeleon's neck and shook him, giving him an electric shock on contact.
"It's okay, I know everything is a misunderstanding. Let's just forget about it!" Delia urged, hoping that Pikachu would release Charmeleon before he fainted, though it seemed he was used to her temper.
"Alright, if you say so," Pikachu let Charmeleon go and took a deep breath to calm herself. "We should see what we can do to help get things ready for the party."
That night, there was a celebration in the little pokemon town with music, games and food. It went on late into the night until everyone was exhausted and they fell asleep under the stars.
xoxox xox xoxox
Delia's memories were faint; she didn't remember what happened during the party beyond small glimpses. She didn't remember if that was the last day she spent in that world while seconds passed in her own. When she came to, Delia immediately recognized her surroundings; she was in the Viridian City gym with Giovanni. She remembered floating in endless swirls of colors; it had to be a dream.
Among the colors she saw a strange pokemon that looked like a green haired lady in a white ball gown. The feminine pokemon did something and Delia felt as if she was being carried away. "Do not resist, I will guide you home," the pokemon's voice was soothing. Delia closed her eyes and when she opened them again, she was at the Viridian Gym as a human.
She looked at Giovanni and at the strange glass orb, "did something happen just now?"
"You spaced out, are you okay?" Giovanni found it odd; he had never seen Delia with such a blank look before.
"I'm fine, it's nothing, I was just thinking," was it all a dream, or a hallucination? Giovanni didn't seem to remember anything and even for Delia that world inhabited only by pokemon felt like a distant dream.
Gardevoir sealed away Giovanni's memories, sensing that it was best if he did not remember that secret world. The graceful pokemon didn't feel any alarm sensing Delia's aura, so she allowed her to keep a few faint dream-like memories.
xoxox xox xoxox
That time on October thirty-one when Delia saw Madame Boss went without incident. Delia kept expecting something to happen as a consequence of their coincidental meeting. Then November ended and nothing happened, so she decided to forget about it.
The cold of December had settled into Pallet Town with Christmas a mere three days away. Everyone expected the winter to be long that year. It had snowed on the previous night and the streets and yards were covered by the cold white carpet of winter. A chilly breeze blew and Delia wondered if she should pack up the outside tables on her little restaurant for the winter. Surely no one would want to sit outside in the cold and they would be exposed to the elements if she left them out. Maybe she could borrow some pokemon from Professor Oak to help move them the next day.
There was hardly any light left outside as the evening began to give way to the night, but the sun wasn't completely gone yet. The Pallet House, the only restaurant in Pallet Town, was closed for business; no one ever came that late anyway. Rush hour was in the morning when almost everyone in town gathered at the restaurant to have some of Delia's coffee, pancakes, muffins or toast. They talked about what they had done the previous day and what they planned to do that day. It was a small town and the little restaurant had become its unofficial social center. Midday was also busy, but most people had dinner in their own homes, though sometimes they complimented their meals with one of Delia's dishes to go.
Ash was in the living room, standing in front of the TV occasionally mimicking the posture and movements of the trainers on the screen. They were broadcasting a rerun of the latest Indigo League championship. Ash never got tired of watching it, cheering for his favorite pokemon and pretending he was the trainer. He called out to the pokemon on TV as if they could hear him.
In a corner of the living room a medium sized Christmas tree with lush green leaves stood beautifully. It was decorated with a variety of pokemon shaped ornaments, many of which were Electrode and Voltorb. It had a Staryu on top with the jewel on its center blinking on and off at a steady rhythm, along with the multicolored lights all over the tree.
Ash cheered as the speedy Jolteon on TV defeated an Arcanine. One day he would be a pokemon trainer and his pokemon would be even more amazing. Delia smiled watching her five year old son so excited about the pokemon battle, despite having watched it so many times. He probably had each move of every round memorized.
Delia heard the sound of an approaching car, a rarity in Pallet Town. Looking out the window, she saw a black limousine parked next to the leafless tree in front of her house. For a split second her heart skipped a beat and she pictured a happy Christmas reunion. She thought she had stopped imagining such things but she couldn't help it but to wish for a miracle. Even if deep down she knew Giovanni wasn't coming and perhaps it was best that way.
The driver got out of the limousine, his black suit devoid of a red R. He hurried to open the door, extending his hand and bowing as if escorting a queen. A woman's hand came out of the limousine; her nails were long and crimson. She elegantly exited the vehicle, her long hair cascading in dark waves down her back, contrasting with her red coat. Her makeup was perfect and not a single hair was out of place or even gray. Madame Boss looked somehow younger than the last time Delia saw her, probably an effect of aesthetic science.
Madame walked with the elegance of a queen. She left the driver behind to wait as she made her way towards one of the outdoor tables of the little restaurant attached to a tiny house. She sat down, not bothered by the chilly breeze and waited regal and silent. Madame was certain that her presence was known and could not be ignored for long.
Delia didn't know what to do; she couldn't leave Madame Boss outside waiting. Plus she really wanted to know why Madame was there. What if she asked about Ash? Delia glanced at the TV, it was showing the award ceremony of the Indigo League. What if Ash curiously wondered out to see who the late customer was after the show was over? What if Madame said too much?
Delia took a deep breath, threw on her cream colored coat and turned the outdoor lights on before heading outside. The illumination of the light bulb in the wall-less roof over the outdoor tables was dim. But combined with the scarce snow flakes that had began to fall in the background, the scene looked like it came from a postcard. It didn't match the tense atmosphere. At least it was tense for Delia; Madame on the other hand looked rather amused.
Delia approached the table were Madame sat, calm and majestic. She sat down opposite to the older woman and waited for her to speak. "Aren't you going to say anything?" Madame's amusement didn't waver.
"Does Giovanni know you're here?" Delia finally gave in and asked. She immediately mentally scolded herself for asking about him so soon and so directly. Her puzzlement and curiosity had been obvious, accompanied by a hint of hope.
Madame shook her head, "brat boy is busy. I haven't spoken to him in years, but I hear he's doing alright. I must say, I was surprised to see you last October. Were those boys your children?"
"No, they were a friend's children. I was just taking them to get candy," Delia's reply was only half true, but she tried to sound natural. Anyone else might have believed her, but Madame was better informed.
"Are you sure? My sources tell me you have a son. Let me guess, the Charmander, right?" Madame reached into her coat pocket and pulled out an old picture.
At first glance Delia almost thought the picture was of Ash, but it couldn't have been him. The little boy in the image was dressed as a Charmander, but he was holding a classic pumpkin shaped basket. He smiled happily at the camera with a glow of mischief in his eyes. "Is this Giovanni?"
"At the age of three," Madame confirmed, entertained by Delia's expression of amazement. "He was cute, wasn't he? You can keep that picture if you want."
Delia was tempted to refuse, but she could not. Even if Madame tried to take the picture from her hand, Delia knew she wouldn't be able to let it go. "Thank you, but I'm sure this isn't the reason why you came here." The tension had subsided considerably, but Delia still felt uncertain.
Madame went to the point; there was no use in continuing with the small talk, "since I haven't been communicating with brat boy, I didn't know what was happening in his life. When I saw you in Saffron City last October with those boys I knew something interesting must have happened. To be honest I didn't expect your relationship to last, so seeing you so far away from Viridian City on your own was not surprising. It was that boy dressed as a Charmander that caught my attention. He reminded me too much of my little brat boy, that look in his eyes. I bet he'll be quite temperamental and cunning, unless you manage to keep his Rocketto genes under control. Good luck with that," Madame laughed.
Delia remained silent and listened as Madame continued, "to put it simply I became curious and did some research. My sources told me that brat boy had no heir. No one knew anything about him having any children at all. It made everything even more interesting and I continued doing research. I heard you came to Pallet Town around six years ago, which means that if you were pregnant then, the child would be about five and a half by now." She caught the flicker of uncertainty in Delia's face. Madame's expression became similar to Giovanni's cocky grin when he knew he would inevitably win a battle, though her eyes were carefree and relaxed instead of focused and plotting. "That is, assuming he counts halves," she laughed again, her voice ringing clear with amusement and no perceivable malice. "Brat boy would always correct me if I said he was five, grumbling that he was five and a half."
"Was it just curiosity?" Delia inquired, it might seem strange to investigate and not really use the information. Yet Madame appeared to be the type of person to go out of her way just to satisfy a whim.
"You're not confirming or denying anything anymore?" Madame leaned back on the chair and folded her hands on the table, long fingers intertwined. "I suppose there's no use in denying the truth, is there?" Her breath was visible past her crimson lipstick. The temperature had continued to drop as the sun disappeared. "I have no intentions of interfering. Maybe if brat boy would listen to me I would tell him, but if he wants to pretend I don't exist, all I can do is return the favor."
Delia let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding until she saw it. She finally noticed just how cold it had become. "Do you want to come inside?"
"That won't be necessary, I'm leaving soon. I simply wanted to satisfy my curiosity that's all," Delia wasn't sure if she should be relieved or disappointed at Madame's words. All she knew was that the older woman had read her face like a book.
Delia didn't want Ash to be involved with the Rocketto family and their dangerous activities. However, Madame was supposedly retired, even if Delia doubted she had retired completely. Besides, regardless of what they had done, what they were doing and what they were planning to do, Giovanni was still Ash's father and Madame was still his grandmother. Delia would not take the first step to go back to Giovanni, but if he returned to her, she knew she wouldn't be able to turn him down.
"I almost forgot," Madame's voice woke Delia from her thoughts before she could resolve her inner conflict. "My spy, I mean, my friend who happens to be a high ranked member of Team Rocket, is out on an important mission overseas. She doesn't know when she will return. Since she won't be there to make snowgasboard for her daughter, she called and asked me to send something in her stead for Christmas."
Delia wasn't even sure what kind of mission it could be, but listened to Madame. She paid close attention to the part about a spy, noticing the contradiction from when Madame mentioned ignoring Giovanni. Nevertheless, Delia was determined not to interfere. She wouldn't run to call Giovanni and reveal the situation immediately as she would have done when she still lived with him. If Madame wanted to annoy Giovanni, she would have to leave her and Ash out of it.
"I never did like the taste of those store bought gingerbread cookies," Madame continued, casual and relaxed. "I heard you're a good cook, are you a good baker too?"
Delia wanted to ask about the spy, but she remained silent, she wasn't getting involved so she didn't need to know. She wondered if it was the same person mentioned on the suspicious letter Madame had been writing in the park last October, Miyamoto. "I baked some cookies earlier this afternoon, you can have them." Delia got up and started walking towards the door. She stopped and looked back at Madame. It didn't look like she had any intentions of following Delia inside even if she was invited.
The rebroadcast of the Indigo League award ceremony had ended and Ash went to see what his mother was doing in the kitchen. "Can I have a cookie?" Ash gave her his sweetest smile, "please?"
"Just one, these are for a customer," Delia managed to sound natural as she handed Ash a gingerbread Jinx.
Ash accepted it happily and bit its head off, "mmm!"
Delia finished filling the shiny golden cardboard box adorned with pictures of red and green pokeballs with cookies. She had baked plenty of cookies, so she packed two identical boxes full of gingerbread pokemon. Leaving Ash standing in the kitchen with headless Jinx cookie, Delia headed out to give Madame the boxes.
Madame sat unfazed by the cold, perfectly still like a painting. Delia gave her both boxes full of cookies, "for your friend's daughter and for you."
"Very nice, and how much do these lovely boxes of cookies sell for?" Madame inquired with the same calm and amusement she had throughout the entire conversation.
"They're gifts, you don't need to pay me, please take them," Delia insisted. She had began to calm down a little, though the overall situation still made her thoughts race.
"How generous," Madame took a small Rapidash Christmas tree decoration from her red coat's pocket and handed it to Delia. "It's a little old, but brat boy used to like it when he was small. He wanted to catch a pokemon like that and no one could convince him it didn't exist." The Rapidash ornament, unlike the real pokemon, had feathery wings. "I should really be on my way now," Madame picked up the boxes and walked a few steps. Her driver rushed over to meet her, carrying the boxes for her.
Delia held the little Rapidash as a precious treasure. She also had the Charmander picture hidden in her pocket. She would save it and maybe one day show it to Ash, when he was ready. "Thank you," Madame looked back for a moment, sensing the sincerity in Delia's voice. The younger woman smiled, "merry Christmas."
xoxox xox xoxox
After Madame was gone, Delia went back inside and found Ash sitting at the foot of the Christmas tree in the living room. He was enchanted by the blinking lights. "Where should we put this one?" She gave him the winged Rapidash and Ash's face brightened.
"Let's put it up there," he pointed to a branch at the very top of the tree near the Staryu at the peak. Delia picked up her son so he could reach the branch and put the little Rapidash on it. He was small for a five year old and he wouldn't catch up to Gary in height until they were nine. "I'm going to catch a Rapidash with wings, just like that one," Ash proudly declared and Delia couldn't help it but to smile.
Outside, the light snowflakes had turned to big portions of snow falling from the skies. The temperature had continued to drop, but somehow, the small house felt a little warmer.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. I didn't want to stay in Mystery Dungeon for too long since it's not the main story and I know people might want to get on with the present day saga. Keep in mind that Delia's memories of the Mystery Dungeon world are fuzzy and incomplete while Giovanni's are locked away completely. In other words this might not be all that happened but for now I'll leave it at that. In the next chapter we'll finally return to the present and pick up where the story left off before the flashback.