While getting ready for Primrose Valley, the kids realize that the Faerie of the Forest may have never experienced Xmas before and do their best to give him a magical experience.
Zeelo and Deven lay on the floor of Deven’s bedroom. Each of them was busy scribbling away on a piece of paper. Neither the brown striped riolu or the green noibat were wearing anything, being in the warm safety of the indoors. Outside the window they could see the snow falling as winter was in full effect.
“So, what are you asking for?” Deven asked. The noibat sat up folded his wings as he looked to the riolu.
“Mostly video games.” Zeelo responded. “You?”
“I’m asking for magic.” Deven grinned.
“Magic?” Zeelo shot him a look.
“Sure… I mean, we know it exists. Aside from the potions, we have our very own faerie of the forest. So, I imagine there’s got to be some way for Santa to deliver magic, rather it be a book, a wand or some other magic item.” Deven grinned.
“I suppose that makes sense.” Zeelo paused and looked out the window as the top of the faerie boy was brought up. “Hey… What do you think Calex does for Xmas?” He gave a pause as he studied how much snow was outside. “Do you think he’s stuck outside in the forest all winter?”
“I don’t know, maybe?” Deven suggested. “He has that little magic room inside the lake. I imagine he waits out the winter in that.”
“Doesn’t time not pass there?” Zeelo recalled the time him and Deven had both been reduced to eggs and spent over six years in that strange world after hatching before coming back to find no time had passed. “I don’t think he could wait out the winter. Plus, he’d miss Xmas. Do you think Santa delivers presents to him?”
“I mean he has too. He gives gifts to all kids, and Calex has been a kid longer than anyone else.” Deven nodded.
“Maybe.” Zeelo seemed unconvinced. “But, it still means he’s spending it alone.”
“You’re going to suggest we should go check on him huh?” Deven asked. “Alright, let me get dressed.” Deven fetched his poncho and threw it on over his torso.
“We should pick up Arzure along the way.” Zeelo suggested as he grabbed his scarf.
“Having a fire type will make it easier to get through all the snow.” Deven nodded eagerly.
“I suppose.” Zeelo hadn’t considered that. “But I was thinking about the fact he seems to have a closer connection to Calex. The espeon trusts him.”
“Well, he did raise Calex from an egg, like four times now.” Deven and the others had played a number of games with magical side effects since meeting Calex. Often, the loser would wind up a smaller size, or age, or both.
Calex wasn’t bad at games. In fact, his magical and psychic powers outright gave him an unfair advantage in most physical games. But those were games he knew how to play. Board games and video games were completely foreign to him before the others introduced them. And they may have taken advantage of Calex not being familiar with the rules, or with controls to win a few times. Whenever Calex was turned into an egg by one of these games, anyone who had not shared his fate usually took turns taking care of the egg. But after hatching, it was always Arzure who watched over him till he returned to his normal age. By this point Calex seemed to have develop a strong emotional attachment to the raboot, and it seemed to be amplified when he was a baby or toddler. At younger ages, Calex would practically cling to Arzure, follow him around and hide behind him whenever someone he didn’t know showed up. Which… Was a lot of people since outside of this group of three, Calex didn’t seem to have any friends or interact with anyone.
It was a quick walk to Arzure’s house. All three of them lived in the same neighborhood. Though Arzure’s place was a bit different. It was something of a foster home, with many children living in it. Many children who had once been adults. The blue and black raboot answered the door and looked over his slightly younger friends.
“We’re going to the forest, aren’t we?” Arzure asked. That was hardly the only reason these two ever showed up. But he could recognize the look on their face and knew what they were about to ask.
“Yeah, we wanted to see how Calex celebrates Xmas.” Deven explained. “And see how he handles winter.”
“That’s actually a pretty good idea.” Arzure stepped outside and closed the door. The raboot wasn’t wearing any clothing. A nice benefit of being a fire type was he didn’t get cold. Not when his body was literally producing fire. “A couple months ago I took him trick or treating for Halloween. He had no idea what was going on. I bet he doesn’t know about Xmas either.”
“But wouldn’t he have to?” Zeelo asked. “I know he’s caused a bit of mischief… But he never seemed like a bad kid. Surely Santa doesn’t skip him.”
“I don’t know.” Arzure rubbed a chin. “I mean, on one hand I would think Santa would obviously come to him… On the other, Calex doesn’t live in a house. And I doubt he decorates any of the forest trees to put presents under. Not to mention between him and the forest’s own magic it’s really hard for any adults to get in. I mean, Santa has his own magic so it’s not impossible.”
“But Calex is never asleep.” Zeelo pointed out. That wasn’t technically true. Calex did sleep, but he returned back to his pocket dimension where time didn’t pass to rest. As a result, from everyone else’s point of view he was awake twenty-four hours a day. “And he only drops off presents when you’re asleep.”
“That’s… Huh.” Arzure considered. “If he doesn’t know about Xmas, then he wouldn’t go to sleep Xmas eve… He might never have gotten an Xmas present.” Arzure nodded. “We definitely have to go see him now!”
And with that the four of them were off. They crossed town to the outskirts until they reached the river that acts as the town’s border. Once the town had tried to expand across the river, but after a series of incidents and accidents, and the bridge being destroyed those plans were put to rest. However, these days there was a new bridge, but one only four people knew about. The three kids here, and the forest faerie. Calex had used his magic to help them assemble it. It was a rope bridge, and could easily be lowered in and out of the water to conceal it when not in use. They kept it hidden as it was best not to advertise they were going into the forest so often. Trying to cross the river in general was against the rules. It was considered too dangerous. If any of their parents (Or Arzure’s guardian) found out about how much time they spent in the forest all of them would be grounded for the rest of their lives. Plus, there was the possibility of someone unrelated to them finding the bridge, crossing, encountering Calex and causing a misunderstanding. That could be bad. Not only because the person might wind up hung upside down from some tree branches before being thrown out of the forest, but Calex was still learning to trust people, and one bad incident could easily undo all the work they had done trying to get him to leave the forest more often.
Once on the other side of the forest, they were at the abandoned playground. It was part of what little remained of the attempt to expand the town. It was also the only part that was well maintained. Apparently, Calex was responsible for it staying in good condition. But he always acted like he had gotten caught doing something wrong anytime the others saw him playing on it. It was clear he had the idea that he should never leave the forest, not even for something that literally bordered it. This was the thing they were working the hardest to get him to overcome.
Passing through the playground and into the forest it was effortless to find Calex. Mostly because it was obvious, he had sensed their arrival. The forest itself could move around, change positions and separate people. It had never been clear if it did that on its own, or if Calex somehow manipulated it without knowing it. But, they were recognized as friends now. As a result, as they entered the forest trees and shrubs moved out of the way forming a trail wide enough for them to walk through. They were being invited in.
When they found Calex, they also found a flaming sphere of fire floating in the air. The espeon was levitating, as he seemed to almost never walk in general. But currently, there was a sphere of fire surrounding him as he floated in a large clearing in the forest.
“Oh hi guys!” Calex shouted as he saw his friends appear. He didn’t seem concerned about the fire surrounding him, or even acknowledge it.
“Calex… Since when can you use fire moves?” Zeelo asked.
“I can’t?” Calex seemed confused by the question.
“Okay but then what’s with the…” Zeelo just kind of gestured around Calex.
“Oh? This? I started a small fire with some twigs and flint.” Calex explained. “Once I had it going, I took control of the flames and lifted them into the air. As long as they have enough oxygen to feed off of they won’t go out.” The orange espeon, as he did with all his powers, explained this as if it was a normal everyday thing. “So, I just have to make sure I keep a small portion of my mind focused on it to keep the flames circling around me and don’t light anything in the forest up.”
“Ok and you do this because?” Deven asked.
“Because winter is the worst!” Calex exclaimed. “It’s cold! And wet! And there’s no good place to lounge in the sun. It’s the absolute worst.”
“So, you stay warm with a giant sphere of fire all season.” Arzure shrugged. He knew better than to try to talk to the espeon about clothing. Aside from the fact Calex didn’t understand the concept of clothing, when they had introduced a couple of articles to him, he had hated them immediately, plus his magic tended to make clothes impractical. Arzure wasn’t sure how hard it must have been spending an entire season keeping that fire barrier up, but at least it was nice to know the little espeon wasn’t out here freezing to death.
“We’re getting off track.” Deven spoke up. “Or never got on track to begin with. We came out here for a reason. Calex, what do you do for Xmas?”
“Xmas?” Calex sounded the word out loud. It was alien to him and he was trying to discover the meaning. “Is this some kind of threat to the forest? Or… To the town? Are you in trouble?”
“What? No! Xmas is a good thing!” Zeelo exclaimed.
“It’s a holiday, not unlike Halloween.” Arzure explained. “You remember that one, how everyone gave you free candy.”
“Yes.” Calex nodded. “Most of the candy was really good. But the strange leaf-like shells they came in tasted nasty, so I tore those off”
“Those are wrappers.” Deven put a paw to his face. “You’re not supposed to eat the wrappers.”
“Right…” Arzure decided it was best just to continue the explanation. “So, Xmas is basically like Halloween, but you get toys instead of candy.” He knew Calex knew what toys were. The visit to Calex’s world had confirmed that when he had toys of various types scattered about. Plus, he had come out of the woods a few time, and seen some of their toys, plus video games and board games.
“Oh?” Calex sounded interested. That was a good sign. At Halloween he had been a nervous wreck. Every new adult he met he acted as if they might try to eat him or something. But nothing had happened and he ended the night with a bag full of treats. It looked like that positive experience had done some good in getting him to let his guard down a little. “So, do I need to grab a bag? Do I wear a costume again?”
“Nah, for Xmas the presents get brought to you.” Deven explained. “You don’t have to do anything but be asleep.”
“They are? But I’ve never gotten any presents before.” Calex muttered and sounded dejected.
“Well, Santa usually only comes when you’re asleep. And he leaves the presents under the Xmas Tree.” Zeelo explained. “Since, you’re always awake in the forest, and probably haven’t made an Xmas tree that’s likely why.”
“Who or what is a Santa?” Calex asked.
“Ok, I can see we’re going to have to start with the very basics.” Deven stepped forward. “I can explain this. Alright. So, Santa Caws, like you is a magical creature. He’s a Delibird at the North Pole. And every year on Xmas he rides in a sleigh pulled by flying sawsbucks and delivered presents to all the kids who have been good all year in one night.”
“Ok, that makes sense.” Calex was a being of magic as Deven had said. He had no reason to doubt other beings existed, or that a sawbuck could fly. “But… How does he know who has been good?” Calex asked. Then suddenly he lit up. “Oh I know! Your parents must turn in some kind of report to him, right?”
“Not… exactly.” Arzure muttered.
“Santa Caws doesn’t need to talk to your parents.” Deven explained. “He’s magic. He already knows what you’re doing. He sees what every kid does and keeps a list of naughty and nice.”
“He… can see every kid?” The fire around Calex abruptly disappeared as the part of his mind that was concentrating on it lost focus. “Is… Is he one of the big pokemon?” Big pokemon was Calex speak for ‘adult.’
“Well yeah.” Deven explained. “I mean, he’s super old. Probably been around longer than you. I mean Xmas has been going on forever.”
“Wait… Deven don’t-“ Arzure tried to interrupt the noibat but it was too late.
“A big pokemon is spying on me?” Calex flew around the clearing as he searched through random tree branches. His eyes glowed a bright green as he used his powers to check on other locations of the forest. “How is this possible? I should know if anyone had entered the forest. Can he see from outside? But… Surely I’d feel it if someone was scrying on me.” He flew down to the ground. “Maybe… He’s not in the forest… Flying sawbuck or not he couldn’t go above the forest without me seeing it. The only possible way he could remain undetected… Is if he went under the forest.”
“Um Calex, it’s not like that.” Arzure tried to interrupt. But Calex had already gone into a paranoid manic state.
“Where are you!?” Calex demanded as he pressed a hand to the forest floor and his eyes continued to grow in. “I don’t know if you’re here yourself, or you sent spies, but I will find you. This is my forest and you can not invade and-“ Calex paused. “This is my forest? Why did I say that? I just live in it… It’s not like I own it.” This momentary distraction and moment of confusion gave the others a chance to jump in.
“Calm down a second no one is spying on you.” Arzure would deal with Calex’s strange realization later. Right now, he was taking advantage of the break in the mania. “He just knows if you’ve been naughty or nice. He’s not actually watching you.”
“How does he do that?” Calex asked through narrow eyes.
“Xmas magic!” Zeelo suggested. “You know it just helps him make the list. That way without having to see anyone.”
“I see…” Calex stood up from the ground and his eyes stopped glowing. “That makes sense. I know I would have sensed it if I was being spied on and…” He shivered. “And it’s really cold.”
“Come here.” Arzure wrapped an arm around Calex and embraced the younger espeon into a warm hug.
“O-oh!” Calex had learned what a hug was since meeting the three. But this one was so warm. While clinging to Arzure he didn’t feel the coldness of winter anymore. And so he continued to just cling to the raboot’s chest, refusing to budge from the spot.
“Well at least he’s calmed down.” Arzure patted him on the head. “He’s also surprisingly light.”
“So…” Calex started to ask. “This Xmas is just another celebration for children. Just to give them toys?”
“Well, no…” Arzure replied. “Santa Caws delivers toys on Xmas but that’s not the reason for the holiday.”
“Then what is?” Calex asked.
“Um well…” Arzure tried to think.
“It’s about good will and peace and kindness and all that junk.” Deven interjected.
“That’s all?” Calex tilted his head.
“Xmas is a celebration linked to the Winter Solstice.” Zeelo started an actual explanation. “It’s called Xmas because it’s specifically a celebration dedicated to the legendary pokemon Xerneas.”
“Xerneas… That name sounds familiar.” Calex muttered.
“I don’t doubt it.” Deven imagined the King of Faeries had to have some connection to the Faerie of the Forest.
“Anyway, it was a big celebration and people would have huge celebrations for the coming spring.” Zeelo continued. “They often left offerings to Xerneas, though that became less common overtime. But… It’s said Xerneas had a mortal friend. A kind delibird named Nick. Nick used to make wooden toys for all the kids in his village and give them out throughout the year. Xerneas, touched by his kindness took a liking to him and granted him immortality. That was how he became Santa Caws. He built a workshop at the north pole where he continues to make gifts and now delivers them on the same night his friend is being celebrated.”
“I see…” Calex looked thoughtful. “I don’t know why… But for some reason… This Xerneas pokemon… Hearing his name is calming. I don’t know who he is… But if he’s friends with this Santa Caws then I imagine he must be a pretty alright person.”
“Alright, so glad you’ve calmed down.” Arzure patted Calex on the head. “Any chance of you letting go of my chest anytime soon.”
“I won’t stay here much longer. Just till winter is over.” Calex replied. “I really don’t like the cold.”
“So… Guys… We have a problem. Calex has never gotten an Xmas gift.” Zeelo was the one to get things back on track this time. “Despite how long he’s been a kid Santa Caws hasn’t come once.”
“It makes sense. No Xmas tree and he’s always awake.” Deven grinned. “So, I guess we’ll just have to help him make an Xmas tree.”
“Does that require some kind of special seed?” Calex asked.
“No, nothing like that.” Deven explained. “Any tree will do, preferably a pine tree though. You just decorate it with ornaments and lights, and then put like a star on top or something.” He paused. “But… You don’t have anything to provide electricity to power lights out here.”
“I’m sure ornaments will be enough.” Zeelo suggested. “Just gotta find a good tree. Calex, can you think of a strong healthy pine tree in the forest with plenty of room to leave gifts underneath.”
“Sure.” As Calex spoke suddenly the entire area shifted and a there was now a large pine tree in the clearing.
“GAH!?” Deven jumped back. “A simple yes would have worked! You didn’t have to bring it here right this second. That thing could have hit me.”
“It wouldn’t have.” Calex said firmly.
“So, I guess now we just need to find some ornaments.” Zeelo looked thoughtful. “Wonder how much trouble we’d get into borrowing them from our own trees.”
“If we only took a few each, I don’t think we’d get in trouble.” Arzure replied. “And we can tell the truth, that Calex has never celebrated Xmas so we’re just letting him borrow some ornaments to put on his tree. If we only take a few from each of our trees at home I’m sure no one’s parents will object.
“And these ornaments just go on the tree, and Sant Caws will come?” Calex asked.
“That’s part of it… But you’ll have to be asleep too.” Deven warned. “And not in your little magic world place. You have to be asleep when he visits your home. So, you’ll need to nap for a bit.”
“But… What if the forest needs me?” Calex asked.
“Nothing is going to happen if you’re asleep for a few hours.” Arzure explained. “And even if something did, wouldn’t it wake you up?”
“I suppose…” Calex replied.
“Right, so let’s go get these ornaments and decorate this tree!” Zeelo shouted.
“Right!” Deven responded.
“Yeah!” Calex nodded.
“Great.” Arzure replied. “But… Calex I kind of need you to stop clinging to me if I’m going to run home for these.”
“Just a little longer?” Calex pleaded.
“Ok… Fine.” Arzure couldn’t resist the little espeon. “And I’ll make a new fire for you before I leave.”
It was an hour before Calex was willing to release his grip on Arzure, it didn’t leave the three much time to get home and back with the decorations. But they were rushing to get it done.
“So… What happens if this doesn’t work?” Zeelo asked. “We make the tree, he goes to sleep, and Santa Caws still doesn’t leave him any presents? We don’t know if the same rules apply to faerie kids as they do to us.”
“I imagine he’d be pretty disappointed.” Deven squirmed a little. “We did build this up a lot.”
“Yeah, if someone told me all about Xmas then I woke up to find nothing I’d be pretty upset.” Arzure mused. “And… Calex isn’t exactly the most emotionally stable.”
“We might have just set something up that could be devastating to him, haven’t we?” Zeelo asked with concern.
“Then we’ll just have to make sure it’s not.” Arzure spoke firmly. “Santa isn’t the only one who gives gifts on Xmas. If each of us bring him a gift, then even if Santa doesn’t pay him a visit he’ll still get presents. That way he won’t be too disappointed.”
“Not a lot of time left to shop before Xmas.” Deven muttered. “And what do you get a magical kid who has a room that can produce almost anything he wants.”
“Something he would want but doesn’t know exists yet?” Zeelo suggested.
“Or something that would be useful to him.” Arzure mused. “I think I have a few ideas.”
The three spoke, planning out what gifts they would bring as they fetched the ornaments. They cut the conversation short on the way back before crossing the bridge. Even if Calex wasn’t nearby there was no guarantee he couldn’t hear what they were saying if they were in or close to the forest. They were each determined to keep the secret. And instead, they just focused on helping build the Xmas tree.
There were some difficulties. The ornaments were very shiny. Which meant Calex wanted to bat at them. He had to be reminded several times they had to stay on the tree for it to count as an Xmas Tree. After awhile, the espeon finally stopped trying to bat or steal the ornaments and began to follow the process correctly. He became very meticulous about where he placed the ornaments though, floating around the tree making sure that there was a roughly equal amount of ornaments spread out among the branches.
“It’s important to be exact when dealing with magic like this.” Calex explained.
“In this case that’s not really-“ Deven started.
“Just let him have his fun.” Zeelo interrupted Deven. “It’s easier than trying to explain it to him.”
Another hour passed, and the tree was fully decorated. By now the sun had set. And Arzure, Zeelo and Deven needed to hurry home. They were already going to get in trouble for being out past dark. Every extra minute would just make whatever punishment or grounding worse. It was best to hurry as fast as possible. But, before leaving they each promised to make time to come by on Xmas Day and see how Calex was doing.
A few days passed, and it was Xmas Eve. Calex was awake, sitting in a tree with a fire floating in the air next to him. He looked up at the stars above the forest canopy wondering if he would see this Santa Caws approach. He knew he was supposed to sleep. But he found he couldn’t. Even if this Santa Caws was a good person… A big pokemon being allowed in the forest made him uneasy. He believed his friends, but some wounds are ingrained too deeply to simply go away with one explanation.
Eventually though, exhaustion overtook him. Regardless of how much magic he had, or how anxious he was. At the end of the day Calex was still only six and a half years old physically. His body could only handle so much, and he eventually fell asleep in the tree branch. The flames went out, but as he slept several tree branches mover to cover the espeon with a blanket of leaves to help keep him warm while he slept.
And by the time he awoke, it was Xmas day.
Getting away from their families during Xmas celebrations wasn’t the easiest thing. But, Arzure, Deven and Zeelo were able to escape for a little bit to visit friends so long as they promised to be back in time for dinner. Each of them grabbed a present they had hidden in their house and once more headed to ross the river and see the Faerie of the Forest.
Just like last time, as they approached the forest the vegetation moved aside to give them a trail. It led them right to the Xmas Tree they had helped Calex build. And there was Calex asleep on top of a colorfully wrapped gift.
“Well what do you know…” Deven smiled. “It worked.”
“Surprised he’s still asleep.” Zeelo looked at the orange espeon. Curled up like he was it was hard to believe the little guy had caused so much mischief in the past.
“Well let’s wake him…” Arzure sat present down he had brought and shook Calex.
“What!?” Calex snapped awake. “Wait was I asleep? But… I woke up and it was morning. Went to check under the tree. I came down here to wait for you then…” The simple truth was he hadn’t gotten a full night’s sleep. While he had slept a little, his anxiety had kept him up for a good chunk of the night. And so, while waiting for his friends to arrive he had fallen asleep again without even noticing.
“Relax just us-“ Arzure started to say before he suddenly had the orange espeon clinging to him for warmth again. “Happy to see you too buddy.”
“So, Santa finally came. The plan worked.” Deven grinned. “Ready to open presents?”
“About that…” Calex replied. “These are actually for all of you. I don’t think Santa Caws was able to make it here.” Despite the bad news he was giving, he remained cheerful.
“What? Why?” Deven exclaimed. “We did everything right!”
“Well… If he’s as kind as you say he was I doubt he would have skipped me every year just cause I didn’t have a proper tree and was awake to watch the forest.” Calex mused. “I don’t think he can enter the forest. I don’t know why… But that name Xerneas keeps bringing up strange feelings. But… I feel like… It’s hard to explain.” He put a paw to his chin. “Best I can say is that I think it would be really hard for someone who was given magic by this Xerneas to actually enter the forest without me letting them. And if I have to be asleep I can’t willingly let a new person in. I… Don’t know why honestly. It’s just this feeling I got.”
“Do… You think Xerneas or Santa Caws have some kind of connection to the forest?” Arzure asked.
“Yes.” Calex replied. “No.” He frowned. “It’s hard to say. There’s something but I’m not sure what.”
“I see.” Arzure stroked Calex’s head fur. “I’m sorry, I know you must have been really excited.”
“It’s fine.” Calex grinned. “I know you all were trying to do something nice for me. That’s why I made these.” His voice dropped and became a little more timid. “I snuck out of the forest to see what kind of presents people got for Xmas. But all I saw were things in colorful boxes. I’m not sure if I did it right… But I was able to at least create the colorful boxes to put the gifts in inside my room.”
“So, we get gifts from Calex?” Deven grinned. “Oh, I can’t wait to see what those are.”
“Hang on.” Arzure held up a hand. “Since he’s younger shouldn’t he get to open up his gifts first.
“I don’t mind waiting.” Calex beamed. “I made these myself. Worked really hard on them. Want to know what you think.”
“Don’t have to tell me twice.” Deven rushed to the tree and picked out the package marked for him.
“If he wants us to go first, I don’t see the harm.” Zeelo paused. “Unless it turns me into an egg again. That’s not going to happen right?”
“I don’t think so.” Calex shrugged.
“How can you not think so? Shouldn’t you know if you made it?” Zeelo asked nervously but still grabbed the box for him.
“I’m sure Calex wouldn’t make anything harmful to us.” Arzure walked somewhat awkwardly towards the tree due to the espeon hanging off of his chest to grab the box marked to him.
The three opened their gifts from the faerie. Inside of each box was the same thing. It was a necklace, the strap made of some kind of soft material, and on the end of it a pendant. Each pendant was the same, other than being a different color. Arzure’s was dark blue, Deven’s green, and Zeelo’s a light blue. The pendants themselves appeared to be made out of stone, but there were three small round red stones embedded in each one.
“Um you made this?” Deven looked at it. “How?”
“Well, the strap was easy, that was just spider silk. Super easy to spin with psychic into something thick enough to act as a strap.” Calex explained. “The pendants themselves are made from quartz. That was a little harder. Had to find a good spot in the ground in the forest to pull it up from and then shape it. Not sure if you’ve ever used your mind to carve and polish stone before but it’s hard.”
“I can not say I have had that experience.” Arzure replied.
“So… How’d you get the gems then?” Zeelo asked. “I can see finding quartz, it’s not that uncommon. But I doubt you have like a gem mine or anything around here… Unless. Did you venture out to the Crystal Caves?”
“No, but that’s a good idea.” Calex mused. “The crystals would make for excellent bases. But no, the gems I made myself. Don’t you recognize them?”
“Not really, should we?” Zeelo asked.
“Well…” Calex released Arzure so he could face them and tapped his at his forehead where his own gem shined. “It’s my gem. Or at least small copies of them. I mean they’re real, but it’s complicated.”
“They’re very nice, and we appreciate them.” Arzure replied. “We’ll try to wear them wherever we go.”
“Oh, that’s cool.” Calex bounced up in down in the air a little. “Didn’t expect you to carry them around all the time. Only when you needed them. But that makes me really happy you’d want to.”
“What do you mean when we need them?” Zeelo asked.
“I can’t follow you everywhere, and I can’t leave the forest unattended for long.” Calex explained. “I was thinking, what happens if you need a bit of magic to help you out of a jam, or just want to liven up a game I can’t make it to.”
“Wait, these are magic?” Deven asked flabbergasted.
“Yup!” Calex nodded. “I put a little bit of my magic into each of those. Each pendant has enough power to cast three spells. Once a spell is cast, a red gem will turn to a darker shade, indicating its power is spent. One all three spells are used up, it’s just a normal necklace.”
“So, we can use magic, on our own?” Deven gave a manic grin. “Oh man what I wouldn’t have done to have this a few months ago.”
“How do we use them?” Zeelo asked.
“Hold the pendant with your hand squeezed completely around it.” Calex explained. “Then just focus really hard on the spell you want. Pretty much anything you’ve seen me do it should be able to do. Probably. Calex gave a sheepish smile. “I’ve never made a magical item before so I’m not 100% sure how powerful they actually are. But I figure they could help you at some point.”
“This… This is an amazing gift.” Arzure stared at the pendant. Rather than just an object, Calex had literally given them each a bit of himself offering limitless possibilities. “You should open your gifts now.”
“Mine first!” Deven pushed his gift into the espeon’s hands.
“Let’s see…” Calex opened the gift up. His eyes went wide as he saw the contents. It was a giant bag of assorted chocolates. “More of the sweets! I thought you could only get those on Halloween.”
“These are Xmas sweets.” Deven was glad to see his gift had made an impact. “Just don’t try to eat the wrapper this time. And probably shouldn’t eat them all at once unless you want to get sick.”
“Yes, Arzure said something like that around Halloween.” Calex nodded. Then he picked up the gift from Zeelo and opened that one up. “Ohhhh!” He pulled out a small handheld gaming system and a few cartridges for it. While his magic room could produce a lot of things, most electronics seemed beyond its capabilities to fabricate so he had only played video games when visiting the others.
“It’s a hand me down.” Zeelo smiled shyly. “If I had enough allowance to get you a new one I would. So, it’s a few generations behind. But I figured you’d like to own your games so you don’t have to always leave the forest. It runs on batteries. I’ll try to remember to bring you a refill each time I visit.”
“Thank you!” Calex flew in a circle around Zeelo before hugging him. Perhaps the handheld console was two generations behind for everyone else, but to Calex it was the first he ever had.
“Guess that just leaves me.” Arzure felt a little embarrassed. After Calex’s reaction to the other two gifts. He felt like his gift was a little lame by comparison. But, he offered it forward and the espeon wasted no time in opening it up.
Inside of the box was a very fluffy and very heavy blanket with several patterns of various legendary pokemon sewn into it.
“I know you don’t like clothes, but you still need to stay warm. So, I got the biggest blanket I could find to help keep you warm through the winter.
“Thank you!” Calex flew into the air to unroll the blanket and immediately disappeared beneath it. “Ahhhh this is so much better.” He could be seen as a small lump beneath the blanket. However, as he enjoyed the soft warmth he missed something occur that the other three saw and had not expected.
A fourth gift had been wrapped up in the blanket. It was a small one. Someone had hidden it inside the blanket and Calex had revealed it when he went under it.
“You got him two presents?” Deven asked.
“No.” Arzure was confused. “Only the one. I have no idea what this is.”
“There’s another present?” Calex stuck his head out from under the blanket and his eyes widened at the small colorful box. The box blew threw the air and into his paws. There was a tag with a lengthy note attached to it.
‘Sorry I’ve never been able to make a delivery to you myself. But I’m sure your friend won’t mind me having slipped a little something extra in for you. It seems I’ve finally found a way to deliver your presents into that forest. From, Santa Caws.’
“WHAT!?” Arzure replied. “But… How? There was nothing wrapped up in the blanket when I packed it into the box! How is there a present?”
“You said Santa Caws was magic.” Calex shrugged. “So, I can only imagine it was magic.”
“He’s got you there.” Deven replied. “So… Santa came through after all. But… what’d he get you! Come on! Open it up!”
“OK! OK! OK!” Calex replied excitedly. The wrapping paper ripped itself off the box, and the box opened on its own. Calex peaked inside the box and then began to tear up.
“Something wrong?” Zeelo asked. He suddenly wondered if maybe Calex had gotten a lump of coal for previous mischief.
“No just…” Calex puled the present out of the box. It was a necklace, much like the gift he had given his friends. But this one had a silver chain and a locket on the end. Inside the locket was what had Calex in tears. It was a picture of all four of them together.
“I remember that day but… Who took a photo?” Arzure asked in confusion. “No one else was there, and we didn’t have a camera. And… Calex I’m sorry all you got was a picture-“
“All I got? I couldn’t ask for a more precious treasure!” Calex slipped the necklace on immediately. “The truth is… Ever since you three started coming to the forest… I get really lonely when you’re not here. I’ve been alone for a long time… And I was fine with that… But I don’t want to be alone anymore… Now… Anytime I start to think about that… I have this to remind me I’m not alone anymore.” Suddenly, all three of the older kids felt themselves pulled towards Calex psychically as he grabbed them in one big hug.
“Huh… Santa knew exactly what he needed.” Arzure replied.
“That’s Santa for you.” Deven grinned. “But Calex… you’re squeezing us too hard.”
“Yeah… Can’t breathe.” Zeelo muttered.
“Sorry…” Calex released his psychic grip.
“We have to head back now.” Arzure explained. “They told their parents we wouldn’t be out long. They want us to spend Xmas with our family.”
“But we’ll be back to see you tomorrow.” Deven promised.
“And we can bring the gifts we got so we can play some new games.” Zeelo added.
“Thanks.” Calex replied, though he seemed hesitant. “I hope you have fun.”
The three started to leave, then Arzure stopped and looked back at Calex.
“Calex…” The raboot asked. “Would you like to come over for Xmas dinner?”
“Is that allowed? Is that okay?” Calex’s ears perked up.
“I don’t think Ms. Foster will mind. She takes care of a lot of kids. But… You think the forest is going to be okay without you for one evening?” Arzure asked.
“Well…” Calex glanced around. He looked nervous as he thought about it. Then he floated closer to Arzure and grabbed his arm. “I think it’ll be fine. It’s not far.”
“Alright, let’s get going.” Arzure patted Calex on the head.
“Hey, come on what’s keeping you!” Deven shouted. “If I miss out on the best choice of meat cause we’re late I’m going to be so miffed at you!”
“We’re coming!” Arzure called.
“We’re?” Zeelo asked then his eyes widened as he saw Calex on Arzure’s arm as they were leaving the forest. He wanted to comment but didn’t trust himself not to say something that would ruin the moment.
“Um guys…” Calex spoke up instead. “Thank you… For being my friend.” With that, all four of them set off, heading back for the town where an Xmas feast awaited them each.