Okay, so this is an idea I came up with recently. I normally am not really interested in writing Pokemon fanfiction, but when I thought of this, I couldn't resist. It's a one-shot, but it's a fic nonetheless. It's a story about Cilan, my favorite character in the anime. <3
As for the plot, well, have you ever wondered exactly what had happened with Cilan and that Purrloin that had done something terrible to him once? I have, and I decided that that's what this fic will be about. It's rated T because of the nature of Cilan's accident. Cilan is telling the story himself as well. I don't have much experience with writing in first person, but I've done my best, and I hope the story is enjoyable. :3
Hey there. I bet you’re wondering who I am and why I’m taking a walk by myself in the middle of the night. But first, I’d like to ask you something. Have you ever been confronted by one of your greatest fears and in front of your friends or family? Or, perhaps, felt like this fear could hold you or your loved ones back? Well, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cilan, and I’m a Pokemon connoisseur, a person who evaluates the relationship between Pokemon trainers and their Pokemon. I am also a gym leader of Striaton City in the Unova region and the eldest of three brothers. However, I have left the gym, which is also a hybrid restaurant, temporarily, and my brothers, Chili, who is the youngest, and Cress, the middle child, are running it. You see, for awhile now, I’ve been traveling around Unova with my newest friends, Ash, a boy from Pallet Town in the Kanto region, and Iris, a girl from the Village of Dragons in Unova.
I chose to leave because Ash introduced me to a way of battling with the creatures called Pokemon that I simply needed to continue exploring. He showed me that battling isn’t just about the right moves, the right strategies, or type matchups. It’s also about having faith and supporting your Pokemon, no matter what challenge you face. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely care about my beloved partner, Pansage. It’s just that when Ash defeated me in our gym battle with his Oshawott, a water type Pokemon that normally has a disadvantage against the grass type Pansage, I was astonished. It was a battle of a new flavor that I could never guess existed. I knew learning more about it would help me to continue to grow not just as a connoisseur, but as a trainer and gym leader as well. As the oldest out of my siblings, I need set good examples for my brothers, even if there isn’t actually much of an age gap between the three of us. Admittedly, Cress is actually the best strategist out of us when it comes to Pokemon battles, and Chili is always more fired up than anyone else I know (figures, since he likes fire type Pokemon). You’re probably thinking, haven’t I succeeded in being a good older brother to them then? Well, so far, yes. But ever since…ever since that one day, I’ve begun to doubt that I can keep that up for much longer.
It was the day that I was confronted by my greatest fear, and for the first time since, well, I first developed that fear in the first place. Everyone has fears, of course, and I bet a lot of people wish to get over them. Me? I fear Purrloin, the Devious Pokemon. Now, I bet you think this sounds silly. Why would anyone be afraid of a small, purple cat-like Pokemon? Well, trust me, I have my reasons. And for the longest time, I have refused to talk about it. I wanted to forget the experience and never ever have to relive it again. I never wanted to lay eyes on another Purrloin for as long as I lived. Not at the gym, not in Striaton City, not anywhere. And luckily, none of the trainers I ever faced at the gym used one against me. I’m not sure why this is, exactly. Perhaps Cress or Chili warned challengers not to use one beforehand without me knowing. Or maybe none of them really had a Purrloin at all. Who knows?
All I know is, I thought I could forget the entire experience completely because of this. Unfortunately, it came back to haunt me a few weeks ago when Ash, Iris, and I ran into a Purrloin on the road. I knew these were tricky and mischievous Pokemon and that it was not to be trusted, but none of my companions listened to me. As a result, they were all fooled by it and we ended up nearly being swallowed by a pit of quicksand. The same Purrloin that had gotten us into this mess had helped rescue us, but it didn’t change my opinion of them. My fear still held me in its grip, like a Haxorus grasps its prey, and it wouldn’t let me go. I felt trapped by it, controlled by it, even. And I was never sure if I could free myself. In fact, I’m still unsure to this day.
Now, I have been thinking a lot lately about that experience. I’m still afraid, but neither Ash nor Iris knows that. They had asked me why I was afraid of Purrloin, but as always, I refused to tell them about it. Now that I look back on that experience, however, I’ve begun to think that maybe I should have told them after all. It could have led them to help me cope with this irrational fear. Then again, knowing them, it could also end up making it worse. Not that I don’t think they would do their best, it’s a matter of them knowing exactly what they’re doing in the first place. It’s not like they’re counselors or anything, after all. Still, I’ve realized that if something isn’t done, it may become too much of a burden on not only me, but Ash, Iris, and my brothers as well. This is why I fear that could happen if I don’t get over myself. Iris is afraid of ice type Pokemon, but she managed to take a trainer’s Beartic on with her Excadrill. The battle ended in a draw, and Iris still fears ice types, but even so. She took her fear head on. It’s time I did the same with mine. I’m not ready to explain why I fear Purrloin to Ash or Iris just yet, but I do feel that talking about it nonetheless is a good start. Even if it’s only to myself.
This is what I must do. This is my conquest.
I guess now…it’s storytelling time.
It all started on a warm summer day several years ago. I was only a child and still learning about Pokemon and how to be a trainer. I wasn’t quite yet old enough to receive my first Pokemon, but my tenth birthday was coming up in a few days, and Chili and Cress were happy for me. Cress still had two years to wait while Chili had three and a half, so all they could do was support me. Our parents ran the Striaton Gym at the time, and my brothers and I had decided that we all wanted to run it together someday. Mom and Dad also had a passion for cooking, so they turned the gym into a hybrid restaurant as well. My brothers and I were fascinated by their work and we all wanted to take after them. And that day, I was running a small errand for my parents. They wanted to make one of my favorite recipes as the restaurant’s day’s special to mark the occasion for when I received my first Pokemon as well as for my birthday. However, they discovered that they’d forgotten to get milk the last time they’d gone grocery shopping, so I had to pick up a carton from the store down the road.
So I went to the grocery store after my mom gave me some money to pay for the milk. I took my small toy train with me, as it was my favorite toy as a kid and I carried it everywhere. Unlike my brothers and parents, I have multiple interests. I don’t just love food and cooking. I’m fascinated by trains, mysteries, movies, science, and a manner of other things. In fact, I’m a connoisseur for just about anything I have a passion for learning about and evaluating. Anyway, I entered the store, bought the milk, and then departed. As I had just come through the door and started on my way back home, however, I saw a small, purple and white cat-like Pokemon sitting on the sidewalk in front of me. It had green eyes, white back paws, and a notched tail. It was gazing at the ground and its ears were drooped over.
“Oh wow, a Purrloin!” I cried curiously. I then approached it slowly and knelt to its level. I couldn’t be sure whether this Purrloin was wild or owned by a trainer, but I’d been studying how to deal with any Pokemon that doesn’t know you, so I knew what I was doing.
“Are you lost? Do you have a trainer?” I inquired gently.
The Purrloin nodded.
“Purr…” it said with sad eyes. I’d heard before that Purrloin could be sneaky and trick people, but this one looked serious to me. So I offered to help it and told it to follow me. I turned around to take it back towards the gym in hopes that we would cross paths with the Purrloin’s trainer on the way. I didn’t want to take too long bringing the milk back, after all. Suddenly, however, as I just turned my back on the Devious Pokemon, it leaped at me and yanked the brown bag containing the carton of milk right out of my hand. It then dashed away in the opposite direction I had been going.
“What the—?! Hey! Come back here!” I shouted and chased after the Purrloin. I had been utterly tricked. I had to get the milk back or else my parents would be upset with me. Not to mention that if it wasn’t put in the refrigerator in time, it would get warm and spoil. So I continued to pursue the Purrloin and ran as fast as my legs would carry me. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize was that the Pokemon was leading me outside of town and towards the woods. I knew my way around Striaton City and its outskirts pretty well, but the woods were another story entirely. I had not been in them very often because hey, I was only a kid who wasn’t yet old enough to be a Pokemon trainer. Still, I knew I wouldn’t get lost if I didn’t go too far in, so when I realized where the Purrloin had led me, I still went after it.
I hadn’t gone more than several feet inside, however, when I watched the Purrloin dart around a corner. I saw that it was the only path it was able to take, as there was a cliff up ahead. Naturally, I continued running and picked up my pace. Suddenly, as I was about to turn the same corner, my feet were yanked out from under me. I saw a purple tail protruding from a bush near me and realized what had happened. The Purrloin had tricked me again and caused me to trip. I soon noticed that it wasn’t a cliff that I was heading towards, but a hill, and all I could do was tumble down it. What I hadn’t known, however, was that the slope ended in a straight up and down real cliff. Once I reached the bottom, a frightened scream left my mouth as I plunged to the ground below.
I lost consciousness after that, because I don’t remember landing. All I remember is hearing a devious giggle just before blacking out. It had to have been the Purrloin admiring its handiwork. After this, however, I began hearing familiar voices. First, I heard a woman scream in fright, as if she had just seen the dead body of a loved one. Then I could swear that I heard two boys shouting my name while weeping endlessly. But I did not wake. I’m guessing they were my mom and brothers, having found me battered and bruised after my accident. They must have thought I was dead at first, because I probably would have too, had I been in their position.
“Cilan! Are you alright? C’mon, bro!” I heard my brothers sob.
“Cilan! Wake up! Please wake up! Cilan!!” my mom’s voice pleaded.
Cress and Chili then pleaded the same thing, but I didn’t wake. At this point, I thought I had been dreaming.
I soon began to hear other voices and sounds, most of which I could not identify. I heard an engine start up and then a siren go on and off. Wheels rolled across a hard floor and footsteps rushed along with them. Doors opened and closed repeatedly. Several unfamiliar male and female voices exchanged many words. I heard my dad’s voice in addition to those belonging to my mom and brothers. My brothers’ voices soon disappeared, however, leaving my parents as the only familiar sound I heard.
“Is he going to be alright, doctor?! Please tell me he’s not dying!” my mom begged.
“Isn’t there anything you can do for my son?!” Dad’s voice inquired desperately.
“I’m sorry, but all I know right now is that he’s in a coma. I can’t be sure if he’ll ever wake,” an unfamiliar male voice replied.
After this, all was quiet, except for a strange beeping noise. It beeped over and over, sometimes slower, sometimes faster. But it didn’t stop.
And finally, I woke. I found my eyelids fluttering open and I found myself staring at a white ceiling. I soon gathered the strength to examine my surroundings, and I saw a window, green curtains, a small counter, and…my family. I saw my dad’s and Cress’s smooth blue hair, Chili’s fiery red mane, and my mom’s long blonde locks. The beeping noise continued, though now, it was going a little faster. I then realized that I was lying in a hospital bed and that an oxygen mask had been placed over my nose and mouth. My left arm was wrapped in a cast and sling and a brace was around my neck. A portion of my hair felt like it was matted down and stuck to my head. I glanced over my shoulder and noticed that the beeping was coming from a heart monitor and that each beep represented my heart beat. My parents and brothers were sitting in chairs near the foot of my bed, Cress and Chili in my dad and mom’s laps, respectively. I felt too exhausted to move much, but just when I was about to attempt to speak, Chili’s gaze moved to me and his eyes nearly popped out of his head.
“Mom! Dad! He’s awake! Cilan’s finally awake!” he cried excitedly.
“Oh! Oh my goodness!” my mom exclaimed, tears of joy running down her cheeks. My dad and Cress followed.
“Mom…” I uttered softly as she pulled me into a gentle hug. I smiled as I looked into her red eyes. Cress and Chili jumped up and down happily while my dad joined my mom.
At this point, I was suffering from partial amnesia, so I had no idea how or why I was in the hospital. My mom then explained that she, Cress, and Chili had gone out to look for me after I didn’t come home with the milk. They found me lying at the bottom of a cliff in the woods, bleeding and bruised. My arm had been bent in an awkward position while blood poured out of a gash on my head. The worst of it was the long cut on my neck. Between it and my head wound, I had lost a lot of blood. My face and arms were bruised and my clothes were dirty as well. My toy train was lying next to me and was broken into two pieces. My mom had called an ambulance, which arrived a short time later to take me to the hospital. The doctors weren’t sure I would make it, as I had taken a nasty blow to my head and was in a coma for days as a result. But they did what they could and treated my wounds anyhow. That’s when I realized that my hair felt flat because I had a bandage on my head. My mom then asked me how I had gotten in the woods in the first place, but I couldn’t quite recall at that moment. But I now knew that the voices I’d heard while in a coma had been real.
A middle-aged doctor walked into the room soon after I revealed what I knew. He was carrying a clipboard in his hand and nearly dropped it when he saw me awake in my bed. Apparently, my condition had been so bad that even he thought that I might end up brain dead. I was lucky to be alive. He and the other doctors then performed some tests to see if there had been any lasting damage to my brain. Thankfully, there was not, and the first doctor confirmed that I would make a complete recovery. I just needed to rest and let my body regain the blood I had lost. I was too exhausted to move much anyway, and gradually fell asleep. I needed to use the oxygen mask for awhile longer, as my breathing had been weak while I was in a coma.
Once I regained my memory, I told the doctor and my family about what the Purrloin had done. How it stole the milk I’d bought and how I’d chased it into the woods to get it back. My parents and brothers were simply glad to have me alive and well, but I was left scarred. Even after I was released from the hospital, I suffered from mild PSTD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, for a short while. My favorite toy was destroyed. I had missed out on my birthday and I had to wait longer to get my first Pokemon. My parents both agreed that they wanted my arm to heal first before I went back out alone again. And worst of all, I had recurring nightmares about the experience for the next few weeks. My friends and family felt bad that I had missed my special day and brought me gifts and hope, and this I greatly appreciated. But it didn’t rid me of the fear that had entered my mind. I never wanted to see, hear, or even think of Purrloin ever again.
Then, one day, my dad came home and approached me. He told me not to look so down and then produced a brand new Pokeball from his pocket. He said the Pokemon inside was for me. My mood lifted suddenly, and a genuine smile formed on my face for the first time in months. I excitedly let the Pokemon outside of its Pokeball to see what I was going to train. Out came a small green monkey with big, round ears, bright eyes, and a small bushy plant growing on its head. It was my new partner, Pansage, whom would become my closest friend and my strongest battler. I was finally happy again, and couldn’t wait to start having Pokemon battles, but it still did not make me unafraid of Purrloin. Every now and then, I still have a bad dream about the experience and find myself being reminded of it. It haunts me, and it probably will forever.
But having practically relived that fear with Ash and Iris… I now know that only I can prevent this fear from controlling me or my life. And talking about it honestly is a fine ingredient to the recipe. I feel a little more comfortable already. Someday I’ll be ready to tell this tale to Ash and Iris. I can feel it. Someday…my conquest will be complete.