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[personal profile] shootaro

(This order is non-chronological)

1: A memory of festival banners, paper lanterns, a swirl of blue haori in a sea of men, and the steady thrum of drums. His laughter is light and pure as he runs through the crowd, although he's curiously alone, for being so young, and the only child there.
The running stops and he struggles a bit to push his way through the crowd, with no loss of enthusiasm or determination, finally breaking free of the crowd of adults' legs to witness something! ... but the memory ends before he can find out what it was.

It feels like it should be a warm, fond memory, but there was a strangely pervading bitter and sorrowful feeling imposed onto it, a sense of something lost...

2: A massive, bull-like monster, muscles rippling under its tough skin. His small hand, shaking and timidly reaching towards it, quickly drawn away after hardly brushing it. It made no sudden movements or sounds or anything really that warranted fear, but he couldn't help startling. He lacked the confidence, quickly giving into fear and apprehension. He felt too small and weak near anyone larger, an easy target.

A gently persuading, old man's voice, "Are you scared? Come on, give it a try."
So he tries again, hesitantly, this time with food poured into the upturned palm of his hand and is rewarded with the joy of having the monster that had frightened him mere second ago eat from his hand. It was surprisingly gentle, never once hurting him. He decided he preferred them this way: the larger and stronger, the safer he felt, having them on his side.

3: The vaguest memory of his home, port town, scent of the sea, a flock of elegant bird-like forms flying through the air. The memory is nostalgic.

4: Snapshots, cameras, the embarrassment of being told not to come too close for a picture (but whose voice is that, whose face? ... it isn't clear).

5: Standing in a stadium, listening to the crowd cheer. Bitter defeat and injured pride. Before he leaves, rather than look away and leave quickly to avoid further embarrassment, he searches the stands to look for... a boy, someone about his age, but he can't make out his features. He only looks at him, wordlessly, for a long moment, the other boy noticing him and looking back, confused. After that, he turns away and leaves in silence. There's a myriad of feelings, of a lost chance and the hopelessness brought on by the defeat, but he doesn't hold it against the boy. It wasn't him he was up against, was it? The feelings aren't strictly negative, he isn't mad at him, if he wanted someone to blame, it'd be the one who defeated him— but he doesn't know how to sort out his feelings. It was if he was looking forward to something, or maybe he was starting to realize a difference in their power and couldn't understand it. A feeling of being left behind. The boy would go on ahead, but this is as far as he'll go. It upset him, but it felt inevitable. He couldn't even feel frustrated about it, only empty.

6: Eating at the Pokemon center, every other table is shared with human friends or Pokemon partners. Only he eats alone.

7: The memory of a library, reading many, many books. They all have the same focus, the same feeling. They're more like instruction manuals. No clue what they're about, exactly, but they're certainly not fiction. Very dry textbooks, but studied very diligently, as if the world depended on his studies. Even when he leaves, it's with a heavy tome in hand, still reading. He only stops when, passing by a store's display window, something on the television catches his eye...

It captivates him, filling him with a sense of admiration, so he stops for quite some time. None of the figures on screen are clear to him, both the humans and monsters are hazy impressions more than anything (although one side of the two engaged in battle feels much more familiar, but he cannot place who they are or why), but what's clear to him is that the creatures are engaged in a very impressive battle. Blasts of fire, bodily slams, attacks colliding with an explosive boom. Every inch of him is itching with excitement, watching it.

When he resumes walking, it's with renewed determination to study that much more!

8: [headcanon] Blinking through bright lights, standing on a stage with many other children, searching a crowd of blurry, unfamiliar faces. Singing some sort of song in unison, all dressed the same, but he sings with a bitter, despairing feeling as he searches the crowd of adults one more time and finds no one familiar. Resolutely deciding, from here on out, his studies won't be for their sake.

9: "What is it that you're fighting for?" a question shouted across a stadium, a strong voice that cuts to his core like a knife, but it's hard to place. A long, serpentine shadow fighting the large, bulky creature from the first memory.

10: [headcanon-ish?] The smell of freshly-turned earth, lines of tombstones marking well-kept graves. He must not be here to visit anyone, although the memory feels surprisingly routine. He walks through the graves in a manner too casual, aimless, not as if he were searching for anyone in particular. None of the graves feel familiar and the day is bright and sunny, but when he stops before what seems the most freshly-dug grave, death hangs thickly in the air, impossible to ignore, as if it might tap on his shoulder if he tried to look away (but he feels no need to do so). Turning from the graves, he calmly watches eerie blue-violet flames growing bigger and bigger, behind something like glass.

11: The feeling of cool, smooth scales pressed against skin. Something massive coiling around him, but there's no fear of this sensation; it feels perfectly ordinary, like something that's happened a thousand times before. There is a warmth to it, despite the creature's nature.

12: (commanding the trainers to burn the Venipede in Castelia city)

13: (saving Ash's Pidove, working together)

14: ("Are you living up to this little one's feelings?" "... I think I'm starting to." Alder redirecting Trip's focus from him to his Pokemon, so Trip can pursue something attainable and learn to trust and rely on othes)

15: (Ash offering his hand for a shake and the resolution of their rivalry-friendship)

16: ("Why are you always taking pictures?" "I'm documenting my journey.")

17: Holding the camera in his hands, looking at it with a hollow, disappointed feeling. The same pervading despair from the memory of defeat, but it's a uniform feeling now, not as confused as it was by the boy's presence. It felt meaningless. If this was in order to remember, there was no need for it if he wasn't getting any stronger. He pushed it to the bottom of his bag, insisting on forgetting it existed. He won't be needing it.

18: The other boy is sitting with friends, laughing and talking, when he passes him by with a tray, alone as usual. The boy asks him if he's already eaten, asks him about his next battle, but he rebukes him coldly, telling him to worry about his own team, not other people's battles.

19: (Let's Hold Hands ending/epilogue: Running into the boy and his friends just before they leave Unova, smiling, and taking a picture of them and all their monster friends.)

20: He's walking quietly, feeling only slightly disappointed, but mostly, he's relieved and at peace, as if he'd just been relieved of a burden that's weighed on him for years. A light, springing step chases after him and a happy cry greets him. He turns to look down at some small creature, he can't really recognize, but he knows it's tied to the other boy, so he looks up to find him behind the small creature. That boy runs over and asks him something, was it about the man he admired? It was a simple, short and casual conversation, he couldn't remember the details of, but it was the first exchange with the boy where there was no enmity or cold rebuking, not even for appearance's sake. A warm, simple exchange. It wasn't as forced or pretentious, even the words they both used were simple. Without putting on airs, they were equals.

It probably wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, but to him, it felt warm and genuine; something he hadn't allowed himself in years.
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Trip 「シューティー Shootie」

October 2016

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