koyuki: (stock 」 candied clouds and lullabyes)
/人◕‿‿◕人\ ([personal profile] koyuki) wrote in [community profile] southofreality2011-01-19 11:00 pm

Soft Reset (Leaf, one-shot)

Title: Soft Reset
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2555
Genre: Drama/General
Series: Pokémon
Characters/Pairings: Leaf, implied Leaf+Green
Warnings: organic brain damage/anterograde amnesia
Summary: Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.
A/N: I've wanted to write an anterograde amnesia fic for a while, so I'm taking this chance. Repetition format was inspired by a KyuHae fic.

Soft Reset

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

She's been waiting since before she could talk, before she could walk, for this. For Leaf, the desire - the need - to become a trainer runs in her veins even thicker than blood.

"Green!" she says, laughing as she attacks him in the lab's front yard. She latches onto his arms, and Green shakes her off, but Leaf doesn't mind. "I'm getting up early tomorrow so I get first choice. But even if you somehow get there earlier, you better not choose Bulbasaur!"

She punches Green in the arm playfully. Green winces for a moment before pulling his expression into a scowl. "Gramps already promised me Eevee," he huffs and crosses his arms. "I don't need another starter." For emphasis, Green sticks his tongue out at her.

"Yeah, yeah." Leaf rolls her eyes. Then - she looks past Green's shoulder, past the Oak research laboratory, to Route 1, and an idea pops into her head. "Hey," she says and grabs Green's sleeve, leading him north. "Let's go check out Route 1 so we know what Pokémon we can catch tomorrow."

Green frowns and uses his free hand to grab her wrist, pulling them to a stop. "You know it's dangerous to go into the tall grass without a Pokémon." She stumbles after him, one foot tripping over the other as he aggressively pulls her back the other way.

"You're just chicken," she teases, trying to rile him up. But Green doesn't look back at her, and his stern expression doesn't falter. She tries to tug her wrist out of his hand. "Okay, fine, don't come. I'll go by myself. Let me go." Leaf pulls them to a stop, heels digging into the dirt as she arches her body into an angle, trying to work any sort of leverage to pry her hand out of Green's grasp.

"Green!" she whines. The twist of his grip burns against her skin, and Leaf feels like her shoulder is going to pop out of its socket. "Stop! You're hurting me."

Green's grip slips just the slightest bit and Leaf takes the chance to pull her hand away. She runs.

Leaf makes a mad dash for the tall grass, laughter ringing in the air behind her. Even without turning around, she knows Green is chasing after her. But she's always been a little quicker, and that put just enough distance between them.

Leaf feels the wind whip through her hair as she makes it into the grass. For that single moment, when she turns back to look at Green, the world is beautiful and perfect, and she's smiling so hard that her eyes are crinkling at the edges.

Then - a torrent of Pidgeys burst out of the field. They're swirling around her and pushing her back so fast that the only thing she has to grasp onto is the air.

Leaf gasps, and her eyes widen as her field of vision shifts in slow motion from Green's panicked expression to the flocks of brown feathers blocking out the midday sky.

A glint of sunlight catches in her eye as she's falling, falling backwards for what feels like forever, and the last thing Leaf remembers is blinding white light and a sharp stab of pain in the back of her neck.

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

Or so she hopes because right now, somehow, she's in a hospital. There's so much white, IVs and carts and medicines, and droves of doctors and nurses and people are fussing over her, whispering, "You're going to be alright," with almost-reassuring smiles.

The smell of hospital disinfectant burns at the bridge of her nose, and Leaf frowns at a pretty woman in a white lab coat sitting in front of her.

"How are you feeling, Leaf?" she asks.

"I'm fine. I think." Leaf pauses. "I'm sorry, but do I know you?"

The woman stops checking the papers attached to her clipboard. "...Leaf?"

Leaf blinks. She feels bad - should she know?

The woman looks concerned. "We need to run some tests," she tells Leaf.

They run their tests, blinking lights, note cards and all, and after what feels like ten minutes, they sit Leaf down and talk.

She listens to all their explanations carefully, objectively, repeats it in her mind over and over and over again until she thinks she won't forget. Afterwards, in the dark stillness of her hospital room, she lets her tears fall into her hand. Leaf thinks about devastated dreams, all the futures just beyond her fingertip's reach.

Fifteen minutes later, Leaf wonders why she's crying.

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

She sits in her bed and frowns at her bandages on her arms and around her head. She can't remember why she has them, but when you're best friends with rough and tumble boys, it's not much of a surprise.

Green walks in her door just after the Bulbasaur clock on her wall reads half past two. She tugs at her bandages ruefully, but manages a smile. "Guess I was clumsy, huh?" she says, sheepish, but Green's expression is stiff and pained. Leaf frowns. She doesn't need his pity. "Don't think it'll stop me from getting up first tomorrow," she jabs.

Green sits down beside her, hesitantly, as if the bed would somehow collapse under their combined weight. "Oh c'mon, even with bandages, I'm not that heavy." She punches him in the arm but has to hold back a wince - for once, that probably hurt her more than him.

"Leaf." Green hesitates. "I'm... I'm sorry." He has to bite it out, but Leaf can tell he's sincere.

She laughs. "It's fine," she says, but Green grabs her hand.

"I'm sorry," he says again, and when she looks him in the eyes, Leaf knows he needs to hear it. Leaf can't remember what he did (if he'd done anything at all), but if Green is willing to apologize, then how could she not forgive him?

"I forgive you," she says, her voice firm so as to leave no doubt in the back of his mind. She pats him on the cheek. "But only," she jokes, "if you let me have first pick tomorrow."

Green manages a weak smile.

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

That's why she's confused when Professor Oak pads into her living room with three Pokémon in tow while she and her mother are taking tea. He sets their PokéBalls in front of her on the coffee table.

"Go ahead and pick a Pokémon," Oak says, gesturing to the PokéBalls.

Leaf frowns. She's been waiting for this forever and she doesn't really want to wait another day, but - "Why now?" she asks.

"You've been a good girl, Leaf." Oak tries to be reassuring but falters a little. He clears his throat. "Green and Red have already picked their starters. It's only fair you get the same."

Leaf looks at him skeptically, but doesn't press further. She turns back to the Pokémon he'd brought. Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander all stare up at her with bright eyes. Leaf blinks once, but doesn't hesitate.

She makes eye-contact and offers her hand out to Bulbasaur.

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

Somehow, she's already gotten her starter and everything. Leaf doesn't know how Bulbasaur came into her life, but it's faithful and protective, and follows her out wherever she goes.

All she needs to do now is leave - but that will wait until tomorrow. She can still prepare for it, though, in the mean time.

"Let's go kick some butt, Bulbasaur!" Leaf says, holding Bulbasaur close against her chest as they near the tall grass.

It only takes Leaf three steps in for a Pidgey to assault them. The Pidgey pecks at Leaf's hat, and Leaf shrieks, blinded with residual white terror. Bulbasaur jumps out of her arms, beating the wild Pidgey off with its vines. The Pidgey hoots once before fluttering away.

"Saur?" Bulbasaur tries to comfort Leaf.

Leaf smiles weakly. "I'm okay." She pats it on the head. "Let's go play with Green and Red instead."

The two wander over to Green's house, and Leaf tries to push in through the door, but to her surprise, it's locked. She sighs and settles for knocking instead.

It's Green's sister Daisy who finally answers.

"Oh, Leaf, what are you doing here?"

"Is Green around?" Leaf asks.

Daisy pauses, nervously searching for what to say. "Green and Red went out already today. You know how boys are," she finally explains. Leaf's heart sinks, and Daisy tries to wave it off. "I'm sure they'll be back before you know it," Daisy says, but her words go to deaf ears.

Leaf's not sure what abandonment feels like, but she suspects it's this.

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

She goes through her closet, picking through her skirts and blouses, trying them all on to see which ones she should take on her journey.

Leaf frowns when she slips on her favorite blue skirt, tugging at its edges to pull it down. For some reason, it feels smaller. Leaf hums to herself as she hangs it back on the clothes rack. Maybe it shrunk in the washer.

She pulls on her white hat and turns to the mirror. She blinks.

Leaf's not sure she recognizes herself. She plays with the ends of her long brown hair, now halfway down her back. How did it get this long so fast? - she'd only cut it a few weeks ago to just past her shoulders.

She examines the figure in the mirror even more closely. The same, and not the same. Her, but at the same time, a stranger.

Leaf lifts a hand, running the pads of her fingers over cheekbones. Sharper blue eyes than she remembers stare back at her.


Leaf snaps around towards the source of the sound. A Bulbasaur looks up at her, head cocked just slightly.

When did her family get a Bulbasaur? Leaf's wanted one for so long that it seems unlikely that she'd forget. Maybe it's a present, for her leaving tomorrow.

Leaf laughs. "I was so surprised I got caught in wondering who that pretty girl in the mirror was," she explains as if she needs to justify herself.

"Saur," Bulbasaur replies fondly, nudging against her right leg. Reflexively, Leaf crouches down, and the Bulbasaur hops up into her arm, curling against her shoulder.

Leaf wraps an arm around it, hugging back. She's not sure who this Bulbasaur is, but for some reason, it feels like an old friend.

Leaf is leaving Pallet Town tomorrow.

No - Leaf thinks. Her bags are all packed, and there's a Bulbasaur who's been hovering by her side for a while now. She changes her mind. She's leaving today.

She slings her backpack over her shoulder and strolls out of her house to the tall grass, Bulbasaur faithfully trailing behind her.

Leaf stops. A wind brushes over the top of the grass, and the blades sway and roll in an unknown rhythm.

"Saur?" Bulbasaur asks.

"Just travel jitters," she says, turning to it and smiling. She steps into the grass, but makes sure to keep to the side.

Leaf is almost out of the first patch when a Rattata jumps out and attacks her.

"Bulba!" Bulbasaur jumps in front of her and whips the Rattata away with its vines.

"Thanks, Bulbasaur," she says, and Bulbasaur nods at her once.

They're not so lucky the next time when a Pidgey hurls itself at them. Bulbasaur manages to tackle it away, but not without a few bruises of its own.

"Maybe we should go back," Leaf says, rubbing its bruises soothingly, but Bulbasaur breaks out of her arms for the next patch of grass.

By the time they make it to Viridian City, Bulbasaur is covered in bruises, and Leaf is shaking and almost in tears.

"H-help us," she says to the first townsperson they meet, and he leads her to the Pokémon Center.

Leaf hands Bulbasaur over to the nurse and sits in the corner shaking as she waits. She takes a deep breath and picks up a magazine in the waiting room to distract herself.

"Your Bulbasaur will be okay," a nurse tells her, laying a gentle hand on her shoulder, and Leaf looks up.

There's an awkward pause. "...I don't have a Bulbasaur," Leaf says. "Not yet anyway."

The nurse looks at her, confused.

"I'm becoming a trainer tomorrow, and I don't have a Bulbasaur yet - but I will, tomorrow." Leaf blinks and takes in her surroundings. "Where am I, anyway?"

"Viridian City," the nurse says. "Wait here."

The nurse walks off, calling over another nurse, and the two whisper back and forth, unsure of how to treat her. Leaf tries her best to ignore them, focusing on the magazine.

"I'll go call the gym leader," she overhears one nurse tell the other eventually.

What seems like a few moments later, Green bursts through the doors, Red trailing in after him.

"Leaf! What are you doing here?" Green asks, voice bordering on panic. He grabs her shoulders firmly.

Leaf blinks. "I - I'm not sure," she settles on. Leaf makes eye contact with Red, who's hovering quietly behind Green, trying to hide his worry. "I mean, I was just - I was doing something."

She looks up at Green and Red. "And what are you doing here?" Anxiety twists at the pit of Leaf's stomach. "Where are we?"

Leaf wakes up with the sunlight drifting in through her window.

"Leaf!" her mother yells from downstairs. "Are you up yet? You have visitors!"

"Coming!" Leaf runs down the stairs after tugging on some clothes, pausing halfway down the staircase to see who her visitors were.

Green and Red both look up at her from her living room sofa. In the corner, Green's Eevee and Red's Pikachu are playing with a Bulbasaur.

"Green! Red!" Leaf smiles so hard it almost hurts her cheeks, and she hurries down the rest of the stairs, skipping the last two on her way down.

Leaf pulls both of them into a hug.

"When did you two get so tall?" She laughs. "I swear I was at least an inch taller than both of you twenty-four hours ago."

Green smiles weakly, and Red merely nods at her.

"We were worried about you yesterday," Red says, his serious tone almost breaking the light atmosphere.

Leaf frowns. "What happened yesterday?" She tries thinking back as far as she can. Leaf remembers feathers and white light and falling, and the residual of the memory gives her shivers.

"Never mind that," Green says, nudging Red in the arm. "Don't worry about it. Today, we're doing whatever you want."

"Whatever I want?" Leaf teases.

To her surprise, both Green and Red nod.

"If you're sure," she says skeptically, before breaking out into a scheming smile. Her head is already filled with devious ideas.

Green sighs and Red rolls his eyes.

"C'mon," she says, pulling the two out the door. Today would be a good day. She's going to spend it with her best friends in the whole world, doing whatever she wants. But tomorrow, Leaf imagines, will somehow manage to be even better.

After all, tomorrow, Leaf is leaving Pallet Town.

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