Disclaimed.


"Hey, Cilan… Is there an afterlife?"

The Sommelier halted in his stirring—he was cooking dinner for their group as per usual—and glanced backwards towards the young girl sitting on a large rock some yards away. Her gaze was fixed on the night sky above and her eyes had a glazed look, shrouded in deep mysteries that he had always wanted to solve. Far off in the woods, the sounds of a Pokemon battle could be heard, hinting towards the whereabouts of their cap-wearing friend and all their Pokemon—leaving them to be the only two people behind at the campsite.

He turned down the heat of the stove and placed his wooden stirring spoon on the side. Whilst untying the knot on his apron, he turned to her fully, still studying her appearance under the light of the full moon. "Why do you ask?" he questioned. He noted how her hands played with the tuft of hair at the end of her large purple mane—it was a quirk, he noticed, that she had whenever there was something troubling or complicated on her mind. Her large hazel orbs quickly sneaked a peek towards his direction before returning to the brightly lit stars, the glazed look reappearing once again.

"Oh, just wondering…" It would take an idiot to not realize that her question had a deeper meaning to it; one Cilan couldn't put his finger on.

He hesitated. "Well, I have always believed there was an explanation to anything there was in the universe, but that…" he trailed off, his brain racking for answers that could put his cunning friend's troubles to rest.

She sighed. "I guess it was a stupid question after all," she mumbled to herself, and prepared to hop off the rock to join Ash's training before Cilan's voice stopped her.

"Iris, wait! It's not a stupid question," he called out before she could go any further; "it's those kinds of questions that have me puzzled all the time as well." He strode closer and stopped beside her, a thoughtful expression presented while his thumb and forefinger held his chin, his emerald eyes searching the galaxies as he conjured up a following response. She stared at his face, not really expecting what he might say, but prepared for the same insignificant answer that has always been said to her to keep from staying on the topic too long: "I don't know."

She internally groaned when she remembered all those times when she asked the elders of her hometown that same question; all she got were petty responses that showed no originality or critical thinking on their part. For once she'd like to get a proper answer that didn't sound like it was thought of right on the spot, or created just to satisfy her curiosity for the time being. No, she wanted an intelligent answer, one she could successfully stomach and accept as being the best of which she could think of. Call her persistent, but she was always one to ask questions on anything she had no knowledge of.

It was what made her, her.

She was startled when a loud 'snap!' penetrated the serene and tranquil atmosphere that surrounded her and the eldest of their little traveling group, and turned to find Cilan with a satisfied smile on his face; a hand in the air, his fingers being the source of the earlier sound.

"Cilan?" she asked, curious to find out what his answer was to her query.

He closed his eyes as he spoke; "Whether there is an afterlife or not: that is based solely on what you believe. I could tell you that there is none, but I can't be sure of that." He gave her a sheepish grin, and continued on to say, "But what I am sure of, is that someone, somewhere, will always keep a memory of that person who has left the realm of the living, no matter what."

Although not the definite answer she has always sought for, this one left a surreal impact on her, one that she was sure she'd never brush off as 'insignificant'.

After the initial surprise of his answer wore of, she let the words sink in, and not long after she was positively beaming down at him from her higher level on the boulder. Cilan was momentarily stunned speechless as he's rarely been the recipient of Iris's sugary smiles; this was one sight that has burned into his memory for sure.

"Thank you!" she said jubilantly, and proceeded to jump and land on the sturdy earth in front of Cilan, dashing off towards the green foliage of the forest's trees. He stood there in a daze before remembering something that snapped him out of his stupor.

"…The food!"


A/N: I just realized how short this was... Sorry if Cilan and Iris are OOC. This is my first time writing anything involving the two, and I'm not too sure I captured their personalities correctly here. Also, sorry if Cilan's answer wasn't satisfactory enough; I honestly couldn't think of a good answer myself. Finally, sorry (again) if the ending seemed a bit rushed. I had a bit trouble thinking of how to end it, and this was the best that I could think of. *sweatdrops*

…Review?

-Pat