In The Family Way. For Wishfulshipping Day.
Today was a big day.
April 22nd of every year, boys and girls who had come of age and turned 10-years-old before that spring morning would flock to local Pokémon Centers or research laboratories to pick out their first Pokémon and begin their journeys. It truly was a grand happening, and as a Pokémon Connoisseur, Cilan felt immensely blessed that for the past several years, Professor Juniper had invited him to take part in the event and advise the new trainers on which Pokémon would be a good match for them.
Cilan had set his alarm for 7:00 a.m., and cheerfully bounded out of bed when it sounded that morning. He was sure to shut it off quickly since he knew Iris was anything but a morning person, and would be annoyed to be woken up this early. Ah, but it couldn't be helped. He needed to begin making his preparations for today. Nevertheless, he cast her a careful glance and found that, though she had shifted slightly from the loud disturbance, she was still asleep.
He smiled, an endearing look in his green eyes. He would be sure to wake her a little later to ask if she wanted to accompany him on the two-hour drive to Nuvema Town. She enjoyed seeing new trainers receive their first Pokémon as much as he did, and she had made the trip with him ever since Professor Juniper had started asking him to come to the lab. But, for now, he would let her sleep.
Cilan was humming to himself as he went through morning rituals—brushing his teeth, combing his hair, pressing his clothes—when Iris rolled out of bed on her own accord and dragged herself past him and into their shared bathroom, shutting the door behind her. His smiled widened as he finished tying his bowtie and pinned his S-Class Connoisseur badge to his lapel. So, Iris had remembered what today entailed, and had roused herself to get ready.
His perky mood declined, however, when he suddenly heard sounds of sickness emerge from behind the closed door. He knitted his eyebrows together and turned to reach out and open the door. He was horrified to see his wife doubled over, looking like she was in very much pain.
"Iris!" he cried as he ran to her and, bending down, tightly clutched her shoulders. "Are you all right?"
"Been better," Iris replied frankly. Her dark skin hued green and she bent over the toilet, ill. Cilan graciously held back her hair, though he, himself paled upon the sight. After she finished, the connoisseur brushed her violet bangs away and pressed the back of his hand to her forehead.
"You don't seem to have a fever," he commented, dropping his arm. "Your skin feels very clammy, though."
"Must be something I ate," she mumbled as an excuse. She slumped into his arms, her head resting limp underneath the crook of his neck. His arm wound its way around her, and his delicate fingers began gently trailing down her spine in his attempt to be comforting. Iris knew she should have been appreciative of his caring gestures, but honestly, she felt like a little kid.
"I'll call Professor Juniper. I'll tell her I can't come this year-" Cilan began quietly after a breath of silence, but Iris quickly cut him off.
"-No," she interjected firmly. "This is important to you. Go, I'll be fine."
"Iris, really, I can stay," he persisted.
"Geez, you're such a pain," she moaned, pushing herself off of him. "I said go, so go. I can take care of myself."
Cilan looked unconvinced.
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," Iris assured him as she grasped his left shoulder and staggered to her feet. Cilan rose along with her.
"I will feel awful if I just leave you here to youself," he hesitated.
"And I will feel awful if you stay." She forced a smile. "Those new trainers need someone to guide them on who to pick for their Pokémon partner, don't they?"
"Well, OK..." Cilan still wasn't 100 percent sold on the idea, but he was giving in. One thing he had learned in his one year of marriage to the Dragon Master: It was almost pointless to argue with her. She was so unbearably stubborn on certain issues that it was impossible to sway her one way or the other, even with the use of (what was in his opinion) perfect logic.
Cilan helped her back into their bed and disappeared for a few minutes into the kitchen. Iris ran her fingers through her tangled mess of long hair. She felt terrible; she'd been feeling a bit under the weather every morning for the past couple of days, but today was by far the worst. Cilan eventually returned with a tray of dry toast and some sort of herbal tea.
"Here, drink this," he said, offering her the steaming mug. "It has mint in it, which is meant to calm the stomach."
"Thanks," Iris nodded, taking a tepid sip of the hot drink, which succeeded only in making her feel more queasy. She set the mug back down on the tray. "You should get going. You don't want to be late."
"Right," Cilan agreed. He sat down on the edge of the bed and, leaning down, gently kissed her temple. He would have preferred a peck on the lips, but he knew she would throw a fit and call him an idiot for risking contracting whatever she had come down with (not that he wanted to get sick). "Please, don't hesitate to call me if you feel worse. I will come home."
"I'll be all right, Cilan," Iris insisted. He seemed to pause.
"Perhaps I should call Cress or Chili and ask one of them to keep an eye on you," he mused after a moment. Iris quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Cress is in Driftveil City for the week, remember?" she reminded him. "And, do you honestly want Chili watching over me?"
"Good point," Cilan conceded. "Ah, well, call me if you need me to pick anything up for you."
He snatched up his bag and waved to her as he headed out. She weakly raised her arm to wave back, but it almost immediately dropped back down. She lolled her head off to the side and, shutting her eyes, sighed. She pushed the tray off of her, deciding that the best mode of action was to sleep it off. She really didn't think she would be able to hold anything down anyway.
Her sickness slowly faded out as her consciousness slipped away.
Cilan's eyes brightened considerably when the lab came into view after the long drive. Traffic had been minimal so he was arriving a little earlier than he expected, but he was fine with that. The extra time would give him an opportunity to catch up with Professor Juniper and call Iris to see how she was doing. He had worried about her for practically the entire trip.
He pulled into an open space in the parking lot and switched the ignition off. After gathering his things, Cilan headed through the automatic double doors to be greeted warmly by Professor Juniper.
"Cilan, it is so good to see you again," she welcomed with her usual winsome smile. "Thank you so much for coming again this year."
"The pleasure is all mine!" Cilan said, shaking her hand. The professor suddenly paused and looked around.
"Where's Iris?" she asked. Cilan frowned.
"She wasn't feeling very well this morning," he explained. "She insisted I come, though."
"That's awful. Please give her my best wishes for a full recovery," Professor Juniper said sympathetically. "I suppose it's a good thing I invited someone to lend you a helping hand this year. Perhaps you two together will be able to evaluate the trainers and Pokémon a little more quickly so you can get home to Striaton City as soon as possible."
"Invited someone else?" Cilan's head perked up curiously. Then, almost as if on cue, a very familiar face came through the entrance just as the connoisseur had several minutes earlier. Her violet eyes widened in horror upon seeing him.
"Gah!" she jumped. "Cilan! You're the S-Class Connoisseur I'm going to be working under?" It was then that Cilan noticed the B-Class Connaisseusse badge pinned to her shirt.
"Why, Burgundy!" Cilan smiled, pleasantly surprised. "It's been quite a while! How are you?"
"You two know each other?" Professor Juniper cut in, sounding a little surprised herself. "How funny! I suppose it really is a small world, isn't it?"
"Small world indeed," Burgundy muttered bitterly under her breath.
"Anyway," the professor continued, "the trainers won't be here for a while, so feel free to make yourselves at home while you wait. I have to get back to work." She waved them off, leaving the pair of connoisseurs in silence. After a moment, Burgundy cleared her throat to speak.
"So... heard you and that girl from the Village of Dragons got hitched," she said. Cilan nodded, smiling as happy memories of his wedding day floated through his mind.
"Yes," he affirmed. "We recently celebrated our first anniversary."
"Well, congratulations, I guess," Burgundy shrugged. "Where is she?"
"I had just explained that to Professor Juniper, actually," Cilan answered amicably. "She's sick."
"And you left her?" Burgundy sassed, slinging her weight to her right hip. "Some husband you are."
Those words stung, but Cilan was careful not to let it show. He folded his arms across his chest and replied, "She wanted me to be here. I wanted to stay with her, but Iris will be Iris... I do feel terrible about it, though. Now that I've thought about it, she hasn't really been up to speed for the past couple of mornings. I hope it isn't the flu..."
"Hang on, did you say 'past couple of mornings?'" she asked. "As in, she's sick in the morning but fine for the rest of the day?"
"Yes, why?" Cilan looked puzzled. "It is odd, but I suppose she's been keeping her illness from me as to not worry me. If she's been pushing herself, it's not that surprising that her body would just break down like it did today..."
"Is something wrong, Burgundy?" Cilan asked, tilting his head slightly to the left.
"Oh!" A wicked grin suddenly spread across the connaisseusse's face.
"What is it?" the former Striaton Gym Leader persisted. Burgundy broke out into laughter.
"Your life is ruined! Ha!" she chuckled, almost maniacally. "I'm no longer even mad that I have to be your assistant today!" She then jabbed her finger into his upper chest and added in a sing-song voice, "Because your life is ruined~"
Cilan's expression contorted in confusion.
"I'm not sure I understand..." His voice trailed off.
"Oh, you'll see, just you wait!" Burgundy winked. The connoisseur looked especially put-off at that. The connaisseusse's behavior had always been a little over-the-top for his taste, but this was just bizarre.
"Well, I'm going to go call her," he said, edging away from her. "I look forward to working with you later."
Burgundy only continued laughing as he set off to find a telephone.
The sickness, for the most part, had passed by the time Iris woke up again later that afternoon. The first thought that came to her head, however, was not one of comfort and relief: She knew she could no longer put it off. The Dragon Master threw the sheets off of her and headed back into the bathroom. She bent down and opened up the cabinet beneath the sink. She dug around a bit before finding what she was looking for.
A pregnancy test.
She stared blankly at the grossly pink package for a long moment before flipping it over to read the instructions. She had bought the test several days ago while Cilan was away on errands. The bouts of morning sickness had been a wake-up call to her, and she realized that she had missed her period a while ago. She had been too afraid to test herself while Cilan was in the house, so she had been waiting for the perfect opportunity for him to leave and let her check in peace. That opportunity had come today.
She pulled the test out of the box and followed the directions carefully. Several minutes later, she placed the used test on the counter and stared at it intensely, waiting for the result to come in. She breathed out loudly when she saw a small plus sign appear on the screen. A positive.
Suddenly feeling a little weak in the knees, she sank to the ground, trying to process the fact that, yes, she was pregnant. She wasn't quite sure how to feel about it. It wasn't like this wasn't ever going to happen; they had talked about it briefly a couple of times. Cilan loved children and had always wanted a few himself, so Iris was aware that when she committed herself to him for the rest of her life, she was also committing herself to mothering his children.
But, they were young and they still had many other things ahead of them. He had recently achieved the S-Class rank and was adjusting to the responsibilities that came with such a high honor, while she was continuing to make progress with her dragon-type training. Her beloved Fraxure had evolved into a Haxorous several weeks ago, and she couldn't have been prouder. Besides, she could barely handle the antics of one Cilan, how could universe expect her to deal with two?
Elsewhere in the home, the phone began ringing. Iris growled at the sound and forced herself to stand up, heading back into the bedroom. The phone was stationed on the bedside table, and she quickly snatched it up off its hook without checking the caller ID.
"Hello?" she demanded. She wasn't in the mood for talking at the moment. She was feeling anxious about her newly discovered pregnancy, and hadn't had the sufficient amount of time to reel her emotions back in.
"Iris?" The Dragon Master's irritation quickly dissipated upon hearing her husband's voice, and she felt a little guilty about snapping.
"Cilan," she regarded, sounding much more amiable.
"I just wanted to call and let you know that I made it here safely, and check up on how you were feeling."
"Better," Iris replied shortly, "but a little stressed."
"I'll talk to you about it later."
"Are you sure? The trainers aren't here yet, I have a few minutes..."
"No, this is something that has to be discussed in person," Iris persisted. She suddenly clutched the edge of the table with her free hand nervously, realizing how scary it would actually be to tell him they were expecting.
"All right then," Cilan conceded. "I'll see you tonight."
He hung up after that and Iris placed the phone onto its hook before crawling back into bed.
She really didn't want to deal with this right now.
Night had fallen by the time Cilan returned home, a brown paper grocery bag full of the different ingredients necessary to prepare Iris her favorite meal. He wasn't sure what she had meant by "stressed" earlier that day, but he felt certain there was nothing a delicious meal and a couple of glasses of wine couldn't fix. Burgundy had guffawed in his face when he told her his plan though, and advised him to not waste his money on the wine before continuing to talk about how his life was ruined. Honestly, he couldn't understand her half of the time.
"Iris, I'm home!" he called out cheerfully, shutting the door behind him with his foot. His cry was met with silence and he furrowed his eyebrows in thought. He deposited the groceries on the kitchen counter before going to their bedroom to check on her. He was surprised to find that she had fallen back asleep on their bed. He smiled and felt her forehead once more. It seemed she was back to normal, but was simply catching up on sleep after an undeniably difficult morning. He would wake her when dinner was ready.
Perhaps 20 minutes or so into his preparations, Iris wandered into the kitchen, looking disheveled and still half-asleep. Her eyes widened upon seeing him busy at work.
"Hello, Iris," he greeted with a smile. "Good to see that you're up!"
"Hi..." she replied, wary. She sat down on a stool across from him. "How was it today?"
"Fantastic," he chirped. "Seeing new trainers receive their first Pokémon is more fun than adding cherries to the top of a cheesecake. It wasn't quite the same without you, though. Professor Juniper sends her best."
"Right," Iris rolled her eyes, though she couldn't resist a chuckle. "So, what is all of this?" She gestured toward his cooking workspace.
"Your favorite, of course!" Cilan exclaimed. "I missed you terribly today, and I wanted to do something to ease your tension. Stress isn't good for your health." He paused and turned around, pulling the full bottle of Chardonnay out of the bag.
"Which is why I also got this," he continued, "it goes very well with fruit and butter-based dishes, so I thought it would be perfect for tonight." Iris suddenly looked immensely guilty.
"Oh, you shouldn't have," she said. Cilan appeared bemused, but he nevertheless set the bottle down and continued with his work.
"Why? Are you still feeling unwell?" he asked with concern in his voice. "Perhaps we can save it for later."
"Yes, much later," Iris emphasized, which intensified her husband's confusion.
"Iris, what's the matter?" he pleaded with her. "You've been acting awfully strange for the past couple of days..."
"Um..." Iris sighed and, cracking a smile, began rubbing her temples. Perhaps the best way to go about this was to just say it, quickly and as painless as possible, like ripping off a band-aid. "I'm pregnant."
The knife Cilan had used to slice up the fresh fruit clattered loudly against the counter when he dropped it from the shock. He stared at Iris with wide eyes, trying to comprehend the implications of her statement. Iris bit her lip, her smile turning crooked. She was waiting for his brain to fully process what she had said and react.
That reaction came swiftly once Cilan realized what his wife was telling him, and it caught Iris by surprise. He scrambled around the counter and swept her up into his arms.
"Oh, Iris!" he cried gleefully, barely able to contain himself. "But-but how? When? Oh, it doesn't matter, this is wonderful news!"
Unable to resist, he bent down and kissed her fully on the lips, understanding now that what had afflicted her that morning was not a nasty bug that could be caught, but rather a case of run-of-the-mill morning sickness. Suddenly, a lot of things were beginning to make sense to him—Burgundy's confusing taunting, Iris's refusal of alcohol, her nervous behavior—all because they were expecting a little one.
"How long have you known?" Cilan asked after breaking the passion-filled kiss, though he still had her locked in a tight embrace. Iris seemed a little shell-shocked at his exuberant response to her revealing, and it took her a moment to answer.
"I've suspected it for several days now," she replied, "but I took the test today."
Cilan seemed to no longer be listening, having fallen into a happy daze.
"Just think, Iris... We're going to be parents! What a surreal taste..." he sighed dreamily, and Iris shook her head, both amused and annoyed by his (unfortunately usual) behavior. He continued, "Oh, but imagine how the others will react! We'll be the first of the group to have a baby!"
He sprung away from her and picked up the phone, quickly dialing a number.
"We simply must tell my brothers, and Ash and Misty and Brock and-"
"Cilan," Iris cleared her throat.
"-May and Drew and Dawn and Paul and Zoey and Barry and Kenny-"
"Cilan!" Iris said a little louder, demanding his attention.
"-and Trip and Stephan and Bianca and Georgia and even Burgundy!"
"Cilan!" Iris cried out one last time, practically screaming.
"Yes, Iris?" Cilan inquired, looking as though he hadn't even realized that he had been rambling. Iris calmly approached him and plucked the phone out of his hand. She glanced down at the screen and discovered that he had actually been punching in a bunch of random digits rather than an actual phone number. She quickly pressed 'end' to erase the numerical trainwreck.
"Let's just you and I celebrate tonight," she suggested, "we can worry about telling everyone else later."
Cilan nodded sheepishly but asked, "What do you have in my mind?"
"Oh, I dunno," Iris shrugged, looking toward the unfinished meal on the countertop, "perhaps a nice, romantic meal lit by candles—sans the wine, of course—and," she lowered her voice as she pressed her lips to his ear, "maybe a reenactment of the night we conceived." She was very pleased with herself to see that Cilan's face had turned a very interesting of red when she pulled away.
"I-I think I like that idea very much," he stammered, smiling.
A/N: Fun fact - "In the family way" is an idiom. If a woman is "in the family way," then she's pregnant.
Also, Cilan says some of the most WTF things sometimes.
Happy Wishfulshipping Day.