It was a cool summer day for Cameron and his team; they had just won the Hoenn league and were enjoying a nice 2-month break from battling at Cameron's house outside of Lilycove City as a reward for all their hard work. At the moment they were having a picnic on one of the many hills around the city overlooking the ocean. "Typh?" Cameron woke up from the nap he had been taking to see his Typhlosion, Ember, staring down at him. While Cameron tried to love all of his Pokémon equally, Ember was definitely his favorite for reasons far deeper than the fact that she had been his first Pokémon, but we'll get that later.
"What's up buddy?" Cameron grinned, Ember groaned and started rubbing her stomach, "Phlos…".
"Oh man, I totally forgot to cook lunch! Thanks for reminding me Ember!" Cameron exclaimed and ran off towards the house to grab a stove. Ember giggled as she watched her trainer rush away, leaving a trail of dust behind him. About a minute later, Cameron rushed back with the stove in hand, noticeably out of breath. He was about 6 feet tall and had average build for his age, which was 23. He had dark brown eyes that complemented his light brown hair that was for the most part hidden beneath the black fedora he always liked to wear.
"It's your lucky day Ember! I'm making your favorite snack today: Berry Kabobs!" Cameron then braced himself for the inevitable impact as Ember quickly bear-tackled him off the hill in a tight hug. "Yayyyyy! Thank you so much!" Ember squealed in glee, though all Cameron heard was "Ty,Typhlosion Ty!".
They rolled down the hill for a couple more seconds before finally coming to a stop still locked Ember's embrace. "Well I guess I had that one coming…" Cameron chuckled with a smile as he broke from the hug and stood up. Patting the dust off of his clothes, the trainer noticed that something was missing.
"Now where did my hat go?" Cameron asked himself with a scratch of his head and began looking around for it when he heard a soft giggle behind him. He turned around to find his hat resting right on his Typhlosion's head, having incredibly landed there during their tumble.
"How'd that get there girl?"Cameron smiled. Ember giggled again and pointed up at Cameron's head.
Cameron looked up and found Ember's favorite bright pink bow lying atop his own head. The pair stared at each other and quickly started rolling on the ground laughing at how silly they both looked. After about 2 minutes of laughing their heads off, the two finally calmed down and rubbed the tears out of their eyes. "It looks like my hat fits you pretty well too!" Cameron laughed, causing Ember to blush madly. The pair promptly swapped back their respective headwear with a short giggle.
Before Cameron put the fedora back on, he gave it a quick glance and noticed that it was starting to fade and had already turned gray in a few places. "Man, I've had this hat for a long time…" Cameron thought aloud. The trainer then turned to face his Typloshion, and with a smile added, "Since the day we first met, remember?". Ember would never forget that day; it had been a cold, rainy night many years ago….
She had been just a tiny little Cindaquill then, huddling in some old cardboard boxes for warmth, too afraid to activate her flame for fear of alerting one of the many dark-type Pokémon that patrolled the back alleys that she lived in to her presence.
Suddenly, she heard a gruff, angry voice nearby snarling " I smell you little runt!".
The Cindaquill squealed and scrambled deeper into the pile of cardboard. "Oh you're going to have to find something a lot thicker than that if you want to save yourself from ME…." the voice snarled, slashing through the flimsy cardboard with ease, revealing itself to the terrified Pokémon. She saw that it was a Mightyena, with blood-red eyes and seemingly giant teeth.
"There you are runt!" the wolf laughed, slowly opening its maw for a killing bite. The Cindaquill was in a frenzy, desperately trying to launch a fire attack, but her parents had died shortly after she had been born and thus had never been taught to use her inner flame to battle.
"I wonder what you'll taste like…." the Mightyena pondered aloud with a twisted grin before rushing down for the kill.
"I guess this is it." the Cindaquill whispered, clenching her eyes shut in anticipation for the final blow.
But the blow never came; instead another voice rang out, this one much younger and kinder than the Mightyena's. "Hey! Leave that Cindaquill alone!" the voice yelled, and a barrage of rocks and old cans began pelting the wolf pokémon's head. "Argh! I should have just killed the little brat right away instead of toying with it first!" the Mightyena growled as it took off down the alley with its tail between its legs.
"Are you okay little fella?" the voice asked.
The Cindaquill opened her eyes to find a small ten-year-old boy standing over her, a look of concern on his face. The boy had messy brown hair that looked as if it hadn't been washed in quite some time, with the rest of his body looking about the same, his dark brown eyes being the only part of him that looked unsoiled. The rags the boy wore immediately identifying him to the world as a street rat, one of the many that roamed Lilycove's poorer districts.
Still shocked to be alive, the pokémon gave a small nod.
" I was digging in the dumpster around the block when I heard the growls and sequels and ran over here. I'm glad I got here in time!" the boy explained. Looking at the remains of the cardboard the little pokémon had been hiding in, the boy asked "You were hiding in that trash? But where's your parents?". The Cindaquill quickly started to cry. "Oh, I'm sorry little fella, if it's any consolation, I don't have any parents either." the boy said.
The Cindaquill stopped crying and looked up at the boy with teary eyes, "Cynd?". "Yeah" the boy responded, "my parents died when I was 2 and I've been living on my own ever since".
"He's just like me…" she thought in awe, and with the knowledge that she wasn't the only one in her situation started nuzzling the boy's chest. The boy responded by picking her up and petting her on the head, instantly filling her with a soothing sensation.
"My name's Cameron by the way." the boy said softly. The foreign sensation of being petted for the first time combined with the lingering effects her recent escape from death caused her to accidently launch an ember attack on the small pile of boxes that had been her shelter, setting it ablaze. "Whoa!" Cameron exclaimed, "I didn't know you could do that!". Looking back down at the Cindaquill in his arms, he noticed the bright pink bow the pokémon was wearing. "So you're a girl?" Cameron asked. The Cindaquill meekly nodded yes as she looked up at the bow. The sight immediately saddened her, as it was all she had left of her parents, having been given to her by them the day she had hatched. Seeing the sadness in the Cindaquill's eyes, Cameron started humming a song to her, and the sadness slowly faded away.
"Heh, that bow does look pretty cute on you girl." Cameron observed, causing her to blush. Staring down at her, Cameron remembered something else he still didn't know about the pokémon in his arms.
"By the way, do you have a name?" The Cindaquill shook her head, her parents hadn't decided on what to name her before they died. "Hmmmm" Cameron wondered, staring at the smoldering pile of boxes.
Then it hit him. "I know! I'll call you Ember! Do you like that name?" The Cindaquill happily nodded.
"Alright!" Cameron exclaimed. Just then, there was a clap of thunder, and the rain began to get heavier. Cameron looked down and noticed that Ember was starting to shiver from the cold.
"I better find you something to protect you from the rain…" he said.
Cameron then put Ember down and started scavenging through the nearest dumpster for something to shelter Ember in, but everything he found was too small to protect her completely. He was about to give up when he noticed a black fedora lying in the corner of the dumpster.
"Man, this thing looks brand-new! Why would anyone want to throw this away?" Cameron thought as he continued to examine it. He shrugged and put the hat over Ember, it was a bit small, but it protected her for the most part.
Cameron looked down at the little Cyndaquill in his arms and smiled "I just know we're going to be the best of friends Ember!", to which she replied with a happy "Cynd!".
The two walked off into the night, cold, but both overjoyed with the fact that they would never have to be alone again.
"It's been 13 years now hasn't it?" Cameron whispered. Ember simply nodded, herself also lost in thought. "Think of how far we've come since then…heh, a day doesn't go by when I don't wonder how the heck we ever got this far. I've become a Pokémon Master, you and the rest of the team are in the Pokémon Hall of Fame….Ember?" Cameron asked with tears now forming in his eyes, "Do you ever think it was fate that brought us together that day?
"Typh" Yes I do… Ember whispered as she gave her trainer a passionate hug as they both stared out at the ocean, tears of her own forming in her eyes.
After a few minutes the two reluctantly broke their tearful embrace. "Come on Ember" Cameron sighed, wiping the tears from his eyes, "We better head back, the others are probably looking for us." "Plosh…" Ember agreed.
The two walked back up the hill to their waiting friends, completely unaware what fate had in store for them next, and that their lives would soon change forever.