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Fanfic / Pokémon: Clefairy Tales

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Pokémon: Clefairy Tales is an AU fic centering on the Pokémon journey of Leaf and her starter Pokémon, Clefairy. It can be read here.

Created partially to celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary, the first book centers on Leaf's Pokémon journey, beginning when she gets her first Pokémon, a Clefairy. Throughout her adventure, Leaf meets some new friends and new enemies and faces a lot of challenges along the way, including the discovery of a plot by Team Rocket to enslave all Pokémon at any cost, a plot which she has to directly deal with several times over the course of the story, the fate of the Pokémon world as we know it perhaps depending on it.


Not to be confused with the anime episode of the same name.

This Pokémon fic contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Camper Ethan, at least as far as Misty's concerned. Just his reaction to seeing her accompanying Leaf on the Nugget Bridge challenge causes her face to turn red, and the next time she speaks, she sounds quite indignant. Really, if her dialogue in chapter 12 is anything to go by, Misty has had more than her fair share of these near Cerulean Cape.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Magikarp salesman, a shifty conman in the games, is here a skilled Pokémon trainer who knows how to raise a Magikarp.
  • Adaptation Expansion: This is basically an expansion of the Kanto games, with new trainers, new backstories, and at least one new trainer class.
  • Ambiguously Lesbian: Lass Janice, who retains her lines from the video games and yet is speaking them to a girl.
    Janice: Excuse me! You looked at me, didn't you?
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  • Anachronism Stew: Some of Pikachu's references are this. For example in an early season 2 chapter, she directly references The Crocodile Hunter despite it not premiering until the year after this fanseries is set.
  • Author Avatar: Downplayed; Leaf's adventures are based in part on the author's own playthrough of the Gen I games. Most notable is Leaf requiring two Poké Balls to capture her Nidoran♂ and also encountering (and even catching) a Pikachu almost immediately upon first entering Viridian Forest, just like the author did when he played Pokémon Green.
  • Badass Boast: Practically a prerequisite for those aiming to be a Pokémon Master. For example, in chapter 9:
    Leaf: Don't take me lightly. I've taken on two Rockets already, and my Pikachu, who I call Lita, is strong enough to inflict 100,000 volts of pain on even an Onix if she's got the willpower.
    Pikachu: Willpower I'm not willing to waste unless it's very important-pika.
  • Bifauxnen: Not only is Sally, one of the trainers on Route 3, One of the Boys judging from her Pokémon lineup, she even dresses like a Youngster! Her true trainer class, Lass, is only revealed when she removes her Tomboyish Baseball Cap before she and Leaf engage in a Pokémon battle.
  • Break the Haughty: Blue does this to Leaf during their first encounter, in the second chapter.
  • Cherry Tapping: How Pikachu defeats Hiker Marcos's Onix. Specifically, after Clefairy had watered him down enough with Water Gun before being worn out, Pikachu was able to deliver the finishing blow with a deliberately-not-to-full-potential Thunderbolt, which Onix is supposed to be immune to, just so Marcos's line upon defeat ("Wow! Shocked again!") would make sense.
  • Composite Character:
    • Youngster Colton is a cross between Bug Catcher Colton from the video games and the youth who leads you to Pewter Gym until you earn the Boulder Badge. Justified as the naming system caused an error in the remakes.
    • Magical Girl Iris is a cross between two Lasses who appear in or near Mt. Moon in the games: Iris, who uses a Clefairy, and Robin, who uses a Jigglypuff.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Leaf meets Red in the first chapter.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Brock appears in the second chapter, before he's revealed as Pewter City's Gym Leader.
    • Misty appears in a newspaper article several chapters later, before she appears in person in the next chapter.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season put more focus on game mechanics and got some things wrong, including an Oddish appearing plainly in the afternoon (they're normally supposed to be nocturnal creatures), plus it feels a bit much like a Let's Play at times, which gets called attention to somewhat at the start of the second season.
  • Earth Drift: Played with. Apparently, Knoxville, TN exists in the Pokémon world, but Unova once more stands in for New York.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: A warning sign that Leaf's Clefairy is about to use Sing.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Iris firmly believes in it. Leaf tries to imitate her but only ends up falling flat on her face.
  • Evil Brit: The third Rocket grunt Leaf tackles, which she lampshades by calling him a limey.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Word of God is that the gambler looking at a family photo at the end of the fourth chapter will foreshadow his demise in a later episode.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted; unlike in the games, where it was changed to him not having had his coffee, the old man (the one who shows the protagonist how to catch a Pokémon) getting drunk on sake is retained in its entirety here.
  • Funetik Aksent: One Rocket grunt's Cockney accent is rendered in this manner.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Nurse Joy stationed in Viridian City minored in technology.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Some of the stuff Leaf hears about Bill, while not detailed in the slightest, seem to imply that he Really Gets Around in his search for rare Pokémon.
    • As a reference to a misguided attempt at a faithful fan translation of the Nugget Bridge sequence from the original games, a bunch of the stuff the challengers say causes Misty to blush in embarrassment—and, at one point, her nose to bleed.
      Misty: Does perversion really know no gender?
      Leaf: I'm starting to wonder about that myself.
  • Gilligan Cut: Done as a result of Tempting Fate in the first chapter.
    Leaf: [upon learning her Clefairy is a female] That should make it easier for me to bond with it! Right?
    [cut to Leaf having to drag her Clefairy through Route 1 on a leash]
  • Goddamned Bats: Directly mentioned by Pikachu in a Precision F-Strike upon being ambushed by a bunch of them.invoked
  • Harmless Electrocution: All 100,000 volts does to Leaf is set her hair on fire, propel her from her sleeping bag with great force, and piss her off.
  • Hidden Depths: Turns out the Magikarp salesman sells a Magikarp to random people for a reason. Plus, he operates a security team composed entirely of Gyarados.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    • One of Aesop's fables is retold as "The Murkrow and the Pitcher".
    • Tired of seeing Zubat, Pikachu at one point takes Arceus's name in vain.
    • She gets this gem shortly afterwards: "I have had it with you Mankey -fighting Zubat  in this Monday-to-Friday cave -pika!"
  • I Am Very British: Lass Sally has a lot of cues in her dialogue which indicate her Britishness.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Quoted verbatim by Iris at the start of chapter 7.
  • Irony: According to artwork teasing the first season finale, during the Gym Battle Leaf wears a costume resembling a Water-type Pokémon while battling a Water-type Gym Leader wearing Pikachu ears. Bonus points because Pikachu is an Electric-type Pokémon, which can do serious damage to Water-type Pokémon like Misty's, and Leaf's party includes a Pikachu. Misty even lampshades this in the chapter proper before the battle.
    Misty: I heard you'd be wearing that dress when challenging me, so being somewhat of a Pikachu fangirl, I decided to cash in on the irony with a pair of Pikachu ears.
  • Keep It Foreign: One of Misty's older sisters retains her Japanese name due to the One Steve Limit.
  • Last Episode, New Character: The first season finale includes cameos by Todd Snap (as the photographer who takes the group photo after Leaf beats Misty) and Sabrina (who warns the rest of Saffron City that Team Rocket was invading) and twice teases the appearance of Giovanni in the series.
  • Loophole Abuse: Super Nerd Jovan using controlled explosions to dig for fossils on Mt. Moon. It's soon revealed that he and a friend of his (later revealed to be Super Nerd Miguel) developed the method.
  • Mad Bomber: The first Rocket Grunt Leaf faces uses Molotov cocktails (in part, at least) when digging for fossils.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Leaf and her Pokémon encounter a pack of Bellsprout on Route 5 which are more rabid than usual. Leaf suspects the environment being tampered with and a subsequent Gaia's Vengeance attitude, but Red suspects a misplaced defense mechanism against Team Rocket, which had just invaded Saffron City directly to the south.
  • Modesty Shorts:
    • Discussed by Youngster Calvin in chapter 5 following an inadvertent look up Leaf's dress.
    • Worn by the Mt. Moon-based Magical Girls under their tunics.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the start of the second season premiere, a funeral is followed immediately by a Snorlax blundering in and taking its rest, much to the astonishment of a nearby Gentleman.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ethan's reaction to finding out the current Nugget Bridge showrunner is a plainclothes Rocket.
  • Mythology Gag: There are a lot of them, to the point where they needed their own page.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Used in chapter 9 to cover up a defeated Rocket grunt's cursing at Leaf as she strolls right past him.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • As Daisy Oak is a minor character in this story, Daisy Waterflower is here called Sakura Waterflower.
    • Averted with Ritchie and his friend Rick, though the latter admits both use their respective diminutives to distinguish themselves.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Discussed in chapter 11 when Leaf remarks on the signpost outside of Cerulean Gym and the confusion it might cause when some, uh, less knowledgeable trainers see Misty (the "tomboyish mermaid" the signpost refers to) in person.
    Misty: Not all mermaids have tails instead of legs; that's just one popular depiction thereof. Thankfully, I've only had to remind very few challengers of it.
  • Panty Shot: Lampshaded in chapter 5 when a youngster looks up Leaf's dress after she trips while jumping over a ledge. Word of God is that she's actually wearing a swimsuit underneath, which is brought up in chapter 10.
    Youngster Calvin: Hey! You're not wearing shorts! What's wrong with you?
    Leaf: I should be asking you the same thing. Didn't they teach you in Pokémon Tech that it's rude to look up girls' skirts?
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The trope-naming scene is referenced in the second season premiere when Red is trying to get himself and Leaf passage through the Underground Path. Hold Your Hippogriffs is invoked when the password is mentioned to be "Gorebyss".
  • Pink Heroine: Clefairy, Leaf's starter Pokémon. Her Poké Ball is even marked with a pink crescent moon on it.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • The old man curses when he realizes he had run out of Poké Balls. This is significant because the story in general is meant to be as kid-friendly as the original games.
    • Some time later, in Pewter Gym, Leaf tells Camper Liam, "Save your jive crap for Pokémon coordination!"
    • "Bloody hell!" is uttered by Lass Sally when she realizes lunch break's about to start and she and Leaf haven't battled yet.
    • Pikachu's utterance of "Arceus-damned Zubat!" in chapter 7. Noteworthy as one of few times she doesn't utter her Verbal Tic.
    • In the very next chapter, a Rocket curses when Leaf asks too many questions about the "big job" he had mentioned the Rockets doing.
    • When Misty makes an Early-Bird Cameo in a newspaper article early on in chapter 9, she refers to Cerulean Cave as a "hellhole", which wouldn't be an inaccurate description of it (there's a reason, after all, only a Pokémon Champion is allowed inside under most circumstances).
    • From chapter 15: "Damn it all! I hate losing!"
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Youngster Calvin, the infamous Shorts Youngster, is a cheerleader.
  • Recycled Premise: Fairly common, given the source material.
    • Leaf's early relationship with Clefairy in chapter 1 starts out like Ash's with Pikachu in the anime's first episode.
    • A couple of early chapters borrow premises from the first episode of Pokémon Origins.
  • Right Behind Me: Youngster Josh gets attacked from behind by his own girlfriend as he's talking about how Team Rocket scared the girls away.
  • Running Gag:
    • Leaf telling anyone who wants a Pikachu, "Good luck." She does this a total of three times during the first season.
    • Pikachu reacting as if she had been tickled every time she's hit with a Flying-type attack.
      Pikachu: PI-KAHAHAHAHA! That tickles-pika!
    • Much is made of Leaf not being very balletic, beginning with a failed attempt to imitate Iris's method of summoning her Clefairy.
  • Sailor Fuku: Lass Cherry's outfit includes a sailor collar, going with the school uniform thematic of Lass costumes.
  • Scout-Out: Campers and Picnickers alike appear throughout the series. Picnickers are also known to be members of starter-themed scout companies.
  • Self-Deprecation: Near the end of the second season premiere, a complaint about the series is addressed with mention of a creator based in Knoxville, TN (where the author lives) who overdoses on the references in his works. According to a minor character, "Some say it's a bit tacky, what he does." However, it can also be taken as a reference to Quentin Tarantino; not helping matters is Tarantino himself being name-dropped around that point. On the other hand, the author could be slyly comparing himself to Tarantino with that scene.
  • Sequel Hook: The first season finale ends as Team Rocket's invasion of Saffron City, which is critical to the story, begins.
  • Shout-Out: There's enough to warrant its own page here.
  • Shown Their Work: The author knows his poison gases well enough to be able to specifically identify those emitted by Koffing and other Poison-type Pokémon, having taken good looks at not just the Technicolor Toxin page on This Very Wiki but also online articles on the New York Smog of '66 (Koffing was originally supposed to be called NY in reference to that or an earlier major smog-related event).
  • Spit Take: Leaf, upon learning about the gym in Pewter City.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Discussed in chapter 11 when Misty mentions that Riverside's Girl Guide-inspired school uniform alludes to the Girl Guides' origins as members of the Boy Scouts, the latter which isn't directly mentioned for obvious reasons, in the midst of the feminism movement around the turn of the 20th century.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: The color commentator covering the Pokémon battle on TV at the start of the first chapter promptly responds to Leaf's question about how Body Slam, a Normal-type attack, could've hit Gengar, a dual-type Pokémon with Ghost as its primary type.
  • Tights Under Shorts:
    • Worn by Cherry, one of the trainers in Pewter Gym.
    • This is part of the uniform for the Bulbasaur Scouts, the Charmander Scouts, the Squirtle Scouts, and the Pikachu Scouts.
    • A part of Misty's wardrobe. Leaf calls her on it in chapter 10.
    Leaf: "Catch my death of cold"? Fine talk coming from you. What kind of idiot would wear pantyhose when swimming?
    Misty: The kind of idiot that likes her clothes waterproof.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Electric-type Pikachu, always eager for a fight, and Fairy-type Clefairy, comparatively mellow when Leaf doesn't summon her for a fight.
    • Misty and Leaf also share this dynamic.
  • Tomboyish Baseball Cap: Worn by Lass Sally as part of her "Youngster" look.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail:
    • Lass Sally wears her hair like this.
    • Misty, as always, has her red hair tied back in a short ponytail.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Even Misty and Lass Sally are into Sailor Moon.
  • Too Much Information: One rumor about Bill, which isn't very detailed, manages to embarrass Leaf to the point of blushing.
    Leaf: I did not need to hear that.
  • Town Girls:
    • Lass Sally (butch), Magical Girl Iris (femme), and Lass Cherry (neither).
    • Among Iris's teammates, Grass-type user Miriam (butch), Water-type user Emily (femme), and Fire-type user Dana (neither).
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: As is par for the course, whenever a Rocket (usually Jessie, James, and Meowth, who first appear in chapter 9) get blasted off.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: As in the anime, if you meet a nurse or Pokémon Inspector with pink hair tied in twin rings, chances are her name is Joy.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Invoked; the author is aware of the original games playing this straight and did this deliberately. Examples of setpieces, trivia, and dialogue firmly placing this series in the mid-'90s include a Super Nintendo in Leaf's house, Sailor Moon still running new episodes on television, laser videodisc being the go-to medium for diehard collectors (Misty even flat-out admits in chapter 11, "When it comes to home media, you can't beat laser videodisc!"), NeXT Computer being described in chapter 12 as being the official supplier of Pokémon League hardware and software, and mention of a major smog in Unova Metropolis taking place about three decades before the story.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Leaf was a bit startled to find out that a certain "Youngster" on Route 3 is actually a Lass.
  • Ur-Example: In-Universe, as hinted by outside materials, Leaf battling Gym Leaders in costume, including when she wears a Goldeen costume while battling Misty in the first season finale, may very well inspire the tradition of costumed Pokémon Coordinators.
  • Verbal Tic: All talking Pokémon in the series will have one; for example, Pikachu's is "pika", and Clefairy's is "pippi".
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: In chapter 11, Misty blames the Nugget Bridge gang for Riverside Private School for Girls not having a School Swimsuit and swears to make a new, more conservative type of swimsuit one day.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: The first Rocket grunt Leaf faces refers to Mankey's Low Kick as "[his] little kick attack".


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