Dear Daddy Dearest...

Dear Daddy,

I'm sure you probably expected that the next time you heard from me is through a phone call or a visit, but I can't bring myself to talk to you or to face you. This might come off as a huge surprise to you, but ever since we moved to Hoenn from Johto, we've become nothing more than strangers to each other. We barely talk and all of our conversations have been advice about how to raise my pokemon or how proud you are of your gym trainers for all their improvements. Never once did you become Norman, May's father. You were always Norman, the Petalburg gym leader.

When I registered you in my PokeNav, your trainer biography said that pokemon were your life and that your chosen path was harsh. I'm sure everyone in the world accepts pokemon as a part of their life, but they still have family to cherish.

Oh and in case you're wondering, my pokemon are perfectly fine. They've become great battlers, but they've also become my own close family as well. They watch over me as I watch over them.

Dad, do you remember the last time we saw each other? You had asked me for a rematch at the gym and I had accepted. My pokemon and I beat you and you said your dream had come true. What was your dream? Was it that I would grow so strong with my pokemon and we would beat you? Or that I'd surpass you in terms of who the better trainer is?

Were you even remotely aware that at the time of that rematch, I had become the Hoenn region champion?

You didn't seem to find out until a year later. And who could blame you? You were so busy with your gym that you hardly bothered to come home. Mom couldn't be there for my match with Wallace, but she saw everything on TV and took me out to dinner when I got home. Professor Birch and Brendan were there and showering me with words of praise and Brendan even took me out on a date a few weeks later. But you couldn't even close your gym for a few hours to come see the match...or even a few minutes to give me a hug and tell me that you were proud of me.

It's been ten long years since that day. Brenden and I had traveled to Kanto and Johto together for pleasure purposes with our pokemon. We plan to go to Sinnoh someday when we can afford it. For now, I've settled into a modest life with Brendan in New Bark Town in Johto. He asked me to marry him a month ago and I said yes. We'll return to Hoenn for the wedding, but after that we will probably come back here. Brendan really likes New Bark Town and he's got a great job as Professor Elm's assistant. I know he won't want to give that job up and I wouldn't force him to.

Thinking about Brendan, it brings tears to my eyes when I remember how him and Professor Birch were so close when we were eleven. Professor Birch always allowed Brendan to tag along for field work and research and the professor's assistant even acknowledged there was a lot of love between them.

Where was the love between us, Daddy? I hardly remember it. I don't remember the last time you told me that you loved me or hugged me or showed me any affection. You never allowed me to become a gym trainer or stick around when you were teaching in the gym. I still can't figure out why you couldn't let me in.

Was your job so important that you have to cut me out of the picture entirely?

That can be the only thing I can think of. That's why I can't face you or talk to you.

I do hope you can come to the wedding...that is, if you will actually close your gym for a day. Maybe then we can finally talk and catch up on events that we've been involved in over the years.

Your only daughter,

Twenty one year old May stared at the paper in front of her and blew her nose. She hadn't been lying when she wrote that tears had come to her eyes and the splotched areas on the paper proved it. She carefully folded the paper and put it in an envelope, making a mental note to address it and mail it later.

"May? What's wrong?"

May turned around to see her future husband walk into their room with a concerned look on his face. She simply shook her head and said, "I was just writing to Dad."

Brendan nodded. He knew of May's problems with her dad (after ten years of being together, how couldn't he?) and knew she was sensitive to the subject.


"What is it, May?" Brendan asked.

"Um..." May paused and then looked at him. "When know...when we have kids...can you promise me that you won't engross yourself in your work and spend time with them?"

"Are you afraid I'll do what your dad did?" Brendan asked. May nodded. "Don't worry. I already plan on spoiling our kids rotten." That got a smile out of her.

"Good. Love you, Brendan."

"Love you too, May. Come on...I rented a good movie for us to watch. Popcorn's popping as well," Brendan said with smile. May's Flygon and Brendan's Swampert were in the doorway, motioning for them to come downstairs and start the movie.

May grinned. "Sounds good," she said, getting up. Brendan planted a kiss on her face and they walked downstairs together.

And in her mind, she could see a future with her, Brendan and a child that matched their images. Brendan would never put work before his family. Their child would always have his or her loving parents around, especially for big moments, like acing a spelling test or becoming a champion. That child would never have a reason to be unhappy when they were at home.

It would be the complete family she always wanted.

I've got no real words for this. I was inspired to write this after reading Goodbye Stranger by Ibuberu. May's piece in that story really touched me and I felt I could relate to it, although the circumstances are different.

And I've wanted to write HoennShipping for a long time.

This isn't one of my better pieces, that's for sure. But I needed to break away from my usual romantic world and try something new. Hope it's good enough.

Read and review. No flames.