This is just me messing around a little. I was a bit annoyed at the end of Had To Be You because I didn't seem to get the ending right so here's another installment from the series. This features Alfie, the youngest of Paul and Dawn's children, since he didn't have a massive part in the last fic, I thought he should have his own one :) It goes alongside my other fics: Could Have Been Me and Had To Be You, but it stands alone. Mentions Ikarishipping, Contestshipping and Pokeshipping. More Paul and Dawn banter at the end.

Disclaimer: Me no own Pokemon :(

Warning: Does mention the porn industry but only for comical purposes, and only briefly. If you take offense to such material please click the back button. I'm probably kicking up a fuss about nothing but *shrugs* better to warn than be yelled at.

Could have been worse

Alife watched as his father beat yet another challenger. The ten year old boy seemed rather bored with watching his father yet again but he didn't complain. Paul wiped some sweat from his forehead before talking to his opponent.

"You're pathetic," Paul told his long term rival, Ash Ketchum. Once again the ebony haired guy went off like a firework, yelling at Paul about something or another. Paul paid no attention. It was really too hot to argue. It was the middle of summer and it seemed particularly warm even for the time of year.

Alfie walked from the stands of the large arena where his father and Ash were battling. Paul greeted his youngest with a small smile.

"Great battle, dad," Alfie said, "That makes forty five wins to dad, three draws and minus one win to Ash."

"Minus one win?" Ash asked, "Even with my maths, I know that's impossible."

"That's when you knocked out your own Pokémon, remember?" Alfie asked the Kanto Champion. Ash hung his head in a defeated and gloomy way. His ever faithful Pikachu patted his head. It didn't take Ash long to recover.

"Say, you'll be starting your journey soon, won't you?" Ash asked Alfie, "You're ten, right?"

"I don't want to travel," Alfie replied with a shudder.

"Why not?" Ash asked while glancing at Paul. Paul looked annoyed at the topic.

"Apparently, his brothers and sister and uncle and Sparrow have put him off travelling because of the stories they've told," Paul replied. Alfie nodded quickly. Ash rubbed his head, confused.

"I guess there are some times that are bad," Ash agreed, "But they'll always be outnumbered by the good times. Like winning gym badges or helping out Pokémon in need or crushing Team Rocket or beating your father in a battle."

"Once," Paul snapped, "You've done that once and you'll never let me forget it."

"But it's the people you meet and the friends you make that really make it worth while," Ash continued, ignoring Paul. Alfie shook his head.

"But there's Beedrill which attack you in forests and then Ursaring which try to eat you after you've escaped from the Beedrill," Alfie told them, "Then there's a pervy stalker that waits for you after your contests just so she can get your autograph or getting jumped on by some strange person because they knew your parents or maybe the League Champion patting you on your head telling you not to push your luck."

Ash turned to Paul for an explanation.

"Josh after his third contest win, Lewis when he came across Drew the first time in the wild and Amber last week with me," Paul said.

"You refused to battle Amber?" Ash asked, "Are you Torchic or something?"

Paul's eyebrow twitched at the childish name calling.

"Amber's my daughter you idiot!" Paul yelled, "If I beat her then Dawn would yell at me. If I lost, Dawn would make fun of me! It was a loose-loose situation!"

Alfie let out a sigh at his father's yelling. Ash covered his ears.

"Jeez, Paul," Ash said, "You having kids really mellowed you out."

"That is mellow?" Alfie asked.

"Mellow for Paul," Ash replied, "When I heard your parents were getting married I thought there was no way Dawn would agree to it. I mean, I thought she had hopes, dreams, aspirations… not Paul."

"Thank you, Ash," Paul said sarcastically, "If I cared about what you said, I would be really hurt by now."

Pikachu hopped from Ash's head into Alfie's arms while Paul and Ash glared daggers at each other. Alife chuckled at the two champions.

"You two are so funny," Alfie commented, "I don't know how you two could be rivals when you're such good friends."

"We're 'friends'?" Ash asked, confused.

"It's news to me too," Paul replied. Alfie tickled Pikachu's ears.

"Pikachuuuu," Pikachu cooed as he sprawled out in Alfie's arms.

"Your family is messed up," Ash told Paul.

"It could have been worse," Paul replied. Ash blinked a few times before a smile spread across his face. Paul was deeply proud about his family, despite what others may think he thought. It was true, his children hadn't turned out like everyone thought they would.

Lewis, the eldest, was the first to leave the nest. He went on to be a decent enough trainer before becoming a student of a gym leader and specialising in one Pokémon type. Paul didn't mind, Barry was a more than capable Gym Leader in Canalave City but was still running Paul's fan club. For that reason, Paul could never visit Lewis. Lewis always had to visit him.

Josh was the next to leave home. He did just that… and became a co-ordinator. Everyone thought Paul would over react to the announcement that his son was now one of the best co-ordinators in the world and stylish to boot. Yet, Paul and Dawn had never missed a Grand Festival he was in. Paul always had a smile on his face. Josh was just as talented as his mother at contests and that was something to be proud of.

Then Amber left. It struck people as weird that Amber became like a mini Paul with her ambitions. She had grown up such a sweet girl and then suddenly changed into a powerful trainer who wanted to become champion in her own right. It was probably Sparrow's fault, Paul and Dawn thought, but if Amber was happy, they were happy. Yet Amber was also a great stylist like her mother despite the fact she hated anything remotely cuddly. Yes, Amber would never, ever have a 'cute' Pokémon.

Alfie was the one of them who refused to leave on their journey, yet Paul still wasn't bothered by this. Even though the Sinnoh Elite Four found it amusing that Alfie was too scared to travel, Paul didn't care. He stuck up for his son and if that didn't work, he'd threaten to phone Dawn. Nobody messed with Dawn.

Ash had to look up to Paul for that reason. Paul didn't find his children a disappointment like some of the other parents had. Drew was slightly annoyed when his son refused to be a co-ordinator, Silver had taken himself off for several months when his children had decided to go into co-ordinating, Gary almost had a heart attack when his son told him being a Pokémon researcher was stupid, Brock's hope for a daughter as pretty as her mother had gone down the drain when she called herself a tomboy and refused to wear 'cute' clothes or dresses. As for Ash, imagine his face when… Oh wait, Ash didn't have kids. Misty and him were strictly no children. There were enough children round them anyway. They could always borrow one or two if they needed. Yet Paul, despite his cold, harsh nature never even flinched when Josh said he wanted to be a co-ordinator or when Lewis told him he was training with Barry or when Amber demanded a battle.

They had a right to be slightly messed up, Paul thought, they were his and Dawn's children. Dawn shared the same opinion.

Alfie looked up at the two Champions and gave them a smile each.

"Have you given any thought into what you want to do when you're older?" Ash asked. Alfie blushed and looked down at Pikachu.

"You'll laugh at me," Alfie replied. Ash looked at Paul but Paul shrugged.

"We promise, we won't," Ash said.

"And dad, do you promise not to shout at me?" Alfie asked.

"Why would I yell at you?" Paul said, but Alfie just continued to stare at the floor. Paul gave in and rolled his eyes. "I won't."

"Well," Alfie said, "I want to be… I want to be… Please don't tell mum."

"I won't," Paul said.

"I want to be a Pokémon Author," Alfie said. He cringed like he was expecting to be yelled at or laughed at. Ash seemed at a loss for words. Paul looked mildly surprised.

"You want to write books?" Ash asked. Alfie nodded quickly. "Why's that so bad?"

"Because!" Alfie yelled, "It has nothing to do with training Pokémon and both dad and mum are really respected trainers."

"He does tell really good stories," Paul told Ash. Alfie looked up at his father, hope shinning in his eyes.

"You don't mind me being a Pokémon Author?" Alfie asked. Paul shook his head.

"No at all," Paul replied, "I was expecting you to say something embarrassing, but you like books and writing. You should go for it."

"What were you thinking he was going to say?" Ash asked.

"I don't know," Paul snapped, "That he's going to be in the Pokémon Porn industry?"

"Who's going to be in the Pokémon Porn industry?"

Paul face palmed. Yes, he loved his wife dearly, yet she always seemed to walk in on the wrong sentence.

"Alife, apparently," Ash said as he looked towards Dawn. Dawn looked at her youngest.

"Go and play, honey," Dawn told Alfie. Alfie nodded and ran off with Pikachu in his arms. Dawn turned to the two Champions, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at them. "Who's told him to do this?"

"Paul said he should," Ash explained. Dawn's eyes slid onto Paul. He was glaring a murderous glare at Ash.

"You told my little baby to go into the Porn Industry!" Dawn yelled.

"No!" Paul replied, looking slightly worried, "I just said that… He was embarrassed about what he wanted to do in life and I thought he was going to say that."

"You think my baby's a pervert?" Dawn shrieked.

"No, no, not all."

"Why are you clouding his mind with such horrible things?"

"I'm not! I was just saying!"

Ash looked on from the sidelines with a smirk on his face.

"That's Ash, forty five, three to Dawn and Paul, zero," Ash said. He shrugged as Dawn and Paul continued to argue. It could have been worse, he mused, it could've been him.

Nah, it had to be Paul.

Well, I feel slightly happier now :) I feel like the story has finally finished. Woo! Please tell me what you think!