Author: LM Simpson (Kady the Red Panda)
Pairing(s): Delia/Professor Oak
Warning(s): It's T for safety reasons, mostly
Disclaimer: I haven't even played a Pokémon game for years. I'm just a very nostalgic 20-year-old with questionable writing skills and sanity.
Other tidbits: I'm a what-if fanfic type of girl. I know it has been said that Ash's dad is on his own journey, but whatever. I just thought this was interesting.
It couldn't have been too taboo if she was sleeping with a widower, she had reasoned then.
She was eighteen at the time (or, rather, a week from turning eighteen) when Samuel and she did it that one time under his office desk. The old professor and she had flirted continuously with each other throughout the eight years she volunteered at his laboratory, studying the 150 Pokémon throughout the Kanto region. It began with the usual hint-filled wink, or the intentional face smash "accident" into private areas. It was perhaps, then, natural for it to have progressed to something deeper and heavier eventually.
Yeah, he had a grandson on the way. Yeah, she was simultaneously barely legal and barely illegal at that age. Neither of them seemed to care the day that particular liaison evolved from kissing to all the way. It's just what consulting adults did.
She found out she was pregnant when Samuel's daughter-in-law, seven months pregnant herself, just announced her plans to name her unborn son Gary. As proud she was that she was carrying Samuel's son (and little Gary's half-uncle), she knew she couldn't just announce the news to her fellow townspeople. Pallet Town was one of those small and isolated hamlets where rumor and tattle spread like wildfire whenever they sparked. If the news did come out, Samuel's standing and her standing in the community would be compromised.
She got her chance to cover up a week post-discovery, when she encountered a visitor from Viridian City. Jack Ketchum, approximately a year older than her, traveled to Pallet Town through the forest to visit his ailing grandparents. She remembered Jack from her childhood summers, and how he was considered a rural good ol' boy in town even though he spent three-quarters of the year in the urban city with his parents. Jack accounted for his actions well, especially for a boy, she remembered. He would be the best "father" for her unborn child, so long as the kid did not look like Samuel.
She flirted with the dark haired kid whenever he ate lunch at her family's restaurant. It only took him a week to ask her out, and yet another week before they consummated in her bedroom. By the time she told him she was pregnant a month after that, she was at the end of the first trimester.
If one looked closely enough at the bride when Jack and she married shotgun style, he or she would've noticed a faint baby bump. Throughout the entire reception she wondered whether Samuel's late middle aged eyes spotted it.
It was only a miracle that the baby looked more like her than anyone else when she gave birth late into the eighth month. It was also a miracle that the boy inherited his grandfather's dark hair, reinforcing her lie and Jack's belief that this was his own flesh and blood.
And so, whenever Ash found a letter from Jack in the mailbox, he would skip about the house and scream with youthful glee:
"Mommy! Mommy! Daddy wrote us a letter!"
As the six year old and his mother sat on the couch and read out loud together about Jack battling against the Pewter City gym leader, the boy's eyes shined with admiration at his "father's" accomplishments. If this idolization continued, perhaps her son would become a trainer himself when he was old enough.
Maybe someday, when Ash was old enough to understand, she would tell Ash, Jack, and Samuel about their true biological relationships with each other. But for now, Delia was content to continue her cover-up. And that wasn't going to change for a long time.