Say it with Flowers

SUMMARY: Late one night, Delia receives a surprise delivery from Ash: a beautiful bouquet of flowers, to say the words that Ash knows he should tell his mother more often.

GENRE: Family
COPYRIGHT NOTE: I don't own Pokemon / Pocket Monsters

STORY TAKES PLACE IN: Ending credits to Movie 11 – Giratina and the Sky Warrior. Preexisting knowledge of the film is not needed to appreciate this one-shot, but beware of potential spoilers.

COMMENTS: This is just a small elaboration/embellishment of Delia's (woefully) brief cameo in Movie 11's credits. FYI: The spelling/grammar errors in Ash's message are purposeful, just so it sounds/looks like the sloppy writing of a kid his age. Outside the letter, any other goofs are my own idiocy. ;P Enjoy!

Say it with Flowers
Aiselne Phoenix

"Who could that be at this hour?" Delia wondered as she set her steaming teacup onto the coffee table. She had been in middle of watching the news at nine, even planned to sneak upstairs to slip into her pajamas during the upcoming commercial break. But when the doorbell rang a second time, the television was clicked off whilst the curious woman rose from her living room sofa. It was already dark outside, and Delia certainly was not expecting visitors this evening.

The brunette cracked open her front door, Mr. Mime at her heels for safety's sake. For a single woman living alone it never hurt to take precautions when answering the door late at night. "Yes? Who is it?"

"Sinnoh Staraptor Express, ma'am. I have a package for a Mrs. Delia Ketchum."

The overhead porch light unveiled a tall lean man wearing his gray business uniform. His large, Staraptor-logoed delivery truck was also parallel parked beyond the Ketchum lawn's white fence. Mimie did not seem alarmed, either, which quelled the remains of Delia's worries. No longer doubting the deliveryman's authenticity, she fully opened the front door to properly greet him.

"I'm Mrs. Ketchum," she pleasantly confirmed, blinking when Delia recalled the gentleman's regional identification. "Did you say 'Sinnoh,' sir?"

"Yes, ma'am," he smiled and nodded professionally, handing her his clipboard to sign. "It's the only place in the world that grows Gracidea flowers."

"Flowers?!" Delia nearly gasped, hardly believing that somebody sent her flowers—shipped overseas via overnight delivery, no less! It was almost crazy enough to be a joke, yet lo and behold, Delia exchanged the signed delivery clipboard for a large wicker basket filled to the brim with stunning pink flowers.

There was only one question on Delia Ketchum's mind. Who could have sent me flowers? It was not her birthday, nor was there any momentous occasion or holiday on the horizon, which was when Professor Oak usually sent her a bouquet. But from Sinnoh of all places?! Being a Pokemon League-funded professor, Samuel could certainly afford the delivery charges, but still! Sam was a sweet man, of course, but these flowers seemed…over the top for him.

So naturally, Delia nearly hit the roof when she spied her son's name as the return address. There was no mistake. "Over the top" was second nature for Ash Ketchum. Delia wondered from which side of the family he got his zeal.

But it was impossible to stay mad. Accepting the package and sending the deliveryman on his way, Delia and Mimie returned inside to the parlor. Sinking into the couch, the brunette sat the basket on her lap, silently admiring its beautiful flowers. In all her years of gardening, the woman had never quite seen this flower species, obviously since they were not native to Kanto. Delia did not know much about Sinnoh, herself, but she imagined it a lovely place if it produced such fine, high-quality pink plants.

However, as much as she appreciated the flowers, Delia's greatest attention fell upon a small envelope nestled inside the bunch. The message was rightfully labeled "Mom" in big bold letters. Delicately retrieving and opening the letter, the woman smiled warmly as she unfolded its message. Chicken scratch, ink blotches, spelling and grammatical errors, and an overabundance of exclamation points… such sloppy penmanship could only be the handiwork of Delia's little boy.

Hi Mom!

I know its been a while since I last wrote you…or since I last called you…or… Well, we've been really busy lately! I've competed in a bunch of gyms, and Dawn's partisipated in a bunch of contests, too. We've been doing great, and the Sinnoh League and Grand Festival wont be far!

Delia could hardly wait to watch the inevitable telecasts. TV did not hold a candle to the feeling of sitting in the stadium's stands to watch her son compete. Besides, the stadium's video crew never did get enough exclusive pictures of Ash, compared to the albums-worth of snapshots Delia would take with her trusty camera. Ash was her son, after all, and a mother was at liberty to single out her baby from all the other participants.

Alas, the auburn-haired woman had accepted a long time ago that she could not be with Ash all the time. Travels aside, her one and only baby was bound to leave the nest eventually. Judging by Ash's progress mentioned in his letter, the boy was traveling, training, and growing by leaps and bounds.

Plus, you wouldn't believe the adventure we had a few days ago! Brock, Dawn, and me met Shaymin…and Giratina too! They're super rare and legendary Pokemon, Mom! It was so cool, too, cuz we got to help Shaymin find its friends, and we even rescued Giratina from some guy who tried to…well, it's kinda hard to explain and you may not believe it.

A maternal, matter-of-factly smirk tugged Delia's lips as she read the previous sentence. Leave it to Ash to omit or pooh-pooh the more dangerous details of his adventures, lest he worry his mother (more than Delia already worried about him). She was not stupid enough to believe that all of Ash's travels had been kid-safe, but Delia did trust his judgment (and the guardianship of his companions). Besides, Ash obviously lived to tell the tale, else she would have never received this letter and bouquet in the first place.

But the good news is that we saved Giratina's life! We even saved a nearby village from being destroyed, too. Of course, everybody helped out, even wild Regigigas (whos rare, too!)! It wasSoawesome,Mom!

His handwriting became extra-sloppy, probably due to the energized boy barely being able to sit still to write the letter. Delia could just imagine Ash bouncing up and down in his seat while scribbling on paper. It never took much to psyche-up Ash Ketchum. Leave it to him to get so excited and giddy about adventures like that. Where oh where did that boy get his energy?

Anyway, I really wanna tell you about the Gracidea flowers. You see we had to bring Shaymin to this special garden so it could meet its friends. The garden was filled with pink Gracidea flowers, and they kinda give Shaymin a special power.

But more importantly, Brock, Dawn, and me learned that Gracidea bohkays—Ash must have asked Brock for the correct spelling, because the previous error was crossed out and replaced with—bouquets are used to show a person's gratitude. Shaymin is called "The Gratitude Pokemon" too. Which makes sense right?

So after the three of us said goodbye to Shaymin and Giratina, Dawn got a great idea to buy a buncha Gracidea flowers. That way, we could send Gracidea baskets to our families. Dawn said the flowers would be nice gestures. Brock sent a basket to his family in Pewter City and Dawn sent one to her mom in Twinleaf Town, too. So…it wasnt exactly my idea…

The funny thing about Ash was that he tended to be either too proud or too modest. His mom always taught him that honesty was the best policy.

But…I did agree with Dawn, and I thought Gracidea flowers would be perfect to send to you, Mom! I know you love flowers and gardening. The floorist said you could transfer the Gracidea flowers from their basket and plant them in the ground, too. I'm not really sure how you do that, but if anyone knows how to take care of plants its you.

Well, plants…and people. You sure knew how to take care of me, Mom.

Delia's heart swelled.

Really Mom, you are the best. Flowers are the least I can do.

I know you worry about me, but I'm okay. Really. Trust me, Dawn, Brock, Pikachu, and everyone else makes sure I stay in one piece. As Dawn would say: "No need to worry!"

And as Delia once heard, Dawn's mother would say, "That's when I worry the most."

I know you miss me, Mom. Pikachu misses you too.

I miss you.

Really, I do. It's just that there always seems to be some thing going on to keep us busy. That's the life of a future Pokemon Master. Its never boring!

But…whenever I don't have something to do, I kinda…I kinda feel homesick. Plus, sometimes I wish you could see some of the amazing things we see, Mom. I know you never got to become a trainer.

That was because Delia chose to become a mother.

I do miss you. I know I don't always show it, or say it. I guess that's why I wanted to send you the flowers, not just because my friends were doing it. Gracidea flowers are meant to show a person's gratitude. I appreciate everything you've done for me, Mom. Actually, I wanted to buy more flowers for you, cuz I know you love carnations and daffodils…but, those kinds aren't in season over here in Sinnoh. Sorry. They're in bloom in Kanto now, aren't they? I hope so.

Indeed, Delia's garden was in full bloom at the moment. Professor Oak and countless neighbors continuously complimented Delia's green thumb (even Mr. Mime's, who was no slouch in gardening, either). If anyone in Pallet needed advice or assistance with their seedlings, Mrs. Ketchum was the lady to seek. Her garden was bursting with life and color, yet masterfully landscaped to avoid looking overcrowded. Delia certainly did not need her son to frivolously spend his money on more plants than she needed. His Gracidea bouquet was just fine.

But that was typical of Ash. The big-hearted kid never knew when he had done more than enough.

Be sure to tell Mr. Mime, Tracey, and Professor Oak I said hi, okay? If Gary's around, let him know, too! I know he sometimes goes in and out between Kanto and Sinnoh. Oh, and if you happen to hear from Misty, May, or Max, tell them Brock and I miss them, too. After the Sinnoh League, I'll be sure to come by Pallet Town to visit (and I'll be sure to bring you another trophy, too!). Wish me luck (and Dawn, too! She's super-psyched for her first Grand Festival)!

We'll be staying at a local Pokemon Center for a few days while Dawn competes for her next ribbon. I wrote the phone number down at the bottom. We… I would love to hear from you.

I love you, Mom. Ash then scribbled his signature, along with a Pikachu P.S. paw print.

"And I love you, too, Ash," choked Delia, pressing the letter lovingly to her chest. Though she hated to admit it, she sometimes felt forgotten amidst her son's busy life as a Pokemon trainer. Professor Oak, Tracey, and Mr. Mime helped to keep Delia's life merry, but there was no replacement for her only child. But she refused to be selfish and hinder Ash's ambitions to be Pokemon Master—to become the best person he could be. Such was one of the many sacrifices any mother would make for her child.

Mimie had offered her a tissue, which coerced a small giggle of appreciation from the woman. Times like these reminded Delia of how deeply she missed her son. But all was not lost. Ash did leave a phone number for her to call.

No sooner did Delia rise from the sofa and head to the videophone. Though it was nighttime in Kanto, daytime was likely in Sinnoh. She would call Ash, thank him, and embarrass him with her maternal cooing. And Ash would giggle, blush, and then rattle on and on about his latest news regarding the upcoming leagues and festivals.

There was always a tiny hope within Delia's heart that Ash might inexplicably blurt out that he was coming home, but she never forced the issue. Her son was where he wanted to be, doing what he dreamed.

What more could a mother want for her child?

The End

A/N: Speaking as the author, I haven't written a fanfic starring Ash and Delia Ketchum in what feels like eons, so it's wonderful for me to return to writing about this precious family. ^.^

I hope you liked this one-shot. Please let me know your thoughts via review. Thanks!