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Memory of a White Christmas

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Lysandre,
You know those old-fashioned oil lamps, like those you’d expect a person to be holding up in a film as they went through a tunnel underground? Well, F/N seems to believe that in the darkest part of the year, if one was to try really hard, then an important memory could be stored in their light. If one is really lucky it can touch the souls of the already departed. Prior to our participation in La Réveillon-a feast with the others from the lab, and how I will miss you being a special guest there-we will be lighting those lamps at a service she has planned. I wanted to write all of this down, so that I can properly be able to focus on the memory when the time comes and be able to speak to you and tell you some of what I have wanted to throughout the years.

 

The memory I want to discuss with you is the first Christmas F/N had with us after she moved here.

 

We had small electric heaters in our room that year and throughout various spots in the lab. We’d particularly made sure that the Pokémon who hibernated, such as the Ursaring and Beartic, were snug enough in the dens we’d help craft for them down in the Pokémon observation area. It replicates the seasons well and encourages natural behaviour in its inhabitants. I remember how F/N and I had thrown some of the leaves that had fallen at one another. She’d worn this long, soft brown scarf that she’d managed to get cheap in the Christmas market-something which she’d been keen to go to, to test out the little of the Kalosian language that she’d known back then, whilst I’d acted like her backup-and a maroon hat that had covered half her ears. Her cheeks had been flushed. She’d looked pretty, but then I do not need to tell you that. You of all people would have known that I’d seen her in such a way. You would have seen the light that she’d brought into my life-and still brings to this day-and would have laughed and teased me about it. I wish that you had known her. Wish that you had been able to be together in the same space at the same time, rather than crossing over like Pokémon in a trade. Did your soul see her as you passed? When she was on her way to Kalos to seek me out did your newly departed soul catch sight of her? Did you realize the significance that she’d had on my life? That she was about to have? Or did you merely believe that she was some woman I’d be interested in for a month or two and then never again? It pains me now to think about what I used to be like, how careless I was with other people’s feelings when I was so quick to protect my own.

 

We nearly spoke of her once. Do you remember it? I think you sensed that I was thoughtful when her paper on Mega Evolution came out, but you were too busy with your own thing and what with the work of the lab we never got the chance to. Then it was all too late…

 

In any case mon ami I am supposed to be telling you about Christmas and that first one in particular. You must tell me off if I get distracted.

 

Like I was saying to you we had heaters in our room that year and it was quite warm. Every morning though, and this makes me laugh now when I look back on it, but every morning from the end of November F/N would often wake first and go across to the window. She’d put a finger to the curtain as if she was feeling the pulse of the world. Then she’d move the curtain just a fraction, so that she could peer out of it. Every single time she would let out a sigh and then shake her head as if she were being silly. I would watch her from the bed, my mind sluggishly half on her and half musing about the fact that very soon I would be spending yet another Christmas without you. I know we didn't very often spend the full day together mon ami, but the evening drink we’d have on the day or before then, the warmth of the mulled wine, as it sloshed down my throat and your good company-I do miss such a thing.

 

Still, finally the pattern with F/N sighing each day happened enough for my curiosity to be peaked long enough to come out of the past and ask her, “What is it ma belle?”

 

I’d gotten an automatic shake of her head and then a quick look of momentary surprise over her shoulder. “Oh, nothing.”

 

I was quite puzzled about what might be the cause of her sighing. I worried that she was getting bored of her life here, worried that I had been too thoughtful with her. I had known then that she was capable of staying in a place for some time, but it had concerned me, the idea that I might have ruined things between us simply because I had not paid her enough attention.

 

However, when I was trying to resolve all this by doing a list instead of my paperwork and seen her walking about with a handkerchief pressed to her nose, as if it might have been blocked up, I had simply thought-or hoped perhaps-that maybe it was only the contrasting temperatures between the cold outside and the heaters indoors that made things difficult for her. Perhaps I’d been too quick to think that I was the problem.

 

I’d tried experimenting with the heaters and had adjusted them, so that there was more of a coolness in our room especially, but it had not stopped the sighing routine.

 

*

 

The first week in December had seen me at my desk, which had featured a snow globe of Lumiose as I’d ignored the increasingly growing pile of paperwork and the plateful of Stantler cookies and hot chocolate. The drink had smelt faintly of cinnamon. Sophie had made both of the tasty treats for me. My fist pressed into my cheek I once again had contemplated whether I should talk to F/N about whatever was clearly bothering her. I had been reluctant to take decisive action though just in case I’d made things worse.

 

Sophie had walked briskly around the partition, which had been decorated with a sprig of holly and had stopped in front of me. If it had been Diantha then she would have had a piece of flirtatious tinsel around her shoulders, but Sophie has never been that extravagant and so was in her usual glasses and smart, but practical attire. “Professor Oak still hasn’t received your conference slip”- she’d begun to tell me. Her lab coat had swished around her.

 

I had missed that year’s conference because it had been close to the anniversary of your departure my friend and no amount of chiding from F/N had convinced me to go to it. She’d sighed at me then too and would have probably done the same if she’d known that the idea of planning to attend the next year’s conference had not appealed to me. I’d seen from my cursory glance of the documents that the conference dates would fall around the same time. Still, I’d decided though that since Sophie would be breathing down my neck like a Charmeleon if the hill of paperwork had become any more mountainous and I really did need to deal with the conference slip either way, I would come right out with my latest pre-occupation in the hope that it would be resolved. “Sophie, whilst you are here, you have not heard any complaints or sensed anything the matter with F/N recently?”

 

Sophie had blinked behind her glasses. “She has seemed a little thoughtful”- she’d admitted.

 

“Ah, I thought so.” I’d nodded eagerly, pleased that it hadn’t all just been in my head and that I’d been right to focus upon it. “Every morning she sighs!” I’d been exasperated by the fact.

 

Sophie had looked a little concerned by my words. “I'm sure everything’s okay though,” she’d tried to reassure us both. “It must just be a little odd for her being here permanently now.” My expression must have clouded over at that point for Sophie had sighed, “Look, if you can dig out Professor Oak’s conference papers from that pile”-she’d pointed- “Then I can go and have a quick word with F/N. I think she said something about making a phone call to Professor Juniper-?” I’d scowled at that, I hadn’t been able to help it, I was rather sore sometimes about how F/N seemed to prefer Juniper to me and I worried that she might be tempted to go back and work beneath her. “But hopefully she’ll be done by now.” I’d shared the sentiments. As efficient as ever Sophie had marched off again.

 

I’d reluctantly put my contemplations to one side and had attempted to find the slip of paper that Sophie had been on about. It had been like picking a card out in a magician’s act only I’d always seemed to pick the wrong one out and the one that would not work with the trick. I’d finally pulled the form out with an, ‘Aha!’ of triumph when a shadow had unfurled itself like a red carpet in front of me. I’d looked up to see F/N stood there. Her hands had fidgeted and her eyes-her beautiful, expressive eyes-had been rather hidden behind her fringe, as if she were peering out at me from behind some tall grass. My hand had slipped against the paperwork in my surprise at her and it had all tumbled down. We’d both cursed and then had grinned at one another. It had been such a relief to see her smile like that-mon ami I can’t tell you how much! I’d detected though that she’d felt a little tense during our collection of the paperwork.

 

When she’d handed me the last few bits of it and I’d replaced them upon my desk I’d pulled her body close to mine and as our hips had bumped together I’d asked, “What is it F/N? I cannot concentrate knowing something’s on your mind like this.”

 

“You’re one to talk. You’ve been thinking a lot about… him recently,” she’d been able to tell.

 

I had not known what to say to that. “I…”

 

“Miss him? Yes, I know. I just wish I could do something about it,” she’d sounded wistful.

 

“You do enough ma chérie. Never doubt that,” I’d chided her. I’d wanted her to know that I valued her. “What is your problem? Come, tell me. I long to hear of it.” I’d held her hands with mine delicately between our bodies.

 

“It’s nothing like yours. In fact comparatively I’m sure you’re going to think me very silly for it. It’s just something that’s been on my mind a lot lately.” She hadn’t been able to look at me.

 

“Tell me s’il vous plaît.” I’d just wanted to know what the matter had been.

 

“It’s the snow,” she’d confessed to me, and she’d pulled a bit of a face that had told me that she’d believed herself to be very stupid. I’d wished back then and I still do sometimes now that she wouldn’t think such things about herself. “Or the lack of it rather.” My eyebrow had quirked upward at that. She’d pulled away from me a fraction and I’d let her slip out of my grasp, so that she had been able to be more comfortable. “I know it’s such a bizarre thing to miss, but back home a thin layer would already be on the ground by now at least. I would be able to see it from my window and feel the crunch of it beneath my feet. The sound of it would be muffled”-

 

“Oui,” I’d liked her storytelling description, but had urged her in that one word to tell me more and explain herself. I might not have been able to solve my problem, but I could surely help with hers.

 

“Naples”-my beloved’s Empoleon-“And I have often trained in it. It’s just something I'm so used to at this time of year, especially at Christmas. It’s as natural as breathing is for me.” My chest had hitched at the statement. If something that was as natural as breathing to her was missing then it had to be recovered. I had to focus only on her. I vowed then that I would try to not dwell on the past, but as you must realize between the gap of the memory I am telling you about and where we are now I have not been entirely successful. “I know it’s ridiculous to expect it here,” she’d told me in that same self-mocking tone, “I keep telling myself off for being so foolish about it, but every morning I-the childish part of me I guess-cannot help but hope to see it and also I”-

 

“Oui, ma belle?”

 

She’d run a frustrated hand through her hair and it had hurt me to see her in such an état. “I suppose I got thinking…and when I did I couldn't quite stop”-I’d smiled at that because it is the same way for me too-“That maybe if it snowed here and everything felt like Christmas, and I don’t just mean the shops and the markets being all decorated and playing the right music, then everything would work out. You’d cheer up and I’d be happy and”-

 

“You must not worry about me ma belle.” I’d pulled her close once more and had pecked the top of her hair.

 

“I cannot help it”-

 

“I am sorry if I have made your time here miserable,” I’d told her fervently.

 

“No, you haven’t,” she’d protested, as she’d pulled away from me, “I love living here for the most part. It’s just that there have been, moments, and I don’t mean me disagreeing with you on the funding either”-

 

“I know,” I’d agreed with her gravely.

 

“And I thought that perhaps as silly as it sounds snow would give us a break from all of that, like it always did when Oliver and I were young…” Oliver had been her best friend and they had parted ways after I’d come on the scene. I wish that I had been able to fix things between them, before he’d died in a tragic accident even though I’d often been jealous of their relationship. I also hadn’t wanted to spoil F/N’s dream of a white Christmas, but I had known that if it ever snowed in Lumiose it would only be as the result of a freak weather incident.

 

“I know,” she’d smiled in that self-effacing way that is her tendency, “That it is a silly and impossible thing to wish for. Lumiose has not seen snow for many, many years. I looked it up myself…but if it could only come and give us a break…”

 

“Perhaps it will?” I’d gently told her, before I’d moved away from her and gone to switch on the crackling gramophone. I’d made my way back to her then. “Even if it does not then we have this.” Whilst, ‘Noel Blanc,’ had played and she’d smiled briefly at the choice I’d made and made me feel pleased that I had been able to cheer her up, I’d tugged her to me and lifted one of her hands in mine. We’d danced. It had been slow, but not particularly romantic, for our bodies had behaved like the tug between tectonic plates-both of us had been there, but we’d been lost in our own problems, however much we’d tried to focus on the other. I’d done an extravagant sway every time that I’d realized she’d been contemplating and it had momentarily brightened up her expression, as she’d come out of her thought. I had been able to tell however just how important the matter of snow had been to her and that she was worried about me. I was concerned about her too. Anxious about the day she would no longer want to be with me.

 

“Do not worry ma belle. I have you.” My chin had rested upon the top of her head attentively and she’d stroked at my side. Her hand had been curled around it. I’d hoped I always would have her.

 

*

 

I'm sure you can tell what came next. I’d wanted to make it snow for her, so that she could have a proper experience, whilst here in the region. I’d wanted to give her that moment of happiness. Maybe give it to myself too…

 

*

 

She’d carried on with peering out of the window every morning, though she’d refrained from sighing again and I’d counted on the routine being the same on Christmas morning.

 

It had been, but with one exception: when she’d peered out of the window that day she’d let out a bit of a gasp. On my side I’d watched her and had smiled. I'm still not sure to this day how it is possible to hear a smile, but something about mine must have been loud, for she’d glanced back at me. Suddenly things had seemed to become clearer for her. She’d turned around properly to face me.

 

“Did you have something to do with this?” Her face had fought back a grin. I’d sat up a little and had pressed both an innocent and dramatic hand to my chest, as if to say, ‘moi?’ She’d grabbed at my hand with a laugh and had yanked me free of the bed. Just in my boxer shorts however I’d shivered and longed for warmth.

 

“There’s snow outside,” her breath had been visible in the air and just her tone itself had sounded magical. She’d been on the verge of happiness and I’d let such a thing heat me from the inside.

 

“Snow?” I’d pretended to be astonished. I’d pushed the curtain back further and had seen that there had been snow in patches, which went down the street from the lab and little touches on the windows, guttering and signs of shops and houses. Wreaths upon doors had also looked like they had been flecked with the stuff. I’d known then that I’d done an adequate job of recruiting people to smuggle some of the snow that had been in the Pokémon observation area out of the lab and into the city. It had looked like one of those paintings on a Christmas card. To her however I’d said, “Must be one of those freak storms. We should go and check on the Pokémon.” I’d pretended to treat the matter with a level of urgency.

 

She’d grinned up at me as she’d seen right through me. “I know you had something to do with it,” she’d told me.

 

“Oh, now the mademoiselle knows,” I’d teased her, as I’d tapped her playfully upon the nose. “Still,” I’d informed her with my, ‘trying not to be too pleased with myself’ smile, “I think we should go and check on the Pokémon, but we should make sure to wrap up warm.”

 

Her eyebrow had quirked up in suspicion at that, but she’d gotten dressed dutifully all the same. I’d dressed in a whirlwind and then helped her to tug on her brown scarf and gloves and had pecked her on the top of her head, before I’d pushed her maroon hat halfway down over her ears. I had been so keen for her to see my surprise. I hadn’t been able to wait for it.

 

The elevator had opened upon a silent corridor in the basement of the lab. It had been almost eerily quiet. I’d given all the assistants-including Sophie who had been quite adamant that she hadn’t minded popping in for a few hours if it had given F/N and I more time to ourselves-and everyone else who’d worked there the day off. It would be up to F/N and I to take care of all the Pokémon that were there, but the time that such a thing would take had not bothered me, as I’d known we’d have fun doing it. More to the point it had felt nice and I had, had a child-like sort of joy about me at knowing that we’d have the lab to ourselves that day. We’d probably end up having a snowball fight in the Pokémon observation area and having to have one of those cinnamon hot chocolates afterwards. That did happen mon ami, but that was after she’d found out about what my surprise was. I am not doing a very good job of staying on track here I know.

 

If you remember we’d just left the elevator. I’d taken her hand in mine and had led her towards the Pokémon observation area. She’d gasped when after I’d pressed the button to the side of the double-doors they’d slid open to reveal a perfect winter wonderland. Snow had been everywhere. It had hung off the bare trees that we had been able to see in the distance and clung to the underside of the boots she’d slipped on and the shoes that I’d worn as soon as we’d entered the place. Bird Pokémon had started to make a melody for us despite the fact in winter they were less inclined to. Other Pokémon had tried to graze and pick at what they had been able to. They’d found shoots of green between the white. A Tauros, which had worn a red ribbon and a gold bell around its neck, courtesy of its owner Serena, had trotted up to us, as it had wanted to be petted, and was also probably hungry too! The chime from its bell had added to the beautiful music of the birds.

 

“Augustine,” F/N had breathed, as I’d slipped a careful hand around her waist. Her head had turned towards mine. There had been a sparkling kind of wonder in her eyes that I shall never forget.

 

“Ma belle, did you really forget that this place mimics the seasons? Your snow and happiness was really so close to you all this time,” I’d teased.

 

“I thought the snow might have appeared by now if it was to come in this place,” she’d confessed, as she’d turned her head away from me ever so slightly. Her cheeks had pinkened.

 

“Ah,” I’d whispered, “But you forget who has ultimate control over this place and what is the point in getting used to snow when it can first appear on the day that you want it to most of all?” Technically I had made the snow appear in the Pokémon observation area the previous night, so that people from the city had been able to come and collect some of it for their own purposes, but it had been more romantic to make her believe that it had not appeared until after midnight.

 

Her head had tilted up to mine. She’d looked radiant. I’d kissed her, as I’d tried to convince her that the place had been real. That it was our winter wonderland, all just for us that day and that happiness would never be too far away for us to dip into.

 

I wanted to tell you about that old friend so that you might understand what I am trying to do now. I know you might scoff. You might say to me that she wouldn’t be able to make my wishes come true and you’d be right. She cannot make all of them come true. Not when one of them is impossible for her to grant. Not when I would like to bring you back here again. For you to spend some time with us and see and understand why she has effected me so much. I would like your approval of our relationship of course, but sometimes I also wonder if I’d found her sooner would it have calmed the person you’d been at the end of your life? Made you want different things? She tells me that I cannot save everyone, yet sometimes I believe it is my fault still, for being a bachelor at the moment that you needed me not to be. For messing around when you maybe required me to knock some sense into you. For thinking of you now when she is there waiting and has been for some time. The truth is I should be busy being someone she can follow proudly and I should have been someone you could have looked to then. You had always led the way for me and now she does that, but the truth is though F/N and I, I think, share an equal amount of love for one another, I always loved you more than you loved me.

 

“Augustine?” F/N disrupts me and I come out of the letter I’ve been trying to write. I suddenly realize that my grey eyes are damp like melting ice when I look at her and peer hastily down at my desk, as if it is the most fascinating thing in the entire world. Since we have become closer I have found it all the more difficult to hide what I feel from her. She feels secure enough in our relationship by this point to come around the desk and clutch onto my shoulder. “What are you doing to yourself?” She pushes my thick hair a little away from my face, as I look up at her.

 

“I have been trying to write this letter,” I stab at it with a hand, my vision still half-focusing on her. It is December again and we have a two-year-old son named Rowan. If she notices, as she looks briefly down at the letter the very last words that I have written then she doesn’t seem to mind them. She just carries on touching at my shoulders and smoothing down my hair. I love the way that she accepts all the parts of me that she bears witness to, but which I cannot adequately express. When words fail me she still stands supportively by my side and will often squeeze at my hand or do some gesture, as she is now, so I know that it’s okay not to talk sometimes. I don’t always have to fill the space with my enthusiasm or joie de vivre. I don’t always have to be the life and soul of the party. “It is not coming along well,” I feel safe enough to tell her.

 

“No?” she’d probably guessed at such a thing. So that we can talk more openly she goes to sit opposite me now and delicately folds one leg over the other. I see her eyes going to the Christmas tree that is in the corner of the room and which has been decorated for some time now, before they go back to mine. I love taking Rowan sometimes in the afternoons and holding him in my hands, whilst I sit at my desk. I will swivel around in my chair and he will stretch and try to reach the shiny, red baubles, whilst he babbles. It is a great distraction from work and everything else. But now is not the time to be shying away from it all. Now is the time to try and make her see what I am going through, so that she might be able to help me.

 

“I am trying to write it”-made determined by my thoughts I attempt at an explanation, but my voice nearly wobbles-“So that when we see people with those lamps on Christmas Eve in the heart of Lumiose”-she smiles now because just outside the Pokémon lab is hardly the centre of Lumiose, but it is our centre, our home-“I might be able to focus on that one memory and channel it so that it might be able to go into the lamp light, but there are too many memories ma belle!” I grow desperate. “I want to tell him so much, but it keeps getting all tangled up. It cannot come out succinctly.”

 

“Shh,” she comes around to me again and holds my head to her side. I am definitely crying now, gurgling and hiccoughing too as I try to control myself. I do not look as pretty as I usually do and in the state that I'm in it makes me believe quite easily that she will leave me.

 

“I want to tell him so much.”

 

“Of course you do,” she says, as if that is a perfectly rational thing, not seeming to care about my appearance and I calm down a little when I think that she has probably seen me in worse states.

 

“About our first Christmas together, every New Year and all that hope we always have, the details of the Mega Evolution Aid we've been working on with Professor Juniper, the results of it, what we’re doing to improve it all the time…about all the discoveries of Mega Evolution in other regions, I want to tell him about little Rowan of course”-I suddenly realize that our son, the second sunbeam in my life, is not with her.

 

“Sophie’s keeping him occupied,” she reads me, stroking at my shoulder again. “Treasure is helping by making bubbles for him to pop.” Treasure is my beloved Blastoise. He was given to me by F/N when he was just a petit Squirtle and like his name suggests I have treasured him ever since. There is such a ridiculous fond smile upon her face in that moment that it makes me love her all the more. Who would have thought that the stubborn creature I’d once muttered about ruefully would turn out to be ma chère, ma belle, mon amour? That she’d become the other Professor Sycamore at this lab and we’d go on to have a son together? If someone had told me all that when we’d met at Professor Rowan’s lab again during that summer all those years ago then I would have said that their mind had been addled by an Electrode. Now I can’t believe it had taken all that time for me to see it, but somehow we’re here. Somehow we've made it to this point.

 

“What do you want to tell him? Never mind about it being an exact memory. What would you like to tell him if you had the chance to?” She squeezes at my shoulder and it is probable that she feels annoyed with herself for being so specific and for encouraging me to do this in the first place.

 

I stare beyond the desk at the far wall. “That I am all right for the most part if he was wondering,” I begin to speak, “That of course I have my demons and my bad days and I wasn’t fine at the time, but I'm doing better now and that’s all because of you.” I smile in a watery fashion at her. She returns my gaze with a tremulous look of her own. “I think if he’d have seen me this way, if he’d held on and not done what he had, then there might have been someone special out there for him too. Someone that he would have found eventually. Perhaps someone is already missing him, someone more than me I mean.” I do not know everyone Lysandre met, everyone he spoke to. It hurts me sometimes to think that there are people out there who have been touched by him that I am not aware of. That there is no one I can really talk about him to, for as wonderful as F/N is I cannot expect her to understand my words fully, not having met the man herself.

 

“I think your relationship was one of the best parts of his life,” F/N tells me loyally, once again saying and seeing more than I could have expected her to. “Why don’t you put in your letter what you've just explained?”

 

“It will work in the same way?”

 

“Of course,” she smiles the words, as she gently ribs me. We both know that the story about the lamp is a myth, a fable, but what a beautiful thing to believe in! It’s finally getting me to be more open about what I have processed in the years since Lysandre’s death. In an attempt to thank her for encouraging me to live more in the present, which is what I really wish to do myself, I get to my feet and take her in my arms. We dance without there being any music playing on the gramophone and that is a wondrous thing too. Our bodies, our minds, they are in sync and whole-heartedly in love.

 

*

 

I felt your soul tonight. It sparkled and winked at me in the lamplight. My eyes focused on it mon ami, whilst my arms concentrated on holding Rowan who kept hitting me with his Blastoise toy and calling me, ‘Gus,’ ‘Augustine’ it turns out is too much of a mouthful for him and though I am also, ‘Dada,’ my son seems to find it amusing to call me ‘Gus.’ F/N just finds it adorable.

 

She was brilliant tonight Lysandre. I know that you would clap me on the shoulder and say that I am biased in that booming voice of yours, but she really was. She took the service just outside the gate of the lab. There was quite a crowd I can tell you. I think it surprised her. That, that many people wanted to turn up for her, for us. A son sat on his father’s shoulders. A girl sucked her thumb and held onto her mother’s hand as she listened. A group of teenagers who pretended not to be fussed secretly hung off my wife’s every word. A group of geekier looking teenagers-if I was younger then I would have definitely been in their group-were more open in their adoration and stared and stared at her. Even an elderly woman in a wheelchair that was being pushed by her middle-aged daughter was there with a shawl upon her lap. Her eyes shone in the dark.

 

F/N spoke of the joys of the season. Spoke about how we were on the verge of a fresh new year and how exciting that all was. She acknowledged that some of us would have lost people or Pokémon that year or be thinking of and missing those that we’d lost in previous ones. She did not mention you directly, but as she'd briefly met my eyes I'd known that you were one of the ones she was thinking of. The other of course was her beloved Empoleon Naples. He might have passed away some time ago now, just like you mon ami, but I know that she is still finding life without him as strange as I am finding it without you. Perhaps that is how she is able to understand so much of what I am going through. Her face freezes with pain whenever she should see Rowan playing with his Empoleon toy and I long to help her with her own grief also. At the time of buying the toy she’d been so hopeful that her friend would recover you see. Tonight though mon ami I think that Naples would have been proud of her. Maybe even you would have been too, though you would never have admitted it I know.

 

We'd lit our lamps. Rowan was very enthusiastic, so I had to be careful with ours. F/N had to do it in the end. I heard the older people and even some of the less emotionally shy teenagers cooing at how adorable we all were. I had not minded it, which had been a first, but I had not been able to. I am in the picture now you see, in the centre of what I have always wanted to do and how I longed for my life to end up like. I do not have to dream as much any more because I can just open my eyes and see and bear witness to it and you don’t have to tell me how very lucky I am for that. I have not been stopping and appreciating what I have enough though lately and I intend to address that. I am sure that I will still have some bad days. Days where I will miss you and talk to you in some form, whether it be a letter like this or just a mumble to myself. In fact I know I will. Yet I want to focus on the future now, and more importantly on the present, so that I might ask sooner when there is something on my wife’s mind and enjoy watching my son grow up instead of letting it pass me by. I do not want to look at him one day and realize how tall he is and think that I cannot remember it when he was small or for F/N to leave me. I hope that Rowan will soon become as fond and protective of Pokémon as both his parents are, but even if he does not then I know that I will try and support him in whatever path he chooses for himself. I want to pay him attention. I do not want to miss any signs like I did with you, but truly learn from what happened.

 

It is time to say goodbye to you for now mon ami. From the man who will forever hold you in high regard,

Professor Sycamore. X.