It was strange getting to know his father again now that they were both older and Tim was an adult. They still had that familial connection from the first ten or so years of Tim's life, but there was a disconnect that came from the next decade being one where they'd had essentially no contact except through intermediaries, namely Tim's grandmother. It was as if the long interruption had almost reset their expectations for each other. They weren't virtual strangers — there was too much history between them for that — but they didn't really know each other anymore either.
And yet, Tim felt he understood his father better now, now that he was old enough to see past his own childhood grief and understand that his father had been struggling to deal with his own pain as well as Tim's while also starting a new job and trying to manage a move to Ryme City that had been planned before their worlds fell apart. They'd both had their own unhealthy ways of dealing with things: Harry had thrown himself into his work and Tim had blamed an all too easy to dismiss absent father.
Honestly, it was a miracle they were sitting across from each other having a fairly pleasant, if occasionally awkward, breakfast. They were still trying to get used to the other actually being there, but they were both trying to reach out instead of pushing the other away.
"So, uh," Harry began hesitantly. He still second-guessed his words, worried he'd say one wrong thing and Tim would leave his life again. "How's training been going?"
"It's been going good, Dad."
Harry smiled at the appellation. "Good, good." He paused again, unsure of where to take the conversation. He glanced at Pikachu, who was happily munching on his own breakfast on the floor.
Tim noticed where Harry's gaze had gone. It was something of a nervous habit that his father fell back on when he was unsure of what to say to Tim.
"How's your work going?" Tim asked.
Harry barely managed to hide the flicker of relief that crossed his face. "Work is good. It's good. They're still keeping us on the lighter stuff for now, but we're finally getting off desk duty today."
"Pi ka chu!" Pikachu chirped happily. He abandoned his empty bowl and climbed the chair to curl up in Harry's lap.
"Hey, buddy," Harry said with obvious affection as he stopped eating long enough to scratch Pikachu behind the ears. "We'll be ready to head out soon."
Harry chuckled at the response before turning his attention back to Tim. "Got any plans for the weekend?"
"Lucy's trying to get me to go to a berry growers market with her Saturday," Tim replied. "I dunno though, it feels kinda weird going to something like that without a Pokémon."
Pikachu, whose ears had perked up at the mention of berries, poked his head up to look at Tim across the table.
"I think Pikachu would be interested in joining you, if you'd like," Harry said with a small smile. When Tim hesitated, he continued, "It's up to you either way."
"Maybe," Tim answered noncommittally.
"Sure," Harry replied, nodding. He paused briefly before continuing. "Um, I don't know if you'd be interested, but there's going to be a small concert at the Hi-hat Cafe. Friday night. Pablo is even going to do a short set, so it’ll definitely be worth going for him at least. I'm going to go, and I was wondering if you might join me? You could invite Lucy too."
"Yeah, Dad. That sounds nice." Tim smirked as a thought occurred to him. "Did you choose this apartment because it's so close to Hi-hat Cafe?"
"No," Harry protested. "Pablo only opened Hi-hat...probably around seven years ago now. It used to be a classic 24 hour diner. Obviously the coffee is much better now and the food is healthier."
Tim laughed. "Gotta have easy access to coffee at all times, huh, Dad?"
Harry smiled back. "A man's got to have his vices."
Pikachu chirped up at them to get their attention.
"Alright, we should probably head out," Harry said. Pikachu jumped off his lap so Harry could stand and clear his dishes. He hesitated over the sink for a moment before he took one last swig of his coffee and poured the rest down the drain. "You ready, Tim?"
"Yeah," Tim replied before hastily shoving the last bite of his breakfast into his mouth. He carried his now clear dishes over and handed them to Harry, who put them in the dishwasher. "Let's go."
They left the apartment one after the other, with Pikachu on Harry’s shoulder.
Nothing they could do could wipe away the decade of estrangement, but they were both working to form a new future, one where they were an actual part of each other’s lives, together.