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Fanfic / Til Death Do Us Part

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Written in 2001 by Ilex the Elder, Til Death Do Us Part is a Pokémon fanfic concerning a romantic relationship between Ash's mother Delia and Professor Oak.

Delia Ketchum and Samuel Oak are a widow and widower respectively. Delia's young husband died in an accident, while Samuel's wife died of illness not soon after their 30th wedding anniversary. The two are casual acquaintances at best, at least until Delia's ten year old son Ash leaves on a Pokémon journey. With Ash gone, the two neighbors start to become closer. Samuel begins visiting the widow to see how she's doing with her son gone, but his visits soon become more personal.

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Til Death Do Us Part has two short sequels: A Wedding To Remember, which is about Delia and Samuel's wedding, and Empty Nest, which is themed about their daughter Laurel.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Age-Gap Romance: Samuel is wary of his daughter Laurel dating Tracey due to their age gap. Tracey was already a teenager when Laurel was born.
  • Age Lift:
    • Delia's age is given as 33. If Pocket Monsters: The Animation is accurate, in the anime she is no older than 29. The writer didn't have this information at the time of writing, so Delia is a few years older than she should be.
    • Samuel is almost 60. Future games imply he's in his 40s (going off of Professor Rowan's age of 60 in comparison to his own).
  • Book-Ends: The story begins with a young Delia standing at the grave of her first husband Will with her infant son in her hands. It ends with an elderly Delia standing at the grave of her second husband Samuel with her infant great-grandson in her hands.
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  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ash and Misty ended up marrying when they grew up.
  • Dead Guy Junior:
    • Ash and Misty's son is named "Will", after Ash's father.
    • Delia and Samuel's granddaughter Brooke had a son with Jessie and James' son Skylar. She named him after her grandfather Samuel.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ash's father, Will, is deceased in this story but is implied to be alive in canon. Delia mentioning him in present tense in the second episode is handwaved as being related to her grief.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ash's father Will died in a landslide when he was an infant.
  • Downer Beginning: Til Death Do Us Part begins with a recently widowed Delia standing at her husband's grave.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Used platonically with Delia, who eats ice cream while watching TV the day her son leaves. She's feeling the effects of empty nest syndrome in Ash's absence.
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  • Insecure Love Interest: Due to their 26 year age gap, Samuel sometimes feels insecure in himself around Delia. He questions whether she'd prefer someone closer to her own age.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: When Samuel is reluctantly thrown a bachelor party, it involves a lady popping out of a cake. Too bad the "woman" is actually a crossdressing James, while elsewhere his friends try to steal Pokémon from the lab. No one finds it sexy due to how overly large James' chest is.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Laurel's first Pokémon was a Charmander named "Mandy".
  • May–December Romance: There's a 30 year age-gap between Delia and Samuel. Samuel initially feels he's too old for Delia, but they work through their relationship nevertheless.
  • Mayfly–December Friendship: Pikachu had an abnormally long life, however it's still short-lived compared to a humans. It died a few years prior to the second-to-last chapter of Til Death Do Us Part. Ash owns a descendant named "Flash".
  • Oblivious to Love: Ash didn't think that anything was going on between his mom and Professor Oak, even though everyone else could. It took until the two outright kissed in front of him for Ash to realize their relationship.
  • Open Secret: Everyone in Pallet Town knew about Samuel and Delia's Secret Relationship long before they came out about it.
  • Shout-Out: In A Wedding To Remember, Delia mentions the books Goodnight, Gloom (Goodnight Moon) and The Caterpie in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat).
  • The Tragic Rose: Samuel's first wife was named Rose. She died of cancer.
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