I sigh and stand on my four legs. I follow my trail back to the city. Unfortunately, I pause in the streets and growl. Not again, I think as my Growlithe instincts set me off on a chase after a Litten.

"Get away from me, you stupid mutt!" The Litten hisses at me.

"You first!" I bark back.

The Litten climbs up (with difficulty) a lightpost. They growl, "Snap out of it, man! I don't even know who you are!"

"Who I . . . am?" I shake my head, then realize what happened. "Oh . . . Oh no no no, I am sooo sorry!"

"Hmph. I'm guessing you haven't met your trainer yet." It was said as a statement, as if they already knew the answer.

"Yeah, um." I look around, noticing that I'm now completely lost. "I'm looking for the . . . Smoothies?"

The Litten chuckles. "That loser group? If you say so. But promise you won't attack me when I climb down."

I nod. "I'll try my best."

They take that as a yes, slowly sliding down the pole, simply saying, "Follow me."

I go along, snorting at the sassy way they walk, moving their hips back and forth. We travel through multiple alleyways and even duck under a few fences. The Litten pauses at the special alleyway. "I assume you know how to get in." They leap away.

I bite my lip, then slowly press the brick and enter the tunnel. As I step into the hideout, I get tackled by a blue and black blur. I shut my eyes and whimper.

"Haha," a voice says, "I got you good!"

I open my eyes and sigh, seeing Ashlynn standing triumphantly over me. "Get off of me, Litter Paws!" I growl.

She coughs, disgusted, and jumps off. "Sure, you must have halitosis."

Someone clears their throat and they both see Owen standing next to Jade. Jade speaks, "We were about to head out. Today I was going to show you to Sally, remember?"

"Oh, uh uh, right! But, if my friends are there, I can't talk."

"Why not?" Manso flies over.

"Well, Meowth can speak English and would recognize my voice."

"Alright, makes sense."

"Wait," Liberty says, "Meowth can talk?"

"Oh yeah! I've seen, well, heard it with my own ears!"

"So have I," Jade says.

Owen grunts, while Ashlynn and Liberty gasp in surprise.

"Well, we should probably get going, James. Anyone else coming?"

Owen looks away and grunts and Manso nods. Ashlynn says, "I'd love to see this talking Meowth!"

"I'm going to visit my family tonight, but maybe tomorrow night." Liberty says.

"Alright," Jade says, "let's head out." A few minutes later, we arrive at Jade's front yard. There is a plastic Aromatisse statue by a small fountain in the yard. The house is yellow with blue window sills and dark chestnut roof shingles. Jade knocks on the olive green door. Sally happily runs out and hugs her mom. She then spots me.

I was prepared for the tight squeeze, but it still surprises me. A whine slips out of my mouth as my ribs are crushed and my fur is ruffled. Jade grabs her and I take deep gasping breaths.

As I do so, I look around, but don't see my friends anywhere. Jade asks Sally about it by painting on the sidewalk. Where are the others?

"Oh," Sally says, "The Meowth and woman are looking for the man."

They . . . are? I think. I exchange a glance with Manso and he takes to the skies to look for them.

Sally grabs me in a hug again, petting my head fur. I have to get away before they get back. Jade gives me an apologetic look, then pulls Sally away once more.

"But he's so soft!" She complains. "Wait, it is a he, right?" Jade nods as I try to sneak away.

"Where do you think you're going?" A paw steps on my tail. It's Ashlynn. "You were going to show me the talking Meowth."

"Well, they're not here. And I'm still not sure if I'm ready."

"Ah okay, but let's go back to the hideout. We had a special game to show you!"

"Al-alright." I follow her as Jade says goodbye to her daughter.

Back at the hideout, Ashlynn opens up a compartment in a wall. There are some common board games, like Life, Munnapoly, Stunrisk, ArticUno, and Bounsweets to Bounsweets. But, she pulls out a board game I've never heard of, The Journey. Each player was handed six Pokemon. I got Chingling, Malamar, Bellsprout, Mr. Mime, Cacturne, and Foongus. The game was basically about battling and evolving. I failed pretty badly by the time Manso came in.

"Where were you guys? Your friends were looking for you. I accidentally let it slip that you are a Were-Pokemon."

I could feel the blood leave my face, and I feel like fainting. "Wh-what . . ?"

"Woah woah, calm down buddy. I was just joking! They actually didn't even want to meet anyone before they found you."

"Really?" That's a first, I think. Usually, they go right into stealing, if it was the plan. "By the way, how did you keep track of time again?"

"Oh, I have a watch." He lifts his feathery right leg to show me.

"Huh. Don't know why I didn't notice before." I check the time. "Eek! I have to go!" I rush out of the tunnel and run into the forest. I can smell the scent of roses and salt nearby, so I quickly lay down. Just as the sun peeks through the trees and I transform, Jessie and Meowth come around.

A/N: I didn't realize how short this chapter was. I should've edited it sooner . . . Anyway, the board game is actually a game I created with a printed picture on cardboard and printed cards. It's supposed to be categories of animals you can transform into, but I Pokemon-ized it for the story. Can you figure out the other board game puns? (Besides Life, I couldn't think of a good one for that . . .) Enjoy until next time!