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"Catch me if you can!"

Skitty bounded away from her friend Shroomish, and into the deep green growth of the forest.

"Skitty, wait up!" Shroomish called back after attempting to give chase. His small legs wouldn't carry him very far before he collapsed in a bush, panting hard.

"Aw, Shroomy, you're no fun!" Skitty laughed, leaping out from behind a tree.

"Come on. We've been running around playing for hours!" Shroomish complained. "I need a rest. Besides, you're just sidestepping the issue! We're on a journey to save our family from Team Rock Star!"

Skitty chuckled. "It's Team Rocket, Shroomy." She said. "But I guess you're right! We have to rescue our families!"

"But we can't do any sort of rescuing on empty stomachs." Shroomish added, letting a loud moan escape from his belly."

"You're always hungry." Skitty rolled her eyes. "But it is getting dark. We should find a place to stay for the night."

Shroomish and Skitty set off deeper into the woods. It wasn't long before they stumbled upon a small clearing. Smack dab in the middle was a cute, old-fashioned looking house made of straw, with ivy creeping up the sides.

"Oh, what an adorable little cottage!" Skitty cooed. "I can almost see the stars in the sky, it's so dark. Let's go inside. Maybe there's someone there who will lend us shelter."

Shroomish nodded. His hunger overcame his fear of strangers, and together they walked up to the front door. They could feel warmth coming from within, and the fresh smells of dinner cooking. Skitty stepped on the doorstep and hit the knocker against the door three times.

"Coming!" called a sweet voice. It sounded like an old woman. In a few seconds, the door was opened, the figure of an Ivysaur framed in the doorway.

"Excuse me ma'am," Skitty said in her most polite voice. "But we're on a journey, and we would very much appreciate a place to replenish ourselves and spend the night."

"Oh, of course!" the Ivysaur smiled. "Come in, come in! You can call me Mrs. Ivy, by the way."

"I'm Skitty!" Skitty chimed.

"Shroomish is the name." Shroomish said, slightly nervously.

Mrs. Ivy went to go prepare dinner, so Skitty had a chance to look around the house. It was neat and tidy, and looked homey. But as worn as it looked, there seemed to be no one else living in the house.

"Skitty, Shroomish, come have a spot of dinner." Mrs. Ivy called. The two friends came running, sat down and began to eat, as they were both very hungry. Mrs. Ivy laughed. "My, you two must be starving! Have some more."

Once they were done with their third portion of oran-berry pie, the old Ivysaur showed them to their rooms. Skitty's room was the perfect room for a child, with a nice comfy bed and many toys to play with.

"If you don't mind me asking," Skitty asked Mrs. Ivy. "But did you have children living here at one time?"

She smiled. "Yes, at one time. They got old though, and now they have families of their own. If you want some advice, cherish your youth. Enjoy being a kid while it lasts, before you become an old grandma like me!"

Skitty and Mrs. Ivy laughed a bit. Then she left, leaving Skitty alone.

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Mrs. Ivy took Shroomish to a room across the hall from Skitty's one. He got ready for bed, and went in to say goodnight to Skitty.

But when he went into her room, she had her back towards him, leaning over a small photograph. Shroomish came in close enough to see what she was looking at, but not far enough for her to notice.

He saw that she had her head tilted over a small piece of paper, no, a photograph, depicting a younger Skitty in the arms of an older one.

"Mom." Skitty spoke to the photograph. Shroomish breathed slowly, so she wouldn't hear him. "Mom, I miss you! I can't express how angry I am at that Team Rocket for taking you away from me!"

Skitty looked up towards the window.

"I will come and find you, mom, but how long will it take? It's hard to be away from you for so long! I just want you to take me in your paws and tell me that everything will be alright. But that's just something I'll have to wait for."

Skitty allowed a few tears to leak from her eyes.

"I'm not brave, mom, though I always try to be." She spoke softly. "When I go to the bathroom at night to wash my paws, I check behind the shower curtain because I'm afraid something could be lurking there. I always shut my closet at night, because I'm scared that something will come out and snatch me away! And I'm afraid right now mom…afraid that I'll never see you again."

She gave a sad pine and returned her gaze to the photograph.

"And what if we fail?" Skitty left a long silence before continuing on. "I trust Shroomish with my life, the only one I don't trust is myself. I'm weak, mom. And I'm scared that if we fail, I'll forget about you. And right now, all I have to remember you buy is this old photograph, and the song you sung to me when I was little."

Skitty lifted her tear-stained face to the sky.

"Skitty, Skitty, oh how, no that's not how it goes!" she sobbed. "I can't even remember-"

"Skitty, Skitty, oh so pretty, how does your fur shine so?"

Skitty turned around. Shroomish was standing behind her, singing her song.

"Well, mother's love and stars above and kisses make it glow."

"S-Shroomish?" Skitty whispered. "H-how do you know that song?"

"You fool." Shroomish looked down. "I've heard your mother sing it loads of times. I guess you really miss her huh?"

"Yeah…" Skitty stared at the ground.

"But don't worry!" Shroomish looked at her with energy in his eyes. "We'll find your mother, and my parents too! Team Rocket won't stand a chance!"

Skitty sniffed cutely. "You're right Shroomy! We'll keep moving on, and we'll make it someday!"

"Yeah," Shroomish smiled. "Someday."

They both were silent for a while, until Skitty spoke.

"Shroomish?"

"Yeah Skitty?"

"Sing my song for me again."

Shroomish smiled, and started singing.

"Skitty, Skitty, oh so pretty, how does your fur shine so?"

And with Shroomish's soft voice singing her to sleep, Skitty quickly closed her eyes. And for a while, she lived again in her mother's paws.

"Well, mother's love and stars above and kisses make it glow."

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