You figure with how many words there are in this one-shot, it could've been used instead to fill up a chapter. And le gasp, it's a long one-shot, so I have to split it in two posts.

Anyway, hope it's not too bad. A certain someone brought up in the other one-shot that he would like to see more “life at home” scenarios, and since I had ideas in my head anyway, I decided to take them up on that offer. I had fun with this, so yeah. Guess you can say it's dedicated to him (he knows who he is).

Enjoy!

Rated: PG-13 for brief language and sexual references

Pairing: Mewtwo/Mew

*~*~*~*

The Sitters


*~*~*~*

Breathe in.

Breathe out.


Mew repeated this to herself for a few moments while her hand was on the doorknob. She didn't know exactly how one could be excited yet nervous at the same time, it seemed almost improbable; it wasn't even half-and-half. But as she reviewed in her head what she was going to tell him, her stomach started to twist.

He'd let me go anyway, I've done it before... just not as long.

After one last breathing cycle, she entered the house, gently closing the door behind her. “I'm home, Mewtwo,” she barely managed to call out, frowning at how quiet she had suddenly gotten.

There was a small clatter from the kitchen area, and her mate appeared shortly after at the hallway entrance. “Welcome back, dear,” he greeted with a smile. “That was quick, I did not expect you for another hour.

An amused smirk quirked at her lips. “Are you planning something again?”

Not until next week.

She giggled. “Well, I have some news, Mewtwo.”

Mew noticed his violet eyes lighting up. “Is it good news?” He was becoming breathless, she could just see his chest tensing.

With a nod of a head, she announced, “Wigglytuff asked me to watch the kids again.”

Mewtwo abruptly snorted out a chuckle, his shoulders relaxing. “Oh, is that all?

The feline rubbed the back of her head. “It's a little different this time around. Um... yeah, she and her mate are going on vacation.”

I see.” He was unfazed by it, Mew had seen it coming from the beginning.

At least once a week, she baby-sat the neighborhood kids to the point she became the go-to person. She never minded it, she found joy in taking care of them for a few hours. It was the obvious reasoning behind it that made her wonder at times if everyone was taking advantage of her, or felt sorry for her. Still, she came to accept it, since being childless and having lots of free time became dull after a while. Mewtwo was always happy to let her go—anything to stop him from telling her to go out and entertain herself.

Mew took in a long breath. “Well... here's the kicker.” She fiddled with her fingers for a brief moment. “They'll be gone for about a week.”

He folded his arms, leaning against the entranceway. “Are you saying the children are coming over here?

“No, I'm going over to their house since poor little Iggly is sick. She has a guest room I'm staying in.”

His eyes softened into a thoughtful expression, his tail curling behind him. “So... you are taking care of the children for a week,” he reviewed, “and are staying at their house. Meanwhile, I am remaining behind to watch the house and to perhaps go do my own thing.

She half-shrugged. “Pretty much.”

And you are also going to be alone,” he added. “If someone were to come on by and infiltrate the house, would you be able to protect yourself and the children?

Mew tilted her head. “The chances of that are low at the most, but yes, I can do that.” She spread out her arms. “You know me, Mewtwo. I grew up in a jungle, I know how to take care of myself.”

He let out a brief sigh. “True...

She floated up to him, placing her hands on his shoulders. “Don't worry about me, dear. I'll be fine by myself.” A brow slightly rose in a tease. “It's you I'm more worried about.”

Mewtwo shook his head with a chuckle, clasping his hands behind her back. “I promise you nothing will go wrong in this house during your absence.

Smiling, Mew gently kissed his jaw. “I know. You haven't yet thrown a huge party with the guys since we moved here, so I trust you wouldn't have planned that out.”

Wish I could say the same for you.

She playfully hit him. “You're just asking for it, you know.”

Irises sparkling, the clone briefly snagged her lips. Her heart fluttered from the hint of passion, her paws squeezing his shoulders as she sharply inhaled. With a breath of his own, he cupped her head and dipped in to harden the kiss. She trembled when his tail wrapped around to loop with hers and stroke the bulb. It was a silent, personal gesture she came to know all too well.

“Mmm... Mewtwo, we can't do it tonight,” she murmured against his mouth, then pulled away with a sigh, caressing his cheek. “I have to pack, and I need to get up early. After dinner and a bath, there's no time for even a quick one. Sorry.” She nuzzled him in apology.

He nodded in understanding, withdrawing his tail. “We can still cuddle at least.

“Deal.”

But only if I can come along.

“Alri—” Mew blinked up at his solemn expression. “Pardon?”

Mewtwo averted his eyes for a bit. “Okay, I will not make you agree to that to get your snuggling, but I do mean it.

She backed up a little, brows furrowing in anxiety. “You sure, Mewtwo? This is going to be a good whole week. And do you even know how to care for children?”

I am a fast learner.

She shook her head. “It's not that simple, Mewtwo. I learn quickly myself, but I still struggle from time to time. There are times I forget to give the kids a bath, or feed them at the correct time until I remember or they remind me. Depending on the number of children, I sometimes accidentally leave one or two out—especially if they're running all over the place—I have to deal with those who refuse to go to bed—”

Well, there is only one of you. If you had extra help, it would ease some burdens off your shoulders.

“Wigglytuff's children are more well-behaved than others, but they still have their moments.”

He placed a hand on her head in assurance. “Please let me help, Mew. If I am not wanted from the start, or you are very sure you can care for them, then I will come back home.

Mew kept eye-contact, studying his face. A thought in the back of her mind pointed out what looked to be worry, while a fainter one said it was of hurt, but she ignored them. His sincerity won her over, bringing her to nod. “But only if you promise to do your share.”

He planted a kiss to her forehead in response. “I promise.

*~*~*

“Cover your mouth when you yawn, Mewtwo.”

He gave her a bleary-eyed stare. “There is no one out here, you know,” he muttered, almost grumpily as he trudged down the path.

“Either way, you could rival a Snorlax.” She sighed, looking over at the house before them. “I bet they can hear you coming.”

Very funny.” He peeked once more into the single duffel bag telekinetically raised to eye-level. “You sure we are not forgetting anything?

Mew leered over at him. “I told you, we won't be needing much. Everything's already provided for us.” She grabbed his arm and pulled him along. “This attitude of yours just proves to me you need to break your nocturnal habits like you should have years ago.”

I do not have an attitude,” he snapped, rubbing at his eyes.

“You're only proving my point further.” She released him a few feet away from the door and spun around to face him. “Now chin up, Mewtwo. You want to stay with me this whole week, you need to change your attitude. The kids wake up at around seven, but we have to get up an hour earlier to get ready, and make breakfast. One of the ways to win a child's heart is to feed them.”

Sounds like you in the mornings.

She scowled, knocking on the door. “You're a brat, Mewtwo.”

I am most certainly not!

They composed themselves when a child yelled that someone was at the door; Mew smiled while Mewtwo thought it was a rude thing to say. Moments later, the door was opened by a plump Wigglytuff, whose smile was wide enough to fill up her face as she hugged the feline. “`Morning, Mew! Glad you could make it!”

“Same here, Wigs.”

Wigglytuff glanced behind her to notice Mewtwo. “Oh, you brought your mate over. Did you threaten him or something?”

Mew giggled at the sly grin. “No, he came on his own accord. He had to sacrifice a few things so we could be here. Like sleep, for instance.” Her counterpart shrugged almost indifferently while he stifled a yawn.

“My own mate could hardly sleep last night, he was excited about today.” The rabbit sighed, smoothing one of her ears back. “Something tells me he won't be sleeping a lot this week.”

“Mama-a-a, Iggly threw up again!” came the squeal of one of the children from inside.

Swerving her head back, she gestured the couple in before calmly hopping over to the table where the baby sat in his high chair. Mewtwo had to duck walking in, then frowned at the low ceiling. “Great. I barely fit,” he sighed to himself, setting down the bag.

Mew looked up with concern. “Sorry, forgot to tell you about that.”

He waved it off. “It is just for a week, I can handle it.” A tug on his tail brought his attention to one of Wigglytuff's children, a young Jigglypuff whose bright blue eyes blinked in awe up at him.

“You're ta-a-all,” the child gasped.

Mewtwo guessed this young one was a boy, finding it confirmed when he glanced over to another of the brood (who was happily greeting Mew) to find a small bow in the curls. He brought himself to grin down at him. “Indeed I am. It was how I was m... born.” At the corner of his eye, he noticed his mate winced a little at how he barely got the word out.

“Gee, I wish I could be tall,” the boy said, pudgy hands curling into determined fists.

Eat your vegetables.

He slumped. “Everyone keeps telling me that!”

Wigglytuff came in with the baby in hand to just catch wind of what he said, and let out a hearty laugh. “Oh, you two are bonding already!” she exclaimed, a twinkle in her eye. “You must be a natural!”

Mewtwo glimpsed over at his counterpart, rubbing the back of his neck. “Not... really.

Mew floated over to her friend, gazing into the infant's pink face. “Poor Iggly,” she cooed, brushing his sticky curls. “Is your tummy hurting?”

“Yeah, he may have caught the stomach flu or something.” Carefully, after giving the baby a kiss on the forehead, she passed him to the feline. Mewtwo noted with amusement how the child was nearly as big as her, yet she managed to hold him fine. Wigglytuff caught sight of his look and smirked. “Thinking about something there?”

He shook his head, though when she pursed her lips in suspicion, his insides chilled. With a small shrug, she turned back to Mew. “So I don't have to go through anything with you?”

“I've baby-sat your kids before, Wigs. I know where everything is, and what time the kids have to be in bed.”

“That was always for one night. You and Mewtwo are going to be here for an entire week, so that means you'll have to be in charge with baths and play-dates and all that.”

She smiled awkwardly. “You got me there.”

Wigglytuff nodded in understanding. “Alright, the next couple of days are like any normal day when it comes to watching the kids. Wednesday at nine, Jig's play-date is coming over, and she'll be here through lunch. They come in and out, and they are good at staying close to the house, but Missy is a bit of a trouble-maker, so you gotta—”

Mewtwo got distracted when the boy tugged on his tail again. “What's that behind you?”

He gingerly touched his cord and, when the Jigglypuff nodded, replied, “It is a flexible organ that helps balance out the flow of blood cells to-and-fro my brain stem and spinal cord whenever I get a surge of energy.

He stared at him. “What?”

Need to simplify it, he is only a child.It keeps me conscious every time I use a powerful attack.

He blinked. “Looks funny.”

“—friends into softball, and they like to try and play it in the house—”

I hardly ever notice it.

“Duh, it's behind your head. If it was on your forehead, you'd notice.”

“—they have swimming lessons this Friday at—”

The boy tugged his tail once more. “Want to see something weird?”

I do not mean to be rude, but I have to listen to your mother for a moment,” he told the child, prying away his appendage and keeping it curled behind him.

“Honey, you got the bags?” a voice called from behind, sounding like it came from around the corner.

“Yes, dear! Iggly's medicine is in the top—”

“Has the baby-sitter come yet?”

“They're out here!—you must shake it before you give it to him. There should be enough to last the week—”

“I can float through your cord thingy easily.”

“Not if I do it first!” The daughter came up to the boy, barely giving Mewtwo a passing glance.

“Nuh uh!”

“Yeah huh!”

“Oh hey, Mewtwo, long time no see! What's the matter?”

The clamor stopped as nearly everyone looked over at the bipedal feline. Mew's brows furrowed in worry as she leaned in. “You okay?”

He frowned and massaged a temple, regaining his balance when he realized he was leaning. “I am fine. Carry on.

“I just finished,” Wigglytuff said, leaning her face on a hand. “But no matter, I did leave written instructions.”

“Oh yeah, Mama, I drew you a picture!” The daughter ran into the kitchen for a split second before returning, waving a piece of paper around. She handed it to her mother whom, while she smiled and laughed at her child's gift, had a hint of disappointment on her face.

“Well... I did.

“Don't worry, Mewtwo, I know what to do,” Mew assured him, adjusting the Igglybuff on her arm. “Oh, yeah, where's the guest room?”

“It's at the end of the hall. It's prepared for you and everything.” She winked, bringing a flush to the couple's faces. “Well, we're going. You kids be good for Mew and Mewtwo, okay?”

“Yes, Mama!” they cried in unison, then ran up to give her and their father hugs and kisses. “Bye, Papa!”

“Bye-bye, kids!” He nodded at Mewtwo. “Thank you for coming to support your mate.”

He raised a hand. “Not a problem. I was happy to volunteer.

“I didn't trust him home alone,” Mew joked, sticking her tongue out at her mate with a wink.

The two laughed, waved once more, and left the house. The children remained in the doorway to call out more good-byes until their parents were out of sight. Closing the door, Mew turned to them with a sigh. “All right, kids. Did you just eat breakfast?”

“Jig didn't,” the boy said, bumping into his sister.

“Lyle's ly-ying!” she shouted, but shuffled to the kitchen anyway with him on her heels.

Mewtwo watched them go with folded arms. “Are they always like this?” he asked.

“They're not bad. They're usually a little more wriggly.” His mate held the Igglybuff up above her. “Isn't that right, Iggly?” The baby whimpered a little, flapping his arms. Her bottom lip stuck out as her brows furrowed, and she cuddled him closer to rock him. “Poor baby...”

There was scuffling in the kitchen, followed by grunts and cries of the two siblings. Mew gave Mewtwo a knowing glance and hurried into the next room. “What are you doing?”

“Lyle's taking all of the syrup!” Jig tattled, a whine in her voice.

“Am not! Look at her plate!”

“You two have enough as it is, you're going to make yourselves sticky.”

The clone, unsure what he was supposed to do, looked around the room for a good long moment, noticing for the first time the amount of children's toys that were scattered across the floor, and the furniture (which he realized looked to be a little too small and narrow for him). He contemplated levitating off the ground until he remembered the low ceiling. He sighed to himself. I know for a fact our children will be cleaner than this.

There was a quick, tiny belch, and the children screamed out in disgust, running into the main room and past him. “Mewtwo, come clean this up for me, please!” Mew called. She rushed by the entrance with the baby held out before her, the kitchen faucet immediately turning on.

He hesitantly obliged. I wonder if this counts as jinxing myself.

*~*~*

The rest of the day went smoothly despite the frequent moments when the sick baby threw up. The two Jigglypuff children were fairly interested in Mewtwo, occasionally climbing up over him and asking him numerous questions about “What does this do?” to “Why do you look funny?” (While he had his limits with it all and was getting a headache, Mew specifically told him not to be harsh with them.) They chose to stay inside and play various games, the kids' constant laughter ringing in his ears during those couple of hours. Lunch was simple, since the children only demanded sandwiches, but their appetites grew when dinner came around.

“I want s'ghetti, s'ghetti, s'ghetti!” Jig exclaimed, bouncing in place.

“No-o-o, we have that every week!” Lyle complained.

“I'm not fixing two different meals,” Mew said, floating before the stove. “You two need to decide on what you want to eat, or I'm fixing something different entirely.”

I would like a casserole, dear,” Mewtwo smirked from the back, the baby leaning over the crook of his arm.

She raised a brow at him before turning back to the children. The boy narrowed his eyes at his sister before rolling them. “Fine, spaghetti.” Iggly babbled right afterward like he was in favor.

“Three against one,” she announced. “And since I would like a pasta dinner myself, that's four against one.”

Jig laughed and clapped her hands. “We win, we win!”

Smiling and tying on the apron she brought along, Mew quickly found and telekinetically drew out a pot, much to the amazement of the two Jigglypuff. “You kids go play for a little bit. I'll call you when it's ready.”

The girl shook her head. “I wanna see you move more things without touching them!” she gasped.

The feline giggled. “You've seen me do it before.”

“Nuh uh, not something big as this.”

“When it comes to dinners like this, it's only during the beginning until I grab the utensils.”

Mewtwo held back a joking statement.

The baby then vomited, making the children scream for the umpteenth time as they ran out of the room. The clone stood up with a groan, staring in disgust at sick dripping off his arm. “Go to the restroom, I'll take care of this,” his mate said, handing him a washcloth and shooing him out of the kitchen.

He hurried into the bathroom (dashing his forehead against the frame doing so) just to realize there wasn't a tub in there before tossing him into the sink, where he turned a knob and started to clean him off. Iggly fussed under the washing and cold water, crying all the meanwhile. It added to Mewtwo's throbbing headache to where he had to watch himself to keep from strangling the child. The clone wasn't sure how much soap to use, but he went ahead to soak up the washcloth with the suds. It was more work to keep from getting it in his eyes and mouth.

Stop squirming, you are making this harder on yourself and I,” he grumbled. He accidentally roughened the scrubs, making the infant squeal out louder. He flinched, pausing to wait for a bruise to form. Damn, an Igglybuff's skin is softer than normal. I need to slow down here.

Iggly sniffled, peering up at him with wide, teary eyes. It softened his heart, bringing him to feel sorry for the little Pokémon. “I apologize,” he murmured. “It is not fun to get sick, even when you have someone waiting on you hand and foot.

He wriggled and reached up for him, which brought a smile to Mewtwo's face. His headache dulling, he picked up the infant to hold him to eye-level.

His hands slipped on the suds half-way up. He let out a swear when the baby landed on the countertop with his bottom—

—and he watched in surprise as Iggly bounced at an angle.

Mewtwo backed into the doorway, trying to keep up with the ricocheting Igglybuff and worrying he was going to break something. He made failed attempts at snatching him, glancing back and forth between the hall and bathroom in case Mew was coming to check up on them. During one such round, he spotted the young Jigglypuff peeping from behind their doors.

“Oo-o-o-oh, you said a bad word,” came Jig's voice.

“Forget that, he dropped Iggly,” Lyle pointed out.

Kids, come help—” He was smacked in the side of the face, and once he caught himself, he watched the baby bounce out of the bathroom and down the hall. He scrambled after, scarcely catching him only for the child to tilt off his fingers to the floor and out into the main room. Biting back a yell of frustration, Mewtwo pounced, barely avoiding smacking his head against the floor. Once again, he got up and leaped for Igglybuff, snatching him in mid-air, but landing hard on his stomach doing so. The baby giggled in delight, not an inch of him bruised or cut.

“You okay, sweetheart?”

He lifted his head to meet Mew's gaze, a ladle in her hands. A chuckle escaped his chest. “Yeah... just a slip-up,” he fibbed.

The two older children hopped onto his back as they laughed. “He caught Iggly, he caught Iggly!” they chanted. (“He also said a bad word,” Jig added, pointing down at him.)

She just shook her head with a smile in response.

Igglybuff burped.

*~*~*

Long after the successful dinner and another round of board games, it was soon quiet in the house the moment the children were sent to bed, and Mew rocked Igglybuff to sleep. The couple stood out in the hallway for a few minutes, staring at the finger-painted bedroom door of Jig's, and feeling a sense of exhaustion falling over them.

So, this is baby-sitting,” Mewtwo muttered, cricking his neck.

“It's really not that bad,” she told him, though she sighed a little. “Today wasn't too different, it was just a little longer than normal.”

He shrugged. “If you say so.

“I know so.” She hooked her arm around his and rested her head against his shoulder. “Today was a good day.”

Five more days to go,” he breathed out, shifting in place.

Mew glanced up. “What was that?”

Nothing.” Mewtwo grasped her paw and pulled her along down the hall to the guest bedroom. His hand on the knob, he gazed down at her, heart leaping at the smile in her sky-blue eyes. “Have you seen the room yet, by the way?

“Not really.”

With a nod, he opened the door and gestured her inside. There was nothing fancy about the place, not that she looked forward to a nice bedroom to begin with. It was moderately-sized with a queen-sized bed facing the window, furniture adjacent to the wall that included a small bookshelf, drawers and a desk, a rocking chair, a mirror, and a closet with sliding doors. It was average overall, none of them would dare complain.

The tiny feline went over to fix the dark curtains, glancing outside to look for the moon. “Aww, it's cloudy tonight.”

After closing the door, Mewtwo strolled over to stand behind her, slyly wrapping his arms around her waist. “It does not matter. I practically have you memorized.

She let out a breath, leaning back into him. “Mewtwo... you're not thinking of...?”

I am still a little energized from the day.” He tenderly kissed her neck, nipping the skin.

Mew bit her lip. “But we're under a different roof... and in a different room.”

I do not believe it matters. I hear stories all the time of couples making love in homes not their own.

“Yeah, but... I don't know how thin the walls are, and if the kids can hear us.”

Mewtwo slid his hands to her shoulders, massaging the back with his thumbs. “We can temporarily make a sound-proof barrier.

She gave him a look. “We tried that once, remember? It didn't work.”

It took him a moment to recall such an embarrassing night. The idea soon fizzled out. “You got me there,” he groaned.

Wriggling out of his hold, she stretched and moved to sit on the bed. She glanced down upon pushing on the mattress, then looked back up. “But if you're still willing, Mewtwo, we can just have what the kids these days call a 'make-out' session.” Mew tilted her head back and forth. “Think that's just another term for kissing. No harm in that, I suppose.”

He snickered a little, turning around to face her. “We shall oblige, then.” With a sultry growl, he advanced and crawled on the bed, claiming her lips in the process.

She broke away to scoot up to the pillows, licking her bottom lip in anticipation. The clone followed suit, pulling her close while he kissed her fully. She let out a small moan from the passion, wrapping her arms around his neck and leading him down with her to sink into the cushions. There came a crinkle of paper from the back of her head, forcing her to shoot up. She and Mewtwo blinked down at the words until she smoothed it out.

Don't you two do what I know you're going to do.
– Wigglytuff

They felt their faces fall, though Mew recovered faster. “I thought so,” she huffed, dropping her shoulders.

Odd how I did not see it when I first came in.” He readjusted himself around to sit on the edge. “So much for tonight...

She sighed again, scratching at an ear. She glanced over to the door to notice the bag was resting by it, as set there by Mewtwo shortly after breakfast. “Guess we'll unpack and head into bed, then.”

Somewhere beyond the door, they could just barely hear muffled arguing, and what sounded like a cry being smothered. Concerned, Mew opened it to find the children mouthing each other off, both carrying a fussy Iggly by the hands and feet out into the hallway, Lyle covering his mouth with a grimace. “What are you kids doing?!” she gasped, flying to their side.

The two startled Jigglypuff nearly dropped their brother. Looking back and forth between one another, Lyle muttered, “Gonna clean up Iggly. He threw up again.”

“I saw your door was closed, so we decided to go ahead and take care of him,” Jig came in, looking guilty.

Swiping her hand along her head, Mew quietly moaned, taking the baby into her arms and patting his back. “You could've knocked.”

“I thought you two needed 'prevessy'. Mama and Papa always keeps their door open unless they need their 'prevessy'.”

“It's 'privacy', Jig,” her brother corrected, rolling his eyes while nodding.

With a small frown, the feline looked over her shoulder at Mewtwo, whom remained in the doorway. Mouthing to him a “sorry”, she shooed the children back into the room before heading for the restroom. The clone let out a slow sigh, his shoulders slacking.

Five more days to go...

*~*~*

“That's my plate you're using!”

“I used this yesterday, and you didn't say anything!”

“That's `cause you tricked me!”

“Did not!”

“Sit down and eat!” Mew ordered, snapping her fingers at them.

“But he's using my plate!” Jig whined, pointing accusingly at her brother.

“Whether it's your plate or not, knock it off and eat your breakfast!”

Mewtwo didn't want to get involved as he stared blankly at his food to avoid everyone's gazes. He swallowed down a yawn building in his throat, trying to hide the signs he was tired. Mentally, he cursed the mattress for being hard, and Iggly's sickness and crying that kept him up that night. While knowing Mew had stayed with the baby and was thus more tired and testy than him, it only added to his discomfort. Nothing was going right, even though he willingly agreed to it.

Iggly fretted in his high chair, barely able to be spoon-fed without everything spilling. “Iggly, please eat,” the feline moaned, on the brink of pleading. “I know your tummy hurts, but you need other things besides the medicine.”

“He-e-ey, you took all of the milk!”

“There was only enough for one more person anyway,” Lyle gruffly muttered, quickly gulping it down.

“But I didn't get to drink it yet!”

“I am this close to spanking you, Jig, now suck it up and deal with it!”

The children hurriedly returned to their food, Jig getting teary-eyed at Mew's reprimand. Even Mewtwo had flinched at her harsh tone, temporarily jolting him out of his tired state until his heart calmed down. He dared to glance over, slowly letting out a breath when she returned to attempt feeding Iggly (though still with a scowl on her face), and felt himself beginning to drift off again.

The next thing he knew, the rest of the morning had moved on quietly, and he was sitting in the front room, squeezed into one of the chairs. In the one rocking chair was his mate, patting the baby on the back while she stared at the ceiling. He blinked in question at what happened, but waved it off, not wanting to dwell on it any further.

He turned his attention to the two siblings sitting in the middle of the room, quietly playing one of the board games. He thought it was odd they hardly said a word until he noticed them nervously glimpsing back and forth between the board and Mew. Shrugging it off, he reclined back into the chair, crossed his arms, and closed his eyes.

“Honey, can you take care of lunch, possibly even dinner today?” he heard her murmur. He cracked open an eye to look at her, finding her still in place. She leaned her head against the Igglybuff. “I don't think Iggly will let me go.”

Mewtwo, while tempted to make a sound of objection, chose to smile. “Sure thing, dear.

As he forced himself to wake up, she gradually fell asleep.

*~*~*

True to his word, Mewtwo ended up taking care of Iggly while his mate rested, though it wasn't much as he was sleeping most of the afternoon. The children helped on request when needed, such as showing him where the medicine was and how to administer it. He eventually he let them go when the baby didn't throw up his lunch, which he considered an improvement. He tried to sneak a wink's worth of sleep himself, but the constant arguments Jig and Lyle had kept him running back and forth between rooms to the point he gave up.

Mew wouldn't awaken until it was dinner when Mewtwo came in to fetch her, and then she scolded him for keeping Iggly on his stomach. (“Well, how else was he supposed to sleep?” he asked in a matter-of-fact tone.) As she regained alertness, she was pleased with the infant's recovery. It was apparent on her face she was looking forward to returning to her sleeping schedule.

“Oh yeah, are we taking baths tonight?” Jig brought up at the dinner table when everyone was finishing up their casserole.

It was as though a memory replayed through her mind to the point Mew nodded along. “I believe so. Even if it wasn't, you have a play-date tomorrow, so it makes sense for you to be clean.”

“We still taking baths together?”

Lyle nearly banged his head on the table. “I don't want to take a bath with her!” he pouted with a leer. “Don't make me!”

“Well, if you two are going to take separate baths, we'll set a time limit for the both of you.”

“Jig takes too long anyway.”

“That's because Mama takes baths with me!” She stuck her tongue out at her brother. “I play with Iggly anyway.”

Mewtwo looked over at Mew, brows raised. “Is that what you want to do?

She smiled, cleaning off the Igglybuff. “I see no harm in it. Might give me experience for the future.”

“I still don't want to take a bath with Jig.”

“We heard you, Lyle.”

“Missus Mew and I wanna go first!” Jig piped up, raising her hand as high as it could go. “Lyle went first last time!”

The clone stood up with a stretch and collected the dirty dishes. “I am staying out of it, then? I thought you want to be tall, Lyle,” he addressed to the side, gesturing to the peas littering the boy's plate.

“I don't like peas...”

“I like peas!” his sister exclaimed, sticking her tongue out at him.

You are still wasting food being picky like that.

Mew laughed a little, pulling Iggly out of his high chair. “I may need extra hands, so you can stay close by,” she answered her mate. “And leave him be, he at least ate everything else.”

The young Jigglypuff bounced out of her chair, giggling with excitement. “I'm gonna start it!” She dashed out of the room before anyone could stop her. Hugging the baby close and shooting a look of apology, Mew hurried after, leaving Mewtwo and Lyle to clear the table.

The boy started grumbling to himself. “I don't wanna take baths, Jig keeps splashing me, and sitting in Mama's lap with Iggly.”

Did your parents ever teach you to share?

“They did, but I don't like sharing baths.”

Taking in his slouched stance, the psycat had an inkling of where he was going with it. “What is your age, by the way?

“I turned eight a few months ago.”

He nodded in thought. “You are a growing boy, thus you need your room.

Lyle handed Mewtwo the two dishes he was carrying, avoiding the clone's gaze. “Yeah, well... Jig keeps splashing a lot. I don't mind Iggly too much, but Mama's always with him.”

The bipedal feline placed them in the sink, then began debating with himself whether to start washing them or not. “Do you care for your siblings?

The Jigglypuff remained silent and shuffled his foot around awkwardly. To Mewtwo, it looked like he was deciding on an answer, or was at least wanting to avoid it. “I see,” he whispered, unsure what to say.

“No, 's not that,” he sighed. “But, uh... do you have brothers or sisters?”

His heart was pricked on the innocent question, causing him to turn away and think on his response. “...No. As far as I know, I am an only child, there is no other. I do consider some Pokémon to be like my brethren, however.

“And do you care for them?”

Mewtwo nodded, taking a breath. “I do. I am... the eldest, you could say. Thus I feel it is my personal duty to protect and watch over them. But...” He lightly chewed on his inner lip. “...I had to let them go to live as individuals. Do I still worry for them? Yes. We may not see each other a lot anymore, but I still care for them. You do not know how lucky you are to live with your siblings, Lyle. You should cherish them while you still can.

He looked back at the boy, trying to hold back a smile at his confused expression. “You say weird things,” he plainly said. “But it makes sense... I guess.”

He placed a hand on his head, slightly ruffling his curl. “Well... I am going to join Mew. What do you wish to do?

Lyle shrugged. “I'll go in my room. Let me know when they're done.”

I shall.

After a moment of staring, the Jigglypuff turned and left the kitchen. Mewtwo watched him disappear around the corner, he fell into a sad mood. Leaving the dishes where they were, he hunted for the bath, finding it next door to the restroom. The door that led to the basin was ajar a little in invitation, Jig's squeals of happiness emitting from within. “Mew, I am coming in,” he announced before entering.

Mew, sitting on a stool closest to the tub with Iggly in her lap, smiled up at him. She glanced behind him for a second. “So Lyle said 'no', I take it.”

He shook his head. “He will take it later. I made sure he went to his room—he agreed to,” he emphasized when she gave him a questioning look.

“Does Mister Mewtwo have to come in?” Jig inquired, her lip sticking out a little.

I am just helping supervise is all.

“Did you wash the dishes?”

No.

His mate sighed at the blunt answer. “Whatever. We're having dessert anyway, so might as well do it all at once.” She lifted the infant up and slowly lowered him into the tub. He whimpered and squirmed at the temperature, kicking his feet hard enough to splash his sister and Mew. “You're a stubborn little thing!” she tsked with a laugh.

“Mama scrubs him anyway,” Jig said, twirling in a small circle.

“Where's the sponge?”

Mewtwo spotted it on the nearby shelf and walked over to grab it. Stepping on a wet spot, he slipped and quickly caught himself, levitating for a few moments until he lowered himself to the floor. Brushing along his shoulders and legs, he picked up the sponge and handed it to his mate like nothing happened.

“I saw that, you know,” Mew told him, taking the item and scrubbed the soap in it. Jig laughed and clapped as she nodded energetically.

He slumped down on a stool propped against the wall. “So much for my reputation.

“Like you had one.” She winked at him, then gasped at a prod against her chest. They looked down at Iggly as he smothered his face into her fur. “Ah... I-Iggly! What are you doing?”

Does he think you are lactating?” her mate wondered, leaning in for a better look.

“I'm not! I-I don't think I am... I mean, I was never pregnant, so...” Mew struggled to string her words together, tensing when the Igglybuff found what he was looking for. As a shiver ran through her body, she found herself giggling. “That tickles! Iggly, I don't have any milk for you!”

Jig tilted her head in confusion. “I thought only Mama can feed him.”

“You're right, Jig!” She laughed, rubbing her head with one hand while the other fluffed up the baby's curl. “Your mother can feed Iggly, but I can't. That's why she had milk available since she isn't here right now.” With a small sigh, the feline gazed dreamily down at the suckling infant. “It's... a strange sensation.”

The clone heard a desire in her voice that warmed his heart, yet placed a heavy burden on it all the same. The longer he watched, the more it burned in a negative way.

Are we even ready?

*~*~*

Breakfast the following morning scarcely finished before there was a knock on the door. Rubbing her eyes for the umpteenth time that morning, Mew opened it to catch a young Misdreavus' gaze. “Oh... is that you, Missy?” she asked while blinking.

She nodded a little shyly, tilting her head up at her mother. “Mew, I didn't expect you here today!”

“You didn't? I thought Wigglytuff told you?”

The edges of the Mismagius' dress ruffled. “I do recall her saying she was going out of town, but she said the play-date would still be as planned. I don't remember if she said who was sitting. Oh,” she looked down when her daughter tugged on her, “bye-bye honey, have fun. Be good to Mew today.”

Mew stepped aside a little to let the young ghost slip on by, quickly catching a yawn. “I see.”

Mismagius threw her head back a little to briefly get the rim out of her way. “You didn't sleep well last night.”

The feline didn't bother covering it up, knowing it was pointless to wave it off in front of the specter. “Yeah, well... the kids wanted to stay up longer when we said 'no'. Then at around... one or so, Iggly developed a fever, so I stayed up with him again.”

The witch was nodding the whole time. “Oh, sorry to hear that. You'll get used to it.”

Her stare hardened a little. “Get used to what?”

“Well, how long are you baby-sitting?”

“This is our third day. Wigs is supposed to return by Sunday.”

Mismagius glanced away in embarrassment. “Sorry about that... again.”

Mew refused to look away even when she heard a scuffle behind her. While she never found her bad as a neighbor, her reputation as a gossiper had gotten her to develop a bad habit of speaking without thinking. “What did you mean by 'get used to it', anyway?”

“I-I had that impression that either Iggly was going to be sick all week, or you were going to baby-sit all month. Or both.” She recoiled a little from the glower. “I know you've baby-sat before, but it was always for a few hours. But I'm not sure if you realize that Wigglytuff's children have a tendency of staying up late into the night and sometimes getting rowdy.”

“I've been discovering that lately,” she grumbled, her tail flicking in annoyance.

Mismagius didn't seem to notice. “And of course, I thought that since you and Mewtwo had gotten into that habit of having sex once a week, your sleeping habits would become more tolerable with other people's sleeping habits. Or is it the other way around?”

“I never said anything to you about what goes on at home.”

“No, but your next-door neighbors have.”

Mew's face flushed a dark red, her hands quickly clutching at her ears. “Are you serious?!” she seethed out through her teeth. “When was this?!”

“A while back.”

She nearly reached out to grab Mismagius by the shoulders, then remembered she didn't have any. “Marjorie, did you tell anyone else?!” she squealed, calling her by her given name. Her gut twisted when the ghost glanced up at the sky with a thoughtful expression. “N-Never mind, forget I said anything!”

“I don't know why you're so embarrassed about it, Mew. If anything, you should be grateful you two are very close. Being a single parent, you have no idea how many nights go by where I start having withdrawals.”

“Damn it, Marjorie, I don't want to know what you do in your spare time,” Mew hissed. “Just because your mate was a jerk doesn't mean you should feel bad about it.”

“Well, I need to find a father for Missy either way.” She let out a quick sigh. “Anyway, I'll let you go. I'll come pick her up around three.” Flapping one of the longer tassels in a wave, she wrapped herself up in her cloak and vanished.

Rubbing a temple, the rosy feline moaned and closed the door. Turning around, she jolted upon noticing Jig and Missy standing behind her. “What were you and Missy's mom talking about?” the Jigglypuff innocently inquired.

“Nothing, nothing... a-anyway, you two need something?”

“No.”

“Then go play until lunch.”

The two shrugged and walked off. Yawning once more, she lobbed her head to the side, spotting Mewtwo still sitting at the table, a paper in hand. Eyes narrowing, she scooped up Iggly from the floor and entered the kitchen. He looked up the moment she paused before him. “Who was that at the door?

“Mismagius dropped off Missy. Here,” she just about plopped the baby into his arms, “watch the kids for a few hours. I'm taking a nap.”

He raised a brow, peeking through the curtains. “It is only nine o'clock.

“You didn't take care of a sick baby all night.”

The clone, despite thinking a retort to himself about her not having to sleep continuously on a hard bed, heard something was off in her voice when she spun around to leave. “Did something happen?

“No,” she grumbled.

He got out of the chair to catch her by the shoulder. “You were at the door for a good few minutes. What were you two talking about?

She scowled. “Does it matter? It had nothing to do with you.”

But it concerns me when my mate is involved.” Mewtwo gently stroked her cheek. “What did she say to upset you?

Mew's face softened a little like she was going to answer, but she pushed his hand away. “Whatever. Watch the kids.” She quickly disappeared around the corner, and the click of a closing door followed after.

He pulled back his arm, feeling confused. Dropping his gaze, he stared down at Iggly, who was busy making bubbles with his drool. “You would not happen to know her issue, would you?” he quietly sighed.

The baby only gurgled.

Mewtwo turned to fold up the paper for later reading to find it gone. Tilting his head in confusion, he bent down to check underneath the table. “Odd... I swear I left it open on the table...” Standing up, he entered the living room with a shrug. “Well, it was not that important anyway.

Anything to remind him to get a new hobby.

The psycat squeezed himself into a chair and proceeded to interact with the infant. While he mostly bounced him on one knee (lightly until he gave a burp that was just a false alarm), he aided him in walking around a few times on his lap, gently tickled him to get him to giggle, and tried to read to him only to give up half-way when he kept smacking and ripping the pages. He let him loose on the floor and sat there head in hand, staring at him with a bored, if not amused, expression on his face.

An urgent thought came to mind, causing him to slowly turn to the hallway. Brows furrowing, Mewtwo pushed himself up and cautiously approached the door leading into Jig's room. He paused before it for a moment before taking hold of the handle and opening it. While knowing earlier Missy was around, as he hadn't seen her, her presence was a bit of a surprise to him. The girls were sitting in the middle of the room, eyes on him the entire time like they knew he had been standing outside. In front of them were a pile of sticks and the shredded newspaper, a matchbox in the Misdreavus' locks.

He quickly swiped it away from her. “What are you two doing?!” he shouted, the developing anger in his voice making him wince.

The Jigglypuff's answer was simple and unhesitant. “Making a campfire.”

He nearly sputtered in response. “Why are you making a fire?!

“Missy and I are having a pretend campout.”

Pretend with something else!” Mewtwo took a deep breath to try calming himself down. He looked up to find the window open, which explained how they were able to get sticks without him knowing. “Pretend... that there is a fire here, or use colored paper or something.

“Then could we set it on fire?”

No! G...” He sighed, shaking his head. “Go to the front room where I can see you,” he ordered, pointing out the door. They obeyed, stepping out without a complaint or mismatched look. Matchbox still in hand, he closed the windowsill and left to check Lyle's room. He found him sitting on his bed with a book in hand where he glanced at him quizzically. A corner of his mouth curling in an awkward smile, he left him be and followed after the girls. The two were standing over Iggly, Missy whispering in Jig's ear as she nodded. Mewtwo raised a brow when he passed by to place the matches in a higher and safer place in the kitchen.

“Mister Mewtwo?” came the Jigglypuff's voice from behind.

He turned and folded his arms. “Yes, Jig?

“Missy and me would like to play a board game,” she said, hands behind her. The ghost smiled in agreement.

He glanced over at Missy. “Why are you not speaking up?” he questioned her.

“Missy's shy.”

Mewtwo held back a laugh. “I have heard her speak before. She is rather talkative.

“When she wants to be.” Jig paused, wriggling in place. “So... can we play a board game?”

He waved out to the main room. “Go ahead, I am not stopping you.

“We don't wanna play those ones. I told her there's one in the guest room, but Missus Mew is having her 'privessy'.”

She is taking a nap.

Jig frowned. “Can't you go in and get the game for us?”

He massaged his brows. He wasn't getting anywhere with her. “May I have the name?

“It's the only one in the closet. Can't miss it.”

They stared at each other unblinkingly for a few moments. Mewtwo's eyes narrowed a little in uncertainty, attempting to peek into her thoughts to find he was having a hard time doing so. With a quick glance at the Misdreavus, he let out a low breath. “I suppose as long as you watch Iggly.

The girls grinned at the same time, which weirded him out.