I wanted to take an idea commonly known as a cliche, and write a fic with it, so, er, here we go. BTW, I still haven't seen the first Pokemovie. I ignore it in most of my fics anyway. ^_^;;; This isn't an exception. Oh, and when she calls him "uncle", it's like the term of endearment, y'know? Not literally related.

Someone else's shadow
by Leto

She didn't open her eyes for a long while, not falling into the 'morning person' category. She just lay there, blanket half-draped over herself, and savoured the best way to spend a day - in bed.

The alarm clock rang.

"Oh, shut up," she growled - croaked, really, being allergic to mornings as she was - and slammed the alarm clock with her fist.

"Owww," she groaned, clutching her injured hand, and glowering at the clock. It continued to ring, blissfully oblivious to its owner's state of mind. "Shoulda smashed it. Always works in cartoons."

There is a saying that morning amnesia is life's way of keeping us from waking up screaming. Not so in this case. Kia Ketchum recognised the significance of the day and shot out of bed, cursing herself.

"So much for getting an early start... well, I should still get to the lab on time, let's just hope everyone else doesn't get there an hour before me."

She got dressed in a mad panic, her 'uniform' of jeans and a tank top. As usual, she looked as though she had put her clothes on with a shovel. She scooped up a hairbrush and her shoes and dashed downstairs, passing the bathroom, grabbing a toothbrush and cleaning her teeth on the way.

Her mother was downstairs, setting out the breakfast dishes.

"Mum, who eats breakfast now, it's almost lunchtime!"

Her mother smoothed back rumpled red hair and blinked, blearily. "Well dear, I happen to eat when I get up. I'm not really a morning person, you know. I was about to come up and get you, but it seems you're up earlier than usual today."

Kia grinned, and sat down to eat, shovelling mass proportions of food down in a minimum amount of time. Mrs Ketchum sighed.

"You're just like your father."

When she had finished, and was about to leave the house, she remembered something, and turned to her mother.

"Mum, I gotta ask, you really ARE letting me get to Oak's Lab to get my own starter Pokemon, of my own choice, right?"

Mrs Ketchum nodded, and sighed slightly as her harum-scarum daughter dashed from the house and tore off in the general direction of the Oak estate.

***

"I made it, right on time," said Kia triumphantly, elbowing her way through the crowds outside Oak's Lab. She went in and bowed politely to May Oak, the professor. Her younger brother, Gary, leaned against the wall, apparently there to watch the new trainers choosing Pokemon.

"Hey Uncle Gary," said Kia, as May moved to initiate the Pokeball container.

"Kia," he said, nodding to her, "time goes quickly. Just yesterday your Dad and I were getting our first Pokemon... well, mine was better than his, of course..."

"Of course," said Kia wryly, and wished people would stop talking about her father as if he were alive.

"I hope you've got a Bulbasaur left, 'cos I've been looking forward to -"

"I'm sorry, Kia," said May, "the other kids came early this year, and there's only one Pokemon left."

"Only one left?" she sighed, "well, I'll take it, of course. I'd take any Pokemon if I could start training!"

"That's the spirit," said May, "here's your new Pokemon."

Kia broke open the Pokeball as she had seen her mother - and once her father - do so many times. Her Pokemon appeared, an intelligent gleam in its purple eyes. She sighed.

"You give the kid a MEWTWO?" sputtered Gary, "her first day training, and you give her a MEWTWO? That thing'll never listen to her!"

"Misty assured me it was attuned to Ketchum wavelengths, and would get along with her well."

"Misty?" repeated Kia, "so Mum did interfere?"

"Oh," blushed the professor, realising her error, "I meant I asked her about each Pokemon I had available, to see if they'd be safe for you to handle. You know how she worries about you."

"If you had a Mewtwo on offer, why didn't one of the other kids take it," snapped Kia, sceptical.

"Well, I guess they're not going to be such an experienced trainer as you, Kia! Heheh... anyway, here is your special Pokedex and some Pokeballs to start you along your path. If you run into any trouble, there are Pokemon Centers in each town, although I'm sure you already know that..."

"Yes, my mum has told me about three hundred times," confirmed Kia.

She walked back through Pallet, carrying Mewtwo's Pokeball in one hand. She looked at it and felt sad. Mewtwo! Her father told her there was only one in the world, and he had it in his collection. His strongest, apart from Pikachu, who died when he did. But for her mother to give it to her - how dare she?

***

Misty heard a knock on the front door and went to answer it. There was nobody there, just a Pokeball with a sheet of paper wedged into it. She opened the Pokeball to pull the paper out, and Mewtwo appeared.

"Dear Mum," the paper said, in Kia's familiar messy scrawl, "I know you're only trying to protect me, but I want to do my Pokemon journey myself, not always live in Dad's footsteps. I'd rather get a weak Pokemon and train it myself than have a Mewtwo and be a Pokemon Master without having to try. Don't be mad at me. I'm not Dad, and I want to do it without his help."

She could see Kia in the distance, running. Now she would have to capture a wild Pokemon without her own to protect her. Mrs Ketchum wanted to run after her, wanted to bring her back, to scold her and give her a Pokemon to help her, give her more advice - or not let her go at all.

Instead, she glanced again at the note, recalled Mewtwo and closed the door.

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