The Story of the Magic Injections
written by Tabby

with help from Barnacle

All was quiet in Tabby's house. Tabby herself was wasting time staring down at the surface of her table, appearing to be thinking deep thoughts before leaving for work that morning. Tarquin was staring at a picture of Tess. Callie was curled up in the hallway with one eye open, always on the alert. Not a sound pierced the air.

That is, until Tamara ran downstairs screaming, "The flower deliverer is here! Quick, somebody get the door!" However, she was running so fast that it was most convenient for she herself to open the front door.

Tabby tentatively trotted after her cousin. You never knew what Tamara might do when in a frenzy over a flower delivery. She peered out a window, and saw that, indeed, the mysterious cloaked flower deliverer's cart was parked outside. The cart was a rugged and heavy-duty affair, but easily manageable for pulling.

Tamara left the door hanging wide open as she rushed down the porch steps. "Hello! Hello! Mr. Flower Deliverer, do you have something for me?" she said excitedly.

"Won't it be a disappointment if she finds out he stopped at the wrong house?" Tarquin commented as he walked by, on his way back upstairs.

"Yes, and it'd be rather amusing to see," Tabby said, nodding, as she took a step up to the door. "Tamara! You left it hanging wide open," she chided. "Do you know what could happen if-- Callie, get back here!"

All of a sudden, Callie, who had been laying low in the hallway, jumped up and bolted out the door. Tamara had just finished talking to the cloaked flower deliverer, and was walking back to the house with her bouquet. The cart began to pull away.

"Callie! Get back here!" Tabby said coaxingly, following slowly after her cat. Callie just backed away. Tamara was not aware of the situation, as she was staring dreamily down at her bouquet.

At one point, Tabby thought she had Callie cornered, but the fluffy calico was not going to be apprehended that easily. She darted around Tabby and ran away from the house. Unfortunately, her path took her directly under the back of the now-moving cart.

Tabby let out an ear-splitting scream as the fluffy white body disappeared under the turning back wheels. Tamara's eyes opened wide as her flowers fell unnoticed to the ground. The mysterious cloaked flower deliverer, after realizing that a misfortune had occurred, stalled his cart.

"This is a very bad happening indeed," he commented. "I certainly wish I would have seen the scenario sooner."

"Is she going to be all right? I should have remembered to fill her food dish last night. Maybe then she wouldn't hate me so. Oh, I should have paid more attention to her. What am I going to do?" Tabby babbled, dropping down on her knees next to the bleeding body of the cat. Callie looked up at her owner and attempted to stretch out a paw to her.

"You're still a vet, aren't you?" Tamara managed to squeak out.

"I can transport your cat to the clinic," the flower delivered offered. "Put her in the cart." Without waiting for an answer, he carefully lifted Callie's mangled body into his cart. "She's still breathing," he noted as he began to pull away again.

Tabby and Tamara were silent for several moments. Tabby blinked rapidly. "Callie..."

"Is he taking her to the vet clinic?" Tamara asked shakingly.

"I hope he's taking her to the clinic." Tabby regained some of her composure and righted herself again. "I'd better check things out. Tamara, tell Tarquin to go on to the Pokèmon Center. Callie--" With that, Tabby dashed off in the direction the flower deliverer had gone.

"Mr. Flower Deliverer! That's my cat! Wait for me!" Tabby called, starting after the cart. It had gotten a head-start on her, though, and she was only able to catch up to her cat after the cloaked figure had dropped off Callie and was driving away again.

Tabby breathlessly pushed through the entrance door of the clinic. "Is she here? Did he bring her here?" she gasped out.

"Tabby, what in the world happened?" Sugarberry, wide-eyed, was already pacing the room. "The mysterious cloaked flower deliverer ran in with Callie just as the clock struck eight, and..."

"She got run over by the cart. She's going to be okay, isn't she?" Tabby asked anxiously.

"You'll have to ask Thomas." Sugarberry's eyes swept the floor. "He took her into the emergency room."

"She's in pretty bad shape, isn't she?" Tabby said chokingly, recalling how Callie had reached out to her. She'd never done such a thing before in her life. Maybe she really did care about Tabby, after all. Without another word, Tabby headed down the hallway without hesitation to check in on her cat.

"Um, is everything okay here?" Night Glider asked timidly as she entered the clinic with a pet carrier in hoof.

"We're just having a bit of an emergency," Sugarberry swallowed, trying hard to still look professional. "Would you mind seating yourself in the waiting room for awhile?"

Night Glider sensed the tension in the air, and obligingly went in the direction of the arrangement of chairs. Tabby, in the meantime, had taken it upon herself to throw open the door to the emergency room without bothering to announce herself.

"She's going to be okay, isn't she? Won't she? She's got to be!" Getting right to business, Tabby leaved over the counter and stared at the body of Callie.

"Tabby... Tabby, it may not be that easy," Thomas said slowly.

"It won't be? Isn't there anything that can be done?" Tabby's voice rose to the tone of desperation. "You've got to save her!"

"I wish I could, but..." Thomas trailed off, searching for the words to say. "She was hit pretty hard, Tabby."

Tabby stared at Callie's limp body, knowing what was going to come next. "No..." she whispered.

"She's just in pain now. The damage is too extensive." Thomas paused. "She would be best off to be put to sleep."

"Put her to... sleep?"

"It's the only thing I can do for her."

"You can't do it." Tabby said this quite simply and firmly as she straightened.


"Because I'm going to get a magic injection for her."

"A magic injection?" Thomas looked rather startled at this statement, not having heard the term for quite awhile. "I still can't fully believe those things really exist."

"That's because you're upset that I wouldn't tell you where to get them," Tabby said matter-of-factly. "But, no, they are quite real and I'm going to get one for Callie."

"Just where do you get them?" Thomas asked skeptically.

"I wouldn't tell you before, so why would I now? I'm supposed to keep it a secret, and I intend it to stay that way."

"Wouldn't it be easier if you--"

"Just be sure Callie doesn't fade away before I get back," Tabby instructed, walking purposely back to the main room. "And I will be back. With a magic injection."

"Tabby, wait! Shouldn't you--" Thomas tried to keep up with her, but only found that she had already exited the building.

"What is that pony up to now?" Sugarberry looked at Thomas, bewildered.

"I have strict instructions to keep Callie alive until Tabby gets back with a magic injection," Thomas repeated slowly.

"Oh, my..."

"And I still can't understand why she's so secretive about her precious magic injections," Thomas fumed slightly. "The one useful secret is the one she won't say anything about."

"What... what are you going to do about Callie?" Sugarberry said timidly.

"I'll just have to attend to keeping her alive," Thomas sighed, turning. "For Tabby's sake, if nothing else."

After Thomas had disappeared again, Night Glider spoke-up. "Um, Sugarberry, should I come back another time?" She glanced at Bowtie, who had just come in holding a pet carrier as well.

"Eh..." Sugarberry smiled nervously. "Um... Thomas..."

* * *

Tabby trotted defiantly down the path, her thoughts lost in memories of the magic injections.

Magic injections truly did exist, and they truly were magic. They had the power to heal any wound in an animal, no matter how great, in a matter of moments.

It had been a long time ago when Tabby had first ran across the supplier of them in the Dark Forest. She had quickly bought a supply from him, thinking of how easy it would make her job from then on.

As it was, the magic injections had meant the downfall of Tabby's old clinic. Once a pet had been injected, they were immune to nearly every disease they were exposed to. And they therefore had no need to come back for more of Tabby's care. It definitely did make Tabby's job easier-- maybe a little too easy. She didn't feel like she was doing what she had trained for, and with no patients coming in, there was no need to be at her clinic much.

But, apparently, the effects of the magic injections had not lasted forever. At one point, patients started to trickle in again. Tabby used her magic injections on the pets with reservations, knowing that she would soon be in the same situation as before. But it was then that Thomas' clinic had opened, and Tabby had to fight the competition somehow. What better way than with her magic injections?

It was a losing battle, however. Tabby was soon forced to shut down her clinic and go to work for Thomas-- which, in the end, had probably worked out for the better. However, Tabby had still refused to tell anyone where she had gained this mystical medicine. She kept it as a closely-guarded secret. She did this partly because she enjoyed having such a secret to keep from Thomas, and partly because she knew the consequences of using them.

But was it pure greed on Tabby's part to refrain from using the injections? She had to stop and think about that. Certainly they made less work for veterinarians, but the pets were all healthy and it saved the owners a bit of money to only have to pay for one injection. So would it be better to... Tabby shook the thought off. All she was going to worry about now was getting a magic injection to save Callie. She'd ponder over ethical questions later.

The first stop Tabby made was her old vet clinic, which was still left standing abandoned. She could always hope that she had somehow left a magic injection behind, and she could get this over with quickly and easily. She swiftly unlocked the back door and walked inside.

Clever Clover still didn't get the Whale Machine out of here, Tabby thought in annoyance as she peered into the back room. The hulking Atlantean artifact still stood there after an incident last summer. Clever Clover had said he would use it in the museum he was going to start, but he obviously hadn't gotten to that yet.

After scouring all the rooms as closely as she could, the only thing Tabby unearthed was an old crate with the words "MAGIC INJECTIONS" scrawled on the side. However, it was empty.

Well, Tiny will be sure to have one for me, Tabby thought, trotting back outside. She hurried to find her supplier in the Dark Forest.

Tabby could still remember the route well, and she soon found her Bigfoot acquaintance seated in a green clearing in the forest. He was surrounded by Pokèmon, including a Nidoran, Squirtle, Growlithe, and Weedle.

"Hello, Tiny," Tabby greeted him cheerfully.

"Hey, Tabby," Tiny grunted, looking up. "Long time since you were here last."

"Yes, it has been awhile. It would have been... well, anyway." Tabby smoothed back her mane. "I need your help, Tiny."

"What with?" the Bigfoot asked curiously.

"I need a magic injection," Tabby explained. "Do you have any ready?"

Tiny sat in silent contemplation for several minutes. "I don't think so," he finally said.

"Well, can you make one for me, then?" Tabby prodded.

Tiny stayed silent again. "I think I threw the recipe away," he stated.

"What?!" Tabby gasped.

"Or else I sold it at my garage sale last summer," Tiny pondered. "I don't remember. Maybe you can come back another day."

"But it's an emergency!" Tabby wailed. "My cat got run over by the mysterious cloaked flower deliverer, and she's..."

"Wait, I think I remember!" Tiny recalled.

"You mean you still have it?" Tabby said eagerly.

"No," Tiny stated. "I did sell it at my garage sale."

"Well, who'd you sell it to?"

"A guy in a cloak, I think."

"The mysterious cloaked flower deliver bought it?" Tabby's voice rose.

"It might have been him," Tiny said slowly. "One of them."

"One of them?" Tabby looked at him curiously. "Do you know where he lives?"

"I think so," Tiny said. "Wait a second. I get my map." The Bigfoot turned and disappeared into his cave.

While waiting for him to return, Tabby got to know his Pokèmon. "Squirtle squirtle!" Squirtle declared.

"Gro-o-owlithe," Growlithe agreed.

"I found it!" Tiny exclaimed jubilantly, running back outside waving a paper in the air.

"You found the map with the location of the mysterious cloaked flower deliverer?"

"No, I found the recipe for the magic injections."

"What? You said you sold it."

"I guess I didn't," Tiny shrugged. "Now we gather the ingredients."

"What do magic injections require?" Tabby asked cautiously.

"Let's see." Tiny stared down at the paper. "Two and a fourth cups flour. One tablespoon baking soda. One cup of softened margarine. A fourth cup of sugar. Three--"

"Tiny, let me see that." Tabby snatched the paper away and skimmed it over. "Tiny! This is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, not magic injections!"

"Oops," Tiny scratched his head. "Guess so."

"Tiny, where did you first get the recipe?"

"Oh, that would be my mom."

"Your mom knew how to make magic injections?"

"No, my mom knew how to make chocolate chip cookies."

Tabby sighed. "Where did you get the recipe for the magic injections, then?"

"Some guy. He had a dog along with him."

"Was it a St. Bernard?"

"He didn't tell me his name."

"The dog! Was the dog a St. Bernard?"

"I dunno. He didn't tell me the dog's name either."

"Was the dog's breed that of a St. Bernard?"

"Oh, the breed. Yeah, I guess so."

"I know who he is, then!" Tabby said excitedly. "He's the one that gave me that treasure map, remember? Of course... I don't know where to find him."

"He usually shows up if you're looking for him," Tiny said. "He's very strange. I've seen him several times."

"Well, then, let's start looking for him, shall we?" Tabby prodded. "We haven't time to waste!"

"Okay." Tiny began rustling through the nearest patch of bushes.

"Hey! Mysterious dude with the St. Bernard! We need help!" Tabby shouted out into the forest.

"He ain't in there," Tiny noted, turning away from the bushes.

Tabby went on with her calling, and Tiny kept on beating bushes. After half an hour of this, Tabby grew impatient. "Tiny, will you give me the details on all the times you met this guy?"

Tiny paused. "One time I was walkin' along and he showed up. That was when he gave me that recipe for the magic injections. The other time I was walkin' along and he showed up. That time he gave me my Growlithe. The next time I was walkin' along--"

"Didn't you say that he showed up when you wanted him to?"

"Yes. After he'd showed up, I wanted him to show up."

Tabby sighed and slumped down on a tree stump. The sun was fairly high in the sky, and it shone off the Furby medallion strung around Tabby's neck.

"Your necklace is glowin' pretty," Tiny noted.

Tabby looked down. "Oh, it is, isn't it?" She picked the medallion up in her hoof. The sun certainly was making it glow. Tabby thought it looked mysterious somehow, though.

Not too long after that, the pony and the Bigfoot heard footsteps coming in their direction. They both stared intently into the surrounding forest. And suddenly, before them, stood the man with the St. Bernard.

"I said he came when you wanted him," Tiny said to Tabby.

"Oh, you're just who we wanted to see!" Tabby exclaimed, jumping up from her seat.

"You need my assistance?" the man queried, his St. Bernard sitting obediently next to him.

"Yes, um... Mr. Mysterious Guy with the St. Bernard," Tabby said quickly. "It's concerning a recipe for magic injections... do you remember that?"

"You sold it to me," Tiny reminded him.

"Ah, yes," the man recalled. "You got good use out of it, I presume?"

"We did, but I have an emergency now that requires a magic injection, but Tiny can't find the recipe you sold him," Tabby explained. "Do you happen to have another copy?"

"I thought that might be what you needed." The man immediately pulled out a piece of paper, and looked it over. "This is it. My last copy," he said, handing it over to Tabby.

"Cool, just like the one I had," Tiny said, looking at the sheet over Tabby's shoulder.

"You'll have to get it together quickly," the man advised. "You reached me just in time."

"What do you mean?" Tabby questioned, staring at the bold title at the top of the sheet: MAGIC INJECTIONS.

"Oh, they'll stop working this evening," the man said calmly.

"Stop working?" Tabby gasped. "What...?"

"That's the way with some spells. The warranty runs out," the man explained. "Unfortunate sometimes, but you should still have time to get one together. Goodbye!" And with that, he and his dog were gone.

"Look. It says that on the bottom," Tiny pointed. Tabby was still silent, soaking in the information from the mysterious guy. But Tiny was right; at the bottom of the recipe sheet, printed in small letters, was written, "Offer good through this evening at eight o' clock. No further use will be allowed."

"It says that?" Tabby stared at the paper intently. "Tiny, did yours say that?"

"No. It changed every day."

"What do you mean, it changed every day?"

"One day it said three hundred and seventy-five days left. The next day it said three hundred and seventy-four days left. The next day it said three hun--"

"Creepy," Tabby breathed. "Now, what are the ingredients for this thing... oh, there's only three?" She read them aloud. "Sphinx mushrooms... krulototite... and black blood of the earth?"

"Yeah," Tiny nodded.

"Tiny, do you know where to find any of this stuff? I've never heard of it, let alone found it..." Tabby trailed off.

"Sure," Tiny said nonchalantly. "I found them lots before."

"Where do we go?" Tabby prodded. "We've got to get going!"

"I'll lead you there," Tiny said. "Come on." He headed into the forest.

Tabby sighed as she followed after. Somehow, she didn't think it'd be this difficult to get one magic injection. But she couldn't forget the way Callie had looked at her when she'd stretched out her paw, and Tabby continued on without complaint.

* * *

"Sugarberry, what does getting a magic injection require?" Thomas demanded later that day.

"Well..." Sugarberry paused in thought. "I don't know. Tabby never said anything about how she got them."

"Why is she so secretive over them?"

Sugarberry shrugged. "I don't know that, either."

"It's nearly noon, and she's still not back," Thomas noted.

"How is Callie doing, anyway?"

"She's in stable condition. That's about all I can say."

"I'm sure she'll get back soon," Sugarberry put in kindly, noting the concern in his voice-- whether more for Callie or Tabby, she wasn't sure.

"I certainly hope so," Thomas said softly, staring out the window.

* * *

Meanwhile, Tabby was still walking along behind Tiny. "Tiny, are you sure you know where we're going?"

"I think so," Tiny grunted.

"You know, the scenery is beginning to look awfully familiar," Tabby noted. "We haven't already been this way, have we?"

Tiny paused. "Not that I know of."

"How long is it until we get to the place we're going?"

"I don't know. Not too long."

Suddenly, the trees began to thin out on the path they were walking. A patch of grass was revealed ahead. And beyond that... a rugged, sloping, gray mountain range.

"That's it!" Tabby cried. "This is where I went to find that treasure!"

"Oh, that time," Tiny recalled. "Did you ever get that?"

"Mm... no," Tabby said quickly, leaving it at that. She didn't add that she had simply chickened out that time.

"Start climbing," Tiny instructed, pulling himself up over a large boulder at the base of the mountain and waiting for Tabby to follow.

"Big fun," Tabby murmured, jumping up after him. At least the Bigfoot seemed to remember the trail to the place he was seeking, as he managed to lead Tabby to the place fairly quickly, even if it was a ways up the mountain.

The two now stood before a small opening in the rocks. "In here," Tiny motioned, ducking his head down and disappearing inside. Tabby followed.

"I think this is the place the map said the treasure would be," Tabby said in interest, looking around at the dark, rocky surroundings inside the tunnel in the mountain. "I wonder if I'll find anything."

"We look for ingredients now," Tiny decided. "What were they?"

"Umm... let's see..." Tabby looked at the recipe again. "Sphinx mushrooms, krulototite, and black blood of the earth. Are you sure you know where to find this stuff? Is it all in this cave?"

Tiny scratched his head. "That's what I remember." He turned left in the tunnel.

"What're you going to look for first?" Tabby asked, running after him.

"Whatever we find first," Tiny replied.

"Ah," Tabby said, lapsing into silence.

Tiny kept making turns in the passages, but Tabby wasn't sure if he really knew what he was doing. However, much to her relief, the Bigfoot finally stooped down to the ground and said, "Here something."

Tabby looked around in the passage they had just entered. There didn't seem to be anything, but then she noticed a white powdery substance covering the floor. "Oh, this stuff?" She stooped down and scooped some up in her hoof.

"Yep. Krulototite," Tiny said, pulling out a small glass vile. He filled it with the fine powder and then stood up. "Now for sphinx mushrooms and black blood of earth."

"What's this black blood of the earth? Oil?" Tabby questioned.

"No, it's black blood of the earth," Tiny answered.

"Ah, of course," Tabby nodded. "Are you sure you know your way?"

"I'll find it," was all Tiny answered.

Tabby found that walking through dark stone passages could become rather boring when you didn't exactly know what you were doing. Tiny never stopped, so she could only hope that he knew where to go.

"Tiny, I think this is a dead-en--" Tabby began at one point, but suddenly stopped as she felt the elevation lower under one front hoof. She quickly pulled it up, and saw that it was covered with a thick, black substance. "What in the world? There's some kind of pool here!"

The darkness was greater in this tunnel, and after their eyes had adjusted to it, the two could make out a small, deeply-recessed pool. A stalagmite rose out of the center. The liquid looked extremely dark, and did not appear to be water.

"Black blood of the earth," Tiny said simply, pulling out another vile and dipping it into the pool.

"Wow, cool!" Tabby was trying to rub as much of the stuff off her hoof as she could.

"Now mushrooms," Tiny said, capping off the vile and heading back down the tunnel.

"Tiny, do you hear something?" Tabby held her ear up against the cave wall. There seemed to be a muted humming of sorts coming from beyond it.

"Maybe," Tiny decided after listening on his own.

"You said these caverns are uninhabited, didn't you?" Tabby questioned cautiously.

"They were last time," Tiny said.

"It doesn't seem like anybody would move into a cave..."

"Unless there were low mortgage rates," Tiny corrected. "Let's see." He turned right, heading towards the noise.

As Tabby and Tiny proceeded further, the noise became louder. The made turns in tunnels several times, but suddenly emerged into a huge circular cavern with a high ceiling. And, much to Tabby's surprise, it was packed full of... mysterious cloaked flower deliverers! There was no doubt about it; this band of human figures were all dressed identically, and looked exactly like the well-known flower deliverer in Ponyland. They were all synchronized in chanting a strange rhyme.

"I hope flower deliverers are fairly easy on intruders," Tabby said weakly.

"Somebody must have moved in," Tiny said casually, obviously not too frightened by all the figures. "Look. Sphinx mushrooms!" He pointed across the floor, where bunches of these orange mushrooms were scattered around in clusters.

"Are you sure they're sphinx mushrooms?" Tabby whispered. "Keep your voice down!" The two were still on the edge of the cavern, and the cloaked figures had their backs turned to them.

Tiny was already busily picking several of the fungi and throwing them in a container he had brought along for the purpose. However, as he reached for one last mushroom, his hand brushed against the cloak of one of the chanting figures.

The figure slowly turned around, and the others around him followed suite. Soon, the whole congregation of mysterious cloaked flower deliverers had turned to face Tiny and Tabby, pointing and murmuring among themselves.

"Um, Tiny," Tabby swallowed, "I think we should get out of here."

"Okay. I got the mushrooms," Tiny consented.

However, a row of the figures had somehow managed to slip behind the unicorn and the bigfoot, sealing the way they had come in. Now they were entirely encircled by the foreboding figures.

"Tiny," Tabby said softly, "I think there's another tunnel entrance on the other side. We're going to make a run for it on the count of three."

"Cool," Tiny said.

Tabby looked around nervously as the mysterious cloaked figures began to advance in on their ground even further. "Alright. One... two... three! Run, Tiny!"

Tiny and Tabby took off running, plowing their way through the rows of figures. The cavern was absolutely packed, and not knowing what powers these people possessed, neither of the two could tell if they would make it to the tunnel entrance or not.

They managed to make their way to the passageway, however, after dashing through the horde. The two ran as quickly as they could down the passageway. They didn't stop to look, but they could hear the swishing of cloaks as the figures filed into the tunnel and chased after them.

Tabby and Tiny kept running. The cloaked figures were fairly quick and agile in the tunnels, however, and were still directly behind the two. Even Tabby did not care now whether they knew where they were going or not.

The mysterious figures suddenly began murmuring amongst themselves again. Tabby didn't know what they were saying, and wasn't in too much of a hurry to find out. However, luck was on her and Tiny's side. As they turned a corner, bright sunlight flooded in the corridor from an opening on the other end. The figures shied back in obvious discontent.

Tiny and Tabby dashed through the hole in the mountain, and emerged back into the outside work. They stumbled down the slope, but they hoped the mysterious figures wouldn't be following them.

They finally reached the bottom of the mountain, and stopped to catch their breath. Tiny cautiously looked up. "No flower deliverers," he said.

Tabby stared up the slope as well. There wasn't a sign of the mysterious figures. "I guess they didn't like the sunlight," she theorized. "Lucky for us."

"All the ingredients are here now," Tiny said, making sure his containers were still on him. "We go back to my cave to make the injection."

"I hope it's not too late for Callie," Tabby worried. "This is taking longer than I expected."

"Wait. We on the other side of the mountain now," Tiny said suddenly.

"The other side?" Tabby said in alarm. "We're not going to have to go back through..."

"No, there's a passage through it," Tiny assured her. "But it's a ways down from here. We get through that, and then through the forest to my cave. Follow me..."

* * *

Tabby was not sure how long it took to get back to Tiny's cave in the Dark Forest, but it seemed like hours; and by the darkening in the sky, it appeared to be late afternoon. Would Callie still be...?

"Can I see recipe?" Tiny questioned, sitting down on the ground with his array of ingredients surrounding him. His Pokèmon were still loose, and had been waiting for his return.

"Oh, yes, of course." Tabby quickly handed the paper over to him, and Tiny got to work. "It doesn't take that long to make a magic injection, does it? There's still time, isn't there?"

"There should be, I think," Tiny said, engrossed in the mixing of the ingredients. He had brought out a variety of small bowls and was busy mashing things together. "It still says it's good through eight o' clock tonight."

"If it's four o' clock now, that's only four hours left," Tabby figured. "And I've left Callie for eight hours... oh, I hope it's not too late!"

"Magic injections only work on living creatures," Tiny noted.

A chill ran up Tabby's back. "Oh, Tiny, don't say that!"

Tiny nodded, and the clearing was silent except for the noises of Tiny's mixing. Tabby paced around nervously. Tiny's Pokèmon tried to cheer Tabby up.

Tabby thought an eternity had passed before Tiny announced, "Magic injection all ready." He held up the bowl with a strange-colored mixture in it. "Let me find a syringe." He placed the bowl on the ground and disappeared into his cave.

Tabby watched over the bowl carefully, making sure it did not leak out or some such evil. Now she was beginning to get really nervous.

Tiny managed to find one last syringe from his supply, and thoughtfully poured the mixture in. He held it up in the air. "Finished!"

Tabby took the syringe from him with trembling hooves. "Oh, thank you, Tiny," she said earnestly. "I'm really eternally grateful to you. And now I've got to get back to Dream Valley with this."

"Don't tell anyone where it came from," Tiny reminded. "I don't want a lot of visitors out here."

"I won't, Tiny," Tabby winked. "Goodbye!" With that, she took off running through the forest.

* * *

"Sugarberry," Thomas said firmly, "no matter how magical they are, it shouldn't take a full day to get an injection ready."

"She... I don't remember her being gone this long myself," Sugarberry confessed.

"And I don't think Callie's going to last much longer," Thomas said with regret.

"You did the best you could," Sugarberry said consolingly.

"That still won't change the fact that Tabby has vanished," Thomas snapped.

"I know, but..." Sugarberry said helplessly. "You've got to trust her. She said she'd be back, and she will."

"That's what you said four hours ago."


"I'm sorry, Sugarberry. I didn't meant to snap at you like that."

"That's okay. I understand."

"You're free to go home now, you know. It's after four."

"No," said Sugarberry firmly, "I'll wait with you."

"Hey, guys, miss me yet? This is when you're getting all sappy over me, right? Just as I thought." Tabby's arrival was a bit of a shock to Sugarberry and Thomas, especially considering her flippant matter.

"But, before you say anything, I really must give this to Callie. It isn't eight o' clock already, is it? I certainly hope not, or it won't work..." Tabby breezed on down the hallway, wielding her syringe.

Thomas and Sugarberry hurried after her. "Is that really a magic injection?" she breathed in awe.

"What other kind of an injection would I have come back with? No, this is the real thing." Tabby posed it over Callie's body. "Ah, good, she's still alive."

"This I have got to see," was all Thomas could say.

With one quick movement of Tabby's hoof, Callie was injected. Tabby stood back, a bit smug, while the other two watched in amazement. The open wounds which had been inflicted by the cart healed over in record time. Fur grew back where it had been tore off. The cat's breathing began returning to normal.

"I told you I could do it," Tabby said triumphantly.

"I didn't think you could," Thomas said, mystified.

Tabby picked up the sleeping body of her cat. "Poor thing. She'll still have to sleep off the excitement from today."

"After this, though, I'm not going to be so quick in demanding magic injections," Thomas said wryly.

"Why's that?" Tabby questioned.

"Well, we didn't know where you were or what you were getting yourself into the whole day," Thomas pointed out.

"Besides, the recipe for the magic injections runs out tonight, anyway," Tabby said matter-of-factly.

"What do you mean by that?" Sugarberry asked, raising an eyebrow.

"That's what the guy with the St. Bernard said, at least," Tabby continued. "But-- oh, I won't get into that," she yawned, burying her face in Callie's fluff.

"Shall we head to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe now?" Sugarberry anticipated.

"No, I was thinking I'd just go home," Tabby replied, much to the surprise of Sugarberry and Thomas. "It can be very tiring to escape hordes of flower deliverers. She made her way wearily down the hallway with Callie in hoof. "G'night, everyone," she mumbled before slipping out the door.

* * *

Several days later, Tabby received an envelope with an unique return address--

Tiny the Bigfoot

Cave in the Dark Forest

Dream Valley

"Hm, Tiny's never sent me anything through the mail before," Tabby said curiously. "I wonder what he's up to." She quickly slit the envelope with a letter opened.

She extracted a piece of paper from the envelope, and upon unfolding it, she immediately recognized it as the recipe for the magic injections. A note from Tiny was scrawled on it--

Look, Tabby. It did run out. You can keep it.

Tabby glanced down to the bottom of the page. Indeed, the line now read, "Offer expired. Thank you for using our service."

"Most fascinating," Tabby murmured. "Weird. Oh, I'm so glad we got Callie back!" She sentimentally reached out to pick up her cat, who was just walking through the area. Callie immediately hissed and ran out of the room.

"Oh, well," Tabby sighed. The way Callie had stretched her paw out to her was obviously a coincidence, and the experience had not changed the cat any. She was still the same obstinate Callie as before. "Still, she's awfully pretty to have around, even if she hates me," Tabby reasoned.

Tabby tucked the recipe back in its envelope, and hurried upstairs to stick it in one of her desk drawers, lest prying eyes should see Tiny's address. That was it for the magic injections. Now they were gone forever.

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