*"Lis? Where do you see yourself in ten years?..."*

They sat on the hardwood floor in the cozy, sparsely furnished Phobos apartment they had arrived in only hours before. Their companions slumbering in their various places on furniture, cots retrieved from storage, and the occasional sleeping bag on the rug. The only light breaking through the darkness was that from the picture window above them and from the soft, magenta glow seeping from her hand. The faint hint of a smile graced her face as she rested her head on his shoulder. She leaned against him, comforted as he put his arm around her.

*"I never thought about it before..."* he confessed. She merely nodded in response, to which he continued, *"What about you?"*

At that she shrugged her shoulders. *"I haven't really thought about it either...I'd be 36..."* a small sigh escaped her lips, *"I can't bring myself to think past tomorrow..."*

Was that really so long ago? she asked herself, toying with the small stone that still eminated that same shade of magenta. She tucked an arrant strand of silver hair behind her ear. They were becoming more numerous in the passing years, accumulating to denotable patches in her dark grey tresses but complimenting it nicely. On Lis, however, they were a bit more noticable. Not that it mattered to her in the least.

The antique rocking chair creaked as she sat down. She liked that old rocker. It was surprising that there was enough space to accomodate it in that room of her's, but they managed. The old diner was pretty much the same as it always was...new faces showing up every now and again. Not much had changed except-


Skidzo looked over her shoulder to face the door. "Hey, sweetheart," she smiled as she saw her son's curious face peering in from the door, black hair dangling in his eyes-one grey, the other violet. "Come on in," she said as she put the glo-stone away in her pocket.

He did so, quickly shutting the door behind him, tail twitching nervously. His mother quirked an eyebrow. Her suspicions were confirmed as he turned and walked towards her with Squeakers, his sister's beloved stuffed mouse, in his arms. "Wheeler..." a warning tone rang through her voice.

"What?..." he looked at her innocently.

Knowing that he would surely learn his lesson later, as his sister would wrestle him to the floor and rescue her toy, she shook her head. "Nothing," she assured. "Did you want something?"

"No." The door was closed and it was one of those rare moments of peace they could spend together. Even all these years later, they were still few and precious. The nine-year old took the opportunity to climb into his mother's lap.

She wrapped her arms protectively around him and hugged him close to her. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," he answered eventually. He wrapped his tail around her forearm; it wasn't a tail like most mice had, it was shorter and much thicker...Poofy his sister called it.

"Are you sure? You know you can tell me..."

He remained silent, clutching poor Squeakers tightly against his chest.

She sighed, "You miss Dad, don't ya?"

He blinked. How did mother's do that?! Taking his bottom lip between his teeth, he gave a small nod, and she kissed the top of his head.

"Don't worry, he'll be back soon."

"When soon?"

With a chuckle, she took his tiny face in her hands, "Soon soon. I promise." She prayed that was a promise that she didn't have to break...