|At the Crossroads of Time
Author: Atki Aurora PM
This is about how Team Rocket find a rare necklace and figure out that they can travel through time with it. It's Time Squad's mission to get the jewel back and return the team to their own time. Hope you enjoy! :DRated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Chapters: 4 - Words: 12,834 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-23-10 - Published: 08-14-10 - id: 6237285
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Jessie wandered through the forest, still dazed at what had happened to her. The events preceding that moment did not pass quickly, but reflecting upon them, she could hardly believe that they had happened at all. A cardinal spied at her from a tree branch, twitching its head, as if to get different angles to view the wandering stranger. Jessie found a quiet river, and sat down on a nearby rock. She stared at her own reflection, and was not surprised to see the various bruises and scratch marks on her face. She fingered the marks, and began to cry quietly. After a few minutes she wiped away her tears, and took out her Rocket uniform, which she had been carrying. She smiled faintly as she remembered all her moments in that uniform. In fact, she had practically lived her whole life in it. She frowned as she remembered what it stood for, however. She was a thief, and her purpose had been to steal from others for the sole purpose of gaining for herself. In the last days, all the thanks she ever got for her actions were the resulting deaths of the two closest friends she would ever have. She felt as though she would cry again as she thought of her boss, Giovanni. He had quit talking to her ages ago- so what would it matter if Jessie quit now, forever? Of course, it would be a little difficult to get used to wearing a t-shirt and jeans, but it would be well worth it. Without hesitation, she threw the uniform into the river. She knew that memories stayed in her head, not in a useless uniform. She then reached into her pocket and took out a ruby necklace that James and Meowth had given her a few days before. As she stared at it, a lump grew in her throat so big that it momentarily cut off her breathing. This was the small object that had killed her friends. It seemed to stare back at her, always asking her that same cruel question: "If you could change all that had happened to you, would you?" Yes, she had thought about it. She thought about James and Meowth's acts of selflessness, protecting her to the very end- all over that stupid ruby necklace. Every time she remembered their love for her, she grew more decisive about her destination. No, she would not change a single moment of it. At that thought, she turned red with guilt. She knew that any other person in her situation would change the very moments that killed her friends. But she knew that had she changed those moments, she would not remember those kindest deeds that any friends could do for others. Besides, they were finally at peace. They could rest in Heaven, continuing their acts of kindness by looking down on her, watching her steps. She nodded at the finality of her decision, and with disgust, she threw the necklace into the river, and walked back through the depths of the forest.
But the necklace continued to float down the river, forever remembering the events of the former Team Rocket within its deep red jewel.
Meowth Yawned and stretched in the hours of the early morning. The sun glowed in the red sky, and early morning stars faded back into the night. He foggily remembered the events of the preceding night, how the team's rival, Ash Ketchum, had once again sent them flying out of sight, landing them in the forest they occupied currently. He glanced over at his two companions, who were snoring loudly in a nearby bush. Standing over James, he slapped him awake. James jolted out of his sleep, and was about to scream with a start had Meowth's paw not covered his mouth first. With his other paw he made a sign to stay quiet, and then glanced quickly over at Jessie to make sure that she was still sleeping. He then turned his attention back to James, irritated. He spoke with a hoarse whisper. "Shush! You wanna wake her up?" James only stared back in confusion. Meowth removed his paw, letting James sit upright. "What's going on, Meowth?" "Don't you remember what's in a couple of days?" "Ummm… Is it a promotion? Because that would be really great." Meowth grabbed onto James's collar and shook him violently. "No, you dimwit! It's Jessie's birthday. Have you even thought about what you were going to get her yet?" James stared blankly. "I didn't know she had a birthday this year!" Meowth gritted his teeth and squinted. "I ain't surprised. That's why I thought we'd get a head start on swipin' somethin' nice for her. Well, what are you staring at me like that for? Let's go, before she wakes up!" James scrambled to his feet, and followed Meowth into town.
It was a hot muggy June morning, and most of the shops and museums were still closed. With school out, the kids were sleeping in and without the stress of school, the adults were most likely sleeping in too. It was virtually a ghost town, and was ripe for the taking. Meowth smiled as he spotted a museum. "There. We'll try there first." They snuck around to the back, and opened the door as quietly as they could. Their eyes dilated in the darkness, and Meowth looked around quickly. Pots, skeletons and paintings stood in their places, but he knew that Jessie would take pleasure in none of these things. He motioned for James to follow him as he turned on his flashlight and wandered down a hallway. He whispered back to him, "keep an eye out for anything you think Jessie would like". They glanced around, finding nothing of interest. At the end of the hallway they came to a locked, vaulted steel door. Meowth muttered, "somethin' really valuable must be in there! We've gotta get in there." After many years of practice, Meowth was a master at opening vaults. He pressed his ear to the door, and turned the padlock. Finally he heard a "click" sound, and opened the door. Once Meowth's eyes rested on his prize, he could hardly stop staring at it. It was the prettiest ruby necklace he had ever seen. Nevertheless, he took his specialty goggles out to check for any protective lasers. There were none. Meowth then went to work at cutting it out of its protective case. After a few minutes, he turned around to see why James wasn't making any moves to help him. Instead, he was reading a plaque. Meowth's eye twitched with irritation. "Hey, what are you doing? We don't have any time for readin', we have to get this back to Jessie!" James glanced at the cat worriedly. "But look here. This plaque says to anyone who gets this necklace receives a blessing and a curse. What do you think that means?" "That means that this is a very expensive treasure. All of these valuables have inscriptions like these on 'em. Now c'mon, help me with this." James sighed, and lifted the case as Meowth was halfway done with cutting through it. The cat sighed at all his wasted work, but was happy to finally have the treasure. At that moment the museum lights clicked on, and the faces of the two thieves paled. Meowth's paws were shaking, practically dropping the necklace. To his surprise, however, he felt himself being picked up by James and carried to a high window. It was all Meowth could do to suppress a yell as James threw him out, and luckily, he landed on a tree branch inside of a tree. James then jumped out himself, and landed in a bush below him. It was a good thing they were well hidden, for in the next moment dozens of police cars passed by them on their way to the museum. After the coast was clear, the two thieves made their way back to the forest.
Jessie awoke to the glaring of the sun through the leaves of the trees. She stretched; feeling refreshed as one could be, sleeping on a bush all night. In fact, she hadn't had a good rest like that in a very long time. She stood up and glanced about. She was slightly surprised when she noticed that her team members were gone. "Probably to get food", she muttered sleepily. She was a little hurt that they decided to go on without her. She looked for a stream to wash her face in. Then, she turned suddenly to a sound of rushed footsteps on rustling leaves and twigs. Sure enough, it was James and Meowth, the latter carrying some kind of red, stolen treasure. Now she was especially hurt. "Hey, why didn't you two goons try to wake me if you wanted to go on a heist? I'm just as much a part of Team Rocket as you are." The two smiled back, though panting very hard. At last Meowth held up the object for Jessie to take. She stared at it, gaping, not knowing quite what to say. "And you got away with this? How did you…" The words died on her lips, she was so awestruck. Truly this was the greatest thing they had ever accomplished- so far. They looked at her with s glimmer of pride. Meowth spoke first. "Yep, we sure did. We got up at the crack of dawn to do it, but we got you that birthday present." At this, Jessie's eyes began to shimmer. So that's why they didn't wake her. "Ohh, you two… It's so beautiful! I have to put it on right away." She stopped immediately when she noticed that they began to stammer. "Y-you can't do that just yet", explained James. "Y'see, we escaped just in time… The cops are out there looking for us, and we'd be dead if they ever found that." She shook her head. "I should've known. Alright, we'll hide this for now. But you two need to learn how to be more careful." They nodded, and continued to whisper excitedly about the early morning heist.
By that afternoon most of the shops were closed, and wanted posters were distributed throughout the town. Jessie glared at her two friends, and they only smiled meekly and shrugged back. Meowth said quietly, "well, it could always be worse." James added, "yeah, we could be caught." At this Meowth angrily stamped on his foot, which he responded with a smothered "ow! That hurt!"Jessie sighed miserably. "Well, now you two have done it. Now how are we gonna get to the other side of town?" In response, they simply shrugged. She stared back at them in irritation. "That's always your answer to everything. Fine, I guess it's up to me. But it will definitely involve you two." They gulped in response. They leaned behind the nearest tree behind the town, watching the police pace to and fro. After Jessie's plan was explained to them, she said to Meowth, "quickly now". Meowth then jumped out from behind the tree, walking on all fours. He then walked up to one of the officers, and rubbed and purred excessively against his leg. As the officers bent down to pet him, the other two Rockets made their way quickly across town. As soon as they signaled to Meowth that they were safe, he leaped from the crowd and into the other forest across town. The officers shrugged, and then returned to their posts. James stretched his arms. "We sure make a good team, don't we Meowth?" The cat glared back at him. "That's easy for you to say. You didn't do nothin.'" Jessie interrupted. "Quiet, you guys. We're not out of trouble just yet. We should probably hide further on in the woods." They nodded, and headed quickly into the darker areas. Before they knew it, they could barely see their hands in front of their faces. They grew more irritated as they began to continually bump into one another. Finally Jessie exclaimed, "ouch! Will you quit shoving into me already?" The other two winced, for the sound echoed throughout the woods. Jessie then said much more quietly, "just try to be more careful." After a few more steps, they were forced to stop because they could no longer see anything. "I wish my Arbok knew flash", said Jessie miserably. James replied, "so how long are we going to stay here?" "Until we know they'll be less suspicious." Meowth retorted, "but that will take weeks! We can't just stay here forever, and we certainly can't wait till night." Jessie grabbed Meowth's arm in irritation. "Well, then you tell us what to do! I'm all out of ideas." Luckily Meowth was a cat and could see the basic shapes around the complicated darkness of the woods. He had Jessie hold onto his tail with one hand, and James's hand in the other. As they walked, they finally saw a glimmer of light as the trees began to spread out more and more, and it looked more like a forest than a jungle. The team sighed with relief. Jessie smiled. "Oh, good. It's nice to be able to see again. I guess we owe you one, Meowth." But Meowth's attention was diverted to other things. The other two stared out at the direction that Meowth was staring. Much to their mortification, they recognized the group of Ash, Misty and Brock- their rivals.
At any other time, they would have been eager to take them on in a Pokémon match. But now, all they could focus on was getting away with that necklace. They ducked down in the bushes, and hoped to wait it out. Fortunately the trainers were terrible at being observant, so they walked right past the team without one bit of suspicion. Unfortunately, as if right on cue, James had to have a sneezing fit, and his sneezes echoed in the woods. The Rockets cringed, knowing that it was all over. The other group turned quickly, poke-balls in hand. "Who's there? Show yourselves!" Ash yelled. As it was no use to hide anymore, the team rose out of the bush, displaying a confidence they didn't really have at the moment. Jessie posed. "Yes, it's us. What do you twerps want?" Ash stepped forward. "I want to know why you were hiding from us in those bushes. What are you hiding?" "We were just minding our own business. You just- startled us, that's all." Misty glared. "Oh really? The town behind us had a necklace missing from their museum. And you are here in the forest hiding, just minding your own business? If you're clean, prove it!" Presently Jessie wished that she could just blame the other two, and be on her way. Knowing the consequences, she stood her ground. "Listen. You twerps do what you want, but this is our big break. We're giving that necklace to Giovanni, and we're getting our promotion. It's about time we've had good luck!" James and Meowth simply stared, eyes widened. Ash's eyes narrowed. "Out of all the sleazy things to do… Pikachu, go! Thunderbolt!" The Pikachu leaped from Ash's shoulder, and Team Rocket cringed, preparing for another flight. Presently James muttered, "Oh, how I wish I could be at home, and not dealing with this!" The lightning sparked from Pikachu's cheeks, but much to the team's surprise, the sparks began to dim, and faded altogether. In fact, everything began to dim, and a reddish hue replaced the bright green of the woods. Then to the team's confusion, the forest faded out of sight, and there was nothing but darkness.
Jessie sat up first. As her eyes dilated to her environment, the first thing to hit her was nausea. She held her head in her hands, trying to get herself back to normal. After the first feelings subsided a little, she looked around. She was surprised to find herself in a wealthy neighborhood, with a few trees surrounding the houses. She began to panic, wondering who brought them there, and what kind of trouble they would be in after the necklace was found in their possession. She then looked back at her two friends, still unconscious in the grass. She shook them awake. She noticed that they were trying to fight off the nausea as well. After a few moments they stood and looked around. "Where are we?" Meowth asked. James appeared to be a little more shocked than the others. "Call me crazy, but… This looks a lot like my childhood neighborhood." Still enrapt in memories, he began to smile. "Hey, this is my old neighborhood! C'mon, I'll show you where I lived." The other two followed him a little ways down the street, and at the end of the cul-de-sac, they stopped at a perfectly huge mansion. James beamed with happiness as the other two gaped. "See, this is my house! Oh, how I missed it…" Meowth and Jessie stared at each other in astonishment. "But how…" They asked each other. They stayed back at the gated entrance as James strolled past the front lawn to his house. After ten minutes he rejoined his friends. "No one was home… And I don't have the keys anymore. But it is good to see my old house again." Jessie shook her head in disbelief. "This is crazy. How did we end up here? Who could've brought us here?" Meowth touched his paw to his chin. "Well, let's see… What happened in the events leadin' up to this?" Jessie looked up at the sky. "That Ash twerp caught us stealing that necklace. Then he sacked his Pikachu on us, and then…we woke up here!" James casted a worried expression. "Well… I did say that I wished I was at home so I wouldn't have to deal with the twerps… Ohh, and this morning when we were stealing that necklace, I read a plaque that said anyone who had it received a blessing and a curse. So… Maybe this necklace brought us here, because I wanted to be here." The other two remained thoughtful, but then Jessie began to scoff. "Oh, that's nonsense. How can a necklace knock us out and drag us to your neighborhood? No… Someone had to have brought us here. I don't know who or what, but…" Meowth interrupted. "Now wait a minute! James could have a point here. Besides, if it worked this time, why shouldn't it work at other times? Why don't we test it out at another place?" James handed Meowth the necklace, and as the team huddled around him, he stated the place of his own birth. With a flash, a reddish hue covered their surroundings, and blackness again took them over.
This time the nausea didn't hit them as hard. They blinked, and took in the sight of a back alley in a downtrodden area of a big city. Jessie remained speechless, as James muttered "well I'll be…" Meowth was gaping. "This is it! This is where I was born! It was this necklace after all!" Jessie stood up. "But… This is impossible! How can a necklace bring us to all these different places?" James smiled, and Jessie's irritable nature returned to her. "And what could possibly be so funny, James?" "Well, Jessie… Don't you realize what this necklace could mean for Team Rocket? Imagine how many rare Pokémon we could steal with this! And think of all the bonuses we would get!" By now Jessie was smiling as well. "James, what a great thought! Of course, why didn't I think of that? Yes, it would be very good for our reputation. With this necklace, we could even be Rocket Executives- maybe even second to Giovanni himself!" At this thought they began laughing wickedly to themselves. After they recovered themselves, Jessie said, "alright Meowth, let's get out of here. We have a Pikachu that's been long overdue for the taking." Meowth, however, was busy getting reacquainted with his childhood friends. He gasped as James caught him up by his scruff. "C'mon Meowth, let's go! We have some Pikachu swiping to do!" Muttering under his breath, Meowth gave directions to the necklace, and again, Team Rocket vanished away.
When they opened their eyes, they were surprised to find themselves in a Pokémon Center. They were more surprised to see Ash, Misty and Brock looking down at them. The team gave a short yell, and stood their ground at once. Jessie pointed her finger. "You! What are you brats doing here?" Misty snorted. "Well that's one fine thanks we get for saving your miserable lives! You looked like you died when you disappeared and reappeared in the woods. The nurse said you had excessive pressure in the brain, but you should be fine now." Ash scratched his head. "What happened to you guys anyway?" "Don't you think if we'd know, we'd tell you?" lied Jessie. Misty raised an eyebrow. "Would you?" Jessie glared back, but their stares were interrupted by the entrance of the nurse. She was busy trying to shake off Brock, who was trying to win her love as usual. She looked relieved to see the team awake and fighting. "Oh, you three gave me a big fright. Your brains were struggling for oxygen when you came in. What was the last thing you did?" James heard Ash whisper to Misty, "that's not all their brains struggle for." Jessie scoffed at the nurse. "It's obvious. These brats challenged us to a Pokémon battle, but we tried to resist. Next thing we know, he sacks that Pikachu on us! Then we woke up here." One truth was as good as another, but… Ash and Misty glared, but the nurse waved them away. "I'm sorry folks, but I'm afraid you'll have to let them rest for awhile. They'll need at least a couple of hours of recovery." So the group left, leaving Team Rocket in the recovery room alone.
Jessie frantically turned towards Meowth. "Please tell me you have the necklace." In response Meowth opened his mouth and took out the red jewel. The other two sighed in relief. "Good, all's not lost," Jessie beamed. "But we'd better get out of here quickly and unnoticed. C'mon, to the nearest window." James looked out quickly, but turned to them and shook his head. "I'm afraid it's no use… The twerps are out there. We're stuck." Meowth rolled his eyes. "Are you two dimwits or what? Why don't we just escape by using the necklace again?" The other two could've slapped themselves for that. "Right," said Jessie. "Let's go somewhere- I don't care." Meowth stared into the jewel, and vacantly entered a date. Once again they were off in a flash.