|Red Thread of Fate
Author: Working-On-Sanity PM
The imaginary red thread of destined love was wrapping itself around James's throat. The red thread was supposed to bind him and Brock together, not pull them apart. The red thread shouldn't have let Brock cheat on his passion. The red thread lied.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Brock/Takeshi & James/Kojirō - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,931 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-25-12 - Published: 02-21-12 - id: 7859712
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
RED THREAD OF FATE
Summary: The imaginary red thread of destined love was wrapping itself around James's throat. The red thread was supposed to bind him and Brock together, not pull them apart. The red thread shouldn't have let Brock cheat on his passion. The red thread lied.
Author's Note: This chapter is short. Shorter than what I'd like, but there's always a point where one can go no further. So I left it as it is to start the next chapter. I've been writing so much RocketShipping lately that I forgot about the twerps––even Brock. I have about twelve different stories I need to post... my, but I'm lazy.
CHAPTER TWO: Heart's Desire
"This is fantastic," Jessie exclaimed jubilantly. Shaking her apron, she dislodged all six Poké Balls, which rolled haphazardly across the dusty floor of the old garden shed.
"It really wasn't so bad taking them," James admitted, crouching next to Jessie, his skirts spilling over the filthy concrete ground. "I should think that it would have been rougher on my conscience, but it really didn't feel that bad. Perhaps it was because I had little to do with it––you were the one who took them."
Meowth shook his head violently, the brass charm on his brow catching the soft sunlight and sending glares of yellow over the shadowed crates that were piled along all the walls in the dark room.
"Jess could've gone and done it herself," he said, thoroughly vexed. "I don't see why ol' Jimmy had to rattle me up. I can still feel somethin' swimmin' behind my eyes!"
"Sorry," James apologized automatically. He gave Meowth a pat on the head that made up for his unfeeling words.
"Get over it, you two," Jessie sighed, standing up and smacking her hands against her apron. "James, why don't you go get those empty Poké Balls? I'll pack these prizes away in one of the paper bags we brought."
"Oh, Jessie," James interjected dolefully. "The empty Balls are all the way back behind the department store, in the pocket of my uniform slacks. I don't want to go alone."
"Pity that," said Jessie, unsympathetically. "Now you fetch them, unless you want me and Meowth to walk those two miles into the woods to our balloon without you."
"I'll go," James quickly decided, having been given those generous options. Catching up his skirt in determination, he crept to the door; peeking through the slit between the door and frame, he ensured that there were no individuals around to pry in his business. Once the environment was deemed safe, he tugged the door open, its rusted hinges whining in protest, and scurried across the poorly kept lawn. The brown grass crunched beneath his boots, and he suspiciously glanced from side to side before continuing his trek. He felt oddly small without Jessie at his side to serve as a sort of shield, and his head felt abnormally light without Meowth perched atop it. Nevertheless, he pushed aside his helplessness of being without his companions and pressed through the heavy traffic lining the sidewalks.
The thought of passing one of the twerps on his way to the department store was in no near vicinity of his mind, and, despite him and Jessie putting nearly all of their energy into devising schemes to rid themselves of those very twerps, he honestly would admit that he was not thinking of them at all. He watched the odd flecks of glitter in the sidewalk sparkle as he intentionally pushed himself ahead in long, even strides, and to any passerby, he would have appeared to be entirely unattached from his surroundings.
It seemed as if the very second he chose to lift his head, merely to gauge the distance between himself and the market, a loud, vaguely familiar male voice cut through the sound of rumbling vehicle engines and dull conversations.
"Hey! Excuse me, ma'am!"
Oh, please no. James's shoulders went stiff with fear, and he deliberately kept walking, quickening his pace to a trot. His hair whipped back from his face, his fringe tweaked by the wind, and the stray strands that blew into his eyes made him blink and slow down to wipe them away.
"Hold up, miss! Wait for me!"
Although the masculine voice had been far enough away for James to think an escape was possible, it was now right behind his shoulder. He cringed, knowing well that this predicament would not be gentle with him––he felt a warm gust of panting breath skim across his neck, and an odd, crinkly sort of shudder slid down his back and drew his posture up straight.
"I was wondering if you'd heard me or not," the voice rasped weakly, and James realized that he had been running to catch up with him. But why had that annoyingly intelligent largest twerp been intent on catching his attention? James forced some amount of strength into swallowing back the prickles that stung his throat.
"I––I––I didn't realize that you were following, me, sir," he fibbed, his voice clicking into his husky, purring falsetto imitation of the female pitch. "Indeed I didn't. I only assumed you were following some other perfect stranger on the street."
Brock noticed the foul bite of sarcasm in James's words, and immediately sidestepped to stand in front of him. He glared stonily into James's downcast eyes, and opened his mouth once, twice, as if protest, but he didn't. Instead, he folded his arms in front of his chest, and his expression transformed from a searching scowl into a dazzling smile.
"Why aren't you with your friend?" he asked, and James was startled by Brock's asking something deviating from the subject. Warily, he returned the smile in a smaller degree.
"Oh, she went down to the laboratory," he nonchalantly said. "I'm actually on my way to the department store now for supplies, so if you will pardon me, I need to tend to my errand."
With this, he attempted to dodge Brock's firm figure blocking his way, but the young man took a wide step to the right, not allowing him enough room to squeeze past. James's fingers tingled instinctively, and he wanted little more than to bring the toe of his boot directly up in the soft area between Brock's legs. But, as he was skillfully playing the role of a sweet woman, he shook the idea free and instead decided nervously to dance along with Brock's questions. He could feel sweat beading along his temples from anxiety, and he suddenly felt too warm. Uneasily, he hooked his finger beneath the high collar of his dress, plucking at it to loosen its constriction on his neck.
"I was wondering, miss," Brock said politely, oblivious to James's discomfort, "about this talk of Pokémon Evaluation. I've never heard of Evaluators before, and I'm always brushed up in my studies and everyday knowledge, so I was wanted to know if it was some new sort of profession."
"Oh, you're one of those clever boys, aren't you?" James laughed lightly, but tension made it sound more a tittering ripple than a true sign of mirth. His mind was racing, his thoughts tripping over one another in their haste––I never expected this. He's asking about a fake job? What am I to do––there's nothing I can do to get out of this other than making something up. He'll never find out until he asks someone else, anyway, and by then, I'll be long gone.
"Well," James began, clearing his throat awkwardly to catch two precious seconds. "You see... um, what would you like to know? I can't very well answer unasked questions!"
Pleased with himself for earning another moment to conjure up a theme of lies, James waited for Brock's answer. But despite James's awkwardness, Brock seemed almost smug, and this very much bothered James.
"Let's see...," Brock mused. "Can you tell me where they offer Pokémon Evaluation courses for students? Because actually, that sounds like something I'd like to get into, besides breeding. It'd be useful to breed Pokémon together that share those predominant traits you and your partner were telling Whitney about earlier. That was really interesting."
"You think so?" James felt a horrid itch creep into the very middle of his shoulder blades, and he clenched his teeth against it. He knew his dress was going to be damp with perspiration before this ordeal ended.
"Um, I don't know if they do it anymore, but back in my school days, they taught specialty courses like Evaluation down in, um, Saffron City. Yes, that was it––Peppercorn College. They have marvelous teachers."
Brock smirked slyly, and James blanched. He felt the majority of the color drain from his face as Brock said,
"I'm not sure, but I believe that Peppercorn is an all-boys college. How did you apply for a course there?" The corner of his mouth twitched, as if he wished to grin over James's agony, but could not.
"Is it now?" James stammered uncertainly. And I bungle things yet again. "It must have been somewhere else, then. I can't remember––my college days were quite some time ago."
Brock's eyebrow rose challengingly. "You can't be older than twenty. Your school days couldn't have been that long ago."
James recognized the buzz of panic drumming in the rear of his skull. What was Brock doing? Was he purposely, honestly attempting to extract some form of information from him? There could be no other reason for his determination in meddling.
"I guess not," James admitted, stirring a shallow giggle from his tight throat. "But as I told you, it must have been the college on the other side of the region that I went to. Or something."
James realized how terribly he was lying––he could always think of better untruths. Why was it now that he failed to bring up a believable falsehood? But––and this startled James, sending deep chills through his limbs––Brock seemed convinced, and did not prod any further.
"Thanks for telling me," he said gratefully, extending his open hand toward James. James regarded this gesture for a moment, and glumly tucked his small hand into Brock's large palm. Withdrawing, he hurried to lace his fingers together, innocently hiding his arms behind his back.
"Don't worry about it," he beamed, his lips feeling stiff from the forced smile. "If you have any other questions, please ask them once my partner and I return with Ms. Whitney's Poké Balls."
"I will," Brock promised. That same self-righteousness wormed its way back into his countenance as he added, "I'll see you in a while. I had better be going before Ash and Misty wonder where I've gone. 'Bye, James."
"Yes, goodbye, Br––what?" At hearing his name, James veered back around, staring blankly at Brock and his satisfied little grin: "What did you say?"
Brock hummed, clearing enjoying James's sudden speechlessness. "I told you 'bye. Should I not have?"
"No! I mean––" James spluttered, holding up his hands in despair. "How'd you realize that it was me?" The very emotion of terror grabbed at him, and he felt all the height of four inches.
"Well, there aren't many men I know who like to parade the streets in frocks," Brock reminded bluntly. "And it's pretty easy for me to tell it's you when you're running around with Jessie and your Meowth. Like I said, I'm pretty smart. I'm no idiot."
"T––then why did you..." There was no purpose in denying it was he. James bit down into the thick flesh of his tongue as Brock gave an uproarious laugh.
"What? Why do I go along with your schemes?" Brock's smirk was crooked with pleasure as he rested his weight on one foot, his shadow spreading over the sidewalk. A horrid shade of gray began to eat at the edges of James's vision, and the oppressing warmth was suffocating. He struggled to slide his fingers down the collar of his dress, unhooking the buttons so the corners of the stiff fabric fell flat, exposing his neck enough for him to wave a breeze toward himself. Brock ignored this apparent pretense of fainting, believing it to be only one more last attempt of James's to gain his pity.
"What's wrong, now?" he asked, fully expecting yet another snide remark. But James only clamped his hand over his mouth, and without further warning, bolted ahead, furiously shoving Brock out of his way. Brock flailed to regain his balance, and wordlessly watched as James clumsily clattered away, his arm outstretched as if reaching for support.
Author's Note: Brock isn't smart all the time, but he's not really stupid, either. Some of Team Rocket's disguises are so pathetic that one would have to be blind to not know it's them. Since when did a pair of glasses become a disguise? Anyway, I think that Brock (and possibly both Ash and Misty) realize it's Team Rocket, but they would rather ignore it just for kicks. Just to lead them into believing that they duped them, in order to later crush their souls. Real role-models, there, Japan.