Every Rose Has Its Thorns

by Erin Salvatore

Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon. I'm just borrowing. Only the story belongs to me.

Note: Hey, guys! This little gem has been going around in my head for a while now. It's a two-shot about "Holy Matrimony!" from both James' POV and Jessie's POV. I did something like this on a site dedicated to Rocketshippy fanfiction (I don't remember the name of it, though). Anyway, I thought I'd do it again. Here we go!

JAMES' POV

I splashed water on my face to wake myself up. The nightmares. They were occurring again. The ones I thought I had gotten over. The ones with the girl with the voice like sweet poison. I made a mental note to contact Sundance to make an appointment to discuss them. I sighed and headed back to camp to see that Jessie and Meowth weren't awake yet. Funny, they usually didn't stay in bed this long. I decided to cook breakfast. If they smell food, they'll come out. Especially Meowth, with the way he eats, the little bugger.

I proceeded with the cooking and sure enough, I saw Jessie emerge from the tent. Her hair stuck up all over the place, making me smile. She usually took such good care of her hair in the morning. I tried not to laugh, but was failing miserably.

"What's so funny?"

"For one thing, your hair looks like you were on the receiving end of one of Pikachu's Thunder Shocks," I said. "Before you eat, you might want to tame it."

Jessie gave me one of her trademark scowls and took out her compact. She opened it and saw I was correct – her hair was a mess! She quickly went to fix it while I continued to make breakfast for us. Meowth came over and saw what I was cooking and took a whiff of the delicious aroma. He went to take a taste of it, but I tapped his paw with the spoon.

"Not this time," I said. "You're going to wait like everyone else."

"But it smelled so good," he said. "I only wanted to take a sample."

"A little sample turns into a big sample and then before you know it, it's gone," I said. "I know you're anxious, Meowth, but just try to be patient, okay?"

Meowth was disappointed, but decided not to argue with me and waited until I was finished and ready to dish out the food. Jessie returned with her hair freshly brushed. To be honest, she couldn't have looked more beautiful. God, I couldn't imagine anyone more lovely than the woman standing in front of me. I smiled as I looked at her, fascinated by her. I was staring at her so long I didn't know she had caught me.

"James, what is with you? Don't you know it's impolite to stare?"

Jessie's voice brought me out of my stupor and I cleared my throat. "Sorry."

I served her and Meowth their portions before I served myself, but I found myself unable to eat what was in front of me. Damn it, that dream is messing with me. I'll definitely have to schedule an appointment with Sundance. Why is Sweet Poison suddenly haunting me?

Suddenly, we heard familiar footsteps. Great, just what we needed, the Twerp Trio and Pikachu. No doubt they're on their way to another gym so the Twerp In the Hat could win another badge. I swear, that kid didn't know the meaning of the word quit. Then again, neither did we.

"Our young foes are on the move again," said Jessie, as though she could read my mind. "We should find out what they're up to this time." She got up from where she was sitting. "Come on, follow me."

I slowly nodded and got up, followed by Meowth. We made our way to the cover of the bushes, spying on the kids. From our position, we saw that they had stopped to look at something. It didn't take me too long to figure out what it was. It was a sign with the words "MISSING" written across it in big, bold letters and the picture of a boy around the Twerp in the Hat's age. Shit, it's me. Oh no, that can only mean one thing. They're close to the Rosewood estate.

The voice of an older man snapped me to attention and I looked to see that it was Hopkins, my family's butler. He was using his megaphone. Great, I almost forgot about that blasted thing. I heard it so many times as a kid, it was a damn miracle I didn't go deaf. I saw him grab the Twerp Trio and pull them in the limo before it sped away. Once it was gone, I saw Jessie and Meowth climb out of the bushes. I slowly followed them, dreading every step.

When I joined her at the sign, Jessie looked at me and said, "This kid looks a lot like you."

"You think so?" I said, a sad tone to my voice, which she didn't pick up on. "He looks pathetic." Damn it, James, you sound just as pathetic.

Meowth smirked as he replied, "That's what she means, James." Great, I gave the smart aleck cat ammunition. Could this day get any worse?

We then followed the limo to the grounds of the Rosewood estate. I felt sick at the sight of it. When I left it, I swore I would never return, not for anything. Though, the only thing that made this trip better was seeing the doghouse belonging to Growlie. Growlie, I often wondered about him, since it had been a long time since I saw him last. I barely heard Jessie and Meowth commenting on hitting the jackpot, since they had no idea just what this place held for me.

When Hopkins and the kids entered the mansion, we climbed in through the vents, getting into position over the parlor, where two coffins stood, surrounded by flowers. Hopkins mentioned something about my parents passing away this morning and the estate now belonged to me. Yeah, that didn't sound suspicious at all. Jessie and Meowth screamed out in surprise and they turned to me.

Jessie said, "James!"

Meowth said, "Is this place really yours?"

I had a hard time believing it myself. "I suppose."

Their attention was then taken off of me when the Twerp in the Hat said something about finding me and telling me about my parents' death real soon and then Hopkins saying that I had to marry my fiance within 24 hours of their passing according to their will, or the estate would be given to charity. I now knew what my nightmares meant. I would have to face Sweet Poison, but I didn't want to, not when I was enjoying the life I was living.

We made our way out of the vent and I overheard the kids saying that they were going to help look for me. Just how naive were they, anyway? Then again, I had no room to talk, since I allowed some jackass on the St. Anne to swindle me into buying a Magikarp, which almost resulted in our deaths – twice, once when it wouldn't swim and again when it evolved into a Gyrados and used Dragon Rage. Then, when we at Maiden's Peak, the Tall Twerp and I believed ourselves to be in love with ghost of the Maiden, which turned out to be Ghastly in disguise.

When the Twerp Girl mentioned they would never find me in one day, Jessie, Meowth and I fell off the roof and landed in front of them, yelling and fighting, which stopped only after my parents' funeral was mentioned.

I shouted, "NEVER!" I looked around to see that Jessie and Meowth weren't yelling at me but were each glaring angrily at me and I immediately looked sad. Shit, what a rotten day this is turning out to be. First the nightmares about Sweet Poison returning and now this.

"Look, James," said Jessie. "We're becoming very annoyed with you."

"Don't you want to get rich and rule the world?" Meowth asked.

Hearing him mention that somehow made things worse. I then grabbed my head and said, "I can't remember anything that's happened! It's all a blur to me! I remember flunking out of Pokemon Tech and joining a bicycle gang."

I then proceeded to go into a story about a boy (me) and his Growlithe wandering far from home who had frozen to death. The tale almost worked, because the Twerp in the Hat and the Tall Twerp believed I was dead. However, the Twerp Girl wasn't easily fooled and said I wasn't dead but right in front of them. Damn it, you little runt, why did you have to ruin everything?

"Who cares?" said Jessie. "It doesn't matter what you remember. Just take the cash."

The Twerp in the Hat pointed out I wouldn't be able to get my inheritance if I didn't marry some girl within the next 24 hours and Jessie suggested we would fake a wedding and scram with the money. Oh, Jessie, if only it were that simple. Though, I would give anything to marry you for real.

I tried to protest, but it fell on deaf ears. Finally, I took off, saying I wasn't doing it. However, I didn't get far, because Jessie and Meowth lassoed me. I struggled against my bonds but they wouldn't let up. The Twerp in the Hat and the Tall Twerp tried to reason with them, telling them I should be free to decide who I did and didn't want to marry. However, that didn't work because they were told to keep their opinions to themselves.

It wasn't long before they reeled me in and got me into a suit, tying a cloth around my mouth and then donning black outfits to make it seem like they were invisible. I doubted this was going to work, but because I was gagged, I couldn't voice my opinion. Not that Jessie and Meowth would listen anyway. Jessie lifted my hand and knocked on the door, hearing Hopkins' voice on the other side. A few minutes later, the old man poked his head out.

"May I help you, sir?" he said.

In her best impression of my voice, Jessie said, "It's me, James, I've come back."

The butler got out his megaphone again and expressed his excitement over my "return." He then mentioned that my parents would be pleased and invited "me" in. I didn't notice the Twerp Trio following us, since my mind was too focused on what was going on. I had to admit that I was flattered by Jessie's imitation of my voice. It was so good, it almost rivaled my girl voice whenever I disguised myself as a woman. I'll have to tell her as much later. If there is a later.

We approached the coffins in the middle of the room and Hopkins said I had come home just as they wished. Jessie continued with her spot-on imitation of my voice and slipped up when she said I wanted my inheritance in cash and not a check, raising the suspicion of the butler. She recovered by saying it was a joke and then said, "Oh Mom and Dad, I wish I had come back sooner."

After she said that, laughter could be heard coming from the coffins, followed by the "bodies" of my parents, Edward and Annabelle Rosewood popping out.

"Prepare for trouble," my father said.

"Yes, dear, and make it double," my mother said.

Was it my imagination or did they just recite the Team Rocket motto, or at least part of it, in front of us? Were they members of Team Rocket before they got married and I never knew about it?

My mother then said how happy they were that I had come back home, followed by father remarking that I was wearing a suit. When Jessie and Meowth said something about them being solid ghosts, I tore the gag off my mouth and glared at them.

"They aren't ghosts," I said. "This is just like them to pull a stunt like this to get me to come back home."

Meowth returned my glare. "Does that mean…"

"You really don't have amnesia?" Jessie said.

I grabbed my head and did my whole amnesia act again, during which my father said I was about to be married. Hopkins grabbed me, along with Jessie and Meowth, carrying us upstairs, followed by my parents. The Twerp Trio followed and when we got to a large room, I was shoved into a chair, Jessie covering my mouth.

My parents then gave me this crap about me realizing I must carry on the family tradition, how as their son and heir, I had obligations, the most important was to marry and continue the family line. I pulled away from Jessie's hand after she agreed with them in my voice.

"Do I have a duty to be manipulated?" I screamed out as loud as possible.

Of course, my outburst was met with my mouth being covered by Jessie's hand again, as well as some more crap from my parents. My father said that a man who couldn't settle down was like a bumblebee without a nose, whatever the hell that meant. After that, my chair was turned around and I saw a woman across from me, the bottom of her face covered by a fan.

"As James' wife, it'll be your duty to change him from a worthless do-nothing into a respectable gentleman," my mother said. "My dear Jessibelle."

"As you wish, Mother," the woman replied. That voice. It sounds so familiar. No, it couldn't be, could it? It can't possibly be Sweet Poison.

I barely heard what Jessie and Meowth were saying because I was too focused on the woman in front of me. The woman then spoke again, saying her name and how her only wish was to be my loving and devoted wife and companion. She then lowered her fan and closed it before adding she would also educate me in my duties as a gentleman of property. That's when my suspicion was confirmed. All the color drained from my face. The fact she and Jessie looked alike wasn't what frightened me at the moment. What was frightening was the fact that this was my nightmares were about. I had to face Sweet Poison again, even though I swore to cut her and my horrible family out of my life completely.

I calmed myself down enough to look at Jessie and Meowth, who had calmed themselves down following their own scare when Sweet Poison revealed herself.

"We've got to get out of here right now," I said.

"Don't be ridiculous," said Jessie. "How can you get your inheritance if you don't get married? You have to go through with it."

"If you don't do it for yourself, do it for the team," said Meowth. "We're counting on you to make us all filthy stinking rich."

Really, Meowth? Is that all you care about, getting rich? "Forget the team," I said, even though I didn't really mean it because I was angry at them. "I'm not doing it! I'm not! I'm not! I'm not!"

Sweet Poison, because she didn't notice Jessie and Meowth, thought I was arguing with myself. "Is...something wrong? Why ever do you keep talking to yourself like that, James?"

She then got an idea and suggested we go down to the vault and count all the money I'd inherit. The second she said that, I got scared and struggled against Jessie and Meowth's hold on me. I knew exactly what that meant. She doesn't want to count money. That vault doesn't contain my inheritance, it contains her basement torture chamber. If only Jessie and Meowth would realize they're being tricked.

Sweet Poison led the way down to the basement, the path lit by the candle in her hand. I tried to ignore my pounding heart with every step, but it became increasingly difficult the deeper we went into the bowels of the mansion.

"After you disappeared," she said. "Your mother and father were so worried about you, as I was, of course. But I knew one day, you'd come back to me."

I tried to say something, but Jessie's hand was still covering my mouth, so she said, in my voice once again, "I'm sorry for running away. But, everything will be just fine now that I'm back here with my money."

When Sweet Poison reacted to what she said, she quickly corrected herself and said, "I mean back here with you."

Jessie, please, don't play into her hands, I thought. You don't know her like I do.

We eventually reached the vault and the second we went inside, Jessie was shocked and dismayed at what her eyes beheld. Instead of money, there was nothing but what looked like gym equipment.

"What kind of inheritance is this?" she said.

To which Meowth said, "It looks like a lot of weird gym equipment."

I had enough at that point and, taking advantage of their shock, pulled away from them. "Don't you get it? Jessibelle tricked you two into coming down here!" When Meowth asked how she spotted us, I shouted, "IMBECILES!"

The sound of a drum caused us to look up and I saw my father standing there. He said that he and Mother were tired of waiting for me to grow up. My mother, playing the flute, said it was time for me to face the music. This was followed by the sound of a whip and we turned to see Sweet Poison in what appeared to be a lion tamer's outfit. How the hell did she change her clothes so quickly? She was wearing a dress a second ago.

"You just can't do whatever you feel like anymore," she said. "Now you'll obey Jessibelle. Let the taming begin."

Meowth looked down at Jessie and said, "I'm starting to like you more than her, Jess."

Jessie obviously didn't like that and while she was trying to pry him off of her head, my parents descended from where they had been before, surrounding us on either side. Jessie tried to blame their being spotted on Meowth. Right, Jess, this was all Meowth's fault your plan failed. You're not blameless in this whole thing and you know it.

"Do you take us for fools?" my father said.

My mother smirked maliciously and said, "We just ignored you until you brought James down here to the dungeon."

Thinking quickly, Jessie threw down the smoke bomb, making it possible for her and Meowth to escape. Unfortunately, I was too busy coughing from the smoke and when I felt around for them, I felt nothing but the smoke around me. I called out for them not to leave me and I stumbled forward, bumping into something.Oh good, Jessie heard me and came back.

To my horror, it wasn't Jessie I ran into, but Sweet Poison. I freaked out and tried to run away, but she cracked her whip, destroying most of the equipment in the room. While this was going on, my parents just sat around, drinking tea and saying how we were made for each other and how it was a perfect match. What century are you two in?

Even though it was obvious they weren't listening, I said, "If you weren't such lousy parents, you'd stop this madwoman."

Finally, Sweet Poison threw a Pokeball and when it opened, it revealed her Vileplume. Great, this means she must've acquired a Leaf Stone recently. Which means her Oddish evolved into a Gloom and she used the stone to evolve it into its final form.

"Vileplume," she said. "Use your Stun Spore to slow James down and keep him from escaping."

Shit, not the Stun Spore. The second the dust hit me, I couldn't move and eventually fell to the floor in a heap. As I passed out, I thought of Jessie and Meowth. I didn't know where they were and I wondered if they had gotten away. After about another few minutes or so, I opened my eyes and looked around. I lifted my head and saw that I had regained control of my body again. That meant the effects of the Stun Spore wore off. I got to my feet and before I could begin to feel relieved, Sweet Poison cracked her whip again and began chasing me around the room again. Damn it, does this bitch ever quit?

I came to a stop by a crate and turned around to face her. She said it was time for the wedding and, not sure it would work, I called out the first name I could think of, a name I hadn't called in what felt like years.

"GROWLIE!"

Then, from out of nowhere, my faithful friend appeared, jumping down in between me and Sweet Poison, growling at her. She tried to get her Vileplume to attack him, but Growlie was too quick and ran off, with me on his back. Once he had gotten us out of the basement, he jumped out of the window and into his doghouse.I climbed off of Growlie's back and sat in one of the chairs in the doghouse, Growlie joining me soon after. I looked over at my old friend and smiled in gratitude.

"You saved me, Growlie," I said. "Thank you."

He barked what sounded like "You're welcome," and licked my face. I laughed as he did this, petting him like I had done so many times as a boy. It felt good to see him again and it made coming back to the Rosewood estate not seem so bad.

"Well, James," said Jessie. "That fiance of yours is truly despicable."

Of course, being the blabbermouth that he was, Meowth couldn't resist saying, "Told ya she's just like Jessie."

I decided it was time I told everyone about Sweet Poison, hard as it was to tell the tale. "She's the reason I ran away from this estate. What a rotten day. As soon as my engagement to Jessibelle was announced, she began to follow me everywhere, trying to change me. Nothing I did was refined enough for her. Ever since I was a kid, I hated how upper class society had rules for absolutely everything. Jessibelle is so rich that marrying her would be the worst mistake of my life." I stroked Growlie's fur. "Growlie is my only real friend on this stuffy estate."

Jessie had a look of regret on her face, but before she could say anything to me, an explosion rocked the doghouse, sending her and Meowth flying. I got up from my chair, not sure what was happening. Sweet Poison stood on the other side of a large hole, a wicked smile on her face.

"My sweet James," she said. "You can't escape me."

I scowled at her. "Leave me alone."

Growlie got into position at my side, growling at her. She attempted to get Vileplume to use Stun Spore again, but Growlie used his Flame Thrower, which was highly effective. The Twerp in the Hat had Pikachu use Thunder Shock, also highly effective. Sweet Poison screamed and ran away, obviously not expecting to be thwarted so easily. Once she was gone, Growlie howled triumphantly. I thanked him again and headed outside. I took cover by some bushes and watched as my parents and Hopkins fed the Magikarp in the pond and listened to them saying something about Sweet Poison being delicate and too good for me.

I smiled as I listened to this. At least I was free. I turned to Growlie and said, "Please take good care of my parents. They need you here. This upper crust high life doesn't suit me. I'm better living the low life with Team Rocket. Plus, I like my freedom." I'm also in love with Jessie and I just never told her how I truly felt about her.

Growlie barked sadly. I struggled to keep my own tears back as I got into a disguise and ran away, telling him goodbye, hearing him howl in the distance. I knew what I had to do. I had to find Jessie and Meowth. I wondered where they were, since they had been blown out of the doghouse. I ran until I reached a clearing in the woods and climbed into the Meowth balloon, firing it up and flying off. I searched everywhere in hopes of finding them. I heard voices below me. I looked down and saw Jessie and Meowth. They were talking about me, their voices sad. I decided it was now or never to alert them to my presence.

"Prepare for trouble?"

They stopped and looked up, seeing me in the basket of the balloon. Jessie smiled and said, "Make it double."

She then broke into a run. I followed her, bringing the balloon down low enough to grab her hand and pull her in, hearing her laugh. I hugged her once we were together again, inhaling her perfume. I thought I was never going to smell that delightful scent again.

"I guess we're not going to get rich this time either," she said.

I smiled. Some things never change. "Guess not. They wouldn't give me the inheritance."

"Oh, there's always next time," said Jessie. "We may not make a lot of money, but we've sure have got our freedom."

That's not all we have, Jess. We have each other too. "Yeah." I extended my hand to her. "Double Trouble time, right?"

Jessie nodded. "Sounds great to me, James."

She took my hand and for a while, there was silence between us. I pulled her closer and our lips locked in perhaps the most passionate kiss in the world. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and now that I rid myself of Sweet Poison, I finally got the opportunity.

Note: Think I'll end James' POV here. If I misquoted anything, it was probably because I couldn't remember certain parts of the episode and had to make some things up. Anyway, here's a translation of what James said:

Sweet Poison = Jessibelle

Twerp in the Hat = Ash

Tall Twerp = Brock

Twerp Girl = Misty

I'll get Jessie's POV going soon. For now, I'll take time to recover from this. Enjoy the story, guys!