Staples

Notes: The result of having too much time on my hands and playing the 'think of random words' game. Also, I'm missing Jessie and James and Meowth and Butch and Cassidy and Misty and Brock and ye gods, I'm even missing Ash. I want to play with some of them again. Et, voila! (oneshot)

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It had begun when James had awoken to find that every single pair of trousers he owned had been brutally stapled. All along the waistband and at the tops of the legs. There was no way he'd be getting in those trousers any time soon.

His first reaction was to scream girlishly, which came to the attention of his partner in…crime is too generous a word to use here…naughtiness?

Anyway, Jessie ran into the room brandishing a frying pan. "Leave him alone!" she yelled, before realising that James wasn't really down a well or being attacked by pirates. He was just stood there clutching his trousers. The frying pan was forgotten. "OK, what now?" she said wearily.

"Staples!" he sobbed, throwing a pair of trousers at her. She inspected the waistband.

"You're right," she said. "Inspector Jessie time!" She brought out a magnifying glass. "Right, you need to think about who dislikes you, and what their motives could be. Who would do such a thing and with such a weapon? And when could they have gained access to your wardrobe?..." She looked down at herself. "That…would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my Snoopy apron."

"Were you…cooking?" James began to fear for his stomach.

"No, cleaning my weapons," she said, lifting the frying pan again. "So think about who would want to do this, and why." She studied James. "And for goodness' sake, find some trousers. Those boxers are embarrassing."

James looked down at his very pink boxer shorts and blushed to match. "They were a Christmas present!"

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One hour passed and Jessie got on with quietly polishing her frying pan collection and listening to Terry Wogan. Who now exists in that reality because I wish it.

"Don't laugh."

Jessie looked up and laughed. James was wearing shiny silver flares that had to be part of a very bad costume. Either that or James had an interesting hobby. He scowled and thrust a piece of paper at her.

"Here you are then Inspector Jessie," he said, feeling grumpy. "People who dislike me and might want to staple my trousers together."

Jessie eyed the list in disbelief. "Well," she said, taking a pen. "I think we can cross out the milkman."

"But haven't you seen the way he looks at me?" protested James. "That's a look of pure hatred."

"The milkman's gay and I think he's in love with you," Jessie said without bothering to look up. James turned an intriguing shade of red.

"Right, OK, cross him off," he muttered.

"And the guy who restocks the water cooler has nothing to do with it," continued Jessie, striking him off the list. "In fact, the people on here most likely to do it are Butch and Cassidy. Or possibly Meowth."

"What about the dude next door?"

"Hank the Hunk?"

"He moved out," said James, scowling slightly at her use of the word 'hunk'. "Drake."

"I like Drake," said Jessie nonchalantly. James scowled even more.

"He mocked me," he said petulantly.

"You managed to punch a hole through his wall with a wrench!" said Jessie, looking exasperated. "And he was right. The glitter hair gel did look stupid."

James stormed off.

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"James, have you seen Meowth at all today?" asked Jessie, poking her head around his bedroom door. James was sat glumly on his bed, surrounded by bent staples.

"Nope," he said, picking another from the waistband of some jeans. "He could've given me a hand with this, but when I checked earlier I found a note saying he'd gone out. 'Things to buy' apparently."

"What kind of things?"

"Stationary he said," said James, frowning a little. "Which is odd because Meowth can't write."

"So what kind of stationary?" asked Jessie, suddenly suspicious.

James gestured to the discarded staples in disbelief. "You don't think…? Not Meowth surely!"

Jessie shrugged and left the room.

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Butch was quietly smoking a Castro-like cigar when a magnifying glass was jammed under his nose.

"Where were you last night?" asked Jessie violently. She paused. "And why are you smoking a cigar?"

"Just trying it," he said, taking a contemplative drag. "But I think I'll be back on the Camels soon enough."

"Bully for you. Where were you last night?" she demanded.

"With Cassidy and Drake," he said, blowing smoke at a nearby Pidgey. It spluttered and fell off its perch. Butch relaxed into the park bench, smiling. "Drake's the one who gave me the cigar. He's one cool frood."

"Stop watching Hitchhiker's," said Jessie sharply. She sighed, taking a seat next to him. "So it must have been Meowth."

"What's the moggy done now?" asked Butch lazily.

"James is...having a bit of a...clothing crisis," she replied carefully. "We think it might've been Meowth."

"If it happened last night it couldn't have been," he said, flicking the cigar at a Rattata, who snatched it up immediately. "He was supplying the vodka."

"How does a small cat Pokemon buy vodka?" asked Jessie. Butch shrugged.

"We don't like to ask," he said.

Jessie chewed her lip, thinking. If Butch was telling the truth, then all three of her prime suspects had an alibi. Which meant she needed to try another tack. "Butch, can I borrow a video recorder?"

"Depends what you're recording," he said with a sleazy smile.

To which Jessie had no reply but violence.

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Jessie slotted the camera into place and admired her work. It was barely visible, she decided, and the Stapler certainly would not spot it in the dark. Of course, it had meant cutting a hole in James's huge novelty top hat, but all in all it was worth the sacrifice.

She grinned as she switched the camera on. If the Stapler struck again tonight, she would know about it.

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The first thing James was aware of that morning was being slapped with a video tape and a pair of Jessie's trousers. The furious redhead stood over him, yelling herself hoarse.

"You idiot! You complete and utter idiot!"

"What did I do?" asked James, cowering under the covers.

"Sleepwalking!" she said, hitting him again with the video tape. "And sleep-stapling!"

"It was me? I did that to my clothing?" asked James, startled. Jessie thwacked him with her trousers.

"Not just your own! You bloody well got mine too!"

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Meowth whistled as he entered the apartment, clutching his WHSmith bag (which also exists in this reality). His Alcoholics Anonymous counsellor had suggested that he should write a short poem or song whenever he felt the need to don a fake moustache and buy vodka.

Suddenly there was a violent screaming. James emerged from a bedroom wearing only his underwear, hotly pursued by Jessie, who appeared to be whipping him with a pair of her trousers.

Meowth resisted the urge to don a fake moustache. Twitching, he got out his new notebook and wrote a poem instead.

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(chortles) Expect more random J&J fics…and I hope you enjoyed this one.