Ash dropped into terrified silence as five
pairs of eyes, belonging to three humans and two pokémon, turned
glares of pure hatred on him. Jesse was the first to break the tension.
"If you say we're lost just once
more, little boy, I will find James just so I can personally feed you to
Misty shrugged apologetically. "He can't
help it. It's just that occasionally we need to have breaks between badges,
and getting lost is the best way to achieve it."
Yeah, but normally I know where James
is, Jesse answered silently. She strode fiercely onwards, wondering
why the hell she was letting the twerps 'help' her. All it meant was that
Meowth, instead of concentrating on tracking James and Jessibelle, was
picking fights with Pikachu. As neither Jesse nor Ash tried more than half-heartedly
to separate the pokémon, Meowth had been thundershocked six times
already that morning. He was currently being dragged semi-conscious along
the ground by his remaining human teammate, and in no state to do serious
Jesse sighed. She didn't even have the
energy to fight with the twerps herself. She was too busy 'worrying about
James,' which was how she rationalised to herself her new hobby of obsessing
about James and Jessibelle. Together. Alone. In a dungeon.
Not that she was jealous, or anything juvenile
and romantic like that. She was just going to make the woman bathe in Arbok's
acid for putting Team Rocket a whole day behind in catching Pikachu.
And then… Jesse smiled smugly to herself.
Double trouble time, bollocks. This time he was going to confess eternal
love, or she would damn well leave him to his family's mercy. This time,
when she and James ended up floating together in their balloon, softly
lit by sunlight, they were going to be pressing together a hell of a lot
more than their hands.
Jesse bit her lip, uncertainly. It was
a very pretty picture, but for some reason, it kept getting confused with
the image of James, half-naked in chains.
Ash was also wondering exactly what he
and his friends were doing helping out Team Rocket. Jesse and James were
just annoying interruptions in his life, people who regularly turned up,
usually in drag, and attempted to steal his Pikachu. He couldn't see how
it affected him if James was being beaten up by the blue-eyed redhead in
the mansion or the blue-eyed redhead following him around the Pokémon
Islands. Actually, the first alternative probably suited him better.
It was all Jesse and James' fault that
Eevee had beaten Pikachu. If he ever had time to train instead of fighting
crime, Ash added petulantly to himself, he could really knock Gary for
six. He conveniently ignored exactly how much training he had attempted
to put in before the Pokémon League,
And what if he ran into Gary now? "Hi,
Gary, guess what, you may have three times the badges I do, but I'm helping
out some common criminals?" Yeah, that would really impress him.
Unless… Ash stared critically at Jesse's
backside, which was swaying rather gracefully ahead of him, and brightened.
As James wasn't around, Ash could pretend Jesse was his girlfriend. And
if they did find James, and he was in drag, which was at least a fifty-fifty
chance, maybe Ash could convince Gary he had two beautiful girlfriends.
Huh, that'll really show him.
Except… Ash remembered that Gary had rather
more than two beautiful girls dancing attendance on him. Not that Ash was
much judge of a girl's attractions, but he seemed to remember that Shigeru-tachi
had kicked Musashi and Kojiro's asses in the bathing beauty and themed
Ash shook his head, which was beginning
to hurt. What was he thinking? Why should he care if someone called Musashi
won a beauty competition? He didn't even know any Japanese chicks. And
he would never go near a Bimbo Pageant.
Baka, he told himself firmly, then
wondered what exactly that meant. Damnit, why are Brock and Misty so
set on helping the Rocket hag out?
If Ash had been a touch more observant,
he would have been given part of the answer by the reflection that Brock's
gaze had been fixed for the last half hour on Jesse, or part of Jesse's
anatomy that was a good half-foot away from her eyes. Brock was usually
faithful to Joy… well, all the Joys… and the Jennies… and any particularly
cute gym trainers, professors or pokémon breeders that he ran across…
but Jesse minus James was enough of a delicious rarity that he was prepared
to make an exception.
He'd thought of asking her for her phone
number, but it wasn't as if he didn't see her every single day anyway.
She obviously only tried to catch Ash's Pikachu as a blatant excuse for
getting to know Brock. Brock was dimly aware that Jesse had turned up once
or twice in the Orange Islands, too, but he tried not to think too hard
about that. Bloody Tracey, always trying to steal Brock's rightful place.
Besides, when Brock had managed to choke
out the words "I'm a breeder," Jesse had turned purple and whacked him
over the head with a mallet. Brock smiled deliriously to himself. Before
his father had gone off to sell rocks, he had told Brock a secret. When
a girl hits and teases you at school, that means she really likes you.
Now James was out of the way, Brock and Jesse were practically married.
He silently cheered Ash on to get as lost as possible.
Misty's thoughts were running in a similar
direction, only with less blatant self-delusion. She didn't really expect
Jesse to fall into her arms, but it was still nice to have Jesse minus
her ubiquitous partner. She loved being free to stare at the Rocket girl
all she wanted.
Misty happily drifted back into her favourite
fantasy. She was back in Salon Roquet, tied to the chair again, but this
time she knew it was Jesse, James was mysteriously absent, and there was
no stupid Psyduck to spoil everything by going for the boys… Misty hadn't
felt so as happy since leaving the Orange Islands, and Prima, behind.
Hours later, Meowth abruptly roused himself
to full consciousness. "Dat way! Jessibelle took James dat way! We're almost
dere. Just through dose trees."
Jesse became wreathed in smiles, and Ash
perked up a little. The other two humans looked less enthusiastic.
The party sorted themselves out. Fortunately,
Jessibelles' Johto-version dungeon was equipped with lots of big, unguarded
windows, without the usual dungeon bars. Jesse hesitated in front of the
"You," she pointed to Misty, "and especially
you," she pointed to Brock, are climbing through that window before
"Aw…." they sighed.
To Jessibelle's annoyance, she hadn't even
taken the preliminary steps in the education of her future husband, when
she heard a crash from without the inner dungeon.
"Be right back, sweetie pie," she cooed.
"It's probably just Hopkins with some more equipment." She carefully checked
James' chains to ensure he wouldn't break free, and went outside to see
what was wrong.
Her huge blue eyes narrowed with annoyance
when she took in the visitors. "Why, it's that pretty little street slut.
And her little friends, all come to play. Sorry, children, the playroom
is fully occupied today."
Misty and Brock didn't answer, being fully
engaged in holding a homicidal Jesse back. Fortunately, Ash was equal to
"I challenge you to a pokémon battle!"
he yelled, twisting his cap backwards. "For James' freedom! Although I
don't know why the hell I care…"
"Why, how impolite of you, as a guest in
my dungeon," Jessibelle pouted. "Didn't your Mama ever teach you proper
manners? Let's give the rude little boy some lessons in etiquette, Vileplume!"
His friends dropped Jesse, and backed against
the wall. Vileplume being a grass type pokémon, Ash would logically
choose his only fire pokémon to battle it. And they were in a small,
confined area, with most of the air taken up by Jessibelle's magnolia perfume,
which was probably as flammable as it was nauseating. "We're dead," Brock
muttered to Misty.
"I know." They didn't quite move into a
Team Rocket full-body hug, but they did rather awkwardly reach for each
other. "Brock, if we're going to die, this is probably my last chance to
tell you something," She gazed soulfully at where his eyes should be. "Brock,
I'm a l-"
"I choose you, Squirtle!" yelled Ash.
Brock and Misty stopped hugging each other,
and rolled their eyes instead. "We really are dead," muttered Brock.
"Ash, you moron!" screamed Misty. "Don't
you know anything about pokémon?"
Jesse was taking advantage of the commotion
to edge towards the inner dungeon door. When she carefully tested the door,
it slid open noiselessly.
It made sense, of course, that the hinges
would be carefully oiled. Jessibelle would not always want the family or
the servants alerted to the fact that she was going to do… whatever it
was she did in here. But Jesse was still conscious of a slight disappointment.
Dungeon doors should creak ominously. And then James could look up in terror,
thinking his tormentor was back. Jesse would take on a pose of noble heroism,
and when he saw it was she, his eyes would light up adoringly…
James hadn't heard her enter. He was staring
despondently at the mannequin across from him, which was chained in exactly
the same spread-eagled position on the wall. The mannequin looked rather
battered, and also looked as though it had a few burn marks. A "J" was
branded on one thigh. Jessibelle obviously believed in practice making
James was free of bruises himself, Jesse
noted with a stab of relief. At least, she hoped it was relief. She was
quite… attached to James, and surely no decent girl, or decent criminal
psychopath, would be disappointed that some other woman had failed to mark
her lover's skin. Lover's? Friend's, she corrected herself. James was just
her best friend.
He looked gorgeous up there. That pitiful
expression on what she could see of his face, arms stretched high above
his head and drawing the muscles on his smooth chest taut. He was cold
– his nipples were as hard on his chest as if they had been caressed to
peaks. A counterfeit of arousal adding another layer of beauty to his helplessness.
Jessibelle had stripped him down to his knickers, and Jesse couldn't help
knowing what the other girl had planned to do to him. To her James…
Jesse frowned. She was messing up her own
script. Rescuing heroes didn't take a moment to leer at the entrapped heroine,
no matter how pretty she – no, he – was. Being leered at all day by overly
hormonal teenagers was obviously having a bad effect on her.
It was obviously the reason why, instead
of announcing "I'm here!" and helping her best friend out of his chains,
she walked across and kissed him lightly on the mouth.
There was a moment of terror on James'
face, almost instantly replaced by recognition. Well, close enough to instantly
for him to escape a slapping, anyway.
"Jesse!" At least that part of her fantasy
had worked. James' eyes lit up like – well, what came to Jesse's mind was
the light being switched on in an aquarium that hadn't been cleaned for
some time. Not the most romantic of similes, but it did describe quite
nicely the effect of eyes glowing greenly through tears. "You came to rescue
Jesse nodded. "Of course. Did you think
I'd forget you?"
James shook his head, beaming at her. Jesse
couldn't figure out if he was telling the truth, mostly because her blood
had abruptly deserted her brain. She decided she didn't even care if he
was lying, as long as he kept smiling at her like that.
There was a long silence. Eventually James
asked, "Aren't you going to let me down?"
Jesse thought for a moment. She glanced
around the room, noting Jessibelle's rather impressive collection of switches,
nipple clamps and strap-ons. Then she leaned forwards and kissed James
again, properly this time, feeling his lips part and his tongue come to
meet hers. Not the setting she'd envisioned for their first real kiss,
perhaps, but it had its positive side…
When their mouths parted, Jesse gave her
partner her most seraphic smile. "Oh, I'll let you down," she said. "Eventually."
Pikachu, who was considerably more intelligent
than his trainer, eventually became sick of all of the nonsense and shocked
Vileplume and Jessibelle. Despite all pokémon type rules, Vileplume
had promptly fainted. Pikachu had included Meowth, Squirtle and Ash in
the electrocution, just out of spite. The five were currently piled in
a corner, waiting to be taken to a Pokémon Centre and put in the
machine. Or something.
The more intellectual members of the group
were trying to figure out what to do now. "She's been in there an awful
long while," Misty said uncertainly. Do you suppose she's all right?"
Brock had made a discovery. "Look, there's
a peephole!" he said happily. "Oh wow."
Misty shoved him away, looked through the
peephole, and promptly burst into tears. "But I thought James was g-g-gay,"
Brock pushed her away in turn. She was
crying too hard to resist. "Well, so did I," he said thoughtfully, "but
it sure looks like Jesse has him whipped. In more ways than one."
Misty wailed louder. She was sick of this
Johto league crap. At least, if this story had taken place on the Orange
Is1ands, she could have made Tracey draw her a picture. And then she could
have erased James, slave collar and all…
It wasn't fair. Misty was dimly aware she
was in the hands of a slash writer who usually believed that Brock was
the only Pokémon breeder. She had the right to expect more action
than she was getting.
"I don't wanna be in a hetfic," she sniffled.
"Not even with James in drag." And certainly not with No-Eyes and Mr.
"James seems to have a redhead already,"
Brock pointed out. "Maybe two."
"Shut up!" Misty wiped her eyes, and moved
on to her second – well, fourth, if you counted Prima and Marina – choice.
"What about Cassidy? I could believe in love power."
"Misty, you've only met her twice. And
she's a nasty brat with bad hair who'll steal your pokémon and tell
you you're useless."
"Yep. It would be just like being back
home," Misty sighed nostalgically.
"Besides, I heard she's engaged to Giovanni.
She's on her way up up up the ziggurat lickety-splick, that one. Mostly
by going down, though."
"That's it! The moment Ash pays me back
from my bike, I'm going to Sunnytown to join the gang. I'll bet Tyra would
be glad to see me."
"Ah, Tyra." It was Brock's turn to sigh
nostalgically. "That chick really fancied me. But I told her, I could never
join a bike gang."
Before Misty could kill her former friend,
she was distracted by Jessibelle stirring and groaning.
"She's waking up," Brock announced, unnecessarily.
"We can't let her catch Jesse and James doing… that, or there'll be hell
"I hope she kills the perverted sluts,"
Misty said, but her Golden-Hearted Tomboy Heroine sensibilities were beginning
to reassert themselves. She really couldn't leave them to their fate, however
much she currently wanted them dead.
Misty considered the fallen girl carefully.
Long pinkish-red hair, big blue eyes, stunning figure… James didn't know
what he was missing. Well, actually, pretty much exactly what he was getting,
but that was beside the point.
A devilish smile spread across the water-trainer's
face. She quickly suppressed it and put on an expression of noble courage
"You take Ash, Pikachu and Meowth and escape,"
she urged. "I'll stay an make a diversion, okay?""
Brock clasped his friend's hands, overcome
with admiration at her self sacrifice. "Misty, will you be okay?"
Misty looked down at Jessibelle again.
The girl was still wearing her leather corset, fishnet stockings and spike-heeled
boots. "Oh, I'll be just fine, Brock," she purred. "I promise. I'll just
distract Jessibelle, that's all." She surreptitiously moved her hands to
the clip of her braces.
Meowth, who had not had a good day, gulped
down a hyper potion. James looked wistfully across at him.
"Mind if I have some of that, Meowth?"
The lilac-haired bishounen reached across and grabbed the bottle, swilling
Meowth stared at him. "Why do you need
a healing – ohmigawd," he finished weakly, as James obligingly pulled off
his shirt. "That evil bitch Jessibelle! Thank Mew Jesse rescued you!" He
stared in horrified fascination at James' impressive collection of bruises
and welts. Then he gasped in horror. "Those marks! She hasn't just whipped
you, she's branded you with her initial. I can't believe such inhumanity.
You're marked as J's property forever, now. Poor, poor James…"
Meowth wondered why his human team-mates
were blushing and giggling at such a tragedy. But then, those two had always
been weird. And relief at being reunited was probably making them light-headed.
James turned his wide, ingenuous gaze on
his partner. "I'll just have to find someone else whose name starts with
J, then. Someone who understands me..."
Jesse nodded solemnly. "But where on earth
will we find someone like that?"
Meowth sighed to himself. Poor little dears,
they didn't appreciate the irony of what they were saying. They couldn't
recognise what was staring them in the face. They were nice kids, though,
in a deranged criminal kind of way, and he was quite fond of them. Maybe
one day, they'd come to their senses and share a chaste kiss or something.
Nah. They were still oddly innocent in some ways.