Diversions Personal Note: This piece of vaguely smutty fluff is, nevertheless, a very special fic to me. I was overcome by the desire to write a fic for a near-stranger's birthday. I just... wanted to make her happy. All I can guess, now, is that I'd subconsciously recognised her as the girl I was going to spend the rest of my life with. :) So - as it always was, this is for you, Hecate, amor de mi vida.

***Warnings: Rocketshipping, yuri innuendo, bdsm references. (There's Jessibelle in it, after all...)***

Some explanation:. A long time ago, Jade started a fic called Jessibelle's Revenge. This is kind of an attempt to finish it. So, a (very) brief synopsis: James and Jessibelle were thinking of their unexpressed feelings for each other, when Jessibelle took her old flame back. When Jade broke off, Jesse and Meowth were hunting James and Jessibelle, down, and had just met up with the twerps. Now my turn…

"I think we're –"

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 Victreebell."

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 detecting.

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.

R

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 pokémon competition.

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.

R

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 largest window.

"You," she pointed to Misty, "and especially you," she pointed to Brock, are climbing through that window before me."

"Aw…." they sighed.

R

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 the occasion.

"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?"

R

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 perfect.

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 me!"

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."

R

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," she sobbed.

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. Pokémon Master.

"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 to pay."

"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 instead.

"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.

R

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 some down.

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.

And James, at least, was definitely gay.

R

At another campsite not very far away, two very concerned boys were trying to plot out a rescue mission, when a voice cut nervously into their discussion.

"Um, hi, guys."

"Misty! You're safe! We were so worried about you!" Ash and Brock flung themselves on the tomboy and hugged her tightly. Misty screamed with pain.

"DON"T – TOUCH – MY – BACK!"

They stepped back and stared at her in surprise. Misty shrugged. "Sunburn. Ah, guys, could we go to a Pokémon Centre? Soon, please?"

Ash frowned at her. Misty was wearing a long white dress that he didn't remember seeing before. It covered her from neck to knee, and was far more feminine than anything else he'd ever seen her wear. But then, if she was sunburned, she'd want to protect herself from the sun. "But you're okay, right?" he asked.

Misty smiled angelically. "Never been better, Ashy-boy. Never been better. I think Togepi is a little tired, that's all."

If Misty had learned nothing else on the Jouto journeys, she had learned this very important thing: bad little girls get punished. They get punished lots and lots and lots…

She shed a sparkling look on her friends and went to lie down, very, very carefully.

END