"JOURNEYS"

"JOURNEYS"

(A STORY IN TWO PARTS)

BY T'EYLA MINH

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these characters except for any that I make up (which will be obvious). I wish I did - I'd be rich by now! All characters of course belong to 4Kids Productions and Nintendo, and the Summit Group and whoever else may be involved. This is certainly not intended for profit and the only personal gain I get is for my own imagination! Therefore, you nice people, please DO NOT SUE ME! I'm a student, I can't afford a lawsuit!

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I've tried to be original here and come up with something good. This is my first attempt at Pokémon fanfic, even though I've written loads for other shows. Um… I've tried to remain loyal to the show and tried to keep the characterisation as accurate as possible, but on occasions I just thought that it was necessary to go away from that and do my own thing. Please note that this is set 5 years on from the present day, that is, Ash, Misty and Brock are all in their teens (how old IS Brock, anyway? Let's make him about twenty in this.) and Team Rocket are in their twenties. And none of them have changed a bit, they're still as immature as ever (I am of course referring to the wonderfully renamed 'Team Twerp') I've tried to put more of Team Rocket than I have of Team Twerp, and I hope I've succeeded, but I'm not going to sit here and work out percentages! :P

WARNING: Having read a LOT of those shippy stories, some of that may have rubbed off on me… I started this with good intent and (shock! horror!) a plot idea, namely that of Team Rocket finally managing to capture Pikachu and actually holding on to him for more than an hour (well it's about time…), but as you will discover that little idea kind of got lost and buried under a load of others. No problem, I thought, I'll just dig it out again later… hmm. This was written under the working title of "Team Rocket Finally Win", but it was then changed to what you see above. I apologise in advance for any bad phonetic spelling for Meowth. Headache pills may be required in Chapter 11 if you visualise well. It gets kinda loud at that point. If there's anything I've neglected to warn you about, tell me now.

RATING: Well gee I don't know. PG-13 in the extreme I guess.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Many thanks to my beta-reader 'Ruby Jesse' for her undying support and comments. Thanks also to her for making me finish this first half! (It's amazing where threats and praise will get you, eh Ruby? ;D) Also great thanks to Nintendo and 4Kids Productions for allowing me the capacity for so much fanfictioning pleasure…

PS: Oh, one last thing - a few points I'd like to clear up to help you read it. This indicates people's thought processes. ***This*** indicates a dream sequence. OK, I'll now stop prattling on and present, for your reading pleasure (or not, take it your own way)… My First Pokémon Fanfic!!!

CHAPTER ONE - THE JOURNEY BEGINS…

Prologue.

"Everyone is entitled to a little happiness, men, women, children and even pokémon. To some it comes naturally, others are born into it, and the rest of us must work for it and earn it. I have done this, so must you. It will take time, but in the end it's rewarding. Believe me… I was unhappy once, just like you… but I worked for the happiness I have now."

- Jessie in Chapter Two.

Introduction

In five years, Ash Ketchum had defeated many gym leaders and won many badges, but he was still on his journey to be a Pokémon master. His two friends, Misty and Brock, had stuck with him through thick and thin, and his pokémon had remained as loyal as ever.

Team Rocket, on the other hand, had never been successful at capturing Pikachu, despite many near-hits. Once they even had him for a whole two hours before they lost him again. Now, in their twenties, Jessie and James were beginning to think that life as villains was not for them, but neither of them would admit it to the other.

1. Victory at last!

Ash, Misty and Brock were walking along the road to their next destination. Pikachu was asleep on Ash's head, as was Togepi in Misty's arms. It was late at night and they were all tired, But Ash, as usual, was determined to reach their next destination.

"Can't we stop, Ash?" asked Misty.

"But if we stop, we'll never reach the next gym."

"And if we don't stop, we'll die of starvation and we STILL won't reach the next gym."

"Misty's right, Ash." Brock added tiredly. Ash refused to back down. After walking a few more metres, he was aware of there being no movement behind him so he stopped and turned to look. His two friends had fallen asleep at the side of the road some way back. He rolled his eyes and walked back to join them, realising that he WAS very tired, so he set Pikachu on the floor and lay next to them, falling into a deep sleep.

All was peaceful that night. The cloudless sky revealed the stars overhead as the trio slept soundly with two pokémon. Further down the road, however, all was not so peaceful as the members of Team Rocket were arguing again.

"Why did we have to come out NOW, Jessie?" whined James. "It's the middle of the night." He hadn't matured in the slightest. In fact, he was whinier than ever.

"Because we've got a better chance of sneaking up on the twerps if we do it now. They'll be asleep by now and -" She was interrupted by Meowth.

"Sleeeeep. Dat's what ta do…" He fell forward on his chin and began to snore loudly. Jessie kicked him and James, tired as he was, resisted the urge to follow Meowth's example.

"Wake up, you stupid cat!" she yelled. "Now, as I was saying, we have an excellent chance of capturing that Pikachu if we steal him by night. Those brats won't know what hit them!" She rubbed her hands together excitedly. "Come on! We're losing time!" In unison, and equally unenthusiastically, her team members answered:

"Yes, Jessie."

A few minutes later (although they seemed more like hours to James), Jessie grabbed them and pulled them behind a bush.

"HEY! Watch whatcha doin' to my fur!" grumbled Meowth. Jessie smacked him and shushed them both, pointing to the road ahead where the five sleeping forms lay.

"Here goes…" she said, and prepared for the easiest double trouble in her career…

***

Ash had a dream… He was asleep under the stars after a long day's hike (his idea, of course), and he was woken by two familiar, but quiet, voices either side of him. "Prepare for trouble… Make it double…"

"Not again. Not now. I'm too tired." Ash mumbled as he fell back to sleep again. The voices continued to speak, but he barely heard or comprehended their conversation. He was vaguely aware that the small furry form that usually lay by his side was gone, but his brain shut down before he could make anything of it.

***

Meanwhile, Team Rocket returned to their hideout with a still sleeping Pikachu, elated that they'd actually managed to catch him without being shocked. They immediately hurled him into a specially made glass case, which woke him up.

"Pika?"

"Ah, da little rat finally woke up!" said Meowth, pressing a paw against the glass. Pikachu realised the situation and frowned, placing his own paws up against the glass. He thundershocked with all his might. When the smoke cleared, he fell over. James snickered.

"No way out. You belong to us now."

"At least until the Boss has you," added Jessie. The three of them grinned evilly at Pikachu, but he was annoyingly unresponsive. He folded his little arms and addressed Meowth.

"Pi pika. Pikachu." Meowth burst out laughing and Pikachu growled and turned his back to the cat. Jessie and James were curious.

"What did he say, Meowth?" she demanded.

"He says… he tinks… he says… dat dey'll save him! Dat dose twoips will beat us!" he managed to blurt out, between fits of uncontrollable laughter. The other two Team Rocket members also burst out laughing, then Jessie regained her composure enough to face off the rodent.

"Not this time! Not ever! We win today, and don't you think otherwise!"

After a triumphant dance hand in hand around his prison, with gleeful chants of "We caught Pikachu! We caught Pikachu!", Jessie and James finally crashed out on the floor, exhausted from their effort (and from the bottle of wine they had consumed earlier in their celebration). Meowth climbed aboard their prostrate forms and curled up in a ball after eyeing Pikachu pointedly, for a long-awaited cat-nap.