Author's Note: This little humor ficlet (which takes place during the latter half of Season 1) was inspired after seeing a clip of a supposed gnome sighting, and was also inspired by LuckyLadybug's fic "Gnome Hunting" (many, many thanks to her for the inspiration, as well as telling me about the clip)! Disclaimer: I don't own these characters
"There they are!" exclaimed James, looking through his binoculars. "And Pikachu's right in front!"
"Excellent," smirked Jessie. "The sun's almost fully set. We'll use the balloon and swoop down from the night sky. We'll have Pikachu faster than we can say, 'Team Rocket,' and the Boss will give us that pay raise we've been waiting for!"
"Yeah?" asked Meowth, not sharing the humans' enthusiasm. "And what happens when they release the rest of their Pokémon and take Pikachu back? We'll be right back where we started."
"I think Meowth may have a point, Jessie," said James, striking a pose of deep thought. "Our old tactics aren't working; we need to--"
"Hold on…" said Jessie. "Something's happening…"
Ash, Misty, and Brock had stopped upon seeing a most bizarre creature sashaying down the road.
"What's it doing—the electric slide?" asked Jessie, trying to focus her binoculars on it.
"What is that?" they heard Ash ask, stunned.
"Some new kind of Pokémon…?" offered Pikachu, as confused as the humans were.
"I've never seen a Pokémon wear a jacket and pointed hat," said Misty, choosing to be wary and skeptical.
"Check out your Pokédex, Ash," offered Brock.
"It says that there's no data…" the boy replied, consulting the handheld device.
"I don't like the way it's looking at us…" said Misty, in a worried whisper. "It looks creepy; maybe we'd better leave it alone…"
"I think she's right, Ash," Brock agreed. "The more distance we can keep between ourselves and that thing, the better."
Normally, Ash would've disagreed, but the fact that the creature did not seem like a Pokémon and also seemed to be unfriendly convinced him that it was better off left alone to its own plans.
The trio and Pikachu hastily retreated, making sure to give the little creature a wide berth.
"Well, well…" mused Jessie. "I think we've found a way to get Pikachu. All we have to do is capture that thing and set it loose near the twerps! They'll be in such a panic to get away from it, they won't even notice if we take Pikachu!"
"Jessie, it's headed this way!" James screamed, his eyes wide in fear as it approached. He made a run for the balloon, but Jessie grabbed him by the sleeve of his uniform.
"And where do you think you're going!?" she asked him. "You're helping me catch it!"
"I don't want to hear any more of your whining!" she quipped. "Now make yourself useful, and grab the net! Meowth, you get the balloon ready to make our getaway!"
"Why can't I get the balloon ready while he gets the net?" asked the lavender-haired youth.
"Because a little thing like that will be more intimidated by something taller than it!" said Jessie. "Now come on!"
Trembling, James each held onto one end of the net as he and Jessie approached the sidestepping creature.
"Isn't it just so cute with that little hat…?" asked Jessie.
James stared at her as though she had lost her mind.
"On my signal," the long-haired girl ordered, ignoring her teammate's expression. "Three… two…"
The creature immediately turned to face them and started yelling angrily in gibberish, shaking its fists at them and dancing madly. Jessie and James both screamed and retreated, tripping over the net in the process. As a result, they returned to Meowth covered in grass clippings and strands of net.
"Wonderful…" Meowth said, sarcastically. "The Boss would be proud…"
"So much for intimidating it…" muttered Jessie.
But the gnome wasn't satisfied with having dissuaded his pursuers; he continued on with his sidestepping gait, heading towards them.
"Jessie-e-e-e-e-e!" James whimpered, the words getting caught in his throat. "It… it's coming!"
"What!?" asked Meowth. "I don't have the balloon ready yet--"
"Quick!" ordered Jessie. "Arbok!"
"Weezing!" called James.
The serpent and the two-headed-smog-monster appeared at their trainers' commands. They approached the gnome, which paused, determining what to make of the two purple creatures approaching it.
"I think it's scared of them…" said James, relieved that they finally had the edge.
The gnome resumed its mad dance and its chants in gibberish. Arbok and Weezing shrieked in fear and retreated to their Pokéballs.
"Now what?" asked Meowth, as the irritated gnome still approached them.
"We still have one Pokémon left…" said Jessie.
"You do?" asked Meowth. "What are you talking about…?" He trailed off as Jessie and James continued to stare at him. "Oh, no! No, no, no! I'm not going anywhere near that thing--"
"Time to take one for the team, Meowth," said Jessie, grabbing the cat and forcing him in into the path of the approaching gnome.
"Go get him, buddy!" encouraged James, waving a banner that read, "Go, Meowth, go!"
Meowth gulped, but ran out to meet the creature anyway. The gnome effortlessly leaped into the air as Meowth careened by, yelling at the top of his lungs. Meowth ran right under the jumping gnome, but the nervous cat had his eyes closed, so he kept on running blindly.
"Meowth, come back!" Jessie cried, not wanting to be left alone with the gnome.
Meowth looked back to see Jessie and James being chased in circles by the gnome all around the clearing. Despite its sideways walk, the gnome was able to keep its speed as it pursued them.
"Who's catching whom…?" the cat muttered to himself.
"Wait a minute!" cried James. "Wait a minute! Please! Truce!"
He and Jessie stopped as the gnome also paused, still talking to them in its own tongue. Meowth warily returned within a few feet of his teammates, not keen on going too close to the creature.
"Yes…" said James, trying to catch his breath. "We mean you no harm! We want to be friends! Here…"
He handed the gnome a half-finished package of cookies that he had been carrying with him. The creature stopped its chattering; it surveyed James with such a stare that the lavender-haired youth was trembling in fear. Without warning, the gnome snatched the cookies and guzzled them down, package and all.
James recoiled, and paused to glance at his empty hand.
"Thanks for leaving my glove…"
The gnome began speaking again, but he wasn't as angry.
"That's it!" exclaimed Jessie, snapping her fingers. "We win it over to our side with food, and then we ask it to scare the twerps for us with its little song-and-dance routine! And we'll get Pikachu at last!"
She ran back to the balloon and presented the gnome with a couple paper bags of French fries. James also dug through the balloon and found some goulash, which he also placed before the gnome. The creature contentedly began to eat. As it feasted, obviously pleased, Jessie, James, and Meowth whispered amongst themselves.
"This is actually working, Jessie!" exclaimed James. "Think we should try asking for its help now?"
"Nah!" said Meowth. "I say we capture it while it's eating! We can tame that thing! Imagine what the Boss would say if we presented him with Pikachu and that thing, too!"
"Bonus cash rewards…" said Jessie, a dreamy look in her eyes.
"Paid vacations…" agreed James, in a similar state.
"You got it!" the cat grinned. "Now grab that net, and we'll try again!"
The two humans silently picked up the net and crept up behind the creature as it continued to eat.
The gnome looked up in time to see the net come down upon it. It tried to move out of the way, but Jessie and James were too quick, trapping it.
"We caught it!" exclaimed Jessie, in triumph.
James brought himself down to eyelevel with the captive gnome, which was now seething with rage. He brought his face an inch from the gnome's, trying to make himself look authoritative.
"Now listen here…" he said, in a stern, commanding voice to the livid creature. "You're a member of Team Rocket now, so now is as good a time as any to learn the rules. Rule one: the humans have first pick on the choice food accommodations. Rule two: the humans have the final say on any matter. Rule three--"
The gnome cut him off with another enraged rant in gibberish. James screamed, his authoritative façade broken, and he scrambled back to the others.
"Now what…?" he asked, shaken.
"Well, we'll just have to try again until we make it clear that we're in charge around here," said Jessie. "Maybe it'll calm down once we officially capture it. Go, Pokéball!"
The gnome caught the Pokéball in it hand and angrily hurled it back to Jessie. She exchanged a frightened glance at James.
"James… I… I don't think it's a Pokémon…" she said, in a meek voice. "Maybe we should let it go…?"
"Be my guest, but I'm not going anywhere near that thing again!" James declared, flatly.
"Well, you'd better not expect me to be the one to set it loose!" she countered. "We can leave it near the twerps and let them deal with it!"
"So who's going to pick it up?" asked James.
"Not me!" vowed Jessie.
"And I'm certainly not about to put myself within three feet of that thing!" James retorted.
The two began to argue. With his adversaries distracted, the gnome used his strength to break through the net. Meowth saw this, but was too petrified to say a word; he immediately started stammering as the gnome started sidestepping towards them once again.
Meowth couldn't take it. With a yell, he began to flee. Jessie and James looked down at last, and, upon seeing the freed gnome, screamed and ran as well.
The mad chase went on for about twenty minutes until the three Team Rocket members collided with each other. They took a few steps back, dazed.
"Where'd it go?" asked Meowth, still alert.
"I don't know; I didn't stop to check…" said Jessie.
"Did we lose it…?" asked James, meekly looking around.
The gnome was nowhere in sight, and the trio breathed a sigh of relief.
"That was close…" said Jessie. "Let's just proceed with our original plan and use the balloon to capture Pikachu."
The other two nodded, but as they headed back towards the balloon. They noticed the burner glowing. To their shock, the gnome was in the basket of their balloon, operating it, and feasting on the remainder of their food as the balloon began to rise into the air. The creature gave them a sneer, and it taunted them with gibberish mixed with laughter.
"NOOOOO!" the trio yelled, running after the balloon.
The trio spent the next several hours chasing after the gnome and their balloon. When they finally found the balloon, it had landed in a field about a mile away. The gnome was gone… and so was all of their food.
"Well…" sighed Jessie, too exhausted to be angry. "I guess we can learn something from this, can't we?"
"If it's not a Pokémon, leave it alone…" agreed James, unhappy. "Or you'll end up losing you lunch… and dinner… and breakfast… and dessert…"
"And the worst part is, it's too late to go after Pikachu now…" complained Meowth.
Jessie and James glared at the cat.
"What!?" he asked.
"It was your idea to try to catch it after we had gotten on its good side!" fumed James.
"So, tomorrow, you will capture Pikachu," ordered Jessie.
"Me?" asked Meowth, wide-eyed. "How do you expect me to do that?"
"Our little food-stealer gave me a good idea," she said. "And you are going to carry it out."
The next day, Ash, Misty, and Brock came across the most bizarre creature in the middle of the path. It was Meowth, dressed in a jacket and pointed hat, dancing around and chanting in gibberish.