Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon, but I don't think Pokémon USA should own it, either. (Give us back the original cast!)
Author's Note: Just a random idea of evilness. Because you and I both know that evilness is hot. XD
By the way, I don't intend this as an AU. It's a really twisted, warped, I-don't-even-want-this-to-happen-but-I'm-writing-it-anyway non-AU. Just so you know.
They kept their eyes on his hands.
"Jessie. James. Meowth. Your report."
It was the safest place for their gazes. If they stared at his face, they would be punished for insubordination. If they looked at his feet, they would appear guiltier than they already were. No, his hands were a happy medium, in addition to being a safety gauge: with their eyes on his fingers, they could watch him stroke the slumbering pokémon in his lap. This was key in understanding how much trouble they were in; if his petting remained even, they'd live to steal another day. But if his gentle scratching faltered, if only for an instant…
"Um…" The two humans in the infamous trio exchanged quickly flit glances, worrying their lower lips.
It was all they could do to keep their voices from cracking; in the cement bowels of the distant basement, they could hear the echo of a scream… Cassidy, perhaps? "W—well…"
They had never been good at hiding the truth.
Their leader's dark face twisted in the shadows, black eyes burning with a cold fire. "How could you fail again?!" he snarled, mouth morphing into a scowl of utter revulsion as he surveyed the tawdry group of quivering peons. Under his livid glare, the Team Rocket rejects dropped to their worthless knees, groveling helplessly on the gray linoleum floor.
"We—we're sorry, sir…!" Jessie squeaked, head drooping in the deepest of shame. Anyone listening could hear the tears in her voice; unfortunately, the most important of those gathered couldn't have cared any less. "We tried, we really did! The stupid boy, he just… just…"
"Just what? Defeated you?! He's a child! I've given you everything you need to be the best!" the man roared, his caressing fingers moving faster and faster, their speed increasing as his rage grew. "Money, pokémon, trap and gadgets— and yet you remain the incompetent wastes of skin you've always been!" His lip curled; he spat upon the floor at their feet. They knew better than to flinch away. "You're useless… you always have been, and I see now that you always will be."
His tone lowered ominously, his shaded gaze began to glitter… and with a small flourish, as if commanding the executioner's ax to fall, his hand came to a stop.
Instantaneously, the pokémon's eyes snapped open—jewel bright with sick delight.
Team Rockets' stomachs collectively dropped. This could only mean one thing…
"N—no, please…" Jessie whispered, unable to keep from scuttling a few inches backward, still on her hands and knees. "Sir, we— we'll do better next time. We swear! We really will— no, please, no!"
Their superior ignored her. "I've made a fool of myself by believing for even one moment that you three might be less pathetic under my rule," he said over the woman's begging, his voice disturbingly calm, detached. Meanwhile, his eager pokémon had stretched and sat up, poised and ready on its trainer's knee. "But I see now that is not the case. And so… I wash my hands of you."
As if cued, the ebony double doors on the opposite end of the majestic office were thrown open with twin bangs; a parade of black-cloaked scientists came marching in, followed by a pair of stone-faced bodyguards. Once having entered, the collective stood at crisp attention: hands clasped behind their backs as they awaited further instruction.
But everyone knew why they were there.
Jessie froze, eyes wide and full of tears. "No…" she choked, clutching Meowth as if he were a lifeline. The poor feline pokémon clung back just as desperately, shivering like a newborn kitten. "Please, sir, have mercy…"
"I already have. Over a decade of mercy, I've shown you…" The man paused to grind his molars, then rest his chin upon his steepled fingers as his loyal pet stared haughtily down its nose at the ruined trio. "And now it's time I get a little use out of you. My engineers have had a lack of decent test subjects lately… perhaps you worthless sods will finally be of some use to me. Take them—"
"Sir!" For the first time, James found his voice. Scrambling to his feet, he ushered Jessie behind him, shielding her from their boss's sharp gaze with his body and arms. "Please… I know we're not worth your time or money. I know we've never succeeded at anything, and—and that's fine. Do as you will with me, but…. Please, let Jessie and Meowth go. You really only need one of us… and… and I…"
But James trailed off weakly when a small smile touched his superior's thin lips—the expression mocking and out of place. "My oh my…" the Team's leader then breathed, infinitely amused. "Is that chivalry…? Why, James. I always knew you had it in you. But alas, my insignificant associate, while I may not need all of you for my experiments , I want all of you. And I haven't gotten what I want from you three for such a long time… Besides, I need to make you suffer like I have all these years, suffer from having to deal with you, and you simply won't be suffering enough if you knew your little lover and your freak pet were free. No, I'm afraid you'll all be going down together, just like good friends do."
He tilted his head, positively beaming now… it made James's blood run cold.
"But before you three meet your fate in the battle of advancing the scientific progress of pokémon care via human engineering, it's been a while since my friend here has had a chance to really let it all out— I'm afraid he might even be getting lazy." The man affectionately caressed his pokémon's silky head; the creature's brown eyes were already glowing with bloodlust, its whole body poised and ready to play. "So why don't we let him have some fun with our new toys for a while. He can do you the favor of working the fight out of these worms… What do you think, Dr. Pewter?"
At the sound of his name, the apparent supervisor of the scientists in black stepped half a foot in front of the others in line, nodded curtly, and allowed his ever-closed eyes to pinch just slightly at the corners—showing his amusement. "Perhaps humans who have suffered grievous injuries by pokémon will carry different, beneficial traits that will invigorate the pokémon who receive their DNA. If lingering traces of the attacks can still be found, that is…"
"Intriguing," his leader murmured, though he did not bother to grace the good doctor with an accompanying glance. "Yes… I think that's where we'll send James. Jessie and Meowth will find themselves in the care of the very capable Professor Sketchit… but perhaps it would be kinder not to tell you how you'll be assisting him at the current time. In any case, I grow tired of talk. Guards. Please assort our friends to the gym. And Pikachu—"
Here he turned his attention to the pokémon in his lap; the creature looked up into its trainer's eyes with an expression of pure adoration on its face, mewling its delight as the man lovingly rubbed its rosy cheek. "—try not to destroy them completely. Remember that our old friends need them for their studies."
The electric mouse purred. "Pikapi pikachu."
"That's my good boy. Off you go, then."
With a graceful leap and a shake of its tail, Pikachu landed before the trembling trio on the icy floor with an arrogant sniff and a smirk of satisfaction. The intelligent little creature then shot the dark-skinned doctor an expectant glance; Dr. Pewter nodded to the guards.
Sheer panic burst into life behind James' green eyes.
"W— wait!" Frantic now, the blue-haired man tried to cling to Jessie's hand, all while beseeching his hardhearted boss with tears streaming down his cheeks. "Sir, please, just—! Please…!"
"James…!" Chin wobbling as her lower lip shook, Jessie whimpered her fears to her partner, but couldn't bring herself to reach back for him. She'd already been broken. "James, I…"
She didn't have a chance to finish. With surprising dexterity and speed, the bodyguards had swept forward and scooped the exiled Team into their arms, ripping them away from one another without warning or pause for farewells.
"N… no! James, please—! You, let go of my Meowth—!"
Thrashing and screeching, the trio was dragged from the office, followed by the ever-silent troupe of doctors and an increasingly excited Pikachu. Their cries and pleading rang through the shadowed halls.
"Close the door on your way out," their boss called lazily from behind his exquisitely carved desk… and was surprised when no resounding thud of the doors answered him. Irritated, he snapped his steely gaze up to meet whoever dared defy him—
But felt his anger melt into appreciation as his eyes fell upon the deliciously curvy figure of his secretary, dressed in the traditional tight leather skirt and top of the organization she so proudly served.
"Ah. And a good evening to you," he greeted smoothly, unable to hide his growing smirk. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
The very picture of lackadaisical interest, the young woman leaned against the open doorframe, cast a frosty glance in the direction of the faint— though perpetual—sound of groveling, then cocked an eyebrow, jabbing a thumb down the hall. "Finally fed up with them?" she wryly inquired, completely at ease with the leader of Team Rocket.
Her boss's good humor visibly dimmed. "I don't know why I kept them around as long as I did," the man snarled, though he was diverted from his fury when his visitor started leisurely forward: her hips swaying enticingly, her manicured fingers trailing over his shoulder, her toned body slipping between him and his very large desk…
She leaned forward, looping her booted feet through the armrests of her superior's chair and tugged him between her spread legs. "Nostalgia, perhaps…?" she then breathed into his ear, giggling when she felt a shiver race down his spine. "They were a rather predominate fixture in your childhood."
"Humph," the man grunted, molding his hands around his underling's hips as he pulled her into his lap. "I certainly hope you know me better than that. I merely thought the old man might have had some reason for hiring those buffoons in the first place… apparently not."
"Ooo," the girl perked up, interest written all over her pretty face. "That's right. How is Giovanni? Proud of you for running his empire so well?"
"Ha. Perhaps," her leader consented, cruel amusement in his voice as his hands slid up the small of her back… His secretary gasped, humming her encouragement. "Though I believe dear old dad would have been prouder—or at least happier—had I not usurped his power."
The woman giggled, and not just because he'd breathed a kiss upon her throat. "You could always ask him his opinion…"
"Maybe," the young man murmured, though he was admittedly distracted by her delicate hands tracing suggestive patterns on his thighs. "Or maybe I'll just ask Jessie or James to tell me what he thinks. They may see him down there."
At that moment, a shriek of pure agony ricocheted off of the walls, its intensity only magnified by the echoing of the unseen basement tunnels. For a full minute, the guttural cry resounded—vanishing only when, with a soft pop, all of the lights blinked out.
The entire building was plunged into impenetrable blackness.
"…or maybe not," he amended, his sardonic retort ruined by the trace of laughter in his tone. "It seems Pikachu blew another circuit board."
"And you sound so proud of him for it," the redhead commented dryly, blinking rapidly in a vain attempt to see through the gloom. If she focused, she could make out the silhouette of the man before her… and catch the tail end of a toothy grin.
"That's because I am," her boss whispered, his voice noticeably huskier as he stood and forced her backwards—her back molding flawlessly to the mahogany of the table beneath her. "A blackout, no one around… He has, for all intents and purposes, given me the perfect opportunity to screw you on this desk. And we'd hate to waste a chance like that, wouldn't we, my dear Miss Waterflower?"
Through the clinging darkness, Misty offered her lover a luscious leer.
"Mmm… You know me too well, Mr. Ketchum."