This takes place before the Viridian City pokemon tournament in Don't Give Me Diamonds, right before the events of the present time established in chapter one.

Crazy Market

Rocket spies have discovered that an anti-Rocket group is planning to bomb the 24 Market, as the chain's owner is a Rocket supporter. Rocket agents would be stationed at the store at all times, working undercover as employees.

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Team Rocket Viridian HQ: Disguise Supply Room

"I feel kind of silly," Comet admitted as he placed the 24 Market logo hat on his head. He was wearing a red shirt with a matching logo, jeans and a small white apron.

"I feel worse," Pixel grumbled. Skirts were not her thing, very much less dresses, such as the red logo marked dress she was currently wearing.

"You need more camouflage!" Laiki began tossing things aside all over the supply room. "How about this!" She hopped over to Pixel with a bright green wig. The blue haired girl took it and started working on concealing her own hair under it. Laiki looked around the room some more and returned with a pair of large black glasses, which she handed to Comet.

"They're a bit big," Comet put them on. They only had regular glass, so everything looked the same.

"That's the point," Laiki would have elaborated, but she was silenced by a green thing being thrown at her. She pouted and glared over at Pixel.

"I couldn't get my hair to stay under it without looking like my head had a big bump," Pixel explained, amused at Laiki's expression.

"You two shouldn't be so pouty about this." Laiki began to wrap Pixel's hair around her head. "Hand me that box of clips over there," she pointed. Comet gave her the box and she continued. "At least you get to go in missions, instead of spending the whole day in the emergency room tending to sick and injured pokemon. I rarely get to go on field missions."

"And you get really trigger happy when you do," Comet teased.

Laiki stuck out her tongue at him and finished putting the clips on Pixel's hair. She brushed the wig and put it on Pixel, making sure it was clipped on securely, then put the logo cap on top. "There!"

"We could add you to the mission..." Pixel offered, "say we need some extra backup..."

Laiki took one last look at the pair as they put on their name tags, which read 'Lulu' and 'Eugene.' "On second thought, being in the emergency room doesn't sound so bad. Get out there and teach them Team Rocket is the only one allowed to blow stuff up!"

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Viridian City: 24 Market

The 24 Market franchise was also known as Crazy Market, due to its sleepless and energetic atmosphere. The place was crowded at all hours of the day and night. Brock cradled a small baby in his arms while Misty shook her head. "She's using you," she warned, knowing that it was useless.

The woman in question had recently gone through a divorce and was taking to the dating scene like a Goldeen to water. There was only one problem with that, her infant son. Fortunately, for her and unfortunately for Brock, she had found a love struck babysitter for her child. With his head in some absurd romantic fantasy, Brock continued cooing at the baby, while filling up the shopping cart Ash was stuck pushing with diapers, milk and other baby supplies.

"Is that everything?" Ash asked hopefully. He couldn't see past the mountain of things piled in the shopping cart, and it was getting heavy to push.

"I think so," Brock paused in thought. "I should get my darling something too. Maybe a box of chocolates." Brock placed the child into the baby seat on the cart hidden among some plush toys. "You guys go ahead and stand in line, I'll catch up."

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Meanwhile, near the exit of the store... "Don't forget to smile and say thank you for your purchase!" The manager of the Viridian 24 Market made a heart shape with his index fingers and thumbs to demonstrate the silly gesture the employees were expected to mimic. He was a short balding man with beady eyes and a pair of tufts of brown hair, one behind each ear. He was wearing an apron with the shop's logo and walked around supervising the operations while muttering to himself under his breath.

Comet and Pixel looked at each other, feeling trapped. They didn't have much time to sulk, as the customers flocked to their cash registers before they were even fully settled in. They turned, back to back, as two lines formed on either side of them in front of their respective registers. Between them there was a compartment on the floor which led to the basement, where a Snorelax sat with his mouth open, ready to eat any confiscated items they needed to quickly dispose of, bombs and the like included.

A multitude of things dashed by on the conveyor belt. They couldn't stop the thing, the manager was watching and he didn't even know they were there for reasons other than working as cashiers. They hurried to scan all the items as they passed by faster and faster. Something like a baby's cries were heard and Pixel picked one off the conveyor and automatically scanned it though the machine rejected it. "Where's the barcode on this thing?"

"Oh no, miss Lulu," the little manager popped up next to her out of seemingly nowhere. "Sometimes customers put personal items on the conveyor belt and they're carried away. Just give them back."

Pixel twisted her nose and lifted the wailing child by the back of the shirt, while scanning the passing items with her other hand. "Did anyone lose a baby?" Though Ash and Misty were in front of her, they couldn't see past the tall mountain of supplies on the conveyor belt, plus they thought Brock still had the baby. No one reclaimed the child, so Pixel gave it to Comet. "Here, take this to the lost and found, I don't have time with this line to tend to."

"What?" Comet barely had time to protest before the child was shoved into his arms. "I have a long line of customers too!" The kid was loud and smelled bad, no doubt having recently dirtied his diaper. Comet held the baby as far away as possible, though at least he kept the boy upright, rather than holding him like a shopping bag.

"Pikachu!" Pikachu hopped over the grocery mountain to Pixel's shoulder, then jumped to Comet's head and to the conveyor belt in front of him. He ran, trying to remain in front of Comet, in an attempt to explain who the baby was with.

"What's up with people losing babies and pokemon in their groceries?" Comet was too busy scanning items and didn't have time, or an extra hand, to grab the pokemon, since he was also still holding the baby at arm's length.

Pikachu dodged groceries as he continuously sprouted explanations that humans who were not familiar with him would be unable to figure out. A ticking sound caught his attention and he gasped as he saw what appeared to be a bomb.

"It's starting!" Comet tossed the bombs at Snorelax and scanned the items top speed. I'm falling behind, I can't do this with one hand, hold the baby."

"I don't want to," Pixel pouted and recoiled. She tossed some more time bombs at Snorlax, who gladly ate them.

"Pika!" Pikachu extended his arms. Comet shrugged and gave him the child. Struggling along, Pikachu got off the conveyor and dragged the crying boy away.

Brock arrived with the last item, a box of chocolates, and was given the expensive grand total, which he paid with a heavy heart and a light wallet. "Where's the baby?" He inquired as the three left the store.

"Pika!" Pikachu called out.

"Oh, there it is," Ash picked up the child from the floor. "Phew, he smells bad."

"Sheesh, don't hold the poor kid like that," Misty took the child from him and handed him to Brock. There was no need to change the diaper herself, babysitting the boy was Brock's idea after all. In front of the store, the child's mother passed by, clinging to a man's arm and Brock's jaw dropped. His eyes began to water as he remained frozen in place. Misty decided to take action and snatched the smelly baby, then returned him to her mother. "Here's your kid back."

"Huh?" The woman blinked in surprise. She looked at Brock with sad puppy eyes. "Brocky, won't you babysit for me a little longer?"

Before Brock could cave in, Misty and Ash dragged him away with a unanimous, "no!" They they went off to Pallet Town for a break, not knowing that they would get caught up in Delia's spring cleaning, which would lead to finding a box full of diamonds... and memories.


I didn't see it until the end when he takes off his glasses, but Eugene from Crazy Market kind of looks like Comet. I thought it was suspicious that there were so many bombs in a super market. XD