Wow I hate this title… Couldn't come up with anything better; what are you gonna do about it? You're here for the story, right? Not the title. So go on, then! Read it! :)
.:Confessions in a Snowstorm:.
Okay, I'll be the first to admit that today just wasn't our day. On second thought, no day is ever our day, but today would definitely be on the top of our list of bad days.
First off, any day where you're climbing up an ice covered mountain and then Spearows just happen to come and steal your equipment is a bad day. But then being stranded on the ledge of the icy mountain afterwards is a terrible day. Then, as if it wasn't bad enough already, being blasted off twice—once by twerpish kids and the other by a legendary ice Pokemon—just makes you rethink where you're headed with your life.
Well, this is how our day went. Not satisfied? Oh, it gets better!
After being blasted off the second time, we landed somewhere on the mountain we had been trekking on for the past few hours—Snow Top Mountain, I think it was. The twerps weren't around and I knew I was at least thankful for that. We have been blasted off two times in one day before. Three times… I'll have to pull out the record books.
Jessie insisted we go try and steal that Articuno again. Was she crazy? I had no idea how far down the mountain we landed and I had no intentions what-so-ever of climbing back up it just to be blasted off by those twerps again. I tried to tell Jessie we should just quit for the day, but she wouldn't have any of it.
"James, do you have any idea of how pleased the boss would be with us if we returned to HQ with an Articuno? We'd be promoted for sure! Don't you want that?" she asked me.
"I do, Jessie," I answered. "But think about it: Are our Pokemon really up to standard when battling a legendary Pokemon? They can't even take on Pikachu!"
"Oh, don't be so pessimistic," she scoffed at me. "Think about the good things that could come out of it!"
"The only good ting dat would come out of tryin' again would be if we blasted off ta someplace warm!" Meowth chirped in.
I nodded in agreement with him. This cold was too much.
"Jessie, we've already tried twice today," I tried to reason with her. "Isn't that enough?"
"Well, third time's a charm, right?" she said, a childish smile on her face.
I just had to sweat drop at that. If we didn't find a way off this mountain or at least a place to stay for the night, we were done for. Jessie would just have to learn the hard way.
"Jessie, with our luck, the third time would be even worse then the previous two," I told her.
"Yeah. Dat Articuno will probably call on its pals Zapdos and Moltres ta help it," Meowth added.
"Great! We'll catch all three!" she exclaimed, and I could see the flame of determination burning in her eyes.
"Are you crazy?!" Meowth fury-swiped her. "Dere's a blizzard out here! It's almost dark! We won't be able to find the twerps in time and we'll freeze! Den wat?"
That fury-swipe must've snapped Jessie out of her crazy dream. The smile was erased from her face, and the flame in her eyes was put out by the cold. She looked at us, then the sky, and then the snow beneath us.
"You're right. I guess I was just too caught up in trying to actually succeed for once that I wasn't thinking straight," she mumbled.
I could tell she was feeling down and I wanted to try and cheer her up. I wrapped my arm around her shoulder, shook her a bit and said, "Don't worry Jess. We'll do something right one day, right?" I asked; just like I always do after we fail (Ouch, that doesn't sound like inspiration does it?).
Jessie looked away from me, but nodded. Without any remark at all, she pulled out of my "one arm hug" we call it and started walking off.
"Jess, wait! Where're ya goin'?" Meowth called.
She barely turned to look over her shoulder as she called back, "You're the ones who said we should find a place for the night."
Meowth and I glanced at each other before following after her. What had gotten into Jessie?
We finally managed to dig us some kind of alcove in the side of the mountain. By the time we were through, my hands felt like they weren't there and they were a nauseous looking red. Surprisingly, once we dug a bit into the wall of the mountain, the snow actually collapsed to reveal quite a large cave. Enough so that we could crawl inside and had some space to move around.
Unfortunately though there weren't any sort of sticks to start a fire. Damn our bad luck…
"Hey," I said, trying to lighten the mood, "maybe we should set Meowth on fire. That way we'll all be warm!"
"Hey!" Meowth retorted.
Jessie didn't even crack a smile.
Yes, I knew something was definitely wrong now.
We had been sitting there for hours. All of us were huddled together trying our best to keep warm. To add to our bad luck, a blizzard had stormed up outside. Great!
I shivered, and with my teeth chattering a mile per second, I managed to utter, "it's v-very c-cold," just to see if I would get any reaction.
And I did!
"I-I'm f-f-freezing!" Jessie said; the first words out of her mouth since we had started looking for a cave.
"I'm f-frozen!" Meowth just had to add.
We continued to sit there shivering and freezing. I felt my eyelids begin to droop and just realized how tired I was. Meowth, Jessie, and I had gotten up really early to start climbing Snow Top Mountain so we could get ahead of the twerps. It had to have been at least 14 hours without sleep.
I looked over and saw Jessie's eyes were halfway shut and her tense form was beginning to loosen up—despite her attempt to stay warm.
"I'm so sleepy," I mumbled as a long yawn escaped me.
I felt Jessie scoot a bit closer to me and lay her head on my shoulder. I rested my head on hers.
"Me too," she agreed. "I'm exhausted."
My eyelids finally shut and remained so. It felt so good and sleep was quickly overcoming my body. A few minutes couldn't hurt…
Then Meowth had to interrupt.
"Hey! Stay awake!" he shrieked at us, fury-swiping both of our faces this time.
That got me up.
Steaming mad, both Jessie and I glared at him.
"What's the big idea?!" she questioned.
"We're exhausted! We need rest!" I shouted.
"Ya can't sleep!" He told us. "If ya sleep when it's freezing like dis, yous may never wake up again!"
I thought about that. If we fell asleep, our bodies would stop fighting the cold… that meant…
I shuddered at the thought.
"I never thought about that," Jessie muttered.
"We have to stay awake no matter what," I said with a sigh.
Jessie and Meowth echoed my sigh and we all went back to trying to keep warm. I kept trying to imagine I was at a nice beach getting a tan to keep me warm, but to imagine it properly I had to shut my eyes… and we couldn't risk falling asleep.
I glanced over to Jessie who was staring intently at the ground. It almost looked to me like she was trying to start a fire right there by glaring at the ground.
I decided a good way to stay awake was if we had a conversation going.
"Jess? What're you thinking about?" I asked in a low voice to not jolt her from her thoughts.
She shook her head, but kept her eyes firmly fixated on the ground. "It's nothing, James," she replied.
This time, I scooted closer to her. "You sure?" I pressed. "You've seemed kinda down since we started looking for a cave."
I was rewarded with a soft sigh from Jessie. She looked away from me and as she did so, began to speak:
"It's just, I want to succeed for once. We always fail and it gets me so angry. The other Rocket members never fail. Just look at Butch and Cassidy!"
"Aw c'mon, Jess, Botch and Cassidy fail sometimes too. I mean, what about that time they were stopped from that fake daycare center? And that time on the Orange Islands when we helped? They've failed too," I said in my sweetest voice. I'd do anything to cheer her up. I hate seeing Jessie sad.
She didn't reply to me, but instead looked me right in the eye and asked, "Have I ever told you about my mother, James?"
I blinked and thought. I had asked her about her mother before, but Jessie just snapped at me that it was none of my business.
"Well… no," I finally answered.
She sighed and shifted as if she were about to tell a long tale. Now she knew she had Meowth's and my attention. She couldn't back down now.
"Well, she was an elite agent for Team Rocket," she started.
Meowth and I inhaled deeply. Jessie's mother worked for Team Rocket? Well… at least that explained why she was here.
"Yer mudda woiked fer Team Rocket?!" Meowth repeated.
"And she was an elite agent?" I added, equally as shocked.
Jessie nodded and continued by saying, "She was one of the best. She was probably the best agent Team Rocket had ever had. Every heist she got away with, she stole hundreds of Pokemon a month, she was living it up working here.
"Then I was born. I remember being about three and waking up to find her gone. There would always be a note on my nightstand explaining she had another mission to go on and that she would be home as soon as it was completed. We lived in one of the HQ suites."
"Da HQ has suites?!" Meowth butted in.
I gave him a glare for interrupting Jessie's story and he fell silent again.
"Anyways, since we lived there, I would just hang around HQ while I waited for her to return. It wasn't really much fun because there were no other kids there besides me.
"But when my mother returned home, we always had so much fun together. On snowy days we'd go outside and build snowmen, and then we'd come inside and cuddle by the fire. She would always tell me stories about her missions before I went to bed. I always asked if I could come with her on one, but she never let me. She didn't want me getting hurt. I was her everything… and she was mine.
"Then… one day… she left for another mission. The note I found that morning was long and it explained her mission. She wrote that it was very important and she wouldn't be back until late tomorrow night. Giovanni—who was still the boss of Team Rocket, only much younger—, had sent her to the mountains to capture one of the rarest Pokemon of all: Mew."
"You're mother was sent to catch Mew? Isn't that almost impossible because it can teleport?" I asked.
Jessie shook her head. "Nothing could stop my mother. She would get the job done," she told him, but not sounding sure of herself.
She paused for a moment to regain her breath, and probably to let Meowth and I absorb all the information she was giving us. Jessie had never gotten this in depth of anything that had happened in her personal life. If either of us asked, we got a whack in the head with a frying pan or a fan.
"So, I waited until the next night. I was waiting by the window like I always did when waiting for her to return home. Then there was a knock at the door. I jumped up and ran to answer it expecting it to be my mother reporting she had captured Mew. But, it was Giovanni instead.
"He got down on his knees and explained to me that my mother had died on the mission. She had been trying to capture that damn Pokemon when an avalanche crashed down and buried her alive!"
I saw one single tear slide down her cheek, and had to hold in my own. Poor Jessie! I had no idea that her mother had died working for Team Rocket. I had figured she died since Jessie never spoke of her, but I would've never imagined this to be the story!
"I-I was only six. I had no place else to go. I never met my father so I couldn't live with him, and I had no other known relatives. I had nothing left," Jessie continued.
"Then Giovanni made me a deal. He told me I could still live here under his personal care if I promised to join Team Rocket when I was older. He said since my mother was such a great agent, I would turn out exactly the same. I had no place else to go so I accepted.
"The following years, Giovanni taught me everything I needed to know about being a Rocket. He let me help him train the new trainees, and I even got to go on several missions when I was older," she explained.
Jessie wiped her eyes for a moment.
"When I turned twelve, Giovanni paid to get me into Pokemon Technical so I could learn even more about Pokemon. He told me once I turned fifteen I could come back and join Team Rocket," she said before looking up at me.
"Then I met the wimpy little rich boy who always got bullied and became his best friend," she went on, smiling at me. "Of course, you know the rest from there," she concluded.
"We became best friends through school. You always protected me from the bullies and getting beaten up while I helped you with your work and gave you comfort when you needed it," I elaborated. "Then we went to a party the night before our exam, flunked it badly, and then got kicked out of school."
"Then I dragged you with me to join Team Rocket. Since we flunked we left early, only at thirteen, but Giovanni let us in anyway," she added.
"We were paired together and became one of the best teams ever."
"Then we met a talking Meowth who became our new pal and mascot."
"Then we all went on tons of missions and had lotsa fun!" Meowth finished, jumping into our laps.
I smiled and looked at Jessie who was also smiling, although I could tell it was strained.
"So?" I pressed. "What does your mother have to do with why you've been so upset?"
Our attention was back on Jessie.
"Well, you heard the story. Now compare my mother to how I turned out," she told us.
Meowth and I thought about it. Nothing came to my mind however. Well, they were both in Team Rocket. Was that what she wanted?
Jessie must've taken our silence in a bad way because she smiled bitterly and said, "Exactly. There are no comparisons."
She pulled her knees to her chest and rested her head on top of them.
"Giovanni was wrong when he said I'd turn out like my mother. I'm exactly the opposite! I fail at everything, everyone thinks lowly of me, and I'm living life practically on the streets! My mother never went a day without a meal and we sometimes go weeks without one! My mother always had a warm bed to sleep in, but I always end up sleeping on park benches or in freezing caves on mountains!"
Jessie then buried her head into her knees. Moments later, her body was shaking, and this time it wasn't from the cold.
Meowth and I looked at each other helpless as our Jessie cried her eyes out. I had no idea what to do besides comfort her, and most of the time when I did comfort her, I got smacked for being accused of lying just to make her feel better.
But when Jessie uttered the words, "I'm a failure," it had gone too far. Smacked or not, I had to convince her she wasn't a failure, she was exactly the opposite. Especially in my eyes.
"Jessie!" I snapped, with as strong a voice as I could muster.
She looked up at me with red eyes and I felt my heart rip in two. This wasn't the Jessie I knew.
"Listen to yourself Jessie! You just called yourself a failure! I can't believe you'd say that about yourself. You're anything but that!" I told her.
She gave me a hard stare and said, "If I'm not a failure then explain why I'm in Team Rocket instead of having a nice house with a family."
"You just said yourself that you're only in Team Rocket because you had nowhere else to go after your mother died!" I yelled at her.
She didn't throw back a smart retort like before and just stared at me with those intense blue eyes she had. I matched her stare with just as much intensity. I had to prove to her that she wasn't a failure.
"Listen to what you're saying, Jess! You'd never say that about yourself," I repeated trying to show her this wasn't like her. "I'm starting to believe that the woman before me isn't Jessie, but someone else!"
Jessie looked away, and I was slowly beginning to think I was getting through to her. Well, no stopping now. I knelt down in front of her and lowered my voice to a soothing tone.
"Listen, I know you're not a failure, Meowth knows you're not a failure; even Giovanni must not think of you like that if he hasn't fired us yet! Everyone knows you're not a failure."
"The twerps think I am. They know," she mumbled with a bitter tone.
"The twerps are idiots, Jessie," I shot back and at this she gave a dry chuckle. "They're failures for not recognizing all the good things you hide within you."
I saw her glance at me from the corner of her eye.
"The good things within me?" she questioned. "James, you've spent the past ten years with me. You of all people should know there are no good things within me…"
Okay, so maybe I wasn't making much progress at all. But being the stubborn idiot I sometimes am, I was nowhere close to backing down.
"Stop putting yourself down, damn it!!" I shouted at her, my emotions betraying me and causing me to lash out.
Jessie turned to look at me fully after that, a look of shock showing on her face. I heard Meowth mutter something along the lines of "I didn't know yous cursed, Jim", but I was too wrapped up in my rant to pay any heed.
"If you're no good then why'd you always stand up for me at Poke'Tech? If you're no good then why'd I join Team Rocket and ask to be on the same team as you? If you're no good then why do you have Pokemon who work so hard to please you and have stayed with you this long? If you're no good then why has Meowth stuck around for so long? If you're no good then why have I stuck around for so long?"
I only stopped to take in air to catch my breath and try to calm myself down before I continued on, not giving Jessie or Meowth a chance to say a thing.
"And I'll tell you why, Jessie! You stood up for me because you have a heart and are a good friend—one of the best I could ever ask for—and I followed you to Team Rocket because I didn't want to lose that friend! You have many great Pokemon who love you because you aren't a failure! Meowth has stayed with you this long because he loves you for who you are, despite the beatings and spats you have between the two of you!"
I found myself stopping before I could finish. I needed Jessie to absorb this information before I could deliver the final blow. I was heaving in gulps of cold air which burned my throat and blinking away tears which threatened to spill. I needed to keep them at bay until I finished. I needed Jessie to see that what I was saying was true, and crying could compromise what I was trying to convey.
"And you?" I heard her question through the heavy silence, her voice wavering slightly. "Why haven't you left me, James?"
I took in another breath of the freezing air and lowered myself back down to Jessie's level—it was just then I realized I had stood up during my rant.
Staring her in the eyes, I spilled:
"Because I love you, Jessie."
Immediately, her eyes widened to twice their normal size. In the background I heard Meowth cry out, "I knew it!", but I wasn't paying him any attention and I don't think Jessie was either. All my attention was on Jessie.
"W-What?" was all she could manage.
"I love you, Jess," I repeated and was both surprised and relieved that my voice still held as much strength as it did.
I caught the brief smile that flashed across her face, but it was gone within a second.
"You're not lying?" she asked. "You're not just saying that to make me feel better? Because if you are, so help me James—,"
"Why would I lie?" I asked with my smile I remember she called 'charming' on one of our better days.
Jessie didn't answer and instead averted her gaze to the suddenly fascinating ground. My smile turned to a smirk. I had her.
"How long?" she whispered so quietly I almost missed it over the still-raging blizzard outside.
"How long what?"
She still didn't face me. Miss Tough-Girl-Don't-Get-Smart-With-Me Jessie was finally diminishing back to the lost, confused, yet caring girl I had met and fallen in love with so many years ago.
"How long have you loved me?"
I smiled again. "Would you believe me if I said when we met?"
That finally got her to look at me again and, again, the corners of her mouth quirked upwards. I gazed into her eyes trying to make sure she believed me, but there was still a bit of uncertainty flashing in those sapphire orbs of hers.
"Let me be selfish for one minute," I told her. "I'm truly sorry your mother died, but had she not, you may have never gone to Poke'Tech and instead be taught under your mother's personal care. If that had happened, I would've never met you and I would've lost out on all the years of fun and friendship we've shared. I know our lives aren't as good as they could be, but I'm able to get through them because you're with me, Jess. You're the most important thing to me in the world and I need you to believe that. If you weren't in my life, it'd hardly be worth living."
Once finished I went completely still. That was the boldest move I had ever made and I was hoping I had chosen all the right words and all I had said had actually made sense. I'm never the comforter, I'm always the comforted.
When she didn't give me a tongue-lashing, hit me over the head for letting my emotions spill over, or say anything period, I chanced looking up at her.
Jessie was smiling and tears were still running down her beautiful face, and I could only hope they were tears of happiness now, not pain.
Her leap to grab me and bury her face into my chest told me they were tears of happiness, and for that I could only grin and wrap my arms around her waist in return.
"I… I love you too, James," I heard her whisper through a sob. "I'm glad I have you."
I kissed the top her head before saying, "What're friends for?"
She looked up at me and, grinning, kissed me on my lips. I quickly felt my entire body warming as I kissed her back.
"Well you're a really good friend, James," she muttered against my lips.
I only smiled as we kissed again. God, I loved this woman, and finally getting that off my chest and knowing I could comfort Jessie just as well as she could comfort me made me feel even better.
Our kiss was just starting to become passionate when Meowth interrupted by jumping onto our laps.
"Hey, wat about me? Don't I count fer anyting?" he exclaimed.
Jessie giggled and pulled him into a hug. "Of course you do, Meowth," she said. "And I love you too."
Meowth just grinned and purred between us.
And as Jessie snuggled against my side, her arms still wrapped around me in our new attempt to keep warm, I allowed myself to relax for the first time since we discovered the cave.
It's amazing what one snowstorm can cause you to confess, isn't it?
Don't forget to drop a review!