An older man cloaked in a white lab-coat with a small red "R" over his heart paced across the floor, hyperventilating loudly. He was worried about the experiment, which had been initiated only a few hours earlier. Would it work? Or would it just be another unfortunate failure? He stopped as soon as the doors in front of him opened up, revealing a large amount of gray smoke that poured out and across the floor. The other scientists in the room ran over as soon as the machine gave off a loud "Beep!", indicating it was open.

The creature inside stepped out slowly, analyzing the area around it, which was not the open air but the inside of a much larger cage. It growled its' name aggressively and lifted up a paw to induce fear in the faces of its' captors. As soon as it did so, it screamed in what seemed to be pain and agony. The scientists didn't help the creature, instead taking notes on its' reaction. As it screamed in pain, it thrashed about violently, and clawed the sides of the cage, making a few scientists jump in fright. It screamed bloody murder and its' claws glowed again before trying once again to slice through the metal cage. It's strikes eventually weakened.

The head scientist stared sadly as the creature stopped its' screaming and cried its way into death, clawing at its' own skin until it bled. It was confused and in extreme pain, not knowing where it was or what was going on, just that it didn't like it. Another scientist, who'd just checked the creature's vitals, walked slowly to the older man. "Sir, its' dead. The experiment...failed. Again." The entire group sighed. Although their main priority was to make the formula successful, they wished they knew exactly what was going wrong. The autopsy reports weren't revealing anything. They needed the subject to tell them. But this was an experiment for a pokemon formula, not for humans. Testing it on human beings would be idiotic, as their entire structure was completely different from the normal-types they were currently testing on.

He held back tears at the sight of his own personal pokemon and friend that lay on the floor across from him. Silently writing the word "unsuccessful" on his clipboard, he whispered to the unmoving creature sympathetically.

"I'm so sorry..."

Fighting the Aggression

Chapter One.

"Team Rocket's blasting off again!" the trio screamed as per usual. They soared through the air for a good ten minutes before landing in a tree, their meowth-shaped hot-air balloon strewn across the branches, completely deflated. Jessie and James recalled Seviper and Carnivine as soon as they gained the strength to do so.

Meowth felt the branch he was on crack, and he yelped before falling messily to the ground twenty-some feet below. "Oh, my aching Meowth..."

Jessie and James hopped down from the branches, landing originally on their feet, but the impact sent them flying onto their stomachs. The exhaustion from their previous attempt in catching Pikachu didn't help, either. The entire team lay silent for a few minutes before Meowth got up.

"Y'know, Seviper and Carnivine need some better trainin'. They're too weak to battle those stupid twerps!" He felt like this realization for him was news for the entire team.

Jessie scoffed rudely. "Oh, please, Meowth, don't act like we don't know that. But we don't get paid to train our pokemon! We're paid to steal pokemon!"

James sighed. "And we're horrible trainers, anyway. Even if we did try harder it wouldn't really do anything." This conversation was bringing back memories of his cacnea that he'd left with the gym leader, Gardenia. He missed Cacnea desperately. From the sudden sadness, he glared over at Meowth. "And what about you, Meowth? How hard have you been training to beat those stupid twerp-pokemon?!"

Meowth's mouth hung agape and Jessie blinked twice. James was right; Meowth was easily the weakest pokemon in their group. But it wasn't like him to bring it up, it was a really low blow. Jessie smirked at James and then turned towards their partner.

"He's got a point, Meowth. You're not one to talk when you won't even try to learn new moves!" She felt herself getting fired up over having realized such an obvious fault in Meowth to scold him for. "You'd be a lot more helpful to the team if you could actually fight!"

James growled. "Your talking thing has its perks but you're useless when it comes to battle! I always heard meowths were supposed to be strong, but you've pretty much proved otherwise! Our team would be a lot better off if you would just get stronger! Maybe then you'd evolve into a persian and realize they're not as bad as you think! Maybe the boss would even take you back and out of our hair!"

Meowth felt his heart break in two pieces, one for Jessie to step on and one for James to grind to a pulp. Normally he'd just ignore their insults and tantrums, but for once they did have a point. He really was weak, even if he was really smart for a pokemon and understood general robotics, he still couldn't fight in a stupid pokemon battle! When was the last time he'd actually fought in a battle and won? He couldn't remember. The feline opened his mouth to retort, but couldn't think of anything to say. After staring down at his feet for a few moments, he quickly turned around and ran away from his teammates laying on the ground.

Guilt immediately shrouded James' mind. Meowth may have brought up bad memories, but he hadn't deserved what he said. All this blasting off must've been getting to him. "M-Meowth! Agh..."

Jessie was still silent after her partner's outburst. It wasn't uncommon for him to side with her in arguments, but this time she barely got to say anything before Meowth stormed off. It was uncharacteristically mean of James, he was usually the nice one of the three (although that wasn't saying much). She watched him stare at the spot Meowth was just in for a few seconds before standing up and brushing off her skirt. "C'mon, James, we've got to find him before he gets himself lost."

James stared at his red-haired partner for a few seconds before shoving his face into his hands. "Go without me. Meowth won't want to see me, anyway..."

She growled and smacked a fist against the boy's head, sending him back to the ground. "Don't be an idiot, James! Now move it!"

Rubbing his head as he got up, James wondered why Jessie thought violence was the best form of motivation for her to use. He could think of a hundred better ways for her to make him do as she pleased. He growled and followed Jessie down the pathway.

"Those two...jerks! If I got my-m-meowth!" Meowth stumbled over his words so angrily that he started resorting back to his original language. He stopped for a moment to calm down and collect himself. What was he doing? They were just angry at him, they didn't really mean it. However, James, especially, had never said anything so harsh to him before. But the truth of what they said hurt more than he could've imagined. People lie when they care about you, so when they're angry they'll spew the truth like there's no tomorrow.

He sighed and looked around for a bit. There was a phone booth sitting prettily on the side of the road, barely a few meters away from him. After a few seconds of contemplation, he stalked over to it and dialed his Boss' number. The man's scowling face appeared on screen after two rings, and Meowth gulped audibly.

"Who is it?" Giovanni barked.

"This is M-Meowth, sir!" Meowth hated himself for stuttering, but nobody else commented on it since him being a talking pokemon in general was amazing enough.

Giovanni's face contorted and looked left and right, expecting to see Jessie and James. His face held a confused expression when they were nowhere in sight. "...what is it, Meowth?"

Meowth could tell what the Boss was looking for, but that wasn't important. He needed to face this situation immediately. "Boss, I was wonderin' if there's any way for me to get stronger without actually battlin' and gettin' experience like that..."

Giovanni raised an eyebrow. It was almost too coincidental, how perfect this opportunity was. Why hadn't he considered the most obvious answer? Not only did he have a talking pokemon within his grasp, it was the normal-type they were looking for. Not only that, but it was completely willing to try the formula! "Actually, yes, there is. My scientists have recently created a potion that will make you much stronger and a much better fighter."

Meowth's face brightened. "R-really?! That's great news! I can tell youse for sure, if you use this potion on me, you'll never have to worry 'bout me, Jess, and Jim failin' again!"

"Oh no, definitely not." The orange-clad man thought evilly. He smirked and replied, "I'll have your usual Delibird carry it to this phone's location. So stay there."

Meowth saluted his boss happily and turned off the phone. Excellent! After this, they'd finally beat those stupid twerps and Jessie and James would go back to respecting him like they did in the old days! He knew he should've been a little mad at them for what they'd said, but they would always be his best friends no matter what. He wanted to steal pokemon with them for the rest of their days together!

"Meowth!" Jessie yelled, hands cupped around her mouth. "Meowth, where are you?! Come out right now or you'll be sorry!"

James shuddered, knowing that his partner wasn't kidding. He still felt more than guilty for what he'd said to Meowth earlier, and wanted more than anything to apologize. He hadn't been calling the cat's name, however, and decided it was about time to join Jessie. "Please, Meowth! I'm sorry for what I said!"

Jessie stopped for a second when James spoke, and smirked. "Well, look who finally decided to say something."

James scoffed and glared at her. "I figured your big mouth would produce enough noise for the both of us, but I guess I was wrong." And here he had just been feeling guilty about being mean to Meowth? He felt like a horrible friend, although Jessie's expression towards him was not offended, but bemused and annoyed.

"Please, James, save it. At least I'm not the one who practically stabbed Meowth right in his back." She kept walking without looking at the boy behind her, expecting him to give another sarcastic comment as a reply. When he didn't say anything and the scuffling behind her stopped, she turned around to witness him sitting on a rock, head in his hands. "...James?"

He sighed heavily and shook his head. "You're right. I did. I'm a horrible friend. Meowth probably doesn't wanna see me ever again..."

Jessie was getting annoyed with her partner. Since when did he act so emotional about little things like this? The team had split up multiple times, but they always came back together. This time was nothing more than what they were used to, in fact it wasn't even half as bad. "James."

He looked up, startled by her stern tone of voice.

"Stop being an idiot. Meowth doesn't hate you and he's probably looking for us right now! So stop sulking over your stupid imagination and keep moving!"

He smirked. Leave it to Jess to cheer someone up and call them an idiot in the same sentence. "...kay." He followed her down the path, when they eventually came to the end of the forest. It was about two or three hours after they'd split up with Meowth, and James was starting to get really worried. "Jess, should we go back? We might've miss-"

"There!" she squealed and pointed outside the forest where a meowth, standing on its' hind legs, was receiving something from a familiar delibird. As soon as Jessie saw the delibird, she ducked into the bushes and, grabbing James' hand, dragged him down with her. "What's he doing with that money-stealing delibird?!"

James desperately wanted to apologize to Meowth, but was just as confused as Jessie. "...Jess, you don't think he called the boss about what happened, do you? He used to threaten to call the Boss and tell him about our failures-"

"Yeah, he used to! Now that the cat is just as responsible, telling the Boss would be like a suicide mission!" she whispered angrily. "Even he's not that stupid!"

"So then what..." James was cut off by the sight of Meowth waving goodbye to the delibird that flew off quickly. He suddenly realized that the bird flew very far in its' profession, it must've had a tiring job. He would've felt sorry for it if it didn't threaten them so often. He noted Jessie's silence and watched Meowth carefully.

Meowth, not noticing his partners in the bushes not too far away, was eyeing the "potion" in his hand (the other hand held a voice recorder that he was supposed to use to record himself describing all the stages he went through while using the potion). That's what Giovanni had called it, anyway. To him, it looked more like some sort of medicine, or a vaccine. It was an injection, which was odd in itself. But, hell, he was desperate to become stronger. He wanted to win for once! He wanted to be stronger and more powerful! However, the delibird gave him warning to not use it until he was in a cabin of some sort because there were slight side effects when it was injected. Apparently he would get a bit of a headache and feel drowsy, but that wasn't a big problem.

After staring at the liquid for another minute, his ears perked up at the slight shuffle in the bushes. Meowth automatically got into a fighting stance, ready to take on whoever was spying on him. Fortunately, the sight of red and blue sent his heart rate back to normal, and he scurried over to them.

"Jess? Jim? Youse two over there?" Meowth said hesitantly. He knew it was them, but he was still worried whether or not they were going to insult him more.

Jessie popped out of the bush. "Listen Meowth, James has something to say!"

James popped out, looking absolutely apologetic. "I'm sorry I yelled and made you run away!"

Meowth was touched. They made up a new rhyme, just for him! Although it was admittedly one of their greatest skills, it was sweet of them, anyway.

She grumbled before continuing. "...and I'm sorry, too, even though it was mostly James' doing..."

"She's got a point, but is there a plot you're brewing?"

"If you're leaving the team, at least tell us first!"

"Then we could convince you to stay with us through the bad and the worst!"



Meowth blinked in surprise, they must've seen him talking to the delibird and assumed the worst. He scoffed haughtily at their assumption and joined in. "Meowth, now that's a name!"

The two of them stopped mid-motto when Meowth added his part. So he wasn't leaving them after all? They had been so sure of his intentions, even though they couldn't really believe it themselves. Jessie and James both ran over and hugged him tight, and the three of them swore together that they'd be friends forever.

When they spotted the cabin, all their spirits raised immediately. A place to sleep that wasn't the ground or in a tree! Marvelous! Fantastic! It was almost too good to be true. And, Meowth smirked, it was just what the doctor ordered. As soon as they stepped inside, Jessie squeaked at the bathroom with a working shower, and James moaned happily at the soft-looking bed sitting in a room off to the side. It didn't have any blankets or pillows, but he didn't care. Since Jessie would probably end up sharing with him, he could just use her stomach as a pillow like usual (or it might be the other way around, but either way he'd be comfortable).

Meowth waited an hour or two for Jessie and James to fall asleep back-to-back on the bed (they claimed it was to avoid any awkwardness, but he noticed they always ended up in each others' arms by the morning). Once he thought he heard light snoring from the bedroom, he grabbed the syringe that his potion was in. Delibird told him to take it in the morning so he could record the potion's progress, but he was too excited to not try it now. Meowth wondered why Jess and Jim never mentioned the potion, he knew they'd seen him take it from the delibird. Maybe they thought it was something harmless and innocent? Or maybe they just forgot, they were like that sometimes.

He stared at the liquid hesitantly before plucking through the fur and skin in his right arm, causing a small amount of blood to surface. It stung like mad, but he would take it like a man, er, meowth. He didn't insert all the liquid at once, just about half of it, because he still wasn't completely sure about those side-effects. As soon as he felt the needle leave his arm, he just stared for a moment at the bloody splotch. So far, nothing was happening.

He sighed dejectedly, and walked into the bedroom, getting ready to sleep at the foot of his partners' bed. They didn't usually mind him sleeping near them, although they shifted around too much in their sleep for his liking. Snuggling up at the crook of Jessie knees, he felt everything go silent and the cat drifted off into a well-deserved and much-needed sleep.

The sleep didn't last as long as he would've liked. After maybe an hour of sleep, Meowth woke up screeching. His entire body was shaking, and he felt like he was being stabbed with thousands of needles in every inch of skin on his tiny body. He clawed through the mattress and jumped off the bed loudly, waking his two companions. As he ran out of the room, screeching his throat dry, Jessie and James stared at him, worry evident in their faces.

"Meowth?!" Jessie yelled at him. "Meowth, what's wrong?!"

Rather than answering, he started scratching at his skin. Jessie and James stared at each other and jumped off the mattress, happy to still have their uniforms on (James had washed them while Jessie was in the shower the night before, so they decided it was alright to wear the outfits to bed). They ran after their normal-type friend, concerned about what could be wrong.

"Meowth, what...tell us what's wrong!" James commanded uncharacteristically. He was worried sick about Meowth's well-being, and the cat refused to answer either of them!

Meowth stopped moving around and just stayed in one spot, shaking and shivering like he was in a freezer. He shoved his face into his hands and growled loudly, just in time for Jessie to get fed up with his attitude.

"MEOWTH!" she screamed. "Stop acting all weird and tell us what's the matter already!" She lifted up a fist to strike the feline's head when he turned around and growled ferociously at her. She stopped, and stared at him like a stantler in headlights. "M-Meowth...?"

James barely had time to take in what was happening until Meowth extracted his claws (they were longer, sharper, and shinier than he remembered them being) and sliced Jessie right across her arms and chest. She screamed out in pain, indicating that the attack had been much more severe than his usual Fury Swipes. What seemed to be lucky for the red-haired woman was that she had raised both arms to cover her face just before the attack, leaving large, deep cuts in her arms, but for the most part her face was unharmed.

Jessie fell back onto the ground, and Meowth proceeding to stalk over to her form, this time stabbing her through what would've been her stomach if the cat didn't have such horrid aim. She screamed out again, this time a dark and gooey blood spewing from her mouth, sliding down her chin and staining her Team Rocket uniform. Blood seeped out from the wound in her stomach, oozing onto the floor. She stopped making any sort of noise after the attack, and Meowth felt another surge of pain rush through his body. He screamed again and ran back into the bedroom, tearing up the mattress with ease.

James was silent. What the hell had just happened? Meowth would never, not in a million years, hurt Jessie like he just did. At that thought, James wanted to smack himself. "J-Jessie! Jessie!" He ran to her side and took in all of her injuries quickly, noting the depth and severity of the slashes and especially the stab wound. This wasn't from Fury Swipes, this was easily from Night Slash or even a more powerful slash-attack. Meowth knew humans were especially susceptible to attacks like that. He stared down at Jessie and, when realization of the situation hit him like a ton of bricks, he gently put one arm under her knees and the other one around her back and head, lifting her completely into his arms. He was lucky she wasn't as heavy as he always claimed she was.

He ran out the door, knowing there was a town no more than a mile away. Even with carrying Jessie, it wouldn't take more than ten minutes to reach the edge of the town and possibly a hospital, which the girl desperately needed. He'd go back to being concerned about Meowth once this situation was taken care of. James ran, careful not to bounce around too much for Jessie's sake, and let his tears flow openly. What was going on? Why did Meowth do that, and what was wrong with him?

After maybe three minutes of nonstop running, Jessie started to stir. She moaned painfully and her arms flinched, indicating that she was attempting to move them. She opened her eyes wearily, surprised to see James as her "knight in shining armor". Actually, she noted, usually the knight came before the princess got hurt. But this wasn't any kind of fairy tale she wanted to think about.

She mumbled out his name, and James looked down at her bloody face. "Jessie, please stop talking! It's not gonna do you any good unless you keep up your strength and don't, uh, don't move or anything!" He really didn't know much about medicine or injuries, the Team Rocket Academy had only offered so much information on first aid and the schools he went to as a child said he wasn't old enough to learn the more detailed procedures quite yet.

Jessie growled. "J-James...I can't..." she coughed, producing more blood that splattered on James' jacket. "...feel my...arms..."

He took a look at her arms, finally noticing just how deep the cuts were. Very. He almost swore he could see through to the bone, but that wasn't any kind of information he wanted to divulge to her. One thing he did learn is that people can be very shocked to learn how badly they've been injured, and shocks and surprises are not good. "I'm sorry, Jess, but you'll have to live with the pain until I can get you to a hospital-"

"No...pain..." she mumbled angrily. "P-put me...down..."

James growled. "Jessie! If you're not feeling any pain, then it's because you've gone completely numb! Not because you're not hurt!" He didn't even realize how much faster he was going now that Jessie had woken up.

"I" she tried to complete a full sentence to no avail, but James understood her. He suddenly stopped and set her down gently.

"Jess, if you're sure, please just tell me what to do to stop the bleeding!" He hated seeing her like this; physically weak and barely even able to talk. He could tell she was forcing herself to suffer through the few words she got out.

She had her eyes shut tight to keep herself from crying. "Use...jacket...tourni..quet..." she mumbled quietly but forcefully.

James was happy he knew what a tourniquet was, and ripped off his jacket, wrapping it around her torso. "Say something if it's too tight, okay?" When she nodded, he grabbed the sleeves and tied them into a knot, tightening it around her waist. She grunted at the sudden pressure, and finally let the tears flow. James felt horrible at the sight, but knew it was supposed to be a little painful. The tourniquet was to stop the blood, not the pain.

Her face contorted into a calm expression, scaring the hell out of James to the point where he checked for her pulse multiple times. When he was sure she was still breathing, he took off his undershirt and wrapped it around her left arm, which had much deeper cuts than her right. After securing the tourniquet and ignoring the shivering cold around his bare chest, he went back to running.

He could still feel her blood seeping through the fabric, and felt himself tearing up again. But he called off the waterworks, telling him that it was his time to take charge and stay strong. For Jessie.

And as far as he knew, for Meowth, too.

Hmmmmmmmm :c Poor Jessie got all sliced upppp. Say something if you like ;D