Rock Slide!
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: The characters are not mine! Just the story idea, which was inspired by a comment James made in the episode Mountain Time! Let's put that remark to the test! I don't really think James was serious . . . do you?

"And that's a wrap!" Jessie said with a grand bow. "So long, twerps!"

As she and James ran to make their getaway with Pikachu, a loud rumbling shook the ground of the deep cave they were in.

"What's happening?" James gasped.

"Something's been dislodged by your antics!" Ash replied angrily.

Ash couldn't have been more right. At that moment, two enormous rock slides made their entrance from two adjoining tunnels, cutting Ash, Misty, and Brock off from Team Rocket and Pikachu. Everyone was thrown back by the force of the incoming boulders, especially when the two boulder leaders crashed together. James cried out in pain as a small rock hit him right between his shoulder blades, and he fell to the ground, unconscious.
"James? Answer me, James!"

James awoke finding himself being shaken harshly. "What are you doing? Stop!" he shrieked, feeling dizzy.

Instantly he was engulfed in an unusually overpowering embrace by Jessie. "Oh James! You're alive! I was so worried . . ."

"Yeah, she was, too," Meowth was only too eager to report. "Ya shoulda seen her, cryin' and wailin' . . ."

"Oh, shut your meowth!" Jessie snapped, turning red with embarrassment.

James chuckled at their antics. "Well, so what do we do now?" he wondered, remembering the rock slide.

Jessie shrugged. "The twerps are trapped in there, so we're free to make our getaway," she announced.

"You mean, just leave them in there?" James raised an eyebrow.

"Pika!" Pikachu said angrily.

"Well, why not?" Jessie said flippantly. "They'll get out eventually."

"One would hope," James said grimly.

"What?" Meowth looked confused. "Ya think we should rescue them or somethin'?"

"Well . . . what if they don't get out?" James struggled to stand up.

"It's not our problem," Jessie snorted. "You're the one who said we wouldn't rescue them if they were in trouble."

James sighed. "Yes, I know I said that, but I never imagined something like this would actually happen. I didn't mean what I said then. I don't feel right about leaving them in there."

"Jim is right," Meowth said after a brief silence. "I don't wanna leave 'em in there either."

Jessie folded her arms, looking very put out. "You two are impossible! This is our big chance to get away with Pikachu!"

"At what cost, Jessie?" James looked at her pleadingly. "What if they die in there? I don't want to always walk around with the knowledge that they died because of me . . . and you."

Jessie paused, then sighed. "Alright, you win, James. I don't want them to die either."
"Oh man, what happened?" Brock groaned, slowly getting up from the floor.

"The rock slide sealed off the exit!" Misty exclaimed. "Ash, are you okay?" she asked concerned, seeing that her friend looked unsteady.

"I'm just a little dizzy," he replied. "I'll be okay. I'm worried about Pikachu. Team Rocket must have gotten away with him."

"Leaving us here to rot." Misty stamped her foot angrily. "That's just like them!"

"There's got to be a way out of here somehow," Brock said, looking around.

"There's not," Misty returned. "I've already checked. The only way out is through those boulders."

"Looks like we're stuck then," Ash said, uncharacteristically giving up and slumping against the wall.

"Ash! What are you saying?" Misty's eyes went wide. "We're not giving up!"

"There's no way out," Ash mumbled. "There's no way we can move those heavy boulders. And Team Rocket must be miles from here by now . . ."


Everyone froze. "What was that?" Misty exclaimed.

"It sounded like . . . James," Brock realized.

"James? You've gotta be kidding me," Misty muttered.

Brock went over to the newly-formed wall. "Hello? Who's there?"

"James," was the reply.

"And Jessie," a female voice chimed in.

"Don't forget Meowth!" the feline Pokemon added.

"Pika-pika!" Pikachu called worriedly.

"Is everyone alright in there?" James asked.

"I'm okay," Misty said.

"Me too," Brock added.

Ash groaned.

"I don't think Ash is, though," Misty said worriedly. "He's been acting strange."

"Well, we have to figure out what to do to get you out of there," James said. "The Pikachu wants to use its thunder bolt attack, but I'm not sure that's such a good idea . . ."

"It might cause a total cave-in," Meowth interjected.

"Exactly," James sighed.

"So what do we do?" Misty wondered.

"We'll probably need to dig you out by hand," James replied.

"That'll take hours!" Brock said. "There's not much air in here, and I think Ash might need help right away." He paused. "Do you guys have a cell phone?"

"Pika-pika!" Pikachu held up Brock's cell phone, which had wound up with the Pokemon when he had been playing with it.

"Yes, there's a cell phone here," Jessie announced.

"Good! Call Officer Jenny. She's in town and she'll bring some more help," Brock told her.

"Officer Jenny?" Jessie shoved the phone at James. "You call!"

James, deciding it was useless to protest, speed-dialed the number.

"Officer Jenny here."

"Um, yes, uh . . . there's been a rock slide in the cave in the mountains," James informed her.

"What? That's terrible! Is anyone hurt?"

James paused. "Perhaps," he said, thinking of Ash. "We need some help digging them out."

"I'll be right out with backup," Officer Jenny promised. "Who's calling?"

"I was hoping she wouldn't ask that," James muttered. "Does it matter who's calling?" he said into the phone. "We need some help up here! There's not much air!"

"I'm on it. Tell them to hang in there!" Officer Jenny hung up.

"That was close." James clapped a hand over his forehead. "If she'd known it was me, she probably would've thought it was some kind of joke or trick."

"Pika!" Pikachu said, frantically trying to lift a rock much bigger than himself.

"Whoa, whoa. Let Meowth be of assistance!" the feline Pokemon said, springing into action. With the two of them working together they were able to remove the rock.

"Well, it's a start," Jessie sighed. "Let's see how far we can get on our own before the backup arrives."
"Why do you think Team Rocket is helping us?" Misty wondered as she and Brock tried in vain to lift a boulder on their side. "It has to be some kind of trap."

"Oh, come on, Misty, that's ridiculous." Brock rubbed at his sore hands. "They could've gotten away with Pikachu this time, but they stayed behind to rescue us. Doesn't that tell you something?"

"Yeah, it tells me something strange is happening," Misty retorted.

"I knew they . . . weren't . . . heartless," Ash said weakly.

"They could've fooled me," Misty grumbled.
"Hello? Are you still in here?"

Team Rocket froze. "It's Officer Jenny," they all said at once.

"Now what do we do?" James wondered.

"There's only one thing to do," Jessie sighed, shoving Meowth forward.

"Of course we're still in here," the feline Pokemon called out, after grumbling a bit that he had to be the one to reveal themselves. "Where else would we go?"

A gasp was heard from the cave's mouth. "It's Team Rocket!" someone yelled.

"Team Rocket? What are you doing in here?" Officer Jenny demanded, soon weaving her way around to where they were and standing in front of them sternly.

"The twerps are trapped behind there," Jessie replied, indicating the mound of boulders.

"We didn't want to leave them in there to die," James added.

Officer Jenny looked at them suspiciously, going over to the wall. "Ash! Misty! Brock! Are you in there?"

"Yes, and Ash is hurt," Misty called back.

"Alright, hold on, we'll have you out in no time," Officer Jenny assured them.
It took a couple more hours, but with everyone working together they finally managed to free Ash and the others.

"Pika-pika!" Pikachu called worriedly when they carried Ash out.

"Pikachu!" Ash said happily. Now that he was out in the fresh air, he seemed to be doing much better. A doctor on hand examined the three, with the conclusion that they were all sore and that Ash had some bad bruising, but that they were otherwise alright.

"We never would have known you were trapped in here if it wasn't for Team Rocket, as strange as that sounds," Officer Jenny remarked.

"You guys actually did something good for once," Misty said with a smile.

"Yeah. Thanks for rescuing us," Ash said.

Team Rocket looked embarrassed, especially Jessie. "Well, we don't have any blood on our hands, and we didn't want to start now," she mumbled.

"We're not heartless, cruel murderers," James agreed. He sighed. "We won't even try to take Pikachu."

"This time," Meowth added.

"Well, thanks again, you guys," Brock said as Team Rocket vanished into the sunset.

"Maybe they're not so bad after all," Ash commented.

"I never thought I'd agree with that sentiment," Misty sighed, "but I think you're right, Ash."

Me: Well, today our friends have learned another valuable lesson—Team Rocket may be rascally, but they're good at heart. Hmmm, now if only the show's writers would let us see that more often . . . **cuddles James**