Prologue part 2: Resolution

After I just had that major breakthrough, I was standing totally still on that same spot for what seemed like hours.

Only I can change what I do wit' my life. And, technically speaking, I'm not bound to Team Rocket since I don't live in a poké ball. But… what about Jessie and James? Ah, I'm sure they can apply for a replacement partner Pokémon. Still, if I do go through with this, I'll miss the two knuckleheads.

Team Rocket has no more to give me, and I have nothing more that I can give to Jessie and James. So, I guess that's it. I've given eight of my nine lives to Team Rocket, now it's time for me to try making an honest guy of myself. I might even be able to buy my own place some day.

With my decision made, I made my way back to the camp and walked towards the balloon. But as I walked past James he stirred and woke up rubbing his eyes.

He yawned before drawling out, "Hey Meowth, what are you doing up and about?"
"Oh, uh, I was just thirsty so I took a walk looking for a creek or something else."
"Hm, did you find one? We could refill our water stores."
"No, it's just forest for a coupla miles."
"Oh, well here, I saved a bit from dinner," he said offering me his sealed cup.
"Uh, thanks Jimmy. Ya know, I been meaning to say, I always appreciated the little things you do."
"Why, thank you, Meowth."

Soon after he said this James yawned again, "Well, sleep well, Meowth." Then he fell back over, asleep. I looked at the cup in my hands and with a sad sigh, put it down next to James. Then I continued off to the balloon. I didn't want to steal from my own friends, (there wasn't much any way.) so I took everything that I had to my name: my money (what was left of it from my last Team Rocket salary), my polishing wax, a stone for sharpening my claws, and my cloth that I used to tie it all together on a stick. Huh, after all this time, I still have this bit of fabric. It's seen so many travels… My stray days, traveling to Hollywood, leaving Hollywood, finding Team Rocket, and now, leaving Team Rocket.

I wrote a letter to Jessie and James, saying that I was leaving to start a new life. I didn't want to make it too mushy, but I also didn't want to seem ungrateful. I left it underneath the cup of water next to James. Seeing him and then turning to Jessie made me a little watery eyed.

I better do this before I lose my nerve. 'S almost sunrise, I need to get far away. Jessie will be TICKED when she sees this letter. And with that final thought, I left the camp, determined to not look back.

Once I was away from the camp, I broke into a run to get more distance. I ran as long as I could, to where the sky started to lighten from the approaching sunrise. After I finally stopped for breath, the sun was peeking over the trees and I figured Jessie and James would be waking up soon…

-3rd person POV-

Back at camp, James started to stir from his sleep as the sunlight shined onto his closed eyes.

Mumbling the question of why the sun couldn't come out later, James sat up and smacked his lips a bit, his mouth feeling dry. "Well good thing I saved that bit of… Oh, right I gave it to Meow-". James had turned his head while saying this and noticed that Meowth was nowhere to be found. Then he noticed his cup of water and the paper that lay underneath it. "What's this doing here," he questioned aloud before drinking his water and unfolding the piece of paper. "Let's see, 'Dear Jessie and James,…'" Soon after the first lines James put down his cup and focused more on the paper. Soon, he got up frantically and yelled out, "JESSIE!"

-Meowth's POV-

I can't believe I actually worked up the courage to follow through on my decision, and I have no regrets. Jessie and James will be able to get a stronger Pokémon to be their partner and I can finally start doing things my own way… Which one's my way again? Eh, I'm sure that I'll figure it out.

Now, it's pretty late in the afternoon, I better start thinkin' 'bout my next move.

Hmm… for starters, where do I go from here? I suppose that I can start making my way to a town, to find out where I am. Maybe scrounge up some fruits and berries on the way. Gee, I haven't had to forage in a long time, hope I still got it.

I quickly found out that the old instincts were still there. Use claws to cling to and climb up trees to get the fruit. Fruit wasn't exactly my preferred meal, but beggars can't be choosers. From the top of a high tree, while I was picking apples, I saw that there wasn't any town or village or anything for miles. Guess I'll hafta keep traveling 'til I see something. By sunset, I had gathered seven apples and I had sat down to eat when I heard a rustling in the leaves.

I got up and readied my claws, standing between the bushes and my food. After a bit, two baby Rattata came out. They looked scared, and hungry. They don't look like they can forage yet; they must be lost from their mother. I look at the apples I've gathered. This IS a bit more than I can eat, and I can always find more later.

Reaching down, I grabbed four of the apples and walked halfway to the tykes, putting them down own the ground (didn't wanna scare 'em off, after all). Then I just walked back to my spot and started eating the three that were left. Soon after, I heard them roll the apples back to their spot and start eating them. Hm, I can't blame them for not trusting me, they just met me. I'm sure their mother will find them soon.

This awkward silence stretched for about half an hour before I heard,
"Rattata! Rattata!"
The little ones' ears perked up and they dashed off towards the voice.

That's good. Wouldn't have wanted them following me around. I guess I should catch some z's for now.

-James' POV-

Goodness, we've been searching for hours now. I'm tired. We should find a place to land and camp for the night.

"Jessie, we're not going to find him tonight. It's getting too dark."
"Shut up! We're going to find that little traitor and I'm going to set him straight."
"Aren't you being a little harsh? He left us a letter detailing his reasons and he didn't take anything that didn't belong to him."
"He left without even trying to say goodbye!"
"Eh, actually… Last night I woke up and saw him awake."
"WHAT?! And you didn't say anything because…"

"Well, he said that he was just thirsty, looking for freshwater, so I offered him what was left of mine. He took it and thanked me for the kindness I always showed him. But I found the water, along with that note, when I woke up."

"Why didn't he say anything about me? I'm full of kindness!"
Stifling a snort, I mumbled, "You're certainly full of something…"

Steeling my nerves, I looked her in the eye and said, "Look, the point is that we both know that Meowth isn't a nocturnal type. He won't be going anywhere else tonight; especially since he left so early." Jessie scowled, but grudgingly accepted and started to lower the balloon. As we began our slow descent, I thought about the details of Meowth's letter.

Meowth, I understand where you're coming from, truly I do. After all, I left my previous life due to personal reasons as well. But why do you have such a low opinion of yourself to assume we'd be better off with a different Pokémon…