rosejailmaiden: (james)
[personal profile] rosejailmaiden
Title: Beginnings
Author: [personal profile] rosejailmaiden /nekusagi
Rating: PG just to be on the safe side
Verse: Anime
Characters: Jessie, James, Meowth, Viper, Giovanni, Delia, Pierce, Dr. Zager, Brock, Grings Kodai
Pairings: Giovanni/Delia
Summary: Seven short, music-inspired stories about beginnings.
Author's Notes: This was a fun exercise and I'm honestly surprised at how much I can pull off in twenty minutes of writing. Dr. Zager is a character from the BW season of Pokemon, and the Team Rocket scientist Jessie, James, and Meowth work for. Pierce is also from BW and a Team Rocket agent who works with the trio early in the season. Grings Kodai is the villain of the thirteenth Pokemon movie Zoroark: Master of Illusions.

Songs used:
I. Kansas- Carry On Wayward Son
II. Led Zeppelin- What Is And What Should Never Be
III. Eagles- Take It Easy
IV. Led Zeppelin- Ramble On
V. Billy Joel- Piano Man
VI. Scorpions- Rock You Like A Hurricane
VII. Fleetwood Mac- Don't Stop

I. A stormy night and the beginning of a second life.

The streets were empty except for the pounding of the cold rain, the howling winds, and a single young man in a tattered grey trenchcoat. Neon glowed through the raindrops of the few buildings where power had not been cut- the casino and shopping center, where the generators pressed on so as to not lose oh-so-precious customers, who'd continue to empty their pockets as the storm raged on with no other place to go.

But the boy wouldn't be seeking their gaudy excess. Perhaps in his previous life, the one he'd been born into, the one he was fighting against nature herself to escape at the moment, but he'd left that all behind and was running now with nothing but his clothes, his memories- the reason he couldn't ever, ever go back- and a foolish dream of youth.

He ducked into an alley for brief respite from the weather and slumped down next to a dumpster, water dripping from a single lock of lavender hair that'd fallen in front of his face. He took a few deep breaths to remind himself why he was here, why he was still even going.
Celadon was the place, he'd heard, from the biker gangs, from the call girls, from the underground merchants he turned to to keep alive on his journey. Go to Celadon if you've nowhere else to go and you'll find something. You'll find someone to watch out for you, a place to stay, maybe even a reason to be alive.

His whole life he'd been warned of those people by his parents, the very bottom of society who could find acceptance nowhere else except among the worst of humanity. Orphans, homeless, those who had lost everything. Desperation, personified.
And now he was one of them. He knew what he was getting himself into, knew the stories of their horrible acts, knew that becoming one of them would cut him off even further from the world and make him one of the enemies of the entire Kanto region simply by virtue of his existence. In spite of all that...

If they would give him a chance, the boy who could have had everything but threw it away because it would mean denying his very self in favor of family tradition, in favor of manners, in favor of don't do that it's not proper you know- he bristled at the very thought of those institutions that only served vanity and crushed the soul; if they would give someone anyone else would consider an ingrate for his deeds a chance, if they could find the use in a boy called useless by his own parents.... If he could find his place here, well, they couldn't be all that bad, could they?

That was why, in the end. That was why the green-eyed boy shivered in a dark alley. Because he had a second chance at living ahead of him.

He drew himself up from his pitiful state and made his way to the back door of the glowing casino, rang the door.

The door opened a crack. “Deliveries are closed,” a voice called out from the other side.

“I'm here for... other reasons,” the young man said, a slight quiver of apprehensiveness in his voice. “You know... those...”

“Oh,” was the reply. The door opened and a man with a violet mohawk haircut stood behind the door. “Good night to come here with those too. Well, come on in, we'll get you set up. What's your name, boy?” he asked.

The young man nervously brushed his soaking hair out of his face, then got up the courage to answer. “Morgan...” he replied. “James Morgan... just call me James please, the second part I'd like to pretend never happened.”

“Pleasure to meet you, James. Name's Viper. From the looks of it, you'll fit right in here.”

With that, the young man felt significantly at ease with life. In that moment, the past was behind him, and all that remained was a bright future.

II. Two lovers and the beginning of a memory

“I'm still not sure of this,” Delia said, looking down at rows of houses underneath her. “I mean... this isn't exactly the most inconspicuous thing.”

“Please, Delia, it's a stealth helicopter for a reason. Because it can't be seen. Besides, how many other men would give you a tour of Kanto by sky at sunrise?” Giovanni patted Delia's hair reassuringly and playfully, brushing a few reddish-brown locks out of her face.

“Most other men don't have mothers who provide them access to a whole fleet of helicopters,” she replied. “Helicopters that.. people not in the know, so to speak... aren't supposed to know about. Like me.”

“And so you're the luckiest girl in the world for that,” he replied. “No one but you outside of the Team is in on this... you know why, don't you?”

“Because you trust me,” she replied, letting herself fall back into his comforting arms and snuggling there, taking in the soothing combination of his body heat and the pale, bright sky around the two of them. “Does she even know you did this?”

“What, you mean, does my mother know I paid off one of our pilots to use Rocket helicopters for totally frivolous purposes? Hell no, I'm not stupid, Delia. And she won't find out, either.”

Delia stared at him. He was a troublemaker, that much of his reputation with not only his mother but the Team Rocket higher-ups was true, but this... this took guts.

“Just enjoy the ride and forget everything else, okay? If she finds out, you know I'll talk my way out of it like always. Here, I brought a little something else along. Maybe it'll help.”

He reached behind him and pulled out something full of red liquid... wine.

Fine wine that Delia probably would never in her lifetime before meeting Giovanni dream of even being this close to.

“Is that-?”

“Stole it from her wine cellar. Probably her best one, I don't know. But we're going to share it,” he said, taking out two glasses, then filling them with the drink. He passed one to Delia.

“We're young,” he said. “Now is the time we do stupid things.” He took a sip and nodded to Delia to encourage her to do the same. “We have all the time in the world ahead of us to worry about serious stuff. For now... let's just enjoy life.”

Delia sipped at her glass. It was sweet and a tiny bit sour and the forbidden drink excited her.

“You're right,” she said, kissing him on the cheek.

III. The young doctor begins all over again

Pokemon doctor was not a good career choice. Not here in Kanto at least.

It was one of those moments when Brock realized all too late that he had once again acted too hastily. Not without good reason, of course-

Brock's heart was in the right place, as he truly loved helping Pokemon grow to their fullest potential, but Brock's heart also had a tendency to go all the wrong places as well.

Now he had found himself so wrapped up in his work that he'd said entirely the wrong things to entirely the wrong Nurse Joys in fits of well-intentioned passion, and it had made things... complicated.

Staying in Kanto was no longer an option if he wanted to continue his practice and help patients without running afoul of certain Joys and jeopardizing the professional setting he strived to keep. He had always thought he'd learn new things being a Pokemon doctor, and boy, was he ever right.

Important lessons. Lessons like sisters can be possessive. Showing affection can bite you in the ass when their man walks in on you flirting. And sometimes being on the receiving end of unwanted affection can really, really suck.

He realized one day, after having to rid his cell phone's voicemail of more than a few disturbing messages, that it was time to start fresh in a new region. So he got on a boat to Unova, following the advice his father had given him so many years ago as a boy...

“Brock, if ever find yourself needing to start anew, with a completely blank slate, go somewhere far away. Then go farther than that. You need to be truly willing to committing yourself to a fresh start and that's the only way to do it in the end.”

“You know a lot about that, don't you Dad?”

“This conversation is over now.”

It might have crossed his mind that his father wasn't necessarily the best man to turn to in terms of relationship advice, but who else did Brock have? Even as questionable as some of his past might have been, he'd never really steered Brock wrong.

Brock took the first train out of Castelia Station to Orre. A right hellhole, but...

it was certainly far away enough. Besides, the rampant crime in the region had been cleaned up as of late, and he didn't doubt there'd be plenty of people in need of his services there.

Brock reached into his bag for a stack of postcards and began addressing him to his friends- Ash, Misty, May, Dawn, Delia. Once the cards were done, he settled into his seat on the train and closed his eyes to go to sleep, dreaming of laying down roots and starting his new life and career.

A few weeks later, Brock found himself standing outside the Orre Pokemon Center, having just turned in an application to the on-duty nurse. He was waiting for a cab to take him back to his apartment when-

“Hey! You there!”

Brock looked to the female voice calling to him. It was the Center's assitant nurse.


“You're the new doc at the Center here right? The other one told me about you and how you'd just moved in and you were looking for work. Said you'd been having some trouble getting comfortable here.”

“Yeah, I won't deny that,” he replied.

“Why don't you hop in?” she asked. “I live right next to the apartment complex and I've seen you going to yours before. It's not worth taking a cab home, the cabbies here rip you off. Want to come with me?”

Brock hesitated for a moment. He was still fragile from his past experiences and yet.. she was lovely. And seemed to feel the same way for him.

He came here to start over. As long as he was careful not to make the same mistakes again, he had nothing to lose.
“Thanks,” he said, getting in her truck. “My name's Brock.”

“Pleasure's all mine,” she replied. “I'm Joy.”

Brock smiled. “I know.”

IV. Some beginnings are bittersweet

The cold November winds howled through Striaton City as Pierce looked out over the airport and the small shops that populated the little town, making money off the many tourists who came through.

Striaton wasn't a bad town, he'd decided the night before.

I should try to get more missions here.

But the time had come for him to move on to his next assignment, and it wasn't with a little sadness that Pierce had packed his bags and checked out of the run-down hotel he'd booked. On the budget he was given he could easily book far nicer hotels, but Pierce didn't feel secure in those. The run-down ones, the ones that barely had working utilities, the kind you'd expect to see in a horror movie- those were the kind that you knew your secrets were safe. No one asked him questions at the front desk. You just handed over your money, signed the book, and took the key.

It was those pangs of homesickness that Pierce found the only drawback to his work in Team Rocket. Even though he usually spent no more than two weeks in one area at a time, it was always in his best interests to truly develop a feel for the area and its populace, to better blend in. And even if it was merely for professional reasons, he found himself falling in love with every place he worked.

And places were better than lovers. Places stayed there. Lovers, on the other hand...
Two years ago. Was it really only that long? Pierce bristled. Yes, two years ago on that very night...


“What do you mean, missing, assumed dead?” the young man, of about 24, demanded, fighting back tears. His short, spiked dark hair was quickly falling into his face and obscuring his panicked eyes.

“Exactly what it sounds like. I'm sorry, Pierce, I know she meant a lot to you, and I know you two were just engaged-”

“With all respect, sir.. 'a lot' is frankly understatement of the year. She has to be alive. She... has to-” his hand, flattened now on Giovanni's desk, curled into a claw- “April wouldn't just die out in the field like this, she's top of her department at everything-”

Tears, running from his eyes. With his recent promotion it was risky to be seen crying, especially by the boss, but Pierce didn't care. Without April...

“There's not much else we can do. Intelligence has brought up nothing. Unless she somehow miraculously surfaces again...”

“She will, sir, I'm positive of it, I'll hunt her to the ends of the earth if I have to.” Pierce brushed away the tears, and his face hardened into one of resolve.


Pierce kept his promise. The day immediately following, he requested a transfer to Unova and a position as an intelligence officer.

He received both.

And so over the course of the next few months, Pierce had used his position in a neverending search for his lost love.

His hair had grown long now from neglect. This served only to gain him a significant number of those in Team Rocket who longed for his affection- a feeling that ultimately went unreturned.

As a result, he gained a reputation for coldness.

If only they knew.

But that was the past. Now Pierce would no longer wander Unova seemingly aimlessly. He'd received the call a day ago that he was to be the handler for a trio of recently-promoted field agents on a most important mission, one that he was promised would be worth his while.

April would be proud of him, he realized.

And so he made his way to the helicopter awaiting him, set to take him to Nacrene City.

I promise you, April, I will find you again.

V. The beginning of nostalgia

Zager was apprehensive.

It had been years since he'd been in this place, and he wasn't sure how welcomed he'd still be. A seedy dive bar was no place for a distinguished- or was he disgraced now? he wasn't sure- man of science such as himself.

And yet he had been drawn back to it in the last few days. A brief lull in action in the laboratory as the final stages of the latest job he'd been heading were passed off to another department. Zager had been spending the time lurking around his old haunting grounds.

Just like clockwork, he'd found himself back at The Sleepy Snorlax. The old, reliable bar of his grad school days. The place whose doors were open no matter when you found yourself in need of a stiff drink of aged whiskey, a good ear to listen to you, and maybe a round or two of darts. Where there were no strangers, as the saying went, only friends you hadn't met yet.

He reached for the still-rusty doorknob to the establishment- he was amazed that it didn't just pop off the door at his very touch- and turned it, entering.

Nothing much had changed. Nothing at all.

The floor was still creaky and of ancient wood, legend had it from a boat owned by the founder of the bar. The crowds were still the usual band of alcoholics, lonely victims of sudden heartbreak, businessmen there to relax after a long, stressful day, and old veterans there to swap war stories. The air still smelled of stale cigar smoke, spilled liquor, and wood polish. A blend almost as intoxicating as the libations offered.

And a familiar sound. Piano tunes banged out on the old reliable instrument, unchanged from Zager's college days. A young, male singer took requests from the excited crowd around him.

It was as though Zager had stepped back in time. A welcome feeling.

For a moment everything that had been on his mind the past few days simply slipped away. The reports, the failed test attempts, the dealing with meddlesome bureaucracy simply to get approval on one more grant... all of it was meaningless.

Zager approached one of the bartenders, and glanced in the mirror behind the sprawling mahogany counter. A look at his face and the lines of age in it reminded him he was still in the present day.

“Whiskey on the rocks. Whatever the strongest stuff you have is.”

“Right away,” the bartender replied, preparing Zager's drink with expert ease. “You look familiar,” he said.

“Used to be a regular here,” Zager muttered in reply. “Haven't been here for twenty years.”

“What brings you back then?” the barkeep asked. “Bad day? Fired? Lost love?”

“No, none of those,” Zager replied.

“Ah, here to just forget something, then?” the bartender asked. “Other reason most folks end up here. Lot easier than joining the army, and you're less likely to die.”

He gave Zager a knowing wink and smile, and all Zager could do was smile back. The man's friendly demeanor was impossible to resist. The people hadn't changed at all either.

This was nice, Zager thought. This is a place I'll come back to more.

A place where at the end of the day, you were still welcome no matter what.

“I'm here to remember,” Zager replied wistfully.

The bartender simply smiled back and passed him his drink. Zager reached into his wallet for money in exchange, then pushed a large bill his way.

“Keep the tip,” he replied.

Zager had always said there was only one thing that remained constant in life, and that was scientific laws and formulas

But at the end of the day, a good bar was like a scientific formula: no matter how much the times changed, it would remain the same.

And for that, Zager was willing to admit there were two things.

VI. The beginning of a nightmare

Grings Kodai woke up shaking.

He'd had that dream again. Ever since he obtained the Time Ripple, he'd had it, sometimes multiple nights in a row, and he never knew what to make of it.

Images, flashing before his eyes, none of them making any sense. A howl in the distance, disaster running citizens out of a town, strange children. A beautiful woman.

And most disturbing of all, something that appeared to be his downfall.

This wasn't possible, it couldn't be, he reasoned. The Time Ripple showed him only his success from time to time. It never happened when he flashed during his waking hours, only in his nightmares.

Kodai wondered if it was an omen of some kind. He wasn't one to believe in omens, but before he began his research into the Time Ripple, he didn't believe in clairvoyance either. The Time Ripple though... that was scientific. He knew that somewhere in his brain had been altered by its effects, to experience the flow of time on a different quantum level. That was the only explanation that made any sense to him.

In the end, Kodai believed only in facts, the ones before him at the moment and the ones the Time Ripple showed him. The Time Ripple showed him that he was unstoppable, that his empire would only expand.

Kodai reached for the large goblet of whiskey on his side table, still unfinished from before bed the night before, and took a huge swig from it. That was what did it, he reasoned, the booze. Maybe he should lay off the alcohol for a while. No, that was an unreasonable expectation. Kodai had three simple pleasures in life: women, money, and drinking. To live without any of those was unthinkable.

He pulled up a small hologram display from the PDA worn on his wrist to check the day's agenda. Today he was headed to a town in Sinnoh called Crown City, to give a business presentation, meet the new secretary, and begin his latest project.

Crown City itself was one of Kodai's main outposts, the city where he'd first obtained his gift of vision so many years before. As a result, he seized the moment to build a satellite headquarters for his company to ensure he had a reason to return there and gain the trust of the citizens. It was a seemingly quaint town, but a port city with brisk seaside trade from other regions and one of Sinnoh's fastest growing economies.

The presentation was regarding the upcoming Pokemon Baccer Cup festivities, the Kodai Network's sponsorship and broadcast of the event, and his announcement of his status as a competitor. The company's executives had initially balked at the potential conflict of interest present in the owner of the company sponsoring the competition also competing in it. Kodai remedied this problem with a round of firings followed by round of promotions of equal number.

The new secretary Kodai knew nothing of, but from the pictures, she seemed to come with... assets... that would be useful beyond the boardroom. She was eager and friendly, Goone assured him, and Kodai appreciated that in a secretary, to say the least.

The project involved Zoroark, a Pokemon hard to find in even Kodai's native Unova. Zoroark was a trickster, skilled at illusions... and illusions were precisely what Kodai needed to obtain his desires at this phase.

Kodai smirked at the agenda. To an onlooker, these were unconnected events, business as usual for a magnate of Kodai's stature.

Kodai knew that together, they held the keys to his victory. That once these seemingly disparate elements came together, he would have the entire economy of the Sinnoh region in his grasp.

Power and wealth beyond anyone's wildest imagination. Kodai would achieve it.

As he left on his private airship later that day, Kodai put the nightmare safely out of his mind. Nothing would stop him. He was sure of it.

VII. The beginning of another day

“So, where do we go from here?” Meowth asked.

It was a rare moment of peace on the helicopter as Dr. Zager had stepped out to pick up some field notes and briefing documents from one of his satellite offices. The Rocket trio had just found themselves at the messy end of a failed project and tempers were a little high.
Zager, to say the least, wasn't happy, and had spent the tense trip loudly admonishing the three for whatever faults he felt they were responsible for.

“What do you mean?” Jessie asked sleepily. “The same place we always go and have since forever. The drawing board.”

“An old friend of ours,” James replied. “It's not all bad though, think of it as a new start. I love fresh starts, don't you?” he added, smiling.

The cat and the woman immediately glared at him.

“It's YOUR fault we ended up in this mess in the first place,” Jessie snarled. “If you had actually taken five minutes to read the quick start manual Zager forwarded us in the first place and known the difference between 'accelerate' and 'reverse' on the controls, then we wouldn't have the old man giving us all this hell we're in now.”

“Yeah, Jess is right for once,” Meowth hissed, his claws out now. “Listen to the lady, why don't ya.”

James went pale at Jessie's epithet. “Don't call him 'old man',” he snapped. “You know how that makes me feel.” Since being assigned to work with Zager, James held him in high regard as a brilliant scientific mind as well as a surrogate grandfather of sorts, and didn't appreciate hearing that kind of disrespect from Jessie. “And you're really one to talk about 'listening to the lady', especially when youdidn't earlier,” he said, glaring at Meowth.

“For once?” Jessie demanded, finally realizing the implications of Meowth's remark.

“Broken clock,” Meowth replied.

“Why you-” Jessie was out of her seat now and ready to grab Meowth by the scruff of his neck when she found James standing in her way, blocking her reach.

“Stop it you two,” James said. “We're not doing ourselves any favors bickering like this. It's not going to turn back time and make the mission successful, and it's certainly not going to make the doctor any happier to walk in and see us about to kill each other. That's his job.” He grinned a little, hoping the last remark would lighten the mood a bit.

Blank stares from both Jessie and Meowth. Any more awkwardly silent and James would be able to hear Kricketune in the distance. “Anyway, that's why I love being able to start over fresh. Maybe we botched this one, maybe the doctor is mad at us, but tomorrow we'll start something totally new and maybe just once, we'll make good. Isn't that what's kept us going all this time? No matter how bad things are... they can always get better.”

Jessie and Meowth's faces softened a little as they thought about James' words. When it came down to it... he was right. They'd faced far more humiliating failures than this in the past, but they'd try right again the next day with a new plan. And this failure would be no exception.

“We take what we learned this time...” Jessie said.

“...And we use it to be smarter and stronger next time,” Meowth finished.

“That's right,” James said. “The way we've always done things.”

The hatch of the helicopter opened and Zager entered with several folders in his hands. He handed each of the trio a stack of them. “Here's our intel for the next mission. I trust you three are going to do far better on it than the disappointment the last one was.”

The three looked excitedly at the folders.

They held, in their hands, a fresh start.

“Yes sir!” all three replied excitedly in unison.


Date: 2012-06-03 04:34 pm (UTC)
axolotl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] axolotl
I love your take on Jessie/James/Meowth, particularly in light of the first sketch. There's a lot there, and I like thinking of them as people looking for a new start after something that hadn't fit right for them. Zager's role, as related to them in particular, is also interesting --- I mostly know about him from reading your fic but it seems like he adds something different to Team Rocket, a new set of motivations and also a difference in age.

Kodai is the only one here who feels truly villainous. I think this is justified, but it's interesting to compare him to Giovanni here, who is sympathetic for a comrade's loss and playfully skirts his mother's rules to woo someone. The contrast really brings home the nuanced portrayal of Team Rocket that you offer, and makes Kodai seem like even more of a jerk. I wonder: Is there anything redeeming about him other than ambition and skill?

Thanks for sharing these!


rosejailmaiden: (Default)

December 2016


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