Characters/Pairings: Jessie, James, Meowth, Dr. Zager, Giovanni, Persian, various Pokemon
Warnings: None so far
Summary: In the spirit of the season, a story about what happens when you put the Trio, Dr. Zager, and Giovanni on a plane, then have that plane grounded by a snowstorm in a remote mountain area in Unova. Three days before Christmas.
Flying was the worst part of field work.
That was the conclusion Giovanni had finally come to, after countless trips here and there via helicopter or airplane.
Not the risk of life and limb, not being stuck in a remote place with your subordinates, most of whom you can't stand, not any of that, but the soul crushing boredom that inevitably came with it.
Alcohol had a reputation for making it, like all other things, bearable, but there was only so much of that one could carry with them at any given time, and even well stocked, the charms of drink wore thin before too long. The consequences of getting drunk while airborne were... unpleasant... to say the least.
At the moment he found himself tempted to break into the small stash he had brought along for a recon trip to Unova.
Far from being the typical blue sky dullness he'd grown accustomed to, the sky over Unova was a nasty, gloomy shade of gray, flecked with white flakes.
Three days before Christmas and instead of being in his cozy office with a roaring fireplace and hot mug of cocoa, he was flying through a snowstorm, with three people and a cat- if he hadn't fallen past the barrier of cat and over to the “small fur covered human” side- who weren't particularly on his list of favorites to spend the season with.
It wasn't that he didn't appreciate Dr. Zager, James, Jessie, and Meowth, no. To the contrary, quite the opposite, after how they'd come through on the aborted previous mission. But Christmas was about peace on Earth, and peace was in short supply with those four, to say the least. The constant bickering between the four seemed incessant at times.
“Don't you think the snow is getting a little dense, Doctor?”
“James, I've seen worse than this stuff before. Just keep an eye on those readouts and let me do the flying.”
It had been going on like this for a while now. While their firey personalities were a good part of the chemistry that made them such an effective team, it also led to conflict. After a few times sharing space with them, Giovanni had learned to tune it out, but “incessant” was the only word that could describe what was happening now. Even Jessie, who was used to this kind of thing, seemed visibly irritated.
She gave Giovanni a look that seemed to plead with him to put an end to this. He returned one of pure resignation, as Persian buried his face in his paws.
“Look, Jimmy, listen to the doctor, will you?”
Meowth was glaring at the cockpit at the front of the plane, claws extended, finally sick of what he'd been hearing on and off the entire trip back.
“Meowth, no,” Jessie muttered.
“There's more than the two of youse in the front and I think the doc knows what he's doing,” the cat continued. “So quit yer backseat flying and keep watching those readouts!”
“Meowth, it's not worth it...”
Meowth turned around and returned to his spot on the plane near Jessie, to be greeted to glares from his female companion, Giovanni, and Persian.
“What part of your tiny feline brain made you think that was even a good idea?” Jessie hissed. “Do the words 'escalating the conflict' mean absolutely nothing to you?”
“We're all tired of this,” Meowth replied. “Someone had to speak up.”
“No, quite frankly, they didn't,” Giovanni quipped bluntly, finally weighing in on the conflict.
Meowth fell silent at this, then looked desperately at Jessie, a mix of utter mortification and shame on him.
“I'm not going to try and get you off the hook for this,” she replied.
“Didn't need it anyway,” he said, and for some reason, perhaps the final straw after the torture from the cockpit, Jessie finally snapped.
“Excuse me, sir, going to have a few... words... with the cat, be right back.” She smiled in the sickeningly sweet way that Meowth knew always meant pain was ahead, then true to his expectations, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and hauled him to the back of the plane as he flailed his claws about in struggle.
“Oh, no. You are not going to ruin a perfect track record we've had lately with your big mouth, not this close to Christmas,” she said.
“Probably not,” Meowth shot back, “considering it looks like James is doing a fine job of that already.”
“And what exactly did you think putting yourself in the middle of it would accomplish? When two-thirds are sane, that's still a good ratio. Besides, as much respect as I have for the Doctor, pride before a fall applies to geniuses too. They're both in the wrong, if you ask me.” She shook her head and lowered the still struggling Pokemon to the floor. “Of course, I never told you that.” Jessie gave Meowth a glare that practically screamed “or else.”
“Told me what, Jess?” Meowth asked nervously.
“That's right,” she said. “Look, I know this trip is stressful for everyone. Just don't screw things up. We should be back in a matter of hours, so just... take a cat nap or something.”
“If you think I'm going to close my eyes around that Persian you've got another thing coming, Jess.”
“Nap with one eye open then,” she said. “Let's get back to our seats, a catnap's really not a bad idea now that I think of it.” She bent over and extended a fist for Meowth to bump his paw against, then winked.
In an office at Team Rocket's Kanto base, a bespectacled violet-haired young woman watched weather forecasts on a television.
“In other news, a pattern of severe winter storms has moved into the skies above the Unova region... Reports are coming in of flight delays and cancellations. If you've got family flying into Unova for the holidays, or you're planning on flying over there yourself, call the airline and see if everything's still on. It looks like this is the big one, and it's going to make a huge dent in a lot of folks' holiday plans.”
The woman, whose name was Matori, adjusted her glasses and looked at the map on the screen.
Unless she was mistaken, one of the affected regions seemed to be the very area Giovanni and the others who were away would be flying over...
Maybe I should call to check in on things? She pulled her phone out of her pocket and dialed.
Ringtones, no pickup, not even voice mail.
Either there was no signal, or the phone was off.
I'm sure he'll call if there's a real emergency,she reasoned. She returned to her spot near the television and watched intently as a report about the largest recorded litter of Skitty hatched in Hoenn began, with the Daycare Man's beaming face on the screen.
“And I helped raise the proud Delcatty mother who laid the eggs!”
As Meowth and Jessie were just getting comfortable again, the plane rocked uncontrollably. “Wha- what's going on?” Jessie said, having been abruptly awoken from her nap by the sensations.
“Turbulence?” Meowth asked.
“Those weather gods back for more,” Giovanni added, though it was hard to tell if his statement was sarcastic or not.
Persian meowed and Meowth cringed at whatever was said, as though it was the worst kind of swear.
Zager stumbled into the cabin of the plane. “It seems we've run into a particularly dense patch of the snowstorm,” he said. “Visibility at almost zero. We're going to have to ground the plane, once we locate a safe clearing where we can take refuge from the storm.”
“Some of us failed science class, Zager,” Giovanni said. “Please explain that in layman's terms.”
“There's too much snow to see where we're flying safely and we're going to need to land until the storm passes,” he said. “James is doing a survey of the area at the moment.”
Snow... storm...Jessie's eyes glazed over at the sound of the words.
“Don't panic,” Zager added. “With any luck, this system should be gone in a matter of hours.”
“Doctor, I found a good spot!” James called out from the cockpit.
“Coming,” Zager said. He rushed back to his chair and took the controls of the plane.
A cheery pop song abruptly pulled Matori out of her peppermint mocha and reading. She closed her copy of Your Delibird and You and answered.
“What? Grounded by a snowstorm?” Her voice took on a concerned tone as Matori remembered the news report from earlier. “Understood, sir. I'll be waiting for all of you. Stay safe, please.” She hung up the phone and collapsed on the couch, slurping from her pink mug.
I hope they make it back in time for Christmas, she thought, but was quickly absorbed once again in her reading.