guardians_song: Icon depiction of the sporker Richard. (Default)
guardians_song ([personal profile] guardians_song) wrote2014-01-08 03:12 pm

Now Sporking: Family Matters, Part 1/[???]

A magenta-haired adolescent buries her face in her hands. "Can't you just go Nuzlocking?"
"Oh no! Jessie an' James are havin' a fight! But they get back together again, cry like babies, eat French toast, an' have sex fer four hours. An' Meowth's a furry." A scruffy-looking blond gets up from his seat. "There y' go, I just sporked it. So long!"
Nice try.

ONE FOR THE MONEY!
TWO FOR THE SHOW!
THREE TO GET READY!
AND HERE! WE! GO!

 


 

@->->-


"We're blasting off again!" Jessie, Meowth, and I cried as we were launched sky-high by the force of Pikachu's Thunderbolt and Squirtle and Team Wartortle's collective Water Gun attack.

It was a scene that was becoming all too familiar...and tiresome.
Jerry: It wasn't all too familiar after the FIRST fifty times?

Oh, well. It had been a pretty shitty day anyway. Seemed only fitting that it should have a shitty ending, too.
Tom: That's exactly what th' show needed. More of James's wangsty LiveJournal entries.

@->->-

The whole misadventure started when we arrived at a port town on a small island that morning. We'd spent the past couple of days marooned on a deserted island while we repaired our submarine, and now that we were back in commission, we were hot on the trail of the twerp trio once again.

Hot being the key word.

It was late July, and the Orange Island dry season was at its peak. Not exactly the best time of year to be wearing uniforms with heavy jackets and gloves or pedaling around in a stuffy little submarine.
Jerry: Miss Falls, YOU'RE not one to be talking about Earth Logic.
Tom: Stop wearin' yer uniforms, morons! Put on a disguise involvin' bikinis an' swim trunks!
Nah, wait, this is James we're talkin' about. Y' can share th' bikinis.

The heat had been taking its toll on us all summer, and today was no exception.

Normally, I'm pretty laid-back, but my temper had been on edge for the past couple of months.
Jerry: ...For the past COUPLE OF MONTHS? Continuously?
I'd even blown up at Jessie a few times, and I'd rather die than say or do anything to hurt her! But today, I was overworked and overheated again, my head was throbbing, and I had the feeling that I was going to lose my temper if anything went wrong. And as bad as I felt, I knew that Jessie and Meowth weren't feeling any better than I was. Meowth had been even crankier than me lately,
Tom: Just "lately"?
and Jessie was sick. For the past week, she'd seemed unusually tired, and she'd complained of being nauseous.
Elbe: I agree. Considering how she treats Ash after Break From Canon, she is incredibly nauseous.
Quite frankly, I was surprised that she was still able to work, as bad as she was feeling.
Guardian's Song: Yes! Because underprivileged people, particularly people BELOW THE POVERTY LINE as Jessie and James effectively are, have NEVER had to work while exhausted and sick. No, they just get sick days willy-nilly!

Sheesh. I've led a privileged life, but Cori is mind-bogglingly detached from harsh realities for someone who keeps playing the Darker and Edgier card for a CHILDREN'S TV SERIES.

By the time our submarine reached the shore, Jessie's face was flushed, and her uniform was drenched with sweat. She looked like she was going to pass out. When we climbed out of the sub, all I had the energy to do was collapse in the sand and try to catch my breath, but Jessie staggered further down the beach and began to throw up again. I didn't feel like I had enough strength to get up and help her, but seeing how miserable she looked broke my heart, so I forced myself to.
Guardian's Song: Wait, so James is nearly too tired to move too? So what's the problem? Maybe she just got seasick. 

It's a bit hard to have drama when EVERYTHING is drama in these fics.

"Jessie, honey, maybe you should go to the doctor," I told her as I crawled to her side. "I've never seen you this sick before, and it's not normal for a stomach flu to last such a long time...."
Tom: (Jessie) I'm sick of all the wangst and drama in these fics! I'm not your damsel in distress! You're not a manly hero! Meowth isn't a furry! I WANT MY CANON BACK!
(James) *pats her on the back* I know, Jessie, I know... *bursts into tears* I MISS CANON TOO!!!

Jessie shivered. "I'm...I'm okay, James. Really," she muttered.

"Well, you don't look okay," I said, bringing out my handkerchief and dabbing her face. "I'm worried about you, Jess."

"It's just heat exhaustion," she replied. "I'll be fine once I get some rest."

"Then that's what we'll do," I said. "We'll get changed out of these uniforms and into some nice cool clothes, we'll check into a motel with air conditioning, and the three of us will just take it easy for awhile. I think we all need a break...especially you."
Guardian's Song: ...
"Yes! Because underprivileged people, particularly people BELOW THE POVERTY LINE as Jessie and James effectively are, have NEVER had to work while exhausted and sick. No, they just get sick days willy-nilly!"
...Miss Falls? I was BEING SARCASTIC.

Jessie smiled tenderly at me. "Thanks, James."

Mustering all of my strength once again, I got to my feet and gave Jessie my arm to lean on. Relying on each other for support,
Jerry: That's not how you phrased it.
we made our way back inside the submarine and peeled off our hot, sweaty uniforms. I changed into a red t-shirt and a pair of jeans, and Jessie put on a short blue sundress and a pair of sandals. The cooler clothes instantly made a difference, and I could feel my headache going away.
Jerry: Why didn't you do that in the first place?!
Tom: But that's Earth Logic!

"James?" Jessie asked as she smoothed back her hair and wiped her face with a damp cloth.

"What is it, Jess?"

"Do you think we could get some ice cream before we check into the motel? I'm really hungry, and I've had a craving for it lately."

This struck me as odd.
Jerry: *in a monotone* Yes. It's incredibly strange for hungry people to crave ice cream. I have never heard of such a thing. Next thing you know, poor people will crave money. And then where will capitalism be?
I know that when I'm sick to my stomach, food is the last thing on my mind,
Jerry: Er, she already puked. She has nothing left in her stomach.

Of course, she could relapse and vomit out just plain bile, but that is too unglamorous for Cori!Jessie. You KNOW she'll just have the dramatic, romantic kind.

Tom: Of vomiting?
Jerry: If James started praising Jessie's vomit, would you be at ALL surprised?
Tom: ...Y' shouldn't tempt fate like that.
but Jessie seemed to have more of an appetite than ever these past couple of weeks. She always used to complain that food was all Meowth and I ever thought about, and now she was just as bad as us! But I thought nothing of it since it was a hot day, and I was hungry for ice cream, too.

"Of course we can get ice cream, Jess. I'll buy you whatever you want," I replied, grabbing my wallet.

At the mention of ice cream, Meowth, who'd dozed off in his seat at the pedals, perked his ears.

"I'm guessing you want some, too?" I ventured.

He grinned. "Yeah! Me-owth wanna triple-ripple vanilla fudgiecicle!"

"Oooh! I think I'll have one of those, too!" Jessie exclaimed. "And a cheesecake sundae with strawberries, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream!"

"And I haven't had an ice cream sandwich in ages!" I chimed in, remembering how my family's chef, Dalila, used to give me all the ice cream sandwiches I could eat on Children's Day.

"Den whadda we waitin' for?! Let's go!!!" Meowth cried.

Jessie and I exchanged smiles. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad day, after all.
Jerry: I'd like you all to remember that TRACEY is the glutton. TRACEY.
Tom: Sure! Jessie, James, an' Meowth are just respectable bulimics. Totally different.

@->->-

After buying six triple-ripple vanilla fudgiecicles, a cheesecake sundae with the works, four ice cream sandwiches, and three super-sized sodas to wash it all down,
Jerry: TRACEY.
Guardian's Song: I know this is anime, but I honestly feel like I'm watching some pissy European's nasty mockery of ~American consumption~. Except this is supposed to be a GOOD thing. o_o
the three of us seated ourselves on a shady park bench and divided everything up. A cool ocean breeze started to blow as we ate, providing even more refreshment. It's amazing what life's simple pleasures can do to restore the spirit.

Once we'd finished our ice cream, we headed into town so we could find a place to rest for a couple of days. However, we soon discovered that there'd been a fire at the local motel, and the entire building had burned to the ground.
Guardian's Song: ...
...
...
...I am oddly nostalgic. This is the sort of batshit drama I would have put in a story when I was a young and naive fanficcer. 'THEY TRIED TO GO TO A MOTEL, BUT IT HAD BURNED DOWN.'

Cori's a bad writer, but in some ways it feels like her stories came from a purer and more innocent time. Namely, one before fandom started paying serious attention to writing advi-

Wait. She was an ENGLISH MAJOR?

...o_o

Apparently, this was a common phenomenon during the Orange Island dry season. The intense heat and lack of rain dried up most of the vegetation in the wilderness and the wood of the architectural structures in the towns. And the dryness transformed the region into a giant tinderbox, just waiting to be sparked.
Guardian's Song: Credit where credit is due - silly drama aside, this is good world-building.

The just-wandering-through-regions stuff is pretty good in these fics. It's when any human interaction takes place that everything goes to batshit.

Forced to make alternate plans, Meowth got out a map and found that there was a cabin further inland, near the foothills.
Tom: (James) Excellent! It's even MORE inflammable than the motel! What could go wrong? :D
It was pretty far from town, but it would be cheaper than staying at a motel, and we'd have more peace and quiet (and safety) out there than among the crowds.

As we were setting out, however, we caught sight of the twerp trio talking to the captain of the fire department. Seeing a golden opportunity to capture Pikachu, we couldn't resist following them.

Before long, they arrived at the fire station, where Ash's Squirtle and the fire chief's squad of Wartortle entered some kind of contest to see which was better trained. And as we watched the pokemon in action, we got the idea to take Squirtle and Team Wartortle, too! After all, if we had a team of fire-fighting Wartortle with us, we'd be safe if a forest fire broke out while we were at the cabin.
Jerry: WHAT.
(The fire department would still have plenty of Squirtle and Blastoise if there was another fire in town, we figured.)
Jerry: WHAT?!

You're just going to STEAL THE WARTORTLES SO YOU CAN HAVE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS?! 

What next?! 'We wanted to watch a movie on our portable TV while we were in the woods, so we STOLE HALF THE POPULATION OF A  POWER PLANT'?!

And besides, all of those Wartortle would make a wonderful surprise for the boss in addition to Pikachu -- he'd give us a raise and a promotion for sure!
Tom: An' you fail as Rockets, too! That should always be yer FIRST priority, not 'a forest fire would ruin our vacation'!

And so, our plan was put into action.

@->->-

Returning to the submarine, we got our balloon and some supplies. When we got back to the fire department, I dug a large hole while Meowth assembled a remote control flying saucer to lure the Wartortle away from their trainer. (I was still worried about Jessie, so I made her take it easy for the time being.)

Once everything was set, we positioned the balloon at the bottom of the pit and laid out a live-capture net. Then, we waited. When the skeet-shooting portion of the competition began, I took the remote control and sent out the flying saucer. And sure enough, when the Wartortle couldn't hit it with their Water Guns, they followed it, and I led them towards the pit.

When the Wartortle fell into the pit, we grabbed them in our net and took to the sky in our balloon. Predictably, the little brats started whining about how it was wrong to steal the Wartortle, but we didn't listen.
Jerry: And there went ANY attempt to give Jessie and James the moral high ground in this fic.
Instead, we just launched into our motto:

"Perpare for trouble -- we've played our role!"

"And make it double 'cause we dug this hole!" (I love it when we rhyme...and we seemed to be doing more and more of these little ad-libs now that we were a couple!)
Tom: If you two were any more creepily obsessed, one of y'd be named Tom Cruise.
Guardian's Song: And the other would be named David Miscavige.
Tom: Gah! Get those images outta my head!

"To protect the world from devastation!"

"To unite all peoples within our nation!"

"To denounce the evils of truth and love!" (Was it just my imagination, or did Jessie put extra emphasis on the word, "love" when she looked at me?!)
Tom: I agree, yer love's evil!

I blushed.
Guardian's Song: Gag. This would fit if they WEREN'T a couple, but as is... James is acting like he's got an unrequited crush and is scrabbling for anything as a sign of potential interest. And this is his GIRLFRIEND OF SEVERAL MONTHS.

Something ain't right here.
"To extend our reach to the stars above!"

"Jessie!"

"James!"

"Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light!"

"Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"

"Meowth! Dat's right!"

Once our motto had been recited, the brats started whining again, but we just laughed at them. Then, Meowth took a pair of extending mechanical hands and grabbed Pikachu. After hauling him in, Jessie put him into a shock-proof glass capsule. Ash commanded him to use his Thundershock on us, but the capsule simply absorbed his energy. And as an added bonus, we used the electricity that the capsule absorbed to power our fan and keep us cool!
Guardian's Song: How mechanically can you describe canon events?!
Tom: (James) Then I raised my eyebrow. Then I blinked. Then I began talking. Oh, Jessie is so hot. Then I cackled. Then we flew off. Meowth mentioned how hot Jessie was. Then Ash and his friends ran after us. Jessie needed to be reassured that she was hot some more. Then...
Guardian's Song: That would be funnier if it wasn't so accurate.

Jessie, Meowth, and I exchanged smiles. We'd pulled off a flawless heist,
Jerry: SHOW. DON'T TELL.
and the air from the fan felt wonderful -- just like the ocean breeze when we'd been eating our ice cream that morning! It was the perfect way to beat the heat.

Knowing that we had to make a getaway before the twerps found some way to mess this up for us, I gave them a "freezy-weezy treat," and got Weezing to make a smokescreen. By the time the air cleared, we'd be long gone!

Our day may have gotten off to a rotten start, but it was getting better by the minute.


@->->-

Once we'd reached the safety of the cabin, the three of us started making arrangements for sending our haul off to the boss. Before Meowth could call him, however, I suddenly got an idea.

"I don't see why we have to send all of these Wartortle to the boss," I remarked. "Why don't we keep one for ourselves?"

Jessie smiled at me when I said this. "That's a great idea, James! You're not as dumb as you look!"
Guardian's Song: Let me guess. Canon scene.

What?! What the hell was that supposed to mean?! I asked myself, unable to believe what I'd just heard.
Jerry: Miss Falls, will you stop confusing your glurgey fan version with the actual CANON and getting shocked when the two conflict?
Tom: (Cori Falls) But their love is so canon!111!1 It's the WRITERS who don't know what they're doing!!1
Why would Jessie be insulting me?
Guardian's Song: Because Jessie and James are not canonically in a relationship, and so the canon feels no need to treat them as such.
I didn't do anything wrong...did I?

As I watched Jessie trying to decide which Wartortle she was going to take, I found myself getting mad.
Jerry: (James) That makes me feel angry!
I know she hadn't been feeling well recently, but neither had I, and I was doing my best to take care of her. I'd even bought ice cream for her and planned a couple of days off so she could recuperate from her illness! Where did she get off insulting me?!
Jerry: Where does she NORMALLY get off insulting you?
Tom: After Mistress Jessie's worthless, pathetic worm of a slave safe-words for the evening.
Jerry: ...*makes strangling gestures*
Normally, I could let a rude remark like that slide -- the three of us poke fun at each other all the time, but we never mean anything by it.
Jerry: And that explanation makes the whole thing MORE ridiculous. English major? Seriously?
Today, however, I just wasn't in the mood, and I wasn't going to let her get away with it.

"Wait just a second!" I snapped, racing over and intercepting her before she could claim one of the Wartortle. "This was my idea, so I should be the one to keep it!"

Jessie scowled at me. "No! I should be the one to keep it!" she snapped back. "Digging that hole was MY idea!"

"Yeah, and I was the one who dug it!" I retorted.

Jessie and I argued back and forth like this for several minutes, but our screaming match was interrupted when we saw Meowth sneaking by us and trying to take one of the Wartortle for himself.

"Oh, no you don't!" Jessie shouted, stomping him with the heel of her boot. "You stay out of this, Meowth!"

Well, this only made Meowth angry, and he retaliated by Fury Swiping both of us across the face.

And that only succeeded in making me and Jessie even angrier than we already were.

After that, the argument degenerated into an all-out fight. The three of us just started punching, slapping, clawing, pushing, and kicking for all we were worth, screaming about who should get to keep the Wartortle all the while.

Looking back, I know it was a stupid thing to fight about, but
Tom: - canon never claimed th' lot of y' were Mensa members.
at the moment, I didn't care. Pikachu had stopped making electricity to power our fan, and it must've been at least 100 degrees in that cabin. I was getting sweaty again, and the confines of my bulky uniform only made the heat worse.
Tom: So stop wearin' it! Come on, y' ain't gonna get fired because th' old Boss heard y' weren't wearin' yer uniform on a heist! Yer gonna get fired because y' haven't stolen any Pokemon fer months! Th' only reason y' haven't been tossed out is he's probably forgotten yer on th' payroll!
The fighting wasn't doing anything for my headache either.

While we were fighting, Squirtle and the Wartortle decided to gang up on us, and we suddenly found ourselves being hosed down by their Water Gun attack. The blast of water cooled me off instantly, but before I could apologize to Jessie and Meowth and try to get the situation under control, the cabin flooded, and the three of us were washed out the door.

As we tried to get our bearings, the Wartortle made their escape, moving the net along by leap-frogging over each other and making sure to trample us into the dirt as they passed by.

Enraged, Meowth brought out his claws and slashed at them, but they quickly withdrew into their shells, and he ended up cutting them loose from the net.

Once the Wartortle were free, the fire chief pulled up in his jeep, and Ash and the new twerp, Tracey, were with him. Ash made some kind of stupid remark, as usual, and the fat kid
Jerry: The people who scarf ice cream like it's becoming illegal next Tuesday aren't ones to talk about overeating.
got his Venonat to tackle us.

The force of the tackle sent us sprawling into the dirt again, but once we were back on our feet, we released Arbok and Weezing. We weren't going to let those kids take the Wartortle we'd worked so hard to capture
Jerry: To STEAL...
Tom: Some Team Rocket members. Yer a disgrace, y' namby-pamby wangstbags.
without a fight!

But once again, the Wartortle decided to gang up on us.
Tom: (James) The horror! Positively criminal of them, I say!
Putting their Water Gun attack together once more, they slammed Arbok and Weezing back into us. At some point, Ash managed to find Pikachu and set him free from the shock-proof capsule, and as soon as he was free, he zapped us....

....And you know the rest.

@->->-

As usual, after being blasted off, we landed several miles away. Fortunately, the branches of a tree broke our fall, and our impact was relatively easy this time.
Jerry: Miss Falls, "WE LANDED SEVERAL MILES AWAY" should have been your sign that Pokemon does not run on the same rules as your reality. 

I slowly got back to my feet, but as I stretched my aching muscles, I looked over at Jessie and saw that she was still lying on the ground. Her hands were on her stomach, and she was moaning softly.
Tom: (James) The results of her airsickness were spattered over the last mile of our journey -
Jerry: *turns green*

"Jessie, are you okay?" I asked, coming to her side.

She pulled herself into a kneeling position and looked up at me. All of the color had drained from her face, and her breathing sounded labored.

I gently placed my hand on her cheek. "Jess...."

As soon as I touched her, a fire sparked in her eyes, and she slapped my hand away.

"Jessie, what's gotten inta you?!" Meowth cried when he saw her reaction.

"J-just leave me alone," she said weakly.

The look in her sapphire eyes
C!Syaoran: I prefer Emerald. *plugs Jessie's eyes into his GameBoy Advance and starts tapping away anyway*
Guardian's Song: ...
C!Syaoran: Eating them gave me indigestion.
was one of confusion and sadness...and fear. She was probably still upset about the argument we'd had earlier, and I couldn't blame her for that. As angry as I'd been, I'd taken care not to strike her during the fight (I'd never raise a hand to my Jessie, no matter what),
Jerry: And meanwhile, she slaps you silly.
but I'd still pushed her away from me in self-defense,
Jerry: THAT ISN'T HELPING.
'Oh, Jessie and I are so in love! But I'm a horrible boyfriend. I pushed her away from me in self-defense, and she must be mad at me about that... I know! Next time, I'll just let her beat me to a bloody pulp!'

and I'd yelled at her and said some pretty harsh things, too. I knew that I had to apologize for hurting her feelings, but I also knew better than to press the issue while she was in such a dark mood. So, I backed off and gave her the space she needed, hoping she'd be willing to work things out later.
Jerry: *ill* He sounds like a battered spouse. He really does.

This is True Love, is it?

@->->-

It was a long walk back to the cabin, and since we'd blasted off at sunset, we had to find our way there in the dark.

And as we walked back, I got to thinking about what had happened between the three of us earlier. A Wartortle really was a stupid thing for us to get into a fight over, and I honestly couldn't believe how we'd blown up at each other.

It was the heat -- I was sure of it. Our tempers were never this bad before we came to the Orange Islands,
Tom: Yeah, they were.
Guardian's Song: Shhhh! Not in Coriland!
and the scorching summer weather was only making it worse.

But there was more to it than the weather.

As I looked over at Jessie, I could tell that something was on her mind. I remembered our bike gang days, when the boys she'd dated had used her and dumped her for not sleeping with them. And I remembered what she'd told me a few weeks ago about her ex-boyfriend, Antonio, and how he'd abused her. They'd all acted like they loved Jessie at first, but they'd all ended up hurting her and leaving her.
Jerry: And so James can't do anything to defend himself against Jessie, because otherwise he'll just be like those bastards who betrayed her and left her.

Genderflip it, and it's the same as Jamie not doing anything to defend herself against her boyfriend Jeremy, because otherwise she'll just be like those bitches who stabbed him in the back and left him behind. So everything he does to her is justified, because he's been so hurt by those evil, nasty, bitchy, slutty women in his life, including the mother who abandoned him.

This is so wrong. The way Cori Falls writes it, James has just gone from one abuser to another. And she thinks this is romantic.

This is sincerely as bad as Twilight. Worse, maybe. Jessie isn't a perfect sparkly rich vampire, so there's not even blinded-by-the-perfection to excuse this.

This is the wangsty, toned-down Pokemon version of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now, she was probably asking herself if history was repeating itself with me. I'd been losing my temper and yelling at her a lot lately, after all. I knew that my foul mood was just because of the heat, and my flaring temper didn't really have anything to do with her, but I wasn't sure if she knew that or not.
Guardian's Song: Scratch that, this is a mutally abusive relationship. 'Oh, it doesn't mean anything, baby, I've just been under a lot of stress lately.'

I also think the tension was being caused by our relationship. We'd undergone a lot of changes in recent months, and it was pretty unsettling, to say the least! For years, we'd been "just friends," and now, over the course of a few short months, we'd started dating, become lovers, and made plans to get married!

The sudden changes in our relationship had changed our personalities as well.
Tom: Oh, it's th' romance that's makin' y' OOC!

Yeah, right. How stupid does she think we are?

I know that before all of the romance began, I wouldn't have dared raise my voice to Jessie, no matter how angry I was or how bad I was feeling.
Jerry: That is not helping what I said about abuse!
The one exception to this had been the time she stole those badges and tried to leave me, but other than that, I'd always kept my mouth shut and let Jessie be the one in charge. Now that we were a couple, however, I'd taken more control. Ever since the badge incident, I found that I was speaking up more often, making more decisions for the team, and taking more action. Now, we were more like equal partners -- a true team -- rather than a leader and a follower.

This was definitely a healthy change for us, but perhaps I'd been taking too many liberties with my new degree of control.
Jerry: This is not helping, either! 'Oh, I'm too liberated. I should be Jessie's good, submissive helpmate.'

*cradles head in hands* This is an anti-Jessie/James essay in disguise!

Just because I had a stronger voice now, it didn't give me the right to lash out at Jessie. We had to find a better way to communicate with each other when we weren't feeling well.
Jerry: One in which you don't sound like characters from an anti-abuse PSA.


@->->-

When we finally got back to the cabin, I decided to see if Jessie was ready to talk to me yet. I wasn't angry anymore, and I didn't want her to be angry either. The sooner we worked this out, the better.

"Jessie?" I said as I reached into my pocket and pulled out my red rose. "Jessie, honey, can we talk?"

She frowned.

"Jess, I know I said some awful things to you today, but I didn't mean any of it," I told her as I placed the rose in her hand. "I...I just wasn't feeling well, and I took it out on you. I'm sorry."

Jessie slapped me across the face and threw my rose to the floor. "Like hell you are!" she shouted.
Jerry: "As angry as I'd been, I'd taken care not to strike her during the fight (I'd never raise a hand to my Jessie, no matter what) , "

Miss Falls. This. Is not. The stuff. Of romance.

I placed a hand to my stinging cheek. "But, Jessie...."

"No!" she interjected. "Just leave me alone, James!" With that, she turned and headed for the bedroom.

Not wanting the discussion to end on such a bad note, I followed her. "I won't," I replied, putting my hand on her shoulder and stopping her. "Not until we talk."

{snip}

"Okay," I said softly, removing my hands from her shoulders. "I'll still be here when you are ready to talk. And we will talk about this. Right?"

Jessie nodded and brushed her tears away. Then, she went into the bedroom and closed the door behind her.

"Heh. Looks like Jimmy's in the dog house tonight." I looked and saw Meowth standing at my feet.

"Oh, shut up," I grumbled.

He frowned. "I'm sorry."

"I don't know what's gotten into her," I sighed. "Meowth, I know that fight we had was about more than just a Wartortle. Did...did I do something to make her mad?"
Jerry: It's not about making the abuser mad. It's about being within a five-mile radius and being unable, physically or psychologically, to defend oneself.
Tom: Nonsense, clearly yer just a twerp-lover. It's just because Jessie loves him so much! That's why she beats him!

Yeah, this is Muked-up.

"Not dat I know of," came his reply.

I sighed again.

"Ah, don't worry about it, James," Meowth said. "Ya know how Jess has her moods every now and den. Ain't no different from you -- she probably just had a bad day and needed ta take it out on somebody."
Jerry: This is nothing but the rawest abuse apologism! 
Tom: Might as well call it Coritology, write up somethin' about Gastlys bein' nuked in volcanos by th' Galactic Overlord Xenu Ketchum, an' call it a day.  

"I guess. But if that's the case, then why didn't she want to talk to me about it?" I asked. "I apologized for what I did, so why couldn't she?"

"Heh. Women. Damned if I ever figure 'em out," he chuckled.

"Well, I'm still working on it," I told him.

"Not tonight, ya ain't," he said. "Tonight, the men sleep on the couch!"
Tom: Yer not a MAN, y' otherkin! Yer a MEOWTH!

I nodded.

"Come on, ya big loser. I'll make some room for ya."
Tom: Please tell me it doesn't fade t' black there. PLEASE.
Jerry: ...Insert Sim Woo-Hoo sound effects here...

"Thanks, Meowth."

After taking off my boots, gloves, and jacket, I stretched myself out on the couch, and the cat curled up on my chest.

"Meowth?" I ventured after a moment of silence.

"Yeah?"

"I'm sorry for hitting you earlier."

He smiled at me. "I know. And I'm sorry for scratchin' youse guys."

I returned his smile.
Jerry: I'm horrified that James/Meowth is a more functional pairing than Jessie/James. 
Tom: I'm horrified that we're even havin' this conversation.

"I'm glad we're cool now," he continued.

"Yeah," I agreed. "I just wish I knew what was bothering Jessie."

"You and me both."

After a few minutes, Meowth dozed off and began to purr. Alone with my thoughts, I found myself wondering about Jessie once again. She seemed to have forgiven me when I apologized to her, but why was she still so upset? Was she too proud to admit that she'd been wrong too, or was she still mad at herself and too ashamed to face me?

I knew that speculation wouldn't do any good, but I was determined to find out what was going on in the morning. I wasn't going to let this turn into another situation like the one we were faced with on the day we tried to capture those Nidorans. I'd be damned if I ever let Jessie shut me out again when something was wrong.
Jerry: And insert creepy stalker music here!

I swear there are bashfics that do better things to their targets' reputations.


@->->-

The next morning I was up at dawn, and I took the time to prepare a nice breakfast. French toast
Guardian's Song: Miss Falls, I joke about your obsession with French toast as a running gag.

You DON'T need to validate me.

always seemed to help me break the ice when there was something Jessie and I needed to discuss, I noticed.
Jerry: Good grief, this is the +4 French Toast of Diplomacy?
Tom: (James) Laced with the run-down corner liquor store's finest vodka!

While it was cooking, Meowth awoke and joined me in the kitchen.

"Ah! French toast! The big, I love ya, Jessie breakfast!" he remarked. "Good thinkin', James!"
Guardian's Song: *actually bursts out laughing over the accidental The Room reference*
Tom: (Meowth) Thank you, James, this is a beautiful breakfast! You invited all my toast. Good thinking!
Jerry: FRENCH toast. It's very important that it's FRENCH toast.

I smiled.

"I hope ya made enough for Me-owth, too!"

"Nope! I was going to let you starve," I replied sarcastically.

He stuck his tongue out at me.

"Here you go," I chuckled, bringing out a large plate that I'd already prepared for him. "You want it with powdered sugar or maple syrup?"

Meowth grinned. "Both!"

"How'd I know?" I asked as I sprinkled his French toast with powdered sugar and drizzled some maple syrup on top of it.
Guardian's Song: I- I can't...

This is just parodying itself...


THE LIFE AND TIMES OF TEAM ROCKE
T! ~*~*~*~*~*~
AS BROUGHT TO YOU BY A COLLABORATION BETWEEN 'LIFETIME' AND 'THE COOKING CHANNEL'!

As he ate his breakfast, I made two more plates for me and Jessie. By the time it was ready, the aroma of the cooking food lured her from the bedroom, and she quietly seated herself at the table. There were dark circles under her eyes, and they looked a little red and puffy, as if she hadn't slept at all last night.

"Morning, Jess," I said, planting a kiss on the top of her head and handing her a plate of French toast.
FRENCH TOAST: III

She smiled weakly at me. "Good morning, James."

As I gazed into her weary eyes, I could tell that she really did want to talk to me about what was on her mind. I wasn't going to have to force it out of her, after all.

The three of us ate our breakfast in silence, but once we'd finished, Jessie looked over at Meowth. "James and I have something important to discuss...in private," she told him.

Meowth nodded and excused himself from the table. Before he left, however, he gave me a sly smile and a playful nudge. "Way ta go, Jimmy!"
Tom: (Meowth) Anyway, how is your sex life?

I blushed.

This only made him laugh.

"What are we going to do with that Meowth?" Jessie sighed once he was gone. Her face was as red as mine.

"Oh, he doesn't mean anything by it, Jess," I told her.

She smiled again.

"Now," I said, seating myself next to her and taking her hands in my own. "What is it that you wanted to tell me?"

Jessie's smile faded, and she looked down at the floor.

"This isn't about that argument we had yesterday, is it?" I prompted.

She shook her head. "No. Though I am sorry about saying that you were dumb-looking, and everything. I just...haven't been myself lately."
Jerry: (Jessie) Ever since this 'Cori Falls' took over writing duties, in fact...

"I noticed. Now what's going on?"

She bit her lip and turned away from me.

"Well?"

Silence.

I gently cupped her chin in my hand and forced her to look back at me. "Tell me. Please."

Jessie remained silent as she stared into my eyes. After a moment, however, her lip quivered, and she spoke. "James...I'm...I'm pregnant."
Jerry: NO! 

Please don't bring a baby into the world with THIS couple!

My eyes widened. I couldn't believe what I'd just heard! "P-p-pregnant?!" I stammered.

She nodded and looked down at the floor again.

"Jessie, are...are you sure?" I asked.

"Pretty sure," she muttered. "I...I didn't really think anything of it when I started getting sick. But then I started being hungry all the time, too, and I'm late...."

"How late?"

"Nine days."
Jerry: Would morning sickness even kick in this fast?! ...Thirty-seven days, I suppose. But sheesh...

I ran a hand through my hair and sighed.

"That's when I really started getting suspicious," she continued. "So I took a pregnancy test last night...three, to be precise."

"And they all came up positive?"

"I got a pink stick, a plus sign, and a blue stripe. Yeah, I'd say they all came up positive."

"Oh, boy," I muttered.

Jessie hung her head.

"How...how did this happen, Jess?" I asked. "I thought you were on the pill."

"I am," she replied meekly. "But...you have to take those things every day in order for them to work, and there were a couple of times when I...forgot."
Guardian's Song: Not necessarily true of every brand. *nitpick*

"I see."

Suddenly, I found my thoughts drifting back to the night that Jessie and I made love for the first time. When the afterglow of the beautiful experience we'd just shared diminished a little, I'd suddenly realized that in the heat of the moment, we'd forgotten to use protection. I'd been worried that Jessie would get pregnant...or that she'd resent me for being so careless. When she saw how upset I was, however, Jessie told me that when we became a couple, she'd started taking birth control pills. She knew from the very beginning that it was true love and that I was the one she'd been saving herself for, so she'd been prepared when it happened.
Jerry: It was corny enough in the first place. You don't need to remind us.

But just like any form of birth control other than abstinence, they weren't completely effective.
Tom: *groans* What is this, a Very Special Episode of Cori-Fallsverse?

"I...I think it was that night on Mandarin Island. The night I told you about my ex, and we talked about getting married," she continued. "I was up all night making those bride and groom costumes, and I was so tired the next morning that I forgot to take my pill at breakfast. And I forgot to take it during the day because everything was so hectic, and...."
Jerry: And your lives aren't normally "so hectic"? YOU GET ELECTROCUTED ON A WEEKLY BASIS!
Her voice trailed off, and she began to cry.

"Jessie," I whispered, placing my hand on her shoulder.

"I'm so sorry, James," she sobbed.

"Don't be," I said.

Jessie looked up at me.

"I'm just as responsible for what happened as you are," I told her. "We're in this together, Jess."

"Y-you mean you're not mad at me?" she said in disbelief.

"Of course not!" I replied. "Why would I be mad at you?!"

Jessie frowned. "Momma was about the age I am now when she got pregnant with me," she explained.
Tom: This IS th' Very Special Episode. *disgusted* Lemme guess, th' next section is about someone abusin' X Specials?
"She and my dad had been together for a couple of years, but as soon as he found out that she was expecting me, he left her...."

"And you were afraid I'd do the same?" I asked.

Her face turned red, and I knew that the answer was yes.
Jerry: Um. This is not healthy. I mean, for another reason than the abuse is unhealthy.

They're supposed to be in the truest of truest of truest of loves. Jessie thinks James will up and leave her the moment anything goes wrong.

I wouldn't be complaining about this if they weren't supposed to have The Twooest Wub Eva. However, that's... not exactly a sign of trust, much less love, is it?

"Jessica," I said firmly, taking her by the hands again, "how could you think such a terrible thing?! How could you possibly think I'd stop loving you or leave you over something like this?!"

She closed her eyes and sighed.

"Your dad may have run out on your mom, but I'm not your dad...and you're not Miyamoto," I continued. "We've been best friends for almost half our lives, and we still are, Jess. Nothing can ever change the way I feel about you...unless it's something that makes me love you more."
Jerry: I need to gag. And it's NOT because I'm pregnant.

Jessie opened her eyes again and smiled.

"I love you, Jessie," I said, moving closer and kissing her on the cheek. Then, I leaned down and kissed her stomach. "And I love our baby, too. I promise I'll do whatever it takes to be a good dad."
Tom: Brave words before y' have t' deal with ~Th' Hottest Woman Ever~ gainin' weight... an' gettin' swollen... an' bein' tired... an' generally no longer bein' Jessie th' Infinitely Sexy... An' before y' really realize yer goin' t' be stuck with a kid fer several years... An' that th' kid's going t' be screamin', soilin', an' squirmin' over everythin' fer a while... An' that it won't be perfectly adorable an' cute through all of that... An'...
Jerry: Oh, but as you point out, that's Earth Logic, and this is Coriverse. Undoubtedly any child of theirs will be a perfect angel and absolutely adorable, without a single blemish or trace of imperfection. And it will have the best features of all its parents. And...
Tom: *turns green* Stop th' fic - by its standards, I'M pregnant! ...Can sporkers get maternity leave?
Guardian's Song: Nice try.
Tom: But I'm sick an' tired a' this, I feel like throwin' up, an' I definitely ain't had any periods in th' last month! SURELY I MUST BE PREGNANT.
Guardian's Song: Watch it, or I'll shove you into a fanon where MPreg IS possible.
Tom: *turns greener* On second thought, I ain't pregnant.

Her smile grew even wider. "I know you will," she replied. "I'm sorry I doubted you, James. It's just that...."

"I understand," I told her. "It's hard to trust after everything that's happened, but you can trust me, Jess."

Jessie put her arms around me. "I love you, James," she said. "And I do trust you."
Jerry: NOT.
Every. Single. Fic. Has. SOME. Conflict. Between. You. Two. Mostly centering on Jessie's massive abandonment issues. And I'm not criticizing her for having them or James for not being able to handle them, but it's very obvious that your ~True Love~ is doing NOTHING to help them. If anything, it's making them worse.
Stop trying to play this ~love will conquer all~ gambit and GET HER SOME COUNSELING. Retire. Quit pursuing Ash and ACTUALLY accomplish a big heist. Beg for a loan from other Rockets. Do SOMETHING. Because this isn't touching, this isn't cute, this isn't romantic in the slightest, it's a sign she needs help.
Turning ACTUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS into a cheap accessory to show HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE is...
****! 
Guardian's Song: In all seriousness, it hits a nerve with me. Because you can't patch holes in your soul with dependence. That's not holier-than-thou preaching. It's experience. (Though not of the romantic kind. But it generalizes.)

And trying to do so just... stuffs you in a situation like this, really. Where every setback is world-ending, every fluctuation is a trainwreck of faith, every doubt is a seeming imminent plummet into irreversible despair...

IT'S. NOT. GOOD.

IT. IS. NOT. ROMANTIC.

And it is especially not grounds for a HEALTHY relationship. Since "healthy relationship" is overused, let me just say that it is almost certainly grounds for a relationship in which one can always hear the fuse on the dynamite sizzling. And I do not mean that as a compliment.

*sigh* I need to further articulate.

It would lead to that because, without rational establishment of boundaries and proper behavior, it would drive one or both partners further and further into desperation in search of the narcotic that will once and forever take the pain away. None such exists. You can't cure a broken rib with opiates. 

So you have at least one exceedingly desperate, angry, and despairing person who had unstable emotions and a troubled mind at the START of all of this. And, without proper articulation of motivations and resulting responsibilities, it is all too easy for said person to blame the situation on the other partner. In fact it's all too easy for said person to blame the other partner anyway, but at least there's some hope of rationally hauling the brain out of It Must Be YOU Who's Insufficient mode. 

And here we have an abusive relationship,
deep-seated childhood traumas out the kazoo, and two people who blame the consequences of even THIEVERY on anyone but themselves. Oh, and at least one of these people is so unstable she contemplated suicide over a haircut.

I am not kidding when I say a ~REALISTIC~ take on the situation might end up with someone dead.

...Ah, fuck. I just realized that in fact this situation IS as fucked up as I just predicted.

It's just that, when Jessie and James snapped, they both pointed the finger at ASH.

And we all know what happens to Ash in New Directions.

Viewed objectively, this whole thing is a case study in a massively fucked-up, dysfunctional relationship between two bratty, blinkered, and batshit people, and is basically a nightmarish worst-case-scenario of the kind of relationship Miss Falls thinks she's portraying. ...Ugh. I think I may be using "nightmarish" literally. I am actually going to have to reflect on this for a while.

I returned her embrace, and the two of us sat together in silence for several minutes.

"Come on. Let's get you back to bed," I said at length. "You look like you didn't get any sleep last night."

"No, I didn't," she muttered. "I was up all night worrying."

"I didn't sleep well either," I admitted. "I was worrying about you. God, I wish I knew what was happening. You should've told me, Jess -- you didn't have to go through it alone!"

"I know that now, James," she told me. "Thank you."

I nodded and helped her to her feet. "We'll talk about this more a little later," I said as we headed for the bedroom. "Right now, let's just get some rest."



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