Diamond 18: Give me Trust
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 18: Give me Trust
Delia stayed with Team Rocket for the pokemon at first, then she chased an impossible dream, trying to turn the organization into defenders of justice. Finally, she realized what Team Rocket truly was and what it was becoming, but she stayed anyway for Giovanni, but she didn't get to see him often anymore.
She sighed and looked at the clock again, paced around and decided to lie down, she was tired. She wasn't sure how much time passed until she felt his arrival, and the noticed the light she had left on being turned off. "Giovanni, I miss you..."
"I'll be able to take a break soon, there's too much going on right now. I need to keep Team Rocket organized and restructure it, it's growing so fast!"
She could sense the excitement in his voice beyond the need for rest; Team Rocket was finally becoming the powerful force he wanted it to be. "How come you never include me in your meetings?"
"You'll get bored..." there was a pause as she waited for the truth; he knew she would get it out of him eventually. "I know you don't like that kind of thing, stealing pokemon and things like that, but you'll get used to it, then you can come."
"You know I'll just end up arguing with everyone right now." She knew they had their differences and she didn't think she could get used to his way of seeing the world. But maybe she could try a little harder; he had been patient despite it all and she didn't want to lose everything she had come to treasure. "I'll try to accept Team Rocket for what it is." She still had dear friends there, though they had drifted apart lately, perhaps she could visit them and that would make her feel reassured.
xoxox xox xoxox
Morning came and by the time Delia woke up, Giovanni was already gone, off to direct the new Team Rocket and made sure the organization didn't fall into chaos while it was adapted to be effective with its constant growth and expansion. Meowth was gone as well and was probably napping on Giovanni's lap right now while a strategic meeting took place, one that might be interrupted now and then by the arrival of a trainer wishing to battle for an Earth badge, Giovanni would have to take care of that, he had to keep up appearances after all. Delia couldn't believe it had already been a year since they took the Viridian Gym, though a year felt short looking at how much Team Rocket had expanded.
After her usual morning activities were completed, Delia checked on the pokemon, made sure they were alright and once that was done, she asked around the large underground base, searching for the location of her friends.
"I don't know Lady Rocketto, please forgive me," she lowered her head, her layered blond hair falling forward over her face and shoulders.
"It's alright," the shy girl reminded Delia of Leah, perhaps that is why she approached her asking if she knew the other girl. It felt a bit strange to be called Lady Rocketto, it's not like she was married to Giovanni, though they did have a close relationship and perhaps one day would be married. She could still picture it happening at that time.
"Maybe you should ask at the secretary..." The girl shifted a bit uncomfortable, she was clearly a rookie in every way.
"Oh, yes of course, thank you," Delia went off to follow the suggestion, it did make sense to have a secretary, it was impossible for Giovanni to handle the gym related paper work and keep track of Team Rocket's deals and missions by himself when he was so busy meeting with allies and occasionally rivals, as well as battling trainers who wanted a gym badge. Delia should have seen the business-like structure coming with the gang having turned into a large scale organization and more effort being needed to stay functional.
After obtaining the cure for the virus, facing the smaller pokemon gangs and winning with the advantage of healthy pokemon was easy. The raise to power of Team Rocket did not go unnoticed, thus new members joined one after the other and the police backed off fearing they were too much to handle, though they would still go after the individual little teams and try to make arrests in a smaller scale.
Some of the smaller gangs decided it was best to join Team Rocket, as they would not be able to continue their activities freely as independent gangs. This brought not only more workers to revitalize the laboratories taken from Tempest underground at Viridian, but also more resources with their contacts extended and the gangs' small hideouts now serving as check points for Team Rocket.
Selling the unofficial antidote brought vast riches and opened the doors for a whole new level of negotiations with the laboratories Team Rocket illegally sold pokemon to in the past. They had he coveted formula of the cure ready to produce it before it was officially released, they had power and they had plenty of information useful for blackmail should the need arise.
Later, Madame Boss' resources came into play, though Giovanni refused them, the former associates of Madame Boss still came to him for business and in the end Delia convinced him to stop being stubborn and take his mother's gift. The resources could be used to make the world a better place, Delia pointed out, which by Giovanni's definition, different from hers, would be eventually taking over.
xoxox xox xoxox
The inquiry to the secretary was fruitful, though Delia felt a little odd with people instantly recognizing her even if she did not know many of them. She assumed they must have seen her with Giovanni or heard about her from other members. At least she found out where Leah was; she had gone to Pewter City.
Delia looked at the cars sitting the Viridian Gym driveway; they were expensive and flashy, excessive by her definition. Black and red, both were there, which meant Giovanni's business was local today. She got on the red car, a multitude of lights flashing on in the dash board as she inserted the key and turned it. The radio came on automatically and she let the music flood her head as she drove to Pewter City.
xoxox xox xoxox
Despite being kept out of the meetings where Giovanni predicted she would make a scene, Delia knew about certain details, perhaps Giovanni wanted to inform her little by little, while she got used to how things worked and more so while she accepted them. At least she was glad not to be kept in the dark completely, she knew about the pokemon supply shop in Pewter City, which helped receive and store goods for Team Rocket. Leah would be conducting an inspection on that shop today, according to the schedule.
xoxox xox xoxox
The trip from Viridian to Pewter was relatively fast as the streets were very calm with few cars transiting them. The pokemon supply shop was easy to find and Delia parked the car in front of it, ignoring the curious glances people gave her.
She wore normal clothes of course, she had not used a Team Rocket uniform in a long time and neither had Giovanni. Though she had thought he looked handsome in a suit, it wasn't until later that it sunk in just how big the changes in Team Rocket were and the consequences they would bring. This was the life he wanted, she mused, so for his sake she would get used to it, even if the extravagant riches made her feel a little guilty remembering how they were obtained.
Delia went inside the shop as naturally as any other customer would, passing under the pokeball sign above the door next to the glass window and over the red mat with the word 'welcome' in white letters at the door.
"Welcome, how may I help you?" The young man behind the polished brown wooden counter asked, he had clear blue eyes and his hair was a dark shade of green, almost black.
The shop had a homey feel with wooden shelves rather than the more common metal ones. Everything was kept immaculate and organized with a variety of bottles and sprays lining the shelves in a rainbow of colors. The floor was tiled in a cream color, rather than white, each tile spotless like a mirror. "Hi, is Leah still here?" Delia inquired.
After a moment of silence the man shifted uncomfortably and forced his worry to turn into puzzlement, "I'm afraid I don't know anyone by that name."
The door to the storage room behind the counter opened and Leah quietly emerged, unseen and unnoticed by the man facing Delia. "She's right behind you."
The man automatically looked over his shoulder and jumped slightly at suddenly finding Leah out of the storage room. "Relax," Leah spoke softly, "the merchandise is complete." She then walked around the counter and greeted Delia, "it's been a while, what brings you here?"
The man from the shop interrupted, somewhat relieved, but still wishing to confirm his theory "you know each other?"
Leah nodded, "Delia is the boss' lover."
"Leah!" Delia turned bright red. For someone so quiet, Leah certainly had a big mouth that time. It was true, but Delia wasn't expecting Leah of all people to say it so directly.
"My apologies Lady Rocketto!" He bowed, now looking more worried than before.
"It's fine, don't worry," Delia assured, awkward and embarrassed. Wishing to get out of there as fast as possible she asked Leah, "do you still have things to do here?"
"No, everything is alright, I was going to return to headquarters, but if you want to talk, I have time," Leah's voice came as a barely audible monotone as it had been since Delia found her at the store.
"I do want to talk, let's go to a cafe or something," Delia was quick to suggest, beginning a swift walk out of the store and to her car, her face still felt a little warm.
xoxox xox xoxox
The streets of Pewter City were not too busy with activity, but people passed by now and then and were seen by Delia and Leah from the glass window of the cafe where they sat. A waiter came and smiled from ear to ear, his pearly teeth seemed a little too large for his thin face and stood out even more than his orange hair. He complimented the "beautiful ladies" with a hopeful glint in his eyes that were either brown or dark green, as they seemed to look different with every glance. Then he took a little white notepad and a yellow pencil from the pocket of his black pants and asked for their order. They had arrived in Delia's car, which could be seen parked out front; he had probably seen it and was hoping for a big tip.
Leah simply ordered a hot chocolate; she preferred that over coffee or any other beverage. Delia was in the mood for something that looked cheerful and ordered a banana-strawberry shake.
"How have you been?" Delia tried to get the conversation going, wishing with all her heart that it would fall into something natural. She longed for the feeling of trust and friendship that had been fading with time and lack of communication.
"Alright..." Leah's quiet reply didn't convince Delia at all. Her honey colored eyes remained staring at her delicate hands folded on the table. She would occasionally appear to raise her eyes, almost as if to meet Delia's but she stopped in the middle of the table, as if distracted by red floral designs of the white tablecloth, then went back to staring at her hands.
"You don't sound like it," Delia remembered that in the busy times that followed he Viridian Gym take over, she had been focused on taking care of the pokemon and helping Giovanni raise Meowth. Though she had made plans to help Leah get over her past, it never happened and with that memory surfacing after such a long time, Delia felt guilty to have forgotten it in the first place. A lot had happened, but she felt she had no excuse for the big delay on keeping her promise, "is Aayla still..."
The waiter arrived and brought the drinks with his ever present cheer. After another cheesy compliment accompanied by an exaggerated smile, he departed, encouraging them to call him should they need anything.
After the waiter was gone, Delia asked again, "is Aayla still helping you?" She was pretty sure Leah had heard her the first time and understood the meaning of the incomplete question, but she had made no motion to reply.
After a pause that felt excessively long, Leah shook her head, "Aayla is busy, she doesn't have time for me; she's working with Binks now."
The revelation surprised Delia, Aayla and Binks were as different as night and day. Aayla was brave, she could be dangerously temperamental if provoked and she was precise. Binks was a worrier, he was sometimes easily upset, but didn't go beyond words to defend himself and he was a little clumsy more often than not. Delia couldn't imagine them working together without constant quarrels that led to Binks to obtain a few bruises. "What are they doing?"
"Creating the ultimate power, that's what Aayla said, I really don't know." Leah paused, her expression uncertain, though her reply this time had been much faster. Clearly there was something on her mind and it was not about Aayla. She took a sip of her hot chocolate, then set the white mug down and looked at Delia's eyes for the first time since they arrived at the cafe, "he's out there..."
"Who is?" Delia curiously inquired, feeling as if this revelation was very meaningful to Leah.
"Han, he's out there," Leah insisted in a small whisper, filled with more emotion than anyone would think possible for such a soft tone, her serious gaze didn't break away from Delia's eyes for a single second.
"But Han passed away," Delia recalled hearing the story from Aayla right before Team Rocket took over the Viridian Gym. She didn't want to be so direct, but she was confused by Leah's insistence and the words slipped out before she could stop them.
"No, we only thought he did, but the body was never found," Leah's voice was quiet but carrying more emotion with each word, trying to say many things very fast. "He pushed me out of the way during that earthquake in the cave. He saved my life and I thought he was crushed, we all thought so, but it's not true!" She breathed deeply to push back the tears that threatened to fall, "I was so sad I went back to Fuchsia City and locked myself in my room. From what I heard when I finally returned to Cinnabar Island, Luke was in denial for a long time, he kept saying that his brother was alive but was convinced to accept what everyone thought was true, that Han was dead."
Delia wasn't sure how to react, as far as she knew Han had died long ago. If he was alive somewhere, wouldn't he have been found by now? "What makes you say that all of a sudden?" She carefully asked.
"The new hotel, the one being constructed by one of Team Rocket's business allies in Cinnabar Island." The business side of Team Rocket had been expanding, owning various properties and making deals in different markets to guarantee stability if one area faced difficulties. "It's being constructed in the same place where Han was thought to have died. The locals complained saying that place was a grave. In the end, to avoid unnecessary trouble if a protest was formed, the construction company offered to recover the body the locals were unable to dig out from under the heavy rocks so he may have a proper burial. That convinced the locals to allow it, but the body wasn't there," Leah explained, her eyes shining with hope at the end.
"It has been a long time," Delia voiced gently.
"He wasn't there! There wasn't even a trace, not a shred of fabric, or a bone, there was nothing!" Leah insisted. "Instead they found that the ground was thin under the rocks and though the rocks covered it during the cave in, the ground had partially given in. There was a tunnel under the pile of rocks; Han must have fallen in, that's how he was saved from being crushed. No body was found in the tunnel that was discovered and this time I won't believe he's dead until I see proof." Leah was more determined than Delia had ever seen her.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. A new plot begins and even if it might not look it right away, everything will be linked in the end. The next chapter will have more important plot points. I have a few fanarts related to this story follow the link in my profile to go to the archive and see the Team Rocket folder in the gallery.
Also, the Pokethon which I mentioned in the notes of the first chapter has ended and many awesome sites were made during it. :D My favorite from the Pokethon and one of my overall top favorite sites is Destinie's "The Godfather", the best Giovanni site I've ever visited.