Diamond 20: Give me Attention
Diamond 20: Give me Attention
The next day Delia was surprised to find Giovanni was still there when she woke up, awake but unmoving. She couldn't believe he was only resting, she didn't think he did that anymore and the focused look in his eyes confirmed it. No doubt about it he was plotting, the question was: what was he plotting about? "Good morning."
She waited a moment, until he focused on her, "morning," he still sounded distracted.
"Are you okay? You're never half asleep." He didn't look like he was sick; at least he didn't present any symptoms Delia could identify. In fact, he was too focused to be burned by any sort of illness.
"I was thinking," Giovanni confirmed, "do you really believe that Mew research will lead to anything?"
"I'm sure it will," Delia encouraged him without giving it too much thought. She wanted his interest to stay on Mew, on something safe. "Just think about it, having a pokemon that no one else has, an elite legendary on a class of its own."
He liked the idea and it showed on his face. "I'll be truly unstoppable."
"Yes, exactly!" She didn't like his plans to take over the world, but she would cross that bridge if they ever came to it. For now she just had to guide his research towards something that didn't harm her friends' health. "Did you call New Island yesterday? Don't forget they're going to be very busy with the Mew research so you need to give them a heads up."
"I'll do that when I see how good the information is," Giovanni replied and it made Delia pout in dissatisfaction, to which he added, "shall we leave now?"
"We?" She questioned in puzzlement.
"To Pallet Town," Giovanni voiced as a matter of fact.
"I thought you would be busy all day like always, but you're coming with me?" Her expression was surprised, but pleasantly so, if anything this further showed his interest in the research.
"I want to talk to Oak and everything is finally running smoothly right now, Team Rocket won't fall apart if we take one day off," Giovanni explained, noticing the change in Delia's face.
Delia smiled at the thought pushing her worries to the back of her mind automatically and unconsciously, as she had grown accustomed to doing. Delia missed spending time with Giovanni, it would be wonderful to go to Pallet Town and spend the day together there. Maybe they could go for a walk at Professor Oak's research lab, with the pokemon revitalized and more abundant, it must be as beautiful as before the epidemic, Giovanni didn't get the chance to see it like that before.
Then Delia remembered the urgency of stopping Binks and Aayla and mentally scolded herself for thinking of taking the day off to go on a date with Giovanni, instead of focusing on making sure they didn't get hurt. However, the fact still stood that Giovanni had to tell them to halt their experiments or they wouldn't listen.
"Let's go," Delia got up in a hurry and quickly got ready for the day. The sooner Giovanni became interested in Professor Oak's research, the better, and for that they had to get to Pallet Town.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Giovanni, hurry up, we have to go," Delia rushed him for the third time that morning as she paced impatiently around their room.
"Why are you in such a hurry?" Giovanni was attempting to make his hair stay as it should; no serious mafia lord went out with his hair sticking out in every direction. "And since when do you take less time than me to get ready?"
'Since my friends' lives depend on it,' Delia thought. "I'm sure Professor Oak is already awake and feeding the pokemon their breakfast, he won't mind if we arrive early," she insisted trying to make her urgency sound casual rather than annoyed.
"I don't think he's going anywhere and neither is his research. Trust me, I want so see it as soon as possible, but there's no need to rush over, we have the whole day." Furthermore, his hair was being stubborn today and he couldn't just grab a pokemon league cap and hide it like when he was a little boy.
"You're only saying that because you don't believe the research is all that great. You must have thought about it and decided it couldn't be, because otherwise Professor Oak himself would still be chasing after Mew, right?" Delia rapidly explained her theory, not stopping to breathe until all the words were spoken.
"You read me like a book," Giovanni confessed, "you have to admit it is logical to think of it that way."
"You forget one thing, Professor Oak isn't trying to take over the world," Delia reminded with a tone that hinted she knew she would win this argument. She wasn't really worried about the global take over plans right now, she had done some thinking too and such a feat was just too difficult. As for the current argument, Delia knew she had given Giovanni a good enough reason to throw his doubts out the window and once again become excited about the prospect of learning more about Mew.
"Good point," Giovanni credited, finally satisfied with his appearance. He took the sleeping Meowth in his arms and followed Delia out of their room, "I'm driving."
"Why can't I?" Delia complained, though not in a very insistent tone, she didn't care who drove as long as they got there.
"Because you're in a rush and our hostage act won't work again if we repeat the chase scene through Viridian," Giovanni reminded, a little amused by the memory. He was in a generally good mood that morning.
This time Delia's smile was sincere, not because of a trivial victory in an argument or a point well spoken. She was fond of those memories, though she had been frightened at the time, now she treasured those moments. "I say the same to you!"
xoxox xox xoxox
The drive to Pallet Town went without incident. When they arrived, the town was the same as always, with its rustic dusty streets, lack of commercial activities and low number of residents. Time seemed to stand still upon entering the town and Delia imagined herself in that same town, on a different era. The radio hasn't been playing those songs, the sounds wouldn't have been so well defined and that car didn't run as smoothly as this one, which was indifferent to the changes on the levels of the road.
The baby that lay on her lap was the same one back then, but in a very different form, not yet born. Meowth had been only an egg at the time, instead of the little pokemon who was still mostly asleep. Yet he occasionally half-opened his eyes curiously, before closing them again, purring as Delia gently petted him. He moved his tail to the sound of the music contently and continued to exist between reality and dreams.
The presence of a limousine ahead was immediately noticed by both Giovanni and Delia, as its shiny white form contrasted sharply with the lived in appearance of the environment around it. Despite it looking out of place, Giovanni didn't give it a second thought, being this close to the location of the Mew research files made him impatient to read them all of a sudden. He drove past the limousine towards Professor Oak's research laboratory at the end of the road.
As they passed, Delia saw an elegantly dressed couple standing outside of the limousine on the side of the road, with a little blue haired boy next to them. The boy despite appearing to be a little too young to be an official pokemon trainer, held a tiny Growlithe in his arms and examined his surroundings as if it was the first time he ever saw a place like this.
With the car moving further away, Giovanni and Delia didn't catch the conversation that followed between the couple and their son. Delia might have told them a thing or two if she had heard.
"You see James?" The man spoke, "this is a peasant town."
"Oh!" The boy, whose name was James stared in awe, then turned to his parents, "if this is a town, where are the houses?"
"Right in front of you, son," the man had an air of incredulity, not because of the boy's question, but because he too found it hard to believe that people actually lived in the small and worn structures.
"But they're smaller than Growlie's dog house!" James exclaimed; he suddenly felt terribly sorry for anyone who had to live in such a place.
"That's why you have to be a good boy and do everything we say," the lady warned. "Everything we tell you is for your own good, so that you may grow up to be a fine young gentleman who marries a fine young lady. If you don't, you might end up poor when you grow up and you'll have to live in a place like this."
James was visibly frightened; "I'll be good!" He was sure nothing could be worse than living in a place like this, not that he had to worry about it, his life was all set. Tomorrow, servants would spend the day preparing everything for the party that would be celebrated the next day.
It was an engagement party that would announce that Jessiebelle was to become his fiance, she gave the impression of being a nice girl as far as James could tell, and she was cute, though he hasn't really had a chance to spend time with her. After he grew up and got married, he would do whatever his father did all day and live a happy life with everything he wanted, at least that's what James had pictured at the time.
xoxox xox xoxox
Away from the rich little family, at the end of the road, Giovanni parked his black car in front of the steps leading to professor Oak's research lab and they saw that the gates at the entrance leading to the stairs were closed. "I wonder what happened," Delia mused aloud, "it's unusual for the lab to be closed at this time of the day. Maybe we should ask the neighbors where Professor Oak went."
"How would they know?" Giovanni was considering reliving his thieving days and breaking in, his need to read about Mew had continued increasing as they approached and his curiosity could wait no longer.
"It's a small town, Giovanni," Delia reminded him of the obvious, though he still didn't understand, "what I mean is that everyone knows everyone. Whatever happened, the entire town will know."
"There's no privacy around here," Giovanni observed, imagining a group of stereotypical gossiping old ladies discussing every detail of their neighbor's lives.
Before they could further discuss the issue, they heard the sound of an approaching vehicle and saw the limousine stop behind their car, though the car was not in the way, leaving a big enough space for them to drive by if those had been their intentions.
The driver left the engine running and got out to open the door for his lord and lady. The couple exited the limousine and stood unsure, whispering to each other, as if the determination they had formed dissolved as soon as they stepped out. Their young son hopped out cheerfully, the Growlithe still in his arms. "Mama, Papa, is that a real live ya-"
"A Meowth!" The lady quickly interrupted.
Her husband had spotted Giovanni's car and simply had to inquire about it. He would love to add one just like it to his collection. She had warned him that though in a way those people looked somewhat similar to them, they were not like them at all.
"The upper class is the upper class," he had brushed off her concerns.
"But dear, the yakuza may have riches, yet they are barbaric!" The lady had insisted in vain.
Now that same lady had to stop her son, who loved to watch gangster movies, from angering that dangerous man. She never really approved of James watching those movies, but she didn't have the heart to say no. "I apologize," she hid her worried expression behind her elaborate jeweled fan, "my son loves pokemon. James, sweetie, apologize."
James wasn't sure what was going on, but he had told his parents he would listen to them and he certainly didn't want to be poor when he grew up so he did as he was told, "I'm sorry, please excuse me."
Delia smiled, not understanding why the woman was so upset, the boy had not really been disrespectful, he was simply curious, though it looked like he was pointing at Giovanni more so than Meowth. "It's alright," Delia, currently carrying Meowth, kneeled down to the boy's eye level, "you can pet Meowth if you want and what a cute Growlithe you have."
James smiled brightly, delighted that this lady would not only allow him to pet her pokemon, but she had also complimented Growlie. "Thank you!" James cheered happily, while his mother paled and laughed nervously.
The lady turned to her husband, linking her arm with his, in an indication that it was time to leave. He caught the hint and decided to humor his wife, thanking Giovanni for the information and retreating to the safety of the limousine, along with their son and his Growlithe.
As the white limousine began to move again, little James waved goodbye from the window, with a big smile on his face. The boy didn't understand why his parents looked so upset, but from what he could gather, at least they were not upset at him.
"That was risky and unnecessary," the lady pouted indignantly, as if she had been terribly offended.
The husband knew she had been frightened, but he thought she could handle it, he didn't think she would end up this upset. "I'm sorry dear, but I did get him to tell me where he purchased his car, though he refused to reveal where he had it customized. At least I can say I still have a good eye for being able to tell when a good car is custom made, yet I could have guessed where he purchased it from by the brand, what I really wanted to know was who customized it, such a splendid job they did."
"Dear, you don't need a car armed with missiles, that's probably why he didn't tell you, he didn't want to give away too much weapon related information," the lady scolded, still disgraced.
"Missiles? I couldn't tell if it had missiles or not, what makes you think it did? Ah, my love for cars is rubbing off on you my dear; you've become more observant of their details. Do tell, what gave it away?" When his wife did not respond, he finally understood she was being sarcastic about the missiles, though the possibility still remained in their minds. He breathed deeply and took her hands in his, "what is bothering you my love? I believe you are upset over something else other than my affection towards cars. Did the yakuza really frighten you this much? If so, I apologize for putting you through that."
The lady remained quiet for a few seconds, her gaze downcast; then she looked up, staring into her husband's eyes with fire reflected in hers. "Did you not see her necklace? I bet she doesn't have any idea of its true value, wearing it so casually in peasant territory. It's the crescent moon diamond, the same one I wanted but they said it had already been sold, that they received an offer they couldn't refuse!"
Her husband attempted to console the lady, "there, there, I'm sure it was bought with threats rather than money, we're obviously far richer. If an auction had been properly carried out, we would have won easily, those yakuza cheated. Don't worry, I'll get you a lot of new jewelry to wear at James' engagement party, something even more valuable than the diamond you wanted, maybe one shaped like a full moon or even the sun instead of only a crescent moon."
The lady sighed deeply as she imagined the lovely gem, "thank you, dear."
xoxox xox xoxox
"Why didn't you tell that man where you customized your car?" Delia curiously asked after the limousine was gone, she had been half listening to their conversation.
"He didn't look like the type who needed missiles in a car that would just sit in a garage somewhere anyway. Besides, it's a secret," Giovanni spoke so naturally that Delia wasn't sure if he was kidding about the missiles.
"Does it really...?" She didn't need to fully voice her question as it was written all over her face.
"It's only a precaution, I don't expect to need them," Giovanni assured. "You know I like spy movies and I always wanted car like that," he confessed. Delia wasn't sure if she should scold him or laugh, but before she could decide, he seemed to remember something and spoke the same words he had voiced in the past, "I'll protect you."
"This time it's even more like a spy movie!" She laughed cheerfully and the true purpose of their visit to Pallet Town was for the time being thrown to the back of her mind again.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't know Pokemon. About little James, I wanted to include a scene with him and also bring in a bit of amusement into this saga of the story. As for the issue of Delia and Giovanni seeing little James, Gio wasn't really paying attention and he didn't really care to remember the boy anyway.
Besides, they wouldn't link James to the little boy because their environment is so different that any similarities must only be a coincidence. Overall, their meeting with James' family was easily forgotten after nearly a decade passed until they met again.
James was also a caught up with the pokemon and his upcoming party so overall, it's one of those memories you don't pay attention to unless its specifically pointed out.
For those who might not remember, in chapter 6 when Giovanni and Delia were on their way to see Professor Oak, he said "I'll protect you," to try to keep Delia calm and she ended up laughing because he sounded like "the protagonist of a spy movie." About the missiles, if Jessie and James can later have a submarine, random robots and a multitude of other devises, then why shouldn't Gio have an armed car? XD