Diamond 97: Give me Warmth
Diamond 97: Give me Warmth
Following the lively scene at the Viridian gym's office concerning Purry and Persian, it was decided that Purry would live with Giovanni and his pokemon. The Rocket boss had taken an interest in the female Persian with a most peculiarly large gem. If his own precious Persian took an interest in her, as it was his assumption that had happened, he would not be opposed to the idea. Even if her origin was not of professional breeding, she had become a rare pokemon and that fact could not be denied. Giovanni remembered having seen some theories of ancient Persian with horns; it was a guess of the scientific community at best. Like humans, pokemon not only evolved in the spontaneous sense, but also slowly with time.
Comet and Pixel would still be able to see Purry, since she would be where Giovanni was. Besides, when she felt like running off to visit, they were sure there was no one in the world that could stop her free spirit, not even Team Rocket and its leader. For the rare pokemon, the Rocket agents were rewarded with many prizes which included a payment bonus and several useful items. Some of those items were technical machines, rare candy and even a dubious disk, which Pixel used to evolve Prism, her Porygon2, into PorygonZ.
Just as Comet and Pixel were done with their business and Laiki with her eavesdropping, Jessie and James arrived to report in. "We're back!" Jessie chirped with a cheer that stood out far beyond even her best of moods in the past. In her arms she held a small Eevee, tiny enough to be a newborn. Meteor, Comet's baby Absol, jumped from Comet to Jessie's shoulder to have a better look at the other young pokemon that he had decided would be his new friend and playmate. "Aw, Eevee made a friend!" Jessie chirped in pure bliss.
Giovanni had not requested that Jessie and James reported in when they arrived at Viridian. He merely approved, at Delia's insistence, of their provisional transfer to work at the Viridian Rocket Headquarters in light of the temporary closing of their daycare center at Saffron City. The close was done in hopes of staying as far as possible from the epidemic until an effective cure was put into action. The event brought terrible sorrow to Jessie, who cried like a baby seriously frightening James, as she was usually very strong. However, upon their approach to the gym office, she was inexplicably seized by joyous bliss, probably remembering some moment in the past when they were reporting something or other to the boss and enjoying the sense of nostalgia that came with the random memory. All in all, James was terrified to think of how much worse Jessie's random mood swings would get as her condition progressed.
"Is that Flareon and Growlie's baby?" Filled with his usual curiosity, Ash approached the little Eevee, petting him gently.
While all of that was taking place right at the door to Giovanni's office, Delia arrived with Persian and Purry. Her baby Swablu was perched on her shoulder while she walked slightly bent over, keeping a hand on each Persian's shoulder, as if to guide them. Following her were Pikachu and Peachy, who had tackled Pikachu in a bone crushing hug the second she saw him. Pikachu wasn't sure if he should be happy to be greeted with such affection or worried that he might not survive Peachy's reciprocated feelings.
Delia stood straight, remaining between the two Persian. "Honestly, I don't know if these two were passionately making out or trying to kill each other. Either way, they'll make a mess if left alone." After the revelation escaped her lips, Delia became absorbed in an instant conversation with Jessie and James about the baby Eevee, who gained another new friend in Swablu. No one seemed to be paying attention to the protests, arguments and embarrassed excuses from the two Persian.
The chitchat that had invaded the entrance to the gym office didn't seem to be going away any time in the immediate future. As soon as it looked like it would quiet down as all the immediate curiosities were answered, Laiki, who wanted to know much more than was her business, would come up with something to ask, fueling the chain reaction of one question or comment that led to another. The scene continued in such a way until Delia noticed that Giovanni was looking less than patient and before he told everyone to shut up and get lost, she led them away in a much more gentle manner.
In the end, Ash himself didn't think too much, or maybe even take notice of how he had ran off with Jessie, James, Comet, Pixel, Laiki and the pokemon, with a carefree, "thanks for returning my hat, see you later, dad."
Giovanni barely took notice of it himself, letting it go as something that should have been natural, but would not seem so if the entirety of the situation was taken into consideration. He had a long day and the headache he had been fighting, which he somehow seemed to defeat during his strangely calming conversation with Ash, returned full force when the multitude of voices gathered in front of his office. Overall, the most inviting thing to do at the moment was to follow the suggestion in Delia's eyes and take a small break.
xoxox xox xoxox
After having left Giovanni and Delia alone, the rest of the group headed off to find some safe but comfortable space for the pokemon to play in. It was not too difficult given the size of the base, thus the group occupied an empty battle arena that was not scheduled to be used by anyone in the next few hours. It was there that James pointed out how casual Ash had become with Giovanni. The fact that he acted so naturally around uniformed Rocket agents as well his and Misty's acceptance of Jessie and James' return to Team Rocket, hinted that they knew more than Jessie and James guessed.
Ash nodded in admittance, glancing at the baby pokemon whom Meowth was currently keeping an eye on. Then he looked back at Jessie and James and dropped the bomb of a revelation on them. "The truth is that Giovanni isn't my stepfather because he's dating mom, he's my real dad."
Two jaws dropped and two sets of eyes went wide. "Are you saying you have the blood of the Roketto running through your veins?" James grabbed Ash by his shirt, face inches away from his.
"Um... yeah..." Ash tried to back away to recover his personal space after James invaded it in his outburst. Before Ash could move, James moved first, falling backwards, fainting from the shock, an action which was copied by Meowth who had overheard. He had been trying to steal pokemon from a twerp that was not a twerp, but a prince in a sense. "Is he going to be okay?" Ash asked.
Jessie nodded without doubts, she was currently in a carefree mood. "He'll be fine, don't worry. Now it all makes sense. No wonder we couldn't steal your Pikachu, you're not just a twerp, you're a royal twerp!" Jessie giggled, which made Ash think that his question should have been about if she was okay. Yet as long as her fearsome enraged side didn't show up, it could be said that all was well.
xoxox xox xoxox
Ash returned to the gym's guest room above ground to check on Misty after leaving his pokemon and his mother's Swablu to play. Upon entering the guest room, Ash found that Misty was awake. The bathroom door was open with the sound of the sink's running water as Misty finished waking herself up by washing her face. She dried her face with a soft towel and smiled upon seeing Ash's approaching reflection in the bathroom mirror, though some worries still remained in the back of her mind. "After a nap, I'm ready to continue hoping." Misty set aside the towel, returning Ash's loving embrace.
"That's good, because we can't lose hope, no matter what." Feeling optimistic with the return of his hat and more so with the conversation accompanying the event, Ash kissed his fiance as if the action would magically make everything right in the world.
After their lips parted, Misty voiced the observation that she had noticed right away after Ash came into view. "You got your hat back."
Hearing the fortunate event being further recognized, Ash grinned, "yeah, dad had it in his office all along." It was than that he noticed that he seemed to have switched from a somewhat uncomfortable 'father' to a more carefree 'dad'. "We have our differences and there are things we would strongly disagree on," Ash didn't have to say what he was talking about, as Misty knew right away. "We can still get along, even with that. We can figure out a way to be tolerant, I think, to respect each other's paths..." He would not trick himself into thinking it would be easy, but both he and his mother were certainly willing to try. He knew his father would try too if they were patient.
"I'm really glad that's working out," Misty's face conveyed her sincere emotions.
"Jessie and James are here," Ash announced, "Pikachu and the pokemon are with them, Comet, Pixel and Laiki. We're taking a break from everything and letting the pokemon play. It should help us relax, let's go with them. Since you already know so much, I'm sure it won't be a problem if you come downstairs." Ash was not aware of how deep the basements were yet. He knew about the existence of secret basements, albeit his guess of their size would still fall short and he had not yet tested the limits of his access card. Delia's access card had been upgraded on several occasions since her unofficial return to Team Rocket.
"I'm going back to Cerulean City," Misty's voice was once again filled with sadness as she confessed her determination. Daisy and Lando are back, they're there too and so is Brock. I need to go help, but I can't take my healthy pokemon with me and risk them catching the virus. I'll leave them here with you. I won't come back until this is over. Until then, I need to stand by their side, my sisters and the pokemon at the Cerulean gym need me the most right now. I know my other pokemon are in good hands with you."
Ash didn't want Misty to leave, though he understood her need to go. "I want to go too, I want to help."
"I know you understand that you can't go," Misty finished for him. "You need to stay and protect the pokemon that are here, keep them safe from the risk of the virus. We'll both work together and things will turn out alright in the end." Even if she seemed to be in the verge of tears, Misty made herself smile.
"Yes, everything will be okay," Ash spoke those words to reassure Misty and himself. "I understand," it was obvious he still didn't like it, but he knew it had to be this way. "I'll take care of your pokemon here. Go and help the pokemon at the gym. I'm sure I'll be able to call you with good news soon."
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, Delia and Giovanni were up on the roof of the Viridian gym. The abundant trees around the city, made it seem later into the day than it actually was, blocking the sunlight. Just like in the past, Delia seemed to be a reassuring light in the middle of uncertainty. "You're wearing the ring," Giovanni observed.
"Yes," Delia glanced at her left hand where the platinum diamond ring sat proudly on her ring finger. She fingered the underside of the band with her thumb. "I just felt like wearing it." Her eyes met his in the tranquility of the roof, where the busy atmosphere of the secret basements couldn't reach them.
"Does that mean that you're finally going to give me an answer?" As it happened in that moment long ago, when he first gave Delia that ring, Giovanni forgot about the timing and voiced his thoughts, temporarily pushing aside all other happenings for that instant.
Delia smiled, her lips parted to give way to words, with endless hope and love reflected in her eyes. Then a shape akin to a missile flew past them towards the area in the sky above. It made Delia's words dissolve before they could truly be formed as she held on to Giovanni tighter, startled by the sudden interruption. A brilliant green firework exploded above with a loud bang. Passers on the street, who were previously oblivious to the couple on the roof, stopped to look. Some pointed at them and others produced cameras from their bags or took pictures with their cell phones.
Among the commotion, there was Rune Antilles, who had been carrying the pyrotechnic sample. It worked with an integrated trigger rather than a fuse to light. He wanted to see firsthand which fireworks were best to celebrate when his son won the elections. Kenobi would no doubt be elected as the new mayor, since it was Giovanni's will. Rune dropped the firework upon hearing the words of his son, who was walking next to him. "You can't go to Cerulean City now, the elections are around the corner and Giovanni has already decided that he wouldn't give me another term in office after all. It's your turn now; it's your duty to serve the city in place of your retired father!"
"I have to go, I already explained it to you, please understand." Kenobi tried to sound as reassuring as he could. "I'm sure the situation will be solved before my term in office begins. By then I would have returned to Viridian City with time to prepare for my new duties. Either way, we should not discuss this here," Kenobi quickly warned. He was generally more careful than Rune when it came to words.
"Yes, yes, I know," Rune sighed deeply as he searched for a small bottle containing his heart medicine in the pocket of his suit. His son's warning seemed to be lost. "You had to lie to your dear Violet to uphold our oath of silence. Now that you have been given permission to right that wrong and tell her the truth about our leader, in light of the recent happenings involving-"
"Rune!" Giovanni shouted from the gym's roof, instantly catching the current mayor's attention. "Shut up!"
"Yes, sir!" Rune squeaked and scurried away towards his house.
"My apologies!" Kenobi soon followed his father and hurried away as well.
Thankfully, the passers were ignorant of the hidden meaning of the conversation that had been held by the Antilles father and son. Their attention was focused more so on the couple on the roof. They assumed that the gym leader was only upset because the firework going off interrupted a tender moment he was sharing with his lady.
After that annoying little event, Giovanni knew they would get no peace or privacy on the roof. He and Delia returned inside and went to Giovanni's room at the gym. "All these interruptions remind me of when we first met Rune." Giovanni's voice was filled with annoyance.
The memory was amusing to Delia. "I remember, you two were good friends right from the start."
"That's the biggest sarcasm I've ever heard," Giovanni replied with less annoyance than his initial comment. It was probably due to Delia removing the jacket of his suit and massaging his shoulders in an effort to help him relax.
xoxox xox xoxox
The day when Giovanni first met Rune was a day quite similar to the present in terms of weather and hour. However, the epidemic of that time was meeting its end along with the other gangs of Kanto. Team Rocket was beginning its steady growth and the elections were approaching to assign a new mayor to Viridian City. The gym building was a different one, the one that was demolished in later years during Ash's battle against Jessie and James for an Earth badge. A younger Rune Antilles stood in front of the gym structure and bellowed at the top of his lungs, "new gym leader! New gym leader!"
At the time, Giovanni and Delia had been taking a moment to rest, since they had both stayed out late battling to wipe out the last few gangs left in Kanto, to establish Team Rocket's firm rule of the underworld. They were cuddled together in bed, while their baby Meowth was taken out to play by his uncle Luke. Delia said her usual line of "chill out Charmander," accentuated with a pleasurable gasp as Giovanni trailed kisses down her neck.
"You're not exactly chilling out yourself," he whispered seductively in her ear.
Delia knew very well that the insistence of her statement would be lost in the fact that her arms were tightly wrapped around him with no intentions of letting go, her legs brushing against his as they became further tangled in their passionate embrace. Then a voice from outside called out with unbreakable insistence for the new gym leader to come out. "Someone's calling you."
"Ignore him," despite his request, Giovanni was unable to ignore the insistent voice himself. Fed up with the idiot that was interrupting that most enjoyable moment with Delia, Giovanni approached the window. He threw the curtains left and right, then looked out at the man, a few years older than him. He stood waiting with a large practiced smile upon his face that only made Giovanni angrier.
"Good afternoon honorable new gym leader of Viridian City!" The man chirped with more cheer than needed. "Allow me to take this opportunity to greet you properly and welcome you as the new gym leader of our proud city of Viridian. My name is Rune Antilles and as you might have heard, I am running for mayor again in the next elections. I hope to count with your vote and promise to continue making this wonderful city a better place." The mayor candidate continued bantering on and on about his political promises and aspirations.
"Rune," Giovanni gave the mayor candidate a firm glare that caught his attention and silenced him even before he threateningly ordered, "shut up!"
It was then that Rune's brain jumpstarted and he thought that maybe the delay in the gym leader's reply was not due to not having heard his calls before. He took in the young man's state from what he could see through the window from the waist up, noticing his mostly unbuttoned shirt and somewhat ruffled hair. Had he been woken up from a nap thus causing him to be cranky? The nap theory was soon proven false as a young woman peeked out the window behind the young gym leader, her face somewhat flustered. Rune blushed crimson as his imagination came up with all sorts of theories to fit the scene. He could only squeak, "yes, sir!" And run away before he further ruined his public relations with the new gym leader.
xoxox xox xoxox
Though they did eventually become lovers, that was not the only time in which annoying interruptions plagued Giovanni's time of romance with Delia. There was the occasional new recruit knocking on his door to ask a stupid question that should have gone to a higher ranked agent instead of directly to the boss. Such was the case in a similar afternoon when rookie after rookie came in to ask about something or other. It was a particularly busy week in several areas of business both legal and secret, leaving the top ranked Rockets all over Kanto. Archer and Ariana had just recently married and left on their honey moon.
Proton and Petrel were taking care of some business in Vermillion City. Leah was all but forgotten, running errands and taking care of a few smaller missions until her strategic thinking was once again called upon. Aayla had insisted on helping the scientists along with Binks, despite battling being more her strength than research. She had her own hidden agenda, but that was still unknown at the time. Giovanni had allowed it, reasoning that the scientists, though brilliant in their field, would be sitting Farfetch'd if anything went wrong and they were attacked by remnants of a gang. If that was the case, Aayla would be very helpful in the battlefield.
The situation left Luke as the highest ranked agent present at headquarters. Thus he was the mediator between the boss and the rookies. He could make all the choices that were too big for the lower ranked agents, yet not significant enough for Giovanni to have to be directly involved. Even so, agents kept coming and going seeking information and instructions from Giovanni until he blew up. "I told you to take your questions to Luke!"
"I'm sorry, sir," the rookie backed away. "It's just that no one can find Luke anywhere."
Not in the mood to be tolerant with unforeseen disappearances, Giovanni called Luke's cell phone to demand to know where he was, but received no reply other than endless unattended rings. A search began all over the old Viridian headquarters, which were not yet anywhere near as large as they would be years later. Luke was finally found in his room, buried under his collection of surf boards which he had piled up unsteadily and thus they had later fallen on him. Luke was exhausted from spending the night surfing in stormy weather quite different from the sunshine that came with daybreak. He put away his most recently used surf board upon his return earlier, causing the pile to crumble on top of him like an avalanche. Too tired to get up, he fell asleep under the surfboards and was since thought to be missing.
When he was finally rescued, Luke could do nothing more than go and on about how the waves have been "like totally like beyond awesome" while Giovanni grumbled about all the interruptions he had to endure due to the newbies not being able to find Luke.
xoxox xox xoxox
In the present time, Giovanni had let go of the burst of anger and intensified headache that came due to Rune's clumsy blunder. At least there had been no more interruptions since that one, which granted him some enjoyable alone time with Delia. He knew he would have to go to work soon, despite being quite comfortable with Delia in his arms, their bodies pressed together. Giovanni thought Delia had fallen asleep, her eyes were closed and her expression was peaceful, as if she was enjoying a blissful dream. Then her eyes opened slowly as she shifted to meet his gaze. She smiled somewhat playfully and voiced a reply that have taken years to be spoken, "I will."
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, at the western edge of Kanto, in the famed Mount Silver, two Rocket agents were conducting an important search. "Hurry up Batch, we have to be the first ones to find the target. If we don't get this mission right, the boss will demote us!"
Butch frowned with a sorrow that only he understood. "I thought you learned my name by now." Cassidy sometimes got his name right and sometimes got it wrong. She at least got it right more often than most other people did.
"Shut up and give me a push!" Cassidy growled at the end of her patience. She saw a rocky ledge on the side of the mountain trail that looked as if it had enough grip available to climb it, thus providing a shortcut to higher grounds.
With a hopeless sigh, Butch linked his hands together intertwining his fingers to catch Cassidy's foot and propel her upwards towards the ledge she meant to grasp. The motion was mostly successful, except for the knee to the nose Butch received. At least Cassidy managed to get herself up the cliff and begrudgingly extended her hand down the cliff side to help Butch up.
The pair quietly crept deeper into the rocky wilderness until they saw one of the targets. Number ten was no where in sight, but the unusually colored Zoroark was there. The Zoroark noticed them and with a fast push that they didn't have time to dodge, she sent them both tumbling down the mountain.
When their painful rolling trip down finally came to an end, Cassidy and Butch sat up, examining the various scratches and bruises that were abundant all over their battered bodies. Thankfully, they suffered from no broken bones. Cassidy was quick to pull out her cell phone from its strap on her belt next to her pokeballs. She dialed for a direct call to Giovanni's cell phone, listening to it ring several times before his annoyed voice declared, "this better be important."
"It is!" Cassidy assured, "I've located Zoroark close to the summit of Mount Silver."
"Don't you mean to say we located her?" Butch complained. He was ignored as Cassidy listened to Giovanni's orders over the phone.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. I'm planning to write another story after this is done, it will be a completely separate story with a whole new plot, here's the summary: Ash, the Indigo League champion, is secretly training to inherit Team Rocket. Misty, the Cerulean City gym leader, is secretly part of an organization seeking to bring Team Rocket to justice. Over the past ten years they've only had a few casual meetings, until the fateful day when their paths crossed as enemies... AshxMisty (pokeshipping), GiovannixDelia (diamondshipping), JamesxJessie (rocketshipping). The main focus of this story will be Ash and Misty and it will be packed with action. It won't be as long as Don't Give Me Diamonds, but I hope you check it out. :)