Where Angels Dare to Tread
by Cori Falls
2 Days Later....
A smile made its way across Gary's lips as he ran his fingers along the moonstone pin on his backpack. The afternoon sun was filtering through the curtains of his room at the Grove Pokemon Center and playing on the gemstone's iridescent surface, creating little flecks of pink and blue light around the room.
His smile grew even wider than it already was as he closed his eyes and thought about how he'd gotten the pin....
After he'd helped James and Meowth rescue Jessie from Queen Ayesha of Yew on Sunday night, he'd had another dream where he saw his grandmother, Vivien Oak...and he also got to meet James's grandparents, Jim and Rose Morgan, and Jessie's mother, Miyamoto. Jessie, James, and Meowth had been there, too. The four spirits had explained that they all worked together, watching over them and keeping them safe from harm. They'd summoned him and his friends to the dream to assure them that they truly had defeated Ayesha and that she'd no longer pose a threat to them, or anybody else. Gary couldn't remember the vision that the spirits had shown him, but he knew that it was something wonderful...something that gave him peace of mind and convinced him even further that his friendship with Jessie, James, and Meowth was meant to be. But perhaps what Gary remembered most about the dream was that Vivien, Jim, Rose, and Miyamoto had promised to come to them in other dreams -- to make themselves readily available whenever they were needed. That promise had been comforting to Gary. He'd never had the chance to meet his grandmother or get to know her since she'd passed away before he was born, but now that had changed. Now that he could be with her in dreams, it's like she wasn't dead at all. And he knew that Jessie and James had been just as comforted to have Miyamoto, Jim, and Rose back in their lives, too.
The four friends spent most of Monday sleeping and recovering from their ordeal. When they finally awoke, they ate brunch, and Gary called his parents and talked to them for awhile. Then, he called his grandpa's lab and talked to May, filling her in on everything that had happened. Jessie, James, and Meowth also thanked her in person for helping to find Rose's books. (And they all had a good laugh when May told them how Tracey had spent all day Sunday mucking out the pokemon stalls as punishment for goofing off.) Gary wanted to speak with Professor Oak as well, but May told him that he couldn't come to the phone. He couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that Professor Oak wasn't there since he was the one he needed to talk to the most, but he remembered the dream where Vivien had assured him that his grandpa was unharmed, and he took comfort in it.
That evening, Jessie, James, Meowth, and Gary made a trip to Rowandale -- the four of them needed to get out of the cabin for awhile (perhaps to assure themselves that they were no longer in danger of being attacked by wild pokemon under Ayesha's control), and they needed to do some grocery shopping, anyway.
When they got to town, Jessie treated James, Meowth, and Gary to a delicious dinner of sushi and tempura at a little Japanese restaurant as a small token of her gratitude. After dinner, they headed for the grocery store, but on the way there, they came across a curiosity shop. Since the four of them had always been intrigued by such stores (and since James wanted to restock some of the supplies he'd used in his spellcastings), they decided to check it out.
While James got more incense, essential oils, and colored candles, Jessie and Meowth admired the displays of jewelry and precious stones, and Gary went to the back of the store to look at some of the books. After flipping through a couple of tomes on Astral projection and dream analysis, he rejoined his friends, who were all standing around a glass case filled with jewelry.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"Jessie was admiring the moonstone jewelry, and it gave me a wonderful idea. In spellwork, moonstone is used for gaining occult power, soothing emotions, and rising above problems...all of which I think we've done while fighting Ayesha," James explained.
"So James thought we should all get something made of moonstone, to symbolize our victory and spiritual growth and always remind us of the experience we've shared!" Jessie exclaimed.
Gary smiled. "That does sound like a great idea!"
After admiring the display for a few more minutes, Jessie decided on a silver necklace with a moonstone pendant, James got a piece of round, flattish moonstone to use for spellwork, Meowth got a moonstone bracelet charm, and Gary chose the moonstone pin, which was in the shape of a crescent moon.
Once James paid for their purchases, the four friends left the curiosity shop and continued on their way to the grocery store.
"Thanks again, James," Gary said as he fastened the pin to the flap of his backpack.
"Don't mention it," James replied as he pocketed his piece of moonstone and helped Jessie put on her necklace. He traced his fingers along her throat and admired the way the necklace complemented her alabaster skin and the way the moonlight glinted off the stone's iridescent surafce. "I wanted for us to commemorate this experience somehow, and this seemed like the perfect way."
"It sure is," Jessie agreed. She leaned closer and touched her lips to James's. "This necklace is so beautiful -- I'll think of you every time I look at it!"
James smiled and put his arms around her. "Nothing but the best for my princess," he whispered.
As Jessie and James's lips met again, this time in a more passionate kiss, Meowth and Gary exchanged looks and smiled.
Meowth held up his moonstone charm and watched it glow with a shimmering blue light. "James is right -- dis was definitely the perfect way ta commemorate what we've accomplished. I know every time I look at dis charm, I'll think about how dis experience has made us stronger."
"James is full of good ideas -- he's one of the wisest people I've ever met," Gary agreed. "I'm so glad that I could be a part of this. I'll never forget it...."
And now, as Gary stirred himself from his reverie and looked at the moonstone pin again, he knew that he never would forget. Just like the day he'd befriended Jessie, James, and Meowth, helping them defeat Queen Ayesha of Yew was another milestone in their friendship...another experience that brought them together and made them stronger and wiser.
After another restful night's sleep, Gary had reluctantly bid farewell to Jessie, James, and Meowth and flown back to Grove on Smaug so that he could resume his training. He'd arrived in town an hour earlier, and after eating lunch and getting a room at the pokemon center, he'd written a brief e-mail to his friends, letting them know that he was okay and wishing the same for them.
Still, he couldn't help but feel a little lonely. He wished that Jessie, James, and Meowth didn't have to spend so much of their time working and that they could travel together more often. And he still needed to talk to his grandpa -- he'd called at the lab again that morning, and once again, May had told him that Professor Oak was unavailable.
Suddenly, the intercom buzzed.
Gary flicked on the vid-screen and watched as an image of Nurse Joy appeared.
"Gary Oak?" Nurse Joy asked.
"This is he," Gary replied. "What's going on?"
Nurse Joy smiled. "There's somebody here to see you."
Gary grinned as the image on the vid-screen panned to the side and showed Professor Oak standing at the front desk. "Grandpa!"
Professor Oak waved to him. "Hello, Gary!"
"Send him in!" he exclaimed.
"Right away," Nurse Joy said.
As the vid-screen went blank again, Gary left his room and raced to the lobby to meet his grandpa. When he saw Professor Oak coming up the hall, he caught him in a tight hug. "Grandpa! I'm so glad to see you!" he cried.
"I'm glad to see you too, Gary," Professor Oak replied, returning his grandson's embrace.
"I called the lab a few times because I wanted to talk to you, but May told me that you couldn't come to the phone," Gary said.
Professor Oak winked at him. "Good. I'm glad she didn't give away the surprise."
"Oh, I'm definitely surprised!" Gary chuckled. "What are you doing here, grandpa?"
"It's the strangest thing," he muttered. He closed his eyes and smiled. "The other night, I had a dream about your grandma. She told me that you'd really been missing me lately...that you needed to see me. When I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn't stop thinking about that dream. I remember talking to May for awhile on Saturday night -- we talked about Vivien and how she'd always believed in magic...how every day, I seem to see more and more magic in this world. I knew that if Vivien was in my dream, it had to mean something, so I decided to listen to her. I knew that you were staying here in Grove, so I left May in charge of the lab for a few days and came here to see you...."
Gary's eyes widened as he listened to Professor Oak. So that's what grandma meant when she told me that I'd be getting a pleasant surprise!
"....I drove all day yesterday and spent the night in Cherrygrove City. And then I drove all morning to get here," Professor Oak went on. "It was a long trip, but I'm glad I made it. It's so good to see you again, Gary."
Gary blinked back the tears that were stinging his eyes. "I'm glad you made it too, grandpa. Grandma was right -- I did want to see you."
"Vivien always had the most uncanny intuition...an awareness of things unseen," Professor Oak remarked, draping an arm around his grandson's shoulders. "She was a remarkable woman."
"She sure was," Gary agreed. As he and Professor Oak made their way up the hall and returned to his room, he touched his green and gold pendant and smiled again. Thank you, grandma. Thank you so much....
The golden rays of the noonday sun filtered down through the verdant canopy of trees, speckling the forest floor with a dim spring-green light. It had rained a couple of days ago, and now the world felt fresh and new, as if it had been cleansed by the storm.
And nobody was more aware of this than the three travelers who were making their way along the path through the forest....
After a night of passionate lovemaking (which had, indeed, been as satisfying and intense as it had the previous night), Jessie and James had fallen asleep in each other's arms and dreamt more beautiful dreams about their loved ones and their bright future. Then, they'd greeted the dawn together by making love again.
When they finally got out of bed and got dressed, Jessie and James saw that Meowth, Gary, and their pokemon were already awake and watching the morning news.
"Glad youse two love-birds finally decided ta join us," Meowth remarked when he saw his friends emerging from the bedroom.
James smirked. "If I hear even one smart remark out of you, then I'm not going to make any French toast for breakfast!" he warned the cat.
Meowth held up his paws. "Nobody's sayin' nothin'!" he said innocently.
"Good! Because I'd have had to hurt you if you made us miss out on James's French toast!" Jessie told him.
Gary grinned. "It's that good?"
"Better!" came Jessie's reply.
"So, what's with the news?" James asked, changing the subject.
Gary's expression grew solemn. "I'm...heading back to Grove today, so I wanted to see the weather forecast before I planned my trip. I really wish I could stay longer, but...."
James placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's okay. We understand. You still have a lot of training to do, and you need to start heading back to Blackthorn City."
"Yeah," Gary sighed. "It'd be nice if you guys had a more flexible work schedule. I really enjoy hanging out with you, and I wish we could do it more often."
"You're not the only one," said Jessie. "James, Meowth, and I enjoy spending time with you, too."
James wrapped his arms around Jessie's waist. "Who knows? Maybe we will get a more flexible schedule someday soon! I may not have psychic powers, but I definitely foresee happier times for all of us."
This made Jessie, Meowth, and Gary smile.
"I hope you're right, my friend," Gary told him.
Jessie turned herself around and returned James's embrace. "I know he is."
After the weather forecast, which called for it to be a clear, sunny day, James went to the kitchen to start making breakfast. While he was heating up his skillet and mixing some eggs, milk, and sugar together, the local news reported that Tierra Bonaventura, the archaeologist who'd been attacked after supposedly discovering the staff and mask of Queen Ayesha, had made a full recovery from her injuries and been released from the hospital. Since she'd run out of funding for her dig, she now planned on returning the Tablet of Yew to the Viridian City Museum and resuming her job as a professor's aide at Goldenrod University. The police were still unable to find Tierra's assailant, who'd been described as a tall woman with shoulder-length auburn hair and icy green eyes, and no trace of the staff or mask had been found, either.
"I'm no psychic either, but I predict this is one case the police will never be able to crack," Jessie commented as she watched the news report.
"Yeah! I bet we're gonna be seein' dis on Unsolved Mysteries twenty or thirty years down the road!" Meowth laughed.
"Wouldn't surprise me," James agreed as he dipped a couple pieces of potato bread into the egg mixture and placed them in the skillet. "As long as we live in a world where magic is considered little more than the stuff of fantasy, the four of us are going to be the only people who know the truth about what happened here."
Gary nodded. "Yeah. This isn't exactly the kind of thing we can go public with."
"Indeed," said James. "As grand-mama wrote in one of her journal entries: Who would believe us and not think us mad if we spoke the truth?"
"Well, at least we know the truth. And we got rid of the danger. That's all that really matters as far as I'm concerned!" Jessie told them.
James smiled at her. "You're so right, honey. You're so right...."
Jessie smiled back and came to his side. As she put her arms around him and planted a kiss on his cheek, another story in the local news came on. A story about a young boy who'd been run out of Rowandale by Officer Jenny.
According to the story, a pokemon trainer by the name of Ash Ketchum had spent almost two days running through the streets, throwing poke balls and screaming about wanting to catch a new pokemon. Several citizens had complained, so Officer Jenny had to give him an ultimatum -- either leave town, or be arrested for disturbing the peace. Ash had been insistent on remaining in town to find the new pokemon that kept eluding him, and his two friends had ended up having to drag him away by force to keep him out of jail.
Jessie, James, Meowth, and Gary burst out laughing when they saw the report.
"Well, I think it's safe to say my little basilisk illusion got the twerp off our case," James snickered.
"Yeah! He got so caught up in chasin' dat thing around, he prolly forgot all about seein' us!" Meowth chimed in.
Jessie folded her arms across her chest and smirked. "It's nice to see the twerp getting hassled by the police instead of us for a change."
James and Meowth nodded.
Gary sweatdropped as the news reporter aired the footage of Ash running through the streets, screaming at the top of his lungs and lobbing poke balls at everything in sight. "Holy jeez!" he muttered. "I knew Ash was dumb, but this is ridiculous!"
"I've lost count of how many migraines that kid's idiocy has caused us over the years," James sighed. "But it worked to our advantage this time!"
"And it's a good thing, too -- dat little shit-weasel had already accused us of attackin' Tierra," Meowth added. "Ya just know he woulda sent the cops after us if he'd remembered seein' us!"
"I still want to smack him upside the head for that," Gary grumbled. "And for calling Jessie a bitch!"
Jessie gasped. "What?!"
James clenched his fist. "When Ash confronted us, he called you a bitch and demanded to know what you did to Tierra." A wicked grin made its way across his lips. "I kicked his ass good and proper for speaking that way about you."
Her expression softened. "How gallant of you!" she chuckled, planting another kiss on his cheek.
Meowth looked back at the TV and laughed as he watched the footage of Brock and Misty dragging a kicking and screaming Ash out of town. "Oh, well. At least Ash finally got his just desserts for bein' such a dumbshit."
Gary laughed, too. "Yeah! All's well that ends well!" he agreed.
When the four friends had finished their breakfast, Gary had packed his belongings and bid a reluctant farewell to Jessie, James, and Meowth. He'd promised to e-mail them when he got back to Grove. Then, he'd called out Smaug and rode away. Once he was gone, Jessie, James, and Meowth had broken camp and resumed their journey as well.
Now they were on their way to Whitestone, a small town on the west coast of Johto. James had read in his field-guide that a famous painter had an art gallery there, and he was eager to see it. And Jessie was eager to see Whitestone because she'd read that all of the buildings were made of marble.
"So, how far away is dis place?" Meowth inquired as he followed his two friends along the forest trail.
"About fifty miles," James told him. "We should be there in a couple of days...maybe sooner if we call Mondo and get him to bring us the balloon."
Jessie shook her head. "If it's all the same to you guys, I'd rather walk," she said. "One of the things I've learned from this experience is that sometimes you have to slow down and take the time to enjoy every moment you have."
"I couldn't agree more," James replied, taking her by the hand. "This forest is so beautiful...so peaceful. It'd be a shame to just fly right past it in the balloon."
"Good point," Meowth remarked.
"Besides," James continued, "grand-mama and grand-papa always told me that this world is full of magic -- if you pay attention closely enough, you can feel it in the earth, the water, the air, and even yourself. And they were right...."
Jessie leaned into James and gave his hand a gentle squeeze. "Your grandparents are very wise."
James's emerald eyes glittered when she said this. "I had another dream about them last night, Jessie," he said. "I must've talked to them for hours -- it made me feel like I was a child again, going to their house for a visit."
"It's comforting to know that they're still with us," Jessie whispered, brushing away the tears that were filling her sapphire eyes. "That's the most painful part about death -- the feeling that somebody you love is gone forever. Never getting to see them again...never getting to speak to them or listen to them again...never getting to hold them or be held by them...." Her voice trailed off for a moment, and she sniffled.
"Hey, are you okay, Jess?" James asked.
She looked back at him and smiled. "I'll be fine. I guess I was just remembering how I felt when mom died. But things are different now. I had a dream last night, too. I guess you know as well as I do how good it felt to see my momma again and talk to her. It's...it's almost like she's alive again."
James nodded. "Exactly. And they even told us that it's our heightened perception -- our ability to stop and really listen...to find the magic that exists in everything -- that gave them the power to come back to us like this."
"Ya know, dat makes a lotta sense," said Meowth.
"It sure does!" Jessie agreed.
For several minutes, the three friends continued on their way in silence, listening to the wind whispering through the trees, the birds singing, and the sound of the dry leaves on the forest floor crunching beneath their feet. At length the forest trail came to an end, and the road wound instead through the ruins of Yew before rejoining with the woods. But what Jessie, James, and Meowth saw before them looked nothing like the ruins that they remembered -- the entire city was covered in a carpet of pink and purple wildflowers!
"Holy shit! Where'd all dese flowers come from?!" Meowth exclaimed.
"Yeah! This place was a wasteland on Saturday!" said Jessie. "How did so many flowers spring up in just a few days?!"
James cupped his chin in his hand and thought for a moment. "Hmmm...I seem to recall something from the dream we had about grand-mama, grand-papa, Vivien, and Miyamoto...."
Jessie and Meowth turned and looked at him.
"They showed us a vision of the future...a vision of trees and flowers growing in the ruins," he explained. "I still don't remember what else they showed us, but I definitely remember the trees and flowers. In one of her journal entries, grand-mama even said that one of the reasons the ruins of Yew made her so uneasy was because nothing grew there. She said it was like Mother Nature was afraid to take the land back...."
Jessie shuddered. "You think Ayesha's spirit was doing that?"
"I know she was," James replied. "But now that she's gone, nature can finally reclaim what's rightfully hers. Perhaps that's why these flowers grew so quickly -- they've been 2,000 years overdue!"
Meowth sniffed one of the pink flowers. "It's dat magic at work again, huh?"
"Mother Nature's way of telling us that there's no more evil here?" Jessie chimed in. She leaned down and cupped a cluster of purple flowers in her hand.
"Definitely! The message is loud and clear!" James told them. He pointed to the pink flowers. "These are rose angel." Then, to the purple flowers, "And rocket larkspur."
Meowth grinned. "Very appropriate!"
"And they're so beautiful!" Jessie sighed.
"They sure are," James agreed. "And the fact that they're living proof of our triumph over Ayesha makes them even more beautiful." He smiled tenderly at Jessie as he picked one of the rose angels and twined it in her crimson hair. "But they still pale in comparison to you!"
Jessie put her arms around his shoulders and smiled. "I love you, James...you big flatterer!"
James returned her embrace. "I love you too, Jessie...my beautiful angel."
Jessie and James gazed into each other's eyes for a moment. Then, their lips met in a passionate kiss. They remained that way for several minutes, and when their kiss ended, they continued to hold each other close.
A sense of peace came over the three friends as they continued their walk through the ruins of Yew and admired all of the flowers. The rose angel and rocket larkspur were, indeed, a living testament to the fact that evil had been purged from the land forever. And they were only the beginning -- before long, trees of oak, pine, rowan, birch, and cedar would be growing there as well. The ancient city that had scarred the land for 2,000 years would soon be gone, and the forest would be whole once again.
All because of three secret angels and the love of their friends.
As I've stated before, the magical elements in this story are based on the principles of Celtic Paganism and Witchcraft. I took a few creative liberties for the purposes of my story, but I made an effort to be respectful to the belief system and portray it in a positive light. I highly recommend Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway to anybody who's interested in the subject.
Rose angel and rocket larkspur are, indeed, real species of wildflowers. I chose those flowers because the season and climate in this story are compatible with when and where they grow, and because the names are appropriate.
Please note that the end of this story marks the beginning of a phasing-out period of the show's canon in my timeline. The complete split between series canon and my timeline doesn't take place til the end of Johto League Champions/beginning of Master Quest, but in the interim, my timeline gradually moves away from what happens on the show. This means that during the 13 episodes after "Control Freak!" and the 4th movie, some stuff applies in my timeline, and some of it most certainly does NOT! I've established some pretty major things in this story, so it doesn't make any sense to incorporate the shallow, out of character nonsense the writers keep giving us (like James almost getting conned by the stupid Magikarp Man in "Doin' What Comes Natu-Rally," the way J & J treated Meowth in "Got Miltank?" etc.) into my timeline. I don't think J, J & M would be easily fooled, have petty squabbles with each other, and such after what they've been through in this story (and even before this story, I found such things to be totally OOC...little more than the writers' lame way of trying to make it look like our heroes are stupid, don't get along with each other, etc.), so from now on, whenever something OOC happens on the show, it's not going to apply in my timeline. I'm sick of taking one step forward with J, J & M's characters in my stories and then being shoved two steps back by crappy scriptwriting, and then being forced to drop everything I'm doing to write a WYDS that explains it away, so I'm simply not going to bother with it anymore. From now on, the stupid, out of character stuff on the show is all NEH (my acronym for "Never Even Happened"), and my writing will focus on the REAL story of Jessie, James, and Meowth. Sorry if this upsets anybody, but the subject is NOT open for discussion or debate. This is a decision I had to make in order to improve the quality of my writing (and the quality of life for our heroes).
And as always, I have to thank my good friend, Shigeru1313, for all of her technical help, inspiration (the scene where Prof. Oak comes to visit Gary was her idea ^_^), feedback, support, letting me use her characters (Gary's parents David & Clarice Oak, his great-aunt Rowena Devon, and his son Sam)...and of course, the wonderful illustrations! I'd been planning this story for about a year (ever since last summer, when I first saw a screen-shot of Jessie wearing the mask), and the discussions we've had during that time really helped me develop the idea and get the ball rolling on it once "Control Freak!" aired. Shigeru, this story is for you! *hugs*
Back to the Library