“Class! Line up!” barked Mr. Oliver.
“Yes Sir!” the Rockets in training replied as they formed a line in front of their instructor. Together they ran around the track and stretched. Once completing this they again lined up in front of Mr. Oliver.
“As you know I’ll be testing you on your form next week. Today I would like to spend some time going over the Bokken portion with you. James, Indigo, up front with me, please.”
“Yes Sir!” the two chimed.
“I want my top students to show the rest of the class, and myself, some Bokken sparring.”
“Yes Sir.” Indigo and James walked over to the yard-long sticks. Each knelt down, carefully picked up a stick, and proceeded to the middle of the floor, where they stood, facing each other.
“I’m taking you down today, my friend,” Indigo grinned.
James returned the smile. “Says you.” They loved to playfully psyche each other out. It was one of their favorite games.
“Bow,” ordered Mr. Oliver.
The pair bowed to their instructor, and then to each other.
Checking their distance, they got in their ready stance.
All other sound in the gym was drowned out by they clacking of the wooden sticks.
“My T-shirt looks nice on you,” James pointed out during a close moment. Female students were required to wear T-shirts under their martial arts uniforms. Indigo, being the only female in the advanced class, often found herself in short supply, if she had any at all. They kept mysteriously disappearing. Such was the case today so James, literally, gave her the shirt off his back. “Does it serve it’s purpose?” James was aware Indigo knew he wasn’t talking about the obvious. She could smell the faint scent of amber, mixed with his own scent. It was an intoxicating combo for her, a fact James knew all too well.
James’ smile widened.
“You know, if you want your shirt back, you’ll have to come take it from me, yourself.”
Whether it was from Indigo’s invitation, or the ‘oooos’ from their classmates over their demonstration, James became distracted and was soon on the mat, out cold.
“James… James?” Indigo called.
“James?” Jessie slapped him.
“Pay attention! This is where we’re taking Indigo to train,” she pointed to the map Meowth had laid out on the table.
It took James a second to remember he was actually in the cafeteria with Jessie and Meowth. He looked down on the map, where Jessie was pointing. “The Cherangoa Forest? Are you out of your freakin’ mind?”
“Why? I think it’s the perfect place,” said Jessie in her sugar coated voice. James glared at her.
“And it’s got lots of pokemon, lots of rare pokemon,” Meowth added.
“Lots of dangerous pokemon,” corrected James.
“Rare, dangerous, what’s da dif? If we catch one da Boss is sure to be happy.”
James shook his head. “No!”
“Look, we’re not asking for your opinion, James. We’re telling you. This is where we are going.” Jessie whipped out her mallet in the event of a further dispute.
“Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt your bonding experience, but I thought you’d like to know I’m here, and on time.”
“Oh my!” the trio gasped. Before them Indigo stood. Some ice and a little makeup made the swelling of her lip nearly undetectable. She wore the Team Rocket issue black tank dress, over it was the same white jacket Jessie and James wore, undone. On her hands where black gloves that stopped at her wrists. She decided to forgo the traditional FMBs and opted instead for black fishnets and Doc Marten boots. But what really caught their attention was her hair. The soft copper curls that once rested upon her shoulders were replaced by tiny ringlets around her face.
Damn! She’s even more beautiful! awed James.
Damn! She’s even more beautiful! seethed Jessie.
“What the hellja do to ya hair?” asked Meowth.
“It’d become a liability,” Indigo glanced at James, whose eyes now refused to meet hers, “so I decided to cut it short.”
Meowth didn’t quite understand what she meant by that, but he really didn’t care. It was time for dinner. As he folded the map back up the others raced into line. “Hey! Don’t Bogart da chow!”
Back at their table, Jessie and Meowth discussed the trip to the Cherangoa Forest in-between bites of food. James sat quietly across from Indigo, still avoiding her gaze. He picked at his dinner for a bit before announcing that he wasn’t feeling well and left for his room.
“Here,” Jessie handed Indigo a sheet of paper.
“It’s the Team Rocket Travel Checklist. It’s a list of everything you could possibly need for any kind of trip.”
“Dere’s an official checklist?” Meowth was answered with Jessie’s elbow to his chest.
“How on earth do you carry all this stuff?” Indigo looked over the incredibly long list.
“Where does she keep dose fans, pans and mallets?” asked Meowth, rhetorically.
“Just make sure you have everything on that list by tomorrow morning. We head out at dawn.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Indigo sighed.