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A Spark Of Interest

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“To denounce the evils of truth and love!” She sang, to the same tune as per usual.

James smiled internally, always just a bit anxious for his part, but who couldn’t be? “To extend our reach to the stars above!” He added on cue.

“Jessie,”

“James.”

He knew how much of a team they were, them and Meowth, despite their fights. “Surrender now, or prepare to fight, fight, fight!”

Said pokémon leapt up to his cue, and he watched the twerps as they stood patiently irritated through the entire routine until it was over. But then again, there wasn’t much to do when you’re in a pit.

“Can we just go?” Came Ash’s voice, slightly tired but still aware. Pikachu yelled out, tiny voice full of anger. He shuffled around in the hole, trying to find leverage to climb out. Misty and Brock were silent, but their faces radiated irritation, especially Misty’s. However, try as they might, the pit was quite deep as well as steep.

James was a bit proud of this hole, the one he and Meowth dug. He had already forgotten his past irritation with Jessie’s lack of desire to help, and for now the focus was on the show they put on. Their presentation was, of course, fabulous.

“Sure,” he replied, peering into the hole, “just give us Pikachu!”

His furry teammate chimed in soon after, “and don’t try nothin’ neither! We got rubber suits,” he said, only for Jessie to finish, “So you can shock us all you want!”

Ash groaned in frustration, before called out one of his pokémon to handle it. “Cyndaquil, use flamethrower!”

The excited shout of “Cyndaquil!” from the small fire-type wasn’t as exciting for Team Rocket of course, seeing as they had electricity proof gloves and suits. Unfortunately, matching dual fire and electric proof suits were not easy to find. Then again, didn’t he have grass pokémon like that Bayleaf too? Well, you couldn’t proof for everything, James supposed, before being blasted away again.

Mid air, James revisited the reason the twerp was there. A passing man named “Spark” was it? Sounds like an eccentric old gym leader, probably has good pokémon, too. He didn’t see anyone else, so he assumed the man didn’t know about the confrontation.

As they landed in a vague patch of forest he could have swore he saw before, he checked himself quickly for major injuries. A few good scrapes, but otherwise fine, save for being sore. What was odd, was that when he asked if his teammates were alright, he didn’t get an answer.

He sat upright and looked around, not seeing them anywhere. “Jessie? Meowth?” He called, his voice laced with a bit of fear, both for them and himself.

He shed the burnt suit, setting it aside. He continued to look for them, ignoring the dirt and leaves collected on his uniform.

James was so focused on looking for them he didn’t hear anyone approach. That was, until he heard a worried but unfamiliar voice.

“Are you alright?”

James squealed, before whipping around to face the owner of the voice, who apparently really liked wearing orange. He was blonde, tall, and very concerned. Probably wanted an answer too. “I’m fine, just had a... fall.”

He nodded for a second before rushing over, pulling at his now gloveless hand and forearm. “Oh you got pretty hurt, here let me just...” he trailed off, attempting to clean the scratches with his possibly endless amount of antibiotic and disinfectant. Was his backpack endless?

Obviously the man didn’t think about personal space, having taken to checking him over briefly. James was uncomfortable to say the least, but found the energetic man somewhat likeable. “I’m ok, really. I’ve survived worse.”

The blonde seemed unsure of his answer, but dropped it for now. He backed up a bit and picked his bag back up. “Are you a pokémon trainer?”

“You... could say so.” He replied, not quite sure if he had any better answers.

“Oh, were those your friends then?” The man asked, implying the people he was looking for. “You were calling for them.”

“Who? Oh, Jessie and Meowth? Yeah, I kind of lost them, but I’m sure they’ll be just fine.” Well, he assumed, so. “Who are you anyway?” He finally asked, tired of it being a mystery.

“Oh, I’m Spark!” He grinned, practically radiating joy. “What about you?”

“I’m James,” he paused for a moment, wondering if it’d be fair to even try to steal from the man who obviously was kind to him, even as a stranger. Even then, did he even know who Team Rocket was?

“That’s a cute name,” Spark continued as if it was nothing, making the seventeen year-old flush a bit, “Hey, can I see your pokémon?”

“Ah... sure.” He wasn’t sure if it was the best choice, but Victreebel couldn’t be that bad. “Victreebel, go!” He called as the pokéball opened up.

As if it was its only job, Victreebel clung to its owner’s face, making him fairly uncomfortable. “Victreebel, no! Get off my face!” He cried, sighing when it finally unattached from him. He expected laughter, which he suspiciously did not hear.

“Wow! That Victreebel really loves you! And it’s a big one too!” He examined the grass-type thoroughly, his short blonde tufts of hair flopping, only a second behind him every time he moved his head. “You must be a really great trainer!”

James had to admit the compliment brought heat to his face, and he didn’t notice that his ‘thanks’ was mostly mumbled, but the smile on the man’s face said he probably heard it anyway. After a few silent seconds, and a moment of James wondering what inclined the man to wear tight leather pants out for a walk, he asked him if he was a gym leader.

“Oh, yeah. I train electric-types, mainly. I work with Professor Willow sometimes. Heard of him?” James shook his head with a quick ‘no, not really’, “Ah, well, it’s a while from here, anyway.” He said, idly petting the Victreebel who enjoyed the attention, as he brushed a few strands of his platinum hair back in silence.

James noticed how pretty Spark was, with his scattered freckles and gentle features. Even more so, he noticed how enthusiastic he was about everything pokémon, and wanted to know more about him. However, he knew he had to get back to his team. They probably were fine, but he couldn’t sit right with the idea of his friends getting hurt because of his negligence.

“I have to go.” The lavender haired man said, regretfully. “To find my friends.” He called Victreebel back into its ball, the man standing up beside him. “It’s not that I don’t like you, I do, you’re very nice, but I have to go.” He blurted, internally embarrassed by his fast paced sentence.

“It’s not a problem. Maybe we can... talk later? I have the address of where I’m staying, here!” He smiled, scribbling on a partly fried notebook, and shoving the now crumpled note into his new friend’s hand. “Come see me later?” He asked, sounding a bit hopeful under that enthusiasm.

“I...,” He paused, knowing that he can’t go making promises, “I’ll try.” He assured, smiling back at him. His face lit up, taking James by surprise. “Bye!” He yelled as he started backing up, before turning around and running off. He was at least going to try to see him again, as long as his teammates didn’t catch on.