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The Sickness That Binds All

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For a while now James had known that his acute lymphoblastic leukaemia would keep coming out of remission since he had been born with the disease and had dealt with it his whole life. The only people in his life that knew he even had cancer was his parents and Nanny and Pop-Pop as well as his primary doctor and his cancer doctor who made sure to mail him the medication he needed to take everyday to lessen the effects even when his cancer would enter remission.

He knew that he should not have joined Team Rocket, knew that if he did manage to eventually join that he should have informed someone at Team Rocket about his condition, he knew he should have at least told his two partners Jessie and Meowth about it but he was afraid they would leave him with his parents. He loved his parents but he also despised them for trying to make him marry that crazy bitch Jessebelle, he would prefer it if his Nanny and Pop-Pop since his grandparents actually cared more about his wants and dreams more than his actual parents did.

He knew something was up when two months ago while in Alola he had coughed up some blood, luckily out of sight of Jessie, Meowth, and Bewear. He made the trip down to Hau'oli City's main hospital after calling up his personal doctors in Kanto and had them make the flight to Alola which would take a day or two so he only had the local doctors. He made sure to inform Jessie and Meowth that he had to take care of something with his grandparents which is why he would be staying in Hau'oli City for a few days, thankfully they didn't pry too much into just why he wouldn't be staying at their hideout to wait.

When his two doctors finally arrived it was to a very worried James, already he could feel the symptoms of his leukaemia coming out of remission because he was always out of breathe these days. Asking the Hau'oli Hospital staff if they could use the machines and lab equipment to do some testing didn't take very long since both of James' doctors were very well-known in the medical community. James only had to wait 3 hours before the news was delivered that his leukaemia was in fact out of remission and it was going to be much worse then before. Both of James' doctors told him he would have to take it easy from now on and to make sure he was taking the utmost care of himself because otherwise James would most certainly end up in the hospital for good this time.

James of course was absolutely speechless, he was also terrified because now he knew that he had to work really hard to hide his cancer from Jessie and Meowth. Of course his two doctors had no idea he was a member of the criminal orgnization known as Team Rocket, and he had no intention of telling them otherwise so he agreed to their list of do's and don'ts with half-heartedness only barely listening to them while his mind was whirling in circles from the news. His doctors gave him a list of new medication he would need to take and informed him he would have to start up kemotherapy again.

James watched as his two doctors left for the airport to return to Kanto clutching a decently sized bag of his new medications thinking about ways to get around going to kemotherapy without rasing any suspecion from Jessie and Meowth. He had been doing so well hiding his cancer from his partners for two whole months, mostly because around Alola things were very slow and the three of them mostly just sold honey dougnuts instead of actual scheming but that lull of activity made James relax to much until now.

James' eyes widened in horror as for once Bewear was not there to stop the giant mecha Meowth had built from exploding sending the team blasting off for the first time since coming to Alola. He knew the landing was going to be rough and that it would with absolute certainity rile up his illness, he just hoped it would happen away from Jessie and Meowth. No such luck for him this time around as the group shot through the sky from the explosion caused by Ash's Pikachu and their Z-move. James could see the ground coming closer to him, what he didn't notice was the fact it wasn't the ground he was going to hit but a small lake close to their hideout.

James felt the impact of the water, heard the rushing of it as he was plunged into the clear lake and couldn't stop his mouth from remaining open as he sunk further into the water. His chest constricted in agonizing pain and his eyes were unfocused, his body just wouldn't move and he could do nothing to save himself from drowning until he felt the water move but by then his world had gone black from the lack of oxygen and the pain.

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Guzma had been having a nice relaxing day back on his home island of Melemele which was extremely rare for the Leader of Team Skull since he normally stayed in Po Town on Ula'Ula island. For once he was tired of all the grunts troubles and their squabbling so he just up and left without telling Plumes where he was going, he just wanted some nice alone time with his Pokemon.

The peace and quiet didn't last long as a loud explosion sounded off in the distance Guzma jumping up in surprise looked up just in time to see 2 people and 2 pokemon screaming as they flew through the air. Squinting his eyes against the glare of the bright Alolan sun his eyes widened in recongnition, these 4 he knew when him and his Golisopod beat them up. He watched and wondered just how those 4 were flying through the air when 3 of them broke off from the male and flew into the forest behind him, he didn't really much care because the male of the group landed in the lake that was in front of Guzma.

Now Guzma was well known for not being a nice person but he couldn't help but feel a twinge in his chest as he waited for the male to resurface from the water but the longer he waited the more he realized that the male wasn't going to survive if he just stood there. Throwing all caution out the window Guzma threw off his shoes and jacket as quickly as he could before launching himself into the lake's water and diving. Thank god for all those times he went swimming against Kukui otherwise this endevour to save the other male wouldn't have gone as well.

It was dark and quiet in the depths of the lake but thanks to the bright sun piercing the depths of the lake Guzma was able to see quite far down and what he saw made him swim harder. There near the bottom of the lake was James who was a very pale white, eyes closing and mouth open not even moving. Guzma swam as fast as he could feeling the pressure of the water and the strain of holding his breathe for this long, he wouldn't stop until the male at the bottom was safely on land again. He finally reached James just as the male passed out and almost stopped breathing and grabbed what he could of the smaller male and began the process of swimming back up to the surface.

Guzma was straining against the weight of the thinner male and the water but finally pushed through the surface of the lake and swam for the shore dragging the male along. Dripping water and splashing, sloshing noises could be heard as Guzma threw the male onto dry land hauling himself out as well and pulling the man fully onto the grass. Both of them were soaking wet but the water was no issue to Guzma because the male on the grass wasn't breathing. Guzma had learned the basics of CPR and got started pressing down on James' chest a few times before pinching his nose shut to force air down his throat. Over and over he did this until finally James coughed up not just water but also blood and gasped for the air his body so desperately needed to function.

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James had no idea what had happened, one minute he was sinking to the bottom of the lake he landed in and then the next he was spewing up water and blood, gulping down air at a quick rate. He could tell he was still soaking wet because now he was shivering badly and his chest and lungs hurt like hell but he had no clue how he had gotten out of the water since he couldn't move while he was in the water. Slowly opening his eyes did not help much because it was so bright and all he could see was the blue of the sky but he did notice the shadow leaning over his head blocking out the sunlight. Confused and dazed James asked, "Are you an angel?"

Laughing outloud at the waterlogged young man Guzma replied, "No quite! Kid, it's ya boy Guzma!"

"Guzma?" asked James trying and failing to lift his body into a sitting position.

"Don't ya remember me kid?" Guzma questioned back, "We battled against each other not to long ago, in Hau'oli City! You were bugging my grunts while they were working, I'm the big bad boy Guzma leader of Team Skull! Ya know Destruction in Human form, the one tha beat ur ass with the Golispod?!" Guzma added doing his signiture pose, not that James could even see it properly.

"I remember you now. Did you just save me? Why?" James asked now looking both worried and surprised. 'Why would the leader of Team Skull even be here? Why did he save me after the trouble we caused him and his gang?'

"Well I was minding my own business when tha explosion woke me up, saw you and your partners shooting through the air. They landed somewhere behind me in the forest but you landed in the lake. I was gonna walk away after ya resurfaced but since ya didn't I couldn't just leave ya! Woulda given Team Skull an even worse rep than what we've got now." Guzma spoke plainly as if saving James was nothing to him.

"Well sorry about the noise and you having to save me. Thanks for the help. Now where did you say the others landed?" inquired James 'Hopefully Guzma just lets me leave.'

"Nah it's all good, you're friends landed somewhere back there." Guzma said pointing his thumb behind him toward the forest.

"Well thank you again, sorry for interrupting your break. I'll just go find my friends and get out of your hair." James said as he struggled to sit up managing to only sit up before he started coughing and wheezing for air.

"Hey u alright there bud?" Guzma looked at the younger male struggling to breathe, 'He doesn't look so good.'

After managing to finally stop coughing and catch his breathe James replied back, "Yeah I'm fine my lungs just did not agree with the water." James slowly and with careful precesion pushed himself up to his knees taking his time moving to stand up slightly swaying with the effort. He was so tired but he knew that he had to push himself to reach Jessie and Meowth before it got dark and then he could go pass out for the night.

"Alright if ya say so. Well peace out, good luck finding those friends of yours!" Guzma barked back watching the young man struggle to stand knowing that he wasn't fine but he refused to help unless he was asked, he knew a man's pride better than anyone else.

"Well enjoy the rest of your day then, farewell." James spoke as he walked off in the direction of the forest. James was looking forward to a nice warm cup of coco and some rest but first he had to find the rest of his group.

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Jessie grunted in frustraition as the vines that were tangled around her made it very hard to break free from. She could hear Meowth and Wobbuffet also complaining about being stuck in a tree again but she couldn't hear James' voice among them. "Hey James a little vocalization from ya would be nice!" she screeched out waiting for his reply.

"I don't think he landed with us Jess!" replied Meowth instead, "I think he landed in tha lake we flew over!"

"Well let's hope he gets his pasty white ass over here and helps us get outta these damn vines!" screamed Jessie in anger, "Lucky bastard just gets a small swim while we're stuck in the stupid trees again!"

"I don't know Jess, James hasn't been lookin all that well lately. He's paler than usual and he's been takin pills again." Meowth told her all that he had noticed about the male of their group.
"Whaddya mean he's been taking medication?" Jessie asked confused.

"Well Jess ya always stuck daydreamin so ya probably didn't notice em taking those pills, but he's takin more than he used ta." Meowth grumbled out finally freeing his paws. Meowth used his claws to cut at the vines finally freeing himself to smack onto the tree branch below him. "Hang on I'm free now so I'll cut ya and Wobbuffet down now!"

"I'm not always daydreaming Meowth! And what do you mean he's taking more medication than before? Why would that ever matter? And hurry your tailed ass up, these vines are annoying!' Jessie replied in anger and confusion wondering just what James wasn't telling her.

"Alright fine, hold ya damn Rapidash I'm coming!" Meowth annoyed with Jessie's impatient attitude finished freeing her Wobbuffet first before moving onto to her.

With care and ease Meowth's claws finished cutting through the last vine trapping Jessie in the tree, he watched amused as she fell down to the forest floor with thump then climbed down to join her and her pokemon.

"Wobbuffet return!" Jessie commanded pulling out the pokeball that was Wobbuffet's. Now that Wobbuffet was gone it was just the two of them left on the forest floor. "We should go find James make sure he didn't drown this time around!" Jessie stated jumping up and posing because she liked the attention it normally would have gotten her.

Meowth and Jessie were just about to head off in the direction of the lake when the bushes in front of them moved as James himself walked through them. He had heard the last comment Jessie had made bcause she was so loud but he didn't hear the rest of the conversation because he was still looking worse for wear and still dripping water despite the island's heat.

"Oh hey James! How did the water treat ya cause you look like something the Meowth dragged in!' Jessie laughingly greeted the soaked male.

"Oh good I found you two! Any injuries? How was the landing? Also I'm fine thanks for asking Jess." replied James trying to cover up his exhaustion and mildly succeeding.

"Nope we're fine just got stuck in a tree again, Meowth had to cut us free of the vines. So you landed in the lake huh? Bet that wasn't all that fun. Well we better head back to base before Bewear comes after us again!" shrugged off Jessie now paying close attention to James finally noticing that he did in fact looked paler than usual but that could have been caused by his dip in the lake.

James was careful to not mention almost drowning and his rescue by Guzma and so turned to Meowth, "Thanks bud for getting Jess free, I forgot my knife at the base and getting the three of you free would have been a challenge." Turning back to Jessie he replied, "And yeah wouldn't want for her to come after us again, I could use a change of clothing and something warm to drink."

"It ain't no problem, those vines were nothing against my claws!" Meowth smugly stated while brandishing his sharp claws for all to see, loving the praise.

"You look like you could use something to warm you up and both need a change of clothes." Jessie said finally taking her eyes off James to look down at her own torn uniform. Turning away from Meowth and James she started to run off into the direction of their hideout, "Well let's get going you two Slowpokes!"

"Yo wait up Jess!" screeched Meowth as he ran as fast as his small legs could to catch up to Jessie.

James being as tired as he was didn't notice the two running off ahead of him until Meowth yelled out, "Hey James what's the hold up?!"

"Nothing, just slow down will you!" he yelled back finally moving forward as swiftly as he could to catch up.

It didn't take the three very long to get back to their hideout running all the way there but James by then was having a difficult time getting air into his lungs. He legs ached and his chest was burning with the pain of overexerting himself after almost drowning, he was the last to reached the base because Jessie had already claimed the shower upstairs in the living area of their hideout. Meowth on the other hand was stuffing his face full of the berries that Bewear constantly picked for them so James after catching his breath back headed upstairs to go change.

Reaching his "room" he shucked off his wet clothes and rummaged through his suitcase for a clean and dry uniform before turning to the fuzzy pajamas instead. Taking care to dry himself before putting on clean clothes he was all warm again. He moved to the fridge and got out milk and the powdered coco from storage and made himself a cup of warm coco and glupped that down quickly not forgetting to take his medication first. Five minutes later he was passed out asleep on his bed unaware that his tempature was rising higher and higher from his dip in the lake.