Disclaimers:  I do not own Pokemon or any of its characters.  I am making no money from this.

Notes:  Jessie takes James back to Della's island.  Along the way, James begins to regain his memories.  When they reach the
island, James is reluctant to continue, as bad feelings make themselves known.



Experiments



Part Six


James watched as Jessie ran away from him, not knowing what to do.  He was so confused, unsure of himself.  Everything
that he thought he had known . . . everything that Giovanni had told him, were lies.  He hadn't been created in a lab as Giovanni
had told him.  He was a real human being, with parents, with a life . . . a life that Giovanni had stolen from him.

And that girl, that Jessie, she seemed so familiar to him.  She claimed that they were more than just friends.  But how could he
believe that when she herself had said that she had handed him over to Giovanni in the first place?

James turned, looking in the direction that Jessie had run off in.  She seemed genuinely concerned for his safety, risking her
own life to take him from the lab.  Maybe he should go check on her welfare.

He nodded to himself, deciding that he would see if she was okay or not.  He walked after her, following the tracks that she had
left behind her.  He found her kneeling on the ground, her arms wrapped around her body as she sobbed.

James stepped up behind her, feeling an overwhelming urge to comfort her.  He couldn't understand it, didn't know why he was
so concerned for her.  Maybe there had been something between them, some connection.

He knelt behind her.  As he laid his hand on her shoulder, trying to offer some form of comfort, she looked to him.  Her eyes
glistened with her tears, her cheeks stained by the salty drops.  But even though her eyes were red and puffy from crying, all
that James saw was her beauty.

"I'm sorry."  She said, her voice barely able to be called a whisper.

He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her body against his chest.  He didn't know what to say, couldn't think of one word.  
But maybe his actions would be able to speak for him.  Gently, he stroked her hair with one of his hands, trying to help her in
some small way.


*****


Jesse let herself sink into James's embrace, never wanting him to ever let her go again.  For so long she had longed for his
touch, for the embrace he was now giving her.  If only she hadn't yelled at him that night all those months ago, then he
wouldn't have been kidnaped by that scientist.

After a few moments she pulled herself away from his strong, comforting arms.  "We should get going."  She said, wiping her
tears away.

"Where to?"  James asked, his face showing a hint of confusion.

"I left some people behind on an island.  I'm sure they're worried about where I went."  She stood and began walking back to
the cabin.  "Come on, we really should get you a shirt.  Maybe there's one in the cabin."

Jessie turned and headed back to the cabin.  She could hear his footsteps behind her, knew that he was following her.  At least
he didn't hate her.  He never would have held her like that if he hated her . . . at least that was what she hoped.

They left that very same day.  Along the way to the island, after finding out where James had teleported them to in the first
place, she kept a close eye on him.  She would hate it if anything happened to him, if he got sick or something.

Every day, James seemed to remember more and more of his life, of the time he had spent with Jessie and Meowth.  But every
night, he was plagued with nightmares.  The dreams were so bad that he usually awakened screaming and covered in sweat.

But each time that happened, Jessie was there for him.  She wrapped her arms around him, and spoke soothingly to him,
comforting him in every way she could think of.  He accepted her comfort, crying against her as she held him time and again.

"Why don't we just teleport there?"  Jessie asked one morning, as they walked along the side of a dirt road.

"I don't remember that place."  He replied, keeping his gaze focused ahead of them.  "If I haven't been there, or can't picture it, I
can't go there.  Besides, it tires me out far too quickly.  I would rather have the strength to defend myself should Giovanni find
us."

Jessie merely nodded, not asking that question again.  It took days to get back to the docks and rent a boat to get to Della's
island.  She couldn't remember where she had left the last boat.  Of course it could have been stolen . . . it really didn't matter
though.  She had James back and she was happy.  By the time they got in the boat, James had started smiling again.  Not much,
but it was a vast improvement over his somber dreary expression that he constantly wore.  Giovanni had sure done a number on
him.  The memories lost . . . Jessie hoped that James would get them back.  But even if he didn't, she wouldn't leave him.  She
still loved him, despite all the changes, the powers he now had.  There were brief moments when she saw the youth she loved
in the silent young man traveling with her now.  Maybe she could teach him to be human again, to feel and care about things, to
be close to what he had once been.

There were no delusions of returning him to his old self completely . . . the James she had known and loved was gone forever.  
But this James still had the same beautiful soul . . . and she wouldn't be so foolish this time.  She wouldn't wait until it was too
late to tell him how she felt about him.

She turned to him as he was untying one of the ropes that anchored their rented boat to the dock, nervous as she considered
what she was about to say and do.  "I love you, James."  She said.  "I still love you . . . no matter the changes."  He looked to
be ready to say something, but she held up her hand, ceasing any words that might have fallen from his lips.  "No . . . don't say
anything.  You don't have to.  I just . . . I just wanted you to know.  I didn't want to make the same mistake I had before.  I
want you to know how I feel . . . I don't want to be afraid of admitting my feelings for you because of a fear of rejection.  It
doesn't matter to me if you don't love me in return . . . it would be great, but I don't want you to feel you need to say it back to
me.  When you're ready, you let me know how you feel about me.  Good or bad, I'll still love you . . . but not until you are sure
what your feelings for me are.  I've got plenty of time.  I'm not leaving you."

James smiled, a real honest-to-God smile, and nodded.  "When I discover my feelings, you will be the first to know."  He said,
tossing the rope he was holding aside.

Jessie felt a smile curling her own lips and climbed into the boat, turning the ignition.  She waited until James got in, then sped
off toward the island, happy in the knowledge that James was at least considering his feelings for her.


*****


James wasn't sure how to react to the words Jessie had spoken a few minutes ago.  His life was in turmoil already, everything
that he thought he had known about himself was turned upside down.  He was a real human, Giovanni was a bastard, and Jessie
was in love with him.  He had memories that were blurred.  As hard as he tried, he just couldn't remember everything.  There
were gaps, huge holes in between things he had only begun to uncover in his own mind.

He turned his gaze ahead of them, watching as they drew closer to the island.  Even before they reached the shore, James could
sense that there was something wrong.  He could see no sign of a disturbance with his eyes, and yet . . . there was something
unsettling about this place.  It could have been a memory resurfacing, but James didn't think so . . . it felt to be so much more
than a simple memory that had been locked in his subconscious.

Still, he trusted in Jessie's judgement.  If she wanted to go here, then there must be a reason to do so.  She had said that she had
left some people here.  James hadn't recognized any of the names, but Jessie had assured him many times that he did know
them, or at least that they knew him.  His memories were far too hazy to make sense of.  Sure, sometimes he did remember
something clearly, either on his own or with Jessie's help, but for the most part his memories were still quite blurred.

All he knew for sure was that Jessie was his friend . . . and that she loved him and wanted him to be more than just that,
wanted him to love her in return.  James vaguely remembered a talking Meowth, although he didn't know how the creature
could speak, but he hadn't questioned Jessie of this, wanting to try and remember on his own if he could.  Lately, all that he
was remembering was the recent past, the experiments that had caused this to happen to him, the treatments given to him by
Giovanni's doctors that had wiped his memories away and made him a virtual slave to the cruel leader of Team Rocket.

He was jerked from his thoughts as the boat rocked.  Jessie clasped his arm, smiling warmly at him.  "Come on, we're here."  
She said, ushering James out of the boat and onto the shore.

James nodded and followed, not saying anything as she hitched the boat to a nearby post and led him further onto the island.  
He looked around warily, knowing that there was something wrong here, although he didn't want to voice his fears, not sure if
he was mistaken or not.

The large house they walked to was in shambles.  It wasn't a surprising sight though, Jessie had warned him that it would look
like this.  However, he had thought that there would be some people here.  From what Jessie had said, there should have been
three people and two pokemon camping out in front of this building, as well as a woman inside the building who also had a
pokemon.  Perhaps they had left . . . although how they could leave was a mystery.  Jessie had claimed to have disabled the
only other boat on this island.  But if they couldn't leave, then where were the people?

"Jessie, are you sure those people you left here couldn't find another way off of the island?"  He asked.

"I'm sure of it."  She nodded.  "There were two boats.  Mine and Della's.  I disabled Della's and took mine.  There was no other
way off of the island.  It's too far to swim, and there are no phone lines out here.  They couldn't have called for help or
anything."

"Then where are they?"  James inquired.

Jessie stopped in her tracks, turning her gaze to meet with his.  "I don't know."  She said honestly, her eyes marked with a hint
of worry.  "Let's look in the house.  Perhaps Della convinced them to rest inside one of the nights I was gone."

"Perhaps."  James said quietly, although he didn't believe it.  If Della was as cruel as Jessie claimed, then he didn't know why
anyone would accept hospitality from her.

As Jessie took a step toward the house, James grabbed her wrist.  A flash of fear passed through his mind, telling him that
whatever was wrong was in that house.  "No, don't go in there."  He insisted, as he backed away from the house, dragging
Jessie along with him, pulling her back even while she asked him a flurry of questions.

"What is it?  What's wrong, James?"  She asked, turning to face him.  She wrenched her wrist from his grasp, clenching her
fingers around his arms and looking deep into his eyes.  "What is it?  A memory?  Something else?  What's wrong?"

"I don't know."  James replied . . . not sure how he could explain the dread that was seeping into every fiber of his being.  
There was just something wrong here, no other explanation could hope to detail why he felt this way.  "Just don't go in there."  
He said, trying to figure this out for himself, hoping that he would have a more suitable explanation if he could sort through the
murkiness of his mind.  "There's something wrong . . . something very wrong about this place."

Jessie smiled, stroking her fingers along the side of his face.  "It's okay, it's probably just some bad memories trying to
resurface in your mind.  I'm sure everything's going to be fine."  Jessie said reassuringly, probably in an attempt to calm him.

James would have smiled in return, if not for the frighteningly familiar voice that spoke up before he had the chance to.  "I
doubt that very much, Jessie.  Please, both of you, relax and stay a while."  The voice of Giovanni said.

James stepped back, pulling Jessie along with him again, fear clouding his judgement.  Giovanni was here . . . he wasn't safe.  
An army of Team Rockets members circled the two of them as Giovanni slowly stepped out of the front door of the house,
leaving behind the shadows he had been hiding in.  Behind him, more members of Team Rocket emerged, forcing four people
out with them, along with two pokemon held captive in cages and a Machoke in chains.

Panicking, James looked around, hoping to find any chance of escape.  He could easily teleport out of here.  But then what
about those other people?  Jessie would be upset if they were just left to suffer in her place, at least James thought that she
would be.  If she was taking the trouble to come and tell them she was well, then they did at least mean a little bit to her.  He
didn't want to upset her . . . but then again, he didn't want Jessie to get hurt either.  And the option of attacking Giovanni was
out of the question . . . for the simple fact that he couldn't attack the man without receiving intense pain in return.

Giovanni laughed.  "Looking for something, James?"  He asked, reaching into one of his coat pockets.  "I hope you aren't
planning anything.  I would hate to have to use this."  He removed his hand from his pocket, pulling out a remote control device
in his hand.

James's eyes widened and he gasped, sure that his body was shivering in fear.  "Don't."  He said breathlessly, not a question,
not a command . . . he was too frightened to add any type of threat or begging tone to his single word.

"What the hell, I'll use it anyway.  This is for daring to even try and run away from me!"  He sneered, activating the control
device.  He turned the dial, deciding on a certain setting, then hit the single red button.

In an instant, pain slammed into James's body.  He collapsed to his knees, then completely to the ground, his body writhing in
agony.  It was as if a thousand daggers had been plunged into his back and were being twisted . . . dug deeply into his spine and
slowly rotating.  Heat seeped along his spine, setting his every nerve ending on fire.  It was too much and he screamed,
throwing his head back as his body went into convulsions.



To Be Continued . . .