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

Notes:  The conclusion to my fic.  It's sappy but this is the way I like it.



It was once said that in the beginning, it is always dark.  James could attest to that fact as he fought his way to wakefulness.  
While he'd slept, several memories had returned to him.  Most of them had to do with Jessie.  Jessie . . . the very thought of her
name made him want to sink back into the darkness.  She was gone . . . with a wound like the one that Giovanni had given her,
she HAD to be gone.

Regardless of his wishes, he opened his eyes and found himself in a small, but cozy room.  A flood of sunlight washed over the
blankets covering his body, illuminating the room as well as warming his tired form.  He heard a sound from somewhere in the
room and tried to sit up, only to groan as all of his muscles protested even that meager amount of movement.  He fell back to
the bed, wincing his eyes shut as flashes of white speckled across his field of vision.

"James?  Ya okay?"  A voice asked.  Strange . . . it sounded so familiar, and yet James couldn't place it immediately.  Of course,
with all the memories he had lost, James could hardly remember anything . . . well anything other than Jessie.

"Who's there?"  James asked weakly, blinking his eyes open, but finding that there was no one in the room that he could see.

"It's Meowth."  The voice replied.  Not a moment later, the small catlike pokemon jumped up onto James's bed, sitting on the
edge and watching him with a concerned visage.  "Ya haven't forgotten Meowth, have ya?"

James feigned a smile despite his injuries and the aches throbbing throughout his body.  "No, I remember you."  He said.  "It just
took me a moment to place the voice with the face . . . things aren't clear any more."

Meowth nodded, apparently accepting James's reason for being confused a moment ago.  "Those Team Rocket bums all ran off
. . . guess they weren't so tough.  That Della woman, she took us in, said she had no need for her experiments now that she
avenged her father.  Ash and the other twerps took off a couple days ago . . . went back ta training."  Meowth said, filling
James in on the recent news events.  "They stayed long enough ta help out though . . . bringing ya and Jess into Della's house
and fixing ya up.  Della's broken arm would'a made it difficult ta work on ya otherwise."

James turned away, his heart aching with the knowledge that Jessie was gone.  He remembered her and now she was gone . . .
he didn't want to live without her.  It just hurt too much to even consider the idea of staying alive now.  Meowth's words only
served to drive a stake of grief through his heart.

"How long have we been here?"  James asked, although the pain in his heart made it difficult to even get those few words to fall
from his lips.

"Almost a week now.  Ya must have been exhausted, using up all that energy like ya did.  Della said it was like ya were in a
coma . . . dead to the world."  Meowth said.  The word 'dead' did little to make James feel any better . . . no, it only served to
twist the knife of despair that had been plunged deep into his chest.  Meowth sighed, setting a paw on James's blanket-covered
leg and regaining his attention.  "Ya know, Jess has been really worried about ya."

That single statement got James's complete attention.  "Jessie?  She's alive?"  He asked, but then shook his head.  "No . . . but I
thought that Giovanni killed her."

Meowth grinned.  "Nah, ain't that easy to kill Jess . . . you should know that by now James, after all we've been through
together.  Della patched her up . . . with the help of those three twerps.  Like I said, Della's broken arm made it difficult to tend
to both of ya, but she did it, sewed Jess up real well.  She's a good doctor for a mad scientist."

"I want to see her."  James replied, pushing himself to a sitting position.  He just had to see for his own eyes, only then would
he believe the words of Meowth.  He didn't want to find out this was all some twisted joke, or worse yet a dream from which
he would awaken come morning.

"But ya gotta rest, James.  Ya ain't well yet."  The pokemon argued, trying to push James back down on the bed.

James threw the covers from himself, swinging his legs over and off the edge of the bed.  He grabbed a nearby robe, covering
himself out of modesty then staggered over to the door, his head swimming with dizziness with every step he took.  "I have to
see her."  He demanded, finally reaching the door and opening it.  "Where is she?"  He asked, looking up and down the empty
hallways, unsure of what direction he was supposed to head in.

"Well, since ya insist on going, I probably won't be able ta stop ya."  Meowth sighed, shaking his head.  "Follow me."  He
walked off down a hallway.  James followed close behind.

It was only a short few minutes later that James found himself facing a closed door.  Meowth had led him here, then had
respectfully left, telling James that if he needed anything all he had to do was call.  James appreciated the consideration, thankful
that he was being given some privacy for this moment.  If this was true, if she really was alive, he did want to be alone with
Jessie . . . even if all he did was talk with her.

Swallowing against the lump of nervousness that had so suddenly filled his throat, James reached out his hand.  He was shaking
when he grasped the doorknob, more afraid than he could remember ever being.  The prospect of finding out that all this had
been a lie, that Jessie was in fact really dead, left him scared.  With a bated breath, James turned the knob and opened the door,
stepping into the room.

He gasped as his eyes fell on the bed at the other end of the room.  There was Jessie, wearing a simple nightgown and covered
by blankets.  Her luminous hair was such a vibrant color, it stood out on the pristine sheets.  She was beautiful, the sunlight
bathing her face with its light.  He forgot to breathe for a moment he was so entranced by her loveliness.

James hadn't realized that he had taken a step into the room until he was standing at the edge of her bed.  He sank into a nearby
chair, his eyes glued to her still form, watching the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed evenly.  She was alive . . . his heart
sang in triumph at the notion that she was really alive.

Timidly, almost fearfully, James stretched out his hand, delicately brushing the strands of silken hair away from Jessie's face.  
He didn't want to shatter this illusion if it was one . . . he didn't want to break this spell and find himself alone and grieving for
his lost love again.  He wanted this to last, wanted to keep seeing Jessie alive and well.  Could he really trust his own eyes . . .
this vision of beauty before him?

Jessie's eyes fluttered open, blinking repeatedly before her gaze settled on James.  She smiled, an expression that melted James's
heart into a mushy puddle of goo.  "You're okay."  She rasped, her voice weak and strained.  "I wanted to come see you myself
. . . but I'm a bit tired."

James smiled in return, taking hold of Jessie's hand and letting his fingers weave together with hers.  "I'm here and I'm fine.  
How are you?"  He asked, concerned, hoping for the best and yet fearing the worst.  Maybe she could still die . . . he didn't
want that, but it was possible.

"Della says I'll be fine.  I'm just on a lot of painkillers right now . . . Meowth is watching out for me.  He'd never lie to me, he's
always bluntly honest, so I know I'm not dying.  He would have told me if I am."  Jessie said, speaking as frankly as she always

"You will be fine."  James replied, knowing it to be true now.  He had no doubts anymore.  If Jessie believed that she was well,
then she was well.  He looked down at their interlocked hands, taking a moment to collect his thoughts.  There was something
that he wanted to tell her, something on his mind that was tearing a hole in his soul.  "Jessie . . . I remember you."  He said as he
raised his gaze again, looking deep into her beautiful eyes.  "And I want you to know that I still love you."

The smile that Jessie gave off could have filled the room with light if it were possible.  Still, it warmed James's heart
tremendously to see that expression fixed on her face.  "I'm so happy you said that."  She exclaimed, although tiredly.  "I love
you too."  She raised her hand, sliding it lovingly along his cheek.

James caught her hand, bringing it to his lips and giving it a soft kiss.  "I think you should get some rest, Jessie.  Maybe when
we're better we can do something together . . . a nice vacation perhaps?"

"I'd like that."  Jessie said, smiling softly at him.  "A beach perhaps . . . someplace peaceful and warm."  She yawned widely and
gave James an apologetic smile.  "Sorry."  She whispered wearily.

James shook his head, although it only caused the ache in his skull to swell with the movement, even as slight as it was.  "There
is no need to apologize.  You're tired.  You really should rest and get well so we can get to that beach."

"Hmm . . ."  Jessie sighed, her eyes already having fallen shut.  James chuckled lightly, amused to see that she had so quickly
fallen into the sleep that she most definitely did need.

James sat in his seat and watched Jessie sleep for a few minutes . . . basking in her glorious beauty.  He yawned, his own
fatigue setting upon him.  He leaned forward in the chair until his head was on Jessie's bed.  Even though sleep called to him, he
kept his gaze locked on his beloved's visage.  A part of him was still afraid that she would vanish, that this was all some wicked

Without thinking, James reached up and took hold of one of Jessie's hands again.  When her fingers tightened their hold, James
smiled and succumbed to slumber and dreamed of the long and happy life he would have with Jessie at his side.  She was all he
needed . . . well, perhaps a few kids for them to dote attention on sometime in the future.

The End