Separate Ways

True Colours

Jessie suddenly felt very overwhelmed. She pushed herself away from Jasper and stood up. Despite the cool breeze on the air, she began to feel uncomfortably warm.

"Well?" Jasper asked, watching her intently.

"I..." she started, not entirely sure about what she was going to say. "I can't."

She half expected him to look hurt, but instead he just looked irritated.

"Why not?" he asked sharply.

"I'm not really wife material," she said vaguely. That wasn't completely true, though. She could imagine herself being someone's wife some day, just not Jasper's.

"That's not really an excuse," Jasper said, standing up too.

"Look," Jessie said, getting a little irritated. "I don't want to get married and that's that."

"I bet you'd have said yes to that loser, James..." he said with a note of derision in his voice.

"Hey!" Jessie said, angrily, immediately jumping to James' defence. Jasper suddenly looked even more irritated.

"Are you kidding?" he asked. "You don't really have feelings for that moron, do you?"

"You'd better watch who you're talking about," Jessie growled, fighting the urge to throw something at Jasper's sneering face.

"Why would you even care about someone like that when you have me?" he asked. "James couldn't catch a Pokémon if it sat in front of him and begged for it."

"He's a better man than you could ever be!" she shouted.

"He's a pathetic loser! He's not good enough for you and he's certainly not good enough for Team Rocket! He'd be better off - " But Jessie knew where that sentence was going and she wasn't going to let him finish it. She grabbed the first thing she could lay her hands on which was one of the Pokéballs in her belt and hurled it at Jasper. It collided with his head with a thud. Jasper just stared at her with a look of contemptuous disbelief.

"I thought you had ambition, Jess," he said, shaking his head. "But you'll never be anything more than a useless Rocket grunt without me."

"You've really shown your true colours tonight, Jasper," she replied. "I'd rather have no job at all than work with you for another second."

She turned on her heel, abandoning all her belongings except the Pokéballs she carried around her waist and strode away from Jasper, truly hoping she never saw him again.

She walked for at least an hour before she felt she was far enough away from Jasper. Now that she had time to process what had just happened, she realised that beneath all her anger she felt pretty betrayed. She had trusted Jasper, as much as she was capable of. She had let him get close to her. She thought she knew him quite well but as it turned out, he had a jealous, unkind streak within him that made him a much less attractive person. She thought back to the relaxed evenings they had spent together by their little campfire, discussing work and talking about their lives and she couldn't help but feel a deep sense of regret. How could their pleasant, easy relationship have taken such a bad turn? And how could she not have noticed the bitter, angry side of the man she had lived and worked with for three months?

All she could think about now was getting back to James. If she was with him, she would feel safer. He may not even want to speak to her after the way she left him in the hospital, but she had to at least try. When she had been with him, things had been so much better. She had to find him.

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