Pokemon Fan Fiction ❯ The Return of Butch and Cassidy ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
As Anari begins to adjust to living at Team Rocket HQ, Jessie and James return for Meowth and leave to resume their pursuit of Pikachu. Anari and Mondo bond over the loss of their friends, when two former Rockets make a sudden reappearence…

Home Is Where the R Is
Chapter Two – The Return of Butch & Cassidy

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« You two DARE to come back here? » Giovanni shouted. « After everything you’ve done you’re lucky I let you LIVE! »

Anari stood beside her uncle, watching Butch and Cassidy cringe as they stood in front of their former employer’s desk. Both of them still sported the bruises they’d received as the result of the sound beating he’d given them a week ago. Cassidy was still recovering from several cracked ribs and Butch had lost one of his back teeth. Together they recounted the tale of how they’d woken up in a dumpster some time later and crawled to a pay phone to call the hospital. When someone at the hospital recogized them from a wanted poster and called the police, they’d had to break a window to escape; causing Cassidy to injure herself further by cutting herself on the glass. Butch also sustained an additional injury from their escape when the police opened fire and he barely missed being shot in the back. The bullet had grazed his hip instead. Domino stood on the other side of Giovanni, watching the desperate duo plead their case with an amused expression. She’d quickly concluded from the boss’s expression- which was far from amused- that this was the pair’s final moments on Earth.

« We have no place else to go, » Butch concluded. « We’re wanted everywhere. »

« This is the only home we have, » Cassidy added. « We were fools to leave it. »

« You come here seeking compassion from me after you betrayed me? » Giovanni responded. « You’re bigger fools than I gave you credit for and I have no more time to waste on you. » He pushed a button under his desk and two men in black suits entered the room. « Marco and Niko will be happy to show you the way… out. »

Marco and Niko drew their guns and Butch nearly passed out. He grabbed the edge of Giovanni’s desk to steady himself while Cassidy clutched her fists, causing the cuts on her wounded fingers to flare up in pain. To her utter humiliation she felt tears roll down her cheeks. If Giovanni noticed this rare display of emotion, he didn’t appear to be moved in the least.

« Put them out of their misery. »

Butch fell to his knees. « Sir, please! »

« Uncle Giovanni? »

Giovanni turned to his niece. « What? »

« Please don’t hurt them. »

« Why the hell not? »

« You said Team Rocket is like a family, right? »

« They betrayed the family, Anari, » he explained.

« Family forgives, » she said softly.

« A few bad apples will ruin an entire barrel, child. They betrayed me once and for the right price they’ll do it again. They have to be eliminated. »

« They aren’t food, they’re PEOPLE! » the child exclaimed, not understanding her uncle’s analogy. « People make mistakes! »

« Anari, this matter doesn’t concern you, » he said coldly.

« You sound just like my brother, » she told him, meeting his austere gaze with a cold determination that was chilling for a seven year-old.

« Leave the room! » he ordered.

« No! »

« Please! » Butch begged. « I swear it’ll never happen again! »

« We’ll do anything! » Cassidy added, getting on her knees with her partner.

« Give them another chance! » Anari pleaded. « For ME! Please don’t hurt anybody! »

« Uh, sir…? » It was Niko, with his gun pressed to Cassidy’s temple. Marco had Butch in a similar position, looking at Anari uncomfortably. « Should we… I mean, in front of the child? »

« Please DON’T! » Anari screamed, bursting into tears. « Niko, Marco, PLEASE! »

Giovanni shook his head and motioned for them to put their weapons away. He glared at Butch and Cassidy, who were visibly trembling. Cassidy looked sick, and Butch was white as a sheet.

« Get up! » Giovanni commanded, and they did so. « You want to work here again perhaps we can arrange something-« 

« Thank you! » they both exclaimed at the same time.

« -WITHOUT pay! » Giovanni finished. « The fact that I’m employing you again, against my better judgement, is more than you have any right to expect from me! » They both nodded, not daring to argue. « Take this, » he said, pulling a piece of paper and a GPS device out of a desk drawer and handing them to Butch. « There’s a new evolution machine being used in the Johto region. I’ve been told it can evolve Pokémon before the appropriate level required under normal circumstances. I want the blueprints so our people can build some for Team Rocket. »

Butch started to ask why they didn’t just steal the machine itself, but thought better of it.

« Go change into uniform and meet Sniper on the roof. »

« Yes, sir! » they responded in unison.

« Fail me again and I’ll make you wish I’d ended your miserable lives here… and that includes, YOU! » This last bit was directed at Anari.

« W- what? »

« Since you feel the need to plead for the lives of traitors you’re going to take responsibity for them! »

« But… how? I’m just a kid! »

« You should have thought of that before, » he said angily. « I’ll teach you to disobey me! Now all of you, get out! »

Everyone except Domino filed out of the room, too stunned to speak.

« Why did you give them my assignment? » Domino inquired.

« Go tell Sniper to ready that old chopper out back, » he ordered, not answering her question. « Tell him Butch will be flying it. »

« I thought you said the only thing that helicopter was good for is scrape metal? » Domino asked. « The communication system isn’t working and the navagation system has been malfunctioning for months. »

« Quite right, » Giovanni grinned. « But I’ve maintained the insurance policy on it. I’m sure I’ll be collecting on it very soon. »

Domino smirked, approvingly. « That’s one way to solve the problem. »

« Gather some men and return to Johto. Get me those blueprints. »

Domino nodded, and was gone.

. . .

« Why did you do that for us? » Cassidy asked Anari. « The last time we met I threatened to hurt you. »

« I don’t want anybody else to die, » the girl replied simply. After seeing her brother’s strangled corpse in the coils of Jessie’s Arbok the child had quickly decided she never wanted to see a dead person again.

« Well, we owe you for this kid, » Butch told her. « Thank you. »

« I’d watch my step from here on out if I were you two, » Niko told them. « You screw up again I doubt even this kid’ll be able to save you a second time. »

« You know you didn’t want to take us out, » Butch grinned.

« That wouldn’t have stopped us from doing it, » Marco informed him coldly.

Anari shivered.

. . .

Half an hour later Giovanni buzzed his assistant and told her to locate his niece.

« I think Sniper was the last one to see her, » the woman told him.

« Well, find HIM then! » he ordered. Now that he’d had time to calm his temper and reevaluate the situation with a clearer head, he realized that the one at fault had been himself, not Anari. What in the hell had he been thinking, ordering his men to eliminate two people in front of a child? Of course the girl would be upset! He had to repair the damage he’d done before Anari grew to hold the same opinion of him as she did her murderous elder brother. She was too young to understand the intricacies of running a criminal syndicate. She couldn’t even tell the difference between an enemy and an ally, and he couldn’t protect the child if he frightened her away.

I’m such a fool…

His phone rang and he picked it up.

« You wanted me, Sir? » It was Sniper.

« Are Butch and Cassidy gone? »

« Yes sir. »

« Good. Have you seen my niece? »

« The child left with them. »

« She WHAT? »

« She said it was your orders, sir. Marco and Niko confirmed it. They said you were teaching her a lesson. »

« Idiots! I never meant for her to go WITH them! »

« I’m sorry, sir. I thought she had clearence to board. »

« She’s SEVEN YEARS OLD! » Giovanni shouted. « Incompetent fools! If anything happens to her, I’ll make you ALL wish you were never born! »

He slammed the phone down and put his head in his hands. This was all his fault. He’d been angry at her for causing him to lose face by arguing with him in front of his subordinates. Now, because he’d let his temper get out of control, his niece was on board a rickity old chopper in the hands of two people he couldn’t trust. If they survived the flight, Butch and Cassidy might even harm the child in retaliation for the beating they’d received.

« What have I done? » he whispered. « Anari, I’m sorry… »

. . .

« You do it in ABC order, » the little girl expained her game to her adult companions as Butch flew towards their destination. « When you can’t think of a line for the next letter, the next person starts a new story with it. My brother and I used to do it in the car to pass the time. »

« Okay… » Butch and Cassidy replied, not quite understanding the child.

« You go first then, » Cassidy told her, as she buttoned up the girl’s coat. They were all wearing black trench coats and sunglasses.

Anari cleared her throat. « Like this:

A was an Agent
B beat him
C cut him
D defeated him.

Now you try, » she told them.

« Oh, I get it now, » Cassidy responded. She continued the chain:

E was an Elitist
F fought her
G got her
H helped her
I ignored her
J jumped her
K killed her
M mourned her

« What’s an elitist? » Anari inquired. Before anyone could answer her, a blast knocked her and Cassidy both to the floor.

« What was THAT? » Cassidy asked her partner.

« A Fearow! » Butch answered. « It hit the chopper. »

« Why didn’t you avoid it? »

« I don’t know, something’s wrong with the navigation system. »

Just as Cassidy and Anari had gotten back on their feet, they were knocked down again. Cassidy, who was still recovering from three cracked ribs, hissed in pain.

« It’s angry now! » Butch told them. « It’s ramming the chopper! »

« Radio for help! » Cassidy told him.

« I’m trying, the communication system isn’t working, » Butch said.

« That’s bad, isn’t it? » Anari asked, clutching Cassidy’s arm. Cassidy nodded.

« We’ve got an even bigger problem! » Butch yelled, suddenly sounding panicked.

« What’s wrong, Butch? » Cassidy asked.

« THAT! » he shouted, pointing at the growing crack in the windshield.

« It’s breaking! » the youngest member of their group cried.

« We’re going to have to make an emergancy exit! » Cassidy shouted, throwing a parachute to Butch.

« You mean we have to jump out of the plane? » Anari asked.

« That’s right, » Butch confirmed, picking her up.

« We’ll all DIE! » Anari screamed, beginning to cry.

« No, we won’t, » Butch assured her, smiling. « Just hold tight to me, kiddo. »

She watched as Cassidy vacated the aircraft and screamed when Butch jumped next. Her over-sized sunglasses slid from her face and were lost. She clung to Butch with a vice grip, lest she slip from his hold just as easily. Butch released the parachute and they floated gently back to earth.

« There you go, » Butch said, when they’d untangled themselves.

« Thanks, Bob. »

« It’s Butch. »

« Sorry. »

The sound of an explosion was heard in the distance.

« Do you think my uncle will be mad at us for breaking his plane? » she asked.

« Helicopter, » Butch corrected her. « And even if he is there’s nothing we can do about it now. »

« We’ll deal with it after we complete our mission, » Cassidy told them. « Have you still got the address? »

« Got it, » Butch confirmed.

« Good. Now we just need to figure out how we’re going to GET there! »

« It’s in that direction, » Butch pointed, after consulting with the GPS he’d pulled out of his pocket. « We’ll have to walk for now. »

His companions nodded tiredly.

« It’s your turn, » Anari informed him as they headed in the direction he’d pointed.

« Fine, » he agreed. « N was a Ninja… »

. . .

Several miles of walking, two ferry rides and a hijacked blimp later the three arrived at their destination.

« Shouldn’t we have untied those people in the blimp before we left? » Anari asked.

« And give them the chance to call the cops while we’re still in the area? » Butch retorted. « Not a chance! »

« Someone will find them eventually, » Cassidy assured her. « And when they do we need to be as far away as possible! »

« Let that be a lesson for you, » Butch told the little girl. « Never hang around a crime scene longer than you have to. Do what needs to be done and go, otherwise you increase your chances of being caught. »

It was sound advice, but at the moment Anari had a more pressing matter on her mind.

« I’m hungry, » she complained.

« We’re ALL hungry, » Cassidy told her. « The boss didn’t give us any money so you’ll have to suck it up. »

« Cassidy, look! » Butch pointed to the side of the building, where Domino was standing with a squad of grunts.

« What the hell is Domino doing here? » Cassidy asked. « The boss gave this assignment to us! »

« Maybe he’s testing us, » Butch suggested. « Having her watch to make sure we get the job done. »

« Or maybe he sent them to help, » Anari offered optimistically.

« Somehow I doubt it, » Cassidy muttered. « Domino! »

« What are YOU two doing here? » Domino asked, amazed to find them still alive. She didn’t notice Anari, who was standing behind Cassidy.

« You know very well why we’re here! » Butch shouted. « The boss gave this assignment to us! »

« Well, you’re too late! » the Elite agent smirked. « I’ve got the information he needs right here! » She held up a computer chip smugly.

« You mean we came all this way for nothing? » Anari moaned from behind Cassidy, burying her face in the back of the woman’s trench coat. Domino didn’t hear her.

« Clean the place out, » Domino ordered the grunts under her command. « And transport all the Pokémon you collect to headquarters via the Johto base. » She then flew off in her jet pack, laughing.

« So what do we do? » Butch asked his partner.

« I suppose we help rob the place, » Cassidy answered. « I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell don’t want to go back to the boss empty-handed. »

« Me neither, » Butch agreed.

They followed the rest of the men inside. Anari had never been part of a heist before and watched the whole process with great curiosity. Everyone moved quickly and efficiently to relieve the place of pokéballs, light-weight machinery and anything else they suspected might prove useful. One man had even thought to steal all the Pokémon food stored on the lower shelves while one of the female grunts raided the medicine cabinets above. Cassidy grabbed a mostly-empty sack sitting on the floor and immediately got to work.

« Hand me a sack, would you? » Butch asked the grunt next to him.

« We ‘re not working with the likes of you, » the man informed him. « Last time we met you knocked me out and threw me in a cell. »

« And me, » a man on the other side of the room chimed in.

Butch and Cassidy exchanged glances, suddenly understanding that this was part of the change they would have to endure as they worked to re-establish themselves within Team Rocket. It wasn’t just the boss they were going to have to convince of their sincerity. They’d betrayed numerous other members of the organization, especially those in the lower ranks, by kidnapping them and delivering them to Giovanni’s treacherous nephew. They’d been paid well for their disloyalty and everyone knew it.

A female grunt, who’d just filled her sack with stolen pokéballs, approached the duo hatefully.

« If you recall, the last time I saw the two of you was when you escorted me to that sick pig Gambini’s office. »

Anari’s heart clenched at the mention of her brother’s name, while Butch and Cassidy lowered their eyes to the floor guiltily.

« I don’t know why the boss hasn’t killed you yet, » the woman continued, « But be assured I’ll be first in line to volunteer if he needs any assistance. »

« Did he hurt you? » Anari asked her softly. The woman glared at the child, before walking away.

Anari had walked in on her brother knocking Jessie violently to the floor; and later, after pleading with them to spare Antonio’s life he’d turned on them and confessed to the very thing Anari had insisted- and believed with all her heart- that he was incapable of.

My parents didn’t live to cross me, and neither will you!

She wondered what other terrible things he was guilty of, but the sudden sound of sirens broke her train of thought.

« Let’s get out of here! » Cassidy shouted.

« We don’t take orders from traitors! »

« We’ve got the boss’s kid! » Butch yelled. « Do YOU want to explain to him if the mission is botched and something happens to her? »

« Secure the exits! » they heard a female voice order.

« Shit! » Butch swore. « It’s Officer Jenny! »

« Can we get out the back? » Cassidy asked.

« I don’t think so, » one of the grunts said, looking out the window. « The police have the building surrounded. »

« Bob, what are we gonna do? » Anari asked, clutching Butch’s leg.

« It’s BUTCH! »

« Looks like we’re getting carted off again, » Cassidy sighed. « I don’t think the boss is going to bail us out this time. »

« We’ve got bigger problems than bail money, » Butch replied, pointing to the little girl clinging to him. « What are we going to do about HER? »

« We can’t let the police get their hands on her, » Cassidy said.

« The boss would roast us all! » one of the grunts behind her said. The rest of his cohorts nodded in agreement.

« We’re going to have to hide her somewhere, » Cassidy said.

« HIDE ME? WHERE? » Anari asked, starting to panic.

« There! » Butch said, pointing to an air vent in the wall. « It’s too small for us, but I think she’ll fit. »

He rushed to remove the dusty vent while someone handed Anari a cell phone.

« One of our scientists has a research base nearby, » the agent told her. « As soon as everyone leaves call Dr. Namba and tell him what’s happened. He’s on speed dial. »

« Get as far in as you can without losing sight of the vent, and don’t make any noise, » Cassidy instructed her.

« Don’t leave me alone! » Anari pleaded, as Butch hoisted her up so she could crawl in the air passage. « I’m scared! »

« Be strong, » Cassidy smiled reassuringly. « You’re a member of Team Rocket now, so be brave! »

« But-« 

« You’ll be fine, » Butch promised, putting the vent back in place. « Let’s get out this room! » he ordered everyone else. « We don’t want to draw the police’s attention here! »

« Bob! Cassidy! Wait! » Anari sobbed. « Don’t leave me! »

« It’s BUTCH! » Butch told her, turning out the lights and shutting the door.

Anari was left in total darkness. « Get me out! » she screamed. « Please, I’m SCARED! »

The passage was too narrow for her to turn around, so she tried to back out of it and kick the vent off with her foot. It wouldn’t budge. She opened the cell phone, trying to take some comfort from the faint light it provided as she crawled deeper into the tunnel and called Dr. Namba.

« D- Dr. Panda? »

« It’s NAMBA! » the voice on the other end of the line told her. « And I know all about it. I’m sending someone to help. »

« O-okay, » Anari whispered, trying to control her tears.

« One of our agents will be there to pick you up as soon as everything calms down. He’ll be in disguise. I’m texting you a password now, don’t go with anyone unless they know it! »

« Right. » Anari waited for the text, and laughed when « Little Rocket » appeared on the phone.

I wonder how he knew what was going on before I called him? Fingering the R necklace she was wearing, she listened as the police raided the building. If they find me, will I go to jail?

She sighed, wondering if her uncle was still angry at her.

« Even Big Brother’s punishments were never THIS bad… » she whispered, closing her eyes. « Uncle Giovanni… please come and get me… »

She laid down, took a deep breath and waited to be rescued.

To be continued in Chapter 3: « Little Rocket »

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Author’s note: This chapter takes place before episode 146 Tricks of the Trade (as Jessie was still in possession of Likitung in « The Rocket Series »). Therefore Butch and Cassidy have not yet met Dr. Namba, who they first met and worked with in episode 220, The Mystery is History.

Reviews are always appreciated!

Heirloom
Little Rocket