A hard time apart
by Anni
Part 1

Jesse sat in the cell and held James as he cried. He had tried to be brave but, as Jesse had expected, he had finally broken. It had all gone so disastrously wrong and their luck had finally run out.

Jesse and James had always known that this might happen but neither had liked to think about it much.

Everything had been going right for them until a fortnight ago.

Just a fortnight earlier they had been ecstatic with delight when they had finally captured the Pikachu. Their plan had worked and they were eager to celebrate until armed police surrounded and them and they realised that it had all been an elaborate set up.

Neither would ever forget the moment when they were both cuffed and thrown in the back of a police van. Ash had stood behind the van, holding his reclaimed Pikachu and waved at the two with an obnoxious smile on his face.

Jesse and James were both charged with Pokemon theft, the theft of a vehicle for their mission and conspiring to steal the Pokemon from the towns Pokemon center.

To this day they had no idea what had happened to Meowth since they had been arrested.

Today was the day the verdict was due.

Jesse and James stood side by side, each holding the others hand tightly as the proceedings continued.

The judge looked towards the spokesman of the jury, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?".

The spokesman, a well dressed, business like man nodded, "We have your honor".

There was silence and Jesse and James looked into each others eyes briefly. Both saw the fear in the other.

"We find the first defendant, Jesse Musashi, guilty on all counts", the juror said.

James looked round slightly to see Jesse look down at the floor. He increased his grip on her hand, partly to comfort her but partly because of his own nerves as he looked back at the jury and anxiously bit his lip.

"And the second defendant?", the judge asked.

The jury spokesman began again, "We find defendant number two, James Kojiro, also guilty on all counts".

James closed his eyes in fear for several seconds, he was trembling. Jesse looked at him with a soft, yet sad, expression. She knew he was terrified of what was inevitably about to come. Jesse was scared too but it wasnít in her nature to let her fear show through.

James, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter.

"Thank you", The judge said to the jury.

He turned to look at Jesse and James.

"To me, you two look like you could be nice kids", the judge began, "However, it seems that in your cases the looks are deceiving and you are in fact both manipulative and relentless criminals". The judge paused for several seconds. "You are both part of a ruthless criminal organisation and I feel justified in imposing a custodial sentence. I realise that you are both only eighteen but I hope that this experience will deter you from future criminal activity. I therefore sentence you both to one year imprisonment, take them down".

Jesse and James both gasped upon hearing the sentence and tightly embraced each other for what they expected to be the last time for quite a while.

"Be brave James", Jesse whispered in his ear.

"I love you Jesse!", James cried.

Both were pulled away from each other by police officers and handcuffed.

"Weíll see each other again James, I promise!", Jesse reassured him.

"Jesse!", James had completely broken down as he was taken away.

Jesse watched as her purple haired love was led away, "I love you", she mouthed to him as he was taken from her view.

"Come on", the officer said as he took Jesse by the arm. She didnít struggle. There was no more fight in her today, all she could think about was James and how she would not see him again for a year.

A few hours later...

"This way", the prison officer motioned and the five new inmates followed the man into the corridor and the bars slid shut behind them.

James looked around nervously. He had been here for two hours and already he hated the place.

On arrival he had been photographed, searched, given new clothes and undergone a medical examination.

Thankfully the doctor had given him a clean bill of health but that didnít ease his nerves. His prison clothes consisted of blue jeans and a blue shirt.

James and the other four new inmates silently followed the officer as they approached the barred entrance to the prison wing that was to be their home.

The officer rattled his keys in the lock and swung open the barred gate. Another officer on the inside indicated for them to follow him as the gate was locked shut behind them.

James stared at the place.

It was built on two levels and they were stood at the bottom. There were cells lining the bottom. In the center was the recreation area which consisted merely of two pool tables. A round, metal, staircase led up to the second level which housed more cells.

All of the prisoners had stopped and were staring at the new arrivals. Some made taunting gestures to unnerve James and the other four. It was working.

"Hey pretty boy!", one of them yelled to James and mockingly wolf whistled at him.

James was utterly terrified and had gone totally pale. The officer led the five up to the second level and deposited each new prisoner into a cell.

James was the last to be directed to a cell.

"You, in here", the officer pointed.

James nervously stepped in and looked around.

The cell was tiny.

The walls were white and there was a small barred window high up on the wall.

A bunk bed stood against the wall and there were pictures taped on the wall by the lower bunk.

The sink stood against the opposite wall and James noticed that the toilet was, thankfully, discreetly hidden behind a slight corner.

"Any questions?", the officer asked.

James numbly shook his head and the officer left. He stood on his own in the cell for several seconds. He had only been here a short amount of time and already he wanted out. James slowly climbed up to the top bunk and sat in the very corner hugging his knees.

He didnít want to move. All those other prisoners looked so much bigger that him and he dreaded to think what sort of crimes they were in for. James let his face drop into his hands.

He wanted to be with Jesse. Over recent months Jesse and Jamesís relationship had started to develop into something more than friendship and he had seen a loving side to Jesse that nobody else had ever seen. When something was bothering him, or heíd hurt himself on a mission he always knew that she would be there to hold him tight and make it all go away.

Now he didnít even know where she was.

James tried to halt these thoughts but he wanted Jesse now more than he ever had. He wanted to wake up next to her and feel her warmth against him like he had done every morning for the last few months. He rubbed his eyes to clear his tears away but his hands were still trembling. James looked around slightly and saw the light coming through the window. He knew Jesse was out there somewhere and he hoped she was doing better than he was...

"You, in there", the female officer directed Jesse into a cell.

Jesse nervously walked in.

The cell layout was roughly the same as Jamesís cell even though their prisons were miles apart.

Jesse sighed and looked down.

"No questions?", the officer asked.

Jesse shook her head without looking up.

Obviously the lower bunk was taken so Jesse climbed up to the top one and sat leaning against the wall with her legs dangling over the edge.

She didnít like this place at all.

She had found all the procedures utterly humiliating. Jesse fiddled with a strand of her hair. She was desperate to know how James was but she had no means of finding out. She missed him terribly and she couldnít bare the idea that her last memory of James, for the next year, would be seeing him go to pieces in the court room.

Jesse couldnít believe that the judge had given a custodial sentence to James. She knew better than anyone that James was utterly harmless. Jesse looked down. She thought back to a much happier time when James had bought her a necklace with a tiny gold rose on it as a token of his love for her. She wanted so much now to be able to wear the necklace as a symbol of James but the prison officers had taken it from her the moment she had arrived. They had said that it was for her own good and that she would get it back on the day of her release. Even more than the necklace, she wanted James, wherever he was...

"Youíve got to be kidding!", a familiar voice said from the doorway to the cell.

Jesse looked up to see her cell mate standing and looking at her.

"Cassidy", Jesse remarked unimpressed.

"So you got busted too huh?", Cassidy prompted, "How long did you get?".

"Whatís it to you?", Jesse said defensively.

"Hey, I was just asking", Cassidy shrugged as she stepped nearer, "So, how long?".

Jesse sighed, "A year. Okay? Satisfied?".

Cassidy sat down on her own bunk, "Look, as youíre sharing a cell with me lets get any arguing out of the way now shall we?".

Jesse thought this sounded a little odd. She had been expecting Cassidy to do all she could to wind Jesse up and provoke an argument.

Obviously prison had taken the attitude from Cassidy and she didnít seem so hostile towards Jesse.

"How long did you get?", Jesse asked.

Cassidy stood back up and leant against Jesseís bunk, "Eight months, so did Butch".

Jesse nodded.

"Look Jess", Cassidy began, "I donít want to be here either and we did used to be friends...so lets call a truce between us while weíre here okay?".

Jesse slowly nodded and the two shook hands momentarily in agreement.

"What about James?", Cassidy asked as she pulled herself up onto the top bunk and sat next to Jesse.

"He got the same", Jesse said sadly.

"Poor guy", Cassidy looked down, "He doesnít seem the prison type".

"I know", Jesse nodded, "He totally broke down when he heard the sentence".

"Butch was the same", Cassidy continued, "Oh sure he acted hard but I could see that he was crushed".

"Buddy?", a voice called in.

James slowly lifted his head to see a man walk into the cell.

"I guess youíre my new roomie?", the man commented. He was about the same age and height as James but with a Japanese appearance and scruffy hair.

"Iím Keyj", he began and held his hand to James.

James nervously shook Keyjís hand, "Iím James".

"Donít worry, Iím harmless", Keyj smiled, "What are you in for anyway?".

James sighed, "Pokemon theft, car theft etc".

Keyj nodded, "Cars, theyíre why Iím here. Did a few too many and finally wrote one off and almost myself along with it".

Keyj could sense that James was tense. He had felt the same way when he had first arrived.

"Donít look so worried James", Keyj reassured him, "Youíll settle in, it just takes a few days".

James nodded without a word.

"So, tell me about yourself, any friends? Girlfriends?", Keyj continued.

"Jesse", James muttered.

"Jesse?", Keyj listened, "Sounds good, she your girlfriend?".

James shrugged, "I guess you could call her that".

Heíd never thought of himself and Jesse as ĎBoyfriendí and ĎGirlfriendí before. They loved and adored each other but they had never used those words to describe themselves before.

"I miss her", James said looking down.

"I know that feeling", Keyj nodded as he lay down on his bunk, "My girlfriend, Akiko, dumped me when I got caught. So, where is this Jesse of yours?".

"Dunno", James moped, "She got the same as me, one year, I donít know where they took her".

"Iím sure she knows you love her", Keyj reassured him, "And I bet sheís thinking of you right now".

James said nothing.

Keyj stood up and looked serious, "Now the introductions are out of the way, Iíll give you some advice".

James looked worried.

"Keep out of the way of Bronco, heís the so called top dog in this wing", Keyj advised, "He runs all sorts of scams and anyone who crosses him regrets it. You canít miss him, heís a huge guy with a shaven head and always has several of his minions with him".

James nodded.

The lights went out at 9:30pm.

Jesse lay on her bunk looking at the stars out of the barred window above her head.

She let herself drift out into the depth of the dark sky desperately wanting to be able to reach out and touch James This was the first night in such a long time that she had spent away from him and she wished that things could be the way they were again. If this were a usual night they would either be huddled together under the stars near the glowing embers of that nights fire or they would be snuggled up together in bed at Team Rocket headquarters. Instead she was in a prison cell with Cassidy and would be for sometime.

Jesse rolled over and let her tears flow silently onto her pillow.

Miles away, James lay on his bunk in the dark hugging his pillow close to him.

He wished that he could hold Jesse instead.

Tomorrow was something he wasnít looking forward to. He didnít want to meet or socialise with any of the other inmates. He wanted to hide away in his cell and pretend that he was somewhere else.

He couldnít stop the tears from rolling out of his eyes. His whole world had fallen apart and he felt like he had nothing, not even Jesse anymore...

Jesse and James first day in prison was complete...

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