I can't say if this is the actual motivation for these sorts of stories…but god knows it's the only one that even makes partial sense.

Possibly the last chapter – when dealing with a repetitive subject, there just isn't much to say. That, and I really can't deny I'm dealing with a solid reader block of militant shippers by this point, and while I'm all for hopeless causes, even I know when to quit.


"So over there is Ash and Misty," explained the guide. "They've been together for three years! Aren't they just so perfect?"

Ash and Misty were off in a corner, sitting on a couch and discussing the trivialities of their rented apartment in loveing terms.

"Well, er, I guess that's not surprising. They seemed to like each other well enough back when I met them. It's nice to know they'll get together."

The guide paused. "Nice?" she said incredulously, almost stuttering. "Nice? But they're destined! It's not like he could have ever ended up with anyone else. Ever. It was obvious they had chemistry from the beginning. They're soulmates and he's proposed and they're going to have cute kids."

"But a childhood crush, or even being in love, doesn't mean that the relationship is necessarily going to succeed because – nevermind," he said, seeing the guide's blank look. "What else do you have to show me?"

The guide perked up. "Over there are Brock and Suzy," she continued, pointing to another couple over in a different area of the room. "And there's Jesse and James." Oddly, it looked like it was Jesse in the dress.

"Jesse and James?" he repeated quizzically. "But aren't they those team rocket members? Ones always chasing after Ash, no less?"

"They aren't now, okay? It's not important," said the guide, rolling her eyes.

"But why would they-"

"It's not important!"

"Okay, okay."

"And there's Oak and Deliah," said the guide, pointing to two adults who looked as young, if not younger, than their present day counterparts.

He mentioned this.

"They are not old!" snapped the guide. "That'd be gross. They're just adults. Ugh, why do you keep bothering me? It's not important." The guide pointed to still another couple, who appeared to be about the same age Ash, Misty, Brock and Suzy. "There's May and Brendan. See? She's totally not with Ash."

"Er, okay."

"And there's Max with, um, Duplica, and Wally with Gary, and Ivy with Elm, and then of course the gym leaders…" She started off toward another room.

"Um, if you don't mind, what exactly is the point of all this?" he asked. "Nothing seems to be happening."

"Who cares about that? The point is everyone's paired up properly."

"And…?"

"And what?"

"What's important about it? What's the significance?"

"I just told you," the guide said. "Everyone's paired up. Now come on, you haven't seen the gym leaders yet."

Will rubbed his temples, feeling a headache beginning. "Listen, I don't mind occasional visions of unimportant things, but this is a bit excessive. I have a match to get to."

"But you haven't even seen who I paired you with yet! It's-"

Will shuddered, opening his eyes. That had been a waste of time.