"WHO'S at the Snowpoint Gym already?!" Satoshi thundered at the news. Takashi shrugged.

"Shinji came here before us, face it Satoshi." The black-haired boy growled. Hikari rolled her eyes.

"Come on Satoshi, just get a room at the PokéCenter and you'll get your badge tomorrow." When Satoshi growled again, she added, "You can get your Pokemon used to the cold conditions now and train some more. Then that way they'll be ready." He sighed, not being able to fight her logic, and the threesome entered the PokéCenter.

"The weather station said there's a cold front on its way here, sir. I suggest you get a room before we're booked," Nurse Joi cautioned a purple-haired teen. Said boy rolled his eyes.

"Fine," he responded, turning to go. Then Satoshi caught sight of his face.

"SHINJI! IT'S YOU!!!" Shinji's permanent scowl deepened.

"Oh great, the Idiot's in the house," was his only response. He snatched up his healed monsters and stomped out of the double doors. Satoshi fumed behind him.

"Ugh, he gets me so MAD sometimes," Satoshi snarled. Takashi shook his head, then dashed over to Nurse Joi. Gureggru, using some sixth sense, hopped out of its Pokéball and Poison Jabbed his trainer, who collapsed, twitching, on the floor. His friends stepped around him and ordered a room, dropping off their stuff and heading out into the frosty afternoon to train. Hikari wandered away from her guy friends and heard a voice from behind a boulder.

"Dodaitose, Leaf Storm! Booburn, Flamethrower!" Grunts from Pokemon responded. Hikari peeked from around the snow-capped stone to watch. The two Pokemon, instead of honing their skills on rocks as she thought, were attacking each other! She dashed out from her hiding place, waving her arms.

"Hey, wait! Hold up!" All thee turned to her.

"What, annoying girl? Can't you see I'm training here?" She snarled.

"I could care less what YOU'RE doing, but your Pokémon can't fight like this!" A violet eyebrow rose.

"Oh yeah? And why not?" She glared.

"Because they don't deserve to be mistreated like that!" The boy's eyes rolled and he returned his Pokémon to their monster balls, turning to go. "Hey, don't just walk away from me! I'm not done talking to you!" She stomped off after him.

"So, what's so BAD about testing my Pokémon's strengths?" Shinji finally asked after a few minutes of silence. Hikari shot him an annoyed look.

"Not when your leaving them at the non-existent mercy of the other!" Her voice cracked in exasperation, which caused a rumble from over their heads on the path they treaded. They glanced up at the same time. Hikari had time for one gasp and Shinji for a brief yell as a ton of snow tumbled down the mountain. The two pelted as fast as they could from the cascade of white. Hikari caught sight of a hibernating tree and grabbed at it with one hand and Shinji's sleeve with the other. But the boy's weight was too much for her. His arm slipped from her grasp and he fell, almost in slow motion, into the waiting maw of the shifting snow. "SHINJI!!!" Hikari screamed. She watched in desperation as he tumbled downward. A few seconds before he hit snow, a bizarre expression crossed his face. It was… confusion. He looked her straight in the eye, and had time to mouth one word before the snow swallowed him. Hikari…? The girl's heart lurched, and tears streamed from her eyes. Shinji! Then he was gone.

Tears clouded Hikari's vision as she dashed into the Pokemon Center. Satoshi and Takashi looked up from their hot chocolate. "What's wrong Hikari?" Takashi called. But the girl couldn't hear him, because the current song's lyrics on the radio were playing her guilt strings.

"…Then you go and cut me down, but wait. You tell me that you're sorry, didn't think I'd turn around, and say... That it's too late to apologize, it's too late. I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late…" She choked out a sob and sprinted to her rented room. Satoshi and Takashi looked at each other and followed.

"Hey Hikari, something wrong?" Satoshi asked when he and Takashi reached the room. She nodded, trying to speak. Satoshi egged her on with a hand motion.

"S-Shinji… we were walking…" Satoshi scowled but made no comment, "a-and I y-yelled at him… and then… an avalanche!" With that, the girl broke down. The two boys left the room in search of Officer Junsa. When they found her, the situation was explained and police officers swarmed to the area, ready for duty.

"Get those Gardie over here!" Officer Junsa and other local police officers called their Pokémon to search around the area Hikari last saw Shinji. Satoshi stood next to the teary-eyed girl as Takashi continued his vain flirting with Officer Junsa. The black-haired trainer turned to his companion. He hadn't seen her so put out, even after failed contests.

"You know they're gonna find him, right? Officer Junsas are the best at their job. If anyone can find him, it's Officer Junsa!" Hikari noticed the exclamation Satoshi forced into his reply. He may not like Shinji, but he's willing to put his grudge aside to make me feel better. I'm lucky to have such great friends.

"Thanks, Satoshi. I feel a bit better now." He smiled with relief.

"Good. Now, let's go back to the PokéCenter before Takashi's nerves are shot!" Hikari smiled slightly as she, Satoshi, and Gureggru dragged their twitching friend into the PokéCenter.