"Well! What do you think?"

An uncomfortable silence met her words; Blue winced inwardly. What was wrong with them? Wasn't her idea brilliant?

"Um…" that was all Red could squeeze out between clenched lips.

Yellow looked confused; Blue guessed the naïve young trainer was no surer of whether what Blue was proposing was ethical any surer than what Blue was proposing in the first place.

Silver said nothing – typical of him. Instead he stared morosely at her, forever looking like someone at a funeral.

Shadow raised an eyebrow, her sole golden eye glinting. Blue braced herself for a stinging critique. After all, that was what Shadow was best at.

"First," the raven-haired teen spoke, "we can't just go barging into people's lives. We don't have the authority, obligation, or even a dang good excuse to go meddling with someone else's relationships. Second, you want to turn everyone in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and lands beyond into our enemies, fine by me, just don't drag us into it. Third, no matter how – creative – " Shadow enunciated the word like it was an expletive – "you idea is, it's harebrained. Really."

Blue could see why so many people – friends, trainers, annoying nitwits included – found that speaking to Shadow was like being stabbed with a nine-inch knife. The sour-faced girl wasted no time on fancy cushioning in her speech.

"I agree," Silver said, lifting his head. His eyes met with Blue, showing – not anger or shock – disappointment. Blue couldn't help flinching. Silver, close to her like her little brother – he wasn't backing her up. Surely they weren't all that adverse to her idea.

"Well – I suppose travelling around could be fun," Red muttered.

Thank you, Red. Blue thought. "Yellow?"

"So, you mean we're going to go around everywhere pairing people up?" Yellow asked, a trace of anxiety crossing her innocent face. "Is it all right?"

"It'll save a lot of heartbreak for some," Blue added quickly. Yellow could do with going places, and Blue wanted the blonde – the youngest of all – to get some experience – and secretly, Blue thought – perhaps away from Red. But of course, Blue did want Yellow to come along.

"For some," Shadow muttered darkly.

"Um – okay, I'll come," the pale Viridian trainer replied. "And – uh – is Red coming too?" she squeaked.

"Yeah!" Red said, more his usual enthusiastic self.

Blue smiled. At least she'd have two reliable companions – as long Yellow didn't moon over Red all the time. A small happy tingling rose from the tips of her fingers.

"And as for you two – " Blue was tempted to link arms with her good friends and waltz out of the room in high spirits, but she felt a little apologetic to the deadpanning duo who looked like doom and death.

"Going to miss out on the fun?"

"I'm coming with you," Silver said.

Blue gaped. After he'd just announced his opposition to her plans, he was coming along with them? What was up with him?

"Not that I support your idea," the redhead added, with his permanent cheesed-off look. "But – well, if worse comes to worse, someone needs to step in to stop you from destroying the precious relationships of every creature in the world."

Blue glared defiantly. "So you'll be trying to stop me, then?"

"Kind of," was Silver's answer, while Shadow said, "Definitely."

"Huh," Blue huffed. Just like the two of them to throw the depressing mood into the ring.

"Shall we get packing?" Shadow asked. Again, straight, sharp and to the point.

"You're coming too?" Blue was incredulous. "We might meet plenty of problems, and we don't want to be dragging another one along with us."

"Har har," was the sarcastic answer. "Anyway, I'm going of my own accord – Alakazam could do with some fresh air. I haven't had a decent battle in a while, ever since I bunked down with you people."

Blue could almost feel the tension crackling in the air. Feeling a little guilty, she shrugged and tried to act nonchalant. Shadow rarely fought back. The gothic teen, with her dark personality and darker past, always absorbed any abuse hurled at her. It seemed – just – pathetic to insult her.

"Right," said Red, after another long and uncomfortable pause. "Let's go!"