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Magikarp's Jump

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"Hey, Straw Hat Girl, is that a new Pokégear?"

Gold's question pulls Red's attention back to the picnic blanket, where Gold's sprawled over as much space as physically possible. His voice is muffled by the mammoth sandwich he's managed to cram inside his mouth.

"Uh huh," Yellow answers, sitting cross-legged in the shade. Behind her, Chuchu is cheering on Pika and Pibu, play-chasing each other around the fields of Route 34. Yellow holds her Pokégear up, so Gold can see it better.

Gold instantly scrambles upright. He swallows the rest of his sandwich. "Whoa, that's the newest model! I heard the lines were days long! How'd you even get one of those?"

"Really?" Yellow says, surprised. She turns to Red, frowning. "Red, you never told me anything like that." 

Red laughs and rubs the back of his head. "I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I mean, after Snor crushed your old one, I told you I'd get you a new one, didn't I?"

"Yes, but you didn't need to go through all that for my sake."

"It wasn't so bad," Red assures her. "I was okay waiting, but they let me straight through to the front of the line. I guess winning the Pokémon League opens some doors, huh?"

Gold's eyes flick back and forth between Red and Yellow, until they settle on Red in a mixture of admiration and envy.

Gold whistles appreciatively. "Wow, Red-Senpai! You're one sly fox."

Red feels his face heat up. "I, uh. That's not, well…" he stutters, and occupies himself by adjusting his cap. "Er, anyway, Yellow liked her old one a whole lot better, so it's not like I did much of anything, really."

A strangled noise comes from Gold's throat. He whirls around to face Yellow with a surprising amount of energy for just having eaten a Snorlax-sized portion of food. "How can you not like it, Straw Hat Girl? It's the latest tech, and besides, it's from Red-Senpai!"

"I don't think that last part should matter…" Red mumbles.

"No, it's not that. I'm glad Red got it for me," Yellow smiles. "It's just… a lot, I guess. With my old Pokégear, I could call people, and listen to the radio sometimes, and that's all I really wanted. This new one is so complicated. I don't know what half the buttons do."

"That just means there's a whole new world to explore!" Gold insists. "You can take pictures, and play games, and all sorts of stuff!" He frowns. "But never play with Silver. He's a rotten cheater."

Yellow shrugs. "I guess so? I'd just rather spend my time playing with Pokémon, or fishing."

Gold's eyes shine brighter than a Staryu's core. "Well, guess what, Straw Hat Girl! Today's your lucky day!" he announces, and plucks Yellow's brand-new Pokégear from her hands and begins tapping away on the screen.

"Hey, wait! What are you doing?"

Gold ignores her. "You didn't even put a password on this thing?"

"Huh? Why would I do that?" Yellow says.

Gold lifts his head, skepticism written all over his face. "I dunno, so people can't use your Pokégear without your permission?"

Red frowns. "You mean, like you're doing now?"

"This is completely different, Red-Senpai!" Gold assures him. "I'm just downloading a game — Straw Hat Girl'll love it, I swear."

Gold taps at the screen for a few more seconds, then hands the Pokégear back over to Yellow with a triumphant grin. Red leans over so he can peer at the screen over Yellow's shoulder; he sees a Magikarp swimming, half-submerged, at the surface of a blue body of water.

"Magikarp… Jump?" Red reads aloud.

"Yeah, it just came out," Gold says, preening as though he's accomplished some herculean feat. "The entire game's about fishing and Pokémon and stuff. It's not really my style, but I bet it's right up Straw Hat Girl's alley."

"Uh, thanks?" Yellow manages, still staring at the screen. The Magikarp on the screen flings itself out of the water. It lands back with a splash. Red blinks at it. The Magikarp blinks back.

"It's not like you have to play it right now," Gold says. "And it's totally free. Well, there are microtransactions, but you don't have to do squat with 'em if you don't wanna."

"Microtransactions…?" Yellow asks.

"Jeez, you're hopeless, Straw Hat Girl. Red-Senpai, tell her what I'm talking about."

"Huh? Me? Um, well…"

Gold slumps. "I knew you both could be kinda clueless, but really? Fine, listen up, 'cuz I'm gonna teach you all there is to know about Pokégears!"

Gold apparently knows more about Yellow's Pokégear than Yellow does, because he spends the rest of the day showing them what feels like hundreds of functions that Red barely knew existed. (He never does get to find out what microtransactions are.) It's nearly dark when they're done. Gold waves Red and Yellow off as they board the Magnet Train, and by the time the Goldenrod City skyline vanishes into the night, Red forgets all about Magikarp Jump.

In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to introduce Yellow to a fishing game.


It's one in the morning when Pika jolts Red awake with a well-practiced Thundershock. 

"Yowch!" Red grunts. "Pika, what's the big —"

That's when Red hears frantic knocking at his front door.

He's immediately wide awake. Red can count the number of times someone's come knocking this late at night on Gyara's hands. And Gyara doesn't have hands.

"C-coming!" Red stammers out. He flings the blankets off. Red's leg gets caught in them anyway. He face-plants onto the floor. Pika snickers.

"Come on, Pika, it's too early for this," Red groans. "If you want to help, go see who it is!"

Pika spares a last mocking glance before scampering out of the room. Red grunts and manages to disentangle himself from the mass of sheets, just as another barrage of knocking assaults the door.

"I'm coming!" Red yells, louder, because he wants to make sure whoever it is has heard him and because he's getting more anxious by the second. He doesn't bother shrugging on a shirt before he races down the hallway, scrambles down the stairs, stubs his toe on the landing, hisses in pain, and hobbles his way to the front door. Pika is already there, grumbling to himself and pacing back and forth. When he sees Red, he squeaks urgently, leaping onto the windowsill and gesturing frantically outside. Whoever it is, it's someone Pika knows well enough to be worried about, and that's enough to worry Red.

"Just a second!" Red calls out, fumbling with the lock. He yanks the door open.

Red gapes.

"Y-Yellow?" Red stammers. "Are you — What happened?"

Yellow lifts her head. Her cheeks are damp. She sniffles.

Then she flings herself at him in a blubbering mess.

Red is stunned for a moment, but wraps his arms around her in a hug because it seems like the right thing to do. He glances toward the windowsill, where Chuchu has joined Pika's vigil, and the two Pokémon are discontent and whispering to each other. The two of them cast worried eyes over at Yellow, whose entire body is shaking against Red's arms.

"There, it's okay," Red murmurs. "It's all right, it's okay. Here, let's sit down." Red moves his hands to Yellow's shoulders and guides her to the couch. Yellow collapses onto the cushion by the armrest. Red darts into the kitchen, grabs two packets of instant hot chocolate, and a couple of minutes later, he's setting down a box of tissues and two steaming mugs of cocoa on the coffee table. Yellow immediately yanks a tissue from the box and blows her nose. Red sits down next to Yellow, who is already reaching for a second tissue; the first has been crumpled up and knocked onto the floor.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Red asks.

Yellow hiccups. She nods. Red waits.

"It's, it's, about, sniff, K-Karpy," Yellow finally manages.

"Uh," Red says, eloquently. "…Karpy?"

Yellow sniffles again. "My Magikarp," she explains.

Red can't help frowning for a moment. He can't remember Yellow ever telling him about a Magikarp. But he sees the tears in her eyes, and decides those are more important right now. "What happened?" he finds himself asking.

"O-oh, it's t-terrible," Yellow sobs. "W-we were out training, just, hic, the two of us. Me a-and Karpy. Everything was fine, a-and then, hic! There was a Pidgeotto, and, and! Karpy jumped, and I c-couldn't! And, and, she just, hic!"

Yellow can't bring herself to finish, and Red's face goes white. He thinks he understands, now.

"There, it's going to be okay. You'll get through this," he comforts her. Honestly, he's not quite sure what to say. He knows that Pokémon die — everyone knows that — but he'd never spared a single thought as to what he'd do if a Pidgeotto carried away one of his Pokémon in the dead of night.

Wait. That's odd. Pidgeotto aren't nocturnal. They rise with the sun and sleep with the moon. What is a Pidgeotto doing hunting for food at one in the morning?

For that matter, what is Yellow doing, training this late at night? It's unsafe. If Yellow wanted to train in the dark, Diglett's Cave and Mt. Moon are probably better options than staying up so late. Did she not want anybody to know she had a Magikarp? No, Yellow's never been ashamed of her Pokémon. And why train a Magikarp alone? The most powerful attack a Magikarp can learn is Flail; it doesn't make sense to bring only a Magikarp without some backup, and all of Yellow's Pokémon are more than capable of chasing off a Pidgeotto. Red steals a glance at Chuchu, who looks just as confused as Red feels.

Red is about to ask her, when Yellow cries and leans forward. Onto Red's chest.

All his earlier thoughts vanish as Red realizes he never put on a shirt.

"I-I'm a h-horrible person," Yellow sniffles.

"No! You're not," Red hastily reassures her, and he can't help it if his voice cracks a little. Pika snickers.

"Am too," Yellow says, voice muffled against Red's skin. Red can't help it if his face turns red, either. "Karpy, she h-had a full life ahead of her, and I…" She trails off.

Red's not about to let Yellow go down that road. "Tell me more about Karpy," he says.

"H-huh?" Yellow looks up at him. Her eyes are still red.

"Don't think about what could have been. Think about Karpy as she was — who she was as a Pokémon, the good times you shared together."

"O-okay," Yellow stutters.

"What's the best time you had together?"

"Ah, um, p-probably winning the Great League."

"Huh? What's —" Red cuts himself off. "Er, I mean, tell me more about that."

"R-right. I could tell. Karpy was going to go far. Right from the beginning — she was an orange two-tone, I'd never seen one before. She got JP so quickly. I really believed in her. I think she believed she could do better than all the other Magikarp. And when she won, I… I was so happy for her."

Red has no clue what Yellow is talking about.

"M-mayor Karp was so excited, you know. He really wants to put Floppy Town back on the map. Flop Hoppington said he'd never seen anything like it. And everybody else was so happy, too. Especially the kids. We took a picture of Karpy, the day she won the league. Here, I'll show you." Yellow pulls her Pokégear from her pocket. She clicks through a few screens.

"Here it is," she announces. Red looks at the image on the screen. In the center of the screen is a cartoon Magikarp with a white belly. Surrounding it are cartoon clouds and cartoon grass and a cartoon medal held up by a cartoon person.

"Um?" is all Red can manage to say. "Are you sure this is the one?"

"Uh-huh," Yellow nods, and points at the cartoon Magikarp with the white belly. "That's Karpy, right there." She sniffles. "B-back in happier, hic, times."

Red blinks at the cartoon Magikarp.

Oh.

"Uh, Yellow? Karpy wouldn't happen to be, um."

Yellow looks at him inquisitively.

Red takes a breath. "Is this from that game Gold got you? Magikarp Jump, was it?"

Yellow nods.

Everything clicks, now: The late-night training, the mysterious nocturnal Pidgeotto, the Magikarp that Red never knew about. He breathes a sigh of relief knowing that Yellow didn't have to experience the death of a Pokémon first-hand.

"Here's another one of her," Yellow says, and that draws Red's attention back toward the screen. "She's eating Sitrus Berries here, those were her favorite. And here's one of her training. She worked so hard; she even took down a tree once, just by tackling."

On the other hand.

"Um, Yellow?"

Yellow pulls herself away from her Pokégear.

"This might just be me, but, well," Red says, wondering how to give Yellow as soft a landing as possible. "Do you think, maybe, you're investing a little too much in this Magikarp?"

Yellow stares at him.

"I mean, there are other fish in the sea," Red goes on. "And there are other Pokémon you have, you know? It would be unfair to them if you focused only on, uh, Karpy."

Yellow averts her gaze. She worries her lip.

"I think. I think, you're right," she finally says. "I can't live in the past. I'll… I'll always miss Karpy. But there are other Pokémon who need me, too."

Red nods and smiles encouragingly.

"That's what Karpy would want me to do, after all. To do my best, and help Karpelle grow into the best Magikarp she can be."

Red stops mid-nod.

"Karpelle and me — we'll go even further together. We'll take on the next league, and the one after that, and we'll win."

"Um."

"I was really worried, you know. I thought you might be upset at me for barging in so early," Yellow continues, and lets her head fall back on Red's chest.

"Um!"

"But you listened to me, even when I was a sobbing mess."

"Um, Yellow —"

Yellow smiles up at him, then yawns. "Thanks, Red." Her eyes drift shut. "You're the best. I'm glad…" Yellow trails off. Her breathing steadies.

"Er, Yellow? Could you, uh…" Red asks.

She doesn't answer, already fast asleep.

"Um. I guess I'll, ah, stay here, then?" Red says, on the off chance that Yellow hears him, but when he hears a snore escape her mouth, he knows he's only talking to himself.

Red looks around the room: two mugs of hot chocolate on the coffee table, a pile of balled-up tissues on the floor, Pika and Chuchu curled up together on the rug, Yellow snoring softly — and Red, wide awake and not daring to move.

Red settles in for a long night of watching the hot chocolate go cold.


"You mean you didn't like being Yellow's knight in shining armor?" 

Red's cheeks flush. "Um. Well —"

Blue's eyes glint. "Or should I say, knight without armor?"

It is not physically possible for Red's face to get any redder.

"Man, Red-Senpai gets all the ladies!" Gold grins. "I wish a cute girl would come knocking at my door to be comforted late at night. Instead I get stuck with Silver, and he only watches cartoo — grk!"

Either Silver's glare is enough to shut Gold up, or he's kicked Gold under the table. Red strongly suspects the kick.

Gold glares at Silver, but Crys places a restraining hand on Gold's shoulder before he can launch himself over the table toward him. "I think what Red's getting at," she interrupts, "is that Yellow's getting too involved in this Magikarp game."

Red nods. "It didn't seem too bad at first. But then when something like this happens…" He shakes his head. "I don't think it's healthy, you know?"

"Yeah, Silver's obsessed with cartoons and look how he turned — grk!"

"So do we do anything about it?" Crys asks. "Have you talked to her about it?"

"I did," Red admits. "But she just went right back to playing. It might've even made things worse…"

"We could watch her in shifts?" Crys suggests.

"I don't think that'll work, in the end," Red objects. "She'll catch on. Besides, it's not like we can watch her around the clock."

"Then the answer is obvious!" Blue announces.

"…It is?" Red wonders.

"Of course!" Blue chirps. "We'll stage an intervention!"

Green sighs.

Gold's face lights up like a Meowth finding a star piece. "Oooh, I've always wanted to do one of those!" he announces, almost bursting out of his chair. "Hey, hey! If it works, can we do one for Silver next?"

"Have you always been this much of an intolerable idiot, or do we need an intervention for that, too?" Silver growls.

This time, Gold kicks Silver back. The table jostles.

"An intervention?" Red parrots. "Uh, is something like that really necessary? It seems a bit… extreme."

"You already tried talking about it with her, and look how that ended up," Blue answers easily. "After all, you said it yourself, didn't you? You didn't like spending the night as Yellow's pillow."

"Th-that's not what I —" Red stammers.

"So the course of action is clear," Blue finishes. She tilts her head. "Isn't it?"

Red looks around the table. Crys is biting her lip, deep in thought; Green is as impassive as ever. Gold and Silver's bickering has advanced to open warfare of kicking each other beneath the table.

"I guess, if it's the best option," Red relents. "It can't go that badly, can it?"

"Don't be such a worrywart, Red! It'll go swimmingly," Blue grins. "All right, here's what we'll do…"

Green exhales another sigh. Red doesn't think that's a good sign.


Red presses his palms against his jeans. His hands are clammy, even though it's not hot out and the sun's hidden behind puffy white clouds.

"Hey, Yellow, look! That cloud looks just like Chuchu, don't you think?" Red says, stopping and pointing at a vaguely Pikachu-shaped cloud a bit apart from the rest.

Yellow walks straight into Red's back.

"Ah!" Yellow murmurs. "Red, sorry. I didn't realize you'd stopped."

Red laughs it off. "No, it's okay," he assures her. "It's just, there was this cloud that looks a lot like Chuchu, and I thought you'd like to see it." He points up at the sky again, and waits for Yellow's giggle of recognition. And waits.

"Did you say something, Red?" Yellow asks, faraway. She taps at the screen of her Pokégear.

"Never mind," Red sighs. "Let's go."

Maybe Blue was right after all, Red considers, even if he feels a bit like an Ariados leading a Caterpie straight to its web. He lifts the latch on his backyard gate, ushering Yellow past the reflecting pond and the rock garden, and around the corner to where everyone is waiting for them.

"Oh, wow, Straw Hat Girl! What a surprise!" Gold exclaims from the table. "I mean, really, who could've possibly imagined we'd all see each other here? It's such a crazy coincidence!" He elbows Crys in the arm. "Isn't that right, Super Serious Gal?"

Crys cups her head in her hands.

"Haha, right," Red chuckles nervously. He guides Yellow into a chair, then drops into the one right next to her. Yellow doesn't look up the entire time. Red's torn between relief that she hasn't noticed Gold's transparently faked surprise and worry that even Gold's antics aren't enough to rouse Yellow from her Pokégear.

Blue fiddles with her earring. That's Red's sign to start.

Red takes a deep breath. "Uh, Yellow —"

"This is an intervention!" Gold blurts.

"Shut up, idiot," Silver reprimands.

"What?" Gold pouts. "I'm just getting her attention!"

Everybody turns to Yellow.

Yellow giggles to herself. "You're such a good boy, Karper!"

Gold deflates.

"Yellow," Red says, gently, and puts a hand on her shoulder.

"Hm?" Yellow answers, barely inclining her head. She's still entirely focused on the screen in front of her.

"Yellow, this is important," Red continues. "Could you turn your Pokégear off for a second?"

Yellow doesn't respond. Lines finally crease her forehead. "…Will it take long?"

"Not too long," Red fibs.

"…I guess it's okay," Yellow says. Red waits. She taps at the screen. Red waits longer.

"Yellow," Red reminds her.

"Uh huh."

"Your Pokégear?" Red suggests.

"…All right," Yellow says finally. Her Pokégear's screen finally goes dark. Yellow slides it into her pocket. She doesn't remove her hand. "I have to feed Karper soon, though. So can we make it quick?"

Red wrings his hands. "Uh, okay, sure. So, ahem, I know, um, that you just, er, got a new Pokégear. And you're, well, really enjoying it. Like, a lot. And that's okay! You know, it's fine to try new things, and see, uh, if you like them. And I'm glad. That you have a new Pokégear, I mean. And that you like it. Because it could have been bad. And that would have been bad. You know. Um. Yes."

Yellow stares at him blankly.

Blue sighs. "What Red is trying — and failing — to say, my sweet Yellow, is that we're all very concerned."

Red nods his head.

"Concerned?" Yellow repeats. "Why? What happened?"

"Gold got you hooked on Magikarp Jump," Silver says.

"Hey, don't go pinning this on me," Gold protests. "How was I supposed to know that this was gonna happen?"

"I don't understand," Yellow frowns. "What's wrong with me playing a really fun game?"

"There's nothing wrong with it," Crys smiles, comfortingly. "It's fine to play a game you enjoy, as long as it's not to the exclusion of everything else. I think we're all just worried that you've been playing it quite a lot, recently."

"I haven't been playing it that much," Yellow responds.

Blue leans forward. "And you know that because your hand's still glued to your Pokégear even now."

"No it isn't!" Yellow objects. Blue raises her eyebrows. Yellow jerks her hand from her pocket and places it on her lap. "That just happened by chance!"

"Right. And I suppose it's also chance that Red had to practically pry it away from you just a few minutes ago," Blue presses.

"That's not true!" Yellow protests. Her hand twitches toward her pocket. "It's fine! Red, tell them that they're wrong!"

"Er, well…" Red trails off.

"…Red?"

Red looks away. "…You totally ignored the clouds on the way here. And you came to my house at one in the morning, crying your heart out over the game. Pika and Chuchu were really worried."

"You, too…?"

Red steels himself, and looks into her betrayed eyes. "It's like Crys said," he defends. "There's nothing wrong with playing in moderation. But when you're crying yourself to sleep because of it, there might be a problem."

"I do not have a problem," Yellow insists.

"That's exactly what all the people with problems say," Blue interjects.

"And I don't appreciate being ganged up on like this!" Yellow says, defensively, her eyes bouncing maniacally from face to face. "I, I can make my own decisions! And I don't need any of you telling Karper and me what to do!"

"Then put your Pokégear on the table," Silver demands.

"Huh?"

"What Silver said!" Gold chimes in. "Toss your Pokégear on the table for, I dunno, five minutes? That sound about right to you, Silver?"

Silver nods.

"Yeah, so put your Pokégear on the table for five minutes, without touching it, or playing with your Magikarp or anything. And if you can do that, then we'll all accept your weird Magikarp obsession and pretend like today never happened."

Yellow hesitates. "I don't have to prove anything to you," she asserts.

Gold shrugs. "It shouldn't be that hard. Even Silver went a whole week without watching his stupid cartoons once, y'know."

"They're not stupid."

Yellow's eyes dance around the table, furtive.

"Oh come on," Blue says. "We'll stop bothering you about it, and that'll be the end of it."

Yellow's hand moves protectively over her Pokégear.

Red nudges Yellow's shoulder. Her head snaps toward him. Her eyes are wild.

"I believe you," Red says, smiling. "And I believe in you."

Yellow's breathing steadies. She slowly, painstakingly, withdraws her Pokégear from her pocket. Her hand trembles as she reaches toward the center of the table. She holds it there for three, four, five, six seconds. When she finally pulls her hand back from the table, she's not holding her Pokégear. It sits at the center of the table, shining. Red stares at it.

"Now we're talking!" Gold grins. "Hey, Super Serious Gal, you wanna be timekeeper? You're perfect for it!"

Crys rolls her eyes, but reaches for her watch anyway. "All right, we'll start… now."

Everyone at the table turns their attention to Yellow, whose attention is focused, in turn, on the Pokégear lying on the center of the table. Yellow can't seem to figure out what to do with her hands, keeping them at her sides, then running them through her ponytail, then back at her sides. She settles on placing them in her lap. Her thumbs rub against her hands. Her foot bounces on the ground. She swallows.

"I have to feed him."

The table stares at her.

"He's going to starve. Karper's always been too scrawny. He's practically just scales and bones," Yellow babbles. The spot she's rubbing on her hands is turning red. "The other Pokémon tease him for it, too. They don't understand that's just how he is. He's built skinnier than other Magikarp."

"You gave your Magikarp a backstory?" Gold asks, incredulously.

"I keep telling him that there's nothing wrong with being smaller. But I still worry sometimes, if he's eating enough. He hasn't eaten since we started, you know. It's been over an hour."

"It's only been two minutes," Crys says.

Yellow fidgets. "Wacan Berries are good for him, but he doesn't want to eat them. He hasn't had a single one today." She swallows again. Her eyes flick from her Pokégear, to Gold, to Crys' watch, to Red, back to her Pokégear. "I. I should…" She licks her lips.

She lunges for her Pokégear.

Before Yellow can grab it, Silver snaps it up off the table, holding it over his head. Yellow shoves her chair away and dashes for Silver, but Red leaps out of his own chair and grabs her by the arm. Yellow tugs, but Red holds firm.

"Put him down!" Yellow pleads. "He's afraid of heights!"

"Straw Hat Girl, the game is called Magikarp Jump," Gold deadpans. "How can he jump if he's afraid of heights?"

"Karper has to meditate before every challenge or he gets too scared!"

"You know what, I'm not even surprised anymore," Blue says. "Let's just take care of this now before things get worse."

"Wait. Wait!" Yellow begs. "What are you going to do?"

"Delete the game, obviously," Blue answers.

Yellow looks catatonic.

"Silver, will you do the honors?"

"No," Yellow whimpers.

"Yes!" Gold grins.

"No, no! You can't do that!" Yellow cries. "You couldn't — you wouldn't! Karper would —!"

"Yellow, the Magikarp in the game are just data files," Crys explains patiently. "They're not actually Magikarp."

Yellow whirls toward Crys. "But! But, what about, what about Green's Porygon? Huh? It's data, but it's alive, isn't it? Isn't it!" Yellow whirls toward Green.

Green doesn't even bother responding.

"I see how it is. Well, fine. What goes around comes around," Yellow babbles, nervously twitching her head back and forth from Green to Blue to Silver to Gold to Crys. "The world is fair. The world is just. If you hurt Karper, it'll come back to haunt you, I know it."

"Her Pokégear is locked," Silver announces.

"Aha! See? I told you! I told you, didn't I?" Yellow laughs, her voice rising and falling unsteadily. There's a lopsided grin on her face that Red has never seen before. "You wouldn't listen. The universe knows who's right. It's me."

"C'mon, Straw Hat Girl. Tell us what the password is, already."

"I'll never tell you, not in a million years!" Yellow cackles. Perspiration is beading on her forehead. "Even when I'm long gone, Karper will be safe. That's all that matters!"

Gold sighs. "Can't we just mess around until something works? I dunno, try 'FISH' or something stupid like that."

"It's still locked."

"You'll never figure it out! And I won't tell you! Never ever!"

"What about Straw Hat Girl's birthday?"

"Idiot — how am I supposed to know that?"

"Hey, Red-Senpai! When's Straw Hat Girl's birthday?"

"Uh, I don't think Yellow would —"

"Never ever, ever, ever, ever —"

"Oh, ho! Maybe 'I LIKE RED'?"

"What? Er, that's a bit much, isn't it?"

"It doesn't work."

"— ever, ever, ever, ever —"

"Isn't there an auto-lock mechanism? We can't just keep guessing, or we'll be locked out."

"It can't be that hard. I mean, she never had a password before, so —"

"If only some numbskull didn't suggest it to her."

"I was only trying to help!"

"— ever, EVER, ever, ever —"

"Let's think this through rationally. We could always return the Pokégear."

"Poor Yellow! She'd have to give back the gift Red went so far out of his way to get her!"

"Hey, can you lay off Yellow and me for even a second?"

"…Wow, Red-Senpai. You really got it bad."

"Th-that doesn't really matter right now!"

"— ever, ever, ever, ever —"

Green slams his hands on the table. The air immediately goes silent.

"This is stupid," Green declares, and before anyone can stop him, he grabs Yellow's brand-new Pokégear with Magikarp Jump installed and flings it over the table, over Yellow's head, and right into Red's reflecting pool.

Plunk.

And with that, Green leaves Red's backyard without another word.

"…Such a drama queen," Gold mutters loudly.

Yellow stares at the fading ripples. She doesn't move, even after Red releases her hand and fishes Yellow's Pokégear out from the reflecting pool. Red holds it out to her, and places it in her hands when she finally removes them from her sides.

"It's broken," is all Yellow says. The waterlogged Pokégear sits, sopping wet, in her hands.

"Hey," Red says, and waits until Yellow is looking up at him. "How about we go get you a new Pokégear. Together."

"…Will it have Magikarp Jump on it?"

Red shakes his head. "I don't think you need it."

Yellow smiles. "I don't think I do, either," she says, and Red takes her hand and the two walk out of Red's yard. Red hears voices from the backyard, behind him.

"Well, all's well that ends well, I guess."

"Was there ever any doubt?"

"So we're holding Silver's next, right? I call — yowch!"

"Wait. She didn't have back-up data, did she?"

Red freezes.

"Red?" Yellow asks from beside him. "What's wrong?"

"Er, nothing. Let's go get your Pokégear."