Part 2: Bug Catcher Misty

Bugsy, the well known bug Pokémon fanatic, was truly the walking embodiment of everything Misty didn't want in a training partner. Although the boy had been courteous enough to give her the first day of training off to get over the shock of their first meeting, she was having difficulty warming up to the guy the days after, despite how generally nice he was.

"His methods- they just creep me out." Misty admitted as she dropped her head onto a table in the coliseum's canteen in defeat. Her breakfast companions, Whitney of Goldenrod city and Erika of Celadon, could only nod their heads at the common knowledge. "Yesterday he had me memorize all the limbs on his Pokémon and then try to identify them by touch blindfolded." Remembering her last training session with Bugsy made Misty shudder.

"I still think you've got it good, Misty." Whitney said before stuffing a pancake in her mouth "I mean, there are worse partners than Bugsy. Like-"

"ARGHH!"

The gruff scream and sound of crashing dishes took all three girls by surprise. They quickly turned to the direction of the disruption and saw Vermillion City's Lt. Surge floating several feet off the air with none other than Saffron's Sabrina under him.

"I like to hold lessons in the morning." Sabrina spoke casually "Come, toy. We have much training to do." She began an eerily normal walk to the exit as Lt. Surge tried to vainly air swim away from the direction the psychic was pulling him to.

"Well, Like that." Whitney giggled, pointing to where the two gym leaders just stood. Misty could only sigh in agreement.

"I disagree." Erika joined in "It is true that some of our peers have rather eccentric ways of teaching us what we come here to learn, but it is that exact manner of teaching that enables us to learn so much. None of their techniques can be seen as bad. Just different from the norm." She placed a light hand over Misty's. "Just give Bugsy's methods a chance. I'm sure you'll become a better person for it." Misty and Whitney stared at Erika with what the grass Gym Leader thought was awe. She quickly took her thought back when their faces began to express disbelief.

"You can't say that!" The girls shouted in unison. "You're partnered with Blaine! He's the most fun!" They both let out envious groans as Erika delicately took a sip out of her tea to conceal her grin. They were right.

"Well, I have to be off." Whitney piped, downing her chesto berry juice in one gulp. "I have to run laps with Chuck for the rest of the day. Good Luck Misty." With a frown at the work that awaited her and a quick wave, Whitney was gone.

"Bugsy is approaching." Erika spoke with her eyes closed. The girl lifted her tray (and the one Whitney forgot) and tossed Misty a serene smile "Remember to grow from your lessons." She chuckled at her Grass-type humor before walking off as well. Her spot was instantly taken by Bugsy, who seemed eager to say what was on his mind.

"I hope you're ready for today's lesson!" He spoke happily, concealing two items behind his back.

"I'm never ready." She sighed inwardly before picking herself up "I am!" as much as she hated the lessons he taught, she was a Gym Leader and would complete and task before her, no mater what it was.

"Great!" Bugsy cheered, revealing the two, wooden bug catching nets behind his back and quickly shoving one into her hand.

"W-what's this for?" Misty asked, confused at the foreign device.

"For bug catching of course!" He happily rose himself from his chair "Today's lesson will be to simply catch as many bug Pokémon as you can with your net instead of Pokémon."

"W-What!?" Misty stuttered "How can I catch a bunch of Pokémon with only a net?"

"You can't!" Bugsy gave her a thumbs up "We leave for the Viridian Forest in ten!" With a smile the boy was off, leaving a rather puzzled Misty.

"I Can't?" She scratched her brain "Then what's the point of-"she exhaled heavily to try to clear herself of all negative thinking. "You can do this Misty! " The girl thought, clenching her fist in determination. "You've taken on tougher!"

The trek to the Viridian Forest was worse that the one Misty experienced on her way to the Indigo Plateau. This was entirely contributed to Bugsy's constant need to test Misty on her bug knowledge at the most unsuitable times.

"WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?"Misty screamed as she fell to the ground trying to release the wiggling creature Bugsy had just placed in her shirt.

Bugsy looked on as the girl rolled around the dirt road. "Come on, Misty! Identify the Pokémon by its touch! This is a good test!"

"There are better ways to test!" The girl fumed, finally freeing the wild Weedle from her shirt. With a disgusted scream, she threw the Pokémon at Bugsy's head, accidently causing the boy to fall to the ground as well. The enraged Weedle gave the fallen boy a quick slap on the head with its tail before sauntering off into the forest.

The pair journeyed with Bugsy's constant tests and Misty's unyielding squeals until they reached the entrance of the Viridian Forest. At Bugsy's command, and Misty's dismay, they continued their venture into the forest crawling on their stomachs.

"Is there a reason we're crawling like this?" Misty asked after one excruciating hour passed. She was slightly embarrassed because, although the forest was generally unpopulated, every now and then a trainer would pass by and chuckle at the sight of them.

"To catch a bug Pokémon you must act like one." Bugsy said simply, wiggling more to inch ahead.

Misty gave an inward sigh at her partner's ridiculous movements "He looks more like an Ekans."

Moments passed and Misty soon found herself travelling through tall grass with Bugsy. This was especially dreadful, for the leaf blades impaired the girl's vision and caused her to bump into a significant amount of wild Pokémon, none of them bugs thankfully. As another Pidgey flew away from her in a huff, Bugsy raised his head slightly above the tall grass and signaled for Misty to do the same.

"Are you ready for some bug-catching?" Bugsy asked the girl when she was beside him. He pointed excitedly at a large tree ahead of them where several Caterpies, Metapods and Butterfrees went along with their daily lives. "Remember, no using Pokémon. Try to catch abooooout twelve in the net!"

"T-twelve?" Misty stuttered, looking at the small bug catching net in her hand. At most the thing could hold two Metapods. "How am I supposed to manage that?"

Bugsy gave the girl a disappointed frown "It should be obvious for a gym leader."

"I-it is obvious." Misty said lamely. The comment had struck a nerve. "I was just saying…" Misty trailed off and concentrated on the task before her. "With the amount of Pokémon there I could launch a random attack and catch a bunch of the slower ones…but then they could easily get out of the net and all over me…" She rubbed her temples in agitation. Getting covered in bugs was not a plan "Thinking will get me no where, this field isn't my specialty." She hopped from her hiding spot and gave her net a good swing, catching the attention of all the Pokémon on the tree.

"Er, Misty?" Bugsy began

"I'll use the same method I use when battling!" The girl shouted "Strike fast!"

Bugsy hopped up this time "Misty, you shouldn't-"

Choosing to ignore his words, the Cerulean Gym Leader began a strong charge towards the Pokémon with her net held high. "I'll end this fast!" she shouted before leaping in the air and swinging her net down. Before the girl could trap a single Pokémon, the Butterfrees that surrounded the tree and hid within it swarmed around her angrily.

"Free!" One spoke to the large group as it began to flap its wings quickly. The others followed suit and Misty suddenly found herself in the middle of a severe Whirlwind attack. It only took seconds for the girl to be lifted from the ground and flung several feet into the air backwards.

"Crap." She said covering her face "How could I forget Whirlwind…" She braced for the inevitable impact that was to come and was surprised when she didn't feel any of her bones crack. She opened her eyes and found herself in the wobbling arms of Bugsy.

"A-r-E yyoU O.K?" The boy asked with obvious difficulty. From the way he shook it was obvious that Misty was too heavy for him to carry, let alone catch.

"Y-yes!" Misty shouted, slightly offended.

Bugsy let out a strained sigh of relief before dropping the girl to the grass and falling backwards himself. The sight of the fallen Bugsy caused the attacking Butterfrees to fly back to their tree as if Misty's attack was no big deal. "When I said 'It's obvious' I meant befriend the bug Pokémon and ask them to get into the net for a few seconds. Egh…" He rolled over to his side in dismay.

"T-That's sort of specific!" Misty fumed, rubbing her side. He didn't have to drop her like that "Besides that doesn't count as catching them."

"To a bug-catcher it does." Bugsy stated simply. That annoyed Misty significantly "I guess we should go back to the Indigo Plateau. I doubt you'll learn much about Bug Pokémon this way…"

Misty gave a frustrated groan and spread herself back onto the grass. "This is so aggravating." she spoke as she gazed at the clouds "I didn't think it was possible to dislike Bug-types more.

This news caught Bugsy off guard "How can you hate Bug-types? They're so similar to Water-types that I thought this would be easy."

"W-what? How are they similar?"

"How aren't they! They're both cool and tough. Not to mention the most beautiful out of all-"

Misty couldn't help but snort at his comment. "You're delusional Bugsy. They're two completely-"

"Get up!" Bugsy cut the girl off as he rose to his feet.

"Huh?"

"Come on!" He said, grabbing Misty's hand and pulling her to her feet. Misty was confused at the boy's suddenly hurried demeanor. "We've been looking at everything the wrong way." He said, rushing to the path that led out of the Viridian Forest with his hand still in Misty's.

"What are you talking about?" Misty asked annoyed, trying to free herself from Bugsy's strong grip.

"If I could show you how Bug-Pokémon are like Water ones, it'll make training a breeze. " He turned back and gave the girl a wide grin "Come on, we have to get back to the coliseum before it gets dark.

Misty gave into her partner's pull, feeling too exhausted to try to decipher what his next method of training was. With Bugsy's energetic pace and lack of surprise tests, the pair made it back to the Indigo Plateau and Pokémon League City just moments after the evening sky darkened and began to fill with stars.

"Hey, Bugsy" Misty began as the boy lead her up several flights of narrow stairs in one of the coliseum's towers "It's pretty late and we've just been traveling back and forth aimlessly. Shouldn't we call it a night?"

"Don't worry, we're almost there!" The boy whispered excitedly as the pair reached a dead end in the form of a 'Do Not Enter' door. Bugsy simply gave the door's knob a quick rattle and it opened willingly.

"What are you doing?" Misty shouted the lowest she could. Koga patrolled the grounds at night and she didn't want his Ninja hearing catching her and Bugsy where they didn't belong. "Are you in-"

"Shut up and look." Bugsy smiled, passing through the doorway so Misty could get a good view of what was on the other side. The sight made Misty's expression soften, if only slightly.

Before her Bugsy stood on a large, stone balcony that towered over the Indigo Coliseum and Pokémon League City. Misty felt a little dizzy as she approached the balcony edge and saw the small, flickering lights that were, no doubt, cars rushing through the city's streets.

"Why are we-" Misty began, before being cut off by Bugsy once more.

"This way." He took the girl's hand and led her to the left side of the balcony where the less populated part of the city was viewable. In the distance the Viridian Forest could be seen clearly.

"What are we waiting for?" Misty asked after several minutes of silence.

"That." Bugsy spoke, pointing to the direction of the forest.

Misty looked in wonder as several hundred Butterfree began a slow, but sure, rise out of the Viridian Forest tree tops. Beneath them rose a mass amount of thin strands that Misty couldn't identify.

"Every night." Bugsy began "The Butterfree in the Viridian forest clean out the mess left over from the string shot attacks the Caterpie and Weedle use throughout the day, which is a lot. They also make sure that every forest denizen gets a good night's sleep by…"

He didn't need to finish because Misty could see clearly what the Pokémon were doing. As the Butterfree released the strands of string-shot from their grips they began to flap their wings lightly, releasing a mass amount of blue powder that, along with the string-shot, got swept up by the breeze. As the Pokémon began to flutter above the trees releasing their sleeping powder, the string-shot leftovers bobbed up and down as the wind carried them off, catching the blue color from the sleeping powder the Butterfree emitted. The movement of the string shot and color that the blue powder added reminded Misty of one thing only.

"It's like the ocean." Misty spoke in awe, not able to see the happy look on Bugsy's face.

The two watched in silence as the ocean-like phenomenon continued to swirl above the tree tops of the Viridian Forest with the Butterfree fluttering in it, like little fish in a sky ocean. After several minutes passed, the Butterfly Pokémon began to descend slowly to the forest below until Misty and Bugsy couldn't see them anymore. Shortly after the blue coloring vanished from the sky and the mass of string-shots thinned out. The pair just stared at the dark forest.

"So that's what you meant." Misty said, breaking the silence. Although she was unsure if she still loathed bug Pokémon or not, she couldn't help but dislike them a little less after just watching the pseudo-aquatic spectacle.

"Yep." Bugsy said, scratching behind his head "So how do you feel about them now?"

"Eh." Misty smiled with a shrug of her shoulders "I still don't know where you get the 'cool' and 'tough' idea from, but hey." Bugsy seemed to be pleased at her answer. Her understanding one out of three similarities wasn't bad.

"Great!" He cheered "So we're off to the Viridian Forest!"

"W-what?" Misty stuttered "You mean tomorrow, right?" Bugsy answered her question by grabbing a PokéBall from his side and releasing a large Ariados. The sight of the Long Leg Pokémon got a loud squeal out of Misty. Ignoring the girl, the creature crawled to the edge of the balcony and began to shoot a long, thick, sturdy string-shot down the tower's side.

"Well, come on!" Bugsy asked as he returned Ariados and began to climb down the rope it just made.

"You can't be serious!" Misty shouted "It's so late!"

"Hey! You never caught twelve Pokémon like I said." Bugsy pouted "Come on, it should be easier since they're all asleep now. We can make it to the forest before sunrise if you hurry!"

Misty let out a defeated groan. "Can't we take the steps?"

Bugsy shook his head. "Nope! With those screams you just let out Koga should be here in ten minutes. Come on!" He gave a small chuckle before lowering himself down the string-shot. Positive she felt Koga coming, Misty saw no other way of escape.

"Better than Koga sending me to Agatha." Misty thought before shuddering at the feel of Ariados' string-shot. She gathered all her courage before lowering herself down the tower's side. A small breeze made the girl clutch onto the thick webbing tighter.

"Hang in there, Misty!" Bugsy called from below her "With stunts like this you'll be a bug-catcher in no time!"

"I hate you, Bugsy." Was all Misty could think as she continued to lower herself down the webbed rope.

A/N: Doonnnne! Wow, I am so bad at trying to write romance stories. O.O Lets call this a 'blossoming friendship tale' since it strikes me as that more. I have to admit it was hard writing about Bugsy, who was only seen in one episode. Egh. Finally I can get back to my main story! Hope you all liked this regardless. Please review!