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Misty fell back into the water with a happy sigh.  There was nothing quite as relaxing as lounging in the big gym pool with all of her Pokemon.  They got to be in their favorite place, and she got to have a soak and play with them at the same time.  What could be more relaxing than that?

Well, so long as she ignored the plaintive quacking coming from the side of the pool, but she'd been doing that for years.  Misty closed her eyes, spread out her arms, and drifted.  She felt calm, she felt relaxed, she felt... she was being watched?

It was only when Staryu picked up the cry that she realized Psyduck had been trying to get her attention for a real reason.  Someone was here - a trainer?  Misty was halfway out of the pool before she recognized her visitor.


"Hi, Misty," May said uncomfortably, staring at her feet.

"It's so good to see you!"  Realizing she was dripping wet, Misty grabbed a towel she'd left by the side of the pool and started drying off.  "I thought you were going to call before you got to Cerulean City."

"I meant to, but I was in such a rush leaving Saffron City that I forgot, and by the time I remembered I was already here," May explained.  Psyduck, half-remembering the coordinator from the last time they'd met, approached May.  She giggled, and bent over to pet him, cooing, "Well aren't you a cutie!"

Mostly dry now, Misty discarded the towel.  "Don't be fooled," she said dryly, "he's just as dumb as ever."  As a demonstration, she made her hands into claws and mock-growled at Psyduck.  Terrified, he ran off, crying his name until he found his Pokeball and tapped it until it recalled him.

Misty sighed.  "You see?"  What a pathetic Pokemon.

"Aw, Misty, you didn't have to scare him!"  May looked a little sorry for Psyduck.  It struck Misty as strange... but then again, this was a girl with a Bug-type Pokemon on her team, even if it was a pretty one.  Her tastes were obviously questionable.

"So now that you're in Cerulean City, what do you want to do first?"

May shrugged, looking a little embarrassed.  "I don't know!  I didn't really do any research, since I thought you'd just show me around - but since I didn't call you first, I don't even know if you're free today."

Misty grinned.  "Lucky for you, I am!"


"Just let me put up a sign saying I'm out..." Misty knew there was one of those around here somewhere... if she could just remember where Daisy had left it...

And again, that strange feeling of being watched.  Misty stopped searching for a moment, trying to figure out what was so strange about it.  It wasn't just that she was being watched, it was more... wait, was that - yes!  "Found it!"  How funny, that she only found the sign when she stopped looking for it.

May looked kinda red in the face when Misty turned around and showed her the sign.  "Are you alright, May?"  It wasn't too hot out today, but for someone not used to Cerulean City, it might be too much.  "Do you need some water?"

"No!"  Going even redder, May insisted, "No, no, I'm fine!  I was just - wondering where we're going to go!"

"Oh."  Slipping on a pair of sandals and setting up the sign ("The Cerulean Gym is closed today.  Please come back tomorrow!"), Misty thought it over.  "Well, there's an aquarium here in the gym.  And some shops downtown, and there's a cave up on the coast where lots of strong Pokemon live..."

A stomach suddenly gurgled loudly.

"...and there's a really good noodle shop just down the street," Misty finished, smirking.

Sheepishly, May smiled.  "That sounds great, Misty."

Misty headed for the door, thinking their plans were settled - but May must've disagreed, as she stumbled over a protest just before Misty got outside.

"W-wait!"  Misty turned a confused look on May, who started tapping her fingers together nervously.  "Before we go anywhere... do you think you could put some clothes on?"

Misty looked down at herself.  Sure, wearing a bathing suit to a restaurant was a little weird, but in a town by the beach it happened all the time.  And it wasn't like it revealed too much - it was a one piece!  She'd climbed mountains with less skin covered.

"Please?" May begged.

Well, Misty was pretty sure she had a spare change of clothes in one of the back rooms.  She shrugged.  "If you really want me to..." Face flushed, May nodded weakly.  "Okay, just wait here a minute, then!"

She walked off, trying to remember where exactly she'd put those clothes, when she had that same feeling of being watched again.  She glanced behind her, but there was no one there but May, who was staring at her feet again.

What a strange girl.