Response to a "Boiz and Gurlz" one-shot request from Dark Qiviut under the prompt "Friendship". Based in the dub universe because it was asked for as such.

---

Branches swept past her as she walked, and where she wasn't careful thorns brushed her sides, cutting into her skin and causing pain. She could hear twigs snap beneath her feet and occasionally when she ventured too close to an unseen nest it would cause a bird of some sort would fly off into the sky, screeching loudly.

Having said this her entrance was hardly what could be called graceful. It wasn't as if she'd been trying to sneak up on him anyway but she would have liked to be a bit quieter about her approach.

She managed to leap over a particularly tangled section of the low branches and land clumsily in the clearing.

This was where she thought he would be. Or rather where she hoped he would be. It had been a hunch for the most part but she was sure she'd heard something from around here. Not a voice as such but something.

As it happened she had been correct. A small figure dressed in green was perched upon a fallen tree stump that was facing the sky. From a distance he could have almost been mistaken for some sort of wood sprite, but she knew this was not the case. As he turned to face her the appearance that most described as repulsive glared through. He scowl was constant; the eyes were pinpoint and hidden behind a large pair of custom spectacles that had a golden beetle in the centre. Weevil Underwood was watching, wanting an explanation as to what she was doing in the forest, his forest.

She shuddered, suddenly wondering what had possessed her to come here herself. She seemed to have a constant desire to help people that could not be satisfied. And right now she knew that Weevil needed her help.

"Y-you're probably wondering what I'm doing here," she started.

"I don't care what you're doing here!" Weevil shot in a painfully shrill voice, "You're one of his friends aren't you? Come to rub it in that I'm no longer the regional champion? Well I don't care, so get lost!"

She blinked slowly, it wasn't as if she hadn't been expecting this but Weevil had a habit of getting in your face.

"I haven't come here to talk about the regional or any other any other tournament. I've come here to help you," she called; the trunk he was sitting on was still a bit of a distance from the ground so she wanted to make sure he heard.

His eyes narrowed even further than the extreme extent they usually were as he spat, "What could I possibly need the help of a useless girl like you for?" He was going to say 'little girl' but considering she was twice his height this would have been pointless.

"You shouldn't call people offensive names like that, that's exactly the reason why you're alone," she replied.

"I am never alone," he corrected, "But that still doesn't answer my question."

"I... felt bad for you," she replied, "You're not a nice guy but no one deserves to be on their own forever. I wanted to teach you how to make friends..." she finished, sounding defeated before she began.

"Friends? Ha!" he spat, "What could I possibly want friends for?"

"They're important!" She said, "You've probably been without them for so long that you don't know the difference but if you learnt to treat people nicely then perhaps they'd want to be around you more..."

"Listen, Téa is it?" she nodded so he continued, "Even if I was a nice guy, could you possibly think of someone who'd want to be near a face like this?"

He pointed to his own grotesque image and while she had to admit he wasn't very pretty she wouldn't give up that easily.

"Rex Raptor hangs around with you a lot, he doesn't seem to mind," she tried.

He laughed a little at this before replying, "Rex is more like an accomplice. Most people wouldn't be seen near me unless it was absolutely necessary, regardless of how I act."

"I would. If you were a nice person then it wouldn't bother me how you looked, I'd still be your friend," Téa replied honestly.

"Thanks for the gesture but you already have your own group of buddies, just like everybody else does," he returned, "And I have the friends I need here."

"That's the second time you've said that but I don't see anyone," she said with confusion.

"Then allow me to show you my 'friends' as you would put it," he declared, smugly taking a whistle out from his pocket. She noted that it was fashioned from the card Jade Insect Whistle, but Weevil must have made it himself because it looked shabby. An unskilled hand had carved it for sure.

He blew on the whistle and she realised instantly that this was the noise she'd heard earlier. It was sharp, like Weevil's own voice, and as the sound rung into the forest hundreds of insects swarmed from the trees.

On a normal basis she'd possibly be worried about this but right now she wasn't. None of the insects were attacking her and some of them were quite pretty to look at. Along with common bugs like flies and beetles there were loads that she'd never seen before. Many of them flew around Weevil like they knew who he was and he welcomed them with an open hand.

These were Weevil's friends. She understood now. Where humans had rejected him insects had accepted him. So therefore he saw no reason to be kind to humans, instead passing all of his kindness to the bugs of the forest.

She sat down to watch them fly around the tree stump. And he did not tell her to leave. So she knew that by accepting the presence of one human being he had begun the cure that would help him learn to accept them once more.