Other A Farm in the Forest- Chapter 48 (5/26/2017)

Discussion in 'Fan Works' started by MagicallyClueless, May 3, 2016.

  1. Gabaw

    Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Great chap :up: I have to say before going on that Seb's "What?" and grunting cracked me up. That's 100% dude lmao! You've always been good at expressing that but it was especially spot on this time. and one more thing, shoutout to Mr. Olympia in the baths. Hopefully Alex is deadlifting and squatting regularly but those arms are bulking up for sure, nice! as for Jade, we the readers aren't sure if wat she saw was real but it reminds me of the pool as a kid. Any water is big toothy fish turf and it's horrendous without having to go thru it for real, which she did. PTSD? Reality? Heavy stuff...
     
      MagicallyClueless likes this.
    • MagicallyClueless

      MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams

      so no update yet, but i haven't been around in a little while so i thought i'd give an update of how things are going

      well my situation is a lot better than before so i have a lot more time to write and my motivation has returned, at least a little :>
      i wrote a pretty big "half-chapter" to get me back into the swing of writing, but I think it takes place after chapter 41 so I'm unsure whether I want to go ahead and share it or not. I do have parts of chapter 41 and 42 written and as was stated before I have a good idea of where the story will continue. From my guesses we're probably 70-80% on the way to completion. I don't know exactly what order things will happen, but we'll get full closure on Jade's story and tie up some loose knots around town. I'm unsure if the story will continue after winter or not, but we'll see!
       
      • Rod&Root

        Rod&Root 2.7182818284590...

        Well, now I really need to catch up with your chapters before you start posting again.
         
          MagicallyClueless likes this.
        • MagicallyClueless

          MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams

          WELL
          another update
          chapter's coming out sooner than i thought but that's mainly because the spirit's eve chapter is pretty much a no go
          i've spent so long just trying to think of how to approach that festival and nothing good or really all that productive came out of it

          my "half-chapter" is probably going to be a full chapter instead since it features some development and still matches the tone of the story enough for me to include it

          stay tuned u guys
           
          • MagicallyClueless

            MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams



            It was as if nothing happened the day after the bathhouse trip. Jade was back to her cheerful self, smiling, laughing, enjoying all the positive qualities of life. Sebastian hated that he didn’t know what bothered her at the baths, but he couldn’t summon the courage to bring it back to attention. She was happy, or seemed like it, anyway... he couldn’t ruin that, even if his curiosity was at its peak.

            Spirit’s Eve arrived in a flash. The entirety of the town square had been blocked off for the day since they were setting up, and not even the people in town knew what it would be like! Rasmodius, the local wizard, took the liberty of setting up the event himself, possibly with his arcane abilities. Jade was aware of what the festival was, since, unlike previous events, Spirit’s Eve was celebrated across the entire region. Costumes, scary stories, lots and lots of horror themed food. Stardew Valley apparently celebrated such a holiday with all their might, which made the young farmer excited to participate as well. Spirit’s Eve was the last festival of the season and the first one Jade has ever been to in regards of the valley.

            For once, nothing went wrong, or at least nothing seemed like it. Spirit’s Eve was full of spooks, horrors, and elaborate pranks on Sam, and it was glorious. Jade spent the entire festival night with Sebastian in which they had a feast and explored the ‘haunted maze’ together. In the end, they didn’t really find out the mystery behind the maze, but they did spend a good fifteen minutes practicing bad parkour on the gigantic fake spiders that dwelled there. Jade didn’t have any time to sit on her thoughts since she was so occupied. When she went home late that night, all she could think of was the fun she had with Sebastian and her friends. It was probably the best festival to date.

            Snow arrived a few days into Winter already, the entire valley blanketed with powdery white. Wild animals went into hibernation when the forest’s once proud trees towered naked without leaves. Livestock huddled in their barns and coops, all circled around the heaters that kept their space warm and comfortable. Jade wished to huddle around a fireplace too, though her farm work certainly took priority. In the cold weather, her dear rabbits kept their wool and enjoyed the luxury of being indoors, especially since their normal food was covered in snow. Her chickens made eggs as they always did, perfect for shipment. Despite being unable to plant any crops, Jade found the season productive as well as relaxing.

            That particular day was especially productive, at least in the social sense. Sebastian arrived at her farm via motorcycle to take her on a date- and not just any date!! They were going out of town and actually planned to spend money, like what one would consider as a normal outdoor activity. Right after lunchtime, Sebastian and Jade departed for a wonderful time spent with one another.

            ---

            “Jade, is this your first time in Zuzu City?”

            Sebastian dismounted his recently parked motorcycle while keeping an eye on his hyperactive girlfriend. She was jittering from excitement, a huge grin stamped on her face as she followed his actions. Winter wasn’t any more kind to the city as it was to the valley, so the weather was just as freezing. Jade had a thick red zipper jacket and a matching stitched bear hat along with warm black leggings under a favorite white skirt of hers, and Sebastian wore a deep purple beanie that matched the long scarf Jade knitted him, his hoodie, and to a certain degree, his jeans as well. Hilariously enough, both of them wore regular sneakers that normally wouldn’t pass in cold weather, but it didn’t seem to bother them.

            “Yeah, I’ve never been before!” Jade beamed to her boyfriend, hopping in place with her hands in her jacket pockets. They stood on the third floor of a parking complex, finally ready to depart on foot. Sebastian took the lead while she followed closely behind; he seemed to know where he was going, though in reality he was as unfamiliar with the city as she was.

            “You’re in for a treat, though the city is incredibly busy... Yoba, I certainly don’t care for all the traffic here. That’s one good thing about Pelican Town, huh?” He smiled and glanced over to her, who then nodded in agreement. Their sneakers tapped the black concrete of the parking lot, echoing in the large and empty space. Car engines, tires, and horns could be heard right outside. Sunlight sparkled through the open gaps in the parking complex, signaling a bright but still chilly afternoon.

            “I already know I’m in for a treat,” the excited girlfriend freed one of her arms to wrap around his own. “After all, I’m spending the day with you, and I couldn’t ask for anything better!”

            Sebastian formed a sheepish smile, his pale cheeks flushing from the simple statement. “Heh... well, we haven’t exactly been on a proper, um, date.”

            Jade stared off into space, surprised. He was right. “Wow... I actually didn’t even notice that. We spend so much time together, so it’s a wonder we haven’t really been out on a proper date. Unless you count those times we went to the mines.”

            “No- ... Okay. I kinda do count that. They were fun, despite how dangerous it was,” he huffed. “It’s also kind of a job though, since there are those monster eradication goals for the guild.” Sebastian shrugged.

            “We should work on that together later. I want some magical rings.”

            He snorted, expression lighting up once more. “You would. Yeah, it’s a future date,” he continued.

            “Great!” Jade beamed once more. She didn’t know what else to say, but luckily with Sebastian, she didn’t have to be talking to have his attention. His warmth was addicting, his smile calming, and the silence between them spelled out comfort and love. Jade was always eager to spend time with Sebastian, but for some reason she felt even more so in Zuzu City. In a place full of people she didn’t know, getting to show off her boyfriend was all the more exciting. Sebastian was hers and everyone around them would know it, though hopefully not through obnoxious means.

            They traveled down heavily populated sidewalks close to even busier streets, making their way towards their destination. The Zuzu City mall was their intended goal, but there were so many interesting shops full of different nic-nacs on the way. Boutiques, antique shops, diners, cafes, and specialty shops lined the streets to entice citizens and tourists alike. Despite never being to Zuzu city in particular, Jade knew exactly what shops to ignore and didn’t seem as bothered with the speedy walking as Sebastian did. It came as a surprise to him since she would often be easily distracted by the shiny and new, though it made more sense as he thought about it. “Jade, you’re from the city, right?” he asked to confirm his suspicions.

            She snapped out of her walking trance, paying attention to her boyfriend once she heard his voice. “Hm? Yeah, haha. It’s surprising how much I remember about the city. I prefer home, though... everyone’s nicer.”

            “The city certainly is a little... crowded,” Sebastian quietly commented. He loved the variety of the bustling city, but walking down the streets made him question why he even wanted to move to a place with so many people. Maybe Zuzu City was fun to visit, but dealing with crowds on a daily basis, thousands of unknown faces, and good Yoba, the traffic, it was... not his ideal life. On the outside, Sebastian kept his cool demeanor, especially since he didn’t want Jade to worry. Inside, however, Sebastian felt incredibly anxious. He hoped the mall would suddenly appear before them so that they could deal with crowds in smaller doses. Everything was too loud. People were shoving each other aside and zooming past. It was a little much.

            Luckily, Jade was there. She probably couldn’t tell he was nervous at the time, but she was well versed in how he dealt with strangers. She kept her arm locked with his to ensure they wouldn’t be separated and confidently marched forward to their destination.

            "Hey... do you mind talking about life? Before?" Sebastian asked, watching her movements closely. Ultimately, she didn't seem bothered by his question. Her smile was gentle and her eyes hooded contently as she watched her steps ahead. When he spoke, she glanced at him before bringing focus back to the sidewalk.

            "Sure, I don't mind! Is there anything you want to know?"

            The raven-hair shrugged. He supposed he didn't have anything specific. "Just... in general, I guess. I'm curious. You... you know, you never really struck me as someone who used to live in a place like this."

            Jade laughed. "That's probably for the better! But, sure. Uhh... well, I mean, no one really talks to each other. There are so many people you don't know around, yeah? So I always went from place to place, no detours, no walking in less populated places. As nice as it is to be alone, it’s more dangerous here." She stared up to the sky for a moment to plan her next words, then nervously laughed; it came across as a bit fake, as if she didn't really find her train of thought humorous at all. "Well, I mean, we have monsters back at home... But they're not really as scary as other humans are."

            Sebastian couldn't help but usher a chuckle in response. He didn't find her statement funny, but... "I've never heard you say something so somber," he admitted.

            "Really? Ah, sorry. I normally try to be positive." Jade was surprised at herself; she didn't realize her worry was getting the best of her.

            He shook his head. "No, don't be sorry," he softly stated. A gentle smile formed on his face as he walked alongside the young farmer. "It just sounds like something I would have said."

            "Well, I mean, humans are scary, right? I'd rather be in a room with a giant slime monster if I got to pick between that or a human, because I at least know how to deal with it." While Jade was being completely serious in her statements, she snorted at herself. He couldn't help but laugh too.

            "Oh, I completely agree." Sebastian gave her a playful nudge. "I'm glad we have that in common."

            Jade smiled. "Me too. It can be hard to say in words," she muttered. She felt free and comfortable, knowing Sebastian understood what she meant. Maybe he didn't have the same reasons as her, but they could still relate to each other. It meant the world to her. "O-oh... um... Sorry, got off track there. Um... well, there's a lot to do in the city, so that's really nice. Though I never really went out much. You kinda... need friends for that."

            Sebastian didn't find her last sentence very entertaining. "Ah... well…” Sebastian needed to say something. “We're together. Is there anywhere you wanted to go that you couldn't before?" he then asked. "Maybe after the mall."

            "Hmm..." Jade hummed for a moment, trying to think of any specific place. "... Can we go to an ice cream parlor? Just sitting at a nice little dining place sounds fun!"

            Her question made him grin. "In this weather? We're freezing."

            "Yes," she answered confidently, puffing up her chest.

            He laughed. "I love it. Let's do it."

            Their somewhat serious conversation morphed into lighthearted chatter about anything on their minds, from what they wanted to eat later in the afternoon, to the weather, to even what they hoped to buy. Jade teased Sebastian about how he would have to do a lot of waiting while she tried on new clothes, which he rebuffed with sarcasm and a bit of nagging. As if on cue, Jade suddenly stopped on the sidewalk. The mall of their choice was just around the corner, but a small clothes store caught her eye; she stared through the window of a colorful, cutesy shop, its front display having mannequins in detailed dresses, wearing bright coats, fluffy backpacks, and an unbearable amount of hair accessories. Looked like a shop that suited Jade perfectly.

            The young farmer stared at one of the mannequins in admiration, paying special attention to its dress. While the dress wasn't poofy or short enough for Jade's taste, the colors and theme certainly was; it was a soft light blue with a white drawing of a cat's face just under the chest. The cat's 'ears' covered the chest area of the dress, while there was a white undershirt that kept the cut from appearing too low. It seemed like it could be a decent summer dress, but with enough layers, it could be done just fine for winter.

            Eventually, Sebastian gave her a nudge to knock her out of her trance. "You want to go in there?" he asked, extremely aware of her fascination.

            "... Can we?" she squeaked.

            "Well, duh. That's why we're here."

            "Great!" Without another word, Jade sped into the store.

            Sweet Yoba, the store was even more colorful inside than it initially appeared... and much, much smaller. Sebastian stuck out like a sore thumb in the store, since he was the only source of dark tones compared to the swarms of shining feminine outfits. He narrowed his eyes as he followed in after- not out of disgust, but due to the brightness being a bit too much for him. Jade had already disappeared into some corner of the store after giving a polite greeting to the cashier. Sebastian gave them a hello as well and decided to wander around.

            "Seb!" he instantly heard. Jade spoke loud enough for anyone to hear, but she was still being considerate enough to not yell or disturb. "Come look at this one."

            He obediently followed, navigating through racks of clothes. Many of them seemed inspired by TV show and movie characters, though there were some original (and equally cutesy) outfits in the mix. Sebastian found Jade holding up a dress similar to the one she admired at the front display, except it was yellow and looked to be designed after a bear instead. He wasn't surprised she picked that one out of pure giddiness. He couldn't help but smile.

            "What do you think of this one?" she asked, almost unsure. Sebastian suddenly halted, not certain of how to answer. She noticed his tension, then laughed. "Listen, you know me. Just tell me what you think, because, it's really cute, but I dunno if it's for me. This is the only one like the display I can find, though..."

            "Uh..." He sucked in a deep breath as he stared at her, then the dress, then back at her. "Well..." He shrugged. "It's certainly... bright."

            Jade coughed out another laugh. From her perception, he sounded like he was desperately forcing some kindness. "Anything else?" she asked, giving a knowing smile.

            He scratched his head. "Um..." Eventually, a sigh escaped his throat. "When I think of you, I don't really... think of yellow."

            "So yellow's not my color?" Jade stared at the dress and hummed, rocking her heels as she contemplated. "Hmm... you may have a point there. Maybe a bit too gaudy."

            Sebastian sighed in relief, which made her giggle.

            "I wasn't holding you against your will with that question, was I?"

            "Uhh... I'm just not too good at this. I mean... you've seen my wardrobe."

            She laughed again. "That's okay! I'm having fun, and you're helping a lot even if you think you're not. You won't hurt my feelings, you know."

            Sebastian wanted to say something, but then backed down in defeat. He knew it was obvious he was scared of hurting her feelings. The raven-hair, like any decent boyfriend, wanted her to enjoy whatever she wore. She was cute either way.

            "So, what color do you think of, then?" asked Jade in curiosity. She could tell the question still made him nervous, but she sent loving looks his way to assure him she didn't mind what his answer was.

            "Maybe, like..." He shrugged. "Greens."

            "Green is one of my favorite colors! Wait, it's not because of farming, is it?"

            "No, you just... It's a youthful color, but maybe not like... as young as yellow. I guess. You know, like. Cheerful." He tapped his chin in thought, then flushed in embarrassment. "Wait... did that make sense?"

            Jade grinned and gave him a reassuring nod. "Yeah, it did! That's really sweet, Seb. Thank you. Hmmmmm..." She put the dress back and continued to browse, though nothing caught her eye like she thought it would. There were a lot of accessories she loved, though she had a lot of similar ones back home. Others just seemed too expensive for what they appeared... Sebastian decided to browse as well. Even if he doubted he'd find anything for himself, the clothes were still cute to look at. He was almost surprised Jade didn't pick up everything she saw.

            Hilariously enough, Jade didn't find anything for herself. The clothes were either too bright, the patterns were not favorable, or the articles of clothing seemed too long or too short. The few she did liked, they were incorrect sizes. What an unlucky store... but she still had fun. Her spirits were lifted from getting to just participate in any activity with Sebastian.

            She noticed him in one other part of the store, looking thoughtfully at a dress. The dress had thick straps that went over the shoulders, a high cut, and had several layers fluffing out the "skirt" part of the dress. It had a light rabbit pattern, and the dress itself was a soft, desaturated green. From the distance, Jade thought the dress looked cute, though something she wouldn't have expected Sebastian to look at.

            After a minute or so, he brought his attention away from the dress and wandered back over to Jade. "I'll wait at the front for you. Don't worry about me; take your time."

            The girlfriend grinned. "Of course! I actually think we might leave the store empty handed... it looked so promising, too."

            "Well, hey. We'll be going to a lot more. Maybe ones that aren't in such a cramped... space." Sebastian tried to comfort her, but ended up reminding himself about unpleasant details of the store in the process. "Actually... I think I'll wait outside. Don't worry, though. I'll be right by the door."

            She giggled. "That sounds fine. I'll follow you in a minute."

            With that, they kindly parted. Jade watched her boyfriend walk out of the slightly claustrophobic environment, though still completely visible through the display window. She felt relief knowing where he was, and even more relief that he wasn't looking inside to see what she was up to. Jade's eyes shot to the rack of clothes that Sebastian spent a considerable time around, then immediately sneaked over to it, as if that increased her chances of going unnoticed.

            The dress was much cuter up close... actually, it was extremely cute. Jade knew that Sebastian didn't care all too much about fashion, especially for himself, but he still had a great eye for detail. Probably because of his nerdy Solarion Chronicles characters, Jade thought. Her mouth widened from cheer, feeling flattered as she examined the clothing in front of her. It was so perfect for the winter season, too.

            She left the store with something after all. After a moment of waiting, she exit the shop with a closed plastic bag. Sebastian raised his hand in greeting and approached her so they could be reunited. "Got something after all? What is it?"

            "Oh, it's just something. I thought it was cute." Jade locked their arms to not be separated and resumed their walking.

            He found the answer rather cryptic, but quickly accepted it. "Oh. Nice," Sebastian lightheartedly replied.

            As if the colorful shop with crowded space was its opposite, the mall was the largest complex either of the young adults have ever been to. Well over a hundred clothing stores, specialty shops, and restaurants had to be in the mall, and that didn't include the open market space where more independent creators sold their merchandise. Smooth tiled stone led to elegant tiled marble indoors, the mall's proud name arching the entrance. A huge fountain sputtered clear water with colorful lights in the mall lobby, still visible and beautiful even with the hundreds of people sharing the same space. Sebastian felt pleasantly surprised that there was so much room to walk with the amount of people. Jade noticed his nerves eased, while her own nerves increased from the sheer amount of options they had in term of stores.

            Their shopping journey at the mall began. They ventured to a few clothing stores, Jade pointing out shirts with stupidly hilarious designs and making Sebastian snort with laughter in the process. Both of them eventually grew very comfortable with their explorations, finding things they liked, sharing their finds, and mocking the ones they thought looked ridiculous. The first out-of-town date jitters quickly faded.

            With their comfort came their ever so loving (and exceedingly sarcastic) banter. Such exchanges of words increased when Jade learned that Sebastian was quite the penny pincher:

            "Sebby... Just. Just buy it. You keep going back to it," she laughed.

            "I don't need it." Sebastian shamefully looked away from a hoodie as they stood in the middle of a general clothes store. The hoodie was the same dark blackish-purple that he currently wore, except it was far newer, had softer and thicker material, and had a zipper.

            "Aw, come on." Jade assumed a sassy stance and crossed her arms while glaring at the raven-hair. "You only bought a new shirt so far, and I'm pretty sure you have the same one at your house! This hoodie is actually new. And you need it."

            Sebastian glared just as sarcastically in return. "Okay, one: the shirt at home is all faded, and it's one of my favorites so I wanted another. And two: my current hoodie isn't that old, and it's still pretty good..."

            She gave him a certain look. He knew which kind she was doing. "How old is your hoodie, then?" she asked with a dead tone.

            "Probably... uh..." Sebastian started to count on his fingers as he glanced up to the ceiling in contemplation. "Maybe... seven years."

            Jade's mouth gaped open in shock while he counted. "You were in high school!" she almost yelled.

            "I took care of it! Hey! Haven't you seen Sam's jacket? Or that Shane guy? My hoodie doesn't have holes or anything like that. And if there was a hole, I'd sew it back."

            "You know how to sew?" Jade lifted an eyebrow and smiled in amusement.

            "That's not the point. The point is, this hoodie is still good. I shouldn't waste my money," he huffed, completely ignoring her expression. Subconsciously, he messed with one of his hood's strings.

            The young farmer watched him for a moment, giving an unamused 'mmhm' under her breath, then grabbed the hoodie off the rack it hung from. "I'm going to buy it, then."

            "What?!"

            "You heard me-

            "No, don't buy it!" He almost instantly snatched the article of clothing from her hands. "It's expensive, I don't want you spending that much on me."

            "You bought me a phone!" she instantly retorted.

            "That was a gift, and you don't owe me anything."

            "Then you won't care if I buy the hoodie as a gift-

            "I'll just buy it, okay? Yeesh!"

            Jade cackled from his heated response. "Okay, okay. You win."

            Sebastian snobbily lifted his head and nodded. "Damn right I do."

            After he bought his new hoodie of choice and left the store, he seemed much more ecstatic about his purchase- they even stopped in the middle of the mall for him to take the purchase tags off and switch his hoodies. He seemed so comfortable and relaxed, even more than he wanted to admit.

            Jade gave him a hearty pat on the back. "I'm taking your old hoodie," she nonchalantly stated.

            "What?" Sebastian looked to her, not hearing her the first time.

            "Nothing," she cheerfully hummed.

            And so, they continued their fun mall trip. Both of them grew more excited when they found video game shops and were able to get some nifty bundles for affordable prices. Toy stores were also fantastic, especially since they got to throw plushies at each other and have spontaneous foam sword fights. Jade forced Sebastian to let her buy some figurines he collected for himself, while he refused to leave the store without giving her a plushie she wanted for her own collection. With heated comments that eventually led to laughs and play fights, they left to terrorize other shops, satisfied with the gifts they bought for each other. They passed a laser tag arena with broken hearts, internally regretting the things they had to carry. Sounded like laser tag would be a good future date, though!

            Walking apparently got too tiring for the both of them, or at least for Sebastian it did. Jade got her exercise from maintaining her farmland, while Sebastian only ever walked around town. Both of them decided to end their shopping endeavors anyway and have a well deserved food break.

            They sat in a booth of the least crowded food court they could find and bought some fast food to feast upon. The young farmer had an affordable mountain of chicken nuggets with a side of fries, while Sebastian preferred the burger meal for himself. Both exchanged brief banter in between bites out of their food, simultaneously answering several missed texts on their phones.

            “Hey, Jade.” Sebastian spoke in his regular tone and volume, taking a sip from the drink that came with his meal.

            “Yeah?”

            “Remind me to knee Sam in the groin when we get back,” he simply stated.

            She snorted and almost spit out what was in her mouth. “Holy Yoba,” she muffled, trying to keep herself from laughing. Finally, she swallowed her bite of food. “Why?”

            “He’s being a pest. All these texts. They’re ridic- Wh... Why?” He groaned in irritation.

            Jade’s visual focus shifted to Sebastian in curiousity. “What happened?” she asked.

            “Okay, so Sam sent me so many texts while we’ve been out, and he knows where we are. Lots of texts that are like, don’t make out too hard, watch out for dwarves who will steal your money while unconscious, if he sees a strip of photos from a photo booth he’ll disown us, et cetera.”

            She chuckled. “Sounds like Sam.”

            “Yeah. Well, the asscrack just sent me another text asking me how many adult stores we went to.”

            Her amused expression dropped in surprise, then picked up again to accompany her cackle. “What does he think we even do?”

            “Don’t ask. He’ll give you a long list, and then probably make a badly written fan fiction just to torture me and ‘prove’ his point.” Sebastian rolled his eyes and set his phone down to continue eating.

            Jade did a familiar puff of her chest and paused her dining to cross her arms. “Well I mean, Sam’s suggestions aren’t so bad! Let’s find some. Also, lingerie.”

            Sebastian gasped from the suggestion, then choked on whatever he was eating. He managed to cough out his food on his plate. “Jade!!” he yelled in accusation.

            She cackled, flushing in response. “I was just joking! Calm down.”

            “It’s not funny. Don’t be a Sam.” He huffed, his face also a light red.

            “Hehe, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to shock you like that.” She resumed eating, checking her phone absentmindedly. “I’m not really sexy enough for lingerie or anything like that anyway.”

            “What?” Sebastian stared at her as if he was offended from her remark. “I didn’t say that.”

            “I know, but I said it.” She shrugged, like she already accepted it as a fact of life. Her meal had been fully consumed. “Why, do you think I’m sexy?”

            Poor Sebastian’s face was as red as a tomato. He averted his gaze and stared to the nearest wall, completely flustered. “Come on...” he muttered, silently pleading her to not ask him such questions.

            The young farmer appeared neutral and uncaring when she asked the question, but seemed rather invested and entertained when she saw his reaction. “... Really?” she asked to confirm what his body language conveyed.

            “You already know how I feel about you,” he mumbled under his breath while taking another sip of his drink.

            Jade took a moment to study his behavior, then calmly smiled. “I do, but it’s nice to hear it sometimes.” She giggled and leaned her elbows on the table. “You build up my ego something awful, you know. I’m used to being just... cute, to people. You know? I mean, not that I can blame them, since people mistake my preferred style of dress for... childishness... I guess.”

            Sebastian calmed down enough to focus on the young farmer again. “...I... I think you’re both.”

            “Hmm?” Jade grinned, gesturing for more elaboration.

            “I mean... you are cute, but that doesn’t stop you from being... you know.” Sebastian felt too warm in his current outfit, so he unzipped his hoodie. With a grumble of dismissal, he practically hid his face while sipping from his drink again. There wasn’t even any liquid left in the cup, so he tried to eat some of the ice out of desperation. “Sh-shut up, you’re beautiful.”

            She giggled from his reply. As quiet and grumpy as he sounded, the feelings behind them were genuine and loving. “Aww, I love you too,” Jade answered to his indirect declaration. A moment passed between them as they finished up their food. “Hey... I’ll say it. I think you’re sexy.”

            “Jade!!” Sebastian yelled again, even more flustered than before.

            “What? It’s true! You are!”

            “We’re in public,” he deadpanned.

            “Does it matter?”

            Yes,” he answered with extreme emphasis.

            “Do you want me to say it tonight, then?” Jade teased.

            “Yes-” Sebastian coughed. “I mean no. No! No. Stop looking at me like that. Shut up.”

            “I didn’t say anything,” she remarked with a grin.

            “I hate you so much.” Tomato Sebastian was back. After they threw the remains of their meals away, he tightly held Jade’s hand. He seemed much more bold than before. “Let’s go get that ice cream,” he started, trying to change the subject entirely.

            She simply laughed. “That’ll be really fun.”

            Their trip at the mall ended, and their date in Zuzu City was officially over when they watched the darkening sky after finishing their eagerly anticipated cones of ice cream. With linked arms, they returned to Sebastian’s motorcycle. They mushed what goods they could into the motorcycle’s compartments, while Jade could loop the rest with her arms. She held onto Sebastian’s torso on the ride to Pelican Town, her face safely buried in his back. Time flew by quickly; before either of them knew it, they were already at Jade’s farm.

            The night ended on fantastic terms. It was a good date.



            IT'S DONE!!!!
            IT'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            AFTER 2 MONTHS!!!! I FINALLY GOT OUT OF THAT HOLE!!! not only was real life stuff happening (things are fine now!) but i was just. having SO MUCH trouble with chapter 41.

            most of the writer's block had to do with how i wanted to do something with spirit's eve and just... couldn't. nothing good or productive was coming out of it, and i felt horrible because i thought i would cover every major festival. ultimately, though, it was a waste, and it was better for me to keep any drama from happening and make a summary instead. my time will be put into some other plot twists!

            guys i'm SO EXCITED for the next chapters to come. we're probably 70-80% done with the story at this point. there is some really big stuff coming up and i am excited to take this journey with all of you.

            thank you for being so patient. i really hope the next chapter will come out quicker, but i can't promise anything. i do promise that this story WILL end, though. it's my baby. and i'm just. i'm so proud. i've learned so much in all these chapters i wrote, not only about the characters or how to write but, myself too. i know that sounds corny but that's what kinda happens when you're obsessed with character development LOL

            anyways, i hope you enjoyed!! thank you SO MUCH for reading!!!
             
              Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
            • ApertureGaming011

              ApertureGaming011 Subatomic Cosmonaut

              The date was so adorable! The 19+ parts really cracked me up, you know! Also, the last part had a defect (repeated paragraph) though. Other than that, wait until I open a bottle of champagne to celebrate your return of this godly fanfiction!
               
              • Risukage

                Risukage Existential Complex

                Oh dear, poor Sebastian, not only did she almost ask him if that dress made her look fat, she demanded to know if he finds her hot as well. You know, dude, Sam and Jade wouldn't give you so much grief if you wouldn't always rise to the bait. ;)

                Well, this was certainly a good trip! They both got some nice new things they needed, and many fun things they wanted. Sometimes that's just what one needs; a change of scenery and pace, but not too big. Ah, Sam, our gleefully evil Sunshine Child, don't ever change!
                 
                  MagicallyClueless likes this.
                • MagicallyClueless

                  MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams

                  ah, thanks for catching that. fixed!

                  19+ parts?
                   
                  • ApertureGaming011

                    ApertureGaming011 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                    Sam's text and Jade's reply, that I mean.
                     
                    • Roskii Falfeather

                      Roskii Falfeather Pangalactic Porcupine

                      Only just finished the third chapter, but its really great so far xD

                      Hilarious that you clocked alex
                       
                        Risukage and MagicallyClueless like this.
                      • MagicallyClueless

                        MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams

                        WHOO! long road ahead of you, friend! hope you enjoy it though.
                         
                          Roskii Falfeather and Risukage like this.
                        • MagicallyClueless

                          MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams



                          “You got a phone and you haven’t been answering my calls? Jade, I’m hurt!” pouted Alex, who sat with Jade in a barn full of snuggled rabbits and two eagerly clucking chickens. They rested on piles of fresh hay while warming themselves by the heater that had been placed in the middle of the space. Butterscotch, the most docile of the rabbits, snoozed lazily in Jade’s lap, while Bullet and Plague, the two more hyperactive rabbits, treated Alex’s crossed legs like an obstacle course. The athlete didn’t mind the little ones playing- in fact, he loved it, but he couldn’t help but be concerned for his dear sister-in-spirit. It was very unlike Jade to answer a text with a simple ‘I’m fine’ after being asked how she was, since she gave such an impression of honesty. Actually, Alex didn’t think she was really acting like herself in general.

                          He assumed Sebastian would have noticed her behavior and act accordingly, but after days without seeing her, something still seemed a little off. Her smiles weren’t wide enough, her eyes not as bright, her hair not as... poofy. Subtle things, and Sebastian should have noticed! But Alex did and he showed it. He didn’t know what the problem could be, or even how to explain his suspicions, but he just felt she was still bothered. She needed to talk about it to somebody.

                          “Ah, is that why you came here?” Jade made a sad, concerned smile. “I went on a date yesterday, but I thought I texted you back. Oh, wait, do you mean over the past week?”

                          “Yeah!”

                          “Oh...” The young farmer went quiet and thought for a while. “To be honest... I haven’t really been in the mood to hold phone conversations.”

                          At least she answered. Alex grumpily huffed regardless of the response. “Is everything okay? Something seems off. Why hasn’t Sebastian done anything?! Is it because of him?”

                          “Whoa, whoa. Little too many questions there,” sighed Jade. “No, Seb and I are doing great. Nothing’s off, not with him or in general. Sometimes I just don’t feel like talking.”

                          “Wh-... You can’t tell me nothing’s off! This never happens. I’m worried about you, farm girl. I barely even saw you during Spirit’s Eve,” he retorted with a firm voice. Alex crossed his arms to display his seriousness.

                          The young farmer wasn’t really looking at him, nor did she seem all that fazed by her words. She just gently pet Butterscotch while continuing her responses to confrontation. “Alex... you’re worrying too much,” she began, voice blank. “I was just busy preparing for the new season, and after I’m done with all my work I just want to rest. I spent Spirit’s Eve with Seb, too.”

                          Hmmmmmmm. She didn’t seem all that elated, but she didn’t seem to be lying, either. Was Jade even one to lie? He really couldn’t bring out a situation in which she was anything more than sarcastic. He had no reason to doubt her, but there was still that feeling in the back of his head... “Okay. Fine. But...”

                          “What?”

                          “Don’t think I forgot about that whole thing that happened at the bathhouse last week. It’s weird to not talk about it, you know.”

                          The thing at the bathhouse? Jade wasn’t sure what he- oh.

                          That.

                          “It’s fine, Alex. I just wasn’t in the right mind,” she muttered. He knew she spared too many details, and he wasn’t giving up. How could he help his dear sister-in-spirit’s troubles if he didn’t know what they were?

                          Alex picked up Bullet, who finally got tired of running. Bullet squirmed at first, but then settled and gnawed on Alex’s jacket. “Can you please tell me what happened?”

                          “I don’t know. I haven’t even told Sebastian.”

                          “So? Just tell me. It’ll help.”

                          Jade took a deep breath. “I don’t think you’d believe me,” she muttered.

                          Alex shrugged. “Who cares. Just say it.”

                          Fine. “I saw something in the water, okay? Something... um.” Jade gasped and suddenly stopped. Carefully, she looked at him, then continued. “Okay, so I have... I have a big fear of, um... sea monsters.”

                          “You do?” Alex raised an eyebrow.

                          The young farmer nodded in reply. “I’ve had some... nightmares, lately, and... I guess they messed me up pretty bad. I was drowning, and a gigantic fish almost ate me,” she explained with melancholy. “I, uh... I saw the same fish in the baths. It took me a quick moment to see it wasn’t real, but it still got to me,” Jade concluded with a frown.

                          “Oh...” He went quiet for a moment.

                          Alex gently sat Bullet down and threw an arm around the farmer. “Thank you for telling me... Sorry for bringing it up. I’m glad it wasn’t real, though!”

                          Jade snorted. “Yeah, me too.”

                          “How are you feeling now?” he asked.

                          Well, Jade couldn’t lie. Telling him did help, because at least someone knew. Sebastian worried about her so much... maybe it was fine that only Alex had knowledge of her hallucination. “I’m good now. I promise. But... don’t tell anyone what I said, okay? I just... I want to let it go. I don’t want people to start talking.”

                          “You have my word, farm girl. Plus, you’re strong!”

                          Jade puffed up her chest from his remark. “Yeah. I am strong! So... don’t forget it.” She smiled, which made him happy. He could tell she improved already.

                          “I used to have nightmares a lot too, so I understand,” Alex remarked. “Uh, after Mom died, it was hard for me to sleep, and whenever I did, I’d just have horrible nightmares so it felt like I didn’t get any rest at all. I definitely know how that feels...” He didn’t like the sudden silence, or how she was looking at him, so he cleared his throat. “I-I mean, it doesn’t happen much anymore. I’m fine! Really. Umm...”

                          “I’m glad you don’t have them much anymore. It must have been difficult,” replied Jade in a gentle manner. She leaned back against him and pat the shoulder the furthest from her. “It must have taken a lot for you to tell me.”

                          “Whew! It did. Okay, subject change.”

                          Jade agreed. She didn’t want to stew in their negative feelings for long. “My bunnies get to keep all their fur... Butterscotch has been much sleepier lately and I think she might not be feeling well... I might take her to Marnie later.” Whoops, that wasn’t all that positive, either.

                          Alex chuckled. “Well I’d be damned if I didn’t want to take more naps in the winter. It’s tiring.”

                          From there, they talked about whatever was on their minds and enjoyed their time spent. They finished caring for the animals, then Alex and Jade parted ways. To gain extra income since crops were no longer a factor, the young farmer wanted to tackle the mines once more. She prepared proper clothing, food, and checked several times to make sure her phone was with her before marching out of her snow covered farm.

                          ---

                          Jade stopped at the Adventurer’s Guild to see if there were any missions she could take on for the day. She happily greeted Gil, who tipped his hat to her and continued rocking in his chair, and Marlon, who was actually surprised to see anyone that day.

                          “Hey, Marlon. I thought I’d try to bring in some money today since I can’t exactly water crops. Do you have any missions posted up?” asked Jade as she adjusted the tools on her backpack.

                          “Alone today? Hmm, be careful,” Marlon stated thoughtfully and stroked his beard. “Now’s a better time than any to do some missions... something fishy is going on. We don’t know what yet, but there have been a lot more monsters appearing. Clear the first few floors of the mine and I’ll make it worth your while.”

                          The young farmer nodded and accepted the offer, but she seemed cautious. “More monsters? Has this happened before?” she asked curiously. “It’s not like... a mating season or anything?”

                          “No mating season,” Marlon sighed, frustrated at his inability to properly answer. “This has happened before, but we’ll handle it. Your help is appreciated.”

                          A gentle, familiar smile formed on Jade’s lips. “Of course, I’ll do anything I can. Thank you, Marlon,” she said with a wave, then quickly exit.

                          The thought of more monsters made Jade nervous, but she did have a sense of pride that told her to protect her home, and she wanted to get back on her feet with feeling in control of her life. She didn’t want to imagine the annoyance and potential trouble that slimes in town would cause. Instead of dawdling around, Jade entered the mines and prepared herself for the trek ahead. Right before descending the ladder to the first floor, she took her phone out of her pocket and dialed a number.

                          “... Uh, Hello?” asked an extremely tired, deadpan voice that belonged to no one other than Sebastian.

                          “Sebby!” Jade beamed, then paused. “Did I wake you up?”

                          “No, just waiting for coffee,” he grumbled, then yawned. “I did wake up a few minutes ago, though.” There was a faint meow in the background, followed by a quick retort by Sebastian.

                          She laughed. “It sounds like you haven’t left my house.”

                          “Eh, I’ll be out of here after coffee and shower. I need to focus on work. What are you up to?”

                          “I actually wanted to call because I’m about to go in the mines. There’s a nice buck if I clear out some floors. I’ll try to be safe,” she told him in a serious tone. Her bubblier side normally surfaced to say everything would be fine, but she knew she needed to be real about the subject of safety, especially after all that’s happened. Jade meant it this time.

                          Sebastian woke up a lot faster after hearing her words. “Mines? Are you dressed properly? Do you have the boots and gloves? It’s cold, are you wearing a coat? And if you get hurt, you need first aid or life elixirs. Please tell me you have that.”

                          She couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Yes, mom, I have everything prepared! I double checked all my supplies. It makes me really happy to know you care about me so much.”

                          Jade heard a huff from the phone speaker. “Of course I care about you,” he mumbled. “I’m glad you’re ready. I trust you’ll kick ass.”

                          “Of course! You get home safe, too. I’ll see you later.”

                          “I love you, Jade,” Sebastian answered clearly and seriously.

                          She chuckled. “I love you too, but relax. We’ll speak again.”

                          A few seconds of silence. “I know...” he muttered, then sighed in defeat. “Sorry... I’m still nervous.”

                          “I promise you I’ll call you as soon as I can,” Jade assured him.

                          Sebastian sighed again, this time in relief. “Please do. I love you.”

                          “Love you too!” Jade hung up first, though it was difficult. She loved hearing his voice, and he sounded so nervous after he found out about her mission to the mines. She didn’t even bother pointing out that he said the same thing twice... it was too sweet.

                          The amateur adventurer decided that she had done enough dawdling, so she descended down the ladder to begin her mission. Already, the air changed around her. There was a heavier feeling, one that gave a sense of an unwelcoming presence. She hopped off the ladder and turned to see the first floor; the area was as tiny as it has always been, but slime covered one of its corners and had been spreading over previously brown rocks, as if it had a mind of its own. The sound of Jade stepping off the ladder had disturbed whatever waited in the mines; quite a few green slimes emerged from behind and under boulders and through cracks in the walls. Though the number was manageable, there were more of them than usual. Marlon certainly didn’t exaggerate.

                          With ease, Jade dealt with the slimes on the first floor. Due to practice and more than one mining mission, she got much handier with her own sword and was much quicker when it came to defending herself. She collected what slime and algae she could and even mined some copper ores and quartz for herself before continuing. Usually she would take the time to appreciate the environment and be quiet and careful, but her purpose was clear for the time being. Eliminate the monsters and move on.

                          The second floor was the same in behavior, but with a bigger area, more residue, and more slimes. At least they were just slimes, she thought, and not invasive bugs or worse. Despite her tremendous issues with slimes early on in her farm life, the young farmer certainly became skilled enough in dealing with them.

                          Jade continued to descend, the monsters not giving her any trouble, but there was still that eerie feeling in the back of her head as she cleared them out. The air increased with an odd, heavy impression, and the slimes didn’t seem to be the origin. Something was there, something more threatening. Something she couldn’t see.

                          Five floors passed, and the ding of a nearby elevator had nearly given her a heart attack. “I think... I think it’s time for me to go back up,” she mumbled to herself. The feeling was too heavy, and whatever it was, she was... scared. Unsafe. Most importantly, she was alone. No more risks... not from her.

                          The eerie feeling Jade had remained even after she exited the mine, but nothing around her indicated that she was in immediate danger. For the time being, she decided to ignore her own instincts and simply went back to the guild to receive her pay. Providing proof that she had hunted all the monsters on the first floors, she was granted a generous amount of cash that seemed to melt all her cautiousness away.

                          Marlon felt impressed with all of her work, giving her a nod of approval afterwards. “Feel free to take on more missions whenever you’re free... I’ll be working full time because of the increased spawns.”

                          Jade kindly bowed her head and stashed all of her goods away. “No problem, thank you for giving me the work. I will say something is... odd, about the mines right now. That weird kind of slime is building up on the walls.”

                          “That happens when there is are too many slimes in an area. You saw that right as you descended?” he asked with as much concern as there was curiosity, though no tone of voice changed his blank expression.

                          “Yeah, not much, but... it was there.”

                          Marlon gave another thoughtful stroke of his beard. “Interesting.”

                          Rather than explain further, he decided to let the young farmer go. They parted on kind terms and went their separate ways. Jade walked around the lake near the mines and went in the direction of Robin’s carpenter shop, then remembered to pull out her phone and get in touch with her worried boyfriend. As she found his number and waited for him to answer, a welcoming figure emerged from the entrance of Robin’s shop.

                          “Hello? Jade?” inquired Sebastian to his phone as he surveyed the land around him.

                          “Hey!” Jade shouted as she hung up the phone. Sebastian’s attention immediately went to her, and he approached in such a way that showed an attempt to not appear overly excited.

                          “Hey,” the raven-hair responded with a full smile. He wore his brand new hoodie over clothes suited well for winter and placed his phone back into his pants pocket. Without hesitation, he greeted Jade with a hug, which she returned amicably. “Well, you seem to be in one piece. That’s good,” he sighed in relief. He was visibly impressed that she was dressed for the weather and the condition of the mines. No less than a scratch on her, though she did smell of dirt and slime.

                          The young farmer couldn’t help but giggle in his presence. “I told you I’d be fine, and I called you, didn’t I?” She generously grinned and kissed him on the cheek. “Fighting monsters might actually be easier than farming,” she mentioned with gusto.

                          Together they spent a couple moments discussing the mines, its situation, and their plans for a future. Of course, some of the usual banter was thrown in, indicating that Sebastian finally relaxed enough to bring about his quick wit. After all was said and done, they made their goodbyes and Jade went off to buy some groceries before heading back home.

                          ---

                          When Jade became alone once more, those feelings returned... a strange, horrible presence unsettled her and filled her with dread. She did all she could to relax: showering, fuzzy pajamas, curling up in a blanket with her cat, and sewing together trinkets to sell... But...

                          Something about the atmosphere made her shoulders droop. Her mind went in darker places than she wanted, no matter how she tried to distract herself. She couldn’t explain it, or even fathom why she suddenly felt this way, but it was... wrong.

                          That night, as Jade lie in bed in her struggle to sleep, she brought out her phone once more. Finding the same contact she always searched for, she put the phone to her ear and waited. “Hey... Seb? Is it okay if we talk for the night?”

                          It was as if every negative feeling vanished. Whatever was there was gone.



                          another chapter done!! whoohoo! this one took way longer to write than i would have liked, but to be honest, i've been rather burnt out on SDV. it's a passion of mine, but i've been writing and drawing so much that i think i really just shut down and struggled for a while. after a break though, i've had some time to breathe and just kinda do my own thing for a bit, and now i'm starting to get back into the SDV hype. hopefully the next chapters will be easy to write, but take solace in knowing that each chapter is still written with as much love as the last. i can't wait to continue!

                          thank you for reading and i hope you enjoyed <3
                           
                          • Minimanta

                            Minimanta Existential Complex

                            Long time, no read. Happy to see this back :D
                             
                              MagicallyClueless likes this.
                            • MagicallyClueless

                              MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams

                              yeah, i really did feel bad for going a while without posting but hopefully the other ones will come easier :<
                               
                              • ApertureGaming011

                                ApertureGaming011 Subatomic Cosmonaut

                                I hope you will spark the new golden age of Stardew Fanfictions!

                                Welcome back, Admiral MagicallyClueless, fleet leader of the Sebastian Farmer Liberation Army (SFLA), aimed to overthrow the nefarious Shane Train Empire and restore the Raven-Hair Order to the Stardew Galaxy!
                                 
                                • Kid Absurdity

                                  Kid Absurdity Starship Captain

                                  I'm glad to see this back, and for you to be in a conducive creative head-space for SDV stuff as well as the other stuff you're doing. I'm eager to see where the supernatural side of this goes, and to see the directions the characters develop, as ever.
                                   
                                    MagicallyClueless likes this.
                                  • MagicallyClueless

                                    MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams


                                    Friday again. Jade hadn’t been feeling great as of late, but her friends and her quality time with Sebastian did help keep her head up. For a few days, she had been venturing into the mines and slaying the various monsters that live there so she could be paid. While she did go a few times herself, Sebastian accompanied Thursday’s trip and ended up spending the night. He initially wanted to stay there for just a few hours and finish up his work on the computer, but ended up falling asleep on his laptop and needed to be carried to bed.

                                    However, there were no complaints from Jade. She loved being able to wake up at his side, and she truly felt comfortable and welcome to be with him. Though he probably wouldn’t admit it, Sebastian had been slowly migrating over to her house. Some of his clothes stayed there, he kept his laptop in the living room, and an assortment of books, games, and even his coffee maker found their place in Jade’s abode. She wondered how his room currently looked, especially since she hadn’t visited in awhile. Not like it mattered much, anyway. Sebastian was with her, and that’s what counted.

                                    Jade woke up not to her alarm, but to text messages. Tiredly, she grabbed her phone from her nightstand to see who would even bother to message her so early.


                                    ABIGAIL: Jadey!!! Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while!


                                    She audibly groaned at seeing the message. Why at this time, and it was Friday... they would see each other that day. What was up with Abigail? The irate farmer checked to make sure Sebastian was still asleep, which he was, and then decided to answer.


                                    JADE: hi abby but you woke me up and i’d like to go back to sleep

                                    ABIGAIL: Sorry, I had another sleepless night and I didn’t think the message would wake you up.

                                    ABIGAIL: I missed you though!

                                    JADE: it’s friday so we’ll be seeing each other at the saloon anyway

                                    ABIGAIL: Hmm, true, but cant we ever hang out alone? Dont you get bored of hanging out with Sebastian all the time?


                                    JADE: if i was bored of him he wouldn’t be my boyfriend abby

                                    JADE: you do realize how early it is right

                                    JADE: i’m sorry but i have to get up to tend to my farm every morning and i’d like to get as much sleep as i can


                                    ABIGAIL: Well...

                                    ABIGAIL: At least answer if you want to hang out today or not.

                                    JADE: again, we’ll be at the saloon, so i’ll see you then and we can game ok?

                                    ABIGAIL: It’s just not really the same though.

                                    JADE: i’m busy otherwise, i’ve been in the mines and caring for my rabbits

                                    ABIGAIL: Mines?

                                    JADE: yeah i’ve been working for the guild

                                    ABIGAIL: Guild?!

                                    JADE: is this new news or something?

                                    ABIGAIL: Have you been going alone? It’s dangerous.

                                    JADE: sometimes i do go alone but seb was with me yesterday

                                    JADE: maru has been asking about more materials so seb and i plan to go tomorrow too


                                    ABIGAIL: Of course.

                                    JADE: what

                                    ABIGAIL: You haven’t thought to bring me along at least once? I love fighting and stuff

                                    JADE: ok one i’m still tired as all hell so i am slow to process anything rn

                                    JADE: but two i was told that you hated the mines so i didn’t want to ask


                                    ABIGAIL: I could get over it...


                                    JADE: abby what is your deal rn


                                    ABIGAIL: It’s like I never see you without hanging off of Sebastian’s arm anymore.

                                    JADE: excuse me?

                                    ABIGAIL: You know what, never mind.

                                    ABIGAIL: See you tonight.

                                    JADE: ok?????????

                                    JADE: is there something you need to talk about??????

                                    JADE: hello???



                                    Abigail stopped responding. Jade wiped her tired, blurry eyes and then sighed, putting her phone back down across the top of her nightstand. “I don’t have the energy for this,” she mumbled to herself, then closed her eyes in an attempt to sleep.

                                    Not half an hour later, Jade’s alarm clock mercilessly rang to signal the new day. She smashed the alarm button with utmost irritation and sat up with a groan. It felt like she didn’t get any sleep at all, and she could have really used those extra minutes... Sebastian stirred in the bed beside her with a sleepy stretch and yawn, though he showed no intention of getting up anytime soon. Jade decided to reach for her phone to check if there were any messages, and...

                                    Nothing. Even though Abigail seemed obviously upset about something, Jade was rather irritated that it all had to happen the way it did. She bombarded her with messages so early in the morning, then straight up left her hanging? Ugh. Jade got out of bed and went to go shower, hoping it would wake her up.

                                    The shower did what it could, so it did help a little, the farmer supposed. After getting ready for the day, she went on to feed her cat and then start breakfast for her and Sebastian. As if on cue, the raven-hair drowsily wandered to Jade’s location, sleep still on his face and a mess of bed hair on his head.

                                    “Hey,” he yawned, instantly going towards his coffee maker. “Would you believe me if I said I was planning to go back to my house last night?”

                                    Curses. Even when she was in such a grouchy mood, his voice really relaxed her. Her shoulders slowly lowered, though her focus remained on a frying pan; she was cooking pancakes for the both of them. “Normally I wouldn’t, but you were pretty focused on finishing up that work. How far did you get?”

                                    Sebastian shrugged and waited for his coffee to be made. “To be honest, I don’t remember. I guess I was really tired.” He sighed. “I don’t really want to freelance as much as I used to. It’s alright, but maybe I should start looking for another job.”

                                    “Oh?”

                                    “Yeah... I know it’s not really possible, but I’d love a job where I don’t have to deal with any people. I suppose freelancing is alright since it’s all through the computer, but they still stress me out... I do enjoy the jobs themselves, but... eh. I guess that’s just work for you.” He poured himself a some coffee when it was done, then added whatever ingredients he wanted to have the perfect cup. “Though, I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. I’m still getting paid, I guess. There are people who hate what they do, and I’m not one of them, luckily,” he continued, then took a sip out of his cup. “Maybe I should put my ideas to the test. Do some independent development.”

                                    “I’m in the same boat today,” Jade sighed, slipping the finished pancakes onto a plate. She continued to make more as she thought of what to say. “I don’t really want to work.”

                                    Sebastian thought for a moment while he watched her carefully. “It’s a bit unlike you to say that. Rough night?”

                                    The young farmer sadly nodded. “Is it that easy to tell?”

                                    “Yes,” he replied without skipping a beat. “Are you alright?”

                                    Jade put the next batch of pancakes on another plate, then seasoned them both. She walked over to her kitchen sink to clean the frying pan she just used, while Sebastian took the courtesy of bringing both plates to a nearby dining table. The farmer’s boyfriend continued to watch her with focus on his face, as if he was trying to properly read her. She eventually joined him at the dining table and began picking at her own food for a few seconds. “Just a little irritated,” she admitted.

                                    “About what?” he asked, starting to eat his pancakes.

                                    “Uh...” Jade sighed again. She might as well have told him. “Abigail messaged me before my alarm went off, and she was acting really weird. Now I feel like she’s mad at me, and I’m not completely sure what I did.”

                                    Sebastian stopped eating after she talked, trying to think of how to respond. “She messaged you there, huh? Hm... she used to do that with me. It was kind of annoying.”

                                    “I don’t like to admit it, but it was. And now I don’t even know what to say to her.”

                                    “Well, it’s saloon night. I’m sure you can talk then,” Sebastian thoughtfully muttered, then returned to his eating.

                                    Jade sat there for a moment to try to absorb the conversation, then eventually nodded. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. I like Abby when she’s her cheerful self... it’s rare I see anything else.”

                                    “Abby’s alright,” Sebastian nonchalantly added. His tone indicated he had a clear disagreement with Jade, but still respected their relationship. The young farmer didn’t mind, of course, but she was curious about his own opinion.

                                    “You know... I heard about the sort of... falling out you two had? If I can call it that... what happened?” she asked, her nosiness getting the best of her. Her lightened mood finally reminded her how hungry she was, and she ended up eating the pancakes with much more enthusiasm than before.

                                    “Eh...” Sebastian finished his pancakes and leaned back in his chair, taking another sip from his coffee. “To start off, we used to be closer friends. I, uh...” He scratched his head and averted his eyes, almost too embarrassed to be in the same room. “I kinda... had feelings for Abby, for a little while.” Quickly, he turned back to her, suddenly surprised. “This was a few years ago, though! It’s been a long time. The only reason I even think about her is because she is your friend.”

                                    Jade smiled. “I believe you, Sebby. Go on.” If anything, she was relieved. He trusted her enough to talk about it.

                                    “W-well... honestly, I didn’t really know her very well. I thought she was cute and her interests were cool enough, so I admired from a distance I guess. She was still in high school and I was looking for colleges, but at the time I didn’t really care.” Sebastian finished his cup of coffee, then got up to make himself another cup. “She came up and talked to me one day, and we sorta hit it off. We all had fun hanging out, but then it just got sort of...” He sighed. “Just... awkward.”

                                    “How so?”

                                    “Well, she wouldn’t leave me alone.” Sebastian sat back down and drank his refilled cup. “It’s like, I couldn’t go into town without her calling my name when she saw me, and whenever she would go places she’d drag me along, she’d even go to my house when I was working.” He sighed in irritation. “I mean, I liked her, so I did deal with it for a while... but I just got more tired. I was exhausted because she always wanted to talk, hang out, play games, and she didn’t really seem to notice that I wasn’t always up for it.”

                                    “Oh, geez.” Jade frowned, since she knew Sebastian’s space was important to him. The only reason Jade had so much quality time with him to begin with was that it was completely his choice, save for the times his mother dragged him along. She knew she could never force Sebastian anywhere, at least not without him being a grump about it. Even so, he was far more honest in saying when he did not want to do something. That much has changed.

                                    “I wasn’t mad at her for that or anything. I’m not even sure I noticed at the time. I felt pretty shitty for turning down some of her invitations,” he explained. “It wasn’t like she was doing it on purpose... she just wanted time together.” Sebastian shrugged. “But, I don’t know. I think eventually something snapped with me. I wasn’t happy, and I liked her less the more I learned about her. Not that she’s a bad person or anything, but... I knew I wouldn’t last in a relationship with her, and even as a friend she was kind of pushing it.”

                                    “I understand,” Jade replied, urging him to continue.

                                    “Oh yeah, back when we were together a lot, the whole town kind of expected us to be together. That made it worse for me. The culty scene chick and the emo hair goth. Predictable. Like I was being forced into some guidelines.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “I mean, the whole look she goes for is cool and all, but I learned that I needed more than that...” he sighed once more, looking exhausted. “Man, I feel like a prick even saying this stuff. I’m not being bad, am I?”

                                    “No, you’re just talking about your experiences and feelings.”

                                    “Alright. Because, I mean it, I don’t hate her or anything. There was just a point where I didn’t really want to be involved with her. I try to not make age a thing, but I think she still had some growing up to do... I wasn’t the right person, and some of her actions seemed kinda... forced, like she wasn’t being honest with herself. So, I lost those feelings, and I never really came forward and confessed, even though everyone wanted me to.” Sebastian slowly relaxed. “I think she eventually got the message, but we never really talked about anything. She’d still try to hang out sometimes, but it wasn’t as bad, I guess. We’d all still hang around the saloon. I would say that it didn’t really stop being awkward until you came along and balanced us all out.”

                                    The young farmer curiously smiled. “Yeah?” she wondered.

                                    “Yeah, so we could all do our thing and just... have fun,” he concluded, though he appeared nervous about something. He absentmindedly fixed his hair. “To be honest... I was afraid of falling into the same deal with you.”

                                    Jade snorted in a laugh. “Really? Like what?”

                                    “I dunno, you’re just... all... peppy, and you have a lot of energy. I thought you were cute, but I know where that got me last time. Admittedly, I kept my distance,” he muttered, flushing in embarrassment.

                                    “Pfft, I know I only ever got to see you because your mom pretty much made you.”

                                    Sebastian laughed a little. “I can say no to Abby, but I can’t really say no to my mom... that much is true.” He finished his second cup and decided to just watch her. Both of them were done with their breakfast, leaning against the dining table to focus on each other. “I’m glad she made me.”

                                    “Aww,” Jade remarked, lovestruck. “I’m glad she made you, too. It’s not like I was very outgoing either, so it was hard to try to include myself in the town... people tend to get ‘being loud’ and ‘extroverted’ mixed up sometimes,” she explained. Sebastian started chuckling, covering his laughter with his mouth while Jade sat there, confused. “Hey! What’s so funny?”

                                    “You are loud,” he snorted.

                                    “Well...!” Jade crossed her arms and did a falsely angry pout. “That’s just how I am! Though... I really did try to make more of an effort... I was alone for a very long time. You start to crave attention... or at least, being noticed.” She sighed as she thought. “I don’t even think I wanted to be a farmer.”

                                    That came as a surprise to Sebastian. “Really?”

                                    “Yoba, no. I hated the outdoors. I don’t exercise. If I could have survived on junk food and city pizza, I would have.” She picked at the edge of her dining table as she continued. “I just... No one... would have expected me to become a farmer. I don’t want to be found by people I used to know.”

                                    “... Found by whom?”

                                    “But, I do enjoy it! I like the outdoors a lot now, and I think I’ve put on some muscles... that’s pretty cool, huh? I try to talk to more people, so yeah... And... my animals are my life. And of course, I got to meet you.” The young farmer grinned, but something about it seemed odd to Sebastian. She was hiding something, and it bothered him a lot that she wouldn’t tell.

                                    “Jade... Now, you know I’m bad at confrontation and stuff, but...” He sighed. “Don’t be afraid to talk to me. I’m here.”

                                    Her cheerful disposition failed as soon as it started. “I... Yeah, I know. Thank you.” She flushed a little out of nervousness. “It’s not a big deal. Sorry I made it seem that way. Let’s get back to Abigail.”

                                    “Alright...” The raven-hair sighed and stretched back into his seat. “What kind of stuff was she saying to you?”

                                    Jade grumbled in thought. “About how I always hang off your arm or something.”

                                    “Me?” he asked. “... She could be jealous of you.”

                                    “Jealous?” The young farmer seemed confused. “Well... she doesn’t have feelings for you. At least, she told me she didn’t. Why would she lie?”

                                    Sebastian gave a knowing look. “Did she know you had feelings for me at the time?”

                                    “I... I’m not sure,” she admitted.

                                    “It’s possible she did. Maybe it’ll be good to try to talk to her when you can, discuss things that were never discussed... If I have to, I’ll help.” Sebastian threaded his fingers through his hair as he tried to compose himself. “Stuff like this is always frustrating.”

                                    Jade nodded in agreement. “Yeah... thanks for supporting me on this. I do want us to be friends. There were times I did feel close to her and trusted her, though I suppose we haven’t had many chances to hang out...” She sighed. “Hopefully all of this will blow over.”

                                    Sebastian smiled and nudged her from the other side of the table with his foot. “It’ll be fine. I don’t think anyone is even capable of hating you.” He snorted, “Yoba knows I tried.”

                                    His reply was met with a light kick to his shin. “Like hell you did!”

                                    The two laughed and began discussing lighter subjects while they started to get ready for the day. Jade did feel in lighter spirits since Sebastian was able to ease her mind. She hoped that whatever tension stood between her and Abigail would be solved, though...

                                    It was time to go to the saloon. Farm work was all done and there was some successful foraging for goods, above and underground. Due to anxiousness of missing Abigail, Jade left the farm a little earlier than she usually did. The evening’s cold proved to be much more harsh than the morning, and as the night arrived, it only got worse. Jade decided to wear Sebastian’s old hoodie under her usual winter coat to stay extra warm, though the thought did cross her mind that Abigail would notice and criticize her for it. The young farmer was lost in her thoughts for a while, namely... why should she feel bad for being close to Sebastian? She didn’t want to feel that way.

                                    Jade walked much further than she realized when she heard a door open and close nearby. Surprised, she looked over. Sam’s house! But where was...

                                    “Hey, Papa!” beamed the ever-so-sunshiney Sam. He popped up beside the farmer and grinned his cheerful grin, but caused her to squeal in the process. After a mini heart attack, Jade calmed down and exhaled in relief.

                                    “You scared me!” she stressed, giving him a light hit on the arm. Sam laughed and scratched his head in slight embarrassment.

                                    “Heheh, sorry! Are you heading to the saloon now? Let’s go together.”

                                    Jade nodded. “Of course!”

                                    And so the two navigated through Pelican Town’s pathways, all of which had snow shoveled away for proper walking. On their way, Sam noticed that Jade was still remarkably tense. Unlike Sebastian, however, his curiosity could only be satisfied one way:

                                    “So, what has you troubled?” the blond asked in a cheery tone, much like before.

                                    Jade blinked in surprise and glanced up to her friend, unsure of what to say. “Um...”

                                    Sam playfully sighed and pat her head as they walked. “Seb didn’t tell me what it was, but he was worried about you.”

                                    “It’s...” The young farmer sighed. “I promise I’ll tell you after saloon night, okay?”

                                    “I’ll remember that!” he beamed. “But... seriously, I hope you feel better. It’s such a drag when you’re unhappy! You and I balance Seb out, you know. I don’t want to lose my teammate!”

                                    Jade responded with a genuine smile and nudged him with her shoulder. “Thank you, Sam. I’ll make sure we keep that balance.” She snorted in laughter and grinned. “I mean, thank you, son.”

                                    “Heyy, there it is!” Sam laughed in return. Time flew by, and before they knew it, they had arrived to the Stardrop Saloon. Finally, they were out of the cold.

                                    Sebastian joined them at the saloon, and for a while they had fun with one another, but Abigail had not arrived yet. Ten minutes became thirty, which became an hour. She was late.

                                    An hour became four. Everyone in the saloon was leaving. She never showed up.

                                    “Sh...should I text her?” asked Jade. She noticed some other townspeople were gone, and aside from Gus, only she, Sam, and Sebastian remained.

                                    Sebastian sighed and put a hand on Jade’s shoulder. “She’ll come around when she does... maybe check up on her tomorrow, but it’s too late to do anything right now.”

                                    Sam watched them both. “So this has something to do with Abby, huh? I’m... not surprised, actually.” He laughed a bit. “Seb’s right, Jade. There’s no use in worrying about it tonight. Maybe she needed some time to herself. We all do, sometimes.”

                                    The young farmer knew both of them were right. “I’m... yeah. I suppose so.”

                                    “We still had a fun night. You should try to get some sleep,” Sebastian suggested. He sighed, “I’d love to join you tonight, but I actually have a lot of work to do. If you need me, though, phone’s always on.”

                                    “Thank you.” Jade gave him a kiss on the cheek, which then ushered a groan from Sam. “What? Do you want one?” she asked, sharp eyes to the blond.

                                    “Maybe,” Sam huffed.

                                    Sebastian laughed. “You should do it, Jade.”

                                    Jade smiled at them both, then reached her arms out and puckered her lips, stomping towards Sam. “I’ll give you a kiss!” she yelled to him, causing him to panic and back away.

                                    “Joke! It was a joke!” he stressed, face flushing. Jade nearly pounced him, but he dodged just in time and used the pool table as a shield.

                                    “So you want one from Seb, too?” Jade pondered aloud. The suggestion made Sebastian laugh.

                                    “You know what, I think he does,” the raven hair agreed, giving Sam a sinister smile, slowly walking towards him as well.

                                    The poor blond was trapped! He screamed and ran out of the saloon as fast as his legs could take him, loudly cursing the two for being evil seductresses. Jade and Sebastian shared some laughter with each other, then left the establishment to see that Sam was waiting right outside for them (albeit with some playful remarks about revenge). The three parted ways to go home, and did so without any trouble. When Jade was alone, however, she couldn’t help but tense up again.

                                    Was that their last saloon night?

                                    Jade didn’t like thinking about it. She didn’t want her negative thoughts to take over, but...

                                    Something inside of her gave a particular vibe. She could feel the answer welling up.

                                    It said that saloon nights were over.



                                    I don't think I end on too many cliffhangers, but hey, yolo. I was going to make one huge chapter but I decided it would be better to cut it in half, as this chapter is nearly 4,000 words!

                                    The issues that this chapter (and the next one) focus on is what I've wanted to focus on for a little while, so hopefully you enjoy. As Abigail was always kind of an "awkward" character to me, it took me a little time to realize her role in the story. I feel like I haven't been giving her the attention she needs for the complete story, so that's what these two will accomplish.

                                    We'll see how it turns out. ;^)
                                     
                                      Risukage, WoogaBooga and Minimanta like this.
                                    • Tagraneya

                                      Tagraneya Guest

                                      I just recently made an account, but have been reading this story for a while now. I just wanted to say how much I love your story. I don't care how often you post as long as you feel healthy and happy writing. If not, know you helped one person through some sad days and got her laughing.
                                       
                                        MagicallyClueless likes this.
                                      • MagicallyClueless

                                        MagicallyClueless Giant Laser Beams

                                        aw, it means a lot for you to say that. thank you so much for reading and i'm glad you enjoy the story!! i have full intentions to finish but it has been difficult to juggle this with other stuff. know that i'll never give up on this story though
                                         
                                          ApertureGaming011 and Tagraneya like this.
                                        • Risukage

                                          Risukage Existential Complex

                                          Gah, I've been so busy I missed your two most recent updates. But hey, that's two updates I got to read with my coffee, so hurrah! As it is said on the internet, "I like where this thread is going." This potential drama with Abby is going to be interesting, 'cause Jade is just so damn sweet, trying to do the right thing, but if Abby insists on being a butt about things, well... *Hugs for them all.* And your Sam, I will never get enough of him. Take your time and take care of you! I get a total kick out of your story, but you can't rush greatness. :)
                                           
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