Other A Farm in the Forest- Chapter 56 (December 7, 2018)

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

  1. Minimanta

    Minimanta Spaceman Spiff

    I'm good on snacks, I brought my own! Crispy pork skin. Even more salty than popcorn, even more crispy, even more delicious 8D


    But anyway, this was a fun chapter! I love the mines :D
     
    • mrobake

      mrobake Zero Gravity Genie

      Welp, been afk for too long and 3 chapters popped out already! And, my, what an emotional ride reading it was!

      First from chapter 16, that melon part Legit laughing. Best punchlines. My sides. Hurt.
      Then on chapter 17, from somber mood quickly to high tension between the family affair. Also this is how I imagine Jade's silently threatening the sky:
      [​IMG]

      Then on chapter 18, Maru the sweet little sister and Jade the badass big sister, action scenes.
      Then on chapter 19....

      WHERE'S CHAPTER 19 I WANT CHAPTER 19 NOW :viking::viking:
       
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      • MagicallyClueless

        MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

        @mrobake

        welcome back, hehehe!!

        that gif is perfect and amazing. she totally threatens the sky like that.

        chapter 19 is soooooooooooooon!!!!
        i'm having a ton of fun writing it since i do somethin' a little differently~
         
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        • Gabaw

          Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

          @mrobake lmao!! :rofl: where do you even find those?

          Chap 18 was a refreshing dip into the mines at long last. Folk don't usually think twice about the first few levels going in there but you put the fear of slime in me :p The combat seemed tough and it was a struggle to protect the somewhat aloof Maru. She has some sort of elevator phobia or something and I looked it up. science has failed to name it. science has failed. I'll call it leviphobia (not to be confused with levophobia, fear of things to your left?? seriously). regardless it looks like she doesn't share the same 6th sense that Jade and ofc Bruce Willis have. All in all, here's hoping that the slime wound doesn't keep the ol' girl down. what's a little digestive acid in an open cut anyhow, right?.... right >_>...?
           
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          • MagicallyClueless

            MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer


            Yeeeaaaahhh!!!
            Ahaha, I actually wrote the opposite scene that explains why Maru hates that elevator first, but that takes place in like, the fall. I might still try to write it in if it fits, but for now we just get to see Maru's side, hehe!

            jade is Bruce Willis confirmed

            I've noticed that Jade is pretty easy to get hurt, but it often doesn't affect her all too much. I think she'll be fine, as long as she doesn't get too carried away with her invincibility. xD
             
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            • CjBeats

              CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

              bloop
               
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              • MagicallyClueless

                MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                thank you cj for separating my posts! this new posting system is really weird and i donut like it.

                anyways, here is chapter 19. vacation has been postponed so you guys just get an extra chapter this week since i actUALLY WANT TO BE ON SCHEDULE. this is another really long one at around 7000 words and i'm SO EXCITED to show this one.


                Sebastian didn’t think he would be so bothered by the previous day’s argument with Jade, but it was all he could think about. At first, he was calm. Jade just seemed more concerned, after all. She grinned at the end of their argument and said her normal, silly goodbye, indicating that she felt resolution. As the next day arrived, though, he just woke up and felt... angry. Breakfast didn’t improve his mood, his clients at work were much more frustrating to deal with for the time, and not even searching pictures of fluffy newborn kittens could alleviate his unbridled rage. There was just an incredibly sour mood that he couldn’t shake today; no one was helping, and no one would even care if they knew.

                He was finishing up his usual rounds of work when Sam messaged him. Yoba, of all days, of course Sam would decide to pester him.


                SAM: hey mama

                SAM: pulled a sweet kickflip today

                SAM: shoulda seen me, everyone woulda swooned


                SEBASTIAN: Not in the mood.

                SAM: whoa

                SAM: are you ok bro?


                SEBASTIAN: Not really.

                SAM: want me to come over?


                SEBASTIAN: No

                SAM: ok then tell me what happened

                SEBASTIAN: If you want me to be honest, I don’t really know why I’m not in the mood today.

                SAM: now thats bs if i ever read it fam

                SAM: is it demetrius again?

                SEBASTIAN: No

                SAM: uhhhhh maru?

                SEBASTIAN: Samson.

                SAM: WHOA

                SAM: you do NOT have to bring out the full names </3 ouch

                SAM: who the hell pissed you off


                SEBASTIAN: Just leave me alone, alright?

                SAM: nop

                SAM: did you get in a fight with somebody? at least tell me that


                SEBASTIAN: I guess.

                SAM: ok can you tell me who it is

                SEBASTIAN: Mmrrhghhg

                SEBASTIAN: I guess Jade’s been getting on my nerves


                SAM: whoa really? i was starting to think she was gonna replace me bro : p

                SAM: what happened


                SEBASTIAN: She just got mad at me yesterday because of some Maru shit

                SAM: oh boy

                SAM: howd that go


                SEBASTIAN: She said that I react too harsh when Maru comes into the conversation and that I act controlling pretty much

                SEBASTIAN: I mean, I guess we made up, but I’m still a little bitter about it. She acts like she knows everything that’s going on and that she has it all figured out.


                SAM: ah

                SAM: well im gonna press the pause button there


                SEBASTIAN: I:

                SAM: ok by ‘knows everything thats going on’ you mean your whole situation with maru and demetrius right

                SAM: the whole messy family situation


                SEBASTIAN: Well, yeah.

                SAM: ok well

                SAM: now you know i get what youre saying

                SAM: but what makes you think she thinks that


                SEBASTIAN: She was going on about how she gets the whole sibling thing and that it sucks or whatever, the normal speech that pretty much everyone gives. Then of course she goes on to say that Maru hasn’t done anything to ruin us.

                SEBASTIAN: Which, by the way, she is currently doing because that’s what this whole ordeal is about.


                SAM: ok

                SAM: that doesnt sound like a fun talk

                SAM: have you talked to jade again


                SEBASTIAN: No. She lended me some of her games and said bye our usual way but she’s too busy mining with the gadget queen right now.

                SAM: maybe you should talk again if its still bothering you

                SAM: i mean what is getting to you the most about this?


                SEBASTIAN: I just think Jade is a little full of herself when it comes to these issues.

                SEBASTIAN: She thinks she gets it, but she doesn’t.


                SAM: maybe you can ask then

                SEBASTIAN: What?

                SAM: like

                SAM: ask how she gets it

                SAM: you know were all pretty good friends of jades but i dont think shes ever talked about her life before the valley


                SAM: i think she may be sticking her nose where it doesnt belong but there may be a reason she is doing it too

                SEBASTIAN: Huh.

                SEBASTIAN: For once, you’re actually right.


                SAM: my one true moment to shine mama

                SEBASTIAN: ... I guess I could talk to her again.

                SEBASTIAN: I have noticed how weird she gets with some subjects. She refuses to get a phone and avoids the subject altogether. And then she mentions Alex a little too often. It’s kinda weird.


                SAM: *shrugging noises*

                SEBASTIAN: Oh come on, you haven’t noticed?

                SAM: tbh youre the one looking at her all the time and you talk to her the most

                SAM: if i didnt know better id say youd be

                SAM: #crushin


                SEBASTIAN: Now you’re full of yourself.

                SAM: maybe she likes alex

                SAM: you jealous? ;^)

                SEBASTIAN: I thought we were having a good, serious conversation, and then you bring up ridiculous garbage like this.

                SEBASTIAN: Bravo, Samson. Bravo


                SAM: HEY


                SEBASTIAN: Nope.

                SEBASTIAN: Going outside for a smoke now

                SEBASTIAN: Done with you


                SAM: darn

                SAM: just as i was about to confess my undying love 4 u


                SEBASTIAN: Oh no, how tragic

                SAM: you abuse me

                SEBASTIAN: Go kickflip yourself into the sewer k

                SAM: only if you promise to do it with me

                SAM: feel better!



                Okay, Sam was ridiculous but he did always know how to lighten the tension. Sebastian was able to leave his room with a bearable state of mind, keeping Sam’s words (the useful ones, anyway) into consideration. He walked to his usual spot at the lake beside his home. Puffy pink clouds stirred about in the orange-red sky, various trees gently rustled in the wind... Sebastian took a deep breath and exhaled, taking in the outside air. Perhaps he didn’t like being outside at every waking moment, but he needed the chance to unwind.

                The raven-haired man took out a pack of cigarettes from his pants pocket and removed a cigarette. He took out his lighter from a different pocket and lit his cigarette while watching the lake. The process of smoking helped relax Sebastian, but as the moments passed, his mind got carried away with the less relaxing aspects. His mother would complain, he’s well aware of the health effects, yadda yadda... he breathed out a puff of smoke, eyebrow twitching in irritation. The winding down wasn’t going as well as he wanted.

                He took another deep breath and trained himself to focus on the environment. If he could not think about everyone’s drama for a few moments, he’d be fine. Just as he finally relaxed, finishing up his cigarette, he saw Maru and Jade resurface from the cave entrance. Sebastian huffed and tossed the bud aside, walking back to the house. He felt talking to Jade would have been a good idea, but he wasn’t in the mood at the time. The basement welcomed the raven-haired man once again and he stayed there until nightfall.

                Knock! Knock!

                “What?” Sebastian called out.

                Instead of answering, the door was knocked upon once more. The young programmer rolled his eyes and stood up from his computer chair to walk over to his door. He opened it, expression completely blanking when he saw Jade standing at the end of the staircase. For some reason, she held her backpack in one arm and some folded clothes in the other. She was wearing a soft blue t-shirt and fuzzy pink pajama pants... and socks? Why was she dressed like that?

                “Hey,” Jade casually began, a cheerful smile on her face. “I’m staying the night. I got injured in the mines and I’m tired as all get out. Probably not a good idea to overexert myself.”

                Sebastian blinked in confusion. “You got injured?” She seemed fine, from what he could see...

                “Yeah!” Jade dropped her backpack and pulled up one of her pant legs to reveal the bandage. The wound was pretty large and the area around it looked fairly bad, but Jade didn’t really seem to react to it. It must have been more precaution than anything, or she was very talented in playing pretend.

                “What happened?” he asked.

                The young farmer picked up her belongings again and innocently stared up to him. “I can tell you if you’d invite me in,” she proposed.

                For a moment, he wondered if she could feel the tension. If that was the case though, why was she acting so friendly? He supposed he could play along for the time being, so he stepped aside to let her in. Jade calmly entered and politely sat down on the couch not far from the entrance of the room. She set all her stuff down and rolled up the pant leg that concealed her injury.

                “I have no clue how it happened, but with the marks, Maru said it was probably a duggy.” Jade snorted, entertained. “Cool, huh? Well, okay. Neither of us noticed I was bitten until we were a few floors up. It wasn’t a big deal and didn’t really feel anything... until I got attacked by those slimy bastards!” She bunched up her fists and grunted, ready to unleash a new rant. “We came into this huge area that was just covered with slime, disgusting! And out of nowhere, all of these-

                She suddenly paused. Sebastian had his arms crossed, only glancing at her injured leg before looking off again. Jade clicked her tongue and sighed, leaning back onto the couch.

                “Okay. What’s wrong? Are you mad at me?” Jade asked. She stared at him until he returned the eye contact.

                Sebastian sat at the other end of the couch and watched her, unaffected by the question. “Does it seem like it?” He asked in return, genuinely curious.

                “Uh, yes,” Jade deadpanned. “I thought we were cool.” Her exaggerated expressions were nonexistent. She never really looked like herself when her face was so... neutral.

                He sighed. Maybe his attitude was unneeded. “We’re fine. Something just bothers me,” Sebastian admitted. “But... I don’t want to interrupt. Finish your story first.”

                “No, if you’re bothered, I want to know why. I hope we’re still friends,” Jade pitifully murmured. Sebastian looked to her in shock- was he really acting that detached?

                The raven-haired man adjusted himself on the couch and put his elbow on the furniture arm closest to him. He leaned his head in his hand, eyes drooped to look at Jade’s injured leg. “Don’t be stupid. We are friends.”

                “Well, you’re acting like you don’t want anything to do with me,” she sadly replied. “If yesterday’s talk bothered you that much, I’m sorry. I probably overstepped some social boundaries.”

                Another sigh. “... No, I’m sorry. I’m just not in the best mood right now. But... I do want to continue that talk.”

                “Okay... I’m listening, then.” Jade shifted herself to better face Sebastian.

                Here goes. “I just want to know what inspired you to give me a lecture.”

                “What?”

                “The sibling nonsense. About how you know how it is, blah blah.”

                Jade huffed, not appreciating the attitude. She could tell he was trying, though. “Did you not know I had an older brother?” she asked in return, attempting to be patient. His face dropped. She probably never thought to tell him, after all. Jade straightened her posture and continued: “That’s how I know. And my brother was a manipulative ass.” The young farmer relaxed- she knew Sebastian just wanted more insight and showed concern in his own special moody way. “I don’t like talking about him. I think I just told Maru about him, since she was very upset about you one day,” she explained.

                “Upset about me?” Sebastian repeated in question.

                “Remember when you barged into my hospital room despite Maru telling you multiple times to wait?” Jade sighed, subconsciously rubbing both of her arms. “She was upset because you wouldn’t listen to her or give her respect with her job. It sounded like that wasn’t the first time it happened.”

                Sebastian’s eyes widened. He had forgotten about that. His actions sounded a lot more brash with the way Jade put it...

                “You know I think you’re awesome and my go-to nerd for just about everything, but I understood her. Especially as a little sister. I wanted her to know that she wasn’t the only one who went through that stuff.” She lightly smiled. “I’ve been warned a bit about your relationship with Maru, but I just think she’s trying to get to know me more because of my experience. And maybe because she knows we’re good buds.” The smile quickly faded. “... I actually feel a bit sorry for her.”

                Sebastian mumbled something under his breath. He wouldn’t dare say it any louder, considering the intimidating look Jade just gave him.

                “Yes, I said I feel sorry for her. Get over it,” Jade grunted. “It doesn’t mean you’re treated better than she is.”

                “I didn’t say anything,” he offhandedly replied.

                She lightly hit his leg. “Like hell you didn’t.” Jade’s smile returned, also relaxing her position on the couch. She quickly glanced at Sebastian’s body language; he was certainly listening but was trying his very best to conceal whatever he was feeling. “I think the biggest thing you should take away from this is that Maru still thinks about you.”

                He didn’t respond.

                “I think you still think about her, too,” the young farmer quietly concluded.

                Sebastian gave her a look. “Yeah, right,” he grumbled. Jade decided to let it go there, but was happy enough with the progress. Baby steps. He didn’t reply to any of her other statements, and instead switched the topic back: “I didn’t know you had a brother.”

                The young farmer nodded. “Yeah, now I think only you and Maru know. In all honesty, I’d like to keep it that way.”

                “Alright, then. That bad?”

                “I lived with him before I moved here... I’d be happy knowing I’d never see his face again.” Jade sighed.

                “Damn.” Sebastian was quiet for a little while. “What about your parents?” he asked out of curiosity.

                Jade’s face showed nothing but melancholy. “That’s another story for another day,” she weakly murmured.

                Sebastian went blank, which meant that he was panicking on the inside. “... Sorry.”

                Rather than staying depressed, Jade ended up chuckling. Her way of expression was rather odd. “It’s okay, you were just asking. What about you?”

                “Me? You mean like... my dad?” Sebastian shrugged. “I was too young to really remember him. I only know pictures and my mom’s stories. It doesn’t really affect me all that much.”

                “Ooh! Pictures. I bet you have his hair. I should share pictures of my parents sometime.”

                Sebastian snorted at the hair comment, which ended up piquing Jade’s interest.

                “Wait. Do you??” Jade asked, almost demanding.

                “I’m not answering that.” Sebastian smiled. He became entertained at the sudden frustration surrounding her visage. This was suddenly the best conversation ever. After some temporary bickering and bantering, he chuckled. “Okay, finish your story. Tell me what happened with your leg.”

                The young farmer sat up straight with the brightest look on her face. She was officially back to normal, and took no hesitation in continuing the story of her very first mining trip. Sebastian was happy to lean back and listen.

                After Jade concluded her epic adventure and proudly showed her ‘battle scar’, Sebastian hatched somewhat of an idea. “Maybe you’ll get your ass kicked less if you had some actual gear,” he started with a tease. He wasn’t wrong, though.

                “And how do you propose I get actual gear?” grumbled Jade.

                He smiled. “I know you haven’t been to the guild yet. That’s where some good stuff is, however they go only let members buy from them.”

                “Okay, how do I become a member?” she asked, growing as impatient as she was excited.

                Sebastian picked at his fingernails in a nonchalant manner, pretending guild matters were so trivial. “You need to get invited, either by Marlon or by another member.” He slyly looked to her. Jade wanted nothing more than to punch his ridiculous face right there. She couldn't help but chuckle, though.

                “Okay, so then are you a guild member?” Jade asked with an exaggerated tone, as if she didn’t know the answer.

                “Maybe.”

                “So... You gonna invite me?” she inquired. No more beating around the bush, especially since he seemed to be getting a kick out of it.

                Sebastian shrugged, scanning Jade with suspicion in his gaze. “I dunno, are you really worthy?”

                “I am the definition of worthy, Seb.” Jade puffed her chest with confidence and planted her hands at her hips.

                He smirked. “Uh huh, sure. I’ll invite you, but they’ll only accept you as a true member if you fulfill a smaller monster eradication goal for them. Which means you’ll have to go to the mines again.”

                “Okay? And?” Jade chuckled, unsure of what the catch was.

                “And I’ll be going with you.” Sebastian crossed his arms. “Maru obviously didn’t do a good job in the mines.”

                The young farmer laughed. “Okay, what makes you think you’ll be a better mining buddy?”

                “Maybe because I still go to the mines. Have you even practiced your monster fighting?” Sebastian’s voice was condescending and he stared down to her like a concerned parent.

                “I have a training dummy and I’ve fought with Abby-” Jade was interrupted by Sebastian’s own laughter. “Hey! Rude!” she yelled.

                “Okay, I’m going to tell you something that Abby would never say.” The raven-haired man leaned in, his visage clouded in deviousness. “You need to get some real practice with some people who actually have experience. The girl has never even been to the mines!”

                “Wh- so?!”

                “So, that’s why you keep getting your ass kicked! I need to teach both of you, honestly. Maybe I could open a class.” Sebastian hummed in thought for a moment, but then clicked his tongue in defiance. “Nah. Can’t be bothered.”

                “Hey!!” Jade shouted, lips pouting. “If you can teach me, you should.”

                “Well, duh,” Sebastian scoffed. “I’m not going to take you to the mines unprepared. We’ll go by the guild later and I’ll share some gear, alright?”

                “Alright!” The young farmer was excited for another trip, even if her wound made it apparent she couldn’t take any more chances in the near future. “Okay, Mr.Pro. Do you have any enticing mining stories to get me properly spooked?”

                “Oh, several.” Now it was Sebastian’s turn. More of their night was taken away by entertaining stories of ‘professional’ mining ventures. While Maru was ecstatic to collect ores and gems, Sebastian was all about the hidden treasures: swords, axes, tech, armor. Though, from his explanation bout the deeper reaches of the mine, he did like a few shiny rocks here and there. With all of his talk, it sounded like he had an unseen artifacts collection. As was his usual way though, he was all tease and no show. Jade pestered him about revealing his spoils from the mines, but he refused to acknowledge even having any. Of course, a mischievous smile was perched on his face.

                Since Jade was staying the night, they both decided to eat some late night dinner. Robin and Demetrius were asleep in their room and Maru’s door was shut. Jade slowly came to the realization that there was no actual living room for her to settle in. The biggest open area of the house had to be the carpenter shop, but there were only chairs... Her demeanor became shy and reserved after she and Sebastian finished their nightly meals. His room was the only one with a big couch in which to sleep.

                Sebastian noticed and wasn’t really sure how to feel, but he knew he couldn’t argue with his slumbering mother and he definitely wouldn’t kick Jade out when there wasn’t really a good reason. Neither of them spoke of the matter, but Sebastian attempted to comfort her by letting her look at his proud collection of comic books. They sifted through the bookshelf together and gathered a selection of comics to read on the couch. Admittedly, reading the comics was a method used to comfort himself as well. No one has really stayed the night in his room, save for the spiky-haired skater boy known as Sebastian’s best friend. Even so, Sam was more of a free spirit and preferred to roam back home rather than hunkering down somewhere else.

                Comic reading worked. For a moment, they forgot the sky was pitch black and the witching hour was upon them. They scanned the comic pages together, murmured some statements, and occasionally got into a discussion. For the most part however, they silently enjoyed the illustrated stories while sitting side by side. As the night progressed, Jade continued to adjust her place on the couch until she found a comfortable enough position to doze. She was sitting upright, slightly leaning on Sebastian and having her legs stretched to the empty side of the furniture. Her eyelids were too heavy to keep open and she eventually gave in, but so too did her sense of balance. Previously, their arms were touching since Jade had to lean to read the book Sebastian held in his hands. Then her consciousness faded, her head dropping onto his shoulder and her whole body tumbling down to fully stretch across the couch.

                Sebastian froze, instantly dropping the comic book from his hands. Jade’s head was on his lap and she was out cold. Just as they were doing well, something like this just... happened. He dropped his sight to look at her in full. Her hair had flayed over some of her face, eyes closed, mouth slightly open. He could swear she quietly snorted with each breath. Poor thing was knocked out... but it was pretty late. Jade probably wasn’t used to being up in the middle of the night.

                The raven-haired man averted his eyes, unable to look at her for much longer. He felt a little strange, not only because he was trapped on the couch due to a tiny yet merciless farm girl, but because he... He wasn’t sure he disliked it. Everything about the situation would point to Sebastian being an anxious and uncomfortable mess. Someone in his room? Check. That someone not being Sam? Check. The very same someone invading his private space, staying on his couch, lying directly on his lap? Check, check, check. Jade was a friend of course, but... still, he didn’t let people very close to him. But this- this was oddly comforting, and he wasn’t sure how to feel about that. And she was... cute. Long eyelashes, button nose, round cheeks, pink lips. He hadn’t taken the time to examine at her face like this.

                He suddenly scowled and glared across the room in an attempt to distract himself. Sam’s teases must have been getting to him, because that was the only possible conclusion he could come to. That, and he hadn’t had coffee in a while and was possibly hallucinating from drowsiness. Maybe.

                Sebastian made a mental note to make fun of Sam less after possibly kicking his ass, at least until he got out of this funk. Pranking in moderation was key, and so was escaping the couch. “... Hey. Jade,” Sebastian muttered in a low whisper, half-hoping she would stir awake. Yeah, there was no way... she didn’t respond in the slightest. He sighed, throwing his head back in defeat- he didn’t really want to disturb her, so he wouldn’t try that again. He wished he was more of an asshole for these scenarios. Sebastian attempted to regain his composure and looked back down at Jade to figure out what to do. With extreme care, Sebastian held Jade up by her head and upper torso, moved himself off of the couch, and slowly laid her back down. She didn’t even move a muscle... Damn. Sebastian was either that careful, or Jade just slept like a log.

                What a hassle. Sebastian glanced to the sleeping farmer once more before carefully collecting all the comics they read and placing them on top of the bookshelf. Organizing would come later. He grabbed a throw blanket and an extra pillow from his bed, first placing the pillow under Jade’s head and next spreading the blanket over her body. When that was finished, the raven-haired man just stood there. This whole occurrence frazzled him too much to really be all that tired and his face felt too hot. He sighed to himself again and glanced around his room as he pondered on what to do. His focus went to his personal computer in the corner of the room. Unwinding via the internet sounded like a decent idea.

                Oh, Sam. Sebastian forgot that he sort of just left to smoke earlier that evening.


                SEBASTIAN: Hey, you on?

                SAM: ye

                SAM: where you been

                SEBASTIAN: Home. Had to deal with stuff after the smoke.

                SAM: ooh

                SAM: have you had the chance to talk to our farm fam yet

                SEBASTIAN: That was the stuff I had to deal with.

                SAM: everything good now?

                SEBASTIAN: Um... yeah, for the most part. We’re good.

                SAM: for the most part

                SAM: what happened

                SEBASTIAN: Nothing

                SAM: i can read u like an open book friend

                SAM: what happened

                SEBASTIAN: For as far as you know, nothing. What matters is that nothing is in jeopardy.

                SAM: omg what did you do

                SEBASTIAN: You’ll never know.

                SAM: really

                SEBASTIAN: Yes. I know you won’t let it go if I tell you.

                SAM: omggggghhggh

                SAM: guessing game time!!!

                SAM: ok well its obvious youre embarrassed so i bet you said something really amazing or she caught you at the perfect moment

                SAM: did she walk in on u naked

                SEBASTIAN: Yoba, I am not playing this game

                SAM: iS THAT A YES

                SEBASTIAN: Sure, why not.

                SAM: dammit

                SAM: ok... did you... confess your undying love for me

                SAM: btw love you mama

                SEBASTIAN: I hate you.

                SAM: so help me i will find out what you did

                SAM: detective on the case



                Sebastian rolled his eyes. The guessing game would keep Sam occupied for a while, he supposed. Occasionally, he would roll his chair away from the desk to see how Jade was doing. She was lowly mumbling in her sleep, though he couldn’t tell what she was saying. She sounded exhausted and a little annoyed... Interesting, to say the least. He shrugged and returned to the computer.


                SAM: everything is good then?

                SEBASTIAN: Yup

                SEBASTIAN: Just waiting to get tired now


                SAM: same

                SAM: wanna play a few rounds of team of titans

                SEBASTIAN: Ooh sure



                Ah, finally. A game that Sebastian wanted to play. He started up a game on his computer and turned its sound off to not disturb Jade from her slumber. A short amount of time passed when Sebastian heard more stirring on the couch. He didn’t notice it too much since his focus was still on the game, but then he heard Jade’s voice. She sounded more distraught than before. Scared, for sure. Sebastian completely lost focus on the game when he heard a terrified whine over from the couch.

                “Jade?” He asked, standing up from his chair. She was a shivering lump on the couch, the blanket over her head while being curled up into a ball. “Hey, you okay?”

                She was making sounds, but none of them responded to Sebastian. He walked over to get a better look, internally confirming that she was still asleep... but whatever she was experiencing, it was bad. He wasn’t sure if it was a nightmare, or if her wound somehow got worse? There was nothing Sebastian could see, so he was just guessing at this point. Cautiously, he reached his hand for what he assumed was her shoulder.

                “Hey, um.” His hand slowly touched her shoulder. Jade suddenly shot up, awake and heavily breathing. The blanket furled down to her waist, her head revealing a mess of hair and eyes full of panic. She nearly shoved Sebastian away, but saw that it was him and pulled back her arms. Her eyes were watery and there were faint streaks of tears down her face. She was... crying?

                “S-sorry.” Jade weakly sighed and wiped her eyes. The poor thing was a mess. She glanced all around the room, disoriented. It seemed like she forgot why she was in Sebastian’s room.

                “I think you were having a nightmare,” Sebastian muttered. “Are you, uh... You alright?”

                She slowly nodded. “Y-yeah. Let me just... Bathroom. Sorry.” The young farmer staggered out of her place on the couch, tossing the blanket back to the cushions before speed walking out of his room. Sebastian watched her leave, expression full of worry. In a few minutes, Jade returned with a washed face and a calmer demeanor. She collapsed back onto the couch and attempted to settle back in the blanket. “I hope I didn’t wake you...”

                “Nah. I haven’t slept yet...” Sebastian went quiet. He didn’t really know what to say, but he did want to say something. Anything to make the situation less heavy.

                Jade sighed, somewhat relieved. “Oh... Thanks for letting me stay. Sorry again.”

                “You don’t have to keep saying sorry. It’s not really a big deal,” the programmer grumbled in response. “... Do you...”

                “N-no, no. Just a nightmare. I’ll forget about it.” Jade threw the blanket back over her head. Sebastian saw her cry, so she wanted to make sure he’d never see her face afterwards. That was embarrassing.

                Sebastian frowned and thought for a moment. “... I get nightmares too, sometimes.”

                “I get nightmares all the time,” Jade pitifully murmured. “I’m tired of them.”

                Sebastian ignored his computer and brought his chair to sit beside the couch. “Well, adjusting can take a toll on people.” He sighed, scratching his head. “This is going to sound cheesy as hell, but... I dunno. I’m bad at this. Just... if you need to let off some steam, or whatever... You know.”

                Jade giggled a little bit. That was a relieving sign. “I know. Thanks.”

                They were quiet for another minute. Sebastian stood up again, looking at his bed and then at his computer with worry. “I guess I’ll head to bed now too.” He went for his bed instead, deciding that he would explain his disappearance to Sam later. He didn’t want to deal with anyone for the time being. “Go to sleep, loser.”

                “When I’m dea-” Jade yawned in the middle of her sick banter. She sleepily laughed and settled again. “Okay, you win this time.”

                Jade passed out after not even a moment. It was actually surreal how quickly she went to sleep, but at least that meant she was relaxed for the time being... and possibly exhausted. Sebastian took his time getting to sleep, but he faded off without much hassle. He was tired too, in his own way. This night was way too much.



                The next morning was, unfortunately for Sebastian, just as perplexing. He woke up as usual, sleepily peering around his dark room from the edge of his bed. Only his computer and the crack from under his bedroom door shed any sort of light. At first, nothing was different, but then he realized that Jade had spent the night and she was no longer in his room. He sat up and stared over to his couch, noticing a pillow kindly placed upright and a blanket folded into a neat square at the other end. Jade’s backpack was flayed out on the couch, the previous night's stuffed into it along with all the mine goodies she collected before.

                After cautiously scanning his room again, he got out of bed and ventured over to open his door. Climbing up the basement stairs, he heard chatter from the other end of the house. One of them was his mother and the other was Jade, confirming she was still at the house. There was the light aroma of cooking... no one in the family really cooked breakfast, since they often didn't eat together. Everyone would wake up at different times anyway, so making breakfast for a family of four was pointless.

                "Aw, you really didn't have to cook breakfast, hon! But this looks so delicious. How'd you get to be so great at cookin'?" Robin asked who Sebastian assumed was Jade. The carpenter's voice, though kind, was always booming. Anyone could hear her in the house.

                "I did, though! All of you are so nice and it saved me a world of pain to just stay here for the night." Jade hummed happily- the sizzling on a frying pan could be heard. Sebastian stood there at the top of the staircase, listening. He didn't want to interrupt their conversation, but was still exceedingly curious. "I hope all of you enjoy this. I saw the food in the fridge and I really couldn't let it go to waste."

                Robin laughed and pat the young farmer on the back. "Are you kidding? At this point, it probably would have. You've been keeping me busy! And I love you for it. Ooh, is this finished?" She started picking at some of the food.

                Jade chuckled in response. "Yes, you can go ahead and make a plate for yourself. Oh, do you have any eggs? I could probably make some scrambled eggs."

                "Yes!! But don't make any for Sebby. He hates eggs. Uh, I might have something else..." Rustling was heard from the refrigerator. "Oh! Here, I'll help make you some hashbrowns."

                "I don't think I've made that before. Help would be appreciated!" Jade beamed. The two went on to chatter and cook in the kitchen, bringing such a cheery, early morning vibe to the home. Sebastian saw Demetrius walk out of his room and to the kitchen. Ugh, that was a good reason to not venture further. Sebastian went back down the stairs, out of sight, but continued to listen. He heard Demetrius's surprise at Jade being there so early in the morning, but the breakfast caused him to respond in a more gracious way. With a kiss to Robin and a pat to Jade, he gathered his food and went to go eat in the lab. Sebastian was sure he had a rolled up newspaper on his way, since that was all he really did in the morning time.

                Some more conversing happened between the two ladies, and then it seemed like they were done cooking. Jade left some food out for Maru, but gathered a plate for herself and another for Sebastian. She eagerly trot down the main hallway to go towards the basement, which gave Sebastian the signal to hurry back into the room and pretend he was doing anything but eavesdropping. The door was still open, so Jade walked in without prior invitation.

                "Oh, Seb! You're awake. Want some breakfast?" Jade kindly asked. She was dressed in her regular farming clothes- white shirt, green bow, different pair of jeans, the works. He couldn't help but notice a hole on her jeans, which was hilariously located in a similar region to her current injury.

                The plates of food she had were similar, but one of them had eggs and the other had hashbrowns. Among the different ingredients were strips of bacon and some buttery biscuits. She put the one with eggs down on the nearest surface, then offering the other plate to Sebastian.

                "You made... breakfast?" Sebastian asked, even though he obviously knew the answer. He took the plate and sat down on the empty side of the couch. Jade moved her backpack and grabbed her food before sitting down beside him. He ate the food shamefully quick- as family dinners were gone, so too was really ever getting a decent, home-cooked meal. The only days they would really have decent food was when expiration dates were approaching and they needed to be cooked. On most days, however, Sebastian's meals came from cans or was ordered from the saloon, only rarely preparing anything even remotely similar to the breakfast Jade offered. This food was amazing.

                He felt better at his glutton when he noticed Jade was practically devouring her meal. She must've been really hungry, considering the circumstances. "Man, I barely ate anything filling yesterday," she muffled, food still in her mouth. Sebastian paused for a second and shake his head at her. "Too busy getting swole from my pro fighting strats."

                The statement caused him to nearly choke on his food since he almost laughed. He swallowed the food in his mouth and grinned to Jade. "Getting your ass kicked is such an interesting strategy. I've never tried it before... what are the results you're expecting?"

                "The results are my fists in your pretty face, bastard!" Jade mercilessly shook one of her fists at him, but the other hand was too busy forking food off of her plate to eat.

                Sebastian chuckled. "So testy." He continued eating, finishing around the same time Jade did.

                "Your mom is the best for letting me cook." Jade lazily slid her back down her seat, the empty plate now residing on her belly. "I'm not much of a cook, but I've been trying to practice a little more since I live in an actual house. I've lived on garbage take-out for like, a year before that."

                "Any reason why?" Sebastian asked, taking the breakfast plate to stack onto his.

                "Oh, I traveled all around the region. I was homeless, kinda. I mean, I did have a moving truck to sleep in. I'm sure they regret having a one-time fee for use, hehe!" Jade folded her hands on her belly to warm the now void space. Sebastian just stared at her in slight shock.

                "Wait... really?" He blinked. "Homeless for a year?" She mentioned living with her brother before. He guessed they had a bad falling out if she preferred to live on the road for a solid year... damn.

                "Ayup. Have I not told you that? I swear I told somebody." Jade mumbled in thought for a moment, but then shrugged. "Either way, that's over now. I'm really happy in my home. It feels good to have something that's yours, you know?"

                Sebastian smirked. "Now you're just bragging."

                "Oh! Sorry!" Jade laughed, though her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. He noticed. "You own plenty of things, though! Like... a sweet-ass computer, which I'm sure you've rigged to impossible levels. And things."

                Buttering him up with compliments, huh? Music to such a programmer's ears. "Nah, you're not going to get yourself out of this one," he replied with a smile. "How'd you sleep?"

                "Oh, I slept great. Your couch is very comfy. I'm really excited to go home now and-

                Jade stopped herself with a horrifically loud gasp.

                "My coop!! It's done! Oh Yoba, I can have bunnies now! Bunnies!!" Jade suddenly hopped up. "Holy crap, I gotta go home. I need to do all my farm work and then..." She heavily breathed, shaking in excitement. "Bunnies!" She squealed again. The corner of Sebastian's mouth twitched as he tried to maintain a poker face. Her excitement was really adorable, so it was hard to not smile.

                "Damn, take a breath for once." He chuckled and stood up after her. "Bunnies at last, huh?"

                "Yes!!" Jade clapped to herself excitedly. "Okay! I gotta go. Thanks for the hangout and sleepover!" She stepped up to him and wrapped her arms around his torso in a huge embrace. This time it was completely on purpose and she would definitely not apologize for invading his space.

                As was expected, Sebastian tensed up and froze in place. Jade didn't seem to care, since she was over the moon. She sure did have her high highs and low lows, huh?

                The young farmer slowly let him go with a gigantic grin on her face. "I'm gonna get out of your very ruffled bed hair now," she giggled. Before he could really accurately respond, she took up her backpack and zoomed out of the door.

                Sebastian stared after, speechless. His face was a solid red, and for a moment, he couldn't breathe. He subconsciously reached one of his hands up to feel his hair. For once, his busy mind was completely and utterly empty.

                Strange, indeed.



                IT BEGIIIINNNSSSSSSS
                IT
                BEGINSSSSSSSSSS

                MY DEVELOPMENT IS SLOWLY PAYING OFF
                I AM FINALLY ABLE TO WRITE CUTER THINGS
                IT BEGIINNNSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                *ahem*

                hope you guys enjoyed the chapter. i'm excited for the next ones to come! lots of adventures and cuteness and dEVELOPMENT and sam being a detective
                 
                  Iranna, mrobake, Gabaw and 4 others like this.
                • Rauchschwalbe

                  Rauchschwalbe Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                  I love your new chapter! It's so cool that we see some more Sebastian and Jade scenes.
                   
                    MagicallyClueless likes this.
                  • Gabaw

                    Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                    Those IMs put me on the floor every time :rofl: even the more serious ones. You did good holding back on glomping Seb for this long but it looks like the time is finally near! I have prepared the emotion-proof bunker for this moment. It will keep me safe unless you lob some freakin bunker bustin chap over here lmao. anyway glad Jade got that moody chump to straighten out a bit and stop acting like a damn fool :p guess he's just making sense of it all right now. also +1 for Samson.
                     
                      MagicallyClueless and Risukage like this.
                    • Iranna

                      Iranna Void-Bound Voyager

                      I came back from hell! I've been to much days without a proper computer (the alimentation thing broke and my graphic card was dying at the same time) and I refuse to install whatever to post things here on my mobile phone, so I'm sorry I did't give you a proper "pay" for such entertaining story. But I came back!
                      I feel you have been dealing with something... not nice (you posted something about it some time ago, and it does really influence your writting in my opinion) and it kinda gives me the impression that you are getting better. If not, I hope my super comment saves the day again!
                      First of all, I have to tell you that you rock. Yes, you do, don't think otherwise. You have people here that wait for your art, you are valuable and you are missed when you don't interact with us, the peasants. Sencondly, your writting is really nice, you are building your characters in an unique way, but giving them reasons to be like that. They feel alive, they are no fantastic thingies and people can identify themselves with. Also, you follow really well the rules of writting, (trust me, I'm a philologist, that's basically my whole career) the pacing is good and you are really taking time to show the little details of the valley, the conversations, gestures... The ONLY thing that can be debatable (but to my point of view is not wrong as it depends of your style) is that you need more ambiental details, but as we know how the valley is, you don't need to write it. So I give to your story a solid 5/7 (much meme, such wow) and I expect you continue writting like this, the quality is reeeeally nice.
                      Keep doing such a good work, your story and drawings have lots of potential. And remember, you are amazing <3
                       
                      • MagicallyClueless

                        MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                        Welcome back! Sorry to hear about your computer troubles, but it's nice to see you return! <3

                        lol, you know, that's not the first time someone has said/asked if I was going through stuff. As entertaining and drama-filled as it sounds: no, nothing is going on. xD I did start this fic when I had a roommate in college and I most likely will when the next semester starts, but people just stress me out and not necessarily make me go through big things. I went on a short art hiatus for similar stress reasons, but I've had some time to myself and I have room to breathe so I was able to get back to it. It's nothing really groundbreaking and I'm just taking care of myself to make sure I never get to a point in which I can only use writing as an escape. I've probably had a less dramatic life than most of you, which is probably why I like to write more dramatic things. I have a fascination with horror, creepy subtlety, things that are just "off" in nature. I know for a fact some of that creeps into my work. I'm happy you guys notice things and may worry about me as a result, but yes.

                        Haha yeah, details about ambiance definitely constitutes my weak point. I'll try to bring more focus to that, but yeah, it's kinda my style too. I tend to have a lot of focus on dialogue and interactions, so I don't give as much emphasis to the environment. In some chapters I do make a real attempt, though. I think the mining one was a good example for me! I'll definitely try to attempt it more, so thank you for pointing it out.

                        I really appreciate your input and it makes me so happy to know you've returned <3 I really hope you enjoy the chapters to come as well! YOU are amazing for reading!
                         
                          Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
                          Gabaw, Risukage and CjBeats like this.
                        • Risukage

                          Risukage Giant Laser Beams

                          I see that it's a Tuesday night...

                          *Gets popcorn.*
                           
                            Gabaw likes this.
                          • MagicallyClueless

                            MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                            Because I'm impatient, I might submit another chapter on Thursday. But for now, enjoy this! The next chapters are gonna have some neat expositioney stuff. Especially since I can finally dig into cute things. I am so ready for the cute things.


                            “I’m sorry, dear...” Marnie stood at the front desk in her store, checking over all the money placed on the counter. It was all Jade had to spend on things that weren’t food. “I can only give you one rabbit with this money. Cows and chickens are cheaper, y’know.”

                            Jade shook her head and frowned. “I’ve decided I want rabbits. They’ll pay off, and I know how to take care of them. I think I’d be getting in and over my head if I take care of cows and chickens now...”

                            Marnie sighed. The farmer did have a point. “Rabbits are lower maintenance for sure, but they will take longer to turn a profit. Are you sure you want to get one?”

                            “Yes,” Jade replied without skipping a beat. “I have a coop just for rabbits, anyway. They’ll be perfect in my farm... And I know it’ll take me a while to get a second rabbit, but it’ll be worth it.”

                            “Alright, alright...” Marnie collected all the required money and stored it away in her desk. “Come along, dear.” She guided Jade through the right end of the house and came out to Marnie’s ranch. She could only see so much through the fences, but this really was a huge farm. There were several barns with animals of all kinds roaming in and out of the open doors, silos to contain huge collections of animal fodder, and sectioned grassy areas that were groomed to fit for each of the animals’ needs; there was even a mud pit for pigs to relax and cool off. Without a doubt, Marnie’s ranch was heaven for all sorts of farm animals.

                            They were all so docile, too. Cows minded their own business and chewed in a field of grass, sheep roamed about and grazed, some chickens hopped forward to see what Marnie was doing before going back off and tending to their own business. Not only did she notice the normal cows, sheep, and chickens, but she saw some goats playing with each other, some pigs napping in a mud pond, and ducks floating around in a tiny body of water. All of the animals got along so well together, bringing joy to Jade’s beating heart. The sweetness was almost too much for her to handle.

                            Marnie walked into one of the barns, Jade following after. There they were. Sweet, fluffy rabbits of all shapes and sizes, hopping about and sniffling with their wiggly little noses. A few of them ventured out the door, but many of them were inside. Marnie guided the young farmer over to a group of excitedly roaming baby rabbits. “Pick your favorite, dear. Any of these four.”

                            Out of the four rabbits, two were white and tan and the other two were just solid tan. One of each of their variations were playing, one explored the perimeter, and the last one, a gentle white and tan rabbit, quietly sniffed around. Jade leaned down to get a better look at the rabbits, the quiet one curiously hopping over to her. She smiled and allowed the small bunny to sniff her, though she did notice the size. This one was slightly larger than the other ones and very calm.

                            Jade felt like the chosen one as the rabbit showed serious interest. “Hey, girl,” she softly murmured with an elevated voice. Slowly, the young farmer pet the bunny of interest. A bond had been established already.

                            “That one?” Marnie asked, smiling. “She’s a sweet one. Good choice.”

                            “Thank you. I love her already... Wait, do they have names?” Jade asked in return.

                            “Not yet, dear. Would you like to give this lovely kit a name?”

                            “Yes. A name...” Jade hummed in thought as she lightly played with her chosen farm animal. “How about... Butterscotch? You have such a pretty color, and I think it is a cute name that suits you,” she giggled.

                            “Butterscotch it is. I’ll send her home for you along with the fodder you bought-

                            “GAH!” Jade’s hand was harshly bitten, but not by Butterscotch. Another rabbit had run forward and bit her with its painful front teeth. The kit was smaller than the others, and also not advertised as being on sale- she was a fluffy white and wore jet black spots. Her eyes were full of innocence, but she carried such a deceivingly vicious demeanor.

                            “Oh, no! You again! Hey! Shoo!” Marnie huffed and tried to get the rabbit to go off, but instead it tried to bite at Marnie and then snuggled under Butterscotch. Butterscotch didn’t really seem to mind and yawned.

                            “That tiny turd bit me,” Jade pouted, wiping her hands. At least her skin wasn’t broken through, but it still hurt like the dickens. “What was that for, little one?” she sadly whined.

                            “Aye, I forgot... The spotted kit doesn’t get along with anybody except your Butterscotch. She’s a lot of trouble...” Marnie sighed.

                            “... Is she a lot of trouble? If you want to give her away, I could take her,” Jade slyly muttered. Marnie’s eyes widened from the proposition. It didn’t sound like too bad of an idea, and the rabbit certainly didn’t have that much of a place in the ranch...

                            Oh, fine. Marnie gave in. “You know what? If you’re willing to deal with her, I’ll give her to you for free. They’re both females, so you’ll have to buy an extra rabbit if you want to make your own litters. Just promise you’ll take extra good care of these babies.”

                            “I promise!” Jade beamed. “I’ll treat them to the very best of my abilities!”

                            The rancher liked the sound of that. “I wish you the best of luck! If you need any advice, I’m always here.” Her face dropped. “Usually.”

                            The young farmer giggled and returned her focus to the two kits that were soon to be hers. Butterscotch, and... Oh, there wasn’t a name yet. Jade brought her hand to where the spotted rabbit lay and hoped that she would take the opportunity to sniff. The rabbit did seem a little curious, especially with how gently Butterscotch responded. She eventually sniffed Jade’s hand and softly nibbled. When Jade pulled her hand away, she meanly bit again. “Hey!” Jade yelled. “We were getting somewhere. You’re such...” Hm. The black spots and nasty demeanor gave her an idea. “You know what? You’re Plague. That’s your name now. It suits you.”

                            Marnie chuckled. “Plague? Alright, dear. Well, I’ll send Butterscotch and Plague your way. Don’t forget to go see them when you return to your farm, okay?”

                            “Of course!” Jade stood up and eagerly bowed to the kind woman. “I won’t be gone all day, I just need to catch up with some people. Thank you so much for helping me, by the way. Is there anything you’d like me to do while I’m in town?” Jade adjusted the backpack that often strapped down both of her shoulders. She didn’t have all of her tools hanging off its end as usual, except for her sword and a disassembled fishing pole for easier carrying.

                            Marnie thought for a moment. “Hm... well you’ve done errands before. I do have a shopping list I need to take care of... can I get you to go buy some odds and ends for me at the store? Shane is at work today and I have some business to attend to, so...” She scanned the young farmer up and down. It seemed like she was up for the job, anyway.

                            Jade grinned. “Sure thing! If you have the list and the money, I’ll take it back.”

                            “You’re so sweet, you know? Robin is so right with what she says. It’s a shame that Lewis is so hard on you.” Marnie began walking out of the barn, Jade following after giving a parting wave to her two new rabbits.

                            “What? Is he still mad about the Luau, even though there were several ingredients in there and not just mine?” Jade mumbled as they went towards the main section of the house. The rancher went inside with the younger one still following behind. “He hasn’t talked to me at all since the Luau, but I haven’t checked my mail yet. Surely there is a condescending letter within.”

                            “Pfft,” Marnie snorted, going back to her desk. She pulled out the required amount of money, then took out a notepad and a pen from the desk. “I wouldn’t doubt it, but he really isn’t all that bad. Lewis just cares about his image...” She sighed. “Almost a little too much. That’s one of his downfalls.” She scribbled a list of items to buy from Pierre’s, then handed everything to Jade. “Here you are, sweetie.”

                            “Thanks,” murmured the young farmer as she stored the money and slip of paper into her pockets. “I’ll come by this evening. I hear you about the Mayor, though. He was really good to me when I first got here, so don’t worry. I’ve been told that he’ll cool off about the Luau anyway.”

                            “He will, and if he won’t, I’ll get some sense into him.” Marnie replied with a grin. While Robin was certainly the more motherly figure, Marnie gave the feeling of a friendly aunt, or maybe a big sister that could bully people into place. Either way, she was awesome.

                            Jade chuckled. “Thanks! I’ll see you later.” She waved and left Marnie in order to travel to Pelican Town.

                            ---

                            One thing was for sure: Jade was slacking in keeping up with people. While she felt like she’s been talking to Robin and Sebastian just about every day, she hadn’t really spent any bro-time with Abigail outside of the saloon, or really saw Sam at all since he’s been so occupied with work. Even less frequently were her visits to Alex- she felt like she barely even spoke with him at the Luau. Nightmares were becoming more frequent and he occasionally appeared in them. For her sake, she knew she needed to speak to him more. There was an undeniable comparison she could make to Alex that she wanted to destroy in order to bring peace to herself, and of course create a significant friendship with him as a townsperson. Jade’s first destination was absolutely to the ice cream stand across town.

                            As Jade approached the nifty ice cream business, she noticed Haley leaning her arms at the edge of the stand while talking to Alex. This was the usual place they congregated, Jade supposed. “Hey! Alex!” the young farmer happily shouted, giving an eager wave in his direction. Both Alex and Haley lifted their heads to peer over to Jade, startled and confused. “And Haley, of course. How are you two doing?” she asked as she stood on the other side of the stand. She had no intention to buy any ice cream, no matter how tempting... rabbits cost a fortune.

                            “Hey, farm girl!” Alex replied back with enthusiasm. Haley ignored her and gave Alex a specific glare before walking away.

                            “Oh, did I scare her off?” Jade pondered aloud.

                            “Nah, she was planning to leave. Ice cream?” he asked.

                            She shook her head and pouted. “No, I have to be good. I don’t have much money on me right now. What have you been up to? I feel like I haven’t seen you in days.” She confidently crossed her arms as she waited for an answer.

                            “Ah, uh... Well, it’s not a big deal. I haven’t been out and around too much, anyway. I’m fine, though.”

                            Jade huffed to herself. “Are you sure? You sound a little off,” she mumbled.

                            Alex suddenly laughed to lighten the tension. “Farm girl, I’m fine! How have you been?”

                            She decided to ignore it for now. “I’m doing great! I just bought some rabbits for my farm. I got to go on my first official mining trip yesterday, and it was really intense! I have this super cool looking wound on my leg, want to l-” She paused when she noticed Alex’s disgusted expression. “Anyways, it was fun and I learned a lot!”

                            “Uh huh,” Alex replied. He didn’t seem as cheerful anymore, mostly because he didn’t get it. He didn’t understand why Jade wanted to speak to him, or really wanted to be friends in the first place. It was easy for him to guess that maybe she took his kindness in a different manner.

                            “Yeah! I was with Maru, and it was so cool. She knew so much about all the critters out and about and we got SO much stuff! I might make some stuff with the ore I got, but I don’t know yet. Have you ever been to the mines?”

                            “I’m not really a fan of dirty places. Or monsters. I’m surprised you are,” Alex mumbled. He really, truly didn’t get it. They were so different.

                            Jade chuckled. “Of course I am! The valley is so full of places to explore, and it makes me so eager to explore more. Why didn’t you expect me to like the mines, though? Is it because I’m a female, huh?”

                            Alex rolled his eyes and scoffed. “Tch, well, maybe! As if a girl wo- Wait. No, I take it back. Because I hate those places, and I am as masculine as it gets.”

                            Jade laughed. “Ah, beautiful sexism. You can take it down a notch, though. Stereotypes don’t do much good.”

                            The athlete gave her such a look full of guilt and defense. “I wasn’t stereotyping! It’s just... statistics?” He huffed. “You’re an anomaly, I guess. And I am too, for the clean thing. Maybe.”

                            “You can stop trying to cover up your boo-boo now, Alex. But, I forgive you. I think it’s better to live by example.” Jade smiled.

                            She was way too nice... for some reason, it disconcerted Alex. This wasn’t the time or place for this, though. “Okay, different topic. Where are you off to, Jade?”

                            The young farmer stared up to the sky in an attempt to recall her errands. “Well... I was going to see you since I haven’t in awhile, and then I was going to- dammit!” Jade suddenly sighed, dropping her head. “I was going to crack open the geodes I got from the mine, but I don’t have the money... I guess I’ll have to fish some today so I can have some money for tomorrow. Yeah! Good plan, me... Ahem! Anyways,” Jade started. Despite how Alex was feeling for the time, Jade's monologues were always entertaining. “So, fishing, but- oh! Fishing will be after I go by Pierre’s. I’m running some errands for other townsfolk, and Marnie wants me to go to the store. I like to feel helpful, you know? Especially since my farming duties only really last all morning. I might see Abby, since she lives there. I miss her adorably dumb face.”

                            “Sounds like you have a full day,” Alex mentioned.

                            “Yeah! I should probably get going now, then. I hope you’re doing well, Alex... Talk to you later!” Jade cheerfully waved to him as she left for Pierre’s store. He emitted a sigh of relief when she was gone, her bubbly demeanor worrying him even more so.

                            Haley re-appeared and approached Alex.

                            “Did you hear all of that?” the athlete asked, concerned.

                            The blonde nodded. “She’s... something. Yeah, I would probably say she has some sort of... thing with you.”

                            “Great,” he sarcastically remarked.

                            “Just drop her. She seems to be bad at taking hints.”

                            “Well, I mean... she’s nice, but I...” Alex fumbled a bit, scratching his head nervously. “Yeah. Next time we talk, I’ll try.”

                            “This is why you only dance with me at the Flower Dance,” Haley grumbled. “You get into things like this. But, if you can’t take care of it, then I will.” She frowned and put a consoling hand onto one of his arms. “Alright?”

                            “Yeah. Thanks, Haley.”

                            She smiled. “What are friends for?”

                            ---

                            Jade arrived at Pierre’s shop without much hassle, though Marnie’s request list was all over the place. She wanted a few general foods such as bread and cheese, then a bottle of grape wine, human hair products, horse shampoo, and... truffle oil? The young farmer shrugged. Marnie did say they were just some odds and ends. Regardless, she bought everything that was required of her, albeit with a somewhat condescending look from Pierre. She planned to just leave the store in her own awkward manner, but then she caught Abigail: “Abby! Hey, bro!”

                            “Jadey! I haven’t seen you in the past few days. Makes me bored! We need to do some more exploring together,” beamed Abigail. To get out of her father’s earshot, Abigail dragged Jade out of the store and into the deeper reaches of their home. For the time being, they just stood in the hallway. “You know, sword fighting and shiz.”

                            The young farmer chuckled. “Of course! We can’t fight bad guys without some proper practice. And you should come over to the farm sometime. You know you’re always welcome... to entice you even more, I have two bunnies now!”

                            Abigail loudly gasped. “Bunnies?! HELL yeah!”

                            Though they only planned to chat for a few minutes, their conversation quickly turned into an hour. Abigail introduced Jade to her room, which was a very cozy area! It had ocean-colored walls with drawings and posters scattered about, bookshelves and display shelves full of plushies and action figures, and a television with a retro video game console. Jade got to meet Abigail’s pet guinea pig, David Jr., and she stayed for just a little while to help Abigail get further with her video game. Apparently Journey of the Prairie King had a console version, and Abigail was as horrible as she was in the arcade version. One upside to the console version was that she could save between stages, at least. The novice explorer was improving too... in her own way.

                            After all of their fun, Jade decided to leave. They bid happy goodbyes and set off to go do their own thing- Abigail to go to the mountain lake for the afternoon, and Jade to return groceries to Marnie and fish in the river until the evening. Marnie felt so thankful for an errand well completed and wished Jade a wonderful rest of her day. Jade didn’t get any pay, but she didn’t want any; she got a second bunny for free, and it was about time for her to repay the townspeople's’ kindness anyway.

                            The young farmer hadn’t fished in a while, so she was still at about the same skill level. She was able to catch quite a few fish from the river below Marnie’s ranch, though there were several that got away... one fish seemed especially powerful, and especially annoying. Her fishing pole nearly broke in half, but she had to let it go with lack of choice. She brought a decent haul back to store at the house, keeping a carp for herself to cook. She wasn’t really a fan of fish, but it wouldn't hurt to try a new recipe. She slaved over the stove for what felt like forever in preparing such a nice meal- no, she still hated fish. Onyx had an extra large meal for that evening. Jade could stick to leftovers.

                            Finally, she could see her new babies. Butterscotch and Plague: the chosen ones, the lovely baby fluffs. Jade entered her completely finished coop and looked around, absolutely bewildered with just how nice and sturdy it all looked. Robin was amazing at her job, and Jade truly wished she could pay her more. Her two rabbits seemed very cautious of their new home, but they were still happily hopping around and chewing on the food that Marnie brought. Plague wasn’t as ravenous at the end of the day, but only because she was tired. Butterscotch napped and enjoyed the love and attention, as always.

                            Jade went back to her house for the last time that day. Today was full of productivity and friendly faces, so it was fantastic time spent in her books. After a shower and some cuddles with her then-bloated cat, she fell asleep.

                            No nightmares that night.



                            the bunnies are introduced! they will eventually become Jade's life, which will hopefully pave the way to her future... but who knows! a farmer's life is a wild and crazy one, full of twists and turns and completely unnecessary adventures. and it's great.

                            other than that, nothing too much is happening for the chapter. the conversation with alex is building up to what i really want to write about, which will come in a few chapters if my plan stays in motion. i have written a couple chapters ahead, which is why i'm confident in maybe doing more than one update, but again, we'll see.

                            eventually, we'll get some explanation as to why alex appears in jade's nightmares and why she desperately wants to get to know more about him. UNFORTUNATELY alex is taking it the wrong way.
                             
                              Risukage and Gabaw like this.
                            • Gabaw

                              Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                              "If you need any advice, I’m always here." Marnie lying af lmao!! Go into her house at 10 AM and she's gone til 6 and locks you out. wth is that lol. anyway finally we get to the lil bunnyboos wigglin and wagglin and being totes adorbs. especially the baby bun-buns. it's worth fighting tigers to restore my manhood for bunny cuddles :rofl: as far as Alex goes... no idea what his deal is or what's gonna happen but it doesn't sound like it's gonna be all that pleasant. pretty clear that Haley's not a fan. like she needed any more reasons for peeps to hate on her :p not that she's the issue here I don't think. interested in seeing where you take that. I'm stumped!
                               
                                CjBeats and MagicallyClueless like this.
                              • MagicallyClueless

                                MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                Hey, she did say "usually"! Dangit Marnie. xD

                                yesss bunny boos <3 and alex shall be dealt with in a few chapters but we have some other stuff to deal with first!
                                 
                                  Gabaw likes this.
                                • Iranna

                                  Iranna Void-Bound Voyager

                                  You are soo bad... I want to know what will happen between those two! And the bunnies! Those fluffy things that give extra paws... I want moar! My heart thrives for moar! I want moar cuteness!
                                   
                                    MagicallyClueless likes this.
                                  • Kid Absurdity

                                    Kid Absurdity Big Damn Hero

                                    "Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by Haley."
                                    (Entirety of Pelican Town raises their hands.)

                                    Digging the tension/foreshadowing around Haley and the take on Marnie/Lewis. I'm looking forward to the reveal on what's caused Alex's seeming change of attitude as well. And bunny adventures. Solid chapter!
                                     
                                      Gabaw and MagicallyClueless like this.
                                    • MagicallyClueless

                                      MagicallyClueless Black Hole Surfer

                                      I'm officially changing the schedule to, "Tuesdays" and "Thursdays when I have many extra chapters written" since i think once a week is too slow but i know i won't always be able to do it twice a week. hopefully that's cool with you guys.

                                      this is a very fluffy and lighthearted chapter. full of fluffs.

                                      no post-write today


                                      Jade forgot to check her computer the previous day, and what a mistake that was. The poor thing was beeping all night, though the sound was so quiet from downstairs (and Jade was so tired) that she didn’t even really notice. Looks like she had some explaining to do:


                                      SAM: hey

                                      SAM: where u at

                                      SAM: speak to me papa

                                      SAM: jADE

                                      SAM: whERE R U

                                      SAM: im dyin g

                                      SAM: *dead*

                                      JADE: omg couldn’t you have just come to my house if you needed me that badly?

                                      JADE: i forgot to check my messages last night, sorry~


                                      SAM: !!!!!!

                                      SAM: hey sexy papa

                                      JADE: what do u want you turd???

                                      SAM: :^)

                                      SAM: jus got some questions for ya

                                      JADE: oh boy

                                      SAM: so uh

                                      SAM: ive been really worried about mama seb you know? like. just totally heartbroken. ever since sunday

                                      SAM: and i feel like you know something that he refuses to tell me because he is just so misunderstood and complex

                                      SAM: *cough* so what was the thing that he didnt tell me



                                      Sebastian didn’t tell Sam about her staying the night? It wasn’t really that big of a deal, Jade thought... it wasn’t like she stayed there with any specific intention, just that it was more convenient. A young woman staying at a young man’s house could seem suspicious, but they live in a modern world. People can get over it.


                                      JADE: lmao

                                      JADE: are you referring to sunday night?

                                      SAM: WHAT HAPPENED

                                      SAM: omg please tell me

                                      SAM: he wONT TELL ME


                                      JADE: well it sounds like i shouldn’t tell you if he won’t!

                                      JADE: i don’t want to say anything behind his back.


                                      SAM: pleas e


                                      JADE: ok fine

                                      JADE: just pinky promise you won’t tell anybody.

                                      SAM: *pinky promise*

                                      JADE: *pinky promises* good. ok

                                      JADE: well do you want before or after the extreme heavy makeout sesh

                                      SAM: O:<

                                      JADE: also do you want sfw version or like supreme extra nsfw

                                      JADE: jk there’s just nsfw. lives were changed that night. and maybe a few people died

                                      SAM: dAMMIT

                                      SAM: CANT U JUST TELL ME WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED


                                      JADE: when ur older



                                      Jade was giggling to herself. She saw the opportunity and she took it. Sam didn’t believe her for a second, but she wasn’t trying to convince him at all. She loved how easily he could read both her and Sebastian.


                                      SAM: ...

                                      SAM: well thats a good segway into what i also was going to message you for

                                      SAM: sammy boy is becoming one whole year older tomorrow

                                      JADE: aww happy early birthday!!!

                                      SAM: thanks~

                                      JADE: how old are you turning

                                      SAM: 21

                                      JADE: oooh such a fancy age~ hehehe i’m older than you!!

                                      SAM: whaaaat?

                                      JADE: i’m 22

                                      SAM: man everyones older than me

                                      SAM: i think i might be older than abby but i forget

                                      SAM: seb is a frickin grandpa

                                      JADE: wait how old is he??

                                      SAM: like 25

                                      SAM: so basically 80 years old

                                      JADE: oooh! i will remember these ages~

                                      JADE: anyways, continue. :>


                                      SAM: wwweeelll i am having a little party on the beach. nothing fancy just a good barbeque

                                      SAM: seb abby penny and whoever wants free food are invited. im taking the day off so we will all gather together around lunch time. eat and have a grand ole time.

                                      SAM: would you like to come?

                                      JADE: um, duh. obviously

                                      SAM: good good

                                      SAM: you dont have to bring anything if you dont want to but i do have an errand for you

                                      JADE: i am ready

                                      SAM: if you havent learned this about seb already then you will

                                      SAM: but he is like allergic to the sunlight + beach

                                      SAM: he hisses at the very orb that provides us the vitamin d and is sure to flip the ocean the bird before going 2 sleep every night

                                      SAM: last year he made some hilariously bad excuses on being unable to come to my party

                                      SAM: and it wasnt the same. half my soul was missin. i didnt have anyone to push off the docks

                                      SAM: not this year

                                      SAM: this time i have you

                                      SAM: i think you can convince him to go to the party



                                      A party, huh? Jade didn’t take the time to think about birthdays, let alone her own. Hers was in the middle of spring. So many birthdays must have passed in the town by then, but at least she could celebrate Sam’s birthday with him and their friends. His request was peculiar, though.


                                      JADE: haha, why me?

                                      SAM: considering how competitive you two are with each other you can probably make it into a contest

                                      SAM: ive never been very competitive and he knows this. it wont work if i do it

                                      SAM: then hes not really all that responsive to abby. probably because she is more chill

                                      SAM: but you got the power

                                      SAM: get his white ass to the beach and he will get in the water with us if its the last thing i do

                                      JADE: omg!!! swimming! i haven’t done that yet!

                                      JADE: i will help you.

                                      JADE: but only for a fee


                                      SAM: what u want

                                      JADE: stop asking about the other night ;>

                                      SAM: there are some things you just cant get me to do j

                                      SAM: papa j

                                      JADE: haha if you want me to be serious, it really isn’t that big of a deal. i don’t know why he doesn’t want to tell you.

                                      SAM: hhrrrnnGH

                                      JADE: hm, i’ll tell you what. i’ll ask him myself and tell you what he says, ok?

                                      SAM: fine

                                      SAM: but youll convince him to come to the party right

                                      JADE: yes! let’s push him off the docks together : D

                                      SAM: i love you papa j

                                      JADE: love u too sonny sam

                                      SAM: thats so perfect for me

                                      JADE: lmao, well i need to get my farm work started. i’ll talk to you later. just be sure to let seb know about the party so i’m not springing it on him last minute

                                      SAM: im already on it

                                      SAM: thx < 3

                                      JADE: no prob < 3



                                      Jade hadn’t been to an actual party in a long time, so she wondered what it would be like. This was Sam, so it would definitely be interesting, but none of them were rambunctious high school kids, so it wouldn’t be too interesting. Hm. Even though Sam said he didn’t care about getting gifts, the young farmer still wanted to do something nice. Ever since she moved in, he was always smiling, always elevating the mood. With him around, there was just a lighthearted, cheerful ambiance. He deserved a good gift.

                                      Ah, well. It was something she could think about later. If anything, the birthday present could always come at a different date. She began to notice that was a trend with her... always later, never on the day required. Eventually, she’d have to catch up. With her funds and lack of resources for the time though, she really couldn’t afford to give too much. Jade ventured outside of her home to see what was in the mailbox: her pay for the day, random advertisements, condescending letter from Lewis as was expected, blah blah. Nothing interesting really struck her, but she did need some days to wind down. If she wasn’t getting herself hurt somehow, she was running all around the valley.

                                      Her bunnies certainly aided her needs to relax. Butterscotch flopped to her side to get some tender love and care, while Plague erratically zoomed all around the coop and kept close tabs on Jade to feed them. She managed to pick Plague up and give her some well needed love too, but she didn’t really seem as interested. After feeding them, she opened the gates in case they wanted to explore outside. The young farmer didn’t think she would have to worry about the bunnies’ tendency to roam, since Onyx developed a habit of being inside during the day and surprisingly had no interest in the rabbits to begin with. As long as he got to rub his fuzzy face against the outer walls of the coop to mark his territory, he was fine with whatever inhabited the inside.

                                      Watering the crops came last, since Jade was just so excited to see her walking fluff balls. Some of the plants were coming close to bearing fruit, but nothing could be harvested for the day. The next day would certainly be a possibility; the blueberries seemed close to ripening, which meant Jade would soon be swimming in a reasonable amount of gold.

                                      When all of that was finished, the young farmer glanced at the pay she received from all of her hard work with fishing. “This is definitely enough to crack open those geodes. I’m unsure if I’ve met the blacksmith dude, but... there’s a first for everything!” Jade grinned to herself and went back to her house to set up backpack up for the day’s travels. Like the previous day, she didn’t plan to do anything intensive, so her backpack wouldn’t have very much. Carrying her sword and fishing pole was a habit at this point, as was leaving a lot of extra room in her backpack in case she could collect something. Might as well put the fishing chest in there if she wanted to take some aquatic prizes back. Even though she had to wait for her crops to mature, at least there was a payoff in the valley’s many resources!

                                      For the first time in a while, Jade had to bring out her map to see where to go. She remembered that Maru spoke of a blacksmith that would crack the geodes open and reveal interesting minerals and artifacts, but the young farmer has never been to the blacksmith’s place. After exiting her farmland, she followed the map to the town square, which then took her further east to the far end of town. She passed by Alex’s ice cream stand, but he wasn’t there yet. Must have been too early in the day. Above and to the right of the ice cream stand was a larger, vibrantly colored building. The wood was painted a deep green and its door to the inside was a solid purple, then two huge wooden pillars held up a mini-roof that provided shade. There was a groove big enough to stand in between the pillars.

                                      Jade peered at her map to see what building that was again-- oh, the museum and library. “My destination should be right above this one,” mumbled the young farmer in concentration. She took a path to the left of the museum and headed towards the upright corner of the town. A very tiny, gloomy house stood in the midst of her path. It was made of dingy gray stone, had depressing brown roof tiles, and the entire home was connected to what appeared to be an ancient furnace. Steel pipes unintentionally decorated the house and equipment was strewn about the whole area- shovels and stones right beside the door and barrels and trash cans on the other end of the home. Consulting the map again, Jade knew this was the blacksmith’s workshop.

                                      She entered the shop and realized that the inside was as industrial and depressing as the outside. The whole shop was just one room, a work desk and register on the left, with an anvil, furnace, and other tools and equipment on the far right. Its floor had smooth (albeit dirty and covered in soot) wooden planks, and the walls were made out of stone brick. Emerging from the back room came a rather large and somewhat familiar man. He was fairly tall and wide, had pale skin, and had ruffled brown hair accompanied by a thick but short beard. He wore a gray sweater under a huge dirt-brown apron that extended down to his knees. His jeans were deep blue and a bit saggy, especially apparent over his black boots. Tools hung out his apron's pockets, giving him the appearance of being ready to work, though he seemed surprisingly clean. He must not have done much labor lately, especially evident by the slight frown and somber blue eyes. Jade tried to figure out where she has seen him before, but she was feeling down just looking at him.

                                      “A customer?” the man wondered, nearly shocked.

                                      “H-hello! Yes! You’re the blacksmith, right? Uh...” Jade stammered, trying to remember his name. Nothing came to mind.

                                      “Clint,” he stated. Clint approached his work desk and leaned against its edge. “You’re the farmer... Nice to meet you.”

                                      “Yes! Nice to meet you as well, I’m, uh, Jade. Yeah. Okay, so... I was told that you crack geodes open?” she asked, throwing her backpack off of her shoulders to retrieve the objects in question. Clint waited for her to bring them out, his expression shifting to pleasant surprise when he saw five of them. “Here they are, uh... let me get the money,” she fumbled to get out her current funds.

                                      Without hesitation, Clint accepted the payment and brought the five geodes over to the giant anvil on the other side of the room. Jade watched in fascination as he broke them open with a sledgehammer. The first two geodes didn’t hold anything too groundbreaking- one of them had glops of clay and the other one had copper ore. But the last three were very interesting to Jade: a glittery and lumpy mineral called jagoite, a gorgeous pink and sharded mineral called nekoite, and a green cylindrical fossil that Clint could only identify as a petrified slime.

                                      “... I thought I was going to donate today,” pouted Jade, “But... These are so cool! I am keeping these. Wow. Thank you!” the young farmer beamed. Before the blacksmith could even respond, Jade zoomed out of the door with all of her freshly claimed materials. Her very first treasures of a successful mining trip were here at last! Well, not including the copper ore and a cluster of quartz of course. Details, details. She already started to imagine where to place them in her home; the shelves could certainly use some decorating. A petrified slime sounded so fascinating, too. She would lovingly name it ‘Petrified Bastard’ and revel in the fact that it just became a cute, non-threatening cylinder.

                                      Jade actually didn’t have anything else to do in the day, but her empty pockets were crying for her to fill them with money. Using her map, she found a new path that led to the mountains in which Robin’s shop and home resided. Past the blacksmith’s, there was the indescribably dreadful and out-of-place Joja Mart, a rickety bridge led across the river beside it. Steps led up the cliff side near the community center, which finally revealed the normal path to the carpenter shop. The day was beautiful and she was feeling luckier than usual, so she would give fishing another try.

                                      The unique and welcoming scent of fresh water wafted in the young farmer’s direction as she reached the same ground level as the lake nearby. She made her way over to the spot that she perched herself onto weeks before and glanced out into the water. Clear, beautiful, and just perfect... Jade saw shadows of fish from the lake floor and noticed schools of low-tier predators swimming about the body of water. Jade planted herself onto the grassy bay and slung her backpack to her side. She dug out her fishing chest and then collected the pieces of her fishing pole to fasten back together.

                                      Jade didn't pay attention to the passing time, since she was so focused on fishing. Sometimes it felt like half an hour passed before she got a bite, but getting a bite was wonderful regardless. All by her lonesome, she caught a docile carp. It was a great size, though. Hopefully it would bring in some good cash. After storing the carp in the fishing chest, she cast out her line again and patiently waited for another bite.

                                      "Jadey!" called a perky voice. Abigail?

                                      The young farmer turned her head and grinned. What a coincidence that she would be here! "Abby, hey!" Jade exclaimed in return. Abigail was in her regular adventuring gear- teal coat, black pants, awesome boots- but she also carried a tiny black case. Jade thought she felt the bobber of her fishing line move, causing her to stare back out to the lake. While she was wondering what Abigail had in her hand, concentration was key.

                                      "Ooh, I didn't know you fish. Gettin' some good hauls?" asked the ever-so curious Abigail. She wandered over to her fluffy haired friend and dropped to her knees.

                                      "It brings in some money when I'm waiting for farming stuff. I just started fishing, but I got a carp so far," Jade cheerfully explained. Her attention was on Abigail, but her eyes were practically glued to the bobber above the water. "What are you up to?"

                                      Abigail fell back onto her hind, crossed her legs, and then held the black case in her lap. "The fresh air is wonderful. I like to come out here and practice my flute," the young adventurer replied.

                                      "Flute?"

                                      "Mmhm," she went on to explain, then opening the black case. She brought out a nicely crafted flute, the color being a chestnut brown. Abigail lovingly examined her flute and touched the top holes of the instrument out of habit. When the deed was done, she watched the lake with Jade. "Do you mind if I play? I don't have much to talk about, but it is nice to not be alone."

                                      Jade shook her head with such a calm expression on her face. "By all means, please. Hopefully the fish don't mind," she mentioned with a chuckle.

                                      Abigail didn't need any more words. She lifted the mouthpiece of the flute up to her mouth and softly began playing. Though the atmosphere was full of a freshwater aroma, the wind then carried Abigail's bittersweet melody. The choice of music was very unique, but extremely soothing. For Jade, the song recapped a story. Sad notes reminisced the past, but the cheerful notes picked up the pace to a brighter, happier future. An adventure has ended, but another one- a better one- has begun.

                                      She was glad that a fish didn't bite during the song. Her focus had shifted to Abigail's beautiful music, causing her to softly sigh when the song ended. "What piece was that?" asked Jade, completely moved.

                                      Abigail laughed to counteract her flustering. "Oh, it's um... I wrote the song myself. No title yet. What did you think?"

                                      "It was beautiful!" Jade beamed. "Wow! I didn't know you played the flute, but you're amazing. It's like the flute was made for you."

                                      "Aw, shucks. Thanks, Jadey." She bashfully scratched her head with a free hand and took a moment to recuperate. "I didn't make the song because of you, but now that we know each other... I dunno, it makes me think of you."

                                      "Yeah?" The young farmer turned her head to Abigail.

                                      "Uh huh," she answered with a nod. "You're so fun and cheerful, but you're also a little sad. I notice your down periods, sometimes. I used to flop back and forth with my feelings all the time too, but I think I'm finally finding my place. You know?" Abigail laughed again, this time with more dismissal. "I'm not trying to give a lecture or anything. And hey, I may be completely wrong. But... I hope that everything goes well for you. And that you find my place. We're helping each other, yeah?"

                                      "Aw, Abby," Jade replied with a squeaking voice. Abigail was truly too sweet. "That means a lot... Yeah. Sorry, I'm fine. Really. I just have ups and downs, but I try to keep positive. I don't want any of you to worry."

                                      Abigail playfully nudged Jade at the elbow. "Too bad! I'm your bro, your bestie. It's my job to worry about you. If it weren't for you, I'd have a lot more trouble applying myself, too. Actually, I-"

                                      "Whoa!!" Jade was caught off guard when the fishing bobber went under the water. The fishing line was pulled to its fullest extent and the beginner fisherman had to apply all of her focus. Abigail lost her train of thought, though she was just as focused on the fishing as Jade was- it wasn’t often she got to see this happen up front!

                                      There were a few minutes of struggle, but Jade did it. She reeled in a rather impressive and colorful fish. Its scales glittered brightly in the sunlight and it appeared to contain an array of colors. “A trout!” Jade exclaimed with eagerness. “It’s a rainbow trout. Yes!!” Jade heartily laughed, unhooking the fish to put in the chest.

                                      “Whew... that was intense!” gasped Abigail. “Good money, huh?”

                                      “I sure hope so.” Jade sighed and set her fishing pole up for another cast. “What were you saying?”

                                      “Honestly, I kinda forgot. I’ll just play another song. Any requests?”

                                      “Whatever your heart desires, gracious master of winds,” the young farmer elegantly replied.

                                      Abigail snorted. “You’re such a dork.” She giggled and held up her flute to begin playing again. For the next couple of hours, Jade fished in the lake while Abigail played her flute on and off. In their resting times, they would speak to each other and joke around. The evening approached quicker than both of them anticipated, so Abigail prepared her leave.

                                      The adventurer gave Jade a friendly pat on the back. “Thanks for being my muse for the day, Jadey,” she joked.

                                      Jade nudged back and grinned. “No problem! I should probably be leaving soon, too... I’m getting a little tired,” she replied with a yawn. Her yawn caused Abigail to do the same, then earning Jade a condescending glare.

                                      “Dammit, now I’m tired,” Abigail laughed. She put her flute back in its case and shut it before standing up. With her free hand, she pat some grass remnants off the back of her legs. Abigail was about to walk away, but then she caught sight of trouble. “What ungodly force dragged you outside?” Abigail teased to an approaching townsperson.

                                      Sebastian stared to her, unamused. He approached them both, hands in his hoodie pocket, and internally questioned why he came outside in the first place. “Hey, you two,” he responded, ignoring Abigail’s question.

                                      “Hi, Seb!” Jade greeted along with a wave. “How are you doing today?” she kindly asked.

                                      “Fine. Yourself?” Sebastian asked in return.

                                      “I’m also great,” Abigail chimed in. The sentiment caused Jade to smile.

                                      “I’m fine, as well. A little tired... oh! I need to talk to you, Seb. Don’t worry Abby, you can stay here.” Jade stood up and stretched her arms and legs before continuing. “It’s about-

                                      “Sam’s birthday, I know. He’s been harassing me since the beginning of Summer,” the raven-hair grumbled. “And the answer is no. I’m not going.”

                                      “Aw, come on!” Jade begged. “You haven’t even heard my argument yet!”

                                      Abigail covered her mouth with her hand and chuckled as quietly as she could. She simply stood at the sidelines and watched their bickering. Meanwhile, Sebastian removed his hands from his hoodie just to cross his arms. “This’ll be good. What’s your argument?” he inquired. From his expression, he didn’t expect to be convinced.

                                      Jade took a deep breath and stepped closer to the raven-haired man in question. “It’ll be fun!” she began in desperation. She really didn’t think this through.

                                      “The beach isn’t my kind of fun,” he instantly responded.

                                      “It’ll be partly cloudy!”

                                      “Which means it’ll be mostly sunny. No.”

                                      “Waves! Big waves!”

                                      “I don’t swim with people.”

                                      “Everyone will be there...?” Jade's desperation worsened.

                                      “I hate crowds and you know that. Are you convincing me to stay?” Sebastian wasn't impressed by her effort.

                                      “I-I mean... I’ll... I’ll be there! And it’s not the same if you’re not there.”

                                      Sebastian tensed. She was merely stating her thoughts, but the way she said it made him feel odd.

                                      “And... And I’ll kick your ass if you don’t go!” claimed Jade. Her fists were balled up and she stared at him, a passionate flame ignited in her eyes. “So... You’re going!”

                                      He averted his glare. She always gave a certain babydoll look when she was excited- he couldn’t fall under its influence. “So what if I still don’t go?”

                                      Jade grunted as she tried to think of an answer. “Then... then all of us will be really sad! Do it for Sam, he’s your bro. And...” The cogs in her brain were still trying to turn. “And you’ll miss out on how frickin’ cute Abby and I will be in swimsuits! You will be jealous, because that’s how cute we are. Jerk.”

                                      “Hey!” laughed Abigail.

                                      “Shh!” Jade snapped.

                                      Sebastian continued to look away, but his eyebrows were furrowed in anxiousness and his cheeks were lightly flushed. “I don’t really... care about that sort of thing,” he weakly muttered, scratching his neck.

                                      “Then just do it! For us. It’ll be the first time I go to the beach with all of us, just having a good time. Sam would love you to come, and me too. The day isn’t complete without you.” Jade clapped her hands together and continued to stare at him. He made the mistake of glancing back. The sad, sparkling babydoll eyes- they were there. “Please.”

                                      He was quiet.

                                      “... Seb?”

                                      He took a deep breath. “... No.”

                                      Abigail continued to snicker as Jade yelled in frustration. The young farmer collapsed to her knees and angrily shook her fists to the sky, cursing Yoba for bestowing upon her such a friend as stubborn as she was. After her dramatic moment, she regained her composure and stood back on her feet. Like a cat, she acted as if the previous events did not happen. “Sebastian,” she bellowed. Her voice was deep and serious.

                                      “What?”

                                      “I’ll... I...” She turned away for a moment, sucking in another deep breath. Her arms trembled with nervousness. Quickly, Jade turned back to face him. “I’ll give you one of my deluxe retro gaming consoles.” Her voice was weak and shrill, but she was determined.

                                      “Sweet Yoba, you’re awfully desperate,” Sebastian commented. He supposed he had enough fun for the time being. “I’ll consider it,” he mumbled.

                                      Jade emitted a hilariously loud gasp. “Really?! You will?”

                                      “... Maybe.”

                                      “Yay!!” The young farmer jumped for joy. A 'maybe' was good enough for her. “Sweet! I did it, Abby!” She excitedly tackled and hugged Abigail, who laughed and dealt with Jade’s rush of movement. They then let go, and Jade gasped again as she recalled another bit of conversation from Sam. “Okay. There’s another thing we need to talk about.” She walked back up to Sebastian and leaned in close to talk lowly. The secretive behavior made Sebastian more nervous than it did with Abigail, who was still enjoying the entertainment of Jade’s reactions.

                                      “What do you want?” Sebastian asked in a whisper.

                                      “Sam was asking me about a few nights ago. Why didn’t you tell him I spent the night?” Jade whispered back.

                                      Sebastian’s expression changed within a split second. He looked terrified. “... It’s... Look. Sam is... He does a thing.”

                                      “He does what?”

                                      “He doesn’t... let things go? I guess? And I know how he is... With... things.” Sebastian covered his mouth for a cough.

                                      Jade tilted her head at her raven-haired friend, confused by the statement. “But it’s not a big deal... Is it?” Jade frowned. “Did something happen? Did I say anything in my sleep?”

                                      “No! No... You’re fine. L-look. I just.” Sebastian breathed with frustration. He hated how he couldn’t properly relay his thoughts. “... Dammit. I’ll talk to him...”

                                      The young farmer sighed and watched his body language. “If it makes you uncomfortable to tell people, you don’t have to... I guess I’m just confused about this whole thing.” Jade stared to him with concern. She felt like there was something she didn’t know about the situation. “Do you think Sam would take it the wrong way? I mean, he’s your best friend.”

                                      Sebastian sighed. “I’ll just do it. Sorry. Sometimes he just takes jokes a bit far.” He wouldn’t hear the end of it from Sam... Sebastian already wasn’t sure what to think about the whole head-in-lap incident, let alone having to deal with Sam’s teases on a daily basis. At least, that was the grueling scenario that played out in his head.

                                      “Just be sure to tell him you don’t want that. Sam’s an idiot, but he loves you and wants you to be happy, you know.”

                                      “Ugh. You make it sound like we’re some couple.”

                                      Jade cackled. “You kinda are. Bromance~”

                                      “Mama Seb!” Abigail shouted. She didn’t hear most of the conversation, but she certainly caught the couple bit.

                                      Sebastian glared to Abigail, unamused. Jade giggled and then pat the side of one of his arms. “If you want me to talk as well, let me know. We’re just friends, it’s not like it was some spontaneous affair. For all they know, I coulda slept in Maru’s room. Or like... on Robin’s desk. Or something.” The young farmer shrugged, though she brightly smiled. She still felt like she was missing something from the conversation, but she wanted to provide Sebastian the confidence he was obviously lacking in their talk.

                                      “I guess,” the exhausted raven-hair mumbled. He still appeared to be extremely flustered. “... Gotta go. Bye,” he murmured, then waved to Abigail as he walked away. Jade watched him go off, still confused and concerned. He probably came out to smoke, but completely forgot after she hassled him.

                                      Abigail waited for Sebastian to return to the carpenter shop before excitedly hopping over to the young farmer. “Okay. What was that about?” she asked with a laugh.

                                      “Oh... After my first mining trip, I stayed at their house since I got hurt. Seb’s acting a little weird, though. I don’t know what’s bothering him,” Jade answered, frowning.

                                      The purple-haired girl shrugged. “Maybe he’s more modest than I give him credit for,” she chuckled. “Man... sometimes I can’t believe I used to have a crush on him.”

                                      “Ooh, what?” Jade’s interest was suddenly piqued.

                                      “Yup. A few years ago, I was all over that. But then things got a little awkward and we kinda stopped being so close... saloon nights were a little weird. I think I might have scared him, but I wasn’t really ready for a relationship, anyway.” Abigail didn’t seem all that bothered to tell her story. Luckily, there didn’t seem to be any drama left to tell. “I’ve been wondering if I even like guys to begin with. It’s hard for me to figure out, especially in such a small town like this, you know?”

                                      “Aw, yeah, there’s only so many people in Pelican Town. I’m sure you’ll figure it out, but there’s really no rush. Love takes time. I’ll be here to help you, though! I’ll be your trusty wingman,” Jade proudly told her friend with a confident puff of her chest.

                                      Abigail chuckled and nodded. “I have no doubt about that at all.” She smiled and examined Jade’s visage. “So... what about you?”

                                      “Huh?”

                                      “Have you liked anybody?” she wondered aloud. “Well, in this town. I know you haven’t been here long, but hey.”

                                      “Haha... What?” Jade nervously laughed. Her voice had elevated and she expressed such a demeanor that Abigail has never seen from her before. “That’s not something I think about, silly... I’m busy! Farm life! Yeah! Wow, it is getting late,” she randomly started, glancing above to peer at the orange sky.

                                      “... Jade.” Abigail stared at her with the flattest expression possible.

                                      “Abigail!” Jade yelled almost a little too loud. “That’s your name. Okay, gotta go, bye!” She effortlessly grabbed up her backpack and didn’t even bother to take her fishing pole apart before snatching it. With the pole and the fishing chest, Jade zoomed out of Abigail’s vicinity.

                                      The young adventurer was pleasantly surprised with Jade’s reaction. “That was a little defensive,” she said to herself with a grin. Abigail cheerfully whistled as she began her short journey back home. What interesting developments.

                                       
                                        Iranna, Risukage, Gabaw and 2 others like this.
                                      • Gabaw

                                        Gabaw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                        omfg those IM's tho. Every two lines is a notable quote :rofl: I also like how Seb's retort to the "partly cloudy" comment is simultaneously the most optimistic thing he's ever said and still a complete downer :p anyway seems like Jade's not ready to accept the fact that she's head over heels for mama Seb. makes me wonder. a party's a great place to let loose... right?? That's if his mostly sunny ass shows up tho lmao!
                                         
                                        • Risukage

                                          Risukage Giant Laser Beams

                                          Like @Gabaw, I also love your IM chat. Even though most of Sam's typing and grammar make me ITCH. I love the interplay between Jade and Sebastian, and that's one area I think I failed at in my fic; developing that deep, strong friendship before it became a relationship. Also, I want to hug your Sam so much! :D
                                           
                                            Gabaw and MagicallyClueless like this.

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