Throwing Stones At A Glass Moon.. Flippy X Flaky... Darkangel91398

A/N: Hey, reader audience people! This is my first HTF fanfic so please pardon any OOC behaviors. Also, some characters' personalities may be tweaked a little for the story since the characters are kind of being expanded upon and all (not as if all of them even had personalities *shot*). Oh, and by the way, everyone is humanized so you won't find any woodland animal corpses in this story. However, you will find people corpses but hey, what can I say? It is Happy Tree Friends. I'll keep the gore to a minimum though since I'm terrible about writing it if I decide to make this into chapters. I'm trying to stay as canon as possible (using the Wikia and rewatching the episodes) while mixing in my own junk so keep that in mind. If anyone has any feedback, tell me!

Chapter One: A Soldier In Tree Town

Flaky was not a big fan of gossip in any case. She realized this as she noticed the excited buzz in the bookshop's air, the hum that only accompanied some sort of tale being tossed about. The redhead was not very fond of having to endure rumors about how Giggles may be cheating on Cuddles or about how Pop's son was growing to be a troublesome child or rumors about Lumpy being mentally retarded. Most rumors were slanderous and wide spread - as if they were a mighty oak's leaves that flittered about in the wind, landing dangerously in every direction in the three hundred and sixty degree spectrum until they were a thick coat of lies that plastered the roads and buildings, the pile-up thickening with every whispered breath about affairs and deaths and supposed proposals. But it made sense in a way.

Nothing exciting ever happened in the town and the town's citizens were trapped here, had been trapped, for a very long time with no real means of escaping the establishment. Well, admittedly, there was death and sleep but those were temporary. In a sick way, the rumors seemed to be keeping the town alive and provided some sort of entertainment.

But not matter how much she abhorred tales that had been through one person's lips to a stranger's ears and spun in a cycle that only grew, Flaky couldn't help listening to some of her coworkers muttered lowly to each other and she shuffled closer to them.

"H-hey, guys. What's going o-on?" Flaky greeted cheerily, her voice as nervous as ever and her hand toying with her bracelet like she always did when she was anxious and in a social setting.

"Shh! Not so loud!" Cuddles hissed firmly as he glanced around quickly before looking at the tiny girl and mumbling in a lower voice. "We're talking about the new guy. You know, the army man with the beret? Speaking of which, Flakes, I expect a beret from you for my birthday. They look cool as hell."

"Cuddles, wait. She didn't work yesterday. She won't know about the newbie." Petunia pointed out. "You missed him yesterday. No one's ever seen him around so we're guessing that he's new. I have to admit, he looked quite neat. His clothes were ironed and wrinkle-free, no stains anywhere.."

"W-wait, so what happened?" the redhead asked in confusion, her stuttering easing away as she grew more comfortable. She wished her friends would cease being so vague and just tell her who they were speaking about. "A new guy..?"

"Yupyup. He was huge, dude! HUGE. Like, he had to be eight foot something! And he was scary looking! I don't know if there was something wrong with his face but it was so intimidating!" Cuddles exclaimed. "Like... Like he could see through my soul."

"That's a bit of an exaggeration." Petunia sniffed, rolling her cerulean blue eyes at the melodramatic blond who merely shrugged off the look. "I mean, he was oddly tall and he was slightly intimidating but I don't think he really meant to be scary. It's not as if he was some kind of filthy, blood-covered, g-germ-infested, un-unsanitary killer.."

Flaky nervously patted the blue-haired girl's shoulder as she began to shake and the redhead wondered if Petunia would have another OCD-related meltdown like she had last week when a couple of muddy kids had tracked dirt and leaves all over the bookshop's tile floor. It made Flaky nervous, thinking about her friend breaking down over something she only imagined. After all, plenty of Petunia's most brutal deaths stemmed from her OCD.

"Hey, Tunia, calm down. It's not like there's, I dunno, papers ripped up all over the floor with broken glass and a puking drunk guy or something. It's all in your head, dude." Cuddles sighed. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and sighed wistfully looking at some of the merchandise and decorations around the store. "Man, I wish we could do the wibbly wobbly timey wimey thing right now. We'd be able to leave town and Petunia would be able to get something prescribed for her OCD.."

Flaky and Petunia stared at the blond. Cuddles was usually so childish and carefree that moments where he became a sober shadow of his previous self came as an earth-shattering shock, his hazel eyes that were normally so full of innocence and a child's magic almost haunted and hollow, his high-in-the-sky-nothing-can-go-wrong voice low and hushed as if he was attending a funeral for all eternity in his waking hours. He seemed paler somehow in those solemn moments and even the freckles that were usually splashed on his cheeks looked more like the side effects of some tropical sickness. Flaky had the feeling Petunia had the same feeling when she felt her friend shudder violently, no doubt picturing germs when Cuddles' face changed abruptly and he perked back up, grabbing Flaky and hissing in her ear.

"Dude, look over near the door and try to be casual about it! Don't panic or anything if he looks over here!" Cuddles instructed almost eagerly. "Legit, just remain calm, 'kay?"

"S-sure..?" Flaky agreed confusedly, nodding her head automatically.

"Oh, no. My break time is over, guys." Petunia grumbled under her breath upon checking her cell phone. She quickly tied her royal blue hair back into a tight, neat ponytail and sighed."I'll be at the register if anything happens. Unless it's something vile or life-threatening. Then please warn me to leave." She shot a scrutinizing look over towards the cash register where a tired young mother juggled a drooling baby on her hip and a small grubby child who rubbed his or her hands all over the chocolate and gift cards offered at the paying area; she shuddered at the germs and slid on the gloves that she used for work before bidding her friends a farewell.

Flaky watched Petunia leave before she was elbowed by Cuddles to look by the door. She elbowed him back and glanced over nervously, hoping the stranger wouldn't look over at her. She sighed in relief as

she noticed his back was towards her and she observed him carefully, trying to read his body language like she had been practicing since she first received her job. He seemed calm enough if not somewhat awkward and she figured that he was about six foot instead of the eight foot that Cuddles had exaggerated about.

Still, despite not being a giant, the man did stick out a lot in his army green fatigues and his beret that bore a little checkered orange patch. He looked like a cat trying to fit into a nest of mice and Flaky wondered if he was really as scary-looking as Cuddles said he was as the man tripped over his own feet and nearly landed on his face, the beret falling from his head and revealing lime green hair. She must have been staring at him a little too long though because suddenly, the soldier's head swiveled in her direction and her cheeks flushed bright red in response to being caught in the act of spying on him. She looked away, pretending to scan the store, before she turned to Cuddles.

"See? What did I tell ya?" Cuddles boasted quietly, crossing his arms over his chest. The watch on his wrist beeped at him angrily and the blond panicked slightly. "I got to get over to the kids' section for story dress up time! Catch you after work, 'kay, dude?"

Flaky sighed, shaking her head with a small grin. Cuddles had a habit of running late but he truly meant well. He always gave his best in whatever he did and for the most part, he was pretty good at remembering important things that he had to do. He honestly was the nicest guy she knew. After all, what man who preferred sports and rock-and-roll to books would take a job at the local book joint (on top of teaching kids how to skateboard) just so he could try to save up enough money for when his girlfriend wanted something or for when it was his friend's birthday? Admittedly, Flaky didn't know many men personally enough to know but somehow she just had the feeling that Cuddles was a great guy.

The redhead glanced back over to where the strange soldier had been and felt a bit better once she realized he was no longer in his previous spot. She tied her long red hair back, frowning at the dandruff that snowed down onto the floor around her, and looked at the clock on the wall. She better start working now rather than later.

OooOoOoOoOoO

Flaky waited expectantly as the afternoon stretched onwards, the sun lowering over the trees outside the store, her embarrassing moment with the stranger grown stale and forgotten after a few hours working. She loved working in the little cafe - interestingly nicknamed the Meetcute- that was inside the bookstore. It worked well with her social anxiety since rarely anyone came into the little area to order anything to drink or eat and when people did, they were people she had gotten to know, people who always came at one particular time every single day, most of them very polite and kind and sweet who loved books as passionately as she did.

The regulars always sat in the same places every day amongst the drifters and Flaky grew very comfortable knowing that nothing changed very much from day to day. She never had to talk to many people and when she had rude, abrasive patrons, the regulars usually defended her. In return, she would talk with many of them about books and about life, recommending what to read and informing them of what books were to be released, of which were to be put on clearance, when items that weren't books were discounted. It was a very relaxing way of working and Flaky loved it.

Now, she waited very patiently for one of her favorite regulars – an elderly woman named Mrs. Gottliebe who came from a different town a few miles away and acted very grandmotherly towards the timid redhead- to show up as she always did around this time. The little cafe area, closed off from the main store by a door decorated with a coffee cup, was almost empty and Flaky couldn't wait to tell Mrs. Gottliebe about a mystery author she had stumbled upon when the girl had gone to a thrift shop the previous day.

The clock ticked and tocked on, the seconds turned away like pages of a book being skimmed. The petite girl frowned and sipped on a very sweet French vanilla coffee, accidentally burning her tongue. She wondered where Mrs. Gottliebe was and had just begun to doodle on a napkin when the door of the cafe opened.

"Oh, hey! I was wondering when you'd show!" Flaky rejoiced quickly, not yet looking up from her doodle.

"Aw, how nice of you to be expecting a stranger." a stranger's masculine voice replied amusedly.

"O-oh my god, I-I'm so s-sorry, I-I thought you were-were someone else, I-I didn't..!" she panicked, tears forming in her eyes as she grew more upset after looking up to see the soldier from earlier, her mind going at a thousand miles per hour and her anxiety kicking in upon remembering the incident. She let out a small cry and slid under the little area beneath the cash register, trembling and covering her scarlet cheeks with her hands, her little heart pounding.

"H-hey, there's no need to cry." the soldier piped up. "I-it's fine, miss. Really. I promise!"

Flaky didn't reply. Instead, she let out a soft whimper and buried her face in the sleeves of her oversized thrift shop sweater. She pressed herself against the wall of the little alcove created by the counter, trying to curl up into a ball to feel safe and calm down again. She shivered vehemently with teary eyes and the soldier's footsteps approached her hiding spot.

"Miss? Can you come out please? I didn't mean to startle you or embarrass you or whatever the case." his husky voice coaxed. "It'd.. It'd be nice to meet you."

Flaky didn't move. Her anxieties and fear meet and mingled before merging into a devastating mental toll. She bit her lips, burrowing in the sweater once again, ignoring the kindly soldier. Pearly tears rolled off of her rounded cheeks.

"Don't make me come back there and get you." he sighed. "I will do it and I don't think that's the way I want our first formal meeting to go with me hauling you over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes."

She let out another squeaking noise and tried calming down. Flaky wished that she was more normal. That she didn't have social anxiety and a towers of fears looming over her like a guillotine. That she wouldn't cry so much when frightened or stressed. That she could just pop up and pretend to have pulled a prank – haha, got you good, huh? Haha, you should have seen your face- and then introduced herself casually.

Flaky was pulled out of her thoughts when she heard the soldier jump over the the counter and land with a loud thud that only accompanies boots. She grew somewhat aware of him crouching in front of her, staring, but she didn't look up in any case until he had hesitantly shaken her.

He didn't say anything to her and she felt grateful since she didn't know what to say anyway. The green-haired man reluctantly moved his hand from her shoulder and awkwardly cleared his throat, the only thing she could tell about his face shadowed by the poor lighting was that it was a vibrant red color for a reason Flaky couldn't guess. He looked away from her.

"I-it's.." the soldier started. ".. It's okay to cry. I'll be right here, okay?"

"Th-thank you." Flaky murmured softly.

"Flippy." he stated suddenly after a silence had fallen between them.

"E-excuse me?" she inquired, perplexed by the abrupt word.

"My name is, uh, Flippy.." he coughed as he began blushing again. "It's nice to meet you, miss."

"I'm F-Flaky. It's nice to m-meet you too." she smiled warmly. She wiped the drying tears from her face upon remembering that they were making strands of cherry red hair stick to her face.

Flippy stuck out a gloved hand and she gently took it in her own. He had a very firm handshake which made Flaky wonder if maybe he had been raised in an old-fashioned home where manners like calling a person miss, ma'am, and sir or having a strong handshake were important. He slowly released her hand.

"I'm sorry for embarrassing you, Flaky." the soldier apologized.

"I-it was my fault. I should have looked up fr-from my drawing instead of assuming y-you were who I thought you were." the redhead countered with a shake of her head and a flurry of flakes dusting the floor.

"No. I shouldn't have tried making a joke about it." he insisted stubbornly. "I was acting like a jackass. So, I apologize."

Flippy's manners made Flaky think that he wouldn't have been the type of guy to curse or at least, not around people he didn't know very well. It mildly surprised her that he had called himself a jackass and in a way, she felt a little relaxed seeing him talk to her so casually. Her anxiety melted away a bit as she felt safer and more comfortable around the green-clad man, an instant liking to this stranger whom she knew nothing about as if it was an instinct to enjoy his company.

"You're not going to let me take the blame, are you?" she sighed. She crossed her arms.

"Nope." he grinned boyishly. "Or at least, not until you come out from under the table. I'll drag you out if I have to, miss."

"You wouldn't." she rolled her rose-red eyes. "I doubt you would anyway."

"Is that a challenge?" he teased. "I'm pretty sure I can lift you up."

"I-I never said you couldn't. I just said you would actually drag me out of here." she corrected playfully.

"I'm taking it as a dare now." he announced with a casual tossing of his hand in the air for good measure. "I'm being serious, so you might want to come out now."

Flaky stared back at the green-haired man almost rebelliously and he sighed, turning away from her, before looking back at her with a dazzling smile made the redhead's cheeks flush a bright red. Flippy snaked an arm around her and extracted her from under the counter as if he was rescuing a drowning kitten. Flaky nervously clung to the army man, trembling, burrowing her face against his broad chest, as he lifted her in the air. Her feet couldn't touch the ground and her grip tightened. God, did she hate heights..

His breath hitched audibly and Flaky wondered for a minute if maybe she was too heavy for him. She was a little chubby, but only a little. Despite her clumsy love for sports, she had a little bit of pudge that, while not very noticeable or troublesome, wouldn't leave no matter how hard she tried to rid herself of it. She had stopped caring about a little bit of baby fat since it didn't hurt her health or anything but now she was worried that Flippy might have thrown his back out while lifting her. The girl gingerly tugged on his jacket to get his attention after he had frozen, his arms wrapped around her tightly.

"A-are you okay, F-Flippy?" Flaky pleaded quietly with a bubbling fear boiling in the back of her mind.

"Hmm? Oh! Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. J-just a bit.. distracted, I guess." Flippy stammered quickly. He threw in a lazy shrug and then frowned. "Why do you ask?"

Flaky swallowed hard and open her mouth to reply, only to be interrupted by someone walking in through the Meetcute's door. Both the tiny redhead and the towering soldier directed their attention to it. The red-eyed girl felt an immense wave of gratitude wash over her as she looked over at her OCD-riddled friend who stared back with a wide-eyed stare and only then did Flaky realized why Petunia was staring so intensely.

"F-Flippy, you n-need to put m-me down." Flaky reminded the soldier in embarrassment, her cheeks dusted crimson red.

"Oh, yeah. Sorry, Flaky. Guess I got distracted again." Flippy laughed nervously. He placed the girl on the floor in front of him and waved at Petunia awkwardly before rubbing the back of his neck.

"P-Petunia, this is F-Flippy. Flippy, this is my fr-friend and coworker, Petunia." the redhead explained with a gesture.

"Nice meeting you." Petunia said politely, still gazing at them with a look Flaky couldn't read.

"The pleasure is all mine." the soldier saluted nonchalantly.

"Sorry to interrupt, but I came to tell Flaky that it's time to her shift is over so Cuddles is waiting for her in front of the store.." she responded.

"I-I completely forgot that I-I wasn't working overtime! Jeez!" Flaky realized suddenly and Petunia laughed at her.

"You're welcome. We need to talk later so text me later, okay? Bye, Flaky. And nice meeting you, Flippy." the blue-haired girl smiled as she turned and walked out the door.

"I'd better get going.." Flaky said ruefully once her friend had left. She looked up at the green-haired man and bit her lip, actually looking at him for the first time and feeling a tad intimidated upon seeing how attractive he really was.

"Well, the least I could do is walk you out." Flippy remarked. "And... Maybe I could, um, well.. If it's not too much to ask.. Get your number?"

"M-my number?" she repeated in surprise.

"Yeah.. I-I figured that since I was thinking about moving h-here, that I might get your number. Make friends. The regular moving trials." he explained. "Plus I really feel bad for making you upset, so I figure I owe you a coffee or something."

"That reminds me! I n-never got your order!" she stressed after jotting her number down and handing it to the boy. "I can make i-it quickly if you want!"

"Flaky, it's fine! I only came in out of curiosity." he revealed. "I heard that there was a little coffee shop area so I did some investigating. I was just going to get to know the staff anyway. And for the record, I'm glad I met you."

"You a-are?" she blinked in shock.

"Well, yeah." he confirmed, watching her with a bit of confusion woven through his features. "Everyone has mainly been avoiding me here and giving me strange looks. Probably because of my uniform and all. I'd avoid me too." A strange displeased look came across his face and Flaky spoke up.

"It's b-because we don't get many tourists or visitors or n-new people of any kind around her." Flaky said apologetically, remembering how she and her friends had spoken about the man in front of her who was once a stranger just a few hours earlier. "I-it's kind of a close community in these parts. Everyone who lives here have had their families live here for years. Like way back to their great-great-great grandparents. I guess it's some sort of.. defense mechanism for people to be avoiding you and all.."

".. Makes sense." he sighed. "After all, it must be weird for such a close community where everyone knows everyone to have to deal with a stranger who drifted in." Flaky's thoughts drifted back to when she had first seen him and thought of a cat in a nest of mice and her heart ached for him.

Upon seeing his deflated and melancholy face, Flaky carefully grabbed his hand and squeezed it reassuringly with a small smile on her lips. He smiled down at her in a way that made her think he was tired and then perked up.

"You know, Flaky.. I though you'd be a lot taller than how you actually are back when you were under the counter." Flippy teased. "You're so teeny, I feel like I might accidentally hurt you if I take a step. You're baby animal-cute, that's how small you are."

"E-excuse you, Mr. Soldier, but I find that c-comment rude and u-unnecessary." Flaky pouted in faux offense, stammering. She released his hand. "W-well, I.. I thought you'd be less green!"

"Less green? Miss, I am wounded." he gasped. "I'll have you know green is a wonderful color. And it makes me look good, so there's your logic."

"Green is not a creative color." she remarked.

"Wait, does that make me a person with no creativity? I was born with green eyes and hair. C'mon. That's not even fair." he huffed with a half-grin on his lips.

"It makes you the most boring person on the planet." she playfully retorted before her smile faded away. "I better get going, Flippy.."

".. Can't I walk you out at least?" he frowned. "I mean, people will trample you with how tiny you are."

She stuck her tongue out at him and he laughed before she replied. "Well.. I-I guess.. I guess you can. As long as you're not some kind of creativity vampire. Because I do carry rock salt on me and if I've learned anything from TV, it's that rock salt will keep you safe. But then again, I'm not a Winchester so I may be wrong. It's not my division."

"Scout's honor, I am not a vampire of any sorts." Flippy vowed, putting a hand to his heart dramatically.

"I bet you were a Scout." Flaky taunted as she hung up her apron on a hook. "I can picture you in a boy scout's uniform."

"Ouch. That hurts. You're a little pistol, aren't you?" he chuckled. "Are you always like this?"

Flaky stopped for a moment. It dawned on her slowly that no, she never was this playful (or was it, as Giggles would have called it, flirty?) with anyone she knew. Not even with Cuddles was she this playful and somehow she realized how much she genuinely liked the company of the soldier. He had an air of pure utter confidence and a sense of safety that mingled with a fun, sociable vibe that seemed to radiate off of him, that made it contagious. And recalling her interactions with him, she mused if she had subconsciously been copying him.

"No. I'm not always like this." the redhead confessed slowly. "Not at all."

"You're not? What are you like then?" the beret-wearing teen asked.

Her phone answered him instead of her voice and Flaky picked up the phone only when she saw Cuddles' name on the caller ID. She politely excused herself from her previous conversation and turned her attention to the phone.

"H-hello?"

"Flakes, where are you? I got really friggin' worried until Petunia told me you were in the Meetcute." Cuddles frowned. "You're lucky I was late finishing up with the kids today or I might've driven off without you."

"I-I'm sorry, Cuddles.. I lost track of time and all.." Flaky apologized. "I'll be right out. Swearsies."

"You better friggin' swearsies." the blond grumbled. "You're grounded. One million years. No phone, no internet, no passing go!"

"You c-can't ground me, d-dude." she laughed. "You're the one wh-who's always running late. You and your sweatshirt with the rabbit ears on it."

"Hey! Don't you involve Mr. Fluffkins in this, you red-haired punk!" he protested. "Ten minutes! You! Me! We're having a brawl, Flakes! A brawl, I tell you!"

"W-whatever you say. I'll see you then." she smiled. "I expect you to fight fair."

"Whoa. That's too far, man. I'm not Lifty or Shifty. You've broken my heart and wow, I am offended. Ten minutes, Red. See you then." he sighed.

Flaky hung up and noticed the confused look on Flippy's face. She shrugged helplessly.

"M-my ride says I have to be out in ten minutes or he's l-leaving." the girl explained lamely without elaboration.

"Well, let's get a move on then." the boy drawled lazily, standing up from his seat. Flaky could have sworn that she heard an accent hidden in his husky voice and she smiled before he asked something. "So, who is your ride anyway? They seemed pretty... Interesting."

"His name is C-Cuddles." she smiled, secretly pleased that she would be able to talk about her wonderful friend. "We've been very close friends since we were in preschool. He's really nice and he's always full of energy. He's kind of goofy sometimes but you get used to it. I think it's his way of making sure he's able to entertain all of the kids he reads to and all."

"I see.." he nodded slowly. He seemed hesitant as he opened the door and Flaky wondered if she said something that made him upset. "We better get to him quickly then, huh? Ladies first."

"Why, thank you, my good sir." she giggled lightly. Noticing his rather blank face, her smile melted into a small frown and she wondered what was wrong with the green-haired teen. "You don't have to walk me out, you know.."

"I know. I offered to do it." he replied as they walked from the back of the store to the front. "But, um, remember that thing you said about being a Scout?.. Yeah. I was one."

"I can tell." she murmured under her breath.

Flippy cocked a brow. "What is that supposed to mean, Pistol?"

"S-since when am I Pistol..?" Flaky asked in surprise.

"Since now. I have dubbed thee, 'Pistol', and it is now what I shall call you." he joked. "But seriously, what was that comment for? Because I may be offended."

"W-well... I can't imagine y-you running around and causing trouble or something.. And the wh-whole uniform th-thing.." she mumbled, face flushed.

"You never know," he said in an eerily unhumorous voice, an earnest look on his face matching his oddly flat voice. "Maybe I am trouble."

".. I-I doubt that." she replied softly. "You don't look or act like the type. A-And I know a f-few troubling people."

"... Thanks." he mumbled in an almost inaudible voice. "I appreciate it."

Silence permeated the air between the two teenagers and Flaky shifted her bracelet around awkwardly with her brows furrowed together, her bottom lip forced down between her teeth. The anxiety shifted in much more strongly again with Flippy's odd behavior and it was painfully obvious that he was shutting down just as much as she was, neither of them looking at the other, both caged in their own personal worries and struggles. Flaky noticed Cuddles leaning against the wall under the archway of the bookshop and inwardly was filled with such a relief upon seeing the blond's face that she felt guilty. She jogged up to her best friend's side, abandoning Flippy, and threw her arms around the curly-haired blond without a second thought.

"Hey, dude, I was just texting you!" Cuddles grinned, wrapping his arms around her. "You're coming over to my house to watch a movie with Giggles, Splendid, and me tonight by the way. I had to give Gigs an answer. It'll do you good to be with friends anyway."

"B-But.." Flaky began trying to piece together an excuse once they separated. "W-What if-?"

"No. Silence. Resistance is futile. You're never out much anymore. And Splendid is really amped to see you." he interrupted. "No if, ands, or buts."

"W-what kind of movie is it..?" she asked slowly after pondering.

"It's nothing gory or anything, I promise. It's just a little something called 'The Lorax' or something." he shrugged. "It's a, uh, musical comedy movie. For kids. So.. Yeah... Splendid picked it out with Giggles or something."

"I.. I guess I could come over for a little.." she sighed in defeat.

The redhead hadn't seen any kids' movies in a while and honestly, she liked musicals a lot. Animated musical kids' movies were the most nonviolent things on earth as far as she knew and Cuddles was right about her lack of getting out. The only time she really left her house was for obligatory reasons and she hadn't seen Splendid for a long while. He was usually busy, saving people and whatnot, being a good guy..

At the thought of good guys, Flaky glanced over her should and saw Flippy pressed as close to the wall as he could get. Even in the shadows, she could tell he was uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. Cuddles hadn't noticed him yet as the blond babbled on, his eyes on his phone, and Flaky motioned the soldier to her. The green-haired man uncertainly approached and Flaky tugged on her friend's sleeve to get his attention.

"U-um, Cuddles? This is Flippy. He's new in town." Flaky said. "Flippy, this is my one of my best friends."

"Uh, um, hi!" Cuddles greeted in surprise. His hazel eyes glanced from Flaky to Flippy and back before he shoved his hand forward. "It's nice meeting you! I'm Cuddles!" His voice was a little on edge and nervous.

Flippy didn't seem to notice however as he returned the handshake. "Nice meeting you too." the green-eyed man smiled. "Flaky was telling me a lot about you."

"R-really? Have you two know each other long?" the former asked through a pleased expression at the mention of Flaky telling the newcomer about him.

"Just met today." Flaky answered. "Flippy dropped by the cafe and that's what took me so long.."

"I'm sorry by the way." Flippy apologized. "Didn't mean to steal her away."

"It's nothing. I just got worried, that's all." Cuddles replied nonchalantly. "Flakes and I are like brother and sister. We've always watched out for each other. Right, Red?"

"Yup. Ever since we were kids." she agreed cheerily. She noticed the slightly awestruck look in Cuddles' eyes and nudged him.

"Hey, it was nice meetin' ya, man, but we gotta jet before my girlfriend freaks." the blond jested. "Do you need a ride to wherever it is you're staying? I don't mean to be all scatter-brained but I figured I'd be polite and offer at least since I feel pretty rude for needing to rush."

Flippy laughed awkwardly and swallowed hard. "I.. I don't really have anywhere to go so I'm good."

"You don't have anywhere to stay at yet?" Flaky asked worriedly.

"W-well, yeah. I guess I forgot about it.." he responded. "You guys should hurry. See you later, Flaky, Cuddles."

Cuddles and Flaky glanced at each other, panicking rose-red eyes meeting concerned hazel. Flaky hurriedly whispered in the taller's ear and upon Cuddles' nod, raced after the soldier who was already starting to walk away in long strides. She grabbed onto the back of Flippy's camouflage jacket and he stopped.

"F-Flippy, you can stay with me!" Flaky protested with her fist full of green. "Y-You don't even have to pay me or anything, okay? Just as long as you're safe. We don't get a lot of visitors like I said and I-I don't know how much rooms are at the local hotel and I have plenty of s-space at my house s-so.."

"Flaky.. You barely know me." Flippy pointed out gingerly. "I could be a vampire, you know."

"You're not." she simply said. "I know you're not."

"Maybe I'm secretly three ducks in a person costume."

"I don't care. You're not quacking and even if you were, I'd still offer to bring you in."

"... What if I was a serial killer? Would you risk it then?" Flippy asked in a soft, serious voice. "What if I was a murderer? Do you think you can really trust me, Flaky?"

"..." Flaky's throat closed up and she felt nervous.

She had been able to trust him earlier when he had lifted her. Trusted that he wouldn't drop her. She felt comfortable around him then. Been drawn into him like a moth to a flame, like a child would be to a magician who had just pulled a rabbit out of their top hat with an poof. She hadn't really been so confident and easy-going with anyone else. Hadn't laughed like that or smiled like that with anyone else. Not even Cuddles. It was close to the way she laughed with her friends but it was.. different. Enthralled by his newness and his confidence and everything that made him different from her in every way that she envied, she had been alone with him in the back of a store and if he had wanted to, he could have hurt her then in that room where no one would have found her until later.

He could have dropped her. He could have mocked her. He could have hurt her or ignored her. Charmed her and strangled her till she was blue if he really desired.

But he didn't.

And it was for that reason that Flaky wanted to take a slight risk. Just a tiny one. And she wanted to repay him for that. Maybe it was the smell of rain in the air. Maybe it was the way she felt in a way that they were kindred spirits despite how opposite they seemed.

All Flaky knew was that once the words were out, she couldn't change them.

"I trust you, Flippy. I trust you entirely whether you're a vampire or a duck-filled costume or murderer or not"

- Chapter End-

Me: Hey, guys! Thanks so much for reading! This is for now the end but I might make it into chapters. I'm not sure yet. Feedback would be great though! Also, I got tired towards the end so pardon the shit. To sign us off, here's my unused OC. He's going to be like the official ending message person. He might pop up later though. Not sure like I said.

Solius: *waves goodbye enthusiastically* Bye, guys! Thanks! Be sure to critique this as you see fit, okay? We don't mind it as long as it's not too mean. I don't like mean.. *hides face in scarf* Nice meeting ya'll!~ ^w^