"Oh, come on Viola," pleaded Sam.
Viola was sitting on the ground outside of Sam's house, watching him practice tricks on his skateboard. She pretended to put her foot out to trip his board, but he jumped off before she could move her leg.
"You haven't come the last few times I've asked. You gotta come to Saloon night."
"Sam, I've been busy. Haven't you noticed? I started a farm from the ground up."
"Well you don't seem too busy now," he said sitting down next to her.
"Because I'm starting to get a grip of farming so I don't need to be there endlessly," retorted Viola. She grinned. "Also your mom needed someone to baby sit you."
She laughed, standing up now. Viola picked up the skateboard. "But I was planning on coming tonight," she said in a nicer tone.
"Finally!" Sam yelled, throwing his hands into the air.
"Are you sure it's okay?" she asked quietly. "I don't want to bo-"
"No," Sam said loudly. "We need to break that habit. You're not bothering anyone," he insisted. "I will make you a part of the squad if it's the last thing I do."
Viola laughed. She would never admit it but she hated how much she needed the reassurance that she was wanted around others. It seemed like her natural state was feeling like she was intruding on everyone else's life. His words made her feel really happy.
She put the skateboard on the ground and placed one foot on it.
"Do you know what you're doing?" Sam asked. An eyebrow was raised as he watched her carefully.
"Of course," she said as she pushed off the ground with her other foot. She moved, slowly a few feet forward. "Not."
Sam started howling with laughter.
Viola's face grew red.
"I thought I was going to be scraping my jaw off the ground because you're a skating superstar," he teased.
"Well I didn't know until I tried," Viola snapped.
"Trust me," said Sam. "It takes a lot of practice."
"Can I give it another shot?"
"Knock yourself out," Sam said getting up, brushing dirt off his jeans.
This time Viola gave it all her might. She pushed off the ground and got better speed. She even got her other foot on the board. What Viola forgot was that the road turned and she had no idea how to stop or turn. She tried leaning with it and ended up falling.
The ground hit her faster and harder than she expected. The only thing Viola could register was Sam's cry, "I didn't mean literally!"
Viola startled Sam further by jumping up to her feet as soon as she opened her eyes. She stumbled to the side before she got her footing.
Sam held his arms out ready to catch her if she fell.
"I tried and that's all that matters," she mumbled. Her eyes were closed when she brought a hand up to feel if her ponytail got messed up.
Viola's eyes snapped open. "What Sam?"
"Your arm is bleeding."
She twisted her arm the best she could to get a good look. There was already enough blood smeared on her forearm, Viola couldn't tell where the scrape exactly was. A moment later the wave of pain hit her. "Yup! That stings."
"Let's get you to the clinic."
Viola sighed. "Yeeeeeeeaaaaah. Okay."
It was a short walk and on the way they found where the skateboard had shot off too. Sam kept it under his arm as they made it to the clinic.
"Hey guys," Maru greeted them at the front desk.
"Hi," Viola mumbled. She held up her arm. "I might need a bandage."
Maru's gaze narrowed. "What did you guys do?"
"Fell doing some sweet tricks."
"Believed in our dreams."
Sam and Viola had spoken in unison. Maru shook her head and laughed as she led Viola into one of the exam rooms.
Sam stayed in the waiting room. He kept out of the way and stood leaning against the wall. His hands fiddled with one of the wheels on his skateboard.
Viola sat down in a chair and let Maru get to work. After a few minutes of Maru cleaning away the blood, removing a few bits of gravel that got caught, and applying some medicine on the wound Viola was all set.
"So what's the damage?" Sam asked when he saw them approaching.
Viola held up her arm so he could see the white bandage wrapped around her forearm. "It's too far gone. The doc will have to take my arm," she said deadpan.
Sam snorted he laughed so hard. "I'll write a eulogy for your arm."
"I'll treasure it always," Viola laughed.
"Be careful skateboarding next time." Maru cut in as she took a seat behind the front desk again.
"We'll try," Sam said as he opened the door for Viola.
"Bye," she called to Maru.
Maru waved goodbye as they left.
"Ready for round two?" asked Sam.
Sam pouted. "Fine."
Viola laughed. "Sam, I want to chill at home for a bit. I'll see you later. Saloon night, right?"
That seemed to perk him up.
"Aw yeah. It's gonna be great."
A part of her didn't want to leave the comfort of her bed. Since she parted ways with Sam, Viola spent the rest of her afternoon relaxing in bed with a book.
The sun had set by the time, Viola rolled herself out of bed. She brushed her hair into a new pony tail and put on a red and navy jacket.
Usually Viola had herself safely back in her farmhouse by nightfall. So walking through the quiet town with only the lights from the houses lighting her way was strange to her.
When she opened the door to the Saloon the light seemed almost too bright for her eyes. Closing the door behind herself, she took a few steps into the building. It seemed busy with various faces that were beginning to feel familiar. Her stomach started to feel nauseous though, when she realized none of those faces were Sam.
Viola thought about chickening out and leaving when she heard laughter. It caught her attention to another room off to the side. I didn't know that was there, she thought as she went that direction.
She got calmer as she got closer, because she recognized Sebastian and Sam immediately around a pool table. Oh cool, she thought when she realized the room was a small arcade.
Sebastian looked up from the pool game and flashed her a quick smile, which Viola returned.
Sam puzzled by Sebastian's sudden changes in expression finally turned around. "It's about damn time!" he burst. "I thought I was gonna have to physically drag you here."
"I can assure you that would not have gone well," Viola said darkly.
"Anyways…" Sam said changing the subject. "You know Seb and Abigail, right?"
Viola rolled her eyes. "I'm not hopeless Sam."
Sebastian stifled a laugh.
Viola's gaze quickly searched the room until she found Abigail sitting on a couch nearby. "Hi."
"Hey," Abigail greeted. "You're here at a great time. Seb was kicking Sam's ass at pool again."
"Awesome," Viola said sitting on the couch next to her.
Sam turned to them. "I'm just a really great friend. I always let him win."
Sam winked. "He's just the world's sorest loser. So it's my burden to spare the world that."
Both Viola and Abigail couldn't help but laugh at that.
Sebastian's first instinct was to hit Sam with the pool stick but he painstakingly decided not to. He dropped it all together in fear of breaking it. He ripped into Sam, "You're full of so much bullshit we should bury you in Viola's field so her potatoes actually grow."
Abigail started laughing harder.
"Hey!" shot Viola. "They finally started sprouting."
"Good," Sebastian shot in Viola's direction. "You had nothing but a dirt field last I saw," he laughed.
"Sebastian!" burst Viola.
A large grin spread across his face.
She continued, "It was raining so hard that day there was no way you looked that closely at my field."
"Touché, but was I wrong?"
"Come on Vi, was I wrong?"
That made Sebastian laugh for a moment. Turning back to Sam, he opened his mouth to speak but the look on Sam's face made him stop.
Sam was still smiling. He had been the whole time he was watching Sebastian's exchange with Viola. He couldn't remember the last time he saw his friend so animated. It made him happy to see it.
"What?" snapped Sebastian.
Sam shook his head for a second. There were a few things he wanted to ask but he went with the one he figured he would get an answer to. "When did you guys get to be friends? Last time I brought up Viola you said you didn't know her, and yet you're on a nickname basis."
Sebastian's cheeks were starting to turn pink when Viola cut in.
"We ran into each other during the rainstorm the other day."
"Why were you out in the rainstorm?" Sam asked leaning against the pool table.
"The rain had stopped for a little bit and I wanted to chill at the beach," Viola answered.
"Dark, gloomy beach day," said Abigail. "Good choice.
Viola continued. "Sebastian was nice and sat with me. Listened to some of my nonsense and walked me home."
Abigail started laughing. "Are you sure he was listening?"
Sebastian tried backing out of the arcade, but Sam grabbed his sweatshirt without even looking.
"Of course he was. We had a good conversation," Viola answered. She laughed. "He said you two could vouch that he's a good listener."
Abigail made her side hurt she laughed so hard.
Sam let go of Sebastian's sweatshirt. "Bro why can't you be a good listener when I talk?"
"Maybe you can warm my heart with a pizza," said Sebastian.
"You're lucky I like pizza," Sam said heading into the main part of the saloon.
Sebastian smiled smugly.
Abigail sighed. "You guys want any particular toppings? Otherwise Sam will load it up with his favorites," she said standing up.
"I'm good," Sebastian answered.
They both looked at Viola. She nervously bit the inside of her cheek. "I'm happy as long as there aren't any pineapple or mushrooms," she muttered.
"Okay," Abigail said following after Sam. "Yo Sam!"
When Abigail was out of sight, Viola closed her eyes and exhaled loudly.
"Enjoying Saloon night?" Sebastian said taking Abigail's seat.
Viola opened her eyes and smiled. "Yeah! I didn't realize the Saloon had this room."
Sebastian's expression brightened. "Oh, you haven't been in here before?"
"It's a good place to hang. You also need to check out the games then," he said. "The pool table is the best part though."
Viola got up and inspected the two arcade machines. "Junimo Kart and Journey of the Prairie King," she mumbled. "Never heard of them."
Sebastian got up to join her. "They're old but still good."
"I'm sure I'll enjoy them," Viola laughed. "I'm still satisfied playing the tiny selection of games I own for my old console."
"Anything good for four players?"
"Yes!" Viola answered enthusiastically. She couldn't believe the thought hadn't crossed her mind.
"Pizza delivery," Sam yelled, as he and Abigail approached.
"Excuse you," shot back Abigail who was actually carrying the tray with the pizza.
"Guys," burst Viola. "After pizza we should go back to my place. I have video games we all can play together."
"Sign me up," Abigail said as she placed the tray down on the table.
Sam and Sebastian were quick to grab slices and sit down. Abigail waited till they moved to grab a plate and took her slices.
Viola rolled up her jacket sleeves and then grabbed a plate.
Abigail noticed the bandage immediately when Viola passed by her. "What did you do to your arm?"
That caught Sebastian's attention. His gaze snapped up to the girls, and then to the bandage.
"Oh," Viola said. She looked at her own arm and laughed. "It stopped hurting hours ago. I kind of forgot about it."
"Glad it stopped hurting," Sam called.
"Thanks," Viola mumbled. "I tried riding a skateboard for the first time. Turns out it's much harder than it looks."
Sebastian elbowed Sam. "Good job getting her hurt."
"Hey," burst Sam. "She's the one that took my skateboard."
"That's very true," Viola added.
"At least you didn't hit your head badly in the fall," Sam teased.
"Are you sure? I'm still willingly talking to you."
Abigail nearly choked on her pizza while Sebastian started laughing so hard tears came to his eyes.
Sam stared at Viola like he was a hurt puppy. It broke her heart immediately. "I'msosorrySam!" she rambled. "I didn't mean it I was just teasing. It just came out of my mouth."
Abigail put a hand on Viola's shoulder. "Oh believe me, he knows you were teasing. Seb and I say shit like that all the time to him. He is plenty used to it," she laughed.
"I just wanted one friend that would be on my side and smack talk you two," Sam said sadly to his half eaten slice of pizza.
"Viola is already much nicer than Seb and I combined. She immediately apologized and felt bad."
Viola walked over to the couch and sat on the arm of the chair next to Sam. "Next time I should probably have a helmet."
He laughed. "Do you have a helmet at the farm?"
"Well we can go to the city to get one, but I get to pick it out."
Viola laughed. "Will it have some dumb ass design on it?"
"You know it."
She laughed again. Viola felt relieved. It doesn't happen often, but when she's comfortable she can be sarcastic with others. And then at times it can just flow out of her mouth before she can think. She felt so much better knowing it seemed to be a strong point in these guys' friendship.
It didn't take the four of them long to finish the pizza, and then head to Viola's house.
As they approached the farmhouse Abigail said, "I'm excited to see what you've done with the place. It has been falling apart for so long."
"It's small but nice," Viola said as they walked up on the porch.
"Lewis had my mom do some work on it before Viola arrived," said Sebastian.
Viola opened the door and held the door open for her guests. "I didn't know that," she said. "I'll have to thank her."
Sebastian shrugged. "I don't think it's a big deal. It would have been shitty for Lewis to let you move into an unlivable house."
"True," Viola mumbled, shutting the door. "Well this is my home."
The farmhouse was made up of two main rooms. The one they entered had a kitchen with plenty of cabinets. There was a table in the middle of the room. Off to the side was a door to a bathroom. The other main room was the bedroom, which consisted of a bed, couch, wardrobe, and TV.
"I like it," Abigail said walking around.
Viola led them into the bedroom.
"Why is the couch and TV in here?" Sam asked sitting on the couch.
Abigail and Sebastian joined Sam on the couch.
Viola opened the cabinet underneath the TV and set up the game console. She tossed them all controllers. "We can play Mario party or Mario kart. Pick your poison."
"Let's get a good game of Mario party going," Abigail said.
"I will make you regret those words. You're on," Sam teased.
Viola looked at Sebastian for his input.
"Sounds good to me," he said.
Viola set the game up and grabbed a controller for herself. She turned around and noticed the couch was full. "Sebastian," she said. "Get up."
He looked at her puzzled, but he stood up.
Viola stepped on the couch and onto the back of it, and from there she jumped onto the bed. She laughed. "That is also a reason why I like having the couch in here."
It didn't take them long to realize they set way too many rounds so the game took them late into the night. Viola just narrowly reached victory. She rolled out of bed and went to switch games, but she quickly realized Abigail was falling asleep.
"Okay, I'm calling it a night," Viola said.
Sam yawned. His eyes were straining to stay open.
"I'm not sure if they're going to make it," Sebastian said, standing to stretch.
"Yeah I caaaaaaaaan," Sam yawned.
Abigail yawned, and then spoke. "I'm sorry, but would it be okay if I stayed the night?"
"Of course," answered Viola. "All of you, stay. I don't want anyone to drop in the road."
"Are you sure? I could probably get their asses home," said Sebastian.
"You already live the farthest and that would take you all over town."
Sebastian shrugged. "I'll be fine."
"Well I wouldn't be able to sleep unless I walked all of you home. So put on your shoes and let's get them home," retorted Viola.
"But then you would have to walk all over town and then home alone," Sebastian responded.
"I'm a big girl, Sebastian."
He exhaled loudly. "Fine. We're all staying."
Viola turned to look at the couch. Abigail was already out. Sam was sleepily watching her. "Well tough luck, Sam," she said.
"Abigail is already asleep so she gets the couch. You and Sebastian get the floor."
"Uggggggghhhhhh," he whined as he rolled to the floor with a large thump. "Why can't I have the bed?"
"Because there would barely be room for two and that wouldn't be fair to the other guests. Also it's my bed and I say no."
Viola walked past them and kneeled down next to the bed. She pulled out a storage bin and opened it. Inside were several blankets.
She tossed one to Sebastian. Viola then grabbed a few and went over to the couch. She placed one on Abigail. She then dropped one on Sam.
"No pillow?" Sam mumbled.
Viola dropped another blanket on him. "Sorry, you're gonna have to pretend that second blanket is a fluffy pillow."
Viola went back to the bin and took out another blanket before closing it. She handed it to Sebastian. "Sorry you get the floor."
"One night won't kill me."
"Are yoooooou suuuuure," Sam whined from the floor.
"Will you be quiet. Abigail is trying to sleep," Viola hushed. She then went over to the bed and dug out from the blankets her pajamas. "Goodnight, everyone," she said quietly as she left the room.
While Viola was changing in the bathroom, Sebastian decided to set up camp in the small room in the space between the back of the couch and the bed. He figured it would give him room to stretch out and stay out of Viola's way.
Viola slipped back into the room and turned off the light. Slowly she made her way to the bed and got herself comfortable. It felt nice knowing she wasn't alone and among friends.
About an hour had gone by and Viola was still awake. It was going to be one of those nights, she thought to herself. Usually she would fill the time until her body had to sleep by reading or playing video games. Neither seemed like a good option due to her sleeping guests. So instead she decided to get up.
Quietly Viola navigated the room and closed the door behind herself. Not sure what to do with herself, she exited the house and sat on the porch step.
The spring air was cold, especially because she wore only a tank top and shorts for pajamas. It didn't stop her though from admiring the stars.
The sound of the doorknob turning startled her.
"Sorry," mumbled Sebastian, stepping out and closing the door.
Viola had a hand on her chest. Her heart was pounding. "I thought you all were sleeping."
He sat next to her on the porch step. "I've never been one that has had an easy time getting to sleep."
"That sucks. I'm having one of those nights again, though."
"Do you usually sit outside in the dark when you can't sleep then?" he teased.
"Hell no," she snapped. "I hate being alone outside in the dark. I usually read or play video games. Just didn't want to wake you guys up."
Sebastian laughed. "Then why are you outside now?"
"Well I like looking at the stars and I don't feel alone because you're all at my house."
"Good reasons. I'll give you that," he said leaning forward to get a better look at the stars. "It's a nice clear night."
"Nights like this I usually take my bike out and take a drive out of town," he mused.
"Bike?" Viola said looking at him.
"Oh. Yeah, you haven't seen my motorcycle yet," he said looking at her.
"That's so cool," Viola said excitedly.
He laughed. "I'll have to take you on a drive soon."
"You better." She held up her bandaged arm. "Just don't crash us like I did to Sam's skateboard," she teased.
They sat there in silence for a few minutes, enjoying each other's company. "You know," Viola started. "Today went a lot better than I could have imagined."
"Does that include this," Sebastian teased, poking the bandage on her arm.
"I mean it stings, but it doesn't take away from how fun the day was," said Viola. "It was fun playing Mario party with everyone. I'm so used to playing against the computer."
"No wonder why you're so good at it."
"In time you guys will be smoking me at it." Viola laughed. "It was too bad we never got to see who was best at Mario kart."
"If you mute the TV we could play now."
"Won't the light wake them up?"
"It might, but I think they're dead to the world until morning."
"I'm convinced," Viola said getting up. She shivered. "Damn it's cold."
"That's why sweatshirts are nice," Sebastian grinned.
Viola elbowed him and opened the door.
They quietly went back to the bedroom. Viola set up the TV and brought the controllers to her bed. She sat at the end of it. "You can sit up here."
Sebastian picked up the blanket he was using from the floor, and handed it to Viola. "Wrap up and get warm."
"Thanks," Viola said, doing just that. She handed him a controller when he sat down.
They played several rounds over that next hour. Both of them were about evenly matched. The winner varied on each track and the race usually ended with whispered cheers of victory. As the night went on the quieter the cheers got.
Viola was having a hard time keeping her eyes open. Involuntarily they snapped open when there was a thud next to her. She saw that Sebastian had finally fallen asleep.
Yawning, Viola got up and put away the game controllers and turned off the TV. She didn't want to risk waking up Sebastian, so she left him at the end of her bed. Viola did take the blanket she was wrapped in and placed it on him. She then climbed back into bed and went to sleep. Silently she hoped that she wouldn't physically kick Sebastian off the bed while she slept.
Viola woke up feeling like her heart was racing. She could hear hushed voices in the room with her. It took a few moments for her heart to settle as she remembered the events last night.
"Are you kidding me?" someone whispered. "She said both of us had to sleep on the floor. That's not fair."
"Maybe he got sick of the floor and crawled up there."
Viola sat up and rubbed her eyes.
"Shit," Sam whispered.
"Morning," Viola whispered, opening her tired eyes. The room was bright with early morning light. Gross, she thought as she slid out of bed.
Viola noticed Sebastian was still where she left him. She looked over at the couch to see Abigail and Sam sitting there staring at her.
"Morning," they both said in response.
Viola led them out of the room and shut the bedroom door. She sat at the table, her legs up on the chair, and yawned.
"Sorry for waking you," Abigail said sitting down at the table.
"It's okay," Viola said. "I needed to be up for the farm anyways." She looked over at Sam, who was trying to find something to eat without opening the fridge and all the cabinets. "Sam."
He turned to look at her.
"While you were sleeping, Sebastian and I were playing Mario kart. He crashed. That's why he's on the bed."
Abigail laughed. "See that Sam, no one is getting favoritism."
Abigail turned to Viola. "Thanks for a great night."
Viola smiled. "No thank you. You guys have been so welcoming since I moved here."
"I told you, that you would fit in," Sam said proudly.
Abigail got up and stretched for a moment. She exhaled. "I should probably be heading home. Dad will want help with the shop."
"Yeah," Sam frowned. "I should be going too."
"Don't worry guys," Viola said standing. "You can have your Mario party rematches any time."
"I'll hold you to that," Abigail teased.
"I'll see you guys soon," Viola said following them to the door.
On their way out Sam looked back towards the bedroom. "What about sleeping beauty?"
Viola laughed. "Let him sleep. A few extra hours won't hurt."
Sam laughed. "He's going to be dead to the world all day then."
"I'm already jealous," Viola said following them outside. "Look at all this farm work I have to do."
"We will leave you to that," Sam teased.
When Sam and Abigail were out of sight, Viola went back inside and quietly went into the bedroom. She got out an old t-shirt and her work jeans, took them into the bathroom and got dressed. Lazily she pulled her hair in a ponytail and got to work.
Viola spent the morning weeding and watering her crops. She was pleased with her growing potatoes' progress. Afterwards she chopped wood for her ever growing woodpile. She kept going until she felt like she was going to drop.
It was after eleven in the morning when she got herself back inside her house. Her stomach growled when she looked at the kitchen. She sighed. Viola needed her potatoes to be ready to sell soon. Her funds were growing smaller by the day. She had only enough supplies to make a grilled cheese sandwich. She frowned. It wasn't what she wanted so she pushed herself past the kitchen and into the bathroom.
It was slow going due to fatigue, but she got herself clean from the layer of dirt and sweat. The hot water made her shoulders feel better from all of her hard work. It wasn't until Viola was drying herself with towels that she realized that she forgot to grab clean clothes.
Silently she hoped that Sebastian was still asleep as she wrapped herself up in a towel and went into her bedroom. She let out a sigh of relief when she realized he was still asleep.
Quickly, she grabbed some clean underwear, sweatpants, and a shirt out of her wardrobe. Viola retreated back into the bathroom and got changed. Her eyelids felt so heavy. She went back into her room and crawled into bed. Her damp hair made the pillow wet but she didn't mind.
Viola was closing her eyes when she felt the bed move. She sleepily sat up and saw Sebastian doing the same.
She reached a hand out and looking at her confused he took it. Viola yanked him forward. "Mornin," she mumbled, laying on her side.
He laid on his side facing her. Silently grateful to rest his head on an actual pillow. "Mmmm."
Viola yawned. "Actually it's probably something around twelve thirty by now."
He couldn't help but yawn in response. He said, "It should be early morning. I'm still so tired." His eyes closed.
"You missed the morning." Viola spoke quietly. "Sam and Abigail went home. And then I did lots of farm work. I chopped wood until I thought my arms were going to fall off."
There was a silent pause for a moment. Viola thought Sebastian had fallen asleep, but he mumbled, "Chopping wood suited you well. You smell like flowers."
That made her laugh. "That's called soap. I showered before coming back to bed. I need a nap badly."
Sebastian smiled. "Sounds like you had quite the morning. You earned a nap."
"Mmmm." Viola's eyes wouldn't open.
They both fell right back asleep. Sebastian opened his eyes to see Viola was still sleeping. She was so close, her hand was touching his sweatshirt. His face burned. Waking up in Viola's bed was not what he intended, but his embarrassment didn't drive him from the bed. He watched her for a few minutes.
She's so small, he thought. Not that anyone would notice when she's always laughing and working hard. It's easy to forget she's just one person struggling to get a working farm off the ground.
He thought about how Viola has only been in town for a few weeks. Sebastian had seen her around town and heard about her. She has always been polite and kind. He felt odd thinking how comfortable he already was around her.
Slowly, he slid out of bed hoping not to disturb her. Viola remained asleep. Sebastian left the room, and looked for a clock. He found one on the wall of the kitchen. Almost two. Not bad.
His stomach started growling. So Sebastian went over to the refrigerator to see what Viola had the house stocked with. To his surprise the fridge was basically empty, except for a few slices of cheese and an almost empty half gallon bottle of milk. Sebastian closed the fridge and opened all of the cabinets. All he found was a few dishes and half a loaf of bred.
Sebastian had to bite his tongue. His instinct was to ask why she was starving herself. He turned around and leaned to see into the bedroom from there. She was still sleeping peacefully.
A moment later he paid attention to his surroundings. The house had charm due to Viola's influence but things were sparse. Their sleepy conversation from earlier came back to him. Not once did she mention that she ate. "No wonder why she's exhausted. She doesn't have food because she can't afford it," he mumbled to himself.
Sebastian went and retrieved his shoes from the bedroom and left. He was quiet closing the front door and walking down the porch steps. For a moment he stopped to look at Viola's field. He was relieved to see the crops were actually growing. You better yield a good profit, he thought as he walked away from the farm.
It didn't take too long, but eventually Sebastian made it to Pierre's General Store.
"Oh, hello Sebastian," Pierre greeted, looking up from the counter.
"Abigail is inside. Probably in her room."
"Oh, I'm actually here for some shopping."
That perked Pierre up. "Well if you need any help I'm here."
Sebastian nodded and picked up a basket. In minutes he had it filled with basic necessities: boxes of pasta, rice, a few jars of tomato sauce, gallon of milk, bottle of orange juice, a tray of raw chicken breasts, and various fruits and vegetables. He figured there would be something there that she would eat.
He paid for everything and gathered up the bags. Pierre seemed surprised that he had no problem paying for everything. That irritated him.
Sebastian was only a few steps away from the store when he heard a voice calling him.
"Sebastian, you stop right there!"
Immediately recognizing it this time, he froze in place.
Robin was standing in front of him in an instant. "Do you know how worried I was about you?"
Sebastian bit his bottom lip.
"I know last night was saloon night so I assumed you were at Sam's like usual when it's too late to get home. But I ran into Jodi this morning and she informed me that Sam didn't come home until early this morning."
"I'm sorry mom," he mumbled.
"Damn right you are." Robin took a minute to take a deep breath. She looked back at her son. "I understand that you are an adult. I am sorry for being upset. Please understand that I got scared when I realized I had no idea where you were, and then most of the day has gone by."
Sebastian felt his stomach twist. The thought hadn't crossed his mind that anyone would be wondering where he disappeared to.
"Mom, I'm really sorry," he said sincerely that time. "Sam invited Viola to saloon night and when she said she had some video games at home we went there. The game went late and everyone crashed."
Robin smiled. "Okay good. Sounds like a fun night. I'm glad you all are becoming friends with her. Viola seems like a sweet girl."
"I'll try not to worry as much next time," said Robin. "But you still haven't told me where you've been all day. Sam got home in the morning."
Sebastian could feel his cheeks start to burn, and it only got worse when his mother started smiling in response.
"Viola was kind enough to let me sleep. I think it was around noon I kind of woke up," he started. "I remember her saying something about Sam and Abigail left and she did her farm chores. What I know is that I woke up just a little while ago and she's crashed."
Robin's gaze went down to all the bags he was holding. "What's with the groceries?"
There was no doubt at the point. His face was red. It had to be. Mom is never going to let me live this down, was all he could think. Finally he said, "I noticed while I was there that Viola isn't eating. Her kitchen is empty. There is only a loaf of bred empty."
"Okay hon," said Robin. Her smile seemed to get larger. "I'll let you get back to that."
Sebastian took this as his cue to leave. He only got a few steps away when he heard his mother speak again.
"I hope you'll be joining your family for dinner tonight, but I understand if you don't come home till late."
He turned around enough to glare at his mother for a few seconds, and then the continued his way to the farm.
Viola could feel herself waking up. Her body ached a lot. I pushed it too far, she thought as she struggled to sit up. She started rubbing her eyes.
Her eyes snapped open. She glanced at the bed space next to her. It was empty. She looked back towards the open doorway. Viola couldn't see anyone in the kitchen, but she could hear footsteps. "Sebastian?"
Viola got out of bed. Her heart was pounding hard in her chest. By the time she got to the doorway her panic was gone.
Sebastian turned to look at her. He was standing in front of the stove. "Sorry," he said sheepishly.
"You scared me. I thought someone broke into my house," she said, crossing her arms.
"Is it still breaking in if the front door is unlocked?" Sebastian remarked.
It was then that Viola realized there was a pot of boiling water on the stove. "Are…you cooking?"
"Yeah," he said looking back to the stove for a moment. "Sorry I dropped the pot cover a few times.
Viola frowned. "How are you cooking? There is nothing to cook here."
"I noticed," Sebastian said, turning back to the pot. He stirred it. "I hope you like pasta, because I've already managed to mildly burn myself once."
Viola took a few steps around the kitchen. She looked at the clock. It was almost three. Am I still dreaming, she wondered.
She watched him open a cabinet and pull out a jar of sauce. He started preparing it.
Viola sat down at the table. "Sebastian."
"Come here. Sit down."
He stepped away from the stove and sat down at the table.
"Why are you cooking spaghetti?"
He shoved his hands in his sweatshirt pocket. He poked at the box of cigarettes there. "I wanted to say thank you for letting me sleep. I also noticed you're working hard and you're starving yourself. So I went shopping.
Viola stared at him sternly. She got up and opened the cabinet she saw him open. She saw several boxes of pasta and rice. Inside the fridge she found it well stocked. She felt like crying. When was the last time I had a real meal?
"Sebastian," she said calmly and closing the fridge. "I can't accept this."
Viola turned to face him. "This is too much. I can't pay you back anytime soon."
"There's no reason to pay me back. It barely cost anything."
"Bullshit," she snapped. Viola walked right up to him.
He stared at her.
The only emotion Viola could see was in his eyes. She couldn't tell if he was getting mad or annoyed with her.
"Viola this is me paying you back. Don't worry about it," he said bluntly.
"Paying me back for what? Not kicking you, a person I barely know, from my bed?"
"For being a decent fucking human being," he snapped, getting up. He dug a hand into his pants pocket for his lighter. "I need a cigarette," he mumbled, walking past her. The front door slammed shut behind him.
Viola stood there for a minute, taking deep breaths until the stove caught her attention.
She finished making the spaghetti and filled two small bowls. After grabbing two forks, Viola opened the door. There she found Sebastian sitting on the bottom porch step, smoking.
Viola sat down next to him and he squished his cigarette into the dirt.
"Can I say something," Viola asked, handing him a bowl and fork.
He took it and nodded.
"I've never been in a position where asking for help actually benefited me. I'm so used to just doing everything sink or swim on my own. I'm sorry. I should have just thanked you."
He nodded again. Sebastian couldn't look at her so he kept staring at the steam coming off the food. "I didn't mean to get angry," he finally said. "I don't like being around people. I don't seem to like most things these days." His voice got quiet by the end.
"I know how that is," Viola said quietly.
Sebastian exhaled. "People make me anxious. Sam and Abigail are nice, but sometimes they're too much. My family is…" he paused.
Viola slowly started eating. She listened to every word he said.
"A part of me wanted to thank you because you're going to make Sam and Abigail a good friend. Abigail likes you. Sam enjoys hanging out with you a lot. It's good."
A small smile appeared on her face.
"There are moments when I'm talking to you and I feel functional," he continued. "Things don't feel overwhelming."
Viola looked at him finally. "I'm glad to be your friend," she said. "You're the easiest person to talk to."
He finally gathered some pasta on his fork and took a bite. After swallowing he said, "Also I figured I would be a huge asshole if I just ignored the fact you were starving and I went home for lunch."
Viola started laughing hard. "Yeah. That would totally make you an asshole."
They ate their fill in a comfortable silence there on the porch. When they finished Viola thanked him sincerely and Sebastian finally headed home.
I took plot bunnies I wrote down and chose one for this chapter and I the story took me on a journey. omg. I don't know when I'll get the next one up. This one just demanded to be written, hence the speed.
Just for clarification I'm sorry if things feel out of character. I have NOT played Stardew Valley. Still got no money for that on Steam. Just watched streams and read fanfics. Also since things have been super hella shitty lately, especially in my train wreck of a life I have decided these chapters will legit be just the good shit. No major conflict. No real angst. EVERYONE IS A CINNAMON ROLL. I just want cute moments. So expect plenty more in the future.
Thank you so much for reading!
Also in case anyone was interested here are some links to some Stardew Valley drawings I've done:
Viola in ch. 1 : post/156247518614/one-day-when-i-finally-get-a-hold-of-a-copy-of
Viola in ch. 2 : post/156573146684/my-stardew-valley-farmer-viola
The squad: post/156573205169/the-stardew-valley-squad