I love the RF series, especially the RF2 game. This is from Aria's POV, with the story starting on her sixteenth birthday. This is my first RF2 fan fiction, so tell me if anything is wrong. R&R!
I woke up with my mom's face right above mine, staring straight at me. Today her hair was tied in a ponytail that draped over her shoulder, her bangs pushed back from her face in the rare style that I loved. Mom was very, extremely beautiful, but due to her shyness she only showed her face on special occasions.
"Happy Birthday, Aria!" she spoke in an elated, yet soft voice. I smiled at her drowsily, wondering how long she had been standing there, waiting to greet me into the day with those words. "I tied my hair back for your birthday, sweetie, since you like it like this so much," she said while slightly fingering the edge of her ponytail.
Suddenly the door busted open as Dad rushed in, shouting, "Happy Birthday!" while carrying three trays stacked with pancakes, eggs, bacon, and syrup. I'd thrown a fit a few years ago, when they had only made breakfast for me. It was slightly awkward to eat while they are sitting there, watching you. Besides, it was way more fun eating as a family.
I shifted my position to open up space for my parents to sit on, while Dad plopped one of the steaming trays onto my lap. It smelled absolutely delicious, and I started shoving pancake into my mouth, which was soon followed by the other foods that adorned my plate. There was milk too, fresh by the taste of it, which I drained quickly. Mom and Dad laughed, while Mom offered me her glass of milk. I gratefully accepted it and used it to wash down the last of my breakfast.
"That was amazing," I stated after we had set our empty trays to the side.
"Thank you," my parents said at the same time. There was a brief moment of silence before we all started laughing. I loved how we all laughed together, frequently and easily.
"When would you like to open your presents?" Mom asked, glancing quickly at Dad with excitement dancing in her crimson eyes, probably about the gifts they had gotten me. We usually opened them after dinner, and I might get some more from my friends today at school, (it is Friday) so I figured I should wait until our traditional time.
"Nah, I'll wait till dinner," I replied, feeling almost guilty when I saw the flash of disappointment that crossed through my parents eyes. I rethought it briefly, and decided to allow a compromise. "Well, if there is one you really want me to open now, you guys can choose ONE for me to open."
Mom instantly stood up, left, and came back carrying a small package, her excitement almost tangible. "Happy birthday, sweetie," her and Dad repeated for what must have been the fifth time today, before slipping the package into my upturned palms. I ripped off the cherry blossom colored wrapping paper, before lifting the top of the box. I lifted what must have been the most beautiful outfit I had ever seen out of it, a small gasp of admiration escaping my lips as Mom said, "We want you to wear that today."
I nodded unconsciously while studying the gorgeous outfit in front of me. "Well, get out so I can change!" I exclaimed happily, while my parents, exited, shut the door with a ker-clack behind them. I pulled the top on over my shoulders, finally realizing a detail that had escaped my attention before. Crap, I thought while eying the extremely low neckline on my figure. When I had turned 13, Mom had sat me down and explained "Womanhood" to me. With teenage hormones overtaking myself and all my friends, I started hiding my figure behind tight sports bras and loose t-shirts. I didn't want the guys to judge me based on my looks, like they seemed to be doing with Leanne, Sera, Serena, and Cammy. Without all of my precautionary measures of hiding, at my real size, I probably looked 5 chest sizes bigger than I looked in my t-shirts. I had what was probably the best figure in the village, and I was just turning 16. Another reason for my hiding might have had to do with inherited shyness from my mother, Dorothy.
I sighed slightly. Well, I had to stop hiding some time, I thought. Why not today?
I finished changing into my new ensemble, and then stood in front of my mirror, smoothing out creases. I took a deep breath, then opened my door and stepped out into the hallway, to where Mom and Dad were waiting.
I heard both of them gasp when they saw me, Mom's eyes even widened a little bit. I felt a blush creep along my cheeks to color my face.
"Wow Aria, you look absolutely beautiful, and so…grown up." Mom complemented, admiration in her tone.
I glanced at the clock. "I've, um, got to go to school…" I trailed off, turning into my room to grab a jacket that I put on and zipped up, covering my figure and cleavage, and picked up my bag containing my schoolbooks.
Mom shook her head a little to refocus herself, and gave me a warm hug. "You really do look amazing," she whispered into my ear before backing off.
"Have a good day at school! And happy birthday!" My parents shouted, their voices fading as I headed in my usual route, passing through the town, heading towards the inn. After school had first started for me and my classmates, I became rather good friends with everyone, but my best friends would probably be both Orland and Leonel. Orland, once he warmed up to you, was actually incredibly cool, and Leonel, though slightly girlish, had to be the nicest person I had ever met.
I opened up the inn's door, seeing Jake, Orland's father, standing in the large opening room. "Hey Jake," I said casually, "where's Orland?" Jake was actually rather nice as well, once you got to know him. Since Orland was one of my best friends, I came by a lot and Jake, along with his wife Cecilia, were really nice to me, grateful for the friendship I had with their son.
Jake smiled at me, saying a slightly shy, "Happy Birthday," while pulling an exquisitely crafted longsword from behind his back.
I gasped at its beauty, before surprising Jake by giving him a tight hug. "Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I exclaimed, smiling brightly while studying the sword closer, then placing it carefully into my backpack. Jake just nodded slightly, obviously embarrassed, and muttered "Orland's up in his room." I smiled at him one more time before proceeding to dash up the stairs. I skirted to a halt in front of Orland's door, and knocked quickly. "Orland? C'mon! We're going to be late!"
I stood there for about another 30 seconds of so, before he opened the door with his right hand clasped into a fist , which he thrust out in front of me, saying, "Here, Aria, happy birthday."
I opened my hand to receive whatever gift he might have gotten me, surprised to see a delicate looking silver and gold locket fall into my palm. "I have no idea what a girl would like, but here, I made you this."
I gasped. "You made this, Orland? Oh, thank you so much! It's absolutely gorgeous!" I said wholeheartedly, putting it on immediately and admiring it before flinging my arms around him like I had his father. I just hugged for a while, Orland stood paralyzed, shocked. It was actually quite comical, really. "Come on, we really need to get to school!" I said, before letting him go and dashing down the stairs. I idled there for a few moments, waiting for him to catch up. When he rejoined me, we were about to leave when Cecilia's voice stopped me.
"Oh, happy birthday, Aria! I heard your parents got you a designer outfit. Are you wearing it?" she bubbled politely.
"Oh, um, yes," I said, feeling blood rush up to my cheeks as I recalled the beautiful but figure-showing shirt.
"Can I see?" she asked innocently, eyeing my jacket as an indication to take it off.
"Erm, um, uh…sure." I told her, and pointedly stood with my back to Orland, before I finally unzipped my jacket. Her gasp was loud, and I could just feel Orland's questioning gaze boor into my back. I re-zipped my jacket quickly, and, grabbing Orland's wrist, rushed out the door before she could make any comment.
"What was that about?" Orland asked, annoyed at being left in the dark, as we hurried to school, making it in with about three minutes left before the bell.
"Don't ask," was my only reply, and then everyone stormed me with "Happy birthday, Aria" and "Now your sixteen!" coming from all around me in a confusing jumble.
"Alright, alright!" I giggled, "I can barely make out what you guys are saying! One at a time!"
Then, of course, Leanne, Sera, Serena, and Cammy demanded to see my new outfit. Orland was watching closely, wanting to find out why I had acted the way I had back at the inn, while the other guys, Leonel and Roy, looked on with little interest.
"Come on, take off your jacket, let us see!" the girls pleaded.
"I'm cold." I said, making up feeble excuses.
The girls, though, would have none of it, and backed me up against a wall. Sera and Serena held me down while Cammy and Leanne took off my jacket, removing the only barrier between my outfit and the rest of the room. Once they got it off, they stood me up, finally looking at me, and everyone, boys and girls alike, gasped audibly while their eyes widened. There was silence as everyone stared at me and I blushed furiously.
"Wow Aria…you're….you're…" Sera began, while Serena finished, "Absolutely beautiful!" My blush deepened and my eyes flashed across the room, surveying everyone's faces. They specifically caught on Orland, who I was surprised to see the same expression plastered onto his face as everyone else in the room. There was a hint of admiration in his eyes as he, along with Leonel and Roy, seemed to stare directly at my chest and overexposed cleavage.
I turned to retrieve my jacket, but Leanne shook her head. "No, keep it off," she said, and I obeyed, figuring there was no point anyway. I decided to accept to stop hiding myself and let people think whatever they wanted of me. I sat down awkwardly in my chair as the bell rang, the door clicking behind me as Mana walked into the classroom for today's cooking lesson.
"Alright everyone, take your seats please." Mana's voice rang out, seeming louder due to the previous moments of silence. Orland and Leonel took their regular spots flanking me, and angled their heads so that they continued to stare at me. Whatever, I thought, while trying to focus on Mana's lesson.
"Firstly, I would like for everyone to sing happy birthday to Aria!" Mana said, much to my embarrassment. It was so…well, nice, but also really childish. "C'mon Aria, stand in front of the class!" Mana chirped. Unconsciously, I crossed my arms out of habit, because it was my usual posture, and walked to stand just in front of the teachers' desk.
I swear I heard a low whistle breathed out by the guys. It took me a second, before I realized the effect my crossed arms would have, before I jerked them to my side. Roy, ever the tactful one, just stared at me open-mouthed.
The girls and Mana started singing happy birthday, which broke the guys out of their revere, and they faltered for a second before joining in. I hurried back to my seat as soon as possible.
Slowly, the day continued, and my unease and discomfort slowly ebbed away. I decidedly ignored/and or didn't care about all the eyes that were constantly turned to me. After I got over the initial shock of all the attention I was getting, my awkward position, ect., I remembered the small, brilliant piece of jeweler that I had crudely stuck in my pocket. I pulled it out, tracing its intricate design with my fingertip, and opened the locket to see the empty space inside. Only, it wasn't empty. Orland had placed one picture in each side, one of us as 8-year-old kids on the first year we could go to school, when we somehow managed to earn each other's trust and friendship. The other was recent-sometime last week- that showed us with smiles and lightly flushed faces that obviously showed us as laughing. I actually looked really good in the picture, despite the tomboyish clothes.
I could almost feel my eyes tear up at the unexpectedly kind gesture. I moved my thumb to the clasp, but decided, as a little return present, I would find some way to say thanks, only not in so many words.
During lunch, I took an irregular seat with Leanne instead of with Orland and Leonel. However, I walked up to Orland and tapped him lightly on the shoulder, making him jump and interrupting some whispered conversation he had been having with the guys.
"Orland?" I said, taking a mental note of how he stiffened when he recognized my voice. "Um, could you put the locket on for me? I can't seem to get the clasp…" I trailed off, holding out the locket to his still unmoving figure. Breaking from his revere, he seemed surprised and…. Was that….happy?
"Sure." Orland replied, terse as always, and opened up his had to receive the necklace. "Turn around," he added, unhooking the clasp. His hands brushed against my neck, almost like a caress, as he brought the necklace from the bottom of my neck, up and around to the back, all the while tracing my skin lightly. I just stood totally still, unmoving the whole time. I could almost feel jealously radiating off Leonel and Roy, however.
I spun around, spreading my arms to the side. "How does it look?" I asked him. I tried not to let it show in my expression that it bothered me how long he considered my question, and he seemed to be looking below the necklace to me. I flexed my jaw, a habit of mine that I tended to do when I was annoyed. Orland's eyes darted quickly to my face, recognizing the action and saying just a little to suddenly, "Yea, it looks fine."
"Thanks again for it," I beamed, and then suddenly remembering something, I added, "Oh, hey, by the way, can you do me a favor?" I paused momentarily for his "sure" before continuing on. "Your dad gave me a sword, but I'll probably be with my parents after school, so make sure to tell him I said thank you soooo much and that I love it."
"Yea, okay. Dad gave you a sword? What type?" Orland asked, surprising me by starting such idle conversation. He never took part in idle conversation.
"A super psycho." I said, rather tersely, before Leanne called me back over to her.
"Aria! Right, well, with all the, erm, confusion, we forgot to give you your birthday presents!" Leanne said, her cheeks tinted a delicate pink. She was flanked by the twins and Cammy, who seemed equally embarrassed for forgetting to give me my presents.
I smiled huge at them, holding back the sudden urge to laugh at their expressions before replying, "Jeez, you think I care when you give it to me? Thank you guys so much, though. You didn't HAVE to get me anything…" I trailed off, stepping closer so they could hand me my gifts.
Then their hands, which were previously behind their back, moved in front of them, each clasping something which they now held up to me, with the usual "Happy Birthday" accompanying it.
I just stood there, seemingly paralyzed, just blinking at the clothes they held in front of them, four in all. I have to say, I was surprised. Leanne held out a dress that looked like winter itself. The fabric was a silver that reflected shades of blue and purple, and had a narrow, sleeveless top that flowed outward the further it came to the ground. Sera held out a skimpy black tank-top with intricate lace designs on the fringe. Serena held out a simple pair of blue jeans. Cammy just held out a box.
I stood there, staring, for what must have been 10 minutes, when Leanne broke the silence to say "Since you're turning sixteen, we decided it was time for you to stop dressing like a guy."
Those words broke through my initial shock. After drawing in a deep breath, I felt the elation wash over me in a wave, and I gave out a small, involuntary shriek. I went over and almost tackled them in a hug, bubbling with excitement the whole time and presenting a very un-me like display. "Oh my gosh! They are gorgeous! I love, love, LOVE them! You guys HAVE to come over to my house after school so you can see me try them on!" Then, as I remembered something, I added, "oh, and Cammy, what's in the box?"
They exchanged glances before towing me over to a chair and sitting me down. "Now, Aria, we all worked together to pick this stuff out for you, and we came to a unanimous decision to get you this, partly because you don't have one, and partly because it was perfect for you. We figured you would appreciate it if we let you open it a bit more discreetly." Cammy finished, before we all gave a quick glance at the guys who had been watching us the entire time. Cammy then placed the box in my lap.
Slowly and suspiciously, I opened the box and peered inside. I immediately shut it and gave a small scream, that I almost instantly stopped by slapping my hand across my mouth. The guys came running over now, in battle mode, asking, "What is it?" and "What's wrong?"
I ignored them though, and faced my four friends. "I cannot believe you got me that!" I groaned. I shuddered slightly at the memory of the very, very skimpy black bikini. I'd rather swim in the jeans.
Then, they all smiled evilly at me, before Sera said, "And remember, you said you would try them on for us to see!" I groaned inwardly. I folded the clothes over my arm before placing them with the bikini in the box which I put with my belongings. They all just watched me as I moved, as if I was a movie playing out across a screen. Leonel and Roy started walking up to me, but then Barrett came in, notifying us that lunch was over and it was time for his class.
We filed back into the classroom, resuming our earlier positions. I sighed, watching the clock more than I was watching Barrett, and waited silently for class to end.
Sorry if this chapter seemed to end abruptly, but with the next few events it would be hard to find a break in it so that I could separate chapters, so I broke it here. Please R&R! I'll post the next chapter once I have at least 5 reviews.