Battle Buddies: Battle Buddies? (Part Four)
**Hey guys, sorry for the late update. School’s been kicking my butt. If you don’t mind it about 24 hours a little late…
Here’s the next installment of the Rune Factory 4 fan fiction. If you haven’t read parts 1,2 or 3: You can skip one if you please, but you cannot skip 2 or 3 before reading this one. Part One is a one-shot (teehee) but two, three, and four are a part of a longer arc. I’ve got a LOT more to come… This is coming together more than I thought it would…
Anywho, disclaimers abound: These are not my characters. This is not my world. That is not my picture (original art by Annette Jones of Tumblr) Go play RF4. It’s a stupid addicting game.
Also… Please forgive Dylas. He knows not what he do.***
A knock on the door woke Dylas from his slumber, and he rolled groggily out of bed. After Porculine had bounded into his room early on in his living arrangements here at the restaurant, he had made it his very most important chore every night to lock his bedroom door.
He tied the waist sash of his blue robe and ran his fingers through his mane, shaking the sleep from his eyes and opened the door, chiding loudly, “What do you want, Porculine?” His frustration ebbed quickly away into shock.
He stumbled back from the door, wishing for all the world he could disappear and hide. Well, why was that, then? It was his room. And after all, it was only Frey.
The young woman stood in the doorframe, eyebrows raised in concern as he got his feet twisted in his robe and fell back to catch himself on his desk chair. “Are you okay?” she asked, sincerely concerned. She blushed and started to turn, “Maybe it’s not a good time, I’ll come back—“
“No!” Dylas all but yelled, then cleared his throat, regaining his balance and shaking out his mane again, “Now’s not, eh…” he frowned and scratched at his scalp. “You just, uh, surprised me.”
A shy smile pulled at Frey’s cheeks, and Dylas felt his cheeks redden. He quickly turned away to pull the sheets of his bed up as a way of diversion to get his flusters under control, “Sit.” He said, indicating the chair with a cock of his head.
Frey did as she was all but told, and Dylas took up his seat on the bed across from her, folding his legs and crossing his arms. “What do you want?”
Frey smiled, “It’s, ‘What would you like to talk about?’” she corrected in a friendly tone.
Dylas frowned and responded with a curt “What is it?”
Frey shrugged, unfazed as usual by his attitude. “I was just wondering if you wanted to go out today.”
Dylas raised an eyebrow, “Go where?”
Frey spread her arms out, “Anywhere. I need to get ore for my accessories.”
Dylas nodded thoughtfully, “Okay.”
“Also,” Frey fidgeted, “I… uhhh… I got a fishing rod,” she smiled weakly, “And I’ve no idea where to fish.”
Dylas’ heart beat quickened. “You want me to teach you how or you want me to teach you where?”
Frey ran a hand over her scalp nervously, “Both,” she admitted, red tinging her cheeks.
Dylas grinned. “Get out,” he indicated the door, “I’ll meet you downstairs in five minutes.”
Frey’s smile widened and she hopped to, “Thanks, Dylas.”
They took the airship out to the Summer Lake. Upon landing, Dylas inspected her rod with appreciation. “Well, it isn’t much, but it’s good for what you’ve got.” He told her with a gruffness that made her grin. “I know you know how to reel,” he said, referring to their previous debacle at the beach in town, and her eyes danced, “But do you know how to cast?”
Frey raised an eyebrow. “Maybe not as well as I think I do.”
Dylas nodded, “Well, then show me what you’ve got,” he said, returning her pole.
Frey grimaced and turned to the water, and did as she was told. She threw out the line, the fishing line coming dangerously towards Dylas’ tail, much to his chagrin.
Dylas shook his head, “Reel it on back, you really have bad technique,” he chastised.
“It’s been awhile,” Frey admitted.
Dylas cocked an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
Frey shrugged her shoulders, and chuckled, “I honestly don’t remember.”
Dylas’ heart ached. He knew about amnesia. The unfortunate bit was that only Frey hadn’t had her own memories returned.
He let out a huff and took up standing behind her, taking her arms at the elbows he guided her through the follow through, up and over their heads, descending the fly into the water with a solid Plop!
Dylas pulled at the extended wire with the pole, still in their hands. “Feel that?” He asked her.
He felt Frey swallow, and realized how closely they were standing together. His face went bright red and he hurriedly released her, scooping his own pole from the ground. He cast a look to her and saw her facing the sand, cheeks a rosy pink. He felt his heart pound and he quickly turned his own face to the water, casting the fly. “So, everything from here is pretty self-explanatory.”
He looked at her again, “You won’t catch anything staring at the ground, you know.” Frey looked up at him. Her green eyes stared at him in a way that made the heat come back to his cheeks tenfold. He cleared his throat and awkwardly turned back to what he was doing, “What’s wrong?”
Frey turned back to the work at hand silently. The tension was stark in the air between them.
It took several minutes between them for the tension to settle in the silence. All that was in the air around them was the light lapping of the waves on the lake’s shore and the sounds of birds in the trees. The first catch came and went. They talked a little here and there. Dylas was finding that he truly enjoyed the company. He usually fished by himself—or with that annoying Leon who simply incessantly pestered him with those teasing eyes.
Frey’s company made Dylas feel comfortable. And she seemed to enjoy his favorite hobby, which was always a pleasant thing.
The sun was beginning to set in the sky. They’d collected thirty fish since they had first landed at the shore that morning, and Frey was reeling in her last one. The usual laughter between them as friends had instead been substituted with a pleasant quietness. Dylas pulled his pole from the water as Frey unhooked the squirming fish from the hook and tossed it into one of their containers filled with water. He stretched his arms over his head with a sigh. “About time to head back, eh?”
Frey nodded, smiling.
Dylas took up two of the full containers and Frey took the third container, balancing it with their rucksacks. Dylas tucked their poles into the crook of his arm.
He set off towards where they left the airship, but paused when he didn’t hear Frey following.
She was staring back at the lake.
He set down the boxes and leaned the poles in the dirt. “It’s nice.”
The sun was sitting just over the waters, the sky a brilliant orange with streaks of pink and purple. Frey chuckled, “It’s beautiful,” she corrected. “Am I just nice?”
Dylas was caught in the uncomfortable place where he was corrected and taught a new way to express himself, so the words came out before he could stop them. “No, you’re beautiful.”
He clamped a hand over his mouth, kicking the dirt. “What are you making me say?”
Frey smiled, “I like you.”
Dylas was still caught in the place between shock and frustration, but this struck a chord.
Frey’s eyes hit the beach. “I like you,” she repeated herself.
Dylas stared at her, blinking quickly. He wanted to pinch himself, but figured that would be a little more melodramatic if this was in fact reality. “What?” he repeated dumbly. His mind was a swarm of a million thousand different noises and feelings.
He dimly remembered that it wasn’t the first time she had said that.
Frey began to blubber, much against her usual nature. “I’m sorry, I don’t know when it started, and it’s not been easy because every time I see you, my chest hurts and if you don’t say anything I’ll keep going and I really just need to let you know—”
“Shut up!” Dylas erupted. Frey stopped. Dylas’ hand went back to his mouth. “I’m… I’m sorry. I just… I need some time to think.”
Frey nodded to herself.
Dylas reached out, retracted his hand, scratched his head. “You… you told me to stop you… I didn’t mean to yell.” Guilt crept into his voice and he twisted his eyes at the ground. “Tomorrow. 10. Selphia Square.” He looked back at the sunrise. “I… I’ll have an answer for you then. Yeah?”
Frey smiled weakly and nodded to herself. “Yeah. And it’s okay.”
Dylas turned abruptly on his heel and scooped up two of the boxes and the fishing poles. “I… uhh… you’re not planning on fishing? I can carry these back and–”
Frey waved her hand, “It’s okay. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m going to stay here a few more minutes.”
Dylas raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure?”
Frey nodded, “Go on. I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”
Dylas’ chest contracted. The sunset lit Frey from behind in a way that her hair was a golden-green halo that settled around her shoulders. Her eyes… Dylas couldn’t understand the weight of the emotion behind them, but it… hurt. Did he hurt her?
He gruffly turned, feeling horrible about himself.
The thing was… he knew his answer. More than anything, he knew what he wanted to say. But the thoughts and the feelings were all jumbled up. He needed to make sure that what he was feeling coincided with logical thinking… He wouldn’t talk to Porc’ about it… No… not even Mags. He needed to talk to someone.
It wasn’t until he got home and set their gear in his room that he caught sight of the blond bowl-haircut and knew who he needed to speak to.