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Stand by Me

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“So… uh...” Robin began trepidatiously, her back to the young man sitting at the kitchen table as she did the dishes.  “Aunt Lydia is coming to visit.” The clatter of a metal spoon falling to the floor filled the room.

 

“Ugh, why?” Sebastian groaned. He despised his aunt, and she him. She would always nitpick him. Everything he did was a mistake or not good enough. He was already  mentally running through the conversations that would take place when she got here. She’d tell him that he needed a haircut, ask why he still hadn’t moved out of his parent’s basement, tell him if he had gone to college he would be so much better off and not have to live in his parent's basement because he would be able to find, what she would call, a real job.

 

“She wants to bring her grand kiddos to see the family and play at the beach. You know, relax and have a little fun.”

 

“So, what, they'll be here for a weekend? A week?”

 

“No… no. They'll, uh” Robin stammered, “be here all summer,” she finished at a low mumble.

 

“Fuck!”

 

“Sebby, watch your language, “ Robin said, halfheartedly, drying her hands on a green kitchen towel.

 

“Why is she staying so long?”

 

“I'm sorry, honey,” Robin said crossing the kitchen to sit next to her son at the round table. “I know you and Lydia have some history--”

 

“That's a nice way of saying she's a complete bitch.”

 

“But it's been awhile since she's been around,” Robin continued, ignoring Sebastian’s comment as if it hadn't been made. “Maybe she's changed.” Sebastian sighed. Nobody could change that much.

 

“Fine, when does she get here?” Sebastian resigned, knowing there was nothing that he could say to prevent his aunt's arrival anyway. Robin cleared her throat.

 

“Umm,” she hesitated, pulling at her earlobe, a nervous habit of hers. “Tonight.” She finished, staring down into Sebastian’s half eaten bowl of cereal. When she finally looked up at him, she saw he was staring at her dumbfounded with his mouth slightly agape. “I didn't want to tell you because I knew you'd get all stressed out.” Sebastian pushed himself away from the table, stood, and picked up his spoon off the floor. He took his bowl to the sink and dumped the contents down the garbage disposal. He had lost his appetite.

When he turned, he found his mother had stood up and joined him by the sink. She put a hand on either side of his head and stood on her tip toes, pulling his head down slightly, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. Sebastian wrinkled his nose at the affectionate gesture.

 

“It'll be over before you know it,” Robin reassured him.

 

“Not soon enough,” Sebastian muttered. He grabbed his cell phone off the table where it was laying and left the kitchen to grab his cigarettes from his room and go prepare himself for a full season of pure hell.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

“Maru! Look at you!” Lydia’s clear high pitched voice rang around the front room of the house that Robin had transformed into her carpentry shop.

 

“Hi Aunt Lydia!” Maru’s smile beamed as she came forward and was enveloped in a hug from her aunt. Lydia was a heavy set dark skinned woman in her late 50’s. Her tight curly hair was cut short and held back with a headband which was purple and perfectly matched the color of her long shirt that she wore over black leggings.

 

“You get more beautiful every time I see you,” Lydia said, hold Maru at arms length. Sebastian leaned against the doorframe with his arms crossed in front of his chest, glaring daggers at the woman. “Demetrius!” She squealed, bouncing to her brother.

 

“Hey Sis,” Demetrius said wrapping his arms around his sister. “How’re the kids?”

 

“Happy to be getting a vacation for themselves, which reminds me!” She turned to the 2 small children that had come into the house with her. “The little girl is Violet,” she gestured to the older of the 2 children, who was looking around with her big brown eyes. “She just turned three in spring and this little guy,” she picked up the little boy, “is Derek Junior. He’s about a year and a half now.”

 

“I still can’t believe you have grandkids now, Lydia,” Robin smiled stepping forward to hug her sister in law.

 

“I honestly don’t remember life before them,” Lydia replied before giving Robin a friendly kiss on her pale, freckled cheek. “You’ll understand if Maru ever has kids of her own.”

 

“Well, hey, don’t put all the pressure on me,” Maru stated, raising both hands in front of her. “There’s always Sebastian, too.” Sebastian cursed inwardly at Maru. He was beginning to hope that Lydia would just forget his existence. Lydia laughed, more forceful than was needed in the small room, put her grandson down, and then turned her dark eyes to her step-nephew. Sebastian could already feel the pink rising in his cheeks. His skin was pale like his mother’s, but unlike his mother’s red hair that made her pink cheeks seem natural when she was embarrassed, he inherited the black hair of his father which made the pink all the more vibrant.

 

“Sebastian would have to be able to get a girlfriend before he could even have a remote possibility of ever having kids. And I doubt that will happen anytime soon. Especially with that haircut! Sebastian, are you even trying to pick up girls or are boys more toward your liking?” Sebastian scowled at the floor as he tucked the long right side of his asymmetrical hair behind his ear.

 

“Lydia,” Robin scolded gently.

 

“Oh, I don’t judge. What a man does with another man when nobody else is around is none of my business,” she waved the comment away with her hand. “Won’t lead to grandkids though.”

 

“I’m not gay!” Sebastian snapped. “And I happen to have a girlfriend!” The last bit had just come out before he could even stop to think about the statement.

 

“Sebby, I didn’t know you were seeing anyone,” Robin said quizzically, looking to her son, along with everyone else in the room, save for the 2 small children who were playing with a toy train and stuffed bunny and didn’t care what was happening around them.

 

“Yeah, well…” Sebastian’s brain was working overtime, trying to cover up his lie. “We were keeping it secret, because…” He paused, thinking, “Because, we didn’t want the whole town to know our business.” Robin narrowed her eyes slightly at her son. She could always tell when he was lying. He wouldn’t look the person in the face and he would fidget and pick at the skin around his finger nails. Which he was doing now. Robin felt a twang of guilt at the fact that her son felt so harassed that he needed to create an elaborate lie to get his aunt to back down from him. And she had barely walked through the door.

 

“Well, I for one, would love to meet her,” Lydia said, calling his bluff.

 

“Good!” Sebastian spat. With the immediate thought of ‘I'd love to meet her too’ popping into his head.

 

The front door opened and in walked the local farmer, her arms carrying a box filled with leafy greens. She had only moved into her grandfather’s old farm at the beginning of Spring and Sebastian had only actually spoken to her a handful of times. He grasp desperately for her name. Maggie? Melody? It was definitely an M name.

 

“Hey, Robin,” she said happily, oblivious to the tension in the room. “I brought that kale that you wanted.”

 

“Perfect timing, sweetie,” Sebastian said, giving up on remembering her name. He quickly crossed the room and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She was slightly taken aback at the physical contact given by the usually introverted man.

 

“Hey,” she said, drawing out the word. “What did I miss?”

 

“I'm sorry, I know we were trying to keep our relationship secret, but I just accidentally blurted it out to everyone, and now everyone knows we've been seeing each other,” Sebastian smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. Throughout his explanation the young woman's face had screamed her complete confusion. She stared him in the face. He gave her an almost imperceptible nod, silently begging her to play along. Her eyebrows lifted, understanding dawning on her. Sure, she'd play along.

 

“And how, exactly, do you just accidentally blurt that out, Babe? I hope you're not going to randomly blurt out any more of our secrets!”

 

Sebastian let out the breath that he hadn't realized he had been holding. He felt like he could kiss this girl. He owed her big time.

 

“I know, I'm sorry, but you know, I think it's time that we told everyone anyway.”

 

“Fine, make it up to me by taking this box. It's starting to get heavy.” She deposited the box of kale into Sebastian’s arms and then shook her own arms to regain the blood flow to her fingers.

 

“So,” Lydia stepped forward looking Molly up and down. “You're seeing Sebastian, huh?” It was admittedly an odd pairing. Sebastian stood next to her wearing all black with his pale complexion while she wore a sunshine yellow t shirt and khaki shorts with a sun kissed tan from her work on the farm.

 

“Well, it's only been for a little while,” Molly replied with a grin and a shrug.

 

“Hmm… kinda tubby. A little makeup could do you some good too, you're a bit homely,” Lydia rudely scrutinized. “But Sebastian can't really be too choosy, can he?” Robin and Maru’s mouth dropped as Sebastian and Molly both visibly bristled.

 

“Excuse me?” Was all Molly was able to articulate. She had always been self conscious about her weight. She was what would be considered a thick girl, but she had amazing curves that could still make most men, and some women, do a double take. Still, she had always wanted to be skinny. But not even diet and exercise would ever help her, as often as she had tried. It just wasn't in her genes.

 

As for wearing makeup, Molly couldn't see the point. Maybe on special occasions, but day to day wearing it would be a waste. She was a farmer. She worked outside in all kinds of weather and she worked hard enough that makeup would just be sweat off. Besides, contrary to Lydia’s remark, Molly had a very pretty face. She had soft pink lips that were usually turned up at the corners in a small smile. She had wide eyes that were the color of emeralds and could sparkle just as much. She had a small nose that turned up slightly at the tip. Her face was soft and round with wisps of her long blue hair falling around it after they inevitably fell out of the ponytail she usually wore.

 

“Lydia, that's completely uncalled for,” Demetrius scolded.

 

“Oh, I'm only teasing,” Lydia said, brushing off the comment.

 

“Thank you for bringing that with such short notice, Molly,” Robin said with complete casualty, trying her best to defuse the situation.

 

‘Molly! That was it!’ Sebastian thought to himself. He knew it had been an M name.

 

“Would you like to stay for dinner? I'm cooking way too much,” Robin continued.

 

“Oh, no thanks, I've actually got more work I have to get done tonight at the farm,” Molly replied with her usual sweet smile attempting to return to her face and failing in a slight grimace.

 

“Nonsense!” Lydia piped in. “I'm sure your work can stand by for a few hours while you enjoy a nice dinner with your boyfriend’s family.”

 

“Oh,” Molly paused. “Uh, yeah, okay. I suppose I could stay for awhile.”

 

“Excellent! Deme, break out the good wine,” Lydia demanded, scooping up the little boy from the floor and taking the little girl by the hand. They walked out of the room and down the hall toward the kitchen.

 

“Maru, will you please take the kale to the kitchen and wash it for me?” Robin asked, exasperated.

 

“Sure,” Maru replied and took the box from Sebastian. She left the room following the path of her father and aunt, leaving Robin standing alone in the shop with her uncomfortably embarrassed son and a confused and angry farmer.

 

“Who is that woman and why hasn't anybody poisoned her yet?” Molly quipped. Robin chose to ignore the comment.

 

“Ok, what is going on?” Robin demanded, folding her arms in front of her.

 

“Whadda you mean?” Sebastian mumbled.

 

“Sebastian Ethan Cunningham!” Sebastian’s head whipped up and he looked his mother fully in the face. “You are a terrible liar and I can always tell. Now, what in the hell is going on?”

 

“I'd like to know too, honestly,” Molly chimed in softly. Sebastian sighed and was quiet for a moment.

 

“She is always digging at me and I just… my mouth went faster than my brain.” He turned to Molly. “I am so sorry you got dragged into this.” Robin sighed and brought her hand to rub her forehead between her eyes.

 

“Yoba, grant me patience to accept that which I can not change,” she muttered before sighing and letting her hands fall to her hips. “Well, what are your plans now?”

 

“I hadn't thought that far ahead,” Sebastian admitted.

 

“It's fine,” Molly chimed in. “I'll just keep pretending to be dating Sebastian. I mean, it's only for a little while.”

 

“She's staying all summer,” Sebastian replied, monotonously.

 

“Oh…” Molly paused to think. “Well, I--”

 

“Robin!” Lydia’s high pitched, overly sweet voice carried down the hall. “Stop hogging those two and come in here so we can all interrogate them.”

 

“Come on, lovebirds,” Robin said making Sebastian roll his eyes before she led them down the hall to the kitchen.

 

Dinner did, in fact, feel like an interrogation from Lydia. Almost as soon as they sat down at the over crowded kitchen table the questions started rolling in.

 

“So how did you two meet,” Lydia asked. The question seemed innocent enough.

 

“Oh, I moved to town at the beginning of Spring because I found out my grandfather--”

 

“No, no, how did the two of you meet?”

 

Molly was slightly taken aback at the interruption and looked to Sebastian who simply stared down at his plate, pushing a spear of tomato around with his fork. No help there. Molly cleared her throat.

 

“As I was saying,” she said icily. “I had just moved here and was taking my first shopping trip to Pierre's Store when Sebastian came in with his friend Sam to buy a pack of cigarettes. And then he proceeded to make fun of me for buying a frozen pizza that he called, what was it? Ketchup spread on cardboard?” Sebastian made a small snorting sound and nodded with a smirk, not bothering to look up from his plate.

 

“Yep,” was all he said in reply. Robin grinned. Judging by the reaction from her son and the fact that she could see him doing that same thing, she safely assumed that this story was probably true. Lydia gave an amused scoff.

 

“And when did you decide that you wanted to be a couple?” Lydia asked looking between the two. The first thought that popped into Sebastian's head was ‘20 minutes ago when she happened to walk in at the right/wrong time’.

 

“Uhh,” he stammered looking to Molly for help.

 

“Well, you asked me out, so…” she trailed off with an impish grin, eating a bite of chicken. No help there. He racked his brain and finally thought of one of the few interactions the two had had before tonight.

 

“Well,” he started awkwardly, feeling all eyes in the room on him. This was hard and his social anxiety was kicking into full gear. “I was by the lake smoking and I heard a noise behind me and I turned around and there she was. Trying to sneak past without being seen because she had been in the mine and--”

 

“Stop,” Molly said horrified, eyes wide.

 

“She had killed some slimes--” he continued with a smirk.

 

“Stop it now!” She reached toward him in and attempt to cover his mouth, which he leaned away from holding her back at arm length.

 

“And was cover in blue slime from head to toe,” Sebastian finished, grinning evilly at the memory.

 

“We had an agreement that we would never speak of that night, kid!” Molly said through gritted teeth. “I gave you hush money!”

 

Technically, you gave me a super awesome yeti’s tear.” Molly threw up her hands in a ‘so what’ shrug. “But, that night is when I decided I wanted to date you.” Which wasn't a complete lie. He remembered seeing her there, slime dripping from her, well, everything and then, unbeknownst to her, she handed him a blue, teardrop shaped stone that he himself had gone into the mines several times in attempts to find.

 

“You are so full of sh--” she stopped abruptly, glancing at the two small children, “...snot.” She hurriedly corrected. “You just wanted to tell that story.”

 

“Yeah, maybe a little,” Sebastian smirked before taking a bite of dinner roll.

 

“You almost said a bad word!” Declared Violet from a booster chair that Robin had pulled out of storage, along with the high chair that Derek was currently seated in, that had once belonged to Sebastian and Maru.

 

“I'm sorry,” Molly apologized to the small girl. “I'll try not to let it happen again.” Derek gave a small squeal of delight and clapped his tiny hands. “Oh is that funny? Huh?” Molly reached over and tickled his side, causing another squeal and a belly laugh from the baby. “Is dat funny?” She finished in baby talk. Molly loved kids. Sebastian, while not necessarily caring for kids, had learned how to tolerate them from the years of hanging around his best friend Sam, whose kid brother was about to turn eight.

 

“So, you're a farmer,” Lydia continued on. “That sounds like a lot of work.”

 

“Oh, believe me, it is,” Molly replied. “When I first moved here, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. My second week on the farm, I was so stiff and sore that I could hardly move.”

 

“It must be frustrating to work so hard when your boyfriend doesn't work at all.”

 

“What?” Molly asked, genuinely confused. She looked to Sebastian, who just rolled his eyes and shook his head slightly at his plate. One of her and Sebastian's few interactions, was when she had gone to his room because Sam had mentioned a book that she might like that Sebastian had been borrowing and he had been working.

 

She knocked softly on the door.

 

“Come in,” came the reply. She opened the door and stepped in.

 

“Sebastian?” She questioned. The angry sounding music abruptly stopped and he looked up at her over his computer monitor.

 

“Yeah, hang on a second.” Sam had sent him an instant message about half an hour before letting him know that the woman was on her way over and what she needed. Sebastian continued typing as she stood awkwardly in his room, looking around. Sebastian finished typing his line of code and then stood up and stretched. “Okay, sorry about that. Had to finish what I was working on.” He began walking to his bookshelf.

 

“No worries,” she said with a smile. “Sam told me that you had--”

 

“I know,” he said, cutting her off. He was entirely too busy to listen to rambling small talk.

 

“Oh…” she replied simply. Sebastian began scanning the titles of the books on his shelf. He had finished Sam’s book about an alien invasion ages ago but had forgotten to return it. “Nice decor you’ve got going on.”

 

“Huh?” Sebastian looked around his room. “Oh, yeah… thanks. I've just been sticking posters on the walls for years. I guess it's kinda cluttered.” He went back to his fruitless search of the book shelf. Where was that book? He went to his bed and got down on his hands and knees to peer under it.

 

“So, what were you working on?” She asked casually, still taking in the details of his room.

 

“I do freelance work as a programmer,” he stated simply. “Aha! There it is.” He laid flat on his stomach and extending his hand under his bed. When he stood, he held the small paperback in his hand. He held it out for the girl to take.

 

“Thanks,” she gave a small smile as she took it from him. She had beautiful eyes. His heart skipped half a beat when they locked with his.

 

“No problem,” he mumbled awkwardly. He Was able to tear his eyes from her at the sound of footsteps on the stairs. Robin entered through the open door.

 

“Oh, hi, Molly!” She said happily.

 

“Hey Robin.”

 

“Sebby, I know you don't like it when I come in here, but I ran into Abigail at the store and she said she was looking for you.” Sebastian sighed.

 

“Did you tell her that I'm working?”

 

“I did…” Robin replied hesitantly. “But she said she would probably stop by anyway.” Sebastian rolled his eyes.

 

“Why doesn't anyone take my job seriously?” He asked, clearly annoyed. “No one ever bothers Maru when she's working at the clinic. Does everyone just think I'm surfing the web all day?” Robin put her hands up in surrender.

 

“Hey, don't shoot the messenger,” she muttered as she walked back out of the room. Sebastian looked back to Molly’s sweet face.

 

“I'm trying to save up so I can move out of here,” he said, obviously embarrassed at the fact that he still lived in his parents’ basement. “Probably to the city or something.” He looked to his shoes, continuing his rant. “If I had gone to college, I'd probably making six figures right now, but I just don't want to be part of that corporate rat race, you know.”

 

“Eh, college isn't all it's cracked up to be,” Molly replied with a shrug. “I have my degree and all I got out of it was a dead end data entry job and forty grand in student loan debt.”

 

“Yeah… and I guess I just feel more comfortable hidden behind a computer than dealing with people face to face.”

 

“Well, I think it's really cool that you taught yourself how to code, and programmers still make damn good money every without a degree.” Sebastian felt himself go hot at her praise. He rubbed the back of his neck.

 

“Well, I should get back to work I need to get this module finished by tomorrow.”

 

“Oh, ok,” Molly smiled. “I'll see you around then.” She turned and headed for the door but stopped just short of it. “Oh, will you need this back, or should I just give it to Sam when I'm done?”

 

“Sam's fine, thanks.”

 

“De nada! Bye!” She shut the door softly behind her leaving Sebastian alone with his thoughts.

 

“Sebastian works,” Molly continued, incredulously. “He's a computer programmer.” Lydia scoffed.

 

“Right, and how does he do that when he never leaves his room?” Sebastian inhaled to retort, but Molly spoke up first, her voice venomous.

 

“Oh, gee, I don't know. Maybe with this new thing that all the kids are raving about these days called the internet. Just because he doesn't put on a suit and go into an office every day doesn't mean that he doesn't work. And programmers are a pretty important aspect to any business that uses any kind of computer system.” Sebastian looked to Molly with gratitude on his face. Nobody had stood up for him like that in a very long time. Lydia and Molly were too busy glaring daggers at each other to notice him though. After a moment, the corners of Lydia's mouth curled into a grin that didn't meet her eyes.

 

“You're feisty,” she stated simply. “I like you.” This time it was Molly's turn to scoff and she rolled her eyes. “What do you two like to do together?” Lydia asked, continuing her interrogation without missing a beat. Sebastian and Molly looked at each other, both at a loss of what to say as they really didn't know anything about each other. Sebastian quickly stuffed more of his bread roll in his mouth.

 

“Oh… you know,” Molly stammered, stupidly. “Depends on our mood.” She finished with a small shrug. Molly hurried to put a bit of chicken in her mouth as Lydia leaned forward onto her elbows.

 

“Go on,” she dared with an evil smirk. Molly’s brain whirled. What were things that couples did together? It had been three years since her last actual relationship ended and five years since she had started a new relationship. She could hardly remember what newly dating couples did and was sure even if she could remember, she definitely wasn't into the same things as she was five years ago.

 

Next to Molly, Sebastian's thoughts were taking a similar train. The silence in the room only lasted a few seconds but seemed to stretch on for hours.

 

“Maru, sweetie, will you please pass the salt-- oops!” Robin’s hand bumped into Sebastian's full glass of water and sent water spilling over both him and Molly. “Oh, kids, I'm so sorry! No, no, I'll clean that up,” she insisted as the two grabbed for napkins to mop up the water. “Sebby, why don't you walk Molly home so you can both get dry.” Robin gave a quick wink at the two that went unnoticed by the rest of the table.

 

Sebastian and Molly quickly excused themselves and made their way out of the house not speaking until the door was firmly shut behind them. They stood in silence for a brief moment before Sebastian sighed deeply.

 

“Thank you, Mom,” he mumbled.

 

“Yeah, no shit,” Molly said before looking down at herself. “Wish there had been a drier solution though.” She used her hands to wipe the water droplets off her bare legs. Sebastian looked down at his own wet clothes. Where Molly had obviously had water spilled on her, Sebastian's black only had darker patches of black where he was wet.

 

“Eh,” Sebastian shrugged, “I’ll take a lap full of water if it'll get me out of dinner with that woman.” Molly reached over and dried her wet hands on the sleeve of his hoodie. “Hey, watch it!” He said, offended about being used as a towel. Molly smirked.

 

“Come on,” she said as she started to take the shortcut around the back of the house toward her farm. “I'll feed you when we get to the farm, since we couldn't enjoy our dinner.”

 

“Oh,” Sebastian said, slightly surprised as he began following her with his hands in his hoodie pocket. “You don't have to do that. I can just grab something from the Stardrop.” Molly waved his comment away with her hand.

 

“Whatever. If I've got to cook anyway, I might as well make enough for both of us.”

 

They walked the hilly path in silence, each quietly thinking to themselves. Sebastian began to fidget with his hoodie strings.

 

“Thanks,” he mumbled quietly.

 

“Huh?” Molly said, snapping out of her own silent musings.

 

“Uh, thanks…” repeated Sebastian, watching the ground as he walked. “For sticking up for me at dinner. I really appreciate it.” Molly gave a soft chuckle.

 

“Hey, what're fake girlfriends for?”

 

“Yeah, uh…” he turned pink again and rubbed the back of his neck. “Thanks for that too. Sorry again…”

 

“Don't worry about it,” she turned to him with a devious grin. “I'm sure I'll find some way for you to make it up to me.” She gave him a playful nudge with her elbow. He gave the ground a shy smile before returning his hands to his hoodie pocket. They walked in silence for a few more minutes before Molly broke it this time.

 

“What's her problem anyway?” Sebastian simply shrugged in response. “Like, what did you do to piss her off so bad?”

 

“I was born.”

 

“Calm down, emo kid.”

 

“No really,” Sebastian chuckled. “She's Demetrius’ sister and since he's not my real dad…” he trailed off with a shrug.

 

“Wait!” Molly grabbed Sebastian by the arm and spun him around to face her. “Demetrius isn't your real dad? Are you sure?” Sebastian cocked an eyebrow at her and her completely serious expression cracked into a wide smile that Sebastian couldn't help but return. He shook his head and rolled his eyes before continuing to walk.

 

Sebastian had never known his real father. Robin had gotten pregnant with him while she was still in high school. His real father had, apparently, even offered to pay for the abortion. His mother has dropped out of school to have him and only went back to get her GED after she had married Demetrius four years later.

 

Sebastian remembered meeting Demetrius for the first time. He remembered being fascinated by Demetrius’ dark colored skin. At that point he had never been out of pelican town and thus, had never seen a person with brown skin before.

 

“Can I touch it?” Sebastian had asked.

 

“Uh, sure,” Demetrius replied, stretching his arm out to the little boy who rubbed it with his small pale hand.

 

“Do you taste like chocolate?” He asked, looking seriously into the man’s face. Robin laughed behind her hand. Demetrius chuckled.

 

“Do you taste like vanilla?” He asked the small dark haired boy. Sebastian looked down at his own arm, considered for a moment, and then licked himself.

 

“No.”

 

Sebastian gave a sad grin at the memory. He had turned into Demetrius’ little buddy and was always by his side, fascinated by whatever the man was doing. And Demetrius had taken Sebastian under his wing, teaching him science and basic math and helping him to improve his reading.

 

Everything changed when Maru was born. Suddenly, the small dark haired boy of six was pushed to the side in favor of the little girl that was actually his. After a year of trying to regain his stepfather’s affection and being treated as more of an obligation than a son, Sebastian decided that he hated Maru and started being mean to her, which made him fall even further from Demetrius’ favor. As he matured, he realized that it wasn't his half sister’s fault, as she couldn't help being born anymore than he could have. But the relationship between Demetrius and Sebastian couldn't be mended, despite self help books and appointments with family counseling. Demetrius saw Sebastian as a lost cause. Sebastian saw Demetrius as a complete asshole.

 

Sebastian and Molly walked up the front steps and she pushed open her front door with a shove of her shoulder.

 

“You don't lock your door?”

 

“Pft, no,” Molly replied. “Why would I?” Upon entering the house, Sebastian could see what she meant. The farmhouse was fairly large, but Molly's furnishings were sparse. She had a small table with two chairs in the kitchen to the left, that was being half taken up by a desktop computer. The sitting room to the right had a threadbare looking sofa, a rickety looking coffee table, and a boxy old TV. He also noticed a Funstation 3 sitting on the floor next to the TV. In the far corner of the room, there was books upon books stacked in piles.

 

“Nice place,” Sebastian commented as he looked around. Molly looked around, shrugged, and started for the kitchen.

 

“Well, when I moved here, I could only bring with me what I could fit in my car,” Molly said, opening her refrigerator door to check the contents. “I drive a hatchback, by the way.”

 

“Yikes.”

 

“Yeah, so all of the furniture that's here, was here when I moved in.” Molly opened the freezer and smirked. She removed a Tonto’s frozen pizza and held it up to Sebastian. “You want some ketchup on cardboard?” Sebastian made a disgusted face.

 

“Gross.”

 

Molly chuckled and put it back. She opened her pantry and began to pull out ingredients: an egg plant, some tomatoes, oil, and then some cheese from the fridge. She produced a cutting board and pulled a knife from the block and then washed her hands at the sink.

 

“Meow,” called a fat orange cat from the floor.

 

“What?” She asked it as she dried her hands on a towel and then hung on the handle to her oven.

 

“Meow.”

 

“You have food in your bowl.” She retrieved a frying pan from a cabinet and drizzled some oil in it.

 

“Meow.”

 

“No, you don't get human food anymore. It's why you're obese.” She turned on the burner to begin warming the oil and then returned to the cutting board and began dicing tomatoes.

 

“Meow.”

 

Sebastian watched the conversation with amusement. Molly expertly moved around the kitchen, slicing and dicing, stirring and simmering until the house was full of wonderful smells.

 

“Can I do anything to help?” Sebastian asked, realizing that he was staring at her as she worked. He wasn't exactly good at cooking, but decided offering to help was better than that.

 

“Oh, sure,” she replied with a smile as she looked at him over her shoulder. “Wash your hands and you can slice this eggplant for me.” He went to the sink and washed and then chose a knife from the block and began slicing the purple vegetable.

 

“Is this okay?” He asked after a couple slices. Molly looked over.

 

“Just a little bit thinner,” she replied. “Too thick and it won't cook right. Too thin and it turns to soup.”

 

“Like this?”

 

“Perfect,” she smiled, returning to her tomato sauce.

 

“So, what's your cat's name?” Sebastian asked, trying to make small talk after a moment of silence. Molly glanced over her shoulder at the large orange tabby, who was now licking himself in a very unflattering place.

 

“Dude! I eat here!” Molly scolded her cat, who briefly looked up at her before returning to his bath. “That big fat jerk is Butters,” she said shaking her head and looking to Sebastian. “I have a gray cat too, but she's a little more shy. Her name is Princess. She'll make an appearance at some point.”

 

“I always wanted a cat, but Demetrius is allergic.”

 

“Well you're free to give my fur children some love, but beware, they shed a lot.”

 

“Thanks.” Sebastian returned to the eggplant. “These aren't very easy to cut, are they? Kinda have a tough skin.”

 

“Here, do it like this,” Molly said as she put her wooden spoon down and coming close to Sebastian's side. She put her hand over his and moved the knife. “See, if you use a rocking motion like this, it's much easier to cut than if you use a sawing…” she looked up, locking eyes with Sebastian and only then realized how close she was to him. Her breath momentarily caught. “...I'm sorry.” She stepped away quickly, her face immediately turning a vibrant red.

 

“Uh… it's cool,” Sebastian mumbled, his face matching hers. “So, um, like this?” He rocked the knife the way she had showed him across the eggplant.

 

“Yeah, perfect. Much easier, right?”

 

“Yeah, much. Thanks.”

 

They finished preparing the meal in relative silence, Molly cooking the eggplant in the tomato sauce she had made, Sebastian grated some cheese and then tore some lettuce into bits for a salad.

 

“So, where'd you learn to cook?” Sebastian asked as they sat down with their plates full of eggplant parmesan.

 

“Oh, you know,” Molly said with a shrug. “You pick it different places. Grandma’s kitchen during the holidays. The Queen of Sauce reruns. Being entirely too stoned to drive to Taco Hut.” Sebastian snorted and gave a genuine laugh.

 

“Really?” He asked.

 

“Well, I mean, not for awhile,” she replied cutting into her food. “My guy does live, like, eight hours away now.”

 

“I thought you were from Zuzu,” Sebastian asked after swallowing a mouthful of food.

 

“Oh, no, I'm actually from Ahamo.”

 

“Oh, up north.”

 

“Yeah,” she replied with a smile. “It's actually where Joja has their corporate headquarters. They have a facility in Zuzu, but their big office where all the bigwigs work is in Ahamo.”

 

“Gotcha. Well, maybe since you're my pretend girlfriend now, you can stop by my place and I can hook you up, if you want.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah, if you want,” Sebastian replied with a shrug. “I mean, we are going to have to hang out pretty frequently for awhile.”

 

“Yeah, I'd like that,” Molly said with a smile. “Oh, that reminds me. What do we enjoy doing together as a couple?” Sebastian chuckled.

 

“Well, I think we've established smoking pot, but I don't think we should tell Aunt Lydia that.”

 

“Ehh, maybe not,” Molly replied, wrinkling her nose.

 

“So, what do you do when you aren't farming?”

 

“Well, I used to read a lot, but lately, at the end of the day, I'm just too tired and opt to zone out on the TV instead,” she finished with a shrug.

 

“What do you read?”

 

“A little bit of everything. Action adventure mostly, but I'll occasionally get into some sci-fi and fantasy. I am one of the biggest Barry Kotter nerds you'll ever meet.”

 

“Nice,” he replied with a smirk. “How do you feel about comic books?” She gave a small laugh.

 

“Well, I have been known to dabble a bit,” she replied, “but I haven't been able to find a series that I could really get into.”

 

“Cave Saga X,” Sebastian stated, matter-of-factly. “I have the whole series. I'll let you borrow them.”

 

“Ok, but don't get too heartbroken if I can't get into it.” Molly said, putting her hands up.

 

“Hey, no fake girlfriend of mine will dislike CSX!” Molly threw her head back with a laugh.

 

“Ok, no pressure then.”

 

“None at all,” he smirked.

 

The rest of the meal continued in the same light hearted manner. The talked about games they liked (“Come over sometime and you can play it with me, Sam, and Abby. If you like Caverns and Cryptids you'll like Solarian Chronicles. It's more fast paced so you can finish in an afternoon.” “Ok, but you have to download Secret Worlds and meet me online sometime.”). They talked about music (“Seriously?” “They're a guilty pleasure.” “I'm absolutely judging you so hard right now.”). They talked about TV (“I love Doctor How, but I swear I haven't seen any of the episodes with the latest doctor. I just haven't had time.” “I have them downloaded on my computer. I'll stick them on a jump drive and bring them over for you. Maybe we can binge them together.”). It was dark out by the time Sebastian stepped out of the door to head for home.

 

“Hey,” Molly said stepping through the doorway as he took the last step off the porch. He turned and looked up at her. “Aren't you going to ask for my number?” She asked, cocking her head to the side at him. He grinned and hurried back up the steps, skipping every other one.

 

“Might be useful,” he grinned taking out his phone. She recited her number and he sent her a test text. Her phone twinkled with the sound of a coin being collected in an old school video game. “Cool.”

 

“So, I guess I'll see you around then,” Molly said.

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian replied. They stood awkwardly together on the porch. Sebastian began to fidget with his hoodie strings. “I'll text you… tomorrow?”

 

“Yeah, that sounds great.”

 

“Awesome.” They stood looking at each other in silence for a moment before Molly started to laugh.

 

“Holy shit, we're acting like teenagers. This is so embarrassing.” Sebastian chuckled too. “Goodnight, Seb.”

 

“Night,” he replied with a small wave. She turned and walked into the house, closing the door behind her. He watched the closed door for a brief moment, almost hoping it would reopen. But it didn't and so he sighed and began the walk to town. He pulled out his phone again and sent a text to Sam.

 

R U up?

 

Ya sup?

 

Meet me @ stardrop in 15

 

Kk

 

Sebastian pull a cigarette out from his pack and lit it. He flipped back to the text he had sent to Molly's number and pushed the “i” icon next to the number. Save. New contact. Name. He typed Molly and then after a breath added a heart emoji after it. He smiled to himself as he took another drag of his cigarette and returned his phone to his pocket. Molly was right. He was acting like a teenager again, but he couldn't deny that it was the best he had felt in ages.

 

Back at the farm, Molly had saved Sebastian's number in a similar manner (SEBoyfriend). After she had closed her front door, she had leaned against it and slid to the floor. She had sat there for quite awhile before deciding to pick up her phone and send a text to her best friend, Trish.

 

Remember that guy I told you about a while back?

 

The hot emo guy or the angry chicken guy?

 

Emo guy

 

What about him?

 

He was just over at my house :)

 

Get some?

 

Omg no!

He helped me make dinner and we seriously talked for hours

I'm pretending to be his girlfriend for the summer

 

Wait… what?

 

Uh…

I'm just going to call you

 

Molly giggled as she pushed the phone icon and it began to ring.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sam was playing a game on his cell phone when Sebastian plopped down beside him on the bench outside the Stardrop Saloon.

 

“This level is impossible, dude,” Sam said without looking up. “It's been three days. It just can't be done.”

 

“They gotta make money somehow,” Sebastian replied. He waited a moment until he heard Sam curse under his breath.

 

“Ok, what's so important that you had to meet me in the middle of the night?” Sam asked, putting his phone down. Sebastian pulled his own phone out to look at the time.

 

“It's only 10:30,” he said turning the phone screen to face Sam. The light from the screen revealed Sam to be in a pair of pajama pants and a hoodie. “Were you seriously already in bed?”

 

“We're not here to talk about me and my sleeping habits,” Sam pouted as he crossed his arms over his chest.

 

“I just had the greatest first date of my life, but it wasn't a date.”

 

“How-- what-- With who?” Sam stammered. “Explain how that works.”

 

“I'll start at the beginning,” Sebastian said, pulling out another cigarette. “My Aunt Lydia is in town.”

 

“Oh joy…” Sam muttered leaning back against the bench. He knew how hard Lydia's visits were for his best friend. He put his hands behind his head and settled in to listen to his friend rant.

 

“...and that's when I texted you,” Sebastian finished fifteen minutes later, flipping away his cigarette butt. Sam was silent as he processed his friend's story.

 

“Let me get this straight,” Sam said, leaning forward to put his elbows on his knees. “Lydia asked if you were trying to pick up guys as a way to make fun of your hair and your solution was to make up a girlfriend?”

 

“Yep.”

 

“And Molly happens to walk in just then and you decide to put her face on your fake girlfriend?”

 

“More or less.”

 

“And Molly, being the total sweetheart that she is, played along for you.”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“Afterwards, she made you dinner and discovered that you guys have a ton in common, like I told you ages ago but you wouldn't listen.”

 

“You got it.”

 

“And now you've caught the feels?”

 

Sebastian began to nod and then froze and looked to his best friend. After a moment, he simply shrugged.

 

“Maybe, I guess.”

 

“So go for it.”

 

“What?” Sebastian snapped incredulously.

 

“Dude, I'm going to level with you right now,” Sam said, turning to face Sebastian straight on. “Ever since my, like, second conversation with Molly, I have been attempting to figure out how to get you two together.” Sebastian gave Sam a slow blink. Sam shrugged. “It's true! I have plenty of books that I think she'd like, but I recommend the one I knew you had. I asked her to borrow that movie and had her bring it to me when I knew you'd be there for band practice. I keep casually mentioning you to her and her to you. Even Abby is in on it. She's the one who invited Molly to hang out at the Stardrop with us a couple of weeks ago, but getting you to be social is like pulling teeth!”

 

Sebastian had been struck dumb by his friend's confession. It was only then that Sebastian realized that he had been hearing Molly's name pop up in conversations quite a bit lately. Random mentions like “I was talking to Molly about…” or “Molly thinks that…” or “I bet Molly would like this.” Sebastian hadn't thought anything of it because Sam was an extrovert who would befriend anyone.

 

“I'm going to head back to bed,” Sam said as he stood up and stretched. “Seriously though: Ask her on a real date.”

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian muttered, standing up himself. “Maybe I will.”

Chapter Text

Sebastian snaked his arms around Molly's waist and pulled her body tight against his, his lips pressing against hers for a long moment in a sensual kiss. Her lips parted and she lightly licked his bottom lip coaxing his mouth open. He gave her tongue a playful lick before deepening the kiss. Her fingers trailed across his shoulder and up his neck until they could tangle themselves in the hair on the back on his head.

 

“I want this so bad,” she whispered breathily when their mouths broke apart. Sebastian smiled as he licked his top lip. He maneuvered her slightly and gave her a gentle push onto his bed. She fell with a slight bounce, her blue hair fanning around her like a halo. He was on top of her in an instant, pressing his lips to her smile. He rocked his hips into hers and a small sigh escaped her lips.

 

Then, their clothes were gone. Sebastian's hands pressed against her stomach before it slid to her breast, giving a light squeeze before moving his hand to cup it. He lowered his head and brought his lips to her stiff pink nipple and allowing his tongue to dance circles around it.

 

“Mmm,” she moaned softly. He let his hand slip down her side, over her hip, and down the outside of her thigh, before running his fingers up the inside of her thigh and between her legs. She let out a small gasp as his middle finger slipped into the fold of her skin, across the small bump of her clit, and plunged into her wetness as his mouth found hers again. Gripping himself at the base of his shaft, he slipped himself inside her. She gasped and her eyes rolled back. Their bodies moved together, breaths heavy, skin hot. Her legs wrapped around his middle and she arched her back.

 

An inhuman shriek escaped her lips. Sebastian froze.

 

“Are you ok?” He asked in shock. Was this her orgasm noise? She shrieked again. “Someone is going to hear you!” He whispered, unsure of what to do. Again, she shrieked, long and high pitched.

 

Sebastian's eyes flew open. He stared at the ceiling a moment before he realized that he was fully clothed and alone in his bed. The high pitched shriek rang through the room again. He rolled to his side and grabbed his wired rim glasses off the wooden bookshelf headboard. Putting them on, the blurred room came into focus. He stood and walked to his door.

 

“Violet Belle, get your little butt in here and get in the bathtub,” came Aunt Lydia's voice. “And you better not be playing on those stairs, you're going to break your neck.” Sebastian opened his bedroom door only to be met with a very naked three year old. Another high pitched shriek pierced his ears as the little girl turned and ran away from him and down the hallway that lead to the second bathroom and a guest room.

 

“What the fuck?” Sebastian muttered after walking back into his room and closing the door behind him. Returning to his bed, he flopped down on it. He attempted to go back to sleep, but the yelling from down the hall of two children and his loud voiced aunt prevented it from happening. Staring at the ceiling, he thought about how he liked living in the basement because of the silence and solitude. Now, it seemed like he wouldn't get any peace. At least until the end of summer.

 

Grabbing his cell phone off the headboard, he looked at the time. He blinked a few times to make sure he was seeing it right. 7:30. What hell was this? He had only gotten to bed roughly three hours before, having been up finishing a project for a contractor.

 

He sat quietly, listening to the yelling coming from down the hall, and thinking about the dream he had been woken up from. He felt like a pervert, having just started talking to a girl and already had a sex dream about her. Still, it had been a nice dream. And he assumed that it probably stemmed from not getting laid in entirely too long.

 

“Come on, let's go get dressed!”

 

Sebastian blessed the sounds of the bathroom being vacated. He made his way out of his room and down the hall to the bathroom to take a shower and get ready to face what was sure to be a very long day.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sam stood on his skateboard in the front of his house trying to perfect his kickflip. He felt like he had been trying to get it right forever. He wished there was some place in town with smooth cement instead of the bumpy cobblestones that lined most of the town. He tried one last time in an attempt to show off as he saw the slender red haired woman approaching. The skateboard only flipped half way and landed wheels up on the cobbles.

 

“Shit,” he muttered, and bent to pick up his board.

 

“Language, Sam,” Penny scolded with a coy smile. “What kind of example are you going to set for your brother?”

 

“Ah, well, he doesn't seem to be here at the moment,” Sam whispered flirtatiously, leaning his face close to hers with hopes of stealing a chaste kiss. She put a hand in the center of his chest and gave a light push.

 

“Well, he should be. It's time for class.” Sam rolled his eyes with a smile. His girlfriend was in teacher mode. There wouldn't be any displays of affection until after she was done tutoring the town’s two youngest residents. One of which, happened to be his eight year old brother, Vincent.

 

“Ah, come on, it's summer!” Sam said using his free arm to gesture around them. “Don't they get a break?”

 

“They have off between the Luau and the Moonlight Jelly Festival,” she replied before stepping around Sam and knocking lightly on the front door. A young boy with a mane of disheveled, fiery red locks opened the door.

 

“Good morning, Miss Penny!” He said cheerfully, as he stepped outside with a blue backpack slung over his shoulder.

 

“Good morning, Vincent. Do you have your homework?”

 

“Yup, it's in my bag!”

 

“Good,” Penny smiled as she ruffled the boy’s hair. “Let's go get Jas and then we'll visit Leah and practice some art today.”

 

“Yeah!” Vincent exclaimed excitedly. “See ya later, Sam!”

 

“I'll also see you-- oh!” Penny said looking over Sam’s shoulder. He spun around to see Sebastian approaching, eyes covered with dark sunglasses. Sam looked at the time on his phone. 8:30.

 

“Yoba, what are you doing awake already?” Sam asked, knowing his friend was usually dead to the world until at least after noon most days.

 

“Plotting murder,” he replied, monotonously.

 

Penny gave a startled squeak. She was still a little jumpy around Sebastian. She had made a judgment on his black clothes and closed off demeanor years ago and although she was now dating his best friend, he still gave her the creeps.

 

“Seems reasonable,” Sam quipped, oblivious to his girlfriend’s misgivings toward his best friend. “Doctor Sam is giving you a prescription for coffee.”

 

“Yes, please,” Sebastian grumbled.

 

“I'll see you later, babe,” he said, giving Penny a kiss on the cheek.

 

“Sam!” She scolded, but he ignored her.

 

“Have fun making art today, buddy,” Sam waved to his little brother.

 

“I will!” Vincent replied happily. “Bye Sam! Bye Sebastian!” Sebastian raised on hand in a lazy wave at the boy before following Sam into the house.

 

“Do you like Sebastian, Vincent?” Penny asked casually after the door had closed behind the two men.

 

“Yeah, he's really nice. He taught me how to catch frogs.”

 

“Frogs, huh?” Replied Penny, having a hard time imagining Sebastian interacting with small children.

 

“Yeah, you can find them a lot when it's raining, and they like to live by water, and you have to go really slow so you don't scare them away.” Vincent continued to babble about frogs as Penny lead him away down the cobbled road.

 

Inside, Sebastian sat down heavily at the kitchen table and buried his face in his hands.

 

“Good morning, Sebastian,” said Jodi, turning from the kitchen sink where she was doing dishes. Sebastian’s mumbled response was incoherent from behind his hands. Jodi looked to her eldest son who was scooping coffee grounds into the coffee maker.

 

“Good morning, Jodi,” Sam replied for Sebastian in a mocking voice, not looking up from what he was doing. “How are you this morning? Fine weather we're having!” Sebastian glared at his best friend over his fingertips. Jodi chuckled softly and went back to her dishes. “Seb’s having a bad morning,” Sam explained as he switched the coffee pot to on and it gurgled to life.

 

“Oh, that's too bad,” Jodi replied sympathetically.

 

“Aunt Lydia is in town,” Sebastian mumbled.

 

“Oh…” said Jodi , turning back to him. She had known Sebastian since they had moved to Pelican Town almost two decades prior when Sebastian had been ten and Sam had been eight. Sam, having always been outgoing, had quickly latched on to the shy, raven haired boy that was close to his own age and befriended him. Over the years, watching the two grow up, she had learned a lot about her son’s best friend. For one thing, regardless of how they looked, Sam was the bad influence of the two. For another, while Sebastian's mother, Robin, seemed to have a good relationship with her son, save for those high school years where no child likes their parents, he was often bullied by his stepfather’s family, his stepfather turning a blind eye to the harassment and casting Sebastian aside in favor of his own daughter. “Well, you know you're always welcome to stay with us whenever you'd like.”

 

“Thanks,” Sebastian replied with a tired smile.

 

“One steaming cup of java, served up black like your soul,” quipped Sam, setting a mug in front of his friend.

 

“Samson James!” Jodi scolded.

 

“I say it with love!” Sam replied, pouring himself a cup before sitting down across from Sebastian at the square kitchen table. Jodi shook her head as she dried her hands on a red and white kitchen towel. “Have you talked to Molly yet today?” Sam asked leaning over his mug and speaking in a low voice and wiggled his eyebrows. Jodi heard anyway and her ears perked up. As Sebastian's second mother, she wanted to see Sebastian find someone as much as Robin did. They had all thought it had happened a few years before when he was seeing a girl from Zuzu City. He had even bought a mermaid pendant to propose to her, and then, nothing. She had eventually gotten out of Sam that Sebastian, who usually visited the girl every weekend, had decided to surprise her in the middle of the week to propose and had walked in on her having sex with someone else. They had obviously broken up and to Jodi’s knowledge, he hadn't seen another girl since.

 

“It's a quarter to nine in the morning,” Sebastian grumbled before taking another sip of his coffee feeling the hot liquid run down his throat and fight back the sleepiness fogging his mind.

 

“Yeah, so? Molly is a farmer. She's probably been up for hours already,” Sam retorted. If you're going to make this relationship work, you're going to need to put in some effort. I mean I've already texted Penny, like, ten times this morning!”

 

“Oh, are you seeing Molly? That's wonderful!” Jodi said excitedly.

 

“I'm not dating Molly,” Sebastian mumbled, not looking up from his coffee cup.

 

“Lydia asked him if he was gay and this dummy's first thought was to make up a girlfriend,” Sam filled his mother in. “Molly agreed to play along, but Sebastian needs to make this happen since me and Abby have been trying to get them together since she moved here.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “They're my OTP.” Stated Sam dramatically.

 

“What is an OTP?” Asked the older woman, wrinkling her nose at yet another new slang term from her son.

 

“It means he's an idiot,” grumbled Sebastian.

 

“My one true pair!” Sam shot back, putting his chin in both palms and batting his eyelashes.

 

“I hate you,” Sebastian stated before taking another sip of coffee. Jodi chuckled, returning to wiping down the counters.

 

“Well, I for one would love to see you find someone,” Jodi smiled.

 

“I can text her for you if you want,” Sam chimed in. Sebastian sighed in annoyance.

 

“If it will make you both stop, I will text her myself right now,” Sebastian snapped, removing his phone from his pocket. “Yoba, I came here for some peace and quiet. I should have just stayed home.” Sam and Jodi grinned at each other as Sebastian typed a short message on his phone.

 

Hey

 

“There, are you happy now?” He asked, finishing the last of his coffee and standing to refill his mug. The phone vibrated against the table. Sebastian took his time refilling his mug and the phone vibrated with a second message before he had sat back down.

 

“What'd she say?” Sam asked excitedly, slightly wiggling in his chair.

 

“She says to stop acting like a teenage girl,” Sebastian replied monotonously before even picking up his phone.

 

“You stop acting like a girl…” Sam pouted.

 

Hey! I didn't think you ever got up this early

I had the strangest dream last night

 

Sebastian swallowed, remembering his own dream from the night before.

 

Oh yeah?

 

Sebastian watched the ellipses blinking at the bottom of his screen, wondering where the comment was going.

 

Yeah… Sam doesn't have access to a triceratops, does he?

 

lol I wouldn't put it past him!

 

“What did she say?” Sam whined, stretching across the table and trying to grab Sebastian's phone. He pulled it out of Sam's reach causing him to groan. “I just need to know!”

 

“No, you want to know, and it's none of your business,” Sebastian replied looking back to his phone, which had vibrated again.

 

wyd up so early anyway?

 

Apparently small children don't sleep &

also don't care about anyone who does

 

That sucks

R u @ home?

 

Nah @ Sam’s

Too noisy @ home

Not much better here tbh

 

LOL

Stay put

 

Sebastian cocked his eyebrow, shrugged, and put his phone back in his pocket. As he picked up his mug and took a drink, he looked over the top at Sam, who looked like a kicked puppy.

 

“She says she's too busy with her farm to be able to play along all summer and we need to fake breakup.” Sam’s face fell and he suddenly looked as though he had been told that the Feast of the Winter Star had been canceled this year.

 

“Wh--what?”

 

“Sorry, man,” Sebastian shrugged. “Guess you're going to have to find a new OTP.” Sam stared at Sebastian in silence for a long moment. The sound of the front door opening rang through the house.

 

“Knock knock!” Molly's voice rang clear.

 

“We’re in the kitchen,” Jodi replied back.

 

“You, sir, are an ass,” Sam glared pointing an accusatory finger. Sebastian raised his coffee mug in a mock cheers and Jodi smirked as Molly walked into the kitchen.

 

“Morning, everyone,” Molly said, cheerfully.

 

“Good morning, Molly,” Jodi replied from the kitchen table, where she had just sat down with her own cup of coffee next to her son. “Help yourself to coffee.”

 

“Don't mind if I do,” Molly smiled, walking to the coffee pot and removing a mug from the cabinet above it.

 

“Sam tells me that you and Sebastian have started seeing each other,” Jodi commented smirking at Sebastian over her coffee cup. “I think that's so sweet.” Sebastian sighed loudly and rolled his eyes as Molly laughed, coming to sit down beside him.

 

“Yeah, we're going to get married and I'm going to have his babies!” Sebastian put his forehead down on the tabletop and groaned. “Ah, what's the matter, pumpkin?”

 

“I'm so glad you are all so amused,” Sebastian grumbled sitting up straight again. “You know, if I wanted to be harassed, I would have just stayed home.” Molly laughed and bumped her shoulder against him.

 

“Oh, lighten up,” Molly teased. “You're the one who started it.”

 

“I'm too sleep deprived to come up with good comebacks at the moment, so everyone just… stop.”

 

“First day of summer, Molly,” Jodi said, flawlessly changing the subject. “How the farming going?”

 

“Oh, thanks for the reminder!” Molly said as she reached into her battered, tan backpack. She pulled out a mason jar filled with a rich amber colored liquid. “Ta-da!”

 

“You ended up getting a beehive!”

 

“Yeah, I got one that cost a little extra, but it’s better because it doesn’t bother the bees when you collect the honey.”

 

“How so?”

 

“Well, bee honey comb looks like this,” she replied to Jodi, holding up her fingers in a circle. “So, when I want to collect the honey, I just hold the jar under the tap and turn the knob and the honey combs break apart like this,” she move one of her hands upward and broke the circle. “Then all the honey drains out of the honeycombs into the jar and when the jar is full, you just turn the knob back and the honeycomb goes back to how it was.” She rejoined her fingers in a circle before lowering her hand and wrapping them around her coffee cup. “It’s really nice. Since it doesn’t bother the bees, it means I don’t need a special bee suit to collect the honey.”

 

“Oh, maybe I should get one of those,” Jodi replied. “All of the flowers that Granny puts around town square would make for some very happy bees.”

 

“Oh, for sure! I ordered mine online and I just had to put it together and wait. I’ll get you the website if you want it.”

 

“Absolutely!” exclaimed Jodi. “It’d be nice to have a hobby of some sort. What do you think, Sam? Your mom, the beekeeper.”

 

“Whatever makes you happy, Mom,” Sam replied before taking out his phone and texting Sebastian.

 

Ask her out!

 

Sebastian’s phone vibrated in his pocket and he took it out and looked at it for a long moment.

 

No.

 

Come ON!

DO IT!!

 

Fuck off

 

PLEASEEEEEEE!

You can make it my birthday gift

 

Sebastian glared at Sam across the table. He responded by giving Sebastian puppy dog eyes. Sebastian discreetly held up his middle finger to his friend beside his coffee mug so that Jodi wouldn’t see. Not that she was paying attention anyway as she was chatting happily with Molly,  who glanced down at the time on her phone.

 

“I should get going,” She said, putting her phone in the front pocket of her shorts. “I’ve just been killing time, waiting for Pierre’s to open so I can buy my Summer seeds.” She finished off the last of her coffee and stood, walking to the sink and washing her own cup before placing it in the drying rack.

 

“Thank you, Molly!” Jodi praised. “Did you see what she just did there Sam? That’s called cleaning up after oneself.”

 

“Nope, sorry, I missed it,” Sam replied, still looking at his phone. He was still texting Sebastian, who was pointedly ignoring the vibrations coming from his pocket.

 

“I’m going to go too,” Sebastian said, draining his own coffee. He slid his mug across the table. “Here Sam, wash my cup when you wash yours, will ya?” It was Sam’s turn to glare. “Bye, Mom.”

 

“Bye, sweetie,” she replied. “Remember that if things get too bad at home, you don't hesitate to come here.”

 

“Thanks,” he said giving the woman a small smile before turning to Molly. “Come on, honey ,” he smirked glancing toward the jar still sitting on the table. “I'll walk you out.” Molly laughed as she threw her backpack over her shoulder.

 

“Bye, everyone,” she said giving a wave.

 

“Bye,” replied Sam and Jodi together before Molly led the way out of the kitchen followed closely by Sebastian.

 

“Well, what are your plans today?” Jodi asked her son after they heard the front door close.

 

“I guess, I'm going to start by doing these dishes,” Sam grumbled.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian lit the cigarette that he had put between his lips as soon as they had exited the Moore’s riverside, blue house.

 

“Rough morning, huh?” Asked Molly, making small talk. Sebastian grunted before taking a drag.

 

“I'm running on 3 hours of sleep, since I had some coding stuff to do once I got home last night.”

 

“That sucks,” Molly replied sympathetically. “Maybe you can catch a nap later.”

 

“Somehow, I doubt that,” he said as they walked across the town square. “Or maybe I can…” he trailed off, seeing his mother and aunt come into view. Molly waved happily as Robin saw the two and beamed. Lydia seemed genuinely surprised to see the two of them together. Sebastian's eyes narrowed slightly and he reached out and took Molly's hand in his when she let it drop from her wave. Molly glanced quickly at him then returned her attention to the two older women.

 

“Hey, kids!” Said Robin, cheerfully. “I have to say, I'm surprised to see you out and about so early, Sebby.”

 

“Well, I guess I just couldn't sleep,” he replied coolly.

 

“Well, I think it's unhealthy for somebody to be spending the entire day in bed,” chimed in Lydia. “You should really start waking him up in the mornings, Robin. Get him on a normal sleep schedule.”

 

“I will keep that in mind, Lydia,” Robin replied, evenly. “However, Sebastian is twenty seven years old and does pay for room and board on time every month, so I'm really not inclined to give him a bedtime and tell him when he has to wake up.” Lydia looked slightly scandalized at the subtle telling off.

 

“What are you ladies up to this morning?” Molly asked with a smile.

 

“It's Tuesday. And that means,” Robin jogged in place for a few steps, “aerobics day! Lydia is joining me this week.”

 

“You should join too, Maggie, it might do you some good,” Lydia commented. Sebastian bristled.

 

“It's Molly, actually,” Molly replied, a slight hurt in her voice, “and, unfortunately, I have a lot of work to do today.”

 

“I'm sure,” scoffed Lydia. Sebastian looked to Molly, whose face was betraying her annoyance, and gave her hand a light squeeze. “Come on Robin. We don't want to be late.”

 

“Where are the kids?” Sebastian asked looking around.

 

“They're fine, they're with Demetrius,” Lydia replied, her hand already pulling open the door to Pierre's and walking in.

 

“See you later kids,” Robin said, rolling her eyes and following the woman inside. When the door closed, Molly let out a low growl.

 

“Who does that woman think she is talking to people the way she does?” She dropped Sebastian's hand and crossed her arms over her chest.

 

“I have to get home before the house burns down.”

 

“What?”

 

“They left Demetrius home alone with small children,” Sebastian sighed. “Demetrius isn't even good with children that can take care of themselves.” He rubbed the area between his eyebrows with his thumb before taking one last hit from his cigarette and flicking the butt away.

 

“You need help?” Molly asked sincerely.

 

“Ah, you have stuff to do today.”

 

“Tell you what,” Molly began, “if you help me with my farm work later, I'll help you wrangle a couple of toddlers.”

 

“I'm not sure how much I would be able to help with farm work,” Sebastian replied, honestly. Molly shrugged.

 

“I'll figure something out.”

 

“Sure, I'll take the help then. I'm not exactly what you would call great with kids. ” They began walking toward the large house on Mountain Road in silence and at a brisk pace. Sebastian glanced at Molly as they passed the abandoned community center.  Her arms were still crossed and she looked like her mind was elsewhere. “Hey,” he said, making her look to him. “Don't pay attention to anything Lydia says. She's a bitch.” Molly shook head and shrugged.

 

“I know,” she sighed. “It’s just… I get it, I'm fat. I've always been fat. She doesn't have to keep pointing it out every time she sees me. Like, shit, find something else about me to make fun of.”

 

“You're not fat,” Sebastian reassured in a quiet voice, “you're--” he trailed off, not knowing exactly what he was trying to say.

 

“Yes?” Molly questioned, playfully. Sebastian turned pink and made a vague hour glass shaped hand motion. Molly cracked up laughing causing Sebastian to turn a deeper shade of crimson. “Well, I'll take that as a compliment, thank you,” she said when she finished, wiping a tear from her eye. Sebastian sighed. She nudged him with her elbow. He looked to her smiling face and couldn't help but to return her smile with one of his own plus an added eye roll.

 

They continued their walk in silence, this time Sebastian's mind was elsewhere. What was it about this girl that made him say things out loud that would normally stay locked away in his head?

 

“Well, it's not in flames yet,” Molly said hopefully as they approached the house. Sebastian opened the front door and they stepped through. Hearing children’s laughter from the other end of the house, they stepped into the hallway. Sebastian stopped dead in his tracks causing Molly to run into him.

 

“Mom is going to freak when she sees this.”

 

“Oh… Yoba,” Molly replied. Down the entire length of the hallway, from the floor to halfway up the wall, were scribbles and drawings in various colors of markers and pens. At the far end of the hall sat two small children covered in the same inky scribbles. Sebastian stormed into the brightly lit lab across the hall from the carpentry shop.

 

“What the fuck, Demetrius?” He demanded.

 

“Excuse me, but I will not be spoken to like that under my roof.”

 

“We'll see how much longer it's your roof because when mom sees what happened, she's going to kick you out.”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“The kids you were supposed to be watching!”

 

“They're with Maru.”

 

“Maru is at work!”

 

Demetrius rushed into the hallway and seeing the mess, put his hand to his mouth.

 

“Sebastian, I'm actually right in the middle of an experiment,” Demetrius said. “I really need you to clean this up.” As soon as the words left the man’s mouth, Molly stepped into action, determined to remove the children from the area before Sebastian let loose a string of profanities. Sebastian inhaled deeply, attempting to keep his composure as he watched the woman kneel down next to the kids.

 

“My goodness! You two sure are colorful!” She said with the demeanor of any good preschool teacher. “How about we go into the bathroom so we can get cleaned up and then I'll make a snack and we can watch cartoons, does that sound ok?”

 

“Ok,” Violet replied. “We made drawings. Actually I made the good ones ‘cause Derek can't draw good yet. But I'm trying to teach him so he can draw as good as me someday.”

 

“Well, maybe later I can find you guys some paper and you can practice even more,” Molly said as she picked up Derek and carried him on her hip. She took Violet by the hand and led them toward the upstairs bathroom. Sebastian waited until he heard the door click closed before rounding on his stepfather.

 

“Why in the actual fuck should I clean this up? You were the one that was supposed to be watching them. This is your mess!”

 

“I'm sorry, Sebastian,” Demetrius replied in a tone that clearly said that he wasn't actually sorry, “but I'm busy. I don't have time to deal with this right now.”

 

You're busy? We're all busy!” Sebastian shouted. “I have three projects due by the end of the week and Molly should be planting her summer crops. These are our jobs, our livelihoods, that we shouldn't have to sacrifice because a grown man can't pay attention for a couple hours!”

 

“I am not going to justify my work to you,” Demetrius spoke slowly and coldly. “I am your father and you will respect me. Now get this cleaned up.” Demetrius turned on his heel and returned to the lab, slamming the door closed behind him.

 

“Fuck you!” Sebastian yelled at closed door before giving it a hard kick in frustration, doing more damage to his foot than the door.

 

Looking down the hallway he shook his head. As tempted as he was, he couldn't leave the walls as they were for his mother to find. Her life's crowning achievement was that she had built the entire house from the ground up and he and Maru often joked that she loved the house more than she loved them. He walked down the hallway toward the kitchen. From the bathroom he could here Violet happily singing and the sound of running water.

 

“Ok, give me your other arm, we've gotta get the marker off this one now,” he heard Molly say from the other side of the door. He felt terrible. He knew she had actual things she needed to do and he still let her come to help him anyway. He sighed as he pulled a bucket from the cabinet under the sink and began to fill it with hot water. He put in a squirt of dish soap and got a clean scrubber sponge from a drawer.

 

He returned to the hallway, knelt down and began scrubbing at the scribbles with the sponge. He listened to the happy chatter from the other side of the bathroom door as he took out his rage by making sure everything came off without leaving a trace. He had barely made a dent when the bathroom door opened and Violet waddled out trying not to trip over the towel wrapped around her. Molly emerged right after holding a towel wrapped Derek in her arms.

 

“Diapers?” She asked.

 

“Uh, down the basement stairs and down the hall past the bathroom is the room they're staying in,” Sebastian replied.

 

“Come on, I'll show you!” Violet said, abandoning her towel on the floor and making a run for the stairs, which had, thankfully, been blocked off by a baby gate. Molly followed, stooping as she passed the discarded towel and picking it up in one fluid motion. Sebastian wondered if all women were just born with a natural ability to care for children and then thought of Abigail interacting with Sam’s little brother and decided that was probably not the case.

 

Molly returned a short time later with two now cleaned and clothed children. Violet ran passed Sebastian toward the kitchen.

 

“I want animal cookies!” She proclaimed.

 

“Don't forget the magic word,” Molly replied, smiling at Sebastian as she followed the little girl with the boy still on her hip.

 

“Please!” The little girl pleaded from out of sight. Molly chuckled softly, entering the kitchen. Sebastian continued his methodical scrubbing while listening to Molly prepare a snack for the kids.

 

“Can I do anything?” She asked a few minutes later, returning to the hallway. Sebastian looked up. She was holding a towel in her hands.

 

“No, no, you've done more than enough,” Sebastian replied, apathetically. “You can go, I know you have stuff to do.”

 

“No, I said I'd help now let me.” Sebastian sighed at her insistence.

 

“You're an angel,” Sebastian muttered.

 

“And don't you forget it,” She smiled.

 

“Here,” Sebastian said, handing her the sponge. “I'll go get another one.” He stood and made his way to the kitchen.

 

“Can we have more animal cookies?” Violet asked as Sebastian retrieved a second sponge from the drawer. He grabbed the bag from the top of the refrigerator and scooped a handful into each child’s bowl before putting it back and returning to the hall. Molly was gone. Sebastian knelt down and got back to work, assuming she had decided to do her own work after all, until she appeared from the door leading to the lab down the hall. She made eye contact with Sebastian and held up a white bottle.

 

“Work smarter, not harder,” she said, taking the dry sponge from Sebastian and soaking it with the bottles contents. She wiped over the wall drawings and they smudged. She wiped again and they faded. A third time and they had almost disappeared. She took the sponge from the bucket and wrung it out before wiping all the remaining marker away.

 

“What is that?” Sebastian asked in amazement.

 

“Good old rubbing alcohol,” she replied moving to the next section of wall. “In a pinch, hand sanitizer works too.”

 

“You really are an angel.”

 

Molly laughed and tossed him one of the sponges and they set to work, one on either side of the hall. They took turns checking on the kids in the other room every few minutes. Molly gave them paper and pencils to play with while they ate their snacks. Molly and Sebastian finished in good time and returned to the kitchen to dump out the water from the bucket as Derek began to fuss in his high chair.

 

“Uh oh, it's nap time!” Said Violet. “Only for Derek though. I don't have to take naps because I'm big.”

 

“You sure are,” replied Molly. “Maybe if you ask Sebastian really, really nice, he'll take you to watch some cartoons while I put Derek down for his nap.”

 

“Please!” The little girl asked looking to Sebastian with her large, brown, pleading eyes.

 

“Sure, come on,” Sebastian said with mock enthusiasm. “I've got some anime in my room.”

 

“Age appropriate anime, Seb,” Molly reminded him as she removed the fussy one and a half year old from the high chair and followed him from the room.

 

“Fun hater,” he whispered to her. She rolled her eyes with a smile as they all descended the basement stairs.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian grew annoyed when his mother and Lydia returned home late in the afternoon and thanked Demetrius for taking care of the little ones while they were out, who in turn took the credit for taking care of things. Molly grew annoyed when she heard Lydia whisper to Robin “See, I told you she just didn't want to exercise.” Molly simply excused herself and left, Sebastian following her.

 

“Your family is kinda infuriating,” Molly commented as they made their way toward the town.

 

“It's mostly Demetrius’ family,” he shrugged.

 

“Yeah, I like your mom. She's a nice lady,” Molly responded. “I guess I don't really know your sister.”

 

“She's…” he shrugged. “Ok, I guess. I got a pretty bad gash in the mines once and Maru stitched it up and got me some antibiotics without ratting me out. She's dating Abby, and I don't know how to feel about that yet.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah, they've been trying to keep it quiet because, well, you know how small towns are.”

 

“Gotcha.”

 

“Thanks, you know, for helping out today,” Sebastian said after they had been walking in silence.

 

“No problem,” she replied. “Honestly, I'll probably just buy my seeds today and wait until morning to get planting, otherwise I'm going to run out of daylight long before I get done.”

 

“Sorry.”

 

“Don't apologize, you didn't do anything.”

 

“I still feel bad…”

 

“You wanna hang out for dinner again tonight and watch a few episodes of Lightningbug afterwards?” Molly questioned. Sebastian laughed softly.

 

“Uh, yes, definitely.”

 

“Good,” Molly smiled as she opened up the door to Pierre's and gestured for Sebastian to walk in before her.

 

She purchased five hundred gold worth of seeds, ranging from melons to pepper plants and Sebastian bought a new pack of cigarettes before they exited to return to her farm.

 

Molly whipped up a quick pot of spaghetti and sat down with her plate next to Sebastian.  During dinner, they spoke of nothing in particular, Molly's mind elsewhere as she planned out the best layout of her crops on a sheet of graph paper. Sebastian assured her again that he would do what he could to help her the next day with her planting.

 

After they finished eating and cleaning up, they flopped down on opposite ends of Molly's threadbare sofa. Turning on the television, Molly put a DVD of the television series Lightningbug, a futuristic sci-fi show about space cowboys, into her GameStation 3, which was stored beneath her coffee table. As the distinctive theme of the show filled the room , they settled in for a quiet night of vegging out in front of the TV.

 

Sebastian had every intention of only staying for two episodes, but even before the first episode got to the climactic points, his lack of sleep the night before caught up with him. He sunk lower and lower onto the couch until his eyes drifted shut and sleep washed over him.

 

“I'm going to make some popcorn,” Molly said as the episode ended. “Do you want anything?” She looked to him when he didn't respond. “Seb? Are you asleep?” She chuckled softly as she picked up the GameStation controller and turned it off. She pulled the quilt from its spot on the back of the couch and draped it over him before beginning to turn off the lights throughout the house and retiring to bed herself as she knew she was going to have a long day when she woke.

Chapter Text

When Sebastian opened his eyes again, he was momentarily blinded by the bright summer sunlight shining through the bay window. It took him a few minutes to remember where he even was. He attempted to pull down the quilt that he was snuggled into up to his nose, before realizing that he was being used as a bed by a large ginger cat.

 

“Hey, Butters,” he muttered, snaking an arm from under the blanket and scratching the cat behind its ears and causing a sleepy purr of happiness. He heard a rustle of motion from another part of the house and a moment later the blue haired woman was leaning over the back of the sofa, looking down at him with a smile.

 

“Good morning,” she said softly, her emerald eyes sparkling in the morning light. “I hope I didn't wake you up. I was trying to be quiet.”

 

“Mmm,” he groaned, “no, I have to pee, but there's a cat on me.” Molly laughed.

 

“Well, let me help you out.” She reached over and lifted Butters into her arms. “Come on, tubby.” Sebastian chuckled as he stood up and stretched.

 

“Something smells good,” he said, running his hands through his tousled hair.

 

“I made pancakes,” she proclaimed happily as she held her cat on its back like a baby and rubbed his tummy. “There's more that enough, if you want some.”

 

“Absolutely, but first…” he said as he started toward the bathroom. Molly placed the orange tom cat on the floor and returned to the kitchen. Pulling two plates out of the cabinet, she stacked a few of the steamy, golden brown discs on each and set them on the table along with a fork and knife each, and a bottle of maple syrup.

 

“I just want you to know that you're going to make me fat if you keep feeding me so well,” Sebastian said as he sat down in his now usual spot at her kitchen table. Molly chuckled.

 

“Well, I'm putting you to work today, so you can burn off those delicious calories,” she joked. He grinned as he cut into his pancakes. “So, here's what I'm thinking: I'll dig and put the seeds in and you can cover them with dirt and water them and it will hopefully take half the time it usually takes since there'll be two of us.”

 

“Yeah, that sounds good,” Sebastian replied after he swallowed a mouthful of food. “I shouldn't be able to fuck that up too bad.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Holy fuck,” Sebastian grumbled. “This is horrible. You really do this everyday?”

 

“Well,” replied Molly, looking up at him from under her wide brimmed hat, “not every day. I do get days off sometimes. You know, if it rains or I'm waiting for the plant to grow.”

 

“It's so hot!” he whined. 

 

“Oh, this is nothing. Just wait until afternoon. Then it'll be really nasty.”

 

“I'm not made for outside.”

 

“We’re almost done. Come on, you've got the easy job.” They had been working all morning and were starting to plant the last of Molly's summer crops, a slew of future blueberry bushes. Per her plan, she would hit the dirt with her hoe, making a hole a few inches deep and then would drop the seed in. Sebastian would push the dirt back into the hole with the side of his shoe and then pack the it down by stepping on it before pouring water from the can over the slight dent of earth until it was thoroughly drenched before doing the same thing again at the next hole.

 

“I am going to be so burnt,” Sebastian grumbled again. Honestly, she had expected him to complain even more than he was, and he had put in a good amount of work before even vocalizing his first complaint. She looked over at him. He was indeed turning pink around his face and neck and the exposed parts of his arms, his cheeks a deep red from exertion and the humid summer heat.

 

“I told you that you should have put on sunscreen screen.”

 

“I did…”

 

“Oh…”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Yikes.”

 

“The joys of having a redhead for a mom,” Sebastian said as he watered another seed.

 

“Are you a natural redhead?” Molly asked looking to his hair. In the bright sun, Sebastian's normally black hair appeared to have a slight brown red tint to it.

 

“No, I actually don't dye my hair.”

 

“Yeah, me neither,” Molly joked.

 

“Shut up, I don't,” Sebastian laughed, splashing her bare calf with water from the can, making a small scream escape her lips. “I guess my dad was Greek and apparently I look just like him, or so my mom says.”

 

“I bet she loves that,” she replied, sarcastically. Sebastian merely shrugged.

 

“She doesn’t really like to talk about him.”

 

“So, Cunningham is…” Molly said, attempting to make casual conversation.

 

“My mom’s maiden name. Yeah.”

 

Molly dropped the subject. She didn't like talking about her family and she was certain that Sebastian probably didn't want to talk about his. Molly's parents had divorced years ago after staying married until after her younger sister graduated high school. Her mother had severe bipolar disorder and would frequently fly off the handle at the slightest provocation and was extremely mentally abusive toward all three of her children. He father was a loving man and did all he could for his family, but between the stress of his job and being married to her mother, he had been driven to the bottle. Drunken brawls were common among her parents, the police being called on several occasions.

 

Molly's older brother, Simon, was one of her favorite people now that they were adults. They had fought like any siblings but he had always played the protective older brother role. Until he ran away from home when he was sixteen. After he left, Molly and her sister felt abandoned and Molly began to hate her brother. It wasn't until after she had graduated high school that her brother had reached out to her. He had apparently finished high school himself before joining the military to have his college paid for. She was thankful that he had left the military before the war with the Gotoro Empire began. They tried to see each other often, especially making time on holidays. He was married with two kids now and she loved her niece and nephew to pieces. It was where she had learned to take care of babies and small children.

 

Molly's relationship with her little sister was always rocky at best. Ever since high school, Darla had stolen every boyfriend Molly ever managed to get. It wasn't until Molly had walked in on her ex-fiancé and her sister having sex on her bed that it came to light that is was all just a game to Darla. A challenge, just to see if she could. To Molly, it wasn't much of a challenge and felt more than unfair. Where Molly had a stockier build, Darla was always quite slim. Because she was slim, the ample breast that each girl had been blessed with was more apparent on her. Darla knew the perfect way to do her makeup while Molly preferred to wear limited makeup, if she decided to wear any at all. This always made Darla appear much prettier than Molly, especially with her bleach blonde hair and deep tan compared to Molly's naturally dark auburn hair and usually pale complexion. The two girls were hardly recognizable as siblings at all unless someone really took the time to look. Their mother had called them night and day. After the breakup from her ex-fiancé, their relationship went from rocky to cold, the two only speaking on holidays and only because they had to. Darla blamed Molly for making too big of a deal out of the incident and had told her to ‘let it go’ several times over the last three years, but Molly wouldn't. She had felt so betrayed that she hadn't even had a boyfriend since then.

 

“Done,” Sebastian said, emptying the last of the watering can, his words bringing Molly from her reverie. “Finally.”

 

“Awesome!” Molly smiled, taking her phone from her pocket. “We finished before noon! That's great! Come on inside. I have some aloe vera gel that we can put on… this.”

 

“You just gestured to all of me.”

 

“Yep.”

 

“Is it bad?”

 

“It's not great,” Molly replied, making a pained face. “You'll be hurting later.” Sebastian sighed.

 

“I have got to stop coming out of my basement.”

 

They returned the tools to the small shed behind the house and went inside. The cool, dark interior offered immediate relief from the heat and Sebastian thanked the air conditioning gods as he went to the kitchen, retrieved a glass from a cabinet, and filled it with water while Molly headed to the bathroom to get the aloe vera gel from her first aid kit. Re-entering the kitchen, she made another pained face at the vibrant strawberry color of the fair complexioned man. Approaching him from behind where his was slumped at the table, she squirted a liberal glob of the blue-green goo into one hand, rubbed her hands together and then smeared them over the back of his neck.

 

“Holy fuck that's cold!” He exclaimed, his spine becoming ridged.

 

“Yeah, but it'll keep you from blistering and it has a numbing agent in it so you won't be as uncomfortable,” she said as she rubbed it on his ears. “Here, do your face and arms,” she said handing the tube to him. “You want something to eat?”

 

“No,” he replied from behind his hands as he rubbed the gel over himself. “I'm just going to head home. I need a shower and then I have some work I have to get done.”

 

“Well, take that with you then,” Molly said, pointing at the tube. “Put it on after your shower. ...Use cool water. ”

 

“Thanks,” he grumbled, standing.

 

“No, thank you,” Molly smiled. “I appreciate the help.”

 

“You're welcome,” he tried to grin, but his face didn't want to cooperate. “I'll see ya later.”

 

“Ok, bye,” Molly said just before he left. She sighed as the door shut behind him, hoping he wouldn't be hurting too bad later.

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian hit the button that said TEST and waited for his programming to be checked by the system. He stretched as he waited, the movement of his skin causing a dull pain.

 

“Finally,” he hissed when his coding came back as no errors. He had been sent the module that he had been patching all afternoon by Ferngill Programming Associates, the company that he freelanced for, from a small start up business that had tried to build their own website but had no idea what they were doing. He had quickly come to the conclusion that it would have been easier to rebuild the website from scratch than try to fix what they had already come up with, but, unfortunately, that's not what they were paying him for. He opened his email and attached his work before sending it to his boss. He clicked on his boss's name in his email’s instant messaging add on.

 

I need a raise after that

 

Yeah

Sorry

I know it was a total mess

 

That's putting it nicely

 

I'll see if I can pull some strings and get you some kind of bonus

Although...

It would be easier to convince the higher ups if you were an actual employee and not just a freelancer

 

The famous catch 22

Need money to move to the city

Need to move to the city to make money

 

You'll be able to get the last 2 modules done before Friday, right

 

Have I ever let you down?

 

Not yet

:)

 

Sebastian grinned as he closed out of his email. He had been freelancing for the same company for the better part of five years. They had given him gradual pay increases over the years, but it was only recently that he was finally starting to get a small amount into his savings account. The last time he started to get some gold saved up, his decade old computer decided to completely die. He emptied his savings and still had to borrow money from his mother in order to buy a replacement.

 

His bedroom door opened and his stepfather walked in.

 

“Ever heard of knocking?” Sebastian commented, knowing it would do no good. After all, it was, as Demetrius constantly reminded him, his house.

 

“Yoba, what happened to you?”

 

“I went outside,” he replied flatly. “What do you want? I'm busy.”

 

“Come upstairs, it's time for dinner.”

 

“I'll eat later. I'm trying to get some work done.”

 

“Well, it'll have to wait. You need to come upstairs.”

 

“Why the hell do I have to drop everything I'm doing for dinner, but you can't take some time out of the lab to babysit like you said you would?” Sebastian fumed.

 

“We are not debating this. Get your ass upstairs. Now.”

 

Sebastian rolled his eyes as tall, dark skinned man left his room. At least he had gotten to finish what he was working on before being interrupted. Grabbing his cigarettes and cellphone and stuffing them in his hoodie pocket, he stood and made his way to his door. He couldn't wait until he was able to get away from this place.

 

Walking into the kitchen, his ears were filled with the sound of his aunt’s exaggerated laughter.

 

“What happened to you? Did someone open your coffin before sunset?” She said as Sebastian sat heavily into his chair, glaring at his plate.

 

“He was helping Molly with her farm work this morning,” Robin explained, ladling some mashed potatoes on her plate. His mother had been the only person to see him when he first came home and had promptly scolded him for not using enough sunblock.

 

“Well, good for her for getting him outside, for once!” Lydia proclaimed. "He spends entirely too much time in that dark basement! Why when Deme and I were kids..." Sebastian sighed softly and attempted to tune out his aunt and the jabs that were bound to continue through the meal.

Chapter Text

“Ouch,” Abigail commented.

 

“Yeah…” replied Molly.

 

“I wouldn't worry about him, though. He volunteered to help you because he owed you a favor, so he's not allowed to be mad at you.”

 

“I know, I'm just thinking too far into it,” Molly said from Abigail’s bedroom floor, where the two sat side by side playing a video game. “Oh! Take that bitch!”

 

“God damn it!” Abigail scowled as her onscreen character’s car spun around as she got hit with a banana. “I'm throwing in the towel after this race, I'm tired of losing to you tonight.”

 

“Big baby.”

 

“Whatever. But anyway, he's probably just busy. I know his mom said he was working so knowing him he has his music on full blast and is completely engrossed in his coding.”

 

“I'm not worried about it,” Molly assured. “I guess I've just gotten too used to seeing him the last couple days. Which is weird! I shouldn't be used to someone being around after two fucking days. Suck it, nerd.” Molly's character rolled over the finish line and did a victory dance from the car. She put her controller down and stretched her arms above her head with a yawn. Abigail shrugged.

 

“Guess you could always, I dunno, text him. You are his girlfriend, you're allowed to do that.”

 

“I'm not his girlfriend,” Molly rolled her eyes with a grin. “I'm pretending to be his girlfriend for the summer.”

 

“Whatever you say,” Abigail replied. “All I know is that this whole thing is making Sam giddy like a little girl.”

 

“Really? Why?”

 

“He's been trying to gently push you and Sebastian together since you moved here.”

 

“What, really?” Molly asked, skeptically.

 

“I never said he was doing it well,” Abigail laughed.

 

“Alright, I'm going to get out of here,” Molly said standing up.

 

“What're you doing tomorrow?”

 

“My family is coming to visit so I have to get things ready up at the farm.”

 

“Well, let me know when you want to go spelunking in the mines.”

 

“Sounds goods. See ya.”

 

“Later.”

 

Molly walked out of Abigail's bedroom and made her way through the store in the front of the building before letting herself outside into the town square. Instead of heading right toward her farm, she headed left toward the carpenter shop on Mountain Road. She'd just pop in really quick to see how Sebastian was feeling after his morning in the sun the day before.

 

The sun had begun to set below the horizon when she finally approached the house. The light from beside the front door glowed warmly and the garage door had been thrown open, the clicking of a ratchet could be distinctly heard.

 

“Sebastian?” Molly asked with a smile as she approached. Sebastian rolled out on a creeper, a simple board with wheels on the bottom that mechanics often used, from under the blue and black motorcycle enough to look up at her.

 

“Oh, hey Molly.”

 

“What have we got here?”

 

“What? My motorcycle? Hmm… I guess I haven’t showed it to you,” he shrugged and slid back under his bike. She quietly watched him work for a few minutes before beginning to feel awkward. Thinking she was being dismissed, she began backing away to leave. Sebastian’s voice from under the bike stopped her. “Sometimes after sundown, I like to take a long ride out of the Valley. There’s nothing else like it. Blazing along the empty stretch of road toward that faint city glow…” The tone of his voice was almost longing as he slid out from under the bike and stood up. “Someday, once I’ve finally saved up enough money, I’m going to head out on my own… to the city and beyond, just me and my bike.” He pulled a quart of oil from a nearby shelf and began to pour it into the bike’s engine.

 

“Someday, I want to find a guy that talks about me the way you talk about your bike,” Molly joked. Sebastian looked at her with a small smirk. She put a finger to her chin and looked to the ceiling, pretending to be thoughtful. “...And look at me the way that Sam looks at pie.” Sebastian laughed this time as Molly smiled, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning against the garage door frame.

 

“Good luck with that,” Sebastian chuckled, before stopping dead and looking at Molly horrified. “I-- I mean that Sam really likes pie… Not that you would need luck… you’re very… you shouldn’t have a problem…” Molly chuckled at Sebastian’s stumbling words. “Hey, look, the oil’s all changed!”

 

“You’re a dork,” Molly teased. Sebastian blew his lips out in a raspberry before giving Molly a shy, awkward smile. They were quiet for a long moment, not looking at each other. Molly let her eyes wander around her surroundings as Sebastian cleaned the grease from his hands with a towel.

 

“Is this yours?” Molly questioned as she stepped around the motorcycle and headed deeper into the garage. She approached an old upright piano that was covered in a thick layer of dust.

 

“Yeah, well, sort of,” Sebastian replied before joining her next to it. He pulled a cigarette from his pack and lit it before continuing on. “Mom and Demetrius made both me and Maru take piano lessons as kids. Maru hated it, so she only played for a few years, but I kept it up.” He shrugged again. “It was something to do, I guess.”

 

“I always wanted to play an instrument, but I could never get the hang of anything. My fingers are slow and stupid,” She said as she held up both hands and wiggled her fingers.

 

“Ah, it’s all just muscle memory,” Sebastian said as he lifted the lid away from the keyboard. Placing one hand on the keys, he expertly performed first a scale, then an arpeggio, and then, placing his cigarette between his lips, placed a second hand on the keys and began to play Beethoven’s Silence Concerto. Molly’s lips turning into a wide smile as she listened. He played for a full minute, before stopping, realizing before it was too late that he was about to get lost in his playing, as he often did. He cleared his throat as he removed the cigarette from his lips. “It’s, uhh… out of tune, a bit.”

 

“That was beautiful.”

 

“Thanks,” he mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck. The sound of the front door of the house opening made them both turn and Robin walked around the corner a moment later.

 

“Oh, that was you Sebby,” Robin said happily, coming to stand next to them. “It’s been so long since I’ve heard you play, I’d forgotten how good you are.”

 

“Thanks, Mom,” he muttered, taking another drag from his cigarette. Robin turned to Molly.

 

“You know, he’s won all kinds of awards for his piano playing. Went to nationals six times and wiped the floor with every other contestant there. Brought one judge to tears! He had people throwing scholarships his way. Wouldn’t have had to pay a dime for college, but he didn’t want to go!”

 

“Sorry to be a disappointment.”

 

“He eventually got the electric piano and moved it to Sam’s house when they decided to start their band,” Robin continued, ignoring Sebastian’s comment. “That was a few years ago now, so I haven’t heard him play in ages. Do you want to see his awards? They’re up in the attic now, but I know exactly--”

 

“No!” Sebastian interjected. “No, we don’t need to dig out the old awards.”

 

“Well, I am so sorry for being proud of my son,” she said, giving his side a poke and causing him to make a face. “I’ll show you his baby pictures later,” she mock whispered to Molly, causing Sebastian to slump and roll his eyes. Molly laughed at the exchange. “I just made some peach cobbler, do you want to come in for a piece?”

 

“Oh no thanks, I just came by to see how Seb was feeling after helping me yesterday and I’m sure Lydia would have nothing but nice things to say about me eating anything with sugar.”

 

“Oh, to hell with her,” Robin said with a wave of her hand. “She’s far from being a supermodel herself. I’ll get you a piece to go.” She walked away without waiting for a response.

 

“I love your mom,” Molly chuckled.

 

“She’s something,” He mumbled noncommittally. They fell into silence again waiting for Robin to return. “Hey, maybe I could take you on a ride sometime,” Sebastian suggested. “You know… on the bike.”

 

“Oh, I’m good. I’m actually terrified of motorcycles.”

 

“Ah, come on, there’s no need to worry,” Sebastian smirked. “I can keep you safe.” Molly rolled her eyes with a small smile.

 

“Yeah, mhmm, sure.”

 

“Seriously, there is really nothing to worry about. I’ve been riding this thing for years.”

 

“Yeah, ok, I guess it could be fun.” Molly sighed, defeated. 

 

“There ya go! That's the spirit!” Sebastian grinned as Robin returned carrying a paper plate covered in plastic wrap.

 

“Here you go, sweetie,” Said Robin handing the plate to Molly. “Just pop it in the microwave for thirty seconds or so and it’ll be the perfect temperature.”

 

“Thanks, Robin,” Molly smiled. “It smells awesome!”

 

“It tastes awesome, if I do say so myself,” Robin replied. She turned to walk back into the house before stopping short. “Sebby, will you take the trash out tonight before you go to bed?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“And stop smoking in the house.” Sebastian looked down to his lit cigarette before pulling it behind his back in an attempt to hide it. Robin cocked an eyebrow before walking away. “Good night,” she said in a sing song voice. As soon as they heard the front door close, Sebastian returned his cigarette to his mouth, but it was quickly yanked away by Molly.

 

“Hey!”

 

“Listen to your mother,” Molly said, flipping the cigarette out of the garage. “It’s a yucky habit anyway.” Sebastian curled his lips and shook his head and shoulders in a mocking movement.

 

“...Not even my real girlfriend…” He grumbled under his breath.

 

“Do you need this cobbler?” Molly asked, presenting the plate.

 

“No, why? I can just get some from inside.”

 

“Oh, I just thought you’d want something sweet to eat so you could stop being so salty.” Sebastian snorted.

 

“Touche.” They were silent again for a long moment before they both began to speak at the same time.

 

“Sorry,” Molly said.

 

“No, go ahead.”

 

“I was just going to say that I was going to go. I just stopped by to see how you were feeling from getting burnt yesterday, but you at least look better, so…”

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian replied rubbing the back of his neck. “The gel stuff you gave me helped a lot.”

 

“Yeah, it does help. I’ve used my fair share of it.”

 

“Did you need it back? I can go get it.”

 

“Oh, no, don’t worry about it,” Molly assured. “I can always get more if I need it.”

 

“Well, I was going to say that since I didn’t get to finish my cigarette, that I was going to take a walk to have another one,” Sebastian said before continuing a bit awkwardly. “Do... you want to come with?”

 

“Oh,” Molly said, surprised. “Yeah, sure, I’d love to.” Sebastian gestured out of the garage and they both stepped out into the warm night air. He turned and pulled the garage door down before beginning to walk toward the mountain lake near his home.  

 

“Did you know that Sam has been trying to get us together since I moved here?” Molly asked. “I just found out from Abby today and I'm like ‘What? Really?’”

 

“Yeah, he told me a few days ago.”

 

“What a goob.”

 

“Don’t get him started on his OTP theory,” Sebastian grinned as they fell into easy conversation.

 

“What? No, this I’ve gotta hear!”

 

Chapter Text

 

Molly stood leaning against an old fencepost, staring at the broken down bus. She had been deep in thought for awhile now. The bus had stood in this same spot since before Molly had moved to town. She had spoken to Pam one night at the saloon and had been told that the bus had been abandoned for the past year, putting poor Pam out of a job and causing the alcoholic woman to spend even more time at the Stardrop. A few days after that, she had questioned Mayor Lewis. The old bus had been repaired countless times before and it just kept breaking down. The town could buy a new bus for 40,000 gold, but the town didn’t have 40,000 gold. The entire town was barely staying afloat without the added expense of fixing the bus. She pulled out her phone to send a text.

 

Wyd?

 

Less than a minute later she saw the ellipses and then came a reply from Sebastian.

 

Working. Sup?

 

Can you fix any engine of just your bike?

 

All engines have basically the same parts

Something wrong with your car?

 

Not exactly

Come by the farm when you’re done working

 

Kk

Shouldn’t be too long, I’m about done

 

:)

 

Molly put her phone back in her pocket. She didn’t know anything about mechanics. It was a good day for her if she could figure out her own computer issues and she used her computer everyday. But if Sebastian could get the old bus up and running, she knew it would be a huge help to the town. She was sure that Mayor Lewis had never asked Sebastian to look at it as he considered both him and Sam to be troublemakers. Which, she could see his point, with Sam especially.

 

The ringing of her phone snapped her away from her reverie. She pulled it back out from her pocket and smiled as she saw who was calling.

 

“Hey, Simon!” She said happily.

 

“Hey, Sis! How’s it going?”

 

“Same shit, different day,” she replied. “You?”

 

“Just calling to say that we made it to Zuzu. We’re going to grab some lunch with an old military buddy I haven’t seen in ages and then we’ll be on our way to you.”

 

“Yay!” She said excitedly. With her thoughts of the bus, she had almost forgotten that her brother’s family was coming to visit for the weekend. “I can’t wait to see my babies! Oh, and my douchebag brother and his wife too, I guess. Whatever.” Simon chuckled.

 

“I miss you too.”

 

“Ok, well, I guess I need to go and make sure that the guest room is all set up for you guys and put the final touches on the baby proofing.”

 

“Ah, just let them stick a fork in the power socket,” Simon joked. “They’ll learn. Ouch!” Molly heard the smack from over the phone. “Scratch that. Beth would like the house baby proofed.” Molly laughed.

 

“Ok, I’ll see you tonight then.”

 

“Hang on,” Simon replied. Through his silence she could hear Beth mumbling something. “Yeah, that’s a great idea! How about I bring my friend Bryan to the farm with us? Maybe you guys would hit it off. He likes to play video games too.” Molly rolled her eyes. Simon and Beth took every opportunity to try to set her up with any random single male that they knew.

 

“Well, I don’t think my boyfriend would appreciate that very much,” she replied. Time for a little reciprocation from Sebastian.

 

“Oh!” Simon replied with surprise. “She’s already seeing someone.” More muttering from Beth. “Beth wants to know if we’ll be able to meet him this weekend.”

 

“Of course! Yeah, he’s around all the time so you’re bound to run into him at some point.”

 

“Awesome. Well, we’re pulling up to the restaurant now, so we’ll be seeing you in a couple hours. Love you!”

 

“Love you too. Have fun!” Molly said before disconnecting the line. She sighed, taking one last look at the rundown bus before turning to walk back down the dirt path toward her farm.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly had just finished vacuuming the old faded carpet in the upstairs guest room when she heard the front door open downstairs.

 

“You home?” Sebastian’s voice carried up the stairs. She had been so busy with putting fresh sheets on the beds and making sure everything wasn’t covered in a thin layer of dust from disuse that she had completely forgotten that she had asked for Sebastian to come over.

 

“Just a minute!” She called back. She gathered the old bedding up in her arms and grabbed her bucket of cleaning supplies in on hand and the handle of the vacuum in the other hand and began her journey downstairs.

 

“Hey, let me help you,” Sebastian said as she came into view on the stairs. He hopped up half the flight of stairs and relieved Molly of the bulky vacuum and cleaning supply bucket.

 

“Thanks,” She replied, gathering up the blankets that had come loose and were threatening to trip her.

 

“Ever hear of two trips?”

 

“Multiple trips is for the weak!” Molly exclaimed as they reached the kitchen. “You can set that down anywhere,” She said nodding toward the cleaning bucket. “I’ll be right back.” She opened the door to the cellar and made her way down. Sebastian placed the bucket on the kitchen counter as he waited for Molly to return.

 

“Yoba, my brain is all over the place today,” She commented as she returned a few minutes later. “I totally forgot that I asked you to come over.”

 

“Yeah, I knocked but you didn’t answer.”

 

“I didn’t hear you, sorry, I was vacuuming.”

 

“Good thing you don’t lock your door,” he grinned.

 

“Indeed,” she replied. “You want anything? Coffee, water?”

 

“No, thanks,” he replied back as he watched her put her cleaning supplies away under the sink and then use a safety lock to secure the doors. “Worried someone is going to steal your cleaning stuff?” Molly laughed.

 

“No, My family is visiting this weekend and my niece and nephew are just a little older than your… cousins?”

 

“Step-cousin’s kids, if you’re talking about Derek and Violet, but close enough,” Sebastian grinned again.

 

“I’ve been trying to get the house cleaned up today and make sure everything is baby proof because I'm a horrible procrastinator, and I forgot that it needed to be done by today with everything else going on, and I forgot I asked you to come over, and holy shit, is this what it feels like to be Sam?” Sebastian laughed at the poke at his best friend’s scatter brain, as he watched Molly buzzing around the kitchen, wiping counters with a wet cloth. “But this also reminds me, that I’m going to have to ask you to be around a lot this weekend.”

 

“Ok, why?”

 

“Well, remember that time that you told your Aunt that we were dating so she’d get off your back and I volunteered to go along with it?”

 

“Sounds vaguely familiar,” Sebastian joked, with a straight face.

 

“Well, I told my brother that I had a boyfriend so that he wouldn’t bring his old friend from the army and try to set me up on another awkward and horrible date. Because that’s the absolute last thing I want to deal with all weekend. Oh, before they get here I need to go to Pierre’s and get stuff for dinner. The kids probably won’t want what I cook. Does Pierre’s sell dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets? I’m pretty sure the bathroom is as baby proof as it’s going to get. I got a lock for the cabinet and one of those no-slip bath tub mats. Maybe I should have gotten a baby gate for the stairs. Do parents bring their own baby gates with them places? That doesn’t sound like something that would normally get packed. Maybe I should stop by Joja Mart and get one since I know Pierre’s doesn’t carry them. Ugh, I hate Joja--” Her rambling was halted as Sebastian grabbed her by both shoulders and gave her one gentle shake as he looked into her face.

 

“Breath,” he commanded. Molly inhaled deeply through her mouth and released it. “Sounds like you get as worked up about your family as I get with mine.”

 

“I just haven’t seen them since before I moved here,” Molly sighed. “I just want them to see the farm up and running smoothly and give the impression that I have my shit together.”

 

“Everything looks great,” Sebastian reassured with a small smile. “You have nothing to worry about.”

 

“Everyone just thought I was completely crazy for coming here and trying to do this,” Molly confessed. “I just want to prove them wrong.”

 

“Hey, I have first hand knowledge of how hard you work here,” he stated. “I think you’ve already proved them wrong.” Molly smiled shyly.

 

“Thanks, Seb.”

 

“You want a cigarette?”

 

“Eww, No!” Molly laughed.

 

“Want some pot? I got that too.”

 

That I might take you up on later, depending on how this evening goes.”

 

“It’s so weird how you don’t like cigarettes, but you’ll smoke pot,” He commented.

 

“I used to be a smoker,” she replied with a small shrug.

 

“What? Really?”

 

“Yeah,” Molly laughed at the disbelieving look on Sebastian’s face. “Started in high school and smoked through college. Quit a couple of years back because… for reasons,” She finished the sentence lamely. She had quit because he ex-fiance didn’t approve of it and decided to not pick up the expensive habit again after they broke up, but her ex wasn’t something she was ready to discuss with Sebastian just then.

 

“Good for you,” Sebastian replied earnestly.

 

“Thanks.”

 

“Well, let’s get your mind off your family for awhile. What did you want me to have a look at?”

 

“Huh?” Molly asked, genuinely confused.

 

“The engine? Your car, or whatever?” Sebastian said speaking slowly to the frazzled woman. He chuckled lightly. “You know, if you wanted me to come over just to see me, you could have just asked.”

 

“Oh, piss off, kid,” Molly said rolling her eyes. “Come on.” She walked toward the door and slipped on a pair of flip flops before opening the door and exiting with Sebastian right behind her. He closed the door and followed her off the porch, but grew confused as she walked past her car and exited the farm.

 

“Really?” He asked skeptically as they approached the old bus. He crossed his arms over his chest. “You’re joking, right?”

 

“I just thought that maybe you could look at it.”

 

“This thing has been a complete piece of shit since I was a kid.”

 

“Yeah, but if we could at least get it running, it could really help out the town,” Molly replied enthusiastically. “It would get Pam away from the bar for a few hours a day. The town could get some of its tourism back and bring in more money. Mayor Lewis would be ecstatic and when I tell him that it’s because you helped, maybe he would start cutting you and Sam a little bit of slack.” She smiled widely at him and he cocked an eyebrow.

 

“You are too pure for this world,” he muttered shaking his head and looking at the derelict bus.

 

“Does that mean that you’ll help me?”

 

“I… can look at it.”

 

“Yay!” Molly beamed as she threw her arms around his shoulders and planted a kiss on his cheek. “You’re the best!” Sebastian blushed violently.

 

“Don’t, uhh,” his mind had suddenly gone blank in his embarrassment. “Don’t... give praise… get your hopes up…” He was stumbling over his words and he mentally kicked himself as he watched her happily bounce away toward the complete waste of metal that was the Pelican Town bus. He hoped that it wouldn’t become a habit of him not being able to tell her no.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“How in the fuck did she talk me into this?” Sebastian yelled, throwing his wrench against the front grill of the bus with a loud clang . Sam watched his friend’s tantrum from where he was standing, on the front fender, leaning over the engine compartment. Sebastian had called him hours before and asked him to bring the tool box from where it sat next to his motorcycle. Sam had happily agreed and after arriving, had volunteered to help, even though he had very limited knowledge with engines. Sebastian was happy to have the company and the extra set of hands at first, but the deeper he delved into the inner workings of the bus, the more frustrated he became and the more annoying he found Sam’s commentary. He pulled a cigarette from it’s pack and lit it, allowing the nicotine to calm his nerves as he leaned back against a large headlight.

 

“Ok, so, we’ve decided that it’s not the battery, or the alternator,” Sam said, attempting to help. “You said the spark plugs were fine and the hoses weren’t plugged. Maybe this thing is the problem.” Sebastian looked to where Sam was pointing and sighed.

 

“That’s where the windshield washer fluid goes,” he muttered as he rubbed his temple with two fingers. “I think the only way to get it working is if the whole god damn engine gets replaced. I’m just going to have to tell her that I can’t fix it.”

 

“You can’t throw in the towel yet!” Insisted Sam, hopping to the ground. “Maybe you could ask that homeless guy that lives behind your house. He helped you when your bike broke down and you couldn’t figure out what was wrong.” Sebastian pondered for a moment as he took another drag from his cigarette. It was true that Linus had helped him out with his bike. He didn’t know what the old man had done before deciding that living off the grid was the way to go, but over the years, he had proved to be a valuable source of information.

 

“Yeah, maybe,” he resigned.

 

“Ah, damn it,” Sam grumbled. “I got grease on my shirt. Mom’s going to be pissed.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. Sam was a six foot one, two hundred and thirty pound child. He lived at home with his mother and little brother, his dad being deployed with the army. His mom washed his laundry, cooked for him, and cleaned up after him. Sebastian shook his head at his eternally teenage friend.

 

They both turned as the heard the sound of a vehicle approaching. The SUV turned into into the old bus stop and came to a halt. The driver rolled down the window.

 

“Howdy!” He smiled cheerfully. Sam snorted softly.

 

“Hey,” Sebastian replied to the sandy haired man.

 

“I’m looking for the Evan’s Farm,” he called. “Am I close?”

 

“Yeah, yer just gonna drive pass dat fence and hang right,” Sam said putting on his best redneck accent. “Y’all jus’ keep on goin’ to the end of the road an’ you’ll run smack inta it.”

 

“Thank you!” the man replied before rolling up his window and driving onward. Sebastian glared at Sam.

 

“What?”

 

“You’re a dumbass.”

 

“Ah, I was just having some fun.”

 

“Yeah, we’ll I’m pretty sure that those are the people that I’m going to have to be around all weekend.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“They’re looking for Evan’s Farm, so I’m pretty sure that’s Molly family and not only is she my girlfriend for the summer, but now I’m her boyfriend for the weekend. Stop it.” He cut off Sam’s excited intake of breath.

 

“You can’t stop true love, Sebastian!” Sam yelled, throwing his arms into the air enthusiastically. “It’s going to happen eventually. Just let it.” He finished the last in a dramatic whisper. Sebastian rolled his eyes.

 

“I’m calling it for today,” He grumbled as he climbed up and slammed the hood of the bus closed. “Gotta go meet the family.”

 

“Don’t sound so excited about it,” Sam teased. Sebastian gave a noncommittal grunt. “Gonna make it for pool tonight?”

 

“I probably won't be able to get away, unfortunately. You go ahead and practice losing without me,” Sebastian smirked.

 

“Hey, I'm getting better!”

 

“No, you're not.”

 

“Whatever,” Sam grumbled. “I’m going to go see Penny. You want me to take your tool box back?”

 

“Nah, I’ll leave it at Molly’s. I somehow get the feeling that I’ll need it again next time I try to figure out what’s wrong with this pile of junk. Stop it!” He said attempting to cut off another of Sam’s joyful looks.

 

“Sebastian and Molly sitting in a tree…” Sam began to sing.

 

“I will fucking kill you…”

 

“K-I-S-S-I-N-G…”

 

“What are you? Six?”

 

“First comes love, then-- Ow!” Sam was cut off by a hard punch to the arm.

 

“Next time, it’ll be your face,” Sebastian pointed threateningly at Sam.

 

Sam pouted as he rubbed what was sure to become a bruise.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Knock knock!” Called the sandy haired man as he stuck his head into the old farm house.

 

“Hey!” Molly exclaimed excitedly, turning from the stove where she was preparing dinner. The door opened wide and to small children walked over the threshold. “Come get your Aunt Molly!” She exclaimed as she dropped to her knees with her arms open wide. The small boy and girl ran at Molly, almost knocking her over as they hit at the same time. She wrapped an arm around each one and gave them a tight hug. “Oh, I’ve missed you guys so much! Look at how big you’re getting!” Molly returned to her feet and brought her attention to her brother and sister-in-law. “And look at how big YOU’RE getting!” She gestured to the large bump of baby number three that was protruding from Beth. She wrapped her arms around her sister-in-law. “Oh, can’t… quite… bring… my arms… together,” she joked dramatically.

 

“Oh, haha, we’ll see how funny you think it is someday when you’re in this position,” Beth laughed, before giving Molly a friendly kiss on the cheek with a loud “M’wah”.  

 

“Look at this old place!” Said Simon looking around. “Man, it sure looks different. I remember it being bigger.”

 

“I think you were just smaller,” laughed Molly as she hugged her brother. “Well, I have the guest room all set up. I even dug out the old crib for Katie and Lucas can have his own big boy bed!”

 

“Aunt Molly,” asked Lucas. “Does my room have a TV?”

 

“No, I’m sorry, bubba,” she said, running a hand over his short hair. “I only have the one TV in the living room.”

 

“Do-- do you think that I could watch Sponge Bill in your living room?”

 

“Of course, my dude,” Molly replied with a smile. “As long as it’s ok with your mom and… dad.” she halted, her face falling as she looked up from the boy to Simon. Standing just beyond her brother, just inside the open doorway, was someone that she was never happy to see. “Darla?”

 

“Surprise!” Darla sang before skipping further into the room and wrapping her arms around her sister, who stood stiffly rooted in place.

 

“Darla, what are you doing here?” Molly asked, gently pushing herself out of her sister’s grasp.

 

“Simon told me that he was coming to grandpa’s old farm to see you, and I thought that I would come too and surprise you!”

 

“Great,” Molly said with a half smile, half grimace on her face.

 

“I wanted to tell you,” Simon said uncomfortably. “Darla insisted that I didn’t.”

 

“Where can I put my stuff?” Darla asked looking around. Molly cleared her throat, fighting the frustrated lump that was forming in her throat.

 

“Well, I have the guest room set up for everyone, but I wasn’t expecting you to be here, so I don’t have anywhere for you to sleep.”

 

“Aww, does this mean I have to give up my big boy bed?” Lucas pouted.

 

“Of course not, buddy!” Darla chimed in. “You go ahead and take the big boy bed and I can just sleep on a couch.”

 

The sound of the front door being opened made everyone turn toward it and the black haired man from the bus stop stepped inside.

 

“We found the place,” Simon said with a smile and a wave at the young man. Darla let her eyes wash over the man’s form and subtly pushed her chest out.

 

“Oh, umm… good,” he replied, looking a little awkward as he saw that all eyes in the room were on him. Molly made her way toward him.

 

“Any luck?” she asked casually with a small smile, meeting his eyes with her own and immediately making him feel more comfortable. He shook his head with a sigh.

 

“Nothing yet,” He replied. “I’m going to try a few things later and I gotta ask someone for advice. But, honestly, it might be a lost cause.”

 

“Oh, don’t give up,” She replied, giving his upper arm a light squeeze. “I know you’ll get it.” She turned back toward the room. “Everyone this is Sebastian… My… boyfriend.” Sebastian noticed her hesitate slightly before using the term.

 

“Ah, so you’re the lucky guy,” said Simon stepping forward and thrusting a hand out toward him. “Simon Evans, Molly’s older brother.”

 

“Oh, you don’t want to shake my hand right now,” Sebastian said quietly, holding up two hands that were covered in grease. Simon laughed and brought his hands to his hips.

 

“Fair enough.”

 

“Why don’t you go ahead and get cleaned up?” Molly said softly, nodding toward the kitchen sink.

 

“Sure,” he muttered in reply. Molly led the way into the kitchen and turned on the hot water for Sebastian in an attempt to keep her hardware clean. She squirted some dish soap in the palm of his hand and he began to scrub both hands together as Molly returned to her cooking.

 

“So, Sebastian,” Said Simon from where he had sat down at the kitchen table next to his wife. “What’s wrong with your bus?” Molly laughed.

 

“It’s the town’s bus, Simon. I’ve just managed to talk Sebastian into trying to get it up and running.”

 

“Well, if you like, I can have a look at it,” Simon replied. “I’ve fixed my share of engines when I was in the army. Busses can’t be that much different than Humvees, right?”

 

“Yeah, that’d be great,” Sebastian replied with gratitude. He turned off the tap and grabbed the towel from where it was hanging on the oven door next to Molly. “So far, I’ve only been able to figure out what isn’t the problem.”

 

“I assume you’ve already checked the basics?” Simon said conversationally. “Spark plugs, hoses, belts?”

 

“Yep,” replied Sebastian.

 

“Radiator?”

 

“Full of water. Practically new cap.”

 

“Coolent?”

 

“Full. No leaks.”

 

“Alternator? Battery?”

 

“Good and good.”

 

“Did you check the oil pump?”

 

“Ye-- No…”

 

“That’s probably your problem. Even if the oil is full, if that pump is broken, you’re not getting any lube to the engine and that’ll bring things to a grinding halt.”

 

“Hmm,” Sebastian said thoughtfully.

 

“Alright motor heads,” Molly jested. “Dinner’s ready.” They all gathered around Molly’s small kitchen table. She had been able to produce extra folding chairs for her guests, but the addition of Darla, had made them a seat short. It had already been planned that little Katie would just sit on one of her parent’s laps during meals due to the absence of a high chair. Although Molly would have loved to make her sister eat on the floor, or even better, outside, she instead pulled Lucas onto her lap to give her sister a seat. They all chatted casually as the filled their plates.

 

“What’s those?” asked Lucas.

 

“What are those, honey,” his mother corrected him.

 

“Those are sweet potatoes,” Molly told him. “They’re really good. I make them with marshmallows and brown sugar. Do you want to try some?”

 

“Ok, I like marshmallows.”

 

“You should thank your Aunt Molly for finding you chicken nuggets out here,” Simon told him.

 

“Yeah, you really didn’t have to make the kids special food,” Beth scolded lightly, knowing it would do no good to try getting Molly to stop spoiling her kids.

 

“Oh, it’s fine,” said Molly giving her a wink. “I even got two big value bags so we’ll have plenty of chicken nuggets for the whole weekend.”

 

“Yeah!” yelled Lucas happily bouncing on Molly’s lap.

 

“Careful, bub, you’ll spill your juice.” Molly smiled. She gave him a light squeeze around his middle.

 

“So, Sebastian,” Darla piped up from Sebastian’s left, Molly hearing the flirtatious tone of her voice even though no one else seemed to. “How long have you been seeing our Molly-moo.”

 

“Do not call me that,” Molly spat, glaring daggers at her sister.

 

“Oh, lighten up!” Darla laughed before placing a hand lightly on Sebastian’s wrist and leaning close to him to whisper. “She’s so sensitive about her childhood nicknames.”

 

“Mmm,” Sebastian nodded as he leaned away from Darla, wiggling his arm away from her touch and crossing it in front of him. Darla sat up straight and returned to her meal, tossing her blond hair over her shoulder. This one might be an actual challenge. It wasn’t that she even found the man sitting next to her particularly attractive. He did have a nice face but he was far from being her type. No, it was just her duty to her sister to show her the truth behind all of the men that she dated. Molly tended to fall for guys that would only hurt her further down the road and Darla took it upon herself to make sure that it happened before Molly would really get her heart broken. Molly had always been overweight and was easy going with her looks and the last thing Darla wanted to see was Molly think she was in a happy relationship, get pregnant and really let herself go, and then have the guy find someone younger and prettier and have her whole life ruined. Daniel, Molly’s former fiance, was a great example. All it took for him was the stress of planning a wedding and he had given himself up to her. Molly may hate her forever for doing what she did, but it was for her own good.

 

“How long have you two been seeing each other?” Asked Beth, trying to lighten the mood while attempting to spoon some sweet potatoes into Katie’s mouth. “Simon, stop bouncing your leg, I’m going to put her eye out with the spoon.”

 

“Oops,” he replied, coming to a halt.

 

“Oh, we haven’t been seeing each other very long,” Molly replied, before chuckling awkwardly. “I mean, I haven’t lived here very long.”

 

“You know, when you got off the phone with Simon earlier, he told us that he didn’t think you really had a boyfriend and just didn’t want us to bring his army buddy home,” commented Beth.

 

“Pft,” Molly laughed, looking to Sebastian. “Who does that?” He grinned back, knowingly at her.

 

When dinner had finished and things had been cleaned up and put away, Molly got out the gift that she had bought for Katie and Lucas, a large plastic farm that came with a variety of animals and a little farmer and the adults all sat around the kitchen table playing a game of cards while the little ones played with their new toy. Darla had insisted on opening up a bottle of wine, which was shared among three of the five adults. Beth couldn’t because she was pregnant. Sebastian just didn’t like wine.

 

The children started to get fussy just after the third bottle of wine had been opened. Beth and Simon excused themselves to begin the kids’ bedtime routine, leaving Molly, Sebastian, and Darla alone together. After a long moment of awkward silence, Sebastian stood and stretched.

 

“I'm going out for a smoke.”

 

“Oh, I'll join you!” Piped up Darla cheerfully. “I never have a smoking buddy when I need one.” Sebastian looked to Molly, who glared at her sister before looking away, but said nothing. He wondered what the story was with the two sisters. Darla seemed happy to see Molly, but not the other way around. Molly's usual sunshine had clouded over and earlier in the evening, when Sebastian tried to take her hand in his, she had immediately pulled away, which he thought was strange since she had willingly held his hand in front of his family. Maybe it was just different with her family. Maybe she was just under stress from trying to impress them.

 

“Hmm, I can't find my lighter,” Darla said, fishing through her purse on the dark front porch, the only light coming from a dim porch light. “Care if I use yours?” She made a move toward him as if she wanted him to light her cigarette for her, but Sebastian, who had always had a larger than average space bubble, instinctively took a step away and handed her his lighter.

 

“You don't talk very much, do you?” Darla asked as she handed his lighter back. Sebastian shrugged.

 

“I do if I have something to say. I guess I just prefer to listen.”

 

“Mmm, a guy that listens. That's every girl’s dream,” she replied, giggling at her own joke. “So, what's fun to do it this town?”

 

“Not a lot,” Sebastian replied monotonously. “We have a beach and we have a bar, that's about it.”

 

“Yeah, I can't wait to check out the beach,” Darla gushed. “I just got my new bikini that I ordered online. Hopefully the beach doesn't get too crowded because the top has weird straps and I'm going to have to do some topless sunbathing to make sure I don't get tan lines.” Sebastian looked to the young blonde woman standing next to him, eyes slightly widened at her forwardness. “So, what do you do for work way out here?”

 

“I'm a computer programmer,” he replied simply.

 

“A computer programmer that can also fix cars? So, you're smart and good with your hands along with being handsome,” she flirted. Sebastian inhaled too deeply on his cigarette and began to cough. When he caught his breath. He flipped the remaining cigarette away from him.

 

“I just need some water,” he gestured toward the house before walking inside. Molly was seated where he had left her, tracing her finger around the rim of her wine glass. He went to her cabinet, pulled out a glass and filled it full of water before returning to the table and plopping down next to Molly. “That was the most stressful cigarette I've ever had,” he commented before taking a long drink of water. Molly remained quiet. He looked over at her. She was staring away from him, looking at a random point elsewhere in the house. “Are you ok?” She nodded in response, but a rogue sniffle betrayed her. “Hey,” he reached over, placing two fingers on the side of her chin and turned her face toward him. She jerked back away, but not before he saw the glassy look to her puffy red eyes. “Hey, talk to me,” he requested softly. She shook her head furiously. Sebastian opened his mouth to speak again but was cut off by the front door opening and Darla returning.

 

“Too much wine,” she declared. “I have to pee.” As soon as the bathroom door closed Sebastian stood and took Molly by the hand.

 

“Come on, let's take a walk.”

 

Molly wiped her cheeks with her free hand as she allowed herself to be led outside. He had no idea where he was going, he just knew Molly needed to get away from the house for awhile. They walked in silence, neither making an attempt to release the other’s hand. Eventually they came to the small body of water at the southern edge of her property. She plopped down at the edge of the pond and let her feet dangle into the water. It was only then that Sebastian realized that he hadn't given her an opportunity to put any shoes on before rushing her out the door. He sat down next to her, facing her with one leg behind her and the other crossed in front of him and took her hand in his again. She leaned into him, resting her cheek on his shoulder. They sat in silence, the only sound was a symphony of crickets and Molly's sniffles. Sebastian could feel the slight shudders of Molly's body as she silently sobbed.

 

He was not good with this. Even at twenty seven years old, the female half of the species completely baffled him. How was he supposed to help her when she wouldn't tell him what was going on? Releasing her hand, he wrapped an arm around her back when her quiet sobs began to turn into whimpers. Then, she leaned deeper into him, wrapping her arms around his middle and burying her face in his shoulder. He wrapped his other arm around her and held her close as she stopped holding back and let her tears flow free.

 

To Sebastian, she seemed to cry for an eternity, and he could do nothing but sit there silently trying to comfort her. He held her close, rubbing her back and letting his mind wander. She had seemed so excited to see her family that afternoon, but when he had entered the house after their arrival, her demeanor had completely changed. She had played with the kids and joked with her brother and his wife, but something about her sister had put her off. She had seemed to be able to hold herself together until the wine had been brought out. He had only seen her drink two glasses, but maybe that was enough to turn her into an emotional wreck. If she were drunk, though, he should be able to smell the alcohol on her, and he couldn’t. In fact, he thought as he breathed in deeply, she only had a flowery smell to her. She smelled… pretty. Then, he felt terrible, because he realized that he was smiling slightly and let his face fall, chastising himself for smiling when there was a very upset woman wrapped in his arms.  

 

After a long time, her tears ceased to flow. They sat in silence, unmoving until eventually her sobs stopped, and then her sniffling. She had been still and quiet for some time, when Sebastian, whose leg had fallen asleep long ago finally broke the stillness of the night.

 

“Are you asleep?” he whispered.

 

“No,” she croaked in reply.

 

“Are you ok?”

 

“No.”

 

“Yeah, that was a dumb question,” he sighed. “Is it ok if we move? I haven’t been able to feel my leg in about half an hour.” Molly chuckled, softly and sadly.

 

“Sorry,” she said backing away from him. He stretched out the leg that had been curled in front of him and Molly had been half laying on. He rubbed it, attempting to get the blood flowing to his toes again.

 

“Wanna talk about it?”

 

“No.”

 

“Ok.”

 

“Really?”

 

Sebastian shrugged in the dark and then realizing that Molly probably couldn’t see him, spoke again.

 

“We don’t know each other all that well,” he said as he began to be able to wiggle his toes in his shoes. “You can either talk to me when you’re ready or tell me that it’s none of my business. I can accept either outcome.” Molly fell silent again as she watched the moonlight glint on the water of the pond.

 

“Remember when I said that dealing with my brother and sister-in-law trying to set me up on another bad date was the last thing I wanted to deal with this weekend?”

 

“Yep,” Sebastian said lightly. “That’s why I’m here.”

 

“Yeah, well, I was wrong,” Molly declared. “Actually the last thing I would ever want to put up with is being around my sister.” Sebastian sat mute waiting for her to continue. “I wasn’t expecting her to… If I’d have known she’d…” She was stumbling over her words and Sebastian detected her voice begin to break again.

 

“Hey, settle down,” he said gently, rubbing her back again. She breathed deeply trying to regain her composure. Sebastian had an idea and smiled at it. “You want that pot now?” Molly let out one soft laugh and sighed.

 

“Oh my god, yes.”

 

Sebastian grinned and pulled out his cigarette pack where he always kept a spare joint, like the pot head that he was. He removed it from the pack and lit it, taking a long drag, before handing it to Molly. She predictably suffered from a violent coughing spell when she inhaled a lungful of the smoke and handed it back to Sebastian who took another hit while Molly was catching her breath.

 

“I thought you said you smoked,” he teased.

 

“Dude, it has been months,” Molly replied taking the joint back from him. “And I don’t smoke cigarettes, so my poor lungs are practically virgins again.” Sebastian smiled as he watched her take another drag, this time slower and not as deep and she was able to hold the smoke in her lungs for a short while before releasing it this time and handing the joint back. They passed it back and forth a few times before Molly finally spoke again. “Darla has fucked every boyfriend I have ever had.” Sebastian sat dumbfounded at the statement.

 

“Shit…” was all his marijuana fogged brain managed to say.

 

“About five or six years or so ago,” she said, taking another drag and passing it on. “I found a really, really great guy. And we dated for about two years. It was a long time before he met any of my family. But then he proposed, and I knew he loved me and wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.” Sebastian’s stomach clenched and he knew exactly where this story was going. “So we planned a wedding. Put down nonrefundable deposits for the venue and the caterer and the DJ and photographer,” she took another deep hit and continued when she blew it out. “Bought a dress that cost 3 months salary, but it made me look like a goddamn fairy tale princess so, you know, worth it! It’s only going to happen once right?” she paused a moment, taking the diminishing joint back from Sebastian. “Week of the wedding rolls around. Both of our families are in town. I finally let him meet everyone. I let my guard down. I assumed that my sister had grown up enough to not even try and I completely trusted the one guy who would never hurt me.” Her voice remained even, the effects of the pot had washed over her in a calming wave. “I hadn’t been sleeping because I was so stressed out at trying to make sure everything was ready and there would be no mistakes at the wedding and worrying that we forgot to pay for something and we wouldn’t have… a photographer or a cake, just random shit like that. But, I was absolutely exhausted to the point that I couldn’t function at work and got sent home. Got to my apartment, went to the bedroom to put on some pajamas and take a sleeping pill… and there was Daniel… balls deep in my sister.” Sebastian heard the sound of Molly’s tongue ring clicking over her teeth, which he had noticed at various points in the last week seemed to be her bad habit. “My whole world came crashing down. I haven’t seriously dated anyone since. I just can’t bring myself to get attached.” The joint had been spent and he had tossed the tiny bit of leftover paper into the pond. They fell into silence again. Sebastian watched Molly, her face tilted toward the clear night sky that was filled with billions of twinkling stars. It was a long moment before he decided to speak.

 

“I, uh… I know how you feel,” he said softly.

 

“Oh, did your sister sleep with your fiance?” she muttered sarcastically.

 

“Well, no, but my sister is sleeping with the girl that I was in love with for, like, five years and lost my virginity to before she came out as a lesbian.”

 

“Ouch,” Molly muttered, before realization hit. “Wait. Abby?”

 

Anyway ,” Sebastian said, steering the conversation back to where it was supposed to have gone. “I was dating this girl in Zuzu City. We had met at a convention and she was dressed to the nines in this smoking hot Solarian Chronicles cosplay and I loved her from the moment I saw her.” Sebastian took a cigarette from his pack and lit it. “We started to date and I would drive my bike out to see her every single weekend. It didn’t matter what was going on, what the weather was like, I didn’t care. I just wanted to be with her.” He took a hit from the cigarette. “Maru had just started dating Abby at that point and my mom had started in on her I’m never going to get grandchildren bullshit.” Molly gave a half smile as he pitched his voice in an imitation of Robin. “But, I dunno, it got me thinking about things and we had been dating for... shit, almost two years at that point. So,” Sebastian shrugged in the dark, “I decided that I was going to propose. I took most of what I had been able to save up to move to the city and bought a mermaid’s pendant.”

 

“A what?”

 

“I keep forgetting you aren’t from around here,” Sebastian smirked. “It’s a regional thing. It’s our hoaky version of an engagement ring. It started so women could ask men to get married too without it being weird, I guess.”

 

“That’s actually a really nice idea,” Molly commented. Sebastian gave a noncommittal noise as he took another drag from his cigarette.

 

“Anyway, once I got this idea to propose in my head, I didn’t want to wait. I knew that I wanted to do it, so what was the point of waiting. I had told my mom what I was going to do and Sam’s mom and, fuck… anyone else that would listen, I didn’t care, I was in love! I was…” he paused, thinking and tossed his hair out of his face with a jerk of his head. “I was a complete fucking idiot.” He scoffed. “I decided to surprise her and ride up in the middle of the week. I had set up this really nice picnic and went to go get her to bring her to it. I had a key to her place, so I let myself in. It didn’t look like she was home, so I called her. Heard her cell ring from the bedroom. Heard some dude say it’s your boyfriend and then heard her say don’t you dare fucking stop .” Molly gave a sharp intake of breath and looked at Sebastian with a pained expression, knowing that he really truly did know how she felt. “I sat my ass down on her couch and waited until they came out. There was no way that I was just going to leave without confronting them. But when they did come out… I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I just… sat there.” He inhaled deeply. “He left. We fought. She told me that I was too immature and that she needed someone who was there all the time and not just on the weekends. Someone who didn’t still live in his parent’s basement. And then… She broke up with me. And that was it. I went home. Spent the next week or so in bed, refusing meals.” They were both quiet for a long time.

 

“Well,” Molly said after making sure he was done speaking, “at least we can be fucked up together in our fake relationship.” Sebastian snorted, which made Molly start to giggle, which made them both slipped into a fit of laughter.

 

Chapter Text

 

Sebastian walked up the front steps of the farmhouse taking out a cigarette and lighting it. He was just going to have a quick smoke on the front porch before he went in. He had been woken up early again by the small children staying in his house and instead of trying to get back to sleep, he decided he was going to get an early start on the bus. He had left his tools at Molly's so that he didn't have to carry them as far to the bus, but also as an excuse to drop in and see her.

 

The sound of laughter and music drifted from an open window. Sebastian peered in as he took a puff from his cigarette. Molly and Beth were still in pajamas in the kitchen, dancing to one of those line dances like you would see at a wedding reception, the blaring song singing out instructions for the dance moves. Sebastian smiled as he watch the two little ones trying to dance too.

 

To the left, to the left, to the left, to the left

To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right

And kick now, kick now, kick now, kick now

Now walk it by yourself, walk it by yourself

 

They turned to the side and began their dance again, this time in a different direction. The kids were too young to understand and just danced back and forth between feet and spun around in circles.

 

“They're pretty great, huh?” Said a voice from behind Sebastian, making him jump. He whirled around and was face to face with Simon. He laughed awkwardly.

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian said, looking slightly embarrassed at being caught looking in Molly's window. “I was just smoking before I went inside. I just heard music so…” he trailed off.

 

“Hey, no worries. I used to be right there with ya. I quit when Beth got pregnant with Lucas.”

 

“Cool,” was all that Sebastian could come up with to say as he pinched off the fire from his cigarette and put the unsmoked half back in the pack.

 

“Well, shall we join the dance party?” Simon laughed as he opened the door and the music became even louder. The two men stepped through the door. Molly looked up and beamed.

 

“Sebastian!” She yelled over the music. “Come dance with us.”

 

“Oh, I'm good.”

 

“Come on! It's easy!”

 

“Nope, not happening,” he replied.

 

“It's fun,” Molly sang, stretching out the word fun.

 

“I do not dance,” replied Sebastian, firmly. The song ended and Molly grabbed her cell phone off the dock and turned the music off.

 

“Well, who’s a fun hater now?” Molly teased. Beth sat down at the kitchen table fanning herself with her hands.

 

“I'm way too pregnant to be doing that,” she declared as Simon came up behind her and kissed the top of her head.

 

“You still make it look good,” he muttered to her.

 

“What're you doing up so early?” Molly smiled to Sebastian. He couldn't understand how anyone could be so chipper so early in the morning, but he found himself grinning as he watched her. Her hair was piled on top of her head in a messy bun and her white tank top declared in bold black letters Bed Hair, Don't Care. She wore a pair of long black yoga pants that accentuated her voluminous hips and backside as she turned to the stove to go back to her cooking, and Sebastian got the feeling he'd be thinking about those pants later, when he was alone. She removed strips of bacon from her cast iron pan and drained off the grease into an old pasta sauce jar.

 

“I'm not allowed to sleep anymore,” he complained. “So, I thought I'd get an early start on your stupid bus.”

 

“I appreciate that,” she laughed.

 

“I could lend a hand today with that, if you'd like,” offered Simon, cheerfully.

 

“Yeah, I'd appreciate that.”

 

“Seb, how do you want your eggs?” Molly asked, not turning around.

 

“Uh, not in my mouth,” Sebastian replied making a face. “Eggs are disgusting.”

 

“What? All eggs?”

 

“Yep.”

 

“Yoba, Molly,” said Darla coming down the stairs, already dressed with makeup applied. “You don't even know that your own boyfriend doesn't like eggs? That means he’s not waking up at your house enough.” She laughed with a wink as she walked to the table and sat down. “Good morning, Sebastian.”

 

“… hey,” he replied, not wanting to be rude.

 

“Sorry that the subject of eggs has never come up in our normal conversations,” Molly said, rolling her eyes. “I can do French toast. Or regular toast,” Molly offered.

 

“I'm ok,” Sebastian grinned.

 

“Come on, I know you’ll be at that bus all day, you should have something to eat.”

 

“Who says I haven't already had breakfast?”

 

“Coffee is not breakfast, Sebastian!” Scolded Molly, playfully.

 

“Pft!” He replied. “Says you.” Molly glared at him over her shoulder with one eyebrow raised.

 

“I can make my own toast, if it'll make you happy,” he relented. Walking to the loaf of bread on the counter, he removed two slices and put them in a toaster that was already covered in crumbs from that morning’s previously made toast. “There. Satisfied?”

 

“Yes,” she replied simply. Sebastian smirked and got an idea as he saw Darla watching them from the corner of his eye. He approached Molly where she stood at the stove and stood close against her back, resting his hand on the curve of her hip. He felt her whole body stiffen under his touch and he leaned in to whisper in her ear.

 

“What do you think?” He whispered low enough for only her to hear, his breath on Molly's ear and neck made her eyes involuntary flutter shut, allowing her to enjoy the feeling. “Should we put on a show for your sister? Show her I can't be stolen.” Molly smiled at the offer, biting her lower lip, but didn't know what he had in mind or how far she'd be willing to take it. Instead she gently elbowed him in the stomach, just hard enough for him to make an exaggerated oomph .

 

“Get outta here,” she teased. “I'm cooking.”

 

“Fine, but don't say I never offered you anything,” he said with a wink as the toaster popped. He smiled as he put butter on the freshly toasted bread, liking how easily he found he could fall into this playful banter with her.

 

“Sebastian, I told you how I used to be in the army, right?” Asked Simon, casually. Molly rolled her eyes with a smile knowing where this was headed.

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian replied, sitting down at the table. “You said it's where you learned to work on cars.”

 

“Well, that's not the only thing I learned,” he said proudly. “I was in the elite special forces. So that means that--”

 

“I can kill you seven different ways and they'll never find your body,” Molly and Darla both finished at the same time before proceeding to laugh.

 

“Oh if I had a dollar for every time I heard that speech, I'd be rich!” Laughed Darla. Beth’s eyes twinkled in a smile from behind her mug of tea.

 

“Don't listen to him, Seb,” Molly grinned as she scraped a large amount of scrambled eggs into a big bowl and bought it to the table to set down. She continued in baby talk. “Hims won't do nuffin’ ‘cause hims jus a big fruffy marshmallow.”

 

“Oh, I'll show you marshmallow!” He replied in pretend anger, standing up. “Come here!”

 

“No!”

 

“Come here,” he said moving closer to her.

 

“You back off, dude,” she threatened, brandishing her spatula as a weapon.

 

“Come here, I'm not going to hurt you,” he said advancing on her. “Much!” She let out a squeal and took off like a shot, her brother at her heels. She stepped on the seat of her couch and leapt over the back, hurtling toward her bedroom. Simon skirted the couch and managed to tackle her through the open bedroom door with a loud thud.

 

“Ow,” she groaned, before she gave a shriek of indignation. “Oh my god!” Simon came running out of the room in hysterics. “You just farted on me! That's so gross! How did you convince someone to marry you?”

 

“Aww, sibling love,” Beth said to Sebastian with a smile, who was laughing behind his hand.

 

“Ugh, it smells so bad!” Molly whined, exiting her bedroom with her hand over her nose and mouth. Lucas was bent double with laughter.

 

“Dad farted on Aunt Molly,” he gasped.

 

“Who’s the marshmallow now,” Simon laughed wiping tears from his eyes.

 

“Nice perfume,” Sebastian snickered into his coffee cup as Molly plopped down in the chair beside him.

 

“Piss off, kid,” She grumbled before continuing on. “All I was saying, is that maybe you should give your speech a rest. Dig it back out when Katie starts dating instead of wasting it on your almost thirty year old sisters.”

 

“No, Katie will not be allowed to date,” he replied. “Not my little girl, not ever.”

 

“Damn, you are almost 30 aren't you?” Darla jabbed. “You had better get on it if you're going to have those ten kids you always wanted.” Molly glared at Darla, knowing she probably would have at least a couple kids now had she not ruined everything.

 

“Yeah, thirty five is the cut off,” Beth piped in. “My O.B. said that risk of birth defects increase by something like fifty percent after age thirty five. That's why this'll be our last one.” She finished, patting her belly. “And apparently it gets harder to conceive after 35 too.” Sebastian shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

 

“First of all,” Molly started, “that's a myth. Second of all, as much as I like kids, ten is a bit much. And third--” The conversation came to a halt as Simon’s cell phone began to ring.

 

“Oh! Gotta take this!” He said excitedly, hopping up from the table and heading for the door. “Hello?” He answered his phone a moment before closing the door behind him.

 

“What's with all the phone calls this morning?” Asked Molly, piling eggs and bacon on Lucas and Katie’s plates.

 

“Well, hopefully we’re getting good news,” Beth replied. “I won't say anymore, I don't want to jinx it.”

 

The table fell into relative silence as they ate, only the sounds of forks on plates and Lucas quietly humming the song they had been listening to. Sebastian looked sadly into his empty coffee cup. Molly's cup sat full and steaming and she was momentarily distracted by Katie. He slowly slid his hand toward her and was just about to reach his prize when he was caught.

 

“If you want to keep that hand, then I'd suggest getting it away from my coffee,” Molly threatened, sliding her mug further away from him.

 

“But the pot is all the way over there,” Sebastian whined. “And I'm going to be so busy working on that bus today.” Sebastian put on his best puppy dog eyes causing Molly to lift an eyebrow at him. “...you have beautiful eyes.” He complimented earnestly. Molly sighed heavily.

 

“Flattery will get you everywhere,” she grinned, sliding her cup toward him.

 

“You're a wonderful woman.”

 

“And you are a lazy man,” Molly teased.

 

“I'll drink to that,” he smirked bringing the cup to his lips. From over the lip of his cup, he could see Darla leaning onto the table toward him, her arm seeming to be casually laid in front of her, but Sebastian noticed that she was using it to push up her breast and give herself more cleavage. He sat his cup down before casually reaching over and taking Molly's warm hand in his. He was grateful that she didn't pull away from him today and instead entwined her fingers through his. She had revealed the night before that had she known Darla was coming, she wouldn't have even asked him to stand in as her boyfriend and thought that acting aloof toward him would get Darla to leave him alone. She had gotten so upset the night before because she realized that even that wasn't going to work.The front door opened and Simon walked in looking serious as all eyes turned to him. He looked to the floor. Beth gave a sad sound.

 

“I… uhh…” he stammered before he looked up with a wide smile on his face. “We got it baby!” Beth gave a shriek of delight, getting up from the table and waddling to her husband as fast as she could, throwing her arms around him.

 

“What?” Molly asked genuinely confused.

 

“We put in an offer on a house in the suburbs of Zuzu City!” Beth exclaimed. Molly's face looked overjoyed. “Simon’s friend we met with yesterday is a realtor now and yesterday we put in a bid on the house and they countered last night so Simon had to make another offer this morning and now they've accepted!”

 

“What about your job?” Questioned Darla.

 

“Well, we've been keeping all kinds of secrets from everyone this weekend, until all of the wrinkles were ironed out,” Simon explained with a smile, “but you all are looking at the new Senior Vice President of Operations for the First Ferngill Bank and Trust.”

 

“That's awesome!” Molly beamed. “Congratulations!”

 

“Thanks,” replied Simon. “I've worked really hard for it.”

 

“We should celebrate!” Exclaimed Darla. “The big bank bigwig should take us out for a night on the town!”

 

“Oh, that would be fun,” said Beth. “We could drive into Zuzu and show where our new house is and get dinner somewhere nice.”

 

“Sure!” Agreed Simon. “What do you think Molly? You could bring Sebastian along too.” Molly turned to Sebastian.

 

“I think I'll pass, but I'd be happy to watch the babies while you guys go celebrate,” Molly replied, having no desire at all to be cooped up in a car with her sister who was sure to have too much to drink during dinner.

 

“Well, Sebastian can still go, if he wants,” Darla said, batting her eyelashes across the table at him.

 

“I'll pass too, I think,” Sebastian replied. “I'm kind of a homebody.”

 

“Are you sure you're up for watching the kids, Molly?”

 

“Of course!” She replied happily. “We'll have a great time, won't we guys?”

 

“Yeah!” Yelled Lucas happily.

 

“Yay!” Sang Katie clapping her hands.

 

“Great!” Simon replied. “But, the day is young, and I did promise to help with an engine today. Shall we, Sebastian?”

 

“Yeah, absolutely,” Sebastian said before standing up and walking away from the table. He stopped, walked back to Molly, and kissed her on the top of her head. “Thanks for breakfast.” Molly blushed as she watched him hurry to the door and pick up his toolbox without another word following Simon out.

 

“You get any good fishing in around here?” Simon said, his voice carrying in through the open window.

 

“Uh, that's more of Molly's thing,” Sebastian replied as the pair could be heard walking away.

 

“You two seem like kind of an odd couple,” Darla observed snidely.

 

“Not as much as you'd think,” replied Molly coolly, refusing to rise to her bait.

 

“I think they're sweet,” Beth smiled.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly flopped on the couch next to Sebastian. She had successfully fed, bathed, read to, and put to bed the two children and she realized that she was out of practice. Sebastian had at least provided a momentary distraction to Lucas by watching cartoons with him while Molly bathed Katie.

 

“Why are you still watching Sponge Bill?” Molly muttered.

 

“I'm thinking about how much better it would be if I was high.”

 

“Oh boy,” Molly sighed, grabbing the remote to find something else. Sebastian's arm was draped over the back of the couch and he had immediately noticed that Molly had sat next to him instead of at the other end of the couch.

 

“We still have Lightningbug to watch,” Sebastian suggested. “I'll try not to fall asleep this time.” Molly chuckled as she switched the input of the TV from cable to her GameStation and switched her TV remote for a game controller.

 

“I might fall asleep on you this time,” Molly joked as she turned on the DVD that was still in the system from earlier in the week.

 

“Do you ever used this for its intended purpose?” Sebastian asked, gesturing toward the GameStation.

 

“What do you mean?” Molly asked, grabbing the quilt from the back of the couch and snuggling in.

 

“I've just only seen you watch Webflix and DVD’s and Hula with it,” shrugged Sebastian. “Just wondered if you ever used it to play games.”

 

“Holy shit!” Molly exclaimed. “You can play games on it?” Sebastian rolled his eyes and smirked.

 

“Smartass.”

 

“You know I’m more of a PC gamer, but I own a few games.”

 

“Where is your computer?” He asked, just realizing that it was no longer on her kitchen table.

 

“Moved it into my bedroom to get it out of the way. But, there is a game I really, really want to sit down and play on the GameStation.”

 

“Why don't you?”

 

“Because it's the latest Terminal Daydream and if I start it, I will not move from this spot for at least a solid week,” Molly explained. “I wish I were kidding. And I am a busy adult with many important things to do. So, I'm waiting for winter.” She finished with a smile.

 

“It's a good game,” agreed Sebastian. “Full of the feels.”

 

“No spoilers!” Molly said putting her hand over Sebastian's mouth. He stuck his tongue out, licking her palm. “Eww,” she said wrinkling her nose and wiping her hand on the front of his shirt.

 

“You asked for it,” he smirked. Molly glared at him before lunging toward him and licking his cheek. He pulled a face of disgust before reaching his hand up and wiping away the spit.

 

“You asked for it,” Molly mocked. Molly eyes widened as Sebastian's narrowed.

 

“Oh, you're so dead,” he threatened. Molly gave a small scream, throwing off the blanket and darting away from him as he made a grab for her. She ran for the kitchen with him hot on her heels. Skirting the table, she ran until it was between them. He would dart one way and she would round the table, always keeping it between them, laughing the whole time. “Come here, I'm not going to hurt you,” Sebastian smiled, using the same words as her brother had used that morning and failing to sound mad.

 

“Oh yeah?” Molly teased. “What are you going to do then?”

 

“I'll cross that bridge when I get there.” Molly smirked as she feigned left before darting right. Sebastian was ready for it. He had seen her eyes flick over his shoulder toward her bedroom door. He grabbed at her as she ran past but only managed to get a hold of the back of her shirt. The sudden pull backward made Molly lose her footing, her socks slipping on the hardwood floor. She grabbed at Sebastian for purchase, but only managed to pull him down as well. They both hit the floor boards with a loud thump. They both had to stop laughing before either of them could speak.

 

“Well,” Molly finally managed to say. “You caught me. Now what?”

 

“I haven't decided yet,” he replied, rolling onto his side to face Molly.

 

“Better hurry up before I get away again.”

 

“Eh, I don't think you will.”

 

“Well, I'm not about to lay on my kitchen floor forever,” she smiled, rolling to face him as well. “We're missing Lightningbug and this floor is not exactly comfortable.”

 

“Hmm,” he dramatically pondered. He briefly considered kissing her and immediately felt his face flush hot at the thought.  

 

Molly didn’t notice, however, as there was a sudden frantic knocking at the front door, making them both sit up.

 

“Who in the world?” Molly muttered as she stood. Sebastian stood as well, cursing himself for his hesitation that cost him a kiss. Molly opened the door and Marnie, the ginger haired woman who owned the ranch at the edge of the Cindersap Forest, entered the house.

 

“Molly!” She said excitedly. “Oh Yoba, Molly!”

 

“What's going on?” Molly asked concerned.

 

“Lewis proposed!” Marnie squealed. “Look!” She held out the mermaid pendant that was hanging from her neck. It was a sea-blue, unicorn horn shell on a gold chain. It was a very simple piece of jewelry.

 

“That's great, Marnie! Congratulations!”

 

“We’re getting married next weekend.”

 

“So soon?”

 

“I'm tired of waiting!” Marnie laughed. “And I don't want to give him time to change his mind.”

 

“I suppose I can understand that.”

 

“I want you to be my maid of honor!”

 

“Really?”

 

“Absolutely!” Marnie insisted. “After all, you're the one who finally convinced Lewis.”

 

Molly was walking north along the river on her way home after a late night fishing trip. The voices arguing made her take pause.

 

“Marnie… We can’t,” stated Lewis firmly. “If word got out, it could undermine my position of authority in the town.” Molly picked up the sound of an annoyed scoff. “You understand… don’t you?”

 

“You care too much about your job, Lewis,” Marnie’s voice replied with a slight break. The woman was obviously crying. “There are other things in life, you know?” A loud sniffle. “But yes, I understand… We’ll keep… us… a secret.”

 

Molly heart broke a little bit. If anyone deserved to be happy, it was Marnie. The older woman had taken Molly under her wing when she had first moved to Pelican Town, showing her how to properly care for animals before she’d even let Molly purchase one. When Molly had gotten so disgruntled at her lack of farming skills, having only managed to cultivate weeds when she had thought that she was taking excellent care of non-existent parsnips, Marnie had come over to her farm to help her pull up the weeds and replant new parsnips, coming over everyday afterward until the parsnips were ready to be harvested in order to show her the difference between weed and plant, and offering tips and tricks to help her get the most from her harvest.

 

Molly continued walking the path up the river, coming around the old picnic table and walking through the open gateway where Mayor Lewis had his truck parked and the two older individuals stood facing each other. At the sound of her approach, Lewis jumped slightly and Marnie let out an audible “Gah!” It was obvious that the two thought that no one else had been around.

 

“Molly!” Lewis exclaimed with surprise. “How long have you been there? How much did you hear?”

 

“Umm, awhile,” Molly replied. “And enough.”

 

“Molly, you can’t say anything to anyone about what you heard,” pleaded Lewis. Molly hesitated a long moment, choosing her words carefully.

 

“I won’t say anything if you don’t want me to,” Molly began, and Lewis visibly relaxed. “But,” she continued on causing Lewis to stiffen again. “Why?”

 

“What do you mean, why?” Lewis demanded. “If anyone knew … if anyone found out…”

 

“What? What do you think would happen?” Molly asked, genuinely. Mayor Lewis was silent as he ran a hand over his bushy gray mustache. “I mean no disrespect, sir,” Molly said quietly, pulling out all of the manners that had been drilled into her as a child. “But, you’ve been the mayor of Pelican Town for twenty years and nobody has ever bothered to even run against you in all that time, so there is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s minds that you can do your job. Furthermore, this town and more specifically, the people in it, are more than just residents and voters. We’re your friends. We’re your family. And Marnie’s. And I know I’m not the only one who would want both of you to be happy. And if something makes you happy, you shouldn’t hide it away. You should shout it from the rooftops! Life is way too short to care about what other people think. It’s like Grandpa use to say: Those that mind, don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.” Lewis looked to his shoes, almost ashamed. “I won’t tell you what to do, it’s not my place… But, I will voice my opinion on what you should do.” Molly gave an encouraging smile to Marnie and then to Lewis. “Good night.” She continued her way up the river path, turning east before she reached the trailer belonging to Pam and Penny, and headed toward her farm. She would keep the secret of the pair until they were ready to be public with their relationship, but she had hoped that she had managed, somehow, to get through to Lewis.

 

“Well, I'd be honored,” Molly beamed.

 

“You're the only bridesmaid, so you can pick out your own dress. Something yellow.”

 

“I'll take care of it.”

 

“I'm so excited!” Marnie laughed, putting her hands to her mouth.

 

“I'm excited for you!” Molly reached out and pulled the older woman into a hug.

 

“Well, I should get going and let you get back to what you were doing,” Marnie said as she pulled away.

 

“Eh, I wasn't doing anything important,” Molly shrugged. “Just lying around.”

 

“Well, I know you have family in town this weekend, so stop by the ranch whenever you can and you can help me make plans,” Marnie beamed. “Oh Yoba, there's so much to do.” Marnie turned to leave and jumped slightly as she realized Sebastian was leaning up against the kitchen table. “Oh! Hi Sebastian, sorry, didn't see you there.”

 

“Hey,” he replied simply.

 

“Spread on the word to your mother that Lewis and I are finally getting married, will you?” Marnie practically sang.

 

“Yep.”

 

Marnie turned and skipped out of the still open front door and headed south back toward her ranch. Molly closed the door.

 

“Oh, I'm so happy for those two!” She gushed to Sebastian. “I love weddings!”

 

“Ugh,” Sebastian grumbled. “Mom’s going to make me wear a tie, I just know it.”

 

“Really?” Molly said, putting her hands on her hips. “ That was your first thought?”

 

“What can I say?” Sebastian replied with a shrug. “I’m a hopeless romantic.”

Chapter Text

 

It was after eleven when Molly knocked softly on Sebastian’s bedroom door. Robin had told her that he was home, but no sound came from the other side. She turned the doorknob and cautiously opened the door, peering into the almost completely dark room beyond. She let the door open completely, giving her enough light to make her way across the basement room to Sebastian’s bed where there was a distinctive lump underneath the dark grey comforter. She leaned close to where his hair was spilling out from the top of the blanket.

 

“Seb,” she whispered. “Sebastian,” she continued in a sing song voice. She received a low grunt in reply. “Are you going to sleep all day?” she questioned. He groaned and buried himself further under the comforter. She stood up straight, crossing her arms over her chest before she made a decision. She pulled back the comforter and climbed into bed with the slumbering man, joining him with her head also buried under the blanket.

 

“You can’t hide from me,” she whispered, her head next to his on his pillow. “I’ll just follow you.” She could detect the distinctive scent of nag champa and cigarette smoke as she lay next to him. “Wakey wakey!” He sighed as he rolled over to face her, pulling the blanket down. He glared at her in the semi darkness for a moment before his eyes drifted closed again. “Oh, come on! Wake up.” Without opening his eyes, he brought up a hand and placed it sleepily over her entire face.

 

“Shh, it’s sleepy time.”

 

“No, it’s wakey time!” Molly proclaimed, throwing the comforter from the bed and onto the floor. Sebastian groaned pathetically.

 

“Why do you hate me?”

 

“Come on,” Molly smiled as she poked him in the ribs making him flinch slightly. Molly beamed. “Are you ticklish? You totally are!” She laughed as she sat up on her knees and proceeded to prod at Sebastian with a finger from each hand, making him squirm.

 

“Ugh! You’re cancelled!” He groaned as he managed to bring a foot to the center of her chest and give her a push off the bed. She hit the floor with a soft thump. Giving in, he sat up, grabbing his glasses from the headboard and putting them on. He glared at Molly who had sat up on her knees on the floor and was leaning onto the bed with her elbows.

 

“Welcome to the land of the living,” she smiled up at him. The short side of his hair was sticking up in odd angles and the long side was a frizzy, knotted mess.

 

“It’s terrible,” He grumbled.

 

“Ah, it’s not so bad,” Molly replied with a broad smile. “You get to see me.”

 

“Why are you even here? Go home!”

 

“I will attribute your rudeness to lack of coffee,” Molly grumbled. “And I will go home, but I’m taking you with me.”

 

“Why?” he questioned, rubbing his tired eyes underneath his glasses.

 

“Simon brought back the part you guys need for the bus from Zuzu last night and he’s excited to see if you can get the stupid thing going before they leave tomorrow.” Sebastian gave a deep sigh and closed his eyes. When he opened them, he found Molly grinning up at him. “Your glasses are cute on you.” He gave a tired, half hearted laugh.

 

“Thanks,” he grinned.

 

“Come on! Up and at em! Go brush your teeth and banish that morning breath!” Molly commanded, bouncing to her feet. “I’ll get you some coffee going.”

 

“How are you always so fucking happy?” Sebastian complained, watching her walk toward the open doorway.

 

“You’re just lucky, I guess,” She smiled as she reached the light switch and flipped it on, filling the room with a bright yellow glow. Sebastian squinted at the sudden assault on his eyes as he heard Molly make her way up the stairs.

 

She made her way into the kitchen where Maru was seated at the dining table with the two small children and Aunt Lydia.

 

“Good morning,” she said happily, walking to the coffee maker and filling the reservoir with water. She turned to Maru. “Where do you keep the rest of your coffee stuff?”

 

“In the cabinet by the cups,” Maru replied, looking up from her phone. Molly reached a hand up and grabbed the handle of one of the cabinets. “Nope, left,” Maru stopped her. She opened the next cabinet over and removed the coffee and filters.

 

“We’re going to the beach today!” declared Violet from where she was seated at the table with her peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

 

“Really?” asked Molly excitedly. “That’ll be fun! Have you ever been to the beach?”

 

“Nope, but sometimes we go to the swimming pool that we have at our apartment building.”

 

“Do you know how to swim?” Molly asked conversationally with the little girl as she waited for the coffee to brew.

“I can swim ok, just not in too deep water,” Violet replied. “Derek has to wear a life vest though.”

 

“Well, my family is in town this weekend and they’re going to the beach today too. My nephew and niece are about your age so maybe you can play together.”

 

“Yay! I like making friends!”

 

“Are you telling me,” Lydia began, her high pitched voice already grating on Molly’s nerves. “That you’ve had family in town this whole weekend and you didn’t think you should bring them by to meet your boyfriend’s family?”

 

“I guess I just didn't think of it,” Molly replied honestly.

 

“Well, that's just unacceptable,” Lydia replied before yelling at the top of her lungs. “ROBIN!”

 

From down the hall, Robin stood up with a start and hurried out of the carpenter shop, running into Sebastian coming up the stairs. They exchanged a look before hurrying down the hall to the kitchen. Entering, they found a very harassed looking Molly, backed up against the counter as Lydia was pacing the kitchen, muttering to no one in particular about “common courtesy” and “not thinking”.

 

“What on Earth is going on?” Robin demanded. Molly looked to Robin and Sebastian with pleading eyes.

 

“Did you know Molly has family in town?” Lydia asked.

 

“No… why?” Asked Robin, wondering what the big deal was and why Lydia was screaming in her house.

 

“Well, don't you want to meet your son’s girlfriend’s family?”

 

“Huh?” Robin asked, momentarily confused before Sebastian gave her a light nudge to the back with his elbow. “I mean, of course I do,” Robin covered quickly. “I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities though.”

 

“Nonsense!” Lydia proclaimed. “We should all have dinner tonight!”

 

“It's a bit short notice, don't you think?”

 

“When does your family leave?” Lydia rounded on Molly.

 

“First thing tomorrow morning,” she squeaked, trying to back away further, but having nowhere to go.

 

“See, we have all afternoon to get things ready!”

 

“But swimming!” Violet whined, desperately.

 

“I do not have room for any more extra people in this kitchen,” Robin interjected, holding up one hand.

 

“Well, Molly’s house then,” Lydia insistent.

 

“Oh, after this weekend, my house is trashed,” Molly replied with a shake of her head. “Besides, I just don’t have time today to cook for…” She made a quick count on her fingers, “twelve? Thirteen people?” Lydia bristled at the failed attempts of getting her own way.

 

“Fine, well what about that grimey hole in the wall that you have here in town?” Lydia remarked crossing her arms. The whole room erupted with indignation at the same time.

 

“Gus’ is a great place!” came from Molly.

 

“I love the Stardrop,” defended Robin.

 

“The Stardrop has amazing food,” shot Sebastian.

 

“Well then, it’s settled!” Lydia smirked knowing she had just forced all of their hands. “Come on, babies, let’s get cleaned up and head to the beach.”

 

“Yay!” cried Violet, sliding from her booster chair and onto the floor while Lydia release the seat belt from Derek’s highchair and scooped him up.

 

“If you’ll all excuse us,” she said sweetly as she passed Sebastian and Robin. The room was quiet for  brief moment.

 

“How does she do that?” Molly muttered as she grabbed a coffee mug from the cabinet and filled it up with the steaming brown liquid from the pot.

 

“Coffee,” Sebastian said simply, his one track mind kicking in as he walked across the kitchen.

 

“Dude!” Molly scolded. “You didn’t get ready at all!”

 

“Not true,” Sebastian defended with an emphasized point of his finger. “I peed and I put in my contacts and then there was yelling and now there is coffee.” He made a grabby hand gesture toward the cup Molly held. “Gimme.” Molly sighed with a small smile as she handed over the mug to Sebastian.

 

“Now go get dressed!” Molly commanded as he sipped the coffee with a content smile.

 

“Anything for you, o giver of coffee,” he replied.

 

“You never say that to me when I make coffee,” Robin teased as her son walked past her.

 

“For you, it’s a given, o birther of the Sebastian,” he replied as he made his way down the hall.

 

“What a nerd,” Maru smirked.

 

“Maru…” Robin said in a warning tone.

 

“No, no,” Molly injected. “She’s right.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian walked onto the beach trying to stay in the shade of the tree line, his dark sunglasses pulled over his eyes. He scanned the beach looking for Molly and immediately spotted her distinctive blue hair, piled into a messy bun atop her head. She wore a long loose fitting tank top that fell to her rounded hips, over her swimsuit and was splashing around in the shallow waters surrounded by 4 small children.

 

“Seb!” He glanced around to where the voice had come from and found his half sister trotting over to him. Her hair was pulled into a ponytail and she wore a two piece swimsuit with a chevron print in colors that beautifully accented her creamy mocha skin tone. “This is the last place I thought I’d ever see you!” She joked.

 

“I’m just looking for Molly,” he replied simply, looking back toward the blue haired woman.

 

“You know, I just want to say that I think it’s really great that you’re going out with Molly,” Maru said softly. Sebastian looked at her confused for a moment before remembering that she hadn’t been privy to the fact that the relationship was a sham. Maru missed the look of confusion as she had looked to Molly as well. “I just know that the last couple years have been hard for you. I mean, dating wise. First I stole Abby and then what happened with Amber--”

 

“Can we… Not.”

 

“Yeah, sorry, I just…” Maru began, hesitantly. She had never had a great relationship with her brother and every time she thought they were making progress, one of them managed to do something to reset it. “I’m just glad to see you out of your hole.”

 

“Hey, I like my hole,” Sebastian grinned. “It’s dark and cool and quiet… mostly.” Maru chuckled lightly as Sebastian brought two fingers to his lips and wolf whistled loudly. “Ugh, she’s going to make me go out there. Didn’t even turn around to see who was being whistled at.”

 

“Molly’s hot,” Maru stated matter-of-factly. “She is way too hard on herself.” She looked to Sebastian with wide eyes. “Uhh, don’t tell Abby I said that.”

 

“Eh, she thinks so too,” He replied with a shrug.

 

“Does she now?”

 

“If you even try, I will fucking end you.”

 

Maru grinned after him as he stepped away from the tree line and headed toward the water’s edge. He approached Molly from behind. She was on her knees in the sand helping the little ones to dig some kind of water trench.

 

“You have sand on your ass,” he stated cooly. She looked over her shoulder at him from behind a pair of cheap purple sunglasses and laughed as she stood up.

 

“It’s a beach, Seb,” She replied, attempting to brush herself off. "I have sand on my… everything. It won’t come off until I have a shower.” Sebastian grinned mischievously at her.

 

“Here, let me help,” he said coming toward her.

 

“Excuse me,” Molly said affronted, backing away from him. Sebastian kept coming toward her, an evil glint in his eye until she was standing ankle deep in the ocean. With lightning speed, he lunged forward, grabbing one of her ankles and pulling it up. The offset of her balance tipped her backward and she hit the water with a loud splash. She gasped as she sat up from the cold water as Sebastian shook the sea water from his hand. “Ugh!” She yelled as she flung a handful of water at him, which he easily dodged, laughing as she stood up, soaked from head to toe, her white tank top becoming see through revealing the red one piece suit underneath and also clinging to her glorious curves.  

 

“You look like a drowned rat,” Sebastian smirked.

 

“Piss off, kid,” She replied, kicking water at him. “Shouldn’t you be fixing something?”

 

“Well, that’s what I came to tell you,” Sebastian said folding his arms over his chest. “You brother was right. It was the oil pump. And your stupid bus… is running.”

 

“Really?” She asked, excitement twinkling in her eyes. Sebastian nodded once. “Seriously?”

 

“Simon’s taking it for a test drive right now.” Molly squealed with delight and started toward him. “Don’t you dare!” He said as he attempted to start running from her. His sneakers slipped in the dry sand and he was tackled to the ground, landing hard in the sand, wrapped in a tangle of Molly’s limbs. Beth looked up from the book in her hand at the commotion coming from the beach from under her wide beach umbrella and smiled at the pair, as four small children giggled happily and tried to join the doggy pile.

 

“You’re the best and you’re wonderful and you’re amazing!” She heard Molly’s voice carry across the sand.

 

“And you’re wet!” Sebastian grumbled, as he pushed her off of him.

 

“That’s your fault too,” she replied as they stood up. He looked down at himself.

 

“I have boob prints on my shirt!” Sebastian said, sounding annoyed.

 

“I’d say you have a whole Molly print,” Molly laughed as Sebastian rolled his eyes.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Hey,” Molly said softly as she walked around the corner of the Stardrop Saloon and found Sebastian sitting on the metal trash can that sat against the side of the building.

 

“Hey,” he replied barely glancing up at her. She leaned against the wall with one shoulder.

 

“Are you hiding out here?”

 

“Yep,” he said simply without hesitation before taking a pull from his cigarette.

 

“Come on, it’s not that bad.”

 

“Well, I’ve never been one for social gatherings,” he stated with a shrug. They were quiet for a long moment.

 

“Thanks,” Molly said. “For… everything … you’ve done this weekend.”

 

“No problem.” Sebastian was in a bad mood and Molly could tell, and honestly, she felt bad for it. He could hear her tongue ring clicking against her teeth as she chose what she was going to say next.

 

“I’m, uhh, sorry that Lewis completely… ignored… all the work you did on that bus.” Molly had been so excited that the bus had been up and running that she pushed the kids at the beach back to their proper care givers, grabbed her shorts from her towel and put them on over her wet clothes, and dragged Sebastian by the wrist to find the mayor. When they finally found him at Pierre’s Store, Molly had excitedly told him about the bus being fixed and took him to see for himself, Sebastian trailing slightly behind. When they got to the bus stop, Simon turned over the engine and gave it a few revs. Mayor Lewis was thrilled, of course that the bus was operational again, but his exact words were “Thank you so much for doing this for the town, Molly!” When she had tried to explain that Sebastian had done all the work, Mayor Lewis spoke over her to give praise to her brother. She tried a second time and he interrupted her to insist on going to tell Pam that she had her job back as the town’s bus driver.

 

“I’m used to it,” Sebastian replied as he flipped the ashes off the end of his cigarette with his thumb and took another drag. “Sometimes I wonder if anyone would even notice if I just disappeared.”

 

“Of course they would!” Molly gasped. “What an awful thing to say.”

 

“It’s true,” he muttered with a shrug. “Nobody would care.”

 

“Hey! I would care!”

 

“Two weeks ago, you had no idea who I even was--”

 

“Fuck you, kid! You would never even talk to me!” Molly cried with an emphasis from her middle finger. “If you’ll recall, I tried to talk to you several times and every time you were nothing but an ass toward me when I was never anything but nice to you. And, I was under the impression that you've only recently even bothered to learn my name!”

 

“Sorry, I didn't think there would even be a point to learning your name because I figured you had enough brains in your head to take one look at this shitty town and run.”

 

“I do have brains in my head, and yes, my first instinct was to just sell the place, but I happen to like it here and as hard as it is, at least I'm trying to make the best out of things,” Molly spat angrily as Sebastian glared at her. “You know, I was going to tell you that you deserve more respect that what you get, because you're a really great guy, but you know what? Maybe I am dumb and everyone else is right, because you are acting like a child and a complete tool!” Someone clearing their throats made them both slightly jump and turn toward the noise. Maru stood looking rather uncomfortable.

 

“Uhh, Gus just brought out the pizzas,” she stated, uneasy and playing with a ring that she wore on her middle finger. “Mom sent me out to let you guys know.” And without another word, she turned on her heel and walked away, leaving Sebastian and Molly alone again. She crossed her arms over her chest and looked directly into his hazel eyes. Unable to hold her gaze, he looked toward the ground.

 

“I'm going to go eat, you should come in too,” she said as she turned to walk away. “Or don't. Whatever. It's not like I'm actually your girlfriend or anything so I won't tell you what to do.” Sebastian watched as she disappeared around the corner of the building to head inside. He sighed heavily before banging the back of his head sharply against the side of the building.

 

“Why do you do this, Seb? Why are you the way you are?” He muttered to himself before taking a final drag from his cigarette and flicking the rest away before following Molly into the Stardrop.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

To say dinner was awkward would be an understatement. Molly had been able to keep up all appearances, although her smile never quite reached her eyes and Sebastian could feel the tension radiating off of her from where he sat beside her. Dinner passed without any further incident, however, with both families chatting happily with each other and continued until it was time to leave when they headed in separate directions without a word, earning an extra jab from Lydia.

 

“Trouble in paradise?” she smirked, earning her a glare from Sebastian, who, still feeling bad about the way he had treated Molly, simply pulled the hood of his hoodie up, put his hands in his pocket and sulked the rest of the way home.

 

Currently, Sebastian lay on his bed staring at the ceiling that he had covered in black light posters and thinking through the events of the day. When he got home, he had tried to do some work, but couldn’t concentrate on it and kept making errors which only frustrated him more. He smoked a bowl from his little blue bong that he was sure his mother still believed was a decorative vase. He picked up a book he had been reading and put it back down when he realized that he had been blankly staring at the same page for almost ten minutes. He flipped through the pages of a graphic novel for awhile before tossing it aside as well.

 

Sighing heavily, he sat up and made his way back to his computer, plopped down in his chair, and opened his internet browser. Out of sheer boredom, he clicked on the icon in his toolbar with a blue letter F that took him to his Facespace profile. He clicked on the red exclamation point indicating that he had notifications. A lot of them as a matter of fact, as he only checked his account maybe twice a week.

 

Sam Moore posted in Galaxy Wars. Sebastian clicked on the notification and was shown the meme that Sam had posted on the page and clicked the thumbs up button.

 

Abby Dubois and 3 others are interested in an event. “Ignore.”

 

Penny Campbell is raising money for a charitable cause. “Double ignore.”

 

Robin Washington invited you to like her page Carpentry for Beginners. “Ugh, no thanks, Mom.”

 

Irene Cunningham marked herself safe from Hurricane Chloe. “You’re nowhere near the hurricane, Grandma,” Sebastian thought with a smile, shaking his head.

 

Molly Evans tagged a picture with you. He clicked the notification and was directed to the selfie Molly had snapped of the two of them that afternoon before they had been able to find Mayor Lewis to tell him about the bus. The picture showed Sebastian, his sunglasses pushed up on top of his head, a shy smile on his face and halfway through an eye roll, with Molly planting a kiss on his cheek. He smiled as he looked to the caption and comments on the right side of the screen.

 

Me: Take a selfie with me!

Him: Why?

Me: Because I’m in love with you right now!

 

Sebastian chuckled softly and blushed at the fact that she not only put the picture online, but also the comment she made as she took it and scrolled through the comments.

 

Abby Dubois: D’awww! Look at how cute Seb is!

 

Sam left a row of heart eye emojis as a comment which made Sebastian roll his eyes.

 

Robin Washington: This is such a great picture! Of course Molly would be Facespace friends with his mom.

 

Trisha Peters: So this is Sebastian… He’s cute!

          Molly Evans: Yeah, I got a big ol’ crush on this nerd, lol

 

Sebastian felt his face flush hot. Who in the hell was this? Molly had talked about him to people he didn't even know?

 

“Got a big ol’ crush on this nerd,” he read again with a sigh. He drummed his fingers on his desk, thinking to himself while he looked at the picture. He grinned before clicking the options button on the picture and selected the make profile picture option. He let the mouse hover between the options for OK and CANCEL for a solid minute before deciding that it wasn't weird and pushing OK. He stared blankly at the picture for a long moment more before closing his browser, standing, and heading toward the door.

 

As he approached Molly’s farm house, he saw that the entire house was dark. Pulling his phone from his pocket, his face fell as he looked at the time. He stood on the cobblestone path at the bottom of her front porch and momentarily considered returning home before deciding that he didn’t want to wait to apologize. As quietly as he could, he made his way up her porch steps, turned the knob of her door, and eased it open. The stupid door always stuck, so it was impossible to open and close it quietly and he desperately hoped that he wouldn’t wake anyone up as it closed with a scraping wumph .

 

From the couch, Darla’s eyes flew open at the noise. She lifted her head enough to see who had come in and watched as Sebastian quietly kicked his shoes off by the door and began to tiptoe across the creaky hardwood floor.

 

“Hey, handsome,” She said sitting up, causing him to jump like he’d been shot. “Kinda late, don’t you think?”

 

“I just-- I needed to see Molly,” he explained.

 

“Oh, well, Molly’s been asleep for hours. Went to bed almost as soon as we got home. Said she wasn’t feeling well, but she seemed upset. You know how Molly can get. Especially if she forgets to take her happy pills,” she ended in a conspiratorial whisper.

 

“Oh… umm...” Sebastian replied, stupidly, not know what to do with this information and concluding that it was not any of his business at all.

 

“We can let her sleep and you can sit with me since I’m already up,” Darla smiled in the dark, patting the couch seat beside her. He wrinkled his nose slightly at the invitation.

 

“No… thanks. I just was to talk to Molly.” He walked toward her bedroom door before Darla could voice another thought and quietly pushed the door open and hurriedly closing it again behind him. He sighed heavily as he leaned his back against the door. Looking around, he realized that he had never actually been inside Molly’s bedroom. It was dark, the only light was what filtered in around the edges of her curtained window from the light of the three quarters moon that hung in the sky that night. He stood silently, allowing his eyes to adjust to the room.

 

Slowly, Molly’s large queen sized bed began to take shape, and he shuffled toward it, hoping that she kept her bedroom floor picked up so he wouldn’t accidently trip over anything. Her sleeping form began to materialize as he blinked back the darkness. He reached out a hand to her and his fingertips brushed against the warm, bare skin of her arm.

 

“Molly,” he whispered. When he got no response he shook her gently and whispered her name a little louder. She groaned as she rolled over.

 

“Seb?” she questioned groggily as she sat up. “What time is it?”

 

“Uhh… a little before two,” he replied, slightly embarrassed.

 

“What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

 

“Yeah, yeah, everything’s fine,” he reassured her. “I just… I needed to apologize to you. And I didn’t want to wait to do it.” Molly scooted toward the head of her bed and criss crossed her legs under her before patting the bed where her legs had just been. Sebastian grinned as he sat down thinking about the irony of how Darla had offered him a spot in the same manner. He was quiet for a long moment, only now realizing that he hadn’t thought about what he was actually going to say to Molly when he got here. “I’m sorry,” He began lamely. “You’re right. I am a total tool.” Molly chuckled softly next to him causing the corners of his own mouth to curl upward briefly. “You, uhh… you might not have realized, but I had a little bit of what you’d call an anxiety problem. It’s actually called Avoidant Personality Disorder. I know this because my mom sent me to therapy for years. That was always a good time…” Molly sat quietly, allowing him to say everything he needed to and not pushing him. She had always been a good listener, at times even causing herself problems by wanting to help the people she listened to so badly, but not knowing how and allowing herself to take on the other person’s stress as well as her own and becoming overwhelmed by it. It was the majority of the reason she needed to take a daily dose of Prozac now for her anxiety. “I’ve got some issues with… inadequacy… and self esteem, and… holy shit, it's really hot in this room.” Molly smiled as she watched Sebastian's silhouette rub the back of his neck. “Just the thing with Lewis and then… this’ll sound stupid, but you said that you’d care if I disappeared and… I dunno… the defences came up, I guess.”

 

“Hey,” Molly said softly as she reached out and took both of his hands in her own. “I will completely forget that tonight ever happened, if you let me go back to sleep, like, right now.” Sebastian laughed a bit uncomfortably.

 

“Yeah, sorry, I'll go,” he said as he stood. “I just wanted to tell you--”

 

“You don't have to go,” Molly replied. “It's two A.M. Just stay.”

 

“Oh… uhh… your couch is kinda ocupado …” he replied awkwardly.

 

“Shut up,” Molly laughed as she folded down the blankets on the other side of the bed.

 

“You… you want me to sleep in your bed? With you?”

 

“We can build a pillow fort if you want,” Molly teased. Sebastian chuckled softly, thinking about how dumb he probably sounded before walking around to the opposite side of the bed and crawling between the sheets. He rolled onto his side, facing Molly as she returned to the position she had been in before he had woken her.

 

“So, you come here often?” He joked, still feeling awkward, as she pulled the blankets up to her chin.

 

“Yep, I come here every night,” she smiled as she closed her eyes. He grinned before trying to get comfortable himself, knowing that he would lay awake with his mind racing for hours more before finally drifting off.

 

However, he actually found it to be peaceful laying next to Molly, letting her flowery smell wash over him and listening to her breathing become deep and steady in the quiet room as she drifted into sleep. Much sooner than he expected, he found his own eyelids drifting closed and, with a final, deep sigh of content, drifted to sleep himself.

 

~*Thank you so much to Shinamory for this awesome picture of Seb's new Facespace profile picture!*~

Seb and Molly

Chapter Text

“Doon doon doon… Good Morning… Doon doon doon,” Sang the alarm on Molly’s phone as it began to vibrate on her night stand. “Pa pow pow pow pow pa-pa-pa pow! Good morning! Pa pow pow pow pow pa-pa-pa pow! Good morning! Pa pow pow pow pow pa-pa-pa beautiful day! It’s a beautiful day! Doon doon doon.”

 

“What in Yoba’s holy asshole kind of alarm is that!” Sebastian complained groggily as Molly reach over to her phone and hit snooze.

 

“Isn’t it great?” Molly smiled as she rolled over to face him. “It makes wake up feeling happy and ready to start the day!”

 

“It makes me wake up feeling homicidal,” he grumbled in reply, before pulling the blankets up over his head.

 

“Ah, don't ya wanna get up and help me with farm work?”

 

“Absolutely not,” came the muffled reply. Molly smiled as she rolled back toward the edge of the bed and threw her legs over the side as she sat up and stretched her arms over her head. Before she had even gotten completely out of bed, Sebastian’s breathing had returned to the deep even breathing of sleep.

 

When he opened his eyes again, it was to the sounds of pandemonium coming from the next room. Rolling onto his back, he stared at Molly’s bedroom ceiling for a long moment before searching through his pockets and retrieving his cell phone from his pants pocket. Pushing the power button he saw that it was a quarter after eight and that he had a text from Sam.

 

LMK when ur up

Want 2 have band practice 2day since we missed this wknd

 

Just woke up

Gotta do some work 2day

Could prob swing by 4 a couple hours tho

 

Sebastian sighed as he let his arm fall to his side and went back to staring at the ceiling while listening to one of the children throwing a tantrum in the next room while, from the sounds of it, Beth and Simon tried to get the situation under control.

 

Standing up, he tried to smooth down his hair as best as he could as he walked toward the door, trying to quietly clear his throat of the morning phlegm that had accumulated there and telling himself how he needed to quit smoking. Opening the door, the volume of the house was turned up to ten. Little Katie was laying on her back in the middle of the floor screaming at the top of her lungs and kicking her feet on the wood planks. Darla leaned over the back of the couch watching the chaos with a bored look on her face and Molly was busying herself with making breakfast.

 

“What is going on?” Sebastian mumbled to Darla, not wanting to cross the room to Molly and accidently get in the middle of the two-and-a-half year old’s melt down.

 

“Well, Molly thought she’d be nice and let Simon and Beth sleep in and took the kids out with her to help on the farm.”

 

“Okay?”

 

“Well, Molly took them into the coop to feed the chickens and they found out that Aunt Molly has BABY chickens and now Katie doesn’t want to give up one that she fell in love with,” Darla explained. “Way to go, Aunt Molly!” Sebastian looked across the room and saw Molly lift her middle finger over her shoulder to her sister without turning around. Looking to the crying little girl on the floor, Sebastian saw her clutching the fluffy yellow chick to her chest as tears streamed down her bright red face.

 

“Ugh… Children are terrible,” he commented under his breath. Darla gave a soft, short chuckle.

 

“What in the world are you doing with Molly then? She wants to have a litter of those things.” He fell quiet, his cheeks turning pink. He had forgotten about the conversation from the morning before last and the fact that of course Molly wanted kids.

 

“Sweetheart, you just can’t take him home with us. He wouldn’t be happy in the city,” Simon said soothingly.

 

“And chickens don’t like car rides,” continued Beth. “Think about how much time we’ll be in the car before we get home.”

 

“And we’re going to be moving soon, so we’ll be in the car for a lot longer still.”

 

“But we’re moving much closer so if you leave Peepers with Aunt Molly, when we get moved into our new house we’ll bring you to visit him.”

 

“You know, I don’t like kids either,” Darla said softly. “I guess we have that in common.” Sebastian rolled his eyes at the flirtatious tone of her voice before making his way along the wall of the room toward the bathroom without another word.

 

When he exited, he kept along the wall until he reached the kitchen. Without looking toward him from the scene unfolding in her living room, Molly handed him a steaming cup of coffee without a word. He took it with a small smile before giving her a gentle rub between her shoulder blades with his free hand, wordlessly reassuring her that the little girl's tears were not her fault. She sighed as she turned back to the stove and scooped the pancakes that were ready onto a plate with her spatula before taking it to the table.

 

“How much longer is Katie going to cry over a stupid chicken?” Lucas questioned as Molly put butter on his pancakes for him.

 

“Oh, she'll stop eventually,” Molly replied, beginning to cut the steaming disks into bite sized pieces.

 

Katie had already calmed down enough to sit up and though her tear streaked face was still red and her chest was still racked with sobs, he father had managed to take the small bird from her hands.

 

“Ok, we need to get cleaned up for breakfast,” Beth sighed, exasperated.

 

“I'll take care of it, hon, you go ahead and sit down,” Simon reassured his wife. She smiled wearily, patting his cheek before walking to the kitchen table to sit down next to her son. “Katie, I'm going to give Peepers to Sebastian, ok?”

 

“No!” She cried, on the verge of another meltdown.

 

“Now, hey, come on and listen. Sebastian is a good friend of Aunt Molly. Do you think Aunt Molly would be friends with anybody who would hurt her chickens?”

 

“No,” Katie pouted with a sniffle.

 

“Ok, so I'm just going to hand Peepers over to Sebastian here,” Simon said slowly as he turned and approached the raven haired man standing in the kitchen. Sebastian put down his coffee and held out his hands, unsure of what else to do. Dealing with a child having a tantrum felt almost like being in the same room as a time bomb. Simon deposited the yellow ball of fluff into Sebastian’ hands, mouthing thank you to him, before turning back to the little girl. “See! Sebastian will take good care of Peepers. Let's go to the bathroom and wash our face and hands so we can have breakfast and finish getting packed up so we can head home this afternoon.”

 

“Ok,” Katie sobbed again. Simon bent over and scooped up the girl into his arms before heading to the bathroom.

 

Sebastian stood awkwardly, holding the warm fluff ball as it chirped loudly. He looked to Molly, unsure of what to do with it, but only received a smile in reply.

 

“Looks like you've got a new pet,” Darla teased, finally making her way to the kitchen from the couch. Sebastian sighed.

 

“This thing better not shit on me.”

 

“I can take it if you want,” Molly offered.

 

“No, no, I have been entrusted with a sacred duty and I intend to fulfill my quest.”

 

“You are such a nerd,” Molly laughed and Sebastian gave a shrug and grin in reply.

 

When Simon and Katie returned from the bathroom, Katie immediately toddled to Sebastian and crawled up on his lap so that she could continue interacting with her new favorite animal. Sebastian looked extremely uncomfortable as he sipped his coffee but tried his best to not let it show.

 

“Katie, the chicken can't be on the table,” Beth scolded softly.

 

“He wants pamcakes,” she said, pushing the chicken toward her plate.

 

“PANcakes, sweetie,” Simon corrected. “And I don't think chickens should eat syrup.”

 

“Here ‘Bastin,” Katie said as she picked up the chick in her pudgy little hands. “You ho’d Peepers.”

 

“You got it,” he said with the mock enthusiasm that he was able to manifest for little kids. Molly smiled at him, deciding that after this weekend, she needed to do something nice for Sebastian, though she didn't know what yet.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“I wanna kiss Peepers bye-bye!” Whined Katie from her car seat after Simon had strapped her in. Simon sighed stepping aside and giving a vague gesture to nobody in particular. Sebastian took this as his cue and stepped forward holding the little chick up to Katie, who kissed it on its back. “Bye-bye Peepers. You be good boy for ‘Bastin.”

 

“It's just a stupid chicken!” Lucas complained as Sebastian backed away and Simon closed the door.

 

“I leave Peepers in your able hands,” Simon sighed shaking his head.

 

“Least I can do after all the help you gave me this weekend on the bus,” Sebastian replied with a nod. Simon held out a hand which Sebastian shook.

 

“Take care of Molly for me.”

 

“Pft! I can take care of myself!” Molly interjected with a roll of her eyes before wrapping her arms around her brother, who in turn lifted her slightly off the ground in a bear hug.

 

“We'll see you again soon, sis,” he replied before giving her a peck on the cheek.

 

Molly said goodbye with a wave as her brother started up the SUV and pulled away. She caught Sebastian with the corner of her eye absently petting the chirping ball of fluff in his hand.

 

“Hey, you're not getting soft on me, are you?” She smiled at him.

 

“Nope,” he replied making a popping noise with his lips at the end of the word. “Take your stupid chicken, I've gotta go.” He deposited the chick unceremoniously into Molly's hand.

 

“Where are you off to?”

 

“Nowhere in particular, I'm just tired of you,” he said before patting her on the shoulder and starting to walk away. Molly realized she was standing with her mouth agape and quickly closed it.

 

“Seriously?” She demanded, genuinely offended. Sebastian turned and continued walking backward.

 

“Nah,” he gave a wink. “Sam has called emergency band practice.” He turned back around and continued away from the farm. Molly sighed and rolled her eyes. She turned on her heel to return the chicken to the coop.

 

That man confused the living hell out of her. Sometimes she felt like he might actually like her. Other times, she was reminded that it was only a pretend relationship. She decided not to dwell on it as she had other things she needed to do with her day anyway.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly sat at Caroline’s kitchen table, her back to the kitchen entryway, all the color striped from her hair and a thick coat of bleach soaking into her dark auburn roots.

 

When she had first met Caroline, the green haired woman had gushed over Molly's “mermaid hair”. It had only been Molly's second day in town and in an attempt to make small talk, she had stated that she would need a new stylist, since hers was now so far away. As it turned out, Caroline was the local stylist. She didn't have anything but her skills and some simple tools, but she was the person to do everyone's hair in Pelican Town, from Emily’s vibrant sapphire hair, to Elliot's long locks, to Shane's simple clipper cut. If she were completely honest, Caroline wasn't as good as her old stylist, but she was a hell of a lot better than Molly could do herself, so she kept coming to her every month or so for a root touch up. This time, however, she was having a complete hair overhaul to prepare for Marnie's wedding.

 

“How's the scalp feeling?” Caroline questioned, making Molly look up from the game she was playing on her phone.

 

“It's fine,” she replied simply.

 

“No burning?” Molly shook her head in reply. “Ok, we'll give it about 15 more minutes and then rinse. Can I get you anything?”

 

“Water would be great,” Molly smiled.

 

“You look so different as a blonde,” Caroline commented as she got a bottle of water from her fridge and handed it over. “I don't think I like it. It doesn't go well with your skin tone. You look much better with darker colors.” Molly just grinned. She knew it was every hair stylist’s job to make conversation with their clients, but it always made Molly feel awkward, even though she was usually good at making small talk. She concluded that it was probably because she was confined to the chair and had no way of making an exit.

 

“Shut your face,” came Abigail's voice from down the hall. “I know exactly where it's at. I just forgot it.” She heard Sam's laugh.

 

“I'm just messing with you, chillax. I don't even care where the notebook is as long as you've managed to get a few lyrics written down.”

 

“I'm not sure why you're so set on this, Sam. I mean, can't we just do some covers and call it good.”

 

“How many bands do you know of that are famous and only play covers, Abs? Exactly!”

 

Molly looked to Caroline who rolled her eyes with a shake of her head and a small smile.

 

“Well, whose turn is it to have lyric duty then?” Abigail questioned.

 

“Seb's,” came the reply. “He's going to write a song about the girl in the yoga pants.”

 

“Dude!” Came an outraged shout.

 

“Oh, My blue haired beauty, with the perfect heart shaped booty, I love watching you dance, in those skin tight yoga pants.”

 

“For fuck sake, man! That was a private conversation!” Sebastian stated angrily. Molly's face was a vibrant shade of red as she put her hand to her mouth and looked to Caroline, who was trying to not laugh, with wide eyes. The sound of Sam and Abigail's laughter echoed down the hallway.

 

“Relax,” Sam teased. “Nobody heard.”

 

“Sam, I'm pretty sure Haley is in the kitchen getting her hair done,” Abigail said softly, her voice still carrying due to the large, empty common area that was used for aerobics classes. Molly was momentarily confused before she realized that at the moment she was very blonde, and Haley was the only long haired blonde in the town. But, if they thought she was Haley, at least Sebastian would be spared the trauma of knowing that Molly now knew that he had had a conversation with Sam about her rear end.

 

“Fantastic,” grumbled Sebastian. “Give me that. My lyrics now will be about Sam's slow, painful death.” He sighed loudly. “I'm outta here. I got work shit to do.”

 

“See ya,” sang Abigail. After a moment of silence she spoke again. “You're an ass.”

 

“What? I was just messing with him, he'll get over it.”

 

“Remind me to never tell you a secret.”

 

“What is… Secret? I don't know this word.”

 

“That's obvious.” Molly could practically hear Abigail roll her eyes.

 

“Should we get you rinsed?” Caroline smiled at Molly.

 

“Yes, please,” she replied.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“God damn mother fucking son of a bitch!” Sebastian cursed through gritted teeth. Had spent the last few hours patching around the coding in his latest assignment and still, for the life of him, couldn't figure out where the problem was. In fact, after hitting test this time, it came back with more errors than he had the previous test. Yanking a cigarette from its pack, he put it between his lips and lit it. His head would roll if he got caught by his mother, who didn't approve of his smoking at all, but especially didn't like it happening in the house. Exhaling a lungful of smoke, he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his palms. He needed a break and he knew he did.

 

He slid down in his chair until his head leaned against the backrest and took another drag before closing his eyes. Dashes, colons, brackets, and backslashes had burned their images into his retinas and he released a heavy sigh before looking around him for something else to do to take his mind off his current frustration.

 

His eyes came to rest on the lyric notebook and the memory of Sam's impromptu song lyrics brought the heat back to his face all over again. Bastard. Sam was his best friend, but his lack of a brain-to-mouth filter was sometimes beyond infuriating. When he had finally lost his virginity, Sam had video called Sebastian to let him know all about it… with Penny still there. He had immediately hung up on Sam, but was certain he could hear Penny yelling at him all the way from town.

 

Taking another drag, he closed his eyes again. This time Molly came to the foreground of his mental images. The first of these mental images were pure. In his mind’s eye, he could distinctly see her blue hair, pulled into a ponytail as it always was; her bright green eyes and how they sparkled when she smiled; the smile itself that could light up a room; the shallow dimples on her cheeks that you could really only notice if you were looking. Then he began to think about her lips: soft pink, a delicate cupid’s bow, a slight pout to her bottom lip. Then the Molly in his mind licked her top lip, the ball of her tongue ring sliding across her lower lip.

 

His eyes flew open. His heart was beating harder than normal and he shifted in his seat at the sudden discomfort from the tightening of his pants. That was probably what he needed: to blow off some steam. He stubbed out his cigarette in the ashtray he kept on his desk before standing and walking toward his door. He pushed a hand up against it to make sure it was completely closed before grabbing the arm of his black sofa and pulling it over until the door was blocked. He really needed to invest in an actual lock, but he never thought about it until he actually needed it.

 

He plopped down on the loveseat and stretched one leg across the cushions, the other draped over the edge of the seat, one foot planted firmly on the floor. He unfastened his jeans and let down his zipper before pulling them down around his hips, his quickly growing erection stretching the fabric of his black boxer briefs. He pressed his thumb down the length of his shaft through his boxers and released a heavy sigh as he closed his eyes again.

 

Molly was standing in front of him again. She spun in a slow circle making small deliberate moves to accentuate different parts of her body, pulling at the hem of her shirt and coyly biting her bottom lip. When her back was to him, she hooked her thumbs inside of those yoga pants and slowly slid them down her legs, exposing the black, lace boyshorts underneath. No. Red boyshorts. He grinned stupidly before sliding his boxers down enough to release his now fully erect manhood and sighed again as he wrapped his hand around himself and gave a gentle squeeze.

 

Molly would look at him over her shoulder, provocatively, her eyelids heavy with desire before turning to face him once again. Her arms crossed in front of her, grabbing at the bottom of her shirt and slowly pulling it up and over her head. No bra , he thought as he stroked himself. Her breast would come free of her shirt with a slight bounce, exposing the pink nipples and the soft creamy skin. Letting the shirt fall to the floor before slowly sashaying over to him, she would throw one leg over him and straddled him where he sat. He bit his lip, his breathing becoming faster as her swirled his thumb over the head of his member, spreading around the slick precum that was already forming there.

 

Her lips would hover right above his, close enough that he could feel her breath on him before she would begin to move, her pelvis grinding against him. A quiet moan escaped him as he imagined Molly’s mouth as it began the descent down his body, kissing his Adam’s apple, then his collar bone, leaving a trail of kisses until she reached his naval. She would press the tip of her tongue along the trail of black hair that lead south before letting her mouth hover over him briefly, blowing a soft breath of air over his swollen head from between her lips. His toes curled and he brought his free hand to his mouth, biting down on his middle knuckle to muffle the groans that threatened to escape as he stroked himself faster.

 

Molly would give a teasing lick of his head before taking him in her hand and pressing her tongue against the base of his shaft and licking all the way to the head, her tongue ring hitting every overly sensitive nerve. The leg stretched across the loveseat cushions bent at the knee as he tried to abate the feeling and prolong his experience. Molly’s lips would cover his head as she gave a gentle suck, her tongue swirling around him before taking more of him into her mouth, her head beginning a rhythmic bobbing. He groaned and tightened his grip on himself. Yes, Molly , he thought internally. I like that. She would look up at him, without stopping her sucking, those big emerald eyes still full of sweet innocence even with his cock in her mouth.

 

“Fuck!” he gasped quietly, rolling to his side, his seed spilling from him and hitting the hardwood floor with a wet splat. He squeezed his eyes closed as he stroked himself through his orgasm, his breath coming out in ragged bursts. Biting down on his bottom lip, he milked the last of the thick fluid from himself, letting it dribble messily over the backs of his fingers. “Fuck…” He breathed the word again, letting it escape his lips with a final heavy sigh, his hand falling limply to his side, his mind blank. He stared up at his ceiling, enjoying the quiet post-orgasm euphoria that never seemed to last long enough, as his breathing and heart rate slowly returned to normal.

 

Tucking himself back into his underwear, he stood and made his way to his laundry basket, removing a previously worn t-shirt and cleaning his hand on it before bringing it back to the sofa to clean the mess he had made on the floor. He tossed the shirt back into his basket from across the room, rebuttoned his jeans, and slid his sofa back to its original position. Taking a deep breath, he hoped that he didn't look too shame faced, or if he did, hoped nobody was in the hallway outside as he opened his bedroom door and made his way to the bathroom to wash his hands.

 

In a way, he was quite happy that he hadn't been with the real Molly, as that could have been embarrassing. He hadn’t even gotten to the really good parts of his fantasy when he blew his load without warning, having not realized that he was as close as he was. He would need to work on his stamina before he managed to get a real girlfriend, otherwise he wouldn't have a girlfriend very long.

 

Sitting back down at his computer, he sighed as he saw his computer declaring that he currently had 98 errors in his line of code to sort out.

 

“98 errors in this fucking code, 98 fucking errors,” he sang softly to the tune of 99 bottles of beer on the wall . “Take one down, patch it around…”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Well, what do you think?” Caroline asked as she held up the hand mirror for Molly to look into. Molly twisted her head to try and see her hair in different angles.

 

“It looks awesome,” she replied earnestly. Caroline had stepped up her game this time. Maybe, Molly considered, she just needed to start from scratch in order to really produce the desired effect that she wanted. The saphire blue onto turned to green at the bottom in a perfect gradient and she had acquired highlights of deep purple throughout.

 

“Do you want me to curl it?” Caroline asked, obviously please with the happy look on Molly’s face, as she took the hand mirror back from her.

 

“Not today, but I promise that you can work your magic on me for the wedding.”

 

“I’ll get you in first thing Saturday morning, since we’ll both be having busy days that day,” Caroline said pulling out her appointment book from where she kept it on the counter. “7:30 or 8?”

 

“I’ll have to do late afternoon, unfortunately,” Molly sighed. “I have to help with the luau too, so my hair and makeup need to be done as close to the actual wedding as we can get.”

 

“Let’s see… Ceremony is at 6, you’ll need time to do makeup too.”

 

“It’s me, so that part won’t take long,” Molly joked with a laugh. Caroline smiled in return.

 

“Let’s do 4:00 and that should give us plenty of time.”

 

“Perfect,” Molly replied. “Then, I just have to make sure my hair holds a curl for a couple hours.”

 

“Extra hairspray,” Caroline laughed, pretending to write the comment in her book.

 

“Thanks! See you Saturday,” Molly said with a smile and wave as she exited the kitchen. She had already paid Caroline when she had given her money to go to the city and get the hair dyes that she would need.

 

“Bye,” Caroline smiled as she began to clean up her kitchen. Molly walked down the hallway, but instead of turning to exit the house through Pierre’s store, she continued on to Abigail’s room.

 

“Hey guys,” She said as she entered through the door. They were seated on the floor playing a video game.

 

“Hey,” Abigail mumbled, not tearing her eyes from the screen.

 

“No distractions, Molly, We’re gonna beat this boss this time,” Sam added, also not looking away from the screen. Molly sat down on Abigail’s bed to watch them play.

 

“Watch your health, Sam, don’t fuck this up,” Abigail commented after a few moments of silence, save for the sounds of button clicking coming from the controllers.

 

“Shit! Heals! I need heals!” Abigail let a low growl come from somewhere deep in her chest as her character ran to Sam’s on screen.

 

“Get it together, man!”

 

“So close!” Sam practically whimpered. “Use your Missle Strike!” Abigail hit a series of buttons and a stream of fireballs shot from her character's hands. With a final series of slashes from Sam’s character’s great sword, the boss toppled and the room was filled with excited cheers.

 

“Fucking finally!” Abigail cried, flopping onto her back on the floor. She tilted her head up so that she looked at Molly, who appeared upside down. “Wow,” she said rolling onto her stomach. “Your hair looks awesome!” Sam turned to look over his shoulder.

 

“Nice,” he commented simply.

 

“Thanks,” Molly said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “It took all day, so I’m glad it turned out.”

 

“I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen you with your hair down,” Sam commented before turning his attention back to the game. He was going to find a save point before they did anything else because he refused to fight that boss again.

 

“How long, exactly, have you been here?” Abigail asked cautiously, remembering Sam’s comments from when they first got there.

 

“Elevenish?” Molly shrugged, knowing what abigail was asking and deciding to feign ignorance.

Sam looked back to her as well now.

 

“Did, uh… you happen to hear… anything… interesting … today?” he asked with trepidation, internally slapping himself for his stupid loud mouth.

 

“No,” Molly lied. “Should I have?” They both seemed to visibly relax. “What was I not supposed to hear?” Molly continued.

 

“Nothing,” they both said at the same time, turning back to the game on the TV.

 

“Oh… kay then,” Molly commented trying to keep the grin off her face. “Anyway, I’m heading to Zuzu this week to get a dress for the wedding, I thought I’d see if anyone wanted to tag along.”

 

“Yeah, I should probably get something to wear too,” Abigail commented. “It’ll have to be Wednesday though. We’ve all got a date with a game board tomorrow afternoon.”

 

“Ah, Solarian Chronicles day,” Sam replied wistfully. “We usually get together every Tuesday, but Seb cancelled on us last week due to unforeseen circumstances ,” he used his fingers to make air quotes. “Which, ya know, if he wanted to fap, that takes like, ten, fifteen minutes top. He didn’t have to set aside the whole afternoon.” Molly cracked up.

 

“You don’t know, Sam. Maybe he wanted to take himself on a date, grab some food, watch a movie. Maybe he enjoys foreplay, did you ever think of that?” Abigail commented, causing Molly to laugh harder.

 

“What’s foreplay?”

 

“Oh my god, you guys,” Molly laughed wiping away a tear that was forming in her eye. “Why does Seb even hang out with you two? You’re terrible!”

 

“Eh, I don’t think he would except for at this point he just can’t get rid of us,” Sam replied with a shrug.

 

“Well, F.Y.I. last Tuesday, Sebastian and I spent the afternoon babysitting and cleaning a lot of marker off the walls of his house because Demetrius couldn’t be bothered to keep an eye on 2 toddlers.” Molly defended. “And I don’t remember him putting his hands into his pants at any point that day.”

 

“Ah, he’s getting sneakier…”

 

“God damn it, Sam!” Molly laughed, rolling her eyes.

 

 

Chapter Text

Molly walked to her coffee pot, wrapped in the fluffy gray towel, her wet hair wrapped up in the oldest, rattiest towel she could find, which was currently being dyed blue from her freshly colored hair. To preserve her color, she only washed her hair twice a week, and although she didn’t really need her hair washed that day, she wanted to get a little bit of the dye washed off her scalp and she would be ready for another wash Saturday morning before the wedding. She glared at the blue stain around her fingernails as she poured coffee into her mug deciding that since she’d be in the city the next day anyway, she’d splurge on a manicure. She picked up her phone and found she had a text message from Abigail.

 

Come 2 SC 2day!

 

SC?

 

Solarian Chronicles

 

Is that ok?

I thought that was just a you guys thing

 

It’s totes fine!

Sam’s bringing Penny

and Maru will show up after wrk

Come on! Nerd w/ us!

 

Lol, sure, what time?

 

CU@ 1 @ Seb’s

 

Kk

 

Molly grinned as she checked the time. She had an hour and a half to get ready and go over.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Entering the carpenter shop, the first thing Molly noticed was the strange silence that fell over everything. She checked her phone and saw she was twenty minutes early for Solarian Chronicles, but the house seemed deserted. She walked down the basement steps to find Sebastian's door slightly ajar. Knocking lightly before she pushed open the door, she stepped inside and had to suppress a giggle at what she saw.

 

“Uhh… watcha doin’?” She snickered.

 

“Handing over my man card for a little god damn peace and quiet,” Sebastian replied monotonously, without looking up from his computer where he sat with his leg outstretched toward Violet, who was happily painting his toenails a glittery pink. He also held Derek around the middle with one arm, a pacifier in his mouth, perched on the outstretched leg, holding what looked to be Sebastian's cell phone with interest. Sebastian seemed to be trying to work, one hand typing at his keyboard. Molly removed her phone from her pocket brought up her camera and snapped a photo. “If anyone sees that picture, I swear to all things holy that they will never be able to identify your body.” Molly merely giggled as she put her phone away and approached him.

 

“I promise to only use it for blackmail purposes,” she smiled, picking Derek up from his leg. “That is a lovely color on you, if I do say so.”

 

“Fuck yourself.”

 

“That's a bad word!” Violet scolded from the floor.

 

“Hey, we agreed,” Sebastian rounded on her, “no talking!” Violet made a pouty face, but silently went back to her painting.

 

“You certainly have you own special way with children,” Molly teased, giving Derek a light bounce on her hip. Sebastian only gave a noncommittal grunt. “Your mom and aunt must be at aerobics?”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“And Demetrius is…?”

 

“Mm mm mmm,” he hummed I don't know with a lazy shrug of one shoulder .

 

“Sam and Abby will be here in about fifteen minutes for Solarian Chronicles.”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“Just thought you'd like to know...”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“In case you wanted to put socks on...”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“Get a snack or use the bathroom...”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“Take a quick smoke break...”

 

“Mhmm.”

 

“Leave the children to their own devices and go have rough sex in the bathroom.”

 

“Mhmm,” Sebastian continued his typing before abruptly stopping, his face whipping toward Molly. “Wait, what did you just say?” Molly laughed loudly.

 

“What's sex?” Violet quipped, causing Molly to laugh even harder. Sebastian pinched the bridge of his nose, shaking his head and trying to maintain a serious expression. She watched as he mouthed the words for fuck sake .

 

“It's just the name of a drink that that grown ups sometimes like to have,” Molly invented quickly.

 

“Oh, like gramma’s special juice?”

 

“Exactly like grandma's special juice!” Molly smiled at the little girl. “You are so smart!”

 

“I know!” Violet proclaimed. “I get to start preschool in the fall because I'm so smart. Not Derek though, ‘cause he's still too little.”

 

“That's right,” Molly agreed. “Violet, why don't you come and play with me and Derek so that Sebastian can get cleaned up before his friends get here?” Molly looked pointedly to Sebastian who gave a half hearted grin in return.

 

“Will you read us a story?” Violet asked, bouncing up and coming to Molly.

 

“Pick up your nail polish first,” Molly stated, shifting Derek to her other hip. Violet picked up the nail polish bottle in her chubby hand and handed it to Molly.

 

“I'll get a story!” She proclaimed as she ran from the room. Molly grinned at Sebastian as he grabbed a tissue off his desk and attempted to rub away the nail polish on his toes, but only really managed to smear it everywhere. He made an annoyed and disgusted sound before tossing the tissue in his waste bin and standing up, stretching his arms above his head.

 

“Got a book!” Violet exclaimed excitedly, holding it out in front of her with both hands. Molly took it and saw it was an anthology of fairy tales and grinned as she sat down on the sofa next to Sebastian’s bedroom door and Violet climbed up next to her. Sebastian drifted to the far end of his room to retrieve a pair of socks from the tall dresser that he kept his TV on at the end of his bed as Molly began to read.

 

“Once upon a time, there lived a troll and all he ever wanted to do was hide away in his cave, because that's what made him happy. One day, a horrible witch came to stay near his cave.” Sebastian pulled his black socks on, while only half listening to Molly read. “The witch was so horrible because she always made fun of the poor troll and made him feel bad about himself. He wasn't a bad troll, he was just very shy and liked to be left alone, but the witch wouldn't accept this and demanded he come out of his cave.” Sebastian stood from his bed and pulled the blankets up in a fast attempt to make his bed before going around the rest of the room to straighten things up and make it somewhat presentable for company. “While the witch was making fun of the troll, a beautiful fairy appeared. The fairy didn't know the witch at all, but then the witch started to make fun of the fairy too. The troll and the fairy decided to team up. They knew they couldn't stop the witch from being so mean but at least between the two of them they could stand up for one another and help each other to just ignore her mean comments.” Sebastian looked at Molly with a cocked eyebrow. She was already looking at him from under her eyelashes with a smirk on her face. She gave him a wink.

 

“I don't think this story is in the book,” Violet commented.

 

“Oh, you got me,” Molly smiled to the little girl.

 

“Why was the witch so mean?” She asked.

 

“Well, sometimes, there are just people in the world who aren't nice.”

 

“What happened with the troll and the fairy?”

 

“Well…” Molly thought for a moment. “I guess that part hasn't been written yet.”

 

“I'm sure it'll have a happy ending,” came a voice from the door. Both Sebastian and Molly looked up to find Robin leaning against the frame, her arms crossed over her chest and a smirk on her face. “Fairy tales always end with happily ever after.” She grinned to her son, who gave an exaggerated eye roll as he turned toward the game board that was set up on a low table, before the dusting of pink on his cheeks could be noticed.

 

“Hey Robin,” Molly said with a smile as the older woman entered the room.

 

“Hi sweetie,” Robin replied. “Any problems with these two today?”

 

“Seb would be the one to ask,” she replied. “I just got here.”

 

“They were fine,” Sebastian mumbled, turning back toward his mother.

 

“Good,” she said before picking up Derek from Molly's lap. “Sam and Abby should be here in just a bit. They were buying snacks when Lydia and I left Pierre's.”

 

“Cool.”

 

“Come on, Violet, let's go upstairs and play.”

 

“Ok,” the little girl replied happily as she slid off the couch. “Bye Molly. Thanks for the story!” Robin took the girl by the hand and Sebastian and Molly watched as they ascended the stairs. They were both quiet for a moment before Sebastian spoke.

 

“Did you refer to me as a troll?” Molly snorted, bringing the back of her hand to her mouth as she laughed.

 

“Seb, you are a basement goblin and I specifically said cave troll, so obviously I wasn't talking about you.” He shook his head with a small grin before the thundering of feet could be heard coming down the stairs.

 

“Sam and Abby in the hiz-owse!” Sam proclaimed loudly as he marched through the open door with Abigail close behind. “Let get our nerd on, boys!” Abigail and Molly shared a look and a grin, while Sam obliviously walked to the table where the game board was set up and deposited two plastic sacks and a twenty four pack of Joja Cola on the floor by the table. Abigail closed the door to the room as everyone made their way to the low square coffee table, sitting down on opposite sides, Sebastian producing a small blue bong seemingly out of nowhere and placing it on the table. “Sebastian!” Sam gasped. “I am shocked and appalled! Do you smoke the devil’s lettuce?” He looked to Molly, “I had no idea, and I would never participate in these illegal and completely horrible--”

 

“Shut up, Sam,” Sebastian stated, almost sounding bored, not looking up from filling the bowl with the crumbly green plant.

 

“Sounds good,” Sam replied acceptingly. “Abs, Joja me!” Abigail slid her finger under the cardboard flap in the cola pack and tore away the adhesive before handing Sam the first soda from the pack.

 

“Weren’t you bringing Penny?” Sebastian asked before taking the first hit from the bong and placing it in front of Sam.

 

“She’s tutoring for a few more hours,” Sam replied before lighting the bowl himself. “She’ll be by when she’s done.” He said the last while still trying to hold his breath, causing his words to come out as more of a croak before placing the bong in front of Molly.

 

“Ok, so how do we play this?” Molly asked, smoked, and passed along to Abigail.

 

“First things first,” Sebastian replied. “I draw the scenario card.” He picked up a pack of cards, quickly shuffled them, and then drew the card off the top. “Today’s quest will take us into the Necromancer’s tower to try and reclaim the Solarian Staff from the clutches of Dreadlord Xarth.”

 

“Ooo,” cooed Abigail as the bong came full circle back to Sebastian.

 

“Choose your character cards,” he said laying a variety of cards face up on the table.

 

“Ranger!” Abigail said excitedly, snatching a card off the table with a picture of an elf holding a drawn bow.

 

“I’ll take healer,” Molly said picking up the card with a picture of a woman dressed all in white holding a tall staff and surrounded by light.

 

“Healer, huh?” Sebastian commented. “That’s a very important role.”

 

“What? You don’t think I’m up for it?” Molly asked with a smirk.

 

“I never said that,” he replied. “I’m sure you’ll do just fine. I’ll take the wizard.” He picked up the card with an old man with a white beard and pointed hat, holding a glowing orb of lightning in front of him.

 

“Cool, warrior is my favorite anyway,” Sam grinned as he picked up the card with a muscular man holding a large sword above his head and a shield held out in front of him.

 

“And now, we begin,” Sebastian said mysteriously before taking another hit from the bong, passing it on to Sam, and pulling out what looked to be a guide book from where it was stored under the table. He checked the table of contents before flipping to the page he needed. “The king has entrusted your group with recovering the Solarian Staff, a task which if completed successfully, will ensure your place in the hall of legends as well as a sizable fortune in gold and silver. After a long month journeying, across unforgiving lands, you step out onto a precipice to see your destination looming in the distance,” he read.

 

“What’s a precipice?” asked Sam.

 

“Kinda a tall cliff,” Molly replied passing the bong onto Abigail after her turn with it.

 

“Gotcha.”

 

“There, beyond a moonlit plain,” continued Sebastian, “lies the Necromancer’s Tower, where Dreadlord Xarth usurps…” he paused, glancing up to Sam, “...has taken the power of the Solarian Staff by force for his vile purposes. The tower lies before us, do we be bold and go through the front door or remain hidden and try to find another way in?”

 

“Fortune favors the bold!” Sam declared. “I say we bust through and start smashing heads!”

 

“That’s a terrible idea, Sam!” Abigail stated. “If we want to get to the wizard and retrieve the staff we need to not alert every living thing in the tower!”

 

“Molly?” Sebastian questioned.

 

“I think Abby’s right and we should find another way in,” Molly replied. Sam groaned in defeat.

 

“Sam you have been outvoted,” Sebastian smirked.

 

And so, their afternoon continued on. The group of adventurers snuck around the outside of the tower, eventually finding a way inside through a sewer. They found a mad scientist’s lab full of mutant clones and a dungeon full of prisoners used for experiments. They came across a long hallway lined with an army of skeletons that had to be taken down before they climbed a winding flight of stairs that spat them out in front of a large wooden door with ancient runes etched into it.

 

“The time has come to fight Dreadlord Xarth,” Sebastian stated. “Are we ready?”

 

“Let's do this!” Sam exclaimed way too excitedly.

 

Molly was freezing. The capped sleeved t-shirt and shorts she was wearing wasn't enough for sitting stationary on a dark basement floor all afternoon. Scanning the room, she spotted Sebastian's hoodie draped over the back of his computer chair.

 

“We should make camp before we go in so we can get back all the HP and mana we lost fighting those god damn skeletons,” Abigail said as she looked down at a piece of scratch paper in front of her that had her health points subtracted down.

 

“Agree,” Molly said as she stood up and walked toward Sebastian's computer chair to claim his hoodie.

 

“We stop to make camp for the night. I cast Lightning Fortitude and that will give everyone twenty extra HP for the next battle,” Sebastian said as he looked over his list of spells that was printed on the back of his Wizard card. Molly pulled the hoodie on over her head and walked back to the table.

 

“Whoa!” Abigail exclaimed, looking up at Molly as she came back to the table. “Hurry and take that off before he notices!” Sebastian looked up from his notes and cocked an eyebrow at Molly.

 

“Are you wearing my hoodie?”

 

“I'm cold and you're not wearing it,” she replied with a shrug.

 

“No one is allowed to wear Sebastian's hoodie,” Abigail whispered dramatically.

 

“Why?” Molly laughed.

 

“Not allowed,” Sam replied simply with a shrug, helping himself to the bong again.

 

“Well, thanks for clearing that up,” Molly rolled her eyes. “Do you want me to take off your sacred hoodie?” She asked, turning her attention to Sebastian.

 

“I really don't care,” he replied monotonously, resulting in shocked looks from Sam and Abigail, which he ignored. “Do you want to cast a spell for the battle at the campfire?” He asked nonchalantly, looking back to his scratch paper. Really, he thought Molly looked cute in his oversized hoodie, her shorts barely visible under it.

 

“Yeah, I'll cast holy light, which will grant ten HP and ten MP to each--”

 

“Hold the fuck up!” Abigail said holding up a hand at Sebastian. “We dated for three years and I was never allowed to wear that stupid thing but you fake date Molly for two weeks and she's allowed to wear it?”

 

“First of all, say fake date a little bit louder just in case Lydia missed it the first time,” Sebastian hissed back at her. “Second, we broke up, what? Five years ago?” He gave a short laugh. “I've outgrown the phase of being possessive of a piece of clothes. Can we please get back to the game now?”

 

“Fine,” Abigail sulked.

 

“You wouldn't want to wear it anyway,” Molly joked. “It stinks like Seb.”

 

“Stop smelling it then, you weirdo,” he laughed. She pulled the collar up to her nose and sniffed.

 

“Smells like cigarettes and nerd.”

 

“Oh yeah,” Sam laughed. “That's Seb alright!”

 

“You know what, Abby? When Molly’s done wearing my hoodie, you can go ahead and wear it too, that way I only have to wash it once to get out the smell of hair dye and estrogen.”

 

“Hey!” said Molly.

 

“Watch it, buddy,” Abby spoke at the same time.

 

“Can we please get back to the game now?” Sebastian laughed at the two girls and shook his head. “Molly cast Holy Light and I cast Lightning Fortitude giving all party members a total of thirty extra HP and ten extra MP.”

 

“I use Bandage on myself and Sam to completely restore HP,” Abigail relented.

 

“I use Pep Talk to increase defense,” finished Sam.

 

“Ok, we eat and sleep and are ready to begin our final battle,” Sebastian said before looking back into the guide book that he held. “As the door is pushed open, Dreadlord Xarth is shocked to see your group in his private chambers. He knows that you’ve come for the Solarian Staff and has prepared to put up a fight and says that we’ll make fine additions to his skeletal army. Xarth casts Shadow Beam, initiating battle, for...” he grabbed up the twenty sided dice and rolled it. “Twelve points of damage to each party member.”

 

“I use Headshot for...” Abigail rolled the dice and groaned. “Three damage.”

 

“I guess you missed,” Sam teased.

 

“I use Hand of Light for…” Molly’s turn to roll. “Seven damage.”

 

“Shit! Will you guys roll better? Please!” Sebastian laughed. “I use weakening curse for… five damage.”

 

“Now who can’t roll?” Molly teased. Sebastian raised his middle finger at her.

 

“I use Cleave for… nice! Sixteen damage! Ah yeah!” Sam gushed. The game continued with the four of them taking turns casting their unique abilities and Sebastian rolling to show the damage taken from Dreadlord Xarth.

 

“Xarth casts Shadow Beam for…” Sebastian rolled and the dice landed on twenty. “Crit.”

 

“You aren’t allowed to roll anymore!” yelled Sam.

 

“Shut up,” Sebastian mumbled in reply. “Everyone roll to evade.” They each took their turn with only Molly rolling high enough to avoid death. “Okay, Molly, make your spell count.”

 

“Alright, I’ll use Reviving Glow on…” She looked to each one of her companions. “Seb… Don’t fuck it up.”

 

“Thanks,” he smirked. “I cast Pure Bolt for…” Sebastian let the die fall from his hand and it bounced across the table, wobbled dramatically, and then landed with the twenty facing up again. “YES!”

 

“Nice!” Sam congratulated, giving Sebastian a well deserved high five.

 

“A beam of white light hits Dreadlord Xarth square in the face and he releases an ear piercing shriek before crumbling into a pile of dust,” he read from the guide book. “You pick up the Solarian Staff and hold it high above your heads returning order to the world. We have completed the scenario.” He grinned as he shut the book and stretched his arms above his head before messing up his hair. “Good game, guys.”

 

“Yeah, not bad,” said Sam. He turned to Molly. “Ya know, it took me and Seb like three or four tries before we beat--” Sam was cut off by the bedroom door being slammed open. Abigail moved in a flash, grabbing the bong from the table top and tucking it underneath before realizing that it was only her and Sam’s girlfriends.

 

“What’s happening, nerds?” Maru laughed walking into the room with Penny behind her, who was holding two pizza boxes and had her nose wrinkled. “It smells like a Snoop Dogg concert in here.”

 

“Babe!” Sam said excitedly. “Did you bring pizza?”

 

“Yeah, Maru thought you guys might be hungry,” Penny replied softly, looking apprehensively round the basement room as Sam stood and practically skipped over to her taking the pizzas from her hands and planting a kiss on her cheek with a loud MUAH! before rushing back to the table and putting the boxes down in the center, flipping the lid on the top box open and digging in. The two newcomers joined them at the table after the door had been reclosed, Maru sitting between Abigail and her brother and Penny sitting between Sam and Molly. Molly noticed that Penny seemed very uncomfortable, sitting stiffly on her knees with her hands folded in her lap.

 

“Oh, so, Molly,” Abigail began as she helped herself to pizza. “I can’t go into Zuzu with you tomorrow. I totally forgot I told my dad that I’d help with inventory at the store. Can we go Thursday instead?”

 

“Yeah, sure, that’s fine. As long as I get a dress before Saturday.”

 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Sebastian said through a mouthful of pizza before hurriedly chewing it and swallowing. “You guys are making plans to go to the city and you didn’t invite me? I’m offended.”

 

“Sorry, just assumed that you wouldn’t want to go dress shopping with us,” Molly replied.

 

“Eh, Seb will take any opportunity he can get to go into the city,” Maru teased.

 

“Yeah, and I could take Sam to keep me company.”

 

“Woo! Day trip!” exclaimed Sam making Molly wonder how in the world Sam and Sebastian were best friends when they were quite clearly polar opposites.

 

“Anyone else want to go?” Molly chuckled.

 

“Nah, I have to work at the clinic,” replied Maru.

 

“Tutoring,” stated Penny softly.

 

“Alright, but I want to leave fairly early so no sleeping until past noon,” Molly pointed at Sebastian, “and no annoying car songs,” she continued pointing toward Sam, who gave a disappointed groan.

 

“Yes, ma’am,” replied Sebastian with a smirk.

 

“Why do you guys still play this game?” Maru laughed. “Don’t you think it’s time to play something a little more adult?”

 

“Ah, you want to play truth or dare, Maru?” Sebastian teased before taking another bite of pizza.

 

“No,” she replied simply. “Be right back.” Without another word she stood and left the room.

 

“This should be interesting,” muttered Sebastian through another mouthful of pizza.

 

“I love truth or dare!” Sam exclaimed. “Seb! Truth or dare?”

 

“Nope, not gonna happen,” he stated simply.

 

“Abby, truth or dare?” Sam tried again. Abigail gave a sigh.

 

“Truth,” she replied, humoring Sam.

 

“Do you pee in the shower?”

 

“Everybody pees in the shower. So, yes.”

 

“Really? Everyone?”

 

“Yes,” replied everyone sitting around the table in a monotonous drone, except Penny, who only looked a little embarrassed.

 

“You just can’t do it if there’s someone else in there with you,” stated Molly. “It’s considered rude.”

 

“Molly!” Sam rounded. “Truth or dare?”

 

“Dare.”

 

“Go to the bathroom, take a picture of your boobs and send it to Seb!” Sam challenged, causing Sebastian to choke slightly on his pizza.

 

“Samson!” Penny scolded.

 

“You really don’t have to do that, Molly,” Sebastian gasped trying to catch his breath, his face a vibrant shade of red from lack of oxygen and embarrassment. Molly scoffed.

 

“Oh, my dear Sebastian,” she said with a laugh. “I never back down from a dare.” She picked herself off the floor and left the room. Sebastian glared daggers at Sam.

 

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

 

“Uh, I’m getting you pictures of titties and you should be thanking me,” Sam replied. Sebastian groaned and buried his face in his hands. Maru chose just then to reenter the room, her arms laden with items. Walking to the table, she tossed a black box to the side of the pizza box that read Never Have I Ever . Next to that she sat down a bottle of vodka, a bottle of tequila, and a stack of red plastic cups. There was a collective groan from the occupants of the room.

 

“Maru, you know I don’t like to drink,” stated Penny, looking to the bottles in disgust. Sebastian’s phone twinkled from his pocket and Sam beamed at him.

 

“You gonna get that?” he asked.

 

“No,” Sebastian spat.

 

“Can I get it then?” Abigail teased.

 

“No.”

 

“What is it?” Maru asked, confused.

 

“Molly’s boobs,” Abigail laughed.

 

“Oh…” Maru replied. “...Can I get it?”

 

“For fuck sake, you guys!” Sebastian cried. “Nobody is looking at Molly’s boobs! I have to figure out how I’m going to delete the picture without looking.”

 

“Ugh, worst boyfriend ever,” Molly laughed walking back into the room. “Won’t even look at my boobs. Sam! Truth or dare?”

 

“Dare!”

 

“Hmm…” Molly thought before seeing Penny still sitting uncomfortably and laughed. “Give a kiss to the person you love the most in this room.” Penny smiled shyly, a blush coming to her cheeks.

 

“Man, that’s too easy!” Sam replied. Penny leaned toward him expectantly, only to find he had moved away from her. Her mouth fell open as Sam planted a kiss right on Sebastian’s cheek, who sighed and roll his eyes. “No homo,” Sam whispered.

 

“Aww,” Abigail cooed as Molly erupted into laughter. Penny was unamused as she crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Sam.

 

“You’re a close second, Babe!” Sam stated, failing to smooth over the situation.

 

“Oh, look, tequila,” Molly said, before Sam could make her girlfriend more annoyed with him. “Goodbye memory and hello hangover.”

 

“We’re going to play Never Have I Ever,” Maru replied, gesturing to the box.

 

“As soon as Seb looks at your boobs,” Sam laughed. Sebastian sighed in annoyance.

 

“Just do it, Seb,” Molly stated with a smirk. “It’s only boobs.” Sebastian rolled his eyes as he took out his phone, opened the picture, and laughed. It was a mirror picture of Molly, who was undressed from the waist up, and blowing a kiss at the mirror, but she had strategically placed a text bar right across her chest that simply said “( o )( o )” and completely censored out her actual breasts.

 

“I’ll treasure this picture forever,” he laughed at Molly, who smiled back at him, giving him a wink. Sam attempted to look over his shoulder, but he had already turned his screen off and stuck his phone back in his pocket.

 

“Alright, everyone pick your poison and take a shot to get the ball rolling,” Maru instructed. With an apprehensive groan, the group each took a red cup, splashing their choice of alcohol into the bottom of the cup. “Cheers!” Everyone briefly raised their cups before drinking. Molly made a face and shuddered. Penny tried to sip her drink and looked like she was going to be sick.

 

“Hand me a Joja, Abby,” Molly requested. “Not that that’ll taste much better.”

 

“Ok, youngest person goes first!” Maru stated happily as she opened the box to reveal a pile of black cards. She pulled them from the box and quickly shuffled them. She pulled the top card off the pile and read out loud, “Never have I ever caught my parents having sex. I have not, thank Yoba!”

 

“I have,” Penny grimaced.

 

“Drink up, babe!” Sam laughed, refilling her drink. Knowing that she didn’t like drinking, he only splashed in a quarter of what would be considered a normal shot.

 

“You’re up, Seb,” Maru said, nudging her brother. He picked up the next card.

 

“Never have I ever watched porn,” he read monotonously before laughing. “Pft, isn’t that cute.” he grabbed the bottle of tequila and poured a shot, followed by everyone else at the table, except Penny, who just looked amazed.

 

“You all watch porn? Really?”

 

“Go Sam,” Maru encouraged, ignoring Penny’s baffled expression.

 

“Never have I ever faked an orgasm,” he read. Everyone except Sam and Penny proceeded to pour a shot.

 

“How in the hell did you fake an orgasm?” Molly asked Sebastian as he took a drink.

 

“I pulled out and spit on her back,” he shrugged.

 

“Ew,” she laughed, wrinkling her nose.

 

“I had a headache and just wasn't feeling it,” he defended.

 

“Not judging,” she stated, raising her hands in front of her.

 

“Your turn, babe,” Sam said to Penny, who looked slightly revolted. She picked the next card off the deck.

 

“Never have I ever had sex in a car.”

 

“Oh yeah, we've totally done that, haven't we Seb?” Abigail laughed, pouring out a shot for both of them. Sebastian chuckled awkwardly before picking up his cup, tapping it against Abigail's and drinking.

 

“Wha-- how are you two okay with that?” Penny asked causing everyone to look at her. She blushed. “Maru and Molly, I mean.”

 

“Oh,” Maru replied before looking at Molly who simply shrugged. “Everyone has a history, I guess.”

 

“And I can confirm that Sebastian's dick is way bigger than Maru’s,” Abigail laughed.

 

“She's not wrong!” Maru chimed in. Molly laughed and Penny just looked dumbfounded.

 

“Does it count if I wasn't actually in the car?” Molly asked, returning to the game.

 

“Go on,” Maru pressed. Sebastian raised an eyebrow at Molly as she went pink.

 

“It was on the hood… of the car.”

 

“Drink up, you whore,” Abigail laughed, dumping liquor into Molly's cup.

 

“Oh, we've reached the name calling portion of the day, I see,” Molly teased before downing the clear liquid and following it with her Joja Cola. She made a face and pulled the next card from the stack.

 

“Never have I ever toilet papered a house.”

 

“I'm going to be so sick tomorrow,” Sebastian pouted as Sam filled both of their glasses.

 

“Sorry, man,” replied Sam, who wasn't actually sorry.

 

"Not as sorry as Lewis was, since it rained that night."

 

"That was you two?" Penny gasped. "Lewis was furious and it took him days to clean up the mess."

 

“My turn!” Abigail proclaimed excitedly, ignoring Penny's scolding of the boys. “Never have I ever had sex on my parents bed. Oh, I have definitely done that.” She took her shot and Maru picked up the next card.

 

“Never have I ever gotten a piercing below my neck. Matching belly rings!” She said lifting her shirt to expose her navel. Molly expected Abigail to show her belly button too, but was surprised when Penny lifted her shirt to her belly button as well, giggling shyly.

 

“What's pierced below your neck?” Abigail asked Molly, who was pouring herself a shot. Molly simply looked at her, grinned, took her shot, and said nothing. “Sebastian, let me see that pic Molly sent you.”

 

“Nope,” he grinned, before taking a drink of his cola and taking the next card. “Never have I ever been caught having sex by my parents. I have not.” There was a collective shaking of heads from around the table.

 

“Well, I guess we’re all sneakier at sex than Penny’s mom,” Maru teased causing Penny to bury her face in her hands. Molly leaned over giving her a gentle one armed hug and Penny looked up, her face bright red, but laughing.

 

“Never have I ever…” Sam began pulling the next card. His face fell. “Gotten a tattoo.”

 

“Drink up, rockstar,” Sebastian laughed as he poured a shot for himself and Sam.

 

“Sam, you have a tattoo?” Maru asked in shock.

 

“Oh, yeah he does!” Sebastian proclaimed as Molly and Abigail each poured themselves a drink.

 

“What is it?” Maru continued.

 

“We don’t talk about it,” Sam mumbled.

 

“Sam’s twenty first birthday was a helluva night!” Sebastian continued laughing.

 

“Ok, everyone, tattoos out! I want to see your ink,” Molly proclaimed after downing her shot. She was beginning to agree with Sebastian; she was going to be sick the next day, but she was having fun. Abigail turned her back toward Molly and lifted her mane of thick purple hair to reveal a small blue and purple butterfly on the back of her neck. “Cute! Seb, go!” He turned his back to the table, grabbed the collar of his t-shirt and pulled it up over his head. He would normally have refused to take his clothes off in front of so many people, but the shots he had been consuming that evening were having their effect on his brain. “Oh, nice!” Molly continued, looking at the black bat that had its wings spread across Sebastian’s shoulder blades.

 

“Mom would kill you if she knew you had that,” Maru commented.

 

“Guess I’ll just have to keep my clothes on around Mom,” Sebastian stated, rolling his eyes as he turned back around and pulled his shirt back over his head.

 

“Go, Sam, Go!” Molly giggled.

 

“No.” he stated simply.

 

“Oh, come on!”

 

“No, I made many regrettable decisions that night. One of which was a tattoo. The other was trusting Sebastian to babysit my drunk ass.”

 

“That’ll learn ya,” Sebastian smirked. “Come on! Whip it out, big baby.” Sam glared daggers at Sebastian who was completely unfazed, before sighing and standing up. Turning his back to the group, he unfastened his pants and pulled them down, exposing his right butt cheek. The room erupted in squeals of laughter from the girls at the table.

 

“Yep, there it is…” Sam grumbled. “In all its glory.” There, sitting right in the middle of the cheek, was a rather large tattoo of a grim reaper playing its scythe like a guitar. With a heavy sigh, Sam pulled his pants back up, fastened them, and plopped back down on the floor.

 

“At least it’s really well done,” Molly encouraged.

 

“And at least I didn’t let you get something really embarrassing, like the unicorn shitting rainbows that you were also considering,” Sebastian teased.

 

“Thanks,” Sam replied sarcastically.

 

“Your turn, Molly,” grinned Sebastian. She grinned back before turning her back on the group and sitting up on her knees.

 

“Tramp stamp!”  Abigail proclaimed as Molly lifted the bottom of her shirt and pulled the top of her shorts down enough to reveal a dragon curled up and asleep across her hips.

 

“Nice!” Sebastian commented.

 

“Thanks,” Molly smiled, turning back around. “My best friend, Trish is an artist and she designed it for me.”

 

“I thought I was your best friend,” Abigail pouted.

 

“Your my best friend in town.”

 

“Hooray!” Abigail squealed drunkenly, throwing her arms around Molly.

 

“I think maybe we should finish this turn around the table and call it a night,” Maru laughed, and she got no objections from anyone. Penny pulled the next card and laughed. Molly was glad to see that although she hadn't drank nearly as much as everyone else, it was still enough to make her relax a little and have fun.

 

“Never have I ever been humped by a dog. Ugh… Dusty.” Molly laughed at the mention of Dusty,  Alex Mullner’s perpetually horny dog. There was a collective groan from around the table as drinks were poured in every cup.

 

“That dumb dog has gotten everyone in town at least once,” Maru commented.

 

“Poor guy,” Molly commented. “He just needs a girlfriend.” She pulled the next card after drinking. “Never have I ever stolen anything. Do office supplies count? Because when I got fired from Joja, I grabbed up everything I could from those bastards.”

 

“Nope,” Maru replied with a laugh. “Anyone else?” Everyone else shook their heads. Abigail pulled the next card.

 

“Never have I ever smoked marijuana…” She laughed as she looked around the table.

 

“Never have I ever smoked marijuana in the last ten minutes!” Joked Molly as her cup had more liquor added to it by Sebastian.

 

“Maru! You too?” Scolded Penny.

 

“What do you want from me? My brother is Sebastian! He seriously sells pot to Abby’s dad!”

 

“No! Really?” Ask Penny in complete disbelief.

 

“Gives me a nice discount on my cigarettes for it,” Sebastian added.

 

“I fucking love living in a small town!” Molly laughed. “It is so different from the city, but in a good way.”

 

“If you say so,” said Sebastian, making a face from his shot.

 

“Ok, last card,” stated Maru, taking the top card. “Never have I ever snuck out of the house after my parents had gone to sleep. Anyone NOT done that?”

 

“No, we were all horrible children and you know it,” laughed Sam. All the cups were filled for the last time and drank.

 

“Ugh,” Sebastian groaned as he laid down on his back on the floor.

 

“Ok, who's babysitting my drunk brother?” Maru laughed as she stood up, wobbling slightly from the shots she had taken.

 

“I'll take him,” said Sam, also standing up. “Hey Seb, you wanna get a tattoo?”

 

“Go fuck yerself,” he drawled in reply.

 

“Abs, you staying with me?” Maru asked.

 

“I dunno, are you going to take advantage of me?”

 

“I'm gonna try to,” Maru smiled.

 

“Absolutely then!” Abigail laughed as she wrapped her arms around her girlfriend’s middle. “Goodnight guys!”

 

“Night,” everyone chimed as the two girls walked out the bedroom door together. Molly saw Sam and Penny were trying to speak softly to one another, so in an attempt to give them privacy in the small, quiet room, she walked over to Sebastian and knelt down beside him.

 

“How ya doin’, kid?”

 

“I'd be better if the floor would stop moving.”

 

“You had, like, six shots,” teased Molly.

 

“I had eight and I am paying penance for my lifetime of sins.”

 

“Lightweight.”

 

“Wanna make regrettable decisions with me?”

 

“Ooo, tempting, but I think I'm going to just leave you with Sam. You can make regrettable decisions with him,” Molly teased, causing Sebastian to wrinkle his nose. “Don't forget to wear a condom!” She teased before reaching over and messing up his hair before standing up again. Sebastian swung his arm in an attempt to smack her drunkenly on the rear, but missed the mark by a long shot and just let his arm fall back to the floor. “Come on, Penny, we can walk back to town together.”

 

“Night, Sam,” Penny said, giving her boyfriend a chaste kiss on the mouth. “I'll text you when I get home.”

 

“Ok, I love you.”

 

“Love you the most,” Penny smiled.

 

“See ya, Sam,” Molly said as she and Penny started toward the door. “G’night Seb!” Sebastian replied with a grunt and a lazy wave from the floor.

 

Sam closed the bedroom door after the two girls left. He walked across the room and stood over his friend, crossing his arms over his chest.

 

“Let me see your phone,” he requested. Sebastian smirked as he pulled his phone from his pocket and held it straight up into the air for Sam to take. Snatching it up, Sam turned on Sebastian's screen and entered in his passcode, a simple 0420. Sam groaned. “Ah! That's fucking cheating!” Sebastian began to laugh evilly.

 

“Haha! That's my fuckin’ girl!” He proclaimed. Sam grinned, as this statement made him happier than it necessarily should have.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“So… you and Sebastian, huh?” Penny asked as the two girls exited the carpenter shop.

 

“Yeah, sort of,” Molly replied. “It's… complicated.”

 

“He doesn't really seem that… I don't know… dateable,” Penny shrugged. “No offense.” Molly laughed.

 

“What makes you say that?”

 

“He's always just kind of given me the creeps.”

 

“Really? He's your boyfriend’s best friend.”

 

“I know! So I feel bad about it, but, I mean, he wears black all the time and he never talks.”

 

“Lots of people wear black all the time,” Molly chuckled. “And Seb is just so, so freaking shy. Seriously, I think tonight is the most I've ever heard him talk in front of more than 2 people. In fact, if you wore more black, you'd be in his same boat.” This gave Penny pause. Molly was right. She had also always been incredibly shy. Really, her only friend growing up had been Maru, but even she had taken a long while to get Penny to come out of her shell just a tiny bit.

 

“I guess you're right,” Penny finally relented.

 

“He's actually pretty nice. And, he's the one that fixed the town bus.”

 

“Really?” Penny gasped, completely stopping in her tracks. “Lewis said it was you and your brother.” Molly made an annoyed sound.

 

“It was my idea to fix the bus, and my brother helped diagnose the problem and bought the replacement part they needed, but Seb is the one that did all the grunt work and got it going.”

 

“Why didn't Lewis give Sebastian any credit?” Penny asked as she fell into step beside Molly again.

 

“Brace yourself, because this may come as a shock,” Molly replied dramatically, “but Lewis doesn't like Sam and Sebastian.”

 

“Oh, I'm quite aware,” Penny giggled. “Not without good reason either. That's really awesome of Seb though. My mother is grateful too, and I'm just happy she's not drinking away our rent at the Stardrop all day anymore.” Penny looked at Molly with wide eyed embarrassment. “Sorry! T.M.I.” She giggled nervously. “I usually don't drink, so I guess it loosens up my tongue.”

 

“Well, did you have fun, at least?” Molly questioned.

 

“You know what? I really did. I'm glad I decided to come.”

 

“Great!” Smiled Molly in reply. “Maybe you can hang out more often now that you know Seb isn't going to, I dunno… drink your blood or something.” Penny laughed.

 

“Yeah, I'm sure Sam would appreciate that too. Good night, Molly,” Penny said with a wave as they split in different directions, Molly heading for her farm and Penny for the trailer that sat next to the river.

 

“See ya, Penny!” Molly said as she turned around and began her walk home. It was as she put her hands in the front pocket of Sebastian's hoodie, that she realized that she was still wearing it. She grinned as she wondered how possessive he actually was about his sacred hoodie.

Chapter Text

Sam opened his blurry eyes and looked around Sebastian's room. The TV atop the dresser was still on and Sam laid head down on Sebastian’s bed, a video game controller the only thing between his face and his best friend’s socked feet. Sitting up, he rubbed his eyes and groaned at the slight throbbing in his head. He climbed over Sebastian, who gave an annoyed grunt at being disturbed, and began to shuffle sleepily toward the door. Upon opening it, he came face to face with a squat, brown skinned woman. She looked him up and down.

 

“Hmph, I knew it,” she stated, before turning and walking up the stairs. Sam looked down at himself. He was in the t-shirt he wore the day before, his boxer shorts, and his socks, but he couldn't figure out what Sebastian's aunt knew . He shrugged and continued his shuffle to the bathroom.

 

Robin entered Sebastian's room through the door that Sam had left open, flipped on the overhead lights, and made her way to her son’s bed. Giving him a gentle shake, he replied with a grunt.

 

“Sebby, Lydia would appreciate it if you wouldn't have gay sex while she's in the house. After all, she's a Yoba fearing woman and doesn't want to be sent to hell on account of your sins.”

 

“Lydia going to hell will definitely not be because of my non-existent gay sex,” Sebastian mumbled in reply, without opening his eyes. “I have a feeling she can get there all by herself.”

 

“Be nice,” Robin grinned. “What did Molly bring you earlier?” Sebastian groaned and sat up.

 

“Molly was here?”

 

“Yeah, she said she thought you'd be feeling under the weather so she brought over a sack full of stuff.” Robin scanned the room, before spotting the plain, brown, paper sack on the game table. “Oh, here it is.” Sam shuffled back into the room as Robin picked up the sack and handed it over to Sebastian. “Good morning, Sam.”

 

“Hey Mom,” Sam replied before flopping face down on Sebastian's mattress next to him. Sebastian pulled a note off the side of the sack that had been taped on, his name written it Molly's neat, flowy handwriting.

 

Good morning, Sunshine!

 

Sebastian rolled his eyes at the first line of the note. This girl had just as much to drink as he did. How was she still so damn chipper. He continued reading.

 

I thought you might be feeling a little worse for wear, so I put together a care package for you. Hope you're not hurting too bad.

 

XOXO

Molly

 

P.S. You and Sam looked so cute together that I took another picture-- for blackmail purposes ;)

 

Sebastian opened up the sack and grinned. He pulled out some bottles of water, a couple energy drinks, a bottle of extra strength headache medicine, and, what looked to be, two cheeseburgers from the Stardrop, judging by the amount of grease that was soaking into the paper wrapper.

 

“Thank you, Molly,” he sighed, taking out one of the cheeseburgers. “Here Sam, she's taking care of you too.”

 

“I love your girlfriend,” Sam declared, rolling on to his back and taking the food and an energy drink from Sebastian.

 

“I'll be sure to let her know.”

 

“Ha! You didn't deny she was your girlfriend,” Sam gloated.

 

“Dude, I'm way too hungover to do this right now.”

 

“Uh oh, what did you two get up to last night,” Robin questioned.

 

“This is all Maru’s fault,” Sebastian said as Sam finally sat up and unwrapped his burger.

 

“Yeah,” Sam agreed. “She wanted us to play some drinking game that punishes you for ever having fun in life.”

 

“Oh?” Robin raised an eyebrow. Both men remained silent and Robin chuckled softly. “Well, at least you weren't out getting into trouble.”

 

“How’d Molly look this morning?” Asked Sebastian, unwrapping his own burger. Robin shrugged.

 

“Fine,” she said simply.

 

“How does she do it?” Sebastian asked turning to Sam. “Are we really that big of lightweights?”

 

“Mm mmm mmm,” Sam hummed through a mouthful of cheeseburger.

 

“What are your plans for the day,” Robin asked her son as he bit into the sandwich. He chewed and swallowed before speaking.

 

“I'm thinking about spending the next hour or so praying for the sweet embrace of death and then I need to finish a nightmare of a project that I've been working on since Monday. I'm hoping to get a raise after it gets done.”

 

“That would be nice,” Robin grinned before reaching out and smoothing down her son’s hair, thinking that he was way past due for a haircut, but knowing better than to mention it. “Try not to spend all day in your room, okay?”

 

“I'll try to try.”

 

“That's all I ask,” Robin said with a light laugh. “See you guys later.” She turned and left the room closing the door behind her.

 

“Molly is the best,” Sam mumbled, wadding up the paper wrapper the burger came in and tossing it in the paper sack. “I wonder how Penny's feeling. I was short-shotting her all night, but she is definitely not a drinker.” Sam pulled out his phone to text his girlfriend.

 

“I'm sure she's fine,” Sebastian said, opening the energy drink. If she does have a hangover, she can always ask her mom for advice.”

 

“Low blow, man.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian stretched his arms above his head, producing a pop from somewhere in his back and sighed. He had finally worked out all the errors in the program that he was patching all week and had sent it to his boss for final approval before it was sent back to the contractor. Picking up his cell phone, he sighed. He had sent Molly several text messages throughout the day, but had yet to get a reply from her.

 

Hey

Thx for the hangover kit

I feel better :)

Sam also said that he loves you lol

How RU feeling?

 

Deciding that Molly was probably busy, he texted Sam.

 

WYD?

 

Penny

 

He rolled his eyes. ‘ Stay classy, Sam,’ he thought to himself, knowing such a short response meant that he was either actively getting laid, or trying to be. Next up was Abigail.

 

WYD?

 

It took a few minutes before he got a response from her.

 

Still helping dad w/ inventory

Prob B here all night

 

U seen Molly?

 

No, sry

Been here

:(

 

Sebastian stuck his phone in his pocket and grabbed his cigarettes from next to his keyboard. He needed a smoke anyway, so he would just take a stroll over to Molly’s farm to make sure she was doing alright.

 

He lit his cigarette as he started up toward the back road to Molly’s farm, the same way they had traveled on their first not-a-date, after Robin had dumped water on them giving them an escape. He let his mind wander as his feet carried him forward, unthinkingly. He wondered what would have happened if Molly hadn’t decided to play along with his charade for his aunt. He definitely would still be horribly embarrassed and Aunt Lydia would have never let him live it down. Ever. He wondered what he’d be able to do for her to properly express how grateful he was. Maybe he could get her something nice when they were in Zuzu the next day. Would that be weird? What would she like? What could he afford?

 

He flicked away the butt of his cigarette as he walked up her front porch steps and knock softly on the door before letting himself in. Hearing voices from somewhere else in the house, he called out her name.

 

“Upstairs!” came the reply. He headed for the stairs straight ahead of him and started up, following the voices. He stopped dead as he entered the upstairs room, feeling like he was intruding on something private. Marnie stood in front of a full length mirror, dressed in what was obviously going to be her wedding dress. It was a champagne colored ball gown with long lace sleeves covered in glittering rhinestones. The long skirt consisted of layers and layers of tulle that trailed behind her in a short train. She turned toward him smiling.

 

“What do you think?” Marnie asked, beaming. He doubted very much that she actually cared what he thought at all.

 

“You look… nice?” He stated awkwardly. It seemed to be what she wanted to hear.

 

“Thank you!” She gushed. “It's just a little bit small and a little too long.”

 

“Well, that's why I'm here!” Chirped Emily, the town’s other sapphire haired woman. Sebastian hadn't seen her when he walked in because she was knelt down beside Marnie examining the stitch work on the dress. “I'm thinking we can get rid of the decorative buttons going up the back and replace the zipper to turn it into a corseted back. That would make it completely adjustable so you'll be sure to get a perfect fit. And it would just lace all the way down the back and we can tie it into a pretty bow. Then, all we have to do is hem up this sash at the bottom so that it doesn't trip you.”

 

“Oh, I don't know,” Marnie said skeptically. “That seems like a lot of alterations. I don't want to ruin Molly's beautiful dress.”

 

“It's your dress now,” Molly spoke up for the first time. “I'm not sure why I kept it at all, so honestly, I'm glad that someone can get some use from it.” Sebastian looked over the dress again. It had been Molly's wedding dress? He grinned slightly when he remembered how she described it: “Cost three months salary, but made me look like a goddamn fairy tale princess.”

 

“Are you sure?” Marnie questioned. “What if you get engaged again, you'll need a dress.” Molly laughed.

 

If that happens again, I can assure you that I won't want to wear that dress.”

 

“Okay, well, if you're sure,” she turned to Emily. “I trust your expertise!”

 

“It'll look amazing, I promise!” Emily assured.

 

“You can get it done in time, right?” Marnie asked, still sounding unsure.

 

“Of course! It'll be ready with enough time for me to dance at the luau!”

 

“Oh, the Luau,” Molly sighed. “Are you really sure you want to have it on the same day as the wedding?”

 

“Lewis insists on it,” Marnie replied, not sounding happy. “Says that the governor will be in town for the luau and that he doesn’t want to impose on him by asking him to stay an extra day.”

 

Sebastian turned to Molly, who shrugged her acceptance and had gone back to digging through boxes in the upstairs room that she was currently using as a storage space. He made his way to her as the two other women continued to talk about dress alterations and leaned against a wall with his shoulder as he hovered over her.

 

“That's the fairytale princess dress, huh?” He asked conversationally. She laughed and smiled up at him.

 

“Yep, that's the one. I can't believe you remember me telling you that.” She went back to digging through boxes.

 

“Hey, I listen,” he smirked. “In fact I've been told that's every woman's dream.” Molly snorted.

 

“Who told you that?”

 

“Your sister,” he replied. Stopping what she was doing, she glared up at him. He winked at her and she rolled her eyes. “What are you looking for?”

 

“My crazy ass mom has been sending me random boxes of my stuff since I moved here, and there's no organization to it whatsoever. I'm just trying to find the box that has all my jewelry in it because I have a tiara and a bunch of pearl jewelry I was going to wear with that dress. I'm also searching for a pair of shoes that I want to wear for the wedding so I don't have to buy a new pair tomorrow.”

 

“Molly,” Emily said, making Molly look up. “I'm going to help Marnie out of the dress and then we’re going to take it back to my house to get started.”

 

“Okay, that's fine,” Molly smiled as the other girl turned and walked into the guest bedroom with Marnie and shut the door.

 

“Want some help?” Sebastian asked Molly after a moment of silence as she returned to her search.

 

“Sure, pick a box, any box,” she said, gesturing around the room. “Preferably one that I haven’t already dug through. Let my know if you find anything shiny.” He sat next to her and pulled the nearest one toward him.

 

“I tried texting you a couple times,” he said, opening the box. Molly patted the pockets of her jeans.

 

“Oh, shoot,” she muttered. “It must still be downstairs on the charger. Sorry.”

 

“It's alright, I just didn’t want you to think that I just showed up,” he replied. “Just making sure you didn't die in a horrific farming accident.”

 

“Not today!” She smiled. “Beside, I don't care if you just drop by. But be careful, I'm getting kinda fond of you, kid.”

 

“Thanks,” he chuckled as he began to dig through the box of Molly's belongings as she moved on to a new one. On the top were some t-shirts, wadded up with no indication of having ever been folded. Below was a plush toy of a blue, cartoon bear from a show he could remember from his childhood; A plastic trophy with the comedy and drama masks on top, the plaque reading Best Female Technician- drama club 2004 ; A couple paperback books- one looked like something he’d pick up and read, the other appeared to be a smutty romance novel; a leather bound photo album at the bottom. He smirked at the thought of teasing Molly about her baby pictures and fished the album to the top of the box. Glancing at Molly who was elbows deep into another box, he flipped open the front cover. Definitely not baby pictures.

 

On a bed of white sheets, a brunette woman laid stomach down in only a pair of lacy white panties and a pair of sparkly silver high heels, her legs bent at the knees so that her shoes hovered over her curvaceous backside. Her hair was pulled back in glamorous curls, her makeup perfectly done and her hand sensually cradled her face, looking slightly away from the camera. He turned the page.

 

The same woman sat in what appeared to be a wide wooden swing with ivy grown around the ropes holding it up. This time, she sat with her back to the camera in a silk white corset and a white tutu, glancing seductively over her shoulder. The next page held a picture of a pair of thighs wearing thigh high stockings. A pair of hands with perfectly manicured nails appearing to be adjusting one. He turned the page again.

 

Another shot from the bed with white sheets, this time the corset was still on but without the tutu. The camera was angled down from her head and she was strategically posed, a hand brushing her collarbone and a hand on her stomach, her high heeled shoes on her feet were propped up on an elaborate headboard allowing her long legs, still in the thigh high stockings, to be showcased. The next page, the woman had discarded the corset and was holding a large puffy pillow to her chest, one leg curled under her and the other bent in front of her, again showing off the long, stocking clad leg. This woman was completely stunning and Sebastian had a hard time looking away, even as Molly’s voice came from his right.

 

“Are you done with that box yet?” she laughed. “There can’t be that much in i--” she stopped dead, gasping. She reached into the box Sebastian was looking into, slammed the album closed and yanked it from the box. She clutched it to her chest looking horrified, but before either of them could say anything, Marnie and Emily emerged from the guest bedroom.

 

“Alright, we’re going to get out of your hair,” Emily commented, juggling the dress that had been carefully placed in a travelling bag. “I’m going to take all of Marnie’s measurements tonight when we get to my house and set up my dressmakers dummy, so I won’t start alterations until tomorrow, just in case you change your… Are you okay?” Emily had finally looked at Molly who stood still clutching the book to her chest, her eyes wide and face a vibrant red.

 

“Yeah,” she stated simply. Marnie and Emily exchanged glances. “I’m fine,” Molly cleared her throat. “I’ll, uhh… keep looking for that jewelery tonight and I drop in off at the ranch tomorrow before I leave for Zuzu if I find it.”

 

“Okay, well, don’t worry if you can’t find them,” Marnie reassured, still looking slightly worried. “I’m sure I have jewelry that would look alright with the dress too.”

 

“Well, I still want to find my shoes, so I’m going to keep looking anyway,” Molly gave a half hearted smile. “Do you two need help with the door since it sticks?”

 

“Nah, we’ll see ourselves out,” smiled Emily, already starting down the stairs.

 

“Thank you for everything, Molly,” Marnie said, approaching Molly and wrapping her arms around her in a brief hug. “I’ll call or text you tomorrow so we can finish up with plans.”

 

“Sounds good,” Molly replied as Marnie followed Emily down the stairs. Molly and Sebastian stood in silence until they heard the front door close downstairs. He awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck.

 

“Should… Do you want me to go?” He asked.

 

“N-no… I just,” She sighed, frustrated and embarrassed before mumbling almost inaudibly. “I’m not sure why I even still have these.”

 

“Who is she?” he questioned.

 

“Sorry?” Molly asked, finally looking him in the face.

 

“Sh-- she’s pretty. Just wondering if it’s a friend of yours, or...” thinking of the nature of the photos, he shrugged, “an old girlfriend?”

 

“Oh, piss off, kid!” Molly snapped. Sebastian felt his face heat up. His last intention was to actually make Molly mad. “Are you serious?” His reply came out as incoherent umms and errs.

 

Sebastian, you dumbass, he scolded himself. You never, EVER, tell a girl you’re interested in that someone else is pretty.

 

“Oh my god! You are serious!” Molly’s voice softened and then she began to laugh, shyly and awkwardly. Now Sebastian was thoroughly confused. Molly sighed deeply and shook her head at the raven haired man standing in front of her. Looking down at the book, she opened it, flipping through the pages until she found the one she wanted and held it out for Sebastian to take. He wasn’t sure that he wanted it back, but took it nonetheless.

 

He looked down at the picture, there was the brunette woman again, her soft curls falling around her face and shoulders, her chin rested on the knuckles of both hands as she stared into the camera. This time, though, Sebastian couldn’t mistake the bright, mischievous smile and large green eyes.

 

“You?” It was think only thing he could think to articulate as he peeled his eyes away from the picture.

 

“Me,” she responded looking over his shoulder. Now, Sebastian looked even more embarrassed at the thought of having seen Molly, barely clothed and in such intimate poses. She giggle at him and took the book back. “It was, uhh… supposed to be a wedding present for my ex.” She shrugged before tossing it unceremoniously back into the box. “I like to tell myself that I kept them just because it was such an expensive photo shoot, but…”

 

“You’re fucking gorgeous,” Sebastian said without thinking, before clasping his hand over his mouth, hoping to shove the words that were already spoken, back into his mouth somehow.  Molly giggled awkwardly again.

 

“Thanks. Yeah, PictureShoppe can do amazing things.” Sebastian didn’t believe for a moment that those pictures were very heavily altered and thought that Molly’s ex must’ve been completely insane to throw away what he had for a night with Darla, of all people. They were silent again for a long moment. “You hungry?”

 

“I could eat,” Sebastian shrugged.

 

“What do you want?”

 

“You know I’ll eat whatever you cook.”

 

“Except eggs,” Molly teased.

 

“Except eggs,” he grinned in return.

 

Chapter Text

“Shotgun!” Sam yelled as he ran at Molly’s car before groaning loudly, seeing Sebastian already sitting in the front passenger seat, hooking an AUX cord into a jack hidden away in the glove box.

 

“Sorry, man,” Sebastian said without looking up. “Fake boyfriend gets to ride up front.”

 

“How is that fair?”

 

“Hey, I don’t make the rules.”

 

“Seb, coffee to go?” Molly asked, as she approached the car holding two coffee tumblers.

 

“You know me so well,” he grinned sleepily, taking one of the tumblers from her outstretched hand.

 

“Thanks again for hooking that up for me,” Molly said as she slid into the driver seat.

 

“I’m doing it as much for me as I am for you,” he replied, setting his tumbler in the cup holder. “Radio here blows. We have four country stations, three classic rock stations, a couple stations that claim they’re variety, but really only play 80’s pop--”

 

“And a partridge in a pear tree!” Abigail sang from the back seat where she was sitting and playing with her phone while waiting for everyone to get ready. Molly laughed as Sebastian rolled his eyes.

 

“What if Molly’s music is worse than the radio?” Sam asked.

 

“Hey!” Molly cried, indignantly.

 

“It’s not,” Sebastian replied simply. “Phone,” he commanded holding out his hand. She fished the phone from her pocket and handed it over to him. “What’s your passcode?” he mumbled turning on the screen.

 

“1-3-9-7,” she replied, putting her key into the ignition.

 

“You just gave him your passcode!” Sam beamed.

 

“So?” Molly asked, looking at him in the rearview mirror.

 

“Trust is the best foundation of any great relationship, and here you two are, trusting each other with your passcodes.”

 

“It’s just my phone,” Molly said raising an eyebrow. “And we didn’t just exchange passcodes. I don’t know what his is.”

 

“It’s oh-four-twenty,” stated Sam.

 

“Of course it is,” Molly chuckled.

 

“Thanks Sam,” Sebastian mumbled sarcastically, plugging in Molly’s phone to the cable and shaking his head. He tapped at her phone screen as Molly started the car.

 

“Everybody ready?” Molly questioned.

 

“Yes! Finally!” Abigail yelled. “Let’s go already!” Molly smiled as she put the car into gear and the radio began to play a loud guitar riff.

 

“Ugh! You let Seb pick the playlist?” Sam whined.

 

“Nope,” he said turning in his seat and holding up the phone to show Sam the screen. “This is Molly’s.” Sam pursed his lips together, slightly wiggling in his seat, before leaning close to Abigail.

 

“O.T.P.” he hissed in her ear causing her to roll her eyes.

 

“Shut the fuck up, Sam,” Sebastian muttered shaking his head as Molly laughed while pulling the car onto the highway and began to sing along to the song coming from her speakers, starting a trip full of spontaneous karaoke.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Okay, where am I going?” Molly questioned. Sebastian looked up from his cell phone.

 

“Not this exit, but the next one, so you need to get over,” he instructed.

 

“Where are we going first?” Abigail asked excitedly, leaning forward in her seat as Molly turned to check her blind spot and began to merge into the next lane.

 

“I hope it's somewhere with food,” Sam complained. “I'm freaking starving!”

 

“Well, there's a mall right? We’ll just go there first and we can hit up the food court then me and Abby can go dress shopping and Seb and Sam, you guys can go do manly things.”

 

“Yeah! I'm gonna wrestle a bear!” Sam exclaimed.

 

“So manly,” Sebastian smirked looking back to his phone.

 

“Abby, you down for manicures?” Molly asked with a smile.

 

“Holy shit, yes! It's been forever since I've had my nails done.”

 

“Ooo, I should get my nails done,” Sam commented looking at his hands.

 

“Manly things, Sam,” Sebastian reminded looking over his shoulder at his friend.

 

“Pft, says the guy who used to wear eyeliner in high school.”

 

“Hey!” Sebastian snapped. “Everyone has a phase they aren't proud of!” Molly attempted to keep her laughter under control as she took the off ramp.

 

“Left or right?” She giggled.

 

“Right,” Sebastian grumbled in reply. He put his phone in his pocket so he could pay attention to where they were and give Molly directions to the Appletree Mall. Molly glanced sideways at him.

 

“I'm sure you looked like a rock star with your eyeliner,” she teased, quietly.

 

“Shut up.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“If I get a combo, will you share my fries and drink with me?” Molly asked Sebastian as they both looked at the menu board over head.

 

“Sure,” he replied simply. “Do I want chicken or a burger?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

“You love me,” Molly teased as she stepped up to the bored looking teenage boy standing behind the counter. “I’ll take a number 6, add cheese, no onions, medium. Seb, what’re you getting?”

 

“Double cheeseburger.”

 

“And a double cheeseburger.”

 

“Anything else?” said the boy behind the counter monotonously.

 

“That’s it.”

 

“You don’t have to pay for my lunch,” Sebastian muttered.

 

“You can make it up to me later,” Molly smiled as she handed her debit card to the boy.

 

“It’s taco time!” yelled Sam as he walked past the two of them holding his own tray from the fast food kiosk from further down the hall. “Where do you want to sit?”

 

“Somewhere with a table and four chairs,” Molly joked as she handed Sebastian the empty cup to fill with whatever beverage he wanted.

 

“Dr. Pibb?” He questioned, not wanting to get something Molly wouldn’t like.

 

“Perfect.”

 

He filled the cup and left Molly waiting at the counter for their food as he walked to where Sam and Abigail had chosen to sit, Molly coming to sit beside him a minute later. He grabbed his burger off the tray and unwrapped it before taking the top bun off and peeling away the pickles and setting them aside.

 

“You don’t like pickles?” Molly questioned.

 

“Nah, they smell like a douche.” Molly snorted into a fit of laughter.

 

“Why don’t you just order no pickles?” she asked.

 

“Somebody always ends up eating the nasty things,” Sebastian replied with a shrug.

 

“Yeah we do!” Abigail cried before plucking the small pile of pickles off Sebastian’s burger wrapper and popping them into his mouth.

 

“Gross,” Sebastian muttered, picking up the drink and taking a sip through the straw.

 

“Molly, dress first or nails first?” Abigail asked, stabbing at some kind of gigantic garden salad with her fork.

 

“Nails,” She replied simply. “That way if I can’t find a dress here, we can just go somewhere else without wasting time.”

 

“Truth,” Abigail agreed. “What’re you guys planning to do?”

 

“I have to find a bear to wrestle,” Sam replied through a mouthful of taco, causing an eye roll from Abigail.

 

“I want to stop by the Dragon’s Lair,” Sebastian commented. “See if there’s have a new Cave Saga X out yet.”

 

“Nerd,” Molly teased grabbing the cup off the table and sipping through the straw as Sebastian stuck his tongue out at her. Sam gave a small squeal causing everyone at the table to stare at him.

 

“Are you two sharing a drink?”

 

“And fries,” Molly replied with a raised eyebrow. “So what?”

 

“That’s so adorable!”

 

“Sam, we share drinks and fries all the time,” Sebastian commented.

 

“That’s not the same!”

 

“Anyway,” Sebastian continued on with a dramatic eye roll. “I gotta go see my guy sometime today since we’re here and replenish my supplies.”

 

“Somehow, I don’t think we’re talking about comic books anymore,” Molly teased and Sebastian replied with a wink.

 

“Anyway that you could only get enough so that if we get pulled over it’ll just be confiscated and we won’t go to jail?” Sam asked.

 

“What’s the fun in that?” Sebastian joked and a defeated groan came from Sam.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“That one,” said a honey sweet voice in Sebastian’s ear as the perfectly manicured finger tapped the video game he was holding in his left hand.

 

“Hey,” he greeted Molly as he glanced over his shoulder. “This one, huh?”

 

“Yeah,” She replied, coming around to the front of him and leaning against a pillar next to the display rack. “I spent entirely too many hours of my life playing it on PC. The controls got a little wonky when it was converted from the GameStation, but if you’re buying it for Gamestation, you won’t have that problem.”

 

“Cool,” he stated decisively and put down the game in his right hand to make his way over to the counter.

 

“You want a job?” the middle aged man behind the counter asked Molly after hearing her and Sebastian’s conversation.

 

“Nah, the commute would be a bitch,” she replied. He chuckled.

 

“Damn, we need more female employees,” he turned his attention to Sebastian. “Find what you need?”

 

“Yep.”

 

“Got a membership?” the man asked as he scanned the barcode on the back of the game case.

 

“Yep.”

 

“Phone number?” Sebastian recited it as the man typed it into his computer. “Sebastian?”

 

“That’s me.”

 

“Want to update your email address?”

 

“Nope,” Sebastian replied, handing his debit card over to the man.

 

“Have a nice day,” The man said handing back the card and plastic sack that now held Sebastian’s purchase.

 

“Your nails look nice,” Sebastian stated conversationally as they left the store.

 

“Thanks, the lady was not nice about getting all the blue off, so they’re kinda sore.” He gave a noncommittal grunt, the only thought popping into his head was of her raking those nails down his back, before he shook his head and scolded himself for thinking about sex again.

 

“Where’s Abby?” He asked instead.

 

“Buy Maru a gift for her birthday,” she replied. “Where’s Sam?”

 

“Music store. Did you find a dress?”

 

“Not one that I liked, that also fit well, that was also the right color, that was also in my price range,” she sighed. “I wish Marnie would have given me more than a week so I could just order something off line.”

 

“Honestly, I’ll probably wear these pants with the only button up shirt that I own and, if my mom makes me, a tie.”

 

“Lucky,” Molly grinned. “Ooo, shiny.” She halted outside of a jewelry store window and looked over the display of diamond rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that all glimmered under the multitude of lights that were shining on them. “I like that one!” She pressed the tip of her finger against the glass.

 

“Which one?” Sebastian asked, attempting to follow her finger with his eyes, but deciding she could have been pointing at anything.

 

“The necklace in the far back right corner.” Sebastian looked. I was a simple silver chain with a matching crescent moon shaped pendant and a gold star that dangled into its middle with a tiny diamond accenting the star.

 

“Kinda plain,” He commented.

 

“Well, I’m kind of a plain gal,” Molly laughed with a wink as they continued walking. She pulled her phone from her pocket as she heard it twinkle. “Abby thinks she found me a dress. Where is the Dressing Room?” She asked.

 

“Do I look like I know where a ladies clothes store is?”

 

“You did used to wear eyeliner,” She teased.

 

“Hey!”

 

“Come on, there’s a map over here.” They looked it over, trying to find the store on the map’s key.

 

“Here,” Sebastian said pointing to a pink block on the map. “Should be just around the corner.”

 

Walking around the corner, they spotted Abigail standing outside a store. She waved when she saw them and then pointed into the store’s window at a mannequin.

 

“Oh my god, it’s perfect!” Molly gushed at the yellow dress. It had a halter neck that tied with a silk ribbon. The top was form fitting and the bottom flowed out in layers of tulle to the mannequin’s knees. “I hope they have my size and it doesn’t cost five thousand gold.”

 

“Wanna try it on?” Abigail asked, already knowing the answer.

 

“Uh, yes!”

 

“I’m gonna go find Sam,” Sebastian smirked as the two women were already walking into the store.

 

“Ok, text you when we’re done!” Molly cried over her shoulder.

 

Sebastian sighed contently as he headed back the way he came to head to the music store to look for Sam, who apparently needed new guitar strings. He paused as he passed the jewelry store, looking in the window again. After a brief moment, he stepped through the door to the little shop.

 

“Can I help you?” asked a pretentious looking woman as she looked him over.

 

“I was just wondering… how much for that moon necklace in the window?”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Go ahead and park anywhere,” Sebastian instructed.

 

“This neighborhood is sketchy A.F.,” stated Sam looking out the window.

 

“It’s not that bad,” grumbled Sebastian as Molly pulled into a parking spot next to the curb. “I’ll be right back.”

 

“I’m not letting--” Molly began but Sebastian had already slammed the door closed and was walking away. “Lock the doors kids and don’t take candy from strangers,” She said to Abigail and Sam as she exited the car hearing a ‘but, mom!’ from one of them and jogged to catch up to Sebastian. “I am not letting you walk around here by yourself,” she panted as she caught up to him.

 

“I have walked around here by myself plenty of times,” Sebastian chuckled. “Besides, what’re you going to do?”

 

“I happen to be trained in self defense,” she insisted as they started down a narrow alleyway. They came to a doorway and Sebastian typed in a code on the intercom. It beeped and then a raspy voice spoke.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“It’s Bas,” replied Sebastian.

 

“Hey, man! Come on up!” There was a buzz and the sound of a lock clicking and Sebastian opened the door gesturing Molly inside.

 

“Bas?” she questioned with a smirk.

 

“Different friends, different nickname,” he replied with a shrug. He lead the way up several flights of stairs of the rundown apartment building. They entered a doorway that lead down a long hallway. From the other sides of the doors, Molly hear a baby crying, a television turned up too loud, and a couple having what sounded like a violent fight before they stopped at a door to the right and Sebastian knocked. The door was pulled open and a hispanic man with greased back, black hair stood before them in a ratty gray shirt.

 

“Bas! What’s up man? Where you been?”

 

“Living the dream, man,” he said as he slapped the man’s outstretched hand and proceeded to fist bump him in a familiar greeting before walking into the room. Molly followed and her nose was immediately assaulted with incense.

 

“And who might this be?” The man said as he shut the door behind them.

 

“Oh, Molly, this is my shady drug dealer, Paco. Paco, this is my girl, Molly, who didn’t want to wait in the car.” Molly blushed slightly at Sebastian calling her his girl.

 

“My name is Lorenzo Raphael Medez-Rodriguez,” his said with a sultry air, taking Molly’s hand in his and kissing it. “But, , you may called me Paco, mi hermosa mariposa azul .”

 

“Alright, back off, Casanova,” Sebastian grumbled as Molly giggled.

 

“Are you still here?” Paco joked with Sebastian, who rolled his eyes. Paco laughed before walking across the room and flopping down on a black futon that was being used as a couch.

 

“He’s harmless, I promise,” Sebastian whispered to Molly as he placed a hand on her back and encouraged her across the room. He sat next to Paco on the futon and Molly sat across from them in a recliner. He pulled a plastic bin out from under the coffee table and sat it up on top of it.

 

“Holy shit, that’s a lot of weed,” Molly gasped as the lid was removed.

 

“You are so adorable,” Paco cooed before his face fell. “Wait, you ain’t a cop are you?”

 

“What? No!”

 

“She’s cool, man,” Sebastian assured. “You know I wouldn’t dick you like that.” Paco seemed to relax again.

 

“She’s too pretty to be a cop anyway,” He winked at Molly before throwing her a kiss. “How much to want?”

 

“Full ounce.”

 

“What kind? I got some northern light; I got some bubba kush; I got some maui waui; I got this new shit that I’m calling bling bling.”

 

“I don’t care what it’s called, just sell me some fucking weed,” Sebastian said exasperated as if he had had this conversation many times in the past.

 

“No class,” Paco tutted, shaking his head at Molly before bringing out a scale and measuring out what Sebastian needed. After an exchange of money for product, Sebastian shoved the baggie deep into his pocket and, after he made a promise to Paco that he would stop by next time he was in town and not just because he needed weed and Paco kissed Molly’s hand again, they exited the apartment and returned to the alley.

 

“See?” Sebastian teased Molly as they started back down the alley. “Nothing happened. You worry too much.” She rolled her eyes with a grin.

 

“Yeah, this neighborhood isn’t great though, so you should really--,” She stopped short as a man with a large knife stepped out from behind a dumpster. Sebastian stepped protectively in front of Molly as she raised her hands.

 

“Look man, we don’t want any trouble,” Sebastian stated, his heart beating like a jackhammer.

 

“Shut up!” he yelled waving the knife in front of him. “I want your purse, wallet, and jewelry… NOW!” Molly quickly assessed the situation. The man looked to be high on something, his clothes were dirty and stained and it looked like he was probably homeless. Sebastian, holding one hand up, reached around to his back pocket and removed his wallet that the man greedily snatched from his hand. “Your purse!” the man yelled at Molly. She lifted the strap from over her head and held it out to the man, but when he made a move to grab it, as quick as lightning, Molly’s foot shot out right between the man’s legs. She grabbed his knife hand with her hand and head butted him in the nose in the space of time that it took for him lean forward due to the assault on his testicles. She twisted his arm, flipping him over her back with a yell of effort and he hit the concrete with a smack before Molly flipped him onto his stomach, twisting his arm behind his back, removing the knife from his grip while pinning him to the ground with a knee in the middle of his spine. The whole ordeal took less than ten seconds and Sebastian stood dumbstruck.

 

“Call the cops,” Molly instructed from her perch on the man’s back. Sebastian dumbly pulled his phone out of his pocket and began dialing before he stopped.

 

“W-we can’t call the cops, Molly,” He stated, his voice sounding a bit higher than usual with the adrenaline flowing through his system. “They will take one sniff in my direction and I will definitely go to jail.” Molly looked down at the writhing, whimpering man below her.

 

“Get your wallet and my purse and the knife,” she told Sebastian who immediately moved to do what he was told. “And you,” she said to the would be robber. “You are going to lay here and count to one hundred while we walk out of this alley and if you attempt to get up and follow us, crushed balls and a bloody nose will be the worst of your problems. Do we have an understanding?” Her tone was like ice as the man whimpered in agreement. She looked to Sebastian to make sure he had their belongings and he nodded shakily at her. “Don’t forget that we have your weapon now too. Start counting,” She commanded. She stood from the man, who made no attempt to move as he began the low mumbles of counting. Sebastian shakily handed Molly her purse as they began a brisk walk back down the alley. She reached over and took the knife from his hand and tossed it into the dumpster as they sped past, it hitting the bottom with a metallic, echoing clunk .

 

They reached the car and Molly slid into the driver’s seat and Sebastian into the front passenger seat.

 

“About time,” Abigail complained. “What took you guys so long?” Molly and Sebastian could do nothing except look at each other for a long moment and then she wordlessly started the engine. “You guys okay?” Abigail asked finally noticing something was wrong. Sam was asleep with the side of his face pressed against the window of the back door.

 

“Yeah…” Molly replied hesitantly. “I… I know self defense.”

 

“Uh, what?” Abigail asked as Molly began to drive.

 

“Someone tried to rob us at knife point,” Molly stated as if it was the most normal thing in the world. “It didn’t go well for him.”

 

“Oh my god!” yelled Abigail.

 

“Huh? What is going on?” Sam asked groggily as he sat up in his seat.

 

“Molly and Seb got robbed!” Shrieked Abigail.

 

“No, we almost got robbed,” said Molly, who was keeping her eyes on the road, in an attempt to get as far away from where they were as quickly as possible. Sebastian’s heart was still hammering and he could feel his hands slightly shaking. Hugging his arms across his chest, he stared blankly at the dashboard.

 

“Are you okay?” Sam questioned.

 

“Yeah, we’re fine,” Molly stated.

 

“Seb?” Abigail asked softly. He didn’t move. It was as if he didn’t hear her speak at all. He just sat stoically, in a trance.

 

“Let’s just... go home,” Molly said softly as she drove.  

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly sat down on her front porch steps next to Sebastian who was smoking a cigarette. Holding a cup of strong tea in her hands, she sipped on it as they sat listening to the nighttime summer noises of the farm.

 

“What a day, huh?” she commented. Sebastian grunted in reply as he took a drag from his cigarette and blew out the smoke.

 

“Where’d you learn how to do that?” he asked after a long moment, not looking at her. She chuckled.

 

“I lived in a big city my whole life. That’s the kind of stuff you have to be prepared for all the time. Especially if you’re a woman. Growing up, I had it pounded into my head not to walk anywhere alone, stay in well lit areas, always carry your pepper spray…” She trailed off with a shrug. “C’est la vie.”

 

“Really?” Sebastian asked, finally looking at her. She nodded.

 

“It’s why I like it here so much. It’s quiet and safe.”

 

“Yeah…” Sebastian whispered before taking another drag from his cigarette. They fell quiet again.

 

“You gonna be alright?”

 

“Yeah, I’m just shook up, I guess,” he replied. “I’m not sure how you aren’t.”

 

“Oh, I am, trust me. I’ll be having nightmares for the next few days, at least. It’s not the first time I’ve been robbed.”

 

“It’s happened before?” Sebastian yelped, incredulously.

 

“Yeah, a couple years ago. I had to stop and get gas for my car and it was the dead of winter and freezing, so I figured since I was out of the car anyway, I’d walk inside and get one of those gas station lattes that don’t actually have any real coffee in them, but they’re sugary and hot and exactly what I needed. So I go inside and get it and I’m waiting in line to pay and this guy walks in, middle of the afternoon and everything, and pulls a gun and picks me, out of all the people in there, and puts this gun up against my head,” Molly emphasized by putting a finger gun up to her temple, “and starts yelling ‘ Nobody make a fucking move!’ ... I was absolutely terrified. I thought I was going to die.” Sebastian sat in stunned silence, staring at her as she stared off into the distance. “He demanded my purse, so I handed it over to him, and he tossed it at the cashier and told her to put all of the money from the drawer in it, and then told everyone else in the gas station to put their wallets and money in it and then he grabbed my purse and ran out the door. Got my credit cards, my drivers license, my cell phone, my keys. But… at least I was alive.” She sighed. “And if I didn’t have anxiety issues before that, I certainly had them after. But, that’s when I took a self defence class.” She laughed uncomfortably. “Not that it would have helped when I had a gun to my head, I still wouldn’t have fucking moved a muscle.”

 

“Yoba…” Sebastian swore under his breath. Listening to the sounds of the cicadas and crickets, they each drifted into their own thoughts.

 

“If you want, you can hang out here for awhile. We could watch a movie or play a video game or something,” Molly finally said. He grinned slightly at her.

 

“Thanks.” She reached over and gave his free hand a reassuring squeeze before he laced his fingers through hers and they fell back into silence as they looked out over the moonlit farm.

 

Chapter Text

Sebastian peeled his eyes open, the sun coming into the window blinding him. He had apparently fallen asleep on Molly’s couch... again. Attempting to roll over, away from the sun, he found he couldn’t move the lower part of his body because something had him pinned down. Sitting up slightly, he found that Molly had fallen asleep with her head at the other end of the sofa, her leg was currently draped over both of his, her other foot was somewhere near his armpit. He made the decision that if he was going to keep falling asleep on the stupid couch that he was going to buy Molly a more comfortable one. Wiggling out from under her, he sat up and rubbed a spot on his back where a cushion spring had been poking into him. Molly sighed and rolled over, pulling the quilt up over her head and he grinned at her as he stood up and stretched.

 

When Molly rolled over again, the house was quiet and the sun was well in the sky. As she sat up, she saw that breakfast was waiting for her on the coffee table and she smiled broadly as she looked at the plate of french toast and cup of coffee that sat beside it. She picked up a note that had her name scrawled on the front that had been tented over a small, dark blue, velvet box. She hurriedly snatched it up and lifted the lid open and found the necklace that she’d been admiring the previous day. She squealed excitedly, causing her large orange cat to glare at her through slitted eyes from his perch on the back of the couch. She opened the note.

 

Hey,

 

I was hoping that me banging around in the kitchen would wake you up, but you are out!  I have a bunch of work stuff I have to get done by the end of today, so I had to take off. Hope I got the right necklace that you were looking at. Just wanted to say thank you for putting up with me this summer and thought maybe you could wear it tomorrow . Sorry if breakfast is cold.

 

Text you later

Seb

 

Giggling happily, she took the necklace out of the box and put it on before grabbing her phone and snapping a picture of the small pendant hanging between her collar bones. She forwarded the picture on to Sebastian.

 

OMG!

I LOVE IT!

UR THE BEST!

 

No need 2 yell :)

 

U srsly didn’t have 2 get me this

Thank you!

 

Just happy it didn’t get stolen yesterday

:*

 

XD

 

She opened up a text to Trish and sent her the photo to he as well.

 

Look at this!

 

Pretty, where’d you get it?

 

Seb

 

Aww, he bought you jewelry?

 

Because I mentioned I liked it

Holy fuck!

I’m a smitten kitten

I love him!

 

Lol

Calm down it’s just a necklace

Don’t forget:

There is no one more thoughtful, caring, and generous than a

dude trying to fuck you for the first time

 

He also made me breakfast?

 

Cereal?

 

French toast

 

Yep, he’s the one

lol

 

Molly couldn’t stop smiling as she slid onto the floor beside the coffee table and began to eat her, unfortunately cold, breakfast.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly looked at the list that she and Marnie had written out earlier in the day to make sure that everything that needed to be done before the wedding, got done that day. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, she crossed off Decorate Stardrop . Among the other things on the list had been Set up tiki totems for luau, which she helped Robin and Elliot with, and Set up wedding trellis and chairs, which she had managed to get done only after having a frivolous argument with Shane about chair placement. Now, the only thing left to do before she could collapse into a chair and possibly fall asleep, was to Talk to Sam about music equipment. She had seen him wander into the Stardrop earlier in the evening as she was decorating and knew that he was probably in the far room, shooting pool, as he did every Friday night.

 

It was only after much persistence and negotiation that Molly had managed to talk Lewis into allowing Sam to DJ the wedding. Lewis had been completely against letting Sam take any part in the wedding at all, feeling that he would do anything he could to turn everything into a big joke. Molly had convinced Marnie, who in turn, vetoed Lewis’ decision, by assuring her that music was the one thing that Sam took very seriously and reminding her that if they didn't allow Sam to DJ, the only music at the reception would be the same ten songs that were on the old jukebox at the Stardrop, over and over again. She grinned as she made her way to the game room.

 

Sebastian was bent over the pool table, lining up a shot when she entered the room. She was surprised to see him there as she hadn’t even noticed him come in. He thrust his pool cue into the white ball on the table and sent it into several colored balls with a sharp crack, one with a red stripe tumbling into a side pocket. He looked up at her as she came closer and noticed that she looked completely exhausted. She gave him a tired grin before turning her attention to Sam who was lining up his shot.

 

“I’m supposed to remind you that the sound equipment needs to be set up on the beach for the luau no later than ten o’clock.”

 

“I know,” Sam muttered, before taking his shot, the ball he was aiming at missing the pocket by several inches. “Shit…”

 

“Also,” she continued on as Sam scowled at the table, “Everything needs torn down at the beach at three to be hauled here. Wedding starts at six, so everything needs set up for the reception no later than six-thirty.”

 

“I know! Yoba!”

 

“Hey!” Molly’s temper flared after her long day. “I put my ass on the line so that you’d be able to do this, because Lewis said absolutely not, and I had to talk Marnie into it. So, if you fuck me over on this, you won’t have to worry about your music career, because I swear to god, I will break all of your fingers.” Sam stared wide eyed at Molly as she stood fuming in front of him. Sam stood a good six inches taller than Molly, and Sebastian found it almost comical how much fear was on Sam’s face as the shorter woman stood with one hand on her hip and the other poking a threatening finger into the center of his chest, staring up at him.

 

“Uh, Seb? Can you call off your girlfriend?” Sam pleaded.

 

“Hmm?” Sebastian hummed looking up from where he was leaned over the pool table, lining up another shot. “Oh, she’s not my girlfriend. I can’t tell her what to do.” He hit another striped ball into a pocket.

 

“And even if he was--”

 

“Okay, okay!” Sam exclaimed raising his hands up in defense. “I promise to you that I will not fuck this up. Beach by ten, tear down and moving at three, wedding reception at six-thirty.”

 

“Thank you!” Molly spat before backing away from him and walking to the old, ragged, light blue couch that Abigail was seated on, watching the boys play pool, and flopped down beside her.

 

“You good?” asked Abigail with a slight smirk.

 

“It’s been a day,” Molly replied with a sigh.  

 

“Do you need a drink?”

 

“Abby, I need a few drinks, about fifty chicken nuggets, two orgasms, a back rub, and a full eight hours of sleep,” Molly commented, making Sebastian miss his shot.

 

“Well, I can get you a drink, at least,” Abigail laughed, not fazed. “We can talk about the rest later.” Molly smiled tiredly as Abigail stood and left the room.

 

“Damn it,” Sam cursed, missing another shot. Sebastian lined up his cue and effortlessly knocked the black eight ball into a corner pocket. “Wanna go again?”

 

“Sure, I never get tired of beating you,” Sebastian smirked before putting a few coins into the side of the table to release the balls with a clatter, ready to be racked up again. Molly curled her legs under her as she lazily watched the new game start.

 

“Here you go,” Abigail said as she returned, handing Molly a tall glass that appeared to have a blue liquid on the bottom and a greenish liquid on top.

 

“Thanks,” Molly replied taking it. “What is it?”

 

“Rum, coconut rum, blue curacao, and pineapple juice. It’s called a Slutty Mermaid, or, as I call it, the Molly.”

 

“Thanks,” Molly laughed before taking a sip. “Mmm. That’s good.”

 

“You’re welcome, you slutty mermaid.” Molly rolled her eyes with a grin as the two girls settled into the couch to watch the game taking place before them. They watched as Sebastian sunk ball after ball and Sam missed ball after ball, until, finally, Molly took pity on Sam.

 

“Sam, don’t move!” She commanded as he was lining up a shot.

 

“What? Is there a spider?” Sam whimpered. “I don’t like spiders.”

 

“There isn’t a spider,” Molly grinned, coming to stand behind Sam. She looked over the table.

 

“Why can I not move then?” he questioned, right before Molly bumped her knee into the back of his that was closest to the table, making it buckle slightly and causing him to lean. She then took her foot and bumped it back and forth between his ankles until he widened his stance before grabbing his shoulders and twisting him slightly where he stood. She moved enough to look down his pool cue at the white ball in front of him.

 

“Are you solids or stripes?”

 

“Uhh, stripes,” he replied, quizzically. Molly lifted his elbow slightly and adjusted the cue in his hands. She looked at how he was standing and looked over the table once more before nodding to herself.

 

“Ok, shoot.” Sam did as he was told, ramming the cue into the white ball which shot out into a cluster of balls, one striped ball falling into the side pocket and another falling into a corner pocket.

 

“Holy Shit! Did you see that!” Sam exclaimed, hopping around excitedly. Sebastian looked at Molly slack jawed as she returned to the couch. Picking her drink up from where she had set it on the floor, she curled herself back onto the couch.

 

“You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you?” Sebastian questioned as Molly smirked at him.

 

“I gotta keep you on your toes,” she commented, taking a sip from her drink.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly sat on the beach next to Sebastian. She had taken off her flip flops and had buried her toes under the sand that was still warm from the day’s summer sun. She sat with her arms wrapped around her knees while Sebastian leaned back on his hands, feet crossed at the ankles. If she were honest with herself, she should be home and in bed, especially since she had fallen asleep while curled up on the couch at the Stardrop.

 

Sebastian had shaken her awake with a smirk.

 

“Hey, it's almost closing time,” he chuckled at her. She sat up and wiped the sleep from her eyes.

 

“Well, that's embarrassing,” she grumbled.

 

“Eh, you've had a long day,” Sam smiled.

 

“Where's Abby?”

 

“Already went home,” replied Sebastian, as they made their way through the main room of the bar.

 

“She was going to wake you up, but Seb wouldn't let her,” Sam commented with a smile. Sebastian's cheeks flushed.

 

“I just… you were tired and I thought…” he finished with a flustered sigh that Molly found endearing.

 

“I appreciate the rest,” she smiled at him as they exited the building. Sam headed for his house and Sebastian and Molly started north through town square.

 

“Thanks for what you did for Sam,” Sebastian said, fidgeting with his hoodie strings as they neared the town’s clinic. “I know he's a big goof, but I know he won't fuck you over on this. I mean, he wants Lewis off his back more than anyone.”

 

“Yeah, that's what I'm hoping for,” Molly replied with a shrug. They had stopped walking, each needing to go separate ways. “Going to be at the luau tomorrow?”

 

“Not if I can help it,” Sebastian replied.

 

“Why not?” Molly laughed. Sebastian groaned.

 

“I hate festivals, I hate being in the sun, I hate people--” he ticked off the reasons on his fingers before Molly grabbed his hand and pulled it down.

 

“Ok, I get it!” She laughed again. “Even though I worked so hard on everything and you won't even come by to see everything that I did.” She pretended to pout, sticking out her lower lip.

 

“Will it make you happy if I come?” Sebastian grinned.

 

“Yes.”

 

“I'll think about it then.” They exchanged small grins as they stood awkwardly facing each other, Sebastian wondering how this girl had him so wrapped around her finger that he couldn't just tell her no. The sound of a low rumble of thunder made them both look to the sky.

 

“Oh no!” Molly groaned. “Is it supposed to rain?”

 

“You're a farmer, aren't you supposed to love the rain?”

 

“Usually I do,” she replied. “But if it rains, everything that got set up today is going to get wet, and if it keeps raining tomorrow, then there won't be a point of having set up anything.” Sebastian took his phone from his pocket and started tapping at the screen.

 

“My weather app says it's supposed to miss us,” he stated as he scrolled. “Ugh, it's supposed to be nasty tomorrow. Sunny with a high of 96 degrees and humid.” Molly wrinkled her nose.

 

“Ew,” Molly replied before another grumble of thunder echoed over the sky. They stood for a long moment in silence, neither wanting to be the first to go their own way home.

 

“You wanna see something cool? Sebastian asked finally.

 

“Oh man, the last time a guy asked me that, I got a series of dick pics texted to me.”

 

“Not this time,” Sebastian laughed, grabbing her by the hand and leading her away. “Come on.”

 

The beach was the last place that Molly had expected him to bring her, but here they sat quietly together, in the sand. The full moon overhead made the waves crashing against the shore glimmer as they watched the storm roll in from the horizon, the dark clouds in the distance turning into a light show as lightning flashed across them. The salty breeze blowing in from the ocean was cool and made goose bumps appear on Molly’s bare arms as the sounds of the low rumble of thunder rolled to their ears. She shivered slightly.

 

“Cold?” Sebastian asked, glancing sideways at her.

 

“Usually,” she giggled in reply. He grabbed his hoodie by the collar and pulled it up over his head before handing it to her.

 

“Don’t steal it this time.”

 

“Hey, I brought it back!” Molly giggled as she took it from him and pulled it over her own head. “Mmm… warm.” Sebastian grinned as she snuggled into it before his attention returned to the storm. Molly discreetly pulled the collar of the hoodie up to her nose and breathed deeply, smiling as the usual smell of cigarettes and nag champa filled her nose. But also something else. She sniffed again. “Are you wearing cologne?”

 

“What?”

 

“What?” she replied, suddenly aware of what she had asked.

 

“Did you smell my hoodie again?”

 

“...It smells nice,” she mumbled in reply, slightly embarrassed, causing Sebastian to grin and shake his head.

 

“Thanks, I didn’t feel like showering today.” They slipped into silence again before Sebastian glanced at her from the corner of his eye and grinned. “Weirdo,” he teased. She jabbed him in the side gently with her elbow, making him laugh softly. “Hand me my smokes. They’re in my hoodie pocket.”

 

“Please,” Molly commented, pulling the pack from the front pocket.

 

“Please,” Sebastian amended as Molly placed the pack in his open hand. “And thank you.” He removed a cigarette from the pack and put it between his lips before lighting it with a cheap plastic lighter. “I know you don't want it to rain, but I still hope that it comes this way.”

 

“Hmm, unusually I love rain,” she replied lazily. “Thunderstorms are probably the most relaxing thing in the world and I would normally never say no to a good storm. Not to mention it gets me out of watering my crops. But, fuck me, dude, I worked so hard today and I don't want it to be for nothing.” The corners of Sebastian's lips turned upward slightly as he took another puff from his cigarette.

 

“I like rain because it makes everyone disappear, you know?” he commented, exhaling a lungful of smoke. “Being around people makes me so anxious.” He was quiet again for a long moment, gathering the courage to say what was on his mind. “I don’t feel that way around you though.” He felt like an idiot as he said it and could feel his cheeks burning in the dark.

 

“You're sweet,” Molly murmured, unfazed, with a small smile on her lips as she looked out over the ocean. She left it at that and he appreciated it. In all the conversations he'd had with her over the past couple weeks, she always made him feel like no matter what he needed to say, he could just say it. He would still feel awkward and over think his words, but once they were out, it was no big deal. She would listen, input her opinion if it was needed or just acknowledge him if it wasn't, and they would move on. He sat up so he was shoulder to shoulder with Molly, wiping the sand off his hand and onto his pants leg. “Uh oh.”

 

“What?” He asked, concerned.

 

“Did we just have a moment?” She asked teasingly as she looked over to him. He made a face and sucked air in through his teeth.

 

“Yeah, I think we might have,” he replied. “Ugh… don't tell Sam.” Molly laughed in response as he took another drag from his cigarette.

 

“Ah, it's not that bad.”

 

“Maybe not,” he shrugged. He looked into her face, only now realizing how close she was. He looked at her for a long moment, his mind racing suddenly.

 

Yoba, she's beautiful. I wonder if this could actually work out. Ugh, that would mean Sam was right. I hate when Sam is right and gets that stupid smug look on his face. When did I let myself fall for her? Shit. Now what do I do?

 

Molly's thoughts were a little more simple than Sebastian's.

 

Kiss me, you goddamn idiot!

 

Sebastian panicked as she leaned toward him, ever so slightly.

 

“Boop,” he said as he poked the end of her nose with his pointer finger. He immediately deflated and started to mentally berate himself. Molly gave one slow blink at him and shook her head with a slightly embarrassed grin. Feeling like maybe she had read him wrong, she looked back out over the ocean, hoping that lightning would come and zap her out of existence. Sebastian was hoping for the same thing for himself as he flicked his cigarette butt away angrily.

 

“Sorry,” Molly said softly.

 

“For what?” Sebastian questioned quietly, thinking she had nothing to apologize for, as he was the one who just completely blew it.

 

“I dunno,” she shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I guess… I got the wrong idea?”

 

“Oh… oh no... no…” Sebastian stumbled beginning to fidget with a loose string around a hole in the knee of his pants. “You didn't… uhh… I'm actually… umm… just...” He looked into her face again, she looked as embarrassed as he felt. “...that fucking smooth.” Molly looked at him blankly for a moment, before a smile spread across her face as she snorted. She began to laugh, loudly, the sound echoing down the beach, contagiously spreading to Sebastian, who joined in.

 

“You are such a nerd,” Molly finally managed to say when the laughter faded out. Sebastian smirked as he gave a shrug. The awkwardness and embarrassment was gone in a matter of seconds and he reached over and took her hand in his, lacing their fingers together.

 

Yeah, thought Sebastian with a sigh. But I'm your nerd.

 

They slipped back into comfortable silence, listening as the sound of the thunder grew louder. Sebastian was attempting to work up the courage to attempt to kiss her, and not fuck it up, when he felt a drop of wetness on his bare arm. And then another. And another. Molly groaned.

 

“Cock sucking son of a mother fucking whore,” she spat. Sebastian looked at her with wide eyes. He thought he was the only person who liked to spew a stream of obscenities when annoyed.

 

“I am so in love with you right now.”

 

“Piss off, kid!” She grumbled standing up. He followed suit, disappointed that the evening was coming to an end. “Ok, this is all right. Just the edge of the storm, enough to get me out of watering my crops. It's going to stop in just a few minutes and everything will be dry by morning.” A flash of lightning and a deafening crack of thunder and the sky opened up into a downpour. “Why do you hate me?” She shouted at the sky.

 

“Come on, we’re getting soaked,” Sebastian said, trying not to laugh as the loose strands from Molly’s ponytail clung to her face and, he could see as they approached the lightposts on the bridge leading into town, that she had rivulets of blue running from her scalp down the side of her face. He reached up and wiped the water away. “You’re turning into a Smurf.” She smirked at him as she pulled up the hood of his hoodie.

 

“See ya tomorrow, Seb!” she laughed as she ran toward town square in the direction of her farm. He sighed and shook his head as he began to advance toward his house on Mountain Road, tilting his face toward the sky and feeling the rain on his skin.

 

Chapter Text

Molly watched as Sebastian leaned over the pool table, lining up a shot. He sunk the ball into the pocket, as she knew he would. He gestured her to the pool table to make her shot and she walked over to stand in front of him before bending forward over the pool table to line up her cue. The action had its desired effect and a grin played on her lips as she felt his hands grip her hips. She stood up straight, abandoning her shot, and felt his whole body push up against hers. Her eyelids fluttered closed as his lips brushed against her earlobe and trailed soft kisses down the side of her neck before he nipped gently at her shoulder.

 

Turning to face him, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders as their lips locked together and their tongues began a sensual dance. One of his hands worked themselves under the bottom of her shirt, trailing across her exposed skin and making her shiver. The other, grasped a handful of her bottom and gave a firm squeeze before joining the other hand under her shirt and lifting it up over her head and tossing it away in one fluid motion, leaving her standing in her bra in the game room of the Stardrop.

 

Sebastian’s lips dipped to her collar bones, where the moon pendant hung against her skin and she tilted her head back to expose more of her neck. He slowly laid her back onto the pool table, knocking the colored balls out of the way. Starting at her hips, he slid both hands up her sides until he could cup her breast in his hands and give them light squeeze before lowering his head and kissing her just above the waistband of her jeans. She arched her back up to him with a sigh as he trailed hot kisses up her stomach and climbed onto the pool table to hover over her.

 

She grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled it up over his head, and he quickly shed it and tossed it away to join her shirt, wherever it had landed. His lips came back to hers as their warm, bare skin met and she gave a small gasp as he rocked his pelvis into hers. Moving his head next to hers, he began to give her more gentle nips on the delicate skin of her neck.

 

“Doon doon doon,” he uttered into her ear.

 

“What?” She gasped as he looked her in the face.

 

“Good morning! Doon doon doon,” he smiled.

 

“No!” She cried out.

 

“Pa pow pow pow pow pa-pa-pa pow! Good morning!” Sang her alarm clock. “Pa pow pow pow pow pa-pa-pa pow! Good morning! Pa pow pow pow--” Molly slapped her phone angrily until it stopped singing.

 

“Ugh!” She groaned in frustration, rolling onto her back in bed. Sebastian was right: this morning, her alarm had woken her up feeling homicidal. She pouted as she threw the blankets off of her, sat up, and glared at her phone, which just sat there, uncaring of her interrupted dreaming.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“You've got it bad, dude,” Sam commented as he and Sebastian walked in the direction of the beach from the Moore’s house.

 

“No, I don't,” Sebastian lied in a grumble, hands in his pockets while he watched his feet carry him onward.

 

“You have not gone to the luau in literally years and now you're going to show up because she asked you to.” Sam laughed his loud clear laugh as Sebastian just shrugged his shoulders.

 

“She wanted me to see all the hard work she put in,” Sebastian mumbled.

 

“I was there this morning, man, and I hate to tell ya, but it looks exactly the same as it does every year.” Sebastian muttered something incoherently, but Sam distinctly hear the words puppy eyes and was sent into a new fit a laughter. They heard the sound of music growing louder as they approached the bridge leading to the beach. “Seriously, you should just TELL HER that you want to fuck her until she can't remember her own name. What's the worst that could happen? You get slapped?” Sebastian sighed in annoyance as he took one last drag from the cigarette he was smoking and tossed the butt into the river.

 

“She could be completely offended and never speak to me again and I would deserve it if I talked to her like that.”

 

“You never know,” Sam replied optimistically, as they stepped onto the sand.

 

“Seriously, Sam,” Sebastian spat. “How do you think tha--”

 

“Hey!” Sebastian was suddenly cut of by an excited voice. He looked up to see Molly approaching, her arms full of stings of flowers and was wearing a grass skirt. “You came!”

 

“I said I would,” Sebastian replied shyly as the corners of his mouth turned up as he thought about how she always seemed excited to see him.

 

“You said you'd think about it,” Molly corrected. “I didn't think you'd actually come!”

 

“Seb will do anything for you,” Sam quipped. “In fact, what he'd really like to do is-- ow!” Sam was cut off by a sharp kick to his ankle, Sebastian shaking his head in annoyance.

 

“I don't want to know,” Molly stated simply, not dropping her smile. “Did you guys bring anything for the soup?”

 

“Nah, I'm not allowed to,” Sam shrugged.

 

“Why not?” Molly questioned, her eyebrows drawing closer together.

 

“One year, Sam put in a pound of anchovies,” Sebastian explained.

 

“Ugh, why?” Molly asked, her face looking disgusted.

 

“‘Cause fuck ‘em, that's why!” Sam laughed.

 

“See, this is why Lewis hates you,” Molly sighed, shaking her head. “Anyway, Aloha!” Molly smiled again, before removing two strings of flowers from her arms and draping one over each man's head. Sam chuckled.

 

“Hey Seb,” Sam giggled immaturely. “I got lei’d.” More immature giggling. “Get it? Get it?”

 

“Oh, I got it,” replied Sebastian with exasperation.

 

“Because lei’d sounds like laid, get it?”

 

“I fucking got it Sam!” Sebastian shouted as Molly was trying to hide her laughter behind her hand. “And you, stop encouraging him,” he said to Molly who quickly tried to cover her laughter by pretending to cough, causing Sebastian to shake his head again.

 

“Ah, snap! Is that pie?” Sam said as he started toward the food tables. They stood quietly in the shade of the tree line as they watched him go.

 

“I made sure to bring extra sunblock for you,” Molly grinned at him. “I didn't want to see you get burned again.”

 

“I appreciate that as I also would not like to get burned again.”

 

“Molly!” Marnie called out from where she stood near the soup pot with a wave of her arm.

 

“Oh, duty calls,” Molly stated as she waved back and held up her pointer finger to Marnie indicating she'd be right over. “I'll find you in awhile.” She gave him another smile as she turned and walked toward the festivities.

 

Giving a heavy sigh, Sebastian looked around the luau, wondering if there was anything there that he might be interested in. Deciding there probably wasn't, he meandered from the shade of the tree line and into the hot sun of the beach to join his best friend.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

The music coming from the speakers next to the dance floor faded out as Lewis grabbed a microphone and turned it on.

 

“Hello, everyone!” He spoke cheerfully into the mic. “Is everyone having a good time?” Cheers echoed from up and down the beach. Sebastian just groaned. He was hot, sweaty, and had already surpassed his social interaction limits for the day and it wasn’t even half over. He resolved to spend the next day in bed and nothing would bring him out into the world. “I would like to thank everyone for coming out today to join in our celebrations and let everyone know that the soup tasting will begin in five minutes, if everyone would like to begin gathering around the pot.” Lewis turned the microphone back to off and laid it on top of a speaker before joining Marnie and the governor next to the soup pot.

 

“Man, your girlfriend is a stickler,” Sam commented. Sebastian looked up at Molly, standing near the dance floor, pointedly tapping the back of her wrist with a finger at Sam.

 

“She's got shit to do today,” Sebastian shrugged.

 

“I guess,” Sam grumbled. “I gotta go move stuff, babe,” Sam told Penny before planting a kiss on her neck from over her shoulder as she talked with Maru.

 

“Ok, I'll save you a spot at the wedding,” she called as Sam and Sebastian started walking away together.

 

Approaching the dance floor, Sam began to unplug cords and spool them around his arm.

 

“You need to put on more sunblock,” Molly scolded Sebastian softly as she paused while passing him on her way to the soup pot. “You're turning pink.”

 

“Thanks, mom,” he mocked her with a smirk.

 

“Fine, fucking fry then,” she teased before she stuck out her tongue at him and he watched her walk away.

 

“Little help?” Sam demanded as he produced a furniture dolly for the speakers to be moved onto.

 

Molly watched the two men muscle one of the heavy speakers onto the dolly for a moment before returning her attention to the soup pot in front of her. The soup didn't look palatable in the slightest. When Lewis had told her to bring something for the potluck, she assumed that it was like any other potluck that she had been to and brought a casserole, which now sat on one of the food tables. But, apparently what she had missed was that she was supposed to bring one ingredient to add into the soup pot. She had run home and grabbed a bottle of strawberry wine that she had been aging in her cellar, and with a slight pang of guilt at wasting a bottle of wine, dumped it into the soup, which now had, in her opinion, the color, consistency, and smell of vomit.

 

“It smells extra delectable this year, Lewis,” the governor proclaimed from under his thick walrus mustache. Molly sniffed again and wrinkled her nose.

 

“Well, shall we get started then?” Lewis chuckled before stepping toward the pot and raising a hand for silence. “I trust that everyone put only their highest quality ingredients into the soup. We don't want the governor to regret his trip into town.”

 

“Now Lewis,” the fat man in the purple suit said jovially, “I never regret my trips to Pelican Town! Well, except for that year that someone pulled the prank with the sardines.” Mayor Lewis looked embarrassed as the governor laughed.

 

“It was anchovies, actually,” Lewis corrected in a grumble causing the governor to laugh even louder, his wide belly shaking.

 

“Ah, boys will be boys,” the governor responded as he clapped a meaty hand on Lewis’ back. Molly looked back to Sam and Sebastian. Sam was talking animatedly while Sebastian looked annoyed and then raised his middle finger at the blond who immediately returned the gesture. Molly grinned and shook her head. She'd head over to help them as soon as the governor judged the vomit soup.

 

“Well, governor,” Marnie said gently, as Lewis was red from embarrassment behind his bushy mustache. “Would you care to do the honors of having the first taste of soup?”

 

“Of course, my dear! I look forward to this every year!” The governor exclaimed as Marnie ladled some soup into a bowl with a spoon and handed it to him. Molly thought to herself as she watched the man stir his soup and blow on it to cool it. Who was the governor? She had never heard him called by an actual name. Only the governor. She made a note to ask about it later as most of the town watched him spoon some soup into his mouth. “Oh my! That's the best soup I've ever tasted!” The town erupted into applause, Molly joining with a look of skepticism on her face. Lewis looked thrilled.

 

“Wonderful job, everyone!” He stated with a renewed sense of gusto. “Now, who's ready for soup?” Molly edged away toward the dance floor as the other townspeople crowded around the soup pot.

 

“How can I help?” She asked as she approached. Sam was trying to pull the dolly across the sand and Sebastian was attempting to balance the speaker to prevent it from falling to the ground.

 

“Make the sand less sandy,” Sam grunted. The wheels to the dolly only seemed to be sinking further into the sand the more Sam tried to move it. Molly went to the dance floor and pulled up one of the green plywood tiles that had been stapled with fake palm leaves and brought it to put behind the dolly, as close to the wheels as she could get it.

 

“You pull, I'll push,” Molly said coming to stand at the bottom of the speaker. “One, two, three.” Molly pushed the speaker up, Sebastian balanced, and Sam pulled and with a shift of movement, the wheels of the dolly popped up onto the board and started to freely move. “I'll get another tile,” Molly smiled as both Sam and Sebastian wiped their sweaty brows with their hands.

 

“We've been struggling with this thing for fifteen minutes and she comes over and takes care of it in two!” Sam seemed both impressed and annoyed as he spoke.

 

“Yeah, she works miracles,” Sebastian replied.

 

“Still your angel, huh?” Molly teased with a wink as she moved to place the second tile on the sand.

 

“I'm sorry, what?” Sam grinned stupidly.

 

“None of your business,” Sebastian grumbled softly.

 

“When I helped to clean marker off the walls at his Mom's and helped take care of the babies, he told me I was an angel… twice,” she smirked at Sebastian as he glared back at her.

 

“Aww--” Sam began before he was stopped.

 

“Shut the fuck up and move this speaker or I'm going home and you and Molly can move them both yourselves.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian walked slowly down the hallway of his home toward the kitchen, racking his brain on how to tie his tie. The bunny runs around the field and then down the bunny hole? No. He was missing a step.

 

“Seb!” The voice came from the bathroom on his left. “How do we look?” Abigail and Maru struck a pose.

 

“Standing like that? Kinda stupid.”

 

“Really?” Abigail put her hand on her hips, looking annoyed.

 

“Ugh, great, nice, fine, whatever you want to hear,” he growled, looking back to the red silk tie slung around his neck. “I have other shit to deal with.”

 

“You want me to straighten your hair?” Abigail asked, holding up her straightening wand.

 

“No.”

 

“Come on, I’ll spike it up in the back like you like.”

 

“Give me that,” Maru snatch the tie from around her brother’s neck and draped it around her own before pushing him down onto the closed lid of the toilet. He sighed in resignation as Abigail filled one of her hands with styling mousse and began finger combing it through his hair.

 

“Ha!” Came a shrill laugh from the doorway, making Sebastian cringe. “Are you going to let them do your makeup for you next?” Lydia gave another snide laugh. “Maybe they can paint your nails, too. Maru! Make sure to teach him how to properly shave his legs.” Lydia laughed at her own joke as she walked away.

 

“I’m done,” Sebastian droned, attempting to stand up before Abigail pushed him back down.

 

“You’re done when we say you’re done,” She said using the straightener to spike up the back and side of his hair. “You need to make an appointment with my mom and get a haircut. Your spikes aren’t wanting to stay spiked.” He gave a noncommittal grunt as he looked to Maru, who had finished tying his tie and was wearing it around her neck and scrolling on her phone.

 

“Oh, there’s going to be a music festival at that amphitheater just outside of Zuzu the first weekend of fall,” She commented.

 

“Yeah?” Abigail questioned with interest.

 

“Yeah, there are going to be a ton of bands. Gruesome Upside, Screaming for Silence, Seeds of Doubt, Insomnia. Oh! Hellstorm is going to be there. You like them, don’t you, Seb?”

 

“Yeah,” he grumbled as Abigail yanked on his hair.

 

“Well, if he doesn’t, I know Molly LOVES them, it’s one of her favorite bands,” Abigail stated, oblivious to Sebastian’s discomfort.

 

“Molly? Really? She doesn’t seem like she listens to that stuff,” Maru said, looking up from her phone.

 

“Oh yeah,” Abigail nodded. “Honestly, she would feel pretty at home in a mosh pit.”

 

“You should take her, Seb, you two can go hang out in the city for a couple days.”

 

“Beginning of Fall?” Abigail stated. “Oh, he’ll be done with Molly by then.”

 

“What?” Maru gasped, looking horrified. “Why? You two seem so good together?”

 

“I’m not-- OW!” Sebastian yelled, as Abigail burned him with the straightener.

 

“You don’t know?” Abigail asked Maru. “Seb and Molly aren’t--”

 

“Shut up, Abigail!” Sebastian demanded. “Fuck! What is it about my friends not being able to keep their mouths shut about literally anything?”

 

“We’ll talk later,” Abigail whispered to her girlfriend.

 

“No, you won’t! You both are going to mind your business and stay out of mine.” He stood and held his hand out to Maru. “Give me my tie. I’m done.” Maru took it from around her neck, held it out to him and he jerked it out of her hand before storming from the bathroom. Abigail discreetly poked her head around the door frame to make sure that he had exited the hallway before turning to Maru.

 

“I can’t believe you don’t know!” She whispered as she closed the door to allow them to speak in private.

 

“Sebby! You look so handsome!” Robin exclaimed as her son walked into the kitchen. “Oh… What’s the matter, honey?” Sebastian could easily list off several things but decided it wasn’t worth it.

 

“Nothing.”

 

“You look like something’s bothering you,” she pressed.

 

“Nope, that’s just my face,” he grumbled as he made his way to the fridge and opened it.

 

“Are you already hungry? Didn’t you have any of the soup today?”

 

“Yoba, no,” Sebastian grimaced. “I wouldn’t eat that soup if I was dying of starvation.”

 

“Looks like you already are, string bean,” Lydia stated coming into the kitchen and making Sebastian’s eye twitch. “Really, Robin, you should force him out of that basement at meal times and make him eat.” She gave a cruel laugh. “Or are you giving your portions to your porky girlfriend? She doesn’t need them.” Sebastian almost snapped as he slammed the refrigerator door closed. And he would have said many things that would have caused the proverbial shit to hit the fan had his mother not interjected.

 

“Lydia, Please!” She snapped at the other woman. “Sebastian is a good weight for his height and he’s more muscle than fat. Harvey, Doctor Stevens I mean, agrees. As for Molly, I would ask that you leave her alone as well. She is a sweet girl who has done a lot for this family. And I personally think she's a healthy size too.” Lydia waved away Robin’s concerns with her hand.

 

“These kids today are so overly sensitive,” She stated matter-of-factly. “When Deme and I were kids, we had to have a tough skin. Growing up black in the 60’s, I couldn’t even tell you some of the things that were said to us. Something I hope Violet and Derek never have to-- Where do you think you’re going? I’m talking!” Sebastian exited the kitchen, scowled at the closed bathroom door that he could hear whispers behind, and stormed from the house, immediately pulling his cigarette pack from his pocket and lighting one. He began the walk toward the Stardrop. He needed to be anywhere but home and thought he could give Sam a hand, or maybe get in a round of pool before the wedding started. Anything to calm him down.

 

Walking through the door of the Stardrop, he noticed things looked different even from the night before. A long line of tables sat along the far wall, completely blocking off the game room, which discouraged him. They were covered in white table cloths and he noticed that Gus and Emily seemed to be arranging a variety of foods on them. A small stage had been set up on the opposite wall to hold up the speakers and the small table where Sam was working on Sebastian’s laptop, which he had allowed Sam to borrow for the event. He made his way over to his friend, passing under the ceiling that had been covered in purple, yellow, and white balloons. The tables of the saloon had all been crammed along the far end of the room near where the food tables were being set up to make room for a small dance floor.

 

“Hey, I’m just finishing up a starting playlist for the wedding,” Sam commented, barely glancing up as he approached. “Don’t worry, I’m putting everything in a seperate folder on the desktop so they can be easily deleted later.”

 

“Good,” Sebastian grunted simply.

 

“What’s up, man?” Sam couldn’t be lied to as easily as Robin and Sebastian sighed heavily.

 

“I’m just… fucking done with people.”

 

“You have been doing a lot of peopling lately,” Sam replied.

 

“I should have skipped the luau,” Sebastian said, rubbing at his eyes, being careful not to knock his contacts loose.

 

“Eh, you could always skip out early at the reception.”

 

“Yeah…”

 

“Come on! Let’s go find some seats for the wedding,” Sam said as he hopped down from the stage. Sebastian was not looking forward to going back into the heat. He was exhausted and grumpy and was beginning to get the feeling in his chest like he was going to blow up at the next minor thing.

 

“Yeah, I need to smoke before the wedding starts anyway.” Exiting the building, they rounded the corner of the stardrop next to town square and leaned against the building in the semi-cool shadow that it provided.

 

“Molly looks really nice,” Sam commented with a knowing smirk as Sebastian lit another cigarette. He simply hummed in reply, wishing Sam would just stop talking. “She seemed stressed out though… trying to make sure everything was getting done and trying to help Marnie get ready. She looks really nice too: Marnie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen either of them not wearing jeans and muddy shoes. They're getting ready in the back area of the Stardrop, where there's that private dining area, that's how I saw them. Ah, look at my beautiful girlfriend!” He said with a smile as he spotted Penny and waved at her. “She has apparently had that dress for years and she’s never worn it, which is a shame I.M.H.O. because, damn.” He laughed. “The only place that dress would look better is if it were crumpled up on the floor, you feel?”

 

“Sam. Please. Stop. Talking,” Sebastian pleaded, exasperated as he rubbed the sides of his forehead and eyebrows with the middle finger and thumb of his free hand.

 

“Oh, hey, there’s Abby and Maru!” Sam waved again.

 

“Great,” Sebastian groaned, taking in another lungful of smoke. He thought about the joint that he kept in his cigarette pack and wondered how much trouble he’d get in if he took it out and started smoking it. Deciding not to risk it, he puffed from the cigarette again. The way he was feeling, he’d need to light another cigarette from the fire of his current cigarette and briefly wondered if just smoking two cigarettes at the same time would help him, when soft orchestral music began playing from somewhere.

 

“Looks like this shindig is about to start!” Sam said excitedly. “Let’s go sit down.” Sebastian sighed heavily, looking sadly at his cigarette, before taking one last deep hit from it, flicking the rest away and following Sam to a row of seats where Penny, Abigail, and Maru were already seated.

 

The chairs we set up in three rows of five on either side of an aisle that had what looked like a roll of white paper trailed down the center, providing more than enough seating for all of the town's residents. As much as Sebastian would have like to be seated on the end of the row in order to make a quick escape if needed, he found himself corralled into the center, seated between Sam and Abigail who had their respective girlfriends on their opposite sides. The sun beat down hot over head and he couldn’t help but think about how his situation could not get any worse.

 

“So, This Marnie person is a farmer?” Came the shrill voice from behind him. “Is she that blue haired girl’s mother?” He sighed as his situation got worse. He was now trapped with no way out as the person he hated most in the world sat behind him.

 

“No, Marnie actually owns a ranch. She breeds and raises livestock,” his mother explained. “Molly actually isn’t from around here. Her grandfather left her the farm, but that, I believe, is the only family that lived around here. Everyone else lives up north, if I remember correctly.”

 

“That’s good, because I couldn’t imagine a decent mother letting their daughter look like that. No wonder she isn’t married herself. She’s let herself go and doesn’t even have someone trapped yet. And blue hair at her age! Who does she think she’s fooling? If you’re starting to get wrinkles, it’s time to grow up, honey.”

 

“Lydia, we’ve talked about this…” Robin stated as Sebastian attempted to keep his composure by closing his eyes and taking slow even breaths. What that hell was she talking about? Molly didn’t have wrinkles. And if she had let herself go, which Lydia didn’t even have basis to judge, it was no more than any other woman her age.

 

“I know, I know,” Lydia replied, uncaring. “I was only saying.” The song changed and the volume was turned up. Sebastian immediately recognized the song. Pachelbel’s Canon in D. It was a common song for a lot of weddings and as he listened he began to unconsciously move his fingers across an invisible keyboard on his legs. He found it somewhat soothing.

 

Looking over his shoulder he saw the governor and Lewis make their way up the aisle to stand beneath the trellis. He was ok. Not much longer and this would all be done and then he would just make an appearance at the reception and then he was free to hide in his cool, quiet, dark basement. He would not leave his bed at all the next day. His mind made plans for himself as he watched his fingers move with the notes of the piano music playing. He would hide under the covers, maybe play some video games, maybe read, definitely smoke a bowl. But he was absolutely not--

 

“Oh, my god!” Abigail gushed in a hushed voice. “Molly looks so good!” He looked back over his shoulder again and felt his stomach drop out. The words ‘so good’ did not do Molly justice. Her hair was pulled into a half ponytail that still allowed soft blue curls to fall around her face and shoulders. Her makeup was perfect: smokey eyeshadow with her eyeliner winged; her lips painted a dramatic red that flowed well with her hair color and her yellow dress; the summer heat had colored the apples of her cheeks a rosy pink. Her dress hugged her torso and flowed out at the hips, dancing around her knees as she walked on her long tanned legs, her leg muscles accentuated by a very familiar pair of silver, sparkly high heels. Her hand held a simple bouquet of yellow and purple flowers.

 

“Shit…” he breathed almost inaudibly, but Sam still heard it and turned just enough to smirk at his best friend, who didn’t notice as he couldn’t peel his eyes away from the woman, who was walking past, arm in arm with Marnie’s nephew, Shane, who had also cleaned up rather nicely, wearing a gray suit that was the same color as Mayor Lewis’. They were both smiling toward Haley, who was apparently photographing the wedding, as she could be seen walking to stand in different spots, crouching, standing on chairs, whatever she had to do to get a good angle.

 

When they reached the trellis, Molly and Shane split apart to stand on opposite sides, turning to face the crowd. Sebastian watched Molly’s eyes scan the crowd briefly before they met his and she beamed a wide smile at him, giving him a small wave from under her bouquet, which he returned rather shyly, feeling that this beautiful creature shouldn’t be waving at him, of all people.

 

She looked away to watch the rest of the wedding party coming down the aisle, although he couldn’t. She glanced back a moment later and gave an inaudible, shy giggle. She pointed a finger at him then two fingers toward her eyes and then a finger back at the aisle. He grinned as he finally pulled his eyes away to look toward the aisle just in time to see Sam’s little brother, Vincent reach the trellis to stand next to Shane, holding a little pillow that held the rings. It looked like Jodi had managed to tame his hair at least long enough for the wedding as it was parted down the side and gelled down.

 

“Doesn’t Vinny look so handsome in his little suit?” Jodi whispered between his and Sam’s heads. She had apparently sat down behind them, next to his mother.

 

“Aww,” he heard several people in the crowd coo as Shane’s goddaughter, Jas, was tossing white flower petals from a little wicker basket that she carried, her own yellow dress puffing out around her legs and hanging to her ankles, her purple hair pulled up in a bow that matched her dress. She tossed a final handful of petals and moved to stand beside Molly, who put a hand gently on the little girl’s shoulder. Then, he found himself entranced by Molly again. He didn’t look away until he heard a small gasp from the back and saw Mayor Lewis turn and his face filled with awe. Sebastian, as well as everyone else turned, and stood to watch as Marnie floated down the aisle, holding an elaborate bouquet.

 

Her ginger hair was beautifully curled, and styled in a updo on top of her head, a lace veil hung from underneath and a diamond and pearl tiara sat perched on top. She wore a simple necklace, also made of pearls and diamonds and Sebastian assumed that Molly must’ve finally found her jewelry in her vast search of boxes. The alterations to the dress had also apparently gone smoothly as it looked as perfect as if it had come from the factory exactly the way it was.

 

This occasion was also the first time that most of the town had ever seen Marnie wear makeup and, like Molly, she had not disappointed. The only major difference between Molly and Marnie’s makeup was that Marnie had chosen a more neutral pink for her lipstick, which didn’t dull her radiant smile in the least.

 

“Oh, she’s beautiful,” Sebastian heard his mother gasp from behind him. In honesty, if he hadn’t known it was Marnie walking down the aisle, he wouldn’t have even thought she was the same person. The music faded out as she reached the trellis and stood next to Lewis.

 

“You may all be seated,” Stated the governor before clearing his throat dramatically. “What is Love?”

 

“Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no m-- ow!” Sam sang into Sebastian’s ear before being smack on the leg by Penny, on the arm by Robin, and upside the head by Jodi all at the same time. Sebastian chuckled softly as he tuned back into the wedding.

 

“...But most of all, love is patience, and I believe that no one present here today knows that more than our dear Marnie.” A smattering of laughter came from the crowd. “Marriage is a commitment in life, where two people can find and bring out the very best in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other human relationship can equal. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life. While the commitment begins with the two of you, its effect radiates outward. It touches your family and friends and ultimately all of society. When this commitment is seriously made and continuously fulfilled, it leads to the richest and most rewarding of human relationships. Today signifies the creation of a new home and a new family for you both. May you be fulfilled by each other’s love and friendship. May you be overjoyed by the promises you are about to make and the life together you will create. May the promises you make to one another today, be lived out to the end of your lives. Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys, but today is the day it all begins.”

 

Sebastian took a moment to look over to Molly again, who was dabbing a tissue to her misty eyes while attempting to not smudge her makeup and allowed himself a small smile at how silly it seemed to him to cry at a wedding. He heard a sniffle to his left and looked to see Abigail was also tearing up. He turned to Sam to point it out so they could make fun of her together later, only to find the blond haired man with his lips pressed together and his eyes and nose red. He shook his head. He didn’t understand it.

 

“Lewis, if you take Marnie,” the governor continued on. “In the presence of Yoba and all these witnesses, to be your lawful wedded wife, to stay by her side in sickness and in health, in joy and sorrow, to love without reservation, and cherish her for as long as you both shall live, please, place her ring onto her left hand.”

 

“I do,” Lewis affirmed as he place the gold band from off the tiny pillow and slipped it onto Marnie’s finger.

 

“And Marnie,” the governor continued. “If you take Lewis, in the presence of Yoba and all these witnesses, to be your lawful wedded husband, to stay by his side in sickness and in health, in joy and sorrow, to love without reservation, and cherish him for as long as you both shall live, please, place his ring onto his left hand.”

 

“You bet, I do!” replied Marnie, emphatically, causing Molly to laugh through her tears, before she slipped the ring onto his finger.

 

“Then, it is my great honor on this twelfth day of Summer to unite you Lewis and you Marnie in the bonds of marriage. As governor of Stardew Valley and regional bearer of the matrimonial seal, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss.” Marnie beamed as she threw her arms around Lewis’ shoulders and pressed her lips to his.

 

“It’s about time!” yelled George, the normally cantankerous old man who was seated in his wheelchair next to his wife, Evelyn. His statement riled up the polite applause into a series of hoots, yelling, and whistles, followed by laughter as the newlywed couple began to retreat back down the aisle.

 

Chapter Text

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Sam said into the microphone from his makeshift DJ booth. “May I present to you Mister and Missus Kowalski!” Sebastian looked up from where he stood leaning against the wall near the old jukebox as the tavern erupted into applause to see Marnie and Lewis walk in, followed by everyone else in the wedding party, who had all been outside having pictures taken. “We can get this party started for real now!” He laughed and Lewis glared at him with a cocked eyebrow that Sam didn’t notice as he began playing a soft, slow piano intro over the speakers. Marnie simply beamed as she linked her arm through her new husband’s and they walked to the center of the dance floor together.

 

“Wise men say… Only fools rush in,” sang the song. “But I… can’t help… Falling in love with you.” Sebastian smirked. Marnie and Lewis would pick this as their song to dance to, like the old people that they were. The song continued on as the couple waltzed around the dance floor. He cringed slightly as he thought about having to dance with a room full of people staring at him. Dancing in general didn’t exactly sit well with him, but having all those eyes on you… he shuddered. Maybe, if he ever got married, they could just elope and omit all the extra nonsense, but then he realized that his mother would kill him if he eloped and she couldn’t be there. Ok, ‘I do’, awkward kiss, and then straight onto an airplane headed to whatever honeymoon destination they had chosen. Or, he smirked again, a destination wedding. Nobody would want to pay to come to that and they’d already be at their honeymoon location. Win-win. He looked up as the song ended and there was a polite applause. Sam picked up the microphone again.

 

“Mister and missus Kowalski, everyone!” Sam smiled. “Now for the real reason we’re all here: Gus’ cooking! Dinner is served!” there was a smattering of laughter as the crowd moved to allow the newly weds to get their plates of food first, before lining up behind them. “I have a small sampling of songs on deck to get things going, but I will be taking requests all night, for anyone who would like to fill out this request slip that I have sitting right in front of me.” Sam finished speaking and turned the microphone back off as he started up another song, this one more of an upbeat pop.

 

Sebastian's stomach growled uncomfortably, reminding him that he hadn't eaten since that morning. He looked toward the crowd gathered around the food tables and shook his head. No way was he going into that. He had come to the conclusion that he was just going home, since he was hungry and didn’t want to be there anyway, when the reason he was there at all came gliding across the dance floor holding two plates of food.

 

“Here ya go, Sammy,” Molly said as she placed a plate next to Sebastian’s laptop.

 

“Thanks, girl!” Sam replied cheerfully as he picked up the fork, stabbed something, and shoved it in his mouth. “Ho mai doin?” He asked through a mouthful of food.

 

“I’m… sorry?” Molly replied, wrinkling her nose at the blond. He swallowed.

 

“Sorry. How am I doing?”

 

“Fine as far as I can tell.”

 

“Good, don’t want to annoy Lewis and Marnie on their special day. I might get exiled from town.” Molly laughed at Sam’s joke. “You want to request a song?” he pushed the stack of papers and a pen toward her as she took a bite from her plate and chuckled.

 

“Sure,” she said after swallowing. She set her plate on the floor of the stage before picking up the pen and scribbling her request. Sliding the top slip of paper back across the table, she picked her plate back up as Sam chuckled.

 

“Want me to dedicate it to anyone special?” he teased, making Sebastian wonder what she had written down.

 

“Oh, you know,” Molly replied flippantly with a shrug. “Whoever.” She began to turn and walk away, looking right past Sebastian before her head snapped back toward him and she beamed as she began to stride over. He let his eyes wash over her, starting with her sparkly shoes and ending at her mischievous looking face. “Did you just give me elevator eyes?”

 

“Yep,” he smirked simply, internally wishing that he could be more of a smooth talker like Sam. He was sure his best friend would have said something clever like ‘Baby, I’ve been giving you elevator eyes all night. Thanks for finally noticing.’ or ‘No, I was just admiring your everything.’

 

“Why are you hiding over here?” Molly asked as she cut a meatball in half with her fork. “I actually thought you skipped out on me.” He watched as she put the meatball in her mouth and couldn’t tell at the moment if he wanted to look at her lips or if he was just that hungry.

 

“Well, I mean, someone blocked off the game room with the buffet tables, so my normal hiding place is inaccessible.”

 

“That bitch!” Molly said as she swallowed. “It’s almost like she knew you’d just want to hide back there all night and shoot pool and that was her way of--”

 

“Torturing me?”

 

“Forcing you to socialize,” Molly finished.

 

“Like I said,” Sebastian stated, watching her take another bite of meatball as she grinned and rolled her eyes. Hungry. He was definitely just hungry at the moment. He looked longingly at her plate. “Ugh, that looks good.”

 

“Go get a plate then,” She laughed.

 

“Uhh…” he looked across the bar at the crowded tables. “No.”

 

“Uhh, why?” she mocked.

 

“It’s too people-y over there for Seb,” Sam injected, able to hear their conversation since it was much quieter behind the speakers, which was where all three of them were located. Sebastian merely pointed at his best friend.

 

“Seriously?” She asked with a soft look and a grin, which Sebastian matched with a shrug. She laughed. “You are such a dork.” She speared a meatball with her fork again and held it out to the raven haired man standing next to her, who gladly leaned over and took it into his mouth.

 

“Mmm… Gus’ cooking,” he moaned blissfully through a mouthful of food. Molly chuckled as she walked back across the dance floor leaving him standing alone against the wall again. As he watched her dress sway around her thighs and hips, he was able to relate to a country song his mother had been obsessed with a few years prior that had the lyrics of hate to see her go, but love to watch her leave , or something like that. He glanced over at Sam and saw him smirking at him. “Don’t you say a word.”

 

“I don’t have to,” he replied, smugly, causing an eye roll from Sebastian. Molly returned a few minutes later and Sebastian smiled as she handed him a plate full of food.

 

“I have heard of your plight and have braved the crowds in order to return this plate of sustenance to you,” Molly grinned as she thought of their game of Solarian Chronicles earlier in the week. “It gives you a stamina boost and minus ten to hunger.”

 

“My angel,” he breathed, hoping it was low enough that Sam hadn’t heard as he took the plate from her. “I love it when you talk nerdy to me.” Molly chuckled as he began to eat. She stood beside him for a brief moment before her eyes narrowed slightly and she cocked her head to the side, looking at him. “What?”

 

“Is that a hickey?”

 

“What?” He asked, genuinely confused. Molly reached up and poked a spot on his neck just above the collar that he had forgotten about until she touched the still tender spot. “Ow,” he reached up and rubbed it with his free hand. “No, Abby burned my with her hair straightener.”

 

“You know, if you were anyone else, I would call bullshit,” Molly laughed at him. He shrugged in reply.

 

“Okay, everyone, our first request of the night is being dedicated to my one true pair,” Sam said cheerfully into the microphone. “You two know who you are.” Molly put her hand against the side of her face and Sebastian shook his head as his best friend looked over at them with a wink and an upbeat song from the 80’s began. Molly laughed slightly as she began to dance where she was standing and even Sebastian had to grinned when he recognized the tune: Opposites Attract.

 

“Wanna dance with me?” Molly teased.

 

“Not gonna happen,” he replied, continuing to eat from his plate.

 

“Fine, I’m just going to dance around you, awkwardly!” she laughed as she spun around in a circle, shimmied her hips and shoulders, and then tried to moonwalk… badly.

 

“Stop that,” Sebastian commented, not looking up from his plate and pretending to ignore her.

 

“No,” she stated as she began to cabbage patch.

 

“You’re only embarrassing yourself.”

 

“Oh, I’m not embarrassed,” Molly replied as she started to do the robot.

 

“I was afraid you were going to say that,” he sighed.

 

“I take, two steps forward,” she sang as she moved forward. “You take two steps back.” she pointed over her shoulder with her thumb. “We go together ‘cause opposites attract.”

 

“I will go home.”

 

“Ugh, fine,” she grumbled coming to a halt and crossing her arms. “Fun hater.” He shrugged. “I should go mingle anyway. You stay here and make sure that wall doesn’t fall over”

 

“I’ll do my best,” he grinned, before she gave him a wink and headed to the dance floor where he saw people were already beginning their night of dancing. As she was walking past Leah and Elliot, Leah reached out and grabbed hold of her wrist, spinning Molly around under her arm and making her dress twirl outward as she laughed and began dancing next to the pair.

 

“She makes the money, and he’s always broke,” the song sang and Molly looked up at him again with a grin. “I don’t like cigarettes,” she shook her finger at him and he smiled at her, deciding to play along, just a little, by putting two fingers to his lips for the next line, “I like to smoke.” She gave him a laugh that made her nose crinkle and he smiled back at her before she turned and danced her way to the next group of people.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian's safe place had been invaded by drunken dancers and he had been forced to find new sanctuary, which was currently, him leaning against the wall next to the exit. He looked down into the cup in his hand. Molly had brought it to him earlier, but what had started of as a green, sour, fruity drink, was becoming nothing but melted ice that had a light lime colored hue.

 

Looking around, he wondered where Molly had gone, as he hadn't seen her flounce by for a few minutes. The dance floor still held Elliot and Leah, leaning into each other to the slow R&B song that Sam was playing and he saw that Penny had joined Sam on the small stage and the two were slow dancing as well. As were his mother and Demetrius. And Haley and Alex. Marnie and Lewis had already called it a night, and had left.

 

Maru and Abigail stood close together at the end of the bar, whispering to each other. Abigail looked perturbed and Sebastian could guess what they were discussing. Abigail probably wanted to dance and Maru was still wanting to keep their relationship under wraps. Despite the long amount of time they had been a couple, even with such a small town, half the residents didn't know they were anything more than close friends. He also assumed that Maru’s main hesitancy this evening was Aunt Lydia, who was sitting at a table near the food with Derek asleep on her lap and Violet seated next to her, looking quite groggy herself as she ate some chips from a plate. Lydia seemed to be in deep conversation with Marlon, who led the Adventurer’s Guild, and didn't notice how drowsy the little girl was.

 

At the bar, in front of him, Gus was pouring a glass of wine for Harvey. Next to him was Clint, the town blacksmith, who was fidgiting with something in his hands next to Emily, who had her back to him as she talked with Shane. He wondered if Emily knew that Clint was in love with her, before he scoffed to himself. She knew. She didn't care. Clint was creepy.

 

Sebastian distinctly remembered the time when he and Sam had caught Clint hiding in the bushes outside of Emily and Haley’s house. When confronted, he had claimed that he was just trying to work up the courage to talk to her. Regardless of his explanation, Sam had told Emily about it, but Sebastian had never heard what had ended up happening with the situation. A voice in his ear broke him out of his thoughts.

 

“Did you know they have a balloon machine in the bathroom?”

 

“Huh?” He asked as he turned to Molly and his face dropped as she blew up a long, tube shaped bit of latex. “Oh my god…” he chuckled at her as she tied it off.

 

“Bluck! That balloon was lubricated,” she said making a face as she hit the blown up condom toward the dance floor, which now had more people on it since the song changed and they began batting it around between each other like some kind of lewd beach ball.

 

“Yeah, Gus put in the balloon machines when half the town was starting to hit their teenage years,” Sebastian replied. “I guess he figured that none of us would want to buy them from Pierre's.”

 

“Better safe than pregnant,” Molly laughed.

 

“Yeah, he deserves some kind of medal of heroism.”

 

“How're you doing?” Molly asked and Sebastian shrugged. “Want another drink?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“Same thing?”

 

“Yeah. It was good.”

 

She took his glass from him and wandered toward the bar. She set down his glass and spoke to Gus who took it to refill. Clint had vacated the bar and had returned to a table where Willy, the fisherman, was seated, apparently giving up on talking with Emily that evening. Willy was speaking animatedly, but Clint seemed distracted and kept glancing back toward Emily at the bar where she was still in deep conversation with Shane. Sebastian wrinkled his nose and wondered if he looked at Molly like that and sincerely hoped not.

 

Molly approached Emily from behind and reach around her, causing her to glance back over her shoulder, with first a concerned look and then a smile when she saw who it was. When Molly's hand reappeared, it was holding an almost full glass of wine and Molly spoke briefly to the other blue haired woman before turning to take Sebastian's now refilled glass from the bar and walking back toward him.

 

“Did you just steal Emily’s wine?” Sebastian asked, accusingly.

 

“No!” She laughed. “Emily was watching my drink while I was in the bathroom. Here.” She handed over Sebastian’s drink.

 

“Thanks,” he replied before smirking. “If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to get me drunk.”

 

“Uhh, of course I am, duh!” Molly replied as if it were obvious. “How am I supposed to take advantage of you unless I get you drunk?”

 

“Well, if that's your end game, you could always just ask,” Sebastian teased.

 

“Pft!” Molly laughed. “If I were actually trying to get you drunk, I’d be giving you something stronger than Midori.” She looked up as her name was called from the dance floor. “I must go. The dance floor is calling my name.”

 

“Man, the dance floor sounds just like Abby!” He yelled after her. She smiled over her shoulder at him as she walked away.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Watching Molly be expertly danced around the floor in some kind of swing style caused a slight pang of jealousy from somewhere deep in Sebastian's chest. He wished he had that level of confidence and thought about maybe trying to dance with Molly, but then thought he'd just make an ass of himself compared to the elegant, red haired man, that currently had her in his arms.

 

“What kind of a man lets another man put his paws all over their woman?” He cringed at the high pitched voice in his ear. His mother and Demetrius had taken Violet and Derek with them when they left, leaving Lydia to finish her drink and conversation alone. Now, it appeared she was growing bored with the festivities. “And what kind of respectable woman embarrasses her man that way?” He knew his face was red hot as he took a slow deep breath before speaking.

 

“She's just dancing.”

 

“With somebody else. Unless… Oh, are you going to let him fuck her for you too?” Lydia jabbed.

 

“I don't like to dance. Molly does. She's just having fun.”

 

“Well, you should get her to turn down the fun a couple notches. She currently has the demeanor of a cheap whore. Unless you're trying to do her a favor. I know that I would personally much rather go home with Fabio over there than… whatever it is your going for.”

 

Sebastian was furious as he watched his Aunt leave the saloon. He wanted to say something. Anything. But he couldn't find any words. Looking to Molly, he couldn't see what Lydia saw. There was nothing sexual about how Molly was dancing. She wasn't grinding or twerking. Or even dancing with very much body contact at all, for that matter.

 

He knew Lydia was just trying to get a rise out of him, and it had worked. He continued to berate himself for not standing up for Molly enough. She had stood up for him, but he hadn't stood up for her once all summer. He didn't have the courage to dance with her, let alone tell off Lydia, and Molly didn’t deserve to be spoken about the way that Lydia always did. One thing he was sure of, as he stepped outside and into the night air, was that he didn't deserve to be with her either.

 

The song ended as Molly was spun around and leaned into a dip with a laugh. Breaking away from Elliot, she thanked him for the dance and gave him back to Leah before retrieving her almost empty wine glass from where she had left it on Sam's DJ table. Draining the last of the pink liquid inside as she walked across the dance floor, she set the empty glass on the bar.

 

“Another one, Molly?” Asked Gus, already picking up the bottle to refill her glass. She held up one hand.

 

“I'm ok for now,” she replied. “I'm actually kinda warm, so I'm going to step outside for a minute.” Gus smiled and nodded as he set the bottle back down and began to see to his other customers. Molly turned toward the door, feeling a slight head rush as if she moved too fast. ‘That's weird,’ she thought to herself with a shake of her head. She had only just finished her second glass of wine, as she hadn't wanted to drink while Marnie and Lewis were still there in case they needed something. She chalked it up to not having enough to eat and too much dancing as she made her way to the door, disappointed when she saw that Sebastian had left without saying goodbye.

 

Reminding herself that they weren't actually dating and he was under no obligation to tell her when he was leaving, she assumed that he probably left almost immediately after his aunt since he no longer had to put on the act of being a couple. The night air outside the saloon was fresh and cool compared to inside and Molly inhaled deeply, trying to clear her head, as she leaned over and removed her shoes before stretching out her sore feet on the cool cobbles. She inhaled deeply a second time as she stood up with her shoes in hand and grinned as she pinpointed what the familiar smell that hit her nose was, and stepped around the side of the building.

 

“Are you hiding out here again?” She teased, making the black clad man leaning against the wall jump. She giggled as he glared at her while rubbing his chest, over his heart.

 

“Yoba…” he swore softly. “No, I just came out to smoke. Don't sneak up on people like that.”

 

“I'm sorry,” she grinned, coming to lean against the wall, between him and the old metal trash can, with her shoulder. He looked much more relaxed now than he did inside, she noticed as she discarded her shoes on the ground. The sleeves of his black dress shirt had been rolled up to the elbows and his red silk tie had been loosened and the top button of his shirt had been undone. “You know,” Molly slurred slightly. “I'm pretty proud of myself.”

 

“Yeah, why's that?” Sebastian asked, rising to her bait.

 

“Well, when I saw you in a tie and my panties hit the floor, I managed to not trip on them and make a scene.”

 

Sebastian was caught completely off guard. She had made her statement right in the middle of him taking a drag from his cigarette and his first instinct was to laugh, causing him to inhale too deeply which lead to a violent coughing fit.

 

“You good?”

 

“I’m dying,” he gasped before managing to dislodge a ball of phlegm from his throat and spit it on the ground.

 

“Eww,” Molly wrinkled her nose. “My panties have suddenly rematerialized right where they’re supposed to be.”

 

“Go home, you’re drunk,” Sebastian commented, still trying to catch his breath.

 

“Am not.”

 

“I think your terrible pick up line is proof that you definitely are.”

 

“Piss off, kid,” Molly retaliated. “One: fuck you, that was a great pick up line! And B… yeah, maybe I’m a little tipsy.” Sebastian smiled and shook his head. They stood in silence enjoying the warm summer night and listening to the sound of music coming from the open door of the Stardrop, Molly swaying slightly to the beat of the song. As the song changed and the distinct sound of a harp rang through the air before a light drum beat, Molly gasped excitedly.

 

“Oh I love this song! Sebby, dance with me!”

 

“Absolutely n-- Did you just call me Sebby?”

 

When the night… has come…

 

“Please!” She whined, ignoring his question.

 

And the land is dark…

 

“No.”

 

And the moon…

 

“Yes!”

 

Is the only… light we see…

 

“I don’t dance.”

 

“Come on, we don’t even have to go inside.” No I won’t… be afraid… “You can dance with me right here beside the trash can.” Molly teased.

 

No I won’t… be afraid…

 

“No,” Sebastian said as he shook his head. Just as long… Molly’s eyes narrowed as she grabbed his cigarette from his hand and threw it away. As you stand… “Hey!”

 

Stand by me…

 

“I am absolutely not letting you get out of tonight without dancing with your fake girlfriend just once!” Molly exclaimed, as she grabbed him by the wrists and pulled him away from the wall.

 

And darling, darling stand… by me…

 

Molly placed one of Sebastian’s hands on her waist and took his other hand in hers.

 

Oh, now now, stand… by me...

 

He sighed and rolled his eyes in resignation. Here he was. Unable to tell her no again. Yep, it was definitely a habit at this point. He only hoped that nobody would chose this moment to leave the saloon, knowing he would never live this down.

 

Oh, stand by me… Stand by me

 

“You have freckles,” Molly smiled at him as they swayed together.

 

If the sky… that we look upon…

 

“You’re not wrong,” He replied, feeling the familiar heat of blush coming to his cheeks.

 

Should tumble and fall…

 

“I never noticed.” And the mountain... should crumble... to the sea... “They’re adorable.”

 

“Now, you’re wrong,” he grinned shaking his head.

 

I won’t cry… I won’t cry…

 

“No, I’m never wrong.” No I won’t… shed a tear… “Thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.”

 

Just as long… as you stand… stand by me. He shook his head again with a smile.

 

And darling, darling stand… by me… ohh… stand… by me… ohh, stand now… Stand by me… Stand by me…

 

“I feel like an idiot,” Sebastian confessed as the song’s instrumental interlude began.

 

“Shh,” Molly whispered, letting go of his hand and pressing one finger to his lips to silence him before wrapping her arms tight around his shoulders and nuzzling her nose into his jaw line. With another heavy sigh, he snaked his now free arm around her waist and rested his cheek on her hair. Soft and warm in his arms, her body pressed against his, Sebastian had to admit that it was a feeling that he could definitely get used to and began moving his thumb in small circles over the fabric of the back of her dress.

 

Molly was feeling more and more dizzy the longer that she swayed back and forth in Sebastian’s arms. Her fogged over mind concluded that Gus must have a stash of the world’s highest proof wine. Had she known how strong it was, she would have spaced out the drinks more. Her body was beginning to feel a bit tingly and numb and she decided that it was probably best to call it a night. Pulling away from Sebastian, she looked up into his face and couldn’t help smiling like an idiot.

 

And darling, darling stand… by me.

 

“What?” he questioned, suspiciously.

 

Oh, stand… by me…

 

“Blink if you love me!” Molly slurred before immediately blowing a puff of air into his face causing him to close his eyes. “I knew it!”

 

Stand by me, stand by me.

 

“You’re ridic--” His word were abruptly cut off by Molly’s lips pressing against his. He stiffened, wide eyed and in shock for the briefest of moments before relaxing and melting into her as he closed his eyes. He slowly parted his lips to deepen the kiss when Molly’s knee buckled and he barely had time to tighten his grip around her waist to prevent her from falling.

 

Stand by me… Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand… by me

 

“What are you doing, you dork?” he chuckled, expecting Molly to make a joke about how he made her weak in the knees, or something equally cheesy. Her head lolled as he looked to her. “Molly?” Now he was worried. “Hey, Molly.” Bringing her to the ground as gently as he could, he cradled her face in his hands. “Hey, Molly, look at me.” As if in slow motion, she brought up one hand to grip his wrist as she looked at him with unfocused eyes.

 

Ohh, now now stand… by me

 

“Seb,” she said, barely above a whisper. “I feel... weird.”

 

“You alright? What’s going on?”

 

“I dunno,” she drawled, shaking her head ever so slightly in his hands. “I think I should go home.”

 

“Ok, I can take you home. Can you walk?”

 

“I don’t think I have legs.” Sebastian looked at her incredulously for a minute, trying to determine if she was making some kind of joke. If she was as drunk as she seemed, he really didn’t want to embarass her by going to get help. But, on the other hand, he had just seen her go from fully functioning to thinking she didn’t have legs in a matter of roughly ten minutes. Kneeling beside her, he pulled his phone from his pocket. Finding the contact that he needed, he pushed send and let it ring until it went to voicemail. He hung up, selected another contact and hit send. Voicemail. One last contact. Send. Voicemail. He swore under his breath. They were all inside and probably couldn’t hear their phones over the music.

 

“Molly, hey, look at me, angel,” he said taking her chin in his hand and directing her face back to his. She gave him a lopsided smile and wrinkled her nose.

 

“You called me angel,” she teased in a singsong voice.

 

“I have to go inside, just for a second,” he stated, trying to keep the worry off his face. “You wait here, ok? I’ll be right back.”

 

“Ok,” she sang again, as she laid herself down on her side in the small patch of grass at the side of the Stardrop. He didn’t want to leave her like that, but there wasn’t a thing he could do about it and he stood and walked around the corner of the building.

 

Entering, his eyes scanned the room. Taking long strides, he made his way to the dance floor where Maru and Abigail were doing some kind of line dance with most of the other residents of the town.

 

“Hey, Seb!” Maru called cheerfully, oblivious to the look of worry on his face. “Want to learn how to electric slide?”

 

“Something’s wrong with Molly,” he stated, loud enough to be heard over the music.

 

“Yeah, I know,” Maru replied as she continued to dance. “She’s dating you. Or at least pretending to.”

 

“Oh, pour some cold water on that burn!” Laughed Abigail. Sebastian reached out and grabbed his half sister by both arms and made her look at him.

 

“I need help,” he pleaded, desperately. Her face fell as she saw the seriousness in his eyes.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“I don’t know,” he replied, raising his hands in frustration and emphasis. “She was fine one minute and the next she couldn’t even stand.” Maru looked around the room and found Harvey dancing next to Emily, looking at her feet so that he didn’t mess up his own dance steps.

 

“Where is she?”

 

“Outside. I tried to call someone, but nobody would answer.”

 

Maru walked to Harvey without another word and broke his attention away from his dancing. His brows knitted together as he listened to Maru speak before they both came back to Sebastian, who turned and walked toward the door with no prompting needed.

 

“Molly,” Sebastian said coming back toward her. “I brought some help.” He tried to kneel back down beside her but was roughly pushed out of the way by Maru as she and Harvey knelt down around her, leaving him to stand back and watch.

 

“Molly,” Harvey said softly. “It’s Doctor Stevens. What’s going on?” Molly looked lazily up at him. It was almost as if she didn’t recognize him or care who he was.

 

“Molly, can you sit up for us?” Maru asked as she took one of Molly’s hands in her own. Molly replied with a groan as Maru pulled her into a seated position, leaning against the outer wall of the Stardrop. Mostly, she just looked annoyed at having been disturbed from her slumber on her grassy bed.

 

“Molly, do you know where you are?” Harvey tried again.

 

“The Stardrop,” she replied, her voice husky.

 

“How much have you had to drink tonight?”

 

“I got a little cray-cray and had two whole glasses of wine!” Molly proclaimed, attempting to hold up two fingers.

 

“Anything else?” Harvey asked, with a shake of his head. “Any beer? Mixed drinks? Shots?”

 

“Nope, nope, nope,” replied Molly, almost happily, as she swayed where she sat, shaking her head. “Gus has the strongest wine I ever had!”

 

“Have you taken any drugs today?”

 

“Everyday I take my Prozac, and my birth control, and a pill for allergies because my farm gives me the snots,” she drawled as she listed of her medicine on her fingers.

 

“Nothing else? Marijuana? Barbiturates?”

 

“Don’t call me a bitch!” Molly proclaimed, her voice suddenly sounding like she wanted to cry. “I just want to go home!”

 

“Alright, settle down,” Harvey soothed. “I don’t think you should go home tonight. I think you should come to the clinic.”

 

“But Seb said he’d take me home,” she giggled slightly. “Seb said, said Seb, Sebby Seb said said Seb…”

 

“I would like to run some blood work on you tonight to see why you’re feeling bad,” Harvey explained. “So, Maru and I are going to take you to the clinic now so we can do that, ok?”

 

“Maru?” Molly asked quizzically, having forgotten the other woman was knelt on the opposite side of her as Harvey was, and looked around groggily before finding and smiling at her.

 

“Hey, Molly!” Maru said happily at the look on her face. “How’s it going?”

 

“Maru!” She beamed excitedly, reaching out and grabbing her by the wrist. “I kissed Sebastian!”

 

“Ew, that’s gross,” Maru teased in reply.

 

“It’s not gross,” Molly slurred. “I love him!”

 

“Aww, she loves you, Seb.” Sebastian rolled his eyes as he puffed out his cheeks in annoyance.

 

“Tease your brother later, Maru,” Harvey scolded. “Right now, lets get her moved to the clinic.”

 

“What’s the best way to do that?” Questioned Maru.

 

“Well, we could get a gurney, or a wheelchair from the clinic, that would probably be easiest.”

 

“Hey, Molly,” Sebastian said loudly. “You want a piggyback ride?”

 

“Yay!” Molly squealed, rolling to her hands and knees to attempt standing.

 

“Seb, are you sure?” Maru asked skeptically.

 

“If I can haul around drunk Sam, I can haul around drunk Molly,” he stated as Harvey helped a very wobbly Molly to her unsteady feet. He turned his back toward her and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

 

“You smell nice,” She mumbled as she nuzzled her nose into his hair.

 

“I know,” He smirked. “Give me your leg, weirdo.” He reached behind him and smacked her gently on the hip, cueing her to lift her knee up to around his hips and he put his hand under her bare thigh. “And, hop,” he said as he bounced her up slightly so that she could wrap her other leg around him. With a final hop to adjust her on his back, he began to walk in the direction of the clinic.

 

“You should come home with me tonight,” Molly slurred into Sebastian’s ear in what was clearly meant to be a whisper and very much wasn’t. Maru tried to muffle her soft snicker with her fist.

 

“Might have to take a rain check on that,” he grunted in reply, attempting to ignore his half sister.

 

“But why?” Molly cooed as she began trailing soft kisses up the side of his neck.

 

“...Reasons,” he breathed, as a shiver went through him, unconsciously tilting his head to expose more skin to Molly.

 

“I guess this puts a damper on your evening, huh?” Maru teased as Harvey reached into his pants pocket to remove the keys to the clinic. Sebastian glared daggers at her as Molly began to nibble on his earlobe.

 

“I hope you know me better than to think that I would ever even consider touching her when she’s like this,” Sebastian spat. “And you! Knock it off back there!” He gave Molly a hard bounce as she began to lick from his earlobe up the outer cartilage of his ear.

 

“You never let me have any fun ever!” Molly pouted, causing Maru to snicker harder. Sebastian just rolled his eyes again and sighed again as Harvey pushed the clinic door open.

 

“Let’s get her back to a bed and get her checked in,” stated Harvey as he flipped on the overhead lights and strode across the empty waiting room, leading them into the small ward at the rear of the building. Sebastian set her down as gently as he could manage on the bed closest to the door. He turned around and looked down at her, her feet swinging childlike over the edge of the bed.

 

“Now what?” she asked him mischievously.

 

“Now, Sebastian leaves so that Doctor Stevens and I can help to make you feel better,” Maru stated, as she dried off her freshly washed hands on a paper towel.

 

“Are you kidding?” Molly exclaimed. “I feel GREAT!”

 

“What the hell, Maru?” Sebastian asked, indignantly.

 

“Seb,” she replied with sympathy, grabbing his arm and leading him toward the door, but not continuing until they stood in the doorway. “Obviously something is going on with her. We have to figure out what and you can’t be here for that. There are health care privacy laws, not to mention we’re going to have to run tests, Harvey will want to have an IV and probably a catheter put in, and he might even want to have her stomach pumped. I’m sure Molly wouldn’t want you to see any of that. So please, just wait in the waiting room. I’ll let you know when you can see her.” Sebastian sighed as he looked back to Molly, who was now laying in a unflattering, awkward angle on the narrow bed, before looking back to Maru and nodding.

 

“Thank you,” she said as she closed the swinging ward door behind him as he left.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian laid on his back across a row of hard, plastic waiting room chairs. It had been over an hour and he hadn’t heard anything from his half sister on how Molly was doing and wondered if he had been forgotten. That wouldn’t surprise him at all, as he was always getting forgotten. He didn’t want to dwell on it. Molly’s health was much more important than him receiving vague updates, since, apparently, he wasn’t allowed to have any information on Molly without her written consent.

 

He sat up slightly at the sound of a door opening, hoping he was finally going to get told something. Anything. But Maru only picked the phone up from it’s cradle and began to dial a number.

 

“Hi, can you connect me with the lab, please? Thank you,” she spoke into the phone. She finally looked up and over to her brother. Tucking the mouthpiece under her chin she spoke to him. “We’re almost done. I just need to draw blood.” That was it. That was all the information that Sebastian was allowed. “Hi, My name is Maru Williams, I’m a nurse at Pelican Town Family Medical. I need to get specimen requirements for a test, please... Rohypnol.” She glanced sideways at her brother as his eyebrows knitted together. She turned her back to him in order to find a pen and scrap of paper. Sebastian fished his phone from his pocket and brought up his Kazillion internet browser. Taking his best guess at the spelling, he typed rohipnal into the search bar.

 

Did you mean ROHYPNOL? The engine asked. ‘Yes. Yes, I did’ Sebastian thought as he touched the link with his finger.

 

Rohypnol, or Flunitrazepam, is an intermediate acting benzodiazepine used in some countries to treat severe insomnia and in fewer, early in anesthesia. More commonly referred to as “roofies,” Rohypnol is considered an illegal drug in the Ferngill Republic due to its association with sexual assault, but is often smuggled in from the Gotoro Empire…

 

Sebastian had stopped reading. They thought Molly had been roofied? Who in town would do something like that? No, there must be some kind of mistake. He looked up at Maru, who was still on the phone with the lab.

 

“Ok, and what are the requirements for that test?” she asked into the receiver as she scribbled something down. “And what was it called again? ...Can you spell that for me? ...Oh, ok, yeah, that’s much easier. Alright, I will tell Doctor Stevens that you recommended testing for GHB too. Thank you. You too.” She hung up, made brief eye contact with Sebastian and turned back around to walk through the door.

 

GHB? Wasn’t that a club drug, like ecstasy? He was becoming more agitated the longer he sat and thought. Who would do something like that to Molly? To anyone, for that matter. He was growing furious. Needing a cigarette, he stood and walked through the front door of the clinic, putting one between his lips as soon as he was outside the building. He found he was tapping his foot as his mind raced. His brain shuffled through everyone in town, one by one, as he smoked, barely believing that one of them would be capable of something like this. The more he thought, the angrier he became, and had come to the conclusion that when he found out who had done it, he was going to beat them to within an inch of their life, when the clinic door opened.

 

“Hey,” Maru said softly as he turned around. “You can go back if you want. She’s sleeping though… She probably will be for a while, to be honest.” He pinched the fire off the end of his cigarette and walked past Maru, who was holding the door open for him.

 

“I’ll try not to wake her up,” he muttered in reply.

 

__________________________________________________________________

Chapter Text

Molly peeled her eyes open and stared in discomfort at the unfamiliar ceiling. The lights in the room were turned down low, but still felt entirely too bright. Her head throbbed, she felt nauseous, her mouth was dry and her throat felt like sandpaper. She could only think that she was experiencing the worst hangover of her life and vowed to never drink the wine at the Stardrop ever again. Slowly, so she didn’t upset her stomach too much with the movement, she attempted to figure out where she was. She looked down at her right arm and found she had an IV in her hand, and further up, a cuff around her bicep that led to a machine that showed her most recent blood pressure. ‘The clinic? What the hell happened last night?’ she wondered.

 

Closing her eyes before she moved her head, she looked down her other arm when she opened them again. Sebastian sat on a chair next to her,  his head lay on one arm that was folded under him on the bed, his other hand limply holding on to Molly’s. She gently rubbed her thumb over his knuckles. He gave a small sigh as his eyes groggily opened and watched her thumb moving on his hand unfocused and without comprehension. His eyes drifted close again for a brief moment before they snapped back open and he sat bolt upright looking Molly in the face.

 

“Hey,” he said softly.

 

“Hey,” she croaked back.

 

“How're you feeling?”

 

“Like shit… that's been run over by a truck. What happened?”

 

“Uhh, well, they won't talk to me. Something about patient privacy, or some shit.”

 

“Can you get me some water?” Molly groaned as she rubbed at her aching head.

 

“Yeah, hang on,” he replied as he stood up and made his way from the room. He returned a minute later with a plastic water bottle in hand and followed by Maru who was carrying a clipboard.

 

“Hey, Molly. How’re you feeling?” she asked with a smile as Sebastian removed the cap from the water bottle and handed it to the blue haired woman in the bed.

 

“Terrible,” she croaked again, bringing the water bottle to her lips. Upon swallowing, she grimaced slightly and rubbed her hand over her sore throat.

 

“We pumped your stomach last night, so your throat is going to be a little tender from the tube,” Maru explained as she looked at Molly with sympathetic, syrup colored eyes.

 

“You pumped my stomach?” she rasped in reply. “What the hell happened last night?”

 

“Well, that’s what we’re trying to figure out,” Maru replied. “Seb, why don’t you go smoke or something while I talk to Molly.”

 

“Seriously?”

 

“It’s ok, he can stay,” Molly interjected. “I don’t care.”

 

“Thank you!” he spat as he glared at Maru, as she rolled her eyes with a sigh.

 

“Ok, we’ll start with the last thing you remember last night.” Molly was quiet for a long moment thinking.

 

“I guess, dancing?” She answered disconcertedly. “With you and Abigail. Oh! No, with Shane! I remember he touch my butt and he almost got slapped.” Sebastian remembered that distinctly, too. He had watched as Shane’s drunken hand slid slowly from Molly’s waist to her rear and had started walking in their direction, albeit without a plan, to rescue her when she had placed both hands on his chest and pushed him bodily away from her. He remembered grinning as he had watched Shane’s hands come up in front of him in surrender as she began telling him off.

 

“So, you don’t remember leaving the Saloon?” Asked Sebastian, feeling disappointed that she didn’t remember their dance together… or their first kiss. He shouldn’t have expected her too, as she practically passed out as it was happening, but it was still disheartening. Molly shook her head with a shrug.

 

“Do you remember what you had to drink last night?” Maru continued.

 

“I can only remember one glass of wine.”

 

“And did you ever let your drink out of your sight?”

 

“Of course I did!” Molly laughed. “I left it with Emily when I went to the bathroom, I left it on Sam’s table once, left it on the corner of the bar once… Why?” she said the last with her tone suddenly becoming serious.

 

“Well,” Maru began, hesitantly. “We’re waiting for blood work to come back, but judging by what we pumped from your stomach and your symptoms, we think that someone may have slipped you something in your drink.” The room went dead quiet before Molly began to laugh awkwardly.

 

“Good joke,” She responded. “I almost believed you for a second. But I am way too hungover for coming up with a witty comeback, so what really happened?” Maru and Sebastian looked at each other seriously before looking back to Molly.

 

“That’s… what we think actually happened,” Maru said softly. Molly’s face scrunched up in a almost disgusted grimace as she looked back and forth between the two siblings.

 

“No,” she stated disbelieving. “No, that kind of stuff doesn’t happen here!”

 

“Again, we’re still waiting on your test results,” stated Maru, professionally, “but, you barely had enough alcohol in your stomach to get you buzzed, let alone blackout drunk.”

 

“But, who?” Molly demanded. “Nobody in town would do that! Nobody!”

 

Somebody had to have done it,” Maru stated. “Can you think of anybody who could have possibly done it?”

 

“I dunno, maybe it was Sebastian!” Molly spat, feeling scared and angry.

 

“Excuse me?” Sebastian stated venomously, his eyes hardening around the edges. Molly shrugged defiantly, her arms crossed in front of the hospital gown that she was dressed in.

 

“Why not? We have a sexual tension that you’re too shy to do anything about, and you have access to a drug dealer in Zuzu, and as often as you were watching me last night I’m sure you always knew where my drink was sitting.”

 

“Fuck you!”

 

“I’m just saying that you’re as good of a candidate as anyone else in this town.”

 

“Well, I didn’t do it!”

 

“How do I know that?”

 

“How about the fact that I went and got help because I was worried about you and then proceeded to sit around in the goddamn clinic all night instead of sticking my dick in you while you were passed out?” He shouted, causing Molly to flinch at the pain in her head. He was furious. Never had he felt so degraded. No, he had been degraded far worse than this, but coming from Molly made it hurt ten times worse than anything Lydia or Demetrius could throw at him.

 

“Seb!” Maru injected, forcefully. “Take a walk.”

 

“Gladly,” He huffed, standing up with such force that his chair fell over behind him. Walking through the swinging ward door, he gave it a sharp punch as he passed it, the metallic clang that it produced making Molly flinch again, though this time not from the pain in her head. Maru and Molly were silent as they watched the door swing back and forth on its hinges.

 

“Molly,” Maru said softly when she finally looked to the blue haired woman and saw the tears flowing from her eyes.

 

“I… I…” she sobbed before taking a shaky breath. “I didn’t mean… I was just trying to make a point and…”

 

“Calm down,” Maru soothed.

 

“No, I know Seb wouldn’t hurt me,” she sobbed. “But… I didn’t think anyone here would, and I was just… I don’t know what I was trying to say!” Maru wrapped her arms around Molly, rocking her slightly.

 

“Shh, it’s ok. Seb’ll smoke a cigarette and cool down and he’ll be back,” she said in a hushed voice. “I don’t think he has the capacity to stay mad at you.” Molly gave a spiteful laughed.

 

“I deserve for him to stay mad at me. I had no right… My head hurts so bad!”

 

“Alright, why don’t you lay down. I’ll see if I can get you anything for pain.”

 

Molly laid back and rolled onto her side as tears continued to roll onto her pillow. ‘Stupid useless brain,’ she scolded herself, hoping that Sebastian would accept her apology when she next saw him.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian was nowhere to be found when Maru stepped out of the clinic’s front door to talk to him. He had made a beeline for his house, had thrown open the garage door, and had torn away from town on his motorcycle.

 

Currently, he was seated in his spot, a precipice that looked over Zuzu City and the surrounding valley, and was watching the sun set behind the city as he smoked. His thoughts reeled through his head. They were mostly self deprecating with a few angry thoughts toward his pretend girlfriend. Her words kept replaying in his head like a bad song. His phone vibrated in his pocket and he took it out to look at the message. It was Sam, this time. He unlocked his screen and looked at the sting of text messages he had received, and pointedly ignored, from Molly.

 

Seb, I’m sorry

I didn’t mean it like I said it

I know you wouldn’t have hurt me

I was just trying to make a point

Just saying that I didn’t think anyone in town could

Please answer me

I know that you’re reading these! I can see that you’ve read them!

Please…

 

He sighed and pushed the back button to get to his main message screen and touched his finger to Sam’s message. His phone buzzed in his hand with a second message from his best friend.

 

Where U @

U @ Molly’s?

 

I took the bike out

 

OIC

Imma grab da lyric book f/ ur desk

 

Sebastian cringed. He had written lyrics. They seemed good at the time, but he really hoped that Sam would think they were garbage now and toss them out. He would have to keep in mind, for future reference, to not try to write anything for a brief infatuation with a girl he hardly knew.

 

K

 

Uh oh, 1 letter answer

sup?

 

Don’t wanna talk

 

Shoving his phone back into his pocket, he removed his cigarettes and took another one from the pack. He had barely gotten it lit when his phone started to vibrate in his pocket, the continuous buzz indicating a phone call rather than a message. Fishing his phone from his pocket again, he sighed in annoyance as he looked at the screen, and pushed answer.

 

“What?” he snapped.

 

“Will you please just talk to me? Look, what I said was stupid. I was experiencing what I would consider the worst hangover of my life and it skewed my judgement on… fucking everything. I’m sorry.” Sebastian sat in silence as he listened to Molly rattle off her apology as quickly as possible, he assumed from fear that he was going to hang up. He wanted to. He also just wanted to forgive her. He wanted to tell her to fuck off for using him to make her point, but he also wanted to run right back to her. “Seb?” she asked softly.

 

“I’m here.”

 

“Look, I’m human, I make mistakes.”

 

“I get it.” He listened as she sighed into the phone in frustration and he heard the sound of her tongue ring clicking over her teeth as she thought about what to say next.

 

“Do you want to come over?” she asked meekly. “I could make dinner and we could talk… or… watch a movie or something.”

 

“I don’t think so.”

 

“They’re just getting ready to release me and I… don’t really want to be by myself.” Her voice held a certain degree of fear that made Sebastian feel terrible as he screwed his eyes shut and push the thumb of the hand that was holding his cigarette to the point between his eyebrows.

 

“You’re just going to have to find somebody else then.”

 

“Seb--” he hung up.

 

Molly looked down at her phone dejectedly as it flashed Call Ended in front of the picture of her and Sebastian that he had made his Facespace profile picture, before taking her to her home screen and eventually turning off. She blinked back the sting of tears in her eyes. Sebastian had every right to be angry with her, but it didn’t make his rejection hurt any less.

 

She was still looking blankly at her phone when Maru entered the room.

 

“Did you ever get ahold of Seb?” She asked coming over to the bed. Molly looked up and smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes and Maru could see they were slightly red.

 

“Uh, yeah. He’s busy,” Molly stated, dismissively. “I’m just going to call Abby. I’ll see if I can borrow something of hers to wear so I don’t have to wear my dress from last night and look like I’m taking a walk of shame.” She laughed awkwardly before turning her phone on to give Abigail a call. Maru gave her a small, sad smile as she brought her cell phone up to her ear.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

The best Abigail could do for Molly was a black skirt with an elastic waistband that was too short for Molly's liking and a t-shirt that was just a bit too snug. Molly was both taller and thicker than her purple haired counterpart.

 

“I feel like my ass is hanging out…” Molly sighed, looking down at herself.

 

“At least it looks nice,” Abigail teased in response.

 

“My ass is fat and looks horrible in everything.”

 

“Well, that’s your opinion. Many of us would politely disagree.”

 

“Ahem!” Maru cleared her throat.

 

“But, Maru’s ass! That’s an ass!” Abigail stated as Maru rolled her eyes with a grin. She held out a clipboard to Molly.

 

“Sign the bottom of all three pages for me. The first one is the consent to treat form, which you couldn’t sign last night. The second is your notice of patient privacy. The third is your discharge slip saying that we’re going to bill your insurance,” Maru listed off as Molly skimmed over the paperwork before signing her name to the bottom of each page. “Margaret May Evans, you are free to go.”

 

“Your real name is Margaret?” Abigail teased with a snort.

 

“Hey!” Molly snapped indignantly. “I was named after my great grandmother who was apparently an amazing, strong woman who raised 6 boys by herself while my great grandfather was fighting in World War Two.”

 

“Alright, calm down Margaret. Let’s get you home,” Abigail smiled rolling her eyes as Molly stood up off the bed and put on the sandals that Abigail had brought. “Are you coming with us, Maru?”

 

“No, I’m going to finish up here and then go home and pass out. Last night was rough for everyone involved.”

 

“Yeah, what did happen?” Abigail questioned, not for the first time. Molly sighed.

 

“Let’s walk and talk. I need to take the hottest shower imaginable, my hair be damned.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Maru! There you are!” Robin exclaimed as she came around her desk as Maru walked through the front door. “Where were you? I was worried! Do you know where Sebastian is?”

 

“Sorry, Mom,” She replied as Robin threw her arms around her daughter. “I’ve been at the clinic since last night. There was… an incident. I haven’t seen Seb since this morning. He and Molly had a fight, so I’m sure he’s brooding somewhere.”

 

“Oh no! What did they fight about?”

 

“I actually can’t talk about it. Patient privacy.”

 

“Patient privacy? What happened? Is everyone alright?”

 

“Everyone’s fine, mom.”

 

“Which one was the patient?” Robin demanded. Maru held up her hand to stop her mother from speaking.

 

“I’m going to take a shower and go to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

Robin deflated as she watched her daughter walk from the room. She sat down heavily in her desk chair, her mind reeling from what little information Maru had given her. Sebastian and Molly had gotten into a fight and one of them were in the clinic. Did the fight get violent? Sebastian had been known to have fits of rage, but she thought she had raised him better than to ever lay a hand on a woman. Molly didn’t seem to be a violent person at all, though. Her thoughts left her with more questions than answers as she sat in the dim lights of her carpentry shop. Looking blankly at the blueprints she had been working on until Maru came home. She sat, tugging at her earlobe, until she heard the unmistakable sound of her son’s motorcycle.

 

“Sebby!” She exclaimed. His face showed his complete irritation at being harassed as he stepped over the threshold. “Are you alright? Maru said you and Molly had a fight and one of you were in the clinic and she wouldn’t tell me anything else and I’ve been so worried.” He patted her on the back condescendingly as she had wrapped her arms around him half way through her questioning.  

 

“It’s fine, mom.”

 

“It is not fine!” She snapped back, holding him at arm’s length. “I woke up this morning to neither of my children in their beds. Couldn’t get a hold of either of you, all day! Why do you two even have cell phones? Maru finally comes home saying she’s been in the clinic all night because of an incident and you and Molly had a fight and she couldn’t tell me anymore because of patient privacy but she wouldn’t tell me who the patient even was and so, you’re not going anywhere until I get some answers.”

 

“Fine!” he spat breaking away from her grasp. Robin clasped her hands in front of her chest, waiting for her son to speak. He sighed heavily as he crossed his arms. “They think Molly got slipped something in her drink last night.” Robin gasped.

 

“Who would do that?”

 

“Well, she blamed me.”

 

“What?” Robin was dumbfounded. “Why would she think you did it?”

 

“I guess she didn’t actually think that I did, and said she was trying to make some stupid point, but whatever. Fuck her.”

 

“Make a point?”

 

“I don’t know, Mom!” Robin was quiet for a long moment as she processed her thoughts. “I’m going to bed.”

 

“Hang on,” She said grabbing him by the wrinkled sleeve of the dress shirt he had worn the day before. She was quiet for another breath before she continued on. “We all say stupid things when we’re hurt, or mad, or… scared, like I’m sure Molly was--”

 

“And Molly is human and makes mistakes, yeah, I know.”

 

“Will you shut the hell up and let me talk?” Oh, right. That’s where he got his attitude from.

 

“Sorry.”

 

“What I’m trying to say is, while you’re right and Molly had no right to blame you of that without having a very good reason, I’m sure that with the state she was in, whatever point her brain was trying to make probably seemed justifiable at the time when she said it.”

 

“So, you’re taking her side? Great. Thanks.”

 

“I am not taking her side, Sebby. My many, many fights with Demetrius should prove that I will almost always take your side.” Robin sighed heavily. “I just… These past couple weeks, you’ve seemed almost like a completely different person. I won’t lie, it’s been kind of nice. You and Molly seem to mesh so well together and I feel like she’s getting you to come out of your shell a little bit. I know if the two of you were to just sit down and talk it out that you would be able to work through--”

 

“Oh my god!” Sebastian interrupted in frustration. “Yeah, that would be fine, Mom, if we were a real couple, which everybody seems to keep forgetting that we aren’t. Molly’s not my girlfriend; I’m not her boyfriend; we were never an actual couple and we have no reason to sit down and talk about anything. It’s… whatever.” He said the last word as a soft mumble, Robin looking at him with crestfallen eyes. “Good night.” Finally pulling away from his mother’s grip he walked out of her shop and down his basement stairs, finally home after much too long away.

 

“Did I just hear that rant correctly?” Sebastian stopped with his hand on his door knob as he heard the high pitched voice from behind him. He wasn’t in the mood for this. “You were just pretending that girl was your girlfriend?” Lydia’s laugh piercing into his ears as he stepped through his doorway and slammed the door closed behind him. Tears stung his eyes and threatened to spill over as he stripped out of his clothes and climbed into bed, where the events of the past twenty four hours wouldn’t let him get any actual sleep.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

True to her word, Molly took the hottest shower she could stand as soon as she got home. She was hoping to scald away the dirty feeling she had that seemed to reside just under her skin. After scrubbing until her skin was a vibrant shade of red, she turned off the water and dried herself before wrapping the towel around her and stepping from the bathroom.

 

“How was your shower?” Abigail asked, looking up from where she stood in front of the open refrigerator door. Molly shrugged.

 

“Wet,” she joked.

 

“Smart ass,” Abigail laughed. “I'm starving, I think I'm going to make some grilled cheese. You want some?”

 

“Sure, but if it's burned I'm not touching it.”

 

“Oh, go get dressed!” Abigail said with a roll of her eyes. Molly laughed as she exited to her bedroom.

 

When she returned, fully clothed and her damp hair free of tangles, she plopped down at the table where a nicely toasted sandwich was waiting for her.

 

“Thanks for cooking,” Molly said as she picked up her sandwich.

 

“Thanks for wearing those pants,” Abigail replied. “I’ve been curious about them.”

 

“Huh?” Molly grunted through a mouthful of grilled cheese as she looked down at herself. Yoga pants. Of course. “Oh…”

 

“Oh? Just oh? Not ‘what are you talking about, Abby?’” Molly simply replied with a shrug. It didn’t matter anyway. “I knew you heard that conversation!” Molly simply sighed deeply as Abigail sat down with her own sandwich. “Hey, don’t worry about Seb. He gets his panties in a twist more often than the actual women in town.” Molly chuckled half heartedly. “Just give him a couple days and he’ll welcome you back to annoying him with your sunny disposition with open arms.”

 

“Hmm, yeah… I don’t know.” Molly picked up her empty plate and took it to the sink to wash. “I don’t think it would have worked between me and Seb anyway. We’re just too different.”

 

“Why?” Abigail laughed. “I thought you two were cute together.”

 

“Yeah, I mean, we have stuff in common, but in the long run…” she trailed off, coming back to sit next to Abigail at the table.  

 

“Nobody ever knows what going to happen in the long run,” Abigail insisted. “You just go with whatever gets thrown at you. Like, the whole time I was in college, both mine and Seb’s parents were expecting us to get married. And then SURPRISE! One day I just sort of realized that I was coming over to see Maru more often than my boyfriend.”

 

“Yeah, but Seb has these big plans to move to the city and I’ve been there, done that, and don’t have any plans to go back. I also really want kids and I get the impression that he hates kids.”

 

“Seb hates other people’s kids, that’s for sure, but he wants his own someday,” Abigail replied nonchalantly with a shrug. “Which would have become a problem if we had stayed together. Because me and kids… Ew. And as far as his plans to move to the city, I’m not sure he’s so keen to up and run off there since the two of you got robbed.”

 

“I don’t really want to talk about Seb anymore,” Molly commented with a sigh and putting an end to the conversation. “You want to watch something?”

 

“Nah, I’m actually going to take off, I think.”

 

“Oh…” Molly felt the grasp of anxiety clawing its way up to the surface.

 

“I have to get home and feed David. He’s already going to be mad about his dinner being so late.”

 

“Of all the things to name your guinea pig, why David?” Molly replied with a smile, expertly pushing down her feelings as she had perfectly trained herself to do over the years. Always put on a smile. Never let anyone else know you’re feeling anything but happy and confident. People have their own problems and don’t need to worry about yours. These were a few of the things that she had been telling herself since high school. The words had gotten her through a lot, at least on the outside. On the inside, she was a wreck.

 

“I dunno, he looks like a David?” Abigail replied with a chuckle.

 

“I guess,” Molly laughed making a face and raising her arms in a shrug causing Abigail to laugh.

 

“Ok, text me if you need anything,” Abigail said as she started for the door, picking up the bag that held the clothes that Molly had worn home.

 

“I will, thanks Abs,” Molly replied as Abigail grabbed her into a one armed hug and planted a wet kiss on her cheek.

 

“See ya!”

 

With that, Abigail left. Molly shut the door behind her and stood for a long moment with her arms hugged around herself, listening to the silence of the house. Reaching forward, she flipped the lock on her front door for the first time since moving to Pelican Town.

Chapter Text

Shuffling groggily from the chicken coop, Molly stepped carefully around her hens that were happily pecking at the seeds and corn that she had sprinkled on the ground for them to eat, as she balanced a crate filled with a mixture of brown and white eggs in various sizes. She was determined to not think about Sebastian or the events of the weekend. She was going to go back to how things were before the summer started, knowing that she had neglected things on the farm because she had been distracted. Getting the farm back in order was going to be priority number one, because taking care of the basics, like feeding the hens and weeding and watering the crops, wasn’t going to cut it.

 

The problem was, today, she was exhausted. Every small sound that rang through the farm house the night before had jolted her awake. Whether it was her cats noisily playing together or just the air conditioner turning on. When sleep did find her, it was filled with nightmares of faceless predators stalking her from the shadows. She had eventually given up on sleep almost an hour before her alarm had gone off and had been drifting aimlessly around the house ever since. Deciding that if she was going to be up, she might as well be productive, she had deep cleaned her bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom as well as did a load of laundry before it was even time to go feed the chickens.

 

“Good golly, miss Molly!” She jumped slightly as she looked up from her shipment box where she was carefully placing her eggs to be sold.

 

“Hey Sam,” she smiled as the blond approached her. “You're up early.”

 

“No rest for the wicked,” he replied. “...Actually, mom’s just washing all the bedding today and she wanted to get it started as early as possible, so here I am!”

 

“Are you sure you want to be here? I'll put you to work.”

 

“I'll trade you slave labor for information.”

 

“Why do I feel like I'm selling my soul right now? Fine, deal. Let me get an extra basket for you to pick blueberries.” He followed her to a wooden storage crate she had situated next to her house. Lifting the lid, she began to rummage through the miscellaneous junk that had accumulated there. “Well, what information are you after?”

 

“Probably the same information that most of the town is after,” Sam replied as Molly found the extra gathering basket and handed it to him. “The rumor mill is abuzz and I, like the nosey bastard I am, decided to come straight to the source.”

 

“Great…” Molly sighed, leading Sam to her blueberry bushes. She should have expected the whole town to have already heard about what happened. “Ok, they’re ready if you touch them and they just fall right off into your hand. You shouldn’t need to actually pull on the berry.”

 

“That’s what she said?”

 

“I’m really not in the mood today.”

 

“Sorry,” he replied. “So… I’ll be honest, I got kinda excited when I saw you and Seb disappeared at like, the exact same time. I thought he was finally going to make his move and my O.T.P. dreams were finally going to become a reality.” Molly sighed heavily, not looking up from the bush she was gathering from.

 

“I fucked up your O.T.P. dreams so bad, Sam, that you are probably going to have to find a new O.T.P.”

 

“It can’t be that bad, can it?”

 

“I… kinda... might of… blamed Seb for slipping me a roofie.”

 

“Uhh… what?” Sam stated incredulously as he sat crouched by the blueberry bush he was working on. Had he been holding his basket, he would have dropped it. Fortunately, it was being filled from the ground.

 

“I know! I feel so terrible. And it’s not what I meant! Not at all!”

 

“Go back,” Sam shook his head still trying to wrap his brain around what she had just said. “Start over from the beginning.” Molly sighed heavily again and launched herself into telling Sam everything she could remember about that night, everything she had been told, and everything that she had said. “But, why in the hell would you say Seb did it? T.B.H. If we weren't friends, Molly, I would tell you to go fuck yourself. Sebastian is my best friend and I know for a fact that he would never--”

 

“I know,” Molly said sadly.

 

“Not in a million years--”

 

“Yoba! I know!” Molly cried out, just wanting Sam to stop berating her as she was doing enough of that herself.

 

“Oh… oh don't cry,” Sam said with mild panic in his voice. “I can't handle when girls cry.”

 

“I'm not--” Molly stopped as she felt the tear slip down her cheek and turned away from Sam. She wrapped her arms around her knees as she sat with her back to him trying to regain her composure. She heard Sam move and the next moment felt his back lean against hers. “I feel like I'm in a confessional now.”

 

“Whatever you need, man.”

 

Man ,” Molly mocked with a shake of her head. “I dunno Sam, it was just a horribly poor decision made by my drug and alcohol fueled brain.”

 

“That rock and roll lifestyle is not for lightweights.” Molly chuckled softly at his joke.

 

“I just… Maru asked who I thought could have done it. And I didn't want to think anyone in this town could have done it. I was so excited to move away from the city to a small town because a small town is supposed to be quiet and safe and I wouldn't have to worry about getting raped or robbed. And… I just said maybe it was Sebastian as a way of being, like, ‘I trust him as much, if not more, than everyone else in this town’. As a way of saying I don't think anyone here could have done it. But everything came out wrong. And now, Sebastian won't talk to me and… I don't blame him, honestly.”

 

“Well,” Sam sighed after a minute of silence. “I can try to talk to him for you. Seb’s never really been the forgive and forget type, but, for you, I'll force him to make an exception.”

 

“Sam…” she groaned in exasperation as they continued to sit back to back in the dirt, amidst the blueberry bushes.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Penny waved as she noticed her boyfriend step onto the sand. They had a small picnic planned for the afternoon, which, Penny noted, Sam was late too. But, this wasn’t unusual. What was unusual was the downtrodden look on his face as he sat down on the blanket next to her.

 

“Hey!” She smiled happily.

 

“Hey,” came the sad reply as she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek in greeting.

 

“Ah, sunny bunny, what’s the matter?” She questioned, using his favorite pet name.

 

“It just don’t understand why things can’t just be easy.”

 

“What do you mean?” She reached out and rubbed his back.

 

“You just… know that something is supposed to be a way and then something happens and upsets the balance.”

 

“What?” Penny asked thoroughly confused.

 

“Like, love and relationships,” he continued on, babbling. “You find someone who's like, your other half, you have stuff in common, but you're just different enough to keep things interesting so the relationship should be perfect and easy, you know, but then something happens it just explodes and nobody wants to try and pick up the pieces because there's nothing actually there to save.”

 

“Sam, honey, you're scaring me.”

 

“Huh? Why are you scared?” He questioned, finally turning toward his girlfriend, who looked at him with worried eyes.

 

“Are… are you breaking up with me?” Penny asked, her voice small and timid.

 

“Oh! Oh god, no, baby!” Sam reassured her as his arms wrapped around her small frame and pulled her close. “Definitely not breaking up with you.”

 

“What in the world are you talking about then?” Penny demanded, after releasing a sigh of relief.

 

“Something happened between Seb and Molly and now my O.T.P. might not ever become reality.”

 

“Honey, why are you so determined for Sebastian and Molly to work out? Why are they your O.T.P. anyway? She said the last while throwing up air quotes.

 

“Babe, look, I know you don’t like Seb,” he said before taking a long pause.

 

“I’ll admit, for the longest time, Sebastian scared me a bit, but after talking to Molly about it, I think I have a much better understanding of him and I can see he’s not such a bad guy.”

 

“Sorry, you talked to who?” Sam asked giving a knowing smirk.

 

“...Molly.” Penny’s eyebrows drew together. The inner workings of her boyfriend’s brain always seemed to baffle her, and other times, amaze her.

 

“Exactly,” Sam smiled. “See, Molly’s got this thing with people. She, like, doesn’t take anyone at face value, you know. The first time me and Seb met Molly, Seb was, well… Seb.” Penny nodded, knowing exactly what he boyfriend meant. Rude. Abrasive. Disparaging. In other words: Sebastian was an asshole. “The next time I talked to Molly, later in the week, the only thing she had to say about him was ‘where’s your friend that sucks at first impressions?’ and that’s it. She had nothing actually bad to say about him.”

 

“But just because someone doesn’t say anything bad about someone who’s rude to them--”

 

“I’m not done!” Sam interrupted. “Seb has this thing where he won’t let people in. He feels like he’s been hurt too many times, and he’s got that social anxiety thing on top of it. I don’t think he’d ever even leave his basement except that he physically has to occasionally. Enter Molly: this sweet, caring, extrovert who nobody would ever imagine would spend her time on someone like Sebastian. Except, when I talked to her and got to know even the basics about her, I found out how much she has in common with Seb. I knew if I could somehow get them talking they would just click. But, again, Seb wasn’t interested. I would try to get them in the same place at the same time and Molly would be friendly as always and Seb would just pretend she wasn’t there at all.”

 

“Sam, I still don’t understand, I’m sorry,” Penny said with a shake of her head, retrieving an egg salad sandwich from the picnic basket, and unwrapping it from the plastic bag it was in.  

 

“Seb needs Molly. And Molly needs Seb. Molly is the optimist to Seb’s pessimist. The extrovert to his introvert. She has the ability to, you know, make Seb laugh and get him out of his basement and do things that he wouldn't normally do. And Molly needs Seb to keep her grounded. Like, she would try to fix the world if she could and Seb would be the first person to make her take a step back and force her to think about herself a little bit before she gets overwhelmed.” He finished with a kind of defeated shrug. Penny reached over and twined her fingers through her boyfriend’s.

 

“I can see it,” she admitted. “I don't think I would have seen it as quick as you did, admittedly, I probably still wouldn't have seen it had you not pointed it out to me.”

 

“O.T.P.”

 

“Although, I wish you'd make you and I your O.T.P.” Penny teased.

 

“I can't do that, babe,” Sam laughed. “You never put yourself in your O.T.P. If you do, you’d become over obsessed and turn into some kind of weird stalker. You don't want me to turn into Clint, do… you…”

 

“No, I suppose not,” Penny chuckled lightly, not noticing the far away expression that suddenly clouded over Sam’s blue eyes. “Do you want some sandwich?”

 

“Uh, yeah, thanks,” he replied as she handed him a baggie with a sandwich in it.

 

It was all Sam could do to keep his focus on his date with his girlfriend and not immediately run off to tell Sebastian the idea that had sprung up in his mind. But, his relationship with Penny was important to him. He loved her and didn’t want her to think that she was taking a backseat to anything.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian laid on his back on his bed, staring at his cellphone in the semi-darkness of his room. The purple glow of the string of black lights that he had plugged in illuminated the blacklight posters that littered his walls and ceiling around his bed as he considered responding to the text message that he had been looking at for the better part of ten minutes.

 

Are you still mad at me?

 

He wasn’t necessarily mad at Molly. At least not anymore. He couldn’t really put an exact emotion to how he was feeling. The best word that came to mind was pouting . He didn’t want to leave his room at all, knowing the onslaught of harassment from his aunt would be relentless. He didn’t want to talk to anyone that would only tell him to get over it. He didn’t want to see Molly because now that everything had imploded, he assumed that it would be better for her if he just let her get back to the way things were before summer and let him deal with the mess he had made by himself.

 

His door was flung open without so much as a knock. He sighed heavily, almost hoping it was Molly, but knowing that it wasn’t and thinking that whoever it was needed to not be in his room. Giving up on deciding to reply to Molly’s text, he let his arm fall heavily to his side as his best friend came into view around the head of his bed.

 

“Seb!” he said with some agitation in his voice. “How baked are you right now?”

 

“Umm… Not really… Why?”

 

“I need you to be able to follow my train of thought.”

 

“I thought your train derailed years ago.”

 

“I’m for serious right now. Listen up. What if… Molly wasn’t supposed to get roofied?”

 

“Go home, Sam,” Sebastian grumbled as he attempted to roll onto his side, away from Sam.

 

“Ok, but, hear me out first!” Sam begged, grabbing his friend by the shoulder and rolling him back onto his back. “I was telling Penny about why you and Molly are my O.T.P. and--”

 

“Yeah, why are you so hell bent--”

 

“Later,” Sam cut off the interruption. “She asked me why her and me weren’t my O.T.P. and I said because if we were, I’d get all stalker crazy and that would make me Clint!”

 

“...Good job,” Sebastian replied unamused. He just wanted to smoke some more pot and have a late afternoon nap.

 

“Clint!” Sam insistent as if it were obvious. “He’s obsessed with Emily. He’d do anything to get her.”

 

“I’m not following you, dude.”

 

“Didn’t Molly say at one point during the night, she left her drink with Emily?” This gave Sebastian pause. She had said that. In fact, when he thought back to that night, he remembered Clint standing beside Emily right before Molly had retrieved her glass. Sam continued, “Clint tried to date rape Emily and accidently drugged Molly instead!” Sebastian hadn’t needed Sam to fill in the rest of the blanks for him, as he had already put the pieces together himself. He sat up and got out of bed. Grabbing his jeans off the floor, he pulled them on over his bare legs. “Where are you going?”

 

“I need to talk with someone,” he replied as he took a clean t-shirt from his chest of drawers and pulled it over his head.

 

“Molly?” Sam asked, hopefully.

 

“No,” came the simple reply as Sebastian pulled his shoes on over his socks and quickly tied them. Sam stood dumbfounded as his raven haired friend hurried toward his open bedroom door and bounded up the stairs, two at a time.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Lacking any sort of a real plan, Sebastian walked through the front door of the Stardrop Saloon, his eyes immediately locating the person he wanted to talk to in the nearly deserted bar. He strode over and took a seat at the bar next to the disheveled looking man, who was probably already on his third beer of the night.

 

“How's it going, Shane?”

 

“The fuck do you want?” The alcoholic next to him muttered, barely glancing up from his beer mug.

 

“Just want to talk to you for a few minutes,” Sebastian replied.

 

“I don't want to talk.”

 

“What if I buy you another drink?”

 

“...Fine,” Shane grunted before draining the last of his beer and sliding the glass away from him. Sebastian held up two fingers to Emily, who was working behind the bar and she gave a friendly smile as she retrieved two clean beer mugs and filled them from the tap. Sebastian removed his debit card from his wallet and handed it to her when she brought the beer over and she took it the the card machine without any small talk.

 

“You're pretty good friends with Emily, aren't you?” Sebastian asked, giving the air of small talk.

 

“What of it?” Shane's gravelly voice asked.

 

“We have more in common than what you would think, you and me,” Sebastian said, choosing his words carefully. Shane was not going to make the conversation easy and Sebastian feared that saying the wrong thing would swing the evening out of his favor. “Neither of us have very many friends, so when we find somebody that's worth giving a shit about we tend to get a little protective of that person.”

 

“I had nothin’ to do with Sam getting that write up last week!” Shane defended himself. “He was the one who decided to take a nap behind the paper towel display. He was bound to get caught eventually.” Sebastian chuckled softly. Shane and Sam worked together at Joja Mart. Both hated their jobs, but while Shane silently trudged through his tasks, Sam rarely even cared about keeping his job.

 

“I actually hadn't heard about that,” Sebastian said simply as Emily sat his card back in front of him and he returned it to his wallet. “I was actually talking about my friend, Molly.”

 

“Look, I'm sorry, if I had known she was seeing someone, I wouldn't have tried to put the moves on her.”

 

“No, I'm actually talking about what happened after that,” Sebastian stated as he raised his glass to his mouth and attempted to not make a face as the bitter, amber colored liquid touched his tongue. He hated beer, but if it would help to bring common ground between him and the man next to him, he'd take it. “Small town like this, I'm sure everyone has heard by now that she ended up in the clinic the other night.”

 

“I heard,” Shane grunted. “I didn't have anything to do with that either.”

 

“No, I don't think you did,” Sebastian said simply, gazing into his drink. “In fact, I don't think Molly was meant to be slipped anything at all.”

 

“Look, if you don't get to the point real quick, I'm gonna start getting pissed.”

 

“Molly got slipped something,” Sebastian said lowering his voice and turning to stare at the side of Shane's face. If Shane was done listening to him beat around the bush, that was fine by him. “But, it wasn't until after she left her drink with your good friend, Emily. I don't think Molly was supposed to get drugged, I think that roofie was meant for Emily.” Shane turned and met Sebastian's gaze and was quiet for a long moment as his drunken brain tried to analyze what was said.

 

“And who would do that?” He asked, almost daring Sebastian to accuse him.

 

“Well, who in this town is known for having an unhealthy obsession with our favorite barmaid and has even been known to go as far as hiding in the bushes outside her house. Someone who has creeped out Emily so bad that she asked if you would stay later every night to walk her home, even though she only lives on the other side of the square.” Shane's gaze shifted away from the younger man seated next to him and he leaned so he could peer at a short, stocky, mustached man seated by the window.

 

“Can you prove it?”

 

“Pft, no, I can't prove shit,” Sebastian stated, matter-of-factly. “So, it's not like I can file a complaint through… official means.”

 

“So, you're filing your complaint with me?”

 

“While I'm not entirely lacking in upper body strength, I'm in no condition to take on the town blacksmith, but, if I had a former grid ball player to help me file my complaint through unofficial means…” Sebastian commented before taking another long drink from his glass.

 

Clint looked up from his mug of beer as he glimpsed the two men at the end of the bar stand up together. He had never seen them so much as exchange niceties toward each other, so he found it strange that they'd be leaving the bar together. Then, he realized they weren't approaching the exit. They were approaching him.

 

“Evening, Clint,” Shane said, not even attempting to present a friendly face. “Mind if we have a private word together, outside?”

 

Chapter Text

The tip of Sebastian’s tongue prodded at the small split that his lower lip, that he received the previous evening, as he climbed the stairs from his basement. People would be over in an hour for Solarian Chronicles and he needed to get ready. But, as he had just managed to pull himself out of his bed, he needed a caffeine boost to get going. Following the sound of the two small children that were staying in his house, he hoped that his mother hadn’t entrusted Demetrius to babysit again and mentally prepared himself for what he was going to find as he entered the kitchen.

 

Upon entering, he wasn't met with the anarchy that he had expected. Violet sat in her booster seat at the table, eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese and babbling happily to Molly, who sat cross legged in her own chair and was spooning macaroni and cheese into Derek’s mouth with a small plastic spork. He realized that this was the first time he had seen Molly since he had stormed from the clinic. She wore a smile as she talked to the kids at the table, but looked exhausted. Dark circles lined her eyes and she looked a little pale, he noticed as she finally saw him.

 

“Seb! Oh my god, what happened?”

 

“Nothin’,” he stated monotonously as he breezed past her and opened the cabinet to retrieve a coffee mug.

 

“Nothing?” She interrogated. “Dude, you have a bruise on your face!” Apparently, the elbow to his face the previous night had done more damage than he had thought. Shit.

 

“I ran into a door.”

 

“Umm… ok,” Molly scoffed.

 

“What are you doing here anyway?” He questioned, pouring coffee from the pot into his mug. Seeing Molly sitting in his kitchen felt like running into someone that he just had a really bad breakup with. He had let himself fall for Molly. Hard. Now that they didn't have to keep up the charade of dating, it didn't seem fair that she was still coming around.

 

“Your mom asked me to come watch the babies while they went to aerobics,” Molly replied, spooning more food into Derek’s open mouth. “She said she didn't think you'd be up for it… I can see why.”

 

“I'm not a baby!” Violet cried indignantly, completely covering the sound of Sebastian's noncommittal grunt as he picked up his mug and walked toward the door.

 

“Seb, can we talk, please?”

 

“Nope,” he replied, without giving her a second look as he started down the hallway. Molly sighed in frustration as she watched him disappear around the corner.

 

“I’m not a baby!” Violet insisted again.

 

“I know, sweetie,” she replied. “I should have picked a better word.”

 

“Derek is a baby, but I’m a big girl! My mommy and daddy say…” Violet continued, but Molly wasn’t listening to the young girl’s babbling anymore. Sebastian hated her, she concluded as she shoveled more macaroni and cheese into Derek’s mouth. She had actually hoped that Sam talking to him would be able to smooth things over between the two of them, but either it hadn’t worked or Sam hadn’t talked to his best friend yet, which seemed unlikely. But then, she briefly wondered, who he had gotten into a fight with and hoped that she hadn’t been the one to cause a scuffle between the two.

 

She honestly missed Sebastian. His presence had become so prominent in the past two weeks that it felt kind of lonely without him. She reached to her throat and fingered the small moon pendant that hung there and wondered if there would be anything that she could do to make him accept her apology.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Hey! Molly!” Abigail yelled as she saw the blue haired woman leaving the carpenter’s shop and beginning to walk toward the path through the mountains that led to her farm. “Where’re you going?” Turning, Molly looked at Sam, Abigail, and Penny, who were approaching from town and gave them an almost sad looking smile.

 

“I get the feeling that I’m not welcome at Solarian Chronicles today,” she replied with a shrug.

 

“What?” Abigail asked, dumbfounded. “Sam, why don’t you and Penny go ahead inside? I’m gonna talk to Molly a sec.” She handed the bag of snacks that she was carrying to Penny and the pair of them walked inside and headed down the basement stairs toward Sebastian’s room.

 

“Yo, Seb, I couldn’t remember if you prefer barbecue chips or sour cream and onion, so I got both and I’ll just eat whichever one you don’t-- The fuck happened to you?” Sam spat out without missing a beat when he finally looked up and saw his friend’s face.

 

“I took care of that thing we talked about yesterday.”

 

“Dude…” was all Sam could comment as he pretended to not notice Penny eyeing him questionably.

 

“Leave it alone, Sam,” he sighed. “It’s not important. Where’s Abby?”

 

“I’m right here,” she said coming down the stairs. “We need to talk.”

 

“About what?” Sebastian asked dully.

 

“You’re an asshole.”

 

“I know, so you’re gonna have to be more specific.”

 

“Molly,” Abigail replied simply as if that should be more than specific enough.

 

“Ugh, Molly…” he breathed back, doing his best to sound annoyed that she was being brought up.

 

“Sam, let’s go upstairs and give these two a minute,” Penny said softly.

 

“But we just got downstairs!” Sam whined.

 

“Samson!”

 

“Fine, ugh!” he groaned as Penny ushered him from the room and closed the door behind them.

 

“The fuck is your problem, Seb?” Abigail demanded. “Why won’t you talk to Molly?”

 

“What does it matter?” he shot back. “We weren’t an actual couple and now Lydia knows it was all a sham, so--”

 

“Was it?”

 

“What?”

 

“Was it a sham?” she spat at him. “Because I have eyes, Sebastian, and I can see the way you look at her.” He stood quiet. He knew she was truly pissed by of the use of his full name. “So, what? You’re punishing her for something she said while she was sick and probably not thinking right? Or punishing her for something that YOU fucking said in earshot of your aunt that let the cat out of the bag?”

 

“No,” he mumbled, his arms crossed over his chest as he looked at the floor.

 

“Then what?” She threw her hands up. “Molly likes you so much! Why are you pushing her away?”

 

“Because Molly is too good for me!” he snapped. Abigail looked at him blankly. “Yeah, this whole thing started off with the thing she said and yeah, I was pissed. But I heard her reasoning and I know she wasn’t feeling good… And then I got in my head again.” Abigail deflated. She knew how Sebastian’s brain worked. His anxiety would spin his thoughts in circles until he was sure something was true that wasn’t, necessarily. She took a breath to speak, but he stopped her. “Look, I like Molly. I like her more than I’ve liked anyone in a long time, but, come on. Molly’s so happy and she hard working and beautiful and funny and… Abby, I don’t deserve her.” She was silent for a long moment as she looked into Sebastian’s face.

 

“So, it’s all about you?”

 

“What?”

 

You don’t feel like you deserve her so you have decided that it’s best if you stop talking to her and fuck how she feels.” Sebastian was silent. When he heard it like that, he realized that maybe he was being selfish. He had been acting in what he thought was in the best interest of Molly, but now he wasn’t so sure.

 

“I can’t even stand up for her when my aunt says rude things about her. She deserves better than that.”

 

“Grow up, Sebastian,” Abigail sighed in exasperation. “You’ve realized that you’re the problem, so fix it. And when you’ve decided to stop acting like a total dick, go tell Molly that you’re in love with her, because that’s what Molly deserves.”

 

“I’m not…” Sebastian trailed off under Abigail’s glare. She turned on her heel and marched from the room, shutting the door behind her with a bit too much force, headed up the stairs, and exited the house.

 

“S.C. is cancelled,” she stated angrily as she walked past Sam and Penny. “Seb has some things to think about.”

 

“Where are you going?” Sam asked as Abigail started toward the mountain path.

 

“Molly’s,” she replied. “You’re welcome to come.”

 

“Yeah,” Sam replied, unsure and looking to his girlfriend briefly, who just shrugged. “Sounds good.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

A crack of thunder shook the glass in the old farmhouse windows and Molly sat bolt upright in her bed, gasping for breath. She wiped the sweat and tears from her face and without a second thought, grabbed her cell phone from her night stand, shoved it in the front pocket of Sebastian's hoodie that she had fallen asleep snuggled up in, and raced from her house, barely stopping long enough to slip her flip flops on.

 

It was pouring buckets of water from the sky and Molly could barely see ten feet in front of her as she started onto the mountain path, the rocky road splashing muddy water up to her ankles. The dreams she had been having since being held at knifepoint in Zuzu City had been bad enough, but since being drugged they had become increasingly worse. The ferocity of the weather hadn't helped either and the nightmare she had been woken up from had felt all too real.

 

Gripping the door knob to the carpenter shop, she attempted to open the locked door to no avail. Taking her phone from her pocket, she huddled close to the door and bent over it, attempting to protect it from the rain as she fired off a text message.

 

Come open your front door

 

She waited a full minute and didn't see the read message appear.

 

I know ur awake so if ur home let me in

 

“C’mon, c’mon…” she muttered, as she waited another minute, dancing in place, worried that the dream she had had was some kind of psychic premonition, and sighing with relief when the read notification appeared on her screen. A moment later, a light turned on in the dark hallway beyond the carpenter shop and Sebastian appeared in the doorway, wearing pajamas and his glasses and looking confused as he came to unlock the door.

 

“Molly, what--” he was cut off as she threw her arms around his shoulders and, while pulling him close to her, managed to pull him into the downpour with her. “Molly?” He said softly, wrapping his arms carefully around her middle.

 

“I'm sorry, I know you hate me and don't want to see me, but I had the worst dream and I had to make sure you were ok,” she cried into his shoulder, barely audible over the sound of the rain hammering down. He gave her a gentle squeeze, holding her close to him for a long moment.

 

“Come on,” he said, pulling her into the house. “You're going to catch pneumonia, you crazy girl.” He closed and locked the door behind them and Molly kicked away her muddy flip flops next to the rest of the shoes piled haphazardly next to the door. Sebastian led her down the basement stairs and ushered her into his room before going to the hall closet outside of his bathroom and retrieving a small stack of towels. “Here,” he said handing over two of the the three towels in the pile after closing his door behind him as quietly as possible. “I’ll get you something to change into.”

 

“Thanks,” she muttered softly as he turned his back to her and pulled off his own rain drenched shirt and expertly tossed it across the room and into his laundry basket. Only allowing herself a brief moment to appreciate his lean, muscular back, she turned her back toward him and pulled off the hoodie and the shirt she wore under it in one motion before wrapping a towel around her bare skin.

 

Sebastian resisted looking to her as he heard the wet clothes hit the floor, instead busying himself in his chest of drawers to retrieve dry clothes. Pulling off his damp sweatpants, he quickly replaced them with and almost identical pair and yanked one of his favorite band t-shirts over his wet hair. Now for Molly.

 

He remembered her telling him that she was usually cold the night they had sat at the beach together. He wasn’t sure if she had been joking, but as she had just walked a mile in a downpour, he decided that she needed warmer clothes. A pair of black and gray plaid, fleece pajama pants that he usually wore in winter and a long sleeve black t-shirt would work fine, he thought. He glanced over his shoulder, quickly to make sure she was covered, before turning and walking to her and handing over the clothes.

 

“Thanks,” she muttered, again, the white towel wrapped tight around her and her hair hanging in wet strands around her face and shoulders. He grinned as he bent to pick up the wet clothes from off the floor, noticing the goose bumps on her skin from even as far from her that he was.

 

“I guess that’s one way to get my hoodie back,” he joked as he took the sodden clothes to the laundry basket and dumped them all in. Molly gave a noncommittal sound before he continued on. “I’ll do a load of laundry tomorrow, so, you know… they’ll be dry when you get them back.” He shook his head at how lame the statement had sounded before turning just in time to watch Molly pull his pajama pants over her bare hip. She wasn’t wearing panties. He would be sure to tuck that away for future reference. Crossing the room again, he took the white towel that Molly had just retrieved from the floor from her hands. She crossed her arms in front of her and he could see that she was shivering slightly and sighed.

 

“Get in bed,” he told her as he tossed the towel in the basket.

 

“That’s a little presumptuous, don’t you think?” she commented. He glared back at her. “You can at least take me out to dinner first.”

 

“Woman, I swear to god…” he grumbled, removing his glasses from his face and polishing the lenses on his shirt to get the remaining rain drops off. “You are freezing, now get under the blankets and you can tell me about why you thought it would be a good fucking idea to take a stroll in the pouring rain at two thirty in the morning.” She gave a small chuckle that lacked any really humor as she began to walk toward the bed. She must have interrupted Sebastian during a late night reading session, because the small desk lamp that sat on his head board was on, a book lay open with the pages down marking his place and his pillows were stacked in such a way that he would be sitting up.

 

“I guess I wasn’t really thinking,” she replied, bending over to adjust the pillows before climbing under the blankets.

 

“Hmm, you don’t say.”

 

“I’ve been having a lot of nightmares lately,” she went on as he crawled in next to her and rolled onto his side so they were facing. “I don’t know, the longer I’m awake the dumber the one I had seems, but it just felt so real.”

 

“Let’s hear it,” he said pulling the blankets up over Molly’s shoulders. She sighed, suddenly seeming embarrassed at the reason she was there at all.

 

“You were… missing, I guess,” she began. “And I kept asking people if they knew where you were and they didn’t, but they didn’t seem concerned at all with the fact that you were gone either.”

 

“Seems accurate,” he commented.

 

“So, I decided to go look for you. And I was driving on the highway and there was this police road block, so I get out of my car and this officer is like,” she pitched he voice an octave lower to imitate the officer in her dream, “ Sorry, ma’am. Road’s closed. There was a nasty accident and we’re trying to sort through the pieces.” her voice returned to normal. “So I look and you had wrecked your bike, but both you and the bike had shattered like glass all over the road, and the cops were trying to literally sort through the pieces. Like, there was a pile of motorcycle and a pile of… you. It just… freaked me the hell out.”

 

“Damn,” Sebastian commented. “That is kinda fucked up.”

 

“Yeah,” she chuckled awkwardly.

 

“Well,” he began, trying to think of what to say. “Thanks for worrying.” She grinned, sadly, trying to not look him in the face. He felt terrible for being such a dick for the past couple days. He shifted closer to her. “Come here.” She finally brought her eyes to his as he opened his arms to her. She didn’t hesitate and snuggled against his side, under his arm with her head on his shoulder. Reaching up, he switched the lamp off and plunged the room into darkness. He was quiet for a long moment, just enjoying the feeling of her being so close, before he decided to speak again. “I’m sorry.”

 

“Hmm?” she questioned softy.

 

“For the way I’ve been treating you the last couple of days,” he clarified. “I’m an asshole, and I’m sorry.” Molly smiled into the darkness.

 

“I’m sorry, too,” she said. “I shouldn’t have used you to make my point.”

 

“It’s fine.” They were both quiet again for a long moment. “Wanna pretend like this whole thing never happened?”

 

“You’re a dork,” Molly laughed, her first genuine laugh all night and it made Sebastian smile to hear it again.

 

“Get some sleep, you looked like shit today.”

 

“Thank you! Man, I can always count on you to say the sweetest things,” Molly replied.

 

“I’m a hopeless romantic, you know that,” he said back, resting his cheek against her damp hair. They were quiet again for a long moment.

 

“Are you ever going to tell me who you got into a fight with?”

 

“Maybe tomorrow.”

 

“Fine, but I hope that whoever it was ended up looking worse than you.”

 

Sebastian just smiled before turning his head just enough to plant a kiss on her forehead.

 

Chapter Text

“Doon doon doon… good morning… doon doon doon… pa pa pa pow…”

 

“I swear to all things holy, I am going to break that fucking phone when I get to it!” Sebastian raged, throwing the blankets off of himself and staggering out of bed.

 

“You break it, you buy it, kid,” Molly grumbled, barely lifting her head off the pillow.

 

“Ugh! Where the hell is it?”

 

“By that computer you don't use,” she replied. “I set it there last night when I was changing.” The alarm sounded for a brief moment more before it was cut off and Molly heard Sebastian shuffling back toward the bed.

 

"I use that computer," he grumbled. "It's just for LAN gaming purposes."

 

“I need to go feed the chickens,” she mumbled sleepily as she felt him flop back into the bed next to her.

 

“Nope,” he stated as he rolled over and pulled her close to him.

 

“Seb…” she protested, halfheartedly trying to wiggle away. He tightened his hold, throwing one leg over hers.

 

“It's pouring outside. Time for more sleep.”

 

“How can you even tell?”

 

“My emo senses are tingling.”

 

“What the fuck ever, dude,” Molly laughed, giving up and getting comfortable again.

 

She didn't have a clue how much longer she slept for, but when she woke up again, she was still tangled up with Sebastian. She didn't mind. She was comfortable and warm. She also needed to pee and was attempting to figure out how to disentangle herself when she finally opened her eyes and saw Sebastian was already awake and scrolling on his phone.

 

“Sebastian,” she said, startling him slightly as he looked down at her.

 

“Hey, didn't realize you were awake.”

 

“I just woke up,” she replied, before continuing on seriously. “I need you to go pee for me.” He snorted and went back to his phone.

 

“Sure, I'll get right on that.”

 

“Ugh!” She groaned pathetically, before wiggling away and climbing over him to get out of the bed and shuffle across the dark room.

 

“I'm going upstairs to get some coffee,” he yelled after her, without looking up from his scrolling.

 

“Kay,” she replied before he heard a soft thud. “Ow! Son of a bitch!”

 

“You good?”

 

“No, I kicked your god damn couch!” she grumbled through her teeth as he saw the light come into the dark room when she opened the door. Standing up, he adjusted his glasses and attempted to smooth down his hair as he walked from the room, through the door she had left open, and headed up the stairs.

 

“Well, well, well, look who finally decided to come out of the hole,” Lydia remarked as Sebastian walked into the kitchen. He had expertly been avoiding her since it was revealed that his and Molly’s relationship wasn’t real. Robin looked up from where she was standing next to the sink, doing dishes and gasped as Sebastian crossed the room.

 

“Sebby, what happened to your face?” She asked, hurriedly drying her hands on a towel and rushing over to cup his cheeks to get a better look at his injuries.

 

“I joined a fight club,” he replied simply. “Ah, shit, I wasn’t supposed to talk about it!”

 

“Sebastian Ethan!”

 

“I think a little fighting would be good for him,” Lydia commented. “He’s too soft. Let him man up a little bit. Maybe he could find a real girlfriend. Of course, his boyfriend might be offended. Oh! Is that what happened? You’re boyfriend got jealous because you were pretending to be in a relationship with someone else?”

 

“Lydia,” Robin stated exasperatedly. “Sebastian isn’t gay. And even if he was--”

 

“Which I’m definitely not,” Sebastian injected.

 

“--It would be perfectly fine and we would love him just the same.”

 

“Hi Molly!” Violet chirped happily from her booster seat as Molly entered the kitchen looking disheveled and still tired, her hair sticking up in odd angles from going to sleep when it was still wet. Lydia sat glaring at her, dumbfound, as she looked at Molly, who was very obviously not wearing her own clothes. “We’re eating waffles for breakfast! Do you want some?”

 

“Good morning, Violet. No, thank you. I just need some coffee,” She replied, crossing the kitchen and taking Sebastian’s full coffee cup from him.

 

“What are you doing here?” Lydia demanded looking scandalized. Molly looked up lazily after taking a long sip from her mug.

 

“Booty call,” she replied, deadpan and without reservation. Lydia’s jaw dropped open, Robin attempted to hide her snicker by taking a sip of her own coffee, and, while Sebastian’s cheeks turned pink, he simply shrugged and went on pouring himself a new cup of coffee. As nice of a person as Molly was, she was too tired to put up with Lydia. The five to six hours of sleep she had gotten next to Sebastian the previous night was probably more sleep than she’d gotten in one night for a good week. She drained the last of her coffee and sat the mug down on the counter. “I gotta go. My chickens need fed. Because SOMEBODY wouldn’t let me leave this morning when my alarm went off.”

 

“That bastard,” Sebastian grinned into his cup.

 

“You know, Molly, I could install an auto feeder for you,” Robin commented, completely revelling in the look that was still plastered across her sister-in-law’s face. “It would just hook up to your silo and you could set it to a timer to feed your animals once or twice a day.”

 

“Hmm…” Molly pondered a moment. “How much would that set me back?”

 

“I’d have to crunch some numbers.”

 

“Sweet, you do that and we’ll definitely talk next time I’m over.”

 

“Excellent!” Robin beamed, always excited at the prospect of a new project.

 

“I’ll bring your clothes by the farm as soon as I get ‘em washed today,” Sebastian mentioned, loving the look on his aunt’s face as much as his mother was.

 

“Thanks, babe,” she smirked before planting a kiss on his cheek and making her way back across the kitchen. “See ya!”

 

“Bye, Molly!” Violet chirped happily again.

 

“Bye, kiddo.”

 

“Wh-what?” Lydia finally managed to stammer out. She looked utterly speechless, her jaw still slack and her brows knitted together in confusion. “But… I thought...”

 

“I like Molly!” Violet stated. “Can I go and see Molly’s farm? I want to pet a chicken!”

 

“I’m sure Molly would like th--”

 

“No!” Lydia cut Robin off. She cleared her throat, regaining her composure. “Come on, Derek. Let’s go have a diaper change!” She picked the small boy up from his high chair and left the kitchen with Violet hot on her heels, still begging to see the farm.

 

“I’m glad you and Molly made up,” Robin commented to her son, softly. He hummed a reply, not looking up from his cup. “So are you two an actual couple now or still pretending?”

 

“I don’t think either of us actually know anymore,” he replied causing his mother to grin and shake her head.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian stepped onto Molly's porch, a sack containing her clothes in one hand, and knocked before letting himself in. The rain had let up enough that he hadn’t bothered with an umbrella, but it was still sprinkling hard enough to dampen his hair and t-shirt. Upon hearing voices from elsewhere in the house, he called out her name.

 

“Bedroom,” she yelled back. He cocked an eyebrow. Who did she have over in her bedroom? When he walked in, he grinned to himself as he saw her. She had never moved her computer back out of her bedroom and was currently sitting on the floor with her keyboard resting across her folded legs, her mouse on the floor next to her. The monitor sat atop the computer tower to make it eye level for her as she played some kind of MMO, though he wasn't sure which one.

 

“Hey, I thought that was you,” she said casually as he sat on the end of her bed and watched her.

 

“Who is it?” Came a tinny female voice from her speakers.

 

“It's Sebastian,” Molly replied and he noticed that she was wearing a headset with a microphone slung around her neck. Apparently, she only needed the microphone portion, as she had the sound from the computer routed out of her speakers.

 

“Fuck that guy!” Came the female voice again. Molly made a face at Sebastian that clearly said I'm sorry . “How dare he think that he can just be an asshole to you after all that you've been through lately.”

 

“Watch your health,” Molly commented, ignoring the other woman's rant.

 

“I see it!” She grumbled, and Molly hoped she had diverted her attention away from Sebastian. She hadn't. “You know for a fact that you deserve so much more than a total fuck boy who thinks he can just toy with your emotions. You are a strong, independent woman and you don't need him. SHE DOESN’T NEED YOU! I hope he heard that.” Molly was a vibrant red at this point in the woman's rant. “And don't tell me that he makes you happy. You can make yourself happy. There is absolutely nothing he can give you that you can't get from the internet and your vibrator. And I bet the vibrator would do a better job.”

 

“Trish!” Molly yelled, flabbergasted.

 

“Worthless sack of organs, making my best friend cry. You know it kills me to see someone as amazing as you get walked on, Molly, and you let people get away with doing it all the time! And you're better than that. You could easily find a man that will treat you like the queen that you deserve to be treated like!”

 

“Oh, Yoba…” Molly sighed. “I'm gonna log off, Trish.”

 

“We’re only halfway through the dungeon, you fucking casual!”

 

“Sorry, I'll text you later. Love you! Bye!”

 

Molly hurried and logged off from the game and removed the headset from around her neck. Sheepishly, she looked over to Sebastian.

 

“So, uh… that was my best friend, Trish,” Molly said, sounding embarrassed.

 

“She sounds lovely.”

 

“I'm sorry. She's… opinionated. And a little pissed off because you were mean to me.”

 

“I noticed,” he said, looking amused. Molly’s phone vibrated where it sat next to her on the wood floor. Picking it up, she sighed.

 

“Uh, Trish says I should punch you in the dick.”

 

“Please, don’t do that.”

 

“She’s so embarrassing,” Molly chuckled awkwardly, shaking her head.

 

“Best friends are always embarrassing. I mean, have you met Sam?”

 

“Fair enough,” she replied, standing up and picking up the pillow that she had been sitting on. “Are those my clothes?” she asked, throwing the pillow to the head of her bed.

 

“Yep, nice and clean. Found your panties too.” He gave a playful smirk.

 

“Thanks for not keeping those for yourself,” she teased back as she opened the bag. “Hey, where’s that hoodie I stole?” She looked up, trying to keep a straight face as Sebastian glared at her.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“I'm hungry,” Molly complained from where she laid at the opposite end of the couch as Sebastian, wrapped up in her quilt.

 

“Me too,” he mumbled in reply. It had been an uneventful afternoon. The two of them had lounged around on Molly's couch watching terrible horror movies all day, Sebastian randomly shouting out at particularly suspenseful moments and making Molly jump.

 

“Does the Stardrop deliver?” She asked, already knowing the answer.

 

“Not the last time I checked.”

 

“That's one thing I really miss about the city. Don't feel like cooking? Cool. Get delivery. Pizza. Chinese. Sandwiches. 30 minutes or less or it's free.” Sebastian's stomach gave a loud growl at Molly's talk of food.

 

“We could walk to the Stardrop,” he said. Molly made a face in reply. “Well, I don't want to cook either.”

 

“It's raining.”

 

“Says the girl who randomly showed up at my house in the middle of a monsoon last night.”

 

“Ugh!” She relented. “Fine!” She didn't move. Sebastian chuckled softly.

 

“Do you want me to go get a pizza and bring it back?”

 

“...Maybe.”

 

“Fine, but you owe me,” he said as he stood up.

 

“You're wonderful!”

 

“Yeah, make sure to relay that to your friend,” he grinned, slipping his shoes on. “Anything you don't eat on pizza?”

 

“Nope, I usually get the supreme.”

 

“I'll be right back.” He left closing the door behind him. Molly pulled out her phone to text Trish.

 

Heeeyyyy

 

I can not believe you left halfway through the sunken temple!

If I missed out on getting the helm of the deep, we aren’t friends anymore!

 

I’m sorry

Maybe we can try to run through again later

 

-_-

Ugh!

 

You were being kinda rude to Seb

 

-_-

Ugh!

 

Come on

He’s actually a really great guy!

He just went out in the rain to get us a pizza because I didn’t want to cook or leave the house :)

 

Well, I guess it's a start…

I still think he’s a fuck boy

 

Ok, but I still like him, so maybe be nice?

 

Fine

Yoba, I wouldn’t put up with the things you put up with

He at least better have a big dick

 

Lol, I’ll let you know as soon as I find out

 

The front door opened again and Sebastian walked in carrying a pizza box and looking drenched.

 

“Oh no!” Molly cried standing up. “Did it start pouring again.”

 

“No, I saw the river and thought to myself, tonight would be an excellent night for a swim, and jumped in.”

 

“Well, damn! Even going for a swim, you got back here really fast!” She smiled as Sebastian glared at her as she took the pizza box from his hands. “I mean not under thirty minutes, but-- AH!” She squealed as Sebastian tossed his hair and sent a spray of cold rain water over her. He smirked as she tried to look mad at him before turning her back to set the pizza down on the coffee table. “I suppose I can get you a towel,” she remarked as she walked toward the bathroom. He kicked off his shoes by the door and stripped off his soaked socks.

 

“Thanks,” he said as Molly returned and handed him a towel which he threw over his head and quickly rubbed it over his hair.

 

“I still have the jammies you loaned me last night if you want to change.”

 

“Uh, only if you promise to never call them jammies again,” he replied making a face.

 

“It’s what they are,” she stated as he followed her into her bedroom.

 

“Pajamas,” he corrected. “I’ll even accept PJ’s. Jammies just sounds a little too…”

 

“Adorable?” Molly finished, looking up from her laundry basket where she had retrieved his pajama pants and shirt.

 

“That’s one word, sure.” She rolled her eyes as she handed over the clothes and retreated from the room.

 

“Do you want anything to drink?” She called from the other room as he stripped off his wet clothes.

 

“I’ll have a pop, if you got one,” he replied, pulling the dry shirt over his head. It smelled like Molly. The corners of his mouth turned up slightly.

 

“Soda,” came the reply from the other room.

 

“What?” He adjusted the pajama pants around his waist and exited the room. Molly was on her way back to the couch with two cans in her hands.

 

“It’s soda, not pop.”

 

“It’s pop.”

 

“No,” she replied adamantly. “Soda is a beverage. Pop is an onomatopoeia.”

 

“I’m gonna pop you, because fuck your northern dialect.”

 

“I want a divorce.”

 

“Good!” he laughed grabbing a can from her hand and flopping down on the couch. She smiled as she sat down next to him and opened the pizza box.

 

“There’s a slice missing!”

 

“Damn it, Gus!” Sebastian replied. “This is why we can’t have nice things.” She rolled her eyes as she took a slice and began eating. He smirked as he picked up her GameStation controller and began to scroll through movies on Webflix. “Hmm… What do you think? The Forgotten Tomb or Living Dead Girl?”

 

“I don’t care,” she replied. “Forgotten Tomb, I guess.” he pushed a button on the controller and the movie started to play. They sat in silence as the title sequence rolled through. “Are you ever going to tell me who you got into a fight with?”

 

“Are you ever going to tell me what’s pierced below your neck?” he asked, causing her face to whip toward him. “Yeah, don’t think I forgot about that fun little Never Have I Ever tidbit.” She glared at him for a moment before defiantly looking back toward the television. He chuckled softly. “Fine. Be that way.”

 

Chapter Text

 

Sebastian hit test on the module he was working on. He absolutely had to have his work done by the end of the day tomorrow and the last test he performed had told him that his code had over a hundred errors. He sighed as the test completed. Down to eighty eight errors. He twisted his neck to one side, producing a loud pop and causing him to make a sound; something between a sigh and a moan.

 

“That sounded like that felt good,” said Molly from where she was seated on the floor. She was so quiet that he had almost forgotten that she was there and looked down at her. She sat leaning with her back against the leg of his desk, one knee bent and the other crossed over it to prop up the third issue of Cave Saga X that Sebastian had insisted that she read; she had already gotten through the first two that day. He had suggested to her a long while ago that she could move to the couch but she had insisted she was fine.

 

“Down to eighty eight errors,” he commented, sounding bored.

 

“Yay!” She cheered him on, but sounded sleepy. He had concluded that during the past week, Molly must not have been sleeping at all. She had begun dozing off halfway through the movie they were watching the previous evening and when he told her she should go to bed, she insisted that she was fine and wanted to see the end. He compromised by setting her computer monitor on her dresser in her bedroom so they could watch the end of the movie in bed. Molly had fallen asleep the moment her head hit the pillow with him not lasting much longer. Neither ever did find out how the mummy’s curse had been lifted from the village. He had woken the next morning with the young women spooned again his back before she rolled away to silence her alarm.

 

“I’m getting a headache,” he groaned rubbing his eyebrows with the heels of his hands.

 

“Probably because you’ve been staring at your computer screen for hours without moving,” she replied. He knew she was right. She tossed the comic down with a smack on the hardwood floor and stood up, stretching. “Come on. Take a break. Let’s go for a walk.”

 

“Molly, I really, really have to get this done.”

 

“Nope! Come on,” she grabbed his wrists and spun him in his chair, pulling him to his feet. “Twenty minutes for the sake of your eyes and mental health.”

 

“Fine,” he grumbled, knowing it would do no good arguing, and grabbed his cigarettes from his desk.

 

They ascended the stairs and exited the house, giving Robin casual greetings as they passed her. The red haired woman gave a small, knowing grin as she watched them leave and start toward the lake.

 

Sebastian had sat down at the edge of the lake, taking a cigarette from his pack and putting it between his lips. After lighting it, he looked over to Molly, who was balancing on a narrow bridge, which was actually nothing more that a wide board, out to the small island in the middle of the lake.

 

“If you fall in, I'm not jumping in to rescue you!” He shouted at her.

 

“I happen to have the balance of a cat,” she replied, turning on the spot and almost slipping and falling, quickly dropping to a crouch to balance herself.

 

“Right,” Sebastian replied, stretching out the word with a smirk.

 

“Are you going to that camping thing this weekend?” She questioned as she came back to shore. He was momentarily confused until he remembered that a few of the younger crowd around town liked to go camping a few times a year.

 

“Not a chance.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Do we really have to have this talk every time there's a social event?” He grumbled as she sat down, cross legged, beside him. She inhaled as if to speak and he cut her off. “And don't try to do that thing where you bat your pretty eyes and I give in and do whatever the hell you want.”

 

“Like this?” Molly smiled as she fluttered her eyelashes at him.

 

“Yes, that!” He spat. “No! People plus outside. Two things that I despise and for a whole weekend. Just, no.”

 

“Ok, I'll just leave you all alone with Lydia this weekend,” she commented, airily.

 

“Stop it. My answer is no, and that's final.” Molly bobbled her head, mockingly, as she made a face.

 

“Well, will you at least come supply shopping with me tonight?”

 

“Molly--” he began to protest and she held up a hand.

 

“If you get your work done,” she amended. “Come on, I'll let you drive my car.”

 

“Oh boy! I'm sold!” He stated, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “My dream has always been to drive a four cylinder hatchback.” She stuck out her tongue in reply.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Holy shit! This place is huge,” Sebastian commented as they walked through the doors of the outdoor superstore that was located in a suburb of Zuzu City. He hadn't gotten his work done. On the contrary. He had managed to gain more errors again and had rage quit for the evening. Even going on a shopping trip for camping supplies seemed less tedious than trying to hunt down another error in his endless lines of code.

 

“Some people take the outdoors very seriously,” Molly replied, looking around.

 

“Can I point you in the right direction?” Asked an elderly man, wearing a bright orange vest that held a name tag that read Phil.

 

“Camping?” Molly asked. “Like, tents and stuff.”

 

“Head past the fishing supplies and you'll see a flight of stairs. Camping supplies are on the second level to the left.”

 

“Thanks,” Molly smiled. Phil nodded in reply and shuffled to a stool to sit down, as the two younger adults ventured further into the store. “Man, they have everything here. Seb, you want a camouflage hoodie?” She paused by a rack and held up, quite possibly, the ugliest jacket Sebastian had ever seen. He just made a face as Molly giggled and continued walking.

 

“That's cool,” he commented as they walked through the fishing section and came upon a giant aquarium.

 

“Oh, look, they even have what all the fish in the tank are listed here,” Molly said, pointing out the display next to the tank. “Willy tried to teach me how to fish when I first got to town. It didn't go well.”

 

“Hmm? I thought you liked to fish,” Sebastian replied, still watching a large catfish swimming around in the tank. “I've seen you doing it a few times.”

 

“I, honestly, do not have the patience for fishing,” she admitted. “I lose focus and get bored too fast.”

 

“I feel ya.” The two pulled themselves away from the aquarium and continued toward the wide staircase leading up to the second floor. “So, what all do you need?”

 

“I'm not entirely sure,” Molly shrugged and Sebastian knew that it was about to be a very long shopping trip. “I definitely need a tent. Maybe an air mattress. A cooler.”

 

“Well, looks like you came to the right place,” he replied as they stepped away from the stairs and saw displays of tents, hammocks, chairs, and everything else that someone would need for a camping trip. “How about this one?” He sarcastically pointed out the largest tent on display.

 

“Pretty sure that's what Linus would call a mansion,” Molly laughed coming to examine the tags hanging from it. “Yeah, not sure I'm gonna need an eight person tent.” Sebastian smirked as she moved along.

 

“This one?”

 

“Why did I even bother asking you to come with me?” Molly scoffed as she looked at the child’s tent that he was pointing out. It was made to look like a bumble bee, which Molly found adorable but wouldn't give Sebastian the satisfaction of knowing.

 

“You are both a sadist and a masochist,” he shrugged. She rolled her eyes as she turned her back toward him so he wouldn't see her smirk. “Maybe I should get a hammock for my room.”

 

“Oh yeah?” She replied, turning enough for him to see her grin this time as see continued down the row of tents. “What would you do with a hammock in your room?”

 

“Uhh, lay in it. Doy,” he stated as if it should be obvious.

 

“What about your couch and your bed?”

 

“One’s for sitting and one’s for sleeping.”

 

“And you need something else specifically for laying while also being awake?”

 

Need ? No probably not.”

 

“You are such a troll,” Molly laughed coming across a small, blue and gray tent. “Hey, this one looks good!” Bending over, she stuck her head into the tent entrance to look at the inside. Sebastian only cocked his head to one side in appreciation of Molly's rear end. “What size air mattress do y--” she stopped as she looked over her shoulder and Sebastian's face snapped to hers. “Were you staring at my ass?”

 

“Ye-- no! Of course not,” He stated, unconvincingly as she stood up straight and put her hands on her hips. “What were you saying?” She sighed with a small smile.

 

“What size air mattress do you think will fit in here?”

 

“Just get a twin.”

 

“I don't want a twin.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because, what if I want to share my tent with someone?” She asked. He felt the small pang of jealousy in his chest again at her words.

 

“Like who?” He asked, trying to sound aloof.

 

“I dunno,” she replied with a shrug. “Someone who wants to go camping with me, I guess.” He rolled his eyes.

 

“You are so annoying.”

 

“You have a full size mattress, don't you?” She asked with a giggle.

 

“Yeah… why?”

 

“Cool, come here,” she commanded as she crouched down and crawled into the tent.

 

“I am not getting in that tent.”

 

“Seb, come on,” her voice coming from inside. “I've shared your bed and my bed with you, so get in here so I can see if this will fit a full or a queen.”

 

“Or I could just go grab an air mattress and we could see--”

 

“Sebastian!”

 

Sighing heavily, he dramatically let his his head loll backward to momentarily stare at the ceiling before following Molly into the tent. She laid on her back, staring at the ceiling as he moved to join her. They laid in silence for a long moment, close enough that Molly could feel Sebastian's warmth, but not close enough to actually be touching.

 

“It's pretty roomy in here,” he grumbled, not looking away from the ceiling.

 

“Yeah,” she replied. “Think I'm gonna get the queen size.”

 

“Cool.” They were quiet again, neither moving from the floor of the tent. He glanced sideways at her with a smirk. “Wanna make out?”

 

“Nah, maybe later,” she chuckled as she sat up and crawled out from the tent. Groaning softly, he sat up and followed her back out.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

The small hatchback had been loaded down with everything Molly thought she might need for her weekend. She had even texted Sam at one point asking if he thought she should buy a camping stove for cooking. As it turned out, Leah already had one.

 

“I'm starving, you wanna get something?” Sebastian asked as he slammed the hatch door shut.

 

“Sure, what are you thinking?”

 

“I know a really good sushi place,” he replied. Molly gasped, dramatically.

 

“Are you finally asking me on a real date?”

 

“You can call it whatever you want,” he stated. “Just know that I would never take you shopping for camping supplies for a date. Ever.”

 

“Ah, come on, you didn't have fun?” She teased, smiling at his glare. She held up her car keys, letting them dangle in front of his face. He snatched them from her grip with a roll of his eyes and started toward the driver’s door. Molly chuckled softly as she went to the passenger side and got in.

 

Twenty minutes later, they were seated across from each other in a small booth of a restaurant named Nightingale’s Garden. It was actually a very nice looking place, with its high, blue colored, A-lined ceiling and huge crystal chandelier. The whole space was decorated in dark wood and rich earth tones. Molly felt a little underdressed in her black t-shirt and khaki colored capri pants, but if there was a dress code, it seemed like nobody cared.

 

“What are you getting?” Sebastian commented, not looking up from his own ordering sheet.

 

“I dunno,” she replied. “All versions of the dragon rolls look amazing.” She loved sushi. The last time she had gotten it, however, had been with Trish before she moved to Pelican Town. “I think I'll get a black dragon roll and a gold dragon roll and an order of gyoza. What're you getting?”

 

“Eel avocado and two of the fire dragons,” he replied, indicating that he probably got the same order every time. “Fuck it, I'll get an order of gyoza too.” He finished marking down both of their orders as the small, Japanese waitress returned with their drinks: an iced tea for Molly and a water for Sebastian. Collecting the sheet that was offered to her from Sebastian, the woman hurried away to put their order in.

 

“Penny for your thoughts?” Molly asked after a long silence. Sebastian had been absently stirring his straw around in his water with a distant look on his face. He looked up at her.

 

“If you give me a penny for my thoughts and I give you my two cents, what do you do with the extra penny?” He replied, giving a small smirk.

 

“I guess I'd just put it in my piggy bank,” she chuckled. “Maybe I'd eventually have enough to buy something. Now come on, what's up, buttercup?”

 

“Just thinking about stuff, I guess. Hope I can get all my modules done by tomorrow. It's been a bad week… just kinda stressed.”

 

“Ah, stop thinking about work for awhile,” Molly said, reaching across the table and giving his hand a light squeeze. “I know you're going to be up all night working, so just relax for a bit.”

 

“Yeah, you're right,” he sighed.

 

“Here, I'll start,” Molly smiled. “I found a really cool art print online of Hogwash Castle from Barry Kotter painted to look like A Starry Night. I'm totally going to buy it. Just gotta figure out where I'm going to hang it. Maybe in my bedroom?”

 

“Put it on that big blank wall by your bathroom,” he replied.

 

“Hmm, I was eventually going to put a bookshelf there,” she said, thoughtfully. She snapped her fingers. “I'll hang it above the bookshelf. Genius!”

 

“You're a dork,” he commented with a small chuckle. To Molly, he still seemed far away.

 

“Your turn.”

 

“Oh, uh…” he stammered, seemingly taken off guard.

 

“Come on!” Molly commanded. “Stop thinking about work.” Actually, he wasn’t thinking about work. He was thinking about dating Molly. For real dating. Where would he take her on a real date? What if the date went badly and she never wanted to be his girlfriend? Over the past week he had been thinking about their kiss that she didn't remember and how she had told Maru that she loved him. She had no idea what she was saying or doing, and he couldn't decide if she had actually meant everything and her lowered inhibitions had given her a boost of bravery, or if the drugs just made her completely lose her mind. She looked at him expectantly.

 

“Uh… they're starting production on a live action Solarian Chronicles movie,” he began, lamely, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

“Nice! When's it coming out?” She asked, attempting to keep the conversation going.

 

“No date yet, but some time next year.” She watched as the tension he carried in his shoulders seemed to relax a bit as the nerd portion of his brain was stimulated. “Apparently, production has already been halted twice because of copyright issues, but a company finally got the rights. It's going to be directed by Pete Jameson, too, so you know it's going to have some great effects. And, there's a rumor going around that they're going to be casting real dwarves. Which is really cool, because I've never actually seen one, I mean, except maybe Abby…” he had realized he had been talking animatedly as he watched Molly chuckle softly. “Sorry, you're probably not that interested.”

 

“I'm interested!” Molly insisted. “Besides, you should never apologize for getting excited about something you love.”

 

“I guess.”

 

“Also, your mini nerdgasm was cute,” she smiled as she finally managed to pull a small, genuine one from him. “I'm going to use the bathroom before our food gets here.” Standing up, she headed toward the bathrooms leaving Sebastian sitting alone with a grin on his face. He let his mind wander again.

 

Thinking of the words Abigail had said to him earlier in the week, he had to wonder: was he in love with Molly? He did think she was wonderful and loved to be around her. Moreso, he was able to be around he for long periods of time without starting to feel completely drained. Still, was that love? Was it too early in their relationship to feel that way? He shook his head. What relationship? They still weren’t actually in a relationship. He resolved to finally stop beating around the bush. He was going to ask Molly on a real, proper date. He wanted her to be his girlfriend and it was time to make it happen.

 

Now, he continued to think to himself, what would be a good date idea? Dinner and a movie seemed too cliche. Besides, they made dinner together all the time before watching movies on the couch all night. Tapping his index finger on the table, he racked his brain. Molly was a simple girl, she had said so herself, so he was sure she wouldn’t care what they did. But he still wanted to show her that he had at least put some thought into it. What would Molly find sweet and romantic?

 

It clicked. Had he been a cartoon, a lightbulb would have turned on above his head. It was the perfect idea and Molly would love it! Feeling suddenly excited, his brain began to trail toward how to ask her on said date. ‘Hey, let’s go out on a real date’ seemed straight to the point, but--

 

“Sebastian?” a voice said breaking him away from his thoughts and he looked up. His heart stopped and his breath caught. “Oh my god! I thought that was you!”

 

“Amber,” was all he could articulate as he tried to remember how to function. His ex girlfriend. The girl he had intended to propose to. The girl who had cheated on him and completely broke his heart.

 

“Wow, it has been so long!” she gushed with a smile that he tried to mimic and failed miserably at. “Are you still coming to this old place?” Without invitation, she slid into Molly’s seat. He loved the restaurant they were sitting in, but had stopped coming, for the most part, after he broke up with Amber, as they had come there together quite frequently and coming back always seemed to bring back memories, both good and bad.

 

And then there was Molly. Would she be offended if she knew he brought her someplace he used to go with his ex? Would she want to come back here with him? Would she actually want to date him at all after this? Why did he think it would be a good idea to come here?

 

“Uh…”

 

“I mean, obviously you still come here. Here you are! You look great,” she tossed her long dark hair over her shoulder, her beaming smile never letting on what had happened between them.

 

“Thanks,” he replied monotonously. His eyes flicked up as Molly approached, a confused look on her face.

 

“Hello?” Molly questioned in her normal charismatic demeanor.

 

“Oh, hi, I'll just have water with lemon, thanks.” Molly stood dumbfounded at the woman's response. “How's your mom? Are you still living with her or did you ever move here, like you wanted to?” She continued to Sebastian, ignoring Molly completely, until the baffled young woman cleared her throat. The dark haired woman looked back to Molly with a slight annoyed expression. “Sorry, was there something else?”

 

“Uhh, yeah,” Molly stated, feeling annoyed, herself. “I'm not a waitress.”

 

“And, you're in her spot,” Sebastian input. She looked across the table at him, perplexed. “This is Molly. My girlfriend .” The woman shifted her blue eyes back and forth between the two.

 

“Really?” She asked incredulously. She stood and was eye to eye with Molly, a catty look on her face. Molly was definitely intimidated by the woman, who obviously knew Sebastian somehow. She stood awkwardly as the, in her opinion, much prettier woman sized her up. A fake, almost venomous smile finally graced the woman's face as she held her hand out to Molly. “Hi, I'm Amber,” she said in a voice that was almost too sweet. “I'm sure Sebastian has told you all about me.”

 

“Uhh…” Molly began, looking to Sebastian as she shook Amber’s hand.

 

“My ex,” he piped up. His cheeks were burning bright, but from the look on his face, Molly couldn't tell if he was embarrassed or angry.

 

“Oh,” Molly laughed, making Sebastian look at her like she was crazy. “Poor Seb. New girlfriend meet old girlfriend.”

 

“Gyoza,” stated the small waitress as she walked by, pausing long enough to place a plate of the fried dumplings on the table before hurrying off again. Amber scoffed as her eyes moved toward the door as it opened and waved at the group that walked in.

 

“Well, my friends are here,” she commented, returning her attention to Sebastian. “It was good to see you again, Bas.” She reached over and gave Sebastian a light squeeze on the shoulder before brushing past Molly to meet her friends.

 

Molly silently slid back into the booth and watched Sebastian as he ripped his icy gaze away from the woman's back and returned to glaring at his water. Not wanting to push him, but not wanting him to fall back into his pensive silence, Molly took his hand in hers again.

 

“You ok?” She muttered softly.

 

“Fuck her,” he spat. He glanced up, looking to where the large party had been seated before his eyes snapped back to his water glass. Looking at him with pity for a moment, she couldn't imagine how he was feeling. She didn't know how she'd react if she randomly ran into her ex fiancé after everything that happened. She probably would not be as composed as Sebastian was, that was for certain. Seeing the waitress approaching with their food, Molly made a snap decision and fished her debit card from her purse.

 

“Can we actually get this to go, please?” Molly requested as the woman placed the tray of sushi on the table. She took the card that Molly offered.

 

“Yes, I get boxes,” she said, in broken english, before hurrying away. Sebastian raised an eyebrow as he looked to Molly's smiling face.

 

“What d’ya say we blow this popsicle stand?” She smirked before picking up a gyoza with her fingers and popping it in her mouth. Sebastian grinned, gratefully, in reply.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Thanks for coming with me tonight,” Molly said as they exited her car, back at the farm.

 

“Yeah, it was…” he paused. “Well, I was going to say fun, but I'm not sure that's the word I want to use.”

 

“I had fun!” Molly smiled, teasingly. He grinned.

 

When they had left the restaurant, they had walked until they found a playground, where they stopped and sat in the swings, chopsticks in one hand and their styrofoam boxes filled with sushi in the other. As they ate, they fell into the easy conversation that was common between the two of them, talking about everything and nothing.

 

Upon throwing their trash away in the large metal receptacle, Molly shot a sideways smirk at Sebastian and took off running toward the metal merry go round. Grabbing the handles, she ran with it, spinning it as hard as she could and jumped on. Sebastian told her she was going to make herself throw up. She bet him she wouldn't. It was an experience that left them both giggling while laying on their backs staring up at the night sky as they continued to spin around.

 

“It was ok,” he admitted.

 

“Good enough!” Molly smiled. “You coming in?”

 

“Nah, I'm going to head home,” he replied. “Gotta get that coding done.”

 

“Well, don't forget to sleep at some point,” she said. “And take breaks! You're going to ruin your eyes.”

 

“My eyes are already fucked,” he smirked. Molly rolled her eyes. They stood in silence for a long time before Molly finally spoke up.

 

“Well, I won't see you until Monday, probably,” she stated. “Try to stay out of trouble this weekend, will ya?”

 

“You've gotta stop hanging around my mom,” he teased. “You sound just like her.”

 

“Piss off, kid.”

 

“Next you're going to start telling me I need to quit smoking.”

 

“Well, you should,” Molly smirked. It was his turn to roll his eyes. “Goodnight,” she sang as she turned and started for her front door.

 

“Hey,” he stopped her, jogging to close the gap between them. She turned to look at him and he suddenly felt awkward and was thankful for the darkness of the farm to hide the blush rising to his cheeks. “Uhh… maybe when you get back, we could, I dunno, go on a date? Like, a real one? Maybe?” Molly beamed at him.

 

“I'd like that.” She reached out and took his hand and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. “Good night, Seb.”

 

“Night.”

 

He watched until she reached her porch before turning and started for his own home. Despite the boring camping supply trip and running into his ex, he felt like he was walking on air at that moment. Abigail was right. He was in love with her.

 

 

Chapter Text

“It’s about fucking time, that’s all I have to say,” Abigail laughed. Molly just grinned as she continued painting Abigail’s fingernails a deep plum purple.

 

“It’s just a date.”

 

Abigail shrugged. Molly had come over to see where she needed to haul her stuff for the weekend and had instead gotten roped into helping her violet haired friend paint her nails. She was pretty sure that Abigail had yet to pack anything at all for the weekend and wondered what time everyone was planning on getting to… wherever they were going, when a ringing came from Abigail's pocket.

 

“Shit,” Abigail said as she shifted herself up on her knees. “Molly, grab my phone please.”

 

“You just want me to touch your butt,” Molly teased, fishing the phone from the back pocket of Abigail's jeans. “It's Sam.”

 

“Put it on speaker,” she requested as Molly answered the call. “Hey Sam,” Abigail said, leaning her mouth closer to the phone. “You're on speaker and I got Molly with me.”

 

“Oh… em… gee, Abs!” Sam whispered excitedly.

 

“Why are you whispering?” Abigail replied back in a mock whisper.

 

“Because I'm in the bathroom.”

 

“Dude, gross, why are you calling me from the bathroom?” She demanded.

 

“Because I don't want Seb to know I called you,” he replied, still in an excited whisper. “You know how self conscious he gets. But you have got to hear this song he wrote. We're going to be huge!”

 

“Seb likes to pretend he can't sing,” Abigail explained to Molly.

 

“Ok, guys, don't hang up,” commanded Sam. “I'm going to put my phone in my pocket so you can hear this. Ok…” there was a rustle of fabric as Sam tucked away his phone and then more rustling as he started to walk.

 

“Is this a normal thing for you guys?” Molly snickered.

 

“Yeah, unfortunately. I wish Seb had more confidence, because he's actually really fucking good.”

 

The sound of a door opening and then piano playing could be heard, which quickly cut off.

 

“Sorry, man,” said Sam. “I ate leftover carp surprise for lunch that has probably been in the fridge too long.”

 

“It's cool.”

 

“Ok, start again from the beginning, so I can get a feel for what we'll need from guitar.”

 

“Seriously, Sam,” Sebastian replied. “I really don't think it's as good as you think it is.”

 

“Humor me!” Sam requested enthusiastically and Molly could almost hear the eyeroll that surely accompanied Sebastian's sigh. The piano started again, the notes soft and slow. Beautiful. It was as if each note pierced her right to the core and she felt her skin prickle with goose bumps. And then Sebastian's voice rang out, clear and sweet and made Molly's jaw drop as she looked to Abigail, who simply nodded.


You never know when you're gonna meet someone
And your whole wide world, in a moment, comes undone
You're just walking around then suddenly
Everything that you thought that you knew about love is gone
You find out it's all been wrong
And all my scars don't seem to matter anymore
'Cause they led me here to you
I know that it's gonna take some time
I've got to admit that the thought has crossed my mind
That this might end up like it should
And I'm gonna say what I need to say
And hope to God that it don't scare you away
Don't want to be misunderstood
But I'm starting to believe that
This could be the start of something good

The tempo of the piano picked up as Sebastian started to lose himself in his music. Molly, who had just been staring at the phone in her hand looked back to Abigail, who had her eyes closed and was nodding along to the song. The sound of guitar strings started as Sam began to get a feel for the music.

 

Everyone knows life has its ups and downs
One day you're on top of the world
Then one day you're the clown
Well, I've been both enough to know
That you don't wanna get in the way when it's working out
The way that it is right now
You see my heart, I wear it on my sleeve
'Cause I just can't hide it anymore

I know that it's gonna take some time
I've got to admit that the thought has crossed my mind
That this might end up like it should
And I'm gonna say what I need to say
And hope to God that it don't scare you away
I don't want to be misunderstood
But I'm starting to believe that
This could be the start


'Cause I don't know where it's going
There's a part of me that loves not knowing
Just don't let it end before we begin
You never know when you're gonna meet someone
And your whole wide world in a moment comes undone
I know that it's gonna take some time
I've got to admit that the thought has crossed my mind
That this might end up like it should
And I'm gonna say what I need to say
And hope to God that it don't scare you away
I don't want to be misunderstood
But I'm starting to believe
Oh, I'm starting to believe
That this could be the start of something good

 

The sound of the piano played for a few moments more before ending.

 

“That was sick, dude!” Sam yelled excitedly again after the music stopped. “Don't just shrug at me!”

 

“I guess it's ok,” Sebastian replied.

 

“We could always ask Abby what she thinks,” Sam suggested.

 

“Fine, but you learn the words, so I don't have to--”

 

“Did you fucking hear that Abs?” Sam proclaimed as a rustle of clothing indicated the removal of his phone from his pocket.

 

“God damn it, Sam!” Sebastian spat, in annoyance.

 

“That was awesome, Seb!” Yelled Abigail into the phone. “You made Molly cry! It was great!”

 

“I'm not crying!” Molly insisted. “The fumes from the nail polish--”

 

“Molly too!” Sebastian sounded angry. “Fuck you, Sam!”

 

“I know, I know,” said Sam flippantly. “This is why you have trust issues.” Molly wiped absently at her eye and realized Abigail was right: she had let herself get a little misty listening to Sebastian's beautiful words. Knowing that he was mad about even Abigail hearing his song, let alone her, Molly resisted the urge to run out of Pierre's Store and keep running until she got to Sam’s house so she could wrap Sebastian in the biggest hug she could manage.

 

“Hey, what time are you heading to the woods?” Abigail asked, flawlessly changing the subject.

 

“I'll start getting packed as soon as Seb takes off.” He replied. Molly took out her phone as Sam and Abigail continued to make plans, and shot off a text to Sebastian.

 

Hey

Hey

 

I rly liked ur song :3

 

-_-

Thx

 

Nxt time I C U, I'm gonna kiss ur stupid face!

 

Lol, Kk

 

:*

XOXO

 

^_^

 

“Molly!” Sam yelled through Abigail's phone.

 

“What?”

 

“Are you texting Seb right now?” He demanded. “You are, aren't you?”

 

“...Maybe.”

 

“Yeah, I know you are,” he laughed. “He's looking at his phone and grinning like an idiot.”

 

“Fuck off, Sam!” Sebastian yelled while Molly giggled.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“I hate these fucking things!” Molly yelled as she stabbed a green slime with the iron sword that she was holding. The gelatinous ball popped like a punctured water balloon with a sickening squelch. She had improved her fighting techniques since the first time she had naively entered the mines when she first arrived in Pelican Town, mostly thanks to Abigail. She could now kill the nasty things and get hardly any goo on her. “Shouldn’t the big strong manly men be taking care of this?”

 

“Let’s analyze that statement, shall we?” Abigail stated, pushing her sword into another slime. “Who’s all coming camping? We have Sam, who’s allergic to manual labor. We have Shane, who I personally wouldn’t trust with a sharp object. And there’s Alex, who would probably just get seriously injured while trying to take a selfie with them. If you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself, Molly May.” Molly hummed in acceptance. “At least once we get this infestation cleared out, they’ll stay gone for at least the rest of the weekend.”

 

“And, to me,” Molly stated looking around, “it looks like we’ve got them all.”

 

“I agree. Let’s take one last turn around ye olde secret woods to be sure we got ‘em and then we’ll give the all clear.”

 

“Why do they call these the secret woods?” Molly asked as they turned around and began to walk back toward the pond.

 

“No idea!” she replied. “It’s not really a secret if everyone knows about it, huh?”

 

They completed the circuit around the pond and the statue of an hunchbacked old man in a hooded robe with a plaque that read ‘Old Master Cannoli… Still searching for the sweetest taste…’ and started back toward the entrance to the small clearing in the woods, thoroughly checking all the trees and bushes for any stray slimes. Abigail looked sideways at Molly with a smirk.

 

“So,” she began as Molly checked behind some trees. “Seb’s song, huh?”

 

“What about it?” she asked, fighting the grin that threatened to spill across her face.

 

“Just wondering what your thoughts were.”

 

“It’s good,” She replied simply. “I think Sam’s right. You guys might have something.”

 

“Oh, come on!” Abigail demanded, forcing the grin onto Molly’s face. “You know that song is about you!”

 

“I don’t know that, and neither do you,” Molly replied, matter-of-factly.

 

“Ugh! You two are impossible!” Abigail glared at Molly’s smirking face. “...He’s in love with you, ya know?”

 

“Mmm, I’m sure.” Molly would be lying if she said that the thought didn’t give her a warm fuzzy feeling.

 

They exited the secret woods, where they would be camping for the weekend and looked around at the large group of people gathered there. Some were in conversation with others, while some were scrolling through their phones. They all looked up as the two women appeared.

 

“Good to go!” Abigail proclaimed as Molly gave a thumbs up. There was a sound of shuffling as everyone began to gather up their things and headed into the camping spot.

 

“I'm going to go set up the latrine,” Sam stated, proudly.

 

“That's a five gallon bucket with a toilet seat duct taped to it,” Molly observed.

 

“Awe, Sam, you put a toilet seat on for us!” Emily gushed happily as she walked by.

 

“Yeah! You guys know I'm always trying to watch out for my dudes with the lady bits,” he replied happily. Penny hid her face partially behind her hand as she adjusted a backpack on her shoulder and walked away. “What? What did I say?”

 

“Nothing Sam,” Abigail replied, clapping him on the shoulder. “We love you just the way you are.”

 

“Sweet, I'm gonna go do this then.” He picked up his duffel bag and the bucket and walked through a thick patch of trees. Molly looked skeptically at Abigail, who shrugged.

 

“It's worse without the toilet seat,” she said with a grin. Both girls began to giggle as they picked up their belongings and headed in.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Molly climbed out of her tent and stretched. The forest clearing had become a scattering of tents across almost every available space. Leah and Emily had set up a small bonfire in the gravel and cobblestone area in front of the statue of Old Master Cannoli. Alex had set his tent up next to Shane's and, though they seemed an odd pair, they seemed to be getting along pretty well; talking about grid ball; Shane sipping from a can of beer and Alex from a bottle of water.

 

Leah had set her tent up near the pond with the comment that she was so used to the sound of water at her cottage that she couldn't sleep without being near it. Meanwhile, Emily sought out solitude and set up her tent in the small nook just inside the entrance to the area. There was a slightly larger nook in the clearing where Molly had crammed her tent next to Abigail and Maru's and Sam and Penny's tents. It was a tight fit, but they all still had room to move around.

 

Molly had set up her tent, blown up her air mattress, and made the bed with the sheets, pillows and blankets she had brought. When Maru had teased her for not just bringing a sleeping bag, she defended herself by saying she didn't want to waste money on a sleeping bag when she had perfectly good blankets. There was no way she was going to admit that she forgot to buy a sleeping bag the day before.

 

Everyone present seemed so relaxed. Even the complaining about the humidity and bugs carried a lighthearted air. She stood watching her four friends chatting happily around the makeshift table they had made from pushing together the coolers they had all brought, and playing a game of cards. Feeling a slight pang, watching them, she felt like a bit of a fifth wheel among her friends.

 

“You ready to be dealt in?” Maru asked looking up at her.

 

“Nah,” she replied. “I’ve actually got to go take care of something at the farm real quick, so I’m going to do that and be right back.”

 

“Molly, just use the bucket,” Sam said, not looking up from the cards in his hand. “You can’t run home every time you’ve gotta go.”

 

“Thank you for your concern, Sam,” she laughed in reply. “But that’s actually not what I was going to do.”

 

“Whatever. Enjoy your shit,” he commented, making Molly smack him gently on the back of the head as she walked past. She chuckled softly as she walked away, hearing Penny scolding her boyfriend for being so crude.

 

In truth, Molly had almost everything on her farm sorted out. Marnie had agreed to look in on her chickens that weekend; her cats had plenty of food and water to last them until she got back; crops had been harvested and put in her sell bin. The rest of her crops would have to go until Sunday night without water, but she was sure they would last a day and a half without water. What she needed to do actually didn’t involve the farm at all, really.

 

Since she had moved to Pelican Town, she had made many new acquaintances and friends. But one, she had grown a particular soft spot for: Linus, the elderly man who chose to live in a tent in the mountains near the carpenter shop.

 

Cantankerous old George, Alex’s disabled grandfather, had heard what he thought to be racoons in his trash one night and had asked Molly, who just happened to be passing by, if she would scare them off. Investigating had led to not finding racoons at all, but Linus, searching for good food that had been thrown out. Her heart broke, though he didn’t want sympathy. He only wanted to live his life the way he wanted, free from the judgment of others. She could respect that. But, it didn’t mean she couldn’t make his life a little easier as well.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Sitting back in his computer chair with his feet up on his desk, Sebastian held a game controller in his hands. He had finally worked through all the coding that he had been working on and sent it off to his boss. Now, he had the entire weekend to just relax and do whatever he wanted. And at the moment, all he wanted to do was beat the boss he had been battling for over an hour. He glared at his screen as the words YOU DIED appeared and exhaled sharply from his nose. Okay. One more try and he’d do something else for awhile. The game loaded and he began the tedious run back to the boss area. His bedroom door opened without warning.

 

“Come up for dinner,” Demetrius commanded.

 

“I’m not hungry,” Sebastian replied, not looking up from a battle with a monster he had just aggroed.  

 

“I didn’t ask if you were hungry,” Demetrius growled. “I told you to come up for dinner. I don’t understand why we have to have this conversation every time I come down here.”

 

“I don’t understand why you keep coming down here,” Sebastian mumbled under his breath.

 

“What was that?”

 

“I’m coming,” Sebastian relented, closing out of his game of Death Souls.

 

“You know, I’d appreciate it if you would stop with this moody teenager act and start acting your own age.”

 

“Are you serious?” Sebastian spat, standing up and looking into the face of the taller man. “I would love to act my own age, if only people would stop barging into the room, that I pay mom money to rent by the way, and start demanding that I do things.”

 

“Upstairs. Now!”

 

Sebastian rolled his eyes and shouldered past his stepfather. He hated living at home so much. Desperately, he wished that he could move out, but thinking on it, he wasn’t even sure where he would go. Pelican Town was all he knew, and he had always wanted to leave it behind him and move to the city, but getting robbed had shook him so deeply that he wasn’t sure that he could live there. On the other hand, if he wanted to stay in Pelican Town, it meant staying in his mother’s basement, because there was literally nowhere else to go.

 

“Hi sweetie,” his mother proclaimed chipperly as he walked into the kitchen, not noticing the disgruntled look on his face. “Meatloaf night!” He hummed in reply and flopped down in his usual seat.

 

“Where’s Molly at?” asked Violet from her booster seat. “Molly should come here for dinner.” Sebastian felt the corners of his mouth lift ever so slightly as he watched Lydia scowl out of the corner of his eye.

 

“She went camping, so she can’t come to dinner tonight,” he replied to her.

 

“Oh, like Maru?” the young girl asked.

 

“Yep, she went with Maru and a bunch of other people.”

 

“Why didn’t you go?” she asked.

 

“I didn’t want to,” he replied simply.

 

“Why? Don’t you want to be with Molly?” She pressed on. Why do kids always have to ask so many questions? He sighed.

 

“I just don’t like camping and Molly does, so she went without me.”

 

“Won’t she miss you?”

 

“Hmmph,” Lydia scoffed.

 

“I’m sure Molly will miss Sebastian very much, Violet,” Robin said, smiling softly at the little girl. “Do you want some mashed potatoes?”

 

“Yes, please!” Robin spooned some potatoes onto Violet’s plate before putting some on her own plate.

 

“Sebby, how was your day?” she asked, passing the bowl to him.

 

“It was okay,” he replied dully. “Got all my work done, so I get to keep my job for another week, so there’s that.”

 

“Work,” Lydia started in. “I still don’t believe you do anything except sit around and watch ViewTube videos all day. How many cat videos did you watch today?” The answer was two, but he wasn’t going to tell his aunt that. He hadn’t even been working at the time he watched them. And one of them was actually just a video that Molly had put on Facespace of her small gray cat, Princess, playing with a catnip mouse, with the caption ‘See guys! I told you I have 2 cats! She’s just shy!’

 

“Come on, Lydia,” Robin pleaded, gently. “Sebby works hard.”

 

“No, Maru works hard,” Lydia stated, always quick to bring up her favorite of the siblings. “She has a good respectable job as a nurse, helps Deme run his experiments, and still finds time to work on her inventions. That girl is going to change the world.”

 

“Well, Sebastian does a lot of good t--”

 

“She going to make a man very happy someday, too. Maybe even that nice doctor I met at that wedding.” Lydia interrupted Robin and Sebastian bit down on the inside of his cheek to keep himself in check. “She’s smart and radiates confidence. Beautiful complexion; big dark eyes; long legs; wide, child bearing hips to match that cute little waist. I don’t know how a man hasn’t swooped in and scooped her up yet.”

 

“You know what I think is funny,” Sebastian spoke before he could stop himself. “It’s funny how with Maru, you have nothing but nice things to say about her size and curves and whatever else, but Molly is exactly the same size as Maru and you are constantly putting her down and making her feel bad about herself.”

 

“Oh, she is not,” Lydia waved away his comment, but he wasn’t done. He was tired of it. Everything!

 

“Yes,” he insisted. “The exact same size! And while you’re praising Maru and building her up, you take Molly and tear her down at every chance you get. I want to know why. Why do you hate Molly?”

 

“I… I…” Lydia had been struck speechless, but Sebastian didn’t seem to care.

 

“Molly is not fat, like you have been telling her all summer. She is sweet and funny and she is beautiful and she should not be listening to people like you tell her anything different.”

 

“People like me?” Lydia demanded. “What’s that supposed to me?”

 

“Sebastian, you need to apologize to your aunt right now!” Demetrius demanded.

 

“No!”

 

“Ok, let’s all just settle down,” Robin attempted to defuse the situation.

 

“I’m not going to settle down and I’m not going to apologize,” stated Sebastian loudly. “It’s bullshit!” The room erupted as everyone began talking at once, no one actually being heard and no one hearing anyone else. (“You said a bad word, you said a bad word!” “Watch your language!” “Apologize to your aunt this instant!” “Don’t you dare talk that way to me!”) It was just noise. Derek began to cry in his highchair, which only added to the chaos.

 

“ENOUGH!” Robin finally shouted over everything and a hush fell on the room, except for Derek, who was immediately scooped up and comforted by his grandmother. “Can we all please just sit and have a nice dinner?”

 

“I’m out of here,” Sebastian stated, pushing his chair away from the table.

 

“Sit down!” Demetrius commanded. “You mother wants a family dinner.”

 

“Fuck you,” he spat back before rounding on Lydia. “And for your information, even if a good man did try and scoop up Maru, those child bearing hips, as you put it, would never be put to use, because Maru’s boyfriend…” he stood up, “has a vagina.”

 

“Sebby!” Robin gasped, as he stormed from the room.

 

Sebastian slammed the front door of the carpenter shop closed with enough force that it knocked a family photograph from where it usually hung on the wall next to the door to the floor with a crack of glass. Fuck Demetrius, fuck Lydia, and fuck this summer. He’d had it. Throwing open the garage door, he grabbed his motorcycle by the handle bars and pushed it outside. His only thoughts were getting away as quickly as possible as he let the garage door slam shut so hard that it bounced against the ground once before coming to a close. Throwing one leg over the seat, he mounted the bike and removed his keys from the front pocket of his jeans.

 

“Seb?” came a familiar voice from around the corner of the house. He looked up and saw Molly walking toward him and he suddenly felt his stomach do a slight flip.

 

“What are you doing here? I thought you were camping.”

 

“I like to bring Linus a hot meal a couple times a week,” she explained. “I thought since I wouldn’t be around for a few days… We heard yelling. I thought I’d come make sure everything was all right.” Sebastian didn’t reply for a long moment, busying himself with putting his keys in the bike’s ignition.

 

“I was just about to head out,” he said simply, unwilling to talk about the blowup that had just taken place in his family's kitchen. He looked up to her. “Wanna go for a ride?” She looked at him skeptically. “I promise to keep you safe. Hop on, I want to show you something.” She sighed and closed the gap between her and the bike.

 

“If I die on this thing, I swear to all things holy that I will haunt you forever,” Molly commented, throwing a leg over the bike and situating herself behind Sebastian with her feet on the foot pegs.

 

“If I let that happen, then I deserve it,” Sebastian smiled as her arms wrapped around his waist and he felt her warmth pressed against his back. He started the bike and felt her clutch him tighter as it lurched forward and they made his way toward the highway.

 

The summer night was warm and the moon was full overhead. The motorcycle was the only vehicle on the long stretch of road, but that wasn't unusual. Letting his mind wander, Sebastian pushed away the thoughts of how incredibly stressful this summer had been and let his mind settle on the woman holding tightly onto him. He had realized some time ago that he wanted their relationship to become something serious. What had started out as Molly walking into the house at the right moment and then agreeing to play along with an elaborate lie in order to dilute the amount of bullying he received from his aunt, had quickly turned into real feelings for her.

 

Having taken the road ahead of him so often that it felt like the bike drove itself, he turned off the highway and onto a wide stretch of dirt road that ran through a thick forest on either side. The road turned to gravel as it ascended up the side of a mountain and Sebastian slowed the bike to a stop as the trees thinned. The sun had completely set by the time that they had arrived at their destination and the motorcycle’s engine was killed, making the world fall silent around them, save for the sounds of the cicadas in the trees. They stepped away from the bike and out onto the rocky outcrop of mountain.

 

“Wow,” Molly breathed, taking in the sight in front of her. The woods spread out below them ending in a wide river and beyond that, millions of lights from a large city, which were engaged in silent competition with the billions of stars twinkling in the clear, black sky. Sebastian pulled a cigarette from his pack and lit it.

 

“That's Zuzu City in the distance,” he said before taking another pull from his cigarette. “I come here when I want to get away from everything and just…” he shrugged, “think.”

 

“It's beautiful,” Molly whispered. Sebastian took in the view while taking another pull from his cigarette.

 

“Hmm, not exactly how I'd put it, but yeah, I guess it is kind of beautiful.”

 

“How would you put it then?” Molly teased.

 

“I dunno,” he replied. “It's always given me kind of a strange, sad feeling.”

 

“Why come somewhere that makes you sad?” Molly questioned. Sebastian shrugged again taking another drag. He exhaled and was quiet for a moment before continuing on.

 

“The city used to draw me in, but now I'm finding myself happier at home in the valley.” He flicked the filter of his cigarette to get rid of the extra ashes. He chuckled softly. “I dunno, I guess.” Molly grinned at him as he took another pull. “Maybe it was just some romantic fantasy to get out of the valley and move to the city. But the city is so full of people. I’m a loner, I wouldn't fit in.” Molly reached out and took Sebastian's free hand in hers.

 

“As someone who used to live in a big city,” she replied softly, “I can definitely say that it's just millions of lonely people living together.” Sebastian grinned as she gave his hand a light squeeze. They stood together looking out over the landscape and falling into the comfortable silence that frequently happened between them. Molly sat down at the edge of the cliff and let her legs dangle over the side. Sebastian was quick to join her, wanting to stay close to her side, and her fingers linked through his again almost immediately. He smiled at the simple gesture that had become so common between them.

 

His mind raced. He knew his mother adored Molly and had been trying to set them up since she had moved to Pelican Town. He had overheard her casually mentioning him to the blue haired woman, telling her that he was just shy and if she was nice to him, he’d warm right up to her. Eventually his mother had pulled out all the stops and just invited her to dinner. He had been too busy with his coding to go upstairs that evening.

 

Sam definitely wanted Sebastian and Molly to be a couple. He wasn’t sure why Sam was so insistent about the two of them becoming a couple as he had never actually explained it to him. And Abigail’s words of “tell her that you love her,” still echoed in his head every time that he looked Molly in the face. His toe began to tap inside of his shoe as he thought. They did mesh well together. Nobody was wrong about that. He needed to make their fake relationship real.

 

His internal pep talk was cut off by his anxiety and self doubt. What if Molly didn’t want to be in a real relationship with him? Maybe she enjoyed just being his friend. His stomach was in a knot at the thought of her rejection. A fake relationship was better than no relationship at all. But the summer was almost over and what would happen then? Would they go back to only seeing each other in passing and hearing about each other form other people's’ conversations? Nervously, he began to pull at the loose strings around a hole in his jeans. He was sure Molly wouldn’t want to go back to how things were before the summer began. Would she?

 

Next to him, Molly was oblivious to the hurricane going on inside the raven haired man’s head. She was just happy being there, seated next to Sebastian. She too had wondered what would happen once the summer ended, but she also has a bit more of a laid back attitude about it. She didn’t think Sebastian would want her to stop coming around and she also didn’t plan on stopping. Therefore, whatever happened, happened. She shifted a bit and leaned onto Sebastian, resting her head on his shoulder. Sebastian's fidgeting immediately halted. His stomach unclenched and his heartbeat stopped pounding in his ears.

 

“Molly…” he started softly.

 

“Hmm?” She replied lazily, unmoving.

 

“I, uh,” he took a breath. “I don't usually bring girls here… to this place. In fact, umm… you're the only other person I've brought here.”

 

“I bet you say that to all the girls you bring here,” Molly teased, grinning stupidly.

 

“No, I don’t… I mean, I guess technically I do, since you’re the only one--”

 

“Nice save,” she chuckled, causing Sebastian to make an irritated noise.

 

“You get what I’m trying to say right?”

 

“No, what?” She looked up at him, trying to hide her teasing smile and failing miserably. He glared at her for a moment, cursing her for not just making this easy on him.

 

“I’m trying to say that I hate you and am going to push you off this cliff.”

 

“I don’t think that’s what you’re trying to say at all.”

 

“Why are you so annoying?”

 

“Boop,” she said as she reached up and poked him on the tip of the nose, the same as he had done to her before. He tried to hold back his laughter, but he couldn’t. It came out as a snort before he just let it roll out of him, Molly’s laughter easily joining in. He realized how stupid he was being by getting so worked up. This was Molly. His Molly. She had been his since the moment fate had pushed her through the front door of the house at exactly the right moment and she had agreed to play along. There wasn’t a need for a formal exchange of a commitment bouquet. She made him laugh; he held her when she cried; they held hands; they had slept in each others beds, wrapped up in each others arms. They had been a couple for quite a while, he realized as the laughter faded away.

 

Reaching up with his free hand, Sebastian tucked a loose strand of Molly's long blue hair that had come loose from her ponytail behind her ear. She was always beautiful, but he loved looking at her under the moonlight. He leaned toward her, until his lips softly brushed against hers and then backed away a fraction of an inch allowing Molly a choice to re-close the gap or back away. She leaned forward to him, chasing his mouth. He coaxed her lips apart with his tongue and then deepened the kiss, feeling her tongue ring rub against his own tongue. He had to admit that he had wondered what that would feel like. The corners of his mouth curled up slightly as his mind gave way to a dirtier thought as well.

 

Molly didn't notice his smirk. She brought her hand up to cup Sebastian's jaw, and after a moment, let her fingertips slide down the side of his neck before her whole hand came to a rest on his chest. Giving Sebastian a light push, she broke off the kiss. He immediately tried to reseal the gap, but she leaned away with a laugh. He chased her mouth, kissing her again, softly.

 

“I should get back,” she said, a bit breathless. “I’ve been gone for hours. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten any texts asking where I am.”

 

“Yeah…”

 

Doubts started to plague his mind again as he watched her scoot away from the edge and stand up. The kiss had felt so short. What if she hadn’t actually wanted to kiss him and just didn’t want to hurt his feelings? Did his breath stink? He really needed to get on with quitting smoking. He took one last look at the city stretched out below him and stood to join Molly.

 

He looked to her, apprehensively, attempting to read her. She watched him for a brief moment until a smirk broke across her face. Throwing herself at him, she wrapped her arms tight around his shoulders and pressed her lips to his. The doubts in his mind evaporated as her lips parted against his again and he pulled her tighter against himself. When the kiss ended, neither made the move to break away. Molly playfully rubbed the tip of her nose against his and he, in turn, pressed his forehead against hers. She moved first, nuzzling her nose under his jaw line the same way she had the night of the wedding reception.

 

“My mom asked me if we were a real couple now or if we were still just pretending,” he commented, attempting to sound casual.

 

“What did you tell her?” she questioned, without looking up.

 

“That neither of us were really sure anymore.”

 

“Yeah, we should really do something about that.”

 

“I love you,” he whispered before his brain could second guess his words. The silence that stretched after he said it, however, seemed to last an eternity. He couldn’t see Molly grinning like an idiot against his shoulder.

 

“I know,” she finally whispered back. Sebastian was slightly taken aback. That was not the response that he had been expecting. Then, he felt the slight shuddering of her shoulders as she stood close to him and he pulled away finally catching the reference and held her at arm’s length.

 

“Did you just make a goddamn Galaxy Wars joke?” he demanded, finally forcing the loud laugh from her that she had been trying to hold back.

 

“Maybe,” she replied, stretching out the “a” of the word. He rolled his eyes.

 

“Yep… You’re my girl… Fucking nerd.”

 

“Love you too,” she grinned, planting a kiss on his cheek.

 

Chapter Text

The first thing Molly noticed as she woke up was the bright sunlight filtering in through the fabric of the tent, blinding her as she opened her eyes. The next thing she noticed was the humidity that made the world around her feel damp and sticky. The blankets had been discarded without ever having been used, and she laid face down on the air mattress wearing nothing but a tanktop and her panties. She blindly searched the floor beside the mattress with her hand for her phone, to check the time without having to actually sit up.

 

Finally finding it, she turned it on. 7:30. She had slept in for an entire hour and a half. She sighed and let her arm fall. She should get up. She was on breakfast duty and needed to get everything at least started before everyone else woke up. She rolled off the mattress and onto the ground producing a groan from the raven haired man that had been laying next to her as the mattress shifted from the redistribution of air. She smiled as he rolled onto his back and threw his arm over his face to shield his eyes from the brightness tent.

 

Looking over her shoulder, she let her eyes wash over him. Fair skin covered in a faint sheen of sweat from the stuffiness of the tent; a trail of black hair leading from his belly button to the green boxer briefs that she had teased him about the night before for being the most color she had ever seen on him. Her eyes halted. Sebastian had morning wood. She blinked. A lot of morning wood. Feeling the heat rise to her face, she looked away as she resisted the urge to snap a photo to send to Trish with the caption of “YASS BITCH, YASSSSS!” Almost thirty and she still had to remind herself occasionally to be a mature adult.

 

Pulling open the backpack that sat on the floor of the tent, she retrieved a set of shorts and let her mind wander to the night before as she got dressed. They had rode the motorcycle back to the carpenter shop and Sebastian had put it away in the garage, closing the door behind him. He turned to Molly.

 

“I’m not ready to go back in there, honestly,” he said after a long silence.

 

“Well,” Molly grinned. “I have a suggestion, but you’re not going to like it.” He sighed heavily in reply, already knowing what was coming.

 

She didn’t actually think that he would agree to coming with her. He had been so adamant about not coming. But, here he was, and she was happy for it. Did she know that Sebastian spoiled her. Yes, yes she did. Climbing back onto the mattress after her clothes were on, she leaned over her no-longer-pretend boyfriend. She kissed any part of his face that wasn’t being covered by his arm. Cheek; chin; lips; nose. Groaning again, he lifted his arm enough to squint at her.

 

“Good morning, sunshine,” she smiled at him. Letting his arm relax back over his eyes, he attempted to ignore her and go back to sleep. Reaching up, she let her fingertips dance down the exposed skin of his side. He automatically flinched away from her and his arm came away from his face to smack her hand hand away.

 

“Stop it!”

 

“Time to wake up,” she sang happily.

 

“You’re annoying.”

 

“Sorry, you’ve already said you love me and you can’t take that back now.”

 

“You’re still annoying,” he stated, glaring daggers at her. Leaning forward, she planted a kiss on his lips again before moving back off the mattress.

 

“I’m going to go make breakfast,” she commented as Sebastian watched her crawl to the tent door, unzip it, exit, and reclose it. He sighed in annoyance as he stared at the obnoxiously bright tent ceiling.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Holy shit!” Sam yelled immediately as Sebastian exited the tent. “What the fuck are you doing here?” Sebastian laughed without humor as he stood and stretched his stiff and uncomfortable body, looking around to find more people than he’d like were looking in his direction and felt an embarrassed blush rise to his cheeks. He had fallen back to sleep and when he opened his eyes again, he could hear the laughter and conversation of the other campers. Sitting up, he had grabbed his jeans from the floor of the tent, wishing for the first time in his life that he owned a pair of shorts. Taking his phone from his pants pocket, he turned it on and groaned. It was 9:07, already 93 degrees and he wondered how Molly had suckered him into this one.

 

Really, she hadn’t even tried very hard, knowing that he didn’t want to go and not wanting to pressure him into it. But, he hadn’t wanted to go home and had wanted to stay with his new girlfriend. So here he was. Sweating and miserable, and now, he’d also have to interact with other people. He attempted to smooth down his hair as he had pulled his shirt over his head and made his way out of the tent entrance to face the day.

 

“I’m asking myself that same thing,” he grumbled. Moving to join his best friend seated in the grass next to a cooler that was being used as a table, Sebastian looked around the people in the secret woods. They had all gone back to doing what they were doing before Sam’s yell had drawn all of their attention.

 

“Omelette du fromage?” Sam asked, holding up a paper plate containing a cheese omelette.

 

“I hate eggs,” Sebastian replied with a grumble.

 

“Fine, but I’m not sharing my bacon.” Sam stabbed his omelette with his fork and took an entirely too big bite of it making Sebastian wrinkle his nose.

 

“I need coffee,” he commented.

 

“Ask and you shall receive.” Sebastian looked away from his friend and grinned as the owner of the voice approached. Molly handed him a styrofoam cup filled with delicious smelling, dark liquid and set a paper plate with a sandwich down in front of him. “I made you a BLT, too, since you’re the only weirdo around here who won’t eat eggs.”

 

“Abby doesn’t like eggs,” he defended himself.

 

“But I still eat them,” Abigail piped in, holding up a fork with scrambled egg on it. “Just cover them in ketchup and you can’t taste them.”

 

“Ugh…” Sebastian groaned, disgustedly.

 

“Yeah, that’s… that’s kinda gross, Abby,” Molly chimed in, also pulling a face. Abigail just shrugged and kept eating.

 

“What are we doing today?” Sam demanded, throwing his fork down on his empty plate. “Fishing? Swimming? Volleyball?”

 

“You’re on clean up duty,” Penny commented, as she ate a slice of toast, not looking up from the book she was reading.

 

“Ahh…” Sam groaned pathetically.

 

“It’s ok,” Molly said, taking a seat in the grass. “Seb can help you.”

 

“What the fuck, I just got here,” he complained through a mouthful of sandwich.

 

“Don’t make me take away your coffee.”

 

“Try it,” he threatened. “I dare you.” Molly rolled her eyes with a grin.

 

Sebastian eventually agreed to help Sam clean up and the two men had grabbed a garbage bag and began walking around to collect discarded plates, cups, and utensils. He really only agreed because Sam kept trying to discreetly get his attention, and knew he should probably tell his best friend what was going on.

 

“Well?” Sam demanded as soon as they were out of earshot of anyone else. “Are you going to tell me what you’re doing here?” Sebastian attempted to keep the grin from spilling across his face. He remained quiet as he tied off the trash bag, keeping Sam in suspense.

 

“I decided to give camping a try.”

 

“Fuck you!”

 

“What?” Sebastian asked, with a laugh.

 

“Ok, I will let the luau slide, but not camping. Not a chance.”

 

“Ok,” Sebastian relented. “Maybe I talked to Molly.”

 

“AND?” Sam demanded. Sebastian smirked and shrugged as he began to gather up the breakfast cookware that needed to be washed. “You son of a bitch, you tell me everything right now!”

 

“We, uh…” he rubbed the back of his neck, embarrassed. “Kissed.” Sam released a high pitched shriek and wrapped his arms around a completely dumbstruck, and now slightly deaf, Sebastian.

 

“I’m so happy!”

 

“Sam, people are staring.”

 

“Let them,” he whispered dramatically. “I’m so proud of you!”

 

“If you two need some privacy, you can use the tent,” Molly commented, approaching the folding table where most of the nonperishable food was being kept.

 

“And you!” Sam cried rounding on Molly, who looked up at him wide eyed as he released his friend and grabbed her into a bear hug, lifting her off the ground.

 

“Put me down!” she demanded with a squeal, kicking her legs.

 

“It’s best to just let it happen,” Sebastian commented as Sam spun her around in a circle before finally releasing her. She stumbled back a step and Sebastian held out an arm to steady her.

 

“Look at the two of you! My O.T.P. is finally a reality!”

 

“Sam, take off your vagina,” Sebastian grumbled.

 

“Oh, let him be happy, you fun hater,” Molly grinned at him as she linked her arm through his. Sam looked ready to burst at the simple gesture.

 

“You’re going to make him pee himself,” he replied, only half joking. Molly smirked and leaned over, kissing him on the corner of the mouth.

 

“C’mon, and get things cleaned,” she stated and began to walk away, without looking at the reaction from their blond haired friend. Sebastian did look.

 

“Dude, are you crying?”

 

“No!” Sam sobbed.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“C’mon, Seb!” Molly yelled, splashing water toward the shore where he stood with a scowl and his arms crossed.

 

“Absolutely not!”

 

“Nobody has swimwear, just get in!” she insisted. It was true. Everyone that was swimming in the pond to the South of their bonfire and old Master Cannoli, had stripped down to their underwear and just dove in. Molly swam to the edge of the dock and pulled herself up. She wore the same tanktop and underwear she had worn to sleep the night before. Sebastian thought it was cute how she was too embarrassed to be seen in just her bra and panties.

 

“No.”

 

“It’s not even that deep,” she smiled, reaching out and grabbing him by the wrist. He immediately snatch his arm away from her.

 

“Don’t you even fucking think about it!”

 

“Yo, Molly,” Sam yelled from the pond. “Not a good idea.”

 

“Yeah,” laughed Abigail. “Ask Sam how his wrist got broken in sixth grade.” Molly looked to Sebastian wide eyed.

 

“Did you break Sam’s wrist?”

 

“I told him that I was not going into the lake. It’s his own fault for not listening.”

 

“Can you just not swim?” Molly asked, lowering her voice.

 

“Not well, but…” he stopped, seemingly embarrassed.

 

“But?”

 

“I... “ he paused taking a breath before lowering his voice to a whisper. “I just don’t like water that I can’t see the bottom of.” Molly was stunned.

 

“...Really?” she asked disbelieving. His cheeks had turned a vibrant red and he just shrugged, looking at his shoes. She chuckled slightly. “Ah, honey, you’re adorable.” his scowl deepened, obviously embarrassed. She grinned and leaned close to his ear. “I’m terrified of dolls.” He looked to her, blinking, trying to decide if he had heard her correctly.

 

“What?” he couldn’t help but chuckle. Molly shrugged.

 

“They’re creepy. They stare at you with those cold dead eyes like they want to eat your soul,” she shuddered. Grinning at her, he decided her statement was true and she wasn’t just making fun of him.

 

“Alright, well, don’t let me ruin your fun,” he replied. “Maybe I’ll go try to catch a nap in the tent.”

 

“Ok, just be sure to unzip the windows to let the air flow. I’d hate to find you dead from a heat stroke or something.” Rolling his eyes, he gave her arm a light shove in the direction of the pond before turning and walking away.

 

She was right. The inside of the tent felt like a sauna. He made a noise of displeasure as he began to unzip the flaps over the mesh tent windows. Peeling off his shirt, which was slightly damp from sweat, he tossed it into the corner and flopped face up onto the mattress. Feeling sorry for himself, he thought back to the night before and how he had ended up there.

 

“How do you always talk me into doing things that I don’t want to do?” he asked as he adjusted the battered backpack that usually held his laptop. They had slipped quietly into the carpenter shop and made their way down to the basement without anyone noticing they were there. Removing the laptop, he quickly shoved in a few changes of clothes and some toiletries from his bathroom.

 

“It’s a gift,” she replied smugly. Having never been on one of the camping outings, Sebastian had no idea what to expect. He imagined a loud, rambunctious party in the woods, with people doing keg stands and having spontaneous sex. What he found when they got there seemed the opposite. Most people had already shut themselves into their tents for the night, and the few that remained up, were seated next to the dwindling bonfire, engaged in quiet conversation.

 

Molly led him to her tent and gestured him inside upon unzipping the door flap. It was almost completely dark in the tent and they could really only make out vague silhouettes of each other, which was fine by him; living in a basement had, for the most part, made him dependent on complete darkness when he slept. Being in the stuffy tent, however, had made him feel more appreciative of the constant coolness of his basement as well, and he voiced his complaint to Molly in a whisper, not wanting to break the silence of the woods around them.

 

“Well, sorry,” she replied sarcastically with a laugh. “If I’d have known you were coming, I would have packed the air conditioner.” He watched as her silhouette began to strip off her clothes and felt his pants tighten, involuntarily. Unthinking, he moved forward, his hand coming into contact with the bare skin of her leg and casually gliding upward.

 

“Uhh… whatcha doing?” she asked. He froze and she turned on the flashlight of her phone to find him on hands and knees, hovering over her outstretched legs, one hand still resting on her thigh for balance.

 

“Hitting on you?” he answered lamely, his face heated as he tried to avert his eyes from her bare skin. She had only taken off her shorts and bra without having shed the tank top she was wearing. She nodded, amused.

 

“You do realize that there are four other people within twenty feet of us right now,” she commented. “Two of which are your best friends and one of them is your sister.”

 

“Good point…”

 

“Get ready for bed,” she laughed, giving him a gentle smack on the shoulder. “It’s late.” He retreated from her to sit on the air mattress. She crawled onto the mattress and rested her head on the pillow, pulling the blankets up over her. It lasted long enough for him to remove his shirt. “Nope, not happening,” she stated, kicking the blankets toward the foot of the mattress.

 

“Yeah, you may not have noticed, but it’s hot,” Sebastian joked as he tossed his socks to the corner of the tent where he had thrown his shirt.

 

“Another good reason for you to not touch me,” she teased, eliciting an eye roll from him as he began to undo his pants and pull them down. Molly wolf whistled at him and he glared at her while he tossed his jeans to join his socks and shirt. “Green, huh? Gotta get all your clothes off before I can see any color on you!” Annoyed, he snatched her phone from her hand and turned off the flashlight feature. “Ahh, now I’m blind and can’t see you!”

 

“Good,” he responded, crawling over her to lay down. He felt her move and could feel the warmth of her skin from her close proximity. He blindly reached his hand out until his fingertips met her skin again.

 

Cold water dripped on Sebastian's bare skin and he groaned. Opening his eyes, he expected Molly to be standing over him, fresh from swimming and dripping on him. As it turned out, the skies had clouded over into darkness and it had started to rain.

 

“Shit!” he hissed, sitting up and scrambling to zip closed the window flaps. He finished one and moved on to the second when the door flap unzipped and Molly entered, dripping wet.

 

“Oh man! This storm came out of nowhere!” she said rushing to the last window and closing it after closing the door behind her. “One minute it was sunny and the next it was black!” He sat back down on the mattress and watched her take a towel from her bag and begin to dry herself. When she took a set of clean clothes from the bag, she looked up to Sebastian expectantly.

 

“What?”

 

“Turn around,” she stated as if it should be obvious.

 

“Seriously?” he questioned, annoyed. The look she shot at him said it all and with a huff, he turned himself on the mattress to face the wall of the tent. “I suffer through camping and I’m not even allowed to see boobs.” His grumbling was ended as a wet tank top pelted him on the back of the head. Turning, he glared at her as she held the white towel over her bare chest.

 

“I’m not done!” she stated, trying to hold back her laugh. Grabbing the wet tank top, he chucked it back at her. She giggled as he turned back around with an eye roll.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

It had been hours and the rain falling down still hadn’t let up. Sebastian didn’t mind. He actually found it peaceful. Currently, he was enjoying the comfortable silence that had fallen while Molly painted her toenails a vibrant crimson.

 

“What?” She asked without looking up.

 

“Hmm?” he hummed. “What what?”

 

“You’re looking at me,” she replied, eyes still on her feet. He grinned.

 

“I like looking at you.”

 

“Gross,” she teased with a smirk. He chuckled softly and rolled onto his back to stretch.

 

“So, if it doesn’t stop raining are we destined to starve to death?” he asked, sarcastically, staring at the ceiling. Molly had finally turned on a battery operated lantern that illuminated the dark tent. Still, the tent was becoming increasingly darker as the storm rolled on and Sebastian was getting hungry.

 

“You could always go get us a pizza,” Molly teased finally looking to him as she screwed the lid on her bottle of nail polish. He lifted his middle finger at her, causing her to throw her head back in a laugh.

 

“If anyone is getting pizza, it’s you,” he stated. “I went last time.”

 

“But I just painted my toenails all pretty!” She stated, turning to put her feet by Sebastian’s head. Turning his head to the side, he glared at her bare feet before shifting his gaze to her face.

 

“Piss off, kid,” he smirked.

 

“Hey! That’s my line!” She laughed. “Ok, if you’re that hungry, I’ll get you food.” Crawling to her beat up backpack, she upended it and all the contents fell on the floor. Sebastian watched with curiosity as she unzipped the door flap, shot him a smile over her shoulder, and exited. She was back a minute later, wet again, but still smiling as she tossed the backpack in his direction. He peered in as she grabbed her towel again.

 

“How old are we again?” he teased looking at the bag’s contents. Bread, peanut butter, jelly, chips, soda.

 

“Everybody likes PB and J!”

 

“I uh…” he cleared his throat. “I don’t like jelly.”

 

“WHAT?” Molly asked, completely dumbfounded. “Who the fuck doesn’t like jelly?”

 

“It’s a texture thing.”


“You are so weird!”

Chapter Text

It was still raining as Sebastian abruptly woke in the semi-darkness of the early morning. He had been dreaming about something, but it had quickly escaped him upon waking. The woman next to him was still sleeping peacefully, the sound of her steady breathing barely audible over the sound of the raindrops hitting the tent. The good thing about the rain this weekend was not only how much it cooled down the air, but it also confined everyone to their tents so he didn’t have to be social. Even he could handle camping, he decided, if it was just him and Molly and the weather was a decent temperate.   

 

Rolling toward Molly, who had her back to him, he moved closer to her, reaching up and moving her hair to expose her neck. A soft sigh escaped her as his lips kissed the bare skin of her shoulder and began to trail up her neck. Sleepily, she looked over her shoulder at him.

 

“What’re you doing?” she murmured groggily.

 

“Kissing you,” he muttered back, continuing his trail of kisses up to her ear.

 

“Your face is prickly,” she groaned, pulling a mischievous smirk from the man, as he used his chin stubble to scratch at the sensitive skin of her neck and cheek. She made an indignant sound as she scrunched up her shoulder and tried to move away from him. Rolling to face him, she glared at him.

 

“Sorry, I haven’t had access to a razor for a couple days.”

 

“Why are you even awake?” she demanded, cuddling her face into her pillow. “It’s not noon yet.”

 

“Couldn’t sleep,” he replied, continuing his kisses, now on the other side of her neck.

 

“That doesn’t mean you had to wake me up.” She scrunched up her shoulder again, but this time, Sebastian had access to her face and began to make his way to her lips with his own. The corners of her mouth curled upward and she rolled her eyes at his early morning affections. She allowed his kiss; she allowed his tongue to tease her lips apart; she even allowed his hand to gently caress her body. But when he attempted to roll her onto her back, she turned her face away from him. “We are not doing this here.”

 

“Why?” he whined, attempting to get at her neck again. If his past sexual encounters had taught him anything, it was: pay attention to her ears, neck, boobs, and ass and he would almost always get a yes.

 

“Because,” she grumbled, exasperated. “I haven’t showered since Thursday night. It’s been hot. I’m stinky. You’re stinky. And I need to shave my… everything.” She pushed him away. “Besides, your sister and two best friends are still within twenty feet of us right now.”

 

“Well, they’re probably still sleeping,” he grinned, leaning over her on his elbow.

 

“Aren’t they lucky?”

 

“Besides, they don’t have to know.”

 

“That confident in your abilities, huh?” she teased. He seemed to consider it for a brief moment before nodding.

 

“I can promise you the best thirteen seconds of your life!”

 

“Oh my god…” she groaned before beginning to laugh.

 

“Is that a no then?” he asked as she rolled away from him again.

 

“Go to sleep!”

 

He grinned to himself as he rolled onto his back. You couldn’t blame a guy for trying. Staring up at the ceiling of the tent, he willed the sound of the rain to lull him back to sleep. In an attempt to get comfortable, he put a hand behind his head and regretted it immediately. Molly was right; he was stinky. Putting his arm back down, he wondered how long they were going to stay there before everyone braved the rain to pack up and head home.

 

He would go home and have a shower. Probably jerk off in the shower, he thought to himself as he looked over at his slumbering girlfriend, who’s panties were giving her a slight wedgie. Sighing as he bent his leg at the knee, he adjusted himself and returned his gaze to the ceiling. He’d have to go through his email inbox and let his boss know which of the freelancing gigs that were there he’d like to accept. He should consider talking to his mother, since he hadn’t done more than send her a text saying that he’d gone camping with everyone else, and that was only because he didn’t want her to worry. He would need to start his laun...

 

Molly rolled to face him and he looked back to her. An icy glare was plastered on her face.

 

“I am wide awake.”

 

“Cool, wanna make out now?” he chuckled in response.

 

“Piss off, kid!”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

Tossing her toothbrush into the cup next to the bathroom sink, Molly tousled her still damp hair with her fingers and exited the bathroom. It was good to be home. And since it had rained, she didn’t even have to worry about going out to water her crops, so she opted for just putting on her pajamas, even though it was still early in the day.

 

Sebastian had helped her carry all the camping gear back to the farm and store it in the cellar for the next time that they’d need it, but after that, he had headed for home. Molly didn’t object. She took the opportunity to take a long, hot bath. She had also decided to shave, since her new boyfriend suddenly seemed anxious to take their relationship to the next level. Which was also fine with her, she thought as a smile spread across her face. Grabbing her phone from her nightstand, she flopped belly down on across her bed, grinning as she saw a text from Sebastian.

 

Wyd?

 

Just got out of the bath



Pics?

 

-_-

 

lol

Wanna come 2 dinner

 

Like… out?

 

Lol no

:)

Mom just wanted 2 see if u wanted 2 come 2 dinner

 

What time?

 

6

 

Sure I’ll come by

 

I’ll let her know

 

Molly rolled onto her back, looked down at her pajamas and sighed . So much for her do nothing afternoon. She sat up and began the process of leaving her house again.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

“Hi, Molly!” Robin smiled chipperly as the younger woman walked through the door to the shop. “You’re here early. I haven’t started cooking yet.”

 

“I thought I’d come by early to see if you needed and help, actually,” Molly replied with a smile of her own.

 

“Oh, no,” Robin brushed away her offer with a wave of her hand. “I’m only making spaghetti, so it’s just boiling some noodles and heating up a jar of sauce. Oh! I worked out those numbers for that auto-feed system for your coop, if you’re still interested.”

 

“I am very interested in anything that will make my job easier!” Molly stated, an excited twinkle in her eye. She loved adding on to her grandfather’s old farm as much as Robin enjoyed building it. The ginger haired woman pulled out a tube of paper from under her desk and spread it across the desktop.

 

“This is what I want to do,” she beamed, proudly. “We’ll need to extend the present coop by about ten feet so that it will be closer to the silo. Then, I’ll connect the silo to the coop by cutting holes here and here,” she gestured to spots on the blueprints with her finger. “I’ll connect the two structures with a pipe and then we’ll set up the auto-feeder inside the coop as part of the new hay hopper I’ll put in.”

 

“And the bottom line on all this?” Molly questions, getting straight to business, her brows furrowing a bit.

 

“Ten thousand gold,” Robin replied almost sheepishly. “I know it sounds like a lot for just a matter of convenience, but if you think about it, with the extra space in the coop, you could get those ducks and rabbits that Marnie keeps pestering you about.”

 

“Oh, I see. You and Marnie are in cahoots!” Molly teased with a laugh that Robin returned. Molly sighed, not looking up as the shop door opened again behind her. “Any chance I could get a I put up with your son on a regular basis discount?”

 

“Ha!” came a high pitched, sarcastic laugh that made Molly’s eye twitch involuntarily. “If she gave out that discount, she’d be giving out free services to everyone.”

 

“Hi Molly!” Violet chirped as Molly turned to face the door. She bounded over, wrapping her pudgy arms around Molly’s leg. Molly smiled and placed a hand on the little girl’s dark curls.

 

“Hi sweetie, how’re you?”

 

“Good! Grandma took me and Derek to get ice cream cones!”

 

“She did? That was nice of her. What kind of ice cream did you get?” Molly replied, conversationally.

 

“I got a chocolate and Derek had to just share grandma’s ‘nilla.”

 

“I ran into that nice blacksmith while we were over that way,” Lydia remarked to Robin.

 

“Oh, Clint? How’s he?” Robin replied. “I haven’t seen him since the night of the wedding.

 

“He looks terrible!” Lydia stated dramatically, putting down the wiggling one and a half year old that was in her arms. “Looked like he’d been hit by a truck.”

 

“He was scary!” Violet chimed in. “He looked like a monster!”

 

“Oh, Violet, that’s not a very nice thing to say,” Molly said softly.

 

“It’s true!” she insisted. “His face was all purple and green, like a monster!”

 

“Oh my gosh!” Robin gasped. “I wonder what happened.”

 

“Well, I didn’t feel that it was my place to ask,” Lydia replied, causing Molly to roll her eyes. Since when did she feel the need to NOT pry into other people’s business? “But, it looked to me like he had gotten into a nasty brawl.”

 

“What’s for dinner?” Violet demanded, before the conversation could continue any further.

 

“I’m just about to close the shop and go make some spaghetti,” Robin replied, turning her attention to the little girl.

 

“Oh,” Molly said, remembering what they had been talking about before Lydia and the kids had entered. “Ten thousand should be fine for the coop work. I should have that by the end of the season, as long as my melons and cabbage do well.”

 

“Fantastic!” Robin beamed, rolling the blueprints back up and tucking them away. “You can go ahead and see what Sebby is up to. I yell when dinner’s served.”

 

“Thanks, Robin.” Molly turned and exited the shop and turned down the basement stairs. She knocked softly at Sebastian’s door and waited for a reply before entering. He barely glanced up at her from behind his computer monitor as she entered the room, but the grin that spilled across his face was enough to let Molly know that he was happy to see her.

 

“I thought it was you,” he commented as she walked across the room. “I think you and mom are the only people who knock.”

 

“I can start just barging in, if you’d rather me do that,” she teased coming to stand behind him. She placed a hand on each shoulder and began to gently rub.

 

“Mmm, keep doing that and you can do whatever the hell you want,” he stated making her laugh. She continued to rub for a minute longer, looking over the top of his head to his computer screen where he had apparently been messaging Sam.

 

She’s on this stupid fucking nutritional kick too

Like...

She made me cookies

With raisins

TBH I feel betrayed

She betrayed my taste buds

WHO PUTS RAISINS IN COOKIES

Choccy chips or GTFO!

But even without raisins they tasted gross

They were gluten free

WTF is gluten anyway?!

 

Obviously gluten is the devil

 

I fucking guess

because mom has banned it from the house

Sugar free, gluten free, taste free

I’m going to die!

I’m going to fucking starve to death

 

Molly grinned as she read the Facespace IM. She leaned forward with and arm on either side of the man in the chair in front of her and began to type on the keyboard.

 

I like raisins in cookies

~Molly~

 

Hi Molly

We can’t be friends anymore

I can’t trust you

 

She rolled her eyes with a smile and shake of her head as she continued bending over and wrapped her arms around Sebastian’s shoulders. He reached up with one hand and stroked her bare forearm as Sam continued to complain about his mother’s new clean eating kick.

 

“You smell much better,” Molly commented softly.

 

“Thanks,” he replied. “I shaved for you too.”

 

“My poor delicate lady skin appreciates that,” she teased, pulling a soft chuckle from him as he reached up and began to type a reply to his best friend. “So, I was talking to your mom when I got here about my coop upgrade and Lydia walked in.” Sebastian made an annoyed sound.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

“Usually I’d say so too, but today she had some interesting gossip.”

 

“If you’re going to start gossiping with Lydia, we’re breaking up.”

 

“Well, I mean,” Molly continued on, “I wasn’t really gossiping with her. I just happened to be in the room.” He gave another grunt, indicating that he was listening, but still didn’t really care. She ducked her head to kiss his shoulder. “She said,” she continued on, before kissing his shoulder again, a little higher. “That she took the kids to get ice cream,” another kiss and he tilted his head away from her to allow her access to his neck. “And they ran into Clint.” She finished in a whisper by his ear and felt his shoulder stiffen under her touch, ever so slightly.

 

“Oh?” he questioned, attempting to sound nonchalant.

 

“Yeah,” Molly replied, resting her cheek on his shoulder and watching the side of his face. “Apparently he looked pretty bad. Violet said he looked like a monster because his face was all purple and green.”

 

“Hmm, that’s weird.”

 

“Sebastian,” she said standing up straight and spinning him in his chair to face her. “Who did you get into a fight with last week?”

 

“Sorry, I don’t speak English.”

 

“Come on, I’m serious.”

 

“No comprendo.” Molly glared at him and crossed her arms. “Come on,” he said reaching up and attempting to take her hands in his. “It doesn’t matter.”

 

“It does matter,” Molly stated, pulling away from him. “First of all, I don’t want to have secrets between the two of us. For another, why are you fighting Clint, of all people?”

 

“Hey, I never admitted to…” he faltered under Molly’s gaze. He was quiet for a long moment, his hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. “Ok… I might have been present during the incident. It was mostly Shane though.”

“Why?” Molly demanded, completely baffled. “Clint is one the nicest guys I’ve ever met!” Sebastian couldn’t keep the eyeroll and scoff that escaped him contained. “Seriously, What the hell could he have possibly done to earn that kind of punishment.” He inhaled to speak but was cut off by a knock on the door.

 

“Dinner’s ready! Come upstairs!” Maru shouted through the door before she could be heard bounding back up the stairs.

 

“Can we talk about this after dinner?” Sebastian asked softly.

 

“Fine, but don’t think I’m going to forget about it.”

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Dinner passed uneventfully, with only a few snide remarks from Lydia that were easily ignored. Violet had informed Molly that Sebastian had gone camping because she had told him that Molly would miss him if he didn’t go, and Molly agreed with her that she was right and would have missed him, causing a blush to spread across Sebastian’s face. Even Demetrius had participated in conversation, asking if Molly would be willing to allow him to use the small cave on her farm to do some kind of research on the local bats, which she agreed to.

 

Sebastian had been particularly quiet during dinner, trying to come up with the best way of explaining why he and Shane had gotten into a fight with the town’s blacksmith the week before. He was going to tell her the truth, of course, he was just dreading it. Lucky for him, his wonderful and caring girlfriend had volunteered for dish duty after dinner, buying him more time and prolonging the inevitable. Unluckily, she had also volunteered him for dish duty.

 

After the last dish had been dried and put away, the pair excused themselves from the kitchen and made the walk back to Sebastian’s basement room. He closed the door behind him as Molly sat down on the sofa, pulling her legs up under her and getting comfortable.

 

“Do you want to listen to some music or something?” he asked, avoiding her eyes.

 

“No, I want you to talk to me and you know it.”

 

“Where do you want me to start?” he sighed and sat down on the opposite end of the couch from her.

 

“You can start with why Clint? Like, seriously. He’s one of the nicest people in town and--”

 

“He’s the one who roofied you,” Sebastian interrupted making her fall completely silent.

 

“...What?” she dumbly questioned, after a long moment.

 

“Well, he didn’t mean to, if that makes you feel better,” he stated callously. She stared at him in disbelief causing him to sigh and run a hand through his dark hair. Positioning himself on the couch so that he was facing his girlfriend, he leaned back against the arm to try and get comfortable before launching into the details of everything he knew. He started by telling her about how he was in bed pouting when Sam busted in with his realization about what happened. He continued on by telling her how he had gone to speak with Shane at the Stardrop. And then he told her how they had asked Clint to step outside with them. “I don’t know how it got so out of hand,” he explained. “We were just going to rough him up a little. Make him think twice before even thinking about pulling that bullshit again. But... Shane snapped. I honest to god thought that Shane was going to beat Clint to death. So, when I finally… Came to my senses, I guess, I grabbed him. Tried to pull him off Clint, but he swung around and clocked me in the face with his elbow. Which is how this happened,” he gestured to the spot where his bruise had all but completely faded away. “But, it was at least enough of a distraction for Clint to get away. So… that’s it. That’s what happened.”

 

Molly sat quietly, looking pensive as she stared blankly at a spot on the floor beside her. Her mind was swirling and she was trying to decide what she wanted to say to him first. But more importantly: how she wanted to say it. She knew that Sebastian had taken it upon himself to defend her honor. Who says chivalry is dead? But, holy Yoba, he had gone about it the wrong way. But she didn’t want to seem ungrateful either. And she definitely didn’t want Sebastian to get mad at her again.

 

“Has anybody told Emily?” is what she finally decided on.

 

“Ye-- uh… what? I don’t know.”

 

“Don’t you think she should know that someone tried to rape her?”

 

“Well, I mean, I’m sure Shane told her…” He said lamely. “And he’s still walking her home at night, and I’m sure Clint isn’t stupid enough to try anything again.”

 

“Still,” Molly continued softly. “I’m going to stop by the Stardrop on my way home tonight to talk to her and make sure she knows.” Sebastian only nodded slowly as he concentrated on picking at a frayed hole in his black jeans. Molly looked at the side of his head, his face blocked by a curtain of hair, making it impossible to read his expression. If this was his way of hiding, she wasn’t going to allow it. Moving on her knees, she made he way to the other end of the couch and planted herself on his lap, forcing him to look at her.

 

“Hey,” he said with soft amusement as her arms wrapped loosely around his shoulders, his own arms coming up as if by their own free will to wrap around her middle.

 

“I just wish,” she began softly, “that you would have done something a little more…” she paused, choosing a word, “practical… before beating the shit out of someone.”

 

“Such as?”

 

“Maybe going to Lewis and telling him,” Molly suggested, making Sebastian scoff.

 

“Like Lewis would ever listen to anything that comes out of my mouth,” he muttered. Molly inhaled to say something else and he cut her off. “Besides, it’s not like I had proof.” Molly sighed with a small smile.

 

“You’re impossible.”

 

He gave a slight shrug as she leaned into him, bringing her lips to his. As she began to pull away, his arms tightened around her, holding her close to him. She kissed him again, slow and soft. Then again a third time before allowing the kiss to deepen. After a moment, she felt Sebastian’s hand begin to glide down her side from her waist, pausing on her hip long enough for him to get up the nerve to move to her rear. When she made no protest, he gave a light squeeze and began to maneuver his other hand to begin working its way under her t-shirt.

 

The door flew open without warning.

 

“Aunt Robin wants to know… EWWW, they’re kissing!” Violet yelled, running out of the room. Before Molly had time to remove herself from Sebastian’s lap, Lydia’s squat form entered the room.

 

“No, no, come right in,” Sebastian grumbled as Molly awkwardly stood up, her face flushed with embarrassment. Lydia glared between the two of them, rooted to the spot in the doorway as she chose what to say. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity under her glare, one side of Lydia’s mouth turned up in a smirk.

 

“You know,” she began. “I thought that you said that you weren’t actually in a relationship, Sebastian. That it was all fake.” She turned her attention to Molly. “How do you feel about that?” Molly stood dumbfounded for a moment. How long ago had Sebastian told her the relationship wasn’t real? She looked to her new boyfriend who simply rolled his eyes.

 

“You said our relationship isn’t real?” She demanded dramatically, feeding Lydia’s desire to cause problems. “But I’ve already named our children! What will happen to little Damien and Courtney?” He bit down on the inside of his cheek to keep from bursting out in laughter. “After all we’ve been through!” She rounded on Lydia. “I’m sorry,” she was pretending to hold back tears now. “Can you just give us a minute?” she made her voice break as she rushed over and shut the door on Lydia. “I can not believe you would say something like that!” She continued loud enough that Lydia would be able to hear from where she was surely lurking on the other side of the door. “After all that mind blowing sex we’ve had!” Sebastian clapped a hand over his mouth as he tried to hold back the laughter threatening to erupt. Molly took out her phone and shot off a text to the man in front of her.

 

I’m going 2 storm out

I’ll txt U when I get home

 

“I know, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it,” Sebastian replied, attempting his best apologetic tone as he read her text.

 

Kk

ILY

 

“Sorry doesn’t take back what you’ve said, Sebastian!” She yelled, somehow managing to still sound angry even as she smiled at her phone. She leaned down and kissed him softly on the lips. “I am leaving!” she huffed as she headed for the door. Turning back toward him, she made a heart shape with her hands before turning her face into a scowl and throwing open the door. Lydia had made it halfway down the hall before the door had opened and Molly glared angrily at her as she slammed Sebastian’s door behind her and began to stomp up the stairs.

 

_________________________________________________________________

Chapter Text

True to her word, Molly had stopped by the Stardrop Saloon the previous evening and had a long talk with Emily. Together they had decided to speak with Mayor Lewis about Clint’s actions so that he would be aware incase anything happened in the future. They also decided that since Shane and Sebastian had taken it upon themselves to make sure Clint learned his lesson, they wouldn’t be pressing any legal charges against him. The talk had gone late into the night though, and had caused Molly to fall back to sleep after her alarm had gone off that morning.

 

When she had awoken, the sun was high in the sky, making her curse loudly, throw on the first set of clothes that she could get her hands on, and run out the door to take care of her farm work. The chickens got fed first, since their breakfast was already late and Molly pleaded to any higher power that might be listening that her crops did well enough that she could get the auto feeder installed by Robin before Winter set in. She knew herself better than anyone and knew that she was not going to want to plow through snow every morning at the crack of dawn to feed the chickens.

 

As she sprinkled water over all of her crops with the small metal watering can, she thought about how nice it would be to have a sprinkler system put in, too. Making a mental note to ask Robin who she would talk to about that, she checked the growth of her various crops. The next day would be a big harvest day. Probably her last one of the season. Briefly, she considered recruiting Sebastian to help her, but then remembered that Tuesday was aerobics day for Robin and Lydia and he would probably be on babysitting duty.

 

It was well into the afternoon when Molly finally finished up her farm work and returned to her farm house. She needed coffee, as she neglected to make any in her rush to leave her house that morning and was beginning to get a headache. Setting up her coffee pot to percolate, she grab the bottle of headache medicine from the counter, took two, and set off to find her phone to see if she had missed anything that morning. A string of messages from Sebastian.

 

Hey

RU still up for that date?

2nite maybe?

6?

Or 7? w/e works 4U

Or if ur busy, some other day is ok 2

Hello?

RU dead?

 

HEY!

Sorry!

I woke up L8 this AM & just got done w/ farm stuff

 

Lol, was ready 2 come look 4U

I’m OK

Date? Yes!

6 good!

Cool :)

My place @ 6

CU then! :3

 

A sudden nervousness washed over her as she sat her phone on the counter. She couldn't remember how long it had been since she had been on a date. She could remember that her last date had gone badly. She had attempted an online dating website and agreed to meet with one of her matches for coffee. It had started off as any first date, but quickly devolved as they came to realize that they had nothing in common and abruptly ended when Molly had picked up her coffee cup by the lid, which wasn’t properly secure, and dumped hot coffee all over her date. For some reason, he never called again…

 

Taking a deep breath, she attempted to calm her nerves by reminding herself that it was only Sebastian. He was already her boyfriend. She already knew that they had things in common. She had absolutely no reason to be nervous! But that didn’t mean she wasn’t…

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Molly stood in front on her full length mirror in only her bra and panties. Having just gotten out of the shower, her hair was wrapped in a towel and she leaned toward the mirror to more closely examine her face. She used her fingers to squish her cheeks, making her lips pout out.Using the backs of her fingers, she attempted to smooth out the barely there double chin. She prodded at the bags under her eyes and squinted. Was she getting wrinkles? She refused to believe that she was getting old already.

 

Sighing, she took a step back to scrutinize the rest of her body in the mirror. She had lost weight since moving to the farm, but she still had love handles, and she pouted as she pinched them and then attempted to smooth them away as she turned to look at herself sideways. Her thighs had stretch marks, her butt had cellulite, her boobs were not perky. Sucking in her stomach as much as she could, she used her hands to lift her boobs and looked down at the cleavage that would disappear as soon as she let go. Releasing the breath that she was holding to keep her stomach sucked in, she slumped. She was a gross mess and couldn’t understand why anybody would want to date her. Grabbing her phone from the bathroom counter where it sat playing music, she sent a text to Abigail.

 

SOS

Send fashion ASAP

Date @ 6

 

Watchu need?

 

Everything!

Clothes, hair, make up, shoes

New body, TBH

 

OMW!

CU soon!

 

Molly busied herself with brushing her teeth and getting the tangles from her hair as she waited for Abigail. It took twenty minutes for her purple haired friend to appear at her door. When she arrived, the first thing she did was upend a small backpack on Molly’s kitchen table and plugged in a curling iron to get it heated.

 

“I don’t have anything that would fit you, unfortunately,” Abigail stated, turning to Molly who stood in her kitchen wearing a pink bathrobe. “So we need to find something in your closet.” Molly sighed, dejected. Of course she had already known that she couldn’t fit into Abigail’s clothes, but she had been desperately hoping that Abigail could find something. If only Molly were just a little thinner… “Hey! Don’t look so glum, chum! We’ll find you something!” Abigail gave Molly a firm pat on the shoulder as she walked passed her into the bedroom.

 

Following Abigail, Molly sat on the edge of her bed as the young woman opened the closet door and pulled the chain hanging from a bare bulb in the ceiling. The sound of clothes hangers being slid across the metal rod filled the room as Abigail silently weighed all of the options.

 

“Where are all your dresses?” she demanded.

 

“I have that yellow one from the wedding…” Molly replied. She had never been one to wear dresses. Thinking of the reason why, she sighed. Dresses were uncomfortable. Her stupid thighs rubbed together when she walked and always started to chafe.

 

“No good,” Abigail commented going back to her search of the closet. “That dress would be too formal… What do you have for pants?”

 

“Bottom drawer,” she replied, gesturing over her shoulder with her thumb. Abigail was equally disappointed with the selection in the dresser.

 

“Molly, You have got to go clothes shopping…”

 

“I hate clothes shopping,” Molly replied. “They never have anything cute in my size.”

 

“You are seriously not that big,” Abigail insisted. “You’re about the same size as Maru.”

 

“Would Maru have anything?”

 

“Maru’s wardrobe consists of overalls and scrubs. I was actually really impressed when she wore dress pants to Marnie and Lewis’ wedding.” Abigail made her way back to the closet to begin digging deeper. After a few minutes, she reappeared, holding a pair of black jeans. “What’s wrong with these?” Molly took them from her friend’s outstretched hand and looked them over. She barely remembered owning them.

 

“They were a Winter Star gift,” she recalled. “They were too small and I forgot to exchange them before I left home, so I just tossed them into the ‘maybe someday’ pile.”

 

“Well, hopefully someday is today! Try ‘em on!”

 

Molly sighed again as she stood up, preparing herself to feel even worse about her body. Stepping into the skinny jeans, first one leg, then the other, she pulled them up. Much to her pleasant surprise, she was able to zip and button them and still sit comfortably. Apparently, she had lost enough weight on the farm to fit into the clothes in her ‘maybe someday’ pile.

 

“They fit!” Molly grinned, in shock. She looked up at Abigail. “How do they look?”

 

“Probably better without the bathrobe,” she teased. “But it’s a start.”

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian’s bedroom door swung open without warning, as it tended to do making him look up from the coding he was working on. Maru entered, closing the door behind her and sat in the chair next to his spare computer. They stared at each other in silence for a moment.

 

“...Hey?” Sebastian said, attempting to read his half-sister’s blank stare.

 

“Hey,” she replied back, simply. They sat in silence another half moment.

 

“Uhh… what’s up?” he asked, confused as to why his sister was in his room. She appeared to be carefully choosing her words. After another long moment, she finally spoke.

 

“Fuck you.”

 

“...Oh… kay?”

 

“Seb…” she sighed. “You’re my brother and I love you, but you really piss me off.”

 

“The fuck did I do?” Sebastian demanded, beginning to grow irritated.

 

“You had absolutely no place outting me to Lydia.”

 

“Oh…” he replied, his stomach dropping out. He had completely forgotten about the blow up with his aunt and how he had been so angry that he had blurted out that Maru had a girlfriend.

 

“Yeah, oh ,” she spat back. “She just brought it up last night during dessert after Molly left.”

 

“Maru, I’m really sorry--”

 

“Save it,” she cut off his apology with a raising of her hand. “...it’s fine.” She went quiet again as she continued to choose what to say. “...I have been deciding how to rip you a new one since last night when it happened… but… I don’t know, I was so scared of coming out to Lydia, you know, with how she’s always making fun of you for being gay… making comments and stuff… It sounds shitty, but I didn’t want the same kind of abuse you get even though you’re not actually gay.” Sebastian nodded. He wouldn’t wish Lydia’s constant bullying on anyone, and if he had thought about that at the time, he would have been more conscious of the words that he let spill out of his mouth.  

 

“I wasn’t thinking…” he explained quietly, feeling embarrassed.

 

“That’s pretty obvious,” Maru teased, giving her brother a small smile. “But, I’m glad I waited to come down here and yell at you.”

 

“Yeah? Why’s that?”

 

“Well, apparently, Lydia wants to meet Abigail…” Maru stated, sheepishly. “So, she’s coming over for dinner tonight.”

 

“Do you ever get sick of being the favorite?” Sebastian chuckled softly.

 

“Sometimes,” she smiled back. “Anyway, Abby will probably want to thank you too. I know she’s been getting tired of pretending to just be friends this summer.”

 

“That’s actually kind of funny, now that I think of it,” he mused. “You had to pretend to be just friends with your girlfriend and I had to pretend to be in a relationship.”

 

“Yeah, how’s that going?”

 

“Good,” he replied. “We’ve got a date tonight, so…”

 

“Nice, where’re you taking her?”

 

“Uhh… picnic…” he answered, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

“Ahh, that’s cute,” Maru gushed. “I figured you’d take her to dinner in the city or something.” Sebastian felt his face growing hot and he gave a simple shrug. He had gone back and forth with his idea for the date since he had originally conceived it that night at the sushi restaurant. Deciding that it was time to stop delaying, he pulled the metaphoric trigger on his idea and asked Molly to join him for their date. “Anyway, I should get going. I still need to give Abby a call to see if--” Maru was cut off by Sebastian’s door flying open again and Sam walking in holding a desktop computer tower.

 

“Seriously,” Sebastian grumbled. “Why is it that my girlfriend is the only person who knocks before coming into my room? The one person that really shouldn’t have to is the only one that does!”

 

“Sorry, man,” Sam huffed, slightly out of breath from his trek from his house carrying the computer. He sat it down heavily on the floor next to his raven haired best friend. “Phew! Man, I should have just called you to come over instead of dragging this whole thing here.”

 

“And why, if I may ask,” Sebastian questioned, “did you lug your computer here anyway.”

 

“It broke. Need fix. You fix!” Sam grunted in his best caveman impression. Sebastian rolled his eyes as Maru giggled.

 

“Alright,” Maru said as she stood up. “Anyway, thanks, Seb.”

 

“Thanks for what?” he asked.

 

“For not having a brain to mouth filter,” she teased with a grin before turning to leave the room.

 

“What did your lack of filter do now?” Sam questioned as he watched her leave the room and leaving the door cracked open behind her.

 

“I got mad and told Lydia that Maru had a girlfriend.”

 

“Dude, that’s fucked up.”

 

“I know…”

 

“Way to throw her under the bus, I mean, shit…”

 

“Sam, what do you want?” Sebastian demanded, changing the subject. “I need to start getting ready to go pretty soon.”

 

“Ooo, where are you off to?” Sam cooed causing Sebastian to roll his eyes.

 

“Date. Molly. Six. Computer. Problem. Now. Go!”

 

“Jeez, you get so uppity.”

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

“Sam, if this computer was a dog, I would take it to be put down and end its misery!” Molly heard Sebastian yell through his slightly ajar bedroom door from her position on the stairs.

 

“Yes, but you can fix it, right?” came the muffled reply. She heard the loud sigh as she made her way onto the landing and approached the door.

 

“I am going to have to completely wipe everything back to factory settings and even then it might still be fucked,” Sebastian complained as Molly pushed the door open with her hand. Sam stood next to Sebastian’s spare computer with his arms crossed over his chest, looking to a spot on the floor, where, she assumed, Sebastian was located. Seeing movement out of the corner of his eye, Sam turned to look in Molly’s direction.

 

“Well, hey there sexy lady. Are you lost, because someone as pretty as you wouldn’t waste time on my loser best friend,” Sam teased. At his words there was a loud thump and a hiss of pain as Sebastian appeared from below his desk rubbing the back of his head.

 

“Are you okay?” Molly gasped. Sebastian simply continued rubbing the back of his head as he glared at the clock on his computer screen. 6:07. Shit. Sam had distracted him with his computer problem long enough that he was beyond late to start getting ready for his date.

 

“God dammit, Sam,” he grumbled as he stood up. His eyes fell to his girlfriend and his hand halted rubbing the sore spot on the back of his head. “Uhh… you look… you look nice.” he stuttered, lamely. She looked amazing and Sebastian had never seen her in clothes that were quite so… huggy.

 

“And you look completely unprepared,” Molly teased with a coy smile. He looked down at his sweat pants and ratty t-shirt with a sigh. He had intended to start getting ready an hour ago.

 

“Yeah, for someone who really wants us to date, Sam is sabotaging me.”

 

“Oops,” Sam commented, simply. “Sorry… I had computer trouble.”

 

“What’s wrong with it?” Molly asked conversationally, though she know that she wouldn’t be able to help fix the problem in any way.

 

“I tried to download porn… it wasn’t porn,” Sam replied, sounding more disappointed than anything. Molly chuckled.

 

“Who still downloads porn?”

 

“That’s what I said!” Sebastian exclaimed.

 

“Hey!” Sam rounded on Sebastian. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for a date?” Sebastian rolled his eyes in reply and glared at his best friend as he shouldered past him to walk across the room to his dresser.

 

“I’ll try to be quick,” He mumbled to Molly, coming back across the room with an armful of clean clothes. “Sorry.”

 

“No worries,” Molly replied. “I’ll just busy myself by snooping through all your stuff.” Sebastian’s eyebrows furrowed for a moment before his face relaxed and he shrugged.

 

“Let me know if you find anything interesting,” he joked as he turned to leave.

 

“Hey, since my computer is broken, can I borrow your laptop?” Sam called after his friend as he walked from the room.

 

“No!” came a shout from down the hall.

 

“Damn,” Sam muttered. “Looks like I’m going to just have to look at my ceiling light tonight…”

 

“What?”

 

“It looks kinda like a boob,” Sam replied with a shrug, causing Molly to scrunch up her face in a look somewhere between confusion and disgust. “Anyway, I’m outty. Enjoy your date.”

 

“Thanks,” Molly replied with a chuckle. “You enjoy your date too.” Sam held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers at her before walking from the room and heading up the stairs.

 

Molly shook her head with a sigh at her blond haired friend. That man was absolutely ridiculous. Looking around the room, she searched for something to occupy her attention while she waited for her date to get ready.

 

Pulling her phone from her pocket, she plopped down in Sebastian’s computer chair to attempt to beat her current level in the match-3 game that she played: Matchy Manor. She was on level 214. The same level she’d been on for over a day and she was beginning to feel irritated with it.

 

She had used four out of her five lives when she heard the twinkle of an instant message from Sebastian’s computer. Looking up from her phone, she reached over and clicked on the blinking icon that looked like a speech bubble, assuming it was either Sam or Abigail. She jerked her hand away from the mouse as the window popped up and she read 1 new message from: Amber.

 

Molly was torn. On one hand she really wanted to respect her new boyfriend’s privacy. On the other, she was nosy and wanted to know why Sebastian’s ex was messaging him. Drumming her fingers on the desk beside the mouse as she weighed the pros and cons of clicking on the message, she wondered how mad Sebastian would be at the blatant disregard for his privacy. Her fingers switched from nervous drumming to slowly walking her hand closer to the mouse.

 

“Okay,” Sebastian said coming into the room and making Molly jump slightly. “Just gotta put my shoes on and grab some stuff from upstairs and we can go. What’s the matter?” He had noticed the guilty expression on her face.

 

“What? Nothing? I wasn’t doing anything,” She replied. He cocked an eyebrow at her. She cleared her throat. “Umm… you got a message from Amber…” Sebastian rolled his eyes and made a disgusted sound as he flopped down on his sofa and began to lace up his sneakers.

 

“What’d she say?”

 

“I didn’t look!” Molly insisted. He gave a soft chuckle. “I didn’t! You can see for yourself! … I thought about it.”

 

“So, open it, I don’t care.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah,” he replied looking up with a smirk. “No secrets between us, right?”

 

“Fine, I will,” Molly smirking back, still feeling slightly guilty about clicking on the message even though she had permission. “Oh… she’s been sending you a lot of messages.” Molly skimmed over the messages that he had gotten over the last few days.

 

Hey Bas! It was so great running into you tonight!

I’ve missed you so much

We should get together to catch up

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What’s the matter?

New girlfriend won’t let you talk to me?

I won’t tell ;o)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You have been on my mind non stop since the other night

I really miss you…

You don’t have to ignore me just because your girl is a little insecure

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey, maybe we could meet up for coffee

Rose Blood is going to be doing a show downtown this Friday

We should go! I know how much you like them

It’ll be just like old times

Oh!

We could get dinner before the show and coffee after

 

“She’s been sending messages since that night at sushi…” Sebastian sighed, coming to stand behind Molly and reading the new message over her shoulder. “I’ve just been trying to ignore her.”

 

“She really wants to get back together,” Molly commented. He shrugged.

 

“Not happening. Never going there again.”

 

Molly smirked as she looked back to the open message. She took the mouse back in her hand, moved it over the settings gear, and hovered over the BLOCK CONTACT link. Looking Sebastian dead in the eye with the mischievous look that her face often had, she clicked.

 

“Oops!” she stated simply, a wide smile spreading across her boyfriend’s face.

 

Chapter Text

“So, where are we going?” Molly questioned as she followed Sebastian along a narrow game trail through the thick forest to the east of the Joja Mart.

 

As they had approach the Joja Mart, she had teased him for taking her on a date to some place he knew she hated. Absolute bafflement took over, though, as she watched him toss the backpack that was slung over one shoulder, up and over the six foot tall, chain link fence that separated the wooded area from the Joja property line. Watching as he grabbed the top of the fence, her jaw dropped as he squirreled his way over it.

 

“What are you doing!” she had demanded. He smirked at her as he bent to pick up the back pack.

 

“Come on, live a little.”

 

Molly looked around to make sure no one saw, and with a smile and shake of her head, followed Sebastian over the fence and into the woods.

 

“I’ll tell you when we get there,” Sebastian chuckled as he flicked the butt of his cigarette with his thumb to knock off the extra ashes before taking another pull from it.

 

“You’re taking me deep into the woods to sacrifice me to the devil, aren’t you?”

 

“Of course not!” Sebastian replied, sounding offended and turning so he was walking backward to face her. “You’re not a virgin, sacrificing you would just be a complete waste of resources.” Molly stuck out her tongue at her boyfriend’s teasing and he chuckled at her as he turned back around. “We’re almost there.”

 

They only needed to walk along the game trail for a few more minutes until it opened up into a wide clearing covered in tall green grass and small white flowers. The scene gave Molly a feeling of tranquility. The sun had begun to sink and the cicadas and crickets were beginning to sing their nightly summer songs. Sebastian tossed his cigarette butt on the ground and rubbed it into the earth with the toe of his shoe before unshouldering the backpack he carried and setting it down on the ground.

 

Unzipping the pack, he removed a sheet and spread it over the ground. Molly watched in amusement as he began pulling a variety of foods from the bag as well, and placed them on the sheet.

 

“You packed a picnic!” Molly giggled. Sebastian looked up at her warily and turning red.

 

“You hate it,” he stated simply looking embarrassed.

 

“No! I love it!” Molly gushed with a beaming smile. “I just never thought of you as the picnic type.” He grinned back shyly at her and shrugged.

 

“I just… thought that you’d like it.”

 

“Well, I do,” she replied, returning his shy grin and coming to plant a soft kiss on his cheek before sitting down cross legged on the sheet. Sebastian joined her on the sheet, still feeling sheepish. He thought to himself that, maybe, he should have just taken her on a cliche first date, because now that he had her here with him, it seemed like a really dumb idea. “So, what’s for dinner?” she questioned.

 

“Uhh… sandwiches,” he answered lamely. Yeah, this was a dumb idea.

 

“What?” she gasped. “No oysters? No chocolate? No strawberries?”

 

“I feel like you think that my intentions with you are impure!” He joked causing her to roll her eyes. “Actually, I do have strawberries in here.” He laughed as he began to pull more food containers from the bag. “Voila!” he exclaimed as he produced a container full of the red fruit. Molly’s attention, however, was drawn to something else taken from the bag.

 

“What’s this?” she asked, picking up a mason jar full of strips of paper. Peering in, she could see Sebastian’s neat handwriting adorning each strip. Looking up at her boyfriend, she found that he had turned a deeper shade of crimson and he was beginning to fidget with a blade of grass that he had plucked from the ground.

 

“I thought it might be fun,” he mumbled with a shrug. Curiously, Molly unscrewed the lid to the jar and pulled out one of the strips.

 

“Did you write out a bunch of get to know you questions?” Molly exclaimed as she looked up from the slip of paper to Sebastian, who appeared to be dying from embarrassment. “This is amazing!”

 

“Thanks,” he mumbled softly again. Molly giggled as she looked back down at the piece of paper.

 

“What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?” she read and looked back up to the man seated beside her. She watched the tension ease from his shoulders as she took the lead on his activity.

 

“Chocolate chip cookie dough,” he grinned, reaching forward to pull the lid from a container.

 

“Strawberry for me!”

 

“Plain old strawberry, huh?”

 

“What can I say?” Molly chuckled. “I like strawberries. But fun fact: I absolutely hate cherries!”

 

“Who doesn’t like cherries?”

 

“Who doesn’t like jelly?”

 

“...I like cherries,” Sebastian commented and Molly replied by making a gagging sound.

 

“Come on, go, it’s your turn,” she stated as they both chuckled. Sebastian chewed the bite of sandwich he had just taken as he fished a strip from the jar.

 

“What is the most interesting fact that you know?” he read from the slip before tossing it onto the sheet, beside the jar. Molly looked pensive and hummed as she thought about the question.

 

“Horses can’t vomit,” she replied finally causing Sebastian to make a face as he swallowed his food.

 

“Ew, why do you know that?”

 

“The internet,” she replied, simply. “Actually, because of the valve in their stomach, their stomach will rupture before they throw up.” Sebastian’s face scrunched up even more. “What’s your most interesting fact?” He thought a brief moment.

 

“No number before one thousand contains the letter A,” he replied. Molly looked at him blankly for a moment, then slowly her brows drew together and her eyes began to shift as her brain worked. “Yeah, you’re trying to find one, aren’t you?” he teased her. “You won’t find one!”

 

“Holy shit, mind blown…” she mumbled, causing him to laugh. He took another bite of sandwich as he looked across the field that was rapidly growing darker and smiled to himself.

 

“Ah, there’s the reason I brought you all the way out here.”

 

“Hmm?” she questioned looking to him from the jar where she was fishing out the next question. He pointed toward the field and she followed his finger with her eyes. “Wow…” she breathed in awe. Thousands of fireflies twinkled as they floated above the grass and Sebastian silently congratulated himself for listening to his brain’s dumb idea as he watched Molly’s face. “Seb, this is beautiful.”

 

“Yeah, nothing more breathtaking than watching bugs trying to get laid,” he commented, forcing an annoyed sound from his girlfriend.

 

“I hate you.”

 

“Come on, you know I’m a hopeless romantic,” he laughed as Molly sighed and shook her head. Quietly, she enjoyed her own private light show for a moment longer, appreciating the fact that her boyfriend really was a romantic, whether he wanted to honestly admit it or not. Returning to the jar, she pulled out a slip of paper and pretended to read it.

 

“Do you want kids?”

 

“What? I don’t remember writing that,” he stated making a grab for the paper as Molly pulled it out of his reach. “Oh, we’re going to play it like that, huh?” he chuckled and Molly smirked at him. “Uhh, yeah… Someday, I guess,” he shrugged. “I think Mom would be pretty upset if she never got any grandkids.”

 

“I mean, Maru could always adopt.”

 

“Yeah, you’re right,” he replied. “I don’t know that I’d be any good at it… I didn’t know my real dad and Demetrius is a shitty excuse for a dad… But, I dunno, I guess I always assumed I’d have my own.” Molly grinned as she watched him shrug again and reach for the jar. Pulling a slip of paper, he barely pretended to read it before saying, “What’s pierced below your neck?”

 

“Why did I know that was coming?” Molly laughed with a slow shake of her head. “Nothing… anymore.”

 

“Ugh! You tease!” he said, sounding thoroughly disappointed. “Why not?” Molly giggled.

 

“Well, back in college,” she began, almost shyly. “I had both of my nipples pierced.”

 

“Nice,” he commented, making her blush.

 

“But, when I got together with Daniel, my ex, he said that he thought they were trashy, so I took them out and they closed up.”

 

“But he was ok with the tongue ring?” Sebastian questioned with a raised brow.

 

“Well, much like the blue hair, the tongue ring happened in my post breakup, rebellious phase,” she replied with a shrug.

 

“But you didn’t feel like getting the ladies repierced?”

 

“The ladies? Oh my god…” Molly groaned at Sebastian’s word usage. “No, I didn’t really see the point of it. It was a fun thing to have when I was younger, but, I dunno, I figured that nobody was going to be looking anyway…” Molly trailed off. A spark of annoyance burned in Sebastian at Molly’s ex, but more so at her sister. He felt that between the two of them, Molly had had her confidence shattered. Confidence that she had every right to have and he looked at the gorgeous woman sitting next to him with pity that she couldn’t see what he saw when he looked at her. He watched as she sighed silently and looked at the slip of paper clutched in her hand. “What are you most looking forward to that is happening soon?” Just like that, Molly’s normal demeanor was back. He wished he had her ability to not dwell on things.

 

“The dance of the moonlight jellies,” he replied with certainty.

 

“I’m sorry, the what?”

 

“Ugh! You haven’t experienced a jellies festival yet! It’s actually one of the festivals that I enjoy,” he explained. “It’s… just something you’ll have to see for yourself.”

 

“Ooo, so mysterious,” she teased. She thought a moment before speaking. “Well, I’m not sure if I’m really looking forward to it, but I have a big harvest day coming up tomorrow. Once I get everything sold, It means money and I look forward to money.”

 

“Truth,” he stated, looking down at his own slip of paper. “If you could choose your own nickname, what would you want people to call you?”

 

“You can’t choose your own nickname! Nicknames are either earned or shortened versions of your full name. I’m pretty happy I got Molly instead of one of the other many possibilities.”

 

“What do you mean?” Sebastian asked confused.

 

“Well, my real name is Margaret,” Molly replied pulling a surprised look onto Sebastian’s face. “I could have gotten stuck with... Margo or… Margie... Greta. Someone once told me that a nickname for Margaret was Minx and I’m like I’m not a stripper !” Molly laughed. “It’s easy for you, all you have to do is introduce yourself with your real name and let people pick their own nickname for you. I have an old lady name.”

 

“I suppose,” he shrugged, still shocked that he didn’t even know his own girlfriend’s real name. “I got Seb… Bas… That disappointment that lives in the basement, that one’s my favorite.”

 

Sebby ,” Molly teased, ignoring his last comment. He chuckled softly.

 

“Only my mom calls me that… And you that once.”

 

“What? Just now?”

 

“No, uhh… the night of the wedding.” He looked away a bit uncomfortably, choosing to watch the dancing lights over the field instead.

 

“Oh…” Molly said quietly. “Sorry about that…”

 

“It’s ok,” he replied with a soft chuckle. “...It was kinda cute, actually.” He looked sideways at her as she groaned and buried her face in her hands. Reaching to her, he gently rubbed his hand over her back.

 

“I just wish I could remember what happened that night,” she sighed. “It’s just so frustrating having a big blank spot in your brain.”

 

He turned his face to look back at her and saw that her eyes were looking over the field as well. Racking his brain, he grasped at ideas to somehow make her feel better. This being the second time that he had managed to make her feel bad, he struggled to come up with some way to save their date. She had been told already what had happened that night, but it didn’t seem like that was enough. They sat in silence for a long time, until an idea came to him and he grinned.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Making their way back the way they came was more difficult in the dark, and soon the flashlights on Sebastian and Molly’s cell phones had to be utilized to light the way. They had sat eating their picnic dinner and reading from the slips of paper until they could no longer see what was written on them. Sebastian’s activity had actually let them find out lots of random facts about each other. Sebastian found out that Molly had once ate an entire bar of hotel room soap for a dare. Molly found out that Sebastian knew all the words to Ice Ice Baby and promptly made him rap it, though he refused to do more than the first verse. Molly had thoroughly enjoyed her first official date with her boyfriend, and she wondered if he had anything else planned for the evening.

 

They scrambled back over the chain link fence by the Joja Mart and began walking back toward town, hand in hand. Molly assumed that they were just walking back toward her farm, so when Sebastian pulled her in the direction of the Stardrop, her curiosity was immediately piqued.

 

“What’re you up to?” she questioned as they came to a stop at the side of the building and he tossed the backpack to the ground.

 

“Well,” he mumbled as he took his cell phone from his pocket and turned it on, the light illuminating his face with it’s blue glow. “I can’t tell you what happened inside the night of the wedding, because Lydia pissed me off, so I came out here to smoke… But, I can try to show you what happened after you wandered out here.” Molly beamed with both joy and amusement, wondering how she had managed to find the most secretly thoughtful person in the town and sucker him into dating her.

 

“Aww,” she cooed, the sound being the only thing she could come up with to express her feelings at that moment.

 

“So… let’s see…” he said, thoughtfully, tapping at the screen of his phone, then smiled as he remembered back to the night of the wedding. “I was here smoking, and you came out and scared the living shit out of me.” Molly laughed loudly.

 

“What? Did I jump out and yell BOO!”

 

“No, you just asked me if I was hiding again, but you weren’t wearing shoes, so I didn’t hear you coming.”

 

“Hey, you walk around all night in four inch heels and see how you like it.”

 

“Anyway,” Sebastian continued with a chuckle, pulling a pair of earbuds from his pocket and putting them into the jack on his phone. “I assumed that you had hit the wine too hard, because you gave me this really awful pick up line… shit, what was it? … Something along the lines of you were proud of yourself for not tripping on your panties when you saw me in a tie.” Molly threw her head back in a loud laugh.

 

“Fuck you! That’s a great pick up line!”

 

“And that was exactly the next thing you said after that,” he replied, joining in her laughter. After the laughter had faded away, he continued on, fidgeting awkwardly with the phone and earbuds in his hands. “Uhh… I guess next this song came on, and you’re like,” he pitched his voice higher, “Sebby, I love this song! Dance with me!”

 

“Okay, I do not sound like that!” Molly replied indignantly, with a smile still on her face. Sebastian chuckled in response and reached forward and placed one of his ear buds in her ear, the other in his own, pushed play on the song, and put his phone back in his pocket. “...I do like this song.”

 

“Well, you were quite insistent that I dance with you,” he replied, smiling shyly at her as he reached out and took her hand in his. “Told me there was no way I was getting out of the night without dancing with my fake girlfriend at least once.”

 

“Oh no!” Molly laughed as Sebastian pulled her closer to him, wrapping his free arm around her waist. “I’m sorry.”

 

“It’s fine,” he shrugged. “You promised me that we didn’t have to go inside and could just dance right beside the smelly trash can.” Molly laughed again, wrapping her free arm around her date’s shoulders. They began to sway slowly back and forth as the song played quietly in their ears. “Let’s see… I think next you informed me that I have freckles and then told me that they are adorable.”

 

“They are adorable,” Molly smirked.

 

“Oh, I expected you to re-realize I had freckles.”

 

“Nah,” she replied quietly with a shrug. “I noticed your freckles ages ago. Apparently only drugged Molly brings them up though.”

 

“Uhh… You told me how you are never wrong.”

 

“And don’t you forget it!” she joked, causing Sebastian to roll his eyes. They continued to sway back and forth in silence for a long moment before Molly quietly spoke again. “Then what?”

 

Sebastian stayed quiet, thinking. He hadn’t decided whether of not to tell Molly that they had kissed. On one hand, she had a right to know. On the other, he was unsure of how she would feel about not being able to remember it. He looked down into her curious face and grinned. No secrets, he reminded himself. He brought the hand that he was holding up, leading her to wrap a second arm around his shoulders as his own hand slid down to her waist.

 

“You told me,” he mused, “to blink if I loved you… and then blew into my face.”

 

“Well, did you blink?” Molly asked in mock suspense. Sebastian blew air into her face and she squeezed her eyes closed with a laugh.

 

“I just told you that you were ridiculous,” he stated, pulling her even closer to him. Molly hummed with contentment as he brought his lips to hers in a soft kiss. Lips locked together, he couldn’t help but think about how perfectly she always felt against him. Always soft and warm with the sweet flowery scent that always accompanied her presence. Regaining his senses, he broke away from her kiss as he felt her lips begin to part against his.

 

“What?” she questioned with concern in her eyes.

 

“Uhh…” he began, suddenly embarrassed and unable to meet her eyes, instead looking toward the starlit sky. “There was no tongue.”

 

“What?” Molly asked in genuine shock, taking a full step back and leaving Sebastian’s arms empty. She continued in a disbelieving whisper. “We kissed?”

 

“Well, you kinda surprised me with it,” he replied, quietly. “I promise it wasn’t nearly as nice as that one just was.”

 

“Yeah, but--”

 

“Molly, please,” he interrupted her. “Please, don’t think too much on it.”He sighed, running a hand through his hair, wanting to take her back into his arms but also wanting to give her space if she needed it. “I mean… half way into in you kinda… went all wobbly…”

 

“Wobbly?” she questioned. All traces of amusement had vanished from her face and Sebastian was beginning to regret his idea for helping his girlfriend relive her absent memories.

 

“Yeah… you, uhh, kinda scared me,” he replied, thankful that, at least, she wasn’t ligering on the kiss. “All of a sudden you couldn’t stand up. You told me you needed to go home and I said I’d help you and asked if you could walk…” he chuckled slightly before continuing on. “And you told me you didn’t have legs.” Molly gave a small chuckle.

 

“It is hard to walk home without legs,” she mused. He grinned, finally making the move to take her back into his arms. After all, the song wasn’t over yet.

 

“I tried to call for help, but of course, nobody answered their phones,” he continued on. “So, I had to leave you here to go get Maru and Harvey.”

 

“You just left me here?” She demanded, sounding slightly appalled.

 

“Would you have rather had me throw you over my shoulder and walk you into the Stardrop and yelled Molly’s drunk! in front of almost the entire town?”

 

“... Good point.”

 

“Anyway, I got Maru and Harvey and they came out and Harvey went into doctor mode,” he continued on. “You know, asked how much you had to drink, if you’d taken any drugs, that kind of thing. Then he said that he wanted to take you to the clinic and Maru asked how he wanted to do that. And THEN, you realized that Maru was there and you declared that you kissed me and it wasn’t gross because you loved me.”

 

“Oh my god…” Molly groaned, burying her face in his neck. He squeezed her in a tight hug before continuing on with a laugh.

 

“Oh, this is where the story starts getting good!”

 

“Okay,” Molly sighed, standing up straight to look him into the face again. “Go on.”

 

“SO! Maru and Harvey were arguing about the best way to get you to the clinic and I’m like Hey Molly, you want a piggyback ride? And you seriously got so excited.”

 

“You piggybacked my fat ass all the way to the clinic?”

 

“Okay, first of all, shut up, you’re not fat. And second, the clinic is literally right the fuck there,” he stated, gesturing over his shoulder with his thumb in the general direction of the clinic. “And yes. I piggybacked you. And while I was piggybacking you, you attempted to whisper that I should come home with you and then started kissing my neck. You got pretty pouty when I told you no.”

 

“Well, I mean, I had been planning on asking that all night, so…”

 

“Excuse me?” Sebastian asked in a genuinely surprised tone. Under his gaze, Molly suddenly became very bashful.

 

“Well… I mean… I thought… maybe… if you wanted to… we could…”

 

“Son of a bitch,” Sebastian cursed. “Well, fuck! If I’d have known Clint totally cock blocked me, I would have let Shane--”

 

“Oh my god, no you wouldn’t have!” Molly chided and Sebastian replied with a smirk and a shrug. She reached up to pluck the earbud from her ear. The song had ended and they had been standing in silence as Sebastian spoke. She stood staring at the tiny earpiece, twirling it back and forth between her thumb and forefinger. Not looking up at the man that stood with her in his arms, she spoke softly, barely above a whisper. “I mean… the ship hasn’t sailed…” Sebastian froze, determining if he was understanding her correctly. “I usually don’t… uhh… DO that kind of thing on first dates, but…” Sebastian didn’t believe in a higher power, but at that moment in time he was willing to give thanks to whatever magical, invisible sky man had decided to smile down on him at that moment in time. “...if you wanted to.” Molly finished, sounding uncertain at his silence.

 

“Yes,” he finally responded. “Sweet Yoba, yes, please.” Molly laughed, embarrassed and buried her face in her hands. “No, really, do you want me to go inside and make a purchase at the balloon machine?”

 

“Oh my god, the balloon machine,” she groaned, revealing her vibrant pink cheeks as she looked up at him. “Uhh… I’m on the pill, but if you’d feel more comfortable-- Oh!” Her sentence was cut short as he grabbed her by the hand and began to pull her in the direction of her farm, his enthusiasm bringing a laugh to her lips. After only a few long strides, he slowed with a small laugh.

 

“Why are you on the pill anyway?” He asked as she fell into step beside him, their strides turning into a regular walking pace.

 

“It helps to regulate my periods so they don’t come whenever they want.”

 

“Makes sense.”

 

“Not grossed out?” Molly teased and Sebastian scrunched up his face in an incredulous look.

 

“About the mention of a period? I’m twenty seven, not fourteen… or Sam,” he replied making Molly laugh again.

 

Chapter Text

Sebastian's eyes peeled open at the sound of Molly's alarm and he was suddenly left cold as she moved from where she was spooned against his back to find, and silence, it. He rolled onto his back to watch her. Long blue hair, free from a ponytail, cascaded down her bare back, stopping just above her dragon tattoo. She placed her silenced cellphone on the nightstand and continued sitting on the edge of the bed as if trying to talk herself into getting up and starting her day. He stretched his arm toward her, letting his fingertips brush against the bare skin of her hip. Looking over her shoulder, she grinned at him.

 

“Hey,” she whispered, her voice still thick from sleep.

 

“Hey,” he replied. “You look tired. You should come lay back down.”

 

“That is tempting,” she sighed and Sebastian sat up slightly, shifting his body toward her’s in order to wrap an arm around her middle and coax her back under the blankets. “I can’t.” Scooting closer, he sat up fully and with gentle touches, brushed her long hair over her shoulder and began kissing the bare skin at the back of her neck. She exhaled a soft moan.

 

“Why?” he questioned, his nose buried in her hair, unwilling to give up yet.

 

“I have a busy day,” she sleepily replied, reaching a hand behind her to stroke her boyfriend’s hair. “I need to get started so I can get done.” It took all of her will power to ignore the fingertips brushing over her bare skin and the warm breath on her neck that made goosebumps rise on her arms. “I’m going to take a shower,” she stated as she pulled herself away from Sebastian.

 

Groaning pathetically, he watched her naked form walk from the bedroom, leaving him alone in her bed. He had to admit that he was just a little proud of himself as he saw that she was walking a bit stiffly instead of with her usual graceful glide.

 

Instead of returning to the side of the bed where he had slept, he grabbed her pillow and pulled it under his head. There was no way he’d be able to get back to sleep with the early morning sun filling the room with it’s unwelcome brightness, but he could still get comfortable while he waited for Molly to return from her shower. Not that she had started it yet, as he could still hear her moving around in the kitchen, opening cabinets and running water from the tap, presumably making coffee.

 

Rolling onto his back, he draped an arm over his face to block out the light of the room. He was definitely still tired. He knew Molly must be too. It had been a late night for both of them, and he smirked to himself as he began to reminisce the previous evening.  

 

The walk back to Molly’s farm had felt like it took forever as the pair walked hand in hand, a relative silence between them, as each thought about their own nervousness about a first time with a new lover. The nervousness had barely shown through, as they entered the old farm house, though, each stopping at the doorway to remove their shoes; Molly needing extra time since she had worn a pair of sandals that buckled at the ankle instead of her usual flip flops, and Sebastian using this extra time to remove his socks.

 

“I...guess we could go to the bedroom,” Molly suggested tentatively, as she stood from where she had been perched on the arm of the couch and tossed her shoes onto the pile. Making an ‘after you’ gesture in reply, he smirked shyly at her as she rounded the couch to make her way through her bedroom door. Closing the door behind him, he watched her switch on the small lamp that sat on her end table.

 

“What? No candles?” he teased.

 

“Oh! Yeah, I have some in the other room!” Molly exclaimed, missing the teasing tone of his voice, and walking past him back into the other room.

 

“I was kidding!” He yelled after her and sat down on the edge of the bed, shaking his head.

 

“I know,” he heard her voice carry from somewhere else in the house.

 

“Sure ya didn’t,” he muttered to himself with a grin.

 

“Alright, prepare yourself,” she said, coming back into the room, a large glass candle jar in each hand. “This room is about to smell like lilacs and clean linen.” She shut the door behind her with her foot and made her way to first one nightstand, pausing to light the candle, and then the other. Switching the lamp back off, the room was dimmed to only the light of the dancing flames inside their jars and Molly turned and smiled shyly at Sebastian.

 

“You’re a dork,” he stated simply.

 

“Sorry, nerves, I guess,” she confessed with a small shrug.

 

“No, I’m pretty sure that’s just your personality,” he smirked. Making an annoyed sound, she put her hands on her hips, but couldn’t keep the playful look from her face. “Besides, what’s there to be nervous about?” he continued on, pretending that his own stomach wasn’t in knots.

 

“I don’t know,” she sighed, flopping down onto the bed next to him. “Nothing, I guess.”

 

“Besides,” he said softly, reaching over to take her hand in his. “We could always just watch TV.” She rolled her eyes as he brought her hand up to his lips to brush a kiss along the backs of her fingers.

 

“I appreciate that,” she grinned, looking up at him. Reaching up to her hair, she began removing the hair tie from around the loose curls that Abigail had spent so much time styling to look just right. She almost felt bad as she felt they fell around her face and shoulders.

 

“I like your hair down,” Sebastian commented as he watched her tousle the blue waves with her fingers.

 

“Thanks,” she replied, quietly, becoming shy again and tucking a strand that was falling into her face, behind her ear. “I like how it looks when it’s down, but honestly it just gets in the way most of the time and it also gets so hot that--” Her babbling was cut short by Sebastian’s lips pressing against hers. She inhaled sharply, caught off guard by the sudden closeness, the familiar scents of nag champa and cigarette smoke filling her nostrils along with the earthy, woodsy smell of the cologne that he wore. As he pulled away, she released a deep sigh and let her eyes slowly open.

 

“So, what did you want to watch on TV?” he teased with a grin, admiring the slightly muddled look on her face, that quickly turned to chagrin as he spoke.

 

“You are such a shit…”

 

“Ah, but you’ve already said you love me and can’t take it back now,” He smirked, using the same words she had used during their camping trip.

 

“Piss off, kid,” She laughed, pushing him away with a hand on his shoulder. He grabbed at the hand and used it to pull her closer instead.

 

“Come here,” he requested, voice low, and brought his free hand up to cup her cheek. She let her free hand come to a rest on his as he gently pulled her face toward his. Hot breath mingled and lips touched. Tongues pressed against each other in a heated kiss, and Sebastian laid back on the bed, bringing Molly with him.

 

Smiling into his kiss, she brought a leg over him, straddling him while his legs dangled over the edge of the bed, a curtain of hair falling around their faces and blocking out the rest of the room. She felt both of his hands glide up her thighs, hesitate at her hips long enough to give a light squeeze, and continue up to wrap around her back.

 

Feeling his hands begin to work their way under her shirt, she broke off the kiss and sat back on his lap. Crossing her arms in front of her to grab the bottom of the form fitting, black top that she wore, she pulled it up and over her head, discarding it in the general direction of her laundry basket. She looked to the man under her, whose hands were seeking out any bare skin they could touch and saw the pupils of his hazel eyes were already blown wide in anticipation. She suddenly felt the wave of self consciousness return to her as she watched his eyes wash over her and felt a heat rise to her cheeks as she crossed her arms over her stomach.

 

“What?” he questioned, seeing the sudden change in her demeanor. She gave an embarrassed shrug.

 

“I’m fat,” she mumbled, looking down at herself and pulling an incredulous look from her boyfriend.

 

“God damn it,” he grumbled, grabbing her by the elbow and rolling her onto her back on the mattress. He was hovering over her in an instant, seated on his knees between her legs, hands resting on her knees for balance. He took a long moment, just to watch her, looking wide eyed at him, her hair fanned out under her, much like in the dream he had had what seemed like an eternity ago. He ducked his head and gave her stomach a soft kiss, just above the waistband of her jeans, feeling her muscles tense beneath him, and then another a little higher. “You. Are. Fucking. Beautiful.” He accentuated each word with another kiss, higher on her body until his face was even with hers. “I just wish you could see it.” He pressed another hot kiss to her mouth before she could voice any further concerns. Pulling away from her, he returned to his knees, hovering over her and leaving her breathless. He cocked an eyebrow at her and she replied with a small grin biting at her bottom lip.

 

“Thanks,” she whispered.

 

“Can we continue now?”

 

“Yes,” she replied, her voice sounding pouty, but her mind more at ease. Fingertips trailed up her thighs and began to work the button and zipper of the jeans. When they were unfastened, Sebastian grasped at the sides of the dark denim and Molly lifted her hips off the mattress to help him undress her. His hands slipped.

 

“What the shit?” he cursed.

 

“Yeah, these pants have fake pockets,” Molly giggled, placing her own thumbs into the waistband of her jeans and wiggling them down past her hips.

 

“What the fuck is the point of that?” he demanded, as he took the waistband of the jeans and pulled them the rest of the way off.

 

“I dunno,” Molly shrugged. “Women just aren’t allowed to have pockets?” He was so baffled by the thought of pants having fake pockets, that Sebastian was momentarily distracted from the mostly undressed woman laying before him. “You gonna be okay, man?”

 

“Fake pockets…” he grumbled, a sour expression on his face. Molly sat up, swinging her legs under her and sat up on her knees, meeting her boyfriend’s face where he stood beside the bed, and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. She pressed her lips hard against his, bringing his mind back to where it was supposed to be. He sighed through his nose as his hands came to rest on her hips, thumbs gliding over the soft cotton of her panties. Pulling away, slightly, she rubbed her nose against his. “Seriously though, fake pockets…” Molly grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled it up over his face, leaving him stuck halfway.

 

“I fucking hate you,” Molly grumbled, sitting back on her ankles and crossing her arms over her chest while Sebastian laughed and pulled himself free from the tangle of cotton. Letting the shirt fall to the floor, he smirked playfully at his girlfriend’s glare.

 

“You love me,” he teased, making his way to the center of the bed where she sat. From his hands and knees, he reached up, cupping her cheek again and kissed her softly. Rolling her eyes, she tried to keep the smile from spilling across her face.

 

“Yeah…” she relented. Tenderly, he slid his hand from her cheek, down her neck, and over the curve of her shoulder… then pushed her, making her cry out in surprise, and fall with her head landing on the pillows at the head of the bed with a soft wumph.

 

He was hovering over her again in any instant, pressing his lips to hers before she could voice a complaint. Feeling the curve of a smile from her lips, his tongue flicked out and teased at her top lip. She responded by sucking gently on his lower lip and reaching her hand up to run her fingertips over the bare skin of his arm and then down his side. He snorted and flinched away from her hand.

 

“Seriously?” she demanded with a laugh as she watched him rub his side.

 

“I’m sorry! I can’t help it!” He laughed back. Shaking her head, she reached up both hands to cup his face and brought it back to hers. She kissed him slowly and deeply before pushing him away, ever so slightly.

 

“Take your pants off.”

 

“Yes, ma’am!” he replied, rolling off of her and laying on his back bedside her on the bed and she laughed at his enthusiasm as he worked the button and zipper of his jeans. Sitting up on her elbow, she watched him slide the black jeans past his hips, down his thighs and finally kick them to the floor with all the grace of a man in a hurry to get laid.

 

She snickered softly leaning back over him, hand resting on his chest and returned to kissing him. Hands began to roam her body, caressing bare skin, gliding down her side and up her back. Fingertips traced the band of her bra, deftly guiding a hand back to her front, where he cupped her breast through the thin fabric of her bra. The feeling of the pad of his thumb beginning to work circles around the stiffening bud of her nipple forced an involuntary sigh from her into his mouth. The feeling of her breath on him immediately increased his own arousal and he felt himself stiffen.

 

Molly began to lightly run her fingernails down his chest and stomach. Feeling his stomach muscles tighten, she hoped that he wasn’t about to be sent into another fit of giggles. He managed to keep his composure as her fingers traced the line of hair down to the elastic waistband of his boxer-briefs, hesitantly tracing the band before dragging her fingers down further, stroking the length of his shaft before pressing her palm fully against him. The sound of him softly moaning into her mouth was enough to make her heart pound and her cheeks flushed pink at her own arousal.

 

Sebastian lost thought at the feeling of Molly’s hot palm pressing against him, his toes curling slightly as he enjoyed the feeling of the friction. He was brought back to thought quickly as his girlfriend gasped and pulled away from him slightly. Working on its own free will, his hand had provided Molly’s nipple with a rough tweak, though from the intensity of her kiss, he assumed that it just surprised her rather than having actually hurt her. As her body relaxed into his again and her hand returned to its rhythmic kneading motion, he prepared to embarrass himself with his novice bra unclasping skills.

 

“Do you need help?” Molly teased after a full minute of Sebastian fumbling with the hook and eye clasp of her bra, accidentally snapping her back once with the band, and being distracted enough that his erection faltered under her hand.

 

“Yes!” he whined pathetically, making Molly laugh.

 

“Oh, sweetie,” she cooed, reaching behind her back with one hand and expertly unlatching her own bra. Muttering something about witchcraft, he slid a strap off her shoulder, kissing the bare skin as he rolled her onto her back. Sitting up slightly, he finished removing the lacy undergarment and discarded it to the floor. Looking down at her, he could see the bright flush of her cheeks, even in the dim candlelight. His hand glided up her stomach, a fingertip tracing the hard peak of her nipple before his whole hand wrapped itself around the soft tissue and gave a light squeeze. Dipping his head down, he brought his lips to the hard nub, giving it a soft kiss before wrapping his lips around it and giving a gentle suck.

 

Sighing, Molly pushed her chest outward, encouraging him. He moved to lay on her, supporting his weight on his elbows and moved his mouth to her other breast, repeating the same motions as the first. She let her eyes drift closed, enjoying the feeling of his mouth on her. Hot lips trailed slowly down to her sternum as long fingered hands cupped both breast, pressing them together. Sebastian blew threw his mouth, producing an unflattering sound.

 

“Are. You. Fucking. Serious?” Molly complained, going limp as a ragdoll in her annoyance. “Did you really just motorboat me?” Sebastian laughed and did it again. He looked up with a playful look at her icy glare. “Go home, I can’t even deal with you.” She gave him a light push to the shoulder and he rolled off her with a laugh.

 

“Ah, come on,” he pretended to pout, but still had the laugh in his voice. “I was just playing.” he leaned into her, lips pressing against her neck and traveling to her ear. “Do I really have to go home?”

 

“...No,” Molly relented with a smirk, feeling his hands on her again, pulling her closer.

 

He stayed beside her as his hand began to venture south, breath hot against her ear as fingertips ran down her stomach and slid over the top of her panties to begin rubbing her through the already damp fabric. Eyes drifting closed again, she exhaled a sigh as his hand continued to rub against her.

 

She had to hold in a small whimper as he stopping moving against her, and was about to voice a complaint when she felt his hand slip itself into the front of her underwear. She felt momentarily embarrassed as he pulled a soft moan from her lips, but still, her legs parted slightly to allow him better access. Expecting him to make some comment, vocalize a lewd statement, whisper some kind of dirty talk in her ear, she was pleasantly surprised at his silence.

 

Sebastian just wasn’t a dirty talker. He had to be fairly intoxicated to voice his inner monologue during sexual activities, and even then he got a little embarrassed by it. But, even if he had been into dirty talk, he was much too busy at the moment to think of something to say. As he stroked his girlfriend, he simply watched her. All of her. Her face. Her chest. Her hips. Her legs. He was watching for reactions. Tiny movements that would indicate what she liked and what she might not.

 

Her eyes were closed, lips parted. Chest heaving in silent sighs. She bent one leg at the knee and he noted the faint muscle twitches of her thigh whenever his finger would glide over the bump of her clit. Stomach muscles were tight as her hips began to rock in rhythm with his hand. Letting his finger slip lower, he teased at her entrance, before dragging it back up to run circles around the small bundle of nerves again. As her sighes began to grow louder in the quiet room, Sebastian was encouraged.

 

His middle finger slid down again, but this time instead of teasing, he slid it into her entrance, letting his thumb take over the job of rubbing and pressing on her sensitive bump. Letting his finger work in and out of her, he bent it to press against the slightly rough spot inside of her.

 

“Oh!” She moaned softly and he grinned, repeating the motion with the same effect. He slipped another finger into her wetness and continued to move his hand with the rocking of her hips.

 

Beginning to feel a burn in the muscles of his forearm, he refused to let up his movement. Molly’s breath was coming fast and ragged. Her moans were becoming more frequent as she abandoned her inhibitions. Her hips were rocking faster than they had been a moment before. She was close and Sebastian didn’t care if his arm fell off. He was going to make her finish. Watching her face, he watched her lips move, silently pleading for her release.

 

“Please,” she finally breathed loud enough for Sebastian to faintly hear and he felt his erection throb with his own need. She had a fistful of her blankets gripped tightly in her hand, he noticed, as he moved enough to let his tongue flick over the erect peak of her tan colored nipple.

 

The coil that had been winding tighter and tighter inside of her finally snapped as her boyfriend lightly bit down and she cried out. Her whole body tensed and she shook as if every muscle of her body was very slightly vibrating. Sebastian’s hand slowed as he continued to stroke her through her orgasm, finally halting as her body relaxed against the bed.

 

With barely any hesitation, he moved, fingers clutching the band of her panties and pulling them down her smooth, tan legs. From where he sat near her knees, he could very clearly see the tan line from her shorts that fell mid thigh; A line where creamy white skin met a sunkissed tan. His eyes swept over the fully bared woman before him, who was still enjoying the high from her own release and he chuckled slightly.

 

“What?” she demanded, not wanting her moment to be ruined by self consciousness again.

 

“I just sometimes forget that blue isn’t your actual hair color,” he mused. Molly sat up slightly, looking at the small patch of brunette colored hair between her legs, and rolled her eyes as she let her head relax against the pillow once again.

 

“I’m not going to dye that too!” she laughed as he came to lay beside her. “You’ll just have to live with the carpet not matching the drapes.” He laughed loudly in reply to her ridiculous statement. They lay together in silence for a long moment, before Molly softly spoke again. “Do you want to keep going?”

 

“Just waiting on you,” he replied with a grin, rolling onto his side to face her. Reaching out a hand, she grabbed onto his wrist and pulled him to her. The kiss that followed was fevered as he moved to shed his own underwear, kicking them to the floor as he positioned himself between his girlfriend’s parted legs.

 

Balancing on one elbow, he reached down between the two of them, gripping his shaft at the base and lining it up with her entrance. Still wet from her orgasm, he effortlessly eased himself into her. Fully sheathed inside her, his breath caught in his throat and he had to pause to regain his composure as he felt her heat and constraint enveloping him. Slowly, he moved.

 

She released a heavy sigh and her felt her fingers tightly grip his shoulder as he rocked his hips into her.

 

“You good?” he whispered.

 

“Are you?” she teased back. He thrust roughly into her as a reply, causing a moan to escape her. His mouth was against hers again in an instant, one hand caressing one of the silky thighs that cradled his hips.

 

Sebastian ducked his head to bury his face in Molly’s neck and hair, breathing in her sweet flowery scent. Her breath was hot against his ear as he felt her wrap one leg around his hips. The angle allowed him to push even deeper inside of her and he moaned softly at the sensation. His lips found her pulse point, gently kissing before licking the spot and applying light suction. She released a low moan as his teeth found her throat, gently nipping at the tender skin, and he felt her fingernails begin to dig into his shoulders.

 

Her breaths came quick and he could feel her chest heaving underneath him. The sounds of her sighs and moans were almost magical to his ears and he concluded that he could die happy as long as he was allowed to hear them.

 

“Harder,” she whispered. With one breathy word, he almost lost all composure and had to pause so that he didn’t topple over the edge just yet. Kissing her hard, he dug his toes into the mattress for leverage, and thrust into her. Fingers twined into his hair, gently tugging as she moaned into his mouth. One hand found her hip, gripping it tightly as the other fisted a handful of her bedsheet.

 

The steel framed headboard of Molly’s rickety bed had begun to bang against the wall, annoyingly. Reaching above her head with both arms, she gripped the rods that provided the simplistic design of the headboard and the banging ceased. He grinned down at her, but she didn’t see. Her head was thrown back and her eyes were closed again, lips parted. In the dim candle light, he could see a faint sheen of sweat making her skin glisten. Trailing his eyes down further, he watched as her breast gave a slight bounce with every thrust he made.

 

Having been putting most of his weight on one elbow, he felt his arm begin to shake, and knew he wouldn’t be able to hold his position much longer. As he pulled out of her, she finally opened her eyes, looking blankly at him. He caught her wrist in his hand and pulled her with him as he rolled onto his back. Head resting comfortably on the soft pillow, he watched as she moved to straddle him. With one hand, he held himself at the base of his shaft and with the other, he guided her hips down onto him.

 

Now it was his turn to close his eyes with a heavy sigh. His hands gripped at her hips as she began to rhythmically rock against him. Balancing on her knees as she rocked, her hands reached up, twining through her own hair and pulling it up off her sweaty neck. Sebastian opened his eyes, watching her movements and was completely captivated by how beautiful she was.

 

Feeling his eyes on her, she opened her own, looking down at him. A coy grin graced her face as he looked deep into her emerald eyes. Both hands slid up her stomach, cupping her breasts and giving a firm squeeze. Leaning forward, one hand came to rest on his chest, the other on the pillow beside his head. She kissed him, deeply and passionately, her new position allowing him to thrust up into her, meeting her halfway.

 

His hands had managed to find her rear end when she had leaned forward into him and had begun to squeeze and guide her hips, driving himself deeper into her. Resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t last much longer, he coaxed her back into an upright position, seated perpendicular on him and reached down, allowing his thumb to begin to work against her clit again. He could have sworn that she had actually purred as she leaned back, resting a hand on his thigh for balance. Perfect.

 

Her moans were becoming more high pitched, louder, more fevered as he watched her undulate against him. He would only need to last a few minutes more, he told himself, as he watched her free hand grasp at her own breast, tweaking her nipple between her thumb and first finger.

 

Just a minute more, he kept reassuring himself, as if it were a mantra to keep him focused. Just a minute more.

 

Molly could feel the tension building inside her again, and desperately wanted that second release. She let her mind go blank of everything except the feeling for her boyfriend against her; inside her. She began to move her hips faster against him, and he began to move his thumb faster, matching her motions. Cracking her eyes open, she looked down at Sebastian. His eyes were squeezed closed and he was biting hard at his bottom lip, attempting to hold in his own moans.

 

Sebastian’s mantra of just a minute more, wasn’t working and he began to try and distract himself in other ways… What was that Big Mac jingle? Two all beef pickles, special sauce… No! Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, onion, and a sesame seed bun. Two all beef… sauce… onion… sesame seed…

 

He felt his cock twitch and he sat up slightly as his stomach muscles tightened, releasing the loud moan that he had been holding back as his seed spilled inside of the woman on top of him. Fingers of one hand digging into Molly’s hip, his hand that had been rubbing against her froze, bringing a whimper to her lips. Batting his hand away as he began to slowly relax back onto the pillow, she reached down with her own hand to finish herself off before she lost the feeling.

 

Moans became more urgent as her middle finger moved against her. Her hips rocked, though her boyfriend, who was still inside her, tried to hold her still, the feeling of being overstimulated almost painful to him. She pitched forward, right into Sebastian’s waiting arms with a final cry.

 

Her body relaxed into his as he unconsciously reached a hand up to stroke her hair. She moved to lay next to him, her body pressed against his side. He looked down to where she had laid her head on his shoulder, and grinned at her. Her hair was stuck to her sweaty face, but she looked completely serene. Moving the hair from her face, he brought his lips to hers again, tongues dancing lazily together.

 

“I need a cigarette,” he commented after several minutes of lying in silence, each coming down from their own high.

 

“Mmm, hang on, I’ll grab you an ashtray,” she replied rolling away from him.

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah, my grandpa was a smoker, so when I moved in there were all these little glass ashtrays in, like, every room,” she replied, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. “I stuck them all in a cabinet in the kit--” She didn’t finish her sentence. As she attempted to stand, she fell to the floor instead.

 

“Are you okay?” Sebastian gasped with wide eyes as she stood back up on shaky legs.

 

“I am amazing,” she replied, simply, with a small smile.

 

“Are you sure?” he questioned, concern thick in his voice. “You just fell pretty hard.” As she looked to his worried face, her smile widened, sheepishly.

 

“Umm… you know that song Side to Side?”

 

“I know OF that song…” he replied with confusion. She smirked with a shrug before tuning and walking from the room, leaving him to make a mental note to look up the mentioned song.  

 

“Sebastian!” Molly scolded with a laugh, making him jerk his arm from where it was draped across his face. Shit. He had fallen back to sleep. Molly stood over him, beside the bed with her arms crossed over her chest. She was already dressed and ready to begin her day. Groaning, he rubbed his hands over his face.  “Come on, get up,” she teased. “Put your clothes on and take your walk of shame like a man.” He pulled the pillow from under his head and put it over his face.

 

With a roll of her eyes, Molly crawled onto the bed. Hovering over her boyfriend, she pulled up the pillow and he squinted at her. She ducked her head to place a soft kiss on his lips, pulling away when she felt him sigh in contentment.

 

“You’re persistent,” he grumbled, sitting up as she moved aside.

 

“Thanks!” she beamed, as chipper as always.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian eased open the door of the carpenter shop in an attempt to sneak in without anyone noticing. Of course he had slept at Molly’s several times over the course of the summer, but this time was… different. Not that anybody would care where he was, but if they by some chance did, he didn’t feel like answering questions.

 

He toed off his sneakers next to the front door and rounded the archway into the hallway. He got three steps down the basement stairs when his mother came into view at the bottom. Shit.

 

“Oh, Sebby, there you are!” She smiled up at him as he trudged down the remaining steps. “I was just coming to wake you up so you could get ready and watch the kiddos for us.”

 

“Yeah, just let me change and brush my teeth,” he replied, starting to walk past his mother, thankful that she wasn’t going to ask any questions. His luck quickly ran out as  the shrill voice of his aunt cut through the air.

 

“Aren’t you even going to ask where he’s been, Robin?” she demanded before rounding on Sebastian. “You’ve been gone all night without so much as a note. Your mother has been worried sick about you!”

 

“Lydia, Sebastian is allowed to come and go as he pleases…” Robin began before being cut off.

 

“Well! Where have you been?” She demanded, ignoring her sister in law.

 

“Uhh… Molly’s,” he replied sheepishly, a blush rising to his cheeks.

 

“And what exactly were you doing at Molly’s all night long?”

 

“Uhh…” he uttered, rubbing the back of his neck as the corners of his mouth twitched upward.

 

“I don’t think you should be looking so happy! Would Yoba approve of what you and that girl were up to?”

 

“Lydia!” Robin snapped, feeling angry at constantly being undermined in her own home. “Sebastian is an adult. As long as he pays his rent and occasionally helps out when I ask, I have absolutely nothing to say about what he does or doesn’t do. Now!” she turned to her son and her voice took on a softer tone. “Please go get ready so you can watch the kids for us.”

 

“Yes ma’am,” he replied, hurrying past his mother, closing the door to his room behind him as he entered. Hearing the muffled voices on the opposite side of the door resume, he sighed and silently thanked his mother for sticking up for him so often. He really needed to do something nice for her.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Molly stood, stretching her back and wiped at her sweaty brow with her forearm. Sighing heavily, she bent and picked up the crate full of cabbages that she had just harvested and began to walk it to the shipping crate. So far, she was making excellent progress with her day. She had already harvested the pepper bushes and radishes and was almost done with the cabbages; she had, maybe, another crate left to collect.

 

Still, she had a long way to go before she’d even be halfway done. Placing the crate of cabbages neatly into the bin, she closed its lid, turning back around to look at her field. Melons, tomatoes, blueberries, even a small patch of poppies and spangles that she had volunteered to grow for Pierre and Caroline so they could make bouquets to sell at their shop. She wondered how her grandfather took care of the entire farm, all by himself.

 

To top it off, she was sore. She had assumed that farming was getting her into shape,  but apparently she had used muscles the night before that farming wasn't taking care of. She grinned to herself. Worth it!

 

“Molly! Hi Molly!”

 

She turned toward her name, holding one hand up to her brow to shield the sun, and grinned as she saw Sebastian, complete with Violet and Derek strolling through her gate.

 

“Hey Violet!” she responded as the little girl ran up to her. “What’re you guys doing here?”

 

“Sebastian said we could see your farm!” the little girl replied, excitedly, shifting her weight back and forth between her feet. “But we can’t tell grandma, because grandma didn’t want us to see the farm, but I want to pet a chicken and Sebastian says it’s okay!”

 

“He did?” Molly said with a laugh, looking to the man who shrugged, putting the small boy that he carried, down on the ground.

 

“I also thought you might enjoy some child labor,” he joked.

 

“I appreciate it,” she replied, rolling her eyes. Molly glanced over her shoulder at all the work she had left to do, and sighed. She never could say no to kids. “Well, let’s head over to the chicken coop then!”

 

“Yay!” Violet cheered. “Derek, we’re going to see a chicken. Yay!” She clapped her small hands at her little brother, who giggled, copying his sister. Molly smiled down at the little ones. They were too cute. She’d just have to work extra hard when they left.

 

Making their way to the coop, Molly open the gate leading into the fenced in area where a few chickens wandered, pecking happily at the ground. Violet gasped in delight as she saw the fluffy yellow chicks also hopping around.

 

“What are their names?” Violet whispered, as if using a loud voice would scare the hens. Molly contemplated the names of her chickens for a moment and decided telling Violet the real names of her hens, Mother Clucker and Hen Solo, might be a little too advanced for the small girl to appreciate.

 

“Clucky and Plucky,” she replied instead.

 

“How do you tell them apart?” she questioned. If Molly was perfectly honest, she couldn’t tell them apart. They were almost perfectly identical.

 

“One of them is a little bit bigger,” she lied instead. Looking up as one of the chickens clucked in annoyance, Molly watched as Derek toddled after one of them.

 

“Cluck cluck cluck,” Derek babbled as the chicken hurriedly stepped away from the small boy, bobbing its head. Violet giggled, running to join her brother in the pursuit of a chicken to pet.

 

“Those things are safe right?” Sebastian questioned as Molly came to stand next to the bit of fence that he was leaning on.

 

“The chickens or the kids?” she teased. He considered her words for a long moment.

 

“Both?”

 

“The kids are safe from the chickens as long as they don’t get too rough with them,” Molly laughed. “Now, are the chickens safe from the kids? That, I don’t know.”

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

“Hey, hey, don’t eat all of Molly’s harvest!” Sebastian scolded, making both children look up at him with purple stained lips from the blueberry bush that they stood next to.

 

“Oh they’re fine,” Molly smiled with a wave of her hand. The kids had been eager to see the rest of the farm once they had finally gotten to pet the chickens, and Molly, needing to get her field harvested, had showed them how to harvest the blueberry bushes. They had started off really well, putting their collected berries in the small basket that they’d been given, but once the first berry was eaten, it was all downhill for that blueberry bush.

 

“It’s your money,” he replied with a shrug. “I should be getting them back before we’re missed anyway.”

 

“Playing Solarian Chronicles this afternoon?”

 

“Yeah, everybody is going to be over at the normal time.”

 

“Well, have fun,” she said, a little disappointed that she would be missing out.

 

“You should stop by when you get done,” he replied. She gave a non humorous laugh.

 

“I will not be getting done anytime soon,” she complained. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to build a campfire or something so that I can have some kind of light to work with after it gets dark.” Sebastian made a face.

 

“Do you want me to cancel S. C.? I could come back and help after Mom and Cunt, I mean Aunt, Lydia gets home.” Molly giggled at him.

 

“Thanks, but I’ll be fine.”

 

“You sure?”

 

“Oh my dear Sebby,” she teased, pulling a smile from him. “I did this just fine before you, I can still do it now. I am a strong independent black mage and I don’t need no mana.”

 

“Fuck, I love you!” he said before leaning over and giving her a hard kiss on the lips. A hand came into contact with her rear end with a light smack and Molly was momentarily taken aback as he turned his attention back to the kids. “Alright, tiny humans, let’s get you back.” Violet gave a groan of displeasure while, Derek helped himself to more berries. “Hey, I told you we couldn’t stay very long,” he continued on. “Now say thank you and let’s go.” Violet sighed.

 

“Thank you for letting me see your farm and pet your chickens, Molly,” Violet pouted, coming to wrap her arms around Molly’s leg.

 

“You’re welcome,” Molly smiled, bending enough to press her hands against the little girl’s back; the best she could do at reciprocating the awkward angle of the hug. “I’ll see you guys later, okay?”

 

“Okay.”

 

“Bye Derek!” Molly sang as Sebastian picked the messy boy up. He opened and closed his little fist, making Molly coo from the cuteness.

 

“Now, my man,” Sebastian said in a mock whisper. “When you’re dealing with a pretty lady, you gotta lay it on thick. She already thinks you’re cute, so you gotta go in for the kill. Like this.” Sebastian raised his free hand to his lips and then blew a kiss at Molly, making her smile from ear to ear. Derek raised a pudgy hand to his mouth and made a kissing sound, but didn’t move his hand away from his mouth. “Close enough… Let’s roll, Violet.”

 

“Bye, Molly!” the little girl yelled, running to catch up to Sebastian’s long strides. Molly held her smile as she watched the trio leave, taking the path north of her farm. She waited a long moment before taking her phone from her pocket and sending a text.

 

I think u’d B a g8 dad sumday :)

 

Don’t U even start  -__-

 

She chuckled softly at her boyfriend’s response as she slid her phone back into her pocket. Looking back over her field, she sighed heavily and walked to the pile of empty crates that were stacked behind her sell bin. Time to get back to work.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

“This is super lame with only two people,” Sam complained in frustration as he made his character flee from a battle with a black mage who, for some reason held a scythe instead of a staff. “And what kind of mage doesn’t use mana?”

 

“An awesome one,” Sebastian smirked.

 

“Whatever,” Sam grumbled. “I’m going to wait for next week when we have a whole party before I am doing anything else!” Penny was tutoring, Maru was at work, Abigail was having her hair dyed, as it was the only day her mother was available to do it, and, of course, Molly was busy with her harvest. Sebastian and Sam used to play Solarian Chronicles by themselves all the time, but since more people had started playing, Sebastian had implemented bigger bosses to compensate. Now, it was almost impossible for just the two of them to play.

 

“Fine, what do you want to do then?”

 

“I.D.K… Doctor How?” Sam replied as he stood up. He had been wanting to watch it lately, but he didn’t think that Penny was really interested in the show and didn’t want to force it on her.

 

“Let me hook up the laptop to the T.V.” Sebastian relented. It was an acceptable alternative to Solarian Chronicles. He stood up, stretching his arms above his head, until his finger tips brushed against the low ceiling of his room. Sam, seeing an opening, took it and gave Sebastian a play-punch in the stomach, making him give an exaggerated oomph as he let his arms fall back to his sides. “Abuse,” he grumbled, lightly rubbing his stomach as he headed toward his television to hook up his TV. Sam chuckled, bending to pick up the blue bong from the floor and walking to Sebastian’s bed with it, where he plopped down and lit the bowl with a cheap plastic lighter.

 

“So, how’d your date go last night?” He asked, exhaling a lung full of smoke. Sebastian, whose back was to Sam, bit down on his bottom lip, but couldn’t keep the smile from spreading across his face. Giving what he hoped was a nonchalant shrug, he kept setting up the TV to stream from the laptop.

 

“Uhh… you know… it went okay, I guess.” Sam sat in silence waiting for his friend to elaborate before finally demanding answers.

 

“Do you want me to get out a fucking bottle of wine so we can chat about it? Spill it, asshole!”

 

“It was a date, I don’t know what you want to know,” Sebastian replied, turning the TV on to make sure everything was hooked up correctly before he started the episode.

 

“Uh, how about EVERYTHING!” Sam demanded again as his friend plopped himself down on the end of the bed, grabbing the bong from his hands, and lighting it himself. Knowing it was killing Sam, Sebastian shrugged again as he inhaled.

 

“You know,” he continued on after exhaling. “It was a date. I took her on a picnic. We asked each other some conversation starter questions that I found online. Molly hates cherries but loves strawberries.”

 

“Oh good, I’ll tuck that usless information away for later,” Sam grumbled with a roll of his eyes.

 

“Hey, you might not care, but it might be good for me to know!”

 

“I guess.”

 

“She mentioned how she hated not being able to remember the night of the wedding reception, so I…” Sebastian felt his cheeks flush. “Told her what I could remember.”

 

“You’re lying, dude, I can tell. What did you really do?”

 

“I… took her to the Stardrop to... “ He sighed in embarrassment. Why didn’t he just keep his mouth shut? “...Reenact what happened that night.” Sam threw his head back in a loud laugh.

 

“You what ?” Sam laughed causing Sebastian to make an annoyed sound.

 

“I danced with her… told her everything we had talked about that night that she couldn’t remember.”

 

“Man, you are such a sap!” Sam teased, snatching the bong out of Sebastian’s hands. “Then what?” Sebastian watched as his friend lit the bowl and inhaled deeply.

 

“We had sex…” he mumbled almost inaudibly. Sam heard. He began to violently cough, almost dropping the bong before Sebastian managed to grab it away.

 

“I’m sorry…” Sam weezed, beginning to cough again. “You had sex?” he finally sputtered out.

 

“Are you okay?” Sebastian asked, genuinely concerned for his friend.

 

“No!” Sam gasped. He coughed a few more times before regaining his composure. “Where in the Stardrop did you even find that much privacy, one, so maybe I can talk Penny into it, and two, so I never unknowingly sit there!” Sebastian burst out laughing.

 

“We did not do it at the Stardrop,” Sebastian reassured, making Sam glance questioningly over his shoulder at the bed he was sitting on. “Her place,” he continued with a roll of his eyes. “Can we please get to Doctor How, now?”

 

“How now brown cow?” Sam giggled to himself. “Ah! This day is great! My O.T.P. did the do! I’m so proud of you!”

 

“I hate you,” Sebastian replied.

 

“This is the best birthday present ever!”

 

“Your birthday was last week… I got you that awesome Legend of Link wallet!”

 

“Happy birthday to me!” Sam sang making Sebastian sigh heavily again.

 

Chapter Text

The sound of her alarm sent a stabbing pain through Molly’s head. The room was much too bright. She ached everywhere and was completely exhausted. Silencing her alarm as quickly as her body would allow her to move, she lay staring at the ceiling for an extensive amount of time. It was hot. Was the room hot or was she hot? She didn’t know. Her blankets had already been discarded at some point during the night and she still felt sweaty.

 

She had definitely pushed herself too hard the day before, attempting to get her harvest done in one day. She hadn’t taken breaks, didn’t drink enough water, forgotten sunblock. Maybe that was why she was hot. Maybe she was just burned. A nice, cool shower should make her feel better.

 

Peeling herself off the mattress, she sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. Immediately, she needed to lay back down. Sitting up had caused her head to spin. She felt nauseous. Slower this time, she sat up again, swallowing back the bile rising in her throat.

 

Collecting her phone from the nightstand, she stood on shaky legs and slowly shuffled from the room. Managing to make it to the bathroom, she sat down heavily on the toilet and rubbed her face in her hands. She was out of breath and could feel her heart pounding in her chest.

 

Returning to her feet, she stood in front of her sink looking at her reflection in the mirror. She was pale. Dark bags under her eyes made her look like a not-very-cute panda bear. Her cheeks were flushed bright red. Without bothering to wash her hands, she let herself slide to the cool tile floor.

 

Convinced that she was somehow being punished by a higher power for enjoying premarital sex, she laid down on the floor, resting her cheek against the tiles. Letting her eyes drift closed, she told herself that she would have to wait awhile to take care of the farm. She would take care of everything once she woke up again… unless she died first.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian was annoyed. When he had woken up, the first thing he had seen was a text message from his girlfriend asking him to come over.  After responding to her several times and getting nothing in return as to why she needed him to come over, he begrudgingly packed up his laptop in his backpack and set off toward her farm.

 

He had a backlist of coding work he needed to get done and decided that he was going to have a stern talk with Molly about how he couldn’t just put everything on hold that he needed to do at the drop of a hat just because they were sleeping together now. He had an actual job that he needed to keep, in order to keep up his income.

 

Walking onto her property, he saw just how much work she had gotten done the day before. The field was mostly empty, save for the bushes which would eventually need to be dug out to make way for Fall crops. But, looking around, he couldn’t see the distinctive blue that always made her easy to spot. Sighing, his irritation increased at the thought that she might not even be home, but had gone into town on some errand.

 

Stepping out of the bright summer sun and into the shade of the air conditioned farm house, he dropped his bag on the kitchen table with a thud. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his phone and shot of a text to his girlfriend, asking where she was. He had barely gotten his phone back in his pocket when he heard a familiar twinkle come for the other room. He rolled his eyes. Of course she had forgotten her phone.

 

He began to unpack his laptop, finding an outlet to plug it in, plugging in the mouse, turning it on. He would just sit and do his work, like he planned on doing anyway, while he waited for Molly to get back from wherever she was. And the longer he was there, the more reason he would have to complain. She would have to learn to respect his time, he thought to himself as he sat down heavily in the wooden chair. He would get his program opened, see if an email had been responded to yet, make coffee, and get started with his work.

 

As he typed out an email, he realized that he wasn’t alone in the house. The sound of retching filled the quiet space and Sebastian stood quickly to investigate. More retching, the sounds of dry heaving, panting and finally soft sobbing could be heard as he crossed the open space toward the bathroom. The toilet flushed as he slowly opened the door.

 

“Molly?” he asked into the completely dark bathroom. As his eyes adjusted, he could see her seated on the floor, arms crossed on the seat of the toilet with her head rested on her arms. She held up a hand, blocking the natural light that came pouring in through the open door.

 

“Close the door, please,” she rasped, quietly. “It’s too bright.” He stepped inside, closing the door behind him.

 

“Are you ok?” he ask softly, suddenly feeling bad about being annoyed at her requesting him to come over. He knelt down beside her silhouette and gently rubbed her back

 

“I don’t feel good,” she replied shakily, which he thought was obvious, but didn’t voice that thought. “I need you to feed my chickens for me, please.” Of course she was worried about her farm even when she was extremely sick.

 

“Molly…”

 

“You just have to use the scoop that’s in the feed bag next to the coop door.”

 

“Molly…”

 

“Just take it and kinda fling the chicken feed on the ground outside the coop.”

 

“Molly, I will take care of it, but what about you?”

 

“Me?”

 

“You,” he insisted. “What’s going on?”

 

“My head really hurts,” she replied. “It’s making me dizzy and nauseous. And I hurt everywhere. And I’m hot and cold.”

 

“Have you had any medicine?”

 

“No…” she replied making Sebastian sigh through his nose.

 

“Come on, let’s get you to bed,” he stated.

 

“It’s too bright,” she repeated. “I’ll stay here.”

 

“You can’t just camp in the bathroom.”

 

“Why not? It’s my house!” she replied and he rolled his eyes into the darkness that was lit only by the faint light entering through the gap under the door. Standing without a word, he exited the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

 

He wasn’t going to let Molly just lay on the bathroom floor. She was sick. She should be in bed. Entering her bedroom, he looked to the windows that let the bright, late morning light, pour into them. Crossing the room, he pulled the drapes closed, but sunlight still filtered through and bled in around the edges.

 

Coming up with an idea, he quickly put it into motion. Stepping just outside the bedroom threshold, he plucked the quilt, that Molly always wrapped herself in while watching TV, from the back of the couch and reentered the bedroom. Standing on tiptoe, he hung it across the curtain rod, bunching it up around the edges of the window, plunging the room into relative darkness. It wouldn’t be as dark as the bathroom, but at least she could relax in her bed. He returned to the bathroom to collect her, reclosing the door behind him as he entered.

 

“Come on, angel, I made your room dark, so let’s get you to bed,” he said, taking her arm so he could help her up. She produced a groan of protest and got to her feet. Making sure she was steady, he turned and opened the door back up. Molly, began to shuffle toward the open door and stopped.

 

“You know what, I’m not getting back up,” she grumbled, before turning, pulling her shorts down, and sitting on the toilet.

 

“Ah, we’re at that stage of the relationship…” Sebastian teased, unable to help himself, and crossed his arms over his chest as he leaned against the door frame.

 

“Shut up, Sebastian,” she grumbled, her elbows on her knees and her face buried in her hands. As she sat up and twisted to get toilet paper from the roll, he turned away to give her a little privacy, although it seemed she didn’t want or need it. The toilet flushed and he looked back at her as she turned the tap on at the sink to wash her hands.

 

Helped to her bedroom, she sunk into her bed with a heavy sigh. She was actually, quite impressed, and thankful, that her boyfriend had managed to darken her bedroom for her.

 

“I’m going to find you some medicine,” he told her as he pulled the blankets over her.

 

“Kitchen cabinet by the fridge,” she instructed and he turned and left the room, letting the door close all but a crack. Crossing the open space of the farmhouse toward the kitchen, he opened the cabinet door that Molly told him to look in, and scanned the contents. Finding a small basket on the bottom shelf, he pulled it out and began to shuffle through the contents. A box of Night-time Cold and Flu medicine caught his eye and he quickly pulled one of the blister packs from the box, deciding that it would take care of his girlfriend’s symptoms and let her get some sleep. Retrieving a cup from her cabinet, he filled it with cold water and returned to the bedroom.

 

“Here,” he muttered as she sat up. Handing her the glass, he fumbled with the impossibly difficult to open blister pack. Finally extracting the large, green gel caps, he placed them into her open palm. She swallowed them with a small drink of water and tried to hand the glass back to him. “Finish it,” he instructed causing her to roll her eyes at him. “You’ve been throwing up. You’re going to get dehydrated… Also your breath smells like vom.” Glaring at him over the rim of the glass, she drained it, and thrusted it back at him. “I’ll get you some more,” he continued as she laid her head on the pillow with a groan. “Have you eaten anything.”

 

“Even if I had, it wouldn’t have stayed down,” she grumbled. She should have just called Marnie to take care of her damn chickens. She didn’t need to be babied. She was perfectly capable of taking care of herself while she was sick.

 

“Well, you need to eat something,” he grumbled back. “I’m going to make you some peanut butter toast.”

 

“I don’t want anything!” she whined.

 

“If you’re going to get sick, wouldn’t you rather have something in your stomach to throw up?”

 

“Ugh! Fine!” she relented. “Bring me a fucking bucket too, then.”

 

Sebastian rolled his eyes as he walked back out of the room. Sick Molly was not pleasant to be around. Briefly, he wondered if this is how people saw him all the time before deciding that he didn’t actually care and opened a cabinet door to retrieve a loaf of bread.

 

As he waited for the bread to toast, he went to his computer. He quickly finished typing the email that he had been in the middle of writing when he had discovered Molly, and sent it off just before the toaster popped. Hopefully the medicine would start to work soon and put his girlfriend to sleep and he could get his work done while she rested.

 

He returned to the bedroom with his arms full. Sitting the full glass of water down on the nightstand, he handed the sick woman her food and plopped a large mixing bowl, that he had found in a cabinet, down next to her on the bed. He watched the woman take the smallest bite imaginable from her toast and rolled his eyes.

 

“Will you go take care of my chickens now?” she demanded, grumpily.

 

“I’ll take care of your chickens when I’m done taking care of you,” he snapped back. Molly glared icily at the raven haired man in front of her and, defiantly, took a bite of toast.

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian sat at Molly’s kitchen table, the only sound in the room was the clack of the keyboard as he typed. He would usually be listening to music, but he decided that it would be better to keep everything quiet so his girlfriend could rest. Earlier, he had gone into her room because he had heard her making noise and thought she was awake and needed something. It turned out that she was still out cold, but having some kind of bad dream that was making her whimper softly. Putting a hand to her forehead, he had been glad to find that she was no longer warm to the touch, but was a nice, normal temperature. Reaching down to softly stroke her cheek, he had grinned as she exhaled a sigh and her whimpers ceased.

 

He shifted in his seat. The wooden chairs in Molly’s kitchen were not good for sitting on for hours at a time. Needing a cigarette, he stood and exited through the front door. Pulling one from the pack, he lit it, taking a long drag and exhaling contently. He stood, looking out over Molly's farm. It was nice. Peaceful. Honestly,  he could see himself living there. He shook the thought from his head. Moving a little quick there, Seb, he chided himself.  

 

Hearing the door open behind him, he turned to see Molly stepping onto the porch, into the warm summer evening. She still seemed groggy from the medicine, but beside that, she at least looked like she was feeling better. Her hair was in a sloppy bun that was disheveled from sleep, she wore a faded, gray T-shirt, that read “Namaste in bed” and a pair of black shorts. Seb grinned at her. She looked cute.

 

“Hey,” she said softly, coming to stand beside him and leaned at the railing.

 

“Hey,” he responded. “How ya feeling?”

 

“Better,” she sighed. “Much better, actually. I'm pretty sure it was just a massive migraine. So, the sleep helped a lot.”

 

“Good,” he replied, returning his attention to the cigarette in his hand.

 

“Thanks for taking care of me,” she said after a quiet moment. He could only grin as his arm reached out and wrapped around her shoulders. Without a second thought, Molly had her arms around his middle and had perfectly snuggled into his embrace. They stood in silence for a long moment before Sebastian finally spoke with a smirk.

 

“Although… I really wish you’d be more respectful of my time. I can’t just drop everything I’m working on just to come over and take care of you.”

 

“Ok, I’ll try to be sick on your schedule,” Molly replied sarcastically with an eye roll. He chuckled lightly.

 

“I’ll admit those were my actual thoughts when you texted me and then I didn’t get any replies.”

 

“You’re a tool.”

 

“Hey! It was before I knew you were sick!” he assured her.

 

“Still a tool,” she grumbled, though she remained snuggled into his side. Turning his head, he lifted his chin enough to press his lips against her forehead.

Taking one last drag from his cigarette, he dropped the butt into an old coffee can that Molly had placed on the porch just for him; she had been sick of finding cigarette butts all over her farm. A small tss was heard as the fire came into contact with the water in the can. Reaching down with one hand, he gave her a light pat on the rear.

 

“Ready to go inside?”

 

“What is your deal with my butt?” She laughed.

 

“I love your butt,” he replied with a shrug, giving it a light squeeze.

 

“So weird…” she commented as Sebastian heard the twinkle of his cell phone from inside his pocket and he simply chuckled at his girlfriend as he pulled his phone from his pocket and read the message.

 

My dude!

2nite. UR place. I’m in the mood 2 binge more  Dr How

I’ll bring pizza

 

“Sam wants to binge Doctor How tonight,” Sebastian commented with a sigh.

 

“Ooo, have fun,” Molly replied with a smile.

 

“But you’re sick.”

 

“I’m fine!” she insisted. “It was just a migraine and it’s mostly gone now. It’s down to just a dull ache.” He stood quietly for a long moment, thinking.

 

“You should come too,” he finally said.

 

“Oh, I don’t want to ruin boys’ night.”

 

“It’s not like Sam would care,” he replied, honestly. “Besides, I have an all natural headache cure, just sitting in my room right now, waiting to be smoked.” Molly laughed.

 

“Okay, if you’re going to twist my arm. Let me go get dressed.” He grinned and watched her walk back into the house. Looking down at his phone, he typed out a quick reply to Sam before turning to join Molly.

 

Kk, Molly’s coming 2.

We’ll grab pop OTW 2 my place

CU soon

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

The sound of bubbling filled the room as Molly inhaled from Sebastian’s blue bong. Tipping her head back, she exhaled a plume of smoke from her lungs.

 

“You have a hickey,” Sebastian chuckled.

 

“Ugh, I know,” she grumbled, attempting to pull the collar of her t-shirt higher up her neck. She handed the bong back to her boyfriend, who quickly put it to use. “I’m surprised that you’re just now seeing it.” he exhaled with a soft chuckle.

 

“I’m too busy staring at your ass to notice your neck.”

 

“Such a gentleman,” she commented with a grin and roll of her eyes.

 

“If it makes you feel better I also stare at your boobs and eyes.”

 

“Well, thank you for throwing my eyes onto that list,” Molly laughed, before smoking from the bong again. A light knock on the door made Sebastian grab it from Molly’s hand and hide it away at the end of his bed.

 

“Come in,” he yelled, attempting to look casual as he leaned back against the wall that his bed had one side pushed up against. Sam entered, quickly reclosing the door behind him. “Since when do you knock?”

 

“You said that Molly was going to be here,” he replied with a shrug. “I didn’t want to, ya know, interrupt anything.” Sebastian shook his head as he leaned over to retrieve the bong from the floor.

 

“You told him, didn’t you?” Molly accused, playfully.

 

“Of course I told him,” Sebastian answered, taking another hit.

 

“And I would just like to say congratulations,” Sam smiled, smugly, letting the large, square pizza box fall onto the bed in front of Molly’s criss-crossed legs. “...to me. Because I did this! Go Sammy!”

 

“Oh my god…” Molly groaned as Sebastian passed the bong back to her.

 

“I mean look! My O.T.P… Together… doing O.T.P. things. Molly has a hickey! I dunno, it just kinda makes me wanna…” He brought his hands up next to his head, shaking them as he gave a quiet squeal. Sebastian and Molly shared a quick look, attempting to not laugh.

 

“Are you fan-girling?” Molly teased, self consciously bringing her hand to her throat where she knew the purple mark resided.

 

“Maybe,” Sam shrugged in reply.

 

“Dude, go light another incense and sit down so we can watch some aliens,” Sebastian demanded, causing Sam to laugh as he turned and began to skip across the room.

 

Opening Sebastian’s desk drawer, Sam removed the stick of incense and lit it with his own lighter that he retrieved from his pocket. As the flame burned brighter, he blew it out, leaving the small ember of fire to continue smoldering the smoke and produce smoke.

 

“So, I’ve got news!” Sam declared as he walked to Sebastian’s door, reaching up to remove a previously spent stick from where it was lodged in a notch that had been carved into the wood. Sticking the new stick in the notch, he ran a finger over the top of door frame knocking the ashes of the spent stick into his second hand. “I got us a gig.” he finished, turning to look at the anxious expressions on his friends faces.

 

“Nice!” Sebastian exclaimed.

 

“That’s great, guys!” Molly inputted.

 

“Yeah, so…” Sam smiled as he pulled a folder up sheet of paper from his pocket and began to unfold it. He handed the lime green paper out for Sebastian to take and Molly leaned over so she could peer at the flier as well. “Save the date,” Sam finished

 

“Battle of the Bands,” Sebastian read out loud. “Saturday,  Fall seven, noon to midnight.”

 

“Wow, a thousand dollar cash prize,” Molly read, impressed.

 

“If we win,” Sam commented, flopping down on the bed next to the pizza box and snatching the bong from his best friend’s hand. “And I know exactly how we’re going to do it.” Sebastian and Molly looked to him, questioningly. “We’re playing your song!”

 

“Oh come on,” Sebastian huffed, sitting back against the wall with an annoyed expression.

 

“You wanna win? That’s the song we’re doing.”

 

“It is a great song, Seb,” Molly commented quietly.

 

“It’s okay… I guess.”

 

“No guessing,” Sam snapped back. “I think we’ve got the rest of the songs in our set down pat, so over the next week and a half, we’ve gotta work out all the kinks.”

 

“Fine,” he relented with a roll of his eyes.

 

“Awesome sauce!” Sam cheered, clapping his hands together. Sebastian shook his head in defeat as he opened up the pizza box. He, honestly, didn’t mind performing, having done so many times for piano recitals growing up. The thought of performing his own material, however, gave his stomach butterflies. Taking a slice of pizza from the box, he took a bite as he stood up and walked the few steps to his laptop that he had set up as soon as he and Molly got there. Switching off the music that was playing from it, he opened the file where he kept his pirated downloads of Dr. How and began to play the episode that he and Sam were currently on.

 

“Where’s Penny?” Molly asked Sam as Sebastian sat back down on the bed, the iconic intro music to Doctor How spilling from the television speakers.

 

“I dunno,” He replied through a mouthful of pizza. “Probably at home drinking tea and reading a book, if I had to guess.”

 

“Uhh… everything ok?”

 

“Penny just doesn’t like Doctor How,” Sebastian injected.

 

“Oh,” Molly replied simply, taking a bite of her own slice of pizza. After several minutes of watching the opening scene of the show, Sam spoke up.

 

“Where’s the pop?”

 

“Uh oh,” Sebastian smirked.

 

“Did you forget the pop?” Sam accused loudly.

 

“Nope, it’s on the floor next to the dresser,” Sebastian stated. “You’re just about to get an earful from Molly.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Soda,” Molly smirked, giving her boyfriend a wink before turning to her blond friend. “Soda is a beverage. Pop is an onomatopoeia.”

 

“Uhh… what?”

 

“Onomatopoeia is a word that describes a sound,” Sebastian replied, looking back to the TV.

 

“Like pow… zing… boom… POP!”

 

“...Kay.”

 

Molly chuckled as Sam’s eyes drifted back to the TV.

 

Chapter Text

“Can we talk about you changing your alarm ringtone?” Sebastian grumbled into his pillow as Molly silenced her phone.

 

“No,” she replied simply as she curled back up next to her boyfriend, nuzzling her face into his chest as he threw and arm around her. She knew she should get up and go feed her chickens, but from past experiences, she was pretty sure Sebastian wouldn’t let her leave anyway. She was actually pretty excited that her harvest did so well. She had the money she needed to commision Robin to upgrade her chicken coop. Soon, she’d be able to spend more mornings like this. Peaceful. Comfortable. Warm. It was nice.

 

Sebastian farted.

 

“Ugh,” Molly groaned and rolled away from him.

 

“What?”

 

“You’re gross,” She teased.

 

“Whatever,” He replied. “You fart in your sleep. At least I have the common courtesy to do it while I’m awake.”

 

“I do not!” she pouted, feeling him roll onto his back with a chuckle. She rolled enough to glare at him over her shoulder, but could only make out his vague silhouette in the almost completely dark room. Giving up, she rolled back to him, her head resting comfortably on his shoulder.

 

“I knew you’d be back,” he teased, rolling back to her as well and wrapping and arm around her. Within minutes, his deep rhythmic breathing filled her ears.

 

She attempted to fall back to sleep, but her internal time clock told her it was time to get up. So did her bladder. Besides, if she went back to sleep now, she’d just be even more tired the next time she woke up.

 

But she was so comfortable…

 

But she had to pee…

 

Life is full of hard decisions.

 

Resigned to the fact that if she didn’t get up, she was going to wet the bed, she tilted her face up enough to softly kiss Sebastian on his lightly stubbled chin, before wiggling out from under his arm and leaving the bed. She grinned as she padded quietly across the room on bare feet, thinking of how they had already fallen into a routine of who slept on which side of the bed. Was that weird for how little time they had been together? Nah, she thought to herself, shutting the bedroom door behind her and walking down the hallway toward the bathroom.

 

When she emerged, she quickly decided to creep upstairs and make some coffee before heading back to her farm to feed the chickens. Assuming the rest of the house was still asleep due to the early hour, she tiptoed so as to not wake anyone. As she approached the kitchen and heard voices, however, she realized she wasn’t, in fact, the first one up.

 

“Good morning,” Molly smiled as she entered and made her way toward the coffee pot. Lydia looked up at her, over the top of her newspaper.

 

“Hi Molly!” Violet exclaimed, excitedly.

 

“Oh, good morning, Molly,” Robin smiled, looking over her shoulder at the woman, whose blue hair was a mess and was wearing Sebastian’s clothes. “I’m making pancakes. Do you want some?”

 

“That would be great, thank you,” Molly said as she began to pour coffee from the carafe into a mug.

 

“I see you’ve spent the night here again,” Lydia commented, nonchalantly as she folded the newspaper and laid it on the table. “Tell me. How many nights a week do you choose living in sin?” Having had enough, Robin turned abruptly, ready to lay into Lydia. But, Molly spoke first.

 

“Oh, as often as I can,” She smirked mischievously at the older, dark skinned woman, who looked completely scandalized. Molly had more to say, though, and continued. “You should really try it. It does wonders on your mood!”

 

“I beg your pardon? How dare you--”

 

“No, how dare you!” Molly interrupted, her temper flaring up. “Just because I slept here last night does not mean that I was living in sin ,” she threw air quotes up at the last words. “For your information, I happened to be sick yesterday and Sebastian asked me to come over so he could…” She paused. “I don’t know… Take care of me, I guess.” Robin cooed quietly from where she stood next to the stove. “I just happened to fall asleep while watching TV.”

 

“In clothes that are very clearly not your own,” Lydia remarked. Molly looked down at herself. A band t-shirt and a pair of too long, gray sweatpants that were just a bit too snug in the hips. She shrugged, looking back up at the troll that sat at the kitchen table.

 

“I wear Sebastian’s clothes,” she spat. “They’re comfortable. But, I’m failing to see how any of this is any business of yours.”

 

“Well, back in my day, ladies acted like ladies and not floozies!”

 

“Well, it’s not back in your day, and if I want to be a floozy, I’m gonna do it!” Molly drained the last of her coffee and slammed the mug down hard on the kitchen counter. She turned to Robin, who appeared to be trying to keep a grin from spreading on her face. Taking a deep breath to calm herself down, she spoke. “Thank you, for the offer of breakfast, but I think I’m going to just head home and feed my chickens. I’ll be back in a few hours to put down the deposit on that coop upgrade.”

 

“Okay, sweetie, I’ll see you then,” Robin replied, reaching out and giving the younger woman’s shoulder a squeeze, her brain screaming ‘please marry my son!’ and hoping that the young woman could read her thoughts. Molly simply turned without another word and stormed out of the kitchen.

 

“What’s a floozy?” Violet asked innocently, looking to her grandmother with big, questioning, brown eyes.

 

“A woman who completely lacks a moral compass,” Lydia spat. “Robin, I don’t know why you let trash like that into your home. Do you know what the Book of Yoba says about immorality? It says--”

 

“Lydia please,” Robin sighed, holding up a hand.

 

“What’s a moral compass?” Violet questioned.

 

“She’s a bad person, sweetie.”

 

“No, she’s not, grandma! Molly’s nice. She gave me and Derek a bath when we drawed on the walls and got markers on us. And- and she gives good hugs. And she told us a story. And it had a witch. And you’re bein’ like the witch, grandma. You’re bein’ mean!” Violet rattled off causing Lydia’s scowl to deepen with every word. “Molly is-- she tells funny jokes and makes good macky cheese and she letted us pet her chickens and eat her blueberries even though we were s’posed to just put them in the basket--”

 

“I’m sorry, she what?” Lydia growled, her eyes narrowing. Violet’s eyes widened, knowing she had let the secret slip out, and she put a hand over her mouth.

 

“Oops,” she mumbled from behind her hand.

 

“You see, Robin!” she proclaimed, turning toward her red haired sister in law, who was scooping pancakes onto a platter with a scowl on her face. “I specifically said NO to the kids going over to that farm and that boy of yours blatantly disregarded my wishes.” She spoke fervently, gesturing wildly with her hands. “The amount of disrespect that that boy shows… I don’t know why you haven’t kicked him out of your home. If I were his mother--” Lydia was interrupted by Robin slamming the platter of pancakes down onto the kitchen table. When she spoke, her voice was dangerously quiet.

 

“The person showing the most disrespect in this house this summer, is you , Lydia,” she stated pointing a threatening finger at her sister in law. “I have asked you, repeatedly, to leave Sebastian alone. I have asked you to leave Molly alone. Yet you continue to harass and bully both of them whenever you see them. Neither of them deserve it. While Sebby may have a bad attitude at times, he’s shy and reserved enough that you wouldn’t even know he’s here except that you keep badgering him. And Molly is a sweet girl. I had never even seen her without a smile on her face until you showed up. Until you showed up, she never had a bad thing to say about anyone! But you seem to have a gift for bringing out the worst in everyone and for some reason, you decided that since she was with Sebby, she was some kind of horrible person and decided that the first thing you were going to say to her was going to be an insult. And you haven’t stopped insulting her since. I’ve had enough. Enough of your snide remarks. Enough of your insults and comments. I’ve had enough of you constantly undermining me in my own home. You are rude, you don’t respect my wishes, and you constantly brush off anything I have to say. This. Is. My. House. And I will not be putting up with this bull shit any more.”

 

With that, Robin strode from the room, leaving behind a dumbstruck Lydia seated at the kitchen table with her mouth agape.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian shuffled groggily from his bathroom and rounded the stairs leading to the upper floor of the house, in need of some caffeinated goodness. He didn’t know what time Molly had left; She had snuck out without having woke him up. At least, he couldn’t remember her waking him up. It had been several hours since her six AM alarm sounded out and the late morning sun flowing in through the carpenter shop windows made him squint as he reached the top of the staircase and continued his shuffle down the hallway.

 

He stopped halfway through his journey, looking up from his feet that he had been staring at. Someone had left the ladder that lead to the attic down. Coffee first, he thought, squeezing past and making the rest of the trip to the kitchen.

 

Leaning against the counter, coffee cup in one hand, he started scrolling through his phone. Sam was apparently eager to get things rolling with band practice; Abigail sent him a meme that almost made him spit out his coffee from laughing; the weather the next day was going to be sunny and clear during the weekend for the Jellies Festival. He grinned, seeing there was going to be a high only in the mid seventies. The weather was beginning to cool down and settle into Fall; his favorite time of year.

 

Hearing laughter from elsewhere in the house, he sat his empty mug in the sink before going to investigate. He paused at the bottom of the attic ladder, listening. Sure enough, he could hear the mumble of voices coming from the opening in the ceiling.

 

Climbing up, he emerged into the attic to find his mother and girlfriend sitting on the dusty wooden floor with several cardboard boxes opened all around them. As he stepped off the ladder, a wooden board creaked under his weight, causing both women to look up and over their shoulders at him.

 

“Uh oh,” commented Robin. “Busted.” Molly giggled in response and smiled at Sebastian as he made his way across the attic floor.

 

“Morning, sunshine,” she teased as he approached. He groaned as he saw what they were up to. All of the keepsakes that his mother had kept over the years was spread out before them.

 

“I can’t leave you two alone for a minute…” he grumbled, coming to sit down beside them.

 

“You mom wasn’t exaggerating about all of your awards for piano,” she said as she gestured to a box that sat near him.

 

“Nope,” he responded with a smirk. “I’m just glad she doesn’t still have them all displayed downstairs in her shop.”

 

“Well, I can only take so much complaining from you,” Robin teased. Turning to Molly, she continued. “Of course, he didn’t even want me to display them right after he won them. It’s like he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s got talent.” Sebastian rolled his eyes, peering into another box that sat near him and began to riffle through the contents. Old Pokemon cards. He wondered if any of those were worth anything. “Oh, Sebby! Look who I found.” Robin held up a raggedy, brown teddy bear that wore a pair of patched up overalls and was missing one of its black, button eyes.

 

“Mr. Snuggabear!” Sebastian exclaimed excitedly, reaching out for the dilapidated bear, before freezing and glancing sideways at Molly, his cheeks turning pink. He cleared his throat. “Hey… look… it’s my old teddy bear…” Molly chuckled softly, taking the bear from Robin and passing it over to her boyfriend.

 

“Give Mr. Snugglebear a hug, Seb. He’s missed you.”

 

“Snuggabear,” he muttered quietly, sitting with the bear on his lap.

 

“Sebby used to carry that bear with him everywhere !” Robin laughed. “They used to go exploring by the lake to catch frogs. Sebby would strap him to the handle bars of his bicycle when he went for a ride. The bear even had his own little helmet. And Yoba forbid that I would want to wash him after they made mud pies together. Oh, Sebby!” Robin laughed loudly. “Do you remember the time that you and your bear made mud pies and you put them into the mailbox because you said they had to cook in the oven and Demetrius went to check the mail and got a handful of mud?” Sebastian smiled broadly.

 

“He was pissed!” he commented to a laughing Molly. “Went on a rant about how it was illegal to tamper with mailboxes and the police were going to come take me to jail if I did it again.”

 

“Oh no!” Molly laughed.

 

“I don’t know why he even cared. The guy messed around with mud and animal shit back then too, so it probably wasn’t even the grossest thing he’d put his hand in that day.”

 

“I was so heart broken when you told me you didn’t want to play with Mr. Snuggabear anymore,” Robin stated, sadly. “You brought him home and said to throw him away because bears were for babies and you weren’t a baby anymore.”

 

“Alex made fun of me,” Sebastian commented to Molly.

 

“That jerk!” Molly spat back.

 

“In any case, I couldn’t bear to throw him away, so he came up to live in the attic. Anyway, I was just about to show Molly your photo album before you came up,” Robin laughed, gesturing to the book in Molly’s lap that Sebastian hadn’t noticed before. He made a disgusted face.

 

“Why do you hate me?” he whined. Molly gave him a wink before looking down at the book in her lap and opening the front cover..

 

“Awww!” she cooed at the first page.

 

“That was Sebby’s very first picture. The one they take at the hospital right after the baby is born. Well, not right after, but soon after.”

 

“Ah, Seb, you looked disgruntled even back then,” Molly teased as her boyfriend rolled his eyes. Molly flipped the page and giggled. “Oh, bath time.”

 

“Sebby always had the cutest little tush,” Robin said, looking at the album over Molly’s shoulder. Baby Sebastian stood in the bathtub with his little hands on the bathroom wall, looking back over his shoulder with wide eyes at the camera.

 

“Kill me…” Sebastian grumbled as the women continued flipping through pages and commenting on the pictures. Baby Sebastian on the potty, holding a board book; Sebastian with a wide smile and perfectly combed hair, holding up a backpack featuring four turtles wearing masks, ready for his first day of kindergarten; Holding a newborn baby Maru; A gap toothed smile as he showed off missing teeth.

 

“Oh, here’s grandma teaching you how to make her special chocolate chip cookies,” Robin commented at the turn of another page. “Sebby makes amazing chocolate chip cookies.”

 

“What makes them special chocolate chip cookies?” Molly teased.

 

“They’re made with love!” Sebastian shot back.

 

“Yeah? I make stuff with love sometimes, but that’s just what I call it when I lick the spoon and keep using it.”

 

“Remind me to never eat anything that you’ve made with love, Molly,” Robin laughed.

 

“Robin? You around? What’s a guy gotta do to get some decent service around here?” A lighthearted voice yelled from downstairs in the carpenter shop.

 

“Oh, sounds like Lewis is making his rounds,” Robin commented as she lifted herself up from the attic floor. “Better go see how he’s doing. See you two in a bit.” With that she walked across the attic and lowered herself down the ladder.

 

“So, how long have you guys been up here?” Sebastian questioned, continuing his sifting through a random box.

 

“Not long,” Molly replied, continuing to flip through Sebastian’s childhood pictures. “Not quite an hour.”

 

“Did you just get up?” he asked, furrowing his brow.

 

“Nah, I’ve been up since my alarm went off,” she replied turning another page and smiling at a photo of Sebastian and Maru, each with a video game controller in hand, Maru still small enough to have a pacifier in her mouth. “I mean, I can’t just sleep the day away like you do, Seb. I got shit to do! So far today, I’ve fed my chickens, put the deposit down on my new chicken coop, snooped through your childhood memories, and got into a verbal altercation with your aunt. And that was all before ten!”

 

“You got into a fight with my aunt?” Sebastian laughed. “What’d she do this time?”

 

“Asked me how often I liked living in sin and called me a floozy.”

 

“I gotta start getting up earlier. I’m sorry I missed that.”

 

“Well, I left right after that and went home, so I don’t know what happened between her and your mom,” Molly said, looking up to her boyfriend who was watching her with interest, “but when I came back I accidently caught the tail end of what sounded like a very heated argument between your mom and Demetrius. I distinctly heard I want that woman out of my house .”

 

“Yes!” Sebastian hissed, balling his hand into a fist. Molly chuckled softly before going back to the photo album.

 

“Oh my god!” she exclaimed. “That’s my grandpa!” Sebastian glanced over at the album and grinned at the picture of himself and Maru in the carpenter shop, an old man with his white hair and beard knelt down in front of them.

 

“Yeah, me and Maru used to get super excited when we’d see him around. He’d always sneak us these candies that he kept in his pocket.”

 

“The caramel hard candies?”

 

“Those are the ones!” Sebastian laughed. “Apparently mom knew that he gave them to us, but as kids it was fun to think she had no idea.”

 

“Oh, I’m miss my grandpa so much,” Molly sighed wistfully.

 

“Yeah, he was a good guy,” Sebastian commented remembering the old farmer. With his big, white beard, he always played Santa Claus for the Winter Star festival, always handing out gifts to the kids of the town that was always, somehow, exactly what they wanted. He had gifted Maru with her very first science kit one year. That was the year Sebastian turned sixteen. When he hadn’t been gifted anything, he had assumed that he was finally too old for a gift from Santa. Obviously, it had been many years since he had even believed in Santa, but still, it was nice getting a gift that he always knew would be something he wanted. “You know, your grandpa gave me my bike?”

 

“Really?” Molly asked with amazement.

 

“Well… Santa gave me my bike… and it was only kind of a bike when I got it.”

 

“Ok, explain,” Molly requested with a laugh.

 

“Well, I had just turned sixteen and didn’t get my yearly Santa gift for Winter Star, so I just accepted the fact that I was too old to get a gift anymore. But, when we all got home, right in front of the house was something covered in a sheet with a big red bow on top. It had a note: To: Sebastian, From: Santa, Fix her up and she’s yours. Don’t forget to wear a helmet .”

 

“That’s awesome!”

 

“Mom and Demetrius didn’t seem to think so and I’m sure your grandpa got an ear full later about it,” Sebastian laughed. “God, it was such a piece of shit though,” he continued shaking his head with a smile, “and I knew nothing about mechanics back them. Took me almost a year to get her running. But, that thing was my ticket out of this town and I was determined to make it work. I put lots of blood, sweat, and tears into her to get her where she is today.”

 

“So, why’d you stay after you got it running?” Molly questioned causing Sebastian to look pensive a moment before shrugging one shoulder.

 

“I dunno, I guess it just never felt like the right time to leave.”

 

“Well, I’m glad you stayed,” Molly smiled. “I might not have ever got to know you if you left.”

 

“How come we never did meet before now?” He questioned, bringing his attention back to the box he was digging through. “Didn’t you ever come visit the farm?”

 

“We visited a handful of times, but it was usually just easier to fly grandpa up to us than all of us flying down here,” Molly replied with a shrug. “And when we did come to visit, we mostly just stayed on the farm, since there was always so much to do and explore. Like the old barn that I need to get fixed up! Yoba, grandpa had hung the best rope swing from the rafters… well, I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be a swing, but we would climb up into the hayloft with the end of it and then, you know, get our feet on the knot at the bottom and then just jump! I don’t know how we all didn’t break our fucking necks! It was so much fun though.” Sebastian smiled at her with fondness. He suddenly wanted to know everything about her. Every detail. Both the good and the bad. Then he wondered if she was interested in him the same way. “Oh my god, look at Sam!” She turned the album so Sebastian could see the picture. He chuckled.

 

“First day of high school,” he commented. “Sam was convinced that we were gonna get all the ladies.” Looking back, Sebastian could see how he would ever think that. The picture showed two dorky looking kids, Sebastian with a clearly visible acne break out on his chin and Sam smiling broadly with a mouthful of braces. Neither of them had hit their final growth spurt at that point. Sebastian was rocking a faux-hawk while Sam had on a trucker cap with the bill cocked slightly to one side.

 

“Ah, early 2000’s fashion,” Molly sighed. “What a time to be alive.”

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Why were toy commercials from the 90’s always so over-hyped?” Molly asked from where she sat between Sebastian’s legs, her back leaned against his chest as she held his laptop on her lap. They had spent most of the afternoon and into the evening in their current position on the sofa in Sebastian’s room, watching ViewTube videos of things they remembered from growing up.

 

“I dunno,” Sebastian replied, watching the screen lazily, his cheek rested against his girlfriend’s hair. “But it worked.” Molly giggled as they continued to watch the commercial that came complete with bad CGI lightning and fire, a catchy pop/rock theme song, and kids dressed in cyberpunk costumes, flying in on hoverboards to play the advertised game.

 

“It’s so crazy to look back at these commercials now and see how differently boys’ and girls’ toys were marketed,” she commented as the next commercial on the playlist began; A magical tea set that changed color with water, where two little girls in a pink room surrounded by stuffed animals sat having a tea party. “Like, companies pushing gender norms onto kids and we had no idea because we were too young to notice or care.” Sebastian made a noncommittal noise. “I mean, does stuff still get marketed like this?”

 

“Probably not as bad, but I’m sure it does to some degree,” Sebastian replied with a yawn. He was comfortable. He had work that he really needed to finish, but all he really wanted to do was stay exactly where he was, cuddled up with Molly and wasting the day.

 

“You should probably be working,” Molly remarked, as if reading his mind, and folded the laptop closed. “I should head home.” He groaned with displeasure, tightening his arms around her middle to prevent her from getting up.

 

“But, I don’t wanna be working…”

 

“Dude, weren’t you just complaining like, yesterday about how you couldn’t just put your work on hold to spend time with me?” Molly teased without even trying to move away from him.

 

“That was the old me and I regret the things that old me said,” he replied, dipping his head down and pressing his lips against the side of her neck and making her hum in contentment. “I’ll do it later.” Molly laughed as his lips found her neck again.

 

“When later? It’s already nine thirty!”

 

“Time is just a social construct,” he mumbled, his lips against her earlobe.

 

“What does that even mean?” Molly laughed.

 

“Nothing, but if I sound deep and philosophical, maybe you’ll let me see you naked tonight,” he replied, grinning mischievously as he nuzzled her ear with his nose.

 

“You are such a dork!” she laughed, finally pushing away from him and sitting up. “Besides, you’ve already seen me naked.”

 

“And I liked what I saw and would like to see it again,” he smirked as she stood up and looked down at him, her hands on her hips.

 

“Oh, are we forgetting what happened last time we tried to make out in your room?”

 

“As I recall, you ended up naming our future children,” he remarked, sitting up as Molly laughed wholeheartedly. “Besides,” he continued as he stood up. “We could always pull the couch in front of the door.”

 

“You’re ridiculous,” she commented with a shake of her head.

 

“Nah, it’s necessity,” he commented, as he strode to the end of his couch and pulled it until it was blocking the door. “I do this all the time when I…” he pressed his lips together, pausing to think about who he was talking to and deciding how he wanted to end his sentence. “...When I just want to be alone.” Molly chuckled knowing exactly what he meant.

 

“Why don’t you just get a lock for your door?”

 

“I never remember that I need one,” he shrugged. Molly chuckled and slowly approached him.

 

“That’s fair I guess,” she said in a quiet, sexy voice that gave Sebastian goose bumps just from hearing it. His enchantment was broken as he felt himself shoved up against the wall, his girlfriend’s body pressed against him. Allowing a muffled moan to escape him as her lips pressed against his, his hands travelled directly to her hips.

 

“Is that a yes?” he questioned, his lips still against hers.

 

“It’s not a no,” she smirked, taking half a step back to look at him.

 

“Good enough for me!” He declared, grabbing the bottom of his shirt and pulling it up over his head before spiking it to the ground. Molly sighed heavily with a smile as strong, lean arms snaked back around her, hands firmly planted on her rear, pulling her close to him.

 

“You and my butt, man.”

 

“I love your butt,” he replied in a growl, giving a firm squeeze with both hands. Giggling softly, she brought her lips to his, her tongue teasing his lower lip. After a long moment, she broke away again.

 

“So what do I have to do to get you out of the rest of your clothes?” Molly whispered teasingly, making her boyfriend grin shyly. It always amazed her how he could change from confident and self assured to shy and awkward at the drop of a hat, but she knew she’d never get sick of seeing the blush rise in his cheeks.

 

“I guess, you could always just ask,” he replied, quietly. Molly began walking backward away from him, eyes not leaving his. Biting his lower lip, he watched as she lifted her shirt up and over her head, revealing a bra of pink lace. Hurrying, he closed the gap between them, needing to feel her warm skin on his own. He kissed her shoulder and slowly trailed a line of kisses to her ear before running the tip of his nose over her soft cheek until his lips could meet hers again in a short, but tender, kiss.

 

Molly ran a finger along the waistband of the loose fitting sweatpants that Sebastian had been lounging around in all day, causing his stomach muscles to tighten as the finger followed the trail of black hair under the elastic and began to gently pull down. Not allowing his mouth to leave hers, he brought his hands to the side of his sweats and with a slight tug, let them fall to the floor around his ankles. Taking Sebastian’s hand into her own, Molly began to back her way across the room, leading the raven haired man in the direction of the bed.

 

Sebastian’s mind was unthinking as he made to follow her. He forgot that his pants were still around his ankles and with his fist step, tripped. He fell directly into Molly and they both tumbled to the ground with shouts of surprise.

 

Sebastian’s knees hit the hardwood floor a fraction of a second before Molly hit, first with her hip, and then her elbow.

 

“Oww,” she groaned, laying flat on her back.

 

“Are you okay?” Sebastian sat on his aching knees, hands on either side of his girlfriend’s hips.

 

“That’s going to leave a mark.”

 

“I am so sorry.”

 

“Klutz,” Molly teased, beginning to laugh. Sebastian hung his head, embarrassed. Reaching up, she placed a finger under his chin and tilted his face toward hers. She sat up enough to touch her lips to his and felt the corners of his mouth curl up into a smile.

 

She laid back onto the floor, stretching her arms above her head and Sebastian allowed his fingertips to sensually glide over her curves. He kissed her throat, her collarbone, her chest. Soft kisses were trailed down to her stomach while Sebastian worked the button and zipper of her faded denim jeans.

 

“Sebastian, is everything okay? I heard yelling.” They both froze as a knock and the voice of Robin came from the other side of the bedroom door.

 

“Yeah, Mom, it’s fine,” Sebastian replied, speaking loudly to be heard through the door, “I just tripped on… some clothes.” Molly snickered.

 

“I keep telling you to keep your room picked up,” Robin scolded. “You need to be more careful.”

 

“Noted,” Sebastian replied with a roll of his eyes.

 

“I’m heading to bed, I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

“Night, Mom.”

 

“Good night. I love you.”

 

“Love you, too.”

 

It was quiet for a long moment before Sebastian brought his hands back to the waistband of Molly’s jeans and began to tug them down over her hips. She lifted her hips slightly to help him with the removal of her clothes. Jeans pulled to her knees, Sebastian grabbed the soft fabric of her panties, knowing exactly how he intended on pleasing his girlfriend that evening, and began to trail hot, wet kisses down her stomach again.

 

“Oh, Sebby,” Robin’s voice from the other side of the door again. The look on Sebastian’s face was a look of pure frustration mixed with annoyance.

 

“Yeah?” He sighed.

 

“Grandma called today,” She replied. Sebastian sat back on his knees and rubbed his face with his hands, looking up at the ceiling in exasperation.

 

“Yeah?” He questioned. “How’s she doing?” Molly chuckled soundlessly and began to pull her pants back up. Looking horrified, Sebastian began vigorously shaking his head mouthing “no” over and over. He put his hands over hers to try and stop her from putting her clothes back on.

 

“Sorry,” she mouthed giving a half smile and a shrug as she buttoned her jeans and sat up.

 

“...her that you’d call tomorrow.” Robin finished saying to her son, who wasn’t listening, but looking pleadingly at Molly like a puppy begging for table scraps.

 

“Please?” He begged in a whisper.

 

“You’re mom is talking to you,” Molly said, barely above a whisper. He shook his head to clear it and looked dejectedly toward the door.

 

“Sorry, what?”

 

“I said that grandma misses you and I told her that you’d call tomorrow.”

 

“Yeah, no problem,” he replied, watching longingly as Molly pulled her shirt over her head. “I’ll give her a call in the morning.”

 

“First thing, alright?”

 

“Second thing, Mom. Coffee always comes first.”

 

“Thank you, sweetie,” Robin chuckled. “Good night!”

 

“Night.”

 

Sebastian sat on his bedroom floor wearing nothing but a gray pair of boxer briefs and watched as Molly straightened her ponytail.

 

“Nothing I can do to change your mind?” He asked quietly.

 

“Three interruptions is pretty much my limit,” Molly sighed standing up. “I’m unfortunately no longer in the mood.”

 

“Well, I mean…” Sebastian paused as he stood up off the floor. “You still don't have to go.” He crossed the room to her and took her hand in his. “You could stay a while.” Molly released Sebastian's hand and brought both hands up to cup his face. She gave him a long, soft kiss on his lips. When she pulled away, she waited for Sebastian's eyes to open before flashing him a coy smirk.

 

“Next time,” she whispered and touched the tip of Sebastian's lightly freckled nose with her index finger. “Now, get your work done.” She turned on her heel and let herself out of the bedroom, closing the door noiselessly behind her.

 

Sebastian stared at the closed door hopefully for a long moment before sighing loudly and flopping down into his computer chair. He picked up his cell phone and texted a quick message to Sam.

 

Dude, I think I just got cock blocked by my grandma…

Chapter Text

The sounds of the music that filled the room ended with a few extra strums of Sam’s guitar. The band had been practicing the new song for just shy of two hours, and Sebastian felt like they hadn’t made much progress of getting it to the finished product, let alone polished enough to play at a gig. Still, Sam was insistent that it was going to be one of the three songs that they got to showcase in their Battle of the Bands set.

 

“Something still just sounds off…” Sam complained, his brow furrowed. “Let’s try it again from the top.” Abigail groaned loudly while Sebastian just rolled his eyes.

 

“Sam, if you make me play this damn song again today, just so you can try to figure out why it sounds weird, I swear that I’m going to break that guitar over your stupid head,” Abigail growled venomously.

 

“Seriously, man,” Sebastian input. “Maybe we should just play something else that we already know by heart.”

 

“No!” Sam contended. “This could be our shot, you guys. We could win a thousand bucks and you don’t know who’ll be in the audience! Record producers. Agents. Talent scouts--”

 

“Ok, Sam,” Sebastian sighed. “Either way, I think we’re done for today.”

 

“Come on, guys!” Sam whined. “We’ll never get it if we don’t practice.”

 

“Dude, I have a lot of work to get done today. Like, real work that pays me money,” Sebastian spat making his best friend’s shoulders slump defeatedly. He sighed, running a hand through his hair. He always felt terrible when he disappointed Sam. “Sorry,” he continued, softening his voice. “I gotta go.”

 

“Alright, I’ll text ya later,” Sam replied with a shrug as Sebastian switched off his keyboard and, with casual farewells from his friends, left the house.

 

His feet had barely hit the cobblestones outside of the Moore house and there was a cigarette between his lips. Lighting it, he took a long pull and began walking in the direction of his house. He wasn’t lying to Sam; he had screwed around all week and his work had gotten neglected. After Molly had left the night before, he had managed to churn out a good chunk of his work, but he still had a long way to go. No more distractions, he vowed to himself.

 

Pulling his phone from his pocket at the sound of receiving a text message, he grinned. He’d allow for one distraction. Since he was just walking home anyway.

 

WYD?

 

Walking home f/ band practice

Sam’s hell bent on doing this song

 

I like ur song :)

 

U wouldn’t after playing it over&over 4 2 hrs

 

Can’t argue with that

Come over?

 

Can’t

Gotta ton of work to do

 

:(

Later then?

 

I promise I’ll stop by as soon as I’m done

 

:)

Ok!

 

He smiled as he slipped his phone back into his pocket. He really did want to go see his girlfriend and began to weigh his options as he continued puffing on his cigarette. He could pack up his laptop when he got home and head over to the farm, but there was always the chance that he’d get distracted and he wouldn’t be able to get his work done. But, his brain countered, Molly was usually good at not being distracting when he was working.

 

He could invite her over and she could lounge around his room while he worked. But, he assumed, she probably had work to do on the farm to get ready for her fall crops. No. It was probably better for him to just sit down, turn on some music, and hash out the rest of his coding. He knew Molly would just come over if she wanted to see him that bad. And even if it got too late, she wouldn’t mind if he randomly crawled into her bed with her in the middle of the night. At least, he had done it before. Smiling at the memory, he took his phone from his pocket again.

 

BTW

I <3 U

 

Aww! ^_^

Luv U more <3

 

Slipping his phone back into his pocket, he looked up as he approached his home. A strange car was parked in front of the garage. Furrowing his eyebrows, Sebastian flicked away the butt of his cigarette and approached the house, wondering who was visiting.

 

Before he could cross the expanse of dirt in front of his house, his aunt dramatically stormed through the front door carrying a suitcase. She had already lugged it to the trunk of the silver, four door sedan before Demetrius had a chance to emerge from the house, followed closely by Robin.

 

“Come on, sis,” Demetrius pleaded. “All I was asking was for you to show Robin a little more respect.”

 

“I heard your argument, Deme,” Lydia shot back. “She said she wants me out of this house. I was just waiting to be told to leave.”

 

“But, I didn’t tell you to leave,” Demetrius insisted.

 

“And I was just angry,” Robin assured. “I don’t want you to feel like you’re being kicked out.”

 

“Yeah, you know how much of a hot head Robin is,” Demetrius grinned at his sister.

 

“Excuse me?” Robin demanded, icily.

 

As much as Sebastian wanted to see his mother get mad and kick both his aunt and step-father out of the house, he was mature enough to quietly slip passed the scene unfolding and entered the cool interior of the house.

 

Making a beeline toward his room, he paused halfway down the staircase at the sound of voices coming from the room down the hall.

 

“But, I wanted to stay for the jelly festival,” Violet stated, obviously in tears. “I like jelly. ‘Specially grape jelly!” there was a feminine laugh followed by soft words.

 

“Oh, honey, it the Jellies festival, not jelly festival. It’s to celebrate the migration of the jellyfish that live in the ocean,” the voice said comfortingly. “Besides, why would you want to go to a jelly festival without there being a peanut butter festival too?”

 

“I still want to stay!” Violet cried. “If we leave now, I won’t even get to say goodbye to Molly!”

 

“Who’s Molly? Is she your friend?”

 

“Yeah, she’s really nice,” Violet continued with a sniffle. “Grandma doesn’t like her though.” Sebastian grinned at the little girl’s words and walked toward the guest bedroom to investigate who was there.

 

“Well, grandma doesn’t like anyone,” laughed the voice. “I’m sure we can stop by your friend’s house to say goodbye.”

 

“Hey!” Sebastian exclaimed in surprise as he entered the room and saw the young woman with her deep bronze skin and long, black, curly hair seated on the edge of the bed and speaking with Violet. She looked up at him with her big, coffee colored eyes and beamed.

 

“Seb!” She yelled, jumping up and crossing the room. Throwing her arms around his shoulders, she hugged him tightly. He responded with a simple pat on her back. Stepping away, she looked at him at arm’s length. “You look great! I’ve missed you! How’ve you been?”

 

“Good,” he chuckled. “I’ve been good. What are you doing here?”

 

“Well, apparently, our moms had a little blow up,” the young woman replied with a grin. “Your mom said that she wanted my mom out of the house and my mom is totally overly dramatic.”

 

“You’re not wrong.”

 

“Anyway, mom called me and told me to come pick her up because she was no longer welcome here and her train tickets aren’t until Sunday, and blah blah blah,” the woman finished by patting her thumb with the fingers of the same hand, imitating a mouth talking.

 

“Sebastian, grandma says that we have to leave, but I wanna see Molly,” the little girl whined. “Mommy said I could go see Molly and say bye. Can we go?” Sebastian looked from the little girl to his cousin, who simply shrugged one shoulder. Thinking of all the work he needed to get done, he sighed. He was definitely not sleeping that night.

 

“Sure,” he replied simply, causing the little girl to start cheering, happily. The woman chuckled.

 

“Ok, get your shoes on and we can go see Molly.”

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Stepping up the front steps of the old farm house, Sebastian let himself in with a push of his shoulder against the hard-to-open front door. Pushing his sunglasses on top of his head, he stepped across the threshold. Molly was standing at the kitchen counter, scraping a thick brown batter from a mixing bowl into a baking pan. She glanced over her shoulder at the man and smiled, quickly returning her attention to what she was doing before she made a mess. Violet and her mother stepped into the room and closed the door behind them as Molly began to speak.

 

“I thought you had a ton of work to do,” she teased, smoothing the batter in the pan with her spatula. “I’m making brownies. You wanna lick the spatula?” She held out the utensil, already knowing his answer and felt it immediately grabbed from her hand as she used her free hand to toss the plastic mixing bowl into the sink.

 

“Obviously,” her boyfriend answered as she moved the pan full of batter into the oven. Turning to face the rest of the room, she froze as she saw there were three extra people in her house.

 

“Hi Molly!” Violet cried run to Molly and wrapping her arms around her leg.

 

“Hey,” Molly chuckled, bending to give the little girl a pat on the back. “What’re you doing here?”

 

“Grandma is having a tantrum and says we gotta leave, but I didn’t want to leave without sayin’ bye.”

 

“Wait,” said the woman that Molly didn’t know. “ This is Molly?”

 

“Yeah,” Violet replied innocently, making the woman chuckle softly.

 

“When you said you wanted to say bye to your friend Molly, I thought she’d be a kid like you!”

 

“Nope, just acts like one,” Sebastian mumbled, licking the batter from the spatula. He cried out in surprise as Molly smacked his hand, making the spatula hit his face and leave a chocolatey smear on his nose and cheek. He glared at her as she stuck her tongue out at him. “My point has been proven,” he grumbled, grabbing the dish towel from the oven door handle and wiping his face. “Molly’s actually my girlfriend,” He continued on, tossing the towel down on the countertop instead of putting it back where he got it from. “Molly, this is my cousin Rachael. Violet and Derek’s mom.”

 

“Hi, nice to meet you,” Molly smiled, holding out her hand, which the other woman took warmly.

 

“You as well!” she smiled before turning to her cousin, who had gone back to cleaning the spatula with his mouth. “Seb, I didn’t even know you were seeing anyone. She’s adorable!”  She turned her attention back to Molly. “What are you doing dating this weirdo?” She nodded in Sebastian’s direction.

 

“He made me,” Molly teased with a wink, earning an eye roll from her boyfriend.

 

“Grandma says we have to leave because we’re not welcome anymore, but I wanna stay for the jelly festival!” Violet piped up.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry, sweetie,” Molly replied, making a sad face at the little girl. As she had never been to the Festival of the Moonlight Jellies, Molly had no idea what to expect, but, as she always had fun at the town festivals, she knew that it would probably be something the kids would enjoy.

 

“Mommy, can’t we stay?” Violet whined, tugging on her mother’s t-shirt.

 

“We can ask Aunt Robin,” Rachael replied, watching as her son toddled over to the blue haired woman and lifted up his arms, indicating that he wanted to be held. “I’m sure grandma is just being silly again.” She smiled as her son was lifted up and balanced on Molly’s hip without a second thought. Both of her kids had obviously formed an attachment to the woman over the summer.

 

“Why do you have a binky in your mouth?” Molly whispered to the little boy in her arms. “Binkies are for babies. Are you a baby?” Derek nodded his head, making her laugh. “Oh, okay then.”

 

“Molly, can we go see the chickens?” Violet asked.

 

“Sure, if it’s ok with your mom.”

 

“Please!” Violet begged, clenching her little fists together and looking up at her mother.

 

“I don’t see why not,” Rachael replied, smiling down at her daughter. Violet made a joyous noise and ran toward the door.

 

“I have to stay in here until the brownies are done, Violet,” Molly said, handing the little boy over to Rachael. “Do you remember where the coop is so you can show your mom?”

 

“Yeah!” Violet exclaimed, attempting to open Molly’s front door. “A coop is a chicken’s house, mommy. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you everything about it!”

 

“I can’t wait!” replied Rachael, giving Molly an amused and impressed look. She gave the door a hard pull and walked outside with the two kids.

 

“Their names are Clucky and Plucky, and there’s a bunch of babies that don’t have names…” Violet began to babble as the door closed behind them.

 

“Hey,” Molly smiled to her boyfriend after a long moment of silence. He hummed in response as he tossed the spatula into the sink with the mixing bowl. “Your cousin doesn’t seem anything like her mother.”

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian grinned, leaning against the counter with his arms folded over his chest. “Rachael has always been my favorite cousin, so that was always the silver lining to Aunt Lydia’s visits. Haven’t seen her since she got married though. This summer was the first time I even met the kids.”

 

“That’s too bad,” Molly commented, coming closer to him and rubbing him on the back. “Maybe you guys can catch up before they have to leave.”

 

“Yeah, that’d be nice,” he mumbled pensively with a shrug.

 

“What’s up, buttercup?”

 

“I just really do have a ton of work to do,” he sighed, looking to his girlfriend. “I’m never gonna get it done before Monday.”

 

“You’ll get it done,” she reassured. “You always do.”

 

“Thanks, angel,” he grinned, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and giving a light squeeze. She giggled as he looked her in the face. “What?”

 

“You still have chocolate on your nose,” she laughed, causing him to make an annoyed sound as he tried to wipe the bridge of his nose with his hand. Cupping his face in her hands, Molly stood on her toes enough to give her boyfriend a lick to the side of his nose.

 

“Ew…” he grumbled, making a disgusted face.

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

After speaking with Lydia and Robin, it was decided that they would stay for the Dance of the Moonlight Jellies. Molly offered Rachael her spare bedroom for a couple days so the guest bedroom at Robin’s house wouldn’t be too overcrowded.

 

Currently, everyone was making their way toward the Stardrop Saloon for dinner from the carpenter shop. Maru and Abigail walked hand in hand, speaking quietly to each other with smiles on their faces. An uncomfortable Demetrius walked between his sister and his wife, attempting to make small talk, but it appeared that Lydia had nothing to say, and her lack of even attempting to be social was irritating Robin, who walked with her arms crossed, looking straight ahead.

 

Molly walked behind Maru and Abigail, holding Derek on her hip and holding Violet’s hand as she happily babbled away about the funny things that Molly’s chickens did when they were at the farm. Sebastian walked beside his cousin, smoking a cigarette.

 

“So,” Rachael smirked glancing sideways at the raven haired man walking next to her. “When are you guys getting married?” Sebastian snorted.

 

“What?” he asked incredulously. “We’re not.”

 

“Oh come on. Never?”

 

“We haven’t even been seeing each other that long,” He replied, taking another drag from his cigarette. “It’s way too early to be thinking about that.”

 

“Of course you would think that; you’re a boy!” Rachael replied. “But I’ll bet Molly has your wedding completely planned out!”

 

“Seriously,” Sebastian insisted. “It hasn’t been that long.” She smiled smugly in reply as he flicked away the butt of his cigarette.

 

He watched Molly’s back as she walked, the toddler on her hip throwing off her usual sway. He wondered if she really had thought about them getting married already, as his cousin had suggested. Would that be so bad? They really hadn’t been together that long. But that wasn’t really a determining factor, was it? He loved her; Loved falling asleep next to her; aside from her alarm, loved waking up next to her. He loved how she accepted his flaws, but also wouldn’t put up with any bullshit. She was hard working, funny, smart, beautiful…

 

“Now you’re thinking about it aren’t you?” Rachael teased, cutting off his train of thought.

 

“No, I’m not!” Sebastian snapped back, a heat rising to his cheeks. “It’s too soon!”

 

“Mmhmm,” she replied with a knowing smile.

 

Pouting, he followed everyone else into the Stardrop Saloon, his eyes needing a moment to adjust to the darkened interior. The rest of the large group, snaked their way through the awkward set up of the tables and chairs toward the party room in the back. Emily had insisted that the layout was more feng shui and wouldn’t allow good energy to escape, or something like that; Gus just went along with it, humoring his only employee.  

 

“Bright hair must be the trend around here, huh Molly?” Rachael asked as Molly waved to Emily as they walked passed the bar. Molly looked over her shoulder and laughed.

 

“Well, I had the blue hair before I came here, but yeah, there are a few people around town with colored hair.”

 

“Oh, where are you from?” Rachael asked conversationally as they entered the party room, Emily tailing behind with a booster seat and a high chair.

 

“Up North,” Molly replied. “Ahamo.”

 

“Oh! I’ve been there,” Rachael responded, situating Violet into her booster seat as Molly buckled Derek into his high chair. Sebastian sat down next to Abigail as Molly slid into the seat next to him, keeping her attention on Rachael to continue their conversation. Sebastian turned his attention to his sister and her girlfriend.

 

“Hey,” he said softly, just loud enough to get their attention. “You guys are girls…”

 

“Well, which are we, Sebastian? Guys or girls?” Abigail teased, buttering a piece of bread from one of the baskets that Emily had brought in.

 

“Lesbians,” Maru answered with a giggle. Sebastian glared at both women with a deadpan expression.

 

“Are you done?” he grumbled as the two women laughed.

 

“Sorry,” Abigail said sincerely, dabbing at her eye with the corner of her napkin. “What’s up, Seb?” He glanced over his shoulder to make sure Molly was still engaged in conversation before he continued on.

 

“Do you both already have your wedding planned?”

 

“What like… our wedding together?” Maru questioned, pointing a finger back and forth between her and Abigail. Sebastian shrugged, unsure of what he was actually wondering.

 

“Maybe?” he replied. “Or just in general.”

 

“I mean… Yeah… sort of, I guess,” Abigail replied.

 

“I think all girls start planning their wedding from the time that they’re old enough to play pretend,” Maru stated.

 

“Yeah, and now that we’re older and have Pin-It, we have at least one board dedicated to our future weddings.”

 

“Mmhmm,” Maru agreed. “Dresses, hairstyles, rings--”

 

“Make up, locations, poses for pictures--”

 

“Invitations, cakes, centerpieces--”

 

“Ok, I get it,” Sebastian stated, holding up a hand.

 

“Why do you ask?” Abigail smiled. “Need some ideas on how to pop the question?”

 

“For fuck sake, No!” He hissed. Did everyone think that he should propose already. “I was just wondering because Rachael said all women have their weddings already planned out and I didn’t believe her.”

 

“Guess we could always ask Molly,” Maru commented with a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

 

“No! Yoba, just forget I asked.” He turned his attention back to his girlfriend with a huff. Holding her menu in her hands, she was caught up in her conversation and wasn’t looking at it. Reaching up, he tapped her on the elbow to get her attention. “You want to share an appetizer?”

 

“Sure!” she replied turning to him with a smile. “I was actually thinking about getting the zucchini fritters with spicy marinara sauce. I’ve been told they’re really good.”

 

“Cool, I’ll try some with you.”

 

“Thanks! I’d hate to get them and not like them.”

 

“You could always take them to Linus if we don't like them,” Sebastian commented, looking back to his menu and missing the look of adoration from Molly.

 

“So, Molly,” Rachael began, pulling the blue haired woman’s attention back. “Sebastian says you guys haven’t been together very long.”

 

“Yeah… well… it’s complicated,” Molly finished with a small laugh. The loud, high pitched laugh that followed her statement was enough to pull everyone’s attention to it.

 

“Complicated is one word, I guess,” Lydia stated snarkily. “They aren’t actually together.”

 

“What?” Rachael questioned, dubiously.

 

“It’s true!” Lydia said excitedly. “Sebastian was so eager to impress me, that he pretended to have a girlfriend! And then this one,” she gestured toward Molly, “couldn’t get a real boyfriend anyway, so she offered to play along.” Sebastian could feel his blood boiling hotter with every word his aunt spoke.

 

“I’m sure that’s what happened, mom,” Rachael laughed, attempting to brush off her mother’s comments.

 

“It is!” Lydia insisted. “But she ruined the whole charade when she got drunk at a wedding a couple weeks back and started trying to get with every male in the place.”

 

“Lydia, that’s not what happened at all,” Robin stated, her voice a threatening tone.

 

“Oh, Robin, it’s fine,”Lydia said with a laugh and wave of her hand. “I heard him say that it was a fake relationship. Although, I must say that I’m flattered that, you would keep it up all summer long just to try and impress me.” Lydia laughed again and Sebastian clenched his teeth tight together, his mouth forming a thin line as his eyes narrowed. Molly, sensing his anger, reached out to him under the table, giving his knee a reassuring squeeze. Taking a deep breath to try and calm himself, he reached under the table and took her hand in his, entwining their fingers and attempting to tune out his aunt. “They did put on a good show though,” Lydia continued on to her daughter. “I was almost convinced a couple times. Especially with the sleepovers with each other. Although, I’m sure that Sebastian’s boyfriend misses him.”

 

“Lydia,” Robin growled in warning.

 

Sebastian had had enough. The chair drug across the wooden floor with a cringeworthy squeal as he stood up. Hoping that he would sit back down, Molly make a grab for his wrist, but with a quick twist and a rough jerk, he managed to break free of her grasp.

 

“Seb…” Molly called to him as he stormed from the room, almost bowling over Emily, who was entering the room to take their food orders.

 

Sitting patiently, Molly waited until everyone had put in their food orders; she only ordered the zucchini fritters for her and Sebastian to share before excusing herself to go find him. The first place she looked was outside the Stardrop near the metal trash can where he liked to smoke. He wasn’t there. Concerned that he had completely left and gone home, she pulled out her phone to send him a text.

 

Where R U?

 

Bathroom

 

She wandered back inside, heading toward the bathrooms that sat tucked away in the hallway near the game room. Leaning against the wall opposite of the men’s room door, she waited for Sebastian to emerge. The smell of fried food began to make her stomach growl with hunger, but she refused to return to the party room without him. Tapping her foot, she began to hum along to the song that was blaring from the jukebox that she had heard at least a thousand times.

 

When the bathroom door finally opened, she looked up from the pink sneakers that she had decided to wear that evening with a khaki skirt that she had ordered online since Abigail had insisted that she needed girlier clothes. Sebastian barely looked up at her before attempting to move away from her down the hall.

 

“Hey,” she said, grabbing him by the wrist again to stop him.

 

“Let go, Molly. I need to leave.”

 

“No,” she replied softly. “Come on, talk to me.” She pulled him to stand against the wall with her and he sighed in annoyance.

 

“I just can’t do this. I thought she’d be a little better after the fight with my mom, but she’s not and I can’t just sit and listen to her berate us all night. Especially with all the coding I need to do waiting for me at home. I can’t do it. Fifteen minutes into dinner and I’m already completely stressed the fuck out to the point I’m ready to blow.” He paused, taking a deep breath as he felt Molly’s fingers twine through his. “I just need to go.” Molly’s grip on his hand tightened as he attempted to pull away and he found that he was suddenly being dragged in the opposite direction than he wanted to go. “Come on, Molly,” He complained as she looked over her shoulder at him.

 

He didn’t realize that Molly hadn’t been looking at him when she glanced over her shoulder. Quickly scanning the area visible from the hallway to make sure she wasn’t seen, she pushed open a door marked Employees Only and pulled an unamused Sebastian in behind her. The sound of the jukebox was cut down to a muffled roar as she closed the door behind them, gently pushing her boyfriend up against it.

 

Molly’s lips found his in a drawn out and heated kiss, their eyes slowly adjusting to the room which was only being lit by the red glow of the emergency exit sign.

 

“What are you doing?” he asked, breaking off the kiss by turning his head to the side and sounding disgruntled.

 

“Shh,” she hissed in his ear as her lips found his neck and began trailing down his collarbone. Sighing heavily, he rolled his eyes in the darkness. Why couldn’t his girlfriend just let him leave? All he wanted was to go home and do his coding, not stand in the storage room of the Stardrop and make out.

 

He froze, realizing that Molly had been working the button and zipper of his jeans and felt a burst of cool air on his now exposed abdomen. He watched as her silhouette sank lower in front of him, her hot kisses trailed lower on his torso, until she had completely dropped to her knees.

 

“Molly!” he gasped as he felt her hand cup him through his underwear. “We’re going to get caught!”

 

“Well then, I’d suggest that you not let anyone open that door,” she replied, her voice low and sexy. Her hands slid up his legs, coming to a rest at the waistband of his underwear and his breath caught as he felt them being tugged down and exposing him. She was close enough to him that he could feel her hot breath on his member and he reached out, grabbing the door knob, gripping it tight to make sure no one could enter.

 

The hardwood floor beneath Molly’s knees was already making them ache, but she was determined to do what she could to reduce the stress that her boyfriend was feeling. Taking him into her hand, she gripped him loosely. Looking up at his red outlined silhouette, she stuck out her tongue and ran it over the seam of his scrotum and up the underside of his shaft to the head. Hearing the heavy breath that escaped his lips, she slid her wet tongue back down toward the base, pushing her tongue ring firmly against him.

 

“Mmm,” he hummed softly at the simple, yet effective action. Her grip on him tightened and she let her tongue swirl teasingly around his head before she let her lips envelope him and gave a gentle suck, pulling her head back until her lips slipped off him with the noise of a soft kiss. She made the delicate, slow movement again as he released another sigh.

 

Sebastian could feel his heart hammering in his chest. Nervous at the fear of getting caught and about the first time doing this with Molly being in such a public place, he attempted to push his fears aside and tried to focus on Molly’s mouth inching its way adeptly down his shaft until the only real thought that he had was what to do with his free hand. He had read somewhere that women didn’t like their head to be touched while they were going down. But he had also heard that it was considered rude to put his hands behind his head… This was so much easier in a bed where he could just grip the sheets and call it good.

 

Molly bobbed her head slowly, taking Sebastian further into her mouth with each pass of his swollen head. Hearing him release a sigh of pleasure as her tongue ring pressed against his frenulum, she decided to focus more on the sensitive area on the underside of his head. Gripping his shaft in her hand, she flicked the tip of her tongue back and forth until she heard a soft groan.

 

Eyes rolling back in his head as Molly began to suck up and down the bottom of his shaft, his hand unconsciously reached out to stroke her hair as he tipped his head back to rest against the door. All thoughts of Lydia, and his job, and band practice, and the upcoming gig had been completely washed from his mind, and at that moment, Molly was the only other person in the world.

 

Pulling out every trick and technique she had ever learned over the years, Molly breathed a hot breath over her boyfriend as she returned her attention to the testicles. Giving a slow lick up the middle of them, she gripped his shaft firmly in her hand and began to stroke him back and forth. Giving a gentle suck to first one testicle, then the other, Molly swore that the low moan that Sebastian released was almost musical.

 

Lips returning to his head, she began to feel his hips slightly bucking with each stroke of her hand. She began bobbing her head again, hollowing her cheeks as she tightened her grip and began twisting her hand as she stroked. Another low moan, louder this time, and Molly felt Sebastian remove his hand from where it had tangled in the hair of her ponytail. Glancing up, she saw he had clamped his hand over his mouth in the dim red light, the sound of soft whimpers escaping anyway as she took more and more of him into her mouth.

 

“Oh fuck…” he groaned softly, feeling himself touch the back of her throat, the hand that had been stroking him, now massaging his testicles. Gentle tugs and squeezes making his eyes go out of focus as she continued to deep throat him. “Molly. Up!” He commanded, bending enough to grab her by the elbow and help her to her feet.

 

“What?” she asked, slightly panicking at him making her stop so abruptly. She had thought he had been enjoying it. “Is someone coming?” She questioned, straining her ears to listen to the hallway beyond the door.

 

“Oh, yeah…” he growled. Hand still on her elbow, he twisted her around, pushing her forward over one of the wine kegs. Feeling Sebastian behind her, she gasped as his hands expertly lifted her skirt and pulled her panties to the middle of her thighs in one fluid motion.

 

“What about the door?” she breathed in a whisper as nimble fingers sought out her entrance and began to spread her own wetness around. Feeling his erection press against her hip, she sighed as she felt his fingers begin to probe her.

 

“Shhh,” he whispered in her ear before kissing her neck and moving to stand completely behind her. Now it was Molly’s turn to be nervous. Sebastian leaning against the door and holding the handle so it couldn’t be turned was one thing. The thought of someone trying to get in and not being able to was naughty and thrilling. But being bent over a wooden barrel several paces from the door without a lock, where anyone could walk in at any time and actually catch them in the act was scary. She knew she could always tell Sebastian ‘no’ and he would respect her wishes… but… She also really wanted to live dangerously, just then.

 

Lining himself up with her entrance, Sebastian pushed forward, inching himself into her heat. It was an odd angle. Not very smooth and a little uncomfortable. Reaching forward, she gripped the edge of the barrel and lifted herself up on her toes. The new height of her hips allowed him to plunge deep into her.

 

She bit down on her bottom lip as Sebastian began to thrust into her, hands gripping her hips and fingers digging into her flesh. Breath coming hard and fast from both of them, the sounds of skin hitting skin could be heard over the muffled sound of the jukebox. A hand slid up from Molly’s hip, working its way under the front of her tanktop until it began to roughly fondle her breast.

 

Leaning forward, Sebastian rested his hand on the barrel beside Molly, allowing him to press his torso against hers as the hand under her shirt pulled her to him. Pressing her lips tight together, she moaned as she felt her boyfriend’s hot lips against her shoulder. Pushing herself up more until she was able to feel his lips on her neck, she reached a hand over her shoulder so she could entwine her fingers in his hair.

 

A hand slipped between her legs, fingers working fervently at the small bundle of nerves located there. A small whimper of pleasure escaped her as she was stroked in tandem with Sebastian pistoning into her.

 

“Yes,” she breathed out quietly, gripping the edge of the keg tightly. “Oh, yes…” Her legs were beginning to tremble at the effort of keeping herself on her tiptoes, her panties digging into her thighs as they stretched between them. But, the heavy breathing in her ear indicated that Sebastian was close to his release. His thrusts were coming harder and faster, his hand began to slow as he absorbed himself in his own pleasure. Face buried between her shoulder blades, he released several whimpers and then a low moan. He remained inside of her, breathing heavily and trying to regain his composure.

 

Finally pulling out of her with a heavy sigh, Molly turned slightly to peer at him over her shoulder as he stood upright. Smirking, he rewarded her with a sharp slap on the rear. She gasped in surprise, quickly turning completely around to glare at him as he pulled his pants and underwear up over himself, adjusting everything before zipping up.

 

“Watch it buddy…” she grumbled, bending slightly to pull her panties up and over her hips. Chuckling, he watched as she adjusted her skirt, making sure it laid just right and smoothing it down. Closing the space between them, his arms wrapped around her middle as he pulled her close. He looked at her for a long moment in the semi darkness of the storage room before touching his forehead to hers in a tender gesture.

 

“You are absolutely amazing,” he said softly, holding her close to him.

 

“Thanks, I try,” she joked, enjoying the feeling of Sebastian’s embrace. He hummed in reply, bringing his lips to hers in a soft and drawn out kiss. She spoke breathlessly after their lips parted. “We should get back to dinner, if you’re up for it.”

 

“But you haven’t finished yet,” he murmured, pressing his lips to her neck, making her laugh.

 

“How about you just owe me one,” she smiled, bringing both hands to his chest and gently pushing him away.

 

“Fine,” he stated aloofly with a shrug and a small smile.

Chapter Text

Molly stood at the edge of her field, looking over it. What seemed like a million flowers spread out before her in a rainbow of vibrant colors. She smiled in happy contentment at the peaceful scene before her. The sun was rising into a crisp azure sky with hardly a cloud in sight. Sighing, she looked over her hard work and wiped at her brow as she turned to walk up the steps of her farm house.

 

Entering the cool interior, she crossed the entry way. As she approached the elevator, she groaned at the sign that hung on the door reading “Out of order. Please use stairs” with an arrow pointing to the heavy door to the left with a staircase symbol on it.

 

“Again? Seriously?” Molly complained aloud, glaring at the sign before beginning her journey. The staircase in front of her stretched away in front of her until it was just a tiny speck. She vowed to find a new apartment, one that had an elevator that consistently worked, as she started up the flight.

 

Having been climbing the stairs for some time, Molly’s feet began to trudge onward, unwillingly. Catching the toe of her shoe on a stair, she pitched forward, her shin and knee coming into contact with the staircase. Rolling to sit, she looked down at her leg. Blood flowed down her leg in a steady stream. She needed to get home quickly to patch herself up.

 

Standing once again, she began to limp slowly onward, blood spurting against the wall with each step she took. As she was beginning to feel exhausted at her climb, the staircase abruptly ended, the door to her apartment standing in front of her.

 

“Finally,” she sighed. She just wanted to climb into bed and sleep after having such a long day. The door opened to reveal her bedroom. Candles were lit and the bed was occupied.

 

Sebastian was there...

 

And her sister was there...

 

Together... Bodies undulating against each other.

 

She could feel her soul shatter inside of her. She felt sick. They looked sideways at her without ceasing their movements, Darla casting a spiteful smile.

 

“Sebby?” Molly whimpered. Looking away, she attempted to hold back the tears, but a hand on her shoulder made to look up.

 

“Molly, I’ve told you so many times,” Darla said, her voice thick with pity. “No one will ever love you. They’ll always end up hurting you. It’s just a matter of time before they all show their true colors.” Molly looked passed her sister at Sebastian, who was now fully clothed and watching their conversation with indifference, before turning his back to her and walking away, disappearing through a doorway on the other side of the room.

 

“Sebby!” Molly wailed, pushing passed her sister and running toward the doorway that Sebastian had disappeared through. When she got there and peered into the small, dark room, he was gone. There were no doors or windows for him to have gone through. He was just gone.

 

She had to find him. She needed an explanation. Some kind of answer to how he could hurt her like this. An apology. Anything.

 

Stepping onto the dark floor, the boards creaked beneath her feet. After a few steps toward the middle of the room, the world began to shake, crumbling around her until it dropped out from under her, causing her to fall, screaming and crying, into the void.

 

Her eyes flew open, heart hammering in her chest. The breaths that escaped her were short and shaky. For a very long time, she stared at the dark ceiling, the predawn light filtering through the curtains as she felt hot tears begin to sting her eyes.

 

The first tear spilled over, rolling toward her ear. Then another. And another. Her shaky breaths had turned into quiet sobs by the time she had finally rolled over. Gripping the second pillow that sat on her bed, she pulled it to her chest, clinging it to, desperately, and breathing in the scent that Sebastian had left upon it the last time he’d used it.

 

Sitting up so that she could rummage through her nightstand drawer, she felt around blindly before her fingertips touched a medicine bottle. She picked it up, squinting at the label in the pale light. It was the one she wanted. Taking one of her anti-anxiety pills from the bottle, she popped it under her tongue to dissolve, this being the fastest way to get a pill into the bloodstream. Tossing the bottle back into the drawer, she laid back down, continuing to hold the pillow as the bitter taste of her medicine filled her mouth.

 

She felt like an idiot. She knew better than to get attached; knew that he’d be just the same as all the others in the end. Still, she had let herself fall for the broody, sarcastic, emo. The man that made her feel like she was beautiful; like she was something important. Another man who had led her to believe that he loved her, though he never truly would.

 

Not that she deserved to be loved. Any man she’d ever be interested would always be able to do so much better than her. And Sebastian deserved better. Could get better, she determined as she thought of his ex girlfriend. He should have someone prettier; thinner. Someone smarter than she was, who could talk with him about computers and coding and actually understand what he was saying and give feedback.

 

She was just a stupid city girl, who had given up on college after getting her associate’s degree, got stuck in a dead end data entry job with Joja, which she eventually got fired from for not meeting her weekly goals, and blindly took over her grandpa’s old farm because she couldn’t sleep on her brother’s sofa forever after losing her apartment due to lack of rent money.

 

No, she was just better off alone. Safe from living in fear of when she was going to be hurt again. Safe from the heartbreak that, inevitably, always came. The tears eventually began to dry up as Molly’s sobs grew quieter. Holding tightly onto Sebastian’s pillow, she was finally able to cry herself back to sleep.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Sebastian hadn’t moved from the position he had fallen asleep in two hours before. Seated at his desk, he had one arm curled under his head, supporting it like a pillow. Mouth slightly agape, a puddle was growing from the drool that was leaking from his bottom lip.

 

The previous evening had been eventful, to say the least. He and Molly had returned to the party room in the Stardrop, hand in hand. Lydia, hadn’t even waited for them to reach their chairs before starting in again.

 

“Well, I’m glad we didn’t wait for the two of you to get back to start eating. It’s a good thing that Robin here just assumed you weren’t coming back at all. You know, if you’re out to dinner with your family, it is so rude to just get up and leave without a word--”

 

“Oh, will you just fuck off!” Sebastian spat. He was in too good of a mood at that moment to let Lydia ruin it.

 

“I beg your pardon!” She shrieked in her high pitched voice.

 

“Fuck. Off,” he repeated slowly. His mother was gazing at him as if he had just grown another head. Demetrius looked furious. Lydia looked completely discombobulated at being stood up to by the quiet man. From the corner of his eye, he saw Molly give him a small smile as she gave his hand a squeeze. “I don’t know why you find it so necessary to always give me and Molly shit no matter what we do. Shit that you wouldn’t give a flying fuck about if anyone else did it.”

 

“Sebby, language!” Robin scolded, but was completely ignored by everyone.

 

“Well,” Lydia began again, sitting up a little taller in her chair. “I don’t think it’s too discriminatory to wonder where someone went for so long when they were supposed to be having a nice dinner with their family!”

 

“Nice? There has been nothing Nice about this dinner!”

 

“Ok, everybody, let’s just calm--” Robin requested before getting cut off by her sister-in-law again.

 

“Where were you?” Lydia demanded. “That’s all I want to know. Where did you run off to that was more important than having dinner with your family?”

 

“It’s none of your business,” Sebastian countered.

 

“Well, I think it is my business. Afterall, I’m only here for a short time longer and when I plan something like this, I expect everyone to be present for the whole thi--”

 

“We were having sex!” Sebastian finally snapped. The room fell completely silent. Sebastian glanced sideways at Molly and saw that her cheeks had flushed a bright crimson. He had opened his mouth without thinking again.

 

“Uhh… T.M.I.” Rachael giggled quietly, breaking the silence. Abigail gave a wolf whistle.

 

“Well… she wanted to know and that’s where we were…” Sebastian said, his voice becoming quieter, more embarrassed, over the course of the sentence.

 

Lydia, of course had been appalled and said as much. She ranted for a few minutes until Robin grew tired of listening to it, slamming both hands down on the table. Sebastian and Molly took their zucchini fritters to go and went back to his basement to lay cuddled up in bed, Molly watching T.V. and Sebastian beginning his coding on his laptop.

 

When the rest of the family got home, it was revealed that Lydia was leaving that night, taking Rachael’s car, and Rachael would use Lydia’s ticket to take the kids home on the train. There was such a flurry of activity when Molly was leaving that she asked if Sebastian wanted to come with her, which he agreed to but then realized that he should stay home in case Lydia needed to insult him again. She did… Once she had left, Sebastian plopped down in his computer chair, turned on some music, and began his all night coding session.

 

Vibrating and the calling out of Sam’s ringtone less than a foot away from his head, Sebastian jerked awake. Sitting up, he grabbed the phone and answered it as he wiped the drool from his chin.

 

“Hey Sam,” He grumbled, drowsily, jingling his mouse to wake up his computer to check the time. It wasn’t even nine o’clock yet…

 

“My dude!” Sam began excitedly. “I’ve been racking my brain since yesterday trying to figure out the problem with the song, and I think I’ve finally had an ah-ha moment!”

 

“Ok?” Sebastian questioned, accidently laying his hand in his drool puddle and making a face.

 

“It doesn’t sound right because I can’t sing it with enough feeling!”  

 

“Mmhmm…” Sebastian mumbled as he began using the sleeve of his hoodie to mop it up. “So, how do you plan on getting more feeling into your singing?”

 

“I’m not!”

 

“Oh, thank god! You’ve finally decided we can play something else.”

 

“Nope! You’re going to sing it!” Sam stated as if it were the best idea in the world. The momentary relief at the thought of not having to play his song was instantly replaced by complete dread.

 

“No, absolutely not!”

 

“Come on!” Sam insisted. “Come over and we can practice it a few times. We’ll see what Abby thinks. See you in a few!” Sam hung up without waiting for a response, leaving Sebastian to pull his phone away from his ear and stare at it, as if it was the phone’s fault that his best friend had come up with such a terrible idea. Sighing in annoyance, he sent a text to his girlfriend.

 

Sam is going to fucking kill me with these band practices

I got 2 hours of sleep & now he wants me 2 sing this stupid song 4 BotB

Ugh!

Also, good morning :)

 

Molly, having been so preoccupied with her own thoughts, jumped when she heard the first twinkle of her phone and dug it from her pocket as it twinkled again with each new incoming message. Sighing when she saw that the messages came from Sebastian, she put the phone back in her pocket without replying. Wrapping her arms around her knees, she looked dismissively at the fishing pole that she had only brought along incase someone saw her and wondered what she was doing.

 

Not that they would; she was deep in the forest. She had found an island in the middle of the river next to an abandoned, rundown shack and had taken refuge there to be alone and think. The text message from Sebastian was a surprise as she hadn’t expected him to be up nearly this early and had hoped for at least a little while longer before she had to face him.

 

Having half heartedly fed her chickens early that morning, she had grabbed the old bamboo fishing pole from her storage box and made her way to the forest, hoping she be able to clear her mind. It had only left her alone with her thoughts. Since waking up from her dream, she hadn’t slept well, leaving her exhausted this morning.

 

Having run through her dream again and again in her mind, She even went as far as to consult an online dream dictionary. Almost all the images in her dream had pointed to her having low self confidence, but Molly had already known her confidence was lacking, at best. Her mind was still made up from last night. If she wanted to avoid another heartbreak, she would have to stop seeing Sebastian, That’s all there was to it. But, would she avoid heartbreak? She Loved him. Even if she broke up with him right now and never had to see him again it wouldn’t erase the memories; Wouldn’t erase things that were said; Wouldn’t erase how she felt about him.

 

The tears began to flow again and she didn’t try to stop them.

 

________________________________________________________________

 

“Abby, have you heard from Molly today?” Sebastian questioned, leaning against the side of the arcade machine where Abigail stood with a scowl on her face, furiously moving the joystick and pushing buttons.

 

“Nope,” she replied. When Sebastian realized that he wasn’t going to get anything else out of her, he continued.

 

“I’ve just been texting her all day and she hasn’t responded to any of them.”

 

“Dunno what to tell ya.” Abigail was in the zone, and Sebastian sighed as he pushed off the machine and made his way to Sam, who was buying a Joja Cola from the vending machine.

 

“It’s your move,” he grumbled as the can fell. He was still surly at Sebastian’s outright refusal to sing.

 

“Uh… you win,” Sebastian stated softly, putting his pool cue back on the rack. When he looked back up, he say that Sam had a look of concern on his face.

 

“Everything good?”

 

“I just need to go check on Molly,” he replied with a shrug. “I haven’t heard anything from her all day, and I want to get her before the Dance of the Jellies anyway.”

 

“Okay, well, we’ll save you guys a spot on the docks!”

 

Without another word, Sebastian turned and left the game room, giving a small wave to his mother, who was dancing with Demetrius, and left the Stardrop. The sun was setting and he was beginning to feel guilty for not checking on his girlfriend sooner. What if she was hurt and couldn’t get to her phone. She could have been laying in pain all day!

 

“Boyfriend of the year…” he mumbled to himself. If she wasn’t even on her farm, he had no idea of where to even look for her. Crossing the property line ten minutes later, though, allowed him some relief as he saw that her lights were on. Bounding up her front steps and crossing her porch, he leaned into the door and pushed it open. “Molly?” He yelled out. She wasn’t in the kitchen, or living room, or bathroom that he could see. Making his way to her bedroom, he gently pushed the door open.

 

Her side table lamp lit the room in its dim yellow light and Sebastian could see that she was laying under her covers. He went to her, worried that she was sick again. Placing a gentle hand on her shoulder, he leaned down, kissing her hair.

 

“Molly?” he whispered softly in her ear and giving her shoulder a slight shake. Feeling a heavy sigh under his hand he stood back up. “You alright? You’ve been MIA all day and I was getting worried.” When she finally rolled to face him, he was caught off guard by her bloodshot eyes and puffy, tear stained cheeks. The redness of her eyes made the bright emerald irises shine that much brighter. How could she look so sad, but so beautiful at the same time. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he questioned, all his concern from earlier coming back to him as he sat next to her on the bed, ready for her to crawl into his arms like she often did when she was upset. Instead, she sat upright, leaning her back against the headboard. His eyebrows knitted together as she looked down at her hands, which she had folded in her lap.

 

“Seb…” she began hesitantly. “I… I think that we should stop seeing each other.” All of the breath left him as if he’d been sucker punched as he watched a new set of tears begin to well up in her eyes.

 

“Why?” he whispered, disbelieving. She gave a slight shrug of her shoulders. “Molly, why? Was it the sex yesterday. If you would have said something I would have stopped.” Had he been too aggressive? Too dominate? She never said anything, but did she feel like he raped her?

“It’s not that, Seb. I had fun,” she replied giving a small, sad smile. She had been a very willing participant the previous night. If they hadn’t already been gone so long, she would have wanted to keep going with whatever Sebastian had had in mind.

 

“Was it me blurting out that we did it then? Not coming home with you last night? Are you pregnant and just don’t know how to tell me?” Sebastian wanted answers. He deserves answers , Molly thought to herself. She just didn’t know what to say to him. She had never been good about talking about her own thoughts and feelings. It was just how she was raised. Her family had just always kept their personal business to themselves. If things were good, they celebrated; if things were bad, they didn’t talk about it.

 

“Sebastian, I think you should just go.” She couldn’t do it. Even after thinking about it all day and running through so many different things that could be said and reasons she could give, she was a coward. She had secretly wished that Sebastian’s temper would flare up and he would just storm out without any questions. Luck was not on her side.

 

“No!” he spat, becoming angry. “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” he was not going to allow Molly to steal his heart and then drop him without a very good fucking reason! Reasons such as this one were why he seldom let new people into his life. But fate had pushed them together for a reason, and he loved her too much to just walk away. Sighing heavily, Molly relented, wiping at her eyes with her fingers.

 

“I… had this dream last night…” She began. This was embarrassing and she couldn’t believe that she was going to tell him. “...That I walked in on you and Darla having sex.”

 

“You’re breaking up with me over a dream?” Sebastian beseeched. That was probably one of the dumbest things he had ever heard!

 

“Not just a dream. A realization.”

 

“What the actual fuck are you talking about?” he demanded. The more she spoke in riddles, the angrier he was becoming. “It was just a dream! And you know I wouldn’t touch your sister with a ten foot pole! I hate that bitch!”

 

“Seb,” Molly hesitated briefly, mulling over the words that she needed to say. “I didn’t move to the Valley to look for love. That was the last thing that I wanted at all. And then you just came out of nowhere. And as hard as I tried not to… I fell for you… And it’s just not something I can do again.” Sebastian was baffled at her explanation.

 

“What, can’t fall for me again?” he questioned, dumbly.

 

“No! I can’t…” Molly paused, tears leaking from her eyes before continuing in a whisper. “I can’t let myself get hurt again.” There, she’d said it. Sebastian knew enough about her past to know what she meant by that statement. She hoped so anyway.

 

“Molly… I would ne--”

 

“Don’t say that you would never hurt me!” she asserted, cutting off his sentence. “Because they all said that they would never hurt me and they all did, and I’m not going to let it happen again!” Sebastian sat watching her in silence as she went back to staring at her hands. She hadn’t meant to snap at him. She knew he was just trying to tell her what he thought she wanted to hear. But it was true. All of her past boyfriends had, in someway or another, said those words to her. All of her past boyfriends had broken their words after only a few conversations with her sister.

 

“Well, I’m not everyone else.” He reached out and took her hands in his. “Molly, you are the best thing that’s happened to me in a really long time, and I refuse to let you go without a fight.”

 

“You want some crackers to go with that cheese?” Molly quipped, not believing what he had to say.

 

“It’s true!” he insisted. It was a cheesy line, true, but god damn him if he didn’t mean it. From that first night pretend dating Molly, he had felt a connection to her that drew him to her like a magnet. Even after one season of being with her, he was positive that he never wanted to let her go.

 

“Come on, Seb,” Molly sighed in exasperation, pulling her hands away from him again. “I’m fat, and I’m dumb and annoying… and you can do so much better than me, and when you realize that, where will that leave me?”

 

“You forgot complete pain in the ass that doesn’t know what she talking about…”

 

“Seb…”

 

“No, you need to listen to me,” He requested, holding up a finger. “You are not fat; you’re cuddly, and I love every inch of you that I get to touch.” Molly rolled her eyes. As if cuddly was so much better than fat. Sebastian continued. “You’re not dumb just because you don’t know computers or… music. I don’t know shit about farming, and that doesn’t make me dumb, does it?”

 

“No…”

 

“I will agree with you that you can be very fucking annoying… like right now.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

“But, you know what? Everyone has flaws, and I’ve accepted yours just like you’ve accepted mine.” He moved close to her, tilting her chin up with his fingers to look at him. “You aren’t perfect, Molly…” he whispered touching his forehead against hers. “...but you’re perfect for me.”

 

Molly felt the smile spread across her face, Sebastian’s words had instantly made her feel warm inside. She had never forgotten that she loved him throughout her day of mental turmoil. Still, she always appreciated the reminders that he often, unknowingly, gave her. Barely trying, he had made her feel better, lifting her spirit and easing her mind that had been working overtime all day. He was amazing and she felt so lucky to have him. So lucky that he didn’t give up on her and walk away.

 

Kissing her on the nose before backing away from her, Molly held her grin. He reached a hand to her face and wiped away a stray tear with his thumb. He needed to hold her; kiss her; make her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world, because, in his eyes, she was. But, ultimately, it was Molly’s decision. He sighed heavily, having said all that he needed to say. The smile on her face was reassuring, but he still didn’t know what was going on inside of her head. He hesitated a moment longer before speaking.

 

“Do you still want me to go?”

 

Molly’s smile grew even bigger as she scooted closer to him and wrapped her arms around his middle, instantly being eveloped in his own warm embrace. Squeezing her tight, he began to lay kisses on every inch of her that he could reach, making her giggle. He felt like he could cry at the sense of relief that washed over him.

 

“I’m sorry,” Molly mumbled softly, he chin resting on his shoulder as he continued stroking the long, blue hair running down her back. “I’ve just… you know… had a lot of shit happen to me, and it’s given me this huge anxiety problem.” she backed away so she could look at him. “I have meds to calm me down, but they don’t stop my brain from running circles around itself.” She finished with an embarrassed shrug.

 

“Hey, I love you. I really truly do. And that won’t change no matter what Dream Me does. Dream Me is an asshole,” he smiled, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

 

“Well, I mean, real you is kind of an asshole too…”

 

“Fuck yourself!”

 

“Oh, piss off, kid!” They smiled at each other, both loving that, even with everything that had just happened, they could still banter with each other.

 

“Just promise me that you’ll never do that to me again,” Sebastian requested.

 

“I’ll promise to do my best to not let my brain get away from me, if you promise to do your best to never hurt me.”

 

“I promise to do everything in my power to never intentionally hurt you,” he swore.

 

“Pinky promise?” Molly smiled, holding up her pinky finger. Sebastian looked at her hand and snorted.

 

“Are we in third grade again, or…?”

 

“You can’t break a pinky promise! It’s a sacred oath!” she insisted, waving her pinky at him. He laughed and rolled his eyes, extending his hand forward and locking his pinky with hers.

 

“I pinky promise, you dork.” Molly smiled appreciatively at his humoring her, even with as ridiculous as her request was. “Now,” He continued, releasing her hand. “How do you feel about getting dressed so we can go see some jellyfish?”  

 

“What’s wrong with this?” She joked, looking down at the t-shirt that she wore that used to be black, but was now covered in orange bleach stains, and a holey and frayed pair of gray sweat pants. Sebastian grinned at her with a small shake of his head.

 

“Not a thing, beautiful.”

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

“Hey! There you guys are!” Sam yelled with a wave as he looked up to see his one true pair approaching hand in hand. “What took you so long? We were beginning to think you weren’t going to show.” Sebastian lit the cigarette that rested between his lips, put his lighter back in his pocket, and removed the cigarette, holding it between two fingers.

 

“We just had some stuff to talk about,” he replied, breathing out a lungful of smoke and giving Molly’s hand a light squeeze.

 

“Ooo! Bow chicka wow wow! Sam teased. Sebastian sighed in annoyance.

 

“Sam, talking isn’t code for anything!” Molly giggled. “In fact, for most people, talking just means talking.”

 

“Yeah sure,” Sam smirked.

 

“Seriously,” Sebastian insisted after taking another drag for his cigarette. “Molly broke up with me and I had to talk her out of it.”

 

“That’s not funny!” Sam scowled.

 

“I didn’t think so either…” Sebastian replied, glancing sideways at Molly, who made a face while rolling her eyes and bobbing her head. Sam looked disbelievingly back and forth between the two of them, finally halting on his best friend.

 

“What did you do?” Sam demanded through gritted teeth.

 

“Nothing! Fuck…”Sebastian snapped, angrily taking a pull from his cigarette. He felt Molly’s free arm wrap around his as she rested her chin on his shoulder.

 

“Sorry again,” she mumbled softly before placing a kiss on his neck.

 

“I know,” he sighed with a small grin, flicking the ashes from his cigarette with his thumb. Molly chuckled, pulling away from her boyfriend to look around. It appeared that most of the town was gathered on the docks, happily conversing with one another. She waved at Racheal and the kids when she saw them playing in the waves next to the docks.

 

“Where’s Abby?” she finally questioned. Sam shrugged.

 

“I actually haven’t seen her.”

 

“Probably still trying to beat Journey of the Prairie King,” Sebastian laughed.

 

“I heard that, douche canoe!” Abigail’s voice rang out from the shore. They all looked up in the direction her voice had come from and say her walking toward them with Maru at her side.

 

“Hey! I was just about to say how cute it is that you love video games so much even though you’re so bad at them,” Sebastian teased, earning a middle finger from his purple haired friend.

 

“Alright! Everyone is here!” Sam stated excitedly. “Let’s get to our spot already!” He began walking toward the end of the pier, without waiting for an answer, giving Penny a light pat on the hip as he walked passed her. Smiling with a sigh, she began to follow him, Jogging to catch up until she could place her small hand in his.

 

Abigail and Maru followed, leaving Sebastian and Molly at the back of the group. The breeze that blew in from the ocean made Molly shiver and she unconsciously began walking closer to Sebastian as the goosebumps began to rise on her bare arms.

 

“Cold?” he grinned at her.

 

“Usually,” She laughed back. He took a step away from her and put his cigarette between his teeth, using his hands to pull at the sleeves of his hoodie. “Ah, honey, I don’t want you to get cold.” Taking his cigarette in his fingers, he grabbed the neck next to the hood and pulled it up over his head.

 

“I’ve told you before,” He said handing it to her. “I don’t get cold.”

 

“Thank you,” she smiled, happily taking the black sweatshirt from him and pulling it on.

 

“I agree with Molly,” Maru stated as they came to the end of the dock. “It is kinda cold. I guess Fall really is right around the corner.”

 

“So the whole town just gets together in the middle of the night every year to watch some jellyfish, huh?” Molly teased as they all took spots around the edge of the dock, watching the water. Sebastian chuckled.

“Yeah, this town loves its get-togethers and traditions.”

 

“Gives everyone something to look forward to, otherwise we might all just kill ourselves out of sheer boredom, “ Abigail injected.

 

“Well, that’s not morbid at all,” Molly stated.

 

“Hey, I happen to like all this town's traditions,” said Sam.

 

“Yeah, his favorite is the Flower Dance,” Sebastian said in a stage whisper, leaning toward Molly, who giggled. Sam smacked Sebastian on the shoulder with the back of his hand.

 

“Don't go there, dude,” Sam said pointing a finger at Sebastian. “The Flower dance is the dumbest tradition ever. I don't even know why it's still a thing! Its 2017, not 1817!”

 

“I feel like you might have opened a can of worms,” Molly stated with a smile.

 

“Fuck the Flower Dance!” Sam finished.

 

“Jeez Sam, there are ladies present,” Sebastian mocked.

 

“Yeah, Sam,” said Abigail, “Watch your fucking language! “

 

“Oh no! My sensitive fucking ears!” said Molly, dramatically putting her hands over her ears.

 

“I hate all of you,” Sam said with a half smile, rolling his eyes. Sebastian laughed, taking one last pull of his cigarette before flicking the butt into the water. Sebastian’s face fell and he leaned over the edge of the dock.

 

“Whoa…”

 

“What?” Molly asked concerned.

 

“Thought I just saw something moving in there… Something big, something dark.”

 

“Where?” Molly asked, peering over the edge of the dock.

 

“Just kidding. I’m only trying to scare you,” Sebastian smirked. Molly rolled her eyes and elbowed him in the side.

 

“I love the jellies,” said Abigail, lost in her own thoughts. “They’re so rare and it's so exciting to be able to see them.”

 

“I wonder if they’re poisonous,” Sam mused. “Maybe I shouldn’t push Sebastian in.”

 

“Thanks, man! I appreciate that!” Sebastian replied with mock enthusiasm.

 

“Ok, everyone!” Mayor Lewis spoke loudly and clearly from the next dock, his voice easily carrying along the beach. “Is everyone ready to launch the boat?” A loud cheer and a smattering of applause could be heard all the way down the beach.

 

“Boat?” Molly asked.

 

“It’s a boat with candles on it. The jellies see the candle light and it lures them close to the docks so we can see them better, “ Abigail explained.

 

“Gotcha,” Molly replied. Everyone watched as Mayor Lewis launched the boat of candles and it drifted out onto the waves.

 

The crowd stood transfixed and hushed, staring at the water. Slowly, dim lights could be seen under the surface of the water.

 

“Look, look! There they are!” cried Jas, the small, purple haired girl standing between Mayor Lewis and Marnie. “Oh! I hope there are babies!” Marnie leaned over and said something to the little girl that was too quiet to hear.

 

“Wow,” Molly breathed as more and more of the luminescent jellyfish drifted closer to the docks and the beach. Sebastian looked up at Molly. Her face lit with the lights of hundreds of glowing jellies bobbing below the water’s surface. “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian sighed, not looking away from her for a long moment.

 

“You’re looking at me, aren’t you?” Molly asked with a sigh, not looking away from the water. Sebastian grinned and moved to stand behind her, wrapping his arms around her middle and squeezing her close.

 

“Sam, Sam, look!” yelled Vincent, Sam’s little brother. “It’s the green jelly! Look! Do you see it?”

 

“I see it, buddy,” Sam replied as his brother came bouncing up the dock. “Keep your voice down though, otherwise you’ll scare away all the jellies.”

 

“Oh, sorry,” Vincent whispered, dancing back and forth from one foot to the other.

 

Slowly, the jellyfish began to sink back into the deeper waters and disappear until everyone was standing in darkness again.

 

“Bye, jellies! See you next year!” Jas cried, earning a laugh from a few people along the docks.

 

“And with that,” spoke Mayor Lewis, “we see the end of another summer. Have a wonderful rest of your evening everyone!” The smattering of applause concluded the event and everyone began to walk back toward town.

 

“Technically, there’s one more day of Summer,” Molly stated, as everyone began to turn their attention back to each other.

 

“Hey! Since when are you cuddly in public?” Abigail demanded of Sebastian, who still stood with his chin on Molly’s shoulder.

 

“It’s because they’re going to get married and have babies!” Sam insisted, giddily.

 

“Oh, here we go…” Sebastian grumbled, stepping away from Molly, who gave him a small smile and a wink.

 

Chapter Text

 

The room was dark and an early morning rain shower tapped random patterns on the old farmhouse windows. Thunder rumbled softly as Molly switched off her alarm with the usual complaint from her boyfriend. Finally, a thunderstorm she could enjoy. The last few, she had been doing other things. This one, she was going to lay in bed, cuddled up next to Sebastian. But first, she had duties to attend to.

 

After using the bathroom and brushing her teeth and hair, she made her way to the front door, not bothering to get dressed. Slipping on her flip flops, she opened the door and prepared herself for the mad dash to get to the coop, to feed her chickens. Even running as fast as she could, however, she was soaked by the time she entered.

 

“I can’t wait for my automatic feeder,” she grumbled out loud, using her hands to wipe away the cold rain water from any of her exposed skin. Picking the scoop out of the burlap feed sack next to the door, she flung two scoops of feed across the floor and watched the chickens happily bob over and begin pecking at the yellow corn.

 

Grabbing one of the egg crates she kept on a shelf, she made her way to each of the nests that had been built by the hens. One by one, she put the eggs in the crate, petting each chicken as she walked passed it. One baby chick always seemed happier than the others to receive it’s daily pet.

 

“Hi Peepers,” Molly smiled, remembering her niece’s love for the quickly growing fowl. She gave it an extra pet and started for the door. This new coop upgrade would give her extra space for more animals besides her chickens and Marnie kept trying to talk her into ducks and rabbits.

 

What she really wanted, she thought as she opened the coop door and peered through the rain at the old, dilapidated barn, was cows. If she got her barn fixed up, she could buy a couple dairy cows, sell the milk or try her hand at making cheese. Her cellar was full of old aging casks that she occasionally used to try and make fruit wine, but she knew her grandfather had known how to make cheese and had used those barrels to do so.

 

Quickly shutting the coop door behind her, she began her dash back to her house. A crack of thunder roared through the sky, so loud it made the ground tremble beneath her feet. Splashing through several puddles, she was covered in splatters of mud half way up her shins. She vaulted up the front porch steps and pushed against the door, hurrying inside.

 

“Man, you must really love taking walks in the rain, huh?” Sebastian smirked at her, putting his coffee mug down on the counter as Molly kicked her flip flops into the small shoe pile by the door.

 

“You’re up early,” she grinned back at him as she watched him cross the kitchen toward her. He grabbed a bath towel from the table that he must have placed there when he got up.  Throwing it over Molly’s head as he got to her, roughly rubbing her wet hair with it before stepping away. Molly attempted to glare at him, but couldn’t keep the grin off her face.

 

“Nice hair,” he commented as he turned to walk back to his coffee.

 

“Oh, piss off, kid,” Molly laughed, beginning to wipe the rain and mud off the rest of her body. “It’s going to take me forever to get these tangles out!” Sebastian simply chuckled in reply as he retrieved a second mug from the cabinet to pour Molly some coffee. He turned, just in time to see her walking toward her bedroom. With a full coffee mug in each hand, he followed her. “Why are you up so early anyway?” Molly spoke loudly so she would be heard from the next room.

 

“No need to shout,” Sebastian said softly, making her jump slightly.

 

“Ugh, creeper…” She teased, pulling her soaked shirt up and over her head and revealing her bare torso as he sat the coffee cups down on the nightstand, the lamp atop casting a soft yellow glow around the rain darkened room. He smiled, turning to watch as she continued to pull the clinging, wet clothes from her body, his own body reacting, involuntarily.

 

“Well, there was an annoying alarm and I could have gone back to sleep, but then you left and I got cold--”

 

“I thought you didn’t get cold,” she teased again, pulling her panties down and around her feet. Sebastian wondered whether or not she knew what she was doing to him as he tried to focus on the conversation while watching her dry herself more thoroughly with the towel.

 

“Well, I was not as warm as I was when you were still in bed then,” he grinned, his eyes washing over her body as she picked her clothes from the wooden floor and walked them to the laundry basket. He bit his lip before looking away and focusing his attention on his coffee. “Then, I had to get up to pee anyway, so I thought I’d just stay up and get started on the last of my coding.”

 

“That’s too bad,” Molly commented, walking to her dresser and opening a drawer. “I actually planned on getting back in bed this morning.” Yep, she knew exactly what she was doing to him, Sebastian decided looking back up at her as she pulled clothes from different drawers to wear. He walked to where her as she stood at the end of the bed.

 

“Well, I mean, if you’re going to twist my arm,” he began, standing behind her and letting his hands lightly trail over her soft, warm curves. “I guess work can wait.”

 

“I just wanted to cuddle,” she laughed as his lips brushed her shoulder.

 

“Mmhmm,” he mumbled into her hair. “Naked cuddling.”

 

“Oh, Yoba…” she sighed in mock exasperation.

 

“Let’s leave him out of this,” he teased breathily in her ear as a hand slipped down her abdomen and effortlessly found its way between her legs. She could already feel his erection rubbing against her and she leaned her body back into his, reaching a hand behind her to tug gently at his hair. A soft moan escaped her as his second hand found her breast.

 

“I guess you do owe me for the other ni-IGHT!” she finished with a yell as teeth sunk into her shoulder. She whipped around facing him, a devilish smirk plastered on his face. “What is with you and the biting? I swear if I get another damn hickey, I’m gonna--”

 

“Shush,” he interrupted her, pushing her backward onto the bed with an indignant cry.

 

“You’re such an asshole,” she grumbled, scooting herself further up the bed.

 

“I’ve learned to accept that,” he grinned, letting his eyes roam her body again as he began to crawl onto the bed. He paused, looking at the deep purple bruises on each of her knees. He did owe her for the other night, he thought, rubbing his thumb over one of the marks.

 

Molly giggled softly as she watched him bow his head and lay a soft kiss on one of her knees. She was about to tease him about kissing her boo-boo and making it all better, when he moved, placing a kiss further up her thigh. Then another. She felt her stomach somersault as Sebastian looped his arms under her thighs, bringing her knees up and adjusting her hips in one deft motion.

 

She didn’t know where to look, so she opted to stare at the blank expanse of ceiling above her as her heart began to race. Receiving oral always made her nervous. What if she smelled bad? What if her toilet paper left little bits of lint on her? Was her bush to… bushey? What if she farted? What if he was really bad at it? Would she have to tell him to stop or just fake an orgasm. She squirmed slightly in nervous anticipation as she felt his lips trailing ever closer to her core.

 

To her dismay, he skipped over her center completely and began trailing hot kisses back down her second thigh. Releasing a shaky sigh, she bit down on her lip as she looked down to him. Deep hazel eyes glanced up to her, teasingly, as he adjusted to make himself more comfortable.

 

As he brought his head back down, she returned her gaze to the ceiling, feeling her cheeks burning; toes curling in ever growing anticipation. The first lick made her inhale sharply, the tip of his wet tongue slowly parting her slit, from bottom to top. Then top to bottom. First giving a gentle suck to one lip, then the other, Molly decided that maybe her boyfriend might actually know what he was doing. She had been with men before that, while enthusiastic about going down, had no idea what they were doing down there and had obviously watched too much porn. Okay, maybe it was just the one guy…

 

A small sigh escaped her as he applied suction to her clit, pulling away with the sound of a wet kiss. Hands firmly grasped her hips as his mouth began to rhythmically work against her, lapping hungrily at her clit before slipping down, swirling around her entrance, and returning to her sensitive nub in a satisfying pattern. Yeah, that’s nice, was all she could think as her mind fogged over.

 

Eyes slipped closed as she let herself get lost in the sensation. Her own hand trailed up her naked torso, fingertips barely brushing her hot skin, and cupped her own breast, giving it a firm squeeze. Her hips began to rock rhythmically against her boyfriend’s mouth and the sound of a moan filled the quiet room. Slightly embarrassed, she bit down on her lip in an attempt to control her vocalizations.

 

Sebastian strived to hear the sounds she made. If she was quiet, he wasn’t doing his job properly, and he had actually been getting worried about how quiet she was being. The moan that escaped her was just the encouragement he needed as he realized that, for whatever reason, she was trying to be quiet. Suddenly, it was his goal to pull the sounds he wanted to hear from her mouth.

 

Adjusting how he was laying, he slid his hand from her hip, down the outside of her thigh and back up the inside. With a gentle push, he coaxed her knees further apart so his fingertips could finish their journey as he backed away with his mouth. His middle finger pressed into her folds and slipped up her wet slit, the first and third fingers massaging the outside of her lips.

 

A soft sigh of pleasure escaped from Molly as Sebastian’s finger began to run circles around her swollen nub, first slowly and then quickening. Looking up at her, he watched her chest rise and fall in quick, heavy pants. One hand absently clutched with her own breast, tweaking the nipple, while her other hand had its fingers twined through her hair. Eyes closed. Lips parted. Having seen that look on her face before, he smirked.

 

She made a soft whimper as his finger ceased moving against her. Using his middle finger, he teased her at entrance, spreading her wetness and enjoying her scent. Another whimper filled his ears as she wordlessly begged him to continue. First and middle fingers spread open her folds as he plunged his tongue inside of her, swirling it around. Probing. Fully tasting her.

 

She gasped at the sensation before releasing a heavy moan. It was exactly what Sebastian needed to hear. His tongue began to run figure eights, back and forth between her clit and entrance. Her back arched as she moan again, louder this time. Hand twisting itself palm up, he easily slipped his middle finger inside of her. Pulling out, he let his first finger join his middle finger, plunging deeply into her heat.

 

She cried out, her breathing shaky as she began to move her hips in tandem with his fingers. Tongue and mouth moved against her, quick and hard and she released another moan, feeling his fingers curl slightly inside her and drag across her g-spot. Any intention of being quiet was thrown out the window as she felt all of the movement, all the sensations, that Sebastian was bestowing upon her. Her cries became louder, more desperate as she edged ever closer to her release.

 

His free arm wrapped around her thigh, hand pressing down on her pelvis in attempt to still her erratically bucking hips. This was the Molly that he had been craving since their first night together. A Molly so lost in her own pleasure that the rest of the world disappeared. A Molly absent of all her insecurities and anxieties and worries. And, his favorite part, him being the one to bring her to this magical state of abandon.

 

His eyes looked up to watch her again. A pleasing mixture of moans and whimpers escaped with every heave of her chest. Writhing against the soft cotton of her comforter enough to make her breast bounce ever so slightly, she gripped at the pillow above her head as if it were the only thing still anchoring her to the world. He could feel the tension in her whole body, her thighs beginning to tremble as they pressed against the sides of his head. He knew she was right there; right at the edge of her orgasm. She only needed a little push to topple her over.

 

Spreading the fingers inside her, he began curling and uncurling them in the famous come-hither motion. Wrapping his lips around her hard little nub, he gave a hard suck and flicked his tongue quickly against her.

 

“Oh god… Sebastian… Fuck!” she yelled out, the tightly wound coil inside of her snapping and her mind fading into the blank nirvana of her release. He continued his movements, only slowing as he felt her body begin to relax, and stopping once he was sure that she had completely come back to earth.

 

She continued to whimper and sigh as she lay trying to catch her breath. Standing, he pulled the t-shirt he was wearing up and over his head, discreetly wiping Molly’s wetness from his face and hands on it before throwing it into her laundry basket. Slipping his thumbs into the waistband of his pants and underwear, he pulled them down in one swift motion, releasing his aching erection.

 

Crawling onto the bed, he hovered over his girlfriend, who looked up at him with unfocused eyes. Burying his face in the crook of her neck, he began to desperately kiss her neck and shoulders as he reached between his own legs to stroke himself. He needed her. Needed to be deep inside of her, feeling her heat wrapped around him. Needed to feel her sweat slicked skin against his. Needed her breath in his ear; her sighs; her moans.

 

A soft moan escaped him as he felt her soft, warm hand wrap around his stiffness, taking over the job his own hand had been doing. Unable to help himself, he pushed himself up, looking down at himself and watching her hand work him. Squeezing, twisting, smearing the precum around with her thumb. Fuck it, he thought to himself. She had her release and he wouldn’t be lasting long anyway. Using the headboard as support, he moved, adjusting himself onto his knees, one beside her at her hip, the other still between her legs and able to feel her heat on his thigh.

 

Looking back down again, he watched her hand continue to stroke him, slowly, but rhythmically. Hips beginning to move with her hand, he closed his eyes and threw his head back, a growl rumbling low in his throat. He was close. He needed her to pump him faster. He whimpered softly, looking back down at her, expecting her to be concentrated on what she was doing. She was looking at him. His eyes locked with hers and he couldn’t look away from her sparkling emerald orbs with pupils blown wide in excitement.

 

Molly watched as Sebastian looked away first, biting down on his lip with a desperate whimper. She looked back to her hand. His head was such a dark red in his arousal, that it was almost purple and she could feel him pulsing beneath her fingers.

 

His hand covered hers, attempting to move her faster against him, but it was quickly slapped away by Molly’s free hand. Molly made it clear that she was the one in charge at the moment. Groaning pathetically, he grasped onto Molly’s crooked knee.

 

She let her eyes take him in. She watched the muscles of his thighs and abdomen contract and release with each feverous thrust of his hips, the line of black hair leading from his belly button accentuating the muscles underneath. He was supporting most his weight between the head of the bed and her knee, and Molly knew that if she were to move her knee even a little bit, he would become off balance and fall over. His face was screwed up in an almost pained expression, eyes squeezed tight, cheeks flushed a vibrant red. Pitiful, shaky moans escaping through his slightly parted lips.

 

Using her thumb, she began to spread the bead of precum that had formed at his tip, down over his frenulum, using the slickness to apply pressure there and slide over it. quickening the pace of her hand movements. A cry of ecstasy filled the room, followed by hard gasps as she stroked even faster. The thin sheen of sweat almost seem to make him glow as the lamp light shone off him.

 

“I… I’m gonna…”

 

“Shhhh,” Molly soothed, her hand keeping its pace, thumb continuing to apply pressure at his most sensitive point. His cock twitched in her hand,and the thick, white fluid of Sebastian’s orgasm shot from him. Another twitch and another explosion, his seed spurting across Molly’s stomach, next to the first.

 

Hands still gripping the headboard and Molly’s knee tightly, a final moan spilled from his mouth. His whole body trembled as her pace slowed and finally stopped. His eyes remained closed for a long moment as he regained his senses and caught his breath. With a final sigh, he let his eyes drift open. Molly looked up at him from her pillow with a small smile that he returned. She glanced down at her stomach and then back to him, with a cocked eyebrow. Following her eyes, and had to grin. He had cum on his girlfriend. His only thoughts had been how badly he wanted to be inside her and then he opted for a hand job instead. A really good hand job, he thought to himself as he met Molly’s eyes again, but still only a hand job.

 

“Eww,” she teased with a nasally voice, making Sebastian roll his eyes with a snort, before getting up to find something to clean up with.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

The afternoon was quickly approaching and Sebastian and Molly were still in bed, enjoying a comfortable silence broken only by the sounds of the rain pelting against the window. They sat close together in a tangle of blankets, having not bothered putting any clothes on. After they had finished their coffee in bed, Molly had insisted that she needed a shower, which only led to Sebastian following her, pressing her against the shower wall with her leg wrapped around his hip, while the warm water poured over them both.

 

“Your breath stinks,” Molly commented as they were toweling off and Sebastian tried to kiss her.

 

“Well, can I use your toothbrush then?”

 

“Ew, no, I wouldn’t let you use my toothbrush even if I didn’t know where you mouth has just been,” Molly replied making a face. Sebastian chuckled softly in reply. “Mouthwash is in the cabinet over the toilet. Left side.” She watched as he retrieved the bottle of blue liquid from the cabinet, took a swig and began to swish it around in his mouth. “You know…” She began, her voice a bit shy as she adjusted the towel she wore wrapped around her chest. “You DO spend the night here a lot.”

 

“Mmhmm?” he questioned, raising an eyebrow at her, his cheeks puffed out and making him look like a chipmunk.

 

“I was just thinking,” She said casually, leaning a hip against the counter. She shrugged. “Maybe… you could start keeping some stuff here?” Sebastian spit into the sink with a small cough.

 

“What?”

 

“Like, I’m not asking you to move in or anything,” Molly clarified. “I just thought that as much as you spend the night, maybe you should have some stuff here.” Sebastian was stunned into temporary silence as he looked at his girlfriend, her cheeks turning pink. “If you wanted to…”

 

“Yeah!” he stated, snapping out of his stupor. “Yeah, that’d be great.”

 

“Cool,” she replied softly, with a smile.

 

Sebastian glanced over to her and grinned before looking back to the laptop that rested on his thighs. She told him that she’d clear out one of her drawers for him to keep some extra clothes, pajamas, and underwear in and he offered the same to her. He let his mind wander to an image of Pierre’s where they were both grocery shopping together and picking up new toothbrushes to keep at each other’s houses and chuckled softly.

 

“Hmm?” Molly questioned, not looking up from her notebook, where she was planning the layout of her fall crops.

 

“Nothing,” he replied, looking to where she sat with a sheet wrapped bunched up around her, concealing her body from chest to thigh. “Just thinking.”

“About what?” Molly questioned lazily.

 

“Domestication,” he joked with a soft laugh looking over to her again and thinking briefly of how his cousin insisted that Molly already had their wedding planned.

 

“Gross,” she laughed, as she punched numbers into the calculator of her phone. Sebastian watched as she wrote down the result of the number on the edge of the paper in her neat handwriting. He squinted at the page.

 

“Shit! Are seeds really that expensive?” he questioned, seeing that the numbers on the page were more than what was in his bank account at the moment. “How do you afford that?”

 

“It’s why I’m so broke at the beginning of every season,” Molly laughed. “I spend all my money on seeds with the hope that I won’t fuck ‘em up and they’ll turn a profit. It’s kinda like the stock market, but more labor intensive.”

 

“I guess…” he replied, turning his attention back to his own work and trying to think of how many freelance jobs he’d have to take to be able to make even half as much as Molly was calculating on her paper. Sighing quietly, he returned to his coding.

 

The room was filled with the sounds of rain on the windows, Sebastian’s keyboard clacking beneath his fingers, and Molly’s pencil scratching against the paper as she plotted where each crop would be planted and how much she could spend on each one. There had to be a better way to plan her farm so she didn’t have to redo it every season. It felt as though she had just done all of it! But, of course, that was at the beginning of the season. Her pencil halted and she smiled. Looking to Sebastian, who was back to being engrossed in his work with his eyebrows furrowed, she leaned close to him and rested her chin on his shoulder. Glancing sideways at her as she stared at the side of his face, he grinned.

 

“What?”

 

“Happy anniversary,” she mumbled softly. He looked quizzically at her.

 

“Anniversary?”

 

“Yeah,” she smiled, as she returned to her previous position. “Exactly one season ago, you roped me into fake dating you!” Sebastian laughed, lightly.

 

“I guess you’re right,” he mused. They fell into silence again for a long moment. “It seems a lot longer.” Molly laughed.

 

“We’ve been through some shit…. Your mom dumping water on us so we could make an escape from dinner… You being my fake boyfriend for my family… Cleaning up wall scribbles and you getting sunburned from helping me with farm work.”

 

“That was awful, by the way,” he continued. “Yoba… Sleeping on your horrible couch, your annoying alarm clock, you talking me into fixing that stupid fucking bus!”

 

“Well, gee, I’m glad that you put up with all my terribleness,” Molly giggled, elbowing him in the side. “You make it sound awful! Come on, it wasn’t all bad, was it? I mean you got a pet chicken out of it!” He grinned, shaking his head. “How about that dare from Sam that I send you a picture of my boobs?”

 

“Oh my god! That picture!” Sebastian laughed long and hard. After a moment he sighed and continued on. “I… uhh… That’s the night I knew I loved you.” Molly was taken completely by surprise. That was long before she even had an inkling of how he might feel about her.

 

“Really?” she questioned softly with a smile. The raven haired man reclined next to her looked momentarily uncomfortable as he ran his hand through his hair and shrugged.

 

“Yeah… I mean, it was clever. I showed Sam the picture later and he said that is was fucking cheating!”

 

“You showed Sam?” Molly demanded with a shrill laugh, making Sebastian join in.

 

“I wouldn’t have showed him if it was your real boobs!” he insisted. When the laughter became quiet, he continued on. “And then you came by the next morning at some fucking point and drop off a hangover care package and me and Sam were just completely baffled how you weren’t as sick as we were.”

 

“Dude, I puked in the shower that morning… twice,” she stated, holding up two fingers for emphasis. “I brought you guys burgers because I needed one myself.”

 

Sebastian began to speak again, eager to continue reminiscing about their short but eventful time together, when he was interrupted by Molly’s phone vibrating on the nightstand. She reached for it, looking at the screen before answering it, putting it on speaker.

 

“Hey Sammy,” she smiled as she answered. Sebastian cocked and eyebrow, wondering why Sam would be calling Molly.

 

“Molly! I need help!” Sam’s tinny voice came through the speaker.

 

“Oh my god, Sam, what’s wrong?” Molly questioned, sitting up straight and her voice turned to worry. “Are you hurt?”

 

“What? No, nothing like that,” Sam stated. “We were all going to have this end of summer get together, bonfire thing down on the beach tonight and all the rain is washing everything away!” Molly relaxed with a sigh.

 

“Damn it Sam! You scared the shit out of me!” Molly scolded.

 

“Sorry.”

 

“And why am I just now hearing about this bonfire get together?”

 

“Seb was supposed to tell you,” Sam replied.

 

“Oh, he was?” Molly looked to her boyfriend questionably.

 

“I didn’t want to go,” he mumbled with a shrug causing Molly to glare at him. “Come on! You know I don’t like get togethers. I thought we could just have a nice evening--”

 

“Zip it,” Molly interrupted, holding up her hand, forefinger pressed against her thumb.

 

“Ooo… Seb’s in trouble!” Sam teased through the phone.

“What can I do to help, Sammy?” Molly asked.

 

“Can we use your house?”

 

“My house?”

 

“Yeah, it’s the only place big enough for everybody, and if it stops raining, we could still do the bonfire on your property somewhere.” Molly could see Sebastian out of the corner of her eye, vigorously shaking his head with a pleading look on his face.

 

“Sure Sam, I’d be glad to help out. What time?” She replied, watching as her boyfriend dramatically slid down onto his back, grabbed his pillow from under his head, and placed it over his face.

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

“I don’t wanna go!” Violet whined as everyone stood on the train platform. “I wanna stay here!”

 

“Oh, come on, Vi,” Rachael cooed to her daughter, squatting down next to her and rubbing her on the back. “Don’t you want to go see daddy? I know that he sure misses you and Derek.”

 

“Daddy, can come here!” Violet insisted. “We could… I mean, Aunt Robin could build us a house next to Molly’s on the farm. Molly has plenty of room! And I could help with taking care of the chickens.” Rachael glanced up at Molly, who held Derek on her hip, and both women had to stifle a small laugh.

 

“And I’m sure you would be a big help to Molly,” Rachael said, looking back to her daughter. “But, honey, we can’t just build a house on Molly’s farm.”

 

“Why?” the little girl demanded.

 

“Sorry, Violet,” Molly interjected, saving Rachael. “I’m gonna need all the room I can get to plant pumpkins this fall.”

 

“Are you going to make… Are you going to cut faces into the punkins?” Violet asked, looking up at Molly with her big, dark eyes.

 

“Some of them, yeah,” Molly smiled back. The little girl turned back to her mother.

 

“We should come back to see the punkins.”

 

“We’ll sure try, okay?” Rachael said, as she stood back up. “And you,” she said, turning to her cousin. “I know you’re in Zuzu all the damn time. Stop by once in a while, will ya?”

 

“Yeah,” Sebastian replied with a grin. “We’ll actually be in town on the seventh. We got a band thing.”

 

“Nice!” She replied excitedly, taking Derek from Molly. “Send me the details so I can come see you!” Derek in one arm, she threw her other arm around Molly’s neck in an embrace. “It was so great to meet you, Molly!”

 

“You too,” Molly smiled, returning the hug. Releasing each other, Rachael moved to say goodbye to Robin in Demetrius, and Molly quickly found her legs being strangled by Violet’s little arms.

 

“Bye, Molly,” Violet said, her voice close to tears. Molly bent over, scooping the girl up in her arms and giving her a tight hug.

 

“I’m gonna miss you, sweetie,” Molly said, setting her back down on the ground. The train blew it’s warning whistle, indicating that passengers needed to board. There was a momentary flurry of panicked motion as bags were collected and final goodbyes were said, before Rachael and her kids disappeared into the dark interior of the train, leaving the small group on the platform waving farewell.

 

The train pulled away from the platform with a loud chugging noise and a deafening blow of the whistle. As it cleared the crossing, everyone moved to head back to town.

 

“I am going to miss having the kids around,” Robin sighed wistfully. “It was so nice…” Molly turned to Sebastian with a mischievous look in her eye.

 

“Let’s have a baby!” Molly exclaimed, loud enough for Robin to here. Sebastian replied with an unintelligible yell.

 

“I think that sounds like a wonderful idea!” Robin laughed, placing a hand on her chest. Her son repeated the same noise again, beginning to walk faster, away from the two women, who shared a look and laughed.

 

“Where are you going?” Molly yelled after him.

 

“I’m noping the fuck outta here!” He yelled back, catching up to Maru and Abigail who were walking ahead of the group.

 

“Darn,” Molly giggled to Robin.

 

“We’ll get him next time sweetie,” Robin chuckled back. Demetrius scoffed.

 

“It terrifies me enough to think of Sebastian reproducing,” He grumbled. “Can he, at least, get moved out of our basement first.”

 

“Oh, shut the hell up, Demetrius,” Robin spat back. “Keep it up and you can go live with your sister.” Molly giggled as Demetrius shoved his hands in his pocket with a disgruntled look on his face.

 

“I was just stating--”

 

“Well, don’t,” Robin interrupted, before turning to Molly. “What’re your plans this afternoon?”

 

“I guess there was and end of summer get together that got rained out, so I offered my house for everyone to use,” Molly shrugged. “I guess I should clean up.”

 

“Well, don’t worry about cleaning too much,” Robin commented with a wave of her hand. “Everything is just going to be destroyed again before morning.”

 

“Oh, I know. I promise to not put in too much effort.”

 

“Have fun!” Robin smiled with a wave of her hand as she turned toward her home. Molly continued walking until she had caught up with Maru, Abigail, and Sebastian.

 

“Who wants to help me clean my house for a party?” Molly asked happily as she approached.

 

“Oh, I’d love to Molly, but I have to get home and feed David Jr.,” Abigail explained. “You know how finicky he can get.” Molly’s face fell into an annoyed expression.

 

“Yeah,” Maru continued. “And I have to… help dad! Yeah! With his lab work. But I’ll see you tonight!” Both women scampered away in opposite directions, leaving Molly to sigh. Her boyfriend grinned at her as he puffed on a cigarette.

 

“Wanna come to the store with me?” she asked with a pout. “Since no one else wants to help me.” Sebastian chuckled.

 

“Yeah, I’ll come.” He took a last pull from his cigarette and flipped the butt away.

 

“I wish you wouldn’t do that,” Molly commented making a face.

 

“Do what?”

 

“Just throw your cigarette butts wherever… it’s gross,” Molly replied. “And bad for the environment. Fish and birds can eat them and it--”

 

“I’m going to stop you right there,” Sebastian said holding up a hand. “For you, I will stop doing it, if it bothers you so much that you were about to deliver a speech.” Molly smiled.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“...Not really sure what I’ll do with them though…”

 

“You’ll figure something out,” Molly replied, reaching out and interlocking her fingers through Sebastian’s. They had begun walking toward town before Molly spoke again. “Or, I guess you could always quit smoking.” Giving an annoyed sigh, as if he knew the comment had been coming, he looked sideways at her to see her batting her eyelashes at him. “Does this still work?” He laughed and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close.

 

“I’ll consider it,” he replied.  

 

They entered Pierre’s store half an hour before close. Molly and Sebastian each picked up a plastic hand basket from the rack beside the door. Each began to go over their individual lists in their heads. Sebastian’s consisting of toiletries that he wanted to keep at Molly’s. Contact case, contact solution, a razor might be a good idea. Hair brush, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste. Did he need his own toothpaste? Or could he just use Molly’s? Should her get his own soap and shampoo? He loved the way Molly smelled, but that didn’t mean he wanted to smell like her.

 

Molly had forgotten that she was going to start keeping things at her boyfriend’s house, and her list was focused on the last minute party that was supposed to be at her house. Plates, cups, napkins, plastic forks. People would probably want to eat. Chips, soda… Oh! She could make her barbeque meatballs! Those were always a hit.

 

They went their separate ways, getting that they individually needed. Sebastian began putting all toiletries he thought he might need into his basket, mentally checking off the items that he used everyday. Looking up, he found himself face to face with the family planning display. Condoms. He was so glad he didn’t need to use those. Like most men, he hated them. They were uncomfortable, they smelled weird, and they killed the actual feeling of sex by making everything less sensitive.

 

He began to walk away, but stopped. Molly’s words of ‘let’s have a baby’ echoing in his head. Shaking his head, he brushed away the thought. He knew Molly wanted babies, but she wasn’t the kind of person to just stop taking her pill. Was she? No. He trusted her. Besides, he had seen he take her pill on several occasions. No, she had just been teasing him to get a laugh from his mother, that’s all.

 

“Hey, I found a two pack of toothbrushes,” he commented, not looking up from his basket as he approached his girlfriend. “You can have the pink one if you want since it’s your favorite col-- what in the hell?” He finally looked up to see Molly’s overflowing basket and the distressed look on her face. “Why are you getting all of this stuff?”

 

“It’s a party,” Molly stated, looking at her basket. “People will want to eat, and drink. I don’t know if I should get flavored chips or regular chip and a dip. Maybe I should do nachos in case anyone doesn’t want pizza.” She gave her boyfriend a confused look as he took the basket from her hands and then sat his and hers on the floor. Standing to meet her gaze again, he rested both hands on her shoulders.

 

“Molly,” he started gently. “Repeat after me: this is not my party.” She giggled. “Seriously, this is their party and they just wanted to use your house. They can bring their own stuff. It’s not your problem.”

 

“Thanks, Seb,” she smiled as he bent back over and picked up their baskets.

 

“Come on, let’s put all this stuff back.”

 

“Eh, not all of it,” she shrugged with a smile. “I still want to make my barbeque meatballs!”

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

“Molly, dear, I’d like to personally thank you for letting us host our get together in your beautiful home!” Elliott declared, catching her attention as she walked passed. The party was in full swing. Molly had been crossing the room looking for her boyfriend when she had been stopped.

 

“Oh, it’s no problem at all!” She smiled at the red haired man. “I’m glad I could help!”

 

“Is there anywhere in particular that you would like us to set up the bonfire, now that the rain has ceased?”

 

“Oh wherever you want. Just in the middle of my field is fine,” she replied.

 

“Marvelous! Also, dear, I must get the recipe for the splendid meatballs!”

 

“Ah, they’re super easy! Just normal frozen meatballs from the grocery store with a bottle of barbeque sauce on them in the slow cooker for a few hours.”

 

“Remarkable!”

 

Molly giggled as she excused herself. If she knew her boyfriend like she thought she did, he was hiding somewhere. At least Sam was making himself easy to find. He had had a drink in his hand since the moment he walked through her front door and it was beginning to show. She had to stifle a laugh as she approached. Sam was belting out the song that was playing on the stereo, serenading a slightly embarrassed looking Penny.

 

“I’ll stop the world, I’d melt for you! You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time!”

 

“Sam!” Molly yelled, loud enough to be heard over the music.

 

“There’s nothing you and I won’t do!”

 

“Sam!” Molly repeated.

 

“I’ll stop the world I’d MELT FOR YOU!”

 

“SAM!”

 

“Yeah?” Sam finally responded, finally noticing Molly. She laughed, glancing to Penny, who was shaking her head with a roll of her eyes.

 

“Where’s Sebastian at?” she giggled.

 

“I dunno, man. He went to smoke, but that was…” He blew a wet sounding raspberry. “Like… 8 years ago. I hope he didn’t get lost… OH!” Sam got suddenly excited! “Maybe he went to find the Old Mariner!”

 

“...Who?” Molly questioned. Penny sighed.

 

“The Old Mariner, man! So he can buy the mermaid pendant and you guys can finally get married!”

 

“Finally?” Molly laughed.

 

“Oh, Sam…” Penny sighed again, exasperated.

 

“And you! Baby, I’m gonna wife you so hard as soon as I save up enough!” He proclaimed making Penny’s cheeks turn scarlet. “I LOVE THIS SONG!” She smiled softly as Sam went back to singing at the top of his lungs. Molly placed a supportive hand on Penny’s shoulder and gave a light squeeze. Penny giggled as Sam began to dance, undulating his body with his arms over his head, almost spilling the drink that he held in a red plastic cup. She turned to Molly.

 

“Sebastian went outside a while ago, but I never saw him come back in,” Penny commented.

 

“Thanks,” Molly laughed. “Uhh… Good luck.”

 

“Thanks!” Penny smiled in return, turning her attention back to her boyfriend as Molly started for the door.

 

People had been coming and going through the front door all night, so Sebastian didn’t even turn around from where he was leaning on his elbows on Molly’s porch railing. Parties sucked. They were loud and had too many people. Even on the porch he cou