Friendship's Blossom
By Wc101

Authors Notes - I got the inspiration to write this fic after reading a fic narrarated by Cassie. I can't remember who wrote it, but meh. Anyway, this fic does contail two UC couples. R/C, and a het couple who will appear later. What fun would it be to tell you now? Anyway, let's say the Animorphs are... maybe... twenty seven? That works. Enjoy!

I sighed deeply as I began to clear the food from the table. As I walked back to the sink to load the dishes, I glanced at the clock. It was nearly ten at night. She was late. Again. Why did I put up with it? This was the third time she'd missed dinner this week. I swear, if I didn't love her, I would have left her years ago. It's funny. Contrary to what most people think, Rachel was the one who started out relationship. Back then it was all hugs and kisses. I had gone through a painful breakup with Jake, my first love, and Rachel had been there. At the right place and at just the right time. I heard the door slam.
"Rachel?" I called. As if it could be anyone else. She walked into the kitchen, and threw her briefcase on the table. I could see bags under her eyes. SHe was obviously tired. "Rachel... you missed dinner again."
"Sue me. It seems like everyone else is..." She muttered.
"I don't see why you had to follow in your mother's footsteps. When we were kids, you always said that taking after your moter was the last thing you'd ever do." I said, and started the dishwasher. I walked back over to her, and kissed her on the cheek.
"Yeah, well. Somebody has to pay the bills around here." She said coldly. I hated it when she was like this. Tired, irritable, and downright mean. I tried to ignore it.
"Still. Would it kill you to come home at a decent hour once in a while?" I asked, sitting down in the chair next to her. She turned to face me, and rubbed her eyes.
"Shut up, Cassie. You don't understand." She said. Bullshit.
"What I don't understand, is why you always have to talk down to me when you have a bad day at work." I said. I was starting to get frustrated with all of this. It wasn't like we were best friends anymore. I mean, we still were, but we were also married. She had obligations.
"Because you always try to make me feel better when I'm not in the mood for it." She grumbled.
"Well get in the damn mood." I said. I was even shocked at myself. I never swore. Rachel drew back her hand, and slapped me hard in the face. It wasn't the pain that made me just sit there. She hit me. She had HIT me!
"Is that what I have to do to get you to shut up now? I'll remember that for the future." She said. "Where's dinner?" I couldn't believe her! She had just slapped me, and she had the nerve to ask where dinner was?
"Make it yourself." I said coldly, and stomped upstairs.
"Cassie!" She called after me. I didn't care. I was mad. I slammed the door to our bedroom, and looked in the mirror. A red mark was forming where she had slapped me. I collapsed on the bed, staring up at the celing. I looked to my right. Our wedding picture. I averted my eyes quickly, and grabbed the phone. I held it up, and dialed.
"Hello?" He answered on the fourth ring. His voice was deeper than I remembered it. I hadn't spoken to Jake since the Animorph's reunion, almost three years ago. It felt strangely comforting to hear him.
"Hey Jake..." I said friendly, like I had just talked to him yesterday.
"Cassie? Is that you?" Jake asked.
"Yeah, it's me..." I said, trying not to sweat. They say it's always hard to talk to your first love after you're married. Whoever 'they' is, are right. I cleared my throat. "Jake? It's about Rachel..."
"Oh no, I'm not getting involved in that. It was bad enough when you left me for her, but-" I cut him off.
"Left you for her?! You big jerk, you had been seeing Melissa Chapman behind my back for six months! You're the one who left me!" I said. Already this wasn't going good. I needed a friend right now. Not an argument. I calmed down quickly. "I'm sorry, Jake... anyway, I need to know something."
"Was Rachel ever.... abusive?" I asked. If anyone would know, it would be Jake. Or possibly Tobias, but I didn't know how to contact him.
"Abusive? What do you mean?" He asked. A trace of concern was in his voice.
"I mean.... has she ever hit anyone for no reason at all..." I couldn't take it. My tears wouldn't stand. They started flowing.
"Cassie? Did Rachel hit you?" Jake asked. In that instant, he sounded like the Jake I knew a long time ago. He didn't sound like the man who cheated on me. He sounded like Jake Berenson. Leader of the Animorphs.
"Y...yes... I didn't do anything. She just came home and was all grumpy...I asked her why, and she slapped me..." I sobbed. I heard Jake growl softly.
"Cassie, I want you to go stay at your parents house. Or Marco's. Or my parents. Anywhere but where you are. Stay there over night. I'll have a talk with Rachel tomorrow morning." Jake said.
"What are you going to say?" I asked, sniffling.
"Don't worry about it. Just get out of that house. Understand?"
"Uh-huh..." I sniffled.
"Good. I'll call you back tomorrow." He said, and hung up the phone. I sighed, and replaced the phone in the charger. I opened the window, and made the transition to Great Horned Owl. Before I flew out, I glanced back at the wedding picture. It's a good thing Owl's can't fly. I sighed silently, and flew off into the night sky, heading for my parents home.


It's funny how some things work out. My parents weren't home. Neither were Jake's. So I went to the third option Jake had suggested. I pecked on the glass window with my beak. Marco? > I asked. Being human, he couldn't answer of course. But he did walk upstairs and let me inside. I demorphed in his and Darlene's bedroom. who'd have guessed those two would have tied the knot?
"So. Why have you left your hunny?" Marco asked, slightly bemused.
"Marco, this isn't funny.... Jake told me to come over here and ask if I could stay the night..." I looked at him with pleading eyes. Rachel was probably looking for me right now.
"What for?" Marco asked, tapping his foot. Marco and I had never been the best of friends, but he was loyal to Jake. He had taken Jake's side after the breakup, and almost stopped talking to me completely.
"I can't tell you... I promise I will when I can, but right now it's too personal." I said. Marco looked at me. He hadn't changed very much from back in the Yeerk War days. Still a comic, still immature beyond belief, but yet, very smart, and concerned. He was never one to abandon a friend.
"All right. I'll get Darlene to set the guest room up for you." Marco said, and stood up to leave. Before he could leave, I grabbed his wrist. He looked down at me. "Hm?"
"Thanks, Marco." I said with a smile. He smiled back in a way that said "Anytime." and left. I sat on his bed for a few minutes, recollecting what had happened. It's a good thing Rachel and I decided not to adopt any children, or else this would be much harder than it was. Still, what were my options? Live with Rachel as she was? Counciling?
I shook my head. It was too horrible to think about. Besides, I loved her. I still did, and I always would. Then again, I said the same thing about Jake. I needed to take my mind off of this. I got up, to go help Darlene and Marco with the guest room.

To Be Contnued...

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