Steven was running along the beach. His sandals slapped back against his feet as he rushed across the sand. He was panting already as he hurried toward the town and his destination; the Big Donut. With a big grin, he ran to the front of the shop.
As he neared the Big Donut, the front door opened. Exiting was a familiar face that he was expecting to see inside.
"Hi Sadie!" Steven called out as he stopped to catch his breath.
Not hearing a reply, Steven looked up to see Sadie walk right by him. Upon closer examination, Steven could tell that something was wrong, Sadie looked furious and in no mood for conversation. She continued to storm off away from the Big Donut with Steven watching.
"Huh, I wonder if Sadie is okay? Lars might know!" Steven said to himself. He turned his attention back to the Big Donut and opened the door.
Inside, he saw the shop vacant save for one body behind the counter. He walked up toward the individual. It was Lars, but Steven had never seen him like this. Lars was always harsh and aloof every time Steven sees him. However, this time Lars looked depressed and completely out of it. One of his hands covered up his eyes.
Steven inched closer, "Lars?"
His whole body shot upwards. Lars then looked down at the concerned Steven before him, "Oh, it's just you….what do you want Steven?" His voice seemed a bit off.
"I was going to get some special donuts this morning, but I'm more worried about you and Sadie."
Lars didn't reply immediately. Instead, he looked away from Steven to anywhere else. "It's nothing. Don't worry about it."
"Are you sure?" Steven insisted, "Sadie looked really mad when I saw her leave a moment ago."
"It was nothing, okay?" Lars raised his voice. Steven recoiled at Lars' statement. Seeing such, Lars sighed, "Sorry, I didn't mean that. Look, Steven, it's just….a long, complicated story."
Steven smiled warmly to Lars, "I got nowhere to be."
"Steven, just….guh, I don't have time for this. This is just between Sadie and me, and I don't even know what to say or do to make this better," Lars admitted, already looking defeated.
"Maybe I can help!"
"What?" Lars raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah! I can totally help you and Sadie! You guys are friends and I want to make sure you don't stop being friends over something dumb! And, me having the honor of being a friend to both of you, I will be the one to help make it happen!" Steven's words were filled with pride.
Lars stared in disbelief, "You're joking, right?"
"Nope!" Steven proudly proclaimed, "it's going to be great, I have tons of ideas of how to get Sadie to be your friend again so you and Sadie can then get married!"
"I can't believe I'm letting you do this…." Lars mumbled to himself.
"But first, I need to eat breakfast. Can I get two donut-dogs?"
About an hour later, Steven and Lars were outside the Miller's home in the suburbs of Beach City. Steven had to find a few things for his plan to work. Steven had gotten a boombox from his dad along with a trenchcoat that he never knew that he had before and a pair of sunglasses that rested on top of his head. Lars was nearby, seeming to be embarrassed just next to Steven in public.
Lars glared at Steven, "Are you sure this is going to work?"
"Sure I'm sure! Don't you trust me?" Steven smiled.
"No! This whole plan of your's is completely bonkers and you know it!"
"Trust me, it works in the movies," Steven insisted.
Lars angrily retorted, "Yeah, and so does fighting ghosts, but that doesn't mean I want to test that theory!"
Steven lowered the sunglasses to in front of his eyes. "Don't worry, Lars, we totally got this!"
With that, Steven lifted the boombox above his head and pressed play. The music was loud, but to both Lars and Steven's surprise, the song playing from the boombox was not the song not what either of them were expecting. It was a unique drum pattern with a very distinctive bassline and guitar riff.
The lyrics from the boombox started, "Crack that whip!/Give the past the slip,/Step on a crack,/Break your momma's back!"
"Steven, that's not the right song!" Lars complained loudly, "That's Devo!"
"Oh, sorry, sorry! I must have gotten the tape backwards!" Steven hurried as he lowered the boombox and tried to stop the music from playing.
"When a problem comes along,/You must whip it!/Before the cream sits out too long,/YOu must whip i-" the boombox was finally silenced by Steven. Breathing a sigh of relief, Steven ejected the cassette tape and placed it backwards and put it back in the boombox.
Pressing play again, he raised the boombox up as the music started playing. Again, the music was loud and directed at Sadie's house. A gentle electric guitar melody came from the boombox and the lyrics started coming forth: "Is it getting better?/Or do you feel the same?/Will it make it easier on you now,/You got someone to blame."
Lars covered his face in an effort to hide himself from anyone that might be looking at him and Steven, "I can't believe you convinced me to do this, Steven. This is so embarrassing!"
"But you gotta do something really dumb and romantic for the one you love!" Steven insisted with a smile. "Oh, I think I see some movement inside!" Steven exclaimed something caught his attention in the house.
The front door opened, but it was not what either of the boys were expecting. Instead, it was Sadie's mother.
"What in blazes is going on out here?" she called out.
"It's Barb!" Steven exclaimed excitedly.
Barb had a pleasant expression on her face until she saw Lars near Steven. "Wait, are you that Lars boy?"
"Huh?" Lars tilted his head in confusion.
She didn't care about his answer. Instead, Barb grabbed whatever was closest to her, which was a rake, and started to rush at Lars and Steven with the garden tool in hand.
"Stay away from my daughter! She doesn't need you breaking her heart again!" she shouted loudly over the music, waving the rake in the air.
Lars cowered behind Steven, "Steven, make her stop!"
"Gah! Barb, please don't rake Lars' face!" Steven pleaded, having his hands in the air in an effort to shield Lars from any attack.
As she neared, Barb started swinging the rake in a display of force. As she got closer, Lars gripped onto Steven's shoulders as if he was going to use him as a human shield against the rake.
"Come on and face me like a man! You've had this coming for so long!" Barb shouted as she moved closer. She moved to go around Steven, but Lars would continue to have Steven as a barrier between the two.
"Can you guys please don't fight? I know we can talk this out! Also, I took my dad's boombox without him knowing and I don't want to drop it or have it get garden tooled," Steven begged to both of them.
Another figure stepped out onto the porch and broke up commotion with a question, "What's going on?"
Everything except the boombox paused and looked to see Sadie just outside of the front door. She wasn't wearing her uniform, rather just some baggy shirt for around the house.
"Sadie!" Steven called out.
Barb shouted forward, "This delinquent was up to no good! And he some how has gotten Greg's boy roped into this, too!"
Lars blurted out, "Sadie, this isn't what it looks like! Just please call your mom off! I don't want to get my face bashed in by a rake!"
Sadie sighed, and stepped off from the porch, "I got this, mom."
Barb lowered the rake and backed off from her attacking on Lars. Just as Lars felt it was safe, Barb acted as if she was about to attack, causing Lars to cower. This gave Barb a sense of pride, knowing she instilled fear into the boy. As she headed back to the house, Barb looked at her daughter and spoke to her in a hushed tone, "Just shout if you need me to come back out and send him to the hospital."
"I can handle myself, mom, thanks," Sadie rolled her eyes.
Barb simply smiled as she went back inside, leaving Sadie with Steven, Lars, and the loud boombox.
"So, you got my attention. What do you want Lars?"
Lars was still shaken. He finally let go of Steven and came out from behind him. "Are you sure….are you sure your mom isn't going to come back out here and hurt me?"
"Only if you do something stupid, which I am willing to bet money on."
"Look, I want to apologize," Lars started.
Sadie waited a moment before she spoke flatly, "For what?"
"Huh?" Lars asked.
"I asked 'for what'. I want to know what exactly you are apologizing for. I want to hear it come from your mouth why you are sorry," Sadie had a stern tone to her voice that went over the music.
Just as Sadie finished, the boombox played the next song on the cassette tape, with the lyrics starting: "We're no strangers to love,/You know the rules, and so do I!"
"STEVEN, WILL YOU PLEASE TURN THAT BOOMBOX OFF?!" Sadie yelled at the top of her lungs.
Steven quickly lowered the boombox and turned the music off, "Oops, sorry! My arms were getting tired anyway."
"Now, where were we?" Sadie looked impatiently at Lars.
Lars was looking at the ground, not wanting to make eye contact with her girl in front of him. "Look, I'm sorry, Sadie, for just about everything. For what I've said, for what I've done, for me. Just for me being me, I'm sorry."
Sadie was quiet as she looked at Lars.
"C-Can you please say something?" Lars asked meekly.
"Not until you look at me," Sadie demanded.
Lars was hesitant to even move.
Steven nudged Lars with his elbow and whispered, "Psst….Lars, I think you should look at her…."
Finally and against his wishes, he turned and was caught in Sadie's gaze. It felt as if Sadie's eyes were piercing right through Lars.
"See, that wasn't so hard!" Steven said smiling.
"Steven, shush," Sadie said before turning her attention and words back to Lars, "Lars, I like you, alright? I like working with you, I like hanging out with you, I just like you. You can be a thick-skulled idiot at times, you can be mean and uncaring at other times, and a lot of the time you are just a slacker. But despite all of that, I still like you and have since I can remember. I don't want to stop being friends."
Lars was covering his mouth as Sadie spoke.
"Are you alright, Lars?" Sadie asked with concern.
Steven looked at him, "You look like you're gonna throw up
"Sh-Shut up!" Lars struggled to speak, turning away from Sadie and Steven's sight. He used his hand to wipe his eyes.
"Lars, are you crying?" Steven peered over to get a better look at Lars' face.
"No! I….I just got something stuck in my eye! The darn thing won't come out!" Lars claimed as he refused to let Steven see him.
As Steven and Lars were sidetracked, Sadie reached in her pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. "Lars."
He turned around after quickly wiping his face. It was apparent that he lied about not crying, as his face looked as if he just wiped away any and all tears.
"Here," Sadie raised the piece of paper up to him. "I know it's not much, but I made it and wanted to give it to you today, but….you know."
Lars took the paper and opened it up. Inside, there was a simple sketch and a message message. It read: "I'm always here for ya. Happy Valentine's Day. Heart, Player Two."
"Wait, today's Valentine's Day?" Lars was in shock.
"Yeah…." Sadie glared in annoyance.
"I'm…..I'm so sorry! I don't have anything for you!"
"Yeah, I know. I was kind of expecting that. But that's not the point."
Lars looked back at the piece of paper, "Thank you, Sadie. You'll always be my Player Two," Lars said with a smile through the tears.
Sadie couldn't help but smile and laugh at the comment, "You're such an idiot."
While wiping his eyes dry, Lars agreed, "I know I am."
"The first step to recovery is admitting it," Sadie laughed, "Come on, wanna come inside and watch a movie? I promise my mom won't kill you. That is, unless you really mess up."
Lars gave a nervous laugh and agreed, "Heh, alright. Just please don't let let her hurt me."
The two walked toward Sadie's house.
"By the way, I do have to ask, was this your idea with the boombox or….?" Sadie trailed off.
"It was Steven's dumb idea. He says he got it from some movie. But, I really did want to do something to say sorry…."
Sadie gave a hearty laugh, " I figured as much."
Steven, now left by himself on the front lawn, watched the two enter the house. With a smile, he spoke proudly, "Looks like my work here is done! All in a day's work for Steven Universe!" He picked up the boombox and placed it on his shoulder. "Now, I better get the boombox back to my dad's van before he notices it's gone!"