welcome to the boring introductory chapter! i hope you dont think this concept is weird or anything yikestm dont take this too seriously its more of a guilty pleasure than a serious fic
i want to warn you this is full of creative licence. ive tried my hardest to translate these characters from a bunny pov to a human pov so there are obviously a lot of changes (for example, cowslips warren is now a religious cult) and its really hard to take their personalities and backstories and place them in a human perspective, so youve been warned
A simple move across town to lead to many unprecedented changes, like a new grocery store to buy from, or beginning a search for another cheap petrol station. But for Hazel, however, this move from one side of town to another, the biggest change in his life was the bus route.
So on his first day of catching the said bus, he wasn't sure what to expect. His last bus was pretty crowded most of the time, with people like Toadflax and Pimpernel regularly tormenting and intimidating many of the other people who caught the same bus. Hazel wasn't really excited for his new route, anyway. It was long – almost an hour just to get from the town to the outskirts where he lived – but he couldn't do anything but suck it up and deal with it.
The bus pulled to a stop in front of him. The driver gave a wide grin and rested his elbows on the steering wheel. "I see we've got a new face joining us," He chuckled. It was odd, so Hazel forced a smile and stepped up the tiny steps. "Yes, we just moved so I had to change lines," He dug around in his coat pockets and pulled out his bus card. He swiped it against the machine (he had to buy one of those in advance, because his first bus was still paying fares with coins rather than cards) and headed up towards the back of the bus.
There were a few people scattered throughout the interior, spaced unevenly across the right and left. A woman with a braid sitting down her back was thoroughly invested in her crossword, two males were perched on the backseat – both chatting animatedly with each other, and two others sat up nearer to the middle of the bus. The tall man with broad shoulders and a heavily scarred face seemed out of place against the shorter and slimmer girl beside him, who was scribbling madly on a sheet of paper.
Hazel decided to sit up the back.
He placed his bookbag on the seat beside him and rested his chin in his palm, gazing out the window. The bus was due to stop at Fiver's high school soon. The bus pulled away from the curb and started down the road again. It took him all of five minutes to realise the conversation behind him had stopped, so he turned his head and was met with two curious gazes. One of them was short, with cocoa coloured skin and dark, untameable curls. The other was a full head taller than the other, long and gawky, with wispy hair so yellow it could nearly rival the sun itself.
The shorter one leaned forward. "What's your name?"
"It's Hazel," He responded evenly. "What's yours?"
The other one pointed his thumb to himself. "I'm Dandelion," Then he pointed it to the boy next to him. "And he's Blackberry."
Blackberry gave a wide, toothy grin and shuffled forward. "Pleased to make your acquaintance," He teased, unhappy that he wasn't able to give himself a proper introduction. He looked down to Hazel's bookbag, eyes growing wide at the tag hanging off the chain, bouncing with the movements from the bus. "You go to Sandleford University?" He asked, glancing upwards to meet Hazel's eyes. "That's so cool! I go there too! What are you studying?"
Hazel smiled – Blackberry seemed okay. "Marine biology. You?"
"Physics," Blackberry grinned back.
Dandelion leaned over into their line of vision. "And I'm an author, in case anyone was wondering."
"Y'know Fiver, I'm so happy that you're finally catching the same bus as me. I'm always so lonely with no one to talk to," Pipkin's grip on his backpack straps tightened in his glee, and his step became jovial and bouncy for a moment. Fiver hummed his indifferent reply, choosing to stare at his feet as they trudged along the path to the bus stop. As they neared, Fiver looked up, cheeks flushing upon noting the girl who stood out from the group of people congregating by the sign.
Vilthuril was someone who Fiver always had an interest in; perhaps it was her perfection that fluttered his heart, or maybe it was her adoration for life, but either way, Fiver knew he was smitten. The girl looked up and made eye-contact with the boy, gave him a wide grin and waved. Fiver nudged Pipkin with his elbow.
"You never told me Vilthuril caught this bus," He whispered under his breath. Pipkin laughed softly. "Sorry Fiver."
The other people who stood around waiting were people Fiver knew. Silver and Buckthorn, two football players who were always together, Nelthilta, the peppy theatre dork, and Silverweed, a friend of both Fiver and Pipkin who seemed to hate leaving school.
Fiver and Pipkin made their way over and stood in between Silverweed and Nelthilta. The blonde girl squealed her delight, her chin-length hair bouncing. "Oh! It's great that you're on this route. It was getting so tedious sitting next to Pipkin on the way home. He never shuts up," Nelthilta beamed as Pipkin affectionately punched her shoulder. Fiver was rather surprised; he hadn't expected Nelthilta and Pipkin to be so close. Silverweed waved, smile wide but eyes saddened. "It'll be nice to have someone new on the bus. Everyone's run dry of conversation," He joked.
The bus slowed to a stop in front of them.
Hazel, warming up to Dandelion and Blackberry, halted the conversation when the bus stopped. He watched as Fiver entered, breathing a sigh of relief knowing he wasn't alone. Then he went back to the conversation. "Yeah, I've been trying to save up to buy my own apartment, but it's so hard to find one in a student's price range."
Fiver sat across the walkway, followed by Pipkin. Nelthilta sat herself behind them, and Silverweed in front.
"I totally understand. We had to pool so much money together to buy our place," Blackberry nodded. "So you're still living with your parents?"
"Yeah, for the moment," Hazel answered.
The bus stopped again, this time an older man stepped on. He didn't say a word as he swiped his bus card and then walked all the way up the back of the bus and sat down beside Silverweed, who instantly shut up and watched the scenery from the window. Dandelion leaned over to Hazel. "That's Cowslip, his grandfather or something. He has something against us," He told him, never taking his eyes off Cowslip. Hazel nodded slowly, feeling sorry for the young boy beside him.
The woman with the braid from the front of the bus gave a loud sigh, one that could be heard from the back of the bus, and gathered her belongings. She headed up the back of the bus and sat down on the seat opposite Hazel's and gave her attention to Blackberry and Dandelion. "So, Holly just texted me and told me that he was staying back late at the restaurant, even though he knows Bluebell won't be home until the early hours of the morning! He's so inconsiderate!" She complained. Blackberry nodded, patting her hand sympathetically. "But he's working," He reasoned gently. The woman sighed and rubbed her forehead. "I know, but I've been so stressed and lonely lately, I was excited to have one of them home tonight," She glanced to Hazel, suddenly sheepish. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I didn't introduce myself. I'm Clover."
Hazel held out his hand and Clover shook it. "I'm Hazel."
Before he could say anything else, Clover began talking again. "And the two selfish men I'm talking about are my husbands. I'd like to tell you that you'd meet them sometime, but I highly doubt it. Look at me; I have two husbands but not one of them can come home at a reasonable time. Sometimes I wonder why I even love them."
The woman sighed and shook her head a little. "But enough about me. How are you sweetheart? Are you new to town?"
"No, just to the neighbourhood," He answered. Clover pointed to Dandelion and Blackberry. "So you've met these two; do you know anyone else?"
He pointed towards Fiver's little group, who were chatting quietly amongst themselves. "I know my brother and his friends, if that counts."
Clover laughed. Her laugh was pretty and melodic, and Hazel instantly felt a motherly vibe from her. "Well, in front of them are Silverweed and Cowslip. Cowslip is rather rude to everyone, so don't mind him. But Silverweed is such a little darling; always quiet and polite. He's wonderful," She pointed down towards two boys, both listening to music and not interacting despite sitting close. "And they're Buckthorn and Silver. Lovely boys, might I add."
She then pointed to an auburn-haired girl, tapping her fingers on the back of the seat in front of her. "That's Vilthuril. Charming little thing, and her mothers are both very sweet. They've raised such a good girl."
And finally, and motioned towards the two sitting around the middle of the bus. "Those two are Hyzenthlay and Campion. Campion looks mean, but I can assure you he is a big softie. And Hyzenthlay, well, she's been through a lot. She can be as quiet as a mouse sometimes, so don't bother her if she doesn't come to you first. Poor thing."
As if called, Hyzenthlay looked behind her to Clover and stood. She hurried up the back of the bus, practically falling into a seat. "Clove, I need a favour. Could you make those cute little quiche things for the meeting on Saturday?" Clover brightened and nodded. "Of course! I'll come early and help you set up if you want."
Hyzenthlay gave Clover a thumbs up. "Great!" She was about to get up and move when she noticed Hazel. "Oh, hey. I'm Hyzenthlay; it's wonderful to meet you."
"I'm Hazel," He spoke, voice trailing off when she stood abruptly and hurried back to Campion. She seemed nice enough, if a bit frazzled. Clover rested her head on the back of her seat. "I promise you, this bus will be the best thing that's ever happened to you!"