Author's note- This fic is based on HM: FoMT.
Chapter 1- A Positive Outlook
"Ann! Hello?" Mary impatiently waved a hand in front of her best friend's face to get her attention.
"What! Er...sorry, Mary," Ann apologised quickly. She sat up straighter on her friend's bed. "What were you saying about Gray?"
Mary laughed. "You were thinking about about Jack, weren't you?" she teased, her eyes glittering mischeiviously behind her thick glasses.
"No!" Ann replied feistily, despite the fact that her face was almost as red as her hair. She promtly threw a cushion at Mary nearly knocking her off her stool. Mary surfaced, glasses at an odd angle and threw one back.
Within minutes things had esculated with both girls giggling uncontrollably as cushions flew in all directions. Suddenly the door to Mary's bedroom was thrown open and Mary's mother, Anna, appeared her pale skin unusually flushed.
"Girls! Whatever is this this racket!" she looked around the room wearily. "Aren't you to a little bit old for such childish behaviour?" Anna gave Ann an accusing look that suggested that Ann was a bad influence on her daughter.
"The way I see it Mrs Parker, we should all let our hair down once in while. Laughter is very good for you, you know!" Anna frowned, looking as though she didn't know. Mary sniggered, but stopped after seeing the look on her mother's face.
"Hadn't you better be getting back to the Inn, dear?" Anna asked trying and failing to be polite towards Ann.
"No. Dad said I didn't have to help him today so I could spent time with Mary on her day off from the Library. Great, huh?" she replied cheerfully.
"Fabulous," said Anna monotonously. She finally turned to leave, to Ann's imense relief. "Oh, and Mary dear please clean yourself up a bit. You're a young woman now and women take pride in their appearance," she hissed at her daughter. "They do not have have silly pilow fights and giggle like schoolgirls!"
Ann rolled her eyes as Mary's bedroom door closed with a snap. Mary grinned back at her and they both laughed.
"Hmm, your mom's a bit of a bore isn't she?" Ann said thoughtfully, falling back onto Mary's soft bed.
"You only just noticed!" Mary laughed bitterly. "Still, I suppose she's right in a way. I do need to grow up a bit." She turned to face the mirror.
"Nonsense! Don't listen to your mother. You're perfect already," Ann stood behind Mary and began to brush her friend's thick black hair. "Gray certainly thinks so! I saw you two cosied up together at the Fireworks Festival!"
The Fireworks Festival had been a held on Mineral Beach a few days ago to sinify the end of summer. It had been a special day for Ann too. Her and Jack had sat to watch the fireworks together, something that couples traditionally do in Mineral Town. She hadn't seen Jack since though, but guessed that he was probably too busy on the farm to visit.
"Well, me and Gray have been close for a while and as I had been trying to say earlier we're just friends," Mary explained.
Ann suddenly snorted indignantly. "Yeah right! I've seen that look in your eyes when you talk about him. I've seen the way he blushes when you get near him. Don't try to kid me Mary Parker!" She grabbed Mary by her shoulders and spun her round so that the girls were facing each other.
"Alright! So maybe I do like him as more than a friend but I'm sure he doesn't feel the same way," Mary answered sadly. "He just likes books that's all."
Shaking her head in disbelief so her long ginger plait wiggled back and forth, Ann dismissed her best friend's comment and replied simply, "He likes you Mary."
"I hope so," Mary whispered, more to herself than Ann.
Later that day, Ann almost skipped along the streets of Mineral Town. Not suprisingly she hadn't been invited to stay for tea at Mary's. But she didn't care, after all her father was one of the best cooks in town.
Leaves of gold, russet, and deep brown whirled around Ann's feet as she made her way home and a cool breeze whipped at her face. It didn't bother her though. She loved the Fall more than any other season. This suprised most people because Fall also happened to be the season Ann's mother died in. However, Ann knew her mother would not have wanted her full of fun, lively daughter to think of her with sadness. And there was something about Fall that gave Ann hope. It was the undeniable beauty of the leaves even on the verge of death, as if they were putting on a final show to remind people that they were not gone for good.
Ann reached the Inn far too soon for her liking so she stood outside for a few minutes in the enveloping darkness.
Her thoughts soon turned to the hansome Jack. She had to admit that she was glad that the topic hadn't come back up at Mary's as she wanted to keep these wonderful feelings about him to herself. For now anyway.
Eventually, Ann decided to visit Jack at his farm tomorrow morning. They could chat if he wasn't too busy and if he was then she would offer to help out. Either way she would invite him to come and have lunch at the Inn with her afterwards. It would be perfect. Her face hot at the very thought and grinning madly with excitement Ann ran inside feeling that things were about to keep going her way.
A/n- That chapter is short, I know, but it's just a sort of opening chapter and the others will be longer. I want to find out what people think so please review. Thanks!