AN: Hello everyone! And now, may I present Chapter 24! Just so you all know, this story will end at Chapter 30, but this Chapter 30 will actually be a letter from me to you regarding this considerably long saga. :P At least it will look even Oh, and the song mentioned here is 1, 2, 3, 4 by Plain White T's.

Enjoy the show!

"I've never seen something so evil in my life," I grumbled, staring at the atrocity in my hand. "It's laughing at me, I can tell!"

"Kachi…" Sighed my friend, "It's a potato."

"Look at this!" I gestured wildly, "Look! I've grown potatoes before, and this is no potato!" The partially-peeled vegetable was indeed laughing, the skin still attached appearing to be, freakishly enough, eyes and a wide, crooked mouth.

Kurt smirked, ruffling my hair, "Geez, is there anything you can cook?"

I hmphed, "Not potatoes, apparently. But don't worry," I sighed, "I'll keep on it." I held the evil one clumsily in my hand, the flimsy peeler making little mark on it, or so I thought.

"I'll show you again," He smiled, taking the monstrosity from my hand and, with deft motions of the peeler, skinning the evil alive.

"How-" I began, eyes wide, "How did you do that?"

"By not being you, apparently." Kurt smirked, an evil little "hmph" escaping him. The potato had possessed him!

"Hey!" I warned him, but the effect was probably ruined due to the fact that I was trying to contain my laughter. It was the eighth day of Fall, and us townies were preparing a nice party for Ellen seeing as it was her birthday. Being the eighth of fall also meant that tomorrow was the much-anticipated Moon Festival, only surpassed in romanticism by the Starry Night festival.

"Hey you guys," Chuckled Blue as he came into the kitchen, "You sound like you're having too much fun in here." His grin was good-natured, and though we hadn't quite managed to surpass the awkwardness stage, we were getting better. After all, it hasn't been too dreadfully long ago that he had made his affections for me known. Ulp.

"Potatoes…" I pouted, and Kurt ruffled my hair again, laughing a bit.

Blue laughed somewhat nervously, a blush tinting his face, and disappeared again behind the door. I must say, Kurt was probably the most observant guy I had ever met.

"What was that about?" He asked, lifting a suspicious brow.

"Oh…" I guess I hadn't really told anyone about Blue. That was strange of me. Had I been that out of it? "Well," I stared at the evil potato, the peeler scraping painfully slowly across it, "He kinda… kissed me before." I looked up out of the corner of my eye to see Kurt staring at me. I looked down again. "I couldn't return his feelings, and I told him so, but it still is a little awkward now." I shrugged and wiped my brow with the back of my hand before turning a bright smile upon my friend, "I'm just all mixed up."

Kurt looked out the window, his expression somewhat complicated to decipher. It seemed he was thinking about something, though. He pulled me into a gentle little side-hug, looking down at me with a sort of fondness that I couldn't help appreciating. "Sorry 'bout that."

I didn't think he was apologizing for himself this time, just sort of apologizing for the state I was in in general. "What about Jamie, though?" He asked unexpectedly, "Has he asked you to the Moon Festival?"

"Jamie?" I chuckled, "Really?" And then I bowed my head, for it had just been hit with a metaphorical ton of bricks. My heart sped up, and subconsciously I blushed a deeper red than I thought possible. His breath on my hair, that look in his eyes before he left the other day… I felt considerably uncomfortable. "I-" I faltered, "I don't think that I.." I gulped, "Want a relationship just now." I looked up at Kurt, "Don't feel guilty or anything, I just… don't think I could do that right now."

Kurt smiled a bit, beginning to wash more vegetables. "You know, I felt like that, too. When Dia turned me down."

"What?" I asked, stunned.

"I've been visiting her a lot, and I asked her on a date. She refused very… harshly." Kurt smiled, and I felt my expression fall in sympathy. "But I, too, felt like I could never have that kind of thing… it just… hurt too much." He idly stroked a tomato, and I couldn't help but smile a little, finding his oddness quite fascinating.

It hurt too much, huh?

"What I realized is that… that wasn't how I felt at all. I did want it, want to be with her, I just didn't want to be hurt." He sighed.

"So what are you going to do?" I asked, my attention fully upon him now.

"The only thing I can do," He smiled, the strength of his expression striking me. No, bad Kachi! Bad! "Keep on trying."

I looked at the potato in my hands as I ran it under the water, cleaning it off. "But…" I replied softly, "What do I try at?"

Kurt shrugged, that mysterious little smirk playing over his face, "You tell me." I hmphed, not really up for the cryptic-ness right now.

"Hey guys," Blurted Blue (haha) as he hung off the door, "We don't have much time left. I saw Pop Hank coming this way with Ellen."

"What?" I looked up, "But he said he could keep her busy for at least another hour!"

"Yeah," He shrugged, apparently not clear on what could've gone wrong with "the plan."

"Alright," I sighed, handing the potato and the peeler to Blue, "You fight evil. I'll go… get Ellen into some obnoxiously long, girly conversation or something."

"Fight… evil?" He blinked, taking the materials I thrust upon him with confusion.

"No time to explain! Just watch your back!" I exclaimed, rushing out the kitchen door. Okay, casual. I gave myself a little pep talk before waltzing "casually" out of Ellen's front door and right into an unsuspecting Hank.

"Oh, thank God," He breathed, scurrying inside. "I'll go order that feed!" He called over his shoulder to a (hopefully) unsuspecting Ellen.

"Al-…right." She blinked, and I smiled and waved at her. Target: locked on.

"Hiya, Ellen," I smiled brightly, and she waved in return.

"Hey, there is something I wanted to ask you!" She said, pulling me away from the house. Perfect.

"So what do you think about Blue?"

Not so perfect.

"You know he likes you, right?" Ellen practically gushed, a sweet dimple appearing on her cheek.

"I know, I just…" I sighed, plopping down underneath a tree. I patted the grass next to me, and like a child, Ellen crawled over.

"Wow," whistled Kurt, looking out the window, "She's really good at this."

"And so when he… kissed me like that, I told him I couldn't return his feelings." I hung my head dejectedly. "I just… can't."

"Does it have anything to do with Kurt?" She asked. Jeez, did everyone around here have psychic antennae or something? "Blue picked up on something going on between the two of you, and you seemed so sad when Kurt started seeing Dia all the time…" Okay, maybe not so psychic after all.

"Well, I thought about that, but I don't think it does. Prolly because of him I won't be getting into any relationships anytime soon, but I really just don't feel that way about Blue."

"Oh," She sighed a little sadly.

"Sorry…" I leaned my head against her shoulder.

"You can't help how you feel. I had just hoped he wouldn't have to feel so lonely all the time," Ellen replied with a tiny, sad, smile, and I couldn't help but marvel at how sweet she was.

"You know…" I smiled a little, "He wouldn't have to. I think he's starting to figure that out, too."

"How do you mean?" Asked Ellen.

"I mean, I have it on good authority that there is indeed someone who likes him very much, and I told him that, but I don't know if he believes me. Encourage him, 'kay?"

Ellen looked like she might ask who, but I merely shook my head, a little smile gracing my features. I held an index finger in front of my mouth, the universal "It's a secret" symbol quite clear. I felt the mischief in my eyes returned by Ellen, and we laughed a little more.

"SURPRISE!" We all yelled and shouted and whooped as I ushered Ellen in. Blue had come out to get us, asking if Ellen could please look at the figures he was drawing up. I don't think she expected all of these figures.

"Happy Birthday, Ellen," I smiled warmly, hugging my friend from behind. Taking my cue, the entire party came in for a big group hug.

"Hey!" She said, turning around to look at me. "You were sent out there to distract me!"

I smiled wickedly, my finger in front of my mouth again. "It was a secret," I grinned.

After the party, I dragged Ann to my field. "Come on, there is something I have to show you!" I insisted. When my friend saw the horse grazing in the pasture, she hung back a little nervously.

"Wow…" She breathed, and I took her hand, climbing overtop the fence.

"Come on, I want you to meet her."

Ann still hung back, unsure, though she clambered over the fence with me. "I dunno about this, Kachi. It's so big."

"Come on, just walk slowly, so she can see you," I said, dropping my voice a little. "Hey there, girl," I said, leaving Ann behind me for a moment to pet the mare's nose and make sure she was calm. I continued to hold Ann's hand, though, and I turned toward her now so the horse could set her dark blue eyes upon the girl.

"Ann," I smiled softly, "I'd like you to meet Anwen."

My friend was in shock as she stared at the creature and those big, beautiful eyes. Her own started to tear up, and I felt a little moisture seep into my own eyes as the sight. Hesitantly, Ann reached out a shaking hand toward the horse's nose, and Anwen stepped forward to greet her.

"Hi again," Ann breathed, and I put a hand to my mouth to hold back a small sob.

After that party, I hadn't expected Kachi to still be up at this time. I saw light streaming from her window, and I thought I heard music, too. As I stepped up to her door, I caught sight of her through her window… dancing?

Not good dancing or anything… just…. The only way I could describe it is "Kachi Dancing." I opened the door quietly, and I saw her.

1,2 - 1 2 3 4
Give me more lovin' than I've ever had.
Make it all better when I'm feelin' sad.
Tell me that I'm special even when I know I'm not.
Make me feel good when I hurt so bad.

The chipper music in the background fit this "Kachi Dancing" quite perfectly, and I don't think she knew I was there, otherwise she probably wouldn't be singing like... that. She would spin here or there, dance around the room, and drum on the counter tops for good measure. She was doing dishes, I noticed, and I stifled a chuckle. Hoshi barked and yipped at her feet, and she laughed.

What a sound.

Barely gettin' mad,
I'm so glad I found you.
I love bein' around you.
You make it easy,
as easy as 1 2,(1 2 3 4.)

Was I getting emotional over some song? Honestly. But I couldn't stop watching her. Her and her silly laugh, her flushed cheeks, her kind, chocolate-colored eyes… Hell. She saw me.

There's only one thing two do three words for you.
I love you.
(I love you)
There's only one way two say those three words
And that's what I'll do.
I love you.
(I love you)

Heaven. She saw me.

"Oh… hey." I said, eyes a bit wide. I hadn't thought anyone would see that. I hid the empty jug I had been using as a drum behind me sheepishly, and unexpectedly, Jamie laughed a little.

"Do you always dance around when you do the dishes?" He asked, and I couldn't help but smile a little. I started towards the radio, aiming to turn off the sappy happy music that was playing.

"Uh, well, not all the time, but it sure makes it more fun," I grinned, and at his soft smile, I couldn't help but blush.

"I think your cheeks are on fire," He observed, and with a straight face, no less!


-best that I've had.
I'm so glad that I found you.
I love bein' around you.
You make it easy as easy as-

I finally turned off the radio, dismissing all troubling thoughts. "So," I turned toward him, "What brings you here?"

"Just…" He looked away, "Checking up on you. Here." He offered me a jar of jam, and I looked up, a smile stretching across my face.

"Your mother's recipe?" I asked, and he nodded. I smiled and exclaimed, "Yes! This stuff is delicious!" Before turning to deposit it in the fridge. As I did so, I heard that wonderful, high-pitched squeal. "Oh, the tea is ready!" I said, going over to the stove to fetch it. "Do you want some?" I asked, and I had to look away when I saw his face. I don't know why. I was being silly.

"Yes please," He said, though I didn't turn around to look at him again. I poured two cups and set one before him, gesturing for him to sit at the table with me.

"Oh," He said, looking up from the steaming cup, "This is good."

"You sound surprised," I scoffed, and something pulled up the corner of his mouth. MENTAL SLAP. For Goodness's sake he isn't the slightest bit cute! He's Jamie!

"It's no secret you aren't the best cook around."

I sighed, "I don't think boiling water counts, Jamie."

"Well," He shrugged, "It's really good boiled water."

I laughed a little, hiding behind my tea cup.

For Godess's sake, why was she doing this to me? She looked absolutely adorable, damn it. The way she smiled behind her tea cup, the way she brushed her hair out of her face… this might be more difficult than I thought.

I wonder if something is wrong with me, just coming like this. I just couldn't get this sick feeling out of me after…

"Hey, Kachi?" I asked a bit hesitantly, having to cough to clear my throat.

"Mm?" She inclined her head toward me, and I took in the depth of her eyes before looking down at my tea.

"You… at the party, I noticed Blue pulled you aside for a moment. What… was anything wrong?" I asked, and I looked up, desperately hoping she wouldn't see through me.

"Oh," She smiled a little, and I hung on her every word. "Yeah, well he is fine, but he wanted to ask me about someone, so…" She stirred her tea idly with her spoon, and I tried to decipher the meaning of her words.

"About… someone?" I asked before I could stop myself.

"Yeah, well," She sighed, pushing her bangs from her face, "He sorta… told me he liked me, before, but I said I couldn't return his feelings for him. I… told him, though, that there was someone else who really liked him, and he pulled me aside to ask if he was right." Kachi blushed, then. Actually blushed! Why was she blushing?

"Is that all?" I asked, feeling my eyes narrow slightly.

"Well he kind of…. Kissed me… again." She was practically whispering when she said the last word.

And I felt that feeling multiplied by a million times taking hold in my chest.

I looked up, a bit shocked when I saw Jamie's expression. There was anger and pain, and I felt the heat rise to my cheeks, "I pushed him off, but he had gotten a little carried away…"

"You had to push him off?" Uh-oh.

"Jamie-" He stood, and I launched myself to the other side of the table beside him. I took hold of his arm, and he stiffened.

"Please, I took care of it. Don't get angry on my account!" I burrowed my head into his arm, and I felt him wrap me tightly in a hug.

"Kachi… I think I know who you were talking about," Blue began seeing as we were finally alone.

"Oh?" I smiled, though my expression fell when I saw the pain in his eyes.

"Ann." I smiled, about to reply when he continued, "Even if there's that hope, Kachi, I can't-…" I slammed his fist against the wall, and I withdrew, shocked. "Why can't you see me-" He turned to me suddenly, "Like I see you? Every day…" His hand was upon my cheek, and I felt rather cold.

"Blue I-" I stepped back, and he fixed me with his deep eyes.

"Please Kachi, just give me a chance."

I felt my heart rip, but, "No, I'm sorry, I can't." I heard the resolve in my own voice and felt better. That was, at least, until, he pulled me against him.

I tightened as he crushed me in a hug, and the smell of hay and the dustiness of the room overwhelmed me. I tried to give him a gentle pat on the back before pulling away, but he wouldn't let me, and his lips were upon mine…


It was wet and… disgusting. Like I'd imagine kissing a dog might be. I felt bad, but, "Blue!" I pushed him, but he wouldn't let go. I began to panic, feeling the utter wrong of this situation. As he stumbled back, he caught my wrist, his other hand crushing my face upon his. "BLUE!" I managed to gasp as I felt his hand just under my shirt. I kneed him hard this time as I pushed away, and he, caught in the gut, stumbled. He looked at me, and then I saw the horror overtake his face.

He seemed like he was trying to form words, but none came out.

They looked vaguely like, "I'm so sorry." And then he ran out.

Yeah, I took care of it.

Jamie looked at me, and he watched the expression on my face as I watched his. He hugged me again, stroking my hair, and I almost immediately calmed down.

"Shhhh, Chichi." It was like magic.

I reached my arms around his neck, hugging him close, and I inhaled this scent. It was fresh water and cologne and summer. I felt his face against my hair; his breath tickled my ear. His cheeks slid against the back of my head, and I felt that familiar prickle.

"Silly hat," I murmured," Pulling away to remove his topper, "Hugs are for humans." As I removed it, I was shocked to find Jamie's face again. I shouldn't have been, I guess, but… his eyes. Was he blushing a little?

Maybe if this had been the Jamie from a while ago, he would've turned away, would've hmphed, would've crossed his arms. But this Jamie came closer to me, his arms sliding from their hug to fall about my waist, He pressed his forehead against mine, and I noticed idly (because my brain wasn't quite functioning at this moment) that his lavender locks somewhat obscured my vision.

His eyes were usually… pretty breathtaking, but now, half-lidded and icy as they were, I thought I might just about die of a heart attack. But I had no reason to, right? Why should I? RIGHT?

Oh screw it.

His lips upon mine were feather-light, and as he exhaled, I tasted the tea on his breath. This… it felt like we had been standing here for centuries. I felt all of him, his hands on my waist, how one moved up slightly to the small of my back. I felt his heart through mine; his lips moved against mine so shockingly gently. Too soon they left, and his fingers trailed down my cheek. Still somewhat in a daze, I had nothing to say. He hugged me close to him again, and as I leaned my cheek against his chest, I heard his heart beating as fast as mine.

"I'm… really confused." I finally managed to breathe.

How could I possibly make it any clearer? Dear Goddess, Kachi. I stroked her cheek again. Willing this to last forever. Will you go to the Moon Festival with me. Say it. Will you go-


Say it. Come on.

"Nevermind. I… should go." I grabbed my hat and quickly left, my heart, embarrassingly enough, pounding.

Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow.

After all, what if this was just a dream?