Everyone please put on seatbelts now, or install them later. This chapter is so epic, that even Chuck Norris Approves. XD

To be honest, I was a tad scared of writing this chapter. I thought I'd somehow ruin it, but I think -keyword is think- that I did okay. But yeah, bit of back story and and DRAMA!! XP And I just realised that this is the most drama we've had since, like, chapter four. Wow. O.O

Disclaimer: I don't own Havest Moon, and in all the other chapters I forgot to put this in, no, I did not even own it briefly.

Chapter Fifteen: To Trust Is Dangerous

"Dad…?" She asked again, hoping that it wasn't true, that he would correct her and tell her his real name.

He smiled warmly; a quiet yes, and embraced her. She shut her eyes tight and clicked her boots together, but realized she was home. In hell, it seemed.

He let go of her form, not questioning her shaking, and took a deep breath of the curry induced air. "I've been looking everywhere for you two," He said in an offhand way, as though they were both simply lost children at a festival. She stiffened at the small mention of her brother, all lioness senses on full alert.


"Well, I've missed you both, and we can, you know, be a family again?" He mingled over the curry, and failed in tasting it and received a lovely blister.

She snapped, the numb and shock fading, replaced with raw anger. "'Be a family again?'" She questioned, evident repulsion in her tone. "Maybe once, yes. But after mom died, you ran away from me and Taro and everyone and everything!" Each word Aiko spoke rose one volume until it was an almost scream. "And then, you have the very nerve to come back after we're grown up and say you want to 'be a family again?'

"Sometimes," She continued, "I think maybe you didn't love mom and were just looking for a chance to escape family life and look what happened! Fate gave you that chance!!"

Her father rounded on her, in his book, she'd crossed the line. "Now wait one moment! I loved your mother, I was just upset," He yelled back.

"That's your excuse?"

"It's not an excuse, I just…" He trailed off, his argument he planned forgotten by something anonymous. "I don't need to hear this," he sighed, rubbing his temples.

"Then leave." Aiko said, opening the door.

He left silently, not another word was spoken. If but one syllable had escaped his lips, she thought she might break. It was too much, far too much.

She collapsed with a small thump against the door, the winter cold leaking through. She was shaking. Maybe, she thought, I am breaking.

She fell into a light daze, in-between harsh, cold reality and soft, bubbly dreams.

"Vesta? Vesta!" Chris spoke sharply, infrequently prodding the large woman with a manicured fingernail.

"What?!" Vesta asked in a huff.

"You won't believe who I just saw in town," She said, rocking back and forth in her high heels like an impatient school girl.

"Who?" Vesta was never one for gossip, and she wasn't used to Chris's sudden chipper-ness that she only usually saw in Ruby and Samantha, the true town gossips.

"Akito." She whispered.

Shock was what could best describe Vesta's face at that name. "What?" She gawped, dragging the word out unnecessarily. "What in Goddess's name is that scum doing here?" She growled, reaching for a hoe.

Chris nodded, understanding Vesta's feelings. "He already left, though. Slipped right past me, that horrible man."

"See where he went?"

"I'm not sure, but I lost him near the twin's farm."

Vesta slammed her fist on the wooden counter, leaving a large dent in it. "Damn him!" She roared, heading for the door, but Chris leaped in her way.

"Maybe we should wait," She offered, trying to calm the red faced vegetable farmer. "We don't know what happened, maybe they made up, or they might need some time to think or something after seeing him again."

Vesta sighed. "Fine," She settled herself behind the counter again and eyed the dent. "She must have really loved him to run off with him without a word," She muttered.

"She didn't send us any letters though," Chris recalled. "Maybe she was just busy." She tried pitifully to defend her old friend.

Vesta snorted with contempt. "…I guess." She still held a small grudge against Natasha for never calling, never writing. The three of them had been friends since they'd been in diapers, maybe earlier.

Trust is hard to gain, yet easy to lose.

ANGST!! And le gasp?! This is also the first time of cursing in OaA... O.o Things are getting weird... And I want everyone's honest opinion in their reviews! Arigatou!!

R-E-V-I-E-W! -dances-