Title: The Farmhouse
Rating: PG 13
Warnings: Some language; Sensual material toward end
Genre: Horror/Scifi, Romance
Disclaimer: Danny Phantom, Amity Park, etc. (c) Butch Hartman; A.J. Courman, Simon Coell, John "Grampa" Courman, Benji Courman, etc. (c) OokamiManiakku; Kai, Akira/Kazu, etc. (c) SilverLoyalWolf; Izzy, Colin, etc. (c) MikeyCam33196; "The Lakehouse" (c) to... the producer?; The term "wolfa" (c) pretty much me and my peeps on the DPOF. Not sure who exactly came up with it first, lol.
Author's Notes: "Holy crow, Angel! You wrote a ROMANCE?!" Indeed, Grasshopper. I have written a sweet, fluffy romance story. I am equally- if not more- surprised than you all are. xD But it turned out really well, lol. I've been trying to write different types of scenes lately (action scenes, kissing scenes, etc.) to help with my book, "The Underground". I think I'm getting better. What do you think?
Btw- a "wolfa" is a werewolf. xD
Kai grumbled to himself as he pulled onto the old road that led to the only house on the street. He knew this path well. Every Saturday he'd come over to her house. After her grandfather passed away, A.J. had to take over the farm and the house. Ever since then, she'd been too busy to do anything but work on the farm and the only days he got to see her were on Saturdays- other than in school, of course.
But she hadn't come to school today, which was unusual. Even though the wolfa was constantly late, she never missed class. He'd waited anxiously in the first class they'd had together, Algebra, in the morning for her to arrive. His eyes were trained on the desk she sat at normally which was catercorner behind him, closest to the window. When she still hadn't arrived by twenty past nine, he'd gotten curious.
Then, when she hadn't showed up at lunch to sit with him, he'd gotten worried.
And finally, when she still hadn't shown up for their final class together, Literature, he'd started to panic.
It's stupid. He thought to himself. Probably nothing. But what if it was something? What if something happened to her? A.J. wasn't very coordinated for a werewolf. Maybe she slipped in the bathroom and hit her head... maybe she fell off the roof! Even though she had the ability to heal herself ten times as fast as a human being, she also had the ability to hurt herself ten times as badly as a human.
His hands tightened on the steering wheel, his heart thumping loudly in his ears. "Stop it, Atokata." He scolded himself. But he felt his foot shove down even more on the gas pedal.
On Saturdays, he came over to help out with the work. Usually it was something to do with the house- re-attaching the siding, nailing down the loose shingles or replacing the loose boards in the porch- while she worked with the crops and the animals. He wasn't very good with the farm work, especially trying to take care of the chickens. They hated him.
His red car pulled into her old, gravel driveway decorated with weeds that had popped up in between the rocks and shut off the engine. The old, two-story farmhouse with its chipped paint, dangling shutters and gutters full of... gunk, its creaky porch and dilapidated jalopy in the driveway that didn't run anymore... for some reason, it made him smile. Which was something Kai never did.
He got out of his car and looked around. Un-trimmed bushes lined the driveway- some dead, some barely still alive- and walked up the sidewalk to the front of the house. He knocked on the door and when nobody answered, his heart thumped even louder. He turned around, scanning the land around the house. His golden eyes could see for a mile wherever he looked.
Eventually, he saw a shuffling in the corn patch about thirty yards away. He smiled softly as her figure stumbled out of the corn patch and then caught herself before she fell over.
"A.J.," He called, walking back down the steps of the porch. She looked up as he started walking toward her. He had to look away for a moment to hide his blush when he saw what she was wearing. Over-alls, gloves and a straw hat. She had dirt on her clothes, mud on her face and straw in her hair. He saw her embarrassed and shocked expression and the blood that filled her cheeks.
"Kai... what are you doing here?" She asked, taking off her gloves. She attempted to dust the dirt off of her pants, but it was of no use.
"You weren't in school today." He said, watching her with mild amusement. "Did I come at a bad time?"
A.J. sighed. "No, I guess not. I don't know when exactly would be a good time..." She shoved her gloves in her back pocket. "I'm just trying to get everything ready for harvest."
"Would you like some help?" He asked, taking off his jacket and tossing it away. He picked up the shovel and hoe laying on the ground in front of him. She smiled.
"Saturday's tomorrow." She noted. He shrugged.
"Why not get an early start?"
"Well," A.J. cocked her head at him. "I think I'm done with the vegetables today. Now I just have to feed the chickens, get the eggs, clean out the stable, feed the sheep and sheer them, milk the goat, shave his horns..." She trailed off as she watched the surprised expression on his face. "You can leave if you want," She offered. "You don't really know how to-"
"I said I'd help you." He insisted, picking up the rest of the tools. "I'll start off by putting these away."
A.J. grinned widely. "They go in the shed."
He nodded, stacking the tools into one arm and slinging his jacket over his shoulder with the other. Sighing inwardly, he began the trek back up to the house to put the tools away in the shed.
Although he would never admit it to anyone, and if they asked, he'd just give them his cold glare, he secretly enjoyed this. Not the work, mind you, but he would spend all day working if he could just be with her like this... by themselves. It wasn't often- especially now- that they got any alone time. Even on regular days, they were usually joined up with Izzy and Colin or Simon and Xander. And it was even more often that they were joined by a ghostly villain threatening to take over the world or to eradicate Danny Phantom and his friends from existence. They'd always fail, of course.
After dumping off the tools and putting his jacket in his car, he made his way to the chicken coop, where A.J. was spreading feed all over. The birds were bobbing their heads and making those weird noises as they pecked up the food.
He stopped before he reached the coop.
"Be careful of the rooster," A.J. called to him. "He's kind of grouchy today."
Kai looked around for the monster bird that always attacked him when he came over and tensed up when he didn't see him.
"Oh, don't worry, I got him." A.J. poked her head out of the chicken coop and then showed him that she was holding the rooster upside-down, by his feet. Kai smirked at the struggling bird and walked past the hens, up to them.
"I hate that thing." Kai said, staring down at the beady-eyed rooster. The animal cocked its head at him.
"He used to attack me too." A.J. told him, tossing the rooster away. The bird landed on his feet and started eating with the hens. Kai ducked into the chicken coop with A.J. "But he finally got used to me. I think he just reacts worse to us because we're..." She paused, taking some eggs out of one of the nests. She put them, carefully, into a basket at her side. "Well, you know..."
"He senses that?" Kai asked, turning to a different nest.
"Well, I guess so. He's just trying to protect his females like a good alpha." She chuckled.
Kai smirked, taking the eggs and placing them inside the basket. "Like I'd really want any of his chicks."
A.J. laughed suddenly at his pun, startling him. Kai crushed an egg in his hand and grimaced. A.J. turned to look at him, smiling.
"Oh, sorry." She giggled. "Here." She pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and handed it to him. He wiped his hand off.
"The goat's worse." A.J. continued. "He still doesn't like me very well." She rubbed her side absentmindedly. "Which is why I need to shave his horns..."
"I'll let you tackle that." Kai said. "So, why weren't you in school today?" He asked.
A.J. sighed. "There's a lot of work to do here." She answered.
"You knew I was coming over tomorrow. We could have worked then."
"Yeah, but sometimes," She tilted her head, staring at the egg she was holding in her hand. "It gets to be too much to finish in one day." She shrugged. "Besides, it's good to skip school once in a while. My brain doesn't hurt so much today."
He smiled, back turned to her so she couldn't see. "You should have told me." He said quietly. "I would have come over today."
"Nah, I'm okay." A.J. assured him. "Besides, you have a perfect four-point-oh to keep up. Whether I miss one class or not really won't effect my three-point-oh."
But it effects me. Kai sighed again, this time outwardly. A.J. looked at him, picking up her basket.
"Something wrong?" She asked. He glanced at her, realizing he'd been caught, and then looked away.
"No." He answered shortly. Normally, someone would take that answer and accept it, but A.J. wasn't normal. She put her hand on her hip, looking at him.
"Something is wrong." She insisted. "You want to talk about it?"
His eyes widened and a fine, red blush spread across his cheeks. "No." He answered again.
She frowned, but accepted it this time. "Well, let's go." She led him out of the chicken coop.
He spent the next two hours cleaning out the horse stable and holding down the sheep so she could sheer them. After A.J. finished with the goat, the two wolfas walked back up to her house. The sun was starting to set over the horizon.
"You want to stay for dinner?" A.J. asked as they came up to the door. He narrowed his eyes at her.
"I thought you didn't eat."
She shrugged and opened the door to the kitchen. "I don't, but you do. I have food, you know."
He followed her inside. "No, that's okay."
"Well, you mind waiting until I can get into some clean clothes?" She chuckled, taking off her hat. He stepped up to her, half-smiling, and took a piece of straw out of her hair. She blushed and grinned sheepishly at him.
"You can take a shower too." He said. "I don't mind waiting."
A.J. hurried off to her bedroom upstairs and Kai walked into the living room. Waiting for her, he scanned the pictures on the shelf above the television set. There was one of her and her late grandfather, another of A.J. with Simon and Benji and a final one of her and two people he didn't recognize. But she was much younger in this picture, probably six or seven. She had clear skin and no neon blue in her hair. The scar on her left eye was also gone. At first glance, he didn't even recognize it was her. The woman holding the small girl had long, black hair and blue eyes. And the man standing next to them had brown hair and green eyes. Kai realized that these people must have been A.J.'s parents. That was why she was so young in the photo.
"They wouldn't like you, you know."
Kai spun around to see her standing at the bottom of the staircase. She was wearing a t-shirt and purple pajama pants. Her hair was hanging around her pale face in wet strips, revealing the scar down her eye that she usually hid with her bangs.
"My parents, I mean." She walked over to him and and smiled at the picture. "From what Grampa told me, Dad was pretty over-protective of me." She chuckled, but he could hear the sadness in her voice. "And Mom wasn't too happy about me even playing with the preschooler boys. There's no way they'd even let you into the house today."
"I bet they'd like Simon." Kai said quietly. A.J. laughed.
"You'd lose that bet." She tilted her head at the photo frame. "Some of the things Simon's done... like his drinking problem... or the fact that he's a vampire..." She sighed. "They'd probably kill me for hanging out with any of you."
Kai smiled lightly. "You look like both of them." He said. "You have your mother's face and your father's eyes."
"Yeah, I know." She took the picture frame and laid it face-down on the shelf. "Can we not talk about that though?" She asked. Kai heard the weakness in her voice. He glanced at her, but she wasn't looking at him. The overwhelming urge to grab her and hold her there safely in his arms nearly took him over. He barely managed to stay still.
"What do you want to do now?" She asked, finally looking at him.
Comfort you. His mind answered. Stay right here with you. "I don't care." He shrugged. She was silent for a moment, which upset him. It wasn't often that A.J. was ever silent. "Do you want me to leave now?" He asked.
"No!" She answered too quickly. "I mean, you're fine. Unless you want to leave..."
He shook his head.
"Okay then," She looked down at the TV. "You want to watch a movie? I have The Lakehouse." She shrugged.
Kai looked at her. "You like romances?"
She blushed and looked away. "Not really. Magical mailboxes really captivate me." She said sarcastically.
Kai smirked and shrugged. "All right then."
As A.J. popped the DVD into the player, Kai took a seat on the couch. She came back with the remote and sat down next to him.
"Magical mailboxes, huh?" Kai asked. A.J. smiled. "Sure it's not Keanu Reeves that keeps your attention?"
She chuckled. "No. Reeves isn't my type."
"What is your type?" He hadn't realized he asked the question out loud until she looked at him. He felt his whole face turn bright red as the movie began.
"W-Wha...?" Her face was turning red too.
"Never mind." Kai snapped, turning back to the movie. He watched her out of the side of his eye and she looked upset now. He cursed at himself for being so stupid.
He spent most of the rest of the movie trying not to look like a moron in front of her and not really paying attention to the plot line. The only part of the movie that really managed to catch his attention was when someone died. The whole time... A.J. didn't say a word.
Wonderful, Kai. He thought to himself.
Because he'd been so aware of her, when she sniveled, he immediately looked over. She wiped her eye.
"Are you crying?" He asked, surprised. Startled, she looked at him and wiped her other eye.
"No, of course not." She sneered. "That's dumb."
He smiled and leaned over slowly, taking a pale hand and brushing her hair back behind her ear. The long, red scar was visible down her left eye and she looked up at him quizzically. "You were crying." He observed.
She frowned. "No I wasn't." She said stubbornly.
"Why are you denying it?" He asked. "It's obvious." There were tear streaks down her cheeks, she couldn't hide it.
"Crying is a form of weakness." She crossed her arms. "I'm not weak."
"Akira cries all the time. He's not weak." Kai noted. "Well... Kazu isn't."
A.J. chuckled. "I just..." She hesitated, obviously embarrassed, and looked down at her lap. "Think... it's sweet."
Kai cocked an eyebrow. "The movie or the crying?"
"The movie." She rolled her eyes.
She shrugged. "I don't know. I guess it's a girl thing. Romance..."
Kai glanced at the screen, scrunched his nose, and then looked back at her. "I don't understand."
"Yeah, I know." A.J. sighed.
Kai frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
A.J. shrugged. "Well, you're a guy. I wouldn't expect you to understand."
"I can be romantic." Kai crossed his arms. A.J. laughed softly. "What?" He looked at her, annoyed.
"Nothing," A.J. shrugged.
"You don't believe me?" He asked. "I can prove it."
A.J. shook her head. "Kai, you don't have to prove anything to-"
Before she could finish her sentence, Kai grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her closer. Taken by surprise, she froze, letting him slide her onto his lap. He wrapped his arms around her body, holding her against his chest.
"K-Kai?" A.J. asked quietly, her voice breaking. She looked up at him, shocked.
What was he doing? Ohhh... this day had not gone like he'd planned... Kai froze, staring at her with wide eyes. Something was wavering his resolve. He knew this was awkward for both of them, that it would probably be best to just put her down and get out of her house right now, but yet... he couldn't stop. He didn't want to stop. He loved the feel of her body in his arms, loved the warmth of her skin- much more than he probably should. She wasn't fighting him, which was confusing, he thought. Why wasn't she scrambling to get away? Wasn't she scared of him like everyone else, especially in such close proximity?
"A.J..." He whispered. She didn't respond, only looked at him puzzled. With a shaky finger under her chin, he lifted her face closer to his, brushing his lips lightly over hers. He felt her body tense and he immediately retreated, unsure of what to do now and absolutely knowing he had made her uncomfortable. He leaned away, looking at her, embarrassed.
Much to his surprise, she smiled. She closed her eyes and tried to snuggle closer to him. "I don't think I'm quite convinced yet."
After getting over the surprise of her answer, he smiled deviously. "Oh really?" He pushed himself up further on the couch and then pulled her into a sitting position on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her back, keeping her close. Gently, he brushed his lips against hers again. This time, she responded. His lips moved to her jaw line and down to her neck. He broke off momentarily. "How about now?"
"Not... fully..." She whispered. His lips moved back up her neck, to her mouth, deepening the kiss. She pressed herself closer to him. His lips moved against hers in intricate patterns before he broke off again.
"What about now?" He asked quietly, keeping his eyes closed.
"I suppose." She replied, just as breathless. He could hear the smile in her voice and opened his eyes. She was staring at him. "You've proven yourself." She smirked.
"Good." He grinned. "I hate to say I told you so, but..."
She smiled happily, wrapping her arms around his body and snuggling herself closer. "Don't worry, you're much better than Keanu Reeves." She said.
He grinned back as the credits rolled.