So thanks for deciding to read this story! Just so you know this story is a Sonfic to Taylor Swift's Mary's Song (Oh My My My). It's a great song and if you haven't listened to it yet. I suggest you do though it may slightly spoil the story.
Also, big thanks to my beta LostInBelieving! She read all 8 pages of this chapter to make sure it was okay. And 8 pages is a lot, which you will see shortly. I'm hoping all my other chapters will be around this length, but we'll have to see. So enough of my rambling, enjoy the story!
A little girl stepped out of a car, clutching a box of toys. They had pulled up in front of their new house in California. The little girl and her family had just moved from Wisconsin.
"Sonny, what do you think of the house?" her dad asked.
Sonny smiled widely, looking up at the house in awe. "It's amazing!" she exclaimed, heading towards the door.
A little boy stared out of his bedroom window, watching the new neighbors. He was sad when he first heard the news that the family that lived there once before was moving. His babysitter had lived there and the little boy looked up to him like a big brother. But he had to go away to college, and his parents had no use for a big house.
"Chad! Come downstairs!" the boys mom called, "We're going to meet the new neighbors! I'm pretty sure there's a little girl that's your age there!"
Chad grumbled to himself and reluctantly shuffled his way down the stairs. He didn't care about the stupid new neighbors.
She said, 'I was seven and you were nine
The moment Sonny got into her new house, she ran upstairs. Her parents said she could pick whatever room she wanted besides the master one and let the leftover one be the guest room.
After carefully inspecting each room, she picked the one the far side of the house with a window facing the neighbors. The roof stuck out under creating almost a private balcony. Not that she'd be able to go up there. She was only seven. But she liked imagining it.
"Sonny! Come down stairs for a second!" her mom called.
Satisfied with her choice, Sonny ran down the stairs back to her mom. "What is it mommy?"
"Our next door neighbors are here to say hi! Come outside!"
Sonny slipped her shoes back on and walked to her mother's side.
"Sonny, this is Chad," her mom said "He's a couple years older then you, but I think you'll get along fine."
"Hi Chad!" the little girl greeted. She was very excited to be making a new friend on her first day in California.
"Hi," the little boy grumbled, crossing his arms across his chest.
"Chad, why don't you take Sonny to the tree house in the back yard," his mom suggested.
Chad uncrossed his arms, holding them out at his sides in defense, "But that's me and Seth's clubhouse! No girls allowed!"
"Chad, Seth's in college now. He's not going to be back for awhile. Now be nice. Maybe you and Sonny can start a new club."
He huffed, "Fine. C'mon." He started walking to the back of his house while Sonny followed eagerly behind him.
Their backyard was small, but was backed by a large forest. The largest tree was right at the edge and on it sat a shed-like building painted in a variety of bright colors.
"This is it," Chad said.
Sonny's jaw dropped as she gazed at the magnificent building. She had always wanted a tree house, but none of the trees in her backyard were big enough. Plus her dad was never home long enough to help her build one. He was always busy with work.
"How do we get up?" she asked, dropping her gaze from the tree house to look at Chad.
"I never said we were going up," he told her, "My mom just told me to take you to the tree house. We're here, so now you can go back to your parents."
Sonny's bright expression fell. "Oh. Okay." She turned around and started walking back to her house.
Chad had seen the look in the girl's eyes when she saw the tree house. She had been so excited and when he was looking at her smile, he couldn't be upset anymore, no matter how much he wanted to be. And when he saw such a delighted face fall, he wanted to kick himself for making the girl sad. He wanted to see her happy so he could see that bright smile again.
"Wait, Sonny, come back!" he called.
She turned back to him, clearly confused. "What?"
"I changed my mind. You can come up."
Chad had never been so happy to make another person happy in his life. Sonny smiled at him again and the feeling he got from it was one of the greatest things in the world. He felt warm inside and it was like nothing but seeing the smile turn into a frown could bring him down.
He led her over to the base of the tree where chunks of wood were nailed to the trunk forming a ladder. "You can go up first."
Sonny looked up at the tree house. It was much higher up here then it was when she was looking at it from a distance. Suddenly she wasn't so sure if she wanted to climb up to the top anymore. It was just so tall. All the bad scenarios that could come from falling were swirling through her head. "I'm not sure if I wanna go up anymore."
Chad noticed the scared look on her face and was compelled to comfort her. He was still so confused. Nobody had ever caused him to act this way before. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"It's so tall. What if I fall down?" Her voice was filled with worry when she spoke.
"You're not going to fall," he reassured, "But if you do, I'll be right behind ready to catch you." He smiled at her, hoping his smile would have the same effect on her that hers had on him.
It seemed to work, because she took a deep breath and started climbing. Slowly but steadily she made her way up the tree. She was more then half way up when she looked back to make sure Chad was climbing behind her. As promised, he was, only a few rungs behind. But it wasn't Chad who made Sonny stop climbing. It was the view. Particularly the ground. And how far away the ground was from her.
"We're really far off the ground right now."
"Well, we're almost to the top now."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, just keep going." He wanted to yell at her to stop being such a baby, but something stopped him. Sonny just wasn't the kind of person you could be mean to because in the end you were just hurting yourself more then her. Chad had never met anyone like that before and the fact somewhat annoyed him. It just added to the confusion of Sonny.
Sonny took one last look at Chad and then looked up to the tree house. He was right. There were only four rungs of the ladder left and then she would be at the porch that stuck out in front of the door. She mustered up all of her courage and climbed up the last of the ladder.
Once at the top, she was relieved to feel solid ground at her feet. She had done it. She was at the top of the tree house. She hadn't felt this proud since she took the bus for the first time in kindergarten. Chad had gotten to the top now, and she couldn't help but run up and give him a hug.
"Thank you," she said to him.
Chad was slightly taken aback, but wrapped his arms around her anyway. He had never hugged a girl that wasn't family before. His friends James from school had always said girls had cooties, so he had stayed away, even though he wasn't really sure what cooties were.
Sonny let go and Chad couldn't help but ask, "What was that for?"
She flashed him that smile he had come to love so much in the past five minutes and said, "You helped me face my fears."
"So you hugged me?"
She shrugged, "Yeah. Why, do you not like hugs?"
"No, I just don't normally hug anyone besides my mom and dad," he explained.
"Well, I hug my friends a lot so you should get used to it."
"Wait, were friends now?"
Sonny nodded, "I think so. You wouldn't let someone who wasn't your friend up here, right?"
"Then I must be your friend. C'mon, let's go inside!" She skipped to the door while Chad followed behind.
When the little girl stepped inside, she was struck with even more awe then before. What may have been a simple layout to any other kid was like a scene from a dream to Sonny. There was a small wood table with two chairs that was home to two coffee cans full of crayons and pencils and a box holding blank sheets of paper. Drawings were hung all over the room, some signed by Chad and others too good to be done by a nine year old. On the opposite side of the room was a book shelf filled with various toys, and next to it sat a trunk full of dress up clothes. It was just how Sonny always imagined a tree house to be.
"Let's play something!" Sonny exclaimed.
"Well what do you want to play?" Chad asked.
"Let's play castle!" she said, pulling out a knight's hat that had been sitting on top of all the clothes in the bin.
Chad was prepared to object. That had been his favorite game to play with Seth. Seth would pretend to be a princess and Chad would be the knight who had to go save him. He would always end up laughing to hard to save him though, because it was nearly impossible to keep a straight face when a tall high school boy was wearing a pink hat yelping "Save me!" in a sorry attempt of a girly voice. Seth always came up with the greatest games of pretend when he was over. But by looking at Sonny's enthusiastic expression, he had a feeling she would have an imagination that could out run his old babysitters by a mile.
"That sounds fun. How about you be the princess and I'll be the knight?"
"Okay! This can be my castle that I'm trapped in and you have to come save me!"
"Okay, just let me put on my knight costume." He took the helmet out of Sonny's hand and placed it over his head. He then pulled out a belt which he put on and then a plastic sword which could be stored in the belt. Last he pulled out a shield and a pink hat. "For you," he said, handing Sonny the hat.
"Oh! I almost forgot!" He reached behind the costume bin and pulled out two wooden sticks that had plush horse heads on top. "I'll put yours at the bottom of the castle."
He tucked the two horses under his arms and started climbing down the ladder. Once at the bottom, he put down Sonny's horse, mounted his own, and started galloping around.
Suddenly Sonny's voice could be heard ringing through the air, "Help me! Somebody help me! I'm stuck in this tower and the dragon won't let me get out! Please help me!"
"I'll save you!" He started galloping back towards the base of the "castle". He dropped his horse next to Sonny's and called up, "Are you okay princess?"
"I'm okay but I can't get down! You'll have to slay the dragon to come get me oh brave knight!"
Chad pulled out his sword, "So where is this great beast?"
Sonny pointed to the left, "Over there! It's the big purple creature who's breathing fire!"
Chad looked over and pretended to look shocked, but then determined. "I will slay him!"
He held out his sword and started to run towards the imaginary dragon.
"He ya! Ya!" He was slashing and jabbing his sword around doing anything in his power to kill the monster. He would jerk to the left or right sometimes in order to dodge the dragon's attacks.
"He's almost dead!" Sonny shouted, "Finish him!"
Chad took one final jab at the dragon and then yelled in victory, "I did it! I slayed him!"
Sonny was cheering from the balcony of the tree house.
The boy ran back to the tower, placing his sword back in his belt. He climbed up the ladder as fast as he could until he finally reached his princess.
Sonny was thrilled to have Chad back to save her. This had been one of the greatest games of castle she had ever played. None of her friends back at home ever got really into the game like she did. They always wanted to do something else, like play with dolls. And when only one person was really trying, the game wasn't the same. But Chad had given the role his all. When she watched him try to slay the dragon, she truly saw the great beast fighting back at him. Now, standing right here in front of her, she could see a look of true pride on his face and it made her so happy that someone finally understood just how to play her favorite game.
She looked directly into his deep blue eyes, one of them seeming to sparkle in the sunlight and said, "Thank you Sir Chad! You saved me!" And she wasn't just thanking him for slaying the dragon. She was thanking him for saving her from thinking that there was no one else like her. Now she knew that there were people like her who would truly become the character they were playing. Chad wasn't like her old friends. He was better.
I looked at you like the stars that shined
In the sky, the pretty lights
"You're welcome!" he said. He was smiling so wide his cheeks were starting to hurt. It was a combination of seeing Sonny's smile again and finally finishing a game of castle without cracking up in the middle of it. He was about to start taking off his knight costume when Sonny started speaking again.
"Now we must ride our steeds through the woods back to my castle so I can properly thank you," she told him.
Chad was a little confused. His game never went this far before, but he liked where it was going. He decided to keep playing along to see where Sonny's imagination would lead him.
"After you My Lady," he said, stepping aside so she could start climbing down the ladder.
Sonny took one look down and suddenly her worried thoughts from earlier came flooding back, "Um, how about you go first."
Chad recognized the scared look on Sonny's face. "Oh, right. Sorry." He started climbing down and Sonny came right after him.
Once Chad reached the ground, he offered a hand to Sonny who was still three rungs up the ladder. She gratefully grabbed it and hopped down, feeling a whole new brand of relief knowing she was on real solid ground now.
Chad picked up the two horses and handed one to Sonny.
"Will you lead the way to the castle? I've been stuck in this tower so long I can't remember how to get back home."
Chad nodded, "Of course, princess. Just follow me!" The pair started galloping through the woods.
Chad knew the forest pretty well. He and Seth had explored it many times. Even though his castle games never took him to the woods, he knew exactly where Sonny's palace would be. If you kept going straight back you would hit a creek that ran parallel to the houses. Across from it sat two big boulders with a flatter one sitting on top forming a cave. If he could find a way to get across the river, it would be the perfect spot.
They rode along, Chad pointing out roots not to trip over and holding back large bushes when needed as a good knight would do. After a three minute journey, they had made it to the creek.
"There it is," Chad said, pointing across to the cave.
"Thank you so much Sir Chad! But how are we gonna cross the river?"
Chad was stumped. He had three options in his head, but they were all difficult. "Well, either we jump, we walk through the water, or we build a bridge."
Sonny didn't seem to think to hard about the situation. "Let's build a bridge!"
"Okay. Can you help me find some big logs we can use?"
They started scanning the ground around them, looking for fallen branches. They managed to find two and Chad used all the strength his nine year old body had to drag them to the river and place them across. The bridge wasn't much, but it was enough to get both of them across the river, safe and dry. And with the imaginations they two of them had, they could make it to be anything they wanted it to be.
They galloped over the bridge and into the cave.
"Welcome to my castle, Sir Chad!" Sonny said.
Chad pretended to be admiring a wonderful palace and replied, "It's amazing!"
"Thank you," she responded. "Will getting to live here for as long as you'd like to be a worthy repayment for your saving of me?"
He smiled, "Of course Princess Sonny. That would be perfect!"
"So what do you want to do now," she asked, "There's plenty to do in my castle."
"Well you know it better than I do. How about you lead the way?"
For the rest of the day, Chad and Sonny played their game of castle together. When each of them would come up with a new idea to add to the game, the other would follow along perfectly and by the end of it all, they were both convinced that they were living in their own kingdom. Soon though, the sun began to set and twilight took over their enchanted forest.
"I think we need to go back now," Chad said, "I can't find my way home in the dark." He could tell by the look on Sonny's face that she wasn't ready to go.
"Can we please stay for a little longer?" Sonny begged. She put on her best puppy dog pout which made it even harder for Chad to resist.
"Well, you live next door now, we can play some more tomorrow," he told her. That was all it took to brighten her expression again.
"Let's ride our horses back!" she said eagerly. Just because it was time to leave the forest didn't mean that the game had to end right then and there.
So like the end of every great fairytale, the brave knight and his princess rode off into the sunset. But this wasn't the end of their story. This was only the beginning.
Okay, so that's it for Chapter 1! Chapter 2 is already in the works, but if you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know in a review or PM!