Author's Note: Anyone remember those books you may or may not have read as a little kid like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Well, whether or not you've read the books, the title of this little one-shot here is a play off of that – just in case you're fascinated by title trivia like I am (sarcasm – I use it a lot).
On a more serious note, this takes place pretty much right after the ending of the "Forest Grump" episode.
And, yeah, I hope you guys like it.
Disclaimer: Okay, so I'm pretty sure it's really, really obvious that I don't own The Troop since if I did, certain couples would be together by now, but there that is anyway.
If You Give a Tree a Kiss
"It's not that funny," Jake said again. This was really starting to get annoying. So what if he was considering dating a Dryad?
Hayley's laughter died down to snickering as they herded the two student council members out of the elevator and into HQ.
"I don't get it. What isn't that funny?" Rachel asked sounding slightly less dazed and confused as she recovered from almost permanently becoming a tree.
"Oh, nothing," Hayley said offhandedly. "Just that Jake's new girlfriend is a tree," she laughed again.
"Laurel isn't my girlfriend," Jake corrected, wincing as he realized he really hadn't gotten the splinter out of his lip earlier.
Rachel and Hector looked at each other, confused as to what they were even talking about.
"She was an hour ago," Hayley remarked, giving Jake a doubtful look. "Where's the Snark?"
"Uh, yeah, an hour ago she didn't try to turn me into a tree," Jake said pointedly. "Over there," he answered her, pointing across the room to where the small silver box was sitting on a table.
"Right, so you just meet her today, and a few hours later she's your girlfriend. Then she tries to turn you into a tree and she's not anymore, you make up and kiss her – or at least try to – but she's still not your girlfriend. Boys," Hayley said with the roll of her eyes. "I'll never understand them."
She picked up the Snark box off the desk next to the computer and turned back to Jake. "And you can't just leave the Snark lying around carelessly like this or we're going to lose her and I think we all know how bad that would be," she said in a scolding tone.
Now Jake rolled his eyes. "First, that's not how it happened. There was way more in between than you said with me and Laurel. And I didn't leave the Snark out."
"Its process of elimination Jake," Hayley said pointblank as she tossed him a pair of earplugs. "I certainly didn't leave the Snark lying around. And I know Felix would never do that. This brings us back to you."
Jake caught the earplugs and guided Rachel and Hector back into the elevator. "Dude, that's so not fair."
"Well it didn't just jump off its proper shelf and dance onto the desk," Hayley said sarcastically while joining the three of them in the elevator and pushing the "up" button.
"We don't know that."
"What was that?" Hector questioned.
"Mime headquarters," Hayley replied easily.
"The school gives mime club an elevator and underground headquarters and all the student council gets is a podium and a borrowed classroom?" Rachel asked indignantly.
"I know, right?" Hayley agreed absentmindedly, starting to put her earplugs in place with one hand.
"School funding: what can you do?" Jake commented with a shrug.
The elevator dinged and the doors opened up into the school's small supply room. Jake and Hayley led them into the closet and then out into the empty hallway.
Jake stuck his earplugs in right as Rachel started in on how underappreciated the whole student council was.
Hayley opened up the front of the small box revealing the little blue Snark. Hector and Rachel stopped chattering and stared at it curiously but before they could question what it was, the Snark started making its high pitched wailing noise and the two of them had to hold their ears.
The Snark stopped after about five seconds and Hayley replaced the cover on the box and slipped it into her pocket carefully.
"You know, you're right you guys," Jake said after taking out the earplugs. He looked at Rachel and Hector who both had varying looks of "where am I" and "what am I doing here." "A Tranquility Grove is a much better idea than a Tranquility Garden."
Hayley slipped off her earplugs and nodded.
"Uh… thank you…?" Rachel said, trying to remember when she'd thought of that idea.
"Cutting all of those trees down for a garden just wouldn't be right, just like you said Hector," Jake continued.
"Right," Hector said hesitantly.
"Well, I guess we'd all better get back to class. See you guys later," Hayley said brightly, waving goodbye to the two of them.
"Okay, bye Hayley… bye Jake," Rachel said before turning around.
"Yeah, bye…" Hector did the same thing and they both walked off, shrugging off the feeling that they'd completely forgotten an entire chunk of their day.
Remembering the splinter in his lip again, Jake tried getting it out once more unsuccessfully.
Unfortunately for Jake, Hayley took notice and snorted, getting a new wave of laughter. "You have a splinter in you lip?" she asked between giggles.
"No," Jake said unconvincingly as he tried to pluck it out of his lip again.
"Looks like you do," Hayley said in a sing-song voice.
"Alright I do," he admitted. "It's still not that funny."
"You're absolutely right, Jake. There is nothing funny about you finally kissing a girl and then getting a splinter from her," Hayley managed to say with a straight face.
"I'm glad this day is so amusing to you," Jake said, trying to speak more carefully so the tiny splinter would stop irritating his lips.
"Alright, alright," Hayley said, only snickering a little. "Do you need help getting it out?"
"I think I can get a small splinter out of my lip," Jake said, trying to get a grip on it with his fingers again.
Hayley watched his attempts for a few more seconds before she took Jake by the arm and started pulling him back into the supply room. "Come on," Hayley said in a more motherly voice.
"Ugh, why?" Jake whined.
She rolled her eyes and pulled him back into the elevator, pressing the "down" button with her index finger. "Would you prefer to leave it there and risk it slipping under your skin, into your bloodstream, and straight to heart where it could puncture it and kill you?"
Jake's eyes widened and he looked at Hayley. "What?"
The doors slid open and Hayley stepped out, heading straight for the First Aid cabinet. Thanks to Hayley's scare tactic, Jake followed after her.
She opened the cabinet. "They should be in here somewhere," she muttered, searching the cabinet with her eyes. "Listen, about earlier," Hayley started after a moment's hesitation. She sighed. "It wouldn't be the weirdest thing in the world if you dated a Dryad."
Jake looked surprised. "I thought you thought it was hilarious."
Hayley just glanced at him before she found what she was looking for in the cabinet. "Well, you obviously really like her."
"Well, sure, I guess…" he trailed off as Hayley turned around with a small pair of tweezers in her hand.
"Then you should just go for it," she told him with a small smile. "Now hold still." Stepping right in front of him, she squinted to see the splinter better. "You'd make a good boyfriend," Hayley said thoughtfully with tweezers poised to try and get at it.
"Seriously?" Jake asked in shock, ending up getting his lip pinched by the tweezers because of his talking.
Hayley looked at him in irritation, drawing back the tweezers. "Hold still," she repeated sternly.
"Sorry," he murmured through closed lips.
Hayley tried to get the splinter out once but was unsuccessful. She inched even closer to him, squinting and biting her lip in concentration. Her second try still had no results and she sighed in frustration. The splinter couldn't just stay in Jake's lip forever. "Sure," Hayley finally said, continuing their previous conversation. She suddenly smiled brightly. "I mean, if anyone was ever bothering Laurel, I know that you would defend her and tell them to… leaf her alone." Hayley lasted two seconds before she started giggling.
But before Jake could protest her bad joke, she went in for a third try and finally got the splinter out.
"Ha, gotcha!" Hayley said proudly, turning back around to put the tweezers away and back in their place.
"Ouch," Jake complained, covering his bottom lip with his hand. "Do I at least get a sucker or something for having to listen to all of your painful tree jokes?"
"Nope," Hayley replied shortly, spinning around to face him again. "Mr. Stockley might be willing to give up a lemon square though."
"Somehow, I don't think he would," Jake said. And he was probably right considering their Troop leader's almost unhealthy obsession with the yellow dessert squares.
"Well, at least the splinter's out."
"Oh yeah, thanks," Jake said.
"You're welcome." Hayley paused for a moment as she remembered that they hadn't seen Felix since he saved the student council president in the woods. "We should probably try to find Felix and make sure everything went okay."
"Oh, right, Felix. Yeah, let's go," Jake agreed.
He led the short walk back into the elevator.
"Besides, he'll want to know all about Laurel, your new-"
Jake shot her a glare.
"-Dryad friend," Hayley finished. She crossed her arms over her chest indignantly. "I wasn't going to say tree," she grumbled in a disgruntled voice.
Jake sighed and pressed the "up" button.
"And you know, you could at least be a little nicer considering I did save you from becoming rooted to the ground forever," Hayley hinted, having switched from just kidding with Jake to being seriously annoyed with him. And since you very clearly don't care that you kissed someone who earlier tried to attack me, Hayley added in her head.
"Fine; thank you," Jake retorted in a tone that didn't normally imply gratefulness.
"Wow," Hayley said sarcastically, turning slightly to face him in the elevator. "I'm really feeling the appreciation."
"Well, so am I," Jake retorted, his response also layered with sarcasm. "I saved you from getting a broken bone when Laurel had you up in the air and I negotiated with her until she set you down. And did I hear a 'thank you for saving me again, Jake'?"
"Alright," Hayley muttered. "Thank you," she forced out, unable to get the leftover annoyance out of her voice.
"No, thank you," Jake replied back, matching her tone.
"Thank you," Hayley responded competitively.
Okay, so even though the ending to this still bugs me, at a certain point I just had to let it go since the "perfect" ending was just not coming to me. Seriously, I wrote the ending to this twice before I rewrote it again and came up with this.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. I was just watching "Forest Grump" and thought it would be funny if Jake had needed help from Hayley getting the splinter out. Thus, I wrote this out.
And the whole thing about a splinter getting into your bloodstream and killing you? Yeah, I have no clue if that's actually true or not. I just heard that on an old episode of Gilmore Girls and decided to let Hayley use that to scare Jake into cooperating.
Oh, and who else really liked tonight's new episode "Itty Bitty Baby Dragon"?
Reviews anonymous and otherwise are always welcome. Thanks for reading. :-)