The first thing is that, this is a fanfic heavily based upon the novels Watership Down and Tales From Watership Down by Richard Adams. There are the same characters, similar pairings and rabbit language/views/living standards, etc.
The 'rabbits' in my story are based on humans in the sense that they just have rabbit-like features/additions to them. E.g. tails and ears.
Secondly, this fanfic is quite long. But I hope you'll all suppport me through it!
Lastly, this is a yaoi adaption. That means Boys Love.
Not your piece of cake? Leave it on the tray. Someone else might find it edible.
(A side note, Strawberry is referred to as 'Ichi' or 'Ichigo' in this story, because the Japanese word for 'Strawberry' is 'Ichigo'. My younger self should really have paid more attention to this :/
Sorry for any confusion!)
They gazed over the sun filled pastures, shade from the great tree above them cooling and letting a soft breeze slide through the leaves to ruffle their hair.
"Every time I sit up… and look over the Down… " Hazel began to say. "It fills me with such a… oh, heavens if I know! But I do tell you Fiver it sure warms me right to the core."
His younger brother smiled quietly -knowingly- in response. Fiver's silence was more comfort than Hazel ever needed and together they watched the night turn light blue, faces upturned to watch the stars scatter themselves over an entire oblivion. The night was still; bodies of their friends lay undisturbed in the burrows bellow, and the gentle drone of fireflies filling the air with scents of long ago Summers and strawberries tickling Hazel's nostrils.
"So!" Bigwig grinned, shouldering a younger blonde haired rabbit. "What's the story with you and Ichi-chan?"
The blonde rabbit scowled and turned to face Bigwig.
He was Dandelion, one of Hazel's most repected rabbits of the warren. He was a runner like golden lightning and a story-teller who's words seemed to have been weaved by El-ahrairah himself.
"His name," began Dandelion "is Strawberry and on his behalf I would appreciate the lack of your patronizing pet names."
Bigwig grinned like a chesire cat. "Don't be such a sour puss! Liven up, Dandelion old chap!"
Easy enough for him, Dandelion thought. Always anticipaiting the impossible- captain of Watership Free and Easy Owsla indeed!
"You should get back to your duties instead of loafing over me." He retorted icily, swotting the older rabbit as he leaned over his shoulder. "I hate it when you always assume things about Strawberry and I."
" Aah! But i need not have to 'assume' these things, firstly because 'assuming' makes an 'ass' out of 'you' and 'me', and secondly, because I know they're true."
Dandelion was growing tiresome of Bigwig's wise and mighty squibble talk so he pushed his way past him and out of the main burrow in hopes of escaping such random twitter. No luck. "Don't try and deny it my naïve little chap," he called, poking the little scar that rested on Dandelions cheek to irritate him.
He'd received it after a tussle with another lendri some way out in the corn fields.
' A war scar ', Bigwig called it. Unlucky footing more like.
"I don't have any idea what you're trying to say you buffoon!" he huffed.
"Aw come on," Bigwig smirked, leaning close to his face. "You don't expect me to refuse to register details of your appearance, Dandy."
The master story-teller blinked. "Huh?" his nose twitched a little with uncertainty.
"I'm talking about your new little flower headpiece."
Dandelion froze. What stung the most in his mind at that moment was not the thought of being caught out - but the shame of having to admit defeat in Bigwig's midst. "Umm…"
The owsla officer's eyes shone with triumphant glee. "Strawberry made it for you: right?" Dandelion could feel his cheeks turning pink.
"You have no proof so I don't know what you're grinning about!" he mumbled dejectedly. But Bigwig wasn't fooled.
Tormented with embarassement, Dandelion broke into a run and set off out into the small copse a mile or so from the warren. To a place where he could hide and think, a place to sit amongst the beautiful flowers and dream.
A place where he knew Strawberry was waiting.
Strawberry had made him a new flower piece that he always tucked behind his soft rabbit ears for comfort. It was sewn together so beautifully; you wouldn't think Strawberry could have mastered it on his own.
But his fingers were nimble and he worked quietly by himself; day in and day out to perfect the small chain of dandelion flowers that formed a tiny, yet perfect little bouqet.
Dandelion felt his insides turn gooey as memories of the younger rabbit's gift was presented. He badly wanted to see him, for some bewildering reason. Maybe it was just the way Bigwig had used his name so familiarly.
Come to think of it, what had he called him? Dandy… Dandy-…sama?
Suddenly, Strawberry's face appeared in Dandelions mind; eyes big and sparkling looking up at him with great respect. His cheeks were slightly flushed as he whispered "D-Dandy-sama…!"
'Dandy-sama' had a spectacular nosebleed when he thought of this. Dash it, what am I thinking? He thought, wiping the blood from his nostrils.
Just as he got to his feet, the real Strawberry emerged from the bushes a little way in front of him. "Oh…!" he said, face lighting with adoration when he saw the older rabbit in the clearing.
Dandelion pulled a straight face and marched towards him, going over in his head what he had to say. Things like not to be so obvious with his gifts and such. But when he was close enough to see Strawberry's bright, sparkling pink eyes he could only let a smile overtake his lips and a pale blush his cheeks.
"Dandelion-kun!" Strawberry said excitedly, holding up a basket of flowers. " Look at how many were in bloom!"
"Did you pick them all?" Dandelion deadpanned.
Strawberry chuckled and began to tow the other rabbit into the bushes and towards the blooming flowers.
"No silly!" He showed him the shaded fields brimming with miraculous, rainbow coloured flowers that filled the air with elegant scents and reflected the colours of one another brilliantly;every colour of the rainbow, glimmering in the dazzling Summer sunshine.
"Wow…" Dandelion breathed, trying to take it all in. "I honestly wasn't expecting so many to be in bloom this early…"
Strawberry was arranging the flowers in his basket whilst humming a tune he'd heard coming from a hrudrudu once. "Me neither! But look how wonderful they are!"
The two of them stood staring at the magical array before their eyes. After a few minutes though, Strawberry tugged his older friend's sleeve and turned to go. But the visions of Bigwig's smug faced flashed across Dandelion's mind.
He was in no hurry to be going back. "Um! How about we just hang about here a little longer?" he said hurriedly, pulling Strawberry with him into a patch of thorn bushes.
Strawberry was baffled by Dandelion's behaviour. Why was he so flustered? Furthermore, why was he dragging Strawberry along in his company?
As these questions whirled like an angry winter's blizzard in the young rabbit's mind, Dandelion lost his footing and fell head first into a thornbush.
"Eek!" Strawberry yelped in surprise. "Hey, Dandelion you okay?"
The blonde rabbit boy sat up and blew some thorns off of the bridge if his nose.
With a heave and lots of groaning, Strawberry managed to help him to his feet.
"If you weren't in such a hurry maybe you would have avoided that," Strawberry suggested, smiling inspite of himself.
Dandelion was brushing the sharp, clinging thorns off of his clothes and didn't pay much attention but when he looked up and both of their eyes met, he felt something spark.
"Hey… Strawberry?" he asked gingerly.
Strawberry didn't know what question was coming, but at least it distracted him from the weird look Dandelion was giving him... sort of.
His heart began to pound in his throat, and his cheeks darkened slightly as he realised they had knotted their fingers together without noticing.
"... Why do you always... sweep it over one side?" His question became blunt towards the end and hit Strawberry like a lead weight.
"Wh-whaaaaat?" he shrieked, cheeks now red with anger. "What kind of a question is that?"
Dandelion looked vaguely bored. "I was curious."
In a huff, Strawberry stole his hand back from Dandelion's grasp, spun on his heel and began to march his way back through the thorn bushes, closely followed by a slightly confused Dandelion.
"Straw… Hey wait on me would you!"
"Hmph!" Strawberry pouted, continuing to push his way back towards the flower fields.
"Did I say something to upset you?" Dandelion asked in distress. "Or… Was there something you wanted me to ask you?"
They both stopped.
Strawberry's heart had worked it's way back into his lungs and was hammering itself against his skin… ｄｏｋｉ ｄｏｋｉ
"W-well I…" His back was faced to him, but Strawbeerry could feel Dandelion's soft blue eyes boring into the back of his neck.
Dandelion was puzzling it all over in his head. What now? He thought. What's going through your mind? He was uncomfortably eager to know and when they eventually started walking again, Dandelion found himself blushing.
Strawberry's cheeks were also red. Was I expecting him to ask me something? He question himself. Dash it, I feel such a fool!
But as the two rabbits emerged once more in the copse… Strawberry shyly coughed and mumbled something.
"I… I brush my fringe over to hide my eye mostly… There's not a real reason for it I just…" then he hurriedly began to walk again, leaving Dandelion red faced and blinking uncontrollably in his absence.
Hazel was waiting for Dandelion to return and pounced on him as soon as he entered the honeycomb.
"Ah! Dandelion, just the chap I've been after, come come we must make haste- my, why do you looked so flushed?"
Dandelion grinned sheepishly but said nothing and so Hazel simply shrugged away his suspicions and continued to push and prod him out of the honeycomb and back into fresh air.
"Bigwig's discovered some sort of strange… Well, winding sort of thing down near Nuthanger- some place towards the bottom of Watership." he explained.
Dandelion frowned and failed to see how this concerned him.
Hazel sensed this and winked at him. "I rather fancy sending you and Blackberry down there to investigate for me- yes two sensible fellows like you seem trustworthy."
Deep in his stomach, Dandelion felt a ball of pride rising within him. "Y-you mean...?"
Hazel nodded his head and waved him off to join Blackberry who was waiting some way down the Down. "No need for thanks just get going and good heavens be careful!" He watched as the two of them ran off like a proud parent sending his children off to school for the first time. I just hope this all goes right, he thought.