A/N: Welcome to the first chapter of 'Sleepover Extravaganza'! As the summary states, it's about Gill having to stay with Luke for a few days. I originally intended it to be really funny, but the first half of this chapter kind of… isn't. Mostly because Luke doesn't come in until half way through! I hope you like it! I want to thank Theatrelove123 for helping me with this!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon: Animal Parade.
Chapter One: An Invitation He Can't Refuse
It was a quiet autumn morning the day Gill's life took a turn for the worse. Outside, the leaves were just beginning to change from green to red, orange, and yellow, and few had already fallen to the ground below. The sky was overcast, the sun hidden, and a light breeze rippled through the air. The people of Harmonica Town were out and about, as always, busy with their everyday lives. They traveled from their own shop, to other shops, to other parts of town, back to their shops, always on the move. However, on that day, Gill wasn't "out and about" like everyone else was. Instead, he was in his house, sitting in the small library in the back of the house, reading a book. He flipped through the pages aimlessly, vaguely taken in what was written in the small font, but not paying too much attention to anything in particular. It was a normal day in the mayor's household. A normal day for Gill.
Until he heard his father yell, "FIRE!" from the kitchen.
For a second, Gill sat still in his chair, staring at the open door that his father's voice had come from, wondering if this was some sort of silly trick. But then he saw smoke pouring from the next room over, and the air began to heat up much too fast for comfort. Gill dropped his book and ran for the back door as fast as his scrawny legs could carry him.
When he dashed outside and spun around to face the house, he could now clearly see the flames devouring one part of it; where the kitchen had been. Gill's face drained of the little color is had previously possessed. His room was next to the kitchen!
He ran around to the front of the house, where he saw his father, looking panicked and scared, bouncing on his feet, clearly not knowing what to do. Gill was about to yell at his incompetent father, tell him that he was the mayor of the town, he should do something! But he was cut short when he heard footsteps running their way. The owner of the bar and the owner of the fishery were running towards the blazing house, while many other town folk had gathered outside of their own houses and shops, staring at the house in horror. Gill saw the whole scene play out in slow motion as he saw someone run to fetch the hose by the stone docks across the street, then they were back, then they were spraying water onto the fire, onto his own house…
In a few minutes, the last of the flames were out, but they had certainly done their damage. Nearly half the house had been burnt down: some of the wood framing and foundation remained, but the rest was all piles of ash and burn objects, buried in the black leftovers. The other half of the house looked pretty good, though sooty and incomplete; incomplete without the other half of the house to complete it.
Then people were giving Hamilton and his son apologies; putting a hand on Hamilton's shoulder and saying they were sorry, offering any help they could give, offering to buy him new furniture, give him places to stay. One person said they would call the carpenter's to start on fixing the house. But it was mostly sorry's. It was just like after Gill's mother had died, only not quite that devastating.
When some of the people finally cleared off, Gill approached the mayor. Hamilton was staring at his house, a slightly distraught expression on his face.
"Father?" Gill asked, trying to keep his voice even. He had spent his whole life in that house; there were so many memories, so many precious rooms, and objects, and smells, and sounds. And now nearly half of that was all gone.
Hamilton seemed to remember his only son for the first time. Much to everyone's surprise but Gill's, he smiled largely and chuckled. "Oh, Gill, glad to see you are ok! Guess what? Irene and her son kindly offered us a place to stay while our house is being fixed! Isn't that great?"
No, father, that is not great! I want my house back! But Gill didn't speak the words running through his head. He didn't even answer Hamilton's question. Instead, he asked, "Father, what happened? What caused the fire?"
"Oh, well, um…" Hamilton's already-rosy cheeks turned a shade pinker, and the mayor looked a bit… flustered. "You see, son, I was baking some potato pie in the oven, and…" Gill's blue eyes grew wide, seeing where this was going. "…and I sort of left the oven on a little too long! Oops! But that's ok; I was looking into some remodeling jobs, anyways, so-"
"YOU BURNT DOWN OUR HOUSE, AND NOW YOU'RE SAYING THAT'S OK? THAT'S NOT OK, THAT WAS MY HOUSE!" Gill yelled angrily, lashing out at his father, who flinched.
Mayor Hamilton was always a rather clueless, bubbly, cheerful fellow, always laughing, and nearly never taking things seriously unless needed be. He was also very oblivious, forgetful, and clumsy. So it came as no surprise that he would start a fire by leaving a freaking potato pie in the oven too long. And that's what bothered Gill most: it wasn't some freak accident. It was just his father being his own foolish self. As usual.
"I-I'm sorry, Gill…" Hamilton looked discouraged for a moment, then perked right back up again, much to Gill's annoyance. "But staying with someone else might be a good experience for both of us! And now we can get that family time in that we've been so eager about! And you can come to work with me in my office, and we can watch the house get rebuilt, and-"
"No, dad, no!" Gill shouted, using the informal term for 'father' that he tended to usually avoid. "I don't want any family time with you! I'm not going to stay with you- I'm grabbing what's left," he spat the word out like venom, "of my stuff and finding me own place to stay!"
Hamilton looked at him with wide eyes. "B-but…"
Gill already stormed off to the partially destroyed house. Hamilton merely started at him, mouth open. Gill stormed through what used to be a door, swearing under his breath as soot got onto his white pants. He stopped for a second and stared at what used to be a living room. Now it was nothing but a dusty fireplace, some wood framing, and burnt remains of furniture. Gill had to take a second to regain his composure as a flood of memories hit him square in the face, bringing unshed tears into his eyes. His mother sitting in the rocking chair, telling Gill stories. The whole family sitting in front of the fireplace on a stormy winter night, kept warm by the glow of the fire and simply enjoying each other's presence. This was where board games were played on rainy days, where Gill would make fake desks out of cardboard and play mayor, where his mother put Band-Aids on his knees when he would trip and fall…
Gill shook his head, reminding himself why he was here. He walked through the ruined room and into the kitchen, which was just as bad as the living room, if not worse. Refusing to let himself feel vulnerable again, he hurried into where his room used to be. The wall between the kitchen and his room was completely burnt down. His room didn't look much better than the former two; his bed had collapsed and now was only a burnt mattress. His desk was now scrap wood. The floorboards and ceiling up above were falling apart. Gill was surprised the second floor bathroom, which was directly above his room, hadn't collapsed on top of him. Nonetheless, he stepped into the room and headed to the closet, which wasn't looking too good. After digging through lots of his singed possessions, which he tried hard not to think about too much, he found a duffle bag that was in fairly good shape. Then he went to check if any of his clothes survived. He found two pairs of sweater-vests, a few ties, three pairs of boxers, one long-sleeved shirt, and one pair of pants. Gill groaned; as if it weren't bad enough they were all covered in soot! Then he grabbed a few more precious objects that had survived: some toiletries, a hairbrush and hair gel, his wallet, and some of his favorite books. He stuffed all of that in his duffle bag, slung it over his shoulder, and left the partially destroyed house as quickly as possible.
All the while Hamilton had been watching his son weave in and out of view, heading to what used to be his room. After a few minutes, Gill came back outside, his face a mask and a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. Hamilton struggled for words. "Gill, please, I-I'm sorry."
But Gill had already turned his back on his father, as well as the rest of the town, as he walked away across the stone bridge that was the entrance to Harmonica Town. He didn't look back.
It was only when he was approaching Angela's farm when he started to think about what he was supposed to do next. He only had clothes that would last him a day or so, but he didn't want to go back into Harmonica Town and be forced to walk by his old house. But who would he stay with? Where would he go? Angela was out of the question; Gill and her rarely got along. And Garmon Mines just seemed so dirty, so that was also out of the question. Maybe he could stay with Chase? Gill wasn't a great friend of the waiter, but Chase was certainly a fairly tolerable person, and last time Gill checked he lived alone. Yes, that seemed like the best way to go; it was the only option…
Gill had been so deep in thought that he hadn't noticed someone walking the opposite direction as himself, right in the middle of the path, until the two had collided right into each other with a SMACK! Gill was knocked back onto the dirty ground, ruining his clothes even more than before. Grumbling, wondering who would dare to cause the next mayor to fall, he looked up, only to see…
"Gill? Gill! Hey, buddy!"
Standing above Gill was a blue-haired, wild-eyes carpenter, wearing his usual flaming bandana and goofy grin. Gill had met him on a few occasions, when he needed work done from the carpenter's, and, to put it nicely, Luke was without a doubt the most unbearable, intolerable, inferior person Gill knew. And his presence, loud voice, and huge smile were certainly not helping Gill's current situation.
"What's up, buddy? Whatcha doing? Sorry I crashed into you; I was looking at the clouds! I saw one shaped like a bunny, and it was really cute! Anyways, need a hand?" Luke finished his pointless rambling by sticking out a helping hand to the man on the ground. Gill, refusing to stoop that low, got up on his own.
"Please watch where you're going next time," Gill grumbled, doing his best to brush off the dust on his clothes.
Luke put on a pouty face that reminded Gill of a child when they didn't get something they wanted. "But there was a bunny in the sky, Gill! You can't tell me you would be watching where you were going if you saw a bunny in the sky, too!"
"I can, actually," Gill told the man, narrowing his eyes at him.
"Huh. Weird." Luke shrugged. "Anyways, what's up? How's life? What's new?"
Gill, slowly realizing that Luke must be coming to inspect the damages of the house, being the carpenter and all, glared at him. Was this a trick? Was Luke mocking him? Feeling more angry than ever, Gill spat, "I think you know 'what's new', Luke!"
Luke tilted his head to the side. "I do?"
Gill's face was steadily turning redder and redder. "Yes, you do!"
"Hmmm…" Luke looked thoughtful. "Should I guess? Oh, I know, we can play charades! You can act it out then I can guess and-"
"Luke, quit playing around! Why else would you be walking to Harmonica Town?" Gill finally lost his temper.
Luke looked surprised. "Actually, I was just taking a walk. Why? What happened? Was it the Zombie Apocalypse?" He suddenly whipped out his signature axe, seemingly out of nowhere, and started brandishing it like a weapon. "DON'T WORRY, GILL, I'LL PROTECT YOU!"
Gill had to jump out of the way in order to not get chopped in half. "Luke, watch it with that! There aren't any zombies!"
Luke calmed down almost instantly, (well, as calm as Luke could get). "Oh? What, then?"
Gill sighed, finally admitting defeat. "Well, if you really must know, there was just a fire in my house, so I'm just looking for a place to stay…"
Gill regretted those words the second they came out of his mouth.
Luke's hazel eyes suddenly grew as wide as platters.
"No. No, Luke, no." Gill said quickly, holding his hands up defensively. "I know what you're thinking, and I say no!"
But Luke wasn't even listening. His smile grew wider than ever. Next thing Gill knew, Luke had him by the shoulders and was shaking him like a madman. "Gill! Gill Gill Gilligan-Gilly-Gill! You can stay with me!"
Luke laughed, letting go of Gill's shoulders. "Oh, don't be so modest, Gill! You're welcome to stay with us! It'd be so much fun! It'd be like a multi-day sleepover! We could gossip and do each other's hair and play Truth Or Dare and-"
"Absolutely not! I'd rather sleep in the mines than stay with you!"
"Well, that's always an option, too!"
Gill just stared at Luke for a while.
Then Luke said, "I'll go ask Pops right now if you can stay!"
"No, Luke, wait!"
But he had already spun on his heels and was running back down the way he came. Gill stared after him for a while, mouth wide open, trying to comprehend what just happened. Had he, in any way at all, hinted to Luke he wanted to say? Had he asked? Had he even implied? No. Luke just assumed. And now he was going to go ask his father if Gill could stay.
Should I hide? Gill wondered, feeling panicked. I can't stay with them! They're carpenters! I'm a mayor-to-be! Yes, I should hide, or run to Chase's right now, or, or-
But, for whatever reason, Gill didn't move from that spot. And, about twenty minutes later, Luke was running back down the path, waving in his eccentric manner and yelling, "He said you can stay! Isn't that great, Gill? We're going to have SO. MUCH. FUN!"
Gill groaned in pure agony. This was the last thing he wanted to happen.
The day had really gone from bad to worse.
A/N: Hope you liked it! If you did, please review! My biggest pet peeve ever is people who favorite and alert a story, but don't take the time to review! Honestly, it takes a minute, and it makes me happy for the rest of the day!
Next chapter will be up soon; Luke's pretty darn excited :D (But Gill? Not so much)
Thanks for reading!