StormofyourDestiny: Greetings, readers! Me and MidnightSakuraBlossom are here with our first-time collaboration fic! That's right, we wrote this and exchanged plot points and ideas together, it was rather fun I admit!
MidnightSakuraBlossom: I know, right? I loved staying up at midnight high on coffee and throwing ideas around. *Sighs* Brings back memories from when we were tweens...wait, what the fuck? I'm still young! I'm twenty, I shouldn't be talking like an old hag! TT_TT
StormofyourDestiny: ...Mmm hmm. *Hands a box of tissues to MSB* Ahem, yes, so you should know that not all chapters were written by one person. We each are taking turns writing them, so don't feel confused if there's any difference in the writing style. Although we do write a little similar (we would not if I didn't type a little bit more American than I usually use in speech. But my dear friend claims that most of the people who read this stuff are American and would find my use of Scottish and British English intimidating. Ah, the life of being mostly Scottish/British and having an Italian-American-born friend...) at times.
MidnightSakuraBlossom: *Slips out of her sorrow and smiles again* So this story will be long, we're guessing it should have...maybe twenty chapters at the most. Honestly, we don't have a clue. But this long-fic is based off of my good friend's one-shot "We're Getting WHAT?", a sequel of sorts. You should read that one first, not only will it give you information that you may need to understand this story...but it's soooo adorable~! *Is a huge Orland fan just like SYD*
StormofyourDestiny: Orland and Aria are sixteen, they have developed feelings for each other and wish to be married since they are the legal age now. But complications arise because of past mistakes, misunderstandings, grudges and scars, and even an unexpected pregnancy!
MidnightSakuraBlossom: This first chapter was written by SYD. I let her kick it off so to speak. We hope that you like the fic, 'cause we are crossing our fingers right now and hoping to God it's well-received by the reading public!
MidnightSakuraBlossom, StormofyourDestiny: Nether of us own Rune Factory BTW.
Forever And Always?
Written By: StormofyourDestiny and MidnightSakuraBlossom
Chapter 01: Where We Are Now
Alvarna is a small place in the kingdom of Norad. Not very big or populated, way out in the countryside. But it was a place where mostly everyone stuck together even during the unpredicted drama that conjures up from nowhere.
Aria loved living here, however. She couldn't imagine ever living because this was definitely a nice life she had. Her father, Kyle, was very good with farmwork and she inherited his love of it and dreams of making a success out of it. Her mother was pretty and smart and a nurse. Her twin brother could be a pain because of his skirt-chasing ways, and the fact he wanted to someday travel the world and see new places, but she loved him deep down. They all lived together on a farm and had some pretty tight friendships forged over the years.
Aria loved to go out into the various monster-infested areas to go adventuring. She learned how to use weapons and magic at a young age because of her father suddenly disappearing and not returning. At least her and her brother could bring him back.
Who is Aria? A teenage girl, almost sixteen years old. Her and Aaron's birthday was on Spring tenth, which was in five more days. Needless to say, both were excited. Aria was adventurous, spirited, a little awkward when it came to girly topics, and shy when it came to the opposite sex.
Her downfalls were simple and straight to the point: she was still a bit tomboyish (though she could not be compared to Cammy, whom was now in her twenties and married to Roy. It was amazing how they put up with each other.) and naïve to the world around her. This caused her to get into her fair share of awkward situations throughout her life. Aaron, of course, getting dragged head first into it all when his efforts to sooth things fizzled out.
The sun began to gently reach into a newly-remodeled farmhouse, through the windows of a small bedroom. A lump underneath the mess of blankets squirmed momentarily before giving in and sitting up. The covers fell, to reveal a teenage girl with shoulder-length red hair going in every direction, drooping hazel eyes, and pale-ish skin. She brought a hand to her mouth and yawned loudly.
"Aria! Aaron! Wake up!" Could be heard outside the room in a small hallway that led to each bedroom. Aria tried to fight back the urge to sleep and gave in to her father's usual wake-up calls. She loved him of course, but they did get on her nerves sometimes.
Right when her feet hit the floor, someone began knocking on her bedroom door. "Aria, are you awake yet? Do we have to take drastic measures?"
Drastic measures implies he will burst in armed with most horrible food item in the world: disgusting fried rice. Aria thought to herself, just the thought of fried rice made her cringe. It wasn't that it was totally uneatable...however... I once got sick off of some bad fried rice when I was eleven, can't even look at it the same way now. I feel like I'll puke.
"Aria, are you awake?"
"Yes, Dad, I'm up! I'm up!"
"So I can go stuff this plate of fried rice I bought from Yue the other day back into the fridge?"
Aria merely clasped a hand over her mouth, hoping that the brief image of a picture of fried rice wouldn't make her throw up all the contents of her stomach right there. It was admittedly a little harsh that Kyle resorted to this to get her up, but sometimes...being a little cruel is just the kind of parenting you need. Especially with kids like Aaron and Aria.
Moments later, Aaron yawned loudly and stretched his arms above his head as he padded through the small hallway of the farmhouse. His dad had woken him up right when he was having the most beautiful dream about two certain twins he has been chasing since he was kid; Sera and Serena. Occasionally he wondered if he could ever win those two over completely, but he knew that there would come a day he would have to make that deadly choice...which one of them he liked the most.
Aaron was certainly getting taller now, he was maybe two inches over Aria whom was a little beyond average height. His messy red hair fell to his shoulders, slightly spiked at the edges. His hazel eyes were drooping with the desire to curl back up and resume his enticing dream, but his determination to not get yelled at and lectured won and fought it back. He was clad in a tan-colored short-sleeved shirt that went to just above his pelvis with a holder for weapons and items fastened around that,
worn black pants, and brown boots that reached just above his ankle – Kyle had given them to him last year for his birthday saying that they had a magical ability to make him more agile in combat and it actually was true.
Aaron finally made it to his sister's room and didn't bother to knock before busting in. His sister – slightly older than him by a total of one and half minutes – was standing in front of her full-length mirror dressed in her usual clothes and now brushing her short red hair that was held in two thin and slightly spiked ponytails resting at her shoulder blades.
Seeing his reflection in the mirror, Aria smiled in an attempt to disguise her irritation of his lack of respect for privacy and turned to face him. She couldn't help but chuckle darkly as she noticed how tired he seemed to be.
He was obviously dreaming about Sera and Serena again. It seemed like he just couldn't shake his feelings for either of the two now-beautiful girls.
Aria was now taller, a little more than average height but still couldn't look at Aaron face to face anymore. She had grown up a lot, now more developed in certain areas and also quite fit and strong from all the fighting she does in the monster-infested areas of the kingdom. She now was clad in long-sleeved white shirt that covered the stomach, a knee-length olive-clored skirt with leggings under that, and short, somewhat heeled boots that their mother had given her from when she was younger.
"I see someone in this room has been dreaming about two twins from school~" Aria sang teasingly, once she grinned smugly at the realization. She then chuckled to herself at seeing Aaron glare at her defensively. The older twin merely shook her head and tossed the hairbrush back on a vanity table. "Lighten up, Aaron. It's just a joke."
"I can't deal with this now, sis...there's something strange about these dreams..." Aaron seemed to say this uncomfortably, his tone became lowered and more nervous as he went on. Aria couldn't help but notice this as she grabbed a brown bag for items and attached it to the decorative belt loosely hanging around her tiny waist.
"Yeah, people tend to dream about someone they love." Aria deadpanned as if this was the most obvious thing in the world, she chuckled again and pushed past her brother to get through the door arch, but that was when he grasped her arm tightly to prevent her.
"Hear me out, there's something not right about these dreams. They come every night now, without warning. I don't mind seeing it all, Sera and Serena are so gorgeous...but...they act so...so..."
"So what? Aaron, what do Sera and Serena do in your silly, wish-fulfillment dreams?"
"Actually, I'm embarrassed to say."
"Pfft. That's no fun! You're such a weirdo sometimes!"
Aaron furrowed his brows together and was near arguing back. Like every other time something of this effect happened in the morning, he never got the chance to get her back because Aria was already ungracefully leaving the room and then sliding down the staircase to get into the kitchen for some breakfast.
With a sigh, her ignored brother tried to push out any remembrance of his odd dreams and made his way into the kitchen after her.
Just minutes before school began, the twins arrived at the front doors after scarfing down their breakfast like usual and heading off. Each morning seemed to go this way for them ever since years ago, when their father finally returned home. But neither could complain, they liked where things were now...it felt like their lives were normal.
And little did they know, their lives were about to get very eventful very soon.
Aria was the first to arrive at the large, maroon doors of the school building. It hadn't changed much and still had the rustic and comfortable atmosphere as it always had when she was young. She patiently stood there, arms folded and a small smile present on her face as she watched the few students pass back and forth or talk with each other.
She could make out Aaron walking between Sera and Serena, they were joking together and laughing. Their good moods were contagious as always. The two twins were so beautiful now, but they hadn't changed much other than that. Sera was still a little tomboy-ish while Serana still liked to be quiet and hit the books.
Leann was alone, she was gorgeous too almost like a fragile doll as she made her way into the school stopping only to give Aria a kind smile as the two were pretty good friends. Aria had returned the smile and gave a belated 'hi'. But the person she was waiting for had not arrived yet.
Leonal was probably already in the building, this was what Aria assumed. He liked to arrive early for some reason that she still didn't quite understand. She and him got along fine, although he did still have a little crush on her that he masked often. Aria merely brushed it off if anyone else mentioned it, but she didn't have the heart to reject another person by telling them to give it up. So she still let him be her friend.
Finally, as the seconds ticked and ticked, a certain elf had finally shown himself for the day. Aria could feel her flat lips form a smile and her mood to perk up at sight of him. And she also reminded her heart to not skip a beat, Orland was pretty sexy now...but that doesn't mean she should let herself fall so low and fawn over a friend because of that shallow reason.
Orland strolled up to the building with a certain way that could make the girls swoon whether they wanted to admit it or not. He was so cool and composed, like he could take a big-bladed sword and chop up a monster without even blinking. Although, this was a funny thought for Aria. She knew he would never do that. But she did often joke about him being a knight in shining armor to come to her rescue when they went into those dangerous areas together.
His light blond hair fell a few inches below his shoulders, wavy and silky like girls'. His blue eyes were constantly slanted and almost always cold and clouded. His skin was pale and delicate from a distance. And he was clad in a light gray shirt with one sleeve, his chest slightly exposed, pale blue pants, and thin sandals.
And it was no secret around the school that he was labeled the sexiest guy by the girls, he would always be very composed and never even look at them when they giggled and joked about it. If it were someone like Aaron in his place, now he would have probably let it go to his head.
"Orland, good morning!" Aria called out, her smile so bright that the sun above them had some competition. Orland didn't even flinch when she came over quickly and casually threw an arm around his neck and held a gaze with him. "Well, is there something you want to say to me...?"
"What is it, Aria?"
"You don't know...do you?" Aria pouted for a second, before giving Orland a look full of fake hurt. She was almost a master at doing this, it was a way she always had her way with the adults when she was a child. Everyone else at the time wished they possessed her skills. "Try and guess at least! Five days from now going to be a big day for me and Aaron."
It didn't take seconds for a case of realization to hit. Orland knew what was going on now, he nodded and met her eyes again. "Your birthdays are nearing, right?"
"Yup, we're going to be sixteen! Practically adults!" Oh, the mere thought of it made Aria more than just excited. She couldn't help but pump her fist in the air and fantasize about what lie ahead in life. "I will be legal to marry, drink, and buy sexual-related items and entertainment. Oh, I can't wait for it...it will be so awesome."
"Being sixteen isn't all that great," Orland reminded Aria, deadpanning almost. His lack of enthusiasm about their birthdays murdered the mood. Aria could merely grimace. "I've been sixteen for two days now and all my dad does is lecture me about being a man and that I need to be very strong and responsible for everyone I care about. Mother claims he's right, she tells me I must do this to be a good husband in the future." A very faint shade of pink sneaked into his cheeks at the last part, Orland's gaze retreated from Aria's features and leveled to the ground. "Needless to say, I need a break away from them. Being older is not all that great when you begin to realize-"
"Oh, Orland, you really like to ruin any fun. You're still the same old grumpy, reserved boy I used to know and go weak to my knees over!" It was supposed to be playful teasing, Aria knew this. And she would have ordinarily laughed more than what she did after saying that.
But she...didn't. It was more strained than anything.
The held a gaze for a moment, a short time period of which Aria was smiling in a wave of nostalgia and Orland began to compare their relationship now to when they had first met.
When they first met, Orland never had any intention of befriending her. Even though his father wasn't quite as rude and bitter towards humans, he still had certain grudges and Orland just adopted a bit of hostility towards them as well. But Aria...she wasn't about to give up on making him change his ways. She was a determined girl whom didn't easily let him walk away thinking that she and other humans were disgusting and beneath him.
Aria did anything to befriend him. Finally, it payed off. They became something of friends, although Orland refused to admit it to anyone he didn't label trustworthy to keep that on the down low. In fact, it wasn't much of a secret that when young, they had developed crushes on each other and even did a ridiculous pretend wedding at the church.
The only witnesses to that affair were strictly Gordon and Cammy. And Orland made the two bigmouths swear to keep what had been seen classified. Laughing, the two promised to never speak of it again in their or in the company. Thankfully; they kept it shut all this time because no one else had any idea.
Now, Orland wondered if he managed to rid himself of that haunting crush. They were practically adults, or soon to be. And they were only kids at the time, too young to understand what love was.
If anything, he was totally over her. Aria, in return, was totally over him. Just as it...should be?
Discarding the thought, Orland noticed Aria was beginning to walk into the building as the bell began to ring loudly. He followed alongside her as the conversation resumed.
"Anyway, I don't think you seem to understand what it means to be getting older. More responsibilities and worries, more or less."
"Maybe so, Orland. But me and Aaron can take it, we're both so ready to grow up and have everyone else stop viewing us as children."
"If either of you would act more mature, maybe your parents and all of the other adults around the town wouldn't think of you as children."
"I take offense to that!" Aaron called out, Orland and Aria paused in one of the long hallways of the school to see the latter's brother walk up wearing an offended look. "Orland, who says I'm not mature? Years ago, at nine or eight, I actually fought monsters with my sister and trained myself to wield swords. I even set aside time for schoolwork and relationships too." His look faded into a more smug one as a smirk appeared on his lips. "No one can say we haven't grown up. And soon, everyone will realize it."
"Can't wait!" Aria cried out with thrill before giving her brother a high five. Orland watched the scene, rolling his eyes.
It seemed like neither of them would understand. Maybe it was just because he had always been the most serious one out of basically the entire town ever since he could remember. Rarely smiling, laughing, or generally feeling like life was fantastic. Jake and Cecilia never could understand fully why he was like this, and he could never give an answer.
Some may say he just matured fast, or he just was more in tune with the darker side of the world. He knew about suffering, death, all kinds of bad things that happened in surrounding places. Other children at the time would have either been traumatized by hearing that stuff or brush it off.
Maybe of these days, the twins would realize not everything was perfect and as it should be.
"Aaron, come with us!"
"Class is about to start, we want to sit near you!"
The trio looked down the hall to see Sera and Serena leaning against the wall near the door to the main classroom. Both were smiling flirtatiously and beckoning their crush over.
The two still looked similar to each other and barely left the others' side. However, there were some differences to distinguish the two.
Sera's hair was still short and barely reaching down her neck, silver and decorated with an indigo decoration around her head to keep her fringe separated from her eyes. She had gotten more curvier and busty for her age. She wore a sky blue dress with long sleeves that reached to her mid-thigh. Black tight pants. And silver sandals reaching up above her ankle with tied straps.
Serena's hair was longer down her waist in a long braid and her fringes concealed her forehead entirely. She wore some silver jewelry like looped earrings and multiple bracelets. She wore a violet dress almost exactly like her sister's except for the fact it reached her knees and was slit on the sides exposing her tight black pants. She wore silver, worn boots. She was just as curvy as her sister, and unconsciously drew males' gazes to her, as her chest was larger than hers, she tried not to get attention however. It made her feel embarrassed.
"I'm coming!" Aaron turned back to Aria and Orland, a blush slightly rising to his cheeks as they looked on knowingly. "So, you two can finish your talk. I'm gonna go on to class."
"Aaron, you're seriously going to-"
"Yes, yes, I know what you're going to say, sis. 'Choose between Sera and Serena, you can't date both'." How many times has he been told he needed to choose between the two gorgeous twins? Too many to count. But he liked both, he didn't know what the hell to do. "It's not like we don't know that, but Sera and Serena both care about me and I return it. Isn't happiness all that matters?"
"Aaron, I'm not one to wear my heart on my sleeve," Orland commented with no emotion in it. What else could Aaron do but scoff at this? "In your place, I would try and consider which of them you prefer. Maybe they look almost the same, but they both have varying personality traits and habits that you may prefer over the other."
"Orland is right, but happiness still matters. You have a point..." Aria sighed and looked off into the distance as she got a mental picture of their parents. Kyle and Dorothy seemed so happy together, though she sometimes wondered if there was any conflict in them hooking up. "Anyway, all we want you to understand is that dating the two of them at the same time gives unfortunate implications and what if you want to marry them? Last time I checked; a man can't have two wives in this kingdom."
"No one said that when we did a pretend wedding when we were kids..."
"Yeah, little brother, but you have to realize Sera and Serena just thought it was a tea party. Or something like that. When you came home flustered and lovestruck, you never told me or Mom much of the inside details. Which, now, I would be more than interested in hearing."
Before Aaron could reply hotly, the twins skipped over and then dragged a barely-protesting Aaron with them so they could find some good desks together or something like that. The two really liked Mana's classes after all and tended to be early.
Aria and Orland quietly made it to class together after this. Unknown to him, the spirited red-haired girl kept stealing looks at him. Just smiling fondly as she compared how things were now as to when they were young and almost completely carefree. Thinking about how she used to have a big crush on him – which she was totally sure had vanished hopefully – and always dreamed about the day they would finally be married for real. It was almost embarrassing to admit she had no clue what he meant that day they confessed and he claimed they should get married.
And there were times, as they grew up and matured, that iffy moments popped up. Moments that were a light case of sexual tension like accidentally holding hands intimately, making compliments come out a little too flirty, and not deny rumors that they were boyfriend and girlfriend even though they were false.
Of course, crushes like that don't last. And there was no way she was becoming like Aaron and being trapped in a hopeless romantic dilemma. For now, their lives would remain the same.
To get off this uncomfortable topic, Aria switched the focus to her and Aaron's birthdays coming up. She couldn't wait, it would be awesome. Hopefully unforgettable...
If only she knew what she was about to fall head first into.
To Be Continued In Chapter 02
StormofyourDestiny: Yes, yes, the first chapter was complete shit. But I can assure you that it will hopefully get better as we go. This was mainly one of those introductions designed to be boring and give you a general idea of the current plot points and character relationships. What it will all be like. Think of it like the first episode of most anime.
MidnightSakuraBlossom: ANIME RULES INFO: EACH EPISODE MUST DRAG ON AND ON AND INTRODUCE THE CHARACTERS AND GIVE A CRAP TON OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLOT BEFORE ANYTHING EXCITING HAPPENS. Right, my friend?
StormofyourDestiny: You understand this concept very well, at least. Here, my best friend in the whole world: your prize is a special chocolate cupcake with sprinkles atop. *Tosses MSB the cupcake*
MidnightSakuraBlossom: *Catches the cupcake and eats it fast*
StormofyourDestiny: Now then, there are plenty more cupcakes leftover for reviewers. If you press that button, send a message, and maybe even make two fellow authors' day, you win them. And you, yourself, will also win in general. 8) Hope you liked the chapter, and we shall continue to keep up this story no matter how long it takes to finish! Bye bye now~!
~ StormofyourDestiny and MidnightSakuraBlossom