A couple days went by and Chelsea's farm was doing well. Her crops were sprouting and her pets were happy. She was finishing work early lately and considering investing in a chicken coop. No sense in ending her day at noon when she could use the time to expand her farm. With a decisive tug to tighten her bandana, Chelsea set off to Gannon's shop.

As she crossed the bridge to Sprout Island she was startled by what appeared to be a flying hat zooming across her path. An angry cowboy was close behind.

"Come back here, you stupid bird! Give me my hat back!" he roared, thundering past Chelsea. It was a regular occurrence to see Vaughn pissed off, but it was pretty funny to see him bested by a bird. And chasing after his own hat, no less! For the serious, reclusive cowboy, this was almost too jovial an activity.

Denny was following close on Vaughn's heels, looking terrified. "Popper! C'mon, give Vaughn his hat back!" he cried desperately. Chelsea giggled. Struck by sudden inspiration, she reached into her rucksack and pulled out a fish.

"Here, Popper!" she called, waving the fish to-and-fro. Popper turned, flitting directly over Vaughn's head, and fluttered over to Chelsea. "That's it," she exclaimed happily, continuing to wave the fish. The bird darted in to take it, but Chelsea pulled away. "Ah, ah, ah," she tisked, "Drop the hat first."

Popper glanced around reluctantly, but the fish was so dazzlingly bright in the afternoon sunshine. "C'mon, Popper, drop the hat," Chelsea prodded. Popper slowly released his grip on the hat's brim and hopped delicately into Chelsea's palm. After a short examination, the fish disappeared down Popper's gullet. "Good boy!" Chelsea cooed, nuzzling the bird, "Good birdie!" Popper squawked happily.

The force of the boy's stares jolted Chelsea to remember that she had an audience. Without saying a word, Denny took Popper from Chelsea's hand, and Vaughn bent to retrieve his hat. The silence made Chelsea uncomfortable.

"So… Denny, I thought Popper was shy?" she prompted, sidling over to him.

Denny looked a little shell-shocked, and was staring in stupid horror at the muttering cowboy. "I put this down for one second…" Vaughn said, pulling his hat squarely back onto his head.

Chelsea nudged Denny. "Dennyyyyy," she drew out, trying to get his attention. She waved a hand in front of his face. "Denny?"

Shaking himself, Denny emerged from his petrifaction. "I'm so sorry Vaughn! Popper has a thing about hats- that's why I wear the bandana. I was going to warn you when you took the hat off, but Popper was faster. He's too shy to nab it when it's on you but you took it off so… Sorry…" he apologized.

If looks could kill Vaughn would have vaporized Denny right there and then. Chelsea nervously stepped in between the two. "Easy, Vaughn. It wasn't his fault. And you have your hat back now," she soothed, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. Vaughn took a deep breath. He searched Chelsea's eyes, as if seeking conformation that everything was okay. She gave him a tentative smile.

"Whatever," he relinquished gruffly, turning his face away. He very deliberately picked up Chelsea's hand, moved it to the side, and dropped it. "I'm going back to work," he announced, and just like that walked off as if nothing had ever happened.

Chelsea stared after him, wondering what it was about the hat that had him so upset. Sure, Vaughn was easy to annoy, but there was something deeper going on with the incident that she couldn't put her finger on. He had seemed more panicked than angry.

"Wow," Denny breathed, breaking Chelsea out of her reverie, "I've never seen anything like that." His brown eyes were focused on Chelsea, wide with hero worship.

"Like what?" Chelsea asked self-consciously.

"Like you and Vaughn. I thought for sure he was going to kill me. Popper too, for that matter. But you- You calmed him down," Denny elaborated. He rubbed the back of his neck with a sheepish grin. "That guy scares the crap outta me," he added.

Chelsea laughed. "Oh, he's not so bad, really. A bit cold, but his heart's in the right place," she brushed off. Denny shook his head disbelievingly.

"Well, thanks anyway," he said. Chelsea nodded and started to move around him on her way.

"Wait!" Dry cried, grabbing her wrist. "Why don't you come over? I could use some help making nets. And I haven't seen you since that time you fainted," he offered.

Chelsea blinked, unsure of what to say. Denny faltered.

"Oh, am I asking too much?" he inquired sadly, "Sorry. It's just that I don't get to spend a lot of time with other people, I'm always fishing and-"

"No, no, you're alright, Denny," Chelsea interrupted, "It's just that I was headed to Gannon's shop to order a chicken coop. I could stop by you house after if you want." She rubbed her ear nervously. Denny smiled.

Not sure why these are getting progressively shorter. Oh well. I'm sure you could tell the last chapter was an adaptation of Vaughn's heart event, but this chapter is all me. I will continue trying to incorporate actual events, but if I have an idea outside of the game I'll write that too. A little upset that I had to make Denny seem like a wimp in this chapter, but do not worry, that will get better! Nothing like a love rivalry to make someone come out of their shell :)

And please, please, PLEASE review. It makes my day.