Chapter Seven: Home Away from Home
"Home sweet home." The old man rasped as he pushed the wooden door open. The front room was modest, with a single window that allowed 'sunlight' to fill the room. There was a round table with twigs used as legs and a red poker chip for the counter-top. To the right of the doorway there was a small kitchen with a small counter, and a wood stove. Arrietty had no idea how they'd managed to get such a thing, it looked like it had just been plucked out of a 'beans' house and shrunk to accommodate the borrowers.
"Are you just goin' to stand there, or are you going to look around?" The old man placed two keys on the kitchen counter. "Those are for the door." he explained, "to keep the prowlers out."
Arrietty nodded as he turned to leave. "Thank you Mr…"
"Nally." The old man finished. Of course. Arrietty internally chided, it makes sense, he does own this place after all.
The door clicked shut and Arrietty turned to see Spiller shifting his bags off his shoulders and onto the floor. He stretched his arms up above his head, trying to shake away the soreness in his back.
"Are you alright?" Arrietty asked, just a twinge of concern in her voice.
Spiller quickly nodded. "Just little tired." He assured.
Arrietty shrugged and moved through the apartment. There was a tiny bathroom, with barely enough room for a tub and a small bedroom with two beds, which were really just empty boxes with no lid filled with a single cushion.
It was plain, at least for now.
Arrietty walked over to the bag that sat in the middle of the living room and pulled out the wax, thread, and a pan she'd brought with her. She then used some of the wood stacked by the fireplace to light a fire.
She placed some of the wax in the pan and allowed it to melt, then held the thread erect in the soupy substance as she lifted it from the stove to the counter and waited for it to cool just enough for her to mold it into a cylindrical shape.
She continued to do this until all the wax had been used up. They still had some leftover strings so she looked up to see if Spiller would know what to do with them.
"Spiller-" She started only to have her words catch in her throat before they passed her lips.
He was slouched on the ground his form slumped against one of their bags. Most of the supplies had been unpacked and were sitting on the floor next to him. Arrietty slowly crept foreword until she was squatting in front of him.
His long, messy black hair hung over his closed eyelids that fluttered as he dreamt. Arrietty brushed some of the hair away from his eyes, and before she even realized what she was doing, she felt her hand rest on his soft cheek.
A heat rushed over her face and she quickly turned away, tucking her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. Letting her chin rest on her hands, she allowed her head to tip just slightly to the side, giving her the perfect view of Spiller.
He looks so young. She thought as her eyes trailed up and down his face. It was so strange to see him look so safe and relaxed. All of a sudden, the world blacked out.
Arrietty jumped and immediately grabbed onto Spiller's arm. She felt him jolt awake and instinctively wrap his arm around her.
"What wrong?" he asked quickly, completely alert. Almost as if he'd never been asleep.
"I-it got dark all of a sudden." She replied, embarrassed by the fear she heard in her own voice.
Spiller made a deep sound from inside his throat, which Arrietty perceived as understanding. "Fake night." He said. Then Arrietty remembered. The borrowers had set up a switch that could turn the lights on and off in the city. She felt her cheeks sting with embarrassment. She'd woken him up for nothing.
She scooted away, quickly running her fingers through her hair. It's dark, so it doesn't matter if it looks bad. She thought, letting her hand fall to her side. Besides, it wasn't like she was trying to impress anyone- was she?
She felt a rough, warm hand slip into hers and pull her to her feet. She hadn't even heard Spiller had stand up. She accidentally bumped into his chest. She looked up and only saw darkness. She felt his breath on her face, sending shivers down her spine.
Spiller, seemingly not bothered by the intimacy, led her out of the dark room. Could she even call it that? Was being alone with Spiller considered intimacy? Probably not, besides, it wasn't like they were like that… He was like her brother, right?
Brothers don't make you blush. She thought offhandedly.
She heard the sound of curtains sliding open and felt her eyes widen. She had never seen anything quite like this.
Stringed lights hung above the streets, they were the same as the ones beans put on trees when it was wintertime. They set of a glow in the streets despite the darkness that completely surrounded the city or ally ways where the light didn't quite reach.
"Wow…" Arrietty breathed softly. They were like tiny little stars floating just above their heads, almost close enough to touch…
She pressed her fingertips against the cool glass of the window. If only Shawn were here to see this… She thought. Wait, had she just thought of Shawn? Arrietty's breath caught in her throat as her hand fell away from the window. A sudden sadness crept into her heart, pulling and tugging at the memories she'd tried to tuck away.
It had seemed like she'd been forgetting him, maybe even moving on… but now that she was standing here she felt the incredible desire to share the sight with him.
Arrietty turned around, forcing a smile on her face. "Yes?"
Spiller's brows were knitted together with worry and he let his hand slip to the side of her pale cheek. It wasn't something that he would have normally done, but the look on her face had been one of pure… sadness.
Spiller didn't say anything, but Arrietty knew what he'd wanted to ask. Her heart beat quickly under the intensity of his gaze, so she quickly cleared her throat and turned towards the window again. "Could you take me out there?" She asked pointing to the glowing streets below.
Spiller, not forgetting the pained look Arrietty had worn just moments ago, gave her a grin. "Yes." He said, pushing the thought to the back of his mind.
He allowed his hand to fall to the small of her back. Arrietty felt a sudden sting in her chest, making her feel sick, almost how one felt after telling a lie. Arrietty shoved the feeling aside; it wasn't like she'd be seeing Shawn again anyways, so why did she still miss him. It had been so long… does he even still think about me? She wondered as Spiller led her out the front door.
Sho let the cool breeze lift the dark hair off his forehead as he leaned out his bedroom window. It took a deep breath, letting the clean air fill his lungs. It was always nights like these that made him think of Arrietty. He felt his hand creep up to the small red hairpin he wore clipped to a string.
She really had made him stronger. He smiled fondly at the memories of the small girl who'd given him hope in a time where hope had seemed like a child's dream. I guess I am still a child… He thought off handedly as he turned back to the window.
Little stars had begun to dot the slowly darkening sky, and a full moon had already risen.
He had a nice view from his room; in fact, it had been one of the only things he'd missed from his old house. Unfortunately, for most of his child hood, Shawn had been forced to live in the children's hospital.
Shawn's head shot up. He scanned the room carefully. His mind had immediately gone to borrowers, no… Arrietty said that there weren't that many left. He thought quickly.
Sighing, he flopped down on his bed, the necklace with Arrietty's pin lying beside his face on the pillow.
Arrietty… His heart clenched tightly at the thought of her. She was his first friend, and one of the most beautiful girls he'd ever seen in his life. Of course he'd known from the beginning that nothing like that would work out between them, but even so, he held a deep affection in his hear for Arrietty.
The tiny girl who'd somehow made his world grow large.
The sound of birds chirping filled Shawn's ears and the bright sunlight seemed to shine directly in his eyes.
With a yawn the boy sat up and stretched his arms, looking towards the still open window.
He felt his hand unconsciously creep up the cord around his neck. Wait- He thought. His heart began to hammer frantically and he clawed at the string. Searching.
"No…" He whispered despairingly, feeling tears sting his eyes. The hairpin was gone. Shawn leaped off the bed and crawled along the floor searching with his eyes and hands he clamored about. "No!" Shawn cried out when he realized the pin was not there.
He pressed his palms against his forehead. He'd had it last night, he was sure of it. Then… he'd heard a noise. Shawn's head shot up and he rose to his feet and stalked over to the windowsill.
When he saw the small tracks of dirt just the size to be tiny footprints he felt a sudden wave of anger. How could they take that pin from him! He clenched his fists as his fury dissipated almost as quickly as it had come.
A thick sadness weighed down heavily on him. He knew why they did it; they had to in order to survive. But still. He thought, digging his fingernails into the palm of his hand as the tears rolled down his cheeks. How could they?
A/N: SALBFEBCABCA! I'm so sorry! D': I know I'm the worst person in the world for not updating this quickly, but unfortunately I've been having a lack of inspiration. Believe it or not I've been working on this chapter for MONTHS and the words just wouldn't flow. I kind of had to hack out this chapter for yoy, so I'm sorry that it's so short, but I really wanted to try to finish it for you guys. Again, I apologize; it's just been really hard for me to find time for writing lately.
Anyhow, just so you know, it may take me longer to update (like you guys haven't noticed yet, haha) And due to lack of inspiration I may have to work on other projects for a bit to get the creative juices flowing again. Just so you know, I'M NOT GIVING THIS STORY UP! I'll just be a bit slow at updates.
I also want you guys to know how much I appreciate each and every single one of you. From those who review to those that don't, I hope you know how much I love you! Thank you for your continued support as I continue to write this story :)
yunadance6: I'm so glad you love it!
PessimistGirl: Yuuupppp, I wanted to show Arrietty that not every borrower is as kind as Spiller is…
Annab1119: Thank you for following!
wordsflowfreely: Here's the update –ducks behind desk- I'm sorry It's so late!
Anabelle9: Thank you! As for Shawn… well, you'll just have to keep reading to see how that developes… ;)
cjmej123: I'm glad you love it! (here's a new chapter that I hope you love as well :)
Dazh: (I'm replying to both your reviews here) I'm so sorry! Here's an update, and I hope it doesn't disappoint. Thanks for being so patient :)
Doodle0505: Thanks haha. I wish I wasn't one of the only people writing for them though… they really deserve more acknowledgements than they get… Thanks for the review :)
M.J. Ethreal: Thank you! And I agree the lack of stories for Spilletty is very upsetting : ( I'm so glad you think my story is well written, It means a lot to me.
To Spiller: Will you tell Arrietty your feelings or ask Pod for her hand first?
Spiller- Ung! – looks away abruptly, trying to hide the growing blush on his dirt stained cheeks- Spiller… D- do not… understand what 'asking for hands' is…
A/N: Review! Critisism is welcome :)