Chapter 15

Work Hard!

(FLUUUUUFF TIIIIIMMMEE! :3 ) Alice's notes: I bet you thought it was over already! Well it isn't, actually there are at least 5 more chapters to come hopefully with limes and lemons to make up for the lack of them earlier. When I am writting the last chapter or two I will tell everyone because I want to know if you guys was a sequel or not. ^^ I love, love, love your reviews. Please keep them coming I was a little let down by the lack of reaction during Halloween so I didn't update for ages...and I am sorry for that. So Fluff and Lemons and Limes to make it up fro you!

Flaky.

She. Was. Exhausted! Flaky had been through an awful lot that week just like everyone else. It had taken a few days for Melody to completely calm down and recover from her first death. While she didn't seem scared of Flippy or even angry, Flippy was torturing himself for what had happened…and…that made Flaky uneasy. The festival hadn't gone so well but they could all put their heart and soul into the next festival! New Years Eve was always the favoured festival after all.

Another issue was Flippy himself, while Melody's…other part…didn't seem to pop out at certain sounds or triggers Flippy was still very much in a bad situation still. The fireworks and sounds were sure to set him off….the thought alone made her depressed. Flippy didn't say anything but Flaky could tell he was thinking about it as well. The two of them hadn't spoken much since the Christmas night events.
"Flaky!" Looking up from her tea she saw a smiling Handy looking at her.
"I wanted to talk to you about Christmas gifts." Flaky blinked in surprise…Christmas gifts…? In a sudden moment of shock she realised no one had really exchanged gifts because of the chaos.

That depression became darker when she realised that. Handy noticed it and laughed nervously.
"Don't worry Flaky…we're actually planning on giving out gifts after all, we're going to spend a night at Flippy's to do the gifts, we've already set up a tree and decorations." He explained gently and she couldn't help but frown, they had gotten Flippy's house? Was she the only one thinking about Flipqy? Handy was oblivious to this thought….no…she realised…not oblivious but ignoring. No one wanted to bring the mood down by talking about it and so Flaky decided she would do the same…they had to many issues as it was.

They hadn't packed p the tree just yet but now they had another project to work on, the festival stands! They needed to set it all up in just a few days after all. So work on the tree had turned into work on the stales and rides. Death proofing them as best they could in their town there was no telling just what would kill you after all. Flaky brushed red hair out of her eyes while working on the stale she had chosen, Flaky wanted to work on one of the small shops, just a nick-knack shack. Balloon animals and flowers and all sorts of toys, she enjoyed setting up this time when there was no real threat of death. Everything in this stale was cushioned and for kids, it would be perfectly safe for her.

Somewhere off to the right she knew that Flippy was working on the haunted house with Handy and the thieving twins and somewhere behind that Russel was working on his own ride. Everyone was having fun again the events of the Christmas night almost a distant memory although….Flaky glanced behind her and sure enough she saw Splendid's form sitting up in a tree. He had been rather distant for a while now like he was the only one that couldn't put on a happy face and move on from it. Splendid had been beyond furious when he realised that Splendont had gotten away and after speaking to Melody he hadn't spoken another word to anyone else.

Flaky knew there was something off about him and it was worrying her. She wanted to speak to him but the cold air that stayed hanging around him kept her and everyone else as a distance. Melody was still at the hospital, they just wanted to make sure that the new girl didn't have any odd experiences with the first death. Everyone seemed happy for the most part but it was the little nagging suspicions that kept Flaky from being happy and carefree with them.
"You know Flaky if you keep frowning like that you're going to get wrinkles." Spoke a warm voice from behind her, giving her a nasty fright and she yelped in surprise. Falling over her own feet in her confusion she fell down onto her butt only to hear soft laughter.

"Flaky…you're so on edge." Looking up she say Flippy smiling gently at her and a bright blush began to travel up her neck, he had seen her react so strongly to just a greeting. A rude greeting but a greeting none the less.
"Flippy…weren't you working on the haunted house with Handy?" Flaky asked as she picked herself up with his help.
"I was but I had to come and check on you. Are you okay?" He asked her, his hand lingering on her own a little too long and yet she didn't really mind.
"I'm alright." She promised but he looked at her in silence for a long time, clearly not believing her one bit. She liked that about him…he was really very worried about her and lying to him lost its reasoning in her mind.
"Just a little…shaken up I guess….with Melody and Splendid's cold behaviour…" She murmured and without a single sound Flippy pulled her into his arms, into the warmth of his hug.

"Flaky…" He murmured her name gently into her hair and she found herself powerless to do anything against him…not that….she really wanted to. With wide eyes she stared off into space the warmth from his body calming her slightly. She then noticed something that worried her, Splendid was staring at him, he looked like he had something in his eye. He was poking the skin around his eye with an agitated expression, when he saw her looking at him he just grinned and waved before turning away. That was….odd…..didn't Splendid normally snap if Flippy so much as spoke to her Splendid lost his cool and fought with Flippy but…just then….did he even notice?
Splendid hadn't even batted an eye at this and for some reason that bothered her. Was she jealous that he wasn't fussing over her? That sounded to shallow for her…what was it she was feeling? This feeling that assaulted her mind.

"Flaky…try not to worry too much, you can't solve every problem that comes our way, just try to enjoy yourself." Flippy told her gently pulling back from the hug to look into her red eyes, she stared back at his green ones for a while without a words before she leant forward, inviting him in. Flashing her a small smile he went the rest of the way and pressed his lips to hers. The kiss was warm and sweet and everything she wanted from him, from life and from love. Nothing was going to ruin her mood after that.
"Oh wow…kissing…." Said a voice causing the two to break away from each other to see Melody standing there with a confused expression.
"Ahh. You're out of the hospital, come to help us set up?" Flippy asked warmly, ever forgiving Flippy. Flaky loved that about him.

"Well yes but I…I…." Melody looked down at her feet her voice trailing off as she kicked at the dirty and Flaky just noticed the flush on her face.
"I…..I want you to explain Christmas to me!" She shouted just to get the words out of her mouth, the two sat there staring at her. She still didn't understand Christmas? What were they going to do with this hopeless girl? Melody watched them both firmly, she really did want to learn it seemed…Flippy and Flaky exchanged a knowing expression. Melody was just a child, she didn't understand things she should have and so they were going to have fun teaching her what it was like to live there.

"Oh?~"
"What's this~?" Came two teasing voices and Melody just blinked as Shifty and Lifty placed their arms around her shoulders.
"Someone doesn't know what Christmas is?" They spoke together with cheeky grins on their faces. Up until that point the twins hadn't really bothered with the new girl but it seemed they found something interesting in her now.
"UH well…no, not really…" Melody mumbled turning bright red as those arms wrapped around her, it was strange to see the girl so embarrassed after what she had been only a few days before.
"Well cutie don't you worry we'll teach you." Said Shifty before Lifty gripped her chin and turned her to look at him instead.
"We'll be gentle with you for sure." He promised the two twins grinning wickedly.

"You guys….." Flippy muttered rage just rolling off of him as he got up slowly the two twins looking at him with cheeky expressions.
"Uh-Oh, looks like we got to him Shifty." Lifty said letting go of Melody's shin just as Shifty cupped her cheek making her look at him instead with an innocent expression.
"Do you think he hates us Lifty?" He asked with mock innocence, Melody stood there like she couldn't make sense of the situation.
"Just what…do you intend to 'teach' her?" Flippy hissed through his teeth at them. The two devious twins smirked at that arms still draped over her shoulders they pressed closer to her.
"Perhaps..." Shifty said softly.
"Just maybe…" Lifty murmured after.

Before Melody could say anything of Flippy could explode the two twins kissed her cheeks
"Something just like that." They chimed in unison and Flippy snapped.
"Why you two little rats!" He shouted and the two ran off top speed shouting back taunts and teasing comments as he ran after them. Melody and Flaky sat there staring at them as they ran around like idiots.
"Say….Flaky…?" Melody mumbled and she just sighed shaking her head.
"If I knew I'd tell you." Flaky replied with a soft laugh, Flippy was one of the only people that was able to set those two straight…at the end of a knife normally.
"So how are you holding up Melody? Living in a place like this?" Flaky asked watching for any sort of odd reaction but Melody just smiled a little bit and looked at her hands.
"I'm really glad I am still here…everyone seemed so worried about my reaction to the death and all that but I am just relieved that all the death we caused was for nothing. It is a blessing if anything." Melody admitted and Flaky let out the breath she didn't know she had been holding, Melody didn't want to leave despite their creepy secret…that was good…Flaky was a little frightened of Melody but…she wanted her to stay as her friend.

Flippy was dragging the two twins back by their ears still seething angrily but…he wasn't Flipqy…it made her happy to see he could express darker feelings without becoming that monster to do it.
"Hey easy there!" Shifty was yelping, Lifty was shouting similar things as Flippy damn near ripped their ears off.
"Cool your jets army boy!" They snapped angrily.
"Misbestow means we're meant to kiss the girl right?!"
Flippy turned and glared at them.
"Oh!? And just where is this misbestow!" He shouted angrily and the two gave him a sly smirk.
"Why right here good sir." They said together holding up a stick that had a bit of greenery hanging from the end…the misbestow.
"It counts." Shifty said firmly.
"So we did nothing wrong." Lifty backed him up. Flaky and Melody was quiet as they listened to this entire thing, Flippy began to shout at them and they would just throw taunting words back his way. Flaky sighed gently shrugging her shoulders, they were being silly. What caught her attention as that Splendid only watched.

Something must have been wrong with him, maybe his pride had been hurt after being unable to stop the killings himself…she would have to check on him later but for now she couldn't go and see him. The twins had turned their attention back to Melody again currently sitting either side of her, boxing the confused girl in.
"What's misbestow?" She was asking and the two snickering wickedly replied as one.
"It's a special plant from Christmas that means we can kiss pretty girls like yourself." Melody couldn't quite grasp the concept and was mulling it over while Flippy let of silent waves of rage. Flaky was watching Flippy now, he seemed rather angry….she didn't feel jealous so much as curious as the why.
"What else is special to Christmas?" Melody asked innocent as ever.
"Now then let's see." Shifty cast a grin to his brother who grinned in return before touching the side of her face turning her head so she was looking at him again.
"There are special treats you can eat, want to try one?" Lifty asked in feigned kindness, Melody was to ignorant to find the warning signs.

"Alright open your mouth Melody." Lifty instructed her with the gentlest of smiles. Melody complied without a word and Flaky had to dive got Flippy to hold him back. She might have let him stop the two of them but if he did he would flip for sure so just this once she had no choice but to allow the twins to have their fun. Slipping a red candy cane from his pocket he placed the end in her mouth Lifty's eyes on Melody and Shifty's on Flippy. They were fishing for trouble this time…must have run out of things to steal or something.
"Taste nice Melody?" Lifty asked with a sly smirk and mutely Melody just nodded her head.
"Lifty that's not fair." Shifty growled gripping her chin to make her look towards him with the candy cane still in her mouth.
"I want a taste to, Melody please share with me." He purred and without waiting for a response he took the other end of the treat into his mouth.
Flippy was struggling angrily against Flaky and she had half a mind to let him go, those two were just going a little bit too far.
"Let Melody have it, we can have one together tonight right brother?" Lifty said with something less than innocent implied.
"I suppose so but it tastes so good…or maybe that's because it's Melody's?" Shifty replied tipping his hat low, the two green haired males snickering together.
"Hey Lifty…" Shifty said with his hat still down.
"Yes I was thinking the same thing to Shifty." Lifty replied and they both wrapped their arms around her with devious grins on their faces.
"Melody can be our Christmas gift!" Flaky and Flippy froze as if struck by lightning and they were to shocked to move.

"Who said you could have her as a gift." Asked an angry voice the two thieves turning slightly to see a furious Splendid standing there with fire in his eyes.
"Uh-Oh." Lifty murmured.
"We got caught!~" Shifty continued and the two took off to get away from the hero who was still fuming with rage. Without a word he reached down grabbing Melody's hand and pulled her away from a still frozen Flippy and Flaky.
"Uh…Flippy…" Flaky murmured questioning.
"If I knew I'd tell you…" Flippy replied with a sigh, it was all so silly…that…it was almost like home again. Things were settling back into their normal pace.
"Well…why were you so angry?" Flaky asked with a frown and Flippy regarded her carefully for a moment before smiling sheepishly and rubbing the back of his head.
"Because it was like they were going to abuse my little sister or something." Flippy admitted and Flaky laughed, a little sister feeling was it? It made sense…the two of them were so similar and Flippy had always thought he was responsible for the girl since her first day there. Flaky hadn't been worried but…it was nice to know his feelings towards her were truly only that of a big brother.

…..

Melody.

"Hey..! Splendid!" She complained as the blue haired male dragged her away from Flippy and Flaky who just began to talk with each other on her departure. He didn't look back at her as he dragged her along behind him by her arm and every time she tried to speak he would only pull harder, soon enough they were well away from all the others that were working and he finally stopped pulling her. He didn't turn or speak for a moment and when he did it gave her a fright. Whipping around to face her he grabbed her shoulders tightly staring at her with harsh blue eyes that seemed unnatural.
"What do you think you were doing..!" He demanded in a cruel voice as he began to shake her roughly.
"Splendid…?" She murmured meekly, why was he so angry at her?
"Those two would have taken advantage of you if you let that continue!" He snapped furiously.
"Why can't you tell when someone wants to use you Melody!? Why is it that no matter what I tell you or what I do you are still so naïve!?" He raged at her and she could only stand there looking at him mute surprise. He was crushing her shoulders in his grip but she couldn't push him away from her, he looked so worried about her but there was an intensity to his gaze she wasn't use to.

"Splendid…." When she finally spoke her voice was so quiet and slowly she brought her arms up as if to embrace him but he sharply knocked them away, finally releasing her.
"Do whatever you like." He said bitterly turning away from her to leave.
"Splendid…" She tried again trying to get him not to turn and leave but he seemed to be ignoring her, in a sudden rush of confidence she reached forward to grab the back of his cape.
"Splendid..!" She shouted his name and he did stop this time.
"….I'm sorry….If I had known that I wouldn't have let them get away with so much." She explained simply and he still didn't turn to look at her but she knew that he was listening.

"So…will you tell me why you're so upset..?" Splendid look at her in surprise, his surprise only grew when he saw the kind expression on her face.
"Well…I'm glad someone else noticed it to." They both turned to see Flaky standing there with a similar smile. "I was worried I would have to see you all on my own Splendid." Flaky said as she walked over to the two of them. Melody smiled happily, so Flaky had seen it to? That sad expression and strange aura around him.
"What are you two on about?" He demanded angrily and the two exchanged a knowing glance before Flaky took the lead.
"Splendid…you looked so alone up there in that tree…you haven't behaved as yourself since the festival. We were worried about you." Splendid stiffened when she said worried as though that wasn't what he had expected to come after her first few words.
"Why worry about me." He asked slowly.
"Because we are a group, we are friends and you are someone we care about." Flaky said gently and Melody could just see the shift on his face, the confusion, the doubt and the slight joy he worked to hide.

"….I see…" He muttered and grabbed Melody's hand to pull her away, probably towards home again but he stopped when Flaky's hand touched his.
"Splendid…even if…you don't really believe me, we all want what is best for you. So try to feel happier." Flaky gave him the warmest most stunning smile and it must have fazed him because his grip tightened on Melody's hand before he muttered a goodbye and pulled her away with him. Flaky waved them both off and only Melody returned that wave.

….

Flaky.

Splendid had seemed more tense than normal. Sure he was always a little intense but this seemed a little silly, there was no time to think about it though because they all had work to do. Spending hours hammering away and painting things, Flaky worked with the rest of the tree friends to set up all of the stales that had to be ready in just a few given days. They would go to Flippy's house that night for gifts though and that alone was going to be an event. Flaky laughed with the others as they worked away and her day went something like this.

12am- She put the roof of the haunted house on with Handy and Russel. There were no casualties in that one event.

3pm- Next she worked with Nutty painting the candy stales pictures, there was a casualty there…the walls…Nutty was unable to stop himself from gnawing on the painted walls when he saw the pictures of candy they had put on there. Only the promise of more candy and better candy to come got him off that wall.

4.30pm- Unpacking the boxes full of nails and other sharp pointy things with Russel and Lumpy…that could have ended badly but thankfully Lumpy kept himself away from most of the dangerous objects at hand.

6.10pm- Putting up some of the games and toys that would be used during the night with Flippy who continued to look at her every few minutes.

7.30pm- Finishing up and heading home with the others to get ready for the gift giving that was to come that night.

Exhausted from the efforts of that day she decided that some gift giving was exactly what they needed that night. To move past the Christmas disaster they all needed a little bit of a surprise. Thankfully Flaky had already hidden all the gifts she planned on giving that night and so all she needed now was to cart them to Flippy's house. Everything would go perfectly, she was sure they'd all have fun that night, she'd seen Melody talking to Flippy earlier, who no doubt told her about the gift giving himself. A big brother figure…..that was what he had thought of Melody right…? Although Flaky had been sure that thought would have made her angry, as any girlfriend should have been, but it instead made her happy. When she thought of Flippy thinking of Melody as a little sister it made them all seem like they were a family and that made her happy.

"A family giving presents for Christmas…. Nothing wrong with that." She murmured to herself as she head off, leaving the working ground, soon to be festival, behind her. She would have to go to her house first then to Flippy's with the gifts…she was…looking forward to a good night.

Melody/Echo.

"I don't see why you are so annoyed Echo…" She was saying with her back to the mirror that held her other parts image, arms crossed and eyes angry.
"What I don't like about it? Isn't it obvious!" Replied the colder half of a good mind. Melody glanced over her shoulder to Echo and smiled while holding up a white dress for her to see, Echo made a disgusted face.
"Come on Echo…it could be fun, they said it was to make up for the disaster we caused last time…the least we can do is go." Melody pointed out but Echo still seemed unhappy with the situation.
"…Fine but you bring me out immediately if anything goes wrong…" Echo muttered, clearly worried about the fact that death was so easy to accept in this town. Melody couldn't help but smile, Echo had opened up and become noticeably kinder towards her since the event of Christmas. She displayed genuine concern and fondness towards her, Melody had always known that she cared…but….this made her much happier.

"Must we wear white though…" Echo asked angrily and Melody just nodded, they had worn black to the last event so it would be white this time. Echo sighed giving up and let Melody have her fun, Melody knew that Echo was only looking out for her….and….for good reason. Melody's smiled faded as she turned back to the mirror.
"They didn't find Splendont anywhere…?" She asked quietly and Echo's face darkened, the real reason she was so concerned….Splendont had vanished after his fight with Splendid and Splendid had refused to say a word about what happened between the two of them. They had no idea where he was or what he was doing, had he survived, had he hidden somewhere…..had he reported back to the general…?

If he did make his report to the general he would know they not only failed but also disobeyed a direct order and allowed all the inhabitants left alive to get away. No matter how they cut it…he wasn't going to happy with them. The two stood in silence watching each other for a while, Melody was the first to recover. Putting on a smile she turned back to her dress, wanting to get to the party in time. Echo couldn't just cover up her concern though…there were…a few things bothering her now.

First there was Splendont having vanished and the general's wrath. That alone scared her more then she would say, but…Melody seemed happy enough. She was getting friends for the fire time and that was, for now, worth the risk they faced. Splendont was rash and a little dim so he might not have told the general yet, under the illusion that he could do something on his own. That left them with the concern that he might just attack them out of the blue.

Then there was Splendid and his strange behaviour, he had been so angry about those two getting close to Melody and yet he hadn't cared about Flippy being near Flaky. He had once stalked the two just to make sure that Flippy didn't do anything…and they were all close and he hardly gave them a glance over. He still seemed moody and the strange dark feeling coming off of him wasn't lightening up any time soon. Echo didn't know what to make of Splendid's odd behaviour anymore then Melody.

Last of all…there was that time….in that strange place. Had it been a dream? Melody didn't remember any of it but Echo could remember it in startling detail. Echo had never really dreamed when she wasn't the controller and even then dreams were rare and easily forgotten but now…this one nightmare was boggling her brain. The girl in white…she had been uncanny and frightening. Echo looked down at the golden chain that hung around her and Melody's neck, she had only seemed mildly interested in it but the memory flooded back to her.
That girl….she called it the game of life, her game of life. Echo frowned at the thought. A game…? Even though she called it a game of life…just what is it? Echo had thought about it for a long time, while Melody had fun with the others, laughing and smiling, Echo had been puzzling out her own dream. It had just been a dream…imagination….not real. That's what she kept telling herself .

"How does it look?" Melody asked turning to face her with the brightest smile, Echo quickly shook off her thoughts and groaned. The white dress was pretty there was no denying it but she just didn't like white. Black always suited her much better after all.
"You look fine…get going to that party." Echo sent her off with a wave of her hand, hoping that she did have a good time and stayed safe.

Me: "….I know."

Splendid, Flippy, Melody, Echo, EVERYONE: *Glares.*

ME: "I'm SORRY! I got distracted again…X_X It won't happen again...I hope… This chapter was meant to be at least another two pages long but I figured you'd all waited long enough so I gave you this. A lot of fluff, there was meant to be a lemon here and I am sorry but I think I'll put it in the next one. Forgive me!" *Bows all sorry.*

Flaky: *Sighs.* "Alright, Alright…please update faster or people won't review like you want them to."

Me: "Sorry, I was just so tired after the Halloween one…and I didn't get much feedback so I took a break. I'll update soon. Please Review and tell me what you think or I tend to lose steam."