Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Andrew Hussie. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: This was written for Cotton Candy Bingo (cottoncandy-bingo. dreamwidth dot org slash 1660. html) in response to the prompt four seasons (one or all).
Summary: Jade and Dave take a break in their frog hunt, in the aftermath of the volcano and the coming of spring to LOFAF.
They don't hunt frogs nonstop, of course. For one thing, humans need sleep, and for another, neither Jade nor Dave is particularly good at sustained focus over long periods. For a few hours, sure - she zones out on physics experiments as readily as he zones out on his comic, and they both know the appeal of losing themselves in music - but days? Weeks? Don't be ridiculous.
They light the volcano halfway through their planned series of time loops, run laughing like loons from the flowing lava, and collapse on their backs in a clearing suddenly filled with soggy grass instead of trackless snow. Jade shoves her hand into her mouth and bites down, trying to stop the laughter before her sides split open and her lungs run away in outright rebellion. Her fingers taste like sulfur. She grimaces.
"Volcanoes taste awful," she says, enunciating carefully around her hand.
"You are completely nuts," Dave says, without any heat. He yanks off his Squiddle mittens and shoves them under his head. "Also, you do realize that was impossible. We just ran five miles in about half a minute and I know for a fact I wasn't slowing time."
Jade blinks at him, too tired to make sense of his implication.
Dave notices her incomprehension and makes what would probably be an irritated noise if it didn't sound so much like a fond sigh. "You warped space," he says. "Congratulations, padawan. The Force is with you. Or seven league boots, take your pick, if I get random Welsh swords all up in my quest mythology, you can get stupid fairy tale motifs no extra charge."
"Cool," Jade says, letting her hand fall to the half-thawed ground. "I'll try doing it again when I'm not so tired I can't think."
"Excuses, excuses," Dave says.
They lie in silence for a while, listening to the boom and crack of falling ice as the volcano's heat spreads its fingers through the Land of Frost and Frogs. They've heard it before - this is the signal to quit appearifying frog slime and start catching the frogs they've just targeted - but it's different this time around. This time it's not an arbitrary shift in the environment. It's something they caused.
They made this happen. Fire burns in the heart of Jade's personal mini-planet and winter melts into spring because she decided the wheel of seasons should turn.
"We made spring," she says, as a drop of chilled water falls from an overhanging branch to spatter on her glasses.
"Go us," Dave says. "Next up, I vote we make a thirty hour day and a bottomless cup of apple juice."
"Weirdo," Jade says fondly, nudging his ankle with the tip of her boot. "But seriously, spring! How cool is that? We turned on a volcano! It's melting the whole world! Now everything will come to life and start to grow. It's like we're gods and LOFAF does whatever we want."
Dave hooks his foot over Jade's ankle, trapping her leg. "There's no "we" in this story. Your land, your volcano. You brought spring up from the underworld. I just tagged along. You can goddess it up with the iguanas and frogs all you want. I'll stick with LOHAC."
"Lava and crocodiles, very fiery," Jade muses. "I guess that makes you summer."
"Harley. What the hell are you talking about."
Jade rolls onto her side and grins at him. "Seasons, Dave! If I'm the goddess of spring because LOFAF melts, you must be the god of summer, because LOHAC is exactly as hot as you always make Houston sound."
"If we're bringing Houston into it, I gotta point out that you lived on a fucking tropical island," Dave says, still staring straight up at crisscrossing gray branches. "Sounds like eternal summer to me."
Jade sticks out her tongue. "Nope! Hellmurder Island didn't have seasons; therefore it couldn't have a summer of any duration. Besides, we're talking about our lands, not where we lived on Earth. LOHAC definitely makes you summer. John must be autumn, because of the shade and the way those weird glowing trees on LOWAS have lost all their leaves, and Rose..."
She trails off, suddenly unsure of her analogy.
"Winter," Dave finishes for her. "White sand for white snow; nothing lives, nothing grows. Her Denizen killed the oceans, turned LOLAR into a classic barren wasteland if you ask me."
Jade smiles. "I didn't, but thanks. That makes a lot of sense."
Dave shrugs, turning ever-so-slightly to face her without actually rolling onto his side.
"Also if Rose is winter that puts her opposite you and I'm opposite John, so each set of slime twins faces each other," Jade adds. "Symmetry is a very important principle in nature and mathematics! It's vital to the arrangement of spacetime and all kinds of other things."
"I'll take your word for that," Dave says. "Right now, let's take a break to appreciate your goddessly powers. We're soaked, we're sore, we're half frozen and half burned, we're beyond tired, but what the hell, it's spring. Lie back and appreciate the moment."
He lifts his foot from her leg, but doesn't pull away. The toe of his sneaker still touches the toe of her boot.
Jade flops back down, facing upward toward the shifting aurora just visible between the latticework of branches. Meltwater is seeping into the tops of her boots, her dress of eclectica is stained with mud and smelly volcanic byproducts, and her head might be resting on a dismembered frog leg. She doesn't care. They are going to beat this game, no matter how firmly it's rigged against them. They will make a new universe, escape the destruction of this session, meet the trolls, and somehow everything will turn out fine.
Her volcano rumbles in the distance, belching another gout of ash into the atmosphere. The light of the aurora sparkles around the edge of the gray cloud like rainbows on shattered glass. She can hear water gathering into tiny streams and cascades, and from every direction the bustle of life crescendos as the frogs thaw and the silent birds begin to sing in multi-throated chorus.
Jade's never been much use at singing, but she understands the urge toward music. Her fingers twitch as she constructs fragmentary bass lines around the ambient noise. "We should make a mix," she says. "Frogs and birds, water and fire, me on bass... you can even throw in samples from the Rite of Spring for pretension if you want."
"Okay," Dave agrees. "Next loop, though. Remind me to whip up some disposable microphones."
"You got it," Jade says.
They listen to her world wake around them.
AN: Thanks for reading, and please review! I appreciate all comments, but I'm particularly interested in knowing what parts of the story worked for you, what parts didn't, and why.