So, I always love it when you guys leave reviews, it's always helpful to hear from you on how I can improve. And while I hate to pick favorites, I always do really appreciate the reviews that Queen of Song leaves, as they are helpful, insightful and informative. Another review has been left by them, which I was very happy to read and take in their advice, and I do agree with them on her opinions on the rating of this story.
I know the subjects I've covered over in this story are sort of controversial, Elief's death and Stalingrad being some of them, but I didn't really realize the fact that 13yr olds or younger were or could be reading this, so I'm sorry if that was something that has hurt somebody in some way.
I'm also sorry if the subjects of war and child death offended somebody, and I'm not suggesting that Queen of Song was accusing me of this, but I'm still sorry if that happened. I am going to change the rating from T to M as they have suggested. (As let's face it, it's gotten this bad, I'm sure worse is on the way, because I'm a terrible person and all that…)
While I'm still chatting away and there's the possibility that you're just skipping over this to get to the good stuff, (I don't blame you,) I wanted to bring up the point of Elief's death. I am still sorry if I hurt or offended anybody that has lost a child in their life, it's nothing to trivialize and I was seriously conflicted on doing so when I was writing the chapter myself. But I still did it, as I felt that the character development between those two had reached as far as I could take it. I always saw Elief as the symbol of getting past Bedlam, of Clover not just being saved by herself, but by a believer as well, therefore returning her faith in herself and her job. But as soon as Bedlam was gone, (maybe…) I had no idea what to do next with him. There was the possibility of Clover adopting him, but I decided against it as I never saw Clover as being an actual mother, she wants to be, but I just never saw it getting that far. (No offence to mothers or anything like that,)
I know I sound like a complete ass for saying that, but that was the thought process I was going through when I wrote and posted that chap, (again I'm sorry for posting it on thanksgiving, I seriously didn't know about that holiday until it was too late.)
Anyway, moving on to a happier topic, this story is close to its anniversary, and I'm hoping that we'll actually get around to the movie before that, but then again I was hoping to get here sooner, so I don't know how that is going to work out. So yeah… please enjoy and the rating will be changed when the next chap is posted up.
Clover had finished her bath some time ago and was now busy getting dressed; using a screen-wall type of furniture that she had found in China, which she now couldn't be more thankful for as she knew that Sandy could come back any moment. She smiled in the small sliver of mirror that was nailed onto the wall, and ruffled her still drying hair around, grinning at the fact that it was easier to do this now than it was when she had longer hair. She felt much fresher at this time than beforehand, and was ready for the day at last. She heard the sounds of someone opening the door and smiled, thinking about how punctual she didn't know the Guardian could be, since she was now somewhat fully clothed, but was still drying up.
"You're back early," She laughed, moving away from the small mirror and around the screen-wall to see the Guardian there. She smiled at him as she ran a hand through her hair, slicking it back so her face was better seen. She was surprised however, to see him blush a deep orange when the Guardian looked at her. It was at that moment from how she was leaning around the screen, with her collar bone being able to be seen, coupled with the fact that she hadn't really properly adjusted the white under dress just yet, she figured he was thinking that she wasn't as clothed as she actually was. Clover blushed to, and moved back behind the screen again and adjusted the dress before coming back out again, the blushes still remaining on both of their faces.
"Erm, so is there anything you wanted to do today?" Clover didn't want admit it, but she really didn't want Sandy to leave just yet, as she was afraid that he might not come back to visit her again. Sandy made the figures over his head that clearly stated that later on he would have to do his job, to which she agreed with as she would have to do the same. But, apparently he was free until then, and asked her what she wanted to do. The luck spirit rubbed the back of her neck, and shrugged, she hadn't really thought on what she was going to do, since she rarely ever did anything when she was in this little hut of hers other than eat what little food she had stored away, or sleep. Suddenly, the golden Guardian came to attention, and made a suggestion that made her smile.
There is a carnival I remember seeing in America. I think it's still going on, so do you want to go?
"Sure! We can go now; I mean I am sort of ready already." She smiled wider, grabbed her pot and began to walk out of the house, Sandy following after her. They walked a short distance from the home, Clover having to stop for a moment to lock the door with her pot-shifted-key. After that short distance, Sandy immediately created a sand airplane for them to go in, and gestured for her to enter first before doing so himself. She did raise an eyebrow at his polite antics, as he had never really done that before, but just shook it off and took the polite offer, thanking him as she buckled herself in for the ride.
"Hey, I never got the chance to ask, but how did you make sand airplanes when they weren't really invented yet?" Sandy looked confused by her question for a moment, then took a moment to think about it as the plane drove itself to where they were heading. He did eventually manage to answer her, though Clover couldn't help but think that he'd never really questioned it before she had asked him. His answer was a little strange to grasp, but she did manage to at least slightly understand it enough to nod her head instead of giving him a confused look that she thought would make her look stupid.
I do coordinate people's dreams, so when they dream of impossible things, at least in their time anyway, like flying, I find a way to incorporate it into my work since it does seem easier to fly around and deliver dreams in transport than just on my own. There is a possibility that the sand that was used to create the airplanes had gotten into someone's dreams, and because of that they created the airplane.
"So really, you invented the airplane using dream sand?" That seemed like a silly thing to say, especially since she seemed to have caught on to what he had been saying fairly well and he thought it was clear that he didn't really invent the machine. But still the way she said it, and with the wide eyed wondered look she gave him for it made him feel much smarter than he knew he probably was. So he said nothing and just rubbed the back of his neck, while she complimented him for such a great feat, that he didn't actually do himself.
"That's amazing!" She noticed Sandy's blush and smiled at him, now knowing his weak spot a little more. They flew through the air for only a few minutes more after that, before a stretch of land finally starting showing up from below. While they had been flying the day had sort of passed very quickly, and now it was night as multicolored lights shone out at them from underneath the night sky and inky black clouds. Clover leaned a little over the side of the plane to get a better look at the lights, being careful not to fall out or anything silly like that. Eventually they did land where most of the more colorful lights congregated, but of course a little away from it so Sandy wouldn't draw attention to himself from his believers.
The luck spirit was definitely starting to think that something was up when Sandy offered his hand to help her out of the airplane cockpit again, but still she took his hand and smiled to him in thanks. The airplane disappeared as soon as she stepped out of it, the yellow sand dispersing quickly before forming for a moment around the Guardian, but he summoned it away into the winds, possibly to return to the island. They walked back towards the colorful and blaring lights of the Carnival, Clover noticing once again that Sandy had started holding her hand, but she just shook it off as a subconscious thing…right?
"Where do you want to go first?" The luck spirit asked as they finally reached the fair grounds, watching as the children ran around in complete joy, their parents dragging behind them in exhaustion but still happy to see their children having fun. The music, games and lights mixed together to create a whole night of fun for the both of them, though of course they had to be careful with what they did since they didn't want children to notice that Sandy was there, such as sneaking behind the carts or rides and such. The Golden Guardian looked a little undecided at what to do first, and then looked to Clover for her opinion. She looked a little undecided as well, though of course her eyes were drawn t the large Ferris wheel in the centre of the carnival grounds.
Maybe we should go there last? There's still quite a bit to see before that.
Clover nodded in agreement and they walked a little more around, seeing the sights and the luck spirits managing to sneak some Fairy Floss from the cart. Sandy looked a little unhappy at her at first, causing her to roll her eyes and placed two of her gold coins on the counter where their Fairy Floss had been. That seemed to help and Sandy finally took the sugary treat, taking a bite out of it that caused him to make a strange face since he never really ate it before, and made her giggle a little since it seemed so adorable to her.
"Come on; let's go see some of the rides!" Sandy was still holding her hand at this time, so he was sort of hauled behind her as she ran this way and that, looking to all of the rides that were in their immediate facility. The first one they went on, Sandy didn't like how fast it seemed to be going, but decidedly didn't say anything about it (not that he got the chance,) as Clover dragged him into an empty and unnoticed cart, strapping them in with the metal bar and held on tight. She grinned to the Golden Guardian before the ride started, and it didn't seem as bad as the Guardian previously thought. In fact, it seemed a lot like the sleigh rides that North enjoyed giving to the other Guardians that once a year, not that Bunny ever enjoyed it.
They flung their arms in the air, laughing and just enjoying themselves in general at the thrill of the ride. One similar to that ride was next, followed by another and another, and then they went back to the first one again. This went on for most of the night, which passed so quickly that Clover could have sworn it was just some strange blurred and light flashing dream. A really good dream mind you, but a dream all the same. But as said before the night flew away from them and suddenly they were heading for the Ferris wheel at last.
We were lucky enough that there weren't that many children around the Ferris wheel, but I guessed that had something to do with the fact that it wasn't really that fast. Mostly there were just teenage couples all around us, giggling to themselves as they hugged each other and often kissed. I was still holding Sandy's hand by this point, something that I still wasn't sure on why he was doing it, but I didn't mind all the same. But as I watched the couples go past us and into the carriages of the Ferris wheel, I couldn't help but feel a strange weight in my chest and stomach as I suddenly didn't want to look at them. I knew jealousy when I felt it, but at the same time I didn't want to acknowledge it since I didn't know what I was jealous about.
There's a carriage free, come on!
Sandy led me towards the carriage he had been talking about, and let me in first before climbing in himself. It was a very slow ride, but I didn't mind all that much, as the weight in my chest and stomach seemed to be gone as I sat next to him, holding his hand as we rose into the air. The height didn't scare either of us; we were use to it as it came with the job, so really all it was a great look over the night horizon together. I unintentionally hummed to myself under my breath, just a song I remembered hearing a while ago that seemed good for this moment. The Golden Guardian didn't say anything (not that he could,) and instead just sat and listened to what I thought was some terrible humming rendition of a good song.
At some point during the slow ride my head ended up on his shoulder, as I continued humming, feeling the soft sand that made his form on my cheek. His arm moved a short while after my head, slinking around my back for his hand to hold onto my other shoulder. Sandy's head, which I wasn't aware of, was swaying slightly in time with my humming. Tonight was definitely one of the better nights I'd had in a long time, it really did seem like a good dream. We didn't move from our positions for the rest of the ride, in fact it took a few moments to realize that the ride was over when our carriage stopped.
"Do you want to leave now, or do you want to go again?" My head hadn't left his shoulder, and his arm hadn't left from its place either, so it seemed as though that answer was given already as the ride started up again. I didn't hum this time, since I finally noticed that I had been doing it and was kind of embarrassed by it. Sandy noticed this, but didn't comment on it as this ride was spent in peaceful and genuine silence. But again I did something without even realizing it, something I really should have gotten a handle on. My hand was still holding his in our strange little embrace, but my thumb was now making small circles in his smaller palm, which I didn't really notice I was doing as Sandy didn't stop me or comment on it.
My eyes eventually started to drift closed every so often as the night went on, until finally it seemed as though the second turn was over as quickly as it began. I made a noise of annoyance when I saw that we had to get off this time, but still left the ride all the same. We walked for a bit, but eventually it became clear to Sandy that I was tired, even though I didn't want to admit it. He led me back towards the clearing we had been in when we landed the plane, his hand in mine still keeping me awake as the sand formed back into the golden plane that it was once.
The Guardian helped me back into the seat as I mumbled something about not being tired, just before I yawned. As he flew the plane back into the skies, I thought back to those moments on the Ferris wheel, and the uplifting feelings I had gotten from the simple action of leaning my head on his shoulder. This was also compiled with the strange behaviors of Sandy that had been going on recently, letting me get in and out of the plane first and holding my hand as we walked through the fairgrounds today, to the actions that had happened the night before. Perhaps it was just my tired mind, but I was starting to see some connections there.
But I didn't say anything, as I didn't want to be proven wrong, especially not on such a good night like that one. So instead I just sat where I was, my head again leaning on his shoulder, where I just felt as though it belonged. The ride back to wherever we were going was as quiet and as peaceful as the Ferris ride had been, which I enjoyed just as much. The wind felt as though it was whispering around them, not as rushing or roaring as it usually was every other day. The quiet of the scene and slight rising of Sandy shoulder with every breath he took, eventually lulled me into sleep. A sleep I was woken from not that long afterwards by Sandy gently shaking me to wake up again, before helping me out of the plane and off to wherever it was we were going.
It took a few moments more than it probably should for me to remember and recognize the familiar feeling that sand gave under boot. I shook my head to wake me up that much more to see something I hadn't seen in years, and was more than happy to welcome the sight in front of my eyes once more. Sandy's home hadn't changed in the least over the past century, the colors were still the same and the trees exactly where I remembered them being, it was as if no time had passed at all, which was exactly what I had so wished for so long. Sandy led me up the steps of the porch and not the lounge room, where the paintings still hung on the light yellow walls.
"Everything's just as I remember it." I mumbled as Sandy sat next to me, the Guardian holding my hand as I talked. I didn't stop there of course, as I was suddenly very chatty for some reason that I didn't stop even for a breath sometimes. Sandy didn't complain, didn't argue, he just listened and held my hand as I just blabbered on and on about this particular subject. As I talked, I realized that Sandy had been holding my hand a lot lately, and that I not only didn't mind it, but I liked it a lot. Again despite how much I was suddenly starting to like talking, I didn't say anything, as I didn't want him to let go.
"I remember the last day I was here; it was just like every other day. Nothing was different; nothing had changed really had it? It's so weird, how everything can change in one normal day. One minute I was happy, the next I'm gone for years, and then you hated me and…" I was rambling and not really focusing, the poor Golden Guardian next to me just nodding along as he was apparently aware that I had no idea what I was talking about, but knew all the same that I needed to talk. So I filled the silence that had fallen upon this house for the past century with my nonsensical noise, just letting my jaw jabber away with whatever I was thinking about at the time.
It seemed as every moment that passed in my endless talking, I drew myself closer to Sandy, which I didn't think he noticed as he was too busy trying to look as though he were paying attention to me. Finally, since I was so tired that an hour into my talking I was sort of slurring a little and yawning occasionally, the Golden Guardian decided that it was time I went to bed and made me get to my feet, and practically had to carrying me up the stairs as I was a little too busy chatting on and yawning to notice steps when I saw them. I don't believe that Sandy was ever as patient as he was on that night, since I would have gone crazy listening to myself talk for that long.
You have to sleep now Clover, goodnight.
He had managed to get me in my old room, which I had taken in the sight of for a few moments before letting him guide me back to my old bed, feeling the softness of the pillow I hadn't felt in years, but at the same time couldn't help but suddenly think that it was no longer the softest thing I had used as a pillow that I did before. I lying in bed by the time he had managed to break my concentration on talking long enough to form those sand figures above his head. As he turned his back and I was lying in the bed, I felt a sudden wave of fear that I didn't know I was going to have before hand, and quickly reacted by sitting up and hugging him from behind.
Now it was obvious to me what I had been doing ever since we had landed back on the island, why I had been talking so much. It was because I didn't want to go to sleep, I didn't want the theory I had that this was all a good dream to come true when I fell asleep, and would wake up back in my hut, and completely alone again. Sandy tried to release my iron grip from around his waist, but my noises of disagreement and previously mentioned powerful grasp left him with me permanently stuck to him. He took a deep sigh and looked back behind him, to me trying my best to give him the saddest puppy look I could manage.
Clover, please let go. You need to sleep.
"No I don't think I want to do that. I seriously considered it, but I have to admit that I decided against it." He sighed again and I tried a small smile to make sure he wasn't angry, which he returned and again, I was so damn thankful that he was so patient with me tonight. Sandy maneuvered himself so that he was sitting next to me on the bed, and I was still able to cling to him as tightly as I wanted. He hugged me back as I guess that was what he assumed that was what I wanted, but I decided to verbally make sure that he knew the real reason.
"I don't want to go to sleep now, because I don't know if I'm dreaming of all this. It's too happy, I've been so happy today and I can't help but wonder, if it's true or not." Sandy patted my back in comfort, but again tried to release himself from my hold when he thought I wasn't noticing it, but I still didn't let go. More words formed over his head, but I still was sure in my mind that it was unlikely that I would let go for a good time yet. Since I hadn't gotten the chance to do so for a century, so I was sure as hell going to make up for time lost on hugging my closest friend.
What do you want then? You want me to stay with you tonight?
We can't do that Clover.
Because… We just can't.
"I refer you to my last statement."
Last night was…
"A mistake?" I didn't mean to sound so hurt, I was going to try and hide it, but all the same I was still kind of tired and therefore didn't give a damn in that moment. There was a moment that I considered letting him go then and just going back to sleep, as it seemed as though I had ruined the good mood that was apparently set up for the night. Sandy surprised me as he always seemed to do by vehemently shaking his head, continuing on to talk, beating me to the punch before I could say anything else.
No, it was because of a storm, and there was only one bed. We just can't.
"I believe there will be a moment when you answer my question on why not, but so far it seems as though I'll have to keep asking." It seems as though that remark managed to knock him down to answering my question, and also telling me at last on exactly what I do that can manage to tick him off, being insultingly sarcastic. He stopped trying to get me to let go as he was before, and looked at me seriously, the next few words above his head being more powerful and heart hitting to me than I think it ever did before.
Because we aren't together Clover.
He didn't realize how he'd said it until it was too late, and I had stopped holding on to him, along with the fact that I was now facing away from him. Something I didn't realize I had was injured from that, and suddenly I did want to go to sleep, if only to escape this abruptly hurtful conversation. I flopped down on the bed, my head being on the other side of the bed from where he was sitting. There wasn't anything else to say, and after a few moments of him just sitting there (no doubt thinking about how much he was going to hit his head against the wall for saying what he did, the way he did,) before he finally left the room, and me to my own thoughts that I disliked hearing before finally managing to fall asleep.
The next morning I attempted to just get up and leave without disturbing him, since I had managed to do that already last night, and didn't want to continue that. However, the sand structure I had spent the night in had the ability to alert its creator of my trying to leave. So of course before I could reach the door he was already waiting for me. I sighed and waited for him to say something, which I had hoped, would be something along the lines of him trying to take back what he had said last night. However he apparently didn't want to get to that yet, as instead he decided that small talk had to go first instead of getting to the more important talk before I walked out the door again.
Did you have a good sleep?
"No, not really," The small talk thankfully ended there, as he must have realized that I was not happy to put up with that when there were more important things we could be talking about. I was standing on the steps that were leading up to my room as we began our chat, he was standing in front of the door, meaning that I would have to think more on a way out of the house, smashing the window right next to him seemed like a safe bet, even though it was likely he would be able to stop me before I got there in time. Sandy looked me in the eye again, and I did not falter as I think I would have before I disappeared, instead looking back at him as he replied.
Look about what I said last night-
"Its fine, and don't say you didn't mean it, you wouldn't have said it if you didn't. And you know what, you were right. We aren't together, and I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable by making it look as though we were." He doesn't say anything else and I take a few more steps closer to the door that he was still standing in front of. Sandy looked as though he were in complete disagreement with what I had said, which I was confused by since I was trying my hardest to make sense of it and leave what happened behind us, but for some reason he only wanted to complicate it further.
But I didn't mean it, at least not the way I said it Clover. I shouldn't have said it, especially when all I wanted to ask after was why you wanted me to spend the night with you.
"I wanted to spend the night with a friend I hadn't seen in a century, that's all I wanted to do! And now I have to think over my actions from even before that night, and I feel so stupid now!" I was getting upset again, which I did try to maintain, but in the end it seemed pointless. There was something broken now that I didn't realize was there before, but I so wanted it fixed because I felt lost now. My arms that were once hanging by my side, was now used to hug myself as I felt not just lost, but embarrassed and upset.
We can just pretend it never happened.
"No we can't! We seriously can't! I know it's not that big of a deal and I shouldn't take it so seriously, but I can't help it. There was something there before, and now it's gone and I don't know what to do!" Again the real emotions came out, and the Guardian could see how genuinely lost I really was, and was immediately guilty. I sat down on the step, not feeling like standing anymore as I had let out what was on my mind. Sandy moved from the doorway and sat next to me, which managed to get my attention as I saw more words being formed above his head.
"I know, I am to,"
Silence began between us as we just sat there, me looking one way, and him looking the other. I wasn't that upset anymore, but I was still felt hurt inside so I wasn't going to be the first to talk. Sandy apparently didn't want to talk either though, so I figured if the silence bridge was going to end, it would have to be me that broke that between us as it seemed as though neither of us were going to from free choice. I turned back to him, about to say something to him, but was of course interrupted by him just as I was in the middle of a sentence.
"San-" he softly kissed my forehead as soon as I had turned around, and I instantly felt heat grow on my face. I moved my head back and looked at him with a decently expected surprised expression and a want to immediately have that explained. Instead of saying anything, the Golden Guardian stroked my cheek and looked deep into my eyes for those few minutes that seemed to go on for an eternity, not that would have minded if it did. He finally did talk, and really I couldn't help but think, as I thought over my answer, of the teen couples we had seen at the Ferris wheel ride and the jealousy I had apparently felt. And suddenly I couldn't decide whether I was happy, or completely confused.
But happiness was definitely winning out for that moment.
Clover, I want to be with you I just…do want to be together, with me?
He sounded so nervous, and to be truthful I was shaking a little as I thought over it. There was a moment where I considered running, since this was a sort of scary time, the door was left unguarded and I could leave quickly if I wanted to. But I stayed, and answered the question the way he had asked it. I kissed his forehead as well, the reason for that being that I was too damn scared to kiss him anywhere else. His arms grabbed my shoulders, and suddenly I didn't want runaway and I wasn't as scared anymore. I pulled back and look him back in his golden eyes, which I never really noticed how perfect they were before, as I verbally answered.
"Y-yes I want to be with you Sandy,"
Please review, constructive criticism always welcome.
Oh, and one more thing….
THEY'RE TOGETHER FOLKS! IT'S OFFICIAL, IT TOOK A YEAR AND 34 CHAPTERS, BUT I FINALLY DID IT!