Yeah, well that was all well and good...and awkward. As hell. Luckily the townspeople were nice, but how exactly were you supposed to just stroll up to a perfect stranger and say, "Hi! I just randomly fell into town here and now I'm your Princess! Nice to meet you, peon!"
Of course you had introduced yourself more eloquently than that, but it didn't save you from the awkwardness. The kind folk did make it a little easier though so they didn't give you many strange stares. At least it didn't last long.
The problem of course was the following days. Your purpose on your first day was to go around and meet everyone. So now they all knew you...but after being told like, 20 people's names?
Yeahhh...it was hard to keep them straight.
'Aside from Vishnal, Clorica, Volkanon, and Venti, I don't really remember anyone else's name, to be honest,' you thought to yourself as you aimlessly wandered around town, trying to understand the lay out. 'Now it's going to be even more embarrassing. "Oh, didn't I meet you already, Frey?" "Yep! But like the idiot I am, I don't remember your name! Sorry!" Yeah, that's going to look AWFUL for a supposed ruler. Forgetting the name of her subjects... Man, why did I even agree to this?'
You continued wandering aimlessly through town, looking for whatever store had some vegetable seeds. You did have an awful lot of free space on your field, after all, and the few seeds Vishnal gave you certainly weren't going to be enough to help you make a living. Surely someone in town sells them, right? Or are they delivered? Why couldn't you remember?!
You were interrupted from your thoughts by beautiful music wafting in the air. You blinked curiously as you followed it, finding yourself on Melody Street as you got closer to the gorgeous sound. You turned a corner, seeing a blonde elf girl smiling to herself while playing a harp. You couldn't help but smile as you got closer, entranced by the melody. She seemed to sense you coming, seeing as she opened her eyes and jumped slightly once she saw you. "Oh uh, good morning, Princess!"
You smiled and shook your head. "Just call me Frey. That was beautiful! And so professional too... How long have you been playing?"
The girl smiled sheepishly as she lowered her instrument. "Oh, as long as I can remember, really. Did you really like it?"
You nodded brightly. "Of course! You're very talented...uh..." Your smile faded as your eyes widened worriedly. Shoot. And so it begins.
She giggled and smiled regardless. "Margaret. But you can call me Meg if you'd like!"
You relaxed slightly, thankful she wasn't too offended at your lack of memory. "Thank you, Meg. Sorry about that."
Margaret shook her head with her bright smile. "Don't worry about it! I know it can't be easy knowing everyone right off." You nodded as you laughed weakly before she went on. "So what brings you over here? Are you looking for someone?"
"Oh! Yes, actually," you replied as you rubbed the back of your head shyly. "I was actually trying to find a store that sells seeds...is there one around here?"
"Oh, of course! The general store does." She looked past you and nodded her head as you looked over your shoulder at where she indicated. "It's that building at the end of the street there. They should have what you need!"
"Perfect!" You faced her once again and smiled warmly. "Thank you so much, Meg! Sorry to interrupt!"
"Not at all! Feel free to ask if you ever need anything!"
You giggled as you turned and began walking the direction of the store. "I'm sure I'll take you up on that! Thank you!" You waved good-bye to each other before you faced forward again, heading towards the presumed general store. You looked at the sign when you got close, wondering how you could've ever missed it in the first place. 'General store...Of course, why didn't I think that'd be the first place to look?' You rolled your eyes at yourself before you pulled open the door and headed in.
You entered the small establishment, seeing an elderly lady behind the counter facing the back where a red-headed man was busy stocking. When you came in both had turned to you, the lady smiling widely. "Ohhh, welcome! Princess...Frey, was it?"
You smiled with a sweat drop as you waved your hand dismissively. "Just Frey is fine...thank you..."
"Oh aren't you a sweet thing?" she cooed, as elderly seem to do. "What can we do for you, Sweetie?"
"Uhhh..." Well might as well get it over with. You smiled shyly and scratched your cheek. "Well I do need some seeds but...do you mind if we get introduced again? Yesterday was a whirlwind so I don't remember much..."
"Oh ho ho!" she laughed as she nodded in understanding. "Yes, I certainly see how that would be overwhelming! Don't worry, Dear. My name is Blossom and I can help you with anything you may need!"
"Thank you, Blossom! I really appreciate it..." You nodded to yourself, realizing that name sounded mildly familiar somewhere in your memory bank. Your recent one at least. Your normal one apparently went bankrupt.
"Doug, come over here and reintroduce yourself!"
You watched as the red-head made his way over, smiling softly as he held his hand out to you. "Well I'm...Doug. Like she said."
You giggled as you shook his hand. "Frey. Sorry about that, I know I met you two yesterday at some point."
"Don't worry about it," he replied as he took his hand back. "It was only for a few seconds anyway." It was strange thinking how everyone remembered you so easily, but due to how many people you met, everyone sort of ran together in a blur.
"Oh ho!" Blossom laughed as you both faced her. "Looking at you two together...I just noticed your about the same age, aren't you?" She smiled sweetly as she turned to Doug. "How about that, Doug? Wouldn't it be nice to fall in love with a Princess?"
"Huh?!" your voice cracked as you blushed madly.
"W-what?! Granny!" he fired back, his face turning almost as red as his hair. "Where the hell did that come from?! I don't even want a relationship!"
"I know, I know," she replied, waving her hand idly. "But you two just look so cute together, I couldn't help but think about it!"
Doug groaned as he buried his face in his hand. "Geez, way to make it awkward, Granny..."
Blossom seemed to be enjoying herself as she continued laughing. "I'm sorry, I know. Anyway, Dear what can we get for you?"
Your face was burning so hot, the smoke going into your brain almost made you forget why you were here in the first place. "Uh, s-seeds... I'd like some...seeds..."
"We have Turnips and Potatoes! What would you like?"
"Uh, f-four of each...please."
Doug wordlessly went to the back of the store, grabbing your seeds before turning around and awkwardly handing them to you. His face was still blazing red as he avoided eye contact. "Uh. H-here."
"Thank you..." You handed the money to Blossom, who either was blatantly unaware of the awkwardness or was purely ignoring it.
She smiled brightly as she thanked you. "Thank you, Dear. Can we get you anything else?"
"N-no...That's it for now. Thank you!"
"You're very welcome. Come again!"
"I will. Thanks!" With that you turned on your heel and hightailed it out of the store, not bothering to look back and see what Doug's reaction was.
Needless to say, you didn't forget either of their names THIS time.
"Y'know, I'm a little surprised you agreed to come with me," you admitted as you slashed a Pomme Pomme, successfully sending it back to the Forest of Beginnings before moving on towards the Summer Field.
Doug rose an eyebrow as he sheathed his sword. "Why? I don't mind getting out every once in awhile."
You couldn't help but grin teasingly. "Well I know you hate work and you know very well every time you come with me that that's what you end up doing?"
Doug blinked as a soft blush dusted its way across his cheeks. He scoffed as he closed his eyes and turned his head. "W-whatever. I don't hate work THAT much. The store is just boring, that's all."
"Is that why you fell asleep~?"
His eyes flew open as he looked at you in embarrassed shock. "W-what?! Who told you that?!"
You gigged as you faced forward again. "Not telling~! You're lucky it wasn't me though otherwise I probably would've drawn on your face!"
The red-head scoffed, but still followed after you as you made it to the clearing with the field. "Yeah I wouldn't be surprised. You ARE kind of immature like that."
You whirled around with a pout. "Hey! I am not!" Doug laughed as he walked up to you, poking you in the nose before walking past you towards the plot of land. You rolled your eyes as you followed after, opening up your rucksack and taking out the seeds you had planned to plant along with your needed tools. "But seriously, though," you continued as you began tilling the soil after Doug tossed the rocks and sticks to the side. "If you hate it so much, why not get a job elsewhere?"
You were surprised to see a forlorn look on his face as he paused for a moment. "I don't really...work at the store because I like it."
"Oh?" You tossed the hoe to the side before grabbing some seeds and looking at him curiously.
"I know Granny has a hard time sometimes. So I just...I wanna help her out." Your heart jumped as he blushed and spoke lowly, realizing you always liked seeing his more sensitive side. "She's done so much for me. I feel like it's the least I can do to repay her."
You resisted the urge to 'awww' and instead smiled cutely. "That's sweet of you. I know she appreciates it."
"You think so?" he asked as he hesitantly rose his gaze to yours. You giggled and nodded, causing him to smile softly in return before he realized his soft side was being exposed. He quickly coughed and looked away, his blush betrayed his harsh words. "Yeah well...she better. I have a bunch of other things I could be doing instead."
"Like helping me plant?" you teased, throwing a bag of seeds at his chest. He let out a soft 'oof' as he caught them, looking down at the bags before glaring at you. You smiled brightly in return before focusing on the ground before you and began planting away. You heard Doug scoff to himself before he stepped forward, kneeling a few feet away as he began planting the seeds you so kindly gave him. You watched him for a moment before smiling and continuing your own work. It was silent for a moment before your lingering curiosity got the better of you. "Say, Doug...I was thinking..."
"Oh boy, here we go."
You shot him a joking glare before turning back to work and continuing. "Well remember that first time I came into the store and Blossom made that super awkward comment about you marrying a princess?"
"Ugh. Don't remind me."
You smiled at his disgusted expression before you went on. "Well I remember you saying you didn't want a relationship. What was that about?"
Doug stopped working as he looked at you skeptically. "Don't tell me you have a crush on me."
You laughed aloud as you looked at him in disbelief. "No, you pompous ass!" you replied through your laughter. "I was just wondering!"
"Why?" he inquired, wondering what could possibly make you so curious.
"Well I don't know," you answered with a shrug as you looked back down to cover some seeds before moving on to plant some more. "I mean we ARE at the age of getting married. And I was just surprised you weren't even thinking about a relationship. There's plenty of nice girls in town who are our age...you mean to tell me not a single one strikes your fancy?"
"Not really," he replied with a strange, almost disgusted face as he went back to work as well. "I mean...I dunno. I guess they're all just...friends. It'd be weird to think of them as anything more."
"So...you aren't looking for a relationship just because you don't have someone to think about?"
"What? No. I'm just..." He trailed off as he slowly stopped work as he fell into a daze, and by the way he fell into his serious tone, you could tell it was a bit more than just having all the eligible females in the friend zone. He waited another moment before focusing back on work. "I just don't want a relationship. That's all."
He purposefully went back to planting as you looked at him sympathetically, realizing it must be a lot more serious than you had originally thought. "Doug..."
The two of you continued laughing wildly as you ran through town, not bothering to stop and see if Dylas was following you. Not wanting to take the chance and get caught, the two of you continued running until you made it to the clear other side of town at Dragon Lake. You two made it to the water's edge before you jogged to a stop, leaning over and panting heavily through your laughs.
"Man, that was perfect!" Doug laughed.
"Did you see his face?" you asked as you giggled along. "Priceless!" You two continued laughing, the chuckles eventually dying down as you worked on getting your breaths back. You both finally collapsed to the ground side by side as you faced the lake, you with your knees to the side as Doug had his legs spread before him as he leaned back on his palms.
Soon enough you both caught your breaths, subtle giggles and laughs still popping up every now and then. "That was great," Doug finally said as the laughs died down. "Thanks for helping me, Frey."
You giggled with a nod. "Sure! It was worth it to see the look on his face!"
"Yeah it was!" You both shared a laugh again, soon enjoying the silence that fell after. You slowly turned your gaze to Doug, seeing him watching the stars above him with a bright smile on his face. Just watching him brought a smile to your own, along with a few flutters of your heart as you noted how handsome he looked with the light from the moon reflecting off the water. You found yourself blushing before you quickly looked up at the sky as well, admiring the stars before you were caught staring. "Y'know, since you're a princess, shouldn't you treat everyone equally?"
His tone you could tell wasn't serious, so you laughed before you responded. "Oh please. I know you two have your little lover's quarrels. And I'm closer to you than I am to him so of course I'd help you out!"
"Hey! They aren't lover's quarrels!"
You only laughed in return, leaving it at that as you focused once more on the stars above. You decided to leave out the obvious fact that the reason you helped him was because you had a crush on him. Of course you'd do anything to spend more time with him! But you certainly couldn't tell HIM that.
"You know... You're really amazing, Frey."
You blushed brightly as you whipped your gaze to him, seeing that he was still watching the stars with a thoughtful look on his face. "U-uhh...Thank...you...?"
"No, I'm serious," he insisted with a head shake, still eyeing the sky with his serious expression. "You're just...unlike any other girl I've met. And certainly not what I would expect a princess to be like."
"I'm...sorry?" You had thought you were doing fine, but should you be acting more like a princess and not be so casual with people?
"No, no," he replied with a laugh, finally facing you with that handsome smile of his. "It's a good thing, I promise."
"Oh, well...um... Thank you, then. I guess."
"Yeah... You're welcome..." You rose your gaze to the sky, wondering if you should tell him how amazing HE is. You had a crush on the man for Pete's sake. He just said you were amazing so shouldn't you at least be able to say the same? Why were you so nervous? Telling him that wouldn't make him think you liked him, would it? He DID just say the same thing to you! Does that mean...he likes you? No...He was just paying a compliment. Right?
You tilted your lips thoughtfully as you slowly lowered your gaze and turned to Doug, hoping he wouldn't catch you looking at him. You were a little taken back by his expression, though. He was now looking at the water with a sad, thoughtful look, which for some reason made your heart lurch. Why did he look so sad...? "Doug...? Are you okay?" you hesitantly asked.
You thought he would've jumped, having not expected you to see him. But instead he just slowly shook his head. "Yeah...I'm fine. Just...thinking..."
"About...what...?" you slowly asked, hoping you weren't prying. Even if you WERE good friends now, you were still worried about scaring him off by prying too much.
Your heart began pounding heavily with his answer. "You."
Your blush darkened as your eyes widened slightly. "Uh, w-what about me...?" Was it bad? Good? How were you supposed to feel?!
"I just feel...so strange around you. You really are unlike any other girl I've met. And I just... I..."
He seemed to try and find the right words, but instead turned to face you when none came. His sad, confused expression for some reason only accentuated his insanely handsome face, causing your heart to thump even harder against your ribcage.
It wasn't until then that you realized how close you two really were. Apparently when you collapsed to the ground, you did so practically RIGHT next to each other. As it was, his head and oh-so-inviting lips were only about a foot away from your own.
"You mean...so much to me, Frey," he slowly went on, his voice low as it usually was when he was exposing his serious side. "But...I..." Was it you or was his face slowly inching closer?
"Yes...?" you urged again, your voice coming out as a whisper as you realized your face too was slowly moving towards his. You continued watching each other through hazed eyes, neither one speaking as your lips grew closer and closer, to the point you felt his warm breath on your fragile skin.
When his lips were only a few inches from your own, you noticed he had stopped moving forward. You watched as a pained expression formed on his face and he clenched his eyes, pulling away completely soon after. "I gotta get back to the store. Granny's probably worried about me since it's so late." You watched in confusion as he pushed himself to a stand, your heart still pounding relentlessly in nervousness. "Y'know...don't want her getting a heart attack from worrying or whatever." He cleared his throat before reaching his hand towards you.
"Oh uh...yeah..." You placed your hand in his as he helped you up before gently releasing it as he dusted himself off.
"Well uh...thanks again with the help with Dylas. I'll...see you around?"
"Yeah...See you around."
He flashed a quick smile that you could tell was forced before he turned and ran back towards town, not even bothering to throw a look over his shoulder.
You sighed heavily to yourself as you watched him disappear out of sight, doing your best to calm your still rapidly beating heart. "Doug... Why do you always run away...?"
It was the end of Fall and you had just finished harvesting the rest of your crops for the season. There were still a few days left, but figuring nothing would grow in time you decided to take a few days off from farming and do a bit of exploring. And who better to accompany you on said exploration than the man you had a crush on!
You giggled to yourself, loving the way you felt so light and the way your heart always fluttered when you thought about him. You truly had never felt this way about anyone and no one ever seemed to get you feeling on Cloud 9 quite like Doug could. You vaguely wondered if you had someone in your old life that had once made you feel the same, but you figured you would have at least recognized the feelings as feeling familiar. But these...no, you knew these were brand new amazing feelings. Was it love...? Perhaps. You really wanted to tell Doug how you felt but you couldn't help but feel he wouldn't take you seriously. Not to mention the whole "he doesn't want a relationship" thing. That indeed puts a damper on any sort of future pursuance of him.
You ignored the thought as you stepped through the doors of the General Store. It was still early, around 7:00, so you knew they weren't open yet. But since you were such good friends with Doug and Blossom, they said you could just come in whenever anyway. After a few trial runs, you found that Blossom always got up at 6:37 (on the DOT; how did she do that?) while Doug kind of got up whenever he wanted. Sometimes he was up when you got there at 6:30, other times you'd be waiting around till 7:20. His laziness really was hit or miss.
Knowing neither came down until the store opened, you went ahead and headed up the stairs to greet them. "Good morning!" you announced as you came up, figuring you should at least somewhat announce it so you didn't just come barging in.
"Ohhh, good morning, Frey! How are you this morning?" Blossom greeted as you made it to the top, seeing the elderly lady pouring some tea as she smiled at you.
"Fine, thank you! And how are you?"
"Oh, doing well, doing well. Would you like some tea?"
"No, I'm good, thank you," you replied as you threw a look towards Doug's room, seeing his bed vacant. "I actually, uh...came to see Doug..." you admitted as you faced her again. You still felt shy saying anything about you and Doug, but you had a feeling she knew of your crush on him and wouldn't give you too hard of a time.
"Oh, he actually went out on a walk this morning! He was seeming rather thoughtful."
"A walk?" you asked in disbelief. "So early?"
Blossom chuckled as she nodded. "Your guess is as good as mine, Dear!"
"Okay... Well do you have any idea where he might've been going?"
The elderly lady frowned as she shook her head. "Afraid not... Though he left just a little while ago so he probably hasn't gone far!"
"Okay, I'll just go look around for him, then. Thanks, Blossom!"
"No problem, Dear. See you!"
"See you!" You waved at her before you descended the stairs, heading out from the store to the street once more before heaving a sigh. "Well...Guess I'll just wander..."
With that thought in mind you figured you'd start with Melody Street first...since you were here, after all. You headed towards Margaret's house, looking down both street ways and not seeing a soul. Not many people were up this early so it shouldn't be too hard to find him, right?
You made it to the front of Margaret's house as you turned to head down the bridge that headed south, only to stop in your tracks as you jumped slightly. "Oh! Doug!" Well that was easy.
The red-head was leaning against the railing as he overlooked the valley below, though he turned his head towards you once you called him. His expression brightened as he saw you. "Oh, Frey!" His smile widened as he laughed and stood back from the railing to face you. "Come over here and feel the wind! It feels amazing!"
"Okay," you replied as you giggled and nodded before making your way over.
"Careful, now. Don't fall." He held his arms out to you, apparently in case you fell. While you certainly weren't as clumsy as Xiao Pai, you probably wouldn't put it past yourself. You finally made it to Doug's side, sharing a wide smile with him before you both leaned with your forearms against the railing as he was doing before.
You took a deep inhale before releasing it as a happy sigh. "Wow, you're right! This feels amazing!"
"Isn't it?" he agreed with a laugh. "It's kind of exhilarating."
You nodded in agreement as you subtly scooted closer to him, hoping he wouldn't notice. "So whatcha doing here? You looked kind of deep in thought."
"Yeah," he replied with a smile. "I really like it here... I was just thinking how nice it would be to stand here and share it with my future wife." His smile immediately fell to a panicked expression as a deep blush appeared on his face before he faced you nervously. "U-uh, I mean! N-not that I was hoping or...implying it was you or...anything! I was just...uh, thinking!"
Your heart began pounding as you blinked at him. Surely he really wasn't implying he was thinking about you...but why did he suddenly seem so nervous? You did your best to ignore the wonderful feeling if he HAD meant you and decided to tease him about it instead. "Future wife, huh?" you asked as you smiled. "So Mr. I-Don't-Want-A-Relationship is thinking about marriage~?"
"Wha?! N-no! Nothing like that! I...I mean... Well, we ARE at the marrying age. And...y'know...marrying is what you do...when you...love someone."
"Ooh~! Does that mean you love someone, Doug~?" you couldn't help but tease. While your expression exuded confidence, you felt both excited and sick. What if he said he loved someone else? Would your heart be able to take it? You decided to not worry about that for now and instead focus on teasing him. He did always blush so cutely when you did.
"Um, well...no? Come on, Frey, you know I'm not dating anyone!"
"I know! But surely you have someone in mind, right? SOMEone had to change your mind to go from saying 'I hate relationships' to 'I'm thinking of marriage'!" You giggled and poked his cheek, your smile widening as his blush grew.
"Okay, okay. I'll pick a girl FOR you. Tell me what kind of girl you like and I'll see who fits!"
"What...what kind of girl I like?"
"Yep! You tell me what qualities you like and we'll figure out the perfect girl for you!"
The blush on his face was really making this tease worth it. Hell, you weren't even feeling sick anymore! This was going to be fun!