Chapter 108 - Mending Bonds
"Haaaah... He taking foreeeeveeeerrr!" Serenity complained with her hands in the air, sitting back with a groan as Rose rest on the arm of the seat. "Maybe something came up? Like a call or something?" Rose asked, looking around the barn. "It rude to leave me here while he take time." Serenity scowled with her arms crossed. "H-He left all of us here you know." Rose point out with a nervous smile. "Why complain about it? I'm enjoying his absence." Alicia scowled behind them, the two facing back as Alicia glanced at them through the window. "What? It's true. I don't particularly feel a need to be close to him at the moment." the snake point out, facing away. "Last night was unforgivable. You know exactly what he did to me. What he did to all of us. Yet you love him more than ever for the abuse." she added with an irritated look. "What he did last night was different but it wasn't abuse. It was rougher than usual, more assertive, but I wouldn't call it abuse at all." Rose point out. "He might hurt rabbit, but she like that sort of thing, so that not count as hurting in bad way. It make me feel gross, doing what did together, but things he do make it good. Way he did things make happy to do." Serenity nodded. "Not that I want to do with you again. It better when it just two of us. Not comfortable doing together..." she added, showing a slightly sickened look with her tongue for doing what she did to him with Rose and shaking her head. "It might've been WEIRD what he did to us, what he made us do, it was kinda gross like when he did the thing that made you mad, but it really wasn't bad. That's the important thing to us. It was kinda gross and weird, but not BAD per-se." Rose point out.
"The both of you really are filthy creatures." Alicia scoffed, facing down with a slight blush on her face. "Enjoying such vile acts, even when you admit it bothered you, yet still you accept what he did... I bet you'd let him do the same to you again." the snake grumbled. "Know what? Yes I would!!" Serenity snapped. "What he want, he get! Even if some things not like, if he want, he get it! You should be happy to give him what he want!" she added, the snake jolting and glancing back. "Excuse me...?" she asked. "I have to kinda agree with Serenity here. I mean, if it makes us feel good, I'm not gonna complain about it. Besides, think of everything he goes through. He's still dealing with that stuff in his mind, having nightmares and all." Rose point out. "So because he's having a hard time, you'll let him abuse you?" Alicia asked. "He not abuse!! He do things in way we like!! That point!!" Serenity argued. "Even if we think it gross what he make us do, it still make us feel good! He act like man last night! It what I waited for! It exciting, it fresh! You just too stuck up to admit you like it too!" Serenity snapped. "You have too much pride. And you forget HE GIVE you that pride! You owe him! We owe him! So yes, what he want, he get! Even if think weird, we do if he want it!" she affirmed, Rose fidgeting embarrassed. "Abusing us would be beating us up. Actually REALLY hurting us. Saying really mean things... All he did last night was be assertive. And he did give us a lot of rewards for doing what he wanted. I've never felt so good before, so even though he was a little harsh with how he treated us, even though he was rough, he really made up for it at the end of everything." Rose point out. "And things he say... It still get to me." Serenity added, showing a blush and suddenly shuddering excitedly.
Looking at the two, Alicia let out a "tch" and faced away. "If you love him so much being abused is good to you, perhaps you love him too much. It's one thing to care for someone, but to the degree you blind yourselves and act ignorant of being mistreated is pathetic. Especially to admit you'd accept the same abuse twice... Sickening." the snake scoffed. "Know what snake? You just get on nerves. You mad he make you do things last night because you not like us. I not like you either, but I still appreciate fact he want us so much. He want to make us his. Want to prove we his." Serenity point out. "The only thing I ever wanted was to have friends and belong. Feeling how much he wanted me last night really did feel good... It was like he was forcing all of his desire onto us at once. You could tell how badly he wanted us. It's pretty insulting for you to twist what he did around and say we like and accept abuse. I know what abuse really is... All of us do. That's why I can say it wasn't. That's why YOU should know it wasn't." Rose reminded, facing down with a somber look. "I'm with Serenity on this one. You're being way too mean just because he was more assertive than usual. Talking down to us and all isn't right just because we enjoyed it. There's nothing to be ashamed of." she added. "He show love in lots of ways. He do lots of things for us. When we mate, can tell he always put us first. Always focus on us. You spoiled rotten if think way he focus on him last night was bad. He do what HE want to us for change. And like rabbit say, he get what he want in way we liked! Some things he make us do... Not too good, but he still find way to make it good! Not right to be mean and hate him for getting what he want for change! He deserve to!" Serenity affirmed.
"Tch. Well excuse me for having a different opinion." Alicia replied in agitation, facing away in the carriage once more, Serenity facing forward with her arms crossed while Rose looked at the two. "I think we're all a little too spoiled now, and that's why what he did last night was so shocking. That's why it was exciting for us and, I guess, bad for Alicia." Rose point out, facing forward with a sigh. "We're always getting stuff bought for us, he's always thinking of stuff for us to do. Always worrying about us and all, everyone really. But even if Alicia didn't like what he did last night, does that really make what he did bad? Him focusing on himself for a change? Just wanting something his way for once? We're supposed to be mad at him and ignore him, create distance, just because he demanded something out of us? It's the first time he's ever been that way... Whenever he's been demanding in the past, he's always gotten our approval before giving orders. That's why I can't help but feel he's in the right, even if one of us has issues with it... Again, we were able to enjoy the way he was too, so..." Rose went on, only for the group to jolt in surprise when Chris walked up next to the carriage out of nowhere. "You girls can stop now... There's no need to defend me or try to justify whatever I did to you, and there's no need to try and push Alicia to agree either. She has every right to feel and think however she wants." he affirmed, walking up to the Rapidash and preparing to attach it to the carriage. "So it okay if snake hate you? You not care she not want to look at you just because you want something for change?" Serenity asked with a scowl. "I don't remember anything, so however she feels, I think it's what I deserve." he nodded.
"Without any memories to go off of, the only thing I have to tell me what happened last night are the emotions you girls show, your feelings and what you say. If something happened between us that makes her not want to see me, if it makes her hate me, I believe in Alicia's judgement and know I have making up to do. And if whatever happened made the two of you happy, then I'm just glad whatever we did, it didn't make all of you want to avoid me." he nodded while adjusting the reins and such on the Rapidash before climbing onto the seat. "Sorry for being gone so long. I went ahead and took care of our bed sheets too for Isabelle, plus went through another lecture from Richard about making Alicia upset and getting so drunk... I'm sorry I can't show you girls any proper emotions or respond better to whatever went on between us." he apologized while looking back at Alicia, the snake jolting and facing away. "I got some information from them, so hopefully I can give you a little something to help smooth things out between us, okay?" he asked, showing a grin and a thumbs up only for Alicia to remain silent with a cold shoulder toward him, making Chris show a somber look before quickly shaking it off and laughing nervously. "A-Anyways, wadaya say we get going, huh?" he asked before asking the girls if one of them would hold his staff, offering it to Rose only for Serenity to suddenly snatch it in her arms with an excited grin making Rose scowl. "Hey! He was gonna let me hold it!" she complained, only for Serenity to stick her tongue out and smirk. "W-Well, guess it's settled." Chris nodded. "No fair, you even let her wear your coat before." Rose complained, poking her fingers with a somber yet agitated look.
"Okay, okay. Serenity? Come on." Chris coaxed, holding his hand out only for the Pokemon to pull the staff away with a "nuh-uh!!" response, shaking her head. Scowling, he suddenly slipped a hand in her fur coat and gave her horn a pinch, making Serenity flush and freeze up before letting out a shout and covering her chest with her arms, allowing Chris to slyly take his staff and hand it to Rose, making the rabbit giggle with a "yay!" from her victory. "Th-Th-Th-That playing dirty!! N-Not fair!! You know what that do to me!!" Serenity snapped. "Sorry, sorry. I'll make up for that too, I promise." he assured, giving the Pokemon a peck on the cheek making Serenity jolt before facing away and crossing her arms. "Better. That was mean trick." she pout. "Aww, you got my word." he nodded. "As if that means anything... He violated me too despite his word..." Alicia chimed in, making Chris pause before facing down. "Y-Yeah... Sorry. Guess I shouldn't touch you like that." he nodded with a guilty look, Serenity blinking in surprise before reaching out to him, only to turn and give Alicia a sharp and agitated glare instead while Rose gave Chris a concerned look. "H-Hey, you gonna be okay?" she asked, putting a hand on his side. "Y-Yeah!" he perked up, nodding with a smile before rubbing her on the head. "Don't you girls worry about me. I'm a man that takes responsibility after all. If I mess up, I make it right!" he assured before looking towards the barn doors. "Yeah... Mess up." he muttered, thinking back on his nightmare before laughing nervously. "Lets get outta this stuffy barn!" he added. "Hey, don't worry about it... We don't mind if you touch us!" Rose coaxed with a smile. "She right! Can touch as much as want! You just surprise is all! I not mad!" Serenity assured, waving her hands with a nervous laugh.
Looking at the two, he smiled in response, albeit with a somber look before he faced the barn doors. "You ready Rapidash?" he asked, the horse looking back at the group before rolling its eyes at their situation and letting out a grunt in response, facing forward with a nod. In response, Chris gave his own nod before asking Serenity to open the doors with her abilities, including a "please" with the request making Serenity tilt her head. "That easy to do. Why say please for that?" she asked before snapping her fingers making the doors creak open. "Just makes me feel better." he smiled before giving the reins a slight snap and clicking his tongue, causing Rapidash to jolt before pulling the carriage out of the barn and looking around, raising its head to smell the air. "You get tired just toss a heads up our wa...!!" Chris began, cut off when Rapidash gave him an agitated glare causing Chris to remember Gerald's caution about the horses pride. "M-My bad. Carry on." he laughed nervously, the horse grunting before strolling forward. "We need to stock up on supplies before we make the trip through the mountains. I'll gather some stuff and uh..." he paused, glancing back at Alicia who focused on watching her surroundings through the windows. "Well, hope for the best, I guess." he added, facing forward again as they went around and passed the inn, with Richard seen stepping out with bags of trash over his shoulders. "S-See you guys later! Thanks for everything!" Chris smiled, giving a wave only for Richard to watch the group and give Chris a "watching you" sign, motioning towards his eyes with his fingers and pointing them at Chris, causing him to jolt and laugh nervously.
"D-Don't worry! I won't mess up again!" Chris assured as Richard looked at the girls and nodded, giving them a "be careful" as his farewell to them before making his way around the inn. "Not sure I like what he did. What that mean?" Serenity asked, referencing Richard's motion with his fingers. "H-Ha ha... Well, it was a part of his lecture when I went back inside. He reminded me how many people keep an eye on me nowadays, and how bad it could be if people started noticing I was..." he paused, glancing back at Alicia. "Messing up..." he added, facing forward with another click of his tongue, having Rapidash turn and follow the road. "It's not good if people realize the guy they call a Guardian makes his own family miserable. I put you girls through enough trouble being close to me, I shouldn't let myself be the cause of you being unhappy because of making bad decisions too." he explained as they trot along down the hill, leaving the inn behind. "W-Well, it's like we said. The two of us really enjoyed last night!" Rose affirmed. "That right! You can do what you did again when want to! It make us happy!" Serenity affirmed. "I-I don't even know what I did though." Chris smiled nervously. "And its like I said, majority doesn't win in this case. Since it made Alicia so unhappy, whatever it was, I can't do it again." he affirmed with his hand up. "You... Could. Just with the two of us." Rose suggested, fidgeting shyly. "That good idea! I still think it gross, mating at same time, but it turn out it not SO bad... It actually okay way to bond, and that what you want, right?" Serenity asked, making Chris blush slightly and scratch his cheek. "Still like best when it just two of us, so not want to do that much. But once in while, guess it okay." Serenity smiled.
"Plus it saves you the trouble of having to do EVERYTHING individually. Doing THAT together, sometimes, can be our way of saying thank you, in a way we can all have fun and feel good together. Some things we do when we're together we might not like too much... Cause it is kinda gross... But we can still do it for you because we love you! Right?" Rose asked, Serenity looking at the rabbit for a moment before nodding. "Just because gross not mean can't find way to like it. We find way to like last night! Just have to get used to." Serenity nodded. "But again, not doing all the time." she affirmed. "I do like it better having alone time." Rose nodded, the two coming to a mutual agreement on their own with Chris in the middle, smiling nervously with a drop of sweat. "I... Really wish I remembered exactly what you're talking about." he chimed in. "I'm glad you two seem to be liking whatever idea you've got going on, but I don't really like how it casts Alicia out. Even if we do whatever it is you're talking about without her, don't you think it'd still hurt her a lot being pushed away like that?" he asked, the snake glancing back at him through the window. "If she thinks whatever you're talking about is disgusting enough to make her avoid me, I don't wanna keep doing it and make her not wanna be with me altogether... Besides, if we did that, it'd make me exactly the same as the human she was with before." he point out, the girls blinking and tilting their heads while Alicia jolt wide eyed. "Think about it, he cast her aside and spent time with his other Pokemon instead. She didn't want to evolve, so he pushed her away and pampered his other Pokemon while making her watch from a distance... I don't wanna do that to her." he affirmed.
"She doesn't like the kind of thing we did last night. And she shouldn't be pushed into thinking she should. If we went down the road you girls are thinking of, it would leave her in the same exact spot she was in before we met. Isolated, distant. Unhappy and uncomfortable. I don't want to make her think who she is has become a bad thing all over again." he explained, Alicia blushing slightly. "That's why I wanna try and do something to show I'm not gonna be like that other guy. Something happened that made a gap between us, and I wanna close it up so things are the way they were. That way everyone's happy and we can talk normally again together!" he grinned, Rose finding herself showing a wide smile and clinging to his arm affectionately while Serenity pout and crossed her arms. "Snake be mean and you get all lovey dovey. You no fun." she grumbled. "I'd be the exact same way with you if I did something that put you in Alicia's spot." he assured, reaching out to put an arm around Serenity only to pause when he caught a glimpse of Alicia watching, quickly pulling his arm away and nudging Rose back before focusing on steering instead making the rabbit sulk with a disappointed "awww..." while holding his staff again. "Why you do that for? We say you can touch!" Serenity snapped. "S-Sorry." he laughed nervously, the snake looking at him for a moment before facing down. "A-Anyways, lets focus on getting set up for the trip, okay?" he asked, Serenity returning to her frustrated grumbling while Rose sulked from being nudged away, leaving Chris in a difficult situation due to trying to avoid hurting Alicia by being too affectionate with them in front of her.
Heading into town, Chris looked around curiously. "You know what, Frola Village really does have a lot of tributes to Froslass now that I take the time to notice. Take a look at the neat lamp posts! They all have a Froslass holding the bulb at the top!" he point out, Serenity and Rose looking at the posts as they trot past. "Humans make neat things now and then. I admit." Serenity nodded. "That mean you're starting to li...!!" Chris began, only to pause when Serenity leaned her face close to his with an immediate "NO!!" in response before sitting back with her arms crossed. "K-Kay' then. Didn't hurt to ask." he smiled nervously. "You only human I ever really like. Gerald and other humans okay but only you I love." she added with an irritated yet somehow embarrassed looking pout on her face that made Chris unable to resist letting out a chuckle. "So adorable." he praised, making the Pokemon jolt and blink at him before blushing slightly. "Not say things like that. Not know how to react." she scowled, caught off guard by the statement. "Ha ha... I love you." he replied in a sweet tone, making Serenity blush all the more. "I love all of you." he added, smiling at Rose making the rabbit glance away shyly before he looked back, Alicia jolting and facing away. "No matter how you feel about me... No matter what I've done that might've been wrong to you, I really do love you with all my heart. I might not remember my mistake, but I really believe everything I did was to show you how much I love and want you. How attracted I am to you. Even if I was drunk, I know that's how I felt inside, and it's what I was trying to show you. Maybe I was showing it in the wrong way, but my heart would never let me do anything I know was really wrong, really bad, to any of you... I just showed my love in a stupid way..." he assured before facing forward.
Remaining silent, Alicia showed another blush, albeit hidden from their view as she kept her face turned away. Eventually, the carriage finally came to a stop and Chris climbed down, looking around at the various shops in the district he'd led them to and taking in a deep breath. "Man, it's freezing here, but the air is on a whole different level of pure than anywhere I've been before... Kinda like how spring water is better than what ya' get outta the sink." he point out, Serenity and Rose tilting their heads before smelling the air. "Kinda hard to explain, but it really does feel easier to breathe around here." Rose nodded. "It, uh, fresh." Serenity agreed."Well then, staff please!" Chris smiled, holding his hand out causing Rose to jolt and pull it away for a moment before sulking. "Aww... Okay." she nodded, handing it over. "Don't worry, you can hold it again once we're off. For now, it's time to gather some things!" he grinned before looking around at the shops again. "Lets see... Food, wood... Feed for Rapidash. Ah... Probably a good idea to get some stuff like blankets and all." he muttered to himself, taking out his Pokedex and making a list. "Alright, think I'll head into that one first." he nodded before turning to the girls. "You wanna come with me?" he asked, getting a nod from the two before they climbed down. "Hey Rapidash, think you could follow us? I'd like to keep the carriage in sight. It should be okay if you wait outside the buildings." he point out, the Pokemon nodding in response as he tied the reigns to where they sat before the group started walking along, Rapidash following at a casual trot while Alicia remained inside, glancing at the group while looking around. "Alright then, wait here. We'll be back in a minute." he instructed before he and the girls went inside.
After the group was out of sight, crowds of curious people and Pokemon alike started gathering around the carriage, its extravagant design and size drawing them in along with the shiny Rapidash attached. Peeking inside, they noticed Alicia within as well, kids pointing out her size and the oddity of seeing a Serperior in such a place while older groups gathered around Rapidash, offering it food. Normally not one for such close contact with humans, the horse knew the elderly posed no significant threat, so it merely fed from their hands in silence bringing an excited smile to their faces while others focused on the craftsmanship of the carriage, murmuring among one another while parents lift their curious kids for a better look at Alicia within. After a moment, Chris and the girls finally returned, pausing when they saw the crowd and blinking in surprise. "Huh... Okay then." he muttered before walking up, he and the girls toting supplies he'd bought for things like lighting fires, ice fishing, along with rods and tarps to build a makeshift stable for Rapidash when needed. Noticing the group, the crowd parted from the carriage and watched curiously as he loaded the supplies into the bottom storage, showing slight sweat on his face from being watched by so many. "You'd think I'd be used to this by now." he smiled nervously. "You never get used to being watched. It weird." Serenity replied. "They just seem curious." Rose point out, their voices making the crowd show looks of surprise, some digging in their ears as if they were hearing things before Chris stood and looked around. "H-Hey there. Just passing through. I'm uh, the Guardian, I guess. Though I prefer Chris really. This is my family, Serenity and Rose, and inside is Alicia." he point out, everyone suddenly letting out an "ooohhhh" of familiarity and nodding.
"I don't mind you guys hanging around, just be careful. The carriage was a gift from some real good friends of mine, and so was that Rapidash there." he cautioned, the crowd nodding again before several people started offering a handshake with his identity made clear. "Guess people know our names better than our faces at the moment." he point out as several offered a shake to the girls, Serenity accepting, albeit begrudgingly, while Rose smiled and shook hands with less of a problem. "Well well, look at my girls being social!" he grinned, making Serenity jolt and scowl at him with a grunt while Rose showed an embarrassed and shy look. "Hey hey, I'm proud of you! Really. It does my heart good when you think about how you were before with others. Serenity's opened up and you've really come out of your shell Rose!" he praised, making the rabbit blush while Serenity showed a smirk. "Rabbit is doing good. Much better than way was before. Easier to tell you here now." she nodded as they continued shaking hands. "You doing okay in there Alicia? They bothering you any?" Chris asked, looking in at the snake making her glance away before shaking her head. Getting a reaction from her, Chris couldn't help but smile. "At least you're responding to me now... We'll be back. Gonna get some other stuff." he explained before walking along, Rapidash following with the carriage once more making the crowd back away, most having satisfied their curiosities and going about their business. Going through several shops, Chris bought many things ranging from food, various ingredients, new blankets and the like, and the necessary food for Rapidash, stuffing the storage compartments until they became nearly impossible to shut leaving Chris satisfied.
"Alright then... I guess that does it." he nodded, taking out his Pokedex and checking things off with a smirk. "Thanks a lot for the help girls. You're awesome." he grinned, making Serenity and Rose blush and glance away. "Carrying easy to do. Not need to thank." Serenity waved. "Happy to help." Rose smiled. "Long as get to spend time with you, it make me happy. And we get to pick out stuff we like, so that make worth doing too." Serenity added. "I was surprised to find carrots here actually... I didn't know stuff like that could grow here." Rose point out. "They're probably imported. In places like this people tend to get their food from outside sources. Who knows? Some of it might come from Millennium City, and other things might have come from places like Commorall Town and Saga City. It's pretty cool when you think about how far things may have traveled. And it really makes you wonder how they keep things so fresh along the way!" Chris explained, the girls nodding as he looked around again. "Lets see... I've got one more stop to make before we head outta here." he muttered, the two blinking in surprise. "Uhh... Not have room for more." Serenity point out, reminding Chris of how packed the storage was. "Where are you gonna put anything else?" Rose asked curiously. "Don't worry, we've still got room for what I need." Chris assured with a warm smile. "I'll need you to follow us one more time, then we can be on our way and you won't have to worry about the stopping and going anymore. I know it can get annoying." he added, giving Rapidash a thumbs up and getting a nod from the horse in response. Looking at one another curiously, Serenity and Rose followed while Alicia looked out of the carriage, her own curiosity peaked as they made their way along. "So... What getting exactly?" Serenity asked. "Just something extra for the trip." Chris replied while looking around. "Anything big?" Rose asked. "Not really." he assured.
Eventually, they reached another shop, this one being a bit more about spectacle than the others, featuring countless knickknacks on display in the window and various decorations. "What we getting here? Not look like much we need." Serenity point out. "I dunno... I think it looks kinda neat." Rose added. "Don't worry about it. Come on in with me and look around!" he coaxed, the girls looking at one another slightly confused yet nodding before heading toward the door. "You wanna come with this time?" he asked, looking back at Alicia who jolt and faced away, shaking her head with a scowl. "Alright then... We'll be back." he smiled before heading inside with the others. Opening the door, the sound of bells ringing made the girls jump, both taking a defensive stance making Chris snicker before laughing at the two, making them look back confused. "Relax, they're just bells to let people know customers are in." he point out, showing them the bells hanging above causing the girls to blush and turn away embarrassed. "Not funny..." Serenity scowled. "Yeah, don't laugh!' Rose added. "Heh, sorry girls." Chris apologized before walking past between them and looking around. "You two go on and browse the place. I won't be too long." he instructed, the two looking around and nodding before going their own ways. "Alright then. Now where are...?" he muttered, walking along the shop before heading towards the registers where an old man and a teenage boy stood. "Excuse me... I heard this place sells certain keychains?" Chris asked, making the old man perk up and the teenager groan. "Ohhh, interested in the local legends are we?" the man asked. "Come on pops, not another one." the boy complained.
"Is... Something wrong?" Chris asked, looking at the two confused. "Oh don't mind him. Sonny here just hates people with good taste!" the man grinned. "People with gullibility is more like it..." the boy muttered, only to get a sharp nudge in the side by the man's elbow making him jolt and groan. "Sooo... Do tell, how did you come to learn of the chains?" the man asked while squatting down and rummaging behind the desk. "We stayed at the inn just beyond the town border, the one up on the hill across town." Chris explained. "Ahh yes, you must've spoken with Isabelle! What a charming woman. Shame she's taken!" the man laughed. "Her husband would snap you like a twig for saying that." the boy point out. "Indeed, indeed. A man can't help but fancy forbidden fruit though!" the man grinned with a cackle before rummaging once more. "A guy your age shouldn't talk like that, especially around his grandkid. It's gross." the boy scowled as Chris looked at the two and chuckled. "It's nice being with your grandpa though, huh?" he asked, the boy jolting before glancing away. "It's alright." he replied as the old man stood with a box in his hands. "Been a while since I've been asked for these! Way back they were the hottest sellers in Frola Village! Heck, maybe the whole valley! Sadly their popularity died down as other shops started selling similar products. Really spoiled the market... Folks started steerin' toward more fancier things on their visits over time and stuff like this became a mere token of the past." the man sighed. "Still, that's why it always puts a spring in my step whenever someone requests them! Locals around here tend to do a little advertising for me and that's when those seeking something with TRUE value show up!" the man grinned.
"Anyone can buy souvenirs. It's easy to go out and pick up any random thing to collect or give as a gift. But it takes someone with real heart inside to seek out something like this! I take it you know what these represent?" the man asked. "They make someone fall in love with you, right?" Chris asked. "Ahh, guess Isabelle just gave you a quick detail." the man laughed before shaking his head. "No no." he replied while opening the box, showing off the small pile of Froslass chains within, each showing the Pokemon holding a small ruby-like heart. "They don't MAKE anyone fall in love with you, but rather it REPRESENTS your love for someone. When you give one of these to someone you love, you're giving them your heart. Vowing to love them forever, and putting your trust in them to protect and cherish your heart as you do theirs. If you give this to someone who truly loves you back, it helps their love for you grow. The person you give this to gave you their heart, and with this, you respond to that by giving them your own." he explained, the boy scowling with his arms crossed. "Sounds like a bad soap opera to me." he point out. "Oh? Didn't you give one to your girlie friend not long ago?" the man grinned with another cackle making the boy flush with an agitated look. "Not cool old man!!" he snapped, Chris looking at the two and smiling. "It must be nice, working together." he point out, the two looking at him. "You're lucky, getting to be with your grandpa like this. I lived with mine for a long time, helped him out for many years. You're a good kid for sticking with him and helping keep the shop up." Chris praised, making the teenager cross his arms and glance away.
"He's a bit rough around the ages, but you're right! The boy has been a big help since joining the family business. He comes off as the ill mannered sort, but he's a fine young man when it comes right down to it." the old man praised, giving his grandson a slap on the back making the teenager jolt and groan. "Geez..." he grumbled, rubbing his back. "By the way, I'm Russ, and this one's name is Tom." the old man point out, Chris offering the two a handshake. "Chris, but apparently people like calling me the Guardian now." he replied, the two looking at him for a moment. "Oh yeah, he does look just like the guy on TV." Tom point out. "Well now! Isn't this a surprise! Thanks for taking the time to visit our humble shop!" Russ grinned. "Well then, how many would you like?" he asked, holding out the box. "Lets see..." Chris muttered while reaching in. "One for Serenity, for Rose, and one for..." he paused, taking a third. "Alicia!" he grinned. "Ohh, three ladies? You must be a lot like I was back in the day!" Russ cackled. "Grandpa!! Gross!!" Tom complained while Chris smiled nervously. "I'll take these then." he replied, laying the three chains on the table and taking out his card. "Very good then." Russ nodded, taking his card for a moment and returning it with a receipt. "We could use this as a new selling point too! Guardian approved love chains!" Russ grinned. "Oh come on, that's tacky" Tom complained. "Hey, tacky sells!" Russ argued. "I know." Tom replied, looking at the chains. "Bah, you'll appreciate them someday." Russ grumbled, putting the box back under the counter. "Well, it was nice meeting you two. I gotta be on my way." Chris waved with a smile. "Come back anytime!" Russ grinned. "Yeah. later." Tom nodded, the two giving a wave as Chris head for the exit.
Looking around, he called for the girls, making the two join him from different sides of the shop. "We go now?" Serenity asked. "Yeah, we're good to go." Chris nodded. "What didja need from here?" Rose asked, looking at his bag curiously. "You'll see soon enough. We should get back to the carriage first." he smirked, giving Rose an "ah-ah!" when she tried looking in the bag, holding it up out of her reach. "Now I want to know what get too." Serenity chimed in. "Just get to the carriage. You'll find out then!" Chris assured before the group head outside. Returning to the carriage, Chris had the girls stand next to it while he checked everything over once more, making sure the storage compartments were securely shut tight and sealed and Rapidash was set up properly for the travel ahead, pulling and tightening various things before returning to the girls and looking everything over with a satisfied smirk. "Alright! We're ready to head for the mountains!" he affirmed. "That good, now what get? Show!!" Serenity replied eagerly. "Yeah! Secrets aren't fair!" Rose added, the two scowling as he held his bag behind his back. "Okay, okay. I'll show you." he nodded, the two walking up only for Chris to raise his hand. "ONLY if Alicia comes out for a minute!" he called out, making the snake jolt while the girls slumped. "You know she in bad mood... She not come out." Serenity scowled. "I don't think she'll budge either." Rose agreed. "I'll only show you if she's a part of it too. Them's the rules!" he affirmed "Wadaya say Alicia? I'd appreciate it if you'd stomach me long enough to see this. I promise not to bother you anymore!" he affirmed with a smile. Looking at the carriage, they could see Alicia remaining still, continuing to face away making the girls cross their arms in frustration.
"...Okay then. I guess it'll just have to wait." Chris sighed before coaxing the girls toward the seat, making the two let out disappointed and whiny "aawww"s in response, both asking to see what he got only for Chris to turn them down. However, just as they started climbing up the seat, Alicia started stirring in the carriage, making the group pause as she moved about within before the door slowly opened. Stepping back, Chris watched as Alicia slithered out with her collar on, shutting the door before facing his direction with her gaze turned away. "What is it?" she asked, Chris blinking in surprise before smiling with a nod. "Alright then, Serenity, Rose, come on back." he coaxed, making the two stand in front of him with Alicia, the snake scowling at the two before looking at him. "It's not much, but I wanted to get something that could help me show you how much I really do love you. The other day, do you remember that story Isabelle told us about Froslass and all?" he asked, the girls looking at one another and nodding. "Well, this is the place that sells those things she told us about, so..." he paused, reaching into his bag and taking out the three keychains. "See? I got one for each of you!" he grinned, making the girls show a look of surprise. "You go out of way just for that? Gerald tell us it not real." Serenity point out. "Yeah, you didn't have to do that. Gerald said it was a waste." Rose smiled nervously. "You dragged me out for a pointless trinket? Is that supposed to appease me?" Alicia asked with a scowl. Looking at the three, Chris held up the keychains and looked them over before smiling again and nodding. "I know it's not much, but please take them?" he asked, the girls looking at one another before nodding and taking one, Alicia pausing for a moment before glancing away and taking one as well with her vine with a scowl.
"They won't make anyone fall madly in love with you, they don't have that kind of power, but the shopkeeper did explain them in a way I thought was pretty nice so that's why I bought them. I was just gonna look at them at first." Chris explained. "What keeper say?" Serenity asked. "Is there something special about them then?" Rose asked, the three looking theirs over. "Well, it's basically like this. You see that little heart they hold?" he asked, the girls nodding in response. "Well, just think of that as my heart. It's a way of me giving it to you and showing how much I trust you with it!" he smiled. "Ooohhh..." Serenity nodded. "Aww, that's kinda sweet." Rose giggled. "...Tacky..." Alicia muttered. "Well, it might be kinda tacky, but the meaning behind it is real and true. I don't have anyone else in the world I can give something like that to, something with that kind of meaning behind it. You girls are the only ones special enough for me to consider something like that a gift worth giving to. I'm not perfect, I'll never be perfect. There are times I'll be weak, and times I'll do things wrong. But through thick and thin, no matter how good or bad things are, how much I love you won't change! Not ever!" he assured. "You girls entrusted me with your hearts, with your lives, and that's my way of doing the same. I might fumble things up now and then, I'll make mistakes like anyone..." he point out. "But no matter what, you girls are the only one's in this whole world I'd ever want to have an intimate life with. You're the only ones I'd ever want anything to do with in the kind of way we've formed together. I don't know what we did last night, but you're the only girls in existence I'd want to do whatever it was with!" he affirmed, making Serenity and Rose blush while Alicia glanced away in agitation, yet showing a slight blush herself.
"Please believe that none of you are an item to me. Not a single one of you is something I can just use. Whatever we did last night, I know it was out of real, genuine love and desire for you and only you. You're the only women in my life I'd ever want anything to do with in the way we've developed. I love you, I cherish you... And even though I was drunk and doing things way beyond normal last night, I know that's exactly what I was trying to show you. Just how much I love you girls. How much I want you with me. And..." he paused, glancing away with a slight blush and scratching his cheek. "You know... How attracted I am and all to you." he added before clearing his throat out of embarrassment. "So, please, all of you. No matter what I did last night, know it wasn't because I thought lowly of any of you. I just... Wanted you so bad I guess I pushed too far and couldn't help myself. But is wanting you so much I push limits really THAT bad? Can you blame me for wanting you so much I'd want all of you with me at the same time? Doing things together... That's all I ever want. For us to always have fun, to enjoy ourselves together, everything we do. Maybe that's what I was reflecting last night. Just... Not in the way I usually mean to." he point out. "I love you girls. I love you SO much... I can't count all the speeches I've made, all the things I've done, to show and prove it since we met. So please. Even though I messed up..." he paused, walking up to Alicia and looking up at the snake. "Please don't hate, or be mad at me...? Don't think lowly of me...? I'd never think badly of you. Even when you've messed up, when you've done bad things... It never changed how much I care about you, how much I want to be with you and smile with you. So... What do you say?" he asked, putting a hand on her making Alicia jolt, glancing down at him before turning away.
Looking up at her back for a moment, Chris's smile fade into a somber look before he made himself perk back up with a nervous laugh. "Th-That's okay. I guess what I did to you was wrong in a whole different way compared to things you girls have done to each other and stuff. I understand." he assured before looking at the others. "Well then, wadaya say we head off to the mountains?" he asked before walking past between them, the two giving him a concerned look and about to speak up only for Chris to pause when a vine suddenly snapped around him. "Eh...?" he muttered, looking down before letting out a loud "URK!!" when Alicia yanked him against her, giving him slight whiplash as the snake wrapped around him and faced away with a blush on her face. "You're... Forgiven..." she muttered, the girls blinking in surprise while Chris did the same, looking up at her while rubbing his neck. "R-Really?" he asked as she looked at the chain hanging from her vine. "...What you did to me last night was deplorable. It was vile, disrespectful, and it made me spend the entire night cleansing myself..." she affirmed, glancing down at him before looking away. "But... I suppose the reason I'm so furious is because deep down, perhaps... It was..." she paused, struggling with her confession as a blush spread across her face. "I'm frustrated with you, and upset with myself for how I felt, and how I feel now, about our actions last night." she point out, releasing him and slithering back to the door. "...It's disgusting, what you made us do. But... It wasn't entirely... Bad... Per-se. It's myself that I hate for feeling this way, and it's you I'm frustrated with for making me feel this way." she admit before returning inside the carriage and shutting the door, facing down with a flush on her face while continuing to look at the chain he'd given.
"So... That mean she like what he do?" Serenity asked in confusion. "I-I think? Maybe a little? It kinda sounds like she hates it too..." Rose point out. "So... Like and hate?" Serenity asked, tilting her head. "I guess she's kinda in the same boat as us. It was weird but... Okay? Kinda gross, but not at the same time?" Rose suggested. Talking among themselves, the two tried to come to an agreement on Alicia's response, seemingly confusing themselves the more they tried to reason over the subject while Chris smiled nervously and shook his head before reaching up and putting his hand on the carriage. "I love you, Alicia, really I do... I always have, and I always will. I know that's what I was trying to show you last night... Just how much I wanted you." he affirmed, the snake looking out the window before facing away again, continuing to blush making Chris show a smile of relief. "I'll be sure to make you an extra tasty meal once we've made enough progress, deal?" he asked, Alicia giving a nod in response. Nodding back, Chris made his way to his seat, climbing up before looking down at the girls as they continued their debate. "Final call! A--ll abo--ard!" he shout, making the two jolt in surprise before hurrying to his sides on the seat. "There we go. Everyone ready for our next big journey?" he asked with a grin, the two nodding in response. "Well then, as promised..." he paused, handing Rose his staff making her giggle and give it a swing. "Lets be on our way! Ready for a trek?' he asked, Rapidash looking back with a nod before Chris gave the reigns a light snap and clicked his tongue.
"Time to say goodbye to Frola Village." he chuckled as Serenity and Rose rest against his sides, Alicia looking at his back through the window and showing just a slight smile before looking at her chain once more, the girls holding onto theirs as well with a smile on their faces...