Rocky stayed in Rod’s arms, barking once or twice to alert the group of the dangers of the vines. Which there were none.
“It wouldn’t be great, it would be amazing!” He tried to keep Rocky from jumping out of his hands. ”You gotta shoot for the stars, plan early! Cause, there’s gonna be obstacles in your way and you gotta pass them! And I’d loved to show you around Belgium. Maybe even the Netherlands I can show you?”
He grinned back at her, nudging her back. “Hey, I told you not to laugh!” He joked. “I still drink sometimes. Usually beer, just never drank wine after that. And you have no clue, my mom was super pissed!” Rod smiled, remembering it again. His sister was yelling how it was just a joke, his mom was terrifed that her baby boy had thrown up everywhere. And his father was laughing so hard. “If my brother was there, it would have been a better story.” Rod blurted out. He really had a bad habit of saying the first thing that came to his mind, but it was who he was.
Rod nodded like he knew what she was talking about. “No one is ever the same when they were kids. And it’s normal to miss them too, I miss it.” He smiled to the ground. “I guess we all just grow up sometimes or later, huh?” Rod gave her a smile, as if he was trying to make her feel better.
“Wouldn’t be surprised how many. I’m sure there’s a lot of girls who do that!” He chuckled softly, trying to make her feel better about it again. Rod just wanted everyone happy and not feel bad about some things. He beamed, wondering where and how they made the wine anyway. “No, no, it’s fine, man! And of course I wanna see!” He followed her, almost jumping in excitement.
Every time Rocky barked at something, Blondie’s ears would perk and she’d immediately dart around to investigate - of course, it never was more than a bug scuttling about.
“It really would, wouldn’t it?” Rod’s enthusiasm was contagious and a grin crossed Karen’s face. Might as well dream big, right? “Ha! I definitely will shoot for it! What about you? Do you have a big dream, Rod?” she couldn’t help but think about the idea of touring Europe together. Really, that would be so much fun! The idea of it made her grin in excitement. “That would be great! I’d love to check out the Netherlands with you, too! Maybe we could check out some of the other places, too. I’d love to wine and dine around Europe.”
Karen’s eyes crinkled as she tried to contain her giggles, but really, it was too funny not to laugh! And besides, he clearly wasn’t too bothered, since he was laughing himself. Leaning in closer to him, she lowered her voice in a conspiratorial voice and whispered, “Here’s another secret… I usually drink beer, too.” she replied with a soft chuckle. She loved wine, but when she wanted to have a good time, beer or cocktails were her drinks of choice. Wine was more for dinner or special occasions. Her eyebrows rose in surprise at the mention of a brother she hadn’t known he had, though. “You have a brother, too? Where was he during the shenanigans?”
Hearing that Rod also missed the childhood days made her feel somewhat better. Maybe it wasn’t so unusual for adults to miss the easier times in their lives. “Ya, I guess that’s part of growing up, huh?”
He really was a sweet guy, always trying to keep everyone happy. Even if she wasn’t entirely sure she deserved it in this case. Alcoholism ran in her family, and she wasn’t exactly good at trying to keep it away. “I guess that’s true. Everyone does stupid stuff sometimes.” she cast him a gentle smile and tried to push the negative emotions aside for the time being, leading him to their wine cellar and pushing open the door. “Come on in! This is where most of the actual work gets done!”
But… Jack needs his medicine and people come to me when they are in need of something. Trent is not around so, what am I supposed to do? -frowns lightly in concern- Mermaids… who would have thought they exist! Maybe the imigrated or something? Like… fish habits? -shrugs her shoulders- Sometimes they come back, Karen, like Trent… I know I shouldn’t get so attached but…. -sighs- It’s in my nature…
I guess that’s true, the doctor hasn’t been around much lately.. *sighs and shakes her head* What are we going to do with that man? *crosses her arms over her chest* Hm? Oh, I know! I was surprised when I first met Leia, too. I guess they might migrate.. I didn’t thnk of that.. Maybe she just didn’t have time to say good bye… *pauses thoughtfully and then casts a sad smile to Elli* I know it is.. It’s one of the things that makes you such a great friend, Elli.
keifu-karen asked: Hey, Gray! Long time no see. *holds up a hand in greeting, a faint smile crossing her face*
Same for you. [ grunts ] How’s it been?
Life’s been good. Business is coming along really well at the vineyard lately. How are things with you?
(( I just wanted to put out there that, although my replies are sometimes slow, I will happily play with absolutely anyone! With Karen, Lyla, or Kuruna. So please, if you feel left out, or bored, or whatever - you can always poke me, okay? <3 ))
That’s great to hear Karen. I won’t be moving away either but… I always felt, at least part of me, that I should travel some more. You know, take some days and go meet a new place! -blushes- Maybe I’m just being silly, I can’t leave Mineral Town… they need their nurse… -sighs- Oh, a mermaid? They exist? -opens eyes wide- Wow, Karen, that’s incredible! Too bad that… she hasn’t showed up…. and yes, you are right…. if you don’t feel comfortable in one place, you shouldn’t stay… -sighs-
Hey, there’s no reason you can’t ask for at least /some/ time off to travel, Elli! You deserve vacations as much as the rest of us! Besides, it’s fun to see new places every now and then. *smiles gently and nods her head* I’ve.. Met two mermaids now actually. They’re pretty amazing, but both of them seem to just disappear on me sometimes. *sighs and shakes her head* I guess that’s just what happens with people. They need to leave sometimes, even if we don’t want them to. But.. I guess… It just means that we’ll keep meeting new people… I just need to learn to be friendly without getting too attached, right?
He turned around, and laughed at Blondie. Rocky barked at his friend, as if to say he was done for awhile. He snuggled into Rod’s arms about to fall asleep. “Whatcha doin’ Rock?” Going to sleep already?” The small corgi yawned. Rod rolled his eyes, mumbling to himself “You’re a brat sometimes. You know that, right?” Rocky looked up at Rod, giving him a look that said ‘your fault’.
Rod smiled at her, almost as excited as she was. “It would be so cool! You could go during the spring, I heard it’s nice around that time.” He nodded. “You know, you should always plan for the future. Even if it’s a couple of years off. That’s what my dad thought me…” Rod smiled, remembering his life back home. He really did miss the Netherlands and Belgium. It was always strange being in new places, but whenever he went back to either of them, he felt at home.
Rod smiled at her, chuckling as well to the story. “Hey, don’t laugh!” The orange haired man said. “And no, I didn’t. I did throw up all over my sister… Oh man, you should have seen her. There was so much yelling and my mom walked in while I was crying!” He sighed, remembering how the whole ordeal went down. There was his mother and sister yelling over why she shouldn’t have told him, him crying, and his father on the side, laughing so hard he was almost in tears. He had to admit, it was a pretty good story.
Rod listened to Karen as she spoke about her past. To him, her past seemed something she adored, not something she left behind her. “Not much has changed since then? I mean, you’re still a firecracker, maybe you have calmed down. And your relationship with your dad…” He frowned at her, almost like he was worried. “When was this anyway? Couldn’t have been so long ago, right?”
Rod blinked a few times, before blurting out, “A secret? Yeah! Go ahead!” He smiled, listening to her. Dancing for the fairies? Sounded like something almost out of a fairy tale? “I think that sounds like a reasonable idea.” He blurted out again. “Don’t think it’s stupid either. And hey, we all have those moments.” He laughed.
Blondie seemed to get the picture, and even she was panting, which was more than usual for her. Still, she followed the group, wagging her tail happily and occasionally rushing forward to investigate a strange smell.
“It would be cool! I could even get a vacation home or something! Wouldn’t that be great? I mean, to have that kind of money!” Karen smiled right back at him and nodded her head, “You’re right. There’s no reason I can’t think about it. I mean, if I decide I really want it, there’s no reason not to shoot for it, right? And you could come visit! Maybe you could even show me around Belgium or something. That would be so great!”
Rod telling her not to laugh just made it all the harder, and her eyes squinted somewhat as she tried to hold the giggles inside. She nudged him playfully, apologizing to him, although she had a feeling his feelings weren’t exactly hurt either way. “Oh man, no wonder you don’t like booze after that! Still, it /is/ pretty funny! I bet your mom was pretty mad at her after that!” She could only imagine what a scene that must have been for his parents to walk in on. And poor Rod, no wonder booze freaked him out after such an ordeal! In her family, alcohol was always around, so she was used to it. It was just a part of everyday life.
Glancing up at him when he questioned her, she chuckled softly and shook her head in response, “Nah. I’m just not quite as friendly and innocent, but I guess time changes everyone. I miss those days, though. Things were a lot more simple back then.” Noticing the look on his face, she gently bumped into him again, “Hm.. More than ten years ago now… Hard to believe, eh? I sometimes forget how old I’ve gotten.” and how much things had changed between her family since that time. True, her dad seemed to be getting his act together, but it still wasn’t enough.. Not yet.
Karen was actually surprised that Rod hadn’t scoffed at her for thinking her dancing might be enough to get the attention of the fairies. It was nice of him, in her opinion, not to flat out laugh at her. Even she felt like it had been a childish hope! “It’s really sweet of you to say that, but… I mean, how many other girls wake up in a field because they got so drunk?”
Her cheeks flushed heavily as she realized what she was saying and she quickly pushed the thought aside, shaking her head, “Ahh, sorry! I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this!” she forced a laugh and looked away for a moment before steering him back towards their wine seller, “Come on, I’ll show you where we work our magic!”
Rocky continued running around, not aware that Blondie had already gone off after a bunny. He turned around, strolling back and sat down where Rod currently was. The corgi tilted his head, as if he was asking to be picked up. Rod smiled down at his dog, picking him up and holding him in both arms.
“Maybe when you become famous, you can open your own vineyard in Italy! And you could visit it there!” He gave her a smile, hoping to lift her spirits. “Or maybe you could hire someone who isn’t him. I’m sure there are some people who will work anytime!”
Rod chuckled, not knowing how to explain the whole story. It was pretty embarrasing, well, to him it was. “When I was in Italy, my older sister told me that the wine was really juice…” He chuckled again, hoping she wouldn’t burst out laughing. “So, being the dumb twelve year old I was, I drank it. A whole glass. My parents weren’t too pleased about it.”
Rod listened to her go about it. He had to admit, her smile made him smile. He tried to imagine that, playing around in the vines, hiding. “Seemed like you had a lot of fun around here! It’s hard to imagine you as a kid though!” He laughed, before turning to her with a small frown. “Oh… I’m sorry about that… Were you okay?”
Noticing Rocky come back alone, Karen did a quick scan to try and locate her dog. When she spotted Blondie, all she saw at first was a fluffy dog butt sticking out of a bush, wagging back and forth excitedly. She chuckled and shook her head before calling the dog over, who quickly perked her head up, tongue lolling to the side. “What are you doing? Get your butt over here!” The lab obediently raced over and looked between them both quizzically before following along with them as they walked around.
“Can you imagine? Having a vineyard in Italy?” Karen’s eyes lit up in excitement at the very thought. “I bet that would be super expensive, though! Maybe I could just become partners with another vineyard out there to start…” she said, tapping her chin thoughtfully and then bursting out laughing. “Listen to me! I haven’t even gotten /this/ vineyard off the ground yet!”
Listening to Rod’s story, Karen couldn’t help but be amused. Eyes of emerald watched him closely, while her lips twitched as she tried not to laugh at him. After a moment, she put a hand to her mouth to stifle giggles, her eyebrows raising. “I bet they weren’t! You didn’t get drunk, did you?”
As she thought about her own story, she couldn’t help but smile fondly, reaching out to touch the vines as they walked passed them. So many memories! “Ya, we always had a lot of fun, me and Ann. Ha! I was still a fire cracker, even then! Although my Dad and I were on much better terms.” she actually rolled her eyes as she explained the last part, but the smile only faded when she thought about her last drunken night in the vineyard. “I was.. At least it wasn’t too cold, so I didn’t get sick or anything…”
A sad smile crossed her face then, and her eyes strayed to the majestic tree in the far end of the property. “Can I tell you a secret?” she asked, looking up at him with dry chuckle, “I thought that if I danced for the fairies, maybe they’d come back and join me… Stupid, right?” she looked away and sighed, “Instead, I just got dizzy from the alcohol and ended up passing out amongst the grapes.. Not my proudest moment.”
“Yup! I’ve asked all around to see if he belongs to anyone, but everyone said no. I named him, Marvin!~” Mary giggled for only herself knew the meaning behind it. But it quickly came to a stop when she asked what was wrong. “… Y-Yeah… A-A lot did happen…” Mary frowned a bit, biting her inner cheek.
“Marvin?” Karen blinked her green eyes in surprise, her brow furrowing, “Okay… I have to ask.. Where did that name come from?” it was a pretty odd name for any animal, and she had a feeling, knowing Mary, there was at least /some/ kind of reason behind it. Noticing the expression on Mary’s face, Karen frowned as well, nudging her friend in her own sort of affectionate way, “I heard something happened with Trent.. Are you okay?”
The corgi started running again. Despite being small for a corgi, he was able to race around like it was no one’s business. He ran around, running in front of Karen and Rod, barking as he passed them.
Rod followed her, just looking around. He always assumed a vineyard had the berries already grown on them, and that they were ready to pick. But, this was just as beautiful. It wasn’t too hot for them to be out for hours.
“Yep! Went there when I was twelve with my parent’s and sister! My brother didn’t want to go.” He laughed, remembering his first trip to Italy. His sister telling him the vine in their hotel room was really grape juice and how he chugged it down. “It’s nice! You should totally go there one day! It’s worth it!”
He walked right next to her, looking over the land with her. “I like it small. But, I think it’s good to expand too.” Rod gave her another smile, this time a great, big, grin. “You’re gonna have your own label? That’s cool, man!” He smiled a bit, looking over the vineyard one last time. “I don’t drink wine much, because of an accident.” He laughed again, remembering his vacation in Italy. “You played around here when you were a kid, huh? And slept? Well, it’s a peaceful place, wouldn’t blame you. I like it, alot.”
Blondie zipped after Rocky, nearly tripping Karen as she did so, but managing to weave like pro through her legs instead. As she came close to catching Rocky, she saw a bunny dart out in front of them and her ears perked as she barked at it, as if trying to alert the other dog, and then she went tearing off after the bunny.
“You’re so lucky, Rod! Maybe some day I’ll be able to trust my dad to look after the vineyard long enough to go on vacation.” she wished she was joking, but she wasn’t. Despite that, she still laughed at the thought. “Maybe someday I’ll be able to ship my wine out there… Wouldn’t that be crazy?”
Karen’s brows rose in surprise when he mentioned having an accident involving wine, and she glanced at him with obvious curiosity. “An accident? What happened?”
A fond smile crossed her face at the memories of playing with Ann when they were little, and she chuckled softly, running a hand through her brown hair. “Ya, my friend Ann and I, we used to play hide and seek out here all the time. We were so small, it was easy to hide in amongst the grapes..” she laughed nervously, though, realizing he hadn’t understood her meaning. “Well.. The last time I slept out here… I think it was only a few months ago… After Leia disappeared on me, actually.. I was… Pretty drunk…”
Mary smiled once she knew it was Karen who had walked through the door. She smiled warmly at her best friend and picked up Marvin. “Hi Karen! I’m right here! I was just feeding this small kitten I found! He didn’t seem to be around here and he had a few scratches on him… But I took him in! See?” Mary showed the gray kitten to Karen and a huge smile appeared on her face. “Isn’t he just adorable!?”
Karen went to Mary and knelt down next to her, hoping to get a better look at the kitten. It was just like Mary to take in an injured animal, and Karen smiled warmly in response. “He really is a cutie. Are you thinking of keeping him?” she asked, looking to her friend and smiling apologetically, “Sorry I took so long to come back, by the way. Sounds like a lot happened while I was gone. Are you doing okay?”