Sunday, 2 September 2018

Chapter 66d - Part 2 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

After we have watched Forrest run off up the stairs to search the Red County data base.  I smile at Tapestry, who is staring at me thoughtfully.

We are now alone in the living room, and I am half expecting him to start pecking my head over my break up with Parsley.  Them being Cousins, he is bound to have something to say.

          "Just spit it out Tap.  I know you are dying to say something!"
          "You should take a chance on Crimson and tell him!"  he surprises me!
          "Why?"  I frown at him  "Just how much of what I said to my Dad did you hear?"
          "Probably everything you said about Crimson."  he smiles then starts laughing  "Trust me you two seriously need your damn heads banging together."
          "Why do you say that?"
          "Crimson has had a mad crush on you for as long as I can remember."  he laughs
          "Don't talk shit Tap!!" I snap at him

           "On my life, I am not talking shit!!"  he chuckles quietly  "Honey and Storm told me originally, but I have since spoken to him about it.  He has never had the guts to grow a pair and tell you."  he laughs  "Parsley found out about how Crimson felt, years ago.  He and Crimson had a right punch up over it, the first time you two were together.  You might not have known about that time, but I am sure you know about their second punch up."  he frowns at me  "Do you remember when Crimson battered Parsley quite badly, just after everyone found out that he had been cheating with Straw behind your back?"
           "Yeah, I remember.  Crimson beat him up for sleeping with his Sister."
           "No!!  It had nothing to do with Straw.  Crimson beat Parsley up for what he had done to you!!"  he laughs  "Crimson has always had it pretty bad, where you are concerned!!  Trust me I am telling you the truth."
           "You can't be!!"  I stare at him wide eyed  "Why has Parsley never said anything?"
           "What, and tip you off to another guy fancying you!!  Like anyone would!!"  he laughs "He has always felt very threatened by Crimson, especially lately.  Crimson has been there in his face, while the four of you have been hanging out together.  He might have been there with Wisty, but it was you he was watching, when he thought nobody was looking!!  Wisty knows it too, and was always giving Crimson hell over it!!  Affair, who is sandwiched between the three of them, just finds it all very amusing."
            "I don't get it ... how do I not know?"
            "It happens ... just like I did not have a clue about Honey being obsessed with me, until we .... well you know!!  he laughs quietly to himself.
            "Yeah we do!  Vanilla, because you didn't take precautions."  we laugh at each other  "Why has Crimson never ... said anything?"
            "Like you have never said anything about liking him."  he raises his eyebrows at me  "Mint you have always been so blinkered!!  As far as we were concerned, Parsley is all that you could ever see.  You have appeared to be constantly moping over my stupid Cousin since you broke up in high school.  Who is going to risk making a fool of themselves, and probably ruin a good friendship, by telling you they want to be more than just your friend.  Especially when he thinks you are so hung up on someone else, he thinks he doesn't stand a chance!!"
          "I ..."  I am stunned into silence
          "Seriously, you need to tell him and put him out of his misery!!"  he laughs  "Put yourself out of the misery!!  Forrest is right.  You two should be together, not with my useless cousins who are only ever going to hurt the both of you!!"

His phone starts to buzz in his pocket, which makes him start to get irritated.

          "I swear if that is my Dad again!!"  he pulls his phone out of his pocket and frowns at the screen before turning it to me  "Who is that?"
          "It is your Mom."  I smile at him
          "Yeah, I bet it is!!"  he laugh sarcastically as he makes a dramatic display of switching his phone off.
          "Seriously Tap!!"  I frown at him  "You have just turned your phone off on Lilly!!"
          "How often do you get phone calls off my Mother?  She never uses her phone, she hates it.  Most of the time she keeps it switched off.  That is my Dad trying to be clever, he is using Mom's phone to get to me, because he knows I am intentionally ignoring his calls.  He forgets I have fallen for that sly trick before!!"
          "Why are you ignoring his calls?  What if it is important?"  I frown at him  "It could be Crystal, she might need you."
          "Crystal will phone your Parents, you or Crimson if she can not get hold of me.  If it was important - everyone at home, especially River, would be after me, not just Dad."  he laughs  "It's not Crystal, it is just Dad being an annoyance!!  He doesn't know where I am or what I am doing, and I won't tell him.  So he automatically thinks I'm up to something I shouldn't be!!"
           "So Crystal knows you are here?"  I frown at him  "Does she know why?"
           "Yeah she knows.  She knows all about Sunny's gay lies and double life."  he rolls his eyes  "She wanted to come with me to support Crimson, but I thought it might be a bit too much for her.  With the pregnancy, I don't want her getting too upset trying to comfort him."
            "Yeah Forrest feels the same way about Mom and her baby bump."  we both laugh

Tapestry sits grinning at me mischievously.

          "So Mint ... How do you fancy getting yourself some green hair dye and spending a week out in Rainbow with me and Rocky?"
          "What?  Why?  When?"  I frown at him
          "Next week.  We have three Rocky Storm concerts in Rainbow.  You should come with us!!"  he smiles at me  "You won't have to worry about accommodation or anything, I'll sort it all."

          "Next week?"  I frown at him  "What about Ruby's funeral?"
          "The funeral is at the beginning of the week, we don't fly out until the weekend, two days after the wedding."  he starts to really laugh  "Crimson could always tag along too, if you want to make your fake relationship look realistic.  You know ...  after all the drama you are whisking him away on a romantic get away!"  he smirks  "Hopefully by then it will be a real relationship, not a fake one!"
          "Ha ha, very funny Tap!!"  I laugh at him  "Why do I suddenly feel like everyone is playing match maker?!  Granite, Dad, now you!"
          "Probably because we are!!"  he sniggers  "In all seriousness, after everything Crimson has been through lately, he could do with the break!!  He is the oldest and everyone is leaning on him.  Both of his parents have faded and left him loads of shit to sort out.  He has hardly had a break since Sunny faded, now Ruby has gone and followed him.  He has already had all the shit from the Gravel baby bomb and Ruby's ridiculous Will to deal with, which is forcing him to sell the house.  Straw is causing trouble all over the place which Crimson is having to deal with, and I dread to think what else might be coming from Ruby.  He is worrying himself sick over Saffron and Scarlet, and now on top of that he now has all of Sunny's shit again!!!"
          "Yeah he told me about her Will."  I mumble  "I agree, Crimson could definitely use the break away from all this shit, but I don't understand.  Why you are asking me to go with you?"
          "Well seeing as you get all of my exclusive news and interviews and basically are my unofficial personal press representative ... which needs to be made official."  he grins at me  "Me and Rocky think you should come on tour with us, in a professional capacity.  Rocky Storm needs a Press Agent, and so do me and Crystal ... the job is yours if you want it."
           "Are you joking?"  I start to chokes
           "No, I'm being deadly serious."  he grins at me
           "Wow!!  I don't know what to say!!" I am seriously speechless
           "Say you'll take the job!!"  he grins at me  "It is your line of work, and this job will open the coded world up to you, as you will be trailing us around, for things like  tours, concerts and promotional work.  Obviously you will be paid a hell of a lot more than you get from the dead beat paper you work for.  I need someone I can trust, and I can't think of anyone better than you.  We are family and I have known you all my life.  I know I can trust you to have my back!"  he smiles at me 

          "Won't it be awkward, me being a mixed berry?"  I mumble  "I am caged in this town!!"
          "No!!  We can get you a licence to travel freely out in the coded world.  As long as you keep your hair dyed nobody will question you being pure or not.  The only time anyone will know is if you have to show your identification, but as long as you have your licence with you, or you are with us, you'll be fine."  he grins at me
          "It is ridiculous!!  We should all be able to get a licence, not just a privileged few!!"  I tut
          "I know."  he rolls his eyes  "Me and Rocky are trying to shake things up, we are trying to force their hand into making changes to their ridiculous colour code!!  We are basically trying to show them up for the hypocrites that they are!!  Ziggy and Creed are on board with us too, they are both mixed berries."
           "Are they really!!"  I am shocked  "I didn't know that!!"
           "Oh you would be surprised."  he chuckles  "There are a lot more mixed berries out in the coded world, hiding behind hair dye and coloured contacts. than you might think!!  The more we can let out of their cages the better!!  Which is what I am trying to do for you."
           "What about when I move to Berry?"
           "That is not a problem.  Rocky is in Berry and I spend a lot of time out there in the recording studio, and I intend to move out there eventually.  Our Colourblind Charity is also being run from Berry, which we will want you to get involved with too.  Part of your PA job will be the PR for the charity."  he smiles at me.
           "So you are definitely doing it then ... the charity!!"  I grin at him
           "Yes!!"  he grins at me  "We have already registered the charity and got two big sponsors.  Grape and Apple."  he grins at me  "Grumpy has given us a really fat donation to help kick us off, as well as one of the Grape planes to use for the charity work.  Blaze, Ziggy, Creed, me, Rocky and a few others have all put money into it.  We are looking for property to lease, rent or buy now.  We've already bought Winters house in Rainbow, and I have got my eye on Gravel's house.  I want it to be the Sugar Valley Shelter for the colourless."  I frown at him quite nastily.  Just the mention of that house turns my stomach.  It is where my Brother was shot, which ended his life prematurely.  "Seriously Mint, I am not doing it to hurt anyone.  Nobody is going to want to buy that house to live in after everything that happened there.  So we may as well turn it into something that will do some good!!  I'm sure Cinnamon would approve."  he smiles at me
           "Yeah I think he would!"  I smile back at him

           "I thought the police had seized that house along with everything else of Gravel's."
           "It is being released, as it was purchased with inheritance money, not with Gravel's ill gotten gains.  Granite is getting Power of Attorney papers drawn up, so he can handle anything of Gravel's that is released.  He is going to sell the house to me when it is released, and split the money between Scarlet and Clay."
            "He is selling it to you?"  I frown at him
            "Yeah, I am buying it for the charity to use.  I guess one day in the distant future the charity can pay me back, when it can afford to."  he smiles at me 
            "So will they all be coming to Sugar Valley."  he frowns at me  "The homeless and colourless that need use of the shelter?" I frown at him
            "No."  he chuckles  "We have rented property in Cherry and Rocky has bought property in Berry, for the charity to use.   So the colourless will be spread between the three towns.  Our first priority is setting up the three colour mix towns first, for the colourless, then we will work out into the coded world from there, for the homeless.  Our main worry starting up is the colourless.  We have to have at least two shelters set up and ready, which they nearly are, before we start to really push the charity.  Once we do all the childrens homes and the police will be given the charities number to phone if they get any abandoned colourless children.  The colourless will obviously have to be brought straight to one of the colour mix towns."  he smiles at me.  
            "What about the homeless?"
            "The homeless are not so much of a worry, we can start picking them up off the streets once we have accommodation for them, but in the mean time, we are working on "Soup Kitchens" for them.  Basically we will be able to feed and cloth them until we can put a roof over there heads.  We want to keep the homeless and colourless separate.  So it is highly unlikely that any of the homeless will be put into the colourless shelters.  Once the donations start coming in, we can rent property out in the coded world, and set up homeless shelters.  A place for them to be housed temporarily, so they can get back on their feet.  We will run that part of it like how Denim runs the house in Rainbow.  He takes them in, helps them get themselves straight, then he helps them to get their own place to live."  he smiles at me  "I will get River to show you all the plans and paperwork.
            "Wow it all sounds awesome, and really well thought out!!"  she grins at me  "Do you honestly think that people will bring their colourless babies to your charity, for re-homing, rather than abandoning them?"
            "We damn well hope so!!"

             "We are giving them a choice and an opportunity, to do the better thing for their child - giving them a chance of life.  We are even given them the chance to stay with their child and move to a colour mix town where they won't be shunned attacked and ridiculed just because their child is colourless.  At the moment the only option they have is to dump and abandon them to fade."  he smiles at me  "Crystal is doing a lot to show the coded world that there is nothing wrong with colourless people, just by being out in the public eye with me.  She is showing them that the colourless can live a normal life, have children and be just like the rest of us.  Snow too is going to be a good example of what can happen to an abandoned child.  Just like Rhythm and Rhyme, Rocky's two adopted colourless boys.  The more exposure they get, the more that it will sink in.  We are even toying with the idea of having Crystal as the face for the charity."  he chuckles  "Crystal is probably drawing more media interest than I am at the moment because the wedding dress modelling job that she did has gone down far better than we could have ever expected.  Suddenly everyone is very curious, mostly because of what she is, rather than who she is."
             "Yeah, I have seen the magaizine.  She looks amazing in some of those dresses.  She could actually be a model, she has the face and figure for it!!"
             "I have been banned from seeing the pictures!  They gave her one of the dresses, to wear when we get married.  Free dress for us, advertising for them.  She thinks it will spoil it if I see it, even if I don't know which one she has."  we both laugh   "She does actually have a constant stream of modelling job offers coming in now.  Which obviously she can't do because she is pregnant."  he chuckles then grins  "Which will be one of your first jobs as PA.  We have managed to keep this pregnancy under wraps from the media so far, with her being on bed rest all the time.  However, it is going to come out eventually and we want it done properly.  Us having quads is going to cause a media storm.  I want a press release putting out, as soon as I go out to Rainbow, hopefully to stop the bedlam a little here.  Hopefully the press will follow me into Rainbow, as I'll be the only one of us out in the open.  Which will also help to bump up the concert publicity."  he grins
             "Clever move!"  I laugh at him
             "Rocky Storm, me, Crystal and the charity will keep you plenty busy.  I suspect a little too busy at times, so you can bring in staff to work under you if you need too."  he raises his eyebrows at me  "There is also Shadow too."
              "Yeah, I was going to ask about him."  I snigger

              "There won't be a lot of work as far as he is concerned.  Just new release promotion.  We are trying to keep everything around Shadow as low key as possible.  Total media silence, to keep his identity a secret, and the longer that lasts the better!!"
              "Aren't they badgering you for his identity, what with you having a single in the charts with him?"
             "Yeah, we were a little stupid with that.  Doing that basically told the world that I know who he is.  So the press are constantly on my back, trying to find out his identity!!"  he rolls his eyes  "We needed to do what Rocky did for me ... basically springboard him out there.  I am new hype at the moment, so he was going to be heard!!  It was the quickest way, and it worked.  His solo single is now flying!!  They love him!!  he squints at me  "Have you worked out who he is yet?"
              "Oh I have, and so has my Dad.  I'm not sure how many others of us have!!"  I grin at him  "With the single you two have in the charts at the moment, it is pretty obvious, when I see you two with your heads together all the time.  Who he is makes sense of why he is being kept in the Shadows!!  Besides, I have also heard him singing to his babies."  I snigger  "You know his brother is still TOTALLY oblivious which is cracking me right up!!"
              "Good and we need to keep it that way.  He is a washer woman!!  The minute he finds out, the whole world will know!!"  we both start laughing
               "So who does know his identity?"
                "Besides me, Rocky and Grape ... Prelude, Cherry, Crimson, Crystal, My parents, River  and Winter."  he chuckles  "Mace worked it out straight away, so Granite and Mace now know." he frowns at me  "You and Forrest will keep it to yourselves won't you!!"
               "Of course we will!!"  I grin at him  "So, I take it you have some big plan as far as Shadow goes!"
               "Oh Yes we do!  Unfortunately you are not privy to that information ... YET!!  Rocky Storm staff only!!" he grins at me  "So what do you think Mint?  Are you up for the job?"
               "Yes I think I am!"  I grin at him  "Becoming a Press Agent is something I NEVER thought I would be able to do living in this dump!!  There are also too many things about this particular job that I like.  The whole music scene, the charity ... helping Prelude to keep you in check and on the straight and narrow ..."  this has him howling  "I would be an idiot to turn the opportunity down!"
             "Great!!  No doubt my Dad will approve of you joining my team of baby sitters!!"  he smirks at me   "You will have to come back to mine with me, so that River can go through everything and sort all the paperwork and stuff out with you  ..."  he grins 

           "Tapestry, you are a bloody genius!!"  Forrest suddenly interrupts our conversation.

Forrest is laughing as he comes almost bouncing down the stairs and back into the living room.  My Mom trails behind him laughing quietly to herself.  They both look highly amused. 

          "I'll make us all a brew."  she laughs as she makes her way into the kitchen

           "What has you two so amused?"  I frown at my Dad
           "Thanks to Tapestry's quick thinking, we have already found Ruby's family."  he smirks at Tapestry  "Your friend Cane Blaze is only Ruby's younger Brother ... can you believe it!!"
           "You are joking!!"  I laugh
           "No.  We found both Cane and Abel, on the Red County data base.  They have exactly the same parents as Ruby."  he frown  "Gabriel Blaze though, we can't find him."
           "Cane is Ruby's Brother ... I am speechless!!"  Tapestry starts to laugh  "Oh Berry!!"
           "After what you have told us about Blaze ... doesn't this proves Ruby was lying.  Didn't you say Blaze colour mixes himself!!"
           "Yeah, he does!!  He doesn't have a problem with colour mixing or the colourless!  I have even heard him talk about moving to Berry!!  He is also backing the Colourblind Charity.  Abel too.  Ruby was definitely talking shit when she said they turned their back on them because of the colour mixing.  They wouldn't!!"  Tapestry looks annoyed  "Which makes me wander why she was lying and hiding!!"
           "Crimson is going to be gob smacked, when he finds out that their Uncle is none other than Blaze!!"  Forrest laughs  "Hopefully that will help to soften the blow of Ruby's lies and whatever else she was hiding, a little!!"
           "Didn't you tell him?"  I frown at my Dad
           "No, he has cried himself to sleep.  We didn't want to wake him."  he smiles at us
           "Oh fudge!!"  Tapestry laughs  "Are you sure that Cane is Ruby's brother?"
           "As sure as I can be."  he smiles at me  "The only thing we can do is ask him."
           "Yeah and I guess that is my job ... to ask him!"  Tapestry mumbles
           "Yes.  You know him, plus you have his phone number ... I presume."

Both me and my Dad start howling at the expression on his face.

           "Great!"  he mumbles


After Forrest has hit Canes phone number, I sit nervously staring at my phone, which is sat on the coffee table on loud speaker.  We are listening to it as it start ringing, and wait for the call to be picked up.

After only a few rings, the phone clicks

          "Hello"  Cane snaps quietly into the phone, almost like he is irritated.
          "Yow Blaze!!"  I laugh nervously
          "Yow Storm!!"  he laughs back very quietly
          "Are you sober and on a level?"
          "As a judge mate!!"  he chuckles as I hear a door close.
          "I am not calling at a bad time am I?  Only you didn't sound too happy when you answered the phone."
           "No it is Okay!  I could probably use a bit of adult conversation right now!!"  he chuckles  "I'm Sorry Tap, I didn't mean to snap!!  I have only just got Pheonix off to sleep after he has thrown one of his thirty minute, I can barely keep my eyes open but I'm not sleeping tantrums.  I really don't know why he fights it!!"  he tuts  "I was putting him in his cot when the phone started ringing, I didn't want it to wake him up."  he laughs quietly

          "So have you got Nix for the weekend?"
          "No.  I have finally got permanent custody of Nix.  So I will have to be on my very best behaviour from now on!!  No more drink or drugs.  I have had to cut all that crap out!"
          "That is great!!"  I laugh  "Rocky told me about the custody battle, but I did not think that it would be all over and done with already.  I am really glad it worked out for you!!"
          "Yeah well, the bitch was only out for the money.  It never went past mediation!!"  he mumbles  "She decided to put a $5 million price tag on our Son's head.  She handed him straight over to me when I said I would pay her what she wanted!!  She was even smiling when she gave him to me, and walked out with a grin on her face, like giving up her Son was nothing!!"  he tuts  "He doesn't need a Mother like that in his life!!  Heartless money grabbing bitch!!  I swear she set me up for exactly this from the beginning, and Nix was her golden ticket and just a pawn in her game!!  Rocky warned me, he told me she was one of those, but I didn't listen!!  Turns out he was right!!"  he mumbles  "This is where you and Rocky are both very lucky ... you were with your women before the fame hit!!  You both know they want you for you!!  Whereas I will never know if it is me or my money and fame that they want!!"
          "I'm sorry!!"  I mumble not quite knowing what to say.
          "On the bright side ... it is finally over!  I won't have to endure the hell I have been going through, just to get to see my boy, any more!!  The bitch is out of my life and I have got my Son.  She no longer has any rights to him whatsoever.  She signed all her rights to him away when she took her cash!!"  he laughs
          "That's good I guess.  At least she can't come back at you when all the money has gone!"
          "No she can't, and I doubt that money will last her very long, the way she likes to spend it!!  She was very high maintenance!!"  he is laughing loudly  "Soooo Tap, I now have a dirty big hole in my bank account, and I need to rake it back  ... what do I have to do to get you to come and twist my shit up!!  It is about time you stopped sucking Rocky's dick, and came and sucked mine instead."
          "Twisting your shit up and sucking your dick!!  Cane, do you know just how wrong that sounded!!"  I start to laugh hysterically  "Especially when I have you on loud speaker!"
          "Oops!!  I hope you have no kids in the room!!"
          "Luckily no!"
          "Yeah, I guess I could have phrased it better, but it so worked tho didn't it!!" he starts howling  "So are you coming to suck my dick or what?!"

          "You won't catch me sucking anyone's dick, especially not yours.  You are a slut and I don't know what I might catch!!  Half the time you can't even remember where you've been poking it!!"
          "Very true.  Although I will from now on, because I will be level headed, and I have sworn off women!!  It is men only from now on!!  At least I can't knock them up and give them the opportunity to fleece me!!"  he starts howling  "Anyway, more fool you if you don't take advantage of the sluts and bitches who throw themselves at you.  You don't know what you are missing."
           "Oh I do ... Crystal not dumping me and STD's!!"
           "Seriously Tap, we need to do something with you, you are way too squeaky!!  he starts howling
           "Squeaky doesn't have me catching nasty painful rashes, does it Cane!!"
           "Oh I guess Rocky has told you.  Yes, I have had a dose of those, more than once!!"  he starts laughing
           "Yeah, he has mentioned it."  I laugh  "As for me twisting your shit up, you know I can't, or Grumpy will be cutting my nuts off!!  You being the enemy and all that!!"
            "I know, I'm only messing with you Tap.  Grumpy is very scary when he gets angry, and it wouldn't just be you he would come after!!  The last thing I want to do is start a fruit war!!  The big Apple and Grape fight dirty when they bump heads!!"  he chuckles  "However, I am seriously considering what our teal friend suggested.  A change of scenery is probably what I need right now.  My Apple feels pretty stale right now!!"
            "Good!  If you do, swap your manky Apple label for Grape, then I will be able to twist all of your shit tune up and it won't matter!!"
            "Ouch!!  Shit tunes?"  Really?" he laughs
            "You started it ... you are the one who said you wanted your SHIT twisted up."
            "Okay, so I guess I did!!" he laughs
            "I hope you do jump ship, because I could do a lot with your stuff.   I can take out the hardcore heavy and tame it, twisting it down rather than twisting it up.   It is something I used to do for fun before Rocky even found me.  I have actually got quite a few of your songs already twisted.  Maybe I should let you listen to them the next time we get together."
             "Sounds good, I can't wait!!  We will have to make it soon!!  I am work free for the next six months, I'm taking time out with Nix, to help him settle in to his new life."  he mumbles  "I know you are very busy for a while, with the tour, so you will have to get Prelude to bump heads with Abel.  They can get something pencilled into our diaries, for when you have time to squeeze me in."
             "I'll speak to him later and get something sorted!"

             "Rocky has told me your baby news ... Seriously Tap you kill me!!"  he starts really laughing  "People usually have one baby at a time - not FOUR!!"  he is now really laughing  "I hope you know, the media are going to have a field day with that one, along with your wedding!!  I have to say you are one jammie git!!  Crystal looks seriously hot modelling those wedding dresses, especially the tight fit ones!!  I hope you realise she is now the latest thing with us guys.  Your wedding is going to be a media circus, because of the both of you."
           "Yeah I know!!"  I mumble  "I think we might have to run away to a deserted island and get married on the sly!!  I really don't want the fuss and neither does Crystal."
           "I guess you know, the bookies are running bets on which dress she will wear on the big day."
           "I didn't until Grumpy told me ... he has even put a bet on."  I start laughing  "Its bloody stupid!!"
           "Its the price of fame mate!!  But you can always kick back ... a deserted island and a maternity dress would really screw the bookies right up!!"  he starts howling
            "Don't tempt me!!"
            "So how are you feeling about the quads?"
            "I am still in shock to be honest!!  I think I am going to need more than six months off work, I can not really leave Crystal to handle four babies and two toddlers all on her own."
           "Two toddlers?  I have only ever seen Vanilla, I didn't realise you had another one."  we can hear the question and confusion in his voice
           "Yeah, I thought you knew, we have a colourless boy too, Snow.  We found him abandoned in Sandy Shores, so we bought him home and adopted him.  I don't take him out of Sugar Valley like Vanilla, he is still a little delicate.  He was obviously traumatised and he has a lot of problems, especially with his sleep and speech."
            "He is lucky you found him!!!  I seriously don't understand how anyone can just dump their child like they do!!"  he mumbles  "Well I don't envy what you have coming!!  I am struggle with just one toddler, especially when he starts throwing his tantrums"  he chuckles  "So you will definitely have your hands very full when, the others arrive!!"
            "Just a bit."  I laugh  "Anyway, the reason I'm phoning ... I need to pick your brains."
            "This sounds ominous."  he laughs
            "Your surname Blaze ... is it a common one?"
            "Not really.  I can't say I've ever met anyone with it, other than my own family of course."

            "So you don't know any other Blaze's in Red County other than the ones you are related to?"
             "No ... why?"
             "I know someone who is trying to track down family with your surname.  His family is red and originate from Red County, and as the name, colour and place fit you, I just thought I would try you as a long shot."  I mumbles as I stare at Mint nervously.  I don't want to ask him directly, even though I think I know that he is going to turn out to be Ruby's Brother!!!  "I know about your two Brothers Abel and Gabe.  Do you have any more Brothers and Sisters?"
             "Yeah, two older Sisters, Ruby and Rose.  They were identical twins, even though they were born a day apart Ruby on the 10th March and Rose on the 11th.  As you know, Me and Abel are non identical twins.  Gabe is not actually my Brother.  He is my Nephew."   he goes quiet for a moment
            "You talk about Abel and Gabe a lot, but I've never heard you mentioning your two Sisters."
            "No you probably wouldn't!!  I avoid talking about them, because they are both a very sore subject.  I have not seen Ruby for over twenty years, and Rose faded."  he mumbles
              "Oh .. so did you fall out with Ruby?"
              "No, when I was a child she ran away, we think, after she was expelled from the Strawberry Fields boarding school.  They put her on the train but she never returned home to either Mom or Dad, and we haven't seen or heard from her since."  he tuts  "That girl has a lot to answer for!!  It is her fault that Mom and Dad split up.  It is her fault Rose faded.  It is her fault that Dad lost his faith and turned into a broken drunk.  She is the reason why Me, Gabe and Abel are so wrecked in the head!!  Partly because we have spent the last twenty years looking for the spiteful, selfish bitch!!!"  we can hear the anger in his voice.
I stare at Mint wide eyed like she is staring at me.  I glance at Forrest who is sniggering behind his hand.  There is no mistaking he is talking about our Ruby. her birthday and the boarding school story fits!!  Now what the hell do I do or say ... I'm way out of my depth here.

            "I am Sorry Tap!!  It is just any mention of Ruby riles me and gets me angry.  I doubt you want to hear about my wrecked family, or how much of  a bitch my sister is!!"  he laughs nervously  "So, who is this guy looking for his family?"
            "His name is Crimson ... he is looking for his Mother's family."  I mumble   "Crimson's Mother's maiden name is Ruby Red Blaze ..."  I then tell him her Parent's names, and her date and place of birth.  "She was expelled from the Strawberry Fields boarding school for smoking inside school, which burnt down the music room ...."

            "WHAT!?!  Those are my parents!!!  You are talking about my Sister!!!"
            "Yeah that is what we think ... "
            "Tap ... if you know this Crimson guy, do you actually know Ruby?!"
            "Yes I do ... she is one of my parents school friends."
            "Where is she?" he snaps
            "Here in Sugar Valley."
            "You are joking me right?!"
            "No."  I mumble
            "You have to be ... Sugar Valley, we have checked out that town quite a few times over the years, along with all the surrounding towns.  We figured, a colour mix town would be the best place for her to hide, especially if she passed herself of as a mixed berry - hair dye and coloured contacts."  he mumbles  "We have kept on top of both Cherry Hill and Sugar Valley.  Hang on one second, because we keep a book."  he mumbles
            "Why not Berry Shores?"
            "Mom and Gabe live in Berry, so we know she hasn't been there." he mumbles away from the phone

We hear the phone crackle and a few different noises like draws being opened and closed.

           "We keep a record of where we have been, when and who we spoke to .... hang on."  he mumbles and we can now hear what sounds like pages being flicked through in a book.  "Arrrrr here it is.  Sugar Valley, Abel has been there twice, and we have spoken to the same police officer eight times over the years."
           "Gravel I bet you!"  Forrest snaps
           "Detective Inspector Rock .... Do you know him?"  this sets Forrest off laughing and Mint slaps his arm, which makes me laugh.
           "Yeah we know him all right!!"  I laugh   "Gravel  Rock  ... he has to be the bent-est copper on this planet and we guessed he was probably covering for Ruby.  We think he helped her to hide her real identity, by getting her a fake Identity.  He is also the Father of one of Ruby's children."
            "BERRY HOLE!!"  he yells down the phone.

            "My parents were at the boarding school with Ruby, and she came to Sugar Valley with them.  Ruby is actually Vanilla's Grandmother."
            "Now you are having me on ... your little girl is ... yellow."
            "Ruby got herself expelled from the boarding school on purpose, because she was colour mixing and pregnant, that is why she came to Sugar instead of going home.  All her children are mixed yellow and Red.  Vanilla gets her colour from her Mom and Granddad, who were both completely yellow."
            "How many children has Ruby had?"
            "Eight ... four boys and four girls."  he chokes for a moment
            "I might have known that she would be happily getting on with her life after she has wrecked all ours and would have a tonne more kids!!"  he chokes  "Pregnant at school ... she always was a dirty little tramp with no sense!!  that is exactly why she was sent away in the first place!!"  he tuts  "So this Crimson guy is one of her kids?   I bet he is as he has the same name as our Dad."
            "Yeah, Crimson is her eldest along with his twin sister Cherry."  I mumble
            "Oh, he isn't her eldest."  he laughs sarcastically
            "WHAT!?"  I snap at the same time as I hear Mint swear quietly under her breath.
            "Gabriel is her oldest ... but seriously never call him that or he will hang draw and quarter you!!"  he chuckles  "You already know Gabe don't you Tap?!"
             "Yeah."  I choke  "Gabe is Ruby's son?!"
             "Yeah he certainly is!!  I guess she never told you about the baby she never went back home to."  he tuts  "She had Gabe before she was sent to the boarding school.  Who she abandoned without a reason, just like the rest of us."
            "No she has never said!!"  I mumble
            "Yeah well that's Ruby!!  Selfish to the core!!"  he mumbles  "She split Mom and Dad up because Mom had to move Ruby out to Berry Shores before the baby was born.  Gabe is a mixed berry, so Mom has had to stay in Berry with him.  Permanently seeing as Ruby never went back to raise her son."
            "We seriously had no idea."  I mumble  "When I met Gabe, I had no idea who he was, I thought he was your Brother, because I heard him call Abel Bro!!"

            "He may as well be my Brother, my Mom is the one who brought him up!!"  he laughs sarcastically  "Me and Abe treat him like a Brother, rather than a Nephew."
            "You said he is a mixed berry.  I'm colourblind so I just presumed he is all red, because I met him out in Rainbow."
            "No Gabe isn't all red, that is why he and Mom have to live in Berry Shores.  When he comes out to Red County or is out in the coded world with me, he hides behind the hair dye and contacts.  He has grey hair and eyes, which makes no sense at all when there were no grey berries in Red County at the time.  Hell, I had never even seen a grey berry before he was born. I don't know if you know how rare they are, they are almost extinct!!"
           "So where did the grey come from if there are none in Red County?"
           "We actually think the pregnancy happened while she was at Summer Camp."  
           "Oh Summer camp!"   Forrest chuckles quietly  "Ask him which one."
           "Which Summer Camp did she go to?"
           "Sandy Shores."  he mumbes
           "Oh fudge!!"  Forrest chokes then he sits there with his head in his hands really frowning.
           "Why did they send Ruby to the boarding school if she had a baby?"  I mumble not knowing what else to say while I am wandering what has set Forrest off.
            "So she could finish her education without the distraction of having a baby to look after."  he mumbles  "It was Mom's idea and Ruby was okay with it.  She wasn't forced to go, she had the choice.  Ruby spent all her time with her baby in the school holidays, and she seemed to love the kid!!  She said she missed him while she was at school and couldn't wait to finish school so that she could be with him full time.  We actually thought at first, that she had got herself expelled on purpose so she could get back to Gabe."  he tuts  "Mom and Dad never saw her disappearance coming.   Dad has always blamed Mom for sending Ruby to the boarding school which she never returned from.  It broke their marriage in the end."
            "I'm sorry!!!  I don't know what to say!!"  I mumble
            "There is nothing that can be said or done to repair the damage that she had done.  Especially to Gabe, he's had to grow up feeling well and truly abandoned by his parents!!

            "What about Gabe's Dad."
            "We don't have a clue who his Dad is!!"  he tuts  "Ruby would never say.  The only thing she would admit to is colour mixing, and that was only so our Parents could move her to a colour mix town, to avoid being locked up!!   We had to wait until Gabe was born to find out what colour she had been mixing with."  he snap  "She is ridiculous!!"
            "Yeah, that sounds like Ruby!!"  I mumble
            "Gabe has tried desperately to find at least one of his parents, but so far we have drawn a blank, especially as far as his Father goes!!  We have scouted Sandy Shores and there are no grey berries there either.  We thought it had to be one of the kids at Summer Camp.  We applied for the attendance records for that year, and there were no grey berries there.  So it is a mystery!!  Berry knows where he came from!!  In all the years we have been looking we have only found two grey berry families.  His father was in neither family, we even went as far as DNA tests."
            "You know we have a family of mixed brown and grey berries in Sugar, who have pure grey family that live in Raspberry."  I mumble, and I am not really sure why I am telling him this.
            "I need to come to Sugar Valley to check all this out!!  I swear if Ruby has been hiding in Sugar all this time, I'm going to fade her and that Police Officer!!"  he snaps  "Tap can you pick me up from the airport."  he laughs  "Actually where is the nearest airport."
            "Raspberry Hill.  Are you catching a passenger flight?"
            "No, I have got a pilot's licence and my own wings remember.  I will be there first thing in the morning, I'm too tired and worked up to fly tonight."  he laughs  "I will have to bring Nix with me.  Abel is out in Berry visiting Mom and Gabe, and I can not trust my Dad to look after him!!" 
            "Okay, just let me know what time you are landing and I will be there."
            "Tap you need to tell him about Ruby!!"  Forrest says quite loudly
            "Who was that?"  he asks
            "A friend."  I mumble  "He is just reminding me that I need to tell you something important about Ruby."
             "What do you need to tell me?"  he mumbles
             I just sit there staring at Mint.  The words won't come out of my mouth.

             "Tap?  Are you still there?"
             "Yeah. I am still here."  I mumble quietly before I take a deep breath.  "I hate to have to tell you this over the phone .... Ruby faded two days ago."

        "Cane, I am sorry!!"

 Boolprop SimNano
Words = 6,367 + 7,613 = 13,980
Pictures = 18 + 18 = 36

Friday, 31 August 2018

Chapter 66d part 1 - Gen 2 - Mint

I sit numbly on the couch in the living room.

After spending a few hours upstairs listening to Sunny's life story .. the shockingly real version ... my head is too fried to even think straight.

I numbly watch everyone else in the room.

I exchange a sympathetic smile with Mace.  He rolls his eyes at me, as he tries to comfort Mustard, who is clearly very upset and crying all over him.

Crimson lost his mind at one point, taking his frustration out on Mustard.  Screaming and shouting at him because of everything that Sunny has put Saffron through for being gay when all along he was secretly gay himself.  Of course it wasn't Mustards fault, he didn't even know that Sunny was doing such an awful thing to Saffron.  Crimson did apologise to Mustard later, but I am not sure it did Mustard a lot of good.  Him having to relive his and Sunny's life together, for our benefit, especially seeing photographs of them together, really upset him.  It is all too soon and too much for him, he is still grieving after losing the love of his life.

I sit quietly watching Turmeric and Granite, who are standing by the front door.  They have their heads together and seem to be sniping at each other.  I glance at Tapestry who suddenly starts to laugh.  He is on the phone talking to Rocky about work and the concerts in Rainbow that they have coming up.  I realise suddenly that I am the only person in the room who is shocked by all this, this is not new information for them, but it is for me.

My parents are upstairs in my bedroom with Crimson, who understandably is in a mess right now.  It hurt me to watch him breaking down and I really should be up there with him, but I had to come downstairs because we had a close call.  Bay popped round and I had to get rid of him without letting him upstairs to see everyone in my room, especially Crimson and Mustard who were both an emotional mess.

I can not help but wander what is wrong with everyone in this town!!  So many secrets and lies keep coming out of the woodwork all the time, and each time they come, the destruction they are causing seems to be getting worse!!  Like Gravel being Scarlet's biological Dad wasn't bad enough, now this ... Crimson's head and heart must be totally battered right now!!

I notice Forrest coming down the stairs, which makes me think about my own situation.   Getting used to him being my biological Dad and not Alpine, is taking a bit of getting used to, but I am really glad that is all I am facing, rather than what Crimson is having to deal with right now.  At least in the long run, my parents, all three of them, did what was best for us kids, and really nobody has got hurt in the process.

Sunny on the other hand, his sordid double life and gay secret is going to smash his kids to pieces if it ever gets out, like it has Crimson ... and Sunny, is downright selfish not to be here to sort out the mess that he has made.  Just like Ruby, with the fall out of Gravel being Scarlet's real Dad, they have both faded and left their kids to clean up and deal with their shit ... and I get a nasty feeling that Ruby's shit is not all out yet.

         "Leafy we are going to have to shoot off."  Granite smiles at Forrest  "We need to get back to Clay.  We also need to get Mustard out of here and taken home, before anyone walks in and starts asking questions."  He nods in Mustards direction.
         "You are not leaving him on his own are you?"  Forrest frowns at Mustard, who is still sobbing all over Mace.  "He could always go upstairs, until he has calmed down."
         "No, it is safer we get him away from here."  he mumbles  "T is going to go home with him and stay with him, until he is feeling better."

I sit quietly as I watch Forrest say goodbye to Mace, Granite, Turmeric and Mustard as they leave.  He closes the door after them, leans against it and lets out a huge sigh and stands there for a while just silently staring at the floor.

          "Did Bay suspect anything?" he asks me as he moves away from the door and sits down.
          "No.  He was looking for you and went straight away when I told him you wasn't here.  I told him you had gone out with Mom to look for Alpine."  I smile at him  "He said can you phone him when you get back."
          "Okay, I'll phone him in a bit, when I've settle my nerves!" he smiles then frowns at me  "Are you okay?"
          "Yeah, I am just a bit shocked."  I smile at him
          "Yeah, it is a lot to get your head around after watching Sunny's homophobic performance."
          "I can understand why Sunny might have wanted to hide being gay in the first place, but to take it to the lengths he did, especially what he has done to Saffron ... it's disgusting!!"  I frown at him  "He doesn't deserve you lot breaking your necks to cover for him, especially not Granite and Mace!!  After all the shit he threw at everyone who is gay, including Bay, when the berry hole was gay himself!!"
          "Mace is a loyal friend, that is why he is covering for Sunny.  As for the rest of us ... we are not covering for him by choice trust me!!"  he laughs  "We are doing it to protect all of his kids from the mental torment and heartache, that Crimson is now facing.  We are doing it for Saffron's sake mostly.  Saffron's head is already mashed enough ..  After all the abuse that he has taken off Sunny for being gay, just imagine what it will do to him if he finds out that Sunny was actually gay himself  ... it will destroy him completely.  This is why he can NEVER find out, especially after his failed suicide attempt!!"
          "Well he won't be hearing it from me, that's for sure!!"  I mumble  "Does Atlas know the truth?"
          "No!!  He doesn't need to know, it would only put pressure on him and their relationship if we told him.  He would have to keep the secret from Saffron, so it's best he doesn't know!!" 
          "I can't believe that Sunny and Mace were best mates before this all kicked off.  They seriously hid that very well!!"
          "Yeah I know."  he chuckles
          "What is wrong with everyone?!  All these lies and secrets ... it is getting damn ridiculous and I wander what else we have to come?"
          "Hopefully nothing, although I get the feeling Ruby still might have a few skeletons in her closet.  This might not be all over for Crimson just yet!!"  he rolls his eyes  "And if that was a dig at me just, because of mine and your Mother's secrets ...."

           "Dad you need to chill out with your insecurities, and No actually I wasn't having a dig at you."  I laugh at him  "Sunny and Ruby's shit actually makes you and Mom look like total saints!!  We do understand, know and appreciate that you did the best thing for us.  You haven't hurt us, like they have continuously hurt their kids.  We have spoken to Meadow, Holly and Ivy, they have told us all about the hell you have put them through with your phobia!!  So we fully understand why you were kept hidden from us!!  You, Mom and Alpine, did what you did to protect us, whereas the only people Sunny and Ruby have ever protected is themselves and their dirty secrets!!"
           "I'm glad you can see that."  he smiles at me for a while, then he frowns  "Mint, you know, you don't have to do what Granite suggested, he was only joking when he said it.  Covering lies with lies is how these things get out of hand, and I don't want you to get dragged into the shit.  It is bad enough you now have the burden of having to carry around and keep this secret, without putting yourself in the firing line."
           "I know Granite was only joking.  He said it to wind you up!"  I laugh sarcastically, but he doesn't bite at my dig at him.  "However, he did come up with the best story that can explain why Crimson is staying here, shutting himself off and not going home.  Probably the only story that would work, anything else would be suspicious, especially to his sibling."  I laugh  "Us pretending to be together and him being hauled up in my bedroom is no biggy!!  He is single, I'm single ... so what harm will it do, when it can explain why he will be virtually living here and it stops his brothers and sisters from being suspicious and finding out the truth.  If Crimson is happy to pretend he is my boyfriend, then I am okay with it too.  It is not like it will ruin either of our reputations ... everyone knows, there has only ever been Parsley for me and Wisty for him."
           "Well I am not okay with it!!  I can also think of two people who might have something to say about it for a start!!"  he pulls a face  "Parsley and Wisty are bound to have something to say about you two hooking up, so quickly after both relationships have just broken down.  It might even make them suspect, that you two were up to something before the break ups."

           "They can think and say what the hell they want, I don't care!!"  I smirk at him
           "Wisty especially can be a nasty piece of work if she wants to be ..."
           "I'm big enough to take it, she doesn't scare me!!  I've had the Strawberry Tart riding my back for years, mouth and fists, so I've had lots of practice!!  Wisty has no right to say anything, after she cheated on Crimson, and I doubt Parsley will bother to summon up the energy to get off his lazy ass to chase me down for an explanation.  He is probably already back riding his red bike as we speak!!"
           "Even still, it is not going to be as easy as you think!!  I have had to do it myself, as well as watch your Mom and Alpine playing fake relationships for years."
            "Don't stress, I can handle it!!  We enjoy hanging out together and a bit of hand holding in public is not going to fade either of us!!"  I laugh at him  "Besides we planned to spend more time together anyway, Crimson wants to help me with my deserted warehouse project."
            "Well you just be careful!!"  he mumbles
            "How was Crimson when you left him?"
            "In a right mess as you can image."  he smiles at me  "I need you to do something for me, seeing as you two are now playing detective, with your fake romance ... "  he laughs sarcastically  "Which kind of makes what I am about to say to you, after what I've just said, a little off!!"
            "Seriously, if you are about to give me lessons or advice on how to make a fake romance look real .. don't!!"  I laugh at him
            "No, nothing like that!!  I need you to be his shoulder to cry on.  He is feeling very alone at the moment as you can image.  I know that it is a Motherly figure that he needs right now, which your Mother can do for him, but it is not going to do her or the babies a lot of good if she is continuously getting upset trying to comfort him.  On top of her worrying herself sick over Alpine, and dealing with Coal in hospital and the Gravel baby bomb.  We are already having to keep a very close watch on this pregnancy because of all the complications.  I don't want her to get too stressed out by all this!!  So I need you to take some of the weight off her shoulders, and be there for him as much as you can, for your Mothers sake."

         "That's fine - I can do that."  I smile at him wandering for a moment, after what I heard Granite say to him, if this is his attempt at matchmaking as I watch him get a far away look in his eyes.
         "I know we didn't plan this pregnancy, but if anything happens and she looses those babies it will probably destroy her.  She has never really gotten over the miscarriage she had before you, and of course she will never get over losing Cinnamon."  he mumbles  "Hell it will probably destroy my sanity now that my phobia has gone and I am FINALLY getting the opportunity to be a Dad and do it right!!
         "It's fine, I understand."
         "I've told Crimson that he can stay here for as long as he wants and needs to.  It will give him the opportunity to pull himself together enough to face his brothers and sisters without breaking down in front of them and giving everything away.  Which he says he will do, because he doesn't want any of them finding out about any of Sunny's shit, especially not Saffron and Scarlet."
          "I don't know how he is going to emotionally cope with all this!!  He has a funeral to sort out and I know he is determined to find Ruby's family .  I am worried that he is going to probably make it worse for himself if he contacts her family and they don't want to know because of the colour mixing."
          "Crimson doesn't have to worry about all that, me and Granite have said we will do all of that for him.  I'm going to take over and finish organising the funeral, and Granite is already on the case as far as her family goes.  He is waiting for a phone call from his Brother Shale, who you probably know is a police officer.  He is checking the missing persons data base, checking out the original case files from when she was reported missing and trying to track down an address for her parents or siblings.  One of us will speak to her family, and if they do reject them, it will be easier coming from us rather than hearing it directly from one of them unpleasantly." 
          "That's good."  I smile at him

 We sit in silence for a moment, watching Tapestry getting a little loud and animated with his phone call.  He seems to have finished his call with Rocky and is now having some sort of disagreement with his Dad, Mango over his whereabouts.

          "Have you heard anything from the police today?"
          "Yeah."  he looks glum  "There is no change.  They still haven't found him."
          "Where the hell is he?"
          "Mint I wish I knew!!  Alpine's disappearance doesn't make any sense to me.  He has no clothes, money or medication and I can not even imagine where he might be."  he frowns  "He seriously can not be still wandering around out there bare foot in hospital pyjamas without anyone noticing him!!  It is stupid that he hasn't been found yet!!"
          "Do you think he has wandered out into the coded world?"
          "Yeah I think he has to be out there now.  We have searched every inch of this town and there is not even a sign of him.  It doesn't make any sense!!"  he pulls a face  "If he is out in the coded world, it also doesn't make sense that he hasn't been picked up for wearing blue clothes with him being green."
          "What about the deserted warehouse?"
          "There is no way he could have got in there."  he rolls his eyes   "El says they have checked around the gates and there is no sign of any recent disturbances.  They have applied for a search warrant but she says that could take weeks to come through, if ever!!!  That place is guarded like Fort Knox!!" he points in Tapestry's direction  "After Tap's abduction, they have even checked down in the sewers, but there is no sign of him down there either."
          "Do you think someone is hiding him?"
          "That would make more sense of his total disappearance ... but who??"  he frowns  "Who would hide him?  It could only be one of the extended family, but surely they wouldn't put us through this worry and upset by not telling us he is okay."
          "Seriously ... have you seen the state she is getting herself into.  She is like Fudge, they are both openly going out of their tiny minds!!  I know Meadow isn't hiding him.  She wouldn't put us through the worry and upset for a start."

          "So ..."  I laugh at him  "What is this about you wanting me and Crimson together?"
          "Don't!!"  he covers his face  "You weren't meant to know that!!  Granite has got a big mouth!!"
          "Why Crimson?"
          "I think you two are a lot alike ... you both have the same ambition and drive.  I could see you two being a couple like Spicey and Lemon, all about your careers with no intentions of ever having any children. "  he chuckles
           "They had Mango."
           "He will tell you himself, he was a very unplanned accident.  Not that Lemon and Spicey regret it now that they are surrounded by a large family.  They can see what they would have missed out on if they had stuck to their original plans for their life."  he laughs  "That is why both you and Crimson, who are very like minded, shouldn't dismiss children in your future, because of your career ambitions.  You can do both."
           "Our main reason for not wanting kids is that we don't want to inflict being a mixed berry on them!!  It will hold them back, and cage them in this town with limited opportunities.  I've told you before I hate being a mixed berry so why would I want to inflict it on somebody else, especially my own child?!"
           "I'm sorry!!"  he mumbles with embarrassment
           "Yeah you can apologize for it this time!!"  I laugh at him remembering when he apologized before we knew he was actually responsible for the green in me.
           "Like I have said to you before ... this town will make you feel that way.  Once you get to Berry, you will see the world of opportunities will open right up for you."  he smiles  "Anyway, I knew you and Parsley would never last, you are like chalk and cheese, too different.  Whereas, I can just see you and Crimson being good together.  Besides he is one of the good ones, he is a decent guy!!  Someone who will treat you with respect, unlike Parsley who has a lot of growing up to do!!  You can't blame me for wanting the best for you!!"  he chuckles  "You are only just finding out I am your Dad, but I've always known and have spent your whole life worrying about your future.  All three of you."

           "Yeah well I doubt you will ever get your Crimson and Mint wish granted.  I don't attract the good ones, just the losers, and he isn't interested in me, unfortunately."
           "Unfortunately?"  he frowns at me  "Do you actually like him?"
           "Yeah.  I always have."  I smile at him sheepishly  "I used to have a crush on him when I was younger.  He was always here with Cinnamon and I used to try and hang around with them.  To them I was just Cinn's bratty little nuisance sister and they used to shoo me away!"  I chuckle
           "So do you still like him?" he smiles at me
           "Yeah ... Hanging out with him lately with Wisty and Parsley has kind of made those feelings worse.  You are right, we are a lot a like, in ways that Parsley and Wisty would never understand.  I think walking away from Parsley has been made easier for me because of the way I have started feeling about Crimson."  I mumble, not sure why I am telling him any of this
          "You should tell him!"  he grins at me
          "What's the point, he isn't interested in me, AND you are NOT to tell him either!!  You will just embarrass me and make things awkward between us.  He is a good friend and I don't want it ruined by something he never needs to know!!"  I frown at him   "I've not even told Fudge, and I've just told you that in strict confidence, so I expect you to keep it to yourself!!"
          "I'm a doctor remember!!"  he holds his hands up  "My soul is weighed down with what people have told me in confidence!!"  he chuckles "So your secret is safe with me!"  he raises his eyebrows  "Am I allowed to tell your Mother?"
           "NO!!  Definitely NOT!!"  I snap which makes him snigger
           "Probably wise or she will be pecking your head from now and forever!!" he chuckles 
           "So, how long have you known about Sunny's gay secret?"  I ask to try and change the subject.

          "Officially, since he faded.  However, I have had my suspicions over the years.  The way he used to dance with Lilly caught my attention first.  We took an instant disliking to each other, I think he suspected I was only playng gay, like I suspected he was only playing straight.   And Mace is right about one thing, that homophobic act of his was way too loud!!  I think it was when Granite came back, that I knew for certain.  I saw the way Sunny kept looking at him when he thought nobody was looking.  One word ... Lust!!  I noticed him staring at Atlas too in pretty much the same way a few times."  he chuckles  "Sunny knew like the rest of us what Ruby was up to, sleeping with half of the town.  He didn't kick off, try to kick her into touch or leave her.  It was blatantly obvious to a few of us that there was no love there between Sunny and Ruby.  Anyone staying in that situation has got to be hiding something.  I suspected years ago that he might be gay on the sly!"
          "I'm shocked that Ruby didn't know about his gay secret and double life until he faded!!  The funerals, the bigamy, his Sunny Maize identity ... it is all very shocking!!"
          "Yeah we had a right game with her when we had to sit her down and tell her that her marriage was a sham and that Sunny was a total lie!!"  he chuckles  "We thought she was going to blow it and tell everyone!!  She was furious as you can imagine!!  Tapestry stopped her in the end, he threatened her with something.  Berry knows what - he won't tell us what he had over Ruby to keep her quiet."
          "Mom's face when Mustard told Crimson that Sunny has always been gay and that their relationship started when they were teenagers!!  I thought she was going to pass out!!"  I start laughing, still seeing her face in my head  "I can't believe you never told her when you knew, or that you even suspected!!"
          "Yeah, she will be mad with me for keeping the secret from her.  I'm in for it when she gets me on my own!  You know what she's like, she will probably batter me with something later."  he rolls his eyes  "I'm not sure the poor cushions in this house can take much more!!"

We both sit laughing at each other for a moment.  

I have noticed quite a few amusing things about my parents, since the truth has come out, and their relationship has been out in the open for everyone to see.  They are very touchy feely and  Mom is always whacking him with things, mostly the cushions, especially when she is annoyed with him.  Most of the time she is doing it playfully for no reason.  They tend to start having cushion fights and roll around like a pair of teenagers.

I have even seen them having a food fight, which was hysterical at the time but also pretty shocking to watch.  The funniest thing being when Forrest's OCD kicked in and he started going off his head over the mess they had made. 

It has actually been quite a shock to the system, seeing Mom acting this way, never having seen her like it before.  It is almost like she has become a totally different person.  She acts in a way with Forrest that she has never done with Alpine, which drives home even more what was staring us in the face all the time but never saw.  That Mom and Alpine didn't have any sort of relationship, especially not a romantic one.  It is clearly obvious that Mom and Forrest love each other, and I really don't know how they managed to hide it for over twenty years, when they clearly can't hide it now.

Tapestry suddenly plonks himself down on the couch, next to me, snapping me from my thoughts.

           "SOooo ... Crimson is the reason you have broken Parsleys heart!"  Tapestry laughs at me
           "SHIT!"  my head snaps round to look at him  "I TOTALLY forgot you was here!!  I'm sorry, you shouldn't have heard that!!  It's not how it sounded, honestly I didn't dump Parsley because of Crimson ..."

            "I know ... Don't worry, I know exactly why you dumped him!!  I was just messing!!"  he laughs holding his hands up  "As much as I love my Cousin, he has always been a prize jerk where you are concerned!!  I warned him weeks ago that he was treating you like shit and he was going to lose you again if he didn't buck his ideas up!!  He only has himself to blame for losing you, just like Wisty only has herself to blame for losing Crimson!!"  he smiles at Forrest strangely  "The pair of them are both idiots for not seeing what they had until they have lost it!!  Both you and Crimson deserve better!!"
             "I very much doubt that I have broken his heart!!"  I start laughing  "I bet he has already gone back to the slut and is happily riding his red bike again."
             "Not as far as I know.  He says he is never touching the Strawberry tart ever again!!  All she has ever done is caused him humiliation and heartache.  As for you NOT breaking his heart ... I wouldn't be so sure about that!!"  he rolls his eyes   "I think the Orchids can't deal with emotional stuff and relationships properly.  He loves you, he just doesn't know how to show it properly."
             "You are an Orchid!"  I laugh at him
             "I'm more Muffin like River and Dad."  he grins at me  "Coral, Prelude, Wisty, Parsley, Storm, they in particular are all the same ... their relationships are constant train wrecks of their own making!!  I put it down to their strong Orchid genes!!"
             "You really make me laugh sometimes!!"  I laugh at him
             "Only sometimes!?"  he gins at me  "Anyway, this fake relationship that you and Crimson are having as a cover ...."  he starts really laughing  "... you watch, it is going to really ruffle feathers with both of my cousins!!"
             "See I told you!!"  Forrest mumbles  "You know I am really not comfortable you two playing fake relationships!!  I would rather you didn't."
              "Well then you come up with a better idea!!  Until you do, we have no choice but to do it, for Saffrons sake!!"  I grumble at him

           "So Mini Leaf, now that you are a fully fledged member of our secret keeping society.  What is all this mystery around Ruby that I've been hearing about?"

  I thump him for calling me Mini Leaf and he just grins at me cheekily ... he never changes.

           "I'll give you Mini Leaf ... Bright Eyes!!" we both start laughing at each other  "I'm actually surprised you don't already know Tap!!  Seeing as you always seem to know everyone else's secrets before the rest of us!"  I smirk at him
           "Seriously, it is not by choice, trust me!!  I must always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, because I am sick of bumping into shit that I would rather not know about."  he laughs at me as he smirks at Forrest  "Like down dark allies ... kissing couples who are old enough to know better!"
          "Ha! Ha! Very funny Tap!!"  Forrest laughs at him   
          "So come on Mint, SPILL!!  What has Ruby done now?"
          "We have found out, that her surname isn't Red, it is actually Blaze, which she has hidden from everyone, as well as where she originally came from.  There are news articles from when Crimson was ten, saying that she is a missing person, there could be more, we just didn't get to look any further."  I roll my eyes  "She told everyone her family washed their hand of her just after Crimson and Cherry were born, because of the colour mixing.  That was obviously a lie, because ten years later according to her family she is still missing.  We suspect that she never contacted them at all after she left the boarding school and might STILL be a missing person."
            "Oh fudge!!"  he laughs for a moment then frowns  "I don't get it ... if she is still a missing person, how has she managed to get away with that.  Mace has told me it is almost impossible to hide yourself because of things like medical records, bank accounts and anything you need ID for.  That is why Gravel gave him a new identity so he could lie low, especially from the law."
            "That is exactly what Crimson thinks she has done, probably with the help of Gravel.  He is thinking that Gravel gave her a fake identification at the same time as he helped her to produced Scarlet ..."  this makes him laugh quietly for a moment

            "You are right, Crimson says she couldn't hide herself completely without getting a fake identity.  We have only ever known her as Ruby Red, but Ruby Red Blaze is her real name, which we found out from the news article which told us her fathers name as well as where she came from.  Crimson found her on the Red County birth register quite easily and her parents names tie up with a few names she gave her kids.  Crimson and Scarlet Blaze are her parents names."  his eyes widen
           "Hang on ....."  he starts to frown   "Did you just say Blaze and Red County in the same sentence?"
           "Yeah, that's her family name and where she was born."
            "Is Blaze a common surname, especially for red berries?"  he starts frowning, he looks from me to Forrest.
            "I don't know Tap.  I can't say I've ever come across anyone with that name, red or otherwise, here or out in the coded world.  To be honest, when I hear the name Blaze I think of Orange more than Red, I don't know why."  Forrest frowns at him  "Why what are you thinking?"
            "You are into Rock aren't you mini leaf?"
            "Yeah why?"
             "Where are your CD's?"
            "Upstairs in my room, where they have always been, why?"
            "Back in a sec.  I need to raid your closet."  he starts laughing as he runs off up the stairs.

I know he knows where my CD's are, because when we were younger, he would occasionally hang out with me and Parsley, and Tapestry has always been into music.  My closet was always the first place he went.

Forrest just sits there laughing at him

            "What is he up to now?"  I laugh
            "With Tap you never know what you are getting!"  he laughs  "One minute you see a flash of genius, the next stupidity!!  He is really frying Mango's brain because of the way he has turned out.  He has always thought he would be baby sitting a trouble making Tapestry for the rest of his life and Mo would be the one who made him proud.  However, Tapestry is proving Mango very wrong on both counts!!"
            "Yeah he has definitely surprised all of us."

Tapestry comes bounding down the stairs singing one of his songs that is currently in the charts, which amuses me, especially as at the moment I can't stop listening to it and I have it constantly on repeat.

            "Seriously Mint?!"  he waves one of his CD's at me before he hands it to me  "Why buy this and waste your money, when you only have to ask me .. "
             "What ... are you offering to come round here and sing it for me, every time I feel like hearing it?"  I snigger at him
             "No stupid!!  I could have given you one of these CD's for nothing, and I should have!!"  he laughs at me  "I get a box of 50 CD's delivered every time a new one is released.  You are basically my press rep, so you of all people should be getting all the perks ... next time just ask!!"
             "Cool!!  I will!!"  I smirk at him

He then holds up a handful of CD's

             "I wasn't sure you would have any of his albums, but I actually think you have them all."  he smirks then starts laughing  "My red mate Cane Blaze, comes from Red County."  he frowns at us  "Is Blaze the same red as Ruby?"
              "Oh shit ... I think he is!!"  Forrest chokes as he takes the albums off Tap and starts looking at the covers  "I'd say his skin is the same shade of red as Ruby's, but not his hair."

              "You know Blaze?"  my eyes widen
              "Yeah, of course I do."  he smirks  "Say party to Cane and he's always the first one there.  He is a good mate of Rocky's they are on the same record label, and Cane spends a lot of time in Berry.  So I bump into him quite often, especially at parties."
               "So Blaze is actually his real surname?"
               "Yeah ... I am surprised you didn't think about him, with him being red and he comes from Red County."
               "I never even gave him a though because I just thought Blaze was his stage name like yours is Storm, and I didn't know he came from Red Country."
               "You surprise me."  he laughs  "I presumed you was a super fan the amount of albums you have, so I guessed you would know everything about him."
               "To be honest, I don't really like him very much  ... "  I cringe  "They were Cinnamon's CD's and that is the only reason why I keep them.  Scarlet gave them to me because she can't stand rock - not heavy shit like what Blaze pumps out anyway."
               "Yeah he is a bit on the extreme side, but he is with everything he does.  His head is mashed up which is why he drinks too much and takes too many drugs openly.  He is a bisexual slag who openly colour mixes, and is constantly angry.  He takes rebellion to the extreme!!  When he is sober he is nicest guy you will ever meet, when he is high or hammed he turns into a total Berry Hole!!  He has even had a few stints in rehab."  he pulls a face  "He vents most of his frustration with life out through his music and his behaviour."  he rolls his eyes  "Anyway, he is red, comes from Red County, with the surname Blaze ...   I've been to Red County once and it is not a very big place.  There could be a few families with that surname for all I know, but you never know he could even be related to Ruby somehow."  he sniggers  "If he isn't, at least, I could ask him if he knows of them.  He lives in Red County and I am sure if I ask him, he would help us find her family."

              "Yeah, him being in Red County and helping us might make it a lot easier."  I mumble
              "I am actually starting to get very curious about all this myself.  Ruby is Vanilla's Grandmother remember, so all this affects her too."
               "Why is his head mashed?"  I ask out of curiosity
               "Family troubles which he doesn't really like to talk about.  All I do know, is that he comes from a very religious family and has had religion rammed down his throat all his life ... which he hated!!  That's why he hates his name Cane, because it is a biblical name.  His twin brothers name is Abel.  He also has a younger Brother, Gabriel."
               "Cane and Able, that is funny!"  I laugh and he laughs with me
               "I think everything Blaze does now is partly to rebel against the religion his Dad force fed him ... If you listen to some of his songs, it is very obvious he is very anti religion."
               "Oh shit!!"  Forrest starts laughing  "Tap ... Ruby's Father is or was a man of the cloth."
               "Man of the cloth?"  he frowns
               "A holy man.  He was a vicar when Ruby was reported missing, according to the news article that Mint showed me."  Forrest laughs  "I found her and Crimson having absolute hysterics because of it.  Who ever would have guessed that Ruby was a vicars daughter?!"
               "Oh fudge!!"  Tapestry suddenly starts howling
               "That's a bit of a wacky coincidence don't you think ... surname, colour, town and now the religion."  I mumble as I stare at Forrest
               "Yeah, it is a bit."  he stares at Tapestry for a moment, who is still really laughing  "Cane and Abel did you say?"  he frowns at Tap
               "Yeah Cane and Abel Blaze.  There is Gabriel Blaze too."
               "Maybe I should run upstairs and check the Red County data base.  We need to find out if this Gabriel, Cane and Abel have the same parents as Ruby."  he frowns at me
               "Yeah, I think that is a really good idea!!"

I smile at my Dad before he runs off up the stairs.

 Boolprop SimNano

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