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Lover After Me
By: Eve (eve@mail.4fun.at), JJ (jjblue10@hotmail.com), Toertchen (ttn133347@webmail.dcccd.edu)


Chap 1
Written by Eve


Sincia's room

It was a rainy August evening, a window stood open, and outside, the trees streamed coldly.
Sincia stood up from the paperwork and went up to the window. She couldn't concentrate. Whether it was because of the noisy weather outside or from what she was thinking, she couldn't tell.
She felt so bad after breaking up with Saber. Though, she couldn't understand why she felt so bad.
It was better that way. It sure was. Now they didn't have to wait for each other any more and each of them could start a new life.
With a silent sigh, she leaned out of the window to catch some fresh air, hoping that this would make her think of something different.
The air was cold and she could tell that it would rain soon.
The sky was dark, and Sincia felt that there was quite a wind going. The cold breeze made her shiver.
She sighed again and slowly closed the window. She touched the smooth surface. It was cold. She shivered again and quickly moved her hand away.
Accidentally her eyes caught her reflection in the glass. She looked worn out and tired.
Sincia quickly turned her head away and closed her eyes. Then she slowly began counting to ten. She hoped that it would calm her down.
"One...two...three...four...five...aaaah!" she jumped up as she felt someone touching her waist. In the wink of an eye she turned around and giggled, "hehehe...darn...you scared me...don't do that again you know how ticklish I am...I nearly got a heart attack..."
"Sorry...I couldn't resist." the young man said and smirked. It was Michael, Sincia's new boyfriend. He was a new teacher at Sincia's school.
"You looked so thoughtful," he said. "Something wrong with you?"
"Err...no it's nothing...really..." she answered. "I love you Michael," she quickly added and gave him a quick kiss.

"Ever since you've been gone
The lights go out the same
The only difference is
You call another name
To your love
To your lover now
To your love
The lover after me..."

Scotland

Saber decided to spend a few days in his castle with his crazy crowd... he wanted to relax for some time... everything seemed normal... JJ and Eclipse took care of Ramrod (that is, cleaning up, checking if everything was ok and so on). Eve and Cindy cooked...April and Fireball were away all day long for loooong walks... (nobody knows where exactly they were)... Lucki did the same with Bob...TK was partying...Colt spend his time with Tonu and Neunstern... e.t.c...one day... a loud scream could be heard...very loud...it was Saber...
"TONU!!!" Saber screamed. "TONUUUUU!!!?? NEUNSTERN!!!!?? What have you done to poor Colt???"
Neunstern put on her angel face and Tonu smiled innocently, "Errrrmmm...we haven't done anything...really!"
At this Saber pointed his finger at poor Colt who was rolling around on the floor and screamed: "My hand!! My hand!! She broke my hand!! OOOOUCH!!!"
"You call that nothing?" Saber turned back to the gals with an angry expression. "Can't I even leave you alone for a few minutes?? What have you been doing???"
Tonu and Neunie sweatdropped. Finally Neunstern spoke: "Well...ahem...we were just...you know...how do you call it in German? ARMDRUECKEN!! Yup...that's it."
Tonu nodded, "Yup...that's what we were doing."
Saber sighed, "Poor Colt," and gave the gals another angry look.
Tonu and Neunstern sank their heads and sighed, "We're sorry..."
Saber shook his head in disbelieves. "Now let's take care of our poor Colt here. Eve?? EEEVVE??!! Where is that girl?! EEEEV???"

Meanwhile in the kitchen

Cindy and Eve were cooking dinner for the crazy crowd.
Eve: "See? That's not difficult at all...and now you take some butter and..."
Saber: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEVEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!?? Where ARE YOU???"
Cindy smiled, "Oh...hehehe...I think there's someone looking for you."
Eve sweatdropped: "err...I think I'd better get going now...I'll send Neunstern to help you...she's a pretty good cook..."
With these words, she ran off to Saber to see what the matter was.

Back in the bedroom...

Eve saluted, "Here I am Sir...what's up?"
Without saying a word, Saber pointed at Colt. Tonu and Neunstern put their angel faces on and Saber sighed, "Take care of this poor guy...I think these crazy girls have broken his hand."
Eve looked over to Neunstern and Tonu
"What the hell have you done to him??" she asked.
"Nothing!!" Tonu screamed. "We were just... err... we were trying to find out who was stronger...err..."
"Yeah," Neunstern added. "How could we know that he's so weak??"
Eve rolled her eyes and sighed, "Why am I surrounded by such ...*cough*...strange people? Oh...Neunstern...before I forget... could you run to the kitchen and help Cindy while I take care of Colt?"
At this, Neunstern jumped up, "Sure thing!" and ran off.
"Great... and what am I going to do?" Tonu asked and looked at Saber.
"You're coming with me Tonu...we have to talk." he said.
Tonu gave Saber a puzzled look, but didn't say anything.
Eve and Colt watched them as they walked off. After a while, Colt decided to break the silence and said:
"I wonder what they're going to talk about?"
Eve blinked a few times and turned to Colt, "Hey I thought your arm hurts?"
Colt smirked: "Oh...yeah...I almost forgot...OOOUCHH...that HUUURTS...My hand...she broke my hand...aaaah!!!... "
Eve sighed and rolled her eyes, "Why does it always rain on me?"
In that moment JJ and Eclipse walked into the room to see what the matter was and why Colt was screaming his lungs out.
Eclipse: "Hey... Eve...what's going on here..?"
JJ: "Yeah...what's wrong with Colt?"
Eve just shrugged and pointed at Colt, "Don't ask me...ask him"
Colt: "AAAAH...she broke my hand!! She broke my hand...aaaaauuuuu!!!
JJ and Eclipse gave Eve a puzzled look.
"YOU broke Colt's hand??" both asked at the same time. They couldn't believe what they just heard from Colt.
Eve sweatdropped.
JJ leaned to Eclipse and whispered: "Eve? She really did? I didn't know she was so cruel!?"
Eclipse murmured something like: "She did? Eve? Our little Eve? That little something broke Colts arm? Is that possible?"
Eve looked really annoyed now and waved her arms around, "Hello? Guys?? Wake up!! It wasn't me who broke his arm!! It was Tonu and Neunstern...not me!"
Both Eclipse and JJ sighed, " What a relief..."
JJ turned to Eve, "How did they do that?"
"Yeah...that's what I would like to know too..." Eclipse added.
Eve shrugged, "I have no clue...maybe you should ask them... anyway...since you are here...could you help me to bandage his arm? I don't think I can handle this alone."
Both of them nodded, "No problem..."

In the meantime, Saber and Tonu meet at the balcony.

"Am I all alone in the universe?
There's no love on these streets
I have given mine away to a world that didn't want it anyway
So this is my new freedom"

At the balcony

"What is it Saber?" Tonu asked and gave him a worried look.
He didn't move. His eyes kept staring at the stars.
"Tonu, there's something I have to tell you..." he finally said. "As you have probably gathered I broke up with Sincia last time we were on Yuma... "
"You did??" Tonu wondered. "I thought SHE broke up with you?"
She gave him a puzzled look, "Ahmm...now I'm confused... I mean...the girls did mention something about Sincia's new boyfriend...Neunstern said, he is also a teacher...err...so who broke up with who?"
Saber sighed, "Oh...that's a long story, Tonu... I doubt that you want to hear it..."
"Of course, I would like to!!" Tonu jumped up. "Tell me! Tell me... "
Saber sighed again, "Oh well...fine then...it all started long before our last visit to Yuma...as we were traveling around the universe I realized that...oh well... Sincia is just no the girl for me... she doesn't deserve waiting for me all the time...on the other hand...she met someone too..."


Chap 2
Written by J.J.


On the balcony

Tonu was looking at Saber. He seemed so lost in his thoughts that at first she didn't dare to say a word. Saber's gaze was lost in the sky while his mind was slowly drifting back to the past. She already started to think he would never continue when Saber, leaning on the balcony, started to talk without looking at her.
"I... I'm always busy with the Cavalry Command... I... I want to have a family and a girlfriend too but... sometimes I'm simply too busy for it. Sincia... she is a special person... she... she doesn't deserve to be alone and wait for me months after months... she needs someone nearer to her... someone who will take care of her... and I... I'm not the right person I think."
Tonu was listening to him patiently with a comprehensive expression. Saber looked down in silence. Tonu placed a comforting hand on his arm.
"Why don't you tell me all from the start?" she said in an encouraging tone. "Talking might make you feel better."
Saber sighed again and turned toward her for one brief moment, "Well, I..."
Tonu looked at him with a gentle encouraging expression. Saber smiled. It was strange but to have Tonu near him made him feel in fact better.
"Well I figure you deserve to know it. We are close friends after all."

"Ever since you've been gone
The lights go out the same
The only difference is
You call another name
To your love
To your lover now
To your love
The lover after me..."

Yuma - One month before

The Star Sheriffs were having a short holiday on Yuma. It has been a long time since their last vacation and Saber had now the chance to see Sincia again. In the past, he had little time to stay with her. And now while he was going to reach her, he was wondering if he really deserved her. To have a boyfriend, whom you can see only a few times in the year probably wasn't Sincia's dream. But... still... he was approaching Sincia's school with Steed slowly, unobserved. The children were playing outside. He could hear their soft laughs and their cries of happiness. Sincia was between them, playing and laughing with them.
"She is so beautiful," he thought as he watched her picking up the little child and hugging him affectionately. One smile came to his lips and quickly vanished as he noticed a young handsome man approaching her. She smiled happily at him. Too happily. And he answered to her smile. There was confidence between them... a bit too much confidence of the one between close friends. He was about to turn Steed and go away, away from her, away from a place in which he didn't belong to when a child noticed him and squealed happily: "Miss Sincia! There's Saber Rider!"
Sincia turned toward him. Their eyes met. And for a moment none of them dared to talk. Then she put the child down and came toward him.
"Saber Rider! This is a surprise! You haven't told me you were coming here! Why don't you enter? We could have a cup of tea."
The handsome man was following her. Saber's gaze seemed unable to let him. Sincia noticed it and politely said: "Saber, may I introduce to you Michael? He is... a teacher who is helping me with the children."
Saber noticed that she paused when she introduced the young man.
"Michael, this is Saber Rider, one of the Star Sheriffs. Time ago, he saved my life."
That was true, but Saber was hoping she would add something more. That way... it seemed so impersonal. He shook Michael's hand trying not to show his feelings. Then he followed them inside.

Inside

"I hope you forgive me, but I have to go to check on the children before they destroy the school." Michael was joking, getting up and heading toward the exit, letting Saber and Sincia finally alone. The two of them stood in silence for a while.
"He is a nice guy." Saber said looking at his tea.
"Yes, he is." Sincia confirmed.
"And he is a teacher like you. He could spend all his time with you. All his life..."
"Well..."
"Do you love him?" he asked all of a sudden.
Sincia looked at him for a brief moment, blushed and lowered her gaze.
"I... I don't know... so many times passed and I don't get to see you very often… I started to think that you have forgotten me," she said to him. "Michael on the other side is always here. I can count on him. We... we have something in common like the love for this kind of life but I..."
"All I want is you to be happy, Sincia."
"I want you to be happy too, Saber. But we are very different. I don't know if we..."
"That's right, we are different. I have my life. You have yours. But we can always be friends."
"Saber I..."
"Don't you want us to stay as friends?"
"Sure, I want it! We will be always friends! Good ones!" she exclaimed with passion and a hint of sadness.
Saber forced himself to smile. She answered to his smile. But he knew that things between them would never be the same as it was before...

Back in the balcony...

"And this is what happened..." Saber ended. A long moment of silence passed by.
Tonu looked at him. "Do you still love her?" she asked.
He looked at her.
Tonu blushed and looked down. "Oops, sorry I know this is none of my business."
"It's Ok." Saber answered smiling. "Don't worry. I... I figure that I'm starting to accept it. And this thanks to you."
Tonu blushed once more. Saber Rider realized what he just said and blushed too.
"Oh and thanks to the others too of course." he added quickly in an evasively way.
"Of course…" Tonu said sighing.

"Am I all alone in the universe?
There's no love on these streets
I have given mine away to a world that didn't want it anyway
So this is my new freedom "

Night - J.J.'s room

"So, that's all he said?" she complained unhappily hugging a stuffed chibi-Jesse. The other girls in the room were looking as disappointed as J.J.
"Man! I mean, he took you to the balcony, he had the right atmosphere and all he could think of is talking about his ex-girlfriend with you?" Cindy protested.
"Girls! We were talking about his problems..."
"Yes but... oh, men sometimes are hopeless!" Eve added offering a piece of cake to the sad Tonu.
"Agree!" Neunie and Lucki added munching their cake.
"We have to do something..." J.J. stated munching at her second piece of cake while she hugged her chibi-Jesse tighter.
"And I always thought that Fireball is the one who needs encouragement!" Cindy exclaimed.
"Oh girls, do not torment the poor Tonu. Here..." Eve said, giving Tonu a piece of cake. "Take this to Saber."
"But he already had his piece..."
"Oh, we are sure he will be more than happy to get another one." Lucki said while Neunie and Cindy giggled.
"Yes," J.J. confirmed smiling. "He is on the balcony now. You will have a perfect view at the moon there. And you could play some adapt music too."
"Girls, what's up?" Tonu asked suspiciously.
"We? Up to something?" the girls exclaimed with a half-hurt expression. "We are only worried for Saber. You don't want to leave the poor guy all alone, don't you?"
"Well..."
"So? What are you waiting for? Go!" the girls, exclaimed while pushing Tonu out of the room.
"And remember choose the right music. Backstreet Boys, Titanic or something similar… you know..." the girls reminded the poor Tonu. Tonu sighed then decided after all that bringing Saber a piece of cake wasn't a bad idea...

Balcony

Saber was looking out, lost in his thoughts. Tonu approached him timidly, hoping that the compilation "Best Love Song Collection" could be considerate an appropriate music.
"Hi Saber!" she said.
He turned to greet her.
"I brought you a piece of cake. It's delicious… I can assure you that!"
"Oh... ahm... thank you..." Saber said, avoiding to mention that he had already eaten two pieces of it.
"Ahm... it's a beautiful night isn't it?" a soft breeze moved Tonu's hair.
Saber looked at her. Then smiled gently. "Thank you"
Tonu's expression was confused.
"Thank you for being here when I needed a person to talk to. Thank you for understanding me. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you." Saber said unable to add something else or to explain him better.
Tonu's cheeks turned red. The wind blow softly between them. They didn't add anything else. There wasn't really the need for any of them to say a word.


Chap 3
Written by Toerthchen


On the Balcony

"You don't want it?" Tonu asked, with the hope Saber would say 'no'.
Saber smiled and took the plate with the piece of cake and complimented, "Eve did a great job with the cake. I didn't know that she bake that well!"
Tonu smiled and said: "If you don't want it… it's okay."
"Yes, I do like to have it."
Tonu was holding on to the plate. Saber looked at her, he was kind of confuse.
"I thought you want me to have it," he then said.
"I do," she responded, however, still holding onto the plate.
Saber raised one eyebrow, 'Tonu is a nice girl… but so weird!' he thought.
Saber's father stepped on the balcony.
"Hello, Mister Rider." Tonu grinned over her whole face and her eyes sparkled.
"Good evening, Father."
"Greetings, kids." Edward Rider responded. "What are you two up to?"
"We are just talking about the cake." Saber answered.
"Yes… the cake… it was delicious!" Mr. Rider complimented, remembering the good taste of the cake… 'cream and strawberry in the center… cream of different colors in the shape roses on the top… and whipped cream… hmmm…'
Tonu smiled happily and said, looking to Mr. Rider senior: "You certainly like to talk to Saber, don't you?"
Before Mr. Rider could answer, Tonu said in a merry ton: "I see you later," and walked off with the cake, leaving father and son alone.

In the Halls of the Castle

The castle was quiet at night. So quiet that one could hear the wind dancing and singing through the hallways.
"You are a very old castle", Tonu said quietly. "And covered in your own beauty… you are very proud of yourself, aren't you? Yes, you should be…" she touched the cold stonewall and the carpet hanging on it, while enjoying every little bit of the cake. She walked passed the many living rooms of the castle. Some of them, decorated in most beautiful antiques, some were decorated in a simple gothic style. Tonu sighted, "So beautiful…"
Slowly eating the cake, Tonu passed another living room and stopped as she saw Mrs. Rider and Colt at the chimney.
Tonu tried hard to cover her giggle attack and had to be careful not to trop the cake.
Colt sat next to the chimney. His hands were held up, the elbows on his knees, and wool were span around his hands.
'This tough cowboy is the cutest cowboy I ever met', Tonu thought.
Colt was helping Mrs. Rider holding the wool straight, so she could wound it into arranged balls for her knitting basket.
Tonu continued her walk without interrupting the peaceful moment.

JJ's Room

"How did it go?" JJ asked when Tonu entered the room.
Tonu smiled, "Good…"
"Aren't you supposed to bring Saber that cake?" Eve wondered.
"Oh… yes, but he was busy talking to his father…"
"That sounds more like an excuse." Cindy said suspiciously.
"Love goes through the stomach." Neunie sung. She jumped next to Tonu and picked up the little piece of cake that was left in the plate and ate it.
"Hey, that was mine…" Tonu cried.
"Tonu, if you don't learn how to sacrifice…" Cindy started, shaking her head.
"… then you'll never get a boyfriend." Eve ended.
"Yeah… it's a terrible habit of you to choose food over the one you love." JJ noted.
"That's not true!" Tonu tried to defend herself. "I would go to war to save any of you guys…"
"Girls." Eve corrected.
"Okay… G I R L S… during lunch and dinner time!"
"What about breakfast?" Cindy asked.
"Also then." Tonu answered.
"Yeah… when we find ourselves in fire-maneuver… but when not you would still choose food over us." JJ said.
"But… but… the cake was so incredibly good!" Tonu ran out of words and it seemed that the girls didn't feel sympathy for her at all.
"Thanks…" Eve said, blushing from one ear to the other. She loved to hear positive compliments about her cooking.
"I agree with Tonu." Neunie said. "It's hard to resist good food!"
Eve threw a pillow at Neuni and censured: "Don't encourage her!"
Neunie caught the pillow and threw it back at Eve, but Eve reacted quickly and ducked, and instead of hitting Eve, the pillow hit Cindy.
Cindy suddenly jumped up and screamed like calling out for a war: "Pillowfight!"
The girls started to scream all at once and jumped into JJ's bed.
"Not my Jesse-Pillows!" JJ yelled and gathered her one dozen and more Jesse-Pillows quickly and tried to hide them.
Neunie got into panic because the girls grabbed all the pillows and didn't leave one left.
"That's not fair!" she cried when a pillow landed in her face. "That's a call for revenge!" then another pillow landed in her face and she almost choked on the out falling feathers. Neunie grabbed the pillow in a furry and yelled: "I warned you girls… now I'm not nice anymore!" she pulled the socks from her feet and jumped on the bed again.
As the girls saw her with her socks embroidered with weird cows and chickens on them, they screamed hysterically and tried to hide from her.
Tonu tripped over her own feet, and landed heavily on top of JJ, who was taking pains to protect her Jesse-Pillows - especially her Chibi-Jesse-Pillow that had the form of a human, with a head, two hands and two feet.
"Hey, there is my sock I was looking for." Tonu yelled happily, still lying on top of JJ. She reached under the bed and fetched her Mickey-and-Goofy sock.
Eve panicked as Neunie starts to swing her socks above their heads into the air and didn't know anymore what language she was speaking and screamed something that sounded like: "RETTET SICH WER KANN!!!"
Suddenly Cindy became the target.
"You… you were the one who hit me!" Neunie grinned evilly with shiny eyes.
Cindy screamed terrified and ran out to the balcony, hoping Neunie would be afraid of the mosquitoes and won't following her… and the air was much fresher outside… ^_^;
Cindy held a Jesse-Pillow in her hands, ready to throw at Neunie and her Cow-Chicken Socks.
"You are not getting away with this, Neunie." JJ warned her.
Neunie turned around and saw JJ, Eve, and Tonu, each of them with a pillow in their hands - except for Eve, she had two, and Tonu had the sock she lost the night before.
JJ looked pleading at Cindy and said: "Please, Cindy. We'll get you into safety, just don't throw with my favorite pillow."
"Each of the Jesse-Pillows is your favorite." Eve noticed.
"That's what I said." JJ said, very worried about her pillow.
"Oh… I see…"
Then all the attentions belonged to Neunie again.
"You girls are so mean!" Neunie said sniffling.
"We would also do it for you if you were in Cindy's situation, Neunie… dearest!" Tonu said with a glimpse of hope that Neunie would surrender and drop her Cow-Chicken Socks. However, Neunie grinned mischievously and turned abruptly back to Cindy and threw her Cow-Chicken-Socks at her.
Cindy screamed, throwing the Jesse-Pillow at Neunie, and dived quickly to her right. All the other girls fired their pillows at once at Neunie within that moment, and one could hear JJ's desperate scream: "NO!" as she jumped into the air to catch her Jesse-Pillow.

Note: Now, imagine the whole scene in slow motion - Neunie, slowly turning around to face the panicking Cindy… Cindy's reaction to the heartless glance of Neunie and the funny looking Cow-Chicken-Socks… imagine Cindy diving to the ground in slow motion and the girls aiming the pillows at Neunie, ready to rescue their dear friend… and courageous JJ trying to save her precious Jesse-Pillow from hitting the cold, dirty, stone ground of the balcony - and all that in slow motion… hehehe…

In the moment when the girls fired the pillows, Neunie also dived to the ground and the girls missed her.

Below the Balconies

Saber and his father took a night walk around the castle. Scottie ran around next to them and played with the bugs in the night. He would jump around and ran ahead and then came back and walked with his masters for a while and took off again.
Father and son were consulting about the castle's future. Since Saber was the only child of Edward and Mary Rider, he will therefore be the only heir of the castle and also his parents' properties, which was not less. Edward Rider was also trying to convince his son that in a few years, he will be to old and tired to take care of their business and properties and wishes his son to take over soon. He didn't want to remind his son of the split up ways, Saber and Sincia agreed on, he only tried to comfort his son.
"You will be hurt for quite some times, son." Edward Rider said in his natural heavy Scottish dialect. "But it won't last forever…"
Saber smiled a little. His father put his hand around his shoulder and shook him comfortly. The father then said: "I talked to Hamlin today."
"The Duke of Stornoway?" Saber asked to confirm himself that he followed the conversation with his father correctly.
"Yes, the Duke of Stornoway."
"How is he and his family doing?"
"Very fine… he invited your Mother and me to his daughters birthday… he and his wife sent you warm greetings and they would be delighted to have you at the party."
"Thank you… very kind of the Duke and the Duchess… I hope you haven't forgotten our guests here."
"Not at all. I mentioned that you might not be able to join us since you have your friends to visit… and guess what he said."
Saber thought for a second and said: "He is delighted to meet them, too?"
"Exactly!"
"That is very kind of him, but did you mention how many we are?"
"Yes, I did." Edward Rider paused and started laughing. "I told him about your twelve friends… ha ha ha… and he mad this face… ha ha ha… I was so amused… well, he would be delighted to meet all of you."
Saber nodded. "I will ask my friends tomorrow and if any of them don't wish to join the party… I hope you do understand that I will stay at home with them."
"Certainly, I won't mind if you decided to stay here… I only think that Hamlin's daughters will be very disappointed. They were looking forward to meet you."
Saber smiled and looked up to the sky as they kept walking.
Father and son enjoyed the silence of the night.
"Gardenia." Mr. Rider said suddenly.
"Pardon me?"
"Gardenia… the daughter whose birthday is coming up… I think… which one was she?"
"His third daughter." Saber refreshed his father's memory.
"Wasn't it she you grew up with, lad?"
"No, Father. That was Gwyneth… she and I played together couple of times when we were about nine and ten years old, but I wouldn't say that we grew up together…"
"But wasn't she a very beautiful girl?"
"Yes, Father, and now also very happily married."
"Oh… I have forgotten that…"
Saber chuckled. He knew what his father was up to and as much as he didn't want to talk about relationships to that time, he kept up the conversation with his father.
"Do you remember his other daughters?" the father asked. "What was their names?"
"Glenna and Guinevere."
"Yes… Glenna and Guinevere… also very pretty ladies…"
The father went on talking about the daughters of the Duke of Stornoway as suddenly a pillow hit Saber's head and another one his.
Saber pulled his father quickly to the side when two further pillows followed. Scottie managed to jump to the side on time before he got hit and started to bark up to the balcony. He stopped barking right away when Saber told him to keep quiet.
"Good heavens… what was that?" Mr. Rider looked up to the balcony and tried to find out who was throwing the pillows at them. "It's raining pillows!" he looked to his son and laughed. "And weird socks." the father removed the Cow-Chicken-Socks that had landed on Saber's head.
Father and son looked at each other for a moment. Saber seemed to be a bit of embarrassed for what happened. He knew that his parents had to endure a lot since the arrival of his friends. Mr. and Mrs. Rider had a lot of patience, but Saber was very concerned about their well being.
"I think I have to go and look after them." Saber said.
Mr. Rider nodded and helped his son with gathering the pillows. Saber couched and picked up the Mickey-Goofy-Sock and took off to JJ's room, followed by Scottie.

JJ's Room

Saber knocked on JJ's door. Eve jumped up from the ground she was laying peacefully, reading in a magazine with Cindy. Saber didn't look very happy, but the girls overplayed this with their innocent angle faces. Scottie ran into the room and laid down next to Cindy, then he ran over to Neunie and Tonu and jumped between on the couch.
"There're the pillows we were missing!" Eve said surprisingly and tried to pull of a relieved laugh that finally the pillows were found.
JJ got up from the bed and help Eve with the pillows.
Saber looked around in the room. Everything was peaceful. Cindy was reading in the magazine. Neunie and Tonu were sitting on the couch next to the balcony and draw funny pictures of each other. Everything was in order and a breeze of fresh air blew through the window across the room.
"Is something wrong?" JJ asked and all the girls looked at him.
Saber cleared his throat and said: "Ahem… I only would like to wish the ladies a good night."
"Good night, Saber!" all the girls responded at the same time - each of them in a cheering ton and a big happy smile in their sparkling faces.
Saber blushed for a second. "Good night, ladies." he said and ordered Scottie to follow him. Scottie jumped from the couch and run joyfully after his master.
Eve closed the door and the girls burst into a sneaking laughter, but stopped instantly when Saber knocked on the door again.
Eve opened the door and smiled at Saber, who had the weird Cow-Chicken-Sock in his hand and said frankly, reaching it to Eve: "I think this belongs to Neunie."
Neunie stood up from her seat. "Thanks, Boss!"
Saber gave her a you-are-welcome nod.
"Do you have by chance also the other one?" Neunie asked.
Saber gave her an irritated look. Again he wished the ladies a good night and left.
And when he left, the girls started laughing again.

Next Morning under JJ's Balcony

"You found it?" Tonu asked.
"Not yet." Neunie responded.
"Quiet Neunie, Saber's coming." Tonu sat down quickly on the grass, on which the morning dew was still laying, and pretended to meditate.
Saber was taking a morning walk with Scottie when he passed the high rose bushes that crawled up the castle's wall.
"Good morning, Tonu." he greeted.
"Good morning, Saber." she looked up to him.
Scottie jumped on Tonu's lap and wagged with his tail happily. "You too a wonderful good morning, Scottie."
"What are you up to?" Saber asked.
"Ahem… nothing… just enjoying the fresh morning."
"OK, I won't disturb your meditation any longer… see you at breakfast."
"Yes… see you later."
Scottie ran after his master. Tonu kept smiling until both of them disappeared around the corner.
"That was close." she sighed and jumped on her feet.
"Is he gone?" Neunie whispered, spying through the bushes.
"Yes."
April and Fireball came around the corner and wished Tonu a good morning. Tonu responded politely.
"What is Neunie doing in the rose bushes?" April asked wondering.
"She is looking for her sock."
April and Fireball looked clueless at each other and continue their walk.
In the next second Eve and Colt came around the corner. "Hey Tonu, have you seen Neunie?"
"I found it!" Neunie yelled before Tonu could answer to Eve's question.
"What is she doing in there?" Colt asked.
"Trying to find her sock." Tonu answered. "Did you find mine too?"
"No, sorry. Didn't find it." Neunie worked her way out of the thorny bushes. "Ouch… the bush picked me…"
"That's their revenge for you stepping on them." Colt teased her.
"You want this sock in your mouth?" Neunie gave Colt a threatened look and Colt fled behind Eve right away.
"Neunie, JJ is looking for you." Eve said. "It's your turn to cook breakfast."
"Yeah… I almost forgot, sorry."
The four of them were on their way back inside when Eve notice something.
"Tonu, did you pee in your pants?" Eve asked.
"What?" Tonu shouted, turning abruptly to her.
"Well… your pants is wet."
Then Colt and Neunie burst into a loud laughter when they realized Tonu's wet behind. The poor girl blushes all over, remembering that she was sitting on the wet grass. She covered here behind with her hands and ran to her room in high speed.

In the Breakfast Room

Mr. and Mrs. Rider walked into the breakfast room. Everybody wished them a good morning and they responded the greetings eleven times.
"It smells very good!" Mr. Rider noticed.
"Who prepared breakfast today?" Mrs. Rider asked.
"Neunie and JJ." Cindy answered.
Eclipse and Lucki offered to take seat.
Saber and Scottie walked into the room and again everybody wished both of them a good morning and each of them made sure that they responded the greetings thirteen times.
Tonu was ready to take place at the table, but stood up when JJ sat on the chair next to her. She moved three seats further and sat down.
"Aren't we missing somebody?" Saber noticed as he sat down and Scottie on the ground next to his beloved master, where also his breakfast was served in a blue bowl with his name on it.
"TK." Eclipse said. "He went out partying again and met theses two cool chiee…"
Eve pushes her elbows in his side to keep him from finishing his sentence. She looked over to Mr. and Mrs. Riders and Eclipse understood and said in an innocent ton: "Well… he met these two lovely, intelligent ladies… they talked till dawn…"
"He called this morning," Lucki mentioned. "Did you pick him up, Eclipse?"
"Yes, he is in his room… sleeping…" Eclipse explained.
April giggled. "Then he must be death tired."
While they were enjoying the breakfast, they complimented the cooks.
Mr. Rider asked his son to ask the friends about the birthday party and Saber told the crew about it.
Everybody was impress about this highly invitation.
"Wow… we get invited by a Duke???" Colt shouted unbelievably.
"You were invited by a king before, Colt" Fireball said.
"Yes… but now it seems to be an on going thing… I really get use to this type of life." Colt chuckle and thought of Robin, 'wish she could be here'.
April, Cindy, and Eve was so hyper about being invited to a royal birthday party. That gave the three of them a chance to go shopping. Fireball and Eclipse rolled their eyes only thinking of shopping - especially with girls who seem never to get tired of walking and trying on all these uncountable dresses, trousers, tops, skirts…
"Do you have to go shopping too, Honey?" Bob asked Lucki, he was afraid she would say 'yes' because that meant for him that she would make sure that he would come with her and helping her with choosing the cloths.
Lucki smiled and answered: "Yessss…"

In the Afternoon

Neunie and Tonu were sitting in the castle's library when Mrs. Rider walked into the room.
"Greetings girls!" she greeted them.
"Hello Mrs. Rider!" the girls responded at the same time.
"I thought you two were shopping with the others."
"Yes, we were." Neunie confirmed her and walked over to the couch on which Tonu sat.
"We lost them somehow…" Tonu explained.
Neunie told her then the whole story. "You see… the guys, Tonu, and I went into this store with all these great computer games and played for a little bit… you know Street Fighters and Marble World… we thought the others were waiting for us, but suddenly we lost them. The guys and we split up to find them, but… we then got lost ourselves…"
"… in the games…" Tonu admitted.
"Oh… I see." Mrs. Rider understood and smiled. "And now you are here to enrich your knowledge… such good girls."
"Well… Neunie tried to find in the net some museum that are around here and I was just reading this," Tonu held up a book with the title "Fairy Tales of the Brother Grimm".
"That's a very nice book." Mrs. Rider said.
"Yes, it is… the story are great!" Tonu's enthusiasm for the book sparkled over her face.
"Yes they are." Mrs. Rider agreed. "I used to read my sweetheart a story of the Brother Grimm every night before he went to bed."
"You read them to Mr. Rider?" Neunie asked, raising an eyebrow.
"No, Dear." Mrs. Rider answered. "I read them to Saber."
Neunie and Tonu exclaimed: "Ahh…"
"If you two like to, I could tell you where you find beautiful museums."
"That would be great!" Neunie said.
Saber and Colt walked into the library and Saber told his mother that his father was looking for her. They had to make some plans before their travel to Stornoway.
"I'm coming." Mrs. Rider stood up and walked to the door. "Saber, Dear, your friends are looking for museums… would you show them where to find our most pretties ones?"
"Certainly, Mother." Saber said and turned to the girls. "I tell you later when I come back."
"Okie, Top Sword." Neunie said.
Saber left with his mother the room.
"Are you girls trying to scared the poor tourists again?" Colt asked suspiciously and raised one eyebrow.
"We???" Neunie and Tonu shouted at the same time.
"No," Neunie said and Tonu continued: "We don't do something like that!"
Colt grinned and let himself fell into the satin bergère.
"Saber told me that we would have to cross the North Minch Channel to get to the island Stornoway lays on," he said.
"I didn't know that Stornoway lays on an island." Neunie confessed.
"Me neither." Colt exclaimed and leaned back, putting his hands behind his head.
"Stornoway lays on the Lewis Island, one of the Hebrides Islands." Tonu explained.
Colt sat up straight. "Wow… I didn't know that you know so much about Scotland."
"Did you study Scotland's geography because your affection a certain someone?" Neunie teased and Colt joined her in teasing: "Is there something I don't know, Tonu?"
"Why? It's says here on the globe." Tonu said coldly and pointed on the big globe standing next to her.
Neunie and Colt looked kind of embarrassed. They hope to get Tonu to blush but know it was the other way around.
"If you two have forgotten… I know how to read." Tonu noted.

Later in the Afternoon

Neunie and Tonu sat on the edge of the big Angle water fountain in front of the museum. Each of them had a big ice cone an enjoyed their view.
"See? This guy over there is cute." Neunie said.
"No… not that cute as the guy next to him." Tonu noticed.
"He is already too old… but you're right… kind of cuter than the younger guy."
"Hey, look at the guy behind him." Tonu pulled Neunie too her to make sure that Neunie looked at the right guy.
Neunie took her sunglasses half off and starred a hole through that good-looking young man in the crowd. "Wow… if Eve would be here… she would fight with me over this fresh meat."
"What are you two looking at?"
Neunie and Tonu jumped up and dropped their ice cream when they suddenly heard that familiar voice next to them.
"Eve!" both shouted totally surprised.


To be continued

© 2000/03 Eve, JJ, Toertchen And don't forget to write them what you think about this!