Guardians

Sandy only realized how badly she’d disappointed Maxine after Snow Puff had left. Maxine’s big hands were balled up tight and she was struggling for words with both Sandy and Kona there. It looked like Maxine was being pulled in two different directions at once and eventually Kona won the tug-of-war for her frustrations. Kona similarly acted in a way Sandy had never seen. She crossed her arms defiantly and had trouble looking at Maxine directly.

It’s not that big of a deal, Max… Do not call me Max! I am trying to make the best of a bad situation. And what’s that? It’s important for a successful businesswoman to maintain her contacts. One shouldn’t be so busy as to forget their friends… Not that a vagabond like you would understand. Tch. Friends, right… Only someone like you would make being nice to people all about themselves. Not that a bean counter like you would understand.

Sandy suddenly felt very uncomfortable. She watched the two trade barbs in the station in near-silence, trying to remain stiff with the tray tucked hard against her body. She didn’t know if this meant she was excused by Maxine or not, so she could go back to the cafe… Sandy found herself looking back and forth between the two of them in fright. Maxine thankfully noticed her. But it only fueled the fire.

At least here’s one thing we can agree on, you contemptible rogue. It’s a good thing one of us has their life together. You keep bringing people to Fable with no concern for their well-being! It’s always better than just leaving them there! And that’s only because- But I’m grateful for both of you… You stay out of this. You stay out of this. Ulp!

Miko walked up onto the platform a little bit behind Sandy to check the newly arrived mail bag. She bent over to check the bottom first to see if her patches had held up. And by the time she was standing back up, Sandy was suddenly there in a cold sweat.

Hey, donuts! I was just thinking about these. Maybe that’s my special Fable power? If I think about donuts enough, they’ll appear! Well, it worked this time. Take all you want, Miko. I have a feeling Maxine and Kona will be busy for a while. Mmmphn… *gulp* Oh? Are they going crazy again? I can handle this.

Miko took Sandy back to the train and then walked up to some of the other people getting off. Sandy hadn’t noticed them with all that was going on. Sandy internally chided herself for laughing at Snow Puff. She really should show more respect. After all, Miko did say she was kind of a rarity in Fable for not having fur. What if everyone pointed and laughed at her for being nearly naked? She stiffened her back and stood up straight just like Maxine taught her.

Hey hey! Did we get some new visitors? Welcome to Fable! Who wants donuts after their long trip? For free? Really? Yeah! Courtesy of Kemono Café! What a cool village… You really can’t get attention like this back in the city. And look at all the trees! It’s beautiful here! That’s how I felt too! Do you know if the café has chocolate chip peanut butter cookies? I could make you a new batch when we get back! But I’m afraid only these donuts are free… Oh my gosh, thank you! The only free things in Fable are sunshine and hugs. *giggle* Can I get a hug…? N’awww… Sure. I’m heading back, Maxine! … huh. Oh hey, I forgot about them. Dang it. Well… I ah… Shoot. Good work, Sandy.

Sandy and Miko walked the short distance back to the cafe. Miko had her mailbag over her shoulder as they went. The new customers were positively starstruck at Fable, looking every which way. Sandy couldn’t believe she was already the veteran of this fantastical place. But being there for others helped fill her with pride.

Thank you for the help, Miko. I never thought Maxine or Kona would be the kind to yell like that. Yeah… It’s a real shame. I’ve kinda learned to live with it. What happened to them? I dunno… Some people just are that way. You wanna hang out today? I’ve got a pie to deliver to Jill today. Meet me after work? Yay!


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