Cuddles led the group out in front of the doors. The Recon group formed a wall to protect the door, as the rest of the club all stayed inside, waiting to fire when prompted to. Cuddles then heard Flippy, throwing a tantrum inside his room, and sighed. He then stared at the incoming Haven. He eyed Pop with a look of disappointment. Pop just laughed as he signaled his men to march forward. Cuddles gave the signal, which was his right arm in the air.
Disco and Handy ran forward, waiting to meet the Haven swordsmen, as Cuddles and Toothy stayed behind and opened fire. Giggles and Petunia fired their sniper rifles as well. Sniffles, on the roof, waited for the right moment to fire his rockets.
War has begun.
Flippy was enraged at the sound of war. He felt Fliqpy begging to emerge.
“Come on! There’s a party outside and I wanna join! I can get us out of here in less than 5 seconds!”
“No! Not yet! If I go out there, I’m only gonna go out there to surrender.”
“Cause this is all our fault. If we hadn’t met and Tiger never made us one, this would’ve all been avoided.”
“Well, lets make it a goal. Kill Tiger, and make him pay for turning our lives to shit.”
“You’re right, but not now. I’m not fighting in this fight.”
“You’re such a pussy, you know that?”
Flippy ignored as he pressed his face to the door.
The Haven was fast approaching the doors. It was starting to become too much for the Tree Friends. Disco let his katana through a swordsman’s eye, but felt another one stab his leg. Handy approached and sliced the man’s head right off his shoulders.
“Disco, you alright?”
“Ohhh… Yeah. Just a flesh wound…”
He got up and continued to fight.
The gunmen fired all they had at the arriving Haven. There was large men with heavy shotguns and short men with grenades and pistols. The Tree Friends began to fall back, and Toothy fired his last round at several soldiers.
"There's too many, Cuddles! Cuddles?"
Cuddles retreated into the house, and then later busted out the doors, holding a heavy chain-gun.
Toothy was in shock.
"Cuddles... Where did you get that?"
Cuddles ignored as the barrel of the gun began spinning.
“No one’s getting in here!”
He opened fired, letting out a river of long, painful bullets, hitting literally everyone he fired at. Nothing was enough for it, not even the jeep Pop was in, as it exploded right after everyone evacuated.
Fliqpy roared in Flippy's head.
“That’s it! I’ve had enough!”
“No, Fliqpy! I won’t let you kill anyone!”
Flippy held his evil side back with all his might, but couldn’t hold his rage any further. He took a deep breath and kicked the door with all his strength. It fell to the ground.
Cuddles shouted as he saw his traitor.
“You’ll never get Flippy! Not now, not ever!”
Pop brought out a pistol and fired at Cuddles, who dodged and aimed his chaingun.
“Goodbye, you monster!”
Pop got up and scurried away, dodging Cuddles bullets as he fired continuously out of pure rage. He killed dozens of soldiers as his mind was only set on Pop.
Flaky stared out the door; she’d never seen Cuddles this angry before.
“It must be real personal for him, huh?”
She looked behind her shoulder to see her love, standing before her.
“Flippy! Get back in the room before you’re noticed.”
Flippy grabbed her, stared into her beautiful red eyes, then pulled her in to kiss her lips, letting all the love he can muster cover her mouth. She wasn’t in need of one, but she accepted it anyway.
He broke the kiss, and she stood flabbergasted.
“What was that for?”
He held her for a quick second.
“Be strong, Flaky. Please.”
He started walking for the door, but she grabbed his arm.
“What are you doing?!”
He looked at her ruby eyes and muttered.
“I promised myself I’d protect you forever. And I’m not breaking another promise to you, Flake.”
He kissed her forehead and started to the door again.
She wrapped her arms around his neck. He retaliated by shoving her back gently.
“Don’t try to stop me. I made my choice. I’ll see you later.”
Cuddles continued firing, his ammo began to run low, but he didn’t care. He had a mission; make Pop pay for casting them away. He intended to keep his promise.
But then, he felt his mind go dark.Flippy stood behind him, carrying a bat. Toothy was shocked as he saw his best friend unconscious.
“Hold your fire! He has appeared…”
Flippy walked forward as he saw his friends all confused and sad at the same time. He approached Pop, staring him in the eye. Then, he kneeled down before Pop and raised his wrists out, waiting for cuffs to be slapped on them.
“What? What’s this, Flippy?”
“I’m not fighting you again, Pop. If it’s me you want, it’s me you’ll get.”
Disco and Handy looked at each other and stared at Flippy.
“What are you doing, Flippy?”
“Flippy! Don’t give up!”
Flippy ignored them.
“If you promise to leave them alone, I’ll go with you.”
Pop stood up, and placed handcuffs on Flippy.
“Glad you made the smart choice. Now, no funny business, right?”
Flippy bowed his head, and tears dropped from his eyes.
“No… I… Am yours.”
He got up and had Pop lead him to a spare jeep.
“Troops, back to the shelter! Retreat!”
All soldiers retreated, following their leader as Flippy was led into the jeep.
Cuddles finally came to, as he saw his friend surrender himself. Flaky walked out, feeling more heartbroken than ever.
“Don’t leave us again!”
They got up, and sprinted to the jeep. The jeep sped off, leaving the two behind as Flippy saw them as they stopped running.
Flippy knew he had done the right thing, but somehow still felt guilty. He stared ahead again, not crying at all.
“Don’t worry, Flippy. Tiger’ll probably just make you a soldier.”
Nutty said as he was Flippy’s parole officer.
“No. Flippy… You’ll be put on trial before Tiger himself.”
Pop almost sounded ashamed.
“You’ll most likely be executed.”
Flippy didn’t say a word.
“DAMN, DAMN, DAMMIT ALL!”
Cuddles began to break everything he saw; tables, chairs and dishes.
Toothy finally broke out.
“Cuddles, you need to calm down.”
Cuddles looked at him, then lunged forward and punched Toothy between the eyes. Cuddles never hit anyone before, so this must’ve been really personal to him. He’d never known what Flippy meant to him before he surrendered himself to the Haven.
“Calm down?! Calm down, Toothy?! Why should I?! We just watched our friend give himself to Pop willingly, after we spent years training to fight the Haven, and you’re telling me to calm the hell down?!”
Handy still had his metal gloves on, so he went to Cuddles and held him down.
“Calm down! Now!”
Cuddles took a minute to see Flaky, who actually was staring at the ceiling.
Flaky, for the first time, wasn’t sad. She was smiling, feeling proud.
“Flaky, why are you smiling?”
All she did was stare at the ceiling.
“Bless that wonderful man...”
Cuddles arched his brows.
“Cuddles, Flippy is honestly the most generous, caring men I’ve ever met. He told me he promised that he was going to protect me and he was gonna keep his promise.”
Everyone, through their pain, was looking at her.
“Listen everyone, I know this may sound crazy, but I think Flippy has a plan. And if I know him, he needs our help.”
Cuddles thought about it.
“What if he’s serious? What if he really wants to be captured and executed?”
“Don’t think that, Cuddles! He would never think that!”
“But what makes you think Flippy has a plan?”
Flaky stood still, then stared at the door Flippy knocked down.
“Because... I love him.”
Flippy was thrown into a small cell. His trial was tomorrow, according to Pop. He had his back against the bars and his head in his lap. He only had the Tree Friends on his mind. He thought of how disappointed Cuddles must’ve been. He thought how his cousin, Handy, must’ve felt; probably angry like he always is. He thought about how Sniffles would want to analyse his brain to see how he was possible to think what he thought.
He thought about how sad Flaky must be.
And through his thoughts, he started to remember how the two met. He was 8, and she was 5. He went out looking for sticks to play with. His body was that of a normal 8 year old boy. His hair was still dark green, yet now it was a bit shorter. He had on a red t-shirt with a baseball on it. He had no shoes on, since he never cared to learn how to tie them at this age.
He was walking on the street when he heard something; it was the sound of someone crying, somewhere that had an echo. He went looking for the cause of the crying, when he heard it in an empty dumpster. He looked inside to see a small, red haired girl. She had cuts on her arms, and bruises on her legs. She was only holding her shoulders as she continued to shake and cry. He'd never seen anything so beautiful.
He reached out to her.
“Need some help?”
She looked up to see the boy. She didn’t trust him at first.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Felix. Who are you?”
She sniffled and stared at the boy.
Even back then, she hiccuped when she cried.
“Well, Felicia, you want me to help you outta there?”
She just wanted to be safe again, so she agreed and gave him her hand. He pulled her out, like she weighed nothing. She never felt a boy’s touch before, other than her fathers.
Then, she did something Flippy will never forget.
She, almost immediately, hugged him. He was almost surprised.
“What was that for, Felicia?”
“Sorry. Felicia is so scared.”
She liked to talk in third person.
“Don’t worry. I’ll take you somewhere safe.”
He walked her away to the tree.
Along the way, Felicia told him the whole story; when she was born, her mom died at childbirth. She never felt the love of her mother. However, her father was an alcoholic who barely cared for her. And her older brother was a twisted follower of dark religions, who performed rituals on her, and as a baby her bald skull was dipped in blood, giving her her blood red locks.
She spent hours crying and crying.
She only felt love from her grandma, who came to visit every month. But one day, her father went into a drunken rage and shot and killed her grandma. Flaky was so scared that she ran out the door, heading down the street. She had no place to go, so she jumped in the dumpster. She fell on some glass that was inside it, but she didn’t care. She was safe, or at least that what she thought. Her legs were bruised from a few days ago; her father beat on them on one of his drunken episodes.
Flippy was so sad to hear this story. Yet somehow, he felt relieved as well; he finally knew someone who knows how he felt as a kid. He was so happy, so much that he looked as though he was falling for her.
He led her to the tree, and introduced her to Pop, who was happy to let her in, as well as let her join the club.
“What would you like to be called, Felicia?”
She tilted her head.
Felix looked at her.
"The best thing about this place as that you can give yourself a nickname we all can call you by. And it has to be special."
Flippy looked at her shoulders; there were small flakes on them from her hair. He then broke out.
She liked the name and giggled; to Flippy, her giggle was cute.
Flippy never felt the way he did for Flaky, even back then. He was back in the cell, his mind still only set on Flaky.
“It’s a girl, isn’t it?”
He heard from behind him. He was surprised to see a lavender-haired girl wearing a white turtleneck behind him, holding a stuffed pickle-shaped toy.
“Have we met?
“Back at the shelter. I’m a member of the Haven. My name is Lammy.”