A/N: Hello my dear Bakers! This is a short chapter—but that would mean I’ll be updating sooner next week :) probably on a Wednesday or Thursday! ^0^/ Enjoy this one~
Chapter 31: Hansel is back
My eyes focused.
“Hey, you okay?” Xander leaned down to part the strands of my fringe, concerned.
My chest clenched, hard and tight.
I didn’t want him to worry about me—didn’t want to trouble his thoughts any further, and so, for the first time—
I lied to Xander.
“Don’t worry,” I smiled, “I’m fine.”
Rose was transferring the left-overs from the bakery to the kitchen when we arrived, and Giselle was busy counting them.
“One, two, one, two…four…”
Rose bent down and gently taped Giselle’s shoulder.
“One,” She pointed to the first chocolate bun, “two, three, four—“
“We’re home!” I announced, hanging my book bag at the bottom of the stairs before coming over to the counter.
“Oh! Chip, Xander—you’re back! There’s something I forgot to tell you yesterday—uh, it’s about—“
“CHIP?? HAVE YOU BEEN USING STRAWBERRY-FLAVOURED LUBE??”
I recognized the loud voice calling from the top of the staircase.
“W-Wait, Hansel’s back? Since when?” I stammered, suddenly remembering that I have yet to change the sheets and that o-our room was full of Xander’s scent—
“Whose underwear is this??”
I felt a wave of heat rush up my cheeks, and I darted up the stairs.
“Angel? What’s going on?” Xander asked curiously, following behind.
“U-Um, it’s just—my brother who’s supposed to be at boarding school is back here,” My fingers began to fiddle nervously, “and uh, he’s supposed to be sharing a room with m-me—“
“Is that semen I smell oh good Lord what have you been doing while I was gone—“
Hansel yanked open the door to our room, just in time to see Xander and I arrive at the top of the stairs.
“Wow Chip, not bad. He’s hot.”
I flushed terribly to the tip of my ears.
“W-Wha—“ Before I could say another word, my older brother began to circle Xander, as if inspecting him.
“Gretel told me about your boyfriend.”
Upon seeing the look of horror on my face, he added quickly, “I already knew you were gay since you were born jeez don’t look like you’re about to faint.”
Xander just glanced between Hansel and I, an amused expression on his face.
“So—you’re that cute little girl’s older brother? She’s really nice.”
Xander raised an eyebrow.
“If you’re referring to Giselle, then yes, I am her older brother. Xander,” The taller of the two extended a hand.
Hansel received it with a good shake—and I found myself thinking that this might be a dream.
It was absurd.
“W-Wait, Hansel, you’re not going to ask—“
“The only thing I’m gonna ask is whether Giselle has a boyfriend,” Hansel glanced at Xander, a hopeful look in his eyes. “Does she? If she does I’m still gonna—“
“No. She’s too young,” Xander stated simply, drawing a line.
“Yeah, yeah,” Hansel cast his gaze skywards. “Not as if you and my little brother over here aren’t too young to be eating each other’s faces—“
“E-Eh?? Wait—slow down! Th-this is escalating way too quickly! Besides, Xander and I don’t eat each other’s faces!” I protested, getting between the two.
“Huh? We don’t?” Xander teased.
If only it was a dream.
“Can we decide who is going to sleep on the sofa—“
“A-Ah! I volunteer,” I said happily, raising my hand.
“No,” Xander and Hansel said dangerously, and I quickly retracted my arm.
“Err…”Gretel glanced at Rose, and then at Coco, who seemed to have nothing to say.
Then Hansel piped up. “Fine, I’ll sleep on the sofa.”
Xander and I stared at him incredulously, slightly confused. “But weren’t you—“
“I’m doing this for Giselle,” Hansel stated proudly, crossing his arms over his chest, “Not you.” He glared at Xander.
“Me? Giselle?” Xander’s sister pointed to herself, looking from Hansel to her brother.
My brother seemed to be contemplating whether he should respond to her question correctly or just hug her to death—when Rose interrupted.
“That’s great then! All solved!” Then her tone changed, “now hurry up and do your homework.”
For the first time in forever—
Xander asked me to help him with his revision for his finals.
At first, I was shocked, and of course, flattered.
I wasn’t very intelligent, and well, Xander always seemed to push me away when I asked whether he needed help.
And here he was, pulling out book after book of revision guides and notes a week before his finals.
“I’ll be able to make it with Volley, but they said I had to pass the overall to qualify for the fucking scholarship so—“
I could tell that Xander wasn’t very sure what to say.
He glanced at me quickly to see my reaction.
“Not…that I really want the scholarship or anything—“
I laughed, crossing my legs on the bed.
“It’s okay Xan, really.”
He must have felt guilty, because before I knew it, his arms came around me from behind.
“My bad. I’ll just do my best.”
“Un! You do that,” I smiled.
“Will you encourage me?” Xander asked, flipping through his Chemistry textbook to the topic on Organic Chemistry.
“Eh?” I craned my neck to look up. “What do you mean?”
Xander reached over to pull out a pink package from his book bag.
“Feed me a Pocky stick if I get a question correct,” He said, handing me a box of strawberry-flavored Pocky sticks.
I froze—looked down at the pink box, and then back up at the ridiculous person before me.
“Y-You—advantage-taking, scheming bully!” I managed, trying my best to glare, but Xander only laughed.
“Come on, please? It’ll make me study. I want to get as many Pocky sticks as possible.”
I stared at him.
“D-Did you just say ‘please’?”
Xander nodded, resorting to nuzzle me in the neck.
“Don’t do that! W-What if Hansel comes in?”
“So is that a yes?”
I sighed, giving in.
“O-Okay, I’ll start with the first question—
Which families of organic compounds are hydrocarbons?”
Xander held his breath, peeking over my shoulder to catch a glimpse of the textbook which I snapped shut immediately.
“No, it’s Alkenes and Alkanes only. Do you even remember what hydrocarbons are?” I asked doubtfully.
I pouted. “Are you sure?”
“A-Alright,” I huffed, turning the page. “How about the conditions for hydrogenation?”
“Two-hundred degree Celsius and Nickel as a catalyst.”
My eyes widened.
“H-Hey, how did you get that correct?” I double-checked the answer in disbelief.
Xander had a smug look on his face as he poked my cheek. “What’s so surprising about me getting a question correct?”
Before I could answer, Xander ordered me to feed him a Pocky stick.
I opened the package and pulled out a strawberry-cream-covered biscuit, and held it out to the person that towered above me.
Xander looked at me as if I was crazy.
“You’re supposed to put the stick into your mouth and then feed me!”
“W-W-Whaat? I didn’t know that!” I protested, feeling the room temperature turn up a few notches.
“Well now you do,” Xander replied, a cocky smirk on his face before he took the Pocky stick from my hand and shoved it between my lips.
“Mm?!—“ Before I had any time to react, Xander ducked down to take the other end of the stick into his mouth.
A-And well, my mind wasn’t really able to function after t-that so I couldn’t quite remember anything.
A-Anyway, even if I did, I would be too embarrassed to even think of it.
I’m so happy.
In that instant—
Chip felt like he was the happiest being on Earth.
He was so happy—that if he saw a shooting star nothing would cross his mind.
Not a single wish.
Chip was happy—
And he would have been—
If the world was always a happy ending.
Chip felt that his life was perfect—
He knew it was.
To be able to see a shooting star—and not wish for something.
To be able to deny a key to happiness—
To be able to refuse a wish—
Do you understand how happy and satisfied that person must be?
But that was when everything went downhill.
And nothing went right.
And perhaps, Chip would come to realize that even in fairytales—
Princes don’t get married to other princes.