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Friends don't always grow on trees

#5
Just a quick follow up to my original story. The idea popped into my head and wouldn't go away until I wrote it down. I got to thinking about Bushroots personality and how he seems like the type that would end up falling for anyone that was nice to him... poor guy. Theres also some more insight into Liz's past.




~~~~~~~~~*********~~~~~~~~


Over the next few weeks, Lizas friendship with Bushroot continued to grow, something they were both quite thankful for. Unfortunately, Liz had begun to wonder if perhaps Reggie was reading more into it than he should.

The first few nights things seemed to be going well. Bushroot came back to visit Liz at work when she didn't seem to be very busy, but kept his distance when she appeared to have customers.

They talked of many things; Lizas classes and what she hoped to do with her life in the future. Reggie told her about the accident that had turned him into what he was and his horrible luck with finding the right person.

It wasn't until a few nights later that Liz noticed their friendship appeared to be going in a direction she wasn't quite ready for. It started one night with a box of chocolates "mysteriously" appearing at the backdoor of the restaurant. There was no note, but it was pretty obvious who the candies were from. Of course Liz wasn't about to turn down free chocolate.

When questioned about it, Bushroot acted as though he had no idea what she was referring to, but the next night there was another box waiting for the girl when she arrived at work. She decided to let it slide, hoping maybe Reggie was just overly excited at having a new friend. It wasn't until a week or so later that Liz felt she had to say something.

She had come into work that night to find another gift waiting for her. Not chocolates this time, but a beautifully hand painted flower pot containing a single, bright yellow daffodil. A note attached to the pot asked the girl to come to the city park after work that night.

It was around midnight before Liz was able to head to the park. By then the park was silent and empty as the girl hurried down the path toward the area Bushroot had asked her to meet him at. She found him sitting in the grass under a large oak. He quickly stood up and smiled as the girl approached. "I didn't know if you'd come or not..."

"What? Me, stand you up? Never." Liz returned his smile.

Bushroot fidgeted a bit, "Liz, this is Frank." He nodded toward the tree. "Frank, Liz."

The tree shifted, moving in a way Liz had never seen a tree move before, as it appeared to sweep itself into a bow. Liz couldn't help but grin. She'd never been introduced to a tree before. "Its wonderful to meet you, Frank." The girl gave a small curtsy. "So," she turned her attention back to her friend. "What did you want to see me out here for?"

"I wanted to show you something," Bushroot replied. He gently took the girls hand and began to lead her across the park. They climbed a small hill overlooking a large field and stopped. "There," he pointed across the field.

At first it was too dark for Liz to see much of anything, but then the moon appeared from behind a cloud and the field was suddenly illuminated. Liz gasped, "Oh, Reggie..." Daffodils. Thousands of them, stretching as far as the eye could see. "You... you did this for me?"

"Do you like it?"

"Its beautiful, but..." The girl frowned, "I can't help but feel that our signals are getting a little mixed up."

Bushroot blinked, "Wha-what do you mean?"

"I mean, you're very sweet, but you've been treating me as more than a friend lately."

Bushroot shrugged, "Oh, well, I...I wasn't, I mean," he faltered slightly, "Its just that, you're the first girl friend I've ever had. Not... not like that, of course. I didn't mean GIRLFRIEND. Just that, you're a girl and you're my friend."

"Its okay," Liz smiled. "I just don't want you to get the wrong impression. I really like you, Reg, and I'd hate to mislead you in any way, especially considering the kind of luck you've had with girls in the past."

"Oh, I know," he nodded. "I never expected us to be... well, you know. Truth be told, I've kind of stopped expecting that with anyone."

"Don't say that. You should never give up hope. You're cute and sweet..."

"And a freak."

Liz glared, "If you say that again I will take a weed eater to you. You're not a freak, Reg. Anyone that would turn you down is an idiot and not worth your time."

"Do you include yourself in that?" He asked.

The girl was silent for a moment, before she smiled half-heartedly and nodded, "Yeah. But believe me when I tell you that its not you. I know that sounds like a line, but its not." She sat down in the grass as she stared out across the field of daffodils. "Remember the first night we met, when I told you me and relationships don't mix?"

"Yeah," Bushroot sat down next to her.

"The first, and only guy I ever dated was kind of a jerk to me." She paused in thought and then added, "Actually, thats putting it mildly."

"I'm sorry, Liz."

Liz shrugged, "It was a few years ago, but since then I've just not really felt the need for relationships."

"What happened? If you don't mind me asking."

"At first nothing," she replied. "I met him at the club I used to dance at. He seemed real nice, but the longer we were together, the more controlling he got. He never wanted me to go out with friends or do anything for myself."

"Sounds like a real winner."

"Yeah, well, I decided I wasn't having any of it and I tried to leave him. Thats when it got really bad. I guess he decided a bruised girlfriend was better than no girlfriend."

Bushroot narrowed his eyes, "He hurt you?"

Liz nodded, "Pushed me down a flight of stairs. Broke my arm and two ribs."

The look on Bushroots face suddenly went from anger to sadness, "Liz... you know I'd never ever hurt you, right?"

"I know... I just wanted you to know that I have my own reasons for not being interested in relationships."

"I understand," he nodded. "So, what happened to this guy?"

"Hell if I know," the girl replied. "I spent a few days in the hospital, then filed a police report and never saw him again. Turns out he had a bit of a record already and I wasn't the first girl he'd done something like that to."

Bushroot was silent for a moment before he spoke again, "You never told me you used to be a dancer."

"Oh.. hehehe," Liz giggled softly, "Actually I don't tell many people, its not that I'm ashamed, I just figure its not exactly a proper conversation piece."

"Oh... OH!" If plants could blush, Bushroot would have turned three shades of red at that point, "You were THAT kind of dancer?"

"THAT kind?" Liz raised an eyebrow, "I prefer the term 'exotic', thank you."

"Wow, thats... I can't really imagine, not that I would try to imagine it or anything. You, uhh, don't really seem the type though."

Liz smirked, "Theres no 'type', Reg."

"I mean you just seem so... innocent."

"Yeah, I do sorta give that impression. Its the pigtails and candy bracelets, isn't it?"

Bushroot smiled, "Among other things."

Liz nodded, "Its all part of my deviate plan to lure unsuspecting victims in by giving them a false sense of security."

"Oh is it?"

"Mmhm. Its working, isn't it?" She smirked slyly.

Bushroot laughed, "What do you do with them once you've lured them in?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" She giggled playfully, "You don't think less of me for the dancing thing, do you?"

"Of course not!"

"Good. I only did it for like eight months, until I had enough money saved up to afford an apartment."

Bushroot nodded, "What about your family?"

"My mother was against me dancing at first, but she realized that I was gonna do what I wanted. She told me she'd give me whatever money I needed, but I was sick of having to rely on other people all the time."

"You're quite an interesting person, you know that?"

"Well thank you, you're not half bad yourself."

Bushroot snorted softly, "Sure, if you like mutant plant-ducks."

Liz smiled, "Well, it just so happens that I am quite fond of them myself." Glancing up at the sky, the girl sighed, "Its late. I should probably head home. I don't live that far if you'd like to walk me."

"I'd be honored," Bushroot stood up, offering a leafy hand to the girl and gently pulling her to her feet. As the two of them headed out of the park, Bushroot cleared his throat softly, "So... does this mean you don't want me sending you flowers and chocolates anymore?"

"Well," Liz thought for a moment, "If you want to send me chocolates, it'd be rude of me not to accept them. Flowers are nice too, but I can't eat those."

"Well I'd certainly hope not!"

Liz chuckled, "You know what, Reg?"

"Hmm?"

"I think you and I are gonna be just fine."

"Me too, Liz, me too."

-Finis-




Authors Note: Its funny, now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever written anything that was Liza/Bushroot centric before writing these two short stories. Originally Liz was created as a potential girlfriend for Quackerjack and shes actually dating him in my original storyline. But after writing this, I can't help but think her and Reggie would make an adorable couple. I just never really pictured them together before.
'Normal' is a delusion. True wisdom comes to those who embrace their insanity. ~ Me
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