Sometimes, Jack pretended that he didn’t hear Zelda knocking on the wagon door. Ydris, knowing his boyfriend well by now, didn’t answer the door, either. But he did smile into his boyfriend’s neck as he cuddled him in bed.
“She’s not going to leave, you know,” said Ydris, kissing the back of Jack’s neck.
“She might,” said Jack.
“I know you’re in there, dad, so I’m coming in!” Zelda called. Jack sighed as the door opened, but he did grin upon remembering that neither he nor Ydris were wearing a stitch of clothing.
“Don’t worry, she’ll get quite the surprise,” said Jack. “Let her make that mistake.”
“Jesus Christ, put some clothes on!” Zelda blurted when she found them. Jack laughed, though Ydris just rolled his eyes.
“Come on, love, let’s not scar the poor girl,” said Ydris.
“Hey, we weren’t answering, you really should’ve been expecting this, Z,” said Jack.
“But I didn’t hear noises so I thought it’d be okay!” said Zelda, her cheeks flaming. “Ugggh, I did NOT need to see that much of either of you.”
“Nothing you haven’t seen before,” said Jack, sitting up and stretching.
“I’m going to wait outside,” said Zelda, and walked out, her cheeks still burning. Jack laughed again.
“You should go talk to her,” said Ydris. “See why she has disturbed us in our little love nest.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” said Jack. “Make sure your magnificent cock didn’t blind her.”
Jack got dressed, trying to be quick so as to not keep Zelda waiting, and finally walked out into the bright sunshine. It did feel nice, especially having the fresh air in his lungs and seeing the gorgeous Phantom.
“So, what are we getting up to today?” asked Jack.
“We are going to celebrate Midsummer the traditional Jorvegian way,” said Zelda.
“Yeah, that sounds fun, I’m going back inside,” said Jack, and made to move.
“No you’re not!” said Zelda, pulling him back. “You are coming to the maypole with me, and you’re gonna like it! Also, I told Louisa we’d meet her there and you know how she gets.”
“Yeah but she also knows me,” said Jack. “She’ll understand.”
“Too bad. Come on,” said Zelda. Jack sighed but reluctantly mounted Scar, riding with Zelda to the small fence and then carefully jumping over it.
“At least it’s a nice day,” said Jack.
“Yeah, it was great until I saw more of the two of you than I ever wanted to,” said Zelda.
“You’ve gotta stop walking in on people, Z. You know exactly what two people alone in a room together are doing,” said Jack. “They’re either sleeping or fucking.”
“Yeah, yeah,” said Zelda. “At least I didn’t walk in on the act.”
“No, because you have a functioning pair of ears and aren’t that stupid,” said Jack. “But alright, you got me out of the wagon, you win.”
“I will enjoy my victory,” said Zelda. “I convinced you to get outside, and I convinced Louisa to come do something fun instead of training and working.”
“You have a gift,” said Jack.
Eventually, the two of them reached the Midsummer site and dismounted their horses. Louisa was already waiting there, braiding flowers together into a crown while her new Arabian grazed nearby.
“I was beginning to think you weren’t coming,” said Louisa, smiling at them.
“Never doubt the power of a stubborn Z,” said Jack. He grabbed a cupcake off the table and ate it, finding that he was actually hungry after not having done much all day. He ate some of the dip, some of the vegetable casserole, and some cheese and crackers, and then he felt something placed on his head and froze.
“I think you broke him,” said Louisa.
“Z, what the fuck did you just put on my head?” asked Jack. He swept a hand over his hair, but Zelda grabbed it.
“No, don’t ruin it, it looks cute!” said Zelda. “Louisa, take a picture and show him.”
Jack grabbed the phone from Louisa and looked at it after she’d taken the photo, having to roll his eyes at what Zelda had done. She’d put a flower crown on his head, the very one that Louisa had been putting together. Maybe she’d been doing it for a reason after all, rather than just as a nervous habit.
“Now I’m gonna attract bees,” said Jack. “I look ridiculous, can I take this off now?”
“No, you have to get into the spirit,” said Louisa. As she spoke, a familiar mustard-coloured horse wandered past the bonfire. “Not that Spirit. I didn’t know he followed me here.”
“He’s a wild horse, he goes where he wants,” said Zelda with a shrug.
“Yeah, and this wild horse is going home,” said Jack. “I hate this festival.”
“Steve apologised for misgendering you,” said Zelda. “He really is sorry, you know. He feels awful.”
“Good, so he should,” said Jack. “Can I take this thing off now?”
“No,” said Zelda and Louisa at the same time. Jack sighed. On the plus side, at least it wasn’t very crowded here. There were just a few girls dancing over near the maypole, doing the weird hopping dance.
With nothing much better to do, Jack sat at the table and stuffed his face. He didn’t care about his weight, he worked a lot and Ydris didn’t care how he looked. He was amazing like that. Jack had to smile at the thought.
“See? You’re having a great time,” said Zelda, seeing the smile.
“I was thinking about my boyfriend, actually,” said Jack. “But the food here is good, I guess.”
“Yay!” said Zelda. “So you’ll stay?”
“Nah, I was thinking of stuffing my face and heading off,” said Jack. “Might head into Hollow Woods for a nap.”
“Where’s my squirrel?” asked Louisa, lifting up the tablecloth and looking under it.
“Probably escaped back to the wild,” said Jack with a shrug. “Don’t worry, it’ll come back. Halli always does.” His fox was currently on the table, sniffing at the food. Jack took a handful of berries and offered them to her, not wanting her to spoil the food for everyone. She ate them out of his palm, and he couldn’t help but to smile again.
“Oh, there it is,” said Zelda, just as Jack felt something tugging on his jacket. He stayed still, being used to this from countless times in the forest, and tried not to wince too much as tiny little claws clambered up his back and onto his head. It didn’t even hurt too much as the squirrel dug her claws into his scalp.
“What’s she doing?” asked Jack, remaining perfectly still but wanting to see himself.
“Aww,” said Zelda with a laugh. “She was attracted by the flowers on your head. Take a picture, take a picture!”
“I am,” said Louisa, laughing as she got out her phone. Jack looked at it, grinning in delight at seeing the squirrel perched on his head and nibbling at the flower crown.
“Aww,” Jack cooed. “That’s so fucking adorable.”
“Now are you having a good time?” asked Zelda.
“I have a squirrel on my head and a fox eating out of the palm of my hand, I’m perfectly fucking content,” said Jack. “Thanks, Z.”
“You’re welcome,” said Zelda. “See, I told you it’d be worth it to stop being a little hermit and get out of that wagon.”
“Yeah, yeah,” said Jack, rolling his eyes and smiling in amusement.