“So that one’s yesterday?” Sebastian asked as he mimicked the sign you showed to him. You grinned wide and nodded your head.
You and Sebastian had been close practically since the day you moved in, but being mute made it tough to communicate, and you were getting pretty sick of writing down walls of text to portray your feelings. Apparently so was Sebastian, as one day, to your surprise and joy, he asked you to teach him some sign language. His reasoning was that it would just be easier for you two to communicate with each other. Of course you agreed fervently.
It wasn’t easy at first. You had never pegged Sebastian as the kind of guy to be easily frustrated, but the more he struggled with remembering certain signals, the more upset he seemed to be with himself.
But it made you smile that he was making an effort to learn- and as time went on, learning became easier with each lesson. Each time he used signs with everyday conversation you had to contain your massive smile, even if it only happened now and again. When you had first moved to Pelican Town, it hadn’t really been with the highest of hopes of finding someone who would try to understand you.
In Early Spring~
You had just finished up watering your first crop, a small group of parsnip seeds kindly gifted to you by the mayor, and were making your way down the dusty trail into town. In one of your hands you held a small notebook, in the other a thick, black marker.
New places were always a difficult task for you, and you could never guess what could happen, choosing instead to be prepared for practically any scenario. What you weren't prepared for, however, was the people in Pelican Town.
Almost everyone approached you with a smile, reading your scrawled-out notes and responding with excitement and interest. As happy as you were to feel included, your hand was beginning to cramp from having to write and rewrite so much over and over again. You had just taken a seat by the riverbank when a sudden voice startled you out of your thoughts.
You turned around to see a young man standing next to you, a cigarette held to his lips. He had bags under his eyes, and his purplish-black hair fell in messy spikes over his shoulders.
“You’re the new farmer, right?” He asked. As you reached for your notebook, he held up his hand, gesturing for you to stop. “Sam already told me you can’t talk, so don’t worry about it. The name’s Sebastian, and I’m just here for a smoke, anyway.”
You nodded, gently setting your book back down and staring out into the crystal water, watching the puffs and curls of Sebastian’s cigarette smoke on the afternoon breeze.
It was nice having someone who never made you feel out of place. Sebastian wasn’t like the people back in the city, who would roll their eyes every time you pulled out your notebook or scoff and tap their feet when you paused to write out a lengthy answer. In fact, Sebastian seemed to go out of his way to make things easier for you, sticking mainly to yes and no questions and waiting patiently for your longer replies. You couldn’t count on one hand the number of notebooks you had filled just chatting with him on a day-to-day basis, the two of you sitting on the riverbank, you with your book and him with a cigarette.
You had started holding meetings in the town library. You even requested Gunther call into the city and have some sign language books sent out (he was more than happy to help, seeing as you had practically rebuilt the museum’s entire exhibit on your own.) With every meeting, Sebastian was getting better and better at remembering signs.
And with every meeting, you fell in love with him a little more.
It started with little things, like the small smile on his face when something would finally click, or when he would sneak snacks into the library to share while you two were working. Slowly, you started to notice more and more about the reclusive boy. The way his face would light up when he could finally string the signs together, or the wistful smile when he talked about escaping to the city. Soon, everything he did began to make your heart race and your stomach spin. For once, you were glad you didn’t talk; At least you didn’t have to worry about tripping over your words whenever he came by.
Somewhere in late fall of your second year, after seasons of shared snacks and shared secrets, you finally decided you wanted to confess. The only trouble now was figuring out how.
* * * * * * *
When Sebastian strolled into the library that afternoon, he was surprised to find you were already there, with a few of the books you had been using to teach him spread out across the table. Your head was down and you hadn’t yet noticed his arrival. You stared at the table’s polished surface, repeatedly signing something to yourself.
He watched you curiously as your hands moved, slow and shaking. You brought your finger up to the side of your forehead and tapped, before putting your hand in front of you and doing what he thought looked like the rock and roll horn symbol, with your thumb outstretched.
“ What does that mean?” He asked. You nearly jumped out of your seat, whirling around to face him. Before you could respond, he snagged the sign language book from your table and peered into it.
You reached out to snatch the book, but Sebastian was considerably taller, and easily held it out of your reach. Okay, tapping your forehead means, ‘to think’. That one was easy. But what was the other one? He grumbled, leaning further away from you as you desperately jumped for the book.
“Hey, here it is!” He smiled. It did look like the rock and roll symbol! Holding your hand like that translated to… I love you?
I think I love you.
The book slipped from Sebastian’s fingers, hitting the ground with a soft thud. You had covered your face, flopping back down into your seat and burying your head in your knees. You could feel tears of embarrassment prickling at the corners of your eyes. You you kept your head down and away from Sebastian, who you could hear shuffling around next to you and… flipping pages?
You could hear him rustling about, wildly flipping through the book and grumbling something to himself. Suddenly, you jumped at the feeling of a gentle hand on your shoulder.
“Please look at me.” He murmured, almost inaudibly. You tensed up for a second, weighing your possible options. Then, with a shaky breath, you lifted your head. He was staring at you with determination in his eyes, even as they flickered back and forth between you and the book in his lap.
Sebastian’s hands were shaky as he began slowly signing to you. He extended and curled his index finger while raising his eyebrows, before looking back into the book and muttering something under his breath. Okay, he was asking you a question. He looked up again, his cheeks turning a lovely shade of pink. He pointed to himself, then to you, then touched his fingers to his mouth and trailed them up to his cheek before looking away.
Can I kiss you?
You stared at him wide eyed, a rosy blush creeping across your cheeks. “If you don't want to it's fine! I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable I shouldn't have asked in the first place I really-” he began to stammer out, but you placed a finger on his lips to stop him. He looked back to you, looking like he regretted asking. Instead, you glanced away, nodding shakily.
Sebastian seemed frozen, and for a moment you were worried that maybe he had been joking with you. But slowly, hesitantly, he leaned forward and gave you a gentle kiss. It was nothing special, just a chaste peck before he had pulled away again, but you could feel your entire face heating up.
Sebastian wasn’t faring much better. He had the collar of his hoodie pulled over his mouth and nose, cheeks burning a fiery red. “So, I really hope you weren’t joking.” He grumbled, tugging anxiously on his hood.
You were motionless for a moment, before your eyes blew wide with recognition, and you practically leapt across the table to your pack. Sebastian startled as you rummaged through, random stones and various cool things you had collected falling to the floor. Finally, you found what you were looking for, and thrust it towards Sebastian with shaking hands.
Clenched in your fist was a beautiful, albeit slightly crumpled, bouquet. Your eyes were steeled with determination, despite your entire body practically shivering with nervous energy. Sebastian beamed, carefully taking the flowers from your jittery hands. He admired them gently, before holding up his hand and repeating the same rock and roll horn sign you had done before, but adding a second sign on the end.
He pointed both his index fingers towards you and carefully brought them together, before shifting his arms slightly and repeating the motion. You grinned, nearly tackling Sebastian as you threw yourself into his open arms.
I love you too.