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Valentines Bingo 5: My Best Friend

Title: My Best Friend
Fandom: Original
Author: kira
Rating: PG
Character(s): Bernd, Amber, Blitzkrieg
Genre: slice of life
Warnings: none
Words: 1907
Written for the prompt(s): Free Space (Best Friends)
Beta: kat
Summary: Preteens Bernd and Amber spend a summer’s afternoon at their special place…
Author’s note: Special thanks to Kat for pinking this for me and all her help. Please also note that Amber belongs to her.



Amber leaned against the paddock’s railing, watching her best friend Bernd ride Blitzkrieg, his big, black Friesian. She snorted as he cantered past her, reminding her of one of those girlie horse stories that he loved. Amber smiled and waved as he rode by again. He was quite the sight with his shock of white blond hair sticking up all over, his pale cheeks flushed with excitement, and a wide, toothy grin splitting his face nearly in two. She thought he looked like a dork.

“You’re such a girl,” she teased as he trotted over to her.

Bernd shrugged. He knew she was teasing him as she and her twin brother James often called him “Prissy.” A bit more color crept into his cheeks. “I finished the first book of that pony princess series you gave me last night and I started the next one this morning at breakfast…” he said, referring to several used books she had found in their local thrift store about a princess and her pet pony. It had taken most of the five dollars Bernd’s father had paid her, for bringing in the eggs, they had found in the stable, but it was worth it.

Amber chuckled as she rubbed Blitzkrieg’s velvety soft nose. “Like I said, ‘You’re such a girl,’ but I’m glad you liked them.”

He smiled at her. “So you wanna ride Blitzkrieg?” Bernd dismounted and stood, leaning on the paddock railing.

Blitzkrieg whinnied at the sound of his name. He blew warm horsey breath on Amber’s hand, hoping for a treat. When that did not work, he nickered softly at her.

“Sorry, boy, I don’t have anything.” Amber rubbed the horse’s nose again. She looked over at her best friend. “Ummm… Can we ride him together and go to our spot?”

Bernd nodded. “You wanna read or catch tadpoles? Those frog eggs should have hatched by now”

“Both. Vati’s making us lunch,” she said with a grin. While Bernd’s idea of a picnic lunch, a quickly slapped together peanut butter sandwich and a couple of juice boxes, was good, his father’s was a special treat. There were usually ham sandwiches for her and chicken salad for Bernd, potato salad, apples, and if they were really lucky, cookies and soda.

“Cool! Let’s go!” Bernd grabbed onto Blitzkrieg’s bridle and led him to the paddock’s gate, while Amber strolled over there to meet him. Together, they took the horse back to the stable, where Bernd removed his saddle, wiped him down, and left him tied up. They left the stable and headed towards the house.

A quick “thanks, Vati!”later and they were heading back to the stable. Bernd had his messenger bag slung across his body. It was laden with food, a few cut up pieces of apples and carrots for his horse, along with a bag of horse treats. He also had Blitzkrieg’s halter and lead tucked inside. Amber had a large hobo bag, another thrift store find, in which she put Bernd’s book next to her own. She also had a large fish net that she bought at the pet store, along with a couple of old plastic containers and lids. Ever since James had brought home an old aquarium he found in the trash, she was determined to fill it with “the wonders of nature.”

Bernd put Blitzkrieg’s saddle back on. The Friesian shook his head and danced a bit, confused as to why he was being saddled up again. Amber rubbed the horse’s nose and gave him a couple of baby carrots, which distracted him enough for Bernd to get the saddle’s girth on tight enough. He untied, and getting a leg up from Amber, he mounted his horse. Leaning down in the saddle, he reached out a hand to Amber. Having a few inches on him, not to mention having done this numerous times before, she easily swung up behind him. They left the stable and headed towards the meadow behind his home. As soon as Bernd felt they were out of sight, he told Amber to hang on tight and urged Blitzkrieg into a canter. Once they were close enough, Bernd slowed their pace as they followed the creek to their special place.

They were heading towards a large willow. There the creek widened and picked up enough speed and depth to become a river. It was a favorite swimming spot and Bernd had spent many a hot summer’s day splashing around with his friends and brother. Ever since Amber had developed some womanly curves over the past school year, he was curious to see what she was hiding under those big, baggy tees she had taken to wearing. To the twelve year old, it seemed like one minute she was just as boyish looking as he was, another, she had sprouted up and got somehow softer and rounder in an oddly pleasing way. Being secretive about her growth spurt combined with his new hormonal shift, increased his curiosity to “dangerous” levels as she was just as likely to punch him in the arm as she was to scream at him and stalk off to ignore him for days.

Bernd leaned back against her as he slowed his horse down to a walk. They were nearly there and it felt oddly good to lean on them. He briefly imagined touching her breasts, before his imaginary Amber punched him for touching them. That little dose of reality made him sit up, much to her relief.

Bernd looked over his shoulder and smiled. “We’re here,” he said.

“Yeah.” Amber slid off Blitzkrieg’s back. Bernd dismounted seconds later and together they took off Blitzkrieg’s saddle. With Amber’s help, they also managed to get the horse’s bridle off and his halter and lead on, before turning him lose to graze in the meadow. Bernd picked up the saddle and pad, while Amber took the end of the lead and tied to it a low hanging willow branch.

“You wanna have lunch now and then we can go hunt tadpoles or whatever it was you wanted? Or what?” Bernd said. He knew better than to ask her to go swimming as he took off his messenger bag and set it on the ground next to where he put the saddle.

Amber mentally shook her head at him. “We can eat,” she said, leaving the “tadpoles can wait” unsaid. She grinned and sat down under the willow. From there, they could watch Blitzkrieg as well as watch the river.

The two of them made themselves at home. Bernd happily chowed down on his chicken salad sandwich, while Amber helped herself to more potato salad. It may have only been the plain kind that her friend loved, but it was still good. Even better, Vati had given them a can of soda to wash everything down with. They only thing missing were the fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies. Sadly, they had just come out of the oven would take longer to cool and pack than either of them wanted to wait. At least they would be there when they got back.

When they were finished eating, Bernd gave her a sideways glance. “You wanna go swimming?”

Amber frowned. “I don’t have my bathing suit on.”

He shrugged. “Neither do I, but it’s okay, we don’t need one…” He smirked.

Amber’s frown turned into a death glare to beat all death glares. Her lips briefly twitched upwards in a faint smile as she watched the smirk fade from his lips while he sat there and squirmed. There was no way she was taking her clothes off in public and he knew that.

“Or… we could take our shoes and socks off, and hunt for tadpoles by the reeds.” Bernd gave her his best ingratiating smile.

Amber smiled. “Okay.” She reached down and untied her sneakers. She took them off, followed by her socks, which she tucked neatly into her sneakers.

While Amber fussed with her sneakers, Bernd kicked his off. He pulled his socks off and wiggled his toes. “Ready?” he said as he rolled up his jeans.

“Give me a sec,” Amber said as she reached for her hobo bag. She dug around inside and pulled out her fishnet and containers. “Now I’m ready,” she said with a grin. Amber handed a couple of containers to her best friend.

Bernd shook his head as he took the proffered containers. He stood up and juggling them, he dusted off the back of his pants. “Let’s go.”

She laughed and stood up as well. Together, they headed over to the part of river where it met the creek. It was loaded with reeds and here some frogs had laid their eggs. Tadpoles and small fish swam amongst the plants. Amber dipped her net in the water, while Bernd filled the first of her containers. She caught a little minnow which she dumped in the container her friend held out. She dipped her net again, this time coming up empty. She tried again and again, catching a few more minnows, before she struck “gold.” She quickly plunged her net in the water and brought it up. Inside, lay two fat tadpoles.

“Awesomeness!” Bernd said as he held out a container.

“Yeah!” Amber dumped them inside it. When her luck seemed to run, they left the creek and headed back to the shade of willow.

They made themselves comfortable, but Amber was having second thoughts. She read in the book she got from the library about pet fish, that they shouldn’t be kept more than two hours in the bag they came from the pet store in. Since these were wild, Amber was worried they would be dead by the time she got home. She knew from past experience that she and Bernd could easily spend hours here, reading and hanging out.

“Uh, Bernd…”

He looked up from his book. “Yeah?”

“Ummm…”

“You wanna leave?” he said, as if reading her thoughts.

Amber nodded. “I’m worried about the fish and tadpoles.”

“If they die, we can always get more…”

She gave him one of her best death glares.

“But they’re not going to die if we go now, right?”

“Yeah… and besides, your face’s all sunburned.” She grinned.

“Let’s go.” Bernd marked his place and put his book back in his messenger bag along with Amber’s. They put their shoes and socks back on in companionable silence. While Bernd saddled up his horse, Amber carefully packed her “treasures” away.

A careful leg up and Bernd was back in the saddle. He took her hobo bag and leaning down, he helped her up behind him, before giving it back. As soon as they were settled, Bernd urged Blitzkrieg into a walk.

“Can we go slow?”

“Yeah.”

It took a while, but they made it back to the stable without disturbing the tadpoles and fish too much. They dismounted and led Blitzkrieg inside. Bernd removed his saddle and bridle, before turning him loose in his stall.

“Is it okay if I go?”

“Yeah.” Bernd looked away and back. “Umm…”

Amber laughed. “If James is around, I’ll tell him you’re looking for him.”

“Thanks! So, ummm… See you around?”

“Yeah. Bye, Bernd.”

“Bye…”

They left the stable and went their separate ways. Best friends, they knew their summer would be full of days like this, along with quieter days. They also knew time part meant more fun together.

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