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Umm… I should um… I should get my things packed. 

*backs up a bit into the doorway*

S’cuse me… *leaves the room and disappears into the hallway*

Ted is gone in practically a cloud of dust before Winter can even open his mouth.

"…Hmm…. does he not like me? or…" Winter says quietly under his breath, before turning to Cold.

"Well… if you didn’t sleep well last night then by all means, please try to get some rest! Uh… when you’re ready to go, you can just tell Mrs. Wiggins and she’ll have the driver called for you…"

"…I’m sorry that you have to leave so soon, but obviously you have things to attend to and I’m glad that you’ve been keeping busy… but, thank you. For coming over. …I probably wouldn’t be awake and here talking without you."

"I hope that we can speak again soon."

He’s… not normally shy… *frowns* Mmmaybe this whole thing was too much for him.

Mm, anyway. Yeah. I guess we’ll- probably head off later today. 

I really… I don’t feel like I did much, but, you’d know. So. I’m glad you think so. And… I’m really glad you’re getting better. When you feel stronger, give me a call, okay? I want to hear what ideas you come up with. And how this place is doing. And- y’know, anything. I missed us talking.

(Source: cold-ler)



*looks up suddenly* Huh…? Yeah? I.. I’m okay. 

…um. I’m just…. worried about your cactus, too.

"Yeah… working with you on something would be great… I look forward to it."

"…This sure must be one important cactus if you two are so worried about it…"

*squints at Ted*

- uh, yeah, well. It’s… special? Yeah. - y’know, I might go lie down, I didn’t sleep well. Or at all. … And you look sorta tired too, Winter. I mean, more than- already. ;; sorry

(Source: cold-ler)



*keeps quiet, looking down at the floor*


Winter’s face fell a little as Cold spoke, and he started chewing on his lip absentmindedly.

"Hhh- you’re - you’re right… I mean… I was doing it again, sorry… I just - … yeah, alright. That… sounds good."

"I’m sorry I… started doing… that… again… I’ll need to work on that…"

It’s- you don’t have to, it’s- it’s a good thing that you, just. I mean. … Someday I’d really like to work with you on something. That’d be- amazing. I just have to do this first.

… *looks over* … Ted?

(Source: cold-ler)



*shifts on his feet slightly*

I was really lucky Mr. Cold-ler let me stay with him. 

"Well… I’m glad that things have been alright at least? Uh - personally, I prefer things to be uneventful than bad so… and I’m glad Cold let you stay with him too Ted…"

Winter fidgeted a little before a wide yawn split his jaw. “Oh! Uh, excuse me… you’d think with how little I’ve been moving I wouldn’t get tired so fast… hah… honestly I feel like a dishrag…”

"Uh - anyways…  I… hope you’ve been enjoying your stay? I mean… like I said if there’s anything you might need then all you have to do is ask me…"

'Lucky'? I wasn't sitting up there rolling a dice to see if you could stay or not, kid. I wanted you to.

… mm yeah, uneventful. Things could’ve been a lot worse. You helped with that a lot… uhm. But that was probably… enough helping…

No, I’m just gonna- Winter, I don’t think we should talk later. Listen… I’m sorry, but, f- for now… I want to try and fix my stuff… myself? ‘Cause I… I should. And I really- need to achieve something that’s- good. And, maybe, you might want to… do something that’s for you? Not others.

I’m sorry. If we get in trouble, I’ll definitely ask you. Just-… yeah.

(Source: cold-ler)




Winter shot Cold a odd look before replying to Ted.

"I heard the vast majority of it, yes. Some of my memory is a little fuzzy from being locked away in that ice, but for the most part I remember what you said to me. Both of you."

"But I couldn’t see what was happening around me. Why do you ask?"

No reason!! ;; I was just curious cuz like… y’know… in case I said or did anything embarassing hahaha…. ;;;

"Hmm… I don’t recall anything of that sort so… I think you’re in the clear." Winter said, smiling at Ted.

He sighed lightly. looking back to Cold.

"Well then… is there anything else you two would like to talk about? I wouldn’t mind hearing how things have been going at Cold’s place, if it’s alright."

Mm. Well… Ted turned up, of course. Or- he was already around, when I got back. He needed a place to stay, so…

Hmm. There’s… not much else to tell, really. As I said- I haven’t gotten far with anything. Yet. And the time sort of runs together… for me, anyway. *glances at Ted* 

(Source: cold-ler)






N-No, it wasn’t him! I made it. It was me.


It’s for you, so you can keep it. *scratches his nose a bit, fidgeting*

Winter laughed.

"Yes! I had a feeling that you drew it! It looks just like me - you have quite the artistic talent, Ted!"

Winter looked at it once more before putting it on the nightstand beside him.

"Thank you, Ted. I’m glad that I’m not in trouble too. And it’s thanks to you, and Mr. Cold here, that I’m okay now. So I am in your debt. If there’s anything you need, or that you’d like, please ask me and I’ll do my best to help you!"

"You can also come closer, you know. I don’t bite." He said, chuckling lightly.


*takes a step or two foreward, then stops*

Uumm well, you’re welcome, sir. I really like helping people a lot so….

*takes a quick glance at Cold-ler, then back at Winter* ….I think it’s really cool that you’re friends with Mr. Cold-ler.

"Helping people is a good thing, Ted. I’m glad you have a good heart."

"And I’m glad that I’m friends with Cold as well, but… why do you think that, Ted?"

Um… *looks down* Well… it’s just a really good thing is all. No reason… *coughs*

Er… s-so did you like…. hear or see everything we said to you while you were all frozen up?

…… Helping people isn’t always good…

(Source: cold-ler)



Winter cut himself off when Ted walked in, blushing a bit as he was caught mid-lecture in his enthusiasm.

"Oh - uh, yes, hello Ted! It’s good to finally be able to properly meet you! Uh - thank you for coming over with Cold… have you been enjoying your stay?"

"And Cold - uh, we can talk about what I was saying later, alright? If it’s okay with you, I’d like to know what your opinion is on it. Okay?"

*stays by the door, keeping his distance, but makes his whole body visible and enters the room*

H-Hi. Mr…Winter? Nice to meet you…

*looks over at Cold-ler, giving a worried look* …is everything uh..okay?

Yes mmhm let’s talk about that later much later

- Yeah, everything’s fine. Yes. … Actually no but I’ve just got a headache, it’s real bright here, so. It’s fine.

Hey Winter, look at this:


(Source: cold-ler)



Winter played with the fabric under his hands, pulling at a stray thread.

"…but I don’t know what else I could do. I mean… my company is my everything. For so long, I had this dream of really doing something big, just this one Big Thing that I myself made with my own two hands and then everyone would see how great I really was… but I didn’t stop to think about what would happen after that, if I succeeded.”

"I was so focused on the fact that it could all fail… that I didn’t really make a plan for if it ended up succeeding. So I’m kind of… lost, right now. I guess…"

"But… I’m glad that you’re trying to not… run away, or something. I mean - you still have lots of chances to fix things! Rock bottom is a solid foundation right?" Winter chuckled wryly.

"But I’m very glad to hear… that you missed me? If I can call it that?" Winter smiled shyly. "And that - you have something to look after… and not just Ted, from the sounds of it. If you want, you can talk to me about Ted, or your cactus or what you’ve been doing… with.. your…"

Winter trailed off, his eyes growing wide as an idea formed in his mind. A bright smile spread across his cheeks, making him look not quite so dead-like.

"Hey! Hey hey hey - I just got an idea! Y-you said that this could be an opportunity to start something new, right? How about - how about I help you out? I-if it’s alright of course. I mean, I know the Lorax always says ‘It doesn’t work that way’ but we’re both Once-lers! What’s wrong with us helping one another, I mean, it’s practically helping ourselves, sort of, right? I mean, I won’t like - do everything for you, that’s not really fair but, you can use my resources! I can send over workers to help clear the valley up, or or send you funds for any ideas or inventions you might have going or - "
Winter rambled on excitedly, his hands moving about in grand gestures as he already started forming plans in his mind, too excited to even stop and let Cold try and get a word in.

*pushes the door to the room open slightly, peering his head in quietly*

….Hello…….? Mr. Cold-ler?

*sees Winter in the bed, eyes widening, and he freezes in place*


*looks more and more nervous as Winter continues*

Uh- w-wait I didn’t mean- hang on- hang on a sec- Win- Winter stop— *jumps as Ted speaks*

Oh Ted hello there you are h-haha hey come in, look Winter’s awake come and meet him. Um, properly. Winter, Ted, Ted, Winter…

(Source: cold-ler)


"Well… this had been brewing for a while, I guess. It wasn’t just Kink’s rejection that made me all… icy. I’ve been feeling insecure for a while now… I mean - I’m the CEO of my company, right? And… it’s doing just fine… on it’s own. I set it up to be able to be relatively self-sustaining, in case anything happened to me or the town or the valley, but I didn’t realize how… small that would make me feel."

"I felt rather useless, so I started kinda… avoiding things? Trying to find other ways to be useful. And I realized that… I don’t really do too much anymore. I sign the odd paperwork, make the odd presentation, but other than that the entire company does well on it’s own. Sometimes I think Mrs. Wiggins is a better CEO than I am…"

Winter chuckled a little darkly.

"So, I started to kind of - avoid my duties. I spent more and more time out of my office, out of my own home… and then… Well, Kink happened."

I” guess I just… didn’t take it very well. Being turned down by Kink, that is. I - I fell in love with him. And I’m still in love with him, if I’m honest with myself. But I didn’t stop to take his feelings into consideration - that’s my mistake. And when he turned me down - he didn’t do it rudely, actually, considering the circumstances he did it fairly gracefully - but I just…”

Winter huffed, looking away.

"I took it too personally. You see… I haven’t ever really - been in love. And this falling in love - it felt… right. So when I got turned down, I just kinda shut myself in. Kind of literally… I acted so immaturely."

"Then one thing after another… you left. I consider you my closest friend, Cold. And I’m not blaming you for anything - your home was completed, so of course you wanted to go back to your valley. I knew it was going to happen - it just felt like it happened so soon. I had wanted to spend so much more time with you, yet all I did was mope around in my room like some fat old lady, hah…"

"It kinda broke the camels back. I’m a useless CEO, I was turned down by my first crush in years, and my best friend was going away for I didn’t know how long. I just didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone so…"

"You saw what I let happen. I didn’t really KNOW what was happening - I just felt so…cold. And alone, and hurt. I just wanted the feelings to stop, for my heart to stop aching…"




… mm

Well, I get it now.

But the business… don’t you think… it’s an opportunity? You built one great thing. You don’t have to stop there. If it can stand by itself- that’s your chance to start something new. I’d kill for that…

And. For the record, I never wanted to leave. I don’t want to now, but I don’t want to hide from my valley. And I’ve got to get back to my-… cactus. —uhm- sorry, that sounds… I’m just. Worried. About the cactus.Anyway it doesn’t mean I don’t- want- to talk to you still. Y’know?

(Source: cold-ler)


Winter chuckled, wiping at one of his eyes.

"Cold - Cold, it’s alright. I’m not going to wither away in front of you, please talk to me normally. I’m alright now. Thanks to you - and Ted? It’s Ted, right?"

"You might not think you did much, but you did a lot, alright? I really appreciate that you came back to see me, even after the… not so warm farewell I gave you when you left."

Winter made himself sit up a bit, struggling with his own weight a little bit till he managed to prop himself on the headboard of his bed.

"Mmnh… now - I owe you a explanation. Of all this - of why all this started… I’m sure you’ve got some sort of an idea what happened, but I can fill you in on some gaps, if you want."

"You’re welcome to sit on the bed here, if you want. Unless you’re comfortable standing by the door, whichever you’d prefer." He said, motioning to Cold to come closer. "I’d like to hear how things have been going for you as well, since I’ve been… out of commission."


Yeah, Ted. He’s… probably… the only major development on my side of things. I… haven’t really gotten anywhere with the valley, since leaving here. - And that goodbye was chilly on both sides. Let’s call it even.

Not even on helping though

But- mm. If you don’t mind talking about what happened with you… I’m sort of lost… on how it got that bad?

(Source: cold-ler)

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