Part 5

Empath's personal journal.
Thanks to some divine influence, we have managed to stave off an invasion of Cubus spirits that would have wanted to make their home among most of the unmarried male Smurfs and thus destroy them through their love and intimacy. Grouchy has made a recovery and is back on his feet, though he had to be told that his love doll Angel was destroyed by lightning. He seemed to take the matter very well, at least on the surface, though this smurf can sense that deep inside it was hurting him. We are watching over him to see how well he is adapting to being back as a solitary Smurf without anyone to give him company besides his friends.

Grouchy was being examined by both Doctor and Empath on the day he fully recovered. Grouchy hated having to go through any physical examination, but he didn't mind Empath scanning him with his telepathy.
"Well, as far as we can tell, you're back to full health, Grouchy," Doctor said as soon as he and Empath were finished. "You're free to leave the infirmary."
"Good, because I hate being smurfed up in here," Grouchy said.
His close friends Tapper, Duncan, Smurfette, and Polaris Psyche were waiting for him as soon as he had left the infirmary with Empath. "Oh, Grouchy, I'm glad to see you're up and about now," Smurfette said as she embraced him.
"How are you feeling now, Grouchy?" Tapper asked.
"At the very least alive and healthy, and ready for a good breakfast," Grouchy answered. "But what about Angel? What happened to her?"
"Oh, laddie, I'm so sorry about what happened, but you see...," Duncan began to say.
"Your love doll Angel was destroyed by lightning, and the Cubus spirit that inhabited that form had departed," Polaris said very bluntly.
"You mean...she's gone?" Grouchy asked, not believing what he heard.
"There's no other way we could smurf you the news, Grouchy," Tapper said, sounding somber.
Grouchy sighed, looking a bit sad. "I hate that I never even gotten a chance to smurf goodbye to her."
"She smurfed the right thing in the end, though," Duncan said. "She smurfed her life to save yours and everybody else's."
"Just smurf me alone right now!" Grouchy snarled as he walked away from his friends, looking rather upset.
The five of them looked as Grouchy walked on alone. "This one wouldn't expect a Smurf like him to be that upset over the loss of a loved one that wasn't real to begin with," Polaris said.
"Oh, she was real to him, laddie," Duncan said. "So much more real than anyone can imagine."
"But if we allowed that relationship to continue as it smurfed, it would have been the end for our dear Grouchy, and I certainly wouldn't want to smurf on my conscience," Tapper said.
"He can hate us for what we did, but we did it only because we care about him," Empath said. "Nothing in the world is going to change that."
"I certainly will remember her, for as long as I live," Smurfette said.

Sometime later, Grouchy heard a knock on his door. "Yeah, who is it?" he asked.
"It's Papa Smurf," the voice on the other side of the door answered. "May I come in to smurf with you?"
Grouchy opened the door and allowed Papa Smurf to enter in. Already he could detect that there was a different kind of odor in the air. "I could smell the fragrance of incense in this room," Papa Smurf said.
"I thought it could use a different smell in here, Papa Smurf," Grouchy said.
"Well, I just wanted to smurf in on you to talk to you about the loss of your love doll," Papa Smurf said.
"That love doll was real to me, Papa Smurf," Grouchy said. "It's the only thing I had that was close to a real female Smurf that could love me outside the Imaginarium."
"I can understand your feeling of loss, Grouchy," Papa Smurf said. "It's not easy to lose something...or someone...that you felt would love you back the only way you knew how."
"You miss being with Aunt Lilly, don't you?" Grouchy asked.
"Every day since she passed away, Grouchy," Papa Smurf said. "There isn't a day since then that I didn't wish I could smurf one more day with her, if only to not feel so alone in the world as the only member of my generation surviving."
"But we're not ever going to find another female Smurf to marry someday like Smurfette, are we?" Grouchy asked.
"I can't tell you what the future will smurf for any one of you, Grouchy," Papa Smurf said. "All we can do is smurf one day at a time and leave the future entirely in Father Time's hands, since he alone knows what tomorrow may smurf."
"So all we have for now is the Imaginarium to satisfy ourselves with," Grouchy said.
Papa Smurf sighed. "We're only male Smurfs with passions and desires, Grouchy. It's our cross to bear until we join our ancestors in the smurfy hereafter where we won't have to worry about such things anymore."
"Yeah, that would be nice to smurf about," Grouchy said, sounding rather disinterested.
The Smurflings were outside Grouchy's house when Papa Smurf left, closing the door after him. "So what's smurfing on with Grouchy, Papa Smurf?" Nat asked.
"He just needs time to be by himself, my little Smurflings," Papa Smurf said.
"Weeping whippoorwills, I didn't think Grouchy would be smurfing the whole thing so badly," Sassette said.
"It's only an adult toy, Sassy," Snappy said. "He could smurf himself another, can't he?"
"I don't think it would be the same for him as the one that was destroyed, Snap," Slouchy said.
"We should just leave Grouchy alone for now," Nat said. "This is something that he alone has got to smurf out."
"Yeah, this is just too grown-up for us to think about," Sassette said as the four of them walked away.

One night Empath and Smurfette found Grouchy sitting at the counter, slowly taking sips of his glass of sarsaparilla ale. He seemed like he wasn't in the mood for drinking, as his mind was thinking of other things.
"How are you doing tonight, Grouchy?" Empath asked as he and Smurfette sat next to him at the counter.
"I'm back to being the usual miserable Smurf that I am, Empath," Grouchy said. "I can't believe that I thought I had something smurfing on with Angel, until I found out she was just using me to smurf herself alive."
"She did honestly love you, Grouchy, and because of that she was willing to sacrifice herself to save you and your friends," Smurfette said.
"I know, but then I just wished that I have never thought of smurfing myself a love doll that I could enjoy myself with in the first place," Grouchy said.
"There's nothing wrong with you wanting something like that to express your feelings upon, Grouchy," Empath said. "You felt that you needed something that your fellow Smurfs couldn't provide, and so you smurfed yourself a fantasy that you could enjoy as long as it had lasted."
"I only wish that I could've given you what your heart desired, Grouchy," Smurfette said.
"You're married to the best Smurf that I could call my friend...what more could I even ask of you?" Grouchy said. "That doesn't mean I won't be jealous, but I don't want to see you without the Smurf that you truly deserve to have."
"Ah, that's very sweet of you, Grouchy," Smurfette said, kissing him on the forehead.
"So are you planning to use the Imaginarium anytime soon to fill the void in your life?" Empath asked.
Grouchy shrugged. "Who knows? Maybe I should just smurf some time away from there just to be with my fellow Smurfs...even if I hate being around them most of the time."
"We'll be here for you, no matter what happens," Smurfette said.
Just then, Duncan joined Grouchy as he sat at the counter to order another glass of sarsaparilla ale. "How are you feeling tonight, laddie?" Duncan asked.
"A bit lonely and heartbroken," Grouchy answered.
"I can't blame you for smurfing that way, even if it's with the loss of your love toy that had smurfed to life," Duncan said. "You can always smurf yourself another one if you need to."
"Thanks, but I don't think I want to risk it right now," Grouchy said.
"Probably for the best, since we almost smurfed those Cubus spirits into our village," Duncan said. "All the same, though, I believe you'll find the right lassie that will smurf your heart someday."
"That's if there is a female that can love me just the way that I am," Grouchy said.
"Why be so down on yourself by smurfing that?" Duncan said. "Sure, most females might be smurfed off by your attitude, but I don't think that would apply to every single female that's out there."
"You think there's one that's going to love a grouchy Smurf like me?" Grouchy asked.
"You never know if you don't try and find out," Duncan said. "But I bet she's going to love you in more ways than a doll ever could."
"It's something to smurf forward to and hope for, at the very least," Grouchy said. "Still, for what it's smurf, Angel was very enjoyable for the brief time I have smurfed with her."
"Don't forget that experience, Grouchy, for however long you smurf, whether you become married or not," Duncan said, putting his hand on Grouchy's shoulder for support.

Later on, Empath and Smurfette were alone with each other in their bedroom.
"Smurfette, this smurf still feels like this smurf is taking everything the other Smurfs could have had with you away from them," Empath said.
"I only wish that I could make you feel less ashamed of smurfing my personal gift to you, Empath," Smurfette said.
"The more you share that gift, the more this smurf feels less deserving of it, even less so than the other Smurfs," Empath said.
"Would you have been truly happy if I had smurfed my gift with another Smurf, knowing that you and the other Smurfs would be missing out on it?" Smurfette asked.
"This smurf would never truly know for sure, Smurfette, but this smurf always regarded your happiness being more important than this smurf's own," Empath said.
"Then why not make me happy by sharing all that you have, because all I really needed to make me happy was you?" Smurfette said.
"This smurf truly doesn't deserve you," Empath said, leaning in to kiss her on the mouth.
"You're more than I ever really deserve of a Smurf," Smurfette said as she held Empath close to her while they kissed.

Later that night, Grouchy couldn't sleep. He went into the Imaginarium, which fortunately was inactive with nobody using it. "Imaginarium, smurf me into my private fantasy setting," he requested.
Suddenly he found himself in a replica of his bedroom, with Angel -- the Angel that he knew from the Imaginarium fantasy setting -- waiting for him, sitting on the bed.
"Ready for some fun times with me, lover boy?" she asked coyly.
Grouchy smiled. "You know I'm always ready for you, Angel."
The two of them embraced each other and kissed and fell upon the bed, enjoying being with each other all throughout the rest of the night.