Traveler knew at that point that Gargamel's plan to use Smurfette as
his instrument to destroy the Smurfs had failed -- but then again, he already knew that from his great-grandfather's recollections. Apparently, recalling it from somebody else's memory and actually being an observer of it all were two different things -- the recollections seemed full of contradictions and errors that were bound to creep in as the time gap between the event and the person still recalling it in the present continued to widen. Experiencing it like he did by traveling through Smurfette's timeline was more like being there, except that since he was an energy-based being, he could not participate in the events.
As fascinating as it was to see how Smurfette was created, there was another event that was more fascinating. On the first day of spring of the following year, Traveler saw Papa Smurf walking through the village, seeing how every Smurf seemed to be creating something in the image of Smurfette -- paintings, sculpture, smoke signals, songs, poems, even food in her likeness. Apparently, this was the first time every Smurf had this very strong feeling for Smurfette -- the feeling of love -- for when Smurfette had first stepped out of her house that day, every Smurf had crowded around her, showering her with so much attention. Basically, they were all asking the same question -- "Will you marry me?" -- and in the end, Smurfette simply answered that she was too young to even think about marriage and that she loved every Smurf equally. Of course, this was before Empath even came into the picture -- the one Smurf whose love for Smurfette would be stronger than those of his fellow Smurfs, and the one whom Smurfette would feel more for than any other Smurf.
But Traveler also noticed on this same day that Papa Smurf had approached Smurfette after warding all the other Smurfs away, trying to ask her the same thing that every Smurf was asking her, but in a different way.
"If you're thinking about marrying someone, I would like to suggest someone a bit older and more mature..." Papa Smurf tried to say, though he felt very embarrassed about it. "Why, think of it, you could be known as Mama Smurf, and..." He stopped right there, realizing how ridiculous he sounded, and apologized to her before he left her.
Older and more mature? Could Papa Smurf be having the same type of feelings for Smurfette that every other Smurf has? Could he be falling in love with her?
Traveler followed Papa Smurf around all day to find out. He noticed that Papa Smurf had borrowed some exercising machines from Hefty to try improving his physical appearance. He also had been busy studying himself in the mirror, adjusting his appearance, trying to look in some small way attractive enough for the likes of Smurfette. But in the end, he felt very frustrated. Papa Smurf clearly had no idea what Smurfette really saw in him or felt for him other than some kind of love for him. And for the rest of that day and the following day, Papa Smurf was too busy trying to deal with the fact that Gargamel had put a spell on Smurfette that somehow made Hefty and Handy fight each other over receiving her full affections, dragging the rest of the village into a squabble that Papa Smurf had to stop with the grudging help of Gargamel.
Traveler knew that Papa Smurf did the best he could to try putting those feelings of love he had for Smurfette aside, but sometime after Empath had left Psychelia for good, Papa Smurf's feelings for Smurfette had resurfaced. He basically spent so much time around Smurfette for a few days, and when he wasn't around her he was fantasizing about her. Later those feelings had manifested themselves in a rather grotesque way when Papa Smurf was accidentally transformed into a muscular, love-crazed Smurf who was after Smurfette. Apparently, Empath had saved Smurfette before she was violated in any way and had managed to help purge those feelings from Papa Smurf before he caused further damage. While Papa Smurf was recovering from his transformation, Smurfette was made known that Papa Smurf had those feelings for her. Smurfette then told Papa Smurf that although she was flattered by his giving attention to her, she could love him only as a father and nothing more. Amazingly, Papa Smurf didn't feel hurt at all by that, for now he knew how she really loved him, like a daughter he wished he had.
Traveler froze the whole timeline at the point when Papa Smurf went back inside his house after Smurfette declared that she was too young to marry, causing everything but himself to freeze in place. He was lost in contemplation.
What if Smurfette felt a bit more for Papa Smurf than she did in the history this one knew? If -- smurf forbid this should ever happen -- Smurfette truly loved Papa Smurf more than any other Smurf, including Empath, even to the point of marrying him?
It was a perverse line of thought, Traveler had to admit. But it was one thought he believed was worth investigating. He decided to allow her timeline to continue, but with a single thought he altered its direction along the lines of exploring Smurfette's life falling in love with Papa Smurf.
Over the course of the next five years, Traveler saw the relationship between Papa Smurf and Smurfette being nothing more than what seemed to be father and daughter, as it originally was up until when Papa Smurf underwent that brief transformation. He did notice, however, that when the woodnymph named Flowerbell came into the village and Papa Smurf fell in love with her, Smurfette seemed to feel a bit of jealousy, though she managed to keep it in check throughout her brief stay. He also noticed from time to time that when Smurfette was alone by herself, she would be thinking of Papa Smurf, and there were also some times when Smurfette would choose to do things for Papa Smurf just to be near him. But for the most part, there was nothing going
on between them that spoke of the kind of love between lovers.
Then Empath came into the village. Again Smurfette swooned when she saw him for the first time, and Sassette giggled right alongside her, wishing to be in Smurfette's shoes right
at that moment. They both acted like they wanted Empath for their very own. And again, Empath felt the same attraction toward her that every Smurf around his age was feeling. He too wanted Smurfette to be his one true love for all time.
But then Papa Smurf got between the two of them before a real relationship could form. He again turned into a love-crazed muscular Smurf from being exposed to a mixture of a "pheromone cologne" and various other chemicals. He again chased after Smurfette, who seemed to have no idea what Papa Smurf wanted with her. Empath again had a doll made in Smurfette's image with her scent coming from it, attracting Papa Smurf long enough for him to mate with the doll instead of her. And again it brought Papa Smurf back to normal, making him feel ashamed of how he felt toward Smurfette.
But this time, when Smurfette visited the bedridden Papa Smurf after Empath brought him back from the forest, she politely asked Empath to excuse himself while she spoke to Papa Smurf in private. Empath nodded, though with a bit of curiosity.
"Try to get some rest, Papa Smurf," he told the village leader as he turned toward the door. "This smurf will take care of the village while you recuperate."
After Empath had left, Smurfette immediately spoke before Papa Smurf had a chance to say anything. "I already know how you smurf toward me, Papa Smurf, and I am very flattered by the attention you were smurfing me these past few days. The truth is, there's no other Smurf in the village that makes me feel more in my heart than you do. I know this sounds unsmurfy because I am younger than you, but I don't really care about that or what other Smurfs think. All I know is, I love you and I will always love you!"
Papa Smurf looked at her with a bit of surprise. Was this really true?
Smurfette answered that question by kissing him on the mouth. She allowed him to rest quietly while she walked out of his house, feeling relieved to tell him.
From that point on, things slowly started to change in the village. Though Empath still remained friendly with Smurfette, hoping that someday she would consider him as a potential lover but not trying to push her too hard in that direction, he found himself constantly rejected time and again whenever he asked Smurfette out for a romantic get-together. Papa Smurf also started to change as well. At first, it seemed nothing more than him having more energy and more inclination to do things with his little Smurfs during the daytime. But Empath suspected something a bit more than that, and whatever that was, it would not prove to be beneficial.
One evening Empath was passing by Smurfette's house when he noticed Papa Smurf waiting by her door with a small bouquet of flowers in his hand. To any Smurf, even to Empath, it would seem very unusual for Papa Smurf to be paying Smurfette a visit near nightfall.
"Salutations, Papa Smurf," Empath greeted, tempering his suspicions with a bit of social grace. "What brings you to Smurfette's door at this time of day?"
"Oh, hello, Empath," Papa Smurf responded, chuckling a bit since this encounter made him feel embarrassed. "I was just trying to show Smurfette a new type of flower I had just discovered out in the forest sometime earlier."
"Those flowers you have in your hand do not look any different from the varieties that are already blossoming in the forest or in Smurfette's garden," Empath noted. "And normally, this would be the time of day when Smurfette herself would be preparing for sleep. So again, this smurf wants to know what you are doing here right now."
Papa Smurf did not seem to appreciate Empath's inquisitiveness about this situation one bit, but he had to answer him as politely as possible.
"You see, Empath, there are some things that smurf on between Smurfs that is best left not known to other Smurfs," he explained. "My seeing Smurfette at this time happens to be one of them. Someday, when you find the one other person that you truly care for, you will undersmurf what I mean by that."
Just then, Smurfette answered the door and was surprised by Papa Smurf's presence. Empath noticed that Smurfette did not appear to be dressed for bed, and was wearing a perfume. She saw the bouquet he held in his hand and felt more than just mere appreciation of a gift.
"Oh, Papa, you didn't have to smurf me anything except yourself," Smurfette remarked, taking the bouquet and planting a kiss on Papa Smurf's cheek, which made him blush slightly and which also made Empath clear his throat for attention.
Smurfette saw Empath standing off to the side. "Oh, hello there, Empath," she said politely. "I just had a busy day today preparing something special for Papa Smurf with a little help from Greedy."
"This smurf did not know you were expecting Papa Smurf to come over for a meal," Empath stated. "Of course, this smurf did wonder why neither he nor you had shown up for dinner in the village square."
"Well, thanks for smurfing about us, Empath," Smurfette said politely, yet also feeling eager to be alone with Papa Smurf that night. "We'll smurf it from here now. Goodnight!"
Empath watched as Papa Smurf followed Smurfette into her house, where he could definitely smell something that could only be Papa Smurf's favorite dish. As Papa Smurf closed the door behind him, Empath could hear some small talk and giggles from within. Somehow Empath could feel his heart being broken one small piece at a time.
"This smurf will see you again in the morning, Smurfette…hopefully," Empath said silently and sadly before he headed back to his own house.
Some weeks passed, and soon what was just only for Empath's eyes to behold became the talk of the entire village...Papa Smurf and Smurfette were falling in love with each other. Empath had only told Tapper and Duncan about what he had seen that night when Papa Smurf had dinner with Smurfette. Needless to say, they both were a bit mortified by the news.
"Michty me, laddie, Smurfette is giving her heart to Papa Smurf?" Duncan said, not believing what he was hearing. "That's not something that I would expect of her to do."
"This smurf wasn't expecting to see it happen myself, Duncan," Empath said. "This smurf is not certain of what to do about this situation."
"I'm not sure what I would suggest for you either, Empath, but I am willing to at least smurf my animosity aside," Tapper said.
"You're just going to let the lass smurf around with Papa Smurf like that, Tapper?" Duncan said.
"I honestly don't feel that it's my place to tell Smurfette what to smurf with her life, my good Duncan, as much as I don't like smurfing about it," Tapper said. "She'll have to answer for what she smurfs the same as everyone else, that is all, but I will continue to pray for her soul and spirit."
Although Tapper and Duncan had told no one else, other Smurfs began seeing some unusual displays of affection between Smurfette and Papa Smurf that looked like something they would engage in themselves. They just simply didn't expect the village leader, who was much older than they were and even older than Smurfette herself, to be that one Smurf she would be giving her heart to.
Even Polaris Psyche, who eventually came into the village and became the head of security details, was puzzled by the whole scene until Empath told him about the existence of female Smurfs.
"It would seem that this Smurfette and this Papa Smurf are only following what you would call the natural order of mating, preparing for the inevitable act of procreation," Polaris mused when it all made sense to him.
"This smurf knows you mean well, Polaris," Empath remarked. "But this relationship isn't exactly what this smurf would call natural. That male Smurf she's giving her heart to is my father, my Papa Smurf, and they're going on like nobody else should even care about it!"
"This one can sense from you feelings of what other Smurfs would call jealousy for Papa Smurf, Empath," Polaris mentioned. "Perhaps it is best to just simply let it go and allow them enough space for the relationship to run its course. He may be your father, but he is still the leader of the village and still somebody worthy of our respect and loyalty."
Empath couldn't believe he was hearing Polaris talking about Papa Smurf as if he was also the Psyche Master. As if Papa Smurf had the right to have this relationship simply because he was a leader, and nobody should deny him that right.
All Empath could see was that this was wrong. And he wanted the both of them to really see how wrong it was. Traveler watched time and again as Empath tried to talk peaceably to Smurfette to make her see that her falling in love with Papa Smurf just wasn't right for her. But she kept refusing to believe Empath, saying that he was only jealous that he couldn't give her anything that only Papa Smurf could give her as a male Smurf.
"Why can't you just smurf me alone, Empath?" she finally asked, feeling herself getting tired of Empath's annoying persistence. "I'm an adult Smurf myself, and I can smurf up my mind and choose who it is I wish to smurf my entire life with. Nobody, not even you, can ever make me change that!"
Ultimately, she told Papa Smurf about her conversations with Empath, and Papa Smurf ended up having a talk with Empath, warning him to stop meddling with Smurfette's personal affairs. Needless to say, Empath took offense to this.
"You're just using your authority as the village leader to do whatever you wish with Smurfette and make this smurf and the others accept this as normal behavior, Papa Smurf," he accused.
"As my assistant counselor and second-in-command, Empath, you are expected to smurf as I say without questioning my orders," Papa Smurf shot back, feeling agitated himself. "This also includes smurfing yourself away from my relationship with Smurfette, which we are both allowed to ensmurf since me and Smurfette are both adult Smurfs. If you cannot obey that order, I will have no choice but to have you smurfed from your position and have Polaris Psyche smurf your place!"
"You wouldn't dare smurf that, Papa Smurf," Empath said defiantly.
"Yes, I would," Papa Smurf responded sternly. "Is that clearly undersmurfed?"
Empath could sense that Papa Smurf was very determined to back up what he said he would do to Empath if he refused to obey. He couldn't force Papa Smurf to see otherwise even if he used his own psychic abilities on him.
"This smurf clearly acknowledges, Papa Smurf," Empath said, disappointed.
Traveler watched as more days passed, as Empath's authority as Papa Smurf's assistant counselor was further weakened by the growing relationship that made Papa Smurf and Smurfette very happy and most of the other Smurfs pretty miserable. Empath's relationship with Polaris was also weakened as he was unable to sway his Psychelian brother away from what seemed to be Papa Smurf's poor judgement. It was disheartening for Traveler to see his two great-grandfathers, who were the best of friends in the actual history he knew, become distanced from each other to the point where they no longer shared the same Smurf house anymore.
The Smurflings were simply uncertain of what to think, though Sassette did feel her heart going out to Empath because Smurfette was pushing him away and ignoring him entirely. She was starting to fantasize a bit more about herself being with Empath for all time and wanting him to fall in love with her as Papa Smurf fell in love with Smurfette, despite the age differences. But Empath was too busy trying to keep up a happy facade to really notice Sassette trying to get Empath to notice her in a different way. And the other three Smurflings were busy egging her on about her infatuation with Empath,
even calling her "little Miss Smurfette Junior" when she started dressing
herself up like Smurfette, until it drove her crazy.
Then came the day when Papa Smurf and Smurfette had called every Smurf around the speaking mushroom for important news they wanted to share. Traveler noticed that Empath at this point was no longer standing beside Papa Smurf, but rather alongside his own fellow Smurfs.
"My dear little Smurfs," Papa Smurf began with a bit of uneasiness, "Smurfette and I have decided that we are smurfing to be married, and I want all of you to make the wedding ceremony a success."
"Just to smurf that I have no hard feelings, I wish to smurf Empath as the one who will marry us," Smurfette announced.
Most of the other Smurfs except for Empath laughed, thinking the whole thing was a joke.
"This one can assure you all that Papa Smurf and Smurfette are very honest and determined about this, my fellow Smurfs," Polaris, who was standing beside Papa Smurf and Smurfette, added in a very serious tone as the two would-be newlyweds looked at them in distaste for daring to laugh.
"This smurf knows your sincerity very well, Papa Smurf," Empath stated boldly as the other Smurfs stopped laughing and looked on in anger and shock, "and this smurf refuses to have any part of this unsmurfy ceremony that violates the trust that every Smurf has placed in you!"
"Yeah!" every adult Smurf shouted vehemently. "We refuse to marry you!"
"May I remind every single one of you, including Empath, that I am still the leader of the Smurf Village," Papa Smurf scolded angrily, "and that what I say still goes for every Smurf to obey. If any of you wish to smurf otherwise, Polaris Psyche will make smurftain that you will not forget your place in the Smurf Village, and any further violations will have you forever smurfed from the Smurf Village. DO I MAKE MYSMURF CLEAR?!?"
Every Smurf could see the fearsome look in Papa Smurf's eyes, ready to back up the very threat he had made, and they could also see Polaris looking very solemn and ready to do the same for Papa Smurf. Empath could see that his position as Papa Smurf's loyal assistant had ended right then and there.
"Yes, Papa Smurf," every Smurf said in unison, sounding very defeated and helpless.