Note: A request from SilverMoonlightAngel. I had a lot more fun writing this than I thought I would…this couple is actually really easy to work with. And besides, how many Won x Farm-girl stories are there, really? I used a few scenes from the game, but the dialogue isn't exact and neither are Won's reactions…I'm tweaking it to fit my plot. Cause it's creative license, folks.
Disclaimer: I don't own this idea or Harvest Moon. So…I guess that means I don't own anything. Man, I feel poor.
I'm not sure how it all began. I don't know, I've never been much for words, so I probably can't explain why or when I fell in love with him. I can't really say it was his appearance or his personality that attracted me to him, because that would be a lie.
It just sort of….happened.
"Would you like to buy something today?"
I opened my door and stared at the visitor with sleepy eyes. I didn't want to tell him that it was too early to ask me any questions—that would be rude of me—so I just nodded as he described some varieties of apples that each apparently had some sort of super-long name.
"It's a bargain, I tell you!" he insisted, his eyes smiling at me from under large round spectacles. "You won't find merchandise like this anywhere else in this village!"
I yawned. "And…what are you selling again?"
"Apples! Rare and fabulous apples!"
Something about the way he said it made me giggle. "…Apples?"
"Yes, yes, yes!" he insisted, frowning a bit at my reply. "Apples!" Apparently I wasn't supposed to find this humorous.
"So—so you're at my house at six in the morning…and you want to sell me apples?" I laughed, tears springing to my eyes. Oh, I felt horrible watching him fidget at my reaction, but I just couldn't stop laughing. It just seemed so out-of-place, for someone to knock on my door and offer me "rare and fabulous apples" when I couldn't even think properly. Well, I suppose I could be excused for my little giggle fest. I hadn't had caffeine yet, after all.
He cleared his throat and adjusted his hat. "W-well, I think it's obvious that you have no interest in my products, so I will go elsewhere…"
"Oh, wait," I called after him, trying to control my laughter. "Sorry, so sorry. I just—that was so random, and I—sure, I'll buy one of your apples."
Immediately, he turned around, his eyes shining at the prospect of a sale.
"Well, I guess I owe it to you for being so rude," I admitted. "How much do they cost?"
He announced the price to me proudly, clapping his hands together in relief that his venture to my house hadn't been in vain. Meanwhile, my eyes were widening.
"Er…don't you think that's a little too much to be asking for one measly apple?" I asked, eyeing him skeptically.
"They're not just any old apples," he reminded me. "They're special."
"Riiight." I sighed and put my hands on my hips. "Look, Mr. Merchant Guy, I'm sure your apples are um…rare and fabulous…but I don't feel comfortable spending that much. I just moved here, and I want to save up my money a bit. Okay?"
He snatched the apples out of my reach and glared at me. "Are you really such a broke farm-girl?" he muttered. "Hmph."
Indignation sprung from within me, but I watched him leave in silence, wondering how anyone could bother with having such a ridiculous job. Visiting people this early in the morning? Really.
I didn't think too much about it, though…not until I stumbled into Zack's house one day. Inside, I saw not only the makings of a half-decent bachelor pad, but a few crates stacked together to form a crude shop counter. And behind it was none other than the apple-guy.
"If it isn't you," he said, his eyes narrowing at me. "Have you saved up your money since I saw you last?"
"Well, I don't—"
"If you have no money, then leave. I have no time to waste with loiterers," he scoffed, looking away.
Instead, I came forward and began to examine his display case.
"What kinds of seeds are these?" I asked, picking up a yellow sack of seeds.
"H-hey! Don't touch the merchandise!" he protested, grabbing the seeds from me. "These are pineapple seeds—for summer growing only. Plus, they're too expensive for you."
"Oh, how much are they?" I asked, somewhat interested.
I let out a long sigh as I realized that they were indeed out of my meager price range.
"Is there anything cheaper around here?" I questioned, my hands straying to more of the products on display. He promptly pulled all of his items from my reach.
"Do you mind?" he hissed. "I actually have paying customers, and they are paying for quality goods. NOT for junk that's been messed around with by some poor farm-girl."
I stiffened a little at that remark, but refused to respond negatively. "Well, maybe I'll earn some more money, and—"
The door opened, cutting me short. Karen, the village's alcoholic beauty, strutted in and smiled at the stunned merchant.
"Hello there," she greeted him, leaning against the counter leisurely. "A lot of nice stuff you've got here, huh?"
The salesman nodded dumbly.
She picked up the same bag of seeds that I had messed with earlier and tossed them gently in the palm of her hand. "These look cool," she commented. "Oh, but look at that price tag…with my job, affording something like this is going to be tough. If only I could have it cheaper…"
"A-actually, it's a special sale today!" he stammered. "You get one item free! Isn't that great?"
"Well, aren't you sweet," Karen beamed, pocketing the seeds with a satisfied grin. "See you later, Win."
"It's Won, actually," he replied awkwardly.
"Oh, is it?" The beauty paused for a moment before shrugging it off. "Well, bye anyway."
Once the door had closed, I turned to glare at him.
"A special sale?" I repeated, crossing my arms. "One item free?"
"It's called business, girly," he snapped. "Now get lost. I don't need your holier-than-thou attitude. Buy something or leave."
I opted for the latter.
Once I was in my home, I grabbed my pillow and screamed into it. Argh, I wanted to rip that biased and scheming Won apart for the way he'd treated me! But no, I couldn't even talk back to him. Something lurking in my conscience refused to let me treat anyone unkindly—even scum like that Won guy. So instead, I tried to sort out what had happened.
A door-to-door salesman. How many kids tell their parents, "I want to be a merchant one day"? Not that many, from what I remember in kindergarten. Pilots, secret agents, firefighters—sure, but not door-to-door salesmen. How did someone end up like that? How could anyone be happy doing a job that gets no respect?
And then, a light bulb clicked in my head as everything fit together. Of course he was grumpy. Who wouldn't be with a job like that? No wonder he always snapped at me; it was nothing I'd done, he was just frustrated with his life.
"Um…hello?" I spoke as the door to Zack's home opened. The shipper gave me a confused glance as he noticed the plate of cookies in my hand. "I'm here to see Won."
"What does she want?" the merchant complained as he noticed my entry. "If you won't buy anything, then—"
Silently, I placed the plate of cookies on the counter. "They're apple cinnamon," I mumbled. "The apples aren't as good as any you'd sell, but um…I think you'll like them anyway. Happy Thanksgiving."
Won merely stared at me, his mouth hanging open in shock. I nodded at Zack and shuffled out of the room awkwardly, blushing like mad. As the door closed, I allowed myself a small smile. He was probably still scratching his head about what had just happened. And maybe…maybe he would accept this as my humble apology for our rough start.
"I'm not going to give you a discount, if that's what you think," Won announced as I visited the shop a few days later. "Kissing-up to me won't make me lower my prices any."
"Kissing-up?" I repeated, dumbstruck. "You think that I'm--?"
"Buy something or leave."
"Well, I think that—"
"Second verse, same as the first. Buy something or leave," he ordered me.
And once again, I left. But this time, I didn't go straight to my pillow to vent. Instead, I laughed. And yes, I had caffeine that morning—this time, I had a real reason to laugh. He didn't know how to react to an act of charity. You could tell by the way he had to make excuses for my actions—it was as if he couldn't comprehend why someone would want to be nice to him.
For some reason, I liked that feeling…that knowledge that my goodwill confused him. It was almost as if smothering him in kindness was the best way to combat his rudeness. And from then on, I began to arrive at his door every day.
"Buy something or leave," was always his mantra. I'd hand him his gift, nod, and leave—I never bought anything. Never, not once. That, I think, is what puzzled him the most about me. After all, no one else ever bothered to visit him unless it was to buy something. It was almost pitiable, really. The man was absolutely friendless aside from Zack.
I began to wonder if…if he had ever had a real friend before. Yes, of course there was Zack, but they shared a more profitable than friendly relationship. I knew for a fact that Won had to pay for room and board; Zack wasn't running a charity.
So my actions…well, they were unheard of to Won.
Strangely enough, I never treated the other men in Mineral Town with such diligent benevolence. Occasionally if I had one too many ores, I'd give one to Gray—and if I had a spare Spa-boiled egg, I knew Rick would love it. The doctor loved to receive whatever herbs I found laying around, and Cliff would blush at whatever cooking I gave him. And Kai, well, he was always good for sharing a bottle of wine.
But I just felt….indifferent towards them all.
At the festivals, it was always a random bachelor who would stammer out an invitation to me. But you know, I never felt right accepting their offers. So every time, I'd turn them down. Maybe it was because they each had someone other than me who was willing to be their escort. Or maybe I didn't want to get on any of the girls' bad sides.
Or maybe—just maybe—it was the thought of a certain merchant spending the festival day alone, knowing that no one would buy anything that day.
A few years have passed since I met our merchant friend. Now, when I arrive his door, his "buy something or leave" is spoken with a sigh, knowing fully well that it will be ignored. I'll seat myself at his counter, and I'll try and make small-talk about the weather. Of course, he rolls his eyes at my attempts and tries to convince me to buy something.
And still, I have not.
All around me are happy couples and weddings filled with bliss. Kai and Popuri are gone, the doctor and Elli's business has been thriving ever since their wedding, Gray smiles now that he is alongside his wife, Rick has married his childhood sweetheart, and Cliff and Ann couldn't be a cuter bickering couple.
Which makes me wonder, when will it be my turn?
That day I entered the Supermarket, I didn't know whether or not the blue feather was meant for someone as mousy and shy as me. I wasn't sure I could buy it—or if I should, for that matter. But…when I thought of that man sitting all alone in his shop…suddenly the decision was easy.
And here I am, standing in front of Zack's door once again, and I have never felt so afraid. My knees are shaking and my teeth are chattering as my fingers grasp the feather tightly. I can feel my nails digging into my skin, but I refuse to let go.
As a salesman, he knows what it's like to face rejection. He's prepared for the constant "no" and the strange stares and the door slams. Yes, Won knows all too well what rejection is like.
But I don't. And as I knock on the door, my heart is pounding within my chest with enough strength to burst. I'm not sure what he will say--I don't know if he'll say anything. But I do know that I'm done waiting all these years. I know that it's time I show him how I feel with more than just a plate of cookies.
And as he opens the door, I make my first door-to-door sale.