Once again, I return with a Harvest Moon fic! As per usual, this is a KaixJill story, but there's also a mention of another pairing from a different game in the franchise.
Can you spot it?
Jill opened her mailbox eagerly. It was the middle of Spring, and Kai was due to return to Mineral Town soon. But before that, she would always get letters from him, hence her excitement when she saw a little white envelope with her name on it.
"Finally," she laughed to herself, withdrawing the envelope and tearing it open. She sat down at the base of her mailbox to read the letter's contents.
"I haven't told you about this, because it's the first time I ever saw it. See, I went to a new town a few weeks ago, and at the time I'm writing this letter, have just left from one of their festivals. I don't know what it's called, but it's basically a dance.
"Yeah, it's just a dance. They call it a festival, though, maybe because 'dance' sounds like they're all a bunch of junior-high schoolers."
Jill had to chuckle at that.
"Anyway...get this. It's a masque.
"I'm not lying! When I got there, everyone was wearing their own mask and costume. Well, except for me, but I didn't dance anyway, I just ate some food and people-watched.
"Some interesting pairs I saw, let me tell you...and let me also say that one couple I saw had an interesting sense of humor. There was this brown-haired girl in pigtails dressed all in red, and she was with some purple-haired guy in a wolf mask. It made me laugh when I first saw them, and then the guy just glared at me...those eyes were creepy. They looked like ice... But the girl said something to him and he seemed to calm down...just a little bit.
"I asked the girl (once she'd left the guy for a few minutes) about this festival, and she said she doesn't know of any other town that does it. Just that one. Odd. I think it'd be a fun thing to try, don't you, Jill? I wanted to ask her some other questions, but then the guy came over and she had to leave.
"Anyways, I thought it's be fun to try that sometime. Wouldn't it be great to have a festival like that in Mineral Town? I winder what kind of masks we'd wear?
"That would be fun," Jill mused to herself as she lowered the letter and looked upwards. A masque...where everyone would conceal their identity, and just dance all night. It sounded like something out of a fairytale...
Granted, she was a far cry from 'princess' and Kai's 'prince' status would surely be debatable, but it'd be fun to try.
Oh...but Mayor Thomas probably wouldn't go for something like that. They had enough festivals, and what were the odds that he would allow another festival to be sprung up, just like that? And even if he did allow it, then when would it be? Summer was only one season out of four, and it was highly doubtful, no, it was certain that the townspeople wouldn't make the festival in summer just because one girl wanted to share it with her boyfriend.
Jill sighed as she pocketed the letter, to place in her shoe-box when she was done working for the day. Oh, well...it would've been nice to do something like that just once, maybe...
Meanwhile, miles away, Kai was thinking the same thing. He grinned as he glanced up at the calendar, an idea forming in his head.
Kai wasn't here this morning...
That's weird... Jill thought as she gazed out the window. Normally, he comes down here in the morning to say hello. Did something happen?
Well, sitting around and moping wouldn't help. Maybe he was just tired, or something. Yeah, that was probably it. Jill picked up her new bags of seeds and started to work.
"Jill!" came a voice. The blonde farmer looked up. It was Popuri, running down into her farm and waving her hand above her head. "Jill, come here a sec!"
"Popuri, I'm working!" Jill called back, holding up a seed bag to make a point.
"Please?! It's really important!" the pink-haired girl replied, shifting from foot to foot and looking like she'd burst if she had to hold in whatever she had to say a moment longer. "Pleeeaaase?"
Jill smiled and sighed half-heartedly, running a hand through her hair, before setting down her seeds and watering can and walking over to Popuri. "Okay, Popuri, okay..." she laughed. "What is it?"
The girl smiled and winked, clasping her hands behind her back. "Did you hear anything from Kai?" she asked, in a tone that was almost teasing.
Her friend started. "That's what you wanted to talk about? Um...no. Why? Do you know something?" she asked suspiciously.
"Oooohh..." Popuri giggled, closing her eyes and putting her hands to her mouth. "Nope! No, nothing at all!" Her cheeks pinkened as she spun around and ran off, still laughing to herself.
"Huh? Hey!" Jill called out as she ran after her. "You do know something! Get back here!"
"Just..." Popuri started, turning around and smiling wide. "Go to the beach tonight, at eight o-clock!" And she ran off towards her own home.
The farmer stood there, blinking. "Huh?"
It was night. Jill walked down the road, her head tilted back to stare at the stars above. She was heading for the beach. Popuri's up to something, I know it... she thought, brow furrowing. What's so special about the beach, though? Besides the Kai's snack shop, Zack and Won's place, and the ocean? And why couldn't I have gone earlier?
She turned the corner into the beach and made her way down the steps onto the sand. Then she saw a familiar figure standing outside the snack shop. "Kai!" she cried out, rushing forward. "Kai, where've you been?" she added when she stood in front of him.
His only response was to wink and smile a cocky little grin. "I've been right here," he said, as if it were obvious.
"Not...not that! Why didn't you come say hello today?" She suddenly noticed that instead of his usual apparel, Kai was wearing a long trench coat. "And why are you-" Jill started, but Kai held up an index finger, signaling her to be quiet.
"You'll know later," he said, winking. "Listen. I need you to do something for me, okay?"
"Go into the shop, and go to the bathroom in the back. There's something I want you to put on," he said, smiling mischievously as he stood aside and opened the door.
"Kai, what are you-?" Jill started.
"Just go on," he laughed. "I'll be waiting!"
"What is...?" Jill began, staring at the object in the box. She was in the bathroom, the door closed behind her, and staring into an opened box that rested on the counter. She dipped her hands inside and pulled it out, eyes widening as she saw the object unfold and cascade downwards. A dress...a dress.
Jill laughed for a moment at the image of Kai shopping for a dress, and removed her overalls, remembering his request to "put it on."
She caught sight of herself in the mirror. The dress was dark blue in color, tight at the top but loose and flowing at the bottom. Light blue strips of fabric separated the skirt from the top, and the sleeves ran over the tops of her hands a little bit, but her shoulders were bare. She turned around a few times, part of her wondering how on earth Kai knew her size.
"Kai, how did you-" she started to say as she opened the door a crack and peeked out, feeling shy.
He smiled and waved at her, standing a few feet away from his shop. "Jill, come out here..." he laughed.
"How'd you know what my dress size was?" Jill sighed as she, blushing, emerged from the shop, closing the door behind her.
"Lucky guess?" Kai shrugged, still wearing that small, teasing smile. "Here, you're not done yet," he added, tossing her a dark blue object.
Jill fumbled with it for a moment, then held it away from her face, eyes widening. A mask...a dark blue mask that was designed to cover the top half of her face, the edges pointing outward, almost like wings. Blushing fiercely, she placed it over her face and looked up. "Kai..." Her blue eyes widened beneath the mask as she saw Kai, his back to her, remove the coat, allowing it to fall to the ground in a heap.
He grinned at her, blushing slightly himself as he turned to fully face her. He wore a dark purple , long-sleeved jacket that extended a little over his waist, and matching pants. The cuffs of the sleeves had black trim and black shiny buttons, pinning them up. He held up an index finger, telling her to wait a minute, then withdrew a mask like her own, but black, and placed it over his own face. "Ta-da!" he laughed, closing his eyes.
The farmer stared at him for a moment, before laughing and closing her eyes. "Kai..." she said affectionately. "You can be such a sap sometimes, you know?"
"Oh, don't play all high-and-mighty," he teased as he drew closer and placed a hand on her waist, moving one of her own hands to his shoulder. "I know you liked the idea of it, too..."
The two joined their free hands, and began to move. There was no music, but that didn't seem to make any difference. The water was their own personal soundtrack, that and Kai's sudden humming.
After they had danced for about ten minutes, occasionally holding each other at arm's length and returning to their original positions or attempting a dip, Jill grinned sheepishly and rested her head against his shoulder. "But it's silly," she whispered. "For us to wear masks, when we know who we are...and there's no one else with us."
"But there was one part of that festival I hadn't old you about," Kai whispered back, slowing down to a stop. His fingers inched toward his mask. "Take off the mask," he whispered.
Jill, flushed pink, obeyed, and soon they were looking into each other's eyes, no masks obscuring their faces. "After the dance," Kai said softly, "they took off their masks and..."
He didn't need to say anything more. He just leaned forward, and Jill met him half-way.