Hey guys, Kuruk here.
First of all I would like to thank all my reviewers for my last oneshot, Addiction. That is the most reviews I have ever received for a oneshot, let alone any chapter of any of my long-fics. I'd like to thank you all and let you know how much I appreciate you all. Thank you so much. Letting me know what you guys thought ofit made me very happy. :)
This story here is a response to HarvestAngel's request on the Village Square forum. I hope that you guys like it.
Warning, though, this story contains elements that some people may find uncomfortable, such as yuri and mentions of yaoi. If you don't like it, feel free not to read. :)
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own nothing...
Everyone has someone, Mary mused on a lonely day as she sat behind her desk at the Library.
Ann might chase away most boys with her fire and passion, but the shy Cliff seemed to find his home in her fire, and Ann peace in his arms. Tim and Elli were more than just hardworking colleagues-- they were soul mates that complimented each other, creating a special sort of harmony. Rick may not have been the most handsome man in town, but his kindness and loving nature had his childhood friend, the beautiful Karen in love with him.
Even Gray had someone. It was Kai, the handsome traveler that had finally decided to settle down in Mineral Town... and all for Gray. Mary loved the way that her best friend would smile when Mineral Town's newest permanent resident was around, and even though a few of the older generations frowned upon their relationship, everyone else would agree with Mary; they were happy at the serious blacksmith's and the fickle-hearted traveler's transformations.
And what was even more beautiful about it was that Popuri, the bubbly girl that everyone thought would end up with Kai (except Rick, of course), had found love in the next town over-- Forget-Me-Not-Valley, with the resident farmer, Jack. She was happy-- it was evident in the way she glowed whenever she visited Mineral Town. Jack would always take a day off from his work on his farm to tag along, glowing just as much as Popuri was.
But love wasn't just limited to the younger generation. Everyone knew that of course couples like her parents-- Anna and Basil had each other. People like Sasha and Jeff, or Duke and Manna... but Ellen had Saibara too, and Barley had his granddaughter... and everyone knew that when May wanted to find someone to love, her best friend Stu would fit that picture perfectly.
Yes, Mary concluded with a sigh, everyone had someone.
And she didn't blame anyone but herself for it... because she just didn't, well, click with anyone.
Perhaps she was being too picky... but then again, after years and years of reading the most beautiful, perfect romances from the pages of dusty novels, she didn't want anything but one of those beautiful romances-- everything from the sparks that flew when they first met to the first kiss that sent jolts of electricity through her skin.
That was what she wanted.
After all, everyone else seemed to have that, didn't they?
You could see the devotion in Tim's eyes when he looked at Elli, or the joy that shot through Karen whenever Rick was around. You could see that whenever Cliff touched Ann, she would calm down, or that Popuri would giggle uncontrollably when Jack would just look at her for too long.
And the way Gray would storm into her Library, a scowl on his face after a long, trying day at the blacksmith's. Try as she might, Mary could never calm him down... and yet if Gray stayed too long Kai would just walk through those doors, regard Gray with a serious look, and minutes later the blacksmith would blush, sigh in resignation and leave with Kai, a small grin on his face as he did so.
Mary would smile whenever this happened, and she would become wistful, wishing that maybe one day she would find someone she could calm down with a look, or just be indescribably joyous whenever this person was around.
Still, things like that seemed like a fairy tale to her-- something you wish to be real with all your heart, but that you have to accept is simply that: a fairy tale.
If that was the case, why did she keep holding out for her fairytale romance?
Honestly, Mary thought while turning another page in one of the romance novels in question.
She was thinking about how lonely it was when the door opened. Expecting Gray, who would often stop by the Library to chat with his best friend, Mary turned towards the door and smiled brightly, only to discover that the person standing in the doorway was anyone but Gray.
The woman standing in the doorway was tall, with long, golden hair that cascaded down her shoulders, with radiant, sky-blue eyes that appraised Mary with curiosity and something she couldn't quite place.
Mary gave the visitor a dry look. "Claire," Mary began, mock-indignation in her voice, "Why is it that every time you visit the Library you act as if it were your first time here?"
Claire blinked a few times, then cocked her head to the side, a smile on her face. "It's just that every time I see you, it's like looking at you for the first time," Claire joked...
Mary laughed nervously... no matter the fact that Claire was a very good friend of hers, she could never shake the feeling that there was something... else in the way that Claire would look at her, something, well, off.
The farmer strolled over to the librarian's desk, and with a smile, pulled out a jar of golden honey. Mary's eyes widened, her cheeks flushed, and she took the jar of golden nectar with ink stained hands.
"T-thank y-you..." Mary stuttered.
Claire gave the librarian a smile and sauntered off to the door. The librarian gave her friend a look, and the farmer returned that look. "I do have to work, you know," Claire offered as a reason.
Mary sighed. "Claire, I don't see why you would waste your time coming to a Library when you aren't even going to read."
The blonde gave her a wink that made Mary a little... uncomfortable...? No, that wasn't the word for it... nervous? Yes, nervous... that was it... "Why, it's to see you, Mary," Claire whispered almost... seductively? No... no, she was joking... right?
The ebony-haired librarian blushed and with one more lingering look, the golden farmer left to go back to work...
And Mary was alone in the quiet of her Library once more.
It was the Starry Night Festival, and Doug had let Ann use the Inn for a 'very romantic' dinner for the couples of Mineral Town. Key word being couples.
Mary had not wanted to go, but Gray had leaned on her desk, a pleading look in his big blue eye he had no doubt learned from his time with Popuri... Since Popuri and Kai were best friends, it wasn't illogical that he'd picked up some of her tricks.
"C'mon, Mary..." Gray whined in a very un-Gray voice, "I don't want you to be all alone on the Starry Night Festival!"
"Ann invited all couples, Gray," Mary sighed, twiddling her thumbs, "I'm not a couple..."
Gray had rolled his eyes. "So?"
The librarian's eyes had widened. "W-well..." Mary started, "I-it wouldn't be r-right..." she trailed off towards the end, her argument weak.
"Fine," Gray sighed in resignation. Mary blinked in shock at his giving up so easily, only to realize that the blacksmith was smirking, "If you don't feel comfortable coming to the festival alone, then you're going to come with Kai and me."
Mary blinked, opened her mouth to argue, but closed it, soundly defeated.
Gray smirked, grabbed his best friend's hand and led her out of the lonely Library and into the cool night...
Mary knew she shouldn't have come.
Everyone welcomed her with open arms, and while they ate people like Gray, Kai, Ann, Elli and Tim made conversation with her, but soon the couples lost themselves in each other, and Mary was the third wheel in the entire Inn, sitting quietly and smiling at everyone else's happiness, but feeling more lonely than she had when she sat alone in her Library, surrounded by nothing but dusty books.
Mary waited until desert was served, and when it was she excused herself, receiving half-hearted insistences that she stay-- her friends wanted her to stay, of course, but whether she did or not wouldn't make a difference, not on a night like this...
So Mary had politely refused and shrugged into her coat before walking out of the warm, loud Inn and into the cool night air, shivering a little at the cold biting at her skin.
The librarian walked towards her home, feeling more lonely than ever... when suddenly she saw another lonely soul in a field of white snow.
Claire was laying on her back, golden hair around her head like a halo. Outstretched arms and legs were moving, making a snow angel. Mary walked over and stood over the blonde, concern on her face. "Claire," Mary said softly, startling the blonde, "You'll... catch a cold..."
Blue eyes met dark ones, and the farmer shrugged. "It's still nice."
Claire resumed making her snow angel and after a few moments, Mary sat down, drawing her knees to her chest for warmth. They stayed in companionable, peaceful silence. Snow began to fall, and Mary found herself enjoying the moment-- Claire beside her, the sea of white around them, and the sensation of the cold on her skin.
Mary closed her eyes and let out a deep breath, muscles relaxing. Beside her, Claire stopped moving, looking up into the gray sky. "Lonely?" Claire asked.
The librarian found herself smiling softly to herself. "Not anymore..."
The farmer rolled from her position to be closer to Mary, the pale, calloused hand reaching for Mary's ink stained one. The librarian's cheeks, already reddened from the cold bite of the air, flushed an even deeper scarlet.
Minutes passed, Mary's pulse was still hammering away and Claire moved her head onto the librarian's lap, eyes opening lazily and meeting Mary's, a twinkle in those orbs of sky.
Mary blinked. Once, twice, three times... was that... it?
Claire smiled and with her free hand, she brushed a few strands Mary's ebony hair behind her ear. Mary shivered at her touch, and the farmer sighed contentedly when Mary's hand tentatively brushed back some of Claire's golden bangs, fingers lingering in the gold after she was done.
"I love you," Claire said, voice barely a whisper.
Mary answered without hesitation. "I l-love you too..."
As the woman of gold smiled up at the woman of ebony, the librarian thought that maybe things like love and romance were where you least expected them...
Sometimes, for fiery waitresses, they were in shy travelers. For hardworking doctors, they lingered in their warm nurses that were always there for them. For protective chicken boys, they were in their beautiful best friends. For summer travelers, they were in the grumpy blacksmiths...
And, Mary concluded as Claire sat up and Mary leaned into her shoulder, the warmth and little shivers of electricity's path along her skin pleasant, fingers still interlaced pleasantly... for intelligent librarians they cold be found in persistent farmers.
Mary wouldn't have it any other way.
Gold and ebony had never mixed so beautifully as the snow fell around them on a lonely day that suddenly wasn't so lonely anymore.
A/N: I love Clary. And wintry fluff, since the idea of cuddling with someone for warmth seems very romantic and all around pure fluff to me. :D
Hope you guys liked it. Please review? :)