IMPORTANT!: You'll know what I'm talking about when you get there, but in the letter, words that are underlined and not italicized are supposed to be crossed out in the letter. Thank you. :D

Hi there, everyone! Um, in celebration for the release of ToT, I decided to write a little one-shot featuring the mayor's one and only son! (well, I guess it's sorta Gil/Akari-ish near the end, but you know.)

Aaanyways, I'm really really proud of this, so I'd love it if you left a review, because that would make me feel just so very AWESOME! :DDDD Also, constructive criticism is super-appreciated, too!

Also, I'm really sorry about my Stages 'fic for anyone who was really psyched for the third chapter…I was going to try and finish the chapter when school started, but I've been so piled high with homework that it's not cool. D: But I will try to get it up eventually, whenever that may be.

Oh! But, uh, back to the story: Just some warnings...My version of Akari is a bit, um...different. Mainly because I think the idea of super-mellow person/super-happy-type person is awesome.

And I made the mayor weird. D:

But if you still like crazy Akaris, Herbals, and grumpy Gils, then without further ado, please enjoy! :D

(This is Gil's PoV, by the way. o.o)

Tick, tock…

Tick, tock…

Tick, tock…

Oh, Goddess, that was it.

"Elli?" I asked in monotone.

"Yes, Gil?" Replied my co-worker with her 'ever-so-sweet' voice, as my father would call it. For just a fleeting moment my mind went partially blank due to that blasted ticking of the clock on the wall behind me.

"Ah…" I paused, "Were you able to get the shipment of lavender seeds for the gardens for the coming spring?"

"Of course!" she answered, "It's all taken care of! I contacted Cresson about it earlier this week. He said he'd even give a discount to us since those seeds are out-of-season right now."

I nodded a quick 'good, thank you' to her and switched my gaze back to the document I'd been working on.

Tick, tock…

Tick, tock…

Damned ticking made me forget what I'd wanted to write next. I couldn't help but sigh and take a quick glance out the nearby window. Occasionally, looking at scenery would help me remember things, but with that clock, I wasn't sure if I was going to get anywhere.

…Speaking of which, I've hardly gotten anything done this winter. I'm not quite sure if anyone actually has, really. The island's practically deserted, the Town Hall's always empty, and to top the proverbial sundae off, we were going broke…My guess is that it's only going to get worse until our town coffers finally run dry and it's just Father and I…That'd be rather strange.

As I attempted to drown out the devilishly annoying ticks and shake myself out of my reverie, a tiny little something out the window took my attention off of everything completely…

It was a tiny little blue thing, running around in the melting snow...It couldn't have been any taller than one of the chickens that ran around at Brownie Ranch. I squinted a bit more to see that there were little green patches of something coming out from the near-top of the pointy little head…hair, was it? It almost looked something like…

N-no, could it have been? That was impossible. Or…was it really…

"Ben? Is that you…?"

And then I saw him turn toward the window, snowdrop flower in tow. My eyes widened as I almost jumped up out of my chair and pointed towards the window.

"Th-That's--!" I tried to say, yet the words never passed my lips once I'd frozen completely.

"Gil? Are you all right? I…don't see anything out th--" Elli replied, but was cut off by the sound of her desk phone.

Once I'd turned back around, whether he'd heard me or not, our gazes met for the slightest moment, and—

"Ah, hello? Mayor Herbal?"

Ben was gone. I didn't even see him disappear.

What I heard at that time, however…

"Oh, dear, Elli! It's wonderful, woooonnnderfuuuulll!" Father, who must've been screaming at the top of his lungs, was the caller. I could hear him from at least a yard or two away from Elli. There was a slight grimace on her face, probably the loud noise, I thought, but she tried to reply:

"Wh-what's so wonderful, Mr. Mayor?"

"…beep, beep, beep…"

"Eh? He hung up…" Elli said inquisitively.

"Maybe he was prank calling us," I replied, rolling my eyes. Now, don't get me wrong, my father isn't the type to prank call us most of the time, but…occasionally, he does get bored with his job…And when he does, I'm not quite sure where he goes or what exactly he does, but…I think I'd rather not know.

For the next few moments, the silence, along with the return of the dreaded clock, 'graced' my ears once again, and things went back to normal for the most part. Finally, I thought, more peace and quiet with my paper…

…Until the door shot right open. The culprit? My odd little father, of course.

"THERE YOU TWO ARE!" he belted, resulting in both Elli and I hiding under our desks as though a nuclear missile were about to hit the Town Hall. His face was beaming, and from what I could tell, there were a few leaves of paper under his left arm. My father was a man of, ah…short stature, I suppose I could say. He was, as usual, dressed in his flashy purple winter coat, along with his not-as-equally flashy undershirt. Though, as flashy or not as he was, the look on his face beat his clothes by far…which was strange, as I'd never even seen that happen before until that day.

"Aaah!" Elli sighed as the two of us rose from our hiding places, "Mayor Herbal, you really shouldn't scare us like that!"

"So sorry, dear Elli, but this is of the utmost urgency!"

"…Urgency?" I repeated, "Of what kind, father?"

"Well," he began, throwing his hands onto the counter out of pure excitement as though he were going to tell a grand tale, "Do you remember that Exciting Ranch Plan I sent out, ah…what was it now, three months ago?"

"Yes," I began, "the one I said was hopeless?"

"Exactly! And…That's exactly where you're wrong, my son! I just happen to have a reply from a young lady who'd like to own a nice little ranch here!"

Elli's eyes widened, "That's wonderful, Mr. Mayor!" In all honesty, I couldn't help but widen my eyes, as well. I remember when my father devised and sent out the plan last spring…He must have spent an insane amount of our savings just advertising for that horrid thing…But did someone actually want to…own a farm? Here?

"Let me see that," I demanded, "I'll gladly tell you that it's a fake."

As instructed, my father handed me the rather wordy-looking letter. It almost made me shiver a bit when he chuckled as he handed it off to me…

It read:

"Well, um, hi there, Mister Mayor of Waffle Town, sir! The funniest thing happened the other day, and I wanted to let you know!

See, I was reading the paper one morning instead of doing my daily chores, (my mother owns a farm, thank you very much!) and at first I actually didn't get to read it too much because my mom kept yelling at me to feed the cows, but, uh, anyway! Once I got kicked out of left the house for the day, I got a chance to read it, and boy, sir, I'm sure glad I found your advertisement! See, uh, I'm not very good at anything besides farming…And when I found the advertisement I was like, 'Whoah, my very own farm! That's like…better than a kid getting ten puppies!...'"

At that moment I felt as though I needed to slap myself in the forehead, but I kept skimming through the letter until I found the real proof.

"…Aaaanyway, Mr. Mayor, long story short, I'd love to take a crack at owning my own ranch! I…I think I have enough experience, and my mom would love it if I finally got a job and got out of her house took a little break from her farm! So, I think I'll try starting once Spring rolls around, if that's okay with you, sir. Thanks a whooooole bunch for this opportunity, sir! I'll do my best!

See you then!

P.S. Oh! I completely forgot to mention. My name's Akari! Um, I guess if you need to know what I look like, I'm kind of tall, I guess. Oh, yeah! And my hair's nice and brown and short! And look for the cowlick, too—you can't miss it!"

Once I'd finished and put the letter down, my father eyed me as though a hungry hound would.

"See? She's for real, son! Her mother owns a farm and everything! It'll be perfect!"

"Ah…" I began as Elli took the letter from my desk and began to read it, "I'm not quite sure, Father…she seems a bit…odd."

"Oh, but it's good to have odd people around now, isn't it? Makes you feel better about yourse—Er, I mean, it'll create a nice diversity in town, don't you think?"

"She sounds like a wonderful person, Gil!" Elli replied as she handed the letter back to my father, "I'm sure she'll brighten this place up a hundred percent, perhaps more!"

"More like make this place into a crazy house…" I sighed, but sat back down and returned to my work. It almost pained me to say what I'm about to, but I think at that very moment I thought that I would rather listen to the dreaded ticking of the clock than my father's loud rambling. I was able to stand Elli's sweet voice for most of the day, as it was always calm and quiet, but my father, well…he's a bit different, I suppose.

And, I supposed, so was this new 'Akari' girl, as well.

Turning back towards the window, the melting snow helped me regain my focus on what it was I'd forgotten to write on my document. Although, once I turned my gaze back to my paper…

Small, wet footprints lie on my document.

"Ben…what on Earth are you trying to tell me?"

The winter left as quickly as it had come, and spring soon pushed all of the melt water back down into the ground and the flowers right back up.

Once the day had finally come for that girl to show up, I had been, ah…what's the word. Apprehensive, maybe. Despite the strange letter, I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of our new resident…Was she really who she said she was? Or was she actually some kind of mass murde—Eh, perhaps my mind's strayed a bit.

…I digress. The first day of spring was an unusually quiet afternoon, I noticed. My father had ordered me to wait out at the square so I could "meet our new neighbor", as he had said. I would have refused, of course, but how could I have when he'd threatened to harm my precious tomato garden? I sighed at the thought of my beloved tomatoes disappearing…They were almost like my own children; if something were to happen to them, I thought, then—

"Um, hello? Earth to Mister Grumpyface!" I heard a voice call me out of my reverie.

"Ah, y-yes?" I replied, flustered. Before me was a young girl, perhaps a year or so younger than me. She was a bit tall for her age, I guessed. She wore what looked like a pastel-green shirt, along with some matching blue and green shorts. She looked almost somewhere between a brunette and a dirty blonde, though I couldn't quite tell due to her rather distracting cowlick—

H-hold on a second, I thought.

"You must be…Akari?" I asked, trying not to grimace at the overly amicable look on her face.

"Oh, neato!" the girl replied, "You know my name! Um, uh, lemme guess yours! Can I?!"

"Ah, you don't have t--"

"Too bad!" she cheered, much to my chagrin, "Let's see…um…blonde…kinda grumpy-looking…blue sweater-vest…You must be, uh…Gil! Right?!"

"H-how did you--" I asked, gaping.

"Oh, that's an easy one!" Akari clapped, "Your dad just told me. He said you could help me start out…Or, uh, something like that."

"Well, uh, yes. I'm Gil, the mayor's one and only son. I--" before I continued, the farmer-to-be shook my hand.

"Nice to meet you! Now, what was it that you were saying?"

"Ah, right. My apologies," I began, "You're here for the ranch plan, correct?"

"Ehehe, maaaaayyybe! Maaaayyyybe not!" the girl laughed devilishly.

"…The people my father brings into this town, I swear…" I muttered under my breath.

"Hmm? You say something just now, Gilly?" Akari asked as I winced in pain at her new nickname for me.

"Ah, n-no, I, uh--"

Just then, my father ran into the square right out of nowhere, thank the Goddess.

"Oh, Akari! There you are! I've been looking for you! Come now, the people at the Soufflé Farm want to meet you!"

"Ooh! Alrighty then, Mr. Mayor, lead the way!"

"Uh, but father, I thought you said I was going to--"

"Oh, don't be silly, Gilly!" Father replied, cheerful as ever. I think I almost fell over with a heart attack when he called me Gilly, too…Could he really have stooped that low, I wonder…? "I'll take her, no need to worry about a thing! You can go back to work."

"It was really nice to meet you, Gilly! We should hang out some time or something! It'll be fun!" Akari added.

"Oh, ah…All right," I murmured to myself as my father headed out of the square with Akari in tow. For some strange reason, I couldn't help but feel dejected at that moment, but in only a short second, my strange feeling turned to shock.

For a short moment I could swear I saw Ben, following right behind the new farmer.

As strange as she was, I thought, I knew right then that we would get along just fine.

And, for the sake of that very unknown feeling, I couldn't help but smile.


Well, uh, sorry for it being kind of short, but I do hope you liked it! Like I said before, I'm really proud of this little 'fic here, so any kind of feedback would be appreciated! :3

Thank you so much for reading!