A/N: Nyah ha ha! Who is surprised to see another Harvest Moon one-shot from me! No one? Thought so. Hee hee. Anyways, this story is inspired by the quote by Ingrid Bergman, which Claire says. Enjoy!


Words

Claire wiped her brow, drops of sweat slithering down her face and her back from the uncomfortable sun and strenuous work. Summer...who invented it... Claire mused with a sigh, bringing down her shining metallic hoe to her field with a grunt.

A cheerful yip rang in the sweltering air, and Claire turned around to see her dog Koro playfully running up to her. He panted and somehow grinned a cheerful, doggy grin up at his master. Claire smiled back and pet the little canine, scratching his warm fur behind his ears, earning her a satisfied look from the puppy.

"Y'know something, Koro?" Claire said, turning back to work, but continuing to speak. The dog sat on the hot field, wagging his tail, as if he could completely understand the girl. "If that ad hadn't hyped this place as being great, I know I wouldn't be here. They failed to mention how run down this place was, the sweltering heat..." Claire paused in her work a moment, idly glaring up at the sky, as if it was the sun's fault for her current predicament. "Though, to be fair, now that I'm here, it's turned out better than I expected..." When she looked back down, she smiled in amusement as Koro began a hot pursuit for his tail.

"You have it lucky," she said, picking the light puppy up. He stared at his master curiously, wondering idly why she'd pick him up. He was no bird; he couldn't fly. "Sifting through words is tedious. You only have actions to judge, and people are a lot more honest with actions."

Claire returned Koro to the ground gently, and he looked questionably up at his master again. He wondered what was on the farmer's mind today. She'd always start off on odd tangents, speaking in her strange, somewhat cold and clipped language...well, hey, she also fed him, played with him, and gave him a house. And besides, he wasn't the type of dog to enjoy silence. He returned back to his mission-- confound that tail, he would get it one day!

He didn't notice that his master, with a bored look on her face, abandoned her farm for a break at the town.


"And so the man unsheathed his sword; his trusted blade, the blade that would dispel the only obstacle between him and his love, his desire. With a scream that shook the very heavens, he jumped toward the foul beast, ready to conquer hell itself for his true love, ready--"

Ding!

Mary yelped and hurriedly stuffed the loose papers under her desk as she heard the bell indicating the door open. She felt a warm blush spread across her face as she looked down. "W-Welcome to the library!" she sputtered as she finished hiding her in-progress novel. She dared to look up only to meet the slightly curious, slightly stoic eyes of Claire.

"C-Claire?" was all Mary could manage. She couldn't even remember if Claire had ever even been in the library before. "Welcome," Mary repeated shyly, trying to fight the blush still on her face.

Claire nodded toward her before heading upstairs. Once Claire had reached the top step, Mary released a breath she hadn't realized she was holding. Something about Claire's presence was...heavy.

Ignoring it, Mary pushed herself from her desk, her wooden chair skidding across the floor. Slowly she picked up stray books left on the desks, instintively knowing where each went, zoning out into her own thoughts in the process.

Claire was someone Mary was curious about. The farmer had come with nary an introduction in the previous spring, showing zero signs of wanting to form any social bonds whatsoever. That wasn't to say she was rude; she was polite, but she was still cold. Claire seemed to resign herself to working on the farm alone.

And yet, she wasn't all bad, Mary knew, because she was so helpful with the townsfolk. Once she'd taken Ann's place as a waitress when Ann had gotten sick, and she'd refused payment from Doug. When the Clinic was running low on Lilia's medicine because the herbs used to make it were shipped less, she had climbed Mother Hill every day just to gather as many of them as possible. If she really didn't like the townsfolk, why would she do those things?

She was a mysterious person, and Mary had always been attracted to mysterious types...

Mary yelped a bit when that thought entered her mind. Those MALE mysterious types! Mary reassured herself, laughing weakly. It's not like she liked Claire or anything...she was just curious! Perfectly natural...

"...the blade that would dispel the only obstacle between him and his love, his desire..."

Mary swung around, nearly dropping the books she was holding as she heard those familiar words in a bored tone. Claire had cozily settled into Mary's chair behind her desk, reading her private novel she had been working on. "Aiyeh!!" Mary yelled as she turned beet red, jumping towards the farmer and snatching the papers from her hand. "Please don't read it...!" Mary pleaded, not looking at the farmer directly.

"Why?" Claire inquired, propping an elbow on the desk and leaning her chin on her hand, staring at Mary as if she could see right through her. Mary involuntarily shuddered.

"It's...it's not done...and I..."

"The base plot is good, and that's all that's necessary," Claire commented. "But you're way too superfluous. You should work on that."

"Wha-- Superfluous?" Mary stared at the farmer.

"Otiose. Serving no real purpose. In excess of what is required. Content that is irrelevant and redundant. Flowing over the top. Too much."

"I know what it means," Mary huffed before she could stop herself. She looked down at her novel, averting her eyes from Claire's. "You think?"

"That's my complaint with a lot of books, which is why I'm not much of a reader." Claire leaned back into the chair, sighing deliberately over-the-top. "It's my complaint with people too. We'll talk 'til we can't talk anymore, and after all that, we still might not know what the other person really wants."

"Well, yeah...I guess..." Mary muttered, twiddling her thumbs together and still not meeting Claire's eyes.

"My same comment goes for you too, for the record." Mary could hear the smirk in her voice. "I happen to like you quite a lot, when you aren't disguising things with pretty, useless little words."

Mary stared at Claire's smirking face, her head whirling. "Wh--! I-I do not! And-and what do you--what--do you mean to say that--"

The words caught in her throat when Claire decided Mary had said enough. Claire leaned down toward Mary and caught her lips. Mary stared wide-eyed, but quickly gave into the sensation, any other words caught in her throat instantly forgotten. Before she knew it, Claire had broken off from the kiss and began to leave the library.

"Words are just words," Claire said as she opened the door. "A kiss, though," she added with a smirk, "is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous."

And with that, she was gone. Mary felt another blush creep up on her face as her head whirled, trying to find some explanation for what just happened. After a few moments, though, she gave up trying to find the words. She just went back to putting the books back in order, a small smile on her face as she hummed a nameless tune.


A/N: Feedback always appreciated. C: