Disclaimer: I don't own Harvest Moon, Natsume does.
Note: I'm not that big of a fan of Mark x Chelsea – I very much prefer Denny or Shea x Chelsea – but I actually liked how it turned out. (: Yes, yes, I know that in the game Mark doesn't arrive this way, but it'd be stupid if I included in "sub-villagers have arrived and the Inn has been remodeled, but I still need to do more work for Mark to come!"
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Hope In A Cap
I never should've sold my apartment back in the city.
And, of course, only now did I feel the regret, only now did I realize that I'd made a very stupid decision. Only now, when I was standing in front of this unsightly field, with weeds and branches and discouragingly-heavy-looking rocks scattered throughout. My mouth had fallen open a minute ago, and I still hadn't recovered enough to at least close it. My jaw only snapped shut when Taro cleared his throat loudly, an embarrassed, apologetic undertone to the sound. I'd forgotten the old man was standing next to me when I'd absorbed the "backyard" of my new…my new home.
"I know it's not much –" he purposely ignored the incredulous look on my face when he'd said those inadequate words, " – but I know that you can do it. I can sense it coming off of you. You've got potential, Chrysler." He smiled, obviously thinking it'd be enough to wipe that unmistakable, fuming disbelief off my face.
"It's Chelsea," was all I could mutter. I was too busy racking my brain for the correct words to express this. I wanted to shout so loud that it echoed off the mountains to the north, yell every cuss word I'd learned in my adolescent years, and weep until it finally came to him that he'd done something horrible and instead said I could just lounge around on the island and get things for free. But, of course, I didn't do any of those things, because a) I still had my dignity and b) I didn't want to be known the island's, what little populace there was, freak.
Awkward silence. "Thanks. This is great," I grumbled, rolling my eyes to add to the sarcasm.
Which the old man was oblivious to, apparently, because in response to my annoyed, cynical mumbling, he grinned smugly and said, "I knew you'd like it. Well, you're welcome, Christina." Before I could object, he added in a more serious, commanding tone, "Do your best to bring this island back to life, you hear?"
"It's Chelsea," was, once again, all I managed to say. It took a lot of self-control to keep my clenched fists from knocking this guy out – screw that "respect your elders" moral I'd been taught; this was an elder in overalls we're talking about!
He cleared his throat again after more minutes of uncomfortable quiet. Or maybe he sensed the "murder" aura coming off of me. "Ahem. I must me going now. Oh, and…this big toe are telling it'll rain tomorrow."
Yup, I could've lived my whole life without a picture of a hairy big toe in my head.
As much as I already disliked Taro already, I felt a bit aimless when he left. What was I do to now? I'd never worked on a farm before, unlike the old man, who seemed to have years of experience and knowledge in that hard skull.
So there I was, facing a field that dishearteningly needed lots of work, thinking to myself, What the hell do I do now? I was a city girl. Yeah, used to the alone life, and able to cook, so those was some things. But I didn't know how, or rather, didn't have the will, to spend days tilling soil and collecting lumber. And yet I was given a task like this. Actually, tasks, recalling how I'd comprehended it. Rebuild the bridges to the meadow, forest, and jungle, befriend the few inhabitants here, and get more people to live on the island.
Sunny Island seemed very inappropriately named to me right now.
A week had passed, and I was out scouring the town for spring flowers and herbs to ship for money – I'd decided not to grow crops, and besides, it wasn't like they were necessary for success – when I heard the loud, and very distracting, horn of a boat coming in.
Who had been hit in the head hard enough to want to come here? There was nothing but old, shabby houses and shops in this "town". If I'd talked to the gods in the heavens when they were deciding where to put me after the shipwreck, my first thought wouldn't be Sunny Island.
Curious, I raced to the beach. Thank goodness I didn't have to pay for the construction of a bridge to the beach; Sunny Island's beach was something that added to the little appeal of the place. The sand was warm and soft, and the turquoise ocean was always glistening, whether it be because of the sun or the moon.
But I didn't have time to stare at the sea in awe. Taro was already there, standing at the dock, as if he'd known of the boat's arrival. I joined him and looked up at the boat. Would it be going back to the city? I wanted to come along!
"Taro. Um, what's going on? Are we going home?" I said in one breath, practically jumping up and down in excitement.
He only shook his head. The same excitement was on his face, but it apparently wasn't for the same reason. "No, no. I knew how miserable and mad – don't look at me like that, you made it quite obvious – you were when you saw the farm, and I know that you feel it's your, and only yours, responsibility to revitalize the island." He paused, probably to emphasize the suspension.
When he wouldn't go on after a minute, I narrowed my eyes suspiciously and said, "Yeah, and?"
"It's not just your job, Chris." I ignored yet another name mistake. He scratched the back of his head almost embarrassedly, and continued. "I know this sounds corny, but we're all in this together. And to prove it, I called and hired you a helper. To help you on your farm and all."
I didn't need a mirror to know that I was gawking at him. Crossing my arms over my shoulders, I stood, ready to defend my kind. "We female farmers don't need a helper." I said it unconvincingly, however. I knew I wasn't fit to work on a ranch…at least by myself.
He didn't reply. He was watching something – someone, most likely – coming off the boat. I turned around and met the warm smile and friendly green eyes of a boy.
I never believed in love at first sight. You couldn't automatically love someone just by looking at them; I always thought you needed to know someone well enough to love them. But I did believe in attraction at first sight.
And now, here I was, experiencing it.
With no brain involvement at all – I wasn't even aware of it – I stepped forward, closer to him, as if being pulled by an invisible rope. "Hi."
Maybe it was just my wishful thinking, but his smile grew sheepish and his cheeks turned a bit pink. Of course, I found it absolutely adorable. "Hi," he whispered.
Taro cleared his throat, reminding both of us of his existence. "Chelsea, this is –" I didn't even notice he'd finally gotten my name right, I was too busy paying attention to…other things.
"Mark," the blonde said it first, and I giggled for no reason at all. God, how weird I looked, laughing quietly at nothing in particular, as if I'd shared an inside joke with just myself.
"Yes, he's going to be helping you on your farm." When neither of us even glanced his way, Taro eventually gave up, much to my happiness. "I'll be going now. Don't boss him around too much. It's your farm, after all." He left, mumbling incoherently to himself.
"You don't need to think of me as your boss or anything. I mean, you're probably better at me at handling a farm. I mean, look at me – I'm a girl!" I mentally punched myself in the gut to shut up. "So…where are you from?"
Dumb question, but he answered it anyway. "Um, Mineral Town."
"You own a farm there? Must be a pretty successfully farm, right?"
He flushed, and I could practically feel my own face heat up. "Not really… I wouldn't say so."
We got to the farmhouse then. He opened the door and let me in – me trying to tame my pulse all the while – and looked around. I suddenly regretted not cleaning up earlier. "This is nice. Small equals cozy." He grinned, sending a strange, fluttery feeling I'd never felt before throughout me.
You know what I was saying earlier? That Sunny Island wasn't right to be named that way?
Well, I was definitely seeing the sun now.
"So, where do I sleep?"
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Note: Haha, I couldn't help but put in that last bit. To lessen the corniness. :D Anyway, hope you liked it! Reviews are much-ly loved! :)