Disclaimer: Must I say it? Oh well. I, Royal Danielle, do solemnly swear before any score of readers that I do not own Harvest Moon. Neither do I own the awesome songs of the lovely young Taylor Swift, one of which I am singing along to now. The song is The Way I Loved You. Perhaps some of you have heard it?
Jack Harvest's Horrible Day
Walking into Skystar Farm five years ago, you would have balked at the sight of the terrible place. You would've laughed at anyone who tried to fix up that old wreck.
But brave Jack had tackled the task. With nothing but 500 gold in his pockets, he'd thrown himself into bringing that old farm to life, and he had succeeded. Now, he was a wealthy youth with 500,000,000 in his bank account, and he was ready to settle down with a wife...or at least a steady girlfriend.
Popuri had been his first girlfriend—the charming pink-haired girl had just grown on him. All throughout his first spring in Mineral Town, they had been dating. Jack knew he'd never marry Popuri, but he just hung on for the fun of it. When summer rolled along, Popuri was history.
Jack threw himself more passionately in work that summer. Like Rick, he disliked Kai. It was not that Kai was unpleasant, or that he grudged him for taking Popuri away, but that the kind Jack never liked leaving a trail of heartbroken girls behind him, much less boast about it. So, to prevent himself from seeing Kai, he threw himself in work. When he wasn't working, he was at the library, quietly reading to relax himself. And if he had free time later on, he would hang out at the bar and down a drink or two.
The second girl came a bit later—winter, actually. Jack was lonesome with nothing to do, and took to mining heavily that winter, leading to plenty of accidents, from which he was patched up from by the kindly brunette. A single flirty remark from Jack had them on a date, and they dated all the way through winter to halfway through spring. When the breakup commenced, Elli took it nicely and later on that year, she dated the doctor very quietly.
Ever since then, Jack stayed away from relationships. His mining was profitable and brought him much gold, and he was determined to enlarge that. He told himself he mustn't indulge in such silliness as dating when he first had to earn his keep.
Now, twenty-six-year-old Jack surveyed his farm with pride. The chickens and cows were penned up in separate pens, and the crops were almost ready for harvest. He was going to need the sprites pretty soon.
Rick came running up to the boy, panting.
"Oh, hi, Rick. I was just enjoying my farm. What's up?" Over the five years the boy had lived and worked in the town, he had grown to be friends with the chicken-farmer. He was not best friends with Rick—Cliff took that honor—but he knew him well enough.
"Hey, is it true you're going to take up dating again?" Rick panted.
Jack grinned. "Well, since I have a nice farm and I could support a family, I do think it's high time I got myself a trophy wife and an heir."
Rick scowled. "That's very funny, Jack. No, seriously. Are you starting dating again?"
"Well, yeah. What's it to you?"
Rick snarled, "What's it to me? Well, what about the fact that as soon as Karen heard the news, she dropped me like a hot coal and rushed to pull on her best blouse and a mini-skirt?!"
Jack took this news very carelessly. "Well, relax. I didn't tell her to wait for me or anything. I don't have a clear idea of whom to marry, really, but—"
"Oh, so now you're marrying someone! Oh, if you say it's Karen..."
"Relax, dude. No offense, Rick, but you can keep the drinking bad cook to yourself." (No offense to the Karen fanboys and girls, but a drunk bad cook is not really wife material.)
Rick relaxed. "Thanks, pal. But if I hear about you laying a finger on either Karen or Popuri..."
"Nah, I know whom they belong to. But if you ask me, I could date Popuri again just for spite against Kai..."
"Anyway, see you, pal. I need a shower before I walk in town."
"Sure, Jack. You're a real pal, not stealing my girlfriend. I have to go now, Mom probably needs something."
Jack walked into the mansion whistling.
His home was impressive. Having always dreamed of an opulent country home after the cramping space in the city, he had furnished the place beautifully. His living room, pleasant to look at and very comfortable, was cleaned to perfection (Jack had learned, the hard way, how simply embarrassing it is when someone walks in your home and finds it cluttered), and the kitchen, which was just behind a polished door, was immaculate. His bedroom, nice and clean, was draped in comfortable silk sheets.
Stepping into the shower, the muscled twenty-six-year-old washed and soaped quickly, then stepped out again, towelling himself dry then pulling on a comfy, yet presentable, shirt and pants. He left off the cap and strode briskly out the farm.
Karen waltzed up to him seductively, her cherry-red lips glistening with gloss. Traces of makeup were all over her face—cheeks that seemed too red...neck too white...and (horror of horrors) green eyeliner.
"Hi, Jack," she purred.
"Hi...Karen," he mumbled, feeling very awkward. He sought Rick for help, but the chicken-farmer was simply standing there behind a tree, grinning at him. With the assurance that Jack would not steal Karen, he settled down to watch the green-eyed girl torture his friend with the seductiveness oozing from her. "You...you're wearing a skirt today," he offered feebly.
Jack gulped. Karen was clearly trying hard. She wore a revealing white blouse which bared her navel, and a denim skirt that was way too short. Worse, she wore high-heels...creepy.
"You look very city-girl to me," he replied candidly.
"Is that a compliment, city-boy-turned-farmer?" she teased cutely. Or, at least, tried to tease cutely.
"No. You look like my ex-girlfriend. I hated her. She dropped me as soon as a rich new boy came to school and could shower her with all sorts of gifts."
Karen looked hurt. "Oh, Jack darling," she oozed, "don't be like that. We'd have fun together..."
Jack stormed away in a horrible mood. He hated it when girls fell all over him like that. It was awful to see them all dressed up, trying to catch his attention. As far as he was concerned, no girl who fell all over him would do as a wife. Or maybe, a girl who tried keeping her emotions secret from him would do, to save them from an awkward conversation. Karen was just creepy.
Thank goodness! Popuri! She wouldn't fall over him, he was sure. He turned, relieved...
...only to shriek, "POPURI! WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU WEARING?!"
Popuri's fluffy pink hair was straightened, falling sleekly down her back, and she wore a very cute blouse (pink, duh) and jeans. The horrible thing was, her blouse was way too tight, and it served to horrify poor Jack.
"Popuri, change your clothes right now," he ordered the pink-haired girl. "Get back in your Victorian dress. And don't you ever wear that horrifying thing again!"
Popuri pouted, but pranced away (much to Jack's relief, who prayed she wasn't going to start swaying her hips) to change.
"Elli," he muttered frantically. "Elli must be wearing something normal. Doctor wouldn't let her wear anything ridiculous...I hope."
Praying frantically, he rushed in the Clinic in the hopes of seeing a normal Elli.
Oh Goddess. I'll just turn around very quietly, and creep out of the clinic very quickly, so that she won't have time to jump up and show everything off, he thought faintly.
Elli was dressed in a very tight long-sleeved blouse, and a long skirt. Though it was long, it still showed off her marvelous legs. She clearly put effort in looking gorgeous yet still modest. Makeup adorned her lovely, kindly face, and much effort seemed to have been expanded into making her lips prominent. Doctor was staring at her, unabashed and unashamed.
Jack turned tail and fled.
Ann, then, he said to himself. Ann is a no-nonsense girl, she simply wouldn't wear anything...revealing. He blushed to himself and made his way to the inn.
The wealthy farmer then stopped.
Why are all the girls doing this? Are they all just in love with my money? He pondered this for a while. No, they can't—they can't be in love with my money. It's silliness! All the girls are nice, and they wouldn't rush after me for money...would they?
Pondering this, he entered the inn.
"Hey, what's up, Jack?"
It was Ann. Jack looked up, already very assured she would be wearing her normal clothes.
He cringed. So much for hoping...
Ann was dressed in an athletic-type style. Her hair was in a ponytail, and though wavy because of the long confinement in braids, it was silky. Though not dressed in a girly way (that would've been horrifying), she was still stunning. She wore a sleeveless white shirt and shorts that stopped a few inches from the knee. Surprisingly small sneakers adorned her feet.
"Hey, Ann. I—I came in by mistake...I was lost in thought. Yeah. See you!"
And for the fourth time that day, Jack fairly fled.
He came to a slow stop in front of the library.
The last place, he thought. I do hope Mary's wearing something sensible. I can't bear it if every single eligible turned out wearing au courant clothes.
Slowly, he adjusted his shirt and breathed in deep. His work-toughened hand reached for the handle, and the door creaked open.
Oh sweet Goddess...
"Hello, Jack! Come to read for a bit?"
It was Mary. But not Mary as he would've said Mary was yesterday. Yesterday, Mary would've been just Mary, like Karen would've been just Karen yesterday.
Today, Mary was different...because Mary did not change. She still wore that gloriously normal dress, and her hair was still in that gloriously normal braid.
"Nah, Mary. I just wanted to ask...wanna hang out at my place later tonight?"
A/N: And...CUT! That's a wrap for my oneshot! Sorry if it's short, rushed and sucky. I just wanted this out of my system. Don't flame if it's sucky, 'kay?
I just thought this up when I was trying to brainstorm for Not Good Enough. Don't worry, guys, I'll finish it! I just need some encouragement and ideas, is all. I'll add a sequel to this if you guys really want it. Not enough people appreciate Jack/Mary anymore... *sob* Review, people! You know how an author hungers for reviews, and if she doesn't get any, she feels abandoned and unloved. Don't make this little bespectacled brunette cry! (Yes, I'm brunette and I wear glasses. Weird, huh?) *sniff* If I get a few reviews I'll be so uplifted and delighted. Oh, by the way, I take requests—no slash or femslash or highly-rated fics or pairings I don't like. The first person to review this one will get a oneshot dedicated to them, featuring a pairing you put in the review! Of course, standard rules apply...no slash/femslash/R-rated and up/disliked pairings. I love canon but there are exceptions.
Oh, and by the way, make sure the fic you want written is in the Harvest Moon/Rune Factory category. If you ask for a Rune one you'll find it in the RF category, okay? Much love!!!