Disclaimer: Harvest Moon does not belong to me.


Damaged Goods

"Ugh, what are you brewing?" Akari asked, stumbling backwards and covering her nose.

"Tch, you humans have no taste," the Witch muttered as she dipped a clear cup into the bubbling cauldron. "I'll have you know that something like this can be sold for more than you make in an entire year."

Taking one look at the lumpy black substance, the farmer decided to talk the Witch out of poisoning herself. "If you want something to drink, I can make you some juice."

"I'm not thirsty," the Witch replied, rolling her eyes and hopping off the stool beside the giant cauldron.

"Then what –ouch!" The farmer yelped as the Witch plucked a strand of hair off Akari's head.

"It's been really boring lately," the Witch complained, dropping the hair into the cup. She tilted the cup back and forth. Appearing satisfied, the Witch placed the cup onto the table and turned to face the farmer. "So I thought of a way to entertain myself."

Rubbing her skull, Akari looked warily at the Witch. "If that's the case, I'll just give you this Fugue Mushroom and leave."

"What? You can't leave so soon," the Witch cried, frowning at the farmer. "I need you here. What kind of friend are you?"

"A sensible friend," Akari answered as she dug through her rucksack for the mushroom. "My husband probably wouldn't like it if I came home without all my appendages intact."

Akari shivered as she felt the glare drilling into the back of her head intensify tenfold upon the mention of her husband. Honestly, they both acted like children around one another. Holding the sparkling mushroom in her hand, the farmer turned to the Witch.

"Take this, and please stop glaring at me," Akari said, holding out the rare object. The intensity of the Witch's golden eyes lessened but the silver-haired being still appeared slightly upset.

"Fine, run back to your husband," the Witch sniffled. "You never have time for me now that you're married."

The Witch proceeded to sulk and sigh loudly, glancing pitifully at Akari every now and then.

The farmer raked her fingers through her hair as she considered her options. It probably wouldn't be wise to leave the Witch. Then again, staying here didn't sound too promising either. Sighing, the farmer took one look at the Witch and decided that if she planned on getting sleep tonight, it was best if she stayed. They were friends after all. "Fine, what do you want?"

"Excellent," the Witch laughed, her eyes glinting victoriously. Pulling Akari to the round, well decorated table, the Witch forced the farmer to take a seat. Dropping onto the seat facing Akari, the silver-haired woman pushed a teacup in front of the farmer and started pouring her a drink.

"What is this?" Akari asked, picking up the small, delicate cup and examining the cherry-coloured liquid. She gave the liquid a sniff and was greeted with the scent of cherry flavoured candy.

"Why do you need to ask?" Witch asked sweetly.

"Because you just said you found a way to entertain yourself."

"I won't poison you," the Witch said, sounding offended that the farmer had even considered such an idea. Scowling, the Witch tossed her hair over her shoulder. "What's the fun in seeing you lying unconscious on the floor in the middle of my house?"

"I don't know," the farmer huffed. Despite the Witch's assurance, Akari couldn't help but imagine the Witch cackling with glee as she lay unconscious on the floor. For some reason, her imagination also couldn't help but add the image of the Witch dancing happily around her body in some sort of victory dance. Coughing into her fist, the farmer turned her attention to the drink on the table.

"Just drink it," the Witch said, crossing her arms in annoyance. "It won't kill you."

Akari continued to look dubiously at the cup. The pink liquid sloshed harmlessly against the sides of the cup. In her opinion, it appeared too harmless. It was unnatural for something given to her from Witch to look that harmless. Akari sighed as she met the Witch's expectant gaze.

"Will it turn me into a weird creature?" she asked wearily.

"No."

"Will it force me to tell the truth to whatever question you ask?"

"No. But I would like to be able to make a potion like that."

"Will it make me do something against my will?"

"No."

"Will it make my body grow extra limbs?"

"No. Have you covered everything yet?" the Witch asked impatiently, tapping her foot.

"What does it do then?"

The Witch's golden eyes gazed seriously into Akari's. "It quenches your thirst and tastes good."

"..."

An awkward silence filled the small cottage, punctuated by the disturbing bubbling noises from the cauldron on the other side of the room.

"Oh," Akari mumbled quietly, her cheeks pink with embarrassment. She turned the cup in her hands. "Er, thanks."

The farmer took a small sip. The liquid had a strong hint of cherry, though it seemed to have been mixed with other herbs, creating a taste that wasn't quite sweet or bitter.

The Witch was silent as Akari awkwardly sipped the liquid. The silver-haired woman sat primly on the other chair, gazing disinterestedly out the window. Crickets began to chirp, and the farmer wondered if the Witch was angry with her.

"I'm sorry, alright?" the farmer announced, placing the cup on the table. "It's a nice drink."

The Witch continued with the silent treatment and Akari fidgeted guiltily in her seat.

"I really am sorry. You're my friend after all. I shouldn't have assumed that you've done funny things to my beverages to entertain yourself because you were –oomph!"

Akari toppled off the chair and found herself sprawled on the cold, wooden floor. The farmer winced, trying to get up only to find that she was unable to move any of her suddenly heavy limbs.

"What..." the woman's eyes widened as she heard soft snickers coming from the Witch. "What did you put into my drink?"

"I just added a paralyzing potion," the Witch replied airily.

Akari glared up at the Witch as she tried unsuccessfully to move her limbs.

"I thought you didn't get any pleasure from having unconscious farmers sprawled in the middle of your living room floor."

"You're not unconscious, are you?" the Witch asked as she picked up the cup filled with the black liquid from earlier. "Besides, I'm not looking at you to provide the entertainment. I just need you to stay here."

Smirking mischievously, the Witch swallowed the suspicious black liquid. For a moment nothing happened and Akari wondered if the Witch had indeed managed to poison herself. That would have been unfortunate as the only person that could get help was currently lying on the floor, completely paralyzed.

The farmer blinked as she watched the Witch's silver hair slowly shorten and darken into a chestnut brown. Akari's jaw dropped as she finally realized what the Witch was doing. Within a few more seconds, the Witch's body had completely changed to mirror Akari's image. At this point, the farmer was torn between relief of seeing that the Witch didn't poison herself and outrage of realizing what the Witch actually planned on doing for entertainment.

The Witch giggled as she spun around, examining the disguise.

"This is going to be fun! Hm... I can't walk around dressed like this though," the Witch muttered as she pulled at the black and white outfit on her body, which was currently too tight. She slowly turned to look at the farmer, a wide grin spreading across her face. "You won't mind if I borrow your clothes for a while, do you?"

"I do mind," Akari shouted, finally getting over the shock of seeing herself giggling a few feet away. "You're not going to take my clothes and—"

And fifteen minutes later, Akari found herself lying on the cold wooden floor in the Witch's house in only her underwear.

"That's the last time I visit you!" Akari shouted.

The Witch rolled her eyes as she exited the house. Akari will get over it. Humans tend to forget things –she'll just give Akari a few weeks and if she doesn't return, she'll sneak a memory-altering potion or something into the farmer's food.

Stopping in front of Akari's house, the Witch grinned widely.

"Hehe, this will teach him. How dare he steal Akari away from me!" the Witch said, rubbing her hands together.

Confidently opening the door, the Witch was greeted with the sight of the Wizard calmly reading a book on the dining table. The man raised his head upon hearing the door opening and smiled softly.

The Witch blinked. So he did have more than one facial expression. After centuries of staring at his ugly stoic face, she had begun to think that his facial muscles weren't working properly. Well, she could scratch that theory –it seemed that he was just being a jerk.

"You're home... early... today."

The Witch crossed her arms as she walked across the room and sat in the chair opposite of the Wizard, where she proceeded to glare at him. Tilting his head, Akari's husband closed his book and gazed worriedly at the Witch.

"Did... something happen?"

"I'm hungry. Make me something to eat," the Witch demanded.

"Alright... what... do you want?" he asked calmly, getting up from his seat.

"Blackberry ice-cream. And be quick about it," she snapped.

The Wizard gazed concernedly at the Witch once more before heading towards the kitchen. As he searched through the fridge for the ingredients, the Witch leaned back on the hind legs of the chair and admired Akari's house. It was pretty big, considering that there were only two people occupying it. The house was extremely tidy too. Perhaps she should ask Akari to clean her house… after she forgot about this incident. Shifting her weight so that all four legs of the chair were back on the ground, the Witch tapped a finger on the table. Perhaps it was the cleanliness and size of the house, but it seemed unnaturally empty.

"Hey."

"Hmm?" the man asked, turning around to gaze at the Witch, probably expecting her to tell him the reason for her snappy behaviour.

"Why don't we have children yet?" the Witch asked. She liked children. Akari should have some and bring the child to visit her.

The Wizard nearly dropped the jug of milk in his hand. A blush spread rapidly across his cheeks as he stared at anything but the Witch. At the moment, the floor appeared to have gained his undivided attention.

"These… things… take time," he finally managed to say, his face burning with embarrassment.

The Witch tapped a finger to her chin. Actually, she remembered Akari mentioning a discussion about having children with her husband a while back. Why haven't they had children yet? Even the couples that had been married after Akari had begun to start a family. The Witch raised an eyebrow as she stared at the Wizard.

"… Yes?" he asked, seeming to have regained some of his composure.

"Maybe you're impotent."

This time the Wizard did drop the milk and the Witch had to resist dropping on the floor and laughing upon seeing his horrified expression. His face was burning with embarrassment once again and he was gaping wordlessly at the Witch. The Witch breathed out deeply, trying to keep control of her inner laughter, while appearing as if she was sighing in disappointment.

"It's probably natural," the Witch continued, lacing concern into her voice. She made a show of looking over the Wizard. "I mean… you are pretty old."

The bag of sugar in his other hand slid to the floor, joining the spilled milk.

"What… I…" The Wizard appeared completely flustered as he grasped for words.

She tilted her head to the side, examining the wordless Wizard.

"We should schedule an appointment with Doctor Jin to have you examined," she said in a serious tone. The Witch forced her face to appear as grim as possible –which was actually painfully difficult at this point.

If there had been anything else in the Wizard's hand right now, she was sure he would have dropped that as well at this point. Instead, it appeared as if he wanted to disappear into the floor.

"No… I… not… necessary…" the Wizard appeared to have momentarily lost his ability to speak in coherent sentences –not that he was able to do that particularly well in the first place. Grimacing, the Wizard stared at the floor, which suddenly seemed really interesting.

"Suit yourself," the Witch sighed, leaning back in the chair once again as if she hadn't attempted to scar the Wizard for life. He was still looking at his feet and the Witch had to double check to see if there was actually something interesting lying on the floor. There was nothing but sugar and milk. Akari wouldn't like that. "You should clean up that mess you made."

The Wizard nodded mutely as turned to grab a broom to sweep up the mess. He tripped over his own feet a few times, his mind clearly somewhere else. It was difficult to discern his thoughts as he had shifted his bangs so that they hid his eyes.

"I still want my ice cream," the Witch called. The Witch placed her chin in her palm as she watched the Wizard wonder around the kitchen for a couple more minutes. "You're clumsy today. That's unacceptable. Do you know how difficult it was to get that milk and sugar you dropped?"

As the ice cream was being mixed, the Wizard glared at ice cream maker as if "Akari's" sudden change in behaviour was its fault.

"Here… is your ice cream," he said, placing the bowl of dessert in front of the Witch.

"Why does it taste so bad?" the Witch questioned.

"..."

"What?"

"… You haven't… even tasted it… yet," the Wizard answered.

"I can tell that it tastes bad just by looking at that pathetic excuse for a dessert."

"…" He gazed down at the Witch, his eyes not quite forming a glare, though he didn't appear too pleased either. "I'm going… for a walk."

Not waiting for a reply, Akari's husband swept out of the house. As the door clicked close, the Witch waited for a moment then started laughing until tears appeared in her eyes. She should have done this earlier. Taking a deep breath, the Witch pushed herself up from the chair.

"What to do now?" she murmured, taking a look around the house. Perhaps she could dye Wizard's clothes pink while he was gone. The Witch imagined the Wizard skipping through town in pink robes and burst out laughing once again. He deserved it for leaving her alone in this house with no form of entertainment after all.

Peeking through Akari's fridge, the Witch picked out some red herbs. Turning to her left, the Witch noticed a dye pot.

"This is too easy," she smirked as she dumped the herbs into the dye pot.

Spinning around, the Witch walked over to the large cabinet, grabbed all clothes she saw that belonged to the Wizard and tried to stuff them into the dye pot.

"Akari needs to buy bigger pots," the Witch huffed as she struggled with pushing a pair of pants into the pot. Glaring at the pair of pants, the Witch dropped it onto the floor and stomped on it. "Even your clothes are difficult. Whatever, I'll dye them one at a time."

Picking up the ice cream that the Wizard had made, the Witch ate while destroying his clothes. What could be more satisfying? After dying half of the Wizard's wardrobe pink, the Witch grew bored.

Leaving the pile of clothes to sit in the corner of the kitchen, the Witch strolled around the house, gazing at the pictures that lined some of Akari's walls. She furrowed her brow as she noted the happy smiles in the pictures with Akari and the Wizard. She stopped in front of the picture of the couple's wedding.

Gazing silently at their loving expressions, the Witch felt something painful gather at the bottom of her stomach. This relationship wouldn't end well. Akari would grow old while the Wizard remained unchanged. They would both suffer. She sadly wondered how long their happiness would last.

"That... was one of the happiest days... of my life..."

The Witch gasped as she felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around her waist. When did he return?

"Wh—what are you doing?"

The Wizard leaned forward and placed his chin on her shoulder. His soft gray-hair brushed against her cheeks and his warm breath sent shivers down her spine. "I didn't realize... that you wanted... children so much... I'm sorry... if I made you upset..."

"Wh- what?" the Witch asked, completely flustered. He was too close. She could feel his warm body against her back and his arms were too tight.

"Finn... isn't here... so..."

The Witch's face turned tomato red upon realizing the Wizard's intentions.

"No, no, that's fine!" she squeaked.

"Besides..." he whispered, his lips near her ears. "We wouldn't want... the townspeople... to start rumours... regarding my ability to copulate..."

The Witch was having trouble breathing at this point.

"Just relax..." he murmured, his breath caressing her ear.

"Wh—what are you planning to do?"

Grinning, the Wizard whispered some very disturbing things into her ear.

The Witch promptly fainted.


"... what did you do to her?" Akari's concerned voice slowly drew Witch out of her unconscious state.

The Witch opened her eyes. Blinking at the unfamiliar ceiling above her, she realized that she was in Akari's house. The large bed shifted underneath her as she moved. Turning her head, she saw the farmer by the door dressed... in what appeared to be her purple curtains.

"What I did... to her... was minor in comparison... to what she did to me..."

Growling, the Witch threw the blankets off her body and marched over to the two. Akari jumped in surprise upon seeing the expression on her friend's face and guiltily clutched more tightly onto the curtains.

"Minor?" she screamed at the back of Wizard's head. "MINOR?"

The Wizard blinked as he turned to face the raging Witch, who was back in her original form.

Upon seeing his face the Witch stopped and turned bright red as the unwanted memories of his hot whispers quickly returned. Disturbing images filled her mind and proceeded to burn her eyes.

His lips twitched as he saw her horrified expression.

"Would you like me to... help you... with anything?" he asked.

"Y-you stay away from me!" the Witch shouted. Her face burning red, the Witch scrambled out the door.

The Wizard resisted the urge to burst out laughing. He had a feeling that the Witch wouldn't be able to look him in the face for a few centuries.