Note: Behold, a Secret Santa gift for Emo Cowboy, who requested a parody of the Vaughn/Chelsea fics that depicted an evil Sabrina! I wrote this in one sitting but I actually really like it. It's incredible silly and quite precocious. I hadn't played Island of Happiness in ages so I replayed it a bit and remembered why I enjoyed Sabrina's accountant-y quirks so much. Hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: So, even after a few years, I fail to own the rights to Harvest Moon. How lame is that?
The Subtle Art of Wooing Sabrina
Sabrina had always been a little bit paranoid.
Paranoia, she assured herself, was quite a healthy thing to have in small doses, and if she just so happened to jump at the smallest of shadows, well, at least she'd be prepared the next time a stray cow stampeded through town and almost knocked her over (not that this had ever happened, but still). The point was, Sabrina would be prepared.
And right now, something was definitely happening outside her window. She was unsure what, but something was wrong.
Mark, despite suffering the traumatic experience of being shipwrecked on an island in the middle of nowhere, was surprisingly carefree in comparison. "You're awfully jumpy," he commented, causing the bookkeeper to glance up, blushing.
"Jumpy?" she repeated. "What do you mean?"
"You've been folding that envelope into the tiniest little square I've ever seen."
"Oh, have I?" Sabrina stared at the wrinkled paper blankly. "Well, that's…slightly mortifying."
They had been working together on checking the balances of Regis's mining company for the past six hours. It hadn't been Sabrina's ideal way to spend her winter night, but her father had been ever so insistent on the matter.
"I'd like to go out with you tonight, really, I would," she'd stammered, embarrassed, as Mark stood ready at the door on Starry Night. "But we've just been swamped, it's tax season you know, I'm sorry..."
So Mark, either very bored or very chivalrous, decided balancing a checkbook would be more fun than sitting alone in his house, eating ramen with his pet dog while watching fishing on television.
The thing was, Sabrina would normally be a charming hostess. Since her mother had gone, the determined little lady had rolled up her sleeves and become a master of the culinary arts. She'd bake sugar cakes, tofu dumplings, matsutake rice—just about anything short of curry. Of course, the food alone wouldn't be enough to satisfy her desire to impress. Certainly not. Plates, dishes, and silverware each had their place, and Sabrina would dutifully arrange everything just so. Perhaps she'd light a few candles for ambiance, dare to dangle a bit of mistletoe above the doorway if she felt particularly mischievous. Maybe she'd even sprinkle some potpourri.
Sitting at a bare table, staring bleary-eyed at a staggering stack of papers, hardly seemed as romantic.
"I've having fun," Mark lied, and Sabrina gratefully believed him. "Are you having fun?"
"Oh, yes, bunches," Sabrina lied back.
They smiled, and for a second, neither was lying at all.
The trouble with evil women-stealing folk, of course, was that they were sneaky. Vaughn nodded wisely to himself, lurking outside Sabrina's windowpane, and reminded himself that Mark was a very sneaky fellow indeed to trick poor, innocent Sabrina into letting him into her house.
Vaughn didn't presume to know what was best for Sabrina. That would be silly, of course. Sabrina, with her petite frame, darling doe eyes, and adorable spectacles, simply attracted unsavory men. How could she be held responsible for the wiles of a lonely, desperate, over-eager rancher?
"That bastard," Vaughn seethed, eyeing Mark from the window. The blonde farmer was laughing at something Sabrina had said, causing the beautiful girl to giggle and blush as well. The sight was unbearably cavity-inducing, and Vaughn spat in the grass. Disgusting.
The cowboy was unsure of his game plan just yet. He briefly entertained the notion of challenging Mark to a good old fashioned showdown, but for some reason, his daydreams all ended with his gun misfiring and causing some sort of expensive damages in the village. Those, invariably, led to Sabrina being overworked trying to handle the finances of the whole ordeal, and scolding him.
Even in Vaughn's subconscious, Mark managed to win. That sneaky bastard.
The truth was, Vaughn had hoped to catch Sabrina alone tonight. He had this aloof flair that he found worked wonders on women. The plan, of course, had been to loiter outside her doorway, nonchalantly leaning against the wall whilst staring blankly at the sky. Sabrina would open the door, see Vaughn standing there in a sexy pose, and be so overcome that she'd stammer out something like, "H-hello," Vaughn would crane his head just so and, pretending that he had only just noticed her standing there, say something off-the-cuff like, "Oh. It's Starry Night. There are stars, and stuff, right? I guess we could spend it together, if you want. Y'know, not like I care or anything."
This plan was flawless. Unfortunately, it was actually very easily thwarted by 1) Vaughn's uncanny ability to blend into the shadows of the house, 2) Vaughn's poor timing for falling backwards on his own ridiculous cowboy boot heels, and 3) Mark's great timing for knocking on the door and saying, "Hi, Sabrina, do you want to spend the evening together?"
It was like he knew when Vaughn would be at his most vulnerable. Vaughn expected that, though. Nothing could come easily for him, he'd learned that early on as a child, and of course he'd finally found the one woman who could complete him, and she was busy completing Mark's payroll like some kind of financial floozy.
It wasn't her fault, though. Sabrina swooned for numbers. Vaughn forgave her, but then again, he always did. Selfless, wonderful man that he was, Vaughn forgave her for her betrayal every time. Even though it killed him inside.
Vaughn shut his eyes, fighting back tears, and turned back to watch his beautiful Sabrina smile at the horrible hellish man who had stolen Vaughn's only joy in life.
"You're so good at this!" Sabrina exclaimed as Mark showed off his completed work. "Goodness, I could just hire you as an assistant full-time!"
"Oh, gee, wouldn't that be swell," Mark said, rolling his eyes with a laugh. "Numbers are so great, right?"
"They're quite orderly and precise," Sabrina agreed, swooning with mock awe. "Exquisite, really." She burst into a fit of giggles, covering her mouth with her hand. "My, time is just flying! Would you care for a cup of tea, Mark? I've been keeping you terribly late."
Mark, hands in his pockets, furrowed his brow in thought. "Y'know, I would, but why don't we take a break? You look exhausted."
Sabrina, blinking red eyes and wringing ink-stained hands, sputtered. "Exhausted? M-me, exhausted! Oh, hardly, I'm merely focused on work." To be fair, she had been more focused on the startling color of Mark's eyes, and that charming dimple in his cheek that showed every time he smiled. Either way, she was focusing very hard on the task at hand, and had actually been ignoring the creepy silhouette in the window for at least an hour.
Which is precisely why Sabrina screamed when a crash sounded from the northern wall.
Vaughn, nose pressed to the glass, hadn't expected to be shoved straight through the open windowpane. Furthermore, he hadn't expected to have someone whack him on the back of his head with a heavy cane, shouting, "Stay away from my daughter, you vile pervert!"
He stared up at Sabrina's horrified face from inside the house. His angel looked startled, and overcome with a desire to assuage her fears, Vaughn raised a single, bloody hand to caress her cheek—
"Good Goddess, Vaughn!" the bookkeeper shrieked, slapping his hand away in terror. "What are you doing here!"
It was a valid question, Vaughn had to admit, but his go-to response of, "Nothing, really," fell flat, for once.
Regis, dusting off his cape, tipped his cane genteelly towards Mark, who stared open-mouthed at the shenanigans going on at the window. "Sorry to bother you two," Regis stated coolly, eyeing Vaughn with unconcealed loathing. "I arrived later than I had expected, and encountered some rubbish in need of disposing."
"F-father, Vaughn is stuck in our window!" Sabrina blurted out, covering her face in shame.
"Vaughn…is stuck in your window," Mark repeated, unable to form a coherent thought just yet.
"So what?" Vaughn replied, valiantly attempting to appear nonchalant and mysterious while jammed in place. "I can be stuck in a window if I want, you got a problem with it?"
"Think of all the damages we'll have to file!" Sabrina sobbed, and Mark moved to comfort her, putting his arms around her tiny shoulders. "Oh, and I had so liked that window, too!"
Vaughn could feel his insides contorting with rage as Mark moved his hand up and down Sabrina's small back, her tear-streaked face buried in the jackass's shoulder. Pretty soon, Vaughn felt pain both literally and figuratively as Regis smacked him once more with the cane, hissing, "My daughter is too good for you, ranching scum. Get off my property at once."
"Mark has a ranch, too," Vaughn managed, again playing the indifferent badass card.
"And yet, he does not lie wedged in my expensive window, spying upon my one and only daughter."
Vaughn dipped his hat low over his eyes, still unable to look cool in his current predicament. "Well. Uh. I can't…" He grimaced. "I can't move."
"So wiggle a little," Mark offered, Sabrina blubbering in his arms.
Vaughn scoffed; he did not wiggle.
"We can get butter and slather it all over you," the blonde continued in a helpful tone. "That works with rings that get stuck on your finger, you know—"
"Fine, I'll wiggle, dammit!" Vaughn snarled, and for the next five minutes, he endeavored to do so.
There were many lessons learned this night. Sabrina learned to never feel comfortable in her own home, Mark learned that finances were far more adventurous than Sabrina had ever led him to believe, Vaughn learned that butter was impossible to get out of his fancy leather vest, and Regis learned that it was always a good idea to spy on your daughter's suitors to determine who was naughty or nice.