Title: Gold Digger

World: Rune Factory 2

Characters: Kyle, Aria, Douglas

Words: 755

Author's Note: This is what becomes of Douglas's lunches and Kyle's worthless snacks. I'm sure everyone's done this.

Disclaimer: I don't own Rune Factory or the characters mentioned.

Kyle took in a deep breath of fresh air. He was currently standing beside his field, admiring his and Aria's handiwork.

"She did such a great job by herself," Kyle said quietly to himself, referring to the field covered in ruby strawberries, emerald cabbage, and plump, pink melons.

It had been almost a year since Aria had brought him back from the Forest of Beginnings, and he had never been more proud of his little girl.

Not only did she do that, but she also made excellent grades in school, according to his wife, Mana. The next morning after Mana came home from the school, she told him all about how Aria was at the top of her cooking class, how she had helped Leann learn to sew, and the beautiful, well-crafted rings and pendants she made. She even told him about how she excelled in forging, according to Barrett.

Ever since then, Aria had decided to treat her father to her cooking, and brought him a dish she made in class for the day. Because of the time of the day, said dish would always be his lunch or dinner, and he'd reward her with a little treat. She had yet to show up today, though.

He was checking the ripeness of a nearby pink melon when Douglas strolled up to the shipping bin to collect the products. He grunted to Kyle in greeting and opened the lid to the shipping bin and grimaced.

"Dammit, that girl's done it again! I oughta quit doin' her favors!" Douglas snapped, dropping the lid again. Kyle looked at him curiously.

"What? Are you talking about Aria?"

"Who else, boy? I call myself doin' my little girl a favor by bringin' her lunch, and she just drops it in here every day!"

Kyle furrowed his brow and walked over to the box and peered in. He blanched at what he saw.

Inside the shipping bin, today's harvest of strawberries was sitting in the bottom. That wasn't what upset Kyle, though. On top of the strawberries, there was an upside-down bowl, with what looked to be curry running over the strawberries. Kyle looked back up at his father-in-law.

"Is that what you gave her this afternoon? Why would she throw it in here?"

"Damn if I know," Douglas grumbled, quickly trying to clean the strawberries of the curry.

"It's not like her to be so wasteful," Kyle said more to himself than to Douglas.

Douglas shrugged. "I'll just make her somethin' less expensive, I guess. I ain't goin' to be throwin' away money to get these ingredients if she's just gonna throw it in here for gold." With that being said, he closed the lid and sauntered back to the store with the clean strawberries and the curry bowl, leaving Kyle to his pondering.

About an hour later, Aria came leaping down the steps beside the farmhouse, carefully handling a steaming plate of fried lover snapper, freshly caught that afternoon. When she got to the bottom of the steps, she spotted her dad and slowed to a walk over to him, smiling when he turned to her.

"Hi Dad! Look what I caught!" She chirped, presenting him with the fish.

"That's nice, Aria. You're really getting good at fishing!" He exclaimed with pride. Her grin got even bigger.

"Thanks Daddy! It's a lover snapper, and it's really hard to cook. I made it for you! Here!" She thrust the plate into his hands.

"Thanks Aria, I'm proud of you. Wait here a sec. I'm going to take this in the house, and get you a little something," Kyle said while walking in the house, leaving a happy Aria outside.

Once he got inside, he set the fried fish on the table, and got a plate of pudding Mana had made this morning out of the fridge. He then headed back out the door, and handed the plate to Aria, who giggled with glee.

"Thanks Dad!"

Kyle was pleased with her reaction, until she dropped it in the shipping bin with a 'splat!' then headed into the house to prepare for bed, or at least that's what she should do. It was her bedtime, six in the evening.

It took a while for Kyle to recover after that. Now he knew why Douglas was so mad about it. He shook his head. Well, there was nothing he could do about it now, what with Aria heading to bed.

"I'll have to talk to her about that tomorrow," Kyle thought irritably.