A/N: SORRY THIS TOOK SO LONG! *bows*
DISCLAIMER: I Do Not Own Harvest Moon. But I do own Noir and Blanc.
Black (Epilogue Part One)
"Mine, mine!" Shrieked a blonde little girl.
She tugged harshly at a big, purple teddy bear in attempt to wrench it away from a red headed boy, but her struggle ended up futile. The boy was a lot stronger than she is.
"Give it a rest, Blanc." The older boy replied as he pulled the toy out of the girl's tiny hands, "I already told you; this bear is really important!"
Blanc stared at the boy, her mouth quivering. She looked down at the ground and sniffed. She doesn't want cry. Of course she doesn't! She's a big girl now... But if her big brother keeps being mean to her then...
Blanc's big brother raised a thin eyebrow at her. "Buu? What does that-"
But before he could ask his question, Blanc snapped her head up to her brother, tears welling up in her eyes. Then, like how the boy predicted in his head, she began howling like an irritating duck.
"Wahh, waaah, waaaaaah!" Sobbed Blanc, "Mean, mean, mean! Brother is being mean to me! I hate you Noir, I hate you! I'll tell this to momma!"
And then, with a hard slap on Noir's chest, Blanc turned on her heels and sped through the big farm named 'Happy'.
Noir rolled his eyes at his sister. "Yeah, like I care!" He yelled after his crying sister.
After being left alone with the cows, Noir lifted up the purple teddy bear and stared at its beady eyes. "We couldn't afford to make you dirty... After all, you're mom's favourite possession..." He caressed the fuzzy texture of the bear and then smiled, "Well, maybe second to dad, of course." He followed-up and gave a chuckle.
"You're wrong..." An angelic voice started.
Noir whipped his head towards the source and smiled genuinely. It was their mother, Rionella.
Rio returned his smile with a warmer one and continued to what she was saying. "...Old bear ranks four in my 'dearest list'." She spun; her white dress fluttering around her like a beautiful flower, and beamed at Noir. "And guess what? The people named Allen Christopher, Allen Noir, and Ellan Blanc are all tied on the rank two spot, since I couldn't seem to love one of them more than the rest..."
"Oh, who could those people be? I'm so jealous." Noir replied with a mocking tone.
Rio pouted and crossed her arms. "What's with that tone, young man?" She then put on a disciplining face, but it was wiped out immediately by Noir's laugh. Rio looked shock for a second but laughed. "What's so funny?" She asked with a smile.
Noir looked up to meet his mother's eyes and simpered. "Well, it's just that it doesn't suit you, mom..." He straightened up, but his smile still lingered on his face. "You look too young to be taken seriously, mom. You could do better if only you looked like an old lady; which don't even look close to." He raised both his hands in a 'whatever' fashion and shook his head while keeping his hands up to shoulder level. "How unfortunate."
Rio stared at his son in awe. "Hey Noir, how old are you again?"
Noir cocked his head to the left and raised an eyebrow. "What? You're my mother and yet you can't remember my age? How could you forget a detail that proves my existence?" He sighed a heavy one and continued. "Very well, then. I shall enlighten you with my age. Mother, I am currently at the age of five." He finished and bowed.
Rio stared at his son in disbelief. "I see you've inherited a certain person's attitude..." She lowered her tone into a whisper. "Like father like son..."
Before Noir could answer, a familiar voice rang throughout the place.
"OY, Noir! Come here, you big raccoon!" Said the ever so cocky tone of a man named Allen Christopher, the father of Noir and Blanc.
Rio shifted her gaze towards the newly present man; her eyes softened. Twenty-foot from her stood the most handsome red-haired man she knew. The same silky hair, the same towering height, the same normally built body (though his muscles seem more defined than when he was in his early twenties), the same neck, the same perfectly chiseled face, the same beautiful sapphire eyes, the same luscious lips... Oh, how she would love to put her pair on top of his...
"Little ugly duckling," ('You look like him. A lot like him.' Rio thought.) "Did you already milk the cows? Ah, but don't panic if didn't manage to. I know they love me more than you. I wouldn't be surprised if they kicked you to their dung." The older Allen said with a smug look on his face.
Noir looked back at his father with one eyebrow raised. "What? The cows love you more than they love me? Dad, last time I checked, Melody chased you out of the barn. And what's up with your appearance? You look atrocious."
And sure enough, though Rio overlooked the fact earlier, her husband looked like he just got back from a long journey. He looked like a considerable amount of energy just washed away from him; his eyes looked tired. And his hair appeared disheveled, though he's currently doing his best to comb it with his hand. Rio sighed, he definitely didn't look like he went back from work. Did he ditch it? That's rare, especially since it's Friday; his busy at work day.
"Ah, nevermind that, Noir. Let' just eat, alright?" He dropped his hand to his side with an exhale of breath. "Now, where's Blanc?"
Noir stared at his father fixedly for a while, but then shifted his gaze to the left; where the bushes of Strawberry are growing steadily. What should he say? He's pretty much sure that his father will scold him if he admitted that he made her cry and runaway... But then again, he was raised as an honest boy in an honest family, and he's nowhere near the idea of staining that pride.
"She ran away. I reckon she's in the animal dealer's house now, crying her eyes out on Dan's shoulder."
Allen, after listening to Noir's statement, raised a hand to fix his glasses; his eyes closed and deep in thought. "Whatever horrible thing did you do to her again?" He asked, a mild exasperated sigh escaping his lips while he did.
"It's her own fault. She attempted to bring old bear inside the chicken coop again. I told her mom will get angry, but she didn't listen." Noir replied, still looking at the ground.
Allen gave a dry smile. "You two never grow up." He said.
Allen shook his head a little and crossed his arms. He inhaled the scent of the air, which includes the fresh aroma of vegetables and grasses, fruity... fruits, sweet flowers, and the mixed scent of the sunshine and livestock. He pictured Rio standing there, laughing and singing for both the animals and the crops. He opened his eyes and smiled; his wife's really beautiful.
"Dad?" Noir started.
Allen snapped out of his thoughts and smirked. "What, a perfect man like me can't appreciate the fragrance of nature?"
Noir stared at his father for a while, and then turned his attention to his mother instead. "Yeah... right. Anyway, don't you have other things to do, dad?"
With that, Allen's smirk turned into a look of realization. He chuckled a little. "Ah yes, that's right. The lunch portion contributed by the greatest and most handsome cook in the world: the Magnificent Allen Christopher-not Noir- Marquart." He stated with a bow and continued, "And so, will the little me fetch his sister for our dine?"
"Alright. But father, could you let mom cook our food? I want to eat her cooking again." He said, his gaze staring at Rio with admiration.
Allen flinched a little, but it was too small a movement for someone to even notice it. After just a split second, he relaxed and straightened up. "Ah, yes. I'll do that." He agreed and looked at where Noir had been staring at earlier-Noir's staring at his father now- and flashed a loving smile. "Of course, of course. Let's go, my love. I'll be in charge of making the dessert, your favourite Choco Lava, and you'll make the main dish." He turned around. "Let's go?" He asked and went inside the house without waiting for her.
But upon hearing Choco Lava, though, Noir observed that his mother didn't show any sign of excitement and instead, looked at the ground with a sad smile before going after Allen inside the house.
"Uwaaaah! D-dan! Brother... is being m-m-mean to me! I really just w-want to... Waaaah! Old bear, old bear! I want old bear! Huuuhuuu!" Blanc wailed as she sobbed desperately onto the shirt of Danver, the son of Daniel "Neil" Lewis and Felicity Pratchett.
Dan hugged Blanc tight and rubbed her back, all the while glaring at the cow doodle-which looked like a bench with eyes more than anything-that he drew a month ago on their red brick wall. "What? Why is your brother so rude to you? He's always bullying you!" He paused for a moment, then thought of something than made him grin mischievously. "Want me to throw him cow dungbombs for you?"
Before Blanc could shake her head to indicate a yes, though, the door of their house suddenly burst open, revealing a very handsome read headed boy standing by the doorway; with the sunrays accenting his features. He turned his head towards the pair, and the two stared back at him with furious looks staining their cute faces.
"You!" Dan started, sneering at Noir. "Apol-"
"Cow dungbombs? Try it, mate." He interrupted Dan with a bored tone. He then peeled his eyes off the four year-old boy and landed them on his three year-old sister's tiny figure. "You're coming home with me, Blanc."
Blanc moved a hastily behind Dan. She then peeked a little, with what's visible of her cute face filled with hate. "Why should I-"
"Mom's cooking." Noir interrupted.
Blanc seemed to be angry at first for being interrupted, but her expression immediately turned into mild shock, and then into complete happiness. "Ehh?! Mom is?" She giggled and stepped out from behind Dan and clapped her hands in delight. "That's awesome, big bro!" She walked towards Noir, leaving Dan staring at her in disbelief. "Let's goooo!"
"Alright. Allow the handsome prince to escort his beautiful princess to our kingdom; away from the disgusting den of a lowly beast." He said and smirked at Dan, who in turn snarled at him.
Noir shifted uncomfortably, his legs brushing against the uneven texture of the grass. "I thought it would be a normal lunch..." He paused and then looked at all the foods placed artistically on a checkered blanket. He then closed his eyes, his lips curling into a frown. "... Why did it turn out to be a picnic?"
"Oh come on, Noir! This is fun!" Blanc said cheerfully while stuffing her mouth with all the food she could force in.
"Blanc, that's big bro. And Noir, can't you appreciate nature once in a while? Your mom loved eating here." Allen said and then took a bite from his Genovese sandwich- a recipe formulated by Rio herself.
"I don't care if mom loves doing this." He looked at his mother who was now pouting at him. He ignored her and continued. "I'm just sick of being here every single day, taking care of the livestock and all that. It's just too customary."
"Mum newvah confwaished! (Mom never complained!)" Blanc said brightly, her mouth fuller than earlier.
Noir glared at his sister. "Well, that's because-"
"Your mother was perfect." Allen interrupted, his voice a lot more gentle than usual.
Noir and Blanc looked at him. It's very rare for their father to talk like that; much more praise anybody. But there's still something odd... Noir noticed that his father's speaking in past tense.
"She works hard, and you won't hear her nagging about how hard her work is. And mind you, managing the farm all by herself every single day is one hell of a task!" He paused, and then gave out a small laugh. "I admired her so much... She was like a princess, at the same time a soldier. Mighty strong, that woman was." He paused and then looked at his half eaten sandwich. "Every bachelor here loved her... It was almost a miracle that she chose me over any of them."
The siblings stopped eating and were listening intently to what their father was sharing. It was as if he was reminiscing; Allen Christopher is not a person to publicly dwell on the past, and he's definitely not the type to fill his recollection-of-memories sharing with positive praises. This is a very rare happening indeed.
Noir opened his mouth to speak, but before he could let out a single word, his father interrupted him first.
"Ahh, but praising Rionella Rachel Tomlinson-Marquart won't do any good. Now would it, my love?" He asked and nodded at where Blanc had been starting at dreamily.
With that, Noir raised an eyebrow at his father suspiciously. "Dad, where are you nodding at? You know well that mother's beside you." He said a matter-of-fact.
Allen looked at his son like he just pointed out that Allen's hair was red. "What? Of course I know, young one." He took a sip from his glass of pineapple juice before continuing. "I just merely acknowledged Blanc's fondness of sheep." He stopped drinking and put the glass down before grabbing a container of herb soup. "And also, if I stare at your mother's face too much, she might get so charmed and hyperventilate so badly that we would need to bring her to the clinic. But if that happens, I claim no sin. I know I'm that irresistible."
With that, Rio laughed and slapped Allen's shoulder. But he acted like nothing happened; as if what she did was only a breeze of the wind. "Why are you still at that, you idiot? Want me to punch you?" She asked, and then showed him her fists with playful threat.
But again, Allen showed no interest in what she was saying or anything like that. He just acted like nothing reached his ears.
Noir looked at Blanc, but she was so into staring at the flock of sheep that she didn't even pay attention to her parents' weird actions. But then he thought: Why was he only minding that now? Why was he only noticing these nowadays when they already frequently acted like each other didn't exist ever since Blanc was born? Noir kept thinking, but came up with only one logical explanation; his parents aren't agreeing on something... But what is it?
"Dad, wasn't mommy asking you somethin'?" Blanc asked, which made Noir turn his head; he didn't know Blanc was paying attention.
"Hmm?" Allen asked, still eating his herb soup. He put it down first before continuing. "What did you say again, my love?"
Rio pouted and looked to her right. "I hate you..." She murmured.
After she finished her sentence, Allen gave a hearty laugh and sighed a small one. "I love you too~" He cooed and gave a kiss to his left.
Noir raised his eyebrow once again suspiciously. "Dad, where do you think are you kissing? Mom's at your right!" He yelled before flicking his index finger to Allen's right side.
"I know. I was trying to make you laugh. What kind of father am I if I can't even make my children smile?" He answered and took a deep breath. He released that breath and looked at his son like he was a weird clown. "You think I can't see her or something?" He asked and chuckled.
Noir was taken aback. As smart as he is, he couldn't seem to answer that question logically. "Well..." He started, but was discontinued once again by his father.
"Oh well. It seems like everybody is finished with main courses. Now, shall we have dessert?" Allen said.
Allen then stacked up the empty containers and placed them neatly onto one side, and then replaced the now empty spaces with small plates and a large container holding his famed Choco Lava. He took one small plate to his left hand and used his right to slice a piece off of the cake; the rich chocolate syrup pouring out as he did so. After successfully placing a fraction on the plate, he offered it to Rio with a smile.
"Here, my love, your favourite." Allen said and placed the plate of cake in front of her.
Rio grinned at her husband. "Thank you very much!" She said happily and leaned over to kiss his cheek. Allen grinned at her.
Blanc was observing them and she, too, beamed. Then, she moved her stare to her brother, who was examining the couple intently. "Noir," She whispered to him, which made him look at her. "You're looking into it too much. Stop worrying yourself."
Noir peeled his eyes off his sister and to their parents again. "Yeah..." He whispered back. "Maybe I am..."
WELP, that's part 1 for you! Sorry it took ages... I was busy with review classes. I hope I can finish part 2 early. Anyway, after part 2, this will be over and my next story will be published.
VOTING IS STILL GOING! Go to my page and pick the story you want to read next, guys! ^w^