Saibara dies. Will Yuna heal Gray's heart?
Anyway I do not OWN Harvest Moon More Friends of Mineral Town, Natsume or any game character assosiated with the two.
Yuna is mine though....
Now that the boring details is out of the way...
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SCENES OF EXTREME FLUFFYNESS. (and slight perverted themes in the last part)
Love and Loss
Yuna looked at her farm in disgust. How the hell was she supposed to run a farm that looked like that?! Boulders, weeds and logs cluttered the field. The clouds above reflected her mood when she realized that she had been duped. Big time.
'At least the house is liveable...' she muttered not noticing the stout man behind her.
'Yes, the house is in good condition,' Yuna let out a yelp when her thoughts were rudely interrupted by the stranger.
'I'm Thomas, by the way. I'm the Mayor of this town and I'd like to help where I can.'
'Um...sure that's...that's great.' Yuna stuttered. Boy was that man creepy.
'Would you like a tour of the town?'
'Ah...no.'upon his look of cunfusion Yuna quickly added, 'I will remember better if I explore by myself, see?'
Smooth, Yuna. Real Smooth!
She could have kicked herself, but what else was she supposed to say? That he scared the crap out of her with his super-friendly-freaky ways?
'Oh, I understand. Why don't you drop by for a visit some time?' Thomas said as he walked off.
Yuna felt creeped out by the mayor, but as she stared at her field her heart sank in her shoes. Maybe she could put off work for a few days?
'To Mineral Town!' Yuna said dramatically and stomped away.
She walked straight and found the Library and Anna's house in no time. It was right in front of her after all. Quickly she introduced herself to Mary, Anna and Basil. Next up was Ellen and Stu. She skipped the Mayor's house and went to the store were Karen convinced her dad to give her a bag of seeds free of charge. Karen was nice, a bit wild, but nice.
Don't get Yuna wrong. She had no intention of making friends. Friends always had a bad habit of letting her down or trying to change her. She was happy the way she was and no crappy friend would change that.
Qucikly she introduced herself to all the townspeaple.
'Just one place left,' Yuna muttered as she left the poultry farm. The chicken dude was creeping her out a lot and she desparately wanted to get away from there.
As she walked to the building she noticed the sign said "Saibara's Blacksmith". Yuna smiled. A blacksmith would definately be handy since she had no tools or any idea what kinds of tools she'd be needing on a farm.
She entered the blacksmith only to hear raised voices. Two men were growling at each other.
'What's wrong with it this time?' a blonde man hissed. He was tall with broad shoulders and muscular arms. Yuna gaped at the strong man before her. He was scary...but also eye-candy...hmmm, scary candy....
'You should know the answer by now, my boy. Ah, hello and you are?' the old man asked Yuna catching her off-guard.
'Ah...um...I'm Yuna, the new farmer. I...' Yuna blushed feeling rather stupid. How on earth will she manage to say this?
The old man took her silence as a cue to introduce himself and his grandson, Gray.
'I kind of need...advice...' Yuna spluttered. Oh just get it over with!
'What kind of tools will I need, you know, to work my farm?' She nervously played with a strand of raven hair. Gray chocked back a laugh, but only after Saibara shot him a death-glare.
'My dear child, you don't have to feel embarassed. Gray! Show her all the tools that she will need.'
Gray smirked and quielty said; 'Come on, the tools are this way.'
'So you're gonna run the farm, huh?' Gray asked as he watched Yuna pick out some basic farm tools.
'Yeah, I guess I'll try to...' Yuna said. Suddenly her curiosity got the better of her. 'Why were you and your grandpa arguing back there?'
'That's none of your business.' Gray warned darkly.
Yuna winced. This man was really frightening when he got mad. Seemed like he had a short fuse too. A very short fuse.
'Ah...s sorry.' Yuna ducked her head.
She paid for the tools, feeling her wallet becoming much lighter, despite the nice discount that Saibara gave her.
'Come back to upgrade those tools often,' Saibara called as Yuna left the blacksmith. Yuna had no idea that Gray watched her as she left. A small smile played on his lips.
Two weeks Later...
Yuna was in the library's second floor reaching for a book that was just out of her grasp. Frustrated the raven-haired farmer tried again and again, eventually losing her temper after the third attempt.
'Bloody stupid book! Why did I have to be cursed with being short! It's Dad's fault...' Yuna growled beneath her breath only to hear a chuckle coming from behind her.
Flustered she turned around to see Gray. He was desparately trying to hold his laugh in check, but failed miserably.
'You need help?' he asked in between grins.
Yuna blushed. Obviously she had been growling harder than she thought and Gray must have heard everything...Great.
When Yuna failed to answer Gray stepped forward, causing Yuna to shrink back ever so slightly. His grin was replaced by a deep scowl. Yuna was afraid of him. He hated it when people was afraid of him.
'Was it this one that you wanted?'he asked handing the book to Yuna. His voice was gentle, but there was a trace of irritation that Yuna detected.
Wonderful. The blacksmith in training found her irritating.
'Ah...yes it was...' she fell silent when she looked up into his piercing blue eyes. Such beautiful eyes, but they were also so angry. Curiosity stirred in Yuna once more and before she knew it she blurted the question out that had been bothering her for the past week or so.
'Why are you always so angry?'
Gray was taken aback by this question.
'That is none of your damn business,' he hissed. He hated it when people asked him personal stuff. Why was he angry all the time? Because Saibara always dissed his work. He never apreciated the extra effort that he put in. He never saw how hard Gray tried. All he ever wanted from his gramps was a 'that's good enough'...
Yuna's eyes dropped as she whispered softly. 'I'm sorry, Gray. I did not realize...I know that feeling too...'
Gray was horrified. Was he thinking out loud? Did she hear all that?
'...I know what it is like to feel like you are not good enough...' Yuna continued. Her eyes burned into Gray's. '...but Gray, you have to keep trying, okay? Ah, sorry...I crossed the line there...'
A gentle hand rested on Yuna's shoulder, causing her breath to hitch slightly. She looked up once more and saw Gray smiling. All traces of anger was gone from his face. In Yuna's eyes he did not seem so scary anymore.
'Thanks. I needed to hear those words.'
Yuna smiled back at Gray not realizing the effect that she had on his heart. The minute that Gray saw her smile his heart skipped a beat. This startled him, but he also found it interesting. He wanted to find out what other effects this girl could have on him. He hardly knew her, but somehow she managed something that seemingly nobody could do. Calm his anger and make him smile.
Now it was Gray's turn to question Yuna.
'Why are you so scared of me?' Yuna qucikly ducked her head again as Gray pulled the bill of his cap lower. Maybe he asked that question too soon.
'Y...you're scary when you're mad...' came the simple reply. Gray later realized how deeply those few words had cut him.
Pulling the bill of his cap even lower Gray glared at his shoes, not allowing Yuna to see the hurt in his eyes. Why the hell did those words hurt him so? Sure he heard it before, numerous times from various people, but never did those words hurt him like it did now. Coming from this girl that he hardly knew.
Awkward silence settled between them. Both stared at their shoes and shifted uncomfortably in their spots. Yuna hated awkward silences but she never had the nerve to break them. Gray finally could take it no more and cleared his throat.
'So...are you gonna borrow that book or what?'
Yuna had completely forgotten about the book. Quickly she read the summary on the cover, finding it rather boring. 'Ah, Gray? Would you mind putting it back?' she asked half afraid that he might snap. To her surpize he smiled and replaced the book. 'Not your type, huh?'
The raven-haired girl only shook her head in reply. 'I like books about dragons more...' she admitted shyly.
Gray's smile grew a bit wider. At least now he knew what types of books she preferred.
Summer 10, Year 1.
Gray and Yuna became friends very quickly. Although Yuna was still very shy around Gray she was not afraid of him anymore.
Yuna's farm was doing well and she could finally afford a cow. Each day she would milk the beast and brush her. It was something that Yuna enjoyed tremendously, working with animals.
Her crops flousished...or at least she hoped so. The tomatoes has a sickly green shade to them and the onions wilted. Somehow only her small plantation of corn thrived.
She was deep in thought as she chopped tree stumps for lumber behind Gotz's house. She did not notice the crack in the axe handle until the head broke off with a sickening thud.
Dismayed she looked at the handle clasped in her hands. Her gaze shifted to the axe head that now lay on the grass. There was no way in hell that she could work with a broken tool. Sighing heavily Yuna realized that she had to take it to the blacksmith. Not that she hated the place, Gray was there after all. It would just cost her a lot of money that she could have spent on seeds...
The doorbell sang merrilly as Yuna stepped into Saibara's Blacksmith. Saibara was actually a kind old man, once you got used to the proud, gruff exterior.
'Hello, Yuna. What brings you here today? Came to visit Gray again?' Saibara asked with a playful tone in his voice. On most days Yuna simply came to visit Gray. Normally Saibara would not tolerate loiterers, but he noticed Gray's improvement in disposition everytime Yuna visited.
A small blush now spead over her cheeks. 'Ah...not today, sir.' She held up the broken axe to explain her presence.
Saibara let out a low whistle.
'What did you do to that tool, my girl? It's mutilated!' he said with a laugh.
'Damn, Yuna, what did you do? Smash rocks with it?' Gray asked as he looked up from his work table.
'Gray!' Saibara suddenly called.
'Yeah, Gramps?' the apprentice asked wearily. He was not in the mood for one of his grandpa's rants on his lack of skill.
'Take the day off. I'll fix the axe for Yuna,' Gray's eyes nearly dropped from his head. Did his gramps just say he could have the day off? The old man have a concussion or something?
'Gramps? Are you...'
'I'm fine, Gray. Take Yuna somewhere nice. You are anyway too distracted to work today. I'll expect you here tomorrow.' Saibara said, grinning at the disbelief on Gray's face. None of them noticed how deeply Yuna blushed.
'Thanks.' Gray said, smiling at this grandfater. Now it was Saibara's turn to be dumbfounded. Gray never smiled at him.
'Go on, boy. Before I change my mind.'
'Okay, I'm going!' Gray growled in mock-anger, all the time smiling at his gramps. Maybe his grandfater was not so evil. Seizing Yuna by the hand he dragged her out of the shop.
'Come on, there's a nice place I want to show you.'
Yuna only blushed as Gray held onto her hand. When the young blacksmith finally noticed why Yuna was blushing he quickly released her hand and mumbled an apology.
'It's okay. Where is that place you wanted to show me?' Yuna asked as she peered deep into Gray's blue eyes. For the first time Gray noticed that Yuna had green-grey eyes.
The young man felt something strange in his chest. A fuzzy feeling. Warm. Comforting.
He cleared his throat and hastily led Yuna to the forest.
Two Hours Later...
'Gray, it's beautiful!' Yuna gasped when she saw the Goddess Pond for the first time. A waterfall cascaded into a clear pond sparkling dazzlingly in the sunlight. Water lillies drifted in small clumps here and there on the surface of the water and large weeping willows provided ample shade. Wild flowers filled the air with a sweet scent.
Gray just looked at the farmer and smiled. He liked it when Yuna smiled, he decided. He wanted to make her smile every day. Gray found his train of thought to be more than a little confusing. Why on earth did he even want to make Yuna smile? Let alone every day? He shook his head. He knew the answer already. No point in denying it.
They sat in the shade of a weeping willow and talked about anything that popped into their minds. Gray cracked a few jokes which made Yuna squeal with laughter. The farmgirl did not realize that she was seeing a very rare side of Gray. The blacksmith hardly spoke to anyone, let alone joke around.
'When is your birthday?' Yuna asked after her laughter died down.
'Ooo! A winter baby?' Yuna said with such a cutesy voice that Gray couldn't help but blush a little.
Yuna laid on her stomach and rested her head on her arms. A slight breeze ruffled her hair.
Goddess, she's beautiful! Gray thought. At that moment Yuna looked up at him, a slight blush on her cheeks.
Oh crap! I thought out loud again...the blonde man felt something heavy in the pit of his stomach.
'Gray...thanks for not trying to change me, for accepting me for me...'
Gray sighed, feeling relieved that he did not think aloud after all.
'Oh, and Gray?'
'Stop thinking so loud, people might start to think you got a crush on me or something.'
Gray's face grew hot and red. He was blushing all the way to his toes. Quickly he pulled the bill of his hat lower making Yuna squeal with laughter again. Her sweet laugh only served to deepen his blush to a shade of maroon.
'I...uh...' Gray stuttered feeling flustered. That was when he noticed the sky started to take on a shade of orange.
'We should head back, Gramps will tan my hide if I'm not on time tomorrow.'
He walked Yuna back to her front door. It was time to go, yet Gray did not want to leave. He liked Yuna's company.
'Well, I'll drop by tomorrow.' Yuna said as she unlocked her door.
'Right. Night.' Gray cringed at his rhyming.
All of a sudden Yuna stepped forward and locked her arms around his waist. Gray thought he was having a heart-attack when he realized the girl was hugging him. So much for being shy around him...Gray thought and Yuna giggled.
'You did it again.'
Gray groaned and rolled his eyes. When will he stop thinking out loud? His arms locked around Yuna's body briefly before she pulled away.
'Today was fun, thanks.'
Gray smiled as he went to sleep that night.
A year flew by and Yuna visited the blacksmith's regularly. She grew very fond of Saibara, who she regarded as a father figure. Even though she would not admit it at first Gray held a special place in her heart.They were only friends, but they were close.
Saibara noticed his grandson's gradual change. They would still fight, but these fights was becoming increasingly less. Gray would smile more and often spoke to Saibara about the things that was on his mind. Saibara listened gladly. He finally got his wish granted. Gray was opening up to him.
'Do you love Yuna?' Saibara asked one quiet morning as Gray was busy to light the fire in the forge.
The question caught him off-guard but he's been expecting Saibara to ask him something like that for a while now.
'I do,' Gray whispered. His face grew hot and his hands trembled slightly. He never acknowledged his love publically before.
'She's good for you, Gray. I'm proud of you.' Saibara said. His voice was thick with emotion as turned back to his counter and told Gray to get back to work.
Gray was walking on air that whole day. He had a silly grin plastered to his face and he was happy to know that his gramps was proud of him.
The next day Gray went to work as usual, but when he reached the shop it was still locked. Wondering what was going on he mentally crossed off any possibilities. It was not a festival day. It was not Thursday.
'Gramps! Open up!' Gray yelled as he banged his fist against the wooden door. Perhaps he overslept?
'Gramps!' Gray yelled again, banging more urgently on the door. He did not like the panic that creeped into his voice. Still no answer from his grandfather.
'Gramps is gonna kill me for this...' Gray muttered beneath his breath as he kicked the door in. What the hell was his grandpa playing at?
To his surprize he found the shop dead quiet. His gramps did not occupy the ususal space behind the counter. Nor was there any yelling from the said old man.
'Gramps?' worry was thick in Gray's voice as he knocked on the door that led to Saibara's room.
'Gramps, come on!' he called once more through the wooden door. He was greeted with silence. Something was wrong. Gray's hands trembled as he opened the door to discover Saibara was still in bed.
A small smile played on his lips. The old mas was only sleeping...
Walking over to his grandfater he gently shook the old man's shoulder. 'Hey, Gramps, wake up.'
When Saibara did not respond the panic in Gray's heart flared up and consumed him completely. 'Gramps! WAKE UP!' he yelled louder and shook Saibara a bit harder. Still his grandfather did not move.
Tears stung Gray's eyes as he realized that his grandfather had passed away. His knees gave way and he slumped next to Saibara's bed. His hand gripped the sheets until his knuckles turned white. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he looked at Saibara's peaceful face.
'Gray, what's...' Yuna's voice caught in her throat when the gravity of the situation sunk in. 'Oh, no...Gray...I...' tears flowed down her face as she embraced the sobbing apprentice. Yuna knew that something was amiss that day the minute she woke up. She was worried about Gray and quickly went to the blacksmith's to find him sobbing by his grandfather's bed.
Gray crushed her to his body and sobbed louder as he buried his head in her shoulder. Gray never wanted to be the one who found his grandfather dead. Yuna gripped him tighter and cried with him. She loved the old man. He was like a father to her. Her heart broke at the knowledge that Saibara would no longer be around to tease her about visiting Gray so much. He would never again scold her for mutilating tools. He would never agian randomly give Gray off days to spend with her...
The funeral was held a day later. Ellen turned up along with Barley and the rest of the town. Gray was silent as his grandfather was being buried. A few tears slid down his face as he held Yuna close to him. She cried throughout the funeral and Gray felt guilty for not shedding more tears. After the funeral Gray took Yuna back to her house. He collapsed on her couch and felt all his strength drain away.
Yuna looked at him and stroked his face. 'I'm so sorry...'
Gray nodded mutely as the tears flowed again down his cheeks. Yuna pulled him to her and cradled his head in her arms. Gray gripped her tightly and buried his face in her shoulder, weeping his heart out. Yuna rocked him genlty, as tears poured down her cheeks once more. This time she cried for Gray. It tore her up to see Gray like this. His weight on her grew heavier as his sobs died down. Yuna realized that he cried himself to sleep in her arms. She rested her head against his as more tears poured down her cheeks, wetting his cap and hair.
'I'll take good care of you, Gray. I promise,' she whispered as she kissed his hair.
The next morning Gray found himself wrapped in Yuna's arms. His neck was sore from the uncomfortable angle on her shoulder and his eyes felt dry and gritty. Carefully he unwrapped her arms and sat up straight. His back ached as well, but that was nothing compared to the hollow feeling in his heart. He felt guilty and angry and incredibly sad all the the same time. Doctor said Saibara died peacefully in his sleep. It was old age that killed him. Carter said it was merely Saibara's time to go. None of thier words helped him one bit.
Yuna stirred snapping him back to the present. Her red-rimmed eyes fluttered open and she sat upright with great difficuilty. Her body pained as well.
'Hey...' her voice was thin and crackly.
'Hey.' Gray replied. He hated how raspy his voice sounded. 'Can I stay here? I...don't...want to be alone...' This was the absolute truth. Gray did not want to be alone. He was afraid of what he might do if he went back to the Inn.
'Sure. We can pick up your things when you feel ready.'
Gray nodded, unable to express his gratitude in words. Yuna gave him a quick hug before taking his hand and pulling him from the couch. 'Take a shower. I'll make you something to eat.'
Once again all Gray could do was nod. Some time later he got up and showered whilst Yuna made him breakfast.
He barely touched his food, pushing it around in his plate and taking a few sips of juice. Yuna said nothing as she scraped his uneaten food into the trash when she cleaned up a little while later.
'I'm going to do my farm work now, Gray. You can come with me if you want to.' Yuna said tenderly, but the man only shook his head. 'I'll stay.'
'Okay. I won't take too long.'
When Yuna later returned she saw Gray fast asleep on her couch. The TV was on the fishing channel. She turned off the TV and wrapped a light blanket around Gray. The poor guy was taking it hard. His face was knotted with pain even in his sleep.
When Gray woke up later that day he found his belongings had already been brought from the inn. He shot Yuna a questioning look.
'I didn't think you would want to face people yet. So I had Doug bring your things for you.' Gray gave her a small grateful smile and nodded. Yuna looked at Gray's grave face and felt her heart shatter all over again. She doubted if she would ever see him smile again.
As the days passed Gray's mood grew darker and he refused to eat altogether. Yuna was sick with worry. She could no longer stand to see the man she loved destroy himself. Gray always talked little, but now he was mute. He never looked at her when she spoke. He did not eat any more and lost weight making him look sickly. He would simply sit on her couch day in and day out. Refusing to move, or to speak.
Yuna was fed-up with his selfpity.
'Gray, I want to talk to you.' she said as she sat next to him on her couch. He merely shrugged his shoulders and continued to stare at the TV.
'Gray, look at me.'
Still staring at the TV.
'GRAY!' Yuna yelled feeling certain that she popped his eardrum.
He turned his head away from her.
That was it! Yuna fumed. Grieving was one thing, but destroying yourself and shutting everyone out was completely different. She did the only thing that she could. She slapped him. Hard.
Gray looked at her, disbelief in his eyes as his hand touched the red streak across his cheek.
'What the hell was that for?' he growled feeling hurt and confused.
'Oh, so NOW you can speak? After two bloody weeks of ignoring me? You never even looked at me! You never spoke a word to me! I tried my hardest to take care of you, but you just had to sit like a bloody zombie day in and day out on the couch! I'm sick of this, Gray! You're hurting yourself...' her voice dropped to an octave above a whisper, 'it won't bring Saibara back...he was like a father to me...you have to go on with your life, Gray.'
Gray's blood was boiling now. Who the heck did she think she was to tell him to go on and forget about his gramps? He opened his mouth to yell back at her, but the sight of her crying face stopped him short. He wiped away her tears and caressed her cheek gently. She leaned into his hand like a puppy and closed her eyes.
'Dammit, Gray. I love you too much to see you like this...' her voice was barely a whisper, but Gray heard every word loud and clear.
He crushed her to his body, unable to express himself in words. He felt so happy to know that she loved him, yet so guilty to know that he caused her so much grief. She was right. He have been wallowing in selfpity and grief for far too long. He had to move on with his life. Tilting his face down he murmured in her ear, 'I love you.'
Yuna pulled away from him slightly and gazed deeply into his blue eyes. So many emotions were racing through her right now. Gray leaned closer to her and Yuna gripped him tightly as thier lips connected. He kissed her gently, lovingly as one hand slipped into her hair and the other wrapped around her waist. She returned his kiss with equal tendernes. Yuna pulled away, blushing furiously. Gray smiled at her and kissed her again, this time letting all his sadness and longing spill out in the kiss.
Yuna looked over at Gray. He stood still before the blacksmith's door. 'Saibara's Blacksmith'...even the name seemed to taunt him, threatening to tear his heart out again. Yuna took his hand and he smiled gratefully at her.
'I'll be okay. Gramps will tan my hide if I don't re-open the blacksmith...I'll make him proud of me.'
As the days went by Gray slaved away at the blacksmith, upgrading tools, forging new ones and making jewelry. After lunch Yuna would join him and take her place behind the counter. An entire season passed like this. Yuna's farm was practically run by the Harvest Sprites, but they did not mind. She rewarded them well with bread, flour and chocolates.
Two days later, Winter 5
Yuna came in as usual and took her place behind the counter. Rick came in minutes later to have a watering can upgraded to silver.
'That will be 5000 gold. Your tool will be ready in three days. Pick it up then, or you can have Gray deliver it for you?'
Rick pondered for a moment and then nodded. 'I'll have Gray deliver it for me, thanks.'
'Have a nice day.'
Rick was about to exit when he paused, to Gray's great annoyance, and took a giftwrapped box out of his pocket.
'Oh...uh...this is for you. I almost forgot. Happy birthday, Yuna.' Rick gushed, blushing furiously before spotting Gray's death glare. 'I'll be going now.'
'What was that about?' Yuna wondered out loud.
'I was hoping you could tell me,' Gray hissed. 'Something going on that I should know about?'
'What? Gray, are you...jealous?' Yuna whispered the last word, but Gray could still hear her well enough.
'Then why are you so huffy all of a sudden? And that over a...' Yuna paused and opened her gift, 'over a bag of chicken feed?' she finished incredulously. It was unbelievable how Rick ever managed to woo Karen. If this gift was an indication of his taste....wow, definately chicken obessed, Yuna thought.
Gray chuckled and shook his head.
Yuna shook her head and walked over to where Gray was working. He was putting the final touches on something which he quickly stuffed into his pocket when he heard Yuna approach.
'What you working on?' she purred as she slipped her arms around his waist, hugging his back tightly.
'Nothing...it's not done yet.'
'Can I see?'
'Not yet...but you will when it's finished, okay?' there was a nervous tone in Gray's voice that worried Yuna, but she did not question him about his mystery project any more.
She closed her eyes and rested her head on Gray's strong back, thinking about all the times she would stare at him, hoping that he would feel the same about her. She was so happy that she had Gray. She sighed softly and felt content, until Gray pried one of her hands loose and stuffed something cold and metallic inside it.
Yuna blushed. Gray never called her "honey" before, but somehow the pet name did not sound weird coming from him.
'Aww, thanks, Sweetie!'
Now it was Gray's turn to blush, but Yuna did not notice his scarlet face. Her gaze was fixed on the object in her hand.
'Gray...it's...beautiful...' she whispered.
Gray turned round and filled with pride when he saw the huge smile on her face. She truly loved her gift! Gingerly he took it from her hand and slipped the bracelet on her wrist. It was a perfect fit. Yuna gazed at the bracelet and fingered the fine silver chain. A single gemstone adorned the chain, it was a blood-red ruby.
The blacksmith lifted her chin as a tear slid down her face. Their eyes met and all their emotions spilled through clearer than the clearest glass. Yuna's arms locked around his neck and she buried her face in his chest.
'I'll never take it off,' came her muffled voice. Gray hugged her tighter, almost to the point of crushing her, but Yuna did not mind. That was just his way of saying how much cared about her.
The Following Day,Thursday, Winter 6
Gray was still asleep on Yuna's couch. He'd been sleeping on her couch ever since Saibara passed away. It felt strange how comfortable he was sleeping in her house on her couch. He never felt this comfy in the Inn.
He woke up to the smell of pancakes, chocolate cookies, crushed strawberries and fresh coffee. Before he could grasp what was happening Yuna pounced on him and smothered him with kisses.
'Wow...why don't you wake me up like that every morning?' he said with a sly grin.
'Hmmm. I could do that...but then you would get bored and move onto someone else...'
'Oh? And who would that be?' Gray cocked a brow. He did not like the evil smirk that flashed across Yuna's face.
Gray made puking sounds and pulled a nasty face, whilst Yuna giggled at his reaction.
'Well, it only makes sense,' Yuna quickly continued, 'I mean you got jealous when I spoke to him yesterday!'
Gray's mind went blank as a deep scowl crept over his face.
'Oh, come on, Gray! I was just kidding,' Yuna pleaded between supressed giggles.
'Please forgive me?' she pleaded with huge puppy-dog eyes, pouting slightly. Gray still scowled.
'You'll have to earn it.'
'I'll do anything,' Yuna said in a cutesy voice, still wearing her puppy expression.
Gray sat upright and stared Yuna deeply in the eyes, he leaned slightly in to kiss her, before she erupted in a wave of giggles.
'Grraayyy! Stop!' she laughed as Gray tickled her, which made Gray only tickle her more. After a few minutes of tickle torture the blacksmith decided that it was enough. 'You are a sly bugger.' Yuna said between giggles as she reached for a pillow behind her back and smacked Gray's head with it.
'You did not do that,' he said with a huge grin.
'What? You mean this?' Yuna replied and smacked him again, causing an all-out pillow war to break out. Half hour later both of them slumped exhausted next to the fireplace. The whole house was covered in feathers, giving the impression that it had been snowing indoors. She rested her head against his shoulder as Gray rested his arm around her waist. Gray felt happy, a little tired after the pillow-fight, but completely happy.
'I think breakfast is cold now,' the farmer said with a slight pout.
'Doesn't matter, it's not like you can cook...Ouch!' Gray yelped as Yuna punched his arm. She stuck her nose in mock-anger in the air and tried to turn away from Gray, but he quickly pulled her close and gave her a smouldering kiss.
'Okay, okay! You're forgiven!' Yuna giggled as he left a trail of soft kisses down her neck.
When they finished breakfast Yuna insisted on doing the washing up alone. Gray sat on the couch and watched some TV. Just as he was about throw the remote at the TV in frustration (you can only flick through 4 channels so many times...) Yuna dangled a small box in front of his face.
'Happy birthday, Gray,' she whispered in his ear.
Gray opened his gift and found a small golden key. Raising his brow he looked questioningly at Yuna. She took his hand and led him to the blacksmith. Once inside she stopped in front of Saibara's door. 'It's in the safe,' Yuna said. Gray detected the uncertainty in her voice. He was hesitant to go into the room at first, fearing that he would find his grandfather dead all over again. Taking a deep breath he opened the door and went to the safe that was next to the shelves. His hand trembled slightly as he fitted the small gold key into the lock.
He felt Yuna's hand on his shoulder and quickly glanced up at her. A ton of uncertain emotions played across her face which unnerved him. Swallowing hard he unlocked the safe and swung the door open in painful slow-motion.
His breath caught in his throat when he saw his grandfather's beloved mystrile tools. He never dreamt of touching them, let alone receive them for a gift.
His eyes spotted a white envelope at the bottom of the safe, slowly he reached for it and took out the note which read:
I am giving you my mystrile tools. I know how much you love them. They are yours now. Use them well.
I blackmailed Yuna into keeping the key for me, lest I change my mind.
You make me proud to be your grandfather, Gray.
But you still have a lot to learn.
His vision blurred as tears rolled down his cheeks. He was so happy and sad and at the same time he missed Saibara terribly. Sure the old man was a grouch and yelled at him all the time, but he was the only family that Gray had. Yuna held him close as the old grief tore Gray apart again. He sobbed against her shoulder, but this time his hurt from Saibara's death was healing.
Yuna felt incredibly guilty. If she had known what the safe contained she would never have given Gray the key, but Saibara made her swear never to peep at the contents of the safe.
'Thank you,' Gray whispered hoarsely. 'Thank you, thank you, thank you,' he repeated over and over as he crushed her harder than ever before against his body. They held each other for long time, knowing that Saibara would be smiling at them.
Winter 24, Starry Night Festival
Yuna got up early and made breakfast as usual for herself and Gray. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek before saying, 'I'm going to take care of my animals now. I think I'll visit the Harvest Sprites today and give each of them a gift.'
Gray nodded and encouraged Yuna to take her time. He needed time to set his plan into action.
Yuna smiled as she brushed her sheep and milked her cows. She popped the milk into the cheese maker and stored the newly made cheese on a drying rack to mature. She skipped to her chicken coop and took care of her two chickens, placing thier eggs into the incubator. 'It's high time for more animals,' she mused and checked her backpack to see if she had all the Sprites' gifts.
There was blue grass for Staid, Pink Cat for Bold. Honey for Hoggy and Chocolate for Chef. Flour for Timid and Bread for Aqua. Lastly there was Nappy who would get chocolate cookies. Feeling satisfied she skipped from her farm and greeted the townspeople. Manna chatted her ear off as usual, but other than the Sprites Yuna did not have any friends in the town.
Soon she arrived at the little hut and knocked softly. Timid opened the door.
'YUNA!!!' he squealed in his helium voice. 'Come in, it's so good to see you again.'
She smiled and entered only to be swamped by her seven best friends. The sprites made her some tea as she handed each of them their presents.
'Thanks, Yuna. This is great.' Bold said. (Staid was the only sprite that was not helium voiced)
The farmer and the sprites talked for a long time about this and that, until Aqua (the hopeless romantic) steered the conversation in a different direction.
'Yuna, if Gray asked you to marry him will you invite us to the wedding?'
The girl blushed furiously and Nappy took his chance to torment her. 'Aww, sweet! You look so cute when you are blushing, if I was Gray I would...'
'NAPPY!' Bold yelled when he saw Nappy's suggestive movements. Staid only laughed at his brothers' sillyness.
Chef now joined the conversation. 'What will you say if he asks you?'
'If he asks me, I'll definately say yes, but...'
'What is it, Yuna?' Timid chirped.
'I'll still be happy just to be with him, even if he never asks me...but enough of this. I've been wondering about this for a long time now. Why aren't they any Harvest Sprite Girls?'
On hearing this all the sprites rolled with laughter. Yuna felt incredibly stupid. 'We are creatures of magic, Yuna.' Staid said.
'We don't need girls,' came Chef's reply.
'We always stay the same,' Bold continued.
'No matter how old we get,' Timid filled in.
'Girls are yucky...but you're nice,' Hoggy siad.
'But how do you guys...you know...multiply?' Yuna asked as her face turned scarlet.
Another round of laughter filled the small hut.
'We are made from magic by the Harvest Goddess,' Aqua infromed her.
'So we don't need girls to...spank the monkey,' Nappy demonstrated his point quite graphically.
'Ah...I see.' Yuna glanced at her watch and saw that it was already four o'clock. 'Goodness! I have to go, guys. I'll see you in the Spring again, bye!'
Yuna ran all the way to her farm. She still had to make dinner! She flew into her house to find that Gray had already cooked and he was waiting patiently for her to arrive.
'Done for the day?' he asked, feeling a bit uncertain.
'Yeah...Gray...' Yuna's eyes drifted over to the calender and instantly she felt horrid. She forgot that today was the Starry Nights Festival!
'I'm so sorry! I completely fogot! I didn't even get you a gift...' she hung her head in shame, but Gray only chuckled.
'That's fine with me. Come on, lets eat before the food gets cold.'
The meal was delicious and they talked for a long time about Yuna's awkward conversation with the Harvest Sprites and how they "multiply". Gray rolled with laughter as she finished her tale. Yuna purposefully left out the bit about the wedding. She did not want Gray to feel pressured into something that he was not ready for.
'Hey, let's go watch the starts on Mother's Hill,' he suggested.
'Sounds great, I'll just grab my coat.'
As soon as they reached the top of the mountain, Yuna gasped at the beauty above her. 'Wow...I never knew that there were so many...'
Gray looked at her upturned face and smiled. His nervousness died away as he slipped one hand into his pocket and the other round her waist. 'Hey, Yuna...you know that thing I've been working on?'
'The one you said I could see when it's finished?' she asked hopefully.
'Yeah, that the one...' his nervousness came back with a vengance. Dammit! He had a whole speech prepared and the best he could come up with was that?
'What speech?' Yuna asked feeling very confused. 'Are you alright, Gray?'
The blacksmith decided to bite the bullet. His original plan was down the drain anyway.
'Yuna...' his voice was thick as he took her hand and slipped a ring on it, '...marry me. You...'but Gray could not finish since Yuna cut him short with furious kisses. 'Yes, Gray.' She whispered in his ear and the blacksmith never felt happier.
The wedding was held in the first week of Spring and the whole town was invited. The Harvest Sprites was overjoyed when Yuna asked all of them to be her 'best Sprites'. As they exchanged thier vows Gray could not help himself but to think about Saibara. The old man would be proud of him.
At the reception, which was held in the Inn, everyone danced, laughed and had a great time. May took turns to dance with the Harvest Sprites, which made Stu rather jealous. Cliff and Ann beamed at each other, blind to rest of the world. Every one felt happy and content, but none more than Yuna and Gray.
When the reception drew to a close Nappy walked towards Gray and Yuna. A serious look was on his face.
'Gray,' he said in his helium voice, 'you better take care of my girl.'
'Good,' Nappy said, now a evil smirk played across his face. 'Don't play too rough, nobody wants to wake up with a sprained back,' he said looking at Yuna. The newly wed couple blushed furiously as Nappy strolled away, laughing.
Gray and Yuna looked at each other and blushed even more.
'Honestly, that spirte is a meanice!' the farmer said with affection.
'I think he has a crush on you,' Gray replied.
'Not in the least,' he whispered and gave her a smouldering kiss.
What did you guys think, too sappy too short?
I think the whole pervy Nappy thing worked rather well.
Leave your comments and let me know!