Harvest Moon: Blossoming Love

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Sunlight filtered through the trees above the florist's shop, casting the wooden building into dappled light and speckled shadows. The air was chilled, still reminding its inhabitants of the winter's cold embrace but the temperature was beginning to warm up. The spring was upon Allbrite Village, spreading its touch to the plant life as it began to wiggle its way through the air. The earth seemed to be warming itself with the spring, coming alive again for the inhabitants to begin another year.

Standing at the door to his shop, Theron Quinnin could view the smithy, the inn, and a few houses. The calm sight of these things was common to him but he still tried to take the opportunity to appreciate his surroundings every morning. Just a few paces behind his shop was the lake, a placid body of water that nurtured his plants and gave Theron plenty of water with which to water his growths. The other buildings looked similar to his, but had their own differences. The notable exception was the inn, which was crafted from stones and not the wood of the others. Theron turned his head slightly, amused that his shop would never be confused with any of the others. Even as early into spring as it was, Theron had already cultivated two patches of cheerful white toyflowers in front of his building.

Turning away from the plants outside his building, Theron looked to the inn. He was unsure of where his cousin had gotten to so early in the morning, but she did not seem to be around. He had awoken feeling renewed with the spring - it was the first day after all - but Theron was also feeling a little lonely. He knew very few people in the village well, since he was relatively new to the town. This, he determined, would change this year. He had made a solemn decision to get to know at least one other person in the town.

Stepping a few paces from his shop, Theron emerged into the square with the sunlight bright in his eyes. It was quiet this morning in the square, but he had a distinct hope that someone would come by so that he could begin his resolution.
The sun's hot rays shined, signaling many of the breaking dawn's presence. Although with full intensity, mother nature's icey wonderland continued unscathed from the sun's fire; winter was a hard season for Seto, presently his less favorable. The season brought roughness, but amazing still left room for beauty and simplicity--forgetting about that--the frozen wasteland presented less room for business in his eyes, not to mention that his inn had finally reached a braking point. Seto was still a young man, some differed with his words of 'adult' since he indeed was one of the youngest of his calm village but undoubtedly he was also one of it's most mature inhabitants.

The work of a innkeeper was not all smiles and warmth, the lad had to put great effort into his establishment; at day he would rise before dawn and sweep up all that blew into his porch. He had seen it all, depending on the season he would find leaves and flowers, snow and puddles of accumulated dirty rain. His least favorite was the seemingly normal dust and dirt, one of the most easiest to spread and find but not exactly the easiest to get rid of. Seto was proud of his exotic stone building, it's traditional Japanese carvings on the pillars and it's beautiful lanterns-- everything set just as his family had placed it, years ago. The old inn, passed down through the ages from son to son, was placed onto Seto's capable hands and he was sure to make his family proud, wherever they may be. Unashamed, Gaara Seto was proud to say that his inn was his most precious item.

Heh, I see the cat was here again..." Mumbled Gaara, his hands clenched around an antique broom as he swept leftover hairs. The morning ritual was very much the same, each day. Get up, pass attendance and clean through out the building-- not much free time was left for him, but for the honor of his family his branch must prevail. On the other hand, those words were easier said than done since every cat hair that flew his way caused the poor boy to succumbed to a fit of sneezes. As red pints spread across Seto's face the broom fell quite loudly onto the floor as his hands were preoccupied doing other business... such as hiding his obviously evident blush. Clearing his through, the boy regained his composer and continued with his sweeping.

After minutes of cleaning and dusting his inn's relishes, Seto sighed and sat lazily on his porch steps; his legs huddled together and elbows resting on top of his knees. His eyes gazed uninteresting at his surroundings, until finally locking onto a person's movements. To approach or not to approach... that was indeed the question. After minutes of mindlessly debating and a hard huff, Seto tightened his coat and sluggishly walked towards the the square.

Hey... Quinnin. Rather cold... ey?" Gaara mumbled, his scarf tightly rapped around his neck and part of his mouth.
The weather wasn't much warmer than it had been, but the animal life on Filly's farm seemed to have picked up on the change in season anyway. Pablo the Great Pyrenees practically broke through the wall of her little house while she was getting dressed in his excitement to get out and run around, and when she visited the chickens, they clucked excitedly and followed her to the door after she collected their eggs. She couldn't blame them for having cabin fever: she'd spent most of the winter patching up the chickens' coop and combing out Pablo's coat. It had been just as boring for them as it had been for her.

It was spring now, and time to get some real work done. Her field was tilled and ready- she'd seen to that the morning before. Now she just needed some fertilizer and seeds. Filly mentally calculated how many of each kind of seed she'd need: cabbage, lettuce, flax, and wheat… and turnips. Awful, terrible turnips.

Happily, it was also the time of year for strawberries – Filly's favorite. They were on the expensive side, but she'd saved up specifically to buy a few extra; that way, she'd have some left over for herself. There was enough in her wallet for one more investment she'd been planning on making for quite a while now, too.

I need a horse. I needed a horse ages ago, she groused to herself, reaching down to touch her toes as she began her morning calisthenics. The stretching had become a necessary part of her routine; she was on the move from morning to night, and she got way too sore if she didn't take the time to loosen her muscles up first. A horse would reduce some of that workload, but she'd been reluctant to make the purchase. I'll just have to deal with the jokes. Time to go see that rancher. And I need to stop by the blacksmith so he can give my tools a once-over. That's my second stop; it's closer. Wait. Do I need bait? Jeez, I should have eaten a bigger breakfast…

Tapping the toes of her boots against the ground, she glanced over at the pool behind Ladybug Farm – the Goddess Pool, it was called. When she'd gotten desperately bored over the winter, she'd headed over there to fish, but she'd had a funny feeling about the spot lately… Now wasn't the time to dwell on it. Filly took off running, yelling to Pablo as she booked it straight to the flower shop. "Don't go rolling around in the mud while I'm gone!"

It didn't take long to get there on foot, but it looked like she'd have to wait for an audience. The florist, one of the Quinnins, was talking to the innkeeper. Observing them brought a half-smile to her face; Theron looked as cheerful as always, if a bit thoughtful, and what she could see of Gaara's face was utterly devoid of expression.

Blacksmith first, then. She waved to them both as she sped across the street to knock on the metalworker's door before she slipped inside and out of the chilly air.
The sunlight slowly filtered into the windows of the second floor of the clinic. Chloe Orvos groaned as she rolled out from under the covers and flopping herself on the floor. Her hair was a mess, she noted, as she picked herself up and made her way to her closet to pick out her outfit for the day and make sure that her doctor's coat was still clean and usable. As she changed she could hear the soft chirping of the birds happy for the weather finally shifting back to warmth, although Chloe was a bit sad to see it go, because that meant that the old Doctor would have been gone for nearly two seasons now and she was truly on her own. Of course as far as medicine as a business went this town wasn't much use considering everyone tended to be as healthy as an ox with all the fresh air about them, luckily Chet had moved into town not too long after she did and sold his tonics and herbs from her clinic to help her out.

Today he had promised to come over after his walk to collect some herbs and help her hammer her new sign out front of the clinic today, hopefully that would make people at least want to come in for a checkup! With a contented sigh Chloe checked out her outfit in the mirror, satisfied she threw her doctor's coat on over it and opened the door and marched down the stairs to the clinic proper. With a quick glance she made sure that everything was in order and that Chet hadn't come in earlier than usual. He was always awake far before she was and she had never discovered his secret to it. "Aaaah, I think I'll just step out and get some fresh new-spring air!" She called out to nobody in particular before turning to the door, grabbing her stethoscope off her desk before exiting out to the town square, her home and office directly across the square from the florist's shop. It was nice to see that he already had some flowers out, a nice touch indeed, Chloe decided.

Chloe couldn't help but notice, however that the clinic was a bit different from all of the other buildings in the square. Being the newest remodeled building she had made sure that it was more in line with the architecture designs from the city, she couldn't tell if she felt bad that she had changed from the town aesthetic or if she was proud to bring a touch of the big city to Allbrite. She pushed the thought to the back of her mind, after all she wanted to feel more at home and the renovation had helped her get the newest, best tools for her trade brought in to the clinic too, why there wasn't anything the doctors in the big city could do that she couldn't! She shifted her focus now, Chet should be nearby by now, at very least he would be on his way and she could wait on a bench near the clinic for him. She noted, as she went to go sit that a few of the other townsfolk were around, should any look her way she'd offer them a friendly smile and a light wave, she couldn't be bothered with getting stuck to talk to anyone for too long after all, she had a sign to hammer in.

Chet had already been up and about before the sun had started to rise. He found that the crisp daybreak air was soothing to him, it let him clear his mind of all the distractions of the day and it would let him be more pleasantly surprised when he stumbled across some blue grasses that the spring always promised to bring with it. By the time the sun had risen to a reasonable height he had already been out to the Pool of the Goddess and was already starting on his way back. His rucksack was still rather empty, the frosts of the recently passed winter hadn't been too conducive to the natural growth of the blue grasses but he had found a couple good samples that he could turn into some good medicines.

He walked along the pathway leading towards the edges of the farm heading back towards the town center, he had to keep a promise to his sister and she would certainly be up by now. He chuckled as he remembered growing up with her and her bed-head every morning. If he ever breathed word of it to anyone he was sure that she'd punch his arm and vehemently deny it. With a broad grin across his face he picked up the pace a little, the thought of getting punched in the arm for being late could be just as bad as bringing up her bed-head. Plus, the sooner he helped her get her sign in place the sooner he'd be able to make the medicines from his freshly harvested blue grass!
The sun was not quite shinning from the horizon. Everyhting was still dark when she rose out of her bed. She shivered at the sudden cold feeling, lacking her warm winter blanket. She wrapped her arms around herself and hurried to get one some warmer clothes. She wore plain comfortable clothes, over fancy clothes everyday. For she had rips and holes in so many peices she could no longer count. She told herself that she must go through more clothes than the restof the townsfolk put together. After donning a pair of blue jeans, matching jacket over a white tank top, she slipped on socks, pair of old cowboy boots. There was only one boot. Where di the other one go?

"Charlie! Gimme back ma boot!" She called out her bedroom door. As it on cue two beautiful bordercollies rounded the corner into her bedroom. A grey and black spotted male held her boot in his jaws. He walked right up to her and dropped it at her feet. A brown and white female sat next to him. Kaai patted them both on the head praising them how good they were. Charlie and Anna-bell were her two best friends. Without them the ranch would have fallen apart already. Charlie was mostly a companion than a work dog, though his specialty it keeping the bull from smashing Kaai's face in as she fed or needed to inspect him. Anna-bell on the other hand dig much of the work. She herded the cows where ever Kaai wanted.

After she donned her gear all three of them walked out of the small house and into the barn. Horses neighed their greetings. Kaai greeted them all in turn by their names. At the far end of the barn she opened the doors into the pasture. The two dogs ran out, while Kaai went to each stall and let the horses out one by one. They all knew the routine, and they lef the stall to head into the pasture without direction. The resident stallion, her favorite horse lingered behind and waited for the girl. He nibbled at her clothes and nudged her hand. She gave him a sugar cube that had been in her pocket. "Good boy." She said stroking his head and neck. The stallion she named Spirit, for all of it he had inside of him. "You are going to make me some pretty foals this year arn't you." She giggled as he stuck his nose into her shoulder.

Spirit was a robust Appaloosa, with a coloration of a marbled roan. The female he wanted him to breed with was an American paint horse with and overo coloration. Kaai knew the foal would look absolutely gorgeous. She pushed Spirit out into the pastures while she grabbed a shovel, wheelbarrow and proceeded to muck out the stalls.
Clyde hated winter. The wind was cold, the water frozen, and he could hear the fish laughing at him from beneath the ice. His home, a shack, was barely insulated. There were cracks between the wood planks where cold would creep in. Even a fisherman like him had trouble getting up some mornings. No one would ever want to leave the comfort of their sheets with icy chills scuttling about the floor. But he would eventually force himself out of bed. Bundling up, Clyde would step onto the ice with his equipment and a crate to sit on. Then, out of a hole he cut, Clyde would fish until he was done. But even at the center of Aegis, his sanctuary, he was not safe. Skaters would pass by bothering him saying 'hello' or asking how he was doing. Winter was such a bother. He was glad spring had finally arrived.

With the new season's arrival Clyde could return to his regular schedule. That morning, although still cold, was warm enough that a young man could pry himself from his blankets. So just before the crack of dawn he woke up and readied himself for the day. A quick rinse and something to eat was all Clyde needed before heading out to fish. He took his boat and rowed out to the middle of the lake, watching as his crap shack dwindled in the distance. There Clyde could enjoy an hour or peace. Patiently, the fisherman would sit with his line cast and a few buckets of ice ready.

Aegis was very generous within that hour. Each lure Clyde cast out barely bobbed before a fish came to take the bait. With fierce determination he pulled, balanced, and reeled in the line. It took a lot of concentration, and patience, but as a result of his effort none of the snagged fish got away. Diligently the fisherman reeled in line after line, catch after catch, until all his buckets were filled. The experience was exciting, however with no space left for fish he'd have to head back to shore. He could come back with more buckets, but would decide not to. Clyde tried not to over fish so that the stocks could replenish. If he kept on fishing the rest of the day it might create problems within Aegis. Bosco taught him that, and Clyde didn't want to disrespect his mentor or the lake. So he rowed back home.

While happy to have such a bountiful catch, he couldn't help but wonder what to do with it all. Clyde could try to peddle them in market, but the fish might go bad before they'd sell. Maybe he could pawn a few off on Gaara? The innkeeper was creepy, but also sold food so he might be willing to buy a few fish at a discount. There were other villagers that lived near the inn as well who might be interested in striking a deal. So Clyde decided he'd make his way over with the fish to see how much he could unload.

He moved the fish in a wheelbarrow filled with ice. It was Bosco's originally, so it was old. There weren't many problems with it. Sometimes melting ice would leak through the side, and the front wheel had a tendency to veer a little bit to the left. But Clyde had long since learned to manoeuvre around it. As he travelled from the marketplace to the town square he noticed that there were a few people out from their homes, including a few people he barely recognized. Over the past couple of years a lot of new people had moved into the village and Clyde hadn't exactly been sociable with them. Still, they performed some necessary jobs and respected the village which was all he really cared about.

Stepping into the marketplace, Clyde made his way toward the inn where Gaara was speaking to that flippant florist Theron. "Hey Gaara! I've got a proposition for you!" He didn't know what they were talking about, or if they were even talking about anything. Still, it didn't stop him from boisterously interrupting them. From nearly the center of the square he shouted, still pushing his wheelbarrow. That was perhaps why he was too distracted to notice that it had suddenly veered left. The wheelbarrow, it's contents, and Clyde slipped on the slick surface of the ground. Fish were flung halfway across the square in all directions and the fisherman was left flustered and flung beneath his wheelbarrow. He cursed profusely under his breath. Clyde scrapped his arm up a bit and his days work just flew off. The angry fisherman tried to get back up without slipping on any of the spilled ice.

"Hey... Quinnin. Rather cold... ey?" Gaara mumbled, his scarf tightly rapped around his neck and part of his mouth as he tried hard to get the distasteful sensation of coldness from the weather. Rubbing and clasping his hands firmly he breathed roughly onto them as he then continued to stuff them in his coat's pocket. Rather than being optimistic of sight of the ice melting and green taking back it's rightful place, he could help but feel a bit of nostalgia for those cold nights that brought him together with a hot cup of tea and a warm blanket in front of the chimney. A few minutes of silence passed between the two men as Gaara grew rather impatient and he face became sour. After grumbling a few inaudible words he proceeded to walk away from the florist seeing as he was rather spaced off, Gaara was sure he had his reason but was not in the mood to bother with it.

Hey Gaara! I've got a proposition for you!" Yelled a raspy voice from a distance the noise of a broken down wheelbarrow hitting the pavement always signaled of one person, Clyde. Gaara sighed as he forced a smile onto his face and waved mechanically to the fisherman. " Oh? Ah--" The redheaded boy started but was cut abruptly by the scene that appeared before him. As if on movie film, a small patch of ice found itself under the wheelbarrow's wheels, it's cargo bouncing violently until finally reaching the ground. Clyde sported a evident scowl, as would of be expected of any person who's hard day's work had just gone to waste. A slight chuckle escaped Gaara's lips but just as soon as it started it ended since such a action would be rather disrespectful... but yet very worth it.

Gaara's mouth slightly watered at the sight of all the great catch that Clyde had caught. "
You ah..Seem rather off" He stated calmly as he bent over and picked up a few of the scattered fish " A doubt the preposition involved fish all over the square, but I'll buy a few at bargain price ".

Before he could say anything, for he had indeed lost track of focus in staring at the pretty plants and had only begun to formulate an idea of what he wanted to say, the fisherman Clyde interrupted his thoughts once more with his fish and loud voice. Perking his eyes up to the more boisterous tones of the fisherman's voice, Theron let Gaara speak with him instead and turned his attentions to wave at the other townspeople who'd passed by. Chloe, it seemed, was busy, for she had that look to her that she did not really want to speak with anyone, though he did wave. If he hurried though, to catch up...

Waving to Gaara and Clyde, Theron turned and closed the gap between himself and Filly in a few strides. She was nearly to the blacksmith's when he caught up with her, in fact. Smiling broadly, Theron edged around to the door, intent on opening it for her. He did not know her well, but well enough to know who she was and what she did. For this purpose, he was kindly disposed to her. A lover of nature must be friendly to all others who adore nature, he thought. There was little more in his mind, nor did he entertain the possibility that he might give her the wrong impression.

"Good morning, Miss! It's spring - you'll be wanting some seeds for your farm, will you not?"

Pressing his fingers into the cool earth beneath him, Bennet gazed into the shimmering waters of the Pool of the Goddess. He was admiring the gentle waves moving across the surface with the breeze and how it gently stirred the newborn grass shoots that bordered the water. The glassy surface of the pool reflected his passive expression and he adjusted so as to sit closer to the edge.

Staring into his reflection, Bennet could see the signs of age across his features. Frowning, he broke the surface with his hand and the image of himself was disrupted. My birthday, Bennet realized morosely, was yesterday. Not that he had expected anyone to notice and was not really upset that no one had wished him a happy birthday. Chances were, they hadn't even known. The real issue to him was just how old he was getting so quickly. It seemed now that the years were passing by him, trickling from his grasp like water in cupped palms.

With a small sigh, Bennet pushed himself off of the ground and into a standing position. He was close to the farm and he considered paiting things there but determined that it was too early for anything worth painting to have sprouted and he had no interest in painting animals. The one place he knew would already have flowers blooming was the shop of the florist, who paid almost obsessive attention to his plants and smiled all the damned time.

Tapping his fingers to his lips, Bennet decided that he might as well head to the market instead to see if they had his shipment of paint supplies from the larger town at the base of the mountains.

At a brisk walk, Bennet managed to make it to the florist's shop in good time. He was a little confused to see that some sort of switching had taken place and that the innkeeper was in front of the florist's house while the florist was standing in front of the blacksmith. Not really in the mood for conversation at the current point in time, Bennet made a bit of an arc around so that he walked closer to the building opposite the florist, the new clinic if his memory served, than to the florist and cursed when he noticed that the doctor was sitting on a bench near the building. Fortunately, she did not look as though she wanted conversation and he tried to slip past.
Sky loved the winter. He loved the cold air, the gray skies, and the shimmering snowfall. Winter was the best time to mine, as well. It wasn't hot out and Sky could always just bundle up to keep warm. He spent most of the winter mining ores and minerals. This year he had found some interesting crystals. They didn't seem useful for crafting, but they were very brittle and turned to powder easily. Maybe they could be used a some sort of fertilizer, full of minerals to make soil rich? Who knew? Sky hadn't thought about it for too long.

The warm fires of the forge kept the smithy quite warm enough for the winter, and a small stream of gray smoke continuously flowed out of the forge's chimney throughout the season. It was still a little nippy out at night, so the forge stayed glowing orange for the time being.

Sky was early to rise, before the sun was even out, for he loved to travel to the mountain every morning to watch the sun rise. It was good exercise and he could always carry some firewood back home to turn into charcoal for smithing. This morning was not unlike any other. It was still a little chilly, but the sunlight would surely fix that soon enough. Sky woke up before the sleepy town and bundled up in his black stocking cap, bulky red and black plaid wool insulated coat, tan work pants, and brown boots. After strapping his hand axe onto his waist, he was ready for his morning walk.

The nature-loving blacksmith exited his home and didn't bother locking the door behind him, he never did. He gazed up at the dark, early morning sky as he stepped into the town square. There were a couple clouds drifting by, but it looked like a clear morning for the most part. It would be a magnificent sunrise on this first day of spring.

"Feels like it's going to be a good year."Sky mumbled the words of encouragement to himself. He walked off towards the mountain trail, pondering what to make out of his newly mined gems and metals. He followed the stream up the mountain, listening to the trickling water recently freed from winter's captivity. Soon, he reached the waterfall. He was now at a crossroads; the path to the right led past the hot springs to his mine. Sky continued to the left towards the summit of this little mountain where he had spent so much time last year. He had built a small observation deck in a stable area at the summit so that everyone may enjoy the mountain's view safely.

It took no longer than an hour to hike to the summit, and once you got there, you realized that it was completely worth it. The view was breathtaking. You could see ahead of you for miles. Nothing but the splendor and beauty of nature.

A moment passed and the purple sky began to shift into glowing hues of orange and red. The orange sun rose almost perfectly in line with this spot. Sky leaned on the railing of the deck and marveled at the first skies of spring. To Sky, sunrise was the Goddess' pallet with which she used to paint the day. It was truly a sight to behold.

Sky stood and thought about the upcoming day for a few moments before heading back down to the town. Everyone, except for early birds, should just be waking up when he arrives back. On the way down, Sky hacked a few limbs off of a couple trees farther off of the path. He didn't want the trees along the path to look shabby to people if they decided to visit the mountain.

Morning had set in now as Sky arrived back to his home. He placed the wood in the woodshed outside of his smithy and walked inside to begin sorting and stocking his metals and gems away. He had collected all sorts of metals, iron, copper, and even a little silver! He found some crystals like different colors of quartz and he got lucky and found a peridot and an amethyst vein. Now he can make some jewelry to start selling. But for now, he has to store his materials. He took his coat and hat off, showing off his white tank top and somewhat messy brown hair.

He placed his ores in a shelved closet near the forge. His gems were placed in display cases near the front of the smithy, so if anyone wanted jewelry custom made for them, they could pick the gems out themselves. With everything put away, Sky sat at his desk, preparing to draw some schematics for his new line of jewelry. Before he could begin, though, the door to his smithy swung open. Sky stood up and turned to greet his visitors with a nod. It was Theron, being as kind as always, holding the door open for Filly. A warm breeze would escape when Theron opened the door.

Sky didn't say much. A gruff "welcome" rumbled out from Sky's vocals as he cleared his throat. "Nice mornin' out, eh? What can I help ya two with today?" Sky tried to sound friendly, but his deep and somewhat gruff voice made it hard sometimes. This time, he was mostly successful. He stood, motioning for the two to come on inside.
Filly blinked at Theron, a bit surprised. He'd only just been talking to Gaara, after all. It wasn't the sudden business proposal that gave her pause- it was him opening the door for her. It had been a while since she'd been granted such a courtesy. Back in her hometown, people didn't do things like open doors for each other. You were lucky if you didn't get shoved out of the way. They didn't know each other that well, so why? Of course she knew that he was almost inconceivably nice to everybody all the time- she figured everyone in town knew that- but she'd still only talked to Theron in passing before, either with her parents or alone, when she'd needed seeds, and him being all gentlemanly or whatever he was doing was really screwing her up...

Oh my God. Shut up, you idiot! She forced herself to brake her runaway train of thought, giving her head a little shake to get the color out of her cheeks. It's way too early in the morning for me to be acting this stupid. Maybe the change in seasons is making my brain turn to mush.

"Um. Yeah. Mornin'," she began intelligently, greeting both Theron and Sky as she stepped inside. She'd mostly recovered, but she knew the embarrassment was going to follow her around. Before the door closed behind the florist, she took a moment to glance over her shoulder at the chaos that had erupted in the middle of the square. Poor sod. Filly would have had a conniption if that had happened to her. She hoped this didn't mean the square was going to smell like fish for weeks. That would be… unfortunate.

Sighing lightly, she returned her attention to Sky's smithy. The warm atmosphere was nice to bask in after being out in the chilly morning air, but Filly barely had time to appreciate it. She was too busy trying to decide who to talk to first. Since it was Sky's shop, he was the logical choice, but getting her business done with Theron was equally important.

"Sorry if I'm interrupting," she began, attempting to be polite. She hadn't talked to Sky that much over the years, since her dad was the one who'd gone to the smithy, and he was a little intimidating, being a big guy compared to some of the other men in town. He sounded nice enough, at least. "Can you take a look at my tools and maybe do some upgrades? I've got them right here in my knapsack… And I do need seeds," she added quickly, whipping back around to look at Theron as she started pulling her bag off. "A ton of them. Vegetables and flowers. Probably grass, too, come to think of it. Actually, I have a list, but- Can you wait a minute while I'm talking to him?" she finally blurted out, exasperated with herself. "I don't want to just shove a piece of paper at you."

With a small laugh, Theron waved his hand at Filly in a gently dismissive manner. He hadn't expected to do business with her here, anyway. Business would be conducted in his shop so that he knew how much of everything he had and what he would need to order from the town at the base of the mountain to ensure he was always ready to handle the orders of the townspeople. Not that there were many who needed things of him. The horse rancher would need grass seeds also, of course. Sometimes the villagers bought flower seeds to grow for pleasure of a few vegetables so that they could try their hand at growing their own... and realize what a difficult job it was.

"Good morning, Sky. I trust that you too have been up since the wee hours of the morning? I was simply so excited to begin my day, the first day of spring it is!" Theron didn't expect as warm and bright a response to his inquiry as the statement had been but he really didn't mind it if the villagers weren't as warm and friendly as he was. Life was fast and difficult and only a few people could maintain such high spirits as he. His cheerfulness came through effort and an art of letting things slide off his back. All in all, the townspeople were pelasant and that was about as much as he could really ask for of them.

"Don't mind me, Miss Philomena. We'll do business after you're done here. You just looked like a lady who could use the door being opened for her." He should look into getting a new watering can himself, he thought idly. Possibly even a new little shovel for his seeds and a flowerpot or two. Humming quietly, Theron's eyes roved over the shelves of tools that the blacksmith had, uncertain as to the purpose of most of the items. This trade was too lifeless and cold for Theron, but he could appreciate the fine works and the fact that he relied on the tools of the blacksmith.
Sky smiled at Theron's greeting. "Aye, it was a beautiful sunrise." Sky's reply was short, but not unfriendly. He knows that Theron loves nature, something that the two have in common. Sky doesn't try to hide it, but he doesn't always come off as a nature lover with his short responses. Perhaps if he knew Theron, or even Filly, better he would have said more, told them about his lovely morning hike up the mountainside, or boasted about his yield from mining all winter. Sky never had any real friends besides his family and the elderly farm owner before Filly's family moved in. It would be nice if someone approached him for friendship, since Sky was not the type to avidly seek new friendships. He was, however, content living his life as is. He enjoyed mining, toiling with his workings and drawing, and being the town's only smith. He had to admit, though, he loved company and/or customers.

Philomena began talking, quickly and almost nervously. Sky chuckled a bit and held his hand out as a sort of sign to "slow down."
"Heh heh. It's ok, Miss. Don't you worry one bit. I'll take a look at those tools for you." Sky held his hands out, ready to examine Philomena's tools. "What do you have for me today?" Sky's deep voice could cut through stone like a pick and split wood like an axe. When he spoke, you could feel it in your core, reverberating with whatever emotion he spoke with. In this case, it was lighthearted happiness. He was glad to have some visitors for once. Winter in the mines starts to get very lonely towards the end of the season.

"I'm sure I could fix you right up, might take me a few hours though." Sky paused for a second before making his next statement. It was slightly hesitant. "You're free to...hang around,...or come back whenever you like." Sky hoped that if the two left, they wouldn't be gone for too long. He'd like to get to know someone better this year. It was time to break that stone wall down and really get to know someone, or everyone, but chances are he wouldn't be able to open up by himself.
Filly wondered what it was like to feel so calm all the time. Both of the men in the shop gave the impression that they were imperturbable. Filly had always been easy to pick at, and would remain that way until the day she died, or just collapsed from exhaustion because of all the work she'd done since her parents took off. She dreaded ending up in Chloe's clinic… who would take care of the farm if she got a cold? Not Pablo the Idimutt.

It was funny how they were both waving her down in an attempt to calm her nerves. It would have been a lot funnier if she wasn't the one they were flagging down.
"Right," she muttered, ignoring how her cheeks heated up again, and pulled out her hammer and hoe. Her axe, sickle, and beloved watering can were in fine shape, but she'd been neglecting the hammer a little and she could have sworn she'd seen a crack in the hoe's metal. The hoe was far more important, but she'd need the hammer to be in tip-top shape if she was going to use it to break up the rocks that magically cropped up in her field.

Placing the tools in Sky's large hands, she reflected on his intense baritone. In a way, it was almost soothing. She was sure that wouldn't be true were he to get angry, but as she'd already noted, Sky didn't seem like the kind of guy who let trifling things weigh him down. Filly, whose own voice was just a tad lower than was typical of a girl her age, knew she could certainly use a tip or two on how to chill out.

She'd already known the process would take a few hours, but she was surprised when Sky suggested hanging out for a while. Filly rarely had time for small talk lately. When she thought about it, the prospect of having a conversation was appealing.
"Sure, I can stay for a bit," she agreed. They needed to discuss her tools, anyway, and as long as she didn't dally too long, it was obvious that Theron would be around after she finished up. She really needed to get those seeds planted by the end of the night. And talk to the rancher. And do whatever other chores popped up in her mind as she went about her business; she always had a lot on her plate.

Awkwardly, she racked her brain for something interesting to say about what she'd done that day (nothing), what the weather was like (already covered), and how he was (he was obviously fine). Failing that, she glanced around, noticing the papers that still lay on his desk.
"Planning on sketching something out?" she queried, indicating said desk.
Memento stood in Freya's shop. She always came a bit early to clean up whatever Freya might have knocked over after Memento had left for the night. She sighed and started to pick up any stray items carefully avoiding the sunlight that streamed in. She wished she had someother resin to talk to.
"No, it sure as hell didn't!" Clyde growled, nearly slipping as he propped himself against the upturned wheelbarrow. Despite Gaara's kind and gracious actions, he was still pissed. His morning's catch was sprawled across the square with the cats and birds already having at it. He also had a slight pain in his left ankle which might have been sprained in the fall. Still, the innkeeper was being very kind. It would be best if Clyde at least tried to be civil. Especially since Gaara was a native Allbritian. Clyde didn't trust any of the more recent inhabitants.

He sighed. "Sorry Gaara. It's just – my fish fell, my barrow busted, and – aw whatever. Let's just pick this shit up. " As he spoke, Clyde avoided eye contact with Gaara. The innkeeper gave him the creeps. But, like Clyde, he had been working on his social graces. He was a few years younger than the fisherman yet had already achieved much more. It helps when one's parents pass ownership of their inn onto their son. Still, Gaara kept that place running. As Clyde limped around salvaging fish, he thought to ask him how. "So, uh, how's things with the inn? Get'in any business? Having any troubles?" The conversation was awkward, but the man was bad at conversation.

As Filly pulled out her tools and handed them to Sky, he looked them over carefully and nodded as he walked over to his forge. "The hammer would barely break a pebble in this state, and this hoe looks like it's just seen a lot of use, it's cracked from over working." Sky would pull some iron out of his closet and begin heating it up over his forge. He planned on upgrading the old hammer to an iron hammer, making it more durable and easier to use. The hoe was already iron, it just need a little repair job. He set to work and smiled when Filly said that she'd be staying.

Sky had time for small talk while the Iron was being heated up. Filly must have noticed his sketching tools on his desk,
"Ah, yes. I'm going to make a new line of jewelry with the gems and crystals I found in the mines over the winter." He pointed over to the display cases where the gems and crystals were laid out so neatly. "It was a bountiful season for me, and I am blessed by the goddess to have found some of those stones." Sky pulled his melting pot out of the fires. The iron was just beginning to turn red. He planed on melting a little bit of iron and using it to recoat the hoe before he fashioned a new hammer head for that old hammer.

After a moment, Sky remembered the strange, brittle crystals he found. "Oh Filly look at this. Theron, you might be interested in this too." Sky walked over to a pile of crystal dust and showed the two his strange find. "Take it. It's rich with minerals and I think it should be a good fertilizer." There was enough crystal dust for each person to use on thirty crops.

Sky went back to his forge. He didn't have much to talk about, but he did like having company. He just wouldn't open up much without help. It was his turn to try and keep this conversation going though, so he mustered up what first came to mind.

"Either of you interested in jewelry? I'd love to make you something."
As the sunlight began to beam through the drawn shades in the upper attic, a quiet moan sounded throughout the upper storage room. There the teen lay, her head resting upon her arm, pen still in hand as she leaned against the piece of paper underneath. She was in the midst of writing her mother and father a letter in the mid night before exhaustion finally hit her. Restocking the shelves for the coming spring had to do with a lot of moving heavy boxes from upstairs to the store downstairs, and this easily wore out the small girl. Shifting positions to try and get the light out from her face, she hid her face in the center of her arm before taking a whiff of the ink on the paper. "Urgh…" She sounded before her green eyes confusedly opened. "Wha…" She heard movement downstairs in the shop, but let her droopy eyes stay half open, not realizing what time it really had been.

As her eyes slowly closed again, sleep nearly came to her again before she moved her arm to the side, knocking off the ink well from the crate she was resting her head on. With a loud sound of glass meeting the ground, Freya let out a shocked exclamation before sitting upright so fast, she nearly fell onto her back.
"Ah!" Her eyes watched in horror as the ink drained out of the cracked glass well before she scrambled to pick it up. "No no no! This can't be happening!" With ink spreading all over her hands, Freya stumbled to her feet, running back and forth through the attic. "Tape, tape, tape… where is the tape?!" She yelled angrily to herself, finally spotting it in the corner of the room on the window's edge. "Yes!" Holding the inkwell in her right hand, she tried her best to remove a piece of tape from the dispenser and carefully placed it over the crack.

"T-There… that should do it.." She sighed with relief, shuffling over to the crate with scattered papers about it. With heavy eyes, she glanced around the crate, seeing all the papers having been spotted or drenched in the ink. With a groan, she placed the ink well down and lifted a hand to her forehead, smearing the ink from her hand all over her face. "I've really done it this time…" She sighed before letting out a small whine. "Why~!" Freya cried before stomping down the stairs of the attic and to the main floor of the shop. With ink stained all over her face and hands, Freya pouted before looking to her assistant. "You can go ahead and open shop, Memento…" She began with a heavy heart. "I need to go get cleaned up for today…" She said in a defeated tone, shuffling to the back of the shop hanging her head.
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The crisp mountain air felt good against Pru's face. She stood with her hands on her hips, surveying the stables with a stern frown. The rancher had packed up and split out of Allbrite, leaving the horses, cattle, and a pair of rambunctious border collies behind, and now it fell on her to find someone to fill in. For the time being, with the other townsfolk too busy to look after the animals, she was stepping up for the task.

"Charlie! Annabell!" she called, and the duo of overgrown slobber machines came bounding across the cow pasture toward her. Dropping onto one knee, she patted their fur, ruffling their ears. They were good dogs, although Annabell was the truer farm dog out of the two of them; Charlie was more of a pet. Pru hadn't had any luck coaching him to help Annabell herd the cattle in and out of their pens, and she'd mostly given up hope that he'd ever catch on... but that was the least of her problems.

Sighing, she straightened and tucked a stray lock of blond hair behind her ear, glancing over her shoulder at the path leading back toward town. She could see the pavilion top of the market from here, a bright red-orange against the greys and greens of the mountain backdrop. She'd need to check in on Freya Arette and Memento Starr, the pair of merchants currently keeping shop there; the big spring shipment had just come in, and they had to go over the stock to see whether anything else needed ordering. That also meant consulting Sky Tinsleton at the smithy and Theron Quinnin at the flower shop, as well as Gaara Seto and Ismene Quinnin at the inn, and Chloe Orvos at the clinic. In short, her schedule for the day was chock full, and she'd best start making her rounds now that the animals were seen to.

Wiping the grime off of her hands, she set out for the market, Charlie and Annabell tagging along at her heels. It wasn't a particularly far walk, and in a few minutes time, she was knocking at the door of the shop. "Miss Arette? It's Mayor Delaney. I'm here about the spring restock."
Filly smiled wryly, her eyes roaming over the glass case full of shiny baubles. "Winter was obviously a lot more exciting for you than it was for me." He really had found a lot of damn gems. Goddess or no goddess, she had no idea how he did it. Mining was not her thing. On the few occasions she'd ventured underground, she'd been weighed down with a ton of food to keep her stamina up, and she'd never found enough to justify a return trip.

Her brows rose when Sky gestured to the oddly sparkling pile of dust, and rose even higher when he offered her some for free.
"Really? Well, jeez. That's nice of you. Thanks." She wasn't as sure that it would help her crops grow, but she didn't know as much about minerals as he did, either. Blinking, she scooted over to collect it, pulling a pouch out of her knapsack and carefully scooping some of it up. She was grateful for the freebie. Filly made a mental note to save a portion of whatever she used the fertilizer on with Sky. It was the least she could do.

She'd just finished pulling the drawstrings on the pouch when Sky spoke again.
"I'm interested, yeah," she laughed. "My wallet, not so much." Filly didn't have a good excuse to wear jewelry, besides. She had no reason to dress up. She'd probably just lose whatever it was, anyway.
In the tiny room that was the washroom, Freya leaned over the sink, shifting most of her weight down on the white marble. With a heavy sigh, and a turn of the hot water handle, she watched and waited as the water continued its endless run. Now when will I be able to send out their letters..? She thought to herself, thinking back to the startling morning she had. Finally, when steam began to rise and lightly caress the apples of her cheeks, the young girl snapped back into reality. "Eh? Ah!!" She exclaimed with a shrill shock. From where her hands had been placed on the white sink, Freya saw the imprint of her black hands smudged about it. "How did that get theeeere!?" She whined and thrust her hands into the hot water, forgetting that she hadn't turned on the cold to counter the burning hot water. With another scream, the girl jerked her hands back and held them tightly as they pulsed. "Ugh! What is wrong with me!" Letting out another small whine, she turned the hot water down and opened up the cold water to create the perfect temperature. Sighing again, she watched as the stains slowly washed away from her hands. Freya then took the small hand towel and watered it down, softly scrubbing away at the ink left on the sink, as her hands still pulsed.

A small banging was muffled from the back of the shop, but the low voice of the mayor had caught the young girl's attention. "Eh? Who could that be..?" She questioned herself softly and placed the towel on the edge of the sink, which had fallen off shortly afterwards. A glare came from the girl's eyes as she looked down to the damp and stained towel on the floor. "Well now you're just gonna have to stay there, aren't you?" She scoffed. "I'll pick you up later…" She breathed, opening up the door to the back washroom and reentering the shop's main floor. "I'm here about the spring restock."" She heard from behind the shop's main entrance. Shoot! She's already here!? I didn't even send out the letter yet! Freya's mind had gone berserk with beating herself up. Inhaling deeply, Freya opened the door to the shop and propped it open with a nearby broom. "Welcome Mayor Delaney!" She said with a warm smile, looking directly into the woman's eyes. "Come on in! I know we're a little late with opening shop. I kinda.. overslept again." She said with a nervous giggle at the end, still clutching her hands that gradually began to pulse less and less as time went on. "What can I get for you, ma'am?"