Chapter 1: Blythe
Disclaimer: True disclaimer is I don't own Harvest Moon XD
I'm sure that there are fans that ended at Yuki within the series I've decided to title/call “Legacy” so I want to begin by saying I have a series of short stories following the lives of the 'children's children' so essentially the whole Third Generation will have their lives wrapped up. I'm not going to dabble into fourth gen thankfully but I do want to at least wrap them up. Just because I love both the OC characters and the fact Harvest Moon gives me such a host of characters that I can't use all the ones I want in just the second generation. Not QUITE enough of them.
“Why not give this a SEPARATE file then?” On my Tumblr, I wrote a note citing that I was going to compile all my short stories in Chronology. However, fact of the matter is I was not aware that with all my moving chapters around it wasn't quite going the way I expected. Thus I've mentioned on said Tumblr now that I will compile the shorts in the 'parent' file. As in, this story is about grown up Sachiko. Yes, Steiner and Kaede's little baby in 'Yuki'. I'm not planning on putting this into a whole separate fanfiction because I'm not currently projecting a behemoth of a story like some of my others. And I feel I've cluttered the Harvest Moon section enough somehow x sweatdrop x
So now that that's done...
Author's Note: Hellu, all. I know it's been a couple weeks but this new short marks a bit of an extreme difference for me as I haven't played through Island of Happiness or Sunshine Islands. Sure, I've rewritten plenty of characters before the game came out (i.e. This Love, Jewel in the Rough) but in the case of one Vaughn it feels like I have a lot to live up to. He seems to be a favorite in the series and for a lot of cases I'm not entirely sure why, lol. I've done the 'tsundere' before with Chihaya (Chase) but Chase seems aware he's not the nicest guy around in game and in this series. Vaughn on several founded instances in my research of him seems...absolutely unaware. While I'm not entirely sure who's the bigger jerk in either case (knowing you're a jerk and doing it anyway or not knowing the things you say are the jerkyiest thing EVER) it's a bit of a different ballgame. Hopefully I've rendered him close enough. Enjoy n.n
Yukina Sachiko sat in the orientation room with her satchel at her feet as she held her notebook in her lap and pen in hand. Others filtered in from the student commons outside. Not many but no one was expecting a full crowd to begin with. Alas, she was her father's daughter and she had to recognize an amazing opportunity.
Sachiko pursed her lips as she took out her phone, sliding to view a message she was still awaiting an answer to. Nope. Why should she figure any differently?
Sighing faintly, she adjusted in her chair. It wasn't a good time to do this but at the same time it was. It gained her the opportunity to graduate with a bit of experience in management. Her Aunt Rosa's father-in-law was inspiring in one way. Sure, he was practically running a monopoly with his hands in everything but the fact that he could was amazing. She'd major in business like her grandfather and hopefully a run a good company. Big plans that she wanted to get off the ground soon. Additionally, the sooner she could get out of school the sooner she can help him...
“For the love of Jesus, will you stop avoiding me?”
Eyes widening in surprise, she glanced to her side to find Chet standing there. Another good reason? Escaping this guy for a little while. Huffing, she slouched in her chair, set to continue her feat of ignoring him. At least until he stopped existing.
“Chet, really, I...I understand. I'm not really good enough for you so that's why you're sleeping with your friend's girlfriend. Get it, super do, so you can leave, kay?”
Her ex-boyfriend who she'd last seen in a compromising position with Sandra started to breathe hard. Just a signal that he was getting upset and yea, she was over that. All guys in this area were the same. Either that or she just made guys want to cheat on her. Ouch stuff.
“Oh c'mon! And you can't tell me you're actually going abroad!?”
“Yes. I told you I would...And unless you plan the same, I don't believe you're supposed to be here” she managed as politely as possible.
Chet glared a little at her before huffing, walking off. Good riddance. She had a lot more on her plate to deal with than guys that couldn't manage to keep it in their pants. Alas...why was it every guy? Was she just crazy to think a man should be able to commit? Had her family just spoiled her intensely into thinking there were pure monogamous people out there?
Biting her lip, she shook her head rapidly trying to toss it away. Not now, Sachi. Pay attention, she commanded, as the director of the studies abroad program spoke about the various opportunities and how this was a good option for them all. The credits were through the roof and she got to take a break from this place. It was win-win.
Walking to the front to retrieve her package when her name was called, Sachiko smiled, anxious to know where she was going. This particular program was 'random' as in they wanted to test your ability to adapt to the managerial situation in any location. They provided housing and everything while the student assisted a participating business. She hoped for a ritzy city or a spacious suburb...
...Or...somewhere she didn't recognize whatsoever.
Bokuyashima? Where...where was that? What was that? 'Verdure Island'? Gaping, absolutely speechless, she looked up in shock at the others that were naming off big cities. Looking at the map of Bokuyashima, she discovered that, well, it was an island, yes. But frankly it seemed like a farming country...
Sachiko brightened. Hey, it wasn't impossible, it's where a majority of her family got it's start. Actually all their success stemmed initially from that farm her Uncle Nelly ran today. Stood to reason she could make her own claim to fame in the same setting. Awesome!
Grabbing her things, she rushed out to gather her belongings and go spend a couple days with her family. She was guessing this place was nowhere near Mineral so stood to reason she wouldn't be seeing them often in this year. Most likely her protective papa Yukina Steiner was going to flip a lid but she'd explain it carefully to him. Her grandfather, on the other hand...
They were so ridiculous about certain things. They'd only be apprehensive because she'd be alone or two, hook up with a guy like she hadn't since she'd entered college anyway. Perhaps she was a little too liberal but she knew she had needs to take care of, it never made her that uncomfortable when her younger siblings Skye or Felicie mentioned anything like that either...
Frankly it wasn't going to happen here though. She was going to keep this professional and, while it may be biased, country guys had never been her direct type so she was probably safe.
“Damn it, Denny, I told you to watch him for a second.”
“Dude, he almost killed me!”
He'd been reluctant to keep the name. 'Your parents at least left you with that', they'd say at the foster home. Thanks, he'd always thought bitterly. The moment he turned fifteen he'd left and had all intention of abandoning such sentiments. He didn't need the only scrap they thought to leave him with. Unfortunately, Vaughn Blythe learned it was hard to make it completely through life without a name.
Scowling irritably, he readjusted his hat and glared at the tanned fellow beside him irritably. Denny Walker, if he actually wanted to admit anything, which, he didn't, was his only friend. Well, aside from Mirabelle...nagging old woman that had moved to Verdure from France about half a decade ago. He'd been reluctant to do business with her, the lady always singing show tunes and forcing him to eat pie all the damn time, but there was no denying she knew how to take care of her sheep. Her business aesthetic could use a lot of help but as far as Vaughn was concerned her heart was in the right place. Just hoped she had enough sense not to tank.
Well, he should try to be nicer to her now because he might end up killing Denny, the dumb f—k. “It's a horse, dips—t.”
“Horses can totally kill you, s—tdip.”
Vaughn rolled his eyes and looked around, “You know how fast a horse can go? He could be anywhere by now.”
“I say good riddance. That horse was the devil, man” Denny groaned, leaning against the fence outside of Chen's general store.
Usually Vaughn would have gotten up in arms about this comment. After all if he trusted anything it was animals. But in this case he was very hard pressed to argue...
His name was Thunder, a beautiful young palomino horse. Vaughn often transported animals for the various ranches around here, putting in their requested orders then bringing the livestock back every other day. It took him HOURS to walk here and usually he got heckled by his job opponents atop their stout horses as they made amazing time. Usually he wouldn't care as long as the animals were well cared for but he was losing valuable time herding by foot and in turn it was sort of rough on them to hang out in the wilderness because HE needed a break.
The seller was antsy. Vaughn should have called his bluff then because he may as well have given him Thunder for free for the discounted price he got. 'He's a good horse...he's...got spirit' was his line. Yea, the spirit of Beelzebub.
Thunder, upon greeting him, almost bit his fingers off. Vaughn was honestly shocked. Never had he EVER had an animal react like that to his gentleness. Thunder then proceeded to have them reenact a bull riding event and nearly break his spine falling off of him. Vaughn wasn't dissuaded, alas. He was going to break him in if it killed him. Unfortunately he had had no idea that that was very likely.
Scrunching his brow while he stroked his forehead, he scolded himself for leaving the devil in Denny's care. Denny was a fisherman, not a rancher, so if Thunder did go at him full throttle like he was apt to do, Denny would do what any sensible non-rancher would do: move. Fast. Didn't mean he wasn't still very annoyed with him.
“Well, I need to report in to the guys at the port anyway. Good luck finding him!”
Vaughn lightly gaped at Denny as the hyper fellow skipped off. Oh yea, thanks for helping him look, prick.
Growling, he shuffled around, quite frankly exhausted. It was tough just camping out all the time and turning around to make absurd hours. Not to say he was complaining or anything, just he was way too tired to be playing hide-and-seek with his crazed horse. So help him, he'd sell Thunder in a heart beat and get a nice tame horse that wasn't out to murder him.
Maybe he was incredulous when the sun sank over the horizon and the black seeped through the island because he was still looking by at least nine at night. It wasn't that big an island, damned!
Weary, swearing, as he came to the beach with worn body and spirit, Vaughn looked around in a daze. A beach...why would Thunder come on a beach? Sure, maybe he'd like it but...there was nothing out here for miles. Miles...and miles...
Sulky and resolved to his fate that this was pretty much all that was left to search, he continued his trek. Walking across sand was even more exhausting and he was almost possessed to stop and nap on the sand. Looks like he'd be crashing here tonight at this rate...
It startled him, his own coldness, when he started to wonder why it was even worth chasing after this stupid thing. It was just aggravating...was it worth it?
“Aren't you a pretty boy? Ah, I haven't seen a palomino in forever!”
Vaughn jolted, shocked, when a female voice interrupted his thoughts. Quickly looking around, his eyes finally settled on, THANK GOD, Thunder...with some girl.
He'd been here for about seven years but he'd never seen her before. She had long brunette hair, wearing a white strapless sun dress, both billowing with the ocean air, her feet bare. Seemed like something out of a novel or movie or...something, especially with her gently petting Thunder's long nose...
...Wait, he wasn't biting her?
Frankly quite annoyed, he marched over with all intention to snatch the horse away and drag him to the inn so he could finally go to sleep. Whatever. Forget all this, he was growing more frustrated by the second. Why was she messing with his horse?
Whoever the hell she was finally looked up at him. He paused for a moment, a little caught off guard. She had almost unearthly colored green eyes, her skin pale but...maybe just because of the moon. For whatever reason, she was smiling.
“Oh hello, is this your horse?”
“He's very pretty” she complimented, smiling broader as the horse nuzzled her. “And such a sweetheart.”
Vaughn glowered at Thunder. Oh, was it because he wasn't a woman? Figured, he has a sexist damn horse. Thinking the woman would just stand there dumbly, he was semi-relieved when she backed away. Reaching for the reigns, Vaughn was feeling better, throwing himself onto the back of the animal...only to hit the sand not ten seconds later, tossed from the throne of his noble stead.
...Ugh. The woman returned to him, alarm written all over her face. “Are you okay?!”
She frowned, staring at the horse as if his behavior was bewildering. “That's so strange, he's been so nice...”
“Yea, well, he's pretendin'” he snarled, clambering to his feet and giving Thunder a hard look. “Better behave in front of your lady friend here, Thunder. Don't want her to know how you really are.”
Expecting her to balk, she instead laughed rather girly, rising to her feet and rubbing the horse's ears. “I'm sure that's far from the case. Thunder, was it? You have to be careful, you don't want to hurt anyone.”
Vaughn almost leered when Thunder snorted loudly. Ass.
He stiffened when the brunette turned to him. Oh God, now she was going to talk to HIM...
She indeed bowed, rising to give him another exuberant smile. Why? “Hello, I'm Yukina Sachiko.”
He cared...? “...Vaughn.”
“Nice to meet you! I'm going to be assisting Masaru Mirabelle with her bookkeeping for a year so I suppose I'll be seeing you around the neighborhood” Sachiko nodded.
Eh? “...Oh, so...you'll be helping Mirabelle?”
Vaughn glowered at her skeptically. She looked like some flouncy...student. And she really couldn't be that much older than him and she was going to help Mirabelle with her accounts? Fearful to say the least, he was going to remark that perhaps that wasn't a good idea. But Sachiko laughed again, picking up a satchel bag from nearby, “I know I don't seem like I'll be any help but I'm definitely going to help Mirabelle sort everything out. It's why I'm in school.”
“Sure. But that don't mean going 'round messing with strange animals. Thunder is dangerous.”
Sachiko blinked at him, surprised, “Oh, I wouldn't usually but he came up to me...”
Oi... “Well, still.”
“I'll keep that in mind, sure” she smiled again, “Thank you.”
'Thank you'? “...Yea.”
“Well, I have to get up early so I should be going. Nice again meeting you, Vaughn, Thunder!” she called, walking the opposite way up the beach.
Vaughn stared after her for a few minutes before shaking his head. What a mess...he really hoped that some college student from the city wasn't the final nail in Mirabelle's coffin. He was fond of doing business with the lady, after all.
Apprehensive, he put his thoughts aside to mount the horse for try two. He expected to just be thrown off again as Thunder found hobby in doing...however, like some kind of miracle from mysterious college students on the beach, the horse just grunted. Oh well swell, listen to the woman you just met a few minutes ago. Grasping the reigns, he grumbled as the ride was rocky beyond any reason. Well, he was still a jerkass horse but at least he was letting him ride.
“Dude, she's hot. You haven't noticed?!”
Vaughn slurped some noodles idly as he sat in Nick's Diner with Denny... the fellow had offered him free food and well, since he wasn't looking to get paid for another week he needed to take any opportunity he could. Swallowing down a bit of beer, he waved a hand. “Don't notice stuff like that.”
Denny gave him a bland yet incredulous look. “Maybe if you're BLIND. Plus, Thunder likes her.”
He leered, “Thunder's a blasted sexist.”
Denny laughed at him, drinking a beer after he popped a piece of sushi in his mouth. “Dude, for real though. She is super pretty...”
“Only you notice stuff like that.”
Vaughn scowled when the door swung open and said 'hot girl', dressed in those short short jeans, a yellow tank top, and a red bandanna atop her head, entered. Sure enough, all the guys at the bar and at the tables turned to look. She was holding a stack of papers, a bounce in her step as she headed to the counter. Nick seemed hard pressed not to stare as she ordered something...
“...I guess her eyes were kind of interestin'...”
Denny raised a brow at him, “...I mean, I guess they're pretty but that's...not usually the first thing a guy is going to notice on a woman like Yukina-san, man.”
Rolling his eyes at that, Vaughn glanced at her. “I'm not the type to notice that either.”
“Hello, Walker-san, Blythe-san!”
Mirabelle had told her his last name. He just gave her a brisk nod and Denny gushed as she approached them. She was too friendly for his taste...Mirabelle thought she was just the most adorable thing ever. Whatever. Vaughn just wanted to see results...
Alas, Mirabelle told him that she had lost track of a lot of funds and was probably months from having to sell the ranch. She apologized that her orders may become sporadic but that as soon as things got leveled out and her debt was diminished she'd make her normal stock runs. While somewhat bitter that meant a little less of his paycheck, well, that was better than losing her altogether and permanently missing that portion of his paycheck...
“Oh, that was my daughter's area” Mirabelle confessed sadly, “But she left DECADES ago now, my goodness! The damage is done.”
Sachiko had patted the woman's hand. They were sitting at the table in the barn as he settled in the stock he'd brought from the other island. She seemed like the spoiled type so he would have assumed she would balk and sob about the smell. But no, she seemed fine enough...
“I'm sure Julia-san would come back and help if you'd have asked, Mirabelle-san.”
“Oh goodness, never” Mirabelle scoffed. “That girl, she has...business she is too involved in for her poor old mother to see shadow of her!”
Sachiko laughed, “Well, she does have Lia...”
“Yes, the grandchild I shall never see” Mirabelle muttered, shaking her head, before brightening, “You are already a great help, Sachiko. I'm glad you're here.”
Vaughn glowered a bit as Denny and Sachiko spoke. Whatever, it didn't involve him. He just continued to eat silently, blocking out their conversation. Which may not have been a good idea...Denny blinked back at him suddenly, grinning. “You should join us, Yukina-san.”
...UGH. People! Sachiko smiled, “Oh, I don't want to interfe--”
“Not at all! Here, have a seat. I'm going to go grab some more noodles” Denny announced, standing up and darting off.
He'd kill him. Starting to stand and leave, Sachiko suddenly looked thoughtful. “Denny is cute.”
Vaughn stiffened a bit as she blinked towards him. He supposed he wasn't used to...different colored eyes that much. Brown or black...Mirabelle shook him with her blue ones at first. Green was...strange.
“You don't think so? He said you guys were together...”
Sachiko pressed the tips of her pointer fingers together, nodding, “Like together-together.”
...HE'D KILL HIM. Vaughn's cheeks burned as he gritted his teeth. “...In his nightmares.”
The girl giggled, “I thought he was kidding, considering he ran off right away.”
Vaughn could only shake his head. That was until Denny returned so he could stab him through the eye. Eating a bit of umeboshi, he glowered at her. “So wha'? Now tha' he ain't 'together-together' with me, you gonna go after him?”
“Oh heavens, no” Sachiko shook her head, “Denny's a good guy but relationships are too complicated, especially with the work to be done.”
Vaughn raised a brow, drinking his beer. “I guess you're smarter than you look.”
She smirked, surprisingly. Seemed kind of weird when she was all butterflies and ribbons. “I heard from Mirabelle to accept that as a compliment.”
“Oh yea! Does Thunder like carrots?”
Vaughn scowled, “I've never had carrots around to see if he liked them.”
Sachiko frowned, “Why?”
“I hate carrots.”
“I wonder...my Uncle Kurt reminds me of you and he hates carrots as well. I wonder if it's a grouchy thing...” she pondered, stroking her chin.
Glaring at that slight, she waved a hand as if it were of no consequence. “Well, I want to give him one. It might keep him in a better mood if he had treats every once and then.”
“You don't reward evil” he scoffed.
Sachiko laughed, smiling at the waiter as he delivered her a bowl of soup, the young man flustering and fleeing sheepishly. She pouted, “Oh pooh, it's like that everywhere. I'm not scary, am I?”
Vaughn rolled his eyes, pausing before drinking the broth from the bowl, “I doubt it's fear.”
“How mysterious” she said, wide-eyed, as she drank her soup. Suddenly she looked outside and her brows furrowed. Vaughn frowned and followed her gaze absently. Oh...Sabrina.
Sabrina and Regis Ellison lived in this area despite being, well, millionaires. Regis himself was quite often away, he had dozens of other areas where he mined, the lifeblood of his wealth. But Sabrina, his bookish but cheerful daughter, stayed here at their mansion on the end of town. Vaughn didn't mind her so much...
“She reminds me of this evil lady I know of...but she seems so nice” Sachiko suddenly remarked, almost sounding as if she weren't directly speaking to him.
Evil lady? Vaughn glared darkly when Denny returned with a grin. “Worked it out?”
“Where I'mma put your dead body? Naw, but I'm thinking.”
The fellow just grinned even more and Sachiko laughed, finishing her soup rather heartily. “Well, I'll leave you two to that. Hopefully you don't come up missing, Denny.”
“You're the only witness” Denny mock-pleaded.
Vaughn snorted and she winked before digging through her bag, “I did bring Thunder some carrots so I'll see if he'd like to try them.”
He just watched after her as she waved...looking through the window, he could only groan for whatever reason when Thunder almost trotted to her with the little give the harness gave him. “I may as well give her that dang horse...”
Denny smirked at him, unsnapping the wooden chopsticks to dig into his third helping of ramen. “See? Even the horse thinks she's attractive.”
“A-ah, Vaughn-san, hello.”
He looked up, a little surprised to see Sabrina standing there nervously. She was always a little...old-fashioned, he supposed? He kind of liked that, other girls tended to be too flashy. Like the one that his horse was madly in love with...maybe. Honestly he didn't see any reason to believe she thought she was being fancy...she wasn't prissy and as dizzy as she came off she seemed capable enough. Probably...was a cultural thing? Of course they were going to walk around in plaid and knit sweaters, it just seemed practical. What was country practical and what was city practical were two separate things...
Vaughn glanced back outside for a second, finding Sachiko was brushing a bur out of Thunder's coat. Then again, she seemed awful knowledgeable of farming for a city girl...she helped Mirabelle out when she wasn't doing accounting. Seemed peculiar she'd know how to shear sheep and milk cows...
“Uh, Vaughny boy...Ellison-san is speaking to you.”
Shoulders stiffening, he quickly looked back to the black haired girl who appeared horrified somehow for whatever reason. Clearing his throat, he leaned back, “My apologies. What were you saying?”
“A-ah, it was nothing” she blurted with a smile, looking out the window, “Isn't that your horse? Why is Mirabelle's assistant brushing it?”
“If she doesn't no one will” Vaughn groaned.
Denny snorted, suddenly rather cautiously eating his noodles, “It'd attack the rest of us. Sachiko-san has a...special touch.”
Sabrina frowned, “Well, that's...no good. Maybe you should get another horse...”
Leaning back in the seat, Vaughn was pressed to agree. Thunder was nuzzling her... “You're prolly right. Give that damn sexist horse to his chosen master...”
“You'd really give her your horse, man?” Denny smirked, glancing towards Sabrina and setting down his chopsticks, “I bet he'd feel betrayed, seeing you every day, knowing that deep down you thought he was a sexist demon horse.”
He leered towards her for calling him by that damned name, 'Yukina-san' skipping back in and handing him...carrots. “If you don't get them blasted things away from me--”
“Thunder LOVES them!” she insisted, “C'mon, what's wrong with carrots?”
“I hate carrots.”
Sachiko pouted some, “FINE, I'll keep them at Mirabelle's so Thunder can have a treat when you come by since you can't get over your inadequacies...”
“And what 'inadequacies' are those, Missy?” he scowled.
Her green eyes widened rather doe-like, pressing her hands to her cheeks as her mouth formed an 'o', “Oh my lawd, I said that outloud-d-d.”
“...You know what--”
She squealed, darting off as he started after her...for some reason. He wasn't one given to chase unless it was stupid horses that hated him because he didn't have a pretty face but this once he felt pressed to teach her a lesson. Which also was strange...
Vaughn yelped when quite suddenly Thunder was blocking him. Glaring at who should be his best friend, he leered more when Sachiko was on the other side, peeking over the spans of Thunder's back. “Sorry?”
“...Whatever.” It really didn't matter that much to begin with, meh.
Sachiko suddenly smiled, folding her hands behind her as she wandered closer, leaning against the horse somewhat. “I know you hate it, Blythe-san. Anyone can see how passionate you are about caring for animals and Thunder quite obviously isn't your biggest fan.”
“It's because he's sexist.”
“What?” she laughed, her brows creasing, “I don't...think he is aware I'm any different than you gender wise. Perhaps that could be it. But I think if you want him to tolerate you a little better you shouldn't pretend to be such a gruff old cowboy.”
Eyes widening, he glowered, “...Who says I'm pretending?”
“Everything you do” she assured with a smile, “You can be as bristly as you want but don't force it. I think even Thunder can sense that much.”
“Oh, so you approach him all masks off, huh?” Vaughn countered acerbically.
Sachiko folded her arms, resting her chin in her palm rather thoughtfully, “Oh, maybe you're right then...maybe he does just like women.”
Vaughn blinked, a little startled by this, before tilting his head. “...You...may have a point. I just...act with gentleness.”
Her bright smile returned, stuffing her hands in her pockets as she teetered back and forth on her heels, “I don't think it has to be an act.”
Sachiko looked at the orange plastic watch she had around her wrist...he hadn't been to the city but he thought watches were 'outdated' there with their fancy phones. Maybe she didn't have a choice...maybe she was just adaptable. He frowned, confused, as he watched her face. He...he supposed she...was kind of pretty.
“Well, I best get going, Blythe-san, I have work to do back at the farm” she announced, standing up straight.
… “...Stop calling me that. 'Vaughn' is just fine” he grunted, taking Thunder's reigns.
Sachiko smiled, “And if you every decide to call me anything, 'Sachiko' is just fine as well. I'll see you.”
Watching her skip off, he stood there lost in thought for a few moments before shaking his head, wandering back towards his camp. What...what a weird...strange girl...
He'd forgotten he'd left the others inside, Denny and Sabrina watching as he conversed with some mysterious college student he met on the beach...Denny looked to Sabrina, gnawing his lip as the girl gazed after the gruff 'cowboy' in anguish...
Because for just a second he looked like he was feeling something.