Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon or any of its characters, only this story.

It Starts With a Look

I was never one to believe in love at first sight. Honestly, for me, it would take a lot more than just looks for me to fall in love with someone. Whoever falls in love with someone based on looks is just shallow, right?

Wrong. Things were going to get a lot more interesting for me.

It all started out at the end of Spring. I had just harvested my crops and cut away the remains to make room for the summer crops that would soon take their place. My animals were outside, happily grazing in the grass, and my dog and horse were chasing each other around the river. The sun was shining down on my farm and the rest of Mineral Town. Life was good.

I decided to venture back into my house to get cleaned up, due to the fact that I was covered in dirt, sweat, and who knows what else. I had just finished changing into a clean pair of blue jeans and a pink striped flannel shirt when I heard a couple of quick raps at the door.

Upon answering the door, I found a pair a brown eyes looking back at me. And, unlike most of the people that show up at my door, these eyes were gorgeous. The stranger introduced himself as Kai, who stayed in Mineral Town during the summer to run his Beach Shack. I could've melted right then and there.

But it wasn't just his eyes that captivated me. It was his everything. His adorable smile, his tan skin. The way he wore his purple bandana off-center and the dark hair peeking out from underneath it. And his voice, oh my god, his voice. It was like velvet; his talking was smooth and melodic. I swear, this guy was perfect;I couldn't find a single flaw. Well, maybe I could have, but at the moment, I was preoccupied.

Even Kai's personality was perfect. There was never a moment I spent with him where he was angry or depressed; he was always friendly and ready to listen if I needed to talk. To say the least, it was love at first sight. For me, anyway.

That summer, I always looked forward to heading to the beach once I had finished work on the farm. I would walk into the beach shack, welcomed by Kai and the blue raspberry snow cone that he would always make for me – it didn't go beyond his notice that I had a rather large liking, or addiction, to blue raspberry snow cones. Heh. On Sundays, when Kai had the day off, we would sit under an umbrella on the beach and talk the day away.

Of course, the end of summer came too quickly, and I found myself standing at the end of the dock as Kai prepared to head back to the city until next summer. I could see a tiny white speck off in the distance, and I presumed it was the boat.

Just the thought of Kai leaving had me torn. Over the summer, we had become best friends, and I was not looking forward to waiting for next summer. Sure, I had a few other friends in Mineral Town, but I wasn't friends with them like I was with Kai.

He must have noticed how I felt because he tried to reassure me with a small smile. "I'll be back soon, Claire."

"Soon? Soon?! Kai, you'll be back next summer!" I took a deep breath and tried not to yell at him. "Do you know how long that is? That's almost a year away."

Kai sighed and glanced back at the Snack Shack. "Yeah, I know," he admitted. "I'll write to you if you want me to."

"Hmm, yes. Letters will make everything better," I said dryly. "Goddess, Kai. Don't you know how hard this is for me?"

"Hey, this isn't easy for me, either, Claire," Kai retorted.

"Then stay here," I snapped at him. Sheesh. He could be so dim sometimes.

"Oh, Kai!" A bubbly voice gushed. I could hear the soft patter of feet on the sand and then Popuri attacked Kai with a hug. "Oh, I'm going to miss you so much! How will I live without you here?!"

I grimaced at the pink-haired girl and how she was all over Kai. What a drama queen.

"Hi, Popuri," Kai mumbled, not overly enthused at her dramatic goodbye.

After what seemed like an hour, Popuri let go of Kai and started making lovey-dovey eyes at him. Just what I needed to see. "Well, let me know when you're back," I said bitterly to Kai and started to walk off the dock.

"Oh come on, Claire. You don't need to be such a kill-joy," Popuri said in a snobby voice.

"Not now, Popuri," Kai said. "Don't you need to take your mom to the clinic today?"

"Oh!" she squeaked. "I can't believe I forgot!" Popuri swiftly walked off in the direction of her house, knocking me to the side as she passed by.

"Ow," I muttered under my breath. Popuri had an unusually bony shoulder.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were jealous," Kai smirked, grabbing my arm. He turned me around and dragged me back to the dock.

"Hah, right. I'm just so jealous." I rolled my eyes at him. "What exactly am I jealous of, again?"

"Why, me, of course," Kai said. "You know you love me," he teased.

"Uh huh," I nodded. "And what makes you think that?"

"Oh, don't play dumb, Claire. I'm not blind," Kai said with a mischievous smile.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest. This conversation was taking a very strange and unexpected turn. There was no way he knew how I felt about him, right?

"I see the way you look at me when you think I'm not looking," he pointed out, much to my embarrassment. "Plus, if it weren't true, you would have said something instead of standing there like I'd uncovered some deep, dark secret," he said when I didn't say anything.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach. I guess there was no use trying to hide it now. I opened my eyes and gazed at Kai for a second. "I wish you would stay here," I said in a quiet voice, biting my lip. I looked down at the wooden planks on the dock, waiting for a response.

"Yeah. Me, too."

Wait, what? I looked up at Kai's face, confused. What I saw there was even more confusing; his expression was torn, like he was trying to choose between leaving or staying.

"Stay here," I said again.

"Claire, I can't stay here. I can't afford the inn for an entire year. At least in the city I have a home that I don't have to pay for."

"Then stay with me," I blurted out. My eyes widened as I realized what I said, and I started to blush.

"You're not serious, are you?" Kai questioned.

"Well, Gotz just finished working on the house, so…" I trailed off. Great. Why couldn't I just keep my mouth shut?


"Okay, you know what? Forget I ever said anything. This whole thing never happened, and you can just leave on the boat and come back next summer, and-"

I was quieted when Kai suddenly kissed me. His arms wound around my waist, and my arms, suddenly having a mind of their own, crept up to encircle Kai's neck. Our bodies were crushed to each other's, leaving absolutely no space between us. We finally broke apart after what seemed like a millennium, our breathing ragged.

"You talk too much, Claire," Kai stated, resting his forehead against mine. After a pause, he asked, "Are you really serious about me staying with you?"

"Only if you want to," I said, hoping that he did.

"Well, then. I guess you'll have to start clearing out some closet space for my clothes." Kai grinned, and kissed me again.

And to think all this started with a look. I smiled at him and rested my head against his shoulder.

A/N: Hope everyone liked this oneshot! I've been adding on to this over the past month, and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. Some parts I really like, and others I think are kind of iffy. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this. :D (Reviews welcome)