Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor anything from Harvest Moon. Though I do own the plot. I think.


Stolen

Saturday, Winter 24, 8:00am

It was the morning of Winter 24th. The starry night festival was that night, and I had the perfect plan.

You see, in a turn of events, Claire, the lovely Forget-Me-Not Valley farmer, had stolen my heart. So tonight was the special night in which I, Phantom Skye, would present Claire with a rare blue feather, a symbol of marriage in this small town, and something only a thief like me could obtain.

I watched as she took her horse for a run around her snow-covered field a few times. Her long blonde hair billowed out behind her, and a large grin lit up her flushed face. It made me smile, seeing her so happy. I wondered for a brief moment if she thought about me the same way.

Oh, to hell with it. I'm still proposing to her.

Saturday, Winter 24, 12:15pm

I signed the letter in my neat script and left it on her bedside table. Claire was running some errands around town, so I took this opportunity to use my remarkable lock-picking skills to sneak into her house and leave a note.

Dearest Claire,
As tonight is the Starry Night Festival, I will be seeing you at 6:00 o'clock, on the dot. Don't worry yourself about the food, I will provide some of my fabulous cooking. See you tonight.

Yours Truly,
Phantom Skye

I left silently the way I'd come, taking some curry powder from her fridge. I could definitely use this.

Saturday, Winter 24, 2:00pm

It was just my luck that Rock was out flirting with Lumina and Ruby was doing some grocery shopping in Mineral Town. I snuck into the kitchen in the back, making sure to lock the door in case someone decided to pay a visit to the inn. Pulling out a few pots and pans, I dumped the curry powder, some rice, and a couple herbs on the counter and waited until the pot was warmed up. I added the ingredients to the pot, all the while thinking that Claire wouldn't be able to resist my delicious cooking.

Saturday, Winter 24, 2:45pm

I left the curry to simmer on the stove and exited through one of the kitchen windows, leaving it ajar so I could get back in. Hopefully, Claire had gotten my note and was expecting me later tonight. Just to be sure, I made my way to the side of her house and peeked through the side window.

Startled, I ducked out of sight – Claire was inside, and had almost seen me. Fortunately, my thief senses were no match for her, and I was out of sight before she could have possibly noticed me looking through her window. I listened for any sign that she had read the note.

There was a rustle of paper, which I assumed was her picking up the letter, followed by a sharp intake of breath. Smirking to myself, I peered through the window to see the blonde farmer holding the message with one hand, the other over her mouth. A faint blush made its way onto her cheeks. Success. Now, back to my curry.

Saturday, Winter 24, 4:57pm

The curry was done cooking, so I happily took it and the pot along with some dishes up to Claire's farm. Shortly after I had gone back to the inn, I happened to see her rushing off towards the Goddess Pond, so her house was empty at the moment. Obviously, that I chose to spend the Starry Night Festival with her was quite overwhelming.

I set the food and plates on her wooden table and wandered around the house. It sure had been improved in the two years that Claire had lived here. The first night I saw her house, I was surprised at how small it was, only big enough to hold a few small pieces of furniture. Now it had been expanded so much that it could rival Romana's Mansion. I still had an hour to kill before Claire was due to show up, but the curry would stay warm for that long.

Catching the reflection of myself in her mirror, I fixed my already perfect hair and straightened out the collar of my shirt. I fingered the blue feather residing in my pocket, wondering how exactly I would pop the question.

"Here, Claire, have some curry. And while you're at it, marry me."

No, that wouldn't do. I needed something much more original, but classic at the same time.

"You know, I was cooking this curry at Ruby's Inn when this thought popped into my head. I think we should get married."

No, no, no. That sounds ridiculous.

Click. I turned my head at the sound of the door being unlocked. Had an hour already passed? A glance at the clock by her bed answered my question, and I quickly walked to stand by the table. I guess I would have to improvise tonight.

The door opened and Claire's silhouette was visible in the doorframe. She turned on the main light in her house and looked over to see me by the table, but she didn't seem startled.

"Good evening, Claire. I'm delighted that you chose to show up," I said courteously, pulling a chair out for her. Her hair was left down, and I tried not to ogle at what she was wearing. "You look lovely, as usual."

Claire nodded her head and took her seat. "Thank you. Muffy lent me some of her clothes for tonight."

Now that she mentioned it, I don't know how I could have missed it. Muffy had obviously dressed Claire up in the short black dress that was almost a little too revealing. "Hmm."

Claire frowned slightly. "What? You don't like it?"

"Oh, no, it's not that," I said quickly. "It's just not something I've seen you wear." I put a plate full of curry before her, thinking over what she'd said a few moments before. "Does Muffy know I'm here?"

"No," Claire answered, taking a bite of the curry. "I'm actually spending tonight in Mineral Town," she winked at me with a grin.

"Oh, I see."

"This curry is really good, Skye. Did you make it yourself?" Claire asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Certainly. Home-made curry is much better than anything store-bought," I explained, popping a spoonful in my mouth.

"Of course. But I do have reason to believe that this was not actually made in your home," Claire said playfully. "Nor with your actual cooking appliances."

I chuckled at her statement. "You are quite right, but it's the thought that counts."

There was a pause as we both ate. It was not an awkward silence, just a thoughtful one.

I savored a bite of my curry. It was really very good. Maybe I should open up a restaurant. Of course, I'd need an alias. Maybe I could just call myself something ordinary, like George. Yes, George would work nicely. But where would I open it? The city wouldn't work; too many people knew me there. Hmm.

"Skye?"

I was snapped out of my thoughts to see Claire looking at me strangely. "Yes?"

"Oh, uh, never mind. You just seemed a little out of sorts." She looked away and started studying the plates I had set out. "You know, these plates don't look familiar…" Claire thought for a second, and then a light bulb seemed to go off in her head. "Oh, Skye, you didn't steal them, did you?" she asked, partially exasperated, partially amused.

"It's possible," I answered with a smirk. "Oh, don't give me that look, Claire. I'll return them. Sometime."

"Skye, you are going to return these dishes tonight, not sometime," she told me, leaving no other option but for me to do so.

"Fine," I sighed. "But speaking of stealing, I wanted to ask you something." My heart rate sped up as I realized what I was about to do. I stood up and pushed in my chair, reaching into my pocket for the blue feather.

Claire was taken aback by my sudden movement, and stood up as well, smoothing out the bottom of her dress.

"You might want to sit down for this, Claire," I said.

"Okay…" she said unsurely, and complied.

"Well, now that I have you right where I want you," I started nervously, but Claire interrupted.

"What, may I ask, does this have to do with stealing?"

I moved so that I was standing in front of Claire, and got down on one knee, ignoring her question. This is how it's supposed to work, right? Hoping I was going about this the right way, I slid the blue feather out of my pocket, but hid it under my hand so Claire couldn't quite see it yet.

"Claire," I took a deep breath, and finished what I started. "Ever since I met you, nothing has gone the way I've planned. I'm a thief. I'm supposed to be the one that steals things, but it seems that instead of stealing your heart, you've stolen mine," I paused for a moment, searching for what to say. I wasn't even sure if Claire was breathing anymore, but neither was I, so I continued. "I'm head over heels for you, Claire. No matter how many girls say their hearts belong to me, it's always yours I've wanted."

I uncovered the blue feather and held it out to the stunned girl. "So, I hope you'll accept when I ask you to marry me. Marry me, Claire?" I closed my eyes held my breath as I waited for an answer. After a few second, I opened them again to make sure she was still alive.

"Claire?"

She opened her mouth to say something, but paused. Suddenly, she started laughing.

"Claire? You know, I'd love it if you would give me an answer," I said, starting to get impatient.

Still laughing, she managed to choke out an answer. "Yes," was the magnificent word that came out between giggles.

I was so stunned that might have been paralyzed to the floor if Claire hadn't suddenly kissed me. Granted, it was kind of a weird kiss, since she was still laughing, but I was so elated that I didn't care.

When we finally broke apart, there was still one question I had to ask. "What was it you found so funny?"

Claire smiled and walked over to a wooden box by her door. She pulled none other than a blue feather out of it and walked back over to where I was standing. "You had the same idea that I did."

"Oh," I said, dumbfounded. "Well, you know, great minds think alike."

"Of course they do," Claire agreed with a smile.

During the past few minutes, the small but unusally forceful farmer had managed to push me backwards so that the back of my legs were now up against the side of her bed.

"I love you," I said before she pushed me backwards onto the bed with a devilish gleam in her eyes.

"Love you, too," she said with a grin. "But I think you'll have to return the dishes tomorrow." Then she started removing her dress.


A/N: Well, I suppose you all know what happens next. ;) I like the way this one turned out; Skye was fun to write, especially since he can be self-centered sometimes. Reviews welcome. :D