A/N: Hello everyone! Welcome to Of Herbal Tea and Axes. I started this one a long time ago, and finally decided to finish it today. I haven't written any Harvest Moon storied in a while, so I hope you readers like it! It's sort of a short, meaningless One-Shot that I felt like writing. No intended romance, since my character, Elana, likes Chase, but feel free to view it that way if you'd really like to. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon. The only thing I own is the name 'Elana', because I hate the name 'Angela'. No offense to anyone named Angela out there. I'm sure you're a lovely person.
I still remember that day clearly in my mind. It was a very strange day. It was a Thursday, the 4th day of fall. I had been living on the island for three seasons. All day it had been raining on and off, on and off, and on and off again. It wasn't heavy rain, but it was just bad enough that it prohibited me from taking out my animals, going to the hot springs, or going to Flute Fields to buy more seeds for my garden. The only thing I liked about rain was that it watered all my crops for me. Other than that, it totally sucked.
It was around 8:00 pm. I was just walking back from Harmonica Town, where I had been buying some new clothes from Sonata Tailoring, (what better to do on a rainy day than go shopping?) when I had arrived back at my ranch. It was just starting to drizzle again as I was walking up the dirt trail leading to the front door. I stopped in front of the old wooden door, fumbling for my key, when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.
Slowly turning around, I saw a person walking from the trail to Flute Fields. I wasn't too surprised. People passed through my farm all the time to get to work, or return from work, or go shopping, or hang out with friends. To do anything, actually. My ranch was right in the middle of the different districts on Casanet Island. Passer-by's were a norm.
I was too far away to see who it was, so I continued to search for my key in my crowded rucksack. By the time I had found it I could tell that the person was on their way to the Garmon Mine district. That made sense, considering it was a Thursday and all the stores there were closed. I mentally ran through a list of people it could be in my head as I stuck the key in the lock.
Ramsey? No, he didn't go anywhere but Harmonica Town on his days off.
Owen? Nope, nowhere but Harmonica Town.
Chloe? She sometimes went to play with Taylor, who lived in Flute Fields, on her day off. But that person was too tall to be Chloe.
I continued through my list. Mira never left Garmon unless it was to go to the church on Sunday. Julius didn't even live in Garmon, so he didn't go there on his days off. Phoebe never left her house. Barbara only went to Harmonica Town to visit her husband. Dale only went to Harmonica town to go to the bar (I had no doubt he would be passing my house in an hour or so). Bo doesn't leave. Unless he was with Luke…
Luke was the only person left. But it couldn't be Luke! Luke always said hi to me when he walked by my farm. He would always give me a very enthusiastic wave, and if we had time we would get into a long conversation about some random thing like 'What would Selena look like if we shaved off all her hair?' or, 'Do you think raisins taste like worms?'
But there was no one else it could be.
Before the figure got too far away, I called out, "Luke?"
The figure paused about 30 or 40 feet away. Then they slowly turned around. Now that I could see their face, I could tell it was Luke. I wondered why I couldn't tell before. Tall. Electric-blue hair. Flame print bandana. Axe in his belt loop. That kid was one of a kind. But something was off about him. He wasn't wearing his usual smile. His mouth was a hard line that looked like it was trying its best to turn up into a smile, but was epically failing. His skin was a lot paler than it normally was, glowing in the moon that had just appeared in the sky. Overall, he just didn't look… Luke-ish.
Without a second thought I shoved my key into my pocket, which I had just succeeded opening my door with, and sprinted over to where he was, which was by the old birch tree near my berry patch and next to the lake.
"Luke… what's wrong?" I tried to keep panic out of my voice as I approached him.
He seemed to notice for the first time where he was. And that I was there. "Oh… Elana! H-How yah… doin'?"
Now I was beginning to panic. Luke never stuttered or spoke slow… never! Just the fact that he didn't give me his usual eccentric wave was scaring me. He sounded winded. He was panting.
"Luke… Are you ok?"
His eyes seemed to go glassy for a second, but then he shook his head frantically to regain focus, and gave me a weird smile. "Yeah! F-feeling fine! How are you feeling?"
Don't change the subject, I thought angrily. He was obviously not ok. "Luke… why don't you come inside for a second?"
He shook his head, and, immediately after, was holding onto his forehead tightly as if it was about to burst. In a raspy voice he mumbled, "No… I'm ok… should go home…"
I swallowed, trying to think of what to do. "Ok, at least let me walk you home to make sure you get there ok…"
Luke was biting his lip, eyes shut tight, and swaying slightly on the spot. His face was gleaming with sweat. "No… m'alright… you should go to be-"
He didn't finish his sentence. For a second he was swaying, unbalanced. Then, as if in slow motion, he crumpled. He fell forwards and was about to land face-flat in the mud, but I jumped forward just in time to catch him. Wow, he was heavier than he looked! And thank god he hadn't fallen onto his axe!
I was kneeling in the mud, getting my new leggings dirty, but I didn't care. Luke's head was resting on my lap. He was breathing unevenly.
I was scared. What should I do? My heart was beating at a hundred beats per second. "Luke… Luke!" There was too much hysteria in my voice for my liking as I yelled at the unconscious boy.
Then his eyelids suddenly fluttered open and he let out a ghastly moan. I was relieved.
"What happened?" He asked in a very young-sounding voice.
I was still shaking. "I… I think you just passed out!" Before he could say anything, I told him, "C'mon, we need to get you inside."
The idea of moving him was slightly daunting, but I slowly helped him up, and, supporting most of his weight, we slowly made our way to my house. Luke made no objections. I thanked the Harvest Goddess that my door was already opened, and I practically dragged Luke inside, not bothering to shut the door behind me. I led him over to my orange sofa in front of the TV, which he immediately fell onto. I slowly took his axe from his belt loop and placed it on the table in front of the sofa. He didn't even seem to notice.
He looked worse than before. His face practically had no color to it what so ever. He was shaking all over, cat-like, hazel eyes shut tight, and he whimpered occasionally.
I ran to shut the door, and then came back to him. "Do you want me to call Choral Clinic?" I asked in a very quiet voice.
Currently incapable of shaking his head, all he said was, "No."
I decided that I wouldn't call them for now, not wanting to upset Luke, but if this got any worse, or if he passed out again…
What else was I supposed to do?
"Luke, I'm going to take your temperature and get you some water, ok? Don't move." I said softly, standing up. "You're lucky my mom was a nurse…"
"Mmm…" was the response I got.
I flew to my kitchen sink, where I filled up a glass of could water. Then I ran into the small bathroom, opened a first-aid kit that was located in one of the drawers, grabbed a thermometer, and ran back to the couch. As expected, Luke had not moved.
"Under the tongue, Luke." I said sweetly, trying not to laugh at how weird this situation was. He opened his mouth slightly and, feeling more awkward then ever, I stuck this instrument into his mouth. After a few seconds it beeped.
You have got to be kidding me!
"Ok, you've got a really high fever." I informed him, trying not to sound alarmed. "Here, drink some water." I brought the glass up to his mouth, and he drank slowly, taking small sips. Then I placed the glass onto the coffee table, mumbled, "I'll be right back," and sprinted back into the bathroom.
I found a facecloth in the linen drawer, and wet it with cold water in the sink. Hurrying back to Luke, I placed the cloth on his forehead, praying it would help.
It did. Momentary relief spread across his face, but then turned back into a grimace of pain.
"Luke, you need to rest, ok? Sleep. I'll make some tea. If you need anything, or if you feel like your going to be sick, I'll be right here, ok?"
I watched him for a moment more, and then walked over to my bed and sat down on the end of it, trying to straighten out my thoughts. This was ok. He'll be ok. I'll make some herbal tea. That can make anyone feel better! He'll sleep, then I'll take his temperature again in the morning, and he'll be fine! Totally fine!
I nodded confidently to myself, and was relieved when I heard Luke's steady breathing from the couch. He's asleep! See? Everything will be all right!
I had just washed the herbs I had found this morning and began to soak them in the hot water when a thought occurred to me; I should call Dale. Dads tend to get worried if their fourteen year-old son isn't home after dark when they're supposed to be.
I had already picked up the phone and was beginning to look up the number for the carpenter's when a raspy voice I had momentarily forgot existed spoke from the couch. "Please don't call Pops."
I quickly glanced over my shoulder to where Luke was. He was looking at me with scared eyes, seeming fully conscious of what was going on for the first time.
"Please don't call him." He repeated hazily.
"Why?" I asked, momentarily forgetting I shouldn't strain Luke's brain right now.
The look on his face was enough to tell me everything. I knew Luke way too well. He didn't want his dad to think he was weak for catching a fever for working out in the rain in the forest today. Part of me was angry with Dale; angry that he would be disappointed in his son for something Luke couldn't control. But the other half of me knew that, more than anything, Luke wanted to be accepted by his dad. I didn't want to get involved.
I sighed in defeat. "Ok, fine. But if he calls, I'm going to have to tell him where you are. I'm not lying to the town's carpenter. I'll probably get some curse that attracts termites to my barn or something."
For a second I saw the ghost of a smile linger on Luke's sweaty face, but then it disappeared as another wave of pain shot through his body, making him cry out softly.
"Go to sleep." I told him once again. "I won't leave. And I won't tell Dale."
He gave me what I thought was a nod. Then his eyelids dropped shut, and he was sleeping once again, stirring occasionally and turning this way and that.
I got back to the tea. Soon it was done and steaming slightly. Covering it slightly so it wouldn't get cold, I put it away for later in one of my cabinets, then went to sit on the edge of my bed again. The sofa was the only other seat in the house, and I certainly wasn't going to go sit next to Luke. Not only did I not want to disturb him, but I also didn't want to catch that nasty fever, either. So the bed was the only option, and I was determined not to fall asleep.
I picked up a magazine and flipped through its pages, slightly bored, for a few hours, occasionally looking up to check if Luke was still sleeping. He was, but it seemed to be a very light sleep; he kept tossing and turning and moaning.
It was around one in the morning when he woke up again. I didn't notice at first, until I heard a weak voice from the couch saying, "Elana?"
I was up in an instant, kneeling in front of him so we'd be eye level. "Yeah, Luke?"
"I don't feel too good…"
I ran for a bowl in the kitchen, found one under the counter, then ran back to Luke and gave it to him in the knick of time. Soon he was sitting up and heaving into my poor wooden bowl, barfing up his innards by the sound of it. I pretended to examine the carpet very closely as he was doing so.
I already had water ready for him when he was done. We exchanged water for the bowl, which I had the honors of cleaning out. When that was all done and I had washed my hands about a million times over, I came back to Luke. "Want some tea?"
He nodded groggily.
I retrieved the herbal tea, still hot, from the kitchen then came back to Luke and handed it to him. "Little sips, kay?"
"Kay," he replied sleepily, taking the cup in his hands and sipping it slowly. His eyes got brighter right away. "It's good!"
I laughed. "Well, thank you!"
We were silent for a little bit after that. Luke took small sips of the tea in intervals, and I watched from the floor, kneeling in front of him.
Finally, Luke said sleepily, "I'm sorry about this, Elana."
"It's ok, Luke. Really. I don't mind at all."
"I don't usually get sick," he told me, yawning, "but when I do, it's bad."
"It's the opposite for me," I said, smiling slightly. "When I get sick, it's just little colds, but they last forever."
"Ha-ha!" Luke jeered playfully, shooting me a pointy-toothed grin. I laughed, too.
"You should try to sleep more," I told him after we were done laughing. "I bet you'll feel better in the morning."
The energy that had woken him up was gone, and, once again, he looked exhausted. He didn't even say anything else before he fell back to sleep.
I retreated to my bed again. I told myself I wouldn't fall asleep. But I was tired, too, and soon blackness overtook my vision, and I dreamt of all the animals in my barn catching to flu.
My alarm, set to 6 am sharp, woke me up. I sat bolt upright, cursing myself for falling asleep, and smashed the alarm to shut up. Then my eyes wandered to the couch.
Luke was still there, sleeping soundly, not tossing or turning anymore. I approached him quietly, sneaking a peak at his face. It had regained a lot of color, and overall he looked a whole lot better.
Smiling, I got to work on breakfast, preparing some eggs that the chickens had laid yesterday. There was nothing quite like fresh scrambled eggs! And I knew it was one of Luke's favorites; perfect!
The blue-haired boy woke up the second the eggs were done.
"Hey, Elana, what smells so good?"
Delighted to hear his voice was almost back to normal, I rushed over to his spot on the couch; he was already sitting up and rubbing his hazel eyes sleepily.
"Luke! Are you feeling better?"
He nodded, giving me a huge, goofy smile. "Yeah, tons! Now gimmie some eggs!"
I laughed, trying to pretend to be strict with him. "Now, now, we need to take your temperature first, honey."
Playing along, Luke scowled. "But mooooom!"
"No buts!" I answered sternly, grabbing the thermometer off of the table. "Now put this in your mouth."
"I don't wanna!"
"Under the tongue, or no dessert for a week!"
"Fine," Luke finally grumbled, barely containing a smile. He took the thermometer and put it under his tongue. In a few minutes, it beeped, and read…
"98 degrees! Luke, you're fever is gone!"
Luke jumped off of the couch, arms thrown up into the air triumphantly. "Hooray!"
He nearly knocked my plant over!
I scowled at him, and he nervously said, "Sorry! Now let's eat!"
So I served the eggs, we sat down at the table, and ate every bite. When we were all done and the plates were cleaned up, Luke picked up his axe, adjusted his bandana, and turned to me. "Thanks again, Elana, but I should really be going now. Pops is gunna be so pissed!"
"What are you going to tell him?" I asked, a little worried. I hadn't thought about it until now.
Luke shrugged. "Meh. I'll make something up."
I smirked. "Nice to have you back, Luke."
He saluted me like I was a general or something, then we both broke out into fits of laughter; the best of friends.
We walked out the door together, and when I sent him on his way and he began walking down the dirt path, he turned to me one last time and gave me my favorite, goofy, eccentric wave.
I smiled. I had missed that old Luke.
A/N: The end! There wasn't really a definite plotline there, but I hope you enjoyed it anyways. Please feel free to review! I love reviews; they make my day!
Thanks for reading!