Other [FanFic] A Legend from the Gem Sea (SDV Secret Santa Gift)

Discussion in 'Fan Works' started by Risukage, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Risukage

    Risukage Giant Laser Beams

    //Since I didn't really want to link over to AO3 or Tumblr, and it would get lost in my main story thread (where it really doesn't relate anyway), I'm posting this here as well. This is a Secret Santa gift for the SDV tumblr gift exchange, and the person with whom I was paired requested a story with her farmer and Elliott. Apparently it was well-received, so I'm posting it here as well because honestly, I'm proper pleased with it. Cheers! :)//

    Leaving deep footprints in the snow as she jogged from her farm to town, Himika Rosali was a spot of brilliant color against the stark white that blanketed Pelican Town. She was quite happy to have worn warm fleece leggings under her dark blue trousers, which complemented but weren't quite covered by the fluffy coat in light blue that only went down over her hips. Securely ensuring the fit of warm gloves in the same color, she also adjusted a scarf and earmuffs that were the same shade, but accented with white, as though they had been frosted. They were almost impossible to see under the mass of dark, wavy curls that went all the way down her back, but warm brown eyes could not be hidden, sparkling out of a face that was flushed from the cold, but difficult to notice from her naturally-dark complexion. She adjusted the straps of a carefully-packed backpack during her jaunt down the road, her breath making small, temporary clouds in the chilly air as she proceeded toward town.

    Pelican Town was brightly lit, pushing back the darkness of winter with festive colored lights that adorned nearly every edge of every building in town. Wreaths and garlands were hung upon most flat, vertical surfaces, their deep green accented by vibrant red berries or ribbons. People began to appear, and she greeted them warmly as she made her way to the plaza. Well, mostly everyone, anyway. Pam was already working on her alcohol-buzz, even though it was only early afternoon, and was ignoring everyone as she sat alone at one end of the long tables that had been set up in the plaza. Haley gave Himika a dismissive glance and a disdainful sniff as she turned away to wave to Alex, and the farmer was hard-pressed to not smile or giggle as the blonde woman slipped on the snowy surface and fell. If she had injured herself Himika would have felt bad about it, but as she had landed in her boyfriend's arms (and played it off as something she had meant to do), she could feel a slight bit of smugness at seeing her taken down a peg. But Haley was just a distraction, she was really looking for-

    "Himika, dear! There you are!" Her red-accented smile stretched from ear to ear as she turned and met Elliott with a firm, warm hug. Arms around her shoulders, he returned the hug twice as firmly and warmly, laughing with delight. He was a contrast to her colors; where she was in lighter shades, he was a bit more somber in a deep brown, double-breasted coat that went down to his knees, and that familiar infinity-scarf in a blue the color of a summer sky that she had made for him for his birthday earlier that year. It was made of the same rabbit-wool fabric that she'd been carefully harvesting for several months (and making a tidy profit from!), and also made up her own gloves and scarf. She nodded to herself again that it really brought out his soft hazel eyes and copper-red hair. And did he have more freckles? Even at this time of year he did need to keep wearing sunscreen with his pale complexion, but she'd remind him of that later.

    "Hey, let's grab something to drink and a place to sit, I'm already cold just from that walk," she smiled, rubbing her arms and glancing around for a place to do so. Once more her gestures were returned as he smiled back and took her hand, heading to the table were Gus had set up warm refreshments to tide everyone over until the main feast later that night. Evelyn, Alex's grandmother, was setting out freshly-baked goods that were still hot, apparently pulled out of the oven just a bit ago, and they gratefully took cookies, as well as mugs of hot cocoa that Gus was ladling out of a large pot. Snacks in hand, they found a table with a bit of space and sat down across from each other to catch up on the last week, as they had both been busy with their respective work.

    "How do things fare at Rosali Farm?" he inquired, removing brown leather gloves and setting them aside so they wouldn't get dirty, "there is nothing to grow this time of year yet you have been scarce around here. I have missed your company, but I respect the love and labor that you pour into your home, and the success that you have attained speaks of your dedication."

    "Yeah, my fields are going to be a total mess when spring rolls around, but for right now I've got enough animals to keep me busy and pulling in cash," she replied, dunking half of a cookie in the cocoa to see what it would taste like (note: it was very good), "and I've got some crops stored away so I'm making some preserves, juices, and other things with them that are selling pretty well right now. I'll expand it out a bit more next year now that I know what I'm doing, but right now I'm happy that I'm still doing well. What have you been doing, then? I imagine that it's been a bit too cold to fish lately."

    "You are correct, my dear, and I likewise have been too busy for idle pastimes. Ever since I successfully submitted my book for publication I have been inundated with inspiration. The past few weeks I have been speaking with the townsfolk and spending time at the library in order to learn about local legends and stories. I am thinking of writing about them, perhaps expanding upon them or making children's stories."

    "Oh! No way! Can we be in them?" asked a hopeful, energetic voice. Himika and Elliott looked over and saw Vincent and Jas, who had just walked by and heard their conversation. Chuckling politely, Elliott thought for a moment as he tapped his chin.

    "Perhaps you could. I was thinking of stories for children, not of them, but that could be a delightful possibility. Ah! Retelling the old legends with the townsfolk as characters? You delightful pair, I have been inspired once more, thank you! Though it would be difficult to re-imagine the tale of the Mermaid Pendant, I would think," he mused, lost in thought. It was Himika's turn to be inquisitive.

    "Mermaid Pendant? I think I heard of that, but I don't remember it."

    "Would you like to hear it?" Triple replies of assent made him smile again, but wait, was there a mischievous edge to it now? No, it must be her imagination. He sipped his cocoa again and held it between his hands, staring off at nothing for a moment as he composed his thoughts and Jas and Vincent took seats across from him as well.

    "Once upon a time, here in this town, lived a man in a cabin by the ocean. He had no family, but he was content. He was a lorekeeper, gathering written and verbal works from all around, transcribing and translating them so that they could be preserved. Rarely venturing into town, he still attempted to make friends, but they were uninterested in his stories, and so he eventually stopped trying. After some years he began to become lonely, as though he was surrounded by tales and lore he had no one with whom he could share them. One day he went out to the docks and stared out over the ocean, offering a quiet prayer for a companion of any kind, even one who would only listen. For a while he sat silently, hearing only the sound of the wind and waves, when suddenly he perked up as he heard a voice. A song.

    "He nearly fell off of the dock as he scrambled to his feet, casting about to find the source of the voice, and his breath caught in his throat as he saw a mermaid perched upon a rock nearby. Her beauty captivated him; obsidian-black tresses flowed as waves across her shoulders, framing a face that looked as though it had been sculpted from marble. Entranced, he listened with wonder and delight until she finished her song. However, it was then that she finally noticed his presence, and in fear, leapt off of the rock to dive beneath the waves.

    "'Please, wait!' he implored, 'I mean you no harm. Rather, I would ask to hear your song again if you would be so kind. I will give you anything in exchange!' As he said it, he realized that it was a foolish request, and that she was likely gone anyway, but he once more felt a tightness in his chest as she surfaced and peered at him with curiosity.

    "'Anything?' she asked, with a tilt of her head and a pout of her lips, 'what would a human have that I could desire?' The tightness deepened as he realized that her words were correct, and that he had nothing that she could ever use or want. Or did he?

    "'I can tell you a story, any story,' he offered, feeling silly as he did so, 'I have collected tales and legends from far and wide, and have nobody to share them with. Please stay a while and listen, just once.' The mermaid now appeared interested, and after considering him a moment longer, swam back to the rock and sat upon it again.

    "'Very well, I have not heard a good story in a long time. If you entertain me I will consider it.' The pain in his chest melted away to fill with warmth, and he sat down on the dock once more, now almost overwhelmed by the feeling of happiness he now felt and the number of stories that rushed to the forefront of his mind. He picked one at random, one guaranteed to make her laugh and smile, and launched into it with enthusiasm. Not just a collector of books, he was a skilled storyteller as well, and related it animatedly, gesturing and changing accents and styles of speech to give life to its characters. His choice was apt, as she was indeed amused, and when he finished she laughed and applauded. Her accolades were as musical as her song and his eyes filled with tears at having finally been able to share something so dear to him.

    "'Marvelous! Lovely!' she said, 'I am indeed pleased. Very well, I will sing for you again tomorrow if you will bring to me another story.' He agreed, and sighed deeply as she disappeared for the second time under the blue-green waters, but at the same time he finally felt something that he had not know in years: hope.

    "As promised, she returned the next day, and once he had regaled her with another story, she returned his gift with music. They met again the next day, and the next, and again every day for many years. So great was his collection that he never ran out of tales to tell, and many of them stretched out over several days as it was simply too taxing to tell them in one sitting. For many years they met like this, and they grew close and happy together. But mermaids are magical, and humans are not, and he grew old, while she did not. After decades of companionship, though sun, rain, and snow, the man one day apologized to her with tears in his eyes.

    "'I fear that I may be unable to visit you soon.' Greatly saddened, she asked him why. 'I am mortal, and as the number of days ahead of me grow fewer I grow weaker. I treasure the time that I have spent with you and do not regret a single moment of it. You have made my life worthwhile, and I thank you, though I do not think I will ever be able to repay you.' Taking his hands, she smiled.

    "'It is you who I must find a way to repay. Though I have long dwelled beneath the sea I have never known such delight as that you have given to me. Return to me one last time tomorrow and I will grant you a gift as my thanks.' He agreed, and sighed deeply as she vanished as she always did to her home beneath the waves. As promised, she returned the next day, holding a strange shell on a cord in her hands.

    "'When you hold a shell to your ear you can hear the ocean. But this is no ordinary shell. I have enchanted it so than when you hold it to your ear you can hear my song. Some day you will be unable to return to visit me ever again, and I hope that this will bring you peace and happiness.' With reverence he accepted it, and slipped the cord of the pendant over his head. True to her words, he heard her song inside of it, and his vision blurred with tears of joy and reverence. He thanked her profusely and promised to be there every day until he was physically no longer able. That day came far too soon, as his body failed him and he became unable to walk unaided. He had made some friends in town eventually, and they visited every day to assist him with his daily needs, but never again was he able to venture out to the dock upon the water.

    "One day the man finally passed away, clutching the pendant in his hand with a smile on his face, the mermaid's song still lingering in his ears. Though he had few friends he had become respected in town, and the residents came to show it with a proper burial and funeral. He was buried by the ocean, overlooking the rock where the mermaid always sat, as though they did not believe that story, they thought it fitting anyway. As they gathered around his grave and offered prayers and words, the mermaid appeared upon her rock. Tears, glittering like crystals, ran down her cheeks as she mourned her friend as well. One last time, she sang for him, and this time the townsfolk heard it and understood.

    "She sang of their meeting, of their friendship, and of their parting. She sang of the stories that he had told and of the loneliness that they had both felt before they met. She sang of the delight that they both felt when together and the sorrow that they both felt when they parted for the last time. As she sang the townsfolk also found themselves overflowing with tears, speckling the grave with droplets as though it were raining. When she finished she leapt off of the rock and disappeared forever, never to return. There was silence for some time after her departure, and it was agreed that his memory must never be forgotten.

    "They built a library to house his life's work, reverently cataloguing everything that he had collected, ensuring that not a single scrap would go missing. Many townsfolk swore that they felt a presence watching them as they removed books, papers, scrolls, and tomes from his home, but it did not feel malevolent or malicious, it felt protective and positive. Once everything had been painstakingly removed the townsfolk ensured that the cabin remained in good repair ever after, as though it was no longer occupied, it was out of respect for the one who had dedicated his life to something greater than himself, and anyone who stayed there always spoke of a warm, comforting presence.

    "It is said that on rainy days one can go out to the beach, and, if you know where to look, you can find that old man, still clutching the pendant. He seeks one to whom he can give it, one who knows selfless love with all of their heart and desires a gift for someone that they love more than life."

    Gasping and applauding, Himika laughed happily.

    "That was lovely!" Elliott was unable to hide a particularly satisfied smile over the rim of his mug.

    "You really liked it?" Her mouth formed a perfect "O" as she realized something.

    "You just made that up? Right now?"

    "I cannot hide anything from you, can I? You are correct, I made that up on the spot. Though I have heard of the pendant I know nothing about it, other than its status as an engagement gift."

    "What's an en-gayje-ment?" asked Jas, having just finished her own cocoa.

    "It's what starship captains say when they want the ship to go faster!" Vincent replied, making wooshing noises as he gestured, imitating a starship in flight. Chuckling politely, Elliott shook his head.

    "Not quite. An engagement is an announcement, where two people state their love for each other and that they wish to be together."

    "What, like family?" queried Jas, putting her chin on her fists, still not quite understanding.

    "More than that. It is a declaration of a different kind of love. The love one has for their family makes one warm and happy, but the love that an engagement signifies is one that burns hot and bright, but also brings with it pain." Vincent paused in his imaginary space play to stare at the author.

    "Pain is a bad thing! How can love be any good?"

    "It is difficult to explain until you are older and have a frame of reference, but it is a welcome sort of pain, a strange, deep ache that inspires and empowers. It hurts to be apart for too long, but upon meeting again it is dispelled, and the sweet delight you feel for each other returns to take its place. It is a type of pain that is special, because it means that you've found something so wonderful and precious that the thought of losing it is the worst thing in the world, and you will do anything to protect it. It is both sweet and scary, but falling in love can be one of the most amazing things to happen to a person." Perking up, Jas nodded sagely.

    "I think I see, falling in love hurts because falling is scary and it's painful when you land, so love is the same way, but on the inside, right?" Himika choked on her last cookie as Elliott laughed deeply.

    "Not quite, but at the same time, rather accurate. Go and get another cup of cocoa, it's cold out here and you look as though you could use it." Thanking him for the story, Jas and Vincent got up to return to Gus for a refill, and Himika watched them with a hand on her face and elbow on the table.

    "You're really good with kids, y'know. That was really adorable of you." Chuckling again, Elliott blushed a little, which was much more noticeable on his paler complexion than hers.

    "I do think that I will make a decent father some day, but that is in the future once I have secured one for myself. I am in no position to support a family at the moment, but perhaps my literary endeavors will bear fruit as profitable as the ones in your orchard. Although..." His gaze grew distant once more as he thought of something, and she made a noise of inquiry. "It is perhaps a trick of my imagination, but the ending of that tale was not of my own. That is the bit of it that I have heard, and I do recall seeing a dark figure out by the tree line east of my home on rainy days. It could simply be a meteorological trick, but I have never ventured out to investigate and be certain of it."

    "Oh? She teased with a sassy smile," do you seek a priceless treasure to give to someone that you love more than life?" He blushed even harder and stammered out a reply that was lost as she laughed so hard her stomach hurt. "I'm sorry, I really am, but I couldn't resist! You are just too cute when you are flustered!" Clearing his throat, he smiled again as it was her turn to remember something, and shrugged out of her backpack. "I nearly forgot, it's getting close to the time to give out gifts, so now's a good a time as any." She took an object out of her bag that had been carefully wrapped in a bit of fabric to protect it from the trip (also made from that lovely rabbit wool) and handed it to him. With curiosity, he carefully unwrapped it and gasped in delight.

    "Pomegranate wine? Marvelous! And this label, you made these yourself?"

    "Yup! Took a little while to get a batch back from the printers in the city, but the design is all mine. About time I put my art skills to use."

    "This is wonderful, my dear, thank you. Then I suppose that it is time for me to return the favor." From somewhere inside of his coat he produced a rather heavy, blocky object, wrapped in festive paper. With the care he had shown to the wine bottle, Himika unwrapped the item and gasped, holding-

    "Oh wow, this is your book? It's beautiful!" She turned the hardcover item in her hands, examining every detail with awe, amazed to be actually holding his novel after so long as a mere idea.

    "I could not have done it without you, and I have announced it to the world." An eyebrow raised in query, she opened it up to the dedication page.

    To all that have supported and believed in me, I dedicate this to you. My dearest Himika, thank you for all that you have given to me; your time, enthusiasm, and endless patience are a gift that I may never be able to repay, and without them I would never have been able to achieve my dream.

    He had signed it with his elegant, flowing script in silver pen. Smiling and feeling a delighted warmth spread throughout her body, something occurred to her.

    "Hey, that mermaid in your story, and the storyteller..." Elliott would make a terrible poker player, as he flushed a little again, but this time with pleasure.

    "Perhaps." Giggling with delight, she stood up to lean over the table and kiss him, letting it linger a bit as she enjoyed the warmth of his touch.

    "You are simply wonderful."

    The shadows of the evening grew long as the townsfolk began to converge on the tables where the feast was being laid out, and Elliott and Himika packed the bottle and book safely in her backpack for the time being before they joined the queue to get something to eat. They conversed happily with everyone, and she smiled vicariously as various people approached Elliott to congratulate him on his novel, all of them asking for an autograph. Apparently he had anticipated this, as he had brought with him a fountain pen with which he signed the books with a delighted flourish. Finally able to get a plate each, they returned to the table that they had recently vacated, and were quickly joined by a few others. Eating and talking, they socialized until they were full and all of the gifts had been exchanged, and they sipped on mugs full of mulled wine as they watched people begin to wend home, exhausted from the festivities.

    "This is delicious, but I am eager to try that which you have created yourself, my dear."

    "Well, I want to sit down with your book for a while. How about we head back to your cabin, put on a fire, and read for a bit with that wine?" His sweet, warm smile lit up his face again at her suggestion.

    "I would enjoy that quite a bit. Let us depart once we have finished our current refreshments." Grinning in reply, she took a deep drink as another thought came to mind. She'd definitely have to pay attention to the weather reports once spring arrived, and make sure she had decent rain boots and an umbrella. It could just be a legend, and she'd have to talk to someone else later about how that story really went, but all legends do have some basis in truth...
    • Minimanta

      Minimanta Spaceman Spiff

      Oh wow, that was a wonderful story! Absolutely loved the legend of the mermaid's pendant <3
        ApertureGaming011 likes this.
      • Risukage

        Risukage Giant Laser Beams

        Thanks! I was really jazzed to get this request, as it let me play with a few ideas that I had in mind but couldn't use elsewhere. And the recipient got a kick out of it, so hurrah!

        Hey, CA, you're free to use this idea if you ever wanna implement some in-game lore. ;)

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