word count: 1373
x-posted: here @ octoberwriting
summary: claire starts a farm, skye steals and warns people before he does so, and claire falls in love.
notes: another finished part, and i’m kinda glad i managed to find and mood to do so. even if i don’t like it as much. but i found the mood and need to write this because i want to get further in the story, and because forcing myself to not be lazy is being surprisingly interesting. ♥
postcards from far away
02: ice cream won’t be long now i’m here with you
It’s become a habit of Claire to wake up early every day, as soon as the first birds start chirping while doing balancing acts perched on the highest and most flexible branches of the pine trees; even on those days she has nothing much to do. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t sleep early, either (which she doesn’t); because getting up early is already part of her, so deep her desire to have all of her tasks dealt with as early as possible is, even if it means she doesn’t get the sleep she must for how she works on the farm every day.
It’s already an alarm clock inside of her, or so she tries to convince Ruby of whenever she comes into the woman’s view, the dark rings around her eyes becoming evident to her trained eye. This also has Rock providing Claire with the nickname ‘Panda’.
There are times she wakes up before the sun rises, and she just sits clumsily perched on the roof of the dog’s house while she waits for the sun to come. She won’t start her daily chores before the sun comes; it doesn’t make any sense to her to spoil such a perfectly beautiful sunrise with work. There are also times Claire’s head finds the pillow for rest after the two digit numbers of the night have turned back to one digit only. It’s ridiculously late, yes, she tries to see things through Ruby’s eyes—which are those of a woman who is also a mother—but she is still too young to learn that her body has its limits; she likes to think that Rock and certainly Muffy do it as well, and they also greet each day with a smile upon their lips.
Not that it bothers Claire much, too. Especially considering that she finally manages to meet up with Skye every night or so, and maybe she’s a little clingy, but if Skye’s never sent her away or shown any sign of discontentment with her constant gift bringing, it must mean he welcomes it.
Either way, the little things happening around her provide that she’s energetic as usual. The excitement of a new job hasn’t worn off quite yet: every day she finds some new development on her still little farm, like how she finds the growth of a new leaf in the sprouts of her potato plants a brand new beginning, or when she gathers the many branches and rocks scattered around the terrain to find that she almost has enough to get maybe a barn, and she’ll start raising hens as well. Of course, she’ll have to put some more money on the side to hire Gotz—she still has to call him to make sure—but it’s something. She excitedly blabbers these developments to anyone who will listen, but apparently there aren’t many people who will—Rock will most times move the conversation to feats of his own, and so Claire resorts to Celia and Ruby for a little company at those times; or maybe Takakura, when she feels the old man gets a bit too lonely in his little house.
When it’s not the farm she wants to talk about, it’s Skye, but she doesn’t think anyone in the valley will listen to those conversations with good ears, considering what he symbolizes to the valley, a reality Claire still hasn’t brought herself to come with terms with.
Sometimes, when she finds Gustafa by the Turtle Pond and he convinces her to go to the Blue Bar with him, Claire can almost swear she has this selective hearing unlike anything she’s ever heard of. Sometimes the bard will offer her a drink, saying that she’s still too young a farmer, and it’s all just really part of welcoming her into the people. Meanwhile Muffy does her best to copycat Griffin’s relaxed stance as he prepares a nice cup of something Claire can never remember and giggles in agreement.
Claire never spends too much time here, considering how she’s looking forward to meeting Skye by the valley’s entrance. However, the slur of the thief’s name coming from any local (or sometimes Van) is enough to stop her on her tracks and, these times, it’s as if the room turns empty and devoid of everything but whispered conversations of the Phantom and how he manages to be so elusive, her temples already hiding underneath a thin cover of cold sweat.
They don’t do much when they are together. It’s nothing sappy, nothing inconceivably tragic—it’s just them under the moonlight when people are either enjoying the nighttime from within their homes or already huddled underneath the blankets. Well, all they have to huddle under is the sky and stars. Friends and maybe a little more than that, or so Claire comes to wish; in the future, maybe. Skye just takes her walking around night, inhabited by only the two of them and the distant croons of the owls.
He takes her somewhere isolated, to the Goddess Springs where she was told somehow he always ends up at. Sometimes, they don’t disturb the night with useless conversation; however, most of the time, they talk about a bit of everything. Useless things, silly things that Claire never really talks about and never thinks about, but they’re always there ready to come to her. Most times, it’s just her that talks, and Skye who listens to her useless, silly theories. It doesn’t matter, though, she tries to gather as much of his being as she can from the little he says.
(And when Skye does talk, most of the time it’s just more additions to the silly façade he puts up of prince charming. It’s intriguing, really, but she can’t help but wonder what’s deep inside and whether she will like it. She’ll just have to hope she never has to deal with the side of him that earned him the name of Phantom Skye—and if she does have to deal with it, that she’ll manage it.)
He catches her eye, and she wants him to take her heart. Simple, straightforward, just the way she likes it. She’s pretty direct about that, just as she is about most things, but she’s direct so to the point Skye even goes as far as to comment about it. He says he’s never met a girl like this, one that isn’t afraid to speak her mind like that. (Of course, it takes fresh blood with some foreign mentality than that of the girls of the valley to make it so, Claire feels. Maybe that’s why she can identify herself with Muffy more easily than with someone like Celia. She still doesn’t have the perfect curves in all the right places, or the quaint smile, but it’s nice to know she can make up for it.) He says it’s not bad—it’s different, and difference is welcome.
Maybe it’s curiosity, she tells herself, Maybe this is all just a childish whim and I’m being stupid. Maybe she just needs to sleep, all things considered. This work and going to bed in the wee hours business is a little harsher than she’s expected it to be.
But maybe it’s not.
Not when she can’t settle for anything or anyone other than Skye. She can’t help but fidget when she realized that in the handful of days she’s spend here at Forget Me Not Valley she’s been kind of giving a wrong impression to Rock; if the fact that he always finds some time to come to her farm and help her with what he can and that he invites her to dinner with him and Ruby is any indication. Claire can’t feel good about it, not when she thinks she would like to be more with Skye than she should.
She’s considered the possibility of romance before moving to Forget Me Not Valley, but she never thought it’d come so soon, or that it’d become such a magnet for her thought lines.
She can’t help but do her best to keep on putting some money on the side so she’ll afford the bird coop. And maybe find some more Sprites, too. Yes, that would be quite lovely.