The two of you finally reach Firsden.
It has been an exceedingly long journey. Despite having somehow managed to get a transportation method for the two of you, you couldn’t say that you weren’t still feeling unbelievably tired from all the walking and flying. Your wings were sore, your body hurt all over, magic all but spent. You wanted to just drop down on whatever inn and maybe do like the Ursuki, and hibernate the rest of the month. Or perhaps more than that. The whole next year, please.
So it surely is a refresher to get to finally see the bustling town. It reminded you a lot of a forest, where all the houses and establishments were somehow tied to trees, which greatly helped with the durability, you assumed. Some great insight to bring back to your home, should it ever be in dire need of repairs.
The town was full of all types of different people. Pouflons. Vespires. Ursukis. In so many different colors, that you felt a mixture of relief and regret for feeling so self conscious before. Here, it seemed that no matter the species, it was no place for judgy looks and harsh words, but only joy and amicable conversations.
“It’s even better than I remember!” Sundrop, walking a little ahead of you, says, his head moving in all possible directions to take in the scenery.
You feel dragged around, for the most part. Sundrop wants to visit everywhere, and you don’t want to lose sight of him and face this city alone, so following the yellow pouflon is the best option. He manages to find somewhere nice for you two to rest and watch the fireworks later, a nice little inn with an outdoor restaurant.
You were kinda hoping to sleep the rest of the day, but Sundrop refuses to let you. He ignores your pleas for rest, practically dragging you out of the shared room.
“Stop being difficult” he complains, as he stares down at you. “Come on, let’s check out the shops.”
You didn’t really understand the appeal, when none of you had enough coins to buy anything to bring back anyway.
Still, Sundrop seemed to be delighted to check out the Ursuki wares regardless. He kept pointing at things, commenting about them with a smile on his face.
It was nice. You had to admit that, despite everything, a casual stroll around felt pleasant.
“They’re beautiful.” Sundrop comments, his blue eyes glinting with multiple colors. He is looking up at the sky, marveling at the fireworks.
For a while, the two of you simply stay together, listening to the deafening boom of the fireworks. Some Ursuki soon start to add to them, weaving light between their paws to create shapes in the sky. Strange, you think, the thought of enjoying this seemed so far from you days ago, when all you would do during New Years was stay cooped up in your home, possibly wrapped in a blanket, holding a cup of hot herbal tea.
“Thanks for bringing me here.” You barely hear this. The sound of the fireworks and cheers are much too loud, drowning out most of his voice.
You’re not sure what to answer. So you hum.
Until, suddenly, words come out of your mouth.
“I should be the one thanking you.”
“Don’t you dare start a competition.” He laughs, bumping an arm on yours. The feeling lingers. “I’ve always wanted to see it again. I guess I never had the courage on my own.”
“I think… I always wanted to see the celebrations, too.” You try to explain this feeling. “Or… no” not quite that. “I’m glad I can be with you today.” I don’t think I’d ever get out of my home if not for you. You did so much for me. You’ve been a joy to be around. I could stay here like this forever, and I wouldn’t mind.
But you don’t say any of these things. You’re full of emotions you don’t understand, full of things that threaten to overwhelm you, that you fear to give voice, lest the act makes them palpable enough.
Sunny only smiles, his gaze momentarily breaking off to stare at your eyes. The world seems to stop for a moment, as his tail moves a little closer, resting on top of yours. He feels warm.
You don’t mind.
“Hey…” you almost don’t notice it. You think it’s your imagination, as you blink and stare back at the darkness, where Sundrop should be sleeping. A pair of light blue eyes stare back at you, however, shimmering.
Outside, you can still hear the noises of people partying. The two of you, however, were tired from exploring the city, now in the inn room, trying to get some sleep. And failing at it, it looks like.
“Hmm? Cant sleep?” You ask back, shifting on your bed.
“Yeah… I… wanted to ask you something.” His eyes travel to somewhere else, avoiding eye contact. Sundrop is suddenly pushing the blankets on top of him, hiding from you. His voice come back a bit muffled, but enough so that your ears could understand it. “We’re going back to your house after this, aren’t we?”
It’s an odd question.
“Why wouldn’t we?”
“I don’t know… I thought you’d maybe drop me off at goldfair. Since it’s on the way and it’s… where I used to live. Before.”
Oh. You can't say you really noticed it. Thinking about it now, you barely noticed if you two flew over Goldfair or not, or even if Sundrop was acting weird when you two did.
Upon your silence, Sundrop talks again.
“I imagine you… would like to be left alone again.”
In a way, it’s true. You let out a soft sigh.
“Do you want to go back to your home? In goldfair?” You wish you could see him. His expressions, the confusion on his face. It was so hard to judge his feelings like this.
The answer came in a tiny voice.
“No…. Not really.”
“Then you don’t have to.”
What is it that you're saying, in truth? Haven’t you done your part, to take care of a victim of the Blight, until they got good enough to travel around? Sundrop had his own life. He did whatever he wanted to, you had no more business with him now. You’re sure that your mind wouldn’t beat up yourself over abandoning the pouflon to his own devices.
“Are… are you sure?” He asks, and you can see an ear peeking off the sheets, slowly bringing him back into view. He looks dumbfounded.
Are you, though?
“I am.” You are. “I appreciate your company. But, like I’ve said, you’re free to come and go as you please.” Why are you? Your mind offers you no answers. “I’m not going to drop you off on the way back.”
“Ah…” he doesn’t hide again, thankfully. You take this opportunity to study Sundrop expression, then, seeing how the lon mind is working to process what you said. “Thank you… I… Inthought…”
You could relate, in some way. He thought you didn’t appreciate him. That you had him over for only some sort of sense of duty, so you wouldn’t feel bad about just leaving Sundrop to his own devices. It was true, in some way, until it suddenly wasn’t, and you somehow appreciated the company, knew that you would miss it if you didn’t wake up to find the lon rummaging through your stuff. So Sunny doubted. The mind eat away at somelon until the point of breaking. Until he could no longer stand it and had to confirm.
“You should sleep.” You tell him, unsure why. To distract sunny, or to run from this awkward conversation. Perhaps both. “We can visit the park tomorrow. Look for the Heartwood tree.”
“Yeah… uh… Lark?”
“Thank you. For… letting me stay with you still”
“Think nothing of it.”
A hum. Sundrop is soon shifting on his bed again, closing those shimmery eyes of his. You study him for a while longer, until you yourself close your eyes, letting sleep claim you.