Arrival I: The Night of Two Lovers
Two lovers shop in the merry nights of The Arrival and enjoy each others company...
Story written by Equus at Far Owl Studios
The bells twinkled merrily as the cold pushed them in. The shop was small and cramped but cozy nonetheless. Fabulous decorations graced the walls with ornaments and baubles lining every surface observable. If you could make the spirit of the Arrival into a paint, then the entire place was doused in it.
Pristallo instantly wandered off, in allure of wonderful trinkets and gifts while Surrexeum navigated his way around the shop. Every object was more magnificent than the last, but none was good enough, until he spotted it in the corner of his eye. He took in its beauty. The delicate petals were frost-blue, sprinkled with specks of white. They curved around the stem, spiraling out of the bright pistils, perfectly symmetrical.
“It's called a frosthart," a wizened, though cheery-eyed deer appeared suddenly, his gravel voice kind. "A beautiful specimen indeed. Only blooms in the middle of winter, and only for one week." he explained. "Would like to buy it?"
Surrexeum nodded, pulling out a pouch of coins, "Yes, and could I also get a box with it, or something? It's a surprise for, well..." he peered over at Pristallo, who was engaged with some other holiday shoppers.
The old deer's eyes twinkled. "Ah! Holiday love!" he winked and took the flower and the bag of money. The shopkeep ducked under the counter again and reemerged with a small, velvet case. "Make it a happy one, eh?"
He thanked him once more and turned to find Pristallo right in front of him. Surprised, he took a step back. Unfortunately, he backed into one of the many displays and with a crash found himself on the floor buried in boxes.
Surrexeum blinked, looking up at Pristallo's outstretched hoof and giggling face. "Rexxie, you don't need to fall head over hoof again for me," she laughed. Turning bright red, he took her hoof, quickly slipping the box into his winter garb as he rose.
The shopkeep came around the corner. "Oh my, what happened?"
“It's just my sweetie, tripping over his own hooves again," Pristallo smirked, Surrexeum getting more flushed every moment.
The old deer looked over to the red Surrexeum, and then to Pristallo. "I see," he grinned. "In that case, would you mind lending me a hoof?"
“Oh certainly!" Pristallo started picking the spilled stuff off the floor, with Surrexeum using his magic to levitate them back into their original places. They finished putting the fallen trinkets back and Surrexeum apologized for the umpteenth time.
“Have a Merry Arrival!*" the old deer waved at the couple, and went back to his work.
Surrexeum readjusted his winter robes when he felt a touch on his nose. "Boop!" Pristallo laughed as she walked by.
He clutched his nose in fear of it being booped again. "Hey, what was that for?"
“Your fault really. I love it when you're embarrassed," Pristallo twirled around, her clothes spinning around her.
“I am not." his face flushed.
“You are too," she teased. "Come on, we've got all day to shop!"
Surrexeum rolled his eyes and smiled, and followed Pristallo out of the shop onto the street, glinting in its frosted state.
Surrexeum's legs were aching when they got to Pristallo's house. It was hard enough to be walking around all day, but trying not to plant horn-first into a snowbank or slip on ice was brutal.
Beside him, Pristallo seemed to share the same sentiment, but she was exuberant as she has always been. Despite their long trek, she still had some skip in her step while Surrexeum could barely drag himself along.
Finally, they planted their bags on the doorstep and Pristallo turned the knob. As the door creaked inwards, they were ambushed by a war-cry. “Yaaaaah!" two high voices yelled in unison. A small fawn jumped in front of them, while another near-identical one leaped behind the two. Pristallo's sisters had them surrounded.
“Wait, wha?" Surrexeum was caught off as they shoved him and Pristallo closer. "Why?" he demanded.
Pristallo couldn't help but snicker at their situation and pointed a hoof up. Surrexeum looked up and saw a small green plant hung from the door frame. "Aw, come on..."
“Kiss, kiss, kiss..." they chanted.
Pristallo looked at them and then at Surrexeum. “Well, why not?" she shrugged.
“Wait, we should-" she suddenly leaned in and planted her lips on his. It was only a second, but it left him speechless. As well as flushed red.
Giggling with her sisters, Pristallo took the his hoof and led them inside. "See, I told you're cute when you're embarrassed." Surrexeum had no response as they entered the house, and eventually broke out of his trance by the sweet smell of dinner.
The house had grown quiet, most of the deer going to bed, save Surrexeum and Pristallo. They sat in the commons, lounging in one the couches, Pristallo snuggling up to Surrexeum's embrace. The fire crackled softly, casting playful shadows on the room, as well as keep the cold from seeping in.
They held one another, felt their hearts beat as one, both of them soaked in the warmth of the fire and each other. They were tired, but their eyes stayed open as they let their minds wander, relaxed and safe.
He pulled away from the hug and walked over to the other side of the room, his hooves muffled by the wooden floor. He pulled out the box from his robes, and rejoined Pris on the couch.
Pristallo cocked her head at the sight of the box. "Is that the flower you bought?"
“Eh, wha?" Surrexeum was taken aback. "How'd you know?!"
“Come on Rexxie. I obviously saw you slip it in your robes when you fell down in that shop." she adduced. "I'm not blind you know."
He was at a loss of words. "It was supposed to be a surprise." he held his head in defeat.
“What's the matter? You seem distracted today." Pristallo shifted closer to him.
Surrexeum started. "I just wanted our first Arrival together to be perfect." Pristallo snorted in laughter.
He looked at her sniggering. "What? You don't want it to be perfect?"
“No, it's not that," her eyes teary with stifled laughter. "It's just so cute how you try so hard," Pristallo nestled on his soft fur.
“My perfect Arrival would just be one spent with you."
“Oh," Surrexeum crimsoned once again. "Right." a moment passed, and the fire crackled.
“Do finally believe me when I tell you're cute when you're embarrassed?" Pristallo murmured against his chest.
Surrexeum was about to retort, but thought of something else. "Yeah, I do."
Pristallo smiled and closed her eyes. Soon enough, Surrexeum did too, melting into her grasp. The fire burned into the night and they drifted off together.