Her, Sunlit
rating: +6+x

Warm wind against the gently swaying branches.

It's barely windy, though still noticable to someone like yourself. Wind always registers more sensitively against your skin, and especially in circumstances like this. Right now, your brain aches for as many sensations as it can recieve. You've deprived yourself for too long.

Warmth. Real warmth this time, brought on by the sun on your face and reflecting off the water far below.

You're not used to warmth like this. It's too… natural. For too long, your warmth has come from unnatural, dangerous sources. The warmth of a body, distant and drowned out, or the warmth of a bonfire, lit on the remains of what could have been.

You blink your eyes a few times. The light is intense but not unbearable. You're not used to this brightness.

You find yourself wobbling, and reach a hand to your side to catch your swaying body. Your hand reaches a branch, and you feel the rough, dusty texture of the tree bark underneath. Some scales detach with your grip. The tree does not seem to mind. It's seen far, far worse than you in its many years overseeing this pond, and bears the weight of its many injuries on its aging body. Now, though, it only holds your weight.

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It's a beautiful day.

Is it only yours?

As you attempt to reorient yourself, you hear a laugh from higher up the tree. Swinging around to try and find where this laughter manifested from, you see her. She's further up the tree, face painted with mirth, looking down at you while you struggle with your new environment. Her features are familiar, reminiscent of those who came before, but tinted by the golden light of the sun instead of shrouded in darkness.

You smile back.

She points out to the pond below, and to a specific clearing. Inside this shaded grove, two indiscernable shapes stir within the foliage. Before long, two deer leap out, eager to frolic in the relative safety of this shallow sunlit pond. There is no danger here, as there is no need for there to be. This place simply is. The deer don't ponder, nor do they hesitate. They bound out into the gentle caress of the sunlight, with no care for what dangers may await them in this new environment.

You envy the deer. Since that night all that time ago, you've had to learn to watch your back. Look over your shoulder. To check for any danger, even if you're safe at home. The last time you thought you were safe, well… No need to dwell on it. You sit and watch the pond with her, as you exchange words of kindness together. None will hear except the two of you, the trees, and the birds.

Perhaps it's better that way.


It's nighttime now.

It has been a long time since that day by the pond, at least a few weeks, and you sit under the sky with her once more. It's a wonder you're here with her in the first place - you don't often trust for long.

But she's different. She has to be. Why else would you feel this way?

It's no use to ponder that right now. Never has been. Instead, you sit with her and watch as the sky lights up above the both of you, patterns of light weaving hypnotically through the sky. She laughs, still filled with the same mirth. You cannot help but laugh with her. To you, the joy of the situation is far too much to contain. And, after all, you are free to laugh now. Though the shackles that hold you down from true love and joy are still present, just for a moment, you forget about their weight upon your arms.

Far above, in that inky void, the moon sits silent in the sky. It's to your back now, and brighter than ever. And yet? You don't seem to mind.

The moon shines on, but you remain.

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