On a mild summer night, high in the Rocky Mountains, Rose Lalonde and Dave Strider sit in front of a campfire. Their companions, Jade and John, had gone to bed an hour before, and their giggling faded into quiet snores shortly after. The flickering fireflies in the sky are almost indistinguishable from the twinkling stars, and the only sound on the entire campground is the rustling of the trees in a light summer breeze and the crackling of the quickly dying campfire.
For the first half-hour after the Prospit twins retired to their tent, Dave and Rose sat a respectable distance apart, but that didn’t last long. It never does when they’re alone together. When she can stand the distance no longer, Rose closes the distance between them and leans against his side with as much subtlety as an atomic bomb. To his credit, Dave barely even shows that he’s noticed her movement; just casually wraps an arm around her as easy as breathing, as if that’s the logical next step. Which it is. She leans her head on his shoulder and a few locks of her carefully groomed hair slip out from behind her ear and onto her face. She doesn’t bother to brush them away. Instead she speaks, directing her words more to the endless expanse of sky than to Dave.
“If you’re up for a bit of a hike, I saw a wonderful place for stargazing on the way up here. It would be a shame to miss out on what might be our only opportunity to fully appreciate the grandeur of nature without having to endure a fart joke.”
“To be fair, those hot springs smelled almost exactly like when John lets one rip,” Dave quips, wrinkling his nose at the memory. “But yeah, I’m down, stars are dope as shit.” Rose rolls her eyes and slips out from under Dave’s arm and he stands, stomping out the barely smoldering remains of their fire before holding out a hand to Rose. She takes it, though she doesn’t need the help and they both know it. Once she’s on her feet she releases his hand and brushes nonexistent crumbs off of her skirt, but she quickly grabs his hand again once she’s done.
They walk hand-in-hand together, their elbows just barely brushing at times, but otherwise the only thing touching is their intertwined fingers. They reach their destination after a mere five minutes of walking, and a hike it was not, but neither complain. Like the gentleman he is, Dave lays down his coat on the dirt for Rose to sit on. She nods her thanks to him in a facetiously high-society fashion and sits, folding her legs beneath her in a movement that very nearly looks choreographed. Her movements are always accompanied by a sort of graceful poise; even blowing her nose somehow has an air of class about it. To an outside observer, Dave is just the opposite, sinking to the ground in an awkward, jerky motion. However, to someone looking closely, the movement is just as controlled as Rose’s, and perhaps as graceful, in the way that a switchblade is elegant.
The twins settle back, huddling close together as if for warmth, though the mild summer night air cancels out the necessity. Dave lazily threads his fingers through Rose’s silky hair and lets his head fall back to squint up at the stars through his nearly opaque shades. As if reading his mind-- which, where a seer is concerned, is entirely possible-- Rose removes the shades from Dave’s face and folds them carefully, setting them to the side farthest from Dave. He shoots her a fleeting glare, but just as quickly lets his face melt back into its calm facade, the only sign of emotion showing on his face in his eyes, which may just as well only be the twinkling of the stars. Rose just barely lifts an arm to point up at a formation of stars.
“Vulpecula,” she whispers as if it’s some great secret she’s sharing. “Or, ‘The Little Fox,’ though the only bit of it you can really see is what is often referred to as ‘The Coathanger,’ and doesn’t look very foxlike at all.” Dave makes a quiet noise of appreciation under his breath.
After a moment, he lifts his own hand to point to a different point in the night sky.
“Yo, is that the Little Dipper?” he asks, also in a reverent whisper, though he’s not sure why they’re even whispering. Rose chuckles, her shoulders lifting slightly with the motion.
“You think everything is the Little Dipper,” she states, poking him in the ribs.
“Not true!” Dave posits, wiggling slightly to avoid her tickling. “Sometimes I think they’re the Big Dipper.”
“In any case,” She says, curling up against his side again with a soft sigh. “That is Aquarius. It is also called ‘The Water Bearer,’ so in that respect, I suppose you weren’t too far off, as dippers are liquid-holding devices.” Dave nods, turning his head away from the stars to bury his face in her hair.
“Damn, Rose, do you know every constellation?” he asks softly, a trace of awe hidden deep within his teasing tone. She gives an amused hum and nuzzles him slightly, still gazing up at the shimmering night sky.
“Of course, Dave. I know everything,” she says, her tone as serious as if she were diagnosing him with cancer. “Although, it’s nothing you couldn’t learn by skimming an astronomy book, if you were so inclined.”
Dave can’t think of a retort to that, and turns his face back to the sky, trying to see how anyone could see anything but a bunch of lines and dots in the night sky, and wondering who decides who gets to name the stars. He thinks, if he could name a constellation, he would call it Rose.
He turns towards the Rose right next to him, as bright as any star in the sky. Her eyes don’t move an inch, but somehow Dave can tell she’s looking at him in her peripheral vision. He hesitantly leans forward, feeling as though the beating of his heart is heavy enough to push him back. Through sheer willpower, he manages to get close enough to brush his chapped lips over the sharp angle of her cheekbone. A light pink color flushes her cheek and he gets more bold, reaching out two fingers to turn her face towards his. Magenta eyes meet Scarlet, and for a moment Dave swears he could see the universe reflected back at him. Their lips meet and it’s like the big bang, fireworks exploding behind closed eyelids. Galaxies could be forming around them, worlds could be destroying and recreating themselves for all they care.
The kiss is awkward, as all first kisses should be, but its perfection lies within its imperfection. Rose quickly figures out that gently biting the tip of Dave’s tongue makes him less eager to shove it in her mouth, and Dave realizes that it’s actually pretty nice to let someone else take the lead, and after a few minutes of trial and error they slip into a rhythm. Rose rolls her tongue around Dave’s, and Dave brings a hand to rest on her hip. She bites his lower lip and he makes a soft noise that sets her blood on fire, and flicks his tongue over her upper lip. They pull apart for a moment to look at each other, and Rose can’t stifle the giggle that bubbles out when she sees her lipstick smeared all over the lower half of Dave’s face. He smirks and lets her try in vain to wipe it off with her thumb before he closes the distance between them again, sucking the remaining lipstick off of her lower lip. Rose lets her mouth fall open, and slides her tongue over his upper lip and tangles her hands into his hair, pulling just hard enough to evoke a soft gasp.
Without a real, cognisant thought, Dave slides his hand underneath the hem of Rose’s shirt, ghosting his fingers over the smooth skin of her stomach. When he’s not met with resistance, he dares to slide his fingers higher, until he reaches the stiff fabric of her bra. He breaks the kiss and rests his forehead against Rose’s, meeting her eyes with a questioning look. She lowers her hand to guide his the rest of the way to her breast, then returns her hand to his hair, pulling him into another kiss. He gives it an experimental squeeze, the fabric of her bra bunching up beneath his fingers. She responds with an encouraging hum against his lips, sliding the tip of her tongue against his. He twists it slightly, something he remembers seeing in a... “movie,” and is met with a sharp, scolding sound. He releases her as if burned, but her insistent lips against his quickly dissolve his embarrassment and he presses his hand against her breast again, squeezing lightly. He presses his palm against it, feeling the weight on his hand and noting how unbelievably soft it is. After a long moment, he realizes he’s become so enthralled by Rose’s bust that he’s completely neglecting kissing her. He presses his lips a little too hard to hers to compensate, and she pulls back.
“Take it easy,” she mutters, with a sympathetic grin. “You’re doing fine.” He nods and mutters a soft apology, trying to ignore the heat in his cheeks.
He presses his lips gently to hers again and swipes his thumb over the hard nub he can feel even through the thick fabric of the bra, and she shudders, arching to press herself even closer to him. Their tongues tangle and he pinches the nub between his knuckles, hoping for the same shuddering reaction. Instead, Rose brings her hand up to his and pulls it away from her chest, her breathing shaky.
“Maybe we should go back to camp,” she whispers. “If we’re not careful, we’ll fall asleep here...” She trails off, and the implications make Dave feel a little dizzy. He nods.
“Yeah. Yeah, the sun oughta be coming up in an hour or two, it would be smart to not... I mean, for us to... Yeah, let’s go.” Neither make a move to get up, and somehow Dave’s lips find their way back to Rose’s. They kiss desperately, as if this is the last drink of water they’re getting before a long journey through the desert. In a way, it is. With one last, long, painfully gentle kiss, the two separate. “All right,” Dave murmurs, stroking Rose’s cheek.
“Yes. All right,” she replies, and sits up, smoothing the front of her shirt. Dave stands in one quick motion, and helps her up again, running his fingers through her hair to smooth out the tangles. Rose laughs softly and makes another attempt at rubbing the lipstick off of Dave’s face, using the end of her sleeve this time. He grins at her and she slips his shades back on his face somewhat reluctantly. They twine their fingers together again and walk back to camp in comfortable silence.