"Hey Snow, what do you think it'll be like to grow up?"
Looking up from my book, I glanced over at my best friend, who was sitting by the wide windows overlooking the central courtyard. One of her shoes had come off, and the other was dangling idly by a strap as her foot swung back and forth like the pendulum on the clock tower.
"I wonder? I guess we'll find out." I replied non-committally, placing a bookmark where I had stopped. I had known Lily long enough to know that once she was in one of these moods, it was probably a good idea to start paying attention. The other girls might laugh at her and call her weird, but Lily was my oldest and dearest friend. She may start spouting odd things every once in a while, but sometimes they even made a strange kind of sense.
The grey light filtering through the ominous clouds lurking in the sky overhead lent a pallor to our naturally pale skin. Lily in particular, silhouetted against the glass panels, seemed like something out of a dream, her delicate hands folded demurely on her lap, even as she finally kicked her remaining shoe off, the delicate thing rolling across the carpet and coming to a stop against a cabinet leg. Her hair fell in soft curls against the white of her dress, the lace trimming threatening to catch any unruly strands. Her ribbon was crooked again, and I sighed softly before standing up, leaving the book on the table next to me and crossing the short distance over to her.
"Maybe we'll be like our parents. Fall in love, have children, grow old..." Lily murmured into the window, her breath misting the cold panes, and her finger rose to trace nonsensical patterns in the vapour. She didn't react when I stopped next to her, but she finally tilted her head back to face me when I reached out to retie her ribbon for her.
"Snow...when we grow up, can we still live next to each other?" She blinked slowly at me, cat-like and innocent as her namesake. I chuckled softly, tying off her ribbon with practiced ease and smoothing it out with my usual care.
"You can't get me to take care of you forever, Lily."
"Why not?" She puffed up her cheeks at me, one hand flying up to clasp mine before it completely left the front of her dress. "We've always been together since we were little. We can grow old together and drink tea and talk about annoying kids running around..."
"I thought you wanted your own family?" I reminded her, but didn't shake off her grip. We were eye to eye now, something that rarely happened, since Lily was always so much smaller. With her perched on the window sill like this, it was a an oddly nice change from the usual way she would just look up at me with those wide puppy eyes whenever she wanted something.
"That's different! Snow is my..." She frowned cutely, her nose wrinkling up in thought.
"Best friend?" I suggested. To my surprise, Lily shook her head, her curls bouncing around as she did. Her lower lip jutted out in a small pout.
"Snow is more important than that! You're like...more than just my sister! More than best friends! Like...my other half! Yes! You're like the other me!"
"Lily, you're not making any sense." I giggled, but I was genuinely touched by her earnestness. Lily huffed softly and pulled my hand up to her face, leaning into my open palm and purring softly like a kitten. I smiled and reached up to pat her on the head with my free hand, earning a satisfied whine like a small animal would make. That was Lily for you. She loved this sort of attention and contact. My sweet baby sister...if it'd make you happy, I would be with you forever.
Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a shadow watching us, but when I glanced over, it slipped back out past the corner of the parlor, and I wondered if I had been seeing things. In a huge old mansion like this, there were often tricks of light and patches of shadow that seemed to haunt us. It was probably my own imagination. If Lily knew what I had been thinking, she would probably tell me to stop reading so much again. As if on cue, I felt a tug on the hand that Lily still held captive, and I turned back to see her rubbing at one eye sleepily.
"It's only 3 in the afternoon, Lily." I teased, and she pouted, lowering her hand and sticking out her tongue at me.
"So what? Morning classes are over anyway, and there aren't any lectures later. Plus it looks like rain again, perfect weather for a nap!" She grinned impishly at me, revealing just the faintest hint of a fang. She let go of my hand and spread her arms, looking at me expectantly. I sighed dramatically and held out my arms to her. She whooped gleefully and leapt off the windowsill, diving straight into my arms. I caught her with a short 'oof', and she buried her face in my neck, humming happily and making my skin tingle.
"You're the best, Snow!"
"Don't be a brat, Lily." I chided automatically, but there was no bite to my words, and Lily knew it. She looked up and grinned at me, sliding off to land on her feet and looking up at me. I flicked her forehead and she scrunched her nose in response, but she went to put on her shoes without further prompting from me. When you've been friends for this long, sometimes we could skip over talking and just know what the other wants.
When she was finally done, she skipped back up to me and took my hand in hers, a bright smile lighting up her face. I found an answering one on my own, and she even allowed me to stop to pick up my book before all but dragging me to her room. On the way she waved hi to the other girls we passed, while I nodded politely at them. They were dear comrades and fellow vampires, but none of them shared the same bond as I had with Lily. It wasn't anything I knew for sure, but it was just something I felt instinctively to be true. What I had with Lily was something special, something I couldn't quite identify, but it was important to me. We had grown up together, we knew all there was to know about each other, and not even facing the time of our Chrysalis had parted us, seeing how we had both ended up at the Clan together at the same time.
"You're thinking too much again, Snow~"
Lily called out to me, pulling me to a stop outside the door of her room. I held my book in front of me almost defensively, but Lily just tiptoed upwards and tweaked my nose, a knowing glint in her eye. I bit my lip, but the words slipped out all the same.
"I love you, Lily."
She had one hand on her door handle, but she turned around in a flutter of ebony curls, her eyes alight with a gentle mirth.
"I know, Snow. I love you too."
She squeezed my hand reassuringly, leading me into her room. I looked down at our joined hands, and wished, not for the first time, that they would never part.
Let our time together last forever, here and now, as if into eternity. If we must grow old, then let it be together, never to part.