The sunlight made him sleepy, and Katana absently curling her fingers through his hair as she read didn’t help. Everything was so bright as he lay across the bench, from her white linen sundress, to the daffodils blooming around them, to the children’s laugher as they threw a Frisbee in the meadow nearby.
With the rays coming from directly overhead, it hurt to peek open his eyes until he shifted his head under the shade of her PADD.
Her eyes flicked down as he stared wide-eyed up at her, framed by her arms. “But the endocrine system—“
“My digestive system is calling for lunch,” he said firmly.
She sighed, but he had heard her stomach rumble too. A picturesque picnic in the park was what he was promised, and it’s what he was getting. Even if he had to grin through her mumbles about nerves and him hitting hers.
Sand was squished between her toes and coated her feet like some kind of cutlet, but she didn’t care. Instead, she leaned over to steal yet another French fry. He batted the brim of her hat, and she swung her sandals at him playfully.
He looked hurt as she munched on her ill-gotten potato. “You’d better stop that, or I won’t be responsible for the consequences.”
She lifted an eyebrow as if to say “yeah, right,” and lunged after the box again. Except. He moved, and she over judged, leaving her face first in the ocean and him laughing hysterically.
She scowled, and he offered a hand up. Mistake.
Forgotten French fries floated out with the tide as laughter bubbled over at his drowned cat look. Slowly the corners of his mouth curled up into a wicked grin. It was time for a water fight. Luckily, neither one could lose.
Addral never had to ask what her favorite season was, not after the first October he knew her. She had started promptly on the first, and wouldn’t stop talking about it all month. He hesitated to speak its name, lest she took it into her head to begin planning for next year.
Still, it was with a contented grin he leant back against the couch, popping a few candy corn in his mouth. The detritus of black and orange streamers and plastic cups lent an atmosphere to the dimmed lights and the starscape behind him. Katana sleepily settled further against his toga. He couldn’t blame her for conking out; he was tuckered out himself. Of course, he had better things to do at the moment. Like watch his completely adorable girlfriend sleep. He sighed, knowing it was hopeless.
4:14 on November 1st, and even he couldn’t wait for next year.
His sweater smelled like cinnamon. She snuggled closer, using the cold as an excuse she didn’t really need. Addral’s eyes had crinkled in amusement when she explained just why it was so chilly in there. She loved Christmas, and no artificial, season-lacking environment was going to take that away from her.
She was tired now, the day of baking cookies and decorating having worn her out. So, she was content to sigh into his embrace as he took in her offbeat paper crane ornaments (Sarah would never miss them) and complete lack of coordinated colors. Blinking lights reflected off the various trinkets she’d collected: from her parents, from Uncle Sam and Samia, from her friends. It was togetherness in the only way she could manage it.
“I know they’re not exactly traditional…”she began, but Addral cut her off, squeezing her shoulders and smiling broadly.
“It feels like home to me.”