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Larkspur likes dancing.

Motion and song and light all at once - dancing involves her whole self, makes her focus on the present, be present in her body entirely. She can make the music with her body, and make people smile.

That’s the important part. Making people smile.

Tristane snores only lightly - he always has. He’s always been a quieter sort when they’re alone. She watches him breath slowly, the gentle rise and fall of his chest. His face twitches in dreams she doesn’t know. Larkspur brushes a lock of hair back behind his ear that had fallen over his face. He looks so much gentler in sleep, sometimes, when he doesn’t dream.

She likes when he smiles, too. He hasn’t smiled, not often, not since -

Larkspur hums. It’s a gentle, lovely tune. “Stars guide my feet to you / set the path and let me fly,” she sings, low and sweet in their home tongue of Faento. “Stars keep me close to you / I’ll always stay by your side.”

Larkspur keeps humming, stroking the side of Tristane’s face. In sleep, he nuzzles into her hand, unconsciously seeking. She loves how sweet he is when he isn’t thinking of it.

She grabs one of her scarves, wraps her breasts, and grabs another one to wrap her hair before stepping into a skirt. She walks to the single window. The sky is covered in a carpet of stars. She watches the scant clouds move in the sky, dark-on-dark, covering them as they go. It’s like the stars themselves are dancing, twinkling in the sky. She traces the constellations in the sky.

(“The Hart,” her mama whispers, holding her close. A set of a dozen stars, all of them traced with her mama’s finger. She follows it closely, holding up her own hand, so small against the dark, invisible except the absence of twinkling light.

“The Hart?” Larkspur asks, and Mama smiles.

“Mhm. The Golden Hart.” She kisses her forehead. “The rhydan and the vata brought him here. Made him out of all the good in people’s hearts. It’s why he’s called the Hart, some say.”

Larkspur turns in her lap, smiling wide. “We should make a story about it! A play! A dance!”

Mama laughs. “There’s a hundred of them, each one more lovely than the last.” There’s a twinkle in her bright, beautiful, red eyes, and she whispers: “Do you want to learn?”

Larkspur smiles. “Yeah!”)

The Hart, the Rose, the Raven… Her finger traces each one, smiling. Her mother was always the one telling her the old stories, the Roamer tales. The one teaching her old Vata so she could understand the oldest of their songs, the ones that the best dancers got to learn, all the hardest songs and most intricate dances.

She notices when Tristane’s breathing speeds back up, a steady rise of consciousness belied by the snoring that fades. She steps back over to the bed when he starts to whimper, setting down on the edge closest to him. “Dream?”

Tristane mumbles, still half-asleep. “Mmm.” He wraps his arm around her waist. “You ‘wake?”

“Silly goose.” Larkspur leans down, kissing his forehead. “Go back to sleep.”

“‘Kay.” Tristane tightens his grip around her, trying to pull her closer. “Sleep.”

She can’t tell if he’s agreeing with her, or telling her to sleep, too. Either way, it’s adorable. “Alright, Tris.”

She pulls his arm away from her waist, chuckling at the little grumble he gives her. She pulls the skirt away, pulls the scarves off, lays on the bed and cuddles close. The frown smooths as soon as his arms close around her. “Shh, I’m here.”

“Don’t leave,” he murmurs, and she kisses the nearest part of him she can reach.

“Never,” she promises, and pulls the blanket closer around them both. “Never. I promise.”