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Little Miss Sunshine

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Little Miss Sunshine

 

If someone asked Umi to describe Hikaru in one word that word would be sunshine.

It was rather cliche and saccharine and she had to resist the urge to roll her eyes the moment the word came to mind, but it was true.

There was no better way to describe Hikaru than a walking, bouncing, beam of sunshine.

It wasn’t because of her flaming red hair, though that did rather complement the comparison, or her chipper over the top exuberance for life. Umi had never met anyone as good at living in the joy of a moment as Hikaru was.

No, while these things certainly added to the observation, they were not Umi’s primary reason behind occasionally calling Hikaru ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ even if it was only in her head.

It was simply the way she walked in and lit up a room.

It was near impossible to be around the girl and not smile.

She had known for a long time there was something special about Hikaru, it had not taken her and Fuu much time to come to that conclusion during their first trip to Cephiro. They knew it when they came home after the final battle, they knew it when they returned, and they knew it when the went after her to bring her back from the trial to become Pillar.

But if Umi were to be completely honest with herself it really didn’t dawn on her until after Hikaru had removed the Pillar system and they had begun returning to Cephiro for frequent visits just how special what she could do really was.

One trip not too long after, when Cephiro was still rebuilding, they had jumped through the gateway at Tokyo Tower, landing in the throne room entry way, right after a meeting had concluded apparently. Umi had landed on her bottom right next to Caldina, thankfully not dropping the basket of macarons she’d brought. Fuu managed a more graceful little hop and a skip, keeping to her feet and Hikaru give a little ‘meep’ as she dropped. Why did Mokona have to make the gate drop them like that? God or no god, if she ever saw the marshmallow rabbit again she had a few words for it.

Ascot helped her to her feet, Caldina already eager to take a look at the treats in her basket as Umi straightened her clothes and adjusted her headband only to look over her shoulder and nearly drop her basket again.

Hikaru had fallen right on top of Lantis, he’d reacted quickly, naturally, catching her, but it’d not been a graceful landing. One of Hikaru’s legs was thrown over his shoulder, her braid had been twisted and fell over her nose and across her face. Her scarf had slid off her neck and hung loose, ready to fall at any moment. She still clutched her book bag to her chest and she’d also lost a shoe.

Hikaru blinked, momentarily wordless, and then burst into laughter.

“Great aim darlin!”

“Caldina!”

“Oh shush Presea, you’re no fun.”

Fuu giggled and Ferio went to retrieve Hikaru’s lost shoe as her pearls of laughter slowly subsided as Lantis gently set her down. She hopped a few quick one footed hops over to Ferio to take her shoe back.

What had made Umi nearly spill her macaroons though had been Lantis himself, he was smiling.

Not that he never smiled, he did, but they were usually small, blink and you miss them smiles, but this was full blown smile, she would not have been too surprised if he had laughed.

They were still getting to know Lantis and this had been the first time she’d ever really seen him smile like that and it was all because of Hikaru.

Umi herself smiled and turned to Ascot, who had asked her what she’d brought from them to try this time.

~

A contented sigh.

Umi allowed herself to slouch further into the cushioned chair she was in. It’d been a good day. It was late summer back in Japan, where the heat was long and clung to you long after the sun set, but here in Cephiro the temperature was pleasant and the evening breeze was comfortable as the sun sank on the horizon.

They were in Eagle’s room, the later had been awake for a few weeks now, but still bed ridden. The girls had wanted to celebrate and decided to wait until the summer break to bring an innumerable amount of snacks from their world and they’d also brought some fireworks, those had been fun to smuggle through the security at Tokyo Tower.

They’d also brought a ridiculous amount of different flavored marshmallows. On a past outing Umi had made a quip in passing calling Mokona a ‘marshmallow god’ and of course that was followed with odd looks and questions.

Thus resulting in the junk food/marshmallow coma most everyone was in currently. Though Umi had spent most of the time trying to get Clef to just try one.

“Just try it…”

“It’s just sugar Clef…”

“For the love of Mokona quit giving it an autopsy and eat it already!”

Hikaru, having already loaded up with all manner of sweets and was nearly bouncing out of her seat from the sugar rush, burst into giggles.

“They’re good Clef, try it!”

Umi hid her smile behind her drink as the mage finally ate the the tiny treat.

They had to hide the bag from Eagle, who was likely to eat himself sick if they let him.

Fuu had been more sensible and had stopped snacking and was simply enjoying her tea, she had a book in her lap but she had long set it aside.

Hikaru bounced up out of her seat, “I think it’s dark enough now, yea?” she turned to Lantis and Ferio, “Come on, come on, we can pop fireworks now!” She ushered them both up, “Fuu, Umi, you coming?” she asked as she picked up a bag of fireworks.

Fuu smiled and stretched, “Of course Hikaru.”

“I think I’ll stay up here to watch the show with everyone.” Umi waved them off.

“I’ve heard of fireworks before, they have them in Fahren, but I’ve never seen them.” Eagle smiled, propped up in bed with a multitude of pillows.

“It’s a pastime during the summer time in our country, we have festivals with them quite often.”

Umi went over to the window to watch Hikaru and the others emerge down below some ways, Lantis had been given the bag of fireworks and was now pulling them out one by one to eye them with caution.

Hikaru took one of the large bottle rockets and ran off several paces and pressed the stick end lightly into the soft ground. “Is everyone ready?!

Umi gave her a thumbs up.

Hikaru hunched over the bottle rocket, reaching out with her pointer finger, lightly biting the inside of her cheek. She’d been working with Clef to use her fire magic in more delicate and detail oriented manner. Umi assumed lighting fireworks counted as practice right?

She grinned as Hikaru suddenly bolted away from the lit firework, “Here we go!” she yelled seconds before the sharp high whistle of the rocket launching filled the air.

When the rocket burst Ascot yelped and nearly strangled Caldina. There was a chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the others. Followed by Ferio’s, “Oh, I want to try one next!”

By the time they got to the larger fireworks Lantis had been given the duty of lighting them while Hikaru and Ferio had a mock duel with sparklers, even some of the castle staff had stopped to watch.

After a rather brilliant blue bust from a large shell, Ferio didn’t properly dodge Hikaru’s ‘attack’ and ended up with singed bangs.

Fuu was clutching her sides, nearly doubling over she was laughing so hard at the two of them. Ferio declared war, Hikaru grinned sheepishly and bolted away from the Prince, laughing and apologizing all at once.

“Hikaru sure knows how to brighten things up, doesn’t she?” Eagle commented.

Umi looked back to him, smiling, eating the bag of marshmallow she could have sworn she hid, but she couldn’t find it in herself to be annoyed.

She looked around the room, Caldina cheering Hikaru on from the balcony, Presea and Clef both laughing. Down below she could still hear Fuu and Hikaru’s laughter.

“Yea, she sure does.”