“Mhmm… you're warm…”
Sunny jolted awake. There was something squirming beside her. Looking over in the fuzzy darkness, she spotted a mud-brown dragon, blunt-nosed and stout.
Sunny felt an involuntary flush rising in her scales. Stop that, she thought at herself. It's only because you're a Sandwing.
But she couldn't help it. Sunny smiled tentatively. Shifting her body so that he wing was free, she cast it over Clay so that his shivering stopped, and he was still.
“And… this means ‘I love you!’”
Tsunami stared down the dragon before her. “Riptide,” she warned. Riptide put a smug look on his face. “What?” he asked innocently. “Don't tell me you'll never say that to someone.”
Tsunami puffed up. “If I do, I think I'll say it above water, thank you.”
Riptide gave a chuckle at that. Suddenly, a sharp pain landed across his cheek. “Ow!” He yelped. Now Tsunami was the one looking smug. She was holding her thick tail in midair.
Riptide couldn't help himself. He launched at Tsunami, shoving her into the sea.
“I love you,” he flashed to himself. And perhaps someday, it wouldn't have to be a secret.
“Are you sure, Moon?”
“Why wouldn't I be?”
“I've seen the way Winter looks at you. I, uhm- I know for sure I like you, but… do you really like me?”
Moon almost laughed. Classic Qibli, always looking too hard at things.
“I'm sure,” she said. “Winter is handsome, but he's not you.”
Moon had never seen the alert Sandwing look to relaxed. No, not relaxed… relieved.
“That's good. I was worried,” he said.
Moon really did laugh this time. “Worried?” she said between giggles. “You heard me say ‘I like you too’ yourself and you were still worried?”
Qibli smiled tentatively.
“I'm just glad for once it was me worrying, and not you,” he said.
‘And… there! Spell gone.”
Turtle smiled internally as Kinkajou looked at her claws as if they'd start glowing. “Wow…” she said. “Just like that?”
“Just like that!” Anemone confirmed. Kinkajou frowned, which was concerning. “But… I don't feel any different,” she said.
Turtle's heart did a weird thing where it split and proceeded to drop and soar at the same time.
Does this mean… she really likes me too?
“You probably won't,” Anemone said matter-of-factly. “Until Turtle does something really handsome and brave, that is… oh wait.”
Turtle tried to ignore his sister, but a familiar worry was working its way into his head.
Kinkajou shrugged. “Well then,” she started. “I guess we'll just have to wait and see.”
This was never supposed to happen. Not with a Nightwing, of all dragons. The sworn enemy of his tribe. It wasn't supposed to happen with any dragon, actually, that wasn't a loyal Icewing. And yet it had.
Winter's eyes had been drawn to Moon the moment he had met her. The teardrop scales by her eyes, the slender frame of her wings, the slight curve of her horns…
He had denied it for many days, simply because he could not comprehend falling for a filthy Nightwing. But the problem was, Moon was not filthy. She was the exact opposite of filthy. And now that he had left for the Icewing Kingdom, he found that he could hardly bare being so far from the mysterious Nightwing that had snatched his heart without even knowing it.
Peril moved as quietly as she could manage. Also as carefully as she could manage, as to not alight any of the leaves covering the windows of the school.
Peril peeked into the next hallway, searching… searching…
She whipped around with a yell, smashing whoever it was behind her with her tail.
Then it dawned on her.
“Oh moons! I'm so, so, sorry! I'll go get a healer! You'll be fine! I-”
She stopped talking. Mostly because it was Clay.
The brown dragonet was rubbing away the fading burn scar on his snout. “Hello, Peril,” said Clay, as if nothing had happened.”What are you doing out so late?”
Peril managed to stutter, “I, uhm…” she took a deep breath. ”Well, uhm...
“I was looking for you, Clay.”
Starflight could feel the warmth rising from her scales, even from here. He desperately wanted to move closer to her, but that would be a little weird. Especially when it was just them, alone, in the middle of the rainforest. Glory, with a certain glint in her eye, had sent the two out on a “scouting mission.” Starflight still felt a little indignant about that, but he wasn't about to complain. He would do a lot of things for a few hours alone with Sunny.
The dragon in question was currently being distracted by some pale purple flowers. She shuffled through them, spraying both dragons with morning dew. Starflight watched her with a weird kind of jealousy.
Why can't she look at me like she looks at those flowers? he thought. Then he scolded himself for being so irrational. They're just flowers.
Then he felt something smooth and delicate slide just above his ear, which promptly shook him out of his thoughts.
Sunny was staring at him, a proud expression on her features. “It matches perfectly!” She exclaimed.
Softly, Starflight touched the flower with a claw. He stared up at Sunny. Does this prove something? What is she trying to tell me?
...Does this mean she like me too? Is that it?
Starflight realized that Sunny was looking a little awkward, so he said a hasty “thank you.”
Sunny smiled that big smile only she could make. Starflight realized that he was probably looking into this too much, and he should probably try and stop that. But just for good measure…
“Thank you,” repeated Starflight.
“I kept saying it, but noooo, you didn't listen! I told you we should have increased defenses!”
Featuring kept on scolding her, but Glory wasn't listening. She has been bristling for a good fight for awhile now, and the would-be Sandwing assassins were the perfect target for all her pent up frustration. It had been worth the scar across her shoulder, and it was also worth all of Deathbringer’s drama.
Speaking of Deathbringer…
“Shush,” she said, placing a talon on Deathbringer's snout. “I'm fine.”
The Nightwing still looked worried. “But you might not be in the future, especially if something like that happens again!” He insisted.
Glory laughed. “With such a strong, handsome, brave dragon at my side, I'm surprised it even happened in the first place!” She stated matter-of-factly.
Deathbringer glowered at her, but Glory could see the smile he was hiding. The Nightwing sighed.
“Well, when you put it so indulgently…” Deathbringer traced a claw along Glory's cheek. “Then I don't know how I could resist a face like yours.”
Glory chuckled. “That's good,” she said. The she waved away the black dragon. “Now go bring me more mangoes!
“And THEN, THEY ALL TURNED INTO COWS, AND CLAY ATE EVERY LAST ONE!”
Starflight smiled, and Fatespeaker was glad. It had become harder and harder to get the Nightwing to smile after the whole being-permanently-blinded situation. Fatespeaker was rather proud of herself for accomplishing it.
“Your dreams are always so silly,” said Starflight. Fatespeaker gasped in mock indignation. “It was not a dream!” She crowed, “IT WAS A VISION!”
And Starflight laughed. He actually laughed.
Fatespeaker felt that warm fuzzy feeling rise in her scales, and she welcomed it. Starflight was making progress, and, sometime in the future, he would laugh like that every day.