Daisy thumped her hand against the giant couch cushion propped up on its side amidst a swath of blankets.
“Who is it?” a voice called from inside.
There was a loud rustling sound before the cushion was shifted to the side, Deke’s head poking out, spiky brown hair mussed and gray eyes bright. “Hi.”
“Hi,” Daisy replied, fighting to keep the smile off her face. “Nice blanket fort.”
“Thank you,” Deke said. “Alya taught me last time we were in Perthshire.”
“I see,” Daisy nodded, as if that was a reasonably explanation for a grown man to be making a blanket fort out of the lounge on a random Tuesday at three o’clock in the afternoon. “So you’d thought you’d get some practice in for next time?”
“Well, you know, density of the pillows and frictional qualities of the blankets have to be assessed, structural integrity and all that...”
“So this has nothing to do with the fact that May’s currently on the warpath for whoever ate the last of her matcha Pocky sticks.”
Deke blinked at her innocently. “What’s matcha?”
“You can’t possibly think that a few blankets and pillows will provide you enough protection from May,” Daisy said, rolling her eyes. “Plus, you’re doing it wrong.” She placed a hand on his chest, then knocked him backwards into the pile of pillows behind him with an oof. Daisy crawled in after him, tucking the cushion-door back into place behind her. “Blanket forts are meant to be shared.”
“And here you are.”
She poked him in the side, careful not to knock over any of the blanket walls with her feet as she shifted. “Yeah, so scoot over; this thing is tiny.”
“Part of my master plan all along,” Deke teased, shimmying to the side and then pulling her down with him, his arm looped around her middle.
“If you wanted to cuddle, you could have just asked,” Daisy replied, deadpan.
“Not that, that’s just a perk,” Deke said, grinning at her. “Master plan against May: get the big bad Quake in here to protect me.”
“Big bad—oh my god, never say that again,” Daisy said, but she was laughing. She propped herself up, leaning over to kiss him. “But yes, I will protect you from May’s wrath. This time. You really gotta stop eating her food—“
“Well, I didn’t know it was hers!”
“A likely story, lemon boy,” Daisy huffed, then nearly knocked her head into the top of the fort and brought it all down around them as she laid back down. She let out a happy sigh, head against his shoulder as they both gazed contentedly up at the fluffy blue blanket that made up their ceiling, held up by a mixture of safety pins and chip clips. “Hey, Deke...”
“You know that storage closet down on level twenty-one with the temporary supplies, there’s like a hundred extra pillows down there and at least as many blankets…”
“Mack wouldn’t be too mad, as long as we kept it to the non-operations parts of the base…”
They looked at each other. “Let’s go.”