“I never liked sunsets,” Michiru commented one day. They were setting up against the cliff wall, far away from the edge but high enough they can see the sun die over the horizon. “Or sunrises for that matter.”
Mahiru paused working away at the fire with a flint, her brows furrowed in sudden confusion before slowly returning to her work when she saw Michiru pitching their tent and hammering the nails down onto the ground. She finished before Mahiru could create a spark but that’s fine since this was Michiru.
“Why don’t you like sunsets and sunrises?” Mahiru set the flint down next to her as the sparks caught onto the tinder and dry grass. The faint smell of a flame started to burn in the air, crackling like lightning captured in a bottle.
“Because I heard a story when I was younger,” Michiru started, a grunt leaving her lips as she sat next to Mahiru. She dropped the bag next to her, opening the book she always carried as Mahiru checked and spread the flames with a long stick. “A story of a man who loved the sun so much that he sat on his roof to watch the sun set and rise each day."
Mahiru nodded, the fire rising higher and higher until it calmed itself underneath her stare almost like an obedient child who got caught. “That sounds like a nice story.”
“That’s what they always sound like,” Michiru agreed. “Apparently the story was a threat that taught that the best way to break this man’s heart was to make him blind.” Mahiru turned to Michiru, the question on her tongue dying when she met Michiru’s eyes already looking at her. “He can know the sun exists but he would never experience it ever again.”
Mahiru frowned, yet she leaned her hand forward, cupping Michiru’s cheek, her long hair she hasn’t cut yet slipping through her fingers. “You’re worried about us.” A statement, not a question. It was obvious who Michiru was talking about, it was obvious what she was warned about.
Michiru hummed in approval, her eyes shutting as she leaned into the embrace. For a brief moment, Mahiru wondered how it felt for Michiru. She thought about the contrast of texture. How she could adoringly long for her rough and scarred hands so much that she would bury her unblemished cheeks against it. “Does that bother you?”
“No actually,” Mahiru whispered, blushing when Michiru pressed her lips against the palm. It was a regular habit now between them but the first touch of her lips, even when cracked from the cold, always made Mahiru blush. “It makes me happy you care.”
Michiru’s eyes opened, and half a frown was visible as the other half was pressed on Mahiru’s palm. “As if I don’t care—”
Mahiru giggled, moving her hand away with just enough of an angle to free Michiru’s lips. She kissed the surprise out of her mouth. Then she deepened the kiss, this time to accompany the eye roll she knew she probably got when Michiru kissed back. “I’m teasing you, you know that,” she laughed when they parted.
Michiru smiled back, her eyes fond like she’s seeing the sun for the first time in her life. “I know.”
Mahiru glanced back at the fire and placed the stick away to the foot of the stone circle to free both of her hands. She scootched herself closer to Michiru and wrapped her arms around her as Michiru adjusted, leaning to Mahiru’s embrace and the book on her lap. Though the book wasn’t that big she didn’t want the corners of the book to poke Mahiru on the stomach. She cared about her lover enough to avoid all these minor things.
“We’ll be okay.”
“You don’t know that.” Michiru countered. She doesn’t want to fight her because gods knew she would lose every time, but she didn’t want to avoid future problems when they could fix them now in the present. “We have nowhere else to go, they could have an army against us if they wanted to.”
“They have to deal with public opinion and politics,” Mahiru huffed, smiling at the snicker underneath her chin. “Logically they can’t just summon an army to hassle us without us knowing through gossip.”
“I love it when you use logic,” Michiru grinned, parts of her unease ebbing away with Mahiru’s calmness as it always did.
“Of course you do, you nerd.” Mahiru kissed her on the head. The long ahoge tickled the side of her eye before she pulled away and rested her chin on her head, deliberately squashing the ahoge too. “As for the land… we’ll find our own place,” she assured, her voice soft yet firm like moss growing underneath fallen logs. “Even if the place keeps moving we’ll find it slowly. Oasis in a desert sort of thing.”
“So a lake in a forest?”
Mahiru hummed, glancing at the fire and then the setting sun. She should roast something soon for dinner, not now because she’s too busy warming her lover but soon. “...I thought an oasis was a sort of pond.”
“I mean by all means it could be,” Michiru shrugged, she took out a quill but she didn’t write. She tapped the feather against the paper, her finger-picked at the corners but not hard enough to create dog ears. “I never went to a desert before.”
“Neither have I…” Mahiru trailed off as the sound of pen scratching paper acted as ambient noise with the fire crackles. She made sure there was a pause, Michiru no doubt rereading what she was writing before she nudged her arm. “Should we find one then?”
“We’re in the mountains.”
“Could be one over the mountain.”
“Geographically,” Michiru chuckled as she moved her head to face Mahiru properly. “That’s not possible.”
A half-hearted frown grew on Mahiru’s face. “Spoilsport.”
“Take that with the earth not me,” Michiru shrugged, a stupid grin on her face as she continued to write in her special book.
“Maybe I will,” Mahiru smirked as she used that time to rise from her seat, stretching her muscles. She didn’t see Michiru pausing to glance and ogle at her muscles but she smirked anyways, knowing already that she would look. She turned around to wink at Michiru, delighted at the flustered shade of pink as Michiru scrambled her notes to look busy. “I might make a potion to force it to stop growing.”
Michiru’s writing slowed before pausing at the end of her sentence before she pressed the feather side of the quill to her cheek. Meanwhile, Mahiru rummaged through their meat containers to see if there was anything to roast over the fire. “...That sounds interesting.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Mahiru frowned, sticking her hand out of the bag to point to a box with a chicken marinating inside. “No more experimenting until we reach flat ground.”
“You gave me this idea,” Michiru chuckled, sticking out her tongue at Mahiru. “You take responsibility.”
Mahiru sighed, glad she didn’t touch the meat of the box just yet. She placed the meat back inside and closed it properly in case foxes came in to steal the food. “Very well.”
She rose again to her feet as she stood in front of Michiru, not giving her any warning before she kissed her. The surprise tasted delicious, but not as much as the squirrel-like squeaks when Mahiru moved down, kissing her jaw and then her neck. She sucked hard, making sure that the mark showed despite everything.
“M-Mahiru chan!” Michiru stammered something that always made Mahiru grin whenever it happened. She liked seeing Michiru become unravelled, especially at her hands.
“I’m taking responsibility,” she explained calmly with an innocent smile that wasn’t all that innocent.
“By kissing me senseless?” Michiru made a careful move to put her book and quill to the side, on the other side of the log she sat on away from the fire.
“You can’t start a new potion if you’re distracted,” Mahiru reasoned before she poked Michiru on the nose. She adored the way Michiru blinked and wrinkled her nose like a hamster. “And I like to think I’m doing a good job.”
“You know me too well,” Michiru sighed, admitting defeat as she wrapped her arms around Mahiru’s waist. She looked up to her with a smile, her content was easy to read like it was breathing. Mahiru remembered how hard Michiru was to read, to understand and now here she was, being one of the few to talk some sense to her overthinking self. It was a beautiful luxury for Mahiru to have.
She hoped the smile on her face showed that gratitude she felt as she buried her hands against Michiru’s blonde hair, careful not to get tangled in the mess. She thought back to the story that started this, ignoring the obvious painful worry that Michiru would lose her. She focused on the subtle metaphor instead, the one that meant Mahiru was Michiru’s sun.
Coincidentally— or not considering how in tandem their thoughts have always been, Mahiru felt the same way. Despite the blonde hair, Michiru was not the sun, she was the moon. Mahiru's moon. And that's the problem for Mahiru. There were already so many love songs about the moon.
“Of course I do.” Mahiru admitted and will continue to admit time and time again with all the raw and honest emotions of love on her tongue. “I love you.”
When they kiss, more softly than the last kisses, Mahiru hoped this admission of love would reach her. Just like how A blind man may never see the sun again would still feel the warmth from a far distance. Mahiru hoped that if Michiru’s worries ever come true, this part of her belief would come true too.