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Warm At Last

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It wasn’t often that Shamir found herself wondering where Catherine was.


Watching the snowfall outside through the window for a moment, Shamir shrugged and turned back to the book she held in her hands. Wherever Catherine was, she had to be cold. It was the middle of the Guardian Moon and frostier than a lake in Albinea. That was why Shamir had wrapped a thick blanket around herself as she sat in bed; no sense in being chilly when it could be helped. Even so, she couldn’t help but worry about her partner even as she tried to focus on her book, and after fruitlessly trying to concentrate for a minute Shamir sighed and stuck her arm out to put down the text. Even somebody as hot-blooded as Catherine had to be feeling the cold when it was like this. “That idiot probably got lost in the snow. I should-“


Before Shamir could finish speaking, or even start to move, the door to her room burst open and Catherine stumbled in, shivering, the wind howling behind her. “Please, do come in.” Shamir said, voice dripping with sarcasm, but absent any annoyance. “Just close the door and you can make yourself at home.”


“Oh, shut up Shamir.” Catherine half-laughed, half-muttered as she quickly shut the door behind her. “Seiros, it’s colder than Gautier at night. Why weren’t you on patrol with me, anyways? Taking a sick day?”


Pausing for a moment, quite puzzled by what Catherine meant, Shamir barely stopped herself from smiling with amusement when realization hit her. “Catherine, they gave most of the knights the day off due to the weather. That includes us.”


Stunned by her partner’s words for a moment, Catherine stared for a moment before smacking her own face. “Goddess, I’m such an idiot. Of all the days to not pay attention…”


“Well, what’s done is done.” Shamir replied, cool and calm as could be. “You might want to change into something a little more comfortable, though. Something warm, I mean. The walls don’t keep all the cold out.”


“Ah, you have a point. Thanks for the advice.” Catherine nodded in appreciation as she began to take off her armor. Picking her book back up now that she knew her partner was safe, Shamir resumed her reading. Lysithea had recommended it to her, a couple of weeks after the monastery had been retaken. The topic of the book was the history of the house of Charon. It was a subtle and clever way to encourage Shamir to act on her feelings. 


Lysithea… she really was too perceptive for her own good. Except, it seemed, when it came to her own feelings, but that was none of Shamir’s business. It was rather fun to tease her about Cyril from time to time, though. He’d come a long way under Shamir’s guidance, and though she tried to keep him humble, she was very proud of him. Those two were still figuring out their feelings for each other, but Shamir couldn’t blame them.


After all, Catherine had yet to figure out that she was in love with her.


As Catherine finally pulled a long sleeved shirt over her head, Shamir glanced away from her book at the myriad scars across her partner’s back, and impressive muscles that flexed as Catherine got herself into the shirt. Nothing wrong with looking so long as she looked respectfully, Shamir figured. “Ah, this is much better. Still freezing, though.” Catherine complained as she turned to Shamir and stretched. Shamir quickly looked back at her book, turning a page as she pretended to be reading. As it would turn out, though, pretending was about to get a whole lot harder.


The bed creaked slightly as Catherine nearly collapsed next to her, only barely remaining sitting. “Man, I’m exhausted. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow some of your warmth.”


Rolling her eyes with a light blush that she hoped Catherine was too tired to see, Shamir made no attempt to push Catherine away. “Go ahead, make yourself comfortable. You always do, anyways.”


“Well of course. Can’t go getting sick when I have you to protect.” Catherine grinned, before letting out a sigh. “That blanket must be the best purchase you’ve ever made. Wish I had one for myself.”


“You’re too noisy.” Shamir replied jokingly, sticking a hand out to flick Catherine in the forehead. Smiling as Catherine stuck her tongue out at her, she opened the blanket as though possessed by a whim, her blush suddenly deepening. “There’s… room for two. If you want, that is.”


Blinking in surprise, as though unable to believe it, Catherine wasted little time in taking Shamir up on the offer, moving to sit right next to her as Shamir closed the blanket around them. “I don’t know who you are or what you did with Shamir, but you’re the greatest.” Catherine said as she sighed contentedly.


“Keep making comments like that, and you’ll see just how fast I can kick you out of here.”


“Nope! Not a chance! I’m staying right here and you can’t stop me.”


“Hmhmhm. At least quiet down a little.” Shamir murmured with a small smile. A few quiet minutes passed before she glanced over at Catherine, discovering that her partner had fallen asleep leaning on her shoulder. “Well, I’m pretty tired myself. I guess I’ll have to let you stay the night.”


Gently and carefully laying Catherine down on the bed before lying down next to her, the blanket still wrapped around them. “Goodnight, Catherine. One day, I’ll be able to say I love you.” As her exhaustion tugged at her eyes, Shamir drifted off to sleep while staring into Catherine’s closed eyes.


A few minutes later, Catherine slightly opened a single eye to see if Shamir was really asleep, then fully opened both, a deep blush appearing on her face. It was a mixture of excitement and embarrassment that now occupied her mind. 


“Oh, goddess above help me. The woman of my dreams likes me back.”