The extreme cold made him feel like he was working harder to breathe. He was puffing, almost panting, as his feet crunched in the snow. Maybe it was just because he could see the fog of his breath and so was more aware of it. Then again it could be because they were exerting more effort to walk in their heavy winter clothes. Nico was next to him his face peeking out from the fur lined hood. His breath was visible just like Percy’s and he was huffing as well.
“Are we still going dogsledding tomorrow?” Percy asked between puffs. His voice was muffled by the collars they had pulled up around their mouths but he could almost feel Nico smiling.
“You really want to yell “mush” don’t you?” Nico asked. Percy could see his cheeks pushed up in a smile.
“Yeah I do, not gonna lie,” he chuckled. “Do you think we’re out far enough?” he asked looking over his shoulder at the “village” in the distance.
“We should be,” Nico said, his breathing still slightly labored. He looked over his shoulder, mimicking Percy.
The only thing visible was the lights of the Teepees. They were all alone out in the snow and he knew that was exactly how Nico wanted it. They were in Canada, in Yellowknife and had just walked away from Aurora Village to find their own hilltop and watch the show. The ground was relatively flat and the pine trees didn’t group together too much here so they would have no trouble seeing the lights.
“I still think we should have rented one of those private teepees,” he said slyly.
Nico blushed bright pink and shifted from foot to foot. It made Percy smile so hard that his frozen face hurt.
“I want to see the Aurora without…being distracted,” he muttered.
“Fine,” Percy said and fanned out their blanket before plopping down in the snow. Nico wanted to see the Northern Lights and they chose this resort because the area got very little precipitation, which meant almost every night was a good night for viewing. The location of the resort placed the lights directly overhead so he just lay back in the snow and looked up.
It was near midnight and that meant it would start soon. Nico shook his head but got down on the ground next to him. He cuddled close to Percy, using his shoulder as a pillow. They were quiet as they watched the sky. He could hear the sounds from the other guests at the lodge drifting on the wind but the noise was very faint. He decided that even if they struck out on the aurora, the trip was still worth it for the uninhibited view of the night sky. With such little light pollution he could see more stars than he ever had in his life. The heavens looked sprinkled with diamond dust and he wondered how they’d ever managed to pick out constellations so many centuries ago.
They were on the cold ground for at least ten more minutes before anything happened. He’d actually thought Nico had fallen asleep when his arm shot out, finger pointing at movement in the sky.
“Look!” he said full of excitement.
Percy looked up and the sky shimmered with faint green. Color rippled into life before his eyes forming curtains above them. The green auroral arcs made gentle waving lines in the sky, rolling back and forth slowly. It moved like water and made Percy feel like they were under the sea looking up at sunlight as it tries to break through the surface.
“Wow,” Nico breathed quietly. It drew Percy’s attention back to him and he reached down to grasp Nico’s gloved fingers with his own.
They stayed there for a long time looking up at the lights dancing over their heads. The cold had penetrated the blanket long ago and was starting to seep through their jackets as well. The heated lounge chairs back at the lodge were tempting but he didn’t want to move and leave this moment. He looked over at Nico and he could see the green waves reflected in his dark eyes.
“Love you,” he murmured softly.
“Love you too,” Nico responded, flashing him a smile and blushing again.
They stayed there for a little while longer until Percy declared that his butt was probably frozen stuck to the ground. Nico helped him up and they headed back to the heated lounge chairs.