3017 GSC, 12th Month, Winter, Morning twilight
A thick layer of freshly fallen snow blanketed gently glowing tree tops and the forest floor beneath them. The clouds had disappeared as dawn drew near, allowing the glittering golden rings of Piyapon to be vibrant for a scant few hours as the sky began to slowly bright across the teal swirling nebula above.
The half-elven scout knelt at the river's edge concealed by heavy fog and her armor's stealth system. After a moment's consideration, she shimmered into existence, becoming a lonely phantom within the fog as the full moon cast its illumination upon her petite form. Her evergreen eyes considered the jagged breaks in the ice from behind her goggles. The current at this junction was too strong to make the ice safe to cross, it was deceptively thin. She tapped the buttstock of her Showstopper against the icy crust, gently applying increasing pressure until the ice gave way.
Before the ice could reform, Lukina tipped a water bottle into the frigid water and refilled it before clipping it back onto her belt and rising to her feet. Her eyes swept the treeline, checking the various light spectrums for readings of interest beyond the glow of the forest. Her ears twitched beneath her hood and she turned to look at her other shadow, lifting the frigid eyewear from her eyes and let it hand at the base of her neck. "O-mizu nomitaidesu ka?" She asked softly with a smile, placing her hand on the bottle. She tried to remember the words but only managed, "Uisce?"
The crisp morning air tingled against Wolf's light skin as he reluctantly stepped out from the reaching shadows cast by the dense canopy far above. The low early morning sun barely lit his form, weak at this time of year already. "Uisce, mhm." The words carried easily on the slight, chilled breeze that wound through the soaring forest around them. Wolf smiled broadly in kind as he made his way towards the hooded half elf, quite chuffed with himself he'd managed to trail her this far from the tent successfully - or that she had let him think that.
Boots crunching briskly on the unpacked, blanket snow underfoot, the Agarthan came close enough as for his cloudy breath to roll around Lukina's armored form. As she watched, what little fur that poked between his own seemed to puff out against the cold, his cheeks a light scarlet. He knew she preferred to see him this way, even it was a little chilly - worth the payoff.
"Go kibun.. wa.. ikagadesu ka?" His meaning came through, though it was obviously no where near as fluent as a couple of nights ago. His striking cyan eyes seemed eerily similar in tone to the mirror like ice around them yet a deep-set warmth rested therein as he checked she was okay.
She held out the water bottle to Wolf with a smile and a nod. "I am fine. I just wanted to make it for the blue hour," she paused as her warm gaze drifted back up to the brightening blue sky. The bioluminescence of the trees had started to dim with the coming dawn, and the rings above started to become less prominent. "I have to give Saule her due when I can see her blessings... I didn't mean to wake you."
Lukina's gaze drifted back down to him again. "Your Japanese is getting better," she added softly.
He took the bottle from Lukina, its contents causing the smooth metallic surface to bite into his somewhat warm hand. Ignoring it best he could, the hunter tipped a sliver of the bracing liquid into his mouth as Lukina spoke.
Wolf seemed to only just notice the brilliant natural beauty around them, swallowing as he followed her emerald eyes to the vibrant, unmistakable glow all plants on this planet seemed to exude. "It is quite something.." He agreed, meeting her gaze with his own, crouching down to absently trace a shape in the tablecloth snow about the pair.
"I can see why a god would make such sights, it is a wonder." Her companion seemed to brush over the subject of waking, it seemed to not have even been something that crossed his mind. "Well, once you learn one language others seem to come easier." His lips revealed his signature grin, a sneaky wink slipping in there too for her. "It helps when you get a unexpected head start, hmm?"
The half-elf chuckled lightly, "It's almost like cheating. But it's easy to get distracted by everything happening that you lose sight of the little things like seeing the sunrise." She moved to stand closer to him, her body was slowly radiating heat through her armor with the systems powered down. She didn't seem to be bothered by the cold or having problems walking around.
"Have you been able to remember anything more about your dreams?" Lukina asked suddenly as the thought came to her. She tilted her head to look at what he was drawing in the snow. "Ón aisling?"
"Cheating.. Greannmhar." That seemed to tickle him, an amused tone creeping into his voice as his finger seemed to trace a intricate scene with almost photographic detail, moving almost like a paintbrush. As Lukina asked, it was quickly becoming more and more clear. And alien.
"Mhm.. I remember a city? I've been getting more and more glimpses recently. Especially when I'm with you." He added sheepily, then continued.
"It looks strange, I haven't seen anything like it here." Wolf mused, glancing up to his elegant companion for a moment. The buildings seemed to be a latticework, packed together yet with strange, grandiose designs. Many seemed war-torn or patchwork, chunks missing out of the side of a few. Lamps dotted the street, which was by no means straight, the only familiar feature seemed to be a cart just like the ones they used in Azalea.
Lukina knelt down beside him to get a better look, watching his hand move across the snow with odd precision. "I have not seen this city before, would it help to have a paper and pencil for this?" Her eyes moved from the scene in the snow up to his cyan ones with an encouraging smile. "You are really good at this."
Wolf blinked a few times, as if he hadn't thought of that. "You mean those weird sticks with black stuff in them? The ones you hold like this..?" The soldier proceeded to make an exaggerated claw shape with his hand, contorting it one way with a chuckle. "I could try I guess? You might have to show me first, heh."
He could feel Lukina's warm side pressing lightly against his own, causing him to shuffle a little closer and rub gently against her as he continued to polish up some details on his picture. "Can you draw?" Wolf asked politely, smiling softly to her.
"A bit. I mostly make maps but I haven't done much in the way of drawing lately. But I can show you how if you'd like. I don't think that information passes through?" She replied with an almost shy smile as she continued to watch him.
"Maps?" He seemed intrigued, "I'd love that!" His icy-toned eyes seemed to light up at the prospect. It might have been her imagination but Wolf's cheeks may have turned a shade more scarlet as she spoke. "Who knows, we could always run some trials to test it out.." He grinned mischievously, wiggling his finger to flick off some melted droplets as he seemed to be done with the snow-landscape. It was almost a shame once the sun came up it would disappear.
She blushed as she returned her attention to the drawing. "I can take a picture of this for you, if you'd like, it'd be a projection on my gauntlet but, you could keep it." The azure sky melted into a palette of pink and purple as the sun began to rise above the trees.
Nearly inaudible crackling seemed to emanate from the frozen river. Almost invisible, tiny ravines raced across its glossy surface as the bleeding sun crested its gloomy horizon. It sounded as if popcorn was being made on the other bank, oddly enough. "Awwe.." Wolf purred, nudging Lukina's warm side with his as he teased her. "You're so sweet.." He prodded her gently with the tip of a finger, "That'd be nice." Wolf knew full well how she would react but couldn't help himself.
The half-elf knight blushed a deeper shade of crimson as she rose back up to get a better view of the snow drawing. Her evergreen eyes swept the powdery surface as the sunlight brushed it a shade of orange and cast tiny shadows in the indentations until she had gotten a solid view of the whole scene. She tapped the wyvern on her gauntlet and projected the image for Wolf to see. "Like this?"
He gazed upon the high-definition copy, impressed. It never ceased to amaze him how such technology seemed to be just knocking around. It begged the question what sorts of insane tech was out there amongst the stars. "Amazing, I love the way you've caught the reflections on it." Wolf waved his hand through the projection, watching it shimmer through and out of sight in amusement. "I need to get me one of these.." He stepped a little closer, as if examining the gauntlet but sneakily wrapping an arm around Lukina's slight waist as if she wouldn't notice.
Lukina smiled as Wolf inched his way closer. "The communicator is easy. The other hardware is a little bit trickier but I'm sure you could find something less invasive," she commented softly as she looked up at him. The image flickered away. "Mine connects to me." She tapped a finger beside her right eye. "It's slightly more dramatic but not required."
Wolf seemed to listen intently as she explained, always eager to learn it seemed. "It might be a nice project to upgrade from uhh.." He glanced down to the simple steel plate mail that covered part of his form. Saule knew how uncomfortable that must have been on him. His hand brushed gently against her porcelain skin, grazing gently against where Lukina had tapped, few strands of hair behind her beautiful, unique elven ear.
She continued to smile at the Agarthan, enjoying the warmth of his hand against her face. "It'd be a matter of what would move with you as you change your forms.. actually, I think there might be a solution to it but we'd need to know how big you can be," Lukina blushed again. "I was thinking that maybe if you had a picture of where you came from, we might be able to send it across the network to see if anyone has seen something like it. It's too vivid to just be a dream."
The light shifted around them as the sun's illumination started to burn away the fog and warmed the air around them. The sky above them was clear as the pinks gave way to vivid crimson and orange hues against a brilliant blue sky. She had come to watch the sunrise but her attention was fully on him and the way Saule's radiance painted him and drove away the darkest shadows between them.
He caressed her soft cheek gently with the pad of his thumb for a few long seconds as she spoke, nodding in understanding. Unusually, his currently large and floofy ears wiggled at her first sentence, a shine in his deep cyan eyes for a fleeting moment. He couldn't help himself; "We can figure that out.." Wolf muttered slyly, giving Lukina a little wink.
"That's a great idea, it's worth a shot if nothing else, mhm!" He seemed to almost slip his hand away from where it cupped Lukina gently, then instead gazed into her gleaming evergreen orbs. Her natural beauty was astonishing, the man powerless to stop himself from instinctively leaning in. His warm hand rested at the back of her neck before he knew it, his feelings rose to bubbling hot despite the chilly surroundings.
Rays from the deep winter's sun seemed to bend and twist around their forms, as if the coolness of the air was slowing the very light itself into an elemental dance. Reflections from the glimmering icing sugar of snow beneath them bathed the two in an almost heavenly halo of light, as if they were on a stage created just for them by the trees and clouds they had marvelled at moments ago. They'd had their time to take in the beauty of the world, now it was the world's turn to take in theirs.
She met him halfway as he moved in to sample her lips, stepping closer to kiss him. The energy of his emotions flicked across her exposed skin and made her shiver. Saule had blessed them with her light, wherever she actually was. "Go hálainn," she murmured as the words came easier to her mind. "Ba chóir dúinn dul?"
Lukina nuzzled her face against Wolf's with a soft smile. "I want to teach you how to capture your memories on paper. I have some time today. Agus tá tú fuar." She added thoughtfully.
Her supple lips were exquisite and exhilarating, the bracing winds cast aside in that moment of beautiful contact. His noticeably muscular arms wrapped around Lukina's waist as she nuzzled him adorably, his smirk quickly becoming a silly grin. "Mmm.." Wolf purred as their bodies pressed together, heat and emotion radiating from the embracing couple.
"I'd love that.." He rumbled, putting more emphasis on the central word as he did, squeezing Lukina's in his arms suggestively. "Is breá liom an smaoineamh sin. I'll have to replay you the favor sometime."
Her smile didn't fade as she returned his embrace before she stepped back from Wolf again. "I have an extra book in my desk that you can have," she took his hand into hers and started back the way they came to her tent. She looked up to the sky and paused. Her voice shifted between languages- Trade, Elven, Agarthan and Japanese as she said her prayer, "Saule, thank you for your grace. Grant us the strength to keep the fires burning against the growing darkness. Lamia, grant us the wisdom to slip through Death's lures. Let us see the next dawn."
Wolf enveloped Lukina's silky hand in his own, doing his part to keep his companion warm even in some small degree. As she prayed, the Agarthan listened in respectful silence. He hadn't thought much of the idea of gods when he had first awoken but the prospect seemed more and more comforting to him the longer he stayed with Lukina. Maybe it was her thoughts mixing with his own but it seemed the world bore moments that seemed sculpted perfectly for one or two special people, just for them. Only a god would care so much. Or maybe that was just the feeling of being in love, even if it wasn't fully reciprocated. When she was done, Wolf let her lean against his side. "That was nice, they're bound hear us.."