posted Oct.15.17 at 03:00 pm

Liya had shoved Yoshi into a dark, narrow alley that ran between two buildings. They pressed together against the wall, each gripping the other's hands. The thumping noise turned out to be the boots of three Aetherian police, who rushed past the alley without seeing Liya or Yoshi, one of them with their short machete-like sword already out of its sheath.

Liya waited until their voices had faded away before letting out a breath that clouded in the night air, trying to banish the thoughts of embers flying up into the darkness from her head. She'd let go of Yoshi's hands, and Yoshi was now covering her face.

"Y'know," Liya said presently, sagging against the wall, "I don't think I've ever been friends with another girl before."

She looked at Yoshi and was alarmed to see tears welling up in her eyes. She was bent almost double, her hands over her nose and mouth.

"Wh-! Wull don't cry about it!!" Liya told her, dismayed.

"Sorry," Yoshi responded in a voice that wavered. In the darkness of the alley and with her hair falling over her face, only her one bright yellow eye was visible. "I'm just so glad. I have been thinking about this for so long."

"Oh," Liya said, smiling a bit. And then she looked up, surprised. "Oh!"

Visible by the pale violet lights, it had begun to snow very softly. The flakes drifted down sparsely, and Liya held out her hands to catch one.