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月 (Moon)

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Between the two of them, it is undoubtedly Hikari who takes charge when it comes to things like planning festival outings. The Wizard is more than happy to oblige; he had never taken much of an interest in them before she came along, and she enjoys going so much that he tags along mostly just to watch her having fun. The first time she invited him to an event (The Starry Night Festival, of course) it was a bit awkward, feeling the eyes of the whole town on them throughout the night. No one was outwardly rude to him, but the whispers and glances traded between the young adults of the island made him more self-conscious than he liked to admit. He remembers vividly feeling his cheeks warm at the gasp from a pair of girls when they noticed his hand linked with Hikari’s. But she took it all in stride, simply pulling him along with her, so he tried his best to ignore it. 

By now they’ve attended enough festivals together that it would be more of a surprise if he wasn’t there, and the only looks he gets from the townsfolk are polite smiles of greeting. They still don’t really know how to talk to him, but that’s fine. Hikari is always there to keep the conversation moving smoothly and he’s allowed to simply observe and enjoy the night.

The Wizard finds himself almost looking forward to the festivities on this particular evening, the day of the Moon Viewing Festival. This event will be a quieter one, lacking the usual hustle and bustle of daytime festivals. He and Hikari will spend the night watching the autumn moon take its place in the sky, sharing food and conversation. He can’t imagine a better way to pass the time.

She is already there when he arrives, bouncing on her toes and breathing lightly on her hands to fight the chill. When she spots him, her face lights up in a smile. 

“Sorry... to keep you waiting.” He apologizes, feeling guilty for leaving her to wait alone in the cold. He knew he should have left sooner.

She waves a hand dismissively, still grinning. There’s a picnic basket resting at her feet and she leans to pick it up.

“Don’t worry about it! I just got here a couple minutes ago, I wasn’t waiting long.” She loops her free arm easily through his and begins pulling him toward the viewing area. The Wizard enjoys her warmth at his side as she scouts out the perfect spot for them to sit.

The festival is just starting, and so there are other townsfolk still milling about and looking for their own seats. Hikari catches the eye of the local barkeep’s daughter, Kathy, and alters their course to go meet her friend. Next to the young woman is the blacksmith’s grandson Owen, one of his muscled arms wrapped around her waist. The Wizard is glad the two seem to be doing well; Hikari had complained to him a few weeks ago about an argument between the two that she had been trying to help resolve. He smiles, knowing that this will make her happy. Hikari hated to see her friends upset for any reason.

“Yo, Hikari!” Owen calls to her, raising his other hand. He turns to the Wizard as they get closer, nodding at him politely. “Hey, Wizard.”

He was right; Hikari is absolutely beaming. She returns the greeting, detaching herself from the Wizard briefly and handing him the picnic basket to hold while she gives each of her friends a quick hug. He still marvels at her easy intimacy with others; he has never been one for such open displays of affection, and still has to remind himself that it’s okay to reach out to take her hand whenever he feels like it. 

Once she has returned to his side, they talk for a few more minutes about things happening around the island. Hikari’s crops are coming in nicely for this season, and Kathy has no shortage of stories from her work at her father’s bar; she mentions in a stage whisper that the carpenter’s son has been coming by almost every night to watch Selena dance. Before long, the two couples bid each other a good evening and go off to find a place to sit. 

Settling on a patch of grass a fair distance away from the other festival-goers, Hikari sets her basket down and pulls a thick wool blanket out. She fluffs it open with several deliberate flaps before laying it down. Crawling onto the blanket, she pats the spot beside her in invitation and the Wizard obliges.

For the next few hours, they pass the time chatting and eating the snacks Hikari has brought for them while they watch the full moon climb into the sky. It shines over them and illuminates Hikari’s face as she talks animatedly, regaling him with tales from her adventures saving the Harvest Goddess. 

He’s glad she can be herself with him, that she can speak so freely of the mission she’s been chosen to bear. He still feels as though perhaps she would be better off choosing someone else to spend her life with, but he cannot argue that in this aspect, at least, he understands her best. Their shared experience with the otherworldly is in part what bonds them together, and indeed is the entire reason they met. He cannot be too upset with what he is, if it means that he gets to know her.

The air around them grows colder as the night stretches on, and Hikari shuffles closer to the Wizard, inch by inch, until she is huddled against his side. He opens his cloak invitingly to her, and she snuggles in with a tiny smile. While he is rarely the one to initiate physical contact between them, he knows that Hikari loves when he does. The Wizard lets his arm fall around her protectively, and she lets out a happy sigh. They sit in comfortable silence for a long moment, simply enjoying each other’s company.

Hikari speaks softly then, not wanting to shatter the peaceful atmosphere.

“You know, the moon kind of reminds me of you,” she begins, and he looks down at her with questions in his eyes. He is not offended in the slightest; it’s quite nice to be compared to such a magnificent thing, but he doesn’t see where she’s going with this. 

“You’re both quiet,” she continues, her eyes fixed on the sky, “and people don’t always appreciate you for what you are. The moon gets a bit taken for granted, even though it’s always there to light the way when it’s dark. There are so many different sides to both of you that it takes a while to see them all, but it’s worth the wait.” She turns to look at him then, a soft smile on her face. 

“And you’re both beautiful.”

Hikari leans upward to meet him in a kiss, and he pulls her somehow closer until he can feel her heartbeat thrumming in time with his own. She’s resting nearly on his lap now, his fingers brushing gently through her hair as their mouths move together. Though the kiss is sweet and unhurried, the Wizard’s stomach flips at every touch of her soft skin against his. A moment later they pull apart, and Hikari settles back against his chest with a noise of contentment.

If he is the moon, he thinks, then Hikari must be the sun. She is dazzling, and every living thing -- human, animal, and plant alike -- seems to bask in her warmth. She has even managed to bring him, recluse in the extreme, out of his shell enough to socialize with the rest of the town. 

They are so fundamentally different, opposites in nearly every way. But he can live with that. After all, the sun and moon hold each other in balance. One can not exist without the other.