“Woah, that was a big one!”
Steven flops down beside Connie on the sandbar, his eyes fixed at the sky and the multicolored sparks blossoming to life over their heads. Connie tilts her own head back. Two more pinwheels screamed to life over them, blue and green.
“Steven, it’s amazing,” she murmurs, unaware of the fact that he’s watching her, with curious eyes.
“I know. It’s like there’s no such thing as a bad firework.”
“Mm hmm,” Connie says. Her thick braid swings in his direction when a particularly beautiful splash of purple fills the sky. “Ooh!”
“Connie! Have you ever seen anything so cool?”
“Sure,” she says, and blushes. Because she’s looking at him – well, the edge of his hair, because looking him in the face and saying that would feel way too weird.
“Aww! You’re cool too,” he says. She leans into his shoulder, and still the fireworks scream. She’s the one who bends sideways and gently pecks him on the cheek – so briefly that it feels like the brush of a warm breeze, or a hummingbird’s kiss.
Steven leans back a bit, as she smiles; confident, now. He blushes. His eyes turn to starbursts.
His moms and dad hang back, for once, being cool. Or maybe the power of love’s made them all go very quiet.
“Thank you for asking me out here to see this,” she said quietly.
He can’t really find the words to answer her, so swept away by affection is he. She leans gently into his shoulder and keeps watching the sky flash silver, green, gold, red and blue. The peace that fills up and overtakes the night is universal, but he will swear looking back on it that only the two of them could feel it.
Steven reaches over and gently, carefully, takes Connie's swordworn hand in his.