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The Stars

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She loves the stars. The moon is beautiful and wonderful but she just loves the stars, the way they light up the sky at night. She’s here staring up at the sky because she’d promise Pippa she’d be here, but Pippa is nowhere to be found yet.

Earlier that week

“I want to surprise you with something,” Pippa says as they settle down in Hecate’s room to play a game of chess.

“All right,” Hecate responds. She poises her hands over a chess piece as she speaks again. “When and where?”

Pippa smiles so big at her that Hecate can’t help but blush as her lips twitch up a bit. “Tomorrow night,” Pippa starts, “by the largest tree at the edge of the forest.”

It’s rather vague, Hecate thinks but she doesn’t question it just moves a bishop and nods her head.

 

Now here she is wishing she’d asked for specifics. This tree does appear to be the largest but what if it isn’t the tree Pippa meant? What if when Pippa said tomorrow night she’d meant around 17:00 or 18:00 instead of 20:00? Or what if she’d meant around midnight and Hecate is way too early? What if Pippa thinks Hecate stood her up?

She’s panicking when she hears rustling behind her and turns to find Pippa standing there. “I see you found the tree,” Pippa says and she’s practically glowing the way she’s looking at Hecate.

Hecate eyes her up and down and says, “and I see you’ve got your hands full.” It’s rather incredible that she’s holding it all. Pippa seems to have two blankets, two baskets, a bouquet of flowers, and a record player in her arms.

Pippa sighs and says, “I know. It’s quite a lot isn’t it? Too much,” and before Hecate can stop her Pippa drops everything out of her arms. Hecate moves to catch something, anything, but with a twist of Pippa’s hands the objects slow midair. They set themselves gently on the ground.

Hecate straightens up then, runs her hands over the length of dress she can reach. “Would you enlighten me as to what all of this is,” Is all Hecate can muster.

Pippa laughs and says, “Oh Hiccup, it’s a picnic, for you and me.” Pippa reaches and takes on of Hecate’s hands and laces their fingers together. “Sit with me, please?”

Hecate wants to run back into the castle, forget this whole thing and sleep. But the night sky is beautiful and Pippa is beautiful and she can’t resist the temptation to stay. She nods her head and Pippa pulls them both down onto a large blanket. She doesn’t let go of Hecate’s hand even when they’re both comfortably sitting.

Hecate looks up at the stars. “They’re beautiful, the stars.”

She hears Pippa sigh and say, “Absolutely breath taking.” Except Pippa isn’t looking at the stars when she looks back down. Pippa is staring at her, eyes twinkling in the darkness. With a twist of Hecate’s free hand there’s a lantern sitting next to them and the light flickers across Pippa’s face and Hecate can’t get enough.

Hecate untwines their fingers and reaches for a basket to grab a bite or a drink. But before her hand makes it there Pippa’s hand is light against her wrist and her voice says, “Wait, please.”

So she stops and Pippa just stares at her and Hecate doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do now. Pippa moves a hand towards her face and Hecate flinches back. “Would you just hold still?” Pippa asks her.

Hecate’s eyes go rather large and she just sits there, hands in her lap. Pippa moves her hand up past Hecate’s face to her hair. She pulls out one pin and then another and another until the braid has fallen, long against her back. Pippa uses both hands to undo the braid and Hecate sighs at the relief that washes over her. The pressure on her scalp is gone.

Pippa sighs and rests a hand on Hecate’s cheek. “I used to weave flowers through your hair. Do you remember? I miss those times.”

Hecate sucks in a breath when Pippa moves to run her hand through Hecate’s hair. “Stop. Please, stop.” She barely whispers the words but Pippa is so close that she definitely hears them.

Her hand stops, mid motion, and Pippa says, “Oh goodness Hiccup I’m sorry. I should have asked first what was I thinking? I mean I should be more aware of your personal space. I shouldn’t push your boundaries so much. I’m sorry sweetheart, truly sorry.”

Pippa’s removing her hand and she smells something like sugar and roses and the whiff of it is too much for Hecate and she can’t breath. She freezes, not breathing, not moving, just completely freezes. Then suddenly Pippa’s reaching behind her and pulling out the bouquet of roses. “I brought these for you but that seems stupid now. And I brought music and food but really it was all just to see you Hiccup.”

And suddenly Hecate can no longer wait. She takes a long steady breath and lunges forward and Pippa doesn’t have time to react because suddenly Hecate’s lips are covering hers. She lets out a small squeak and drops the flowers. She kisses back with everything in her and wraps her fingers back into long, black hair.

When Hecate pulls back she’s breathing rather sharply and her eyes won’t seem to blink. She just stares and stares at Pippa’s expression. Pippa removes a hand from Hecate’s hair and she immediately misses it being there. Pippa places a chaste kiss on her lips and says, “I just wanted to play music my dear.” She twists her hand and the record starts to play.

For you there’ll be no more crying

For you the sun will be shining

Cause I feel that when I’m with you

It’s all right I know it’s right

And Hecate is kind of smiling. She can’t stop herself anymore. And when Pippa reaches to put her hand into Hecate’s hair she doesn’t flinch. She welcomes the touch.

And the songbirds keep singing

Like they know the score

And I love you I love you I love you

Like never before