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Crickets in the Night

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The best thing about Plumeria - aside from the flowers and cherry blossom trees, the fragrant air, and the nearly constant sound of a flute or harp in the distance - was the crickets' songs at night. As a child, Perfuma could lie awake forever listening to them chirping. Tonight, she did the same.

The crickets were beautiful, but she was not awake just for them. Her mind was still replaying the Battle of Brightmoon. For a moment, things were so bleak. If they had arrived any later - no, those were negative thoughts. Not the kind of thoughts one should have before resting. The battle was over and there was no use in worrying now. Perfuma turned her attention back to the melody of the crickets outside her tent. Somewhere, probably just a few tents over, someone was playing a flute as well. If she could just focus on that, she'd be asleep in no time. Positive thoughts only.

Perfuma lifted her hand and conjured herself a flower, breathing in its scent. "If I'm not tired, I shouldn't force it," Perfuma said finally. She sat up, pulling the flap of her tent aside. Her tent was up in one of Plumeria's many majestic trees, and so she sat out on the branch, watching her people still out by the remains of last night's campfire. She found the source of the flute, a young woman was playing while two children danced around. Perfuma was about to join them when an arrow zipped past her, landing on her pillow where her head had been resting just moments ago.

"Horde!" Perfuma whispered, her hand flying up to cover her mouth in shock. She should scream - warn the others - be ready to fight! But- this didn't look like a Horde weapon. It was too colorful. Just as the thoughts raced through her head, a note popped out of the arrow.

"Meet me by the Heart Blossom? xo Bow" was written is loopy script.

"Bow," Perfuma said with a smile. She slipped out of her tent and away from where her people lingered around the embers. Most of the woods were dark, shadowy and spooky. Perfuma didn't often walk around this late into the night. She could see the Heart Blossom from across the field though, it's pink light illuminating that side of the forest.

Earlier this week, they held a celebration for the victory at Bright Moon. Pink, white, and purple flowers still dangled down from the top of the Heart Blossom in long vines. They blew gently in the evening breeze, surrounding the base of the tree where Bow waited. He leaned casually against the trunk as Perfuma approached, straightening up when she got nearby. "Perfuma! Hey!" Bow called out.

"Bow! What brings you all the way to Plumeria?" Perfuma asked. She hugged him hello, and as was their tradition now, gave him a flower hat. Bow instantly beamed with delight, straightening the hat on his head.

"Well, I realized that, you know with getting kidnapped by the horde, and then that whole battle happening - you and I never had a chance to dance at Princess Prom," Bow said.

"Oh!" Perfuma's cheeks went pink. "You're right, we didn't."

"And well, Adora told me what a good dancer you are so…"

"She said that about me," Perfuma asked.

"She did," Bow confirmed with a smile. Perfuma's face lit up.

"Well under the Heart Blossom is the most beautiful place for a dance in all of Plumeria!" Perfuma said. She held out her hand to Bow.

In the distance, the flute still played. Bow held her close, their feet moving side to side slowly. As princess, she was used to leading the dances, but Bow led this one. It took her a few moments to realize that their slow, steady steps were not in rhythm to the sound of the distant flute. Instead, they danced to the melody of the crickets, still chirping late into the night.