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Sunrise (The Sweet Escape)

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Verdia.

A world of colour, adventure, and mystery around every corner of the globe.

It was a world where those with the power and the means can carve out their legacy, a world where the world's greatest performed in the Arenas. Coliseums that tested the might and mettle of all those willing to step into its hallowed grounds, the Arenas where legends were made. However, there were periods in Verdia where those legends simply wanted to stop and relax.

And for Blossom, one of those legendary Champions, she decided to relax with an interdimensional friend of hers, observing Longhorn Bay in all its splendour. The rays of golden light started to crest above the verdant hills of green, painting a picturesque scene while Blossom glanced up at her friend.

"Did you ever take in the warmth of the Golden Skygem, Mickey?" asked Blossom.

As he watched her cuddling against him, Mickey Villanueva sat against a tree, the lovely faun resting on his chest to his interest. With a sigh, Mickey - now wearing more appropriate clothing for his time in Verdia - shook his head, flashing his toothy grin.

"Can't say I have, Princess," he answered plainly. "Nah."

"It's something to see, Outsider," Blossom said, giggling softly. "It's nice I get to spend it with you."

Mickey watched Blossom - now looking quite different from their first encounter. With longer hair, strands of it draped down the side of her face, Blossom sported a white-and-gold design, leaves of gold adorning her robes. A small topaz gem, no bigger than a quarter, shimmered, resting in the middle of her forehead. The faun looked older and more mature, still retaining her exotic beauty.

Blossom's new look was something special; so special, in fact, that it caused Mickey to tilt his head in curiosity.

"You certainly look different, meine Freundin,' he said, his arms wrapping around her. "I like it."

Blossom giggled, smiling at her special friend - her avian companion Maxwell - as he appeared at the tip of her left hoof.

"How, huh? Longer hair, bigger staff?" Blossom flashed that playful smirk. "Or do you just like bigger muscles?"

"You know what? Hey." A gentle laugh left Mickey's lips, rubbing Blossom's shoulders in excitement. "You have been getting stronger! I noticed!"

"Uh-huh!" Blossom gasped with a radiating smile. "Check this out! Bwaaaaaaam!"

With a flourish, she flexed her muscles, hoping to match Mickey's as he did the same. The pair showed off their guns with laughs galore, marvelling at how much they've seemed to remain the same. Blossom watched Mickey's face, taking in the same, natural smile under his eyes, blue as the waves of Longhorn Bay.

"You got it all, Blossom. All of the above." Mickey shared a laugh with Blossom. "I gotta say the Arenas have been amazing for ya."

"Thanks," Blossom said, grateful for Mickey's words. "I have to say, though, that my mission has yet to be completed. Every day I grow stronger, but Thorn has been the thorn in my side for quite some time. And with potentially meeting an avatar of it, It's a conundrum that I kinda don't wanna think about right now."

"I get it." Mickey nodded, a look of genuine sympathy on his face. "Trust me, I ain't gonna lie to you. My life is crazy right now, too."

Blossom frowned, taking the time to rub Mickey's cheek. "How so?"

"My world's going through this...ripple effect," Mickey explained. "Travelling through dimensions brings more problems. A lot of them." The look of slight panic washed over his face. It was only through Blossom's empathetic nature that Mickey continued. "Long story short, after what I did with my world's Champions, we've been trying to save our world in secret. It's been tough trying to help people and make it a secret. My other friends and I, though? In the other, other world? We're still fightin' the good fight there."

"Ooh. I see." Blossom eased Mickey's worries as she rubbed the back of his palm, remembering their prior conversations. "What's worse? Thorn or that Gill guy you told me about last time?"

"Oh, it's a trick question, now! The Sokovia Accords, right up there at number one." Mickey answered, raising a hand above Blossom, seeing Maxwell plop on top of it. "Y'know, the, uh, thing that stops me from doing stuff half the damn time. The rule that..."

"Yeah, I know. Jeez." Blossom frowned. "That sounds horrible."

Mickey sighed. "You got that right. It's whatever, though."

Blossom placed her fingers between Mickey's, the two enjoying the Golden Skygem starting to rise high above Verdia.

"I understand. If it makes you feel better, I've been keeping this smile on my face when you said you were coming back," she said lovingly to him. "I thought about wanting to explore your world with you. I want to see your trees and take in the sight of your seas. But...I have to protect my people, Mickey. I--"

"No worries. After all, we made a promise, huh? We're alone, after all." Mickey smiled, thankful for his demonic half, Agares, and their own peculiar promise. He watched Blossom nod as he embraced her from behind. "Besides, I'd love to be a part of your Arenas. They sound so crazy and fun as hell."

"It is, right?" Blossom smiled, looking up at Mickey. "Hehe, I've even managed to use some of your techniques, too."

"Oh, yeah? Movin' and groovin', huh?"

"Yeah-huh! Totally. Some of my friends were, like, so impressed!"

A pause, left hanging in the air, lingered before Blossom smiled softly.

"And all I thought about during that time was you." The faun blushed a bit, their eyes taking in the sun's rays across the waters. "I...I kinda thought about the last time we were this close."

Mickey blushed as the pair locked eyes. "It was...something to remember, huh?"

"Yeah."

Blossom and Mickey shared a gentle peck on the lips, just as pleasant as calming spring winds. However, as they pulled back, Mickey sighed, biting his bottom lip.

"I don't have a long time here, so I kinda want to spend all the time I got with you," he said, kissing Blossom's cheek before whispering in her ear. "Besides...I wanna try some maple syrup after this."

With a wide smile, Blossom giggled and nodded. "Promise?"

"You know it!"

"Ooh. And promise we take one of those 'photos' together after this?"

"Sure thing, flower girl. Let's hope we both have a good morning." Mickey stared into Blossom's eyes, the lovely faun's smile radiating through. "You and me."

Blossom's eyes twinkled as the dark skies slowly, but surely, gave way to the light of the Golden Skygem. "Well, let's enjoy it our way. Ready, big guy? Huh?" 

There, resting and admiring Verdia's sunrise, Mickey and Blossom shared a soft kiss. While the pair planned for some food, fun, and fighting, they spent a moment to appreciate each other, realizing that this was, in fact, their moment of bliss...

Their denouement until the next time they meet...

For Mickey and Blossom, it was simply their sweet escape.

The End...


EPILOGUE

"By the way, Mickey, you said you were bringing your friend?" Blossom asked, a curious expression on her face. 'Where are they?"

Mickey laughed, scratching the back of his neck. "Weeeeeeeeeeeeell...they're pretty busy enjoying themselves."


Back in Mickey's world, Agares - in her human guise as Grey Kaufmann - enjoyed one of New York's classic cheese slices, paired with apple schnapps. However, they had a show to complete their dinner: a scene where three annoying teenagers ran out of a bar, chased away by its owner. After noticing one of them empty out the contents of their stomach across the edge of the sidewalk, she giggled malevolently, sampling her alcoholic treat.

"I guess that movie wasn't made by simpletons," Grey said, staring at the scene under her black shades. "This business is quite great..."

Suddenly, Grey felt a hand on her shoulder. With a slightly miffed expression on her face, she glanced up, only to lock eyes with a recognizable - and less-than-friendly - face: the face of Tony Stark.

"Oh, Stark. Someone snitched, didn't they?" Grey noticed Tony's scowl, seeing the children's parents behind him before they pouted. "...Shit."