“Amity,” Luz murmured.
“Hmm?” The witch hummed.
“What do you see?”
The sound of fabric rustling slightly interrupted the quiet as Amity settled herself deeper and laid back further in her bean bag chair.
Golden eyes danced across the ceiling of their library hideout.
She saw dimly glowing fairy lights, strung up in the low rafters. She saw bookcases with leather-bound tomes lining the shelves. She saw posters and drawings taped so high on the walls they nearly reached the trim that bordered the ceiling. She saw paint stains that certainly shouldn’t be marking the wood of their borrowed room, memories of their creations bringing a smile to her heart.
“I don’t see much of anything.”
Amity could feel the slight annoyance roll off of Luz like a breeze blowing through her hair. She knew that wasn’t the answer she wanted, and the witch almost wanted to laugh at how easy it was to read her friend’s emotions. She was more open than the book that lay bare across her stomach, the forgotten pages pressed against her body.
“You know what I meant.”
So Amity looked again.
She counted the panels of wood that created the ceiling and traced the paths the strings of the lights made. As her gaze shifted down, she took note of the color patterns in the leather of the books on the shelves and categorized which of the paint stains were made because of her and which were made because of Luz. Six were from Luz, only two were from Amity; one of those two directly caused by Luz herself, so did it even really count towards Amity?
“I see almost nothing, Luz.”
Luz grumbled her disbelief lowly before replying, clearly offended at Amity’s blatant lack of observational prowess.
“Don’t you see the shadows making faces on the walls? Can you see the battles the grains in the wood have carved for us? What about the lines of swirling dust that look like storms brewing? Or the little family in the cobweb up in the corner over there?”
Admittedly, Amity didn’t notice any of that at first. Now that Luz mentioned it, she did see the faces in the shadows, and the swirls of dust floating around them peacefully.
But she certainly didn’t see the battles caved in the wood grain, or the family in the abandoned spiderweb.
“I don’t think we’re looking at the same ceiling.”
“You really can’t see any of that?”
Amity turned her head to the left to look at her friend and found that she was already staring back at her. The witch noticed her hands were laced together over her chest, thumbs brushing her collar bones, while the book on her stomach remained right where she’d placed it ten minutes ago. She laid across her bean bag in much the same way as Amity, with her legs bent at the knees and feet planted flat on the floor to prevent her from slipping down the slightly angled cushion.
Neither were actually very comfortable, but it was better than sitting on the hard floor or in the wooden chairs that made the backs of their necks numb and tingly when they sat in them for too long.
Luz’s eyes shimmered in the weak fairy lights in a certain way that made Amity wish they could stay in this room forever, till the end of time. Her cheeks were outlined in a faint glow that made her appear ethereal as if the flesh itself radiated the soft warm luminance. Amity watched as the corners of her mouth lifted into a slight smile and it was then that she realized she hadn’t yet answered.
“Maybe it’s because you’re over there and I’m over here?” She knew that was a weak theory, but she had the excuse of being tired, even though the truth was that she is so embarrassingly distracted by how unfairly beautiful Luz was at the moment. She’d become enraptured without even trying.
Luz let out a breathless chuckle, her lips pulling up over her teeth as she smiled. “Amity we’re less than a foot apart. I could roll onto your bean bag without ever touching the floor if I wanted to.”
And she would come up with a thousand more weak theories about why she couldn’t see what Luz saw if it meant she could watch the way her sunny face warmed like a light spell with that smile every single time. It almost made Amity jealous, until she was overwhelmed with happiness herself because she could never be in a bad mood around the human.
Luz’s smile wasn’t big enough to stretch her face like it did when she got excited over new things, but it reached her eyes and puffed her cheeks a little, and that was more than enough for Amity. It made her incredibly giddy to know that she was the one who made Luz smile. The feelings that flooded her chest and carried out into her fingertips and brought the slightest color of blush her cheeks were fuller and fluffier than the best grades on the hardest tests could ever give her.
“Then why can I only see the faces in the shadows and not the battles in the rafters?”
Luz’s entire face moved as her eyebrows creased together slightly, the smile morphing just a tiny bit into a smirk. “Maybe because you’re looking at it from the wrong angle?”
“But you just said we’re too close for that,” the witch countered.
Her smirk became a dangerous grin. “Maybe not close enough!”
Before Amity could open her mouth to ask why she was smiling at her like that, Luz’s hands shot out and grabbed the girl.
Luz rolled onto her side so one hand could grip Amity’s farther wrist while the other tanned hand wrapped tightly around Amity’s upper arm. The book on her lap slipped off and thunked against the rug quietly.
“Luz, what are you-!”
She was cut off with a short yelp of surprise as Luz suddenly yanked her off her bean bag. Amity found herself being pulled on top of Luz, who had rolled onto her back. The human circled her lithe arms over the witch’s shoulders to hold her in place.
Amity was nearly face-down against Luz. Her right arm was pinned between their stomachs, trapped by her weight. The palm of her left hand sank uselessly into the very squishy fabric of the chair next to Luz’s head in a vain attempt to hold her upright so she wasn’t completely laying on top of the girl. Half her face pressed firmly against the front of Luz’s shoulder, her head laying almost beneath her chin.
Just when the witch began to raise her head from Luz's shoulder to glare at her, but was stopped by a firm hand. It was delicately pressed against the back of Amity's head, urging her to set it back down on the human's shoulder.
The witch didn’t know what to do. On one hand, if she settled in, she could probably get very comfortable. Possibly even fall asleep if she stayed there long enough. On the other, she’d likely die of embarrassment before she could ever consider enjoying the moment.
A second later, the hand slipped off her head and returned to its position over her shoulder blade. She waited silently, unsure of what to do.
After another moment of stillness, she took that as permission to lift her head again.
The look Luz was giving her nearly wiped her mind clear of all thought. She was gazing down at her with the gentlest smile and the softest eyes she’d ever seen, as though she were a God admiring her creations. She looked so relaxed and content with the position they were in as if they’d been laying like this for hours and not just seconds.
The glowing fairy lights at this angle made her skin radiate the same warmth as before, turning parts of her hair into an almost caramel shade that reminded Amity faintly of a cloud of flowing amber. Or, as Luz would probably say, ‘like a very nicely toasted marshmallow! Only slightly burnt in some places!’
Amity decided she didn’t want to say anything. She just wanted to keep looking at her friend, and for her friend to keep looking at her like that . Like she was the most precious thing in the world. Like nothing else existed, and nothing else mattered.
Slowly, nearly imperceptibly so, Luz’s single eyebrow raised in question. She didn’t say anything, however. She was waiting for Amity to speak first.
But Amity didn’t want to break the comfortable silence they found themselves in. Even if her arm was starting to get pins and needles because of the way she was still laying on it, and her other arm was starting to tire from the way it was bearing half her weight at an odd angle. She knew it was probably selfish to stay right where she was, even though Luz was the one who got them in their position in the first place. Their bodies pressed so closely together was like a dream and a nightmare. Amity hoped Luz couldn’t feel the way her heart was nearly pounding in her chest, or how suddenly warm she had become. At the same time, she hoped Luz noticed it all, so the human could understand exactly what she did to the witch without even trying.
When the second eyebrow began to rise to join its friend in her hairline, Amity realized she’d been silent and staring for over a minute, perhaps even two Too long to pass off as simply being paralyzed from Luz’s stunt. It felt like only seconds had passed.
Amity put on her best annoyed-face by narrowing her eyes and thinning her lips, even though she didn’t feel any ounce of anger in her body. She could never really be mad at Luz.
“What was that for you dork?”
The grin that split Luz’s face was even more brilliant than the peaceful smile it replaced; almost too brilliant to look directly at as it could cause permanent blindness, but Amity didn’t dare avert her eyes. Her happiness was the witch’s happiness, after all.
“You were right. There’s no way you could see what I see without being in my spot.”
Amity mentally rolled her eyes at that.
“Why didn’t you just ask to switch places?”
“Because this was faster. Plus, I can stare at much prettier and more important things than a boring old ceiling this way.”
Luz’s words fell from her mouth so easily and earnestly that it made Amity’s stomach swoop in the way it only does when Luz suddenly carries her or gives her a bear-hug unexpectedly. It was a crazy feeling as if she were suddenly falling, but it felt good. Dangerously good. It wasn’t scary at all - at least, not anymore. She understood what it meant now, and she was okay with it.
Every single time Luz said something like that so casually it made Amity fall for her a little bit harder. She supposed that’s what the swooping sensation was: A little warning that she was falling deeper into this pit of love and endearment that she found herself in.
Luz must’ve noticed Amity’s eyes widen and her cheeks burn red, because she decided to dig the hole deeper for Amity’s heart and started running her hands up and down her back slowly. It was a kind gesture as if she were warming her up after being outside in the cold for too long, but it made Amity’s skin under her clothes tingle and crawl. There was a particular level of tenderness and patience that she maintained whenever she touched Amity. She wanted Luz to keep rubbing her back for the rest of time.
Amity managed to compose herself just enough to lift her chest up to release her trapped arm. Now with both hands free, she could easily sit upright and roll back onto her bean bag.
...But the look Luz was still giving her made her arms weak and her breath hitch silently. She was still smiling, still gazing at her with absolutely nothing but adoration and…
...Dare she say, love?
The kind of love she would have expected from a partner, not a friend. It confused Amity. Why would she be looking at her like that? Was it just a human thing? Was it something specific to her culture that she’s only briefly mentioned in passing conversations about the human realm? Was it a Luz thing?
Or was it something Luz reserved only for Amity?
Amity’s forearms settled against the fabric on either side of Luz’s torso, beneath the arms that were still wrapped around her. It felt like her body was moving against her will, but she knew if she were to give it more than a second of thought, then she’d be forced to admit to herself that she really just wanted to stay right where she was. There was a slight bit of extra pressure every time the hands came up to her shoulder blades, and it was clear - or at least Amity thought it was clear- that Luz was asking her not to move from her comfortable spot.
Luz’s eyelids had slipped down halfway at some point, making the way she was still looking at Amity cause her insides to burn in a strange way. Her smile was so enticing. If Amity really wanted to, she could just scoot herself up a few inches, hold Luz in place with a light hand on her cheek and-
“Hey, do you know what time it is?”
Amity was torn from her thoughts at the sudden question.
“Uh, I think 9:30 pm? Why?”
“Oh, then the sky should be perfect right now!”
The witch tilted her head subconsciously in question. “The sky?”
Luz nodded vigorously. “Yeah! I was wondering if you’d like to go outside? You know, stargaze maybe? It’s kinda boring in here, and I’ve been wanting to go stargazing for a while now since the constellations are so much different here than they are back in the human realm.”
Amity hardly even thought twice. Anything with Luz would be fun, even if they were just laying on the ground staring at the sky. She wanted to be wherever Luz was.
“Sure, that sounds okay to me.”
The human didn’t wait for a reply. The second the word left her mouth she grasped Amity’s upper arms in both hands firmly. In one fluid motion, she pushed them both upright, flipped them over so Amity was laying against the bean bag, and disentangled their legs so Luz could stand and rush over to the hideout door to throw on her shoes.
Amity was stunned momentarily. Luz had performed that reversal as if she’d practiced it a dozen times. She’d moved the witch around as if she were weightless; like a wayward throw-pillow being tossed onto the couch. She didn’t think about it too hard, however, as Luz’s contagious excited energy bled into her and she shuffled her shoes on as well.
In minutes they were outside wandering through town and into the woods. At some point Luz had pressed her palm into Amity’s and threaded their fingers together, swinging their hands as they walked. If Amity said her current huge smile was because of anything else she’d be lying. Luz wasn’t leading them to the Owl House like she assumed she would. Amity was about to ask if Luz had been paying attention to where they were going before she realized they were walking down the familiar path towards a particular cliffside.
“I thought we were going to your house?”
“Nah, I figured there’s another place that would be nicer. I hope that’s okay? We can turn around and head to-”
“No, no, wherever you have planned is fine. Stargazing doesn’t need a comfy rooftop to be fun.”
“Good! I think you’ll love where we’re going!”
They continued without conversation for the rest of the walk. Their path was illuminated by moonlight only, the waxing gibbous reflecting more than enough light on the trees and ground around them. The winding trail led them deeper and deeper into the woods. Amity was perfectly happy with letting them get lost in the trees and nature with Luz if it meant they could keep holding hands and strolling close enough to brush shoulders every few steps.
Petals of pink peaked through the foliage before them. Luz stepped ahead and practically yanked Amity off her feet by her fingers to rush through the remaining few dozen feet to the clearing.
Beautiful spiraling thralls of pink flower petals and green grass littered the ground. The roots of the thick tree weaved a pattern around the base that only the flowers could understand, but somehow, it was comforting to just be near it. It was like a maze of hallways to a home that they hadn’t visited in years. They still knew where every room, every window, every loose floorboard, and every hidden closet was.
They knew which roots were easy to trip over and which were the best to lean against. They knew where the branches shed their petals the heaviest, which spot under the leaves provided the most shade, and where they could lay between the roots to be hidden from view from most angles while still having a nice view of the open horizon.
It’s possible they spent a little too much time under their Grom tree, but really, who could blame them? It was their special spot, and there was just a certain feeling they both experienced when they were near the tree. Call it familiarity, or a sense of being home after a long day, or perhaps it was the faint hum of belonging that buzzed in their chests when they came here. Whatever it was, it was a wonderful feeling, and they loved coming to their tree to experience it together.
They instinctively chose a spot near one particularly large creeping root that extended towards the farther edge of the cliffside. They settled onto the ground, shoulder to shoulder with their hands still linked, and laid their heads in the grass.
The moon was perhaps a little too bright, but it was also low enough in the sky that it didn’t shine right into their eyes.
“Sooo…” Luz cut the quiet slowly.
“Sooo...?” Amity mirrored.
“What do you see?”
She cracked a smile and snickered, turning her head to the side as she rolled her eyes playfully. “I see stars, Luz.”
“You know what I mean Amity!” She whined.
Amity shook her head even though she knew Luz wasn’t looking. Her smile didn’t leave as she turned her eyes to the sky. Truly, it was an absolutely magnificent sight. She didn’t much care to stare at the stars because it had always been the same plain old galaxy she’d lived with her entire life. There were only so many constellations and shooting stars to be amazed at before it became repetitive.
But she’d explore it all over again just like she did when she was a small child, just for Luz.
“I see constellations I’ve mapped a thousand times over in my head and the clouds of galaxies inside universes so distant they don’t even really exist to us.”
“Can you show me the constellations? They’re so different here than they are where I’m from.” Luz breathed with star-struck wonder in her voice. “I can’t see the Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, or even the North Star. Do you guys have those here?”
“I’ve never heard of those, so I don’t think we have them. What kind of constellations are those?”
Amity could hear the smile in Luz’s voice as she answered.
“They’re the easiest to spot no matter where you are in the world, or how bright the sky is at night. I used to stay up past my bedtime and try to count the stars when we lived in the city because the light pollution was so bad I could only really see stars if I focused hard enough. Then, we moved a little outside the city, and suddenly I could see so much more. I always loved laying out in the backyard and just watching the sky turn until I fell asleep.”
The witch imagined a little child-sized Luz laying outside in a little quaint backyard on top of a thick pile of blankets, fighting to keep her eyes open while the sky slowly changed colors as the sun set beneath the horizon that would’ve been hidden behind the trees surrounding her house. Or maybe there wouldn’t be trees at all, and she’d live in an oceanside home like the Owl House. The view of the galaxies would be even more magnificent without trees blocking their vision. Are the trees the same in the human realm? Do they sway in the wind during storms too? Would Luz invite her inside and make them huddle under a shared blanket to wait out the rain, just like they sometimes do when they’re caught in bad weather together?
Such a thought made Amity smile for a different reason than the one she’d already been smiling over. She wished she could’ve been there with her when they were still kids, counting the stars too, holding Luz’s hand while they both battled valiantly against falling asleep in the warm summer night air.
Without a care in the world they could create tales of heroes whose souls had been given to the Gods of the stars long ago: Warriors who fought wars against evils the world is lucky to never see again because they’d already been banished by the brave champions who were laid to rest as shining beacons in their sparkling sky. The colors of distant galaxies acting as the remnants of their legacies, frozen in time, like trophies only locked behind the limits of their space-faring technology.
“What else do you see, Amity?”
It felt like Amity was finally looking at the same sky Luz usually marveled at. Is this what the girl saw everywhere?
It was enchanting, to be completely honest. A bit like Luz herself.
Amity took a breath and spoke honestly. “I see monsters slain by paladins in blue armor, casting spells so powerful they could destroy planets. Like the dragons that brought the Titans to their knees, or the ancient mountain foxes who can turn rivers into oceans with just a tear of their claw. I see stars that tell us stories we can’t read because they’re written in a language we’re not meant to understand. I’d like to know what they’re saying - maybe even translate it for others to read. They would probably tell us about the end of the world. They can see everything from where they are. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could see the past and the future alongside the entire universe up there.”
Amity let her eyes wander across the stars, connecting them like dots on a paper as she traced constellations she’d memorized long ago. It was the exact same sky she’d stared at for hours when she was younger and she was quickly coming to discover that there wasn’t anything new to find. She didn’t mind, though.
“What do you see?” She offered to the human next to her.
The silence stretched between them for a few moments.
The quiet was comfortable, like the slightly warm mid-summer air that drifted around them. With Luz’s arm lightly pressed against hers and their hands still linked together, Amity could probably fall asleep right there and not be concerned with the consequences in the morning as long as it meant she could wake up next to her best friend.
“I see something unfairly beautiful and I can’t look away. It’s something that I don’t think I should be allowed to think about in the way that I am, but I just can’t stop myself.”
“What in the world is that-...” Amity’s question drifted off as she turned to look at her friend to see where her eyes were aimed towards the stars, only to find brown eyes staring right back at her already.
Luz’s expression was the same as it was back in the library room - warm, soft, and brimming with adoration that Amity had never seen directed at her before.
Amity’s mind nearly shut off right then and there. She could melt under that gaze. She could pass away happily if those eyes were the last thing she saw before crossing over.
A sideways smile spread across Luz’s face.
“I mean you, Amity. You’re the beautiful thing I can’t stop looking at.”
She truly didn’t know what to say. The blush that blazed over her ears and through her cheeks didn’t help her focus, either. When did Luz get so comfortable saying things like that?
“Did you bring me all the way out here just to say that?”
A bubbly laugh erupted from Luz, and soon Amity found herself laughing alongside her.
Luz squeezed Amity’s hand as she giggled, and Amity couldn’t help but squeeze right back, if for no other reason than at least to tell her that she enjoyed the contact.
Their laughs encouraged each other and soon it became a dangerous cycle of laughing because the other person was laughing. Neither would complain, however, as it was fun to just feel free with each other. Eventually, their laughter settled down, and they could once again look at each other without cracking up.
“No, I didn’t drag you out here just to tell you you’re beautiful.”
Amity only raised an unconvinced eyebrow.
“I could’ve done that anywhere,” she boldly insisted. “It just happens to be here that I found the courage to say it.”
“Why would you, Luz ‘the Human’ Noceda, need to find the courage to say what’s on your mind?”
Luz chuckled shyly and hid her face behind a hand that came up to scratch her cheek.
“I’ve been trying to find ways to say a few different things to you for a while now.”
Now Amity was just confused. “As if you couldn’t say them back in the library when we were already alone?”
Luz shook her head, still smiling from their laughing fit. “It’s something important and I don’t want to get it wrong.
“It sounds to me like you’re thinking too hard about it.”
“It’s exactly the kind of thing that I’m supposed to think too hard about.”
Amity’s eyebrows stitched together as she tried to understand that reasoning. “That sounds silly. If you have to think about it so much then you’re never going to say it!”
Luz didn’t reply to that. She averted her gaze back to the sky above them. The moon had crept a little higher during their conversation, and it was nearly as bright as the sun.
That was probably a little exaggeration, but it was still very bright for being a moon. The lack of overpowering light pollution and clear sky made it impossible to look at directly, unlike what Luz was used to in the human realm.
“Can I at least know what kind of secret it is?” The witch interrupted her thoughts.
“I’ll tell you eventually, but not tonight. I’m going to make sure it’s perfect when I do.”
“Sounds more like you’re planning a wedding than sharing a little secret.”
Luz openly cackled at that.
“Yeah, that’s almost what it feels like, honestly.”
“Okay well, now I have to know! What in the world kind of secrets are you keeping?”
Luz roared with laughter again, though Amity found little mirth as she felt she was being mocked.
“You reeaally want to know?” She asked slowly, a smug grin sliding over her face.
Amity almost smacked her shoulder as an answer but stopped herself as she reminded herself that Luz’s teasing wasn’t nearly the same as her sibling’s.
“Yes of course I want to know! You’re making a bigger deal out of this than I’m sure you need to and it’s bothering me now.”
She played innocent. “I dunno Amity, I don’t know if you’re ready to hear it.”
Amity visibly rolled her eyes at that, although her smile never left. “Okay, whatever. Keep your secrets.”
Luz shook her head with a giggle. Amity could be so dramatic when she wanted. “Alright, alright, you’ve convinced me. I’ll tell you, but only if you promise not to tell anyone.”
“You already know I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.”
Luz paused for effect, and it worked damn well, as Amity was starting to get impatient as the
seconds rolled by.
“Estoy enamorado de ti y quiero decírtelo, pero tengo miedo de lo que pensarás.”
“...What?” Amity’s voice betrayed her, painting her completely befuddled.
Luz dissolved into laughter that shook her entire body. It echoed across the cliffside and into the forest, loud and unhindered. She turned onto her side to wrap her arms around her stomach, howling with bellows that were only broken by shaky breaths.
“Luz what the heck did you say.” Amity wasn’t asking; she was demanding an answer.
But Luz couldn’t answer, as her laughter turned silent, with only the faintest of wheezing cutting through her gasps for air.
“Oh my- oh- gosh- oh my gosh-”
She barely forced out a few words before more giggles and gasping interrupted her.
Amity waited patiently as her friend teetered on the edge of passing away from laughing too hard beside her.
“A-Amity- oh my gosh- your face- I’ve never seen-”
She stopped herself as another wheeze cut her voice.
The longer Luz roared with soundless laughs the more Amity wondered if she even told her a secret and not just some really bad joke. It certainly wasn’t unlike Luz to make jokes at inappropriate times, but perhaps Amity wasn’t in the place to judge. She too held secrets that she wished she could reveal in hidden languages.
Finally, her raucous laughter died down once again, and she was left breathing heavier than before. She rolled onto her back again and placed a hand over the middle of her chest.
“Oh my gosh, you should’ve seen your face. For a second I wondered if you could understand me, but then your mouth dropped open and I-” a few breathless giggles escaped her and she quickly fought them down. “-I’m sorry for laughing in your face.”
“All is forgiven if you tell me what you really said.”
“I wouldn’t have said it in a language you don’t know if I wanted you to know what I said.”
Luz watched as a calculated artificial pout spread over Amity’s entire face.
“Then none is forgiven and you can kiss this friendship goodbye.” Amity punctuated her words by rolling over in the grass, turning her back to Luz.
“No wait- Amity!” She giggled at the witch’s theatrics.
Amity allowed the pout to melt away and smiled in confidence, knowing it was hidden from view.
Suddenly, a thought came to Amity’s mind, and she realized now would be the perfect time to show the human that she did indeed pay attention when she talked about her home realm.
Amity sensed Luz roll onto her side as well behind her. A hand clamped over her shoulder, gingerly tugging to make her roll back over.
Amity made a show of huffing with her whole body.
She turned her head just enough to give Luz a sideways glare over her shoulder.
“No talk, me angy .”
“Amit- heeeee!” whatever she’d been about to say was cut off as another wheeze ripped through her chest, before quickly being replaced by another wave of uncontrolled giggles.
Hearing Luz’s unabashed laugh was the most rewarding sound in all of reality, and it was made so much sweeter when Amity knew it was her that made her laugh like this. She wanted to be the reason she laughed this hard every time, forever.
It made Amity’s chest swell with pride and self-worth to know she could give so much joy to the person she cared most for.
Amity rolled over onto her other side to stare at Luz’s beaming smile and delightfully beautiful happiness as she continued to chortle over her joke. She would love nothing more than to commit this wonderful scene into memory so she could call upon it every second of the day. Hopefully, she’ll never forget this night, allowing her to remember this feeling of being on top of the world as she lay next to Luz who was still rewarding her with that heavenly laughter. Unfortunately, Amity duly noted, it was calming down already.
“Where- where did you learn that?” She breathlessly whispered.
“From you, dummy. Something about a small fluffy creature sitting in a guarded position, exuding a hostile attitude?”
“Oh my gosh Amity you’re so cute - I can’t believe you just said that to my face. I think I’m going to tell everyone about it! Maybe even make you quote more things for me!” Luz was already planning ways to tease her over something so small, just like her siblings would. No wonder they get along so well…
“If you tell another soul about tonight then you really can forget this entire friendship cause I won’t hesitate to launch you off this cliffside.” Her threat was emptier than whipped air and they both knew it.
“If you throw me over the edge then I’m grabbing your hand and taking you with me.”
Amity smirked as if her plans were all falling into place.
Amity tucked both her hands under the side of her head, using them as a pillow as she casually continued to stare at her crush. Her legs came up a little bit, bent at the knees and pressed together, as she tried to subtly curl in on herself to trap any escaping body heat.
“Are you cold?” Luz asked.
“Maybe a little, but it’s warm enough out here that I should be fine.”
Luz shook her head, “yeah, but, it also drops like a hundred degrees at night during the summer so if you’re cold now then you’re only gonna be freezing in no time.”
Amity frowned, unwilling to move so soon. “Should we start heading home then?”
“Hm… I’ve got a better idea!” She threw her arms out towards her friend and beamed as if her plan was the most obvious solution in the world. When Amity didn’t react she gestured with her fingers to come closer, arms still held outward.
Luz let out an impatient mock-offended scoff. “Come here, silly.”
Slowly, as if Amity knew her painstaking pace was actually killing Luz slowly and relished the torture, she scooted closer over the grass and allowed Luz to wrap her arms around her back in a hug.
“See? Now we’ll both be warm.”
Their faces were a little too close for comfort for Amity, but she wasn’t about to back out now. She could practically count the stars reflecting in her eyes. Another swoop fell through her stomach and suddenly she was blushing. If either of them were to get up now she was afraid her crushing heart might shatter. If that were to happen she’d probably do something certifiably undignified (likely exaggeratedly pout) to make them go back to hugging.
Amity’s blush was too hot to handle, so she curled in further, scooting down while also ducking her head under Luz’s chin to press her forehead against her chest. If nothing else could be warm at least her face would provide enough heating for all of Bonesborough for the next few years. Her arms snaked around Luz’s waist, pulling her as close to her body as she could without squeezing the life out of the human. Amity caught one of Luz’s legs between her own, effectively trapping her as her ankles crossed to secure a vice-like clasp around the stolen limb.
The witch hoped with all her pounding heart that her newfound boldness wouldn’t prove to be a mistake. She’d never forgive herself if she made Luz uncomfortable or, Titan forbid, regret offering her a hug.
Amity felt and heard Luz chuckle, and for a moment she thought Luz might start mocking her, but the arms around her shoulders only held on tighter and pulled her closer.
As if life couldn’t get any grander for Amity in that moment, one tanned hand came up to her head and started petting her hair. She nearly melted into a puddle of abomination goo right then and there. The fingers carding through her hair and lightly scratching her scalp felt beyond heavenly. It was slow and rhythmic, predictable, and so, so amazing. It was as if Luz could read her deepest desires and granted her biggest wish. Is this what she’d been missing her whole life? The feeling of someone caring for her, without asking them to?
A shiver ran through Amity’s body, which prompted the hand on her back to start running up and down over her shirt.
“I didn’t know you were this cold. You should’ve said something, Am.”
Whatever the girl had just said to her was lost to the non-existent wind as Amity snuggled in closer and sighed against Luz’s shirt. She suddenly didn’t have time for conversation as all of her attention was eaten by her need to relish their position and enjoy these feelings inside her. Luz could be telling her the secrets of the universe, known to nobody but the stars, and she wouldn’t hear any of it. Well, maybe she would, but she certainly wouldn’t process a single word. The sound of Luz’s voice combined with the abundance of very comforting heat radiating from her body and the hands petting her head and back created the greatest combination of contentment and safety that made her lose herself in a sweet reverie.
Amity hummed involuntarily. Her mouth curved into a wide satisfied smile and she pressed it against Luz’s chest, hoping the girl could feel it. Her fingers curled against Luz’s back, pulling the fabric of her shirt into fists. Another sound escaped her; something mixed between a moan and a sigh, and she realized faintly that she was trying to speak while also not trying to open her mouth at all.
If she weren’t suddenly so tired and so deeply distracted by all the sensations around her she would’ve been embarrassed over what she just did.
“What was that, Amity?” Luz asked patiently, nearly a whisper.
“Hmm…” a soft hum was her only reply.
“Are you sleepy?”
Luz felt what she assumed was Amity shaking her head ‘no’ against her chest, although she could’ve just been trying to cuddle closer.
“Okay, hermosa.” She murmured with kindness, the smile audible in her voice. “We can stay right here until you want to get up.”
Amity didn’t respond. With the way her shoulders moved with her breathing, Luz would’ve assumed she’d fallen asleep.
Luz would be lying to herself if she said she didn’t absolutely love the way she was holding Amity, and the way Amity was holding her in return. If they both ended up falling asleep, wrapped up in each other's arms, neither would complain until the sun rose the next morning. The secrets they shared would be locked between them and the roots of their Grom tree. Perhaps next time Luz will tell the witch what she’d said tonight.
Although, that was a scary thought, and it made Luz’s heart beat a little faster thinking about the consequences of those actions.
Before she got too caught up in those ideas, she tilted her head forward just a tad to lean into Amity’s hair. She was warm from head to toe and she hoped the witch felt the same.
Between the feeling of Luz’s heart beating faintly against her forehead and the aching warmth spreading throughout her entire body, Amity almost missed something soft pressing into the top of her head. It wasn’t hard to understand what it was. She had half a mind to lift her head and find out what it was just to be sure, and another half a mind to ask Luz to do it again, but she couldn’t bring herself to do either. Instead, she returned the favor and pressed her lips to Luz’s collar before finally settling in and letting sleep begin to drag her under.
Laying under the stars as they were, together without fear, there was nowhere else either of them felt safer. No one gave them the same affection or adoration as they gave each other.
Amity wonders if this was the secret of the universe the stars have been whispering to her and she’d just been too naive to hear it until now.