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mother nature made us (to intertwine)

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mother nature made us (to intertwine) 

 

Beauregard Lionett swings her legs back and forth, her feet dangling from the table. The sun shines bright, and it’s a warm feeling that Beau welcomes with a relaxed smile.

With Fall around the corner, she knows they don’t have many days left of good weather, and she is pleased to have such a gorgeous day ahead as they all prepare to partake in the Harvest Close Festival celebrations.

Beau inhales, taking a deep breath in, collecting the myriad of wonderful smells.

Her eyes half closed, she can pin-point nearly exactly where the mead stall has set up shop, and where the candied apples are being sold. All the scents wave by her, but none of them are as strong or as pleasant as the flowery perfume that permeates the area around her.

“No, no.” her wife’s voice says, so clearly agitated that Beau immediately opens her eyes. “The tulips need to stay away from the lilies, they don’t like each other.”

Beau turns around, watching as Fjord struggles to lift the case of tulips he clearly just finished putting down. Yasha, her long, white hair falling messily on her shoulders, stares at their friend for a short moment before she decides to take the matter in her own hands.

She quite literally grabs the case of tulips from Fjord, moving it with incredible ease, and Fjord huffs and leans back against the same table Beau is sitting on.

“Are you going to help at all?” Fjord asks her, breathless.

Beau pretends to think about it, before shaking her head with a shit-eating grin.

Fjord begins grumbling, pushing off the table and walking back outside the small tent and towards the cart.

Beau can hear him exchange a few words with Caleb and Jester, and she turns to find Yasha.

The other woman carefully settles the case of tulips on a different stand, gently poking at a few petals to rearrange them the way she likes them.

“Hey, babe.” Beau calls out, successfully shifting Yasha’s attention from the flowers to herself.

Yasha turns, and not even the sweet smile that colors her features at the sight of Beau is enough to hide her anxiety for the day ahead.

Beau knows Yasha has been stressed out for weeks, if not months, about this day, and she is more than determined to make it a huge success for her.

But before she does anything she needs to make sure that her wife doesn’t accidentally end up murdering their best friends for accidentally pairing daisies with roses.

“C’mhere.” Beau murmurs, extending a hand out for Yasha to take.

Yasha seems to hesitate for just a moment before she takes the offered hand and reaches out for Beau.

Beau opens her legs, allowing for Yasha’s body to settle between them, and she grabs Yasha’s cheeks between her palms to drag her down to her level.

Beau kisses her soundly, a smile on her face that is plenty contagious. When Yasha parts from her, the anxiety is still present, but some of the tension has left her shoulders.

“I’m very nervous.” Yasha admits, toying with the fabric of Beau’s pants. “I’m sorry.”

Beau hums, wrapping her arms around Yasha’s broad shoulders and hugging her tight.

“You have nothing to apologize for, Yash.” she tells her, sincerely. “It’s normal to be nervous.”

Yasha squeezes her briefly, nodding to herself when she takes a step back.

“I know…” she murmurs. “It’s just… It is my first time selling something. Not flowers, but like… Anything at all. And what if I am not good at it? What if people don’t want my flowers? What if they are scared to approach?”

Beau nods and listens patiently to all of her worries, having heard them a few times over the course of the week.

Yasha, despite the gentle eyes and the even gentler heart, still looms above the great majority of the people of Rexxentrum, and Beau knows how hard it’s been for her to get used to being looked at with apprehension by the townspeople.

They have been living just outside the gates of the city for nearly a year now, and despite having finally befriended some of their closest neighbours, Yasha still has a hard time being trusted by the people of the city.

Beau knows how much effort Yasha has put into growing her flowers. She has watched her tend to them every single day since planting the first seeds. Even before then, Yasha had prepared the soil and made sure that everything could be welcoming enough for her new buds, and Beau knows just how important it is for this day to go well.

Despite Yasha’s best efforts and strong will, Beau knows how demoralized Yasha is by the lack of progress she has made in getting the people of Rexxentrum to like her, let alone trust her.

Beau knows that some of Yasha’s worries dig even deeper than the general mistrust people seem to have upon seeing such a tall, fight-fitted woman walking their streets in apron and wine basket as she shops.

Yasha worries about being recognized as the woman who wrecked havoc in half of the Empire, before being defeated at the Chantry of the Dawn.

Beau is certain none of these people have a single clue of who Obann even was, but she can tell Yasha’s anxieties don’t seem to want to listen to reason.

So she nods, and she threads her fingers through Yasha’s white locks, and she hums in understanding. She stops as her hands get stuck in a few knots, and she gestures for the chair a few paces away.

“Grab the stool, will ya?” she asks, and Yasha obliges. She drags the stool closer, taking a seat on it and smiling as Beau pushes her slightly on the shoulder for her to turn around.

Beau begins threading her fingers through Yasha’s hair, gently disentangling each and every knot, brushing and combing through Yasha’s anxiety as well with her words.

“I know it’s scary.” she tells her. “I promise, I know. When Dad sent me to sell my first bottles of wine, I was scared shitless. But you are not going to be alone, and I’m gonna do my damn best to help out. Fjord, Jester and Caleb are here to help, too.”

Beau leans backwards on the table, reaching for one of the flowers in the case that Jester is carrying behind them. Jester giggles and gives her a handful of them.

They are small, colorful buds of a kind that Beau can’t really recognize, but they serve the purpose.

“Your flowers are beautiful, babe.” she continues, starting to braid the ones she just grabbed into Yasha’s hair. “You have put so much love and care into them, and I know people will see that.”

They are going to see that , she finds herself thinking. Or I’m gonna make them see that .

Yasha leans back against her legs, and Beau finishes up her braids and presses a kiss on the top of her head.

“You just be yourself, yeah?” she tells her in a murmur. “People are gonna love ya. It would be impossible not to.”

Yasha smiles, turning on the stool to look up at her with an infinite amount of love and trust in her eyes. The same love and trust that, Beau knows, is probably written all over her own face.

“I love you.” Yasha murmurs.

Beau can tell she is still nervous about the day, but a lot of the tension has given way to a stubborn determination.

Beau grins and kisses her again, squealing when Yasha tickles her sides with a laugh.

“You two are disgusting.” Fjord comments, grunting as Jester drops another case of flowers in his arms.

Beau flips him the finger.

 

As Yasha finishes setting up the stall, lifting what looks like a bird perch from the cart and placing it in front of their tent, Beau squares her shoulders and looks at her team members.

“We are going to get Yasha some customers.” she tells them in a half whisper.

She doesn’t trust the people of Rexxentrum to be reasonable, and she is going to be damned if she doesn’t bring half of the city to Yasha’s stall by the end of the day.

She’s a woman on a mission, and she is going to make it her friends’ mission as well, or so help her Ioun.

“We can’t exactly threaten people, Beauregard.” Caleb argues, crossing his arms and furrowing his brows.

Beau looks at him with a frown.

“Of course we can.” she responds, dragging a chuckle from Jester and a groan from Fjord.

“How about we try not to commit any crimes and we simply talk to these folks like normal people?” Fjord suggests, and Beau rolls her eyes.

“I don’t care what you do, as long as we get people to stop by the stall.” Beau finally concedes. “It’s her first Harvest Close, guys, and she’s put so much effort into this. I want it to be perfect.”

Jester grabs her hands and squeezes them, an amused smile on her face. Her fangs poke from her upper lips, and Beau knows by that smirk that she has an ally in this venture.

“It’s gonna be perfect, Beau. We’ve got this.” Jester says. “And Yasha’s got this, too. Her flowers are really pretty.”

That, they are.

Despite Beau’s nearly absent knowledge of plants in general, she knows she is not biased when she says that Yasha’s flowers are some of the best she’s ever seen.

Her wife has a talent, and Beau needs everyone to see it.

There is a soft chirping sound behind them, and they all turn to watch as a couple hummingbirds descend from the nearby tree to settle on the bird perch outside Yasha’s tent.

Yasha steps outside, looking absolutely radiant in her white dress, leather apron and braided hair, and she places a few seeds in the bird feeder.

“You have to admit.” Caleb speaks up, his voice no louder than a whisper. “That is a pretty weird sight.”

Beau doesn’t know if weird is the word she would use.

A few of the passersby townsfolk stop to watch in awed surprise as more birds come down to feed directly from Yasha’s hand.

Beau tilts her head at the sight of this tall, broad woman who has stolen her heart, as she gently talks to the smallest of birds while also getting ready to sell her colorful flowers.

“I think it’s beautiful.” she murmurs to no one in particular, then she turns and starts pushing Caleb towards the other stalls.

 

Beau darts around the main square, the biggest space in the city that allows for every single stall to be comfortably situated.

She notices a few of the same attractions as the last Harvest Close Festival, albeit handled by different people.

She feels a pang of sadness when she notices a soldier handing out a wooden sword to a child who just won their game, remembering how she’d gone around Zadash pretending to be Mollymauk with her own wooden weapons.

Mourning is a long process, and one that is never really over: Beau knows it, and Yasha knows it, too. They’ve all been trying to navigate it as best as they can, and only occasionally the pain comes knocking at their door.

Having Kingsley in their lives is a blessing of its own, and Beau chooses to focus on that, instead.

There are a lot of attractions, and Beau has to stop at a stall that sells candied apples to get some for her companions, then she begins approaching unaware, unassuming townsfolk to try and direct them towards Yasha’s stall.

In the span of a single hour, Beau manages to get on the soldiers’ shit list, having nearly punched a guy who had laughed at the idea of purchasing flowers for his wife and having nearly threatened an older lady in order to get her to at least visit Yasha’s stall.

Beau grumpily stomps away from the guards, after having argued for nearly fifteen minutes with all three of them.

Fjord, who had stopped to help out her case after noticing Beau’s frame in the crowd, pats her on the shoulder.

“You are taking this a bit too seriously, man.” he tells her.

Beau growls, shooting an angered glare at the guards from over her shoulders.

“Seriously, Beau. Chill.” Fjord admonishes. “We’re gonna be fine. Jester has bribed half the square, and Caleb has scared the other half by simply approaching them with a smile.”

Beau laughs despite herself.

“His idea of a polite smile is unsettling.” she concedes, before glaring at Fjord, suspiciously. “What about you?”

Fjord sighs and shakes his head, redirecting them both towards the area where Yasha’s stall is situated.

“I talked to people like a regular person, and invited them over to check out the flowers.” he says, diplomatically. “I figured I tried to look normal and not like a complete mental case.”

The stab is clearly directed at all three of them, yet Beau takes it completely personally, and she sticks her tongue out at him.

Fjord laughs and shakes his head.

He doesn’t have to say much more, however, because as soon as they round the corner and Yasha’s flowers come into view, Beau knows she has worried for nothing.

There is a line of people already grouped just outside their tent, and Beau can see Yasha’s figure, towering above everyone else, as she quickly and efficiently helps out each and every one of her customers.

“She’s good at this.” Beau murmurs, proud beyond belief.

Fjord hums in agreement.

“She is.” he says. “And she’s lucky to have you.”

Beau shoots him a sideway glance.

“I know I probably don’t say this enough, Beau.” Fjord continues, furrowing his brows. “But I’m really glad you two found each other.”

Beau coughs and clears her throat, suddenly feeling very awkward and very out of place.

“Whaaaaaat.” she laughs, nervously, tugging at her tunic.

“Being here reminded me of who we were and how we were when we came to our first Harvest Close Festival together.” Fjord tells her. “You and Yasha always danced around each other from the very beginning, that much was clear to everyone but you two.

But we were all so different back then. Much more damaged, if you catch my drift.”

Beau turns to look at her wife, at her long and white hair and her beautiful white dress.

She digs into her memory to find the image of a Yasha from two years ago, in her black and grey dirty old clothes, with her black hair and her sad smile, with her hunched shoulders and the nervous way she looked around the Zadash Pentamarket, clutching at her weapons like her life depended on it.

It’s such a contrast from the picture of pure happiness that Yasha is today, with an easy smile on her face and open hands for her customers and for her creatures alike, whether it’s flowers or birds.

Today’s Yasha is proudly standing at her full height, owning up to who she is and who she became, and Beau feels the burning, tickling feel of tears poking at her eyes.

“We were all so innocent, back then.” Fjord murmurs. “But we also had no idea who we were.”

Beau holds her breath, thinking of who she was then.

A broken shell of a person who didn’t trust people as far as she could throw them, who disliked authorities and didn’t believe in herself and her own abilities, who looked at a woman with growing love in her heart and thought of how undeserving she was of anyone’s affections.

“A lot has changed in two years, huh?” she croaks, wiping at her cheek with the back of her hand.

If Fjord notices the tears, he elegantly says nothing about them, instead patting his hand on Beau’s shoulder.

“I’m proud of you both.” he tells her. “You did good with this. And with everything else.”

Beau sniffs and nods, laughing a wet laugh.

“Thanks, man.”

 

Lunch time rolls around, and Jester makes her voice boom louder for everyone to hear when she announces that Yasha’s Flowers is going to close for a quick meal break.

Yasha actively pouts at the idea, having sold more than half of her flowers during the morning rush alone, but Fjord murmurs something to her that makes the smile come back full force.

“What has he promised you?” Beau chuckles as they sit down at the counter between the pieces of parchment Yasha has used to roll up her flowers in and broken leaves.

Yasha grins, sheepishly.

“There’s a game stall that is giving away pet rats as prizes.” she admits. “He said he’ll convince Jester to go win the games and give me the rats instead.”

Beau laughs, shaking her head at her friends’ antics.

Caleb drops down next to her, a book already opened in front of him, and Fjord and Jester announce they will be taking a few moments to roam the place before the afternoon crowd gets in.

Lunch is eaten in a comfortable silence, broken only by the paper rustling of Caleb’s book and the happy chirping of Yasha’s new friends.

Yasha taps her foot against Beau’s shin, a smile on her face as she chews on her sandwich, and Beau can’t help the lovesick expression that comes to color her features.

Beau quietly reaches out with one hand across the table, and Yasha immediately laces their fingers together, gently squeezing Beau’s hand.

She doesn’t have to say ‘I love you’ for Beau to get the message, and Beau’s heart swells in happiness at the sight of Yasha’s joy.

“Do you remember our first Harvest Close?” she asks her, the conversation with Fjord still very present in her mind.

Yasha nods, her eyes drifting shut as she inhales.

“As if it were yesterday.” she admits. “I remember watching Molly with his tapestry, and laughing at Jester when she told us what she did to the Allhammer shrine.”

“Veth was pretending to be my daughter.” Caleb interjects, distractedly, making Beau frown at him for the interruption of what was clearly a private moment.

Caleb doesn’t even notice, and neither does Yasha, apparently, because she continues like nothing happened.

“I remember when we did the whole armwrestling thing, and I asked you to read the message in that scroll they gave us.”

Beau suddenly recalls the exact moment Yasha is talking about, and she nods in wonder.

“Yeah, what was that about?”

Yasha opens one eye, grinning sheepishly at her.

“I just really liked the sound of your voice.” she admits, drawing a chuckle out of Beau.

They draw closer and closer, heads leaning towards one another, and they finish their lunch between comfortable silences and murmured memories, hands linked above the table.

 

Beau remains next to Yasha’s side for the afternoon, helping out with the customers and with the flowers’ compositions.

She lets Yasha do the talking, and mainly follows her directions on how to put together this or that bouquet, rolling them in parchment in this or that other manner, and simply enjoys the sight of Yasha interacting with people.

She is awkward in the way Yasha has always been, but the happiness on her face is enough to draw people in, and the customers leave with their chosen flowers and a newfound trust towards this endearing gentle giant of a woman.

Beau can’t help but be proud of her and the way Yasha pushes herself out of her shell.

The afternoon continues with sudden moments of rush and others of complete quiet, and Beau uses those moments to push a cup of water in Yasha’s hands or prompt her to sit and rest for a second or two.

Yasha generally agrees and lets her fuss over her, but once in a while she walks to the bird’s stand to offer some water and food to the birds that are hanging out there.

Around three in the afternoon, Beau leaves to find a couple jugs of mead for them to enjoy, roaming around the plaza and noticing her friends as they jump from one stall to the next.

But when she comes back to their stall, completely unaware, she looks up from her jug and nearly chokes on the sip of mead she’s just taken.

“No.” she growls.

Yasha whirls around, a grimace on her face. “Beau. Baby…”

“Absolutely not .”

“He just wanted to visit!”

Beau shakes her head with so much force that some of the mead spills out.

“No, he did not . He is a traitor .”

Yasha sighs, exasperated.

“He is a wild animal, Beau.”

“Wild animal, my ass. He was just fine when he was with the people I bought him from. Do you know how hard Dairon laughed when I told her I managed to lose a whole fucking owl ?!”

Professor Thaddeus clicks his beak at her, indifferent to Beau’s outrage.

“To be fair, we brought him to the middle of battle…”

“And?! Sprinkle stayed.”

“Sprinkle was an Archfey God, baby.”

“Potato, potahto .”

Yasha’s eyes twinkle in amusement, as she slowly reaches up to scratch underneath Professor Thaddeus’ chin.

“Not really.”

Beau scoffs, stomping inside their tent and slamming the two jugs of mead on the table, making the two only customers who are roaming around flinch in surprise.

“Whatever.” Beau mutters, sitting on the stool with her back obstinately turned towards the owl who ran away from her nearly two years ago.

Yasha comes behind her and places both hands on her shoulders, pressing a kiss on the back of her head.

Beau can feel the amused chuckle in the tilt of her lips, and she barely suppresses a smile of her own.

 

The customers come and go, and Jester drops by to tell them that some dudes have started a fight just outside the mead tent, so people are getting drawn towards the mayhem.

“Looks like we might have a longer moment of quiet than we expected.” Beau tells Yasha as she is finishing up rearranging all her remaining flowers.

She still has a few dozen left, which is not a lot, all considered.

Beau knows Yasha will stress about them regardless, and she notices the way her wife already begins to fuss over them, trying to figure out if there is something wrong with them.

“Babe.” she calls out, grabbing Yasha’s attention. “Why don’t we do something to pass the time?”

Yasha sighs, shooting a confused glance to her unsold flowers, then turns to her.

“I guess that could be useful.” she concedes. “Any ideas?”

Beau raps her fingers on the table, and the memory of their last Festival comes back full force, amplified by the exchange they had at lunch.

“What about arm wrestling?” she suggests.

Yasha raises an eyebrow, and Beau can see she’s already piqued her interest.

“Me and you?” Yasha asks, with a tone that is nothing if not flirtatious. “Are you sure you’re ready to lose?”

Beau scoffs and laughs together, throwing her head back.

She takes her tunic off, cranking her neck to both sides and shaking her arms off.

“Oh, babe.” she tells her. “I’ve been working out, you know? I might not be as strong as you, but I’m not gonna let you win that easily.”

Yasha snorts, rolling her sleeves up on her forearms.

Beau eyes her wife’s biceps, bulging and flexing underneath the loose fabric of her dress. If anything, that will give her plenty of memories to fantasize about.

“Whatever you say, baby.” Yasha says, sweetly, and Beau moves the stools in front of her, sitting on it and placing her elbow on the table and wiggling her fingers.

She notices a couple people stopping in front of their tent, and a soft murmur begins spreading through the crowd.

Yasha, completely unaware, takes a seat in front of her, lowering her own arm on the table.

They clasp their hands together, and one of the women in the crowd, a Half-Elven woman with a pair of small antlers like the ones Veth used to wear poking through her red hair, steps forward.

“Do you need a referee?” she asks, excitedly.

Beau and Yasha glance at the woman and then at each other, before nodding with two matching grins.

“Yes, please.” Beau says, refocusing on Yasha.

Her wife, completely relaxed under Beau’s gaze, smiles lazily at her.

The red-haired woman gives her bag to the black-haired Half-Elf who is accompanying her,  then places her palm on their joined hands and turns towards the crowd outside, which is now collecting a couple dozen people.

Beau can see regular townsfolk, soldiers and a couple adventurers probably stopping by for the Festival.

“Welcome to this impromptu -er… I’m assuming , at least- arm wrestling match between…” she turns to look at the two of them, a question in her eyes.

“Beau and Yasha.” Yasha supplies without looking away.

“Beau and Yasha!” the woman repeats, louder for the whole crowd to hear.

A few people clap, and one woman -a Faun, from what Beau can see- even whistles in excitement.

She winks at Yasha.

“Ready, babe?”

Yasha grins.

“Ready.”

The Half-Elf taps on their hands and speaks directly to them.

“Ready, set… Go!”

Beau immediately begins to push, surprising Yasha with how strong she is leaning onto her arm and shockingly gaining a few inches despite her wife’s resistance.

“Well, that’s interesting.” Yasha murmurs, smile slowly fading as she begins to push herself harder when their hands don’t budge from where they’re at.

Beau grins and goes: “Hey, babe.” to which Yasha looks up.

Beau bites her lower lip, dropping her eyelids and then winking in the most seductive way she can in her wife’s direction.

Yasha’s jaw goes slightly slack, and her hand shakes as Beau manages to gain several inches on her.

“You-” Yasha stutters, a frown on her face.

The crowd around them has become bigger, and Beau catches Fjord and Jester making their way through the groups of people, pushing between a human in pastel colored robes and a pale creature with long, black hair and bottomless eyes.

Fjord groans at the sight of whatever is happening at the flower stand, and Jester screams: “MY BETS ARE ON THE MONK, WHO’S IN?”

The people begin to chatter, and Beau nearly laughs. Nearly .

Despite her best efforts, it seems like Yasha’s hand is not willing to budge any more than it already is.

“I told you I’ve been working out.” Beau says between gritted teeth, pushing harder to try and get Yasha’s hand onto the table.

Yasha’s lips curve into a half smile, and it’s right then that Beau realizes how dumb she’s been.

“I can see that.” Yasha says, just as her hand begins to push against Beau’s, dragging it slowly and almost effortlessly towards the center.

Beau grunts, kicking the stool on the ground as she gets to her feet.

“C’mon, baby…” Yasha taunts, amused. “You are doing so well.”

“Fuck, shit.” Beau groans, as her hand goes past the midpoint. Her skin is clammy and sweaty, and the crowd begins to scream and incite her as best as they can.

Beau licks her lips, throwing the remainder of her dignity to the wind and adding her second hand to the first, grabbing a hold of Yasha’s wrist as she tries to drag her back.

Someone in the crowd begins to boo, right before realizing that not even that dirty trick is enough to balance out with Yasha's strength.

That sets the audience off.

Beau is nearly hanging off from Yasha’s fist with both of her hands, putting the entirety of her body weight into the push, as the crowd begins to scream Yasha’s name, stomping their feet and clapping their hands.

Yasha leans in, a calm, relaxed smile on her lips as she meets Beau’s eyes.

“You are doing so good, baby.” Yasha whispers, before slamming Beau’s hands onto the table with a last quick, almost effortless, powerful push.

The audience goes wild, raising their arms and screaming in excitement as Yasha straightens herself up, tucking a strand of white hair behind her ear and hunching her shoulders in an awkward attempt to take in all those compliments without looking too proud of herself.

“Yasha is the winner!” the red-haired woman announces, pointlessly, laughing to herself before rejoining her group.

Beau shakes her hands off, wiping the sweat on her pants and shaking her head, incredulous.

“You have been massively played, I assume.” Fjord asks, nudging her on the side when he finally manages to reach her.

Beau groans, slapping her biceps with her own hands. She’s going to be sore tomorrow.

“Ya think ?!”

Fjord snorts.

“What did you expect, exactly?” he smirks.

“Sometimes I forget how fucking strong she is, man.” she mutters, dropping every pretense when Yasha turns to look at her with a smile.

She laughs, she can’t help but do so, and shakes her head again.

“Yeah, what was I thinking?” she murmurs, having won her own prize in the shape of Yasha’s happiness.

 

 

The rest of the hour goes by in a blink, as the crowd gathers around Yasha to congratulate her and chat with her about her flowers.

Fjord, Jester and Beau help out to the best of their ability, wrapping and rolling bouquets, cutting stems off of flowers and dealing with the money exchanges.

By the time the last customer leaves and Caleb comes strolling back with his book under his arm, the tent is a mess, Beau has collected a handful of new cuts between paper and thorns, and every single flower they have brought with them from home has been sold.

“All gone?” Caleb asks, not even looking guilty at all from having disappeared the whole day, most likely hiding from the crowds.

“All gone.” Beau sighs, satisfied and exhausted, swinging one arm around Yasha’s shoulders. Yasha, sitting at the stool with her hands cupped in front of her, smiles slightly.

“Except for one.” she murmurs, opening her hands to reveal a small, still yet to blossom, white moonflower. Yasha holds it out for Beau to take, and Beau shouldn’t feel the way she feels, because they are married , for Ioun’s sake.

But her heart lurches in her chest, and the exhaustion is suddenly gone.

She smiles at Yasha, disgustingly proud of her and even more disgustingly in love with her, and caresses the flower with the tip of her fingers.

“We could replant this one.” she murmurs, nudging Yasha’s nose with hers. “Get more flowers for next year’s Festival.”

“Next year?” Yasha asks, a twinkle of excitement mixed with amusement in her eyes.

Beau shrugs.

“Yeah, why not?” she grins. “We could make this a yearly thing. And next year I’ll beat you at arm wrestling, too.”

Yasha snorts, tilting backwards to reach up and pluck the moonflower at the top knot of Beau’s braid. “Sure, baby.”

Beau chuckles, leaning to press her lips on Yasha’s, kissing her sweetly and soundly.

“You two are gross.” Fjord comments from somewhere outside the tent. Beau gives him the finger, blindly guessing where he is without opening her eyes.

There is a screech and a yelp, and then Jester pipes up:

“Uh, guys, I think Professor Thaddeus ate one of the smaller birds…”

Beau groans and Yasha laughs, and Professor Thaddeus lazily flaps his wings.

It doesn’t look like he has any intention of flying away any time soon.

“Guess he’s here to stay, uh?” Yasha murmurs, looping an arm around Beau’s waist and keeping her pressed against her side.

Beau sighs, her fingers threading through Yasha’s hair.

“I guess so.” she mutters, making Yasha chuckle.

They lean against one another, and Beau presses a kiss on the top of her head.

Yasha is happy, and so is she.