“Stand straight.” Elizabeth pressed on Meliodas’ shoulders, positioning him against the trunk of a tree. “There, just like that. Now don’t move.”
“What are we doing?”
Her eyes were filled with a now-familiar determination as she placed something on his head. “Okay. Now just… stay.”
Meliodas rolled his eyes upwards in a futile attempt to see what was on top of his head. It wasn’t heavy, and rather small, and he shifted just a bit to test the balance. “What is on top of me?” he called.
“An apple,” she replied. Elizabeth had moved a couple dozen paces away, her back to him as she sifted through her bag.
Admiring the view of her behind for a moment, Meliodas was too distracted to wonder why there was an apple on his head… until she turned around with an arrow in one hand and a bow in the other. He blinked in confusion, and then his eyes went wide as he watched Elizabeth string her bow. “Wait a second! What are you doing?”
Elizabeth looked up and smiled sweetly, that smile she knew he could not resist. Her wings flapped just a bit as she drew herself up confidently. “I’m going to shoot the apple on your head.”
“Why… are you doing this?”
She gave a laugh, the sound like a beautiful chime in the forest. “Gloxinia doesn’t think I can do it, so I want to show him. But I want to practice first.”
Elizabeth raised the bow and took aim, but Meliodas jolted. He raised his palms in defense and yelled, “Wait! Stop for a second!”
The apple made a soft sound as it toppled from his head and fell on the moss. “What’s wrong?” she called over, frowning and putting her fists on her hips.
Meliodas laughed. “You’re not shooting an arrow at me.”
The goddess pouted, tilting her head a bit. “Don’t you trust me?”
He narrowed his eyes at her. So this was how she was going to play it? “Of course I trust you,” he answered sarcastically. “That doesn’t mean I want you shooting an arrow at my head.”
Elizabeth walked towards him, her mouth turned down a bit. “If you trusted me, you’d let me do it.”
Meliodas rolled his eyes. “Let me shoot one at you first, then maybe.”
“Meliodas,” she cooed at him. The sound of his name gave him a bit of a shiver, and he felt his resolve starting to crumble as she drew closer and closer. “You know I’m an excellent shot. I would never, ever do this if I didn’t think I could.”
Swallowing, he replied, “I know that, Elizabeth, but—”
“I would never, ever hurt you, Meliodas.”
“I know that too—”
“Do you trust me?”
Her two blue eyes stared into his, and he let go a long breath, knowing he was sunk. “Fine,” he muttered, and to his annoyed delight she cheered and threw her arms around him, giving him a smacking kiss on the lips. “Thank you thank you thank you! I promise I can do this.”
“As long as I can do this,” he joked, grabbing onto her backside.
She giggled and pressed against him, giving him another kiss on the cheek. “Besides,” she said as she bent down to retrieve the apple, “if I do hit you, it’s not like it would really hurt you.”
The apple was replaced and she trotted back to her spot. “It wouldn’t kill me,” he muttered, “but it would still hurt.”
He cleared his throat and stood perfectly still as he watched her take aim. This will be fine, he thought to himself. Elizabeth was a great shot, one of the best with a bow he had ever seen. She had an uncanny ability to read the atmosphere and make miniscule adjustments to hit her target precisely. Right now, her head was tilted down, and he saw her flex her shoulder slightly as she took aim. Meliodas smiled, fully confident that she would hit the apple.
The arrow went flying, and a moment later, landed with a thunk in the wood.
“Ow,” he said in surprise. He looked down to see the arrow sticking into his shoulder. It had gone clean through, pinning him to the tree.
“Meliodas! Oh my goodness!”
A moment later she was there, and before he could tell her to wait a minute she yanked the arrow from his body. “Ow,” he said again, swaying a bit as he saw momentary stars.
“Oh my goodness oh my goodness oh my goodness!”
Her face was lined with worry, and Meliodas could not help his chuckle. “It’s okay.”
“I can’t believe I missed,” she muttered. He huffed a laugh as his wound started healing, and she gave him a dark look. “It’s your fault, you know.”
“Mine!” he exclaimed. “How was that my fault? You hit me with an arrow.”
“Only because you decided to smile at me the moment I released that arrow,” she retorted. Then she flipped her hair back over her shoulder, her wings flapping in a sign of indignation. “You made me miss.”
He would have laughed at her if it didn’t hurt so damn much. But Elizabeth tossed the arrow to the side and pressed her palm on the wound, her light beginning to glow as the hole in his chest began to close.
“This reallllllly huuuuurts,” he moaned, clutching his chest in mock pain. He peeked at her through half-closed eyes and saw her trying not to laugh. “I think you need to kiss it better.”
Elizabeth snorted. “You wish,” she murmured. But she leaned in and pressed a kiss on his mouth as his skin finished sewing together, and he used the opportunity to grab another handful of her rear. Meliodas squeezed, drawing a squeal from her, and she smacked him right in the shoulder, still a bit tender. “Ow,” he whispered.
“That’s what you get,” she laughed, and kissed him again.