Take a Break
It’d been a rough week. Bloom had left for Gardenia following a standoff between Faragonda and a few ‘concerned’ parents, Valkyrie was on radio silence, and poor Layla had just been given word that her parents had arranged a marriage for her.
Flora took a breath, trying to will her nerves away. Her back was still sore from being burned by that dragon on Eraklyon. But it was healing well, thanks to Layla’s fairy dust.
“Why are you so down? You need to perk up.” Chatta told her, tapping her little foot. “Moping doesn’t do good for anyone.” Flora sighed.
“I know Chatta… But what can I do? Everything is… Everything’s a mess, Chatta.” Flora wrapped her arms around herself, sitting at her desk. Chatta tugged at her hair.
“This isn’t you, Flora!” Chatta frowned. “I understand that the girls are all depressed… And I get it. I do… But Flora…”
Flora pulled her hair away from Chatta. “What am I supposed to do, Chatta? I can’t stop Valtor on my own. And Valkyrie… She’s… I can’t even describe how she’s feeling right now, other than she’s angry…” Chatta gave a smile.
“Sounds like you need to get Valkyrie and get away for a bit. Just the two of you.” Chatta winked. Flora frowned.
“Chatta… We can’t leave without permission and Valkyrie… I know Valkyrie won’t be allowed to leave Cloud Tower. Not after what happened at Eraklyon.” Flora looked to her phone. “Although…” She grabbed her phone. “I might be allowed at Cloud Tower.”
Chatta grinned. “That’s the spirit.”
Flora gave a smile, dialing a familiar number. “Flora? Is everything okay?” Ms. Griffin sounded concerned… And tired. So tired.
“I was wondering… If I could have your permission to arrive at Cloud Tower? If I get clearance from Ms. Faragonda… To surprise Valkyrie? She… She hasn’t really been answering me lately and I’m worried…” Flora rambled. Griffin gave a sigh.
“And I know why… She told me about Eraklyon… And she’s been training with Ediltrude and Zarathustra almost non-stop. Not to mention classes…” Griffin paused. “Has Alfea been okay?”
“So far so good… Though Bloom’s went back to Earth for a bit… I think it’s the pressure… There were some parents here who… Expressed concern.” Flora admitted. She could hear the shake of Griffin’s head.
“There have been a few here too and I had to explain that Valkyrie is here to stay… Same as me.” Griffin explained. “I’d like to call the parents cowards… But… Truth be told, if I thought sending Valkyrie to hide away somewhere would do any good, I’d have done it by now.”
Flora couldn’t help but chuckle. “She’s stubborn, that’s for sure. And very much a fighter.”
“No doubt about it.” Griffin chuckled. “Come on over Flora… I think it’d be good for her.”
“Let me go see if I’ll be allowed to come over. Than you, Ms. Griffin.” Flora smiled, giving a thumbs up to Chatta.
“Oh Flora… You’re practically family now, you don’t have to thank me.”
Flora held her basket tight as she walked up to Cloud Tower’s main gate. She was worried about getting inside the barrier, until she noticed Valkyrie walking on the quad, Cheshire keeping up with her step for step.
“Valkyrie!” She laughed, giving a wave. The purple-haired witch paused, giving her a once over.
“Flora? What… What are you doing here?” She walked over to the barrier. “Please come in.” She gestured for Flora to come in. Flora walked in, taking Valkyrie’s hand with her free one.
“I came to surprise you… With a picnic…” Flora smiled. “If you don’t mind?” Valkyrie squeezed her hand, just the slightest of pressure.
“Come on… To the courtyard.” Flora couldn’t help but smile as Valkyrie led her toward Cloud Tower’s courtyard.
It was Flora’s favorite place at Cloud Tower, the way the willows gave a great shade. And the beauty of the wyvern spirits… Breathtaking.
Flora waved her hand around ‘their’ spot, a picnic blanket appearing and a few candles to the edge. She set the basket down, sitting herself down, Valkyrie coming to sit beside her. The witch snapped her fingers, the candles lighting. “I still want to know what brought this on.” Valkyrie asked, helping Flora set the food out.
“I…” Flora flushed, twirling a piece of her hair between her fingers. “I wanted to do something for you… I wanted to get you out of yourself for a bit…” She noticed bruises on Valkyrie’s arms and legs. “I wanted to get you to take a break for just a moment.”
The witch took Flora’s hand, kissing her knuckles. It always tickled Flora when she did something like that, made her giggle and flush. “I love you, Flora… So much.”
“I love you too.” She handed Valkyrie one of the berries she’d packed. “Try these… They’re sweetfruits from Linphea.” Valkyrie took a bite, giving a hum.
“These are incredible.”
Valkyrie had her laid against her chest, calloused fingers threading through Flora’s long brown locks. The sandwiches, berries, and cake slices were eaten, containers already sent away. They were just taking a moment to relax.
“You’ve not been pushing yourself too hard, have you?” Flora asked. Valkyrie seemed to pause. “Valkyrie.” Flora gave her warning tone.
“I’ve been sleeping… If that helps? I mean, it’s usually nightmares these days… but I’ve at least been able to sleep.” Valkyrie had that sheepish tone in her voice. A ‘sorry’ attitude.
“Val… You know I admire your strength and your will to do whatever is needed of you, but sometimes you have to do things for yourself. Including rest.” Flora rose up, ‘booping’ Valkyrie’s nose. Valkyrie flushed a bit, giving one of her smiles.
“Yes, Flora. Whatever you say.” She moved to lay on top of Flora. “Of course… That comes with a price.” The witch gave a teasing smile, mischief in those ice blue eyes Flora’d come to love.
“And just what sort of price is that?” Flora gave a teasing smile. “Depending on what it is…” She trailed off.
Valkyrie leaned to whisper in her ear, and Flora couldn’t help but flush. “Lead the way.” Flora whispered back, giggling as the small witch helped her to her feet. They waved their hands to clean up their mess, and then into the castle they went.
Flora groaned as her phone’s alarm went off. “I don’t want to…” She pouted, moving carefully toward Valkyrie’s desk to grab her phone and turn it off. Valkyrie rose up, not even bothering to hold the covers to her like Flora did.
“Don’t tell me you have to go…” Valkyrie wrapped her arms around Flora, the fairy sighing at the skin on skin contact.
“The barrier at Alfea goes up at 8. I can’t be late getting back. Besides… Crystal could come in at any moment. And you know how much she loves teasing you.” Flora reminded the witch. Valkyrie snorted, nuzzling into Flora’s neck.
“I’ve walked in on her and Kota enough. She owes me.” Valkyrie argued, her breath on Flora’s skin making the fairy shiver just a bit.
“Valkyrie.” Flora warned. The witch sighed, moving away and crossing her arms over her chest.
“Fine. Fine. Let’s get dressed and I’ll walk you down.” Valkyrie moved to stand, grabbing her glasses from her desk and removing the sound proofing spell in the room. (Flora would be embarrassed for the need of the spell, but with as quiet as she was normally, Valkyrie had made it her personal mission to make the fairy as loud as possible.)
Flora chuckled, moving to find her clothes. She cast a quick spell, her clothes appearing on her from the floor. Valkyrie finished tying her shoes, stretching a bit. “I hate to see you go.” Valkyrie admitted.
“I know. I hate to leave. But we do what we to do.” Flora took the witch’s hand. “Walk me out?”
Flora couldn’t help but hum as she dressed for bed. Bloom was back (and planning a way to free Sky from his spell), Layla and Tecna were looking into loopholes about arranged marriages, and the magical dimension seemed right again.
Chatta gave a wink. “See? I told you a day out would do you some good.” Chatta bragged. Flora chuckled.
“I guess so. I’m just glad I was allowed to go… You know how strict everything’s been…”
“True that.” Chatta shook her head, pausing. “Flora… Is that a bite on your shoulder?” Flora flushed, quickly changing pajama tops to one that covered her shoulders.
“I told her not to…” The memory flashed through, the witch giving a little knowing smile as she took Flora apart. “Or maybe I didn’t…” Chatta laughed.
“Oh Flora… It happens. No shame in sexuality.” The pixie winked. Flora shook her head.
“Not the point, Chatta. Not the point.”