Keona stared dismally as her pawed feet began to sink fast into the snow. It didn’t matter how fast she moved or what she wore, her heat just permeated through the material and caused her to melt the ice around her almost too fast for her to even feel it. Disappointed, she just let herself sink further down instead of reaching out for a support.

“Is everything alright, captain?” Royan looked over from checking supplies. By this time, she had already sunk to her knees in mulch and looked up at him with a wobbling bottom lip. “Aww, the snow shoes aren’t working?” Fang commented. Jai sauntered over and chuckled at the sight of her looking like a sad, wet puppy before scooping her up into a cradle. He hummed happily at the warmth of her and cuddled her like a kitten. Walking back to the ship’s ramp, he dropped her off into Luc’s arms.

Luc in turn hummed and cuddled Keona at the touch of her warmth. She nuzzled her head into the crook of his neck, purring. “Don’t like the snow?” he asked. “Can’t feel enough of it to like or dislike it,” she pouted over his shoulder. Luc looked out to the little puddle she had melted into the terrain. Hmm. Traveling on foot here is going to be a little tricky. “Maybe I should just hang back this time,” she murmured. “Aww, bougie non,” he hugged her closer. “You’re not gonna be gone for long, the town’s just over that glacier,” she said, but hugged him a little tighter back. “We could risk the rover; the ice’s must be at least seven thick feet this time of year,” Leon chipped in. “Nah, you’ll move faster n’ risk less on foot,” Keona shrugged. It did make some sense, Luc thought. The area where they had landed was close to a series of rapids, and with this planet’s flash-freezing climate, surfaces were sure not to be smooth enough even for terrain vehicles. Sure, they could fly over for the dropoff, but the resonance from the ship’s engines might risk being a bit too strong for the locals and their delicate cavern houses.

“You’re okay with leaving me on my own for a bit, right?” Keona posed the question to the rest of the Halcyon‘s crew. Almost immediately an awkward silence passed between all of them. “Really?!” Keona jumped out of Luc’s arms, confounded. “It’s not that, captain, it’s just…,” Royan trailed off, attempts at consoling her obviously failing. At a loss for words, Keona slumped back towards the outside and dropped herself into the snow.

The ice nipped at her for the faintest of moments before turning into water. Infuriating her even more, her body heat rose and she sank faster into the ground. It was an endless, irate situation, and she began to feel actually angry. She sat up, drenching wet, and sulked. Steam rose from the little pond around her. Luc scratched the back of his neck, contrite and started towards her, but Jai had bigger steps. Again picking her out of a puddle, he gently shook the water off her and held her out in front of him like a child. She pouted again and whimpered. He stared at her, full in thought, before speaking.

“You want to come?” his deep, accented voice sounded. “I’m dangerous to them. Even if I’m just standing still,” she moped. Jai thought for a little while longer. His black eyes with their ember pupils brightened when an idea came to him. He gazed at Keona, beaming, and lifted her onto his shoulders. With her tail draping off one shoulder and her hair down the other, he looked like he was wearing a pretty autumn coloured fur scarf. He turned to the rest of the crew, a proud grin shining all over his face.

“Why, Jai, That’s brilliant!” Royan praised. “Really though, why can’t you leave me behind?” Keona pondered after trading affectionate nuzzles with Jai. A flurry of responses came.

“We need heat,” Leon commented.

“I’d feel better with you around the negotiations,” Royan answered.

“I would love to see this place with you,” MARS chirped.

“Luc will be all droopy without you around~” Fang and Talon crept up to Luc and mocked nuzzling against each other.

Looking away, Luc puffed on his cigarette and gave his answer which earned a collective “DAWWW” from Talon, Fang and MARS. “Just don’t want to,” his voice came softly.

That was that. After doing a check on the supplies and cargo one last time, the crew set off from the little landing patch towards the crystal ice town surrounded by the wide glacier rivers. Commissioned by a trader, the Halcyon crew had been tasked to deliver a round of winter supplies to this little isolated town on the planet of Dej Khov as a favor repaid. Keona obviously had her hitches, with her being a fire creature visiting a cold-based area, but her family was determined not to let that be a hindrance for her in experiencing the universe in its entirety.

Luc also had another thing in mind; to show Keona the famous natural aurora that ebbed all over Dej Khov’s night sky, said to rival even the glows of the An-Nahr Nebula. What better way to commemorate their eighth year together than relaxing under the most beautiful sky in this galaxy? Sure, her little uncontrollable heat emission was a bit of a worry, but nothing too bad to fuss over about. Packing a heat-resistant tarpaulin to use as a picnic blanket, he almost couldn’t keep the delight out of his normally stoic face.


Writer’s note: Merry Christmas readers! ❤ ❤ ❤ Here’s to a great seven months of continuous weekend writing! Well, almost continuous :p But, to have been so consistent in this craft had made me really proud of myself indeed. Thank you for reading and liking and I’m really sorry about the disaster of the comment section of this blog. Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! :* :* :3