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[spoiler]Gifts is a commission story for ShadowheartMC based off of her own wonderful story, Romance, and inspired by my Crimson Days story, Other Other Half. In this story Shadow and Variks deepen their relationship as they attempt to share the traditions of Crimson Days. This was a pleasure to write and I hope you all enjoy it :)
And yes, I am aware that I’m posting this at the wrong time of the year.[/spoiler]
The Tower is covered in red. Banners and flags hang in the air, emblazoned with the symbol of the City holiday, Crimson Days. Trails and heaps of scarlet flower petals blanket every part of the courtyard. This week civilians and Guardians alike celebrate togetherness, passion, partnership, friendship and love.
Who would’ve thought a person could slip on flower petals?
My back hits the ground in a teeth-clattering impact, knocking the wind out of me. A Guardian, one of Humanity’s unrivaled immortal warriors, vanquished by a pile of dead plants.
I lay still for a moment, stunned, and pray to the Traveler no one was watching. My face burns so intensely that I’m sure my Awoken skin is glowing redder than the decorations around me.
“Are you okay, Shadow?” My Ghost asks, hovering over my head and holding back mechanical laughter.
“Ow,” I grunt in response, “…No one saw that, right?”
My Ghost looks around, “Um…uh, sure. No one saw.”
I’m not convinced but I figure I’m better off not knowing how many people saw, so I stay on my back and stare up into the sky.
“You planning on lying there all day?” My Ghost inquires.
“Maybe. I could make a flower angel or something.”
His shell ticks around like a second hand spinning in a clock, “A flower what?”
“Like a,” I try to explain, “Like a snow angel, but with flowers.”
“It sounds even dumber when you explain it, you know,” my Ghost remarks dryly.
“I know,” I groan, rolling over and pushing myself to my feet, “You could at least try to be nice. It’s Crimson Days after all.”
The Ghost rolls his eye with exaggerated annoyance, “Fine. But don’t expect any chocolates or kisses from me.”
I frown. He hit right on the mark. I don’t have anyone to celebrate Crimson Days with. Flower petals scatter as I give my Hunter’s cloak a shake. The pressure to not be alone for Crimson Days has been setting in the last few days, but everyone I know is taken or off doing their own things. Not that I know many people…
I take a slow turn, orienting myself towards the Vanguard Hall. Cayde-6 is the best friend I’ve got. He’s probably dying to get out for the holidays, but no doubt the Vanguard won’t give him the chance. Plus I’ve got the feeling he’d be more interested in gambling and drinking and more gambling than actually celebrating Crimson Days. And I wouldn’t want him getting the wrong idea.
So who else is there to-
Variks pops into my head unbidden. I shake my head, quickly dismissing the thought. Variks is an Eliksni. He lives among the Awoken. He certainly doesn’t celebrate Crimson Days. And it definitely wouldn’t reflect well on me to be caught celebrating a romantic holiday with a member of the species that’s been terrorizing Humanity for centuries.
I chew at the corner of my lip and turn my back on the Vanguard Hall. Variks was a great ally in the fight against Skolas, a good partner. He called me his friend, and I know he doesn’t have many friends -just like I don’t. As far as I know I’m probably the only person who was really kind to him. And after all Variks has done he deserves some reward or kindness. Maybe I could do something for him, to show him I‘m thankful for his friendship. But what could I do?
“Hey, Ghost,” I say, an idea forming.
“Hm?” He responds, pulling his gaze from a nearby pigeon shaking a flower petal around violently with its beak, “Done staring off dramatically into the distance, are we?”
I ignore the quip, making up my mind, “We’re going to the Reef.”