Pairing: Ara/Yoonjo (Hello Venus)
Genre(s): fantasy, romance, fluff
Word Count: 1,107
Summary: Ara shares a secret.
a/n: Inspired by A Great and Terrible Beauty which I haven't read in years.
For unniefic's Monthly 48 hour Challenge
Yoonjo is pink faced and giggling as they finally slow to a stop in front of a stone wall with a two and a half foot opening near their feet that she hasn't noticed yet.
“Why did you bring me out here?” she asks, eyes sparkling with trust and innocence- the moon coming through the trees and making her hair shine.
“Hush,” Ara admonishes, “Do you want someone to hear you?”
Yoonjo quickly shakes her head 'no.'
“We're going in there,” Ara points, lighting the candle she'd stuck in the pocket of her dressing gown before sneaking out of her room.
Yoonjo's eyes go wide when the flickering flame illuminates the opening in the craggy rock. She turns to Ara, mouth open as though ready to voice a protest.
“Trust me?” Ara pleads, cutting her off before she can even speak.
After a moment, Yoonjo nods and watches as Ara crouches and crawls into the cave- candle lighting the way- before she drops to her knees and follows.
The tunnel opens up into a four foot by four foot space, walls covered in some sort of writing that Yoonjo can't read- the flame making the characters on the stone look like they are shimmering and moving.
“Why are we here?” Yoonjo whispers after a moment when Ara doesn't say anything.
Ara takes a deep breath, steadying herself, before she opens her mouth.
“My mother...when she went to school here, she used to come out here.”
Yoonjo's eyes widen for the second time that night. Third, if you count when Ara pulled her from her bed and told her that they were sneaking out.
“How do you know,” Yoonjo asks quietly, knowing that Ara's mother is a sensitive topic.
“I can't explain it,” Ara shakes her head, images of her mother's smiling face invading her mind and tempting her to sink into grief, “I just...I dreamt of this cave and...it was here.”
Yoonjo looks puzzled- like maybe she's not sure if she should have followed Ara out her in the middle of the night after all- so Ara forges on.
“My mother...she was part of a secret Order,” she says before she can lose her nerve, “An ancient Order. She...the members...they used magic.”
Yoonjo's face is unreadable and Ara isn't sure whether or not the other girl believes her or not. Part of her wants to say 'just kidding!' and play it all off as a joke- going back inside and going to sleep like they're supposed to. But a bigger part of her wants to make Yoonjo believe her. She needs to make Yoonjo believe.
“I can...I inherited it from her,” Ara quickly adds, “I can focus my energy and transport to another realm- the realm of the Order.”
“You've...gone before?” Yoonjo asks carefully, as though she isn't sure whether or not she should believe her. Ara doesn't blame her.
She nods, “I've been practicing. I want...I want to see if I can take you with me.”
Yoonjo's silence is expected. Her ready agreement that breaks the silence, however, is not.
“Really?” Ara gasps, “You'll let me take you?”
Yoonjo nods, determined, “I trust you.”
Ara pushes down the warmth in her chest that blooms at those words. She needs to focus.
“Give me your hand,” she orders, setting the candle in the center of the cave and grasping Yoonjo's chilly hand in her own, “Ready?” she asks.
Yoonjo nods, solemn.
Ara nods in response and closes her eyes. She knows that Yoonjo follows suit. She can feel it.
Taking deep breaths, Ara centers herself- pulling her energy so she can feel it building in her chest. She pictures the green grass and the rustling leaves of the tall trees in the other realm. She imagines the warm breeze against her skin and the bright flowers. Finally, she focuses on the glass structure- so pure and sparking that it looks like ice. The temple of the Order.
The air around them shifts and Yoonjo's hand tightens in hers- she can feel it too.
Ara feels the cave fall away from them- air swirling around them as they hover midair in the abyss. She feels the magic surge though her limbs- warm- and then the feeling of soft grass is beneath her feet and the chilly air of the night is replaced by the perfect climate of the other realm- wind pushing her hair and making it flutter against her cheeks.
“You can open your eyes,” she murmurs, following her own instructions and taking in the luscious green grass and vibrant gardens she's come to be familiar with.
Yoonjo gasps next to her.
“It's beautiful,” she utters, drinking in the scenery surrounding them, “We're really here.”
“We are,” Ara affirms, even though it feels like a dream. It always does no matter how many times she visits.
But Yoonjo's hand is solid in hers and the grass tickling her ankles is real.
Yoonjo steps forward, almost seeming surprised that it doesn't all fade like an illusion when she moves, hand still grasping onto Ara's.
“Why did you bring me here?” she whispers, almost quietly enough that it's carried away on the wind.
“I wanted to see if I could bring someone with me,” Ara quickly responds.
Yoonjo shakes her head, turning to focus on Ara's face instead of their surroundings, “Why me?”
Ara can feel herself flushing under the other girl's gaze as though Yoonjo can see right through her. Like the realm of the Order makes it impossible to hide what she has carefully hidden since she met the other girl.
“I-” she starts, heart hammering in her chest.
But Yoonjo's lips against her's- soft and sweet- stop her from speaking.
Ara is afraid that it's the enchantment pulsing through the air that makes Yoonjo kiss her. That it's as fleeting as the magic that she can feel in her veins but can't quite control.
But when they run through the chilly night air and sneak back into the housing wing of the school, Yoonjo's lips are on hers again as they stand outside the door to Yoonjo's bedroom.
They shouldn't be kissing here where anyone could see, but Ara's head is light as their lips move and Yoonjo's cold fingers press into the back of her neck.
Sliding between the sheets of her bed and trying to catch her breath, Ara knows that it wasn't the enchantment. It wasn't the magic of the Order or the influence of the other realm. It was just Yoonjo with her big eyes and pointed chin and sweet lips. And that's more magical than anything that the Order could do.