Trying to get a jump on the Simoun Christmas Challenge. For more information, please visit the Simoun LJ community simoun_sibyllae, or visit the forums to find out more. Shoot, just contact me if all else fails. This fic is done for Day 7: Walking on a blustery day.

Aaeru blew into her cupped hands, trying to bring back some of the warmth that her gloves weren't quite providing. Around her, snow was falling gently; the land was covered in the white stuff that she would had only discovered in the mountain regions of Simulacrum. In this particular world, there was an entire season of winter and snow. They had ended up here after the most recent Emerald Ri Majon. Unfortunately, they had arrived in the middle of a snow storm. The flurry of snow had kept them from performing an Emerald properly because it would constantly interfere with the light trails.

A kind villager had taken sympathy on the pair when they had trudged down the snow covered path and welcomed them into her cabin. She was an older woman, just past middle age. She had given the girls each a warm bowl of soup before giving them a room to stay in. The original plan had been to stay only until the storm passed, but they had put it off. As of late, each of them had wanted to linger longer in the worlds instead of hopping from one to the next. There was plenty to learn and take in, and a chance to take some time away from being in the Simoun.

Clothing wasn't hard to come by, as they had taken to storing a winter set in the emergency compartment. Their host provided warm clothes for them for day to day wear and she and Neviril would often spend a few hours each day discussing history and culture relevant to the world. Aaeru would complete chores and tasks as a way to return the favor of room and board. She preferred to be busy, rather than study all the time. Neviril would often catch her up when they had time alone together.

Today they had a moment of free time, and were happy to take it. It had snowed again, and they had been inside the past few days. Aaeru had been itching to see something other than the walls of the cabin, but now that she was outside, she wasn't so sure. Still, a walk with Neviril would be nice. She could check on their Simoun as well. She only hoped that the cold and snow wouldn't do anything to it should they want to leave in a few days' time.

Behind her, she heard the door of the cabin close and then the crunch of boots in the fresh snow. "Sorry that took so long. Are you ready?"

"Yeah. I want to check on the Simoun first though. I hope the snow doesn't mess it up."

Neviril chuckled. "It'll be fine, Aaeru. I'm sure Tempus Spatium knows what he's doing. We're here for a reason."

"If you say so, but if ice makes the helical motors have trouble, I hope you can get Tempus Spatium to fix it."

Taking her hand, Neviril pulled Aaeru forward. "Come. Let's just enjoy the walk."

The Simoun wasn't stored too far from the cabin. It had been nestled beneath a grove of trees, set well back from the main dirt road traversed by the villagers. Aaeru checked it over carefully, studying both the cockpits and the helical motors. "It shouldn't be too bad off. No ice has formed yet, though the windows are frosted over. It may take some time to get them cleared."

"Can you guide us out of this grove if we can't."

"If I leave the hatch up, I can. Can you complete the Emerald without seeing?"

"I know it by heart."

"Then as long as the helical motors don't become covered in ice, we'll be able to leave and try to move to a warmer climate that would help rid us of the rest of the frost and ice." Aaeru stood and smiled.

Neviril returned her smile, and took her by the hand once more. She leaned closer to her pair as the two returned to the main road and walked on. For awhile, the only sound that was heard was the sound of their boots in the snow. Wind whistled gently through bare branches, but no animals could be heard anywhere. There weren't any signs of human life either. "It's so quiet out here," breathed Aaeru.

"Like we're the only ones in the world?" added Neviril.

"Yes, exactly…" Aaeru walked closer to Neviril, who smiled at her pair and love.

The two walked as close as they could get, not sharing any sounds, but sharing the warmth between their bodies. Aaeru forgot the cold for the time being because she felt happy inside, even if she couldn't explain quite why she did. She felt closer to the sky and closer to Neviril.

Eventually, though, the silence was bound to be broken. Aaeru looked up at Neviril and stifled a giggle. Neviril was surprised and looked down. "What's so funny?"

"Your nose is all red. It looks really silly with your hair." Neviril flushed, and this caused Aaeru to giggle more.

"You have a red nose as well, Aaeru," pointed out Neviril.

"I do?"

"We've been out in the cold awhile. Perhaps it's time we head back to the cabin and warm up. I'm sure our host will have something hot ready. We could even make something ourselves. I'm sure she wouldn't mind."

"Now that you mention it, I am kind of hungry. Soup with some bread would be really good to have."

"I'll see if we can make any soup," agreed Neviril.

The pair turned around and headed in the opposite direction, back toward the cabin. It seemed that all would be a quiet walk, just as it had on the way, but then Aaeru picked up some of the snow as they walked. She fooled with it, shaping it in her gloved hands. She took a few steps back and took aim.

"Hey Neviril!" She let the snowball fly.

"Hm—" Neviril pulled her hands up too late as snow hit the side of her head. "Aaeru! What was that?"

Aaeru grinned. "A snowball."

"Why did you throw it at me?"

"It seemed like it'd be fun. Try it. Just take some snow and shape it in your hands until you have a ball."

Neviril picked up some snow and, following Aaeru's directions, created her own snowball. She let it fly at Aaeru. The snowball smashed against the front of Aaeru's coat. Neviril smiled at her accomplishment, but it didn't last long because Aaeru had a snowball to throw in return. It smashed against Neviril's backside.

"Got you!" grinned Aaeru.

"I'll get you again!" returned Neviril, lobbing another snowball. She missed Aaeru by a few inches.

"Nope!" Aaeru threw yet another snowball that smacked Neviril's backside. "I got you instead."

By the time they returned to the cabin, they were both cold and wet, but each had a smile plastered on their faces. It was more than time to get out of the wet winter gear and find something to warm up with. Aaeru opened the door, and both girls saw that their host had read their minds. Steaming bowls of soup were set upon the table, and a basket of bread was set in the middle. It had been a day and adventure that neither girl would be able to forget.