Silence is Golden
Snow gently drifted down from the sky as the sun began its decline below the horizon, looking painting the sky with flecks of white, slowly changing to black. A white foot crunched upon the newly fallen snow, stopping in the frozen fluff as it built up around it. The form belonging to that foot shivered slightly in the cold, wrapping his black jacket tighter around. He raised one hand to readjust his glasses and then sighed. The failing light was not good for black sunglasses, but he had become used to it over these years, and his companion might have enjoyed the look. Still, it was getting cold, and he turned to the other behind him.
"Sue, this weather is beginning to decline to a point where our current garments, or lack thereof, are inadequate for protection." McCain said, looking Sue in the eyes.
Sue placed her hands on her hips and sighed at McCain's bluntness. "Look, look, I know it's getting cold but I want to deliver this gift to Amaya before she has to go to the theatre tonight." She looked up at the sky before continuing. "And it's Christmas eve to boot, I wish I had finished this sooner but… well it had to be perfect. It's not too much trouble for you to come along right?"
McCain wanted to tell her that his presence was rather unnecessary, but he couldn't force the words out to Sue. For some reason he felt it was more logical not to say that as they trudged along to Amaya's house. He could only nod his head quietly, setting sue to move with a brisk purpose and a smile. It was not a long walk to Amaya's house, but the amount of snow coming down had picked up, hampering their pace.
They arrived soon enough, both cold, tired, and shivering enough to rattle their bones. Sue knocked heavily on the door, her teeth chattering in rhythm with the knocks. Both Sue and McCain stood back, rubbing their arms for warmth as they waited for what seemed an eternity in the cold reaches outside the house. Finally, the door opened a crack in front of them, and an orange face could be seen, peering sheepishly out. Realizing who was there, Amaya jumped and quickly opened the door to admit her guests, who quickly ran inside and sighed in relief as the warmth of the domicile fought the cold in their bones. A fire crackled in the hearth, radiant in its warming power, drawing the two like moths.
Amaya watched silently as the two got warm, looking inquisitive during the endeavor. Sue shook some snow out of her hair and then started, turning to Amaya. She laughed slightly and then quickly composed herself into her most theatrical bearing.
"Amaya, as my best friend I would personally like to deliver this Christmas present to you."
Sue bowed and handed the package to Amaya, covered in a delicate wrapping paper of red embossed with tiny little Santas carrying sacks of toys. Amaya looked at the package in wonderment before slowly reaching over and gently taking it from Sue's hands. She turned it in her hands, feeling the weight of it before moving to unwrap it.
"Ah, ah, ah! You have to open the card first!" Sue said as she quickly put her hand on Amaya's, using the other to wave her finger. "McCain, can you get the card out?"
McCain looked at Sue with a dull expression for a few moments. Sue looked back into his sunglasses before gasping. "You FORGOT THE CARD?"
McCain's expression didn't change as he opened his mouth to reply. However, before he could utter a word, Sue raised her hand and put the other on her forehead. "Just… just shut up McCain. Ugh, I can't believe… look I'm going to run back and get the card. Amaya, is it okay if McCain waits here while I grab it?"
Amaya nodded her head as Sue ran out, the door slamming before McCain could inform her of the foolishness of that idea, leaving the white dog and the orange tabby alone in the quiet house. McCain sighed and looked over at the house's occupant who was quietly looking out the window as Sue ran down the snowy streets. Once Sue's form faded from sight in the white haze, Amaya slowly turned back to McCain, concern in her eyes.
"The weather outside is beginning to take on the appearance of that of a blizzard, which is not good for the health of any individual caught du…." Amaya's eyes had grown wide during McCain's speech and he quickly changed his words. "But Sue is resourceful and I'm certain that she will encounter no difficulties during her journey to retrieve the remaining part of your gift."
Amaya seemed to be abit more comforted by this and her expression changed slightly. The two stood there awkwardly for a few minutes, Amaya shuffling her feet while McCain looked aside. This was broken when Amaya raised her finger in the air, the look of an idea forming on her face. She pointed at McCain to sit on a nearby couch while she ran into another room, out of his sight. He looked at the couch, a simple off-green affair with a few cushions and sat down, his little white body sinking into its comfort. He closed his eyes and leaned back, with only the sounds of the fireplace crackling in the silence. It was oddly… comforting. The scene was broken however, when he heard gentle footsteps delicately walk behind him. He looked up to see Amaya standing there with a mug above his head, smiling. He gratefully took the mug from her, his hands warming instantly by the heat permeating from its confines. McCain peered into the mug to find that it contained hot chocolate, freshly prepared, with a generous helping of white marshmallows, floating in the brown liquid.
Amaya walked around the couch and sat down next to McCain, holding a mug in her own hands. The two sat there, drinking the cocoa in silence for thirty minutes, the two not saying anything to each other as their mugs were drained of their contents. Outside the weather continued to degrade, the snow flying up in a furious tempest that assaulted the windows of the house, however
McCain glanced at his watch and noticed the lapse in time that had occurred, and looked to Amaya. Her face once again had a look of deep concern, holding her mug up to her face. McCain was at a loss of what to do now. This was rapidly moving out of his comfort zone as Amaya looked more and more distressed by her friend's absence. McCain fidgeted for a second and hesitated before gently raising his arm.
Amaya leaned into McCain, stopping his movement as his cheeks flushed. He looked into her eyes, which had begun to develop tears. McCain's heart fluttered for just a second as he quickly averted his gaze from the Tabby, who still held per position leaned against him.
"This act is rather uncomfor…" McCain was stopped by Amaya putting a finger to his lips and shaking her head as if to say, "Shut up." McCain then quieted and sunk back into the couch. It was at this time that McCain's mind, normally full of ideas of what to logically say, was blank. All the chatter that normally flared in his head was now gone, relegated to one thing: silence.
It was oddly comforting really, to hear nothing, to bathe in the silence of his own mind. Looking back at Amaya, he realized how little she ever said around him. Perhaps she had realized what he had yet to, that sometimes it was better to just… shut up and listen to what the world and others had to offer. He looked back at Amaya and hesitantly moved his hand again, this time, completing the action with a comforting arm around her. She smiled at the action, closing her eyes as she snuggled in closer. The two sat together, in this beautiful silence, lost from the storm that raged without and the fire that burned within.
The door burst open, sending a shock of sound throughout the room, causing the two on the couch to jump and separate. A flurry of snow blasted the entrance and a white figure fell into the house, only barely closing the door behind it. McCain and Amaya rushed to the figure and brought it over to the fire. After a few minutes of shivering and melting, the figure of Sue appeared, drenched by the melted snow, her teeth chattering, but clutching a card to her breast.
"Fffffianlly ggg..ggot the ccard." Sue stammered as she handed the card to Amaya who took it with an amused expression before gently opening it. She held her sides for a second as she shook, chuckling inwardly at its contents. McCain was still drying Sue off, uttering the symptoms of hypothermia and how to combat it while Sue shivered by the fire. Amaya gave Sue a cup of cocoa as well and they sat by the fire together as Sue once again warmed herself, chatting between the two, bringing smiles to Amaya's face and quirks of speech to McCain's. Amaya opened her gift and hugged Sue when she found it contained one of her favorite movies and a signed copy of a book by a director she admired.
It wasn't long before Amaya had to go to work at the cinema and the others had to leave. Sue sighed in disappointment and aggravation as she opened the door outside, wary of another trip to through the blizzard. What she saw however, was a gentle drift, falling like feathers to the ground.
"Oh come on, really? I run through a BLIZZARD to get here and NOW it lets up? That's just plain mean! Ugh… Let's go McCain!" Sue huffed as he grabbed McCain's arm, dragging him through the door. McCain let Sue pull him backwards, going limp as he normally did to her forceful actions, but he looked at Amaya as they departed.
"Thank you Amaya for the..." Amaya slowly raised a finger to her own lips, closing one eye in a wink in order to silence McCain. He understood and gave her a nod of acknowledgement as Sue dragged him into the cold winter's night. As McCain was dragged away he looked backwards and mentally drowned out Sue's grumbles about the weather while he noticed Amaya's quiet demeanor, standing in her doorway and quickly fading from sight as the snow gently covered her from view in this, silent night.