Hubert awoke in a sweat. He checked his window, it was still dark. Still night time. In a few measly hours Hubert would be in the icy land of Fendel. He was never one to get sea sick, but this trip seemed to be an exception; he stumbled into the bathroom and reintroduced himself to dinner. Then he heard a knock on the door, a soldier, checking in on him. Hubert called back something sounding somewhat authoritative and the soldier disappeared.
Crawling back into his bed, Hubert started to wonder about his assignment. The mere thought of it brought upon a landslide of other thoughts; all intrinsically linked together. They coursed through his mind like a tidal wave. Pascal's hug. Her blushing matching the color of her hair. The warmth of her frame pressing against him. Her leaving for Fendel. The letter. What exactly she was researching. All this rushing in through his sick state of mind.
It was mid morning when the ship docked at port. Hubert collected himself and disembarked. He was feeling much better. As he exited the ship a gust of wind stole all of his body heat. The falling snow nestled itself in his hair. He internalized all fear; all the fear of uncertainty that awaited him at the capital. Then Hubert heard a shout on his left side.
A multi-colored blur was barreling toward him. All the military training in the world couldn't have prepared him for this. Then Pascal flew into him. They both slammed into a mountainous snow bank. She was incredibly warm.
"P-Pascal!" His voice cracked. "W-what are you doing here?" His voice cracked again.
Pascal carefully pondered this. "Do you mean on top of you? Or in this city? Or do you mean it in a purely philosophical sense! Because Hu-"
Hubert stood up. People were staring, much to his discomfort. "The second one, Pascal, the second one," he said. They started towards the carriage.
"Well silly I wanted you my research! Like the letter said," she stated simply.
"Which is in the capital," Hubert responded.
Pascal pouted a little. "No no, Hu. I told you! It's up there!" She pointed toward the snow covered mountain. Hubert was a little confused. In all honesty, he read maybe the first three lines before realizing it was an invitation. As soon as he did he leapt up and secured the first transport he could find. Very un-Hubert of him.
Pascal slid her gloved hand into his and pulls him that way. Hubert put on a face of discontentment but inside, inside he was happy. He was scaling a mountain trail and Pascal was leading the way. Her blue scarf was blowing in the cool cool wind. She was wearing her normal outfit; the cold didn't seem to be affecting her at all. Her excess energy must have been keeping her warm. When they reached the top of the hill, Hubert was a little out of breath, but Pascal seemed to be fine. Pascal had brought him to a clearing. A log cabin laid nestled in the arms of the mountain. The clearing over looked a frozen lake. In the cool morning light the sun reflected on the ice.
Pascal walked into the house and Hubert followed suit. Inside it was an oven; the sort of heat that compresses you. Hubert looked around for the source. There were no ovens, no fireplace, just a pile of little red cubes in the corner. Pascal pulled out one from her pocket. Hubert was about to ask when Pascal saw the questioning look in his eyes.
"So this little doohickey is a teeny tiny heater; it's what has been keeping me all warm and toasty!"
Hubert looked in amazement; if this could be mass produced they could do wonders for the people of Fendel! "Pascal! That is great! How'd you manage this?"
As soon as the words slipped his lips he knew what he was in for. Pascal's face flared up at the mere chance for a possible explanation. "Well I whirled the whoziwhatsit inside the watchamacallit and made it go glop."
Hubert smiled and nodded as if he understood. She was messing around with the little cubes in the corner. She turned most of them off resulting in a comfortable living environment. She looked over at Hubert and her face turned into a devilish smile. She tossed him a cube and dragged him outside. Outside it was no different from being inside. The temperature felt exactly the same to Hubert.
"Where are we going, Pascal?" Hubert asked.
"Well Hu, I gotta try something out. And I need your help," she said as she poked his nose.
"Very well," he said.
They climbed down the snowy hillside, making their way to the frozen lake. They both stood in awe for a minute in front of the vast crystalline expanse. Then Pascal stepped onto the surface of the lake. Hubert pulled her back, his hand gripped tightly around hers.
"Pascal! This could be dangerous."
"Chill out Hu! The lake did. Let me try something out super fast."
She stepped on to the frozen lake, and took out her shotstaff. "You might not want to stand directly behind me."
Hubert moved out of the way and wondered what she would do next. She then proceeded to fire her shot staff, propelling herself at amazing speeds across the ice. Her redwhite hair flowing behind her in the wind, she became that familiar multi-colored blur. She used the shot staff to change directions. She was everywhere at once. Hubert had a hard time keeping his eyes on her. Then she pointed the shot staff downward and produced a small burst. She came up in a pirouette and she looked fantastic. After landing softly on the ice, she made her way back to Hubert. She was all smiles.
"That was amazing Pascal!" Hubert exclaimed.
"Thanks Hu." Pascal's face was red but not from the cold. "Now for your turn!"
"No. No. Pascal! No!" He said as she dragged him onto the ice.
"Hold on tight!" Her voice was rising with every word.
Hubert clasped his arms around Pascal's waist. And then they were off like a rocket.
Back at the cabin they were both exhausted. They were out there on the lake all day ice skating together. And now they were feasting on banana pie of course. Pascal finished her pie and climbed over to the stack of cubes and turned off the majority of them. Her movements were a little sluggish. The temperature dropped. She came over to Hubert, who was sitting on the couch, and curled up to him.
"Hubie, do you mind?" Pascal asked.
"Of course not." He replied softly and quietly, not wanting to disturb the calm night air that floated between them, in fear of breaking the moment and reality coming crashing down upon him. Pascal looked into his eyes, and he stared back into her light chestnuts, and something clicked. And he knew. And she knew.
Without a word, Pascal pressed her lips against his. They were wet and a tad bit cold. They paused for a split second and Hubert saw fire burning in her eyes. He ventured forward and kissed her again and again. Each kiss was like an explosive chemical reaction, exothermic and powerful. Soon they didn't stop – it was just one continuous motion.
And then there was a hint of tongue, it seemed like the next natural step. Pascal draped her arms around Hubert and pulled him in closer. Their tongues danced in and out of each other's mouths. Like two entangled lovers, they danced to the rhythm of their beating hearts. It no longer felt like they were separate people, it felt as if they were just one organism. Time seemed to stop. Nothing else was around them; it was just Pascal and Hubert, floating in the darkness together.
They stopped and looked at each other and smiled. Hubert was glad. He was petrified twenty-four hours ago. Now he was the happiest he had ever been. He held Pascal's chin up with his fingers and looked her into her bright twin pools of amber.
"Pascal," he said. "I love you."
Pascal's smile spread over her face, her cheek bones rose up and her eyes lit up. It was instantaneous. And there was no hesitation in her voice. "I love you too Hubie."
They intertwined their fingers and fell asleep together.