There was a yawn from beneath the bushes, and the voice of a young, though tough girl's fatigue echoed into the night air. A yellow firefly could be seen floating out above the shrubbery, as if it had been the culprit behind the disturbance.
"Lyn!" came a second girl's voice, far less toughened and more genuinely sweet sounding. "Did you take another nap? You'll be up all night if you do that!"
"Oi," replied the first, another audible yawn escaping the bush. "I'm not a worker, Lily! I don't know how you manage to do this in that tiny body of yours."
"That's a secret~" came Lily's response in a giggle. "We're done anyways, so let's go inside, okay? The autumn season is coming and the nights are starting to come early again."
The bush shook, and from it rose a sleepy girl in a white t-shirt. Her hair was a peculiarly deep shade of purple, and her bangs came down just to her chin. Rubbing her eyes, she looked down to her friend with something of a pained smile. "Anything for you, Lily," she said, trying not to grin too widely. She knew she had been caught.
On the other side of the bush stood Lily, four inches shorter than the other girl who stood at five feet and seven inches total. Her hair was natural red, and was just barely longer than Lyn's, although moreso at the back than the front. She wore a purple long-sleeved shirt under a light black vest. A black skirt complemented the look, and she stared at the taller girl through purple eyes.
"You have to wash the dishes as punishment," Lily smiled, the look on her face that perfect mix of innocence and pure evil. "Then you're free to do as you please."
"... This is my house, Lily."
The two girls laughed, and together they walked back into the small wooden cabin that barely qualified as a house in the first place. As the door closed shut, the rest of the fireflies floated whimsically out from their hiding places, filling the yard and playing together under the moonlight.
"You know we can't stay here forever, girl."
Lily and Lyn were laying atop the cabin's roof, staring up at the sky. It was the following day, and clouds filled the blue above as far as the eye could see, blowing lazily across the sky at their own slow pace. The two girls' short vacation was going to end soon, and they always ended up staring at the clouds before it was time to go.
"I know," Lily sighed, a little wistfully. "I love home so much, but I could spend forever here with you." Her tone of voice was completely earnest, as she said something that easily would have made her blush if it had been said a year or two prior.
"That's because you're a total sweetheart," Lyn replied warmly, running a hand through the other girl's hair without taking her gaze off the sky above. "I'd keep you here with me if I could, but I've got just as many responsibilities at home as you do."
"No you don't," the younger girl chuckled, turning her head and grinning. "You hate work, Lyn. The only reason you do it is because you hope I'll come visit you."
"I'm not that needy!" Lyn retorted, her hair rubbing quickly becoming something more fierce and playful. "If I was, I'd come see you more often. Gosh."
"Excuses~" sang Lily, turning back to look at the clouds again. The two girls quieted down for a few moments, content to watch the cloudy wisps in the air drift by. Eventually, Lily extended her left arm upward, breaking the silence as she did. "That cloud looks like your shop," she pointed out, indicating one cloud that was directly overhead. "Kinda, right?"
"That looks like any shop, Lily," Lyn said, trying her hardest to break her friend's spirits. "I dare say it looks like every building in my part of town. That cloud beside it looks like the street and everything."
"Nya," Lily retorted, sticking her tongue out. Clearly it would take more than that to dampen this girl's demeanor. "What about that one? It looks like you, Lyn."
"... No, it really doesn't," the older girl deadpanned, this time having no idea what her friend saw. "You're crazy, girl."
"And that one looks like a horse!"
"Are we really doing this?" Lyn chuckled, following Lily's hand once more and seeing her intended target in the sky. "Oh, that is a horse," she said, catching sight of a cloud formation that looked startlingly like a young pony. "It's got the mane and tail and everything. And..."
There was a protrusion from the "head" of the horse cloud that looked like someone had stuck a carrot into it. Backwards.
"... And a horn, or a rod, or something," Lyn concluded. "Something is wrong with that poor horse."
"It's a unicorn!" the red-haired girl beamed, catching sight of the protrusion. "Princess Unicornia, and riding atop her is the prince of the land, come to sweep Princess Lily off her feet to take her home to the kingdom to marry her and play songs for her on his golden lyre."
"Hey, hey!" Lyn interjected, doing her best to sound hurt. "I don't like this story. When does Princess Lily get to spend personal time with Princess Lyn? She can't do that if she's married to the prince!"
"I guess Princess Lyn will just have to share," Lily said, as matter-of-factly as she could manage.
"Does sharing still include makeouts?" the older girl asked, still sounding like she was taking the issue completely seriously.
"Only when the prince is away," Lily smiled, that crossing look of innocence and evil on her face once more as she turned to face her friend again. "But not if Princess Lyn starts any wars in another country just to get him to leave the castle."
"Aww, darn," Lyn cursed smugly. "Well there goes that plan." Pulling her gaze away from the clouds, she caught the other girl looking at her. "What?" Lyn asked, her smile remaining. "Do I need to ride a shining white stallion to the castle to get you back?"
No response was given as the two girls laughed at their own childish humour. Lyn leaned over after a moment, giving Lily a quick kiss on the cheek and causing her to blush gently. It was nothing severely intimate, but it was more than enough to convey her feelings. "Stay cute, Lily," Lyn said, almost as if there was some fear of the redhead ever being less adorable. This was, of course, impossible.
"Just as long as you stay..."
At this, Lily realized she had nothing romantic or even mildly endearing to counter with. However, the chance to tease her best friend struck her once again, and she was never one to pass that up. "... I don't know. Lazy? Perpetually bored?"
"... Thanks, Lily."
"Love you too, Lyn."
Night had fallen once again, and on a rare decision, the two girls had gone to bed early on their last vacation night, tucked together neatly under the covers of the oversized bed that took up the small cabin's bedroom.
At least, that's how they'd started off. Lyn had since sprawled all four limbs out in random directions and wasn't even under the covers anymore, as she snored against the back wall, her upper body completely exposed. Lily was quite used to this behaviour, and had fallen asleep well before the mess had ever started. She hardly even knew Lyn moved about at all.
While the purple-haired girl was muttering something about funnel cakes, Lily found herself having a dream that brought her back to the clouds from earlier that day. She started at Lyn's summer shop, talking with her friend behind the counter and having a good time. But when she left the shop, it blew away and was replaced by another series of cloud shapes. Playing with whatever the clouds gave her, eventually one of them formed into a small, short pony, one which walked neatly out of another cloud house and toward Lily, who by then was floating aimlessly in the sky.
Oh, she thought, seeing the shape approach. It's the horse from earlier!
Standing on thin air, Lily smiled and extended her hand to the pony cloud, as if expecting to receive a handshake. "Hello, Princess Unicornia," she greeted it, to which she received no response. "Where is the prince today? Is he at the castle?"
The unicorn tilted its head at this question, in such a way where Lily knew without words that her question had confused the creature. The horn on its head glowed a pale, pastel green, and before long some sort of music started playing. Lily heard a string instrument of some sort slowly replace the sounds of the wind beneath the clouds, and looked to the pony in front of her expectantly.
"Is the prince coming?" she asked, associating the sound of what she thought was a lyre with the prince of the kingdom. "He sure is late!"
The cloud shook its head again, this time with an air of dejection around it. The glowing ceased, as did the music a few seconds later. The unicorn shape turned around, walking back into the clouds where it had come from.
"Wait!" protested Lily, floating forward and grabbing the cloud by the tail, or so she tried to. Her hand passed harmlessly through, and a moment later the shape disappeared entirely. Before Lily had a chance to pursue, the clouds around her suddenly started swirling, before dissipating altogether and leaving the girl in the empty blue sky.
Oh... she mumbled inwardly, instinctively feeling like whatever fantasy she had been a part of was about to end. Maybe next time...
As if she'd been in control all along, Lily's imagination formed a small bed with a red blanket beneath her, and she fell onto it, putting her hands beneath a soft red pillow and closing her eyes. She could play in the clouds later, and bring Princess Lyn next time. Now was time to get some rest.
Sometime later -- she was not sure when exactly -- Lily felt something hard collide front-first with her nose. Jolting her head back, she sleepily rubbed the now sore spot at the tip of her face, grumbling in a way most people would have found too adorable to perceive, and opened her left eye to search for whatever body part of Lyn's was responsible.
"Ow..." she mumbled, scanning the surface of the bed with her one eye and not finding anything of immediate interest. "You're lucky I like you so much..."
"Ehhnrrm," came the response, in a fairly familiarly rough groany voice.
Another hard something collided with her left knee, although this one was far less strong and didn't hurt at all. Wondering if Lyn was trying to do something dirty, Lily yawned, intending to open her eyes before having her thoughts interrupted entirely by something else.
"Uhhhh," said a voice that was decidedly, though just barely, not Lyn's voice.
The young girl's eyes shot open, and as her vision slowly came into focus, she realized that wherever she was laying was not the bed nor the bedroom she had fallen asleep in. This bed was dark red -- oddly familiar, at that -- and was not as broken in as the one at Lyn's cabin.
"What, what?" she exclaimed, expressing a mild state of panic in the process as she sat up. "Did we come home already? Or... am I still asleep?"
Catching her mental bearings, Lily realized that the voice she heard had come from not far off, and as she looked a few inches further down the bed, what she saw was both surprising and confusing to her. What looked like a mint green pony, though a seemingly small-sized one, was sitting up and making direct eye contact with her. Pale hair and a horn adorned her head, and from the look on this pony's face, she was not especially happy to see Lily.
"What the hay are you doing in my bed?!"