3. On Thin Ice

Dinner Date

The Faerie of Flowers leaves her marvelous room in the house the Pixie Hollow Faeries had built for them and heads for the main room where most of the other Winx are sitting and doing various things. As she passes Stella’s room she could hear the blond princess snoring softly.

“Well, I’m off,” says Flora, heading for the door.

“We already know that; tell us something new,” smirks Musa. She has a flat piece of wood on her lap and is writing music on a leaf. On the floor was a stack of leaves she had finished.

Flora rolls her eyes at her friend’s ribbing but otherwise ignored her.

“Where to?” asks Tecna, not looking up from her drawing pad.

“Silvermist invited me to dinner tonight and told me to bring my bathing suit,” answers Flora, gesturing at a woven basket she has with her. “I’m also taking that bread I made from Linphean wheat and something else I think she’ll like.”

“Sounds like fun. Have a good time,” comments Bloom. She barely glanced up from the book on local flowers she had on loan from the Pixie Hollow Library. Her mom on Earth would be fascinated.

“You know she has a crush on you,” says Aisha, standing up and coming over to Flora.

“Yeah, I know,” nods Flora, blushing. “I kind-a have one on her too, but I don’t know what to do about it.”

“You’re thinking of Helia, I suppose?” asks Tecna, not stopping her pen’s movements. Her multitasking ability is impressive.

“He’s a realm away and we’re on vacation. Don’t worry about it,” advises Aisha with a smile. “What happens in Pixie Hollow stays in Pixie Hollow.”

“Yeah, go with the flow, I say!” Musa adds. “And that should be easy since she’s a Water Faerie!”

“My advice is to wait and see what she has in mind first. Then decide what to do,” offers Bloom.

“That is just what I was thinking. Thanks, Bloom.” Flora opens the door and steps outside. But just before she closes it she looks in and tells the others, “Don’t wait up!”

Unfurling her wings as she moves away from the house, Flora hears a chorus of “Ooohh!” from inside and smiles.

“You know what I think?” she hears Musa say, and pauses, curious.

“What’s that?” asks Tecna.

“I think Stella’s going to have a fit when she finds out Flora’s bread is gone.”

Moving away from the door, Flora’s smile never wavers. She knew all along her friends wouldn’t judge her. Lifting easily into the warm evening’s twilight, Flora sets a course for Silvermist’s modest home by a small stream.

As she flies she looks around to see what might be seen. In the distance she sees Light Faeries as they catch the last rays of the sun and use them to light up fireflies.

A yellow light springs from the Pixie Dust Tree softly illuminating nearby areas. She could see a lot of activity in a meadow by the river. It was nearing time to change seasons on the mainland, and last minute activity was going on late.

Almost all the damage from the Dragonfly War was repaired and she flies over homes that are lit with the same yellow light as the Tree.

To the east over Fall Forest a silvery-gray glow heralded the rising of a full moon. Its light would soon cover most of the stars, but for now, she could see many glowing brightly – points of light in a rapidly-darkening canopy overhead.

Everything is in harmony with Nature and, to Flora, it feels comfortable and familiar and very much like home. She had really missed Pixie Hollow.

At her destination she furls her wings and knocks. She hears a bit of noise as something is bumped into and a faint gasp and scraping as it is put back into place. Then the door springs open, revealing the black-haired Water Faerie.

She is giving a shy smile and her face is a bit red. “Duchess Flora! Come in!” she gestures gracefully, and Flora does so. She notes her hostess’ shoes are by the door, so she slips hers off and places them next to the other pair.

“Thank you for inviting me to dinner,” says Flora. She quietly takes a whiff of the delicious aroma coming from the pot over the cooking-fire.

“Thank you for accepting!” answers Sil. “Would you like some hot tea? Tink invented this machine that makes it quickly.”

“Oh, please! That would hit the spot!”

As Sil turns to the machine, Flora takes her present out of the basket. “And speaking of tea, I have something for you.”

“Really? What is it?” asks the surprised Water Faerie, turning to her.

Flora places a cloth bundle in Sil’s hand. “This is tea from my realm. It’s called “cold green” because when brewed it has a strong and refreshing mint flavor and turns bright green. It’s great hot for breakfast and iced for lunch.”

“Oh, thank you! I will try some tomorrow!” Sil takes the bundle and places it on a shelf.

As the Water Faerie makes the tea, Flora continues. “And, as promised, I also brought the bread I made from my realm’s wheat.” She holds out the basket.

“Perfect!” says Sil, taking it with one hand while giving Flora a cup with the other. She puts the bread on a wooden oval plate on the dinner table. A dipping dish filled with olive oil is beside it. “Dinner will be ready in a few minutes. Let’s drink our tea and talk.”

Sitting at the table, Flora notes the dishes and utensils are made of wood. Metal is still a rare commodity here.

“It is so good to see you again, Flora!” says Sil, taking a sip.

“You too!” is the answer, and Flora gives her a smile. “I have really missed this place and everybody I’ve met.” Raising the cup to her mouth, the Flower Faerie inhales deeply and enjoys the chamomile’s scent. Then she takes a drink. “Ah, just right!”

“All of you have been missed, especially Quee…, Princess Aisha. There are some who wish she was still our queen.” Silvermist glances toward the pot as it makes a bubbling sound. She points at it and made a few circles with her hand, stirring the food with her talent.

“Really? I don’t think Aisha would like that. She would be first in line to support Queen Clarion.” This bit of news worries Flora, and she makes a mental note to tell the other Winx.

Sil shrugs. “It’s just talk. She made a huge impression on everybody. All of you did.”

“We were just happy to help, and be in the right place at the right time,” says Flora, the uncertainty clear in her voice.

“And Pixie Hollow is better off for your visit. Don’t worry. Now let me check dinner.”

A moment later Silvermist puts a large wooden bowl of vegetable stew in front of Flora, and one at her own place setting.

“I hope you enjoy it!” says Silvermist with a shy smile.

Flora did enjoy the meal very much. Her own homemade bread was the perfect complement, and for dessert they share an early strawberry in chilled, carob milk pudding. Flora smiles and feels a warm glow within her realizing to what lengths Silvermist went to satisfy her particular food cravings – even to remembering her intolerance to Pixie Hollow mouse milk and butter. Both Faeries soon find themselves full.

They talk for some time, Silvermist having Flora in stitches with stories of Tinker Bell trying to change her talent and how Rosetta acted during the last Pixie Hollow Games.

When Flora tells her of Alfea College and the city of Magix, the Water Faerie is soon lost. But she listens closely to descriptions of Linphea, Flora’s home life, her parents and sister Miele.

Finally Flora changes the subject. “So, why did you want me to bring my bathing suit?”

Silvermist stands up. “It’s time for my surprise,” she says with a smile and turning red again.

Soon they have left the house and flown up above the treetops. Flora is carrying the basket, which now contained a second bathing suit and some cotton towels.

The full moon has risen now, blotting out the stars and leaving everything in a silvery twilight.

“This way,” Silvermist points, and they fly side by side toward the mountains west of Pixie Hollow. Finally Sil pulls up and hovers, searching for something on the ground.

“There it is! Follow me!” She flies down and lands near a bowl-shaped pond. As Flora lights beside her, she notes the water is steamy, and glowing bits of colored crystal had been placed around it.

“What are those?” Flora asks, pointing at the crystals.

“Light crystals. The Light Talents make them. I put them here so I could find this hot spring in the dark,” is the answer.

Sil turns to the Flower Faerie. “I found this place several days ago. Nobody else knows about it. When Queen Clarion told us you would be coming for a vacation, I decided I wanted to bring you here before I told anyone else.”

Flora feels a shiver run down her spine. Is this what Silvermist had in mind? What is she going to do? And how will I respond?

“It’s my way of saying thank you for everything, especially for stopping me from, from having a breakdown when the dragonflies attacked. I don’t know what I was going to do, but I would probably have died if you hadn’t calmed me down.”

“Silvermist…,” says Flora, but the other turns away and takes her bathing suit from the basket.

“Please do me a favor,” the dark-haired Faerie says, her back still to the brown-haired Faerie, “You know I can’t fly with wet wings. So if something should happen, would you protect me?”

“Always,” Flora answers without a moment’s hesitation.

As Silvermist starts to remove her dress, Flora turns away, furling her wings. Then with a gesture her Enchantix clothes disappear. Without bothering with the suit, she wades out into the hot water. It is only waist deep, and there are rocks on the bottom she can sit on.

“Flora?” she hears behind her, and turns to find Sil standing holding her suit in front of her, eyes wide staring at her.

Flora smiles and shrugs. “What can I say? I’m a Nature Faerie!” She sits down on a rock, which lowered her so the water covered to her shoulders. It is a little hot, and it would take a bit to get used to it, but it feels wonderful. She leans back against the bank and sighs.

Silvermist looks at the bathing suit in her hand then tosses it aside. She slips into the water, hesitating a moment when her wings are about to touch it, then sits beside her friend.

After a few minutes of relaxing, listening to the sounds of Nature around them, Flora suddenly feels a current coming from her right. It grows stronger then changes directions, coming from the left.

“Are you doing that?” she asks, looking at the Water Faerie, who is sitting with her eyes closed.

“Uh-huh. Feels good, doesn’t it?” is the answer.

“Oh, yes,” she agrees. The Winx Faerie closes her eyes and lets the sensations wash over her. After a few moments she reaches over and finds the other’s hand.

“Silvermist, thank you,” she says, “This has been one of the most perfect evenings I can remember.” She gives the hand a squeeze, but doesn’t let go.

“Flora…?”

“I’m listening.” This is it, the Flower Faerie thinks, now I find out just what she has in mind.

“I- I really like you, and enjoy your company so much, and I miss you when you’re not around. I want to show you everything, and teach you, and learn from you, and be with you.” Silvermist says quietly. “Will you be my girlfriend?”

It strikes Flora that Silvermist’s question is asked in all innocence, and she understands why. Pixie Hollow Faeries weren’t born the regular way, so didn’t have those mating urges. Silvermist is asking for a closer friendship, that’s all.

Flora feels relieved. All it really means is that Sil would feel free to stay by her side, hold her hand or hug her when she wanted to. They would come to know each other much better. They have similar personalities anyway. She likes the Water Faerie a lot and wanted her company. It is an easy decision now.

“Yes, Silvermist, I will be your girlfriend,” Flora answers with a smile. “I am honored you would ask me.”

“Oh, thank you! You’ve made me so happy!” cries the other, and pulls Flora into a hug. And just as quickly lets go when she realizes they are both still naked.

“Sorry,” Sil apologizes, red as a beet.

Flora laughed. “Don’t worry about it. I am a Nature Faerie, after all!”

The dinner date ends back at Silvermist’s home, where they have some more hot tea and talk until the wee hours, finally falling asleep using each other as pillows.

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