"Wait up!" cried Lucerne through his groans. His legs felt as if they weighed more than the world he walked upon and every step drained him. Sweat slivered down his cheek and neck, soaking into his clothing and only making it heavier.
"What? A boy can't keep up with a little girl like myself?" jested Verana as she turned back to grin at him. Her skirt fluttered and whipped as she spun to face him. She gave a helpless shrug, "what a world. What a world."
Lucerne frowned. "Sorry for being human." snapped the tired boy. Sweat trickled down into his eyes, and felt as if they were devouring them. "Ow!" squeaked Lucerne as his hands shot up to his eyes. He rubbed at them and the pain only grew greater.
"Did a bug fly in your eyes or something?" asked Verana, still waiting.
"Yeah," lied Lucerne as he finished cleaning his eyes. Tired, sweaty fingers combed his hair back and out of his face. "Can we go back now?"
"What a newbie." sighed Verana as a smirk played across her lips. "I'm not letting you get away, if you turn around now, I'll just knock you over and drag you."
Lucerne grinned and believed it to be a joke. Verana's smile melted away, only to be replaced by a stern scowl. She crossed her arms. S-She's not joking. "I'm coming, I'm coming! See? Look, I just took a step. And see, another! Happy?"
The scowl broke into a grin again, and she turned away from him. "Much better, now come on!" She raced ahead, leaving Lucerne behind once more.
His legs burned and ached as he walked after her. His feet felt hot inside his shoes and he wondered if there would be a miniature pond within them if they took them off. It'd be something to drink at least. He licked his dried lips and moaned as he took another step. Pain pulsed through out his entire body whenever his foot touched the ground. He frowned at the dirt and grass beneath him. "Quit being jealous of the sky and let me fly." demanded Lucerne.
The grass waved to him and he frown deepened. "You coming, or am I going to have to drag you?" called out Verana's voice from the distance. Lucerne gulped.
"I'm coming! Just...tying my shoes!"
"They don't even have shoe laces!"
"T-They're invincible shoe laces," mumbled Lucerne, embarrassed. He glanced to the sky and watched the clouds float effortlessly over his head. Birds swam gracefully through the azure sea above, and never once did he see one sweat. Lucky. The sun was the most human, or so Lucerne thought. He saw it slowly plummeting to the Earth, as if tired and wishing to rest. You and me both. With an exhausted sigh, Lucerne dragged himself after Verana and wished he had the energy to cheer when he saw her stopped beneath a tree. "We're done walking?!" squealed Lucerne excitedly as the tips of his scowl rose into a smile.
"Yep, unless you wanna go to the next tree. It's a mile away," offered the girl, grinning.
"N-No!" gasped Lucerne, pale.
"I'm kidding!" Verana snickered as she lowered herself down onto the grass. Lucerne joined her and found himself giggling as he blades of grass tickled his palm. The shadow of the tree was fatter than any building, and shielded them from the dying sun's rays. The two sat in silence as they watched the Earth slowly devour the great yellow orb.
"Hey, Lucerne. Think the sun might not come back up someday?" asked the girl, her words distant.
"I hope so." snapped Lucerne, "less heat."
"But it would be so dark then!" cried Verana. "We'd all go blind and freeze."
"We have torches." suggested the boy.
"Pitiful copycats of the sun." muttered the girl.
The sun continued to sink, and Lucerne noticed that clouds had begun to flee. More and more drifted away as the light grew dimmer and dimmer. The great blue sea above darkened in mourning for the loss of the sun. "I wonder if the sky misses the sun. It turns so black without it."
"Maybe it thinks that the sun dies every day? People wore black to my grandfather's funeral." said Verana.
"Huh." Lucerne's face twisted in thought and he rubbed his chin. "Maybe it dies and revives every day?"
"So the sun's a zombie?"
"Ew." Verana frowned and puffed out her cheeks. "I don't want some undead sun watching over me every day."
"It's not like that'll change anything." Lucerne watched the tip of the sun vanish. The sky was now a vast ebony sea, and small islands of stars floated up. They glowed and shone, although it was nothing more than a twinkle. "The stars are pretty sad."
"Sad? How can something so pretty be sad?" wondered Verana.
"Well, even though there's so many of them, and they all try so hard, they cannot match the sun's light." said Lucerne as he pulled his legs up to his chest and nestled his chin into his knee. "It's just sad."
"Hm." Verana looked up at them and sighed. "Just like us."
"What do you mean?"
"There are great people in this world. Hiver the Healer, Lacheln the Kind, Sonreir the Merciful, and, of course, King Sterne. They're all really good people. Really high up too. They're all suns, and we're all just stars that vainly want to become like them."
"I never saw it like that." I can't believe calling someone a star is actually a compliment. Lucerne gazed up at the sky and at the jumbled, glowing specks that sprinkled it. He wondered if they knew how faint they really were. "Maybe they're happy that way." suggested Lucerne with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Why would they?"
"Because if they were as bright as the sun, then no one would look at them." He gave Verana a grin. "Sometimes it's nice to not shine sometimes. If you did, people might avoid and shun you for it."
She grinned and rolled her eyes. "But when you're as bright and beautiful as the sun, why would you need others to look at and compliment you?"
"Not just that. Don't you think it'd be lonely if you were the sun? No one to look at you, no one near you. Nothing." He glanced back at the stars, "but the stars seem to be endless. There's thousands and they're all nearby. Talking about star stuff."
" 'Oh, Staria, your glow is so simply magnificent!' " mocked Lucerne with a teasing grin.
Verana snickered, " 'Why, thank you, Stario, I must say, you do look positively bright!' " The two giggled together.
Lucerne lied back into the grass and folded his hands beneath his head as a pillow. "Let the sun be the sun, and the stars be stars." He gave a relieved sigh, "maybe they're not up there trying to be suns. They're just trying to be stars, and you know what, I like them that way."
"I guess I do too." agreed Verana, lying down beside Lucerne and letting a low sigh of her own escape her lips. "I think I'd still rather be a sun." She gave Lucerne a smirk.
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