Winter Warble - 6
December 17, 2021

A declaration of war!

Song for the Page: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op.71, TH.14 / Act 2 - No. 12d Character Dances: Trépak (Russian Dance) - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti


“Well?” Feliks challenged, hands on their hips, a toothy grin split across their face. “Whatcha gonna do about it, Highpockets?”

For a moment, Nocturne said nothing. He glanced down at Merlow, a faint smile tucked into the corner of his mouth, and flicked his gaze back up meaningfully. Merlow followed it, curious, over Feliks’ shoulder.

“Call for assistance,” Nocturne said mildly as Diana chucked a snowball at them. It exploded into powder as it hit the back of Feliks’ head, knocking them off balance. As Feliks spluttered, she grinned and offered Nocturne a thumbs up before she ducked behind a tree to avoid the retaliatory snowball, which whizzed off into the distance and hit a stump.

“Ah ha!” Sven cried as Nocturne hurriedly drew Merlow out of the way, the smile on his face gaining in strength. “A declaration of war!”

Quick as a flash, Nocturne whipped off his coat. Before Merlow could so much as shiver at the unexpected rush of cold air, he settled it firmly over Merlow’s shoulders and drew it closed at the neck. “Nocturne, ye don’t have t’ -”

“I,” Nocturne said firmly, “am going to blunder into battle and see if I can’t get a branchload of snow to drop on Sven’s head. Join us or not, as you wish, but the exercise might help get your blood moving again.”

“But yer coat,” Merlow protested.

“I’m not the one who’s soaked. Besides, I don’t feel the cold as badly as you do.”

Nocturne hesitated for a split second, the cacophony of war ringing out through the trees behind him, before he reached out and gently touched the backs of his fingers to Merlow’s cheek. Heat raced through his face, boiling away any touch of winter’s chill as the tip of Nocturne’s thumb grazed his cheekbone. Offering him a shy smile, Nocturne drew back and strode into the fray, bending to pack a snowball that ended up hitting the tree behind Sven instead of Sven himself.