"This must be where they stopped construction on the underground. And look! There's a giant hole right above us! I can see the moon!" Isabel's sheer delight causes the two boys accompanying her to actually smile.
There's not much here in the underground to smile about.
It's about that time, when a voice startles them all out of their individual reveries. They look up in unison. It's a girl. Maybe Levi's age. She's peeking down at them and grinning cheerfully.
"Hello." "Hi there!" It's Isabel that replies, of course. The two boys are always more wary.
"I'm Y/N. Who are you?" "I'm Isabel Magnolia! This is Farlan and Levi." "Pleased to meet you. Magnolia is such a lovely name, have you ever seen a one?" Isabel shakes her head, gazing up at the girl curiously.
"Would you like to?" "Neat!" The girl laughs quietly. "One moment." She disappears, and then a rope drops down in front of them.
"Well, hurry up and do be quiet. My father does not know I'm out here." Isabel gives a happy little skip, and grabs the rope. A hand stops her. Farlan.
"I don't think that's a good idea, Isabel." "Let her go. I think we should get a good look too, don't you think?" Levi finally speaks, giving Farlan a meaningful look.
A couple minutes later, everyone is standing in the garden looking around in amazement. Even the boys are amazed with the sights and sounds! The air! Levi takes a deep breath and closes his eyes.
"Is this a magnolia?" Levi is startled out of his reverie by Isabel's voice from across the yard. The flower she's sniffing makes her sneeze.
Y/N laughs at the girl, a bright and airy sound that kind of reminds him of the moonlight in this secret garden. 'that's the stupidest thought you've ever had, Levi.' He thinks, shaking his head and following her over to where Isabel is standing.
"No, that's clematis. The magnolia is that tree over there." She points closer to the house, and Isabel smiles in delight. "It's beautiful!" She claps her hands and run over to gaze up at the tree. "Beautiful like you!" Y/N tells the happy girl, and laughs again.
"Why are you being so nice to a thug?" Levi asks, feeling defensive of his friend. "If I treat a thug like a thug, what should I expect?" She asks with a smile. "You'll get treated accordingly."
"And if I treat a human being like a human being? With respect?" He doesn't answer, but his eyes soften in acknowledgement.
"Besides," You tell him, a glint of mischief in your eyes. "I think you're cute, so why would I be mean?" Smiling, she leaves a stunned Levi staring after her in slack-jawed wonder. Ignoring Farlan's grin and suggestively wiggling eyebrows, Levi walks slowly after her.
He stops a little ways away, just watching her. She's weaving some of the magnolia branches into a tight circle and fitting it on Isabel's head like a crown. The moonlight glinting off her hair, her pretty smile... they squeeze and tug at his heart.
I could never be that lucky, he thinks. You deserve better. Seeming to read the turmoil on Levi's face, Farlan puts a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Maybe we should leave."
Levi just nods, and gathering up his crew heads back towards the waiting darkness. "Next time, you can show ME around." She's telling Isabel. He turns to her, and practically growls the words. "You are NOT going down there!"
"Why not?" She asks indignantly. "It's shit down there. Don't taint this memory for us!" Farlan nods in agreement, and even Isabel looks sad for a moment. "But we can always talk right here, right?"
She smiles. "Of course, Isabel. Farewell." Levi is the last to leave. As he's about to climb down after his friends, her voice stops him. "Levi?"
He turns to her, and is surprised a moment later by her soft lips on his. "A little something to light the darkness." She says, and stroking his face she turns to walk away.
He stands there for several moments, taking in what just happened between them. Then turning, he makes his way back to the hole. He doesn't need the rope, oh no. He feels like he could float down on the strength of that kiss alone.
"What took so long?" Farlan asks. Smiling, Levi takes that first kiss and tucks it into the safest, deepest part of his heart. "Let's go home."