The ocean was quiet for once, most of those marine animals deciding that it was actually a good idea to finally go and rest. The moon shone bravely through the still surface, the grey light brightening up the various kelp that still swayed dutifully in the currents. Malachite swallowed heavily, his flippers nervously fidgeting as he waited for her as Spessartine was making herself ready, insisting she tried to make herself look a little nicer. By the stars, how was that even possible?! She was the most gorgeous Aqrion he\'d ever laid eyes on, ever since the day the two had met, it was like destiny.
Best friends, an accident that lead that lead to those white markings over her back, the face she still comforted him... her infectious joy, the laughter she had, how playful and happy she always seemed to be.
How could he not feel nervous about meeting her again, even if the pair were mates? Although to him, it truly felt much more special than that... It was like they were childhood sweethearts, destined to be with one another for their lives and to never be apart.
Malachite would have it absolutely no other way. He adored that fun, playful and chirpy topaz lady. Goodness she knew how to make him smile any day...
\"Heya Mal~\" Her voice called from behind him, the green Aqrion turning around to face her, only for his jaw to drop. She\'d found some silk-like materials, threaded them with beautiful gemstones which hung elegantly over her spines to shimmer and shine softly in the soft moonlight. Gemstones of sapphires, diamonds, rubies, emeralds quarts and topaz, all backed by the black obsidian she found on her journeys. He felt his heart stop, looking down for a few moments, his heart swelling in his chest moments later as his eyes returned to her, the Aqrion looking rather nervously towards him.
\"So, what do you think~?\" She asked him in a gentle sing-song voice, elegantly turning around to show how those silken gemstones laced and twisted around her spines, shimmering boldly on her scales. His voice caught in his chest as she asked, those words he was thinking crumbling before him, utterly speechless. Spessartine noticed it, laughing softly as she gave him a tender nuzzle against his nose, \"What\'s the matter, cat got your tongue?\"
He spluttered for a moment, quickly regaining his composure as he gave her a smile, returning the gentle nuzzle to her nose. \"No, you just... Look amazing.\" He said, before looking rather sheepish as he saw her disappointed expression, that slight pout on her maw, why was she so adorable? \"... And by amazing, I mean you look drop dead gorgeous and it would take a miracle for me to let you dance with any other Aqrion tonight.\"
Spessartines expression lifted at that, before she laughed, flicking her tail towards her flippers as she quickly took one of those silken chains off. Although this one was different, shimmering with silver and set inside it was a polished emerald, surrounded by diamonds. \"Stay still~\" Spessy sung before skilfully looping the chain around his neck, settling the gem against his chest, \"I can\'t have myself looking like this when you\'re wearing nothing special!\"
Malachite smiled softly to her, his eyes drawn to the beautiful necklace of sorts she made, shaking his head, \"And I can\'t have the attention drawn away from you, Spessy, you\'re absolutely beautiful.\" He objected gently, softly nuzzling her cheek, \"And as much as I\'d love to stay here and admire you all night... We do have that dance.\"
Spessartine chuckled softly, rolling her eyes in his general direction, \"How late could we be? It can\'t possibly be that bad for you to be mentioning it now, especially when I look so breathtaking.\"
Although instead of Mal rolling his eyes, he gave a laugh, \"Well, my silly little Spessy, we have to get a wriggle on to actually make it there in time for the first dance.\"
She gulped, \"Why didn\'t you tell me if was getting so late?\" She whined gently, giving the larger green Aqrion a small poutt.
Malachite shrugged in response, \"Unfortunately a very cute and shy orange lady absolutely begged me not to disturb her when she was getting ready.\" His time was teasing as he gave her a playful wink. Huffing instead of responding, Spessartine nodded as she quickly moved to follow the emerald Aqrion, humming softly as she swam by his side, their tails gently looped over one another affectionately.
As the pair drew closer to the flora filled meadow, new buds of life blooming in the sands as the gentle glow of underwater flowers blossomed brilliantly.
It was only this beautiful once a year... And Mal was making sure that they were there this time for it.
He guided her towards the centre of the meadow, several dozen feet from the bottom and quite close to the surface of the waters. Although Spessartine seemed to be uncomfortable, Malachite raising an eyeridge as he noticed. \"What\'s the matter..?\" He asked gently, Spessy giving a small squeak as she looked up to him, almost blushing if that were possible for an Aqrion.
\"Can\'t you tell...?\" She asked softly, glancing around to the other pairs of Giants, Singers and a few long, snakey Abyssals, \"They keep looking at me... Did I do something wrong?\" She asked nervously, fidgiting as Mal moved in front of her, taking her head in his flippers as she nuzzled her briefly before letting her go.
\"My dear, the only thing you\'ve done wrong is being breathtaking enough to stop the room...\" Mal chuckled, raising his flippers as a large blue fluke singer began to sing, the dozens of Aqrion pairs around them in the meadow quickly gathering together to start the dance.
\"Let\'s show them how it\'s done.\" Mal whispered as Spessy smiled, the water breaking over her head as Mal threw her skyward, the bright moonlight illuminating around her, making her look even more stunning for a few moments.