"木漏れ日" by Kumi

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I saw the challenge for the month and couldn't stop myself.

You can barely catch your breath.

The morning air is thin at the top of the mountain, but the cold bite to it is refreshing. The only think keeping you going is how he’s running just slightly ahead of you, setting the fast pace.

His shoulders are broad. They’re pulled back as he begins slowing down, his posture as nice as ever. When he comes to a stop, you grab his hand and tug him onwards.

“My favourite spot is ahead,” you explain, smiling as he shakes his head. He lets you pull him forward, weighing you down for the briefest of moments before settling into a comfortable pace next to you.

When you come to a stop, he can’t help but admire how the sunlight beaming through the trees leaves shadows dancing on your face. Your eyes are closed, basking in the warm light for a moment before you begin stretching.

“Why is this your favourite spot?” he asks, and your hands are linked behind your back as you turn to him.

“It’s the densest part of the forest,” you explain, rolling your shoulders as he does the same. “It feels like there’s nothing else around.”

“Doesn’t that scare you?”

Shaking your head, you ruffle his already-mussed hair. “Why would I be scared?”

Kuroo shakes his head, smiling as you grip on his shoulder so you can stretch out your quads without falling over. “It feels eery. I’d be a little afraid if I were here alone.”

Shrugging, you switch to your other leg. “I like how peaceful it is. It helps clear my head.”

Kuroo chuckles, and before you can ask him why he’s laughing, he takes a step back from you. You lose your balance, tipping over before you can react fast enough and falling on your butt.

“That was mean,” you whine, looking straight up as you let yourself fall onto your back. The wind blows softly, rustling the leaves as you watch the light dance on the deep green.

When Kuroo settles on the grass next to you, he’s propping himself up with an arm as he watches you. When you pout at him, he leans over and kisses you softly.

“You’re still mean,” you tell him as he pulls away, and he laughs.

You like the way the sound echoes in the otherwise empty forest—warm, like the sunlight streaming in onto your face.

It’s hard to find the words that describe how beautiful the light is.

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