Gabriel followed the shifter’s orders, forcing the smile to stay on his face. Or trying to at least. He knew Ronnie was trying to cheer him up, he was just having a hard time actually doing it. That wasn’t going to stop him from trying though. Or at least trying to seem happier.
He did let out a small chuckle that wasn’t entirely forced. “Well then let’s get there. I’ve gotta see if it’s really up to par with your fanciful stories, young lady,” he teased. It was easier to fall back into his old routine of teasing and joking than it was to actually let himself feel the emotions that were whirling around inside of him.
Ronnie knew that the smile wasn’t 100% genuine. How could it be after everything he’d been through. But the angel was trying…and for that she was grateful. Trying was just as important in her book…it meant he felt he had a reason to do so - a reason to (hopefully) work towards feeling better. And for now, that was enough for her.
As Gabriel followed her motions and hopped up behind her, Ronnie revved the engine. ”Now you’re just teasing me,” she laughed. ”You can’t honestly expect me to believe you’ve been alive since the dawn of time and never seen this place. It’s literally breath-taking; the first time I came here I honestly forgot to breathe. Had a horrible choking fit in front of this guy…it was so embarrassing…”
Still laughing, the shifter knocked out the kickstand and sped off down the road, reaching the entrance to the park only about 15 minutes later. ”Right then, the walk to the rainbow bridge takes a bit, but it’s worth it…and we’ve got munchies and coffee to keep us occupied on the way…you ready to start hiking?”
"You’ll never know, not will you?" Gabriel gave a small smirk, wiggling his eyebrows even though her back was to him. She’d know. "And if you keep talking it up, I might just be disappointed," he teased.
"You just lead the way. I think I’m up to a good hike. I may be old, but I’m not quite that old."
The shifter chuckled and shook her head with a melodramatic sigh. “Y’know sometimes with us I can’t figure out who’s humoring who.” At his teasing she rolled her eyes, sure that he could hear the motion in her voice. “So says the angel who’s no doubt seen a million more amazing things than I’ll ever see…” Another melodramatic sigh. “Just try not to be too under-awed, okay? I really like this place…”
Handing him his thermos of coffee, the shifter gestured to a nearby trail shrouded in heavy greenery. “Okay, snacks, coffee…we are good to go.” Ronnie chuckled at his joke and then raised a curious brow. “Do angels actually age? I mean…how many millions of years, and you’re still going strong. It’s just a figure of speech…right?” Maybe it was silly, but the shifter had always just assumed Gabriel would always be around…one of the few friends she had who would still be there when her human friends were…no…no, she didn’t want to think about that. Especially since it had been so very long since she’d heard from Rei.