Chapter 1: As Fast As You Can
He was of brittle bird bones and dark, molting feathers.
He was of sickly, pallid skin and clusters of freckles.
He was of wild, platinum blond hair and sharp angles.
But most of all, he was of a tormented past and slivers of hope.
And John was his key out.
The minute those sharp claws scraped feebly against his hand, the minute those spindly bird fingers entwined with his, the human knew that there was only one option.
Run as fast as you can.
He was lighter than air and they tore through the dense woods as if they were the vicious breeze themselves. They were the wind, they were the earth, they were the passion pulsing through their veins, they were the crunching of the leaves, the snapping of the branches; the two beings were nature itself.
Keep moving, keep moving, don’t look back, don’t look back.
For if they looked back, the human knew that they’d be right where they started again, only surrounded by towering figures and harsh words and cruel hands and no, he’s not going back there. So they ran and ran and ran until their lungs were on fire and until their legs were stiffer than the thick trees surrounding them on all sides and until they began to merge with Mother Earth take us back take us back take us back.
It wasn’t until a protruding root uproots them from the soil, sending the human tumbling forward and bring the light, fragile, fragile, fragile, tough as nails hybrid down with him. Their muscles were throbbing with exertion, lungs aching for much needed air, and rest seemed like such a sweet, tempting sin at the moment.
The police will find us, the circus will find us, they’ll find him, they’ll take him away, they’ll clip his wings, they’ll no no no no no
He musters up whatever energy is left with him and tug tug tugs at the frail limb of the crow crumpled behind him, hoping he’s still got the energy to struggle for him.
Watery blue meets flaming red.
He’s still got some fight left in him.
They rise shakily to their feet—bare fleshy toes and sharp, curved talons—and the race continues.
Chapter 2: Brittle Bird Bones
He just wants to help, but his companion isn't the type to trust anyone very easily. (Based off of Tara's Runawaystuck (tumblr user neophytecherryglare.))
So after some consideration I decided...........to make this.......a series of drabbles I guess??? They're related, but not so much to call it chaptered??? Yeah whatever now i'm confusing myself. I decided that this would become something I'd update as inspiration hit me. Yeah. I need to start paying attention in my latin class.
Brittle bird bones, sheathed by dark feathers and rough skin. That is what he is composed of. Brittle bird bones and a hardened reserve. He is biting words and pulsating wings, sharp talons and piercing eyes. The human is captivated. Never has he seen such a peculiar shade in one's eyes, nor has he ever seen anyone with such unique physical features. He is not quite avian, not quite human.
He is something elegant and something simply beautiful in between.
Yet despite the outer beauty he displays, he is made of ice on the inside. No surprise for a caged bird. The human muses thoughtfully. Curious, soft hands extend to caress the hybrid in reassurance. Defensive, rough hands smack them away, a clicking sound resonating from the back of his throat. He trusts no one, not even himself. The soft hands fall away. The bearer of the soft hands hangs his head in shame. A wordless apology.
They are safe in the darkness of the human's bedroom; he is residing at a friend's home for the time being. He left behind a quiet life and a perpetually proud father. He'd always tasted adventure on his tongue, though he wasn't prepared for anything like this.
His companion's voice is scratchy, harsh, and cold from disuse and strain. He's a shell of what he once was; the human can see the flame burning low in his eyes. I didn't need any rescuing. He croaks ungratefully; the human is patient, sitting on the edge of the bed as the hybrid sits stock still and erect against the headboard. His wings flutter faintly; the human can't decipher his mood.
I couldn't just leave you there. Pity. The crow scoffs, jerking his head in a direction that isn't toward the human.
I don't need your pity. His pride is bruised. He feels so undermined, so full of chagrin for being broken out by a simple human after his many elaborate yet ultimately terrible attempts of escape. I would've gotten out on my own. A blatant and thinly veiled lie. The human refuses to call him out on it.
His eyes scan over his tense figure. He is covered in filth, blood caked on various spots of his body. He smells faintly of rot and garbage. He wants to offer him a bath, though he is unsure of his authority in that matter. He doesn't wish to offend his companion any further.
He is thin, of wiry muscle and fading body paint. He is of dark freckles, darker bruises, and pale scars. He is of strength and failure, complicity and rebellion--flightless wings and determination. The human is only of wild dreams and relentless passion. He holds no grudges and shoulders no pain--at least, nothing compared to that of the crow.
Polar opposites, pulled together by surprisingly common desires--adventure and freedom. They do not get along as much as the human wants them to. It's a one-sided deal, really. The human craves friendship. The crow wishes for solitude. A game of tug-of-war, at a standstill.
Let me help you. A desperate cry for comradeship. A metaphorical hand extending the proverbial olive branch of attachment and companionship. The crow regards him with his harsh eyes of blood and fire, claws curling around his folded arms, knees drawing closer to his body. He wraps his wings around his hunched form, only just a little. He is careful and reluctant. We've gotten this far already. The crow's brow furrows in what seems to be consideration, contemplation, realization. He recalls the wind ripping through his feathers, his light, messy hair whipping around in the brisk breeze, the lightness of his brittle bird bones. It was a miracle that he was able to carry himself on his thin bird legs, bending back at awkward, broken angles--it is his natural bone structure, inhuman and avian. He recalls the human's initial expression--enraptured and stupefied. He seemed to be surprised that he could even move. Ignorance. Expected, predictable ignorance. The words echo in the back of his mind.
A sigh. He wrinkles his blackened nose. He has far too much pride to admit to what has been proven as a fact set in stone. All you did was break me out. I don't need your fucking help. The human flinches at the harsh language, almost foreign to his ears. I fly alone. Ironic, seeing as his wings were basically useless, fragile appendages--a meaningless mutation, really. His body is a cage in itself.
The human worries his lip between his teeth--a dental nightmare. But you don't have to. His voice is small and slightly nasally, light and airy--he is the wind, carrying the crow on his breeze. His words rustle the hybrid's dark feathers, echo through his brittle bird bones, and for a moment, he feels a small rush within himself.
The ice thaws for a moment, hardens yet again, and the hybrid sighs yet again. Fine. Fine, you want to get yourself into this mess? By all means, be my guest. Don't say that I didn't warn you. His tone is acidic, but his eyes convey feelings deeper than his words--concern, the faintest, lightest, weakest of concerns. He doesn't want unnecessary blood tainting his hands--it's as simple as that.
Yet the human seems to be satisfied with this response. He suddenly and immensely becomes interested in his soft feet and the gentle curves of his toes, a warm smile tugging at his full lips. His long, pianist fingers clutch at the edge of the bed.
John. John Egbert.
The crow raises a thick eyebrow. His attention shifts to the wall yet again, talons twitching against the bedspread.