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There are times when Tobias still thinks he should feel like a boy.

Usually, it's when he's walking on solid ground, when he shuffles through the world with broad shoulders and crooked smiles, when a soft, low voice parts his lips.

It is when he's defined in a moment's glance. He can't simply be Tobias; he must be a boy.

In the sky, he can be a hawk.

No one understands when he say how trapped he feels without his wings.

No one but Cassie.

"I don't feel like a girl sometimes." It's a nonchalant comment over her shoulder as she checks a wounded fawn's bandages. Hes alone in the barn; sometimes Tobias comes just to watch her work, and keep her company.

<You don't?>

Cassie shakes her head. "It's like...some days I wake up, and I'm still me, but - it's like I've morphed, almost. Just a little." She turns her head again, smiling wryly. "I kind of wish I could, you know?"

Tobias knows. He remembers the silent, heavy disappointment in the familiarity of his own body. Surely, if the Ellimist was all-powerful, all-knowing...

"But that doesn't mean..." Cassie bites her lip as she turns back to the fawn.


She speaks softly as her hands move, deft and gentle. "Well...our bodies can't be the way we want them to. But that doesn't make us any less who we are."

Again, she turns to meet his eyes, the piercing glare of a predator. "I see you when you're human, too."

Sometimes, Tobias wishes he could smile. <Most people don't.>

Cassie nods, her own smile soft and sad. "I know. I wish...things were different." As she turns to finish, Tobias flies down from his rafter and gently lands on her shoulder.

<Come on, Cassie. Let's fly.>