You've been losing yourself in the empty spaces of this house, in the narrow cracks between the doors and the walls, the dark cold spaces lodged inside the concrete of the window sills. People of flesh and bone, of unshimmering skin and infinite potential walk beside you, like giants, and day by day you shrink back to their shadow, to your most immaterial phase, to the ghost you really are.
Now at your lowest point, you barely even leave the lonely, frigid comfort of his attic, glowing like the last moments of sunset before the cold, lightless night. Folded inside the coil of your tail and the fragile fortress of your wings, you sigh and hear your own echo, duly replying to your empty questions on your existence. But there is no answer to be found in rustling of your feathers, the mumble of your voice, so you can't tell why you're still here, if all of this is still worth it, or how long it will be before you just fade away. Because how can you not fade away, when you've already been replaced for so long? Your real self walks the corridors unhindered, and you can't pretend it doesn't bother or threaten you anymore.
Yet in these moments of nigh despair, of endless moping and complete misanthropy, you still act as a reverse, dark albeit glowy beacon to the boy who will carry the light back to you.
His name is John Egbert, and a cloud of dust swirls around his head as it pokes through the attic trap door, sneezing once, seeking you. He finds you so easily, but then again you make no motion to move, even if you have taken notice of his blunt, approaching steps minutes ago.
Maybe this is what you needed. Maybe all you wanted was to know he sought you.
He drags himself in with little poise or grace, but you have no use for any of those anyway right now. From behind your shades you can see he's dressed for bed, chest uncovered and navy pajama trousers snugly hugging his legs, bare feet treading the dusty floor to meet you in your corner of sorrow and lonesomeness.
He crouches, and he's squinting at you, for without his glasses you are just a radiant blur to him. He is showing his stupid, amazing smile, but some of the lines on his face don't match it, and you're both aware of what burdens and phantoms the other carries tonight, and maybe this once you'll be able to shoo them away together.
Your last remnants of inertia resist to the tug of his hand on yours, but he still carries you in his arms rather effortlessly, and a part of your heart speeds up because you're worried he might let you fall, that you might lose your last hint of reality, of weight, and he won't be able to touch you again. But he just nuzzles the feathers around your neck as he walks with heavy steps, promising peace, and love and happiness, and you feel yourself relax, reassured.
His bedroom is dark and quiet, but the window is open, letting the summer, the warmth, the dull pale light and the breeze flow and sway with the curtains. He looks so utterly tender, his eyes so blue, as he closes the door with his foot and lays you across the bed, climbing up right after, taking the glowy orange shades you hand to him and placing them on the bedstand, next to his.
As you stretch your body and wings, the tip of your tail hanging just beyond the end of his bed, he gently straddles your waist and holds your hands, smirking and making you smile, because after all these years he's still so fucking ridiculous about these sappy things, and honestly you couldn't be more thankful for anything else in your small, wonderful world.
The moonlight spills across his bare skin, making him look almost phantasmal, his motions silent and subtle. He gently squirms to make himself more comfortable, sitting on your hips, while his fingers are wedging slowly between yours, talon-like, his dim pale against your glowy orange.
"I've always thought they'd feel rougher," he whispers, and the quiet sound tumbles from his lips into the still air, but you feel his touch more than you register his quiet words. Your face is tilted up to study his eyes, curious yet droopy pools bright blue, and you see yourself in their reflection: tiny and surreal, but there. You feel his fingers tug and squeeze, and grasp and brush, and the amazement splayed across his face tingles down the curve of your smile, for who else would ever take such an interest in you as he does.
His fingers only slip out of your grasp when he moves them to your sides, and crouches his whole body down to kiss you.
You don't have much experience when it comes to touching people, but you're a firm believer that nothing could ever match the feeling of messing John Egbert's hair even further with your fingers, as you pull him down to kiss him properly back. You are still on edge, and worried, and upset, you still know you are working on potentially limited time here, but you can taste your tangy, metallic hum on his tongue while it lazily brushes against yours, and you know you will always take your sweet time in enjoying every little kiss he has to give.
An eternity passes, your eyelids growing heavy, but it's still too soon when he leans away, his sighing breath washing over your face and wet lips, just to press his smile to your jaw and then lower down, down your feathered neck, your marred skin.
In a breathless whisper, you tentatively remind him that you don't feel these touches the way he does, and in fact you are already growing irresistibly mellow, with every brush of his lips on skin, feathers and neon glow soothing you down. But he knows this, as he knows that the coos and soft whimpers you respond with affect him, make him feel tighter in his pajama pants, whose flannel, soft fabric rustles against your long tail as he slowly goes on traveling down. The two of you know this, and there will be time to explore those things later - the thought of that excites you in a way that is not as obvious as his - but for now he just kisses your stomach, and you relax.
He kisses your hipbones and the start of your tail, and his hands are tangled with yours once more, and he's so warm, so real, and you start believing you'll never feel cold again. There's so much of him to take in as he brushes his smiling face below your bellybutton, nuzzling the spot, and you'd feel happy with just this overwhelming tenderness snugly covering you, but he gives you more than that.
He speaks in giddy murmurs, threading your body back up, always amazed with how alien you look, the strange pieces that make your new self, yet how much adoration he still has for you. You are lulled by his words but at the same time you force yourself to stay awake and hear this, because you know other Dave still lurks outside, and it feels like at any given time he can barge in and end this all, claim him back, burst your fragile fantasy to pieces.
When he comes back to your eye level and says these things with unfaltering sincerity, you find your arms clinging to his hug, your tail twirling around his legs, gripping the navy flannel tightly, the tip of your tail curling around his toes. You are aware of how clingy you are right now, and you are almost ashamed of it, but you've needed this so much, and you're still getting used to being considered a first choice, a person that matters, not a last resort.
Your eyes slide closed, as he progressively grows silent and muffles his soft giggles on the side of your face, and it's almost enough that he's holding you back just as tightly, his steady breath pushing you out and then in. It's almost enough, but the same need compelling you before urges you to ask: what did Dave did this time, was he mad at him for some reason, and when they were going to fix it and this would be over.
You ask these things and he just giggles and squeezes you tighter, peppering your whole face with kisses, because he's here not out of spite or other Dave's wrongdoings, not out anything else better to do or - worse - out of pity. He's there for the feeling that makes your heart thrum as he kisses your lips again, hands cradling your hair, your neck, your feathers. He's here for how you wrap yourself closer to him while you sloppily kiss him back, slumber slowly taking over. He's here for the blissful glow on his sleepy face and how it echoes in the words he gives you, before settling back again.
These words get choked up in your own mouth, but you return them to him regardless, all heartfelt sentiment and sheer relief. There's one more kiss pressed to your cheek, one stray tear caught that you hadn't realized you had shed, before the warm summer night tucks you both under its cover, and with that your struggles and worries too.