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as the crow flies

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Noir discovers birds of paradise and is simultaneously impressed and...a little jealous. He’s not really one for vanity, but it seems everything beautiful and fun and exciting is colorful, and everything bleary and drab is, well, noir. The other spiders like to collect trinkets for each other from their own universes, and of course everyone thinks that Noir is going to want something colorful - he loved the birds, after all.

But.

It makes him a little sad. These little toys and stones and stained glass ornaments all have something that he just- doesn’t!

And one day, he discovers the crows.

It sounds silly - a New Yorker? Never seeing a crow, before? It’s not like that, he /knew/ what crows were - but he assumed that they were just as colorful as all the other birds robbed of their pigment in his universe; but at a pit stop to a taco stand for free tacos (hey- it’s not totally taking advantage, they get a lot of free advertising from not one, but /six/ spider people sitting on the building above your stand) he sees them. They look like something straight from Noir’s home, and he worries for a confusing second if he somehow managed to rip a hole in the space time con- continuous? whatever it was called.

“What’re you looking at?” Peni asks, ever observant. The other Spiders chatter on.

“What...is that?” He asks softly, but not softly enough - as the others start to look to him.

“A crow?” Miles looks confused, now, and that makes two of them; Noir thinks with a smile.

“Is it- Is it not supposed to be in color?” Noir muses, utterly confounded. He sounds just as impassive as ever, but inside his heart is beating just a little too fast. Over a /crow/.

“No, dude. It’s a crow.” Miles jokes, and everyone is laughing again - including Noir.

When he returns to his own universe, he finds comfort in the crows - and suddenly, everything is just a little bit more colorful. Nothing changes besides his own outlook, but every time he sees a crow in the streets from that point on, it brings a little smile to his face.