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Featherfans Unite!

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The True Origin Story
Published on Oct 3, 2017

“Good day, Featherfans. My name is Goro Kurusu, and welcome back to Phoenix Talk. Today we will be doing something a little different. On stream on Sunday, I answered questions about my condition. For real, not silly stories. Rather than post the stream video as usual, I’ve decided to make one to address the major questions that were asked, to have a permanent, organized consolidation of the information.”

It was clearly a different sort of video than usual. Goro was on the couch, his Featherman blanket still draped over his legs, and Akira was perched on his left, holding his hand. Goro bumped their heads together affectionately, and added, “Akira is here, too, because there are a few gaps that only he can fill in. And...moral support, because this is rather hard to talk about.”

“Not doing it live will help, hon. We can edit the video,” Akira said, and Goro elbowed him.

“I know that. I just hate seeming...weak.” He took a deep breath, then looked back at the camera. “By far, the most common question that I get is ‘what happened to you?’, with varying degrees of rudeness. And I understand the curiosity, considering my physical appearance. For all that I make jokes about a tragic cat-related mishap, the truth is that I did receive all of my injuries at once. I was in an accident almost a year ago. The specifics are not important, but I was trapped under debris for a lengthy period of time. It left significant parts of my right side burned, took my right eye and arm, and mangled my legs almost beyond repair.”

Akira made a face, and Goro squeezed his hand. “Akira is the one that eventually found me and made sure that I made it to a hospital. Without him, I doubt I would have survived.”

“It was...a near thing,” Akira said quietly, and it was a huge contrast from his normal happy-go-lucky demeanor when he was allowed in the videos. “I was scared he still wasn’t going to make it. He was in a coma for two weeks, and I was there every day. And when he finally woke up, I kept getting in fights with the nurses because they wanted me to leave. But he wanted me there. So I stayed.”

“We joke about my legs being fake, but they’re still here. My right arm is my only prosthetic,” Goro explained, pushing up his sleeve to show off the cybernetic arm. “It was crushed beyond repair, forcing them to amputate it just below the elbow. Living without an arm was difficult, but then in June I was contacted by a group working with experimental cybernetic technology. I’m not allowed to name them, but they offered me an option to test one of their new prosthetic builds, and I took it. It gives me much more independence than I would have otherwise, and in return I just have to allow them to run maintenance checks every once in a while.”

He shifted on the couch, using Akira for support as he stuck one of his legs out. It was clearly heavily scarred, and Goro winced as he flexed it once and then tucked it back beneath the blanket. “The doctors were worried I’d have spinal damage, but I was lucky. I’m not paralyzed. I still have feeling in my legs, but walking is painful, even with crutches, so I can’t do it for long. And that’s why everyone gets to look at my awesome blanket instead. No one wants to see my screwed-up legs.”

Akira reached over to help him readjust the blanket. “They’re beautiful,” he said, batting his eyes up at Goro as a small smile curved his lips. “And sensitive~”

“Not now, Akira. I’m trying to be serious.”

“I am being serious.” Akira kissed him, and he groaned, but kissed back for a moment before pushing him off.

“Now I’m going to have to deal with a hundred comments squealing about how cute my boyfriend is.” Goro shuffled down against his side and pouted. “Ever since that stream where you walked by in the background with no shirt on, I’ve gotten thirsty comments asking about you.”

“I didn’t mean to! I forgot you were live.”

“I know. And it is pretty gratifying to know that I have you and other people don’t.” He was silent for a minute, then said quietly to the camera, “Akira was the first person that I saw when I woke up. I was so scared, since I couldn’t see, and most of my limbs were wrecked. But Akira stayed. Kept me calm. Didn’t sugarcoat the damage, even when everyone else was trying to. I don’t deserve how good he was to me.” Goro sighed, pushing his hair back behind his ear to reveal his face. “Anyway, getting back on topic, the scars aren’t quite as bad on my face because of the skin grafts, but my eye was also a lost cause. That’s not something I can show on-camera, because it’s...bad, frankly. I don’t like to look at my own eye, and despite his opinion on my legs, Akira doesn’t either.”

Akira, for once, didn’t interject, and Goro smiled. “It’s okay. It’s awful. Only one of our friends can really handle it for longer than a minute or two. But...yes. That’s what’s wrong with me. I’ve spent most of the past year doing physical therapy and learning how to exist again. And I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Akira. And Morgana. And all of you, honestly. This channel has been...the first thing that I’ve really done for myself, just because I like it. So all of your support means...everything.”

Akira wrapped an arm around him and kissed his temple, and Goro nuzzled him. “That’s where I’m going to stop for the day. It...was a lot to talk about. Thank you for listening. This has been Phoenix Talk. Until next time.”

Once Akira had leaned over and cut the camera off, he returned to his spot on the sofa and snuggled up against Goro. “I’m proud of you for talking about it.”

“Hopefully people stop asking now,” Goro huffed. “I know they won’t, but I can dream.”

“Well, if they do ask, I know you have several more stories saved up,” Akira said. “I know you haven’t used the one yet about losing your arm in a lightsaber duel with your father.”

“’re right, I haven’t.” Goro ran his normal hand through Akira’s hair with a soft smile. “Thank you for sitting with me. I know it was a hard time for you, too.”

“It was better once you were awake.” Akira shifted, moving them both bit by bit until he had Goro flat on the couch and could stretch out on top of him. “Then you could tell them not to call security when I stayed past visiting hours.”

Goro snorted. “Takemi-sensei informed me that they tried to carry you out several times. I think she said that one time you ended up on top of a cabinet? So you really are a cat.”

Akira sat up just enough to lean up and kiss him. “I didn’t want you to wake up alone,” he said softly.

Goro squeezed him. “...and I think that made all the difference.” His mental state had been as much a wreck as his body, back then. But knowing that they hadn’t just...left him there, that they were waiting to see that he was okay, that Akira wanted to be there… It had been a yank back from an edge that he’d been walking along for a long time.

They were quiet for a bit, Akira idly tracing the outlines of the masks on Goro’s blanket, and then he asked, “So what are you going to do for Thursday’s video this week?”

“I’ve been wanting to do a compare-and-contrast video for Navy Vulture and Black Condor…” Goro mused. “But it might be too soon for that. He’s only been around for seven episodes, so I might not have enough for an entire video. I suppose I could also compare Crimson Robin with the Priestess, now that we’ve seen her. And Lady Finale and her Knights definitely parallel Lord Zero and the Great Devil.” He poked Akira’s forehead. “Did you know that every overarching series villain since the original Featherman R has had an English word as their name? Lord Zero started it all, and I think Lady Finale is paying specific homage to that, because they’re both the head of an empire that are only referred to as ‘lord’ and ‘lady’, despite the fact that they would usually be addressed much more formally… I suppose lord and lady are easier for kids than emperor and empress, or ‘Her Imperial Highness’.”

“The kids have a point,” Akira said. “‘Emperor Zero’ doesn’t sound right at all.”

“And normally I would chalk that up to us just being more familiar with using ‘lord’, considering how old the show is,” Goro replied. “But! ‘Empress Finale’ doesn’t sound right either, and Lady Finale has only been mentioned by name twice at this point. We aren’t nearly as used to it. So it’s definitely strange...” He trailed off as he realized Akira was just staring at him with a dopey smile. “What?”

“I love watching you talk about Featherman,” Akira said dreamily. “It makes you so happy.”

Goro could feel himself blushing. “Stop that. You’re the worst. Now I’ve lost my train of thought.”

“We could always get on a different train.” Akira’s hand drifted towards his hip, and Goro sighed.

“You’re insatiable.”

“Yeah, well, it took months and months before you’d even let me kiss the burned side of your face, so… Now that I can? Kind of want to do that as much as possible.”

Goro hesitated, but not as much as he used to. “...maybe one or two kisses, I guess.”

“Just one or two?”

“I could be persuaded into more. But you have to carry me to our room.”

Akira’s smile was simultaneously devious and utterly smitten.

“I can do that.”