She flew high above the city with her wings stretched out. The wind whistled over her feathers and she snapped her wings in tight. She plummeted through the air before she snapped them back out and soared back up into the air. Today wasn’t about getting anywhere but about having fun in the air and enjoying the gift of her wings.
She was halfway through a barrel roll when he arrived, diving at her from above. Somehow he managed to get his wings to beat in time with hers as she pulled out of the roll. He grinned at her and she glared back at him. “What do you want Thomas?” she demanded not really angry but more annoyed that he had disturbed her.
He only smiled in the face of her glare. “The little one is busy so I thought I’d take you into the city.” She smiled softly at his reference to the young girl who flew with him when they met as the little one. A nickname she had said before she knew the girl’s name which had somehow stuck despite the girl’s best efforts to ditch it.
“Feeling lonely?” She teased him, even as she let him guide her to the outskirts of the city where they could land undetected.
“More thinking now you have some normal clothes you can learn to be part of society,” he answered. The grin on his face took any of the sting out of his words but she still shoved him playfully. He dropped a few feet before he caught himself a soft laugh escaping his lips. “You’ll pay for that,” he promised her and then he was gone. It only took her a moment to realise he wasn’t going to stop and wait for her.
With a grin she shot after him but he’d been flying years longer and managed to increase his lead despite her best effort. Suddenly he plummeted towards the ground his wings closed flat against his back and she let out a yell. Somehow she found another burst of speed and shot forward only to see him open his wings metres above the ground and give two great beats that slowed his fall. His feet touched the ground and he walked forward at a slow pace before he turned to watch her.
She glided down slowly spiralling around a wingtip until she touched down gracefully at a dead stop. She folded her wings against her back, pulling them in through the hidden slits in her jacket just as Thomas did the same. He studied her for a moment before he offered her a hand, “ready?”
“Years ago,” she answered taking the hand. He shook his head at her answer and almost offered a warning. He stopped himself though and focused on leading her deeper into the city. As they came to the brightly lit streets he loosened his grip on her hand, fully expecting her to pull away, but she only held on tighter. He offered a reassuring smile and tightened his own hold; maybe she wasn’t as ready as she thought.
Despite the success of the shopping trip she still wasn’t happy amongst humans and even less so when it came to interacting with them. They’d been a threat to her for too long for her to relax and despite her fake confidence she was slightly scared of them.
He thought for a moment as they walked and ended up taking her into a coffee shop. When it came to ordering she looked so confused that he took pity on her and ordered for her. The relieved smile when she didn’t have to choose from a list of things she’d never heard of saddened him. She should have been at least comfortable in ordering a drink but her wings had stolen even that from her.
“Why are we here?” She asked him quietly. She was hunched forward in her seat in a way that made her seem half the size she really was.
“To listen,” Thomas replied simply. She frowned at him not really understanding at all but before she could speak he tapped a finger to his ear and she closed her mouth again. They sat in silence and she let the sounds around them wash over her before she ended up focusing in on one group’s conversation.
She was so focused on it she didn’t realise she’d relaxed enough to stop keeping watch until a drink was placed in front of her. Beside it was a piece of cake which she eyed suspiciously, her eyes lifting to look at Thomas. He was watching her with a small smile on his face and when she looked up he gestured silently for her to try the drink. He already had a hand wrapped around his, clearly having taken a sip already, but still she hesitated. “Go on,” he said encouragingly.
Slowly she lifted the drink to her lips and had a small sip. Finding the taste okay she took another longer one before she lowered it back to the table. She liked it, a view made very obvious by the contented smile on her face as she turned to start her cake. Thomas had painstakingly explained that for some reason they needed more food and significantly more sugar to function than humans. She hadn’t really understood apart from the fact that if she didn’t eat regularly then she would tire quickly and it would be dangerous to fly.
As they ate and drank they remained in silence, listening not to each other but to the sounds around them. She relaxed as she listened slowly coming to see the humans around her not as a threat but as people who had more important things to worry about than the two people sitting at a table in silence. They had worries and hopes and other things to occupy their minds so much that they hadn’t even registered her existence.
After they left the city and jumped into the sky once more Thomas looked at her. “Do you understand now?” He asked softly, not demanding, just curious.
“I understand that I don’t have to be afraid of them all the time. If they don’t see my wings then they won’t sense anything different about me.” She replied eventually as they winged their way back to the cave that had become their home. He smiled at her and she knew that had been the point he had been trying to get across.