Everyone she knows is in awe of Caerwyn, has been ever since he settled. She has been feeling pretty proud of him, of what it means about her soul, though recently the awe and compliments have been making her a little weary behind the graceful thanks she still gives out as befits one with a daemon such as he. No daemon ever gets close enough to brush against his immaculate coat, not more than their people dare come close to Relena herself.
"If you don't get your hands off him, I'll tear your daemon's eyes out."
It's the drowned little puffball that's speaking, eyes bright gold and full of feral certitude.
She's awake. Her human isn't.
"We don't want to hurt either of you," Relena says, though the words fall on deaf ears. The small bird shakes water out of her drenched wings, throws herself in the air somehow.
Caerwyn rears back, but the bird -- some kind of miniature hawk, Relena can see now -- has managed to hook his horn with a clawed foot, and hangs on fiercely even as Relena's daemon throws his head up in pure shock. Relena starts to move, but his human's head is in her lap and she can't just dump him face down in the sand.
"No, stop! We could be friends, it could be--" -- you're special, you're special too, oh god just please stay and talk with me, but the boy wakes with a jerk and rolls off her lap and he's up. The bird daemon launches herself from Caerwyn's horn and flops on his shoulder, still too soggy to truly fly.
He's hiding his face like she hasn't already seen it and staring at her like it's the most horrible thing that ever happened, and she lifts her hands toward him and is careful to stay on her knees so she won't scare him off, but the ambulance does that for her.
It takes him and his daemon three seconds to kick down the people coming to rescue him and screech away, leaving tire tracks on the pavement. She reaches the road disheveled and panting, Caerwyn's cloven hooves striking the asphalt hard as he gallops a little farther away, but they're long gone by then.
She walks up to him slowly, both their eyes still on the bend in the road where the boy and the daemon disappeared, that daemon who was awake when he wasn't, who touched Caerwyn like it was nothing, like he was as much of a deer as the shape of his body hints at, the boy who stared at them both like he didn't have a clue there was (there shouldn't be) such a thing as a unicorn.
She's still only fifteen and people expect so, so much out of her, they'll expect it all her life and sometimes deep in her heart she thinks it isn't fair, and she never asked for this, and not even her mythological daemon makes her father spend a minute longer with her so what use is it.
It's the price to have him be who he is, who they are, though, so she'll pay it.
"You'll grow into it yet," Caerwyn murmurs, and lips her hair.
He swishes his long, tufted, combed-smooth tail, and he prances around her in that silly, happy way he never uses anywhere someone might see him, hooves ringing like silver on asphalt; and she breathes out and laughs as they race home.
They want to see the boy and the bird again.
Heero's: Merlin (Falco columbarius/aesalon pacificus: ranges from Russian
Far East to Sakhalin. Migratory, winters in Japan, Korea and nearby.)
Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds, more versatile if anything than the larger hobbies (which prefer to attack in mid-air) and the more nimble sparrowhawks (which usually go for birds resting or sleeping in dense growth). (...) It is quite unafraid, and will readily attack anything that moves conspicuously. Merlins have even been observed trying to "catch" automobiles and trains (XDD)
=> Basically, it's tiny but sneaky, ballsy and opportunistic, and has no sense of what impossible means. Also reacts really fast to new opportunities in aerial hunting/combat.
Caerwyn: unicorn. I'm going with the small deerlike body, long tufted tail,
cloven hooves, chin-beard version, not the pretty-much-a-horse version.
"a symbol of purity and grace" (...) "its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness." I'm going with it especially for purity and that ability to heal, though for a daemon it'd be symbolic healing (of a corrupted society) more than an actual "i cry on you, no more broken leg!!" ability, and also the fact that unicorns are untameable unless by similar purity, which reminds me of the way the bad guys tried to cow and use Relena to their own ends and utterly failed to make her bend, and in the end she was free again.
As a friend said: "Unicorn. Of course Relena has a unicorn. Fluffy girly sparkle-desu is really untouchable uncowable incorruptible win."
If he didn't know better, Duo would think Heero's been severed. Off the top of his head, symptoms include inability to connect with people and very little emotions. (He thinks he's met a few in the slums, as a kid, but frankly between an old wino letting himself die by degrees against a wall as people throw charity-money his way, and a severed guy doing the same, often the only difference is the gang tattoos pointing out that this guy might not give a shit about much of anything anymore but he's still here to serve as a warning for others.)
... Yeah, okay, it also includes lack of motivation and mental vivacity, and besides Zero-One's tiny falcon daemon is still right there, anywhere he goes -- and right now, that means perched on the back of his chair as they pretend to listen to a Math teacher who probably couldn't figure out ballistics or reentry trajectories with a supercomputer to do the math for him.
Duo should probably tell Heero that it's okay for a falcon to stare right through people with laser eyes, but for people it doesn't come across as 'paying attention' so much as 'planning the best way to dig out your eyeballs with a spoon.' The poor teacher is starting to look twitchy.
He flicks Mort a look; Mort cackles silently, tilting her head this and that way as she eyes the nest that is Heero's hair. No way for even the smartest bird there is to drop Duo's egg-shaped eraser on that without being seen, though; even if half the girls in the class weren't still too busy squeezing over how precious and tiny and majestic 'Kotaka' is to pay attention (and such an adorable name! God, it's just "falcon" in Japanese, and besides Duo's halfway sure it's not even her real name; Heero never calls her that), a big black bird over a white ceiling doesn't exactly blend well.
Of course, you don't expect a big black bird to walk, either, and it's not like there's no cover in the forest of legs and schoolbags on the floor. Duo hides a grin behind his hand and fashions a little egg-sling out of a handkerchief.
Between all the randomly moving teenage legs she has to dodge and the detour she needs to make so she'll come on the other side of Heero from where his too-watchful bird is, it takes her ten minutes to walk three meters. Duo tracks her, more through the faint tugs of their bond and the startled movements of a couple of daemons she passes by than by sight.
A flicker of anticipation -- and she leaps on top of an Irish setter's head and launches herself in the air, wings spread wide. A girl yelps in surprise. Heero's and his falcon's heads turn together; he dodges as Mort divebombs him, hand raised as if to slap her out of the air. Mort banks sharply to go around -- a hair's breadth away Heero's fingers almost skim her tail -- and then Kotaka is on her, viciously curved claws first.
Mort dodges, though a couple of black feathers fly, tries to regain altitude but the falcon climbs faster, dives in eerie silence; Mort razes the surface of the desks so she'll crash if she misses, caws mockingly--
"Mister Langdon! Mister Yamagi!"
"Aw, man," Mort and Duo say together, and she banks obligingly to go back to the back of his chair. Heero's falcon lands on his raised fist; he absorbs the impact with scary ease, not a scratch on him.
"What on earth is the meaning of this?! You -- no, you, miss Martinez, tell me what just happened."
The girl cradles her Korean squirrel in both hands against her chest as she explains what she saw -- not much, really -- as if scared that either of their birds is going to swoop in and snatch it out of her hold. Duo clearly is the guilty party, and everyone uneasily talks around mentioning that Heero almost hit -- touched -- his daemon. Obviously it took place so fast it could be nothing but reflex, not his fault, and besides it didn't happen in the end; better to pretend it didn't almost-happen either.
"It's not my fault," Duo says with faintly sardonic, blatantly false innocence. "You know, they say people with corvids have a huge tendency to ADD, but really I think it's the birds who have an attention deficit problem."
Oh no, he's being banished from the classroom, boohoo, how will he cope. He gathers his things, humming under his breath. A couple rows ahead he sees Heero palm the egg-eraser and the message stuffed in the hollow he spent half the lesson digging, and he already knows how much the detention hall guys don't pay attention to who comes and goes. By the time Heero comes out of class Duo'll have all the explosives ready to go, and he gets to skip math. He loves it when a plan comes together.
Mort: American Crow: Corvus brachyrhynchos hesperis, one of the biggest birds of the crow family; omnivorous, forms mated pairs and lives in large families, playful and smart.
=> omnivorous, eats carrion but can hunt too, or even eat grain and fruit: not too proud to refuse doing what needs to be done for survival. Also the ill omen and black humor symbolism. Also the impressive problem-solving ability of the animal. Also the fact that left to their own devices they live in big cooperating groups; Solo's band, and then the church, and then looking for friends in the other Gundam pilots.
From the rest of the battlefield zero-one's daemon looks gone; zero-one's body seems broken beyond repair and the explosion would have hidden her death-sparks either way. Trowa is the only one who sees a small orange-red wing sticking out partway from under zero-one's battered body.
He'll crush her to death in a minute, and then the illusion will be truth. Trowa weighs things out.
He was going to pick up his body to give it a proper burial anyway. But the daemon is another matter. Heavyarms' hand would crush her just as well as her own person's weight, and probably better.
"She's too heavy for me to drag," Rusty says, and slithers another inch of her scaly length out of his collar so she can rear up, meet his eyes. "I can't reach her without touching him, either."
Every second that goes by is a second where his indecision can kill another of his peers. If he's going to kill a teammate again he'd rather it be his own choice; he moves Heavyarms' hand near zero-one's body, palm up.
None of the Ozzies are moving, and Quatre is still nearby, going "Trowa?" over the radio, shocked and confused and unwilling to leave him defenseless. Trowa opens his cockpit and rappels down to the ground.
A Leo shifts its rifle up. Quatre moves Sandrock between them, shotels lifted in clear threat, so that no one is paying attention when Trowa rolls zero-one's body up into his gundam's palm.
No one is paying attention when his own bare hands cup a pigeon-sized bird. He gathers it to his own chest instead of resting it on zero-one's (Heero's Odin junior's Black Alpha's Boy's), he can't help it. He sways on his feet. It hurts somewhere under his ribs and in a place that doesn't exist but it might be the most perfect pain, it hurts the way doing the right thing despite it all should.
He wants to put her in his pullover so she'll be warm and Rusty can coil all around her, copper-bright on autumn leaf feathers.
"The cockpit door seals too tight," Rusty reminds him, though her head sways as well and she has coiled her way down his sleeve to emerge by his hand, forked tongue flicking at the air near a closed raptor eye. "Gundanium severs, too. Bond would break. We'd kill them."
Trowa takes off his pullover and stands bare-chested on the battlefield, with his daemon like a living collar, draped across his collarbones, and hides Heero's face with it so the pretend-death respect will hide the ball of bloodied feathers Trowa nestled in the crook of Heero's neck.
He's cold, when he lets go, cold like snake blood, and he wraps himself in watchful, deadly patience so he'll stop missing the fierce pride of a bird of prey.
Rusty: Corn Snake, normal color, no variant (orange with rust patterns). Tolerates handling well for a snake, constrictor, climbs trees. She's not yet full grown so Trowa isn't yet going around carrying a snake that's borderline his own body length.
I, uh, just thought it suited him really well. idk. Tolerant-of-handling nature
VS constrictor snake = I'll be patient and calm and quiet until it's time to
choke a bitch. ... idk. .__.
"They are proficient climbers", I guess... XD acrobat snakes? Okay I'm reaching.