Too Many Bones

By: Kitty Ryan, 2004

Rating: G

Author's note: This was written for the seventeenth Seanfhocal Circle challenge at the Dancing Doves. "Casual Cruelties". It is set during Trickster's Choice, just before Nawat's flock, after fulfilling their end of Kyp's bargain, turn back into crows.

"We helped."

"More than that, all of you. You saved."

Nayeli flushed, proud, then put a hand up to her burning face. So strange, the heat in her-- and… this hand. She thought it was called a hand. Nayeli didn't know what to make of it: it could hold things, and hurt things, like the enemy mob that had tried to get at Nawat and his human friends, but it was ugly, and made no wingtip. Nayeli felt big, and repulsive, weighted down by too many bones. Everything was bizarre.

She clicked her tongue at Nawat, who didn't look ashamed about how ugly his human-curiosity had made him. Nayeli felt ashamed for him, because someone had to, and spoke in the real language. The proper one, with stronger notes. We will be going, soon.

"Don't you like it?"

Nawat sounded surprised, and Nayeli couldn't think why. Did he like being in this form? She wished he would at least talk crow to her, and be more like…like Nawat. Being on the ground for so long had changed him. He had no sense of humor, now.

No, I don't like it! I don't like being ugly and stuck on the ground. Neither should you.

The other crow's eyes took on a dreamy look, confusing Nayeli even more. "Not all humans are ugly," he said.

Nayeli snorted, and then jumped at the sound. Yes they are. All of them.

"Not Aly."

The human that can never get her pitch right when you teach her. The Laughing God's one?

"She will get her pitch right, Nayeli. She is a smart human." Nawat grinned, and leaned forward to lightly poke her cheek. "Smarter than you, even. Anyway, I will stay with her, always."

Why? "Why?"

Nawat came closer still, looking at his friend in a very serious, passionate way. "I want her to be my mate, Nayeli."

He was serious. He couldn't be serious. Nayeli laughed, harsh even to her weak human ears. She can't. She isn't a crow.

"I know. But I can be human."

Nayeli backed away, feeling another silly human thing--tears--come up in her eyes.