Emerald eyes couldn't evade from staring at the sleek yet all too meek dusky green figure before him.

Poor skittish fellow; that statement often crossed his mind's path.

The red-headed boy shifted in the shadows behind the doorframe, only partially though. Lord knew that the young Merb was paranoid enough to be able to hunch down on all fours and perk his ears up to an extent that would leave him scurrying underneath the cupboards of the store-room's frame; almost like one of those frightened woods land creatures that he'd often seen scurrying past the surrounding area that the Condor would crash in, Aerrow supposed.

The elder teenager before him seemed to be shaking again. Nothing new; Stork often shook, even at night; when things were supposedly at their quietest and all could finally be calm.

"Apparently not calm enough." He thought to himself as he gazed while tip-toeing to the farthest corner of the doorframe. He couldn't help but notice that the Merb's shaking was of a rather different nature tonight; almost of a fidgeting genre of work.

But that had to be impossible, Stork never fidgeted unless he was nervous; and even then there was minimal categorization; it was either; shaking, full on panicking or fainting!

He had to be shaking.

Still...no harm in checking for the sake of his helmsman's...safety perhaps? Well being, even?

Guiding himself up against the wall's frame with his hands, using his toes for balance; Aerrow tried to lift himself to an extent, to try and see just what Stork could be doing at this late hour of the night.

Slender arms worked in front of the Merb.

And damn it all; he couldn't see a thing!

A grunt escaped from Aerrow as he tried to climb up higher; it was precisely times like this he cursed his 'belated spurts' as his mother so intricately put it once. He just blamed the fact that he was, as put in plain English "Short."

"Just a little..."

"Hm?"

Did he say something?

"...and then one..."

Working on something; Stork must've been working on some late little project,

"Probably to stop the 'Brain worms' again..." a dry chuckle as he thought back to Stork's often yet random neurotic ramblings. "Then again; he does know what he's talking about...for the most part anyway," Was it cynical to find a subtle sense of secure humour from their reptilian friend's panic attacks? Or was that just relief at knowing his helmsman was more down to earth than any of them?

"...ok...easy...easy..."

But what was he doing exactly? What was so important that it could rile Stork out of his necessary 8-10 hours of sleep that could "Stop the parasites catching me off guard and infecting my eye sockets..." To put it bluntly, Stork would never break routine if he could help it.

And at that point, Aerrow's eyes immediately snapped open; realization reflecting in the shimmers of his ever- glittering green orbs.

"If he can help it!"

Of course!

A small, dim glow suddenly emitted from where the Merb had stood throughout the young captain's observations; causing the creature to become bathed in a warm, albeit small, glow of some-sorts.

"Ahh...there it is..." he could hear the Merb sigh gently as the glow slowly transitioned from orange to blue with a subtle click. Stork had apparently slipped some sort of casing over the source of the little beacon of light.

Aerrow watched closely as Stork turned slowly to the side; blue rays reflecting off green skin, emitting a glow that high-lighted the soft expression on his face.

The red-head had to blink at least twice.

A smile...

A small one, almost as small as the little light he held in his slender hands, but still; it was there.

It was genuine and pure; as warm as the light, almost.

Stork never smiled. Not genuinely...if the corners of his nimble little line of a mouth would happen to curl into a shadow of a past forgotten smile; then that's what the world would have to accept. A shadow of a smile.

But this...no; Aerrow couldn't believe it. Their pessimistic little pilot was actually smiling, he even looked, dare he think it, hopeful.

"Hopeful amongst the light," a blink "What a feat."

If he had merely been thinking about it Aerrow would never have thought it possible; yet here it was, as real as the moon itself.

He looked on closer as Stork turned further into his right; his delicate hands revealing, if only for a minute, a tiny little portable light; you know, one of those crystal powered, usually wall bound ones.

The Sky-Knight had to blink; those were for little kids. Why did Stork have one?

Eyelids lowered "I know he's sceptical of alot...but the dark?"

Still; seeing him like this, cradling a little lamp in his hands in such a manner...begged the question.

What was Stork really afraid of?

The dark?

Or what it represented to him?

Aerrow had seen enough; and he had a lot to ponder. He slunk back to his room ensuring to leave with the same amount of silence he'd entered with. After all; he didn't want Stork's sensitive little ears perking up now, did he?


Smashes and crashes were usual amongst the Condor.

Smashes and crashes were normal.

Smashes and crashes, unfortunately, signified the ever-present insanity that was teenaged life.

Today, however; Aerrow wished that the crashes and smashes had stopped at least two minutes prior.

"Stork?"

The Merb was silent. His yellow orb like eyes were wide and most likely glazed over; Aerrow couldn't tell as of yet.

The elder of the two was kneeling there on the floor, hands cupped in front of him and shaking as he held the broken little device in his hands.

Small shards of blue glass that were too small to pick up were littered around the room, having been knocked away by the unusually heavy baseball. It almost encircled him, ceremoniously.

The bulb was broken, shattered to be more precise; and the plastic casing was dented enough to break the circuitry within.

Aerrow sighed, hand going to the back of his lowered neck as realization sunk down on his heart, like a shadow looming in over the moon, or a weighted ball bearing hanging around his neck.

Even if Stork could fix the little device; it wouldn't be the same...the parts would be different, foreign really...and that glass casing was so old; chances are they didn't make them like that anymore.

No, he knew it, and Stork knew it. There was no way that the little light he'd seemed to treasure would ever shine the same way again.

Aerrow sighed as he watched the Merb silently stand up.

"Stork, it..." what could he say?

The olive skinned teenager silently slipped his broken little treasure into his chest of drawers, sealing it with his all too blue tears.

Another sigh.

"I'll talk to them, ok?"

All the captain got in response was a muscle-moving shudder combined with a weak little head nod.

A shadow of a response.

As he turned to leave; Aerrow knew two things; that little light would never hold the same value it had before, it would never shine. And because it would never shine, then what reason did Stork have to smile?

The world was bleak. But Stork's universe was dark.

The end.