He was always a bird.

When he was a tiny thing, perhaps no more than two feet tall, his father would lift up the small boy and place him upon his shoulders. His father would then extend his arms, holding up his two pointer fingers. "Grab on," he would say, and Patrick would reach out his short little hands, enclosing his father's fingers in his own much smaller ones.

Fly away, Pat. Fly away.

And then they would be off, soaring high in the sky, swooping and weaving and diving and zooming to and fro. They were, of course, not truly flying. His father would merely run wildly around the yard with the boy on his shoulders – his feet certainly would never leave the ground. But in young Patrick's eyes, with his body so far from the ground than usual, and the trees and the clouds so much closer than they ever were, and his arms spread wide – it certainly felt like he was.

"Fly away, Pat," his father would yell, laughing, as he made another plummet or swerve, and Patrick would tighten his hold on his dad's fingers, in a beautiful rush of fear and exhilaration and love. "Fly away."

And Patrick would shoot high into the sky, coasting among the clouds, sailing far away.

Fly away, Pat. Fly away.

"You're the family bird, Pat," his father would say later, once they were done with their flying lesson; he was more serious now than he had been before. He would look down at his son tenderly. "And you'll always be our bird. Someone who is fun and happy, who enjoys to glide over the trees – but someone who's also dependable, always ready to fly in and help at a moment's notice. Don't ever forget that, alright?"

And Patrick would always reply that he would never forget it, even if he didn't really understand what his father was talking about at the time.

Fly away, Pat. Fly away.

His car slammed into the side of the truck, hard, sending him smashing against the windshield; the force of this jerked him back against his car seat. He sat there, shocked, bloody, with strange colors and shapes distorting his vision.

Fly away, Pat. Fly away.

His hands shook horribly as he used his last moments to scrawl a note to Pendragon. His heart was slowing, his body quivering, his blood seeping all over the car.

"Good luck, Pendragon," he used his last breath to gasp out, before taking flight for the last time.

Fly away, Pat. Fly away.