The Tea Makers

Summary: Iggy and Nudge share a couple cups of tea early in the morning during a slow week at the mountain house. Not really a romance, but could be taken either way. Set before the books. Kingda Ka.

Iggy sauntered silently down the back hallway of the house in the sweltering heat of summer, a Three Musketeers bar clutched tightly in his hand. He couldn't sleep, not something that was terribly unusual for any of them. Fang called it the "Avian Curse". It was an apt name as it had kept Iggy awake for three consecutive nights in a row. While he had no problem kicking eraser butt or hiding their existence form the world, he could do without the nightmares. Iggy twirled the object in his other hands between his fingers.

It really shouldn't be getting to him this bad. Iggy could feel his skin crawl. He wasn't superstitious. He was a blind bird kid on the run from mad scientists! Reality had forced him to face it head on. He repeated these facts over and over to himself. It should have calmed him down, really it should have.

So why did it feel like someone was dancing on his grave?

Suddenly a small sigh made him jump, his wings aching to pop out. Fight or flight.

Nudge stood quietly behind him, watching uncertainly. Her wide brown eyes taking in his startled form.

"Sorry." She said simply. Igg relaxed at the sound of her voice and even managed a smile. After all, Iggy could have sworn it was the short thing he'd ever heard her say.

Iggy put his arms behind his back, concealing his treasures from her view.

"No, I'm fine." He said, wishing with all his might he could see her. Just to see again, for even a moment…

"How come I didn't hear you?" Iggy asked in a whisper after a few more moments of awkward silence.

Now that he was paying attention he couldn't understand how he'd missed her, her smell, the sound of her breath, the shift in the air as she shrugged her shoulders. "I held my breath. I was worried I'd wake someone up."

Iggy's eyebrows furrowed. "Oh."

Nudge shot him a questioning look he couldn't see. "What's wrong?"

"You're having nightmares too." Iggy said, it wasn't a question. "It really sucks, being trapped out here. Sometimes I think running must be so much better than hiding." Because when you ran at least you were doing something, Iggy amended in his head.

I know what you mean." Nudge said, still whispering. She gazed up at the skylight window above them. "But it has it's befits too. No wind tunnels or experiments or cages. Just us, hidden up among the stars." She looked back at Iggy and smiled. "It could be worse."

Iggy turned his head up toward the night sky, wishing with all his might that he could see what Nudge saw. The stars… He had never seen them. There was so much he'd never gotten to see… So much he'd never see.

"Well, I'm going to go get a cup of tea. Jeb brought some of the peppermint flavored stuff last grocery visit." Nudge said unexpectedly. "You want any?" More with the unexpected.

Not waiting for a response Nudge walked past Iggy into the kitchen and drew a pair of large mugs from the cupboard. Iggy finally nodded, bring out his chocolate bar and breaking off a big bit for Nudge.

Nudge smiled and took the chocolate before filling up the mugs with hot water. Finally she dropped in the tea bags and pushed one cup over to Iggy's side of the counter.

Iggy picked it up, then looked at the girl across from him. "Nudge," he suggested. "Let's go outside."

He face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning and she smiled widely at him before leading the way out onto the balcony.

"Iggy," Nudge whispered quietly sending chills down his spine. "Can I ask you a question?"

"What kind of question?" Iggy asked before sipping his tea. He fought the urge to spit out the offending liquid but managed to swallow. Nudge was apparently to wrapped up in her own world to notice.

"What's it like, you know, being blind?" she avoided his gaze and continued to glare at the ground.

Iggy gulped, replayed the question in his mind, and sighed.

"How much time do you have?" He finally whispered.

She looked up at him and smiled.

"As much as is needed."

Iggy took a deep breath.

"Okay then…"

And they talked under the stars as the sky lightened into morning. When the sun finally broke over the horizon life returned to normal. Iggy never talked about his blindness with Nudge again.

But that was okay, because now she understood.

And everyone deserves to be understood. Even if it's only by an eleven year old little sister.