I do not own any Faeries of Dreamdark characters

"There's a storm coming, ye be sure." Bertram croaked hoarsely looking at the horizon through his spectacles.

"True." Magpie said as she flew between Calypso and Talon. "I can smell it in the wind."

Talon gave her an odd look but said nothing unlike Pup. "Really Mags? I can't, can ye Pigeon?"

"Maybe if ye stop skiving blathering ye could." Maniac growled.

"Should we rest?" Swig asked. "We ain't stop since some rivers back we passed last afternoon."

"That would be good. What ye think Pie?" Calypso asked

"Some food and rest would be good." She smiled toward Talon. "How you holding up?"

"If you can keep going so can I." he smirked.

"That a lad." Beltram smiled.

"There be a good spot." Mingus nodded toward a hidden area under some trees where the sun wouldn't bother them to much. They got out of there caravan harnesses and began to set camp.

"Pigeon, go with yer brother to find some more bits of food like berries and nuts, would ye?" Calypso said.

"Ye sure it safe here?" Pigeon asked uneasily. "With mannies so close by?" He was right. There was a small mannie town a little way of across the river.

"I think we'll be fine. They're usually afraid of woods." Magpie said looking around.

"Don't worry Pigeon we'll be fine." Pup said already flying up. "Maybe we can steal some food from some mannies. Like if they were on a picnic, eh. We'll find some chocolate or another sweet for ye Mags." And they flew off.

"Hurry! Don't dottle!" she called smiling.

"Think this enough?" Pigeon asked. He held a kerchief in his claws. It had some berries and half a sandwich. Pup's kerchief had some pieces of pudding cake and half a peach. They were close to the river; they could here it gurgling through the trees.

"Let's look a bit more. I told Mags I find her some chocolate or something."

"I'm sure she won't mind. I think we to close to the mannies."

"Calm yer peppers irkmeat." He chuckled. They fluttered around some branches. "Aye looky there." He whooped. "A whole pile of food." Pup put down his kerchief and hopped down a branch. Sure enough under a tree a bit far away was a pile of crumbs of bread and some grapes.

"Pup this don't look right." Pigeon cautioned. "Get yer hind feathers back over here."

"Calm yer peppers. Just gonna get a few more crumbs and some grapes." He hopped down some branches as if he felt something odd to but was shaking it off.

"Pup what if it a trap?"

But Pup flew down under the trees till he came to the tree with the crumbs. That's when Pigeon saw the box. "Pup!" He croaked. But it was too late. The box that was hidden in the branches fell bellow with Pup under it. It was a plastic box that was slightly see through and a rope fell on top of it.

"Yea we got one!" Suddenly a boy many jumped from behind a tree a couple trees away from the tree with the box. He had moppy brown hair and looked to be a teenager. "Told you I'd get you one."

A little girl came from behind another tree. She was half his height with long brown hair down to her waist, even in two pigtails. Her heart shape faced was broken into a dimpled smile. Then another boy walked out. He looked older than the teenage boy with very short hair and tanner. He had a blue top for the box.

After a moment of stun stillness Pup began to get frantic. He cawed and croaked loudly and began trying to hit the box over though he barely had room to move his wings.

The older boy went with the top and was trying to put in on the box upside down. Pup tried to get out when he lifted the box slightly but he instead got hit and it slipped under him and close. Then the boy wrapped the rope around the box to hold it even more firmly.

"Here's the duct tape." But the guy shook his head.

"We don't need that. It's just a bird."

Suddenly a dark object swooped down and hit him.

"Aahh!" he yelled and waved his arms up frantically trying to wave off the crow. He dropped the box and Pup immediately tried to get out by ramming against the walls. As the other boy tried to help the older one up Pigeon went to his brother's aid.

"Don't worry Pup. I got ye." Pigeon began biting the rope and tugging at it.

Pup cried. "Jacksmoke! This box won't budge. Go get Mags, she'll know what to do."

"I can't just leave ye."

"NO!" Suddenly the little girl came up yelling and swinging. Pigeon squawked surprised and fluttered out of the way. The girl threw herself over the box, hugging it affectionately. "My birdie."

Pigeon swooped down ready to peck at the girl but heard a swoosh. He barely angled up as a branch came flying, but it managed to clip his wing. He croaked but landed on a branch above. The younger boy had a branch in his hand and had it up ready to swing again.

"Go away. Shoo!"

Pigeon's wing was hurting and he knew he couldn't fight three mannies alone. Even if they were a bit small. He looked at the box with Pup sadly. "I'll be back for ye. I promise." Then he turned and flew away limping.

"Hurry Pigeon." Pup whispered as he saw the black blurred shape fly away.

"Are you okay?" the older boy asked the little girl.

"Yea Shane. I protected my baby birdie. Just like a mama." She smiled proudly getting off the box and sitting next to it instead.

"Yup just like a mama, Tash." Said the other boy throwing the branch down.

"Derek, Shane's bleeding!" she suddenly yelled her eyes going wide.

"Yup." Derek said smirking then punched his older brother playfully. "Cuz he got his but kicked by a bird!"

"Shut up!" he pushed him off and put his hand to his cheek where he had parallel lines of blood. "That bird was mad." He picked up the box and secured the rope and looked in. "Hi birdie. You okay?"

In answer Pup hit the wall.

"I guess yes."

"Can I hold it?" Tash asked holding her arms up.

"No it's okay I got it. Let's get going to the house."

She frowned but nodded. They walked to the river and Shane went first with the box. He hopped over the water on rocks. Derek picked up Tash and placed her on his shoulders. "Ugh, no more cookies for you."

"It's all bones." She giggled which was true. She was tall for her age of five. He carried her over the river. They walked another while till they got to the house. It was a tall two story blue house with gray trimming.

Melanie was lying across the couch her attention divided between the TV and a book in her hands. She heard the back door open and called "Hello?" But then she heard quick light footsteps.

"Aaahhh Sissy." And the little girl threw herself on her sister. The older girl had the same hair and if they were the same age they could have been twins.

"Oof. Tash!" she smiled and mussed her hair. "What happened?"

"Shane got beat up by a bird." She giggled and held her arms up as if squaring off.

"Really?" she smiled and looked at the boys walking in. Her sixteen year old brother came in grinning. She raised an eyebrow and saw her nineteen year old brother come in with a moving box. She began to laugh. "I guess the bird won."

"Yea it did." Derek laughed as he walked to the hall closet.

"Not this one." Shane said holding up the box.

She frowned, her eyes narrowing. "It better not be what I think it is. Grandma and Grandpa aren't going to be happy."

"Why not? It's not a mockingbird." Derek said coming back with a cage. It was a huge silver dome shape cage with four sticks to walk on, a swing, two containers to hold food and another to hold water and a fuzzy thing of feathers that was originally for a cat. He set it on an empty coffee table and opened the huge gate.

Shane carefully opened the box. Immediately Pup threw himself up. Shane closed it again and waited for it too calm down "Derek, some help."

Between the two of them one held it while the other held its beak. They got clawed and bit but in the end managed to put it in the cage.

"It's a crow." Melanie said in surprise. She walked over with the others and looked at it. It had slick black wings and a sharp beak. It's eye's looked at them wearily and he shuffled his feet and ruffled it's feathers.

"What do we call it?" Shane asked.

"Spaz." Derek said firmly.

"Noo." Melanie rolled her eyes.

"How bout Cinderella?" Tash smiled. The others looked at her with raised eyebrows. "What? It can be a princess."

"Why must they always take so long?" Maniac growled. They had set up camp, fire and all and were eating a bit of the food they had but the tried not to eat much because they didn't want to run out.

"Calm down feather." Magpie smiled. "You know how they are?"

"But hasn't it been a bit too long?" Mingus asked. Magpie looked to the sky.

"True. I'll give them a few more moments before I go looking for them. I hope they aren't looking for sweets. I could have done without it."

After a few moments her keen ears caught a loud caw. She stood up. "Did you hear that?"

They were all alert now. "What ye hear Mags?" Calypso whispered hoarsely.

"Sounded like-" but then it came again much closer. "Pigeon!"

And sure enough he came tumbling from the sky and landed roughly. They rushed to his aid.

"Feather, what is it?" Magpie cried as he straightened himself up. Her heart seized as he saw tears in his eyes. "Where's Pup?"

"They got him. I tried to save him but one of the blasted vermin clipped my wing."

Magpie was slightly surprised to hear him so upset. "Who?"

"Mannies!"

There was a collective gasp. Talon grew pale. "Mannies got him?"

"Aye, he tried to get some food but it was a trap. A box fell and they caught him."

"The cussed irkmeats!" Maniac yelled getting into one of his fits. "I'll claw them skiving eyes out. Wait till I get my claws on them ye be sure they wish they never been."

"Calm down. Ye being a hot head won't help." Calypso reasoned. "Pigeon where they go?"

"When I last saw them they were crossing the river. I'm sorry but one of them clipped my wings with a branch and then Pup told me to get Mags." Pigeon turned to her with regretful eyes. "I should have done something; I'm sorry b-but-."

"Hush feather I understand." Magpie said and rubbed his wings. "It would have been no good if you got yourself more hurt or worst. How bad?"

"I can fly but not to good. Lopsided."

She began to run her hands over his wing, feeling for his bones then picturing glyphs for healing. He was tense, he winced but then relaxed. "Thanks darlin' that feels fine."

"Your welcome my feather." She gave him a smooch on his beak. "You should stay here while we go get Pup."

Immediately there were squawks of protest.

"Ye need to rest to pet."

"We'll go stay with Pigeon."

But Pigeon's was the one she heard perfectly clear. "I am not stayin' Mags. I need to go get him."

She met his eyes. "Pigeon, I just healed your wing, you need to rest it."

"Mags I need to."

Looking into his eyes she saw more than she heard. Even though they were all family Pup and Pigeon were true blood and feather brothers. She nodded then turned to looked Calypso in the eye. "I am going."

He sighed but then narrowed his eyes. "Fine but the first sign I see of either of you getting tired ye both are coming back here. Ye hear!"

"Aye."

"So we goin' or what?" Swig scratched his head with his claw. "And what of that storm coming? It looky mighty fierce."

"Aye there going to be a fierce storm" her eyes narrowed "to the skiving mannies who thought they can take one of my brothers."