A/N: For Livejournal's Mission Insane writing challenge community, which is – yes – a little bit insane. You pick 20 tables with 10 prompts each (with a few exceptions) and then fill them all with fic. I picked one of the exception tables with 30 prompts focusing on different fic sizes. 24 of the count were drabbles. Here are the first three.

Warnings: None, worksafe.

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Feathers to Thorns

Crow to Aki

I

Crow notices what Yuusei doesn't see: that Aki is pretty, and that she is head over heels with Yuusei. It is the last observation that he doesn't like the most – not that he thinks Yuusei doesn't deserve Aki or the other way around – there's just something about the thought that rubs him the wrong way. He tries to shrug it off, thinks he's being mental.

It takes one bike crash and an arm in a sling stopping him from partaking in the WRGP to figure out that he likes Aki enough to not stand by and watch Yuusei get her.

II

Small things like a praise for a good duel, or a steaming cup of hot chocolate, or a challenge to make the next lap around the block faster, to take sharper edges are what express Crow's affection. He dares not to go further – yet – because Aki has eyes only for Yuusei. At night, he dreams that Aki's eyes are trained on him, that she smiles for him, and that her touch is warm. Every morning Crow wows to himself that there will come a day when that dream turns real. Yet each day he realises that Aki is still unreachable.

III

It's not that Aki doesn't recognise Crow's attention. It's just all so new to her – being recognised, not shunned; being accepted, not pushed away – that she doesn't know how to translate his unobtrusive advances. She thinks of him as friend, and it hurts Crow more than he lets himself show.

He can't help but become flushed and stammer through words when Aki sometimes catches him checking her out. The pang of pain is inescapable when she addresses and treats him with the same kindness as she treats the twins. Yuusei is her hero. Crow has been stamped as her friend.