"Eh, that'll be enough for today." Nigel, perched on Marcel's shoulder, listened to the gruff sound of the voice while Marcel was handing Fernando half of what he'd said that he'd pay the child. The suburban tanned boy looked at the bundle in his hands and looked up with large and dismayed eyes.

Marcel brushed it off with a shrug and poked Nigel lightly, causing the ivory bird to open one eye and look at him, irritated.

"Hey Nigel, do you mind escorting our little..." he paused, squinting. "You are an orphan, aren't you?"

Fernando gazed at Marcel with a pained look. Nigel looked on as the man crossed his arms and smirked. "Well then, run off to your phantom buddies. I'm sure they miss you." This comment somehow struck the bird on his shoulder with shock.

He'd never heard anyone say something so insulting, let alone make fun of death. He curled his talons angrily around Marcel's shoulder, and received a short-lived stare from Fernando, which the thirteen year old boy lowered his eyes and ignored the taunt by Marcel.

"Well, then again, who's watching over ya? Ghosts don't linger forever. To see their precious son work his butt off makes them want to look away. Don't you agree, Nigel? ... Hey, Nigel?" he had just, fearfully, noticed the tightened grip on his shoulder. There was a deep scratch of the bird's talon digging into it.

Meanwhile, Nigel himself was holding back an expression that would show his angst, because of what Fernando's reaction might've been. Marcel gulped. "Hey, uh, do you think you could loosen the hold-" Nigel whipped his head up to glare at him.

Then he exploded.

Talons, feathers and hair went flying, and Fernando stared, stupefied, shocked, and afraid, at Nigel as the bird treated Marcel with many facial injuries. The brazilian child made a run through the door, his hand clutching the money, and scurried away into the vanilla twilight.

Nigel continued slashing out at the confused Marcel, and scattered just as Tipa and his brother came bursting though the door. "Hey boss, Fernando was running like-" Tipa broke off, staring in puzzlement at the scars and bruises on Marcel's face. The man glared back. Then both gazes went to the fuming Nigel, who sat on the floor while heaving deep breaths.

The bird stared blankly at the floor, realizing what he'd just done, and walked slowly to the door and taking off into flight. He needed to find Fernando, but first, an orange. He didn't know why he needed one; just that he did.

He flew downtown, dropping onto a picnic stand and observing the area around him. There were fruit stalls, coincidentally, and he swooped forward, snatched his needed savor, and ignored the stall caretaker's shouts of obscenity as the bird shot away.

Fernando. That was who he needed to find next. He rose in the air, one foot curled around the fruit while the other was free and stretched.

As the white cockatoo glided steadily over the buildings, he followed a familiar shape running down Fleet Avenue. The boy stopped, looked around, then climbed onto the roof of a house and hauling himself to a bed. Fernando then sat, staring at the floor underneath his feet. Nigel closened and landed on the top bunk of the bed, bending over, protecting the fruit.

"Hey, kid." of course, it must've sounded like a foreign cry for the Brazilian child.

Fernando glanced up and his eyes opened wide in surprise. "You followed me here! What're you doing?" Then he shook himself and stood up. "Nigel, why would you attack him like that?"

"Why would you let him taunt you about that, kid?" Nigel countered, not caring whether Fernando understood or not. He preened himself and held out his foot, revealing the orange sphere. The child looked at it with huge eyes. Then he gazed back up at Nigel.

"Because I couldn't think of anything else."

Nigel was surprised. "Wait, you can understand me? I thought humans..."

"I have a little gypsy blood in me. I've always been able to speak animal. " Fernando admitted shyly, looking at his feet and sighing. "It's just that... I miss my parents terribly. Talking to anyone that wasn't human made me feel indifferent. Not so alone..."

"Don't talk about them. It'll make you hurt more than you already are." Nigel muttered under his breath, adding, "I'm actually not an animal. I'm a dinosaur." the cockatoo smiled mischievously at the last part, as did Fernando. He even laughed a bit.

"Hah! Then that means I can speak dinosaur!" the boy grinned and happily sat back down on his bed. Nigel fluttered down beside him and gave the boy the citrus fruit. As Fernando peeled it, he handed Nigel some pieces. "Why do you help Marcel?" he suddenly asked the bird, curious to know the answer.

Nigel responded grimly and told him how he got fired.

"But revenge can only lead to more revenge. What's the point?"

Nigel shrugged. "They need to get what they deserve. It's not my fault that the viewers wanted a prettier pet, but I just want..." he couldn't finish; he ignored his clogging throat and cleared it. Fernando gave Nigel a sympathetic look before offering another piece of orange. The bird stared blankly at it, and unexpectedly nudged it away with his head.

"No thanks. Not hungry." the thought of Tipa offering him chicken made him shrink. "I'm a cannibal, after all," he whispered, unsure whether Fernando heard. But a hand on his head and wings made him flinch.

Fernando was petting him.

"I-I'm not that k-kind of pet." Nigel stammered, but it was a change. Sometimes, just sometimes, it felt nice to be comforted. He blinked and relaxed his tensed muscles, looking down. He felt nonetheless embarrassed. Fernando noticed and stopped.

"Sorry. I used to have a cat." The boy explained, finishing the orange. Fernando shrugged and threw out the outside of the citrus fruit. "I suppose you're not used to gentle treatment when you're working with Marcel?" he added sarcastically, spitting the name with venom.

Nigel murmured in agreement, but replied that it was the only way to get revenge. Fernando shrugged again and deadpanned, "You know, if you let revenge be the only thing be on your mind, you'll turn crazy. They're an awful thing, grudges."

"I think I already am crazy."

Fernando looked at the bird affectionately. "No, I don't think so. I think that you're a good bird on the inside..." Nigel started to object, but Fernando interrupted. "... But you're lost. You don't know what else you can do, other than injure others in revenge." Nigel frowned.

How would a kid like Fernando know what type of situation he was in? The child was so young, and appeared to be naive, so Nigel assumed that he'd had no idea what he'd gotten himself into when Fernando agreed and aided Marcel. Now the bird felt guilty for not paying any attention to the young one in the first place, though Fernando studied him.

"How do you know that?" Nigel demanded hotly, fluffing up his feathers to hide the surprise.

Fernando flinched. "I-I just made a reference." he whispered, scooting away from Nigel. The cockatoo realized just how scary he probably looked and flattened his feathers immediately. Fernando stared back. "I'm sorry," the tanned boy continued to whisper, looking down at his feet. But Nigel shook himself and walked over to Fernando.

"No, I'M sorry."

The Brazilian boy grinned in reply, hesitantly reaching forward to place a hand on Nigel's head. The bird leaned into the petting. "You see, Nigel?" Fernando implored. "You're just a very, very lost soul."

"Yeah, well, I'm not done getting revenge. There's so many birds out there."

"You'll see that when the time comes, a colorful bird will save you from all of this avenge-seeking." The little thirteen year old replied with a shrug, ruffling Nigel's crest.


Just a random scratch I thought of. -.-