A/N: Inspired by a deleted scene from episode 4.04, in which we learn that Hal does origami. No specific spoilers for the episode itself.


Flight of Birds

"Right then, Hal, it's your turn to make the b..." Annie froze, her mouth still curling around the 'o' of 'bottle'.

Hal was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor, a rainbow of paper spread out around him. Each sheet overlapped the shade before it, from softest yellow to midnight blue.

"Just- one moment. Tom dropped a plate. I had to reschedule origami."

"Oh, wow." Annie edged around him to the bed, where more than a dozen cranes were already nesting, the angles on each outstretched wing unflinchingly precise. "Can I-?"

The muscles across Hal's back tensed, briefly, but he nodded. Annie laid the nearest bird upright on the palm of one hand, running her index finger along its contours. Every line deliberate, no creases or hasty refolding. Poised, fragile, whole.

"If you make a thousand, they- it's lucky. People have them on strings, for newlyweds. On shrines." He stood, transferring the whole clutch to the bedside table, one by one. Hers came last. "You're supposed to get a wish."

"And have you? Made a wish?"

Hal twitched a convulsive smile. "Two thousand, one hundred and thirty-three. I started again." They paused in the doorway, and he brushed halting fingers against her shoulder. "Most of them are gone now, but, once I've got the next thousand- I think Eve should have them. We can thread them, around her room." When she met his gaze, there was something dark in it. Not savage, but old, heavy enough to make light of death. "If anyone should need good luck, it's the Saviour."

The contact broke, and it was like surfacing for air. In the moment before she could speak, Annie ducked into the corridor, beckoning him through.

"For now, though, the Saviour needs her Aptamil, and make sure you check it on the inside of your wrist, like I showed you. Actually, if you'd just let me do it through you-"

"You are not." Hal said, very slowly and clearly, "Touching. My head."

The door closed shut behind them, in a rush. Two cranes took off from the table, and plunged.

Later, while the boys were laying for dinner, Annie gathered them up. The tip to one beak had crumpled, and she smoothed it flat- a thousandth of a piece of luck, each as good as the next.

It was later still before she thought to imagine what Hal's wishes had been.