Title: Ex columba animo

Claimer/Author: This story is written by and belongs to Emmy Kay.

Summary: Yuuya and Sakuya meet in a hallway at St. PigeoNation's Institute. Nothing is what it seems.

Disclaimer: Naruto and all affiliated characters belong to Kishimoto Masashi. This story is written without permission and for personal/fan/nonprofit entertainment purposes only.

Warning: minor spoilers for the game.

A flash of flamboyant white tail feathers caught his eye. "Ahh, little brother," Yuuya said, allowing the rich trill of his voice to boom just a little loudly in the narrow, dark hallway of the school. "How are you?"

Sakuya tipped his head, ever-so-slightly. "Half-brother. As you can see, we're on our way outside." In those blue eyes, so much like his own, so much like their shared parentage, Yuuya could feel the word 'mongrel.'

The girl walking next to Sakuya shifted nervously. "Hello." She gave a small smile.

"Bonjour, mon amie," Yuuya said grandly. "My dreary day has just been made lovelier by your presence."

The girl's smile turned uncertain.

Sakuya snorted. He moved slightly, protectively, between her and Yuuya.

"I shall be seeing you both at the Christmas party at the mansion this week, yes?" Yuuya asked jovially.

Sakuya nodded stiffly. "Our mother will be there. I don't think Father will be very happy to see- "

Yuuya remembered the nights where he had held Sakuya's egg against his own breast, warming it, talking to it, caring for it when he himself was little more than a nestling. His brother would remember nothing of those nights. He hadn't realized how much he wanted Sakuya to, however important it was that that time remain a secret. He forced out a chuckle. "Don't worry, little brother. I'll give my greetings to chère Maman. And to Monsieur, of course. Then I'll go hide in the kitchen, where I belong. Like I do every year." And look out for you, dearest brother.

"Of course." Sakuya offered his wing to the girl. "Let's go."

The girl. The human. Yuuya knew exactly who she was and what her presence meant, for all of them. But did Sakuya?

Sometimes Yuuya wondered if any of his plans would come to fruition. Or would the unintended consequences of his actions outweigh the ultimate goals? Leaving all the deceptions, the lies, the unsavory alliances, the accumulated weight of hidden knowledge to mean nothing. Had he done the right thing? None of his important pigeons would know the difference. Lately, it seemed as though deception had been his whole life. He could barely remember a time when he'd been himself, and not this despicable peacock of a bird. Perhaps Monsieur was right about him and his base nature after all. Well, there was nothing to be done about it. Not now. The girl had chosen and their fates had been sealed.

Yuuya smiled, widely. "Have a good day, you and your belle amie."

They began walking away. The girl glanced backward nervously. Yuuya puffed his chest, extravagant. Then he winked. She blinked, disconcerted, and turned back to Sakuya.

They went off into the sunlight together, chatting happily, innocently, leaving him to the shadowy corridors.

Watching them, Yuuya could feel something fragile under his breastbone, something he hadn't remembered he still had, break.