• The next day Hikage woke Valon and, with a little simple subterfuge, managed to sneak out of the den and into the forest, here Hikage changed his form into that of a heavy bodied winged horse and took the two of them to the snow covered peaks of Maer, it was cold but the two were able to share the rising sun together in one another’s arms watching the colors reflecting off the ice chunks much like the Aurora Borealis of Earth. But like all good things it had to end, they were growing cold and soon Hikage was gliding towards the ground once more drifting down to land next to the lake.


    Valon smiled, yawning even as he took a step back from Hikage’s side, giving him room enough to change... he was closer to the water's edge than he'd earlier judged, and between the water spray from the falls and the freezing winter temperatures it was also more slippery... he was in the middle of another yawn, one of the big ones which indicated true tiredness when the stones shift under his feet, and when he tried to correct his balance that only made it worse, sending him backwards into the water, quickly pulled under at first by the force of the waterfall... he couldn't swim, didn't, because of a fear of water...


    “Then we will. But you need to understand..Valon?...Valon?!!!!”

    *he hit the water a short time after Valon did, shifting into a seal to better get around but the cold, the darkness the murk made it hard to find his friend, once he did he would immediately grasp him close to his body tightly, he could feel a heartbeat but barely....making a snap decision he took a desperate attempt and would go straight for the bottom with Valon in his jaws then hit a sharp angle following a small mote of light..when he burst up...the transition was complete and he tossed Valon onto a pile of cushions before he clambered out and took his natural form*

    “ Renaud!” *he bellowed the thunderous sound shaking the building until a spare looking doglike creature would come in, he took a look at Valon and wrinkle his nose but at a glare from Hikage he would roll Valon onto his back and tip him forward, holding a small fluff looking thing to Valon’s lips, it actually blinked eyes and raced into his mouth and down into his water filled lungs, sucking the water out then running back out , the feeling in its wake would be scratchy as it waddled away into the corners of the room, that accomplished Hikage would take a human form and tip Valon’s head up and press his lips to his still ones, exhaling his breath into his body to try to get him breathing*

    “please Valon please... “

    *if his mortal body died Valon would not truly die...not here..but neither would he ever be able to properly return home, he couldn’t do that to him*

    please breathe for me..come back” *it was the best he could do..at least he could ensure his friend didn’t truly die*


    it took a minute as he realized, gradually, that were was warmth and air around him instead of cold and water, and he would squirm, turning to the side to instinctively try and cough up water that wasn't there any more, though he didn't know that... he'd remain like that, just breathing, eyes closed, claws digging into whatever was under his hands, clinging to it, to the feel of something that wasn't water... still, those minutes replayed over and over in his head, a twisted nightmare he wasn't able to wake up from yet, regardless of what comfort he drew on...


    Valon..Valon open your eyes...it's ok **he touched his face gently, glad that he hadn’t died...he nearly sagged with relief and gently tugged Valon off the pillow and if he could not get him off the pillow he would take the pillow and Valon into his arms and just hold him, burying his face against the side of his head and neck**

    “ ..Thank you...thank you.:

    . **he dint know what else to say about it. If Valon’s eyes did open he’d smile down at him**

    “Welcome back...I ...didn't know if you were down to long so...I brought you here...there was a better chance that you would be alright..here..drink this..” he’d press a cup of something warm and sweet to Valon’s lips

    “ It will help with the dry feeling...there was a lot of water in your lungs...the fluff had a hard time getting out again without hurting you..”


    he didn't resist Hikage’s hold, but, he didn't want to drink anything, not at first, coughing on the liquid a little bit, but he'd drink it, looking up at Hikage afterwards...

    “ F-fluff? “ he didn't understand, mind still cloudy, starting to shake from the stress, waning fear, but the fact that he'd lived through it, thanks to Hikage...


    “Fluffs are small beings that once perhaps were hustlers...living off of others. Now...they help others...a fluff went down to the fluid in your lungs and absorbed it into its body then left...by doing so it saved your life and gained nutrients. you will feel hungrier for a day or so..it was the quickest way to clear your body so you could breath.... “

    **he didn’t mention that he had breathed for him for a while instead he’d just nuzzle Valon gently**

    “you’re in my world..my home…” offering a small smile, after all Valon had wanted to be here*


    “S'pretty…” he yawned again, relaxing, knowing he was safe, that Hikage had known what to do, and while he wanted to talk, to ask questions, knowing the stay in Hikage’s home would be brief, he could at least enjoy this little bit of time, sliding towards sleep again, unless Hikage stopped him, but it would be a deep, healing sleep, one he needed...

    - chapter 4


    - chapter 3


    - chapter 2


    - chapter 1