Green Wings and Shiny Things 5/5
Characters: Jared, Jensen, Christian, Misha, Alona, and Felicia
Genre: H/C, Crack, RPS
Disclaimer: None of these people belong to me; they all belong to themselves. None of this is true in any way, shape or form. I made it all up, obviously, Jensen is not a green-winged fairy.
Warnings: M/M, naked fairies, touch starvation
Word Count: 5,000 this part (14,800 in total)
Summary: Written in response to a prompt by at spnkink-meme. Jensen loves his friends and his life in the meadow, but his curiosity about the humans who will soon be moving into the houses beyond the tree line on the other side of the meadow leads him to undertake an adventure. Traveling alone is dangerous for a fairy. Everything is bigger than they are and, although they have some protective magic, it often isn't enough. Add in the very real risk of touch starvation and it's easy to see how this adventure could end in tragedy.
A/N: The icon I am using was made by etoile_etiolee for a story she is currently writing. All the beautiful artwork for this story was also made by her (check out the gorgeous piece at the end). Thank you sweetie!
Green Wings and Shiny Things
It's been four days since he last saw Jensen. Four days of endless searching. Four days, during which Christian's uneasiness had quickly escalated into gut-wrenching panic and has now settled into something else that he doesn't want to examine too closely. It's not grief because Jensen isn't dead. He can't be.
Satyr's don't need much sleep; that's one of the characteristics that makes them such good guardians. Usually. But ninety-six hours with no rest is beginning to take its toll. Christian clenches his jaw and scrubs a hand over burning eyes. He digs the heel of his hand into first one socket and then the other, hard. The added discomfort gives him something to focus on, keeps his mind from wandering into a dark place from which it might never return.
A breeze stirs the reeds off to his left, drawing his attention. Out of habit, he crouches down, parts the reeds and scans the ground for a glimpse of a green wing or a tiny, prone body. Instead, a beetle, black with red markings, trundles through the moist dirt at his feet. Christian exhales a long breath.
This hill is the last place he saw Jensen and he's been over it more than a hundred times already, has searched under every fallen leaf and behind every blade of grass. Jensen is very small. He could be just about anywhere. He could be pinned under a fallen rock, too weak to call for help. He could simply have succumbed to touch deprivation and dropped from the air to land under the fronds of a fern. He could be within arm's reach at this very moment if only Christian knew where to look.
It's Christian's responsibility to find him. To recover his body, an insistent thought stabs through his mind's defenses, to give the other fairies some closure. Christian growls in frustration and shakes his head violently, refusing to let despair take hold of him. He will find Jensen, no matter what it takes. He will find Jensen and bring him back to his quadral.
Felicia flits over to him just then, landing on his shoulder and pressing herself up against his neck, her sweet gesture one of comfort for both of them. Felicia's eye's are dull and rimmed in the same shade of red as her wings. Misha and Alona cling to each other as they hover nearby. The three remaining fairies never leave each other's sides and never go where Christian cannot see them. They search with him until, exhausted, they collapse. When that happens, Christian picks them up and continues his search, carrying them in a fold of his shirt until they have recovered enough to search some more.
It never occurs to him to suggest they go back to their burrow to get some sleep. For one thing, it would feel like giving up which is something none of them can do. For another, he can't bear the idea of any of the little ones being out of his eyesight, not even for a second. It only takes a moment, one second of inattention, for the unthinkable to happen.
Christian's eyes begin to sting and he blinks rapidly to clear his vision. He has no time for tears.
"He is not here," Felicia says, her voice no more than a forlorn murmur in his ear. "He is not anywhere."
"He has to be somewhere. He couldn't have just disappeared."
Even as Christian says the words, his mind comes up with a dozen scenarios in which Jensen does exactly that, disappears without a trace. Carried off in the claws of a bird of prey, swallowed whole by a large snake, mangled beyond recognition by a fox. The list of possibilities is horrifying.
Although a fairy's magic and natural affinity with all animals generally prevents such things from happening - hell, Jensen has admitted to holding entire conversations with squirrels from time to time - that doesn't stop the visions of Jensen's torn and bloody body from flashing in front of him like a waking nightmare every time Christian lets his guard down and stops to think. So he doesn't stop. He doesn't think. He keeps his mind carefully blank, his barriers firmly in place, and he continues searching.
As the midmorning sun crests the tree line to the north, Christian straightens from his crouch, shading his eyes from the glare. The dappled shadows amongst the trees stir and, from within their depths, a human steps into the clearing.
A single human poses no threat to a satyr, especially one with Christian's training. But the little ones are with him and, until Christian knows what this human's intentions are, it's best to be wary. Nerves strung as taut as barbed wire, he narrows his eyes and takes stock of the situation.
The distance between them is great, perhaps 100 meters. The human appears to be an unarmed male, tall for his species, with dark brown hair long enough to cover his ears. He stands with the trees at his back, his hands cupped in front of him in a way that suggests he holds something infinitely precious and fragile within them. His lips move as though he's talking to someone Christian cannot see.
Thinking that there may be others hidden in and among the shadows, the satyr takes a step sideways in an attempt to shield Misha and Alona from view.
The human cocks his head with a slight frown on his face, nods once, and then extends his hands and opens them.
A flash of scintillating green catches the sunlight as it comes hurtling towards him. Before Christian can fully process what he's seeing, he hears a gasped, "Jensen!" from next to his ear and Felicia streaks forward with such speed that she's nothing but a red blur. Misha and Alona become purple and yellow blurs hot on her heels.
The four fairies meet halfway, their joyous shouts ringing through the meadow, high and sweet and enchanting, like the piccolo section of an unearthly orchestra.
Christian's chest constricts, his lungs seize up. No matter how hard he tries to take in a deep breath, all he gets are mere sips of oxygen. As he watches the one sight he'd thought lost to him forever, his legs go numb from his haunches all the way to the tips of his cloven feet and he sinks to his knees in the damp grass, unable to support himself any longer.
The fairies dance and trill, spin and laugh, hug and tussle with each other through the currents of air, oblivious to everything except for their happiness at being reunited. For his part, Christian's world is reduced to nothing more than the jumble of multi-colored wings. Emotions he has denied for the past four days; sorrow, guilt, fear, and anger, coalesce and swirl in his gut. He can feel the heavy weight of them begin to dissipate, replaced by feelings of wonder, awe, and a bone-deep relief. He can't stop staring at them, will never tire of seeing the four of them - all four of them - together and happy.
And so it is that he doesn't see the human approaching, doesn't know that he is standing nearby until he feels pressure on his elbow and hears a deep voice say, "Do you need a hand up?"
Christian startles, wrenching his arm out of the human's loose grip while internally berating himself for his lapse in caution. He's wrecked and he knows it, the hits coming faster than he can process them, but he needs to pull himself together right-the-kurwa now. There's no excuse for letting his guard down and risking the well-being of his charges while there's an unknown human in their vicinity.
When he looks up, his gaze is met by piercing, hazel eyes. There's an intelligence there. And kindness. It strikes him then that he's looking into the eyes of the human who took Jensen, the human who has had Jensen for four days. He waits for the fury to swell up inside him, tries to dredge up the protective anger he has lived and breathed ever since he realized that the tiny, green-winged fairy was missing.
His eyes are drawn back to Jensen where he plays with his quadral mates. Jensen who is alive and whole. Jensen whose body is not covered in blood or mangled beyond recognition or any of the other horrible things that could have been. Jensen is home and that's all that truly matters. Christian watches as the wayward fairy swoops and glides, fairy dust shimmering around him, and all he feels is...gratitude.
"You brought him home."
"I did." The human shrugs, expression unreadable, almost as if he's trying desperately to hold himself in check. His voice is soft and there's an air of resignation about him. "As soon as he was able to fly for an extended period of time. It took him a while to work up to this." With one hand, the human gestures at the intricate acrobatics all four fairies are performing.
Christian nods. He's no closer to understanding what happened, but he gets the feeling this human isn't responsible for Jensen's disappearance. Sometime soon, he'll want to hear the whole story. Not now though. He extends a hand and allows the human to pull him up, noting the good ten inches the human has on him height-wise. It doesn't matter. Christian figures he could still take him out if need be.
Together they watch the fairies, neither speaking, each lost in his own thoughts. The silence is companionable, easy. A calm happiness descends on him and Christian knows the fairy dust swirling through the air in great quantities is partially responsible. Still, it feels good, as does knowing the reason behind all the dust.
The human takes a deep breath and murmurs, "They are quite extraordinary, aren't they?"
Christian slants a glance at him out of the corner of his eye. Melancholy. The word jumps into his head and it fits. The human looks melancholy. Christian can't help but wonder how the human can look so awed and so sad at the same time, especially with the amount of fairy dust that is shimmering in his hair.
"They are," he agrees, because it's true.
He's spared from commenting further by Jensen, who performs a graceful twirl and breaks away from his quadral mates, fluttering up to Christian. He comes quickly at first, but slows the closer he gets, the merriment in his expression softening, becoming somewhat wistful and shy.
"Guardian," he says solemnly as he hovers just in front of Christian's face, hands clasped behind his back. "I beg your forgiveness. I was foolish and reckless and I let my curiosity get the better of me. You must be very cross with me, it is well within your right to be so, still, I hope to get back into your good graces one day."
Christian gets his first real look at Jensen then. There are dark smudges under his eyes that give him the appearance of a helpless waif. And that's not all. His build is slighter, as though he's lost weight and is only now beginning to regain some muscle mass. He holds himself differently too, his posture more defensive, less open and naive. His wings, while a vibrant green, look more fragile than they have since Jensen was a fledgling, just learning to fly for the first time. It's obvious that Jensen has already suffered greatly for his transgressions. It's not Christian's place to scold, nor does he have the inclination.
After regarding the fairy for a long time, he says, "I believe you have learned your lesson. You will be more careful in the future."
"Yes, Guardian, I have learned that lesson and many others as well. Humans are a very interesting species. I wish to tell you all about them. I have so many stories I don't even know where to begin. Jared's house is amazing. Oh, I must tell you about the machine that makes the coffee."
The human - Jared, Christian supposes - chuckles. "Yes, we learned not to let Jensen get too close to the coffee. The smell alone makes him a little, um, shall we say, hyper."
Jensen just makes a chirping sound which is mostly meant to be dismissive and keeps talking.
"I got a whiff of your coffee this morning and it has not made me at all hyper," he chides.
Jared rolls his eyes and smiles indulgently.
"What? It hasn't. Anyway, the machine is big and black with silver buttons. And it displays the time too. Did you know that human's keep track of time with numbers? Also, humans have a love of clothing which rivals your own, Guardian, although I still do not understand it." A hint of playfulness creeps into Jensen's tone. "Being with Jared has given me several brand-new reasons for banning clothes outright."
Christian listens, amused, as Jensen prattles on at a rapid clip and Jared begins to turn an odd shade of pink.
"Clothes only get in the way and, besides, they tend to cover up the most important parts. It's very difficult to touch someone when they have pants on and now that I know what happens when Jared touches me on my peni-"
"Jensen!" Jared's voice is a panicked shout, cutting Jensen off mid-word. "Maybe we shouldn't get into that just yet," he continues in a calmer, albeit strangled sounding, tone.
Jensen blinks up at the human. "Oh, all right, Jared." He pauses. "In that case, shall I tell him about the bed?"
Jared clears his throat and nods, so Jensen continues, turning back to Christian.
"You should see the bed, that's where Jared sleeps when he isn't sleeping on the couch. It's humongous and has pillows and sheets and blankets on it. I am very fond of the blankets because they are so soft they feel like I am sleeping on fluffy clouds. I only slept on the blankets once though. Most of the time I slept in Jared's hands or on his stomach. Jared's stomach is very flat and muscular. Show the Guardian how flat your stomach is, Jared."
"Maybe some other time," Jared mumbles at the same time as Christian says, "That's okay. I'll just take your word for it."
Jensen crinkles his eyebrows in bewilderment, his swiftly beating wings creating a soft humming noise. "Have I said the wrong thing?"
Christian could try to explain about modesty and how it's not generally thought to be good manners to take off your clothes in front of people you have only recently meet, but it would do no good. The social, little fairy would never understand. Maybe they can talk about it some other time. For now, he simply says, "No, little one, you're fine."
"Very well, then I shall tell you of Jared's musical device." Jensen launches directly into his next topic with barely a nod of his head to acknowledge Christian's reassurance. "He has a devise that plays all sorts of music whenever he desires. The sound is so clear that at first I thought there must be extremely small people inside, smaller than the smallest fairy who ever lived. Jared says I should not worry, however, for no one is being held captive inside the device and forced to sing against their will."
Jensen's enthusiastic chatter is interrupted by a yawn and Jared gets a concerned look on his face as he holds out his hand. The fairy immediately alights and reclines in the large palm, looking even smaller by comparison.
"I think perhaps I need a short break." Jensen folds his wings tight to his back, but not before Christian sees the tremors going through them. He yawns again and it's clear that his energy is waning quickly. "Give me a few seconds and I shall tell you about Jared's..." His voice trails off and his head lolls to the side before he can finish the thought.
"He still tires easily," Jared explains as he cups the fairy protectively to his chest. "This is the most flying he's done since before I found him, barely alive, on my kitchen counter."
At this bit of news, Christian mouth goes dry and he has to restrain himself from reaching out and grabbing Jensen away from the human. It's one thing to suspect something horrible like that and another thing entirely to have those suspicions confirmed. The images of Jensen, alone and near death, that he has been harboring for the last four days, begin to flash through his mind again.
The other three fairies fly back to him, possibly because they can sense his distress or possibly because they have tired of their game or possibly because they are simply curious. Whatever the reason, Christian is grateful to have them nearby. Alona perches on his shoulder, close to his neck, and pulls his long, dark hair around herself like a curtain. Felicia flies down Christian's collar and then pops her head up to peer at the human from the safety of his shirt. Misha, the most courageous of them, braves proximity with the strange human to flit over and wrap his arms around Jensen.
Jensen sits up and rubs his eyes sleepily, hugs Misha back. Despite his obvious fatigue, he makes an effort at formal introductions. "Misha, it is my honor to introduce you to my new friend, Jared. Jared, this is Misha and over there, hiding behind the Guardian's hair, is Alona. Felicia is the one inside his shirt."
Alona emerges from the curtain of hair and says, "I was not hiding. I was just...cold."
It's a fib, fairies don't get cold in that way, which is why they have no need of clothing, but Christian isn't going to call her on it and Jensen looks like he's about to fall asleep again while sitting in Jared's hand, cocooned in Misha's arms.
"We should get these guys back to their burrow," Christian says. "It's just on the other side of this hill."
"Yeah, it looks like they're all pretty tuckered out."
That's certainly true. All four fairies seem to have run out of steam at about the same time, wings drooping and eyes heavy-lidded.
They all fall asleep on the way, Misha and Jensen cuddled up together in Jared's hand, Alona and Felicia in Christian's.
As they walk, Christian wonders about Jensen's human. The more he wonders, the more he begins to worry. What happened between these two and what type of expectations does this man have for the future? There's only one way to find out and Christian has never had a problem with being blunt.
"How much do you know about the fair folk?" he asks.
"Only what I learned from a documentary when I was in med school. And what I've learned from Jensen." Jared strokes the sole of one of Jensen's wee feet. The fairy sighs and shifts slightly in his sleep, causing Misha to curl even tighter around him. Jared smiles softly at them.
"The fae have a reputation for being fickle creatures, untrustworthy, capricious." Christian shakes his long hair out of his face and fixes Jared with a hard stare. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Believe me, I've lived among them for decades and you won't find a more devoted or constant friend than one of the fae."
Jared opens his mouth to speak, but Christian isn't done yet.
"Listen to me for a minute, Jared, fairies form very strong attachments. I saw the way Jensen looks at you. He's already attached. Whether you think that's a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know and it doesn't make any difference at all to Jensen. He's going to want to see you again." Christian drops his voice to a lower register. "Within a day or two, maybe a week, he's going to forget all about his promise to be careful and he's going to cross the meadow to visit you. I can guarantee it, sure as I'm breathing. And you and I both know it's too dangerous for him to do that."
Jared's lips form a thin, stiff line. "I can't come home to find him like that again. That can't happen."
"No, it can't. Question is...what are we going to do about it?"
Epilogue - One Month Later
The Broncos are playing the Stealers on his television, the announcer's voice blaring through his surround-sound speakers, and still the house seems too quiet. It's amazing, Jared thinks, that someone as small as Jensen can have such a huge presence, can fill a house with so much laughter and fun that when he's not there the place feels desolate.
Jared pulls his cell from his pocket and glances at the time. Sunday, 3:55pm, the display blinks at him. His next shift at the hospital doesn't start until Monday morning so he has an entire evening to kill and he can't think of a single thing he wants to do.
He's beyond bored. Bored to the point that he's considering going to the hospital to pick up an extra shift just to have something to do. As he wonders who else might be working today, the doorbell buzzes, the special doorbell he'd installed on his back door. Only one person ever comes in that way.
A huge smile appears on his face as he jumps off the couch to get to the door. Flinging it open, he sees what appears to be an apple with naked, pixie-sized legs, floating at eye level. The legs are fully muscled and decidedly masculine, despite their small size.
"Surprise!" says a familiar voice.
The apple hovers, then sinks a couple of inches before there's a grunt and it steadies again, rising back to its previous level.
Jared reaches out and plucks the apple from Jensen's tenuous grip. "Jensen, this apple is almost as big as you are. How are you able to fly with it? Where did you get it from anyway?"
Jensen gives him an impish grin, the green of his eyes flashing with mirth. "I'll have you know that I am stronger than I appear, and well, you told me you like apples, so I asked the tree near our burrow to grow one for you. Poor tree has been working on it for two whole days."
"Two days? Wow, that's...fast."
Jared studies the apple, hefts it in his hand. There's no denying it's one of the nicest apples he's ever seen, bright red, without a single blemish. Another thought occurs to him.
"But Jensen, that tree isn't even an apple tree."
"I know," Jensen replies, laughing. He wraps his arms around his bare midriff as if he can hardly contain his excitement. "Try it!"
Jared polishes the apple on his shirt, gives Jensen a sideways glance, and takes a bite. It's crisp and tart with just the right amount of sweetness mixed in. Jared moans his appreciation. "Tell your tree, apple tree or not, it makes a damn fine apple," he says as juice runs down his chin.
Jensen's response is to spin around and then launch himself at Jared's neck where he presses in close. "I missed you, Jared."
"I missed you too." In truth, Jared has never been so happy to see someone. The days Jensen spends with his quadral mates and their guardian in the meadow always go by way too slowly. "You're just in time. You saved me from taking on another shift at the hospital out of sheer boredom. I don't understand though, I thought you weren't coming until tomorrow."
"Yes, that is what we planned for this week, but the apple was ready and I could not stand to wait any longer, so I asked the Guardian and he agreed to bring me early."
Sure enough, at the edge of his property where manicured lawn meets tree line, stands the Guardian, arms crossed over his chest, silently watching. The edge of the property is as close as he ever comes to Jared's house. Jared has never asked why, that's just the way it always is. He brings Jensen that far and then he stands and waits to make sure Jared is at home and that Jensen gets inside safely before he goes back to the meadow.
Three small shapes flutter around him. Individual features are difficult to make out from this distance, but the vibrant colors are easy to see. The red-winged fairy begins to fly a curlicue pattern and, from the trailing dust that sparkles in the sunlight, Jared can tell she's forming cursive letters.
Jared lifts a hand in greeting. "Hey Felicia," he calls back, loudly enough for her to hear him.
The sound of her laughter, as high and as delicate as wind chimes, comes back to him on the light breeze.
"I believe she is flirting with you."
"Indeed. She is a shameless flirt."
Jared kind of doubts that's true. After all, who does she have to flirt with out in the meadow? Could Jensen be...?
"Jensen, are you jealous?"
"Of course not. What do I have to be jealous of? I am still your favorite, am I not?" Jensen nuzzles the sensitive skin behind his earlobe.
"No contest," Jared declares. "You are, by far and away, my very favorite fairy with green wings that I know."
Jensen doesn't seem to know what to say to that and, since he's never rendered the precocious fairy speechless before, Jared chalks it up as a win. He chuckles and reaches up to stroke Jensen's wings by way of a peace offering. When he looks back out to the edge of the property, the Guardian and his three other charges have already disappeared.
"Come on, let's go inside."
"Jared?" Jensen pipes up as soon as he gets the door closed. "Do you find the temperature inside your house to your liking? Are you comfortable?"
Jared tries to hide his smile. He knows where this is going, knows all about Jensen's campaign to get him out of his clothing. Subtlety isn't one of his strong suites.
Playing along, he answers, "Yeah, I'm comfortable. Why do you ask? Do you want me to open up some windows? Get a breeze going?"
"Oh no, I am fine. It's just, you know, I was thinking. We have known each other for a long time now..."
"About a month, yes. I guess that could be considered a long time."
"Correct, one full cycle of the moon, and in that time we have become very good friends."
"The best," Jared agrees.
"So, you would not feel, um...that thing when you are embarrassed about being without your clothing. What is that word the Guardian used the other day?"
Jensen has learned a lot of what he calls 'human words' since the two of them began hanging out together. He can't really be blamed for forgetting this one since the concept makes no sense to him.
"Modest," Jared says in answer to the question. "Well, I might still feel a little strange about taking my clothes off in front of you, even though we are very good friends."
"You need not be modest in front of me, Jared. Your body looks perfectly acceptable from what I have seen so far. And besides, you see me unclothed all the time. I am not embarrassed in front of you." Jensen flies to the back of the couch and strikes a series of poses in all his naked glory, wings outstretched and head held high, each movement fluid and graceful.
Jared nearly chokes as he tries to hold back his laughter at the determined fairy's antics. Apparently, Jensen isn't prepared to take no for an answer today.
"You're making it very hard for me to resist, first with all your well-developed arguments, then with the wonderful compliment about my acceptable body, and lastly with your graceful dance moves."
Jensen grins. His skin glows a golden light brown from a lifetime spent in the sun. His pert up-turned nose and slightly pointed ears lend him an exotic appearance. "It is only fair, after all," he continues. "When I was sick you spent many hours restoring me to health by touching every part of my body. It should now be my turn to make you feel good by returning the favor. Fairy magic is versatile. I promise, you will enjoy what I can do."
And really, how is Jared supposed to say no to that?
Moments later, his jeans hit the floor and Jensen begins to make good on that promise, wings vibrating as he hums in admiration.
And to think, only a little while ago he'd been bored.
( Chapter 2 )
Start at the beginning ( Chapter 1 )
( Chapter 3 )
( Chapter 4 )