Awry

( A short flash fiction written as a prize for a contest held over on DeviantArt )

Eral came to after the fight had concluded. By the pained groans throughout the courtyard, he hadn’t been out for more than a few minutes. That, at least, was a good sign. He also noted that Elias stood at the center of the courtyard, surveying the damage and looking mostly unharmed. Another good thing.

“Eral? Buddy?” Elias called. Genuine concern colored his voice.

Eral waved his arms but didn’t move to stand. “Here, dummy. Look for the only green here!”

Elias zeroed in on him, and if Eral wasn’t hazy from pain, he’d relish the shock on that face. Not much could throw Elias off like that.

Heavy footsteps shook the stone ground as Elias rushed towards Eral. His shadow barely engulfed the fallen pixie before he dropped into a kneel. Eral leaned back in time with Elias leaning over him, though he couldn’t hope to keep his personal space at this point.

As usual when met with any level of fussing over him, Eral rolled his eyes. “You look awful, Elias. Maybe you oughta kick back a bit. Rein in the storm tricks for a day or two.”

Elias blinked. “Eral, your wings… doesn’t that hurt?”

The question brought with it a new aching wave of pain as if spoken into being. Eral winced, ever aware of the bent and crumpled wings at his back. “Yes, Elias, it hurts. Next dumb question, please.”

Instead, Elias reached down to scoop Eral into his cupped palms, moving slowly and with an unusual amount of restraint. “I thought. Well, damn. I thought I’d waited to set off the blast. Eral, I’m sorry.”

Seeing Elias so subdued and remorseful, Eral sighed. He couldn’t have kept up the teasing much longer, anyway. His wings did hurt. Badly. “You probably did. I didn’t count on someone throwing things at me.” One wing twitched and he grimaced. “I spun. The wind went off. I hit the wall.”

Elias winced in sympathy. “Can they be fixed?”

“Well yeah. Just gotta find a healer. You’ll be doing all the footwork, though. I’m not navigating for you today.”

Elias smirked. “I’ll try not to get lost without your scouting,” he quipped as he turned for the exit of the courtyard.

“Big ask, I know,” Eral shot back. He was tired enough to lie back on the hands supporting him, but his wings never let him rest. “Just don’t get held up by any authorities. No stalling.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Elias murmured as he fled the courtyard, leaving the unconscious others to be caught with all the evidence of their crimes. Once he ducked into a side street, he glanced down at Eral again. “I’ll getcha taken care of in no time, pal.” A thumb curled inward to nudge at Eral’s side.

Eral scoffed, but it was more of an amused sound. Rather than push the thumb away, he hooked an arm over it to steady himself. Every giant step Elias took swayed in his hands, but all the same Eral appreciated the effort. “I know, buddy. Then we’ll hit the pub.”

“It’s a date,” Elias quipped, his familiar grin appearing at last.

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