"Don't," I said with a smile, "wet feathers suck?" She was so cute when easily embarassed, but I got the feeling she would go off and try to dry her wings by herself if I so much as raised an eyebrow. So light and tender was the way to be. And warm -- wet feathers were cold. Like sunlight, except with fingers.

But she didn't say anything, just turned to face the window and the rain. I parted her hair to the front of her shoulders and lingered there a moment, inhaling deeply, before sighing and taking the towel from her hands. (I should not let myself be distracted by their delicacy, for that would keep her waiting.)

She didn't look up when I began to dry her upper primaries, though she could have. She dreamed looking down: I never really figured out why, but I tried not to let it bother me. So I wasn't suprised when she spoke soft and reluctantly.

"I've been thinking about moving."
I wiped down another feather and thought supportive thoughts. "Where to?"
She shook out her wings again; the room would smell like her for days. It wasn't a bad thing, except that I'd get this big dopey grin on my face whenever I walked in. And I wouldn't be able to concentrate. Except, I mean, on her.
"But I can't --
"I know," she said, but there was no snow around, just my arms, which must have been cold, with my heart stopped, because she shivered. And the towel hit the floor with a muffled whump.


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