Sometimes you don’t start your day until 2pm. Sometimes you have to put on a pair of jeans and a nice shirt instead of sweatpants in order to feel good about yourself. Sometimes it’s really fucking hard to get up and take a shower or brush your teeth. Sometimes it’s really fucking hard to take care of yourself and it’s okay. That is okay. Simple things aren’t always easy and simple things being hard doesn’t make you weak, you are doing the best you can and some days there are things you just can’t do and that’s okay. You are healing. You are trying. Do what you need to do to feel good.
Yuuri’s wings were bare. His old feathers had molted nearly entirely, steadily replaced by the new gleam of midnight blue. Still fresh and not yet fully formed. It left him looking oddly messy, patches of blue amongst greying black, with sharp contrasts between the spots.
Yuuri had traced a few more days onto Victor’s palm that morning, before disappearing back inside his mass of blankets. Peppered down feathers billowed out after him, driven by the force of another sneeze.
Victor had never expected something as cute as a molting siren. Yuuri had spent a week practically nesting in their bed, devouring any food that Victor brought him, affectionate beyond a fault whenever Victor groomed his wings. In the evenings, he seemed to turn from a bird to an octopus, suctioning himself to Victor’s side with all their limbs entangled.
The crew, concerned for Yuuri’s weakened state and sudden disappearance, had left offerings of hand-carved toy boats outside the cabin. Yuuri chirped happily at each, causing a mess when he proceeded to drown one in a glass of Victor’s rum.
Victor stayed with him as much as he could, for Yuuri whined in complaint whenever he left, writing pleas for Victor to return quickly into the sheets and across his skin. He laid beside Yuuri so that the siren could still play with his hair, braiding a few of his molted feathers into the silver.
“Captain!“ The call was preceded by a hasty knock. Without awaiting a response, Mila came in through the door, concern writ across her face. “Come, quick. I don’t know how we didn’t see them coming but— no, Yuuri, not you. Stay here.”
Victor rose from the bed, leaving Yuuri with a squeeze of the hand to follow his quartermaster to the deck. He had no chance to question her worry, he saw it clear when he stepped out. Beside their ship was another. Flying the colors of the Royal Navy. And Victor recognized the gruff elder man standing at command aboard it.
“Surrender the siren, Vitya! We know you have it on board. Give it up and I let your crew be. This time around.”
Victor’s eyes darted to Mila beside him, seeing her hands hovering over each hip. One over her pistol, the second over her sword. He echoed the movements. “Not without a fight, Gramps!”
in year four, coach can’t make it up for family weekend once again
and bitty’s feeling a bit blue about it, ‘cause he thought maybe being Captain would make his dad more determined to clear his schedule or whatever. but he bakes some pies in preparation for his mama, chats with the chows and the nurses and meets ford’s moms and whiskey’s siblings and there’s a mini party going on at the haus pre-game when the doorbell rings.
now, bitty knows it’s probably his mama because who else would ring the doorbell? so he opens the door and yes, his mama is there, but next to her is Shitty in a sweater vest and tie, holding a pipe and wearing reading glasses he must have stolen from ransom.
“son!” he shouts, arms open. “my boy, you’ve grown six inches since i saw you last! been eating your spinach, i see.”
and mama’s laughing and going along with it, so bitty grins and lets shitty pull him into a hug. and the whole night Mr. Crappy is absolute gentleman, making small talk with the other parents and introducing himself as bitty’s Honorary Father. (”because i’m honored to be his dad for the evening, git it?”)
and bitty is so happy to see his mama and so tickled by shitty that he forgets how sad he was feeling earlier. at the end of the evening, after the game, he pulls shitty aside to thank him. and shitty kisses the top of his head very loudly and says, “bits, c’mon. that’s what family’s for.”
And then when you smile, the weakest star gathers the strength to shine brighter than the morning star, light finds every corner of the world and devours the darkness that surrounds, and everything feels possible. When you smile, magic happens.