*Quick note from Reverse here, I know I don’t really post any shippy stuff on here, but this little fic is just too precious! So give this little cutie pie all the love for their hard work here, and I’ll stop gabbing now…*
~Okay, so I can safely say without two many spoilers that this is basically a Host/Dove (Dove is my OC) one shot where Dove tells him about some scars that she has.
Dove is an Avii- basically a human who’s born with wings and certain healing abilities. Her wings are based off of a mourning dove- hence her name. The Avii take great pride in their wings, which will make more sense later.
The title is a reference to Jacquie Lee’s song Broken Ones.
Warning: Angst, Scars (I promise there is plenty of sappy romantic fluff at the end tho).
(I know it’s not all that good, but this smol shy amateur bean author did her best ;-;)~
Dove was in the middle of a cuddling session with Host when she finally told him.
She was curled up with his arms wrapped around her and his forehead pressed against the crook of her neck. They had been lying this way for over an hour, and neither of them wanted to move. She was enjoying the warmth and comfort, and Host was drawing circles and patterns on her hands and wrists, tracing and mapping her skin in an attempt to ease her.
Host could tell that something was bothering her- Dove had moved and adjusted her position multiple times before becoming comfortable, and even now she seemed tense. He was starting to grow concerned for her, but he wasn’t brave enough to press her. What if she reacted badly?
Dove broke the silence, startling him out of his thoughts. “Host?”
“If I… If I showed you something, would you promise not to freak out?” She asked, her voice relaying the tension that he had been feeling for the past hour. He paused. So something really was eating her.
“What is it?” He asked, his voice soft. She hesitated again, squirming in his arms. Suddenly, she sat up, forcing Host to adjust his own position.
“Something important. I… I didn’t want to tell you, but I feel like you deserve to know. Please, just… Promise first,” she finally finished. She had stumbled over most of her words. Host was both puzzled and concerned at this point. What in the world could have Dove so worried?
“I promise. Nothing about you would frighten me, Dove,” he answered her. She gave vent to a small sigh of relief, but he could still feel how tight her muscles were.
“Thank you. Hold on, I have to do something first-” she said, slowly standing so as not to startle Host. He heard the sounds of cloth rustling and dull, quiet sound of fabric being bundled up. The mattress depressed as she sat back down on the edge of the bed.
“This is going to sound strange, but… feel my back, near my shoulder blades,” she told him. He obeyed, delicately running his fingers across her spine.
At first, all he felt was her smooth, perfect skin- but, as his fingers passed across the bone of her shoulders, his fingertips found a cruel dip, a jagged scar indentation. It was deep and irregular, and he could feel the texture of stitches that were never removed or absorbed. On the outside edge of her shoulder, he noticed something odd. Where there should have been her flesh, there was something soft and fluffy, with a hard, almost needle-like core. Feathers?
The realization hit him like a train wreck.
“You… you had….”
“Wings. I had wings,” she finished, her voice cracking. She sounded quiet, broken. Without thinking, Host brought her into a hug. She pressed into his embrace as hot, salty tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Host is s-so sorry about t-this, and wants you to know t-that you don’t have to t-talk about this,” he blurt out. She had scared him into narrating. She felt a pang of guilt.
“I’m sorry, Host, I didn’t mean to s-scare you,” she said.
“D-Dove did not scare Host. Host is just s-sad that somebody would d-do that to Dove,” he said. His voice was extremely shaky. Unsure of what to do, she squeezed him tighter. They stayed like this- entangled in each other’s arms- for a long time before either of them spoke.
“H-Host wants Dove to know that he w-would never h-hurt her….” he said. She untangled her arms, pulling away from him slightly.
“I know you won’t, Host,” she said, moving her arms so that she was gently cupping his face in her hands. She paused.
“Do you know why I told you about this?” She asked him.
“Because I wanted you to know that you weren’t the only one with scars. You aren’t the only one who’s lost things that you will never get back. You aren’t alone, Host. You’ll never be alone,” she said. She cradled his head in her hands, and gently brought his face to hers so that his forehead was pressed against her own.
“Y-you aren’t alone either, D-Dove. I’ll be t-there for you,” he immediately answered. She was always around, always helping him when he needed her. Over time, she had practically become his eyes.
It was time for him to be her wings.
Dove, for her part, had no idea what to say to that. It was always her telling somebody else that she would be there. It had been ages since somebody had made that kind of vow to her.
So instead of talking, she shifted the position of her head, and brought his face to hers.
That was the first time that they had ever truly kissed. It was bittersweet, long and powerful. It seemed like time was frozen, and all that existed was her and the taste of sugar and salt on her lips. That kiss said everything that she couldn’t put into words. When they reluctantly broke apart, they were both panting.
Host sat there, still processing what had just happened. His silence worried Dove- for a moment, she was frightened that she had gone too far.
“H-Host? Are you… are you okay?” She asked, concerned.
He gave her a sheepish smile, and blush shot across his cheeks.
“H-Host is okay,” he sputtered out.
“Thank God- You scared me. I thought that I had petrified you,” she said, leaning back into her pillow, a hand over her chest.
Host did the same, turning his head over to her as if he could really see her. She tucked her head against his chest, and he rewound his arms around her body, pulling her close. “I t-told you, n-nothing about you can scare me.”
And with that, they laid there together, two broken souls-
Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) tend to feed busily on the ground, swallowing seeds and storing them in an enlargement of the esophagus called the crop. Once they’ve filled it (the record is 17,200 bluegrass seeds in a single crop!), they can fly to a safe perch to digest the meal
(All About Birds, Cornell).
Day 224, another mourning dove- this time a painting of one I found yesterday on the deck rail, sleeping like this in the shade! Gosh, it was so cute. Also posting this one early because I’ll be out of the house at the time I usually post them.
speaking of being a massive ecology nerd, guess what season it is, folks!
That’s right, it’s FLEDGLING BIRD SEASON here in North America, which means it’s time for an annual reminder that most species of birds have almost no sense of smell. Someone probably told you that if you touch a baby bird, the mother will smell you on it and reject her baby. THAT IS NOT THE CASE.
Pictured: a young Mourning Dove, after being rescued from the tender mercies of my dog, circa spring 2005. It’s a fledgling! Note how it has most of its feathers, but still looks a bit awkward and scruffy, and, being unable to properly fly, can be caught by an elderly husky or a child.
Hatchlings: IF it is covered in fluffy down (or partly naked) and cannot flutter successfully, it’s a hatchling, and has fallen from its nest prematurely. Look for the nest- if you find it and can reach it, return baby and then gtfo and let the parents return. If you can’t find the nest, or if you find it in pieces on the ground, use a small box lined with dryer lint or dog hair or similar fluff and attach as close as possible to where you found the bird or where you think the nest was. Return baby!!!!
Fledglings: If you spot a young bird covered with feathers on the ground, chances are it’s a fledgling (bird tween, can flutter) who is not doing well in flying 101, but it is probably NOT injured or sick. Hanging out on the ground is part of the learning to fly process! If it looks like it’s in immediate danger (i.e. of being run over, stepped on, or eaten by a cat or dog), the best thing you can do for it is to gently scoop it up and place it in the branches of a nearby tree or shrub, and then LEAVE. The parents are likely nearby, and will return once the coast is clear of humans/predators. If it flutter-hops away from you and you can’t catch it, then don’t worry! It just successfully avoided a predator (you), and therefore can probably continue to do so.
DON’T DON’T DON’T: Try to feed it, bring it into your house or car, or take it to your local vet or animal shelter.
IF it IS actually for-real injured, you can catch it and contact a local wildlife rehabilitation professional (and then listen to whatever they tell you), but keep in mind that they get a LOT of fledgling birds, and those birds have a pretty high mortality rate. They may tell you that there is nothing you or they can do but allow nature to take its course, and that’s hard, but important to hear and respect.