Quinn could almost never find anyone who was willing to go bird watching with him. At least, no one who was willing to go all the way to the Kumungu Jungle to do it. That’s why when he asked Talon, he was sure he would say no. The assassin would scoff and tell him to leave him the hell alone.
But instead, he agreed to come along without a single complaint. He even said it sounded fun. No one had ever been so excited to sit on a tree branch and watch Quinn sketch pictures of birds before.
“There!” Talon whispered, pointing. “Do you see that?”
About fifty feet away was one of the many species of fauna that was unique to Kumungu. It looked like a squill had sprouted wings and a beak, and considering the volatile nature of wildlife in the area, that’s probably just what happened. “Make sure you get that one.”
Quinn nodded and turned to a new page. His pencil skittered across the notebook, getting down the form of the creature as quickly as possible, in case it ran off. He glanced at Talon out of the corner of his eye as he drew. The Noxian did bear a striking resemblance to Caleb, but up close, the differences between them were more obvious than the similarities. His eyes were sharp and predatory, constantly scanning his surroundings. He rarely ever smiled, and when he laughed it was wry and bitter.
“I wanna ask you something,” Quinn said, closing his sketchbook.
“What is it?” Talon asked, eyebrow raised curiously.
“Do you really think this is fun, or are you just here out of pity?”
Talon shifted on his perch awkwardly. He turned his head away, refusing to meet the scout’s gaze. “Noxians don’t do anything out of pity,” he said. “It’s just…living with two sisters can be exhausting. I figured it might be a welcome break to spend a little time with someone more like a brother.”
At first, Quinn wasn’t sure he’d heard right. But as the words played over again in his head, he broke out into a smile. “Yeah. It might be nice to have someone like a brother.”
Talon cleared his throat, obviously pained by such an overt display of emotion. He didn’t speak again until he heard the pages of Quinn’s notebook flipping open. “Get a good sketch of that one there…”