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Water and Wings

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The first few times, it was an accident, really.

Sure, he'd been told things that could have led him to figure out where the girls were bathing - but that didn't mean that he actually figured it out. Ein could be a scatterbrain at times, and this was one of them. He just happened to run across them bathing a few times.

And the staring, that was accidental too. It wasn't every day that you saw a lot of naked girls, so it was normal that his brain shut down. The idea that he was doing it intentionally... He wouldn't be so rude! These were his good friends and he wasn't a pervert.

The girls considered banning him from the springs entirely, but Ein pointed out that he still needed to bathe, too, so that was out. Instead they just tried to be as secretive as possible, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't.

Things changed when Ledah recovered. They appealed to him to keep Ein as busy as possible while they washed, and even if he'd wanted to peep - which he didn't! - there was no way he was getting past Ledah's unamused stare, and sometimes the business end of Lorelei if that didn't deter him.

Ledah wasn't with him constantly, though. If Ledah wasn't there, Ein presumed that it was safe to visit the springs. That was how it was this morning.

When he approached the springs, a soft splash gave him pause. Quietly - only because he didn't want to disturb them, not because he was sneaking up - he came close enough to see.

There were no girls bathing, which was a relief. Instead, black wings framed a nude form. Ledah sat at the edge of the pool, pouring water over himself. Ein knew from when he still had wings that it was a pain to try to bathe with them: Ledah was using the easiest method. Wings still had to be cleaned, but soaking them completely would make them way too heavy to walk around with.

Probably, Ein should have just walked up. They were both men, and they'd shared enough in the past that bathing together would have been no big deal. Yet he found himself watching the rivulets of water on Ledah's skin and staying put.

It might have just been the vulnerability of the act; Lorelei was placed to the side, within reach, but Ledah's attention had to be elsewhere if he let Ein get this close without comment. It might have just been that he found Ledah attractive nude, and the Grim Angel usually covered himself almost completely.

"Let me get your wings for you?"

Ledah turned to look at him with a blank expression - maybe he had noticed, or maybe he just didn't emote much - before nodding.

With a small smile, Ein sat next to Ledah. He dipped the towel he had brought into the water before carefully wiping off Ledah's feathers individually.

It took ages to wash a pair of wings as impressive as Ledah's; no wonder that he had chosen to start in the early morning. Ein's bathing could wait, since it would take much less time than Ledah's wings alone.

Ledah stretched his wings a little every so often, making soft pleased sounds. Ein had almost forgotten that it felt good to be taken care of like that; he used to get Ledah to try to clean his, when they were children. It was just easier that way, and they were friends...

"Thank you." When Ledah turned to face him to allow him to get the other side more easily, Ein could have sworn that his smile was almost warm.