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Ruffled Feathers

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“Let me gooo, baby.”

Cidgeon stared at the display. Blanca loafed on the ground and had Cabanela pinned against her side under her wing. He knew Belle had done much the same for him and Lovey-Dove through the night, but unlike Blanca, the chocobo had released him in the morning. Blanca seemed much less willing despite Cabanela’s protests and attempts to wriggle out from under her.

“Bright neeew day. We need to get movin’,” Cabanela said and tried to nudge at her wing.


Cidgeon eyed him. He looked awful and his attempted struggles had done nothing to help his now rumpled appearance on top of it. “Did you get any sleep last night?”

“Enough,” Cabanela said shortly.

Cidgeon rolled his eyes. And that could mean anything except anything sensible and he knew at least the night before had been restless. Add on the days of travel…

“We’ll rest here today.”

“What?” Cabanela exclaimed. “We are not losin’ more time.”

Once more he tried to slide out from under her wing. Blanca raised her head and hissed. Cabanela froze. Jowd finally looked up.

“That’s rare,” he said mildly.

“I’ll be f—.” Cabanela tried and lost the rest of his words in a gasp as Blanca pressed him down.

“Right,” Cidgeon said and prodded their fire back to life. “We stay. I assume you have no problem with that?” he directed at Jowd.

Jowd leaned back against Pinkie with a shrug, and patted her beak. “Makes no difference to me.”

Cabanela sagged back against Blanca. She did, in time, lift her wing just enough to let him turn over, fingers burrowing into her feathers. And she draped her wing gently back over him as he started to drift, and curled her head around with a satisfied little wark.

So they remained, ringed around their small fire, while the trench stretched away before them for another day.