There are few things in this world worse than fear, and few so easily abolished by a good cup of hot chocolate.
"I hate the thunder, can I sleep in your bed?" Prince stood in the doorway, trying not to look pleading, as another loud peel of thunder sounded behind him. For a moment, the world vanished in a flash of light, then it was back and Pierce was looking down his beak at him.
"Sure thing. Come on in." The blue hawk moved out of the door way, allowing the very grateful frog to scurry past him into the warmth of his house. "Can I get you something to drink? Beer, soda? A cup of that froofy iced tea you seem to like?"
Prince sniffed. "There's nothing froofy about it! But no, it's too cold for that...have any hot chocolate?" He tried not to sound like he was whining, even if he was.
"All your spotted little heart could desire!" Pierce chuckled, rooting around in his cupboards. "Piper brought me a whole big container the other day. Wasn't that just sweet of her?"
Prince, who had been cheerfully snuggling himself into a corner of Pierce's couch, froze at the mention of Piper's name. His face folded into a froggy scowl and, completely ignoring the pun, he grumbled. "Oh, perfectly peachy, I'm sure."
Catching the frog's tone, Pierce paused half way through retrieving the milk from the refrigerator. "Something wrong?"
"No, not really. Just cold." Prince tried not to wince. He didn't like sounding catty, but the amount of attention his hawk paid to that silly songbird was enough to make him...well, he was already green, but considerably greener! "Why don't you make two cups of chocolate and we can snuggle on the couch for awhile before bed?" The thought of burrowing into warm, blue feathers made his smile a bit more genuine than it would have been otherwise.
"You are such a snuggle bunny! You should have long ears instead of spots!"
Pierce's warm laugh was enough to drive away the lingering chill and make Prince completely forget about the thunder and lightning outside, even when it recast the entire room in black and white. He curled, head propped on the couch's arm rest and watched his hawk finish measure out heaping spoonfuls of ground cocoa and sugar. He especially liked the way Pierce's muscles worked under the ridiculously tight shirt he wore, although he had to wonder how the bird kept his feathers neat under that tight fabric. Then again, the ducks and Piper didn't seem to have issues with their clothing either...and there he'd gone and done it. He'd thought of her/. He stared moodily across the room at Venus on her seashell and tried his best not to brood, but it was rather hard, especially as the Goddess' wide eyes, although brown where Piper's were blue, reminded him all too much of his warbling adversary. /It has to be her voice. The way she bobs around singing all of the time. Hmph. Well, I can sing too! I have the best bass in town, better believe it! I could drown out her silly crooning in a second, if I wanted to! The thought didn't make him feel much better.
Pierce holding a cup of hot chocolate under his nose, however, did.
"Here you go, one cup of steaming, creamy hot chocolate for your bone warming pleasure." Pierce smiled. He looked charmingly silly when he did that, the way his eyes crinkled shut and the feathers on his cheeks poofed out. Really, annoying as it was, it was no wonder he was so popular!
Prince smiled and gingerly took his cup. "Thank you!" He waited for Pierce to settle himself, then shifted so that he could curl against the bird's warm bulk. One of Pierce's wings settled around him and he sighed contentedly as he took his first sip of chocolate. Life, he thought, doesn't get much better than this.
"Mmm, man. This is good chocolate." Pierce rumbled happily as he drained his cup.
"I'm definitely going to have to thank Piper for it. Maybe ask her for some more when this is done, eh?" The hawk chattered happily between sips. He seemed completely unaware that his words were having a decidedly 'wet blanket' sort of effect on his 'boyfrog'. "She gets all of the best presents."
Prince bit his very long tongue.
"Of course, there are other good gift givers out there too. You gotten anything good lately?" The question was accompanied by a rub of Pierce's cheek feathers along the top of Prince's head.
Hmph. Finally. The frog sipped his drink. The conversation turns to me. He swallowed carefully. What had his last present been? Oh yes. He'd gotten a fun little black and pink pansy shirt, one of Kana's designs if he remembered right. Trevan had given it to him. He grinned. What a wonderful chance to get a little of his own back! "Oh yeah. Trevan gave me a completely gorgeous top. Very stylin'. Man, I should stop past some time and thank him for it...show off how good it looks on me. Maybe he'll get me something...else." He got as much 'wink, wink, nudge, nudge' of a tone into the last word as he could.
Pierce got more in. "Heh, that would be cool." He ruffled his wing feathers over the top of the frog's bald head. "He's not a bad one to have following you, is he? I mean yeah, he has all of the standard, human faults...silly ears, really, and those noses!...but he's definitely cute and has great eyes! A sign of your good taste."
"Yeah...well...you know...good taste. 's genetic. Get it from my Dad's side." The string of stunned babble straggled off as Prince stared blankly across the room and sipped his chocolate. Good taste. That was it? No jealousy, no grumbling...just a 'hey, go you'? He was confused. Hell, it sounded almost as if the hawk wanted him to go after Trevan! Of course, if he and Trevan hooked up, that would leave Pierce all by himself. He could go after Piper without having to worry about actually breaking up.
He blinked as a blue feathered wing plucked his mug from his hands.
"Okay, that does it." Pierce sat both mugs of chocolate on the end table and craned his head over to look the frog in the eye. "Talk. What's with you tonight?"
"Huh?" Large eyes blinking, Prince pulled out of his reverie and looked at his boyfriend in astonishment. He'd been so convinced that the hawk wasn't noticing his mood that the sudden topic change left him behind.
"Don't you 'huh' me! You're brooding!" Pierce's large, hooked bill rapped lightly on Prince's head. "I swear, no matter what we're talking about, you're just determined to be moody, so what's wrong? Was it something I did, something I said, coco not the right temperature? What?"
Prince gaped for a moment longer, then looked down into the mugs next to him. The reason he didn't talk about what was bothering him was because he really wasn't sure how to start. "I...you...you aren't at all jealous about my flirting with Trevan, are you?"
"Of course not," Pierce snorted lightly. "Why would I be? I mean, it's just flirting, isn't it?"
"Well then where's the harm?" The hawk shrugged philosophically. "It's not like you get jealous over my flirting with Piper."
The nail having been firmly walloped on the head, Prince winced and frowned unhappily into his mug. "Yes I do."
"Huh?" Now it was Pierce's turn to blink. He pulled his head back, eyes wide, crest fanned.
"Hey, I don't get to say that, neither do you."
"I...okay...but...Prince, why?" Pierce looked genuinely baffled. "I mean, yeah, she's cute, but dude, we're dating! Okay, so it's not like we're married, but it's still a commitment."
The protestation didn't make Prince feel any better. More to the point, it made him feel like a suspicious, overly protective, jealous moron. He curled up in a miserable little ball and tried to find his fortune in the marshmallows bobbing about his chocolate. "But...she's a bird. Not a hawk or a blue jay or anything like you, but she's closer to your species than I am and you said she was cute and you...well, you seem to like her a whole lot for someone you just flirt with and..."
"I'm a flirt." The confession was blunt and to the point, almost scolding. "I'm always going to be a flirt. But Prince, if you don't trust me, why did you agree to start dating me in the first place?"
"I do trust you, I just..." Just what, he didn't really know. He was tired and confused and he hadn't been able to follow the speed with which he'd gone from justifiably jealous to the bad guy of the situation. The worst part about dating a hawk was that they always looked slightly angry, so you could never tell when they really were. He snuggled back a little into Pierce's feathers and just stopped talking. He was screwing things up anyway.
Pierce sighed. "Look, why don't we just agree on this one point - this is a two person only relationship. Neither of us will run off with anyone else, not matter how much we might flirt with them. Piper's good looking, Trevan's good looking, we can both look all we want, just no touching. Can we at least do that for now? Talk about it some more later when the sun's up and it's not late and we're both rested?"
Prince nodded, closing his eyes. The hawk, his hawk, was staying with him. That was all he needed. "Can we just sit like this for a bit?"
"Sure thing." Strong wings tucked him under Pierce's chin and the hawk rubbed the side of his beak against the top of his head affectionately. The silence was broken only by the rain.