Awkward Learning Experiences
Nina threw her head back and cackled at that. “The man has fought the most disgusting monsters that I have ever seen with Uncle Gabriel and prevailed, but a little teleporting and he loses his shit?” She grinned at Kurt as they shared the irony.
“He makes no sense.” She carded fingers through her bangs, pushing them away from her face, tucking them behind an ear as she took a deep breath of cool air. The trees were still barren, but she could no longer feel frigid cold that seeped into your very bones; the smell of spring was approaching. Sliding both arms around her back, Nina tugged on the long, home-sewn zippers that ran from shoulder to lower back, and pushed her wings through thee provided slits. Stretching sinew and tendon with a sigh of relief, the girl unfurled them to their full twelve-foot span behind her.
Kurt laughed with her, trying to shrug off the feeling that there was something wrong about him operating on the same level as his lover’s daughter.
“I suppose it is an acquired taste.” He shook his head. “It is nice not to be treated like a taxi, though.” He said it jokingly, but it really did get old. While being useful was always nice, he usually couldn’t stay wherever they ended up unless it was a fight.
He watched her unfold her wings, feeling that slight pang of jealousy he felt every time he’d watched Warren or Demetri do the same thing. While it might be easier to hide a tail than wings, Warren had, at least in Kurt’s mind, the better end of the bargain. What human hadn’t fantasized about flight? No one fantasized about being blue.
“Do people demand you take them places often?” Nina inquired quietly, tilting her head towards him curiously. It wasn’t a novelty concept. People were selfish, and they asked the same of her and her father often as well. Even if not for a specific location, she quickly grew tired of people asking her for the experience itself.
On the subject of Kurt’s teleportation, an idea occurred to her. “I wonder if there’s a science behind it. About where you go on the in-between,” she mused. Nina didn’t miss the gleam in Kurt’s eyes as he caught sight of her stretching. Pulling her wings back in and close around her shoulders, brushing the tips of soft down feathers against his tail, Nina looped her arm through his and locked their elbows together. Her eyes flitted back to the sand as she shoved that hand back in her pocket. Too late, it seemed, the hope was firmly settled in.
“Eh, it could be worse,” Kurt shrugged. After alarming enough people back at the school, people at stopped pestering him for short jumps and they’d learned soon enough that he could only take them so far.
He frowned at her second question. “I suppose,” he said carefully. “It is sort of hard to explain. The short version is that I’m basically just taking a short cut through another dimension,” he explained as they walked arm in arm. “I have always just found it better not to think about it too much.” He remembered nights haunted by the fear that he really was channeling the powers of Hell. Poor little Catholic.