Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about ‘em for free etc
Pairings: Fern Gully, Pips/Zak
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon
Zak swore loudly, and quickly hauled his leg out of the sharp thorny bush, but it was too late. He heard the rip of the fabric - looked with dismay at the gash in his jeans. Half the knee was torn open and there was a further split up to his thigh, exposing his skin through the ruined material. Jeez, he’d never realised the dangers of being small in amongst the beauties of Nature! He pushed on further through the undergrowth, trying to reach the sound of running water. He was parched and tired after getting lost several times in the forest on his way back to camp, and he wished he hadn’t been so goddamned proud, insisting he didn’t need a guide. But he was tired of being the butt of all the fairies’ jokes; tired of being seen as something inferior, just because he didn’t have wings. He’d set off bravely enough, but things hadn’t gone well. He’d forgotten some of the directions – he was constantly dodging under foliage to escape the sudden, warm showers – nothing was familiar to him in any way. And soon it’d be getting dark – he could see the sun on its way to setting above the trees. Shit, everything seemed so far away and so difficult to reach when you were only inches high!
He pushed aside some vines and felt the muscles of his arms protest at the effort. He worked out – of course he did! – but this was a whole new game. His shoulders ached – his chest strained against almost every step. He knew he was panting, and his blond hair was sticky with sweat against his forehead and neck with the humidity. Now that his clothes were torn, he could feel the brush of the ground ferns directly against his skin, and the draft of fresh air licked round his legs. Something small and damp slithered over his feet. It all made him shiver.
The laughter came from high in the trees, a rich, masculine sound. Zak scowled.
“So how are you managing in the forest now, human?” There was another laugh and the whirring sound of wings above his head.
“Fine without your help, Pips,” Zak growled.
“Wasn’t offering it, human!” grinned the flying boy, hovering above him, just out of reach. “Just enjoying the entertainment!”
Zak fumed. Fucking creature! Brawn over brain personified, hostile since they first met, always goading him, mocking him, never getting near enough to really face up to him…
“Huh?” For a second, Pips hung close enough to his face so that he could look directly into those deep, mischievous green eyes. “Is that some kind of challenge there, boy? Think you can take me on?”
“Any time,” snarled Zak. His feet felt sticky in the thick soil of the forest bed – he could feel burrs stuck down the back of his sleeveless vest. If the damned pest would just stay still for a second, so that he could get in a proper swing at him -!
Then suddenly Pips had landed right in front of him, nose to nose, wings still vibrating. Zak stared into his eyes, startled – felt the thread of a stray orange hair up his nose – smelled the soft, earthy sweat on the creature’s barely clothed body. Pips pushed at him, knocking him back a step. “Wanna try it, human?” he hissed. He looked Zak up and down, scornfully. “You think you’re dressed for it? Fit enough for it?”
Zak glared back. Pips was built, there was no denying it. The muscles of his shoulders were wide, his arms well developed. His neck was long and the pulse throbbed deeply against it. His torso was tight with more muscle, with just the slightest of curve at his waist. Guy had a six-pack to be proud of…
Zak found his eyes dropping further down, admiring the slim hips, the long legs that emerged from the ridiculous foliage garment that he wore round his waist. Pips wore as little as possible – but Zak had to admit, why would he need any more than that? He lived in the forest, alongside other creatures just like him, living in amongst raw nature. He had no need of stupid, clumsy jeans, and sticky vests, and sneakers that caught on fallen branches, and bit into his toes where they weren’t meant to…
Pips pushed again, and Zak was caught off guard. He stumbled further back than a step, one of his laces catching under his sole, and suddenly the ground was slipping away beneath him and he was sliding backwards and down on to his ass. Last thing he saw was Pips’ shocked expression, then he was falling and rolling, faster and faster, and suddenly plunged into cold - so cold! - water.
He yelled, loudly. The water rushed into his mouth, and the last thing he remembered was the rushing noise in his ears and his body dragging him down, and down…
Zak lay gasping on the shore of the river, flat on his back, and soaked to the skin. He turned his head to one side and heaved the last remains of bile and water out of his gut, on to the soft ground. He’d lost a shoe – his vest was ripped down the middle so that his chest was bared. Most of all, he felt humiliated at having been hauled out of the river – by his feet - by a damned forest fairy.
Pips flew into view, his head upside down to Zak’s, his eyes travelling up and down the human’s panting body. “I didn’t know you couldn’t swim,” he said thoughtfully. It didn’t sound much like an apology.
“I can swim,” gasped Zak, and he coughed some more. His strength was returning. “But not when I’m thrown in over my head, and I’m only the size of a bug!”
“Bug, eh?” Pips’ voice was low, and a little menacing.
Zak struggled to sit up. He toed off his other, useless sneaker and shrugged off the rags of his vest. He’d lost the button of his jeans, and the fly gaped open at the top. Drops of river water ran down the central channel of his chest, pooling in his navel and trickling on down into his sodden jeans. When he glanced around, he saw Pips was hovering at his side, a few feet away. He was watching the water droplets’ trail. There was the suspicion of a smile at his wide mouth.
“You’re a fucking idiot,” Zak said, furiously. “My stuff’s ruined! I’m almost naked, like you are!“
“Yeah. Almost…” drawled Pips. His green eyes were feral – they’d lifted up from Zak’s groin, now following the line of the human’s breast bone, flickering over the wide brown nipples, erect from the shock and the cold of his near drowning. “So what’s your problem? Clothes aren’t needed here.”
“Oh cute,” snapped Zak. “You forget I’m not an insect creature like you.”
Pips continued to look at Zak’s naked torso with interest. Zak’s skin was shining damply. The late afternoon sun dappled through the leaves of the forest trees, and glinted its reflection in the drops still clinging to his rib cage. His blond hair was dark with water, and plastered possessively to his thick neck. His blue eyes glared at the flying creature.
The tip of Pips’ tongue slipped out to moisten his lips, and for an instant his wings buzzed furiously at his back. “You said it, human. Very cute.”
Zak felt strangely hot. He wondered if he’d caught some forest infection – maybe some parasitical spoor had hold of him even now, its poison flowing through his veins. “I’ll have you know I’m OK for a human, bug-boy,” he hissed.
He pulled himself up to his knees, but before he could stand up straight, Pips swooped down to hover only inches in front of him. The fairy leant down and tangled his hand in Zak’s wet hair, jerking his head up to face him. “So you’re a good specimen, are you? Typical of what human girls might find attractive?” His breath was sharp with the tang of something fruity. “Or maybe boys?” His lips were full and grinning and suddenly Zak had an urge to taste him. To put his lips against the fairy’s laughing, mocking mouth – to swallow the mischievous words – to open his own mouth so that Pips could thrust his tongue into him and lick around the inside, hungrily claiming him…
Seemed like Pips had the same urge as well.
He gripped harder at Zak’s hair and bent the human’s head back, baring his neck. “Let’s see, shall we? Let’s see just how good a specimen you are.” He buzzed in, so close to Zak that the human could feel his breath on his ear, and then the fairy’s lips opened slightly and his tongue slipped out to lick at Zak’s throat. Zak gasped. Pips lapped up the cool water glimmering along the tendons – sucked at the wetness at the base of his throat where it joined his collarbone. His tongue traced the path of drips along his shoulder, then teased gently at the crease of his armpit.
He held Zak tightly, but the human could have wrenched himself away if he’d wanted to. But he knelt there, fists clenched at his sides, his head stretched back under the fierce caresses.
When Pips’ mouth travelled back up to his chin, lapping gently along the line of his strong jaw, Zak began to shiver. And then Pips lifted his lips a little further and pressed them down firmly on the human’s mouth. He was firm and warm and very masculine to the touch; and Zak opened his mouth without being asked.
“Shit!” said Zak. His heart was beating very fast. He’d never done anything like this before – never let a guy touch him like this before! But his nerves throbbed with excitement – his body ached for more of it. His tongue felt a little numb, after Pips’ tongue had slipped forcefully around it, inside his mouth, sucking at the soft skin of his lip, thrusting his tongue in and out in a parody of something even hotter. He couldn’t seem to catch his breath properly anymore.
Pips leant back and tilted his head to one side. His hand was still tangled in Zak’s hair, and his eyes sparkled like a wild cat’s in the failing light of day. “Is that cry good or bad, human? Your voice sounds angry – but your face looks excited.”
“What the hell are you doing, kissing me?” Zak knew he sounded breathless. “Is that what fairies do here in the forest?”
Pips grinned. “So you don’t want to answer my question. OK, I’ll take all that moaning as good, then.” His eyes raked over Zak’s mouth, like he was considering leaning back in for more of its taste. “Very good, human. And to answer you, we don’t bother much about when or why we kiss here. Or who, for that matter,” he added, mischievously. “Is that another problem with you?” He reached his free hand up to Zak’s face and drew his strong fingers along the smooth jawline. Zak didn’t flinch, but his pupils widened. Pips laughed, very softly. “You humans seem to have a hell of a lot of these problems. Let’s take off the rest of these wet clothes and see just how much of a forest dweller you might actually be…”
His free hand reached to Zak’s jeans and tugged them sharply down to a pool of material at his knees. The fabric ripped even further – Zak felt unbalanced. He saw Pips eyes widen at the sight of his damp boxer shorts. They didn’t cover much more than the fairy’s own loincloth-type clothing. And to Zak’s growing humiliation, they weren’t even covering his own body particularly well. He was suddenly aware of the heat and the swelling in his groin, and his cock nudging insistently at the front of his boxers. The underwear clung round his growing shaft, the thin fabric wet from his soaking, damp from the leaking stickiness of his own excitement. And all the time, he was being watched by Pips’ greedy expression.
Zak felt a sudden rush of heat to his brain. He should be resisting this, shouldn’t he? It was outrageous – it was shocking! His hand lifted of its own volition and he swung out at Pips. He’d been a good boxer at high school – he had good control of his body –
But there was a sudden buzz of sound and air flowing past his face, and Pips had moved swiftly out of his reach. Zak kicked his way out of his ruined jeans and leapt to his feet, but suddenly Pips was behind him again, catching his wrist easily, spinning him off balance, not allowing him to touch the fairy.
“You don’t play fair!” growled Zak. One minute Pips was in front of him, then the laughing eyes were sweeping away to the side, then the mocking mouth – the rich, firm, damp, tasty mouth – was behind him, always one step ahead of him. “You rely on those wings to get out of trouble! Guess you’re too scared to meet me face to face –“
Pips was suddenly in front of him, his brow creased in anger and amazement. “Scared, eh? You better watch what you say, human, you’re too far from home to be safe from the dangers here without proper protection –“
“What – your protection?” scoffed Zak. He was panting from trying to catch up with the fairy. He was angry, too. And maybe just a little eager to get hold of him for more reasons than revenge. “Why should I have any respect for you? You mess about, you mock me, you don’t take any of it seriously –“
Suddenly Pips’ wings thrummed even more fiercely, Zak could feel the vibrating air around him, lifting the blond hair on his neck. The fairy’s body swung past him, a lean, strong leg brushing against his hip. Locks of orange hair whipped across his face, and he felt the smooth bone of the boy’s bangles as an arm gripped his shoulder and spun him round to face his tormentor.
“So what is it you want me to be serious about, human?” Pips’ bare torso was glinting with sweat, the muscles in his legs taut with the effort of keeping himself aloft and facing Zak.
“Face me on equal terms,” Zak muttered through gritted teeth. He could feel the boy’s angry breath on his neck again – he could feel the strong fingers gripping his damp arm.
“So if I agree not to fly, is that all you want? You think then we’ll be –“
“- on equal terms,” hissed Zak. He steadied himself as Pips’ wings started to slow their frenzied flight.
The fairy was laughing, but he floated back down to the ground so that he was of a similar height to Zak. He landed sturdy feet on the soft earth, and his wings folded slowly down against the strong muscles of his broad back. “You humans have hallucinations, not just problems. So now what makes you think you’re any kind of a match for me –“
Zak slid an arm around the fairy’s waist, tugged him in hard against his wet chest, and leant his face towards him. As Pips eyes widened in surprise, Zak moved even closer, and kissed him back.
Pips was panting now, and both of his hands had come round to grip at Zak’s neck. He twisted the human’s head and sank his mouth more deeply on to him.
“So this is also what humans do, is it?” he groaned. He licked at Zak’s mouth – sucked once and intensely on the end of his tongue, dragging it back into his own mouth.
“Some of them,” Zak gasped in reply, his words muffled by Pips’ furious assault.
Pips began to laugh again, and his hands slid down the front of Zak’s body. His fingers caught at one of the erect nipples and twisted the nub quite painfully, making Zak cry out and his back arch under the boy’s possessive touch. Pips’ other hand traced the line of muscle down from the chest, down along the belly, his thumb dragging slightly in Zak’s navel, and his fingers spreading out to caress the flesh below. There were still trails of water on Zak’s skin, shrinking and dribbling away from his muscles as they flexed and tightened. The river water dampened Pips’ relentless fingertips, leaving new tracks on Zak’s shivering flesh as Pips’ fingers moved their way along the planes of his body. They teased inside the waistband of Zak’s boxers, tugging at them, allowing the fresh evening air of the forest to blow gently around a cock that was already too swollen to fit comfortably, already too hot not to ache for the further touch of the fairy’s cool, confident fingers.
“I like those humans, then,” Pips grinned.
Zak tried to pull away, but Pips’ other hand gripped his waist too strongly. Zak was angry, and excited, and a little mad. Did this bug-boy think he could just take him like this, without so much as -? As Pips leant in to suckle at his neck again, Zak leant to the side instead, and kicked his foot out at the foliage that surrounded them. He may have had little room to manoeuvre, but he’d judged it well, and his legs were strong – he hooked a foot round a lower leaf, full of rainwater from the earlier showers, and he tugged it over towards them. Pips saw the movement out of the corner of his eye but even as his wings opened and started to vibrate he remembered his pledge not to fly.
He stood there, frozen to the spot, still holding Zak tightly, with threads of his orange, silky hair clinging to his neck with the sweat and humidity of the forest. His lips were swollen with his demands on the human’s mouth, his face flushed with growing passion. His legs tensed and his wings flapped in a moment of frustration, but he couldn’t do anything but watch as the leaf sprang back against its stalk, and sprayed out its puddle of water like a sudden shower of its own – like a glistening waterfall – like the rushing gurgle of a stream, eddying away from its previous path.
Next minute, Pips was drenched in rain water, too.
He let go of Zak with a cry of fury, and the human stepped back slightly, trying to gather his breath. Pips’ hair was plastered close to his head – some of it hung down over his bright green eyes, trails of water dripping from the ends. The water cascaded over his bare chest, running into rivulets under his arms, trickling down the inner muscles and pooling over his clenched fists. His wings opened and shook themselves, droplets flying around him in a thin sheen of glitter, like an animal shaking off the wet.
Zak wanted to laugh – he wanted to grit his teeth and cheer. But he didn’t. Nor did he run away. He stood there and watched as Pips’ chest heaved with indignation, and the fairy shook the excess water from his body. He watched the droplets shining on the tips of the fairy’s astonishing, pointed ears – he saw a single tear of rain dribble over Pips’ pursed lips, and run on down to his throat. He saw the water following the line of body muscle, all the way down Pips’ legs, some of it sliding inexorably in between the thighs, vanishing under the loincloth and dripping gently down towards his strong ankles. He felt his whole body flush with an unfamiliar desire. A wild desire to hold the body in front of him – to feel the muscles – to have arms and legs round him that matched his own in strength and need…
He snapped his eyes back up to Pips’ face, almost guiltily. The fairy was glaring at him. For a second, Zak wondered if he’d fight him. But then Pips’ expression changed, the anger fading to something more calculating. Maybe there was even amusement there, too. He looked Zak up and down, his eyes raking over the pale, rain-dropped skin. “It’s not many guys who can surprise me, human,” he said, softly. He glanced down at his own soaked flesh, and his smile was almost rueful. “Guess we are almost equal now, right?”
“Guess so,” whispered Zak. He took the step back towards Pips, and for a moment the fairy’s eyes looked wary; his body tensed. But Zak reached a single hand up to the boy and brushed the damp orange locks off his forehead. He was so close that their chests could have pressed together, muscles sliding with a wet touch, clutching together with nothing but the cool rain between their skins, feeling their racing heartbeats against each other.
When Pips reached a hand again round his waist, Zak let him close the gap between them and pressed himself gratefully up against the other boy.
The look in Pips’ eyes was a glow of triumph. The kiss he gave Zak was angry now, and hungry, and selfish. Zak felt the boy’s tongue filling his mouth, plundering it. He sucked on it, flickered his own tongue against it, gasped his pleasure directly into Pips’ mouth.
This time, when Pips’ hand snaked down the front of Zak’s boxers, Zak sank his head on to Pips’ shoulder and parted his legs slightly to give better access. He moaned as Pips grasped his cock. No-one had held him like this before – no-one had ever been so bold or so demanding. He gave a groan of pleasure.
“Is that good, human?” murmured Pips. His own voice was thick with desire. “Tell me it is. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since you arrived here.” His hand closed around the pulsing shaft – his thumb brushed a little roughly over the swollen, sensitive tip. Zak yelped.
“It’s – good! Shit, it’s good –“
Pips smiled, and Zak felt the shape and taste of his mouth against his ear. “You feel very good yourself,” whispered the boy. “Very thick. I like what a human can show me. I want you to show me a lot of things, human boy…”
Zak was whimpering, as Pips tightened his broad hand around his cock, and started to pump lazily up and down. They clutched at each other. Zak was panting into Pips’ neck, harsh, incoherent gasps – soft, hoarse little groans. His boxers had been pushed away from his groin and were now working their way down his thighs. But he didn’t care that he’d be completely naked in seconds, crushed against an almost equally naked boy with a muscular body and ridiculously insubstantial wings. Instead, he held on to the broad, browned shoulders just to keep upright, as the ache began in his legs and started to throb its way up to his groin.
Pips held the lithe body close to him, shuddering in rhythm with him, his lips licking and nipping at Zak’s neck and ear, his hips rubbing hungrily against the blond boy’s own limbs. He panted along with him – he felt the same race of excitement; the same surge of need in his body.
“Touch me too, human,” he groaned.
Zak’s hands felt numb and clumsy, but he reached eagerly to Pips’ groin, feeling the shape of the fairy’s swollen organ under the strange clothing – trying to wriggle his fingers under a soft, wet cloth that was the only thing between him and a handful of hot, throbbing pleasure. He didn’t know what Pips did to help him out, but a quick snap at his hip and then the foliage was gone, fallen in a heap on the earth, lost amongst the other leaves and seeds underfoot. Now his hand was on smooth, sun-browned skin – he could feel the muscle of the fairy’s thigh, could feel the clenching of tight, lean buttocks. His fingertips traced it, excited beyond description. His hand slid quickly round to between Pips legs, to grasp him as eagerly – to feel the thick, bobbing shaft against his palm, and the shock of another kind of wetness, sticky between his fingers.
Pips groaned again, and to Zak it sounded appreciative. It seemed to spur him on; his own hand sped up its movements, up and down Zak’s cock. Zak had wanted to wait a while - to gather breath – to savour this -
But now his body was desperate, and it was the only thing in charge; now it welcomed the increased determination. “Faster!” he gasped. “I can’t - harder - do it harder -!”
Pips hand was steady, though fast. He pumped easily and confidently, and Zak could hear the slick suck of every movement, the pre-cum lubricating Pips’ hand as he encircled him. He tried to pump Pips in return, but his hands were shaking beyond his control, and he couldn’t concentrate on anything more – his head was swimming and his mouth was frighteningly dry. He just clung to the broad torso, barely supported on his weak, shivering legs, and he let himself be dragged up and down. His whole spirit was racing to bury itself in that one, fierce, consuming ecstasy. He was afraid of sobbing aloud, but he knew the moaning voice that he could hear was his own.
Pips’ voice was low and gasping too, and there was a soft thread of astonished delight underlying it. “You feel good, human,” he gasped. “Oh, you’re very good indeed. Tell me what you want – tell me this is good for you too!“ His hand slid to the base of Zak’s cock and he teased a couple of fingers underneath the boy’s balls. They shuddered with shock, and Pips stretched his fingers even further back, stroking at the sensitive skin behind them, tracing a mischievous and greedy path towards a tight, puckered, virginal hole.
Zak cried out suddenly, his fingers digging into Pips’ smooth flesh and his mouth opening with horrified amazement. “So good!” he cried. “Shit, what are you doing to me?”
Pips had no time to make any answer. One last stroke, one last tease, and one last clench around the throbbing shaft. Zak came, with a cry of anguish and pumping hot, sticky seed out all over Pips’ hand, and dripping down on to the boxers in a crumpled heap at his feet
He didn’t have any time to recover – not even to be astonished at what had just happened. Pips still held him tightly round the waist, but now he gripped his hair again and tugged his face back for another bruising kiss. Zak opened his mouth to take in the new passion as if it were life’s breath.
“My turn now, human,” Pips said, his voice hoarse with need.
He kept hold of Zak’s hair and pushed him back down on to his knees in front of him. His cock reared out from his groin, nudging at Zak’s face, trailing sticky white pre-cum along his cheek. Zak felt the heat from it – it bobbed with frustration. He opened his mouth at once, knowing what Pips wanted, wanting the taste of it, wanting to do this for the fairy.
Pips bent his hips forward and plunged into Zak’s mouth. The blond head dipped deeply into his groin – the fairy groaned with delight as the human’s mouth closed around him, sucking him in. Zak was showing how his enthusiasm would make up for any inexperience – and Pips was taking the benefits from it.
“Yesss…” he hissed. “That’s very good, human – so good – it’s – ohhh…“
He glanced down at the boy on his knees, and Zak lifted his eyes for a second. They were bright and fierce – they were greedy. Pips gazed at the depth of desire in the wide blue irises; he sank into the darkening pupils. He saw himself draw out from the demanding lips, and then thrust back into the warmth and a wetness that had nothing to do with the rain. He felt his senses shake – his limbs start to tremor. He was speechless – stunned with his concentration on the pure, physical pleasure of the boy’s sucking. He gripped at Zak’s shoulders as he thrust into his mouth, and knew he wouldn’t keep going for long.
Zak reached a hand up to steady himself, and grasped hold of the bangles on Pips’ arm. They were like an anchor. He knelt on the ground, one hand on Pips arm, the other clasped to his naked hip, and let the cock fuck his mouth. Pips tasted hot and salty and with the tang of fresh, forest air in every crease of his skin. His cock was swelling, and the movements of his hips were increasingly fierce. Zak wondered if he were going to have bruises on his chin when this was over. Pips filled him – plunged into him - possessed him.
Zak heard the fairy’s wings began to hum, as if they were beating again, fast and excitedly.
Then suddenly Zak realised that the ground was no longer under his bare knees – that there was wind in his hair, and the brush of new leaves against his body. As if he were moving –and yet his position was the same, knelt in front of Pips, holding him tight, and sucking him off towards a desperate, needy climax.
Pips groaned and jerked hard against him, and Zak felt the first spurt of cum against his tongue. He pulled very slightly back, though he didn’t want to draw his mouth away, and Pips didn’t want him to either, judging from the nails biting into his head and the suddenly agonised grip on his hair. But his curious eyes glanced to either side of their bodies and he saw with astonishment that now they were airborne – that they were several feet into the air, and totally unsupported, except for Pips’ hands back down on his shoulders, and his own hands clutching Pips’ body.
Zak looked up into Pips face, the fairy’s expression twisted with the sudden release and delicious ecstasy. Threads of cum were bursting from his cock, deep into Zak’s throat, and the blond boy swallowed them enthusiastically. His hands were secure on Pips, but he knew he was entirely at his mercy, if he chose to push him off. He could see Pips’ wings buzzing behind him – moving so fast he couldn’t make out the shape of them, just a fierce, glistening vibration. They’d lifted the pair of them, lifted them in the middle of ecstasy, lifted them off the ground and into the sky, as if the ground could no longer support them.
Pips’ eyes looked down and caught at his. The fairy grinned broadly – his expression was astonished – it was full of delight. His chest heaved gently as his racing breath started to calm.
“So, human - now you have wings as well, eh?”
He slid his softening cock out of Zak’s mouth, reached down and took hold of his elbows, drawing him up to face him. Zak felt the superhuman strength in Pips’ arms – knew he could easily do whatever he wanted with him. They hovered there for a second, Pips almost daring the human to protest, and then he leant in and claimed a long, deep kiss.
“I couldn’t stop myself,” he murmured, softly. He looked almost sheepish. “You wanna fight about it?”
Zak looked into his dancing green eyes and grinned back. “No.”
Pips laughed aloud. “Good!” He looked down at their bodies, naked and glistening with sweat and shining with the reflection of the rising moonlight. His hands tightened briefly on Zak’s arms. “So you reckon you can swim, then?”
Zak’s brow creased in puzzlement. “Yes. But why –“
Pips laughed a final time. His eyes flashed down to the river far below them, glinting and calm again after the day’s rain. “Let’s swim together, then, OK?” Almost before Zak realised what he was going to do, Pips had clenched his muscles and tossed Zak aside. Then his wings buzzed, he twisted his body into a diving position and he plunged down towards the earth again.
Zak had seconds to recover himself, twist his own falling body into a controllable dive, and follow the darting, flying boy.
Their fit, young, naked bodies hit the water together, smoothly, cleanly – and still laughing.