Fandom: Breath of Fire IV
Pairing/Character/Etc: Nina, Cray, Elina
Theme and Prompt#: Theme 1, Prompt 7: Black Forest
Elina stroked the branches of the tree lovingly. The bark was fairly smooth, but there were rough knots and gnarls where the smaller limbs branched off of the larger ones. The tree she was perched in was relatively small and delicate in comparison to its looming neighbors. She didn't climb trees very often. That was Nina's hobby. Cray and Nina had practically pushed and pulled her into her current spot just so she could be part of the fun.
Of course, a small fruit tree like this was no challenge to them. Elina looked up, shading her eyes, to see their silhouetted shapes moving through the branches of the bushy banyan tree. The trunk, at its thickest, was wide enough that a grown man couldn't wrap his arms around it. Cray and Elina managed it together, fingers touching gently as they spread their arms to embrace its girth.
Nina wasn't satisfied until she reached the top. The limbs were thin and light there, swaying loosely in the breeze. The wind ruffled her feathers and hair playfully and she responded in kind, spreading her wings and her arms and feeling like any second the air might lift her up like a kite and carry her away.
"You be careful up there!" Cray warned her, probably in part to look responsible in front of Elina.
"You're just jealous you're too heavy to go up this high!" Nina teased him. She recklessly shook the branch beneath her feet.
Cray tightened his grip on the thicker branches below. "I'd be a killjoy and say you were going to fall and break your neck, but knowing you and your wings, the one who'd break their neck is me!"
"He's right, you know, Nina," Elina added her feelings to the matter. She knew that her younger sister could climb about with the best of them and that she was also one of the best fliers in the castle because of all her practicing (something their mother had not approved of), but Cray was another matter entirely. He was strong and cautious, but as he gained muscle mass that very strength was making it harder for him to stand on the higher branches. Cray would have to realize his body could not always go as high as his love-filled heart. Elina was content on the ground anyway. Nina was the youngest, and it showed. She needed to get to those heights so she could look out over the forest and hills of Wyndia. Somewhere beyond the dark trees she might see her future.