He knew she had been homesick ever since she crash landed into this world. There are some obvious habits she developed, too: she would always curl up by the window to stare at the sunset, casually holding her owl like a dog as she can’t decide between ruffling and smoothing the feathers until the last ray of orange fade into purple bruises in the inkling skies, then she will sigh and get up to wreak havoc or ask him stupid questions. Or she would take over the kitchen in lame attempts to imitate a dish she claimed her father always make before effectively setting the pan she wasn’t even using on fire. Or she would randomly assault him with a string of her language before she realized he was confused, then she would try to laugh off the deep sorrow in her eyes.
The point is, he knew, and she probably knew that he knew.
He always didn’t know what he could do. It wasn’t that she was completely alone: she consults Saphira or talks gibberish to her owl, but sometimes, when he was brave enough to be quiet with his thoughts, he wished he could help. So, when he woke up in the middle of the night to the luminescent amber eyes of that feathered piece of shit on his bedstead, he fought the instinct to crush it and asked instead.
“What are you doing here?”
“Well, I am going back to sleep,” As soon as he turned his back to the fluffball to seek warmth and sleep again, he heard the scuttling movement followed by a sharp sting to the back of his head. “What the fuck?!”
It made to peck again, but he threw it off his bed with a wave of his hand.
“Okay, what do you want?”
It started scuttling for the door, pausing only to stare at him; of course, it wanted him to follow, so he did.
As he expected, it led him to the guest room downstairs where Vega had taken over for the past couple of months. After congratulating himself for his patience as he stupidly waited for the bird to slowly hop down each step as it fended off his help with angry squawks and pecks at his toes, he listened to find slight shuffles of movements and decided to knock on the door.
“Is everything alright?” He ventured, only to be met by silence; the shuffles behind the door paused before they drew closer, he waited.
The door opened by a sliver, but that didn’t stop him from noting how red and puffy her eyes were as she stared at the floor to help her efforts of shepherding her wayward owl back into her room with her foot, “Apologies, I didn’t notice he’s escaped.” Her voice sounded so small, he could hear something break within him. “Good night.”
“Hey,” The door paused, she was still avoiding eye contact as though she didn’t know how obvious that she had been crying for hours. “You can talk to me.”
“No, it’s fine. You’ve been kind enough to me already.”
“What’s wrong?” Perhaps he was being a prying asshole, perhaps he should have just leave her alone, but the idea of her being so upset would have deprived him of any sleep anyway, he might as well be nosy even though he was no good at that either.
But when she finally managed to raise her head and look at him, he knew it was right for him to have pried: fresh tears were already streaming down her cheeks and she choked out a word or two before sobs wrecked all semblance of control she had left.
“What if…what if they are dead? I will never see them…I am so selfish…” While she wiped at her face, he tugged her into a tight embrace and tried to piece together her incoherent torrent of jumbled words with information he already learned from Saphira — it’s strange to think that he knew so little of this naive child, that she could talk and ask so much without him knowing more about her family and what ‘they’ entailed in the first place.
“It’s alright,” He felt dumb and awkward, but he tried. “We will find him soon. We will find a way.”
He relocated them to the living room in hopes that she would calm down enough to rant or something, but instead she was content with slowly washing his nightshirt with her tears and — he tried to not think about it — snot as he just held her, this special, little girl with more emotions than her petite little frame can contain, wasting away her energy crying until she was too tired to care or be embarrassed that she fell asleep right there in his arms.
“What the fuck am I supposed to do with you?” He merely chuckled before giving up on his efforts to move her or himself before he suddenly remembered how tired he was and allowed sleep to claim him.