(Hawks x Reader)
100% inspired from this beautiful artwork I found on pinterest ^^
This is my first time publishing any of my fics. I hope it’s enjoyable.
*Skimmed for any mistakes but I may have missed a few*
"Tell me something birdbrain. Did you come here in search of a remedy or did you come here to snuggle with my owls?" You scold aloud, brow lifted at the scene before you. It temporarily drew your attention away from the herbs you were blending for the person in question. If he really even needed them that is.
The man was bent over, hovering over the counter and barely burying his entire face into the soft plumage of Gamma's snowy collar, rubbing his nose into its depths, small chuckles resounding from him in his own apparent delight. Simultaneously, Thaddeus perched himself daintily onto the golden locks of his hair, managing to keep himself in place as the man's head moved about beneath him.
What shocked you is that they seemed to be genuinely enjoying his company, whereas they hardly acknowledge your existence throughout the day. It was much unlike how they'd usually act whenever someone walked into the shop. As soon as they heard that little bell chime from the entrance, both birds would take off towards their high perches on opposite ends of the room, making it in their best interest to avoid anyone new.
You didn't mind, nor question their habit. They only preferred your lone company either way, though they'd hardly show it. Much like you'd rather be with their company rather than some other person.
On that slow, peaceful evening, you'd discovered that maybe you don't know your beloved companions as well as you thought. For some reason, Hawks was some sort of an exception to them. Much more than an exception, at that.
For crying out loud, he was snuggling into Gamma and cuddling her as if she were a puppy! And she was letting him.
And Thaddeus. Thaddeus' behavior baffled you on an entirely different level. That was a bird who never permitted you any petting privileges, any time you'd insinuate a head rub, he'd screech at you and fan his wings. Very territorial, he was. At least you thought he was.
Yet here he was, God damn nesting in the hair of a complete stranger as if he'd known the man for years. As if you weren't the one who took him in when he was but a weak, fraile hatchling on the brink of death.
"I think your owls like me." Hawks chuckled, his huge crimson wings ruffling giddily when Gamma had begun to coo at his nuzzles, adoringly.
Jealousy. Blatant jealousy is what you felt. You weren't even going to attempt to hide it. You've tried endless times to get those birds to see you as their loving caretaker, showering them with love and treats and sating their every need, but to no avail. If anything, you think they see you the way a caged tiger would view its neglectful keeper, just a source of food.
You huff out a breath, subconsciously putting in more effort to mash the herbs together with the mortar and pestle than you wished.
Hawks noticed your subtle change in behavior. The way you slammed a small jar onto the counter, flicked off the cap, and aggressively shook out whatever was inside onto the cutting board. Or maybe it was the way you were mashing those herbs with a force that made him wonder if they'd somehow wronged you.
Of course; being him, he'd jumped to a brash conclusion. "Oh? Are you jelly that I'm giving the birds more attention than you?"
You stop your relentless mashing of compounds, staring ahead blankly for a moment before shaking your head. "Don't be ridiculous, I-"
"Awoh, it's nothing to be ashamed of, I completely understand."
"I'm jealous of you, actually."
Hawks blinked in confusion, lifting his head away from the owl's downy feathers and looking over at you.
"Seems like they fancy you more than they could ever me." A half-hearted smile tugged at your lips, the morose tone in your voice was inevitable.
Gamma's wide, intelligent eyes shifted to stare at you. It was like she understood every word you said. Her wings lifted, and with a few swift flaps, she was in the air. You flinched when she landed gracefully into your hair, her sharp talons clenching your head as gently as she could.
Hawks chuckled at how frozen you were in that moment, bringing up a hand to scratch Thaddeus on the chin as he stared. He marveled at the way your cheeks faintly turned a darker shade when Gamma had cooed. She'd began to pick at your head softly in a grooming mannerism.
Thaddeus shifted in Hawks' hair, suddenly growing restless.
"Wanna get closer?" Hawks asked him aloud, rhetorically, obliging to the small hoot he received in response and carefully sauntering over to you, wary of the unstable balance Thaddeus had while being on his head.
By the time he got close, you'd managed to settle Gamma down onto your outstretched bicep, but the stubborn owl only flapped back onto your head. The look on your face almost made Hawks laugh out loud, you were distraught. Torn between salvaging the rare chance at bonding with your companion, and continuing the preparation of a remedy for a paying customer.
He knew how much you cared for those birds, so much that he was willing to let you relish in the moment completely.
The smile on his face was somewhat solemn. "Don't fret witchy. I'm sure I can find some other witch who can cook up what I need."
Your brow ticked at the way he addressed you. "Excuse you. I am not a witch. I'm an Apothecary."
Hawks blinked. "Same difference."
You ignored that. "And even if you could somehow find another suitable Apothecary in the general area, I've been told by several patrons that I am the best of the best." You stated proudly, chin held up high in accordance. "The odds of finding someone more skilled than I are low to say the least."
He always enjoyed how confident you were in your craft. That confidence stemmed from true experience and skill, mastery even. You were right for claiming your profession to be deemed that high of a level, there hasn't been a single time in the past where your restoratives had let him down, no matter what their purpose served. He's glad that your clientele have spread the word of your little place, though they're restricted to hushed exchanges of whispers and secret notes passed in inconspicuous areas, out of the sight of any authorities.
The way you obtained some of your ingredients could be considered illegal if thorough investigation was to prosper, but luckily for you, that was yet to happen. No one was dubious of the little flower shop secluded between two towering office buildings at the farthest corner of the longest street in Kyushu. Hawks wouldn't dare run his mouth about its true nature to anyone, he would much rather heal his battle wounds naturally with one of your blends rather than the harsh steroids they'd stick into his body back at the commission.
"Can't deny that fact." Hawks chuckled, looking at you with apparent appreciation gleaming through his hooded eyes. "You've helped me through some tough calls, I don't think I-" He cut himself off in realization of something.
"I...I don't think I've ever thanked you."
You were quick to bring up the fact that he in fact spoiled you. Tipping you thousands over whatever price you'd ask for, as if money was nothing but a nuisance to him and he needed to get rid of as much of it as possible, it had you wondering if he would flaunt it around so carelessly wherever.
"That's different. Of course I'm gonna pay you in exchange for your meds, I'm not some shitbag. But I've never thanked you before."
Now that you think about it, it's true. The majority of times times he's come here, it's been in an urgent burst through the door, with little time on his hands to so much as greet you. You really can't recall a single time where he's thanked you, since he's usually in such a rush. Here one second, gone the next. His reputation stands firm.
Rarely have there ever been situations like this, where he's able to hang around the shop and wait patiently for you to get his order ready firsthand. You'd looked over your shoulder at him while he was appeasing the owls earlier. He had looked so calm, so sweet and tender in that moment, totally relaxed. It warmed your heart to see him like that.
His concern brought a smile to your face, how adorable to think that it would trouble him this much. "Hawks, trust me, you're fine. I know you're thankful. The proof is in the way that you pay literally five times as much as I could ever ask you for—more than that at times!"
Yup. That sounds like something he'd do, even he'll admit it. He distinctly recalls throwing a fat stack of cash at you in several of his hurried instances, not even bothering to ask for the price, or check how much was in the stack. He tilted his head aside and stuck out his lower lip in consideration of his own antics.
But that doesn't stop him from genuinely thinking that you deserve way more than what you make. You're taking one hell of a risk every time you sell another product to some shady person. He thinks you deserve to be appreciated more for that fact alone.
"Well, for what it's worth, thank you Y/n. Really, I mean it. What you do means a lot to me, more than I can put into words." He held your gaze with an adoration in his eyes that you didn't quite understand.
You've never seen seriousness cross that man's expression as well as it did right then.
He's perpetually cheerful and carefree, flirty more oftentimes than he should be. It surprised you seeing him so lacking in that notorious, glowing charisma. Maybe you'd go as far to say that in that moment, it looked like true joy was something he'd never experienced before. You couldn't even form words, rendered a gaping fish.
And maybe you would've actually taken his word for it, if it wasn't for you being reminded of the fact that the two of you had two big ass birds on your heads when Gamma and Thaddeus unexpectedly hooted in unison.
You and Hawks simultaneously broke eye contact to glance up at each other's birds, locking eyes with one another again.
It went silent for a few seconds.
Hawks' hard expression wavered hesitantly, his lip twitching in a futile attempt to remain serious. You then snorted quietly, biting your lip, and that's all it took for the two of you to burst out into a laughing fit that made you to bend over to clutch your sides, causing Gamma to flee from your head hastily and settle on her perch, Thaddeus following suit towards his respective stand when Hawks stumbled backwards a bit.
They'd managed to both ruin the moment and save it all the same, made it into something you didn't quite know you needed until it happened. A good laugh, one that had your face heating up and your cheeks beginning to hurt as the two of you only grew breathless with glee, struggling to keep your balance as you pressed your weight onto nearby objects to avoid toppling over.
The old Grandfather clock at the back of the shop had begun to chime, signaling the passing of another hour.
The sound caused Hawks to gradually come back down from his laugh-high. He submitted to that professional state of mind that subconsciously clawed at his back at times like these, once he was reminded of where he was supposed to be.
It was like someone snapped their fingers and all happiness was wiped from his face. Other than the faint pink still dusting his cheeks, it looked like the laugh that the two of you shared had never transpired.
You didn't even need to hear him say it. After you'd wiped a tear of joy from your eyes and regained your breath, you'd whirled around, right back to where you'd left off before.
A strange atmosphere settled into the shop. It grew peacefully silent, the rays of the setting sun stretched generously into the stop, accentuating gliding specs of dust in their path and lighting the room in a warm honey glow.
Hawks rolled his shoulders, wings reaching out to their maximum length in a comfortable stretch, as you bagged his things.
He'd requested a strong set of numbing-based remedies and other blends crammed with sedatives. It reminded you of the prep for some sort of illegal surgery, but you weren't one to meddle in the business of your customers.
You'd turned to hand him his bag, but were surprised when there was no sight of the man where he'd previously been.
It took a few glances around the room, you almost missed him at first, but there he was, standing before the display window, gazing distantly at the outside world under the evening glow.
Sometimes you'd catch a deep-rooted hardship in his eyes that was nearly impossible to detect. A flicker of something more, something lost long ago that he longs to have again. At times it looked like he was carrying the weight of the world in his wings and nobody knew it.
Or maybe your seclusion in your craft has run you crazy and you're just imagining it all. That's way more believable, anyway.
You'd walked up to his side, eyes trained on the lively cityscape. The city never slept, always bustling with some sort of commotion, but it was oddly calm on that evening. Nothing but nature in all its shapes and forms, like the gentle autumn breeze that shook the trees, like the songbirds softly jittering in a musical dialect only they understood, plus the ocasional car that would stroll by barely exceeding fifteen miles per hour.
Your gaze drifted back on Hawks, who has yet to notice your presence beside him.
Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that man’s mind, what challenges the relentless day brings him, and how he manages to come out smiling in the end.
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