Hail uses his chin to signal the birds. They crawl back on him and clutch onto his skin with their beaks and claws. He winces a bit then guards his gems from the pinching. When his gems are in the clear, they spread their wings and act as shorts for him. He gets up and strokes one of them so gentle you’d think he was its mother. His chest glows and pulses as he sets up the ladder for Abby. He climbs toward her so fast he misses steps and falls straight into her legs. Hail’s glow warms her. His smiles as if he’d been waiting for this moment his entire life. “Ready to go home?” he asks. She wraps her arms around him and gets close enough to feel his glow warm her to her toes. They lift their hands together and kiss as the birds lift them to the heavens. She is finally on her way home.