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A plume of smoke rose from above their heads as they laid down in the quiet forest. The cool morning dew soaked into his shirt's back, seeping into his hair, and onto his brown skin. The faint scent of berries and herbs hung in the air, giving the small overhanging that he and Juno were lying under a hazy look. He took another hit, passing the joint to her. As she took her own hit and nursed it for a while, he closed his eyes.

It had been a few days since Minerva had shown up and dropped the whole "chosen one" spiel and it still freaked him the hell out. He didn't like thinking about it. He hated thinking about it. Why him? Out of everyone in Kepler it had to be Duck fucking Newton.

He did, however, feel a momentary warmth in his chest at the fact that Minerva had called him 'Duck'. Only Jane and their friends call him that. So did his father, but those days were long gone and so was he. The thought made Duck clench his teeth. As if sensing him tense, Juno passed his the blue dream and he inhaled it, the tension easing out of his body, the tightness pressing on his chest released.

Even his mother called him by that horrible, wrong name.

He hated this situation. He didn't want to do this. He was just Duck Newton, son of Marie Newton and Pedro Félix-Negrete, a man. That's all he wanted to be. And he couldn't even be that.

He turned his head towards Juno who had her head tilted back against the grass, hands dug in the deep mossy earth, breathing in the smell of the blue dream and the rain.

"Juno," he called out. She hummed in response, staying still, eyes still closed.

"Juno, do you really think I'm a boy?"

Her eyes snapped open suddenly, then she rolled onto her side to look at him, surprise muddling her slightly clouded eyes.

"What are you talkin' about, Duck? Of course you're a dude. It don't matter that you don't have the whole... package." She said, sounding surprisingly sober. "That's like asking me if I really think you're Mexican or if Jane was your little sister."

He remained in silence as his head slowly processed the words. He felt Juno's eyes bore into him, but instead of a feel of scrutiny or of invasive examination, it felt comfortable. A smile stretched his face languidly and he turned to her, brown and green eyes meeting blue ones.

"Thanks Juno. 'ppreciate it." She gave her own smile before lying back down.

"Never forget that, Duck Newton. You're a terrible liar, an amazing friend, and the best damn man I've ever met. Fuck whatever your mom says."

His smile grew and he closed his eyes, before passing her the joint once more.