Marty would never admit it in a million years, but he was jealous of Kenny's wings. They were big, and pretty. Angelic. He was the kind of image that hopped to mind when people thought about wings, a bright-faced cherub with fluffy, golden feathers. Marty had more often begun wearing coats to hide his wings.
It was too hot for a coat now. Marty lay on the hotel bed in a racerback, playing on his phone, wings draped around himself. He sat up when he heard the shower turn off and the hotel bathroom door open, scrunching his wings as tight to his back as he could get them.
Hangman shook his wet hair out like a dog, making Marty laugh and put an arm up. "Adam, you dick!"
"You love me." Adam flashed him a toothy grin. He bent over, picking something up off the floor. "Hey, I think you lost a feather."
It was certainly Marty's, smallish and a drab dark grey. "Oh. I must be molting." Marty scrunched up his nose. "Sorry if I get feathers in your stuff."
"Don't worry about it. Can I keep it?"
That came as a surprise. "Er… I don't see why not, sure. Keep it, mate."
"Cool." Hangman set the feather on the small table between their hotel beds.
Marty had no idea what he would do with the thing. He didn't see it after, and assumed Hangman had come to his senses and tossed the feather. So he was surprised a couple months later when a small Ziploc bag fell out of Hangmans gear bag. "Hey, you dropped something." He bent down to pick it up, cheeks going pink when he saw what it was.
A single dark grey feather, sealed away safely.
"Is this mine?"
Hangman didn't look him in the eyes, blushing and snatching the bag back. "Yeah. It's, you know, a good luck charm."
"Cute!" Kenny laughed at them. Hangman glared at him, rolling his eyes. "Hey, Bucks, how come you guys never asked for one of my feathers, huh?"
"Shut up, Kenny." Nick elbowed him. "You never molt anyways, Marty leaves feathers everywhere."
Marty blushed, crossing his arms. "Hey! Not everywhere."
"It is everywhere." Hangman snorted. "You're like a kitten."
"I am not a kitten!" Marty whined. "Anyways, we can't all have angel wings. Some of us get the short end of the stick."
"I like your wings." Hangman smiled at him. He was sweet to humor Marty, so Marty smiled back.
"'I like your wings,'" Nick repeated in a mocking drawl once Hangman left the locker room to go to gorilla. "Jesus, is he ever gonna ask you out?"
"Why would he ask me out?" Marty made a face.
"Marty." Kenny sighed. "He keeps one of your feathers as a good luck charm."
"So? It's like… a friendship bracelet."
The Bucks shared that look that Marty hated, like they were reading each other's minds and everyone else was stupid for not knowing what they were thinking. What did they know? Marty helped Kenny make sure his prosthetic wing was securely in place before his match, and he did not think about Hangman.
They had all been shoved into one hotel room again. It went without saying that the Bucks were going to sleep with Kenny, and Cody had fallen asleep on the couch before anyone could even tell him it had a pull out mattress. Marty settled onto the leftover bed. This wasn't weird. He shared a bed with Hangman all the time. But he was still thinking about what Nick said. He laid down with Adam like always, draping a wing over him.
He couldn't sleep, but he pretended to. He was startled to feel fingers brushing over his wings, jumping a little.
"Sorry!" Hangman whispered. Marty could just make out his sheepish expression in the dark room.
"What are you doing?"
"Your wings are just… pretty… I'm sorry."
Pretty? Marty blushed. His wings weren't pretty. They were small and boring, like the rest of him. "Um… you can keep doing it. Just warn a guy next time."
"Cool." Hangman continued to stroke his wings gently. Marty relaxed under his touch. It was nice, being paid attention to.
"Handsome little crow," Hangman hummed.
"I'm not handsome." Marty rolled his eyes.
"Sure you are." Hangman poked his nose with his free hand. Marty rolled his eyes.
"Shut up, Adam."
"I mean it!"
Marty took a deep breath. He couldn't believe what he was about to say. He tried to get it out as fast as he could. "Get over yourself and ask me out already."
That caught Hangman off guard. Ha. Take that. "Are you serious?"
"Serious? Yes, I'm bloody serious. Kiss me or don't, come on."
Hangman leaned in and kissed him, and Marty relaxed against him, grabbing his shoulders. Hangman was not a particularly good kisser, but that was almost charming.
"You really like my wings?" Marty blurted when they broke apart.
"Yeah." Hangman hid his face in Marty's chest. "They're cute. I always liked crows, you know? Used to feed one that came around the back porch."
"Adorable." Marty stroked his hair. "I've… never liked them. They're small. And boring."
"They're beautiful. You're beautiful." Hangman cupped his cheek. "I, uh… Marty. I love you."
Marty smiled, feeling warmth bloom across his cheeks. "I love you too."