Fandom: White Collar
Characters/Pairings: Peter & Mozzie, OCs
Word Count: 1,039
Summary: You don’t have to have wings to fly.
A/N: Written for elrhiarhodan’s Promptfest 2015. If you haven’t already – go read the wonderful fics and ficlets that came out of this great challenge.
Part of the Dragon'verse series.
Mozzie always wanted to fly. Skimming the trees, diving down between the hills, soaring amongst the clouds. But that would never happen. He was born a Basilisk – one of the earthbound dragons. His kind had no wings. Which made him prime taunting material for the other dragons at the Academy.
Shoved into lockers, books knocked out of his arms – all the cliché moves that were used in teen literature to denote bullying. Mozzie had experienced them all. It didn’t help either that he killed the grading curve every time there was a test or quiz.
The only saving grace during the school day was Peter. Peter treated him like he was an equal. He spent time with Mozzie, talking about dragon history, gems, pyrology. Spending time at lunch playing the dice and card games that Mozzie loved. Teaching Mozzie some moves that kept him from being beaten up too badly when he found himself cornered and Peter wasn’t there to help protect him.
Like today. Miller and Ambrowski decided it was ‘pick on Mozzie day’ and stuffed him into one of the unused lockers in the gym. Unoriginal but very effective. Mozzie had gotten in a few good punches, but they were bigger and in the end it was a no brainer that he would lose.
He’d spent about thirty minutes bent in a pretzel before Peter came by and let him out.
“You okay?” He cousin looked him over, concern on his face.
“Yeah. Just the daily dose of ignorant behavior.” Mozzie stretched and dusted himself off. “Gave me time to go over the notes for history class. I’m going to blow the top off the curve again.”
Peter grinned. “Good to hear. So what was it this time?”
“The typical. They can fly and I can’t.” Mozzie fell into step with Peter as they headed out of the gym. “Like that’s a big deal. There are lots of famous dragons that can’t fly. If they’d do their homework they’d know that.”
“True. But they’re cinnirí guail.” Peter grabbed the door and held it open for Mozzie. “They’ll never figure it out.”
“Yeah. So where are you headed?” Mozzie shifted his book bag on his shoulder.
“Have to work on my aerials. Wanna come along and figure out the spatial geometry for me?”
“Sure.” Mozzie smiled to himself. He liked when Peter asked him to help with his flying homework. It was the closest he’d ever get to being in the air.
The Aviation Fields were empty this time of afternoon, which suited Mozzie just fine. No one to give him grief about flying and hanging out with Peter.
“So I need to work on inverted dives, Moz. What’s the equation?” Mozzie knew full well that Peter could figure it out but he was giving Mozzie the opportunity to feel a part of things.
“Well….” They quickly worked out what they needed and Peter undressed and shifted. Mozzie watched as he launched himself, his powerful wings pumping, sending Peter up into the clouds. Mozzie watched in awe as Peter executed a perfect maneuver several times before landing with a thud in front of him.
“Fantastic!” Mozzie grinned at his cousin, receiving a puff of warm air in reply. “Do that on your practicals and you’ll get a perfect score.”
Peter nodded his head. Mozzie could feel Peter’s gaze on him, like he was turning something over in his mind. “Hey, Moz. I have an idea. How would you like to fly with me?”
“What are you talking about, Peter. You know I can’t fly.” Mozzie didn’t know whether to be hurt or angry at Peter’s statement.
“I know you can’t. But I can. You can climb on my shoulders and I can take you up.”
“Peter, we can’t. You know that’s against the rules.” Mozzie was shocked. He had no problem playing fast and loose with authority, but Peter? Peter was the poster boy for integrity and honor. There was no way -.
“Moz, stop freaking out. There’s no one here. One flight’s not going to matter.” Peter grinned a wide dragon grin. “C’mon. It’ll be fun.” He bent down and offered a leg for Mozzie to climb up. “You know you want to.”
Mozzie did want to – more than anything. “Okay.” He shrugged off his backpack and stepped onto Peter’s leg. Swinging a foot over, he settled himself on Peter’s shoulders. He grabbed Peter’s scales, finding they curved perfectly into his hands.
“Ready?” Peter rumbled.
“Ready.” Mozzie took a deep breath as he felt Peter’s muscles bunch up in preparation to fly.
He would never tell anyone he squeaked when Peter launched himself off the ground. Nope. No squeaking.
But that was forgotten in the exhilaration of the wind rushing past his face, the pure power and freedom as Peter flew higher, higher, breaking through the clouds, trying to touch the sun.
Mozzie laughed with joy and heard Peter’s echoing roar. They soared over the snowcapped mountains, startling the bighorn sheep into mini stampedes, then diving down to skim the tops of the pines, keeping pace with the herds of deer. Past the waterfall, its mist coating them as thousands of gallons of water fell into the deep lake below.
Mozzie didn’t know how long they flew or where they went. Peter kept going, his wings taking them over meadows and hills, never seeming to tire. Mozzie could have stayed in flight forever.
But all good things need to end at some point. They glided back onto the Aviation Fields as dusk approached. Peter’s landing was perfect, not jarring Mozzie at all.
With a sigh, he climbed down off Peter’s back. Peter bumped him with his head, his brown eyes glowing in the setting sun.
“Was it what you thought it was?” Mozzie saw uncertainty in his cousin’s face.
“It was more. Thank you, Peter.” In an uncharacteristic move, Mozzie wrapped his arms around Peter’s neck and hugged him tightly. “I’ll never forget this.”
“I’m glad.” Peter’s voice was quiet. “And Moz? Just because you can’t fly, doesn’t mean you can’t soar.”
Mozzie held on tighter, his chest tight. Peter was right. He may not have wings, but he could definitely fly.
* cinnirí guail = coal heads