Pairings/Characters: Captain Metropolis/Hooded Justice
Summary: The one where Hooded Justice is actually a griffin. A female griffin. Now how will Nelson cope with that?
Author's note: Originally written for the kinkmeme's eggfic challenge. This is actually quite fluffy and domestic.
"Oh, dear." Nelly shakes his head and pinches himself, for about the fifth time in half an hour. No, it's still not a dream.
The Griffin watches him with an expression of fond and somewhat cruel amusement, which is something Nelly has seen dozens of times on Rolf's face. But then, Nelly reminds himself, that Griffin is Rolf. Although...
"If you want to lay eggs and raise a family, doesn't that mean you're female?" Somehow, that idea is even harder to grasp for Nelly than the revelation that his lover is actually not a circus performer from Germany, but rather some mythical beast with really good camouflage skills.
The beast clicks its beak a few times, a rumbling noise rising from the depths of its chest. That, too, is rather... Rolf of it.
"Yes," he - no, she, oh dear! - says, tail swishing the air in a lazy arc, "it does."
"But you're so, so..." Nelly stammers, faltering, words escaping him.
"Large? Strong? Vicious?" The last one is followed by a playful snap in the direction of Nelly's arm, and the blonde man pulls back, eyes widening as the huge beak closes on the air just a inch away from his skin. It looks like it could easily slice through his flesh and crush his bones, what with how sharp it is. The same goes for the claws Nelson can make out on those huge paws, and for a moment, he is worried about his carpet. He probably should be worried about his skin.
"You expect your women to be meek and docile," Rolf hisses, shaking her feathered head, orange bird's eyes glittering, "I'm a Griffin. We are proud and strong. Others fear us." She prowls through the living room in a small circle, halfway unfurling her brown wings, and Nelly is suddenly struck by how beautiful she is. Strong and deadly, every muscle visible underneath her sand-colored hide, the light from the overhead bulb reflecting off the golden feathers at the tips of her wings. She is power and pride given form, and at that momet, Nelly stops pinching himself and accepts everything she has said, because even a blind man would see that she is indeed the man he has fallen in love with.
She guards her clutch of four shiny golden eggs viciously, her huge body curled around them, giving them warmth. Nelly often sits on the floor next to her, his head pillowed on her back, listening to the strong heart beating in her chest. They talk, and sometimes, when she is feeling particularly tender towards him, she turns her head and gently runs the tip of her beak through his hair or over his back.
As soon as the cubs have hatched, Rolf turns human again for most of the day. They have to get used to being around humas, he says, and the sooner the better. The cubs are adorable, even when they're mewling and screeching for food at the top of their lungs. Their fur is dappled, their feathers still downy and soft, and Nelly loves to cuddle and play with them, even though his arms and chest are covered in scratches at the end of the day. Rolf and him take turns feeding them, first with strips of raw meat, later with mice, rats and whole rabbits. By then, Nelly has bought a sturdy falconer's glove. He loves his boys and girls, but not enough to lose a finger to them. At the end of the day, when the kids are asleep and they can finally relax, Rolf takes him, just the way he used to. Some things haven't changed, except that nowadays, Rolf sometimes drops the camouflage around his claws, adding deeper scratches to the ones Nelly already has.
They are standing on top of a cliff somewhere up north, away from the prying eyes of humans. The kids have gone through their first molt, and are running around Nelly's legs, flapping their wings excitedly. Rolf is standing next to him, nonchalantly running her beak through the feathers of her large wings. She doesn't seem nervous at all, and Nelly wonders how she does it. He is a total wreck, shivering from the cold wind and anticipation.
"Don't you think they should try it somewhere else first? A small hill, perhaps? Or the roof of a house?" He peers over the edge of the cliff, then takes a few hurried steps back. Down below, the waves are crashing against the rock with a thundering sound. "If they don't make it, they will die!" He looks at the children, who are goofing around, chasing and wresting with each other, shrieking happily, and his heart breaks. Nelson can feel tears sting his eyes, and he quickly wipes them away before turning towards his mate: "How can you be so... so cold about this? They're your children! And I know that you love them!"
Rolf pads over and looks at Nelson and leans her body against his for a moment. "They're Griffins, Nelly. And a Griffin that can't fly is better off dead. Only the strong survive."
"They're half human!" Nelly is almost shouting now, and he points at their children: "Just look at them, for God's sake!". Even though they are covered in fur and sprout wings, their heads being those of an eagle, their bodies are those of human children. "They're my children, too," Nelly whispers, swallowing hard around the lump in his throat, "and I don't want to have to watch them die."
"Yes, they're your children, too," Rolf says, her voice warm and uncharacteristically gentle, "and that's why they will all make it. Because they have your brave heart, and your determination." She closes her beak around Nelson's fingers softly before rubbing her head against his side: "We choose our mates very carefully."
With that, she walks away, her gait picking up until she is running, bounding over the grass, calling to the children to follow her. At the edge of the cliff, she leaps, unfurling her wings, dipping low before she catches the wind that takes her soaring to the sky. The children follow, not one of them showing even a hint of hesitation. Nelson feels his heart clench and stop as they fall away from view, and for a momet, he wants to run and leap after them, save them. But then, one by one, they swoop into view again, laughing and shouting and keening excitedly, their wings flapping, carrying them through the air as if they had never done anything else. They swoop and glide along with their mother, chasing each other, waving and calling at him. Nelly's heart is pounding in his chest again, almost bursting with pride, and this time, he doesn't wipe away the tears on his cheeks.