As vain as this is going to sound, i love love love this chapter. It was so much fun to write! As it turns out, it's not M like I thought it would be, but just again, as a warning, the chapter after this might be.

Thanks to kiki and Natasha5 for being the only two who reviewed! And sorry to everyone else who didn't, because it's taken me so long to update

The sound was almost unbearable. And it wouldn't stop. It seemed to echo through Hawk's head, vibrating in through his ears, and swashing around his brain. It brought to life a raging fire of anger, stirring it past a boiling point. Hawk closed his eyes and pursed his lips, desperately trying to contain his anger. His hands formed tight fists, and every muscle in his body tensed with rage.

"Are you finished?" he asked angrily.

Sky Watcher wiped his eyes, his extended and, in Hawk's opinion, exaggerated laughter died down. His little brother just sat there, glaring at a tree opposite where they were, in the woods. Sky loved his little brother, and had always tried to lead him in the right direction, tried to be as kind as he could. He was sorry for laughing at him, he could tell from the look on Hawk Eyes' face that he'd offended his brother, even hurt his ego and his faith in Sky every so slightly. However, the way Hawk had told the story of what had happened at the river was just too much for Sky to handle. It was hilarious, anyone could see that. The Chieftain's little brother had tried to have sex for the first time and had been admittedly rejected, by his own fiancé! Even now, Sky could feel the laughter beginning to bubble back to the surface. He needed to find a different way to look at this, see the tragedy that Hawk Eyes was feeling right now. Being rejected by one's love is never a pleasant thing. But he also knew that not all rejections were what they seemed.

"He…kissed you, did he not?" Sky asked cautiously.

Hawk nodded and shrugged.

"What I mean is he kissed you…strongly? Like he…wanted something?" Sky tried again, coyly.

Hawk blinked and stared at his older brother. Sky Watcher was looking to the side, away from Hawk, his face blank as though he meant nothing by what he'd just said, though it was clear he'd meant quite a lot. Sky shot him a sideways glance, and the meaning was clear.

"uh, well…ahem" Hawk coughed and looked away "uh…yes…h-he seemed to, yes"

"Well then it's not as bad as you thought!" Sky brought their conversation back, speaking face to face, instead of out into space as it had been in their embarrassment.

"How can that be? I've offended him" Hawk sighed and buried his head in his hands.

Sky put a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder.

"Nay, brother, listen to me," he said cheerfully "Think about the way you felt when you first thought about how two men…mate. Think about how ridiculous it sounded! Think about how horrific the thought was! But now that you've found your Rushing Wind, it does not sound so bad at all, does it?"

Hawk shook his head, blushing slightly.

"No, see? White men are ignorant of many things, you know. In their world, love is not spoken of in so many words, even between a man and a woman." Sky nodded to himself; as though he could see the answer right in front of him "You scared him, that's all. Rushing Wind had no idea what love making was between two men."

Hawk nodded slowly. This all made perfect sense, actually. That explained why Wind, though eager to kiss, and even to touch their naked skin together, was so frightened when Hawk had tried to venture a bit further.

"But what does it matter now?" asked Hawk, only slightly less upset than before, "I've scared him off. He's afraid of me. If only you could have seen the look on his face, I've completely lost his trust."

Sky nodded in understanding. The two sat for many moments, both lost in contemplative thought.

"Gain it back" Sky said finally, a soft smile playing on his lips

"How?" Hawk asked, words unenthused, still miserable and bewildered.

Sky smiled brightly.

"The same way you broke it."

Hawk stared at him unbelieving.

"You've got to be kidding! Try a stunt like that again? What would that prove?"

"no-no-no, not like you did before" Sky waved his hands around in front of his face like the very idea smelled bad "What you have to do is be gentle about it. Make him yours completely. Give him comfort, beautiful things, gentle and loving. Fun while bathing comes later"

Hawk laughed for the first time since the incident with Wind, and shoved Sky playfully. Getting up, he brushed off his pants and smiled down at his brother with happy eyes.

"Thank you, Sky Watcher."

"You are welcome, Hawk Eyes."

..oo0000oo..

"Come now, Rushing Wind, it is not that hard." Blooming Flower cooed encouragingly.

"You say! You say!" Timothy replied, frustrated. He was currently trying to sew two pieces of hide together for moccasins, and having a hard time with it. Blooming Flower had intentionally given him something small, and that which could be made from scraps, but even under her helpful praise Timothy was useless. He was distracted, desperately depressed over what had happened in the river, and torn between the fear it had brought him and the guilt of leaving the caring (not to mention attractive) man abandoned in the water. But being touched there just didn't make any sense to Timothy, and he didn't wish to have anyone ever touch him there again.

"Dear one," Blooming Flower touched a caring hand to Timothy's frustrated ones "what is it that has you so disturbed?"

Rushing Wind sighed, laying down his project, and looking up at his teacher. He opened his mouth to explain with what words he had, when he saw Hawk coming towards them, and his mouth snapped shut, fear spreading over his features. Blooming Flower looked over her shoulder at her husband's little brother coming towards them, and put two and two together. She did not know exactly what was going on, but she knew who it was going on with.

Hawk took a deep breath and marched up to his fiancé determinedly, carrying the carefully wrapped package under his arm. When he reached the two crafters, he simply laid the packaged before he beloved, and with an awkward bow, walked away. Now that that was through with, he had other things to prepare.

Timothy stared down at the scrap of cloth, wrapped up tightly around something, and tied with a leather strip. He ventured a glance at Blooming Flower, who nodded eagerly at him to open it, so he carefully threaded his fingers through the leather and loosened it. When it was untied, the packaged opened easily, splaying out and revealing an abundance of beautiful white flowers.

"Ahhh!" Blooming Flower exclaimed, "These are the last of the blooms, no more will come until next spring! I'm sure of it!"

Timothy heard this with some realization, being better at understanding perhaps than he was at speaking. He fingered one of the blossoms gently, and then leaned down to smell them. The fragrance was light, but beautiful, and Rushing Wind was touched by the gesture.

"This can only mean one thing." Blooming Flower remarked with her soft smile, and Timothy regarded her questioningly. She did not answer, however, but took Wind's hand in her own and lead him into his and Hawk's tent.

..oo00oo..

Timothy fidgeted where he sat, tugging at the flap of his newly adorned loin cloth and sighing with impatience. Blooming Flower and another young girl named Tender One were on toes and knees, fixing flowers in his hair. Sturdy Plant was propped up on a fur, weaving a necklace of flowers and reeds, a bored and mildly annoyed look on her face.

"Did you even tell him why we we're doing this?" Sturdy Plant asked Blooming Flower, rolling her eyes.

"I am…here." Timothy said angrily, his point made in his voice, if not in words.

"Hawk Eyes has asked Rushing Wind to share his bed." Blooming Flower said with a smile Timothy had never seen before. Tender One giggled.

"Yeah, but does he know that?" Timothy hated the drawl in Sturdy Plant's voice. He preferred the soothing, musical way of Blooming Flower, or the bird-like chirp of Tender One better.

"I am here!" he said again angrily.

"Stop acting like you know what's going on!" Sturdy Plant snapped.

"You are….bad." He managed.

"Shut up, you!" she growled.

"Sturdy Plant! Rushing Wind!" Their elder, Blooming Flower, seemed shocked at their behavior. They both turned away, still simmering in anger they could not quite express effectively.

"Now, Rushing Wind, do you know what Hawk Eyes wants?" she asked softly, and simply of him.

"Hawk Eyes wants…Rushing Wind." Timothy said, cheeks turning scarlet. He and Blooming Flower had already had this awkward conversation earlier, before the other two had come over to help. Blooming Flower had explained, as best she could, what was expected of him. That Hawk's gesture of the flowers was a proposal of marriage and (AN: dare I say it) sex. Timothy had tried his best to explain what had happened in the river, and in turn Blooming Flower had done her best to explain what Hawk Eyes had meant by it. There were drawings involved that got very detailed, but Blooming Flower had been very adamant that Rushing Wind know what he was getting himself into…or what Hawk was getting himself into…whatever. Needless to say, Timothy was still terrified about it, things like that could only be painful. But from what he could understand of what Blooming Flower had said, it was painful for girls too, sometimes. She did her best to not just explain the sex, but also love, and told the word to him, with lots of happy hand motions and voice, to show him the difference between the two. She had even taught him to say "no, I don't want this" just incase he got too scared, or it hurt too much. Timothy was very grateful for this.

He was still terrified.

"Now I don't understand" Sturdy Plant grumbled "why would Hawk Eyes want you?"

"Hawk Eyes…loves me." Timothy rebutted, proud to use his new word.

Sturdy Plant snorted.

"Just because he wants you to take his length does not mean he loves you"

"Sturdy Plant!" Blooming Flower cried out in disapproval. Tender One seemed torn between an offended gasp and giggling. Timothy just glared.

Timothy knew the following words from that sentence: He wants you take not loves you.

Well, he got the gist.

Even as Timothy was trying to remind himself that this was a girl saying these things and he was supposed to treat women with respect, he was picking up the wooden figurine of a bear Hawk had given him. It left his hand and traveled through the air about a foot and a half before it came into contact with Sturdy Plant's forehead. The necklace she had been making was thrown aside and in two seconds she was lunging at Rushing Wind, ready for a fight. But before she could get to him, a hand came across her face in a hard slap. Everything stopped and all eyes were on Blooming Flower, who wore a look of distain that sent a shiver down Timothy's spine.

"Go. Now." She said to Sturdy Plant, coldly.

The girl obeyed, with only one lingering glare at Rushing Wind as she left.

"You too, Tender One, go. Thank you for all of your help"

Tender One smile awkwardly, nodded, and left. Blooming Flower turned to Timothy with a heavy sigh. He remembered the words Hawk had used as an apology.

"I am so, so sorry" he said earnestly.

"I know." Blooming Flower sighed again with a kind smile, "but you must not let Sturdy Plant hurt you that way."

"I understand." Timothy said with a nod.

"I surely hope you do."

..oo00oo..

I hope this was as fun to read as it was to write! Please REVIEW it means more to me than you know. I have nothing else to do all day