By: Snowshinobi

Disclaimer: The two characters are ALL MINE! But while this isn't a songfic, but as I was writing it I began to see how well the song "Boats and Birds" by Gregory And The Hawk worked with it, and I quoted it at the end, so here the song is in the disclaimer! Me no own the beautiful song!

Type of story: Friendship-ie, I suppose, as well as Miscellaneous - these two characters are from the depths of the dream-creating sector of my brain after all! (see author's note).

Summary: Friendship is a double-edged blade . . . ? That sounds pretty ominous, but this is really just a fic about 2 odd characters I made up who are good friends (and also don't happen to be humans or animals . . . )

A/N: Ok - so I had this dream sometime last year and this one scene stuck with me; it was this cartoon-style five-pointed star with beady black eyes alongside a timid-looking rose leaf (that also had eyes as well as stick-people hands and feet) who were both looking at a fire burning away (I get how the inanimate-objects-being-alive could come across as kinda freaky; I just have a sorta insane imagination!) Something about the image struck me, and so I named the characters Iao (the star) and Eaffie (the leaf). So now, a whole year later, I discovered Fictionpress, and so I decided to do a fic on that dream-scene. So, enjoy!

The five-pointed star peered unblinkingly into the flames. Its small black dot eyes watched the flickering tongues of orange and yellow intently.

Blinking disinterestedly beside him stood a slightly bored-looking rose leaf. She fidgeted uncomfortably due to the heat from her close proximity with those rather evil-looking flames. But something about them made her keep sneaking another glance - it looked ravenous, ready to swallow the world just as quickly as it was smothering the twigs it was currently alighted upon.

"Iao, we should probably turn that off now" she suggested to her fascinated friend. Iao ignored her completely, still gazing into the depths of the flailing red-hot creature.

"Just five more minutes, Eaffie" Iao murmured dismissively, not once tearing his wide eyes away from the flames to even so much as glance her way. The leaf huffed, a tad annoyed, until she made the mistake of briefly flicking her eyes over to her yellow friend and his similarly colored new-found obsession.

"You said that twenty minutes ago." Eaffie sighed. "Look how its devouring those innocent twigs. It's so cruel to watch. It chars everything it touches. It can't be safe."

"It's warm." Iao supplied in the fire's defense. "Warm is good."

"And too warm is what'll burn me to a crisp." Eaffie mumbled unhappily as she backed away from the mesmerising tongues of flame.

Iao was quiet for a long moment, as if his soul had leaped out of his five-pointed body and was roaming throughout the fiery guts of the crackling red fiend. Just as Eaffie was about to give up all hope of him ever returning back to here-and-now, Iao whispered:

"Eaffie - you think I was one of these before? Before I was a star and fell to earth? You think I'm staring at what I used to be? What I once was? What I might be again, eventually?" He fixed solemn shimmering eyes, pleading for an honest not-poking-fun-at-him answer.

Eaffie's eyes softened. So that's why Iao was so incredibly interested in the fire. "No, I don't think you were ever a mindless burning-everything machine such as this," she told him.

Iao looked forlornly at her, so much so that Eaffie wondered if she should've lied and said yes, she did think this was how Iao had managed to get from miles out in space as a boiling ball of gas and dust to the meek, cartoon-ish, yellowish-gold star-creature who was crouched beside her.

"Don't worry - we'll find out how you got to earth someday." She told him, placing a stem-like hand on his shoulder. Iao was always trying to find out why he'd fallen from the sky. Had he been kicked out? Had being thrown to earth been his punishment for some crime he'd committed?

Eaffie remembered the day she'd found him, burnt out and smoking in the middle of the same field in which they now lived. She recalled being dazzled by the odd, cartoon-style star who'd been knocked out one second and the next up and running, panicking about how he could remember nothing at all except for a traumatizing falling sensation and not knowing where he was or where his home was. Eventually, from other animals and the cartoon sections of the old newspapers that littered one corner of the field - the corner in which those litterbug 'humans' hung out - Iao had learned he was a star, and that he once must've drifted high above the earth and clouds in the infinite blackness called space. His eyes still glazed over whenever he rambled off about it, his descriptions so strikingly familiar to the way the sky looked at night. Sometimes, Iao would remember little flashes of utter darkness, speckled with little white flecks he assumed were other stars floating many light-years away.

Eaffie felt guilty from time to time about being but a simple rose leaf. She knew the process of photosynthesis by heart, but when it came to the cosmos she had no information to give her memory-hungry friend. Iao was struggling with a severe identity crisis - and Eaffie felt like a lousy excuse for a friend for not being able to give him more material to work with.

And yet, deep down, Eaffie was horrified to find that a tiny part of her didn't want Iao to discover everything about his home; the sky. She was secretly worried that he'd uncover a way to somehow go back - and that he'd leave her all alone. She hoped that she would be enough to be his sky.

But of course she couldn't tell him that - and besides, as much as it would hurt to lose her best friend, if he really did ever find a way to skyrocket back into space and never came back, at least he'd be somewhere he felt he truly belonged. Swallowing painfully, Eaffie decided she would support any decision he made, as long as that was what he really wanted. Even if it meant she'd only have a few cozy memories and a pinch of stardust to remember him by.

So, rather than launch into that potentially emotional topic, of him leaving her for the endless sky, she just stood there, hand on his shoulder, watching the flickering twisting arms of quivering color fade into the indigo night as it gobbled up the last of its twigs.

With one last whisper of heat, it was gone.

" . . . stardust to remember you by."

A/N: This is my first non-Naruto (and NejiTen, for that matter!) -related fic. Please review, if you would be so kind! I'd love to hear any ;)!