Cain sighed, again, and poked at his small plot of crops outside the cave. He glanced around another time, and then up at the dark sky. Heavy clouds hung over his head, just waiting to break out and pour rain. He was trying to enjoy being outside while he still could.

But with that, he wasn't really sure what time of day it was. He felt like he'd woken up around the same time as usual, even though he had been alone. Souji had still yet to come back and Cain had to guess it was sometime in the afternoon.

He heard the hoot of an owl and started grumbling to himself. "We'll see how you like the rain since you ran away, stupid owl." He picked up a twig and started making small holes in the dirt.

Thunder rumbled up overhead and made Cain start to debate if he should go inside or not. He heard something rustle and spun around, seeing Souji as a wolf coming out of the trees. "There you are," Cain huffed. "That took you a long time."

"I said I'd be back today," Souji said after he turned back into a human.

"So… what did you go do?" Cain wondered curiously, shuffling around Souji and inspecting him. He didn't have anything on him—and Cain would be able to see it because he was naked. "You didn't get anything."

"I did get something, but I've already stashed it." Souji grinned. "You have to wait until I say so."

"Well that's stupid," Cain grumbled.

"It's also stupid that you're out here playing around when the clouds are about to open up," Souji pointed out, guiding Cain back towards the cave. "I don't need you getting sick on me now."

"I don't want to be stuck inside the cave all day," Cain groaned, digging his feet in some. "Let me be outside before it starts raining."

"We're surrounded by tall trees, you should be inside," Souji insisted. "I'm sure we'll find ways to pass the time," he added suggestively.

It took Cain a moment to process what that could mean. When he got it, he started blushing and glared at Souji. "Not with Vira watching," he hissed quickly.

Souji chuckled and rolled his eyes. Cain just glared suspiciously at him; not pleased that he was still being kept in the dark about whatever Souji had gotten or done. Souji used the flint rocks to start up the fire before the rain came in and cooled everything off.

Cain flexed his marked hand in contemplation for a moment. He flicked a finger towards the fire, watching as the fire cracked more than usual. Souji jumped and swore as a couple stray sparks landed on his leg. "What was that?" he paused and looked back at Cain suspiciously. "Was that you?"

"I was just trying it out." It was mostly the truth anyways, but his innocence game wasn't passing.

"Don't snap fire at me or whatever that was," Souji groaned.

"Well hey, fire is sort of energy isn't it? So I can do more than just heal and explode." Cain shrugged easily. Now he would have to experiment with that as well.

The rain did start outside then, and Cain sat by the fire while snacking on some food. Vira came over for some attention and Cain glanced outside. "What do you think owls do during rain?" he asked, stroking the top of Vira's head.

"Not the owl again," Souji sighed.

But Cain could hear a distance hoot outside, and then suddenly the owl came barreling into the cave and landing where it's nest had once been. "See!" Cain jumped up to his feet as Vira growled at the bird.

Cain went over and tried to pet the owl but only got his fingers nipped instead. It made small sounds in it's throat as it wandered around the cave some. "You're an anti-social little thing, aren't you?" Cain goaded it, following it around as if something would change.

"Do you know how I felt for the longest time now?" Souji flicked his wrist towards the owl. "It wants nothing to do with you."

"Oh be quiet," Cain huffed. "You and I were different. I had reasons to not like you." He stretched his arms out to the owl, grabbing his hands at it and still not able to catch it.

The owl made its way by Souji, who glared at it. Cain followed after it and let out a yelp as Souji grabbed him around the waist and pulled him over. "Stop chasing it." Souji held onto him tightly, cradling Cain up against him.

Cain made a few feeble attempts to get away—at least chasing the owl around gave him something to do while they waited out the rain. Souji was relentless on keeping him there though, so Cain eventually had to give in and glare at the fire with boredom.

He must have fallen asleep at some point; next thing he knew was Souji was nudging him awake, with the rain having stopped and it being dark outside. Cain let out a frustrated groan. "Now I'm not sleeping tonight," he complained sourly.

Souji only chuckled softly and nuzzled his face against Cain's neck as he stretched. Cain froze for a moment, awkwardly sitting in Souji's lap with his skin tingling. It still confused him that his body could react in such a way. But then it was supposed to feel good, wasn't it?

Souji twitched slightly and let out a swear. "Not right now," he complained at something.

Cain was about to ask when he felt it then too. "Someone's in the forest," he sighed. "It's dark out, what are they doing?"

"It's that princess."

Cain frowned at that. "Do we want to see her?"

"Not right now." Souji hugged him tighter from behind. "She can get lost for a little while." He kissed the side of Cain's neck then.

Cain started pulling away though. "After the other day, we should see why she's here. I mean, a tree did come to life and run around the woods chasing them for a bit."

Cain finally freed himself and stumbled to the front of the cave. Souji relunctantly followed, and Cain flinched when he felt something painful digging in on his shoulder. He turned his face into a mass of feathers tickling his nose. "What—" He tried not to sneeze.

"Looks like the owl is having some attachment issues now," Souji snorted.

"It's claws hurt!" Cain suddenly didn't want the owl to like him anymore if it meant talons in his skin. "Get it off me!"

Souji sighed and grabbed at the owl. It cooed angrily and wiggled around in Souji's hands as he pulled it—with even more pain—from Cain's shoulder. Souji let go of it only to get a face full of wing-flapping and having to duck to miss flying talons. "That stupid f—"

"Ah, aren't you supposed to love all creatures or something?" Cain cut in smartly, earning a nasty look from Souji.

"I protect them, doesn't mean I like them, that annoying little piece of flying meat." He snorted and with that shifted down into his wolf form.

Cain got on his back and let Souji lead the way through the trees. His eyes adjusted some to the dark so that he could at least make out what not to run into along the way. Souji took them to just inside the edge of the tree-line, probably closer to the village that so many of the problem makers liked to come from.

"Oh, I didn't think you'd come out," Princess Eva commented in surprise. "I heard about the incident the other day. I didn't think that—"

"The guards didn't do much to keep it all in control," Cain pointed out. "And the guns that the hunters are all starting to carry aren't very fun either."

Souji squirmed under him, so Cain got to his feet and watched as Souji turned into his human form again. Princess Eva quickly looked away, blinking rapidly as she avoided the very naked man. "Cain, maybe it would be better for you to talk to my dad."

"The king?" Cain put what that meant together.

"Yes. He has a lot more weight to the word, and it'll mean more coming from you, rather than me just telling him what's going on."

Cain wasn't sure he trusted that. Eva was okay, but… on the other hand, he still didn't like humans, as hypocritical as it sounded. Souji cleared his throat to cut in. "That won't work."

"Why not?" Eva asked.

Souji glanced towards Cain. "I'm bound to this forest and… mostly, so is Cain."

"What?" Cain snapped. He wasn't bound to anything last he was aware.

"So see, he can't travel. Your father, king, would have to come here if he wants to talk," Souji continued to explain, trying to ignore Cain.

"What does that mean?" Cain lowered his voice.

"The last spell was a little… different." Souji gestured to Cain's arm. "You're not… I mean, you're going through some changes." He paused and shuffled in a little closer. "You're still human, kind of."

"Kind of?" Cain repeated harshly.

"That spell gives you something similar to my essence," Souji added quickly. "So like, a human-guardian spirit combination."

"I'm going to kill you," Cain decided. He hadn't agreed to that when Souji had offered to give him something new.

Souji smiled slightly and stepped away, turning his attention back to Eva. "Do you think your father would do that?"

"If he thinks it's important enough," she mumbled. "But look. I'm leaving some of my personal guardsmen here, not just general ones this time. They're more loyal to me, and so there shouldn't be any problems with them around, okay? If there are… feel free to deal with it as you see fit, I guess." She looked at Cain. "And no more getting shot, please."

"Not my decision," Cain snorted. Apparently nothing was at the moment. He was going to so kill Souji.

Eva nodded curtly and headed back towards the village. Cain turned on Souji again then. "Kind of human?"

"Mostly still human," Souji tried to pacify him.

"What does that mean?" Cain insisted.

"Nothing's going to change. Just, you'll start to get more of a connection with Mother, which you already seem to have a pretty strong one. And then maybe she'll keep you around for a while… you know, longer than the average human life-span."

"Like you?" Cain narrowed his eyes.

"Maybe, I don't know. But is it really so bad? It's not like you wanted to leave and go meet more human's anyways." Souji pointed outwards in the direction of the village. "You like it here."

Cain did like it, but he didn't like the idea of being tied down to it. "You should have told me that before," he demanded.

"I wanted to give you something you could defend yourself with," Souji's voice hardened. "And I knew you weren't going to like that part. But the idea of it is, is that now you can do something about the people trying to hurt you."

Cain ground his teeth together. He'd never really been able to do something like that. He'd had his bow and arrow, but that wasn't worth much. He wasn't good at fighting and didn't have the natural strength that others had.

"And is it really so bad to stick around for a while?" Souji added quietly. "Because I mean… it'd all be kind of pointless if I live longer than you."

"I'm still not happy with you about it. You can't just conveniently leave things out! You have to tell me so I can make my own decisions," Cain insisted, trying to ignore how the last part from Souji had sounded. Cain wasn't quite ready for that yet.

Souji sighed and hung his head. "I get it. Sorry."

"Let's get back," Cain muttered. He didn't like being so close to the village.

Souji got in close and gave him a quick kiss. "Sorry," he said again.

"Just leave it alone for now," Cain answered tightly. "You have your ways of getting out of me being mad at you anyways."

Souji smiled slightly then pulled Cain in for a side hug. There was another coo from above, and suddenly the owl was trying to fly into Souji's face again. He jumped back and swore as Cain laughed in triumph. "That's what you get, then," Cain said as Souji waved his arms to get the bird away. "Maybe the owl isn't so bad after all."

"Says you," Souji huffed angrily as it finally left him alone. "Let's go."