There’s a circle of pines next to the arts building Jillian likes to climb when the weather’s nice and she’s got a particularly abstract paper she’s reading or cantrip she’s learning. She knows the trees, knows their names, has sunk herself down deep in their roots and spent a week processing sunshine into growth. That was a fun altbreak, way better than another windless visit to her parents. She hasn’t been home in a year, and probably won’t be again; home’s not that place anymore.

She wraps herself in borrowed wings and rises to perch on the highest branch. The sun is caught between Art’s two high towers, and she finds herself singing without meaning to; some memory of the body she’s borrowing. She lets it flow, listens to it with her mathematician’s mind. A spring song, which is dangerous–she keeps her eye on the horizon for other birds. She’s not looking to feather a nest, not just yet.

She flits down deeper into the branches, shrugs off beak, brain and feathers, and settles back against the trunk. She pulls out her tablet and sighs; it’s almost too nice a day for Vorovsky.