A crow was perched on the wires somewhere above them, yelling into the dusk, as they walked together down the sidewalk. The peryton glanced at Hawk and said, "This might be stupid question, but, uh...how have you been doing?"
Hawk seemed to struggle with the answer for a moment. "I--y'know--all right. My feathers're growin' back in--" here the peryton took a look at Hawk's nearest wing, which was kilted to one side to fold over the duffle bag he had slung over his shoulder. Newer, paler flight feathers were emerging over the old roughly-cut ones, still just barely longer than his secondary feathers. "--I like where I'm livin', I can sleep at night okay. I'm..." Hawk hesitated again. "Y'know."
They came to a crosswalk and stopped to wait for the light to change, even though there were apparently no cars. The peryton tilted his head towards Hawk.
"Thank you," he said.
The crosswalk light turned green, and they both stepped off the curb. The crow was still shouting overhead.
"You didn't have to stand up to Dmitri."
"Who, your ex? Yeah I did."
"Well. You saved a few lives that night too, you know. And you paid a really awful price for it. I'm sorry."