" You noticed I got home pretty fast, hm?"

Nova stood from where he had been seated nervously.

" ... I saw your ship flying overhead," he excused himself.

Ifrit leaned down and patted his head.

" Help me braid my hair, then, little thing," he said, sitting down and bringing his hair round his shoulder. It was wet; he had apparently showered right after getting to the palace.

" Will you show me how?"

" Of course."

Nova felt him looking down at his hands.

He took his wrist and turned his arm.

" What's this?" he asked.

Nova scrunched his nose.

" ... Lyewa-Vivan was being weird to me, so I told him to go away," he answered hesitantly; only honest because it was Ifrit who had asked. " It's not going to scar or anything, right? So it's..."

He trailed off, seeing a very unfamiliar look in Ifrit's eyes; like he was mad. Nova had never seen him mad.

" It's not going to scar," he assured softly, turning to his desk and opening the drawer. He took out a small spray bottle. " It's just puffed up right now because you didn't clean it off before it started healing."

A moment of silence.

Ifrit leaned forward a little.

" If anyone tries to claw you again, come and tell me, Nova," he said. " I'll make sure you don't get hurt."

Nova looked down.

He raised the edge of his shirt a little; there were scratches on his side, as well.

" ... Will you fix this one, too?"

" Mhm."