When Sasha is walking home from school, he stumbles across the smallest and most adorable dog in the world.
Leo clambers up to try to open the window. This is somewhat difficult with paws but he manages.
Outside of the house is a unicorn.
It's small, for a unicorn; it can't be older than about five hundred, and is probably younger than that. But it is definitely a unicorn.
"I think," says Marlo's voice from the unicorn's mouth, "turning back might be a challenge."
"I couldn't sleep so I went out to the field and — turns out if I concentrate just right — I don't think English has the words but I tried something and it worked."
He shields his eyes with a paw. "You're really bright."
"Sorry," he says. "I don't think I can turn it down."
"Do you think you can help Sasha?"
He considers this.
"...I don't know but it's probably worth a try?"
Leo climbs back down to the bed and says, "Sasha, you have to get up. Marlo turned into a unicorn."
"Marlo was already a unicorn," he says, but he drags himself up and promptly starts coughing.
(His arm comes away from his mouth flecked with red.)
That's not great!
"I mean, he's a horse with a horn on his head. --Turn me into a human so I can help you walk."
"Leo, off." He's leaning against the wall.
Leo wraps an arm around Sasha's shoulder and helps him walk out front and hopes that Sunnydale syndrome will cover "naked human" as well as "unicorn."
"...hey, Marlo," Sasha says, and sits down on the ground.
Horses can't smile, but you get the impression that if he could be smiling he would be. He puts his head in Sasha's lap.
"Can you help him?"
"...I think he is helping," Saaha says, quiet. His breathing already sounds easier. He pets Marlo's face and mane and runs his fingertips over his horn.
Leo wraps his arms around Sasha.
"I love you."
"I love you." His eyes are clearer; he isn't shivering. "I love you," to Marlo.
Leo runs his fingers through Sasha's hair.
A soft curious noise.
"I'd started coughing blood."
....that's really concerning! He's really concerned!