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[Orig '12] Dragon at the Bar 01

All right! In the spirit of New Story November, and proof that i'm not a complete wastrel when it comes to writing i present this short story. Dragons and Dragonslayers are pretty prominent in my original work because i'm fascinated by them; Clover DragonSlayer even earned a sentence or two in Wish. On my quest to reinvent the idea of Dragons i wrote a few excerpts but never actually completed a novel. Below is actually about Clover's nephew, Ocean, and explains a bit of some future events in Wish so it's doubly helpful. Cut me some slack, i wrote this when i was 12. Besides fleshing out a few things to make it more short-story and less excerpt, it's pretty much word for word (which i'll admit is weird considering the subject matter). The Dragon/Nomad dialect is a bit tricky, but i hope i left enough context clues to make it legible. I'll be posting this story on Saturday all November long. Comments appreciated.

Summary: After Chavez's horrible past he has no care for mating seasons or mates, but a chance meeting at The Laughing Lizard may change all that.


º ♣ º

DRAGON AT THE BAR
©: Ken Black, all rights reserved.
Warnings: M/M, NC17 Explicit
Beta: TJ, thank you!
Word Count: 2,900/11,600

Part One

Chavez sat hunched over the table in an attempt to make himself smaller and blatantly unapproachable. The glare he leveled at his two companions didn’t seem to phase them. Mollette DragonHill merely smiled in that patronizing way she did when she felt justified in interfering in someone else’s life, and Teyum, social creature that he was, merely seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere.

Getting the table had been a stroke of luck in Chavez’s otherwise Gaffe-bitten day. First he’d overslept, which was a rare occurrence at best. Late to his job, he’d discovered that his boss, the Marquis of Amejade himself, had conducted a surprise inspection on the fields Chavez maintained. Ordinarily this would have been a highlight in his week; Chavez took great pride in his work and his fields reflected that. However, last night an unexpected frost had set in and damaged some of Chavez’s crops. Chavez spent the day salvaging what he could, replanting what he could not and fortifying what was left of the crops against another freak change in weather.

After a hard day’s work all Chavez wanted to do was sit at his kitchen table and finish a set of glass-bead jewelry he’d been working on in hopes that he could open a stall at the souk morn after and sell his wares. But Gaffe, the Perfect One of Imperfection, had not quite finished ruining Chavez’s day; Molly and Teyum had barged into his home demanding he come out with them, and they wouldn't listen when he tried to decline the 'invitation'.

Chavez hated places like The Laughing Lizard Bar and Grill. It was crowded and loud especially on the last night of the work week, though Nomads and Dragon-folk flocked to the bar on any given night regardless. Sometimes it was merely to have a few drinks with friends and co-workers, and then sometimes when a Dragon’s season was approaching it was the perfect place to find a mate. Chavez had very little interest in people or mates which made him resent this excursion ever more.

“Oh, there he goes,” Mollette cooed in a voice guaranteed to drag Chavez’s attention from the carvings in the table top to her awestruck face. “He fancy, yeah?” Mollette continued as she discreetly pointed a finger to what had caught her eye.

“Um-hmm,” Teyum hummed in quick agreement, but then glared suspiciously at his mate for the season with eyes narrowed and nose twitching. “Mollette!” She had the decency to at least duck her head in sheepish acknowledgment, though her delight was still present on her smiling mouth. Teyum slouched back in his chair, arms crossed and lip out in a blatant pout. For a second Chavez thought the night was over with the onset of Teyum’s bad mood, but then he shot forward suddenly, hands splayed on the table. Whatever epiphany he’d just had was obviously enough to pacify him because he continued in a gloating voice, “Boot Molly, you dinna stand a chance.” Teyum cast a sly glance towards Chavez. “Word has it, he prefers Wing Scale Dragonets.”

He does?” Chavez and Mollette asked simultaneously, varying degrees of incredulity present on their faces. Chavez’s shock half stemmed from the idea that anyone would purposely choose a Dragonet, while the other half bloomed from the thought of Teyum proud of something that had nothing to do with him.

“So,” Teyum answered lightly before gently tapping Chavez’s fingertips. “Ahoy, g’won chatter at him, yeah?” he proposed, inclining his head toward the subject of their discussion.

Chavez followed the gesture to see Ocean DragonSlayer sitting at the bar being harassed by two posturing Dragon-blooded Nomads. They were definitely not Wing Scale throwbacks like himself, but were infinitely better looking. Chavez shook his head, hedging, “Na. I-I dinna think that’s a good idea.”

Teyum DragonSoil’s eyes were stern as they met Chavez’s. The Dragonet had little doubt that he was about to be scolded for his cowardice. But it wasn’t Chavez’s choice that he’d gotten faulty genes. His parents should have checked their lineage before making an egg, should have known that the Wing Scale bloodline was strong in both their families. Wing Scale was a dead Nomad colony, its descendants scattered and obsolete in the Realms. Yet, Wing Scale still stubbornly persisted in manifesting in the gene pool and producing ‘incomplete’ Dragons. Malformed as they were, Dragonets couldn’t hope to match a Dragon in strength or size. More often than not, suffering through a mating flight was the equivalent of an act of faith demanded by Those Ones; many season nights upon feeling the first pangs of induced desire, had Chavez praying that his partner wouldn’t forget that Chavez’s body wouldn’t hold up if he or she were accidently too enthusiastic in sating it.

“Chavez,” Teyum growled, “Go. I’ve heard that Ocean’s last mate grounded him so he’s on the fly. I know you havena had the best of times gone, but I also havena ever heard of the Dragonslayer mistreating a mate no matter how vigorous the flight, and you need someone who willna kill you when your season starts.”

Chavez frowned down at his hands resting on the table as he thought. Teyum had managed to be Chavez’s partner the last season he’d had one. They’d lived together then for Chavez’s protection, but Teyum and Mollette had quarreled and she’d flown off in a huff — she’d forgotten Teyum was due. By the time Mollette had remembered and returned to their underground cavern, a flight delirious Teyum had already bent Chavez over the dining table, balls deep inside him, struggling to maintain Nomad form because Chavez’s Dragonet self would do neither of them any good. It had made for an awkward season. It was easy for Teyum to send Chavez out for a lover because he didn’t have to worry about being ripped apart, literally fucked to death.

The Dragonet looked up to see Teyum nudging Mollette with an elbow, head briefly jerking in Chavez’s direction, mouthing ‘Molly, please.’

Mollette’s eyes met Chavez’s, hapless expression on her face. At least she was decently reluctant, Chavez thought. “Lookit,” she said, “iffin Ocean DragonSlayer were in to me, me wouldna be given to lamentation like y’are, for damn sure.” Chavez opened his mouth to protest his state of being but Mollette splayed her large hands on top of Chavez’s and shook her head. “Cousin, me wouldna let anythin’ happen to ya. And iffin it did me wouldna let you go unavenged. Even to Lancette. Even to the Dragonslayer. Even at me own life. But y’canna keep hiding every time y’season comes.”

The Dragonet had no want to think about Lancette. Chavez no longer lived with Mollette and Teyum either, had decided it was best not to be around the next time the pair went through another on-again-off-again square. While Teyum hadn’t hurt him as the Dragonet was accustomed to, it had still been weird when Chavez had come down from the flight high -- hormones still reacting to the ones Teyum had broadcast, a feeling like electricity jumping around his body as a fire blazed constantly underneath the surface -- to find Teyum splayed across him, their bellies adhered together with Chavez’s come, Teyum’s easy breaths fanning his ear, Chavez’s ass stubbornly clinging to Teyum’s partial erection instead of letting it slip from his body (stupid dragon mating dynamics at work there). It had quickly gone from weird. to embarrassing when he'd seen Mollette emerging from her and Teyum’s room, dressed in a robe, whitecap-and-chocolate hair wet from a shower. It had been Mollette, Chavez’s cousin, Teyum’s semi-permanent mate, to tell him that he and Teyum had rutted over damn near every square inch of the kitchen. It had been Mollette, her smile tight but resigned and forgiving, to tell him that four days had passed since Mollette and Teyum’s argument. Chavez had gazed up at the cavern’s ceiling toward the end of Mollette’s recount of the past few days, begging whatever Perfect One willing to bend an ear his way to let the hormones fade, give him back control of his body. Or perhaps to go back in time just for the last few minutes and have Teyum wake first and deal with Mollette leaving Chavez blissfully unaware.

Before that disastrous season Chavez had lived on his own, carving out a series of caverns under the earth and walling it off so that no one would bother him, flight or not. This system had worked until a Dragon had been desperate enough to dig his way into Chavez’s underground shelter, had indeed scented Chavez even through layers of dirt and sediment. Chavez would have been impressed by that if he’d wanted to be molested and not resolved to suffer through flights curled up and crying on his bed alone. Chavez could have been impressed by that if it hadn’t ended with his season partner breaking his pelvis and fracturing his arm in two places. It had been a season of profuse apologies, a season in which Chavez had learned how to solidify his home so that a breach like that never happened again. But now Teyum and Mollette were saying that he should invite it, risk his life just to test out a potential mate. That didn’t make any sense to the young Dragonet.

He stared at Mollette and Teyum ready to protest again, but upon seeing their stony expressions he knew that he wouldn’t be heard. Easiest to just cross the room to the bar, meet with Ocean DragonSlayer, and be irrefutably turned down. They wouldn’t be able to say Chavez hadn’t tried then. So he stood and gave an unconscious pat to his curly whitecap-and-golden hair, and then smoothed down the shimmering purple and fuschia of his shirt. It had been made from Teyum’s shed Dragonskin and given as a gift on Chavez’s last hatchday, special only because all of Chavez’s other clothing was made from Mollette’s white-and-lavender-tinged scale-shed -- Dragonets didn’t shed as often nor produce enough sloughed off skin to form more than a loin-cloth most of the time. Teyum’s scales matched well with Chavez’s coloring they’d told him, and Mollette had made him wear the shirt tonight when they’d dragged him out of his burrow and demanded he be social. He turned one last questioning glance to the duo; he wasn’t too proud to beg, but they merely offered contradictory resolute grimaces and encouraging smiles. Chavez aimed himself toward the bar sourly, took a deep breath and crossed the room.

He had no idea how to get Ocean’s attention, Chavez realized. He was unused to seeking attention; attention wasn’t something he wanted, nor was it something he’d need if not for an unnecessary, irrational, biological imperative. Fortunately, it was true what Mollette had said about Ocean DragonSlayer’s fanciness. Ocean’s skin was the color of sand on the sea floor. From his profile, on his cheekbones and around his eyes Chavez could see soft blue scales with bright green and gold latticework shining upon it like an intricate overlay of dragonfly wings. Ocean’s blond-with-blue-and-green streaked hair was tamed into a high ponytail that had scores of little braids running down his back, the beaded ends gently clacking together with every move of his head like waves breaking on the shore. The closer Chavez got, the more he could discern that the green in Ocean’s hair wasn’t hair, but seaweed growing with it — which was odd considering that he had a Whispering Sea Nomad form. The blousy shirt he wore was cotton, but the vest and pants were obviously his shed Dragonskin.

Ocean DragonSlayer looked bored with his two suitors, and maybe it was the heartfelt sigh he released as he rolled his eyes upwards when the two broke into another of what had been a series of fights to impress him, that gave Chavez the courage to take the remaining steps separating them, reach over, and tap him on the shoulder. When Ocean turned, mouth opened — to likely tell Chavez to wing off if his expression was any indication — nothing came out but a breathy, “Huh.” Big blue shark-eyes flowed down Chavez’s body and back to his face, a smile tugging at the corner of Ocean’s lips.

Chavez had no idea what Ocean saw that was appealing. Mollette had once said Chavez was much fancier than most people she knew, but she was Chavez’s cousin and biased. Teyum had agreed, but he was Mollette’s mate and obligated. What Chavez did know was that Ocean was seeing a lot of gold: whitecap-and-gold hair, golden skin, eyes more gold than brown -- Chavez was color monotony at it’s finest. That didn’t stop the Dragonslayer from interrupting his two bickering admirers and quietly stating that his legs felt cramped. When both of them jumped up in an effort to please, Chavez’s questionable looks didn’t stop Ocean from confiscating one of the barstools and offering Chavez the seat beside him. Ocean didn’t seem to notice the curling of a lip in a soundless snarl from one rejected suitor, or the audible growl from the other, but Chavez did — and it terrified him.

Ocean DragonSlayer probably didn’t want any more from Chavez than a relief from the two Dragons. The Dragonet couldn’t really blame him for that; Chavez would have wanted a solid, irrefutable excuse also. He could have wished that Ocean hadn’t decided to paint that scapegoat target on his golden back, however. There was no way Chavez would be able to defend himself when Ocean dismissed him as he had his predecessors, or left him at the bar in favor of more attractive tail. Fear of retribution had him trembling as he forced himself to sit. Molly could probably take them, Chavez thought, biting his bottom lip. It would serve her right, too, if she got beat up along with Chavez for instigating this whole mess that could have been avoided. Resolved, Chavez forced his shivering to stop and turned to offer a tremulous smile to Ocean.

Ocean smiled back and asked, “How’re you called?” His voice was a whisper of sound, like water blowing in the breeze far from the coast.

For a moment Chavez was lost. One could not stare into depthless eyes, or hear that hypnotic voice emerging from Ocean’s plump lips and not be. With a start, Chavez shook his head and dropped his eyes to the bar where it was safer. “Chavez DragonetHill,” he mumbled, wondering if Ocean could hear him, but not willing to speak louder while he couldn’t trust his voice.

“Chavez?” Ocean queried, the surprise in his raspy voice enough reason for the Dragonet to put his eyes on Ocean again, focusing on the scale-work instead of the mouth or the eyes. He caught the gesture Ocean made with his hand toward Chavez’s tell-tale hair, where everything above the tips of his ears grew white, and everything below grew gold. That was a very distinctive trait of the Mountain Snow Colony, hair that mimicked snow-capped mountains, and names that ended in a visual approximation of mountain peaks amongst the hills. ‘Chavez’ was clearly not a Mountain Snow name.

“Well,” he amended, “Chavette, but none call me that.”

Ocean inclined his head in acknowledgement, huge blue eyes taking the time to appraise Chavez’s figure once more. “Then, Chavez, I dinna want to seem too forward, but can we sip The Drink while we chat?”

Chavez sucked in a quick breath and fought panic. He shot a look at the table sat by his cousin and her mate. Teyum had his fingers twisting in the sleeve fabric of Mollette’s shirt in his excitement, eyes shining as he watched Chavez floundering. Mollette’s fists were clenched on the tabletop as she chewed her bottom lip — an expression Chavez knew meant she was deliriously hopeful and trying to contain it. He would get no help from that quarter, and he couldn’t go back to them now and say he was beneath Ocean DragonSlayer’s notice when the guy had blatantly shooed away two other perfectly good pieces of tail to pull out a chair for him. Some instinct drew his eye to the wall a few feet behind his family. There stood Ocean’s rejects, mutually glaring at him, obviously friends now that they had a common enemy. As much as Mollette had earned a beating for sending Chavez over here, he couldn’t ask her to take on those two. Chavez exhaled slowly. He really wasn’t getting out of this now.

“The Drink. Y’be sure?” he asked Ocean, proud that his voice didn’t tremble. He couldn’t remember if he had ever consciously consented to sex and if he drank that drink, The Drink — equal parts alcohol, juice, and egg contraceptive — then he was definitely consenting to fuck Ocean DragonSlayer tonight.

He was gazing at that spot on Ocean’s cheek again when he saw it tilt upward as Ocean replied, “’M’sure.”

There was an argument there, Chavez was certain. Something like, ‘What if the chat doesna go well?’ ‘What if we arna suited?’ crossed his mind, but a quick glance at the wall shoved the thought out his ears. It didn’t really matter at this point, did it?

Chavez met Ocean’s eyes, his smile bright. “Then let’s drink,” he said with confidence he didn’t really feel.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
tj_dragonblade
Nov. 7th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
I know you know I like this already, but it always bears saying again. I love the dialect, and you've got a way of creating characters that really sticks without whole paragraphs of biographical info-dump, which is a good thing. This has shaped up quite nicely, and I'll admit to still being just a little bit envious of Chavez, having Ocean's undivided attention and all. ^_^
entitys
Nov. 12th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
*huggles* dude. me too. I don't say thanks enough, but never think i don't appreciate your feedback.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )