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[Orig '12] Dragon at the Bar 04

at last.

DRAGON AT THE BAR
©: Ken Black, all rights reserved.
Warnings: M/M
Beta: TJ, thank you!
Words: 11,600/11,600

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--> Before: 01 | 02 | 03
--> Map: Onoker Notes
--> Now:

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Part Four

Why would Gaffe want to leave Chavez alone? The Dragonet obviously made it too easy for the Perfect One of Imperfection to ruin his life.

He'd gotten a very good look at the Dragons last night in the bar. One had the body of a Rainbow Streams Nomad; he was decked out in jewels, his Dragon shed clothing a magnificent purple. The other Dragon was from Whispering Sea; the gills under his chin swelled with each breath and the pearls in his ears caught the light, sea green scales mimicking their gentle glow. And there they were in the market he’d been at barely thirty minutes, not thirty paces from him. Of course they’d seen him, shared a look — one Chavez knew well, he could practically see the evil radiating between their communicating eyes — and together they stalked toward him.

The Dragonet weighed his options. It wasn’t a very good showing this early in the morning for market goers and the majority of them were Human. Humans were probably the only race that Chavez could successfully defend himself against — this was part of his reasoning for turning up so early. Also, he hated crowds and bullies. Usually, anyone up to no good wouldn’t be fresh-faced so soon after a night of supposed debauchery. This logic obviously did not extend toward Ocean’s rejects. Chavez couldn’t say if they were local or not; he didn’t go out that often. If Molly or Teyum had recognized either of them then they would have mentioned it yesterday with a warning to steer clear, or waved the two off as harmless. Chavez’s gaze darted around the souk square in search of . . .

A frustrated whimper escaped him. He’d been looking for an Onuyan street justice, as if a Human could do anything against a Dragon. That was why there was a Dragonslayer in the first place. Chavez shifted his grocery bag from one hand to the next, distraught to know that his methods had just screwed him over. His family was likely still at his burrow, awaiting his return with news of his love-life. There was only one other Dragon around that Chavez could see, a woman dragging her yawning drakling by the hand from stall to stall — not a likely Dragonet sympathizer, and even if she was inclined to help him, getting her child out of the danger zone first was the proper thing to do. A Dragon could cause a lot of damage once it put its mind to the idea. There was a brief thought to challenge them transformed, but Chavez’s Dragonet body, while sturdier and taller than his Nomad, was still no match.

Below his feet was packed earth and cobblestone, and even if he could coax such well-tread ground into obeying him it would definitely take too long. Faced with no other options forthcoming, he stood there and let the two unsavory suitors overtake him. As long as he stayed out in the open, here in the souk or on the main road leading into town, then his chances of surviving long enough for a rescue were pretty good. Chavez clutched his grocery bag to his chest and planted his feet. Dragon elitists were all the same; first would come the insults and then the shoving.

Before him the Rainbow Streams Dragon paused, perched a jeweled hand on a slim hip and looked down his nose at Chavez. Up close with no other interfering scents Chavez couldn’t help but blanch as he realized this Dragon was a female. Noy voika, Gaffe had it out for Chavez today. Females were vicious.

“Look ‘ere,” Streams hissed. “’Im what think ‘e tail so shine it sparkle the Dragonslayer more than us.”

“Me dinna think that,” Chavez protested.

The Whispering Sea Dragon snorted so hard his gills flared wide. “Ye dinna think that now. So early in the morn to be out . . . he ground ye for wastin’ his time, ya?”

“Course ‘e did,” Streams said and smacked the bag from Chavez’s hands. “No’ me gonna grind ye so ye dinna think ye’self above yer place again.” Streams and Gills flanked him, Dragon strength at their advantage as they each gripped an elbow and effortlessly marched him out of the souk.

Chavez hadn’t thought that would happen, that the decision of battleground could so easily be taken from him. He couldn’t even scream because who would come and be any effect? If the wrong person showed up they could die or worse. Feeling it more prudent to conserve his strength, he let Streams and Gills drag him through the town and out the gates and around a bend from the main road. It was close enough that someone would undoubtedly stumble across his body today if the beating went how Chavez knew beatings to go for him.

The little voice in the back of Chavez’s mind was undoubtedly an over-cautious coward at the best of times, but its survival instincts couldn’t be ignored as he was tossed to the ground and feet and fists followed.

Cover your face, protect your head, they have to be able to identify your remains!

Curl up tighter, smaller target. Squirm! Make it harder.

Kidney shot! Kidney shot!
Noy Jitat! That hurt now let it go.

Roll! You
need your spine, don’t let them get another hit there.

Perfect. Are you trying to die? It’s been too long since your last ass-kicking.


Then there was a snarl that had nothing to do with the roaring in his ears and the blows were gone.

Slowly, Chavez peeked from the cover of his aching arms, not quite daring to hope Streams and Gills had just gotten bored with him. Instead, a white Dragon stood between Chavez and the aggressors, body coiled and ready to pounce, teeth bared, growl emitting from deep within his throat as his head whipped back and forth sizing up his competition.

Molly.

Chavez breathed a sigh of relief, and just as quickly gasped in fear as the two Nomads morphed into their Dragon forms. Mollette could take on two males easily; Chavez had seen it often enough before they’d left Mountain Snow. But a female in the mix drastically changed the fight’s parameters. Female Dragons were larger and stronger by default, and while Molly was uncommonly large for a male, he wouldn’t be able to match her. It either didn’t occur to his cousin, or Molly simply didn’t care, for he launched himself at Streams, front claws sinking into her shoulders, tail swinging in a wide arc to clip unsuspecting Gills across the snout and knock him to the ground.

Mollette managed to get one bite to Streams, then two, when she turned her neck the wrong way, before she maneuvered her hind legs between their bodies and expelled him. Then Gills was up again, a trail of blood oozing from his nostrils, diving at Molly before he could recover his balance. Molly took a hard hit to the gut as Gills speared him and went down.

Chavez wasn’t worried about that; Mollette was a champion grappler. As long as the fight remained magic-free and just the two of them, then he would win. The real problem was Streams. Chavez’s eyes jumped from the two males back to the purple Dragon. She was checking the gouges in her arms, lips pulled back in disgust, but in no hurry to rejoin the fight. Even as Chavez watched, her attention shifted from herself to meet Chavez’s eyes. The Dragonet would have sworn that she’d smirked at him before moving to close the distance between them. Slow, stalking, a true predator who knew she had all the time in the Realm necessary to rip his throat out.

Of course, Chavez groused. Streams wasn’t the type to take on creatures who could actually fight back. Chavez bet she drowned kittens for fun. What to do? Call for Mollette? No. Mollette was busy and didn’t need the distraction; indeed, would finish faster if the Dragonet let him concentrate. Where was Teyum? Admittedly, Mollette’s mate was not a fighter and barely eight feet, but he probably could have kept Gills occupied long enough for Molly to stop Streams from killing him. And then eleven feet of adult female Dragon was towering over his sprawled form, and there was no more time for thought. She raised her paw. Chavez watched it and hoped the end would be relatively painless -- he was really tired of being in pain.

From the corner of his eye the Dragonet caught a smear of blue, and then teeth were sinking in to Streams’ raised arm. She screamed. Blood sprayed onto Chavez’s hair.

Wide-eyed, Chavez stared as the Dragonslayer scaled a Dragon almost twice his size, scrawled around her back, locked both arms around her neck and squeezed. Streams flailed wildly, claws scrabbling for enough purchase to unlock the Slayer’s hold to little avail. Lack of Breath had Streams fading fast.

“Bigger they are, the more air they need,” a voice said into Chavez’s ear. Startled, he looked right to see Clover DragonTrainer hunched down beside him watching with avid interest as Ocean took down Streams. Clover nodded critically. “Well, canna fault his technique. T’were the smart way to go abot it.” Clover slanted a look Chavez’s way, smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Me got an itch ye’re gonna attract lots o’ trouble. Good to know he willna lose his head over ye.”

After shrugging into her trousers, Mollette sat down on Chavez’s opposite side. “Anythin’ broke?” his cousin asked. “Teyum went for Healer Tomato.”

“Nah, nothin’,” Chavez answered, as he briefly looked over his cousin for any serious injury. Ordinarily, no one would be able to guess a person’s Nomad form from its Dragon self — as the two had little to do with each other — but Mollette looked like Mollette. He was a well-muscled behemoth as a Dragon and a stocky, broad-shouldered girl with more pectoral muscle than breasts as a Nomad, who’d fortunately only sustained a few bruises from her battle.

“Good fight,” Clover said to Mollette. She paused in buttoning her shirt and inclined her head in acknowledgment of the compliment.

“How come ya here?” Chavez asked no one in particular.

“Was waitin’ for ya at the home and got hungry.” Molly redid another button before stopping again to frown at Chavez. “Y’know there’s nothin’ in the pantry?”

Chavez ducked his head sheepishly. “Me always eat at yar place.”

“Isna no excuse!”

Clover laughed.

“Then,” Molly continued, “thinkin’ ya an’ Ocean were still at the chat, Teyum says him too hungry to wait, an’ we should head to market to restock yar home. We come up the road and see ya harassed by them —” Molly jerked her thumb in the direction of the knocked-out Gills. “I come to defend ya and send Teyum for the Slayer — He’s smaller than me thought he’d be.”

Clover shrugged. “DragonFields arna known for bulk.”

“Ya got here fast,” Chavez noted.

“The Sayer chanced to be shopping. Sent a message that mayhap could get ugly. Met yer Teyum along the way,” Clover explained.

The Dragonsayer, the Dragonet thought in awe. No wonder none used magic. He glanced in Ocean’s direction to see him standing in his Dragonshed cloak beside a blond Nomad who looked to be in his mid-thirties. If he’s showing age, he has to be ancient, Chavez mused. Ocean finished the conversation and headed toward the little group.

“Kinkade’s going to bind them for a few years,” Ocean reported to Clover, and then he sunk down on his knees before Chavez. Huge blue eyes roved over him noting the little cuts and the big bruises starting to form, the blood dripping from his hair. Ocean reached forward and carefully pushed a lock behind his ear. “Ya wanna go get a kick in?” he offered.

“Me luck, I break me foot,” Chavez scoffed, but he was smiling. Ocean looked so earnest as he advocated violence. “Much obliged.”

Clover abruptly stood, stretched and then slapped his nephew on the back. “Headin’ home and me dinna want see yer bug-eyes ‘til the morrow.”

“For true?” Ocean’s attention switched to Clover in complete disbelief. Chavez considered that maybe Ocean didn’t get many days off outside of a flight.

“Well, wasna ashamed of ye this morn.” The Dragontrainer sighed as though the words were murdering him as he said it. He scratched behind his ear uncomfortably, a debate about whether to say more visible on his grimacing face, but in the end he stalked off toward the road without a backward glance. A moment later the Sayer was following him.

Ocean hoisted Chavez up into his arms. “C’mon then. On to the healer.”

As the trio headed into town, Chavez rested his head on Ocean’s shoulder, closed his eyes, and listened to the cadence of Ocean’s heart beat. He didn’t know what the future held, but even if Gaffe never left him alone, he was so glad he’d met this Dragon at the bar.

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so, this is not the end for Ocean and Chavez. it's just i have more stories in my head (and notebooks) than i will ever have attention span to write (type) them all. >_<. thank you for reading, enjoy the rest of your November.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
tj_dragonblade
Dec. 12th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
I see the little improvements you made throughout, here, and I say good job. I really like how this all turned out, and thanks for letting me beta it. ^_^
entitys
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:09 am (UTC)
well, let me just say thanks for believing in me even when i can't believe in myself. you're the best beta ever.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )