Amber Crash

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  1. Did we really need milk at this hour? 11 at night, and she knows the only transport I had was a bike. And not even of the motorized variety.
  2. ”Oh I'm too tired to drive now, I might crash! And what are we going to have for breakfast tomorrow?”
  3. With her being the older sister home alone with me gave her a large case of superiority complex, and that wasn't going to change any time soon. Four months not soon. So here I am, peddling from the petrol station I came from with two gallon jugs (And some chocolate for me as a personal reward for the effort.) in tow as fast as I can, 'cause I'm not staying out here any longer than I have to in this freezing cold. There's a stretch of road that has a large embankment either side that leads to forest too thick to see anything past a meter into, and no guard rail. A careless slip could easily have someone careening into thick bushes for what was probably forever, especially for me at night with the only light being the lamp on the bike that was rapidly loosing power. Partway along there's a chunk of bush and undergrowth that's been flattened, trees either side and in the path of destruction snapped in half as if something had crashed into the abyss of greenery below. That wasn't there going to the petrol stop, only reason I noticed was there's a stop sign that does absolutely nothing a few paces ahead, and there wasn't anything out of the ordinary around then. Plus the plants were freshly broken. It's not likely than anyone else had been here, and whoever, or whatever's, down there probably still is. In this weather, anyone with broken limbs or something isn't going to be alive for long, so with that in mind, I walk my bike down the incline. Not going to have anyone run off with it. Again. The trail of mangled plant life lasts much longer than I'd thought it would. Going to be a pain getting up again. After what seems like forever I find the perpetrator to the new impromptu forest path. A dragon.
  5. Maybe a bit larger than a horse (not counting the tail), lying on it's side with a couple thick tree limbs sitting on its mangled wings. I'm amazed I can see much of it at all, it's jet black all over with hints of really light peach along its ventral side. It lifts its head towards me when it hears me approach, or at least as much as it can with its horns stuck in vines, and makes a meek noise before dropping its head again. Well I'm already down here, and have a multi-tool in pocket, might as well give getting it out my best effort. Positioning the bike as best I can for even a small bit of illumination I make my way towards its head. It acknowledges me coming, but just lies there in silence. Probably expecting me to slice its throat and take its pelt, or at least that's what I've heard happens to crashed dragons in the middle of nowhere. Not what I'm here for though.Most of whats tangling its head up cuts off easily enough, but the tree limbs still pinning it in place.
  6. “You, you're not here to kill me?”
  7. Now I know it's female, her voice might be feminine but still had that undertone of raw power dragons usually have. Or at least a hint of it, giving her current state.
  8. “No, what do people even do with dead dragons anyway?”
  9. Doesn't answer.
  10. “Anyway, I don't know how I'm getting those logs off of you without stepping on your wing-”
  11. “They're already broken, you're not going to break them any worse.”
  12. “..., ok,-”
  13. With that said I move the bike again to get a better look at her torso, and hoh boy I didn't realize what shape she was in until just now. Her exposed hind leg's covered in caked in blood, and the fingers of her wings were bent in directions I know they aren't supposed to. Anything else's covered by leaves and the like, so no idea what else could be wrong. I try my best to position myself so I'm not standing on wing bones, but there's only so many places I can stick my feet. There's no way I'm flipping the trunks off of her, can barely manage to pick them up, so instead I try lifting them around, pivoting on the small amount that's still attached to the tree. With a couple painstaking minuets of grunting and generally making noise, both of them eventually completely clear her body, leaving her mangled self completely free to the elements after the foliage's brushed off. Thankfully her leg and wings were the only things wrong. At least externally. She's been rather quiet the entire time.
  14. “Hey, you're still with me, right?”
  15. She slowly moves her head towards my direction, opening her eyes for the first time since I found her. A brilliant amber colour that despite the weak lighting shone enough that I'm fairly confident that under normal circumstances they'd glow with a radiating intensity.
  16. “Yes, just didn't want to move too much.”
  17. “Not internally bleeding or anything?”
  18. “Don't think so, there's something in my leg still though.”
  19. Oh, must of missed it. There's a pencil thick twig lodged right between some scales on her upper thigh, must be where all of the blood was coming from. It comes out cleanly enough, but not without audible pain from the dragon.
  20. “Better?”
  21. ...
  22. “Yes... Could you get off of me?”
  23. “Oh yea,”
  24. I back off, getting a better view of her body as she tries to get up. Her wing arms didn't seem to be broken, but her fingers were flailing about in a manner that frankly made me feel uncomfortable. The fix she had for them moving about was to try to keep the whole mess pinned to her side with what parts of her wing were still working. She almost manages to make it up, but her hind leg starts to bleed again, and she collapses. Her front paw stretches towards me weakly.
  25. “Thank you for the effort, but unless you can carry me, I'm not going to make it.”
  26. Putting my best face of determination on, I pull my jacket off and wrap it around her leg. Didn't like this jacket anyway.
  27. “How 'bout now?”
  28. With nothing to loose, she tries to get up again. Clearly in major pain, but manages to stay upright. We both look up to the embankment. Geeze. It's not so much of a incline that she can't climb it, even in her current condition, but it's going to be a pain every step of the way.
  29. “How strong do you feel?”
  30. “It doesn't matter how strong I am like this, *sigh*”
  31. She starts to hobble towards the road, clearly with great difficulty. Especially with her trying not to use her previously bleeding leg.
  32. “Would it be easier if I carried that leg?”
  33. Stopping, she looks at me, then the rest of the distance we both have to climb out of.
  34. Wincing, “Possibly, yes.”
  35. I put the base of her tail on my shoulder, using one arm to hold her leg as we both clumsily make our way up out of the forest. We're both silent, or at least as silent as grunting usually is, trying our hardest to not slip.
  37. It takes what feels like forever to get up the slope, but we eventually make it to the useless stop sign. Slowly I put her leg down, both the heat from her body and the exertion managing to stave off the bitter cold of the night to the point I was sweating.
  38. “Could you hang on a moment, I need to get my bike.”
  39. She merely nods. Getting the bike up was infinitely easier than a dragon, but still not a cakewalk in the slightest, with the debris of the crash a pain to get around with the bike. Back at the roadway, she hadn't moved a cm.
  40. “You're not going much of anywhere, huh?”
  41. “*Pained sigh* Not without more help anyway.”
  42. Looking at her and her in less than stellar shape leg, “Could you lift your leg up please?”
  43. She lifts a eyebrow to this, or at least that's what the expression I was reading from her face was.
  44. “I'm going to wheel the bike under so you don't have to walk on the leg.”
  45. “Oh.”
  46. The leg goes up into the air as high as it'll go, which isn't very far, and I do what I said I was going to do. Well, after adjusting the seat so it sat where her underside usually was while standing up.
  47. “Have anywhere you'd like to go?”
  48. “I'm not from around here, so I don't know where I should go now.”
  49. Don't have the foggiest what do with her at this hour either. The DSA (Dragon Services Agency) office wouldn't open until 9 tomorrow, and there's only a few other places I could take her, none within walking distance for either of us. She was starting to wobble a bit as I was mulling over what to do next, fatigue and/or blood loss probably.
  50. “Hey, do you *pause* do you like chocolate?”
  51. Wasn't thrilled at giving it to her, but she probably needed it more than me.
  52. “Haven't had chocolate in a long time, yes. Yes I- uh,”
  53. Whatever was up with her wasn't getting any better. Digging it out of the saddle bag it was left it in, I pull a chunk of the wrapper off and hand it towards her, to which she grabs it out of the rest of the wrapper with the tip of her jaws, and lifts her head back to let it drop into her maw. A few attempts to chew it later and it's gone. Probably just melted in her mouth. She's noticeably less wobbly at least.
  54. “Thank you.”
  55. “No problem. What is a bit of a problem though is where you're going.”
  56. Her head goes off to stare into space, probably as clueless for a answer as I was. The only one semi-reasonable place I could think of was back home for the night. I wasn't thrilled at the prospect (the back garden was probably only a little bit bigger than just large enough for her), and I know my dragonphobic sister would like it even less. But it's the least she could put up with after sending me out into the freezing cold in the middle of the night.
  57. “How'd you feel about shacking it up at my place, at least until the morning where we can get you some proper help?”
  58. “You've already helped me so much, I wouldn't want to intrude,-”
  59. “Nonsense, what'd be the point of making it this far if you freeze to death up here instead of back there?”
  60. She looks at me with weary happiness, enough of a indicator that we should start moving. It's going to take for-freaking-ever to get home on foot, especially with a limping dragon, but not nearly as annoying as going up a embankment, so the worst of it's done thankfully. Still though, it takes a while to get back, plenty of time to pass with talking.
  61. “Before we get there though, you should know my sister's a massive dragonphobe. So unless you get a kick out of scaring people, I'd leave her alone. No objections from me though if you want to.”
  62. “Why? Not many humans interact with us much.”
  63. “I wish I could tell you. Doesn't like lizards and snakes much either, so probably a general scaly thing. This one time in high school we had this assembly about dragon safety after some kid thought it'd be funny to get a completely wild one to torch some guys car on school grounds after some love triangle bs,”
  64. “I don't know of many dragons who'd do such a thing,-”
  65. “Rumor was he bought a butt load of gold and payed him to do it. Freaking rich kids. Anyway, we're all in this auditorium and a dragon walks in as a live demonstration of how non-violent they were and how they commanded bla bla I don't remember what they said. My sister's silently freaking out behind me when he walks in, to the point that several teachers climb over and try to get her to calm down. Doesn't do much though. Later we're all brought down to ground level to ask this dragon questions or something, and when we get close enough she legit faints, the guy behind her caches her though. Probably'd been for the better if she'd of taken the fall.”
  66. “You don't like your sister much, do you?”
  67. “I'm in the freezing cold getting milk because she won't eat anything but cereal before one, and apparently I'm the one who has to get more because if I don't she'll whine to mum that I wouldn't go out and get more!”
  68. “I agree it's cold, but if you hadn't been here, I'd be dead. So I'm thankful for your sisters fussiness.”
  69. ...
  70. “So, what were you up to in the middle of the night?”
  71. “I hunt during the night, because I can't blend into the sky during the day. I think I was blown off course from what I was tracking and couldn't fly up again before I crashed.”
  72. “Hmn, usually successful?”
  73. “Different pray sleep at different times. I'm not usually hungry if that's what you mean.”
  74. “That's good.”
  76. We're making our way through the neighborhood I live on by this point. Thankfully it was still late enough that no one noticed the dragon walking through. That, and she's kinda hard to spot without direct light on her.
  77. “All right, my house.”
  78. “How do you tell them apart?”
  79. “Walking back's a matter of muscle memory by this point. There's a air conditioning / heating unit there that's running full blast, the exhaust should be warm enough to keep you warm until the morning. I'd let you in, but I don't think you'd fit.”
  80. “I understand, what are we to do when it is morning?”
  81. “I'll call the DSA and hopefully they'll be able to help you then.”
  82. She audibly groaned at the acronym.
  83. “Not a fan then?”
  84. “I've dealt with them a couple of times. Most of them mean well, but they can be a bit, um over, ovaz,”
  85. “Overzealous?”
  86. “Yes.”
  87. “Before we call it a night, could I have my bike back?”
  88. “Oh yes,”
  89. She lifts her leg to let me wheel it from under her. The bike's at a really awkward angle to say the least. It's freed easily enough, to which she hobbles over to the external unit and lies next to it. I walk the bike to the front door, then go back to the dragon.
  90. “My room's the one back there. I'll probably be going to bed soon, so if you need anything knock on the glass. Actually, you know what, knock on the frame, it reverberates better.”
  91. “Again, thank you for all you've done. I,”
  92. I place my hand on her snout, suddenly remembering from a really old school project I was forced to do many years ago that dragons usually do that a sign of acknowledgment. Granted, that's with their muzzle, but she seemed to get the idea and put her head on my shoulder, their equivalent of hugging. Again, that school project. I hug her neck, and we stand there for a few moments before it became awkward. Letting me go, she lays down. Seemingly to try and go to sleep. The milk was thankfully still cold, being situated away from the dragons body when we were walking and it being so cold. I almost forgot how cold I was starting to get not standing by her and without a jacket. Making my way inside and putting the milk in the fridge, Sarah was still up to my surprise. Sprawled on the couch, watching something dumb and eating some nondescript snack food.
  93. “Took you long enough, hit it off with Becky?”
  94. “Is that the reason I sent off into the freezing cold? To get with the petrol station attendant?Thanks for the effort, but if I wanted help hitting it off with your friends sister, I'll let you know.”
  95. “Oh don't be mad, you can't be a kissless virgin forever.”
  96. “If I wanna be a wizard, I'll be a wizard, at any rate I'm heading off to bed.”
  97. “Wizard what?”
  98. “*Sigh* Never mind.”
  99. Walking to the hallway, “Oh yea, don't go outside. There's a wounded dragon out there and I don't want to drag you to the hospital after fainting again and getting a concussion.”
  100. I turn around to make sure she heard me, and by the look on her face I might as well of said a nuke went off and we're all going to die by radiation poisoning.
  101. “You better be fucking with me.”
  102. “Wouldn't want to even if that wasn't incest.”
  103. “I'm being serious, are you screwing with me?”
  104. “First, ew. Second, no. She's right over there.”
  105. I point towards the wall the air conditioning / heating unit resides the opposite side of.
  106. “She? SHE? Are you fucking serious. Ha! I try to get your loser arse together with the cutest girl you'll ever luck out with and you bring home a fucking dragon. Hardly surprised. Anon Mcchan, dragon fucker. You did that just to spite me didn't you?”
  107. “What? You think I care about you enough to go through the trouble? She crashed and was going to die if I hadn't brought her here. Much like how I was feeling being in the cold at night so you could try to “help” me get with someone I have about as much interest in as you do actually having any discernible personality past the most generic, predictable, cliched list of interests a 20 something woman could ever possibly possess. I could pull a character description from literally ANY freaking soap opera in your age range and that'd be you to. a. freaking. T. Probably why you've watch them so religiously. Couldn't function not knowing what thing to want to be into otherwise.”
  108. “Anon, I-”
  109. “I'm going to bed. Goodnight. And for future reference, don't insinuate you have any grasp of my sexual interests, or much of anything requiring anything past normie understanding.”
  110. Admittedly the door was slammed a bit harder than intended.
  111. So was I onto the bed.
  112. Didn't care.
  113. Finally I was going to know what sleep felt like, then the frame of the window was knocked on. I guess I can be the living dead for a few more minuets. Opening the window, a scaly head pops into the room.
  114. “Are you ok? I heard shouting and,”
  115. “Yea, I'm fine. We're fine. *sign* Just, ”
  116. If I don't have to stand up to talk, I'm not going to, so back onto the bed I go.
  117. “Sarah's such a generic human being. I go out of my way to do things no one else bothers to do, try to be a good person for everyone, generally make sure whatever it is I do be something that wouldn't happen without me, but who gets all of the attention anyway?”
  118. “Your sister.”
  119. “Rhetorical question, but yea, her. Miss generic blanderson. She gets friends and praise and attention and the rest of it and there's literally nothing going on in her life that could be at all defined as interesting or even at the least semi definable as a individual. She got the attention from our parents for good grades and the rest of the generic straight A student girl things she did, even though she had literally nothing else genuinely interesting going for her existence but that, and I'm sitting here pulling the backs off of dead CRT's and making them work again, then going the extra mile to install RGB inputs and no one bats a eye. How many 12 year olds do that? Nearly a decade later and I'm still doing things like that. And she has the gall to think I'm the one who needs to get better, get a girlfriend, be another brick in the wall of freaking normies.
  120. Sorry, I know I'm ranting, but, gah!”
  121. Can't really get much farther into the bed than into it, so I lift my head up and slam it into the pillow.
  122. “You want attention from your parents then?”
  123. “It'd be a start. Or at least that I'm not her, don't want to be like her, and detest the very notion of ever thinking conformity for conformities sake is the way to live. And accepting that I don't have to do things like her to be right about living.”
  124. She looks about my room, not quite sure why, then turns back to me.
  125. “Do you really not like your sister? I know you said yes, but-”
  126. “More I don't like both what she exists to be, and that my parents always consistently take her side on things, almost to the point that it flies in the face of reasoning, all because I want to live life non-standardly.”
  127. With a furrowed brow, which looked a bit odd without eyebrows,
  128. “Would your sister done for me what you did?”
  129. “Pfft, no. She'd either not even notice the wrecked foliage, or ran off screaming at the sight of you.”
  130. “Well, I'm not your parents, but I'm glad you went out of your way to help me. And that your sister wasn't the one to get milk.”
  131. “Heh, yea. Night.”
  132. >She says nothing as she pulls her head through the open window, closing it with her muzzle after it cleared the frame.
  134. Saturday morning. Shame saturday morning cartoons were a dead concept long before I was in the age range for that sort of thing, not that I was at all interested now. Or at least what morning was left.
  135. 10:17AM
  136. Sarah was not a morning person, so I had plenty of time to ring up the DSA before she had the chance to screw things up somehow.
  137. “This is the dragon services agency, if you have a inquiry about a dragon sighting, press 1.”
  138. Freaking automated call whatever these were called. Skipped their hotline and found the number to the local office.
  139. “Hello, this is the DSA office of -” (Wireless phone cuts off.) “-ow can I help you.”
  140. “Yea, a dragon crashed into the woods off of, erm, wicket drive around midnight last night and I brought her home and-”
  141. “Sir, thank you for your concern but that is very dangerous. If the dragon had been angry or out of control, you -”
  142. “I don't think the dragon who's been nothing but appreciative of my help, and was barely able to walk with broken wings and a pierced leg was going to be a problem.”
  143. “*Silence* Do you want us to pick it up?”
  144. “Yes. I'd like that very much.” Said as dryly as I could manage.
  145. “Ok, please give me your home address and we'll have a truck there shortly.”
  146. I give it to her and after some standard procedure pleasantries we hang up.
  147. “Anon?”
  148. A groggy sister emerges from her room and descends to the living room where I was currently situated with the house phone.
  149. “Who were you calling?”
  150. “If you must know, the DSA”
  151. “The who?”
  152. “Dragon services agency? The ones with the annoying jingle?”
  153. “Oh. oH SHIT you weren't kidding about the dragon we're you.”
  154. “Why'd I kid abut that?”
  155. “I'n no, your version of a practical joke or something. Whatever, I need to eat. Just make sure it stays away from me.”
  156. “'ll geeze, I don't think she want's to meet you either.”
  157. Fully clothed, I make my way through the front door and around to where she was. She's stretching as best she can with her rear leg being in as much of a mess as it was, then notices me as I approach.
  158. “Did you call the dsa people?”
  159. “Yea, probably be here soon.”
  160. “I can't thank you enough for helping me this much.”
  161. “It's fine.”
  162. “Most dragons don't care much to stick close to each other past mating seasons, so you're the first person I've talked to in months.”
  163. “That, sounds kinda lonely.”
  164. “That's just how we are, but even so I'm glad we spent this short amount of time to-”
  165. As she was about to finish, a truck towing what could only be described as a open top version of what they transport horses in pulls into the driveway. A couple of guys in jeans and polo's with the DSA logo on them get out.
  166. “I told you not every house call's a prank.”
  167. “You can't blame me after the fifth consecutive one I get a bit weary.”
  168. “Oh, you must be Anon, right?”
  169. “Yes.”
  170. He reaches out to shake my hand, which I respond in kind to.
  171. “I'm Greg, that's Joe, and you must be the one with the broken wings.”
  172. “Yes, and punctured leg.”
  173. “Can you walk, or do you need us to carry you?”
  174. She gets up, clearly under strain from the lack of support on the damaged limb, and possibly hunger.
  175. “I walked this far with just Anons help, I can make it by myself into that trailer.”
  176. “Ok, just let us know if you need help.”
  177. Joe, the quieter one, already had the tail gate of the trailer down for the dragon to climb into. She limps along into it, turns around, and lays down. A deceptively large amount of room inside that trailer I might add.
  178. “Anon, I'll repay you for your kindness whenever I can fly again.”
  179. I smile, “I'll look forward to it.”
  180. Greg goes over to me after making sure the dragon wasn't going to move at all.
  181. “If you need anything else, here's my card and ask for greg.”
  182. “Will do.”
  183. He climbs in and drives off. I get back inside.
  184. “Is it gone?”
  185. “Yes, she's gone. You can stop having a panic attack now.”
  186. She throws a pillow at me, to which I catch.
  187. “I hope I never have to go through that again.”
  188. “Go through what again?”
  189. “Go through having a dragon right outside the front door. Don't do that ever again ok?”
  190. “What? I'm not going to leave a dying creature to die if I don't have to.”
  191. “*Sigh* Whatever Joe Goodall, Just don't bring one back here again ok?”
  192. “The one you actually never saw, so the one I could of been pulling your leg with this entire time.”
  193. She glares at me.
  194. “You better not have.”
  195. “No, but why'd it matter to you either way if you actively avoided her?”
  196. “Because I don't want you playing with my feelings like that ok?, Either way we'll never see it again so it doesn't matter.”
  197. “Ok?”
  198. She gets annoyed and throws the last of her ammo, to which I catch again.
  200. It's been about three weeks since I was sent off for milk. We ran out between then and now, and Sarah was adamant about getting more herself this time. I wasn't complaining. Greg from the DSA rang a couple of days after they left and said the dragon was going to be fine, although she wasn't going to be walking comfortably for a week, and wasn't going to be flying for another week and a half on top of that. Dragon recovery time's kinda ridiculous. As for myself, between finally beating Super Mario World and generally enjoying what time was left before the last of college started up again, not a lot happened.
  201. Then we get to today.
  202. “Anon, I'm going out with Stacey to the mall. Don't blow up the house while I'm gone.”
  203. “One time a bad power supply starts smoking WILL YOU PEOPLE LET IT GO!?”
  204. I don't think she heard the last of what I had to say before closing the front door. Whatever, I had a GPU on the fritz that needed some attention anyway. I'm at this for what seems like forever. Dang thing refuses to output to VGA. I swear there's some driver depreciation going on. I'm at the end of my rope as far as sanity goes as far as trying to get it to work's concerned when I hear a tap on the window frame. Turning around confirms exactly who I think it is. Opening up the window a familiar head pops in.
  205. “You could of used the front doorbell you know.”
  206. “The box thing with the button by the door? I don't think I could of pressed the button.”
  207. “Fair enough. What brings you back here?”
  208. “I said I was going to repay you for your kindness, and that's exactly what I'm here for.”
  209. “What'd you have in mind?”
  210. “There were some papers at the dsa office I asked the people there to read to me while they were patching my leg up, Oh!”
  211. She stops and pulls her head out and reaches to the ground with it, then pulls up a bloody lump of cloth that was all too familiar.
  212. “Tif if yourfs”
  213. I'd be devastated if I actually liked that jacket. I take it back anyway. Don't think I'll ever be able to wear it again. Between the blood stains that probably'll never come out and the smell of bleeding dragon probably isn't the best to be walking around with anyway. They might not be the most sociable on average, but they will fiercely defend each other if they find a downed one. Rather not attract large flying lumps of muscle and possible fury anymore than I have to.
  214. “Thanks. You were saying?”
  215. “Yes, I asked them to read some papers to me while they were fixing my wings, and there's this food place where they make food for you that have a outside area I can fit in.”
  216. “A restaurant?”
  217. “That's what the dsa person called it! I want to take you there to eat.”
  218. “That sounds lovely, but I'm kinda broke and I'm pretty sure I need to get a new GPU,-”
  219. “I said I'm the one repaying you. I have money to go to the restaurant with.”
  220. I raised a eyebrow to that. There were some dragons who were willing to do things regularly for money, but generally they kept to themselves. Why go through the effort when prey was so easy to get?
  221. “There were some guys who needed help moving some boxes and logs in the forest that were in the dsa office that day and I said I'd help when my leg got better.”
  222. “And you did I'm guessing.”
  223. “Yes, they were really nice, and all I had to do was walk around a little bit.”
  224. “How much 'they give you?”
  225. “I'm not quite sure, they gave me this small bag with a belt to put it in and told me they left it in there.”
  226. She lifted her front leg to show me the pouch she was talking about. Only a bit larger than a wallet, maybe they make these things specially for dragons? I wouldn't know.
  227. “You want me to check?”
  228. “Don't see why not.”
  229. Her head clears the window, and she moves herself so I can get to the pouch through the opening. There's ß8000 in there, enough to feed a family of seven gluttons if you're careful. Or as much as my sister's probably gone through by now, at only a 3rd of the way through her credit rampage.
  230. “At least they didn't rip you off.”
  231. I put it back in and she puts her head back in, almost knocking me in my back because I didn't move out of the way fast enough.
  232. “Oh sorry, -”
  233. “Fine, I'm fine. There's enough in there to feed six of me, so I don't think cash'll be a problem.”
  234. “Great!, I'll meet you at the front door.”
  235. “Could you give me a few moments though? I need to wash and stuff.”
  236. “Yes, I won't go anywhere.”
  237. It only takes a bit less than a quarter of a hour to wash and the rest of it, and I'm out of the front of the house greeted to a dragon sunbathing on the front grass. A concerned neighbor comes up to the fence between our houses.
  238. “Anon, is the dragon with you?”
  239. “Yea, we're having lunch.”
  240. “Hmn, Sarah's not home, is she?”
  241. “No, out.”
  242. “Heh, good. I don't want to have to call 999 again after the last time. That was just a garden snake, can't imagine what she'd do about a dragon.”
  243. They go back inside, apparently convinced that I was going to be ok.
  244. The dragon carefully rolls back up, careful not to strain her wings at any awkward angles.
  245. “If you're good I'll grab my bike and -”
  246. “We need to fly there though, it's too far to go on a bike.”
  247. “Flying? I mean it's been a few weeks but are you sure?”
  248. “I can fly just fine. Can't fly upside down or anything like that for another week or two though.”
  249. “But with me in tow?”
  250. “Are you heavier than a deer?”
  251. “No?”
  252. “Then I can carry you.”
  253. When I was 8, for my birthday part we went to a dragon ranch to, well, ride dragons. I don't want to say it was so my sister wouldn't come along, but that'd be lying. From what I remember, there were only two regular dragons that lived there that we were allowed to ride. The other five or so were wild and passing through, and at least one of them actively didn't like little kids. I probably wouldn't of liked me much then either. Point being when it was my turn to fly around, there was more than one time I almost fell off. We weren't very high off of the ground and the dragon carrying me did everything he was supposed to do, but for some reason more than once I was completely airborne and flailing to the sides with nothing more than than my arms keeping me on, a bit hairier than 8 year old me would of liked. I didn't say anything about it and I asked the dragon to not say anything either, but at that point I knew dragon riding wasn't really for me. I don't blame him at all, but from then on I was less than thrilled at being in perilous situations without proper restraints.
  254. So back to now,
  255. With her trying to be nice it'd be rude to say “Sorry, but I can't because I'm too much of a pansy to fly bareback.” but, hegh. She's looking at me with a worried expression,
  256. “Anon, if you're worried about me I'll be ok, really.”
  257. “It's not, I, long story short last time I rode a dragon I almost fell off.”
  258. “I'll fly extra slowly?”
  259. I need to get over myself. That was a long time ago, and again It'd be rude when she went out of her way for this. With that in mind,
  260. “Ok, let's go.”
  261. With happy gasp she drops down so I could climb on.
  262. Proper procedure's to lie on top of the dragon, keeping as much of your mass as center to the dragons as possible, with shoulders just ahead of the dragons shoulders to clear the wing membrane and to be able to grip the neck with both arms. Not the best for the rider's field of view, but the added wind resistance over the top of the creature's enough to throw it's ability to fly completely off if the rider's sitting upright.
  263. “I can't get into the sky slowly, but the rest of the flight will be super slow.”
  264. “Yea. No problem. Don't mind me for your sake, I'll be fine.”
  265. “Um, could you loosen your arms a little bit?”
  266. “Oh, sorry.”
  267. Walking into the middle of the road, (there's no cars about around now, so no traffic disruptions) she starts running along the length of it. When we get to what was probably her top speed, she flaps once and we're hurled into the air. Between the two I'd rather the launch be the fast one, being pressed into her because physics's way better than trying to keep myself hanging on for dear life with every motion actively trying to remove you from what you're holding on to. It's, actually quite nice up here. Whatever problems 8 year old me had probably don't apply anymore. That, and my current ride was deliberately going as slow as she could and still keep lift.
  268. Yelling, because even at almost stalling speed the wind noise was annoying,
  269. “How high off of the ground were you the last time you were on a dragon?”
  270. “Don't know, less than a meter?”
  271. “How high is that?”
  272. “Less than you are tall?”
  273. She stops talking, probably thinking that was kinda ridiculous. I don't exactly blame her.
  274. “I was 8!”
  275. “Is that young?”
  276. “Yea, that's kinda young.”
  277. “I – didn't like flying much as a hatchling either.”
  278. “Anything specific happen?”
  279. “No, it was, I was just scared. If something goes wrong, you're done for. I almost broke my neck a couple of times. I got better though.”
  280. “And here we are.”
  281. “No, at this speed,-”
  282. “Oh no, I meant we're both flying with no problem now.”
  283. “Ah.”
  284. That wasn't quite true, I was still freaking out a little bit. But talking seemed to keep my mind off of it. Plus this smooth flying meant the wind force was overpowering any irregularities to the point I could probably let go and be just fine. There's absolutely no way that's happening though. The rest of the flight's pleasant enough, mostly filled with with idle talking and pointing out local points of interests.
  285. “And that's Cloverfield plaza, otherwise known as the local mall.”
  286. “That's where we're going.”
  287. There's a indoor/outdoor restaurant attached to the side of the main mall complex. Never eaten there myself, but I'm sure it's nice enough. Never seen a dragon there though. Granted I don't have a reason to come here very often. Unlike my sister, who – Oh wait, seeing her here'd be hilarious.
  289. “Did you get everything?”
  290. “Stacey, I know what I like, and I got everything I like. I've got ev-ry-thing.”
  291. “Well, better get back to your brother then,”
  292. “Ugh, don't remind me. If I could get just a couple of days without seeing his -”
  293. “Wait, I think that's a dragon flying in-”
  294. “Don't shit with me Stacey.”
  295. “No really look up there.”
  296. They both squint into the sky, and sure enough there's the unmistakable silhouette plastered against the sky of a dragons wingspan.
  297. “You know what, there's some tops I think I saw that I want to get, also are you hungry? We should get something to eat.”
  298. “You are so pathetic.”
  299. They both head back inside.
  301. She circles around to a long abandoned stretch of car park to a textbook example of a perfect landing, no weird bumps or anything. Doesn't stop my legs from feeling like jelly when I get off though. To the point I have to hold onto the dragon to regain any sense of balance.
  302. “You're not hurt, are you?”
  303. “No, just not used to dragon flying. Ya know, haven't done it in a while.”
  304. “Ok, you can walk though, right?”
  305. “Yea, can walk just fine. Why, oh. Ooh.”
  306. Just realized why she asked, we landed kinda far away from the main building. Hardly a impossible distance, but still, ugh. There was one family making their way to their car that was kinda surprised to see a dragon walking by, but for the most part getting to the external main doors of “The Grapevine” was uneventful enough. Except for the parents who asked for a picture of their kids with the dragon. She was cool enough about it, so picture taken. Not with me though, seemed kinda weird if we're only going to be near each other this one other time. The entrance had a bar between the two doors, so she wasn't going to fit through. There's a dragon emblem at the top corner of one of them with “We serve dragons, please sit at the patio and we'll have someone with you shortly.” written beneath it. Not that we'd need to wait, the server person who greats people coming in saw us approach and had someone sent out to meet us outside.
  307. “Are you two together today.”
  308. The dragon nods.
  309. “Yea, she and I are.”
  310. “All right, I'm Jeffery and I'll be the one serving you. Please make your way to one of the tables over there and OH, could I have a name please?”
  311. “Mcchan.”
  312. “I'll be right back with you shortly Mr. Mcchan.”
  313. He runs back inside, probably to alert the kitchen.
  314. “Any seating preferences?”
  315. “Only that I can fit.”
  316. I don't think that'll be a problem. The tables are spaced kinda far apart, and there's plenty of table room per table to sit even the biggest of her species. There's only one other group sitting outside to boot. We make our way to one of the tables that's somewhere closer to the middle and we see Jeff coming out of the double doors that's set between the inner and outer dining areas with a large pillow, in plain red, in tow.
  317. “Is this where you two like to be?”
  318. We both nod, first to each other then to the server. He places the pillow by where the dragon was standing in front of the table.
  319. “We hope it's to your liking.”
  320. Her expression as she sat on it seemed to say yes well enough.
  321. “Um, miss, can you read?”
  322. She stops to look at him, and shakes her head.
  323. “So Mr. Mcchan, will you be ordering for the two of you?”
  324. “I guess?”
  325. “Then these are for you.”
  326. He hands both menus to me, one of which is notably larger. Which I have to say is also in noticeably better condition then the normal menu, not used as much I'd suspect. Jeff goes back inside to leave us with figuring out what we want to get.
  327. “So, first time at a restaurant, huh?”
  328. “Yes, even if I don't like the food, I really like this soft thing they have. Don't you sleep on one of these?”
  329. “Kinda, my head does anyway. I should probably try to get the mattress replaced at some point now I think about it. Anyway, what to have.”
  331. Meanwhile,
  333. “There was no top, was there?”
  334. “Shut up, yes there was.”
  335. “*Exhales*, Look, I know you have your thing about lizards, but don't let that stop you from living your life.”
  336. “It's not!”
  337. “That's why you ran back inside, right?”
  338. “So were you!”
  339. “I was following you, because we're here together.”
  340. “Fine, yes, there was no top. But I am hungry. Come on, I'll treat.”
  341. “I'm not gonna say no to free food, so where to?”
  342. “The Grapevine?”
  343. “Ugh, if I have to. But really, that'd be great.”
  344. It takes a few minuets for the two of them to make their way to the inner half of the restaurant.
  345. “Welcome to The Grapevine, are you two together?”
  346. “Yes we are, but not like, together together!”
  347. “Yes of course, who should I put you down as?”
  348. “Mcchan.”
  349. “Ok, let me,... Oh. Huh, there was another Mcchan that came in literally minuets ago. What are the odds?”
  350. The two of them stare at each other.
  351. “Is one of them about yay high, same hair colour as me?”
  352. “Hmn, yea. Is he your brother?”
  353. “Can't be anyone else.”
  354. “You think he and Becky?”
  355. “A date now? That'd be great! We can make it a double, well, a double!”
  356. “Double date?”
  357. “A double date where we're not dating. I don't think there's a term for that. Can you sit us with my brother?”
  358. “Erm, Is that ok?”
  359. “He's my bro, It'll be fine.”
  361. “How 'bout this one, it's a slab of roasted pork marinated in whatever sauces they have here “To a blended perfection”. I'd eat that, If I could eat a dragon sized portion.”
  362. “They all sound so good. But I don't think I've had pig before, don't see many wild ones around here and the farmers get angry if I even get close to them.”
  363. “Pig it is then, and with the quad burger I'm getting, that's about, ß3800 something. I hope you're hungry.”
  364. “Yes, I, -”
  365. “What is it.”
  366. I look to where the dragon was looking, by the doors going into the rest of the restaurant. Oh this is too perfect.
  367. “Stacey and Sarah!, Are you guys eating here too? You should sit over here with us!”
  369. “Fuck, can't we get another table?”
  370. “No, we already went out of our way to do this, get over yourself and be with your bro. Didn't you say you were really hungry?”
  371. “I'm totally fine now, we should,-”
  372. As Sarah tries to flee, her compatriot grabs her arm and almost drags her to the table.
  374. “Anon, It's been too long! How 'ave you been?”
  375. “It's been a while hasn't it? Sarah hasn't been too much of a pain has she?”
  376. All she could give me was a strained expression, my sister was fidgeting too hard to notice.
  377. “Who's your friend here?”
  378. “Oh, shes, actually you never gave me a name.”
  379. “Don't have one.”
  380. “Fair enough, I helped her get out of a nasty crash and we're here now as a way of her saying thanks.”
  381. “Oh, that's so sweet. Hay Stacey, I bet you loooved it when Anon brought her home.”
  382. Daggers, daggers and pain of death to all who dared to interact with her.
  383. “They never saw each other.”
  384. “Not surprised. I am surprised though that she didn't spontaneously combust being in close contact.”
  385. “Oh she was close!”
  386. All three of us laugh.
  387. “Right, we know what we're getting. How 'bout you guys?”
  388. “Your sister said she was getting it, so I'm not quite sure. Sarah,”
  389. She whips her head as fast as she can, to try and avoid making eye contact with the dragon.
  390. “Get whatever, I don't care.”
  391. “Then the chicken salad it is.”
  392. Almost on cue, Jeff arrives with the drinks we ordered before the other two got here. Fruit punch for me, and a massive pitcher of water for her.
  393. “Oh, I don't believe I have your drinks. What'd you two like?”
  394. “I'd just like a water.”
  395. “And for you miss..., miss, are you ok?”
  396. “Oh, oh yea I'm fine, water for me too.”
  397. “I'll be right back then.”
  398. ...
  399. “You're not hemorrhaging or anything, are you sis?”
  400. “Shut the fuck up. Both you and you flying hand bag.”
  401. “Sarah! The hell?”
  402. “Stacy, please stay out of it. Anon, you know I hate, them, so why do you insist on winding me up? Do you enjoy seeing me suffer?”
  403. “Suffer? She's done nothing but just sit there! I pull her out of a ditch and she goes out of her way to get enough money together for this meal to say thank you. I fix your phone, multiple times I might add, to the point it's basically a entirely new freaking phone, and the most I get from you is a trip through the freezing cold for milk you'll just chug, -”
  404. “Oh my god are you still,”
  405. “YES! Yes I am. It was freaking cold. Cold enough that things could of died if left out there for too long. SHE could of died if left out there for too long.”
  406. “Maybe you should have let it.”
  407. “SARAH!,-”
  408. “Stacey, She's,-”
  409. “The both of you, can I talk for a moment?”
  410. We both cease speaking.
  411. “Sarah, we haven't met before now. I don't know you, and you don't know me. Why do you hate me so much?”
  412. “It's not just you. It's you, the rest of you, and everything else with hard scales I hate.”
  413. “But why? I've done nothing to you.”
  414. “Your creepy.”
  415. “That's it. You find her creepy. Your refusing to be a decent human being to another intelligent creature because you think scales are creepy.”
  416. “I don't ask you to fly with it. You don't ask me to be with it”
  417. “How'd you think I got here?”
  418. “The bus.”
  419. “No, I flew here. I got over my irrational fear of flying because she wanted to take me out for lunch, completely out of the kindness of her heart. At least my issue was because of childhood trauma. Yours, what even is yours?”
  420. We all look at her at the same time together.
  421. “Sh-SHUT UP!”
  422. Jeff was kinda startled when she said that. Didn't spill the drinks though.
  423. “It's not you Jeffry, my sister's being, well, yea.”
  424. “*Distracting cough* At any rate, are you ready to order?”
  425. “Yes, I'll have the Quadruple bacon burger, with fries.”
  426. “I'll have the pig.”
  427. “And we're both having chicken salads.”
  428. “aand the pig, Right!, I'll be back with your orders shortly.”
  429. We all sit there for a few more awkward moments before the dragon leans towards me.
  430. “Would I be able to pay for their meals?”
  431. “Maybe, but why?”
  432. “Show of good faith?”
  433. “It's your money, but I wouldn't bother personally. She refuses to even look at turtles, only after we told her they weren't amphibians.”
  434. “I can hear you, you know.”
  435. “Yea, usually people are at least kinda appreciative when they're offering to get you a meal.”
  436. She didn't say anything. Stacey had regressed to playing with her phone.
  437. “Well that's just great. You fly us both the way here and now we have to sit to this.”
  438. “...”
  439. The silence would have been deafening if it wasn't for the noise of cars going and leaving behind us. Thankfully Jeff wasn't kidding when he said shortly.
  440. “We hope you like the meal.”
  441. I know I did, although maybe four layers of burger might have been a bit much. The remains of the chunk of pig that was left would say otherwise as far as the dragon was concerned. She tried her best not to make a mess, but only having her face and limited use of her front paws to eat with made made her plate a bit more of a graveyard of bones and grizzle than she probably intended. Stacy liked the salad as far as I can tell. Don't know about Sarah. She did finish it at least.
  442. Then the bill. ß5278.
  443. “I can get all of that, right?”
  444. “If you really want.”
  445. “Then I will.”
  446. As if by magic, the server appeared.
  447. “Will this be cash or credit?”
  448. “We'll be paying this with cash.”
  449. She leans her self so the pouch on her front leg was next to me.
  450. “Could you get it?”
  451. “Oh, oh yea.”
  452. The rest of the proceedings went by without much of a hitch.
  453. “Thank you miss dragon for the meal. Hey Sarah, we can go now.”
  454. She bolted to the farthest depths of the car park faster than I think I've seen some sprinters.
  455. “'ll geeze, I wish she'd do that when I needed something.”
  456. “It was nice meeting you both. And Anon, I know she's my friend, but as she's your sister, good luck.”
  457. Stacey walks out to try and catch up, eventually going out into a sprint herself when she realizes she won't catch up otherwise. Not made any easier by the bags she had to lug that Sarah had left for her.
  458. “Well, Looks like we need to shove off as well. ,-”
  459. “We can't just yet.”
  460. “Hmn?”
  461. “I can't fly until this goes down a little bit.”
  462. “Heh, neither can I. Wanna walk around inside in the mean time?”
  463. “If it's ok, I don't want to take up too much room, -”
  464. “Have you seen the size of some of the people going in and out of there? You could probably fly from one side to the other no problem.”
  465. “If you say so.”
  466. “Don't actually do it though, that'd be bad.”
  467. “I know what you meant.”
  468. The main doors into the mall were significantly bigger than the doors into the restaurant bit, still had that dragon emblem on 'em though, so no-one could have a go at us if she went inside. I didn't realize how hot it was getting outside before we went inside but woah, it was way nicer in here. The dragon seemed to agree.
  469. “How do they keep such a large building so cold?”
  470. “Giant ACs.”
  471. “The thing you have next to your house?”
  472. “Yea, but way bigger, and there's probably a couple of them.”
  473. “Wow.”
  474. With that we snake our way through the giant commercial conglomerance. Although the main mall area allowed dragons to roam about, the size of the majority of the shops made letting them in rather unpractical. That ruled out everything I had any passing interest in. Not like I was in any state to move anyway, so we park ourselves at a bench in front of the EG-Stop. Seeing grannies freak out at the site of the large lump of scales and teeth was good enough for me.
  475. “Feeling less bloated yet?”
  476. “Yes, but not enough to fly yet.”
  477. “Ok. How much did you say you had left again?”
  478. “Money?”
  479. “Yea.”
  480. “You said ß2724.”
  481. “That should be enough. Before we go, we should get you a pillow.”
  482. “They sell those here?”
  483. “Yea, well, not this one. They do games, but that one over there should.”
  484. Pointing to the Mattress, Sheets And More about three shops down, we both groan in unison at the thought of getting up.
  485. “Five minuets?”
  486. “Five minuets.”
  487. Five minuets later.
  488. “Right, we need to go.”
  489. I get up, to the objection to the rest of my body, and make my way over. She follows suit, but not after startling some shoppers who didn't realize that she was going to get up. The inside of the MSAM's the literal definition of comfy. Beds wall to wall, every one more comfortable than the last, and covers, pillows and other soft things filling every empty space between. They also have a decent selection of plushies here as well, a fair number of them I recognize as clogging up my sisters room. Hardly surprised this is where her supply comes from. Now that I'm actively looking, I'm surprised that dragon proof beds are a thing. From the descriptions it's mostly that they're scratch / fire resistant, along with the upper layers being laced with a fire retardant. Having the decency to take my shoes off first, I jump onto the bed. Fire retardant or not, it's infinitely more comfortable than my bed. Bit big for my tastes, but it is dragon sized. She sits at the foot the bed I'm currently occupying.
  490. “Is this where your bed came from?”
  491. “No idea, had that bed way longer than I can remember. Actually, where is it you usually sleep at?”
  492. “A cave far away from here, or the ground somewhere if I can't make it back before I'm done for the day.”
  493. “Bet that's not nearly as comfortable as this bed is.”
  494. “Are there beds for dragons?”
  495. “Yea, this one is. If the board in front of it has that dragon emblem on it,-”
  496. That's all she seemed to need to hear before flopping onto the bed. Don't know if this counts as closer than when I was holding her rear half up getting her up the slope or not, but geeze she puts off a lot of heat. She squirms on the surface of the mattress getting comfortable before settling on a position with her head right next to mine, and a forelimb on top of me.
  497. Exhaling comfortably, “This is the most comfy thing I've ever been on! Can I get it?”
  498. “'fraid not. This runs ß150000, and it's one of the cheaper ones.”
  499. “Oh.”
  500. “Are you two enjoying the Cloudtop X?”
  501. A salesperson comes up, can't read their expression for the life of me. Doesn't sound angry at any rate. We both shoot up.
  502. “Yea, shame 'bout the price though. Get the feeling you'll be seeing her again for one though.”
  503. “But, I don't think I can carry this while flying, it's too big.”
  504. “For a small extra fee, we offer air lifting services to wherever you'd like in a 150 mile radius.”
  505. She looks at the both of us rather confused.
  506. “They'll fly it for you if you want 'em to.”
  507. Flopping back onto the bed, she makes a noise somewhere between a exasperation and a squeak.
  508. “Definitely think you'll be seeing her again.”
  509. “Is there anything else I can help you two with today?”
  510. “Oh yea, we came in for a pillow. Like the ones they have for dragons at that restaurant over there.”
  511. “We have those, please follow me.”
  512. It takes a few moments to get my shoes back on, would 'a been sooner if the dragon behind me wasn't flailing about trying to right herself before getting off of the bed. They do indeed have pillows like the ones they have at the restaurant, stacked floor to ceiling four pillows wide. Even the exact same one, in the exact same plain red, although never used, so not as worn in. They all look largely the same, save for the difference in colours and patterns.
  513. “Is there anything else you'd like help with today?”
  514. “Nah, I think we're good.”
  515. “Then I hope you find something you like.”
  516. And they walk off, to try and find someone else to assist.
  517. “Any jumping out at you?”
  518. “They all look nic-”
  519. She stops, and walks forward to one with a black and red checkerboard pattern radiating from its center and bumps it with her snout.
  520. “This one.”
  521. “There's no way I'm going to be able to reach that, -”
  522. Lowering her neck, she motions to get on. To which I oblige. I have to hold onto the front of her face to not fall off, but manage to grab the pillow in question easily enough despite that, and I don't even have to cause a pillow avalanche. Now to checkout.
  523. “Will that be all today?”
  524. “Pretty sure.”
  525. “Then that'll be ß2577.”
  526. “Oof, that's close.”
  527. Handing the cash over, the checkout clerk looks at the both of us.
  528. “Is it a body guard thing, or are you the dragons personal assistant?”
  529. “We're friends.”
  530. “Oh.”
  531. They proceed to drop it. Checkout goes smoothly otherwise, with nothing out of the ordinary aside from the bag with the extra thick handle they put it in, intended for a dragon to carry it in their mouth. I carry it for the time being so she didn't have to talk with a piece of thick plastic in her mouth. As we're leaving,
  532. “That leaves you with ß147.”
  533. “What can I do with that?”
  534. “Not much, maybe a confectionery item or some pencils. Not a whole lot.”
  535. “Confectionery's chocolate and things like that, right?”
  536. “Yea?”
  537. “You didn't have the chocolate that night for if you found a dragon in the middle of the woods, right?”
  538. “I mean, no, but you don't have to get me anything. I gave that to you because you needed it.”
  539. “I know I don't, but I want to. Plus, you said yourself I can't do much with 147 whatever. Where'd you find chocolate here?”
  540. “Um, that place probably does.”
  541. With a name like Belgian Chocolates & Delights, it'd be false advertising if they didn't.
  542. “Then please take what's left and get some chocolate.”
  543. “Thanks, but,-”
  544. She lowers her head so its level with mine.
  545. “Please, I insist.”
  546. Ok, geeze. Grabbing what was left of her funds, I head in. Have to go in alone for this one 'cause the wall to wall shelves were too narrow for even the smallest of dragons to fit between. For a shop setting itself up for high end confectioneries, their plain bar selection was surprisingly reasonable. Not petrol station cheap, but I was expecting a bit more out of these guys. Even so, I was ß8 over. But between the give a penny take a penny tray and the loose change I had in my jeans I walked away with a bar about the size of a DVD case, and half the thickness. Which for chocolate's really freaking big. The dragon stares at it as I exit the shop.
  547. “Was that all of it?”
  548. “And then some. Do you want some?”
  549. “That's for you. I've already eaten enough for one day.”
  550. “Ditto, I'm saving this for tomorrow. Don't suppose there's anything else you want to do here.”
  551. She shakes her head.
  552. “Me neither. Think it's time for us to go.”
  553. We make our way to the exit, but not before another family asks for pictures. Why can't they ask us this when we're not doing anything. Back at the outskirts of the car park,
  554. “Hey, could I stick this in your bag for the way back? Don't want it to melt in my pocket before I get a chance to eat it.”
  555. “Yes.”
  556. So I do, climb on, and we're both hurled into the air yet again, being mindful of the small group who showed up to watch us take off. After being up here the first time I'm actually starting to genuinely enjoy the view, and the rheumatic beating of her wings. I wonder if that dragon at the ranch is still there? Should probably see if he is, or if he even remembers me. Between the warm mid day-ish sun, the fact the dragon can't say much with a bag in her mouth, and the fact my sleep schedule's non existent, (and possibly the food making its way through my system,) I fall asleep maybe about 10 minuets into the trip home.
  558. First thing I notice when I wake up is how nice the purely orange evening sky looks. Oh geeze,
  559. “How long have I been out?”
  560. “...Oh, you're awake. I don't know, but I've been *yawn* enjoying your front garden for a while now.”
  561. Sure enough we're both in front of my house, I haven't moved off of the dragon at all the entire time, and she was taking up as much room as she can with her wings outstretched, with the bag close by.
  562. “M'k, better get of- woAH!”
  563. Not all systems are back online it turns out, and awkwardly fall off her back.
  564. “You're not hurt are you?”
  565. “I'm fine, only thing bruised's my pride, if I had any. Know what? Think I'm gonna stay down here for a bit.”
  566. I lay down on the grass, letting both the warmth of the ground and the warm evening air envelop whatever part of my being's exposed. Might not be a dragon, but I think I get why she likes doing this so much. We lay there for a few moments before she decides to move her head over and lay it on top of me.
  567. “Oof, I-”
  568. “Sorry, if yo-”
  569. “Nah, I'm fine. Just a bit of warning'd be nice next time.”
  570. “... Even if today was just me repaying you, I quite enjoyed it. Kinda living like a human for a day.”
  571. “Heh, yea. Nice to have a day out with someone genuinely new. Especially if she's a large flappy mass of wings and teeth.”
  572. “The same could be said of the soft bony thing I had on my back today.”
  573. “Oi, I'm working on it.”
  574. There was a soft rumbling coming from her throat and accompanying facial expression that I'm fairly certain is the dragon equivalent of laughing. She scoots herself a bit closer and nuzzles the side of my face.
  575. “Either way, today was fun.”
  576. I reach around with what amount of arm was free and hug the base of her head.
  577. “Yea it was.”
  578. We're at this for another minute or so, until I break the silence.
  579. “This is nice, but we should probably get going.”
  580. She slowly lifts herself off and starts stretching, as I crawl out from under her and start doing the same. With a final shake out, I head to the front door, but not before she nudges my back with the bag in her mouth as I was about to turn the knob.
  581. “...Oh yea the chocolate.”
  582. It didn't leak out of the package, but it definitely needs a night in the fridge before I eat it.
  583. “Welp, Guess this is goodb-AI!”
  584. Her bag drops as she reaches her head over my shoulder to give me another dragon hug.
  585. “If I'm flying close by I'll visit. But otherwise yes, goodbye.”
  586. Picking the bag up again she walks over to the main road and flies off.
  588. That empty feeling you get after you beat a particularly good game or after a visiting family member you don't completely hate leaves sucks. But anyway, I make my way inside for the first time in what feels like way longer than it actually was. I scribble my initials onto the chocolate and put it into the fridge as I see Sarah is where she usually likes to park herself. On the couch, with the TV playing something live action and dumb, and a plethora of snack foods strung about. I'm surprised she manages to stay in any shape other than blob.
  589. “Oi shitface.”
  590. “Nice to see you too Sarah.”
  591. “If you see that dragon again... tell her I said thanks for the food.”
  592. It's something I guess. Making my way back to my room, I wonder if I'll ever get to give her that message.
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