Violet Sands

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  1. >It's been about a fortnight since I went hiking.
  2. >I call it hiking but I was only ever actually outside for about a hour.
  3. >Although all of the rubbing more than made up for it in exercise.
  4. >Once or twice I saw her flying about close by diving into the tree line, most likely catching lunch.
  5. >I never did print out that photo, instead it's the desktop background on the second monitor.
  6. >It's seen way more than it would have printed out physically.
  7. >It was a alright early saturday, a bit hotter than I would of liked, but I'm usually inside so it didn't matter much.
  8. >I was eating breakfast when I felt the ground shake a little bit.
  9. >Figuring it was the water heater being weird again, I ignored it.
  10. >I didn't ignore the knocking at the back door.
  11. >Well, more like a soft repetitious bashing.
  12. >Looking through the window next to the door confirms who I think it is.
  13. “...If you want me to come out your going to have to back up.”
  14. >She does.
  15. >Geeze, I knew it was kinda hot, well, maybe I'm just extra sensitive to being outside or something but man.
  16. >She seemed to be fine, or at least didn't have the face of death that I'm sure I'm slowly developing.
  17. “What can I do ya for on this on this, well, rather unpleasant to be outside for day?”
  18. “...You don't look so well, are you ok?”
  19. “Aside from the solar assault on my everything, just a ok.”
  20. >She cocked her head in confusion.
  21. “It's really hot, and I don't take heat well at all.”
  22. “Oh!”
  23. >She lifts a wing forward to cover me, grabbing the top of the door frame with her wing thumb.
  24. “Thanks, that's way better! So, is there anything in particular you'd like to do or need, or...?”
  25. >She stops to think for a moment.
  26. “There was this place Frank told me about a long time ago, I don't remember what it's called but the dirt's a weird colour and there's lots of water and it comes up and down at different times of the day. Do you know what that might be?”
  27. >It admittedly took me a few moments longer then I'd like to realize what she was talking about, but,
  28. “That sounds like a beach, I -”
  29. >A dragon leering at you angrily is enough to make most people incredibly off put, I know I would be if our previous encounter hadn't put as much of a dampener on how malicious she wasn't.
  30. “Isn't that a bad word for a dog, or a human woman, or a dog woman?”
  31. >Wha-? Again, I think it might be the heat making me think a few clock cycles slower than usual, but then it snapped. In laughter,
  32. “Oh no, that's bitch, spelt and said with a i t, beach is e a, completely different. Although some people pronounce it so similarly that it's hard to tell.”
  33. >I personally wasn't one of those people, but that had led to some confusing conversations in the past.
  34. >She brightens up.
  35. “Oooooh, ok. The reason I wanted to know was I wanted to go there because it was kinda hot -”
  36. >So she was affected by the temperature, although clearly taking it way better than I was.
  37. “- and I know humans don't like being this hot and that the  beach  was a place that Frank said he would go sometimes when it was like it was today.”
  38. “But how hot are you though?”
  39. “Me? I'm fine,-”
  40. >Oh.
  41. “But if it were to get much worse I'd start having stomach aches.”
  42. >I did some reading (Well, mostly Wikipedia and some old childhood books I had in a closet) about dragons after she left, and one thing I remember was that if a dragon gets too overheated, then their flight sacks tend to combust.
  43. >This happens fairly rarely 'cause a quick fly around a thousand feet or so in the air to cool of takes care of it really quickly. Although it's more of a problem with dragons that can't fly for one reason or another.
  44. >A alternate fix is to throw out as much fire as possible to deplete them, but then they can't  move afterwords.
  45. >So it's really only advisable with dragons with someone to give them food to build up their gasses again.
  46. >Enough rambling,
  47. “Would you like to come to the  beach  with me?”
  48. >I pretend to contemplate the offer, but my mind was made up the second I got her description.
  49. “Yes, that sounds lovely.”
  50. “Great!, also I kinda needed to ask you because I don't know where the  beach  is.”
  51.  >With raised eyebrows and a smile,
  52. “Uh huh, I'll go and look up which direction the nearest beach is from here. I would invite you in, but I'd need a bigger back door.”
  53. “What about the really big sideways door on the other side of your house?”
  54. “The garage? I would, but it's currently filled with junk and I can barely get through it.”
  55. “Oh, maybe I could put my head through the hole there?”
  56. >She points to the window.
  57. “I mean, maybe? But the AC's on and-”
  58. >You know that look that dogs give you when they really want something, but know they won't get it but persist anyway?
  59. >That's the face she's giving me now, but it's actually working.
  60. >I swear it's her eyes, if they were working any less I wouldn't be swayed.
  61. “Fine, but my PC's in that room.”
  62. >I point to the window on the far end of building, where my room is.
  63. “Ok.”
  64. “I'll meet you there.”
  65. >A quick trip through the kitchen and the hallway and I'm back in the room I spend possibly a unhealthy time in.
  66. >But hey, when you have a PC, why need anything else?
  67. >She's outside of my window, filling most of the view outside with her head.
  68. >A fling of the window open and she sticks her head inside, wrinkling her nose at the smell that probably bashed her in the face.
  69. “How does it smell so much in here, you're only one person!”
  70. “Usually when I know someone's coming over, I clean it up. But it's been a while since that happened last.”
  71. >I dwell on that for a moment until I remember why I was in here.
  72. >Bootup's quick, thanks SSD technology.
  73. >It doesn't take long to find the beach north-east ish from here, surprisingly closer than I thought it was.
  74. >Clearly another symptom of how much I don't get out.
  75. >I turn a monitor towards the window
  76. “You can remember this, right? Here's where we are, and we need to go up and right a bit for a while and then we're right there.”
  77. “I think so, which way is up?”
  78. >I point towards north, or at least the direction this old compass I have says is north.
  79. >Actually, I think I'm going to make a note of the heading and bring this compass with me.
  80. “Do you bring anything to a  beach  ?”
  81. “Some people bring buckets and spades to make sand castles, others just bring a towel to lay down on. I don't have any buckets or spades, so I guess I'll grab a towel. Erm, do you want, - some -, towels?”
  82. “That's the big rectangular thing that you dry things off with, right?”
  83. “Yea, although “Big” is entirely relative in this case. I don't have any dragon sized towels, so we'll have to patch a few together if you want one.”
  84. >She gives herself a moment.
  85. “Wouldn't it be easier if we didn't take as many things with us?”
  86. “Fair point, just the one then. Hmn, now I need to remember where I put my swimming shorts.”
  87. “Shorts are short trousers, right?”
  88. “Yes?”
  89. “I think I see them.”
  90. >She buries her muzzle into the pile of clothes next to the window, a feat not for the feint of heart.
  91. >Pushing beside everything else, she grabs a pair of denim shorts and hangs them in the air.
  92. “Those aren't it, but it looks like you did uncover them.”
  93. >I bend down into the lump of fabric that occupies my bedroom floor and pull out the one and only pair of trunks I own.
  94. “Just need the towels and sunscreen, and were off.”
  95. “Ok, I'll be here when you're done.”
  96. >She tries to pull her head out, but gets her horns caught on the upper half of the window frame.
  97. “Oh, 'ang on.”
  98. >I stand on a chair and try to guide her head through the window, which she does with a lot more cooperation than most people probably get in a similar situation.
  99. >The window being closed is super welcome, given how hot it was getting in here.
  100. >In the bathroom I pull the biggest towel out, and some sunscreen I almost forgot I had.
  101. >Thankfully it was still in date.
  102. >Barely.
  103. >I go back into my room to grab my trunks and put them on, with the dragon still outside of the window staring inside.
  104. “I'm going to put these on now, so could you...?”
  105. >She looks confused, then in exclamation with the skin on her head going red (Only just visible under the scales) she walks away from the window.
  106. >A change of clothes later I'm in my back garden again.
  107. >I'm in nothing but the shorts, swimming goggles, and the compass around my neck, along with a backpack with a couple of towels, sunscreen and a little bit of food.
  108. >I don't think I could carry a reasonable amount of food for a dragon, so I hope she knows how to fish, or doesn't eat that frequently.
  109. “Anything you can think of that we might be forgetting?”
  110. >She shakes her head.
  111. “Ok, could we not fly like we did last time? I was wearing more clothes then and humans are kinda soft.”
  112. “Yea.”
  113. >She nods as she says that, bending down as low as I think she can go.
  114. “The only way I can think off is to lay down on my back, so get on.”
  115. >I had to jump a little bit, after jumping a big bit and falling over onto the other side.
  116. >She managed to catch me with her arm just enough I didn't break anything on the way down.
  117. >Was completely unscathed thankfully.
  118. >On her back, it was unsurprisingly hot.
  119. >I was almost worried I was going to get sunburnt on my stomach and chest long before I even saw any sand.
  120. “Grab onto my horns.”
  121. >I do so.
  122. >After trying to move her head about,
  123. “Um, could you try to hold on around my neck instead please?”
  124. >A much better grip, I can reach around the entirety of her neck and hold my hands together. Only just enough that I was confident that I wasn't going to move about too much.
  125. >How much was enough, I had no idea.
  127. >I needed to figure that out quickly as she launched herself into the air.
  128. >The force of going up kept me in place until she stopped going up, which I floated there for a moment before landing back on her back.
  129. >As long as I didn't push myself too high, the force of air going over our backs was enough to keep me in place.
  130. >Getting up wasn't super necessary though as the dragon did good enough of a job staying straight without my help.
  131. >The compass feels a little bit redundant now.
  132. >I had to try to worm the towel out of my bag and cover myself 'cause it dipped into being nippy flying up here.
  133. >She was noticeably less loopy flying today, most likely to make sure I didn't accidentally fly off.
  134. >She was also flying a lot slower than our last trip, so it made talking to each other a lot more practical.
  135. “You know, you never really told me how you learned english in the end.”
  136. “...I didn't! I was so excited then that -, I'm doing it again. How I learned how to speak english,”
  137. >A pause.
  138. “When Frank found me, he let me live inside. I was so young then that all I did was try to copy what Frank did. Even tried to walk in my hind legs like humans do. I can do it for a little bit, but I'm much more comfortable on all legs.”
  139. “Right.”
  140. “At first, it was mostly just a few words like “Food” and “Hello”, important things. When Frank saw I was trying to talk in sentences, he did his best to try and teach me. I eventually was able to talk as well as he could, I think, but by then I didn't get as much practice because I couldn't fit in most rooms anymore.”
  141. “You seem to be talking ok now.”
  142. “It had been so long since I talked to anyone that I was worried that I didn't make any sense when I first met you.”
  143. “No problem then either.”
  144. “That's good!”
  145. >We flew for nearly another half hour when off in the distance I saw another dragon flying away from us, too far away to make out any details, but with a silhouette unmistakably draconic.
  146. “Do you have any dragon friends? I mean, I don't know how dragon relationships work or anything, but-”
  147. >My reply was a sad sigh.
  148. “No, I really don't know much about other dragons. All of my early life I was with Frank, so I never learned to talk dragon, or really anything about what they're like except for the obvious.”
  149. “Oh wow, that makes sense, but that's really sad, I-”
  150. “It's never stopped me before. And we're friends, right?”
  151. “I'd say so, yea.”
  152. “So I have you, why would not having dragon friends be a problem now?”
  153. “Heh, I guess it wouldn't.”
  154. “How about you? Do you have any friends aside from me?”
  155. “I did, and probably still do, have friends from a long time ago, but we don't speak super often. Probably 'cause I never gave them my new phone number. I really need to get on that.”
  156. >Another multi minuet pause.
  157. “I'm kinda hungry, you might want to grab on a bit tighter because I see some food running that's just close enough to-”
  158. >As she almost finishes that sentence she dives into the tree line, narrowly missing branches and twigs on the way down, and with the finesse of someone who clearly has done this many times before, catches a rabbit with her front arms.
  159. >Which she kills as soon as she runs its head across the ground, snapping off and rolling away from us when she brings her hind legs forward, using them to jump up and flap back into the air, climbing back up well over our original cruise height.
  160. >When we reach the apex, she drops the headless rabbit, throws a stream of fire towards it and catches it in her mouth long before it was remotely close to hitting the ground.
  161. “That, was impressive. Scary, but impressive.”
  162. >Scary for the rabbit, or scary for me trying to hold on, yes.
  163. “What, that? That's how I always have mid flight snacks.”
  164. >I now feel sorry for the local small animal population.
  165. “...'ang on, how did you learn to do dragony things if you were never with other dragons?”
  166. “Frank said lots of times that he was worried that I wouldn't ever learn to do dragon things being with him, so he showed me lots of videos and had a friend who used to be a dragon jockey teach me how to fly and catch food and stuff. Most of it came naturally, but there were things that even most dragons don't know how to do that I learned how to do myself.”
  167. “Such as?”
  168. “This,”
  169. >She climbs back up again, the highest we had been the entire flight, and then decides to dive and twist herself around enough that I fly off and start free falling.
  170. >She matches my speed to a t, so it was like facing her upside down twisting around hovering in the air.
  171. “See? We can talk face to face now!”
  172. “That's great, but I don't think this dinky little towel's enough of a parachute to keep me from going splat on the ground.”
  173. >I was trying my best to keep a shred of composure while saying that, it wasn't working.
  174. “Ok, you're no fun.”
  175. >She flies away and loops around to catch me, landing exactly where I left off moments ago with a soft thud.
  176. “I'd probably be a little bit more into it if you'd /tell me/ before throwing me off of you.”
  177. >Awkward laughter.
  178. “Franks friend wasn't super happy when I did that either.”
  179. “Hardly surprised. On a completely unrelated note, you can see the beach from here!”
  180. >From this distance it was a very thin strip of cream sand with greenish blue ocean on the far side, and a butt load of trees between us and it.
  181. >With the beach in view, she picks up speed, only taking another fifteen-ish minuets to get there.
  183. >We get there, still flying overhead and it's surprisingly empty. There's probably only a couple of families within view of where we are in the air, and a dragon lazily swimming about enjoying the water far from the beach edge.
  184. >It becomes incredibly apparent she's never tried to land on sand before.
  185. >She coasts close to the ground and tries to stop herself by running along and slowing down to a stop, but the sand's too loose for that and instead tries to run and catches the sand, causing her to trip and land face first in the lump of sand kicked up by the turbulence.
  186. >I was thrown off at first impact, so I get up to some very mild sand burn and the rear end of a dragon sticking out of a pile of sand.
  187. >She tries to pull out, but her head's very thoroughly stuck, to which she response with mad thrashing about as she tries to pull herself free.
  188. “Calm down, I'll dig you out.”
  189. >Running over to the pile, I dig with my hands as fast as I can where I think her head is, and very quickly am met with a very sandy and formerly frightened dragon head.
  190. “Not a very soft landing, was it?”
  191. “Heh, thank goodness it was sand, I don't think we would of made it otherwise.”
  192. “That's what this weird loose dirt stuff's called?”
  193. >With that said she tries to pull out again, to no avail.
  194. >I climb up higher to try to dig out more of her body, and after a minuet of digging she finally manages to get the rest of herself out, throwing sand in just about every direction.
  195. >Good thing I had the googles on for that.
  196. >After getting up and doing her best to shake the excess sand off,
  197. “This is a beach then? I can't say that I'm impressed so far.”
  198. “You can't blame the beach for the landing.”
  199. >Another brief pause later,
  200. “What do we do now?”
  201. “Well, are you kinda tired now?”
  202. “Somewhat.”
  203. “See those people?”
  204. >In the distance there's some people on towels under a umbrella enjoying the weather.
  205. “We could do that for a bit before we do anything else.”
  206. >Nodding,
  207. “That sounds like a good idea.”
  208. “We should put this sand back though.”
  209. >It was a long trench with a lump at the end with smaller lumps strung around it.
  210. >She starts to move the sand back with her tail, which doesn't take much time at all to get it looking flat-ish.
  211. >I try to help, but there's no way I'm going to outmatch her sand moving speed.
  212. >With that done, I pull a towel out and lay on it.
  213. >Still somewhat sore from the landing.
  214. >She lays down beside me, legs and arms spread out as if to try and take up as much space  as possible.
  215. >Her wings are spread behind her, but she decides to move one of them over where I am to give me some shade.
  216. >Even with the burn that's slowly fading, this was a lot nicer than whatever I was originally going to do.
  217. >I have no idea what I was going to do, but it probably involved a PC game of some sort.
  218. >We lay there for a while, or however long it was for the dragon to start getting fidgety.
  219. >It was a while.
  220. “Wanna do something else?”
  221. >She looks around to me,
  222. “Laying down's all right, but if I wanted to do that, I could of stayed at my cave.”
  223. “All right, Hmn... How about the water?”
  224. >Looking towards the seemingly endless expanse in front of us,
  225. “Go swimming?”
  226. “Yea.”
  227. “I'm more of a flier than a swimmer.”
  228. “Not a fan of water then?”
  229. >She shakes her head.
  230. >Ok, I get up and walk towards the ocean.
  231. >With how hot it is, even on the beach, being in the water's really nice.
  232. “You wanted to go to a beach, right? Half of the fun's in the water! Come on!”
  233. >She eventually relents and starts to walk towards me.
  234. >She looks like a cat wearing socks walking on the sand, guess she's still not quite used to it yet.
  235. >Getting to the edge, she dips a claw into the water to see how it feels, realizing it's fine.
  236. >After backing up a bit, she runs towards the water (Still like a sock cat, which is hilarious.) and launches herself into the water.
  237. >The resulting wave washes me back onto the shore.
  238. >Glad I wasn't washed the other way.
  239. >Somewhat dumbfounded sitting on the wet sand, I look to where the dragon is.
  240. >She's paddling along without much of a care in the world.
  241. >I think I'll get back on the towel, warm up a bit after being chucked out of the water 'n all.
  242. >I do that and lay there for a short while until I feel the towel start moving.
  243. >Looking down, she's pulling me back in.
  244. “If imf goin' in the fater then fou are too.”
  245. “Ok ok, I can get myself up 'n in.”
  246. >I do so, causing the dragon to stumble a little bit.
  247. >The water's not much different than it was a few moments ago, except now I'm accompanied by a large lump of scales and teeth.
  248. >She paddles about a bit more, circling where I was to a extent, but eventually gets bored and starts to stare at me, with only her head, neck, wings and a bit of her tail poking above the waterline
  249. “You really didn't have much of a plan, did you?”
  250. “... I just didn't want to be in the water alone.”
  251. >Sigh
  252. “Ok..., well..., how about we go diving? How well can you hold your breath?”
  253. “I can't, I just float.”
  254. >Right, flight sacks filled with buoyant flammable gasses 'n all.
  255. “That's out then, … let's just get back to the shore.”
  256. >I wade my way back to the beach, she swims in much the same way a crocodile does with her tail, with the occasional help from her other limbs when she gets fed up with her current speed.
  257. >After getting back on damp land,
  258. “Is the  beach  usually this boring?”
  259. “It's really more of a “Make what you make of it” sort of place. I would suggest burying ourselves in the sand, but I think you got enough of that on the way in.”
  260. >She glares over to where we crashed.
  261. “It's been a bit of a bust really, sorry it wasn't more fun. Unless you have any other ideas, wanna go back?”
  262. >A look about around the beach later,
  263. “Yes, I think we should go. Also, it's starting to get a bit crowded.”
  264. >It's busier now then when we got here, to the point that I was worried that there wouldn't be enough room to get out by the time we were packed.
  265. “Yea, let's go.”
  266. >Thankfully I didn't exactly have much to pack, the towel covered in sand was a bit of a annoyance considering this is the bag I do most of my bagging with.
  267. >As I finish up, a shrill voice comes from behind me,
  268. “Mummy look! A dragon!”
  269. >Oh geeze, other people.
  270. “Excuse me sir, is that your dragon?”
  271. “Euh? Wha-?, No, she's wild. She just likes the company, dont 'cha?”
  272. >She nods in agreement.
  273. “Isn't it dangerous to bring a wild pet to a public beachfront sir?”
  274. “What?! Her? Oi, this lady thinks you're my pet,-”
  275. >The dragon laughs at this,
  276. “No one owns me miss, he's my friend. Who also gives really good belly rubs.”
  277. “...It talks...”
  278. >It's amazing how used you get to something, and then forget how abnormal things can be for other people.
  279. >The kid pipes up,
  280. “I don't care if it talks or not, I just wanna ride it.”
  281. “You can't ride the wild animal mathew, it's dangerous and-,”
  282. >The kid, “Mathew”, decides he's had enough of what his mum had to say and shoves his head in the sand.
  283. “Mathew! Get you head out right,- (Sigh) whenever he gets stubborn like this he's such a pain. Look, if she's with you, she's not dangerous, right.”
  284. “You're not dangerous at all, are you?”
  285. >With a toothy grin,
  286. “Only when I need to be.”
  287. >That wasn't reassuring in the slightest.
  288. “... Can you promise me that mathew won't be hurt?”
  289. “What? That's not my call, you need to ask the dragon that. It's her your kids riding, not me.”
  290. “Yea, the - talking - dragon,”
  291. >She repeats the question to the would be over sized show donkey.
  292. “I'll let him sit on my neck, but nothing more.”
  293. >The mother ponders this, but snaps to a quick decision as she sees the changing colour of her kids face.
  294. “Mathew, the dragon..., lady, said that she would let you ride her. You need to get up now.”
  295. >I personally not a huge fan of appeasing them, but like I said, it's the dragons call.
  296. >The kid gets out from the sand, being completely covered down to his chest.
  297. “Really!?”
  298. >Clears throat.
  299. “Ms. Dragon, can I ride you please?”
  300. >I think she's starting to regret this decision, if her facial expression is anything to go by.
  301. “Yes, you can.”
  302. >She lowers her head so the brat can climb on her neck, doing so unsuccessfully.
  303. >The mother picks him up and puts him right behind the dragons head between the head horns, so we're not here all day.
  304. >Lifting him up into the air, the kid moves about ecstatically, making it hard for her to keep said kid from falling off.
  305. “Would you please stop moving about so much?”
  306. “No, you are my steed! And as my steed, go and-”
  307. >He's vibrating about so much that I'm surprised he didn't puncture himself on the rather pointy ends he probably should have been holding onto.
  308. >Being fed up of the highest caliber is all I can make out of her face as she tries her best to keep him from going splat onto the sand.
  309. “I'm not doing this anymore.”
  310. >She drops her head as fast as she can without damaging the lump of annoyance currently occupying her neck. Personally I would of gone down a bit faster.
  311. “Please take your child, I don't feel comfortable trying to keep him balanced.”
  312. “But you said I could ride you! That was barely anything!”
  313. “It's going to be a lot less of something if you don't stop.”
  314. >With just enough growl in her voice to make him stop, the mother picks up the problem sack before he became possible dragon chow.
  315. >She most likely wouldn't do this, but I know I would have been tempted.
  316. >Still with a slight growl in her voice,
  317. “We're going.”
  318. >No complaints here.
  319. >I jump onto her back, and she lifts off. Most likely kicking up a bunch of sand and knocking over a person or two in the process.
  320. >We fly for at least five minuets before anything is said.
  321. “You didn't have to cave into letting the kid on.”
  322. >She sighs, finally letting go of the tension she had been holding onto since we left.
  323. “I know, I was trying to be nice. I was thinking he might be better after he was up and could be on the “Big dragon”, but I guess not everyone is as nice as you are.”
  324. >I didn't say anything, instead trying my best to hug her from where I was currently.
  325. >Which admittedly wasn't much different than trying to hold on for dear life.
  326. >Her warming up a little bit as I did so seemed to indicate she got what I was trying to do.
  328. >The flight was noticeably slower back, either 'cause of a head wind or 'cause she was tired, I'll never know.
  329. >The landing's really soft, and she didn't overshoot my back garden to boot.
  330. >I climb off, and take a good look at her.
  331. “...I think you should know you're still absolutely covered in sand.”
  332. >Between the brief stint in the ocean and flying back I would of though it would of taken the worst of it off, but nope.
  333. >Sand really does get everywhere.
  334. >Kinda coarse too, as my shorts would attest to.
  335. >She looks herself over to confirm what I pointed out.
  336. >Her attempt to shake it off does absolutely nothing other than almost hit me in the chest with her tail.
  337. “Waitwaitwait.”
  338. >She stops.
  339. “I'll grab a hose. And some towels.”
  340. >Turning around to grab the hose, I feel her drop to the ground in anticipation.
  341. >Hose in hand, I walk over to her.
  342. >Whether she has a look of imminent pleasure or absolute terror I can't tell.
  343. >Hosing her wings down, which she readily spreads for me to get as much surface area as possible would suggest the former.
  344. >When I say she was covered in sand, I meant absolutely encaked in it.
  345. >I don't think there was a spot untouched by the stuff.
  346. >When did sand even come in contact with the majority of the places?
  347. >Thankfully she was being fairly cooperative with getting the more annoying to reach spots, stretching as needed so I could get things like her paws and joint folds.
  348. >Including getting on my back and hosing her underside as she stood over me.
  349. >In retrospect maybe not the best way to go about it, but it was still kinda hot and it was a decent way to get some shade.
  350. >Although I was worried she might drop on top of me a few times when I rinsed out her sensitive spots.
  351. >She doesn't, thankfully.
  352. >After rinsing the worst of it off, there were some spots that were refusing to be clean out, mostly the scales on her face and her wing pits.
  353. >I decide to go for the pits first.
  354. >Imagine the smell of a deadlifter after deadlifting for about two hours straight.
  355. >It wasn't pleasant.
  356. >But after turning the hose up to max it cleared out just fine, although not without a few splash backs, which she finds hilarious.
  357. >Now for her head.
  358. >She was laying it down, along with the rest of herself, on the ground when I sit down in front of it.
  359. >I had turned the hose down a bit, 'cause getting a blast of water in the face isn't enjoyable, as I had just recently re-realised.
  360. >She decides to scootch up and place her muzzle on my lap when I get comfortable.
  361. >My face only turns a little bit red.
  362. >She looks up to me with a smile, which couldn't of been easy at this angle.
  363. “This has been nice.”
  364. “'ll, I'm not done yet, I've just rinsed you off.”
  365. “Not that I mind, but you seem strangely interested in cleaning me.”
  366. “Well, um, it's a surprise.”
  367. >Confusion isn't the easiest expression to rinse out, but I was almost done so it didn't matter much anyway.
  368. >She winces a bunch when I get the worst of it out, eventually resorting to digging sand out with my fingers in the most stubborn spots.
  369. >It couldn't of been pleasant for her doing this, and I'm sure if she wasn't this comfortable with me my upper torso would of either been charred to a crisp, missing, or most likely both.
  370. >Being confident that I got the worst out of the folds of her face, she wriggles around a bit, still in my lap.
  371. >She says to me with a serious tone,
  372. “Don't ever get face scales. If I didn't have you I would be picking that out for weeks.”
  373. “Right, will do. Um, could you move a bit so I can get out please?”
  374. >She sluggishly does so, leaving the previously occupied area cold.
  375. “I'll be right back.”
  376. >I head into the garage.
  377. >As it turns out, the previous owners left, among other things, a car sponge.
  378. >Good thing, as a dinky kitchen sponge wasn't going to cover much on a dragon.
  379. >I get back out with sponge and soap in hand.
  380. >She was laying there more or less where I left her, half dozing.
  381. >After grabbing the hose again and walking up to her head,
  382. “You don't mind me getting on your back, do you?”
  383. >Smiling,
  384. “Go right ahead.”
  385. >Going to her rear with the sponge ringed out and filled with soap, I start to scrub along her tail.
  386. >It proves to be rather difficult 'cause she twitches every time I move the sponge along, eventually having to sit on it to keep it still.
  387. >It's thrashing about even with my weight on it.
  388. “Er, could you keep your tail still please?”
  389. “Yes, sorry.”
  390. >It's a lot easier to clean now, but it's taking everything she has to keep it still.
  391. >Along the tip end it's somewhat easy to get around, only the picking it up and carefully scrubbing the length while holding it at the same time proving to be a challenge.
  392. >While it's super slippery from rinsing it off.
  393. >She's no help doing this, given that she has the tail equivalent of the giggles, that she's suppressing about not in the slightest.
  394. >The area it attaches to the rest of the body with proves to be even more of a challenge.
  395. >Given that the previous hose down made her body incredibly perverse to letting things stay still on it, trying to lay still on her back while scrubbing around the entire diameter was a game of trying to keep myself not moving centered on her back while moving trying to scrub.
  396. >Which I do much more effectively than I probably should of.
  397. >Maybe I should get a job dragon cleaning?
  398. >Then again, most dragons probably don't find jungle gymming about their bodies as pleasurable as she does.
  399. >With the tail clean, I turn around to start on her back.
  400. >Scrubbing this, she shudders in pleasure with every motion of the sponge, rocking ever so slightly to the direction I move it and humming slightly with every stroke.
  401. >This entire process is much more therapeutic than I would of given it credit for, for the both of us.
  402. >Not even the increasing soreness of all of the muscles in the everything was enough to stop it.
  403. >With that done,I try my best to get all of her wings, but it's a lot of surface area I can't really lay on, so I resort to dropping the sponge down and hoping that it sliding down's enough to clean them.
  404. >She didn't seem to mind, even getting up and moving the sponge about on her wing herself to cover everything so I didn't have to drop it multiple times.
  405. >With one wing done, she throws the sponge in the air, hitting me in the face.
  406. “I swear I didn't do that on purpose!”
  407. >I laugh.
  408. “It's going to take more than that to be a problem!”
  409. >To that she laughs as well.
  410. >Doing the same thing on the other wing she manages to land it right in my hands.
  411. >We both exclaim in surprise with how well it hit the mark.
  412. >I'm suddenly hit with a bout of realization,
  413. “Oh geeze.”
  414. “What?”
  415. “You know what we should of done?”
  416. “No.”
  417. “See if anyone wanted to play volleyball. Although we didn't bring anything for that and-”
  418. “What's volleyball?”
  419. “Oh, it's a game where you volley a ball over a net and the first side to drop it looses. I think.”
  420. “Seems kind of unfair for the side that doesn't have me,”
  421. “Oh?”
  422. >She spreads her wings out.
  423. “That's a idea, but I'd think you'd break a wing doing that.”
  424. “They're stronger than they look,-”
  425. >Reaching over, she wraps a wing around me and pulls me towards her upper half.
  426. “Well then.”
  427. >I needed to get her neck next anyway.
  428. >Cleaning that standing up was a nice change, and being closer to her head let me see how much she was enjoying it.
  429. >Which was a lot.
  430. >Keeping her neck this low must have been a bit of a strain, but probably worth it for her with how more thoroughly I could clean, and probably rub, it.
  431. >It's made harder with how much she won't keep herself still, but I eventually finish and make my way to her head again.
  432. >There's a fair number of different folds and weird angles around her face and under muzzle, so it's a bit more delicate than a lot of the rest of her.
  433. >To the point that I give up with the car sponge and grab a new kitchen one to do it.
  434. >She wasn't super fond of me cleaning the areas around her eyes, but she holds through.
  435. >The area around her nostrils and front of her mouth on closer inspection were covered in bits of carbon and dried blood.
  436. “There's no way I'm getting this without a bit more force, could we sit down again?”
  437. >She nods with a smile and lays her body back on the ground with a thud.
  438. >Getting back down myself, she places her muzzle back more or less with where it was before.
  439. >Well, a little bit farther back so I could get at her mouth.
  440. >It's a proper workout to get the offending mess off of her face, to the point I was worried she might get annoyed at the force, but never breaks from indifferent bliss the entire time.
  441. >Her head was much better off for doing so, it really removed a lot of inherent dirtiness I previously couldn't quite put my finger on.
  442. >She opens her eyes,
  443. “You smell weird.”
  444. “That's probably the soap still lingering around your nostrils. Have you ever cleaned yourself much?”
  445. >Shaking her head as much as she can still in my lap,
  446. “Not since,”
  447. >Her expression drops with what I think was her remembering her time with Frank long ago.
  448. >Bending over to hug her head, I feel her smile in my arms.
  449. “Sorry for bringing it up.”
  450. >She tries to say something, but can't 'cause I had her mouth clasped shut, so I loosen up.
  451. “It's not your fault, really. Frank used to wash me a lot. After I got too big to clean by himself  being rinsed off was the most he could do, and the most I could do every once in a while in a river when I found one. This is the first time in years I've been washed properly.”
  452. >We sit there for another few moments.
  453. “Well, I still need to get your limbs, under your wings, and,-”
  454. “Ok,”
  455. >She pulls her head out and looks at me, with a sincere smile on her face.
  456. “Please get my sides next.”
  457. “Can do.”
  458. >Scrubbing the sides down was probably the easiest part so far, just side to side (Well, mostly one side, it's a lot harder to go against the scale direction than with).
  459. >The back half of her sides seem to be the hottest part of her body, to the point that a little bit of steam would come off when I scrubbed at it.
  460. >Trying to clean the underside of her wing was like trying to clean a ceiling, if the ceiling couldn't keep still, and would sometimes drop on your head when it got tired.
  461. >Eventually it gets to the point she gives up trying to suspend them in air and leaves them just sitting on my head as I scrubbed between her wing fingers.
  462. >Getting to her front legs, by now cleaning her was a breeze, getting the length scrubbed down in no time.
  463. >Her front paws required a bit more finesse, requiring pulling out the smaller kitchen sponge again.
  464. >Sitting at them, scrubbing out between each finger I wondered what a dragon salon might be like.
  465. >It'd probably be advisable to at lease wear light chainmail while sharpening claws to prevent accidental chest punctures.
  466. >Something I was rapidly wishing I also had as she moved each finger about in my hands.
  467. >I finish unscathed, but a few too many close calls for my liking.
  468. >Her hind legs are mostly the same as the front, except for the digitigrade-ness of them.
  469. >A word I learned from the reading I mentioned previously.
  470. >And that her toes were probably a lot more prone to accidental dismemberment than her fingers were.
  471. >I opt to try and avoid being in front of them as much as possible.
  472. >Now finally for her underside.
  473. >She's about to flip over like she did last time, but,
  474. “'Ang on!”
  475. “What is it?”
  476. “I just cleaned your back,-”
  477. “...Ok, are you going to clean me standing up?”
  478. “Yea.”
  479. “Oh, ok.”
  480. >She seems somewhat disappointed that she couldn't get more belly rubs, but then quickly realizes that it felt just as good standing up.
  481. >Lying on my back, I start at the base of her neck and make my way down, probably a bit slower than I would of otherwise to stop her from squirming about as much.
  482. >Dragons are light enough to fly, but are still heavy enough I didn't want her to drop on me.
  483. >I do this for what felt like way too long, stopping just before area where her tail attaches, got the message enough last time.
  484. >Now I'm finally done.
  485. “Here's the sponge.”
  486. >She looks at me in confusion.
  487. “There was one spot I figured you'd rather get.”
  488. >...!
  489. >Taking the sponge in mouth, she reaches around to get the last spot.
  490. >I turn about in place to leave her to it.
  491. >A spit out of the sponge is my message that she's done.
  492. >She's disgusted with the taste of soap in her mouth.
  493. “...I don't think I'm going to be able to use that sponge again.”
  494. >Hearing this, she grabs the sponge again, throws it into the air and burns it in a impressive display of fiery destruction.
  495. >Killing two birds with one flamethrower, it seemed to fix her mouth soap problem.
  496. >After she shakes her mouth out of the absolute last of it,
  497. “How's it feel being clean?”
  498. >Shaking herself out a bit, and moving her limbs around,
  499. “Like the day I was hatched!”
  500. >Turning around fast enough to almost knock me over with the displaced air, she grapple hugs me.
  501. >Still slightly damp, she also places her head over my shoulder and down my back, giving me a slightly more enveloped embrace.
  502. >Although the current temperature should take care of the dampness fairly quickly.
  503. >Made pulling the towels out kinda pointless.
  504. >Giving it a moment,
  505. “I'm still kinda dirty you know, especially after all of that rolling around on the ground I was just doing.”
  506. >She lets go, instead opting to put her front paws on my shoulders.
  507. >Which are rather weighty.
  508. “You, are the single best thing I can say to wander into my life in a very long time. And I thank you with everything I can muster.”
  509. >To that I couldn't do anything but have a big stupid smile on my face.
  510. “You know what, I, wish I had something better to say, but I really don't. I pretty much feel the same way.”
  511. >She lets go, sitting in front of me with a slight hint of tears running down her face.
  512. >Turning around, about to take off again,
  513. “WAIT!”
  514. >Her neck bends around to look at me.
  515. “Give me me ten minuets in the shower, and there's one more thing I have for you.”
  516. “Ok, I'll be back really soon.”
  517. >She takes off, clearing off some of the dirt on me, but not nearly enough to really clean me.
  518. >The shower was most welcome, it was nice to be actually clean for the first time all day.
  519. >I walk back outside, she's not in the back garden but I can hear a rustling in the trees close by that was unmistakably her.
  520. >From the distant treeline she launches herself out of, struggling to hold onto a bloody mangled carcass.
  521. >Oh come on, I just cleaned her.
  522. >She lands with the heaviest thud she's ever landed with, enough to knock over some precariously perched items in the kitchen.
  523. >Nothing important, but still something I'll have to pick up later.
  524. >This lump of brown fur and antler is the single largest deer I think I've ever seen in my life.
  525. >And I've seen my fair share of deer, mostly the ones going into my back garden and eating all of the strawberries I tried to grow that one time.
  526. >Sitting proudly over her kill,
  527. “There's no way I was leaving you without something, I've been following this food for a few weeks now and was planning to eat it really soon, but I thought I should share it with you for  cleaning me so well.”
  528. >I hadn't had venison in a long time, and was actually somewhat watering in the mouth at the thought.
  529. “'ll thanks!, I'd most defiantly do it again, especially for something like this.”
  530. >She smiles,
  531. “I was almost worried that you wouldn't like it, I know a lot of humans don't like the sight of food guts, so I'm glad you do.”
  532. >Pulling a leg off, she throws it into the air, engulfing it in fire it on the way down and catches it with her mouth again in one smooth motion.
  533. >She hands, (well, mouths), the huge piece of leg to me, which I struggle to hold on to, eventually opting to sitting it upright on the hoof and ripping chunks off of it on my knees with my hands and mouth.
  534. >With roman company, right?
  535. >Her muzzle is covered in deer blood and guts as she pulled chunks off with her mouth, launching them in the air and cooking them mid air like she did with the leg.
  536. >I think normally she would do this leaving the meat chunks on the ground and flamethrowing  them without the aerobatics, but I think she's trying not to burn the grass.
  537. >We're eating this huge carcass out for at least three quarters of a hour.
  538. >Well, mostly her.
  539. >I had a literal handful with just the leg, which eventually gets handed off to her when I absolutely engorge myself on what I can, which she takes with ecstatic glee.
  540. >The bits of skeleton that are left are taken care off when the dragon picks them up and launches them into the forest behind my house.
  541. >Can't do much about the rest of the bloody mess though.
  542. >What I can do though is put a bit of soap into the kitchen sponge and clean off her muzzle, again.
  543. >After doing that, she nuzzles my neck in thanks.
  544. >Stopping in realization,
  545. “Um, after eating all of that, I can't fly until at least tomorrow. Do you mind if I sleep here for tonight?”
  546. “Actually, that perfect!”
  547. >She looks at me confused.
  548. “Although you'll have to get over the fence.”
  549. >Still confused, she looks at the brick portion of the fence that extends a short distance before it turns into wood.
  550. “I think I can climb over that. Why?”
  551. “You know I said I had a surprise for you, right?”
  552. “Yes.”
  553. “Well, you also remember when I said the garage was filled to the brim and you wouldn't fit in there?”
  554. “Somewhat.”
  555. “That was only somewhat true, a while ago.”
  556. “Ok,”
  557. >She walk over to the brick fence.
  558. >A short hop, which she struggled to pull off even that much, and she grabs the top with her front paws, managing to pull herself up and over.
  559. >Another thud later and she's waiting for me to get over myself.
  560. >The door's way less effort though.
  561. >We both walk to the garage, to which I unlock and throw open the door of.
  562. >We stand there for a few moments.
  563. >'ang on, it's not raining.
  564. >I look up, and the sight of the contents was enough for her to water up.
  565. “Is that a bed?”
  566. “Yea, there was a mattress shop closing down with everything massively marked down and I though- gak-”
  567. >She hugs me the most I think she ever had since we first met. Wings 'n all.
  568. “I haven't been in a bed. In. Years.”
  569. “I hope it's enough mattresses for you, I think the delivery guy was fairly fed up after pulling out the sixth one.”
  570. >Calling it a bed was a slight overstatement, it was really just some mattresses stacked on top of each other and arranged so it would be (hopefully) big enough for her to lay on, with some covers to round it out.
  571. >Still hugging me,
  572. “Thank. You.”
  573. >I don't think she cared much about semantics.
  574. “Yea. … You can get on you know.”
  575. >She lets go, walking onto the pile of mattresses and plopping down.
  576. >I'm glad I decided to make sure to have enough to go down three layers of mattress, she's definitely going through the first two at least.
  577. “Comfortable?”
  578. >She looks over and nods, too overcome with joy for much else.
  579. >I walk in and close the garage door, leaving us in mostly darkness, save for the light by the door leading to the rest of the house and some small windows lighting the immediate area.
  580. “Alright, one more thing.”
  581. >There's a stack of movies I have fairly close by that I kept in here (Not super needed at a moments notice 'cause NAS, y' know?) that I pull out and place on a open area of mattress.
  582. “I thought we could make this a bit of a movie night.”
  583. “Um, you need a TV for movies, right?”
  584. “Pfft, we don't need a TV!”
  585. >A few switches later and we're greeted to the desktop of the thinkpad I still have from years ago projected onto the wall in front of us.
  586. “You have a paper thin TV in the wall?”
  587. >I shake my head,
  588. “It's a projector throwing light at the wall.”
  589. “Wow, the last thing like this I saw, it was this box with a curved side that glowed pictures.”
  590. “That'd be a CRT, I have one around here somewhere but,... Anyway, movies.”
  591. >She nods.
  592. >I spread them out so she can get a better look at them, and she moves them about with her muzzle until she finds one, which she pulls out.
  593. “Eragon, really? It's because it has a dragon on the front, isn't it?”
  594. “Maybe. It's also kinda shiny.”
  595. “...I don't even know why I have that, I think someone gave that to me. Well, if you really want to watch it.”
  596. >She gives it to me, and I stick the disc in (I never ripped this, for reasons of indifference) and turn the light off.
  597. >The movie starts and we're greeted with the opening credits.
  598. “Can I lay on your head? There isn't a lot of room in here and-”
  599. “Yea, that's fine.”
  600. >I climb up her back and lie down on top of her head.
  601. >Maybe not quite as comfy as a good couch, but I'm watching this rather bad dragon movie laying down on a actual dragon, so ambiance or something.
  602. >It's not quite as terrible as I remember it, mostly due to echo chamber effect about how bad it was being my only real memory of it.
  603. >But it's hardly a masterpiece.
  604. >Some of the film goes by,
  605. “Saphiras supposed to be a girl, right?”
  606. “Apparently.”
  607. “Then why is she played by a guy?”
  608. “Really? That's a guy?”
  609. “I guess humans can't tell the difference, but that's definitely a male dragon.”
  610. >Huh.
  611. “I'd of never guessed.”
  612. >Probably a case of either he was the only dragon available for filming, or looked the part the most or something.
  613. >The movie ends on that cliffhanger that'll never get fulfilled on.
  614. “That movie wasn't very good.”
  615. “That's what most people said when it released originally.”
  616. “Hmn.”
  617. >Obviously really tired by now, I climb off, turn everything off and pull out a sleeping bag and place it next to the mattress pile.
  618. >She moves about a bit before settling in a position not unlike a dog might curled into a dog bed.
  619. “Night.”
  620. “Goodnight.”
  621. >As I'm about to get into the sleeping bag, she grabs the back of my pajamas and plants me on top of where her limbs were conjugating.
  622. “It's a bit cold in here, right.”
  623. “...,Yea, it is.”
  624. >I lay down, with her putting a wing over me to trap the heat in and me using part of her neck as a pillow.
  625. >It's a lot more comfy than the description might lead you to believe.
  626. >Or just as comfy, I'nno.
  627. >It doesn't take long to drift off, especially with the soothing breathing right next to my ear.
  629. >The only indication that it was the next morning was the watch I forgot to take off going off at the time I usually get up to get off for work.
  630. >It seemed to wake up the dragon as well, if the shifting underneath me was any indication.
  631. “Do you always make so much noise in the morning?”
  632. “Not today usually, but usually I take my watch off.”
  633. “Well, I'm up now.”
  634. >She picks me up with her mouth again and places me off to the side, so she can stretch.
  635. >The depression in the mattresses is notably shallower than when she got on.
  636. >I open the garage door, letting a modest amount of light in.
  637. >Not quite the blazing amounts usually associated with these kind of moments, as it was still sunrise.
  638. >She tries to roll out of “bed”, unsuccessful the first couple of attempts but eventually manages to gain footing.
  639. >I sit down where she was previously resting, a notable amount of heat coming off where she just was.
  640. >Making it outside, she turns around and sits on the driveway.
  641. “You've been so nice to me, I, -”
  642. >She wells up again,
  643. “I don't, - ”
  644. >Getting up,
  645. “I don't know many people. At all. And you, even with whatever dragon-isms you have going for you, have been the nicest and most honest person out of that small lot I do get to talk to. A proper breath of fresh air from my, usual, company. For just that I'd be nice to you to the ends of the earth.”
  646. >I walk to her and try my best to embrace her, to which she responds with maybe not the tightest, but certainly the most earnest embrace I've been on the receiving end of.
  647. >She's having a really difficult time not covering me in tears.
  648. >For what seems like never enough time, we sit there until the sun completely rises and we both realize we should stop.
  649. “You still don't mind me coming back, right?”
  650. “Never.”
  651. >With the last of her tears rolling down her face, she backs up and launches back into the sky.
  652. >It's nice to have a dragon for a friend, certainly not something I would of ever gone out of my way to have on my own accord.
  653. >But something I wouldn't ever want to be without now.
  654. >I head back inside to tidy up and relax on the couch, my body only now catching up with how sore I was everywhere.
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