acatwhowrites: (Taohun♡bros)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2015-02-04 11:28 am

'The Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death Itself,' My Foot.

title: 'The Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death Itself,' My Foot.
players: Kim Minseok/Xiumin, Zhang Yixing/Lay, Kim Joonmyun/Suho, Huang Zitao/Tao
word count: 2,350
rating: G
summary: Dragons may be vicious, but they're not uncivilised.

a.n.: Written for rarepairexo. (Original post here.)
Tao is a dragon. To keep it simpler, he is known as "it." I have no idea where they actually are in the fic, but I doubt it's Scotland.





Stars dot the blanket the sky, tucked snug in a thin bed of clouds.

Yixing traces constellations with his eyes, legs extended with his ankles crossed and arms pillowing his head. The fire he built crackles softly to his left, throwing the little camp in a dance of shadow and orange light joined by the occasional twinkle of a lightning bug.

He breathes deep and sighs, completely relaxed. This is how people should live. No differentiation between themselves and nature, a mutual push-pull of survival and protection. Just the breeze in the trees and soft shh of waves against the rocky shore.

A high sound buzzes in the air, drawing Yixing’s attention away from the stars and to a moving blot of black against the deep midnight. It shrieks closer, and he sits up with a smile.

At the peak of its crescendo, the sound breaks, and the blot dives into the water with a sharp splash.

“Tao!”

The onyx-coloured dragon waddles onto land with a twitching, barbeled fish in its jaws, wriggling excitedly and prancing to where Yixing sits to show off his kill.

For as long as he’s known the Night Fury, Yixing hasn’t ever been keen on its habit of playing with its prey before finally killing it with a quick crunch of its jaws.

He claps his hands, however, and smiles warmly. “I’m proud of you! You did well.”

Tao preens at the praise and drops the catfish to begin the sickening process of devouring it.

“I’m … . I’m going to get some more wood. You enjoy your dinner; I’ll be back.”

The dragon ignores him, already focused on nosing through the fish’s warm guts for the tender organs.

Yixing only returns when Tao bounds into the woods after him, running back and forth with whole branches off of trees to add to the much smaller bundle in Yixing’s arms.

He chops the wood into manageable logs with his hatchet and stacks them neatly a safe distance from the fire and its sparks spat up by sappy wood. The branch Tao dragged along made up for more than a couple days worth of firewood, but he scratched the dragon beneath its chin and cooed praise.

The bed of clouds slowly crawled away from the stars, giving ample light but little warmth, but Yixing didn’t like leaving a fire going throughout the night. One too many times, he rolled to the edge of the flames in his sleep.

Tao nuzzles his back and nudges his head beneath Yixing’s arm, begging for pets. “You’re such a needy dragon, you know that?”

Tao coughs a dragon laugh, pleased, and pushes his nose into Yixing’s back. It turns and uses its tail to put out the fire and spread out the hot coals and ashes, spins in a circle a few times and drops to the hot spot with a delighted sigh. A massive wing reaches to the stars and drapes over Yixing, tugging him close.

“Alright, alright. Good night.” Yixing sighs and leans against the soft, leathery belly. He tucks his legs up and pulls the wing closer, breathing in the indescribable and infinitely comforting scent of the dragon.

Tao curls around the human, settling its head over its forepaws.

It seems like no time at all when Tao is drawn from the haze of sleep by a prickling along his spine. Yixing is sleeping soundly beneath his wing, still, face tucked between a shoulder and the dragon’s side.

Lifting its head, Tao’s earlike appendages stand up and rotate left, right, and backwards, searching for something that could be a threat.

There’s nothing, not even a cricket or a frog.

The low growl is caught in its throat when there’s an explosion of sounds all at once. Human shouts, fwips of arrows let loose from bows, feet pounding the earth, and the startled yell of Yixing as he’s yanked from beneath Tao’s wing.

Enraged, Tao howls and leaps to his feet, following the masked man who drags Yixing by the arm. He’s met with vicious, slow swings of an axe that it dodges easily, ducking and weaving and swinging its claws. If Yixing was only on his back, Tao could easily burn the whole lot of them to a withered crisp.

An arrow glances off its back, and Tao snarled. Scorching hot plasma gathers in its throat, violet and deadly, when Yixing throws himself against the one holding him and runs towards the dragon.

“Tao, no!” He thrusts a hand behind him, pushing his palm towards his captor/saviour with the same plea. “Just hold on, please.”

Tao grumbles a protest, glowering at the circle of masked humans and facing them each slowly, backing closer to Yixing even as the humans tighten their grips on axes, spears, and arrows.

Yixing keeps an eye on him and the others, jerking his head to and fro. “Who are you?”

“We’re hunters.”

“Of what?”

“Dragons.”

Tao hisses. Yixing shoots a warning look to the dragon, a quiet plea to be quiet and give him time.

“Tao is my friend,” Yixing speaks slowly, keeping his hands up to calm both humans and dragon. “You cannot hurt him.” He swallows, and he feels his stomach tremble. He’s more than familiar with dragon hunters.

“You expect me to believe you’ve tamed this beast and trained it to be a companion?”

“Yes.”

“It held you in its claws—”

“Tao was protecting me. I don’t keep a fire going at night.”

“Prove it.”

Yixing blinked, glancing back at Tao. “Prove what?”

“That he’s not vicious.”

Tao growls low in his throat. “I never said he wasn’t vicious.” Yixing slowly lowers his hands. “I said he’s my friend.” The dragon glares at the humans and noses at Yixing’s shoulder until he raises his arm, then wriggled beneath it and sits hunched over, ready to leap if need be.

Yixing wants to prove the docility in the dragon, however, and scratches between the earlike appendages and down over his cheeks and jaw until the dragon’s eyes roll back into its head with a pleased purr.

The humans murmur amongst themselves. They’ve never seen anything like this. No one has.

“Who are you?”

“Yixing. This is Tao.”

“Where is your village?”

His throat seizes up a little, even after so many years. “Gone.” He swallows, hard. “It’s gone.”

“Dragons?”

Yixing shakes his head and caresses the scales between Tao’s eyes and down its nose. “Dragon hunters.”

He’d grown up in a village near the ocean. They were self-sufficient and knew no other village, although they were friendly and welcoming to any stranger who passed through or happened to stay. Their claim to fame and notoriety was the nests of dragons all around the surrounding forest and in the water.

Yixing’s people learned to accept the dragons and treated them as any other living thing. In turn, they were protected, and some dragons even “adopted” the humans, earning their trust and love.

When Yixing was still a young boy, he wandered far from home, and it took many hours to pick his way back through the woods and prickly shrubs.

The smell of smoke on the wind caught his attention first. Then the evil glow of flames in the sky towards his home.

His village was pillaged and set ablaze. Carcasses of human, animal, and dragon alike were strewn about. It was an absolute massacre.

He spent days picking through the ruins, but he never found his parents or grandparents, although some bodies were too badly mutilated to be identified at all. He did, however, find an egg among the embers of a smouldering goat house.

His fingers burned, but he pushed and pulled the egg until it was free, and he made a portable pallet to drag it outside the ruined village and to the cave he had discovered as a very young boy with his friends. They made it a secret hideaway, and it became the only home he had.

For weeks, he covered the egg with leaves and pine needles and constantly kept a fire near it, too afraid to cook it if he rolled the egg over the flames.

One night, as Yixing slept with an arm around the massive egg, he woke to a shudder, a shiver, and a loud crk skrtch crk. He stuck his little fingers into the cracked shell and pulled it off.

Two big, round, blue eyes squinted at him, and he never forgot the sheer joy of knowing something survived his village aside from him.

The dragon kicked out of the shell and struggled to roll onto its feet, fully developed and stronger than Yixing predicted. It sniffed the human boy all over, coughed a delighted greeting, and licked him all over until Yixing was dripping with saliva but laughing with pure love and joy.

“You can’t hurt Tao; he’s done nothing to anyone,” Yixing pleas. Tao has been with him since its birth. The worst the dragon had ever done to Yixing was sneeze in his face and singe the hair off the top of his head. It hurt like the burn after sitting out in the sun too long, but his hair did grow back.

The masked stranger is adamant, though. “He’s a dragon. It’s in his nature to hunt and kill humans.”

“Not Tao. You don’t know him.”

“I don’t need to know him.”

“Well, maybe you should!” He rarely raises his voice. Tao urgently nudges his side, big eyes slanted with worry.

Arguing is getting them nowhere. It’s late; Yixing is tired, and he’s sick of people assuming the worst without even trying to understand.

One of the men behind the one who has been doing all the talking steps forward and rests a hand on the other man’s shoulder. “I think we can trust him.”

“Why?” The reply is bitter and hot with frustration. He doesn’t know why he’s even wasting his time. Killing a human along with a dragon would just be collateral damage.

“That dragon is a Night Fury and nearly fell over from being pet like a dog. How bad can it really be?” He lets his hand fall back to his side and sets his bow and quiver of arrows on the grass. The mask follows, and Yixing squints a little to make out the man’s face. “I’m Minseok. This is Joonmyun,” he gestures to the apparent leader. He takes a tentative step forward, hand raised. “May I … ?”

Yixing chews on his lip and looks to Tao, who looks back with narrowed eyes. “Don’t be like that. If we can be friends, this will be better for all of us. If you don’t like them,” he adds as he walks the dragon closer, “you can eat him.”

The dragon noticeably perks up, tail nearly wagging behind it.

Minseok chuckles. “Please don’t let it eat me.” He wiggles his fingers a little.

“He prefers fish. Anything but eel.”

Tao sniffs the offered fingers, nuzzles them even, and promptly sneezes a shot of fire into the ground.

The crowd of humans holler and ready their weapons again, but Joonmyun tells them to stop. He drops his mask and axe and approaches with an outstretched arm as well.

Tao turns to the the remaining humans. They look at one another, some shrug, and their masks and weapons join the others in a pile.

Yixing sighs, so relieved he could cry, and Tao promptly sits beside him, tail curled and eyes wide and curious as the humans overcome the fight or flight instinct to instead befriend.

The dragon is easily won over with chin scratches.

“I told you,” Yixing says. “He is my very best friend. If you respect him, he has no need to feel anything but love for you.” His fingers find a particularly sensitive spot beneath the dragon’s armpit, and it flops to the ground.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Joonmyun comments later, after everyone has passed whatever test to dragon had in mind and is lounging in the small clearing around another fire. “Everything I’ve ever been taught, everything we all know about dragons, is a lie.”

Yixing stares at his feet. “I’ve never known anything different. My village has always had dragons. They were all killed when the village was attacked.”

Joonmyun doesn’t look at him. Man Code prevents it. “I am sorry.”

Minseok joins them, grinning crookedly. “I cannot believe we are actually petting a dragon. This is like some bizarre nightmare, but it’s really a dream.”

“Dragons are all like Tao.” Yixing smiles softly, a sense of pride in his chest. “They are as unique as people, but they will treat you well if you treat them well. It’s very simple.” Tao struts to the small group and lies behind Yixing, tail sweeping around him in a subtle show of possessiveness. Yixing kisses his nose.

An idea grows in Joonmyun’s mind like a fed flame. “Would you come with us?”

Dragon and human look at him curiously. “Where?”

“Our village.” Minseok sits forward eagerly. “You could teach us all about dragons. A life like this,” he gestures to them, “is much more appealing than living in constant fear. Especially if it’s needless and can be avoided.”

A lightning bug lands on Tao’s nose. It goes cross-eyed trying to watch it.

Yixing pets the dragon’s scaly tail. There are pros and cons to the offer. His gut feeling is yes, go with them, but Tao has never been in a village before. He’s only ever known the open skies and forest. He sighs and sags against the dragon’s side; Tao sniffs him curiously.

“What do you think, Tao?” he looks up at the dragon. “You up for some more learning experiences?”

When a couple of men join them with a basket of fish, Tao is quickly convinced and shows a toothy smile in consent.
END