Author: Terra Saltt PM
Tino's oddly colored eyes have landed him in many tight spots his entire life, but none quite like this. When a terrifying dragon adds Tino to his horde of gems and jewels, he finds himself wondering who else is after him…and why? And are Tino's eyes the only thing this dragon wants? SuFin AU. Dragon!Berwald x Tino. Not bestiality, darn it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Fantasy - Finland & Sweden - Chapters: 8 - Words: 25,589 - Reviews: 173 - Favs: 101 - Follows: 95 - Updated: 02-04-13 - Published: 09-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8522810
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
When Berwald lay down in the middle of his treasure room so Tino could climb off his back, the boy immediately went to the bed and pulled a pelt over himself. His ankle hurt, his hands were shaking, and he just wanted to block out everything for five minutes. All of this was too much. The fading adrenaline rush was aching. The gravity of his situation was dismal. Tino would give anything to go back to the simple life he led in his cottage right about now. The beast nudged him with his nose from outside the furry cocoon, and out of his jumpiness, Tino flinched and curled even more in on himself.
"You alright?" Berwald asked. His terrifying anger and dominance from minutes before was gone and replaced with concern.
It was a tad unsettling how fast he could change his demeanor. Honestly, Tino didn't know what to think of his captor anymore. At times, he was gentle and caring. Other times, he was ferocious and possessive. He was a dragon. Tino felt foolish to be surprised when he acted like one.
"Won't let them have you," Berwald assured when the other didn't answer. Tino felt the bed shift as he lay down with the boy in much the same way they had been, but Tino still wouldn't come out from hiding. "Safe."
Yes, Tino knew he was safe. Berwald had shown that just now when he protected him from the faceless creatures that attacked for the second time. They were coming back, and if they were willing to take on a dragon just to get to the human, then they would probably be coming back again. They had tracked him all the way up the mountain, which meant that Tino probably wasn't safe anywhere. Except here, that is, in this dragon's cave. Tino was stuck, trapped, unable to leave even if he wanted to. His heart sunk as he realized his fate had been sealed.
A pair of gems was all he was destined to become.
After a pause, Berwald spoke again. "Why do they want you?"
"…I don't know," Tino murmured. He'd been asking himself that, but there wasn't much he could think of. Usually people were trying to get rid of him, not steal him.
The dragon gave it a moment of thought. "Could they want your eyes, too?"
Tino let out a heavy sigh. "That could end up being the only thing valuable about me."
Another pause passed before Tino felt the cover over him being tugged down. "Come out, Tino. Something wrong?"
The Finn couldn't stop the flickering fire light of the echoing room from flooding his eyes. It was only then that he found his vision blurry, and he rubbed them before tears could fall. He hated the unpredictability of this dragon. He hated being in the dark to everything that was happening to him. And most of all, he hated being only what people thought of his cursed eyes. His whole life, he was nothing but an outcast. Now he wasn't even human. "Wh…why do you care, Berwald? What do you get out of this, exactly?"
The dragon looked a little stumped. "I want you to be okay."
"But why?" The boy was desperate for even the tiniest hint that he was wrong.
"Because you are mine."
"I am, or my eyes?"
The dragon blinked. "It is…the same."
Tino felt a pang of despair at that. His heart was breaking. He was going to spend the rest of his life with this beast, as nothing more than a object. "So you don't distinguish me from any other gem in your horde?" he asked quietly.
The dragon shook his head and nuzzled his cheek. "You are my favorite gem. The prettiest. That is why nobody else can have you."
Tino heard enough. Was that supposed to cheer him up? No, it sounded like insanity. It was greed. Of course! It was stupid to think any different of a dragon. The strange behavior was most likely obsession for the 'treasure' he thought Tino was. The boy turned over and faced away, feeling a tear track across his cheek. Berwald noticed it sparkle in the torch light before the boy's face had disappeared from his vision.
"Why do you cry?" he asked. "Is that not enough to make you happy?"
Berwald just didn't understand. That was something Tino knew, at least, and he couldn't have too many ill feelings for someone that was more clueless than wicked. Tino didn't answer and simply lifted the blanket over his head again. He was done with this. There was no explaining such human things to a monster that had no equivalent. There was no use in humoring himself if all Tino could be was an object for his amusement. He felt like he shouldn't be caring so much about what a dragon thought. There were more pressing matters at hand, like figuring out why Tino was being hunted by the faceless ghouls of the night.
There was a low rumble, almost like thunder, that came from the dragon above. "Fine," he said bluntly. The bed shifted until the dragon's presence wasn't there, and the heavy footfalls went towards the exit. "I will be on guard." It was obvious by the tone of his voice and the atmosphere that Berwald was irritated, if not mad. Great, just what the boy needed. His only protector was annoyed with him. It might only be a matter of time before Berwald got bored of Tino and didn't care for him at all. When that happened, Tino didn't want to think about it.
The boy was alone now. The only sound was the crackle of a torch here and there and the shuffle of cloth when he moved. If he closed his eyes and imagined hard enough, he almost felt like he was back at home in his cottage. He was alone there, too. As he tried to go back to sleep after such a frightening experience, a wandering thought entered his mind, like a cruel joke. This really wasn't much different from being at home, after all. No matter where he was, Tino would always be alone. And right when he thought he was actually making a friend…
The next morning, Tino silently ate the rest of the bread from the day before as breakfast. It wasn't as fresh, but it was edible. He still wondered where it came from, but it wasn't like he could ask. His caretaker was as quiet as he was. In fact, Berwald was aloof. He spent most of his time at the mouth of the cave while Tino practiced walking on his ankle. After the exertion from last night, it went back to being incredibly sore and Tino eventually gave up. The silver walking cane was his crutch as he finally got the courage to go outside. It wasn't so much of his fear of being spirited away again as it was his uneasiness of Berwald.
The dragon sat on his folded paws and didn't seem to take notice when Tino came to his side. He watched the scenery in a dazed way, like he wasn't entirely there. Perhaps after standing guard all night, he was tired. And if he were tired and still mad, he could also be grumpy. A grumpy dragon was not a pleasant thing.
Sometime around noon, the rain started to fall. It made everything seem gray and lifeless. It collected in little pools just outside the cave's mouth where the two sat in mutual silence, an awkward air floating around them and forbidding them to speak. There was nothing to talk about. Nothing they wanted to, anyway. The only sound was the rain and Berwald's steady breathing.
Tino leaned against the cave wall and started to make a list in his head. Whenever he was in a bad situation, he always made lists. They could be of anything, and it helped take his mind off troubling thoughts and impossible circumstances. Right now, he was making a list of positives. If he was going to ever come to terms with his imprisonment, he had to try and stay positive. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to look forward to.
He had a great view from up here, at least. That was number one. Number two was if Berwald went back to being a nice dragon, then there was someone to talk to. Sure, he tended to say little, but it was better than nothing. Three: he wouldn't have to hunt for his food anymore if Berwald kept bringing it.
Speaking of food, Tino was starting to get hungry again. There wasn't anything else in the cave to eat, so he would have to ask Berwald. Oh, but he really didn't want to…he was afraid of what might happen. The beast was so unpredictable that literally anything could come of it. He didn't know if Berwald had been waiting this whole time for Tino to speak, or if he didn't want the quiet to break. Most of the time he was gentle when it came to his prized possession, but there was a lot of uncertainty at the moment. Tino didn't even know what the dragon was mad about. It was obvious that something was still bothering him.
The boy stole a glance at the dragon to judge what he could from his current demeanor, only to find that Berwald was already looking at him. They locked eyes, neither daring to move or speak. What was going on in that dragon's head? Was this good or bad? Tino didn't know what to do, so his stomach acted for him. A whiny growl broke the silence and Tino couldn't help but feel his face flush in embarrassment.
"Hungry." It wasn't a question, but an acknowledgement. At least it didn't sound angry. Tino nodded and the dragon stood up on all fours. His blue eyed gaze still didn't leave the other. "I'll get food. Stay here."
"Wha- You mean you are just leaving me here?" Tino asked in surprise. A little panic welled up in his throat when Berwald confirmed. "But what if those things come back again? You won't be here to stop them!"
"The faceless ones are shadows. It is day, they cannot come out until night," the dragon explained.
"How do you know? I've only seen them die in fire."
""They didn't need to catch fire, they simply vanish when there is too much light."
Tino wasn't quite sure, but then again, Berwald was much closer to the battle than him. He probably knew their weakness after fighting them twice. The evidence of the apparition's ferocity was clear as day on the dragon's freshly scratched and marked yellow belly. The injuries from the first fight were already almost gone. No wonder he didn't care for aid when he healed so quickly.
The boy stepped back as the dragon walked into the rain. It bounced off his water proof blue scales, making them gather a wet shin, and the dragon only looked back once before starting his climb up the cliff wall. His slithering tail and a few falling pebbles were the last things Tino saw before he was completely alone. It was nice to be able to breathe easier with all the tension in the cave suddenly gone. The boy went back to his listing, but hardly anything else came to mind.
A few minutes later, Tino went inside. He couldn't hear the rain as he crawled into bed in a tired heap. It was unsettling being out there all alone. Besides, the boy hardly slept at all last night. Perhaps he could take a nap while he waited for his lunch. There wasn't much else to do, otherwise. He snuggled up with his cheek pressed into soft rabbit fur and closed his eyes.
Not this again! Just how many times was he going to have this dream?
Wait a second…there were no mirrors. The boy was still in bed, and the voice calling to him echoed off the cave walls. Was he really dreaming?
"Please come out, little one!"
Tino sat up abruptly in his bed. He wasn't asleep, he was actually hearing that familiar voice this time! It was coming from outside the cave, so he quickly grabbed his silver cane and hobbled as fast as he could, ready to solve this haunting mystery. The voice kept calling until he called back. "I'm coming!"
Upon being outside again, Tino found nothing. He took a few steps into the rain for a moment to look around, but there was nobody there. The voice had stopped, and Tino was only getting himself wet. With a sigh, he turned around to go back in.
"Hello, Tino." The boy jumped back when he was confronted with a very tall man standing in the mouth of the cave, nearly knocking him over in shock. He stood there giving a youthful kindly smile, but the one thing Tino was the most shocked to see was the color of his eyes. They were purple, just like Tino's. The man held an arm under his chest and gave a small bow to go with his greeting. "It is good to see you again."
There was something absurdly familiar about this person, but Tino couldn't say he'd ever seen him before in his life. Not just his voice, but his appearance. "Who-who are you? How did you get here?"
The man gave a small laugh, like a light chuckle. He took a step aside and motioned for Tino to come forward. "You will catch a cold if you stay in the rain. Come, I will tell you all you want to know where it is dry."
Tino did as the other requested and sat down to get off his ankle. He stared up at the other, letting the silver cane rest to his side, waiting for some answers. The man stayed standing, looking the Finn over just as the Finn was looking him over.
"Do you remember the little birdie from yesterday?" the man asked. Tino nodded slowly.
"Yes, it talked… Oh!" Now Tino knew why the voice sounded so familiar! "Could you be that red bird?"
"Correct!" the man clapped happily. "But I am not a bird now, am I?"
"No, you aren't. How are you suddenly human?"
"I've always been human," was the answer. "I just take different forms. You may call me Ivan."
"Wow…so you are a shape shifter?"
"Exactly. My wings will be big enough to carry you after all! Do you still wish to be free?"
Tino nodded, then sadly sighed when he remembered last night. "I do, but…I can't."
Ivan's expression turned inquisitive. "Why is that?"
"There are these scary creatures after me… The dragon doesn't just trap me here, he protects me from them. They will snatch me up the second I leave, and I don't know how far I would have to go for them to not find me."
"Ah, so if you had another form of protection, you would leave?"
Tino gave it a quick thought. "Well, yes…I would. But I don't know anything that could match a dragon that would be willing to protect me."
"Look no further!" Ivan beamed and pointed to himself.
"You?" the boy raised an eyebrow. "Are you really stronger than a dragon?"
"And…you would actually want to protect me? Why?"
"Because we are one in the same." Ivan leaned forward and widened his eyes, making their color shimmer. It looked odd the way he did that with his childish grin. "Pray tell, little one, do you know why your eyes are that hue, like mine?"
"No, I don't. The dragon seems to think they are amethysts, but I don't know how I could have been born with rocks for eyes."
The man chuckled. "Actually, the dragon is correct. Your eyes are nothing more than glassy amethysts and you use them to see with the help of very powerful magic. Also," he leaned in closer, close enough for Tino to feel his breath. Oddly, it had no smell. Ivan's voice dropped to a whisper, as if there were others around to hear his secret. "You were not born with them! And neither was I." He came away, practically giggling at the look of amazement on Tino's face. Tino's eyes were actually amethysts? But why? Upon asking, Ivan merely wagged his finger. "Now, now. It is your right to find out if you come with me, little one."
Tino knew he should be jumping at this chance of escape. He should be overjoyed to finally be in the presence of the answers he sought, but something held him back. He stood, but he didn't take Ivan's outstretched gloved hand yet. A strange feeling nagged him in the back of his mind, like this was too good to be true. Before Tino could swallow that feeling and take the hand, there was the sound of scratching and falling pebbles through the heavy pattering rain. Ivan heard it, too, and he turned around just in time to see Berwald's return.
The dragon climbed down from the cliff wall and onto the ledge before looking inside his cave to see the stranger with Tino. The boy panicked and quickly dashed behind Ivan like a frightened rabbit, but Ivan held his ground. In fact, that smile never left his face, even when the dragon dropped the clothed bundle in his mouth and began to growl. The smile only grew wider.
"Greetings," he said without any hint of fear. "I believe you have something of mine, da?"
Terra uses Cliffhanger! Was it effective?
What is Ivan planning? What is the secret to Tino's eyes? Will Berwald be able to protect Tino? Do these pants make me look fat?! Stay tuned!