Losing my memory stick isn't the last nail in my coffin, but we're certainly getting down to the end...Anyway, I've been infatuated with Dragon Booster since it came out, and even more infatuated with ArthaxMoordryd ever since..."Pride of the Hero," I think. Not enough of this pairing out there...

Disclaimer: I own nothing, regretfully.

Of Ideals and Bedsprings

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Artha had no overly romantic ideals about his bedmate.

His kisses didn't taste like vanilla, and his lips were rough and chapped. He smelled like asphalt and dragon, the same odor of everyone else in Dragon City. His long white hair had no particular scent beyond that of too much hair gel. His hands were calloused and his too-pale skin bore several nearly translucent scars earned from too many crashes to the pavement. Gunmetal eyes were always ringed by dark shadows and filled with some form of contempt, and the unibrow look should best be left to his father.

The bed they sometimes frequented wasn't huge and didn't have silk sheets and fluffy pillows, but was instead a cramped twin mattress with springs that defied gravity, threadbare cotton sheets, and pillows that were almost flat.

Their relationship wasn't flashy or even public; there were few people that would approve of the match if it were. Their rapport could be compared to Romeo and Juliet, but neither were actually planning on dieing if the other kicked the bucket first. Artha contemplated which one of them was Romeo and which was Juliet briefly, and then derailed that train of thought. Moordryd would kill him if he knew that Artha had been comparing him to a girl.

The dark-haired teen stretched out on the confined bed, his left hand stopping abruptly as it struck the wall near his head. Muttering a soft curse and sitting up, he wondered vaguely why Moordryd would settle for this. The pampered son of the wealthy Word Payne could have just about any girl, or guy, he wanted. Why the white-haired teenager had chosen Artha was beyond comprehension.

Artha swung his legs over the edge of the bed a twisted his back slightly, relishing in the loud pops from his spine. Glancing at the battered clock on the wall (which was notorious for always having the wrong time, no matter how many times it was reset), he noted vaguely that Moordryd was four hours late...Taking in account the clock's vindictive nature, that translated to about 30 minutes. The door creaked open and Artha started slightly.

Speak of the devil and he'll come.

"You're—"

"—Late. Yeah, Penn, I know. I can't help it if Pyrah's crew is a pain to outrun." Moordryd cut him off waspishly. The younger Payne stepped forward brusquely and settled himself on Artha's lap, pressing his lips against the other's without preamble.

That was their system. No soft words, no gentle gazes...Just a firm kiss and then a roll in the hay. Sometimes, they would simply talk (races, teammates, the weird things that Cain and Parm do in their spare time). Sometimes they would argue (Moordryd cheating, Artha losing, Artha losing BECAUSE of Moordryd cheating).

Then, there were the quiet times. The times they would just sit and, although Moordryd would sooner die than admit it, cuddle. A bruising kiss placed on Artha's lips, and then Moordryd would just lean against his dark-haired partner, wrapping slim arms around him. The other would accept this simple embrace and tuck Moordryd's head under his chin and lean against the wall.

'Apparently this is a quiet time.' Artha mused silently as he felt a gel-stiffed mullet tuck under his chin and said mullet's owner shift slightly in his lap. Artha slid back and leaned against the wall, tugging the white-haired deadweight in his lap with him. Unfortunately, he misjudged his position on the bed they had memorized and sat back on a spring that seemed intent on raping him.

Blue eyes scanned Moordryd's relaxed face, pale lips curled into a content frown, gray eyes were shut, and his whole face seemed years younger. Artha slapped himself mentally for thinking such a sappy thought and then continued inspecting Moordryd. His arms were wrapped loosely around Artha's middle and his long legs were stretched out delicately to Artha's right, bent at the knees to accommodate the proximity of the wall.

Artha wasn't sure if he had the willpower to disturb the peaceful teen in his lap.

Then again, that spring was really getting on his nerves.

At first, he tried to delicately slide to the left and away from the demon spring. He encountered a problem in the form of the spring snagging onto his pants. Artha then tried to get into a half-standing position by leaning against the wall and putting his weight on the balls of his feet. The spring came up with him and tried to pull the mattress up as well. In fear of ripping his pants, Artha sat down quickly.

Despite the blue-eyed teen's careful attempts, Moordryd still cracked one bleary eye open and stared bemusedly at his disgruntled partner. He opened the other eye and lifted his head, grinning wryly, "Having troubles, stable brat?"

Artha, having given up all effort at cautiously dealing with the possessed spring, glared at Moordryd and shoved him off his lap and onto the floor. It's not that the nickname actually meant anything odious now (it was actually a cute pet name in Moordryd's opinion), it was just an aggravation Artha didn't need to deal with. Finally releasing his innocent pants from the malevolent spring's grasp, he turned his glare on the bed (which was really FULL of wicked springs just WAITING to get the best of Artha).

"We need a new bed."

Artha expected a simple sigh, a shake of the head, or a snappy comment. What he got was a soft chuckle and a pale hand snaking up and yanking him to the floor. While Artha was sprawled ungracefully on the hard stone floor Moordryd invaded his lap again, this time tangling slender fingers in dark hair and pulling him down for a kiss.

Instead of an unyielding, rough kiss (all teeth and tongue and crushing force), Moordryd's lips were gentle against Artha's. This gentleness is what caused Artha to jolt, eyes wide and lips parted and unresponsive. The raven-head managed to recover his brain as the other started to pull away, and he swiftly pulled Moordryd closer and kissed back, just as gently.

It was undemanding and soft, unlike an of the kisses they had shared before. In a rush, all those romantic thoughts Artha had never had came rushing to him. Moordryd's kiss was sweeter than vanilla, and his chapped lips felt plush against Artha's own. Asphalt, dragon, and hair gel all blended to form a musky scent that really was Moordryd's own. Calloused fingertip felt smooth as then ghosted over Artha's cheek and the jagged, paler-than-pale blemishes looked like graceful transparent art gracing porcelain skin. When gunmetal eyes opened, they shone with a sort of soft contentment, and the dark rings under them only served to draw the eye to those satisfied gray orbs.

Maybe...Artha did have overly romantic ideals about his bedmate.

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I feel...Sort of bad because I'm writing this and not any of my Jak and Daxter or Avatar fics...But those plot bunnies curled up and died a horrible death when my USB memory stick kicked the bucket. I have to rewrite like...5 whole chapters of everything I ever had!

Still, this plot bunny threatened to eat my soul if it wasn't written. When I kindly pointed out that the Firestorm bunny and my friend James had already done that, it threatened to eat my Pocky. When I was debating whether to post this or not (at 2:30 in the morning) it started to gnaw on my impossibly soft and lacy pj pants. So, here I am. Posting my first DB fic, please be kind and review, AND SPREAD THE ARTHAxMOORDRYD LOVE!