I have good reasons for this long break. Well...ONE good reason, I'm holding out for someone to write their own M/A fics.

As for Dragon Booster or anything else in this fic that might get me sued, I don't own it.


Chapter 3: Sleep Well

Having been out on a visit to another kennel, Conner didn't come home until late that night. He peeked into his younger son's room first, finding the boy pretending to be asleep. The tell-tale glow of a video game near Lance's feet indicated otherwise, but Conner let it slide.

He paused outside Artha's door and reviewed the various threats his older son had made for entering his room, listing the consequences very clearly to Lance and then shooting a rebellious look to Conner. The Penn patriarch brushed the look away in his mind and opened his son's door anyway, expecting to see Artha hunched over his laptop or a video game controller. He was half right.

The video game on the tv displayed a strange car doing a victory lap and the laptop cast an eerie glow over Artha's limp hand, but the boy was comatose with both legs and one arm dangling off the futon and the other draped over the dragonet that was snoring contentedly on his bare chest.

A soft smile spread across Conner's face as he lifted his son's cold legs back on to the bed and tugged the blanket bunched up at Artha's waist over the rest of his body. It was really a heart-warming sight, considering that the two were trying to out-belch each other only ten hours ago. Conner really had to wonder what they taught at that obedience class.


Moordryd rolled over onto his side and glanced at the small clock on the coffee maker in the kitchenette. He rolled back and wrapped a pale arm securely around Decepshun and muttered quietly, "12:48 AM...You awake?" A tiny shift and a light snore answered him, "Didn't think so." Moordryd stood up and wrapped his dragon snuggly in a blanket and an old sweatshirt before walking around the Dragsmart employee break room to turn on the television. He sat gently on the edge of the hide-a-bed as not to disturb his bedmate and patiently watched an over-caffeinated bearded man sing the praises of a cleaning product on mute.

There was another shift, and a sweatshirt was dropped near Moordryd's leg. Decepshun growled softly at him and laid down against Moordryd's thigh after her master smiled and pulled the Dragsmart sweatshirt over his bare chest.

"Guess there's no fooling you, huh?" He rubbed the dragon's head before settling into rhythmic strokes along her long neck, "Why are we even staying in the break room?" Moordryd answered his own question without a moments hesitation, "Because we are too devoted to our job, and my father scares us." Decepshun lifted her head to stare dolefully into Moordryd's eyes.

Sporadic flashes from the television (really, how many seizures do carpet-cleaner infomercials CAUSE!?) cast odd, flickering lights over both figures, "We really should get to sleep, girl..." The wyrmling snorted as if to say "What do you think I was TRYING to do?" and laid her head against Moordryd's thigh again.

Still, the black dragonet could see the dark circles under her owner's eyes, caused by many sleepless nights. Humans were silly, letting something like rejection keep them from getting some well deserved rest. When a dragon was rejected by a potential mate, they only sulked for a few hours at most, Moordryd had been losing sleep and weight for almost a month!

In a quick maneuver, Decepshun jumped up and tugged at the back of Moordryd's sweatshirt until he fell backwards. Well used to this by now, the teen kicked out quickly and shut the tv off with his toe. He inched the short distance back to the flat pillow on his elbows and the wyrmling crawled up onto his chest, her eyes glowing in the dim light provided by the lamppost outside the shaded window.

"Yeah, yeah, I get it…You're the only love of my life." He rubbed gently at her head and she butted his hand softly, a silent prompt to go to sleep.


Lance yawned and staggered into the kitchen, intent on finding a doughnut in hopes that the sugary breakfast treat would wake him up. Despite the influence of the powdered delicacy, Lance still couldn't seem to wake up. He sat at the kitchen table and swung his short legs back and forth with his arms pillowing his head and was almost tempted to go back to sleep when a loud declaration of pain reached his ears.


Artha scowled at his younger brother, who was currently making no effort to stifle his laughter. Conner slapped the last bandage on his older son's chest and allowed him to tug his shirt back on. Artha stood up and slinked off to his room again to sulk some more.

As per Moordryd's instructions, Artha allowed Beau to sleep in his bed that night. However, in retrospect, it might have been wiser to give the dragonet a clock instead. At the very least, Artha realized that he should have worn a shirt to bed.

A baby dragon with sharp claws and nightmares of running is a dangerous thing indeed. Artha slouched a little more and winced as the scratches on his chest were irritated. In the corner, a guilty Beau attempted to become one with the wall. Unable to do so, he settled on a pathetic whine and a "Please forgive me!" look in Artha's direction.

Let it not be said that Artha was entirely without compassion. He gave a weak whistle and beckoned for the wyrmling, who obediently, albeit a bit hesitantly, shuffled forward. When Beau was in range, Artha scooped him up and petted him gently.

"It's ok…" He assured the little one softly, "It's just a few scratches. You had a bad dream…"

Taking reassurance from his owner's actions, Beau snuggled boldly into Artha's chest. This simple act of affection earned him a wince, a quiet hiss of pain, and then a few more gentle strokes.


Make-up, Moordryd had decided, was not intended for men. The pale-as-milk cover-up he had been using for the past few weeks to hide the dark circles under his eyes had finally failed him. He supposed he had it coming, staying up so late had made the skin beneath his eyes look almost black. The poorly concealed dark bruises were unattractive, but better than nothing.

The nearly empty glass bottle was hurriedly jammed into a bag with similar cosmetics when Moordryd heard a sharp knock on the door. Cain's loud voice penetrated the door, demanding to know who was taking so damn long. Moordryd stashed his make-up bag behind a bottle of bleach beneath the counter. He flushed the empty toilet, then ran the water for a moment before fixing his best pissed off glare in place and storming out of the restroom. Noting who it was, Cain muttered a hurried apology before slipping into the bathroom.


End chapter 3

Man, insomnia's a bitch. I was dealing with it all through middle school. Not fun.

So...This ended kinda abruptly, but it's where I wanted it to end. If you're wondering who Moordryd was rejected by...Well...Future plot device. It's quite fun to plan out.

Say, a question for those that read Race Tracks and Romances: Who among you has played Final Fantasy VIII, and who among you would be willing to read a three-shot crossover with FFVIII and Dragon Booster? Answer honestly, please, because the first part of that has been sitting in my writing folder for over half a year now.

Review, please.