Kinda sorta sequel to 'Acceptance' but not really. It's just my musings on what the 'job' of a dragon is and why Jake is so respected and why he doesn't seem quite so aware of it. It's a bit shorter and I'm sure it's not as in character as I'd like but I tried. Enjoy.
Jake yawned and glanced moodily at the door of his grandfather's shop. It was the middle of summer, Trixie and Spud were on vacation and he was bored out of his mind. He knew no one would come in and he knew that nothing would happen but still the mere act of hoping that maybe someone would walk through the door kept him from completely loosing his mind.
Fu heard the rather obvious yawn and walked into the front of the shop. "Geez kid, can you make it any more obvious?"
Jake glanced down at Fu then slumped over the register desk and sighed heavily, placing his chin on his arms and glaring at the front door.
Fu raised an eyebrow and leaned against the desk. "I stand corrected," he admitted and fell onto his side with a dull thud. "You know kid, there are going to be slow days. At least until you start really taking on the responsibilities."
"Really taking them on?" Jake asked incredulously. "Like protecting the magical underworld isn't really taking on a job."
Fu rolled onto his back and stuck his paws in the air in an effort to cool down. "Eh, that's about half your real job. I'm sure you've noticed it right? Lately you've been taking more diplomatic 'missions' and doing more negotiations then actual fighting."
Jake glanced up at the ceiling in thought. "Now that you mention it…" he said slowly. "Wait, wait. You mean all that stuff's normal? Like, I'm gonna be going it more?"
"Yeah," Fu replied. "It's part of the dragon gig. You know, you come, save the day and all that but what a lot of it boils down to is preventing the fighting. You've been fighting a lot because this country was pretty messed up before it got a dragon representative. Now, it's more important for you to keep people from getting that angry in the first place."
Jake looked a little put out as he continued to stare out the front door. "I like fighting," he admitted.
"You do now," Fu said as he rolled over. "But you won't enjoy it so much if you've been fighting constantly for years. Trust me on that one. In the end, the small fights to keep the peace are the best. Even you don't like fighting against the big boys."
"No…" Jake admitted slowly. "But that's because… well people get hurt. You know, like fighting the Hunt's Clan and the Dark Dragon. People, friends are in danger and stuff. I don't like that."
Fu scratched behind an ear and shook his head vigorously before replying. "And you shouldn't. That's the difference between you and a lot of the baddies you take on. Being the American Dragon doesn't mean you're just there to clean up the messes after they've happened. It means you're there to prevent the messes before they start. You're the one people will look to for help, kid. Remember that."
Jake looked uncomfortable as he kept his gaze away from Fu. Lao Shi took the moment to come into the shop. "Fu is correct, young one. You may enjoy the skirmishes that let you battle the trolls every once in awhile but in the end that is not really your true job. You are the Dragon of this country and it is your duty to strive for peace, not battle."
"I'm thirteen," Jake sighed exasperatedly. "I want to be moving around, yo. Out there, doing stuff."
"Don't worry about that," Lao Shi said with a smile. "Soon you will be traveling and moving around plenty. You will have an active life, there will just be less bruises."
Jake smirked and glanced at his grandpa. "Okay, I can probably live with that," he admitted with a grin. "I can only protect a face this fine for so long."
Fu laughed and nodded. "Exactly. Besides, I wouldn't worry about any lack of action. There will always be that group of goblins ready to roll into the marketplace and stir up trouble."
Jake giggled and Lao Shi smiled. Lao Shi nodded once and motioned at the city outside the front door. "It's as he says. The dragon is the leader and protector of the country. You will be called on to negotiate and talk to other tribes and different kinds of magical creatures. However, do not forget the 'and' in that sentence. You are always the protector. Remember that."
Jake nodded. "It's still weird though," he said with a grin. "You know, the whole 'dragon in charge of everything' bit. I mean really, why dragons? Even if we really are powerful, magical beings I'm still only thirteen and everyone is totally okay with it."
Fu nodded at Lao Shi. "That's cause you got gramps," he said. "The old man is respected in most magical communities. He did defeat the dark dragon after all. And for that matter, so did you. I know you don't know so much about the underworld because you don't live there but news travels fast. And the magazines you read don't tell you everything. Magical creatures are notorious gossipers, especially the ones I hang with. Your ideas are set on the human world standards. In the underworld, when you prove yourself, it doesn't matter what age, people will listen. It took awhile for them to start respecting you, didn't it?"
Jake looked thoughtful. "Now that you mention it," he said slowly. "Yeah. Like the fairy incident," he muttered.
"And the ogre incident," Fu continued while trying to keep in obvious laughter. "And the giants…" he said before dissolving into giggles.
Jake looked annoyed and Lao Shi shot the guardian a dark glare before consoling his grandson. "The point is, Jake, that you have proven yourself and that you are accepted for who you are and what you have done. Fu is correct, the underworld does not work the same way that the human world does. You are the American Dragon because they decided it was fine. You should not question their decision because of your age or your upbringing. You have my support and you have shown you can come through no matter what, and that means more then age. Experience will come with time, integrity and will is with you because of who you are."
Jake smiled and once again leaned into his arms. "Thanks gramps," he said quietly.
"Don't worry about it," Fu said. "Everyone knows you're a kid and that you're trying. We'd all be morons to think anything more or less. But don't forget your job, everything else will come with time."
"Lead and protect?" Jake asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Precisely," Lao Shi answered before disappearing into the back of his shop.
"Yeah, I think I can handle that," Jake said earnestly before returning to his previous activity of glaring out the window. "I wouldn't mind really starting to take on my responsibilities now though. I hate being still like this. It's like I'm waiting for something to happen."
"You are," Fu replied before curling up for a nap. "And when you're older and you're complaining about how you never get a break I'm going to remind you that you told me you wanted it."
"Ha, ha, very funny," Jake muttered dryly.
Fu smiled. Just as a quiet stupor settled over the shop a fairy burst in and started jabbering in a high voice at a mile a minute. Jake ran over and tried to quiet the fairy while getting something coherent out of her. "Chill," he finally snapped.
The fairy looked at him with big eyes and nodded. "Magis Bazaar was attacked by a rogue ogre. My shop was destroyed and he's heading towards the fairy quarters. Please, you have to help American Dragon."
Jake glanced down at Fu. The dog shrugged. "Eh go, you can handle this kind of thing fine on your own. I'll tell the old man you stepped out for a bit."
Jake grinned and held his hand out to the fairy who landed in his palm gently. Jake ran over to his skateboard and kicked it down onto the ground while simultaneously putting on his helmet with his free hand. "Hang on tight," he told the fairy before skating out the front door.
Fu watched them leave and once again curled up. "Heh, he'll do just fine," he said quietly. "I don't have any doubts he won't make it."
Lao Shi nodded as he came out to the front of the shop to take Jake's place at the cash register. "Indeed," he said quietly.
Hope you enjoyed! Hugs and cookies to my reviewers and I'll see you next one shot or whatever XD