The wind rushed around him, blowing through his hair as he sat upon the broad black back of a sleekly sinuous dragon. He gazed out at the beautifully rising white cliffs below them as they swept past ridding on the thermals, carried by great black wings with their beautiful blue markings. The dragon turned his head and looked at him affection shining in the deep blue pools of his eyes. "Laurence," the great Dragon asked over his shoulder, "What makes the cliffs of Dover white?"
"I must admit I don't know my dear," he answered in a voice that was not truly his own. Looking down, he studied the harness that held him securely to Temeraire's back. "Perhaps I can find us a book on the subject." He added after a moment, saddened by the fact that he could not answer his friend's question.
Conrad sat up in bed shaking off the effects of the dream, wondering just where Dover was and why in the hell the cliffs where white, and why he even knew about them when they defiantly did not exist on his world.
With a sigh he slipped out of bed, careful not to wake his sleeping lover. He couldn't help smiling as his best friend curled up more tightly, cocooning himself in the blankets, so that all that could be seen of him was his bright orange hair. Temmy, the beautiful black silk, stuffed dragon his mother had given him almost a century ago on his 30th birthday, sat in its usual place of honor, on the headboard, surveying the room out of sapphire eyes. The sapphires that made up the markings on his wings sparkling, in the nearly nonexistent moon light – it was odd how regal the little stuffed animal looked with its soft almost gossamer frill, and the thin tendrils hanging from its muzzle like a mustache. After losing his father, he'd been very lonely, and his little brother's sudden decision that he was not worth his time since he was half-human hadn't helped – so his mother had had an artisan create a stuffed version of 'his imaginary friend.' Following his every detail of the dragon down to the shade of his eyes, at the time he'd described the dragon so unlike the ones on his world with the certainty of a boy the human equivalent of 8. Now many years later, he wondered at his continuing dreams – after all at 135 he was now the human equivalent of 19 nearly 20.
Regardless he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep. Not now after dreaming of Temmy – the best he could do with the dragon's name when he was younger - he knew that much from long years of experience.
Pulling on his slippers he padded silently out of the room ignoring the fact that he was currently wearing nothing but his silk sleeping pants. He made his way almost silently through the dark halls of covenant castle, until at last he came to his office.
Sighing he lit the lamps and pulled out a fresh sheet of parchment paper, gathered his drawing pens and began to sketch the vision from his dream, paying particular attention to every detail he could recall of the oddly familiar dragon.
He set the sheet aside so that it could dry and was just about to take a few moments to look at the drawer full of other sketches he'd made over the 130 years he'd been having these dreams when Yozak's voice drew his attention.
"That's Temair, isn't it" the man asked quietly, looking over his shoulder at the artwork on his desk.
"Temeraire," he corrected absently, the strange word rolling oddly of his tongue
"you dreamed of him again didn't you?" Yozak asked after a moment's silence.
Conrart flushed to the roots of his hair, he was too old to be having such dreams and yet he couldn't shake the feeling that Temeraire was out there somewhere waiting for him. Quietly he admitted as much to Yozak.
His friend nodded absently before replying, "we have searched the reserve many, many times looking for a dragon that looks even remotely like that, nearly got eaten a few times to. Conrad I think it's time you face it, even if he did exist at one time, he's not here now."
Conrad looked up at him quietly for a second, "no," he replied quietly, "they sent him to the Pen y Fan breeding grounds after he and Laurence committed treason against Brittan." Conrad's eyes widened when he realized exactly what he'd just said. Where in the hell had that bit of intelligence came from?
"Where in the name of the Great One is the Pen y Fan breeding grounds. What the hell is Britten? Who is Laurence – and why do you even know any of this?" Yozak asked a little sharply.
"I don't know," Conrad replied quietly. "I really don't know."
Yozak gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze, "there's nothing we can do about it right now, Come back to bed and I will help you forget."
Sighing, and casting one last look at the drawing on his desk he rose to his feet and followed his best friend from the room, blowing out the lights as they left.
One thing was for sure, he was going to find out the answers to Yozak's question, and then he was going to find out why those cliffs where white, and maybe one day he would have the chance to answer the great dragon's question. After all who was he not to answer the questions of a dragon that could actually talk?
A.N ok it's short I know, anyone think they know what's going on? This will be a short story, please read and review.