Arianna Ballard

Summary: The night after Draco gets his name and before meeting up with Kara, Bowen gets drunk to the point of not being able to function, a nearly incoherent ramble lets Draco know how to help and introduces one of my OC's. Side-fic to my story "Dragonheart: A New Age", hope you enjoy enough to read more!


Chapter One

Mead and Misery

Draco winced slightly as Bowen's wild cursing blended with his terribly off-key and tune-less song, if it even deserved that title. One overly gracious money pouch after a "lake death" routine and one evening with plenty of alcohol and loud raucous celebration over the 'dragon's death' led to a drunk Bowen and a terrible morning after.

"I can't wait." Draco muttered to himself sarcastically as Bowen's 'singing' hit an octave the man definitely wasn't capable of.

"Uh…Bowen?"

(Unrecognizable words, badly attempted to be put to song, use your imagination.)

Draco sighed; irritating lengths of time like this while Bowen was intoxicated always ended with at least one shouting match, fortunately Draco always won since Bowen usually passed out or would trip over a nonexistent obstacle and succumb to sleep where he landed, and then an even more irritating morning after with a hungover Bowen and a tired, headache plagued Draco.

"*sigh* Come on Bowen, your stallion's already at the campsite for tonight." Draco grumbled sourly, already dreading the lack of rest from Bowen's alcohol-induced talking in his sleep.

"I knew a lad named lady

His girl a bright young lass

And when he rode up into town

She rode upon his a…

You know what Dracho?"

The dragon sighed again, and so begins the drunken rambles that would lead to the shouting match, hopefully it wouldn't last long tonight.

"Dracho?"

Plus the lack of any speech abilities.

"What Bowen?"

"It not ab-ble to ride on laddy's err...ass while's he's a ridin' into town…his rear's gotta be in the saddle unless'es be ridin' a…err…"

Draco didn't bother trying to comprehend that ramble, that's what usually caused his headaches anyway, and obviously he wasn't looking forward to the experience.

"Whatever Bowen."

Bowen picked up wherever he left off in his song, Draco had given up trying to tell if it was an actual local bar song or not. Bowen's incoherent rambling started up sporadically, most of it pointless.

As the two made it to the campsite, to Draco the short walk was frustratingly slow, and to Bowen it was an excuse to start a different 'song' while still complaining about the first, Draco snorted a small ball of fire on a pile of logs, giving the staggering Bowen some light to see by as he 'checked' over his stallion.

"Hey Dracho?"

"Yes Bowen?"

"You know what Dracho?"

"What Bowen?"

"Yer ara dragchon Dracho."

"*sigh* Yes Bowen."

"You know what Dracho?"

"What Bowen?"

"Yer ara Drachgon, 'n' ya breathe firre!"

"*sigh…grumble*Yes Bowen."

"Hey Dragho?"

"*growl* What Bowen…?"

The lengthy pause between replies led Draco to sigh heavily and look over to where Bowen was swaying on his feet dangerously. The man was able to stumble forward to the fire and where he'd pre-arranged his blankets for the evening a few hours ago.

His sudden stopping didn't go so well and he nearly face planted into hot coals. Draco's tail slid in between the falling Bowen and hot flames, ignoring the heat and fire, the dragon eased Bowen back until the man could shakily sit down.

Bowen nodded gratefully, sobered faintly at that; he groaned loudly as he laid back again the saddle he used for a pillow, tugging the blankets around him. The two fell into silence.

"Draco?"

The dragon didn't bother opening tired eyes, "Yes Bowen?" He really hoped the man wouldn't start rambling again; he'd never get any sleep.

"Thanks…'r good…friend…"

Draco looked up then, Bowen was nearly asleep, but his words had been understandable, Draco smiled a little and shifted to lie more comfortably, until he noticed the slightly singed scales on his tail.

A low wince escaped the dragon as he gently licked the sore scales; it was mostly like sunburn in contact with hot water, painfully stinging, but not super bad. Usually the tail wasn't in contact with heat from a fire that close and the lack of really decent care made the scales weaken faintly and become more sensitive.

Draco's thoughts drifted back to a time where the people who worshipped his kind cared for dragons nearly as a stable master tends his finest stallion. The miracle salves they'd used to relieve itches in scales or even just a mild oil to strengthen the scales, leaving them with a glorious gleam, were something he missed.

But mostly, he missed the care they'd put into actually doing it. Firm yet gentle hands felt wonderful on sore muscles and aching necks. They had never asked for thanks, but Draco knew all too well that leaning against warm, solid scales was the best method of comfort many had used.

Another low sigh slid from Draco's throat as he stretched his neck before resting his chin on his talons, Bowen mumbled what sounded like a goodnight before the alcohol induced stupor set in.

Draco hummed appreciatively, no shouting match tonight.


Well? what do you think, the next will be up momentarily...Review please!